Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Showtime and the producers of The Big C end Cathy Jamison’s personal cancer saga in hospice care tonight with its fourth and Hereafter season finale. Executive producer and showrunner Jenny Bicks naturally declined to divulge whether Cathy (Laura Linney) dies tonight, though she and fellow exec producer Darlene Hunt co-wrote. The mini-series’ four last episodes span a year in the life of the lead character, each separated by roughly three months. The finale follows Angelina Jolie’s shocking May 14 announcement that she had undergone a preventive double mastectomy, which spurred a slew of press calls to Showtime and the Big C team. Bicks, herself an early-stage breast cancer survivor, told Deadline. “It has really drawn attention to us in a way we couldn’t have anticipated,” she said. “I hope we’ve done something to help more people recognize that cancer isn’t any longer this thing you whisper about behind a closed door. And it isn’t necessarily a disease you necessarily have to die from.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The client-signing game has been voracious lately, but sometimes it’s not about poaching the big names but betting on the ones that might be big down the line. WME feels that way about Sam Riley, whom the agency just signed. Riley plays one of the leads opposite Angelina Jolie in Maleficent and in Neil Jordan’s Byzantium. He initially garnered attention for his portrayal of Ian Curtis in Control, which got him named Most Promising Newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards. He earned a BAFTA nom for Rising Star and most recently was seen in the ensemble of the Walter Salles-directed On The Road. He continues to be repped by Tavistock Wood in the UK.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m not certain it’s going to happen as they try to sort scheduling issues, but Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert has James Franco circling the role that Jude Law was going to play. If you recall, Herzog lined up Naomi Watts and Robert Pattinson to star in the story of Gertrude Bell’s life as a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the 20th Century. Law had signed on to the film, but exited awhile ago to do the play Henry V, and the project ground to a halt. Getting a commitment from Franco would put the picture back on track. Stay tuned. There is kind of a race on Gertrude Bell, as Ridley Scott also has one that Angelina Jolie was eyeing. But it looks like Scott is working hard on his Biblical film Exodus at Fox–Christian Bale is eyeing the role of Moses–and Jolie is preparing to direct Unbroken, the unbelievable life of Olympian sprinter-turned WWII POW Louis Zamperini. So both of them are certainly preoccupied.
Bryan Cranston, Mads Mikkelsen and Rebel Wilson will join Jack Black, Angelina Jolie and other original cast members in the third chapter of the DreamWorks Animation franchise. Kung Fu Panda 3, slated to bow on December 23, 2015, marks the first planned co-production with China based Oriental DreamWorks. Kung Fu Panda 2 helmer Jennifer Yuh Nelson will direct. The film is produced by Melissa Cobb, executive produced by Guillermo del Toro and co-produced by Jeffrey Hermann, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger.
A federal judge has ruled tentatively in Angelina Jolie‘s favor in a lawsuit that alleged she took key elements of a book on the Bosnian War for her 2011 film In The Land of Blood and Honey. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee today said there were not enough similarities between James Braddock’s book The Soul Shattering and the film to prove violation of copyright. Braddock was therefore ordered to show cause why the action should not be dismissed with prejudice by no later than April 12. Braddock sued the Oscar-winning actress, GK Films and distributor Film District on December 2, 2011 for copyright infringement, three weeks before the film about a love affair during the Bosnian Civil War came out in America.
MGM announced today that it has picked up film rights to the Tomb Raider video game from GK Films and will be working with the company to reboot the action franchise. GK Films had acquired Tomb Raider rights back in late 2010 from interactive entertainment company Square Enix Ltd. Two previous Tomb Raider films starring Angelina Jolie were released in 2001 and 2003.
Skyfall director of photography Roger Deakins won the Feature Film honor tonight at the 27th annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards, two years after he won the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Deakins, who didn’t attend because he is working on the Hugh Jackman-Jake Gyllenhaal movie Prisoners, now becomes a frontrunner for the Oscar in the category, after Life Of Pi‘s director of photography Claudio Miranda won the BAFTA earlier in the day in London. (The ASC Awards noms pretty much mirror the Oscar nominees this year, with Deakins, Miranda, Anna Karenina’s Seamus McGarvery and Lincoln’s Janusz Kaminski nominated by both organizations. The only difference: Les Miserables’ Danny Cohen was up for an ASC Award and not an Oscar, and Django Unchained’s Robert Richardson is up for an Oscar but not an ASC.)
It was Deakins’ third win and 11th nomination for an ASC Award, having won previously for Shawshank Redemption and The Man Who Wasn’t There. His wife James accepted the award onstage at the ceremony, held at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. She read a note he had prepared: “I share this award with everyone who worked on the production…filmmaking is truly a collaborative privilege.”
Deakins’ win for the James Bond pic capped a night in which Angelina Jolie made a surprise appearance to introduce the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dean Semler, her DP on her 2011 directorial debut In The Land Of Blood And Honey and on Disney’s Maleficent, in which she stars. “I called him up to help me on a film I was directing, not thinking I’d get him”, she said in her intro. ‘Who can shoot it like you can?’ I asked. He said me, and did it. After the call, I’m not embarrassed to say I danced around the room”. Said Semler: “Angie, you’re amazing and we’re so glad you’re here …. This award has to be the greatest any cinematographer can reach for”. Read More »
Movie producer Lloyd Phillips, who was working on the Warner Bros/Legendary Superman reboot Man Of Steel, died last night of a heart attack at his home in Malibu. Phillips was 63 and was born in South Africa but grew up in Auckland, NZ. The first New Zealander to win an Oscar, according to NZN, Phillips took home the statuette for his 1980 live-action short “The Dollar Bottom” — about a group of school boys who set up an insurance scheme against being caned by their teachers. Initial feature work afterward included Nate And Hayes with Tommy Lee Jones, Heart Of The High Country and Ruby Cairo with Andie McDowell, Liam Neesen, and Viggo Mortensen. Phillips’ more recent Hollywood credits included The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds with Brad Pitt, Tom Tykwer’s The International with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts, Martin Campbell’s The Legend Of Zorro with Antonio Banderas, Beyond Borders (also directed by Campbell, starring Owen and Jolie), Vertical Limit (also directed by Campbell), The Edge with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, and Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys with Pitt and Bruce Willis.
The studio announced a slew of release schedule additions and alterations today. Among the films getting new wide dates are Pirates Of The Caribbean 5, which is set for July 10, 2015; The Muppets 2, which will bow March 21, 2014; and the shrouded-in-secrecy Damon Lindelof-Brad Bird film 1952, starring George Clooney, now set for December 19, 2014 in 3D.
In addition, Disney has moved its Angelina Jolie-starrer Maleficent to July 2, 2014, shifting the 3D revisionist fairy tale from March 14, 2014 and squarely into the summer fray. Two other pics that already had dates are now getting the 3D treatment: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014) and Guardians Of The Galaxy (August 1, 2014).
The Little Mermaid, which was to be the latest from the Disney vaults to get a 3D rerelease (like The Lion King, Finding Nemo and the recent Monsters, Inc.), has been taken off the schedule. It had been slated for September 13, 2013.
UPDATE: Echo Lake has also brought over Graciella Sanchez to work with Brittany Kahan on starting the talent component of the management company. Aside from the Fanning sisters, the other actors coming aboard are: Jonathan Jackson (Nashville), Gregory Smith and Travis Milne (Rookie Blue), Ivana Milicevic (Banshee), Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black), Jacob Wysocki (Terri) and Marguerite Moreau.
EXCLUSIVE: As we kick off 2013, here’s a reminder that it’s a hard business. Dakota and Elle Fanning have left One Talent Management, where JJ Harris repped the actresses practically since they were babies. What happened is that the thesps were handled day to day at One Talent by Brittany Kahan, who is leaving them to start a talent management division at the production company Echo Lake, which previously repped filmmakers. She’s taking the Fannings with her. Dakota, coming to the end of the Twilight Saga films, just finished the Naomi Foner-directed Very Good Girls and the Richard Laxton-directed Effie, while Elle just finished Maleficent with Angelina Jolie and is attached to star in Olive’s Ocean. The actresses are agented by WME.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Walden Media are in final negotiations with Angelina Jolie to direct Unbroken, the unbelievable story of Olympian-turned-WWII POW Louis Zamperini. The project, which Universal has developed for going on 55 years, is closer than ever to becoming a reality. Matthew Baer and Erwin Stoff are producing and Mick Garris is exec producer.
For Jolie, this will mark her second film as director after she made her debut on In The Land Of Blood And Honey. This will be her first directing outing on a major studio film. It’s easy to imagine that the world’s biggest female star gets whatever she wants, but I’m told that she campaigned hard for the film against a number of other directors. Universal execs were very impressed with her sophisticated treatment of difficult subject matter. Her detailed take on Zamperini won her this job.
“In her life and in her work, Angelina has embraced stories and causes involving great struggle and triumph over tremendous odds and the basic human condition,” Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley said in a statement. “She has a real ability to illustrate the strength in human spirit which will be essential in telling Lou’s story of survival and great heroism.”
The film has a new script draft by Gladiator and Les Miserables co-writer William Nicholson, who rewrote an earlier draft by Richard LaGravanese. The script is based on Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, the book by Seabiscuit author Laura Hillenbrand which has been on The New York Times bestseller list for over 108 straight weeks. Read More »
Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage
Angelina Jolie stepped out in London on Sunday night to mark an endorsement for her friend Ewan McGregor and his turn in Juan Antonio Bayona’s tsunami story The Impossible. She laid on drinks at the Soho Hotel along with a private screening of the film for about 30 invited guests — including fellow thesps Noomi Rapace, Peter Capaldi and Game Of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie. These sorts of third-party-endorsed “influencer” campaigns are increasingly popular in Hollywood, where recently Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land received similar airings by the unaffiliated likes of Cameron Crowe and Aaron Sorkin. But they’re new to the UK, where most awards screenings follow the traditional actor and director Q&A format. At the event, Jolie said, “Ewan, I’ve known you for years and you’re one of my favorite actors. But I watched this and I didn’t recognize you. It’s strange; to say it’s one of the best performances of the year doesn’t really give it credit. It doesn’t feel like a performance; it comes from such an honest place.” Representing The Impossible ahead of its UK premiere on Monday were 16-year-old co-star Tom Holland, screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez and composer Fernando Velázquez.
Related: ‘The Impossible’ Exclusive Featurette: Video
Warner Bros shifted the sci-fi pic action from a March 14, 2014 wide release to March 7, 2014. The Doug Liman-directed All You Need Is Kill stars Tom Cruise as an inexperienced soldier dropped into a war against a brutal alien race who winds up in a time loop reliving the same battle over and over. He learns enough from each repetition to become more formidable against the invaders. The release-date change for the Warner Bros-Villiage Roadshow pic moves it off the date of Disney’s Angelina Jolie movie Maleficent.
Pax and Zahara Jolie-Pitt will be appearing in Maleficent with their mother Angelina Jolie, Deadline has learned. This makes four members of the family to join in the live-action Disney film, which is due out March 14, 2014. Four-year-old Vivienne had already been cast to play the very young version of Princess Aurora in the film, which tells the backstory of the villain from the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Pax, 8, and Zahara, 7, will have very small roles in their feature debuts. Maleficent is also the directing debut of Robert Stromberg. Elle Fanning plays Aroura, and Brenton Thwaites and Sharlto Copley also star.
Related: Get An Eyeful of Angelina Jolie As ‘Maleficent’ Gets Underway
The amount — equal to more than $11.2M using today’s exchange rate — includes cash and pension payments as well as an allowance for legal fees and a chauffeur-driven car, the Financial Times reports, citing “two people with knowledge of her compensation.” But the former News International chief, at the center of the company’s hacking and bribery scandals, shouldn’t spend it all: There are unspecified conditions under which the company can reclaim some funds — so-called clawback clauses that one person says are “substantial.” Rebekah Brooks joined News International in 1989. The UK government has charged her with three counts of alleged phone hacking, including a general charge that could affect as many as 600 victims including celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. She also faces three counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Her trial is provisionally scheduled to begin September 9, 2013.
EXCLUSIVE: After grossing $563 million worldwide on The Expendables and its recently released sequel, Millennium Films has set Legally Blonde scribes Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith to write ExpendaBelles, the title of the spinoff action film that will show the feminine side of the mercenary business. The intention is to hatch a franchise that will be driven by actresses who’ve logged time in action films over the years, much the same way that The Expendables team is comprised of action film staples. Millennium will finance with Avi Lerner and Mark Gill producing, along with Heidi Jo Markel of Eclectic Pictures and Julie Kroll of Summertime Entertainment and Boaz Davidson. Trevor Short will be executive producer.
The action game hasn’t been as steady for actresses as it has been for their male counterparts, but certainly Angelina Jolie thrives and Underworld‘s Kate Beckinsale, Resident Evil‘s Milla Jovovich, Haywire‘s Gina Carano, and Kill Bill‘s Uma Thurman have done well in the butt-kicking action realm. And there is also Alien‘s Sigourney Weaver, Long Kiss Goodnight‘s Geena Davis, Elektra‘s Jennifer Garner, Crouching Tiger‘s Michelle Yeoh, Red Sonja‘s Brigitte Nielsen, and action genre matriarch Pam Grier. Who am I missing? Read More »
Fandango has wasted little time making use of Dave Karger, the former Entertainment Weekly Oscar guru that the movie site hired last week as chief correspondent. Not only will he be Fandango’s face to appear on parent company NBCUniversal properties like Today, Access Hollywood and other places, he now will host made-for-Fandango movie news shows, with three announced today in development. Here’s the release:
LOS ANGELES – October 2, 2012 – Fandango, the nation’s leading moviegoer destination, announced today a new development slate of original video series that will dramatically expand the company’s content offerings. The made-for-Fandango movie news shows will be hosted by movie expert and newly appointed Fandango Chief Correspondent Dave Karger.
“As a trusted entertainment brand that is synonymous with moviegoing, Fandango has a significant opportunity to play an even larger role in the content arena and meet the growing demand from both consumers and advertisers,” said Paul Yanover, Fandango’s new president. “With a major talent like Dave Karger as our movie expert, and Fandango’s extensive reach across the web, mobile and social media, we are extremely well positioned to launch our first-ever original video development slate.”
Working titles of the initial series in development with Dave Karger include:
– “Fanticipation,” a weekly show revealing the upcoming weekend’s top box office contenders and possible sleeper hits, based on proprietary insights and data from Fandango.
– “Honored,” an update, analysis and countdown show during awards season.
– “Unsung,” a series featuring some of biggest names in Hollywood introducing their feature film colleagues (character actor, dialect coach, costume designer, etc.) who deserve to share the spotlight.
Read More »
It’s a blow for Entertainment Weekly, and a coup for NBC/Universal-owned Fandango. They’ve hired away EW’s Oscar guy Dave Karger, who for the last two years has been the Red Carpet greeter for AMPAS (a job my late Variety colleague Army Archerd had for years), and Karger is good on the tube. He’ll be Fandango’s face as he appears on Today, Access Hollywood, E! Entertainment and an array of other outlets. I’ve always liked his work and appreciate the fact that he’s not an egotistical blowhard like a lot of the so called pundits out there. Here’s Fandango’s release:
NEW YORK & LOS ANGELES – September 27, 2012 – Fandango, the nation’s leading moviegoer destination, announced today that it has appointed film expert Dave Karger to the newly created role of Chief Correspondent. The hiring of Karger, a 17-year veteran and senior writer from Entertainment Weekly who also served as the Academy’s official Red Carpet Greeter for the 2011 and 2012 Oscars, is a key part of Fandango’s strategy to be a multi-platform entertainment brand. He will report to Hilary Smith, SVP of Digital Communications and Integrated Media Marketing for NBCUniversal’s Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media division.
“Dave has a well-deserved nationwide following as one of the industry’s most dynamic and respected film and awards authorities,” said Smith. She added, “Bringing him to Fandango in this newly created position is a game-changer for the brand, as the business builds
… Read More »