AFM : New films for Stallone, Firth, Fassbender, Skarsgard, Dempsey, Avary & More

  • FilmNation Entertainment will handle international sales for “Genius”, which will star Academy Award® winner Colin Firth (”The King’s Speech”) and Michael Fassbender (”Prometheus, Shame”). Based on an inspirational true story, “Genius” is written by three-time Academy Award® nominee and Golden Globe winner John Logan (“Slyfall”), and will be directed by Michael Grandage, who recently served as the Artistic Director of London’s famed theatre the Donmar Warehouse. FilmNation will commence international sales on GENIUS starting at AFM. CAA will arrange the financing and represent the film’s North American distribution rights. Principal photography is scheduled to start early in 2014. Based on the National Book Award winning biography Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, by A. Scott Berg, “Genius” centers on the real-life relationship between literary giant Thomas Wolfe (Fassbender) and renowned editor Max Perkins (Firth). Finding fame and critical success at a young age, Wolfe is a blazing talent with a larger-than-life personality to match. Perkins is one of the most respected and well-known literary editors of all time, discovering such iconic novelists as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Wolfe and Perkins develop a tender, complex friendship. Transformative and irrepressible, this friendship will change the lives of these brilliant, but very different men forever. Michael Grandage and James Bierman said today: “John Logan, Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender is an extraordinary line-up to work with and we are particularly delighted to bring Glen Basner and all at FilmNation onto the team to join us as we move forward. Together, we can all now look ahead to making this project a reality and bring this amazing story to the attention of audiences everywhere”
  • Stellan Skarsgard (“Thor”) has joined the cast of “Hector & The Search for Happiness”. (Deadline)
  • Lionsgate has acquired JT Petty’s horror comedy “Hellbenders” for North America, Canada and India. Film Arcade is releasing theatrically in North America, with a date to be announced shortly. “Hellbenders” stars Clancy Brown, Clifton Collins Jr., Andre Royo, Robyn Rikoon, Macon Blair and Dan Folger. The film was produced by Jon Denny, Lawrence Mattis, David Moscow, Mark Pederson and Aldey Sanchez. Circle of Confusion and OffHollywood Pictures produced the film in association with Ambush Entertainment. “Hellbenders” was shot in digital 3D.
  • Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Amanda Seyfried (“Big Love”) are set for “Wonderful Tonight”, a romantic-comedy about “a one-night stand that not only leads to a baby but a stand-off between the two sudden parents about what they want from each other and themselves.” Christine Jeffs directs. (Deadline)
  • Oscar Winner Roger Avary (“The Rules of Attraction”) will write and direct a film based on the classic video game “Castle Wolfenstein”. “I’ve been playing the Wolfenstein games since I was a kid, and feel that their outlandish sensibility has deeply influenced my own writing and directing throughout my career”, said Avary. “I have always thought Wolfenstein, transformed and opened for the screen to wider audiences not familiar with the games, would be a major cinematic experience, which is why I introduced it to Samuel”. Panorama Media and Samuel Hadida Productions are handling the picture. (Deadline)
  • “Expendables 2” helmer Simon West is set to direct “Heat”, a remake of the Burt Reynolds classic, which Jason Statham is attached to. Brian De Palma was previously attached to helm the remake. (Deadline)
  • Arclight has acquired “The Bronx Bill” (previously known as “Raging Bull 2”) starring William Forsythe as Jake LaMotta.
  • AnnaLynne McCord, Billy Zane and Viva Bianca star in Mark Jones’ “Scorned”, a thriller about “a couple (McCord and Zane) who decide to spend a romantic weekend together. But when an unexpected text from Sadie’s best friend (Bianca) to him reveals a love affair between the two people closest to her, she becomes hell-bent on revenge.” (Deadline)
  • Millennium Films has acquired “Eliza Graves”, the new film from “Machinist” director Brad Anderson.
  • Columbia Pictures has picked up the United States distribution rights to Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” from Annapurna Pictures. In addition to the U.S. distribution rights, Columbia Pictures also joins the film as a co-financer. The deal reunites Miller with Columbia, having previously collaborated with the studio on last fall’s release of the Academy Award®-nominated picture, “Moneyball”. Panorama Media is commencing International sales of the film at the upcoming American Film Market. Starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave and Anthony Michael Hall, “Foxcatcher” was written by Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye. Producing the film are Megan Ellison, Anthony Bregman, and Miller. The film is currently in production. Columbia’s Andrew Gumpert and Michael Marshall negotiated the deal with Panorama Media. Rights were acquired from Panorama Media, which is serving as the film’s sales agent. SPE will aim to release the film in the fall of 2013.
  • An ad for Nu Image and Millennium films’ AFM line-up confirms plans for “The Expendables 2” and “The Machinist 2”.