News Shorts: February 12th 2017

On Chesil Beach
The first photo is out for “On Chesil Beach,” the upcoming Dominic Cooke-directed film adaptation of the novel by “Atonement” author Ian McEwen.

Set in the 1960s, the story follows a virginal young couple (Saoirse Ronan & Billy Howle) who have their wedding night ruined when a misunderstanding between them arises. [Source: The Playlist]

Holmes and Watson
Sony Pictures has set an August 3rd 2018 release for “Holmes & Watson,” the upcoming Sherlock Holmes-themed comedy starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective and his assistant. Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Laurie, Kelly Macdonald and Rebecca Hall co-star in the film which is currently shooting in London. [Source: Sony Pictures]

Racer and the Jailbird
Neon has pre-bought North American rights to Michael R. Roskam’s French-language romantic thriller “Racer and the Jailbird” for a theatrical release. Set in Belgium, the story follows a gangster (Matthias Schoenaerts) who meets and falls for a race car driver (Adele Exarchopoulos). [Source: Variety]

Paramount Pictures has acquired the thriller pitch “Gasp” for Offspring Entertainment. Mario Celaya penned the script while Jessica Sharzer, Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman will produce.

Inspired by several true stories, the story follows a female detective who has to go undercover online to catch a killer who is murdering women he meets on a specific popular app. She starts to fall for one of the suspects who has been cleared, only to discover he may in fact be the killer. [Source: Deadline]

Finding Steve McQueen
Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Mark Steven Johnson’s true story heist film “Finding Steve McQueen”. Travis Fimmel, Forest Whitaker, William Fichtner and Rachael Taylor star in the film which opens in 2018.

Taking place in 1972, the story details the biggest bank heist in U.S. history when a gang of thieves from Ohio attempted to steal $30 million in illegal contributions and blackmail money from President Nixon’s secret fund. [Source: Variety]

The Death of Stalin
IFC Films has acquired North American distribution rights to “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci’s political satire movie “The Death Of Stalin”. Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Paddy Considine, Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor and Olga Kurylenko star.

Based on Fabien-Nury’s graphic novel, the story centers on the last days of the Soviet dictator and the chaos of the regime after his death and three decades of iron-fisted rule. [Source: Deadline]

Vertical Entertainment has scored the North American rights to the romantic drama “Blind” starring Alec Bladwin, Demi Moore and Dylan McDermott. A late summer/early Fall release is being targeted.

Michael Mailer helms the story of a novelist (Baldwin) who is blinded in a car crash that kills his wife. He has an affair with the neglected wife (Moore) of an indicted businessman (McDermott) and rediscovers his passion for writing. [Source: Variety]

Sony Pictures has pre-emptively acquired Teddy Tenenbaum and Minsun Park’s supernatural thriller spec script “reddoor” over the weekend for producers Barry Josephson, Liz Bassin and Jim Wedaa.

The story follows a young journalist who discovers the new app game he is reviewing has the ability to kill the player once they’ve entered the game world. He must stop the game before both he and his sister end up becoming its victims. [Source: Deadline]

HBO has handed out a ten episode series order for “Succession,” a new drama in which Brian Cox stars as the head of a rich and dysfunctional family-run media empire. Jesse Armstrong (“Peep Show”) penned the series which Adam McKay and Will Ferrell will produce.

Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook and Alan Ruck star as the children, with Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen, Hiam Abbas, Rob Yang, Parker Sawyers and Peter Friedman playing other roles. [Source: The Live Feed]

The Suck
Discovery Channel has ordered the series “The Suck” from “thirtysomething” creators Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. The series will air in 2018 with Zwick directing the first episode.

Based on an unpublished memoir by Vietnam veteran Stephen McCallister, the ten-episode series recalls the American experience in the Vietnam War. [Source: The Live Feed]

Hounds of Love
Gunpowder & Sky Distribution has bought the North American rights to Ben Young’s Australian serial-killer drama “Hounds of Love” with a May 12th theatrical launch planned. Emma Booth, Stephen Curry, and Ashleigh Cummings star.

Set in suburban Perth during the mid 1980s, people are unaware that women are disappearing at the hands of a serial killer couple. After an innocent lapse in judgment, one of those adbucted realizes she must find a way to drive a wedge between the couple if she is to survive. [Source: Variety]

Rapper/marijuana mogul Berner has hired “Imperium” writer/director Daniel Ragussis to helm the upcoming crime thriller “Packs” about the rise of ‘designer’ marijuana. Francisco Ordonez will write the screenplay based on a story by Berner.

The film tells the story of the rise of powerful designer marijuana across state lines in a multi-million dollar illegal drug trade that transformed the marijuana experience in America during the past decade. [Source: Variety]

Brodie’s Law: Project Jameson
John Pogue (“The Quiet Ones”) has signed on to helm a film version of popular UK graphic novel series “Brodie’s Law: Project Jameson”. Pre-production begins this Spring with Kirsten McCallion penning the adaptation.

The story follows professional gun-for-hire Jack Brodie, who is set up and forced to steal a top-secret experiment that enables him to physically morph into different people. He seeks his kidnapped son and tries to bring the criminals to justice who double-crossed him. [Source: Deadline]