×
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

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

  • Ventana Sur Debates Gender Parity in

    Ventana Sur Debates Gender’s 50/50 in 2020 for Argentina Film Industry

    BUENOS AIRES — Despite recent gains, namely the equality pledge towards 50/50-2020 signed at the Mar del Plata Film Festival on Nov. 12, producer Magalí Nieva, pointed out that no representative from INCAA was present following the apparent resignation of its vice-president Fernando Juan Lima. “We are left without an interlocutor to discuss gender policies [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content