‘Lucy’ To Open Locarno Film Festival
Luc Besson’s Lucy is set to open the Locarno Film Festival on August 6. Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman star in the sci-fi pic about a woman caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior. Besson showed extended clips at CineEurope in Barcelona a few weeks ago that handily demonstrated Johansson’s badass-ness in the vein of other of his strong female heroes. The director will be on hand in Switzerland to present the movie that’s produced by his EuropaCorp. Universal releases Stateside on July 25.
Brazil’s ‘SuperStar’ Gets Season 2 Renewal
Rising Star’s Brazilian version, SuperStar, has been renewed for a second season — this is the first renewal for a local version. Rede Globo has ordered a 14-episode second season of Superstar to air in 2015. The Keshet International format had its finale on Sunday and was the most-watched show of the night, peaking with a 33% share and 3M votes. It averaged a 31% share throughout the first season, during which the voting app was downloaded 3.2M times and about 25M votes were cast. The other international versions currently airing are in Portugal and the U.S. Season 2 of the original Israeli format is prepping up.
‘Mandela’ Getting Wide Release In China
In a first for a South African film in China, is getting a wide release on the same terms as Hollywood studio films. The drama will go out on July 18 to celebrate the 2014 International Nelson Mandela Day. China.org reports that China Film Group will distribute on 1,000 screens. The biopic traces Mandela’s life from an early age through to his time in prison, his presidency and beyond. The release coincides with the formalization of a two-year cultural exchange program between South Africa and China.
Ex-BBC Trust Chair Chris Patten Tapped To Advise Pope
Chris Patten, the former Chairman of the BBC Trust, has been appointed a media adviser to Pope Francis. The former Conservative politician stepped down from the Trust in May, citing medical reasons. At the BBC he absorbed some of the criticism for the handling of the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse revelations and subsequent Newsnight scandal that rocked the UK pubcaster. In 1992, he was Britain’s last governor of Hong Kong and stayed there until the handover five years later. He then worked as the EU commissioner for foreign affairs and eventually became Chancellor of Oxford. The FT notes that the jobs have given him “a fearsome book of global contacts – and a reputation for having little patience for those he thinks are wrong.” In 2010 he successfully oversaw the first state visit by a pope to the UK.
Jerusalem Film Festival Postpones Opening-Night Screening
The Jerusalem Film Festival has postponed its opening-night world premiere of Eran Riklis’ Dancing Arabs due to escalating tension in the region. The Jerusalem Post reports that along with the opening-night screening of the JFF, the 6th annual Jerusalem Woodstock Revival Festival and the Season of Culture have been delayed. Rockets from the Gaza Strip that hit outside the capital Tuesday night resulted in the postponement of the events, which were scheduled for Thursday. The JFF, which runs through July 20, will continue as planned, but Riklis’ film will be moved to July 17.
‘Invasion Earth’ Gets Greenlight
National Geographic Channels International has ordered eight-part factual documentary Invasion Earth from the UK’s Pioneer Productions. The series investigates the world’s most intriguing and fascinating UFO sightings and looks to answer the age-old question of “Are we alone?” Hamish Mykura, EVP and Head of International Content for NGCI says the series. reveals “the remarkable stories of amazing, in-depth investigations conducted by government agencies and other authorities to uncover the truth behind massive UFO sightings whose otherworldly spectacles were widely reported by witnesses.” Exec producers are Pioneer’s Robert Strange and Kirstie McLure.
UKTV’s Watch Picks Up ‘Resurrection’
UKTV’s flagship pay entertainment channel Watch, has acquired ABC Studios’ fantasy drama Resurrection. The story of a community where residents’ lives are changed forever when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to reappear will launch on Watch in August. Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Mark Hildreth, Samaire Armstrong and Sam Hazeldine star. Watch is a pay entertainment channel whose share is up 14% year on year.
‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Setting Up Shop In Indonesia
ITV Studios Global Entertainment is bringing Hell’s Kitchen to Indonesia. In the first Asian deal for the format, SCTV has commissioned 25-episodes for air this winter. It will be hosted by Juna Rorimpandey, better known as Chef Juna. Hell’s Kitchen has now been produced in 17 territories worldwide, including Germany, Italy and Russia. In the U.S., where Gordon Ramsay fronts the cooking competition show, it is now in its 12th series on Fox.