VARIETY – Luke Hemsworth (“Westworld”), Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”), Ricky Whittle (“American Gods”), Daniel MacPherson (“Poker Face,” “Foundation”) and Chika Ikogwe (“Heartbreak High”) join Russell Crowe and Liam Hemsworth in the cast of action thriller “Land of Bad.”
The previously announced title will shoot from later this month on the Gold Coast and Southeast Queensland, it was announced on Thursday.
“Land of Bad” follows Reaper (Crowe), an Air Force drone pilot supporting a Delta Force special ops mission in the South Philippines. After the mission goes terribly wrong, Reaper has 48 hours to remedy what has devolved into a wild rescue operation. The Tier-One team, led by Cpt. Sugar (Ventimiglia) and Sgt. Abel (Luke Hemsworth) is re-deployed to return and retrieve their captured man and the asset. They are joined by Kinney (Liam Hemsworth), a green Air Force JTAC officer, who is thrust into the middle of a high-stakes extraction. But the ground mission suddenly turns upside down and becomes a full-scale battle when the team is discovered by the enemy. With no weapons and no communication other than the drone above, Reaper becomes the young operator’s only ticket out.
Will Eubank (“Underwater,” “The Signal”) will direct and co-wrote the film with David Frigerio (“The Signal”). The film is being produced by Broken Open Pictures’ David Frigerio, Will Eubank, Volition Media Partners’ Adam Beasley and Michael Jefferson, R.U. Robot and Highland Film Group. Highland Film Group is representing international rights.
Brisbane-based Hoodlum Entertainment will executive produce. The Australian executive producers are Hoodlum’s Tracey Robertson, Nathan Mayfield and Tracey Vieira.
The film secured partial funding from the state’s location incentive furnished through Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy.
“ ‘Land of Bad’ is good news for the Australian screen sector – and I’m excited to welcome this production to our shores,” said federal Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke.
“Led locally by Brisbane’s Hoodlum Entertainment who will executive produce, ‘Land of Bad’ will enjoy first-class expertise from a Queensland crew and deliver an estimated A$7.7 million ($5.2 million) into the state’s economy,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
VARIETY – Screen Media, a division of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, has acquired North American rights to “Poker Face,” a thriller starring Russell Crowe and Liam Hemsworth.
Crowe also directed the film, which is scheduled to release in theaters on Nov. 16. It’ll land on digital platforms on Nov. 22.
Set in the world of high-stakes betting, “Poker Face” stars Crowe as tech billionaire and gambler Jake Foley, who offers his best friends a chance to win more money than they’ve ever dreamed of. But to play, they’ll have to give up the one thing they spend their lives trying to keep…their secrets. As the game unfolds, the long-time pals will discover what is really at stake.
Along with Crowe and Hemsworth, the cast includes RZA of Wu-Tang Clan fame and “Fast and Furious” star Elsa Pataky. Stephen M. Coates wrote the screenplay with Crowe.
Arclight Films handled worldwide rights for the film.
“It’s exciting to have the top-notch team at Screen Media come on board to distribute ‘Poker Face’ and introduce this incredible movie to audiences in the U.S. Russell has created a phenomenal film and is joined on screen by a brilliant ensemble cast – we are so proud to be part of this project,” said Arclight Films chairman Gary Hamilton.
David Fannon, chief acquisitions and distribution officer at Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, adds, “We’re thrilled to be working with Russell and the Arclight team on this thrill-ride of a movie. We’ve been big fans of the story since we first read it years ago, and Russell has crafted that into the entertaining adventure that we know audiences will love experiencing soon.”
“Poker Face” is produced by Hamilton and Keith Rodger of Fear of God Films, along with Arclight Films’ Ying Ye and Ryan Hamilton. Additional producers include Addam Bramich, Matt Williams and Catchlight Studios’ Jeanette Volturno and Jason Clark.
Arclight Films’ Brian Beckmann, Screen Media’s Seth Needle and Conor McAdam, David Nagleberg, Walter Josten, Joe Thomas, Mikael Borglund, Romilda De Luca, MEP Capital’s Elizabeth Zavoyskiy and Andrew Kotliar, Jay Douglas and Alceon Entertainment Partners are executive producing, alongside Julia Stuart and Laura Grange from Sky.
“Poker Face” marks Crowe’s second directorial effort following 2014’s “The Water Diviner.” The Australian actor, an Oscar winner for “Gladiator” and nominee for “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Insider,” recently appeared as Zeus Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Up next, Crowe is starring in Peter Farrelly’s war drama “The Greatest Beer Run Ever” and Sony’s comic book adaptation “Kraven the Hunter.” He’s currently shooting “The Pope’s Exorcist,” a supernatural thriller directed by Julius Avery.
Quibi series Most Dangerous Game starring Liam Hemsworth and Christoph Waltz is now available to stream on Prime Video, so make your way over and re-watch this wonderful short series!
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator) and The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth are set to star in action-thriller film Land Of Bad, we can reveal.
Crowe will play Reaper, an Air Force drone pilot supporting a Delta Force special ops mission in the South Philippines. After the mission goes terribly wrong, he has 48 hours to remedy what has devolved into a wild rescue operation. Hemsworth will play the green air controller who is thrust into the middle of a high-stakes extraction which involves no weapons and no communication other than the drone above.
Highland Film Group is launching sales at the upcoming Cannes market.
Written by David Frigerio and Will Eubank (Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin) and directed by the latter, the film is due to start principal photography in September in Australia.
Land Of Bad is produced by Broken Open Pictures’ David Frigerio (The Signal), Eubank, Volition Media Partners’ Adam Beasley and Michael Jefferson (One True Loves), R.U. Robot and Highland Film Group and executive-produced by John Stalberg and Cindy Bru. The film is co-financed by Highland Film Group.
Three-time Oscar nominee Crowe is currently in post-production on his second directorial film Poker Face, a crime-thriller he also stars in alongside Liam Hemsworth. He will next be seen in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, and Netflix’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever, directed by Peter Farrelly.
The Hunger Games, The Expendables and Independence Day: Resurgence star Hemsworth is currently shooting Netflix feature Lonely Planet, written and directed by Susannah Grant and co-staring Laura Dern.
Will Eubank most recently directed Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin for Paramount Pictures. Twentieth Century released his previous film, Underwater, starring Kristen Stewart, and produced by Chernin Entertainment. His second feature, The Signal, debuted at Sundance and was picked up by Focus Features.
“Working with such talented actors as Russell and Liam is a dream come true. They are both incredible performers who will showcase the powerful sense of brotherhood between the two lead characters,” said Highland Film Group CEO Arianne Fraser.
“Will and David have crafted a tense and compelling story full of suspense and intrigue. With Will at the helm, we are thrilled to be working with this uniquely talented filmmaker,” added Highland COO Delphine Perrier.
“I am thrilled to work with Russell and Liam and couldn’t be more grateful to this whole team in helping bring this project to life,” commented director Will Eubank.
“I couldn’t be more stoked to be making this timely film especially with my good friend Will Eubank piloting the ship. I am beyond excited to watch Russell and Liam bring these characters to life. Buckle up!” added writer-producer David Frigerio.
Highland’s slate also includes Daniel Casey’s Wardriver starring Dane DeHaan and Sophie Turner; Rusty Cundieff’s 57 Seconds with Morgan Freeman and Josh Hutcherson; and James Cullen Bressack’s Hot Seat starring Mel Gibson and Kevin Dillon.
Crowe is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Goodman Genow Schenkman Smelkinson & Christopher, LLP (GGSSC). Hemsworth is repped by WME. Eubank is represented by CAA, Anonymous Content, and attorney Greg Slewett.
DEADLINE – Laura Dern (Jurassic World Dominion) and Liam Hemsworth (Poker Face) have signed on to star in the film Lonely Planet, which Susannah Grant (Unbelievable) is writing and directing for Netflix.
Lonely Planet is billed as a love story set in Morocco. Specifics with regard to its plot are being kept under wraps. Grant is also producing alongside Sarah Timberman and Liza Chasin for 3dot Productions, with VP Studio Film Kira Goldberg serving as creative lead for Netflix.
The film continues the creative partnership between Netflix and 3dot, which has thus far produced the streamer’s upcoming thriller series, Anatomy of a Scandal, based on the book by Sarah Vaughan. 3dot entered into a multi-year, first-look film deal with Netflix in 2019, with adaptations of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestseller The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Diane Cardwell’s memoir Rockaway also upcoming.
Grant is an Oscar- and three-time Emmy nominee who has also been recognized over the course of her career with two WGA Awards, along with noms at the BAFTA Awards, the Gotham Awards and the PGA Awards. She previously served as the showrunner, writer, director and exec producer for Netflix’s acclaimed limited series Unbelievable, also writing and directing the 2006 drama Catch and Release, starring Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant and Kevin Smith. Grant has also written or co-written films including The 5th Wave, The Soloist, Charlotte’s Web, In Her Shoes, Erin Brockovich, 28 Days, Ever After: A Cinderella Story and Pocahontas. She created the CBS medical drama A Gifted Man with Patrick Wilson, and also wrote for Party of Five. Also in the works from the multi-hyphenate is the FX series Fleishman Is in Trouble, which she is exec producing.
Dern won her first Oscar in 2020 for her turn in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, on the heels of nominations for Wild and Rambling Rose. She’s an Emmy winner and eight-time nominee whose work has also been met with a BAFTA Award, two Critics’ Choice Awards, two Independent Spirit Awards, five Golden Globes, the Casting Society of America’s Lynn Stalmaster Award, a Gotham Tribute Award and other accolades. Dern has also appeared in films including Little Women, JT LeRoy, The Tale, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, Downsizing, Wilson, The Founder, Certain Women, 99 Homes, The Fault in Our Stars, The Master, Little Fockers, Everything Must Go, Year of the Dog, Inland Empire, Lonely Hearts, Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, October Sky, Citizen Ruth, Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet and Mask. Her TV credits include F Is for Family, Big Little Lies, Twin Peaks and Enlightened. Other upcoming projects include Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World Dominion, Florian Zeller’s drama The Son, Justin Kurzel’s sci-fi drama Morning, Abe Sylvia’s TV series Mr. and Mrs. American Pie and Tim Harper’s animated pic Ozi.
Hemsworth is an Emmy nominee who has appeared on the film side in Isn’t It Romantic, The Duel, Independence Day: Resurgence, all four Hunger Games pics, The Dressmaker, Empire State, The Expendables 2, The Last Song and more. His TV credits include Most Dangerous Game and The Elephant Princess. He’ll next be seen in Poker Face, Russell Crowe’s second narrative feature as director, in which he’s also set to star.
Dern is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Latham & Watkins; Hemsworth by WME and Fourward; and Grant by UTA, Lenore Entertainment Group and Kleinberg Lange Cuddy & Carlo.