STXfilms Pushes Back Dates For Drama ‘National Champions’ And Thriller ‘Violence Of Action’; Latter Film Starring Chris Pine & Ben Foster Gets New Title

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STXfilms has pushed back the release dates for Ric Roman Waugh’s drama National Champions and Violence of Action, the thriller starring Chris Pine and Ben Foster, which is now titled The Contractor.

National Champions, starring Stephan James, J. K. Simmons, Uzo Aduba, Alexander Ludwig and more, will move from November 24 to December 10. The Contractor, meanwhile, will head from December 10 to March 18, 2022.

National Champions was previously set to open against Faith Media Distribution’s A Holiday Chance, Walt Disney Studios’ Encanto, Screen Gems’ Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, Freestyle Releasing’s For the Love of Money, Sideshow Releasing’s international Oscar contender Drive My Car, and Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci. It will now open opposite Sean Baker’s A24 pic Red Rocket, Steven Spielberg’s 20th Century Studios remake of West Side Story and Amazon’s Aaron Sorkin pic Being the Ricardos.

On its previous date, The Contractor would have opened against the titles listed above. It will now contend with Focus Features’ Downton Abbey: A New Era and Zachary Levi drama Unbreakable Boy.

Also on STXfilms’ upcoming slate is Guy Ritchie’s action comedy Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre, starring Jason Statham, Aubrey Plaza, Josh Hartnett, and Hugh Grant, which will stick to its previously announced release date of January 21, 2022, playing against Gravitas Ventures’ The King’s Daughter, MGM and United Artists Releasing’s Cyrano, and Valérie Lemercier’s Aline.

National Champions is set three days before the college football national championship game, watching as star quarterback LeMarcus (James) and teammate Emmett (Ludwig) ignite a player’s strike declaring they won’t compete until all student-athletes are fairly compensated. With billions of dollars at risk and legacies on the line, the stakes could not be higher. Now, with only hours until kickoff, the head coach (Simmons) and various power brokers (played by Aduba, Lil Rel Howery, Tim Blake Nelson, Andrew Bachelor, Jeffrey Donovan, David Koechner, Kristin Chenoweth and Timothy Olyphant) must race against the clock to protect or destroy the prevailing collegiate athletics system.

Basil Iwanyk, Brendon Boyea and Greg Economou produced the film penned by Adam Mervis.

The Contractor centers on James Harper (Pine), who is involuntarily discharged from the U.S. Special Forces, then joining a private contracting organization alongside his best friend (Foster) and under the command of a fellow veteran (Kiefer Sutherland) in order to support his family. Overseas on a covert mission, Harper must evade those trying to kill him while making his way back home. 

Gillian Jacobs, Eddie Marsan, JD Pardo and Florian Munteanu round out the cast of the Tarik Saleh film, scripted by J.P. Davis. Iwanyk produced it with Erica Lee.

In Operation Fortune, penned by Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, super spy Orson Fortune (Statham) must track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology wielded by billionaire arms broker Greg Simmonds (Grant). Reluctantly teamed with some of the world’s best operatives (Aubrey Plaza, Cary Elwes, Bugzy Malone), Fortune and his crew recruit Hollywood’s biggest movie star Danny Francesco (Josh Hartnett) to help them on their globe-trotting undercover mission to save the world.

Ritchie produced his latest actioner with Ivan Atkinson and Bill Block.

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