RENNY HARLIN SET FOR THE REFUGE: Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger’s Renny Harlin has signed on to direct The Refuge, from a script by action sci-fi writer Ben Sztajnkrycer. The story features Sergeant Rick Pedroni, who changes after being victimized by a mysterious force during his combat tour of Afghanistan. His wife Kate senses it’s more than PTSD, and soon discovers he has been possessed. Casting is underway and shooting is set to begin next month in Bulgaria.
LIONSGATE, STARZ SIGN MEGA-DEAL: Lionsgate and its subscription platform Starz have reached a multiyear exclusive output deal for all theatrical releases. This will bring John Wick under its wing, as well as Borderlands, White Bird: A Wonder Story, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds & Snake. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer called the agreement “the next logical step in capitalizing on the combination of our two companies. It gives our brands and franchises an exciting new platform home, accelerates the convergence of our studio and platform businesses and will support Starz’s continued growth into one of the world’s leading premium subscription platforms.” Starz has 28 million subscribers.
KATE SIEGEL, JASON O’MARA, DULE HILL IN FOR HYPNOTIC: Netflix is revving its engines for Hypnotic, bringing Kate Siegel, Jason O’Mara and Dule Hill into star in the horror flick. The story follows a young woman hoping to make her life better with hypnosis.
PRE-SCREENING? As COVID continues to wreak havoc on live events, the powers that be at the Cannes Film Festival are considering pre-screening films in May or June virtually. “We're just evaluating this option, talking with the sellers and distributors. No decision yet,” Jerome Paillard, executive director of Cannes Marché du Film, told THR in an email on Tuesday. Cannes has moved from May 11 to 22 to July 6 to 17.