Academy Award® Winner Mel Gibson And Frank Grillo to Star in Joe Carnahan's "LEO FROM TOLEDO"

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MadRiver International announced today that Academy Award® Winner Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge, Braveheart) will star alongside Frank Grillo (Captain America, the Purge franchises, "Kingdom," Fight World, Point Blank) in Leo from Toledo for writer/director Joe Carnahan (The Grey).

The film is based on an original script from Dan Casey. Lawrence Grey is producing through his Grey Matter Productions banner, alongside Carnahan and Grillo under their WarParty Films banner. Noah Rosen will executive produce alongside Ben Everard of Grey Matter Productions. MadRiver International will launch international sales at the AFM this week and CAA Media Finance, which arranged financing for the film, represents domestic rights.


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At a certain time in all our lives, our memory isn't as sharp as it once was.  Leo, a former killer for the Kansas City mob, now hiding in witness protection, is having trouble remembering simple things. What he does remember he wants to forget. But what he has forgotten, has now made him a hunted man with precious little time to save the one thing he has left: his estranged daughter and granddaughter.  Principal photography is set to commence in Q1 2020.

Gibson, Grillo and Carnahan are in post-production on the much-anticipated Boss Level, an action sci-fi thriller starring Grillo and Gibson, which was directed by Joe Carnahan and produced by Grillo and Carnahan's production company WarParty Films.

MadRiver International's Kimberly Fox said: "This is one we can't wait to bring to market; it is the perfect mix of comedy and action that is needed in the marketplace today and something we know will excite audiences worldwide."

Director Joe Carnahan adds: "Leo is the kind of movie I love to make, it's funny and heartfelt with a ton of great action. Being able to work with Mel, and Frank again is a real gift. It rarely happens that you get to make films with the people you love and respect, so I consider myself blessed. I feel like Leo is a 'return to form' of sorts for Mel. The script allows him to be both funny and dramatic at different turns and I can't wait to see what he does with that character."


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Mel Gibson also commented: "I've seldom had more fun than sitting in a writer's room with producer Lawrence Grey and writer-director Joe Carnahan, while we spit balled on this story. It's a tight, fast thriller, but its quirky observations had me in stitches. I've wanted to work with Lawrence for quite a while; he has a nose for great material and an ability to deliver it in style. Joe and I refer to him as the arbiter of taste. He balances both of our inner 14-year old's!  It's a real treat to be able to work with Joe and Frank Grillo again after the great experience I had with them on Boss Level last year. Joe is one of the most efficient, whimsical action directors I've ever known, and Leo From Toledo is the perfect showcase for his talent. I can't wait to sink my teeth into this story and character with this phenomenal team."

Carnahan is a director, screenwriter, producer and actor best known for films including Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, Narc, Smokin' Aces, The A-Team, and The Grey. He also wrote and directed several episodes of NBC's "The Blacklist." Up next, Carnahan wrote the screenplay for Columbia Pictures' Bad Boys for Life starring Will Smith, and directed Boss Level starring Naomi Watts, Mel Gibson, Frank Grillo, Michelle Yeoh and Annabelle Wallis.

Gibson is an Academy Award® winning actor and director; he directed the lauded feature, Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield, and is next set to direct The Wild Bunch for Warner Bros. Gibson recently starred in S. Craig Zahler's Dragged Across Concrete and is in post on Tim Kirkby's Waldo.


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Grillo is an acclaimed actor who has brought his brand of naturalism, intensity and depth of character to an incredible body of work that spans decades.

Highlights include: Captain America and Purge franchises, the acclaimed television show "Kingdom," the documentary Fight World, Wheelman, Wolf Warrior 2, The Grey, Warrior and Zero Dark Thirty. Grillo is fresh off the success of the brawl-thriller Donnybrook with Jamie Bell and Margaret Qualley the Netflix action/thriller Point Blank opposite Anthony Mackie that drew massive numbers for the streaming giant in the first 48 hours of its launch and the indie Into the Ashes, which Grillo produced and starred alongside Robert Taylor and James Badge Dale. He is currently starring in Screen Gems' Black and Blue with Naomie Harris, and will next be seen in the Lionsgate sequel The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard alongside Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek, Body Brokers, a crime thriller opposite Melissa Leo and Michael K. Williams and Panama with Morgan Freeman.

Carnahan and Gibson are represented by CAA and Grillo is represented by CAA and Management 360.


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At the AFM, MadRiver International will also be handling sales on the Gerard Butler starrer, The Plane; and Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's King of the Jungle starring Zac Efron.

About MadRiver

MadRiver International is a partnership between Marc Butan's MadRiver Pictures and Vincent Maraval's Wild Bunch International.  Kim Fox oversees the Company's operations.   MadRiver International's primary focus is serving as sales agent on English language, mid and larger budgeted films for the international theatrical and streaming marketplace.

The MadRiver slate includes: What Is Life Worth starring Michael Keaton and directed by Sara Colangelo which is currently in post-production; Tim Kirkby's Waldo starring Mel Gibson and Charlie Hunnam, also in post-production; Scott Z. Burns The Report starring Adam Driver, which Amazon is releasing on November 15th; and Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen which will be distributed by STX on January 24th.

About Grey Matter Productions

Grey Matter Productions most recently produced the Steven Soderbergh directed "The Laundromat" starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas. They are currently in pre-production on the family film Yes Day starring Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez with Miguel Arteta directing for Netflix. In 2016 Grey Matter produced the summer horror hit Lights Out. A $5m movie that grossed nearly $150m worldwide. 

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