May 9, 2012
Lighting Entertainment (“Lightning”), the Santa Monica-based sales, production and distribution company has acquired International sales rights in all media to the romantic drama LOVE AND HONOR (formerly known as AWOL) starring Liam Hemsworth (THE HUNGER GAMES), it was announced today by Lightning President Robert Beaumont.
Lightning will premiere the film for international buyers at the upcoming Cannes Film Market.
Aussie thesp Hemsworth is joined by some of the most talented actors emerging in film right now including Austin Stowell (DOLPHIN TALE), Teresa Palmer (WARM BODIES), Aimee Teegarden (SCREAM 4), Chris Lowell (THE HELP) and Wyatt Russell (COWBOYS AND ALIENS). The film is directed by Danny Mooney who makes his directorial debut. LOVE AND HONOR is written by Jim Burnstein and Garrett K. Schiff, and is a love story in the tradition of films like The Notebook and The Lucky One, about a soldier who secretly returns home from the war to win back his girlfriend before anyone finds out.
Shot on location in Ann Arbor, Michigan, LOVE AND HONOR is produced by Chip Diggins and Patrick Olson and executive produced by Burnstein and Schiff along with Eddie Rubin and Peter Pastorelli. Danny Mooney and Eddie Rubin are both represented by WME.
The film is being represented in the U.S. by ICM and WME Global. The two agencies negotiated the deal for international rights with Lightning’s Joseph Dickstein and Audrey Delaney, SVP and VP of Acquisitions respectively.
“We are so pleased to be able to introduce LOVE AND HONOR to our buyers in Cannes. Fresh off THE HUNGER GAMES, Liam Hemsworth is just one of the elements that make this a very exciting property. The film’s setting and poignant storyline is an outstanding vehicle for this gifted cast, a truly talented ensemble of young actors right on the cusp of stardom,” said Lightning President Robert Beaumont.
Hemsworth’s meteoric rise as one of the most sought after actors today has been underscored by the runaway success of Lionsgate’s THE HUNGER GAMES. One of the biggest blockbusters of 2012, THE HUNGER GAMES has already grossed over $375 million in the U.S. and held at number 1 at the box office for four straight weeks. The film has also been a blockbuster in the international market.
Hemsworth will reprise his role as Gale Hawthorne in CATCHING FIRE, the next installment of the franchise.
First seen in Disney’s THE LAST SONG, Hemsworth will next star in Lionsgate’s THE EXPENDABLES 2, along with Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Jason Statham, opening in August. Additionally, he is top-lining Dito Montiel’s EMPIRE STATE opposite Dwayne Johnson and Emma Roberts, which is in pre-production as well as PARANOIA with Gary Oldman and Harrison Ford.
Stowell made his film debut in the heartwarming Warner Bros. film DOLPHIN TALE also starring Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick Jr. The film was #1 at the box office in its Fall 2011 release. He was first seen in a breakout role on ABC’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Palmer recently wrapped Summit's zombie film WARM BODIES starring with Nicholas Hoult and John Malkovich, out early next year. She also starred in Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg's I AM NUMBER FOUR alongside Alex Pettyfer, Jon Turteltaub's THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE alongside Nicolas Cage, Adam Shankman's comedy BEDTIME STORIES alongside Adam Sandler and most recently the thriller WISH YOU WERE HERE alongside Joel Edgerton, which is currently out in Australia.
Friday Night Lights star Teegarden recently appeared in SCREAM 4 for Dimension and recently wrapped the indie thriller BENEATH THE DARKNESS with Dennis Quaid. Teegarden is currently shooting LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS opposite AnnaSophia Robb and Billy Crudup.
Russell recently starred in COWBOYS AND ALIENS and is currently filming Judd Apatow’s THIS IS 40 for Universal Pictures.
Lowell most recently appeared in DreamWorks’ critical and commercial success THE HELP and was a regular on television’s Private Practice for ABC and WB’s Veronica Mars.
Chip Diggins is a partner in the development, finance and production company Route One Films, along with Jay Stern and Russell Levine, who graciously allowed Diggins’ to produce LOVE AND HONOR under his Red 56 banner.
Prolific rights holder Lightning Entertainment is representing an eclectic slate of new films at Cannes including the star-studded comedy STRUCK BY LIGHTNING starring Glee’s Chris Colfer, Rebel Wilson (BRIDESMAIDS) and Christina Hendricks which emerged as a hit at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival; the comedy SERVITUDE starring Joe Dinicol (the CW’s The L.A. Complex), written by Michael Sparaga (SIDEKICK) and directed by acclaimed film director Warren P. Sonoda (TEXTUALITY); the thrillers BLACK SOUTH-EASTER and ONE LAST LOOK; and HEAVEN’S DOOR, a family film starring Charisma Carpenter (upcoming THE EXPENDABLES 2), Dean Cain (OUT OF TIME), Golden Globe winner Joanna Cassidy (HBO’s Six Feet Under) and Edward Herrmann (the WB’s Gilmore Girls).
In addition, Lightning will also be showing buyers first footage from the comedy THE HOT FLASHES starring Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, Virginia Madsen, Camryn Manheim and Wanda Sykes and screening Australian sci-fi film, 25th REICH starring Jim Knobeloch, Dan Balcaban and Jak Wyld.
ABOUT LIGHTNING ENTERTAINMENT
Lightning Entertainment was established in 2001, with a focus on the worldwide distribution and licensing of independent film products. Its core business is the representation of quality theatrical films, as well as product that has strong commercial value in ancillary markets. Lightning’s notable past films include the smash Sundance hit JUNEBUG, the heartwarming comedy BONNEVILLE starring Joan Allen, and the acclaimed drama BEAUTIFUL BOY starring Michael Sheen and Maria Bello. Lightning’s current lineup includes the fast-paced action film BRAKE starring Stephen Dorff, the riveting thriller COLUMBUS CIRCLE starring Selma Blair, Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Lee and Amy Smart, the witty dramedy THE TROUBLE WITH BLISS starring Michael C. Hall and Lucy Liu and the comedy THE HOT FLASHES starring Brooke Shields, Daryl Hannah, Virginia Madsen, Camryn Manheim and Wanda Sykes.