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Film News Roundup: Lionsgate Entertainment City Set for New York’s Times Square

In today’s film news roundup, Lionsgate is opening an entertainment center in Times Square, “Age of Adaline” director Lee Toland Krieger boards “Hold Back the Stars” and documentary “A Gray State” gets a theatrical release.

ENTERTAINMENT CENTER

Lionsgate and Parques Reunidos have unveiled their first Lionsgate branded indoor entertainment center for New York City’s Times Square in 2019 with attractions built around “The Hunger Games,” “Jon Wick” and “Mad Men.”

Dubbed Lionsgate Entertainment City, the companies said Thursday that the Times Square neighborhood attracts over 50 million visitors annually and will be the first of several branded indoor entertainment centers that the two companies are planning for high traffic urban areas in major U.S. and European cities.

“We’re delighted to kick off our partnership with Parques Reunidos in midtown Manhattan, and we look forward to extending our alliance to other major U.S. and European cities as we continue to grow our location-based entertainment business around the world,” said Jenefer Brown, senior VP of global live and location based entertainment.

“Lionsgate Entertainment City celebrates so many of our greatest film and television properties and provides their fans with a unique immersive experience featuring state-of-the-art technology right in the heart of the city.”

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Lionsgate and Madrid-based leisure center specialist Parques Reunidos announced their partnership last November to  develop facilities in as many as 20 high-traffic locations, based on Lionsgate brands including “The Hunger Games,” “Saw,” “Now You See Me,” “Orange is the New Black” and “Nashville.”

Fernando Eiroa, CEO of Parques Reunidos, said Thursday, “We hope that, through this strategy, we will develop 20 other centers in the coming years and we will become a worldwide leader in this form of entertainment.”

The New York locations will include a “Mad Men” themed dining-lounge experience, inspired by the show’s 1960’s décor. It  will include: a “Hunger Games” flying simulator attraction; the Dauntless Challenge Course, a Divergent themed obstacle course; the “John Wick: Chapter Two” shooting ride; a virtual reality motorcycle experience; a Lionsgate Café, the Hunger Games-inspired Peeta’s Bakery and The Capitol Confectionery, along with the first-ever Lionsgate Studio Store.

DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT

Good Universe and 21 Laps have hired Lee Toland Krieger to direct a movie version of Katie Khan’s science fiction novel “Hold Back The Stars.”

21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen will produce, and Good Universe’s Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake and Erin Westerman will be executive producers.

Khan’s novel, published by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. and by Transworld in the UK, centers on a couple falling for each other on earth and fighting for their lives in space while running out of oxygen.

Krieger’s  credits include “Age of Adaline,” “Celeste & Jesse Forever” and “The Vicious King.” He directed the pilot for “Life Sentence.”

WME and Ziffren Brittenham represent 21 Laps. UTA, Anonymous and attorney George Davis represent Krieger. UTA and Caskie Mushens Ltd represent Khan. Dan Freedman of Good Universe negotiated deals on behalf of producers. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

DOCUMENTARY ACQUISITION

First Run Features has bought the rights to the A&E IndieFilms documentary feature “A Gray State” with plans for a November release in the U.S. and an awards campaign.

“A Gray State” is directed by Erik Nelson and executive produced by Werner Herzog. The film had its world premiere at the  Tribeca Film Festival in April. Following the theatrical run “A Gray State” will make its television debut on A&E.

The film centers on David Crowley, an Iraq veteran and aspiring filmmaker who began production on his film about a
dystopian near-future where civil liberties are trampled before being found dead with his family in their suburban Minnesota home in 2015.

“A Gray State” combs through Crowley’s archive of 13,000 photographs, hundreds of hours of home video, and  behind-the- scenes footage to reveal what happens when a paranoid view of the government turns inward, First Run said.

“We are very pleased to partner with First Run Features to bring ‘A Gray State’ to a wider audience,” said Molly Thompson of A+E Networks. “The film is a powerful story that tackles some very relevant themes for our time, including the dark consequences of extreme media.”

Submarine negotiated the deal.

 

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