EXCLUSIVE: In one of the greatest assemblages of international star power — and muscle — that Cannes has ever seen, a baker’s dozen of Expendables 3 castmembers are set to hit town on Sunday, May 18 for a full day of events. Attending are Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammer, Randy Couture, Kellan Lutz, Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell, along with director Patrick Hughes. Millennium Films president Mark Gill tells me the day will start with a screening of footage from the movie, followed by the action brigade arriving at the Carlton Hotel for a press conference and photo call. How will they get there? Why, in tanks of course! Millennium, which is organizing the testosterone fest, is seeing that a stretch of the Croisette is shut down to accommodate the armored vehicles. At the Carlton, it’s also bought banners representing each of the characters which will adorn the façade. Later that evening, there will be a big soirée at the Palm Beach nightclub.
Cannes is habitually used as a platform to launch and promote Hollywood movies off the red carpet, but in recent years the studios have cut back on … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Andy Fickman has been set by Millennium Films to direct My Owner’s Wedding, a romantic comedy about two eligible young women, the guy they both want, and his dog. The latter will go to any length to make sure his owner winds up with the right girl. Fickman is coming off Parental Guidance and helmed the hits Race To Witch Mountain and The Game Plan. He is also exec producer and is directing the Disney Channel’s series Liv And Maddie and is producing and directing the Off-Broadway production Heathers The Musical, based on the cult teen movie. Fickman is directing Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, with Kevin James reprising for Sony, and Fickman’s producing the self-explanatory Scouts Vs. Zombies for Paramount.
My Owner’s Wedding was scripted by Robert Cary (Anything But Love) and Jonathan Tolins, whose Buyer And Cellar is playing off-Broadway. The film is produced by Cary, Tolins and Mark Gill, with Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson and Alan Gasmer serving as executive producers. Fickman is repped by WME, Management 360 and Hansen, Jacobson.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Millennium Films said that the log line has changed. Here is their new one: The Expendables universe has a new team. An elite group of highly trained female mercenaries are brought together for a covert hostage rescue mission. Once they are behind enemy lines, the women discover that they will also need to topple an evil dictator bent on world domination. It becomes clear there there is no such thing as the right man for the job. The Expendabelles is the ultimate story of female empowerment and kick-ass teamwork. So, there you go.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 6:18 AM: Robert Luketic has come aboard to direct The ExpendaBelles, the estrogen-powered equivalent of the testosterone-fueled Millennium Films franchise The Expendables. The move re-teams Luketic with his Legally Blonde scribes Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Karen McCullah, who wrote the original screenplay for the female action comedy spinoff. The film will begin shooting this summer and Luketic will soon begin casting the gals. Read More »
Millennium Films has acquired worldwide rights to the Barry Levinson-helmed The Humbling, based on the Philip Roth novel. Al Pacino, Diane Wiest and Greta Gerwig star in the story of an an aging actor who has an affair with a lesbian woman half his age at a secluded country house in Connecticut. The relationship takes unusual turns as people from their past surface and chaos ensues. Cast also includes Charles Grodin, Kyra Sedgewick, Dan Hedaya, Nina Arianda, and Billy Porter. Pic is currently in post‐production and will be available for U.S. distribution when it is finished. The Humbling continues the collaboration of Levinson and Pacino, who also produce alongside Jason Sosnoff at Levinson’s Baltimore Pictures. Kristina Dubin and Ged Dickersin are exec producing. Co‐producers are Gisella Marengo, Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino.
There might be one less name on the credits for The Expendables 3 if Millennium Films and Nu Image get their way. The producers have taken the Writers Guild of America West and scribe David Callaham to court this week for fraud, unjust enrichment and declaratory relief over the original Expendables. They claim a flawed and misinformed 2009 Guild arbitration gave the writer undeserved credit on the successful Sylvester Stallone-directed 2010 retro action pic as well as its sequels. To that end the plaintiffs want back the $102,250 that was paid to Callaham for as a “writing credit bonus” after the WGA arbitration went his way four years ago. In their demand for a jury trial and unspecified damages plus legal fees (read it here), they also want any sequel payments nixed and the court to rule that Callaham committed fraud by withholding vital correspondence from the WGA that revealed his true and much more limited role in The Expendables script. They also want the 2009 WGA ruling partially reversed and the Guild to “discipline” UTA-repped Callaham for not revealing emails in which he seemingly indicates his lesser involvement in the Expendables script.
“Plaintiffs are informed and believe that Callaham intentionally withheld these material emails, and concealed the limited extent of his contributions to The Expendables from the WGA screen writing credit arbitration panel in … Read More »
Here’s the latest trailer for Millennium Films’ The Legend Of Hercules (formerly Hercules: The Legend Begins). Kellan Lutz-stars as the mythical Greek hero. Sold into slavery, the half-god, half-man must use his extraordinary strength to gain his freedom and save his true love Hebe, the Princess of Crete (Gaia Weiss). Scott Adkins, Liam McIntyre, Liam Garrigan, Johnathon Schaech, Roxanne McKee and Rade Serbedzija also star. Renny Harlin directs from a screenplay by Sean Hood and Daniel Giat. Summit Entertainment releases The Legend Of Hercules on January 10.
EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Films has set Mark Tonderai to direct a modern-day retelling of the George Romero-directed cult zombie film Day Of The Dead. Tonderai, best known for House At The End Of The Street, wrote the script with Lars Jacobson. In this new version, years after the zombie plague has wiped out most of Earth’s population, a group of scientists and survivors attempt to find a cure, and instead open Pandora’s box. The title was shopped at the recent AFM. Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman are producers. Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson and Terry Dougas are executive producers. Beth Bruckner is co-producer.
Millennium and Campbell Grobman Films are targeting a summer 2014 production. Romero directed the original film back in 1985, and Millennium first remade it in 2008 with Steve Miner directing Mena Suvari and Nick Cannon. They’ll start casting the new one soon. Read More »
Lionsgate‘s Summit has acquired Millennium Films‘ Hercules: The Legend Begins, investing further in Kellan Lutz, who broke out as a vampire in Summit’s Twilight Saga and will co-star in Lionsgate’s The Expendables 3. Lutz takes center stage in the action-adventure as the titular Greek demigod hero. Sold into slavery, he must gain his freedom to save his true love Hebe, the Princess of Crete (Gaia Weiss). This is the latest bid for action hero status by Lutz, who has been filling out his non-Twilight résumé with such fare as Tarsem’s Immortals, IFC Film’s Java Heat, and Summit’s motion-capture Tarzan. The Renny Harlin-directed Hercules will hit theaters in 2D and 3D on February 7, battling WB’s The Lego Movie and Sony’s George Clooney-helmed The Monuments Men. The film also stars Lutz’s Expendables franchise-mate Scott Adkins (Expendables 2), Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Liam Garrigan (Strike Back), Johnathon Schaech, Roxanne McKee (Game of Thrones), and Rade Serbedzija. Daniel Eliat scripted and Danny Lerner, Les Weldon, Boaz Davidson, and Harlin produced. Avi Lerner, Trevor Short and John Thompson are exec producers. Lionsgate’s Jason Constantine, Eda Kowan, and Wendy Jaffe negotiated the deal with Avi Lerner and Mark Gill for Millennium.
EXCLUSIVE: In a mid-six-figure deal, Millennium Films has acquired The Civilian, a spec script by Rachel Long and Brian Pittman that the film company hopes will give it another franchise, this one in the vein of The Bourne Identity. It was bought in a competitive situation and will be fast tracked into production.
Millennium already has its Expendables and Olympus Has Fallen franchises, and this could be another. In The Civilian, an American doctor has his identity stolen by a covert operative. The only way he can clear his name is to assume the dangerous mission of the spy who stole it.
Related: AFM: Stars Back For ‘Olympus’ Sequel ‘London Has Fallen’
Millennium president Mark Gill is producing. Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson and Christine Crow are executive producers. Long & Pittman’s original screenplay Dawn Patrol is in post and stars Scott Eastwood, Jeff Fahey and Rita Wilson. On assignment, the married writing team wrote the Korean War epic 1950 for director Rob Cohen; and Codename: Jolanta, the true story of Irena Sendler, a Polish nurse who smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. The scribes are repped by UTA, attorney Ryan Pastorek and manager Scott Carr, the latter of whom developed the script with the writers.
2013′s White House action hit Olympus Has Fallen will be sequelized as NuImage/Millennium Films bring returning stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman to London. This time around POTUS (Eckhart) and his trusted Secret Service bodyguard Mike Banning (Butler) plus an English MI6 agent are the only ones who can stop a plot to take down London during the Prime Minister’s funeral. Angela Bassett and Radha Mitchell also reprise their roles in London Has Fallen as the director of the Secret Service and Mike’s wife, respectively, while Freeman is back as Senator Allan Trumbull. The project is out to directors. Butler, Alan Siegel, Mark Gill, Matt O’Toole, and Danny Lerner are producing. Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson, and Christine Crow are exec producing. Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger, who scripted the first Fallen flick, will write the sequel. Filming begins in May in London, and the pic will be offered at AFM.
EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Films has acquired The Strategist, a thriller script by Inon Shampanier that he will direct. It is the story of a most unusual CIA recruit, a chess master who is brought in to mastermind the takedown of a dangerous dictator. The adversary is himself a brilliant man with impenetrable security who must be outmaneuvered to be taken down. Millennium’s Mark Gill will produce.
Shampanier most recently helmed The Millionaire Tour for Michael Eisner’s Vuguru, which stars Dominic Monaghan and Agnes Bruckner, and which he wrote with wife Natalie Shampanier. Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson and John Thompson are exec producers. The spec deal was brokered by Original Artists’ Jordan Bayer and Chris Sablan, and attorney Lev Ginsburg.
EXCLUSIVE: Dylan McDermott is joining Milla Jovovich, Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan and Angela Bassett in Survivor, the Phil Shelby-scripted espionage thriller for Millennium Films that James McTeigue will direct starting January 20 in London. Charles Winkler and Irwin Winkler are producing. Jovovich plays a State Department employee newly posted to the American embassy in London, where she is charged with stopping terrorists from getting into the U.S. She is ordered to let a questionable guy in, and when it blows up in everyone’s face, she goes on the run and is pursued by another bomber. McDermott plays her boss and boyfriend, who backs her, and it ends up in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, where she must thwart a terrorist attack. McDermott, who stars on the new CBS drama Hostages, is repped by CAA and The Schiff Company.
Related: Jovovich, Thompson, Brosnan, Bassett Set For ‘Survivor’ Pic
EXCLUSIVE: Oskar Thor Axelsson, who helmed the Nicolas Winding Refn-produced Black’s Game, has been set by Millennium Films to helm Point Of Violence, an action thriller scripted by Tony Mosher and Christian Parkes. The pic uses a sliding doors concept to tell the story of a hit man given the order to kill a woman who turns out to be a former lover. In one version, he carries out the hit, and in the other, he refuses and is forced to protect his old flame. The film will shoot early next year and Dobre Films is producing.
The Icelandic helmer put himself on the map with Black’s Game, a fictional story set in Reykjavik in the 90s when the crime and drug trade flourished and the game became much more violent and dangerous. In that backdrop, the film tells the story of a game that took control of the underworld. Axelsson is also attached to direct the Joby Harold-scripted The Key Man for QED and Open Road Films, and Garden District for Dimension. He’s repped by WME, Principato Young and Bob Wallerstein. Mark Gill and Christine Crowe are steering for Millennium.
Christine Crow has been promoted to VP Production & Development at Expendables producer Millennium Films, where she has helped spearhead projects including Olympus Has Fallen and the upcoming Nicole Kidman-Colin Firth starrer Before I Go To Sleep, Eliza Graves and James Franco’s Good People. Crow worked with Millennium president Mark Gill at The Film Department before joining Millennium two years ago. She will continue to work closely with Gill, Head of Development & Creative Affairs Boaz Davidson, and Head of Production John Thompson.
Related: Millennium Films Acquires Cook & Weisberg Spec ‘Criminal’
EXCLUSIVE: Millennium Films has acquired London Calling, a script by David Posamentier & Geoff Moore, with Debra Neil-Fisher attached to direct. The comedy focuses on an uptight guy who is desperate to propose to his girlfriend in London. To get there, he must share a car with a free-spirited woman on a road trip across Europe. Neil-Fisher will make her directorial debut after serving as editor on films that include The Hangover trilogy, Ted, Due Date, and the first two Austin Powers installments. London Calling will be produced by Occupant Films’ Felipe Marino and Joe Neurauter. The scribe team wrote and directed their Black List script Better Living Through Chemistry, which stars Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta, and Jane Fonda. Occupant also produced that. Neil-Fisher is repped by Resolution and Kaplan/Perrone while Posamentier & Moore are repped by Verve and Kaplan/Perrone.
As zombies continue to stalk screens both big and small, the third pic in George A. Romero’s original undead trilogy will walk again. Texas Chainsaw 3D producers Lati Grobman and Christa Campbell are teaming with Millennium Films and Taurus Entertainment to revive Day Of The Dead, which originally rose in 1985 and was revived in a straight-to-video version in 2008. “Contrary to other recent zombie remakes, our Day of the Dead will honor Romero’s original vision by reviving the slow, brooding zombie that terrorized so many of our childhoods,” Grobman tells Deadline. “The trend of the fast, agile, ‘sprinting’ zombie creates a lot of great jump-out-of-your-seat moments, but it doesn’t compare to the psychological fear and tension that builds when going up against Romero’s original undead army.” Romero’s film followed his 1968 genre classic Night Of The Living Dead and 1979 sequel Dawn Of The Dead. Day Of The Dead revolved around survivors of the worldwide zombie apocalypse who struggle to survive in fortified enclaves while trying to figure how to reverse the calamity. “Our goal is to reset the genre by finding the perfect balance between nostalgia and modernity,” Grobman says, “all while crafting a story that has both heart and brains — literally.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: What is it lately with directors walking off their own movies just before production starts? Two weeks before he was scheduled to begin production as director and star of Garden Of Last Days, James Franco pulled out of the film today. I’m told that effectively scraps a film that had $500,000 spent so far, a $3 million budget and a July 10 production start date. It’s the second time a filmmaker bailed late in the game, after Lynn Ramsay exited Jane Got A Gun hours before production was to start. That film held it together, but I’m told that this will shut down. Franco, currently in theaters in This Is The End, committed to direct and star in late April, just as he was preparing to unveil his latest film, As I Lay Dying, in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes.
I’m hearing that Franco’s exit had to do with a disagreement with financier Millennium over the crew he wanted to hire. Basically, Franco put together a few that didn’t have the experience to get approval from the bond company. Millennium wouldn’t approve his choices. Read More »