Dark Sky Films Acquires U.S. Distribution Rights To “Blood Conscious”

aiphotographic movie armando indie filmDark Sky Films today announced it has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to BLOOD CONSCIOUS, the acclaimed new horror thriller from rising director Timothy Covell. The film, about a family discovering that their vacation getaway is the scene of mass murder, will be released in late summer in theaters and on VOD platforms.

The distribution agreement was negotiated on behalf of Dark Sky Films by Greg Newman and Giles Edwards, and by the film’s producer, Christina Behnke for Ben Cove Entertainment. The film will have its North American premiere at April’s Panic Fest in Kansas City.

A shocking tale reflecting racial and social tensions of our time, BLOOD CONSCIOUS centers on vacationers who turn the tables on a unhinged killer who claims to be fighting demonic forces. Kevin (Oghenero Gbaje, Beyonce’s Black Is King), his older sister, Brittney (DeShawn White, Motherless Brooklyn, The Deuce), and her fiancé, Tony (Lenny Thomas, Tyler Perry’s Ruthless), set off to their parents’ lakeside cottage expecting a leisurely weekend getaway. But their holiday turns into a trip from hell as they enter a scene of mass murder, where their parents and neighbors all lie dead.

Terror strikes when the armed killer (Nick Damici, Hap and Leonard) confronts them, claiming to be fighting demonic forces that have possessed them all. They pin him down and lock him up in the cellar, but soon he claims to not to be alone down there. As unexpected and traumatic events keep unfolding, Kevin, Brittney and Tony have to find a way to survive the night without turning on each other – or becoming possessed.

Writer-director Timothy Covell says: “I conceived BLOOD CONSCIOUS as a film that takes place the day after a slasher film. But instead of opening on the lone survivor of a campground massacre, we focus on the family who finds him, setting in motion a chain of paranoia that leads to even more bloodshed over the course of the ensuing night.” He adds, “Although it would be inaccurate to say BLOOD CONSCIOUS is about race, racism is very much present throughout the film.”

MPI’s Giles Edwards said, “Timothy Covell emerges as a major talent and we’re excited to be in business with him.”

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Award-Winning Animation Studio LAIKA Expands Into Live Action

Oregon Studio Acquires Rights to Screenwriter John Brownlow’s Debut Action Thriller Novel Seventeen

aiphotoimaging laika studio animationLAIKA, known for the Academy Award®-nominated animated films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link, is expanding into live action. The studio has optioned Seventeen, the upcoming first novel by acclaimed screenwriter John Brownlow (The Minaturist, Sylvia). Currently in production on its sixth animated feature film, LAIKA secured the rights in an intense bidding war and plans to adapt it as a live action project. The announcement was made today by Travis Knight, President & CEO.

“For the past 15 years, LAIKA has been committed to making movies that matter,” says Knight. “Across mediums and genres, our studio has fused art, craft, and technology in service of bold, distinctive, and enduring stories. With Seventeen, LAIKA is taking that philosophy in an exciting new direction.”

“Seventeen is a stiff cocktail of wicked wit, exhilarating action, and raw emotion,” Knight continues. “John has such a wonderfully unique voice. He’s crafted a brilliant universe with its own powerful identity. Seventeen is a thriller with soul, a sinuous adrenaline-fueled actioner with a sincere heart beating underneath its rippling pectorals.”

Author and screenwriter John Brownlow is well known for his film and television credits. He is the screenwriter of the feature film Sylvia starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig and wrote and executive produced the three-part BBC limited series The Minaturist, which starred Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit). He also wrote the four-episode limited series Fleming, which starred Dominic Cooper as James Bond author Ian Fleming.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be developing Seventeen for the screen with LAIKA,” says Brownlow. “As a long-time fan of LAIKA’s movies for their vision, heart, craft, intelligence and ambition, I couldn’t have hoped for the novel or the universe it inhabits to have found a better or more exciting home. I’m beyond honored to be part of their plans for the future.”

UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton has preemptively acquired worldwide publishing rights to Seventeen. Hanover Square will publish the book in the US in 2022. LAIKA was represented in the deal by CAA. John Brownlow is represented by George Davis at Nelson Davis LLP, Jessica Sykes at Independent Talent Group and CAA.

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Historical Documentary “Last Will & Testament” Released By Strike Back Studios

Strike Back Studios, a new joint venture between Realization Films, Public House Films, and Hideout Pictures, has release Centropolis Entertainment’s fascinating historical documentary “Last Will & Testament”.

With April being Shakespeare international Month, the film is now available to stream on Amazon Prime, Vudu, Tubi and other streaming platforms along with across TVOD platforms iTunes, Fandango Now, Google Play, YouTube, among others globally to rent or buy.

Twin sisters & filmmakers Laura Wilson & Lisa Wilson’s intricate historical journey charts the fascinating documentary “Last Will & Testament” from executive producer Roland Emmerich (who’s brilliant “Anonymous” also explores Shakespeare’s identity) and featuring stage and screen icons Derek Jacobi (“Gladiator,” “Gosford Park, “Dead Again”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “The BFG,” “Dunkirk”), and Vanessa Redgrave (“Atonement,” “Howards End,” “Coriolanus”). It’s the greatest literary mystery of all time who actually wrote the works of Shakespeare? Featuring a powerful score by Graeme Revell (“The Saint,” “The Crow,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”), the greatest mystery of an identity hidden by time and the constructs of society…The Bard himself.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
It’s the greatest literary mystery of all time; who wrote the works of Shakespeare? Although the official story has held sway for centuries, questions over the authorship of the plays and poems have persisted. Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles are among the many famous figures who doubt that a grain-dealer from Stratford-upon-Avon was England’s “Star of Poets.” “Last Will & Testament” will transform the way you look at Shakespeare.

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Second New “The Suicide Squad” Trailer Released

By Creative Media Times

Another trailer for James Gunn‘s highly anticipated film The Suicide Squad has been released today, April Fool’s Day.

“Although it’s April Fool’s, the only joke here is on the super-villains who agreed to work for Amanda Waller. Brand new #TheSuicideSquad trailer which dropped last night exclusively in theaters! Meet us in theaters August 6!”, director James Gunn tweeted today, along with the film’s trailer.

The trailer, which is also playing in theaters along with the screenings of WB’s own Godzilla vs. Kong, shows the more gloomy and ominous tone of the film, sans the profanity and bloody violence from the Red Band trailer that was released last week.

Set to the cover “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” the trailer features some for the powers of the film’s characters.

The film is currently set for release in theaters and HBO Max on August 6.

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Dolphin Island Releases Just in time for Spring Break Staycations

DOLPIN ISLAND creative media timesJust in time for Spring Break, the heartfelt new family-film DOLPHIN ISLAND is out today on all major VOD and streaming platforms across the US. Created by Mr. Puppy Productions and Entertainment Squad, DOLPHIN ISLAND was filmed in The Bahamas and shares the story of a girl, her dolphin, and the power of family.

Producer/writer Shaked Berenson explains, “We wanted to make a film for all ages that would inspire the viewers to consider the power of family-in whatever form we may find it.”

Dolphin Island features fourteen-year-old Annabel who lives with her fisherman grandfather. She is surrounded by an extended family of loving but quirky neighbors and her best friend – a dolphin named Mitzy. Everything changes when her maternal grandparents arrive with a shifty lawyer to bring her back to New York. It’s up to Annabel and her friends to figure out how to save the day and prove that love conquers all!

Dolphin Island stars Peter Woodward (THE PATRIOT), Dionne Lea (NO BAD DAYS), Tyler Jade Nixon (DOLPHIN KICK), Bob Bledsoe (Parks & Recreation), David Raizor (YOU CAN’T TAKE MY DAUGHTER), and introduces Annette Lovrien Duncan and Aaron Borrow.

Dolphin Island was directed by Mike Disa (SPACE DOGS, HOODWINKED TOO!), Produced by Shaked Berenson (SPACE DOGS, A TIGER’ S TALE), and written by Disa, Berenson, and Rolfe Kanefsky (PUPPY SWAP: LOVE UNLEASHED). The filmmakers felt compelled to create a project that could help The Bahamas rebuild after Hurricane Dorian. The film brought jobs and resources to the island nation as planned, but no one could have expected that a pandemic would close travel shortly after the filming was complete.

Berenson adds, “We hope DOLPHIN ISLAND helps families escape to a beautiful island paradise, and possibly choose to travel there as restrictions are being lifted. We also hope that the film will help girls be inspired to seek out careers in science.”

The film was created by Mr. Puppy Productions, the family and animation label of Shaked Berenson’s film finance and distribution company, Entertainment Squad.

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Sci-Film Film “Enhanced” Trailer and Poster Released

enhanced film sci fi creative mediaVertical Entertainment has released the debut trailer and poster for the forthcoming sci-fi action film ENHANCED.

The film follows private military officer George Shepherd (George Tchortov, THE EXPANSE, MOLLY’S GAME) who specializes in capturing mutant fugitives. A super mutant David (Chris Mark, THE BOYS) has emerged who is hunting other enhanced allies in order to gain power. George must join forces with an unlikely partner to end David’s mutant killing spree.

ENHANCED also stars Alanna Bale (CARDINAL, KILLJOYS), Adrian Holmes (NETFLIX’S V-WARS), Eric Hicks (BAD BLOOD) and Michael J. Delaney (MURDOCH MYSTERIES). The film is directed by James Mark, whose stunt credits include SHAZAM!, PACIFIC RIM and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD.

Directed by James Mark, Enhanced is set for release on March 26, 2021 (VOD).

Here is the film’s synopsis:
George Shepherd is part of an elite private military unit that specializes in capturing mutant fugitives. When David, a super mutant, claims vengeance against the government, he gains power by eliminating his enhanced allies, getting stronger each time he kills others like him. On the cusp of total domination, George must join forces with an unlikely partner to end David’s killing spree.

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Iconic Horror Film “Silent Night, Deadly Night” Slated For Reboot

aiphotographic photography image horror filmOrwo Studios and Black Hanger Studios (JEEPERS CREEPERS: REBORN) announced today that they have acquired the remake rights to the seminal slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night. The original film’s producers Scott Schneid and Dennis Whitehead of Wonderwheel Entertainment will join Orwo in bringing an exciting new vision of this cult classic to modern movie audiences in 2022.

The project was brought to Orwo by producer Anthony Masi of MasiMedia. Schneid, Whitehead, and Masi will produce along with Jake Seal, Terry Bird, and Jamie R. Thompson of Orwo Studios/Black Hangar. Orwo Studios is financing and representing the film for worldwide sales rights.

Declared as the most controversial film of the 80s – Silent Night, Deadly Night tells the story of a child who is traumatized after seeing his parents killed by a man dressed as Santa Claus. Years later, he dons a Santa suit himself and gets bloody revenge on the naughty list.

Wonderwheel says, “The continued desire for horror content and the ongoing success of the genre meant it was the perfect time to be able to offer up this chilling revival of the iconic title.” Masi adds, “We are thrilled to be working with the original producers as well as Orwo and Black Hangar and are committed to honoring nostalgia for the original while offering surprises for new audiences to discover and embrace.”

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Jeremy Renner to Star in Taylor Sheridan’s “Mayor Of Kingstown”on Paramount+, Executive Produced by Antoine Fuqua

Academy Award® nominee Jeremy Renner tapped as lead and Antoine Fuqua to executive produce Taylor Sheridan’s Mayor of Kingstown from MTV Entertainment Studios exclusively for Paramount+. With 101 Studios to serve as production partner, the drama from Yellowstone Co-Creator follows family of power brokers in small Michigan town. Mayor of Kingstown is one of several projects for Paramount+ under Sheridan’s new overall deal

Jeremy Renner  Antoine Fuqua aiphotoimaging armando aipMTV Entertainment Studios announced during today’s ViacomCBS Streaming Event presentation that Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, Wind River) has been tapped as the lead in the highly anticipated drama Mayor of Kingstown exclusively for Paramount+. Prolific director, Antoine Fuqua (Academy Award -winning Training Day), has signed on as executive producer in the new series from Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan – co-creator of Yellowstone, cable’s most watched show of 2020 – who recently signed a multi-year pact with ViacomCBS and MTV Entertainment Group.

Mayor of Kingstown follows the McLusky family – power brokers in Kingstown, Michigan where the business of incarceration is the only thriving industry. Tackling themes of systemic racism, corruption and inequality, the series provides a stark look at their attempt to bring order and justice to a town that has neither. Mayor of Kingstown will be executive produced by Sheridan, co-creator Hugh Dillon, Jeremy Renner, Antoine Fuqua, David Glasser, Ron Burkle, Bob Yari and Michael Friedman. MTV Entertainment Studios, Sheridan’s Bosque Ranch Productions and 101 Studios will produce.

“I am excited to dig into the complex and rough-around-the-edges character of Mike McLusky (the Mayor of Kingstown),” said Jeremy Renner. “In a world otherwise forgotten in society, Mike serves as a flawed system of checks and balances. Taylor has brought to life a layered and poignant universe that is not only incredibly intriguing but also more relevant than ever.”

“When Taylor told me about Mayor of Kingstown, I immediately wanted to be a part of it,” said Antoine Fuqua. “The series offers a comprehensive look into the brutal prison system where sociopolitical issues run rampant. Prisons are a forgotten world to most of the population and yet represent a microcosm of society as a whole.”

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League Official Trailer Released

By Creative Media Times

After a few sneak peeks and short teasers, Zack Snyder’s Justice League finally now has a new trailer. Featuring plenty of action-packed, the never-before seen footages from director Snyder gives fans a fresh look at the movie for the first time.

Here we see the superheroes re-introduced individually, then later all together. We also see Henry Cavill’s Superman in a black suit and shooting lasers from his eyes, and Jared Leto’s return as Joker since Suicide Squad.

“I need warriors. I’m building an alliance to defend ourselves,” Ben Affleck’s Batman said in the trailer at one point.

The upcoming re-cut of 2017’s Justice League is set to feature around 150 minutes of new footage.

Directed by Zack Snyder, the film stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons, and Ciarán Hinds.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is set for release on HBO Max on March 18, 2021.

Here is the official synopsis for Zack Snyder’s Justice League:

“In ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.”

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Dark Sky Films To Release “Concrete Plans” On March 5th

aiphotographicDark Sky Films has announced that the March 5th VOD/Digital release of CONCRETE PLANS. See trailer and synopsis below.

The film stars Goran Bogdan (FX’s Fargo), Kevin Guthrie (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films), Chris Reilly (Everest), Amber Rose Revah (TV’s The Punisher), Charley Palmer Rothwell (Dunkirk, Darkest Hour), Steve Spiers (Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace) William Thomas (Torchwood), James Lance (Apple TV’s Ted Lasso).

“Concrete Plans” was written and directed by William Jewell. The film features a score by Paul Hartnoll of the legendary Orbital.

Here is the film’s official synopsis:
A disparate and rugged crew of builders has been gathered to renovate an opulent mansion belonging to the last heir of a once-wealthy military family. The crewmen are each at their wit’s end – broke, living in squalor, and facing their own personal demons. So when it’s discovered that their employer plans to cheat them out of what might be their last chance at making ends finally meet, tensions begin to rise to a fever pitch. Soon one by one the men snap, turning first on their boss and then on each other, leading to an explosion of violence that will reveal their darkest motives and ensure that none of them will return home the same, if they return home at all.

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