×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Antoine Fuqua, Todd Komarnicki Developing Mike’s Place Terrorist Attack Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

Antoine Fuqua and “Sully” writer Todd Komarnicki are developing a film about the 2003 terrorist attack at Mike’s Place, a beachside blues bar in Israel.

Komarnicki will produce through his Guy Walks Into a Bar banner and also direct from a script by Tony Spiridakis. Fuqua’s production credits include “Southpaw” and “Olympus Has Fallen.”

The duo optioned the 2004 documentary “Blues by the Beach,” directed by Joshua Faudem, and the film rights to Jack Baxter’s 2015 graphic novel “Mike’s Place: A True Story of Love, Blues and Terror in Tel Aviv.” The filmmakers have also obtained Baxter’s life rights.

When the bombing took place, Baxter had been working on a documentary about Mike’s Place, a venue popular among young people, where discussion of politics and religion were not allowed. A suicide bomber attacked the bar, killing three people and injuring 50, including Baxter and security guard Avi Tabib, who had managed to block the bomber from entering the bar and causing further fatalities.

“I was six feet away saying goodbye to the bouncer when the bomb went off so it’s remarkable that I survived,” Baxter told Variety. “This movie is something I have to do.”

To that end, Baxter is at the Cannes Film Festival to promote the project through screenings of a 4K restoration of “Blues by the Beach,” restored by Sandra Schulberg’s IndieCollect, along with a sneak peek of “The Last Sermon,” a companion documentary by Baxter and Faudem about the current refugee crisis, presented by Will Keenan as a Pax Americana Production.

Baxter has undergone experimental surgery to improve his hearing after his eardrums were blown out by the blast, which took place hours before the American-backed Middle East Roadmap peace plan was presented to the Palestinians and Israelis. The two bombers were British terrorists Asif Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif. He and Faudem spent several years working on a screenplay before First Second Books publisher Mark Siegel saw the documentary, read the screenplay, and suggested going with the graphic novel instead.

Komarnicki produced the 2003 comedy hit “Elf” and 2008’s “Dave.” He also wrote and directed the World War II film “Resistance,” starring Bill Paxton and Julia Ormond, and “Perfect Stranger,” with Halle Berry and Bruce Willis. Fuqua’s directing credits include “Training Day,” both “Equalizer” movies, and “The Magnificent Seven,” which he executive produced.

“Antoine and I feel that Jack Baxter’s story is incredibly compelling,” Komarnicki told Variety.

More Film

  • Indian film director Rajkumar Hirani'Sanju' film

    Shanghai: Rajkumar Hirani Talks China-India Film Axis, Silent on #MeToo Accusations

    Rajkumar Hirani, the Indian film director who is part of the Shanghai International Film Festival’s competition jury, says he is pleased by the reception that Indian films are getting in China. But in conversation in Shanghai he sidestepped the accusations of sexual assault that were recently levelled against him. “I don’t think we should talk [...]

  • Michael Gambon. Actor Ray Winstone poses

    Ray Winstone Joins Marvel's 'Black Widow' (EXCLUSIVE)

    “The Departed” star Ray Winstone has joined Marvel’s “Black Widow” standalone movie, sources tell Variety. “Stranger Things'” David Harbour and “Midsommar’s” Florence Pugh are also on board to star alongside Scarlett Johansson. Cate Shortland has signed on to direct from Jac Schaeffer’s script, with Kevin Feige producing. Marvel had no comment on the casting. The [...]

  • Dylan O'Brien'Bumblebee' film premiere, Arrivals, Los

    Dylan O'Brien's 'Monster Problems,' 'Clifford' Backed by Paramount, eOne

    Paramount Pictures and Entertainment One have closed a deal to co-finance “Clifford The Big Red Dog” and “Monster Problems,” with “Maze Runner” star Dyan O’Brien. Under the deal, announced Thursday, eOne will distribute all rights directly in Canada and the UK, excluding television in the UK, and Paramount shall distribute all other rights including in [...]

  • PMKBNC

    PMK-BNC Executive Joy Fehily Resigns, Will Consult and Manage Seth MacFarlane (EXCLUSIVE)

    Top Hollywood publicist and executive Joy Fehily has resigned from her post at public relations firm PMK-BNC, individuals familiar with the move told Variety. Fehily steps down in the midst of a five-year deal with the show business institution, insiders said, which reps A-list actors and below-the-line talent as well as huge brands like American [...]

  • Donald Trump Chucky Childs Play

    'Child's Play' Stars on New Chucky's 'Creepy' Resemblance to Donald Trump

    At Wednesday night’s world premiere of the “Child’s Play” remake, it was obvious that evil doll Chucky — the star of seven films over three decades — had a little work done. And now he bears a striking resemblance to Donald Trump. “Oh, you caught that?” Aubrey Plaza asked Variety on the black carpet outside [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content