EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, German major Leonine has won rights to recently announced Vin Diesel-F. Gary Gray action comedy Muscle, marking the first major deal reported on during the Cannes virtual market.
The splashy pre-sale, in the high seven figures, is one of the biggest single territory deals to go down at recent markets and is one of Leonine’s most lucrative acquisitions to date.
Fast And The Furious star Diesel will play a fugitive who must clear his name by going on the run with a man everyone wants dead. The project, which is due to shoot later this year, is being pitched in the vein of hit two-handers such as 48 Hrs, Rush Hour and Central Intelligence.
F. Gary Gray will direct from a screenplay written by scribes John Swetnam and Malcolm Spellman. Previous script was by Scott Taylor and Wesley Johnson. Additional casting is underway.
There are multiple other territory deals on the table for the $60M+ movie, which is the biggest new package on sale at the virtual market where there are plenty of prestige and high-end dramas but few brawny options of scale.
STX, which struck the deal with Leonine, is producing and financing, and will distribute directly in the U.S., UK and India. Reginald Hudlin and Byron Phillips are producing alongside Vin Diesel and Samantha Vincent for One Race Films. Gray will executive-produce through his Fenix Studios banner. Scott Taylor and Wesley Johnson wrote the original screenplay.
Vin Diesel and helmer F. Gary Gray previously partnered on box office juggernaut The Fate Of The Furious, which grossed more than $1.2BN globally. They also teamed up on Gray’s 2003 action thriller A Man Apart. The filmmaker is well known for also directing movies including Straight Outta Compton and Men In Black: International.
STX and Leonine previously partnered on the Untitled Guy-Ritchie/Jason Statham action film currently in post-production, as well as Violence Of Action starring Chris Pine and Ben Foster.
Vin Diesel’s F9 opens in theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend after racking up more than $300M internationally. Fast 10 and 11 have already been greenlit for production in 2022 and 2023.