Zoe Saldana to Star in the Olympic-Themed Drama “Fencer”

Zoe Saldana is en garde for her next project…

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress is set to star in writer-director Jasmine McGlade’s drama Fencer, which

Zoe Saldaña

HanWay Films will sell at the European Film Market (EFM).

Set in the competitive world of fencing, Saldana is attached to play Mae, an ambitious female athlete facing personal demons and childhood rivals as she vies for a spot on the U.S. Olympicteam. 

The film is inspired by McGlade’s own experiences as a national champion fencer. McGlade capped her tenure at Harvardby leading her team to the school’s first-ever NCAA Championshiptitle.

Casey Affleck is producing with Whitaker Lader

Imagine Entertainmentwill executive produce. UTA Independent Film Group and CAA Media Financeare co-repping the U.S.

McGlade commented, “As a writer and filmmaker I seek to tell brazen, character-driven stories about people who are flawed, and thus real. Especially women. Characters who are their own worst enemies and yet incredibly resilient. Fencer is a celebration of perseverance and sacrifice, while also a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting one’s sense of worth and security solely through achievement and external validation. Fencer will provide one of the screen’s first realistic glimpses into the thrilling world of fencing, much more demanding and diverse than stereotypes may suggest, and an intimate and intense look into the minds and lives of female athletes. It is a dream come true to get to work with Zoe on Fencer, and to marry my two greatest passions: filmmaking and fencing.”

Saldana’s credits include the Star Trek franchise, the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, Avatar and its upcoming sequels, and Colombiana.

Michelle Rodriguez to Star in the Dramatic Thriller “Dreamland”

Life is but a dream(land)for Michelle Rodriguez

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress will star in DreamlandNicholas Jarecki’s dramatic thriller revolving around the opioid crisis that is being toplined by Gary OldmanArmie Hammer and Evangeline LillyGreg Kinnear, Veronica Ferres and Lily-Rose Depp also star.

Michelle Rodriguez

The film, which was unveiled at the European Film Market earlier this month, is now shooting in Montreal.

The film written and being directed by Jarecki follows three colliding stories: a drug trafficker (Hammer) arranges a multi-cartel Fentanyl smuggling operation between Canada and the U.S.; an architect (Lilly) recovering from an OxyContinaddiction tracks down the truth behind her son’s involvement with narcotics; and a university professor (Oldman) battles unexpected revelations about his employer, a drug company with deep government influence bringing a new “non-addictive” painkiller to market. 

Rodriguez plays a DEAsupervisor who clashes with Hammer’s drug trafficker. 

Rodriguez’s credits include starring as Letty Ortiz in the Fast & Furious franchise, as well as roled in Resident EvilS.W.A.T.and Avatar.

Cuarón to Write and Direct a New Take on “Zorro”

Jonás Cuarón is bringing a fictional Latino hero back to life…

The 34-year-old Mexican filmmaker and screenwriter and son of Alfonso Cuarón has been tapped to write and direct a new take on Zorro.

Jonas Cuaron

The film, titled Z, will be produced by Lantica Media and Sobini Films, and principal photography is set to start in the summer at Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios.

Cuarón co-penned Gravity with his father. He recently wrote directed the Toronto International Film Festival film Desierto, which won the Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations.

Lantica will finance, and Pantelion Films will handle international sales. The title will be up for grabs European Film Market in Berlin this month.

Blahnik to be the Subject of a Documentary Film

Manolo Blahnik and his shoes are made for walking right onto the big screen…

The 73-year-old Spanish fashion designer will be the subject of a documentary titled Manolo (The boy who made shoes for lizards).

Manolo Blahnik

The film about the fashion sensation, whose first name became a cultural reference point after frequent shout-outs on HBO’s Sex and the City, will be directed by Michael Roberts.

It’s being dubbed as an in-depth portrait of the man who is regarded as a genius by some of the most revered figures in fashion and will offer a behind-the-scenes peek into his fabulous world.

Manolo will feature interviews with a who’s who of some of the most notable figures in fashion and entertainment, including Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Andre Leon Talley, Paloma Picasso, Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, Charlotte Olympia, Iman, Jamie Preto, Naomi Campbell, David Bailey, Isaac Mizrahi, Joan Burnstein, Mary Beard, Colin McDowell, Penelope Tree, Prince of Lampedusa, Rupert Everett and Blahnik himself.

Production on the doc is currently underway.

Content Media has acquired worldwide sales rights to the film and will begin introducing Manolo next month during the European Film Market in Berlin.

“Manolo Blahnik is fashion royalty and the king of his craft,” Content Media film president Jamie Carmichael said Wednesday in a statement. “He also happens to be a wonderfully colorful and fascinating man, with a unique world view. Michael Roberts is a director with unparalleled access and understanding of the fashion world and the combination of both these golden elements will make for fabulous and fascinating cinema.”

For more than 40 years, Blahnik has been designing his shoe line, which has attracted a devoted following including the likes of Nicole Kidman, Rihanna and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Hayek to Star in the Political Thriller “The Septembers of Shiraz”

It’ll be a September to remember for Salma Hayek

The 47-year-old Mexican actress will co-star opposite Shohreh Aghdashloo in the thriller The Septembers of Shiraz, the film adaptation of a novel by Dalia Sofer from Millennium Films.

Salma Hayek 

Wayne Blair, who last helmed The Sapphires, will direct the drama, which is quietly being sold at Berlin’s European Film Market.

Gerard Butler is producing the film with Alan Siegel and Heidi Jo Markel.

The Septembers of Shiraz is based on actual events (Sofer was 10 years old when her own family escaped Iran) and tells the story of a Jewish family caught in the Islamic revolution in 1981 Iran.

The story centers on an imprisoned gem dealer, his despairing wife, their daughter — whose playmate’s father is in the charge of the prison — and their New York-based son as they try to come together and escape the deadly tyranny.

Hayek will play the mother while Aghdashloo is the family’s housekeeper, whose son used to work for the gem dealer but is not part of the Revolutionary Guard.

Producers are eyeing a production start in April 2014.

Hayek will next be seen in Muppets Most Wanted. She last co-starred in Grown-Ups 2.

Film Movement Acquires North American Rights to Fernández Almendras’ “To Kill a Man”

Alejandro Fernández Almendras Sundance Film Festival hit will be heading to North American theaters in the near future.

The Chilean filmmaker’s To Kill a Man, which won the world cinema grand jury prize at Sundance last month, has been picked up for North American distribution by Film Movement. It’s the company’s first acquisition of 2014.

Alejandro Fernández Almendras

The Chilean drama, which Fernández Almendras directed, first premiered at Sundance and is currently screening at the European Film Market in Berlin.

Film Movement is looking toward a fall theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada, followed by a video on demand and DVD release.

The film depicts hardworking family man Jorge, who is just barely making ends meet. After he’s mugged by a neighborhood delinquent named Kalule, his son confronts the young man and gets shot by Kalule. The killer is released after two years in prison, and he is set on revenge against Jorge’s family.

The deal was struck in the final days of Sundance Film Festival and confirmed just as Berlinale kicked off, by Film Movement president Adley Gartenstein and Vicente Casales, managing director at Film Factory.

To Kill a Man is Almendras’ third feature. His first film, Huacho, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009, where it won Critics’ Week.