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Film News Roundup: Gwendoline Christie Joins Jason Segel-Dakota Johnson Drama ‘The Friend’

Gwendoline Christie Star Wars Episode VIII
Richard Young/REX Shutterstock

In today’s film news roundup, Gwendoline Christie is cast in “The Friend,” film preservationist Kevin Brownlow is honored, Demi Moore’s “Corporate Animals” gets sold, and BondIt Media Capital hires a CFO.

CASTINGS

“Game of Thrones” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” star Gwendoline Christie has joined the cast of “The Friend” starring Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson, and Casey Affleck.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite is directing from a screenplay by Brad Ingelsby, based on Matthew Teague’s story about Nicole Teague and himself learning that Nicole had six months to live and receiving the unexpected support of their best friend, played by Segel. Johnson and Affleck are portraying the Teagues.

Scott Free and Black Bear Pictures are producing the project, which has begun shooting on location in Fairhope, Ala. — the town where the Teague family  resided. Additional cast members are Jake Owen, Denee Benton, Marielle Scott, Ahna O’Reilly, Isabella Kai Rice, and Violet McGraw.

Black Bear is fully financing. Producers are Scott Free’s Kevin Walsh, Michael Pruss, and Ryan Stowell, alongside Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman. Ridley Scott will executive produce along with Black Bear’s Ben Stillman and Michael Heimler. Ingelsby, Teague, and Ted Deiker will also executive produce. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

AWARD

Turner Classic Movies will present its second annual Robert Osborne Award to Kevin Brownlow to recognize an individual who has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic film alive.

The award will be presented on April 13 before a screening of Brownlow’s 1964 film “It Happened Here” at the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.

Brownlow founded Photoplay Productions to produce documentaries on film and revive silent classics such as “A Woman of Affairs,” “Sunrise,” and “Napoleon.” The first Robert Osborne Award was given out at the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival to Martin Scorsese.

ACQUISITION

Screen Media has bought all North American rights to Patrick Brice’s comedy “Corporate Animals,” starring Demi Moore, Jessica Williams, Karan Soni, and Ed Helms, as well as the voice of Britney Spears.

The film premiered in the Midnight Section at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Screen Media is planning a day-and-date release for this summer.

Moore portrays the megalomaniac CEO of Incredible Edible Cutlery and leads her staff on a corporate team-building spelunking weekend in New Mexico. When disaster strikes and they are trapped underground, the mismatched and disgruntled group must pull together in order to survive.

EXECUTIVE HIRE

BondIt Media Capital has has hired veteran executive Don McGreal as chief financial officer, Variety has learned exclusively.

McGreal previously held senior finance positions at Hulu and AwesomenessTV as well as investment banking experience at Wells Fargo Securities.

CEO and co-founder Matthew Helderman said, “We’re beyond excited to have Don joining our team. The next chapter of BondIt will benefit greatly from a CFO with experience rooted in both media finance as well as expertise in content production and licensing.”

Founded in 2013, BondIt Media Capital has provided capital to more than 300 feature films and TV shows.