EXCLUSIVE: 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.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Max Botkin to write 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. Latter 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.
Alive 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 the 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’
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.
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.
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.
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.
RELATED: Fox 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 »
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.
EXCLUSIVE: After an erosion in the relationship, the partners at UTA have decided they will no longer do business with manager Shelley Browning and her Magnolia Entertainment. This immediately leads to the exit of Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, who will stay with his manager, Stephanie Comer. She was an agent at UTA before she became a manager at Magnolia. About half a dozen clients will have to make a choice, and the highest profile beyond Patel is Daniel Espinosa, the Snabba Cash helmer who directed the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds hit Safe House and is directing an adaptation of the Tom Rob Smith novel Child 44, with Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman. Since Espinosa is shooting a movie, I don’t think he will be asked to make a decision until he is up for air.
Related: Magnolia Manager Vs UTA, Round Two
The agency would not comment on why this has happened, but the frosty relationship began months ago and this move occurs after UTA watched several of Browning’s highest-profile clients exit. They include The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo‘s Rapace and Kinnaman, the latter of whom stars in the Robocop reboot. Others who have exited are Rachel McAdams and Rosamund Pike. Pike left right after she won the coveted female lead role opposite Ben Affleck in the David Fincher-directed Gone Girl.
EXCLUSIVE: Rachel McAdams Fires UTA
‘Gone Girl’ Star Rosamund Pike Exits UTA
Read More »
Niels Arden Oplev Readies ‘Racewalking’
TrustNordisk will be bringing the latest project from Niels Arden Oplev to Toronto. The director of the original The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is returning to his native Denmark to direct the adaption of Morten Kirkskov’s novel Racewalking. The helmer recently signed a one-year overall deal with CBS Studios after directing the pilot of crime drama Unforgettable and the opening episode of summer series Under The Dome. His last feature, Dead Man Down, starred Colin Farrell and Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace. Racewalking stars Anders W. Berthelsen of the original The Killing, alongside Borgen’s Sidse Babett Knudsen. Villads Bøye, Frederik Winther Rasmussen and Kraka Donslund Nielsen also star. The script is by The Art Of Crying’s Bo Hr. Hansen. It’s set in 1976 in a quirky small town where 14-year-old Martin is getting ready for his communion. But in the midst of it all his mother suddenly passes away and her tragic death triggers a series of events that changes his life forever and affects everyone else in the community. A Hijacking exec producer Thomas Heinesen is producer. Read More »
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Brian De Palma joins Labor Day weekend’s batch of Specialty newcomers along with films directed by three women, all of which have television connections. De Palma’s Passion, which has been available via Ultra-VOD, will hit more than a dozen screens this weekend with his remake of a French corporate thriller. Penny Lane’s Our Nixon, which has been on rotation on CNN, is the weekend’s new documentary offering. Lane and her producer were the unlikely “re-discoverers” of a vast amount of footage from inside the Nixon administration, made by the insiders themselves. Television producer-writer Jill Soloway hits the big screen with Afternoon Delight, starring Kathryn Hahn and Juno Temple, while Liz W. Garcia, a fellow TV producer and writer, brings the Kristen Bell romantic drama The Lifeguard to theaters. And the kids-on-a-rampage story I Declare War joins the holiday weekend’s rollouts.
In Toronto, producers approached De Palma about the possibility of doing an English-language remake of French director Alain Corneau’s thriller Crime D’Amour. The veteran filmmaker saw how he could put his stamp to it and began the project. After writing a script and getting European financing, De Palma cast his two leading women, Rachel McAdams and Sweden-born Noomi Rapace. The pair had starred together in 2011′s Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows and came aboard Passion a week before shooting was set to begin in Berlin. “I rewrote it a few times. And then the girls came in and — well, the girls had a few ideas about how they were going to act,” said De Palma, who worked the script further with Crime D’Amour scribe Natalie Carter. “I showed them the original [film], and much to my surprise, they said, ‘We’re not doing that.’ … So Natalie and I worked for a week rewriting the script to fit how they wanted to play their characters.” De Palma tapped cinematographer José Luis Alcaine (who often works with Pedro Almodovar) to shoot the stylish corporate thriller about two ambitious women who connive to reach the top at an advertising agency. “We had other people interested in playing Isabel (Rapace), but we couldn’t find actresses that wanted to play the bitchy Christine (McAdams),” said De Palma. “Those are the fun parts to play, but I guess everyone wants to be loved.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Mesrine, Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen) has been tapped as a last-minute addition to Summit’s now-filming Soviet thriller Child 44. The Cesar-winning thesp is replacing previously cast Philip Seymour Hoffman in the pic which has been filming since June under director Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money, Safe House). Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, and Joel Kinnaman also star in the tale of a military cop investigating a series of child murders in 1950s Stalinist Russia, adapted by Oscar-nominated Richard Price from Tom Rob Smith’s bestseller.
Child 44 is the first book in Smith’s trilogy featuring protagonist Leo Stepanovich Demidov, played by Hardy in the pic. Ridley Scott is producing Child 44 for his Scott Free Productions with Michael Schaefer and Greg Shapiro. Pic is co-financed and exec produced by Worldview Entertainment, whose Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah Johnson Redlich are executive producing along with Douglas Urbanski. Lionsgate’s Erik Feig and Jim Miller are overseeing for the studio. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Maria Karlsson, the screenwriter who penned the Swedish thriller trilogy Easy Money, has signed with Paradigm. Those movies helped launch the U.S. careers of star Joel Kinnaman and directors Daniel Espinoza (Safe House, Summit’s upcoming Child 44) and Babak Najafi (CBS Films’ upcoming Inside The Machine). (Child 44 by the way co-stars Kinneman and fellow Swede Noomi Rapace.) The agency flew to Sweden to seal the deal for Karlsson, who has helped shape the new film genre being called Stockholm noir and who Paradigm feels can have the same kind of success her Easy Money cohorts have found on this side of the pond. The final movie in series premiered in Sweden last night and opens in the territory this weekend. Karlsson also wrote the screenplay for the 2012 crime thriller The Hidden Child, directed by Per Hanefjord. Paradigm will start by shopping her latest spec script stateside.
EXCLUSIVE: Actress Rosamund Pike has exited UTA, the latest in a lengthening list of talent managed by Magnolia Entertainment‘s Shelley Browning to leave the talent agency. This has been in the wind for a couple of weeks, and Pike officially terminated the relationship on Saturday. The other major agencies will be all over the British up and comer. It is hard to quibble with the job anyone has done recently for this actress: in heated competition, she just landed the role of her career, the female lead in Gone Girl opposite Ben Affleck in the David Fincher-directed film adaptation of the bestselling novel. Pike remains with UK’s United Agents.
Pike next opens in the Edgar Wright-directed The World’s End, and she played the female lead in Jack Reacher. It’s not exactly clear what has happened to erode the formerly strong relationship between UTA and Browning, but in a short span the agency lost Robocop star Joel Kinnaman, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo‘s Noomi Rapace, and Rachel McAdams, all of whom are managed by Magnolia. They still share a major piece of talent in Safe House helmer Daniel Espinosa.
EXCLUSIVE: CAA today signed Noomi Rapace, the Swedish star whose breakout came in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and subsequent installments of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. Rapace recently left UTA, and while she was expected to come to Hollywood to take meetings, she sparked to what CAA had to offer and signed. After starring in Dead Man Down, Rapace has been working on the Daniel Espinosa-directed Child 44 with Tom Hardy, Joel Kinnaman, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Gary Oldman, and the Michael R. Roskam-directed Animal Rescue with Matthias Schoenaerts. Rapace is managed by Magnolia Entertainment and repped in Sweden by Agent Firman.
Related: CAA Signs ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ Star Adele Exarchopoulos
Fox Searchlight has dated Enough Said for a platform release September 20, just after the film has its world premiere as a special presentation at the Toronto Film Festival. The comedy written and directed by Nicole Holofcener stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Catherine Keener as well as James Gandolfini as Louis-Dreyfus’ love interest. Gandolfini died June 19 of a heart attack while traveling in Italy. The pic centers on Eve (Louis-Dreyfus), a divorced soon-to-be empty-nester wondering about her next act. Then she meets Marianne (Keener), the embodiment of her perfect self. Armed with a restored outlook on being middle-aged and single, Eva decides to take a chance on her new love interest Albert (Gandolfini), a sweet, funny and like-minded man — who also happens to be Marianne’s dreaded ex–husband. Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson, Tavi Gevinson and Tracey Fairaway co-star, and Anthony Bregman produced. Read More »
EOne acquired North American rights to Passion back in September after the erotic thriller starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace played in competition at Venice and appeared in Toronto. Brian De Palma wrote and directed the remake of the 2010 French film Love Crime (from Alain Corneau’s original screenplay). The plot centers on a deadly power struggle between two rising executives in the dog-eat-dog world of a multinational corporation. It hits theaters August 30 and is available via VOD on August 1.