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Emmy Q&A: Ryan Murphy On The Long Road To ‘The Normal Heart’

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 5:02pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Emmy Q&A: Ryan Murphy On The Long Road To ‘The Normal Heart’After three decades of futility, The Normal Heart figures to be at the center of the Primetime Emmy Awards. It received 16 nominations, including one for its director Ryan Murphy, and for the performances of Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Joe Mantello (who starred in the original play), Jim Parsons, and Alfred Molina. And one for Larry Kramer, who turned a roman a clef version of his fight against indifference to the AIDS crisis into the play on which the movie is based. Between The Normal Heart and his series American Horror Story and Glee,  Murphy’s productions racked up 34 Emmy noms, more than some networks. Here, he discusses the groundbreaking movie, the long battle to get it to the screen and how Barbra Streisand helped keep The Normal Heart beating all those years.

Image (1) ryan-murphy-2__130815154159.jpg for post 699212DEADLINE: For me and anyone else in their 50s who lived in a city like New York, The Normal Heart brought back that Twilight Zone nightmare period when we watched friends die and were powerless to help, amidst rampant political apathy because most of those stricken were gay. Larry Kramer’s refusal to go quietly made him a true screen hero, though he was equally vocal that his heartbreaking play took three decades to get made. How long did this movie burn in you?
MURPHY: I was in college when the play came out and had seen productions of it through the years, and I always deeply admired it. I grew up in that era where things were very scary. I lost 10 friends to AIDS and so it was always an important piece of art in my life. I followed the project’s trajectory starting in 1987, and was always very sad that it was not made into a movie. I always felt that the current generation, so many young people, didn’t know what happened, was unaware of the nightmare we lived through back then.

DEADLINE: How did that translate to action?
MURPHY: It was pretty simple. I woke up one day in 2009 and thought, why has this movie not been made? My producing partner Dante Di Loreto knew Larry and called him. The rights were lapsing and Larry agreed to meet with me. He didn’t know who I was, or any of my previous work. I think he was taken by my passion. Read More »

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Paramount Decides Having Michael Bay Stick Around Is A Good Idea

By | Thursday July 31, 2014 @ 9:08am PDT

Paramount Decides Having Michael Bay Stick Around Is A Good IdeaTentpole director-producer Michael Bay has extended and expanded his first-look agreement with Paramount Pictures. The new deal, just announced, extends the current agreement with Bay’s production company Platinum Dunes for an additional three years, and also expands it to cover Bay Films. The pact begins immediately. This seems like a no-brainer for the studio: Bay’s pics have made more than $6 billion at the global box office, and his hits for Paramount include the Transformers series, the latest of which, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, is at $966.4 million worldwide since its release a month ago. In all, the four pics have grossed $3.7 billion.

ParamountLogo_new“With an ever-growing, worldwide fan base, Michael is truly one of the most inspired and beloved filmmakers of our time,” Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey said. “We take great pride in the fact that Michael is part of the Paramount family and we look forward to growing our productive and successful partnership.”

Transformers-Age-of-ExtinctionBay’s other popcorn pics include The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Island, the Bad Boys movies and Pain & Gain. Platinum Dunes partners Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form are next up with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in August, horror pic Ouija and Project Almanac and a Friday The 13th reboot due in 2015.

Platinum Dunes is having a good run on the TV side too, with The Last Ship debuting this summer as cable TV’s top new series, and Starz’s swashbuckling pirate adventure series/Treasure Island prequel Black Sails, which seems destined for a third-season pickup. Read More »

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Legendary Sets Scribe For ‘Operation Shakespeare’

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 5:12pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Legendary Sets Scribe For ‘Operation Shakespeare’EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures is in talks with Michael Werwie to script Operation Shakespeare, an adaptation of the John Shiffman book. Title was the code name for an international sting, led by an elite Homeland Security team, to snare foreign arms dealers from acquiring and selling U.S. military technology. The book was published this month by Simon & Schuster. Werwie is scripting Lost Girls for Warner Bros.

Related: Comic-Con: Legendary Unveils Glimpse Of New King Kong Pic ‘Skull Island’

Image (2) legendary_pictures_logo__130110013445-275x158__131231055309__140328193245__140603232452.jpg for post 739813Legendary showed at Comic-Con it can mount monster movies with the best of them, but this project follows an equally hot-button premise thriller Blackhat, the Michael Mann-directed pic that stars Chris Hemsworth, as an example the company is growing into topical subject matter. The sting focused on microchips, gyroscopes, radar-cloaking and night-vision technology that were developed and manufactured in the U.S. at extraordinary cost. The tiny weapons capable of guiding missiles, seeing through walls and triggering explosives were falling into the hands of enemies. John Shiffman, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, followed a trail that began with an Iranian arms broker and some U.S. defense contractors who put profit over national security, and the case spanned from Philly to London, Dubai, Beverly Hills and Tbilisi. Complicating matters is the Iranian’s government plot to assassinate him after he’s caught.

The screenwriter’s repped by UTA and Evolution Entertainment … Read More »

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HBO Greenlights David Simon Miniseries Starring Oscar Isaac & Catherine Keener

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 12:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

HBO Greenlights David Simon Miniseries Starring Oscar Isaac & Catherine KeenerAfter spending the last couple of months locking in a director and lead cast, HBO has officially greenlighted for production Show Me A Hero, a six-hour miniseries from The Wire co-creator David Simon. Inside Llewyn Davis leading man Oscar Isaac is set to star and Catherine Keener to co-star in the mini, which will be directed by Paul Haggis (Crash).

oscarisaacCatherine Keener Penned by Simon and Baltimore Sun journalist/The Wire writer William F. Zorzi, Show Me A Hero is based on the nonfiction book by Lisa Belkin. It tells the story of Nick Wasicsko (Isaac), the youngest big-city mayor in the nation who finds himself thrust into the center showmeaheroof a racial controversy when a federal court orders him to build a small number of low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods of his town, Yonkers, N.Y.. His attempt to do so tears the city apart, paralyzes the municipal government and, ultimately, destroys his political future. Keener, repped by Gersh, plays Mary Dorman, an East Yonkers homeowner who comes to a remarkable realization during the battle over where to build low-income housing. Read More »

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Paramount Digital Entertainment Sets New Comedy Series From Elizabeth Banks & Max Handelman

Paramount Digital Entertainment Sets New Comedy Series From Elizabeth Banks & Max HandelmanIn its first collaboration, Paramount Digital Entertainment is teaming with Pitch Perfect’s Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman’s Brownstone Productions banner on the workplace comedy Resident Advisors. Banks and Handelman will exec produce and Ira Ungerleider (Friends) has come aboard to shepherd the project as both exec producer and director. Natalia Anderson will produce based on a pilot script written by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Alex Reid. The ensemble cast includes Ryan Hansen (2Broke Girls, Burning Love), Jamie Chung (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, The Hangover Part II & III), Alison Rich (College Humor Originals), Andrew Bachelor (House Of Lies), Graham Rogers (Revolution) and Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect). Series is set in the most hormonally overloaded, sexually active, out-of-control workplace in the world: a college dorm. It follows a group of resident advisors as they navigate sex, drugs, and midterms.
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UTA Signs ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ Star Pierre Niney

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 11:20am PDT

UTA Signs ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ Star Pierre NineyPierre Niney, who played the iconic French fashion designer in Yves Saint Laurent, has signed with UTA. The biopic debuted at Cannes and is distributed in the U.S. by The Weinstein Company. Niney was nominated for Cesar awards in 2012 and 2013 as most promising actor for his work in J’aime Regarder les Filles and Comme des Freres, the latter also earning him a Lumiere Award nomination as most promising young actor. Other acting credits include It Boy,  and the TV series Casting(s), which he also directed. Niney, repped in France by Brigitte Descormiers, has been announced to play Philippe Cousteau in the upcoming The Odyssey. 

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Lionsgate Acquires ‘Down A Dark Hall’ From ‘Twilight’ Producers & Temple Hill

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 10:19am PDT

Lionsgate Acquires ‘Down A Dark Hall’ From ‘Twilight’ Producers & Temple HillLionsgate has acquired rights to Down A Dark Hall based on the 1974 YA bestseller from Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer) with Rodrigo Cortés attached to direct. Screenwriter Michael Goldbach wrote the original adaptation for the screen, and Chris Sparling (Sea of Trees, Buried) has come aboard to also write on the film. Twilight author Stephenie Meyer and Meghan Hibbett will produce via their Fickle Fish Films along with Temple Hill Entertainment’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen. Meyer optioned the book last year and brought on Goldbach to write the adaptation.
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So Who Comic-Conquered San Diego?

So Who Comic-Conquered San Diego?The fanboy Super Bowl is over. Who made the most of San Diego Comic-Con and who spit the bit? Here’s the view from Deadline staffers who endured endless movie and TV show presentations. We’ll start with features:

WARNER BROS: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jupiter Ascending, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Mad Max Comic ConThe best Comic-Con panels show fans things they’ve never seen before. From that standpoint, Warner Bros changed the game by making the Hall H experience seem larger. It turned the dark curtains covering 450 feet down the sides of the auditorium into a wraparound multimedia visual experience that left jaded geeks looking left and right in wonder at images that complemented the onstage presentation. Expect others to rip this off. For star power: Zack Snyder introduced his Batman v Superman stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Gal Gadot and offered glimpses of the film. Warner Bros also wowed with explosive footage from Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that looks like it could be the answer someday to this Trivial Pursuit question: What movie transformed Tom Hardy from a great actor into a big fucking movie star? Warner Bros also brought Middle Earth excitement to Hall H with a lengthy Hobbit: The Five Armies panel and footage that had LOTR fans aflutter.

Related: Q&A: Peter Jackson On His Middle Earth Exit And A Disguise That Let Him Haunt Comic-Con

MARVEL: Ant-Man, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Avengers 2 at Comic-ConMarvel is always the must-see panel; not so much this year. Maybe it was DC Comics’ turn to shine, and maybe being a sequel factory imposes limits on the surprise front. They trotted out the superstar Avengers lineup — been there, done that! — with additions Josh Brolin, Aaron Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen. No Black Widow Scarlett Johansson, who was busy bitch-slapping Hercules at the box office in the Luc Besson film Lucy. Footage was OK, but Kevin Feige set a high bar for himself in past Cons, and this year he couldn’t clear it. Ant-Man brought Corey Stoll and Evangeline Lilly (already knew they were in the movie), and plans for a Guardians Of The Galaxy sequel were greeted by a collective “Duh!’ Feige could have told us what movies will fill all those release dates he recently staked out. He didn’t. Better luck next year, Marvel Man.

Related: Marvel Sets ‘Guardians 2′ For 2017; ‘Avengers 2’ Footage Draws Standing O

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Giancarlo Esposito Joins Musical Drama ‘Stuck’; Rom-Com ‘Temps’ Sets Leads

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 5:17pm PDT

Giancarlo Esposito Joins Musical Drama ‘Stuck’; Rom-Com ‘Temps’ Sets LeadsGiancarlo Esposito has joined the cast of NYC-set musical drama Stuck, about six strangers trapped on a stalled subway train. Filming is underway with a cast that includes Amy Madigan and singer-actress Ashanti. Esposito will play Lloyd, a mysterious homeless man who might offer more wisdom than expected.

Stuck is adapted from the stage play by Riley Thomas, who co-scripted with director Michael Berry; the helmer is set to release his drama Frontera, also co-starring Madigan alongside Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, and Michael Peña, this month. Esposito starred on the recent NBC series Revolution and was just announced as joining the cast of Disney’s The Jungle Book. He’s also in pre-production on his own project Patriotic Treason which he’ll direct, produce, and co-star opposite Ed Harris in the period retelling of the saga of abolitionist John Brown. Read More »

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Nickelodeon Orders Live-Action Series ‘100 Things To Do Before High School’ From Scott Fellows

Nickelodeon Orders Live-Action Series ‘100 Things To Do Before High School’ From Scott FellowsNickelodeon has ordered 26 episodes of 100 Things To Do Before High School, a new live-action comedy series from Big Time Rush creator/executive producer Scott Fellows. The half-hour, single-camera series follows three best friends as they navigate the highs and lows of middle school using a bucket list of adventures that help them overcome class cliques, bullies and clueless teachers. The series begins shooting in LA in the fall. It’s the kids network’s latest live-action play: It also has Henry Danger and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, both of which premiere in September, and Bella And The Bulldogs.

Image (5) Nickelodeon__130926205804-e1380229120953-200x90__140122213547.png for post 670711Fellows, most recently a staff writer on The Fairly OddParents, also created and executive produced Nickelodeon’s Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide and DHX Media’s Johnny Test. The pickup of 100 Things comes after the departure of Nickelodeon‘s SVP Live-Action Development Brian Wright in May; he ended up at Netfilx. Wright originally shepherded Big Time Rush at the network among other hit series.

Related: Nickelodeon Greenlights Fourth Season Of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

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Lily James, Paul Dano Circling BBC, Weinstein Co ‘War And Peace’ Miniseries

Lily James, Paul Dano Circling BBC, Weinstein Co ‘War And Peace’ MiniseriesEXCLUSIVE: The six-part adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic War And Peace is beginning to cast up. I hear that Downton Abbey’s Lily James and PrisonersPaul Dano have offers for lead roles and are seriously circling. The mini hails from BBC Worldwide, The Weinstein Co and Ripper Street‘s Look Out Point. Described as one of the most ambitious event series ever made for the BBC, it will be produced by BBC Cymru Wales and scripted by Andrew Davies. James would play Natasha Rostova, one of the novel’s central War and Peacecharacters, who ultimately falls in love with Pierre Bezukhov, the awkward illegitimate son who rises in society but leads a tumultuous life as he seeks to overcome his emotions. Dano would play Pierre. In King Vidor’s 1956 feature adaptation, the roles were played by Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda.

The notoriously expansive novel begins in 1805 Russia and revolves around five aristocratic families set against the backdrop of the reign of Alexander I, the lingering effects of his grandmother Catherine The Great’s rule and the events surrounding Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. Executive producers on the mini are BBC Cymru Wales drama chief Faith Penhale, BBC Wales’ George Ormond, Davies, Look Out Point’s Simon Vaughn and Harvey Weinstein.

The miniseries is due for air in the UK in 2015 and was a first sign of The Weinstein Co’s ambitions to forge into the European TV arena when it was announced in October. The company subsequently teamed with the BBC and Look Out on upcoming TV movie Stan And Ollie, which is being scripted by Philomena’s Jeff Pope. TWC also acquired U.S. TV and VOD rights for the first three seasons of BBC Two’s Peaky Blinders. Read More »

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Ron Livingston Joins AMC Pilot ‘We Hate Paul Revere’

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 9:19am PDT

Ron Livingston Joins AMC Pilot ‘We Hate Paul Revere’Ron Livingston will play Paul Revere in AMC’s comedy pilot We Hate Paul Revere, which begins shooting next month in LA. The pilot received the network’s first green light to a half-hour project back in March. It centers on two brothers living in Colonial Boston who are not fans of local industrialist and activist Paul Revere. Now they have their “bad guy.” The project is written, executive produced and stars Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner. AMC Studios is producing, and Troy Miller is a non-writing executive producer through his Dakota Films.

Livingston is playing Elvis Presley in the Eddie OKeefe-directed drama Shangri-La Suite and also stars in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which he joined for Season 4. His next pic is Fort Bliss opposite Michelle Monaghan. He is repped by UTA and Thruline Entertainment.

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Toronto Adds Kevin Smith’s ‘Tusk’, Frederick Wiseman & Ethan Hawke Docus; Vanguard & Midnight Madness Lineups

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 8:59am PDT

Toronto Adds Kevin Smith’s ‘Tusk’, Frederick Wiseman & Ethan Hawke Docus; Vanguard & Midnight Madness LineupsUPDATED: The Toronto Film Festival announced several additions to the 2014 lineup this morning including the documentary pics and the lineups for The Masters, Vanguard and Midnight Madness. The docu lineup features pioneers of BASE jumping in Sunshine Superman; Los Angeles sex workers in Tales Of The Grim Sleeper; survivors of the Indonesian genocide in The Look Of Silence; and, in Red Army, a hockey captain’s transition from national hero to political enemy during the rise and fall of the Soviet game.

Tusk 1The Midnight Madness section includes the world premiere of Kevin Smith’s Tusk, the wacky horror thriller that dropped its first trailer during Comic-Con. Set in the Canadian wilderness, it stars Justin Long as a podcaster who’s assigned to interview a mysterious seafarer (Michael Parks) who happens to have a strange obsession with walruses. Haley Joel Osment and Genesis Rodriguez also star. The pic hits theaters just after the fest on September 19; the Toronto fest runs September 4-14.

Here are the sections announced today: Read More »

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R.I.P. James Shigeta

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 7:29pm PDT

R.I.P. James ShigetaThe actor whose 50-year career included a star turn in Flower Drum Song and a memorable roles in Die Hard and Midway, died today in Los Angeles. James Shigeta was 81. The Hawaii native had scores of film and TV credits from the late 1950s into the 2000s. In 1960, he shared a Best Male Newcomer Golden Globe Award with George Hamilton, Troy Donahue and Barry Coe after making his screen debut as a detective in The Crimson Kimono. Notable film roles followed in such early 1960s films as Walk Like A Dragon with Jack Lord, with whom he’d reteam years later for an early episode of Hawaii Five-O; Cry For Happy opposite Glenn Ford and Donald O’Connor; and Bridge To The Sun with Carroll Baker. He then starred in the 1961 film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song, which scored five Oscar nominations.

James Shigeta MidwayShigeta had more film roles later in the decade, but his career focused more on the small screen. He appeared on such dramas as Ben Casey, Perry Mason and I Spy and later recurred on Medical Center. Shigeta piled up the TV credits throughout the 1970s — Kung Fu, Ironside, Mission: Impossible, Emergency! — before playing Japanese Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo in Midway (1976). The sprawling World War II epic, the second film to screen in seat-rattling Sensurround in theaters, starred such Hollywood heavyweights as Ford, Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Cliff Robertson and Toshiro Mifune. Read More »

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Comic-Con: Legendary Wants Joe Cornish For ‘Skull Island’

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 6:29pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Comic-Con: Legendary Wants Joe Cornish For ‘Skull Island’EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures wowed the crowd in Hall H by unveiling Skull Island, a new feature by Godzilla scribe Max Borenstein based on the mythic origins of King Kong, where mutant giant creatures rule. They set a November 4, 2016, release and are wasting no time staffing up. I’m told they’ve offered the directing job to Joe Cornish, who has been offered big movies since his low-budget alien-invasion breakthrough pic Attack The Block. I’m not sure if Cornish will take the job because he’s offered so much — like Universal’s Section Six, the Aaron Berg-scripted drama about the formation of MI6 Brit intelligence branch, for instance. But this is going to be catnip to some hotshot director. When Peter Jackson re-made King Kong, the part where they landed on Skull Island and ran for their lives from over-sized exotic carnivorous creatures was the highlight of the movie. No comment from Cornish’s CAA reps.

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L.A. Officials Probe Shakedown Claims On Downtown Shoots

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 2:04pm PDT

L.A. Officials Probe Shakedown Claims On Downtown ShootsFirst in a series

EXCLUSIVE: Downtown developer Tom Gilmore was irate. “What’s this goddamn thing here I had to pay for?” he fumed. It was noontime, June 16, and L.A.’s powerful downtown developer stood on the corner of 4th and Main Street accosting a FilmLA monitor as a crew arrived. The monitor tried to assure Gilmore that the commercial shoot would be fast and there’d be no disruption to his businesses, but Gilmore wasn’t buying it.

“I know what you’ve done for the neighborhood,” the monitor said as the crew set up to grab a quick shot outside Pete’s Café and Bar, one of Gilmore’s restaurants. “And I’m grateful. You know I’m grateful.”

“I appreciate that and I’m not mad at you,” Gilmore said, lowering his voice slightly amid the clamor of lunch-hour traffic. “I’m expressing my pissed-off-ness that this thing got OK’d today.”

Gilmore Associates“This thing” was a Just For Men TV spot in the Old Bank District, which is Gilmore’s turf. Almost singlehandedly, he’d turned it from Skid Row-adjacent to a thriving area of shops, restaurants and residential lofts. Gilmore Associates, widely credited with spearheading the residential boom in downtown Los Angeles, owns numerous properties down there: the stately old Farmers and Merchants Bank; the 12-story Continental and six-story Hellman buildings, which were converted into lofts; an elegant old Catholic church that he turned into a premiere events site; and the historic San Fernando building, with 70 loft-style apartments anchored by Pete’s Café and Bäco Mercat on the ground floor.

A city street runs through the district — a street Gilmore, to his unending irritation, doesn’t own and can’t control. It’s a popular spot for filmmakers, one of the few places in L.A. that can convincingly double for older cities like New York or Chicago. More than 150 days of filming are shot there every year. Gilmore can make any one of them tough on properly permitted filmmakers, and on that June day, that’s just what he was doing.

“I am gonna do what I gotta do to make this not such a pretty little place,” Gilmore told the monitor in a tape-recorded conversation obtained by Deadline, “because the only reason you’re using it is cuz we made it such a pretty little place.” Minutes later, Gilmore had his men lean ladders in the doorway of the San Fernando and hang yellow caution tape in the potted trees outside Pete’s Café, ruining the planned shots.

Tom Gilmore Ladders Tape

The producers had paid FilmLA more than $1,600 in permit fees, but Gilmore wanted them to pay him, too. His location agent, Richard Wynn, had sent the shoot’s location manager, Jeff McSpadden, a contract and a letter demanding $12,000 for the right to film in the street and on the sidewalk outside the café — both public spaces. Read More »

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Box Office Final: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $43.9M; ‘Hercules’ At $29.8M; Top 20 Listed

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 2:00pm PDT

Box Office Final: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $43.9M; ‘Hercules’ At $29.8M; Top 20 Listed15th UPDATE, Monday, 2:00 PM: Lucy ended up the weekend just shy of $44M while Hercules did better on Sunday to get $29.8M and several other films did a notch better than expected from Sunday moviegoers. And So It Goes ended up right at $4.6M. Ugh. The Fluffy Movie was on only 432 screens and will remain on those going into the weekend  (results below).

Next weekend, all eyes are on the new openers — Marvel/Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Universal’s James Brown biopic Get On Up — to lift the box office out of its summer slump. And Guardians is likely to do just that. It’s tracking right now between $65M and $75M and veteran distribution executives think it could go higher. It’s 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes right now and seems to be getting positive reaction on all sides. And why not? It’s a really entertaining film, filled with unexpected humor and a raccoon character that kind of steals the show. Right now, Get On Up is tracking around $15M to $20M so between that and the second weekend of Lucy, Universal should end up with the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Here’s the Top 20 chart … until next weekend when the Star Lord arrives:

1). Lucy (UNI), 3,173 theaters / 3-day cume: $43.9M / Per screen average: $13,835 / Wk 1

2). Hercules (MGM/PAR), 3,595 theaters / 3-day cume: $29.8M / Per screen: $8,289 / Wk 1

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‘Glee’s Lea Michele Revs ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Role

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 1:49pm PDT
Mike Fleming

‘Glee’s Lea Michele Revs ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ RoleThey’ve announced Glee’s Lea Michele to star in an episode of the final season of Sons Of Anarchy. I don’t know. The signature star of TV’s most prolific musical series joining the favorite show of the outlaw biker crowd? Thankfully they’ve stopped short of announcing a musical crossover episode with Glee, which would have created viewer anarchy and provided an Evel Knievel-sized jump over the shark.

Related: Kurt Sutter Inks New Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV

gleeThen again, creator Kurt Sutter‘s show has brutally dispatched almost every single important female character it’s ever had, so new blood is needed. Michele plays a truck stop waitress who bonds with Katey Sagal’s character. Wait. Sagal is an accomplished singer who once backed up Bette Midler. Her singing voice is as beautiful as Michele’s. Please, KS, don’t let ‘em sing!

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China Briefs: Beijing Forum To Address Sino-U.S. Film Cooperation; Local Producers Eye ‘Avatar’ Rival

China Briefs: Beijing Forum To Address Sino-U.S. Film Cooperation; Local Producers Eye ‘Avatar’ RivalA forum to be held this week in Beijing will address critical issues facing the Chinese film industry, especially as they regard cooperation with the U.S. The state-backed China Film Association has created the International Communication Committee of CFA in an effort to educate and engage the global film community, particularly Hollywood, in how to partner with China’s film entities to access the market. As Hollywood increasingly seek to establish ties to China, some thorny issues have crept up. Recently, Transformers: Age Of Extinction has faced criticism from sponsors over their portrayal, while the Chinese are understood to be concerned about foreign press coverage of reported extortion attempts on the set in Hong Kong last year. I hear folks expected to attend the forum include top execs from SAPPRFT, China Film Group, Huaxia Films, the CFA and DMG. Also expected to attend panels and presentations are former Skydance COO Paul Schwake and screenwriter Evan Daugherty (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent).

Image (2) AVATAR__140529163007-275x171.jpg for post 737462With Avatar the 2nd highest-grossing film in Chinese history, local producers are looking to cash in with their own rival take. The state-backed Xinhua news agency reports that Beijing Chinese Century Media Company is prepping 3D fantasy film Bainiaoyi to shoot in May 2015 in Hengxian County for release at the end of 2016. The tale based on Zhuang folklore follows a young … Read More »

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