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Jeremy Renner has signed on to voice the lead character in 3D animated family film “Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad” from AMBI Group.

Renner joins previously announced Alec Baldwin, James Franco, Anjelica Huston and Omar Sy in a rag-tag group of inexperienced heroes combining to thwart the evil Doc Walrus, voiced by John Cleese, and save the Arctic. Renner will be voicing a fox named Swifty.

The movie is fully financed and produced by AMBI principals Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, with animation work being done out of their AIC Toronto studio by Dimos Vrysellas (“Shark Tale”).

Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen (“Escape From Planet Earth”) co-wrote the screenplay. AMBI Distribution, the AMBI Group’s sales arm, will oversee worldwide distribution for “Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad.”

AMBI Distribution has already closed a deal with Disney for German Speaking Europe. AMBI is selling markets for “Arctic Justice” at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival

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in-dubious-battle

New offerings from the likes of Ken Loach, Terrence Malick, and Walter Hill have been added to the Toronto International Film Festival lineup.

The filmmakers join a previously announced group of heavy-hitters that includes Oliver Stone, Rob Reiner, Jeff Nichols, and Kenneth Lonergan. Loach will offer up “I, Daniel Blake,” a comedy drama about a laborer who falls ill, which premiered at last spring’s Cannes Film Festival. Malick will screen “Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey,” a documentary look at the planets. And Hill will be in full neo-noir mode, premiering, “(Re)Assignment,” a revenge story about an assassin who is betrayed by gangsters.

James Franco, Hollywood’s favorite polymath, will debut his latest exploration of the literary canon — “In Dubious Battle,” the John Steinbeck novel about a migrant workers’ uprising. Other works of note include “Christine,” the story of a reporter’s on-air suicide from Antonio Campos (“Simon Killer”), and “The Exception,” the feature film debut of stage director David Leveaux.

The Toronto Film Festival is considered to be an essential stop in the awards race. It takes place from Sept. 8 through Sept. 18. Here’s a list of the new additions. They join such previously announced films as “The Magnificent Seven” with Denzel Washington, “LBJ” with Woody Harrelson, and “Nocturnal Animals” with Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams.

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FutureWorld

James Franco’s bringing a wild post-apocalyptic journey to the big screen with the movie “Future World,” and we have exclusive photos of the star and co-director on set in Palm Springs.

Franco gathers around in costume with the cast, including Snoop Dogg, Method Man and Suki Waterhouse in the brand new pics.

Based on an original story by Franco, the film follows a young prince and a robot “on a daring journey of self-discovery through the violent and desolate world of the Wastelands,” according to Variety.

Snoop Dogg, whose casting was just announced last week, made a surprise appearance on set Wednesday to take on the role of “Love Lord.”

For more Future World photos click here

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BBScreenDaily

AMBI Distribution has come on to represent international rights in Cannes to the musical starring Oscar-winner Brie Larson.

Basmati Blues will gets its market debut screening on the Croisette and also stars Cannes competition juror Donald Sutherland, Scott Bakula and Utkarsh Ambudkar. Paradigm handles US rights.

The film centres on a starry-eyed scientist who teams up with a local farmer and uncovers corporate wrongdoing when she is sent to India to sell genetically modified rice.

Tyne Daly, Saahil Segal, Dalip Tahil, Bugs Bhargava and Lakshmi Manchu round out the cast.

Dan Baron directed Basmati Blues from a screenplay he wrote with Jeff Dorchen.

Monique Caulfield and Jeffrey Soros produce and Ruedi Gerber, Jeff Kleeman, Elliott Lester and Randy Paul serve as executive producers.

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BlackButterflyTHR

AMBI Distribution, the sales arm of the AMBI Group, is handling worldwide sales and will be introducing the film to buyers in Cannes next month.

Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Rhys Meyers have signed on to star in the psychological thriller Black Butterfly.

Directed by Brian Goodman (What Doesn’t Kill You), the movie is a remake of the French filmPapillon Noir, written by Herve Korian. Justin Stanley and Steve Hilts are writing the English-language screenplay.

Banderas will play Paul, a down-on-his-luck screenwriter who picks up a drifter (Rhys Meyers) and offers him a place to stay. However, when the deranged stranger takes Paul hostage and forces him to write, their unhinged relationship brings buried secrets to light.

Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s AMBI Group and Silvio Muraglia’s Paradox Studios are financing and producing Black Butterfly. Marc Frydman also is producing, while Mikael Wiren and Alexandra Klim are executive producing.

AMBI Distribution, the sales arm of the AMBI Group, is handling worldwide sales and will be introducing the film to buyers in Cannes next month.

Principal photography is slated to begin in May in Italy.

“This is a film where emotions cascade as the story unfolds with twists and turns that create unrelenting drama and thrills,” Iervolino said Thursday in a statement. “To pull it off, you need an actor with real gravitas and proven connectivity with audiences, so we feel fortunate to have Antonio step into this incredible role and do what he does best — own a role and deliver amazing performances.”

Added Bacardi: “We are thrilled to be producing a film with such amazing talent on both sides of the camera. Antonio is a powerful force onscreen and has a role here that will tap into his amazing versatility as an actor. On the other side of the camera, we couldn’t be happier to put this film in the hands of Brian, whose vision and passion for this project is tremendously inspiring.”

Banderas is repped by Paradigm, Media Art Management and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman; Rhys Meyers is handled by Brillstein Entertainment; and Goodman is with APA.

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