We’ve got release date news concerning two upcoming Sylvester Stallone action films to share. First up, Lionsgate has solidified an August 15, 2014 release date for the sequel The Expendables 3. We recently learned that Red Hill director Patrick Hughes has been tapped to helm the follow-up, and Jackie Chan, Nicolas Cage, Wesley Snipes, and Milla Jovovich are all confirmed to be appearing alongside Sylvester Stallone and company. The pic currently has that late summer release date all to itself, and filming will likely get underway later this year.
Additionally, Summit has pushed the Stallone/Arnold Schwarzenegger prison break film Escape Plan back from September 13th to October 18th of this year. The film will now face off against the horror remake Carrie, the Jeff Bridges-fronted fantasy pic The Seventh Son, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt directorial debut Don Jon.
[Update: Additionally, Universal has now announced that the Liam Neeson-fronted airplane thriller Non-Stop will open on February 28, 2014.]
The Cannes Film Festival, like most major film festivals, is where studios deal behind the scenes to acquire films, although Cannes has the added touch of also packaging movies (which is why we’ve seen so many casting stories) and selling existing properties to foreign buyers. Lionsgate managed to sell nine of their movies, and their press release contains brief synopses for each of the films. Some confirm what we already know, some provide new information, and some are Step Up 5 (“Fifth installment of Summit Entertainment’s successful STEP UP franchise”).
Hit the jump for the synopses as well as the cast and above-the-line crew.
Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass are set to team up for a new thriller set within the world of medicine. Variety reports that Wilde and Duplass will lead Lionsgate’s Reawakening, which “follows a team of research students that discovers the secret to bringing subjects back from the dead—however, their actions result in a series of sinister consequences.” So it’s kind of like a horror film version of Flatliners with more dead people. Jiro Dreams of Sushi director David Gelb will be taking the helm, with Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater handling scripting duties.
Horror guru Jason Blum—who is behind the Paranormal Activity series, Sinister, and a number of other spooktacular films from the past few years—will produce the pic through his Blumhouse banner. The incredibly busy Duplass recently committed to starring in an HBO comedy pilot that he and his brother Jay Duplass created, and Wilde will be seen later this year in Ron Howard’s F1 racing drama Rush.
One of the more widely-praised festival hits from the past few years is director Adam Wingard’s horror film You’re Next. Matt had very positive things to say about the pic in his review from the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, and now Lionsgate has finally slated the film for release later this year. The story centers on a family reunion that turns deadly when the family becomes targeted by murderers sporting some incredibly creepy animal masks. The studio released a fantastic first trailer for the pic last month, and it now looks like they’re taking their marketing campaign to the streets. Hit the jump to see images of You’re Next‘s poster takeover.
Lionsgate has announced a couple of minor developments for two of their upcoming films. During an analyst call earlier today (via THR), Lionsage’s Motion Picture Group co-chairman Rob Friedman revealed that the upcoming graphic novel adaptation I, Frankenstein will be released in 3D. As writer/director Stuart Beattie’s adaptation wasn’t filmed in the format, this is presumably a post-conversion. Aaron Eckhart stars as the titular monster living in the present day who is being hunted by demons that want to learn the secret of his creation. The pic’s release was recently moved from this February to September 13th, which now makes sense with the news that it’s getting a 3D conversion.
Additionally, it was revealed that director Gavin Hood’s anticipated sci-fi adaptation Ender’s Game will be released in the IMAX format when it hits theaters on November 1st. Fans of a the film will have just a few weeks to catch the pic on the big, big screen, as Lionsgate’s sure-to-be-massive sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will also be released in the IMAX format later that month.
Back in October, Paramount Pictures decided to put Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day into turnaround. The film was set to star Kevin Costner as Buffalo Bills General Manager Sonny Weaver, who has the chance to save his team when he trades for the number one pick in the draft. However, he’s forced to decide what he’s willing to sacrifice both personally and professionally in order to achieve success. From the premise, it sounds like Moneyball meets football, which seems like an easy sell since you have a critically acclaimed drama crossed with the most popular sport in America.
The project looked like it was destined for production hell, but then it landed on top of The Black List, and now Lionsgate is after Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman‘s spec script. According to Vulture, Lionsgate is currently in negotiations with Reitman and Costner to get the film going again. I dig the premise, so hopefully Lionsgate can get the project off the ground.
We previously brought you release dates from Disney’s slate of 2013 films and today we have Lionsgate’s line-up. The next year will include a new installment in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise with Texas Chainsaw 3D, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to action in a leading role with The Last Stand, three films involving Tyler Perry and, of course, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. One guess as to which film will be the biggest win for Lionsgate next year. Hit the jump to see the whole schedule with release dates, posters and synopses.
Oscar season must be getting closer, as couple of interesting awards-related stories have surfaced today. First up, Lionsgate’s comedy Stand Up Guys is getting an awards-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on December 14th, per THR. The film stars Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin as retired gangsters who reunite for one last epic night where, naturally, everything goes to hell. I’m not sure how strong the chances are of generating a nomination or two for some of the cast, but it can’t hurt for Lionsgate to try. The pic opens wide on January 11th.
Additionally, it looks like Sony may be rethinking their release strategy with the highly anticipated “kill Bin Laden” drama Zero Dark Thirty. Hit the jump for more.
Though production just now got underway on the sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate is already putting the wheels in motion for their two-part adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy closer Mockingjay. We learned in July that the studio was looking for a new director to tackle the two-film adaptation, signaling that Catching Fire helmer Francis Lawrence would not have time to prep and shoot Mockingjay given his Catching Fire commitments. Now it appears that Lionsgate has hired Emmy Award-winning scribe Danny Strong to tackle the screenplay adaptation for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2. Hit the jump for more.
News on two, two, two acquisitions for you, you, you:
- Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions picked up Emperor, their fourth joint acquisition out of TIFF this year. (The first three were Thanks for Sharing, Imogene, and Much Ado About Nothing.) Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox star as the generals who led the investigation into whether to charge Emperor Hirohito for war crimes following World War II. Eriko Hatsune and Toshiyuki Nishida co-star.
- Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the North American rights to Saudi writer/director Haifaa Al-Mansour‘s Wadjda. The story centers on a 10-year-old girl enters her school’s Koran recitation competition to win enough money to buy a bike. SPC will release Wadjda in 2013.
Hit the jump for more on both projects.
One of my favorite films from last year’s Toronto Film Festival was Adam Wingard’s home-invasion horror flick You’re Next. The story is about a family reunion that turns deadly when the family becomes targeted by masked murderers. Their only hope is Erin (Sharni Vinson), a girlfriend of one of the family members and the best home defender since Kevin McCallister.
Last year, after a bidding war with Summit, Dimension, CBS Films, and FilmDistrict, Lionsgate acquired the flick and I’ve just exclusively learned they’ve scheduled an August 23, 2013 release date. While that’s still many months away, over the next year as the studio ramps up promotion, we’re going to be covering this movie like it’s the last film on Earth. Trust me, You’re Next needs to be on your radar. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review and you can hit the jump for some images. Again, You’re Next hits theaters August 23, 2013.
We’ve got a few acquisition stories regarding films screening at the Toronton Film Festival to share this afternoon. Briefly:
- Lionsgate has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the comedy Imogene, which stars Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon and Darren Criss.
- Lionsgate also picked up the sex addict dramedy Thanks for Sharing starring Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tim Robbins, directed by The Kids Are All Right scribe Stuart Blumberg.
- Roadside Attractions has acquired the U.S. rights to Sarah Polley’s (Take This Waltz) much buzzed-about documentary Stories We Tell.
- IFC Films picked up director Neil Jordan’s (Interview with the Vampire) vampire drama Byzantium, starring Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan.
Hit the jump for more details.
After picking up the project nearly a year ago, Lionsgate has now attached The Adjustment Bureau director George Nolfi to helm and oversee a rewrite of the social media thriller XOXO. The project was initially written by Black Swan scribe Mark Heyman on spec, and was pitched as a modern day Fatal Attraction that explores the dark side of virtual relationships as it follows an up-and-coming executive who blurs the line between his real-life fiancé and his online affair. The pic will utilize “stylized visual sequences” to portray the online interactions, bringing a whole new meaning to the term “poke.”
Hit the jump for more on this “Facebook thriller” that has Darren Aronofsky and Michael London (Sideways) onboard as producers.
Academy Award-winner Stephen Gaghan hasn’t directed a feature film since 2005’s Syriana, but the Traffic scribe is now attached to a rather high profile thriller as his follow-up. THR reports that Gaghan will next direct Candy Store, a thriller he wrote that’s attracting some major talent. Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington are apparently in early talks for the two leads in what’s described as “a crime thriller with meaty roles for the two main characters.” Further plot details are unknown, but Jamie Foxx was interested in one of the roles as well.
Late last year Gaghan set up an untitled cartel drama at Warner Bros. and an independent adaptation of Patrick Keefe’s novel The Snakehead, but neither of those projects have come to fruition. He provided a script polish for M. Night Shyamalan’s sci-fi pic After Earth starring Will Smith and Jaden Smith, which opens next year.
Lionsgate has landed the rights to Time and Again, a sci-fi romance novel from late author Jack Finney which has been sought after for some time. The illustrated novel from the author of “The Body Snatcher” centers on Simon Morley, an illustrator living in Manhattan who volunteers for a military experiment that sends him back in time to 1882. When he falls for a woman in the 19th century, Si (as he’s often referred to) must choose between two lovers in two very different time periods. Lionsgate has tapped Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) to direct; Liman will also producer with Hypnotic partner, Dave Bartis. Hit the jump for more from Time and Again.