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Film News Roundup: Fathom Sets Premiere Showings for ‘Step Up: High Water’ Series

In today’s film news roundup, Fathom Events is showing the premiere of “Step Up: High Water,” HBO buys a documentary prior to its Sundance premiere, and “Big Eyes” actress Madeleine Arthur gets a lead role. 

SCREENINGS

Fathom Events has scheduled showings of the first episode of the YouTube Red series, “Step Up: High Water,” at more than 750 movie theaters on Jan. 30, a day before the series premieres.

The event will also include a showings of the original 2006 “Step Up” movie that launched the five-film franchise, and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Lionsgate TV series.

Fathom, co-owned by AMC Entertainment, Cinemark Holdings, and Regal Entertainment Group, specializes in one-night events usually shown in the Monday-Thursday corridor. It topped the $1 million mark in box office revenues for 26 different events in 2017 after doing so 14 times in 2016.

“Step Up: High Water” is a 10-episode drama focused on young dancers at a contemporary performing arts school in Atlanta. Ne-Yo stars as the school’s founder and Naya Rivera is a former dancer turned administrator. Lauryn McClain, Petrice Jones, Faizon Love, and Marcus Mitchell also star.

Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Jennifer Gibgot, Meredith Milton and Adam Shankman are executive producing, while Gibgot and Milton are producing. Holly Sorensen (“Recovery Road,” “Make It Or Break It”) is the series creator, executive producer, and showrunner.

PRE-SUNDANCE DEAL

HBO Documentary Films has acquired the U.S. TV rights to the documentary “Believer” from Live Nation Productions ahead of its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

Directed by Don Argott (“Batman and Bill”), the film follows Dan Reynolds, frontman for the band Imagine Dragons, as he takes on a new mission to explore how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members. The film documents the process of organizing the first-ever LoveLoud Festival concert in Utah to benefit gay rights organizations such as GLAAD and the Trevor Project, as well as focuses on increased suicide rates in the community.

“LoveLoud reached 20,000 people in Utah, which is really small compared to the number of people who need to be reached,” Reynolds said. “I think the reason the film needs to happen is because I feel like this is a way that nobody can turn their heads away.”

Hans Zimmer composed the score and contributed to one of the two original songs Reynolds wrote for the film, which HBO plans to air this summer.

CASTING

Madeleine Arthur has been cast to play the lead in the upcoming indie drama “Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The project is based on Boomtown Rats 1979 hit song “I Don’t Like Mondays,” which was inspired by 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer firing a gun at children in a school playground. Marcus Thompson is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with John Speer.

The film shoots in April and is produced by Jordi Rediu and Michael Bassick (“Hacksaw Ridge”) in association with Regal Entertainment, a fund headed by New York financier Adi Cohen and Rediu. Financier Michael Laundon will co-produce along with Thompson and Speer from British indie Heat Haze Pictures. BCL Finance Group of New York coordinates and completes the financing.

Arthur’s credits include the ABC drama series “The Family” and playing Amy Adams’ daughter in Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes.” She is repped by The Gersh Agency.

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