Summit has set an April 17, 2015 release date for Child 44, the thriller from Swedish director Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money, Safe House) starring Tom Hardy as Leo Demidov, a Russian secret police officer in 1950s Stalinist Russia who’s framed for treason and sent to a remote outpost, where he uncovers a series of mysterious murders tied to a government conspiracy. Swedish thesps turned Hollywood stars Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman also star along with Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Vincent Cassel. Script is adapted by Richard Price from the novel by Tom Rob Smith. The Scott Free and Worldview Entertainment pic is produced by Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, and Greg Shapiro.
Margin Call writer-director J.C. Chandor is in talks to next helm Deepwater Horizon, the big-scale drama being mobilized by Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment and Participant Media for a winter shoot. The drama focuses on the April 20, 2010 explosion of the oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that caused a massive offshore oil spill that created the second-largest U.S. environmental disaster. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing. Matthew Michael Carnahan wrote the most recent draft.
The film took root at Summit and Participant two years ago, when they acquired feature rights to The New York Times article titled “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour,” published on December 25, 2010 and written by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul. There was a heavy bidding battle for the property. Summit and Participant Media teamed on the deal and Matthew Sand wrote the first draft. The rig was owned and operated by Transocean and drilling for BP in the Macondo Prospect oil field about 40 miles southeast of the Louisiana coast. The movie isn’t a morality tale as much as it is the survival story and the courage shown by those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. More than 100 were on the rig when things turned bad. Despite their attempts to prevent disaster, the rig blew, and the explosion killed 11 workers and injured 16 others.
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer will play Johanna, the leader of the Amity faction, in the second installment of Lionsgate/Summit’s Divergent franchise. Insurgent, the second of four pics, will be released March 20, 2015. Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet return from the first movie, which has surpassed $250M in worldwide box office and is Lionsgate’s highest-grossing domestic release since The Hunger Games and Twilight series. Insurgent raises the stakes for Tris (Woodley) as she searches for allies and answers in the dystopian ruins of a futuristic Chicago while on the run with Four (James) and hunted by the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite (Winslet). Spencer, repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman, has upcoming the James Brown biopic Get On Up and Snowpiercer and stars in the Fox pilot Red Band Society that was just picked up to series.
Lionsgate is the latest studio to shake up its marketing operations, saying today it is combining operations under Chief Marketing Officer Tim Palen that will give him oversight of film marketing for Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment product as well as its Pantelion Films joint venture with Televisa and urban Codeblack Films label. With the consolidation, Summit’s president of worldwide marketing Nancy Kirkpatrick is resigning at month’s end (although she doesn’t appear to be in her office now). As the company streamlines its operations — it currently releases about 12 to 15 movies a year now — the question is if others might follow Kirkpatrick out the door.
Kirkpatrick, who is well-regarded, ends her tenure after shepherding the marketing efforts for all five Twilight Saga films as well as the recent launch of the first pic in the Divergent franchise, which bowed last month with a $56.4 million opening weekend and has grossed $175M-plus to date worldwide. Draft Day was the last picture to open and it didn’t do well, grossing only $9.7M this past weekend, but the last three Kevin Costner film openings have been soft.
“Nancy has done a great job and has been an important part of this company,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chair Rob Friedman, “And Tim has done an amazing job and has great relationships with both staffs.” One source noted that the word ‘integration’ has been talked about for awhile in the hallways of Lionsgate and Summit.
In fact, one of the biggest question marks since Lionsgate merged with Summit in 2012 was what would happen to their two veteran marketing heads. Eventually, Lionsgate’s Palen was given a new long-term deal to remain Chief Marketing Officer and it was decided Summit’s Kirkpatrick would continue in her role separately since the two entities had their own big slates to shepherd. As part of that structure, Palen was tasked with overseeing all of Lionsgate Films’ North American theatrical marketing campaigns and strategy, media, creative advertising and digital media initiatives as well as continuing to supervise the company’s corporate branding activities — he oversaw the marketing campaign for Lionsgate’s signature franchise The Hunger Games while Kilpatrick guided Twilight pics. As part of today’s moves, Palen now has expanded responsibilities for merchandising, theme park attractions and new business opportunities generated by the company’s franchises. He joined Lionsgate in 2002 as VP Theatrical Marketing.
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate/Summit will adapt Veronica Roth‘s Divergent novel trilogy into a total of not three, but four films starring Shailene Woodley as the dystopian sci-fi heroine Beatrice “Tris” Prior, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger revealed today. Following last month’s blockbuster hit Divergent and its planned 2015 sequel Insurgent, Allegiant – adapted from the third book in Roth’s bestselling YA book series – will be split into two separate films to conclude the franchise. Lionsgate had previously set Allegiant for a March 18, 2016 release. Allegiant Part 1 will keep that date, with Part 2 to follow on March 24, 2017. Both films will be produced separately.
Divergent has quickly made a box office star of Woodley, who will reprise her role in all three sequels as Tris, the 16-year-old girl who finds herself a target as one of few in her futuristic society who defy categorization into one of five personality-based factions. The first picture scored a $54.6M opening in March and has now racked up $117M domestic and $139M worldwide in three weeks of release. It’s still rolling out strong internationally and opens this weekend in France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Scandinavia, and other territories. Meanwhile sales of Roth’s novels have also enjoyed a bump from the film’s release, with boxed set and multi-book e-bundles jumping up 55 percent in sales last week and nearly 20 million copies sold worldwide.
Summit Entertainment has hired Oscar-nominated scribe Melisa Wallack to do a polish on the Vin Diesel actioner The Last Witch Hunter, to be directed by Breck Eisner (Sahara, The Crazies). Wallack earned her first Academy Award nomination for last year’s Dallas Buyers Club, which she co-scripted with Craig Borten. Before that she wrote and co-directed 2007 dramedy Meet Bill and penned 2012 Snow White fantasy Mirror Mirror, working on both projects with producer Bernie Goldmann, who co-directed the former and is a producer on Last Witch Hunter. The supernatural tale, about an immortal witch hunter (Diesel) who partners with a witch to save humanity from the covens of New York City, was originally penned by Cory Goodman (Priest) and revised by D.W. Harper. Pic has been brewing since Summit bought Goodman’s pitch for mid-six figures in 2011 with Timur Bekmambetov attached to helm. Eisner came aboard last year to direct.
Looking to broaden its book-centric film portfolio, Summit Entertainment acquired Rachel Renée Russell’s bestselling book series Dork Diaries. Karen Rosenfelt is in talks to produce through her Sunswept Entertainment banner. She did Twilight Saga for Summit. The series revolves around an eighth grader who navigates the perils of a new school, with all the crushes, mean girls and friends and enemies that get in the way. Story is told from the vantage point of being on the low end of the social spectrum.
Summit, Participant Media Acquire ‘The Burglary;’ The Story Of 8 Whistleblowers Who Stole Hoover’s FBI Secrets
EXCLUSIVE: Decades before Julian Assange and Edward Snowden became the scourge of U.S. intelligence organizations by leaking secret documents, an unheralded group of eight anti-war activists broke into an FBI branch office one night in Philadelphia and made off with a treasure trove of classified documents they fed to newspapers that bared the ruthlessness displayed by the FBI in spying on and blackmailing those it considered troublemakers. Summit Entertainment has teamed with Participant Media to acquire the rights to tell the story of those bandits, acquiring the Betty Medsger book The Burglary: The Discovery Of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI, which was published in January by Knopf, and an accompanying article by Mark Mazzetti published in The New York Times the same month.
They’ve set Scott Z. Burns to write the script and produce with Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar, with Todd Hoffman exec producing. Ashley Zalta is a co-producer. Burns’ script work includes The Bourne Ultimatum, the Steven Soderbergh-directed Contagion and Side Effects and Fox’s summer sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. The project was championed by Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group President Erik Feig, who’ll oversee with Meredith Milton and Participant’s Jonathan King.
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has found its director for Insurgent, the follow-up to the upcoming Divergent that will launch a three-pic series based on Veronica Roth’s sci-fi novels. Robert Schwentke, whose credits include the 2010 action comedy Red that also came from Summit, has been tapped for duty, and he will helm the script currently being written by Akiva Goldsman based on a draft by Brian Duffield. In December, Summit had to explain that Divergent director Neil Burger couldn’t helm the second pic because of postproduction on the first movie overlapping preproduction. That second pic has been fast-tracked for next year and has a March 20, 2015 release date already.
Divergent, which stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet, comes out March 21. The third pic in the trilogy, Allegiant, will bow on March 18, 2016.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Divergent’
Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing Insurgent via their Red Wagon Entertainment along with Pouya Shahbazian. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman have come on board to executive produce via their Mandeville Films. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group president of production Erik Feig and SVP Production Gillian Bohrer are overseeing for the studio.
Schwentke, repped by CAA and LBI, is currently attached to the serial killer pic Entering Hades for New Regency as well as The Finest Hours, the Disney drama about a Coast Guard rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952. His most …
BREAKING: Summit Entertainment has landed screen rights to John Corey Whaley’s upcoming Young Adult novel Noggin, with Jamie Linden attached to write the script and direct the film. Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen’s Temple Hill Entertainment will produce.
The book will be published in April by the Simon & Schuster imprint Atheneum Books. It’s a pretty clever premise. A dying young man agrees to be cryogenically frozen, Ted Williams style, for as long as it takes for medical science to be able to cure the disease that is killing him. He wakes up just five years later and finds his head grafted onto the body of someone else. He’s still 16, but discovers life has moved on without him. Seeing that his friends have grown up and his life love is engaged to someone else, he tries to find a way to build a new life, even if new scars are inevitable. Whaley’s first book, Where Things Come Back, was critically acclaimed and he became the first young adult author to be selected by the National Book Foundation as a Top 5 Under 35 author.
Here’s the final trailer for Summit‘s next big screen YA adaptation Divergent, about a young woman named Tris (Shailene Woodley) living in a dystopian future in which people are divided into five factions based on their personality. When Tris discovers she doesn’t fit into any category and can’t be controlled — she’s “divergent” — she sets out to uncover the conspiracy to eliminate her kind. Kate Winslet, Maggie Q, Theo James, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Ashley Judd, and Tony Goldwyn also co-star alongside two of Woodley’s recent onscreen love interests: The Spectacular Now‘s Miles Teller, who plays her nemesis, and Ansel Elgort of the upcoming The Fault In Our Stars, who plays her brother. The Neil Burger-helmed sci-fier is out March 21:
For those who just can’t wait until a clip of the new Divergent trailer premieres on Jimmy Kimmel Live! later tonight, here’s a 12-second preview. This clip from Summit‘s pic starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James takes the action underwater and high above the streets and features — wait for it — a bird attack. Divergent, directed by Neil Burger and based on Veronica Roth’s YA bestseller, opens March 21. The full trailer hits the web tomorrow. Take a peek:
EXCLUSIVE: Chadwick Boseman has locked a spot in Alex Proyas’ period epic Gods Of Egypt, which Summit Entertainment will release on February 12, 2016. He joins Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, and Courtney Eaton in the pic and will play Thoth, the god of wisdom. The action-adventure pic based on Egyptian mythology was co-penned by Proyas, Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. Boseman is coming off wrapping this week production on Universal’s Get On Up, the Tate Taylor movie in which he stars as the Godfather of Soul James Brown. That will be released August 1. Before that, Boseman is in Summit’s Draft Day, which dropped its Super Bowl ad today ahead of its April 11 bow. He’s repped by Management 360 and Greene & Associates.
EXCLUSIVE: Forest Whitaker is in negotiations to helm The Shack, the adaptation of the bestselling William Paul Young novel that Summit Entertainment acquired in April 2013. Whitaker would also play a supporting role in the movie, which is being written by John Fusco and produced by Gill Netter and Brad Cummings. The logline: In the aftermath of a devastating personal tragedy, Mackenzie Allen Philips receives a mysterious note in his mailbox inviting him to The Shack. The letter is signed Papa, his wife’s nickname for God. Mack responds and finds himself in the presence of God, and a life-transforming journey of truth, forgiveness, and ultimately acceptance. The book was a global hit after it was self-published in 2007. Lionsgate Motion Picture president Michael Paseornek is overseeing the pic with Matthew Janzen and Bree Bailey.
Whitaker, the Oscar winner who most recently starred in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and was a producer on Fruitvale Station, is in the process of lining up what to do next. He is also in discussions to join Liam Neeson in Taken 3, which Olivier Megaton will direct. His own directing credits include 2004′s First Daughter starring Katie Holmes, 1998′s romantic drama Hope Floats and 1995′s Waiting To Exhale adapted from Terry McMillan’s novel. Whitaker is repped by WME.
Not much choice but to buy ad time during the Super Bowl for Summit Entertainment‘s Draft Day, the Ivan Reitman-directed pic about an NFL franchise and its beleaguered GM that risks it all during the draft in order to save football in Cleveland (no, this is not a documentary). Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella and Denis Leary lead the ensemble cast, and the ad capitalizes on its NFL connection to include clips of Super Bowl opponents Denver and Seattle. The movie is due out April 11. Check out the ad, which will air during the Fox pregame show:
As the NFL regular season heads into its final week, Summit has suited up the first trailer for its football flick. Kevin Costner stars in Draft Day as the employment-imperiled general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who tries to wheel and deal his way into the hearts of the team’s fans, new coach and owner. Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella and Denis Leary also star in the pic directed by Ivan Reitman from Rajiv Joseph & Scott Rothman’s script. Draft Day takes the field April 11. Watch the highlights here:
Summit Entertainment is clarifying yesterday’s news that Divergent helmer Neil Burger won’t be coming back for the sequel Insurgent. Summit blames post production. Sounds similar to Gary Ross’s withdrawal from the second The Hunger Games because he couldn’t match the fast pace that Lionsgate wanted for Catching Fire, which was helmed by Francis Lawrence. Insurgent was scripted by Brian Duffield and is being fast tracked into production early next year.
From a Summit statement: “Neil Burger is a rock star and he is doing a fantastic job on Divergent. We can’t wait for you to see the film. But as amazing as Neil is he still cannot be in two places at once and thus needs to finish post production on Divergent while we gear up to start production on Insurgent. So, although Neil will continue on as part of our Divergent family as an executive producer, we sadly have to find another director for the next chapter in Veronica Roth’s fantastic series.”
Summit Entertainment said today it will release the period epic film Gods Of Egypt on February 12, 2016. Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, and Courtney Eaton star in the action-adventure inspired by the mythology of Egypt. Alex Proyas directs and co-penned the screenplay with Matt Sazama, and Burk Sharpless. It will open against Universal’s Untitled Illumination Entertainment Project. Allegiant, based on the finale of Veronica Roth’s bestselling Divergent trilogy, will bow on March 18, 2016, the same day as Fox’s tentatively titled Mumbai Musical. Shailene Woodley and Theo James star. Divergent, the first film in the series, will be released March 21, and Insurgent, the second film, will hit theaters on March 20, 2015. Meanwhile, Step Up All In, the fifth chapter of Step Up, will bow on July 25, facing off against Brett Ratner’s Hercules. Trish Sie directs.
Here’s the second new trailer in less than two weeks for Twilight alum Kellan Lutz‘s turn as the mythical Greek hero. Complete with harrowing battles and gladiator-arena death matches, director Renny Harlin’s The Legend Of Hercules tells the tale of the half-god, half-man who had been betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love. Hercules must use his extraordinary strength to gain his freedom and fight his way back to his rightful kingdom. Gaia Weiss, Scott Adkins, Liam McIntyre, Liam Garrigan, Johnathon Schaech, Roxanne McKee and Rade Serbedzija also star. Summit Entertainment opens Millennium Films’ The Legend Of Hercules in theaters January 10: