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Film News Roundup: Oscar Isaac Joins Superhero Movie ‘The Great Machine’

In today’s film news roundup, Oscar Isaac boards “The Great Machine,” Keira Knightley joins “Silent Night” and “The Dog Doc” finds a home.
CASTINGS

Legendary has closed a deal for Oscar Isaac to star in and produce superhero saga “The Great Machine.”

The project is based on Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book series “Ex Machina” with artist Tony Harris. Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel are set to adapt the story. Isaac will produce alongside his longtime manager Jason Spire. Vaughan will also produce.

“Ex Machina” charts the exploits of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who after a mysterious accident gains powers making him the world’s first and only superhero. In the wake of his actions during 9/11 he is elected mayor of New York City, turning his back on life as a masked vigilante. But his political career is threatened when the source of his powers returns to claim its debt.

Isaac’s upcoming projects include Paul Schrader’s film “The Card Counter” and and Denis Villeneuve’s film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” from Legendary. He’s best known for his role as Poe in the “Star Wars” franchise. He is represented by WME, Inspire Entertainment and attorney Mitch Smelkinson.

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Keira Knightley, Roman Griffin, Matthew Goode and Annabelle Wallis will star in the independent Christmas movie “Silent Night.”

Marv Films’ Matthew Vaughn will finance and produce alongside Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray of Maven Pictures. Camille Griffin will make her directorial feature film debut from her own original screenplay. Principal photography starts on Feb. 17 with plot details under wraps.

Knightley and Goode previously starred together in “Official Secrets” and “The Imitation Game.” The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

“Celine and I are thrilled to continue Maven’s mission of greater representation for women in film,” Styler said. “Our writer/director Camille is a talented, distinctive new voice.”

ACQUISITION

FilmRise has bought Cindy Meehl’s feature documentary “The Dog Doc,” centering on veterinarian Dr. Marty Goldstein and his clinic in South Salem, N.Y.

“The Dog Doc” will be released theatrically in select markets in March followed by a national theatrical and theatrical-on-demand campaign. The announcement was made by Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise.

“This documentary will no doubt have audiences realizing an alternate approach to pet healthcare,” Fisher said. “Meehl’s intimate look at Dr. Goldstein’s practice offers an insider’s view at how he and his clinic uniquely treat and heal people’s most precious pets. A film all audiences can enjoy and relate to.”

The deal was negotiated by Max Einhorn of FilmRise and Ben Schwartz, Josh Braun and Matt Burke of Submarine.

FILMING ITALY

Filming Italy will honor Jacki Weaver and Winston Duke during award ceremonies at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and the Harmony Gold Theater on Jan. 20-22.

Weaver will receive the organization’s lifetime achievement award. Duke will be given the best actor trophy. The Producer Award will go to “Jojo Rabbit” producer Chelsea Winstanley and the documentary award will be given to Nana Ghana (“LA Woman Rising”).

The Spotlight Award will go to Jessica Marie Garcia (“How to Get Away With Murder”). The Women’s Power Impact award will be given to Steven Gaydos, Executive Vice-President at Variety, for his continuous efforts to highlight women’s accomplishments

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