I listened as the radio team of Opie & Anthony got sacked from WNEW-FM radio in 2002 after they launched a Sex for Sam stunt. They sent couples across Manhattan competing to have sex in the most outrageous public place and the hosts got sacked after one randy couple chose St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave. It wasn’t their first pink slip, but when the duo signed with SiriusXM, I didn’t think Opie & Anthony would ever get fired again. The satellite radio format allows them to use every cuss word imaginable; same for fellow host Howard Stern. For raunchy content, they are outdone by the explicit sex shows hosted by porn stars on the satellite radio dial, where nothing is out of bounds. Despite this, co-host Anthony Cumia managed to find a way to get fired by SiriusXM anyway, not for radio content but for taking to his personal Twitter account to vilify a woman in foul mouthed fashion that he says punched him when she objected to being in the frame of photos he was taking in Manhattan late at night. Cumia, often a very funny comedian and impressionist who personifies the low-tolerance-cranky white guy on the O&A show, let loose a stream of epithets that insulted her gender, wished her dead, and also identified her as being black. And then betrayed deep-seated prejudice in an ensuing series of hate-filled rants when he received critical reactions. SiriusXM fired him after his Twitter posts made headlines.
This year’s Oscar host says The Ellen DeGeneres Show will air live Monday March 3, the day after The Academy Awards. Ellen DeGeneres warns she’ll “be delirious from staying up all night long. Not really sure what condition I’ll be in. I may be in my pajamas. I sleep naked.” DeGeneres, who made the announcement on her show today, also notes ‘Ellen’ has only aired live “maybe twice in 11 years”. This will be DeGeneres’ second time hosting the Oscars. She also hosted in 2007. Here’s the clip posted on her YouTube channel:
Palm Springs, CA (December 20, 2013) – The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) announces its complete line-up including Galas, Premieres and New Voices/New Visions. The Festival will launch on Friday, January 3 with the U.S. Premiere of opening night film Belle directed by Amma Asante, and screenings playing throughout the day. The Festival will wrap on Sunday, January 12 with Le Week-End directed by Roger Michell. 187 films from 60 countries, including 77 premieres (8 world, 22 North American and 47 U.S.), will unspool at the Festival, running from January 3-13, 2014 in Palm Springs, California.
“This year’s lineup is particularly diverse in theme and content, encompassing vintage work by established directors alongside auspicious debuts by a vast number of newly emerging talents,” said Festival Director Darryl Macdonald. “The overall quality of the films vividly reflects the banner year we’ve seen in Cinema worldwide, with a trend towards more personal, character-driven stories that defy easy genre labels, making for a much richer, more satisfying cinematic experience.”
“We launch our 25th anniversary edition with Amma Asante’s entertaining and inspiring Belle and wrap with Roger Michell’s enchanting tragi-comic Le Week-end (starring Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent), thus illustrating the festival’s commitment to celebrating the work of both emerging and seasoned filmmakers,” said Artistic Director Helen du Toit. “A further pool of exciting new talent is featured in our New Voices/New Visions showcase – which bodes extremely well for the future of international cinema. In addition we will present an archival program of 7 audience favorites, including an outdoor screening of Cinema Paradiso. Many of our archival selections went on to win the foreign language Oscar® making our audience a harbinger of award winners and box office success.”
The Festival will open with the US premiere screening of Belle (UK), followed by a reception at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Directed by Amma Asante, Belle is a period drama inspired by the life of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a Captain in the Royal Navy, stationed in the Caribbean. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sarah Gadon, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sam Reid, Tom Felton, Matthew Goode, Penelope Wilton and Miranda Richardson. Director Asante is expected to attend the film screening.
Closing the Festival is Le Week-End (UK), directed by Roger Michell. The film stars Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as an old married couple looking to rekindle their love affair with Paris and with one another in this spiky, self-lacerating comedy.
EXCLUSIVE: Bro comedy Flock of Dudes wants to power forward with NBA star Blake Griffin, who is being courted for a role in the indie pic now filming in LA. Film may be a natural fit for the 24-year-old Griffin, who’s earned a huge social media following by engaging off court with fans at @BlakeGriffin32, a Twitter feed I like to call “Blake Griffin Wow!” Griffin has appeared as himself in numerous commercials and shorts for Funny Or Die. And the 6’10″ Clippers standout has been accused of displaying some keen acting skills on the court. Flock of Dudes would mark Griffin’s film debut playing a version of himself. He’s repped by Excel Sports Management.
Meanwhile, Big Bang Theory/The Office/True Blood alum Melissa Rauch is joining the cast after putting in a fan-pleasing emceeing turn at the Big Bang Theory‘s Comic-Con panel last week. Her film credits include You Are Here, I Love You Man and Delirious. She is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and Peikoff Mahan Law Office. Flock Of Dudes stars Chris D’elia as a thirtysomething who breaks up with his best buds in order to grow up.
Fantasia Fest 2013 Lines Up Edgar Wright’s ‘The World’s End,’ ‘The Conjuring,’ Lloyd Kaufman’s ‘Return To Nuke ‘Em High’
The annual Fantasia Film Festival held in Montreal has announced its first wave of 2013 titles and closing night film, Edgar Wright‘s The World’s End. The British comedy will make its Canadian debut at the fest which runs July 18-August 6 showcasing international features, special events, conferences, and its second annual genre co-production market. Focus Features releases The World’s End, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in an unofficial follow-up to Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, on August 23. The fest will also screen WB‘s horror hit hopeful The Conjuring on Opening Night. This year’s edition features a special three-night live theater engagement of Clive Barker’s play A History of the Devil and will honor Polish filmmaker Andrzej Żuławski (Possession, La Femme Publique, L’amour Braque) with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Here’s the first wave of Fantasia Fest 2013 programming with more TBA:
Edgar Wright’s The World’s End (Canadian Premiere)
Fantasia 2013 will come wildly to a close on the night of August 6 with the Canadian premiere of UK filmmaker Edgar Wright’s hotly anticipated apocalyptic comedy THE WORLD’S END, starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike and Martin Freeman.
Clive Barker’s A History of the Devil
Fantasia will again be delving into the realm of live theatre with a special three-night engagement of Title 66 Productions’ acclaimed adaptation of Clive Barker’s play, A HISTORY OF THE DEVIL. An epic show to stage, HISTORY weaves a tale told across thousands of years over the span of a near-three-hour running time. Director Jeremy Michael Segal and his team have created a macabre mounting that writhes with visual invention and primal acrobatics of performance.
Drafthouse Films has added another curio to their eclectic slate. They’ve unearthed 1979′s The Visitor, a phantasmagorical sci-fi oddity starring Lance Henriksen, Mel Ferrer, Shelley Winters, Franco Nero, and iconic film directors John Huston and Sam Peckinpah in the tale of an alien Christ figure battling a demonic 8-year-old girl and her pet hawk for the fate of the universe. One of the crop of Hollywood knockoffs that proliferated in Italian cinema in the 1970s and ’80s, the Italy/US co-production from producer Ovidio G. Assonitis and bodybuilder-turned-director Michael J. Paradise mashes elements of The Omen, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, and Star Wars in what Drafthouse Creative Director Evan Husney describes as “joyfully delirious” experience. The Austin-based distributor has plans for a theatrical, home video and VOD/digital release later in the year from an HD restoration of the film. The bizarre pic has been a must-see on the late night circuit for genre devotees for years. COO James Emanuel Shapiro negotiated the deal on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Fabrizio Giona on behalf of the film’s rights holder, producer Ovidio G. Assonitis.
AMC Confirms ‘Talking Bad’ After Show; Sets ‘Breaking Bad’ Return Date; Renews ‘Talking Dead’ & ‘Comic Book Men’; Unveils Development Slate, Rolin Jones Overall Deal
AMC is making a slew of announcements at its upfront today. The cable network confirmed it will launch Talking Bad, a live companion after show to the final installment of Breaking Bad. It announced premiere dates for several new and returning series, including the last eight episodes of Breaking Bad, which will kick off August 11, a slew of scripted and unscripted projects in development, including Ballistic City and Ashland, an overall deal with writer Rolin Jones, and renewals of after show Talking Dead and reality series Comic Book Men and Freakshow. Here are the details:
AMC will air a special weekly, half-hour live after show to accompany the conclusion of its Emmy Award-winning series, Breaking Bad. Talking Bad will analyze and dissect every detail of Breaking Bad’s final eight episodes beginning Sunday, August 11. Talking Bad will air at 11 PM, and will be produced by Michael Davies’ Embassy Row with Sony Pictures Television serving as the studio partner.
AFM Roundup Day 3: Sierra/Affinity To Sell Paramount’s ‘Flight’ And ‘Pain And Gain’; Image Acquires Christian Slater-Starrer ‘Stranded’,'Samsara’ VOD Rights To Freestyle
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Sales and finance company Sierra/Affinity has picked up international sales rights in certain territories for Paramount’s Denzel Washington-starrer Flight and the upcoming Michael Bay-directed Pain And Gain, the companies announced today at the American Film Market. Sierra/Affinity is handing select territories for Flight, which opens domestically today, The company also will sell to Spain and the CIS region for the crime thriller Pain And Gain, which opens in the U.S. on April 26. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Ed Harris star….
Image Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to the sci-fi thriller Stranded starring Christian Slater. Roger Christian directed the pic produced by Minds Eye Entertainment in association with Moving Pictures Media. Kevin DeWalt, Mark Montague and Isabella Battiston produced the movie, about four astronauts on a moonbase who are struck by meteors with spores that can replicate, and soon a presence on board begins to target them. Brendan Fehr, Amy Matysio and Michael Therriault co-star….
Digital Media has acquired digital and TV rights to Samsara, the documentary from Baraka filmmakers Mark Magidson and Ron Fricke. The film has grossed more than $2 million at the domestic box office since its opening August 31 via Oscilloscope Pictures, making it the distributor’s most successful release to date. Filmed over a period of almost five years in 25 countries, the dialogue-free docu looks at sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. Freestyle will release the film on VOD beginning January 8….
Relativity Media has closed a new foreign output deal with leading Thailand distributor Sahamongkol Film International to oversee the distribution of Relativity’s feature films in Thailand through 2015. The slate includes the upcoming Movie 43, Safe Haven, 21 and Over, Malavita and Turkeys. It also renewed output deals with distributors from Turkey, Middle East and Eastern Europe….
Los Angeles, CA (November 1, 2012)— AKA and Bow Street Films announced today that they will merge into a new production outfit that will be named AKA/Bow Street Films (AKA/BSF). The new entity will allow filmmakers at the company to make high quality films for under $3 million. The slate at AKA/Bow Street Films will consist of two primary tranches of films, all with budgets between $500k and $3 million: genre films such as suspense, thriller, horror and contained action and, second, dramatic features of upcoming directors with strong casts that are made for a sensible price.
EXCLUSIVE: Don Mischer will get to produce a TV special starring Eddie Murphy after all. Mischer, who produced this year’s Academy Awards that had Murphy attached as host early on, will executive produce a televised tribute to the comedy actor, which will air on Spike TV. Titled Eddie Murphy: One Night Only, the event will tape on Saturday, November 3 at the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles for a broadcast on Nov. 16 on Spike TV. The special will mark 30 years since the release of Murphy’s famous stand-up special Delirious! and the film 48 Hrs., which made him a movie star.
It will highlight Murphy’s career from a 15-year-old aspiring comedian to a Saturday Night Live breakout and a comedy feature superstar and will feature Murphy’s co-stars from many of his films including 48 Hrs., Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, Coming To America, The Nutty Professor, Shrek, and Dreamgirls. The two-hour show will include short films, musical performances and sketch comedy, culminating in an appearance by Murphy.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
When IFC and Sundance Channel president Evan Shapiro departed his post in April, the forthcoming IFC original comedy Bullet In The Face lost its biggest champion. And champions are exactly what a show like Bullet needs considering that the broad, over-the-top half-hour may be the most violent comedy in television history. According to sources, when IFC execs screened the six-episode series, there was shock and nervousness in the room. And now the controversial Bullet, which was not mentioned during IFC’s upfront presentation in March, is being scheduled in a very odd pattern: three episodes back-to-back on two consecutive nights, August 16 and August 17, from 10 PM-11:30 PM.
The uncertainty of what to do with Bullet In The Face is understandable. While its first three screened episodes show it to be uproarious and twisted, it’s also rife with cinematic-level violence and wildly politically incorrect imagery. It stars Canadian actor Max Williams as Gunter Vogler, a brutally psychopathic, deliriously misogynistic German assassin-turned-cop. The character is utterly without conscience or filter, shooting people indiscriminately and accompanying it with radically offensive invective. The blood spurts freely and often. Eric Roberts and Eddie Izzard co-star as wacko mob bosses. But here is the kind of stuff that may have spooked IFC into turning Bullet into a two-night event rather than a weekly series: We see Gunter in a church using a crucifix as a backscratcher and casually lumping former VP Dick Cheney with Hitler and Stalin in conversation. He mows down basketball players on a court as if taking target practice. It isn’t difficult to see watchdog groups taking offense at the material and using it to demonize IFC.
More titles slated for the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival were revealed Thursday. The 11th-annual event unveiled films screening in its Spotlight and genre-centered Cinemania section as well as Special Screenings and its Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival lineup. Spotlight includes 34 films, 22 narratives and 12 documentaries, with 19 films having their world premieres. Seven narratives make up the international group of Tribeca’s Cinemania titles. Earlier this week, the festival released its competition slate. The 2012 festival is April 18-29 in New York. Here are the latest titles:
2 Days in New York, directed and written by Julie Delpy. (France) – New York Premiere, Narrative. This deliriously witty follow-up to 2 Days in Paris finds Marion (writer/director Julie Delpy) living a comfortable life in New York with her latest hipster boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock, brilliantly playing it straight), and their two young kids from prior relationships. A riotous comedy of cultural errors ensues when Marion’s totally unhinged, gleefully unfiltered family arrives from Paris to meet Mingus for the first time. In English, French with subtitles. A Magnolia Pictures release.
Any Day Now, directed by Travis Fine, written by Travis Fine and George Arthur Bloom. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In the late 1970s, when a mentally handicapped teenager is abandoned, a gay couple takes him in and becomes the family he’s never had. But once the unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to love as their own. Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt star in TFF alum Travis Fine’s (The Space Between) touching and occasionally incendiary drama.
Beverly Hills, CA — Oscar® nominee Eddie Murphy, whose performing career spans movies, television and the stage, will host this year’s Academy Awards show on Sunday, February 26, 2012, telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today. This will be Murphy’s first hosting stint on the Oscars®.
“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” said Ratner. “With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances – especially on stage – I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show Don and I want to produce in February.”
Commented Mischer, “Eddie is a truly ground-breaking performer, whose amazingly diverse array of roles has won him a devoted audience of all ages. His quick wit and charisma will serve him very well as Oscar host.”
“I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others,” said Murphy. “I’m looking forward to working with Brett and Don on creating a show that is enjoyable for both the fans at home and for the audience at the Kodak Theatre as we all come together to celebrate and recognize the great film contributions and collaborations from the past year.”
UPDATED: X-M3 Busts Record For Biggest Mem Weekend Opening Ever; But Da Vinci Bigger Overseas and Set for Half-Billion $$$ Gross Worldwide This Week
3rd Update: *So here’s one for the record books! The superhero movie X-Men 3: The Last Stand had a superheroic gross of $120.1 million for the biggest opening ever for a U.S. Memorial Weekend. The comic book franchise also posted the 4th best three-day opening ever and second-biggest one-day gross ever on Friday. Needless to say, 20th Century Fox was super-delirious over the box office, which far exceeded their expectations for the holiday.*
2nd UPDATE: *X-Men 3 boasted the fourth biggest U.S. opening weekend of all time behind only Spider-Man, two Star Wars, and Shrek 2. But Da Vinci Code continued to surpass X-M3 overseas ($91 mil to $76 mil) and will hit the magic $500 million mark worldwide later this week. Domestically, the 20th Century Fox comic book movie grossed $107 million dollars, after earning an estimated $45.5 mil on Friday, $32 mil on Saturday and $29 mil on Sunday. Sony’s religious thriller stayed steady, earning $10.2 mil for Friday, $12.4 mil Saturday and $10.8 mil Sunday, for a 3-day second-weekend-out total of $136 mil. To date, Da Vinci has racked up over $465 mil worldwide since opening a little more than a week ago, $320 mil of it from international. The foreign front was bolstered by huge holds in Europe and Japan. Belgium was down only 2% from its opening weekend, Holland just 9%, Germany 18%, Japan 19%, and France 30%. Before Da Vinci opened, Sony execs were praying for a $500 mil summer. Now, they’re doing that boffo box office by the end of Week #2.*…