IM Global is coming to the Riviera with its biggest Cannes slate ever, and has just added a project that’s got a big awards pedigree. Oscar nominated writer Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games) is set to helm The Secret In Their Eyes from his own screenplay that’s adapted from Juan José Campanella’s 2009 Foreign Language Film Oscar winner. Best Actor Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow are playing the lead roles in the crime thriller. Oscar and Emmy winner Mark Johnson (Rain Man, Breaking Bad) is producing along with John Ufland. IM Global starts sales on the project in Cannes with production scheduled to start this fall in Boston.
Ejiofor will play a former MI-5 agent who returns to Boston on a joint task force with the FBI, still obsessed by the unsolved murder that continues to haunt him. As he inches closer to solving the crime, he uncovers a shocking truth that will shed a terrifying new light on past events. IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford says, “Billy has written a wonderfully intelligent, twisting screenplay and we’re lucky enough to have attached two world class acting talents at the top of their game for Secret. We’re confident of bringing further great cast on board as we move towards production.” Johnson adds, “The thought of combining the originality of the original film with the talent of Billy Ray and the support off IM Global is irresistible.” Ford, Matt Jackson and Campanella are exec producing. CAA arranged financing for the film and reps domestic rights. Ray is repped by CAA and Management 360; Ejiofor is repped by CAA and Alex Irwin at Markham, Froggatt and Irwin; and Paltrow is repped by Shani Rosenzweig and Tracey Jacobs at UTA and Aleen Keshishian at Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
As IM Global evolves into what founder and CEO Stuart Ford calls “an international facing studio,” the company continues to work with diverse filmmakers from all corners. Ford says, “It’s very exciting and a real privilege to be the platform for so many great movies and such phenomenal talent.”
The Secret In Their Eyes joins a host of other IM Global titles including Forsaken from Gravity co-writer Jonas Cuaron. Formerly known as Desierto, the thriller stars Gael García Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan and is co-scripted by Cuaron and Mateo Garcia. The story sees a group of illegal immigrants cross into the U.S. and end up running from an American who has taken border patrol into his own hands. Cuarón is producing as are Alfonso Cuarón, Carlos Cuarón, Charles Gillibert, and Alex Garcia. David Linde, García Bernal, Fréderique Dumas-Zajdela, Nicolás Celis, and Santiago García Galván are executive producers. Other major pre-sales titles include Jackie Chan action pic Civilian, directed by Peter Segal (Grudge Match, Get Smart); and Canadian helmer Atom Egoyan’s thriller Remember with Christopher Plummer. Egoyan is in the Cannes Competition this week with The Captive. Currently in production for IM Global is Eran Creevy’s Euro actioner Autobahn, co-produced with Joel Silver, and starring Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins.
Meanwhile, sales continue on Martin Scorsese’s Japan-set Silence starring Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson and Ken Watanabe. Scorsese came to Cannes last year to launch the project. Similarly, IM Global brought Labor Of Love director M Night Shyamalan to Berlin earlier this year to tout that reteam with Bruce Willis. Also in the Cannes mix are Don Cheadle’s Kill The Trumpet Player with Cheadle, Zoe Saldana and Ewan McGregor; Sleeping With Other People, directed by Leslye Headland and starring Jason Sudeikis; and A Walk In The Woods, directed by Ken Kwapis and starring Robert Redford, Emma Thompson and Nick Nolte.
IM Global’s premiere market screenings include the BBC’s Reliance-backed African wildlife pic Enchanted Kingdom 3D with narration by Idris Elba; Black And White, directed by Mike Binder and starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer; Revenge Of The Green Dragons, directed by Andrew Lau and exec produced by Scorsese; and The Signal, directed by Will Eubank and starring Laurence Fishburne.
IMG’s Blumhouse International partnership with Jason Blum will kick off sales on currently in production Viral directed by Paranormal 3 & 4/Catfish directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman; Sinister 2, the sequel directed by Ciaran Foy; and Visions directed by Kevin Gruetert and starring Isla Fisher.
Asia-focused label Anthem is launching sales on Brotherhood Of Blades from producer Terence Chang. Via its deal with Huayi Brothers, Anthem will also launch A Tale of Three Cities, directed by Mabel Cheung; Love On The Cloud, directed by Gu Changwei; Abducted, directed by Peng Sanyuan; and Women Who Flirt, directed by Pang Ho-Cheung.
Latin film sales joint venture Mundial will continue sales on Diego Luna’s recently released Cesar Chavez and Dolphin Films International, the partnership with Dolphin Entertainment and Mattel is continuing to parlay Max Steel, the family action pic that did brisk business in Berlin.