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Film News Roundup: ‘El Norte’ Set for 35th Anniversary Re-Release

In today’s film news roundup, “El Norte” has been set for re-release, “A Dark Place” finds a home and Nazneen Contractor has joined the cast of the “Saw” reboot.

ANNIVERSARY RELEASE

Fathom Events and Lionsgate have set a 35th anniversary release on Sept. 15 for “El Norte,” Gregory Nava’s drama about the dreams of immigrants from Central America.

“El Norte” has been set to coincide with the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month. It will play in more than 200 movie theaters in select markets nationwide and include an exclusive introduction by Nava, whose films also include “Selena” and “Mi Familia.”

The screenings will also include a featurette that explores the making of the film with the film’s stars, Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez and David Villalpando. Nava’s introduction and the behind-the-scenes featurette will be presented in both English and Spanish.

The Fathom Events presentation of “El Norte” is the film’s first theatrical release since it debuted in U.S. theaters in 1984, and will be shown in a state-of-the-art restoration produced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Getty Foundation. Following this special event, Lionsgate will release “El Norte” on digital formats on Sept. 17.

The film was nominated for an Oscar for its original screenplay, written by Nava and Anna Thomas. “El Norte” was named to the U.S. National Film Registry of “culturally significant films” in 1995. The cast includes Lupe Ontiveros, Ernesto Gómez Cruz, Enrique Castillo and Tony Plana.

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ACQUISTION

Gravitas Ventures has acquired the United States rights to “A Dark Place,” directed by Christopher Piñero, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on Aug. 13. Luke Baines (“Shadowhunters”) stars in the suspense drama that was written, produced and directed by Piñero in his feature directorial debut.

The feature also stars Jazlyn Yoder, Jay Eftimoski, Mike Miller, Christopher Donnellon and Veronica Diaz-Carranza. The film follows a twenty-something struggling to put his life back together after a reckless past filled with mistakes. However, just when things are looking up, he discovers a secret that sends him into a self-destructive downward spiral, bringing his two best friends down with him.

CASTING

Lionsgate has cast Nazneen Contractor in its untited “Saw” movie opposite Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella and Marisol Nichols, Variety has learned exclusively.

Contractor will play a coroner who works closely with Rock’s character. Nazneen previously co-starred opposite Denzel Washington in “Roman J. Israel Esq” and starred in the CBS drama series “Ransom.”

The “Saw” reboot recently moved forward by five months to May 15, 2020, vacating the pre-Halloween date of Oct. 23, 2020. Rock will play a police detective investigating a series of grisly crimes and Jackson will portray Rock’s father.

Lionsgate is keeping details of the plot under wraps. Longtime “Saw” filmmakers Mark Burg and Oren Koules returned to produce “Saw.” Darren Lynn Bousman, who helmed the second, third and fourth “Saw” movies, is directing the new movie.

The franchise revolves around the fictional character John Kramer, also called the Jigsaw Killer, who traps victims in situations that test their will to live. Tobin Bell has portrayed Jigsaw in all eight films. The low-cost titles have been highly profitable for Lionsgate, grossing nearly $1 billion worldwide. The most recent movie was 2017’s “Jigsaw,” which earned $100 million worldwide.

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