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Film News Roundup: Charlie Hunnam, Mel Gibson Join Action-Thriller ‘Waldo’

In today’s film news roundup, Mel Gibson and Charlie Hunnam are starring in “Waldo,” romantic drama “Stay” gets picked up and the Academy is partnering with the African American Film Critics Association.

CASTINGS

Mel Gibson, Charlie Hunnam and Eiza González are attached to star in Tim Kirkby’s action-thriller “Waldo.”

Andrew Lazar, Christina Weiss Lurie and Steve Shainberg will produce. IMR International is handling foreign sales, which will launch at the American Film Market, which opens Oct. 31 in Santa Monica, Calif. CAA Media Finance is handling the US rights.

The movie will be shot in the first quarter and center on a disgraced former LAPD detective, played by Hunnam, living the life of a minimalist in the woods. His quiet life comes to a startling halt when he is roped back into working as a private eye to investigate the murder of an eccentric television star’s wife.

Gibson can next be seen in “Dragged Across Concrete,” which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this year. Hunnam starred in FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.” González is best known for her role alongside Ansel Elgort in Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver,” and can next be seen in Robert Zemeckis’ “Welcome to Marwen.” The news was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

ACQUISITION

Summer Hill Films has picked up writer-director Darryl Wharton-Rigby’s Tokyo romantic drama “Stay,” which has screened at UrbanWorld Film Festival and Dances With Films.

Wharton-Rigby is the second African-American to make a feature film in Japan. No release date is yet set.

“Stay” centers on a former Japanese salaryman who is a recovering addict and an American spending her last days in Japan. The film features emerging Japanese star Shogen and introduces British model/actress Ana Tanaka in her first feature film lead role. The film also features performances by Shima Ohnishi, Natsuhi Uneo, and Michiko Kodama.

Wharton-Rigby shot on the streets of Tokyo in 15 days, guerrilla style. This is a technique the former “Homicide Life on the Street” writer has used throughout his career, including his debut feature film “Detention.”

“Stay” won best international feature film at the Baltimore International Black Film Festival. It’s written, directed, and produced by Wharton-Rigby, executive produced by Gudni Gudnason and Christopher T. Rathbone, and co-exec produced by Rob Schwartz. The film is presented by Filmsnoir Motion Pictures and Fusion for Peace Productions.

ATLANTA PARTNERSHIP

The African American Film Critics Association has partnered with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in introducing Atlanta youth to career options in film

The Academy’s Careers in Film Summit: Atlanta on Nov. 3 at SCADshow marks the organization’s first educational outreach in the Atlanta area, which is distinguished for its rapid growth in film production. The Atlanta edition of the summit is an extension of similar programs the Academy produces in Los Angeles, London and New York.

“I moderated a Careers in Film Summit panel in 2017 at the Academy’s headquarters in Beverly Hills and, after witnessing its impact, recommended they bring it to Atlanta,” said AAFCA president Gil Robertson IV. “Given Atlanta’s growing strengths in every area of entertainment, I felt the Summit would be an excellent resource for the city’s next film generation”

“After four years in Los Angeles, the Academy is thrilled to bring our Careers in Film Summit to Atlanta,” says Bettina Fisher, the Academy’s director of educational initiatives. “The purpose of the Summit is to expose students to careers that they may not have known about or even considered.  With the Atlanta film industry booming, it’s a wonderful opportunity for students to explore all their possibilities.”

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