FilmDistrict has acquired U.S. distribution rights for director Paul W.S. Anderson’s (Resident Evil, The Three Musketeers) upcoming disaster film Pompeii. The story “follows an enslaved Celtic gladiator who falls in love with a noblewoman on the eve of a massive volcanic eruption that destroys Pompeii, an event that also brings him face-to-face with the man who slaughtered his family years earlier.” Kit Harington stars as the gladiator, while the rest of the cast is filled out by Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost), Jessica Lucas (Evil Dead), and recent addition Carrie-Anne Moss.
The script was written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, and production is currently underway in Toronto. FilmDistrict has set Pompeii for release on February 28, 2014. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
After a rather drawn-out development period, production is finally underway on director Spike Lee’s remake of director Park Chan-wook’s now-classic 2005 South Korean revenge film Oldboy. Josh Brolin stars as an advertising executive who is kidnapped and imprisoned for 20 years without explanation. He is abruptly released and sets out to discover the who and why of his captivity, running across a social worker (Elizabeth Olsen) and an illusive man (Sharlto Copley) who allegedly holds the key to his salvation.
FilmDistrict announced today that the pic will open on October 11th, 2013. There are currently no other films slated for release at that time, but it puts the redo in a great spot both for commercial success and awards consideration. Samuel L. Jackson and James Ransone round out the impressive cast, and I can’t wait to see how Lee puts his spin on the material.
No stranger to violent, auteur-driven films (ie. Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive), FilmDistrict has acquired U.S. distribution rights to director Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy. The film is a redo of Park Chan-wook’s now-classic South Korean revenge pic and stars Josh Brolin as an advertising executive who is kidnapped and imprisoned for 20 years without explanation. He is abruptly released and sets out to discover the who and why of his captivity. Lee has put together an impressive lead cast, with Elizabeth Olsen as the female lead and Sharlto Copley as “an illusive man who allegedly holds the key to his salvation,” but the director ran into a bit of trouble finding financing for the pic. As such, word of FilmDistrict’s involvement is very good news indeed.
We recently heard that Samuel L. Jackson and Nate Parker were looking to join the cast, but the press release makes no mention of their involvement. Chan-wook’s film is incredible but I’m interested to see Lee’s take on the material, especially how he handles the story’s more graphic/disturbing content. Oldboy is expected to be released in 2013, so luckily we don’t have to wait long to find out. Hit the jump to read the press release, which includes a synopsis.
Director Niels Arden Oplev’s (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) revenge thriller Dead Man Down now has a release date. The film stars Colin Farrell as a mobster’s hitman out for revenge who teams up with a crime victim also seeking retribution to fulfill their violent plot for vengeance. Per THR, FilmDistrict will release the pic on April 5th, 2013. As of now, the only other film slated for the same weekend is the untitled comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.
The impressive cast for Dead Man Down also includes Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper, and Farrell is looking to have quite the run of films in the near future. He stars later this year in Total Recall, followed by In Bruges director Martin McDonaugh’s Seven Psychopaths alongside Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. He’s currently still filming Dead Man Down, but he recently entered talks to star in Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
While the first trailer for In the Land of Blood and Honey is in English, the war drama by writer/director Angelina Jolie will be released in the native language of Bosnia. Although it was shot in both the native language of Bosnia (Bosanski/Hrvatski/Srpski or BHS) as well as English, Jolie decided to go with the more authentic version. The film will obviously have English subtitles for those of us who don’t speak BHS, or Serbian-Croatian, as it was known during the war.
Jolie’s directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey is set against the Bosnian War of the 1990s, in which the conflicted relationship of Ajla (Zana Marjanovic) and Danijel (Goran Kostic – Taken) evolves. The film opens in New York and Los Angeles on December 23rd, but you have until January to brush up on your BHS when In the Land of Blood and Honey widens its release. Hit the jump for more.
The remake of Red Dawn, the last of the MGM films stuck in limbo after the studio went into financial meltdown, has finally found a distributor. 24 Frames reports that FilmDistrict, the studio behind Drive and Soul Surfer, has acquired the distribution rights to the movie, which was made back in 2009. John Milius’ 1984 movie centered on a group of small-town teenagers fighting off a Russian invasion. It’s a fear-mongering Red Scare film that seems painfully dated even though the collapse of the USSR was still seven years away from the time of the movie’s release. Dan Bradley’s remake originally cast China as the communist threat, but upon discovery that China actually has money and could provide solid international box office, the villains were changed to the economically isolated North Koreans because apparently one Asian race is as good as another provided you are a racist.
Final details on the deal are still being worked out but the film will likely hit theaters in 2012. The film stars a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth, Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Isabel Lucas, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Earlier tonight I went to the FilmDistrict party where the studio was promoting their upcoming movies Drive and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. As part of the promotion, FilmDistrict was doing a signing with Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn and stars Carey Mulligan and Ron Perlman on hand. While I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t want signed posters from three folks whose work I greatly admire, no official posters for the film have gone online, so I wanted to nab some photos of the posters and post them online. But yeah, getting them signed was pretty sweet especially since the movie is amazing.
Hit the jump to check out the posters, click here for my recap of today’s FilmDistrict panel in Hall H, and look out for my review of Drive later tonight.
Comic-Con 2011 is merely one week away, and today FilmDistrict has released some details about their Thursday panel in Hall H. The studio will be bringing Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark co-writer and producer Guillermo del Toro and Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn. The two will engage in a conversation about each other’s films, the creative process of making genre films, their favorite genre films and more. Stars from each of their films will also be present to take part in the conversation.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a horror film that stars Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes, and tells the story of a family who looks to restore an old mansion, but in turn is plagued by hellish beings. Drive is an action caper that stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks and Albert Brooks. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark opens August 26th, while Drive hits theaters September 16th. Hit the jump to read the full press release regarding the Comic-Con panel.
Ryan Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn hit it off on the set of Drive, leading to public displays of affection on the festival circuit and another collaboration titled Only God Forgives. According to Deadline, several studios contended for the distribution rights before Drive studio FilmDistrict picked up Only God Forgives in a seven figure minimum guarantee deal. Given the rave reviews Drive earned at both Cannes and the LA Film Festival, FilmDistrict is very happy with the product and Refn likes the direction of the marketing. The reteaming follows.
Gosling plays Julian, a man on the run from the British police. Julian owns a Thai boxing club in Bangkok that fronts for a drug smuggling operation: “He winds up getting in the ring for a shot at redemption.” Sounds odd in a manly sort of way. I’m in! The Wild Bunch production will shoot later this summer in Thailand. Drive opens on September 16 and I am dying to see it.
Chris Pine may star in Mud, the new drama from Take Shelter writer-director Jeff Nichols. 24 Frames reports that Pine would play the title character, fugitive who encounters two 14-year-old boys who attempt to help him escape from an island in the Mississippi. Rather than the hard-charging hero Pine has played in his recent films, Mud “is both an unsavory and a redemptive character and who teaches the boys as much as he learns from them.” Producer Aaron Ryder (Memento) says the film is in the vein of Stand By Me. FilmDistrict, which has been cleaning up at Cannes, will distribute.
Folks familiar with Pine’s acclaimed work on stage will probably be less unsurprised to hear him talking on more serious dramatic work in films. He’s got a nice mix of action and drama coming up with the untitled Jack Ryan reboot churning through development, Star Trek 2 likely to shoot sometime this year, and Alex Kurtzman’s family drama Welcome to People. He’ll next be seen in McG’s action-comedy This Means War. As for Nichols, some folks loved Take Shelter, but I thought it moved a bit too slowly and could use a bit of editing even though star Michael Shannon was electrifying.
No studio has kept busier over the past few days then FilmDistrict. On Thursday, FilmDistrict announced the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights to Arabian Nights, the 3D period action adventure led by Liam Hemsworth, and Playing the Field, the little league soccer comedy starring Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel.
Today the studio announced two more pickups: the time travel thriller Looper and Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey. Looper is the latest from writer/director Rian Johnson (The Brother’s Bloom), and we’ve geeked out about the production pretty extensively here at Collider — good to know it has distribution secured with Tri Star. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt star.
Today FilmDistrict also gave Jolie’s Bosnian Civil War drama a title and a release date: In the Land of Blood and Honey is scheduled for an Oscar-friendly December 23 release. More on all four movies after the break:
Insidious got off to a solid start this weekend. The horror film outperformed expectations of $10 million for an impressive 3rd place at the box office with an estimated $13.5 million. It marks the first big screen pairing in four years of Saw creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell as director and writer and surprisingly just their third feature-length collaboration in those roles. Their latest project follows a young family (Watchmen star Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne of Damages fame play the parents of two boys) who have just moved into a new home when bizarre events occur that make the mortgage the least frightening aspect of their new purchase. Insidious appears to be a traditional haunted house film until the plot takes a major turn.
Collider caught up with director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell (who also provides some comic relief onscreen) for a very revealing interview. Hit the jump for the audio and transcript, including: updates on their future projects, a candid take on some high-profile horror remakes and stories of some formerly condescending classmates who have a very different take on their work these days.
Before Miramax underwent a new business deal, Troy Nixey’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was scheduled to open on January 21, 2011 (you can see the teaser trailer here). Unfortunately, in October the Guillermo del Toro-produced/co-written horror flick dropped off the schedule and went into release-limbo. THR now reports that FilmDistrict has come to the rescue and will distribute the film on August 12th. However, the film will have some stiff competition. Also getting released on that date is 30 Minutes or Less, the new comedy from Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer that stars Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, and Danny McBride; and Tate Taylor’s adaptation of The Help starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Hit the jump for a synopsis of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which stars Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, and Bailee Madison.
FilmDistrict has released the first teaser trailer for Insidious a few months after we saw the first clip and a positive reception at the Toronto International Film Festival. Rose Byrne (Damages) and Patrick Wilson (The A-Team) star as parents of a boy who falls into a coma after an accident at their new house: “The tragedy doesn’t stop there when they are beset by vengeful spirits from another realm.” Insidious is the latest collaboration between Saw director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell, and the teaser is appropriately very creepy. Watch it after the break.
FilmDistrict has scheduled Insidious for release on April 1, 2011. Per Box Office Mojo, the date matches Insidious against Hop and Source Code.
Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson star as parents of a boy who falls into a coma after an accident at their new house: “The tragedy doesn’t stop there when they are beset by vengeful spirits from another realm.” Insidious is the latest from director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell (Saw), and premiered to a positive reception at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year. Hit the jump for the official logline from TIFF.