In today’s film news roundup, Sam Rockwell is honored for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” New Regency buys a hijacking story, and Paramount hires a screenwriter for “Gasp.”


The 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Sam Rockwell with the spotlight award – actor for his performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

The festival’s awards gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Jan. 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Past recipients of the spotlight award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Helen Hunt, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts, and J.K. Simmons. All recipients received Academy Award nominations in the year they were honored, with Simmons receiving the Oscar for best supporting actor.

Rockwell plays a short-tempered police officer in “Three Billboards” opposite Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, and Lucas Hedges. He has never been nominated for an Academy Award.


New Regency has acquired Michelle Ashford’s screenplay adaptation of Brendan Koerner’s non-fiction book “The Skies Belong to Us.”

Ashford will produce with Sarah Timberman and Koerner will executive produce. The story centers on Cathy Kerkow, who rebelled against her white conservative upbringing and fell in love with the African-American war veteran Roger Holder. The pair ended up carrying out the longest distance hijacking in American history.

Ashford is the creator and executive producer of the Showtime drama “Masters of Sex,” which Timberman executive produces. Ashford, Koerner, and Timberman are represented by CAA. Koerner is also represented by the Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.



Paramount Pictures has hired screenwriter Barbara Curry for its thriller “Gasp,” centering on true stories of women who were killed by men they met on dating apps.

Curry is a former prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office. Producers are Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman through their Offspring Entertainment with Jessica Sharzer co-producing.

The story follows a female detective who goes undercover online to catch a killer who is murdering women he meets on a popular app. Paramount bought the original thriller pitch by Mario Celaya earlier this year.

Curry is repped by APA, Heroes & Villains, and Ryan Nord at Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.