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The Hollywood Reporter has released its first daily issue for the American Film Market, which kicked off in Santa Monica on Wednesday. The issue features a look at how the market’s usual genre offerings has been replaced by awards-bait fare, a chat with James Franco about his John Steinbeck adaptation In Dubious Battle and exclusive news of a new project starring Alexander Skarsgard and Cara Delevingne.
Sharks, Zombies and…Oscars?
It’s always been about the package at AFM: Add star A with genre B at budget C and you get D — the money a sales company can expect to bank from international distributors in order to get its movie made. But an exceptionally bad year for the indie industry has left many deciding that quality, not classic A-B-C packaging, is the way to go. “In the past five years, everybody jumped into doing sci-fi to try to come up with the next Ex Machina and doing horror that didn’t work,” one exec tells THR. “And because nobody’s buying that, it freed up some money for some good stuff as well. I think it’s not a terrible time to have good product.”
Making In Dubious Battle
Multihyphenate Franco continues his streak of ambitious literary adaptations with his feature based on Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle, which follows a group of farm workers who organize a strike in the 1930s. Franco also stars, along with Nat Wolff, Selena Gomez and Robert Duvall, in the project. He speaks to THR about how he finances his projects, his thoughts on streaming and what it was like to work with The Room writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau.
Pumped for Fever Heart
Skarsgard and Delevingne will star in Ben Briand’s gothic thriller, which follows an amnesiac (Skarsgard) who teams up with a quick-witted circus sharpshooter (Delevingne) to uncover his lost memories. The project, co-written by Briand and Kevin W. Koehler, is being produced by Picture Films’ Margot Hand and Matt Dooley, with Michele Bennett and Nadine de Barros executive producing. The pic is slated to begin shooting in 2017.
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