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In today’s film news roundup, Margo Martindale becomes a mob boss, Kevin Tsujihara is selected as a commencement speaker and the homeless woman project “Landing Up” gets distribution.

CASTINGS

Margo Martindale is joining Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss and Melissa McCarthy in the mob drama “The Kitchen” for New Line Cinema and DC Entertainment.

“Straight Outta Compton” writer Andrea Berloff will direct from her own script, based on the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle from DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint. The movie will mark Berloff’s feature directorial debut. Michael De Luca is producing the film.

“The Kitchen” follows a group of Irish mobsters sent to prison. The wives take over their jailed spouses’ organized crime operation to become the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in 1970s Hell’s Kitchen. Martindale will play the behind-the-scenes operative who runs the mob. “The Kitchen” hits theaters on Sept. 20, 2019.

Bill Camp has come on board to play the boss of a crime family and Brian D’Arcy James has signed to portray the husband of McCarthy’s character. Martindale currently appears on FX’s “The Americans” and Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete.”

COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara has been selected to deliver the USC School of Cinematic Arts commencement address on May 11 at the Shrine Auditorium.

Screenwriter and producer Amanda Silver (“Jurassic World,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) will receive the Mary Pickford Alumni Award at the graduation ceremony.

As commencement speaker for the USC school, Tsujihara joins a list that includes Ron Meyer, Paul Feig, Jay Roach, Jim Gianopulos, Stacey Sher, Barry Meyer, Sumner Redstone, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Laura Ziskin.

Silver co-wrote the screenplays for “Avatar 2” and “Avatar 3” with James Cameron. Both films are currently in production. In addition, Silver’s script for the live action version of the Disney animated film “Mulan” is in pre-production with Niki Caro directing.

Past recipients of the Pickford award include Kevin Feige, Brian Grazer, Conrad L. Hall, Ray Harryhausen, Alan Ladd Jr., Shonda Rhimes, Jay Roach, Matthew Weiner, David L. Wolper, Robert Zemeckis, Laura Ziskin, and last year’s recipients Jennifer and Suzanne Todd.

DISTRIBUTION SET

Bold Compass Films’ debut feature project, “Landing Up,” has secured distribution through Random Media for a DVD, digital and on-demand release for May 15, Variety has learned exclusively.

The drama, centering on the issue of women living on the streets, is directed by Dani Tenenbaum and produced/written by Stacey Maltin. “Landing Up” stars Maltin, Ben Rappaport, E’dena Hines, Dov Tiefenbach,  Theodora (Woolley) Miranne and Jay DeYonker. A month after principal photography wrapped in 2015, Hines — the 33-year-old step-granddaughter of  Morgan Freeman, was murdered by her boyfriend on the streets of New York.

Random Media CEO Eric Doctorow said, “The filmmakers’ research of visiting homeless shelters and talking to people living on the streets can be felt in the film. ‘Landing Up’ illustrates a challenging life experience that is a reality for so many people today—and that really moved us.  We are thrilled to be distributing this project and working with Stacey and Dani.”