News Bits: Program, Sails, Worker, Colette, Baxter

The Program
Stephen Frears’ Lance Armstrong biopic “The Program,” starring Ben Foster as the doping scandal athlete, has been set for a premiere on DirecTV a month before its theatrical and VOD release on March 18th.

Foster went as far as to use performance-enhancing drugs to play the disgraced cyclist, with his work praised in reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival last year. [Source: DirectTV]

Black Sails
Irish actor David Wilmot (“71,” “Calvary”) has signed on for a regular role on the fourth season of Starz’s piracy drama “Black Sails” which began its third season last week on the premium cable channel. Wilmot will play bounty hunter Israel Hands in the next season which begins production shortly ahead of airing next January. [Source: Deadline]

The Worker
Michael Pena (“Ant-Man,” “End of Watch”) will star in veteran second unit director and stunt coordinator Dan Bradley’s action thriller “The Worker” at Content Media. Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield are producing/

The story follows a Mexican special ops agent (Pena) working to take down the drug cartels who is forced to leave the country and enter a protection program in Los Angeles with his family. When his wife and son are kidnapped, his unique set of skills come in handy as he seeks revenge. [Source: THR]

Keira Knightley is in talks to star in “Still Alice” director Wash Westmoreland’s biopic “Colette” for Number 9 Films, Bold Films and Killer Films. Filming will start in May in Budapest.

Colette was one of France’s leading female writers. She married Willy Gauthier-Villars, a celebrated Parisian wit and critic and the pair’s relationship was one of rich complexity – full of love, perversity, nurture, violence, passion. [Source: Variety]

The Baxter Family
Roma Downey and MGM’s faith works division LightWorkers Media have acquired rights to Karen Kingsbury’s “The Baxter Family” twenty-two novel series for television.

The story follows a couple and their six adult children who come together over love, loss, laughter, and life in an epic drama that proves the strength of faith and family. [Source: Deadline]