Fox Buys Pitch For Its ‘Chronicle’ And ‘Fantastic Four’ Star Michael B. Jordan

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Fox has closed a deal for Men Who Kill, a pitch 2014 CinemaCon - The Big Screen Achievement Awardsby T.J. Fixman that will be developed as a star vehicle for fast-rising Michael B. Jordan. The tone of the film is an international Bad Boys and it gives the studio another project with Jordan, who comes off his breakout role in Fruitvale Station and heads into the Fantastic Four reboot after previously starring in the Fox sleeper Chronicle.

20th_century_fox_logoAfter starring as a teen in the iconic TV series The Wire and Friday Night Lights, Jordan is making the transition to adulthood among a handful of young actors vying to be in the next generation of bankable leading men. This is the first action thriller vehicle being developed specifically for Jordan, who is separately attached to play Apollo Creed’s grandson in a new version of Rocky that will re-team him with Fruitvale Station writer-director Ryan Coogler. Read More »

Comments 39

Cannes: Official Selection Buzz Sharpens (& Sprawls) Ahead Of Thursday’s Reveal

22x30_Cannes2014On Thursday, Thierry Frémaux will unveil the lineup for the 67th running of the Cannes Film Festival. Speculation, comme d’habitude, has been rife for at least the past month as to which titles may make the trip to the Croisette. While one exec with movies in contention says, “It’s going to the wire this year,” some contenders are coming into sharper focus. Although nothing is confirmed until Frémaux says so, among the titles I hear consistently cited as near faits-accomplis are DreamWorks Animation‘s How To Train Your Dragon 2; the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night with Marion Cotillard; Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher; Mike Leigh‘s Mr Turner; Tommy Lee JonesThe Homesman; and David Cronenberg‘s Maps To The Stars. There are many, many more required to fill the Competition, Out-of-Competition, Un Certain Regard, Special Screenings and other sections. Here’s a primer for what’s looking likely, and what isn’t, to make the cut in an official category on Thursday:

Related: Cannes: 67th Fest Poster Celebrates Marcello Mastroianni In Fellini’s ‘8 1/2’

We know that Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco is the opening-night film. French distributor grace of monacoGaumont is planning a classic Cannes soirée which will follow the official screening and dinner on May 14. In other certainties, French debut feature Party Girl is opening the Un Certain Regard sidebar; a less showy title than 2013’s Bling Ring, but one that fits with UCR jury president Pablo Trapero’s take on the section this year. Jane Campion, the only woman ever to win a Palme d’Or (for The Piano in 1993), is president of the Competition jury whose other members will be revealed shortly.

how-to-train-your-dragonAmong the high-profile Hollywood titles expected is DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon sequel, which I hear is getting a special screening. The studio isn’t commenting, but DWA and Cannes have a long history – going back to when Frémaux took over the selection in 2001 and caused a stir by putting Shrek in the Competition. We’ve heard that Frémaux has put a full-court press on Paul Thomas Anderson to get Inherent Vice (Warner Bros) to the festival. But with a release date at the end of 2014, this could be a long shot, and some I’ve spoken with believe it won’t be ready for next month. Some wonder if Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys jersey boyscould make the trip. Eastwood has been to Cannes several times before and is esteemed by Frémaux who gave him the inaugural Lumière Prize in 2009 at the October festival he oversees in Lyon with Bertrand Tavernier. Although I’m told Jersey Boys isn’t a typical Cannes film, I wouldn’t fully rule it out — it’s also got a timely June release. Read More »

Comments (8)

UPDATE: Paradigm & Frank Balkin Reach Agreement On Balkin’s Exit To WPA

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 8:55am PDT

UPDATE, 8:55 AM: It wasn’t an easy break-up, but Frank Balkin confirms he and Paradigm have resolved their differences and he is now officially aboard at Worldwide Production Agency. Here’s Balkin’s statement: “I am thrilled to announce that I’ve joined Worldwide Production Agency as Partner and Head of Television. My colleague Brian Goldberg is making the transition as well, and both of us are ecstatic to be working with Steve Jacob, Richard Caleel, and the rest of our fantastic teammates at WPA as we collectively take the premiere agency for producers and production artisans to even greater heights.”

empphoto_9021_1265830368PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, FEB. 11 AM: Paradigm’s longtime production department co-head Frank Balkin, who reps below-the-line talent, has left the agency for a partnership at 3-year-old Worldwide Production Agency – but Paradigm is refusing to let Balkin out of his contract. paradigmsmall Nonetheless, Balkin is currently working out of the WPA offices as the dispute continues. At the same time, Paradigm is answering Balkin’s office phone saying that they are taking messages for him. Threats of litigation have been levied as Paradigm has apparently insisted he return to the agency, but progress has been made to let him out. I called Paradigm and asked about this about two weeks ago. At that time, Balkin was still working out of the Paradigm offices and the talent agency said they were hoping to work it out with him. Oh well. It’s unclear what Paradigm is hoping to get but commissions if the agent has already bailed. He had been with Paradigm for over a decade. Read More »

Comments 53

Global Showbiz Briefs: Jesus Perezagua Exiting Fox International Channels; ‘Peaky Blinders’ Tops BAFTA TV Craft Award Noms; More

Jesus Perezagua Exiting Fox International Channels
Jesus of FoxFox International Channels President of Europe and Africa Jesus Perezagua has announced his departure. The exec has been at the company since 2003. He joined as managing director of FIC Spain and Portugal and in 2005 took over the company’s expansion plan in Eastern and Central Europe, Turkey and Greece. Perezagua became President of FIC Europe and Africa in 2011. He will step down from the role on April 30 but will continue to consult FIC. The search is on for a successor. Prior to FIC, Perezagua held posts at Iberian Channels and Online for Fox Kids Entertainment Espana and was Managing Director of Bandai Espana, a Japanese toy company specializing in TV marketing concepts. Read More »

Comments (1)

PILOT SEASON 2014: Network Casting Chiefs On This Season’s Biggest Challenges, Casting Coups & Fresh Faces

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 5:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Network Pilot Casting InterviewsSpring arrived yesterday, bringing the end of the annual two-month mad dash known as pilot casting season. Heading into pilot season this year, there was a lot of concern that the proliferation of original scripted programming on cable and digital platforms would put an additional strain on broadcast pilot casting, further depleting the talent pool. Going head-to-head with the casting of more than a dozen cable and digital pilots/series — including multiple-pilot slates on TNT, Amazon and FX and high-profile series on Viola DavisNetflix, USA and WGA America — the broadcast networks escaped mostly unscathed, successfully casting more that 80 pilots/direct-to-series, with only three comedy pilots rolled because of difficulties finding actors.

RelatedPilot Season 2014: The Overachievers

This pilot season brought an additional wrinkle, with Fox’s Kevin Reilly declaring in January that his network plans to bypass the traditional pilot cycle going forward. There were more straight-to-series and limited/event series orders this season, and several networks started casting a handful of projects early. But overall, it was mostly business as usual, with thousands of castings sessions crammed into eight weeks that resulted in the casting of more that 1,500 roles. We saw Oscar winners and happyendingsnominees like The Help‘s Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer (plus Halle Berry earlier in the season) come to television, TV stars like David Schwimmer, Patricia Arquette, Mary-Louise Parker and Josh Duhamel make a return, and the casts of cancelled shows Happy Endings and Nikita be sought after.

Related: Primetime Pilot Panic!

As we close the book on this year’s casting season, let’s hear from the women (and a man) who were in the middle of it all, leading the casting charge at the broadcast networks. I asked the exhausted heads of casting (“I need a vacation,” one of them exclaimed) Tess Sanchez (Fox), Keli Lee (ABC), Grace Wu (NBC) and Peter Golden (CBS), plus Lori Openden (the CW), whose network doesn’t compete directly with the Big 4 as it targets younger talent, to answer questions about the challenges of this pilot season, progress on cast diversity, their and their competitors’ biggest casting coups, the season’s biggest discoveries, and the toughest roles and types to cast. (Find out how many child actors Fox saw for the Bruce Wayne role in Gotham.) Here are their answers:

Read More »

Comments 89

‘True Detective’s Woody Harrelson Joins John Hillcoat’s ‘Triple Nine’

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 2:44pm PDT
Mike Fleming

woodyhaEXCLUSIVE: True Detective star Woody Harrelson has joined the cast of Triple Nine, the John Hillcoat-directed heist thriller which begins production this summer. Open Road Films pre-bought domestic distribution rights just prior to Berlin and has pledged to give the film a wide release next year. Harrelson will play Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen, the uncle to the cop played by Casey Affleck. Those two meshed together well last fall in Out Of The Furnace. Harrelson joins Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, Fruitvale Station’s Michael B. Jordan, Breaking Bad and Need For Speed‘s Aaron Paul, Warm Bodies’ Teresa Palmer, and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman in the Batman Vs. Superman film). Matt Cook scripted the thriller, in which a crew of dirty cops is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down”. Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge. Worldview is financing and the film is produced by Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Keith Redmon, and Bard Dorros, along with Sierra/Affinity. Paul Green is exec producer. Harrelson, who is finishing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, is repped by CAA.

Comments (4)

HBO Casts Melonie Diaz As Lead In Drama Project ‘Laughs Unlimited’

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 12:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

meloniediazFruitvale Station’s Melonie Diaz has been cast as the lead in Laughs Unlimited (working title), a drama series project about a war vet’s struggles with post traumatic stress disorder, which has been on the works at HBO for the past year and a half. It has not been picked up to pilot yet, with HBO doing preliminary casting and working on the budget as it does on most scripts it is high on before making a formal pilot order.

Laughs Unlimited hails from Oren Moverman, who has directed Rampart and The Messenger, and Anthony Swofford, best known for writing the book Jarhead. It centers on Army Reserve medic Billie Crown (Diaz) who, after fifteen months as a combat medic in Afghanistan, discovers that “real life” is just as perilous as war. Duty as a Sacramento cop offers the same dangers and thrills as combat, and repairing relationships with her husband and young daughter is as difficult as saving a comrade after an IED attack. Moverman and Swofford wrote the script and are executive producing along with X-Men: Days Of Future Past producer Lauren Shuler Donner, actress Jennifer Beals, Jack Leslie of The Donners Co., and Adena Chawke of Greenlight Management. Diaz, repped by Gersh and Thruline, earned an Indie Spirit Award nomination for her performance in Fruitvale Station. She recently wrapped production on The Cobbler.

Comments (4)

MTV Movie Awards Nominees Unveiled

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 4:00am PST

A pair of flicks that were shut out at the Oscars on Sunday lead the field for the erstwhile music network’s film nods. American Hustle and The Wolf Of Wall Street snagged eight noms apiece for the 23rd MTV Movie Awards. Close behind are The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with seven and MTV Movie AwardsWe’re The Millers with six, including a coveted Best Shirtless Performance nom for Jennifer Aniston. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Dallas Buyers Club, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, This Is The End and Best Picture champ 12 Years A Slave are next with four apiece. Conan O’Brien will serve as host of this year’s festivities, which air live on April 13 at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. The show — which last year switched from its longtime post-Memorial Day date to April — again relishes is such signature categories as Best Kiss, Best Scared-As-S**T Performance and #WTFMoment, The telecast is exec produced by Jesse Ignjatovic. Here are the nominees: Read More »

Comments (6)

Deadline’s Oscars Blog: ‘12 Years A Slave’, ‘Gravity’ And Boredom Reign Supreme

By and | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST

Oscars Live Blog
Here we are again after the Golden Globes,  Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset.

Related: OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions

That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. The film is up for 10 awards, and has grossed over $240 million on a $40 million budget.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Red CarpetThen there is The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo DiCaprio giving the most emphatic and complete performance of a great career, and Jonah Hill right there with him as his crazy con man sidekick. The film is up for five nominations, including Martin Scorsese for directing a terrific adaptation from The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire vet Terence Winter.

Read More »

Comments 55

Indie Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Takes Best Feature And Dominates With Five Wins; McConaughey & Blanchett Top Actors

By | Saturday March 1, 2014 @ 1:24pm PST

!2YearsASlaveSpiritsUPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS AND REACTIONS: The 29th annual Independent Spirit Awards ended up more like a cast party for Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave, which won five of the seven categories for which it was nominated today — including Best Feature and Best Director for Steve McQueen. The strong showing for the slave drama gives the pic plenty of momentum headed into tomorrow night’s Oscars, the marquee event in a long awards season in which 12 Years has been one of many films ebbing and flowing buzz-wise along with Warner Bros’ Gravity ahead of what’s being called one of the more wide-open Academy Awards in a long while.

Dede Gardner, a producer on the pic with her Plan B partner Brad Pitt, thanked the many people involved in making the movie (including Pitt for “getting the movie made when he said he would”). She also thanked the descendants of the film’s subject Solomon Northup. “It’s a reminder to care-take our freedom,” she said.

Spirit Award WinnersWith most of the big studio pics in the Oscar Best Picture race sitting it out today with the focus on indie fare under a tent on the beach in mostly rain-free Santa Monica, it allowed others to shine. Dallas Buyers’ Club‘s acting duo of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Best Male Lead and Supporting Male, respectively. Cate Blanchett continued her hot streak winning Best Lead Female for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, making her a solid favorite to win tomorrow night. Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Female for 12 Years. That pic rounded out its wins with a Best Screenplay nod for John Ridley and Best Cinematography for Sean Bobbitt.

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Show2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Backstage And AudienceThe Weinstein Company also had a good day during the ceremony, hosted by Patton Oswalt. Best Documentary went to the distrib’s 20 Feet From Stardom, whose subjects performed today, and Best First Feature went to writer-director Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station, which started its fruitful awards-season at Sundance 2012 when TWC acquired it for $2 million.

Oswalt presided over one of the most memorable parts of the show, when a black drone flew in and delivered the scroll announcing Nyong’o's win. Later, after Blue Is The Warmest Color won Best International Film, Oswalt came back out onstage covered in blood. ”Don’t touch the drone,” he quipped.

The weather, such an issue during the blustery and wet 2011 Spirit Awards, held for most of the day, with rain beginning to fall just as Blanchett reached backstage after her acceptance speech. ”There’s a storm coming,” she said to the press. “It was nice knowing you all in case we’re swept away.”

Related: Oscars Rainout? Organizers Say No Way

The Spirit Awards will be shown tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on IFC. But here’s how the day went down, with on-scene coverage by Deadline’s Pete HammondDominic Patten and Anthony D’Alessandro and contributor Diane Haithman.

Read More »

Comments 22

Location Managers Unveil Inaugural Awards Nominees

By | Thursday February 27, 2014 @ 9:01am PST

LMGAAwards_logoThe Location Managers Guild of America will hold its first-ever Location Managers Guild Of America Awards on March 29 at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills. Winners in six categories spanning film, TV and commercials will be announced, and the guild will bestow honorary awards including the Eva Monley Award, presented to an industry pro who has demonstrated ‘above and beyond’ support of the work of location professionals; a humanitarian award; and a lifetime achievement award. Here are the noms:

FIRST ANNUAL LOCATION MANAGERS GUILD OF AMERICA AWARDS

Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional – Feature Films
Ilt Jones (Iron Man 3)
John Latenser V (Nebraska)
Rick Schuler & Steve Mapel (Her)
Andrew Ullman & Lori Balton (Saving Mr. Banks)
David Velasco (American Hustle)

Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional – TV Programs
Robert Boake (Game of Thrones)
Patrick Burn (House of Cards)
Christian Diaz de Bedoya (Breaking Bad)
Caleb Duffy (Behind the Candelabra)
Veronique Vowell (Scandal) Read More »

Comments (10)

OSCARS: Producers Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Play It Safer This Year With Star-Studded Show Led By Ellen

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 5:34pm PST
Pete Hammond

Some people were surprised when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited 2013 Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron backthe-academy-oscars-new-logo-1 to run the 2014 telecast. After all, that was the Seth MacFarlane-hosted show that caused controversy (“We Saw Your Boobs,” anyone?). You have to wonder what he might have done with 12 Years A Slave or The Wolf Of Wall Street this year! The reviews, though, were mixed to negative (I actually liked the attitude MacFarlane brought — different), with critics saying the show had too many musical segments and a James Bond tribute that, other than Shirley Bassey’s rendition of “Goldfinger,” fell flat. But it scored well in the AwardsLine.LogoBWratings and actually added a lot of previously missing young males to the typically female-driven viewing demographic. Zadan and Meron return this year in triumph after single-handedly reviving the live Broadway musical The Sound Of Music with their smash-hit version that starred Carrie Underwood and aired on NBC in December. Critics balked at that, too, but who’s laughing now? (Peter Pan is the next live musical they will do for NBC). Perhaps in a bid for more universal appeal, the producers are bringing back past Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres for what promises to be a much safer, more female-friendly telecast. Ellen is, well, Ellen, and very likable, so you know what you’re getting. The ABC … Read More »

Comments (14)

Image Awards: Kevin Hart Named Entertainer Of The Year; Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Kerry Washington, LL Cool J Honored

By | Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 8:17pm PST

Kevin Hart was named entertainer of the yearnaacp-image-award__131007152952-275x479 (1) tonight at the NAACP‘s Image Awards aired live on the East Coast on TV One. Forest Whitaker was named best actor and Angela Bassett best actress for their respective roles in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Black Nativity. Best picture award went to 12 Years A Slave. Kevin Hart was named best actor in a comedy series for Real Husbands of Hollywood and LL Cool J took the best actor in a drama series prize for NCIS: Los Angeles. Kerry Washington was named best actress in a drama series for Scandal. The award for best actress in a comedy series went to Wendy Raquel Robinson for The Game. Scandal and Real Husbands Of Hollywood took nods, respectively, for best drama and comedy series.

Oprah Winfrey honored Nelson Mandela with a tribute. Forest Whitaker received the NAACP Chairman’s Award. And Paris Barclay and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African-American Presidents of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, respectively, were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame. The complete list of winners follows: Read More »

Comments (7)

OSCARS: A Look Back On The 50th Anniversary Of Sidney Poitier’s Historic Win – How Far Have We Come?

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 5:39pm PST
Pete Hammond

The 1963 Oscar ceremony marked a significant milestone in the history of the Academy Awards—and AwardsLinefor African-American actors. Sidney Poitier took the best actor prize for Lilies Of The Field, an “Amen” moment, to quote the best picture nominee’s famous song, if ever there was one. Until Poitier, only Hattie McDaniel, who won best supporting actress in 1939 for Gone With The PoitierWind, held the distinction for any African-American actor, and it would take another two decades after Poitier’s seminal win for it to happen again (when An Officer And A Gentleman’s Louis Gossett Jr. won a supporting statuette in 1982). After presenter Anne Bancroft opened the envelope and excitedly read Poitier’s name, he bounded to the stage as the orchestra played “Amen” and he famously called it, “a long journey to this moment.” Poitier said he didn’t expect to win, and many predicted Tom Jones star Albert Finney would take it. (Neither Finney nor the other nominated actors—Paul Newman (Hud), Richard Harris (This Sporting Life) and Rex Harrison (Cleopatra)—were in attendance, but that was not uncommon in Oscar’s earlier days.) After all, Tom Jones would prove to be the evening’s big winner, taking best picture and three other Oscars.

Related: Acting Races Head Into The Homestretch
Read More »

Comments (2)

Fox Has Its ‘Fantastic Four’ For Superhero Reboot

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 9:49pm PST

fantastic-four_1791685bFox recently cleared some prime summer 2015 real estate for its reboot of Marvel’s Fantastic Four, now it appears to have its actors. After a long search — Chronicle‘s Josh Trank was announced as the director at the 2012 Comic-Con — Fruitvale Station breakout Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller (Divergent), Kate Mara (Transcendence) and Jamie Bell (Nymphomaniac) are working on deals to star as the ’60s-spawned superhero quartet. The 20th_century_fox_logodeals aren’t in cement yet, but Jordan and Bell look pretty solid. The roles as they stand would be Jordan as Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch), Teller as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Mara as Sue Storm (the Invisible Woman) and Bell as Ben Grimm (the Thing). The latest script is from X-Men: Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg.

Comments 164

OSCARS: Harvey Weinstein On His Dark Horse Best Picture Candidate ‘Philomena,’ And, Well, Everything Else

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 5:51pm PST
Mike Fleming

harEach year, Harvey Weinstein has taken time out from his Sundance buying frenzies to do an Oscar-season interview that touches on his Academy hopefuls, all the films he bought in Park City, and politics. Well, January’s Sundance couldn’t have been duller — outside of his multiplatform arm RADiUS, The Weinstein Company made zero buys there for the first time in forever — but so much has happened since that we needed a catch-up call to get it all in. Here, Weinstein touches on everything from watching Philomena get the Best Picture Oscar nomination over higher-profile TWC films to Quentin Tarantino’s leaked The Hateful Eight script to his battle with Warner Bros over The Hobbit gross points, to the NRA. And, just as he came out of Toronto with the big acquisition in Can A Song Save Your Life?, Weinstein walked away from Berlin with The Imitation Game, the drama about genius British mathematician Alan Turing, whose work cracking the Nazi Enigma Code made him a bona fide WWII hero but who later was prosecuted for being homosexual, chemically castrated and eventually committed suicide.

DEADLINE: We started this interview at the tail end of Sundance and you uncharacteristically hadn’t bought a single movie. You went right to Berlin and paid a record $7 million for U.S. rights to The Imitation Game. What happened?
WEINSTEIN: One of the things I’ve never been great at is discipline, but we just didn’t feel like there was anything we had to have at Sundance. We decided that, like with Can A Song Save Your Life? at Toronto, we wanted the movie. Imitation Game was a project all of us followed, and those 20 minutes gave that zeitgeist feeling to me, David Glasser, everyone on our team. Negeen Yazdi, who runs our English office, tracked this one so hard that it was like she was trying to break the Enigma Code.

imDEADLINE: How hard is it to make such a big commitment based on a 20 minute compilation of scenes?
WEINSTEIN: It was easier in that we all knew the script and could see the level of performance Morten Tyldum got in his first English language film. Alan Turing is not outwardly very sympathetic. He’s brilliant, but the way that Benedict Cumberbatch played him showed us these guys found the right level of vulnerability, genius and the arrogance of the character, too. We felt after reading the script that you could get this wrong, from the tone to the casting. The reason we didn’t make it ourselves was, it felt like a near impossible walk on a tightrope. Morten walked the tightrope. And Keira Knightley is so brilliant in Can A Song Save Your Life and she was helpful and loyal in pushing it our way that we wanted this huge run she is about to have to be with us.

Related: Bong Joon-Ho And Harvey Weinstein Reach Truce On ‘Snowpiercer’
Read More »

Comments (16)

Octavia Spencer To Star In Fox’s ‘Red Band Society’

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 1:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

spenserOscar winner Octavia Spencer is set as a lead in Fox’s drama project Red Band Society, from Amblin Television and ABC Studios. Based on the acclaimed Spanish series Polseres Vermelles by Albert Espinosa, Red Band Society is a coming-of-age drama that explores with dark humor the daily lives of a group of teenagers living in a hospital who become unlikely friends. Spencer will play Nurse Jackson, who works in the pediatrics ward. She’s an excellent, intuitive nurse and a tough customer who doesn’t put up with any crap from anyone. Red Band Society, written by Margaret Nagle, has a “series prototype” order under Fox’s new development model, which involves a pilot and backup scripts. his marks the first series regular role for Spencer, who won an Oscar for The Help. Earlier this season, she was attached to a Murder, She Wrote reboot at NBC and received a slew of pilot offers in the past couple of weeks before deciding on Red Band. Spencer most recently was in Fruitvale Station and next will be seen in the James Brown biopic Get On Up and Black And White opposite Kevin Costner. She is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman.

Comments (18)

Ahna O’Reilly To Topline CW Drama Pilot ‘Identity’

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 1:32pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Ahna O’Reilly (The Help,Ahna O'Reilly Fruitvale Station) is set as the lead in the CW drama pilot Identity, exec produced by Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci. Written by Corinne Brinkerhoff, Identity centers on Mia (O’Reilly), a grounded, whip-smart but restless young New Yorker who finds her world upended when she learns she needs an organ transplant to survive and her only living relative is a newfound half-brother from a wealthy and powerful family in Charleston, SC. She connects with the family only to find they’re the target of a CIA investigation, and the agency wants her as their newest informant. Her loyalty and morality are tested as she slowly builds a case against the family who saved her life. CBS Studios, K/O Paper Products and Scripted World are producing. O’Reilly is repped by WME, Luber Roklin and Felker Toczek.

Comments (7)

Berlin Briefs: Vera Farmiga Pirouettes To ‘Prima’; ‘Your Right Mind’ Adds Clea DuVall; ‘Take Down’ Casts Up; Buyers Like ‘Someone You Love’; Sophie Nélisse To Play ‘Gilly Hopkins’; More

BerlinFilmFestival_badgeVera Farmiga has signed on to star in relationship comedy Prima. Even Greenberg wrote the script and is directing the film that was previously known as Dance Of The Mirlitons. The film is prepping for a March start and centers around a 12-year-old girl who shocks everyone when she is accepted into a prestigious school for dancers. While she learns that to get to the top, she must kill or be killed, her mother struggles to acclimate to her posh stomping grounds. The Allegiance Theater’s Daniel Dubiecki and Lara Alameddine are producing along with Karine Martin under her Mediamax banner. Highland Film Group has worldwide sales here in Berlin. Farmiga is repped by CAA, Jon Rubinstein of Authentic Talent and Literary Management, and Jodi Peikoff of Peikoff Mahan.

clea-duvallPrincipal photography is currently underway on another Highland Film Group pic, Ami Canaan Mann’s Your Right Mind with Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes starring. Joining the cast are Clea DuVall, Sheryl Lee, Emily Alyn Lind and Ryan Bingham. Canaan Mann wrote the script about a modern-day traveling folk singer who puts his dreams of becoming a successful musician on hold when he meets a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter. Molly Hassell is producing with Canaan Mann and John Jencks. Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Highland Film Group’s Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier, and Main Street Films’ … Read More »

Comments (0)
More Deadline | Hollywood »