Director Adrian Noble has confirmed a rumor kicking around stage circles for weeks: that he is turning the Best Picture Oscar-winning The King’s Speech into a stage play. This is not going to be a difficult transition. As Seidler told Deadline right after last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, he turned his long-gestating script into a play as an exercise to help him finish and get it noticed. A reading was held, and that is where director Tom Hooper’s parents heard it, then told Hooper they’d found his next project. It took Hooper some time to get around to reading it because he was working on the HBO miniseries John Adams. But they were right.
Oscar contenders The King’s Speech, The Fighter and 127 Hours will face off again, this time as finalists in the feature film category for this year’s Humanitas Prizes, which recognize writers whose work “entertain, engage and enrich the viewing public.” The series finale of DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights made the cut in the hourlong TV category alongside Fox’s House, Lifetime’s Drop Dead Diva and HBO’s The Pacific, while ABC’s Emmy-winning Modern Family, which shared the comedy prize in the half-hour category with Showtime’s Nurse Jackie last year, is nominated again, along with Nurse Jackie, CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and Showtime’s The Big C. (The drama prize last year was split between Glee and The Good Wife.) The winners in 6 categories will be announced at the annual ceremony slated to take place Sept. 16 at the Montage Beverly Hills where comedy veteran Gary David Goldberg will receive the Kieser Award “which is given to an individual whose work has helped promote a greater appreciation for each member of the human family.” Here is the official release:
Ealing Studios and The King’s Speech financier Prescience has merged their respective sales arms. The companies previously worked together on both St. Trinian’s films, Dorian Gray and Easy Virtue. They say combining gives them “a unique advantage,” because of the money that Prescience brings to the table. They also said no jobs will be lost in the consolidation. “The beauty of this merger is that we now have access to Prescience’s money,” says Will Machin, Ealing’s head of distribution. Machin will run Ealing Metro. “There are very few companies in the indie marketplace that can offer what we can now.” Prescience has raised around $250 million to date through its Aegis Film Fund and Metropolis Media EIS tax fund. Ealing Metro will offer equity, gap financing and in some cases will put up minimum guarantee advances against international sales, the money that gets films rolling. The plan is to handle 10-15 films a year, with Machin working alongside with Natalie Brenner and James Scott.
Ealing Metro’s current slate includes upcoming productions Better Living Through Chemistry, which stars Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Garner and shoots in July; the Iain Softley-directed psychological thriller Trap For Cinderella, which stars Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach; and the Nina Simone biopic Nina, which stars Mary J Blige and David Oyelowo, and starts production May 23.
The Weinstein Company is ready to launch a PG-13 version of the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech on 1000 theaters on April 1, following an appeal and much discussion over the controversial MPAA R-rating the picture received because of liberal use of the word “fuck” in Tom Hooper’s original cut. April Fool’s Day seems an appropriate date for release because the whole thing seems so silly, but a good thing if you are a fan of the word “shit.” From what I’m told, the film is exactly the same length. What’s different? In that scene where King George VI (Colin Firth) tries a suggestion from speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to curse in an attempt to get past his stutter, he now will mostly say the word “shit” about 42 times, instead of the word “fuck,” a word which isn’t used beyond the 2 or 3 times that is the limit for PG-13. Is this really what the movie business and the ratings board has come to? While Tom Hooper told Deadline during the Toronto International Film Festival that he wouldn’t change a frame of the film, I guess this was a way to do it without excising a moment of screen footage. Sources said that Hooper was involved in this dubbing effort that keeps The King’s Speech from carrying the same rating as films in the Saw franchise. The film originally got a 15 rating in the UK, but …
As the Oscar race hits the home stretch, the battle for supremacy is heating up. First Mark Zuckerberg showed up on Saturday Night Live last week to help tout The Social Network alongside host Jesse Eisenberg. Now The King’s Speech, which has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards and took home last weekend’s top DGA and SAG honors, has found its own special audience — none other than Queen Elizabeth. This comes from the Weinstein Company:
New York, NY, February 4, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) is honored to learn that Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth, has enjoyed a private screening of THE KING’S SPEECH, as reported by Duncan Larcombe, Royal Editor, in today’s edition of The Sun. The film, directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler, tells the story of Her Majesty’s father, King George VI, as he struggles to overcome a crippling speech impediment while grappling with his sudden, unexpected ascension to throne and the mounting danger of Nazi Germany. THE KING’S SPEECH stars Colin Firth as King George VI, Geoffrey Rush as the King’s speech therapist, Lionel Logue, and Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
THE KING’S SPEECH has been seen and admired by many notable public figures, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, who hosted a private screening at his home over the Christmas holidays; Prince Andrew; Lord and Lady William Astor; Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill; and Edwina Sandys, the granddaughter of Winston Churchill (portrayed in the film by Timothy Spall).
17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Winners: ‘The King’s Speech’ Entire Cast, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo
LOS ANGELES — The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® for outstanding performances in 2010 are underway tonight. Of the top industry accolades presented to performers, only the Screen Actors Guild Awards are selected solely by actors’ peers. The entire active membership of the Guild across the country, approximately 100,000 actors, voted on all categories:
THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)
ANTHONY ANDREWS / Stanley Baldwin
HELENA BONHAM CARTER / Queen Elizabeth
JENNIFER EHLE / Myrtle Logue
COLIN FIRTH / King George VI
MICHAEL GAMBON / King George V
DEREK JACOBI / Archbishop Cosmo Lang
GUY PEARCE / King Edward VIII
GEOFFREY RUSH / Lionel Logue
TIMOTHY SPALL / Winston Churchill
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
COLIN FIRTH / King George VI – THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Company)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
NATALIE PORTMAN / Nina Sayers – BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
CHRISTIAN BALE / Dicky Eklund – THE FIGHTER (Paramount Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
MELISSA LEO / Alice Ward – THE FIGHTER (Paramount Pictures)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO)
STEVE BUSCEMI / Nucky Thompson
DABNEY COLEMAN / Commodore Louis Kaestner
PAZ DE LA HUERTA / Lucy Danzinger
STEPHEN GRAHAM / Al Capone
ANTHONY LACIURA / Eddie Kessler
KELLY MACDONALD / Margaret Schroeder
GRETCHEN MOL / Gillian Darmody
ALESKA PALLADINO / …
LOS ANGELES, CA: The 63rd Annual Directors Guild of America Awards were held tonight at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. Only 6 times has the DGA Award winner not won the Academy Award for Best Director (1968/Carol Reed for Oliver!; 1972/Bob Fosse for Cabaret; 1985/Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa; 1995/Mel Gibson for Braveheart); 2000/Steven Soderbergh for Traffic; 2002/Roman Polanski for The Pianist) Here are the winners (in progress):
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2010:
TOM HOOPER, The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Co.)
Hooper’s Directorial Team:
Production Manager: Erica Bensly
First Assistant Director: Martin Harrison
Second Assistant Director: Chris Stoaling
This is Hooper’s first DGA Feature Film Award Nomination. He was previously nominated for the DGA Award for Movies for Television/Miniseries for John Adams in 2008.
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for 2010:
CHARLES FERGUSON, Inside Job
Representational Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics
This is Ferguson’s first DGA Award nomination.
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for 2010:
MICK JACKSON, Temple Grandin (HBO)
Jackson’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Scott Ferguson
First Assistant Director: Philip Hardage
Second Assistant Director: Shawn Pipkin
Second Second Assistant Director: Kayse Goodell and Richard E. Chapla Jr.
Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Glen Moorman
This is Jackson’s fourth DGA Award nomination. He is a three-time winner of the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series with Indictment: The McMartin Trial (1995), Tuesdays With Morrie (1999), and Live From Baghdad (2002).
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for 2010:
MARTIN SCORSESE, Boardwalk Empire, “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
Scorsese’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Harvey Waldman
First Assistant Director: Chris Surgent
Second Assistant Director: Takahide Kawakami
Second Second Assistant Director: Patrick McDonald
Additional Second Assistant Director: Sal Sutera DGA Trainee: Jamiyl Ihsaan Campbell
This is Scorsese’s eighth DGA Award nomination. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature film in 2006 for The Departed, and was previously nominated in that category for Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and The Aviator (2004). In 1999 Scorsese was presented with the Filmmaker Award at the inaugural DGA Honors Gala and he won the DGA’s highest artistic honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award (for distinguished achievement in film direction) in 2003.
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for 2010:
MICHAEL SPILLER, Modern Family, “Halloween” (ABC)
Spiller’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Sally Young
First Assistant Director: Alisa Statman
Second Assistant Director: Helena Lamb
Second Second Assistant Director: Matthew Heffernan
This is Spiller’s first DGA Award nomination.
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety for 2010:
GLENN WEISS, 64th Annual Tony Awards (CBS)
Weiss’ Directorial Team:
Associate Directors: Gregg Gelfand, Robin Abrams, Ricky Kirshner
Stage Managers: Garry Hood, Peter Epstein, Andrew Feigin, Lynn Finkel, Doug Fogel, Jeffry Gitter, Dean Gordon, Phyllis Digilio Kent, Arthur Lewis, Joey Meade, Tony Mirante, Cyndi Owgang, Jeff Pearl, Elyse Reaves, Lauren Class Schneider
This is Weiss’ seventh DGA Award nomination. He won the Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical Variety in 2007 for The 61st Annual Tony Awards; and was previously nominated in this category in 2008, 2006, 2005, 2002 and 2001 all for the 62nd, 60th, 59th, 56th and 55th Annual Tony Awards.
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs for 2010:
EYTAN KELLER, The Next Iron Chef, “Episode #301” (Food Network)
Keller’s Directorial Team:
Segment Director: Stephen Kroopnick
Stage Managers: Tom Borgnine, Seth Mellman
This is Keller’s second DGA Award Nomination. He was previously nominated in this same category in 2009 for episode “201” of The Next Iron Chef.
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials for 2010:
LARRY CARPENTER, One Life to Live, “Episode #10,687” (ABC)
Carpenter’s Directorial Team:
Associate Directors: Tracy Casper Lang, Teresa Anne Cicala, Anthony J. Wilkinson, Jen Pepperman
Stage Managers: Alan Needleman, Keith Greer
Production Associates: Nathalie Rodriguez, Kevin Brush
This is Carpenter’s seventh DGA Award nomination and all for his direction of One Life to Live. He won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials Award for One Life to Live – “Episode #9947″ in 2007, for “Episode #8849″ in 2003, and for “So You Think You Can Be Shane Morasco’s Father” in 2008. He was previously nominated for that series for “Episode #9686″ in 2006, “Episode #9385″ in 2005 and “Episode #8655″ in 2002.
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs for 2010:
ERIC BROSS, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (Nickelodeon)
This is Bross’ first DGA Award nomination.
In America, The Weinstein Co has received most of the PR bonanza for backing Oscar-touted The King’s Speech. But it’s really a British film financing company aptly named Prescience that first recognized the film’s potential. With an office in Beaconsfield, a quaint market town 20 miles outside of London, the Prescience only set up in business 5 years ago — which underscores how far this boutique film financier has come. Prescience has backed 25 films to date with a total production value of $400 million. It’s run by managing director Tim Smith and his co-director Paul Brett who’ve both worked in the movie industry for more than 20 years at British outposts of Hollywood studios. Smith used to work for Fox, while Brett has worked for Miramax, Pathé and Paramount. Both come from a marketing background, which is what they say they’re bringing to the party. Brett tells me: “In Hollywood a film gets greenlit when they have a release date and know how it’s going to be marketed. Here a film is greenlit when the money’s available.”
The Weinstein Company and Prescience were the first financiers in after UK distributor Momentum. Iain Canning, co-producer of The King’s Speech, had decided to keep the project independent, turning down an offer from Fox Searchlight to fully fund the movie. Instead, The Weinstein Company took North American rights plus a clutch of several other territories including France and Germany. Prescience’s job was to fund the production, lending against pre-sales, tax money, and territories which sales agent FilmNation had yet to sell. The UK Film Council and UK post-production company Molinare rounded out the $12 million budget with some equity. But co-producer Gareth Unwin tells me: “Prescience were a key element of our finance plan. Without their commitment, the film would not have happened.”
So, what was it about The King’s Speech that made Prescience want to get on board a period English drama? “It was easily the best script I’ve ever read,” says Brett, who reads between 300 to 400 screenplays a year, about David Seidler’s original screenplay.
Now Prescience has aligned itself with The King’s Speech filmmakers again on another project written by Seidler.
OSCAR: Behind-The-Seams With Costume Designers For ‘Alice In Wonderland’, ‘Black Swan’, ‘The King’s Speech’, ‘The Tempest’
(Freelancer Elizabeth Snead is helping Deadline’s awards coverage)
Colleen Atwood, Alice in Wonderland:
Previous films: Won two Oscars for Chicago and Memoirs Of A Geisha. Six Oscar nominations for Sweeney Todd, Nine, Lemony Snicket, Sleepy Hollow, Beloved, Little Women.
Behind-the-seams: “The Hatter’s look was based on the real hatters who used mercury in their trade which poisoned them and made them go mad. It also caused the hair to turn a very fried red color and their skin to get very pale…
“We wanted the Mad Hatter’s bow tie droopy but when he cheered up, such as when Alice came around, he perked up and his tie would also get happy. It was controlled by Johnny so he could make it happen when he felt it…
“We got very lucky for Johnny’s hat, I found some laser-cut leather in Italy that looked like it had been burned, then re-embroidered with gold thread. Right before we did our first fitting with him, I thought ‘Oh my God, I can’t figure out how the hat is going to look without the hair.’ Those pictures can never see the light of day because we literally stuffed a clown wig in the hat. We were dying laughing because he looked like Bozo…
“Shoes are a passion of mine and I knew that because Johnny walked on a table that we would see them. So we etched subversive things on the shoes like ‘Down with Bloody Big Head’. You can’t really read it but I love doing all those details. It makes me laugh and it’s part of character building…
“All Johnny’s tools of his trade — scissors, threads, thimbles, a pin cushion — were period items I found in flea markets on Portobello Road in London and online…
“Johnny has it in his contract that he keeps his wardrobe. He has an archive of all his costumes from all his films and people who catalog and preserve them. He loves that part of the process and he always has.”
Amy Westcott, Black Swan
Previous films: The Wrestler
Behind-the-seams: “It was Natalie who recommended Rodarte. It was important to her and Darren asked me if it was OK. I met with Laura and Kate Mulleavy and I saw their feathered Vulture collection (I think it was Spring 2010). It seemed very appropriate. We communicated using Skype because they were in LA and we were shooting in New York…
“The biggest key for my research was watching actual classes and talking to actual dancers at the American Ballet Theatre and City Ballet. I couldn’t take photos but they allowed me to sit in and made sketches and talked to the girls afterwards. I got to see what was realistic and functional, how they put on and took off layers…
“All the lead characters are based on characters in the ballet. Nina, the White Swan, wears pale colors. When Nina loses her innocence, she starts to dress a little darker. By the end of the film, she’s all in black for the first time…
“Nina’s sheer shrug was to cover the scars on her back. We looked everywhere for the right one. We cut the feet off tights and she put her arms through the legs, something dancers do. It was authentic but was also important for the character. And I love the scene where she’s breaking in her shoes. It shows the violence of this art form that looks so beautiful and graceful.”
Louise Stjernsward, Made in Dagenham
Previous films: Stealing Beauty, Sexy Beast, The Dreamers.
Behind-the-seams: “It was in the script that it had to be a Biba dress and two girls had to wear it and Sally was quite a bit smaller than Rosamund. I tried to find an original but didn’t. Then I bought a book about Biba, which was such a great shop and so inexpensive, and I saw the iconic mage of this dress. I had two made and made Sally’s a little big on her to make credible that she’d borrowed it from Ros…
“I watched a lot of footage of the real women, and the film is slightly glamorized. Sally wanted to keep her character very low key in the beginning. She’s a working girl with two kids, so it’s clothes from that era but practical, simple. As her confidence grows, she gets a bit more stylish but then she also had less money so I tried to do it with color…
“Barbara Castle [Labour Cabinet minister] actually wore a white blouse and skirt to that famous meeting with the women. I tried that but it didn’t suit Miranda and she didn’t feel right in it so we got the dresses and little suits instead, mostly sober colors, even one made of crimplene, a popular but ghastly thick, wash and wear polyester….
“We’d bought tons of period stuff from Portobello Road and vintage markets, irrespective of size, and we’d decide which outfits were right for main characters and took the rest for the crowd scenes.”
Jenny Beavan, The King’s Speech
Past Awards: Won an Oscar for A Room With Aa View. Nominated seven times for The Bostonians, Maurice”, Howards End, The Remains Of The Day, Sense And Sensibility, Anna And The King, Gosford Park.
Behind-the-seams: “We had an incredibly short prep time, just five and a half weeks. So thank god for the Internet. There is an incredible amount of archival footage online – Pathe News — of the Duke and Duchess of York. I had no idea and I was very grateful. We also got the spirit in family photographs that you can find as well as books and souvenir albums from the coronation…
“The Queen mother loved fur. She had fur trim on practically everything. Not to get PETA riled up, we used very old furs, nothing new. Even though she wore a lot of blues and mauves, the colors were too theatrical on film and too strong on Helena so we used muted softer hues…
“As for those royal uniforms, they don’t exist in costume houses. We found a belt there, an eaglet here, epaulets in a vintage market. We made the neck orders and that interesting necklace Colin wears. Colin was always anxious to look as thin as possible. The real Duke was terribly slight. Colin is not as slight so he didn’t wear the jacket under the topcoat most of the time and we got away with it because of the scarf…
“I wanted to put Geoffrey in more sport coats and trousers but he felt Lionel Logue would put on his smart suit when he knew the Duke was coming…
“One of Guy Pearce’s Duke of Windsor suits was an original from the period. It was a bit moth-eaten, so we did some good darning. I’m terribly fond of Guy’s suit at Balmoral. I found a short length of checked tweed at a Cosgrove Costume House, just enough to do a jacket and trouser. The fabric truly was a gift from the costume gods.”
Sandy Powell, The Tempest
Past Awards: Three Oscar wins for The Young Victoria, The Aviator, Shakespeare In Love. Also Oscar nominations for Mrs. Henderson Presents, Gangs Of New York, Velvet Goldmine, and Orlando.
Behind-the-seams: “Julie wanted the characters that lived on the island to look like they were part of it. So that’s how it started, looking at images of a place (Lanai) I had never been too. It was quite extraordinary, after making some of Helen’s costumes, going there and seeing them in situ, in the environment…
“In the script, Prospera’s magic cloak is described as being made of ‘shards of glass and light.’ Julie talked about obsidian and that’s when the volcanic lava images came into play. It’s truly an experimental piece, more like a sculpture than clothing. And even though the painted plastic pieces were thin and light, when there are 3,000 of them, it was quite heavy. It was nicknamed ‘The Monster’ by my crew. It had to be carried up and down the mountain like a dead body. During the storm scene, Helen had these powerful wind machines on her, so these plastic things would ping off all the time. We all had to stand by with glue guns, constantly repairing it during shooting…”
“The idea was for Prospera to look androgynous. Her clothing had to be practical and also have this feeling of coming from the landscape. The shapes were inspired by Japanese fashion designers. The colors are natural, indigo, the color of the sky and sea. The browns and sands work with the land, almost as a kind of camouflage…
“Julie wanted the court costumes to look like those in Goya or Velasquez’s paintings, very dark but also metallic. It did come out looking very Jacobean or Elizabethan. So to avoid it looking too period, I went with zippers instead of jewels or braid. They were all functional zippers.”
Nicoletta Massone, Barney’s Version
The King’s Speech scored eight British Independent Film Award nominations, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and two Best Supporting Actor nominations. The other nominees for Best Film include Four Lions, Kick-Ass, Monsters and Never Let Me Go. In the acting categories, Jim Broadbent (Another Year), Riz Ahmed (Four Lions), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Scoot McNairy (Monsters) and Aidan Gillen (Treacle Junior) received nominations. The Best Actress race is between Manjinder Virk (The Arbor), Ruth Sheen (Another Year), Andrea Riseborough (Brighton Rock), Sally Hawkins (Made in Dagenham) and Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go). Winners will be announced on December 5th. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will present Annette Bening with the American Riviera Award. She’ll be honored at the Arlington Theatre on January 28.
This year’s AFI Festival will host an ensemble tribute to The King’s Speech, with director Tom Hooper and stars Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. The festival has also made its Centerpiece Gala selections, including director Diego Luna’s Abel, George Hickenlooper’s Casino Jack and John Wells’ The Company Men, along with Barney’s Version and Blue Valentine. Also newly slated are several special screenings, including the U.S. premiere of John Sayles’ Amigo, Werner Herzog’s 3D Cave Of Forgotten Dreams, John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole and Nigel Cole’s Made in Dagenham. The festival takes place November 4-11 in Hollywood and has already announced that Love & Other Drugs will be the opening night film and Black Swan will serve as the closing night selection. David Lynch serves as the festival’s artistic director.
East Hampton, NY (October 10th, 2010) – The Hamptons International Film Festival announced tonight their audience, jury and special prizes at their awards ceremony. Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH and Jill Andresevic’s LOVE ETC. take the audience awards honored tonight among the film industries finest.
MAMAS AND PAPAS, directed by Alice Nellis, was selected by the jury as the winner of The Golden Starfish Narrative Feature Award. The Documentary Golden Starfish went to Aaron Schock’s CIRCO.
A Toronto International Film Festival that will be best remembered for the comeback of the independent acquisitions marketplace culminated today in festival awards. The Tom Hooper-directed The King’s Speech was awarded the Cadillac People’s Choice Award, which is the festival’s audience award, based on ballots collected after each screening. The picture, which stars Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, came in with The Weinstein Company as a distributor, and leaves the festival a bonafide Oscar season contender. Runner-up for the audience prize was the Justin Chadwick-directed First Grader.
The Prize of the International Critics for the Discovery program went to director Shawn Ku for Beautiful Boy, a searing drama that stars Michael Sheen and Maria Bello as estranged parents of a college student who goes on a murderous campus rampage before committing suicide. The parents go through stages of guilt and denial as they attempt to process an unimaginable tragedy. Said the jury: “This film shows its audience that in a world of chaos and insanity, humanity is the only key to life.”
The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian Feature went to Denis Villeneuve for Incendies, a wrenching drama about immigration and war. The award carries a cash prize of $30,000 but more importantly for Villeneuve, …
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Indian-born Saroo Brierley spent 25 years searching for his birth mother, from whom he was separated at age 5. He found her last year and has penned an autobiography to be published by Penguin later this year. See-Saw Films’ Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech, Shame, Top Of The Lake) and Sunstar Entertainment, which reps Brierley, announced Thursday (Oz local time) they will produce a movie based on the book. No screenwriter or director is attached. Brierley was adopted by a family in Hobart, Tasmania where he still lives. He searched for his birth mother using Google Earth and childhood memories of his Khandwa hometown. See-Saw’s latest film Tracks, which recounts the true story of Robyn Davidson’s trek across the Outback, starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver and directed by John Curran, is in post. Formed in 2010 by Andrew Fraser, Daniel Starling and Shahen Mekertichian, Sunstar Entertainment announced last year it would co-produce with Brookwell McNamara Entertainment True Spirit, the saga of Australian sailor Jessica Watson who in 2010 at age 16 became the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world. That film is due to shoot in Sydney and the Gold Coast later this year, directed by Soul Surfer helmer and BME principal Sean McNamara. Paramount has Australian rights. Sunstar manages Watson. Sunstar is also developing Inmate 002, the true story …
UK-based financier Cascade Pictures, which launched at Toronto in September, has boarded its first feature, The Lady Who Went Too Far. Oscar-winning King’s Speech writer David Seidler is adapting the screenplay from Kristen Ellis’ biography, Star Of The Morning. The King’s Speech‘s Gareth Unwin, of Bedlam Productions, is producing. Story follows the true tale of Britain’s Lady Hester Stanhope, who rejected London society in the early 1800s to travel across the Mediterranean and into the Middle East, where she played a major role in stifling Napoleon’s advances towards India. The pioneering Stanhope was a controversial figure in her time and the film will mix elements of romance, espionage and adventure. A production start is being eyed for later this year. Bedlam is producing with support from Cascade, the BFI Film Fund, British Film Company, HW Buffalo & RPTVA. Cascade CEO Mark Fisher says, “Working with Gareth and David to bring this enthralling story to screen is the best opening scene for Cascade as a company.”