AFM: Download THR's Day 4 Daily

A look at how AFM provides a barometer of Hollywood career trajectories, a conversation with Jonas Akerlund about 'Lord of Chaos' and news on Michael Shannon joining the heist thriller 'Echo Boomers.'

The Hollywood Reporter has released its fourth daily issue for the American Film Market, which kicked off in Santa Monica on Wednesday. The issue features a look at how AFM is the new STARmeter for Hollywood, a chat with Jonas Akerlund on his personal heavy metal thriller and news on Michael Shannon being cast in Echo Boomers.

"Could Johnny Depp be the New Nic Cage?"

IMDb may have the STARmeter, ranking Hollywood’s pool of acting talent into an apparent order of popularity (it’s actually based on visits to their individual pages), but perhaps a more accurate representation of a star’s current career position is available at AFM. "Could Johnny Depp be the new Nic Cage?" asked one veteran buyer about the troubled actor, who has Minamata, in which he will play photojournalist W. Eugene Smith, and the literary adaptation Waiting for the Barbarians at the market. To be fair, both projects are several notches above most of the direct-to-SVOD fare seen at AFM, and this year's market could be more of a stopover than a final career resting place for Depp. Elsewhere, Jessica Chastain has this year earned an AFM darling badge thanks to her starring role as a bloody assassin in the upcoming thriller Eve, which she also produces. 

"Mayhem" on the Big Screen

Jonas Akerlund is used to the life of pop superstardom — the music video director from Stockholm has a client list that includes Madonna, U2, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Taylor Swift — but for his new film, Lords of Chaos, the 52-year-old helmer drew on his rock roots as a drummer in Bathory, a seminal 1980s Swedish band that pioneered black metal, an extreme heavy-metal subgenre featuring shrieking vocals, lightning-fast guitars and stage shows dripping in satanic imagery.

Michael Shannon Embarks on Heist 

A foursome of stars have come together for the upcoming heist thriller Echo Boomers. Nick Robinson (Love, Simon), two-time Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (Nocturnal AnimalsRevolutionary Road), Britt Robertson (Girl Boss, Tomorrowland), and Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number FourElvis & Nixon) have joined the film, which was launched by Fortitude International at AFM. Based on a true story, Echo Boomers centers on a group of disillusioned twenty-somethings who use Chicago as their playground by breaking into the homes of the wealthiest citizens.

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