EXCLUSIVE: Following in the footsteps of Beasts Of The Southern Wild or Fruitvale Station, the 13 projects selected today for this June’s Sundance Institute Directors and Screenwriters Labs could end up as Oscar nominees or at Cannes too. The projects’ origins range from the U.S. and the U.K. to Mexico, Peru, Germany and Somalia with the filmmakers’ backgrounds in photography, advertising and documentary not to mention a couple of past BAFTA and Sundance winners. This round of Sundance fellows will work with established filmmakers such as Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow, On The Road director Walter Salles, author/screenwriter Walter Mosley, Oscar nominee Ed Harris and Sundance founder Robert Redford. The Directors Lab runs from May 27 to June 20 at the Sundance Resort in Utah while the Screenwriters Lab goes from June 22 to June 27. (see the full list of the June 2013 Sundance Institute’s Directors and Screenwriters Labs below)
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The huge opening for Iron Man 3 over the weekend gives FX Networks 10 titles that have been the highest-grossing pics at the U.S. box office during the first 18 weeks of 2013. FX has commercial TV premiere rights to Iron Man 3 as part of a previous output deal with Marvel Studios. As part of that pact it aired Iron Man 2 on Sunday, which ranked as as basic cable’s top program that night in total viewers (3.26 million), adults 18-49 (1.75 million), adults 18-34, and men 18-49 and 18-34. “Iron Man 3 is a massive success and that franchise has performed incredibly well for our networks”, said Chuck Saftler, EVP FX Networks and General Manager of FXM. “The success of Iron Man 3 along with the other titles we’ve purchased this year bodes well for future success on our three networks.” The FX Networks include FX, FXM and new entry FXX. The other hot 2013 titles that will join the FX library in mid-to-late 2015: Pain And Gain (Paramount), Oblivion (Universal), The Croods (DreamWorks Animation/Fox), A Good Day To Die Hard (FOX), Evil Dead (Sony), Identity Thief (Universal), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Paramount), Mama (Universal), and Zero Dark Thirty (Sony).
The annual marketing kudos went big for Disney pics Iron Man 3, Wreck-It-Ralph, Monsters University, Brave, and The Avengers at the Golden Trailer Awards Friday night. The GTAs didn’t just fete the best movie promos of the year. They also doled out Trashiest Trailer (to A24′s Spring Breakers) and gave indie comedy Hit & Run the Golden Fleece award, awarded to a trailer better than its actual movie. Here’s the full list of winners:
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The first A Haunted House, a spoof on the found-footage horror genre, opened in January with $19M and has grossed $40M+ in the U.S. Open Road announced the sequel last month and now has dated it for March 28, 2014. Marlon Wayans is back to star and is co-writing again with Rick Alvarez, and IM Global’s Octane label is financing and producing. Shooting is set to start this summer.
EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Chastain is in talks to star with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in Interstellar, the next film that Christopher Nolan will direct. She will play the third lead, I’m told, and this is a great follow to her Oscar-nominated turn in Zero Dark Thirty. Quite a cast Nolan is cooking up; Hathaway won the Oscar for Les Miserables, and McConaughey is on a run himself. Not much is known about the specific log line (Nolan and cohorts work under the cone of silence) and that includes casting. I was able to break the news about McConaughey (he confirmed it a week later), and also Hathaway. The film is a co-production between Paramount and Warner Bros and was put in motion by Lynda Obst, who commissioned the original treatment. Steven Spielberg came aboard in 2006, when Paramount owned DreamWorks, and after the filmmaker became intrigued by Caltech physicist and relativity expert Kip S. Thorne and his scientific theory that wormholes exist and can be used for time travel. Spielberg set Jonah Nolan to write the script, which made it easy for Christopher Nolan to come aboard after Spielberg left the project. After all, the Nolan siblings have a collaborative track record, with Jonah hatching the short story that became Christopher’s first hit, 2000′s Memento, and following that with two Batfilms and The Prestige. Christopher Nolan signed on in January to write a script that … Read More »
The National Board of Review said its annual awards gala will be Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York. Last year the critics group gave its Best Picture award to Zero Dark Thirty, one of the first awards-season honors for the Kathryn Bigelow-directed pic that eventually earned a Best Picture nomination.
Related: AMC Developing Sci-Fi Drama From Joseph Kosinski, Hollywood Witch Hunt Project
AMC is making a slew of announcements at its upfront today. The cable network confirmed it will launch Talking Bad, a live companion after show to the final installment of Breaking Bad. It announced premiere dates for several new and returning series, including the last eight episodes of Breaking Bad, which will kick off August 11, a slew of scripted and unscripted projects in development, including Ballistic City and Ashland, an overall deal with writer Rolin Jones, and renewals of after show Talking Dead and reality series Comic Book Men and Freakshow. Here are the details:
Related: AMC Eyes ‘Talking Bad’ Companion Talk Show For ‘Breaking Bad’s Final Episodes
AMC will air a special weekly, half-hour live after show to accompany the conclusion of its Emmy Award-winning series, Breaking Bad. Talking Bad will analyze and dissect every detail of Breaking Bad’s final eight episodes beginning Sunday, August 11. Talking Bad will air at 11 PM, and will be produced by Michael Davies’ Embassy Row with Sony Pictures Television serving as the studio partner. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Taylor Kinney is in talks to join the cast of The Other Woman, the film that Nick Cassavetes will direct for Fox. While talks are underway and they have to work around his schedule on his series Chicago Fire, I’m told that Kinney plans to join Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Game Of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster Waldau and Kate Upton in the film. Julie Yorn is producing and Melissa Stack wrote the script, about two women in bed with the same guy who get mad he’s even more prolific and plot revenge. Kinney, an up and comer who was last seen playing one of the SEAL Team shooters in Zero Dark Thirty, is repped by Gersh and Principal Entertainment LA.
The Weinstein Co.’s Silver Linings Playbook and leading duo Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper came up big at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards, nabbing Best Female Performance, Best Male Performance, and Best Kiss at the annual fan-driven ceremony. Marvel’s The Avengers took home three awards including Movie Of The Year, while host Rebel Wilson and her breakout summer pic Pitch Perfect also garnered kudos. Meanwhile, Taylor Lautner of Summit’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 snagged a win out of the film’s lone nomination: Best Shirtless Performance. Here’s the full list of winners, highlighted in bold:
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EXCLUSIVE: Ericson Core, the cinematographer who made his feature directorial debut on Invincible, has been set by Alcon Entertainment partners Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove to direct Point Break, the remake of the 1991 action thriller that starred Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Shooting begins at year’s end and Alcon will release through its Warner Bros output deal.
Any way you cut it, the director of this film is stepping into big shoes. The original was helmed by Kathryn Bigelow, who later won the Oscar with The Hurt Locker and who most recently helmed Zero Dark Thirty. Kosove and Johnson will produce the remake with Michael De Luca, John Baldecchi, Chris Taylor and Kurt Wimmer. The script was written by Wimmer, whose script work includes Salt and Law Abiding Citizen. RGM Media principal Devesh Chetty and investor John McMurrick, Chairman of Marloss Entertainment, will be exec producers.
They’re setting the remake in the world of international extreme sports, and an undercover FBI agent infiltrates a criminal ring. If done right, this one could work again. The original story was pretty far-fetched (I recall Reeves jumping out of a plane without a parachute to chase down Swazye, who had a parachute), but for me it is one of those movies where, if I am clicking channels and come across it, I’ll stop and watch at any point of the movie.
Core, who’s repped by Gersh Agency’s David … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Things are not looking very good right now for Tarzan, the re-imagining of the Edgar Rice Burroughs tale that has Harry Potter helmer David Yates preparing to make it this year, with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard playing the title character and Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain circling the female lead. I’m hearing they’ve shut down plans to make the film this year, and are shuttering the production office. Sounds like it had to do with a high budget they just couldn’t reduce to the level that made the studio comfortable. Casting and timing could also have been an issue, as word is the studio had been courting Jamie Foxx to play the film’s third lead but hadn’t made a deal. This is the film that Warner Bros has tried to get going for years, even hiring scribes Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer to separately script their own visions for the franchise.
Nobody was commenting officially, but insiders at the studio tell me they are trying again for 2014 and that Yates is still in the fold. The studio hadn’t greenlit the film and did not have pay or play deals, so it wasn’t that hard to apply the brakes. Warner Bros is always voracious for franchises that can play on a global stage, but the studio also has been pretty bold about unplugging films that cost too much or don’t get the … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Screen Gems has set Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez and Olivia Munn to star in Beware The Night, a film that re-teams Clint Culpepper’s Sony-based company with The Exorcism Of Emily Rose tandem of Scott Derrickson and Paul Boardman. The film is a paranormal thriller that will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Derrickson will direct a script he and Boardman wrote and shooting will begin May 20 in the Bronx.
The film reunites Bana with Bruckheimer; they previously worked together on Black Hawk Down, one of the films that sprung Bana’s movie career. Here, Bana plays an Irish Catholic cop working a case when he meets a renegade priest. Despite the cop’s beliefs, he’s convinced by the priest that there is a demonic element and together they work to solve the case and combat the paranormal forces working against them. Ramirez plays the priest. Munn plays the cop’s wife, who also has a tie to the case. Screen Gems is hoping this will blossom into a franchise. Chad Oman and Mike Stenson will be exec producers.
“Beware The Night is a project we’ve been developing for many years, confident that a story which combines the paranormal with a gritty New York City police story is both original and strongly appealing to audiences,” Bruckheimer said. “We’re … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: If you love sports films like I do, here is one that has knockout potential. Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez have signed on to star in Hands Of Stone, a drama written and to be directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz. Boxing fans will know where we are going from the title. Ramirez will play champ Roberto Duran. De Niro will play his trainer Ray Arcel in a drama that focuses on how each man changed the life of the other. It is set during boxing’s Golden Era, when Duran was among top notch fighters including Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Hector Camacho, Vinny Pazienza. Duran fought them all and won 103 of his 119 fights. The focus will be on the Panamanian boxer’s incredible brawls with Leonard, culminating in an inexplicable ending of the famous fight where Duran quit in the ring and cried “No mas,” on a night when Leonard was having his way. That was a terrible ending to a rivalry that was everything depicted by De Niro in Raging Bull, when Jake LaMotta had those classic brawls with Sugar Ray Robinson. This was back when boxing mattered, and well before it got eclipsed by mixed martial arts fighting, which is way more accessible to the public and more smartly run than is pro boxing. CAA is handling domestic rights on the film. Read More »
Reporting from Cannes
The annual Mip-TV market, and its sister Mipcom, keep getting more interesting as star power grows and what’s on offer takes on an increasingly global feel. At October’s Mipcom, Kevin Spacey was in Cannes to support Netflix’s House Of Cards; Jane Campion presented BBC/Sundance Channel series Top Of The Lake; Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys were here for The Americans and even Harvey Weinstein turned up in support of The Weinstein Co.’s push into international TV sales. Mip-TV, which kicks off in earnest on Monday, will draw such speakers as BBC controller Ben Stephenson, eOne’s Darren Throop, Da Vinci’s Demons creator David S. Goyer, CSI franchise creator Anthony Zuiker, Homeland exec producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, Endemol’s Tim Hincks and Discovery chief David Zaslav. Shine America CEO Rich Ross is also in town.
At these international markets, there’s an increasingly habitual fight between the big ticket drama and the reality format business. Both are lucrative in an expanding and fragmented market. But while certain companies are chasing the critical mass of the next Big Brother, others are finding it’s good to be in the scripted drama business, making deals that give them – and the shows – the most flexibility.
High-profile dramas that will be showcased here in Cannes this week include Da Vinci’s Demons which was picked up straight to series by Starz in October and premieres there on April 12. The BBC Worldwide co-production will roll out in 120 countries courtesy of Fox International Channels. (Starz is also in Cannes with the first episode of The White Queen which will premiere with star Max Irons in attendance.)
The straight-to-series deal is part of a growing trend that sees companies seek direct orders in the U.S. for a license fee, relying on international sales. Jens Richter of Red Arrow International, which sold cooking competition show The Taste to ABC, says that when it comes to drama, “For an indie, it only works if it goes straight to series. You can’t go through a pilot… and then take the risk.” Red Arrow also handles the Norway-set Lilyhammer with Steven Van Zandt which is a partnership with Netflix and is currently shooting its second season. “Everybody profits, you spread risk on various shoulders and go straight into production.” There’s also an upside for talent. They can take a backend position that’s worth “real money from day one.” Read More »
BREAKING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone and Charlie Hunnam have signed on to star in Legendary Pictures’ haunted house thriller Crimson Peak, which will be the next movie to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and is set to begin shooting in January 2014. Del Toro originally wrote the ghost story script with frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins and had set it up at Universal; he now is giving it a rewrite with Lucinda Coxon. Legendary will produce and be a participating financing partner, with Universal retaining an option to also finance at a later date. Legendary is also behind del Toro’s Pacific Rim, which is due out July 12 via Warner Bros. Warners will likely distribute Crimson Peak via its deal with Legendary.
Del Toro previously told Deadline that Crimson Peak is best described as “a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story. It will allow me to play with the conventions of the genre I know and love, and at the same time subvert the old rules.” Read More »
Rob Schneider and Aisha Tyler will host the 14th annual Golden Trailer Awards on May 3 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. More than 1200 submissions were received this year, an 11% year-over-year increase, in a total of 70 categories, with honors in 16 main Show Categories set to be presented during the ceremony along with an additional trophy for Best in Show. Here are the main categories (see the rest of the nominees here):
THE 14TH ANNUAL GOLDEN TRAILER AWARDS
SHOW CATEGORY NOMINEES
SUMMER 2013 BLOCKBUSTER TRAILER
“Iron Man 3” – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Trailer Park
“Fast & Furious 6” – Universal, AV Squad
“Man of Steel” – Warner Bros., Jennifer Horvath
“Pacific Rim” – Warner Bros., Trailer Park
“World War Z “Day”“ – Paramount Pictures, Buddha Jones Read More »
Lionsgate and Good Universe are partnering on Candy Store, a character-driven action thriller co-written and to be directed by Stephen Gaghan. Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) and Omar Sy (The Intouchables) are starring in the ensemble cast. Lionsgate will distribute the pic in North America, and Good Universe will handle international sales and make the pic part of its Cannes slate. The plot of the thriller, co-written by Shannon Burke, interweaves several storylines set against the criminal underworld in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. A former covert operative (Clarke) discovers the organization he was dedicated to fighting is now operating in his new backyard. When he teams with a disgraced local cop, their investigation leads them to a king pimp (Sy), a Cold War consigliere, and a beautiful girl wrapped up in an elaborate threat against Manhattan.
The founders of subscription music provider Rdio continue to scour Hollywood for licensing arrangements although most of the major studios appear to have some kind of deal with the company’s new video service. Beginning today Vdio will take on Apple’s iTunes and Amazon, among others, by offering movies on demand and download sales of movies and TV shows in the U.S. and UK. Deals vary, but Vdio says that it has “thousands of movies” (the company declines to be more specific) including Skyfall, Life Of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, and The Hobbit. TV offerings include The Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Homeland, and Breaking Bad. It has agreements for Showtime and Starz shows, but not HBO’s. Initially the content will just be available on the Web, iPads and Apple TV to people who subscribe to Rdio, which offers unlimited music streaming for as little as $4.99 a month. Existing customers and those who sign up over the next 60 days will receive a $25 credit for Vdio. Film purchases won’t include UltraViolet streaming just yet, but CEO Drew Larner says “it’s something the studios want and believe in and we want to support.” Read More »