Lionsgate Skeds ‘Stand Up Guys’ With Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin

By | Tuesday September 4, 2012 @ 11:51pm PDT

Christopher Walken Alan Arkin Al Pacino Stand Up Guys Movie
Lionsgate‘s new partner Summit Entertainment has had box office success with this genre of older actors movies aimed at older audiences (like Red). Now the studio has … Read More »

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Al Pacino Returning To Broadway For ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’?

By | Tuesday June 12, 2012 @ 10:09pm PDT

Al Pacino played hotshot salesman Ricky Roma in the killer 1992 film adaptation of David Mamet’s dark drama Glengarry Glen Ross, a role that earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. … Read More »

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Al Pacino Makes Animated Film Debut In ‘Despicable Me 2′

By | Friday February 3, 2012 @ 11:14am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While Al Pacino has played his share of iconic live-action villains — from Michael Corleone to Tony Montana — he will make his animated film debut as the voice of the villain in Despicable Me 2, the Universal Pictures … Read More »

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David Ayer To Script Updated ‘Scarface’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Training Day scribe David Ayer has been hired to write the new version of Scarface for Universal Pictures. The film will put a contemporary spin on the outlaw tale first released in 1932 with Paul Muni playing an Italian who took over Chicago, and then turned into the spectacularly violent 1983 film that starred Al Pacino as Tony Montana, a Cuban who took over the cocaine trade in 1980s Miami. The new film is being produced by Marc Shmuger and his Global Produce banner along with Martin Bregman, who produced the Brian De Palma-directed version. When the studio set up the project in late September, the intention wasn’t to do a remake as much as to marry the common elements of the two films with a contemporary crime context. Basically, the focus is on an outsider, an immigrant who barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition.

Ayer tells me that he is not at all cowed by stepping into an iconic title. “This is a fantasy for me, I can still remember when I saw the film at 13 and it blew my mind,” he said. “I sought it out; I went after it hard. I see it as the story of the American dream, with a character whose moral compass points in a different direction. That puts it right in my wheelhouse. I studied both the original Ben Hecht-Howard Hawks movie and the DePalma-Pacino version and found some universal themes. I’m still under the hood figuring out the wiring that will translate, but both films had a specificity of place, there was unapologetic violence, and a main character who socially scared the shit out of people, but who had his own moral code. Each was faithful to the underworld of its time. There are enough opportunities in the real world today that provide an opportunity to do this right. If it was just an attempt to remake the 1983 film, that would never work.” Read More »

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Will Money Woes Bump Off John Gotti Pic?

Mike Fleming

All the while that producer Marc Fiore was making pricey pay-or-play deals and holding press conferences in New York and Cannes to trumpet John Travolta, Al Pacino, Lindsay Lohan and Joe Pesci taking part in Gotti: In The Shadow Of Read More »

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Universal Preps New ‘Scarface’ Movie

Mike Fleming

New Scarface MovieEXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is developing a new version of Scarface, the title first released in 1932 and then turned into the iconic 1983 film that starred Al Pacino as Cuban gangster Tony Montana. I’d heard that the studio has been meeting writers to script a take for a film that will be produced by Marc Shmuger and his Global Produce banner along with Martin Bregman. Bregman produced the Pacino version.

Scarface UniversalThe film is not intended to be a remake or a sequel. It will take the common elements of the first two films: An outsider, an immigrant, barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition. The studio is keeping the specifics of where the new Tony character comes from under wraps at the moment, but ethnicity and geography were important in the first two versions. In the 1932 Scarface, an Italian (Paul Muni) took over Chicago, and in the Brian De Palma-directed remake, a Read More »

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Toronto: Madonna, Parties, And Harvey Weinstein’s New Premiere World Record

Pete Hammond

Harvey Weinstein just set a new air, land and sea world record for attending movie premieres. The Weinstein Company mogul managed to show up at three, count ‘em, three different premiere events in two different countries all on Monday night. “Yeah, this was some fun wasn’t it?” he deadpanned when I asked him about his landmark photo-op achievement.

Although he has been in Toronto this week, Weinstein had to go back to New York City on Monday night to attend the premiere of his company’s romantic comedy I Don’t Know How She Does It, which stars Sarah Jessica Parker and opens nationwide Friday. Then it was right back to Canada and two more North American premieres: Madonna’s directorial outing W.E. and the Ralph Fiennes-directed Coriolanus – and he made ito to both post-parties at Soho House. On one floor he was dining with Madonna and her exclusive guest list, then he did a walk-through one floor down at the Coriolanus preem. Then it was back up to the third floor, where he huddled with Jennifer Garner and Olivia Wilde, the stars of yet another Weinstein Company movie, Butter, which premieres here on Tuesday (I saw it in Telluride). I am told they will open the film for a one-week Oscar-qualifying run October 28 and reopen it sometime in early 2012.

As for the Madonna film, which was critically lambasted in Venice, the spin I got from one of its international reps was that it’s really not all that bad. It’s just that it’s not all that good either. There are some nice visual touches, but the material about the romance between King Edward and Wallis Simpson (written by the Material Girl herself) just isn’t all that compelling. My overall impression is that she is to be commended for trying something different with this British period piece, but for someone normally so edgy, this film very much lacks edge. It is undoubtedly an older person’s movie and facing a daunting commercial climb.

Before the film started (a half hour late), Madonna told the hometown crowd, “As you know I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, so I almost feel Canadian. Even when I have been arrested here I had a heck of a time,” she said. At the earlier Monday morning press screening, a paltry crowd of less than 100 reportedly showed up for their first opportunity to see her directing and writing effort. By the time it was finished, less than half remained in the massive 555-seat Scotiabank Theatre. But following the evening screening at the Roy Thomson Hall, the crowd gave Madonna a brief standing ovation before heading for the exits. But it wasn’t the kind of enthusiastic standing applause heard at the Machine Gun Preacher screening just one night earlier. Read More »

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VENICE: Al Pacino Talks ‘Wilde Salome’

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Helen Mirren To Replace Bette Midler In HBO’s Phil Spector Biopic

By | Monday July 18, 2011 @ 3:09pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Less than a week after filming of the HBO Films movie Phil Spector was suspended after co-star Bette Midler had to pull out for medical reasons, the producers of the David Mamet-written and directed movie have found a … Read More »

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Barry Levinson, Al Pacino To Team On Philip Roth’s ‘The Humbling’ Before Gotti Mob Saga

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Before Al Pacino and director Barry Levinson re-team for Gotti: Three Generations, the duo will first reunite on an adaptation of the Philip Roth novel The Humbling, which has been set for a fall start and will be financed by Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films/Nu Image. It is just the latest in a period of extreme productivity for Levinson, some of it directly attributable to the acclaim he got for directing Pacino’s Emmy-winning turn as Jack Kevorkian in HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack.

The Humbling revolves around Simon Axler (Pacino), a famous stage actor in decline who is revived when he retires to his upstate New York farmhouse and takes up with a much younger woman. It has a script by Buck Henry, Michal Zebede and Levinson. Levinson will be looking to quickly cast the young female lead, the actor’s agent, and several other eccentric characters you would expect in a Roth novel. Levinson committed to this movie after completing production on the low-budget eco-horror film The Bay, which he shot on hand-held cameras and which Lionsgate will release. He just spent time at the Cannes Film Festival to help stir interest in the offshore rights of the Gotti movie; and he’s right now in China, heading the jury at the Shanghai Film Festival.

I caught up with Levinson at Cannes, where he was uneasy about the idea of having to hawk a film (Gotti) that he and his Bugsy co-writer James Toback are giving a page one rewrite. He was completely sparked to be shooting a variety of films, from horror to documentaries (he helmed for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series The Band That Wouldn’t Die). But industry players who passed by us in the Majestic Hotel seemed intrigued at his chance to create a major new Mafia movie, and one prominent figure even volunteered to join a preliminary cast that includes John Travolta (Gotti Sr.), Joe Pesci and Pacino, whom Levinson recruited. Read More »

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Al Pacino Brings ‘Wild Salome’ To Venice, Will Receive Glory To The Filmmaker Prize

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: If you’re an Al Pacino fan and are attending the Venice International Film Festival, circle Sunday, Sept. 4 on your calendar. On that day, Pacino will be awarded the Jaeger-Le … Read More »

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Hollywood Accountant Ken Starr Gets 7.5 Year Jail Stretch

Mike Fleming

Kenneth Starr, who last May was arrested for running a Ponzi scheme on celebs that included Uma Thurman, Jim Wiatt, Martin Scorsese and Al Pacino, drew a 7.5 year sentence, the New York Daily News reports. He pleaded … Read More »

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Sundance: Anchor Bay Acquires Dito Montiel’s ‘The Son Of No One’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Anchor Bay has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Dito Montiel-directed cop drama The Son Of No One, which was the 2011 Sundance Film Festival’s final premiere last Friday. I’m told the deal was in the $2 million minimum … Read More »

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SAG Awards TV: AFTRA Shows Pull Even With SAG; ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘Modern Family’, And Betty White Get First Wins

Nellie Andreeva

For the first time in a long time, both top TV series categories, best drama and comedy ensemble, featured first-time winners, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and ABC’s Modern Family. And for the first time, a winner in one the top categories, … Read More »

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Sundance: ‘Son Of No One’ Sales Agent Cries Foul Over Trade’s Hatchet Job

Mike Fleming

Cassian Elwes, who’s selling distribution rights to Dito Montiel’s The Son of No One, is crying foul over a barbed trade story about the film’s first Sundance screening. The piece reported that a multitude of buyers were in attendance, and … Read More »

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Golden Globes Winners List: ‘The Social Network,’ Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Annette Bening, David Fincher…

Ricky Gervais Assesses His Golden Globes Performance
Check out Nikki’s live-snarking from the event…
And here are the night’s big winners:

BEST PICTURE, DRAMA
The Social Network

BEST PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
The Kids Are All Right

ACTOR, DRAMA
Colin Firth –
Read More »

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Jim Wiatt Sues Over Ken Starr Ponzi Plot

By | Monday December 20, 2010 @ 12:39pm PST

I’ve just learned that Jim Wiatt, the former William Morris Agency CEO who’s now an AOL consultant, and his wife today filed a multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit seeking punitive and compensatory damages from the international law firm Winston & … Read More »

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Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon in ‘Arbitrage’

By | Tuesday November 2, 2010 @ 6:49pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Al Pacino, Eva Green and Susan Sarandon are attached to star in Arbitrage, a drama written and to be directed by Nicholas Jarecki in New York early next year. Pacino is aboard to play a hedge-fund magnate who struggles to complete the sale of his trading business to a big … Read More »

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And In Other Film Deals…

By | Friday October 8, 2010 @ 1:52pm PDT
Mike Fleming

HBO has Al Pacino moving from Jack Kevorkian to playing Phil Spector in a film directed by David Mamet. I can tell you that Cameron Crowe tried for years to make a studio feature film about Mr. Wall Of Sound with Tom Cruise playing the gun-toting volatile record producer. But eventually … Read More »

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