Hot on the heels of the first trailer for the significantly delayed genre pic Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, a witch hunting film of a different sort may have found its lead. The Wrap reports that Vin Diesel is in talks to star in The Crazies director Breck Eisner’s The Last Witch Hunter. Diesel would play one of the last remaining witch hunters who is tasked with “discouraging a group of witches and warlocks from reproducing.” Vin Diesel: Cock Blocker was previously set up as a directing vehicle for Wanted’s Timur Bekmambetov, but he’s now only onboard in a producer role. The script for the Lionsgate/Summit film was written by Cory Goodman (Priest).
Diesel is currently in London filming the Justin Lin-helmed sequel Fast & Furious 6, and he recently wrapped the third installment in his Chronicles of Riddick series, Riddick. The actor is also attached to star in the Iron Giant-esque possible franchise-starter The Machine, in which he’ll play a government-created machine that must protect the family who’s harboring him.
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.
As the 2012 Sundance Film Festival rolls on, we’ve got a couple more sales to report this morning. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have acquired the financial drama Arbitrage, while Millenium Entertainment has picked up the paranormal thriller Red Lights. Deadline reports that Lionsgate and Roadside have acquired the rights to Arbitrage for a figure north of $2 million. The studios plan to release the Richard Gere-starred financial drama for an awards season push later this year, building the buzz around Gere’s performance.
Gere plays a hedge-fund magnate in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire before the depths of his fraud are revealed. Matt was frustrated by the dueling storylines in the film, and you can read his review here. The film also stars Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, and Brit Marling. Hit the jump for acquisition news concerning the Robert De Niro-starred paranormal thriller Red Lights.