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Paramount, China Film Co Set Rob Cohen To Helm ‘Marco Polo’

By | Wednesday May 28, 2014 @ 1:36pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Rob MooreParamount and China Film Co said today that Rob Cohen will helm the 3D fantasy/action film Marco Polo. with shooting to begin in China later this year. The announcement was made at a press conference in Beijing by Paramount Pictures Vice Chairman Rob Moore, China Film Co Chairman La Peikang and Cohen. Moore said the story of Marco Polo is the perfect choice for this international collaboration, as it is well-known not only in China but also in the West. He also added that there has been great interest in Hollywood and China to participate.

Related: Paramount & China Film Co To Produce 3D ‘Marco Polo’

China-And-Hollywood__130605112955-150x150__130925193515__131105220131La said that with the rapid economic development in China, Chinese movies have entered a “great creative and great industrial” era and that Marco Polo breaks the traditional method of a China-U.S. co-production. He added that China no longer is only providing the money, talent and market but also being part of script development, technology complementation and film technician exchange and that this  will be a co-production that has never been seen before with a major Hollywood studio.

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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 Skip Woods has rewritten, Schwarzenegger will play a loner who wages war against a ruthless weapons manufacturer and his private army in the Southwest. The tone is Man On Fire meets High Plains Drifter. Block will be selling worldwide territories starting today.

Woods scripted A Good Day To Die Hard, which Fox is readying for production. Waugh and McCoy most recently directed Act Of Valor, an action adventure that features actual Navy SEALs. That film was acquired at an auction for distribution by Relativity Media, which paid a $13 million minimum guarantee and a $30 million P&A commitment, and scheduled the film for release on February 17, which is President’s Day Weekend.

Al Ruddy will produce Black Sands with Block and Paul Hanson. Waugh, McCoy and Max Leitman are the executive producers through their Bandito Brothers banner. Sergio Altieri and Kevin Elders wrote early drafts of the script that Woods is rewriting. scSchwarzenegger has squarely returned to his action wheelhouse since returning to acting after ending his run as California governor. He’s shooting the Kim Jee-woon-directed The Last Stand for Lionsgate, after completing The Expendables 2.

QED just completed I, Alex Cross, the Rob Cohen-directed thriller based on the James Patterson novel, with … 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.

Read More »

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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 Chartier and Craig Flores acquired the script as a spec and brought on Cohen. The intention is for him to direct after he completes the Summit Entertainment adaptation of the James Patterson novel I, Alex Cross, which will star Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox.

The head of an elite private protection team and his former CIA agent wife infiltrate the closed borders of Iran to abduct a man who killed their daughter. The extraction goes awry and they force to rely on their world-class driving skills and a fleet of high-performance street cars to travel 200 miles through a hail of bullets to keep alive the man they really want dead. Zev Foreman is exec producer.

Bullet Run can be a unique and genre-bending action film with huge international appeal,” Cohen said. Hilton scripted The Lost Patrol, which is set up at Legendary Pictures for Steven Norrington to direct. Cohen’s repped by WME, Hilton by Nethercott Agency. Chartier will sell offshore territories, and they haven’t yet made a domestic distribution deal.

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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 starring and Rob Cohen directing. Ed Burns has also signed on to play Tommy Kane, Cross’s partner. At least three studios are vying for the project and a domestic distribution deal will be set imminently.

Contrary to his virtuous Lost character Jack Shepard, Fox will be playing one bad dude in this film. Fox plays Michael Sullivan, who kills both for money and thrills. He’s known as the Butcher of Sligo and shows why after Cross thwarts one of his killing attempts. Sullivan makes his retribution personal, by killing the  detective’s wife in gruesome fashion. Then it becomes a mano a mano battle between them. Sullivan is one of the best known villains  in the Patterson-penned novel series.

Marc Moss wrote the script and he and Cohen have generated a new draft that has some twists different from the novel. QED partners Bill Block and Paul Hanson are producing. WME put the package together.

The reboot of the Alex Cross series took root in late January, with Perry taking the role originated by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came 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, and Rob Cohen will direct. Distributors are circling the project right now. In fact, Paramount, which distributed the Cross mysteries Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider, is interested in taking the project off the table. It will be interesting to see if Lionsgate steps up after Perry has consistently turned in winners for the minimajor, which collects a distribution fee on pictures that Perry owns. The Alex Cross reboot was originally conceived as a vehicle for actor Idris Elba, who was going to play the character in the novel Cross, with David Twohy directing. Perry became the lead in recent weeks. It’s likely to be a controversial choice, and the key will be whether Perry can bring the considerable following that follow his directing vehicles. His biggest successes came when Perry played the female alter ego, the stereotypical matriarch Madea.

He last directed For Colored Girls, an adaptation of the iconic 1975 play by Ntozake Shange. His movies usually have a strong female following, and the Cross mysteries are action mystery which appeals to a male viewing audience. It is a radical departure for Perry, who usually stars … 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 drama project, which has been set up at ABC. Reiff and Voris are writing and Cohen is attached to direct the project, which has landed a premium script commitment from the network. In the vein of Red and The Expendables, the ABC Studios-produced drama is described as a fun action-adventure show about a team of old-school CIA covert operatives (kick-ass soldier-spies) who won the Cold War in the Eighties but were then forced out due to budget-cuts in the early 1990s. Now, they have been recruited to go back to work for their country by the chief of the Special Activities Division, a go-getter young woman who is also the team leader’s estranged daughter.  Reiff and Voris, who co-created/executive produced the Showtime series Sleeper Cell, came up with the idea for the project based on a pitch by producer Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment who also put the duo in touch with Cohen. All 4 are executive producing. Reiff and Voris are with UTA and Field Entertainment; Cohen is with WME.

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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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