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Film News Roundup: Eugenio Derbez Producing ‘Bad Dog’ for Lionsgate

In today’s film news roundup, Eugenio Derbez is producing “Bad Dog”; “Oblivion Song” and “Just a Normal Tuesday” are in the works, and “The Warrior Queen of Jhansi” finds a home.

PROJECTS LAUNCHING

Jeff Bushell has sold his script to Lionsgate for “Bad Dog” with Eugenio Derbez and Ben Odell’s 3Pas Studios producing with Point Grey.

The story is centered on a Satan’s favorite hound, Bub, being booted out of hell by a jealous rival and mistakenly adopted by a single dad and his two kids. Despite his bad ways, Bub soon begins to embrace his goodness and falls in love with the family. When Satan wants his dog back and Bub refuses, he must protect his new family from the fury of hell.

Bushell’s credits include “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and “Ricky Stanicky.” He is repped by Paradigm, Russell Hollander and Jeff Frankel and Allan Vainshtein at McKuin, Frankel, Whitehead, LLP. The deal was completed prior to April 13, when the Writers Guild of America required that members fire their agents if the agents had not signed the guild’s new Code of Conduct.

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Skybound Entertainment and Universal Pictures are developing sci-fi drama “Oblivion Song,” based on Robert Kirkman and Lorenzo De Felici’s comic book series.

Sean O’Keefe will write the script. His latest project, “Wonderland,” stars Mark Wahlberg with Peter Berg directing. O’Keefe sold the first script based on the Robert E. Parker “Spenser” book series in a deal with Netflix.

“Oblivion Song will be produced by Skybound’s film team, including Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst.” The story  takes place a decade after 300,000 citizens of Philadelphia were suddenly lost to an apocalyptic hellscape. The comic book series is published by Skybound Entertainment and Image Comics.  O’Keefe is represented by ICM Partners, Symbonic and Goodman Schenkman & Brecheen, LLP.

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Entertainment industry veterans Andrew Berman and Sara Rutenberg have launched a new production company, Strawberry Mansion Entertainment.

“We are thrilled to be launching Strawberry Mansion Entertainment with the goal of making films that serve not only to entertain, but to inspire, educate, and spark conversation,” said Berman.

For their debut project, the duo have optioned the rights to Kim Turrisi’s young adult novel, “Just A Normal Tuesday.” The book, based loosely on the author’s own experience, follows 16-year-old Kai as she struggles through the emotional aftermath of her sister’s suicide. Berman and Rutenberg were drawn to the project because of a personal connection to the subject matter, having lost their own sister to suicide years ago.

“’Just A Normal Tuesday’ is the perfect kick-off project for Strawberry Mansion,” said Rutenberg. “We wanted to honor our sister and raise awareness for an issue that is near and dear to our hearts.”

ACQUISITION

Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Swati Bhise’s historical drama “The Warrior Queen of Jhansi.”

Devika Bhise, Rupert Everett, Derek Jacobi, Ben Lamb, and Jodhi May star with veteran Hindi actors Yatin Karyekar, Milind Gunaji, Ajinkya Deo, and Arif Zakaria. The film was directed, produced, and co-written by Bhise through her production company, Cayenne Pepper Productions. The distribution deal was brokered by CAA.

“The Warrior Queen of Jhansi” centers on the Rani of Jhansi, who led led her people into battle against the British Empire in 1857. Her insurrection shifted the balance of power in the region and set in motion the demise of the British East India Company

“Women have often changed history, but their sagas are rarely told,” said Bhise. “It’s a rare honor to present a female Asian lead in western cinema, and more so since the Rani was an ordinary woman, yet she defied gender norms and set an example of empowerment for all women.”

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