Dimitri Logothetis is currently plotting a return to Cyprus for the production of Man Of War, details pending. In the meantime, his new sci-fi martial arts adventure, Jiu-Jitsu, will bow on November 20 courtesy of The Avenue Entertainment, Highland Film Group’s U.S. theatrical release venture announced on Wednesday.
Jiu-Jitsu hails the reunion of Logothetis and actor, martial arts star Alain Moussi, since reviving the Kickboxer franchise for two films with superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme in a supporting capacity. Moussi plays Jake Barnes, a war hero championing Earth’s liberation in an epic BJJ match that happens every six years against waves of alien invaders. Actor Nicolas Cage stars as Wylie, the leader of a team of jiu-jitsu fighters who take in Jake must and help him recover his memory and strength following his foreboding defeat at the hands of Brax, the indomitable alien leader.
Rounding out the cast are Frank Grillo, JuJu Chan and Tony Jaa, with Rick Yune, Marie Avgeropoulos and Marrese Crump. Logothetis co-wrote the script with Jim McGrath, his writing partner on Kickboxer: Retaliation, the sequel to Kickboxer: Vengeance.
Jiu-Jitsu is branded as an LBE Jiu Jitsu AVC production. Logothetis is producing with Martin J. Barab and Chris Economides, and with Highland CEO Arianne Fraser, Highland COO Delphine Perrier, and Gary Wood exec producing.
Highland is handling international sales.
JJ Caruth is appointed President of Domestic Marketing & Distribution of The Avenue, which will handle theatrical distribution of six to eight titles per year, with titles comprised of selections from Highland and other third party acquisitions. The company has signed an agreement with Paramount Home Entertainment to handle Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and Digital distribution.
Funding for The Avenue is provided by Cygnus Film Group, LLC which has entered into a financing agreement with R.U. Robot Ltd, managed by Barab and by Petr Jákl.
“For 10 years, Highland Film Group has gained a strong reputation as an independent worldwide sales, production, and film financing company. Our passion and commitment for this industry are key in guiding our strategic efforts to make Highland Film Group a global entertainment group providing services at every stage of the content’s life cycle. This is the perfect moment for the group to expand its horizons into US distribution. We are thrilled to take this next step in the company’s growth,” said Fraser.
“I am thrilled to be joining the The Avenue at a time of great change, evolution and exciting opportunity in our industry. Arianne and Delphine have impeccable relationships with filmmakers which creates the perfect springboard for this new distribution venture,” said Caruth.