BREAKING: The Lego Movie to date has made $151.7 domestically after two weeks in release and now it is getting a sequel. Warner Bros just announced that it has blocked out May 26, 2017 on the release date schedule. Done in association with Village Roadshow, Lin Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment, the PG-rated Lego Movie has been able to cross demos from family to older teens — it’s a formula for success that made a sequel a no-brainer. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller wrote the screenplay and directed, and Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Channing Tatum, Will Forte and Jonah Hill provided the voices. The pic crossed $200 million worldwide Wednesday after a killer $69 million opening weekend and is expected to take first place again this frame.
Warner Bros’ The Lego Movie grossed higher internationally than tracking predicted over the weekend, and the animated pic has now officially crossed $200 million worldwide. The movie, from Warner Bros Pictures, Village Roadshow and LEGO System A/S, opened domestically February 7 to $69.1 million and is currently sitting at $146.3 million here after the Valentine’s Day/Presidents Day frame in which it finished No. 1 again on 3,775 screens with a killer hold (28%). Overseas, the pic is in 42 markets and has grossed $60.4 million to date, with Germany, Russia, France, Italy, Australia and Japan still to come. Warners said the wordwide cume is $206.7 million.
Box Office: ‘RoboCop’ Can’t Blast Through Wednesday’s Winter Storm, MPAA Releases ‘Winter’s Tale’ New York Budget
UPDATED, Thursday, 10:33 AM: Regal has another 60 theater closures today as the winter storm is affecting millions of Americans. This ice and snow storm is knocking down power lines and also knocking out movie going. It is also challenging snowfall records in some states. But it looks like it will be breaking on Friday afternoon for most spots (not the Northeast). Just received Cinemascore on RoboCop … overall a B+ with an A- rating by those under 25 and an A for those under 18. But it’s not going to stop The Lego Movie and About Last Night from rolling right over it. And that has nothing to do with the weather. So this weekend, it’ll be 1980s remake with choices of violence and/or sex. Ain’t that America … like, totally for sure. But yesterday and today is certainly grody to the max. Lego will rule once again.
UPDATED, Thursday 8:45 AM: Power outages, theater closures … all of AMC’s 12 theaters were closed in Atlanta, GA last night … and that is just a sampling of what RoboCop‘s opening and all mid-week plays for films faced last night. Another 30 theaters were either shut down early or shuttered altogether on the East Coast from the Carolinas up through Baltimore with Philadelphia and D.C. reporting similar problems. And more of the same is expected today. Updated estimates have arrived this AM showing RoboCop took in only $2.75M, just ahead of Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie‘s $2.1M. Not good all the way around, esp. for MGM/Sony … but Friday numbers should pick up for everyone.Meanwhile, the MPAA released Winter’s Tale New York budget numbers showing that the Warner Bros.’/Village Roadshow production spent $41,465,577 in total local expenditures breaking down as, $26,998,940 paid in wages over 5,000 people and “over $15 million with local vendors on housing, catering, wardrobes, construction, and many other services required to make a major motion picture.” And then there’s a little thing called marketing and distribution costs.
PREVIOUS Wednesday, 11: 15 P.M.: What an unfortunate day to open at the nation’s theaters — the day of one of the worst winter storms in recent memory that has blanketed a substantial part of the country in snow and heavy ice. RoboCop, MGM/Columbia Pictures’ rebooted actioner starring Joel Kinnaman as the part-human, part-robot police officer, trudged into 3,366 theaters to take in around $3M, or only $891 per screen. The storm has affected moviegoing over a wide swath in major markets from Texas to the Carolinas and is expected to travel up the East Coast, hitting some of the nation’s biggest cities tomorrow. Fingers crossed that West Coast attendance will raise the estimate in the morning. The potential downside is that storm may linger into Valentine’s Day Friday, bringing significantly lower attendance across the board in the affected areas. RoboCop opened on February 1 overseas and last weekend was No. 1 in 10 markets. It has grossed $28.7M to date and is expanding this weekend. Directed by José Padilha and written by Joshua Zetumer and Edward Neumeier & Michael Miner, the film also stars Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. The producers are Marc Abraham and Eric Newman.
OPENING: The Lego Movie (WB), blockbuster expected anywhere from $69M; The Monuments Men (Sony), around $22M in 2nd position; Vampire Academy (TWC) anemic with $3.9M.
4TH UPDATE, 1 P.M: The Lego Movie ended its weekend run with $69M. Sony is reporting The Monuments Men at $22M (slightly less than yesterday) and the other newcomer distributed by The Weinstein Company, Vampire Academy, ended the 3-day holiday weekend with a mere $3.9M. Next weekend openers are a slew of 1980s back-to- the-future movies with re-worked titles MGM’s Robocop, which opens Wednesday; Sony’s About Last Night, starring Ride Along‘s Kevin Hart; and Universal’s remake of Endless Love. Here are the final numbers as reported from the studios for Top 20 titles from this weekend:
1). The Lego Movie (WB) 3,775 theaters / Est. 3-day Cume: $69M / Per screen: $18,291 / Wk 1
2). The Monuments Men (SONY), 3,083 theaters / 3-day Cume: $22M / Per screen: $7,137 / Wk 1
3). Ride Along (UNI), 2,800 theaters (-67) / 3-day Cume: $9.5M (-20%) / Per screen: $3,425 / Total Cume: $105.3M / Wk 4
4). Frozen (DIS), 2,460 theaters (-294) / 3-day Cume: $6.8M (-23%) / Per screen: $2,794 / Total Cume: $368.6M / Wk 12
5). Lone Survivor (UNI), 2,869 theaters (-416) / 3-day Cume: $5.5M (-22%) / Per screen: $1,940 / Total Cume: $112.8M / Wk 7
6). That Awkward Moment (FOCUS), 2,809 theaters (0) / $3-day Cume: $5.2M (-40%) / Per screen: $1,864 / Total Cume: $16.5M / Wk 2
7). Vampire Academy (TWC), 2,676 theaters / 3-day Cume: $3.9M / Per screen: $1,466 / Wk 1
8). The Nut Job (OPRD), 3,004 theaters (-468) / 3-day Cume: $3.7M (-48%) / Per screen: $1,249 / Total Cume: $55M / Wk 4
9). Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (PAR), 2,139 theaters (-768) / 3-day Cume: $3.5M (-34%) / Per screen: $1,651 / Total Cume: $44.4M / Wk 4
10). Labor Day (PAR), 2,584 theaters (0)/ 3-day Cume: $3.1M (-38%) / Per screen: $1,233 / Total Cume: $10.1M /Wk 2
Warner Bros.’ will be planting its flag in its tentpole this weekend with The Lego Movie which will dominate the three-day box office. Done in association with Village Roadshow, Lin Pictures and Vertigo Entertainment, the picture is crossing demos from family to older teens with the hopes of pulling in an even older audience. College anyone? It doesn’t hurt that the voices are well-known names: Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Chris Pratt leads. It’s the first full-length movie based on the LEGO brand, which by the way, has done a phenomenal job re-inventing itself and keeping relevant with an entirely new generation of consumers. The 3D animated, PG rated film could take in a whopping $38M to $42Mthe studio thinks, but others think it could go much higher … much, much higher … unless the inclement weather across the nation dampens movie going this weekend. It bows in 3,775 theaters and there is no holdover stopping it so the weekend it is a wide open weekend for Warner Bros. In addition, Fandango let it be known today that The Lego Movie is turning out to be the second biggest advance ticket-seller among all animated films, behind only Toy Story 3. The company says that as of this morning, sales are surpassing advance ticket sales for …
EXCLUSIVE: Alexandra Daddario just landed the female lead opposite Dwayne Johnson on San Andreas, which New Line hopes will be its next big tentpole. In the Brad Peyton-directed film, Johnson plays a chopper pilot who sets out to rescue his estranged daughter after a massive earthquake hits California. Beau Flynn is producing and Village Roadshow Pictures is co-financing. Watch for Daddario; she is gaining notice for her role in HBO’s True Detective and is being courted for a role in the Entourage movie at Warner Bros. Daddario, who starred in Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, is repped by UTA and McKeon-Myones Management.
Considering that global movie ticket sales reached precedent levels after a particularly robust holiday period and a mostly sizzling summer, 2013 was one of the most turbulent years I can remember in the executive suites of major studios. Studios were overhauled all over town to better compete in an arena that is more of a global pursuit than ever, with victory belonging to whoever can build and maintain the most franchises.
Purists will decry the fact that Hollywood’s brightest minds are mostly focused on repackaging derivative concepts for maximum global grosses, but evidence of the rewards are right there in the gross charts: Six of the top seven biggest films were sequels that provided the kind of results that keep studio conglomerate parents happy, keep studio chiefs employed, and slate co-financiers coming back for more. Sure, studios will still get involved with awards-season prestige films like The Wolf Of Wall Street, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave, but often only when someone else pays to make them. This franchise fever pushed costs of blockbusters to ridiculously high levels, and left top execs and producers explaining, and sometimes packing, when some badly misfired. Add that to internal power struggles at places like Universal and Warner Bros, and you needed a scorecard to keep up with the executive changes — which came fast and furious, especially after the brutal summer blockbuster season. Among them:
*Universal fired film chairman Adam Fogelson in a move that surprised him along with everyone else in town but Ron Meyer and Donna Langley, with whom he engaged in a quiet power struggle. Fogelson was blindsided by the result, coming hours after he presided over the Toronto premiere of Rush. The Comcast-orchestrated move that put Jeff Shell in charge of filmed entertainment after he did well running NBCUniversal’s international operations. Meyer was upped to vice chairman of NBCUniversal and Langley as sole Universal Films chairman and picture picker. Even though the studio placed third in market share and Despicable Me 2 could become the studio’s biggest-ever box office hit when it plays in China, Universal also flubbed franchise launch attempts like R.I.P.D. and 47 Ronin, and Kick-Ass 2 proved that once was enough. Universal has sequels to Jurassic Park, The Mummy and Ted coming, and a new salty adult franchise in Fifty Shades Of Grey for 2015. Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures moved in to hatch pictures and co-fi Universal titles like Jurassic World, hedging the studio’s bets as it moves forward. Langley’s biggest challenge has been retooling the studio’s most lucrative franchise, Fast & Furious, which was halfway completed when star Paul Walker died tragically in a fiery car crash. Right after Fogelson was ousted, longtime Focus Features chief James Schamus was dismissed just as suddenly. He was replaced by Peter Schlessel, the whip-smart former Sony dealmaker who’d been running FilmDistrict and who clearly will be charged with broadening the highbrow Focus slate to include more low-risk high-return genre films like the FilmDistrict hit Insidious. Schamus’s co-chairman, Andrew Karpen, declined to relocate and stay on, dramatically changing the complexion of that prestige company.
*The final shoe dropped after Warner Bros gave the top job to Kevin Tsujihara instead of Warner Bros movie chief Jeff Robinov. At a time when Robinov should have been taking victory laps after his bets on filmmakers paid off so well with Ben Affleck’s Argo, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel and Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, Robinov instead left in a frosty exit to form his own moneyed film venture. This, and the equally tempestuous exit of Legendary’s Tull after a lucrative franchise-fueled run, left Robinov’s successors Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll under big pressure to assert themselves to find new franchises. The studio re-upped Village Roadshow Pictures and replaced Legendary with James Packer, Brett Ratner and Steven Mnuchin’s RatPac Dune in a slate co-financing deal that will spread $450 million or more over 75 films. While Warner Bros brass tired of Tull imposing his creative will and cherry-picking Warner Bros titles to co-fi, RatPac Dune will not do that, and I heard the studio was able to exclude certain plum titles from the arrangement. But Warner Bros also gifted RatPac Dune with a co-fi stake in Gravity after it was completed, creating a big windfall for a fledgling venture. It’s ironic given nobody in Hollywood but Robinov seemed to want to make that movie — an expensive auteur effort that has zero sequel potential. One challenge for the new team at Warner Bros: keeping Robinov from peeling away the directors he empowered, from Christopher Nolan to Affleck, Snyder, Luhrmann, The Hangover‘s Todd Phillips and Cuaron to make movies at the new company he and Graham King are expected to launch at Sony. Silverman is respected and Kroll is regarded as arguably the best marketer in town and the studio’s global distribution and marketing operation is as good as there is, but the pressure’s on even though Warner Bros topped other studios in market share. It also has what seems like a strong year with franchise launches in Godzilla and LEGO, another installment of 300 (so what if everybody died in the original?), and a Hobbit finale. Beyond Hobbit, New Line continues to do its part on the franchise front, hatching a Horrible Bosses sequel for 2014 and gearing up another installment of its sleeper 2013 road trip comedy We’re The Millers.
*After two costly summer misfires in After Earth and White House Down, a lackluster Smurfs sequel that fizzled the franchise, and disappointing returns on the Matt Damon-starrer Elysium, Sony Pictures chairman Amy Pascal found herself in the cross-hairs of minority activist shareholder Daniel Loeb. The result: seismic changes in its executive structure and game plan moving forward. The studio dropped marketing head Marc Weinstock, corporate PR chief Steve Elzer and home entertainment chief David Bishop, and then added former New Line president-turned Fifty Shades Of Grey producer Michael De Luca to share president of production duties with Hannah Minghella. The studio vowed heading into its fall investor meetings that it would cut $250 million in costs through 2016, and make fewer movies in 2014 and pour the money into TV. I keep hearing that was temporary window dressing, and after adding former Fox chief Tom Rothman to revive TriStar, which creates another buyer on a lot full of them, Sony will continue to try and create franchises to go along with its Spider-Man and 007 stalwarts. Sony secured a big slate co-fi investment from John LaViolette and Joseph Singer’s Blue Anchor that begins with George Clooney’s The Monuments Men. And then there is the prospect of the venture by Robinov/King which would give Sony huge movies to release and gain market share and bragging rights, without actually having to fund them if they don’t want to. If 22 Jump Street and especially The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit as well as is hoped, some of that pressure could be alleviated as the studio presses ahead with reboots of past franchise successes Ghostbusters and Men In Black.
Coming off April’s Oblivion, Tom Cruise stars in Doug Liman‘s futuristic sci-fier as an officer in a brutal alien war who becomes stuck in a time loop and is forced to re-live the same combat mission over and over. Emily Blunt is the lethal soldier who helps Cruise become a warrior while he’s trapped in his Groundhog Day-style existential crisis. WB and Village Roadshow release Edge of Tomorrow on June 6. Check out the first trailer for the pic formerly known as All You Need Is Kill:
Channing Tatum stars as an interplanetery warrior and Mila Kunis stars as a janitor who discovers she’s meant for a greater destiny in Jupiter Ascending, the latest film from Lana and Andy Wachowski. The Matrix duo most recently released the sprawling sci-fier Cloud Atlas following their 2008 bomb Speed Racer. Warner Bros. will release the sci-fi action pic and Village Roadshow co-production on July 25, 2014. Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne also star. Check out the first trailer:
Warner Bros has slotted its earthquake actioner San Andreas for June 5, 2015. The disaster pic will be released in 2D and 3D, the studio said today. Brad Peyton directs Dwayne Johnson in the New Line- and Village Roadshow-produced movie, which centers on a massive earthquake that hits California. The big-budget film was hatched by producer Beau Flynn and scribes Jeremy Passmore & Andre Fabrizio as a pitch. Allan Loeb as well as Carlton Cuse did polishes, and the most recent draft is from Chad and Carey Hayes. Flynn’s FlynnPictureCo is producing, as is Tripp Vinson. This one’s been in the works for a while — producers went out to directors on this in December 2011 before finding Peyton. Johnson, who worked with the helmer on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, came aboard this October to star as a rescue-chopper pilot who treks across the earthquake-devastated state in search of his estranged daughter.
So far, that key summer weekend slot has Fox’s B.O.O.: Bureau Of Otherworldly Operations, with Universal’s Jurassic World staking out the next weekend.
Ron Howard‘s adaptation of the Nathaniel Philbrick high-seas drama will bow wide on March 13, 2015. So far In The Heart Of The Sea has the date to itself. The film from Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures marks a reteam for Howard and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan, who previously collaborated on Frost/Nixon and the racing pic Rush; Morgan came aboard Heart Of The Sea and worked with Howard on new drafts of Charles Leavitt’s original adaptation. A blend of fact and fiction, In The Heart Of The Sea describes in great detail how the Whaleship Essex was stalked and attacked by a sperm whale in 1820, leaving the crew adrift for 90 days and forced to turn to cannibalism. The attack on the boat largely influenced Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, Brendan Gleeson and Jordi Molla star.
George Miller is back at the helm of the franchise that launched his career nearly 35 years ago. Mel Gibson is back too — but not as the lead. Warner Bros and Village Roadshow said today that its reboot Mad Max: Fury Road will hit screens on May 15, 2015. Tom Hardy steps into the title role for the first film in the postapocalyptic series since 1985′s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Miller directed that pic, along with 1979′s Mad Max and its 1981 sequel The Road Warrior, which made Gibson an international star. The 3D Fury Road has that May 2015 opening weekend to itself for now, but it’ll arrive a mere two weeks after The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and a week before Disney sci-fi pic Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney. Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult co-star in the film written by Miller, Nick Lathouris and Brendan McCarthy. Miller also is producing with Doug Mitchell and P.J. Voeten.
Here’s a look at WB and Village Roadshow’s Valentine’s Day 2014 romance Winter’s Tale, the adaption of Mark Helprin’s novel that marks Oscar-winning scribe Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut. Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) and Colin Farrell star in the mythic tale of the love between a dying woman and a thief, in a time-jumping story that spans more than a century. Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, Russell Crowe, and newcomers Ripley Sobo and Mckayla Twiggs of Broadway’s Once round out the cast:
The AFM, which gets underway tomorrow, will see a record influx of Chinese companies and execs. But that’s not the only draw for Mainland players this week. The 2013 U.S. China Film Summit kicks off today in LA with execs and talent attending that include Village Roadshow Pictures Asia CEO Ellen Eliasoph, CAA China managing director Jonah Greenberg, MPA president for Asia-Pacific, Mike Ellis, and Xiao Lu Xue, director of box office hit Finding Mr Right. Last night, an event organized by the MPAA and China’s SAPPRFT was held at Universal to celebrate the start of the third annual China International Co-Production Film Screenings. Attending were NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer, MPAA chief Chris Dodd and China Film Group vice chairman Jiao Hongfen, among others. Meyer delivered a speech in which he said, “We are focused on building new and expanded partnerships to establish long-term relationships between Universal and China.” He also noted that Universal’s “key initiatives” include “doing more co-productions and establishing an office in Beijing that will be our base of operations in China.” It further emerged that Despicable Me 2 will have a China release in early 2014. (The original Despicable Me was not released there and earlier this year, the sequel had been denied a slot.) “As Universal enters its 2nd century in …
Warner Bros has released a trailer for The Lego Movie, the Village Roadshow CGI 3D co-production that is due out February 7. Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman provide the voices and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs pair Phil Lord & Christopher Miller wrote and directed. We know Warners already has its next Batman, but Arnett certainly seems to have put his stamp on the Caped Crusader:
EXCLUSIVE: Up and coming British actress Charlotte Riley (Easy Virtue, World Without End) has been cast in Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s true story tale In The Heart Of The Sea, which Ron Howard is directing from a script by Charles Leavitt. Riley’s coming off another big WB pic, the Doug Liman-directed Edge of Tomorrow, opposite Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. In Howard’s Moby Dick-esque drama Riley will play Peggy, the beautiful and pregnant wife of Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), a crew member aboard the whaling ship Essex. When the ship is attacked by a sperm whale, a group of survivors stay afloat for 90 days enduring disease, starvation and eventual cannibalism. Riley is repped by CAA and Conway Van Gelder Grant.
Cheyenne Jackson (United 93, Behind the Candelabra) has landed the lead in indie drama The Song. He’ll play Ben Cantor, a man who bets it all to enter a songwriting contest reality show against the better judgment of his wife, boss, and banker. Andy Lauer is directing the pic from a script by David Kauffman. Kauffman is producing alongside Page Brown. Jackson is set to sing original songs in the music-themed pic, which begins filming this month in San Antonio, NM. He’s repped by ICM and …
As Deadline reported in the summer, Warner Bros Pictures has found its replacement to fill the void left when Thomas Tull moved Legendary Pictures down the road to Universal. RatPac-Dune Entertainment has made a multi-year agreement to co-finance as many as 75 upcoming titles at up to $450 million. The announcement was made today by Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara and by Steven Mnuchin, Brett Ratner and James Packer of RatPac-Dune Entertainment, the film finance vehicle formed by Mnuchin and RatPac Entertainment to co-finance the Warner Bros Pictures slate.
The co-fi deal starts with the October 4 release Gravity, and the December 25 release Grudge Match. The studio laid off risk in the past with Village Roadshow Pictures and Legendary.
“We are very pleased to be entering into this relationship with RatPac-Dune Entertainment,” said Tsujihara. “This agreement gives us increased strength and flexibility in the motion picture division and an even greater ability to manage risk as we continue to produce high-quality filmed entertainment for the global audience. We look forward to working with their team as we move forward in this exciting new partnership with a truly great organization.”
Missed them first time round? Check them out:
Squash Those Petitions! Why Ben Affleck As Batman Is Good Move For Warner Bros
By Mike Fleming Jr - OPINION: I was as surprised as anyone when Ben Affleck was named the new Batman by Warner Bros.
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity Naming New Film Marketing Team; Russell Schwartz And Dana Precious In, Terry Curtin Out
By Nikki Finke - EXCLUSIVE: I understand that New Line veteran Russell Schwartz is already signed to become President of Theatrical Marketing. And Marvel veteran Dana Precious is in final talks to assume the newly created position of President of Creative Advertising and Research.
Fox Makes Epic First-Look Deal With Online Venture For Film-Centric Journalism
By Mike Fleming Jr - EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has made a two-year first-look pact with Epic, a fledgling online platform designed to be a catalyst for film-centric investigative longform journalism that had formerly been the domain of national magazines.
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity Sets ‘Act Of Valor 2’: Scott Wiper To Write/Direct About SWATs
By Nikki Finke - EXCLUSIVE: Relativity and the Bandito Brothers scored a #1 domestic opening when they brought Act Of Valor about U.S. Navy SEALS to the big screen in February 2012 and grossed over $70M all in.
Clint Eastwood In Negotiations To Direct ‘American Sniper’ For Warner Bros
By Nikki Finke - I’ve learned that Warner Bros wants to fast-track production for the first quarter of 2014 and is in “tentative negotiations” with Clint Eastwood to direct.
‘The Butler’ #1 Again, ‘Mortal Instruments’ #3, ‘The World’s End’ #4, ‘You’re Next’ #6
By Nikki Finke - As Summer 2013 …
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan has stepped onto In The Heart Of The Sea, Ron Howard’s adaptation of the Nathaniel Philbrick high-seas drama for Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures. Principal photography starts in the UK on September 10 and marks a reteam for Howard and Morgan who previously collaborated on Frost/Nixon and the upcoming racing pic Rush. Charles Leavitt wrote the original Heart Of The Sea adaptation and Morgan recently came in to work extensively with Howard on some redrafts. Philbrick’s source material tells the fate of the crew of the Whaleship Essex. It blends fact and fiction, describing in palpable detail how the ship was stalked and attacked by a sperm whale in 1820, leaving the crew adrift for 90 days and forced to turn to cannibalism. The attack on the boat largely influenced Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
Morgan’s involvement also marks a reteam with Chris Hemsworth, who stars in Heart Of The Sea and Rush. Rush, on which Morgan is also a producer, will be screened as a gala presentation in Toronto. His other upcoming projects include a collaboration with Ang Lee on a look at the boxing world of the 1960s and 1970s, as seen through the prism of its biggest rivalries and greatest fights. That 3D picture is set up at Universal. He’s also working on a project with Film4 about Salman Rushdie and the …