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Film News Roundup: Leslie Jones, Kristen Bell Starring in Coupon Story ‘Queenpins’

In today’s film news roundup, Leslie Jones and Kristen Bell get roles in “Queenpins,” “Sing 2” gets a new date and Sid Ganis launches a U.S.-China project.

CASTINGS

“Saturday Night Live” star Leslie Jones and Kristen Bell are attached to star as Phoenix housewives in “Queenpins.”

The story centers on creation of a scheme to counterfeit coupons, leaving the housewives with $40 million coupon cartel. The team of Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, who directed “Beneath The Harvest Sky,” have been attached to direct from their own script.

Linda McDonough is producing. CAA is shopping the package. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

DATE CHANGES

Universal has moved back Illumination’s “Sing 2” from Dec. 25, 2020, to July 2, 2021, and placed DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods 2” on Dec. 23, 2020.

“Sing 2” is being directed again by Garth Jennings. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll and Tori Kelly will reprise their voice roles.

“The Croods 2” had been slated to open in September, 2020. The sequel will see the return of voice cast members Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman and Clark Duke. Leslie Mann and Peter Dinklage have been added to the film’s cast.

Popular on Variety

PROJECT LAUNCH

Sid Ganis and the H Collective are teaming on a feature version of the 2015 English-Chinese language short film “A Children’s Song” with production starting later this year.

The short film is being adapted by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs (“Chocolat”). Ganis will produce with his Out of the Blue Entertainment partner Nancy Hult Ganis and the Los Angeles-based production entity The H Collective.

Kenneth Huang is producing for The H Collective with Nic Crawley and Kent Huang executive producing. Executive producer Fiona Yang Li is coordinating for Shanghai Jinghang Puwan Entertainment, and James T. Warren is co-producing for Out of the Blue Entertainment. The producers are currently out to potential directors.

“A Children’s Song” is inspired by the true story of the more than 20,000 Jews who found safe haven in Shanghai, China at the start of World War II. The movie is set in contemporary times with flashbacks to WWII and tells the story of an aspiring Chinese music student who comes to the U.S. and befriends an equally talented young Jewish student at the same school.

Ganis was one of the producers of the 2015 short film, which won more than 20 film festival awards, including LA Shorts Award, Film Miami Fest, NYC Indie Film Award, Golden Panda Short Film Festival, and San Diego Jewish Film Festival.

Ganis’ credits include “Big Daddy,” “Mr. Deeds,” and “Akeelah and the Bee.” He served four terms as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences between 2005 and 2009.

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