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February 15, 2018 - No Comments!

Christopher Walken, Elizabeth Debicki Join Neo-Noir Thriller ‘Burnt Orange Heresy’ (Exclusive)

From Hollywood Reporter

By Alex Ritman

Based on the cult novel by Charles Willeford, the film comes from the Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated producers of 'The Kite Runner,' 'Whiplash' and 'Nightcrawler' and is being introduced to buyers in Berlin by HanWay Films.

Oscar winner Christopher Walken and rising star Elizabeth Debicki (The Night Manager, Steve McQueen’s upcoming Widows) have been cast in The Burnt Orange Heresy, the new neo-noir thriller from Golden Lion-nominated filmmaker Giuseppe Capotondi (The Double Hour).

The project — announced by HanWay Films, which is handling international sales in Berlin — is based on a screenplay by Oscar-nominated writer Scott B. Smith (A Simple Plan) and adapted from the cult novel by Charles Willeford (Miami Blues) about an art-world scam that goes horribly wrong. UTA Independent Film Group is repping the film domestically.

Three-time BAFTA-nominated William Horberg (The Kite Runner, Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley) will produce through his Wonderful Films banner alongside Oscar-nominated David Lancaster (Whiplash, Eye in the Sky, Nightcrawler) of Rumble Films and David Zander of MJZ (Spring Breakers). Stephanie Wilcox and Aeysha Walsh, from Rumble Films and MJZ, respectively, will executive produce.

Set in Italy in 1970, The Burnt Orange Heresy follows the story of irresistibly charismatic art critic James Figueras (yet to be cast), who hooks up with provocative and alluring fellow American Berenice Hollis (Debicki). He’s a classic anti-hero in the making with a charm that masks his deep ambition, while she’s an innocent touring Europe, enjoying the freedom of being whomever she wishes. The new lovers travel to the lavish and opulent Lake Como estate of Cassidy, an art-collecting lawyer. Their host reveals that she is the patron of Jerome Debney (Walken), the reclusive J.D. Salinger of the art world, and she has a simple request — for James to steal a new Debney masterpiece from the artist’s studio, whatever the cost.

As the couple spend time with the legendary Debney, they start to realize that nothing about both the artist and their mission are what they seem. But James is a man of deep, lurking ambition and he will do anything, from arson and burglary to murder, to further his career.

The Burnt Orange Heresy is in preproduction and will go into production this summer in Italy. UTA Independent Film Group will oversee the U.S. sale.

"I started my career falling in love with Miami Blues, another great Willeford novel that I brought to Jonathan Demme and Mike Medavoy at Orion," Horberg said in a statement. "Making The Burnt Orange Heresy in Italy with Hanway and this talented group of filmmakers and actors is a dream come true for me, and I hope will bring back some of the magic of the films I loved growing up in the ‘70s.”

Added Lancaster and Wilcox of Rumble Films: “Reading the script for The Burnt Orange Heresy reminded us a lot of reading Nightcrawler for the first time. We love James' obsessive pursuit of fame and legacy within the context of the fickle art world, which mocks his ambition at every turn. Perhaps that says something about us as producers?"

Said HanWay Films managing director Gabrielle Stewart: "Giuseppe’s stunning The Double Hour is a very enticing calling card for a project of this class. We are delighted and look forward to be working with industry legends Lancaster and Horberg to set this up as a European production."

Walken is repped by ICM; Debicki is with CAA in the U.S. and United Management in Australia; and Capotondi is repped by UTA and Anonymous Content.

January 26, 2018 - No Comments!

‘Semper Fi’: Jai Courtney, Finn Wittrock, More Join Nat Wolff For Crime Thriller – Berlin

From Deadline

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9308459ar)
Jai Courtney poses for photographers upon arrival at the 7th annual AACTA International Awards at the Avalon, in Los Angeles
7th Annual AACTA International Awards - 05 Jan 2018

By Nancy Tartaglione

EXCLUSIVE: Suicide Squad‘s Jai Courtney has been set to star with Nat Wolff in Henry-Alex Rubin’s crime thriller Semper Fi. From Sparkhouse Media and Rumble Films, the project has further added Finn Wittrock, Beau Knapp, Arturo Castro and Leighton Meester. Principal photography starts February 1 in Louisiana. Cornerstone Films is handling international sales with UTA and CAA co-repping domestic.

RelatedSteven Soderbergh’s 'Unsane' Added to Berlin Film Festival Competition
Murderball director Rubin is helming from a script he wrote with Sean Mullin. The story sees Courtney as Cal, a by-the-book police officer who makes ends meet as a Marine Corps reservist along with his rowdy and inseparable group of childhood friends. When Cal’s younger, reckless half-brother Oyster (Wolff) accidentally kills a guy in a bar fight and tries to flee, Cal forces him to face the music.

After an unfair sentence, Oyster fights for survival in a dangerous Pennsylvania prison system while Cal and his friends are deployed to fight the lethal insurgency in Iraq. Overseas, Cal’s world is shaken, and after he barely makes it home alive, he resolves to break Oyster out of prison — no matter the cost.

American Horror Story’s Wittrock, Sand Castle’s Knapp and Narcos’ Castro are the gang that rally to his side in a bare-knuckled prison break to right the injustice.

Semper Fi is produced by Sparkhouse’s Karina Miller (To the Bone) and Oscar nominee David Lancaster (Whiplash) of Rumble Films. Sparkhouse Media is financing. Cornerstone’s Mark Gooder and Alison Thompson will be talking up the project at the EFM in Berlin next month. The project was first announced in Cannes last year with Sam Claflin attached; he later exited due to a scheduling conflict.

Additional talent lined up for Semper Fi includes cinematographer David Devlin (Monster, Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour), production designer Chris Stull (Machete) and costume designer Christina Flannery (Left Behind).

Courtney is repped by UTA, Mark Morrissey & Associates and Silver Lining Entertainment; Wittrock is with CAA and Weissenbach Management; Castro is repped by WME and Avalon Entertainment; Meester is at UTA; Knapp with CAA and Luber Roklin; and Wolff looked after by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Definition Entertainment.

October 31, 2017 - No Comments!

Sierra/Affinity Swings Sales Rights Deal For ‘Donnybrook’

From Deadline

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (7734717j)
Frank Grillo
DirecTV's 'Kingdom' Panel at the TCA Winter Press Tour, Day 1, Pasadena, USA - 05 Jan 2017

By Patrick Hipes

Sierra/Affinity is set to rep international sales rights to Donnybrook, the actioner from writer-director Tim Sutton based on Frank Bill’s 2013 novel. Frank Grillo, Margaret Qualley, James Badge Dale and Jamie Bell star, and shooting is underway in Cincinnati. The pic is from Rumble Films and Paris-based Backup Media, which is fully financing. UTA Independent Film Group is repping U.S. rights.

The plot centers on a man hard up for cash and determined to support his family who competes in the Donnybrook, a legendary bare-knuckle brawl where a $100,000 prize goes to the last man standing.

David Lancaster (Whiplash) is producing with Rumble Films’ Stephanie Wilcox and Backup Media; the two companies previously teamed on Fabrice du Welz’s Message From the King and Small Crimes.

October 31, 2017 - No Comments!

Sierra/Affinity acquires international rights to ‘Donnybrook’

From Screen Daily

By Jeremy Kay

Sierra/Affinity has acquired international sales rights to Rumble Films and Backup Media’s drama Donnybrook to star Frank Grillo and Jamie Bell.

Nick Meyer plans a full sales launch in 2018 on the noir adaptation, styled as a backwoods version of Fight Club meets No Country For Old Men about a down-at-heel family man who enters a bare-knuckle brawl with a $100,000 purse. Margaret Qualley and James Badge Dale also star.

Rumble Films chief David Lancaster reunites with Meyer after they worked together on Drive, Nightcrawler and Whiplash while Lancaster was at Bold Films.

Principal photography is currently underway in Cincinnati on the project, which is fully financed by Paris-based Backup Media. UTA Independent Film Group represents US rights.

Writer-director Tim Sutton (Dark Night, Memphis) adapted the screenplay from Frank Bill’s 2013 novel of the same name. Lancaster produces with Stephanie Wilcox of Rumble Films, and Backup Media.

“We are delighted to be working with David again,” Sierra/Affinity CEO Meyer said. “Donnybrook is right in his producing wheelhouse of delivering high quality elevated genre films and we can’t wait to bring Tim’s vision of this muscular and gritty world to a global audience.”

October 17, 2017 - No Comments!

Frank Grillo, Jamie Bell to Star in Indie ‘Donnybrook’

From Variety

By Justin Kroll

Frank Grillo, Jamie Bell, Margaret Qualley, and James Badge Dale are set to star in the indie pic “Donnybrook.”

Tim Sutton is writing and directing.

Production starts on Oct. 23 in Cincinnati. Backup Media is fully financing the film. UTA Independent Film Group is representing North American rights.

Adapted from Frank Bill’s 2013 noir novel of the same name, the film follows a man hard up for cash and determined to support his family competes in the Donnybrook, a legendary, bare-knuckle brawl where a $100,000 prize goes to the last man standing.

The film is produced by David Lancaster along with Stephanie Wilcox of Rumble Films, together with Backup Media. This is the third feature in the last two years that the two companies have made together after Fabrice du Welz’s “Message From the King” and Evan Katz’s “Small Crimes.”

October 17, 2017 - No Comments!

Frank Grillo, Jamie Bell, Margaret Qualley to star in ‘Donnybrook’

From Screen Daily

By Jeremy Kay

David Lancaster’s Rumble Films and Paris-based Backup Media have signed Frank Grillo, Margaret Qualley, James Badge Dale and Jamie Bell to star in Donnybrook.

Production is scheduled to begin on October 23 in Cincinnati. Backup Media is fully financing the film and reunites with Rumble after Message From The King and Small Crimes. UTA Independent Film Group represents North American rights.

Donnybrook is based on Frank Bill’s 2013 noir novel of the same name about a down-at-heel family man who enters a legendary bare-knuckle contest where the last man standing wins $100,000.

Sutton wrote and directed Sundance and Venice 2016 selection Dark Night as well as 2013’s Memphis.

Lancaster is producing with Stephanie Wilcox of Rumble Films alongside with Backup Media, whose new films this year include Submergence and Promised Land.

CAA and Management 360 represent Grillo. Qualley is handled by UTA and Management 360. CAA and MJ Management represent Dale. Bell is represented by UTA and Artists Independent Management.

May 20, 2017 - No Comments!

Nat Wolff Joins Sam Claflin in Henry-Alex Rubin’s Crime-Thriller ‘Semper Fi’

From Variety

By Leo Barraclough

Nat Wolff (“Fault in our Stars,” “Death Note”) has been cast in Academy Award-nominated director Henry-Alex Rubin’s (“Murderball”) crime-thriller “Semper Fi.”

The script was written by Rubin and Sean Mullin and will be produced by Academy Award-nominated David Lancaster (“Whiplash,” “Nightcrawler”) of Rumble Films and Karina Miller (“To the Bone”) from Sparkhouse Media. Cornerstone Films is shopping the project to buyers in Cannes and CAA co-represents the U.S. rights.

Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games”) leads the cast as Hopper, and Wolff joins as his younger brother Oyster.

Hopper is “a straitlaced cop who fills his downtime as a sergeant in the Marine Corps reservists alongside a close-knit team of life-long friends,” according to a statement. “A rowdy but inseparable bunch of guys, they look out for each other no matter what, including keeping an eye out for Hopper’s younger, reckless brother Oyster.”

When Oyster accidentally kills a man in a bar-room brawl and tries to flee town Hopper stops him and forces him to face the music.

“Wracked with guilt at leaving his brother locked up in jail, Hopper and his buddies are deployed to Iraq,” the statement continued. “Battle-weary, he returns home to discover Oyster’s final court appeal has been rejected. No longer willing to live with his guilt, Hopper resolves to save his brother by breaking him out of prison, no matter what the cost. But he can’t do it alone. [His buddies] Jaeger, Daddy and Snowball rally to his side to set right an injustice that can no longer be ignored.”

Rubin commented: “I’ve been watching Nat’s performances over the past few years and he reminds me of young DiCaprio — he’s highly likeable yet always mischievous and unpredictable.”

Miller also noted: “Oyster is a deliciously complex character — he’s part dreamer, part rebel, part man and part boy. His emotional arc is so engaging and extreme that I can’t help but get excited by the thought of watching an actor with Nat’s talent bring this character to life.”

Wolff is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Definition Entertainment.

May 11, 2017 - No Comments!

Backup Media to Fully Finance Tim Sutton’s ‘Donnybrook’ (EXCLUSIVE)

From Variety

By Elsa Keslassy

Paris-based Backup Media has come on board to fully finance Tim Sutton’s “Donnybrook,” the adaptation of Frank Bill’s 2013 noir novel, which David Lancaster’s Rumble Films is producing.

On top of financing the film, Backup Media is currently negotiating distribution deals for Germany, Switzerland, Benelux and Austria. Manuel Chiche’s banner The Jokers is co-producing the pic and will release it in France.

Sutton’s fourth feature after “Pavilion,” “Memphis” and “Dark Night,” “Donnybrook” turns on a cash-strapped family man who competes in the Donnybrook, “a legendary, bare-knuckle brawl where a $100,000 prize goes to the last man standing.” The producers describe the film as a mix of “No Country for Old Men” and “Fight Club.”

“Between Frank Bill’s primal scream of a book and the controlled menace of Tim Sutton’s ‘Dark Night,’ well…[it] feels like we might be raising some hell,” said Lancaster, whose credits include “Whiplash” and “Nightcrawler.”

Backup Media, which is led by David Atlan-Jackson, Jean-Baptiste Babin and Joel Thibout, said: “Tim Sutton’s subtle vision, along with the original novel and script, makes for a perfect match to continue our collaboration with Rumble Films.”

Rumble Films and Backup Media previously teamed up on Fabrice du Welz’s “Message from the King” and Evan Katz’s “Small Crimes.”

“Donnybrook” will start shooting in August in Southern Ohio.

UTA Independent Film Group is repping North America.

May 4, 2017 - No Comments!

Jaime Lannister Makes His Kids Work, Just Like You

From Vice

By Chloé Cooper Jones

We caught up with actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to talk about his new film 'Small Crimes,' 'Game of Thrones,' and his daughter's two jobs.

The new Netflix film Small Crimes is not a redemption story. That much should be clear from the moment we're introduced to the film's protagonist, Joe Denton, played compellingly by Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Streaming now, the film opens with Joe, an ex-cop serving a six-year prison sentence, making his last confession to his priest before being released. Joe tells the priest (and the viewer) everything we might want to hear: He's remorseful for his past, is committed to maintaining his sobriety, and eager to see his daughters who mean the world to him. As the words leave his mouth, the viewer both believes that Joe means what he says but also doubts that he'll make good on his promises. That suspicion is vindicated when Joe heads to a bar after he is freed and orders a shot of whiskey. He uses his AA sobriety chip as a coaster.

This quality in Joe—that he both wants to do the right thing but is at turns too selfish, manipulative, or incompetent to follow through—drives the action of the film, which leads Joe into increasingly complicated confrontations with a crooked cop, a dying mob boss with a sadistic son, and a district attorney with a vendetta.

Directed by Evan Katz (Cheap Thrills) and co-written with writer-actor-director Macon Blair (who also appears in the film as Scotty, the sole person who enthusiastically welcomes Joe home), Small Crimes bets heavily on Coster-Waldau's ability to make us care about Joe, despite his numerous shortcomings. The pressure on the Danish actor's performance is made more challenging by the removal of any backstory or flashbacks that might build sympathy or understand for Joe through explaining why he's done wrong. There is also, perhaps, the added pressure of the Game of Thrones "curse" that stars like Kit Harington have said makes it difficult to play roles outside the world of Westeros. But Coster-Waldau, through a deep understanding of the character and an adeptness with the dark humor of the script, manages a performance that might make you forget he's ever been a certain charismatic Kingslayer.

I recently met up with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the Nomad Hotel in New York and spoke with him about his own selfishness, why he makes his daughter work two jobs, and Jaime Lannister's internal battle to be his own man.

VICE: Small Crimes is funny in an unsettling way. How would you describe the humor in this film?

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: I remember reading the script and thinking it was funny, but I thought that I should find out if the script was meant to be funny or was this just me? I spoke to Evan [Katz] and later on to Macon [Blair], and I got how they intended it to be read. It's a dark comedy and a drama, and that made sense to me. When I look at my own life and think about some of the most horrific moments in my own life, painful situations, I see also really funny things.

What does Joe Denton really want?

He doesn't know. He's been living for so long in a fight-or-flight mode, in a panic of not getting caught. He thinks: I just have to turn this one corner. I just have to get out of this bad situation, and then I'll be OK. Even though he's spent six years in prison, he's been bullshitting throughout those six years. He's always manipulating. He has an image of himself that he'd like the world to see. He'd like to be a considerate, recovering alcoholic. Someone who has seen the darkness and understands the darkness and has been fighting the darkness and is ready to move ahead and enter life as a good, law-abiding citizen. That's the great thing about the way Macon wrote the script. You start the movie, and he says the things he wants to hear: "It's all about my daughters. I just want to be a good father now." We think this is a story about a guy who has done a lot of bad things, and there will be some shit happening, but at the end he will finally be taught a life lesson we can all relate to and goodness will prevail. But what he wants is for people to love him, regardless of anything he does. He cares in the moment. It's like you might think: Today's the day I'm going to give a beggar some money. And then you open your wallet and see that, Oh, shit, I only have a 20. Never mind.

So is Joe an exaggerated version of who we all are?

I think we're a lot more selfish than we want to admit. We all see the world through our eyes and filter it accordingly, and Joe Denton is no different. My favorite line in the film comes when Joe's dad confronts him about what he's going to do with some money he has and Joe says, "I'm going to give it to my daughters… most of it." Nothing is unconditional.

You recently wrote a piece in the New York Times about your own selfishness, where you describe the moment you transitioned from the self-centeredness of youth into a more aware, mature person capable of putting your mother's feelings before your own. What made you want to write that piece?

I don't know. It was a very important moment in my life. The idea was that the headline would be "The First Time I…" and then could be whatever you wanted after that. When you're a parent yourself, you think more about how your parents raised you. I have teenagers now. You know how they say, "Teenagers go crazy," but it just occurred to me that it is as much parents as teenagers who go crazy. There's a pressure on me to be aware of what's going on because of alcohol, drugs, sex, all these things—which is in a way crazy, because I shouldn't interfere in her life. You can't.

"If [my daughter] wants money to go out with her friends, she'll have to work for it. And she's run into those moments when she wants to go out, but the money is gone, and that's annoying, but an important lesson."

That piece also touches on your desire to protect your children from self-obsession and excessive materialism. That's hard for any parent, but you have to do it while in the midst the global phenomenon of Game of Thrones.

Yeah, it is bizarre. I was in China and Kenya, and it was the same level of excitement as anywhere else in the world. I live back home in Denmark, and that does make a difference. I'm sure it would be different if I lived in LA. My kids have seen some of [my work], but they still think the idea of me pretending to be someone else is weird. And if they see me make out with someone, that's gross and really uncomfortable. And I get that. I'm their dad—I'm not supposed to be kissing another woman.

Growing up, my mom didn't have a lot. And now I have financial freedom. I could spoil the shit out of those kids. But obviously I don't do that because it would be so stupid. It's really important that they learn to manage that part of their life, and they are, of course. Being financially independent—I just mean being able to manage your finances—is really important, and it took me a long time as a grown up to learn that, and I want my kids to learn that. My oldest has two jobs, and she earns her own money. She works in a bakery and helps in a cafe. She's 16. If she wants money to go out with her friends, she'll have to work for it. And she's run into those moments when she wants to go out, but the money is gone, and that's annoying, but an important lesson.

As both Jamie Lannister and Joe Denton, you have the challenge as an actor of portraying characters the audience needs to feel connected to, despite the bad things they do.

I know what you mean, but Jaime Lannister is the opposite of Joe Denton. Jaime has values, he will follow through, and if you're his family or his sister, you can trust him unconditionally. He'll kill kids for you. His whole life is about his sister. These characters are both complicated. I don't know any people who aren't complicated. We all carry the potential for good and bad. I find it interesting to show people with flaws. With Jaime, everything is extreme—he's a knight, and we're in this other world—but there are a lot of people who see their whole purpose for living through the needs of their partner. People who will say: "I'll do whatever you want." You lose yourself in that, and then you have to fight to reclaim yourself, and that's what Jamie is battling with. Joe Denton is the opposite. Everything is all about him, and if you want to be a part of his life, you'll have to fit into his because you know he's not going to make an effort.

There's a tendency from the public to want to connect the character to the actor forever. Can you be unseen as Jaime Lannister?

I'm aware of this, of course. The first job I ever did was a movie in Denmark called Nightwatch, and I was very lucky, and it became a big, big hit in Denmark and because it was the first thing I'd been in. For a long time after, if I was in a play or something, they'd write, "Oh, the night watchman Nikolaj Coster-Waldau." And it upset me for a long time until I realized that's just how it is, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Small Crimes is now streaming on Netflix.

May 3, 2017 - No Comments!

Sam Claflin to Star in Crime-Thriller ‘Semper Fi’

From Variety

By Dave McNary

Sam Claflin has come on board to star in the crime-thriller “Semper Fi.”

Production is planned for Vancouver this summer with Henry-Alex Rubin directing from his own script co-written by Sean Mullin.

Cornerstone Films has acquired international rights and will commence sales at the Cannes Film Festival. Cornerstone will co-represent the U.S. rights with CAA, which packaged and arranged financing for the movie.

Producers are David Lancaster (“Whiplash”) of Rumble Films and Karina Miller (“To the Bone”) from Sparkhouse Media, which is also financing.

Claflin will play a straight-laced cop who fills his downtime as a sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserve alongside a close-knit team of lifelong friends. When his younger, reckless brother accidentally kills a man in a bar-room brawl and tries to flee town, Claflin’s character stops him and forces him to face the music.

After being deployed to Iraq, he returns home to discover that his brother’s final court appeal has been rejected and resolves to save his brother by breaking him out of prison, no matter what the cost.

Lancaster said, “From the moment I read this script, I couldn’t shake the passionate feeling I have always had for the iconic film ‘Deer Hunter.’ Henry has shown a unique ability to draw realistic characters combined with a strong sense of place. Brotherhood, loyalty, family … with a thrilling escape. I’m in!”

Claflin will be seen next in “The Nightingale” and “My Cousin Rachel.” Rubin’s credits include “Disconnect” and “Murderball,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary.

Claflin and Rubin are represented by CAA; Claflin is also represented by Independent Talent Group. Mullin is represented by UTA.