EXCLUSIVE: The Hangover‘s Ken Jeong has signed on to star in a comedy currently known as Untitled Celebrity Death Pool, to be co-produced by Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, and WWE Studios. Jeong will play a struggling nightclub owner in debt to a loan shark who sets out to win his long-running celebrity death pool by offing his chosen celebrity: David Hasselhoff.
EXCLUSIVE: Ocean Blue Entertainment, in conjunction with CJ Entertainment, Echo Lake and Ingenious Media, have set the financing for Christ The Lord, a feature adaptation of the Anne Rice bestselling novel Christ The Lord: Out of Egypt. A September 15 start date has been set in Italy. Focus Features, which obtained U.S. distribution rights from the movie’s original domestic distributor FilmDistrict when Peter Schlessel took over the former, is planning a wide U.S. release and Hyde Park International is handling the sale of foreign rights. 1492 Pictures will produce with Ocean Blue, CJ Entertainment, Hyde Park and Ingenious.
It isn’t much of a surprise to see Ashok Amritraj, 56, in a tracksuit and flip-flops. Sports is in his genes. He is in the middle of one of his frequent whirlwind trips to Chennai and Mumbai. The former tennis player, the youngest of the three Amritraj brothers from Chennai, and now one of Hollywood’s leading movie producers—chief executive and chairman of Hyde Park Entertainment—is meeting “friends from the film world" and young film-makers with ideas.
EXCLUSIVE: Hyde Park Entertainment has picked up Lee Batchler and Janet Scott Batchler’s spec script Jack & Dick, which charts the fascinating true story of the little-known friendship between political rivals John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, from their early years as Senators to the race for the Presidency, leading up to the historic 1960’s televised debate.
A director will soon be announced for the project which is in the spirit of the Oscar-nominated film Frost/Nixon, with production scheduled for the first quarter of next year.
EXCLUSIVE: Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park International has taken foreign sales on Alex Pettyfer’s directorial debut Back Roads, which stars the Magic Mike actor and Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated Juliette Lewis.
The dramatic thriller is based on Tawni O’Dell’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, which was also chosen as an Oprah’s Book Club selection in March 2000. Oscar-nominated Fatal Attraction filmmaker Adrian Lyne and O’Dell wrote the screenplay adaptation of the novel with Lyne serving as EP.
Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park International has taken international sales on the feature adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play The Seagull starring Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan. Pic is currently in the final stages of post production. The Seagull was previously represented by K5.
Pic is directed by Michael Mayer, who is best known as the Tony Award-winning theater director of the hit Broadway musicals Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch as well as feature director of A Home at the End of the World. Corey Stoll, Elisabeth Moss and newcomer Billy Howle also star.
Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park International is in tune with “The Female Brain,” a quirky relationship comedy that marks the directorial debut of comedian Whitney Cummings. The company has boarded the movie, which is in early post-production, and will represent it in all international territories.
Hyde Park will screen first footage to distributors in Berlin at the European Film Market, while CAA is handling North American domestic rights.
Michael Shannon is coming on strong in this year’s Oscar race for Best Supporting Actor. He earned excellent reviews for “99 Homes,” in which he plays a corrupt real estate broker taking advantage of the housing crisis. And, as awards season gets underway, he’s already racked up two key nominations: Best Actor at the Gotham Awards (which combine lead and supporting performances), and Best Supporting Actor at the Spirit Awards.
This is Shannon’s second individual acting nomination at the Spirit Awards, following a Best Actor bid for his equally intense performance as a man seeing apocalyptic visions in “Take Shelter” (2011). He also shared in the Robert Altman Award in 2013 for “Mud.” And he is also already a Gotham Award-winner as a member of the ensemble of “Before the Devil Knows Your Dead” (2007).
On a visit to the city, Hollywood star Jean-Claude Van Damme, popularly called Muscles from Brussles, shed his action hero avatar and was quick to master a few popular Bollywood dance moves.
He said that he has no reservations doing a film in India with film-makers and artistes of this country.
"I treat each film as a film, irrespective of language, country and the person making it. All I want is a serious script that has a meaty role for me. May be an emotional content that has a substantial part for me with Indian actors along with an Indian crew would be right," said Van Damme.
The actor was on a Delhi visit to launch the autobiography of his dear friend and longtime associate Ashok Amritraj.
More than three decades of action and upwards of a hundred movies later, the Indian-born tennis pro who hit his way into Hollywood and notched up many aces still follows his heart and sets his own pace. He is none the worse for it, as an upcoming autobiography is about to show.
Non-stop action, sporting and otherwise, has been a constant in 57-year-old Ashok Amritraj’s life. From his days as a successful tennis pro in Los Angeles to his over three-decade-old stint as a prolific Hollywood mogul, he has never ever encountered a slackening of pace. Only, one field of dreams has given way to another.