Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall, the Jon Robin Baitz-scripted pic about the 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village that became the flashpoint for the gay rights movement, has kicked off production in and around Montreal. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman and Joey King have joined the cast, which is being toplined by Jeremy Irvine. Jonny Beauchamp and Caleb Landry Jones co-star, and newbies Karl Glusman, Vlademir Alexis and Alexandre Nachi also have come aboard. The film is being produced by Michael Fossat, Marc Frydman and Emmerich, with Kirstin Winkler and Adam Press executive producing. Emmerich starts shooting on this one, a passion project for him, while he continues prepping the next installment of Independence Day for Fox, which has a July 1, 2016, release date.
Deadline Hollywood has been breaking news at the Cannes Film Festival for quite some time. But this year, we decided to close our laptops and turn off our phones (just for a little bit) and hold what is the first of many big splashes on the Croisette. Deadline Hollywood’s Cocktails on the Croisette — sponsored by American Express, The Consulate General of France in Los Angeles and the Film Fraternity — drew a plethora of studio executives, filmmakers and celebrities Friday afternoon at the 67th annual fest. Hosts Co-Editor-In-Chief Mike Fleming Jr., Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and International Editor Nancy Tartaglione were on hand at the exclusive La Gold Plage to raise a glass of champagne to executives from Sony Pictures Classics, Lionsgate, Cinedigm, Blumhouse Productions, Picturehouse, IM Global, Film4, Paradigm and Resolution Agency, among others. Click on a photo to launch the slideshow:
Actor and producer Ron Perlman is getting into the indie finance and production business. His new outfit, Wing and a Prayer Pictures is looking to produce and back three films per year in the $3M-$10M budget range. Perlman recently exec produced and starred in the Marc Forster-directed Amazon Studios drama pilot Hand Of God. He’s best known for his roles as the title character in the Hellboy franchise and as Clay Morrow in FX’s Sons Of Anarchy. Wing and a Prayer will focus on dramas and elevated genre with A-list talent featured in front of and behind the camera. Josh and Randy Crook are partners with Perlman in the new venture. Gersh’s Jay Cohen will be an advisory partner helping to source material, package projects, and negotiate deals. Erik Kritzer and Brian Wilkins of Link Entertainment will be co-Heads of Production. Details of the company’s first project will be forthcoming and the principals will all be attending the Cannes Film Festival next week to meet with distributors and content creators.
Perlman, who will produce all of the films and could star in or direct as well, says, “I am looking to create a haven for the artists that I love and admire to do what it is that they do best, which is to create beautiful cinema. I’ve always been of the mind that movies that appeal …
EXCLUSIVE: Gersh has signed Ron Perlman and his production company. After Hellboy and Sons Of Anarchy, Perlman is building the next chapter of his career. He’s not letting any moss grow under him since completing his superb turn as Sons biker club leader Clay Morrow. Perlman has optioned several screenplays, he is currently starring in and exec producing Hand Of God, a pilot for Amazon that Marc Forster is directing, and he has made a deal to co-write with Michael Largo the memoir Easy Street—The Hard Way that will be published by Perseus Books Group imprint Da Capo Press.
I had the honor of being asked by Kurt Sutter to moderate the Sons panel that closed San Diego Comic-Con, and found Perlman to be so subdued and fatalistic about his character’s future on the show, almost seeming ashamed of what his character had done. Feeling he was losing his grip on the club (and not just because of the arthritis he tried to hide), Clay backstabbed Jax (Charlie Hunnam), his wife Gemma (Katey Sagal), and just about everyone else in the club, leaving bloodshed and a trail of bodies in his wake. It was impossible for the Comic-Con crowd not to feel like this was going to be his last hurrah. Now, the Emmy voters have been snobbish about Sutter’s series creation and have almost made it seem …
EXCLUSIVE: This is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious projects yet for Amazon Studios. I hear that the production arm of the online retailer’s streaming service is finalizing deals for a pilot order to Hand Of God, to be directed by World War Z helmer Marc Forster in his TV directing debut. Ron Perlman is set to topline the edgy drama, written by former Burn Notice executive producer Ben Watkins. Hand Of God centers on the powerful Judge Harris Pernell (Perlman), a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side who has a religious awakening and starts having visions and hearing voices through his ventilator-bound son that could be God speaking to him. I hear filming is tentatively slated to begin in March. Forster, Perlman and Watkins executive produce with Jillian Kugler, who works with Forster, and Brian Wilkins of KLWGN. Forster will direct Hand Of God as a follow-up to World World Z, which grossed $540 million worldwide. Hellboy alum Perlman is coming off a memorable co-starring role on FX’s Sons Of Anarchy. Amazon’s second batch of completed pilots, including the company’s first dramas Bosch and Chris Carter’s The After, are expected to be released soon.
Related: ‘Barbarella’ …
EXCLUSIVE: Shawn Christensen won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short for Curfew, which he wrote, directed, and starred in. Now the musician-turned-filmmaker, who also fronts the NY indie band stellastarr*, has cast Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries), Emmy Rossum, and Ron Perlman in the untitled feature film based loosely on his Oscar short. Pic follows Richie (Christensen), who at the lowest point of his life gets a call from his estranged sister asking him to look after his 11-year-old niece Sophia for the night. Fatima Ptacek played the niece role in the original Curfew and will reprise the role again in what will mark Christensen’s feature directing debut.
The Daniel Stamm-directed psychological thriller is an English-language remake of the Thai pic 13: Game Of Death, about a guy who receives a mysterious phone call informing him that he’s on a hidden camera game show where he must execute 13 tasks to receive a big cash prize. He accepts the challenge as he’s in debt but soon he realizes he’s in over his head. Ron Perlman, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Tom Bower and Devon Graye have been added to the cast that already is toplined by Mark Webber and Rutina Wesley. The movie, to be distributed by Dimension Films in the U.S., begins shooting tomorrow.
EXCLUSIVE: Tbilisi, My City is a feature built on a series of 12 short films about the republic of Georgia. Ron Perlman and Sarah Dumont have just been added to the cast that already included Malcolm McDowell. Hatched by David Agiashvili, the melding of fiction and documentary is written and directed by natives of Georgia, with each story taking on a personal narrative about the republic’s capital city. Perlman plays a nameless American motorcyclist who rides through Tbilisi’s remote areas with a woman named Freedom (Dumont). McDowell’s vignette sees him as an actor who falls in love with Tbilisi after reluctantly agreeing to a one-month shoot there. Agiashvili is producing alongside Ketevan Galdavadze and Nika Agiashvili through Storyman Pictures and Iberia Film. Prouduction is currently underway. Pearlman is repped by KLWGN Entertainment. Dumont is repped by WME.
After a judge last week denied a motion to dismiss, a lawsuit is tentatively scheduled to play out in LA Superior Court on August 8 that pits former William Morris literary agent Dave Phillips against William Sherak, president of the 3D conversion house StereoD. Phillips alleges in court papers that after inviting Sherak to be his 50/50 partner on emerging 3D technology that Phillips had been retained to shop in Hollywood, Sherak betrayed him. By the time 18 months worth of meetings culminated in the deal that led to the formation of StereoD, Sherak emerged with a 32% stake in that company and signed a 3-Year $14 million deal to run it after Deluxe acquired StereoD in May. Phillips was offered $30,000 to sign a release and go away.
Sherak, the son of Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak, is accused of breaching an oral agreement and his fiduciary responsibility to Phillips. At issue is whether the technology Phillips plugged Sherak into (it originated with Kerner, an offshoot of George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic) led to the deals that formed StereoD and should be counted in the 50/50 3D deal split Phillips said he and Sherak agreed to in an oral (not written) contract. Phillips claims in his complaint that Sherak often assured him their position would be protected because of his father’s industry clout, but that he eventually became evasive after Phillips was offered the $30,000. Stereo D has quickly become a major player in 3D conversions of films that include Captain America, Avatar, Jackass 3-D, and Thor.
Phillips claims that he brought Sherak into the 3D mix because they were longtime friends and he knew Sherak’s father would use his clout to put them in rooms with the Hollywood heavyweights needed for deals that would enrich the duo with finder fees. According to Phillips’ complaint, the elder Sherak orchestrated meetings with the likes of Ron Perelman, Deluxe’s Cyril Drabinsky, Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Lightstorm’s Jon Landau. The elder Sherak also arranged for Fox to provide a print of The Rocky Horror Picture Show to be converted into 3D for demos.
Along the way, the younger Sherak arranged meetings with Christopher Mallick, the financier of Middle Men, a film Sherak produced. These meetings evolved into a focus on 2D to 3D conversion technology called VDX that wasn’t owned by Kerner, but rather a Japanese inventor named Kuniaki Izumi. The filing indicates Phillips and Sherak were involved in bringing Izumi in from Japan to meet Mallick, who shortly after dropped his Kerner pursuit. He struck a deal with Izumi that paid the inventor $1 million for technology that became the core of Stereo D. Mallick gave equal ownership stakes in StereoD to himself, Sherak and Middle Men star Giovanni Ribisi. Phillips was not included.
EXCLUSIVE: Simon Hunter has been set to direct Last Blood, a live action adaptation of the Keenspot graphic novel that takes place after a zombie apocalypse, when vampires must battle to protect the last surviving humans to keep alive the necessary blood supply. Hunter helmed Mutant Chronicles, the actioner that stars Thomas Jane, John Malkovich, Ron Perlman and Devon Aoki, as well as the James Purefoy-starrer Lighthouse. The pic will be formally announced at Comic-Con this weekend.
Last Blood will be produced by Ironclad exec producer Christian Arnold-Beutel as well as Red Giant Media’s Aimee Schoof, Isen Robbins and Benny R. Powell, and Keenspot’s Chris and Bobby Crosby. The Crosby siblings created the graphic novel with illustrator Owen Gieni, and Bobby Crosby wrote the script with Nick V. Sterling. Last Blood was published as an online comic in 2006, drawing almost 20 million readers around the world. Two prequel novels are in the works and they will be published this Halloween on multiple platforms.
Just in time for Comic-Con, FilmDistrict has unveiled a red band trailer for Drive, the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed drama that stars Ryan Gosling, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman and Carey Mulligan. Is it me, or does Gosling seem very much like Steve McQueen-esque in one of those 70s movies and Brooks like one of those heavies that McQueen bumped up against?
UPDATE: I originally posted a trailer for this movie that I found on Youtube, and the Deadline commenters have spent the day beating it like it owed them money. The producers have appealed to my sense of fair play because, they said, the trailer was an early sales tool that doesn’t reflect the quality of the finished film. So I’ve pulled the trailer.
EXCLUSIVE: ARC Entertainment is teaming with Barry Gordon’s XLrator Media to acquire U.S. distribution rights to Bunraku, the Guy Moshe-directed martial arts action film that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last fall. The film stars Josh Hartnett, Ron Perlman, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Kevin McKidd, Jordi Molla, Gackt Camui and Shun Sugata.
Hartnett plays a mysterious drifter who arrives in town the same time as a young Japanese warrior (Gackt). The town has been poisoned by criminal elements, and each man moves along toward separate missions, advised by the bartender (Harrelson) at the Horseless Horseman Saloon. Eventually the two strangers team to take on the town kingpin (Perlman) and his femme fatale companion (Moore). The film’s produced by Snoot Entertainment’s Keith Calder and Jessica Wu, along with Picturesque Films’ Nava Levin, and Ram Bergman. Production designer Alex McDowell co-produced. Calder and Wu are producers on the Morgan Spurlock documentary POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. “Bunraku’s visually dazzling world melds Samurai films, spaghetti westerns, …
EXCLUSIVE: Ascent Media is the international conglomerate offering integrated digital media services including digital asset management, post production, content duplication and distribution services that was spun off as a publicly traded company in 2008 by its former parent Discovery Holding, which is controlled by Liberty Media chairman John Malone. U.S.-based film Deluxe is owned by Ron Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings and is the world’s largest processor of 35mm film and distributor of release and trailer prints for the worldwide film industry. My sources say this transaction for Deluxe “appears imminent. They are buying the bulk of Ascent Media’s assets minus distribution and some creative services. Though Perelman has been getting nutty at the 11th hour with demands.” (I hear India’s giant Reliance was “hot and heavy in the mix” when Ascent Media was being shopped around during the months-long process.) As usual with anything that Malone does deal-wise, the sale will have as small a tax consequence as possible given his phobia about paying corporate taxes. Britain’s Broadcast media outlet first reported in September that Deluxe was talking to Ascent Media UK about a possible takeover in “a deal that would almost certainly create the biggest single player in the UK facilities market”. But the transaction is actually much, much bigger.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo – Ascent Media Corporation today announced the execution of a definitive agreement to sell the Creative Services and Media Services businesses of Ascent Media Group to Deluxe Entertainment Services
EXCLUSIVE: In the first major deal of the American Film Market, FilmDistrict has acquired North American distribution rights to Drive, the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed adaptation of the James Sallis novel that stars Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver and is targeted for death after a heist goes wrong. Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks round out a strong cast. FilmDistrict was started by GK Films partners Graham King and Tim Headington and run by Peter Schlessel and veteran distribution exec Bob Berney. They hatched the company to generate or acquire films with strong casts that can play on between 1500 and 2000 screens. Drive certainly fits that bill. The film is about two weeks from wrapping and has a budget under $30 million despite shooting in Los Angeles. FilmDistrict will look to release in late summer or early fall, 2011. Michel Litvak’s Bold Films financed the picture with Odd Lot Entertainment ‘s Gigi Pritzker, Linda McDonough and Bill Lischak. Marc Platt is producing with Bold and Odd Lot. Several indie companies chased the film including Summit and Lionsgate, and WME Global’s Graham Taylor closed the deal.