Merritt Wever-Led ‘Midday Black Midnight Blue’ Acquired By Good Deed; Coral Peña, Nicole Byer Board ‘Thelma’; More – Film Briefs

EXCLUSIVE: Good Deed Entertainment has acquired North American and UK rights to the indie drama Midday Black Midnight Blue, starring 2x Emmy winner Merritt Wever (Godless), slating it for a day-and-date release in June.

The first feature from writer-directors Samantha Soule and Daniel Talbott, also starring Chris Stack (AMC’s Interview with the Vampire) and Soule (Godless), follows Ian (Stack) as he grapples with his shifting memories of Liv (Soule), a woman he once loved. For Ian, it’s a chance run-in with Liv’s sister (Wever) that sparks a journey in which he has a chance to reconnect to the light and fight his way back to life.

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The film, which world premiered at last year’s Seattle Film Festival, is produced by Soule, Talbott and Stack, as well as Lovell Holder and Addie Johnson Talbott. Exec producers are Timothy Farrell, Conner Marx and Will Pullen. GDE’s EVP of Acquisitions Erik Donley negotiated Midday Black‘s deal for the company, with Double Dutch International SVP Mark Padilla on behalf of the filmmakers.


Coral Peña and Nicole Byer join 'Thelma'
Coral Peña, Nicole Byer

EXCLUSIVE: Coral Peña (For All Mankind) and 6x Emmy nom Nicole Byer (Nailed It!) are set for roles in Thelma — an “action” comedy starring 93-year-old Academy Award nominee June Squibb, which has wrapped production.

The first feature from writer-director Josh Margolin centers on 90-year-old grandmother Thelma Post (Squibb), who gets duped by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson and sets out on a uniquely treacherous quest to reclaim what was taken from her. Fred Hechinger, Richard Roundtree, Parker Posey, Clark Gregg and Malcolm McDowell round out the cast.

Zoë Worth, a longtime collaborator of Margolin’s, and producing partner Chris Kaye started developing Thelma after reading an early draft in their writer’s group, Rock & Roll Universe. The film will be their first produced together. Invention Studios’ Nicholas Weinstock and Benjamin Simpson are producing alongside Worth and Kaye, as well as Viviana Vezzani and Karl Spoerri of Zurich Avenue, which is fully financing the film. Zurich Avenue’s Tobias Gutzwiller is exec producing along with Squibb and Hechinger, with Kat Barnette co-producing. CAA Media Finance arranged the film’s financing and is repping its distribution rights.

Peña is repped by Innovative Artists, Luber Roklin Entertainment and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Byer by WME, Artists First and Yorn, Levine, Barnes.


Eric Roberts, Taylor Armstrong join Rick Walker's film 'Guardians'
Eric Roberts, Taylor Armstrong

EXCLUSIVE: Eric Roberts (Babylon) and Taylor Armstrong (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) have taken on roles in the upcoming feature Guardians from State 46 Films.

The drama currently in production, with Rick Walker at the helm, follows two women (Cherish Rodriguez, Mackenzie McIntyre) facing life-threatening situations until one of them reluctantly finds her way to Reverend Willis’ (Roberts) church and the transformation begins. Roberts’ character is described as a charismatic preacher who can teleport members of his congregation back into the biblical time on which his sermon is based. Armstrong plays Dr. Renee Kennedy, whose path crosses with the two girls one night after a horrible incident lands them in the ER at her hospital.

Walker penned the script and is producing alongside Kennady Ritter and Chad Lunsford, with Noble McIntyre serving as executive producer. Roberts is repped by Sovereign Talent Group, Imperial Artists Agency, Miles Anthony Associates, Empire Agency and Scott Carlson Entertainment.


Mike Colter in 'I'm Charlie Walker'
I’m Charlie Walker

EXCLUSIVE: S&R Films has claimed international sales rights to the underdog biopic I’m Charlie Walker starring Luke Cage and Plane’s Mike Colter, from FAMM Films. Pic is coming off its successful domestic run via Shout! Studios and will now look to Cannes for its global pick-ups.

The film written and directed Patrick Gilles, taking place in 1971, covers the true story of Black entrepreneur Charlie Walker (Colter), who found himself at odds with racist competitors and a corrupt oil industry. Following the violent collision of two oil tankers which spilled millions of gallons of crude oil in the San Francisco Bay, the subsequent environmental disaster provided a unique opportunity for Walker. Despite the systemic political discrimination of the time, and sabotage levied against him from the oil company who hired him in the first place, Walker went on to build an empire and put significant cracks in the institutional racism that pervaded the region.

The deal was signed by exec producer and FAMM Films CEO Bill O’Keeffe, and Gato Scatena and Jordan Rosner on behalf of S&R Films. Sean Pope of Ramo Law along with producer Mike Regen negotiated on behalf of FAMM Films.


Rosalie Abella, subect of the documentary ‘Without Precedent: The Supreme Life of Rosalie Abella’
Rosalie Abella

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has an exclusive trailer for the feature documentary Without Precedent: The Supreme Life of Rosalie Abella, written and directed by Barry Avrich (Oscar Peterson: Black + White), which will soon world premiere as part of the Special Presentations program and Big Ideas series of the prestigious Hot Docs Festival.

Pic tells the story of Abella, who at 29, was appointed as the youngest judge in Canadian history and leaves the Supreme Court as its longest-serving current member. As Canada’s first Jewish female Supreme Court Justice, Abella reflects on a career that made her a human rights hero.

Without Precedent features interviews with Margaret Atwood, The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, The Right Honourable Paul Martin, The Right Honourable Joe Clark, Adam Gopnik, Charles Bronfman and Irving Abella, among others. Mark Selby, Avrich and Jonas Prince produced the pic, with Rosemary Sadlier as consulting producer. Watch the trailer by clicking below.

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