EXCLUSIVE: Amid some uncertainty over the level of pre-sales business possible at Toronto and the AFM due to the strikes, a handful of packages are beginning to emerge.
The first significant project to be revealed for the TIFF market is WME Independent package The Beast, which has The Avengers and The Marvels star Samuel L. Jackson in talks alongside Suicide Squad actor Joel Kinnaman.
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The project, which is in pre-production and has an interim agreement from SAG-AFTRA, was packaged prior to the strikes kicking off, we’re told.
The film’s title refers to its subject: a presidential limousine nicknamed “The Beast” by the Secret Service. The impenetrable tank is stocked with grenades, shotguns, armor plating and bullet- and bombproofing.
When a militia of unidentified hostiles coordinates a coup against the U.S., the president (Jackson) uncovers the extent of The Beast’s highly classified offensive capabilities. Separated from his wife, the president must learn to control The Beast — and the monster inside himself — in order to save his life, the life of Secret Service agent Taft (Kinnaman) and America.
Directing will be The Meg and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts second unit director James Madigan from a screenplay by Umair Aleem (Kate).
Producing are Keith Kjarval (Dragged Across Concrete), Fifth Season (Ambulance), John Logan Pierson (Netflix’s Thai Cave Rescue) and Peter Berg (Lone Survivor).
The movie is a Unified Pictures, Fifth Season, and Film 44 production. Wayne Marc Godfrey and Nicki Cortese are the UK producers via their outfit Bright White Light.
Jackson previously played the U.S. president in 2014 movie Big Game.
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