EXCLUSIVE: Black Label Media and Lionsgate are heading toward a divorce on the upcoming high-profile pictures Granite Mountain and Soldado, the latter a sequel to Sicario. It has come down to an inability to see eye to eye over marketing and distribution plans for the two films. Short of some miracle save, they will part company shortly. Other distributors already are vying for the pictures.
Granite Mountain is the first one up. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the drama tells the true tale of an elite crew of men who battled a wildfire in Prescott, AZ, in June 2013 that claimed the lives of 19 of its members. The film, which stars Josh Brolin, Taylor Kitsch, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges, turned in a very high score on its recent test screening. Lionsgate had it slotted for a September 22 release, though that date is up in the air, depending on which distributor steps in with a new distribution and marketing plan that pleases Black Label.
Also moving will be Soldado, the Stefano Sollima-directed continuation of the story told in the Denis Villenueve-directed Sicario. Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the original, also scripted the sequel, and Benicio Del Toro and Brolin return for what is described as an escalation of drugs along the border of Mexico. Word on that one is that Del Toro continues his progression as a Man on Fire that began in Sicario, after cartel leaders murdered his family.
Black Label is run by Molly Smith and Thad and Trent Luckinbill, and they produce and finance or co-finance their films. They are coming off a triumph with Lionsgate in La La Land, but it sounds like that relationship will get a time out with these two high-profile pictures.
Neither Black Label nor Lionsgate would comment.