Focus Features has unveileda new film label Rogue Pictures which will produce and distribute suspense,action, thriller and urban films to be released on a wider scale in thedomestic market than the traditional Focus specialized fare.
The announcement was made byFocus co-presidents David Linde and James Schamus at Showest yesterday andincluded three Rogue titles - Seed Of Chucky which is scheduled to be the label's first releaseon Oct 29, the remake of Assault On Precinct 13 which begins shooting next month and an untitled LucBesson-produced actioner starring Jet Li to which Rogue has acquired domesticrights from Europa Corp.
The Rogue films will behandled by the same distribution team that releases Focus films and by the sameproduction team which is in place under John Lyons at Focus. Focus FeaturesInternational will handle international sales on many of the films such as SeedOf Chucky and Assault On Precinct13.
"These are intended to bewide release movies for a broad demographic," explained Linde to Screen inVegas yesterday. "By creating a new brand, we are sending exhibitors a clearmessage as to the type of projects Rogue is associated with. These are notplatform releases."
The Europa Corp film, at onetime known as Danny The Dog, iscurrently in post-production and slated for an early 2005 release. Directed byLouis Leterrier, the film stars Jet Li as Danny, a violent killing machineraised by a gangster (Bob Hoskins). When he has a chance encounter with a blindpiano tuner (Morgan Freeman), he experiences true kindness for the first timeand tries to break away from his family, but the mob will not give him up soeasily. Written by Luc Besson with Robert Mark Kamen, the film is produced bySteve Chasman.
Universal Pictures isdistributing the film in the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and South Africathrough UIP. "Passion is the driving force behind our films' conceptionand production," said Besson and Pierre-Ange le Pogam in a joint statement. "Sowe are thrilled that the passionate team at Focus, whose work we admire, willbe handling our new Jet Li film through their new Rogue Pictures division. Weare honored to be working with them, and with Universal Pictures and UnitedInternational Pictures as well."
Seed Of Chucky, which is currently in production in Romania underdirector Don Mancini, stars Jennifer Tilly, Redman, Hannah Spearritt and JohnWaters and is the fifth in Child's Play horror series.
Assault On Precinct 13 is directed by Jean-Francois Richet and stars EthanHawke, Laurence Fishburne, Maria Bello, John Leguizamo, Busta Rhymes, Drea deMatteo, Gabriel Byrne and Brian Dennehy. The film is being produced by JeffreySilver of Outlaw Pictures, Pascal Caucheteux of Why Not Productions andStephane Sperry of Liaison Films. It will also hit theatres in 2005.
Other Rogue projects inactive development are the murder mystery The Horsemen written by David Callaham to be produced by MichaelBay's Platinum Dunes and Ted Field's Radar Pictures; a new version of ghoststory The Changeling adapted byDave and to be produced by Joel Michaels and executive produced by Amanda Kleinand Glenn Williamson; and Revolver,a dramatic thriller written by Adam Sussman and to be produced by Aaron Ryderof Ray Gun.
Rogue was first used as a genre moniker by October Films, one of the companies which was eventually rolled intoFocus, but no film was ever released under that label.