Scott Cooper, Black Label Media Adapt
MLK Assassination Thriller ‘Hellhound On His Trail’

Deadline Hollywood, August 1, 2017

Black Label Media has stepped up to produce and finance Hellhound On His Trail. Scott Cooper will direct his scripted adaptation of the Hampton Sides non fiction bestseller about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr by James Earl Ray. Set against the larger backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, the film will chronicle the terrifying collision of these two figures and the subsequent largest manhunt in FBI history. That hunt was led by J. Edgar Hoover, and led to the apprehension of prison escapee Ray before he fled the country. The book was published in 2010 by Doubleday, and was a national bestseller and Edgar Award nominee. Black Label Media and John Lesher will produce alongside Cooper. They are eyeing a spring production start.

The subject matter — the assassination of MLK and manhunt by the same bureau that wiretapped Dr. King — has been a provocative film topic because the manhunt naturally plays like a ticking clock procedural thriller. Past attempts to tell the story, most recently with the Paul Greengrass-script Memphis, never got to the starting line. Cooper, who broke through with Crazy Heart, and followed with Out of the Furnace and Black Mass, unveils his next film at the Toronto Film Festival next month, the Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike-starrer Hostiles.

Formed by Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill, Black Label Media has several big movies coming. They include the Joseph Kosinski-directed Only The Brave with Josh Brolin and Miles Teller (formerly Granite Mountain) which Sony releases October 20, and the Sicario sequel Soldado coming next year. Horse Soldiers, produced with Jerry Bruckheimer and starring Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon and Michael Pena, will be released January 19 through Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. The Danny Strong-directed Rebel in the Rye will be released by IFC this fall with Nicholas Hoult and Kevin Spacey starring.

Cooper is repped by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman. Sides is repped by ICM Partners. The Memphis-based author will be the film’s historical consultant through Santa Fe-based Atalaya Productions.

See original article here.


‘Alternative facts’ era sparks resurgence of dystopian classic

Winston Smith, suspicious of the totalitarian regime for which he rewrote the past, began keeping an illicit diary. The date was April 4.

Almost 200 movie theaters nationwide, sharing Winston’s spirit of free-thinking rebellion, will screen his story Tuesday. That’s 1984, director Michael Radford’s film adaptation of George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian masterwork.

 Bill Banowsky, owner of the Austin, Texas-based Violet Crown, traveled to Rome last week with Giovanni Orlando of Atalaya Productions of Santa Fe; there, Banowsky and Orlando interviewed Radford, the 1984 director.

An abridged version of the interview will show before and after the screenings of the film Tuesday.

Santa Fe New Mexican, April 5, 2017

John Hurt-Richard Burton Movie ‘1984’ to Screen in Theaters on April 4

More than 180 art houses in North America and Europe have scheduled April 4 showings of “1984,” the dystopian drama starring John Hurt and Richard Burton.

“1984” director Michael Radford has agreed to film an introduction and post-screening discussion for the theatrical re-release of “1984,” to play before and after screenings in all participating theaters. The re-release event was first announced in February and the number of theaters participating in the National Event Day screenings has more than doubled since then.

The interview will be produced by Santa Fe-based Atalaya Productions and Austin-based Violet Crown Films. Plans are for Radford to recall stories about the making of the movie while discussing the ways in which George Orwell’s novel — first published in 1949 — has retained its currency.

Hurt portrayed Winston Smith in “1984,” the final film in Burton’s career. Burton died a few months prior to the release and the film is dedicated to him.

The April 4 date was chosen because it is the day that Smith begins rebelling against his oppressive government by keeping a forbidden diary.

“Orwell’s novel begins with the sentence, ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,’ ” the theater owners said in a joint statement issued last month. “Less than one month into the new presidential administration, theater owners collectively believe the clock is already striking thirteen. Orwell’s portrait of a government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies, has never been timelier.”

“The endeavor encourages theaters to take a stand for our most basic values: freedom of speech, respect for our fellow human beings, and the simple truth that there are no such things as ‘alternative facts,’ ” the statement continues.

“By doing what they do best – showing a movie – the goal is that cinemas can initiate a much-needed community conversation at a time when the existence of facts, and basic human rights are under attack. Through nationwide participation and strength in numbers, these screenings are intended to galvanize people at the crossroads of cinema and community, and bring us together to foster communication and resistance against current efforts to undermine the most basic tenets of our society.”

Participating theaters have pledged to  donate a portion of the proceeds to local charities and organizations, or using the proceeds for the purposes of underwriting future educational and community-related programming.

Santa Fe New Mexican, January 12, 2016

Televisa USA Tackles Aztec Family Saga with ‘Luck of Huemac’

Televisa USA has recruited showrunner Michael Chernuchin to develop an English-language drama series based on the novel “The Luck of Huemac,” about the end of the Aztec civilization.

The project aims to depict the Spanish invasion in the pre-Columbian era from the perspective of an Aztec family. “Huemac,” based on the 1981 novel by Daniel Peters, is designed for a multi-ethnic cast.

Chernuchin, a seasoned showrunner, is coming off recent stints on Netflix’s “Marco Polo” and Starz’s “Black Sails.” Past credits include “Law & Order.”

Atalaya Prods. has partnered with Televisa USA on “Huemac.” The company, based in Santa Fe, N.M. and London, specializes in financing and producing historical dramas. Atalaya’s Giovanni Orlando and Irene Webb are serving as exec producers. David Sigurani, Televisa USA’s director of development, found and packaged the project for the U.S. production arm of Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa.

‘The team we assembled is perfect to bring this shockingly tragic cultural tale to TV in an authentic and respectful way,” said Chris Philip, Televisa USA’s head of production and distribution.

Televisa USA has been building up its scripted production over the past year with a slate that now includes the upcoming “Maleficio” for Starz and development projects “Duality,” starring Dougray Scott and “Gran Hotel,” written by Stephen Kronish.

 TodoTVNews, January 12, 2016

La subsidiaria de Televisa en EEUU realizará una nueva serie original en inglés. La nueva elegida será Aztecs, basada en el libro de Daniel Peters The Luck of Huemac y coproducida junto a Atalaya Productions.

Televisa sigue agrandando su huella en EEUU, con el anuncio de una nueva serie original en inglés producida por Televisa USA junto a Atalaya Productions.

Esta vez, la serie anunciada se titulará Aztecs y estará basada en el exitoso libro de Daniel Peters The Luck of Huemac.

Michael Chernuchin (Marco Polo, Black Sails) será el showrunner de la serie, que contará la vida durante el esplendor del imperio Azteca, tiempo ante de la invasión española que arrasó con dicha civilización.

Aztecs se suma así a una nutrida lista de proyectos de Televisa USA, como la serie Maleficio junto a Starz; el thriller de espionaje Duality, protagonizado por Dougray Scott; Gran Hotel, que será rodada en los estudios Pinewood de República Dominicana; y un acuerdo con Lantica Media para realizar múltiples proyectos.

“El equipo que hemos armado es perfecto para traer esta impactante historia a la televisión de un modo autentico y respetuoso”, expresó Chris Philip, director de producción y distribución de Televisa USA.

“Intriga, traición y romance serán parte de esta gran historia, que será contada desde la perspectiva de la gente que construyó y perdió esta gran civilización”, añadió.

Giovanni Orlando e Irene Webb, de Atalaya, serán los productores ejecutivos de la serie, al tiempo que David Sigurani, director de Desarrollo de Televisa USA, supervisará la producción.

See original article here.