Kevin Tancharoen has been locked to helm The Guns Of Christmas Past. The Andrew Hilton script might have been inspired by A Christmas Carol, but it takes liberties. The film revolves around a retired hitman who returns to Chicago on Christmas Eve to avenge the death of his friend. During his mission, he must fight his way past three unlikely adversaries from his past, present, and future. In the process, he finds out who he really is.
Zev Foreman and Nicolas Chartier will produce for Voltage Pictures, which is also financing. Foreman is the producer of Andrew Niccol’s upcoming Ethan Hawke-starrer Good Kill and he exec produced Dallas Buyers Club with Chartier. Chartier also exec produced Don Jon and produced the Academy Award-winning The Hurt Locker. Babacar Diene will also be overseeing the project for Voltage. Read More »
Nicolas Chartier’s Voltage Pictures has set Nicholas Braun, Zoey Deutch, Craig Roberts and Israel Broussard for Good Kids. It’s the story of four overachieving high school students living on Cape Cod who, upon graduating from high school, realize that they’ve missed out on key life experiences by always being the “good kids”, and decide to completely reinvent themselves when the summer kids show up, in order to truly enjoy their last time together before college. The Black List script was penned by Chris McCoy, who makes his directing debut. Voltage will sell at Cannes, with WME repping domestic rights. McCoy is represented by WME and Gotham Group.
Voltage Pictures has set the sci-fi thriller Prisoner Of War, which Joe Miale will direct with Alex Russell (Chronicle) in negotiations to star alongside Bérénice Marlohe (Skyfall). The film tells the story of humankind’s last stand against a cataclysmic alien invasion. Set in the war-ravaged African countryside, a U.S. soldier and a French foreign aid worker team up to survive the alien onslaught. As they journey through the battlefield in search of refuge, their bond will be tested when the soldier discovers his true identity. The film will begin production in September on location in South Africa.
Automatik’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones is producing alongside Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh, and Tea Shop & Film Company’s James Harris. Zev Foreman and Nicolas Chartier will also be producing for Voltage. Mark Lane will co-produce for Tea Shop & Film. Read More »
Foreign film sales execs took aim at Hollywood guilds and unions at the Independent Film & Television Alliance Production Conference today, citing them as the biggest roadblocks in getting indie films made. “I get it that stars like Bruce Willis are getting paid the big money, they are the driving force behind these films getting made, but I don’t get the guys who pull cables that make $100,000 a year,” said Voltage Pictures president and CEO Nicolas Chartier during the IFTA panel on indie finance and production.
Chartier, whose credits as producer include The Hurt Locker and Killer Joe, specifically cited SAG-AFTRA residuals, and how indie filmmakers are required to make deposits on residuals for films even if they haven’t generated revenue. “Residuals used to be based on movies playing on free TV. Hurt Locker and Michael Clayton never played on free TV, so why am I paying residuals two years before the movie is made?” he said. He added: “It’s getting worse: the amount of paperwork we have do with the unions. All we do is is contracts and collections. I came into this business as a writer with Cassian Elwes as my agent. Now, we’re lawyers, suing people and going to arbitration.”
Related: Cassian Elwes Slams Studios & Agencies Over “Rubbish” Tentpole System
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EXCLUSIVE: Writer/director Andrew Niccol has found his next film, and set a familiar face to anchor it. Ethan Hawke is in talks to star for the third time in a Niccol film. This time, he’ll play a fighter pilot in the untitled thriller who becomes a Las Vegas-based drone pilot. He fights the Taliban by remote control for twelve hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other twelve. He starts to question his mission, and asking himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is killing in a war seemingly without end. Hawke previously starred in the Niccol-directed Gattaca and Lord Of War. He has also had a strong year with The Purge and the Sundance darling Before Midnight.
The film will begin shooting in February, and it will be sold at AFM. Voltage Pictures’ Nicolas Chartier (The Hurt Locker) and Zev Foreman (Dallas Buyers Club) are producing, and Voltage will handle worldwide sales. Hawke, repped by CAA and The Schiff Company and attorney George Sheanshang, just wrapped Cymbeline opposite Dakota Johnson and will begin previews of Macbeth at Lincoln Center on October 24th. Niccol is repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Pierce Brosnan is set to star in I.T., a revenge thriller that Stefano Sollima will direct. Voltage Pictures is financing. Brosnan will play a successful book publisher who finds himself pitted against a young disgruntled I.T. consultant who is tech savvy and uses that to threaten the author’s family and livelihood. Sollima hails from Italy, where he helmed the film A.C.A.B.: All Cops Are Bastards, and the upcoming SkyItalia miniseries Gomorra. I.T. will be produced by David T. Friendly, Craig Flores, Nicolas Chartier and Beau St. Clair, the latter of whom is Brosnan’s producing partner in Irish DreamTime. Dan Kay wrote the script based on an idea by Friendly through his Friendly Films banner.
They are now casting the antagonist role, and aiming for a 2014 start date. Voltage, which most recently backed the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-directed Don Jon, is out securing a domestic studio partner and will sell the film at AFM next month. Voltage’s Dominic Rustam negotiated the deals. Brosnan and Sollima are repped by CAA, Kay by APA
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights to Testament, a supernatural thriller that will begin production in March, with The Butterfly Effect helmer Eric Bress directing his script. Open Road will release the Voltage Pictures-financed film in early 2015. The deal was made by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg and Voltage Pictures president Nicolas Chartier, the latter of whom will produce with Voltage production head Zev Foreman. Lisa Ellzey and Patrick Newall will executive produce. Production is slated to begin March 2014.
The thriller takes place at a prestigious boarding school in a remote part of Texas and revolves around a science teacher and his students who are forced to fight for their lives when the Ten Plagues of the Old Testament descend not only on the town, but the entire world. It starts with blood filling the school’s swimming pool — as fast as it fills rivers, lakes and oceans worldwide — and that is followed by frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and death of the first born. Casting is underway. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Voltage Pictures has committed to finance Home Invasion, a thriller developed by Silver Pictures’ low-budget label Zinc Entertainment. The plot is being kept under wraps, but the title offers clues aplenty. I’m told the story involves a family imprisoned in their own home by intruders who play a life-and-death game in which the mysterious rules become clear as the night unfolds. The script was written by neophyte Joseph Dembner and will be directed by first-timer Sean Carter. After hatching the concept with Silver Pictures’ Alex Heineman, Dembner wrote the screenplay on spec. Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Heineman will produce. After the Home Invasion script was turned in, those producers shot a test scene that Carter directed and then shopped it. Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores sparked to it, and they also will be producers. Dembner is co-producer, and Silver’s Steve Richards will be exec producer with Michael Fiore. Read More »
Rapid Eye Film was founded by producer Marco Weber (Igby Goes Down, Unthinkable, The Informers). The company will develop, finance and produce five films under a new three-year deal with Cinedigm and Nic Chartier’s Voltage Pictures. Cinedigm will release the titles theatrically in the U.S. and roll out across all ancillary platforms. Voltage will handle international sales on all five films. The first pic greenlighted under the agreement is sci-fi thriller Unraveling, described as Angel Heart-meets-Se7en, which Weber wrote and will direct. He’s also producing with longtime partner Vanessa Coifman (Fireflies In The Garden, A Late Quartet) and Miggel Schwickerath (The Informers). Casting is underway for a spring Los Angeles shoot. Weber’s directorial debut, Leashed, has also been picked up by Cinedigm for digital distribution in the U.S. and some international territories.
EXCLUSIVE: Luke Wilson will star with Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Anthony Mackie, Topher Grace, Aubrey Plaza, and Giovanni Ribisi in A Many Splintered Thing, the Justin Reardon-directed film for McG’s Wonderland Sound & Vision and Voltage Pictures. Production begins November 3 in Los Angeles.
In the vein of Amelie and (500) Days Of Summer, the film tells the story of a young man disillusioned by love who meets a breathtaking young woman at a charity dinner by pretending to be a philanthropist. Turns out that she’s engaged. Challenged by the chase, and egged on by his friends, he feigns a platonic relationship in order to keep seeing her as he tries to conquer her heart. Grace will play the poser’s best friend. The film is being produced by Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores and Wonderland’s McG and Mary Viola. Evans is exec producer.
Related: Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan Star In ‘A Many Splintered Thing’
Wonderland initially optioned the Black List-ed screenplay from Chris Shafer & Paul Vicknair last year. The screenplay was also a 2011 Nicholl Fellowship Finalist. Wonderland brought the project to Voltage to co-produce and finance, and together they attached Reardon, a commercials director. Voltage Pictures is handling foreign sales on the picture. CAA reps Wilson.
EXCLUSIVE: Wonderland Sound & Vision and Voltage Pictures are starting preproduction on A Many Splintered Thing, an offbeat film that will star Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan. The film, which will begin production October 26, is called an “anti-romantic comedy,” and it marks the Captain America: The First Avenger star’s first film as executive producer. Justin Reardon will direct.
In the vein of Amelie and (500) Days Of Summer, the film tells the story of a young man disillusioned by love who meets a breathtaking young woman at a charity dinner by pretending to be a philanthropist. Turns out that she’s engaged to a guy who doesn’t like her going on dates. Challenged by the chase, and egged on by his eclectic friends, he feigns a platonic relationship in order to keep seeing her as he tries to conquer her heart. The film is being produced by Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores and Wonderland’s McG and Mary Viola. Read More »
UPDATE, 4:22 PM: TOLDJA! Look what Terry Gilliam posted on his Facebook wall this afternoon:
Announcement! I’m heading of to Bucharest to start work on my new film, The Zero Theorem. It stars everybody’s favorite Nazi, the great Christoph Waltz. Very original script about a man waiting for a telephone call that will give meaning to his life. Some other things happen as well. It’s profound and funny in more or less equal measures. We’re going to have fun. I’ll keep you posted as the cast expands.
PREVIOUS, MONDAY, 12:34 PM: EXCLUSIVE: Christoph Waltz has been set to star in The Zero Theorem, the next film to be directed by Terry Gilliam. Waltz will play Qohen Leth, an eccentric and reclusive computer genius plagued with existential angst who works on a mysterious project aimed at discovering the purpose of existence—or the lack thereof—once and for all.
It will be the next film for Waltz, who, after winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Inglourious Basterds, has been shooting Tarantino’s follow up, Django Unchained.
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EXCLUSIVE: Joseph Gordon-Levitt will make his feature directing debut on an untitled comedy he’ll star in with Scarlett Johansson. Gordon-Levitt wrote the script, and Nicolas Chartier’s Voltage Pictures will finance the film and sell international rights in Berlin. Ram Bergman is producing for Ram Bergman Productions in association with Gordon-Levitt’s hitRecord Films. Shooting will start April 16.
While Gordon-Levitt would not give up too many details, I got this much: the film is a sexy comedy about about a modern-day Don Juan, and his quest to become less of a “selfish dick.” He plays that character, and there is another female lead role that will be filled shortly.
The move into the directing chair comes at a time when Gordon-Levitt is coming off the lead role as a cancer-stricken man in 50/50, and when he has a killer dance card for 2012. He stars in The Dark Knight Rises, Premium Rush, Looper and Lincoln, all opening this year. Read More »
Mickey Liddell’s Liddell Entertainment closed a U.S. rights deal from Voltage Pictures for Killer Joe, the drama directed by William Friedkin that premiered Sunday night at the Ryerson Theater. This might get CAA bragging rights for the largest sale of the festival so far, with a $4 million minimum guarantee and an even larger P&A commitment. The UTA-brokered Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was also a large deal, said to be in excess of $5 million. Liddell is working on a distribution plan right now for 2012, and he will make a service deal with a distributor. Deadline revealed last night that Liddell was going to get the film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival before coming to Canada. The sexy drama stars Matthew McConaughey as the contract killer title character as well as Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon and Juno Temple. In Killer Joe, Hirsch plays a drug dealer whose cash gets stolen by his mother and has to come up with $6000 or he’s dead. He hires Killer Joe (McConaughey) when he learns mom’s life insurance policy is worth $50,000. Joe usually demands his money up front but is flexible when the drug dealer offers his sister as sexual collateral. Read More »