Renny Harlin, who most recently helmed Summit’s The Legend Of Hercules starring Kellen Lutz, has boarded Fallen Cross, a Chicago-set actioner from Umedia that is set to go into production this winter. The pic, scripted by David Christopher O’Neill, centers on a reformed ex-Mafia enforcer Timothy Cole in his desperate struggle to protect his family from the crime syndicate he once served, the Chicago Cross. But first he must escape the confines of prison and return to his ruthless killer ways before the Cross can get to his children. Umedia’s Adrian Politowski and Karl Richards are producing. Harlin, repped by UTA, has been busy on the TV side, directing USA Network series like Burn Notice, White Collar, Covert Affairs and most recently Graceland. Producer-distributor Umedia’s development slate includes Universal War One, based on the Marvel comics, which Skip Woods is adapting; the Rob Cohen action pic Risk; and the romantic comedy Priceless helmed by Thomas Bezucha.
The VFX industry has seen recent mass migrations to tax-friendly locales overseas. Until now Belgium hasn’t been one of those major runaway destinations. But European film company uMedia has unveiled a new financing deal through its VFX division uFX offering up to 40% of a project’s VFX budget for work done in-house. CEO Adrian Politowski announced the sizable offer today in Cannes. Brussels-based uMedia has additional international offices in LA, London, and Paris but its new scheme is made possible by a Belgian tax shelter. Eligible productions must spend a minimum of €50,000 through Belgium and must be a feature film, a TV movie, a TV series or documentary with a majority of European cast, crew and financing in place. The company’s recent credits include work on the Weinstein Company’s Grace Of Monaco and DreamWorks’ WikiLeaks pic The Fifth Estate.
European film group uMedia and veteran French sales company Celluloid Dreams partnered during the EFM in Berlin this year and are now embellishing that collaboration. The pair will join forces for the Cannes market on international acquisitions and sales on films that include Takashi Miike’s Competition title Shield Of Straw and Katrin Gebbe’s Tore’s Pogo which is screening in Un Certain Regard. Peter Rogers, who heads up uMedia’s sales division, uConnect, will share acquisitions and sales duties with Celluloid founder Hengameh Panahi. The partnership covers mainstream and specialized fare as well as the Celluloid Nightmares genre slate. UConnect launched just before Cannes last year with former Lakeshore International president Peter Rogers at the helm. Celluloid’s Panahi is a longtime sales agent who has been known for strong relationships with auteur directors. Also falling under the new partnership are Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, Catriona McKenzie’s Satellite Boy, Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Beyond, Daniel Algrant’s Greetings From Tim Buckley, S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk, Heitor Dahlia’s Bald Mountain and Daniele Luchetti’s Those Happy Years.
International film production, finance and distribution group uMedia has appointed Karl Richards and Peter Bevan to expand the company’s London office and set up shop in Los Angeles, respectively. Lauraine Heftler has also been named head of the new Paris office. Richards and Bevan produced the uMedia-backed Mariah Mundi And The Midas Box. In their new roles, they will look to grow a production slate in closer collaboration with UK and U.S. partners. Heflter will concentrate on building a slate of projects with French and European partners. The Brussels-headquartered uMedia has recently backed such pictures as Oscar winner The Artist, Paul Verhoeven’s Blackbook and the Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco. Its uConnect sales arm had strong success of late with Giuseppe Tornatore’s Italian smash The Best Offer starring Geoffrey Rush, Donald Sutherland and Jim Sturgess.
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uMedia To Remake Johnnie To’s ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’
Brussels-based uMedia has secured the remake rights to Johnnie To’s Don’t Go Breaking My Heart for an English-language redo. The 2011 romantic comedy is a Hong Kong-set love triangle. UMedia, whose finance and production division, uFilm, has been involved with such pictures as The Artist and A Monster In Paris, is also currently working on Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco and animation feature Mariah Mundi And The Midas Box. They’re at this week’s Hong Kong Filmart eyeing deals on English-language remakes of commercial South East Asian titles to convert into films budgeted at $15M-$60M. The company also says it will soon be opening offices in Paris and LA. It launched a new sales arm last year under exec Peter Rogers who’s repped Italian hit The Best Offer at the EFM. Under development at uMedia are the adaptation of sci-fi graphic novel Universal War One, thrillers Maelstrom and The Scent Of Adam and actioner Fallen Cross.