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Film News Roundup: Melanie Laurent, Nick Kroll Join ‘Operation Finale’

In today’s film news roundup, Melanie Laurent joins “Operation Finale,” “Game of Thrones” actor Eugene Simon is on board the drama “Resonance,” and Aden Young will star in the comedy drama “Elsewhere.”

CASTINGS

Melanie Laurent and Nick Kroll have joined Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley in MGM’s “Operation Finale,” the historical drama about the capture of Adolf Eichmann.

Chris Weitz is directing the drama from Matthew Orton’s screenplay about the capture of Eichmann, who was one of the major architects of the Holocaust. Eichmann organized the transport of Jews from countries all over Europe to concentration camps, where an estimated 6 million died.

When World War II was ending, Eichmann fled to his home country of Austria and then moved to Argentina. Eichmann was captured in Argentina in 1960 by the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. Following a trial in Israel, he was found guilty of war crimes and hanged in 1962 at the age of 56.

Isaac has been cast as Peter Malkin, the Mossad operative who led a group of Israeli spies searching for Eichmann. He’s also producing along with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Fred Berger under their Automatik company and Inspire Entertainment’s Jason Spire. Matt Charman, who wrote “Bridge of Spies,” is executive producing.

Laurent will play the lead female role and Kroll will star as an Israeli operative. Shooting will begin in Argentina in October.

Laurent starred in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” and Angelina Jolie’s “By the Sea.” She’s repped by WME and UBBA. Kroll starred in “Loving.” He’s repped by WME and Rise Management. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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“Game of Thrones” actor Eugene Simon is starring in the independent drama “Resonance,” Variety has learned exclusively.

“Resonance” is shooting in Los Angeles in October with Marcos Efron directing the story of a hearing-challenged rideshare driver who struggles with making meaningful connections, especially with strangers. A turn of events leads to a simple moment of human connection, a moment made possible by music.

Serenity Media Group CEO Christie Hsiao is executive producing “Resonance.” Hsiao just wrapped a feature based on Pat Moffett’s “Ice Cream in the Cupboard.”

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Aden Young, Parker Posey, Ken Jeong, Beau Bridges, and Jacki Weaver will star in the independent comedy-drama “Elsewhere,” which starts shooting Sept. 11 in Vancouver.

Producers are Chris Cole of Evoke, J. Todd Harris of Branded Pictures Entertainment, and Brightlight Pictures.

Young stars as a man who’s still mourning the death of his wife and is hopelessly attached to the seaside cottage they built together. When his in-laws evict him, he vows to get it back at any price and, posing as a handyman, meets a new tenant, played by Posey.

“Elsewhere” is the English-language debut for writer-director Hernán Jiménez, whose “Entonces Nosotros” was Costa Rica’s official submission for last year’s best foreign-language film for the Academy Awards.

Young was represented by CAA and Shanahan Management; Posey was represented by Gersh.

INTERNATIONAL DEALS

GFM Animation has closed international deals for the animated “Duck Duck Goose,” voiced by Jim Gaffigan, Zendaya, Carl Reiner, Reggie Watts, Greg Proops, Craig Ferguson, and Stephen Fry.

Entertainment Film Distributors has taken the U.K. and SND will handle France. Open Road is handling the U.S. launch. Producers are Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins together with Original Force head, Harley Zhao.

Deals were made for Israel (New Guys), Iceland (Myndform), Portugal (Outsider), Baltics (Garsu), Eastern Europe (ProRom), South Africa (Times Media), Turkey (ATV), Middle East (ECS), Poland (Kinoswiat), Korea (Must See), Russia (Luxor), Indonesia (Cinemax), Vietnam (Blue Lantern), and Greece (Odeon).

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

The Visual Effects Society has selected Ava DuVernay as a keynote speaker at its 9th annual Summit, “Inspiring Change: Building on 20 Years of VES Innovation” on Oct. 28.

The event, held at the Sofitel, celebrates the Society’s 20th Anniversary and will explore the evolution of visual imagery and the VFX industry landscape.

DuVernay was nominated for the Academy Award for the documentary “13th” and oversees the dramatic television series “Queen Sugar.” She’s in post-production on the upcoming Disney feature film “A Wrinkle in Time.”

ACQUISITIONS

Kino Lorber has bought North American rights to Tony Zierra’s “Filmworker” and Rüdiger Suchsland’s “Hitler’s Hollywood,” two documentaries that had their North American premieres at the Telluride Film Festival.

Zierra’s homage to Stanley Kubrick’s right-hand man Leon Vitali had its world premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and will also show at the upcoming New York Film Festival.

“Hitler’s Hollywood” examines the 1,000 feature films made in Germany in the years between 1933-45. Only a  few were created as overtly Nazi propaganda films but Suchland’s analysis shows how even the most innocent entertainment carries with it a subversive ideological – and in this case Nazi – message.

Kino Lorber is planning theatrical releases for both films in 2018, followed by VOD and physical
media launches in the second half of the year.

KICKTARTER CAMPAIGN

Filmmakers Cory Neal and Micah Gallo have launched a Kickstarter campaign to complete the original horror film “Itsy Bitsy.”

Their overall goal is to raise $40,000 from fan support via the Kickstarter campaign by Oct. 11, 2017, to complete the project.

Neal is best known for producing the “Hatchet” franchise, including the upcoming fourth film in the series “Victor Crowley.” Elizabeth Roberts stars a woman who moves from New York to the quiet countryside with her two children for a job opportunity she can’t afford to turn down.

DIRECTOR HIRINGS

Sierra/Affinity will produce and finance the feature film “Dangerous Ground,” directed by Janus Metz from a script by Kario Salem.

Metz’s current film “Borg/McEnroe” will world premiere Thursday as the Opening Night Gala Film at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. “Dangerous Ground” will be based on the true story of war veteran Johnnie Porche, following a decorated war hero who returns home to face a dangerous drug cartel threatening those he loves most.

Producers are Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff, Mark Roberts, and Kelly McCormick. Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg of Sierra/Affinity will executive produce alongside Adrienne Maloof and David Broome.

Metz is represented by CAA, Cinetic Media, and Sloss Eckhouse. Salem is represented by CAA, Media Talent Group, and Sloan Offer Weber and Dern. Porche, who will consult on the film, is represented by APA.

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Daniel Bekerman’s Scythia Films has hired Adam Macdonald to direct the sci-fi project “The Friendship Game,” from screenwriter Damien Ober, Variety has learned exclusively.

Zak Kilberg’s Social Construct Films is executive producing. Production is set to begin in Canada early next year.

The script follows a group of teens in a small town who come across an object with mysterious quantum and cosmic powers. Over the course of a night, the object manipulates the fabric of the multiverse to unravel the
mystery of their missing friend, leading to a cataclysmic collapsing of realities.

Ober’s Black List script “Randle is Benign” was bought by Echo Lake Entertainment. He is currently writing on the second season of Netflix’s “The OA.”

Macdonald directed the survival thriller “Backcountry” and his new film “Pyewacket” is set to premiere at the  Toronto Intl. Film Festival. Macdonald is repped at APA and by Characters in Canada. Ober is repped at WME,
Echo Lake and by attorney Mark S. Temple.

 

 

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