While we’re out chasing news, the press releases keep coming. Deadline broke news last March that Mel Gibson would star in the Jean-Francois Richet-directed Blood Father, and the news today is that Worldview Entertainment will co-fi and produce the drama, which Peter Craig adapted from his novel. Gibson will play an ex-con who reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her. Filming just started. Wild Bunch will handle international sales here and CAA is repping domestic…
Kathryn Bigelow and Zero Dark Thirty backer Annapurna’s Megan Ellison are reteaming on an adaptation of The True American, a nonfiction book by journo Anand Giridharadas that has Tom Hardy is set to star. Bigelow will direct and produce the film through her production shingle, First Light. The deal was announced here at Cannes. Like Zero Dark Thirty, this has 9/11 overtones. In the volatile days following that terrorist attack in New York, a self styled American terrorist named Mark Stroman murdered two immigrants in Texas, nearly killing a third man he shot in the head. That victim, Raisuddin Bhuiyan, was a former Bangladesh Air Force vet who set up a new life as the owner of a Dallas convenience store.
Entertainment One announced that Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul are joining Colin Firth in Eye In The Sky, a drone warfare drama that Gavin Hood is directing.
Johnny Galecki, Chloë Sevigny and Anjelica Huston have been cast in The Master Clense, a fantasy horror comedy to be produced by Bron Studios and Gilbert Films that will be the feature debut of writer-director Bobby Miller. Production is set to begin in July in Vancouver. After holding onto heartbreak for several years, Paul (Galecki) decides to restart his life, joining a spiritual retreat designed to cleanse negative toxins from his body. But the cleanse releases something far greater than everyday toxins and traumatic experiences. XYZ Films is introducing the pic in Cannes, and WME Global arranged financing and is repping North American rights.
Glenn Close has boarded The Wife, committing to star in scribe Jane Anderson’s adaptation of the bestselling Meg Wolitzer novel. Swedish director Björn Runge will direct the pic. The book is a sharply observed drama about the unraveling of a marriage during a couple’s journey to the Nobel Award ceremony in Stockholm. The film will shoot primarily in Stockholm in both English and Swedish and production is planned for winter/spring 2015. Read More »
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 stars Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, who was also a co-exec producer. Newcomer Josh Wiggins and Juliette Lewis co-star in the the film, which focuses on a family falling apart fast after the death of the mother. Candler adapted Hellion from her own short film that screened at Sundance two years ago. The film is produced by Kelly Williams & Jonathan Duffy and executive produced by Jeff Nichols (Mud) and Sarah Green. It is scheduled to be released theatrically and on VOD later this year and to play at SXSW this week. Candler continues to also be represented by attorney Deena Kalai.
Related: Sundance: Aaron Paul On ‘Hellion’, ‘Exodus’ & ‘Breaking Bad’s Golden Globes Win
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 13-year-old obsessed with metal and dirt bike racing whose delinquent behavior begins to raise concerns around town. Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul co-exec produces and stars as Hollis, father to Jacob and his younger brother Wes (Deke Garner), who’s drowning his own sorrows over the loss of their mother and must repair his family when CPS sends Wes to live with the boys’ aunt (Juliette Lewis). Candler wrote and directed the drama and adapted it from her own 2012 short, which also debuted at Sundance and starred Garner. She returned to the fest last year with another short, Black Metal, before debuting the feature-length Hellion produced by Kelly Williams and Jonathan Duffy. Sundance Selects has set a theatrical and VOD bow for later this year. Arianna Bocco, SVP Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films negotiated the deal with UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.
Related: Sundance: Aaron Paul On ‘Hellion’, ‘Exodus’, Producing & ‘Breaking Bad’s Golden Globes Win
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 in the film, which debuts in Park City on Friday, with Aaron Paul. The Breaking Bad actor, who is a co-EP on Hellion, plays Jacob’s widowed father. Paul is also repped by UTA and Leverage. Juliette Lewis also stars in the film. Discovered by director Kat Candler from YouTube videos Wiggins made with pals, the dysfunctional family drama is the first professional acting gig by the 15-year old from Texas. “Josh had never acted before, and in every single take he blew me away. He really had an instinctual grasp of the character which helped set the tone for the entire shoot,” said Candler in a statement today. Hellion is based on Candler’s short film that screened at Sundance two years ago. The film is produced by Kelly Williams & Jonathan Duffy and executive produced by Jeff Nichols and Sarah Green. UTA is handling worldwide sales on Hellion.
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 didn’t commit, is bent on revenge on the driver who killed his best friend. Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Michael Keaton and Fifty Shades Of Grey‘s Dakota Johnson also star in the Scott Waugh-directed pic, which opens March 14. Here’s the full-length trailer that dropped today:
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 he didn’t commit, he’s bent on revenge on the guy who whacked his best friend. Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Michael Keaton and Dakota Johnson also star in Scott Waugh’s actioner, which is based on the EA video game franchise. It’s in theaters March 14:
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 and crew with a new poster. It features a lonely shot of the RV where Bryan Cranston‘s Walter White and Aaron Paul‘s Jesse Pinkman cooked up that first batch of meth in the New Mexico desert, set off with the words, “It was all in the chemistry”:
With Breaking Bad in the homestretch, Aaron Paul is working on his next project. He’s starring opposite Juliette Lewis in Hellion, writer-director Kat Candler’s indie drama about a fractured family trying to hold it together in a small refinery town in Texas. The feature grew out of Candler’s short film that played at Sundance last year. Jonny Mars, who appeared in the short, co-stars along with Josh Wiggins and Deke Garner. Kelly Williams and Jonathan Duffy are producing the film, with Janice Beard, Tanner Beard, Suzanne Weinert, Jeff Nichols and Sarah Green as exec producers. Paul, who’s up for a third supporting actor Emmy for his Breaking Bad role, next stars in A Long Way Down and Need For Speed and is in talks for Ridley Scott’s Exodus. He is repped by Leverage Management and UTA. Lewis, whose August: Osage County opens Christmas Day, is with Untitled Entertainment and UTA.
BREAKING: 20th Century Fox and director Ridley Scott have set four more stars for Exodus, the Biblical epic that already has Christian Bale set to star as Moses and Joel Edgerton as the Egyptian pharoah Ramses II. Ben Kingsley is in talks to play a Hebrew scholar, John Turturro is set to play Seti, father of the Pharoah Ramses, Sigourney Weaver is set to play Ramses’ mother Tuya, and Emmy-winning Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul is negotiating to play Joshua, the Hebrew slave who leads the people into the promised land after Moses.
The script is by Steve Zaillian, and Adam Cooper and Bill Collage were the first writers who sold the pitch to Chernin Entertainment, which is producing along with Scott Free. CAA and Independent Talent rep Kingsley, ICM Partners reps Turturro, UTA reps Weaver and UTA and Leverage rep Paul.
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 helm the film, which is scheduled to come out February 7, 2014. “We are huge fans of Aaron’s and his stellar work on Breaking Bad. We couldn’t be more excited to have him headline our cast for Need For Speed”, said Holly Bario, DreamWorks’ President of Production. EA’s Patrick O’Brien will produce with John Gatins and Mark Sourain. Paul is repped by UTA and Leverage Management.
Related: DreamWorks Testing Newcomers For ‘Need For Speed’
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 Collette and Imogen Poots in a film that focuses on a quartet of people who plan to commit suicide. Paul plays a pizza delivery man, and there is also an embattled television talk show host, a teenaged girl and the mother of a disabled boy. They befriend one another when they meet atop a tall building on New Year’s Eve.
The film will shoot in London starting in September. Paul, the Emmy-winning actor who’s wrapping up the final season of Breaking Bad, is represented by UTA and Loch Powell of Leverage Management.
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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