Sundance Selects acquired U.S. rights to writer-director François Ozon‘s Young & Beautiful from Wild Bunch. The drama stars rising French actress Marine Vacth in the lead role, alongside Geraldine Pailhas, Frederic Pierrot, Fantin Ravat, Johan Leysen, Charlotte Rampling, Nathalie Richard, Djedje Apali, Lucas Prisor, Laurent Delbecque, Jeanne Ruff, and Serge Hefez. It tells the story of a young woman coming of age from her sexual awakening to the loss of her virginity, and from her exploration of love to her search for her identity. It made its world premiere this week in Competition at Cannes. Ozon’s film Swimming Pool was in Competition at the 2003 Cannes fest. Cohen Media Group released Ozon’s last film, In The House, last month after it previewed at Col-Coa. Eric & Nicolas Altmayer produced Young & Beautiful. The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Carole Baraton and Henri Fabre at Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers.
Newly retired tennis pro Andy Roddick will co-host Fox Sports Live, the network’s flagship news and highlights show, when Fox Sports 1 launches August 17. He joins Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, the Canadian duo previously announced as the primary highlight team for the show, which will be the News Corp-owned network’s equivalent and rival to ESPN’s SportsCenter. Roddick is no stranger to the spotlight, having been the U.S.’ top male tennis player for years before being slowed down by injuries and age — he won a slew of titles but only one major, the 2003 U.S. Open, before he retired after the U.S. Open last August at age 30. On the media front, he hosted Saturday Night Live in 2003 and co-hosted a nationally syndicated Fox Sports Radio show last year — the guy knows his sports. Sports Illustrated has already reported that Charissa Thompson, co-host of ESPN’s SportsNation, will also join the team as a co-host.
Logan Marshall-Green has been cast as the title character in Quarry, a drama project for Cinemax based on the series of novels by Max Allan Collins (Road To Perdition graphic novel). Written by Graham Gordy and Michael D. Fuller, Quarry is set in the 1970s and centers on a Marine sniper (Marshall-Green) who, upon his return home from Vietnam in 1973, finds himself shunned by those he loves and demonized by the public. Combat-hardened and disillusioned, he’s recruited into a network of contract killers and corruption spanning the length of the Mississippi River. John Hillcoat is set to direct the pilot, co-produced by Anonymous Content. Hillcoat, Gordy, Fuller, Collins and Ken Levin executive produce with Anonymous’ Steve Golin, David Kanter, Matt DeRoss and Keith Redmon.
Roman Polanski‘s 1971 feature documentary Weekend Of A Champion is being sold at Cannes this week after Brett Ratner’s Rat Documentary Films acquired the docu in February as part of a 12-picture deal with Netflix to produce and acquire feature-length documentaries. Never shown in the U.S., Weekend offered up a portrait of legendary Formula 1 champ Jackie Stewart during his victory at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix — it also shows a pair of icons (Polanski and Stewart) at the height of their powers. Pathe is handling international and Submarine is handling all other U.S. rights beside Netflx. Polanski, meanwhile, has just completed filming Venus In Fur, which is here in competition. Here’s the exclusive first look at the poster:
Nothing like having Hollywood pals, huh? Out of work MTV scripted boss David Janollari crashed and burned last fall. Now he’s been saved from the witness protection program thanks to a 3-year, first-look deal at Universal TV overseen by his former producing partner Bob Greenblatt. From 1996 to 2003, they did Six Feet Under, Elvis, American Family. Former ABC chief Stephen McPherson did the same thing, recently signing a deal with Fox reuniting him with 30-year good friend Kevin Reilly.
UPDATED: Exactly a week after its upfront presentation, CBS has picked up another comedy series for midseason, the single-camera Bad Teacher starring Ari Graynor, which has received a 13-episode order. Sony Pictures TV produced the pilot, an adaptation of the 2011 movie, which will now be a co-production with CBS TV Studios. Bad Teacher was among a slew of half-hour pilots that CBS were brass were high on this season. It screened and tested well and, despite not making the cut before the upfronts, talks between CBS and Sony continued through and after upfront week until a deal was reached. Bad Teacher brings the number of new CBS comedy series on tap for next season to a whooping six, the most in almost two decades. (Last season the network picked up a total of two, only one of which, Partners, got on the air.) CBS’ 2013-14 comedy class is split evenly between multi-camera (fall entries Mom and The Millers and midseason’s Friends With Better Lives) and single-cam (fall’s The Crazy Ones and We Are Men, plus Bad Teacher).
Related: CBS New Series Previews – Video
The pickup brings the number of new Sony broadcast series for next season to eight, a record for the independent studio. It was able to land new shows on every network (The Michael J. Fox Show, The Blacklist, Welcome To The Family and After Hours at NBC, Rake and Us And Them on Fox, The Goldbergs on ABC and Bad Teacher on CBS). Sony was able to get The Blacklist, Welcome To The Family and After Hours picked up and Community renewed for a final season in a complex, hard-fought negotiation with NBC that went down to the wire and resulted in Sony getting all shows involved picked up and securing NBC’s best launching pad, the post-Voice Monday 10 PM slot, for Blacklist. Leveraging the red-hot Blacklist, which had tested through the roof, I hear Sony held firm, indicating it was ready to leave rather than take a bad deal. Meanwhile, I hear NBC got ownership in Blacklist, which could make hundreds of millions of dollars profit in success, and is paying license fee vs. full freight on Community.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s directorial debut hits screens October 18 via Relativity Media, which snapped up the hot title (nee Don Jon’s Addiction) for $4M out of Sundance. Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly and Brie Larson star in the pic about a porn-addicted Jersey guy balancing life and love. Check out the trailer:
Anna Nicole, which tells the rags to riches story of late Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, will premiere on Saturday, June 29, at 8 PM, Lifetime announced today. Agnes Bruckner stars as Anna Nicole, alongside Martin Landau, Virginia Madsen, Adam Goldberg and Cary Elwes. Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Judith Verno executive produced the film which follows the swift rise and fall of Vickie Lynn Hogan (Bruckner), a Texas high school dropout and single mother with dreams of a better life. The biopic explores the sordid details that created Smith’s infamous persona, from stardom to her untimely death from a fatal combination of pills. Madsen portrays Anna’s mother Virgie, Goldberg is Anna’s lawyer, Howard K. Stern; Elwes plays Marshall’s son, E. Pierce; and Graham Patrick Martin (Two And A Half Men) stars as Anna Nicole’s son, Daniel. Mary Harron directed from a screenplay by John Rice and Joe Batteer. Anna Nicole is executive produced by Verno’s Peace Out Productions and Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Emma Roberts, who most recently starred in Fox pilot Delirium, is nearing a deal to join American Horror Story: Coven, our sister site TVLine reports. Roberts (Scream 4) will play a self-involved party girl named Madison. She’ll join previously announced Oscar winner Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Angela Bassett, Patti LuPone and Gabourey Sidibe for Season 3.
CANNES, FRANCE (May 22, 2013) – CG Cinema’s Charles Gillibert, Bluegrass Films’ Scott Stuber, Emjag Productions’ Alexandra Milchan, and Film 360’s Scott Lambert announced today from the 2013 Cannes Film Festival that they will jointly produce HUBRIS with acclaimed filmmaker Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, the Golden Globe award-winning miniseries Carlos) directing. CG Cinema and Orange Studios are financing. The film, which marks the first time Assayas is shooting a film in the U.S., is set to begin production in the second quarter of 2014. Inspired by a true story based on an article by Hillel Levin, HUBRIS is a fast-pacedcrime thriller that follows a crew of thieves led by John Mendell who rob apawn shop and discover it is a front for the most brutal crime boss in Chicago history, Tony Accardo. Assayas is represented by CAA, and Intertalent in Paris. Assayas’ next film SILS MARIA will shoot this summer.
The hot cable comedy project, which has Billy Crystal attached to star, co-write and executive produce, Burn Notice creator Matt Nix co-writing/executive producing and Curb Your Enthusiasm and Borat‘s Larry Charles directing/co-writing and executive producing, has been picked up by FX with a pilot order. Titled The Comedians, the single-camera comedy, which was taken out earlier this month, is produced by Fox TV Studios, marking the first FX pilot to not come out of the in-house FX Prods.
In The Comedians, Crystal plays a superstar veteran comedian who is reluctantly paired with a younger, edgier comedian for a late-night comedy sketch show. It is based on the 2004 Swedish series Ulveson And Herngren, starring comedians Felix Herngren and Johan Ulveson as they put together a sketch program. Charles is set to direct the pilot, which is said to be in the documentary style he perfected on another cable comedy starring a veteran stand-up comedian, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. Charles, Nix and Crystal are co-writing with comedy writer-producer Ben Wexler, who previously worked with Nix on Nix’s Fox dramedy The Good Guys. The four executive produce with Nix’s manager, producer Mikkel Bondesen and Henrik Bastin, both of Fabrik Entertainment (formerly Fuse), which, like Nix, is under a deal at FtvS. Carl Molinder and John Nordling of Stockholm-based Efti AB, which is behind the original series, also executive produce. Fabrik’s Kristen Campo co-exec produces.
The quarterly outlay rises beginning July 1 to 30 cents a share from 27.5 cents for both the Class B stock (which the public owns) and Class A (79.4% owned by Chairman Sumner Redstone). This is the third increase in the three years since Viacom began paying a dividend. “Our solid balance sheet and strong cash flow provide us the flexibility for continued investment in our popular brands and properties while delivering substantial capital directly to stockholders through dividends and our ongoing $10 billion share repurchase program,” CEO Philippe Dauman says. The boost “underscores why we continue to like this stock” and makes Viacom’s dividend yield “one of the highest among the diversified entertainment companies,” says Wells Fargo’s Marci Ryvicker.
The first photos of the new The X Factor judges panel have surfaced, with (from left) Paulina Rubio, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Simon Cowell on duty yesterday for auditions in Charleston, SC. Hurry Fox, take a picture before the lineup changes — again.
The new study provides some statistical ammo for those in the Commonwealth who like the tax break, and are still smarting from a state Department of Revenue report in March that raised questions about whether it makes sense. The MPAA commissioned analysis from HR&A Advisors says that the state’s $37.9M in tax credits in 2011 added $375.3M to the Massachusetts economy including 2,220 full time equivalent jobs. That “reconfirms that incentivizing productions creates jobs and generates enormous economic return for local and state economies,” MPAA chief Chris Dodd says. Recent productions in the state include The Fighter, Grown Ups, Moneyball, Ted and The Town. The MPAA findings contrast with the state Department of Revenue study that concluded the incentive cost taxpayers $44M in 2011 and added about $39M to the state’s economy. Early this year Gov. Deval Patrick urged the legislature to cap the tax break at $40M a year, charging that it provided too much assistance to highly paid movie stars. The incentive appears to be safe for now; last month the state House dropped the idea for the budget it approved. The film tax incentive, introduced in 2006, sunsets in 2023. It consists of a 25% payroll credit for employees who make less than $1M a year, a 25% production expense credit, and sales and use tax exemption.
David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.
All six major Hollywood studios and a raft of major tech firms have joined to solve compatibility and other issues with next-gen “cloud computing” tools they are increasingly using to create, collaborate on, distribute, protect and archive movies and other media. Dell, EMC, Rackspace and EVault are among the big tech firms taking part. The Entertainment Technology Center at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts will manage the joint standard-setting effort, called “Production in the Cloud.” Ex-Sony Pictures tech executive Ken Williams, now the ETC’s executive director and CEO, said the studios are trying to avoid another round of format wars, such as those that dogged Hollywood with Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD or VHS versus Betamax. Such format wars bring “uncertainty, inefficiency, and confusion to the marketplace, and (slow) product adoption and business growth for all players,” Williams said. “This effort will work to avoid those pitfalls in the evolution of production.” The same cloud-computing revolution that has powered the rise of consumer online services such as Google Apps, Dropbox and Spotify is also transforming high-end services used in Hollywood such as editing video, sharing it with post-production and visual-effects companies and distributing the finished products to various outlets. The initiative also will develop standard formats for archiving films and providing security among other core functions.
UPDATE: Toronto Lands World Premiere Of Godfrey Reggio’s ‘Visitors’, With Cinedigm Aboard As Distributor
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 12:01 AM: : The Toronto Film Festival has set the Godfrey Reggio-directed Visitors to have its world premiere at the festival September 8, in a most splashy manner. The film has an original score by Philip Glass and it is being presented by Steven Soderbergh. While that filmmaker is stepping away from directing features, he’s not done backing them and has been a big supporter of Reggio’s work since Koyaanisqatsi 30 years ago. The Toronto premiere will be presented in 4K digital projection and live accompaniment by members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Michael Riesman. The premiere will be held that Sunday at 6 PM at the Visa Screening Room at the Elgin Theatre.
Said TIFF Director and CEO Piers Handling: “Reggio’s Visitors is a poignant, powerful film. Coupled with live performance by 65 Members of the TSO, this event is an opportunity for Toronto audiences to be moved and to experience film in a whole new way.”
Of his involvement, Soderbergh told me: “I was a producer on the last Qatsi film but had lost touch with Godfrey and out of the blue I emailed his producer, Lawrence Taub. He told me they were in the last stages of cutting his new movie. They brought me out to Red Hook in Brooklyn to show it to me. I loved it and said, ‘What can I do to help, what do you want?’ They asked if I would be presenter and help them navigate making a distribution deal and finding a foreign sales person and I said, ‘I’m in.’ ”
Newbie distributor Vertical Entertainment has snapped up US rights to the Russian 3D animated pic produced by Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. The Snow Queen tells the tale of a little girl who embarks on a journey to save her brother from the evil witch who’s covered the world in ice. Maxim Sveshnikov and Vlad Barbe directed the pic from a script by Barbe and Vadim Sveshnikov. Yuri Moskvin, Vladimir Nikolaev, Olga Sinelshchikova, Sergey Rapoport, Alexander Ligay and Bekmambetov are producers. Already released in Ukraine, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, Turkey, UAE, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, The Snow Queen has a sequel in the works for Winter 2014. Peter Jarowey negotiated the deal with WME’s Deb McIntosh. Wizart Distribution’s is handling international sales at Cannes, where last week Vertical acquired rights to Josh Duhamel’s SXSW film Scenic Route.
Vince Vaughn is a slacker who learns he’s fathered over 500 children as a result of a sperm bank snafu. Ken Scott writes and directs the remake of his own 2011 French Canadian film Starbuck, with Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders co-starring. Disney/DreamWorks release the comedy November 22 opposite Lionsgate’s franchise sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire so they’ve attempted to get buzz rolling with a new teaser trailer: