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Thursday, August 18, 2011
Brian De Palma has just closed a deal to direct a thriller, with financing and distribution already in place, according to Deadline Hollywood's Michael Fleming. But let's go back to the beginning:

Last month, Deadline Hollywood reported that Open Road Films ("the new distribution company created by exhibitors AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment") had aquired the U.S. rights to The Key Man, a thriller written by Joby Harold (pictured here, he is the writer and director of 2007's Awake). The Key Man, about a single father targeted by U.S. government agents who are apparently aware that the man's body contains answers to important national secrets, already had financing in place from QED International. QED's founder Bill Block told Deadline that the screenplay "recalls great films like Three Days Of The Condor and Marathon Man and is built on a fantastic story in the vein of The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure, and will appeal to a broad global audience." Open Road promised "a significant P&A [print & advertising] commitment," which is exactly what one might expect from a distribution company backed by the two largest U.S. theatrical exhibitors. Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg told Deadline that The Key Man is "one of the smartest, most original scripts we've seen," and that he expected it to "attract top notch talent."

Well, they're off to an excellent start with that top notch talent by signing De Palma to direct the picture, which will be produced by Harold, Block, Tory Tunnell (Awake, Trumbo) and Paul Hanson (Oliver Stone's W.).

Deadline's original story stated that principal photography was "due to begin by early 2012," and today's post from Fleming states that production will begin "by year's end." TheWrap's Joshua L. Weinstein, following up on Fleming's Deadline report, states that "with the De Palma deal closed, QED is starting to make offers to actors."

Harold has cited early Roman Polanski as one of his main inspirations for making films. Last year, he was signed to Tunnell's Safehouse Pictures to apply his talents to commercials as well as feature films. Safehouse is mentioned by Fleming as one of the companies involved in The Key Man. Harold has had his hand in many a project of late. At Safehouse, he wrote a treatment for the Meryl Streep/Tina Fey comedy Mommy & Me, which he is co-executive producing with director Stanley Tucci. He has also written Fountain City, currently in development at Safehouse with Andrew Adamson directing. After hiring Harold a few years ago to work on a draft of Zach Snyder's "ultimate zombie movie," Army Of The Dead, Warner Bros. more recently set Harold to rewrite an adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka's time-travel space opera All You Need Is Kill, with Doug Liman attached to direct.

Posted by Geoff at 8:08 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:15 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (19) | Permalink | Share This Post

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 8:20 PM CDT

Name: "Randy Aitken"

Hi Geoff -

Do you know if the production of "Passion" is still on with "The Key Man" to follow it, or will this new project supercede it?

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 8:35 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

THE KEY MAN is what De Palma should be directing instead of PASSION. De Palma's concepts and sensibilities are best suited to THE KEY MAN if anyone has seen films such as THE FURY, BLOW OUT, MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE and even SNAKE EYES. THE KEY MAN should be as successful as MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE. THE KEY MAN with De Palma is a film I can get excited about instead of disappointments such as MISSION TO MARS, THE BLACK DAHLIA and REDACTED.

Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 11:46 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

Hi, Randy-- I don't know what the status of PASSION is yet-- it could possibly be as you say, that he will make that and then THE KEY MAN, but it could also be that PASSION is being put on hold for now, as we have not heard anything about it for a while, and it was being planned to begin shooting about now.

I do think THE KEY MAN sounds like a very exciting project-- very much looking forward to it!

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 1:13 AM CDT

Name: "mary"

What happened to "Passion"?

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 1:47 AM CDT

Name: "Adam"

I remember when "Passion" was announced, I said something along the lines of "I'll believe it when I see it", as around that time a lot of De Palma projects were announced without ever seeing the light of day.  It is kind of sad that that may now be the case with "Passion" as we have no idea what has happened with that project (I was visiting this site hourly around Cannes time for news of casting).

Still, "The Key Man" does sound like an exciting project, and if both "Passion" and this new film are made back-to-back, that will make me a very happy man.  While I am frustrated that we have seen nothing recently from De Palma, I am still very much looking forward to both of these projects.  Who knows, 2012 may end up being to De Palma what 2011 is to Spielberg.

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 4:50 AM CDT

Name: "Dene"

Well, tbh I'd probably rather see Mr De Palma do 'The Key Man' than 'Passion', but I hope either or both get made and very soon.

 It's been way too long since we saw a new Brian De Palma pic!

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 5:26 AM CDT

Name: "mary"

I'm sorry for not reading your comments carefully before posting the previous message.... 

Sad to see the "Passion" may not get made....

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 8:34 AM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

Yes, with PASSION, it could turn out to be that perhaps it gets put on hold until after The Key Man. You never know-- one project comes together, another one stalls. De Palma isn't the only filmmaker in the past few years to have projects stall before they reach the starting gate. But he just keeps going at it-- if one project falls through, he finds something else to work on.

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 11:56 AM CDT

Name: "Passion Killer"

Hopefully De Palma does The Key Man and Passion back to back Soderbergh style! Both sound exciting so bring it on I say!

Friday, August 19, 2011 - 11:26 PM CDT

Name: "Jeremy O Connell"

I'm just hoping any De Palma film goes into production soon so I can start getting excited again!

Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 4:28 AM CDT

Name: "K"

This sounds promising. If De Palma can get one of his great cinematographers, a great composer (Pino Donaggio), and a strong leading man, this could be a great film.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 7:44 AM CDT

Name: "Christian G"
Home Page: http://christiangrevstad.wordpress.com

With a great leading man this should do very well.

Passion I hope he doesn't do. The french version was a big disapointment. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 11:13 AM CDT

Name: "rado"
Home Page: http://rado@me.com

exactly - fingers crossed!

we know we love some good old conspiracy thriller :)

Monday, August 22, 2011 - 4:21 AM CDT

Name: "K"

I know it's a long shot, but if he cast someone like say Leonardo Dicaprio or Clive Owen, that would be great. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 4:49 AM CDT

Name: "Dr. Insermini"
Home Page: http://doctorinsermini.wordpress.com/

Capone Rising, Boston Stranglers, Passion, THe Key Man, what's next?

 Frustrating :(

Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 7:44 AM CDT

Name: "Andreas"

Great news, especially the part that says »already financed«. Maybe we'll get a new De Palma film after all. (I'm really not very picky after all these years without a De Palma film in the cinemas.)

Still, it would be great to get a update for his previous »potential films«. I'm still hoping that we'll see »Toyer« one day, but I understand that it's not easy to finance such a pure De Palma film in the light of his recent box office history.

But what's about »Boston Strangler« and »Passion«? The statements about both films gave me the impression that they were more than »in development«.

Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 5:08 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

PASSION is still in development, but as it hasn't yet gotten off the ground, they may be hoping that another project, such as THE KEY MAN, may spark more interest in PASSION.

Aside from THE KEY MAN, De Palma currently has two films in "active" development: CAPONE RISING, and THE BOSTON STRANGLERS. With CAPONE RISING, there were apparently some red tape issues to deal with, but I don't know what is happening now. THE BOSTON STRANGLERS is still in active development at Valhalla, but the distributor (Overlook) fell on hard times financially, so the film lost its money.

Other films in development for De Palma are TABLOID and TOYER.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 5:10 PM CDT

Name: "Andreas"

Thanks Geoff! Not only for answering my question but also for this great website and all the excellent work you're doing here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 1:29 PM CDT

Name: "Still no news?"
Home Page: http://www.christiagrevstad.wordpress.com

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