In today’s film news roundup, Liev Schreiber and retired pro footballer Vernon Davis score roles, Jason Blum will speak at his alma mater, Irish drama “Rialto” finds a U.S. distributor and “1917” hits a box office milestone.

CASTINGS

Liev Schreiber will portray tennis coach Paul Cohen in Warner Bros.’ “King Richard” opposite Will Smith.

Reinaldo Marcus Green is directing the drama, written by Zach Baylin, about Richard Williams helping daughters Venus and Serena Williams to become tennis stars. Smith plays Richard Williams and his daughters will be portrayed by Saniyya Sidney as Venus and Demi Singleton as Serena. Cohen also worked with Pete Sampras and John McEnroe.

Jon Bernthal and Aunjanue Ellis also star in “King Richard,” produced by Smith via his Westbrook Studios banner along with Tim White and Trevor White through Starthrower Entertainment. Warner Bros. has set the film for a Nov. 25 release.

Schreiber recently completed the final season of “Ray Donovan.” He’ll be seen next in Wes Anderson’s “French Dispatch.”

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Vernon Davis, who recently retired from professional football after 14 years, has been cast in a starring role in Supremacy Films thriller “Red Winter.”

The movie, directed by Steven C. Pitts from a John Prescott script, is set to begin shooting in Denver this week.

“Red Winter” stars Ashley A. Williams as a woman in her early 30s with heightened survival skills. She, her father, a friend and Davis’ character are put to the test when they are stranded in a deadly Colorado winter blizzard after a snowmobile trip turns disastrous.

Davis appeared in Wes Miller’s “Hell on the Border” (Lionsgate) opposite Ron Perlman and in “Baywatch.” He’s repped by UTA, Jason Yorker of Invertix Management and Fox Rothschild.

COMMENCEMENT

Three-time Academy Award-nominee Jason Blum has been selected to deliver the commencement address at Vassar College on May 24.

Blum agreed to address Vassar graduates 29 years after he received his own diploma from the college, where he majored in drama.

“Jason’s innovative work in the film and television industry is well known, but here at Vassar we are just as appreciative of the work he has done as a member of our Board of Trustees, particularly his passion for our commitment to being a need blind institution,” said Elizabeth Bradley, president. 

Blum received Oscar nominations for producing “BlacKkKlansman,” “Get Out” and “Whiplash.” He is the founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, which has gained renown for the strategy of producing high-quality, micro-budget films.

ACQUISITION

Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to the Irish character study “Rialto.”

Peter Mackie Burns directed from a script by Mark O’Halloran, who adapted his stage play “Trade” for the screen. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in the Horizons section.

The film follows Colm, a man in his mid-40s who has a comfortable life and a kind, loyal wife. After the death of his father, a destructive figure, his emotional life cracks open and he finds himself drawn to a 19-year-old man who dabbles in prostitution.

“’Rialto’ is one of the most potent and devastating films of the year,” said Richard Ross, co-president of Breaking Glass. “Mackie Burns’ assured and precise direction, and Vaughan-Lawlor’s tortured, yet heartbreaking Colm lead a genuinely superb cast in a truly unforgettable experience.”

BOX OFFICE

DreamWorks Pictures’ “1917” has topped $350 million in worldwide box office with $152.9 million domestically via Universal and $198.8 million internationally via Universal and Amblin Partners.

“1917,” directed by Sam Mendes, won three Academy Awards and has remained in the Top 10 domestically since going wide on Jan. 10.

The story of two soldiers on a mission to save their comrades opened at No. 1 in 22 territories. It grossed $55 million to date in the U.K., distributed by eOne.





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