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TriStar Wins Auction For $30 Million Jodie Foster-George Clooney Pic ‘Money Monster’

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 11:59am PDT
Mike Fleming

TriStar Wins Auction For $30 Million Jodie Foster-George Clooney Pic ‘Money Monster’EXCLUSIVE: In a whopping deal, Tom Rothman’s TriStar Pictures has won the right to finance and release the $30 million budget Money Monster, a Jodie Foster-directed thriller that will star George Clooney as a Jim Cramer-like TV stock tout who is held hostage on air by a man who followed the huckster’s advice, lost his money and put his young family in precarious straits. Jamie Linden wrote the script. The thriller takes on a Network-like sensibility in that the hostage-taker warns he’ll execute the smooth-talking stock tipper the moment cameras are turned off, and the nation becomes obsessed with the drama that unfolds on their TV screens. The film begins production in the spring after Clooney completes the Coen brothers-directed Hail Caesar.

tom rothmanThe film was packaged independently and is being produced by The Allegiance Theater’s Daniel Dubiecki, Lara Alameddine and Smokehouse’s Clooney and Grant Heslov. Drafts of the script were also done by Jim Kouf and Alan DiFiore. The huge deal was spearheaded by CAA, which reps Smokehouse and Dubiecki, and UTA on behalf of Foster. Linden is repped by Paradigm.

This becomes the latest example of a major Hollywood studio being aggressive on a fully percolated movie with star elements that is instantly ready to be added to a release slate. The budget doesn’t really seem that high, considering the star power of Foster and Clooney, and their upside will come in the film’s success from the back-end. It is also another high-profile project for Rothman’s TriStar. Much is being written about Sony Pictures, but as usual its long-term success will be determined by its picture pickers. Read More »

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Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, More Join Disney’s Marvel Animation ‘Big Hero 6′

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 3:46pm PDT

Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, More Join Disney’s Marvel Animation ‘Big Hero 6′Walt Disney Animation Studios has assembled its voice cast for the studio’s fall feature Big Hero 6, about a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his robot companion Baymax, who pull together a team of crime fighters to save the city of San Fransokyo. Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Damon Wayans Jr., T.J. Miller, Alan Tudyk, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez and Daniel Henney will voice the cast, with Oregon born, Tokyo raised actor Ryan Potter (Nickelodeon’s Supah Ninjas) starring as as Hiro Hamada and Scott Adsit voicing Baymax.

Big Hero 6 is the first Disney pic to feature Marvel universe characters and is adapted by Don Hall and Jordan Roberts from the Marvel comic mini-series of the same name, whose team and characters were created by Man of Action’s Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle. They’ve tweaked a few details: The original Big Hero 6 story took place in Japan and featured a post-nuclear villain created from the souls of atomic bombing victims; Disney’s version is being promoted heavily on the cute factor of robot sidekick Baymax. Read More »

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Next At Bat: A Miniseries On Baseball Slugger And War Hero Ted Williams

Mike Fleming

Next At Bat: A Miniseries On Baseball Slugger And War Hero Ted WilliamsJust in time for the All-Star break, when America’s Pastime tries to snatch back some of the spotlight from the World Cup, Atmosphere Entertainment’s Mark Canton has teamed up with Mandalay Sports Media’s Mike Tollin and Peter Guber to option the Ben Bradlee Jr book The Kid: The Immortal Life Of Ted Williams. They will turn the complex life of baseball’s most prolific hitter into a miniseries they will shop once they hire a writer. Canton, Tollin and Guber will be exec producers, and David Hopwood will be a producer. Guber became an owner of the L.A. Dodgers only to watch that team’s iconic player, Jackie Robinson, get movie treatment from Legendary Pictures (and Pittsburgh Steelers part owner) Thomas Tull. Here, Guber gets another shot with a player with almost as rich a story as Robinson.

ted williams pilotWilliams is one of those larger-than-life when-men-were-men characters — Frank Sinatra in a baseball uniform. His baseball exploits were legend, and he was a hero on the battlefield as well as the ball field, twice interrupting the prime years of his baseball career to serve as a flight instructor in WWII and a fighter pilot in the Korean War. He also was an ornery, enigmatic man who had a love-hate relationship with Boston Red Sox fans and media, along with several wives, who quickly learned they were third in importance to him after baseball and fishing. He had a long rivalry with the Yankees and its star outfielder Joe DiMaggio, whose team won a bundle of World Series titles while the Red Sox were always the bridesmaids.

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BOX OFFICE: July 4th Holiday Down 42% As ‘Transformers’ Led And ‘Tammy’ Bowed

BOX OFFICE: July 4th Holiday Down 42% As ‘Transformers’ Led And ‘Tammy’ Bowed16th UPDATE, Monday, 2:40 PM: Here are the final gross updates for the Top 20 films of the July Fourth weekend. I’ve included both 3-day and 5-day totals for the Top Ten. The jump went to favorite son 22 Jump Street as this morning it looked like it was under Screen Gems’ Deliver Us From Evil. See below for the Monday updates. So while 22 Jump Street won the three-day weekend, it racked up a lesser per screen average than Evil which won the five-day derby. That’s a way to mix it up as they were neck in neck throughout the weekend. Overall, the Fourth of July holiday weekend was 42% lower than last year when Despicable Me 2 bowed to a whopping $83.5M. Last year, the 4th fell on a Thursday.

Interesting to see how the weather affected the box office holiday this weekend. On the Fourth, which was a Friday, Los Angeles was down only 1% night to night (which is fairly normal for the Fourth with good weather in L.A.). However, the East Coast where it was raining saw a huge jump in movie attendance — 76% up from Thursday to Friday in New York and 170% rise on Friday in Boston. When it rains in the summer, people go to the movies, esp. on a rainy holiday.

Transformers: Age of Extinction, in its second weekend dropped 63%. It also dropped 75% Friday to Friday (which included $8.75M of late night grosses) so the studio likely made their adjustments during the week or weekend. Despite what others reported, everyone knows that this industry has yet to see a picture open to $100M. Next weekend, we have Dawn of the Planet of the Apes coming from Fox, but that is not expected to do it either even though it is a high-quality film well-targeted for its demo. Expect a high CinemaScore and great word of mouth. Right now, it’s expected to surpass the opening weekend of Rise of the Planet of the Apes which bowed to $54.8M in April 2011. Dawn opens at 10 PM on July 10.

A shout out to a very high-quality film coming out this coming weekend: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood from IFC Films. It is, simply put, one of the best films I’ve seen so far this year.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how far Tammy falls next weekend as word of mouth is going to hurt it. Here’s the finals from the studios: Read More »

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The Best Lines About 2014′s Worst-Reviewed Films (So Far). Thanks, ‘Tammy!’

By and | Sunday July 6, 2014 @ 2:08pm PDT

The Best Lines About 2014′s Worst-Reviewed Films (So Far). Thanks, ‘Tammy!’Lost in a long and sleepy holiday weekend’s ennui, we couldn’t help ourselves: We’ve pulled together lines culled from the funniest/worst movie reviews so far this year, pulling out some jewels. Here’s what we came up with:

Tammy (Opened July 2, 27% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
Melissa McCarthy‘s film sees her once again working the schtick as an in-your-face femme, this time on the road with her just-as-crass granny (Susan Sarandon). Given that the film seems to be headed into a ditch after a weak open, one can’t help wondering whether the Bridesmaids thesp’s routine is aging fast.

“The good news is that Tammy is not a crappy remake of the 1957 Tammy movie with Debbie Reynolds that spawned three sequels and a TV comedy series. The bad news is that this one is much worse… It’s about as funny as a liver transplant.” — New York Observer’s Rex Reed, who already had a bone to pick with McCarthy last year. Read More »

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‘Bridesmaids’ Team Kristen Wiig And Annie Mumolo Set Comedy At TriStar

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 3:54pm PDT
Mike Fleming

While Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo declined to makekr a sequel to their comedy hit Bridesmaids, they have made a TriStar deal for an original comedy they’re writing for the former Saturday Night Live star to make her directing debut. Tom Rothman’s company announced they will star as best friends who find themselves in over their heads and out of their depths, which were, perhaps, not too deep to begin with. Mumolo recently wrote the film on Miracle Mop lady Joy Mangano for Fox 2000, which David O Russell will direct with Jennifer Lawrence starring. Wiig will next be seen opposite fellow former SNL castmember Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins, which premiered at Sundance. She and Mumolo got Oscar noms for their Bridesmaids script.

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Bart & Fleming: Are Cinematic Comedy Creators Taking Themselves Too Seriously?

By and | Sunday June 8, 2014 @ 9:04am PDT

FlemingBartColumn_badge__140510005503Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly Sunday column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business.

Bart: Here’s a suggestion for Adam Sandler, Seth MacFarlane and James Franco that none will appreciate: Guys, you should think about taking a sabbatical. All of you have been working too hard, trying too hard, and you’ve become predictable. Why not take a place on the sidelines for a while and think about life? I know the whole concept of “the sidelines” worries you. They’re already occupied by the likes of Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey and Mike Myers; it’s much more fun being in the middle of the action. Even too much action.

operaFleming: Wow, that’s a buckshot blast. Those three fall into different categories. Let’s take them one at a time, starting with Sandler. I loved his Saturday Night Live character creations, from Opera Man to Canteen Boy and miss the edge he carried into his early films. I wish Adam would stop pandering to the four quadrants and challenge himself to write something less predictable. Audiences are losing interest.

Bart: My problem with Sandler, MacFarlane and others is that “raunchier” doesn’t necessarily mean “funnier”. Scatalogical humor already has been pushed over the edge this summer and we are yet to see Melissa McCarthy’s new road movie, Tammy, or the next Cameron Diaz epic, Sex Tape. By the standards of the moment, the Diaz-Ben Stiller hair gel moment in There’s Something About Mary seems like a Disney picture. The R ratings for movies like Neighbors were saved only by some eleventh-hour manipulation in the cutting room — “frame-f*cking,” it’s called, and it’s a flourishing career. Read More »

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David O. Russell’s ‘Joy’ Gets Christmas 2015 Release Date

By | Friday June 6, 2014 @ 1:47pm PDT

jennifer-lawrence-at-an-evening-with-david-o.-russell-at-afi-fest-in-hollywood_1Fox has set a Christmas 2015 release date for director David O. Russell‘s Joy, the rag-to-riches story that has Jennifer Lawrence attached to star. The film is based on the life of Joy Mangano, a Long Island single mother of three who sold her Miracle Mop invention and made millions. Clearly, the picture is being slotted at Christmas there to qualify for a possible Oscar run. Given that the duo are both Oscar favs, the expectation is there. The director has been nominated three times by the Academy for The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle. Lawrence won best actress for Silver Linings Playbook and was nominated again for Hustle.

On the schedule right now for the same date is the animated family film Kung Fu Panda 3 which Fox will also release and Paramount’s Mission Impossible 5. Joy is being produced by John Davis and John Fox via Davis Entertainment with Ken Mok and Russell from a script by Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids).

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Hot Trailer: Melissa McCarthy In ‘Tammy’

By | Tuesday May 6, 2014 @ 12:22pm PDT

tammyMelissa McCarthy channels her comedic star power into Tammy, the upcoming Warner Bros summer comedy about a woman (McCarthy) pushed over the edge when she’s fired from her fast food job, finds her husband cheating, and becomes a fugitive on the run with her grandma (Susan Sarandon) bound for Niagara Falls. The July 2 pic will test McCarthy’s comedy reign that started with Bridesmaids and continued with last year’s Identity Thief and The Heat, and also marks her first foray into feature scripting alongside husband Ben Falcone, who co-wrote and directs in his helming debut. Check out the first trailer:

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‘Homeland’s Morena Baccarin Joins Paul Feig’s Melissa McCarthy Comedy ‘Spy’

By | Wednesday April 30, 2014 @ 3:00pm PDT

Morena Baccarin Spy Feig McCarthyHomeland‘s Morena Baccarin is going from her three-season run on the espionage drama to tangling with spies on the big screen. She’s been cast in Fox’s female comedy Spy, writer-director Paul Feig‘s next pic with Bridesmaids and The Heat star Melissa McCarthy. Baccarin, who last year was nominated for an Emmy for her work on Showtime’s Homeland, will play Karen Walker in the pic which has been slated for a Memorial Day 2015 release. Feig is also producing for his Feigco Entertainment banner alongside Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, and Jessie Henderson. Last week he added international stars Nargis Fakhri, Peter Serafinowicz, Bjorn Gustafsson, and Verka Serduchka to the cast, which also includes Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Bobby Cannavale, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Miranda Hart. Filming began last month in Budapest.

Related: Allison Janney Joins Powerhouse Cast Of Paul Feig’s ‘Spy’

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Yahoo Pitches Advertisers On Its Efforts To Offer Classy Content

By | Monday April 28, 2014 @ 4:57pm PDT

Marissa Mayer 2Execs didn’t use the word but their Newfront presentation to advertisers in NYC left little doubt that Yahoo sees itself as a classy, Conde Nast-like alternative to others on the web who shoot for the lowest common denominator. CEO Marissa Mayer says she’s focusing on mobile, social, native, and video ads. Regarding the future of video “we’re positioned to influence and sometimes invent it….at scale, across devices, every single day,” Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt told advertisers.

Producer Mike Tollin (Smallville and Arliss) kicked off Yahoo originals introductions by teaming with Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love to pitch Sin City Saints, a series with eight half-hour episodes about a basketball team based in Las Vegas. Director Bryan Gordon (Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Office) will help out with what Tollin called a “behind the scenes comedy“ shot with a single camera. Hilarity ensues when a Silicon Valley tech tycoon who wants to own a basketball team buys one, but doesn’t know what to do with it. “The Saints are not good…you could say they’re in a rebuilding mode.” Paul Feig (creator of Freaks And Geeks, and director of Bridesmaids and The Heat) appeared in a video to pitch a futuristic sci-fi comedy Other Space, which also will run for eight, half-hour episodes. Savitt says that Yahoo will introduce other shows later.

Related: Yahoo Preps Pair Of Original Comedy Series For Web
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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘The Railway Man’, ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’, ‘Joe’, ‘Hateship Loveship,’ ‘Cuban Fury’, ‘Dancing In Jaffa’, ‘A Fragile Trust’

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 6:27pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)The likes of Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Tilda Swinton, Nicolas Cage, Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce and more have films joining the Specialties in theaters this weekend in what could possibly be a big draw at the box office — hopefully. TWC will bow The Railway Mana period drama set against WWII, while SPC will open Jim Jarmusch’s vampire romance Only Lovers Left Alive. David Gordon Green returns to theaters with Joe from Roadside and Lionsgate, while IFC Films will bow Hateship Loveship. The distributor will also open doc Dancing In Jaffa. Also joining the pack in a fairly packed weekend is Entertainment One’s Cuban Fury, starring Nick Frost. Also opening is A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, And Jayson Blair At The New York Times, an ITVS backed doc that will have a self-distributed theatrical run ahead of its broadcast on PBS.

The Railway Manrailwayman
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky
Writers: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Andy Paterson, Eric Lomax
Cast: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine, Michael MacKenzie, Jeffrey Daunton
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

With a high-profile cast, bio-drama The Railway Man centers on a former British Army officer who was tormented as a young prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II. Later he discovers the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him. “We’re big fans of … Read More »

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Hot Teaser: Fox’s ‘Peanuts’

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 8:45am PDT

Paul Feig is producing Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios’ attempt at the first big-screen CGI version of Charles Schulz’s iconic comic (UPDATE: Readers were correct to point out there have been other Peanuts features). From this first look that dropped today it’s clear this take won’t offer many of those hard-R moments like the ones found in some of Feig’s recent fare like Bridesmaids or The Heat. But he’s a big fan of the comic — saying Peanuts was “my Star Wars” and that Charlie Brown and Snoopy helped inform his cult TV hit Freaks And Geeks. Steve Martino is directing the pic from a script by Craig Schulz and Bryan Schulz & Cornelius Uliano. A November 6, 2015 release date has been set. Is this what you expected?

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ABC Family Orders 3 Drama Pilots, Renews Comedy Series ‘Baby Daddy’ For Season 4

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 12:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

abcfamily1UPDATED: In one of ABC Family‘s first major greenlight/renewal decisions under new president Tom Ascheim, the network has picked up three drama pilots: Alice In Arabia, about an American teenage girl kidnapped by her extended royal Saudi Arabian family and forced to live with them; Recovery Road, based on Blake Nelson’s novel about a teenage girl dealing with addiction; and Unstrung, about a brother-sister duo of tennis players. Additionally, the network has ordered a fourth season of comedy Baby Daddy and announced today a fourth-season renewal of fellow comedy Melissa & Joey, though that 20-episode pickup was originally unveiled in May.

Related: 2014 ABC Family Pilots

Alice In Arabia comes from a novice TV writer, Brooke Eikmeier, brookewho wrote the script while serving as cryptologic linguist in the Arabic language to the US Army stationed at Fort Carson, CO, where she supported NSA missions in the Middle East. ABC Family also has bought a second script from Eikmeier, who left service in September with a rank E-4 Specialist. It is about female cultural specialists embedded with Special Forces teams to help them navigate cultural issues with the local population. “These three powerful new dramas are a great fit with ABC Family’s brand of original programming,” said Ascheim. Added Kate Juergens, Chief Creative Officer and EVP Original Content at ABC Family. “Innovative and authentic is the promise we make to our audience. These new projects deliver on that promise with emotional and entertaining storylines, intriguing, multi-faceted characters and complex relationships.” Last season ABC Family also ordered three drama pilots, The Fosters, Twisted and Chasing Live, all of which went to series. Here are detailed descriptions and credits for ABC Family’s newly picked up drama pilots: Read More »

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Costume Designers Guild Awards: Patricia Norris Wins For ’12 Years A Slave’, Suzy Benzinger For ‘Blue Jasmine’, Trish Summerville For ‘Catching Fire’, TV Winners ‘Downton Abbey’; ‘House Of Cards’, ‘Behind The Candelabra’

AwardsLine Deputy Editor Anna Lisa Raya provided on-scene coverage tonight.

costume-designers-guild__130220000932UPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS AND SPEECHES: 12 Years A Slave’s Patricia Norris and Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s Trish malinaSummerville nabbed top film awards tonight at the 16th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards. Norris won the Outstanding Period Film Award while Summerville scored the Outstanding Fantasy Film Award. The win clearly vaults Oscar-nominated Norris into frontrunner status. She was not present but her son Patrick accepted on her behalf. “She guaranteed me this wouldn’t happen. I’m kind of a little nervous but she gave me a few things to say in case it did happen. She’s honored that the Costume Designers Guild has recognized her. She thanks you and I appreciate you. I can’t wait to give this to her,” he said. Blue Jasmine’s Suzy Benzinger took the third film award of the night for Outstanding Contemporary Film.

On the TV side, Caroline McCall took the Outstanding Period/Fantasy category for Downton Abbey. This was her second straight win in the same category. Ellen Mirojnick won Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Miniseries for Behind The Candelabra and Tom Broecker took the Outstanding Contemporary Television Series honor for House Of Cards.

In other awards, writer/director/producer Judd Apatow received the Distinguished Collaborator 16th Costume Designers Guild Awards With Presenting Sponsor Lacoste - Backstage And AudienceAward for his support of costume design in such work as Freaks And Geeks, Girls, Bridesmaids and the Anchorman films. Jonah Hill made a surprise appearance to present the award to Apatow. “I wouldn’t necessarily think of Judd for the costume design in his films, it’s not the first thing to come to mind,” Hill said, before adding that Apatow’s work resonates because it’s about real people wearing real clothes. “That’s an artform. That’s real life. That’s what Judd does.” Apatow gave shout-outs to the many costume designers with whom he’s worked. “So many amazing people throughout our careers. Thank you so much and thank you for making us look good and making these characters come alive.” Veteran costume designer April Ferry (Maverick, Elysium) received the Career Achievement Award. “I absolutely love what I do and for me there’s no other way. Over the last 30 years I’ve traveled to ancient Rome all the way to the future and beyond. If you’re lucky, like I’ve been, you work at the seat of your pants with wonderful people,” Ferry said in accepting her award. The Distinguished Service Award went to Sharon Day, a guild delegate and former executive board member. Amy Adams was honored with the Lacoste Spotlight Award, which recognizes an actor whose roles have been intrinsically tied to costume design. Adams most recently stunned in a sexy, glamorous 1970s-era wardrobe in American Hustle, for which she’s nominated for a best lead actress Oscar. “I’m just really, really lucky to have had relationships with costume designers thorughout the years. You’ve been magicians, you’ve been my therapists, you’ve been my friends. Thank you for allowing me to turn your visions into art,” Adams said.

Host Joshua Malina kicked off the evening. “I’m Joshua Malina, and I’m a 42 Reg. I have a 32 inch waist and a 30 inch inseam. Yes, I said 30 inches. Don’t judge, we’re all God’s creatures,” he joked. “We’re here to celebrate the collaboration of costume designers and directors and actors. There’s also the talented cutters, and seamstresses, the dye-ers, the shoemakers. We’re all here together tonight and so far, getting along nicely,” he said.

Here’s the complete list of winners. Read More »

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Universal Signs Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson For ‘Pitch Perfect 2′

Mike Fleming

pitchpUniversal Pictures and Gold Circle, which just set Elizabeth Banks to helm Pitch Perfect 2, has signed the two core performers in the original sleeper, making deals with Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson to reprise.  The film will be released May 15, 2015. The original spawned  ”Cups”, a single that made Kendrick a triple platinum Universal Pictures logo 2013recording artist with combined sales of a little less than 3 million units. Kendrick just wrapped Into The Woods for Disney. Wilson has been on fire since the breakout turn in Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect. She stars in her ABC series creation Super Fun Night, Night At The Museum 3, She’s F***ing Perfect and Kung Fu Panda 3 and hosted the 2013 MTV Movie Awards. Kay Cannon is back writing the sequel and Paul Brooks is producing with Banks and Max Handelman. Universal’s Peter Cramer is overseeing.

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‘American Hustle’s David O Russell, Jennifer Lawrence Circle Joy Mangano Story At Fox 2000

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 6:47pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: American Hustle helmer David O. Russell is in early talks to rewrite and direct an untitled Fox 2000 film about the remarkable life story jof Joy Mangano, a struggling Long Island single mom of three who became one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs with her self-wringing Miracle Mop invention. He wants Jennifer Lawrence to play Mangano. Lawrence, after winning the Best Actress Oscar for the Russell-directed Silver Linings Playbook, is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle. The project has a script by Annie Mumolo, who with Kristen Wiig got Oscar nominations for scripting Bridesmaids. This is a rags-to-riches story of a woman who worked three jobs to support her kids and who overcame long odds to finally get her due with an invention that became an HSN sensation and allowed Mangano to clean up. It is a strong empowerment tale.

Related: OSCARS: David O. Russell On Nomination Hot Streak: “I Don’t Know If You Could Force It To Ever Happen Again”

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘12 O’Clock Boys’, ‘Peter Brook: The Tightrope’, ‘At Middleton’, ‘Best Night Ever’

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 5:23pm PST

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Oscilloscope may have the weekend’s biggest Specialty newcomer with 12 O’Clock Boys. The SXSW competition feature was a hit with audiences at the Austin, TX festival and played well there. It will have a fairly sizable opening for a documentary Friday. Anchor Bay’s At Middleton will play over a dozen runs. The Seattle International Film Festival premiere stars Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga in the romantic comedy. Other roll outs will be much more niche with First Run’s Peter Brook: The Tightrope targeting a New York theater/actor audience. Magnet’s Best Night Ever is an Ultra-VOD release that will have only one run outside the major markets before adding some playdates in the coming weeks.

12 O’Clock Boys12oclockboys
Director-writer: Lotfy Nathan
Subjects: Coco, Pug, Steven
Distributor: Oscilloscope

Documentary 12 O’Clock Boys was an in-demand choice at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival where it premiered in competition. The feature is a stylish look at the 12 O’Clock Boys, a group of teens from West Baltimore who illegally ride their bikes en masse through the streets. The film follows story of impressionable young Pug, who aspires to join them. “I hired [director] Lotfy Nathan based on a short film he did,” said producer Eric Blair of Mission Film. “The short film did not have the same characters. I asked him to continue shooting footage and see about turning it into a feature.” Blair also grew up in the neighborhoods where he saw the 12 O’Clock Boys ride. Blair was aware of their mantra “living free by riding free” and used that as inspiration to inject lush slow-motion scenes into Nathan’s feature. Read More »

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TCA: PBS Orders More ‘Women Who Make America’, Interviews Lena Dunham, Sarah Silverman, Shonda Rhimes

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 8:27am PST

PBS is partnering with AOL for six new one-hourTCA Deadline documentaries as part of its Makers: Women Who Make America franchise. Scheduled to premiere in June and August 2014, the docus build on the multi-platform initiative founded by filmmaker Dyllan McGee, which launched in 2012. The new series expands on the three-hour PBS documentary  of same name, which premiered in February 2013 and told the story of the American Makers: Women Who Make Americawomen’s movement over the last half-century. Kathy Griffin, former CIA agent Valerie Plame, former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and the producers of Makers are scheduled to discuss the project at the press tour tomorrow. Among those profiled in the docu-series are Lena Dunham, Chelsea Handler, Shonda Rhimes, and Sarah Silverman. Each of the new documentaries tackles a different sphere of influence, including business, war, space, Hollywood, politics and comedy. Read More »

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