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Film News Roundup: Ruth Negga Joins Brad Pitt’s Sci-Fi Film ‘Ad Astra’

In today’s film news roundup, Ruth Negga joins Brad Pitt in “Ad Astra,” Florence Pugh is cast opposite Chris Pine in “Outlaw King,” and more …

CASTING

Ruth Negga has joined Brad Pitt in the sci-fi adventure “Ad Astra,” with James Grey directing from a script he co-wrote with Ethan Gross.

New Regency, 20th Century Fox, and Bona Film Group are financing “Ad Astra.” Fox will distribute in the movie in all markets, aside from China, where Bona Film Group will distribute.

The story centers on a man’s journey across a lawless solar system to find his missing father, a renegade scientist who poses a threat to all of mankind.

Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner are producing through their Plan B company with RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira, Keep Your Head Productions’ Anthony Katagas, and Gray. Mad River’s Marc Butan, and RT Features’ Lourenco Sant’Anna and Sophie Mas are executive producing, along with Yu Dong, Jeffrey Chan, Anthony Mosawi, and Paul Conway.

Negga stars on AMC’s “Preacher” and received a best actress Oscar nomination last year for her work in “Loving” opposite Joel Edgerton. She is repped by ICM, Principal Entertainment, and Markham Froggatt and Irwin.

*****

Netflix has tapped actress Florence Pugh to star opposite Chris Pine in the drama “Outlaw King” with “Hell or High Water” director David Mackenzie helming.

Pine will star as Robert the Bruce, the Scottish king who led his country to freedom from England. The 21-year-old Pugh toplined “Lady Macbeth” and will appear in the upcoming “Fighting With My Family,” opposite Dwayne Johnson, for MGM and WWE Studios.

Pugh is repped by WME and Julian Belfrage in the U.K.

AWARDS

Jon Favreau will receive the the Visual Effects Society‘s lifetime achievement award, which will be presented at the 16th annual VES Awards on Feb. 13 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Favreau’s directing credits include “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” “Elf,” “Chef,” and “The Jungle Book.” He’s currently directing Disney’s live-action reboot of “The Lion King” and is slated to direct the sequel to “The Jungle Book.”

Previous winners of the VES lifetime achievement award include James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, John Dykstra, Frank Marshall & Kathleen Kennedy, Sir Ridley Scott, and Ken Ralston.

 

“I’m so honored to join such an esteemed list of past recipients,” Favreau said. “The Visual Effects Society represents the wizards of our industry. I am extremely pleased and moved by their recognition.”

*****

The Producers Guild of America has announced its deadlines for the 2018 Producers Guild Awards. The organization previously revealed that it had scheduled the awards for Jan. 20 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Deadlines for the notice of producing credits for documentary theatrical motion pictures is Sept. 1 with a late e-submission deadline of Sept. 15; Sept. 29 for television programs; and Oct. 13 for theatrical motion pictures and animated theatrical motion pictures.

Nomination polls open on Dec. 5 for TV while films voting starts on Dec. 14. Both close on Jan. 4. The PGA will announce documentary nominees on Nov. 21, and TV and feature nominees on Jan. 5. Voting on the winners will take place between Jan. 5 and Jan. 19.

LITIGATION

A security contractor alleges that Lionsgate Entertainment has failed to pay $32,000 for security provided at screenings last fall.

Global Security Solutions filed suit in New York on Monday, claiming that it has not been paid for providing security at the screenings between September and November of 2016. According to the suit, Lionsgate hired the firm to help prevent piracy at the New York screenings, and “accepted the services without complaint or protest.”

The company alleges that its invoices have gone unpaid, and is seeking payment plus interest and attorneys’ costs. The suit was filed by Asher C. Gulko of Gulko Schwed, LLC.

ACQUISITIONS

Gravitas Ventures have acquired North American theatrical and TVOD rights to Lateral’s action-comedy “Crazy Famous,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film is directed by Paul Jarrett (“Fan Girl”) and written and produced by Bob Farkas of Farkas Features. The film stars Catherine Curtin (“Fan Girl”), Ajay Naidu (“Office Space”), Gregory Lay, Richard Short, and David Neal Levin.

“Crazy Famous” centers on a fame-obsessed average Joe, portrayed by Lay, who escapes a mental institution with a band of misfits for one last desperate attempt to be famous. The film was an official selection for the Woods Hole Film Festival and SOHO International Film Festival.

The sale was handled by Circus Road Films’ Glen Reynolds and Josh Hallman, with Gravitas Ventures’ Josh Spector and Zach Hamby.

*****

Cinema Guild has bought all U.S. distribution rights to Hong Sang-soo‘s “On the Beach at Night Alone” and “Claire’s Camera,” starring Isabelle Huppert, Variety has learned exclusively.

“On the Beach at Night Alone” will open in November at Film Society of Lincoln Center and Metrograph in New York. “Claire’s Camera” will be released theatrically in early 2018.

“On the Beach at Night Alone” stars Kim Min-hee, who won the Silver Bear for best actress at the Berlin International Film Festival for the role as an actress reeling from the aftermath of an affair with a married film director.

“Claire’s Camera” also stars Min-hee as a film sales assistant along with Huppert, who portrays a school teacher with a camera that might be magical.

The deals were negotiated by Cinema Guild director of distribution Peter Kelly with Youngjoo Suh of Fine Cut.

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