Berlin Briefs: Rob Cohen To Helm ‘Risk’; Umedia Digs ‘Deep’; Buyers Show Up For Competition’s ‘In Order Of Disappearance’

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 5:14am PST

BerlinFilmFestival_badge__140204155938Alex Cross and The Fast And The Furious director Rob Cohen is set to helm Umedia‘s action heist thriller Risk. A summer production start is eyed. The film follows a brilliant thief who’s sprung early from prison to execute a nearly impossible art heist. Reluctant to follow the same path that put him in jail in the first place, he’s drawn into a dangerous triangle with a crime boss and a beautiful and mysterious accomplice. Brussels-based Umedia’s Adrian Politowski and Karl Richards will produce with Tim Kwok, Ksana Golod and George Parra. The screenplay is by Eric Harlacher. Umedia International will handle sales.

deepIn other Umedia news, the company’s international sales arm has boarded Spanish animation studio The Thinklab’s family feature Deep. From a script by former DreamWorks story consultant Mike de Seve of Baboon Animation, the film is directed by Julio Soto (Fluffs!). Umedia is showing a sizzle reel to buyers. The story is set in a deep-sea world of the future where humans have abandoned the earth and the oceans have risen. An adventurous octopus named Deep, and his two best friends, angler fish Evo, and neurotic shrimp Alice, must set off on a perilous journey when an earthquake destroys their home. Deep is produced by Adriana Malfatti and Jorge Bazaco, Character development is managed by Spa Studios, the original story creators of Despicable Me, and the company’s owner Sergio Pablos who has designed characters for Disney’s Tarzan, Blue Sky’s Rio, Hunchback Of Notre Dame and Hercules. Read More »

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‘I, Alex Cross’ Sparks Producers’ Lawsuit Over Claims Of Credit By Rivals

Producers of Summit Entertainment’s upcoming release I, Alex Cross, directed by Rob Cohen with Tyler Perry stepping into the role created by Morgan Freeman, have filed suit against other producers who claim they should receive compensation and screen credit for the movie. Bill Block and Paul Hanson are partners in QED, which produced the project that Summit has acquired for distribution. QED claims in the suit that prolonged negotiations that began in 2008 with potential producers Jan Korbelin and Marina Grasic (who with Mark Lindsay have launched Cargo Entertainment) and their company Visitor Pictures failed to come to an agreement on Visitor’s involvement with the development of I, Alex Cross. QED claims it drafted and redrafted multiple memorandums of understanding for Visitor’s involvement that were all rejected and no agreement was reached or signed. In 2009, QED says it formally notified Visitor that all previous offers were withdrawn. QED asserts that development of the movie proceeded without Visitor, who “indeed sought to have no involvement,” according to the suit.

Now that principal photography on I, Alex Cross has finished and the movie is expected to be released next year, QED claims that Visitor has resurfaced and is demanding compensation and screen credit, probably in preparation for legal action of their own. QED and other plaintiffs Suejack Inc and JPB Businesses are seeking a court ruling in the case to remove the “cloud” cast over I, Alex Cross by Visitor’s claims before the movie is released. Read More »

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Arnold Set For QED Action Film ‘Black Sands’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in Black Sands, an action film that will be directed by Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy. Financed by Bill Block’s QED, the film will begin production April 1, 2012. In the script that … Read More »

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Rob Cohen To Direct ’1950′, Korea’s Biggest-Budget Film

By | Friday July 29, 2011 @ 2:55am PDT
Mike Fleming

July 28, 2011 – Los Angeles – CJ E&M Pictures and Grapevine Entertainment have attached Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious) to direct 1950, the largest budgeted project ever undertaken by the Korean film industry, at $100m. Production is expected to begin in May 2012 with a planned release date of spring 2013. An untold story of courage and endurance during the Korean War, 1950 is an epic adventure, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning dispatches from the front line by legendary New York Herald Tribune correspondent Marguerite Higgins.

1950 is being produced by CJ E&M Pictures of Korea and Grapevine Entertainment, alongside Brett Donowho and executive producer Paul Hudson. The producers developed the story, and commissioned a screenplay from Rachel Long and Brian Pittman (Silver Falls and Stranded). Marguerite Higgins, the Tribune’s then Far East bureau chief, who had covered the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps at the end of WWII, initially found herself banned by the US Army top brass from covering the Korean conflict, simply because she was a woman. Her persistent efforts to overturn this ruling eventually won her special permission from General Douglas MacArthur to work alongside the front line troops.

1950 follows Higgins’ journey across the Korean peninsula with a platoon of marines, ending with the mass evacuation on Christmas Eve of nearly 200,000 South Korean civilians escaping the oncoming Chinese and North Korean armies.

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Rob Cohen And Voltage Team On ‘Bullet Run,’ A ‘Fast & The Furious’ In The Desert

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Productions has set Rob Cohen to direct Bullet Run, an Andrew Hilton-scripted action film that puts Cohen back on the fast car track he was on when he helmed The Fast & The Furious. Voltage Productions producers Nicolas … Read More »

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Matthew Fox, Ed Harris In ‘World War Z’ Talks

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Fox and Ed Harris are in talks to join Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale in the Marc Forster-directed World War Z for Paramount and Skydance Productions. Forster has also set Julia Levy-Boeken, the French actress who stars in the Israeli series alufa Ha. The film is an adaptation of the Max Brooks novel that looks back on a global zombie infestation 10 years after the fact. Fox, who just wrapped a West End stage turn in the Neil LaBute play In a Forest Dark and Deep, is separately slated to play a vicious serial killer opposite Tyler Perry in the Rob Cohen-directed I, Alex Cross for Summit Entertainment, with production starting in August. Harris just starred in the Asger Leth-directed Man on a Ledge for Summit. Fox is repped by WME and Management 360, Harris by CAA and Levy-Boeken by Weiner Management. Read More »

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Summit Captures U.S. Rights To James Patterson’s Alex Cross Reboot With Tyler Perry And Matthew Fox

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired domestic distribution rights to I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise. Tyler Perry stars as the title character, with Rob Cohen directing. Lost‘s Matthew Fox was just set to play Michael Sullivan, a psycho serial killer who viciously murders Cross’s wife when the detective thwarts his earlier attempt to commit a murder.  The drama becomes a mano a mano battle between cop and the killer who is one of the most memorable villains in Patterson’s novels. Ed Burns will play Cross’s partner Tommy Kane.

Three distributors chased the picture. One was Lionsgate, which has the long relationship on all the hit films that Perry has directed and starred in. But Summit Entertainment had an “in” as well: Summit co-chairman/CEO Rob Friedman. Friedman, former Vice Chairman and COO at Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group, had an active hand in Paramount’s release of the first two Alex Cross films, Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, which starred Morgan Freeman. He personally oversaw the acquisition and has a relationship with the author. Read More »

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‘Lost’s Matthew Fox Lands Killer Role In ‘I, Alex Cross’

By | Thursday March 17, 2011 @ 9:49am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In his first major film role since leaving Lost, Matthew Fox has signed on to play an assassin in I, Alex Cross, the reboot of the James Patterson franchise character that’s being put together by QED with Tyler Perry … Read More »

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Tyler Perry As Alex Cross In James Patterson Franchise Reboot

By | Monday January 31, 2011 @ 6:33pm PST
Mike Fleming

QED has packaged an adaptation of I, Alex Cross, the James Patterson novel that is essentially a reboot of the James Patterson mystery series that starred Morgan Freeman as the detective/psychologist based in D.C. Tyler Perry will headline this version, … Read More »

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ABC Working On Action-Adventure Drama With Rob Cohen, Ethan Reiff & Cyrus Voris

By | Tuesday November 2, 2010 @ 6:55pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: A trio busy on the feature side — Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, who are writing the Karate Kid sequel, and Rob Cohen who is prepping the xXx threeequel, xXx: The return of Xander Cage –  have teamed for an action … Read More »

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NBC Goes Family Comedy Route With ‘Man Of The House’ Half-Hour Project

By | Tuesday October 5, 2010 @ 2:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Feature writer Adam Sztykiel, co-writer of Todd Phillips’ upcoming feature film laugher Due Date as well as Made of Honor, is transitioning to television. He’s got a comedy project at NBC and is writing it with veteran TV scribe Rob Cohen who is supervising the script for Man of the House, a Mr. Mom role reversal family show. This marks a rare foray into family comedy for NBC, which has been focused on workplace and romantic relationship half-hours for the past few years. Read More »

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