1.) Olivia Wilde, Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Nicole Beharie (Shame) will star in the Civil War drama The Keeping Room, the second feature from Harry Brown helmer Daniel Barber. The film centers on two sisters and a slave who have to defend their home from a group of rogue Union soldiers. Harry Brown was noted for its bleak look at the UK underworld, so it’s hard to tell if we’re in store for a violent, racially charged version of Straw Dogs or some sort of inspirational bonding exercise. [THR]
2.) Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and Jacki Weaver will star in the John F. Kennedy feature Parkland. The film will recount the events that took place at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas on the day JFK was assassinated in 1963 and mark the debut of writer/director Peter Landesman. Filming is expected to begin soon with a release date supposedly planned for the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, which, yes, happens to fall on a Friday in 2013.
3.) Justin Lin (Fast Five) will produce the sci-fi comedy Subdivision under his Universal-based Barnstorm Pictures banner and will develop the project as a potential directing vehicle. The script comes from Morgan Jurgenson (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) and Alex Ankeles, though no plot details have been revealed. Lin, whose Fast and Furious Six is currently filming, seems to pick up a new project every other week so we’ll have to wait and see where this falls in line. [Variety]
4.) Gerard Butler will star in Dynamo, the rare film that combines soccer and Nazis. The inspirational true story tells of a starving team of Ukrainians under Nazi occupation pitted against a “super team” of German players in a game set up to establish Aryan supremacy. Butler would play the Ukrainian goalie. The story was previously (albeit more loosely) adapted in 1981 for the Sylvester Stallone vehicle Victory, which makes sense because if there’s one thing that puts the butts in the seats, it’s definitely soccer. [Deadline]
5.) S. Craig Zahler is set to make his feature directorial debut on a rather impressive sounding feature titled Bone Tomahawk with a cast that includes Kurt Russell, Peter Sarsgaard, Richard Jenkins and Jennifer Carpenter. Penned by Zahler, the film is described as a brutally violent, character-driven feature following a sheriff (Russell), a gunslinger, a befuddled oldster (Jenkins) and a cowboy (Sarsgaard) as they attempt to rescue a group of captives (including Carpenter) from a band of cannibalistic troglodytes. The Western is eyeing a spring start in New Mexico. [Variety]
BONUS: While I thought last year’s Fright Night remake served its purpose in delivering a thoroughly enjoyable escape filled with plenty of laughs and surprises, I must have been one of the few. The film managed a meager $18 million at the domestic box-office, and DreamWorks consequently began shopping the rights to the franchise. Well as it turns out, an unnamed smaller studio might have snatched up the Fright Night name with plans to turn it into its own “brand.” As opposed to making true sequels, it sounds like the monicker could be used in a similar way to how the American Pie label was used for a string of mostly unrelated direct-to-video releases. I could have seen this working back in Blockbuster’s heyday, but where is the market for such releases these days? [Dread Central]