Lily James Rom-Com Adds Cast
Sajal Ali, Shabana Azmi, Rob Brydon and Asim Chaudhry have joined the cast of Working Title and Studiocanal’s romantic comedy What’s Love Got To Do With It? Shoot is now underway in London on the pic, which Deadline previously revealed would star Lily James, Shazad Latif and Emma Thompson. Jemima Khan wrote the screenplay and will produce, with Shekhar Kapur directing. Nicky Kentish Barnes is also producing alongside Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, with Sarmad Masud as executive producer. Story is a cross-cultural rom-com about love and marriage and is set between London and South Asia.

‘Last Warrior’ Slays Russian Box Office
Russia’s box office got a big boost in the early part of 2021 as The Last Warrior: Root Of Evil set a record gross of $22.1M across its first ten days of release. Originally opening to $2M on January 1, the movie from director Dmitriy Dyachenko outperformed all Russian pandemic-era releases despite cinema capacity restrictions limited to 25%. From Disney Russia, Yellow, Black and White and TV Channel Russia, it is also the first local or Hollywood film to cross the 1B ruble mark during the period. A sequel to 2017’s The Last Warrior (aka The Last Knight), the epic fairytale adventure centers on traditional Russian and Slavic characters. The previous movie did Rbl 1.73B while the local total on the sequel is Rbl 1.71B and climbing.

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Shine TV Boss Exits
Shine TV managing director Tanya Shaw is leaving the UK MasterChef producer after seven years. She steps down at the end of March and the Banijay-owned company is now hunting for a successor. “I am saying goodbye to simply the finest team I have ever worked with,” she said. Shaw is the latest UK creative leader to exit after Banijay acquired Endemol Shine Group last year, with Tiger Aspect chief executive Damian Kavanagh stepping down in late 2020.

HBO Europe Greenlights Swedish True-Crime Doc
HBO Europe has greenlit a six-part true-crime series from Warner Bros ITVP Sweden that will investigate the unusual events in the Swedish village of Knutby. Pray, Obey, Kill follows journalists Anton Berg and Martin Johnson as they probe a story involving a small tight-knit Pentecostal congregation that believed Jesus was returning to Earth to marry their leader. When a young woman in the community was murdered and her neighbor suffered multiple gunshot wounds, the ensuing court case became an international sensation. The film is directed by Henrik Georgsson (The Bridge) and produced by Ruth Reid, while Anton Berg, Martin Johnson and Martina Iacobaeus serve as executive producers. Executive producers for HBO Europe are Hanne Palmquist, Hanka Kastelicová, and Antony Root.

Susanne Bier To Deliver Goteborg Keynote
The Night Manager director Susanne Bier will be the honorary guest of Goteborg Film Festival’s TV Drama Vision event this year, which will run February 3-4 online. Bier will deliver a keynote, sharing her advice for how creators can adapt to the changing content world while staying true to their own creative vision. Further events at the showcase include work in progress sessions, case studies and presentations of series in development. On the list is the upcoming Swedish drama A Royal Secret and the in-development Croatian series The Possibility Of An Island.

‘I Care A Lot’ Amazon Rollout
Amazon Prime is set to rollout Toronto 2020 thriller I Care A Lot in the UK, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy and New Zealand from February 19. Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza Gonzalez and Dianne Wiest star in the story of a crooked legal guardian who meets her match when a woman she tries to swindle turns out to be more than she first appears. The film is a Black Bear Pictures production, written and directed J Blakeson (The Disappearance of Alice Creed). STXinternational handled international and is putting the film through Amazon as part of its digital deal with the streamer. Netflix previously acquired a host of markets, including the U.S.

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