Exclusive : Some of the new films on offer at Cannes 2013


Posting from the Croissant, where the Cannes Film Festival is about to get underway. You can tell, because there’s not a vacancy in any hotel, no building devoid of a poster display, and no room to move on the beach.

Most of the websites and trades have reported on the bigger stuff being sold (or ideally being sold, I should say) at Cannes this year, but I thought I’d tell you about a few I’ve noticed are on offer here this year that I don’t believe have been mentioned anywhere yet.

Beginning with a sequel… well, it was going to be a sequel anyway.

BAIT 2/DEEP WATER : ”Bait 2” has transformed into ”Deep Water”, a stand-alone thriller about a plane that goes down in the middle of the ocean… right next to deadly sharks, of course. The survivors of the crash have the plane to hide out in from the circling predators… but once that sinks, of course, anyone’s lunch. No director is set. Not sure why the change from “Bait 2” – since it did pretty well – to something stand-alone, but nonetheless sounds fun.

ZIPPER : Billy Bob Thornton has joined the cast of “Zipper”, a Mora Stephens co-written/directed thriller about a federal prosecutor running for office who can’t stop himself from sleeping with high-class escorts, putting both his career and his personal life at risk – as one does. Thornton joins Ben Kingsley, Patrick Wilson and “Mad Men”‘s Christina Hendricks on the Cargo Entertainment production.

MOTHER : Meanwhile, Thornton’s “Monster’s Ball” co-star Halle Berry is attached to “Mother”, a Pablo Fenjves-script (no director set yet) about a mobster’s ex-fiance posing – somewhat unsuccessfully, due to her wild looks – as a young man’s mother. Comedy, obviously.

DESTROYER : Man-of-the-moment Luke Evans (“Fast & Furious 6”, the upcoming “Crow” remake) is attached to “Destroyer”, the Battleship-actioner that’s already snared the interests of Paul Bettany and Matthew Goode. The trio will play the crew of a Battleship in an inspirational true story about a Naval destroyer on its way to war. Tom Shankland directs.

CLAUSTROPHOBIC : Former “X-Men” babe Rebecca Romjin will headline “Claustrophobic”, a Matthew Gratzner written/directed thriller about an officer who, desperate to escape her past, catches a ride on a cargo ship headed for outer space. It’s special effects team apparently have quite the catalog of hits behind them, including Chris Nolan’s “Dark Knight” and “Inception”.

TOKAREV : “Lethal Weapon” alum Danny Glover has boarded “Tokarev” (assumingly replacing Mickey Rourke, who skipped out recently), the Nicolas Cage-headlined actioner about a former convict who comes out of jail to find out his daughter has been kidnapped by the Russian mob. The man, played by Cage, gets together with his old friends to free her. Paco Cabezas directs.

WOLVERINE HOTEL : How ironic… “Wolverine” co-star Liev Schreiber has, I hear, been approached to join a movie with the curious title of “Wolverine Hotel”. Comic Book Movie? Spin-off of the Hugh Jackman thing, set inside a Mutant Motel!? Ha! Hardly! The film is one of those interweaving character things – like “Pulp Fiction” – but set inside a hotel. Characters include an ex-stripper, her hustler beau, a misogynistic ex-jailbird, junkies, cops, a baby and a sadistic drug dealer. Riley Keough (“Mad Max Fury Road”), Ben Foster (“Contraband”), and Kevin Durand (also of “X-Men Origins : Wolverine”) are also attached, with Patricia Chica on directing duties. (Update! Told Keough is the only signed cast member at this stage, the others are in various stages but not locks).

More when this thing gets underway!