Financier-distrib nabs stake in Unstoppable
LONDON — U.K. film group Icon, which is owned by Len Blavatnik’s U.S.-based company Access Industries, has inked an exclusive first-look deal with thesp-scribe-helmer-producer Noel Clarke, winner of the 2009 BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award, and his shingle Unstoppable Ent.The pact gives Icon the option to finance, sell and distribute everything Unstoppable produces, which is anticipated to be one or two films a year in the $5 million – $10 million range. Clarke will either pen, helm, produce or star in all pics. As part of the pact, Icon will take a small equity stake in Unstoppable. The projects Icon will be kicking the tires of first are an under wraps Clarke directing-starring vehicle with the working title “Hood3”; a sports film centered around the 2012 London Olympics, “Fast Girls,” to be produced with Damian Jones; and “Reign of Death,” a noir vision of the future in which a private eye investigates a murder by an android. “I’m not interested in sitting back and being safe,” Clarke said. “We will actively try to break new ground with what we do out of the U.K. for our home-grown audience and for an increasingly important international one also.” The deal was negotiated by Clarke, Stewart Till, CEO of the Icon UK group, Hugo Grumbar, prexy of Icon Film Distribution, and Josh Varney of Independent Talent Group. Clarke penned and starred in the 2006 urban youth drama “Kidulthood,” which won the screenplay kudo at the Dinard Film Festival and debut director award at the British Independent Film Awards. He also penned, helmed and starred in the sequel “Adulthood” in 2008. He can be seen later this year in Philip Ridley’s “Heartless,” alongside Jim Sturgess and Timothy Spall, and Neil Marshall’s “Centurion,” alongside Michael Fassbender. International sales arm Icon Entertainment Intl. is repping Clarke’s latest film “126.96.36.199,” a fast-paced heist movie written, directed, produced and starring Clarke. The film, which also features Emma Roberts, Tamsin Egerton and Ophelia Lovibond, will be released in the U.K. by Universal/The Works in June.