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‘A Royal Affair’s Nikolaj Arcel To Direct DreamWorks’ Redo Of Hitchcock’s ‘Rebecca’

Mike Fleming

RebeccaEXCLUSIVE: Dreamworks has set Nikolaj Arcel to direct Rebecca, a remake of the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film. The picture, which has a script draft by Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight, is being produced by Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

Nikolaj ArcelArcel is coming off A Royal Affair, a film that was Oscar nominated for  Best Foreign Language Film, about the queen of an erratic king of Denmark who carries on with her husband’s private doctor in a dangerous affair. Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg also scripted the Swedish The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Based on the Daphne Du Maurier novel, the original Rebecca focused on a naive young woman who marries a rich widower and moves into his mansion, only to discover that the memory of the first wife is maintaining a grip on her husband and the servants. It starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, and it won the Best Picture Oscar. Arcel and Heisterberg are also attached to helm and write an adaptation of the Don Winslow bestseller The Power Of The Dog, which is expected to be their next film. Rebecca would follow.

There will likely be one quick rewrite, but Arcel’s hire has young actresses already beginning to circle the film. Arcel is repped by WME and United Agents.

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OSCARS: Foreign Language Nominees Linked By Intensely Personal Narratives

By | Wednesday February 13, 2013 @ 8:00pm PST

David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor

If one thing links all five of this year’s nominees for the foreign film Oscar, it’s that the director of each picture was driven to make his movie because of strong, deeply personal feelings. These five films — a varied batch if ever there was one — have nothing in common in terms of where and when they are set, but they all deal, unapologetically, with powerful emotions. And those feelings are expressed not only by the characters in these films but also by their creators.

Perhaps the most obviously personal is Michael Haneke’s Amour, which achieved the rare feat of earning best picture and director noms, as well. The film has been cited for, among other things, its unblinking look at the degradations inflicted by illness on an aged couple. The German-born writer-director says that his recollections of a beloved aunt’s increasing infirmity inspired him to make the film. “I was forced to look on as someone very close to me suffered, someone for whom I cared very much”, he says, noting that the specifics of his aunt’s condition were not replicated in the movie. “What’s shown in the film is the product of lengthy research and my imagination”.

Yet one especially chilling aspect of his aunt’s situation — her asking him to assist in her suicide — was strongly echoed in the film. “Of course I had to tell her I was unable to do it”, Haneke recalls, “because I would have been put in jail if I had done it. I was grateful for that alibi, for I don’t know if I would have had the strength to do it otherwise. But she did it anyway, without my help”.

RELATED: Does ‘Amour’ Have A Shot To Make Academy History?

Asked whether he himself — now age 70 — worries about a fate similar to that faced by the principal characters in Amour (portrayed with uncanny and moving effect by octogenarians Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, who earned a best actress nomination for the role), Haneke responds wryly and invokes another, very different, master filmmaker. “Billy Wilder was asked a similar question”, Haneke says, “and he responded by saying that the bombardments, so to speak, are coming ever closer”.  Read More »

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European Film Promotion Names 10 Rising Actors As 2013 Shooting Stars

By | Wednesday December 12, 2012 @ 5:01am PST

European Film Promotion, the network that brings together promotional and export bodies from 34 countries, has unveiled the 10 young actors who will be featured at the 2013 Shooting Stars showcase during the Berlin Film Festival. Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, last year’s Silver Bear winner for best actor in Berlin, is on the list of up-and-comers. He follows in the footsteps of his A Royal Affair co-star Alicia Vikander, who was a Shooting Star in 2011. Other previous honorees include Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan, Inglourious Basterds star Mélanie Laurent and Harry Potter‘s Domhnall Gleeson. A jury of international industry professionals chose this year’s talent for their “outstanding work in feature films and their potential ability to expand their careers on the world’s acting stage.” A full list of the 2013 Shooting Stars follows: Read More »

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Specialty B.O.: ‘Chasing Ice’ Doc Hot; ‘Royal Affair’, ‘The Comedy’, ‘Starlet’ So-So

By | Sunday November 11, 2012 @ 10:20am PST

Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

Chasing Ice froze out the specialty competition among newcomers on this Skyfall weekend. The documentary released by sales company Submarine’s distribution label grossed $21,000 in a single theater, NYC’s Cinema Village. The company’s Dan Braun noted the film had a big promotional push from key groups including North Face. Advanced group sales were significant. Specialty Box OfficeOther titles fared comparatively soft in their launches, with one distrib suggesting that the Skyfall juggernaut and Lincoln — which averaged $81,818 across 11 cinemas — had attracted a sizable chunk of specialty business. Magnolia’s A Royal Affair averaged $5,714 in 7 locations, while Music Box’s Starlet averaged $2,670 from 6. Kino Lorber’s Isabella Huppert-starrer In Another Country debuted in a single location with $3,500, and Tribeca Film’s The Comedy took in $6K at one cinema. Cinedigm/Flat Iron did not report figures for Citadel.

Chasing Ice next will next uptown to the Elinor Brunin Munroe Film Center and expand into 10 additional markets next week. “We’re doing a fairly traditional release with VOD planned later,” said Submarine’s Dan Braun. “The film is obviously striking a chord with the current interest in climate change.”

Magnolia’s A Royal Affair debuted in seven theaters with a total gross of $40K. The Berlinale debut has grossed more than $6 million worldwide, but its appeal in the U.S. is still unclear. “It’s performed terrifically in other English territories including UK and Australia…” noted Magnolia’s Matt Cowal. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office Preview: ‘Chasing Ice’, ‘Citadel’, ‘Coming Up Roses’, ‘In Another Country’, ‘A Royal Affair’, ‘Starlet’

Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

Foreign and domestic titles from the festival circuit will make their theatrical debuts this weekend. Bernadette Peters and French actress Isabelle Huppert will open their latest respective films Coming Up Roses and In Another Country. Starlet with Dree Hemingway has a San Fernando Valley adult film industry bent, while Citadel won SXSW Festival’s Audience Midnight section prize. Film sales outfit Submarine releases the climate-change documentary Chasing Ice via its distribution label Submarine Deluxe, scoring talk show attention as a result of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, while Magnolia’s A Royal Affair will get a traditional theatrical rollout.

Chasing Ice
Director: Jeff Orlowski
Writer: Mark Monroe
Subjects: James Balog, Svavar Jonatansson, Adam LeWinter
Distributor: Submarine Deluxe

Hurricane Sandy’s devastation resulted in some attention for this documentary which focuses on climate change. “Because of the storm, we were able to get on the Bill Maher Show,” Submarine Deluxe’s Dan Braun said. “The film is about beauty and one person’s personal obsession. We don’t have an actual tagline, but it’s also about capturing the world’s climate change” on film.

Submarine had a previous relationship with Chasing Ice producers, after selling the Oscar-winning doc The Cove to Roadside Attractions at Sundance. Chasing Ice initially went to Oscilloscope, but changes at that company lead the title back to Submarine and its distribution label which also released Being Elmo last year. The title will open in New York and Los Angeles before expanding to 10 other markets. “We’re doing a fairly traditional release with VOD planned later,” said Braun. “We are marketing it with other organizations and have a robust ground-game for this one. North Face is partnering and advanced group sales with other organizations have been great.” Read More »

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Controversy, Record Entries, French Frontrunners As Oscar’s 2012 Foreign Language Race Kicks Off Tonight

By | Friday October 12, 2012 @ 12:58pm PDT
Pete Hammond

The Foreign Language Film race for the 85th Annual Academy Awards kicks into high gear tonight at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s Samuel Goldwyn Theatre with a double feature. Denmark’s  period costume drama, A Royal Affair will be followed by the Dominican Republic entry Jaque Mate, the first two of a record 71 entries (up from 63 in 2011) for this year’s competition. Is it good or bad to be first? Last year two films, Footnote and A Separation screened over the first weekend and both got nominated, with the latter actually winning.

Three committees divided into sections of Red, White and Blue (appropriate for an election year doncha think?) will each view a third of the entries with the White group seeing 23 and the other two each viewing 24 films. Other opening round entries are Norway’s Kon-Tiki and Slovak Republic’s Made In Ash showing Saturday morning and China’s Caught In The Web and Slovenia’s A Trip screening Monday night. In previous years there was a fourth Green committee but because of a time crunch the films are now being spread among just the three groups viewing more films. Committee members (which can number into the hundreds) must see a set minimum of their group’s titles in order to have votes count. Their six highest scoring movies move on to the semi-finals together with three others chosen by the small Foreign Language Executive Committee (usually “saves” of higher profile or more controversial entries the larger, generally … Read More »

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