You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film News Roundup: Music Biopics ‘Dalida,’ ‘Django’ Land U.S. Releases

In today’s film news roundup, two music biopics get domestic distribution and Harvey Weinstein launches an animated films label.


Under the Milky Way has acquired U.S. domestic theatrical rights to the music biopics “Dalida” and “Django,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Dalida,” directed by Lisa Azuelos, will open in the fall. The film stars Sveva Alviti as the Egyptian-born Italian singer who became one of France’s biggest pop stars from the 1950s to the 1980s. Recording in more than five languages, Dalida sold a record-breaking 170 million albums during her lifetime. Riccardo Scamarcio, Jean-Paul Rouve, and Nicolas Duvauchelle also star.

Django,” meanwhile, launches early next year. Directed by Etienne Comar, the film stars Reda Kateb as gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, with Cecile de France playing his muse. The movie, which opened this year’s Berlin Film Festival, is set in 1943 Paris amid the occupation by Nazis, who oppose his “hot jazz” as being degenerate.

Under the Milky Way’s recent acquisitions include environmental documentary “Tomorrow,” thriller “Made in France” and comedy “What’s in a Name?” from France, and “Swim Little Fish Swim” and “The Student.”

Gravitas Ventures has acquired distribution rights to the horror-comedy “Mercy Christmas,” directed by Ryan Nelson from a script he co-wrote with Beth Levy Nelson, Variety has learned exclusively.

Gravitas plans a VOD release on Nov. 28. The film stars Casey O’Keefe (“2 Broke Girls”), Cole Gleason (“My Crazy Ex”), David Ruprecht (“True Blood”), D.J. Hale (“Being Black Enough”), Gwen Van Dam (“New Girl”), and Steven Hubbell.

“Mercy Christmas” was produced by the Nelsons through their No Mercy Pictures in association with Other Paw Films and Tarquin Alexander.

The pic centers on a man who meets the perfect woman (played by O’Keefe). His Christmas dream comes true when she invites him to her family’s holiday celebration.


The Weinstein Company has launched the animated films label Mizchief to correspond with the debut of its upcoming movie “Leap!”

The film, voiced by Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff, Maddie Ziegler, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kate McKinnon, and Mel Brooks, will hit theaters nationwide Aug. 25, with sneak previews screening throughout the country this weekend.

Mizchief’s second release will be “The Guardian Brothers,” TWC’s first production with Gary Wang and Life Chaser Animation Studios. The film features the voices of Meryl Streep, Mel brooks, Nicole Kidman, Edward Norton, Dan Fogler, and Bella Thorne.

The label is also in development on film adaptations of “The Firework-Makers Daughter,” based on the novel by Philip Pullman, and the George Selden children’s classic “The Cricket in Times Square.”

TWC plans to build its slate of animated films and will continue to release the titles under both The Weinstein Company and Mizchief labels.


Kamil McFadden has joined the cast of the coming of age skateboarding film “Paved New World,” Variety has learned exclusively.

McFadden is currently starring in Disney’s “K.C. Undercover” alongside Zendaya. “Paved New World” also stars Claudia Lee, Daniel Pinder, Kamilla Alnes, and YouTube stars Andy Schrock, Chad Tepper, and Josh Paler  Lin.

The film is being produced by veteran Brad Krevoy (“Dumb and Dumber”). Alexander Garcia  (“Skate God”) will be directing from a script written by Scott Marcano and Kip Koenig. Garcia, Scott Marcano and Anne Stimac are also producers on the project.

More Film

  • John Hodges

    Jax Media Taps A24 Co-Founder John Hodges as Head of New Film Division

    TV production powerhouse Jax Media is expanding into film and tapped John Hodges, one of the founding partners of A24, as its new head of film. “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Jax,” Hodges said. “Theirs is a potent brand that I’ve admired for a long time, and their reputation as innovative partners [...]

  • Hong Kong's TVB Plans OTT Boost,

    Hong Kong's TVB Plans OTT Boost, Sets 'Court Lady' With Huanyu

    Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts is set to boost its OTT platforms locally and abroad with new packages and initiatives targeting the Southeast Asian market. The city’s biggest broadcaster has also renewed its partnership with China’s Huanyu Entertainment following the wild success the two enjoyed last year with court rivalry drama “Story of Yanxi Palace.” The [...]

  • Blue Planet II

    Documentaries Show Strong Signs of Growth in Global Markets

    Nearly 40% of exhibitors at FilMart this year are currently involved in documentary films. This year, there are 290 such exhibitors from 26 countries and regions, an increase of 30% from the year before, and 24 nonfiction titles in screening sessions, nearly double last year’s 13 titles. The market launched its “Doc World” section in [...]

  • Palanquin Offers New Business Model for

    Palanquin Offers New Business Model for East-West Productions in SVoD Era

    For Westerners making movies in Asia, logistics can be problematic. And, for Asian filmmakers able to navigate local conditions, screenwriting for international audiences and access to markets can still be stumbling blocks. Veteran producer and executive Guy Louthan (“The Mist,” “Raising Arizona”) is now developing a business that straddles East and West, deploys American production [...]

  • 'The Fall,' 'Out of Crimes' and

    Oriental Intl. Debuts at FilMart With Six New Films and Classic Fare

    Oriental Intl. makes its FilMart sales debut with a line-up of six new titles and a library of 20 arthouse classics and shorts. The firm is the Hong Kong branch of Chinese state-run radio and TV broadcaster CRI-CIBN’s smart TV division. The company has five employees but only one employee based permanently in Hong Kong. [...]

  • Ethnic Minorities in Spotlight at Hong

    Ethnic Minorities in Spotlight at Hong Kong Asian Project Market

    Historically, ethnic minorities around the world have suffered, and 2019 sees no change in this regard. A brace of HAF projects highlight some of the problems faced by them. From Iran, Arsalan Amiri’s horror/black comedy “Zalava” is set in a village terrified by demonic possession, where a young, agnostic police officer arrests challenges local beliefs [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content