Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett In Negotiations To Star In Netflix’s Feature Comedy ‘Otherhood’

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EXCLUSIVE: Angela Bassett and Patricia Arquette are in negotiations to star in the feature comedy Otherhood which Cindy Chupack (Modern Family, Sex In The City) is directing for Netflix. The project was adapted by Chupack and Mark Andrus from the William Sutcliffe novel Whatever Makes You Happy. The production is currently looking to cast one other top star in the film which will go for five weeks in New York on June 11.
Producing the film will be Jason Michael Berman…

ReFrame Initiative By WIF, Sundance, 50 Industry Leaders Sets Steps For More Inclusive Hollywood Hiring

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EXCLUSIVE: Two days after Best Actress winner Frances McDormand led a handful of female Oscar nominees and winners to stand as she urged for more inclusion in Hollywood, the ReFrame initiative has generated a handbook with numerous key proposals its organizers believe will help promulgate meaningful reform and diverse hiring practices in the film and TV businesses.
A group of 50 industry leaders including studio heads, producers, network execs and top agents have come up…

Oscar Parties 2018: The Top Invites, Events and Nominee Gatherings

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This preview focuses on private, invite-only events aimed at a professional industry audience of stakeholders in the Academy Awards.

As soon as Oscar voting closes on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. PST, the Academy’s prohibition on “non-screening events” ends. Party season begins again. Here’s a first look at the top gatherings of nominees and creative ensembles before and after Jimmy Kimmel hosts the big show on Sunday, March 4.

Also Read: Academy to Eliminate Paper Balloting at Next Year’s Oscars

The Oscar Concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Logline: The great Michael Giacchino (an Oscar-winning Academy Governor) led a team making fresh arrangements of this year’s nominated scores. The L.A. Phil will perform them live with film clips.

Tickets: Unlike everything else from here down, this is open to the public. Tickets start at $43.

Vanity Fair, Barneys New York, and Sony Pictures Classics’ Cocktail Party
Chateau Marmont

Logline: Cocktail with one of the season’s buzziest films, “Call Me by Your Name,” while servicing one of the mag’s many advertising clients touching Oscar week.

Global Green’s 15th Anniversary Oscar Party
Neuehouse Hollywood

Logline: The CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will be honored but the Oscar-winning environmentalist himself is not expected. Stepping into the spotlight instead: Sophia Bush, Elisabeth Röhm, Sharon Lawrence and Ed O’Neill.

Thursday, March 1

Cadillac Celebrates the 90th Academy Awards
Chateau Marmont

Logline: Michael Patrick’s soiree always draws a mix of familiar faces (Zoe Saldana, Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts, Joel McHale) and some news ones (Angela Sarafyan, Jay Ellis) at one of the most social industry gatherings of the week.

Connection: As the Academy’s official wheels, Cadillac will be shuttling nominees and presenters across town all week to many of the events listed below.

Gersh Oscar Party
Chateau Marmont Penthouse

Logline: The agency and Tequila Don Julio 1942 will raise a glass to the agency’s nominees Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell and Richard Jenkins.

Lookout: I don’t envy the elegant face of the Chateau, Anya Varda, and her team that night. March is coming in like a lion.

Also Read: ‘Faces Places’ Director JR Explains Agnes Varda Cardboard Cutout at Oscars Luncheon (Video)

Vanity Fair and Lancôme Paris Toast Women in Hollywood
Soho House

Logline: Oscar week doubles as a debut for Graydon Carter’s successor, new top editor Radhika Jones. The high-end cosmetics brand will make a donation to Time’s Up on behalf of the guests, who include Ava DuVernay.

Universal, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation Oscar Nominee Celebration Dinner
Spago

Gary Oldman and Leo DiCaprio buddied up at the Chateau at a party for “Darkest Hour” earlier this awards season. (Focus Features)

Logline: There’a pile of nominees and nominations here with Focus having a banner year (“Darkest Hour,” “Phantom Thread,” and “Victoria & Abdul”).  A year ago, Universal was not scheduling Oscar week plans for “Get Out,” but after Jordan Peele’s commercial and critical hit took off, that all changed.

Friday, March 2

British Consul General Michael Howells’ Film is Great Reception
British Consul General’s Residence in Hancock Park

Logline: Don’t tell the ultra-nationalist xenophobes. The foreigners are already here.

There are U.K.-born nominees in 17 of the 24 Oscar categories and representation in five of the top races: Best Picture (“The Darkest Hour,” “The Phantom Thread,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Supporting Actress (Lesley Manvill), Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya, Daniel Day Lewis, Gary Oldman), and Director (Christopher Nolan).

Feature: Host Michael Howells gave one of the best speeches of this awards season at BAFTA’s Golden Globes weekend Tea Party. Take note and shut up when he addresses his backyard.

Also Read: Royal Wedding Chatter at BAFTA: Hollywood-Royal Merger ‘Is Great News’ (Photos)

Pours: Even the bar is British. Sponsors include Silent Pool Gin, Aberlour Whiskey, Chapel Down (English Sparkling Wine), Seedlip (non-alcoholic spirit) and Fever Tree tonics.

Emma Stone hosts Women in Film’s Celebration of the 2018 Female Oscar Nominees
Crustacean, Beverly Hills

Power Women: Emma Stone and Patty Jenkins in a Party Report file photo from the AFI Life Achievement Award. (Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

Logline: The reigning Best Actress winner (and in the famous flub, also announced as the Best Picture winner) joins Women in Film president Cathy Schulman and the community of female nominees from both sides of the camera.

The industry’s reckoning of institutionalized gender inequality and systemic sexual assault engulfed Hollywood, and Schulman’s been sounding the alarm for years. How WiF addresses the state of the industry on its biggest weekend will set the tone for what happens as as we turn the page to a new “industry year.”

Also Read: ‘Crashing’ Star Jamie Lee on Comedy in the #MeToo Era: ‘Things Are Not That Funny Right Now’ (Video)

WME
Friday evening, Private Residence

Who’s Who: Kobe Bryant, the champ of this year’s Oscars gatherings, should be there. Add nominees Denzel Washington, Octavia Spencer, Laurie Metcalf, Guillermo del Toro, Dee Rees, Christopher Nolan, Luca Guadagnino, Hans Zimmer, James Mangold and Michael Green to the list and call it a top crowd.

Bonus: The agency will also raise a glass to nominated projects “Call Me by Your Name,” “Mudbound” and “The Square,” all of which hail from Endeavor Content.

Saturday, March 3

Film Independent Spirit Awards
A Tent on the Beach: 1550 Pacific Coast Highway Lot 1 North Santa Monica

(Mikey Glazer)

Logline: The industry’s booziest daytime bash of the year. Everyone heeds Film Independent President Josh Welsh’s mantra to “leave the thank-you notes at home,” adding to a celebratory day that begins in the lounges outside the main tent as early as 11 a.m.

Sony Pictures Classics Annual Oscar Nominees Dinner
Nordstrom Local on Melrose Place in West Hollywood

January 2017 at Sundance: Luca Guadagnino, Michael Stuhlbarg, Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Walter Fasano (TheWrap)

Why they will be smiling: This is the finish line. The “Call Me by Your Name” troika — Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and director Luca Guadagnino — end the 14-month promotional tour that started back at Sundance 2017.

Other Nominees: SPC will also toast its two foreign language nominees, “A Fantastic Woman” (from Chile) and “Loveless” (from Russia).

MPTF’s Annual “Night Before”
Fox Studios

Logline: The MPTF is where the gatekeepers and power brokers in the industry convene on the night before the Oscars. This is an invite worth fighting for. Make a big donation and step in to Jeffrey Katzenberg’s circle.

Sign of the times: YouTube joins the list of blue-chip corporate sponsors.

Oscars Viewing Parties on Sunday, March 4

*Top Invite* – 2018 Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party
Custom built complext in West Hollywood Park

Logline: The most choice invite if you’re not seated in the first 15 rows of the Kodak Theatre itself.

Do: drink top-shelf champagne and feast on cuisine from a Michelin three-star restaurant in Spain with a great cross section of Hollywood.

Don’t: Don’t try to take any pictures of Sir Elton or stand too close to his head table. You may be excused for asking frequent guest Robert Kraft what happened in the Super Bowl. By 8:45 or so, trophy winners start pouring in as the telecast on screen comes to you.

Charity Component: Contributing to the EJAF mission, presenting sponsor BVLGARI is donating a 13 carat white gold diamond necklace, the “BVLGARI DIVISSIMA” to the live auction.

Wow Booking: Greta Van Fleet. This is a return to prime form for the EJAF, welcoming a big up-and-coming band heralded as a savior of guitar rock, not a nostalgia act. Because all 42 of the headlining dates on their first U.S. tour sold out in advance and they’re headed to Coachella, the four Michigan boys are a choice dessert on the evening.

Byron Allen’s Second Annual Entertainment Studios Gala
Beverly Wilshire

Logline: Katy Perry and Jamie Foxx will perform at the benefit for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Last year’s inaugural event raised $1 million, and “Byron hopes to raise even more again this year,” a rep for Entertainment Studios tells the Party Report.

Also Read: Oscars Box Office: Can Best Picture Contenders Turn Nominations Into Big Bucks?

IMDb Live Viewing Party
Neuehouse in Hollywood

Logline: This is part party, part live broadcast. Dave Karger, Kevin Smith and other IMDb talent will provide live commentary on the show that will stream across IMDb platforms.

Guests: About 300 industry types.

Notables: Last year, Issa Rae and Aisha Tyler were among the crowd about a mile away from the actual show.

Mercedes-Benz Viewing Party
Four Seasons, Beverly Hills

Logline: The Four Seasons is an Oscars week base camp, so this is sort of like watching the golf tournament from the clubhouse. Last year was a mixed bag of names from Housewives (Kandi Burruss) to 1980s basketball star Ralph Sampson, to ESPN’s man in L.A., Stan Verrett.

Also Read: Syria Blocks ‘Last Men In Aleppo’ Producer and Subject from Attending Oscars

Nordstrom Local Oscar Viewing Party for the Fashion Industry
Nordstrom Local on Melrose Place in West Hollywood

Logline: With New York’s fashion week two weeks in the rearview mirror, the style set can kick back here before hitting the after parties.

Oscars After-Parties

The Academy’s Governors Ball
Dolby Ballroom above the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland

Logline: They have a lot of “make-up” homework to do after last year’s Governors Ball drowned in the surreal wake of the Oscars envelope flub.

Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills

Radhika Jones (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Logline: It’s the first outing for new Editor-in-Chief Radhika Jones (above). She steps into the bridge of a ship that Graydon Carter built and is already making waves. On Feb. 15, a round of layoffs included Jane Sarkin and Beth Kseniak, two founding mothers of VF Oscar night that has been the “toughest invite in town” over the past 24 years.

Also Read: Editor Purge at Vanity Fair, Glamour: More Than 15 Ousted

On the brighter (or sadder?) side of “recently separated” news, single Jennifer Aniston should be there. Forget the Brad Pitt sequel rumors. Please, let her show up with Angelina Jolie.

Details on other late night soirees to come.

Please send invites, updates, and details to the party and event contributor Mikey Glazer here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Academy to Eliminate Paper Balloting at Next Year’s Oscars

Syria Blocks ‘Last Men In Aleppo’ Producer and Subject from Attending Oscars

‘Faces Places’ Director JR Explains Agnes Varda Cardboard Cutout at Oscars Luncheon (Video)

Kobe Bryant, Diversity Talk Dominate Oscar Nominees Luncheon

STX President Sophie Watts Exits Over CEO Robert Simonds’ Alleged Harassment (Exclusive)

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STX Entertainment President Sophie Watts is leaving her role at the entertainment company after complaining of harassment by her boss CEO Robert Simonds, according to two individuals with knowledge of the situation.

Watts has been absent from STX since at least December, but her official resignation was expected imminently.

Reached for comment, Watts said, “I can’t comment on any of this.”

Also Read: Katie Couric Breaks Silence on Matt Lauer: ‘This Was Not the Matt We Knew’

TheWrap attempted to reach Simonds by email and phone, with no reply. Company spokeswoman Patti Rockenwagner also did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls ahead of publication seeking response.

Update: 30 minutes after the publication of this story, STX sent a press release announcing Watts’ departure to Variety. It was she would “focus on new business opportunities.”

The situation is highly unusual in that Watts, one of the top women executives in Hollywood, is openly gay. Simonds, who is married and heterosexual, is accused by Watts, his subordinate, of systematic harassment.

Simonds’ relationship to Watts, who co-founded the company with him in 2012, was described by the two individuals with knowledge of the situation as “obsessive.”

From left: Producer Suzanne Todd, Sophie Watts, Susan Sarandon

“It became an unhealthy obsession of his,” said one former employee. “It was common knowledge. They had some kind of friendship that was peculiar to everybody, because it made no sense why she was being anointed the way she was. He refused to let her have her own office. They had two desks facing each other. They traveled everywhere together…  [In meetings] he complimented her every second — and inappropriately so — even if she hadn’t said a word or wasn’t there.”

Also Read: Warner Bros Leadership Shake-Up: Toby Emmerich to Run Studio, Sue Kroll Steps Down

Both individuals with knowledge of the relationship said that Simonds insisted that Watts keep her desk in his office. When she asked to move, no other space was made available except on another floor, where she was cut off from meetings and the information flow until she moved back to Simonds’ space, one of the individuals said.

Watts complained repeatedly about the unwanted attention, according to both individuals. In September 2016, an outside attorney was brought in who recommended that a bodyguard be present when the two were alone in the office, and that they not fly to Asia together without others present, one of the insiders said.

Neither recommendation was followed, the insider said, and Watts again found herself alone on 15-hour private flights to China with Simonds.

The two individuals also said that Simonds’ wife, Anne, believed the CEO and Watts were having sex. “Bob’s wife would call and scream, ‘Get Bob on the phone, or is he with Sophie? Is she under the desk sucking his d—?’” one former employee said. The second individual cited the same comment by Simonds’ wife.

Neither insider said they knew of a sexual relationship between Simonds and Watts.

Also Read: STX Entertainment Struggles With Flops, Executive Exits and a Shift in Strategy (Exclusive)

STX was founded by Simonds, Watts and Bill McGlashan of TPG Growth in 2102.

The fledgling company landed the Chinese film company Huayi Brothers as a co-production and slate-financing partner, raising $1 billion to spend on acquisition titles and mid-budget original films in an industry increasingly reliant on tentpole films.

STX Chairman and CEO Bob Simonds

In media appearances, the untested Watts was touted as a sharp young visionary paired with Simonds, an experienced finance professional. In early meetings, Simonds boasted about his young charge  — and he showed off their shared office to demonstrate the progressive company culture.

Said a third person, a former STX employee with knowledge of their dynamic: “They were super close. They relied on each other in a business sense. The psychological thing was — Sophie came in without a lot of experience. Bob would listen to her opinion. And people would think: ‘What does she have on him? Why would he listen to her above people who have experience in this field?’”

The studio struggled initially, with pricey flops like Matthew McConaughey’s “Free State of Jones” and the $60 million tween sci-fi film “The Space Between Us,” which grossed only $8 million in the U.S. The studio’s lone  true hit was the 2016 Mila Kunis-Kristen Bell comedy “Bad Moms,” which took over $180 million worldwide on a $20 million budget.

STX has seen a series of high-profile executives depart, including president of production Cathy Schulman and president of marketing Jack Pan. Before him, president of digital Kathy Savitt remained in the position for less than a year. Chief content officer Oren Aviv was demoted to a producer on the family franchise “Ugly Dolls.”

One of the two people who said Watts felt harassed by Simonds spoke to Watts in October at a women’s leadership event, and said she was distraught.

“She said it was horrible and she had to leave,” the individual said. “She said, ‘I can’t have a life without him. He ruins every relationship I have.’”

But the final straw appears to have occurred at Variety’s Power of Women event on Oct. 13. One witness said Watts showed up and was seated next to Simonds, although men do not typically attend the event. Watts looked pained and left abruptly, the witness said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

STX Gets Investment From John Malone’s Telecom Giant Liberty Global

‘Bad Moms’ Studio STX Plans 2018 IPO on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

STX Films Names Mike Viane Head of Theatrical Sales

Women Lead The Charge Toward A Gender Balance Not Seen In The History Of Entertainment — Deadline Disruptors

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Last year, all it took was a hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite, to re-energize an important conversation. Twelve months later, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins made history by becoming the first African-American filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director, Picture and Screenplay at the Academy Awards. And, as everyone knows, his film went on to take the Best Picture Oscar—literally—from the hands of the favorites, the makers of La La Land. Meanwhile, a similar conversation about…

STX Entertainment Struggles With Flops, Executive Exits and a Shift in Strategy (Exclusive)

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One year after unveiling an ambitious slate at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, STX Entertainment is returning on Tuesday despite struggling with a series of creative and business setbacks.

After promising an aggressive push into producing 12-15 movies per year, Robert Simonds’ upstart indie studio has made only six original productions in the past two years, with the rest of its releases coming from acquisitions. Movies like “Edge of Seventeen” and “The Space Between Us” with mid-range budgets that were supposed to be the company’s focus have failed at the box office, the latter taking in only $8 million after a $60 million spend on production and marketing.

Meanwhile, a series of exits of top executives — including the elimination of postproduction head David Candiff’s job last week — appear to be a sign of cost-cutting, while two individuals said that the role of Chief Content Officer Oren Aviv had been reduced to overseeing a new family-friendly franchise based on “Ugly Dolls” plush toys, an effective downsizing announced at a staff meeting last week.

The situation is putting the studio under rising pressure, insiders said, especially since the team has not yet delivered on its promise to upend Hollywood with a new, smarter way of doing business. At CinemaCon last year, STX President Sophie Watts introduced Sylvester Stallone (hot off his Oscar campaign for “Creed”) and announced a multi-film development deal with the actor-filmmaker — which fell apart in November.

“The reason they’re not making movies is they can’t get the best scripts, and they’re trying to turn not-great scripts into great movies,” said one executive with knowledge of the studio’s inner workings. “I don’t believe stars will sign on at a studio where the marketing is not proven to work, when they don’t have foreign participation for the actors and they’re not a worldwide distributor.”

Also Read: Sylvester Stallone Exits STX Entertainment Thriller ‘Godforsaken’

In a statement to TheWrap, STX Chief Communications Officer Patti Rockenwagner disputed that the studio was struggling. “STXfilms absolutely still believes mid-range films with talent in signature roles is our sweet spot,” she said. “We veered from our strategy and moved forward with some projects that did not fit into our model and in the process built up our distribution and marketing arms, which resulted in our three-year deal with Europacorp. We’re in 2.0 now and returning to the mid-range model.” She did not specify what projects she felt veered from strategy

Regarding Aviv, she said: “We tasked Oren to quarterback the incredibly important Ugly Dolls franchise, which is more than just a movie.”

CEO Robert Simonds arrived on the scene in Hollywood three years ago with a mission to revive mid-budget, character-driven movies and touted a billion-dollar investment from China’s Huayi Brothers to spend on a production slate of 12-15 movies annually.

But a spending spree on star executives like former Universal film chief Adam Fogelson, Aviv, Cathy Schulman, Yahoo’s Kathy Savitt, marketing veteran Jack Pan and others has failed to produce many hits beyond “Bad Moms,” the comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell that earned an impressive $123 million domestically on an estimated production budget of $20 million. (The film earned a more modest $66 million overseas and spawned a sequel planned for this November.)

Also Read: STX Eliminates Postproduction Head Position, David Candiff Out (Exclusive)

Aside from Fogelson, most of those prime executives are gone, in many cases replaced with more junior (less expensive) people.

In the past year, production president Cathy Schulman stepped down and was replaced by New Line’s Sam Brown. Distribution VP Jim Amos left at the same time, preceded by the ouster of marketing head Jack Pan. Former Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt lasted eight months as President of Digital.

Meanwhile, the studio is burning through an estimated $70 million in overhead annually, according to one person familiar with the company. A studio insider disputed that figure. Rockenwagner pointed out that the studio’s backer TPG named STX its portfolio company of the year in 2016. Chinese holding company Tencent made a minority investment for ancillary divisions like VR and Short-Form film programming. And this weekend the Huayi Bros. said it was seeking to renew and expand its ties to STX Entertainment.

Also Read: Sean Parker’s Screening Room Returns to CinemaCon With ‘Refined’ Security Plan for Movies at Home (Exclusive)

“STX Entertainment is more than just a movie studio,” Rockenwagner said. “In the last year, we built out STXtv (scripted and unscripted), acquired a VR company (which this year were nominated for a Shorty and an Emmy), debuted ‘Number One Surprise,’ the very first U.S./China co-production (which became the No. 1 show in China with over 1 billion views), and opened a full-service international film distribution company with direct distribution in the U.K. and Ireland and a network of first class partners distributing STX content in the rest of the world.”

But the budding studio has struggled in its core business. “The bigger problem here is they bombed the movies,” one insider said.

In its total of 10 wide releases, STX only has only two clear winners: “Bad Moms” and its first film, Joel Edgerton’s 2015 thriller “The Gift,” which earned nearly $55 million on a $5 million production budget.

“The Boy,” a $10 million-budgeted thriller about a possessed doll, performed respectably but the rest of STX’s stable have been disappointments — some staggering, like the teen sci-fi romance “The Space Between Us,” made for $30 million and grossing just $7.8 million domestically. The Asa Butterfield film did not have an international release.

Also Read: Luc Besson’s Sci-Fi Epic ‘Valerian’ Heads to STX in New EuropaCorp Distribution Deal

Bob Simonds, STX Chairman and CEO

Matthew McConaughey’s 2016 awards hopeful “Free State of Jones” never made it into the Oscar conversation, cost $50 million and only brought in $25 million worldwide. Hailee Steinfeld’s “The Edge of Seventeen” got a major awards push this past year, but failed to resonate and made $14.5 million on a $9 million budget.

The 2015 remake of Brazilian cop drama ‘The Secret in Their Eyes,” starring Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor, cost $20 million and made $25 million worldwide.

Due to poor performance, the source said, the company is having trouble recruiting top acting and writing talent. In addition, insiders have criticized Simonds’ approach to overseeing the company. “Bob makes every decision, and he’s incredibly slow, is always traveling and hard to reach,” one knowledgeable individual said.

Simonds’ micromanagement often compromises Fogelson and Watts, the person said. Down the totem pole, senior executives have been dwindling and duties are being absorbed by existing junior staff.

Also Read: STX to Release ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ in November 2017

At its CinemaCon presentation on Tuesday, the studio will have some names worth bragging about. STX has North American distribution rights for Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba. The company has also acquired Luc Besson’s pricey sci-fi movie “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” the Tom Hanks and Emma Watson tech thriller “The Circle” and BBC’s Gemma Arterton drama “Their Finest.”

The company has two original productions in the works — “A Bad Moms Christmas” and Gerard Butler’s “Den of Thieves.” The company is also developing a franchise centered around the plush toys Ugly Dolls, a project that Fogelson brought with him from Universal where it had been in development at Illumination under CEO Chris Meladandri.

Related stories from TheWrap:

STX Eliminates Postproduction Head Position, David Candiff Out (Exclusive)

STX Entertainment Appoints Rich Sullivan COO of STXdigital

Former STX Production Head Cathy Schulman Launches Welle Entertainment

Gerard Butler, 50 Cent Action Thriller ‘Den of Thieves’ Gets Release Date

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The STX action thriller “Den of Thieves” starring Gerard Butler and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson will be released on Jan. 19, 2018, the company announced Friday.

The movie will also star Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. and Evan Jones, directed by Christian Gudegast from his original screenplay written with Paul Scheuring.

Filming began Friday for “Den of Thieves,” which follows an elite crew of bank robbers who set out to pull off the ultimate heist when they realize $120 million in cash is taken out out of circulation daily and destroyed by the Federal Reserve.

Also Read: STX Entertainment Appoints Rich Sullivan COO of STXdigital

Producing are Mark Canton (“300”, “300: Rise of an Empire”, “Immortals”), Tucker Tooley (“We’re The Millers”, “The Fighter”), Butler (“Olympus Has Fallen”, “How to Train Your Dragon”, “300”) and Alan Siegel (“London Has Fallen”, “Olympus Has Fallen”), long-time partners in their production company, G-BASE.

“We are incredibly excited to partner once again with Gerard Butler and to have a very talented cast including Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Pablo Schreiber,” said Tooley, who had spent more than 10 years developing this project. “‘Den of Thieves’ is a gritty action thriller with broad commercial appeal, and our cast blends perfectly into a world where good and bad often intertwine. STX Entertainment is the perfect partner to bring this modern-day heist story to the big screen.”

Also Read: Former STX Production Head Cathy Schulman Launches Welle Entertainment

Scott Lumpkin, Jamie Marshall and Glenn D. Feig are executive producing. The film is being financed by Diamond Film Productions.  STXfilms is co-financing and distributing the film worldwide.

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‘London Has Fallen’ Review: Gerard Butler Saves the World Again, Implausibly