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SATURDAY, MAY 14 2011


TODAY Nicolas Cage www.ScreenDaily.com Editorial (33) 4 97 06 85 35


Future strikes four-film $110m deal with Fusion


BY WENDY MITCHELL London and Los Angeles-based Future Film Group has made a $110m four-picture production deal with US producers Howard Kaplan and John Baldecchi and their company Fusion Films. The projects on the slate include


Stephen Sommers’ Odd Thomas (adapted from a Dean Koontz book) and Randall Wallace’s Mercenary set to star Channing Tatum and another “leading Hollywood actor”. Paul McGuigan will direct espi-


onage thriller The Diplomat, to star Christian Slater and Hayden Christensen.


Wild Bunch eats Lu’s Supper


BY NANCY TARTAGLIONE Wild Bunch has acquired The Last Supper from City Of Life And Death director Lu Chuan. The $15m project is an epic period piece pro- duced by Stellar Mega Films. The cast includes Liu Ye, Daniel Wu and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Drag- on’s Chang Chen. Principal photography started


on March 9 with an expected fi nish date of August 31. Wild Bunch is handling world sales, excluding Asia, on the story of two generals who fought for control of China at the end of the Qin Dynasty and started the Han Dynasty. City Of Life And Death was one


of China’s top-grossing films of 2009 with $26m at the local box offi ce. Beijing-based producer Stellar


Mega has Peter Chan’s Wu Xia screening out of competition in Cannes.


UTV Motion Pictures’ CEO Ronnie Screwvala (right) unveiled the company’s upcoming production Heroine, starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (centre) and directed by Madhur Bhandarkar (left), at Cannes on Friday. Rai will play the role of a fictional superstar in the film, which is scheduled to start shooting in June. Liz Shackleton


Ossard gears up for space race


BY NANCY TARTAGLIONE Producers Chris Bolzli and Claudie Ossard (Amélie) are gearing up for Gagarin: Race For The Stars. The film will be a large European co- production and the producers are in Cannes to identify partners and funders. The Cold War-era story is about


Fortissimo moves for Seediq Bale


Fortissimo Films has picked up Taiwanese 1930s-set epic Seediq Bale, directed by Wei Te-sheng whose Cape No. 7 is the highest- grossing local film ever in Taiwan. Terence Chang, John Woo and


Taiwan’s Jimmy Huang are producing the $25m film, while the cast includes aboriginal Taiwanese actors and Ando Masanobu and Vivian Hsu. The film was co-produced by ARS Film


the ex-SS officer heading the US space programme while Sergei Korolev pushed his men on the Russian side. The English-language script is


from Michael Thomas. An A-list European director and big-name international cast are expected to come on board.


Production, Central Motion Picture Corporation (CMPC) and Ji Fu Group. The deal for international rights


was negotiated by Huang and Jade Lee of CMPC and Michael J Werner and Esther Yeung of Fortissimo.


Liz Shackleton The deal also includes epic


adventure Nicholas North from Antti Jokinen, set to star Julianne Moore. That fi lm will shoot from September in the UK, Finland and Ireland. Future Film Group is also work-


ing with NDF and Pathé Interna- tional for Omid Nooshin’s action thriller Last Passenger to star Dougray Scott. Future CEO Stephen Margolis


said: “We are fi nally reaching our goal of being a fi nance and produc- tion house that can work at the highest level with creative produc- ers both here in the UK and US.”


AT THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL Advertising (33) 4 97 06 85 37


Sales accelerate for Footnote, Melancholia


BY GEOFFREY MACNAB AND NANCY TARTAGLIONE Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North and Latin American rights for Joseph Cedar’s Competition title Footnote from WestEnd Films prior to the fi lm’s offi cial premiere today. The deal was brokered by WestEnd and ICM. Australian distributor Madman


and Israeli distributor Lev Cinemas have bought the rights to Lars von Trier’s Melancholia just a few days before its May 18 Competition pre- miere. TrustNordisk handles sales. Among market titles, Mia Hansen-Love’s Goodbye First Love


has been a hot seller for Films Dis- tribution, with US buyers circling. The fi lm has already sold to the UK (Artifi cial Eye), Australia (Palace), Switzerland (Frenetic) and Italy (Teodora), company co-founder Nicolas Brigaud-Robert told Screen. The film, now in post, is about


how a girl’s fi rst love will impact her future adult life. Brigaud-Robert called Hansen-Love “one of, if not the, most promising young direc- tors of her generation”. MK2 has sold Olivier Assayas’


Something In The Air, about a stu- dent in 1970s Paris, to North Amer- ica (IFC) and Germany (NFP).


Diana doc stirs controversy


BY SARAH COOPER Keith Allen says his controversial Princess Diana documentary, Unlawful Killing, is unlikely to receive a release in the UK for legal reasons. Actor-turned-director Allen said


he had refused to make the 87 changes suggested by his lawyers. “But it’s an ongoing process, and it may still be seen,” he said, adding he would talk to the BFI London Film Festival about screening it. Tensions were running high at


Allen’s post-screening press confer- ence, where he was forced to defend his fi lm which argues among other things that the UK media failed to report correctly on the inquest into Diana’s death, due to pressure from the “establishment”. Allen also came under fire for


not making it clear the film has been entirely funded by Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son, Dodi, also died in the August 1997 car crash in Paris. Allen said he tried to get funding


from Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky and the BBC before turning to Al Fayed. The Harrods boss was not at the


press conference, but his spokes- person confirmed he had put up the film’s $4m (£2.5m) budget and that he was “delighted with the fi lm”.


Cage rage Lionsgate UK takes hot market titles including Nicolas Cage starrer » PAGE 5


REVIEWS Sexual revolution Hagar Ben Asher explores fierce feminist statements in The Slut » PAGE 24


DIARY Michael calling Markus Schleinzer moves from casting to directing » PAGE 30


Elle Driver takes on Bachelorette with Dunst


BY NANCY TARTAGLIONE Elle Driver has taken on black comedy The Bachelorette for world sales, outside North America where CAA is repping. The fi lm, written and directed by


Leslye Headland, is produced by Gary Sanchez Productions and BCDF Pictures. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Jessica Elbaum, Claude Dal Farra, Brice Dal Farra and Lau- ren Munsch are producers. Chris Henchy is executive producing. Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan,


Adam Scott and Casey Wilson are to star. The indie is about three women


who reunite for the wedding of an old school nemesis.


Egyptian actor to boycott film


Controversy has kicked off ahead of next week’s screening of Egyptian revolution omnibus 18 Days. Leading Egyptian actor Amr Waked (who acted in one short film and co-produced another) has revealed he will be boycotting the Cannes Egyptian event. “The presence of certain


artists in this event who hailed the old regime and have not reconciled with the people yet makes it difficult for me to attend,” the actor wrote in a letter to Cannes boss Thierry Frémaux. The festival could not be


reached for comment at press time.


Geoffrey Macnab


DAY 4


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