‘The Salvation’ Sells To France, Greece & Estonia Ahead Of Cannes
Business on Cannes Midnight Screening title The Salvation is heating up a few weeks ahead of the festival. Kristian Levring’s Scandinavian Western has been acquired by France (Jour2Fête, Chrysalis Films), Greece (Hollywood Entertainment) and Estonia (Estin Film). Mads Mikkelsen — a Cannes Best Actor winner for 2012′s The Hunt — Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Mikael Persbrandt, Eric Cantona and Jonathan Pryce star. Levring co-wrote the script with Susanne Bier’s frequent collaborator Anders Thomas Jensen. The large-scale drama is a tale of revenge, blood feud, lost love and greed led by Mikkelsen’s Danish settler in 19th century North America. TrustNordisk has international sales.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The Salvation’ Sells To France, Greece & Estonia; CineEurope To Honor Universal’s Duncan Clark; More
‘The Salvation’ Sells To France, Greece & Estonia Ahead Of Cannes
UPDATED: Today could not have gone much better for Seth Meyers. After being named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the morning, the Late Night host has been set as host of this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC. The network submitted the late-night host to the TV Academy’s Board of Governors, which just voted to approve him, along with Don Mischer as executive producer.
This marks Meyers‘ debut as Emmy host; he previously emceed the 2010 and 2011 ESPY Awards and the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. His selection continues the tradition of the current host of Late Night to emcee the Primetime Emmys whenever they air on NBC. Four years ago, it was Meyers’ predecessor Jimmy Fallon, and the two previous times it was Fallon’s predecessor Conan O’Brien. In fact, Fallon’s very well-received 2010 Emmy-hosting stint a year and a half into his late-night tenure is credited with giving him extra momentum that took him all the way to The Tonight Show. NBC brass no doubt hope for a similar extra boost for Meyers, who took over Late Night on February 24. Two months in their new jobs, Fallon and Meyers already have …
Writer-director Talya Lavie’s Israeli film took the Tribeca Film Festival‘s Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature at the awards ceremony tonight in NYC. The Hebrew-language Zero Motivation is about everyday life in a unit of young female Israeli soldiers who pass time pushing paper, battling for the top score in Minesweeper and counting the minutes until they can return to civilian life. Paul Schneider was named Best Actor in a Narrative Feature for director Angus MacLachlan’s Goodbye To All That, and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi took Best Actress for Human Capital. Best Documentary feature went to director Marshall Curry’s Point And Shoot, about a sheltered American who joins the Libyan rebel army to take arms again Gaddafi — only to be captured and held in solitary confinement for six months. Here is the full list of winners:
In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom look at highlights from that other big French film festival, City of Lights – City of Angels, which opened this week in Los Angeles. They also discuss the potential business impact of sexual-abuse allegations against Woody Allen and Bryan Singer on Fading Gigolo and the new X-Men sequel and catch up on next year’s Oscar producers and this year’s possible Emmy host(s). Pete also gives his take on the weekend’s notable movie debuts, which include the three-woman comedy The Other Woman, the one-man suspense film Locke with Tom Hardy and the WWII drama Walking With The Enemy, starring Ben Kingsley in another fine supporting role.
The Peacock’s search for new comedy talent might have to find itself a new name. NBCUniversal was hit with a trademark infringement compliant (read it here) this week by a L.A. group trains people in the art of the funny under the name Comedy Playground. Earlier this month, NBC’s Entertainment President Jennifer Salke announced the national NBC Comedy Playground campaign that would offer up-and-coming comedy writers a chance to pitch ideas to the network. The two winners would get a half-hour show each on NBC for next summer. Not so fast, says the other Comedy Playground in its suit filed April 23 in federal court. “The harm caused by NBC’s actions to Comedy Playground and its reputation is devastating and irreversible,” says the 13-page filing of the network’s contest set to start May 1. “Even though NBC’s contest has not yet formally begun, Comedy Playground has already experienced multiple instances of actual confusion. If permitted to continue, NBC’s use of the COMEDY PLAYGROUND name and mark will deceive the public about the relationship of the parties and effectively obliterate Comedy Playground’s hard earned reputation and goodwill.”
Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘For No Good Reason’, ‘The German Doctor’, ‘Locke’, ‘Who Is Dayani Cristal?’
Johnny Depp gets another big screen turn, this time in a documentary. Sony Classics will open For No Good Reason in limited release this weekend. The title is among the Specialty newcomers that will bow the last weekend in April. Samuel Goldwyn Films will open Cannes 2013 feature The German Doctor, based on a novel written by the filmmaker. A 24 is opening Tom Hardy starrer Locke. The film was made under an unusual timetable. And Kino Lorber will launch Sundance doc-hybrid Who Is Dayani Cristal? which features Gael García Bernal in a true investigative story about one would-be émigré’s journey north.
Director Charlie Paul and producer Julia Horne run a UK-based production company Itch Films, which primarily produces commercials. Paul and Horne (who are also married) began what would be For No Good Reason 15 years ago. In the bio-doc, Johnny Depp visits Ralph Steadman, the renowned artist and the last of the original Gonzo visionaries who worked alongside Hunter S. Thompson. “Charlie has always been interested in the process of art. He’s an ex-punk and is drawn to counter-culture,” said Horne. “Ralph holds the torch of that and is one of his artistic heroes.”
BET Greenlights Its First Miniseries; Renews ‘The Game’, ‘Real Husbands’ & ‘The Game’ & ‘Being Mary Jane’
BET announced its first miniseries as part of its upcoming lineup presented to advertisers at its upfront today in New York. The network also confirmed an eighth season for The Game, Season 3 for The Real Husbands Of Hollywood and a previously announced second season for Being Mary Jane, along with renewals for video countdown series 106 And Park. Cuba Gooding Jr., Louis Gossett Jr and Aunjanue Ellis star in the six-part miniseries The Book Of Negroes, a historical drama based on the Commonwealth Prize-winning novel by Lawrence Hill. It tells the story of Aminita Diallo, who was abducted at age 11 from her village in West Africa and sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. The story follows her capture and her enslavement in America, eventually ending with her emancipation in England. BET is producing in partnership with eOne and The CBC.
SAG-AFTRA is working on what will be the first truly comprehensive picture of the employment landscape for women and minority actors and hopes to release it within a year. SAG used to release the reports annually, then in 2004 it started issuing them every other year. After 2009, it stopped releasing the reports altogether. The problem was that AFTRA never released comprehensive casting reports on actors employed under its jurisdiction – which included daytime soaps and some primetime and basic cable shows, and new pilots – so the employment picture SAG presented was never really complete. And in the years leading up to their 2012 merger, AFTRA launched a concerted campaign to sign more pilots and cable shows to its contract by offering more favorable terms than SAG’s – a move that sparked a bitter feud between the two unions.
As AFTRA’s share of the TV jurisdiction ballooned, the missing piece of SAG’s employment picture began to grow larger and larger. By the time they agreed to set aside their difference and merge, AFTRA was representing about half of the actors employed in TV, and nearly all of the actors working on new pilots. In one of the little-noticed consequences of its feud with AFTRA, SAG stopped issuing its casting reports altogether rather than presenting ones casting that had become increasingly incomplete. But now they’re on the same team, and Adam Moore, SAG-AFTRA’s national director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity, said he hopes the union’s next casting report will be released to the public “within the next 12 months. That’s my hope. That’s my plan.” He also said that the next report will fill in the data for the last five missing years.
If there was an Emmy Award for most entertaining mailer, Fox‘s Family Guy would probably have little competition. Never known for subtlety in their Emmy campaigns, the producers of the racy animated series again are going for the outrageous. Peter Griffin is channeling embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie whose administration had been accused of creating gridlock by shutting down George Washington bridge lanes as political retaliation against a mayor who didn’t endorse him. “Vote for us, or it’s time for some traffic problems in Brentwood,” Peter warns TV Academy members known for favoring the posh Los Angeles enclave. The mailer cover echoes Family Guy‘s 2010 classic that featured Peter as the girl from Precious with the slogan “Vote For Us Or You’re Racist.”
Family Guy is competing in the best animated program category. The show quietly switched back last year after trying for best comedy series for four years, an effort that yielded one nomination in 2009. Family Guy stirred a major controversy this season by killing off family dog Brian before bringing him back to life several episodes later. The resurrection episode, Christmas Guy, is one of the two submitted for Emmy consideration, while the ‘Brian’s dead’ one, which shocked fans, is not included. Despite certainly putting an effort in their mailers, the Family Guy team has no illusions about the mailers’ effectiveness. “If you’ve …
The leader of Hollywood’s animation union says some of his members have been frozen out of a generous bonus paid to workers at Disney Animation Studios as thanks for the success of the blockbuster animated film Frozen. The Oscar-winning film, which has taken in more than $1 billion worldwide, is the highest-grossing animated movie of all time. “Disney paid bonuses to everyone who worked on Frozen except for those who were laid off after the film was completed,” said Steve Hulett, business representative of IATSE Animation Guild Local 839. “I’ve heard they got 10 weeks of their weekly pay as a bonus. Everyone at the facility got the bonus, even if they didn’t work on it. Some of my people worked on the whole picture to the very end and then they were laid off, and they’re not getting the bonus. It just doesn’t seem right.” A studio source confirmed that “eligible, current Walt Disney Animation Studios employees were given a studio bonus.”
Disney also gave bonuses to the studio’s employees after the success of Wreck-It Ralph. A Frozen animator who did not receive a bonus this time said he got a generous bonus after Wreck-It Ralph even though he didn’t work on that film. He said he considered it a good-will profit sharing gesture on behalf of the studio for all current employees.
EXCLUSIVE: Actress and fashion model Cara Delevingne is in talks for roles in upcoming studio pics Tulip Fever, from The Weinstein Co., and WB’s dark Peter Pan origin tale Pan. Delevingne is ramping up her body of screen roles following her brief screen debut as Princess Sorokina in 2012′s Anna Karenina. The Burberry, DKNY, and Victoria’s Secret model will play Henrietta in 17th century-set romance Tulip Fever, which Dane DeHaan and Alicia Vikander are starring in for director Justin Chadwick. She’s also landed a small role in origin tale Pan which today added Amanda Seyfried to its cast and begins filming next week under helmer Joe Wright, with Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, and Garrett Hedlund playing Blackbeard, Tiger Lily and Hook, respectively. Delevingne won the British Film Awards’ Model of the Year honors in 2012 and has recently focused on film, appearing next in upcoming pics Kids In Love, London Fields with Amber Heard, and Michael Winterbottom’s Face of an Angel. She’s repped by WME and Untitled Agents in the UK.
Discovery Channel announced today that it will telecast its documentary about the deadliest incident in Mt. Everest history one week earlier than it was to have aired the Everest live jump special that got scrapped when 13 Sherpa guides were killed in an avalanche.
The 90-minute documentary, Everest Avalanche Tragedy will air on Sunday, May 4, at 9 PM ET/PT in 224 countries. It will include unprecedented access and eyewitness accounts from the rescue and recovery efforts that took place after the avalanche struck the Khumbu Icefall, the area just above Mt. Everest base camp, during the morning of Friday, April 18, killing 13 and leaving three missing. Members of an NBC News team were at base camp as they prepared to produce Discovery’s live special, Everest Jump Live (scheduled for Sunday, May 11) when the avalanche hit. The special would have featured climber Joby Ogwyn’s attempt to make the first wing suit flight off the summit of the world’s tallest mountain.
Related: Discovery To Turn Everest Jump Footage Into Documentary
Everest Avalanche Tragedy will document the weeks leading up to the climb through the moment the avalanche struck the Khumba Icefall, one of the most treacherous parts of the mountain, and its aftermath. Cameras rolled as blocks of ice plummeted down the mountain, making it the deadliest single-day avalanche in history on Mt. Everest.
The documentary will real time footage of mobilization efforts of Sherpas and rescuers as they rushed to search …
SVP/Head Film Buyer Mike McClellan is leaving the specialty exhibitor after 17 years and segueing to a consulting role. Landmark Theatres also said today that longtime VP Film Lisa Bunnell has been promoted to Head FIlm Buyer, expanding her role from booking East Coast theaters to nationwide. “Mike’s knowledge and love of film has been an integral part of Landmark’s growth as the top independent film circuit and we look forward to working with him in his new role,” Landmark President and CEO Ted Mundorff said in announcing the moves. “[Bunnell's] promotion is well deserved. Her relationships are unsurpassed and her savvy business acumen has made her a tremendous asset to our organization. Landmark, which operates 272 screens in 25 markets, also upped Mabel Tam to Senior Film Buyer and hired Dave Dunbar as Film Buyer.
Todd Holland and Karey Nixon Burke’s Dark Toy Entertainment is setting up shop at ABC Studios with a two-year overall deal. The duo launched their company four years ago and had been based at Universal TV with two back-to-back overall deals. The move to ABC Studios stems from Dark Toy’s collaboration with the studio on the NBC comedy pilot The Pro starring Rob Lowe and Rob Riggle and directed by Holland. The project was set up as a co-production between ABC Studios, where the project’s writers, Pete Huyck and Alex Gregory, are based, and Universal TV, where Lowe and Dark Toy were under deals. “We had a fantastic experience working with them on The Pro and are so excited to work with them developing both comedy and drama projects for the studio,” ABC Studios topper Patrick Moran said. At Uni TV, Dark Toy produced comedy series Go On and Free Agents. “We’re the dirty laundry company,” Holland said. “We both love when writers bring in their real stories with all the awkward juiciness of their real lives, real families, real friends — truth is always funnier than confection.” The duo is repped by WME and Jackoway Tyerman. ABC Studios recently signed an overall deal with comedy writer-producer Dave Hemingson and is in discussions for an overall pact with Mixology creators Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.
Rescue Me alum Larenz Tate has been upped to series regular on USA’s original medical drama series Rush, set to premiere July 17. From writer-director Jonathan Levine and Fox 21, Rush follows Dr. William Rush (Tom Ellis), a “medical fixer” who privately caters to LA’s elite. Tate plays Dr. Alex Thomas, Rush’s best friend dating back to medical school and one of the few constants in his life. Unlike Rush, Alex is a man with a plan — he works as a high-ranking physician at one of Los Angeles’ top hospitals and appears to have the ideal family life that Rush has long resisted. Tate played the role in the pilot as a guest star as he was in second position to comedy pilot Mr. Robinson at USA sibling NBC. Mr. Robinson has since been picked up to series but Tate won’t continue on the series, instead taking on full-time duties on Rush. Tate, repped by Paradigm and Brillstein’s Jai Khanna, recently recurred on Showtime’s House Of Lies.
Stephen Colbert: The Road To The CBS Late Show Host-ship 2015 kicked off this week, with Actual Stephen Colbert visiting the show to kiss David Letterman’s ring and introduce himself to late-night America as a pleasant, humble kind of guy. At the exact same time, over on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert-Nation, the puffed-up talk-show host headlining The Colbert Report, rhetorically threw down with conservative columnist George Will.
It was a neat equation of what Colbert will add to CBS and subtract from the political landscape. CBS will become home to the guy who will do the very best interview ever with Lindsay Lohan when she attempts her next career comeback (maybe when NBC revisits its Hillary Clinton biopic after the presidential election cycle?). But we’ve got an abundant supply of late-night Lohan interviewers. Meanwhile, our gross national product of viral, make-you-think TV political humorists appears to be about to plunge 50%, from Colbert plus Jon Stewart to Stewart alone (though Comedy Central alum John Oliver’s upcoming HBO weekly show may tip the scales a bit).
There’s a new finish line on the Western’s long and dusty road to the big screen. Relativity today set a February 20 release date for Jane Got a Gun, which had been set for this summer and has been through three bad guys, two directors and one lawsuit. Natalie Portman stars as Jane, who rebuilds her life with new husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) after being tormented by an outlaw gang led by Collin (Ewan McGregor, who replaced Bradley Cooper, who had replaced Jude Law). But things get ugly again when the husband has a fresh run-in with the gang, leaving Jane little choice but to ask her ex-fiance (Joel Edgerton) for help. Gavin O’Connor directs the film, having taken over the chair after Lynne Ramsay exited the project on the first day of production.
With The Mentalist‘s future at CBS in serious doubt, I hear the studio behind the veteran drama, Warner Bros TV, has been quietly shopping the series to other networks, garnering some preliminary interest from broadcast and cable. Taking in a 6-year-old high-end drama is not an easy proposition, but WBTV is ready to explore every possible avenue — that’s how important a property The Mentalist is to the studio with its $2 million-plus-per-episode off-network deal at TNT and big international sales including France, where it is the No. 1 scripted series.
In a situation like that, having a sibling network comes in handy. CBS stepped in when NBC cancelled CBS Studios-produced drama Medium after five seasons, keeping the series and its lucrative off-network deal alive for two more years. When NBC was exploring ending Law & Order: Criminal Intent after six seasons, the series, produced by NBCUniversal, instead moved to sibling USA, which already was carrying CI reruns. The Law & Order spinoff ended up going for four more seasons. The Mentalist wouldn’t be a fit for the only WBTV-affiliated broadcast network, the young skewing CW, making cable sibling TNT the best possible option. Like with L&O: CI and USA, TNT already is the off-network home of The Mentalist and has a slate of crime procedurals. However, the net has been pulling away from the genre lately, putting an emphasis on action-adventure fare in the vein of Falling Skies with such shows as the upcoming The Last Ship and Legends, and I hear it might not be interested in picking up The Mentalist originals (though parent Time Warner could conceivably intervene if the larger company’s financial interest is at stake). Among the major broadcast networks, ABC is said to be open to considering a pickup though it is expected to evaluate its own development first. The network has had success with a similar comedic procedural, Castle, and it also has struggled launching dramas at 10 PM for the past couple of seasons.
When The Mentalist premiered in 2008, it drew comparisons to USA‘s Psych, also a light crime procedural about a fake psychic helping the police. Psych just ended its eight-season run, so there is a vacancy there. But, like TNT, USA too has been moving away from character-based procedurals as it has been showing affinity for edgier dramas, and I hear it likely would not be pursuing The Mentalist.
As part of unveiling its slate to advertisers at its upfront presentation in New York today, MTV has announced the pickup of three new unscripted series, the Alaska-based Slednecks, from the producers of the network’s Buckwild; extreme dancing competition Beyond Dance; and the based-on-true-stories One Bad Choice. Additionally, the network has ordered new seasons of Snooki & JWOWW, Real World and Girl Code and has set premiere dates for new family drama series Finding Carter (watch the first trailer below) and Rob Dyrdek’s cooking show The Snack-Off as well as return dates for Teen Wolf and Dyrdek’s Ridiculousness. MTV2 will debut a second season of Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out this summer. On the music front, MTV is rolling out a new documentary series, 9 Days and Nights, that tells the story of one artist at a turning point in their life and career. The first 60-minute installment, set to a June launch, will feature British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, with appearances by Taylor Swift and Pharrell Williams. MTV sibling Logo TV is partnering with Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’s Milojo Prods. for The Secret Guide to Fabulous Living (working title), a 30-minute comedic “how to” series, which will premiere this summer. Here are details on MTV’s new series: