Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage’s ‘Jiu Jitsu’ Obtains Cyprus Support

In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution.

CYPRUS REBATE

Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in the country, Variety has learned exclusively.

Cage came on board in March to star in the martial arts actioner, based on the comic book of the same name. Martin Barab is producing with Dimitri Logothetis who is also directing from a script he wrote with Jim McGrath about an ancient order of expert Jiu Jitsu fighters facing fearsome alien invaders in a battle for Earth every six years.

The Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (Invest Cyprus) said production companies that opt to film in Cyprus can choose between a tax credit and a cash rebate of 25-35% on eligible expenditures incurred in Cyprus. “Jiu Jitsu” carries a price tag of about $27 million. Invest Cyprus said the production obtained an approval certificate in two days.

PROJECTS LAUNCHED

Legendary, Why Not Productions, and Pan-Européenne have closed a deal to produce an English language adaptation of the Leila Slimani novel “The Perfect Nanny.”

The book was originally published by Gallimard in France in 2016 and by Penguin in the US in 2018. The story centers on a couple employing a polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic apartment, stays late without complaint and hosts enviable kiddie parties — that is until the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another and jealousy, resentment and suspicions mount.

“The Perfect Nanny” won  France’s Prix Goncourt in 2016, and translation rights sold in a bidding war in 40 territories. Pascal Caucheteux of Why Not Productions and Phillippe Gordeau of Pan-Européenne are attached to produce, with Rosa Attab of Why Not Productions attached to executive produce. Mary Parent will produce and Ali Mendes will executive produce for Legendary. Leila Slimani will also serve as executive producer.

Why Not and Pan-Européenne are currently in post-production on the French-language adaptation of “The Perfect Nanny.”

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The Wonderfilm Media Corporation has greenlit the horror film “Amityville 1974” to begin principal photography in November.

The project is based on the real-life tragedy involving Ronald DeFeo Jr. and his six family members whom he shot in 1974. The events have spawned both an “Amityville Horror” novel and a number of films. Casey La Scala (“Donnie Darko”) will direct from a script he wrote.

Jeff Bowler and Shaun Redick (“Get Out”) will produce for Wonderfilm alongside Todd Garner who will also produce. Bret Saxon and Yvette Yates will executive produce.

Wonderfilm’s sister company, Wonderfilm Global, will launch worldwide sales at the Toronto Film Festival. Wonderfilm is fully financing the picture. La Scala is repped by Paradigm and Ziffren, Brittenham. The news was first reported by Deadline.

‘MILK’ RETURNS

AMC Theatres has partnered with the Harvey Milk Foundation to schedule showings of “Milk” on June 24 at 10 locations to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.

“Milk” chronicles the life and career of gay-rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who made history with his 1977 breakthrough as one of the world’s first openly-gay elected public officials as a member of San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors. He was assassinated in 1978. Sean Penn won an Academy Award for Best Actor and Dustin Lance Black won an Oscar for original screenplay.

“Dustin Lance Black’s 2008 movie MILK opened up Harvey’s message and example of courage to a whole new generation across the globe,” said Miriam Richter, Director of the Harvey Milk Foundation.

“Milk” will be shown in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.

‘BURDEN’ DATED

David Glasser’s 101 Studios has acquired rights to civil rights drama “Burden” and set a Nov. 1 launch with a continued roll out through the month of November.

“Burden” has been edited down 20 minutes from the film’s premiere at 2018 at Sundance, where it won the Audience Award. Garrett Hedlund stars as an ardent young member of the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan who rose to the rank of Grand Dragon and walked away from all of it with the help of a new love and an unlikely ally: the African American religious leader and social activist Reverend David Kennedy, played by Forest Whitaker.

The film’s cast includes Tom Wilkinson, Andrea Riseborough, Tess Harper, Crystal Fox and Usher.