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Film News Roundup: Tony Kaye to Direct Crime Drama ‘Honorable Men’

In today’s film news roundup, Tony Kaye is attached to a crime drama, Brandon Sklenar gets a role in “Indigo Valley,” Orion Classics buys “Clara’s Ghost,” and romcom “Paper Friends” has started shooting in New York City.

DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT

British director Tony Kaye has come on board to helm the independent crime drama “Honorable Men,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film is being produced by Life Entertainment with producers Sam Khoze, Justin Steele, and Patrick McErlean along with the Film House and producer Ryan R. Johnson.

Kaye’s directing credits include “American History X,” “Black Water Transit,” and “Detachment.” He did not approve of the final cut of “American History X” and tried unsuccessfully to have his name removed as director of the movie, for which Edward Norton received an Oscar nomination.

Kaye also received six Grammy nominations for music videos such as Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” and “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum, which won a Grammy Award.

“Honorable Men” screenwriter Gary DeVore vanished under mysterious circumstances in 1997. His body was discovered a year later with his hands missing. He disappeared while working on a remake of the 1949 “The Big Steal.” DeVore’s partial screenplay for “Honorable Men” was discovered after his death by his wife, Wendy Oates-DeVore, prompting screenwriters Clayton Hewitson and Patrick McErlean to complete the final script for the film.

“Honorable Men” is set in 1977 New York City when a retiring chief of police reaches out to the most powerful organized crime bosses and strikes an accord to bring the Mafia and the police force into one organization connected only at the top, to push back and reclaim the city — if not in the name of law, then at least order.

CASTING

Brandon Sklenar, who starred in “Mapplethorpe,” will play a lead role in Jaclyn Bethany’s upcoming independent drama “Indigo Valley.”

The movie is set to start production in August. Bethany will direct and star in film, which is based on her short film and will be produced by Courtney Harmstone and Mikhail Makeev. The story follows a newlywed couple on a hiking trip as they’re unexpectedly joined by the woman’s estranged older sister, an actress recently released from rehab.

“Harry Potter” thesp Evanna Lynch was attached to play the newlywed sister when the project was announced in November at the American Film Market, but has left the project due to schedule conflicts.

Sklenar previously starred in the Japanese/American co-production “Temple” for Netflix and will be seen in “Magic Lantern,” filmmaker Amir Naderi’s next directorial effort, and in Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Backseat” with Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Sam Rockwell. He’s also attached to play a lead role in “London Calling,” a noir crime thriller that weaves the British gangster genre with the American western.

RIGHTS DEAL

Orion Classics has bought North American and Latin American rights to Bridey Elliott’s drama “Clara’s Ghost.”

Elliott directed from her own script and stars in the movie, which is her directorial debut. Also starring are Abby Elliott, Chris Elliott, Isidora Goreshter, Haley Joel Osment, and Paula Niedert Elliott as Clara.

“Clara’s Ghost” made its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will be screened at BAMcinemaFest on June 21. Orion Classics will release the drama in theaters, VOD, and digital HD in the fall.

The film was produced by Sarah Winshall and Rachel Nederveld and was executive produced by Chris Burch, Chloe Gordon, and Daniel Powell. Set over the course of a single evening in a home in suburban Connecticut, the story centers on a woman who, fed up with constant ribbing from her self-absorbed showbiz family, finds solace in and guidance from the supernatural force she believes is haunting her.

PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT

Dique Pic Productions has launched principal photography on “Paper Friends,” a romantic comedy about a group of 40-something African-American generation X-ers who reunite after 20 years.

“Paper Friends” stars Tatyana Ali, Sharon Leal, Dorian Missick, Robinne Lee, and Jason Olive. Jasmin Greene and Marti Hines are directing from a script by Greene. Producers are Greene, Hines, Henry Kellem, and Jason Hightower.

The story follows the friends as they plan on a classic big New York night out, just like the good old days as students at NYU. As they move from place to place, everyone’s dirty laundry is revealed as tensions with money arise. Desire, regrets, and trying to figure out what went wrong in life comes into play.

Filming will be in and around New York City including Tribeca and Chinatown.

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