London and LA-based Cutting Edge Group invests cash in film music budgets and provides or brokers services for scoring, clearances and music supervision. In exchange, it acquires the music rights and recoups from performance royalties and secondary exploitation sources. Under a new deal with Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road, they’re putting a twist on slate financing. Rather than guaranteeing funds as part of a bank closing or acquiring the music rights after a film is complete, CEG is advancing development funds upfront to Thunder Road. Those funds will be secured against the producer’s forthcoming film music slate.
The first film that’s part of the deal is Keanu Reeves action-thriller John Wick, which shoots in September. The slate also includes the Daniel Espinosa-directed Gang Story starring Liam Neeson. CEG has previously invested in such films as The King’s Speech, Drive, Looper and End Of Watch. READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: Crazy Heart writer-director Scott Cooper has been tapped to rewrite and helm 36th Precinct, the 2004 French movie directed by Olivier Marchal. Thunder Road optioned remake rights from French producer Gaumont, which made the original thriller. That pic starred Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil and centered on rival Paris cops who ruthlessly seek a coveted promotion and blur the lines between the police and the criminals they’re supposed to catch in the process. I’m hearing the updated version will be set in the NYPD’s anti-terrorism unit. Thunder Road boss Basil Iwanyk will produce the new pic along with Cooper, with Marchal and Thunder Road’s Peter Lawson exec producing. Marchal also helmed Gang Story, the 2011 French pic that Thunder Road also is developing, with Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa attached to direct, Liam Neeson attached to star, and David Scarpa writing the script.
Related: Thunder Road Makes ‘Valkyries’ Pitch Pact Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road has acquired Valkyries, a pitch by scribe Nick Schoenfeld for a large-scale fantasy film based on the Norse hero Sigurd. Thunder Road made the deal in partnership with Christian Angemayer’s Filmhaus Germany. Most famously recounted in the 13th century Volsunga saga and the four-part opera by Richard Wagner, Sigurd’s feature will be drawn about his recruitment to slay the monstrous dragon Fafnir to ward off a generations-long curse. Sigurd’s exploits were also chronicled by The Hobbit author J.R.R. Tolkien. Schoenfeld, who just scripted Attila for Warner Bros, here pitched a take that blends the traditional dragon-hunting plot with an original thread involving a fallen daughter of Odin (called Valkyries) and her desire to retake a place in the heavens. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After seeing his long affiliation with Warner Bros end late last year, producer Basil Iwanyk has taken his Thunder Road in an intriguing and entrepreneurial direction that might become the way producers embrace the end of studio overhead deals. … Read More »
Weinstein Company Setting Dylan Sellers To Run Production And Acquisitions As Donna Gigliotti Becomes Producer
EXCLUSIVE: Peter Lawson will leave The Weinstein Company shortly to become president of production at Thunder Road, Basil Iwanyk’s Warner Bros-based producing shingle. … Read More »
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. Read More »