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‘Twilight’ Franchise Writer Melissa Rosenberg Tapped To Toughen Female Spy Pic for Summit

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 10:44am PST

melissarosenberg-copy__111117173846-275x363EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter behind the multi-billion dollar Twilight franchise, has sealed a deal to redraft an untitled female actioner from a comedy to a fast-paced female-ensemble spy pic at Summit Entertainment for producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian with Benderspink executive producing.

It’s always nice to see projects with a strong female leads written by a strong woman.

The project has gone through previous incarnations with a screenplay originally penned by Douglas S. Cook and David Weisberg (The Rock, Double Jeopardy) under the working title Blank Slate with a re-write by Erich and John Hoeber (Red) under the title The Kiss Off.

The story, now untitled, is now taking a turn away from what was going to be a comedy and gearing more the pic towards a female-centric actioner in the line with Salt, also produced by the team of di Bonaventura and Vahradian. It will focus on a group of female spies.

Given her track record, this is Rosenberg’s baliwick. And having worked myself with former CIA operatives through the Association of the Recovery of Children, I can tell you, the former females spies are just as tough … and definitely more wily … than the guys. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Divergent’

By | Wednesday November 13, 2013 @ 9:18am PST

The first full-length trailer has dropped for Summit‘s Divergent. Shailene Woodley stars in the sci-fi actioner based on the bestselling novel by Veronica Roth. Divergent is set in a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. When Tris Prior (Woodley) learns she is a “divergent” who doesn’t fit into any one group, she sets out to uncover what’s behind a conspiracy to eliminate all of her kind. Kate Winslet, Maggie Q, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, and Theo James also star in the Neil Burger-directed pic. Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor penned the screenplay. Divergent opens on March 21, 2014.

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Summit Sets Cedric Nicolas-Troyan To Helm ‘Highlander’ Feature Reboot

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 7:14pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has found a director for its reboot of Highlander, the tale of a sword-wielding Scottish immortal Connor MacLeod. Cedric Nicolas-Troyan will make his feature directorial debut after serving as visual effects supervisor and second unit director on Snow White And The Huntsman. Summit is moving ahead with script by Iron Man scribes Art Marcum and Matt Holloway that hews close to the 1986 Russell Mulcahy-directed original that starred Christopher Lambert as the title character, who, after being mentored by Ramirez (Sean Connery), spends centuries dueling rivals until it’s only him and the murderously brutal barbarian Kurgan (Clancy Brown). They battle to be the final immortal who’ll influence mankind’s future. For Kurgan, that means raining hell on the world if MacLeod can’t stop him. Neal H. Moritz is producing with original film and series producer Peter Davis. Justin Lin, who once planned to direct, has stayed involved as executive producer.

Because the characters and mythology created by Gregory Widen were squandered in subsequent features, Highlander has been somewhat under the radar. The property stayed alive because of a superb syndicated series that starred Adrian Paul as Duncan MacLeod, a clansman of Connor. This is important because Nicolas-Troyan is as big a fan of this series, as I am. Borrowing the signature catch phrase of the movie and series, “There can be only one,” Nicolas-Troyan knew he was battling against more seasoned filmmakers. He made sure he was the best prepared and the one most steeped in its mythology. And he just learned that he is, in fact, the one. Read More »

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Brenton Thwaites Lands ‘Gods Of Egypt’ Lead

By | Monday October 7, 2013 @ 10:47am PDT
Mike Fleming

Brenton Thwaites is being set to star alongside Gerard Butler, Game Of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Geoffrey Rush in Gods Of Egypt, the Summit Entertainment period epic film to be directed by Alex Proyas. Butler plays Set, a god of the desert, storms, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion. He killed and mutilated his own brother Osiris. Horus (Coster-Waldau), the son of Osiris, seeks revenge. Thwaites will play Bek, a human thief who cares little for the affairs of gods but when he discovers Zaya has been cursed by Set, he falls on the side of Horus, hoping that Set’s death will break the curse. The script was written by Burk Sharpless & Matt Sazama, the team behind Universal’s Dracula pic. Thwaites has been on a good roll of landing roles lately. He got Prince Charming opposite Angelina Jolie in Maleficent; he recently wrapped production on the Helen Hunt-helmed Ride as well as The Signal. Thwaites is right now shooting The Giver with Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. Thwaites is repped by Dan Spilo at Industry Entertainment and WME.

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Gerard Butler Circling Summit’s ‘Gods Of Egypt’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Olympus Has Fallen star Gerard Butler is in discussions to join Game Of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Gods Of Egypt, the Summit Entertainment film to be directed by Alex Proyas. The script was written by Burk Sharpless & Matt Sazama, the team behind Universal’s Dracula pic. I’m told Butler is in talks to play Set, a god of the desert, storms, and foreigners in ancient Egyptian religion. In Egyptian mythology, he killed and mutilated his own brother Osiris. Horus, the son of Osiris, sought revenge against Set for the killing of his father. Coster-Waldau will play Horus. They have both thrived in period macho turns, Butler in 300 and Coster-Waldau as Jamie Lannister in Game Of Thrones. Sounds like a good mano a mano match shaping up here if Butler’s deal closes. He’s repped by CAA and Alan Siegel Entertainment.

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Briana Evigan & Ryan Guzman Return For ‘Step Up 5′; Sequel Adds Izabella Miko; Boyd Holbrook Joins ‘Run All Night’ & ‘Gone Girl’

By | Tuesday September 10, 2013 @ 1:01pm PDT

Briana Evigan & Ryan Guzman Step Up 5Step Up 2: The Street‘s Briana Evigan and Step Up: Revolution‘s Ryan Guzman will return to lead the Summit dance franchise in Step Up 5. They’ll reprise their roles as Andie and Sean, respectively, as the fivequel reunites over a dozen cast members from previous films in the franchise. Despite being rumored for another franchise appearance, original Step Up star Channing Tatum is not among the returning cast confirmed today by the studio which include fan favorites Adam Sevani (Moose), Misha Gabriel (Eddy), Alyson Stoner (Camille), Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss (Jason), Mari Koda (Jenny Kido), Chris Scott (Hair), Luis Rosado (Monster), Chadd Smith (Vladd AKA Robot Guy), and Martin & Facundo Lombard (The Santiago Twins). Series dancers Marc “Marvelous” Iniss, Nolan Padilla, Phillip Chbeeb, Bianca Brewton, Tony Bellissimo, Josue “Beastmode” Figueroa, and Brandy Lamkim will also stomp back for the sequel being directed by Trish Sie from John Swetnam’s script. Evigan is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment, Gersh, and David Feldman. Guzman is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment and Neil Meyer.

Also joining Step Up 5 is Izabella Miko (Coyote Ugly, Save The Last Dance 2, Clash of the Titans) in a supporting role. Miko will play Alexxa, the entertainment director for luxury Vegas hotel Valhalla, who hosts a dance contest to find the best crew in the world. The winning team inks a three-year contract to perform in Vegas. Miko is repped by Evolution Entertainment and Emptage Hallett in the UK. Read More »

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Vincent Cassel Replacing Philip Seymour Hoffman In ‘Child 44′

By | Thursday August 29, 2013 @ 10:26am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Mesrine, Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen) has been tapped as a last-minute addition to Summit’s now-filming Soviet thriller Child 44. The Cesar-winning thesp is replacing previously cast Philip Seymour Hoffman in the pic which has been filming since June under director Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money, Safe House). Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, and Joel Kinnaman also star in the tale of a military cop investigating a series of child murders in 1950s Stalinist Russia, adapted by Oscar-nominated Richard Price from Tom Rob Smith’s bestseller.

Child 44 is the first book in Smith’s trilogy featuring protagonist Leo Stepanovich Demidov, played by Hardy in the pic. Ridley Scott is producing Child 44 for his Scott Free Productions with Michael Schaefer and Greg Shapiro. Pic is co-financed and exec produced by Worldview Entertainment, whose Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah Johnson Redlich are executive producing along with Douglas Urbanski. Lionsgate’s Erik Feig and Jim Miller are overseeing for the studio. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Divergent’

By | Sunday August 25, 2013 @ 8:46pm PDT

Shailene Woodley stars in Summit‘s next YA franchise as a teenager who discovers she’s a “divergent” who doesn’t fit into any one group in her futuristic society. When danger looms she sets out to uncover what’s behind a conspiracy to eliminate all of her kind. Kate Winslet, Maggie Q, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, and Theo James also star in the Neil Burger-directed sci-fi actioner. Divergent opens March 21, 2014. Here’s the trailer that debuted tonight during the MTV VMAs:

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Comic-Con: Summit Panel Champions LGBT Rights — As Well As Franchise Hopefuls ‘Ender’s Game’ and ‘Divergent’

Mike Fleming

Looking hard for new youth-oriented franchises to line up alongside The Hunger Games, Summit Entertainment gave the Comic-Con crowd in Hall H a peek at two aspirants to be franchises in Divergent and Ender’s Game.

Even though it went second today, I will focus first on Ender’s Game, the Gavin Hood-directed adaptation of the Orson Scott Card novel series about the attempt to find youthful prodigies with the gunner skills to save humanity from invading aliens. The film has gotten recent unwanted exposure because of the personal views the author has expressed against same-sex marriage, prompting distributor Summit to disavow attitudes that have nothing to do with the film.

While the film company might have preferred the issue not come up — the author was conspicuously absent — there was no such luck. When the panelists fielded questions, the first one was to ask how the makers of the film are dealing with the Card controversy. Producer Roberto Orci said they stood behind Summit and Lionsgate’s statement supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and that he would hate to see the fortunes of the movie discounted, given its themes of tolerance and empathy. “Rather than shy away from this, I would reiterate that we support LGBT rights, and human rights,” Orci said. Read More »

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‘Divergent’ Sets March 21, 2014 IMAX Release

By | Thursday July 18, 2013 @ 8:41am PDT

Summit Entertainment is offering a first-look at footage of Divergent at Comic-Con this week. Today comes word that the futuristic sci-fi actioner will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX format and released in IMAX theaters worldwide starting March 21, 2014. The first in a planned franchise, Divergent is adapted from Veronica Roth’s best-seller and stars Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lamb, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Christian Madsen. Much of the cast along with director Neil Burger and Roth will be in San Diego this week.

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Comic-Con: ‘Divergent’ First Look To Debut

By | Monday July 1, 2013 @ 9:30am PDT

Summit Entertainment is rolling deep to Comic-Con with Divergent, the March 2014 pic the studio hopes will launch its next Hunger Games-esque franchise. The futuristic sci-fi actioner is adapted from Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times best-seller about Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), born into a society divided into personality-based factions, who is labeled a “divergent” and uncovers a conspiracy to destroy all like her who don’t fit in to any one group. Stars Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Ansel Elgort, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lamb, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Christian Madsen will be in attendance along with director Neil Burger and Roth to present first footage from the film and sign autographs. Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, and Tony Goldwyn also star in Divergent which hits theaters March 21, 2014.

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Comic-Con: Summit Plots Big ‘Ender’s Game’ Push Without Orson Scott Card

By | Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 9:50am PDT

Harrison Ford will return for the second time to San Diego Comic-Con as Summit presents its next would-be franchise, Ender’s Game – but controversial author Orson Scott Card will not be joining in the festivities. The Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novelist drew fire for his publicly anti-gay views earlier this year when DC Comics tapped him to pen a Superman comic. Despite being a producer on the film and a huge figure in the sci-fi-fantasy world, Card’s conspicuously being kept at a distance from the film’s promotional campaign. Not that Summit’s lacking in star power. Ford, who made his first Comic-Con appearance for 2010′s Cowboys & Aliens, is set to appear in Hall H on Thursday, July 18 with producer Bob Orci, director Gavin Hood, and co-stars Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, and Abigail Breslin to preview new footage from the sci-fi adaptation about a young boy recruited into an intergalactic war. Offsite Summit is constructing an 8-room interactive Ender’s Game exhibit for fans in the heavily trafficked downtown Gaslamp district, in addition to hosting its usual booth on the convention floor. It’s a big promo push for the November 1 release as Summit attempts to launch its next YA-driven franchise now that The Twilight Saga is over. Meanwhile, parent company Lionsgate was first out of the … Read More »

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Philip Seymour Hoffman Joins ‘Child 44′

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The strong cast that director Daniel Espinosa assembled for Child 44 just got better. Philip Seymour Hoffman is negotiating to join Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, and Joel Kinnaman in the film. The picture is being made by Summit Entertainment and co-financed and executive produced by Worldview Entertainment.

An adaptation of the Tom Rob Smith bestseller, the Richard Price-scripted Child 44 focuses on a member of the Soviet military police who investigates a series of nasty child murders during the Stalin-era Soviet Union. His biggest impediment is a government that refuses to acknowledge a serial killer is in their midst. Ridley Scott is producing under his Scott Free Productions banner with Michael Schaefer and Greg Shapiro. Worldview’s Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah Johnson Redlich will executive produce along with Douglas Urbanski. Read More »

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Has Summit Pulled A Rabbit Out Of The Hat With Dean Parisot And Houdini?

By | Monday June 17, 2013 @ 8:10pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is in early negotiations with Dean Parisot to direct the Noah Oppenheim-scripted feature about Harry Houdini that Summit has been developing the project for several years. It’s based on the William Kalush and Larry Sloman book The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America’s First Superhero. The tale paints Houdini as more than a master illusionist: He was a spy and a true renaissance man across the globe. This project had Hunger Games helmer Gary Ross involved for a bit, but he fell off the project. There have been several Houdini projects in development, including at DreamWorks, but like a lot of magic movies, they’ve faltered. I’ll tell you more when I know it. WME-repped Parisot just wrapped the Summit Entertainment sequel Red 2, with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren returning, and Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones among the new castmembers.

Related: ‘Red’ Scribes Re-Sign For Third Pic

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Hot Trailer: ‘Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain’

Days after landing a buddy comedy alongside Josh Gad — to go along with a recent renewal for Real Husbands Of Hollywood, the semi-scripted BET comedy he co-created and stars in — Kevin Hart has a stand-up movie hitting theaters just in time for Independence Day. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain follows the comic on tour, onstage and on a rant. (And it’s anyone’s guess what’s going on with the “deerbra” — half-deer and half-zebra.) Codeblack Films acquired the pic in January, and Summit will release it wide July 3. Check out the decidedly red-band trailer:

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‘Red’ Scribes Re-Sign For Third Pic

By | Friday May 17, 2013 @ 3:06pm PDT

Summit Entertainment has hired Red and Red 2 writers Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber to write Red 3. Red 2 opens July 19 and returns Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich among others. The screenwriting brothers’ recent credits include Battleship.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Now You See Me’

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 7:13pm PDT

Four days after Summit released the first four minutes of its ensemble heist thriller Now You See Me, another trailer has hit the web. The newest look at Louis Leterrier’s first helming effort since Clash Of The Titans shows a group of Vegas illusionists pulling off a trick that leaves their audience in the money. Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher and Mark Ruffalo star in the pic that Lionsgate unleashes May 31:

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Summit Sets ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Scribe Brian Duffield To Script ‘Divergent’ Sequel

By | Tuesday May 7, 2013 @ 4:13pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment is certainly bullish on its adaptation of the Veronica Roth bestselling series Divergent. It not only has assigned the film the March 21, 2014 slot that got The Hunger Games off to a flying start, but it has officially gotten underway on the sequel. Summit has just set Brian Duffield to script the sequel, Insurgent, which Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce the film via their Red Wagon Entertainment banner along with Pouya Shahbazian. The second installment continues the journey of Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) as war now looms. Sides will be chosen, secrets will emerge, and Tris will risk everything as she struggles to harness her incredible power. Theo James and Kate Winslet also star, and the first film was scripted by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor, with Neil Burger directing. The book has been atop or near it on The New York Times Bestseller list since Katherine Tegen Books/ HarperCollins published it in 2011. The first two books have sold a combined three million copies. The hope of Summit brass is this continues the young adult fantasy fare momentum that was captured by The Hunger Games series. Duffield, who is repped by Gersh and Circle of Confusion, scripted Jane Got A Gun, the Western that is currently in production with Gavin O’Connor directing and Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Noah Emmerich and Ewan McGregor starring.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Red 2′

By | Monday April 29, 2013 @ 4:25am PDT

Here’s the second trailer from Red 2, Summit‘s comedy-action sequel that releases July 19. Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren are joined by new cast members Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who get extra screentime in this new look. Dean Parisot directed the film that reassembles the “retired and extremely dangerous” spies to hunt a portable nuke that’s gone missing. Check it out:

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