Eunice Huthart, a former body double for Angelina Jolie, has become the first person to file a phone-hacking lawsuit against News Corp. in the U.S. Huthart, a British national whose most recent credit is as stunt coordinator on Disney’s upcoming Jolie-starrer Maleficent, filed a civil complaint (read it here) against News Corp, and its UK press arm News International, in federal court on June 13 alleging right to privacy violations. Those include “intrusion into, interception of and interference with” voicemail messages left on her phone while she was working as a double for Jolie in the U.S. in 2005. The suit seeks damages for violations of federal and California laws. READ MORE »
LOS ANGELES (June 18, 2013) – Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand, has officially slated EVIDENCE from director Olatunde Osunsanmi (The Fourth Kind). The film stars Stephen Moyer (HBO’s “True Blood,” Strange Love), Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill, Man on Fire), Torrey Devitto (CW’s “The Vampire Diaries”), Caitlin Stasey (I, Frankenstein) and Dale Dickey (HBO’s “True Blood”) and written by John Swetnam. EVIDENCE will debut on premium VOD on June 21, 2013 and in-theaters on July 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, New York and major US markets.
BREAKING: New York-based Gelfman Schneider Literary Agents has under its banner authors including Jeffrey Deaver, Tracy Chevalier, David Nicholls, David Rabe, Chris Bohjalian, Carolyn Hart, Meg Gardiner, Alan Lightman, Madison Smartt Bell, John Burdett, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Glen Duncan and Evan Hunter/Ed McBain. The alliance with ICM Partners just announced today will see the formation of a new entity, Gelfman/Schneider/ICM Partners, with the agency co-signing authors and journalists and also repping film, television and media rights from the rich library of titles now at its disposal. ICM’s Media Rights Department has had plenty of success in this realm, brokering deals for such projects as Steve Jobs, Lincoln, No Country For Old Men and Sex And The City. Gelfman Schneider will keep its offices on Seventh Avenue, with ICM Partners’ agents down the road in their Fifth Avenue HQ doing the deals. The pact comes after ICM Partners gained a foothold in the D.C. publishing arena via a similar alliance with Raphael Sagalyn’s The Sagalyn Agency in November, which melded Sagalyn’s nonfiction author list and ICM’s list to that point dominated by fiction authors.
Upstart film studio JuntoBox Films has chosen the next project it will develop from its unique fan and filmmaker social community. George Richards’ The Driver will be the fifth feature developed by JuntoBox, co-chair Forest Whitaker …
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning documentary maker Alex Gibney just returned the serve the United States Tennis Association made on Friday when it sued the makers of a documentary about Venus and Serena Williams. The USTA told the U.S. District Court in New York that Venus And Serena uses film footage that infringed the organization’s copyrights including scenes — presumably Serena’s tirade at the 2009 U.S. Open — that are “not in the best interests of the sport.” Gibney, the film’s executive producer, says the USTA is trying to “censor this film about America’s most inspiring female athletes.” His colleagues “were entirely within their legal rights to use a small amount of widely seen footage” citing the ”fair use” doctrine, which enables filmmakers and others to use copyrighted material without permission when it serves the public interest. The concept “is vital to filmmakers trying to tell truthful stories and embodies the essence of the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution,” he says. “Indeed, without the fair use doctrine, copyright itself would be unconstitutional. By its actions, the USTA is assaulting the very principle of free speech.”
Kim Basinger has just started shooting Danish director Anders Morgenthaler’s English-language drama Petit. The actress plays Maria, a successful career woman who cannot have children. Seeking out her dream child, she bribes Petit, a troubled dwarf in desperate straits who helps her track down a rumored prostitution ring near the Czech border where infants are being sold. There she becomes entangled in a dark world of abuse and brutality. Peter Stormare, Jordan Prentice (In Bruges, Mirror, Mirror) and German actors Sebastian Schipper and Sophie Rois also star.
Morgenthaler’s debut was the animated feature Princess which opened Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2006. His other credits include 2007′s Echo and 2009′s The Apple And The Worm. Oscar winner Basinger just wrapped Warner Bros.’ Grudge Match and also features in Paul Haggis’ Third Person. She’s repped by Oren Segal at Radius Entertainment and by attorney John LaViolette.
James Franco has launched a new crowdfunding project to finance three feature films about teenage life in his hometown of Palo Alto, CA, adapted from his own 2010 book of short stories, Palo Alto. The multihyphenate has tapped Nina Ljeti, Vladimir Bourdeau, Bruce Thierry Cheung, and Gabriel Demestree to direct and is seeking to raise $500K via Indiegogo to split evenly between the trio of projects. “Because of who I am, people often believe that it is easy to find investors and distributors for my films. Unfortunately, things aren’t that easy,” he writes on the campaign’s page. “More times than not, I have put in my own money to produce my films and my students’ films. However, this time it’s different; we need more funding. I will still fund part of it, but I need of your help; filming three feature films back-to-back requires more funding than I can give.”
The films are aiming to shoot by August before hitting the festival circuit in search of distribution. Donation rewards range from behind the scenes updates and a shooting script PDF ($10) to a personalized video from Franco ($300) to an EP credit and private dinner ($10,000). The Indiegogo campaign ends July 17. Check out Franco’s fundraising video:
EXCLUSIVE: Well, it didn’t take long to find out where New Myth will be finding the money to make tentpole-sized movies. A group of investors and distributors led by New Myth and Toonz Entertainment Pte Ltd have launched Epiphany, a $200 million film fund that intends to strategically build a content platform and invest in a slate of event films with an eye toward global appeal. Epiphany aims to get involved as producer and co-financier of franchise films with major studios. It starts with New Myth and Toonz and also in the investor group is European distributor A-Company, an affiliate of AR Film in Russia.
New Myth is a Hollywood-based production company founded by principals Tom DeSanto, David Ranes, Grace Oppenheimer and Wayne Duband. Epiphany will co-finance its projects. Toonz is one of the largest animation and VFX studios in Asia, and it has worked with Marvel, Hasbro and Hallmark to become one of Asia’s biggest animation suppliers.
EXCLUSIVE: It has begun to feel like that pre-holiday slumber time, but here is a spec script that just sold in a competitive situation. Lotus Entertainment has landed the rights to Hernany Perla’s spec, Revelation, for a low to mid six figures. Circle Of Confusion’s David Alpert and Stephen …
EXCLUSIVE: Tom DeSanto has teamed with David Ranes, Grace Roeder Oppenheimer, and Wayne Duband to form New Myth Entertainment. The intention is to hatch tentpole fare, along with some filmmaker driven small films. DeSanto’s writing and producing credits include X-Men and Transformers, and he was right there at the inception of both of those projects which have done billions in box office and merchandising. DeSanto is currently writing and producing his re-imagining of the millennium-old Chinese story, Creation Of The Gods, with YiSang Media, with plans of it being his next global film franchise.
New Myth is currently developing several big properties that include Faces, a high concept action thriller, with DeSanto and Ranes producing. “When a young genius invents infallible facial recognition software he uncovers a millennia old global conspiracy that threatens to throw the planet into chaos and a new World War,” DeSanto said.
BREAKING: The Brad Anderson-directed thriller Eliza Graves is based on a short story by Edgar Allan …
Lionsgate Acquires Pulitzer Prize Winner ‘Devil In The Grove;’ Seminal Civil Rights Case For Thurgood Marshall
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has acquired screen rights to Devil In The Grove: Thurgood Marshall, The Groveland Boys, And The Dawn Of A New America, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Gilbert King about the effort of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP’s legal team to save the lives of four black men falsely accused of raping a white woman in Florida in 1949. Adam Cooper & Bill Collage will write the script. Allison Shearmur is producing. The project is high priority at Lionsgate where production president Erik Feig and production and development director Jeyun Choi are overseeing it.
Devil In The Grove will yield a great role for a fortyish African-American actor to play the iconic Marshall, in a case fought to the Supreme Court before he made history with Brown Vs. Board of Education, which finally eliminated segregation in public schools. The scribes are also planning a strong role of Mabel Norris Reese, a journalist who covered the case. Initially outraged by the rape charges, she wrote honest stories as the evidence made it clear the “victim” had invented the allegations.