Sylvester Stallone says he “has no knowledge of Nic Cage joining Expendables 3,” the actor told Deadline today, and that reports of negotiations for the Oscar winner to join the latest film in the action franchise are false. Several news outlets reported yesterday that Stallone had confirmed Cage for the next Expendables movie, citing either a Stallone fan Facebook page purporting to be the actor’s own or comments by Stallone that appeared in Spanish daily El Pais earlier this year. In the El Pais article, Cage’s name — as well as that of Mickey Rourke, who was in the first Expendables, Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes — were noted as additions to a third Expendables. Those statements were made during European junkets this summer for Expendables 2, when Stallone was asked at a press conference who he would like to see in a possible second sequel. Although the Cage rumors are untrue, what is a fact is that Expendables 3 is in the offering. NuImage/Millennium Films has been selling international distribution rights at AFM this past week.
The Tree Of Life actor will join the Oscar winner in Joe, the Southern drama directed by David Gordon Green. Tye Sheridan will play Gary Jones, the eldest child in a homeless family headed by an alcoholic father. He and an ex-con (Nicolas Cage) become close as they try to find a better life in the hard world of small-town Mississippi. Worldview Entertainment are financing and producing. Gary Hawkins adapted the screenplay from the novel by Larry Brown. Production begins October 31 in Austin. Sheridan played Brad Pitt’s youngest son in Terrence Malick’s Tree Of Life and stars in the Jeff Nichols-directed Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. Sheridan is repped by WME and Mosiac.
EXCLUSIVE: When Deadline revealed in Toronto that Emmett/Furla Films had set Nicolas Cage for the action thriller I Am Wrath, we told you that William Friedkin was circling to direct the project. I’m hearing that Friedkin is pretty much committed to do the film. Friedkin, who has helmed some of the great action crime thrillers – To Live And Die In LA and The French Connection – will make this his follow-up to Killer Joe.
Following the murder of his wife, Stanley (Cage) finds that the police are unable to catch the perpetrators. He uncovers a thick plot of police corruption and realizes that he will have to find justice on his own. As he awakens to the level of degradation of the people sworn to serve and protect, we get a little Rage in the Cage as he becomes a vigilante out to destroy those who abuse their power. Paul Sloan wrote the script based on a story by Yvan Gauthier. Lionsgate will release domestically on a film that begins production in February. Emmett and Furla are producing with Cheetah Vision Films’ Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Grindstone’s Barry Brooker & Stan Wertlieb, Vallelonga Productions’ Nick Vallelonga, Richard Salvatore & David Omston.
EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla Films has set Nicolas Cage for the action thriller I Am Wrath. This comes after Cage starred with John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens in The Frozen Ground for Emmett/Furla co-founders Randall Emmett and George Furla. William Friedkin, who knows his way around taut crime thrillers with films like To Live And Die In LA and The French Connection, is circling to make the film his follow to Killer Joe, I’m told. Paul Sloan wrote the script based on a story by Yvan Gauthier. Lionsgate will release the film domestically on a film that begins production in February.
Following the murder of his wife, Stanley (Cage) finds that the police are unable to catch the perpetrators. He uncovers a thick plot of police corruption and realizes that he will have to find justice on his own. As he awakens to the level of degradation of the people sworn to serve and protect, we get a little Rage in the Cage as he becomes a vigilante out to destroy those who abuse their power.
Worldview Entertainment will finance and produce the David Gordon Green-directed Joe, a Southern drama to star Nicolas Cage. Gary Hawkins adapted from the novel by Larry Brown. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in early November in Texas. London-based WestEnd Films will handle international sales and introduce the film to foreign buyers this week at the Toronto Film Festival. CAA, which packaged and arranged financing for Joe, represents the film’s domestic distribution rights. Joe is the story of an ex-con who becomes the unlikeliest of role models to 15-year-old Gary Jones, the oldest child of a homeless family ruled by a drunk, worthless father. Together they try to find a path to redemption and the hope for a better life in the rugged, dirty world of small-town Mississippi.
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a first look at stills from Frozen Ground, the based-on-a-true-story thriller starring John Cusack, Nicolas Cage and Vanessa Hudgens. The movie written and directed by Scott Walker revolves around Alaska’s most notorious serial predator Robert Hansen (Cusack), who in the span of 12 years abducted more than 24 women, flew them into the Alaskan wilderness, and hunted and murdered them. Hudgens plays the one teenage victim who escaped, and Cage plays the Alaskan State Trooper who finds her on the street — together they work to bring Hansen to justice. Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing with Amber Entertainment’s Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky. Envision Entertainment’s Stephan Martirosyan and Remington Chase, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson are executive producers. Emmett/Furla fully financed the pic.
EXCLUSIVE: After Deadline revealed that Universal Pictures was stepping in to finance Kick-Ass 2 with Jeff Wadlow directing his script, the big question was whether the original Kick-Ass cast of Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, among others, would be back for an encore. There has been a lot of rumors lately that Johnson, who stars in the upcoming Oliver Stone-directed Savages, would leave and that other actors were being lined up for a recasting. This has been exacerbated by the fact that the original cast didn’t have sequel options, which meant that returning cast members from the Matthew Vaughn-directed 2010 original would require new negotiated deals. The original cost $28 million and grossed $103 million worldwide.
Here’s what I am hearing. Johnson is nearly done with his deal to reprise as the title character. Moretz in a similar situation as is Mintz-Plasse. Also in talks is Nicolas Cage to return in a cameo role (his reps say he has yet to receive an offer). There are several other star roles for new characters, and it’s sure looking like it will work out well for a fall shoot.
BREAKING… Nicolas Cage, Juno Temple and Johnny Knoxville will star in Wild Side, a road trip action film to be directed by Jesse Baget from a script he wrote with Stefania Moscato. Zero Gravity Management’s Mark Holder and Christine Holder are producing and financing with Hollywood Media Bridge’s Phillip B. Goldfine and Oak Street Films. Arclight Films is selling international and Lionsgate is handling domestic. Shooting begins July 23 in Louisiana.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount has joined MGM’s effort to mount a musical film remake of 1983′s Valley Girl, the film that helped launch the career of Nicolas Cage. The remake will launch a new feature directing career, as the studios chose Clay Weiner over a number of well-established helmers who wanted the job. Who is Clay Weiner and how did this happen?
Weiner is a prolific commercials director — he helmed the Super Bowl spot for Time Warner Cable with Ricky Gervais and Mary Louise Parker — but his only real credit is the Nickelodeon film Fred: The Movie. He was determined to win the Valley Girl job, and his reps were able to include him among a bunch of helmers who met with studio executives before the holiday. Weiner was the only one who spent the two-week holiday break putting together a three-minute demo reel, paid for out of his own pocket, that featured choreographed dance routines set to a mash-up of the 1980s tunes that will be sung in the film. He demonstrated the spirit, design, costuming and camera work that reflected his vision for the film. It told the studio execs everything they needed to know. This week, they gave Weiner the job and it was the reel that won it for Weiner. Negotiations are now getting underway between the studios and Weiner’s reps at UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Sony updated this one today on its website and we know how much you enjoy telling us what you think. Here’s Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance. Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, screenplay by Scott M. Gimple & Seth Hoffman and David S. Goyer. Opens February 17. Now have at it.
Anchor Bay Films has landed U.S. rights to the Nicolas Cage thriller Seeking Justice and has slated it for a March 16 theatrical release. January Jones and Guy Pearce co-star in the film, which was directed by Roger Donaldson. The plot revolves around inner-city teacher Will (Cage) and his musician wife Laura (Jones) whose lives are torn apart when she is brutally assaulted and he is approached by a man (Pearce) offering to dispense immediate justice on the perpetrators. Will accepts and is pulled into an underground vigilante organization that leads to frightening and dangerous consequences. The film, previously titled The Hungry Rabbit Jumps, was produced by Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern, Ram Bergman and Material Entertainment’s Tobey Maguire and Jenno Topping.
EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Scott Walker, who took time from prepping his next film, The Frozen Ground, to meet with the major agencies last week. Walker is making his directorial debut on his scripted drama about the hunt for Alaska’s most notorious serial predator, Robert Hansen. John Cusack is playing Hansen, regarded in the community as a respected family man but who, in the span of 12 years, abducted more than 24 women, flew them into the Alaskan wilderness and hunted and murdered them. Vanessa Hudgens plays the lone victim who escapes and Nicholas Cage plays the Alaskan State Trooper who finds her on the street. Together they work to bring Hansen to justice. The film begins production in Alaska on October 17, financed by Emmett/Furla Films.
EXCLUSIVE: In a mid-six-figure against seven-figure deal, Emmett/Furla Films has acquired Expiration, an action script by Brian Tucker. He scripted Broken City, a drama that EFF is financing for a November 7 start date with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe starring for director Allen Hughes. Expiration will be produced by Randall Emmett, George Furla and Tucker.
An ex-CIA operative-turned-hitman is poisoned on his final job. With 20 hours to live, he is determined to find out who poisoned him, and settle the score before he dies. It’s a big-scale $50 million-plus action film. EFF will finance it, and they will go out to directors and cast quickly to start production early next year. Aside from Tucker’s Broken City, Emmett/Furla starts production October 17 on Frozen Ground, which stars John Cusack as Alaska’s most notorious serial predator, Robert Hansen. In the span of 12 years, Hansen abducted more than 24 women and flew them into the Alaskan wilderness to hunt and murder them. Nicolas Cage plays the Alaskan State trooper on his tail, and Vanessa Hudgens plays the lone victim who escaped. At the recent Toronto Film Festival, Emmett/Furla Films unveiled a $250 million film find with Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase’s Envision Entertainment. Tucker’s repped by WME and Management 360.
EXCLUSIVE: In a departure from her High School Musical past, Vanessa Hudgens has been set to star alongside Nicolas Cage and John Cusack in Frozen Ground, the Emmett/Furla Films thriller that is being sold here in Toronto, with Voltage Pictures handling international sales. The film, which will begin shooting October 17 in Anchorage, Alaska, marks the feature directing debut of Scott Walker, who wrote the script.
Pic is based on true events surrounding Alaska’s most notorious serial predator, Robert Hansen. Cusack is playing Hansen, regarded in the community as a respected family man. In the span of 12 years, he abducted more than 24 women, flew them into the Alaskan wilderness, and hunted and murdered them. Hudgens will play the one teenage victim who escaped. When she returned to tell her story, nobody believed her. Cage will play the Alaskan State Trooper who finds her on the street. Together they work to bring Hansen to justice.
Frozen Ground is being produced by Randall Emmett and George Furla, along with Amber Entertainment’s Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky. Envision Entertainment’s Stephan Martirosyan and Remington Chase, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and executive producers. Emmett/Furla Films this weekend set a $250 million film find with Envision Entertainment. Hudgens is repped by CAA.
Emmett/Furla Films, a company that has been growing more ambitious in the film financing and production arena, has teamed with Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase’s Envision Entertainment to establish a new $250 million revolving equity and debt fund to finance a new slate of star-driven commercial films. The fund was announced as EFF principal Randall Emmett comes to Toronto to make deals on films that include the Allen Hughes-directed political corruption drama Broken City, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, and Frozen Ground, the fact-based thriller about a serial killer in Alaska that will star Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. Martirosyan and Chase are executive producers on the latter.
The fund carries no set restrictions on how and where capital is allocated, but it will continue EFF’s momentum. The company recently financed the Stephen Frears-directed Lay The Favorite — with a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Vince Vaughn and Catherine Zeta-Jones — with films in the works that include the David Ayer-directed crime drama End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick; Fire with Josh Duhamel, Willis and Rosario Dawson; and Freelancers, a drama that stars Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. EFF’s Emmett continues to be Jackson’s partner in Cheetah Vision Films, which has a deal at Lionsgate. EFF will make nine films this year.
EXCLUSIVE: Russell Crowe is set to star alongside Mark Wahlberg in the Allen Hughes-directed independently financed noir drama Broken City. Production begins in November. Wahlberg plays an ex-cop-turned-private detective who is hired by the mayor (the role Crowe will play) to see if his wife is cheating on him. The private eye confirms those suspicions, and when the mayor’s wife’s cheating partner ends up dead, the private eye immerses himself in the mayor’s business and uncovers a real estate scandal that involves the pol dealing himself choice city-owned properties. The script by Brian Tucker made the 2008 Black List. The $60 million film will be financed by Emmett/Furla Films.
Wahlberg is producing through his Closest to the Hole banner; Stephen Levinson through Leverage; and Randall Emmett, George Furla and Hughes are also producing. Wahlberg and Levinson, partners on Entourage and Boardwalk Empire, just wrapped the drama Contraband. Crowe is costarring as Jor-El in the Superman reboot Man of Steel and just wrapped The Man With The Iron Fists.
Sony said today that it has slated Columbia Pictures’ Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance for wide release on Feb. 17, 2012. The 3D film, a sequel to the 2007 original, again stars Nicolas Cage, and is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
EXCLUSIVE: Nicolas Cage and John Cusack are in talks to star in The Frozen Ground, a drama to shoot this fall in Anchorage, Alaska. It will mark the feature directing debut of Scott Walker, who wrote the script. Pic is based on true events surrounding Alaska’s most notorious serial predator, Robert Hansen. Cusack is in talks to play a respected family man who for over 12 years abducted more than 24 women and flew them into the Alaskan wilderness to be hunted. Cage is in talks to play a principled and dedicated Alaskan State Trooper who finds Hansen’s only surviving teen victim alive on the street. The trooper and the young girl finally bring Hansen to justice.
The pic’s produced by Emmett Furla Films’ Randall Emmett and George Furla and Amber Entertainment’s Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky. Pic will be exec produced by Envision Entertainment’s Stephan Martirosyan and Remington William Chase, and Curtis Jackson. Financing is by Emmett Furla and Voltage will handle international sales. Emmett Furla just finished Fire With Fire and the Stephen Frears-directed Lay the Favorite and is gearing up for production on Broken City and the David Ayer-directed End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal.
BREAKING: Charlie Kaufman is attaching Jack Black and Nicolas Cage and is talking to Steve Carell to star in Frank Or Francis, the next film Kaufman will direct. Kaufman’s projects are always shrouded in mystery (sometimes even after you’ve seen them), but they are always compelling and this one’s gearing up for a 2012 start. After writing scripts that included Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kaufman made his helming debut on his script Synecdoche, New York.
Cage previously starred in the Kaufman-scripted Adaptation, the adaptation of Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief. Black, who most recently starred in the indie Bernie, sort of worked with Kaufman in that he did script work on Kung Fu Panda 2. and Carell (who’s about to open in Crazy, Stupid, Love) is working with Kaufman for the first time. UPDATE: I’m told that Carell and Kaufman actually worked together back in 1996 on The Dana Carvey Show, so everybody knows everybody. Kaufman, Black and Carell are repped by WME, Cage by CAA.
The pic is being mounted as an indie that’s our to financiers and will be produced by Anthony Bregman.