Louisa Krause (Martha Marcy May Marlene, King Kelly) and Jason Patric (The Lost Boys, My Sister’s Keeper) will star in indie psychological thriller The Confines, from C Plus Pictures. Eytan Rockaway makes his directorial debut with the film (formerly known as Lot 451), penned by Ido Fluk. Krause plays Julia Streak, a struggling single mother who works as a security guard at an enormous, modern residential complex which, thanks to the recession, hasn’t got a single resident. Over the course of one night her brusque partner Cooper (Patric) and a local vagrant (Breaking Bad‘s Mark Margolis) toy with Streak leading her into the decaying catacombs beneath the building where her sanity is tested. C Plus Pictures’ Mike Landry and Carlos Velasquez are producers with co-producers Ryan Charles Griffin and Claudia Bellante, and executive producers Allen Loeb, Jeff Hoffman, and Luigi Ghilardi II. Filming has wrapped in NYC. Arclight Film is repping international sales while Traction Media and CAA handle N.A. sales. Krause is repped by the Gersh Agency. Patric is repped by KLWGN. Margolis is repped by Red Letter Management.
A musical adaptation of American Psycho is tuning up for a December launch in London’s West End. Almeida Theatre Artistic Director, Rupert Goold, will direct the take that has a book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark, Glee) and music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik (Girls, Glee). Now in his last year as the 11th Doctor Who, Matt Smith will play Patrick Bateman, the serial-killing investment banker originally portrayed by Christian Bale in Mary Harron’s 2000 film adaptation. The London musical will run from December 3rd to January 25th next year. It’s an Almeida Theatre and Headlong co-production in association with David Johnson and Jesse Singer for Act 4 Entertainment by special arrangement with Edward R Pressman, who produced the movie. Pressman is also executive producing FX and Lionsgate’s American Psycho drama series project that catches up with Bateman decades later, but as outrageous and lethal as ever – and taking on a protégé.
American Psycho is headed to television. FX has put in development an American Psycho drama series that takes place decades after the events in the 2000 movie starring Christian Bale and the novel on which the film was based. Lionsgate TV, whose sibling Lionsgate Films was behind the American Psycho feature, and FX Prods are producing the series shepherded by former Lionsgate Films head of production-turned producer Allison Shearmur and writer Stefan Jaworski. Described as an update of American Psycho, the drama series fast-forwards from the late 1980s, when the movie was set, to present day. It will feature serial killer Patrick Bateman, now in his mid-50s but as outrageous and lethal as ever, taking on a protégé in a sadistic social experiment who will become every bit his equal — a next-generation American Psycho. The project will be written by Paradigm-repped Jaworski who will executive produce with Shearmur and Ed Pressman. The project originated at Allison Shearmur Prods where it was shepherded by Stephen Meinen.
EXCLUSIVE: Lotus Entertainment and Davids Canton Production are partnering on psychological thriller Restart based on Matthew Klein’s novel No Way Back which was published this spring by Corvus. Brad Anderson (The Call, The Machinist) is attached to direct from a script penned by Gregory Poirier (National Treasure: Book Of Secrets). Restart centers on an ordinary man who discovers that his entire life is being infiltrated and manipulated by a terrifying criminal network. Danny Davids and Neil Canton are producing. Lotus’ Jim Seibel, Bill Johnson and D.J. Gugenheim are exec producing. WME Global is representing domestic while Lotus Entertainment is handling international sales. Anderson is currently in production on Eliza Graves with Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Michael Cane and Ben Kingsley. He is repped by WME, Cinetic Management and Sloss Eckhouse Law Co. Poirier is repped by WME and Anonymous Content. Klein is repped by IPG’s Joel Gotler on behalf of the Phil Spitzer Agency.
ITV Studios will produce one-off TV movie The Psychopath Next Door for the UK’s Sky Living. Anna Friel (The Vatican, The Look Of Love) will play the glamorous titular character who moves into a suburban community where her magnetic personality hides her true nature. Described as darkly comic, the film is written by BAFTA winner Julie Rutterford. It will air in the fall as part of Sky’s Drama Matters block. Kate Bartlett exec produces for ITV Studios in the company’s first commission from Sky Living. Myar Craig-Brown is producer, Kieron J. Walsh directs.
EXCLUSIVE: Fresh off the release of his Paul Walker thriller Vehicle 19, South African writer-director Mukunda Michael Dewil has signed on to helm Wet House for Zero Gravity Entertainment. The elevated psychological thriller from scribe Jack Reher revolves around a psychologist who becomes entangled with the mysterious resident of a wet house, whose apparent psychic abilities help her aid the police in solving a string of grizzly, bath salt-fueled massacres. “I like the idea that everything is layered with this atmosphere of unnamed trepidation — nothing can be trusted at face value and that kind of foreboding really gives me a lot to work with when creating the world of this story,” Dewil said. Mark Holder and Christine Holder are producing and financing for Zero Gravity. The film will shoot this fall in South Africa as the first of three features Zero Gravity plans to shoot there.
During a Bates Motel panel discussion Friday, Carlton Cuse was blunt about borrowing from a classic. No, not Hitchcock’s Psycho; TV’s Twin Peaks. “We pretty much ripped off Twin Peaks,” joked Cuse, executive producer of the A&E series with Kerry Ehrin, in response to a question about the similarities from panel moderator Shawn Ryan. “If you wanted to get that confession, the answer is yes,” he continued, tongue in cheek. “I loved that show. They only did 30 episodes. Kerry and I thought we’d do the 70 that are missing.” Cuse appeared on the Paley Center panel “Inside Bates Motel: Reimagining A Cinema Icon” with Ehrin, Vera Farmiga (who portrays Norma Bates), Freddie Highmore (Norman), Max Thieriot (Norman’s half-brother Dylan), Nicola Peltz (popular teen Bradley Martin) and Nestor Carbonell (Sheriff Alex Romero). English actress Olivia Cooke, who plays Norman’s friend Emma Decody, who battles cystic fibrosis, was a no-show because of “visa snafus,” Ryan said. Once it was acknowledged that both TV shows are plenty creepy and set in the foggy Northwest, Cuse, Ehrin and the cast spent more time during the freewheeling discussion citing the similarities and differences of Bates Motel from Hitchcock’s iconic 1960 film.
The logline for A&E Network‘s new drama series Bates Motel, a contemporary prequel to Hitchcock’s classic Psycho, stressed that at the heart of the show is the dark, twisted backstory of Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), truly is. The first key art for the series (click on image for larger view), underlines that with a shot of Norman and Norma, sitting on the edge of the bed in a Bates Motel room, and the tagline, “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Simultaneously, A&E also has released a new teaser for show featuring similar imagery. Here is an exclusive first peek. Bates Motel, from executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights), premieres March 18.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s TCA panel on A&E’s new original scripted drama series Bates Motel, most questions had to do with how the series, from executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, would or would not pay homage to the movie Psycho. For the record, the producers say it won’t but various Psycho incarnations are used as inspiration to create an original story.
“We don’t really view any of that as canon,” Cuse said. He called a desire to avoid “homage” a reason why the story has a contemporary setting, rather than being set in the ’60s. He added that the story of how young Bates becomes a murderous adult “will not be what you expect it to be.” (He did confirm that the story would be serialized but “have a beginning, middle and end” and will not focus on a single individual mystery or story point.) Although Cuse rejects the idea of “homage,” he said that show producers used the original plans for the movie Bates Motel that stands on the Universal Studios lot to recreate the motel on location in Vancouver.
But not surprisingly, a question arose about whether post-Newtown is a bad time to introduce an entertainment series about a disturbed young man with a troubled relationship with his mother who eventually turns violent. Said Ehrin: “I think the only thing anyone thought about that was that it was horrible and sad. This show is not about violence, it’s about a mother and son.” She said that the story is trying to “explain” violence rather than promote it.
A&E Network‘s new drama series Bates Motel, from executive producers Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights), will debut on Monday, March 18 at 10 PM. Bates Motel is a contemporary prequel to Hitchcock’s classic Psycho, chronicling how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years. It tells the dark, twisted backstory of Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), truly is. Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz, Nestor Carbonell and Mike Vogel co-star.
Big Crowded Weekend: ‘Taken 2′ Still #1; Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ Opens #2; ‘Sinister’ #3; ‘Boom’ #5; ‘Seven Psychopaths’ #9; And ‘Atlas Shrugged Part 2 #10
SUNDAY AM, 5TH UPDATE: What a crowded domestic box office with five films opening in wide release. And it’s not even a holiday weekend. I just don’t get the distribution crush, especially with so much sports on TV (college and NFL football, baseball playoffs). Nevertheless, it was another major-league grossing weekend: $120M which is up a whopping +45% from last year. Twentieth Century Fox’s popcorn action holdover Taken 2 (3,706 theaters) starring Liam Neeson finished #1 for the second straight weekend with $22M, or a good -54% hold from a week ago. Cume is now $86.M
Following in #2 this weekend is yet another critically acclaimed and Oscar buzzed Ben Affleck R-rated film for Warner Bros. Argo (3,232 theaters) opened Friday #3 because exhibition told me it was playing “very old”. But pic logged a rare ‘A+’ CinemaScore from audiences which resulted in great word of mouth and a bump of +50% Friday to Saturday. Now it ends the weekend #2 and $20.1M. That’s less than director Affleck’s previous The Town opener ($23.8M) for this true story of the ‘Canadian Caper’ covert operation to rescue 6 Americans during the 1979-1980 Iran hostage crisis. But it should have legs since The Town kept widening its audience week after week. Made on just a $44M budget, which included a $6.4M California film tax credit, Argo was financed by Warner Bros and Graham King’s GK Films (which also backed The Town). To save money, most of the pic was filmed right in Los Angeles and with a large pool of local Iranian-American extras supplementing star Affleck and supporting actors Alan Arkin and John Goodman. Screenplay by writer Chris Terrio was adapted from a Wired magazine article and a memoir chapter from CIA spy Tony Mendez. Script was commissioned by Smokehouse Pictures producers Grant Heslov and George Clooney who then selected helmer Affleck, a Middle Eastern studies major at Occidental College before dropping out to act. (Clooney first intended to play the pic’s lead himself before passing the role to Affleck. By the way, I could have done without so many extended but distracting close-ups of bearded Ben.) Warner Bros’ marketing campaign “sought to highlight the well-crafted tension, balanced by a unique comedic sensibility, which results in a completely original, wildly entertaining movie,” an exec tells me. Studio drove early interest and critical accolades at the Telluride Film Festival in August, and then built upon that at Toronto. A multipronged TV, social media, and online campaign was targeted to both males and females before release. Affleck was everywhere and on everyone and did everything. Red Carpet premiere in LA included tastemakers from DC and NY.
Friday’s order of finish was up-ended when Summit Entertainment’s Sinister came on very strong during late shows for #1. The horror pic (2,527 theaters) went into this weekend as the top-selling film online at Fandango and Movie Tickets with 25%-30% of all tickets. Then it started out better than expected with $1 million from Thursday’s late shows and Friday midnights in 1,494 locations. Unfortunately, audiences gave it only a ‘C+’ CinemaScore so it fell to #3. But it’s $18.8M by end of Sunday is incredible in view of its $3M cost and R-rating. Lionsgate’s Summit is distributing in the U.S. and Alliance in Canada. The film’s producers Jason Blum (of the Paranormal Activity franchise) and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Insidious) along with the director/writer Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) were the creative team behind the micro-budget film. Ethan Hawke comes out of the Witness Protection Program to play a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious and disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a supernatural nightmare. Summit kicked off its theatrical marketing campaign for Sinister at SXSW and then focused on moviegoers aged 17-34 reaching out to African American and Hispanic moviegoers. The studio used Tugg, the collective action platform, to allow fans across the country to organize their own word-of-mouth screenings in their hometowns. The trailer launched at midnight on June 13th simultaneously across the 6 top horror sites, which had never been done before. A red band trailer debuted 3 months later.
Sony Animation’s blockbuster toon Hotel Transylvania (3,375 theaters) will scare up another strong weekend by holding -32% from a week ago. It could move up to #3 or #2 for the weekend with $19M.
That pushes down Sony’s Kevin James new comedy Here Comes The Boom (3,014 theaters) to 5th place with what even the studio said was a “hard fought” $12M. That’s a lousy per screen average for the likeable James and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison banner in this live action comedy. (I should note they’re voice talent in the big hit Hotel Transylvania.) But audiences gave the family fare a surprisingly good ‘A’ CinemaScore which should help word of mouth. Studio knew from tracking that this movie was in trouble from the get-go – but it was made for only low $40sM. James even did stunts like teaching TV viewers how to be an MMA fighter and serving as Grand Marshal at Talladega. Big marketing push to sports outlets with integrations in UFC (natch), NFL and college football (“Bringing the Boom”), NASCAR, MLB playoffs, and wrestling.
Playing is half as many locations, CBS Films’ well reviewed R-rated Seven Psychopaths (1,408 theaters) ended #9 but with -40% less box office take than the studio was hoping. Not clear if film can find a bigger audience beyond its urban and college town plays. The movie was co-financed by CBS Films and Film4 and BFI at a cost of just teens. It’s got a 90+ score on Rotten Tomatoes and won the People’s Choice Award in Toronto. Not surprising with a cast consisting of Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Tom Waits, and Colin Farrell who also starred in pic’s writer/director Martin McDonaugh’s first feature film In Bruges. Studio’s current plan is to expand on the other side of Paranormal Activity 4 on October 26 so word of mouth has time to grow. Paid media spend was limited given the scope of the release and targeted to men 18–49. Heavy TV sports and scripted series as well as print. Film premiered as part of Toronto’s Midnight Madness and extended to Hampton’s and Mill Valley film fests. Online content initiatives included Seven PsychoCATS. Best was that viral video from the LA junket where Walken, Rockwell, and Farrell did Honey Boo Boo.
Public shrugged at Atlas Shrugged Part 2 (1,012 theaters). Serious drama to Ayn Rand accolytes, hilarious comedy to the rest of us, its gross fell from Friday to Saturday – never a good sign – for #10 for the weekend.
Here’s the Top Ten based on weekend estimates:
1. Taken 2 (Fox) Week 2 [3,706 Runs] PG13
Friday $7.0M, Saturday $9.8M, Weekend $22.7M (-54%), Cume $86.3M
2. Argo (Warner Bros) NEW [3,232 Runs] R
Friday $5.9M, Saturday $8.9M, Weekend $20.1M
3. Sinister (Summit/Lionsgate) NEW [2,527 Runs] R
Friday $7.4M, Saturday $7.0M, Weekend $18.8M
David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook has been named the big winner of the BlackBerry People’s Choice Award at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Fest Artistic Director Cameron Bailey leaked the news via Twitter as the ceremony was taking place. The critically acclaimed comedy which stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro won unanimous praise across the board and is not a surprising choice. It’s a real crowd-pleaser and follows in the footsteps of recent TIFF audience award winners like Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech which both also went on to win Oscars for Best Picture. American Beauty also took the People’s Choice Award and went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars over a decade ago. However last year’s TIFF winner, the Lebanese Where Do We Go Now didn’t even manage to get a Foreign-Language Film Oscar nod and quickly disappeared from theatres when Sony Pictures Classics released it in the U.S. It surprisingly won the TIFF honor over eventual Best Picture Oscar winner The Artist. Still this should be a big boost in further establishing the Weinstein Company’s November 21st release as a major awards contender. Additionally, Seven Psychopaths took the Audience Award for movies that screened for the festival’s Midnight Madness sidebar. TIFF doesn’t offer up a major juried list of award winners like Cannes or Venice so the People’s Choice Award is the best barometer of what really scored at the fest.
From the press release:
Freddie Highmore, who played the title role opposite Johnny Depp in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, is taking on a far more menacing character next. The young British actor has been cast to play Norman Bates opposite Vera Farmiga in in A&E’s upcoming series Bates Motel, which serves as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock horror classic Psycho. The series examines the twisted relationship between serial-killer-to-be Bates and his mother Norma (Varmiga). This marks the U.S. series debut for Highmore, who also toplined the feature The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko, Zeljko Ivanek and Gabourey Sidibe figure in this CBS Films tale that revolves around an LA gangster’s dognapped Shih Tzu. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths opens October 12th:
In her return to television, Vera Farmiga is set for the plum female lead in A&E’s upcoming series Bates Motel, which serves as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock horror classic Psycho and examines the twisted relationship between serial killer-to-be Norman Bates and his mother Norma. Farmiga will play Norma Louise Bates who is described as passionate, and compelling, a smart, multidimensional character who is always capable of surprising us. The Universal TV-produced Bates Motel has a 10-episode straight-to-series order for a 2013 premiere. Former Lost co-showrunner Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin (Parenthood) serve as writers-executive producers. “We are delighted to welcome Vera Farmiga to Bates Motel,” Cuse said. “She is a phenomenal talent who has demonstrated incredible range and intelligence in a number of landmark film roles, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her join our project.”
Bates Motel had been developed as a miniseries when A&E bought it in January. When Cuse and Ehrin boarded the project two months later, they reworked it as a series and wrote several scripts. That prompted A&E’s July decision to forgo a pilot and go straight to series. Farmiga co-starred on several series, including NBC’s UC: Undercover and USA’s Touching Evil, and in the HBO telefilm Iron Jawed Angels before breaking out in features. She was nominated for an Oscar for Up In The Air and also starred in the Oscar-winning The Departed.
CBS Films has released a trailer for Seven Psychopaths, the comedy written and directed by Martin McDonagh. He wrote what I consider to be one of the tightly scripted films in recent years on In Bruges, and he was Oscar-nominated for his writing work on that film. Here’s he’s got Colin Farrell back as a struggling screenwriter who inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell) kidnap a gangster’s (Woody Harrelson) beloved Shih Tzu. Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko and Zeljko Ivanek also star. The pic premieres at Toronto in the Midnight Madness section on September 7.
EXCLUSIVE: The original Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio, has signed on to Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho. Macchio will play Psycho screenwriter Joe Stefano. Anthony Hopkins plays Hitchcock, Helen Mirren plays Alma Reville, Scarlett Johansson plays Janet Leigh, and Jessica Biehl plays Vera Miles. The Sacha Gervasi-directed adaptation of the Stephen Rebello book is just getting underway through Montecito Picture Co and Fox Searchlight. Macchio just completed a role in Happily Divorced.
EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Biel committed today to the second female lead in the Sacha Gervasi-directed Alfred Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho. Biel will play the role of Vera Miles, who played Lila Crane in the 1960 classic. Anthony Hopkins plays Hitchcock, Scarlett Johansson will play Janet Leigh, Helen Mirren will play Alma Reville and James D’Arcy is reportedly up for the role of Anthony Perkins. Biel will next be seen starring opposite Colin Farrell in the Total Recall remake for Sony Pictures. Biel beat out several actresses for the Hitchcock role. She’s repped by CAA, Management 360 and attorney Karl Austen.
A&E said today that it is in early development on Bates Motel, a drama series that serves as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic Psycho. Bates Motel, from Universal TV and writer Anthony Cipriano, will delve into how Norman Bates’ dark, twisted backstory from childhood through his teen years and will chronicle how his mother, Norma, and her lover damaged Norman, helping shape the most well-known serial killing motel owner in history.
Also in development at A&E is Those Who Kill, an adaptation of a Danish series which in turn was based on author Elsebeth Egholm’s books. The project, from Imagine Television and Fox21, centers on a female police detective and a “profiler” (forensic psychiatrist), on the hunt for serial killers. Glen Morgan will write the script and will executive produce with Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Peter Bose and Jonas Allen.