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Cannes: Samuel L. Jackson to Play U.S. Prexy in ‘Big Game’

Altitude adds Peter Mullan starrer 'The Loch' to slate

LONDON — Samuel L. Jackson is attached to play the U.S. President in Jalmari Helander’s English-language debut “Big Game,” which Altitude Film Sales will tubthump in Cannes.

Altitude also will be selling Peter Mullan-starrer “The Loch,” the first project to emerge from the partnership between its parent company, Altitude Film Entertainment, and James Watkins, the helmer of “The Woman in Black” and “Eden Lake.”

Equity investor Christian Angermayer has also come on board to co-produce “Big Game” through his Berlin-based Film House Germany banner, whose credits include Bernard Rose’s “Paganini: The Devil’s Violinist.”

“Big Game” tells the story of Oskari, a shy, nervous 13-year-old boy, who must prove his manhood by spending a day and a night alone in the forest. That night, Air Force One is shot down by terrorists and Oskari discovers the U.S. President in an escape pod. With the terrorists closing in, Oskari and the President must team up to survive.

Altitude described the pic as an “adrenaline-fueled action adventure that takes the universal rite-of-passage theme of iconic ’80s films, such as ‘E.T.’ and ‘The Karate Kid,’ and brilliantly combines this with the visceral thrill of high-concept action classics such as ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Taken.’”

Production will start this summer in Finland and Germany.

Helander previously directed “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale,” which preemed at Locarno in 2010. Petri Jokiranta will produce under their Subzero banner. Will Clarke and Andy Mayson will co-produce for Altitude, along with Jens Meurer of Egoli Tossell Film. Alex Garland (“28 Days Later,” “Dredd”) is exec producing.

“The Loch” is a new take on the Loch Ness myth, with Watkins co-writing with first-time filmmaker Simon Duric for Duric to direct. It is a character-driven horror thriller in the tradition of “The Shining,” Altitude said. It follows a family full of secrets as they take a weekend away to Loch Ness; their lives are pulled apart by dark forces. The film will lens later this year.

Altitude, which has 15 projects in development, was launched last year by Clarke, founder of Optimum Releasing (now Studiocanal U.K.), with Mayson as joint CEO, and Mike Runagall as managing director of international sales company Altitude Film Sales.

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