Taxi: Brooklyn South, a 12-episode TF1 drama series set and filming in the U.S., has assembled a cast of familiar American TV names. Grey’s Anatomy alumna Chyler Leigh and Jacky Ido (Inglorious Basterds) are set as the leads in the project, based on Luc Besson’s Taxi feature franchise. Former Blue Bloods co-star Jennifer Esposito, Ally Walker (Profiler), James Colby (Body Of Proof), Bill Heck (Person Of Interest), Jose Zuniga and Raul Casso round out the cast of the series, written by Gary Scott Thompson (The Fast And The Furious) who serves as showrunner. Shooting started in New York last week without U.S. distribution locked in yet, something the producers from EuropaCorp and TF1 plan to pursue when they have a finished product in hand. Taxi: Brooklyn South centers on Caitlyn Sullivan (Leigh), a brilliant investigator at the Brooklyn Police Station whose stubborn character and her recklessness behind the wheel have made her an outcast within the NYPD. She teams with Marseille-born Leo Romba, a happy New York Taxi driver full of energy and care for his clients, to form the most improbable and efficient partnership to solve crimes and mysteries around Brooklyn. The first two episodes of the series are being directed by Olivier Megaton (Taken 2). Leigh is with UTA and Burstein Co.
Chyler Leigh, Jacky Ido, Jennifer Esposito & Ally Walker To Star In Luc Besson/Gary Scott Thompson’s TF1 Show ‘Taxi: Brooklyn South’
Global Showbiz Briefs: TF1 Demotes ‘Dallas’; ‘Behind The Candelabra’ To Open Deauville Festival; More
The Rise And Fall Of ‘Dallas’ In French Primetime
The new reboot of Dallas debuted with three episodes on June 22 on France’s TF1, for an average 3.6M viewers. But the second set of episodes lost about 1M sets of eyeballs, leading the channel to move the rest of the first season out of the first part of primetime and relegating it to 11:15 PM starting July 6. The network has not commented on its plans for future seasons, though it has rights to the second and third for a total of 30 episodes. Per French trade Le Film Français, those seasons could be moved to a TF1 affiliate. The original Dallas was a phenomenon in France, where reruns have aired for years. It even had its own French lyrics to the famous opening theme song. Translated, they go like this: “Dallas, your ruthless world glorifies the law of the fittest; Dallas, under your relentless sun the only thing you fear is death; Dallas, homeland of the dollar and oil…” (Here’s a YouTube video for the curious.)
‘Behind The Candelabra’ To Kick Off Deauville Fest
The Deauville Festival of American Film has set Steven Soderbergh‘s Behind The Candelabra as its opening-night movie. Stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will be on hand as will Soderbergh, who will also deliver a masterclass at the French fest. Producer Gale Anne Hurd will be the subject of a tribute. The festival, which runs a competition for U.S. indies and helps launch the European campaigns of studio pics, runs August 30 to September 8 in Normandy.
Discovery To Acquire ProSieben’s SBS Nordic Ops For $1.7B, Adds $1B To Stock Buyback Scheme, Outlines TF1 Alliance
Discovery Communications is widely expanding its footprint in Europe with the purchase of 12 TV networks and 19 radio stations in the Nordic countries. The company is also working on a strategic alliance with France’s TF1, as Deadline reported yesterday. The combined deals mark a roughly $2B investment by Discovery to increase its international reach. The deal for the SBS Nordic operations with Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 brings general entertainment, scripted and sports programming to Discovery’s suite of services for the first time. Via the TF1 deal, Discovery would take an initial 20% stake in pan-European sports network Eurosport as well as buying into some of TF1′s branded channels. Below are two press releases, the first outlining the SBS Nordic deal and the second on the TF1 alliance:
(Silver Spring, Md.) – Discovery Communications today announced a definitive agreement with ProSiebenSat.1 Group to purchase the company’s SBS Nordic operations for a total enterprise value of approximately $1.7 billion (€1.325 billion). The acquisition of SBS Nordic includes 12 television networks in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, among other assets, and further solidifies Discovery’s long-term growth in the strong Nordic TV markets. The deal also expands Discovery’s brand portfolio by adding general entertainment, scripted and sports programming to the company’s suite of services for the first time. The transaction is subject to regulatory review and is expected to close in early 2013. Additionally, Discovery also announced that its Board of Directors has approved a $1.0 billion increase to its existing stock repurchase program.
“SBS Nordic has a fully distributed portfolio of dual revenue stream networks with a terrific management team that will expand Discovery’s footprint across the Nordic region, which includes some of the most well-penetrated and stable TV markets in the world,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications. “Individually, and taken together, the acquisition of SBS Nordic, our pending strategic partnership with TF1 through the acquisition of a minority stake in Eurosport, and the increase in our share repurchase program are all complementary to our long-term growth strategy of delivering sustained operating results, creating strong organic growth through investment in content, brands and talent, and returning capital to shareholders.”
France’s TF1 today said its board of directors had voted to give company chief Nonce Paolini the greenlight to continue and finalize negotiations with Discovery Communications on a strategic alliance. On November 13, the companies disclosed they were in exclusive talks that could result in a significant investment by Discovery into the French media giant. Today, TF1 elaborated on the areas in which the two companies would partner and laid out some financials for the deal which is expected to close within the next few weeks.
TF1 said the two are looking to develop the future activities of Eurosport, the French conglom’s pan-European sports channel, which would see Discovery take a 20% minority interest in the Eurosport group for about $222M. Discovery would also have the option of increasing its stake to 51% after two years, at which point TF1 could exercise a put option lifting Discovery’s ownership to 100%.
The companies’ announcement is short on details, but says that Discovery is engaged in “exclusive negotiations” that could result in a significant investment and alliance with the French media holding company. Discovery might help TF1′s Eurosport, the continent’s largest sports network which reaches 130M households. They’re also discussing a plan to enhance “both companies’ Pay TV offerings in France.” In addition, Discovery and TF1 said that they could develop “a mutually beneficial content production relationship.” The goal is to “create value for both companies across their numerous complementary business activities.” Discovery shares are up 2.3% in mid-afternoon trading.
Global Showbiz Briefs: BSkyB Opens Sky Store To Nonsubscribers; Netflix Eyeing France Launch?; More;
BSkyB Opens Its Sky Store Rentals To All Broadband Users
BSkyB set a challenge today to streaming providers in the UK such as Netflix and LoveFilm by announcing it has opened its Sky Store movie rental service to anyone with a broadband connection. The service does not require a Sky subscription, meaning all users in the UK and the Republic of Ireland will have access. Sky, which is controlled by 21st Century Fox, says new films including Man Of Steel and Despicable Me 2 are available from today with other fresh titles available at the same time as they drop on DVD. Those will rent for £3.49 ($5.70) each. Library titles will go for 99p-£1.99. There are already about 1,200 movies online which can be streamed through SkyStore.com, or via NOW TV, Roku and YouView. Sky’s had success with renting movies to its existing customers with 2.1 million rentals in the third quarter.
Report: Netflix Mulls Expansion Into France
Netflix has been a long time coming to France, Europe’s third-largest market, but is the tide about to turn? According to Reuters, executives from Netflix met with the staff of French President François Hollande this week to discuss the move. Netflix is available in 41 countries including France’s neighbors to the north such as the UK, the Netherlands and the Nordic region. A French launch has been rumored over the years, but moving into the fiercely protected territory is ornery for the streaming service given a complex film-windows chronology. There is no such protection for TV series, but many U.S. shows air as much as a year later than they do in the U.S. on traditional networks like TF1. TF1 has a VOD service that offers first-run U.S. series on a one-day delay and pay-TV leader Canal Plus airs first-run series within a few days; it even launched a new channel this year on which to showcase them. But movies are hampered by rules that prohibit films from appearing on monthly SVOD services until three years after a theatrical release. Rentals via a set-top box are permissible four months after theatrical. The windows issue has long been a thorny one in France, with industry opinions divided, but discussions are ongoing. A Hollande rep told Reuters, “Netflix wanted information about the legal conditions that would affect its potential arrival in France.”
AFM kicked off today, and my has that indie business changed over the years. The schlock is almost all gone, and the chase is on for fewer movies of higher quality, with recognizable stars and filmmakers who have classed up a business. The elevated level of product has been made possible by studios vacating the tweener film space, leaving a lot of orphaned development available to the indies.
That means it’s a lot less fun. When I first got to Variety in the ’90s, I was dispatched to AFM and asked to come back with a report about what it all meant. A distributor friend recounted observing a stranger who was going around making tiny offers on films for his obscure home territory. Based on what he was buying, he seemed to have zero taste. Finally, somebody stopped the guy to see what he was doing. Turned out he was a distributor — but produce, not movies. He had a chain of outdoor vegetable stands, and showed movies to his customers. The worse the film, the more vegetables his patrons bought to throw at the screen.
Any thoughts I had that this was a too-good-to-be-true story faded when I got there. You could throw a rock and hit Fred Williamson, the gridiron great-turned-star of many forgettable action films. And hey, be careful, you almost stepped on Nelson de la Rosa, the world’s smallest man who would go on to become Brando’s sidekick in The Island Of Dr. Moreau. The halls were lined with one-sheets where all the creativity went into the titles. And while the Weekly Variety AFM issue was thick as a phone book, I’d hear salesmen grumble about getting stiffed for ads on movies that didn’t sell.
Aside from a few titles still exploiting the bogus Sharknado craze, it’s a world of different now. The schlock meisters are relics, and the projects ringing the bell with distributors coming from all over the world are the ones that have name directors like Woody Allen, David Koepp, Tom Tykwer, Tommy Lee Jones, and stars like Meryl Streep, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Ian McKellen, Jesse Eisenberg, Tom Hardy, Andrew Garfield, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Russell Crowe, Michael Fassbender and Nicole Kidman. These are studio-caliber names.
“You will see the occasional hilarious poster, but since the high end studios abandoned everything but superheroes, the independent financiers and producers have been the beneficiaries,” said Millennium Films president Mark Gill. “Olympus Has Fallen would have had studios all over it five years ago. We were able to do it.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: New Vision For BBC Worldwide’s Future; UK Culture Secretary Meets With U.S. Execs; More
CEO Tim Davie Reveals Vision For Future Of BBC Worldwide
In an address to employees, BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie today unveiled a new vision to build the BBC’s brands, audiences and commercial returns around the globe. It includes a £200M investment in premium content, the launch of three new core consumer brands propositions – spanning the genres of premium factual, factual entertainment and drama — and a greater focus on digital innovation to extend the company’s reach and routes to market. “BBC Worldwide has a good track record of taking British content to the world, benefiting international audiences, license fee payers and the wider industry alike,” he said. “But the time has come for a step-change, reflecting the rapid development in our markets.”
UK Culture Secretary Spends The Week Meeting With U.S. Showbiz Execs
During a visit to the U.S. this week, UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller met with senior executives at Disney, Warner Bros and other showbiz companies to discuss collaboration and hear suggestions on how UK filming conditions could be made more attractive to American productions. She also sought reaction to the UK’s recent extension of tax credits and talked with HBO about its Game of Thrones production model and with Lucasfilm about its plan to shoot the new Star Wars film in the UK and whether there could be other ways to help support the local film industry.
Fox has given an eight-episode order to Slide Show, an unscripted comedy from Shine America and Steve Carell. It is based on international format Anything Goes, originally created by Arthur Essebag for French-based production company Satisfaction, The Television Agency. Slide Show pits two teams — featuring the nation’s funniest celebrities and comedians — against each other in a series of showdowns designed to hilariously test mind and body. Throughout the game, the competitors must think on their feet as the teams face unpredictable song, dance and sketch challenges, often while navigating the show’s trademark one-of-a-kind set, tilted at a 22.5 degree angle. “I think unscripted television should be outrageous and audacious by definition. Unfortunately, not much is, as of late,” said Reilly. “Slide Show is the most ridiculously fun and out-there thing I’ve seen in quite awhile.” Added Carell, “Comedy is subjective, but if you don’t find Slide Show to be funny and enormously entertaining, then you will never be my friend.”
Global Showbiz Briefs: LoveFilm Brings ‘Copper’ To UK Via Stream; Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi Launch AMBI Pictures; More
‘Copper’ Will Make UK Debut Streaming On LoveFilm
LoveFilm has acquired UK rights to Cineflix series Copper. The series follows Vikings as the second to debut in the UK exclusively via the streaming service, bypassing traditional broadcasters. Netflix competitor LoveFilm will make the show available for streaming starting Friday. Tom Weston-Jones, Kyle Schmid and Anastasia Griffith star in the period police drama co-created by Tom Fontana and Will Rokos. Copper airs on BBC America in the U.S.
The Weinstein Company acquired Carol at the tail end of Cannes this year. At the time, Mia Wasikowska was attached to star opposite Cate Blanchett in the story of a burgeoning relationship between two very different women in 1950s New York. Wasikowska is no longer in the mix, and Rooney Mara has become attached to the role of a young woman working in a department store and hoping for a better life. Blanchett is playing a wife trapped in a loveless marriage who’s desperate to break free but fearful of losing her daughter in the process. Far From Heaven helmer Todd Haynes is directing the drama that’s based on the novella The Price Of Salt by The Talented Mr Ripley author Patricia Highsmith. Phyllis Nagy (Mrs Harris) penned the adaptation. Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley of Number 9 Films are producing with co-financing from Flim4. Christine Vachon’s Killer Films will co-produce. HanWay Films is handling international sales and also has deals in place with eOne in Canada, Icon in Australia and TF1 in France. Shooting starts in spring next year. Blanchett is coming off of a highly praised turn in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. Mara will next be seen in Spike Jonze’s Her and Stephen Daldry’s Trash. She’s repped by WME and Management 360.
Global Showbiz Briefs: No Charges Yet In French ‘Survivor’ Player’s Death; ‘Game Of Thrones’ Sets UK Streaming Record; More
Prosecutors: Charges Not Imminent In Death Of French ‘Survivor’ Contestant
French prosecutors in the Parisian suburb of Creteil have denied reports that they plan to open a criminal investigation into the March death of reality show contestant Gérald Babin. Babin suffered a heart attack during the first day of shooting on Koh-Lanta, France’s local version of Survivor, and a preliminary manslaughter inquiry was later opened. At the time, anonymous sources called into question the show’s handling of Babin’s collapse. But reports that surfaced in the French media this morning, which said the opening of an official judicial investigation was imminent, are incorrect. “You cannot set a timetable. No decision has been made,” prosecutors told AFP. Babin’s death preceded the April suicide of the show’s physician Dr. Thierry Costa, who left a note saying he was confident he had treated Babin “as a patient and not a contestant” but that he was distraught by “false accusations and assumptions” in the media. Koh-Lanta started airing in 2001 and is one of leading network TF1′s flagship series, drawing an average of 7.4M viewers. The network promptly shelved the 16th season and has yet to make a decision about the series’ long-term future.
‘Game Of Thrones’ Sets Streaming Record In UK
The third season of Game Of Thrones just became available on UK streaming service Blinkbox, resulting in a sales record with a 632% increase in revenue versus the same day last year. Owned by retail giant Tesco, Blinkbox is the only service currently carrying the season. The show airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK and holds the top three spots in Blinkbox’s rankings. Much as UKTV did with its giant lake-bound Mr. Darcy in celebration of the launch of its Drama channel, Blinkbox installed a giant dragon skull on a Dorset beach to promote the S3 release of Game Of Thrones.
The Weinstein Co. closed a multi-territory deal in Cannes for Suite Française, produced by eOne and TF1 DA. Principal photography started this week on the WWII drama that will shoot in Brussels and Paris. Michelle Williams, Mathias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sam Riley were already aboard with Margot Robbie (The Wolf Of Wall Street), Ruth Wilson (The Lone Ranger) and Alexandra Maria Lara (Rush) now joining the 15M euro project. It’s adapted from Irene Nemirovsky’s novel about a young French woman who falls for a German officer in Nazi-occupied France. Director Saul Dibb (The Duchess) penned the adaptation with co-writer Matt Charman.
Global Showbiz Briefs: IMAX In Israel, BSkyB Scores, FIFA Reviews World Cup In 3D, ‘Summer In February’ Lines Up International & More
IMAX president Richard Gelfond told the Israeli Presidential Conference today that the experience of going to the movies will always appeal despite the proliferation of mobile devices. “People are social animals and I don’t think they want to be chained to their couches, mobile devices and tablets. They want to go out,” Gelfond said, according to Reuters. “They recognize the fact that Steven Spielberg and James Cameron may be better at telling a story than a 16-year-old over the Internet. I think they can exist side by side.” Also on Thursday, IMAX and Germany’s largest exhibitor CineStar Cinemas said they would partner to put an IMAX theater at the CineStar Sony Centre in Berlin. The giant Potzdamer Platz multiplex hosts big film premiers and is familiar to Berlin Film Festival regulars. The new theater will eventually transition to IMAX’s next-generation laser digital projection system which boasts greater brightness and clarity, a wider color gamut and deeper blacks. IMAX EMEA president Andrew Cripps noted that Germany is an under-penetrated market for the company where it is looking to expand.
New NBC drama The Blacklist got a lot of attention at the upfronts, landing the network’s best fall launchpad behind The Voice on Monday, and was a hit at the LA Screenings. Now the Sony TV-produced drama starring James Spader has raked in a slew of international sales. Still up for grabs is the top UK, market where Blacklist has sparked a bidding war among multiple networks. The series has landed at flagship broadcasters in several other key territories, including Germany (RTL), France (TF1) and Canada (Shaw). Blacklist also has been sold in Australia, Brazil and the rest of Latin America (SET), Denmark and Norway (Viasat) and Sweden (TV3).
EXCLUSIVE: Sam Riley has joined the cast of the World War II drama. Suite Française also features Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts and Kristin Scott Thomas with Saul Dibb directing. Riley will play the role of French soldier Benoit in the film based on Irene Nemirovsky’s novel about a young woman in Nazi-occupied France who ends up falling in love with a German officer. Dibb adapted the story with Matt Charman. The Weinstein Company, TF1 DA and eOne have partnered on the project with TWC handling U.S. rights, along with distribution rights in Latin America, Australia, Russia and Germany. Suite Française is scheduled to start shooting in Belgium and Paris later this summer. Riley, who played Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in 2007’s Control, was most recently was seen in Walter Salles-directed On The Road. He will also be starring alongside Angelina Jolie in the upcoming Maleficent as well as in Neil Jordan’s Byzantium. Riley is repped by WME, having signed with them in April. He continues to be repped by Tavistock Wood in the UK.
The Weinstein Company, TF1 DA and eOne will partner on Suite Française, the Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts and Kristin Scott Thomas drama directed by Saul Dibb. TWC will handle U.S. rights, along with distribution rights in Latin America, Australia, Russia and Germany. Production starts in June on the 1940s-set film that’s based on Irene Nemirovsky’s novel about a young woman who lives with her controlling mother-in-law in Nazi-occupied France and ends up falling for a German officer. The 15M euro film will shoot in Belgium and Paris.
EXCLUSIVE: Big Media companies don’t tell you when something’s rotten with the corporate culture. But this list should help you begin your search. This is Deadline’s third annual tally of out-of-whack CEO compensation. It’s an account of chiefs who not only make vastly more than you and me, but also collect far more than their closest colleagues at their own companies. Corporate governance experts become concerned when a CEO consistently makes at least three times more than the median for the four other highest-paid execs that the SEC requires companies to list in the annual proxy statement. That’s the standard I use, and it indicates that 14 out of 31 media companies that I tracked and that have already filed 2012 data failed the test — in many cases miserably.
Out of whack CEO pay can send a poisonous message to employees, including others in the C-suite. Internal pay parity “is critical to ensuring fairness and encouraging a collaborative team effort,” News Corp says in its proxy. Huge disparities also can tip you off to troublesome boardroom beliefs. It might indicate that directors lack faith in the business or leadership team — and fear that things will unravel if the top dog leaves. It may be a symptom of corporate groupthink where people give the chief credit for everything that goes well, and seek scapegoats for everything that doesn’t. Or it might mean that directors are beholden to the CEO — or share a cynical and grandiose sense of entitlement — and see nothing wrong with helping him (it’s almost always “him”) stuff his pockets with shareholders’ money, even where there’s little danger that he might leave if paid less. Whatever the case, researchers find that all too often the damage from such obeisance to the CEO eventually hurts a company’s performance and stock price. (For example, here, here, here, and here.)
This list looks at the biggest and best known infotainment providers. I include Web-based companies such as AOL and Yahoo that produce and sell their own content, and added Facebook which depends on ad sales. But I left out ones including Apple and Verizon that generate most of their revenues from hardware or personal communications services. (I’ve also left out Google, where the top execs benefit from stock performance and only collect a symbolic $1 in compensation.) For context, I’ve also noted how many people the company employs, and how that’s changed since the last fiscal year, to see whether these fabulously rich CEOs were job creators. The data isn’t nearly as revealing as it ought to be. For example, the SEC doesn’t require companies to specify how many jobs are based in the U.S., or even how many are full time. I’ve also included the CEO’s 2012 compensation rank among other media chiefs in our list, as well as among all media executives listed in their company proxies, and the average compensation over the last three years. (To avoid having them counted twice, I combined the compensation that Sumner Redstone collects as chairman of CBS and Viacom, and that Charles Dolan collects at Cablevision and AMC Networks.)
A few things to keep in mind: The SEC reporting rules only cover the top-paid executives of publicly traded U.S. companies. That means we’ll miss a lot of highly paid people who work at subsidiaries of a big company; Universal Studios’ Ron Meyer may be a big deal in Hollywood, but he didn’t make the top echelon at his corporate parent Comcast. Also, the pay data given to the SEC can spike in a year when an executive cashes in stock or collects deferred compensation. Averages also can be skewed when people on the list come and go in the middle of the year. So consider this to be a starting point to judge whether a CEO was paid fairly — not a final verdict.
I’ll be back soon with additional information including a similar list showing CEOs whose pay was more in line with his or her colleagues. Here’s how the out-of-whack CEOs stack up for 2012:
1. Live Nation: Michael Rapino. The concert and ticketing giant had a so-so year generating higher revenues but even higher costs — and a net loss. Last year’s big tours included Madonna, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Roger Waters, and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. Company shares appreciated 8.1% in 2012, lagging the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 which was +12.7%. But the big excitement took place at year-end with the surprising departure of Chairman Irving Azoff, taking performers he represents including Eagles, Van Halen, and Christina Aguilera. That left Rapino clearly in charge — but under the watchful eye of Liberty Media, which owns nearly 27% of the stock. With a flood of option awards, the CEO’s compensation rose 138.4% to $28.5M (The package: $2.2M salary, $243,281 bonus, $2.6M stock awards, $19M option awards, $4.4M non-equity compensation, $46,408 other compensation.) That was a whopping 17.0 times more than the median for the four other highest paid execs — up from last year’s 5.5 times — and 46% of the pie. Even these numbers underplay the disparity in executive pay: The group of other execs includes Azoff who made $27.4M. The company had 7,100 full time employees at year end, up 500. (Pay rank among media CEOs: 9. Among all media execs: 11. Average annual pay over last three years: $18.7M.)
Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Trance’, ‘Upstream Color’, ‘Simon Killer’, ‘Free Angela & All Political Prisoners’, ‘Lotus Eaters’, ‘The Company You Keep’, ‘The Brass Teapot’
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor
This week’s Specialty newcomers include Danny Boyle’s Trance from Fox Searchlight, IFC Films’ Simon Killer and self-distributed Sundance favorite Upstream Color. Trance will likely be the juggernaut of the group with its star-power in the form of James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel, though Upstream Color could prove a hefty presence due to strong word of mouth and a loyal following from fans of Shane Carruth’s previous film, Primer. And the folks behind 2011 hit Martha Marcy May Marlene are opening Simon Killer, a dark drama set in Paris, via IFC Films. Free Angela & All Political Prisoners is this week’s documentary newcomer, while Lotus Eaters hopes to carve itself a piece of the limited release box office pie. Also set to bow, Robert Redford’s thriller The Company You Keep. The specialty world, meanwhile, took pause today as the news of Roger Ebert’s death spread. The famed critic will be remembered for being a champion of movies big and small and will be sorely missed.
As part of its overall deal with Boyle, Searchlight has been on board Trance from the very start. “This is our sixth film we’ve done with Danny starting with 28 Days Later 10 years ago in 2003, and we’ve had a fabulous time,” Searchlight co-president Steve Gilula said in introducing the film at its New York premiere, hosted by The Cinema Society. “The one thing about Danny as a visionary filmmaker is he challenges us and challenges the audience and expects us to go with him…” Boyle introduced co-stars Dawson and Cassel before the screening in Chelsea, noting about the film: “What happens in the movie is deeply, deeply unethical,” he noted to laughs from an audience that included Patrick Stewart, Emma Watson, Kathleen Turner, Gina Gershon and Lou Reed & Laurie Anderson. “But it is clinically possible…”
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Trance’