Endemol has entered an exclusive first-look development and distribution deal with UK drama producer Mam Tor Productions Limited. The Big Brother producer will provide development funding and deficit financing during the three-year deal in return for exclusive first-look distribution rights to Mam Tor’s output. Mam Tor was founded in April by former film and TV agent Tally Garner who previously ran Curtis Brown’s in-house production company Cuba Pictures. Her credits include BAFTA winning drama Boy A with Andrew Garfield, and Rufus Norris’ feature Broken. She also exec-produces BBC One’s adaptation of Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Endemol Pacts With Mam Tor; Cannes Looks East; ‘For The Dogs’ Becomes ‘Hunter’s Prayer’
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Galavant’ To Film At UK’s Bottle Yard; Sam Worthington Mini ‘Deadline Gallipoli’ Adds Cast; ‘The Golden Era’ To Close Venice; More
The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol, England will be the home of Disney’s ABC Studios’ Galavant when it shoots later this summer. Pre-production started this week in the west of England and filming begins in August. Galavant is one of the major U.S. series to decamp to Britain this year to take advantage of the lucrative TV tax credit. The musical comedy fairytale from Dan Fogelman stars Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, Mallory Jansen, Karen David and Luke Youngblood. Also currently filming at Bottle Yard are BBC Two’s Wolf Hall, BBC One’s Poldark, Sky 1 comedy Trollied, and Channel 4’s Deal Or No Deal.
Australia’s Foxtel has unveiled the cast of miniseries Deadline Gallipoli. Joining Sam Worthington in the drama that just started shooting, are Hugh Dancy, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown, Ewan Leslie, Jessica De Gouw, Anna Torv, John Bell, James Fraser, Charles Dance, and newcomer Joel Jackson. Worthington is co-producing the chronicle of the Aussie and English journalists who covered the World War I battle and were instrumental in the decision to end the campaign against Turkish forces. Charles Bean, Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, Phillip Schuler and Keith Murdoch (Rupert’s dad) were the first truly embedded war correspondents whose defiance ignited a change in the campaign’s course and whose commitment to the stories of the men turned the war from a strategic failure into a …
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Sam Worthington and House Of Cards’ Robin Wright to the ensemble cast of Everest. They join Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Martin Henderson, Emily Watson and Thomas Wright in the Baltasar Kormakur-directed true saga of a disastrous attempt to scale the summit of the world’s highest mountain when they were hit by a fierce snowstorm near the top. Worthington will play Guy Cotter and Wright will play Beck Weather’s wife, Peach. Pic is shooting right now in Nepal on the base of Everest, as well as the Italian Dolomites and Cinecitta Studios in Rome and Pinewood Studios in the UK.
Universal will release the film September 18, 2015 and it’s a co-production between Universal, Working Title and Cross Creek Pictures, in association with Walden Media. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing with Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, along with Kormakur and Nicky Kentish Barnes. Randall Emmett and George Furla are executive producing. The film was scripted by Children Of A Lesser God‘s Mark Medoff and Slumdog Millionaire‘s Simon Beaufoy. Universal’s Erik Baiers and Chloe Yellin are overseeing.
Worthington is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content’s Sandra Chang and Shanahan Management in Australia. Wright is repped by CAA, Michael Sugar of Anonymous Content and attorney Melanie Cook.
Alive Alone, the Thunder Road produced drama that Protagonist Pictures is selling, was originally announced in Cannes with Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts starring. Schoenaerts has had to pull out for personal reasons, and now boarding are Idris Elba and Sam Worthington for a March start. The New York-set drama marks the feature helming debut of Khurram Longi. He’ll direct form his own script which featured on both the Black List and the UK Brit List. Elba stars as an ex-detainee of Guantanamo Bay working as a taxi driver, and Rapace plays a prostitute on the run from a feared crime boss (Worthington). When their worlds collide, they unexpectedly find salvation in one another. Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk is producing with Rapace acting as executive producer. Michael Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures is financing and Protagonist is selling here in Berlin. Elba is repped by WME; Longi, Rapace and Worthington by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Emma Roberts has replaced Hailee Steinfeld as the female lead opposite Sam Worthington in the Jonathan Mostow-directed action thriller For The Dogs. The film is an adaptation of the Kevin Wignall novel. Paul Leyden originally adapted, and the most recent draft is by Oren Moverman. FilmEngine Entertainment’s Anthony Rhulen and Navid McIlhargey will produce with Worthington, John Schwarz, and Michael Schwarz via their Full Clip Productions banner, and Leyden. Jimmy Costas, Sharon Hanson and Paul Rock are exec producing. Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales for the film and Paradigm will be handling domestic sales in what will be a buzz title in Berlin.
A solitary assassin (Worthington) agrees to help a young woman (Roberts) exact revenge on those who mercilessly murdered her parents and younger brother. His guidance unleashes events that ultimately stoke her thirst for vengeance while he desperately seeks peace and absolution. Roberts, repped by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment, is coming off the New Line sleeper hit comedy We’re The Millers, which is in the early stages of being sequelized. And for Roberts, tonight marks the season finale of the Ryan Murphy series American Horror Story: Coven.
UPDATED: Avatar stars Sam Worthington and Zoë Saldana will reprise their roles in the next three sequels to James Cameron‘s 2009 sci-fi fantasy blockbuster, Fox announced today. Worthington returns to the franchise as Jake Sully, the wheelchair-bound Marine who finds new life on the alien world of Pandora with the Na’vi people and Neytiri, a Na’vi huntress, in the first $2.8 billion-scoring film. Saldana will reprise her Neytiri role joining Worthington in Avatar 2, Avatar 3, and Avatar 4 which Cameron and Jon Landau will produce via Lightstorm Entertainment. These are new deals for Worthington and Saldana but are basically in line with their previous deals, Deadline is hearing. When a third sequel was added to Cameron’s grand plan, renegotiations were in order.
The currently untitled sequels will be filmed back to back with Avatar 2 set to release in December 2016. The subsequent sequels will follow in December 2017 and 2018, respectively. A start date is still TBA but Fox is eyeing December 2014/January 2015 to begin filming through March 2015. They have to give the actors four months of prep. Deadline hears the plan is to shoot the films’ extensive motion capture scenes first, then film all the live-action footage. But a source with knowledge of the production says it’s ultimately up to …
AFM Briefs: Roger Daltrey’s Keith Moon Biopic Leads Multi-Pic Pact; Sam Worthington Sets 3D ‘Paper Planes’; eOne Takes ‘The Hunted’ & Zom-Com ‘April Apocalypse’; Alvernia & Fu Works Productions Team On Poland Incentives
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Exclusive Media and Da Vinci Media Ventures are making the untitled Keith Moon biopic the first joint development title in a newly announced multi-picture agreement. The Who’s Roger Daltrey, who’s been developing the project with Exclusive Media‘s Nigel Sinclair, is guiding the pic with Da Vinci’s Wendy Rutland also exec producing. They’re seeking a screenwriter for the film about legendary Who drummer Moon, who died in 1978. The biopic is expected to be a European co-production.
Sam Worthington, Anthony LaPaglia, and Ed Oxenbould (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) have been set to star in Arclight Films’ 3D family pic Paper Planes. The inspired-by-true-events tale follows 11-year-old Dylan (Oxenbould), who lives with his father (Worthington) in the Australian countryside. His life is changed forever when he wins his way up to the World Paper Plane Championship in Japan. Filming is underway in Perth, Western Australia, and Tokyo under writer-director Robert Connolly (Underground: The Julian Assange Story). Author Steve Worland scripted with Connolly. Arenamedia’s Liz Kearney and Maggie Miles are producing with Screen Australia, ScreenWest, the ACTF and MIFF. Eric Bana, Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye, Jonathan Chissick, Andrew Myer, and Bernadette O’Mahony are exec producers. Arclight Films is handling international sales.
Entertainment One Films US has acquired N.A. rights on a pair of indie horror pics. The Hunted, from director/star Josh Stewart, follows two hunters who head into the secluded mountains of West Virginia with dreams of landing their own hunting show, only to realize they’re not alone. Brett Forbes and Patrick Rizzotti produced for Fortress Features. It’s Stewart’s first outing as director after starring in pics like The Collector, The Collection, and the upcoming Transcendence. WME Global negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers with eOne’s Dan Fisher; Cinema Management Group is repping international sales.
EOne also picked up zombie comedy April Apocalypse, about Artie (Reece Thompson), who wakes up from a car crash to find he’s in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse. With newfound courage and power he becomes a bad-ass zombie slayer to protect his dream girl April before the bite on his hand turns him into a full-fledged flesh-eater. Jarret Tarnol directs the pic from brother Brent Tarnol’s script; the pair (Barrio Tales, See You In Valhalla) produced together for their Tarnol Group Pictures. Bellflower‘s Rebekah Brandes, Brent Tarnol, Stephanie Hunt, Todd Stashwick, Mark Rolston, Sarah Hyland, Roger Bart, and George Lopez also star. Preferred Content’s Zac Bright negotiated the deal on behalf of the producers with eOne’s Dan Fisher. Arclight Films is handling international sales. Another zombie indie eOne acquired at the 2011 AFM for a number of territories, including the U.S., Canada and the U.K., Valeri Milev’s Code Red, is back at the Santa Monica market as a finished product, shopped in the rest of the world by Outsider Pictures.
Anthony Hopkins leads the cast of Informant Media’s Kidnapping Freddy Heineken, about the 1983 kidnapping of the Dutch beer heir and his chauffeur, Ab Doderer. The famous crime resulted in what was at the time the largest ransom ever paid for an individual at 35 million Dutch guldens, or roughly $50 million today. Jim Sturgess, Sam Worthington, and Ryan Kwanten have also come aboard with Netherlands actor Mark van Eeuwen and Australian newcomer Tom Cocquerel rounding out the cast. Millennium Trilogy helmer Daniel Alfredson (The Girl Who Played With Fire & The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest) is directing from a script by William Brookfield, based on Dutch crime journalist Peter R. de Vries’ bestseller about the Heineken caper.
EXCLUSIVE: Sam Worthington is now set to star in The Keeping Room alongside Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld and Nicole Beharie. Harry Brown helmer Daniel Barber will direct. Wind Dancer Films will finance and produce with Gilbert Films and Anonymous Content. The script was written by Julia Hart. Set in the dying days of the Civil War, Worthington plays a soldier who has broken off from the fast-approaching Union Army and encounters women who have been left to fend for themselves. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in June. Worthington, who most recently wrapped the David Ayer-directed Ten with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mireille Enos, and who certainly has an Avatar sequel in his future, is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content. Sierra/Affinity will be selling the film at Cannes.
Sam Worthington will star in the action-thriller For The Dogs directed by Phillip Noyce. The screenplay is by Oren Moverman based on an adaptation by Paul Leyden of Kevin Wignall’s novel. Leydon wrote the script after optioning the rights out of his own pocket. For The Dogs is about an assassin who agrees to help a college girl exact revenge on the murderers of her parents and younger brother. FilmEngine’s Anthony Rhulen and Navid McIlhargey will produce along with Worthington, John Schwarz, and Michael Schwarz via their Full Clip Productions banner, and Paul Leyden. Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales and Paradigm will be handling domestic. Worthington is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content. UTA handles Noyce. Moverman is represented by WME. Full Clip is represented by Jon Levin at CAA. Leyden is with Paradigm and Code Entertainment. Wignall is represented by Marjacq in the UK.
Australian distributor Hopscotch has posted a trailer for the upcoming surf drama Drift that stars Sam Worthington, Myles Pollard, and Xavier Samuel. Wrekin Hill acquired North American rights to the movie in September with a view to an early 2013 release. Inspired by the true story of the founding of Aussie surf lines like Quiksilver and Billabong, Drift centers on two brothers who launch a backyard surf gear business but get caught up with a local drug dealer, threatening their family and their future. Morgan O’Neill and Ben Nott directed O’Neill’s screenplay.
Freelance journalist Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
Sam Worthington will co-produce and possibly star in a six-hour miniseries that chronicles how a team of Australian and English journalists who covered the infamous World War I battle in Gallipoli were instrumental in the decision to end the campaign against Turkish forces. Worthington’s production company FullClip will produce with Matchbox Pictures, part-owned by NBCUniversal International Television Production, which has first and last rights on all Matchbox’s output. Australian pay-TV platform Foxtel, part-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, commissioned the mini, which is due to go into production in the second half of 2013 and will air in Australia in 2015 — which marks the 100th anniversary of the Turkey-set battle. Among the casualties were 43,000 British troops, 15,000 French, 8,700 Australians and 2,700 New Zealanders. Co-incidentally, one of the journalists involved was Keith Murdoch, Rupert’s father.
The second trailer for Warner Bros/Legendary’s mythology-based fantasy pic hit today. It stars Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes and is set for release March 30, 2012.
LOS ANGELES – October 27, 2011 – Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey will star in Freedom Films’ upcoming action thriller “Thunder Run” with Simon West set to direct, announced Brian Presley, CEO of Freedom Films, who will produce alongside Carissa Buffel and Kevin Matusow of Freedom Films and Jib Polhemus of The Graphic Film Company. Additional casting will begin in the next week. Hyde Park International has signed on for international sales.
“Thunder Run,” is an all CG 3-D action thriller based on the novel “Thunder Run – The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent David Zucchino. Adapting the story for the screen are Academy Award-winner Robert Port and Ken Nolan, screenwriter of “Black Hawk Down.” The Graphic Film Company will utilize proprietary facial-capture technology they used on West’s upcoming “Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3-D” along with the motion capture technology used in “AVATAR.”
Summit Entertainment has released a trailer for Man on a Ledge, the drama that stars Sam Worthington as a disgraced ex-cop who climbs out on a ledge on the roof of a Manhattan hotel to protest his innocence. It’s clear from the trailer there is more going on here than a simple desperate plea for justice. Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris and Anthony Mackie also star in the Asger Leth-directed film, which Summit releases Jan. 13.
EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Renner, who received an Oscar nomination for the Ben Affleck-directed heist film The Town, is back in bank robbery mode. Renner is attached to star in King of Heists, an adaptation of the J. North Conway nonfiction book from Lion Press about one of the greatest bank robberies in American history. He’ll play George Leslie, who came to New York appearing to be a mannered gent, but secretly put together a crew and masterminded a heist of nearly $3 million in cash and securities from the Manhattan Savings Institution in 1878. Renner and his The Combine partner Don Handfield will produce with Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman. Black Bear Pictures optioned the book and plans to finance development and production.
Will Staples will write the script. Staples most recently sold the science fiction pitch Myth to Fox with Sam Worthington attached and Lorenzo di Bonaventura and James Cameron producing. Staples, who until recently wrote with partner Sean O’Keefe, is teamed with him on an adaptation of the Lorenzo Carcaterra novel Apaches for Jerry Bruckheimer, the pitch World’s Most Wanted at Universal and Kings of the Trail at Walden Media with Gavin Hood attached to direct. Black Bear Pictures is in production on the untitled Ramin Bahrani-directed pic that stars Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid, and begins filming A.C.O.D. with Adam Scott next spring.
A trailer has been released for Texas Killing Fields, the drama that is directed by Ami Canaan Mann and produced by Michael Mann. The gritty drama stars Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chloe Moretz and Jessica Chastain. A New York and local detective team to investigate a series of murders. Production design on the film was done by Aran Reo Mann, the director’s sister, who was also the production designer of Miranda July’s film You and Me and Everyone We Know. Texas Killing Fields will be released October 7 by Anchor Bay. The film will also be shown at the Venice Film Festival.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has quietly dropped out of Clue, one of the seven Hasbro games properties the studio contracted to make into movies in a ground-breaking six-year exclusive deal signed in 2008. Clue becomes the third project out of seven to be dropped by Universal (Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering were also kicked to the curb), but none of those projects are dead. In the case of the murder mystery board game Clue, Hasbro is funding the development and producing the film with Gore Verbinski’s Blind Wink. Verbinski, director of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, Rango and the upcoming Lone Ranger, still plans to direct Clue, and he and Blind Wink’s John Krauss are producing with Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir.
They’ve just hired Flash Gordon scribes Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama to write the Clue script. The writers will draft a take that Verbinski and his fellow producers came up with that retains the murder mystery spirit of the board game, but broadens the setting to a global stage. Beyond scripting Flash Gordon for Sony Pictures, Sharpless and Sazama are redrafting Dracula Year Zero. That project’s still hanging on at Universal, after being halted just short of the start line because of a high budget, when Alex Proyas was directing and Sam Worthington was going to star. ICM reps the writers.
Is all this a clue that Universal no longer wants to roll the dice on board game movies? Insiders say no. Rather, they tell me that Universal and Hasbro gradually narrowed their focus to the four films that most made sense for the studio: Battleship, the Peter Berg-directed summer 2012 action movie that stars Taylor Kitsch and Liam Neeson, with Universal just releasing its first trailer (below); Stretch Armstrong, which has Rob Letterman directing and Twilight Saga’s Taylor Lautner attached to play the rubbery title character; Candy Land, which is being written by Kung Fu Panda 2 co-writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, who’ve described the film as Lord of the Rings, with edibles; and Ouija, which has McG attached to direct and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form producing with Ian Bryce and Hasbro’s Goldner and Schneir.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is acquiring a pitch for an epic-sized telling of the story of general and Roman leader Gaius Julius Caesar that will be written by Chris Boal and directed by Jonathan Liebesman. The film will be produced by Basil Iwanyk and his Warner Bros-based Thunder Road banner. I’m told that it’s an original pitch that is not a biopic as much a Patton-like approach that covers the time in which Caesar was sent to Spain on a detail no one else wanted. There, he built the 10th Legion fighting force that would eventually march on Rome, overrun the forces of his close friend-turned-rival Pompey, and establish Caesar as the unrivaled ruler of the empire. The idea is to create a sweeping drama with a big movie star part, and the pitch came with some of the action scenes choreographed. The film would end with his coronation but leaves open the prospect of a second film that chronicled his trip to Egypt and eventual assassination. Iwanyk will produce with Liebesman, with David Gardner exec producing.
Liebesman, whose Battle: Los Angeles was just released on DVD, re-teams with Iwanyk just as they wrapped Clash of the Titans 2 for Warner Bros this week. The project comes from an idea that Liebesman and Iwanyk worked on with Boal while making the Clash sequel that stars Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson.