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Global Showbiz Briefs: André Rieu Sets UK Box Office Record; Venice Critics’ Week Roster; Alibaba Pacts With Helmers; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: André Rieu Sets UK Box Office Record; Venice Critics’ Week Roster; Alibaba Pacts With Helmers; MoreAndré Rieu Concert Sets UK Box Office Record
Flying the flag for event cinema, André Rieu’s 2014 10th Anniversary Maastricht Concert became the UK’s highest-grossing music event of all time at the box office this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, CinemaLive screened the concert at 410 locations across the UK and Ireland, grossing $1.42M. The concert also screened at 234 moviehouses in European markets including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Finland and Croatia, bringing the total gross box office figure to more than $2.05M for the weekend. Rieu’s July 2013 cinema concert event set UK records with about $766K. The massive jump this year is one more feather in the cap of live event cinema which has been growing in popularity with music- and theater-loving crowds. Classical violinist Rieu, aka “The King of Waltz”, is known for his energetic and festive live performances. He has sold more than 35M albums worldwide. Further screenings of the concert will take place this coming weekend in Australia and New Zealand, followed by Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Russia and South East Asia to ultimately reach more than 1,000 cinema screens in 35 countries. Pretty soon, I’ll have to start adding these to my international weekend box office reports.

'400 Blows' centerpiece of Venice Film Festival PosterVenice Critics’ Week Lineup Revealed
The National Union of Italian Film Critics has unveiled its selection for the 29th running of Critics’ Week at the … Read More »

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‘Middle Of Nowhere’s Emayatzy Corinealdi To Join Don Cheadle’s Jazz Biopic ‘Miles Ahead’

By | Tuesday June 24, 2014 @ 5:14pm PDT

‘Middle Of Nowhere’s Emayatzy Corinealdi To Join Don Cheadle’s Jazz Biopic ‘Miles Ahead’EXCLUSIVE: Don Cheadle‘s Miles Davis biopic is moving along with Emayatzy Corinealdi. The Middle of Nowhere star is in negotiations for the female lead in Miles Ahead following Star Trek actress Zoe Saldana‘s exit due to a scheduling conflict. She’ll play Davis’ wife Frances Taylor opposite Cheadle as the iconic jazzman and Ewan McGregor as Dave Brill, with Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Stuhlbarg also in talks to join the cast. The script, by Steve Baigelman and Cheadle, tracks a few dangerous days in Davis’ life as he emerged from a silent period to conspire with a Rolling Stone writer to steal back his music. Earlier this month Cheadle turned to crowdfunder Indiegogo to raise $325K to fund the indie production. It has reached nearly half of its goal with a little more than two weeks left to go. Read More »

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Alicia Vikander Landing Leads In ‘Light Between Oceans’ And ‘Danish Girl’

By | Thursday June 19, 2014 @ 10:11am PDT
Mike Fleming

Alicia Vikander Landing Leads In ‘Light Between Oceans’ And ‘Danish Girl’EXCLUSIVE: Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is getting two roles that all the brightest young actresses have been trying for. She is closing a deal to star with Michael Fassbender in the Derek Cianfrance-directed adaptation of the M.L. Stedman novel The Light Between Oceans for DreamWorks. At the same time, I hear that she is the choice of The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper to star opposite his Les Miserables guy Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl for Working Title. Her reps are right now working out the details so that Vikander can go from one film right into the other starting in the fall.

AliciaVikanderVikander is the latest thesp in a wave of Scandinavian talent to break on these shores. Raised in Stockholm, Vikander began as a dancer before turning to acting. She’s gorgeous, but she is no overnight discovery; she has earned her way to this place. Her breakout roles were the Foreign Language Oscar-nominated Nikolaj Arcel-directed A Royal Affair, and co-starring in Anna Karenina, another Working Title production. Upcoming, Vikander stars opposite Ewan McGregor in Son Of A Gun, and is currently starring alongside Dane DeHaan and Christoph Waltz in the Justin Chadwick-directed 17th century love story Tulip Fever. She also stars in Testament Of Youth for BBC Films, which just wrapped, and opposite Oscar Isaac in the Alex Garland-directed Ex Machina and in the studio films The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Seventh Son. Read More »

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Don Cheadle Jazzes Up His Miles Davis Film With Crowdfunding Play

By | Wednesday June 4, 2014 @ 7:41am PDT
Mike Fleming

Add Don Cheadle to the ranks of filmmakers turning to crowdfunding Miles Davis Movie Don Cheadleto empower passion projects. Cheadle has aligned with Indiegogo to raise $325,000 in funds by July 6 to enable him to make Miles Ahead, a movie about jazz legend Miles Davis. As he has intended to do for years, Cheadle will star, produce and make his directing debut, and he’s got Ewan McGregor ready to star with him. The story they’ll tell is about a few dangerous days in the life of Davis, as he emerged from a silent period to conspire with a Rolling Stone writer to steal back his music. The intention is to shoot this summer.

cheadsNow, the knee-jerk temptation will be to sound a sour note about a famous star of screen (Iron Man 3) and TV (House Of Lies) for going the crowdfunding route, as was done when Spike Lee and especially Zach Braff did it. I don’t expect much blowback here. It’s not a lot of money he’s chasing, and Cheadle says that he in fact has put a lot of his own money at stake on a project he’s been trying to get made for years (I first wrote about it back in 2007). He’s also got the jazz man’s estate behind him. And frankly, there should be a movie made about Miles Davis, one of the pioneers of an inherently American art form. It would be hard to find someone more passionate about that than Cheadle. Read More »

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Cannes: Weinstein Co In Exclusive Talks For ‘The Coup’; Fest’s 2nd-Biggest Deal So Far

Mike Fleming

Pierce BrosnanowenwilsonEXCLUSIVE UPDATE: Well, it took all day, but I can tell you that The Weinstein Company is now in an exclusive negotiation and will close a U.S. distribution deal on a bitter bidding battle for The Coup, the John Erick Dowdle-directed thriller that stars Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan. I’d written yesterday that TWC was considered the frontrunner, but it was an all-day battle for the Bold Films picture that pitted TWC against Relativity. TWC has until early tomorrow evening to close a deal expected to land $5 million and that makes it the second-biggest acquisition of the Cannes market behind Cannes2014_badge__140417160328-150x150 (1)the whopping $20 million that Paramount paid for Story Of Your Life.  The hope is to give it a wide release late winter or early spring. Deal is being papered now by WME Global’s Graham Taylor, who was also in the middle of that Story Of Your Life deal (with FilmNation’s Glen Basner), and Nightcrawler (done with CAA). Nightcrawler, which closed with Open Road last night for $4.5 million, is also a Bold Films-backed production, so that company has also had a hot hand. Sierra/Affinity is selling both The Coup and Nightcrawler, a task that will be much easier for Nick Meyer with wide release domestic deals in place.

This is the culmination of a dealmaking marathon for Harvey Weinstein, David Glasser and their team, as they also landed Sing Street, the John Carney-directed Irish movie that he’ll make with U2′s Bono and The Edge. Read More »

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Cannes: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gwyneth Paltrow To Keep ‘The Secret In Their Eyes’; Billy Ray Helming Remake For Bustling IM Global

chiwetel ejioforgwyneth paltrowIM Global is coming to the Riviera with its biggest Cannes slate ever, and has just added a project that’s got a big awards pedigree. Oscar nominated writer Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games) is set to helm The Secret In Their Eyes from his own screenplay that’s adapted from Juan José Campanella’s 2009 Foreign Language Film Oscar winner. Best Actor Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow are im globalplaying the lead roles in the crime thriller. Oscar and Emmy winner Mark Johnson (Rain Man, Breaking Bad) is producing along with John Ufland. IM Global starts sales on the project in Cannes with production scheduled to start this fall in Boston.

Cannes2014_badgeEjiofor will play a former MI-5 agent who returns to Boston on a joint task force with the FBI, still obsessed by the unsolved murder that continues to haunt him. As he inches closer to solving the crime, he uncovers a shocking truth that will shed a terrifying new light on past events. IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford says, “Billy has written a wonderfully intelligent, twisting screenplay and we’re lucky enough to have attached two world class acting talents at the top of their game for Secret. We’re confident of bringing further great cast on board as we move towards production.” Johnson adds, “The thought of combining the originality of the original film with the talent of Billy Ray and the support off IM Global is irresistible.” Ford, Matt Jackson and Campanella are exec producing. CAA arranged financing for the film and reps domestic rights. Ray is repped by CAA and Management 360; Ejiofor is repped by CAA and Alex Irwin at Markham, Froggatt and Irwin; and Paltrow is repped by Shani Rosenzweig and Tracey Jacobs at UTA and Aleen Keshishian at Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

As IM Global evolves into what founder and CEO Stuart Ford calls “an international facing studio,” the company continues to work with diverse filmmakers from all corners. Ford says, “It’s very exciting and a real privilege to be the platform for so many great movies and such phenomenal talent.”

The Secret In Their Eyes joins a host of other IM Global titles including Forsaken from Gravity co-writer Jonas Cuaron. Formerly known as Desierto, the thriller stars Gael García Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan Read More »

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Relativity Sets ‘Deception’ Helmer, ‘Passengers’ Scribe For Psychological Horror ‘Latitude’

By | Tuesday May 6, 2014 @ 3:10pm PDT

Relativity_newlogoEXCLUSIVE: Relativity Media has hired writer Ronnie Christensen (Passengers, Dark Tide) to script Latitude, which the studio is developing with Marcel Langenegger set to direct. The psychological horror film follows a family who is trapped on a haunted Japanese cargo vessel that’s been lost at sea after a tsunami. Relativity’s Daniel Herther is overseeing for the studio. Langengegger, who made his directorial debut with 2008′s Hugh Jackman, Ewan McGregor, and Michelle Williams starrer Deception, also produced 2012′s 3,2,1 … Frankie Go Boom. Christensen previously sold supernatural spec Incarnate to Blumhouse, which IM Global partnered on to finance. Langenegger is repped by CAA. Christensen is repped by Trevor Engelson and Josh McGuire at Underground and Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson and Binder.

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Relativity Drawing ‘Jane Got A Gun’ In February

By | Thursday April 24, 2014 @ 2:23pm PDT

Relativity_newlogoThere’s a new finish line on the Western’s long and dusty road to the big screen. Relativity today set a February 20 release date for Jane Got a Gun, which had been set for this summer and has been through three bad guys, two directors and one lawsuit. Natalie Portman stars as Jane, who rebuilds her life with new husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) after being tormented by an outlaw gang led by Collin (Ewan McGregor, who replaced Bradley Cooper, who had replaced Jude Law). But things get ugly again when the husband has a fresh run-in with the gang, leaving Jane little choice but to ask her ex-fiance (Joel Edgerton) for help. Gavin O’Connor directs the film, having taken over the chair after Lynne Ramsay exited the project on the first day of production.

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WME Signs ‘Warrior’ Helmer Gavin O’Connor

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 2:25pm PDT
Mike Fleming

warrior-oconnorEXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Gavin O’Connor, the writer-director of the superb generational fighter tale Warrior, the indie Tumbleweeds, cop drama Pride And Glory, and the U.S. Gold Medal-winning hockey team saga Miracle.

warrO’Connor most recently directed the pilot that launched the FX series The Americans, and he came on to save the day when he signed on to direct Jane Got A Gun, the drama that stars Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor and Rodrigo Santoro. Relativity acquired the Western for release and will open the film later this year. O’Connor had been at CAA.

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Lionsgate Dates Johnny Depp-Starrer ‘Mortdecai’ For February 2015

By | Wednesday April 23, 2014 @ 12:05pm PDT

Lionsgate has slotted mortdecai__140109182454Johnny Depp-starrer Mortdecai for February 6, 2015. The action comedy, adapted from the 1970s novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli, centers on debonair art dealer and part-time rogue Charlie Mortdecai (Depp). Charlie juggles angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist as he travels the globe in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filed with Nazi gold. Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn, Oliver Platt, Aubrey Plaza, and Jeff Goldblum co-star. David Koepp directs from a script by Eric Aronson. Depp produces with Christi Dembrowski and Andrew Lazar. Gigi Pritzker exec produces. Mortdecai will open against Warner Bros’ action pic Run All Night and Universal’s Seventh Son.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: James Norton, Robson Green To Star In ITV’s ‘Grantchester’; Damian Lewis, Jeremy Northam Join ‘Our Kind Of Traitor’; More

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 9:52pm PDT

James Norton, Robson Green Set To Star In ITV Drama ‘Grantchester’
ITV has set the cast for its new six-part drama Grantchester. James Norton (Death Comes To Pemberley, Rush) will play the lead role of Sidney Chambers, a charismatic clergyman who turns investigative vicar when one of his parishioners dies under suspicious circumstances. ITVThe series is adapted from James Runcie’s novel Sidney Chambers And The Shadow Of Death. Robson Green (Reckless, Wire In The Blood) will join him as partner in crime Geordie Keating. Morven Christie, Tessa Peake-Jones, Kacey Ainsworth, Al Weaver, Pheline Roggan, Fiona Button, Ukweli Roach, Tom Austen and Pip Torrens also star. Daisy Coulam penned Grantchester, which is produced by Lovely Day, a sister company of Shine’s Kudos. Emma Kingsman-Lloyd is producer and Diederick Santer is exec producer. Shooting starts this month.

Damian Lewis, Jeremy Northam Join John LeCarré Adaptation ‘Our Kind Of Traitor’
Jeremy Northamdamian lewisShooting begins Wednesday on Our Kind Of Traitor, the adaptation of John Le Carré’s novel that’s directed by Susanna White. Damian Lewis and Jeremy Northam have joined the previously announced Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsgard and Naomie Harris in the cast. Hossein Amini adapted the thriller about an English couple who embark on a tortuous journey after a chance meeting with a Russian millionaire. The film is produced by Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell … Read More »

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Lynne Ramsay And ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Producers Settle Lawsuit

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 11:06am PDT

NEW DJP LEGAL BADGEThe legal standoff between director Lynne Ramsay and the producers of Jane Got A Gun has ended in a draw, almost a year after the helmer abruptly left the pic on the first day of production. “Jane Got a Gun Production LLC and Lynne Ramsay announce the pending civil action and all other disputes between the parties associated with Jane Got a Gun Motion Picture have been resolved ramsay__130319163301privately and to their mutual satisfaction,” the producers of the indie Western and Ramsay said today. While no details of a settlement are known, the plaintiffs last month halted their breach of contract and fraud complaint filed against Ramsay in federal court (read that order here). In the original filing last November, Jane Got A Gun Production sought an injunction to force Ramsay’s agency WME to hand back $360,000 it claimed was being held in escrow. They also asked for more than $500,000 in damages to be determined at trial for Ramsay’s conduct on the film and her quick exit before filming started.

Ramsay abruptly left Jane Got A Gun on March 18, 2013, after supposedly delaying the start of filming twice on the pic produced by and starring Natalie Portman. The producers said WME didn’t return their money despite “multiple requests” and that Ramsay told the agency not to hand over the cash. Soon after the complaint was filed, Ramsay said in a … Read More »

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Erik Feig Re-Ups With Promotion To Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-President

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 10:12am PST

ErikFeigErik Feig now shares the co-president title of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group with Steve Beeks, who continues as co-COO of Lionsgate. The long-term deal, terms of which were not disclosed, comes after the former head of production at Summit helped oversee a film slate that made more than $2.3 billion at the 2013 box office including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Now You See Me. Here’s today’s release:

Lionsgate_newlogo__130418225246-200x107SANTA MONICA, CA, February 25, 2014 – Motion picture executive Erik Feig has been promoted to Co-President of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group and has signed a new long-term agreement, the Company announced today. He oversees all aspects of feature film development and production for the Company’s Lionsgate and Summit film labels.

The Company’s feature film slate generated more than $2.3 billion at the global box office in 2013, led by the second film of Lionsgate’s blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the 10th highest-grossing film of all time at the domestic box office, and Summit’s sleeper hit Now You See Me, which grossed more than $350 million worldwide.

“Erik has assembled a tremendous production slate over the past two years, and he will be a critical, innovative and disruptive part of our future as we continue to evolve as a next generation global content leader,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer.

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OSCARS: The Full List Of Presenters

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 5:35am PST

oscarBEVERLY HILLS, CA – Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron today announced the complete slate of stars who will present Oscars at the ceremony. The Oscars®, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Oscar Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.

The presenters, including several past Oscar winners and nominees, will be:

Amy Adams
Kristen Bell
Jessica Biel
Jim Carrey
Glenn Close
Bradley Cooper
Penélope Cruz
Benedict Cumberbatch
Viola Davis
Daniel Day-Lewis
Robert De Niro
Zac Efron
Sally Field
Harrison Ford
Jamie Foxx
Andrew Garfield
Jennifer Garner
Whoopi Goldberg
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Anne Hathaway
Goldie Hawn
Chris Hemsworth
Kate Hudson
Samuel L. Jackson
Angelina Jolie
Michael B. Jordan
Anna Kendrick
Jennifer Lawrence
Matthew McConaughey
Ewan McGregor
Bill Murray
Kim Novak
Tyler Perry
Brad Pitt
Sidney Poitier
Gabourey Sidibe
Will Smith
Kevin Spacey
Jason Sudeikis
Channing Tatum
Charlize Theron
John Travolta
Christoph Waltz
Kerry Washington
Emma Watson
Naomi Watts

“We are very excited that the Hollywood community will be turning out in force for Sunday’s Oscar ceremony,” said Zadan and Meron. “We sought to include a tremendous diversity of stars to represent not only this year’s nominees, but the legacy of the motion picture business as well.”

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OddLot Unveils $50M Credit Facility, Promotes Finance Exec

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 10:49am PST

oddlotLos Angeles, CA February 20, 2014 – Designed to provide an increased physical production capacity and related filmed entertainment ventures, OddLot Entertainment confirmed today that it has closed a $50 million revolving credit facility with J.P. Morgan and Comerica as co-lead arrangers which may be increase up to $150 million. The funds are earmarked for several purposes including financing the development and production of current and upcoming projects under the OddLot Entertainment production banner. OddLot’s Co-President Bill Lischak led the deal on behalf of the company, along with Natalya Petrosova, who today was elevated to the role of Executive Vice President of Finance of the company where she has been employed for eight years, and Aaron Michiel, OddLot’s EVP of business and legal affairs.

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BAFTA Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Wins Best Film But ‘Gravity’ Carries Most Weight With Six Total Nods; Chiwetel Ejiofor & Cate Blanchett Take Actor Wins; ‘American Hustle’ Scores 3 Including For Jennifer Lawrence

BAFTA Award WinnersUPDATED WITH FULL LIST OF WINNERS AND REACTIONS: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave rallied from a slow stat to win the Best Film award tonight at the 62nd BAFTA Film Awards in London. The slave drama from Fox Searchlight had 10 nominations but won just two awards, after Chiwetel Ejiofor took the Leading Actor prize for playing Solomon Northup. Despite the marquee victory in the last major kudofest before the Oscars, it still seemed as though the night belonged to Warner Bros’ Gravity. The space drama picked up a leading six wins from its 11 overall nominations, including for Outstanding British Film — which will keep the debate going about just how British the pic is. Alfonso Cuaron won Best Director and the pic cleaned up in the craft categories, taking Sound, Cinematography and Special Visual Effects in addition to a nod for Steven Price’s Original Score. The BAFTA crowd at the packed Royal Opera House in Covent Garden exploded with each win for the movie, which had a leading 11 nominations going into the night.

Related: BAFTA Shakes Up The Race But Everything Still In Play As Oscar’s Moment Of Truth Nears

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Winners RoomThe EE British Academy Film Awards: Dinner - Red Carpet ArrivalsStill, the 12 Years A Slave victory tonight maintains the film’s front-runner status going into the Oscars on March 2; the film also won the Golden Globe for Motion Picture-Drama. Many feel the Academy will lean the same way, honoring Gravity in the craft categories but not for the Best Picture. The two films have been going head to head all awards season, even scrapping to a rare tie in the PGA Awards contest. “It’s very important,” McQueen said backstage after the victory. “The way the public here — but not just here, in the U.S. — by going to see the picture, means a hell of a lot.” Added producer Brad Pitt: “This is an excuse for us to all get to gather and say job well done. We’re very proud of our work here, and it means a lot to us because of the people we got to work with.” Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Peter Greenaway Set For BAFTA Film Awards Honor; Kenya Cracks Down Of ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Pirates

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 9:32pm PST

Peter Greenaway To Be Honored At BAFTA Film Awards
British director Peter Greenaway will receive the 2014 Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the BAFTA Film Awards on Sunday. Greenaway, who originally trained as a painter, is known for his exploration Peter-Greenaway-2of the cinematic medium, of eroticism and death, and for his ability to integrate Renaissance art into his work. Among his credits are classic 1989 pic The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, The Pillow Book, 8 ½ Women and The Tulse Luper Suitcase movies. His latest film, Eisenstein In Guanajuato, is scheduled for UK release later this year. “Peter Greenaway is an iconic British filmmaker who has worked with many of our most accomplished actors including Michael Gambon, Tim Roth, Ewan McGregor and the recipient of this year’s BAFTA Fellowship, Dame Helen Mirren,” said Nik Powell, chairman of BAFTA’s Film Committee. “I’m delighted that Peter is being recognized with this award for his distinctive and innovative filmmaking career.”

Pirates Face Prison As Kenya Cracks Down On ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’
In late January, the Kenya Film Classification Board banned The Wolf Of Wall Street from any type of distribution in the African state. The org didn’t approve the movie because of what it said were “extreme scenes of nudity, sex, debauchery, hedonism and cursing.” At the time, the KFCB also wrote Read More »

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Maggie Gyllenhaal To Make Broadway Debut In Tom Stoppard Revival ‘The Real Thing’

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 9:36am PST

Maggie Gyllenhaal BroadwayOscar-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to make her Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, opposite Ewan McGregor, who is also taking his first trip to the Great White Way. The Tony-winning play is about a playwright (McGregor) who leaves his wife for another woman (Gyllenhaal) and questions whether life is imitating art and if their love is the real deal. Sam Gold is directing the Roundabout Theatre Company production, which opens in limited engagement October 30 with previews starting October 2 at the American Airlines Theatre. The play originally premiered in 1982 in London and won the 1984 Tony for Best Play, but it hasn’t been produced on Broadway in more than a decade. Gyllenhaal’s upcoming screen credits include Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank with Michael Fassbender and the BBC/Sundance original series The Honourable Woman.

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Berlin: Will Sizzle Reels And Pre-Buys Heat Up Cold Market?

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 6:54am PST
Mike Fleming

berlEXCLUSIVE: The European Film Market has been a bit sparse, with things perking up with Open Road’s acquisition of Rock The Kasbah. I’ve heard that pre-buy deal amounted to a $2 million minimum guarantee, a 10% gross deal for Bill Murray and a 1200-screen release commitment. If there is going to be action in Berlin, it might well be through the sizzle reels or other pre-buys.

Berlin2014_200The script stage projects being introduced in Berlin that seem most promising are the Daniel Craig-starrer The Whole Truth, the Jonathan Jakubowicz-directed Roberto Duran biopic Hands Of Stone with Edgar Ramirez playing the legend, Robert De Niro his trainer and Usher his rival Sugar Ray Leonard; the Nima Nourizadeh-directed American Ultra with Jesse Eisenberg and Stewart; the Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer Blood Mountain, about an Army ranger who must bring a terrorist to custody after his unit is wiped out in Pakistan; the Oren Moverman-directed Time Out Of Mind with Richard Gere; the Natalie Portman-directed A Tale Of Love And Darkness; Selma, the Ava DuVerney drama that stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr; the David Gordon Green-directed The Line with Chris Pine; the Anton Corbjin-directed Life with Robert Pattinson; and the Paolo Sorrentino-directed In The Future with Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. A lot of these are being teased at Berlin, and will lead to sales at Cannes.

As for the sizzle reels, today is a big day with footage screenings of Imitation Game with Cumberbatch, and The Search, which is Michel Hazanavicius’ follow-up to The Artist. Here are the sizzle reels that have buyers hot and bothered: Read More »

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