CBS Films has overhauled under Terry Press and Wolfgang Hammer who were named co-presidents about a year ago. At the time, CBS Corp. president and CEO Les Moonves said, “They both possess the ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ attitude for making, acquiring and marketing quality films for a division that is small in size, but laser-focused on assembling a mix of home-grown productions and acquisitions across a diverse range of genres.” Demonstrating its mettle here in Cannes, the company has the very high-profile Coen brothers movie Inside Llewyn Davis in Competition. It acquired the film in February after a screening on the Sony lot attracted lots of interest and created a competitive situation. CBS spent close to $4M to seal the deal. The movie will be a big part of CBS’ presence in Cannes, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t looking to buy. It’s releasing about four to six pictures a year and has the flexibility to work across any genre. Although it has never acquired a foreign language film, it’s not out of the question, I’m told. Previous pick-ups include Lasse Hallstrom’s Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, horror hit The Woman In Black and Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths.
Related: Cannes: Actors To Watch
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Will Clarke’s Altitude Film Entertainment is teaming with Subzero Film Entertainment to produce action adventure pic Big Game which has Samuel L. Jackson attached to play the president of the United States. Jalmari Helander, the Finnish director behind 2010′s Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, makes his English-language helming debut with the pic. The story centers on a shy 13-year old boy who undergoes a test of manhood by spending a day and night alone in the wilderness. On the same night, Air Force One is shot down by terrorists and the boy discovers the president in an escape pod in the forest where the pair team up in a struggle for survival. Clarke and Andy Mayson co-produce for Altitude along with Jens Meurer of Egoli Tossell Film. Alex Garland is executive producer. Production starts in late summer and Altitude Film Sales will start pitching to buyers in Cannes. It’s also starting sales on horror thriller The Loch, co-scripted by The Woman In Black director James Watkins. Simon Duric will direct with Peter Mullan attached to star. The new take on the Loch Ness myth is set to go into production later this year.
Arts network Ovation said during its upfront presentation today that it will premiere nine new original series this summer and fall. It also unveiled 16 more series in the works for 2014. The ramp-up will see 236 hours of original fare produced this year compared with 46 hours in 2012, which was double the amount in 2011. With this seismic shift in our programming focus, we are making the leap to become a full-service arts network — America’s only arts network”, said Robert Weiss, Ovation’s Chief Creative Officer, who made the announcements today. The majority of programming will be produced at the network’s new Ovation Studios in Santa Monica. The network also revealed a new tagline: Art Everywhere. Here are descriptions of five of the network’s new shows (the rest will be announced in June) and the development slate: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Radcliffe is set to star in Tokyo Vice, a thriller that music video and commercials director Anthony Mandler will direct from a script by playwright JT Rogers. Le Grisbi Productions’ John Lesher and Adam Kassan are producing, and production will start early 2014. Radcliffe will play American reporter Jake Adelstein who, while working at the Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper in Tokyo, covered the crime beat and locked horns with yakuza boss Tadamasa Goto, called the “John Gotti of Japan. The film is based on Adelstein’s memoir detailing how the journalist’s investigating and finally exposing the notorious gangster exacted a high personal cost and sacrifice which included death threats. Adelstein, who will be working with Rogers on the story, is still an investigative reporter who writes for The Daily Beast, The Japan Times, The Atlantic Wire, and is an adviser to Polaris Japan, a non-profit group that combats human trafficking. His second book, The Last Yakuza, will be published next year by Pantheon.
Since graduating from Hogwarts and the Harry Potter series, Radcliffe has been busy. He followed The Woman In Black and Sundance pic Kill Your Darlings with the recently wrapped horror film Horns, the romantic comedy The F Word, and he has just signed on to star in Frankenstein for Fox and Davis Entertainment. Radcliffe this June returns to the West End stage in Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple Of Inishmaan. Mandler has helmed vids with Rihanna, Jay-Z, The Killers, and Lana Del Rey. He’s attached to Vlad for Summit/Lionsgate, and Last Days Of American Crime with Oblivion producer Radical Studios. Rogers’ plays include Blood And Gifts, which played London’s National Theatre and Lincoln Center, and The Overwhelming, which also played both sides of the pond. He shared an Olivier Award nom in 2009 for Great Game: Afghanistan. Read More »
War Horse‘s Jeremy Irvine and British actress Phoebe Fox (Switch) will star in Hammer’s follow-up to The Woman In Black. Tom Harper is directing The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death, which picks up 40 years after the original film that starred Daniel Radcliffe and grossed $130M worldwide. The new story is set during World War II after the government has seized the eerie Eel Marsh House and a group of evacuated children arrives to awaken its scary tenant. Jon Croker, a story editor on the first film, wrote the screenplay. Exclusive has international sales and will introduce the title to buyers at Cannes. EOne will co-finance and distribute in the UK, Spain and Canada. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: While my colleague Nancy Tartaglione has reported a somewhat soft market midway through Berlin, seeds are being planted for a lot of deals that might not bear fruit until Cannes. Domestic and foreign buyers have been watching a lot of sizzle reels. It’s a risky way to buy a movie, but sometimes it’s a lot better than having to sit through a whole picture in between all those meetings because these presentations usually range from five to eight minutes on in-progress films.
Some of these will get deals before the week is out, and on some it starts a dialogue that leads to an onslaught of deals at Cannes, when distributors really need to plug holes in release schedules. For sure, some of these films will likely factor in next year’s Oscar race. I’ve seen this kind of salesmanship lead to splashy sales on films that have included Looper, The Iron Lady and Drive. The titles most buzzed about that I’ve heard are Grace Of Monaco, and Diana on the prestige circuit, and on the genre circuit, there is the Eli Roth cannibal extravaganza The Green Inferno. Here are the ones I’ve heard about that are whetting the appetite of buyers in Germany right now. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Just as Whitey Bulger rose to the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List when he disappeared for a decade before he could be put behind bars, the fast mobilizing movie about the Boston crime kingpin just rose to the top of the most wanted list in the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin. That’s because Johnny Deep has become attached to star in the Cross Creek crime thriller Black Mass, with Barry Levinson directing him. The picture is a co-production between Cross Creek and Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media, with the two entities co-financing. Universal Pictures is aboard to release the film in the U.S. through Cross Creek’s distribution deal with the studio, and production is to begin in May.
The film will be produced by Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, John Lesher, and Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s partner in Infinitum Nihil. Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust, President Worldwide Production and Acquisitions and Cross Creek Pictures Sr. VP of Production Adam Kassan, will oversee production. Alex Walton, Exclusive Media’s President of International Sales and Distribution, will introduce Black Mass to overseas buyers at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin.
The title of the film comes from the 2001 Dick Lehr/Gerald O’Neill New York Times bestseller Black Mass: The True Story of … Read More »
With eOne‘s $230M acquisition of rival Canadian giant Alliance Films completed earlier this month, the executive structure in the UK, where the companies overlapped, is coming into somewhat clearer focus. On the eve of the European Film Market in Berlin, eOne today said that Alliance SVP Worldwide Acquisitions and Productions, Robert Walak, is leaving the company to pursue other ventures. The well-liked London-based exec had been at Alliance since 2003 and oversaw the acquisitions of such important titles as The Twilight Saga series in Spain and The King’s Speech and The Woman In Black for the UK. Also leaving is Jon Bourdillon, who headed up home entertainment at eOne. He will be replaced by Ken McMahon of Alliance subsidiary Momentum. Read More »
Cross Creek Pictures has hired John Hilary Shepherd as director of development. This is the same guy who is adapting Boneshaker for Cross Creek and Hammer Films, and who got a WGA nomination for his work on the first season of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. Shepherd gets going with the development of the sequel The Woman In Black: Angels Of Death, after the first pic grossed $130 million worldwide. Shepherd has been a development executive and story analyst for Spelling Films, Polygram, and WMA. Read More »
Hammer’s The Woman In Black series is giving another sophomore helmer a shot. Tom Harper, who’ll direct follow-up Angel Of Death, has mostly worked in UK TV with 2009′s The Scouting Book For Boys his only feature. Before James Watkins directed this year’s $130M-grossing Daniel Radcliffe-starrer Woman In Black, he had only one feature under his belt, too. Angel Of Death has yet to cast but will reunite the entire production team from the original. The new film is set 40 years after Woman In Black during World War II, when the government has seized the eerie Eel Marsh House and a group of evacuated children arrive to awaken its scary tenant. Exclusive Media, Talisman, Cross Creek Pictures and Alliance Films are producing and Roy Lee of Vertigo is exec producing. Read More »
BREAKING… The 64th Primetime/Creative Arts Emmy Awards nominations announcement is taking place right now at 5:40 AM PST live at Emmys.com. All the nominees will be named here. Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game Of Thrones, Homeland, and Mad Men were nominated for the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy. And The Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, Modern Family, 30 Rock and Veep were nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series. Scandal star Kerry Washington and Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel began announcing the nominees along with Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman/CEO Bruce Rosenblum from the Television Academy’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood:
Broadcast & Cable Scorecard
‘American Horror Story’ & ‘Mad Men’ Lead Nominations: Summary
2012 Emmys Nominations: By Network
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
64th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO • HBO Entertainment
Girls • HBO • Apatow Productions and I am Jenni Konner Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Modern Family • ABC • Levitan-Lloyd Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Television
Veep • HBO • Dundee Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy … Read More »
The first official trailer for The Dark Knight Rises snared the top prize of Best In Show at the 13th Annual Golden Trailer Awards tonight at a mansion in Bel-Air. TDKR‘s trailer also took the trophy for Best Summer 2012 Blockbuster. It was a good year for women, organizers noted, with trailers and print promotions successfully promoting female protagonists in typically male-led genres. Snow White And The Huntsman took the prize for Best Action. The Bridesmaids red-band trailer (R-rated) earned Best Comedy and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo took Best Drama. Those two as well as all the other winning trailers are available to watch here. A print promotion displayed a similar pattern. The Hunger Games nabbed five Golden Trailers: Best Teaser Poster, Action Poster, Animation/Family Poster, Best Standee for Feature Film and Most Innovative Advertising for a Brand/Product.
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EXCLUSIVE: Liam Neeson is set to star as Matt Scudder in A Walk Among the Tombstones, the Scott Frank-scripted adaptation of the Lawrence Block book series. Frank will direct his script. The movie will begin production February, 2013 in New York and is the first film in a new three-year deal between Exclusive Media and Cross Creek Pictures to develop, finance and produce at least two films per year, with budgets up to $65 million. Each of the films will be released through Universal Pictures, which has a slate distribution deal with Cross Creek.
In A Walk Among the Tombstones, Neeson plays Scudder at the time he’s an ex-NYPD cop and unlicensed private detective and recovering alcoholic. He’s hired to find the kidnapped wife of a drug dealer. In the process, he discovers that the kidnappers have done this before and it has led to brutal murders. Block’s Scudder character was previously played by Jeff Bridges in the Hal Ashby-directed 8 Million Ways To Die. Double Feature Films partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher will produce with Danny DeVito and his Jersey Films. Exclusive Media’s Alex Walton will sell overseas rights at Cannes.
The funding deal was made by Exclusive Media co-chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East and Cross Creek president Brian Oliver after the two companies joined forces on several movies, and most recently Rush, the Ron Howard-directed and Peter Morgan-scripted … Read More »