Michael Peña (Gangster Squad) is set to co-star in Fox’s event series Gracepoint, a remake of the UK’s Broadchurch. The project, from Shine America and Kudos, centers on Detective Emmett Carver (David Tennant), the lead male investigator on the case of a shocking murder of 11-year-old Danny that puts a small town under scrutiny. Peña, repped by repped by CAA, Management 360 and Rick Genow, will play Danny’s father Mark Lasseter, a well-liked local plumber and family man. Like anyone else, Mark is left devastated by the murder, but as his wife, Beth (Virginia Kull), suspects, he may be hiding something about that fatal evening. Peña, currently seen in American Hustle, is wrapping Sony’s Fury opposite Brad Pitt and next stars in Chavez as Cesar Chavez.
Michael Pena has a very busy dance card. Today Lakeshore Entertainment and Lionsgate announced that the actor has boarded The Vatican Tapes. Pena will play Father Lozano in the demonic thriller directed by Mark Neveldine. The Lakeshore-produced pic will start filming next month with Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, Kathleen Robertson, Peter Andersson, John Patrick Amedori, Alex Sparrow and Olivia Dudley also in the cast. Dudley plays a twentysomething who seems to cause death and destruction to those around her. Pena’s character is the local priest who first tries to help. In April, my colleague Mike Fleming Jr, revealed that Pena was joining David O Russell’s con-artist film with Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence. Last month it was announced that the End of Watch actor would reunite with the cop drama’s director David Ayer for Fury with Brad Pitt. Pena also will be heard as Tito in the upcoming Turbo from DreamWorks Animation.
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Pena is the latest name to join David O Russell‘s next film, which already stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence. The Sony Pictures drama, formerly known as American Bullshit, is inspired by a true story of a notorious financial con artist and his mistress/partner in crime, who were forced to work with an overly ambitious federal agent to turn the tables on other con artists, mobsters and politicians. Russell is working with original scribe Eric Warren Singer on a rewrite, and Sony has set a December 13 release. Pena, whose recent credits include co-starring in David Ayer’s End Of Watch and Gangster Squad, recently completed voice work on DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo due out in July and also just wrapped the Diego Luna-directed Chavez. He is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Rick Genow.
Michael Peña is set as the lead in The List, Fox‘s drama pilot from Paul Zbyszewski, Ruben Fleischer and 20th TV. The project centers on the intense Deputy U.S. Marshal Soto (Peña) who, when members of the Federal Witness Security Program start getting killed, leads the hunt for the person who stole “the list” – a file with the identities of every member of the program. Soto is described as a ruggedly attractive, oddly charismatic man, a notoriously quirky maverick who frequently gets into trouble with the bureaucracy. Peña is the second Latino actor Fox has cast as the lead of a drama pilot this season, along with Ramon Rodriguez, who toplines Gang Related. Peña, repped by CAA, Management 360 and Rick Genow, is nominated for a 2013 Independent Spirit Award for End Of Watch and will next be seen playing the title role in Chavez for director Diego Luna. He also recently wrapped the border drama Frontera opposite Ed Harris.
Open Road Films has put up this R-rated trailer for writer-director David Ayer’s End Of Watch, which looks at the workday activities of two L.A. cops — Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena — from the perspective of various hand-held, dashboard and security cameras. Co-starring Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, Cody Horn and America Ferrera, it opens September 21st:
BREAKING: Open Road is closing a deal for U.S. distribution rights to End Of Watch, the David Ayer-directed cop drama that stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena and Anna Kendrick. I’m told that Open Road will release the film later this year. They’ve committed to a 2,000-screen run, with a minimum guarantee just north of $2 million and a $20 million P&A commitment.
One of the benefits of shooting a movie in Manhattan is getting access to the town’s stage talent. Matthew Broderick has been set by director Brett Ratner to join the cast of Tower Heist. He joins Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Tea Leoni, Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Pena in the Universal comedy. Broderick will play Chase Fitzhugh, a Wall Street guy who, like the building staff, had his finances cleaned out by the Bernie Madoff-like character played by Alda, who is under house arrest in the luxury penthouse apartment atop the building. Brian Grazer is producing and Karen Kehela Sherwood and Kim Roth are exec producers. Jeff Nathanson is rewriting Ted Griffin’s draft.
Brett Ratner, who considers The Family Man one of his best films, has reunited with its star, Tea Leoni. She’ll join him for Tower Heist, the Universal Pictures/Imagine Entertainment action comedy. Leoni, a gifted comedienne, plays an FBI agent who sympathizes with Ben Stiller’s overworked manager character, and falls for him. The manager, of course, is planning to heist the Bernie Madoff-like crook under house arrest in the penthouse after he swindled the pensions of the building’s workers. Eddie Murphy, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Pena and Alan Alda also star.
EXCLUSIVE: Brett Ratner has set Oscar-nominated Precious star Gabourey Sidibe and Michael Pena to join Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy and Alan Alda in Tower Heist, the action-comedy that Universal Pictures is gearing up to start production in New York next month. Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer is producing. Sidibe and Pena will play employees who work in a luxury high-rise and discover their pension funds have been drained by a Bernie Madoff-like Wall Street crook who is living under house arrest in the opulent penthouse apartment. Led by the building’s manager (Stiller), the employees figure out a way to use their knowledge of the building to rip him off.