Silver Pictures‘ action thriller Autobahn is revving up for a production start May 5. IM Global is backing the picture with additional financing from Sycamore Pictures and Beijing-based DMG Entertainment. Penned by Black List writer F. Scott Frazier (The Numbers Station), the project already had folks buzzing in whispers in Berlin earlier this year and is likely to stir up further interest in Cannes now that all the pieces are in place. Eran Creevy (Welcome To The Punch) is directing Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley in the story about a young American couple plunged into a game of cat-and-mouse across Germany when they find themselves caught between two ruthless criminals.
Joel Silver will produce through his Silver Pictures banner, along with Ben Pugh and Rory Aitken of UK-based 42 and Brian Kavanaugh Jones of Automatik (Insidious). Silver Pictures’ Steve Richards and Aaron Auch are executive producing, along with IM Global CEO Stuart Ford and Matt Jackson. Also exec producing are DMG’s Dan Mintz, Wu Bing, Peter Xiao, Chris Fenton and Chris Cowles and Sycamore’s Tom Rice and Ben Nearn . Hoult and Creevy are repped by 42. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Big shakeup at Silver Pictures, Joel Silver‘s producing label. I’m told that his two top creative executives — president Andrew Rona and EVP Alex Heineman – have just left the company. Both Rona and Heineman came there after Universal sold Rogue Pictures to Relativity and Rona, who ran that label, moved on. He took the Silver Pictures job after longtime head Susan Downey exited to partner in Team Downey with husband Robert Downey Jr. I’m told that Rona and Heineman intend to start their own production shingle. A spokesperson for Silver confirmed the moves, and said Silver wished them well as they set up their new venture.
Silver kept a prolific pace even as the producing great transitioned from a longtime Warner Bros producing deal to being backed by StudioCanal and distributing through Universal Pictures. During Rona and Heineman’s time at Silver, the label produce 12 movies including the upcoming Liam Neeson-starrer Non-Stop, Project X with Todd Phillips, and numerous others. Rona is producer and Heineman co-producer on the upcoming Pierre Morel-directed Gunman, which stars Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Pictures has committed to finance Home Invasion, a thriller developed by Silver Pictures’ low-budget label Zinc Entertainment. The plot is being kept under wraps, but the title offers clues aplenty. I’m told the story involves a family imprisoned in their own home by intruders who play a life-and-death game in which the mysterious rules become clear as the night unfolds. The script was written by neophyte Joseph Dembner and will be directed by first-timer Sean Carter. After hatching the concept with Silver Pictures’ Alex Heineman, Dembner wrote the screenplay on spec. Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Heineman will produce. After the Home Invasion script was turned in, those producers shot a test scene that Carter directed and then shopped it. Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores sparked to it, and they also will be producers. Dembner is co-producer, and Silver’s Steve Richards will be exec producer with Michael Fiore. Read More »
Back in June, Joel Silver inked a 12-film distribution deal with Universal Pictures a month after he ended his 25-year relationship at Warner Bros. At the time, we told you the Matrix and Sherlock Holmes producer made a pitch to the Venice Neighborhood Council to purchase the 1939-built U.S. Post Office on Windward Circle. Now that deal has been completed, with the facility to become the new home of Silver Pictures once restoration and renovations are completed sometime in 2014. The building was constructed as part of the Federal Works Progress Administration and is the latest historical structure purchased by Silver, who bought the Frank Lloyd Wright-built Storer House. “As a longtime preservationist of architecture, I’m thrilled to move forward with the restoration and renovation of the former Venice Post Office,” said Silver. “While we are still in the very early stages of the process, I am committed to the rehabilitation of the building and its unique WPA features and the restoration of the treasured Edward Biberman ‘Story of Venice’ mural. I am also committed to being a good neighbor in the Venice community, whether through providing public access to the space or in developing programs for the community related to film, art and architecture.”
Related: EXCLUSIVE: Joel Silver Going Indie And Making 12-Film Distribution Deal With Universal For Post-Warner Bros Producing
EXCLUSIVE: Well, that didn’t take long. Six weeks after I scooped the news that Joel Silver and Warner Bros agreed to sever their 25-year relationship by the end of the year, the producer has plans to set up shop as an indie filmmaker. And just as I toldja, he’s landed at Universal. This is by no means the ful-frills first-look producing deal he’s had. I’m told that Universal was never interested in a first-look production deal with Silver. His close pal and travel buddy Ron Meyer’s daughter is an executive at Silver Pictures and, because of those relationships, Uni President/COO Meyer supposedly took himself out of the decision-making process. Instead, Universal Pictures Chairman Adam Fogelson with Co-Chairman Donna Langley did the deal. Details are still sketchy, But I hear it calls for five years of domestic distribution of product from a new division of Silver Pictures which is going to be called Silver Pictures Entertainment. The 12-film agreement which will be announced soon calls for Universal to distribute 2 to 3 films annually from Silver Pictures Entertainment across multiple genres. Universal will pay for marketing, with a backstop so that Silver is on the hook if the pics don’t earn out. I understand that Silver will have to find financing though Universal may choose to finance certain films but is under no obligation to do so. The first project under the deal will be action thriller Non-Stop which reteams directed Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson who worked on 2011′s Unknown together for Silver’s Dark Castle where Collet-Serra also helmed Orphan (2009) and House Of Wax (2005). Non-Stop is not yet in production and is slated for a 2013 release.
Related: EXCLUSIVE: Joel Silver And Warner Bros Pictures Severing 25-Year Relationship
Speaking of Dark Castle, I’ve learned that Universal is interested in distributing that product. But Dark Castle’s slate of movies remain at Warner Bros for distribution through 2013. And after that Silver can take that banner with him for distribution elsewhere or dump it. (Silver is currently embroiled in a high-profile lawsuit with Goldman Sachs over financing for Dark Castle.) Thus comes the quiet finish to one of the most long-term, big-time, noisy, up and down, and ultimately dysfunctional relationships between a film producer and a movie studio. Read More »
Here’s a first look at Project X, the $12 million budget, hard R-rated comedy from Warner Bros that marks the directing debut of British video/commercials director Nima Nourizadeh. The project was deliberately crafted to be populated with a cast of complete newcomers, and it was creatively godfathered by Todd Phillips and Silver Pictures. It opens March 2. Seems to be high on the debauchery scale and it will be intriguing to see Warner Bros work it, since the budget is probably the catering budget on most Warner Bros films.
While Ben Affleck is busy directing and starring in Argo, the director of The Town is looking at future projects at Warner Bros. He’s attached to direct and star in Line of Sight, an action film set up at Silver Pictures about an elite commando squad on a secret mission. F. Scott Frazer wrote the script. Affleck will produce as well.
EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of his first pilot order last season, CBS’ The Odds, Jeff Wadlow has landed two projects this season, Hail Mary at CBS and Rush at the CW. Both are from Warner Bros. TV and Silver Pictures, which also produced The Odds. Hail Mary is about a female P.I. in the South who partners with her murdered son’s best friend. Rush is about undercover cops working the New York nightclub scene. Wadlow is writing and executive producing both projects with an eye to direct the potential pilots. Beau Bauman is also producing. Read More »