Global Showbiz Briefs: Jesus Perezagua Exiting Fox International Channels; ‘Peaky Blinders’ Tops BAFTA TV Craft Award Noms; More

Jesus Perezagua Exiting Fox International Channels
Jesus of FoxFox International Channels President of Europe and Africa Jesus Perezagua has announced his departure. The exec has been at the company since 2003. He joined as managing director of FIC Spain and Portugal and in 2005 took over the company’s expansion plan in Eastern and Central Europe, Turkey and Greece. Perezagua became President of FIC Europe and Africa in 2011. He will step down from the role on April 30 but will continue to consult FIC. The search is on for a successor. Prior to FIC, Perezagua held posts at Iberian Channels and Online for Fox Kids Entertainment Espana and was Managing Director of Bandai Espana, a Japanese toy company specializing in TV marketing concepts. Read More »

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Actor James Rebhorn Pens His Final Curtain Call; Read The Obit He Wrote For Himself

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 2:53pm PDT

Veteran character actor James Rebhorn died Friday from melanoma at the age of 65. His career spanned decades with roles too numerous to count. We have been given a rare glimpse into his life, with an obituary penned by Rebhorn himself. This is the first time we have seen something like this at Deadline. We feel it is exceptional and should be shared.

jamesrebhorn__140323181627-275x366James Robert Rebhorn was born on Sept. 1, 1948, in Philadelphia, PA. His mother, Ardell Frances Rebhorn, nee Hoch, loved him very much and supported all his dreams. She taught him the value of good manners and courtesy, and that hospitality is no small thing. His father, James Harry Rebhorn, was no less devoted to him. From him, Jim learned that there is no excuse for poor craftsmanship. A job well done rarely takes more or less time than a job poorly done. They gave him his faith and wisely encouraged him to stay in touch with God.

He is survived by his sister, Janice Barbara Galbraith, of Myrtle Beach, SC. She was his friend, his confidant, and, more often than either of them would like to admit, his bridge over troubled waters. He is also survived by his wife, Rebecca Fulton Linn, and his two daughters, Emma Rebecca Rebhorn and Hannah Linn Rebhorn. They anchored his life and gave him the freedom to live it. Without them, always at the center of his being, his life would have been little more than a vapor. Rebecca loved him with all his flaws, and in her the concept of ceaseless love could find no better example.

JamesRebhornMovieHis children made him immensely proud. Their dedication to improving our species and making the world a better place gave him hope for the future. They deal with grief differently, and they should each manage it as they see fit. He hopes, however, that they will grieve his passing only as long as necessary. They have much good work to do, and they should get busy doing it. Time is flying by. His son-in-law, Ben, also survives him. Jim loved Ben, who was as a son to Jim, especially through these last months. His aunts Jean, Dorothy and Florence, numerous cousins and their families, and many devoted friends also survive Jim. He loved them all, and he knows they loved him.

Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Rising Star’ Heads To Greece, Ukraine; ‘Broadchurch’ Leads Royal Television Society Awards; More

‘Rising Star’ World Tour Continues In Greece, Ukraine
Keshet International
’s interactive talent search format Rising Star has made further sales, heading to Greece’s Mega and Ukraine’s 1+1. Keshet says the deals make Rising Star the world’s fastest-Rising Starselling talent show ever, according to researchers at the WIT. Since its launch at Mipcom in October, it has sold to more than 25 territories. Greece and Ukraine will launch their local versions later this year. 1+1 has made a multi-season deal beginning with a 15-episode first series to be produced by Studio Kvartal 95. Mega has commissioned an initial 14 episodes, with a local producer to be confirmed. The first international version of Rising Star will premiere April 6 on Globo Brazil. ABC’s U.S. version of the show will air in the summer and is available to buyers at Mip-TV as a finished 10 episode tape.

Related: Big Ratings For ‘Rising Star’ Finale In Israel

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Summit, Participant Media Acquire ‘The Burglary;’ The Story Of 8 Whistleblowers Who Stole Hoover’s FBI Secrets

Mike Fleming

burlEXCLUSIVE: Decades before Julian Assange and Edward Snowden became the scourge of U.S. intelligence organizations by leaking secret documents, an unheralded group of eight anti-war activists broke into an FBI branch office one night in Philadelphia and made off with a treasure trove of classified documents they fed to newspapers that bared the ruthlessness displayed by the FBI in spying on and blackmailing those it considered troublemakers. Summit Entertainment has teamed with Participant Media to acquire the rights to tell the story of those bandits, acquiring the Betty Medsger book The Burglary: The Discovery Of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI, which was published in January by Knopf, and an accompanying article by Mark Mazzetti published in The New York Times the same month.

hoover__140319224839-275x154They’ve set Scott Z. Burns to write the script and produce with Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar, with Todd Hoffman exec producing. Ashley Zalta is a co-producer. Burns’ script work includes The Bourne Ultimatum, the Steven Soderbergh-directed Contagion and Side Effects and Fox’s summer sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. The project was championed by Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group President Erik Feig, who’ll oversee with Meredith Milton and Participant’s Jonathan King. Read More »

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Universal Stakes Out Martin Luther King Holiday Jr. 2016 For ‘Ride Along 2′

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 5:30pm PDT

Ride Along CrewUniversal Pictures announced that it will release the Kevin Hart-Ice Cube buddy comedy Ride Along 2 for the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend. It’s a date worked very well for the original Ride Along, which broke box office records this past MLK frame with a whopping $41.5M gross. In fact, the date is kinda known now as the Will Packer/Kevin Hart spot. Next year, Sony is releasing the duo’s The Wedding Ringer on the same holiday weekend. Adam Fields also is producing the comedy. Universal executives and the producers started working on the Ride Along sequel last month. Tim Story will direct Ride Along 2, and Hart and Ice Cube reprising their roles; Hart plays a quick-witted security guard who has his eye on Cube’s sister. The film has grossed more than $140M worldwide. A late-June/early-July start is planned, and all are hard at work finalizing the script, which is expected to have more action. Packer, Matt Alvarez and Larry Brezner will produce with Ice Cube.

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday March 9, 2014 @ 5:00pm PDT

FilmLightingEquipmentLowerBroadwayNYC060709Pilot Locations 2014: New York Production Rises, Los Angeles Plummets, Texas Hot
By Nellie Andreeva – While California Gov. Jerry Brown is still “not committed” to expanding the state’s film and TV tax credit, Los Angeles is seeing another drop in broadcast pilot production to what appears to be an all-time low. New York, which also lured The Tonight Show franchise away from Los Angeles, returns this year as the most popular drama location and reinforcing its strong position in comedy.

Dish And Disney Finalize Output Deal That Ends Their Ad-Hopper Dispute
By David Lieberman – The companies have officially announced a “wide-ranging” deal, which “will result in dismissal of all pending litigation between the two companies, including disputes over PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop.” The agreement calls for Dish to disable AutoHop functionality for ABC content within the C3 ratings window. The pact also for the first time allows Dish customers to access Disney’s authenticated live and VOD products.

Aereo-logo__130126232434-200x206__131008001115__131212200214__140110201424__140211193750White House Backs Broadcasters In Aereo Case
By David Lieberman and Dominic Patten – The Solicitor General’s office put the Obama administration solidly in the anti-Aereo camp with a 40-page amicus brief filed with SCOTUS.

‘The Wire’s David Simon Takes On Oprah-Produced HBO Mini On Martin Luther King
By Mike Fleming Jr. – I’m hearing that David Simon, the architect of the HBO series The Wire, Homicide and most recently Treme, will spearhead the HBO six-hour MLK miniseries adaptation of America: In The King Years, based on the celebrated book trilogy by Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor Branch. Read More »

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Idris Elba To Provide The Roar In Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 3:41pm PST
Mike Fleming

Idris Elba Jungle Book Shere KhanEXCLUSIVE: 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. Read More »

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‘The Wire’s David Simon Takes On Oprah-Produced HBO Mini On Martin Luther King

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 12:40pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: For years, I’ve been writing about all the futility davesimoninvolved in attempts to bring the life of iconic civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr to the screen. So here’s a big one. I’m hearing that David Simon, the architect of the HBO series The Wire, Homicide and most recently Treme, will spearhead the HBO six-hour miniseries adaptation of America: In The King Years, based on the celebrated book trilogy by Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor Branch. Just as will happen with the Ava DuVernay-directed Selma, Oprah Winfrey will be backing this project as well in a producing capacity.

oprahWinfrey’s Harpo banner originally set up the three books at HBO in 2010 with the plan that it would be overseen by The Kentucky Cycle playwright Robert Schenkkan. While I’ve been trying to confirm the Simon part to no avail at HBO for weeks, I’m told reliably that Simon has assured Branch that he is taking on the project, which instantly becomes a beachhead project for HBO, covering King and his relationships with Lyndon Johnson, John F and Robert Kennedy, as well as the freedom rides, the Birmingham and Selma campaigns, and the poor people’s march on Washington that he was organizing when he was killed in Memphis. It is the perfect venue to tell the story of King’s long struggle.

I’ve heard that Simon will write at least the first episode, as well as the bible for the entire mini. He and Treme co-creator Eric Overmyer will see the entire mini through completion. This is a broad canvas, spanning Branch’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Parting The Waters, as well as Pillar Of Fire and At Canaan’s Edge. Read More »

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Paramount To Make MLK Pic ‘Selma’; Oprah Winfrey Producing

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 7:55pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Big news on the MLK movie front. Paramount is in final negotiations to acquire dr-martin-luther-king-jr-5domestic distribution rights to Selma, a feature drama about Martin Luther King‘s 1965 landmark voting rights campaign regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement, and none other than Oprah Winfrey has boarded the project as producer. Paramount is tying down U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to the film. Ava DuVernay, who came aboard the project in July, rewrote the original script by Paul Webb and slipped it to Winfrey, who sparked to DuVernay’s rewrite. We’ve been waiting for a strong cinematic tribute to the iconic civil rights leader, and this remarkably becomes the second MLK project that Winfrey is involved with. Her Harpo also is behind a seven-part HBO miniseries America: In the King Years. Selma is on a much faster track. The plan is to get rollingParamountLogo_new in front of cameras as soon as possible. Lining up a domestic deal and a name of Winfrey’s caliber were key to getting the ball rolling, and when the deal makes production is expected to start right away. Pathe UK, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Christian Colson are already aboard as producers.

Winfrey’s presence both on and off the screen was a big reason Lee Daniels’ The Butler traveled so well overseas. The Butler has grossed $167.7 million to date — more than $50M of that internationally. This gives Selma a leg up on the other two major features that are percolating. Oliver Stone last month saw a script rewrite on his MLK biopic rejected by DreamWorks and Warner Bros, and it caused him to back out of the project. Meanwhile, Paul Greengrass still isn’t ready to move on his biopic Memphis that he plans to make with Scott Rudin. 

Related: Fleming Q&As Paul Greengrass On Oscar Contender ‘Captain Phillips’, MLK
Read More »

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‘Ride Along’ Producer Will Packer Sets Up First Film At Universal, Comedy ‘Girls Trip’ With Malcolm Lee Directing; ‘Ride Along 2′ Will Start Shooting This Summer

Will PackerBREAKING: Will Packer, who produced the $123.1M-to-date grosser Ride Along with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube and currently has two pictures in the box office Top 10 with About Last Night (also a Hart vehicle that has grossed $38M in two weeks), has set up his next film with Universal Pictures via his Will Packer Productions banner. It’s a comedy, Girls Trip, with Best Man’s Holiday helmer Malcolm D. Lee set to direct. It has yet to set a writer. Ride Along 2 will be Packer’s next picture with Tim Story at the helm, it was just confirmed. Ice Cube and Kevin Hart recently closed a deal to reprise their roles as the quick-witted security guard (Hart) who has his eye on his partner’s (Cube’s) sister. The sequel will start shooting a week after Think Like A Man 2 opens on June 20, 2014.

Related: ‘Ride Along 2′ Gets Rolling, Tim Story To Direct

Malcolm D. LeeLee, of course, recently directed Best Man Holiday for Universal which has grossed over $71.6M worldwide. Details of the new project are being kept under wraps. Packer has risen as a formidable producer in recent years, earning him the nickname, Will “Power” Packer. His buddy comedy Ride Along opened to a record $48.6M over the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend this year for Universal. Sony then scheduled his The Wedding Ringer, which he is producing with Adam Fields, for the MLK holiday in 2015. Wedding Ringer is a Jeremy Garelick-written and -directed comedy starring Hart again. The bankable Packer also produced Think Like a Man, which grossed $96M worldwide.

Related: Universal Makes First-Look Pact With Producer Will Packer

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Image Awards: Kevin Hart Named Entertainer Of The Year; Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Kerry Washington, LL Cool J Honored

By | Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 8:17pm PST

Kevin Hart was named entertainer of the yearnaacp-image-award__131007152952-275x479 (1) tonight at the NAACP‘s Image Awards aired live on the East Coast on TV One. Forest Whitaker was named best actor and Angela Bassett best actress for their respective roles in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Black Nativity. Best picture award went to 12 Years A Slave. Kevin Hart was named best actor in a comedy series for Real Husbands of Hollywood and LL Cool J took the best actor in a drama series prize for NCIS: Los Angeles. Kerry Washington was named best actress in a drama series for Scandal. The award for best actress in a comedy series went to Wendy Raquel Robinson for The Game. Scandal and Real Husbands Of Hollywood took nods, respectively, for best drama and comedy series.

Oprah Winfrey honored Nelson Mandela with a tribute. Forest Whitaker received the NAACP Chairman’s Award. And Paris Barclay and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first African-American Presidents of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, respectively, were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame. The complete list of winners follows: Read More »

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UPDATE: Warner Bros Sets 2015 Release Dates For ‘Run All Night’, ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ And ‘Focus’

By | Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:09pm PST

warner_bros_logo-2__130321233618__130419003343__131121204956__131213030736__140121202406__140209183407UPDATE, 4:09 PM: Warner Bros has filled another slot in its early 2015 release date calendar, saying today it will drop the Liam Neeson-starrer Run All Night, the Brad Ingelsby actioner, on February 6, 2015. Jaume Collet-Serra is directing in a reteam with Neeson who combined to make Unknown and the upcoming Non-Stop. Neeson plays a mob hitman who, in a single night, is forced to take on his former boss. The guy also has to protect his son and family, and winds up on the run from the mob and the authorities. Joel Kinnaman, Ed Harris and Vincent D’Onofrio co-star.

Related: Warner Bros Sets ‘Lego Movie’ Sequel For May 2017

PREVIOUS, THURSDAY AM: Guy Ritchie’s Man From U.N.C.L.E will be released January 16, 2015, which is the start of the Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend, Warner Bros said today. Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander and Luca Calvani star in the pic, a big-screen update of the 1960s TV series. This is the project that forced Warners to go back to Square 1 a couple of times, first when Steven Soderbergh was ready to direct and George Clooney to star. After Soderbergh and Clooney left, Warner Bros recruited Ritchie and then landed Tom Cruise for the lead alongside Hammer. Cruise departed last May to focus on Mission: Impossible 5. Cavill then came aboard as CIA agent Napoleon Solo opposite Hammer’s KGB operative Illya Kuryakin, who team amidst the Cold War to stop a global criminal organization. Jared Harris, Elizabeth Debicki and Hugh Grant co-star. Read More »

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OSCARS: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Telling Voters “It’s Time” – But How Will It Resonate?

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 3:06pm PST
Pete Hammond

“It’s Time”.

That’s the message seen for the past few weeks on the 12 Years A Slave billboard as you drive on to the 20th Century Fox lot. Los Angeles-20140219-00222 (3).jpg  foxAnd since the film earned nine Oscar nominations it has frequently been the slogan of choice for the Fox Searchlight contender in  newspaper and television ads.  A highly emotional close-up of star Chiwetel Ejiofor as the man forced into slavery and just two words to accompany it: “It’s Time”.

So is it resonating with voters? Are they paying attention? And how do you interpret the message, clearly aimed at Academy voters, that the studio is trying to send for its Best Picture nominee?

It’s Time for a serious film about slavery to win Best Picture?

It’s Time for any film about the black experience to win Best Picture?

It’s Time for a film with a largely black cast, theme, black director and screenwriter to win?

It’s Time those Academy members who have resisted seeing it, because they think it’s too brutal, stick their screener in their DVD player and watch.

Whichever way you look at it, it’s an effective and simple way of getting the film’s message across. Two words, that’s all.

heatnightposter2The ad not only can be interpreted as shining a light on a very dark period in American history, it also shines a light on the Academy’s fairly dismal record of awarding its top honor to any movie about the black experience. In fact there has been only one Best Picture winner in the 85 years the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been handing out Oscars that even remotely qualifies in this regard. In 1968, In The Heat Of The Night , a murder mystery set against the racial divide in a small Southern town, won Best Picture and four other Oscars just a few days after the assassination of Martin Luther King (the ceremony was even postponed two days out of respect). The votes were in before1968_view_editing_ashby_jewison_actor_steiger_picture_mirisch the King assassination, but it seemed then that “It’s Time” would have been an appropriate way to describe that victory. However, outside of lead actor Sidney Poitier — who also co-starred in another racially themed Best Pic nominee that year, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner —  this movie  featured a largely white cast, white producer, screenwriter and director (Norman Jewison).

12 Years A Slave  makes a much bigger statement: The film has been honored widely with Best Picture awards from the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice Movie Awards, the Producers Guild (in a tie with Gravity), and most recently BAFTA, but the victories have been narrow (it went 1 for 7 at the Globes, 2 for 10 at BAFTA and 3 for 13 at the CCMAs). Co-producer/director Steve McQueen has made impassioned speeches at all of them, though apparently it’s not time for a black director to win as he has lost consistently to Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron in that category at most precursor awards (ironically, there was a Picture/Director split the year of In The Heat Of The Night, with The Graduate’s Mike Nichols winning the directing awards over Heat’s Jewison). Read More »

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‘Ride Along 2′ Gets Rolling: Tim Story To Direct, Will Packer To Produce With Deals Closing For Kevin Hart and Ice Cube

Ride Along CrewEXCLUSIVE: It was inevitable after the huge success of Ride Along that Universal Pictures executives would be salivating to get the sequel together. Tim Story will direct Ride Along 2 and Ice Cube and Kevin Hart are closing to reprise their roles as the quick-witted security guard (Hart) who has his eye on his partner’s (Cube’s) sister. The film debuted five weeks ago on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend to bring in a record opening of $41.5M. It has since grossed more than $120M worldwide as of this weekend. The three-day gross on Ride Along dropped only 9% even as they shed 283 screens with $3,460 per screen. Helluva hold.

Will Packer and Cube’s Cube Vision (Ice Cube and Matt Alvarez) are coming back to produce from a script by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? A late June/early July start is planned and all are hard at work finalizing the script which is expected to have more action and am hearing that it will be more multi-cultural to expand the demos. Smart move, all, if you want to expand into the lucrative Latin American and European markets. Yes, it’s comedy but it’s also business. Ride Along is in six territories currently with expansions into other markets yet to come, but it is getting 97% of its total box office ($121.2M) from domestic. Likewise, the bankable Think Like a Man also had 95% of its box office coming from the U.S. Universal EVP Production Scott Bernstein will oversee the project for the studio. Larry Brezner is also producing and BenderSpink, executive producing. Read More »

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Berlin: Will Sizzle Reels And Pre-Buys Heat Up Cold Market?

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 6:54am PST
Mike Fleming

berlEXCLUSIVE: The European Film Market has been a bit sparse, with things perking up with Open Road’s acquisition of Rock The Kasbah. I’ve heard that pre-buy deal amounted to a $2 million minimum guarantee, a 10% gross deal for Bill Murray and a 1200-screen release commitment. If there is going to be action in Berlin, it might well be through the sizzle reels or other pre-buys.

Berlin2014_200The script stage projects being introduced in Berlin that seem most promising are the Daniel Craig-starrer The Whole Truth, the Jonathan Jakubowicz-directed Roberto Duran biopic Hands Of Stone with Edgar Ramirez playing the legend, Robert De Niro his trainer and Usher his rival Sugar Ray Leonard; the Nima Nourizadeh-directed American Ultra with Jesse Eisenberg and Stewart; the Benedict Cumberbatch-starrer Blood Mountain, about an Army ranger who must bring a terrorist to custody after his unit is wiped out in Pakistan; the Oren Moverman-directed Time Out Of Mind with Richard Gere; the Natalie Portman-directed A Tale Of Love And Darkness; Selma, the Ava DuVerney drama that stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr; the David Gordon Green-directed The Line with Chris Pine; the Anton Corbjin-directed Life with Robert Pattinson; and the Paolo Sorrentino-directed In The Future with Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. A lot of these are being teased at Berlin, and will lead to sales at Cannes.

As for the sizzle reels, today is a big day with footage screenings of Imitation Game with Cumberbatch, and The Search, which is Michel Hazanavicius’ follow-up to The Artist. Here are the sizzle reels that have buyers hot and bothered: Read More »

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SXSW: ‘Neighbors,’ ‘Joe,’ Wes Anderson Q&A Round Out Features Lineup; New Episodic TV Section Unveiled

By | Thursday January 30, 2014 @ 12:00pm PST

SXSW 2014 moviesUniversal’s May comedy Neighbors, David Gordon Green’s Nic Cage starrer Joe, and Mike Myers’ directorial debut docu Supermensch are just a few of the newly announced titles set to screen at SXSW 2014, which debuted its full Features line-up today. They join previously announced opener Chef, from Jon Favreau, the world premiere of the Veronica Mars movie in a slate packed with over 115 features, 76 world premieres, Nic Cage in Joe10 North American premieres, including the latest films from Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality), Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Nacho Vigalondo (Open Windows), a special screening of 1954′s original Gojira with Q&A with Godzilla remake helmer Gareth Edwards, and a rare Texas appearance by UT grad Wes Anderson who will present his new film Grand Budapest Hotel in an extended Q&A session.

Related: Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’ To Open SXSW; ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Among Premieres

In recent years SXSW has increased its television-focused programming, debuting SXSW alum Lena Dunham‘s Girls in 2012 and presenting a Bates Motel panel in 2013. fromdusktilldawnThis year the Austin film fest is introducing an entire Episodic programming section devoted to small screen works. In addition to a previously announced screening of Fox’s COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Episodic section will include Hulu and Lionsgate TV’s supernatural comedy Deadbeat starring Tyler Labine with cast and crew Q&A, a screening of El Rey and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn pilot, AMC’s 1980s-set computer drama Halt and Catch Fire, Showtime’s John Logan-created Penny Dreadful, and HBO’s new sitcom Silicon Valley co-created by Mike Judge. Read More »

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Comedy Based On Kevin Hart’s Life Gets Cast-Contingent Pilot Order At ABC

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 8:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

kevinhartABC is adding a comedy to the three drama pickups tonight. The network has given a cast-contingent pilot order to a multicamera comedy from hot actor-comedian Kevin Hart and former Community executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan. This marks the first multi-camera pilot this year at ABC, which has only one multi-camera series on the air, Last Man Standing, and didn’t pick up any multicam pilots to series last season. The untitled Kevin Hart project, which had a put pilot commitment, is based on Hart’s life and stand-up. Written by Goldman and Donovan, it takes a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite differences. 20th Century Fox TV is producing, with Hart, his manager Dave Becky, Goldman and abc-logo__130925200531Donovan executive producing. If the project goes forward, Hart likely will play a recurring role. Hart is one of the hottest comedy talents at the moment. Following the breakout success of his 2013 movie Think Like A Man, his latest feature comedy, Ride Along, broke box-office records with a huge Martin Luther King weekend opening.

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Mike Newell Plants Flag To Helm ‘The Day Of The Triffids’

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 2:29pm PST
Mike Fleming

triffEXCLUSIVE: Mike Newell has been set to helm The Day Of The Triffids, the adaptation of the classic sci-fi book by John Wyndham that was scripted by Neil Cross for Ghost House Pictures. Those sparked about this development know the logline: After a comet shower blinds most of the world’s population, those with sight must battle alien plants, known as triffids, bent on destroying mankind.

The film’s being produced by Ghost House, Mark Gordon, Don Murphy, and Michael Preger, and Murphy’s Angry Films partner Susan Montford will be executive producer. Newell is repped by WME and UK-based Independent Talent. Read More »

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UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Overseas Cume Nears $75M Led By France; ’12 Years A Slave’ Rises In UK; ’47 Ronin’ Crosses $25M In Russia; More

cinemaworld1UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 3:58 PM: I’ve earlier reported strong international numbers for The Wolf Of Wall Street based on the several territories where Universal is handling the film with all No. 1s across the board. But this is a movie that also has a lot of independent distributors around the world. Wolf backer Red Granite now has chimed in with its latest figure for the ex-U.S. cume, including Universal’s patch, and it’s an impressive $74.7M from 52 territories (for those keeping score, that’s 1,245 times what Jonah Hill says his payday was for the film). Domestic, the movie is at about $91M and notably, Wolf‘s strongest overseas market to date by far is France. It’s released there by the Hadida brothers’ Metropolitan Filmexport. The French take according to the latest numbers I have is $21.17M. Although it opened on Christmas Day in France, it has taken more than half of its 2.4M admissions in 2014 and had a drop of only 12% in its 4th week that ended January 21. In the UK, the movie took an impressive $7.5M in its opening this past weekend; there it’s rated 18 which is basically an NC-17, and in France, where the ratings board tends to take sex scenes with less issue, it’s rated so that anyone over 12 can be admitted. That’s a lot of Leonardo DiCaprio fans. There’s for sure heat on this movie given the controversies surrounding it, but as I’m often told — and as I have experienced over 20 years here — a director’s name means a helluva a lot, and coupled with a major star, in a country of cinephiles like France it’s not surprising that they are lapping up this latest. Outside France and the strong Universal territories noted below, The Wolf Of Wall Street is also hot in Belgium ($2.49M) Holland ($3.56M) and Poland ($3.58M) as of the latest figures.

Related: Jonah Hill Says He Was Paid Only $60,000 For ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’

UPDATE, WEDNESDAY 9:51 AM PT: With Universal’s final figures in for The Wolf Of Wall Street overseas this past weekend, the international cume from its territories is now $28.5M. Actuals were a touch off in the UK ($7.5M vs an estimated $7.6M), but higher than expected in Germany, Spain, Austria and German-speaking Switerland. In other Universal news, 47 Ronin has been having a strong run in Russia despite its underperformance elsewhere. In its 3rd frame there this weekend, the film placed No. 3 and broke the $25M barrier. Fox’s The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty also had a better than previously estimated weekend, with an international cume to date of $106.2M. And the heavily Oscar-nominated 12 Years A Slave added $7.62M for an international take of $23.92M and a worldwide haul of $64.2M. It’s currently playing in 21 international markets with Belgium and France opening today. The first 2 PM showing in Paris this afternoon sold 2,400 tickets on 32 screens, outperforming Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-nominated The Wind Rises and Stallone/De Niro vehicle Grudge Match. The Martin Luther King holiday slowed the release of some final international weekend figures, but numbers have been updated as they’ve come in below: Read More »

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