NEWS


The Jiu Jitsu battle just got bigger. Tony JaaFrank GrilloRick YuneMarie Avgeropoulos and JuJu Chan have joined the martial arts actioner starring Nicolas Cage and Alain Moussi from writer-director-producer Dimitri Logothetis.

Here’s how it plays out: Every six years, an ancient order of expert Jiu Jitsu fighters faces a vicious alien in a battle to protect Earth. For thousands of years, the fighters that protect Earth have played by the rules…until now. When celebrated war hero Jake Barnes (Moussi) is defeated by Brax, the Alien invader, the future of humanity hangs in the balance. Injured and suffering from amnesia, Jake is rescued by Wylie (Cage), Keung (Jaa), Harrigan (Grillo) and his team of fellow Jiu Jitsu fighters. They must help Jake to regain his strength in order to band together and defeat Brax in an epic battle that will once again determine the fate of mankind.

Logothetis and Jim McGrath wrote the pic based on the comic book, Martin Barab is producing alongside Logothetis. other character and role details weren’t available.

Jaa starred in the Ong-Bak films, and his credits also include Furious 7 and xXx: Return of Xander Cage. Grillo has appeared as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones in multiple Marvel pics including Avengers: Endgameand in last year’s Toronto opener Donnybrook. Yune’s recent credits include Alita: Battle Angel, Olympus Has Fallen, and TV’s Prison Break and Marco Polo. Avgeropoulos is a regular on CW drama The 100, and starred in films including Tracers and A Remarkable Life. Chan appeared in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, has a key role in the upcoming Netflix series Wu Assassins and next appears in Chinese action pic The Invincible Dragon.

Jaa is repped by the Gersh Agency, Zero Gravity and attorney Dave Feldman. Grillo is with CAA, Management 360 and attorneys Erik Hyman at Paul Hastings. Yune is repped by Paradigm, Avgeropoulos by UTA and Chan by Gersh Agency and Goodman Schenkman & Brecheen.

Highland Film Group kicked off worldwide sales for Jiu Jitsu at AFM. Production begin on June 24.

By Erik Pedersen, Deadline

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Highland Film Group is handling International sales on the thriller, also starring Simon Pegg.

Lily Collins is armed and dangerous in this exclusive first look image from Vaughn Stein’s Inheritance.

Also starring Simon Pegg, the high-stakes thriller follows Lauren Monroe (Collins), a prominent family woman and rising star in the New York District Attorney’s office, whose perfect life falls of the tracks following the death of her hedge fund tycoon father. When most of the family’s fortune is left to her mother and politician brother, Lauren receives only a small fraction of their millions along with a mysterious envelope containing directions to a hidden bunker deep in the woods. Inside the bunker, Lauren discovers an emaciated man on the brink of death, Morgan (Pegg), secretly imprisoned by her father for the last 30 years. Unsure of what to do next, Lauren quietly nurses Morgan back to health in the bunker so she can begin to unravel the incomprehensible situation her father left behind. 

Matthew Kennedy penned the script, with Richard B. Lewis (The Space Between UsAugust Rush) producing through his Southpaw Entertainment banner alongside David Wulf (The Night Clerk), and Convergent Media’s Dan Reardon and Santosh Govindaraju (The Night Clerk). UTA and Highland Film Group are co-repping the U.S. rights with Highland Film Group handling foreign sales.

The film marks HFG’s second collaboration with Stein, previously partnering on Terminal, which was released in 2018.

By Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter

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The drama, set in the wake of a school shooting, will see the star play the grandmother who raised the shooter.

Susan Sarandon has signed on to star in Tunnels, a drama from Kill Your Darlings director John Krokidas, set in the wake of a school shooting.

The Thelma & Louise and Dead Man Walking actress will play Ruby Love, the grandmother of a school shooter who raised the killer. When, at her job in the local supermarket, she is paired to work with the teenage brother of one of her grandson’s victims, an unlikely and inspiring friendship develops.

Following his 2013 feature debut, Kill Your Darlings — which starred Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan and Michael C. Hall — Krokidas has focused on television work, directing episodes of EmpireAmerican Crime and StarTunnels will be his second feature.

TV screenwriter Victoria Rose (The Time Capsule, Brimming with Love) penned the script to Tunnels, making her feature debut.

Colin Bates and Michael Jefferson will produce the film under their Lucidity Entertainment banner alongside Circle of Confusion’s Matt Smith and Brad Mendelsohn. Ethan Terra and Cindy Bru are serving as executive producers together with Circle of Confusion’s Frank Frattaroli.

Circle of Confusion is the management and production company behind the hit AMC series The Walking Dead. Lucidity is currently in production on Son of the South, starring Lucas Till, Lucy Hale and Julia Ormond.

Highland Film Group is handling international sales on Tunnels and is shopping the project to buyers in Cannes. Also on Highlight’s Cannes slate are Vaughn Stein’s Inheritance, starring Lily Collins and Simon Pegg; Dimitri Logothetis’ Jiu Jitsu, starring Nicolas Cage; and Bruce Willis action vehicle Trauma Center.

Sarandon is represented by UTA. Krokidas is represented by UTA and Circle of Confusion.

By Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter

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EXCLUSIVE: SXSX Special Jury Award winner Yes, God, Yes, starring Natalia Dyer(Stranger Things), Timothy Simons (Veep) and Alisha Boe (13 Reasons Why), has been picked up for international sales by Highland Film Group.

Writer-director Karen Maine’s well-received (Obvious Child) comedy follows a Catholic teenager in the early 2000s who struggles to suppress her new masturbatory urges in the face of eternal damnation. The film won a Special Jury Award for Best Ensemble at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Endeavor Content is handling U.S.

Producers are Katie Cordeal, Colleen Hammond, Maiden Voyage’s Eleanor Columbus (Patti Cake$) and RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira (Call Me By Your Name). Executive producers are Maiden Voyage’s Chris Columbus (The Help), RT’s Lourenço Sant’Anna and Sophie Mas, and Maine.

Highland’s Cannes sales slate also includes Vaughn Stein’s Inheritance starring Lily Collins and Simon Pegg; Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion’s Becky starring Lulu Wilson and Simon Pegg; Dimitri Logothetis’ Jiu Jitsu starring Nicolas Cage; Marc Meyer’s thriller We Summon the Darkness starring Alexandra Daddario; Trauma Center starring Bruce Willis; Michael Polish’s Axis Sally starring Al Pacino; Southland starring Bella Thorne and Jake Manley; Skylines, the third chapter of the successful franchise, starring Lindsey Morgan;  and Ghosts of War starring Brenton Thwaites, Theo Rossi and Skylar Astin.

By Andreas Waseman, Deadline

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Jake Manley will star opposite Bella Thorne in “Southland,” Variety has learned.

The film centers on a diner employee named Arielle who dreams of a better life outside of her small Florida town. After falling for a young parolee named Dean, she convinces him to return to his criminal ways. With the goal of becoming famous, Arielle and Dean start to promote their law-breaking exploits on social media. Things escalate into robbery, cop chases and murder.

Manley currently appears on the Netflix horror series “The Order” and is part of the ensemble cast of Roland Emmerich’s upcoming World War II epic “Midway.” Later this month, he can be seen in the family film “A Dog’s Journey” with Dennis Quaid and Josh Gad.

The movie is written and directed by Joshua Caldwell. Colin Bates and Michael Jefferson of Lucidity Entertainment are producing alongside Thor Bradwell and Scott Levenson. Garrett Clayton, Katie Leary, Bennett Litwin and Adam Litwin will serve as executive producers. Highland Film Group is handling worldwide sales in Cannes this month. Production will start in September.

At Cannes, Highland will be selling a number of films, including Vaughn Stein’s “Inheritance” starring Lily Collins and Simon Pegg; “Becky” with Lulu Wilson and Pegg; Dimitri Logothetis’ “Jiu Jitsu” toplined by Nicolas Cage; Marc Meyer’s thriller “We Summon the Darkness” starring Alexandra Daddario; “Trauma Center” with Bruce Willis; and Michael Polish’s “Axis Sally” toplined by Al Pacino.

Manley is represented by ICM, Luber Roklin Entertainment and Ambition Talent in Canada.

By Brent Lang, Variety

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