×

Pressman talks ‘Crow,’ ‘Bloodsport’

'Moth Diaries' producer forges ahead with new projects

Robert Mark Kamen will deliver a screenplay for Philip Noyce’s “Bloodsport” in about a month, producer Edward R. Pressman told Variety on the Lido.

Pressman is at the Venice Film Festival to tubthump “The Moth Diaries,” which world preemed out of Competition. Pressman was exec producer, his second production with “Moth” director Mary Harron after “American Psycho.”

But the veteran producer also provided a status rundown on a trio of films: “Bloodsport,” “The Crow” and “What a Wonderful World.”

The talent attached and their scale suggests the soft-spoken New Yorker is still firing on all cylinders and battling to produce the “ambitious and origianl” films — his description of “Bloodsport” — that have been Pressman’s trademark for 40 years.

“Bloodsport” is budgeted at around $65 million-$75 million, Pressman said on Monday. The involvement of Noyce and writer Kamen, Luc Besson’s longtime co-scribe (“The Fifth Element,” “Taken”) was announced at Cannes in May, but not much more.

Alberto Lensi is producing with Pressman, Pressman said on the Croisette. The story had an Afghanistan war vet, sick of violence, retreating to Brazil, only to be involved in a martial arts contest.

Set up at New York-and L.A.-based Edward Pressman Prods., “Bloodsport” has no distribution commitments.

Kamen’s screenplay, however, will now allow “Bloodsport” to be put on the market.

“This is a major franchise project which our company has wanted to keep under wraps until it’s ready,” Pressman said at Venice.

Noyce and Kamen are currently in Manaus, location scouting and researching for the script.

Enviromentalist Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, who took John Boorman into the Amazon for “Emerald Forest,” is advising.

Noyce’s reboot is a “total reinvention” of cult 1988 actioner “Bloodsport,” with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Pressman said.

“The original ‘Bloodsport’ was a ring-set tournament,” Pressman said. Noyce’s will be “more of a road movie, a journey.” Noyce and Kamen will also scout in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, in northern Brazil.

Pressman recognized it would be logical to co-produce “Bloodsport” with Brazil.

Daniel Bernhardt, star of “Bloodsport 2” (1996) and Mark DiSalle, producer of the original 1988 “Bloodsport,” exec produce.

Meanwhile, “Watchmen’s” Alex Tse has delivered “in the last 48 hours” the screenplay for Spaniard Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s “The Crow,” another reinvention, this time of Alex Proyas’ 1994 original.

“The Crow” is produced by Pressman, Spain’s Apaches Entertainment and Relativity, which also finances.

Pressman is partnering with France’s Legende Pictures, headed by Alain Goldman — the producer of “Casino” and “La vie en rose” — to make Louis Armstrong biopic “What a Wonderful World!,” directed by and starring Forest Whitaker, and now in development. Gaumont has a stake in Legende.

Produced by Karine Martin at Canada’s Mediamax, and David Collins for Ireland’s Samson Films, with financing from Canada’s Telefilm and the Irish Film Board, “The Moth Diaries,” “transcends genre,” Pressman said.

“The film is more reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s ‘Repulsion’ or Brian De Palma’s ‘Carrie,’ both about young women and with a sense of paranoia.”

Transcending genre is nothing new for Pressman who established De Palma by producing the helmer’s “Sisters” in 1973.

“Bloodsport” will take in the plight of Brazil’s indigenous peoples, and be “elevated in scale, emotional impact and political context,” Pressman promised.

More Scene

  • Angler Los Angeles

    Angler Is L.A.'s Major New Seafood Destination

    San Francisco transplant Angler is set to make a major splash in Los Angeles, as Joshua Skenes’ innovative seafood-focused restaurant opens in the somewhat unlikely location of the Beverly Center. Angler is the latest and the most ambitious restaurant to join a fresh crop of spots, including Cal Mare and Yardbird, on the recently refurbished [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler Set for Special Performance at New York Pride (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler is set to appear at New York’s Pride Main Event this Saturday (June 29) at the Javits Center. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, she’ll perform a song accompanied by composer Marc Shaiman, of “Hairspray” and “Mary Poppins Returns” fame. Her stage time is set for 11 p.m. Also scheduled to [...]

  • Magic Johnson, Larry Bird

    Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Robin Roberts Honored at 2019 NBA Awards

    The NBA went Hollywood on Monday night, mixing basketball legends with a star-studded list of presenters including Samuel L. Jackson, Tiffany Haddish and “This Is Us” star Justin Hartley at the 2019 NBA Awards. Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal hosted the third annual award show, which aired live on TNT, kicking things off with a surprise [...]

  • Naomi Watts and Gretchen Carlson'The Loudest

    ‘The Loudest Voice’ Stars Naomi Watts, Russell Crowe Talk Roger Ailes

    Roger Ailes may have been the force behind the creation of Fox News, but the late newsman’s legacy will forever be his atrocious sexual harassment of several of the network’s female anchors and producers. Showtime premiered its new limited series “The Loudest Voice,” which chronicles Ailes’ rise and fall, on Monday night at the Paris [...]

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • Bebe Rexha

    Mumford and Sons, Sting, Ciara, Bebe Rexha Light Up Cannes Lions

    There was no shortage of excellent music at the 2019 edition of Cannes Lion. The international gathering of creatives drew top music brands – among them: Spotify, Live Nation, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM/Pandora, VEVO and Universal Music Group – and a slew of well-known acts to stages across the Croissette, to villas above the city and onto [...]

  • Patrick Wilson

    Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace on Scary Stories From 'Annabelle Comes Home' Set

    Tales of spooky occurrences on the sets of horror movies like “The Exorcist” and “Poltergeist” have circulated for years, and it looks like “The Conjuring” franchise is following in their footsteps in that regard. The cast of “Annabelle Comes Home” shared their unnerving stories from set at the film’s premiere on Thursday night at the Regency [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content