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AFM UPDATE: Winterbottom’s Drama Based on Amanda Knox Case, ‘Face of an Angel,’ Heads Into Production, Stars Beckinsale

AFM UPDATE: Winterbottom's Drama Based on Amanda Knox Case, 'Face of an Angel,' Heads Into Production, Stars Beckinsale

UPDATE: More news coming in from AFM. Production is set to begin next week on Michael Winterbottom’s “The Face of an Angel,” starring Kate Beckinsale, Daniel Bruhl (“Rush”) and Cara Delevingne (“Kids in Love”). Adapted and fictionalized from Barbie Latza Nadeau’s bestseller “Angel Face,” on the Amanda Knox case, the film centers on the murder of a Brit student in Tuscany, and the ensuing trial and conviction of her American roommate and Italian boyfriend.

-Myriad is going to handle worldwide sales of thriller “Frontera,” starring Ed Harris, Eva Longoria and Michael Pena. The film, helmed by Michael Berry, is set in the dangerous US-Mexico border area, and looks at the aftermath of a sheriff’s wife’s mysterious death.

EARLIER: Sienna Miller has joined the cast of the new project from Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (“Half Nelson”), “Mississippi Grind.” The film centers on a man facing financial hardship, who embarks on a road trip through the South with a young poker player. Filming is eyeing a January 2014 start in New Orleans.

-Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”) and Jennifer Ehle (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Contagion”) are on board for espionage thriller “Spooks: The Greater Good.” They join original “Spooks” TV series (“MI5” in the US) star Peter Firth, in the big-screen installment set to be helmed by Bharat Nalluri, the originating director on the series. Production is heading toward a first-quarter 2014 start.

-Speaking of Peter Firth, the actor is also set to star in “If You See Her,” alongside new casting additions Alex Kingston (“Doctor Who”) and Tom Cullen (“Downton Abbey,” “Weekend”). The film, to be helmed by writer-director Joan Carr-Wiggin, centers on a cynical young documentary filmmaker (Janet Montgomery of “Our Idiot Brother”) who returns home to her ailing father (Firth), and finds herself pressured into filming a wedding video for her childhood best friend.

EARLIER: 80-year-old Michael Caine is lining up a couple of intriguing projects, one of them being shopped at this year’s AFM: “Harry and the Butler,” also set to star Samuel L. Jackson, with George C. Wolf (“Lackawanna Blues”) at the helm. It centers on a one-time New Orleans jazz virtuoso (Jackson) who hires himself an aging, down-on-his-luck Brit butler (Caine) when bequeathed a large sum of money. The project is eyeing a spring production start on location in Louisiana.

The other Caine project is Paolo Sorrentino’s “In the Future.” Sorrentino is the helmer of this year’s Italian Oscar entry “The Great Beauty” (trailer here), a sumptuously and lyrically shot film centering on an aging once-novelist (Toni Servillo) atrophying in Rome’s party scene. At the moment, all details on “In the Future” are under wraps. This is the director’s second outing with a high-profile English-speaking star — Sean Penn starred in 2011’s “This Must Be the Place.”

EARLIER: Every year a rash of new projects are assembled and packaged for
sale at the American Film Market (AFM), which this year runs from November 6-13 in Santa Monica. Whether they ever get made is anybody’s guess. But producers and
financiers “attach” directors and would-be stars to movies for foreign sales companies to pre-sell to territories around the world, from
Japan and Korea to Spain and Colombia.

These are the foreign indies, aimed at a global market. They have a bigger budget than the average Sundance movie, but are much cheaper than any studio movie (though, however, many will be bought by the studios, who shop AFM along with hordes of other buyers).

Nicolas Gonda, producer and co-founder of Tugg, is set to
deliver the keynote address
at the AFM’s Marketing Conference
on November 11. Comedian Adam Carolla will deliver the keynote at the Production Conference on Sunday, November

So, what’s coming together at the market? 

Dustin Hoffman is set to headline “Boy Choir,” which also has Alfred Molina and Kathy Bates attached in supporting roles. Francois Girard is helming. The film tells the story of a troubled 11-year-old from the wrong side of the tracks who ends up at a Boy Choir school
back East, caught up in a battle of wills with a demanding Choir Master
Carvelle (Hoffman) who recognizes his unique talent.

Michael Fassbender is in talks for the lead in “Trespass Against Us,” an original gangster film by Alistair Siddons. It’s set across three generations of the rowdy Cutler family, who
live as outlaws but, defying the expectations of
his father, Chad Cutler (Fassbender) is looking for a way out of the criminal life. Chemical Brothers to score. The question is: How many films can Fassbender possibly do? At the moment he’s got a lot lined up (“Slow West,” “Macbeth,” plus rumors of “Assassin’s Creed,” a “Prometheus” sequel, and “Genius”).

Robert De Niro is aboard “Candy Store,” to be helmed by Stephen Gaghan. Jason Clarke and Omar Sy are also attached. It centers on an undercover agent who begins a new life as a beat cop in
Brooklyn, but finds that his past life comes back to haunt him.

Patrick Wilson has signed on for “The Man on Carrion Road.” Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego (“Apollo 18,” “Open Grave”) will direct. It centers on a botched Mexican cartel deal in
the back roads of a border town. The town’s new sheriff (Wilson) must
team up with the retired lawman he replaced to investigate the source of the
deal in order to stop a mysterious cartel butcher and his systematic
brutalization of the town’s residents.

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