UPDATE, 11:45 AM: Just got a quote from Sacha Baron Cohen on his Paramount re-up. It was delivered in French, but here is the translation:
“Any studio that puts out a movie where Leonardo DiCaprio snorts cocaine from a hooker’s anus is a place I’m happy to call home.”
Here it is in French: “N’importe quel studio ne met un film où Leonardo di Caprio renifle de la cocaïne de l’anus d’une prostituée est un endroit que je suis heureux d’appeler à la maison,” said Baron Cohen today while vacationing with his mistress in Villenueve, Southern France.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 11:24 am PST: Paramount Pictures has renewed its first look deal with Sacha Baron Cohen’s Four By Two Films, with a three year term and a commitment to make two pictures. At the same time, Sony Pictures has picked up worldwide rights to Grimsby, a comedy that was developed by Baron Cohen’s company at Paramount. Sony has committed to make the film and has set it for release on July 31, 2015. The studio has locked Clash Of The Titans helmer Louis Leterrier to direct the film, which will begin shooting this summer with Baron Cohen starring. Leterrier’s deal is being made right now.
Co-written by Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston and Peter Baynham, the comedy focuses on a British black-ops spy whose brother is an idiotic English football hooligan. Baron Cohen plays the latter. Baron Cohen and Baynham were Oscar-nominated … Read More »
Dick Clark Productions International will focus on creating and expanding dcp‘s overseas distribution network while also acquiring, financing and creating new shows. Former dcp exec Mark Rafalowski has been tapped as EVP of the new division and will be based in the company’s Santa Monica headquarters reporting to dcp president Mike Mahan. Current dcp shows The American Music Awards, Hollywood Film Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest will be distributed by the new unit. Also in that group are two shows dcp is producing for the first time this year: The Billboard Music Awards and The People Magazine Awards. ”With the ever-increasing global consumption of TV content and dick clark productions’ strategic growth trajectory, it is a perfect time to join the team under the superior leadership of Allen Shapiro and Mike Mahan,” Rafalowski said. “International distribution gives us the ability to develop and grow all areas of the television business from reality and scripted to formats and acquisitions. We look forward to building on our current relationships and actively growing the business internationally.”
Related: CBS Inks Deal With Dick Clark Prods. To Televise Hollywood Film Awards Read More »
Thomas J. McLean is an AwardsLine contributor.
Expect Gravity to be as powerful and inevitable a force in the visual-effects category at this year’s Oscars as, well, gravity. Offering more than just snazzy visuals — about 95% of what’s on screen is digital — Gravity’s visual-effects supervisor Tim Webber fulfilled many artists’ dreams by working from the start with director Alfonso Cuaron and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki to completely embed the effects into the storytelling and filmmaking process.
The space drama also has some serious cachet as a more artistic use of effects — a quality Academy voters have rewarded recently with trophies for Life of Pi, Hugo and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. With Gravity offering a seemingly irresistible complete package, it looks as if the other nine Academy short-list contenders will just have to aspire to impress the effects branch enough at the Jan. 9 bake-off to score one of five Oscar nominations on Jan. 16.
In addition to Gravity, the short list includes Elysium, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Oblivion, Star Trek Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World, Pacific Rim and World War Z. The most obvious question about the list is: How did the year’s highest-profile boxoffice dud, The Lone Ranger, make the cut and Man of Steel did not? Read More »
The year 2013 will go down as a big one for late-night TV, and not because Saturday Night Live was shamed into hiring a black woman for its cast – though that was pretty big. Decades from now, in Theory and Practice of Post-11 PM Programming classes at USC and NYU, aspiring network execs will study 2013 as the year NBC decided to move The Tonight Show back to New York. After months of speculation, a slew of news stories, a handful of NBC denials, a ton of late-night jokes, and one Jay Leno-Jimmy Fallon duet, NBC announced in April it had set a date for Leno’s latest departure from Tonight, and officially named Fallon his latest replacement, adding that The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will be based in New York City, where the long-running franchise originated.
Tonight’s return to New York drastically changes the late-night landscape. With Tonight at 30 Rock, Lorne Michaels for the first time will have charge of the network’s flagship late-night show as well as Saturday Night Live and Late Night – which SNL alum Seth Meyers will host — and can orchestrate an “event” for a guest across all three programs. NBC can also throw in a Today appearance; it’s also housed at 30 Rock. Lorne Michaels Packaging already has been in effect across the other two NBC late-night programs, say industry navel gazers who note how many SNL guests this season also appeared on Fallon’s Late Night. “It’s pretty much been 100% over the last year and a half,” insisted one. “Now he’ll have more power because [Fallon] will be in a better time slot. You’re talking about somebody who has a big series of stages” to offer, the pundit said.
NBC Broadcast chairman Ted Harbert says the network is working to streamline guest booking across its various celebrity-centric New York-based shows which, starting in the fall, will include a Meredith Vieira daytime talk show. “Every single person selling something comes to New York – it’s part of the swing,” he said. “I don’t think you’ll find anybody who only does late-night in Los Angeles and that’s their promotional tour.”
Related: Jimmy Fallon Talks ‘Tonight Show’ Timeline
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EXCLUSIVE: Radical Studios has signed with CAA as the company builds itself in film, TV, publishing and interactive. The venture, founded by Barry Levine and Jesse Berger, has created print intellectual properties that already have translated to other platforms. It has more than 40 titles and 1000 characters, and came out of the gate with the Tom Cruise-starrer Oblivion – which began as a Radical Publishing graphic novel from an idea by Joseph Kosinski, who directed the film. Radical has wrapped its second intellectual property transfer, the Brett Ratner-directed Hercules with Dwayne Johnson for MGM/Paramount, which the latter releases next July. That was based on the Radical Publishing comic book series Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Radical recently set a multimillion-dollar China-based joint venture with Le Vision Pictures which enables the company to access stories, talent and distribution through the partnership. First project in that venture is Mandate Of Heaven, which was formerly developed under the title Clans Of The Sacred Stone.
Related: Frank Darabont & CAA Suing AMC Over ‘Walking Dead’ Profits
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U.S. Filmmakers Lend Support To Iceland’s Film Industry
In early November, Iceland’s government announced plans to cut funding to the Icelandic Film Centre by about 40%. The news was met with upset within the industry, especially given that film production turnover has grown 248% since 2010, according to industry reports. That was driven by a number of Hollywood pics that shot locally including Oblivion, Prometheus and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and HBO’s Games Of Thrones. Film trade orgs have said the effect of the cuts would hurt the local economy and result in 200 job losses. The country’s film bodies have now received a statement of support signed by filmmakers including Clint Eastwood, Darren Aronofsky and Terrence Malick. “We, the undersigned, have had the great pleasure of working on one or more film projects in Iceland,” the statement reads. “In our view, the Icelandic film professionals we’ve worked with are of the highest standard. The expertise that they bring to the table – not only as filmmakers but as invaluable advisors on Icelandic practices, customs and locations – has brought immeasurable benefits to the work that we do. We stand with them, and with the entire film community in Iceland, in their efforts to maintain the current levels of government support for filmmaking, and thus we urge the Icelandic government to reconsider their current plans to cut the budget of the Icelandic Film Fund.”
MTV Preps ‘Ex On The Beach’ For Spring UK Bow
MTV has commissioned reality series Ex On The Beach, which is set to premiere in the UK in the spring. It then will roll out across MTV’s international network, excluding the U.S. The series is produced for MTV UK by Whizz Kid Entertainment and was shot on location in southern Europe. It sees eight single men and women invited to enjoy a luxury vacation in the belief they are being set up for a holiday romance. Instead, as MTV cameras watch, ex-boyfriends and girlfriends of cast members arrive unexpectedly. Each ex will have a different motive for appearing, from winning their partner back to exacting revenge after a breakup. Ex On The Beach is exec produced by Steve Regan, Lisa Chapman and Suzanne Readwin. Read More »
Coming off April’s Oblivion, Tom Cruise stars in Doug Liman‘s futuristic sci-fier as an officer in a brutal alien war who becomes stuck in a time loop and is forced to re-live the same combat mission over and over. Emily Blunt is the lethal soldier who helps Cruise become a warrior while he’s trapped in his Groundhog Day-style existential crisis. WB and Village Roadshow release Edge of Tomorrow on June 6. Check out the first trailer for the pic formerly known as All You Need Is Kill:
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions are moving ahead with a sequel to Jack Reacher, the 2012 film that starred Tom Cruise and is based on Lee Child’s bestselling novel series. A rumor went around that the studio might be trying to squeeze in a Reacher film before Mission: Impossible 5. Paramount has denied that, but I’ve learned it’s trying to fast track another installment. This one will be based on Never Go Back, which was published earlier this fall. In it, Reacher heads back to his old military base in Virginia to take a woman to dinner who is now the commanding officer. By the time he gets there, she has been arrested, and Reacher finds himself being charged with pummeling one guy and fathering a child with a woman. He can’t remember either transgression but gets to the bottom of it with cunning and sometimes brute force.
Related: Tom Cruise On ‘Jack Reacher’
The studio is out to writers; Jack Reacher director Christopher McQuarrie adapted the first one, but is too busy prepping MI5 for a summer production start. Cruise and the studio hope McQuarrie will direct the sequel. Why are they making a sequel? The original cost around $57 million in production costs, grossed $218 million worldwide and has done well in ancillaries. Before studios got tentpole crazy, trying to … Read More »
Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Oblivion) has signed on to supernatural horror pic Mara, from Room 101, Mann Made Films, The Solution Entertainment Group, and Synchronicity Entertainment. Clive Tonge is directing in his feature debut. Pic riffs on the mythology and true phenomena of sleep paralysis aka sudden unexpected nocturnal death syndrome, with Kurylenko playing a criminal psychologist investigating the murder of a man seemingly strangled in his sleep by his wife. She uncovers a mystery surrounding an ancient demon who kills people in their sleep and must save herself and the dead man’s young daughter from becoming the next victims. Solution’s Myles Nestel is producing with Room 101′s microbudget horror guru Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity, Insidious) and Mann Made Films’ Scott Mann and James Edward Barker. Kurylenko is repped by CAA and Tavistock Wood. Read More »
The AFM, which gets underway tomorrow, will see a record influx of Chinese companies and execs. But that’s not the only draw for Mainland players this week. The 2013 U.S. China Film Summit kicks off today in LA with execs and talent attending that include Village Roadshow Pictures Asia CEO Ellen Eliasoph, CAA China managing director Jonah Greenberg, MPA president for Asia-Pacific, Mike Ellis, and Xiao Lu Xue, director of box office hit Finding Mr Right. Last night, an event organized by the MPAA and China’s SAPPRFT was held at Universal to celebrate the start of the third annual China International Co-Production Film Screenings. Attending were NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer, MPAA chief Chris Dodd and China Film Group vice chairman Jiao Hongfen, among others. Meyer delivered a speech in which he said, “We are focused on building new and expanded partnerships to establish long-term relationships between Universal and China.” He also noted that Universal’s “key initiatives” include “doing more co-productions and establishing an office in Beijing that will be our base of operations in China.” It further emerged that Despicable Me 2 will have a China release in early 2014. (The original Despicable Me was not released there and earlier this year, the sequel had been denied a slot.) “As Universal enters its 2nd century in … Read More »
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
EXCLUSIVE: Days after John Sloss began reporting real-time VOD grosses for the Disney-shot indie Escape From Tomorrow and challenged his peers to do the same, RADiUS-TWC co-heads Tom Quinn and Jason Janego have become the latest distributors to go the transparency route. Quinn and Janego have told me that their Keanu Reeves-directed martial arts film Man Of Tai Chi has grossed $1.5 million across digital, satellite and cable platforms ahead of today’s theatrical rollout.
The film began its Ultra-VOD window September 27, and Quinn and Janego were pleased with the results, while noting the film was not available on all satellite services or in hotels. “I’m pleased with that number out of the gate,” Quinn said. “I’m happy we’re able to make this film as widely available theatrically as possible and without VOD frankly we couldn’t do that. It just wouldn’t make sense financially.”
Related: Hot Trailer: Keanu Reeves’ ‘Man Of Tai Chi’
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BREAKING: Oblivion star Tom Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski are looking to work together again. They are circling Go Like Hell for 20th Century Fox. This is the battle between Ford and Ferrari for dominance in the sports car marketplace. Cruise will play Caroll Shelby. The intention is to make the movie after Cruise completes Mission: Impossible 5. It will be produced by Lucas Foster and Alex Young. This is the project that Foster sold to young back in 2009 when the latter was production president. At the time, Brad Pitt wanted to play Shelby.
It’s based on Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, And Their Battle For Speed And Glory At Le Mans, the A.J. Baime book. The book tells the story of the decision by Henry Ford II to go against Enzo Ferrari’s dominance on the Le Mans track in 1966. Ford challenged Ferrari with a car designed by racer-turned-car designer Carroll Shelby. It plays out like The Right Stuff on the race track as Ford was able to turn around its fortunes in the sports-car marketplace, elevating the automaker’s fortunes under Lee Iacocca. This is early days, but it’s a cool project. Jason Keller was among the scribes who’ve done drafts. CAA reps Cruise, Verve reps Kosinski.
Olga Kurylenko has been cast opposite Russell Crowe in The Water Diviner, which will be Crowe’s helming debut. The story, which takes place four years after the battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I, centers on Australian farmer Connor (Crowe), who travels to Istanbul to discover the fate of his sons, reported missing in action. He forges a relationship with the beautiful Turkish woman (Kurylenko) who owns the hotel he stays in. Andrew Mason and Troy Lum of Hopscotch Features and Keith Rodger of Crowe’s Fear of God Films are producing the pic, written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastassios. Its a RatPac Entertainment film and is executive produced by Brett Ratner and James Packer. Kurylenko, whose recent credits include Oblivion, Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder and Starz’s recently ended mob drama Magic City, just finished filming Vampire Academy and November Man opposite Pierce Brosnan. She will start work on Water Diviner when it begins shooting in Australia on December 2, then move on to Momentum opposite Vincent Cassel and Shea Whigham early next year. Kurylenko is repped by CAA and Tavistock Wood.