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Film News Roundup: Ray Liotta in Negotiations to Join ‘Sopranos’ Prequel Movie

In today’s film news roundup, Ray Liotta is in talks for “The Sopranos” movie, Paramount has taken “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” off its schedule, a View-Master movie is coming and Robert Schwartzman has launched a sales company.

CASTING

Ray Liotta is in talks to join “The Many Saints Of Newark,” New Line’s prequel to HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

The cast includes Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen, Corey Stoll, and Michael Gandolfini, who will play the Tony Soprano role originated by his late father James Gandolfini. Alan Taylor is directing.

Series creator David Chase co-wrote the script with producer Lawrence Konner. Plot details are under wraps, though some of the characters from the original series will appear in the movie.

Liotta is best known for his portrayal of the gangster Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas.” The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

SCHEDULE CHANGES

Paramount has removed its movie adaptation of the Nickelodeon horror series “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” from its Oct. 19 launch date.

A studio spokeswoman said that Paramount is still developing the project, which is now undated. It was in talks last year with “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” director D.J. Caruso to helm from a script from “It” writer Gary Dauberman.

Paramount also announced Wednesday it’s moved its “Rugrats” back to Jan. 29, 2021, and has given its Nov. 13, 2020 release date to the live-action/CG hybrid movie adaptation of “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” with Walt Becker attached to direct.

VIEW-MASTER MOVIE

Mattel and MGM are partnering to co-produce a live action motion picture based on Mattel’s View-Master toy.

Robbie Brenner, Mattel’s Head of Film and Cassidy Lange, MGM’s Co-President of Production will oversee production of the family adventure project.

It’s the second collaboration between Mattel Films and MGM, following the companies’ recent announcement to create a feature film based on the American Girl brand. Mattel recently announced a Hot Wheels film, as well as a Barbie movie starring and co-produced by Margot Robbie, both in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures. Mattel has also partnered with Sony Pictures for a reimagining of the Masters of the Universe toy line.

UTOPIA LAUNCHES

Filmmaker Robert Schwartzman has launched Utopia as a worldwide sales and acquisitions company.

Utopia said it will take a “filmmaker first” approach, focused on creating new revenue and monetization opportunities, improving the direct-to-consumer experience, and helping filmmakers maintain a global presence.

David Betesh, who previously headed global sales for Gunpowder & Sky, has joined Utopia to launch as head of sales and acquisitionsThe company recently acquired worldwide rights to music documentary “Fiddlin.'”

Betesh, Schwartman and the Utopia team will be on the ground at the upcoming SXSW Film Festival looking at new films for potential acquisition.

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