As Lionsgate morphs into a major studio, longtime foreign sales expert Patrick Wachsberger is unveiling a trio of high-concept titles at the American Film Market — “Deepwater Horizon,” starring Mark Wahlberg; Emma Watson-Miles Teller musical “La La Land”; and “Now You See Me 2.”
Though its reputation has been built on being the home of “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” franchises, Lionsgate is using AFM to demonstrate just how far it’s come from its days as a mini-major.
Production starts later this month in London on the sequel. Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan and Taiwanese star Jay Chou came on board this week. Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine will reprise their roles.
“We are doing big movies,” said Wachsberger, co-chairman of Lionsgate’s motion picture group. “And we’re able to let people know when you’re releasing them — they are able to plan from the get-go. They can work on the tie-ins and the promotions.”
“Deepwater Horizon,” has been dated for Sept. 30, 2016 — five years after Summit and Participant Media acquired feature rights to a New York Times article about the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 men.
“It’s going to be like ‘The Perfect Storm’ and ‘Towering Inferno,’” Wachsberger said. “Lionsgate is really the only player in the independent world that can do really big movies like this.”
“La La Land” begins shooting in California next year.