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Dealings: Fuqua to pay-or-play for Tupac film; Fox Searchlight backs THE EAST; Relativity buys MACHINE GUN PREACHER

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
June 15th, 2011

Just last week, it was revealed that director Antoine Fuqua was set to leave his long-talked about Tupac Shakur biopic in order to jump into the director’s chair for a new film, SOUTHPAW, starring Eminem. Well, now that not may be entirely the case.

24 Frames is reporting that the director has signed a pay-or-play deal with Morgan Creek, that would force the company to either get the film made, or pay up the given amount of cash in the deal to Fuqua. Basically, it’s a way for Fuqua to get his no matter the outcome. I think it’s a great deal for directors to make, and it will hopefully spurn this project forward.

In other deal-related news, Brit Marling has revealed that (via Anne Thompson and The Playlist) she and Fox Searchlight, along with her SOUND OF MY VOICE director Zal Batmanglij, will be bringing us a new film entitled THE EAST. The film will be backed by Searchlight, and will follow the story of a woman who tries to infiltrate a group of anarchists.

The project should be going in front of cameras this year, and with this, VOICE, and Marling’s other film, ANOTHER EARTH, it looks like Searchlight has found their muse in the young up-and-coming actress/writer. I wasn’t a huge fan of EARTH after seeing it at this year’s SXSW, but Marling was fantastic in it, so here’s to hoping this relationship continues to grow.

Finally, Deadline is reporting that Lionsgate has handed over the rights to the upcoming Gerard Butler film, MACHINE GUN PREACHER, to Relativity, who are planning a fall release for the film. The flick stars Butler, Michelle Monagha, Michael Shannon, Kathy Baker, and Souleymane Sy Savane, as directed by Marc Forster. An interesting move to say the least, and while it’s not that intriguing of a film, early word is that the film features a great lead performance, so expect this one to get some Oscar buzz behind it.

What do you think?

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