Bruce Willis Exits Troubled ‘Wake’ Project

Bruce Willis Wake
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Bruce Willis and director John Pogue have exited action-thriller “Wake,” which has been beset by financing problems.

The project completed five days of shooting in Cleveland before shutting down in late February. Financier Benaroya Pictures announced on Feb. 26 that it was working to remedy what it called a “delay” in production, asserting that shooting would start in two to three weeks.

On March 5, the Greater Cleveland Film Commission announced that filming would start again on March 23, but shooting never resumed. Reps for Benaroya had no comment Thursday.

Benaroya’s sales company, International Film Trust, had introduced the project to international buyers in early February at the Berlin Film Festival with CAA representing U.S. rights.

Pogue was directing from a script by Chris Borrelli. Producers are Michael Benaroya of Benaroya Pictures, Tobin Armbrust, David Alpert and Chris Cowles.

Willis was portraying a sociopath who returns to his childhood home on a remote island for his brother’s wake, only to see the island come under siege.

It’s the second time in less than six months that a Benaroya project has closed down due to financing problems. In early November, Benaroya Pictures pulled the plug on the action-thriller “Idol’s Eye,” starring Robert De Niro and Robert Pattinson, as filming was set to commence in Toronto.

The news was first reported on Deadline.

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  1. MB says:

    We’ll see if Benaroya makes good on the all salaries he owes the vendors, actors, production staff, etc. I doubt his word is worth anything.

  2. Hairy Marron says:

    This was actually the THIRD Benaroya shut-down in recent memory — he was supposedly financing “Alive Alone” (Noomi Rapace) which also unexpectedly ground to a halt this past December. Seems like this guy’s got some SERIOUS problems… three strikes and yer out!

  3. Wolf says:

    This is getting to be a pattern with Benaroya. No one has forgotten what they did to Idol’s Eye on the day filming was supposed to start. Why does anyone do business with them?

  4. Benaroya will have a tough time finding anyone to collaborate with in the future.

  5. DrMomLovesLife says:

    These producers sound seriously shady to me. Wonder if anyone in Hollywood will take them seriously anymore?

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