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Film News Roundup: Brandon Routh Boards Live-Action ‘Anastasia’ Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

In today’s film news roundup, Brandon Routh will star in “Anastasia,” a Chuck Berry documentary is in production, and “Birthright” is in the works as a feature film.  

CASTING

Brandon Routh has been set to star as Czar Nicholas in the upcoming live-action family film “Anastasia.”

He’ll portray the father of Anastasia in the re-imagining of the classic story in which Anastasia Romanov escapes through a portal when her family is threatened by Vladimir Lenin and finds herself in the year 1988.

Routh, who appeared in “Superman Returns,” currently has a recurring role on “Arrow” and stars in “Legends of Tomorrow.”

Production began last summer in Lexington, Ky., with filming the 1988 portion of the film with Emily Carey and Amiah Miller co-starring. Shooting resumes in April on the 1917 portion of the film.

Producers on “Anastasia” are Armando Gutierrez, Eli Lipnik, Peter Lees, and Bret Jones. Blake Harris is directing  from his own screenplay, based on the concept from Gutierrez and Harris.

“Anastasia” marks the second production between Swen Group and Florida-based production company Conglomerate. Routh is repped by UTA and Main Title Entertainment.

BERRY DOCUMENTARY

Cardinal Releasing has announced an exclusive agreement with the estate of Chuck Berry and his widow Themetta Berry to produce the feature documentary, “Chuck! The Documentary.”

Jon Brewer is directing and producing. His music documentaries include “B.B. King: The Life of Riley,” “Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark,” “Jimi Hendrix: The Guitar Hero,” and “Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story.”

“I am very privileged to be able to produce and direct this fully authorized and official story of the legendary Chuck Berry,” he said.

Cardinal Releasing has also acquired the rights to produce a Chuck Berry Biopic as a feature film. Pre-production will commence this summer, upon completion of the documentary.

Berry died on March 18 at the age of 90. His first hit came in 1955 with “Maybellene.”

‘BIRTHRIGHT’ ANNOUNCEMENT

Skybound Entertainment and Universal Pictures are developing the comic series “Birthright” as a feature film.

The comic, written by Joshua Williamson and drawn by Andrei Bressan, follows the story of a family whose son, Mikey, disappears. A year later, a man named Michael Rhodes appears with the story that he’s been in another world where time goes faster. Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, who teamed on “Despicable Me 3,” are writing the script.

Birthright joins as the third feature attached to Skybound Entertainment’s first look deal with Universal. Previously announced projects include Robert Kirkman’s long-running comic series “Invincible” and the Skybound/Image comic series “Kill the Minotaur.” Skybound’s Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst are attached as producers as well as Jeb Brody.

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