In today’s film news roundup, Andy Garcia and Emory Cohen nab parts in “Big Gold Brick,” Annette Bening’s “Hope Gap” finds a home and the Directors Guild hires a veteran lobbyist.


Andy Garcia, Emory Cohen, Lucy Hale and Megan Fox will star in the dark comedy “Big Gold Brick,” with Brian Petsos directing from his own script. 

Cohen will portray a fledgling writer enlisted by Garcia’s enigmatic character to pen his autobiography.

Oscar Isaac will also appear in the film and executive produce. Shiloh Fernandez and Frederick Schmidt will play supporting roles. Motion Picture Exchange, James Andrew Felts’ new film sales and distribution company, will launch worldwide sales on the pic next week at the Cannes Film Festival.

Producers are Petsos and Greg Lauritano under Petsos’ A Saboteur production company, alongside Jonathan Bronfman under his JoBro Productions banner, Sergio Rizzuto and Danny Sawaf. Kristen Wiig is an executive producer.

“Big Gold Brick” marks Petsos’ feature debut. He gained notice for his short films starring Isaac, “Lightningface” and “Ticky Tacky.” Executive producers include Jason Braun, Lee Broda, Karim Fayed, James Andrew Felts, Cary Flaum, Lon Molnar, Sameer Patel, Jeff Rice, Tom Sulkowski, and Steve Swadling, and William G. Santor, Andrew Chang-Sang and John Hills for Productivity Media.

Garcia starred in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.” Cohen toplines Netflix’s “The OA.” Hale is best known for her seven seasons on “Pretty Little Liars.” Fox starred in both “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movies.


Roadside Attractions has acquired North American rights with Screen Media to the family drama “Hope Gap,” starring Annette Bening, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor.

Roadside and Screen Media bought the rights from Protagonist and CAA Media Finance, and the distributors are planning a 2020 theatrical release.

William Nicholson directed from his own script, adapted from his play “The Retreat From Moscow.” The story centers on a woman who is shocked to learn her husband is leaving her for someone else after 29 years of marriage.

“Hope Gap” is Nicholson’s second film as a director after 1997’s “Firelight,” starring Sophie Marceau and Stephen Dillane. He received Oscar nominations for his screenplays for “Gladiator” and “Shadowlands.” He also wrote the screenplays for “Les Miserables” and “Everest.”

David M. Thompson of Origin Pictures produced the film with Sarada McDermott. Executive producers include Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire, Nicolas D. Sampson and Arno Hazebroek for Sampsonic Media, Gavin Poolman, Alex Tate and Peter Gould for CMI, and Norman Merry and Peter Hampden for LipSync.


The Directors Guild of America has hired veteran lobbyist Celeste Drake as executive in charge of government affairs.

Previously, Drake was the trade and globalization policy specialist at the AFL-CIO, advocating for reforms to U.S. trade policy to create shared gains from trade on behalf of working families. Prior to her work at the AFL-CIO, she served as legislative director for Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), legislative counsel for Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and clerk for David R. Thompson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Drake, who reports to DGA executive director Russell Hollander, is responsible for the DGA’s federal legislative and governmental work on issues such as intellectual property, copyright and anti-piracy protections, pension and health, and protection of DGA members’ creative and economic rights. She will also coordinate and manage the work of the DGA Political Action Committee and DGA PAC Leadership Council.

Drake is filling the post left vacant by last year’s departure of Erica Jacquez, who replaced the retired Kathy Garmezy in 2017. The DGA also announced that longtime executive Tim Webber has been promoted to executive in charge of physical operations.