SYNOPSIS: Oscar winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in “Atomic Blonde,” a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.

The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

A blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality and dazzling style, “Atomic Blonde” is directed by David Leitch (“John Wick,” upcoming “Deadpool 2”). Also starring John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and Toby Jones, the film is based on the Oni Press graphic novel “The Coldest City,” by Antony Johnston & illustrator Sam Hart. Kurt Johnstad (“300”) wrote the screenplay.

Release date: July 28, 2017
Studio: Focus Features
Director: David Leitch
MPAA Rating: R (for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity)
Screenwriter: Kurt Johnstad
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones
Genre: Thriller
Official website: AtomicBlonde.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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ATOMIC BLONDE Premiere (28 Min)

ALL ABOUT ATOMIC BLONDE (28 Min)

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PHOTOS

NOTES

PRODUCTION NOTES

Production Information

Oscar® winner CHARLIZE THERON explodes into summer in Atomic Blonde, a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most elite spy through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.

The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission.  Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (JAMES MCAVOY, Split, X-Men series) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

A blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality and dazzling style, Atomic Blonde is directed by DAVID LEITCH (co-director, John Wick; director of upcoming Deadpool 2), who has imagined a world as brutal and deadly as it is real.

Also starring JOHN GOODMAN (10 Cloverfield Lane, Kong: Skull Island) as CIA operative Emmett Kurzfeld, TIL SCHWEIGER (Inglourious Basterds, Head Full of Honey) as the enigmatic Watchmaker, EDDIE MARSAN (Sherlock Holmes series, Snow White and the Huntsman) as the brilliant mark known only as Spyglass, SOFIA BOUTELLA (The Mummy, Kingsman: The Secret Service) as French intelligence agent Delphine Lasalle; BILL SKARSGÅRD (Allegiant, upcoming It) as Merkel, Broughton’s contact in East Berlin; and TOBY JONES (Captain America and The Hunger Games series) as MI6 investigator Eric Gray, the film is based on the Oni Press graphic novel series “The Coldest City” written by ANTONY JOHNSTON and illustrated by SAM HART.

Directing from a screenplay by KURT JOHNSTAD (300), Leitch shepherds the action-thriller alongside producers ERIC GITTER (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), PETER SCHWERIN (The Butterfly Effect), KELLY MCCORMICK (Deadpool 2), Theron (Monster), A.J. DIX (The Butterfly Effect) and BETH KONO (Young Adult).

For the film, Leitch assembles a top-notch creative team led by cinematographer JONATHAN SELA (John Wick, Deadpool 2), production designer DAVID SCHEUNEMANN (Deadpool 2, The Hunger Games series), editor ELÍSABET RONALDSDÓTTIR (John Wick, Contraband), costume designer CINDY EVANS (Savages, Memento), music supervisor JOHN HOULIHAN (John Wick, Deadpool) and composer TYLER BATES (John Wick series, Guardians of the Galaxy).

The film’s executive producers are NICK MEYER (The Book of Henry), MARC SCHABERG (Mr. Brooks), JOE NOZEMACK (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), STEVEN V. SCAVELLI (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), ETHAN SMITH (Joy), DAVID GUILLOD (Ask Me Anything) and Johnstad (The Butterfly Effect).

INTRODUCTION TO THE STORY

It is 1989 in the city of Berlin, on the eve of the Berlin Wall’s dismantling and an explosive realignment of superpower alliances.  If, on an average day in the spy game, it is difficult to know who to trust, it’s wholly impossible amidst the powder keg that is this coldest of cities.  Lorraine Broughton (Theron), a steely and seductive top-level agent for MI6, has been dispatched to Germany to take down a ruthless espionage ring that has just killed an Allied undercover agent for reasons unknown.

Targeted for elimination mere minutes after her arrival, Broughton survives and is obliged to cooperate with reckless Berlin station chief David Percival (McAvoy).  Casting a wary eye on the two agents are MI6 investigator Eric Gray (Jones) and high-ranking CIA operative Emmett Kurzfeld (Goodman), who has been dispatched from the U.S. to monitor Broughton’s mission. Broughton also finds herself tailed by French intelligence agent Delphine Lasalle (Boutella), who takes a personal interest in her that intensifies into a torrid affair.

All of these operatives, and more surrounding them, are trying to evade a threat that jeopardizes the West’s entire intelligence operation: a list of the identities and personal details of all Western agents operating in Berlin—one compiled by an East German Stasi intelligence officer.  The man thought to be in the possession of the microfilmed list is code-named Spyglass (Marsan).  While their alliance remains uneasy, Broughton and Percival are determined to debrief Spyglass and take custody of the precious file…if they can find him, and it.

Amidst the cold and on the eve of the Wall crumbling, the tension boils over.  With time running out, Broughton unleashes her full arsenal of skills to best each challenge, beat back any adversary, and avenge every betrayal—both professional and personal.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

Going Atomic:
Development of the Thriller

The setting for the story that would become Atomic Blonde represents a singular time and place in history: Berlin, right before the Wall came down after standing for 28 years.  Constructed in 1961 by the Communist East Berlin government to separate citizens from the city’s American, British and French sectors—which had been established via the 1945 Potsdam Conference agreement at the conclusion of WWII—the Wall had engendered a cloaked, segregated arena in which spies, operatives and Cold War players would wage battles both official and unsanctioned.

“It was a Wild West atmosphere,” marvels Charlize Theron, who began developing the script almost five years ago, with an eye to perform in the action-thriller.  “You had the Soviet KGB and the East German Stasi against the American CIA, British MI6 and French DGSE.  Graft, bribery, blackmail, violence—this was the daily diet for those agents at that time.”

Producer Kelly McCormick notes that the structure’s function was quite multifaceted: “The Berlin Wall didn’t just hold people in—instead it held secrets that could endanger intelligence agents, ruin careers and end lives.”

The Wall was actually comprised of two separate barriers: the exterior wall on the West Berlin border, and a heavily guarded interior wall about 30 yards inward.  In between, on the “death strip”—amidst layers of steel and concrete barriers—heavily armed soldiers patrolled with dogs while sand strips exposed the tracks of anyone who came too close.  The Wall encompassed 70 miles of barbed wire, 310 guard towers, 65 anti-vehicle trenches and 40,000 Soviet-trained frontier soldiers.

The production team developed Atomic Blonde from the 2012 Oni Press graphic novel series “The Coldest City,” written by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Sam Hart.  The style, sounds and design of the work reflect a stylistic, elevated re-creation of Berlin in 1989.  Art, music and social expression exploded as the world watched Berlin play host to the end of the Cold War.

Johnston had embarked on the project in summer 2008 as a personal one, on a creative impulse to explore his long-held interest in Cold War espionage.  At the time, spy thrillers were an uncommon genre for graphic novels, and he had little expectation that the story would be published, much less strike such a chord with readers.

The writer reveals his inspiration: “I’ve always loved the genre, having read quite a lot of John le Carré and enjoyed the James Bond movies and the Harry Palmer movies like Funeral in Berlin.  I’ve never forgotten the fall of the Berlin Wall.  I remember watching it unfold on live television, and it felt like such a momentous occasion—something that could lead to global peace and a brighter future.  I figured that the anticipation of it could make for an exciting backdrop to a spy story.”

At the heart of the series is Lorraine Broughton, a woman who survives at all costs.  As a secret agent for MI6, Broughton is the ultimate, unapologetic warrior.  She is a skilled, sensual and savage super spy who isn’t just some mindless fantasy superheroine.  The chances of her success are slim to none in the Coldest City, and the second she touches down in Berlin, she’s left to her own devices.  It’s a mission that nothing she’s ever experienced with MI6 could ever prepare her for.  She must rely on gut, resourcefulness and resilience…using every bit of her training, intellect, charm and instinct to make it out alive.

Producer Eric Gitter, through his stake in Oni Press, got an early look at “The Coldest City” and fell in love with the world creation.  He and his producing partner, Peter Schwerin, had experience adapting graphic novels into movies and television shows.  Still, Gitter admits: “We had never seen one which read so much like a film script as ‘The Coldest City’ did.  It was beautifully layered and complex, with a wonderfully nuanced lead character.  The story tapped into how this city was hopping with a thriving club scene, an underground punk community and fluid sexuality.  Antony is a rock star in his world, and this work was ideal for the big screen.”

“What was so striking about the graphic novel is that even though it was monochromatically rendered, it ripped away years of depictions of the city as dull and dry,” Schwerin adds.  “We felt a movie version could depict a colorful and vibrant rendition of a time and place that is so often thought of as dreary and gray.  There’s not the usual London Fog-overcoat aesthetic here; this is another world, with an eclectic sensibility and a blast of action and intensity.”

Screenwriter Kurt Johnstad, when approached to pen the script as an adaptation of the initial graphic novel in the series, was eager to be part of the project.  That stemmed from his personal connections to Berlin.  The writer of 300 recalls: “My father had been a pilot for Pan Am and was based in West Berlin during the ’60s, and then again in the ’80s.  So I got to spend a lot of time there before the Wall fell.  My sister still lives there today with her family.”

The author’s teenage years found him in West Berlin’s sectors, but also going over to the East.  “Only one train line and one highway connected East and West,” he recalls.  Johnstad appreciated how Berlin then was unbelievably colorful.  It was this magnet for artists, musicians and anarchists…a pulsing destination set against the oppressive thumb of communism.  “Creatively, it was a powerful place to be in; the art and music scenes were thriving.  But I also noticed how it felt like an outpost where danger was lurking.  I wanted to try and convey that heightened sense of peril.

“I would also travel through other Soviet-bloc countries and see how people were enduring their daily lives behind the Iron Curtain,” Johnstad continues.  “Many people gave their lives even to try to escape, and I would always think of them in telling this story.  History has always had individuals at its center, especially during an event like the stunning end of the geopolitical chess game that was the Cold War.”

The Oni Press team found an enthusiastic champion in Theron, who joined as producer with her production company, Denver & Delilah, A.J. Dix and Beth Kono in optioning the provocative material.  Theron’s team saw the opportunity to take a story that is relentless and committed, as well as tough and fun and sexy, and explore it fearlessly on screen.  In “The Coldest City,” they saw something explosive, wild and incredibly entertaining.

Leading independent film finance and production entity Sierra/Affinity, run by the film’s executive producers Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg, financed and produced the film, licensing the rights to Focus Features and Universal for much of the world as well as to select high-end independent distributors.  Former Sierra executive Kelly McCormick, who now produces at 87Eleven Action Design, explains: “What makes Atomic Blonde so viable is the strong female protagonist played by Oscar® winner Charlize Theron, a terrific story, and a world that was both relatable and iconic—here was a movie that was undeniable.”

The behind-the-scenes team knew Theron would give a performance that was just as blistering as it was intense and committed.  The actress has been kicking ass on screen for some time, and the character of Broughton is equal parts sensual, athletic and brilliant.  Not only does Theron star, as developer and producer of Atomic Blonde, she’s championed it from the start.  “What everyone found is that there is no ego involved in Charlize’s producing,” reveals McCormick.  “She’s highly disciplined, hard-working and likes to problem-solve together.  She made the experience that much more special for everyone.”

To helm Atomic Blonde, the production would turn to director David Leitch, fresh off the sleeper-hit success of John Wick, which Leitch co-directed with Chad Stahelski.  As co-founder of 87Eleven, Leitch has served as the second unit director on blockbusters from Jurassic World and Captain America: Civil War to Logan.  Leitch is not simply a “stunts guy.”  He has an undeniable and specific command of the intersection between massive action and intimate stories…and has helped to create an entirely new brand of filmmaking.

For his next film, Leitch was searching for another character with which audiences would be surprised by; a fresh take on cinematic action and adventure.  In MI6’s Broughton, he knew he had a unique female protagonist ready for her close-up.  Along with telling emotionally impactful, character-driven stories, the filmmaker believes in finding action where you wouldn’t dream it exists, and he uses locations and characters to create some of the most unique action in the world.  His mission is to get audiences to ask: “How in the hell did they do that?”

Still, Leitch is just as focused on Lorraine’s emotional arc.  He regards her as a spy who has seen the worst of humanity, but who is unexpectedly shown how to recapture her own.  “Broughton is a terrifically complex character, and through her this story offers a very modern take on the spy genre,” the director reflects.  “As a spy, she possesses ruthless resolve and discipline, but also tendencies and traits that most of us would find hard to understand.  She’s cool and stylish, maintaining a certain emotional detachment necessary for her deadly job, but there is a caring and pained humanity operating underneath the surface…and that bleeds through.”

Leitch, a longtime friend of Johnstad’s, appreciated the script’s combination of historical drama, espionage suspense and action.  The director walks us through his interest: “I grew up in the ’80s and quite clearly remember images of the Wall coming down and the significance of that, so right away I found the subject matter very compelling and interesting…especially because it is relevant with today’s politics.  I responded not only to the storytelling but also to the visual possibilities.”

Leitch worked with Johnstad and the film’s producers on the development of the script.  The screenwriter describes the process as “hands down, one of the best I’ve had.  Dave and I have a shorthand of friendship and respect.  I liked how he wanted to move a classic noir spy thriller into something new, to push the envelope and take some risks.”

Spies and Traitors:
Casting the Film

To incarnate the story’s international intrigue, a cast was convened from around the globe.  Accomplished U.K. actors, German film icons and a rising Algerian star were among those signed to charge up the story’s conflicts and confrontations.

Given that the rules of the spy game were being broken almost as soon as they were made up, the character of David Percival was crucial to the story.  Johnstad explains: “Cold War Berlin was made for this man’s particular talents and temperaments. As the chief of station for MI6, he operates essentially on his own.  He’s got his own small fiefdom, far from the prying eyes of London.  He readily sells and trades contraband with his network of contacts and associates on both sides of the Wall…and he enjoys himself!”

As Lorraine’s fellow MI6 operative, Percival is charming, conniving and merciless.  He is every bit her match, and she trusts him as far as she can throw him.  Percival is also Broughton’s only supposed ally in Berlin.  Still, she knows that he is operating with impunity in the city.  He runs the contraband game as well as anyone in town, and he has his pick of the illegal trade and relishes the environment that has allowed him to run wild.  When Lorraine arrives, he immediately gets alarmed.  This has been his territory for the past five years…and he’s not giving up control easily.

Selected for the part was star James McAvoy, whose small film Split recently passed $275 million at the worldwide box office.  The actor researched those who MI6 recruited in its early stages and found a telling fact he based his character on: The agency looked for people less likely to live long enough to divulge national secrets in later years.

McAvoy enjoyed the character from the moment he read the script.  The actor notes: “Percival is as far away from Bond and Bourne as one can get!  There’s a line Percival says, ‘I f—kin’ love Berlin!’  And he certainly does.  Percival represents the breed of operative who gets seduced by an environment, in this case the Dodge City of the espionage world.  The MI6 chief refers to him as having gone ‘feral,’ which is an apt description—for him and for others in the territory.”

The performer appreciated the edge, attitude and fearlessness of the script and its source material.  “It’s a different version of what we think of as the Cold War,” reveals McAvoy.  “There are so many interests all crowded into this one location, and the players all know each other.  They drink with their enemies and probably sleep with the same people.  It’s an exhilarating but dangerous game, and it has caused Percival to morph into an almost self-destructive figure.  But he’s all Broughton’s got to go on, and with.”

Theron gives a bit of the agent’s backstory: “Broughton’s arrival in Berlin does not sit well with Percival, who sees her arrival as a serious threat.  She is expert in espionage and evasion, weapons and hand-to-hand combat. When London sends her somewhere, it’s to be ‘the final word’ on the matter.  She’s utterly professional and devastatingly destructive, yet she also carries with her the history of a career in which dirty hands are not easily cleansed.”

McAvoy extends the story: “Percival’s nose is put out of joint because he’s been running Berlin for five years, and he doesn’t want someone else around snooping into his business.  But once he learns this woman is almost like black ops, he’s even less sure if he can trust her.”  The performer loved the dark humor in the story that so attracted the filmmakers to the script.  “When he asks Broughton whom she genuinely trusts, her reply is, ‘David Bowie.’”

One of the few Americans in the cast, the legendary John Goodman sees his CIA operative character as most trustworthy.  He explains his role: “Kurzfeld is running a joint mission with MI6 to recover the microfilm dossier of operatives because agents’ lives are at stake if that falls into the wrong hands.  In Berlin, he has to try to ascertain the truth inside a menagerie where people lie, wear masks and assume false identities.  He’s dealing with skilled allies and adversaries who hide in the shadows and play intense games at the life-and-death level.”

Director Leitch echoes the production’s appreciation of all that Goodman brought to the set: “John’s role is shifting in that he has to both pressure and support Broughton in front of her MI6 superiors.  He brings power and gravitas to the character, and that’s great fun to watch…including for the other actors.”

The man with the list is played by British stalwart Eddie Marsan, who reveals that his character, Spyglass, “makes a very risky choice to betray his government in exchange for relocation in West Berlin.  For he has placed his faith, and the lives of his family, in the hands of people he is not entirely sure can be trusted.”

Leitch reflects: “No matter which side someone is ostensibly on, the story’s agents in both the East and West share a common dilemma: on which side of the Wall do you hedge bets on as the political foundation teeters?”

This being the Cold War, there is naturally a KGB agent on the scene: Aleksander Bremovych, portrayed by ROLAND MØLLER.  The actor reports: “Bremovych is an old-school Soviet.  He also despises the Western punk and skateboard influences embraced by East German youth.  He understands that the collapse of the Wall will bring about the collapse of Soviet Russian prestige, order and pride.  For him, getting his hands on Spyglass and the list is a personal quest; he also wants to settle old scores with CIA and MI6 adversaries before, as they say, the ‘whistle is blown’ to end the game.”

More idealistic is French spy Delphine Lasalle, portrayed by Algerian actress Sofia Boutella, who exploded onto the screen with Kingsman: The Secret Service, stole every scene in Star Trek Beyond and headlines The Mummy alongside Tom Cruise.  Younger than the other spies and more adventurous, Delphine assesses that the way into Broughton’s head is through her heart.  Discussing her involvement, Boutella offers: “Unlike just about every other character in the movie, I don’t really have to fight Broughton.  From the moment they meet, Delphine is captivated by Broughton…who is so beautiful, self-assured and commanding.  Delphine’s affection begins to melt a little of Broughton’s icy exterior and reserve.”

The ingénue Lasalle is on her first real mission, and she’s forced to go head-to-head with major players.  The operative is on the verge of being eaten alive by the more battle-scarred operatives in Berlin.  With her wide-eyed innocence and fluid sexuality, she captivates Lorraine.   McCormick discusses the character’s role in the story: “In the midst of a chaotic situation, Broughton finds herself falling for a reminder of how she used to be: fun, playful and emotional. Delphine adds a distraction to the mission that Broughton never expected, which puts her into ever more danger.

Boutella conceived a history for character that would inform her performance.  “My character sought refuge and excitement in Berlin,” the actress offers.  “She wanted an alternative choice in life, and gets swept up in the contagious energy and optimism of the freedom movement.  She identifies with their desires and strongly relates to those artists and leaders fighting for change in West Berlin, while segregated from friends and family in East Berlin.  All of this sparks Delphine’s imagination and romanticism; she believes she can help make a difference at a pivotal time in history.”

Wrapping the principal cast were Til Schweiger, a German film icon and one of the most popular directors in his country, as the Watchmaker.  He was joined by one of Britain’s finest actors: Toby Jones as Eric Gray, the MI6 investigator most suspicious of Broughton.  They bring such a deceptively casual approach to their characters that it’s impossible to guess what’s happening behind their eyes.

Recreating 1980s Berlin:
Design, Locations, Props, and Costumes

The director reunited with longtime friends and colleagues to make Atomic Blonde look deceptively effortless: cinematographer Jonathan Sela, composer Tyler Bates, music supervisor John Houlihan, editor Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir and second unit director and stunt coordinator SAM HARGRAVE (whom Leitch has mentored throughout his career) had all collaborated with him on John Wick.  David Scheunemann, after having depicted Berlin with expertise as art director on Inglourious Basterds, was engaged as production designer.  Cindy Evans, who had collaborated with Theron several times prior, was booked as costume designer.

Summing the pulsing look that he imagined for the story of a world teetering on the edge of implosion, Leitch says: “The city’s mystique provides a backdrop for an intersection of disparate—and desperate—characters at a pivotal moment in history.”

Production Design and The Wall

Scheunemann, who was raised in Germany, concurs that “Berlin has changed quite a lot since 1989 with significant renovation and architectural additions.  There are no longer the same textures, especially in the old town.  Such textures still exist in Budapest, and could match both East and West Berlin.  Budapest has stunning old abandoned buildings, which have marvelously decrepit exteriors and crumbling interiors that make perfect backdrops.  Also, the city is much denser, with narrower streets, which is more cinematic for a spy story.”

The Hungarian capital was also dressed to stand in for London and Paris, as some wider streets were found to effectively emulate the latter city.

A building on the Hungarian capital’s famed Andrassy Avenue, a fashionable boulevard lined with upscale shops and foreign embassies, provided the ideal locale for the offices of MI6.  Leitch marvels: “Its interiors conveyed Brit power: classical paintings, leather chairs, cherry-wood cabinetry, chandeliers, ornamental carved-wood ceilings, deep rich rugs and heavy draperies.”

Back on the streets, Scheunemann and his art department created a 250-foot-long, 12-foot-high wood-based re-creation of the Berlin Wall.  Built in several sections so as to be portable, this cinematic version was hauled to various locations in Budapest as the backdrop for scenes occurring along the sectors’ borders.

Local graffiti artists were hired to paint the barricades in a manner similar to how citizens and visitors expressed themselves decades ago on the actual Berlin Wall, which was constructed two feet inside East German territory and not on the precise borderline.  The Wall became an irresistible canvas for local and international artists to create memorable drawings, paintings and inscriptions.  Many of the illustrations would mock the East German government, such as the one with an arrow pointing forward with the directions: “Socialist Paradise: 10 Meters.”

The production designer explains the dichotomy: “Because the Wall was actually in East Berlin, the West German police exercised no authority to prevent citizens from approaching its Western side and painting on it.  The East Berlin guards were, of course, on the other side of the barrier and powerless to stop it.  A lot of beautiful artistic work resulted!”

Security was ruthless, however, in deploying lethal force to prevent East Germans from approaching the Wall on their side in hopes of clambering over and escaping.  Machine guns, lookouts and dogs were employed over a multi-meter stretch known as “No Man’s Land.”  Over the years, an estimated 130 East Germans died making breaks for freedom.

Scheunemann’s department’s wall made it to the city’s 6th District for the emotionally charged nighttime sequence in which the Wall at last begins to come down.  The production re-created the scene of November 9, 1989, when the whole world watched as jubilant Germans cheered as chunks of the Wall were destroyed by citizens wielding sledgehammers and chisels.  For many, it was the first step to reuniting with family and friends from whom they had been forcibly separated.

Bowie as Inspiration

The third crucial David during production was none other than Bowie, seen by Leitch as a touchstone of the film.  The spirit and energy of Bowie—as well as the music of Berlin enthusiasts Nick Cave and Iggy Pop—infused the punk and New Wave influences of the time.

On the set, his “Cat People” theme (“Putting Out Fire”) was heard in the night air as an impromptu tribute to the legend, who had just passed away.  Bowie had lived in Berlin during the ’70s, recording three acclaimed albums commonly referred to as the Berlin Trilogy.  The second verse of his cut “Heroes” was inspired by the artist seeing his producer standing near the Wall, visible from the windows of his recording studio.

Leitch walks us through the production’s rock ’n’ roll, rebellious logic: “Western music and clothes had been illicit in East Berlin, which only made them even more coveted by youth there.  So the pop sensibility of our movie is definitely inspired by the music of the time, and you will hear a lot of classic cuts on the soundtrack, plus some cool stuff that may have been under the radar at the time.”

Music and story are seamless here.  The soundtrack cherry-picks songs from one of the most thriving creative eras in the last century…one that echoes current global tensions.

Cinematography Design

The director worked with Scheunemann as well as cinematographer Sela to conceive a palette that would be muted and gray in the London scenes but come out with more color than expected in Berlin, particularly with the West and its punk movements.  To go with richness and vibrancy, Sela utilized Alexa cameras and anamorphic lenses to capture widescreen imagery.  As he framed shots of the stunning, crumbling buildings that are set on isolated, narrow streets, Sela gave Budapest this forbidden, dangerous vibe.

“In researching Berlin at that time, I was surprised at just how colorful it was,” Sela reveals.  “That motivated us to go for super saturation; we made use of blue and pink neon, notably in the bar where Broughton and Delphine first meet.  There is gray in depicting the desolation of some areas, notably on the Communist side.

“The green tones showing the surging creativity in the West contrast with blue tones in the East, which we render as starker and more sinister,” the DP continues.  “The visual contrasts between East and West are there not only to express the political and economic distinctions, but also to help track, or color-code, the story as our characters court danger by crossing back and forth.”

A glossy, yellow-toned ambience was fashioned around the appearance of Schweiger, whose character’s habitat is an elegant jewelry store—one created by the art department in a previously drab storefront shop in a mall passage in central Budapest.

Props

Aside from Schweiger and Theron, the most valuable player in this setting was one with its own setting: an elegant Carl F. Bucherer timepiece provided by the company for the production.  The watch is worn by Theron as Broughton, but at one point in the story she must entrust it to Schweiger’s character.  Similarly, a Bucherer technician was dispatched from Germany to assist in the careful maintenance of the watch during deconstruction and reconstruction—one repeated during multiple takes by a highly focused Schweiger, with the watch getting its own close-ups as a key featured player.

When objects were less easily loaned or sourced, prop master MARCUS HAENDGEN would spend weeks tracking down and securing what was needed, such as vintage recording devices that perhaps were used by espionage agencies.

What Berlin may have lacked in political autonomy and freedom of movement, it compensated for in artistic and sexual liberty.  A “rough trade” bar sequence during which Broughton and Percival have a tête-à-tête at a large circular centerpiece was filmed in a defunct Budapest cabaret theater that had been modeled after Paris’ famed Moulin Rouge.  The production assembled partially clothed dancers, red vinyl booths, chandeliers, nude statues and an enormous painting depicting a scantily clad Ronald Reagan wearing a cowboy hat and chaps.

“We pulled out all the stops for that location,” marvels Scheunemann.  All told, he and his team designed 85 sets for the film…some of which were redressed to be filmed on more than once.

Costume Design

Similarly, the film’s fashion is sleek, hard-edged and inimitable.  Beyond “rough trade,” West Berlin’s underground club scene was vividly re-created and depicted with creative license for the Pike Club sequence.  That trendy watering hole where Broughton first meets Lasalle was adorned with nude mannequins, concrete barriers, cages, neon lights, heavy graffiti on the walls and a mission-statement sign reading “Everything you desire is on the other side of fear.”

Some 250 extras were crowded into the Pike Club set alongside principal actors and crew.  Evans’ mandate to her costume department was “to find the coolest elements of fashion from the ’80s, and not in a comical way but stylized.  There are callbacks to the ’60s and ’70s, as there would have been in Berlin at that time.

“It was important to David and I to avoid cliché, dig deeper, and find the nuance, beauty and grit,” shares the costumer.  “The West was a bit more trendy and polished, while the East was drab and dated—yet with a cool underground current of punk.  There are many layers of history and culture in this film, and we strived to translate that through the costumes.”

Evans sourced much of Atomic Blonde’s wardrobe from Angels Costumes in London, as well as the historic Studio Babelsberg just outside Berlin, which has in its archives impressive original GDR (East Germany) military pieces.  She notes: “We also did a lot of thrift shopping in Budapest.  The gold mine there was a great secondhand store called Humana, where we purchased hundreds of items.  We also ended up making a number of costumes.”

The wardrobe descriptions called for Theron to wear several stunning and glamorous outfits, with the House of Dior Archives red coat lent to the production for a nighttime exterior sequence arguably outshining the rest.  Evans promises: “It’s a showstopper!  Exposed seams, large black buttons, swing hem…”

Broughton’s garb, however, takes its lumps, and what with the frequent bloodstains and/or tears, Evans and her team had to prepare multiples of many outfits, anticipating the violence and intensity of the fight scenes that would be sustained by Leitch in unbroken shots.

Master Class in Stunts:
Blonde Training

During pre-production, when Leitch saw what Theron was capable of, he would actually construct a seven-and-one-half-minute, one-camera fight scene in which Broughton systematically takes out her would-be killers in an abandoned building.

Every single shot in which one sees Broughton fighting is Theron in the film.  She has a background in ballet training and trained up to five hours a day for three months—as well as memorizing days of intricate choreography—that allowed her to pull it off.  Audiences have never seen her this intense, exposed and raw.

In fact, Theron began training less than two months out from Mad Max: Fury Road and sparred against Keanu Reeves at Leitch and Stahelski’s training facility for stunt performers and actors (87Eleven Action Design) while Reeves trained for John Wick: Chapter 2.

Jonathan Sela has partnered with the director for years—most recently on John Wick and Deadpool 2.  Their commitment to shooting fight scenes is unmatched, and the audience feels like there isn’t a single edit as they’re drawn into this world.

Leitch, looking to brainstorm action sequences with Theron, was blown away by his lead’s commitment to the part and expanded the storyboarded fight scenes, tailoring Theron’s training to the potential he saw in her: “She has exceptional athletic ability; realizing that it would be a wasted opportunity not to capitalize on this, I modified the fight choreography and the directives to our stunt team: ‘Go bigger and build it out!’”

Under Leitch’s guidance, the film’s stunt director and second unit director, Sam Hargrave—who also plays James Gasciogne in the film—put the cast through the paces slowly and methodically.  Always safe, he took them to levels they never imagined they could achieve.  Hargrave calls Broughton’s style “a John McClane complex: she’ll walk over broken glass to do what it takes to win.”

Choreography and fights were designed so that Broughton never goes strength-to-strength against opponents.  She is extremely savvy, and she never hits straight on with a closed fist.  Her technique is an open- or hammer-fist, quick elbows, palm strikes and three quick punches to a man’s one.

Broughton will use anything in her environment or peripheral vision—from corkscrews to hoses—as a killing weapon.  Leaving Berlin with cracked teeth, Charlize did know when to draw the line…barely.  Her stunt double, MONIQUE GANDERTON, jumped out of a four-story window on a cable and swung in through the second story.

“There is so much physicality to Broughton, both personally and professionally, and Charlize constantly worked with the stunt team to learn movements and participate in pre-visualization videos of the fight sequences,” says Leitch.  “They would start with a walkthrough and ramp up to go faster and faster.  She’s very fluid and precise, understanding just how and where to land for maximum impact on camera.”

This in turn opened up the flow of the scenes, as Theron’s stamina proved the perfect complement to Leitch’s style.  He reports: “There’s fewer ‘cheats’ than audiences are used to.  We could do longer takes and more complex moves, because of her skills, fitness and attitude.  Moviegoers will see Charlize truly in action as Broughton.”

Having recently blazed a trail for female action heroines with her blistering performance in Fury Road, Theron was determined to raise her own bar in

playing the super spy.  When not working out, she trained with dialect coaches, refining Broughton’s British accent…and also learning to expertly deliver lines in other languages, including Russian.

Theron’s strength and agility were put to the test on the first day of shooting, filming an underwater sequence in which Broughton is submerged in a sinking car.  Doubling for the icy river was a heavily chlorinated pool that was kept chilly.  Stunt personnel were on call, but as cameras rolled it was Theron who successfully executed the escape and surfaced from the vehicle, completely drenched, take after take.  She laughs: “As a producer, I didn’t necessarily like seeing my actor in a car underwater, but as that actor, I insisted on it!”

The pool was near an actual river; located in an enormous urban park on Margaret Island (known as Margit Sziged), the Olympic complex abuts the Danube River in Budapest, which played host to the production for 10 weeks.  Locations around the city were complemented by soundstages filming at its Origo Studios, before production moved on to Berlin.

Lensing and Editing Key Sequences

Leitch, Theron and the entire technical team pulled off a nearly impossible feat.  Before the crew finally shot the sequence with handheld cameras, Theron mastered up to 30 moves of choreography…for one continuous scene that they shot again and again.

One bit of staging required Theron to slam a stunt performer, playing a Broughton attacker, onto a collapsible wooden table.  The props and set decoration departments were kept busy replacing not only the piece of furniture, but also the numerous other items destroyed or displaced during the confrontation.  Take after take ensued until they were, remembers Leitch, “down to our last table.”

Theron adds, “They were now kindling.  So David said, ‘We gotta nail it this time.’  And we did!”

McAvoy’s scenes had to be blocked and then edited carefully because the actor had broken his arm a few weeks before filming began.  But he and Leitch decided to capitalize on the imagery of his character sporting a cast, realizing that it spoke volumes about his recklessness.  McAvoy smiles: “I had done some research into those who MI6 recruited in its early stages…and they in fact looked for people less likely to live long enough to divulge national secrets in later years.”

The actor narrowly escaped even more serious injury during the shoot.  Secured into the driver’s seat of an ’80s Porsche 911, he “was doing my own driving for a scene where Percival saves Broughton.  On the seventh or eighth take, the handbrake didn’t set and so I kept going right towards the camera crew.  I had to force the wheel and the foot brake, and finally I was able to be stopped…by a wall.”  Fortunately, he was only shaken.

Picture Cars and Automotive Stunts

The crucial sequence uniting McAvoy, Theron and Marsan’s characters loomed as the film’s most logistically challenging.  Approximately 400 extras were on call, extensive set decoration and signage had to be in place at every step for the characters and the camera, and dozens of 20th-century cars needed to be on view.

Many of those cars, it was decided, would be 1970s and ’80s incarnations of a model named Trabant.  Nicknamed the “Trabi,” this was the most common vehicle in East Germany at the time, made in Saxony and exported to other Soviet-bloc countries.  Its noisy two-cycle engine provided little power and excessive exhaust.  The body was composed primarily of a lightweight recycled hard plastic known as Duroplast.  All of this has made the car the subject of affectionate derision…and also a collector’s item.

Picture vehicle coordinator ZSOLT SOMOGYI had ascertained that East Germans waited three to four years for delivery of their new Trabi, and so the cars were highly valued at the time and accordingly taken good care of.  To procure some three dozen Trabis, Somogyi’s unit placed advertisements and scoured the Hungarian countryside, knocking on doors with offers to buy or rent privately owned vehicles spotted in driveways or parked on streets.  These now-vintage cars were of varying degrees of operational usefulness, but would lend authenticity even without moving; over the course of shooting, some 500 vehicles were sourced by the team.

One particular Trabi was a jewel in the crown: a police vehicle, needed for and then put to use in, a car chase filmed across Budapest streets over the course of a week by both the production’s main and the second units.

For this complex sequence, a special vehicle camera rig was constructed for multi-angle coverage placing the audience inside a car—although not, in this case, the Trabi.  Stunt driver ANDREW COMRIE explains: “The adjoining rig is essentially a motorized process trailer that allows a driver kept off-screen to hydraulically steer the rig while the actors are seated inside the picture car on screen.  An Alexa mini-cam is mounted in the car on a gimbal to allow full-range panning and tilting, and the driver’s pod can be reconfigured to sit atop the rig, or on either side.  It lends tremendous flexibility for shooting in any direction.”

The rig enables a team of five crew members to be concealed onboard while operating windshield wipers, windows and the camera, which can be refocused throughout numerous takes.  The chase team rehearsed in open spaces for several days to perfect the choreography and routes before filming began within the city.

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After completing its 10 weeks in Budapest, the company boarded a plane to Berlin.  But heavy winds caused the flight to be diverted to Hamburg, forcing Theron and the crew to travel six hours by ground.  “No one said anything about ‘the windiest city,’” laughs producer Schwerin.

The weeklong Berlin leg of shooting took the unit to some of the city’s best-known landmarks, encompassing iconic exteriors such as Alexanderplatz, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the World Clock and TV tower and the aging Tempelhof Airport.  Continuing the mandate for risky setups, thrilling stunts and surprising moves to the very end of filming, a rooftop scene was shot high atop the Berliner Verlag building.

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Focus Features presents—in association with Sierra Pictures—a Denver & Delilah productions/Chickie The Cop/TGIM Films and 87Eleven production of a film by David Leitch: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy in Atomic Blonde, starring John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and Toby Jones.  Casting for the action-thriller is by Mary Vernieu, CSA, Marisol Roncali.  The music supervisor is John Houlihan, and the original score is by Tyler Bates.  The costume designer is Cindy Evans, and the editor is Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir.  Atomic Blonde’s production designer is David Scheunemann, and its director of photography is Jonathan Sela.  The film’s executive producers are Nick Meyer, Marc Schaberg, Joe Nozemack, Steven V. Scavelli, Ethan Smith, David Guillod, Kurt Johnstad.  It is produced by Eric Gitter, Peter Schwerin, Kelly McCormick, Charlize Theron, A.J. Dix, Beth Kono.  The production is based on the Oni Press graphic novel series “The Coldest City” written by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Sam Hart.  Atomic Blonde’s screenplay is by Kurt Johnstad.  It is directed by David Leitch.  © 2017 Focus Features LLC.  © 2017 Coldest City LLC www.atomicblonde.com

 

CAST

CAST & CREW

South African-born and Oscar®-winning actress CHARLIZE THERON (Agent Lorraine Broughton/Produced by) is one of the most celebrated actresses of our time, captivating audiences with her ability to embody a range of characters.  Over the years, Theron has appeared in numerous films including The Devil’s Advocate; The Cider House Rules; the critically acclaimed Monster, for which she earned an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award and two Film Independent Spirit Awards; North Country, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award; Hancock; Young Adult, for which she garnered a Golden Globe Award nomination; HBO’s The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award; Snow White and the Huntsman; A Million Ways to Die in the West; Mad Max: Fury Road; Dark Places; The Huntsman: Winter’s War; Kubo and the Two Strings; The Last Face; and The Fate of the Furious.

This year, Theron is credited as an executive producer of the new Netflix series Girlboss, under Denver and Delilah’s banner.   She will also appear in the new Jason Reitman film Tully.

In addition to Theron’s acting success and principal involvement with her production company Denver & Delilah, she serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and founder of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP).  CTAOP’s mission is to help keep African youth safe from HIV through its support of on-the-ground, community-engaged organizations.  CTAOP serves as a vehicle for communities to empower themselves and their youth in order to prevent the spread of HIV.

 

Golden Globe Award-nominated actor JAMES MCAVOY (David Percival) won over American audiences with his critically acclaimed breakthrough performances in The Last King of Scotland and Atonement.  Having been referred to as “The best young British actor of our times” by Empire magazine, McAvoy continues to test himself with a wide variety of work on stage, television and film and is regarded as one of the industry’s most exciting acting talents.  McAvoy was most recently seen in M. Night Shyamalan’s critically acclaimed thriller Split, which has surpassed $270 million worldwide at the box office.  He will next be seen in Submergence opposite Alicia Vikander.

While McAvoy began his career in the theater, he came to popular attention on the small screen with the role of Josh in the 2002 Channel Four adaptation of Zadie Smith’s popular novel White Teeth.  In fall 2003, McAvoy played Dan Foster in the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award-winning BBC political drama series State of Play.  The series ran in the U.K. and on BBC America, and became one of the most successful U.K. exports of the last decade.  He also left a lasting mark on high-profile television projects such as the World War I drama Regeneration and HBO’s Band of Brothers.

McAvoy’s popularity grew when he appeared in the BAFTA Award-winning Channel 4 series Shameless as the car thief Steve.  In 2004, he earned a nomination from the British Comedy Awards for Best Comedy Newcomer for his performance.

In 2005, McAvoy starred in the title role in Damien O’Donnell’s Rory O’Shea Was Here.  McAvoy earned a Best British Actor of the Year nomination from the London Critics’ Circle for his performance.  That summer, he traveled to Uganda to take on the lead role of Dr. Nicholas Garrigan in The Last King of Scotland, directed by Oscar® and BAFTA Award winner Kevin Macdonald.  He earned nominations from BAFTA, BIFA, London Critics’ Circle and the European Film Academy for his performance.  In December 2005, McAvoy was seen in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  He earned a nomination for British Supporting Actor of the Year from the London Critics’ Circle for his performance.

In 2007, McAvoy starred in Joe Wright’s Golden Globe Award-winning drama Atonement, which also starred Keira Knightley and Saoirse Ronan.  McAvoy received Golden Globe Award and BAFTA Award nominations for Best Actor and was awarded a Best Actor of the Year award from the London Critics’ Circle, the Virtuoso Award from the Santa Barbara Film Festival and a U.K. Regional Critics Award for Best Actor.

In 2014, McAvoy reprised his role as Professor Charles Xavier in 20th Century Fox’s highly anticipated X-Men: Days of Future Past, which earned over $90 million in the domestic box office in its opening weekend and is the second-highest-grossing film of the franchise thus far.  He also was seen as corrupt cop Bruce Robertson in the U.K. acclaimed sensation Filth, for which he received a BIFA Best Actor award, London Critics’ Circle Best British Actor of the Year award and an Empire Award for Best Actor.  The film, which McAvoy also served as producer on, was released in the U.S. in 2014 by Magnolia Pictures.  In 2014, he was also seen in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them opposite Jessica Chastain.

McAvoy’s other film credits include Becoming Jane (2007), Penelope (2008), Wanted (2008), X-Men: First Class (2011), The Conspirator (2011), Gnomeo & Juliet (2011), Arthur Christmas (2011), Welcome to the Punch (2013), Trance (2013), Victor Frankenstein (2015), and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016).

McAvoy has also played a large role in the London theater scene.  In 2009, McAvoy took to the stage at the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End where he played the two roles of Walker and his father Ned in Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain.  His performance earned him an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor.  He was also seen in Breathing Corpses at the Royal Court (2005), Privates on Parade at the Donmar Warehouse (2001) and Out in the Open at Hampstead Theatre (2001).  In 2013, McAvoy starred in Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios.  His performance earned him an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor and the show was nominated for Best Revival.  In 2015, McAvoy starred in The Ruling Class, which earned him a London Evening Standard Award, an Olivier Award nomination, and a WhatsOnStage nomination for Best Actor.

McAvoy was born in the Scotstoun area of Glasgow, Scotland, in 1979 and is a graduate of the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

 

JOHN GOODMAN (Emmett Kurzfeld) remembers the day in 1975 when he left his native St. Louis for New York, armed only with a degree from Southwest Missouri State University, $1,000 borrowed from his brother and a dream of becoming a professional actor.  He didn’t want to look back later and say, “I wonder if I could have…” So he made the rounds, worked at odd jobs and just tried to keep busy.  He’s been busy ever since.

In 2016, Goodman returned to the stage in the Broadway revival of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s The Front Page, which also starred Nathan Lane and John Slattery.

He also recently made his West End debut in David Mamet’s 1975 play American Buffalo, at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London.

His most recent films include Warner Bros.’ Kong: Skull Island, CBS Films’ Patriots Day and Bad Robot’s thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane.

In 2012, Goodman starred in Ben Affleck’s Argo, which won the Academy Award® for Best Picture, and in Robert Zemeckis’ Flight.

That same year, he won the 2012 National Board of Review Spotlight Award for his work in Argo, Flight, ParaNorman and Trouble with the Curve.  Goodman was also seen in The Weinstein Company’s black-and-white silent feature The Artist which won the Academy Award® for Best Motion Picture of the Year.

His other television credits include Amazon Studios’ original series Alpha House, the Starz! miniseries Dancing on the Edge, DirecTV’s Damages and NBC’s Community.

Among Goodman’s many accolades are a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical and seven

Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his role in Roseanne.  He also received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his starring roles in TBS’ Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long and the CBS production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, and a Golden Globe Award nomination for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Barton Fink.  In 2007, Goodman won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

In 2010, HBO’s Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don’t Know Jack reunited Goodman with Al Pacino (Sea of Love) and Susan Sarandon (Speed Racer).  For his performance, he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie and a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.

Previous film credits include Trumbo, CBS Films’ holiday film Love the Coopers, Paramount Pictures’ remake of 1974’s The Gambler; The Monuments Men; Inside Llewyn Davis; Monsters University; Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; In the Electric Mist; Confessions of a Shopaholic; Bee Movie; Pope Joan; Alabama Moon; Gigantic; Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School; Beyond the Sea; Masked and Anonymous; Storytelling; O Brother; Where Art Thou?; Coyote Ugly; What Planet Are You From?; One Night at McCool’s; Bringing Out the Dead; Fallen; The Borrowers; Blues Brothers 2000; The Runner; The Flintstones; Mother Night; Arachnophobia; Always; Pie in the Sky; Born Yesterday; Matinee; The Babe; King Ralph; Punchline; Everybody’s All-American; Stella; Eddie Macon’s Run; C.H.U.D.; Revenge of the Nerds; Maria’s Lovers; Sweet Dreams; True Stories; The Big Easy; Burglar; The Wrong Guys; Raising Arizona; and The Big Lebowski.

He has lent his voice to many animated films, including Monsters, Inc.; The Emperor’s New Groove; Tales of the Rat Fink; and The Jungle Book 2.  He also voiced a main character in NBC’s animated series Father of the Pride.

Goodman went to Southwest Missouri State University intending to play football, but an injury led him to switch his major to drama.  He never returned to football, and graduated with a degree in theater.

Goodman starred on Broadway in Waiting for Godot, for which he received rave reviews as Pozzo.  His other stage credits include many dinner theater and children’s theater productions, as well as several off-Broadway plays.  His regional theater credits include Henry IV, Part I, Henry IV, Part II, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It and A Christmas Carol.  He performed in a road production of The Robber Bridegroom and starred in two Broadway shows, Loose Ends in 1979 and Big River in 1985.

In 2001, he starred in the New York Shakespeare Festival Central Park staging of The Seagull, directed by Mike Nichols.  The following year he appeared on Broadway in the Public Theater’s Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.

Goodman and his family have homes in Los Angeles and New Orleans.

 

Actor, producer, writer and director TIL SCHWEIGER (Watchmaker) is Germany’s most successful filmmaker and biggest movie star.  He runs his own production company Barefoot Films in Berlin.

Schweiger’s debut as a producer and (uncredited) director came in 1997 with Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.  The film remains a cult favourite for audiences worldwide.  He also directed and produced Der Eisbär in 1998.

Schweiger won a Bambi Award for Barefoot in 2005, which he wrote, directed and starred in.  He also won a Bambi Award for his lead role in (T)Raumschiff Surprise – Periode 1.  He was the first foreign actor who won the Polish Oscar at the Warsaw International Film Festival in 1997 for his performance in Bandyta.

Rabbit Without Ears was written, produced and directed by Schweiger and became the most successful film in Germany in 2008 when it grossed $74 million at the box office.  The film won a prestigious Bambi Award, a Bavarian Film Award, the German Comedy Award, two DIVA Awards, a Jupiter Award and the Ernst Lubitsch Award.  The sequel Rabbit Without Ears 2 was released the following year and was also a huge success when it grossed $45.3 million at the box office.

Schweiger then went on to direct, produce and star in 1½ Knights—In Search of the Ravishing Princess Herzelinde, which also proved to be a huge cinema hit in 2008.

In 2011, he was directed, co-wrote, produced and starred in Kokowääh.  The film debuted at No. 1 and was in the top five for nine weeks in Germany.

In front of the screen, Schweiger first appeared as an actor in 1991 in Manta, Manta.  Additional television and film roles followed, including Maybe… Maybe Not; Jailbirds; A Girl Called Rosemary; Bang Boom Bang—Ein todsicheres Ding; The Devil and Ms. D; What to Do in Case of Fire; Lucky Luke and the Daltons; The Red Baron; Wo ist Fred?; Phantom Pain; and Men in the City. 

Schweiger has also appeared in a wide range of American films, including Already Dead; King Arthur; In Enemy Hands; Magicians; Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life; Driven; SLC Punk!; Investigating Sex; Joe and Max; and The Replacement Killers.

One of his later big screen appearances was as the legendary Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. 

In December 2011, Schweiger was seen in Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve alongside Jessica Biel, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro and Hilary Swank.

In 2012, Schweiger again starred in, co-wrote, produced and directed Schutzengel.  In 2013, he was seen in Charlie Countryman, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

From August to October 2012 Schweiger directed, co-wrote, starred in and produced Kokowääh 2.  The family comedy was released in Germany in February 2013, and was successful at the box office in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Since 2013, Schweiger has been seen in the television series Tatort.  One of his latest productions with his company Barefoot Films was Head Full of Honey, which was released on December 25, 2014 and was his most successful film to date.

Later this year, Schweiger will star the upcoming comedy Hot Dog alongside Matthias Schweighoefer.

Schweiger is currently in pre-production on his new comedy feature about three men in their midlife crisis going to a class reunion after 30 years.  He will be acting, directing and producing the untitled film.

 

With an impressive body of work that so far spans 30 years, EDDIE MARSAN (Spyglass) is one of the most exciting and probably the most versatile of actors around today.

Eddie can currently be seen starring as Terry Donovan in the fifth season of the popular television show Ray Donovan, in which he stars alongside Liev Schreiber and Academy Award® winner Jon Voight.  The show focuses on Ray (Schreiber) who “fixes” the problems of the rich and famous. Terry Donovan, Ray’s elder brother, is a boxing trainer who suffers from pugilistic Parkinson’s disease.  Their world is thrown into turmoil when their father is unexpectedly released from prison.

In 2018, Marsan will be seen in Andy Serkis’ Jungle Book, Warner Bros.’ own retelling of the classic story of an orphan boy raised in the wild.

In recent years, Marsan has transformed into a number of characters in the films Their Finest, Concussion, Filth, The World’s End and Snow White and the Huntsman, and worked with directors Lone Scherfig, John Slattery, Edgar Wright and Bryan Singer.

Marsan is best known for his work in film and first gained attention in the U.K. for his portrayal of Eddie Miller in Paul McGuigan’s Gangster No 1.  His role as Killoran, Jim Broadbent’s henchman in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, brought him to the attention of a worldwide audience.  In 2004, Marsan earned critical acclaim for his performance in Mike Leigh’s successful British drama Vera Drake, which also starred Imelda Staunton.  For his role as Reg, Marsan won the award for Best Supporting Actor at the 2004 British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) and was nominated in the Best British Supporting Actor category for the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards.  That same year, Marsan made his first foray into American cinema, playing Reverend John in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams.  Since then, Marsan has worked continually in both the U.K. and the U.S., with directors such as Michael Mann, Terrence Malick, JJ Abrams, Bryan Singer, Richard Linklater and Peter Berg.

In 2008, Marsan won his second Best Supporting Actor BIFA, London Critics’ Circle Film Award for Best British Supporting Actor and the USA National Society of Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Award for his outstanding performance in Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky.  The film follows school teacher Poppy’s (Sally Hawkins) easygoing outlook on life that infuriates those around her, including her new cynically paranoid driving instructor Scott.  In 2009, Marsan starred in the British thriller film The Disappearance of Alice Creed, about the kidnapping of a young woman by two ex-convicts, with Gemma Arterton and Martin Compston.  For his performance, he was nominated for a London Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actor.  That same year, Marsan played Inspector Lestrade in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes alongside Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr., a role which he later revived in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  In 2011, Marsan garnered his third nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards for his role in the hugely successful Tyrannosaur, and, in 2012, he received the Best Actor award at the Moscow International Film Festival for Junkhearts.  Following this, Marsan was seen in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, which was based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel of the same title.  In 2013, Marsan starred in The World’s End with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, which won the Empire Award for Best British Film in 2014.  Late 2013 also saw the release of Jon S. Baird’s Filth, which also starred James McAvoy and Jamie Bell and for which Marsan received his fourth BIFA nomination.  That same year, Uberto Pasolini’s comedy-drama Still Life won the Venice Horizons Award at the Venice Film Festival.  The film, which also starred Joanne Froggatt, saw Marsan in the lead role of John May, a council case worker, who looks for the relatives of those found dead and alone.  He recently received the Best Actor Award for this work at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.  In 2014, Marsan starred alongside the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christina Hendricks in John Slattery’s God’s Pocket.  Other film credits include V for Vendetta alongside Natalie Portman, Mission: Impossible III with Tom Cruise, and Hancock with Will Smith.

Marsan’s work in television has also been highly regarded and he has previously been seen in 2008’s internationally acclaimed BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit, as the driven rent collector Mr. Pancks.  Little Dorrit won best miniseries at the 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards and was nominated for best miniseries at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.  In 2009, Marsan starred in the 1970s-set Channel 4 trilogy Red Riding.  Most recently, Marsan won plaudits for his portrayal of Ludwig Guttmann, the founder of the Paralympics, in the BBC’s The Best of Men, alongside Rob Brydon.  He was featured in the Channel 4 miniseries Southcliffe as Andrew Salter alongside Rory Kinnear and Sean Harris, which was nominated for several awards at the 2010 British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs).

 

SOFIA BOUTELLA (Delphine Lasalle) is a multifaceted talent whose career exemplifies her artistic versatility as well as magnetic strength and charisma.

Boutella is currently in production on two films: Drew Pearce’s Hotel Artemis opposite Jodie Foster and Ramin Bahrani’s adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for HBO, which also stars Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan.

Boutella was most recently seen starring in Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy, a new cinematic version of the legendary films.  Boutella starred opposite Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe and portrayed Ahmanet, a fearless warrior and heir to her father’s throne who is destined to be the first female pharaoh. Universal Pictures released the film on June 9, 2017.

Last year, Boutella was seen in Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond, the third installment of Paramount’s blockbuster Star Trek franchise, co-starring opposite Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg and Idris Elba.  Prior to that, she had Matthew Vaughn’s spy film Kingsman: The Secret Service, based

on the acclaimed comic book by Mark Millar, which follows a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.  The film also starred Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Caine; Boutella portrayed the villain Gazelle.

Boutella’s past feature credits include Charles Henri Belleville’s Jet Trash in which she starred opposite Robert Sheehan, StreetDance 2 as Eva and the French movie Le Defi in which she plays the role of Samia.

An internationally acclaimed dancer, Boutella starred in a series of iconic Nike ads choreographed by renowned creative director Jamie King showcasing her street dancing skills.  In 2006, she went on to win the World Championship Hip-Hop Battle with her group, The Vagabond Crew.  From there, Boutella became a breakout star in the dance world and was invited to dance on tour with Madonna.  She was also cast as the main character in the video of Michael Jackson’s “Hollywood Tonight.”

Born in Algeria and raised primarily in France, Boutella currently resides in Los Angeles.

 

Multi-award-winning TOBY JONES (Eric Gray) is one of the most distinguished film, television and stage actors of his generation.  He studied Drama at the University of Manchester from 1986 to 1989, and at L’École Internationale de Théâtre in Paris under Jacques Lecoq from 1989 to 1991.

Most recently Jones wrapped filming Journey’s End, Saul Dibb’s version of the seminal British play about WWI.  Set in a dugout in Aisne in 1918, it is the story of a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer Stanhope, variously awaiting their fate.  The film also stars Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham and Tom Sturridge.

In 2017, Jones was seen playing the sinister Culverton Smith, the new villain in the multi-award-winning hit Sherlock, produced by Hartswood Films for BBC One.

Upcoming films also include Tomas Alfredson’s thriller The Snowman; Kaleidoscope, a psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between a middle-aged man and his mother written and directed by Rupert Jones; Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; and Michael Haneke’s Happy End, which premiered in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

For television, Jones most recently starred in The Secret Agent, a three-part drama for BBC One adapted from Joseph Conrad’s novel and in Capital, a three-part drama for BBC One, adapted from John Lanchester’s novel of same name in which he played the smug investment banker, Roger Yount in this story of a street propelled into affluence by banker bonus-fueled property prices.

Jones will also reprise his role of Lance opposite Mackenzie Crook in the third season of the award-winning comedy series Detectorists, for which he received a BAFTA Award nomination for Male Performance in a Comedy Programme in 2016.  Written and directed by Crook, the story follows the relationship between two friends who share a passion for metal detecting.

In 2015, Jones starred in By Our Selves, an experimental independent film by Andrew Kotting, which retraces the epic walk undertaken by poet John Clare (played by Jones) from Epping Forest to Northamptonshire.

Jones garnered huge acclaim for his performance in Matteo Garrone’s Tale of Tales, which premiered in competition at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews.

Jones previously starred in the BBC Two drama Marvellous, which won the 2015 BAFTA TV Award for Single Drama.  Marvellous tells the beautiful, funny, true story of Neil Baldwin (played by Jones), a man once labeled with learning difficulties who confounds expectations and whose life defies limitations.  Jones won the BPG Best Actor award and was nominated for both BAFTA and Royal Television Society awards for his role.  The film also won Best Television Film and Jones was singled out with the Outstanding Actor Award in a Television Film at the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

Jones won both the Capri European Talent Award and the award for Best British Actor at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards for his leading role as Truman Capote in Infamous.  This drama tells the story of the writer who while researching his masterpiece develops a close relationship with convicted murderer Perry Smith.  Jones starred alongside Daniel Craig, Sandra Bullock and Gwyneth Paltrow.  He was also nominated for British Supporting Actor of the Year at the 2008 London Critics’ Circle Film Awards for his role in The Painted Veil, which also starred Naomi Watts and Edward Norton.

In 2012, Jones starred as Gilderoy in Peter Strickland’s multi-award-winning film Berberian Sound Studio.  For his performance, Jones won British Actor of the Year at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards, won Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards in 2012 and won Best Actor at the London Evening Standard British Film Awards in 2013.  The film, set in the 1970s, followed a naïve British sound engineer who loses his grip on reality when he takes a job on an Italian horror film.  That same year, Jones was seen in the U.S. box-office hit, The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel of the same name.  Set in a future where the capital selects a boy and girl from each of the 12 districts to fight to the death on live television, Jones played the role of Claudius Templesmith, the announcer for The Hunger Games, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland.  He reprised his role in the sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

In 2011, Jones appeared in My Week with Marilyn alongside Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh and Eddie Redmayne; and played Percy Alleline in the award-winning film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which also starred Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Kathy Burke.  Jones also starred alongside Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell and Samuel L. Jackson as Dr. Arnim Zola in Paramount Pictures’ Captain America: The First Avenger and returned for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Jones was nominated for British Supporting Actor of the Year at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards for his role as Swifty Lazar in Universal Pictures’ Frost/Nixon in 2009.  A dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk show host David Frost and former President Richard Nixon, Jones starred alongside Frank Langella and Michael Sheen.  Jones is also known as the voice of Dobby, the house elf, in the highest-grossing film series of all time, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and then reprised his role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), for which he was nominated for Best Digital Acting Performance at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.  Jones has also voiced the character of Silk in Steven Spielberg’s 2011 Golden Globe Award-winning The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

In 2013, he led the cast in Leave to Remain, a film directed by BAFTA Award-winning documentarian Bruce Goodison.  Jones’ other film credits include Dad’s Army, Anthropoid, Red Lights with Robert De Niro, The Rite with Anthony Hopkins, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Creation, Oliver Stone’s W., City of Ember, St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold, The Mist, Peter Greenaway’s Nightwatching, Amazing Grace, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Ladies in Lavender, Finding Neverland, Orlando, Serena and The Man Who Knew Infinity.

In 2013, Jones also starred opposite Sienna Miller and Imelda Staunton as Alfred Hitchcock in The Girl for HBO and the BBC.  The film chronicles the relationship between Hitchcock and actress Tippi Hedren while filming The Birds.  For his stellar performance, Jones was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 2013 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, for Leading Actor at the 2013 BAFTA Awards and for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie at the Primetime Emmy Awards.  His other television credits include Wayward Pines (FOX), Christopher and His Kind (BBC), God in America (PBS), Doctor Who (BBC), Mo (C4), The Last Days Of … (BBC), The Old Curiosity Shop (BBC), A Harlot’s Progress (C4), Elizabeth 1 (HBO) and The Way We Live Now (BBC).

For theater, Jones was seen in Circle Mirror Transformation again with Imelda Staunton for the Royal Court.  He was awarded the 2002 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in The Play What I Wrote, a musical farce written by Hamish McColl, Sean Foley and Eddie Braben, and directed by Kenneth Branagh.  The Olivier Award-winning show was a celebration of the British double act Morecambe and Wise, and an irreverent and farcical exploration of the nature of double acts in general.  Jones starred as Arthur at the Wyndham’s Theatre, London, before the play opened on Broadway, New York, where it was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Special Theatrical Event.  His other theater credits include The Painter (Arcola Theatre), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (Olivier Theatre), Parlour Song (Almeida Theatre) and Measure for Measure (National Theatre with Complicite).

CREW

DAVID LEITCH’s (Directed by) directorial debut was the critically acclaimed 2014 box-office hit John Wick, which he co-directed with Chad Stahelski.

Earlier this year, Leitch served as executive producer on John Wick: Chapter 2, which was released by Lionsgate.

Next up for Leitch is the highly anticipated Deadpool 2, starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin and Josh Brolin.  20th Century Fox and Marvel have set June 1, 2018, as the release date for the next installment of the irreverent superhero franchise.

Prior to becoming a director, Leitch spent over a decade in the stunt business and doubled actors including Matt Damon and Brad Pitt on such films as Bourne Ultimatum, Fight Club and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.  He was also a fight choreographer, stunt coordinator, and 2nd unit director on films including James McTeigue’s Ninja Assassin, The Mechanic, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Wolverine, Anchorman 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Captain America: Civil War and Jurassic World to name a few.

A martial artist by trade, Leitch and partner Stahelski own the action design and production company 87Eleven Action Design.

 

KURT JOHNSTAD (Screenplay by/Executive Producer) is a product of a Midwestern childhood where he was raised on a working cattle farm and received an arts education from the California School of the Arts.  After a decade as an assistant director, Johnstad made the transition to screenwriting.

Starting with an early collaboration with Zack Snyder, their groundbreaking film 300 launched Johnstad onto Hollywood’s radar.  Johnstad wrote the Relativity Media-released hit film Act of Valor directed by Scott Waugh and Mouse McCoy.  The feature starred active-duty Navy SEALs and enabled Johnstad to honor his long-working relationship with the Special Operations community.

This was followed by Noam Murro’s blockbuster 300 Rise of an Empire for Warner Bros.  Next to begin filming this winter is the drama The Last Photograph for Snyder.

Recognition of his super busy career trajectory came in 2011 as Johnstad was selected as one of Variety’s “10 Screenwriters to Watch.”  His ongoing writing work with numerous filmmakers has Johnstad in the business with companies such as Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, New Regency, Sony Pictures, Focus Features, Lionsgate and Legendary Pictures, as well as notable production companies as Cruel Films, Lin Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment, Denver and Delilah Films, Matt Tolmach Productions, Mad Chance Productions, Thunder Road Films, and Imagine Entertainment.

 

ANTONY JOHNSTON (Based on the Oni Press Graphic Novel Series “The Coldest City,” Written by) is an award-winning, The New York Times best-selling author of graphic novels, video games and books, with titles including “The Coldest City,” the epic series “Wasteland,” Marvel’s superhero “Daredevil,” and the seminal video game “Dead Space.”  He has adapted books by best-selling novelist Anthony Horowitz, collaborated with comics legend Alan Moore, and his titles have been translated throughout the world.  He lives and works in England.

SAM HART (Based on the Oni Press Graphic Novel Series “The Coldest City,” Illustrated by) was born in the U.K., and lives in Brazil.  His comic art credits include “Starship Troopers,” “Judge Dredd,” “Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood,” “Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur” and “Messenger: The Legend of Joan of Arc.”  He also draws storyboards and teaches narrative and concept art.

 

In 2003, ERIC GITTER (Produced by) formed Closed on Mondays Entertainment (currently known as TGIM Films), a media production company created specifically to help intellectual property creators find life for their titles in mediums outside of comic publishing.  This plan led directly to the production of Atomic Blonde.

In 2010, Gitter produced Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World for Universal Pictures, based on the best-selling series of graphic novels of the same title.  Gitter began his foray into literary adaptations by producing Tim Blake Nelson’s critical breakout O, a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Othello,” which starred Josh Hartnett, Julia Stiles, Mekhi Phifer and Martin Sheen.  Gitter also executive produced Nelson’s Leaves of Grass, which starred Edward Norton.

Named by Variety as one of “Hollywood’s Top 10 Producers to Watch” in 2008, Gitter has also applied his plan to the television side.  He is currently developing graphic novel- and comic book-based properties Hawaiian Dick (show-run by Glen Mazzara) and The Beauty (show-run by Ryan Murphy).

 

PETER SCHWERIN (Produced by) first entered the ranks of the film industry in 1995 when he joined Dimension Films.  He served as an executive on an array of projects, including Wes Craven’s Scream franchise; Robert Rodriguez’s The Faculty; Guillermo del Toro’s first American production Mimic; the psychological thriller Nightwatch, which starred Ewan McGregor and Josh Brolin; the Marlon Wayans/David Spade comedy Senseless; and the family film Air Bud.  Schwerin also co-produced the documentary Backstage on the subject

of Jay-Z’s Hard Knock Life Tour and executive produced the Scary Movie franchise.

During his tenure at Dimension Films, Schwerin oversaw feature films with a combined worldwide box office of over $1 billion.  He also worked on several acquisitions for Dimension Films, including Eric Gitter’s production of O.  In 2005, Gitter and Schwerin joined forces once again, with Schwerin overseeing production and development for Gitter’s TGIM/Closed on Mondays Entertainment.

 

KELLY MCCORMICK (Produced by) is a producer and executive at 87Eleven Action Design, an action design and production company known for such films as John Wick (co-directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch) and John Wick: Chapter 2 (directed by Stahelski).

Currently, McCormick is co-producing Marvel’s Deadpool 2 starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin and Josh Brolin, with David Leitch directing.  She is also in pre-production on Darrin Prescott’s Snow Ponies, starring Gerard Butler; David. M Rosenthal’s How It Ends, starring Theo James and Forest Whitaker for Netflix; and Poms, starring Diane Keaton and Jacki Weaver.  In 2016, McCormick produced Andy Goddard’s A Kind of Murder, which starred Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel and Haley Bennett.

Prior to joining 87Eleven Action Design, McCormick served as executive vice president of production and acquisitions at Sierra/Affinity, a foreign sales and financing company run by Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg.  There, she curated a sales slate, and packaged and produced countless projects including such titles as Hell or High Water (Academy Award® nominee for Best Picture), Whiplash (Academy Award® nominee for Best Picture and winner of three Academy Awards®), The Place Beyond the Pines, The Call, Parker, Nightcrawler and Manchester by the Sea (six Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture with wins for Casey Affleck for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Kenneth Lonergan for Best Original Screenplay).

 

Under the Denver & Delilah banner, Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron and partners A.J. DIX (Produced by) and Beth Kono have built a prolific production company with a diverse film and television slate.  Denver & Delilah’s past feature credits include the critically acclaimed feature film Monster, for which Theron received an Academy Award® for Best Actress in a Leading Role; the Jason Reitman-directed film Young Adult, which garnered Theron a Golden Globe Award nomination; The Burning Plain directed by Guillermo Arriaga; the documentary East of Havana; and Dark Places, written and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, based on The New York Times best seller by Gillian Flynn.

In addition to Atomic Blonde, Denver & Delilah has two films awaiting release.  On March 9, 2018, Amazon Studios and STX Entertainment will release Gringo, a darkly comedic action film, written by Matthew Stone and Anthony Tambakis, directed by Nash Edgerton and starring David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton, Theron, Thandie Newton and Amanda Seyfried; and Focus Features will release Tully on April 20, 2018, written by Diablo Cody, directed by Jason Reitman and starring Theron.

Denver & Delilah’s next production is the comedy Flarsky, starring Theron and Seth Rogen, to be directed by Jonathan Levine for Lionsgate, which shoots this fall in Montreal.

Denver & Delilah is also producing multiple series with Netflix including Girlboss, a comedy series with show runner Kay Cannon (writer of Pitch Perfect), based on the book “#Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso and Mindhunter with David Fincher, based on the book by the same name by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker.  Additionally, Netflix will release the feature film Brain on Fire later this year, written and directed by Gerard Barrett, based on The New York Times best seller by Susannah Cahalan and starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Richard Armitage and Carrie-Ann Moss.

Denver & Delilah is currently under a multi-year feature deal with Universal Pictures and a two-year pact with Universal Cable Productions for its television slate.

 

Under the Denver & Delilah banner, Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron, alongside partners BETH KONO (Produced by) and A.J. Dix have built a prolific production company with a diverse film and television slate.  Denver & Delilah’s past feature credits include the critically acclaimed feature film Monster, for which Theron received an Academy Award® for Best Actress in a Leading Role; the Jason Reitman-directed film Young Adult, which garnered Theron a Golden Globe Award nomination; The Burning Plain directed by Guillermo Arriaga; the documentary East of Havana; and Dark Places, written and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, based on The New York Times best seller by Gillian Flynn.

In addition to Atomic Blonde, Denver & Delilah has two films awaiting release.  On March 9, 2018, Amazon Studios and STX Entertainment will release Gringo, a darkly comedic action film, written by Matthew Stone and Anthony Tambakis, directed by Nash Edgerton and starring David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton, Theron, Thandie Newton and Amanda Seyfried; and Focus Features will release Tully on April 20, 2018, written by Diablo Cody, directed by Jason Reitman and starring Theron.

Denver & Delilah’s next production is the comedy Flarsky, starring Theron and Seth Rogen, to be directed by Jonathan Levine for Lionsgate, which shoots this fall in Montreal.

Denver & Delilah is also producing multiple series with Netflix including Girlboss, a comedy series with show runner Kay Cannon (writer of Pitch Perfect), based on the book “#Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso and Mindhunter with David Fincher, based on the book by the same name by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker.  Additionally, Netflix will release the feature film Brain on Fire later this year, written and directed by Gerard Barrett, based on The New York Times best seller by Susannah Cahalan and starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Richard Armitage and Carrie-Ann Moss.

Denver & Delilah is currently under a multi-year feature deal with Universal Pictures and a two-year pact with Universal Cable Productions for its television slate.

As the feature film industry progresses more and more toward globalization, NICK MEYER (Executive Producer) sits at the nexus of rapid change and countless opportunities.  Known as one of the preeminent strategists, producers, financiers and executives in international feature film, Meyer and his company, Sierra/Affinity, deliver films from some of the most talented filmmakers consistently delivering high-quality, commercially viable productions to global audiences via a myriad of distribution platforms.

As CEO of Sierra/Affinity, a production, finance and international sales company, which he founded in January 2009, Meyer oversees the companies productions, as well as a robust practice representing sales of third-party productions at all budget levels with some of the biggest filmmakers and talent in the industry.  Recently, Sierra/Affinity completed sales of the worldwide rights outside of North America for the awards contender Manchester by the Sea.  The drama, directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan, adds to a long list of notable award-winning and audience favorites represented by the company, including Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy), Whiplash (Damien Chazelle), Flight (Robert Zemeckis), The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance), Ender’s Game (Gavin Hood), Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn), The Call (Brad Anderson) and The Way, Way Back (Nat Faxon, Jim Rash).  Meyer’s standing within the international film community was further confirmed by the global entertainment studio Entertainment One (eOne) making a strategic equity investment in Sierra/Affinity through which the international sales and distribution of films produced and acquired by eOne Features, as well as eOne-distributed films from The Mark Gordon Company, will be handled by Sierra/Affinity outside of territories in which eOne self-distributes.

Meyer previously served as president of Paramount Vantage where he supervised all aspects of the business, including finance, operations, acquisitions, development, production, sales, marketing and distribution of a full slate of feature films.  Meyer oversaw the release of the Academy Award®-recognized films Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu), No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) and There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson).

He also served as president of international for Lionsgate—executive producing Hotel Rwanda (Terry George)—overseeing the international operations for the company and was responsible for the international sales and distribution of film and television, as well as international mergers and acquisitions.

An AMPAS® member, Meyer resides in Los Angeles with his family.

MARC SCHABERG (Executive Producer) has nearly two decades of experience in independent film finance, sales, production and distribution. Currently serving as president and COO of Sierra/Affinity, which he founded in January 2009 with Nick Meyer, Schaberg oversees the company’s feature film productions.  Schaberg also plays an integral role in Sierra/Affinity’s robust practice representing sales of third-party productions at all budget levels with some of the biggest filmmakers and talent in the industry.  Most recently, Sierra/Affinity completed sales of the worldwide rights outside of North America for the award-winning Manchester by the Sea, Captain Fantastic and Hell or High Water, in addition to a long list of notable award-winning and audience favorites represented by the company including Nightcrawler, Whiplash, Flight, The Place Beyond the Pines, Ender’s Game, Drive, The Call and The Way, Way Back.

Before launching Sierra/Affinity, Schaberg was a founding partner of Element Films in 2003 where he was CFO and then COO.  While at Element, he structured a $65 million revolving P&A credit facility with Merrill Lynch, negotiated domestic distribution arrangements with Lionsgate and MGM, and launched a foreign sales division, Element Films International.  Schaberg began his career in the film industry as CFO of Tomorrow Films, a boutique foreign sales and film finance company.  In addition to his executive experience in growing and managing independent film companies, Schaberg has also produced or executive produced over 20 films including Mr. Brooks, Waiting… and Down in the Valley.

Prior to beginning his career in film, Schaberg earned a Ph.D. in economics and authored numerous academic and popular articles and also published a book based upon his doctoral dissertation titled “Globalization and

the Erosion of National Financial Systems.”  He holds a bachelor degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of California.

Following stints working in virtually every facet of comic publishing, JOE NOZEMACK (Executive Producer) co-founded acclaimed independent publisher Oni Press in 1997.  A pioneer in the evolution of a North American comic industry that had become completely dominated by corporate-owned superheroes, Oni Press brings a wide variety of genres to a myriad of audiences.  The company’s focus on creators and characters more than any specific genre or audience age sets them apart in an industry long-dominated by one-dimensional publishers.

After working with a variety of media partners on the adaptation of Oni Press’s wide variety of titles and serving as a producer on 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and NBC’s 2013 pilot for The Sixth Gun, Nozemack founded Oni Entertainment with Oni Press executive Charlie Chu and longtime editor in chief James Lucas Jones.  With a renewed commitment to advocating for projects and creators in an ever-evolving entertainment landscape, Oni Entertainment is represented by William Morris Endeavor.

 

STEVEN V. SCAVELLI (Executive Producer) has been president of Flash Distributors since 1986.  Based in New York City, Flash is the premiere home entertainment distributor for Hollywood studio product in the Northeastern United States.  Scavelli has been involved daily in sales, marketing and distribution of all new release and catalog releases for all the major studios and smaller labels for several decades.  Scavelli has also been a sales consultant and publicist for over 15 years for DVDGiftBaskets.com, rated the No. 1 online source for unique home entertainment gift baskets.

In 2003, Scavelli partnered with Eric Gitter.  He served as co-producer on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World as well as on several other projects in various stages of development.  Scavelli continues to serve as a financier and producer of the Closed on Mondays/TGIM Films slate of projects.

After working as a co-producer on films such as Oliver Stone’s W., ETHAN SMITH (Executive Producer) has served as an executive producer or producer on David Ayer’s Fury, which starred Brad Pitt; David O. Russell’s Joy; and Barry Levinson’s Rock the Kasbah. Smith is currently working on David Leitch’s next film, Deadpool 2.

 

DAVID GUILLOD (Executive Producer) is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment industry leading the motion picture talent departments as a senior partner at United Talent Agency (UTA), Handprint Entertainment, Intellectual Artists Management and now Primary Wave Entertainment.  Guillod was managing partner of talent management company Handprint Entertainment for nine years.  During his tenure at Handprint, Guillod helped manage and build companies for Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Lopez Enterprises and Bad Boy Entertainment for Sean Diddy Combs.  Guillod also guided the careers of Katie Holmes, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Julia Stiles, Justin Long, Monica Potter and Terrence Howard.  After Guillod’s term at Handprint, he then became a senior partner and co-head of the motion picture talent department at leading talent and literary agency UTA.  At UTA, Guillod was the co-head of the motion picture talent department for nine years and guided the careers and companies for Don Cheadle, Rachel McAdams, Liv Tyler, Julie Bowen, and Oscar®-winning writer Bobby Moresco.  Additionally, Guillod packaged such films as Crash, Hotel Rwanda and Hustle & Flow while at UTA.  Currently, Guillod is the co-CEO of Primary Wave Entertainment overseeing all talent and literary management as well as film and television production.

 

Widely recognized for his impressive cinematography on the critically acclaimed action thriller John Wick, JONATHAN SELA (Director of Photography) found a love for the craft of filmmaking at a very early age.  Born in Paris in 1978, Sela shortly moved with his family to Israel.  By the age of 14, he was already working on production teams; and, in 1998, Sela made the decision to move to the U.S. to study cinematography at American Film Institute (AFI).  There, Sela

assisted under Oscar®-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond on the features Life as a House and The Body.  His first job out of AFI was shooting a music video for acclaimed director Mark Webb.  Since then, Jonathan has shot well over 200 music videos and commercials with directors such as (but not limited to) Francis Lawrence, Olivier Gondry, Guy Shelmerdine, Ray Kay, Floria Sigismondi and Bryan Barber.  In 2004, he was nominated by MTV and the MVPA for best cinematography in the music videos for Alicia Keys’ “You Don’t Know My Name” and Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body.”

In addition, to his commercial and music video work, Sela has a passion for both independent and studio cinema.  He shot the films Max Payne, The Omen, A Good Day to Die Hard and Law Abiding Citizen.  In 2006, Sela won the best cinematography award for his work on the feature film Grimm Love at the Catalonian International Film Festival.  Most recently, Sela’s work can be seen in Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight.

 

After working as an art director on films such as Inglourious Basterds, Cloud Atlas and The Monuments Men, and as a supervising art director on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, DAVID SCHEUNEMANN (Production Designer) worked as the production designer on Atomic Blonde.  He is currently working as a production designer on David Leitch’s next film, Deadpool 2.

 

ELÍSABET RONALDSDÓTTIR (Editor) was born and raised in Reykjavik, Iceland.  She graduated from the London Film School with honors in 1990 and since then has edited more than 40 feature films, television programs, documentaries, as well as an animated feature film.  She frequently works from her home country of Iceland on projects across Europe and North America.

Her award-winning editing work has also included active industry participation as a founding member and two-term inaugural chairwomen of Women in Film & Television Iceland (WIFT Iceland).  Ronaldsdóttir has sat on the board of the Icelandic Producer’s Guild as well as served for two years as chairwoman of the Icelandic Film & TV Academy in 2005 and 2006.  Since 2007,

Ronaldsdóttir has been a board member of the prominent filmmakers at Reykjavík International Film Festival (RIFF).

She is best known for her collaboration with Baltasar Kormákur (Jar City and Contraband), and more recently with David Leitch (John Wick).  Currently, Ronaldsdóttir has reunited with Leitch on Deadpool 2.

 

CINDY EVANS (Costume Designer) established her career as a costume designer on Christopher Nolan’s Oscar®-nominated Memento and has since enjoyed repeat performances with actors and directors alike.  She worked with Doug Liman on Fair Game and The Wall.  Other credits include Freedom Writers and P.S. I Love You, both directed by Richard LaGravenese and starred Hilary Swank.  Evans worked with actress Charlize Theron on Niki Caro’s acclaimed North Country, for which Theron and Frances McDormand received Oscar® nominations.  Evans previously worked with McDormand on Laurel Canyon, where she also collaborated with then production designer Catherine Hardwicke.  She reunited with Hardwicke on her film directing debut, the coming-of-age drama Thirteen; her fictional take on skateboarding culture Lords of Dogtown; and later on Hardwicke’s re-imagination of Red Riding Hood.  She again worked with Theron on Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Evans worked with Theron again on Guillermo Arriaga’s directorial debut The Burning Plain.  Other films include Oliver Stone’s Savages; Ted 2; August: Osage County; Marley & Me; Mick Jackson’s beautifully crafted biopic Temple Grandin for HBO; the sci-fi horror picture The Forgotten, which starred Julianne Moore; and the crowd-pleasing romantic comedy Along Came Polly, which starred Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston.

 

Composer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist TYLER BATES’ (Original Score by) work resonates deeply throughout film, television, video games and pop culture at large—from critically acclaimed blockbusters such as John Wick and Guardians of the Galaxy, to WGN’s Salem and Zack Snyder’s groundbreaking 300.  An adept and versatile music mind, he develops a

distinct sonic palette for each project that is reflective of the director’s unique brand of storytelling and emotion, whether it be sweeping epic grandeur or sheer terror.

In 2004, after a decade of writing film music, he scored Zack Snyder’s reimagining of Dawn of the Dead, written by James Gunn, igniting longstanding relationships with both.  His soundtrack for Snyder’s 300 quickly became one of the biggest-selling score albums of the 21st century.  300 was followed by further collaborations with the filmmaker such as Watchmen and Sucker Punch.  A partnership with Gunn evolved from the 2006 cult favorite Slither, and led to Super and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which became the third highest-grossing film of 2014 at the worldwide box office.  Throughout Bates’ career he has worked with iconic and influential filmmakers, including Academy Award® winner William Friedkin on Killer Joe and Rob Zombie on The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween and Halloween II.

His imprint on the gaming world is apparent in his music for “Killzone Shadow Fall,” “God of War: Ascension,” “Army of Two 40th Day” and more.  Bates’ work in television spans a wide range of styles from Showtime’s Californication to Audience Network’s highly popular Kingdom.  An on-camera performance for Californication is where Bates met Marilyn Manson, kicking off another focused and fiery creative alliance.  Bates co-wrote and produced Manson’s “The Pale Emperor,” which bowed at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 and which Rolling Stone proclaimed as the “No. 1 Metal Album of 2015.”  “Cupid Carries a Gun” became the main title theme for WGN’s hit series Salem, while “Killing Strangers” figured prominently in Keanu Reeves’ John Wick.  He also held down lead guitar duties on Manson’s Hell Not Hallelujah Tour and his 2016 arena tour, playing to a half-million fans alongside metal giants Slipknot.

Beyond co-creating Manson’s forthcoming “Heaven Upside Down,” 2017 sees Bates’ scores for John Wick: Chapter 2, co-composed with longtime friend Joel Richard; the Gunn-penned and produced The Belko Experiment directed by Greg McLean; and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, directed by Gunn.  Ultimately,

Bates’ natural ability to connect with his collaborators yields music that not only becomes part of the film and television zeitgeist, but that resonates with authenticity to audiences around the globe.

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