MadRiver International has announced that Academy Award winner Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge, Braveheart) will star alongside Frank Grillo (Captain America, The Purge franchise, Kingdom) in Leo from Toledo for writer/director Joe Carnahan (The Grey). The film is based on an original script from Dan Casey.
Leo from Toledo is described as follows: “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 the first quarter of 2020. 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.
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 added: “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.”
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.”
Gibson, Grillo and Carnahan are in post-production on 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.