In today’s film news roundup, casting executives Deborah Aquila and Tricia Wood land at Paramount, sci-fi thriller “Volition” finds a home and Everlast Pictures launches in Los Angeles.


Veteran casting executives Deborah Aquila and Tricia Wood have been hired as executive VPs of casting for Paramount Pictures and Paramount Television Studios.

The duo will  act as one cohesive team, but Aquila will run point on TV, reporting to Nicole Clemens, president of Paramount Television Studios; Wood will run point for the film side, reporting to Wyck Godfrey, president of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group. Geraldine Leder, Paramount’s senior VP of sasting will report to Aquila, while VP of Casting Monika Mikkelsen has transitioned to a new role as the casting executive for Paramount Animation.

Wood and Aquila previously headed Aquila Wood Casting on behalf of Lionsgate. Aquila’s most recent films include Paramount’s “The Tomorrow War,” “LaLa Land,” and “Wonder. She previously worked at Paramount and was senior VP of features sasting from 1993-1999.

Wood began her career in 1993 as an intern at Paramount in the features casting department under the tutelage of Aquila.
Together, Aquila and Woodhave shared casting credits on more than 150 feature films and television pilots.


Giant Pictures has acquired the U.S. rights to the sci-fi/thriller “Volition,” which will be released in theaters, on Apple TV, Prime Video and other digital platforms on July 10, Variety has learned exclusively.

“Volition” is the feature directorial debut for Tony Dean Smith, who co-wrote the script with his brother and producing partner Ryan W. Smith.  The film stars Adrian Glynn McMorran, Magda Apanowicz, John Cassini, Frank Cassini, Aleks Paunovic, and Bill Marchant.  It was produced in association with Paly Productions and Smith Brothers Film Company.

The story centers on a man afflicted with clairvoyance trying  to change his fate when a series of events leads to a vision of his own imminent murder. It was awarded as best feature at the Philip K. Dick Film Festival.

The deal was negotiated by Courtney Cox from Giant Pictures, and Smith Brothers Film Company and Paly Productions on behalf of the filmmakers.


Michael Spanos II and Adonis Tountas have launched Everlast Pictures as a Los Angeles based film company with a range of films in development from family comedy to psychological thrillers.

Tountas has been developing Everlast’s slate for the past year. He is producing the upcoming film “Pools” with Sam Hayes directing.

Spanos is an eight-year corporate veteran of the National Football League. HIs family owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers, and he joined  the Chargers’ front office in 2016.

John Hilary Shepherd and Bobby Hoppey are also on the board of advisers of Everlast. Shepherd was a co-executive producer on “1917” and has worked at New Republic Pictures and Cross Creek Pictures. He also received a WGA Award nomination for “Nurse Jackie.”

Hoppey has worked at  Valparaiso Pictures and Echo Lake Entertainment where he ran development. Recent credits include “Straight Up” and “Pig.”