Imagenation Deal Fuels Cross-Cultural Slate

Fueled in part by the $250 million fund through producing partner Imagenation and additional deep-pocket funding via MDA in Singapore, Hyde Park has ramped up a busy slate of films at various phases of production.

Hyde Park topper Ashok Amritraj points to a defining characteristic of the slate, particularly the three films closest to the finish line.

“These are all quite different kinds of movies,” Amritraj says. ” ‘Leonie’ concerns the life of the American-born mother of Isamu Noguchi, as it spans eras and the differences between the U.S. and Japan. ‘Machete’ is a Robert Rodriguez movie through and through, wild and wonderful, exactly the kind of exciting and irreverent genre movie that his fans dream about.

By contrast, ‘Dead of Night’ is a totally different type of genre film, based on Tiziano Sclavi’s extremely popular Italian comicbook, which deals with a supernatural private eye confronting the undead in New Orleans.”

The trio of films are expected to appear in upcoming months, with Fox releasing “Machete,” while distributors are yet to be attached to “Leonie” (“a very likely candidate for festival platforming,” says Amritraj) and “Dead of Night,” starring the last “Superman,” Brandon Routh, as sleuth Dylan Dogretti.

Hyde Park Intl.’s hottest acquisition at the moment is Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine,” starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, set for an upcoming release via the Weinstein Co. following its international unveiling in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.

Hyde Park’s cross-cultural ethos is especially on display with the announced projects in co-production with Imagenation. The Dave Stewart/A.R. Rahman dance-music movie “Street Dancing” is set in the world of dance contests in Singapore and New York, while “Echelon” taps into the international popularity of Andrew McNab’s Nick Stone supernatural detective series of novels.

Amritraj notes that “The Persuaders,” to be helmed by “Sliding Doors” director Peter Howitt, is “very much in the enjoyable vein of fun ‘The Saint. ”

Fruits from the collaboration with animation studio Toonz Entertainment, based in Kerala, India, and one of Hyde Park’s first Asian partnerships, should appear sometime near the end of 2011. This is because the ambitious animated adaptation of “Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum’s “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” is still in production and isn’t expected to be completed for another 12 months.

See the following for the vitals:

“Blue Valentine”
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Writers: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne, Joey Curtis
Producers: Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams
Produced by Silverwood Films and Hunting Lane Films
Int’l sales: Hyde Park Intl.
Selection in Un Certain Regard — Cannes Film Festival
Theatrical release in 2010 by the Weinstein Co.

“Dead of Night”
Director: Kevin Munroe
Writers: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, based on the comicbook,
Dylan Dog,” by Tiziano Sclavi
Producers: Ashok Amritraj, Scott Rosenberg
Cast: Brandon Routh, Anita Briem, Sam Huntington, Taye Diggs, Peter Storemare
Production: Hyde Park Entertainment, Omnilab/Platinum Studios
In post-production

“The Double”
Director: Michael Brandt
Writers: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
Producers: Ashok Amritraj, Patrick Aiello, Andrew Deane, Derek Haas
Cast: Richard Gere, Topher Grace
Production: Hyde Park Entertainment and Imagenation Abu Dhabi
Shooting in June

Writer: Andrew McNab, John Connor, based on McNab’s Nick Stone novel “Firewall”
Producers: Ashok Amritraj, Bonnie Timmermann
Production: Hyde Park Entertainment, Bonnie Timmermann Prods., Imagenation Abu Dhabi
In pre-production, out to talent and casting

Writer: Kenny Golde
Producers: Ashok Amritraj, Patrick Aiello, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald
Production: Hyde Park Entertainment, Parkes/MacDonald Prods., Imagenation Abu Dhabi
In development

Director: Hisako Matsui
Writers: Hisako Matsui, David Wiener
Producers: Hisako Matsui, Ashok Amritraj, Yuuki Ito, Masao Nagai
Cast: Emily Mortimer, Shido Nakamura
Production: Hyde Park Entertainment and Essen Communications
In post-production

“The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus”
Directors: Tom Tataranowicz CQ, Dick Sebast, Rich Arons
Writers: Mark Edens, John Crye, Tom Tataranowicz, based on the book by L. Frank Baum
Producer: Tom Tataranowicz
Exec producer: Ashok Amritraj
Production: Hyde Park Entertainment, Toonz Entertainment, VerdanaRubicon.
In production

Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Ethan Maniquis
Writer: Robert Rodriguez
Producers: Robert Rodriguez, Elizabeth Avellan, Ilana Nikolic, Aaron Kaufman, Rick Schwartz
Exec producers: Ashok Amritraj, Alan Bernon, Myles Nestel
Cast: Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Rose McGowan, Jeff Fahey, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson
Production: Troublemaker Studios and Machete Chop Shop Productions
Int’l sales: Hyde Park Intl.
Theatrical release in 2010 by Twentieth Century Fox

“The Persuaders”
Director: Peter Howitt
Producer: Ashok Amritraj
Production: Hyde Park Entertainment and Imagenation Abu Dhabi
In pre-production, casting

“Street Dancing”
Director: Bille Woodruff
Writer: David B. Harris
Producers: Ashok Amritraj, Patrick Aiello
Music: Dave Stewart, A.R. Rahman
Production: Hyde Park Entertainment and Imagenation Abu Dhabi
In pre-production