|KAREN GILLANBLUE STORYFOR SAMABAFTA|
EXCLUSIVE: In a splashy eight-figure deal, STXfilms has pre-bought North American, Latin America and Chinese distribution rights to starry action-thriller Gunpowder Milkshake, we can reveal.
Avengers and Jumanji star Karen Gillan leads cast with Game Of Thrones star Lena Headey, Oscar-nominee Angela Bassett, Crazy Rich Asians star Michelle Yeoh, The Haunting Of Hill House actress Carla Gugino, Oscar-nominee Paul Giamatti and Big Little Lies and Avatar 2 child actor Chloe Coleman.
The pic tells the story of three generations of female assassins who fight to stop a cycle of violence over the course of one night. STX snapped up the movie after seeing it on promo during the EFM.
The deal was negotiated by Studiocanal's Anna Marsh, Anne Cherel and Sophie Leuthreau, with STX's Jordan Lichtman and Carolyn Steinmetz and UTA Independent Film Group. The film is now sold out worldwide.
Written by Navot Papushado Big Bad Wolves and Ehud Lavski and directed by Papushado, the film was financed by Studiocanal and produced by Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman's The Picture Company. Rona and Heineman were producers on Liam Neeson hits The Commuter and Non-Stop.
The movie marks Papushado's first English language film and his sophomore follow-up to Israeli breakout, Big Bad Wolves, which played at festivals including Tribeca, Austin and Fantasia.
We understand there is a wide theatrical commitment in U.S. and the movie will go through STX’s existing partners in Canada and Lat Am and a partner distributor in China.
“Gunpowder Milkshake has found the perfect domestic distributor in STX,” said Studiocanal CEO Anna Marsh. “Produced by our good partners Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman, this ambitious high-octane action film boasts a top-class line up of kick-ass and smart female talent who promise to light up audiences worldwide. Adam Fogelson and the team at STX has delivered time and again in this genre with hits such as Hustlers and more recently The Gentleman. Partnering with them on Gunpowder Milkshake will allow us to scale a first-class campaign firmly positioning our film as an event.”
After a quietish start the EFM has burst into life over the last couple of days with major deals in the works on Perfect and The Good Nurse and a string of large Euro territory pre-sales on movies such as Little America, Memory and Remote Control.
Soon after it announced the worldwide delay of A Quiet Place Part II, Paramount Studios is shuffling its entire film release schedule amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus aka COVID-19 has affected two more Paramount releases, with the studio pulling the release of the upcoming films The Lovebirds and Blue Story. No new release date has been set for either film yet.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount is pulling the release of two more films amid coronavirus concerns. The Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae comedy The Lovebirds, originally slated to open April 3, has been pushed back, as has the teen gang drama Blue Story, originally sceduled for March 20. Neither film has been scheduled for a new release date yet.
The Lovebirds, which stars Nanjiani and Rae as a couple framed for murder, was set in April as comedy counterprogramming to the summer tentpole slate. Meanwhile, Blue Story, which was slated for limited release on the same weekend of A Quiet Place Part II, is a low-budget feature adaptation of Rapman’s YouTube series about two young friends who become rivals in a street war. As mid- to low-budget films with less of a pull than big IPs like A Quiet Place, they would be due to suffer financially from reluctant audiences concerned about coronavirus.
Theaters remain open in the U.S., but it seems more likely that some theaters could go dark. Internationally, theaters across China and Italy have shuttered, while there are widespread closures in South Korea and France.
The delays comes hours after Paramount announced that it was delaying the global release of A Quiet Place Part II, whose delay came piecemeal after initial reports of the film getting pulled from international release. It comes mere minutes after Universal pushed its tentpole blockbuster F9 by a year, delaying the action film to 2021. Major delays for film releases were expected after MGM kicked off the pushbacks with No Time to Die, followed by Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2 and STXfilms’ My Spy. But the sudden barrage of film delays follows immediately after a frantic 24 hours which saw the White House announce a travel ban in Europe, the House and Senate closed for session, and the NBA suspend its current season.
When the Oscar nominations were announced earlier this month, two documentaries about Syria made it through: Feras Fayyad's The Cave, about a courageous woman doctor running a subterranean hospital outside Damascus, and For Sama, directed by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, the story of Al-Kateab's effort to raise her baby daughter in Aleppo as the city was systematically destroyed.
“Before the revolution there’s no Syrian film that made it to the [Oscars'] final five,” Al-Kateab notes. “And for the Academy people to [nominate] these two films, it was for us the best thing that could ever happen.”
Watts adds, “When we were making the film, we were told so often that people didn’t care about Syria anymore, that everyone was exhausted by it. And so to see at this level people engaging and supporting two films about Syria, it gives you hope that actually people do care about the fate of people who are living thousands of miles away.”PBS
For Sama was produced by the U.K.'s Channel 4 and distributed in the U.S. by PBS National Geographic released The Cave. As the Oscars approached, Deadline spoke with the For Sama filmmakers about their Academy Award nomination and the journey of bringing the documentary to the screen.
DEADLINE: Most viewers expected For Sama to be nominated. What was your confidence level going into the Oscars announcement?
WAAD AL-KATEAB: I had some feeling before, a while ago that, “Yes, we will make it.” But it’s not clear...And really when you think about all the other films, really great films, but also they have very great people behind them, a very big money machine. And we just felt that we are the little fish through all of this.
EDWARD WATTS: We watched [the nomination announcement] on TV. It was a nerve-wracking thing because of the whole alphabetical order. So it’s first one, cool. Second one, fine. Third one, okay. And then…I was so sure that Honeyland would get a nomination as well because we love those guys, an amazing film. I knew we had to be [announced] before Honeyland. That was in my brain.
DEADLINE: Waad, you shot hundreds of hours of video over the years of siege in Aleppo. How did you and Edward settle on the structure, framing the film as a sort of love letter to your daughter Sama?PBS
AL-KATEAB: We went together through the whole material from minute one to the last and it took us days and weeks to just go through everything.
WATTS: I was writing notes and it ended up even from that first couple of weeks being this 300-page document with names, places, maps, footage, screenshots.
AL-KATEAB: It took us the first, let’s say, six months just to structure the story...
The British Academy says the television and craft ceremonies will now be held later in the year, without setting specific dates.
The British Academy has officially postponed both its television awards and television craft awards due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
BAFTA made the announcement Tuesday, saying that both ceremonies would now be held later in the year, without giving specific dates.
The TV craft awards were to be held April 26 and TV awards May 17. BAFTA also said it would be pushing the nominations, scheduled for March 26, to be closer to the ceremony.
"We are continually monitoring the situation to ensure we are prepared for the challenges we may face in the coming weeks and months," it said in a statement. "We are closely following the advice of the World Health Organisation, NHS and GOV UK/Public Health England, and the safety of our members, guests and staff remains our top priority."
The news landed less than a week after BAFTA revealed that its upcoming games awards ——due to be held April 2 — would scrap the red carpet and ceremony and become an online live stream. It also comes the same day that the three biggest U.K. cinema chains — Cineworld, Odeon and Vue — announced that they would be closing down until further notice, following government guidelines urging people to avoid unnecessary social activity.
Scores of events, awards and festivals have been postponed or canceled as the pandemic continues to cause havoc around the world.
Source: Hollywood Reporter