Deadline revealed back in April that A Better Life star Demian Bichir was moving toward his feature directing debut on the indie Refugio. He’s set his cast—Eva Longoria, Jose Angel Bichir, and Jorge Perugorria (Strawberries And Chocolate)—and production is just getting underway in Mexico City. The film follows the title character, a young dreamer who’s born in the circus and embarks on a search to find his long lost true love. That character will be played at various points in his life by a series of actors including Demian Bichir himself. The majority of screen time goes to Jose Angel Bichir, who is the director’s nephew. Longoria plays a horse acrobat who joins the circus in Mexico trying to heal a broken heart.
Stefanie Sherk, Ana Claudia Talancon, Arcelia Ramirez and Ludwika Paleta also star, and Julian Fidalgo will play the young Refugio in flashback scenes. The film’s produced by AG Studios’ Alex Garcia, Itaca Films’ Santiago Garcia Galvan, BN Films’ Lucas Akoskin and Escarabajo’s Bruno Bichir (the director’s younger bro). Longoria’s repped by CAA and Brillstein. Bichir, who stars in the FX series The Bridge, opens shortly in the Robert Rodriguez-directed mayhem filled Machete Kills.
EXCLUSIVE: Since his Oscar-nominated heartbreaking turn as an illegal immigrant father in A Better Life, Demian Bichir‘s acting career has decidedly been on the upswing. Now, he’s set to make his debut as a screenwriter and director on the indie feature Refugio. Alex Garcia and Lucas Akoskin will produce Refugio for their company, BN Films. Bruno Bichir of Escarabajo Productions (Crónica de un desayuno) will co-produce. Principal Photography will begin this fall in the U.S. and Mexico.
The film tells the story of a young dreamer, born in the circus, who embarks on a search to find his long lost true love. An emotional journey from boyhood to manhood, from Mexico to the United States, the film is about hope, redemption and fate. Bichir next stars in the Paul Feig-directed Fox/Chernin Entertainment comedy The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, and the upcoming FX series The Bridge. He is also part of the ensemble of Open Road’s Machete Kills. He is represented by CAA, Evolution and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, Inc.
Oscar nominee Demian Bichir will play a crime boss in black comedy Dom Hemingway from The Matador writer-director Richard Shepard. Jude Law and Richard E. Grant were already on board the revenge story which now has Game Of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke along with Jumyan Hunter and Madalina Ghenea rounding out the cast. Law plays the eponymous larger-than-life safecracker who’s back on the streets of London after 12 years in prison and eager to collect for keeping his mouth shut. Things take a turn when he sets off to visit Bichir’s capo in the south of France.
Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company is producing with partners BBC Films, CinemaNX/Isle of Man Film, Pinewood Films and Lionsgate. This marks the latest indie that studio facilities operator Pinewood is involved in as part of a plan to support about 4 films a year. Shooting starts Oct. 15 in the south of France. HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Demian Bichir has joined The Heat, the Paul Feig-directed comedy that stars Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. It is the first studio comedy for Bichir, who was Oscar nominated for A Better Life. He was last seen in the Oliver Stone-directed Savages. In The Heat, he will play an FBI agent. Bichir, who just wrapped the Robert Rodriguez-directed Machete Kills, is repped by CAA and managed by Sekka Scher.
EXCLUSIVE: Demian Bichir, whose performance in the Chris Weitz-directged A Better Life earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination, has signed with CAA. Bichir’s nomination was the first for a Latin American actor in that category in 23 years (since Edward James Olmos received his nod for Stand And Deliver). He also won an Ariel Award for ‘Til Death. Bichir will next be seen starring in the Oliver Stone-directed Savages, based on the Don Winslow novel. He’s currently playing Buddy Ackerman in Mexico City, the Spanish-language translation of the play Swimming With Sharks. Kevin Spacey memorably played the Ackerman role in the 1994 feature film. Bichir is managed by Sekka Scher and Amy Brownstein.
Summit Entertainment got a head start on on awards season the day after Labor Day, September 6, by sending out DVD screeners of their boxoffice-challenged A Better Life. Because this Oscar hopeful is a small human drama they opened June 24 (the same ”good luck” weekend Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker opened two years ago) the company knew they would have to define it in different ways. It became the first movie of the season to set up Q&As in June with star Demian Bichir for SAG’s then-newly formed nominating committee. Bichir and director Chris Weitz have since been doing receptions for press and awards voters, lots of interviews and generally beating the drum for their “little movie that could.” Both appeared for a Q&A at Deadline’s The Contenders event December 10 at the Landmark. Weitz was blunt about the importance of achieving recognition for the film even though it has been out on commercial DVD since October. “I’m glad some of the gloves came off during the moguls panel about wanting to get nominated. We lost the first round at the boxoffice but we’re going to keep fighting,” he said. He knows the film won’t get a Best Picture nomination but is hoping there will be recognition for Bichir. “The film is giving voice to the 11 million people (illegal immigrants) who will not be watching the Academy Awards, but millions of other people will be watching. I’m betting the President of the United States will be watching as well. This is our moment for the film.”
The movie about an illegal immigrant gardener Carlos Galindo (Bichir) who tries to create a better life for his U.S. born son — while also trying to stay and work in the country himself — has been a long shot. It pulled off a major coup December 14 when the SAG Awards announced their five nominees for Best Actor and leading the list was none other than Bichir who was understandably thrilled. “My name starts with a ‘B’ so I thought if I get it I am gonna be first. It was almost like a joke or something but then it happened,” he told me during a recent phone interview. Read More »
TLC released its teaser for the upcoming film Letters To Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy, in advance of its November 17 premiere, commemorating JFK‘s assassination. The film is a tribute to the First Lady, who received more than 800,000 condolence letters in the weeks following the death of her husband though, unfortunately, the teaser doesn’t give us too much of that and instead goes the Kennedy-in-the-convertible route. Anyway, here’s the teaser: (Click over for the hefty list of Hollywood-ers the producers got to read the letters).
Read More »
FX formally announced today that its freshman cross-border drama The Bridge will be coming back for another season. The 13-episodes of the not unexpected second season will premiere next summer, the network says. Season 1 of the U.S./Mexico crime show wraps up on October 2. “We’ve been blown away by the compelling performances of Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger and the writing of Meredith Stiehm, Elwood Reid and their team, and are thrilled to be able to continue this journey for another season,” said Eric Schrier, President of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions in a statement today. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Rich Ross, Carolyn Bernstein and everyone at Shine America.” Also today, Fox International Channels, which rolled out Season 1 around the world this summer, picked up the exclusive pay-TV rights for Season 2 in 125 countries.
Read More »
Jude Law plays the eponymous larger-than-life safecracker in black comedy Dom Hemingway. Back on the streets of London after 12 years in prison, he’s eager to collect what he’s owed for keeping his mouth shut. But things take a turn when he and his partner (Richard E Grant) set off to visit his boss (Demian Bichir) in the south of France. Emilia Clarke also stars in the film that’s from The Matador writer-director Richard Shepard. Lionsgate UK is releasing November 15th in Britain and Fox Searchlight has North America where it will release next year. Jeremy Thomas produced through Recorded Picture Company.
EXCLUSIVE: The Emmys aren’t even over yet, but the race to be the first movie awards DVD screener of 2013 to land in Oscar voters’ mailboxes is over. And the winner is…..Mud. The Roadside Attractions (with Lionsgate) late April release starring Matthew McConaughey has been sent to all Academy members with some reporting they received it yesterday. The Blu-Ray/DVD came out in early August and at that time Roadside sent it to some bloggers who confused the issue by saying it was then the first Oscar screener to be sent. Of course Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences rules are very clear in this regard and commercial Blu Ray/DVDs cannot be sent to Academy members as part of a campaign. It must be special, generally very plain, packaging without review quotes etc. That is what Academy members are receiving this weekend.
The Jeff Nichols-directed movie is one of the top independent releases of 2013 earning over $21 million at the box office. In fact until Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine surpassed it recently, it was the number one indie. Roadside picked up the film in August 2012 but held it for a Spring launch rather than rushing it out to compete in last year’s Oscar race. The distributor hopes Oscar voters will remember the film, which played in the 2012 Cannes Official Competition, and by getting the screener out first knows it is already on top of the pile of one for voters who have yet to see it. Being first is a mixed bag as far as ultimate results go. Last year The Weinstein Company sent its French import The Intouchables out as the first screener in Mid-October but it failed to land any nominations. In 2011 Summit won the screener race with an early September mailing of A Better Life and was rewarded for its efforts with a Best Actor nod for Demian Bichir, considered a long shot at the time (Roadside virtually tied for first out that year too with The Music Never Stopped, but it came up empty). Read More »
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
As its 13 first-season episodes are wrapping production, executive producers of FX’s The Bridge assured today’s TCA crowd that the Texas-U.S. bordertown crime drama will not fall into the formula of solving one crime per season. The murder mystery in Season 1 will wrap up “even before the end of the season,” said executive producer Elwood Reid, who with EP Meredith Stiehm developed the series based on the Danish/Swedish series Bron. Of the second season, Reid said: “There won’t be one big crime. We are not going to have the killer of the season every year.” Stiehm said that, for the first season, the producers had the 10 episodes of Bron to use as a road map but “then we got to a place where there was no guide…we have not decided which path we start on yet.” Read More »
The Toronto International Film Festival has set its list of 70 gala and premiere screenings, and not surprisingly it includes many of the films that figure to factor in the Oscar discussion. This includes 12 Years A Slave to August: Osage County, Rush, Labor Day, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Parkland, Dallas Buyers Club, Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D thriller Gravity and Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis 3 film Devil’s Knot. There will be plenty of starpower, including actors-turned first time directors Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon), Keanu Reeves (Man Of Tai Chi), Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Mike Myers (Supermensch), as well as Coriolanus helmer Ralph Fiennes (The Invisible Woman).
Related: What Toronto Film Fest Lineup Signals For Oscar Race – Analysis
The festival generally provides a mix of those films as well as acquisition titles that usually get released next year. Also on the list is the opening night film, the Bill Condon-directed The Fifth Estate, the DreamWorks drama about polarizing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Here’s the list made official this morning by Toronto Fest organizers:
Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, unveiled the first round of titles set to premiere in the Galas and Special Presentations programmes at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival®.
“This first round of films offers a taste of the powerhouse lineup at this year’s Festival,” said Handling. “These are
… Read More »
Robert Rodriguez‘s grindhouse sequel Machete Kills will get a hometown debut in Austin, Texas at the annual genre-packed Fantastic Fest. Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale turned vigilante Machete, who is recruited by the President (Charlie Sheen – billed as Carlos Estevez) to stop an eccentric billionaire (Mel Gibson) from launching a missile into space. Rodriguez has again assembled a B-movie dream team of name actors and unorthodox stars for his gory actioner, including Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr., William Sadler, and Marko Zaror. Machete Kills will have its world premiere September 19 at the new Lakeline location of the Alamo Drafthouse theaters, home to the annual horror, action, sci-fi, fantasy, and foreign film festival. Two weeks later Open Road Films releases the pic wide on October 4. This year’s Fantastic Fest runs from September 19-26, 2013.
Open Road has shifted two of its upcoming releases: the Robert Rodriguez-directed Danny Trejo-starrer Machete Kills is moving to October 4 from its earlier September 13 perch, and the Jason Statham and James Franco-starrer Homefront moves to November 27 from its previously announced October 4 date. Machete Kills stars Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demián Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding, Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson. Trejo returns as the blade-happy ex-Federale agent, who this time is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man – he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet. I believe Gibson plays the anarchist. Script is by Kyle Ward based on a story by Marcel and Robert Rodriguez, latter of whom produces with Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic through their QuickDraw Productions banner, as well as Sergei Bespalov of Aldamisa Films, Alexander Rodnyansky of AR Films, and Rick Schwartz of Overnight Films.
The Gary Fleder-directed Homefront stars Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo, with a script by Sylvester Stallone, based on the book by Chuck Logan. Statham plays a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter. The only … Read More »
BREAKING: Fox Searchlight, which was uncharacteristically quiet at Cannes, has just made a buy. Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley have closed a deal for North American and a few other territories on the Richard Shepard-directed Dom Hemingway. The darkly comic crime saga stars Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir and Emilia Clarke. Jeremy Thomas produced through Recorded Picture Company and the film will be released next year. “We were so attracted to this film, with its rich array of characters and sharp dialogue. Jude Law’s clever and outrageous performance as Dom is completely transformative, unlike anything you have seen him do before,” said Utley and Gilula. Read More »
Robert Rodriguez‘s sequel to the 2010 grindhouse-inspired Machete seems to be amping up the camp (over blood and guts) with its first trailer that dropped today. Danny Trejo is back for Machete Kills as the blade-savvy former Mexican Federale, as is Michelle Rodriguez. Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr, William Sadler, Marko Zaror and Mel Gibson co-star. Plans are for a trilogy, so there’s more where this came from if this one does anywhere near the first pic, which made $44M worldwide on a $10M-ish production budget. Open Road is releasing it September 13.
Spanish-language U.S. network MundoFox will announce 20 new original programs as part of its summer and fall schedules today during Fox Hispanic Media’s upfont presentation in NY. Among the highlights are the Spanish-language version of The X Factor, El Factor X, which will launch in the summer; Café Con Aroma De Mujer, a remake of the Colombian hit from Ugly Betty‘s original Betty La Fea creator Fernando Gaitán; FX’s series The Bridge starring Demian Bichir, part of the network’s weekend schedule; and the boxing docu-drama The Golden Boys from executive producers Mario Lopez and Oscar de la Hoya. Here’s the network’s full list of shows and specials: Read More »
TLC has commissioned the two-hour film Letters To Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy, co-produced by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Bill Couturié’s The Couturie Co. and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television. Based on the book Letters To Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation by Ellen Fitzpatrick, the film revisits the months following Kennedy’s assassination, when more than 800,000 U.S. citizens and mourners around the world reached out to the First Lady in support. Letters To Jackie spotlights the strength and unity that emerged during one of the most difficult times in American history. It will premiere in the fall to mark the 50th anniversary of the President’s death. Bringing the letters to life are 20 celebrities including Bérénice Bejo, Demián Bichir, Jessica Chastain, Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Allison Janney, John Krasinski, Melissa Leo, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Chloë Grace Moretz, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Hailee Steinfeld, Channing Tatum, Betty White and Michelle Williams. Read More »