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Toronto Film Fest Will Close With World Premiere of ‘A Little Chaos’; No Opener Yet; Jon Stewart, Chris Rock Get Perches

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 8:40am PDT

Toronto Film Fest Will Close With World Premiere of ‘A Little Chaos’; No Opener Yet; Jon Stewart, Chris Rock Get PerchesUPDATED, 8:40 AM: The 39th Toronto Film Festival, running September 4-14, will close with the world premiere of Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos with Kate Winslet, Rickman, Matthias Schoenaerts and Stanley Tucci. The opening-night film was not announced at this morning’s press conference.

Alan Rickman Kate WinsletA Little Chaos is the perfect closing-night film – it transports audiences to another time, another place, full of beauty, complexity, rivalry, politics and romance,” said Toronto artistic director Cameron Bailey. “Alan Rickman’s film will wind audiences up just as our festival is winding down.”

In this sumptuous historical drama Sabine De Barra (Winslet)  —  a landscaper with a taste for the unconventional — is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis XIV and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn inescapably closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her.

Of the 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations announced, the initial lineup includes 37 world premieres from directors including Noah Baumbach, Susanne Bier, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, David Dobkin, Philippe Falardeau, Mia Hansen-Løve, Ning Hao, François Ozon, Christian Petzold, Lone Scherfig and Chris Rock. Here’s the list: Read More »

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Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace Thriller ‘Child 44′ Gets April 2015 Date

By | Monday July 14, 2014 @ 5:52pm PDT

Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace Thriller ‘Child 44′ Gets April 2015 DateSummit has set an April 17, 2015 release date for Child 44, the thriller from Swedish director Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money, Safe House) starring Tom Hardy as Leo Demidov, a Russian secret police officer in 1950s Stalinist Russia who’s framed for treason and sent to a remote outpost, where he uncovers a series of mysterious murders tied to a government conspiracy. Swedish thesps turned Hollywood stars Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman also star along with Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and Vincent Cassel. Script is adapted by Richard Price from the novel by Tom Rob Smith. The Scott Free and Worldview Entertainment pic is produced by Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, and Greg Shapiro.

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Hot Trailer: Fox Searchlight’s ‘The Drop’ Starring Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini

By | Saturday June 21, 2014 @ 6:28pm PDT

Hot Trailer: Fox Searchlight’s ‘The Drop’ Starring Tom Hardy, James GandolfiniThe international trailer for Fox Searchlight‘s September 12 crime drama The Drop was released on the web. The Brooklyn-set feature stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and the late actor James Gandolfini, who passed a away a year ago yesterday. The film centers around Hardy’s Bob Saginowski, an ex-con turned bartender who finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry, which sends a ripple effect through the neighborhood to his friends, family, and the gangsters on the block. Gandolfini plays Marv, another ex-con who is trying to go legit. Directed by Michael R. Roskam, The Drop is based on the short story Animal Rescue from author Dennis Lehane, who wrote Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone.

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Is Jared Leto Ready For ‘Brilliance’?

By | Tuesday June 17, 2014 @ 10:47am PDT
Mike Fleming

Is Jared Leto Ready For ‘Brilliance’?EXCLUSIVE: In what would be his first major starring role since he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto is in early talks to star in director Julius Onah’s Brilliance, the Legendary Pictures adaptation of the Marcus Sakey novel that has a script by David Koepp. Noomi Rapace has been attached to play the female lead and Universal will release through its Legendary deal. This is the role that Will Smith exited, shortly before he aligned himself to the Sony project about the effect of concussions on football players, which Peter Landesman is writing to direct.

Brilliance focuses on a world where a rare set of people are born with extraordinary abilities and are called “brilliants.” At the center of the story is a federal agent with great hunting gifts who is drafted to track down a terrorist, another such brilliant who intends to start a civil war. Onah directed The Girl Is In Trouble, and Joe Roth and Palak Patel are producing with Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni. Leto  is very selective about the films he commits to, and this process has been a slow roll. Leto met the director yesterday. He won his Oscar for playing a transgender woman with AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club, the first film he’d done in five years. Leto is repped by CAA.

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Will Smith Exits Legendary Pic ‘Brilliance’

By | Thursday May 29, 2014 @ 6:20pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith has decided to drop out of director Julius Onah’s Brilliance, the Legendary Pictures adaptation of the Marcus Sakey novel that has a script by David Koepp. Universal is releasing the film, which was to willsmibegin production this summer. The film’s start has moved a couple of times, and the exit came down to timing. Legendary has been in negotiations with Noomi Rapace to star alongside him. The pic focuses on a world where a rare set of people are born with extraordinary abilities and are called “brilliants.” At the center of the story is a federal agent with great hunting gifts who is drafted to track down a terrorist, another such brilliant who intends to start a civil war. Onah directed The Girl Is In Trouble, and Joe Roth and Palak Patel are producing with Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni. Smith, who recently decided to not reprise his role in the Independence Day sequel at Fox, next will be seen starring with Margot Robbie in the Glenn Ficarra/John Requa-directed grifter tale Focus, which Warner Bros opens February 27.

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Cannes 2014: A Look At Hot Titles; Was It Over Before We Got Here And Paramount Made Record Deal?

Cannes2014_badgeIf there is a recurring theme among buyers and sellers we’ve spoken to in the early moments of the Cannes Film Festival, it is that none can remember the last time there was such a sellers’ market here on the Croisette. The trouble is, nobody seems to really have anything all that compelling to sell, and that is driving the sellers crazy.

amy adamsThe market opened in the grandest possible way, with a record-setting $20M deal as Paramount paid for North America and China rights to the Denis Villeneuve-directed science fiction film Story Of Your Life. Well, the weather has also been grand so far — the deals, not so much. In fact, the next one came as The Weinstein Company finally closed its long-expected deal for Grace Of Monaco, slashing its original $5M commitment almost in half for a film where director Olivier Dahan shot a version that didn’t reflect the original script, before unveiling it as the Cannes opening-night film to terrible reviews.

Related: Cannes: ‘Grace Of Monaco’ Opens Fest As Critics & Royals Take Aim

Since then, nobody has seemed in much of a hurry to gobble up much of anything. No one was saying Paramount spent drunkenly in setting the record with Story Of Your Life. The rationale: $20M for a movie with commercial potential budgeted around $50M, an actress who routinely garners Oscar nominations for her work in Amy Adams, and a director who is fast emerging, is something major Hollywood studios would pay any day. With a major U.S. wide release in place, Glen Basner’s FilmNation’s effort to finish sales around the world has been the equivalent of selling ice cream in the desert. Territories are paying generously, in a textbook example of how the deal-making here is supposed to work.

cannes opening nightIf only there were more of those films. A package could still fall into place that creates another feeding frenzy, but most sellers are resigned to kicking themselves for not having enough killer product and missing out on an opportunity. Buyers and sellers are moving warily, particularly those who are coming here with other projects that haven’t begun production, or are selling on the basis of a sizzle reel. Some of these movies might just as easily surface as Toronto business as walk away with a big Cannes deal. Then again, there are those that believe the lack of films that have come together with sought-after talent is not a momentary anomaly, but part of a larger trend. Read More »

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Noomi Rapace To Join Will Smith In Legendary’s ‘Brilliance’ Adaptation

By | Monday May 12, 2014 @ 4:47pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Noomi_RapaceBREAKING: Legendary Pictures is setting Noomi Rapace to star in the Julius Onah-directed Brilliance, the film that is expected to also star Will Smith. The adaptation of the Marcus Sakey novel, scripted by David Koepp, focuses on a world where a rare set of people are born with extraordinary abilities and are called “brilliants.” At the center of the story is a federal agent with great hunting gifts who is drafted to hunt down a terrorist, another such brilliant who intends to start a civil war. Onah directed The Girl Is In Trouble, and Smith has been circling the project since February. Joe Roth and Palak Patel are producing with Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, the Legendary execs who’ll release this film under the Universal banner.

Related: Legendary Sets Julius Onah To Helm ‘Brilliance’

Rapace, after her breakout turn as Lisbeth Salander in the The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, has been working up a storm. She next stars alongside Tom Hardy in the Daniel Espinosa-directed Child 44, and wrapped the Michael R. Roskam-directed The Drop opposite Hardy and James Gandolfini, with a script by Dennis Lehane. She’s repped by CAA and Magnolia Entertainment’s Shelley Browning.

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Noomi Rapace In Talks To Star In Mikael Hafstrom’s Helmed Spy Thriller ‘Unlocked’

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 4:48pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Noomi_RapaceEXCLUSIVE: Noomi Rapace is in negotiations to join director Mikael Hafstrom in Unlocked, the spy thriller produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Georgina Townsley and Erik Howsam. The Peter O’Brien-scripted thriller made the Black List, and Rapace would play a female CIA interrogator duped into getting a terrorist to provide key information to the wrong side. It puts her at the center of a plot to launch a biological attack in London. It was originally set at Warner Bros, but the studio let it go and it’s being mounted as an indie film.

Rapace, who broke through in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo trilogy, last starred in the Ridley Scott-directed Prometheus, and next stars with Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke in the Daniel Espinosa-directed Child 44 for Summit Entertainment. She is repped by CAA and Shelley Browning at Magnolia Entertainment.

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Shine Pictures, BBC Films Buy ‘The Farm’; Thriller By ‘Child 44′ Author Tom Rob Smith

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 3:15am PDT

the farmJumping on the popular Scandi crime wave, BBC Films and Shine Pictures have jointly acquired rights to Child 44 author Tom Rob Smith’s recently published The Farm. Shine’s head of film, Ollie Madden, will produce the feature adaptation with Christine Langan executive producing for BBC Films. The psychological thriller centers on Londoner Daniel, who believes his parents are living a peaceful life on a farm in rural Sweden. After the shocking revelation that his mother has escaped from a mental hospital, she pleads with him to allow her the chance to tell her story. Daniel must decide whether she is a victim of a terrible conspiracy, or, as his father fears, is suffering a psychotic episode. He soon becomes entwined in an urgent tale of secrets, lies, and a horrible crime that implicates his own father. The novel debuted last month to strong reviews in the UK and also launched as a bestseller in Australia, Germany and Israel. It has a further 13 major territories sold. Smith’s Child 44 series has sold over 4 million copies worldwide. The first installment was made into a feature starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Vincent Cassell and directed by Daniel Espinosa. Summit/Lionsgate will release later this year. The author also created the five-part BBC miniseries, London Spy, a contemporary thriller that sees an innocent young man drawn into a dangerous world of espionage … Read More »

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Daniel Espinosa In Talks To Helm Leonardo DiCaprio In Jo Nesbo’s ‘Blood On Snow’ For Warner Bros

Mike Fleming

espinleodicaprioEXCLUSIVE: Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa is in talks with Warner Bros to develop to direct Blood On Snow, which Leonardo DiCaprio is eyeing as a potential star vehicle. This is a two-book series that Norwegian crime novelist Jo Nesbo has written under the pseudonym Tom Johansson. The books, which Knopf will publish in two installments this fall and the following spring, will be produced by Kevin McCormick’s Langley Park (which is bringing Charlie And The Chocolate Factory to Broadway) and DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran’s Appian Way, which is coming off Best Picture nominee The Wolf Of Wall Street.

They will now go out to scribes to draft the tale of a hit man who’s forced to go into hiding after he fails on a job and finds himself on the run with his intended target, who unfortunately happens to be his boss’s wife. Landing Espinosa is a coup. He’s coming off Child 44 for Summit, the adaptation of the Soviet serial killer tale that stars Tom Hardy, Joel Kinnaman, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman and Jason Clarke. Espinosa is repped by UTA and Magnolia Entertainment. Jon Berg and Cate Adams are steering the project for Warner Bros.

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Universal Sets Max Botkin To Lend Scripting Hand On ‘Prosthesis’

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 4:09pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Max Botkin to MaxBotkinwrite Prosthesis,  the visually-driven science fiction film created by Arvind Palep, who’s attached to direct. Universal acquired the property based on a 10-minute teaser trailer, blending VFX with storyboards and live-action footage hatched by 1stAveMachine, the multimedia production company that Palep co-created with Serge Patzak. universalLatter will produce with Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Eric Robinson, with Gotham’s Peter McHugh exec producing with Sam Penfield. An earlier draft of the screenplay was written by Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple.

Botkin wrote the Black List script What Happened To Monday, which is percolating at Vendome with Tommy Wirkola directing and Noomi Rapace attached to star. Verve, EML Entertainment and attorney Larry Kopeikin rep the scribe. Universal’s Anikah McLaren and Chloe Yellin are overseeing. Palep is repped by WME, The Gotham Group and attorney George Davis.

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Berlin: Idris Elba, Sam Worthington Join Noomi Rapace In Thriller ‘Alive Alone’

idris elbasam worthingtonAlive Alone, the Thunder Road produced drama that Protagonist Pictures is selling, was originally announced in Cannes with Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts starring. Schoenaerts has had to pull out for personal reasons, and now boarding are Idris Elba and Sam Worthington for a March start. The New York-set drama marks the feature helming debut of Khurram Longi. He’ll direct form his own script which featured on both the Black List and BerlinFilmFestival_badgethe UK Brit List. Elba stars as an ex-detainee of Guantanamo Bay working as a taxi driver, and Rapace plays a prostitute on the run from a feared crime boss (Worthington). When their worlds collide, they unexpectedly find salvation in one another. Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk is producing with Rapace acting as executive producer. Michael Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures is financing and Protagonist is selling here in Berlin. Elba is repped by WME; Longi, Rapace and Worthington by CAA.

Related: Cannes: Protagonist, Thunder Road Set Matthias Schoenarts, Noomi Rapace For ‘Alive Alone’

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Gothams Give Tribute To Late ‘Sopranos’ Star James Gandolfini

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 7:11am PST
Mike Fleming

The upcoming Gotham Awards will include the posthumous presentation of a tribute to James Gandolfini, whose The Sopranos costar Steve Buscemi will do the honors on December 2 at Cipriani Wall Street. It is an honor previously bestowed on Forest Whitaker, Richard Linklater and Katherine Oliver.

“We are honored to pay tribute to a man whose life and work has inspired and moved so many who knew him personally, or through his vast body of work on the stage and screen, where he collaborated with so many independent artists to bring to life unforgettable, iconic characters,” said Joana Vicente, Executive Director of the IFP and the Made in New York Media Center by IFP.

Gandolfini has been lighting up the screen opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the Nicole Holofcener-directed Enough Said, and next stars opposite Tom Hardy in Animal Rescue. He won three Best Actor Emmys for his iconic role as Tony Soprano.

“James Gandolfini was a friend, an inspiration, and an extraordinary talent whose presence is missed by all of us who knew and loved him. It is an honor to present this tribute at the Gotham Awards recognizing his impact,” said Steve Buscemi.

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ABC Developing Crime Thriller From Charles Randolph & Peter Traugott Based On Swedish Book Series

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 4:22pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: ABC has put in development a crime thriller from writer Charles Randolph (Love and Other Drugs), Peter Traugott’s TBD Entertainment and Sweden-based Yellow Bird Entertainment. The project, from Universal TV where TBD is based, is an adaptation of the best-selling novels by Liza Marklund that also were the basis for the hit Swedish drama series Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter, also produced by Yellow Bird (watch the trailer below). Written by Randolph, the drama centers on a dogged, no-nonsense tabloid reporter searching for the truth while also juggling her bosses and her family. Randolph is executive producing with TBD’s Traugott and Rachel Kaplan and Yellow Bird’s Jenny Gilbertsson and Berna Levin. This marks the latest sale for TBD this season for a total of three dramas and six comedies at NBC, Fox and USA. Yellow Bird recently teamed with Chernin Entertainment to develop a series based on another Swedish crime novel, The Swede by Robert Karjel. Yellow Bird, which produced the Millennium Swedish trilogy starring Noomi Rapace, and TBD are repped by UTA; Randolph, who recently did HBO pilot The Missionary, is with CAA and Brillstein Entertainment; Marklund, whose crime novels have sold over 13 million copies worldwide, is with Niclas Salomonsson.

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Chernin Entertainment To Adapt Swedish Thriller Novel As Drama Series

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 1:55pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Another hot Swedish novel is headed for an U.S. screen adaptation. 20th Century Fox TV has acquired rights to the upcoming thriller De Redan Döda by author Robert Karjel, for studio-based Chernin Entertainment to develop as a drama series with Sweden-based Yellow Bird Entertainment. Titled The Swede, the project centers on a Swedish secret service agent summoned to a remote U.S. military base to interrogate a prisoner thought to be a fellow Swede. He is drawn into the complex investigation led by a female CIA agent, where the evidence takes them from the 2004 Thailand tsunami to a terrorist attack in Topeka, Kansas, and where no one is who they seem to be. De Redan Döda follows in the footsteps of the Millennium trilogy by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, which became the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movie franchise and Leif G.W. Persson’s Backstrom books, which have been in series development at 20th TV for the past two seasons, most recently going to pilot at CBS starring Rainn Wilson last spring. Read More »

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Noomi Rapace To Star For Helmer Tommy Wirkola In ‘What Happened To Monday?’

By | Monday October 28, 2013 @ 12:32pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Noomi Rapace has teamed with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters helmer Tommy Wirkola for What Happened To Monday? The script, which made the Black List, was written by Max Botkin. Rapace will play the multiple roles of septuplet sisters who struggle to stay hidden in an overpopulated world were a one-child policy outlaws siblings. Wirkola said he originally envisioned the protagonist(s) as male, but “I was struck by the complexities of having an actor portray seven characters and immediately knew Noomi was the ideal actor – male or female – to bring them to life,” Wirkola said in a statement. That puts the breakout star of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in the rare company of female talent like Angelina Jolie, who succeeded Tom Cruise as the star of Salt. Raffaella De Laurentiis is producing through Raffaella Productions, along with Vendome’s Philippe Rousselet. Vendome is also financing the film.

Related: CAA Signs Noomi Rapace

Rapace, who next stars in Child 44 and Animal Rescue, is repped by CAA and Magnolia’s Shelley Browning and attorney Howard Fishman. Wirkola, who next helms Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead, is repped by CAA and attorneys Michael Schenkman and Gregory Slewett.

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Fox, Chernin Set Dennis Lehane To Adapt ‘Silk Road’

By | Wednesday October 16, 2013 @ 12:46pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment have set best-selling author Dennis Lehane to script Silk Road, a fact-based tale taken from an article that Joshua Davis is writing for the Epic website, which is devoted to film-friendly longform journalism. It’s the true story of a young kid who was arrested for putting out a hit on the clients of the Silk Road, the illegal online bazaar he created where one could buy illegal goods including drugs or services like contract killings. Lehane wrote Shutter Island, Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Live By Night, which is Ben Affleck’s next directing effort at Warner Bros. Lehane also scripted Animal Rescue, the Chernin-produced Michael R. Roskam-directed drama for Fox Searchlight that stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Gandolfini.

Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping will produce along with Davis and Joshuah Bearman. Davis and Bearman are journalists who partnered in Epic, the company that formed a first-look Fox deal to produce films based on magazine articles hatched by them and other journalists. Bearman wrote the article that served as the jumping off point for Best Picture Oscar winner Argo.

RELATEDFox Makes Epic First-Look Deal With Online Venture For Film-Centric Journalism

There was a stampede for the movie rights to this story, and Chernin’s Kerry Foster was integral in making this happen. Amy Schiffman from Intellectual Property Group and attorney Jason Hendler of Hanson Jacobson brokered the deal for Lehane. Read More »

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After The Fallout Between Magnolia And UTA, ‘Slumdog’s Dev Patel Signs With WME

By | Monday September 30, 2013 @ 10:51am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Dev Patel has signed with WME. He continues to be repped by Magnolia Entertainment and Curtis Brown in the UK. Deadline told you that Patel had decided to stay with Magnolia manager Stephanie Comer and therefore was among a small group of clients that would be leaving UTA following the agency board’s declaration it would no longer do business with Magnolia after an erosion in the relationship with Shelley Browning that led to the exits of such clients as Rachel McAdams, Robocop‘s Joel Kinnaman, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo‘s Noomi Rapace, and Gone Girl lead Rosamund Pike. The only mutual client not asked to make a Sophie’s Choice was Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa, because he is busy shooting Child 44 with Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Rapace and Kinnaman. He’ll have to make a decision soon, though, and a major piece of business hangs in the balance for the two companies.

Related: UTA Swears Off Doing Business With Manager Shelley Browning

Patel, who made his breakthrough as the game show wiz in Slumdog Millionaire, next stars in the Neill Blomkamp-directed Chappie. He most recently starred in Fox Searchlight’s Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. He also continues to be part of the cast of Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama series The Newsroom.

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Toronto: Holly Hunter Joins David Gordon Green’s ‘Manglehorn’

September 6, 2013 (Toronto, Canada) — Academy Award winner Holly Hunter (“Thirteen,” “The Piano”) has signed on to star in David Gordon Green’s drama, “Manglehorn,” financed and produced by Worldview Entertainment. Hunter will play the female lead character opposite Academy Award winner, Al Pacino, in the title role. Chris Messina (“Argo”) and Harmony Korine (“Spring Breakers”) will also star. Green will direct the film, which is based on a screenplay by Paul Logan. Worldview CEO, Christopher Woodrow, and COO, Molly Conners, will produce alongside Lisa Muskat, Derrick Tseng and Green. Principal photography will commence this fall in Austin, Texas.

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