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Scott Eastwood Joins Nick Cassavetes Thriller ‘Manuscript’

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Scott Eastwood (The Fate of the Furious, The Longest Ride) has joined Morgan Freeman in The Manuscript.

Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook, The Other Woman) has also been lined up to direct the cat-and-mouse style thriller, replacing John Moore who was announced last year and working from a script by Louis Rosenberg and Joe Rosenbaum.

Also joining the production is Rob Paris via his eponymous Paris Film Inc. banner, which will produce alongside Mike Witherill (John Wick) and Mark Williams (The Accountant). Highland Film Group is handling international sales and will continue speaking to buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market (EFM).

The Manuscript centers on an imprisoned genius (Freeman) who writes and sends chapters from a mysterious novel to an aspiring young writer (Eastwood), ensnaring him in a high-stakes ploy to recover $100 million in stolen diamonds. Principal photography will begin in late April in New Orleans.

Eastwood, who will next star in Universal Pictures’ Pacific Rim Uprising alongside Star Wars’ John Boyega, is repped by UTA and LBI Entertainment, while Cassavetes is repped by WME and LBI Entertainment.

The Highland Film Group’s current slate also includes: Michael Cristofer’s The Night Clerk starring Tye Sheridan; the star-studded Berlin, I Love You with Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Jim Sturgess, Mickey Rourke, Diego Luna, and Jenna Dewan Tatum; Vaughn Stein’s Terminal starring Margot Robbie; Jon Avnet’s Three Christs starring Richard Gere; Eric Bress’ supernatural psychological thriller Ghosts of War starring Brenton Thwaites; Lin Oeding’s thriller Braven starring Jason Momoa; Scott Mann’s Final Score starring Dave Bautista and Pierce Brosnan; and the highly-anticipated remake of The Crow directed by Corin Hardy, which HFG is producing and financing.

Paris Film Inc. is currently in post-production on The Last Laugh starring Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss for Netflix. Recent credits include The Blackcoat’s Daughter for A24 and I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House for Netflix.

Editor-in-Chief of Movie Marker. Likes: Scorsese, Spielberg and Tarantino Dislikes: The film 'Open Water' I mean, what was that all about?

Box Office News

The Nun Tracking For Impressive $32M+ Opening Weekend

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Warner Bros.’ might have an early Halloween treat on their hands, with their Conjuring-adjacent fright-flick The Nun on track to earn $32 million domestically in its opening weekend, with some outlets even predicting as high as $37 million.

For a low-budget, concept-driven horror, those are good numbers, and will comfortably turn the studio a profit. The Nun, a spinoff from The Conjuring 2, will be set in 1950s Romania and follow a Catholic priest and a novitiate as they investigate the apparent suicide of a nun. Collectively, the Conjuring shared universe has currently generated WB over $1 billion.

Though a $32M-$37M opening would indeed set off some smiles in the studio boardroom, it’s unlikely that The Nun will match the numbers of the same weekend last year, which saw director Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King classic It smash box office records and generate $123 million in its opening weekend.

The Nun stars Taissa Farmiga, Bonnie Aarons, Jonny Coyne, Charlotte Hope, Demian Bichir, and Jonas Bloquet. It has been directed by Corin Hardy, and is due for release in UK cinemas on the 7th of September, rated 15.

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The Meg Nets Over $200M Worldwide, Now 3rd-Highest Grossing Shark Film Of All Time

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After just one week at the global box office, Jason Statham-vehicle The Meg has chomped $213.4 million for itself on an estimated budget of $150 million.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure), Warner Bros.’ The Meg follows a team of scientists working together to take down a 70-foot prehistoric shark known as the Carcharodon Megalodon – or, The Meg. The picture has now become the third-highest grossing shark film of all time, unadjusted for inflation, behind 2004’s animated family comedy Shark Tale ($367.3M) and Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic Jaws ($470.7M).

Li Bingbing, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose and Winston Chao all co-star with Statham in the project, which currently has a 4.6 score on Metacritic, and a 6.2 User Review score on IMDb. Warner Bros. are reportedly thrilled at the flick’s overperformance, especially in China where Bingbing is a household name – yet another modern example of Hollywood prioritising the emerging mega-market of the Middle Kingdom and it paying off in droves.

The Meg is in UK cinemas now, rated 12A.

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‘Millie Bobby Brown Voicing A VR Experience For Darren Aronofsky’ Is The Most 2018 Headline You’ll Read Today

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Stranger Things‘ Millie Bobby Brown has signed on to narrate the second ‘episode’ in a three-part virtual reality experience entitled Spheres, from creative auteur Darren Aronofsky.

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) lent her voice to the first episode, which was unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival. The third episode premiered before the second, at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was narrated by Patti Smith (Song to Song). Aronofsky has produced the series, which is described as a ‘virtual journey’ – because of course it is – and is based on the famous ‘Pale Blue Dot‘ image of Earth, taken by the Voyager 1 probe in 1990. All three episodes were directed by up-and-comer Eliza McNitt (Fistful of Stars).

The series will be shown off for the first time in its entirety at the Venice Film Festival, as part of the event’s virtual reality section, from the 29th of August until the 8th of September. Spheres will be released to the public on the Oculus VR system following the culmination of the VFF.

Millie Bobby Brown can next be seen in Legendary’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters, due on the 31st May next year.

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