- Academy Award® nominee Jude Law has joined Oscar® nominee Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson in “Queen of the Dessert”, a period drama written and directed by Academy Award nominee Werner Herzog. Nick Raslan will produce via his Palmyra Films banner along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya. Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures banner will finance the film. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales and will make it available to buyers during this year’s American Film Market. The film stars Naomi Watts as Gertrude Bell, an explorer, writer, archeologist and attaché for the British Empire, who is credited with helping to catalyze the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century. Principal photography is scheduled to begin in Morocco in March 2013.
- Stealth Indie has boarded “Bliss!”, set to begin it’s shoot in England and Norway on November 26. “Bliss!” is a rites-of-passage adventure told through the eyes of 14-year-old tomboy Tasha Robson. The film is written by Writer’s Guild Award Winner Alex Ferguson, directed by Adrian Vitoria and is being produced by Breakthrough Brit Rita Osei & Alan Latham. Freya Parks (“Jane Eyre”), Noel Clarke (“Star Trek Into Darkness”), Montserrat Lombard (”The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman”), Christian Rubeck (”Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”), Gitte Wit (”The Impossible”), South Shields Singer/Songwriter Natasha Haws, Reece Noi (”Hit or Miss”), Lars Arentz-Hansen (”Beyond the Pole”) star. The producers are also out to other international actors which will be announced shortly.
- Gael Garcia Bernal (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) and Alice Braga (“I Am Legend”) will star in the modern-day revenge western “The Ador”, from Argentine helmer Pablo Fendrik. “Garcia Bernal will play a lone Amazon shaman who stumbles across a tobacco farmer and his stunning daughter (Braga) in the jungle. When a roving band of deforesters attacks the farm, killing the farmer and taking the daughter hostage, Garcia Bernal’s character swears revenge.”
- Christian Slater film “Stranded” has been snapped up by Image Entertainment, who will nabbed the U.S rights to the Roger Christian-directed science-fiction thriller. “The story follows four astronauts on board the Ark moonbase who are unexpectedly struck by a series of meteor blasts. Colonel Gerard Brauchman (Slater) and his crew work to stabilize the base, and after removing a stray meteor from the carbon dioxide filter, they realize the spores on the meteor have the ability to replicate cell structure, reproduce and mutate. Fascinated by the meteor’s uncanny ability to replicate, the crew believes they have discovered a scientific phenomenon. Soon afterward, the crew begins to realize they are not alone. The presence on board begins to target each of them, leaving those remaining to destroy it before all are killed.” (The Wrap)
- Nick Nolte, Thomas Jane and Jeremy Irons are onboard “A Magnificent Death From a Shattered Hand”, which “Punisher” director Jane directs. Cargo Entertainment is selling international rights at AFM. “The story, penned by Jane and Jose Prendes, follows one man’s journey for redemption in the ruthless West — where an ex-soldier is relentlessly tracked down for the murder and rape of a well-to-do woman. He must face mercenaries, tribal warriors, and women of sin to clear his name and uncover the true story behind the manhunt.” “My intention is for the movie to utilize themes that characterize the classic Western films – their exploration of rugged individualism versus civic duty, of personal valor versus the violence of pre-civil worlds – to create a film that works on the level of rousing entertainment” said Jane. The film starts shooting in the spring in Utah. (Variety)
- Stealth Media has hopped aboard “Dead Sand”, set to star Amber Heard (“Drive Angry 3D”). In the film, “Two humvees tear across a desert. Soldiers escort a captured terrorist leader, Gabir. During a “pit stop,” Gabir escapes into a nearby abandoned industrial complex. The sodliers chase, but before they find Gabir…an inhuman creature finds them. A frightful radio transmission is all that remains of their final mission…” (Bloody Disgusting)
- Elijah Wood has been recruited for Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo’s English-language debut “Open Windows”, which “revolves around a desperate search by Wood’s character for an actress, played by The Girlfriend Experience lead Sasha Grey, who has been abducted by vicious villain Chord, played by British actor Neil Maskell.” (Bloody Disgusting)
- Supernatural Thriller “The Wait”, starring Jena Malone and Chloe Sevigny, has enlisted Ryan Kemp’s Visit Films its sales agent. Regency Media has already picked up the rights to the film for Australia and New Zealand. ” The Wait charts what happens when a mysterious phone call from a psychic plunges a family into a state of suspended disbelief while waiting for their recently deceased mother to be resurrected. Luke Grimes also stars.” (Screen Daily)
Veteran stunt co-ordinator Yuen Woo-ping will direct “Vigilantes : The Lost Order”, which “revolves around an assassin who swears to avenge the murder of ehr father and in the process uncovers a major conspiracy in the higher reaches of a financial empire. Birch Tree Entertainment, who are promoting the project at the AFM describe it as ‘Wall Street meets The Matrix’ with eyes to making it a prominent new action franchise.” (Impact Online)