×

Film News Roundup: Ted Welch’s Comedy ‘Wild Man’ Bought by North of Two

In today’s film news roundup, the comedy “Wild Man” gets a deal, Vinnie Jones will play a villain, and Jack Klugman’s son Adam has directed a short film for the 9/11 anniversary. 

ACQUISITION

Ted Welch’s comedy “Wild Man” has been acquired for global distribution by North of Two for a winter theatrical release, Variety has learned exclusively.

Jacquie Phillips and Stefanie Black directed from a script by Black and Welch about a man who drinks his way into a 90-day house arrest while home for his high school reunion. He forms an odd friendship with an awkward former classmate who lives across the street.

“It’s the perfect mix of charm and nostalgia. Jacquie and Stefanie have knocked this out of the park,” says North of Two CEO Mark Cartier.

“Wild Man” also stars George Dalton, Christine Woods, Mike Vogel, Kate Upton, Stefanie Black, Joe Mullen, Brandon Hirsch, Chris Greene, Rasheed Stephens, and Tim Rock.

CASTING

Sales and distribution company Evolutionary Films has cast Vinnie Jones as the villain in “Vengeance 2,” opposite WWE star Wade Barrett.

Jones will portray a former elite special-forces operator turned rogue mercenary. The original “Vengeance” stars Barrett and was released Aug. 24 in North America as “I Am Vengeance” and will be released in the UK on Sept. 28 through Evolutionary Films.

The same creative heads return for “Vengeance 2” with Ross Boyask writing and directing, and Diane Shorthouse and John Adams producing. Stu Bennett serves as executive producer. The film is set to shoot starting on Sept. 25 in Suffolk, U.K.

“Vengeance” has secured sales in Japan (Open Sesame) where it was released in cinemas in 2017, Middle East (Phoenicia Pictures), China (Lemon Tree), New Zealand (Sky), Hungary (Romis Film), Korea (With Lion Pictures), Spain (Media Solutions), and on Pay TV across Pan Asia with Fox Networks.

Jones played soccer from 1984 to 1999 before becoming an actor in “Snatch,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” and “Mean Machine.” He played Juggernaut in “X-Men: The Last Stand” and starred as Sebastian Moran in CBS’s “Elementary” and Brick in The CW’s “Arrow.”

FILM RELEASE

Adam Klugman, Rick Najera, and Joseph Perez Bertot have teamed for the release of their short film “The Janitor” on Tuesday, the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The filmmakers created the short as a protest, asserting that they are attempting to humanize the face of immigration in a social and political climate poisoned by white nationalism and racial scapegoating. Nidal and Edward Kahl produced the film.

“The Janitor” is a six-minute film with a janitor talking about his job and his remembrances of 9/11 — particularly about the undocumented immigrants who died in the attack on New York.

Najera wrote the piece a decade ago and Bertot performed it in the Los Angeles presentation of Latinologues, which later moved to Broadway under the guidance of Najera and director Cheech Marin.

“After that, it became a signature piece for me as an actor,” Bertot says. “I did it everywhere and anywhere I could. As a first generation Cuban American, I really resonated with it. I always dreamed of filming it one day.”

Klugman, son of actor Jack Klugman and former radio show host of “Mad as Hell in America,” directed the film.

“I believe artists have the power, and the responsibility, to redirect the culture away from hatred and remind the world of what it means to be human.The goal was to have ‘The Janitor’ accomplish this beautifully and simply.”

Producers are Nidal and Edward Kahl, who are first generation American. Their parents immigrated from Syria over 45 years ago.

“Who better to come together and make a short film about immigration in America than a Mexican writer, a Cuban actor, a Jewish Director and a Syrian producer?” Klugman said. “Who is America? It’s us. All of us.”

Here’s a link to the film:

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Film Comment Magazine Goes on Hiatus

    Film Comment Magazine to Go on Hiatus as Film at Lincoln Center Lays Off Half of Staff

    Many companies are being financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Film at Lincoln Center is the latest organization to have to lay off employees and pause some of their operations. On Friday, executive director Lesli Klainberg released a memo announcing that the center had to furlough or lay off about half of its [...]

  • "Birds of Prey" egg sandwich

    'Birds of Prey' Actor Bruno Oliver Recreates Harley Quinn's Famous Sandwich

    When actor Bruno Oliver booked the role of short order cook Sal in “Birds of Prey: (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” he had no idea how significant Sal and his breakfast sandwich were to the story. “You couldn’t tell from the audition necessarily and as actors, we always worry about our scenes [...]

  • Minyan

    'Minyan': Film Review

    Best known for the unexpectedly soul-shattering San Francisco suicide doc “The Bridge,” indie filmmaker Eric Steel came out and came of age in 1980s New York at a moment just before AIDS devastated the city’s gay community. Such timing must have been surreal, to assume something so liberating about one’s own identity, only to watch [...]

  • Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches

    Film New Roundup: Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches North American Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, “The Queen’s Corgi” finds a home, the Overlook Film Festival is postponed and the California Film Commission adjusts its tax credit rules due to the coronavirus. ACQUISITION Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the animated family comedy feature “The Queen’s Corgi,” and plans to make it available on DVD and to [...]

  • APA Logo

    APA Sets Salary Cuts and Furloughs in Wake of Covid-19 Pandemic

    Following in the steps of several agencies dealing with the coronavirus, APA has informed all offices of upcoming salary cuts along with possible suspensions and furloughs for employees due to the pandemic’s economic effect on the industry. APA board of directors will make the largest financial sacrifice. The move has been made to avoid layoffs [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    DGA, SAG-AFTRA, WGA Scramble to Keep Residuals Flowing During Coronavirus Pandemic

    Hollywood’s creative guilds have been working overtime to keep residual checks going out to members during the coronavirus crisis. Even though most of the staff members of the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America West have been working remotely, the guilds have stepped up efforts to maintain the flow of [...]

  • Hannah Marks, Dylan Sprouse. Hannah Marks,

    How a Bart Simpson T-Shirt Delayed Dylan Sprouse’s Movie ‘Banana Split’

    Long before the release of “Booksmart,” actress Hannah Marks set out to make a movie that would be the female bookend to “Superbad.” She started writing the script eight years ago, at 18, based on a real-life story about how, in high school, she befriended the girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend. Many drafts followed for “Banana [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content