News Bits: Escape, Lono, Vanished, Beale, Johnny

The Escape
IFC Films has scored U.S. and Canadian rights to the Gemma Arterton and Dominic Cooper-led character drama “The Escape”. Dominic Savage penned and direct the film about a wife and mother who feels trapped and unfulfilled by her life in a housing estate.

She abandons her husband and kids after failing to receive an empathetic response to her frustrations from friends and loved ones, setting out on a journey of self-discovery. Frances Barber, Marthe Keller, and Jalil Lespert also star. [Source: Variety]

The Curse of Lono
“Hot Tub Time Machine” and “Accepted” helmer Steve Pink has signed on to direct the film adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s 1983 novel “The Curse of Lono”. JD Rosen penned the screenplay and will produce alongside Stephen Nemeth.

The story follows the exploits of Thompson and illustrator Ralph Steadman who are sent to cover the marathon in Waikiki and end up on a drug-fueled journey to the sacred City of Refuge. Filming begins next year. [Source: Deadline]

The Vanished
CJ Entertainment (“Snowpiercer”) have optioned the remake rights and is developing a Japanese-language feature film based on Lena Mauger’s non-fiction novel “The Vanished”. It will tell the true story of over 100,000 people who disappear in Japan without a trace, a phenomenon known as ‘johatsu’ in which people, often driven by shame and hopelessness, leave behind jobs, disappointed families and mounting debts. [Source: Deadline]

If Beale Street Could Talk
Finn Wittrock (“The Big Short”) and Aunjanue Ellis (“Quantico”) have joined “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins’ next film “If Beale Street Could Talk” at Annapurna Pictures and Plan B. Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Dave Franco, Ed Skrein, and Regina King co-star.

Based on James Baldwin’s novel, the story follows Tish (KiKi Layne), a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first child to term. The film is currently in production. [Source: Deadline]

There’s… Johnny
Filmmaker David Gordon Green and actor Paul Reiser have re-teamed for “There’s…. Johnny,” a new 1970s-set comedy about the glory days of “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” with the series following a young man and woman as they work behind the scenes on the show during key events.

Tony Danza, Ian Nelson, Roger Bart, T;Keyah Crystal Keymáh, Nate Smith, David Hoffman, Andrew Schulz, Jane Levy, Ian Nelson, Daniel Strauss, and Camrus Johnson star. The project was originally set up on the streaming service Seeso but will now launch on Hulu on November 16th – check out the just launchd trailer below.