EXCLUSIVE: Art forger Mark Landis has been plying his talents for three decades, creating masterful knock-offs of some of the greatest painted works in history and skirting the law by donating his forgeries to museums and collections around the world – for free. His work, psyche, and motivations, along with the efforts of one dogged museum registrar to bring him down in the name of authenticity, are the subject of Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman’s upcoming documentary Art and Craft. Oscilloscope Laboratories picked up the film in March before it premiered at Tribeca and now Deadline’s got the exclusive trailer (watch it below).
Wednesday, July 23 — Preview Night
6-10 PM, Ballroom 20
Warner Bros. TV Pilot Screening: Constantine, The Flash, iZombie, Teen Titans Go!
Thursday, July 24
10-11 AM, Ballroom 20
Fox’s 24: Kiefer Sutherland, EP Jon Cassar returns to Comic-Con to show off highlights from 24: Live Another Day.
10:30-11:30 AM, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront
Legends Of TV Land: Betty White (The Golden Girls, Hot in Cleveland) and other TV celebs will answer questions about their work and making history on television. Sneak peek of animated episode of Hot in Cleveland, airing July 30th.
To refresh everyone’s memory: Global Eagle is the airline entertainment and Internet company founded by former CBS and Sony exec Jeff Sagansky and former MGM chief Harry Sloan. They, along with others on the board, just gave the company’s pilot wings to Dave Davis, who was CFO and COO after serving for years as CFO of Northwest Airlines. He spent most of his career in finance, and helped Northwest navigate its merger with Delta. Davis replaces John LaValle, who will continue to serve the company as a consultant.
“I initially invested in Global Eagle because I saw so much potential for delivering content thru digital delivery to airline passengers getting connected ” Sloan says. “Since then, Global Eagle has become the dominant player in delivering movies, TV series and games to the commercial airline industry. As airline connectivity becomes more ubiquitous around the world, the demand for content will be even greater, and Dave’s excellent relationships with the airlines will serve Global Eagle well, as he leads our expansion.”
Davis may have to steer Global Eagle through some choppy air. The company’s stock price is -23% so far in 2014 as it competes with rivals including Gogo and Panasonic to connect and serve planes in flight. But Global Eagle — which reaches planes via satellite transmissions, not terrestrial ones – hopes to gain altitude from a deal to serve Southwest Airlines, and other overseas airlines. The company reported a loss of $26.3M on revenues of nearly $86M …
“It may have been too far out there for some people but I personally liked it,” said The Strain showrunner Carlton Cuse today about the graphic billboards FX pulled in some LA locations last week after getting grossed out complaints. The billboards of the upcoming series based on the trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan depicted a close up illustration of a worm coming out of a human eyeball. “I think that the ad was bold and imaginative and clearly not for everyone,” added the former Lost producer today on a conference call. “I feel the same way,” said del Toro. “I think FX has a great sense of who their audience is,” he added, “the worm with the eye is very powerful.”
“Much as I think that the show has many layers of appeal,” the Pacific Rim director noted the vampire drama might not be for a mass TV audience. “We do go to territories that are pretty extreme and graphic,” del Toro said describing the show as “a thriller with horror elements.”
Despite the pulled billboards, both reiterate the strong support they’ve had from their first meeting with FX. “John Landgraf read all three books and he made the decision that The Strain fit into the portfolio of shows on FX,’ Cuse said. “They give you time to find your footing,” added del Toro as he spoke of the long pre-production time he requested for …
David Slade (Hannibal, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) has signed on to helm the opening two episodes of Powers, the Sony Playstation Network series based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. He will direct from scripts by Charlie Huston (The Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest), who penned the first two episodes of the live-action series, which is set to premiere exclusively on Sony’s network in December. Slade and Huston also will exec produce the first two episodes.
Cinelicious Pics, Adi Shankar Banking On “Tarantino Of Bollywood” With 5 1/2 Hour Crime Epic ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’
EXCLUSIVE: After launching in June, newbie indie/art house distributor Cinelicious Pics has struck a deal to bring acclaimed five-and-a-half-hour Bollywood new wave crime epic Gangs of Wasseypur to North America. The film is the latest from Anurag Kashyap (Black Friday, Dev D, Ugly, and Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna), the Indian filmmaker whose bullets ‘n’ blood-soaked saga has earned him a reputation as the Scorsese/Tarantino of Bollywood.
Kashyap co-wrote, produced, and directed the Godfather-esque pic tracking 70 violent years in the lives of two mafia families battling for control over the coal mining town of Wasseypur, based on the real-life gang wars between two families in the cash-strapped industrial region. Cinelicious will release the film this fall in NY and LA in two parts, to be presented stateside by film producer Adi Shankar (The Grey, Lone Survivor).
So how does a neophyte specialty distributor strategize the release of a 319-minute foreign language picture? One of the film’s producers, Guneet Monga, produced The Lunchbox, the Irrfan Khan starrer that’s become the most successful foreign-language movie of 2014 in the States. Monga and Kashyap turned to Indian-born Shankar to help bring Gangs to the action-hungry U.S. audiences that connected with his R-rated actioners Dredd, Killing Them Softly, Machine Gun Preacher, and The Grey as well as the viral Marvel superhero fan videos Shankar has produced and released online. Shankar will boost the pic to his fan base online and at events like New York Comic-Con in October, where he’s scheduled to appear.
“Gangs is such an important and monumental movie for my people – it marks our emergence as an international cinematic powerhouse,” said Shankar. “America has The Godfather, Korea has Oldboy, Japan has Battles Without Honor & Humanity, Hong Kong has Infernal Affairs, Brazil has City of God, and now India has Gangs of Wasseypur.”
Comic-Con Update: ‘Penny Dreadful’, ‘American Horror Story’ To Make Debuts, 20th TV & FX Panels Announced
The cast of American Horror Story is finally coming to Comic-Con after three seasons on the air. The FX show has skipped the fanboy confab in previous summers partly due to its production schedule, however, the Coven and Freak Show cast will be heading to San Diego including Emma Roberts, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, new addition Michael Chiklis and exec producer Tim Minear. The panel, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 26 from 7-8 PM in Room 6DE will provide a look back at Coven as well as exclusive secrets from the set of the upcoming Freak Show.
Also announced today is Showtime’s plan for Penny Dreadful, which wrapped its first season June 27. It will make its Comic-Con debut on Thursday, July 24th with a 6-7 PM panel session in Ballroom 20, combined with signings and merchandise and a tie-in with the confab that will put Showtime and Penny Dreadful branding on more than 150,000 lanyards worn by attendees. Featured panelists include stars Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney and Harry Treadaway and creator/writer/executive producer John Logan. Aisha Tyler will moderate.
Lost in a long and sleepy holiday weekend’s ennui, we couldn’t help ourselves: We’ve pulled together lines culled from the funniest/worst movie reviews so far this year, pulling out some jewels. Here’s what we came up with:
Tammy (Opened July 2, 27% Rotten Tomatoes Score)
Melissa McCarthy‘s film sees her once again working the schtick as an in-your-face femme, this time on the road with her just-as-crass granny (Susan Sarandon). Given that the film seems to be headed into a ditch after a weak open, one can’t help wondering whether the Bridesmaids thesp’s routine is aging fast.
“The good news is that Tammy is not a crappy remake of the 1957 Tammy movie with Debbie Reynolds that spawned three sequels and a TV comedy series. The bad news is that this one is much worse… It’s about as funny as a liver transplant.” — New York Observer’s Rex Reed, who already had a bone to pick with McCarthy last year.
UPDATED, 12:50PM: Leaders of SAG-AFTRA, calling their new film and TV contract “historic,” have something to celebrate this Fourth of July. The tentative new contract, reached early this morning after two months of hard bargaining, achieved the major goal of the union going into the talks: the merger of its two separate TV contracts.
When SAG-AFTRA merged in 2012, it was stuck with two separate pension and health plans and two separate TV contracts, which allowed TV producers to shop for the best terms. This anomaly created a landslide of producers rushing to shoot their projects under AFTRA’s TV contract, which was threatening to dry up employer contributions to SAG’s pension and health plan.
The new contract also achieved the first industry-wide agreement for performers in basic cable production, which now will be incorporated into the new Television Agreement.
In short, it’s a huge victory for the union, and a major milestone on the road to completing the merger of the two unions that was started two years ago.
“Unifying the legacy SAG and AFTRA contracts was essential, and I am very pleased that we were able to achieve that,” SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard said in a statement. “As important, we have established an industry-wide, basic cable agreement – something we have wanted for two decades. We’ve also secured a very competitive wage package for members and a large bump in our pension, health and retirement contributions. This is a great package with real, measurable gains in numerous areas of our …
Even by Michael Bay standards, the filmmaker finishes a pyrotechnic weekend that is a career high watermark for movies and TV. His Transformers: Age Of Extinction might cross $100 million domestic on its opening weekend (a shade less than the $108 million done by Transformers 3), and passed $200 million international (biggest offshore opener this year) to generate $300 million in total ticket sales. Those who stayed home had to deal with Bay’s TNT drama The Last Ship, which aired tonight with hopes to build on a June 22 premiere of the post apocalyptic drama that totaled 5.3 million total viewers. Its 1.2 rating among the 18-49 demo in that debut episode made it the second highest-rated drama debut in the past few weeks and the best cable result so far this summer. There are already expectations that Bay will do his fifth Transformers installment (he, Peter Jackson and James Cameron seem comfortable working in their respective billion dollar franchise sandboxes over and over), but I hear Bay might want to take a break and direct a smaller movie next, as he did with Pain & Gain. There is always the prospect of Bad Boys 3 kicking around. Bay overhauled the Transformers storyline with his Pain & Gain star Mark Wahlberg. Has Bay positioned himself and Wahlberg to drive the next few installments of the saga?
The Oscar organization has unveiled its annual invitees list for 2014. Check out the release below:
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014. “This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
‘Pitch Perfect 2′ Taps Danish Import Birgitte Hjort Sørensen; India Eisley, Laura Allen & Cam Gigandet Join ‘Sitter-Cam’
Danish actress Birgitte Hjort Sørensen has joined Pitch Perfect 2, the a cappella singing sequel Elizabeth Banks is directing for Universal and Gold Circle Films. Sørensen can be seen on Danish TV in the political drama Borgen and starred in the title role in Bille August’s art biopic Marie Krøyer. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, and Adam DeVine have returned for the sequel about collegiate competitive crooners. I hear Sørensen will play a member of a competing a cappella group alongside recently cast German YouTube star Flula Borg. Maybe they’ll bring it with a new international rivalry for Pitch Perfect‘s Bellas? Sørensen is coming off of a stage run opposite Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus and stars with Antonio Banderas this fall in Autómata. She’s repped by Paradigm, Untitled, Curtis Brown and Lindberg Management. Universal will release Pitch Perfect 2 on May 15.
India Eisley (Underworld, Kite) has joined the cast of indie thriller Sitter-Cam, about a scheming nanny, hired to look after a 5-year-old, who is spied on by her employers via hidden cameras. Ravenswood‘s Laura Allen, Cam Gigandet of The Twilight Saga, and newcomer Farrah Mackenzie also star in the film. It’s the directorial debut of helmer Nancy Leopardi, who’s currently in production in L.A. Project is said to have a sinister tone a la juicy ’90s domestic thrillers The Crush and The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.
EXCLUSIVE: Ansel Elgort, hot off the male lead of Augustus Waters in The Fault In Our Stars, has signed to play the title role in Van Cliburn, a feature that is being mounted by Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen along with Crystal City Entertainment in association with The Johnson Group. Godfrey and Bowen, who worked with Elgort on The Fault In Our Stars, will produce with Ari Daniel Pinchot and Robert M. Johnson is exec producer. Andrew Stern will write the script.
The film is based on the Howard Reich book Van Cliburn, and Elgort will play the pianist in his formative years when, at age 23 in 1958, he emerged from out of nowhere to win the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. It was the first time the tournament was held, and was organized by the USSR after it had caught up to the U.S. in the nuclear arms race and completed the first successful space launch with Sputnik. Nikita Khrushchev saw the competition as a way to lord Soviet superiority at a time when tensions between the two superpowers were sky high. The lanky pianist from Texas who graduated Juilliard but was taught by his neighborhood piano teacher mother, had a very unorthodox instinctive style that bowled won over the Russian judges and the proletariat crowd that followed every note of the competition. Although some tried to marginalize him so they could knock him from the competition, Cliburn made it to the finals. Judges, fearing exile to Siberia, brought in Khrushchev as they deliberated. The Soviet premier asked them if he was the best, and told them to give him the prize when they answered yes. This was credited with bridging the Cold War gap. Cliburn became a favorite among Russian audiences, and he played for U.S. presidents as well, until he abruptly stopped publicly performing in 1978. The one-time prodigy died last year of bone cancer at 78.
Former Warner Bros exec-turned-producer Basil Iwanyk makes the kind of star-driven big-budget films that offshore distributors were salivating over but couldn’t find enough of during Cannes. After previously leveraging that into a deal with London-based Cutting Edge Film Group that gives it music rights to five movies in exchange for development funding, and another with Italia Films and China-based Fundamental Films that promised Italia distribution rights in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East, and Fundamental releasing rights in China in exchange for a high seven-figure fund, Thunder Road has now closed a partnership deal with Christian Angermayer’s Film House Germany that amounts to a mid-seven-figure deal over three years.
This comes as the two companies are collaborating on several projects, including Ride Of The Valkyries, a fantasy film based on the German Nibelung Saga. The first project they’ll hatch from the new deal will be No Quarter, the Alessandro Camon/Michael Wilson-scripted drama about two Iraq War vets who take different paths when they return home from the Marines. At Cannes, Iwanyk joined as producer on Ivanhoe, which is being done by Film House subsidiary Eoli Tossell.
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate Television and Tandem Communications have set crime drama Sex, Lies And Handwriting at ABC. The project, now in development, is intended as straight-to-series, with a fall production start in Vancouver eyed should ABC move to greenlight the pilot script.
Sex, Lies And Handwriting is the first project to come out of the joint venture Lionsgate Television and Tandem Communications, a Studiocanal company, launched last year to co-finance and distribute hourlong dramas using the straight-to-series model Tandem employed for its first drama series, Crossing Lines, as well as its miniseries including The Pillars Of The Earth and its follow-up World Without End. As expected, the partners tweaked Tandem’s existing approach, in which the Munich-based company financed its series (mostly though international pre-sales) and completed the projects before taking the finished product to the U.S.. With Sex, Lies And Handwriting, an American network, ABC, is brought in much earlier in the process for more simultaneous sales in the U.S. and Europe and Canada. Other network development partners already on board for the potential series include Bell Media (Canada), TF1 Network (France) and ProSiebenSat.1 (Germany). The series would be produced in Canada by Sea To Sky, the Canadian studio joint venture between Lionsgate and Thunderbird Films.
EXCLUSIVE: Stefanie Scott is set to star in Insidious: Chapter 3, the third installment of Focus Features, eOne, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, and Blumhouse Productions‘ hit horror franchise. Plot and character details are being kept under wraps. The threequel will be written and directed by Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) in his helming debut. Scott is currently in production on Blumhouse’s live-action adaptation of ’80s cartoon Jem And The Holograms, making her the latest thesp to be cast in multiple Blumhouse pictures after In A Valley Of Violence stars Ethan Hawke, Karen Gillan, and James Ransone. The actress also starred recently on Disney’s high school sitcom A.N.T. Farm and appeared in features Flipped and No Strings Attached.
Focus Features took U.S. rights to Insidious: Chapter 3 from FilmDistrict when Peter Schlessel took the reins last October. The company has set an April 3, 2015 release. eOne is handling distribution in Canada, the U.K., and Spain while Sony has the remainder of international territories. The first Insidious pic scored $97M on a $1.5M budget, directed by Wan and written by Whannell. Sequel Insidious: Chapter 2 continued the demonic saga with Wan directing again from a Whannell script and notched $160M worldwide.
Francis Ford Coppola can see the future of cinema, and it’s going to be “live,” like a digital play or a virtual opera. Speaking before an overflow crowd at the closing of the Producer Guild‘s Produced By conference, Coppola said he sees a future in which movies will be presented “live” to audiences all around the world at the same time.
With the digital revolution, he said, “movies no longer have to be set in stone and can be composed and interpreted for different audiences that come to see it. Film has always been a recorded medium,” but live cinema remixes might be “30 percent pre-recorded as the actors do it live. You can do anything and you can do it live.”
Coppola said he might even essay such a “live” movie himself. Coppola, who is currently writing a saga about multiple generations of an Italian-American family (ed.: why does this somehow sound familiar?), said, “Maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and do it live.”
The Godfather of American cinema said that he is “very optimistic about the future of cinema and the world,” and he’s especially bullish on independent filmmaking. ”If not for independent filmmakers,” he said, “all we would have would be these big industrial films. The cinema is too important to allow industry high finance to stop it. Cinema is too big to be defeated.”
Besides star/co-creator Lisa Kudrow, Kellan Lutz and Malin Akerman are probably the biggest names among the alumni of HBO‘s cult comedy series The Comeback. After some juggling, I’ve learned that both are now set to reprise their roles as romantically linked Chris and Juna. None is expected to appear in all six episodes of the follow-up, which is in production for a premiere as a limited series this fall. The original show starred Kudrow as washed-up sitcom actress Valerie Cherish, who gets a reality show documenting her attempt at a career comeback. In the new episodes, Valerie will continue her search to attain the spotlight. Lutz, who has co-starred in two blockbuster feature franchises since Comeback, The Twilight Saga and The Expendables, will reprise his recurring role as Chris, one of the co-stars of Valerie’s comeback sitcom. Akerman, who toplined ABC’s comedy series Trophy Wife this past season, will reprise his regular role as Juna, who plays Val’s niece on the sitcom and sees her as a role model in real life. Lutz, who played the title role in The Legend Of Hercules, and Akerman are with WME; Lutz is also with Zero Gravity.