×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China’s Bliss Media, Maven Pictures to Finance Halle Berry’s L.A. Riots Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

China’s Bliss Media and Maven Pictures have come on board to finance “Kings,” the independent drama set against the backdrop of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Halle Berry and Daniel Craig have been attached to star since June. Lamar Johnson (“The Next Step”), Kaalan Walker, and Rachel Hilson (“The Good Wife,” “The Affair”) are joining the cast.

Deniz Gamze Erguven, director of “Mustang,” is helming “Kings” from her own script in what will be her English-language debut. Production will begin Dec. 27 in Los Angeles.

Erguven is re-teamed with “Mustang” producer Charles Gillibert. He’s producing and co-financing through his CG Cinema. Maven Pictures co-founders Trudie Styler, Celine Rattray, and Charlotte Ubben serve as executive producers alongside Wei Han of Bliss Media.

IMR is handling international sales and CAA, which arranged the film’s financing, represents the movie’s domestic rights. Bliss Media owns the distribution rights for Greater China. “Kings” is also co-produced by Canal Plus, France 2 Cinema and Ad Vitam in France, and by Scope Pictures in Belgium.

“Kings” centers on a foster family in South Central in 1992, a few weeks before the city erupts in violence following the verdict of the Rodney King trial. Erguven began working on the screenplay in 2004 and has spent years working with the South Central neighborhood.

Craig will portray a loner who lives in South Central Los Angeles and falls in love with Berry’s character. When the riots erupt, he will help Berry in protecting her children from the violence.

“‘Kings’ is such a powerful read. Its elegant simplicity, coupled with Deniz’ vision, make it the perfect kind of project that Bliss Media would like to be a part of,” said Bliss Media’s Wei Han.

Bliss Media most recently wrapped production in Shanghai on “S.M.A.R.T. Chase,” starring Orlando Bloom. Bliss co-financed and executive produced Pablo Larraín’s “Jackie,” starring Natalie Portman, and acquired the Chinese distribution rights to Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge,” which was released in China on Dec. 8 and set a box office record for imported war films in China.

“Maven Pictures’ mission is to support films with women in front and behind the camera,” said Maven Pictures’ Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler. “Deniz is an extraordinary talent, and we look forward to being part of such an incredible project.”

Maven’s credits include “The Kids Are All Right” and “American Honey.” Maven is partnered with Jessica Chastain in her production company Freckle Films, and is heading to Sundance with “Novitiate,” starring Margaret Qualley and Melissa Leo.

CG Cinema’s credits include “Clouds of Sils Maria” by Olivier Assayas; “Eden” by Mia Hansen-Love”; “Personal Shopper,” which won the best director award at the 2016 Cannes festival for Assayas; and “Mustang” which won four awards at the French Cesars and was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film.

More Film

  • 'Shazam!' Review: Zachary Levi is Pure

    Film Review: 'Shazam!'

    In “Shazam!,” Zachary Levi brings off something so winning it’s irresistible. He plays a square-jawed, rippling-muscled man of might, with a cheesy Day-Glo lighting bolt affixed to his chest, who projects an insanely wholesome and old-fashioned idea of what a superhero can be. But he’s also playing a breathless teenage kid on the inside, and [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Box Office: 'Us' on Track for Second-Highest Debut of 2019 With $67 Million

    Jordan Peele’s “Us” is on its way to scaring up one of the biggest debuts of 2019, with an estimated $67 million from 3,741 North American locations. Should estimates hold, “Us” will be able to claim several milestones: the highest debut for an original horror movie (the biggest launch for any horror pic goes to [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D6-2160.cr2

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content