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In today’s film news roundup, Edgar Wright is directing “The Chain,” “Scoob!” and “The Secret Garden” get release dates, “Young Hearts” and “Doors” find homes; and the Film Life Foundation is launched.

DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT 

“Baby Driver” director Edgar Wright is attached to Universal Pictures’ adaptation of kidnap movie “The Chain,” based on the bestselling novel by Adrian McKinty.

Jane Goldman has been hired to write the script. Producers are Working Title’s Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, Complete Fiction’s Nira Park and Wright, and The Story Factory’s Shane Salerno.

“The Chain” is centered on a woman who learns that her 11-year-old daughter has been kidnapped and discovers that the only way to get her back is to pay a ransom and kidnap another child. Her daughter will be released only when the next victim’s parents kidnap another child.

Wright’s thriller “Last Night in Soho” was recently moved back by Focus Features from Sept. 25, 2020 to April 23, 2021. Wright’s directing credits include “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” “and The World’s End.” The news about “The Chain” was first reported by Deadline.

RELEASE DATES

HBO Max has set June 26 as the U.S. subscription video on demand premiere of Warner Bros. animated feature film “Scoob!”

The film first made its debut in homes in May via premium video on demand and for premium digital ownership in the U.S. and Canada.

“Scoob!” centers on how lifelong friends Scooby and Shaggy first met and how they joined with young detectives Fred, Velma and Daphne to form the famous Mystery Inc. and face the challenge of stopping the ghost dog Cerberus from being unleashed upon the world. Voice cast includes Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Kiersey Clemons, Ken Jeong, Tracy Morgan and Frank Welker.

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STXfilms has set an Aug. 7 premium VOD release for the StudioCanal-Heyday Films title “The Secret Garden,” starring Colin Firth, Julie Walters and Dixie Egerickx.

The film is a new take on the classic 1911 novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Set in England during a new time period in 1947, the film follows a young orphan girl who, after being sent to live with her uncle, discovers a magical garden on the grounds of his estate.

Marc Munden directed the film, which was adapted for the screen by Jack Thorne (“Harry Potter and The Cursed Child”).

ACQUISTIONS

Blue Fox Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights to the young adult romance “Young Hearts,” which premiered at Slamdance under the title “Thunderbolt in Mine Eye.”

“Young Hearts” stars Anjini Taneja Azhar and Quinn Liebling as two lovable but awkward high schoolers who discover the incredible power of first love. The  film is directed by Sarah Sherman and Zachary Ray Sherman, from a script by Sarah Sherman, and is produced by Elise Freeman and executive produced by Duplass Brothers Productions.

Blue Fox will introduce the film to buyers at the virtual Cannes market and will release the film theatrically in early 2021.

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Epic Pictures has bought worldwide rights to the sci-fi/thriller “Doors,” starring Josh Peck, Wilson Bethel and Lina Esco.
The film is directed by Jeff Desom, Saman Kesh, and Dugan O’Neal and is produced by Bloody Disgusting’s Brad Miska, BoulderLight Pictures’ J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules, along withKimberly Stuckwisch. Tom Owen serves as executive producer.
The film takes place when a number of mysterious alien “doors” suddenly appear around the globe. Not knowing what the doors are or where they lead, individuals from all walks of life must come together to decide if they can  or better yet, if they should– attempt to cross to the other side.
The deal was negotiated by Patrick Ewald of Epic Pictures and Raphael Margules of BoulderLight.
FOUNDATION FORMED 

American Black Film Festival founders Jeff and Nicole Friday are launching Film Life Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated
to spearheading diversity, inclusion and social justice initiatives.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, which has been an ongoing supporter of the American Black Film Festival, is on board as the
first major donor for the foundation.

“Seeking industry diversity and inclusion has been the core mission of ABFF, which we established to create opportunities for Black artists and to celebrate their success, but the times call for more which is why we decided to launch a nonprofit,” said  Nicole Friday. “Film Life Foundation will enable us to work with like-minded partners to focus on the broader issue of social justice, joining others in the heavyweight fight against the scourge of racism.”