Thursday, February 02, 2006

News From Lionsgate

What follows is a press release from Lionsgate studios. The studio, famous of late for making big money from low-budget horror flicks like Saw and for backing Eli Roth's Hostel, is announcing a new slate of action flicks that seem to be a bit underwhelming. Though I will say that Right At Your Door could be intriguing as it is a first effort at both writing and directing for Chris Gorak. First efforts can be exciting, you never know when one of these guys will turn out to be a major talent. Gorak's film was screened at Sundance though I have yet to hear a critical opinion of it. The Jet LI offering might be decent, I thought Unleashed was one of the most underrated movies of last year.

Here is the Lionsgate press release:


SANTA MONICA, CA, and VANCOUVER, BC, January 30, 2006 – Lionsgate (NYSE and TSX:LGF) has acquired worldwide rights, excluding North America, to the gripping heist thriller DEVIL TO PAY, starring female action superstar Lucy Liu, it was announced today by Nick Meyer, President of Lionsgate International. This acquisition represents the latest in Lionsgate’s rapidly expanding slate of high-octane action thrillers that will kick off at the European Film Market in Berlin.
The acquisition originated from and will be produced by Echo Lake Productions’ Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding, as well as Intellectual Properties Worldwide’s (IPW) J. Todd Harris and Marc Toberoff, who is set to executive produce. The thriller, penned by Michael Gilvary, begins principal photography in May.
“We are delighted to be working with Lucy Liu on this original, action-packed thriller. Lucy’s charisma dazzled audiences in her CHARLIE’S ANGELS films and we feel confident that, with our friends at Echo Lake Productions and IPW producing, DEVIL TO PAY will showcase her at her most irresistible,” said Meyer.
Lionsgate Films International will also introduce Berlin buyers to its other recent acquisitions: the Sundance Film Festival dirty bomb thriller RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR; the highly anticipated pairing of internationally acclaimed action star Jet Li and Jason Statham in ROGUE; and the adrenaline-fueled action thriller CRANK, also starring Statham and currently in post-production. The company’s Berlin slate also includes the WWI action drama FLYBOYS starring Jean Reno and James Franco, and the acclaimed music documentary LEONARD COHEN I'M YOUR MAN, which debuts internationally in the Panorama section at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The deal was negotiated on behalf of Lionsgate by Meyer, Stephanie Denton, President of International Film Sales, and Wendy Jaffe, Senior Vice President Business and Legal Affairs, Acquisitions, and by Echo Lake’s Andrew Spaulding and attorney Howard Frumes of Alexander, Nau, Lawrence, Frumes and Labowitz.
DEVIL TO PAY features Jill Krause (Liu) as a mild-mannered divorcee who works hard to juggle her role as a single parent and loyal bank employee. Her routine world is suddenly shattered when a mysterious man forces her to rob the bank in which she works, and Jill must transform herself from demure bank clerk to resourceful bank robber.
Liu’s upcoming projects include starring in LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN opposite Josh Hartnett and Morgan Freeman for The Weinstein Company, and New Line’s THE CLEANER with Cedric the Entertainer.
Echo Lake Productions’ current slate also includes: the 2005 Toronto Film Festival opening film WATER (to be released in April by Fox Searchlight); TWELVE AND HOLDING (to be released in June by IFC), and DREAMLAND which recently debuted at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. In addition, Mankoff served as executive producer on TSOTSI, the 2006 Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film (to be released in March by Miramax).
IPW recently produced Brendan Gleeson starrer BLACK IRISH and THE LEGEND OF LUCY KEYES starring Julie Delpy. The company is currently preparing a remake of PIRANHA with Chuck Russell directing for The Weinstein Company and Wild Bunch, and developing SKYPORT at Warner Bros. and MY BODYGUARD at Disney.
Gilvary, who also serves as a co-producer on the film, just finished work on Intermedia’s SLEEPERWALKER for producer Mark Johnson, penned GRETA with Whitewater Films, slated for a summer production, and is currently writing a project for Morgan Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment.
Lionsgate is the premier independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. Its prestigious and prolific library is a valuable source of recurring revenue and a foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.
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For further information, contact:
Alyson Dewar
323 936 8394

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