EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films has just completed a deal to pre-buy domestic distribution rights on Triple Nine, the John Hillcoat-directed heist thriller, which begins production this summer with a killer cast. Fruitvale Station’s Michael B. Jordan, Breaking Bad and Need For Speed‘s Aaron Paul, Warm Bodies’ Teresa Palmer, Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman in the Batman Vs. Superman film) and End Of Watch‘s Michael Pena are in talks to join previously announced 12 Years A Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Out of the Furnace’s Casey Affleck and Kate Winslet. Hillcoat, who just helmed that distinctive Super Bowl spot for Coke, wrote the script with Matt Cook. Open Road will release the film in 2015.
The rights deal comes on the eve of the European Film Market, where Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales for the project and will sell select territories in Berlin. In the drama, a crew of dirty cops is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down”. Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: A week before Sundance, Tom Ortenberg’s Open Road Films is strengthening its film acquisition team by hiring Peter Lawson and giving him the newly created title of executive vice president of Productions and Acquisitions. Lawson is a top-flight … Read More »
Spike TV has grabbed the broadcast TV premieres of Open Road‘s Homefront — which hits theaters next month – Machete Kills, End Of Watch, The Grey and Killer Elite. The first to … Read More »
BREAKING: Open Road Films has made a first look distribution agreement to release select IM Global titles in the U.S. Open Road CEO made Tom Ortenberg and IM Global CEO Stuart Ford made the deal. This comes after … Read More »
BREAKING: Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg has re-upped for another four years through 2018, solidifying the distribution company. Ortenberg founded Open Road in 2011, backed by theater chains AMC and Regal. The move comes after Open Road extended its $100 million credit facility and set premium pay TV deals through Showtime and Netflix. Ortenberg’s deal was to scheduled to expire next year. “Working with AMC and Regal to establish Open Road Films — and growing the company over the past two and a half years — has been the most satisfying and exhilarating experience of my career,” Ortenberg said in a statement. “I could not be more proud of the job our team has done so far and I am looking forward to the future with great excitement.”
In Ortenberg, AMC and Regal got a savvy pro to launch a company designed to acquire and distribute wide release fare. Ortenberg previously served top posts at The Weinstein Company and Lionsgate. Open Road finds itself in an interesting position, given that one of its main wide release rivals, FilmDistrict, is being folded into Focus Features with the ascension of Peter Schlessel to take over the Universal-based prestige film label. It is unclear how that will impact competition, but even if Focus does more genre fare it gives Open Road room to breathe. Read More »
Animated 3D pic The Nut Job follows the adventures of a mischievous squirrel named Surly and his rat friend buddy as they plan a nut store heist. Voice cast includes Will Arnett as Surly, along with Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon … Read More »
It’s gore galore in the new redband trailer for Machete Kills, the grindhouse sequel from Robert Rodriguez. Charlie Sheen as the President and Mel Gibson as a mad man are front and center here in the squib-filled tease, which also offers peeks … Read More »
UPDATE: Open Road just confirmed Deadline’s scoop on this deal. Release appears below original story break.
EXCLUSIVE: And the Toronto film deals keep coming. Open Road and XLrator have closed an acquisition deal for U.S. rights to All Is By My Side, the Jimi Hendrix film that John Ridley wrote and directed with OutKast’s Andre Benjamin playing rock’s greatest guitarist in his formative years. The pic also stars Heyley Atwell, Imogen Poots, Ruth Negga and Adrian Lester. All Is By My Side first screened Saturday night at the Elgin. Open Road’s Tom Ortenberg and XLrator’s Barry Gordon made the deal.
The film covers Hendrix’s early years as he failed to find footing in the U.S., found his mojo in England and then returned to America with guitar chops so ferocious that he reportedly made guys like The Who’s Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton contemplate other careers when they first saw his act onstage. Or at least that’s how the apocryphal tale goes. Read More »
Open Road is boasting the first-ever Instagram movie trailer with its new 15-second social media spot for Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. It trumps the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 6-second blitz of Twitter‘s Vine app, which just … Read More »
Open Road has released a new trailer for JOBS, the film that stars Ashton Kutcher as Apple genius Steve Jobs. The movie is certainly getting some buzz before its August 16 debut, as Steve Wozniak (who is portrayed by Josh Gad) appeared on Piers Morgan Live last … Read More »
Open Road has shifted two of its upcoming releases: the Robert Rodriguez-directed Danny Trejo-starrer Machete Kills is moving to October 4 from its earlier September 13 perch, and the Jason Statham and James Franco-starrer Homefront moves to November 27 from … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: ITN has dated its grindhouse indie Danny Trejo’s Vengeance to arrive on August 28, deliberately opening two weeks ahead of star Danny Trejo‘s other actioner, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills. Filmmaker Gil Medina hasn’t made a ton of friends with his bold strategy of piggybacking off of P&A for the Open Road-released Machete sequel, which ITN hopes will boost interest in their rival Trejo pic. Unorthodox Medina’s gone directly to smaller exhibitors around the country offering highly desirable splits ranging from 50/50 to 80/20 in select markets. So far he’s struck deals or is in talks to book with chains including Cinemark, Carmike, Harkins, and Megaplex Theatres to run his film ahead of Machete Kills, whose distributor Open Road is owned by top chains AMC and Regal. “I’ve been told that these chains do not care to do any favors for Open Road,” Medina told me. Utah-based Megaplex Theatres even booked the bloody revenge pic, which was shot in-state, despite its relatively conservative market. Read More »
Robert Rodriguez‘s sequel to the 2010 grindhouse-inspired Machete seems to be amping up the camp (over blood and guts) with its first trailer that dropped today. Danny Trejo is back for Machete Kills as the blade-savvy former Mexican Federale, as is Michelle Rodriguez. Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, … Read More »
The first A Haunted House, a spoof on the found-footage horror genre, opened in January with $19M and has grossed $40M+ in the U.S. Open Road announced the sequel last month and now has dated it for … Read More »
BREAKING: The release date of the Steve Jobs biopic that stars Ashton Kutcher has quietly been postponed. jOBS, which closed the Sundance Film Festival this year, had been set by Five Star Films and its distributor … Read More »
Steven Soderbergh‘s Side Effects opens Stateside on February 8 via Open Road. It will have its international premiere at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival, where the thriller is running in competition. Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones star in the … Read More »
BREAKING: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Machete Kills, the Robert Rodriguez-directed sequel that brings back Danny Trejo as the blade-savvy former Mexican Federale. Michelle Rodriguez is back, and Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr, William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson also star. Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg sealed the deal. Kyle Ward wrote the script based on a story by Marcel Rodriguez and Rodríguez.
This is the second film in what is meant to be a trilogy. Trejo returns as an ex-Federale agent who is recruited by the U.S. president for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man — he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. The last film was pure grindhouse, including something I’ve never seen before: Trejo slashed a bad guy in the gut, then unwound his intestines to use them as a rope ladder to crash through a window and land safely on the floor below. That’s a high bar, but here, he has Gibson playing the villain. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Emmett/Furla Films co-founders Randall Emmett & George Furla have acquired Fair Trade, an action thriller that had been developed by Alcon Entertainment as a potential vehicle for Liam Neeson. They want Neeson, and while it isn’t immediately clear if the actor will star, Emmett/Furla will finance the film for a summer start in Pittsburgh. The film is based on the Serbian thriller The Trap. Ericson Core (Invincible) is directing a script by Matt Aldrich. Emmett/Furla is in final negotiations with Open Road Films for domestic distribution. The Open Road team is here in Toronto unveiling one of the fest’s hot titles, End Of Watch. That David Ayer-directed film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. Read More »