FilmDistrict has acquired U.S. rights to Pompeii, the Paul W.S. Anderson-directed action adventure film, set for a February 28, 2014 release. Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, Carrie-Ann Moss, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Jessica Lucas star. The film centers on an enslaved Celtic gladiator who falls in love with a noblewoman on the eve of a massive volcanic eruption that destroys Pompeii, an event that also brings him face-to-face with the man who slaughtered his family years earlier. Jeremy Bolt, Anderson, Robert Kulzer and Don Carmody are producing with Martin Moszkowicz, Peter Schlessel and Jon Brown serving as executive producers. Lee and Janet Scott Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson and Julian Fellowes penned the screenplay. FilmDistrict will distribute through Sony’s TriStar Pictures. Lionsgate will handle international sales.
EXCLUSIVE: Carrie-Anne Moss has joined the cast of Pompeii, the Paul W.S. Anderson-directed 3D action adventure film. Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland, Jessica Lucas and Jared Harris also star in the film, which began shooting last month in Pompeii and is now in Toronto. Set in 79 A.D., Milo, a slave-turned-invincible gladiator, finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Flavia, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman General. As Mt. Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once-magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him. Moss is playing Flavia’s mother.
Sherlock Holmes star Jared Harris has joined Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) and Kit Harington (Game Of Thrones) in Paul W.S. Anderson‘s period 3D action-adventure. Harris will play Lucretius, a wealthy merchant whose daughter Flavia (Browning) is imperiled as Mount Vesuvius erupts and slave-turned-gladiator Milo (Harington) races to save her. The project, produced by Constantin Film and Impact Pictures, has been kicking around for a while now. Anderson was set to start shooting last spring when Summit was shopping the title to foreign buyers at Cannes, but filming was pushed to this year and is underway now in Pompeii, Italy, moving to Toronto at the end of March. The Resident Evil/Three Musketeers helmer is directing from a script by Janet Scott Batchler & Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson, and Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey). Roman Polanski years ago tried his hand at a competing Pompeii project adapted from Robert Harris’ novel before he bailed.
UPDATE: Hollywood was buzzing Friday when actress Milla Jovovich took to Twitter to bitchslap Summit Entertainment over the promotion for Three Musketeers 3D. Jovovich texted that the film wasn’t marketed as a “fun family film” and that Summit is “resting on their laurels” because of the Twilight franchise and “making no effort” for her film. (See below). So I asked Summit last night what it thought of Milla’s accusations, and an executive pointed out that the actress had been up in Canada shooting the next Resident Evil installment “and working 15-hour days and probably didn’t see the campaign. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about and we don’t know where she’s coming from.” On the other hand, Jovovich is married to Three Musketeers 3D director Paul W.S. Anderson, so it’s hard to imagine she is completely clueless to how Summit marketed the film. Nevertheless, Summit points to awareness in the 80s as a sure sign that the movie was marketed adequately even if U.S. grosses were terrible. “Wouldn’t you think she would call us first about this? It’s frustrating. it’s not the right way to behave. If she has a problem then come to the studio and talk about it.” Milla was tweeting on her flight to Japan where Three Musketeers 3D is debuting at the Tokyo International Film Festival. I wonder if Summit will cancel her car pickup and strand her …
Constantin Film and Screen Gems have cast up the fifth installment of the Resident Evil franchise. The film brings back Milla Jovovich and is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who wrote the script and produces with Jeremy Bolt, Robert Kulzer, Don Carmody and Samuel Hadida.
Michelle Rodriguez, Johann Urb, Boris Kodjoe, Shawn Roberts, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr and Kevin Durand will star in the film. Urb, who was a regular on ABC’s Eastwick and starred in 2012, plays the leader of the Resistance, who teams with Jovovich’s Alice character as she battles the Umbrella Corporation and the swarm of undead.
UPDATE: Summit has just announced that it is shifting the premiere date for The Three Musketeers back a week to Oct. 21.
PREVIOUS: Summit Entertainment has released a new trailer for the Paul W.S. Anderson-directed The Three Musketeers. Pic opens Oct. 14. I went to the Transformers: Dark of the Moon premiere last night, and say what you will about the plot, Michael Bay was painstaking in his deployment of 3D in those non-stop action scenes. Some shots, he said, took a year of work before they passed his sniff test, he told me. The 3D was more effective than Green Lantern, I thought. With audiences turning up noses on films that are 3D simply because they allow distributors to charge higher ticket prices, will a period swashbuckling swordfighting tale be worth an extra couple of bucks to audiences as the 3D backlash continues? I’m not so sure. Here’s the trailer:
Today’s opening of ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D‘ will get a boost as the film opens on 164 digital IMAX screens domestically for a 2-week run, and another 24 IMAX screens internationally. Of its 3203-screen weekend run, pic is on 2062 3D-capable screens in U.S. The film’s writer/director, Paul W.S. Anderson wrote all four, directed the first and fourth, and produced them with Jeremy Bolt. But it’s worth noting that, between this franchise and Mortal Kombat and Alien Vs. Predator, who has a better track record than Anderson for turning video games into successful films? Anderson shot this new film in 3D using the Vince Pace cameras that were employed to shoot Avatar. It was a warm up for The Three Musketeers, which he is shooting 3D in Germany for Summit Entertainment and Constantin.
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES
Should they have called this, BATTLE: L.A., since it was actually shot in Louisiana, and that would provide plausible deniability? Regardless, the look being strived for here is obviously BLACK HAWK DOWN meets DISTRICT 9. Aaron Eckhart leads an army team to find survivors in a besieged Los Angeles that has been bombarded by alien artillery fire. He has three hours to get in and out before the U.S. Military’s bombs drop (implied, but not said in the clip, is that these bombs will be nuclear).