Film News Roundup: STXsurreal Sets VR Projects for Kevin Smith, Ed Helms, Dave Bautista

In today’s film news roundup, STX unveils a VR slate, “A Swingers Weekend” gets acquired and horror film “Blood Quantum” starts shooting.


STX Entertainment’s STXsurreal has unveiled an expanded VR slate, including projects by Kevin Smith, Ed Helms, Dave Bautista and a “Mile 22” spinoff from director Peter Berg.

The slate features original short-form series that will premiere on the Surreal channel, which will launch as an app on VR headsets in mid-2018. The channel will kick off with “The Limit,” a short-form VR series from Robert Rodriguez with  Michelle Rodriguez starring.

Helms is directing and producing comedy series “New Tricks from The Office,” centering on an aimless 30-year-old Radio Shack employee who receives a visit from a magical elf one day and learns he is destined to become the world’s greatest wizard. Helms will produce the series with Mike Falbo via their Pacific Electric Picture Co.

STX will expand its relationship with Bautista through an original short-form action-comedy series. STXfilms is concurrently collaborating with Bautista on an action-comedy feature.

Berg’s spinoff of STX’s Mile 22 film franchise is titled “The Kiev Exchange,” written by Umair Aleem and following the CIA’s elusive paramilitary force, Ground Branch, as they negotiate a tense and complex hostage exchange in a public square. When all hell breaks loose they must come together to fight their way out of an ambush. Berg will produce for Film 44 and Film 45, along with Mark Wahlberg, Matt Goldberg and John Logan Pierson.

Smith is writing, directing and priducing a short-form, live-action series, which stars his longtime collaborator Jason Mewes as they revisit fan-favorite characters Jay and Silent Bob.

“John Wick” writer Derek Kolstad is producing a live-action short-form series, set in 1947 and following a mysterious government agent sent to investigate an aircraft crash in rural New Mexico. Kolstad is also writing STXfilms’ upcoming action-thriller “Nobody” starring Bob Odenkirk.


Cleopatra Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to the new dramatic comedy “A Swingers Weekend,” starring Mia Kirshner, Erin Karpluk, Randal Edwards and Erin Agostino.

Co-written and directed by Jon E. Cohen and co-written and produced by Nicola Sammeroff, the film premiered at the 2017 Whistler Film Festival, and was also an official selection at last year’s Calgary, Edmonton, Cinefest, and Canadian Film Festivals.

Karpluk and Edwards portray a couple who invite another young couple to a steamy swinger’s weekend, but things go awry when a third couple unexpectedly drops in.

The deal was brokered by Cleopatra’s Brian Perera and Tim Yasui and by Sam Eigen and Michelle Welch at Shoreline Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers. “A Swingers Weekend” will be released summer 2018 on multiple platforms.


Prospector Films is starting principal photography on April 8 on the horror film “Blood Quantum,” written and directed by Mi’gmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby and featuring an Indigenous cast.

“Blood Quantum” is Barnaby’s sophomore feature film following “Rhymes for Young Ghouls.” Shooting will continue until the end of May.

Starring Michael Greyeyes, 2018 Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship recipient Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Forrest Goodluck, the film will shoot in Montreal, the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory as well as Barnaby’s hometown of Listuguj, Quebec.

Kiowa Gordon, Olivia Scriven, Brandon Oakes, William Belleau, Kawennahere Devery Jacobs, Gary Farmer and MMA trainer Stonehorse Lone Goeman round out the cast.

The story centers on the dead coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve. Greyeyes plays the tribal sheriff, who must deal with the hordes of walking white corpses. XYZ films will handle U.S. sales.


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