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Paging Mr. Bill Murray: Toronto Wants To Honor You With ‘St Vincent’ Gala, But Cannot Find You

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 10:13am PDT
Mike Fleming

Paging Mr. Bill Murray: Toronto Wants To Honor You With ‘St Vincent’ Gala, But Cannot Find YouTo a distributor launching a prestige film in the fall, a berth in the first weekend of the Toronto Film Festival is like finding a Golden Ticket in a Wonka Bar. Toronto organizers want to do just that for the Ted Melfi-directed comedy St Vincent before its October 24 bow, and they also want to turn the premiere into a celebration honoring the work of its star, Bill Murray. Here’s the challenge: Nobody has been able to get hold of him. He has no agent, he’s got an attorney who’ll try to reach Murray, but even that is a problem because he apparently doesn’t have a cell phone. If this sounds far fetched, remember that Sony held up its Ghostbusters relaunch plans for about two years, waiting and hoping Murray would read the script and sign on (it’s unclear if he ever read it, but the studio got the message that he wasn’t interested in ghost busting and finally moved on). This St. Vincent is an exceptional project, and it’s a tour de force for Murray.

Related: Weinstein Co. Lands Bill Murray’s Next Film, ‘St. Vincent De Van Nuys’

billm__121120012707Melfi wrote it with input from Jack Nicholson, and when that iconic star said he just didn’t want to work anymore, he suggested Melfi chase Murray. I wrote in depth about how elusive Murray was, and then how spectacularly generous and engaged he became when he read Melfi’s script and sparked … Read More »

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‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ Broadcasts

‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ BroadcastsProducer David Binder, juggling the smash success of two star-driven Broadway revivals — Hedwig And The Angry Inch and Of Mice And Men — added another arrow to his quiver of successful producing tips this morning by announcing a deal has been struck making the Steinbeck drama, starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton, the first Broadway show to be filmed for telecast under the wing of the UK’s National Theatre Live.

The deal was made in a flurry of activity over the last several days, Wayne Wolfe, a spokesman for the show, told Deadline, including securing the OKs of Broadway’s particularly protective unions. Read More »

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Broadway Box Office: Summer Heats Up As ‘Lion’ Hits $2.4M, ‘Mice’ Breaks House Record At $929,000

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 12:47pm PDT

Broadway Box Office: Summer Heats Up As ‘Lion’ Hits $2.4M, ‘Mice’ Breaks House Record At $929,000Disney’s inexhaustible Lion King continued to roar last week, ringing up $2.43 million in ticket sales at the 1,700-seat Minskoff Theatre as Broadway jumped $2.23 million over the week before. Total receipts were $27,867, 272 for 29 shows for the week ending Sunday, as the Street bid farewell to Holler If Ya Hear Me and The Cripple Of Inishmaan. Both of those shows benefited from theatergoers knowing it was their final chance before bye-bye, translating into increases of $112,037 for Holler and $144,081 for Daniel Radcliffe’s Cripple, per figures released by the Broadway League trade group.

"What If" Screening - 2014 New York Film Critics SeriesAs reported earlier, several shows broke house records: At the Longacre, James Franco and Chris O’Dowd whipped Of Mice And Men up to $929,343, an increase of $66,481 over the week before. Hedwig And The Angry Inch  broke the Belasco house record for the fifth time, ringing up $1,088,660 in sales, a slight increase over the week before. And Beautiful: The Carole King Musical jumped $46,627 to $1,300,153 at the Sondheim.

Only one show posted a decline: If/Then, the Idina Menzel starrer, was off $27,115, to $773,533, about 60% of its gross potential at the Richard Rodgers and not a great sign for the rest of the summer. Longterm survivor Phantom Of The Opera was up an impressive $137,410 to $1,114,417 at the Majestic; Kinky Boots kicked up … Read More »

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The ‘Mice’ That Roared: Franco, O’Dowd, Meester Sets Broadway House Record; ‘Beautiful’ Too

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 8:51am PDT

The ‘Mice’ That Roared: Franco, O’Dowd, Meester Sets Broadway House Record; ‘Beautiful’ TooUPDATE: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical grossed $1.3 million, breaking the house record at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre for the 12th time in 36 weeks of performances.

Proving their chops as Broadway draws, James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton set a second house record last week as their run in the revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men comes to a close. The show grossed $929,888 for the week ending July 20, breaking its previous record of $897,851.00 for the week ending April 27. The show, which opened on April 16 at the Longacre Theatre and recouped its $3.8 million capitalization after 12 weeks, ends its limited run this Sunday.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.08.51 AMThe success of Mice, staged by Anna D. Shapiro, underscores the value of smart marketing, stalwart producing and, essentially, great word-of-mouth, all of which urged the show — hardly your typical breezy summer fare — to must-see status. The producers are David Binder, Kate Lear, Darren Bagert, Adam Zotovich, Latitude Link/Piedmont Productions, Raise the Roof, Paula Marie Black, Marc Turtletaub, Ruth Hendel/Barbara Whitman, Marianne Mills/Jayne Baron Sherman, Martin Massman, Judy Kent/Wendy Knudsen, Kevin Niu, Michael Watt and The Shubert Organization. 101 Productions, Ltd are the executive producers.

More Broadway box office news will come this afternoon.

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Broadway Box Office: Slow But Steady, ‘Mice’, ‘Cripple’ Leap $100K-plus

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 12:00pm PDT

Broadway Box Office: Slow But Steady, ‘Mice’, ‘Cripple’ Leap $100K-plusUPDATE: CORRECTED FIGURES The Broadway League released corrected figures for Cabaret that changed the weekly totals. Correct figures  are: Week 7 of the Broadway season held fairly steady over the previous week, showing a gain of $517,224 over the week before to a total take of $25,634,839, according to figures released by the trade group the Broadway League

More than half the uptick came from increases for two star-driven dramas. Of Mice And Men, featuring James Franco and  Chris O’Dowd in the John Steinbeck revival, took in $862,862, an increase of $107,506 over the week before at the Longacre  Theatre, with nearly every one of its 1,073 seats filled for all eight performances. Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple Of Inishmaan, at the 1,073-seat Cort, was up $129,241 to $596,630. That’s 61% of its $970,200 gross potential; the show played to 85 percent of capacity.

Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, AWalter Kerr TheatreTony best musical winner A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder gained again, by $14,841, to $901,681 and played to full houses. Also at or near SRO: Aladdin, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Matilda, Newsies, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King (which advanced again, to a Street-topping tally of $2,151,409), and Wicked.

Total season-to-date gross was $196,147,592, up 17.7% from the same week last season. Priciest average ducat was Book Of Mormon ($185.25), followed by Lion King ($160.74) Beautiful ($151.87)  and Hedwig ($148.66).

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Hot Trailer: Bill Murray As Childhood Mentor In Weinstein Co.’s ‘St. Vincent’

By | Tuesday July 1, 2014 @ 5:23pm PDT

Hot Trailer: Bill Murray As Childhood Mentor In Weinstein Co.’s ‘St. Vincent’If you’re a young boy in need of someone to look up to, well, there’s no one like Bill Murray.  While he played a flawed elder to Jason Schwartzman’s smart aleck ex-private school student in Rushmore,  here we find Murray in the Walter Matthau-like curmudgeon role as St. Vincent de Van Nuys, who endearingly tends to Oliver, the young boy next door, by exposing him to horse track gambling, strippers and boxing.  Written and directed by Theodore Melfi, St Vincent opens stateside on October 24 and stars Melissa McCarthy as Oliver’s straight-laced single mom, Chris O’Dowd as the boy’s Catholic School teacher and Naomi Watts hamming it up as Vincent’s stripper girlfriend.

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‘Mice’ Man James Franco Will Make Stage Directing Debut Off-Off-Broadway

By | Monday June 16, 2014 @ 2:00pm PDT

‘Mice’ Man James Franco Will Make Stage Directing Debut Off-Off-BroadwayNot content to be starring with Chris O’Dowd on Broadway in a revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, James Franco is simultaneously directing the world premiere of The Long Shrift for the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, a highly regarded off-off-Broadway company based in Greenwich Village. Novelist Robert Boswell’s play concerns the return home of a teenage boy after serving nine years for rape. Show is slated to run July 7-August 23 at the company’s home base at 224 Waverly Place.

The company’s “special summer season” will continue with Phoenix, a love story in which Julia Stiles will star with James Wirt about a couple in the aftermath of a one-night stand. Jennifer DeLia will direct the show, running July 28 through August 23 at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

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Broadway B.O. Gets Pre-Tony Boost; James Franco, Chris O’Dowd’s Mighty `Mice’ Recoups $3.8M

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Broadway Box Office Report

Big family musical 'Aladdin' saw a big bump in ticket sales without running away with a bunch of awards. Some of the smaller plays might not feel the same surge. Deadline's Jeremy Gerard and Dominic Patten discuss.

Broadway had a healthy runup to Sunday’s Tony Awards, as the total box office hit $28.3 million, an increase of $445,000 over the week before. Disney’s Aladdin took in $1.28 million (and a Tony for Genie James Monroe Iglehart),American Theatre Wing's 68th Annual Tony Awards - Press Room its best week to date, and heads into the summer tourist season with a hefty $18 million advance, according to sources. Producer David Binder also had a great week: Not only did his hit Hedwig And The Angry Inch bring home four Tonys including best musical revival and best lead actor in a musical for Neil Patrick Harris, but his revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, fueled by stars James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton, recouped its $3.8 million capitalizations with seven weeks to go on its limited run. Read More »

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CANNES UPDATE: Weinstein Co To Unspool Footage From Host Of Fall Films On Friday

the-weinstein-company-logo-1__140502172505-275x153UPDATE, FRIDAY AM: I’ve just gotten word that added to the below will be a new promo for Macbeth. Justin Kurzel’s version of the Shakespeare tale stars Michael Fassbender as the iconic eponymous antihero and Marion Cotillard as his scheming Lady.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: In what’s become a highly anticipated annual event, The Weinstein Co is gearing up for tomorrow’s screening of first-look footage from its upcoming films. Two years ago, TWC first rented a plush room in the Majestic Hotel to show about 20 Cannes2014_badgeminutes of three of its 2012 awards contenders: Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook and The Master. It was a prescient move that got the awards conversation started. Last year, the reel was bumped up to 40 minutes and included clips from such pics as The Butler, The Grandmaster, One Chance, Fruitvale Station, August: Osage County and Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. Harvey Weinstein has increasingly used this invite-only Cannes reception as a platform to tout the company’s slate and whet the appetite for releases later in the year. He’s also trotted out talent from the movies. This year’s event, co-hosted by Worldview Entertainment, goes down tomorrow at the Majestic replete with cocktails and a special press conference.

Related: Cannes: Matthew McConaughey Talks First Movie Since Oscar Win

begin againAmong those set for the preview reel are Toronto sensation Begin Again, the John Carney-directed pic starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld and Adam Levine. Ivanhoe Pictures and Beijing Galloping Horse just acquired the Chinese theatrical and all platform rights. It opens in North America and Europe this summer. Also due is a new trailer from The Giver, the feature adaptation of Lois Lowry’s dystopian young-adult novel that stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard, the disappearance of eleanor rigbyKatie Holmes and Taylor Swift. It releases in August. Also with an August release, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is getting a teaser trailer, and animated soccer movie Underdogs is screening a new trailer. Un Certain Regard title The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby is unspooling a new trailer. The movie screens in UCR on Saturday in the third version to appear at a festival after two versions played Toronto, one titled Him and the other Her. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain star as a married couple whose relationship disintegrates.

Related: How New Version Of  ‘Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby’ Found Its Way To Cannes

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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Chef’, ‘Palo Alto’, ‘God’s Pocket’, ‘The Double’, ‘Queen Margot’

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 6:01pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)Specialties boasting stars are certainly in abundance among this weekend’s crop of newcomers. SXSW Film Festival opener Chef  by and starring Jon Favreau along with Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson and even Dustin Hoffman begins its run Friday in limited release via Open Road Films. Another Coppola will see a film hit a theatrical run as well. Gia Coppola’s directorial debut Palo Alto, based on short stories written by James Franco (who also stars) also bows courtesy of Tribeca Film. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in IFC Films’ God’s Pocket by Mad Men director (and actor) John Slattery, while Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in Richard Ayoade’s The Double for Magnolia Pictures. And Cohen Media Group will open the re-release of French filmmaker Patrice Chéreau’s 1994 feature Queen Margot in New York before heading to other U.S. locations.

Chefchef
Director-writer: Jon Favreau
Cast: Jon Favreau, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Emjay Anthony, Dustin Hoffman, Sofía Vergara, Oliver Platt, Amy Sedaris
Distributor: Open Road Films

Open Road cooked up its acquisition of Chef while it was still in the script stage, though it did not produce the film. The 2014 SXSW Film Festival opening-night comedy revolves around a chef who loses his restaurant job and starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while putting back together his estranged family.Favreau had tapped on the talents of Food Truck guru Roy Choi to make sure authenticity was in tact.”He’s back to his indie roots and you can feel the passion,” said Open Road’s president of marketing Jason Cassidy. Read More »

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`Theatre World’ Awards Salute Bryan Cranston, Chris O’Dowd Broadway Bows

By | Tuesday May 6, 2014 @ 8:16am PDT

85th Annual Academy Awards - ArrivalsBryan Cranston, starring on Broadway as LBJ in Robert Schenkkan’s All The Way, and Chris O’Dowd, co-starring with James Franco in the Broadway revival of Of Mice And Men, were among the winners of Theatre World‘s 70th annual awards this morning. Kudos give the nod to outstanding Broadway and off-Broadway debuts. Also cited were Mary Bridget Davies, whose uncanny imitation of Janis Joplin recently aborted its Broadway-to-off-Broadway move, and Zachary Levi, who debuted in the Broadway tuner First Date. The Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theatre went to Celia Keenan-Bolger, Laura in the Tony-nominated revival of The Glass Menagerie. Canadian thesp Christopher Plummer got the John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement. Willis was the founder and longtime editor of Theatre World and Screen World seasonal compendia. The awards will be handed out at a June 2 ceremony at Circle In The Square Theatre. A complete list of winners follows: Read More »

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Tony Noms’ Many Celebrity Snubs Leaves CBS Mulling What Might Have Been

By | Tuesday April 29, 2014 @ 10:03am PDT

CBS scored a big one thisThe 2014 Tony Awards Nominations Ceremony morning when Bryan Cranston was announced as being among the nominees for a Tony Award this year. The Breaking Bad star received his first Tony nomination, for best actor in a play, for his performance in All The Way, which CBS hopes will drive some Cranston/non-theater fans to the traditionally low-ish-rated trophy show broadcast. But a slew of celebrity snubs at the Tony noms unveiling made it a somewhat disappointing morning for the network, which could have been looking at possible record ratings for the awards show had this morning’s list turned out otherwise. Among the network’s bigger disappointments: Denzel Washington, for instance, was considered a front-runner to snag a nom for A Raisin In The Sun. Also among the impressive list of Those Snubbed: Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Craig, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James Franco, Michael C. Hall, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz. Read More »

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68th Tony Nominations Make 2013-2014 The Year Of The Actor

UPDATED WITH ANALYSIS AND FULL LIST OF NOMINEES: The Tony nominations announced this morning made one thing quite clear:  On Broadway, it’s been the season of the actor. Especially the year of the actor in drag.

Jefferson MaysGENTLEMAN-articleLarge was nominated for playing more roles than I can count in the amusing musical murder thriller A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder. British actor Mark Rylance came away with two nominations, one for his performance as a twisted king, in Richard III, a second for his performance as a lovestruck countess, in Twelfth Night.

Broadway and TV favorite Neil Patrick Harris is in the running for his title foray "Hedwig And The Angry Inch" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain Callin Hedwig And The Angry Inch, playing a sort-of transgender sort-of rock star. Audra McDonald is looking for her sixth Tony, for her astonishing performances as Billie Holiday in Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill. If she wins, she will have landed in the very exclusive club whose members have won Tony Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress and Featured Actress in both plays and musicals, starting with her first win, for Carousel, in 1994.

Gentleman’s Guide led the pack with 10 nominations, including Best Musical, score, book and direction. James Lapine’s heartfelt dramatization of Act One, Broadway legend Moss Hart’s celebrated autobiography, took the most nominations for Best Play, though Lapine was overlooked for his staging of the show at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont.
Read More »

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NY Theater Awards Season Heats Up With Drama Desk Nominations

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 2:50pm PDT

DramaDeskAwardsThe Drama Desk announced nominations this morning for the 59th edition of its awards ceremony, which will take place June 1 at The Town Hall in NYC. The group, which includes writers, editors, academics and others, can take credit for its refusal to segregate Broadway from its off- and off-off- siblings, and therefore reflects a wider range of choices (and quality) than the Theater District-only Tonys. (The nominations also guarantee the group a high-profile in display advertisement in the run-up to the Tony Awards.) And so, for example, the competition for Best Musical includes not only Broadway’s Rocky, Aladdin, The Bridges Of Madison County, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder but also the Public Theater’s well-received productions of Fun Home and Love’s Labour’s Lost. Best Play nominees include Broadway’s Outside Mullingar and All The Way as well as five plays presented off-Broadway. Here’s the complete list of nominees:

Related: ‘Violet’ & ‘Hedwig’ Ineligible For Tony Best Musical Category

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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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UPDATE: Intl Box Office: ‘Need For Speed’ Adds $29.2M For No. 1; ‘Noah’ Reigns In Mexico & Korea With $14M; ‘Peabody & Sherman’ Crosses $100M; ‘Spanish Affairs’ Muy Caliente; Asian Pics Advance; More

Highlights: Noah (PAR) floods Mexico and Korea with opening cume of $14M; Muppets Most Wanted (DIS) scores $1.5M in eight debut markets; Need For Speed (DIS/var) drives another $29.2M; 300: Rise Of An Empire (WB) seizes further $21.2M; Mr Peabody & Sherman (FOX) at $103M; Rio 2 (FOX) flies to $10.5M in Russia/Ukraine; The Grand Budapest Hotel (FOX) has extra room for $9.7M; Frozen (DIS) nearing Toy Story 3‘s record; Uni’s 8 Apellidos Vascos (aka Spanish Affairs) still seducing Spain; trio of Asian pics enters Top 20…

cinemaworld6TH UPDATE, MON, 12:43 PM PT: Final numbers are in now for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Monuments Men as well as Ride Along, 300: Rise of an Empire and The Lego Movie (which grossed more than previously thought). Final numbers also came in Monday night for Oscar Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave which added another $3.9M to raise its international cume to $121.7M, most of its gross has come from the U.K. with $32.7M; the film has made $178M worldwide. Lionsgate opened Divergent in 18 international markets, but are not releasing numbers as yet. We are using Rentrak which has five small territories (see below for more info on that). Lionsgate, as they always do, pre-licensed international so there are many distributors handling the film in their prospective territories. The big territory rollout for Divergent will be April 4 in the U.K., Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Mexico, and Finland, followed April 11 by France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Read More »

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Jim Piddock Joins Britpop Comedy Adaptation ‘Kill Your Friends’

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 11:11am PST

Jim piddockEXCLUSIVE: English actor and writer Jim Piddock has been cast in the dark comedy Kill Your Friends, based on the novel by John Niven. BAFTA-nominated Owen Harris (Holy Flying Circus) directs the pic about an A&R man (X-Men‘s Nicholas Hoult) during the Britpop music wave of the late ’90s who goes to extremes to find the next hit. Piddock, a frequent Christopher Guest player, will play Derek Sommers, the managing director of the record label. Author Niven adapted his own screenplay for Kill Your Friends, which Gregor Cameron and Will Clarke are producing. Piddock next appears in Think Like A Man Too with Kevin Hart. He and Guest co-created last year’s HBO original series Family Tree, in which they also appeared opposite Chris O’Dowd. Piddock is repped by Lighthouse Entertainment, United Agents, and AEF.

Related: Jim Piddock Cast In E! Pilot ‘The Royals’

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Hot Trailer: Richard Ayoade’s ‘The Double’

By | Friday February 28, 2014 @ 4:24pm PST

Magnolia has dropped a new trailer for The Double. Richard Ayoade directed and co-wrote with Avi Korine and Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in the adaptation of Dostoevsky’s doppelganger tale. Eisenberg plays Simon, a timid, isolated man who’s overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams (Wasikowska). The arrival of a new co-worker, James (also played by Eisenberg), serves to upset the balance. Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Cathy Moriarty, Chris O’Dowd, Sally Hawkins, Craig Roberts and Paddy Considine also star. The Double premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Magnolia releases the pic in theaters and iTunes/OnDemand on May 9.

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HBO’s ‘Family Tree’ Will Not Be Renewed, ‘Hello Ladies’ Will Wrap Run With Special, ‘Getting On’ Eyes Second Season Pickup

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 12:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Getting OnHBO is making decisions on the three new comedy series that premiered last year. The pay cable network has opted not to order a second season of Family Tree. Also not going to second season is Hello Ladies, which will wrap the story of Stuart Pritchard (Stephen Merchant) and his group of friends with a special — similar to the way HBO ended Ricky Gervais’ Life’s Too Short. There is no final decision on medical comedy Getting On but it is expected to get a second-season renewal pending the sorting out of budget issues.

hbo45__130924185923-275x112__140114010318Unlike HBO’s dramas, which in many cases are big crowd-pleasers like True Blood and Game Of Thrones, its comedies, by design, have been very specific. None of the three freshman 2013 series – all with strong British pedigrees — have been as noisy as Girls for example, but they have been relatively well received (especially Getting On), and their viewership deliveries have been OK for the price point. Christopher Guest’s Family Tree, starring Chris O’Dowd, was originally designed for an arc. I hear being a co-producing with the BBC made a second installment even more complicated, contributing to HBO’s decision not to go forward. Read More »

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