RIPLEY'S GAME ADDS CAST
Ray Winstone, Lena Headey and Chiara Caselli have joined the cast of Fine Line Features' Ripley's Game which is currently shooting in Italy under the direction of Liliana Cavani. Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, the film stars John Malkovich as Ripley and Dougray Scott as his victim Jonathan Trevanney. An Anglo-Italian co-production, the film is produced by Ileen Maisel and Simon Bosanquet, with Russ Smith and Marco Chimenz executive producers. Charles McKoewn has written the script and Ennio Morricone will compose the score.
SKARSGARD, MCELHOHONE JOINS DILLON'S DEBUT
Stellan Skarsgard and Natascha McElhone have joined the cast of Matt Dillon's directorial debut Beneath The Banyan Trees which is produced by Willi Baer, Deepak Nayar and Michael Cerenzie and distributed domestically by United Artists. Capitol Films has international sales to the film which is currently shooting in Cambodia. Dillon also stars with James Caan and Gerard Depardieu.
PROPHECY LAUNCHES 4WALL
Vancouver-based production and distribution outfit Prophecy Entertainment has launched 4Wall Media, a boutique subsidiary aimed at theatrical releasing and marketing of independent films for North America. The company has appointed Paul Sullivan, formerly of Miramar Entertainment, as president. According to a Prophecy release, 4Wall will leverage the opportunities of the Internet to create a unique approach to marketing and releasing independent films while retaining a traditional business and strategy.
REGENT ROLLS ENSEMBLE THRILLER
Regent Entertainment is set to roll on Craig Singer's ensemble thriller A Good Night To Die. The cast includes Michael Rapaport, Gary Stretch, Deborah Harry, James Russo, Frank Whaley, Robin Givens, Seymour Cassel, Ralph Maccio and Ally Sheedy. The screenplay is written by Robert Dean Klein, Paul Colichman, Mark R. Harris and Chris Williams produced. In addition, Regent will be selling world rights on monster feature Deep Freeze, directed by John Carl Buechler and produced by Jim Rosenthal. The film stars German actors Gotz Otto and Alexandra Kamp. Earlier the company announced the worldwide rights to noir thriller Just Can't Get Enough: The Chippendales Story, premiering at the American Film Market (AFM), and family feature I Saw Mom Kissing Santa Claus premiering at MIP-TV.
PORCHLIGHT HIRES TRIO
Five year-old family entertainment outfit PorchLight Entertainment has expanded its international sales and marketing team with the appointment of Adam Wright and Stephanie Slack as vice presidents, worldwide sales. Wright joins the company from CineTel Films where he was vice president, international affairs. He held similar positions at Rysher Entertainment and Turner Pictures Worldwide Distribution. Slack was formerly director of sales at PorchLight and before that worked as a sales executive at Pandora Cinema in Paris. In addition, Jennifer Cook has been named manager, creative services, at the company. She was previously a marketing executive at Tribune Entertainment. Porchlight has a library consisting of 500 half hours and 42 movies.
SPY GAME SETS UP INTERNATIONAL RING
Beacon and Universal Pictures International (UPI) have assembled a network of leading independent distributors for The Spy Game, starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. Entertainment has UK rights, while Medusa has taken Italy and Kinowelt Germany. Beacon and UPI, now partnered again on The Palace Thief, have also sold Spanish rights on the CIA thriller to Lauren and Japanese rights to Toho Towa. Egmont has Scandinavia, while Universal is expected to release the film in Australia through United International Pictures. The budget on the film is understood to have swelled to $120m, partly because it was forced to switch shooting from Israel to Morocco well into pre-production.
MIP-ASIA CANNED FOR GOOD
Buyers and sellers who have recently traipsed from Sundance to Rotterdam, Berlin and the AFM may relish the idea of one less market. Reed Midem, this week confirmed that it has abandoned plans to revive the MIP-Asia event. Last year it canned the 2000 edition with a promise to revive the Hong Kong based market this year. But in its six years the market did not turn a profit and attendances dwindled. Reed will instead back a hotel-set event the Asia TV Forum located in Singapore.
GERMAN TABLOID FODDER UNITE
A clutch of German's most controversial media stars are poised to appear together in the same film. Boris Becker, Michael Schumacher and Claudia Schiffer are tipped for small roles in romantic comedy Faust And Mephisto, being directed by Rainer Matsutani from April. The film tells the story of an unlucky taxi driver who sells his soul to Mephisto in order to live the life of a star for a few days.
HBO HAS PUPS
Allied Entertainnment Group has licensed Pups, its teen gangland movie directed by Ash, to HBO which will premiere it on Cinemax next month. Released on US home video by Monarch Home Video and in Canada through Videoville Showtime, the film stars Burt Reynolds as an FBI negotiator trying to avert tragedy when two teenagers hold up a bank.
SHOWCASE SECURES PUTCH'S NEXT
LA-based Showcase Entertainment has struck a first look deal with producer Alex Hyde-White of The Martindale Group (TMG) to distribute their films. The first picture in the deal is John Putch's Pursuit of Happiness, starring Frank Whaley (Swimming With Sharks, Pulp Fiction) and Annabeth Gish (Double Jeopardy). Putch's last film, Valerie Flake, was shown at the Sundance Film Festival and won an Independent Spirit Award.
France's Les Films de l'Astre grabbed one of the first deals on Italian cult director Maurizio Nichetti's new film Honolulu Baby. The film reprises Nichetti's Colombo character, who is this time sent on an apparently pointless mission. RAI Trade, which is representing the film, says it expects to close several other European deals during the course of the market. At Berlin's recent European Film Market RAI Trade closed deals on Andrea and Antonio Frazzi's The Sky Is Falling to Palace Films for Australia and Lions Gate for Canada. It also sold Wilma Labate's Domenica to Helkon-affiliated rights trader Peppermint.