‘Gone With The Bullets’ Sets China Release Date
Jiang Wen’s Gone With The Bullets has secured a December 18 release date in China. The film is the follow-up to Jiang’s blockbuster Let The Bullets Fly, which made $140M worldwide in 2010. Based on a true story, 3D comedy Gone With The Bullets is set in 1920s Shanghai. Ma Zouri (Jiang Wen) and Xiang Feitian (Ge You) establish a notorious beauty pageant called the Flowers Competition. All of the city’s elite attend the gala event, but when an unexpected winner is crowned, it sets into motion a series of tragic events that change their destinies. Per FilmBizAsia, Jiang’s Buyilehu Film told local media that it hopes the title will represent China at the Oscars next year. The film will be handled internationally by Sony Pictures Releasing International. December is a hot time locally for Chinese films with U.S. movies often out of the frame. FBA says other films believed to be eyeing a December release include Tsui Hark’s The Taking Of Tiger Mountain, Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Wolf Totem and Chen Kaige’s Taoist Mountain.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Gone With The Bullets’ Gets China Release Date; ‘Samba’ Hitting French Theaters In October; More
‘Gone With The Bullets’ Sets China Release Date
In New Michael De Luca Deal, Sony Acquires Rights To ‘Harlem Hellfighters’ From ‘World War Z’ Author Max Brooks
He’s only officially been a Sony exec for less than a week, but Michael De Luca‘s dance card is quickly filling up. Sony Pictures today acquired the rights to World War Z author Max Brooks‘ soon-to-be published graphic novel The Harlem Hellfighters. De Luca will oversee the project in one of his first projects with Sony as production president of Columbia Pictures. Caleeb Pinkett and James Lassiter will produce for Overbrook Entertainment and Brooks will adapt the script. Illustrated by Caanan White and set in 1918, Harlem Hellfighters tells the story of the U.S. Army’s 369th infantry regiment, an African-American unit fighting in Europe during World War I. The famed infantry regiment spent more time in direct combat than any other American unit during the war. The men returned Stateside as heroes but still faced the hard hand of racism from their fellow soldiers, citizens and the federal government. Harlem Hellfighters is set to be published on April 1 by Broadway Books. Representing Brooks and Overbrook, CAA brokered the deal with Sony. The World War Z scribe is also repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and UK-based lit agency Ed Victor Ltd.
Twentieth Century Fox TV Ups Carreras, Summers To VP, Hires Glamour Editor Weinberg As VP Talent Relations
20th Century Fox Television has promoted Jennifer Carreras to VP Comedy Development and Mandy Summers to VP Current Programming. Additionally, former Glamour editor Jen Weinberg has joined the studio as VP Talent Relations and Events. Carreras reports to EVP Development Michael Thorn, Summers to EVP Current Programming Jeffrey Glaser, and Weinberg to SVP Corporate Communications and Publicity Chris Alexander.
Carreras, who joined 20th TV in July 2007 as assistant to Chairman and CEO Dana Walden, most recently had been Director of Comedy Development, shepherding the development of this season’s high-concept new series Enlisted for Fox broadcast network. She oversees a roster of producers, writers and directors for the studio including Mike Royce and The Walcott Co. (Jake Johnson and Max Winkler). She has been working on a broad slate of development this season, including projects from Neil Goldman and Garret Donovan with Kevin Hart, Phil Rosenthal, Joe Port and Joe Wiseman with Mike White, Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser, Wendy and Lizzie Molyneux with Jenny Bicks and Jay Baruchel.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired a pitch inspired by the Ellen Shanman novel Everything Nice that will be written by Karen Croner as a potential star vehicle for Charlize Theron. Theron will produce with her Denver And Delilah Films partners Beth Kono and A.J. Dix. They acquired the material themselves from the author’s Anonymous Content rep Rosalie Swedlin and attached Croner to write before making the Universal deal. Croner scripted Admission, the Tina Fey-Paul Rudd comedy released last year by Universal. This marks the latest in a burgeoning relationship between Theron and Universal. Denver And Delilah is separately developing Agent 13 at Universal, and Theron stars in the upcoming Seth MacFarlane-directed A Million Ways To Die In The West.
The hope is for her to play Michaela, an advertising exec who gets fired and takes on the only job she can get, teaching life skills to teenage girls at a public school. Lacking in the basic social skills herself, she tries her best to school her pupils in what they’ll need to know in order to survive. Theron’s repped by WME, Croner by WME and attorney Alan Wertheimer.
EXCLUSIVE: Idris Elba is in final negotiations to perform the role and provide the voice of the killer tiger Shere Khan in Disney’s live-action take on The Jungle Book. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film is a mix of live action and VFX that is being overseen by Rob Legato, whose VFX credits include Avatar, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Hugo and Titanic, the latter two of which won him Oscars. The studio has bolstered its creative team by setting as its production designers Alex McDowell (Man Of Steel, Rise Of The Guardians) and Chris Glass heading a team of concept artists that includes Michael Kutsche (Alice, Oz, Maleficent), Iain McCaig (Star Wars), and Justin Sweet (Chronicles Of Narnia). The story team is headed by Iron Man‘s David Lowery, who’s working around the clock with seven full-time illustrators, with Legacy Effects participating in creature design and rigging.
Disney is moving very quickly as it is in a race with Warner Bros on versions of Rudyard Kipling’s public domain title. The rival project is still looking for a director after Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu dropped from the project.
TWC-Dimension picked up rights to author Ira Levin’s 1973 Broadway thriller Veronica’s Room in December, and now has tapped Mark Bomback to pen the adaptation. The original play from Rosemary’s Baby writer Levin centererd on two students who find themselves invited to a crumbling New England estate for an audience with the last surviving member of the family that once lived there. The purpose of the visit is so that Susan, one of the students, will agree to impersonate Veronica, the long-dead sister of the fading Cissie. And that’s where the line between what’s real and what’s not begins to blur.
Bomback’s credits include Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and Unstoppable, and he did work on the Fifty Shades Of Grey movie. His script Art Of Racing In The Rain is in development at Universal. “Mark coming on board is huge for this project. He shares the same passion for Ira’s play that I do and together we hope to make something very sinister and special,” said Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company. Bomback is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Attorney David Colden.
The Tribeca Film Festival continues to roll out its lineup for this year’s 13th edition, which kicks off April 16. Here is the program slates for the Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings and Storyscapes sections. The fest’s shorts program will be unveiled Tuesday. Here are today’s films, which include Spotlight spots for Roman Polanksi’s Venus In Fur, the Robin Williams-starrer Boulevard from Dito Montiel, world premieres of films directed by actors Chris Messina and Courteney Cox, and of course the horror comedy Zombeavers:
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed actress, recording artist and author Zendaya, whose single “Replay” recently went platinum. She was star of the Disney Channel series Shake It Up and next toplines the Disney Channel original telepic Zapped. She just wrapped an untitled pilot for the network which she is co-producing, and was runner-up on Dancing With The Stars last year. She has also also written her first book, Between You And Me, sharing advice on fashion, friendships and family with her core youth demo. CAA, along with Monster Talent Management and attorney Bill Skrzyniarz, will seek to broaden her base to feature film and other platforms. Disney Channel has been a strong launch point for everyone from Zac Efron to Shia LaBeouf and Selena Gomez. Here’s her video:
A pair of flicks that were shut out at the Oscars on Sunday lead the field for the erstwhile music network’s film nods. American Hustle and The Wolf Of Wall Street snagged eight noms apiece for the 23rd MTV Movie Awards. Close behind are The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with seven and We’re The Millers with six, including a coveted Best Shirtless Performance nom for Jennifer Aniston. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Dallas Buyers Club, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, This Is The End and Best Picture champ 12 Years A Slave are next with four apiece. Conan O’Brien will serve as host of this year’s festivities, which air live on April 13 at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. The show — which last year switched from its longtime post-Memorial Day date to April — again relishes is such signature categories as Best Kiss, Best Scared-As-S**T Performance and #WTFMoment, The telecast is exec produced by Jesse Ignjatovic. Here are the nominees:
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The End’ Gets German Remake; Turkish Censors Ban ‘Nymphomaniac’; Berlin Fest Dates; BBC3 Moving To Web?; Oz’s Animal Logic; More
Eccho Rights has sold popular Turkish drama The End into further markets. It’s already being remade in the U.S. by Sander/Moses Prods at Fox, and now Germany’s UFA will develop a local version for broadcaster SAT1 while Shine France has also taken an option on the series. Further, Netflix has signed a non-exclusive agreement for the original in Sweden and the UK. The story is about a woman navigating a web of lies and intrigue as she searches for her husband whom she presumed dead following a plane crash. But it turns out he never boarded the plane. Produced by Ay Yapim in Turkey, the show is also getting a Russian version.
True Blood alumna Lucy Griffiths has been cast as the female lead opposite Matt Ryan in NBC’s drama pilot Constantine, from Warner Bros TV. Also cast in the project, based on the characters in DC Comics’ John Constantine stories are Lost alum Harold Perrineau and Charles Halford (True Detective). Constantine centers on John Constantine (Ryan), an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond. When Liv (Griffiths), the daughter of a late friend, is targeted by demons, Constantine steps in to save her. Griffiths’ Liv is an offbeat young woman tired of her ordinary life who comes to discover that she has the ability of seeing the supernatural world among us, which makes her a key player in the battle between good and evil. Liv teams up with Constantine to save lives, master her power, and learn more about her late father.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
The New York Times on Tuesday issued a correction to a 161-year-old story that covered the plight of Solomon Northup, the subject of Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave. The original newspaper report, dated January 20, 1853, ran with the headline “The Kidnapping Case” and the sub-headline “Narrative of the Seizure and Recovery of Solomon Northrup.” The article had two misspellings of Northup’s name, one in the sub-headline and one in the body that spelled it as Northrop. The correction was made after people tweeted the error on Monday. One of the Twitter posts was by author Rebecca Skloot, rights to whose 2010 non-fiction bestseller The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks were acquired by HBO Films for a movie to be exec produced by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball. 12 Years A Slave is the story of a New York State black man who was born free but later kidnapped in Washington, DC in 1841 and sold into slavery. The NYT correction notes in part: “The errors notwithstanding, The Times described the article as ‘a more complete and authentic record than has yet appeared’.”
ITV has set the roster for its upcoming four-part miniseries that follows the lives and loves of both historical and fictional characters in 1666 London as The Great Fire rages. Broadchurch‘s Andrew Buchan, Rose Leslie (Utopia, Game Of Thrones, Downton Abbey), Jack Huston (American Hustle, Boardwalk Empire) and Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs, Welcome To The Punch) have each taken on key roles in the production from Fleming and Mistresses‘ Ecosse Films. Inspired by the real events of 1666 when nearly half of London was destroyed in less than a week, the drama is written by Tom Bradby, political editor of ITN and author of Shadow Dancer. The story unfolds over four consecutive days as the fire takes hold of the city and the people desperately attempt to overcome the flames amid a threat to the monarchy. Buchan will play humble baker Thomas Farriner in whose shop the fire began on September 2, 1666. Leslie plays his sister-in-law with whom he has a complex relationship. Huston is the playboy King Charles II and Mays is Samuel Pepys, a close confidante. Per ITV, pyrotechnics and special effects, as opposed to CGI, will create the fire sequences as London burns. Also in the cast are …
EXCLUSIVE: English actor and writer Jim Piddock has been cast in the dark comedy Kill Your Friends, based on the novel by John Niven. BAFTA-nominated Owen Harris (Holy Flying Circus) directs the pic about an A&R man (X-Men‘s Nicholas Hoult) during the Britpop music wave of the late ’90s who goes to extremes to find the next hit. Piddock, a frequent Christopher Guest player, will play Derek Sommers, the managing director of the record label. Author Niven adapted his own screenplay for Kill Your Friends, which Gregor Cameron and Will Clarke are producing. Piddock next appears in Think Like A Man Too with Kevin Hart. He and Guest co-created last year’s HBO original series Family Tree, in which they also appeared opposite Chris O’Dowd. Piddock is repped by Lighthouse Entertainment, United Agents, and AEF.
The companies got into trouble after they ran ads for FilmDistrict‘s 2013 thriller Olympus Has Fallen that include the distinctive Emergency Alert System warning sounds, the FCC says today as it proposed what it calls the largest ever penalties for its misuse (watch the ad below). Viacom will be hit hardest with a $1.12M fine for airing the ad 108 times over five days on Spike, VH1, MTV, Comedy Central, MTV2, Centric, and BET. NBCUniversal will have to cough up $530,000 for running the ad 38 times over six days on Syfy, USA, and five regional sports networks. And ESPN follows with $280,000 for running the ad 13 times over four days on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNEWS. “The FCC has long prohibited the transmission of actual or simulated EAS Attention Signals or tones in circumstances other than a real alert or an authorized test of the EAS system,” the FCC says. The cable companies said that the rules don’t apply to them because they don’t participate in the EAS program, the FCC notice notes.
Before tonight’s Academy Awards, catch up on the top stories you missed this week on Deadline:
Oscars Finally Here – Record Voting Turnout According To Academy But What Does It All Mean?
By Pete Hammond – The robocalls and emails apparently did the trick as Academy CEO Dawn Hudson reports the 86th Oscar contest is responsible another significant high mark in the Academy’s efforts to turn out the vote.
OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever
By Pete Hammond – With no real clarity from the usually reliable guild contests and critics awards, the best picture race is one of the most unpredictable in years. Considering the preferential Oscar voting system, it is not probable there will be a winner on the first ballot because it’s unlikely any film in this great year for films will be able to muster more than 50% of the first-place votes required. The second choice on those best picture ballots could end up being the most important.
2ND UPDATE, 12:01 PM PT: After much back and forth Saturday involving Sony, Universal and a last-ditch overture from Warner Bros, Sony finally closed its deal for Winter’s Knight, the Viking-mythology-tinged origin story of St. Nick and Christmas. Sony emerged as front-runner when it agreed to pay $1 million to newbie scribes Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton, for the biggest spec sale of this year so far. That was the easy part. Deals were then made for producers Marc Platt and Lawrence Grey. More challenging was making a deal with the white hot Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, but that effort was led by incoming Sony Pictures Production President Michael De Luca. His persuasive pitch was that he plans to bring in the next generation of emerging filmmakers, much the way he did at ’90s New Line with the likes of David Fincher and Paul Thomas Anderson. That, and a precedent-setting mid-seven-figure salary for the directing team, sealed the deal. If Disney can keep to its schedule and get the next Pirates of the Caribbean to set sail before year’s end, the directors will make that after completing the pilot for the Netflix/Weinstein Company series Marco Polo, and Winter’s Knight will come after. Also intriguing is how this movie will lengthen the movie credit resume of L. Frank Baum, best known for The Wizard Of Oz. The subject matter is his 1902 book The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus. Of course, Baum’s work has fallen into public domain, meaning anyone can pillage it for movie ideas. At the rate Baum is going, with all the Oz incarnations and now this work being turned into big money Hollywood films, he might end up spinning in his grave almost as fast as Shakespeare, long Hollywood’s most heavily exploited public domain wordsmith.
Indie Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Takes Best Feature And Dominates With Five Wins; McConaughey & Blanchett Top Actors
UPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS AND REACTIONS: The 29th annual Independent Spirit Awards ended up more like a cast party for Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave, which won five of the seven categories for which it was nominated today — including Best Feature and Best Director for Steve McQueen. The strong showing for the slave drama gives the pic plenty of momentum headed into tomorrow night’s Oscars, the marquee event in a long awards season in which 12 Years has been one of many films ebbing and flowing buzz-wise along with Warner Bros’ Gravity ahead of what’s being called one of the more wide-open Academy Awards in a long while.
Dede Gardner, a producer on the pic with her Plan B partner Brad Pitt, thanked the many people involved in making the movie (including Pitt for “getting the movie made when he said he would”). She also thanked the descendants of the film’s subject Solomon Northup. “It’s a reminder to care-take our freedom,” she said.
With most of the big studio pics in the Oscar Best Picture race sitting it out today with the focus on indie fare under a tent on the beach in mostly rain-free Santa Monica, it allowed others to shine. Dallas Buyers’ Club‘s acting duo of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Best Male Lead and Supporting Male, respectively. Cate Blanchett continued her hot streak winning Best Lead Female for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, making her a solid favorite to win tomorrow night. Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Female for 12 Years. That pic rounded out its wins with a Best Screenplay nod for John Ridley and Best Cinematography for Sean Bobbitt.
The Weinstein Company also had a good day during the ceremony, hosted by Patton Oswalt. Best Documentary went to the distrib’s 20 Feet From Stardom, whose subjects performed today, and Best First Feature went to writer-director Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station, which started its fruitful awards-season at Sundance 2012 when TWC acquired it for $2 million.
Oswalt presided over one of the most memorable parts of the show, when a black drone flew in and delivered the scroll announcing Nyong’o's win. Later, after Blue Is The Warmest Color won Best International Film, Oswalt came back out onstage covered in blood. ”Don’t touch the drone,” he quipped.
The weather, such an issue during the blustery and wet 2011 Spirit Awards, held for most of the day, with rain beginning to fall just as Blanchett reached backstage after her acceptance speech. ”There’s a storm coming,” she said to the press. “It was nice knowing you all in case we’re swept away.”
The Spirit Awards will be shown tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on IFC. But here’s how the day went down, with on-scene coverage by Deadline’s Pete Hammond, Dominic Patten and Anthony D’Alessandro and contributor Diane Haithman.
NBC correspondent Miguel Almaguer had to be rescued by firefighters after he became stuck in waist-high mud in Azusa, CA Friday afternoon. Almaguer had waded into a thick stream of mud at the site of a hillside mudslide to deliver his report on this week’s heavy L.A. area storm in an NBC Nightly News segment with in-studio anchor Brian Williams. Emergency crews then dug Almaguer out before authorities evacuated the neighborhood: