Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
EXCLUSIVE: Luke Hemsworth, elder brother of Chris and Liam Hemsworth, has scored his first film role as the co-lead of Australian writer-director John V. Soto’s The Reckoning. Jonathan LaPaglia, younger brother of Anthony LaPaglia, will play a cop who searches for two missing teenagers who shot video footage of a murder. Hemsworth plays a fellow detective. Shooting starts in Perth on April 29, produced by Filmscope Entertainment’s Deidre Kitcher, who produced Soto’s films Needle (which Lionsgate released in the U.S.) and Crush. The exec producers are Los Angeles-based Larrikin Entertainment’s Robert Lundberg, Greg Coote and David Calvert-Jones plus Roger Savill and Kim Savill. Lightning Entertainment has international sales rights and the producers are negotiating an Australian distribution deal. The pic is co-financed by ScreenWest, Fulcrum and private investors. READ MORE »
Gérard Depardieu Embraces Russia Citizenship Offer
Actor Gérard Depardieu has hailed Russia’s decision to grant him citizenship following a tax spat with the government of his native France. In an open letter broadcast on Russian TV Depardieu said, “I filed a passport application and I am pleased that it was accepted. I love your country, Russia — its people, its history, its writers. I love your culture, your intelligence.” The actor said he had spoken to French President Francois Hollande and told him Russia was “a great democracy, and not a country where the prime minister calls one of its citizens shabby” — referring to how French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault described Depardieu’s decision to leave the country. Depardieu’s tax feud began last year after Hollande moved to raise taxes to 75% for those earning more than €1M ($1.6M). The actor accused the new socialist government of punishing “success, creation and talent” and announced in early December he would move to Belgium. Wonder how he feels about Wild Bunch film sales exec Vincent Maraval’s remarks accusing French actors of abusing the nation’s generous film subsidy system and getting “rich from public funds”.
Larrikin Entertainment Boards Australian Thriller ‘The Reckoning’
Greg Coote’s LA-based Larrikin Entertainment has boarded its first Australian film, The Reckoning. Callan McAuliffe, who plays the young Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, is set to star. Writer-director John V. Soto’s thriller focuses on a detective racing to find two teenage runaways who have video of a murderer. Filmscope Entertainment’s Deidre Kitcher tells Deadline pre-production will start in Perth in February, and with the rest of the cast to be announced later this month. Lightning Entertainment has worldwide sales rights excluding Australia. Coote and Larrikin partner David Calvert-Jones and exec Robert Lundberg will serve as exec producers. Kitcher raised funds from Screen West, private investors, the 40% producer offset and Lightning. Soto’s most recent pic Needle was released in the U.S. by Lionsgate. – Don Groves
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