SummitEntertainment has lined up a potent slate of new pictures for Cannes this yearled by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's red-hot Babel, the Adam Sandler-produced comedy Nana's Boy and Beacon's upcoming coastguard actioner TheGuardian which has Kevin Costner andAshton Kutcher attached to star.
Alsooffered for the first time is a new Summit in-house production, known so faronly as Untitled Music High,which marks the directorial debut of choreographer Anne "Mama" Fletcher and isbeing produced by her longtime friend and collaborator Adam Shankman (directorof The Pacifier, The Wedding Planner and Bringing Down The House).Disney's Touchstone Pictures has signed on to take domestic rights for thepicture, which Summit's president and CEO Patrick Wachsberger describes as inthe tradition of Flashdance or Fame.
Summit'sErik Feig, president of production and acquisitions, explained that the musicis currently being recorded for the film which will go into production in thesummer.
Itwill be a busy Cannes for the Santa Monica-based company which also representsAtom Egoyan's Where The Truth Liesplaying in competition and David Jacobson's Down In The Valley which is in Un Certain Regard.
Babel, to which Paramount Pictures has already taken Northand South American rights, is an ambitious ensemble piece from Inarritu whichwill weave together four inter-connected stories around the world, one in LosAngeles, one in Japan, one in Mexico and one in Morocco. The film, which willbe in multiple languages, is being produced by Steve Golin and Jon Kilik andstarts production on Monday with a large cast including Brad Pitt, CateBlanchett and Gael Garcia Bernal.
20thCentury Fox will handle domestic distribution of Nana's Boy, a ribald comedy from Sandler's Happy Madisonproduction stable which marks the directorial debut of Nick Goossen. AllanCovert, who has co-starred in and co-produced most of Sandler's films and wrotethe animated Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights, stars as a young man down on his luck who is forcedby financial circumstances to move in with his grandmother, played by DorisRoberts (TV's Everybody Loves Raymond), and her two aged roommates (Shirley Knight and Shirley Jones). LindaCardellini also stars with cameos from Rob Schneider, David Spade and others.
Summithas also picked up international rights to another directorial debut, this timeof prolific screenwriter David Ayer whose credits include SWAT, Training Day and The Fast And The Furious. Wachsberger describes Ayer's independently financedHarsh Times as in the vein of TrainingDay in its tough depiction offriends in South Central Los Angeles. Christian Bale, Eva Longoria (TV's DesperateHousewives) and Freddy Rodriguezstar in the film which will be ready for the fall festival season.
Meanwhile,Wachsberger will be handling select territories on Beacon Pictures' TheGuardian, an action movie in the$80m-$85m budget range which Wachsberger describes in the vein of Top Gun and The Perfect Storm. It follows a troubled young man (Kutcher) whoenlists in the US Coast Guard, where he is taken under the wing of a famedrescue swimmer (Costner) still struggling with the loss of his team in anaccident years earlier. Andy Davis, whose credits include The Fugitive,Under Siege, Chain Reaction, Collateral Damage, A Perfect Murder and Holes, is directing.
Summithas an ongoing sales relationship with the latest incarnation of Beacon whichhas so far covered Ladder 49 and ALot Like Love.
It's a banner year forSummit which has a number of pictures already released and scheduled forrelease including Alcon Entertainment's Racing Stripes at Warner Bros, Mandalay Pictures' The Jacket at Warner Independent Pictures, Beacon's A Lot Like Love at Buena Vista, Bristol Bay's Sahara at Paramount, the company's own picture Mr And MrsSmith at Fox and Roman Polanski's OliverTwist at TriStar.