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Film News Roundup: PETA Sponsors Rescued Lion in Jon Favreau’s Name

In today’s film news roundup, PETA honors Jon Favreau for “The Lion King,” “Tigers Are Not Afraid” gets a theatrical release, a Kirk Franklin biopic is in development and “The Sixth Sense” gets an anniversary showing in Philadelphia.

HONOR

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is sponsoring a rescued lion to honor director Jon Favreau’s decision to use computer-generated imagery to create the animals in “The Lion King.”

Disney’s “The Lion King” hits theaters this weekend. PETA selected Louie, who was taken from his mother as a cub in South Africa and forced to perform in film and television productions. Louie currently lives at the Lions Tigers & Bears sanctuary in Alpine, Calif.

“Jon Favreau’s ‘The Lion King’ brings to life compelling characters such as Simba, Nala, Pumbaa, and Timon without exploiting a single live animal,” said PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange. “In Mufasa’s name, PETA urges Disney to help prevent real lions like Louie from suffering by pledging to follow this movie’s direction and never allow big cats on a Disney set.”

Louie was turned over to the sanctuary in 2017 by a former animal trainer.

RELEASE

AMC Networks’ Shudder has scheduled a theatrical release for Issa López’s “Tigers Are Not Afraid” in the U.S. and Canada prior to its streaming debut.

“The stories of these children fighting for survival just across the border, and the dreams and nightmares that follow them, is one that needs to be told now more than ever,” said López. “Fantasy and horror are sometimes the best vehicle to tell the most vital stories.”

“Tigers,” a horror fairytale set against the backdrop of Mexico’s drug wars, follows a group of orphaned children armed with three magical wishes, running from the ghosts that haunt them and the cartel that murdered their parents. López won best horror director at last year’s Fantastic Fest and the film won two Ariel Awards and three Diosas de Plata awards in Mexico.

Shudder will release the film on Aug. 23 in New York City, Los Angeles and Toronto via theatrical partner Variance Films, with an expansion to follow in September. It’s produced by Marco Polo Constandse Córdova.

PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT

Sony Pictures is developing an untitled biopic about Grammy-winning gospel singer Kirk Franklin.

DeVon Franklin, who is not related to the performer, is producing through his Franklin Entertainment company and Brian Ivie is writing. Kirk Franklin was abandoned by his mother and raised by an aunt in Texas. He began playing the piano at the age of four.

The project will center on the singer’s rise to fame, which began in 1993 with the release of his first album, “Kirk Franklin & The Family,” the first gospel album to sell more than a million copies. Franklin is known for leading urban gospel choirs such as the Family, God’s Property and One Nation Crew. The news was first reported by Deadline.

SCREENING

The Philadelphia Film Society and the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation have set a 20th anniversary screening of Shyamalan’s thriller “The Sixth Sense.”

The screening will take place on July 30 at the Philadelphia Film Center and benefit the Philadelphia Film Society and the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation. It’s the same venue that hosted the world premiere in 1999.

The screening will be followed by a conversation with Shyamalan and PFS executive director J. Andrew Greenblatt to discuss the film’s legacy, Shyamalan’s cinematic vision when he created the film 20 years ago and what it meant for Philadelphia.

“M. Night Shyamalan critically jumpstarted film culture and filmmaking in Philadelphia,” said Greenblatt. “’The Sixth Sense’ is a groundbreaking film that ushered in a new generation of thrillers and became a cultural touchpoint that is still frequently referenced 20 years later.”

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