News Shorts: July 20th 2017

Lionsgate has released a new photo from the upcoming “Jigsaw,” the eighth film in the “Saw” horror franchise and the first entry in the series in seven years.

Michael and Peter Spierig helm the film which is said to have slightly more of a comedic tone than the previous horror films. Tobin Bell, Laura Vandervoort and Hannah Anderson star in the film which opens October 27th. [Source: EW]

Picnic at Hanging Rock
Amazon has picked up U.S. rights to “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” the upcoming Australian mini-series starring Natalie Dormer that’s a reimagining of Joan Lindsay’s novel and the iconic Peter Weir film.

The story deals with the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and one teacher on Valentine’s Day 1900. The complex, interwoven narrative follows the subsequent investigation and the event’s far-reaching impact on the students, families and staff of Appleyard College. [Source: Variety]

The Kid
Dane DeHaan has been set to star as gunslinger Billy The Kid alongside Ethan Hawke in the western “The Kid” for Suretone Pictures. Andrew Lanham penned the script .

Vincent D’Onofrio directs the project which focuses on the infamous gunfighter in a tale told through the eyes of a young boy who reaches out to his hero to help save his family. [Source: Deadline]

Forest Whitaker is joining the cast of “Empire” for a multi-episode arc in the upcoming fourth season. Whitaker will play Uncle Eddie, a charismatic music icon and bonafide hitmaker, who gave an unknown Lucious (Terrence Howard) his first radio airplay years ago.

Decades later, Eddie steps up for Lucious at a critical moment during his rehabilitation, and a grateful Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) invites him to produce a song in celebration of Empire. [Source: Variety]

The Hurricane Heist
Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures has picked up “XXX” and “The Fast and The Furious” director Rob Cohen’s big-budget action-thriller “The Hurricane Heist” which opens early next year.

The story follows a team of tech hackers embarking on a $600 million robbery from a coastal U.S. mint facility at the same time a disastrous Category 5 hurricane is set to strike. An ex-marine (Ryan Kwanten), a Treasury agent (Maggie Grace) and a meteorologist (Toby Kebbel) team-up to stop them and try to survive. [Source: Deadline]

Mid 90s
Katherine Waterston (“Alien: Covenant”) will replace Michelle Williams in Jonah Hill’s directorial debut “Mid-90s”. Waterston would play the main character’s co-dependent single mother struggling to make ends meet.

The story follows teenager Stevie (Sunny Suljic) learning life lessons in Los Angeles in the 1990s, spending time with his skateboarding friends and navigating the tricky waters of drinking, drugs, sex and peer pressure. Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”) remains attached as Stevie’s older brother. [Source: Empire]

Skydance & Ilion Animation
Skydance and Ilion Animation Studios are rapidly building an animation slate and have hired Alessandro Carloni (“Kung Fu Panda”) to direct “Luck” which explores the millennia-old battle between the organizations of good luck and bad luck that secretly affect the daily lives of humans.

They also helmed Vicky Jenson (“Shrek”) to helm an untitled tale about a teenager who comes of age using her magical powers to defend her family when the opposing forces of light and darkness threaten to divide her kingdom. [Source: Heat Vision]

Untitled Dan Inosanto Biopic
The Mark Gordon Company is developing the story of Bruce Lee’s protege Dan Inosanto. Inosanto was a key instrument in a secret training program which helped the 1976 Dallas Cowboys to win Super Bowl XII. Jeremy Gough penned the script with Mark Gordon, Matt Jackson, Tarik Heitmann and Diana Lee Inosanto to produce. [Source: Heat Vision]

Lionsgate is moving forward on Matthew Quick’s basketball drama “Boy21” with David O. Russell in talks to produce. John Whittington (“LEGO Batman,” “Ninjago”) has been hired to pen the script but no director or actors have been attached as yet.

The story centers on the relationship between two high school seniors in a rough town ruled by the Irish mob. One takes care of his disabled grandfather and finds escape on the basketball court; the other is a former basketball phenom whose life has been turned upside down by tragedy. [Source: Variety]

Agatha Christie’s Next
Amazon has struck a multi-show deal with Agatha Christie Productions for U.S. rights to the upcoming seven dramas based on the author’s works. All will ultimately be available on Amazon Prime.

The deal kicks off with “Ordeal By Innocence” which begins shooting in Scotland this month and stars Bill Nighy, Catherine Keener, Matthew Goode, Alice Eve, Ella Purnell, Ed Westwick, Luke Treadaway, Eleanor Tomlinson and Morven Christie. [Source: Deadline]

Girl’s Like Us
Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon’s company, JuVee Productions are teaming with EveryWhere Studios to produce a movie adaptation of Rachel Lloyd’s novel “Girl’s Like Us”.

The true story tale deals with Lloyd falling prey to the world of commercial sex exploitation and escaping to dedicate her life to fight that very industry. [Source: Variety]

Joe Manganiello is set to star in Raymond De Felitta’s feature “Stano” which shoots this Summer in New York City. Bill Chartoff, Lynn Hendee and Eric Fischer are producing.

The story follows a man who returns to the Bronx after serving seventeen years in prison for a violent mistake he made as a kid that ultimately robbed him of a professional baseball career and the love of his life. [Source: Deadline]

Miss Bala
Matt Lauria (“Kingdom”) and newcomer Cristina Rodlo (“El Vato”) have joined the cast of the Gina Rodriguez-led remake of the female-driven action thriller “Miss Bala” at Sony PIctures.

The story follows a woman who, after her friend goes missing in Tijuana, finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game being played by the CIA, the DEA, and a charismatic young crime boss. Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer is on board to adapt the script, which was written by original director Gerardo Naranjo and Mauricio Katz. [Source: Variety]

Only You
Storm Reid (“A Wrinkle In Time”) is set to star opposite David Oyelowo in the Jacob Estes thriller “Only You” at Blumhouse Productions. Filming began this week in Los Angeles.

The story involves a police officer (Oyelowo) whose family was killed, a niece (Reid) who is in danger, and a plot with time-travel elements. Jason Blum is producing. [Source: Heat Vision]

1821 Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures are teaming to develop action-thriller “Bombshell” based on an original concept by Terry Dougas and penned by Dave Matillo. Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis and Dougas will produce.

The story follows a secret government program that recruits the world’s pioneering female celebrities to train as spies. Its current mission is to stop a billionaire mogul who is extorting global leaders to turn all civilization into a police state which he alone controls. [Source: Deadline]