CANNES — After only a year in operation, Millennium Films is stepping up production with a slate of pics to be sold at Cannes and starring such diverse talents as Dolph Lundgren and John Turturro.
Offering two action pics and two dramas, the slate reflects the genre tendencies of Millennium co-venture partners NuImage and Phoenician Films, with a bit of arthouse flavor from its other partner, October Films, which was recently purchased by Universal Pictures.
The principals in the partnership are October’s Amir Malin, Bingham Ray and John Schmidt, Phoenician’s Elie Samaha and NuImage’s Avi Lerner and Danny Dimbort, who are handling international sales.
Millennium’s slate includes:
“Lesser Prophets,” a modestly budgeted film about a struggling cop who tries to support his pregnant wife by blackmailing a trio of bookmakers. It will be directed by first-time helmer William Devizia from a script by Paul Diomede.
Starring Turturro, Scott Glenn, Dennis Hopper, Annabella Sciorra and Jimmy Smits, the pic begins lensing on the streets of New York May 19. Richard Temtchine is producing.
October, which brought the project in, has picked up North American distrib rights and hopes to premiere the pic at the next Sundance film fest.
“The Breakup” stars Bridget Fonda, segueing from Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown.” Co-starring are Aidan Quinn and Oscar-nominated Brenda Blethyn. The $9 million thriller focuses on an abused woman who tracks down her violent husband after he has faked his own death and left her as the prime suspect for his murder.
Brit TV helmer Paul Marcus is helming his first feature from a screenplay by Anne Amanda Opotowski, with Samaha, Jonas Goodman and Harvey Kahn producing. Pic is set for an Aug. 25 start.
“Sweeper” stars Lundgren. The $12.5 million actioner, penned by Kevin Bernhardt and directed by Keni Waxman, is set in New York and the diamond mines of South Africa. Samaha and David Lerner produce. Pic gets under way Aug. 1.
“The Last Child” will mark the sophomore effort by helmer Brett Michaels. The $12.5 million actioner stars Charlie Sheen, Cary Elwes, Martin Sheen and Luke Perry. Michaels is the lead singer of the rock group Poison.
Produced by Samaha and Lerner in association with Sheen-Michaels Prods., the script, penned by Sheen and Michaels, follows a hard-nosed cop who crosses paths with a gang of murderers.
Millennium has produced four films so far, including “Peacekeeper,” “Frankie the Fly,” “Top of the World” and “The Maker.”
With October’s recent purchase by Universal Pictures, the Millennium pics could enter the studio library should October, as domestic sales agent, exercise its option to pick up domestic distrib rights.
“This is a means of accessing product in order to enhance and further grow our library with the benefit of off-balance-sheet financing,” Malin told Daily Variety. “Our goal is to grow our library in the next 30 months to encompass over 200 films.”