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Film News Roundup: Tom Hanks’ War Drama ‘Greyhound’ Pushed Back

In today’s film news roundup, New Jersey brings back its production incentives, TaTaTu is backing the feature film  “Waiting for the Barbarians” and Sony has moved the opening of Tom Hanks’ “Greyhound.”

RELEASE DATE

Sony Pictures has changed the release date of Tom Hanks war drama “Greyhound” from Feb. 8 to March 22.

It’s the second change of date for “Greyhound,” which was originally set for an April 5 opening. “Greyhound,” which stars Hanks, is based on C.S. Forester’s novel “The Good Shepherd.” Aaron Schneider is directing from Hanks’ script.

The film is being produced by Playtone’s Gary Goetzman and Hanks. FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder, Playtone’s Steven Shareshian, and David Coatsworth serve as executive eroducers. FilmNation sold worldwide rights to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA), which is financing in association with Bron Creative, Sycamore Pictures, and Zhengfu Pictures.

“Greyhound” is set in the early days of World War II as an international convoy of 37 Allied ships, led by Hanks’ Capt. Ernest Krause, crosses the treacherous North Atlantic while being hotly pursued by wolf packs of Nazi submarines.

TAX CREDITS

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has restored his state’s film and television production incentive, signing a bill that will allocate as much as $425 million in tax credits for projects shot in the Garden State.

The law was signed Tuesday. It will create a tax credit of up to 35% of qualified expenses related to film and television production with a total allocation of as much as $75 million annually. Former Gov. Chris Christie had eliminated the state’s previous incentive program during his first term, then vetoed a new program in 2016.

“Governor Murphy’s vision to bring the economic and cultural power of storytelling to New Jersey was the catalyst for this strong production incentive program and his leadership was crucial to its enactment,” said Motion Picture Association of America chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin.

The state of New York offers producers $425 million in tax credits annually. California recently extended its incentive program, which allocates $330 million annually, for five years into 2025.

Steven Gorelick, executive director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, said, “My phone has been ringing off the hook in the past month since the New Jersey Legislature passed the incentive bill and the Governor announced that he would sign it.”

“We have been traveling all over the state with a number of producers scouting scores of locations for major productions,” Gorelick added. “There are at least 10 motion picture productions and 15 television series — ranging from television networks and cable/satellite program services to Internet distributors — that are looking for locations in New Jersey or are in the planning stages to greenlight projects.”

BLOCKCHAIN FINANCING

Andrea Iervolino’s blockchain-based social entertainment platform TaTaTu is backing the feature film adaptation of J.M. Coetzee’s novel “Waiting for the Barbarians,” Variety has learned exclusively.

TaTaTu joins Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s Ambi Media Group as co-financer and producer of the film. Michael Fitzgerald and Olga Segura are also producing.

“Waiting for the Barbarians” centers on the crisis of conscience of a magistrate from a small colonial town. After he witnesses the cruel treatment of prisoners of war, he begins to question imperialism. Principal photography is slated to begin this fall in Europe and North Africa.

Iervolino launched TaTaTu on May 7 as a global and social entertainment platform through which users are rewarded to watch movies, television episodes and other forms of content and receive additional rewards from their friends’ viewing. Jeremy Renner is the subject of the first original documentary from TaTaTu — a look behind the actor’s music on the animated family film “Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad.” The platform is also co-producing and co-financing the upcoming Lamborghini biopic starring Antonio Banderas and Alec Baldwin.

Supporters of the TaTaTu tokens include Prince Felix of Luxembourg and cryptocurrency investment firms BlockTower Capital and Lvna Capital.

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