Scott Mescudi Joins ‘Crater’ for Disney Plus and Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps

Scott Mescudi, otherwise known as Kid Cudi, has been tapped to join the ensemble of Disney Plus’ sci-fi adventure movie “Crater.”

Mescudi joins Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Mckenna Grace, Billy Barratt, Orson Hong and Thomas Boyce in the Disney live-action film, which is described as a coming-of-age story about a boy (Russell-Bailey) growing up on a lunar colony who takes a trip to explore a mysterious crater with his four best friends. Mescudi will play Russell-Bailey’s dad.

Kyle Patrick Alvarez is on board to direct the film, written by John Griffin, with plans to shoot this spring. Shawn Levy and Dan Levine will produce through their 21 Laps Entertainment banner.

Mescudi was most recently seen in the HBO and Luca Guadagnino series “We Are Who We Are” from Luca Guadagnino, as well as the third season of “Westworld.” On the film side, he was last seen in “Bill & Ted Face The Music.” Next up, the actor has the Ti West horror pic “X” and a role in Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.

Deadline was first to report news of Mescudi’s casting. He is repped by WME.

The Gotham Weeks Sets 2021 Dates for September

Previously known as IFP week, The Gotham Week 2021 will run Sept. 19 to Sept. 24. The 43rd annual edition put on by The Gotham Film & Media Institute will feature a range of panels, workshops, and networking events to connect creators and decision makers in the filmmaking landscape.

Among the programming is The Gotham Week Project Market, which will be held virtually. It nurtures emerging and established artists by providing creative and business opportunities across film, TV and audio that will lead to career-spanning relationships with distributors, financiers, production companies, festival programmers and agents. Calls for entries for documentaries, narrative series and audio series are now open.

The Gotham Week also includes a conference that explores the art and business of twenty-first century storytelling. From traditional modes of media to new internet and social platforms, the gathering features experts who dive into how to connect audiences and use new models to expand story reach and sustain a long-term career.

Spike Lee to Drop New Book this November

Chronicle Chroma announced it will publish “SPIKE,” a visual celebration of Spike Lee’s career, on Nov. 10. The $50-hardcover book is the first time Lee completely opened his archive, giving an unprecedented look at his decades-long career and creative process.

“As I head full-steam ahead into my fifth decade as a filmmaker, I was elated when Steve Christ and Chronicle Chroma approached me about doing a visual book of all my joints,” Lee said. “We would revisit all da werk I’ve put in to build my body of work. Film is a visual art form and that sense of my storytelling has been somewhat overlooked. Why now, after all these years? Folks be forgetting.”

“SPIKE” takes readers film by film, from his first feature “She’s Gotta Have It” through last year’s “Da 5 Bloods.” In addition to featuring the likes of “Malcolm X” and “BlacKkKlansman,” it highlights Lee’s documentaries, television shows, short films, music videos and commercials. Designed by Tré Seals of Vocal Type, the book’s custom typography is based on the “LOVE/HATE” brass knuckles worn by Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn) in “Do the Right Thing.”

Universal Pictures Sets Release Date for ‘Beast’

Universal Studios has set Aug. 19, 2022 as the release date for “Beast.”

The film stars Idris Elba (“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”) as a father and his two teenage daughters who find themselves hunted by a massive rogue lion intent on proving that the savannah has but one apex predator.

Elba plays Dr. Nate Samuels, a recently widowed husband who returns to South Africa, where he first met his wife, on a long-planned trip with their daughters to a game reserve. But what begins as a journey of healing jolts into a fearsome fight for survival when a lion, a survivor of blood-thirsty poachers who now sees all humans as the enemy, begins stalking them.

Baltasar Kormákur directs. The film is produced by Will Packer and  Ryan Engle (“Rampage”) has penned the screenplay.

“Beast” is Iexecutive produced by Jaime Primak Sullivan and Bernard Bellew.

The New Beverly Cinema To Re-Open with Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Los Angeles’ New Beverly Cinema, which is owned and operated by Quentin Tarantino, announced on Instagram that it will re-open on June 1 with the director’s latest film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

The picture features posters for both “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Pulp Fiction” — teasing that Tarantino’s other films might be screened to celebrate the reopening. The historic theater, which is located on 7165 Beverly Blvd., has been closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another picture posted on New Beverly Cinema’s Twitter said, “More info coming soon…”

EXCLUSIVE: Aisha Tyler and Henry Zebrowski Join ‘How To Ruin The Holidays’ Cast

Aisha Tyler and Henry Zebrowski have joined the cast of the upcoming film “How To Ruin The Holidays.” They will join previously-announced cast members Amber Nash, Colin Mochrie and Luke Davis.

The film will follow a struggling comedian Michelle (Amber Nash) who reluctantly returns home for the holidays, only to have to deal with her eccentric family and ultimately face a life-changing decision regarding her brother with special needs.

Tyler plays Suzie, Michelle’s roommate in Los Angeles. She’s also a struggling comedian who never really achieved any level of success, not because she’s not funny, but because it’s a tough industry and she ran out of hustle a while ago.

Zebrowski plays Larry, a surly neighbor of Michelle’s family back in Atlanta. He hates Michelle and her whole family. Why? Nobody really knows, probably some perceived slight from years ago. He’s not exactly an old curmudgeon though. He went to middle school with Michelle and is in his early 40s, but has the sensibility of a grouchy retiree.

A Kickstarter campaign was launched to bring the film to reality, which reached its initial goal of $100,000 in just two weeks. It is expected to go into production later this year in Atlanta.

“How To Ruin The Holidays” was executive produced by Nash, Jon Carr and Lara Smith. Directed by Arlen Konopaki, the film was written and produced by Kevin Gillese

Tyler is repped by CAA and Fourward while Zebrowski is repped by The Gersh Agency and Bleecker Street Entertainment.

Jennifer Jason Leigh To Narrate ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Audiobook

Jennifer Jason Leigh is reuniting with Quentin Tarantino to narrate the audiobook for the upcoming novelization of the director’s 2019 film “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” which releases on June 29.

Leigh, who previously starred in Tarantino’s 2015 western flick “The Hateful Eight” as Daisy Domergue, will narrate the 11-hour long audiobook, which is available to pre-order. The 224-page novelization of “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” will hit shelves from Harper Collins as a paperback this summer, while a deluxe hardcover edition will be released in the fall.

Quiver Distribution Releases ‘Grace and Grit’ Trailer

Quiver Distribution has released the trailer for the upcoming romantic drama “Grace and Grit,” which opens in theaters and on PVOD June 4.

Based on the acclaimed book from Ken Wilber, the film tells the true love story of iconic philosopher Ken Wilber (Stuart Townsend) and his wife Treya (Mena Suvari) as they fall madly in love in 1980s California. Faced with illness and a series of challenges that threaten to tear them apart, the couple discovers a connection beyond this world and love beyond life.

The film also stars Frances Fisher, Mariel Hemingway, Rebekah Graf, Nick Stahl and Brian McGovern. Writer and director Sebastian Siegel served as a producer alongside Eric Brenner and Lucas Jarach.

Aisha Tyler and Henry Zebrowski Join Upcoming Film ‘How To Ruin The Holidays’

Aisha Tyler and Henry Zebrowski have joined the upcoming film “How to Ruin the Holidays.”

Tyler and Zebrowski join the previously announced cast members including Amber Nash (“Archer”), Colin Mochrie (“Whose Line Is It Anyway”) and  Luke Davis.

Tyler will play Suzie, a struggling comedian who never really achieved any level of success, not because she’s not funny, but because it’s a tough industry and she ran out of hustle a while ago.

The film follows comedian Michelle (Nash) who reluctantly returns home for the holidays. She has to deal with her eccentric family and ultimately faces a life-changing decision regarding her brother with special needs.

A Kickstarter campaign was launched to bring the film to reality and it has been extremely successful, reaching its initial goal of $100,000 in just two weeks. It is expected to go into production later this year in Atlanta.

Kevin Gillese penned the script and  Arlen Konopaki is on board to direct.  Jon Carr, Lara Smith and Amber Nash are executive producing the film.


Independent Distributor DECAL Acquires Worldwide Rights to ‘Ride the Eagle’

Independent distributor DECAL has acquired worldwide rights to the comedy “Ride the Eagle.” Directed by Trent O’Donnell (“New Girl,” “No Activity”) with a screenplay by O’Donnell and Jake Johnson (“New Girl,” Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse), who also stars alongside Susan Sarandon, J.K. Simmons and D’Arcy Carden (“The Good Place,” “Barry”).

Decal will release the film in theaters, on demand and digital on July 30, 2021.

“In the midst of the pandemic, while missing everyone, Trent O’Donnell and I wanted to make a movie about people coming together,” said Jake Johnson. “We also want to introduce the greatest actor of our generation: my dog Nora.”

“We are beyond thrilled to be part of the wild and wonderful world that is ‘Ride the Eagle,’” said DECAL’s Ayo Kepher-Maat and Sara Castillo. “Jake Johnson and his equally lovable ensemble have crafted a surefire summer crowd-pleaser, and we’re delighted to bring this to audiences the world over.”

When Leif’s (Jake Johnson) estranged mother Honey (Susan Sarandon) dies, she leaves him a “conditional inheritance.” Before he can move into her picturesque Yosemite cabin, he has to complete her elaborate, and sometimes dubious, to-do list. Leif and Nora, his canine BFF, step into Honey’s wild world as she tries to make amends from beyond the grave in this hilarious and heartfelt comedy.

O’Donnell, Johnson and Carden also produced RIDE THE EAGLE along with Joe Hardesty (“Dead to Me,” “No Activity”) and Huey Park (“Utopia,” “The Affair”). Daniel Haworth, Pete Williams (The New Breed) and Billy Bungeroth (“The Second City Presents: The Last Show Left on Earth”) served as co-producers of the film

The deal was negotiated by DECAL’s Senior Vice President, Ayo Kepher-Maat with UTA on behalf of the filmmakers.