There may be lots of speculation about the future of DreamWorks in its current incarnation at Disney as my colleague Mike Fleming wrote earlier this week, but you would never know it from last night’s rip-roaring premiere of its latest film, Need For Speed, at the Chinese Theatre. I went in expecting a poor man’s Fast & Furious and instead got a riveting and fun entertainment with lots of heart and emotion in addition to all the stunt driving. The film, which opens Friday and stars Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as a street racer out for revenge after being framed for a death of a young street-racing rookie, has all the requisite action you would expect from this kind of movie, but there’s so much more. The fact that it marks the second feature directed by former stuntman Scott Waugh (the son of another stuntman, Fred Waugh, who passed away while his son was in preproduction) would lead one to believe it would be all pedal-to-the-metal and no soul, but that’s not the case. Waugh’s first feature behind the camera, Act Of Valor, proved he knew how to put humanity into a genre film. What he’s made here is a good old-fashioned movie that doesn’t rely on CGI, has a genuine story to tell with three-dimensional characters (in 3D, no less), and great locations.
It also presents yet another reason the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences needs to re-consider its decision not to create a 25th category for stunt work. Come on, these people deserve the recognition on a regular basis. I do understand the ticklish situation with the Actors branch, the Academy’s largest and most powerful, but this kind of work is definitely Oscar worthy. The Television Academy has a stunt peer group and recently even split comedy and drama stunt coordination into two separate Emmy categories. Veteran stuntman-director Hal Needham got an Honorary Oscar in 2012, and I suppose the Academy feels that’s enough recognition for now (Needham passed away several months after getting that Oscar). But it’s not.
Related: Hot Trailer: DreamWorks’ ‘Need For Speed’
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EXCLUSIVE: Just more than a week after Sundance Selects picked up North American rights to Hellion, the pic’s writer-director Kat Candler has signed with ICM Partners. In competition in this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Hellion is Candler’s feature debut and … Read More »
Kat Candler’s Hellion debuted in Park City last month, and now Sundance Selects has taken North American rights to the pic. Exec produced by Jeff Nichols (Mud), Hellion stars newcomer Josh Wiggins as Jacob, a … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films has just completed a deal to pre-buy domestic distribution rights on Triple Nine, the John Hillcoat-directed heist thriller, which begins production this summer with a killer cast. Fruitvale Station’s Michael B. Jordan, Breaking Bad and Need For Speed‘s Aaron Paul, Warm Bodies’ Teresa Palmer, Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman in the Batman Vs. Superman film) and End Of Watch‘s Michael Pena are in talks to join previously announced 12 Years A Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Out of the Furnace’s Casey Affleck and Kate Winslet. Hillcoat, who just helmed that distinctive Super Bowl spot for Coke, wrote the script with Matt Cook. Open Road will release the film in 2015.
The rights deal comes on the eve of the European Film Market, where Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales for the project and will sell select territories in Berlin. In the drama, a crew of dirty cops is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down”. Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge. Read More »
“My heart truly lies with independent filmmaking,” says the now former Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, whose next project is decidedly not indie: 20th Century Fox’s Ridley Scott-helmed Bible epic Exodus. “Jumping on to a big blockbuster like Exodus, yes we are all making the movie together and it is very exciting and Ridley Scott is a badass and the script was brilliant, but it doesn’t have that intimate feel for me that independent filmmaking has,” says Paul. To that end, Paul is putting his name where his mouth is: After having played a hellion as Jesse Pinkman for 5 seasons, he’s carving out a new role for himself as an executive producer with the world premiere of Hellion going on right now at the Sundance Film Festival. Paul also stars as a widowed father in the shattered family drama based on a 2012 Sundance short by director Kat Candler. “The moment I met her I knew I had to work with her. She just breathed excitement,” says Paul of Candler. The actor first became aware of her after his Smashed helmer James Ponsoldt passed along the Hellion script accompanied with a letter of recommendation of Candler. “I thought it was just a beautifully honest story of struggle and this family,” says Paul. “I got on the phone with Kat, she flew out to Georgia where I was making Need For Speed, and we just talked about the story over milkshakes.” Soon after Paul became attached to the project and came onboard as a co-executive producer to give the film “more legs” and attract cast mates like Juliette Lewis. It’s now competing in the U.S. Dramatic category here.
Hellion isn’t Paul’s first film at Sundance. Ponsoldt’s booze-drenched Smashed played at the 2012 festival and took home the U.S. Dramatic Jury Award. “What’s so great about Sundance is that they only accept such a small handful of films per year for dramatic competition so you know when you’re going to Sundance that you’re going to see top-quality projects. Man, to be one of those 16 is just incredible,” Paul says.
Not that Paul won’t be on a lot of non-Sundance screens in the near future. Disney’s cross-country racing pic Need For Speed comes out March 14 with him behind the wheel in the lead role. Late last year, the actor wrapped his Joshua role in Exodus opposite Christian Bale as Moses — the Biblical epic comes out December 2. Paul’s also in Long Way Down, the Paschal Chaumeil-directed adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel, and the Gabriele Muccino-helmed Fathers & Daughters with Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried. And while Hellion is the first project Paul has executive produced, it’s not his only one this year. There’s the upcoming Neflix 12-episode animated series BoJack Horseman he’s EPing and voicing along with Will Arnett. That’s set to launch close to the midpoint of this year. Of course, there’s always the Breaking Bad prequel spinoff Better Call Saul, which Paul says he and Bryan Cranston are talking about finding ways to appear in.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Need For Speed’ Read More »
One day before Hellion has its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, its star has gotten some big new friends through his onscreen father. Josh Wiggins has signed with UTA and Leverage Management. Playing Jacob, Wiggins co-stars … Read More »
Aaron Paul‘s first post-Breaking Bad gig is as the star of DreamWorks and Disney’s Need For Speed, the actioner based on the EA video game franchise. He plays a mechanic who races cars on an unsanctioned circuit and who, after doing time for a crime he … Read More »
Nice timing, Disney and DreamWorks. Aaron Paul is pistol-hot as we count the days before the Breaking Bad finale, and now comes the first Need For Speed trailer. Paul plays a mechanic who races muscle cars on an unsanctioned circuit. After doing time for a crime … Read More »
Breaking Bad writer and co-EP Peter Gould tweeted today that the last two episodes of the AMC drama will run “75 minutes each w/ commercials”. Meanwhile, as the countdown to the series finale reaches T-minus 10 days, the network is priming the buzz pump and thanking the show’s cast … Read More »
With Breaking Bad in the homestretch, Aaron Paul is working on his next project. He’s starring opposite … Read More »
AwardsLine Editor Christy Grosz, Managing Editor Anthony D’Alessandro and contributors Paul Brownfield and Thomas J. McLean assist with Deadline’s TV coverage.
Three of the supporting acting drama series hopefuls, Anna Gunn and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Emilia Clarke (Game Of Thrones) and two guest acting drama series hopefuls, Linda Cardellini and Robert Morse (Mad Men), share thoughts on their characters, shows and nominations.
ANNA GUNN (Breaking Bad, AMC)
AwardsLine: Have you enjoyed the way your character Skyler has transformed?
Gunn: When I first talked to Vince Gilligan about the part, there wasn’t a huge amount of information about her in the pilot. I wanted to make sure she wasn’t off in the background as the long-suffering wife. Vince sold me completely when he told me, “She’s going to be Carmela Soprano, but she’s going to be in on the crime.”
Related: EMMYS: Drama Supporting Acting Handicap Read More »
Emmy winner Aaron Paul will play the lead in DreamWorks Studios‘ adaptation of the bestselling Electronic Arts video game Need For Speed, the studio announced today. Act Of Valor director Scott Waugh is set to … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul has been set to star in Long Way Down, the Paschal Chaumeil-directed adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel. Jack Thorne wrote the script and Finola Dwyer is producing.
Paul will star opposite Pierce Brosnan, Toni … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has given a pilot order to Cold War spy drama The Missionary. Emmy-winning Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul is in talks for the lead in the project, from film/TV writer Charles Randolph (The Interpreter) and producer Stephen Levinson as well as best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell and frequent Levinson collaborator Mark Wahlberg.
Set in Berlin in the late 1960s, The Missionary, written by Randolph, centers on a young American missionary (Paul) who becomes involved with the CIA. Randolph and New Yorker writer Gladwell, who are friends, had been working on an idea for a spy project when they met with Levinson and Wahlberg, who also had been looking to do a spy drama. The four joined forces and last fall took the project to HBO, where Levinson and Wahlberg have produced four series: Boardwalk Empire, Entourage, In Treatment and How To Make It In America. Randolph, Levinson, Gladwell and Wahlberg executive produce The Missionary, which HBO is producing in association with Levinson’s Leverage and Wahlberg’s Closest to the Hole Prods. The Missionary is the second Cold War-era cable spy drama pilot ordered this year, along with FX’s The Americans, about undercover KGB spies in the U.S. played by Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. At HBO, it joins another period drama, Prohibition mob series Boardwalk Empire, also executive produced by Levinson and Wahlberg. Read More »
‘Breaking Bad’ Eyes Two-Season Finale
AMC President On ‘Breaking Bad’ Order, ‘Walking Dead’ Budget & ‘Mad Men’ Deal
After tense and public negotiations, AMC just closed a deal with producer Sony Pictures TV to renew dark drama Breaking Bad for a final batch of 16 episodes. The episodes are expected to be filmed together but may be split into two seasons, with a final scheduling decision to be made at a later date. The deal comes just as the series was facing two deadlines: its license deal with AMC was set to expire tomorrow and the options on the actors are up Aug. 31. The two sides have reached a compromise over the stickiest issue — who will cover the series’ budget of $3 million-plus. I hear both Sony TV and AMC will contribute. While negotiations were contentious and Sony did flirt with the idea of moving Breaking Bad to another network, the two sides started making progress over the past two weeks, leading to today’s deal. With the series renewal secured, Sony TV now has to make a new deal with Breaking Bad creator/executive producer Vince Gilligan, who doesn’t have a contract beyond Season 4 but is fully expected to return for the series’ final hurrah. The cast, led by Emmy winners Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, may also renegotiate their deals.
UPDATE 6 PM: AMC just issued a release announcing the final pickup for Breaking Bad. Here it is:
New York – NY, August, 14, 2011 – AMC announced today that “Breaking Bad,” the Emmy Award-winning and critically lauded drama series from acclaimed writer/producer/director Vince Gilligan has been renewed for a 16 episode order that will conclude the series. Production on all episodes of the final order will commence in early 2012. The roll-out of the episodes and premiere date schedule has yet to be determined by the network. The announcement was made by Charlie Collier, president of AMC.
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UTA has just signed Aaron Paul, the Emmy-winning Breaking Bad co-star. It was a competitive signing among the major agencies after Paul shook loose from ICM. Paul is best known for TV; before his turn as a drug dealer on … Read More »