Paul Feig Taps Miranda Hart For Female Spy Comedy

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT
Mike Fleming

mirandahartEXCLUSIVE: Paul Feig has a knack for finding gem comediennes and he thinks he has got one in Miranda Hart. The British veteran has been set to join Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jude Law and Jason Statham in the untitled spy comedy that Feig is directing for Chernin Entertainment and Fox. Filming starts in Budapest on Monday and the film has been dated for Memorial Day weekend 2015·

The comedy marks the third collaboration for Feig and McCarthy, and he wrote the script, directs and produces through his Feigco Entertainment with Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Jessie Henderson. ”I’ve been a fan of Miranda’s for years and am so excited to bring her to the big screen,” Feig said. “I’m also hoping I’ll finally get back that lawnmower I loaned her last summer.” Read More »

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Benedict Cumberbatch To Play ‘Hamlet’ In London Stage Return

By | Wednesday, 26 March 2014 10:55 UK

Benedict-CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch will go from playing a high-functioning sociopath to a troubled Danish prince next summer in a West End production of Hamlet. The Sherlock star will play the eponymous Shakespeare character in a stage run at the Barbican Theatre for 12 weeks beginning in August 2015. The casting had been rumored previously, but was confirmed today by the Barbican as it announced its lineup for the 2014-2015 season. Tony Award winner Sonia Friedman is producing. Her long list of credits includes The Book Of Mormon and last year’s Tom Hanks-starrer Lucky Guy on Broadway, and this year’s Olivier-nominated Chimerica. That play’s Lyndsey Turner, who is one of three women up for the Best Director Olivier in a strong year for female theater helmers, will direct the new take on Hamlet. Cumberbatch was last on stage in London in the National Theatre’s 2011 production of Frankenstein which was directed by Danny Boyle and co-starred Jonny Lee Miller. He’s one of a handful of British screen stars who have recently tackled Shakespeare on the West End including Jude Law, up for an Olivier in Henry V, and David Tennant, who recently played Richard II.

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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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BOX OFFICE FINAL: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Commands $45M; ‘Mr. Peabody’ Chases In $32.2M; ‘Son Of God’ Falls 59% In Second Weekend, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Per Screen Stuns With Over $202K

OPENING: 300: Rise of An Empire (WB) commands $43M to $45M and ended on the high end; Mr. Peabody And Sherman (FOX) $29M to $31M and made $32.5M; Son of God (FOX) dropped 61% in its second weekend. NOTEWORTHY:  Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave (FOX) re-upped to 1,065 screens and breaks back into the top ten. The Grand Budapest Hotel on four screens in L.A. and N.Y. a phenomenal, record-breaking per screen for a live-action film of $192,250 and might climb to $200,000.

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5TH UPDATE, MONDAY, 1: 30 PM: The final numbers are in with The Grand Budapest Hotel pulling in $811,000 for Fox Searchlight to take in a per-screen average of $202K+ on four screens. High end of yesterday’s estimate. Warner Bros.’ and Legendary Pictures’ 300: Rise Of An Empire was on the money with yesterday’s cume and Mr. Peabody And Sherman‘s numbers were almost in line with yesterday’s while the ten spot was finally figured out … it went to Ride Along, not RoboCop but only by a hair. We are keeping in yesterday’s chart below for comparisons for those of you who want to see the differences (i.e. Son Of God down 59% instead of 61%, so Sunday’s numbers were slightly better than expected).

Next weekend’s openers are Disney’s Need For Speed, Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s Single Mom’s Club going wide and in limited release will be Focus Features’ Bad Words, Warner Bros’ Vernonica Mars (also on VOD), and The Weinstein Company’s One Chance. Here is the Top 20:

1). 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB), 3,470 theaters / 3-day cume: $45M / Per screen: $13,006 / Wk 1

2). Mr. Peabody And Sherman (FOX) 3,934 theaters / 3-day cume: $32.2M / Per screen: $8,187 / Wk 1

3). Non-Stop (UNI), 3,113 theaters (+23) / 3-day cume: $15.8M (-45%) / Per screen: $5,085 / Total cume: $52.5M / Wk 2

4). The Lego Movie (WB), 3,290 theaters (-480) / 3-day cume: $10.9M (-48%) / Per screen: $3,317 / Total cume: 224.8M / Wk 5

5). Son Of God (FOX), 3,271 theaters (+11) / 3-day cume: $10.3M (-59%) / Per screen: $3,173 / Total cume: $41.8M / Wk 2

6). Monuments Men (SONY), 2,001 theaters (-1,001) / 3-day cume: $3M (-38%) / Per screen: $1,537/ Total cume: $70.5M / Wk 5

7). 3 Days To Kill (REL), 2,348 theaters (-543) / 3-day cume: $3M (-39%) / Per screen: $1,282 / Total cume: $25.5M / Wk  3

8). Frozen (DIS), 1,660 theaters (-86) / 3-day cume: $2.9M (-19%) / Per screen: $1,780 / Total cume: $392.9M / Wk 16

9). 12 Years A Slave (FSL) 1,065 theaters (+654) / 3-day cume: $2.1M (+116%) / Per screen: $1,982 / Total cume: $53M / Wk 21

10). Ride Along (UNI), 1,323theaters (-546) /3-day cume: $2,024M (-33%) / Per screen: $1,530 / Total cume: $129.9M / Wk 8

Read More »

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Sam Mendes’ ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’ Leads Olivier Award Noms

olivier awardsThe Sam Mendes-directed West End musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which recently extended its run to May 20, 2015, tied today with the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along to lead the list of Olivier Award nominees with seven each. Charlie grabbed mentions in the Best Actor in a Musical category for Douglas Hodge as well as Best New Musical, among others. The show, from Warner Bros Theatrical Ventures, has twice broken records during its run for the highest weekly gross sales. The other Best New Musical nominees include Once, The Book Of Mormon and The Scottsboro Boys; each received six nominations. In the acting categories, Tom Hiddleston is cited for his lead turn in Coriolanus and Jude Law for his take on Henry V. Judi Dench in Peter And Alice, is up against Hayley Atwell, Anna Chancellor and Lesley Manville for Best Actress. The Olivier Awards ceremony will take place at London’s Royal Opera House on April 13. Click over for a full list of nominations: Read More »

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Box Office: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ Checks In With Record Per-Screen Average

grand-budapest_2813768bWes Anderson topped himself with another record-breaker this weekend. After premieres at the Berlin Film Festival and last week at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Grand Budapest Hotel is by far the year’s biggest screen average debut and the biggest-ever opening for a live-action film. Fox Searchlight opened Budapest in four New York and Los Angeles theaters, grossing $800K for a stunning $200K screen average between Friday and Sunday. The number easily surpasses another record holder, The Master by Paul Thomas Anderson, which starred Phillip Seymour Hoffman. That film opened in September 2012 with five runs, grossing over $736K for a $142,262 PTA. This weekend’s Budapest numbers also top Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, which grossed nearly $523K in four theaters when it opened following its Cannes debut in May 2012. A Focus Features release, it averaged $130,749 and went on to cume more than $45.5 million in the U.S.

Related: Box Office: ‘300: Rise Of An Empire’ Commands $45M; ‘Budapest’ Per Screen Stuns

Last year, animated feature Frozen opened with a $243,490 PTA, but this weekend’s Budapest numbers outgross another 2013 box office juggernaut, American Hustle, which opened in six theaters in December, grossing more than $740K for a $123,409 PTA. It has grossed $148.43M to date. Budapest also debuted this weekend in the UK, Germany and Belgium. The film’s profile is sky-high in Germany and elsewhere in Europe after its world premiere as opening-night film last month in Berlin.

Related: Specialty Box Office: Newcomers Overshadowed By ‘Budapest’ Opener

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, ‘Grand Piano’, ‘Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons’, ‘Miele’, ‘Particle Fever’, ‘Bethlehem’

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Wes Anderson dazzled the specialty box office in 2012 when Focus Features opened Moonrise Kingdom with one of the year’s highest per-screen averages. Now Fox Searchlight takes the Anderson mantle with The Grand Budapest Hotel, which bowed in Berlin and took the Siver Bear Grand Jury Prize. Also this frame, Elijah Wood goes indie with the thriller Grand Piano courtesy of Magnolia, while the distributor’s genre label will bow China box office behemoth Journey To The West. Emerging Pictures will oversee an Italian initiative to bring targeted films from the country “nationwide” in the U.S., starting with veteran actress-turned-director Valeria Golino’s Miele (Honey). Abramorama and BOND360 are collaborating on Sheffield documentary Particle Fever and Adopt Films will open Israeli thriller Bethlehem in more than two dozen theaters Friday.

Grand Budapest Hotel.jpgThe Grand Budapest Hotel
Director-writer: Wes Anderson
Writer: Hugo Guinness
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Tony Revolori
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Anderson’s latest film opens nearly two years after his last film, Moonrise Kingdom. That proved to be an opening-weekend powerhouse, smashing the screen average when Focus Features bowed the title in four theaters at the end of May 2012, grossing a whopping $523K for a dazzling $130,749 average. It went on to gross more than $45.5 million in the U.S. (Anderson’s The Royal Tennenbaums remains his biggest box office grosser to date in theaters, taking in more than $52.3M domestically in 2001. Budapest, the Berlin Film Festival opener, reunites some cast from Moonrise including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton. It centers on the adventures of Gustav H (Ralph Fiennes), a legendary concierge at a famous Eastern European hotel between the wars, and Zero, a lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. Budapest has already launched to strong numbers in France where it grossed nearly $2.8M its opening weekend in 172 theaters for a strong $16,220 average, becoming his biggest opening ever in the country.

Related: Berlin: Wes Anderson & Cast Talk ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’
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Berlin: Focus Features Pacts With Sales Outfit Sierra/Affinity

BerlinFilmFestival_badgeAmid last year’s shake-up at Focus Features, the group’s international sales arm was shuttered. Focus is now turning to Nick Meyer’s Sierra/Affinity to handle rights outside North America on select titles from the company. The formalized relationship will complement the activities of Universal Pictures International, which distributes Universal and Focus movies internationally. The new tie-up had been expected, notably after Sierra/Affinity took over Mike Flanagan’s Oculus and follow-up, Somnia, at the AFM, both of which were previously with Focus Features International. The relationship with Focus and Sierra/Affinity kicks off at this EFM where the latter will service existing licensing and distribution agreements on Kevin Macdonald’s Black Sea and Jeremy Renner-starrer Kill The Messenger, a hot property for FFI last Berlin. Click over for more details on the new pact: Read More »

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SXSW: ‘Neighbors,’ ‘Joe,’ Wes Anderson Q&A Round Out Features Lineup; New Episodic TV Section Unveiled

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 12:00pm PST

SXSW 2014 moviesUniversal’s May comedy Neighbors, David Gordon Green’s Nic Cage starrer Joe, and Mike Myers’ directorial debut docu Supermensch are just a few of the newly announced titles set to screen at SXSW 2014, which debuted its full Features line-up today. They join previously announced opener Chef, from Jon Favreau, the world premiere of the Veronica Mars movie in a slate packed with over 115 features, 76 world premieres, Nic Cage in Joe10 North American premieres, including the latest films from Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality), Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Nacho Vigalondo (Open Windows), a special screening of 1954′s original Gojira with Q&A with Godzilla remake helmer Gareth Edwards, and a rare Texas appearance by UT grad Wes Anderson who will present his new film Grand Budapest Hotel in an extended Q&A session.

Related: Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’ To Open SXSW; ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Among Premieres

In recent years SXSW has increased its television-focused programming, debuting SXSW alum Lena Dunham‘s Girls in 2012 and presenting a Bates Motel panel in 2013. fromdusktilldawnThis year the Austin film fest is introducing an entire Episodic programming section devoted to small screen works. In addition to a previously announced screening of Fox’s COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Episodic section will include Hulu and Lionsgate TV’s supernatural comedy Deadbeat starring Tyler Labine with cast and crew Q&A, a screening of El Rey and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn pilot, AMC’s 1980s-set computer drama Halt and Catch Fire, Showtime’s John Logan-created Penny Dreadful, and HBO’s new sitcom Silicon Valley co-created by Mike Judge. Read More »

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UPDATE: “Simply False” Says Lynne Ramsay Of ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Lawsuit Claims

By | Saturday November 9, 2013 @ 10:53am PST

UPDATE, 10:51 AM: After the scathing lawsuit filed earlier this week against her by the producers of Jane Got A Gun, director Lynne Ramsay has responded. In a brief statement today, Ramsay’s reps says she hasn’t seen the suit yet but that from what has been reported, the claims in it are “simply false.” The director suddenly exited the Natalie Portman pic  the weekend before filming was scheduled to start in New Mexico in March. If that wasn’t controversy enough, the breach of contract and fraud complaint (read more below) filed on in federal court on November 4 lashed out at Ramsay, calling her “abusive” and “disruptive.” The suit also goes after her for failing “to provide the writing and directing services” she was already paid $140,000 for before filming was set to start. Additionally, the suit alleges that Ramsay instructed her WME agents not to give the producers back the $360,000 that the agency is holding in escrow as part of her pay from the film. Ramsay was supposed to receive $750,000 for directing Jane Got A Gun plus bonuses. The complaint is seeking more than $500,000 in damages to be determined at trial. Here’s the full Ramsay statement from today:

Lynne Ramsay has not been served with this lawsuit and, when she is, she will respond in court and not in the media.  That said, the allegations as recently reported are simply false.  Lynne looks forward to presenting the truth about this situation in the proper forum.

PREVIOUSLY, NOV. 6 PM: She left the Natalie Portman Western in March before shooting was set to start and now the producers want Lynne Ramsay to pay up. More specifically, Jane Got A Gun Production, LLC wants an injunction to force Ramsay’s agency WME to give back $360,000 it claims is still being held in escrow as well as more than $500,000 in damages to be determined at trial. The breach of contract and fraud complaint (read it here) was filed earlier this week in federal court in New Mexico. Ramsay is the only defendant named in the filing that local station KRQE first reported. The producers, who include Scott Steindorff and Regency Boies, allege that under a contract agreed to in July 2012, Ramsay was initially paid $90,000 to direct the pic and $50,000 to fine-tune the Brian Duffield script. She was to receive $750,000 in total for her directing work on the pic plus 5% of adjusted gross and box office bonuses. Ramsay would have gotten another $25,000 for each Oscar or Golden Globe nomination the movie received and $50,000 more if it won one of those awards. However on location in New Mexico during early 2013 the complaint says the We Need To Talk About Kevin helmer “failed to provide the writing and directing services” on the film. The plaintiffs also claim that this “unreasonably delayed completion of a final budget for the Picture, and of the Picture itself.” Further more, they luridly allege in the 44-page complaint that Ramsay was “repeatedly under the influence of alcohol, was abusive to members of the cast and crew and was generally disruptive.” Portman herself and producer Aleen Keshishian are not party to the suit.

Related: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Nears U.S. Deal With Relativity/Weinstein
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‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’ Leads European Film Awards Nominations

The European Film Academy has unveiled the nominees for the 26th European Film Awards. Felix van Groeningen’s Berlin and Tribeca prize-winner, The Broken Circle Breakdown, leads the pack with five nods in each of the top categories. The film is also Belgium’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar. Paolo Sorrentino’s Cannes competitor, and Italy’s Oscar entry, The Great Beauty, has four nominations. Another film from Italy, Giuseppe Tornatore’s English-language The Best Offer starring Geoffrey Rush, also fared well with the Academy, taking three nominations. Three other films garnered three nods: François Ozon’s In The House; Jan Ole Gerster’s Oh Boy!, which won six Lolas in Germany earlier this year; and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina. The latter film bagged acting nods for Jude Law and Keira Knightley. Blue Is The Warmest Color was mentioned twice, for Best European Film and Best European Director; although there were no citations for the film’s lead actresses. Naomi Watts also is a nominee for The Impossible. The winners will be announced in Berlin on December 7th. Following is a full list of the nominees: Read More »

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Wes Anderson’s ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ To Open Berlin Film Festival In World Premiere

Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel will debut as the opening night film of the Berlin Film Festival on February 6, 2014. Anderson returns to the festival with this world premiere after his The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Royal Tennenbaums ran there in competition in 2005 and 2002, respectively. Anderson shot Budapest Hotel, a UK-German co-production, in Gorlitz, Germany and other parts of Saxony, as well as at Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam. Berlin chief Dieter Kosslick said today, “We are very delighted… With unmistakeable Wes Anderson charm, this comedy promises to kick things off in a big way.” The film recounts the adventures of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune. Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori star with F Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Tom Wilkinson and Owen Wilson. Fox Searchlight releases in the U.S. on March 7th.

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Is Focus Features International Next Casualty Of Reshuffle?

EXCLUSIVE: As part of the revamp at Focus Features, I’m hearing that London-based international sales arm Focus Features International is likely next to shutter. The news comes three weeks after Deadline revealed the company is closing its New York office and centralizing operations in LA. The timing of FFI’s closing is unclear, believed to be due to certain UK laws that require a consideration period, but I understand this could be official within a few weeks. It is not known for certain whether some staff would be relocated and international sales of Focus films would continue from the U.S. base. Another scenario would see international sales cease entirely, with movies going through parent company Universal.

Related: Pink Slip Monday At Focus Features

FFI, overseen by co-president Alison Thompson, has been a key fixture on the global scene. At Cannes in May a hot title was the Focus Features pic Black Sea starring Jude Law among its films. Other titles on FFI’s recent slate have included the Woody Allen pic Blue Jasmine, the Amy Winehouse documentary from director Asif Kapadia, and Julian Temple’s Marvin Gaye biopic. In Toronto this fall it handled the Toronto Midnight Madness horror pic Oculus from Relativity and Blumhouse Prods.

Related: TOLDJA! Andrew Karpen Not Staying At Focus Features

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

By | Thursday October 17, 2013 @ 7:48am PDT

Fox Searchlight yesterday set a March 7, 2014 release date for Wes Anderson‘s latest, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The film recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and his trusted friend, lobby boy Zero Moustafa. Central to the story are the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune. Ralph Fiennes is Gustave with a slew of Anderson regulars putting in appearances including Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson. Moonrise Kingdom‘s Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton are also aboard as are Saoirse Ronan, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, F Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Willem Dafoe, Lea Seydoux, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson and Tony Revolori as Zero.

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Wes Anderson’s ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ To Bow March 7, 2014

By | Wednesday October 16, 2013 @ 11:02am PDT

Fox Searchlight has dated the Ralph Fiennes-starrer for March 7, 2014. The timing is interesting since Wes Anderson‘s films usually get a lot of Oscar buzz and it’s sometimes hard to remember those pics released early in the year. Right now it’s up against Warner Bros’ 300: Rise Of An Empire and Fox’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Cast also includes Tony Revolori, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, and Owen Wilson. Anderson also produces along with Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales, and Jeremy Dawson.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Intouchables’ Helmers Gear Up For ‘Samba’; BAFTA To Host Life In Pictures With Tom Hanks; More

By | Thursday, 3 October 2013 06:00 UK

‘Intouchables’ Helmers Set To Begin Production On ‘Samba’
The Intouchables helmers Eric Tolédano and Olivier Nakache will begin shooting their next film, Samba, at the end of October. Omar Sy, Best Actor César winner for Intouchables, stars in the social comedy alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg (Nymphomaniac, Melancholia), Tahar Rahim (The Past, A Prophet) and Izya Higelin. French major Gaumont is co-producing with Intouchables‘ Quad Productions. Gaumont will handle French distribution and sell the film internationally as it did with Tolédano and Nakache’s 2011 mega box office hit. Delivery is expected at the end of 2014. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Dom Hemingway’

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.

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Toronto: Sands Shift In ‘Queen Of The Desert;’ Nicole Kidman Eyed To Replace Naomi Watts As Gertrude Bell

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Looks like director Werner Herzog is going to get a new Queen Of The Desert. I’m hearing that Naomi Watts is exiting the film about the early 20th Century explorer Gertrude Bell, and that Nicole Kidman is in talks to take the plum role.

This follows a switch of the male leads earlier this year, when Jude Law departed and James Franco replaced him. Robert Pattinson also stars. Bell is the iconic explorer, writer, archeologist and attaché for the British Empire who is credited with helping to catalyze the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century. The story plays with the sweep of Lawrence Of Arabia, potentially, and Kidman seems a nice match for the material.

Nick Raslan is producing through his Palmyra Films banner along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya. Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures banner will finance the film. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales.

Kidman is here in Toronto where her new movie The Railway Man premiered Friday evening. That Jonathan Teplitzky-directed film, about a brutalized WWII POW who gets to confront his Japanese torturer, is considered a prime acquisition title here in the festival here. Kidman also stars in the Olivier Dahan-directed Grace Of Monaco, which The Weinstein Company releases November 27, in the head of the Oscar race. Kidman is repped by CAA and … Read More »

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HBO To Air Toronto-Bound Docu ‘Dangerous Acts Starring The Unstable Elements Of Belarus’

HBO Dangerous Acts Acquisition>NEW YORK, Sept. 3, 2013 – HBO Documentary Films has acquired the U.S. television rights to Madeleine Sackler’s feature documentary DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING THE UNSTABLE ELEMENTS OF BELARUS, it was announced today. The film will have its world premiere Sunday, Sept. 8 at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and debut on HBO in 2014. DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING THE UNSTABLE ELEMENTS OF BELARUS highlights the powerful and innovative work of the award-winning Belarus Free Theatre (BFT) group. Founded in March 2005 by Natalia Kaliada, Vladimir Shcherban and acclaimed journalist Nicolai Khalezin – all of whom currently live in exile in London – BFT creates theater that challenges social and political issues in their home country of Belarus and the current regime of Alexander Lukashenko, often called the last dictatorship in Europe.

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