AFM: Kellan Lutz, Kelsey Grammer Land in China-Australia Actioner ‘Nest’

Kellan Lutz (“The Twilight Saga”) and Kelsey Grammer (“Transformers”) have joined the cast of “Nest,” the Chinese-Australian sci-fi action film that is now in pre-production.

They join Chinese star Li Bingbing (“Transformers,” “Resident Evil”) in the picture which will be shot in 3D and directed by Kimble Rendall.

The film has enjoyed pre-sales success for Darclight, the genre arm of Sydney- and Los-Angeles-based Arclight Films, which is pitching it at the American Film Market.

Distributors which have bought the picture include Square One (for Germany), Italia (Middle East), Aqua Pinema (Turkey), Viswaas (India), Pioneer (Philippines), Galaxy (Vietnam), Colorful Garden (Myanmar), Cinemaxx (Indonesia) and Sahamongkol (Thailand, Cambodia and Laos).

Kellan Lutz and Kelsey Grammer bolster not only the cast in a brilliant way, but the overall power and commercial value of the film as well,” said Clay Epstein, SVP Sales and Acquisitions for Arclight Films.

Nest” is the largest Chinese-Australian co-production to date, with investment funding from Screen Australia and Film Queensland. Australia’s Rising Sun Pictures (X-Men: Days of Future Past,” ”The Great Gatsby”) will provide the special effects.

The story involves a team of scientists who, while making the discovery of the century, lose a colleague in an ancient labyrinth. The group must battle their way through a swarm of deadly, man-eating funnel web spiders and discover the secret behind the insects’ power and unusual intelligence.

Rendall, a noted action director (“Matrix: Reloaded,” “Matrix: Revolutions”), made his directorial debut three years ago with “Bait 3D,” which was similarly a Chinese-Australian joint venture.

Production is by Nest Holdings in partnership with Loongs United Investment, a Beijing-based film and TV investor. Producers include Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye and Mark Lazarus, Serena Deng and Li Bingbing. Executive producers include Mike Gabrawy and Elliot Tong.

Kellan Lutz is represented by Chris Fioto at WME and Ryan Daly of Zero Gravity Management. Kelsey Grammer is represented by UTA and Wikked Cat Entertainment.

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