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US Briefs: Sanaa Lathan joins 'American Assassin'

Plus: Production begins on Myriad’s Holiday Joy; Focus sets Victoria And Abdul date; and more…

Sanaa Lathan and Shiva Negar have joined Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton and Taylor Kitsch on CBS Films and Lionsgate’s American Assassin.

Michael Cuesta will direct the thriller from a screenplay by Stephen Schiff. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler produce.

American Assassin centres on a CIA black ops recruit who teams up with his handler to investigate a wave of random attacks.

  • Production has begun in Toronto on Holiday Joy (formerly Different Folks), a comedy in the vein of Freaky Friday directed by Myriad Pictures chief Kirk D’Amico. Bailee Madison stars and new cast mambers include French Stewart, Scott Thompson, Sandy Jobin-Bevans and Jennifer Robertson. Freeform has acquired television rights and will air later this year. Myriad handles worldwide sales.
  • Focus Features will release Stephen Frears’ Queen Victoria drama Victoria And Abdul starring Judi Dench, Ali Fazal and Eddie Izzard on September 22, 2017, before expanding wide a week later.
  • Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal, set to premiere in Toronto on Friday, will close Fantastic Fest. Organisers announced the final programming wave on Wednesday for the event, which runs from September 22-29. For further programmes details click here.
  • Demian Gregory and James Franco have partnered to produce four features in the $15-20m range, starting with thriller The Game. Gregory will produce and finance with Aristocracy Group and Composite Media Capital in partnership with Franco’s outfit Rabbit Bandini Productions.
  • Marisa Liston has been promoted to executive vice-president of domestic publicity for Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group and will oversee the department. Liston reports to co-president of marketing Andre Caraco and will develop and oversee key publicity strategies on all features released by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation.
  • Jim Jarmusch is among participants in the 54th New York Film Festival’s On Cinema and Directors Dialogues series. The festival runs from September 30-October 16.

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