UPDATE: Relativity Media has closed its deal for Act of Valor, as Deadline revealed earlier today. Press release is below our original break on the deal. Relativity has dated the film for 2012, so I suspect it will be Presidents’ Day weekend in late February.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 1:27 PM: In what will shape up as arguably the biggest money paid for a finished film with an unknown cast, Relativity Media is finalizing a deal where Ryan Kavanaugh’s company will pay a $13 million minimum guarantee and a $30 million P&A commitment for Act of Valor, a mission movie involving Navy SEALs. The film’s being plotted for either a Veterans Day weekend release in November of a Presidents Day release in February.
The film will be the first movie about Navy SEALs to come out since that group killed Osama bin Laden; others SEAL films are percolating including a Kathryn Bigelow-directed drama about the actual hunt for bin Laden that Sony Pictures acquired. In Act of Valor, the half dozen lead roles were played by active-duty Navy SEALs, and the military was behind a picture that was shot under the radar. The picture was scripted by Kurt Johnstad (300) and directed by the Bandito Brothers’ Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh.
I’d heard that the picture was gaining buzz after it was given recruited screenings over the past couple weeks at the Arclight and in New York, and distributors began bidding. The auction, held by WME Global’s Liesl Copland and Graham Taylor, heated up going into the weekend. I’m told that Dark Castle, Alcon, Lionsgate and Film District were all in the mix with comparable bids, but that the sellers were intrigued by the aggressiveness of Relativity’s Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, and the marketing team headed by newcomer Terry Curtin, who laid out a whole campaign. Elliott’s Michael Joe was in the mix as well, and Joe Matuckewitz worked on the deal with Bandito’s Max Leitman. The picture is very patriotic, heavy on action and it will play in 3000 screen-range wide release.
Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull (who greenlit the film) is executive producer, I’m told, and ICM’s Emile Gladstone and Robert Lazar repped the directors and WME repped Johnstad. Stuart Rosenthal was the lawyer. Will tell you more as I learn it.
(Beverly Hills, CA) June 12, 2011 – Relativity Media announced today that it has acquired worldwide rights to market and distribute Bandito Brothers’ Act of Valor. The groundbreaking film is an intense action-thriller which showcases an elite group of active duty Navy Seals and co-stars Roselyn Sanchez (Rush Hour 2) and Emilio Rivera (Traffic). The studio is targeting a 2012 release date.
The film is directed by ex-stuntmen and documentary filmmakers/commercial directors Mike “Mouse” McCoy (Dust to Glory) and Scott Waugh (Step Into Liquid) and written by Kurt Johnstad (300).
Act of Valor follows a Navy Seal squad on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent, and in the process takes down a complex web of terrorist cells determined to strike America at all costs. The filmmakers had unprecedented Naval access resulting in high-octane combat sequences and never-before-seen military operation scenes which are composited from actual events in the lives of the men appearing in the film and their comrades.
McCoy and Waugh are producing for Bandito Brothers and the company’s COO Max Leitman is executive producer. Legendary Pictures Chairman and CEO Thomas Tull, who is personally an investor in Bandito, executive produced along with Jason Clark (Monster House).
Tucker Tooley, Relativity’s President of Worldwide Production said, “Act of Valor is truly one-of-a-kind—ripped from today’s headline-making heroic missions, an incredibly crafted film featuring active duty Navy Seals, in a remarkable and fast-paced story that will give audiences an authentic inside glimpse and make them proud of America’s finest. We’re honored to add this unbelievably entertaining and gripping film to Relativity’s 2012 slate.”
“The world has always had deep admiration for these men who continually risk their lives to protect our freedom,” says Waugh.
“To witness their incredible brotherhood and to tell their actual stories was inspirational and such a privilege,” adds McCoy.
The deal with Relativity was negotiated by WME Global’s Graham Taylor and Liesl Copland.
Bandito Brothers is repped by ICM.
Looking ahead, Relativity will release David Ellis’ Shark Night 3D on September 2, 2011 and then the highly-anticipated Immortals on November 11th, 2011, starring Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz with John Hurt and Mickey Rourke. The studio is in production on its Untitled Snow White Project (in theatres March 16, 2012), starring Lily Collins as Snow White, Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen, Armie Hammer as Prince Andrew Alcott, and Nathan Lane as the hapless and bungling servant to the Queen. Relativity’s expansive 2012 slate also includes its House at End of the Street (in theatres February 3, 2012), Untitled Raven Project (in theatres March 9, 2012), Untitled Farrelly/Wessler Project (in theatres April 13, 2012), Safe Haven (in theatres June 1, 2012) and Hunter Killer (in theatres December 21, 2012).