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‘A Quiet Place Part II’ to Premiere in China This Month — Film News in Brief

A QUIET PLACE 2
Photo Credit: Jonny Cournoyer

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ to Premiere in China This Month

China issued a last-minute approval for the distribution of “A Quiet Place Part II,” which will premiere on May 28 in line with its U.S. release date.

The original film made $34.4 million in China in 2018. However, the sequel has grossed just $4,600 in midnight screening tickets and $144,000 in total pre-sales as of early Thursday morning local time. It will go up against the debut of “Stand By Me Doraemon 2″— a popular Japanese 3D computer animation that has sold $903,000 in total pre-sales— but has still managed to secure 20.1 percent of screenings nationwide on opening day.

Focus Features Sets Release Date For Nathalie Biancheri’s ‘Wolf’

Focus Features announced that they will release “Wolf” starring George MacKay and Lily-Rose Depp on Dec. 3.

The film follows a young man named Jacob (MacKay) that believes he is a wolf trapped in a human body. Much to the shock of his family, Jacob eats, sleeps and lives like a wolf. When he’s sent to a clinic, Jacob and his animal-bound peers are forced to undergo increasingly extreme forms of ‘curative’ therapies. However, after falling for the mysterious Wildcat (Depp), Jacob is faced with a challenge: will he renounce his true self for love?

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Senan Jennings, Darragh Shannon, Elisa Fionuir, Lola Petticrew, Amy Macken, Fionn O’Shea, Paddy Considine, Karise Yansen and Eileen Walsh also star in the film.

Written and directed by Nathalie Biancheri, “Wolf” is produced by Jessie Fisk and Jane Doolan, and co-produced by Mariusz Wlodarski and Agnieszka Wasiak.

‘Dead Poet’s Society’ Tom Schulman On Board to Executive Produce Pandemic Thriller ‘Distant Tales’

Executive Producer, Oscar-winner Tom Schulman (“Dead Poet’s Society”) is on board to executive produce the COVID-19 thriller “Distant Tales.”

Acclaimed playwright and screenwriter writer and director Shem Bitterman and Schulman have completed casting for the feature film, a four-part anthology about isolation during the pandemic.

Carolyn Michelle Smith (Netflix’s “Russian Doll” ), Amen Igbinosun (“The Last Ship) and Liz Fenning (“Ghost Story”) all star in the film.

Smith and Igbinosun will star in “Placebo,” where a test subject for a new COVID-19 vaccine falls in love with the trial administrator over the course of the study during their video calls. Fenning stars as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown from isolation and loneliness in the story called “Please Log On.”

Christopher Curry (“Flags Of Our Fathers”), Megan Gallagher (“The Larry Sanders Show”), Alaska Jackson (“Chronicles of Eve and Big P”), Rupak Ginn (“Royal Pains”), Tiffany Wolff (“Escape Artist”), Samuel Martin Lewis (“Murder In The Heartland”), Chantal Nchako (“Farewell”)and Ben Bowen (“Double Date”) will also make appearances.

“We’re excited to be exploring these unique stories at this unusual time,” said Schulman. “Each of the wonderful actors involved brings a special quality in this anthology, which was written by Shem with them specifically in mind. Appropriately to the movie’s theme, the pieces will be shot in a way that adheres to our current socially distanced standards.”

“I write out of what I see, what’s happening around me every day, about how remote communication can increase opportunities for manipulation, yet how people still strive to stay connected and see their hope in one another, and how that can sometimes lead to their downfall,” said Bitterman. “I conceived of this anthology as a way of processing our year of the plague, of exploring our collective fears and hopes, with the sense that none of us really know what will happen tomorrow.”

Tony Minas is on board to produce. With Christina Rencis and  MK Viakley under their production company banner Films With Friends, and associate-produced by David Roberson, and edited by Stephen Mark (“The X Files,” ), with a score by Emmy-nominated composer Roger Bellon (“Frankenstein.”)

Bitterman is represented by WME and Shelley Surpin at Surpin, Meyersohn and Coghill; Schulman is represented by Industry Entertainment.

Producer Gail Katz Promoted to Kortschak Family Endowed Division Chair in Film & Television Production at USC

USC School of Cinematic Arts dean Elizabeth M. Daley announced SCA professor and film and TV producer Gail Katz will be the new Kortschak Family Endowed Division Chair in Film & Television Production.

Katz, who is also the Mary Pickford Endowed Chair holder, will begin her new role this summer after Barnet Kellman’s term as chair comes to an end. In her time at the university, she has helped develop the school’s virtual production protocols when COVID-19 hit and created a core two-semester class where students produce a high-level limited TV series. The industry veteran brings with her producing experience for films like “Pawn Sacrifice,” “The Perfect Storm” and “Air Force One.” In 2019, she served as the executive producer for Lifetime’s “The College Admissions Scandal” series, which aired just six months after the FBI made its Operation Varsity Blues arrests.

“Gail Katz is an accomplished producer in the film and television industry and an innovative force behind many of the creative programs at SCA”, said Walter Kortschak, who along with his wife Marcia, endowed the Kortschak Family Division Chair in Film & Television Production in 2012. “We look forward to working with her as our Division Chair to ensure SCA stays at the forefront of the industry. We are confident the students will continue to flourish under her leadership.”

Susan Arnold, also a producer and SCA professor, was appointed to the film school’s vice chair of production position. In the newly created role, she will provide additional support for faculty and students. Arnold was formerly a casting executive at Warner Bros. and served as a producer for the likes of “13 Going on 30,” “Grosse Point Blank” and “The Haunting.”

“We are beyond thrilled to have Gail Katz and Susan Arnold step into leadership roles,” Daley said. “Their vast experience and insight will ensure our students are fully prepared to meet the demands of this ever-changing industry.”

Warner Bros. Pictures Announces First-Look Deal With Robert Pattinson

Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Television and HBO Max announced that they have established an overall first-look production deal with Robert Pattinson. The actor’s producing deal is for theatrical, SVOD (HBO Max) and WBTV properties.

“Warner Bros Pictures and HBO have always been synonymous with groundbreaking filmmaking,” Pattinson said. “I’m thrilled to be working with them to discover the most exciting new voices in film and television and help bring their visions to life. I’ve loved working with the studio over the years and have so much respect for their dedication, their willingness to take chances and their desire to push the envelope creatively.”

Pattinson has picked up the cowl and will be Warner Bros’ next live-action of the iconic Caped Crusader in Matt Reeves’ upcoming “The Batman,” which is set to release in theaters on March 4, 2022. He recently appeared alongside John David Washington in Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” Netflix’s “The Devil All The Time and A24’s “The Lighthouse.” The actor also played Edward Cullen in the “Twilight” saga as well as Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

Courtenay Valenti, President, Production and Development for Warner Bros. Pictures, and Richard Brener, President & Chief Creative Officer of New Line Cinema said, “We have been incredibly impressed with Rob’s eye for identifying dynamic new filmmakers. Additionally, he is continually nurturing exciting story ideas into compelling screenplays. We are so excited that Warner Bros. and New Line will be his home and that we get to benefit from his creative, commercial passions.”

Pattinson is repped by WME, Curtis Brown, 3 Arts Entertainment, Narrative, and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

American Society of Cinematographers Re-elects President Stephen Lighthill

The Board of Governors of the American Society of Cinematographers has re-elected Stephen Lighthill as president of the organization. He will serve his next one-year term alongside vice presidents Amy Vincent, Steven Fierberg and John Simmons; treasurer Steven Poster; secretary Gregg Heschong and sergeant-at-arms Jim Denault.

After serving his first term in 2012-13, Lighthill was elected president once again last year. He and his officers have focused on guiding the organization through the set of challenges brought by the global pandemic as well as helping members learn safe practices on set and sharing those findings with the industry at large. The organization also streamed its annual Outstanding Achievement Awards online for the first time, which was watched by over 4,500 people worldwide.

“As we safely emerge from the pandemic, we plan to continue to share our expertise on best practices for remote solutions and virtual production in service to the artistic process of filmmaking,” Lighthill said. “We also remain focused on recruiting diverse and inclusive crews as well as supporting underrepresented filmmakers through our scholarship and mentorship programs.”

As the discipline chair of the Cinematography at the American Film Institute Conservatory, Lighthill continuously advocates for gender diversity at both the faculty and graduate levels. He has also served as an officer on the national executive board of the International Cinematographers Guild. He was awarded the ASC Presidents Award in 2018 and the Society of Operating Cameramen’s President’s Award in 2000.

Founded in 1919, there are over ASC 420 members today who strive to inspire the next generation of cinematographers as well as advance the art of filmmaking through industry events and organizational initiatives. The society has over 20 committees leading the ASC’s various activities.

The Future Practices Committee advises ASC members and the industry on COVID-19 safety on set, while the Motion Imaging Technology Council focuses on virtual production and the newest tools available to cinematographers. Additionally, the Vision Committee is actively helping to advance underrepresented cinematographers, their crews and other filmmakers.

“We are following the recommended health and safety guidelines and look forward to relaunching some our events in person later this year, in addition to reopening our historic clubhouse,” Lighthill said.