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Alec Baldwin has been set to star in Supercell, an action film to be directed by Herbert James Winterstern that will shoot this year on location in Montana and Georgia. The casting comes as the the film’s production company, Ryan Winterstern and Nathan Klingher’s newly launched Short Porch Pictures, inked a first-look output deal with indie sales outfit Highland Film Group.

Highland will now rep worldwide or international sales rights on Short Porch movies. For Supercell, it is repping international at this week’s virtual European Film Market. CAA Media Finance is repping domestic.

Supercell, written by Herbert James Winterstern & Anna Elizabeth James, centers on William, a good-hearted teenager who always lived in hope of following in his father’s footsteps, the legendary storm chaser Bill Brody, killed by a massive super tornado. His father’s legacy has now been turned into a storm-chasing tourist business, managed by the greedy and reckless Zane Rogers (Baldwin), who is now using William as the main attraction to lead a group of unsuspecting adventurers deep into the eye of the most dangerous supercell ever seen.

Ryan Winterstern, Klingher and Thomasville Pictures’ Ryan Donnell Smith are producing, and Anjul Nigam is an executive producer. Ryan Donnell Smith and Emily Savelson’s Streamline Global is financing.

Short Porch and Streamline Global previously teamed on the just-wrapped One Way, starring Colson Baker, Kevin Bacon, Storm Reid and Travis Fimmel.

Baldwin is repped by CAA and Cavalry Media.

By Patrick Hipes, Deadline

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Highland Film Group is shopping the horror-thriller, about a U.S. veteran who comes back from Afghanistan with something much worse than PTSD, to buyers at this year’s European Film Market. 

1980s action legend Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2Cliffhanger), will shift into horror mode for his next feature as a director, The Refuge, which has just gotten the green light. 

The Finnish filmmaker will direct the horror-thriller from a script by Ben Sztajnkrycer (Kaw). Principal photographer is set to start in April at Nu Boyana Film Studios in Bulgaria. 

The plot of the film sees a U.S. military veteran — Sergeant Rick Pedroni — return home changed and dangerous after a tour of duty in Afghanistan where he suffered an attack by a mysterious force. While officials dismiss his behavior as PTSD, and order trauma therapy, Rick’s wife Kate discovers her husband has been possessed by a malevolent spirit. Kate has to race against time to unmask the truth and save her husband from the evil force.

Highland Film Group is handling worldwide rights to the film and is shopping it to buyers at this week’s virtual European Film Market. This isn’t the first foray into scary movies for Harlin, who directed Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) and, more recently, the Russian-set horror mystery Devil’s Pass (2013). 

“I love making horror films because of the visual opportunities and character studies they offer,” Harlan said in a statement. “The Refuge is a terrifying journey into the deepest corners of the human spirit. It’s not just a regular horror film about a haunted house or a merciless killer. It’s an examination of what can happen when an evil, demonic spirit possesses an innocent mind.”

Harlan will produce The Refuge alongside Yariv Lerner, Rob Van Norden, Gary Lucchesi, Michael McKay, and Lori McCreary. Production companies are Revelations Entertainment and Nu Boyana’s B2Y Production. Highland Film Group’s Delphine Perrier and Arianne Fraser are executive producers alongside Revelations Entertainment’s Kelly Mendelsohn.

In addition to The Refuge, Highland Film Group’s EFM slate includes Andrew Baird’s One Way starring Colson “Machine Gun Kelly” Baker, Travis Fimmel, and Kevin Bacon; Mark Neveldine’s Panama featuring Cole Hauser and Mel Gibson, and the Randall Emmett-directed Wash Me In The River with Robert De Niro, Jack Huston, and John Malkovich.

By Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter

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Screen can reveal a first-look image of Robert De Niro and Jack Huston in action thriller Wash Me In The River, which has wrapped production in Puerto Rico.

Huston stars as an ex-opioid addict out for vengeance, with De Niro playing the cop on his trail.

Highland Film Group are handling international sales.

Randall Emmett (Midnight in the Switchgrass) directs, whilst the cast also includes John Malkovich and Quavo. The writers are Adam Taylor Barker, Chris Sivertson.

By ScreenDaily

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The Highland Film Group pic stars Cole Hauser as a rugged ex-marine sent undercover and is directed by action specialist Mark Neveldine.

Mel Gibson features in this first-look still from Panama, the upcoming thriller from action specialist Mark Neveldine that also stars Cole Hauser.

Gibson plays Stark, a former commander who sends James Becker, a rugged and decorated ex-marine (Hauser), undercover to execute a high-value deal with untrustworthy adversaries. While navigating the chaos of the local civil war, Becker must fight assassins, court femmes fatales and negotiate with the enemy in order to complete his mission.

With Stark always by his side, Becker perseveres against all odds in hopes of making it home alive. Gibson has a co-starring role in the thriller from Highland Film Group that shot in Puerto Rico in December.

Panama, inspired by true events in 1989 in the country in central America, reunites Hauser and Gibson who previously collaborated on Paparazzi, the 2004 thriller. Hauser also stars alongside Kevin Costner in Paramount Network’s Yellowstone.

Neveldine, who co-directed the Crank movies and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, helmed Panama from a script by Daniel Adams and William R. Barber. Panama is a Yale Productions film produced by Jordan Beckerman, Jordan Yale Levine, alongside Michelle Chydzik Sowa, Michelle Reihel and Frances Lausell.

Highland Film Group is handling worldwide sales for Panama, including during Berlin’s virtual European Film Market.

By Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter

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EXCLUSIVE: New UK distributor ILY Films has acquired Louise Linton comedy-thriller Me You Madness for UK, France and French-speaking Europe.

The project marks the first film written and directed by actress Linton (The Midnight Man). Co-starring is former Gossip Girl actor Ed Westwick.

ILY picked the film up from Highland Film Group. STX previously boarded U.S. rights. The UK digital release is set for April 19, 2021, with the France launch coming in June.

Me You Madness charts the story of a handsome young con man who falls for a glamorous woman who lives in a beautiful Malibu mansion. What he doesn’t realize is that she is also a serial killer who hunts down and kills men with crossbows, chainsaws, and kitchen knives.

Richard Lechartier, CEO of ILY Films said: “As soon as our friends at Highland Film Group showed us Me You Madness we knew straight away we wanted it. It has all the ingredients: it is edgy, funny and romantic”.

Linton, who is the wife of producer and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, added: “This film is a very self-aware, playful and colorful homage to the 80’s and to the films that inspired me such as Flash DanceFootloose, and Dirty Dancing. It is glamorous and consummately willful in its decadent style and neon aesthetic. It is heavily driven with dance-along 80’s hits, choreography, fight sequences, and beautiful locations. My hope for this film is that it makes people laugh at a time when we could all use some more laughter in our lives.”

ILY Films’ first UK release was Hard Kill, starring Bruce Willis. Upcoming are Willis-starrer Out Of Death and Westwick starrer Enemy Lines. 

Lechartier, the former CEO of French producer and distributor Marco Polo, launched the ILY last year. The company, which specialises in home ent releasing, acquires for the UK and other European territories where possible. Me You Madness represents one of its first multi-territory acquisitions.

By Andreas Wiseman, Deadline

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