Last year, the London Film Festival was bookended by a pair of Tom Hanks movies. This year, the fest is going in a different direction with opening- and closing-night films set during World War II. The event will open with The Imitation Game on October 8 and now has set David Ayer’s Fury as the capper on October 19. The pic stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal. Pitt and Ayer are confirmed to attend the closing-night festivities in Leicester Square with screenings to be simulcast to cinemas across the UK. The film is set in April 1945 as the Allies make their final push in the European Theater. A battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Pitt) commands a five-man Sherman tank crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines where they face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. Written and directed by Ayer, the film is produced by Bill Block, Ayer, Ethan Smith, and John Lesher. Executive producers are Pitt, Sasha Shapiro, Anton Lessine, Alex Ott, and Ben Waisbren. Sony will release the film October 24 in the UK.
The 10th annual Zurich Film Festival announces its first Gala Premieres. Getting the red carpet treatment will be the drama Manglehorn by David Gordon Green, starring Al Pacino, Chris Messina and Holly Hunter; the tragicomedies Birdman by Alejandro González Iñárritu, starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and Edward Norton, and My Old Lady by Israel Horovitz, starring Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas; the art-gallery documentary National Gallery by Frederick Wiseman; dramas The Cut by Fatih Akin and Le Meravigile by Alice Rohrwacher; and the music drama Whiplash by Damien Chazelle, starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. The fest runs September 25-October 5.
CBC and Temple Street Productions have begun production on Camp X, an adventure drama set against espionage and covert ops during World War II. Evelyne Brochu, Jack Laskey, Warren Brown, Dustin Milligan, Connor Price and Hugh Dillon star in the eight-episode series from Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern, who created Flashpoint. Shooting will continue through October in Budapest, Hungary. Camp X follows a team of highly skilled young recruits – Canadian, American and British – torn from their ordinary lives to train as agents in an ultra-secret facility. Ellis & Morgenstern exec produce alongside Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier, and Bill Haber of Ostar Productions.
The 33, the feature film based on the 2010 rescue of trapped Chilean miners. It is the first project to receive the cash rebate afforded by the Colombian Film Commission. The production qualified for the country’s 40%-20% rebate program and received the rebate payment in 22 weeks. Based on the disaster that trapped 33 miners in a San Jose mine, The 33 was directed by Patricia Riggen, written by Mikko Alanne and stars Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Cote de Pablo and Lou Diamond Phillips. Robert Katz, Edward McGurn, and Mike Medavoy serve as producers.
Richard Schiff (The West Wing) and stage actor Nigel Lindsay have been cast opposite Lindsay Lohan in the London revival of David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow. Schiff will play Hollywood producer Bobby Gould in the production. Lindsay, currently appearing in A Small Family Business at the National Theatre, will play Charlie Fox. Opening September 24, the show will mark Lohan’s stage acting debut.
The American Film Market has announced the speakers for its roundtable African Co-Productions: The Possibilities and the Challenges. Moderated by Ijeoma Onah, CEO of FISL Global Network, the November 9 panel will focus on the development and promotion of the African film industry through co-production. The confirmed speakers are Bernard Azria, CEO of Côte Ouest; Dike Dimiri, Group Head of Enterprise Risk Management at Heritage Banking Company; Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, Regional Director of M-Net/Africa Magic; Jason Njoku, founder of iROKO Partners; and Chris Roland, owner of ZenHQ Films. AFM runs November 5-12 in Santa Monica.
ITV Studios and Deal Or No Deal executive producer Glenn Hugill are teaming to create Possessed TV. The entertainment label will join the ITV Studios stable and sit alongside ITVS Entertainment and established labels including 12 Yard Productions and Potato. Hugill began his career as an actor and moved into presenting and producing in 2000 with Channel 5 reality series The Mole. He went on to produce a number of international series including Playing It Straight, Beauty And The Geek and Cash Cab.