As I reported on Monday, the China Film Association has formed the International Communication Committee of the China Film Association. At an event held Tuesday in Beijing, the ICCCFA was unveiled to address critical issues facing the Chinese film industry. DMG Entertainment, whose president Wu Bing was named as VP of ICCCFA, helped organize the event. The ICCCFA’s focus will be to educate and engage the global film community, particularly Hollywood, to enhance the development of the Chinese film industry by establishing best practices for partnering with China’s established and proven film companies to access the market. One of the major questions addressed was whether the Chinese film industry should support Hollywood studios making Chinese films or Chinese studios making Hollywood films. DMG’s Dan Mintz said the industry is “collectively agreeing on the latter as the correct agenda.” Along with the heads of many of China’s most influential state-backed film organizations, DMG escorted former Skydance COO Paul Schwake and screenwriter Evan Daugherty to the forum. Talking about the long-term goal of global film and cultural balance, Schwake said: “Though Hollywood isn’t a perfect system, it is an industry that has benefited from 100-plus years of trial and error and adaptive evolution. It’s important for the governing entities in China to support their own industry leaders so that those entities can catch up to the U.S. studios and perhaps even surpass them some day.” Said Daugherty: “Yes, it takes a great story to make a great film, but to complete that journey takes a system that excels at development, finance, production, marketing, and distribution. Otherwise that great story just lays on a shelf.” Via the ICCCFA, the Chinese government has put an emphasis on building China’s cultural industries. Kang Jianmin, Secretary-General of the China Film Association, noted: “The mission of the Chinese film industry should not only focus on content, even though content is king. It should also nurture a solid foundation of new technology, creativity and talent – in other words, focusing on industry development at-large. This macro-strategy, if successfully implemented, will most rapidly create a world-class film industry.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: China Forum Held On Sino-U.S. Cooperation; Simon Cowell Named Mipcom Personality Of The Year; ITV Drama Lineup; More
UPDATED: Mark Kassen (Puncture) is set to star in indie feature Alone, about Freeman, a 35-year-old veteran battling PTSD who finds kindness and comfort in the company of a rebellious New York City high school student, much to her father’s dismay. Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner has been cast as said teenager, Penelope. Ray Liotta is set to play her disapproving father. Matthew Coppola (Fresh Cut Grass, The Patient) wrote and will direct the Like Minded Entertainment production with Mark Olsen, Iliana Nikolic, and Kassen producing. The film is set to shoot next month in NYC. Kassen is currently acting in and producing 1:30 Train, directed by and starring his Puncture star Chris Evans. Liotta recently appeared in The Place Beyond The Pines and will be seen in upcoming pics Kill the Messenger and Muppets Most Wanted. Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on HBO’s Game Of Thrones, is currently filming Barely Lethal opposite Hailee Steinfeld, Jessica Alba, and Samuel L. Jackson. She also stars in Fox International’s mystery-thriller Another Me from writer-director Isabel Coixet. Kassen is repped by CAA, who also packaged the film and is repping domestic distribution rights. Liotta is a client of UTA and Untitled. Turner is repped by CAA and Independent Talent …
EXCLUSIVE: Ray Liotta has signed on to play a pivotal role in Kill The Messenger, the Michael Cuesta-directed drama about Gary Webb, the journalist who bared a CIA link to coke trafficking in the US as a way to funnel money to the Nicaraguan Contras. Webb was subsequently discredited by a smear campaign which ruined him and he eventually committed suicide. Jeremy Renner plays Webb, and Liotta will play a retired CIA agent who is secretly interviewed by the journalist and who corroborates the CIA’s involvement. Liotta most recently starred in The Iceman and The Place Beyond The Pines. He’ll next be seen in The Identical with Ashley Judd, Muppets Most Wanted and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. He is repped by UTA and Untitled.
EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Michael Carnahan has added Linda Emond and Ray Liotta to a Violent Talent cast that includes Garrett Hedlund, Margot Robbie, Toby Kebbell and Riz Ahmed. Emond and Liotta will play the parents of Hedlund’s character, who teams with his two oldest friends Angel and Quan (Kebbell and Ahmed) to build a criminal empire in a contemporary Chicago where he feels crime might be the most honest job around. Emond’s the twice-Tony nominated actress who’ll next be seen in Terrence Malick’s Project V, while Liotta next stars in Stretch and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. Tracy Falco is producing Violent Talent.
‘Goodfellas’ Unite! Ray Liotta Joins Exec Producer Martin Scorsese In ‘Revenge Of The Green Dragons’
Ray Liotta has joined Revenge Of The Green Dragons, the thriller helmed by Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo, with production beginning in New York. The triad thriller is executive produced by Martin Scorsese and is fully financed by IM Global’s prolific genre label Octane. Scorsese’s Best Picture Oscar-winning The Departed was a remake of Lau’s Hong Kong gangster film Infernal Affairs. Liotta will play the lead New York detective responsible for investigating the brutal gang and bringing them to justice. He is coming off The Iceman, The Place Beyond The Pines and Killing Them Softly. Also joining the cast are Justin Chon and Harry Shum. The film’s based on Fredric Dannen’s New Yorker article about the terror spree inflicted by the Green Dragons, the gang of Asian youths in Chinatown.
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven and Juno Temple have been cast in Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, the Weinstein Company confirmed today. No information was available about their roles, but they join returning stars Jessica Alba, Michael Madsen, Rosario Dawson, Jamie King, Mickey Rourke and Clive Owen, as well as recently announced new cast Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dennis Haysbert and Jamie Chung. The sequel to 2005′s Sin City is directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and will feature three stories from the graphic novel series, plus a new story written for the film by Rodriguez, Miller and William Monahan. Dimension Films releases the pic October 4, 2013.
CANNES, FRANCE – Image Entertainment, Inc. (OTCQB: DISK) has acquired all U.S. rights, including the theatrical, home entertainment, digital, VOD and broadcast, to the new action thriller, THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS. Written and directed by debut feature helmer, Waymon Boone, and starring Ray Liotta (Breathless, Goodfellas), THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS has just wrapped principal photography. The announcement was made today at the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival by Image Entertainment’s Chief Acquisitions Officer, Bill Bromiley.
Action thriller The Devil’s In The Details hails from debut feature helmer Waymon Boone. Ray Liotta stars as a psychiatrist who finds himself caught in the middle of a deadly Mexican drug war. Act Of Valor‘s Emilio Rivera and newcomer Joel Mathews also star. Epic Pictures principals Patrick Ewald and Shaked Berenson are handling foreign sales beginning in Cannes where they’ll screen a trailer. Boone, the former lead singer of alt pop/rock band Splender, also wrote The Devil’s In The Details and is producing as are Phillip B. Goldfine and Cesar Vallacis-De Lucia. Bryan Sexton and Benjamin Sacks are executive producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Ray Liotta will play the husband to star Olivia Wilde’s character Elizabeth in Occupant Films,’ Better Living Through Chemistry, written and directed by Geoff Moore and David Posamentier. The feature, produced by Felipe Marino and Joe Neurauter, centers on a straight-laced pharmacist’s uneventful life that spirals out of control when he begins an affair with a trophy wife. Wilde replaced Jennifer Garner who was originally slated for the role but had to back out due to pregnancy. Michelle Monaghan, Sam Rockwell and Judi Dench also star in the film, whose script was on the 2010 Blacklist. It begins shooting in May. Liotta has three projects in the pipeline this year including crime thriller Killing Me Softly with Brad Pitt and directed by Andrew Dominik; The Place Beyond the Pines directed by Derek Cianfrance, starring Ryan Gosling and writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes’ comedy The Details. He is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Chiklis is teaming with former The Shield co-star Forest Whitaker for Pawn, an independent crime film centered around a hostage situation that has gone terribly wrong. Also starring in the film will be Common (Hell On Wheels), and Ray Liotta. The film marks David A. Armstrong’s directorial debut, and the feature debut for Chiklis’ production company Extravaganza Films. Chiklis will produce with The Story Department’s Brad Luff, Most Films’ Jeff Most and Imprint Entertainment’s Michael Becker. Jay Anthony White wrote the script, in which an ex-con becomes entangled in a manipulative chess game between the Feds, local police and the mob. Chiklis, who most recently starred alongside Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez in Parker, was introduced to the project by Luff, who’s executive producer of Parker. Pawn starts production December 1. Chiklis is repped by WME and Management 360, Whitaker by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Common is repped by WME and Oasis and Liotta by UTA and Untitled. Armstrong’s repped by Original Artists.
EXCLUSIVE: Anchor Bay has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Dito Montiel-directed cop drama The Son Of No One, which was the 2011 Sundance Film Festival’s final premiere last Friday. I’m told the deal was in the $2 million minimum guarantee range and a P&A commitment for a theatrical release in at least 10 of the top 20 markets. The film stars Channing Tatum, Tracy Morgan, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche and Al Pacino and is a police thriller about a young cop assigned to the Queens neighborhood where he grew up. He’s forced to confront past troubles. The picture was financed by Millennium Films/Nu Image’s Avi Lerner and his partners Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short and Boaz Davidson. Before its premiere, the film had an early screening for buyers, and was forced to overcome a nasty trade article that claimed an “exodus” of walk outs, a story disputed in Deadline by sales agent and exec producer Cassian Elwes. Elwes had the last laugh as he and WME Global’s Graham Taylor closed what might be the last big sale of a festival full of them. Despite the one bad article, Elwes and Taylor had several bidders circling with offers in the $2 million range but Anchor Bay’s Kevin Kasha has sealed the deal.
UPDATE: The Weinstein Company indeed closed this deal, and here are the details. I’m told the minimum guarantee was $7.5 million, with a P&A commitment upwards of $10 million. That makes The Details the largest minimum guarantee of the festival so far, though TWC’s deal for My Idiot Brother (between $6 million-$7 million m.g.) had a larger P&A commitment, around $15 million. Summit’s bid for domestic rights was between $4 million and $5 million. TWC’s acquisition team of Peter Lawson, Laine Kline and David Glasser made the deal with CAA and UTA, which co-repped the picture.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 6:48 PM: A marathon bargaining session is near a close, and it appears The Weinstein Company will acquire worldwide distribution rights to The Details, the Jacob Aaron Estes-directed dark comedy that stars Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert and Kerry Washington. TWC and Summit Entertainment have been battling vigorously all night, and I’m told this could end up the Sundance Film Festival’s largest deal. The film, repped by CAA and UTA, began attracting suitors right after its Monday premiere at Eccles Theater. It quickly got down to TWC and Summit Entertainment, the latter of which has focused on acquiring domestic distribution rights.
Cassian Elwes, who’s selling distribution rights to Dito Montiel’s The Son of No One, is crying foul over a barbed trade story about the film’s first Sundance screening. The piece reported that a multitude of buyers were in attendance, and described an “exodus” of walk outs before the film was over. The trade declared The Son of No One is Sundance’s first bomb, a crushing blow for a film with a great cast that includes Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Tracy Morgan, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta, and Juliette Binoche.
Elwes blamed the exits on a mistake by a projectionist, and said the trade story painted an unfair picture by omitting that information. He said the slam piece has negatively impacted discussions with distributors. Elwes said he’s got three offers, but suitors are trying to use the report to get a discount.
I wasn’t at the screening, but I granted Elwes’ ask to explain what happened: “About a month ago, Dito decided to add a card, two scenes before the end of the film, that says, ‘Based on the book, Story of Milk.’ That is the character’s name in the film. Yesterday, the projectionist thought that meant the movie was over, and he turned the lights on. That’s when people got up. They thought movie had ended. Some left, but most stayed. This nasty little piece didn’t mention any of this. It’s not true …