Cupid’s annual arrow barrage will suit Hollywood just fine next year: Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday in 2014, and Universal today slotted its remake of Endless Love for that ultimate date night. The drama stars Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde in the roles played by Martin Hewitt and Brooke Shields in Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 film. The Shana Feste-helmed update will have a third wheel on its opening weekend in the form of another ’80s remake, Sony/Screen Gems’ About Last Night. Fox also will target couples-fueled cash will its sci-fi thriller The Maze Runner while the Weinstein Company deploys its franchise-hopeful Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters.
The fast pace of digital-age reporting means a lot of half-truths and half-baked conversations being reported as fact. First, I’ve gotta call bullshit on these recent reports (sorry, PMC-owned sister publication Hollywood Life) that Alex Pettyfer has been set to play Christian Grey in the eagerly awaited Universal Pictures adaptation of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades Of Grey. That book is selling faster than Harry Potter, another novel series about a guy with a magic wand. There hasn’t been a shred of discussion at the studio about Pettyfer playing Grey. The actor filmed the “deflowering” scene from the book for Gus Van Sant, who did that on spec in an attempt to get himself the helming job. A lot of major directors have been discreetly approached, but everyone is waiting on a script by Kelly Marcel. They would not set any cast without input from a filmmaker.
Also not happening is Thor and The Avengers antagonist Tom Hiddleston starring in Relativity Media’s reboot of The Crow. A simple conversation has been overhyped and reported like it was going to happen. The guy to keep an eye on here is True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard, who is getting numerous offers since his plans to star for David Yates in Tarzan died on the vine when Warner Bros halted the project over budget. No formal offer yet, but it sounds to …
Movie Castings: Seth Rogen Scores ‘The Interview’, ‘Endless Love’ Remake Gets Leads & ‘Winter Soldier’ Sees Agent Return
Columbia Pictures has snagged Seth Rogen for The Interview. The actor will not only star in the comedy but he will direct and produce it as well from a story he and Evan Goldberg came up with. Dan Sterling wrote teh screenplay. The Interview follows a talk show producer (Rogen) and his host as they get drawn into geopolitical intrigue with an attempt on the life of one of the leaders of rogue state North Korea. Rogen is repped by UTA and Principal Entertainment LA.
Magic Mike’s Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde will play the leads in Universal’s remake of 1981’s Endless Love. Starring Brooke Shields, the original film was based on the 1979 book by Scott Spencer. The new version will be directed by Shana Feste. Scott Stuber and Pamela Abdy of Bluegrass Films and Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage from Fake Empire are producing with Tracy Falco as executive produce. Soon to be seen in the White House saga The Butler, Pettyfer is repped by WME and attorney Steve Warren. Starring in the upcoming Carrie remake, Wilde is repped by ICM Partners and by Charles Collier in the U.K.
EXCLUSIVE: Alex Pettyfer will next be seen — actually a lot of him will be seen — on the big screen shortly in the male stripping movie Magic Mike releasing into theaters on June 29th. The actor has just lined up his next movie, joining Precious director Lee Daniels’ The Butler in the role of Thomas Westphall. Like Daniels, the pic already has a stellar cast of Oscar winners and nominees: Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey, Minka Kelly, Cuba Gooding Jr, Terrance Howard, and Lenny Kravitz. And talks are underway with Vanessa Redgrave to join the pic as well. Pettyfer’s Westphall appears early in the life of Whitaker’s character and has a pivotal influence on the rest of that character’s life. Filming starts mid-July in New Orleans with producer Hillary Schor. Pettyfer is repped by WME.
The last night at the 2012 Young Hollywood Awards Presented by Bing (and produced by Deadline’s parent company PMC). Held at the very decked-out Hollywood Athletic Club, the 14th annual show celebrated significant rising talent from movies, television, music, and beyond — and all very much on the up-escalator of their careers.
Twilight star Ashley Greene, 25, and Alex Pettyfer, 22, of the
upcoming Magic Mike took home the biggest prizes of the night –
Superstars of Tomorrow — and Nickelodeon mainstay Miranda Cosgrove,
19, won Crossover of the Year for her recent foray into music. (Greene
also hosted the event.)
That trio felt altogether veteran next to 12-year-old Kiernan Shipka,
who plays the scarily mature Sally Draper on Mad Men, and Modern
Family’s charmingly daffy Rico Rodriguez and Nolan Gould, both 13, who
won the Scene Stealers awards.
The Male Breakthrough of the Year went to Asa Butterfield, the
15-year-old star of Hugo, who, as tradition holds, got his award from
last year’s winner (and Oscar nominee for True Grit), Hailee
Steinfeld. Perhaps the line of the night came from Aubrey Plaza of
NBC’s Parks and Recreation, who, accepting her award for Female
Breakthrough of the Year, declared that she was “never going to die.”
We think she was serious.
As predicted here, Warner Bros completed its acquisition of domestic rights on the Steven Soderbergh-directed Magic Mike, which stars Alex Pettyfer and Channing Tatum in a Saturday Night Fever-type coming-of-age drama about a young exotic dancer who is schooled by a veteran of the trade. The studio just dated the film for release on June 29, 2012. Soderbergh and Tatum funded the film, and FilmNation is selling offshore territories at AFM. The script was written by Tatum’s Iron Horse Entertainment partner Reid Carolin, and they are producing with Nick Wechsler and Gregory Jacobs.
The film, based on the world Tatum observed when he was a male stripper, has a beefcake cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez and Kevin Nash. Warner Bros recently released Soderbergh’s Contagion, and is prepping his next film, The Man From UNCLE.
EXCLUSIVE: While several studios are in the mix on the Steven Soderbergh-directed Magic Mike, I’m told that Warner Bros has emerged as the frontrunner to acquire domestic distribution rights and that a deal could be done by next week. The film, which is wrapping this week, stars Alex Pettyfer and Channing Tatum in a Saturday Night Fever-type coming-of-age drama about a young exotic dancer who is schooled by a veteran of the trade. The picture’s budget was ponied up by Soderbergh and Tatum, with Glen Basner at FilmNation making offshore sales. Script was written by Reid Carolin. He’s Tatum’s production partner and they are producing the film with Nick Wechsler and Gregory Jacobs.
The film’s based on Tatum’s own experiences when he became an exotic dancer before breaking into acting. The film has drawn an ab-centric cast that includes Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello. Warner Bros seems a good fit for the material. The studio just distributed Soderbergh’s hit Contagion, and Warner Bros will make his next film, The Man From UNCLE, which is in the process of getting a new title character after George Clooney exited the project because he’s having some surgery.
EXCLUSIVE: Steven Soderbergh’s hunkfest Magic Mike is finally getting something that has so far been missing: actresses. Olivia Munn is negotiating to play the role of Amber, the love interest to Channing Tatum, who plays Magic Mike. She’ll join Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer and True Blood‘s Joe Mangianello. All of them play male strippers in the coming-of-age story that revolves around the relationship between a veteran dancer (Tatum) and his protege (Pettyfer). The film is based on experiences Tatum actually had when he was a teenage dancer. As for Munn, she next stars opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in I Don’t Know How She Does It for The Weinstein Company, as well as the Aaron Sorkin HBO pilot More As the Story Develops. Munn continues as a correspondent on The Daily Show and she just shot the indie Babymakers, co-starring with Paul Schneider. CAA and Mosaic rep Munn.
Matt Bomer, star of the USA series White Collar, has joined the ab-worthy cast of hunks who’ll play male strippers in Magic Mike, Steven Soderbergh’s next film. So far, Soderbergh has cast Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Matthew McConaughey. Magic Mike is a Saturday Night Fever-style coming of age story. Tatum plays the title character, who schools a young dancer (Pettyfer) in how to hustle on and off the stage. The inspiration was Channing’s own experiences as a stripper when he was 19. Nick Wechsler is producing with Tatum, Gregory Jacobs and Reid Carolin. Carolin wrote the script. Soderbergh has called the film “sexy, funny and shocking” using Saturday Night Fever as a model. Bomer will next be seen in the Andrew Niccol-directed In Time, playing the pivotal role of a wealthy man who gives the protagonist (Justin Timberlake) a shot at a longer life. Check out that trailer:
While I have been on record expressing the sentiment that there are many filmmakers who should retire before Steven Soderbergh, I just got off the phone with the filmmaker. And damn it, he still wants to punch out by the time he hits 50. “I’m still following my plan,” he told me. “I’ve been stupid about it, I should have kept my mouth shut, but at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything that unusual about it. By the time I finish with the series of projects I’m planning, it will be 26 or 27 films. That’s plenty and if you take volume over quality; I’m twice as good as Kubrick.”
Forecasting his exit also didn’t help in terms of preparing the industry to make a fuss over him. “I figured by giving them two years lead time, they would line up those lifetime achievement awards, but there have been no calls or anything,” Soderbergh joked. Asked what he would like, he said, tongue firmly in cheek, “The Oprah thing. A year-long daily celebration of my fabulousness would be nice. Or maybe just a smallish parade.”
Soderbergh and I were speaking about Relativity Media’s decision to release Haywire, which it financed but set distribution originally through Lionsgate. Though that picture was shot before Contagion – the thriller about the outbreak of a deadly virus that stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard and Jude Law – Haywire will be released Jan. 20, 2012, three months after Contagion. Soderbergh will talk the picture up while promoting Contagion, which he feels will help an action film that leans heavily on Gina Carano, known only to mixed martial arts fans who’ve seen her fight on the circuit. Soderbergh also liked the Relativity move because it reunites him with Relativity’s new marketing chief Terry Curtin, with whom Soderbergh worked at Universal on Erin Brockovich.
“I think it might be best for Haywire to follow Contagion, which is the kind of film people like to see me make,” Soderbergh said. “It’s in the vein of Traffic, an entertaining multi-layered story about something timely right now. Because Gina has never been in a movie before, being able to draft off Contagion will be very good. We knew she could do the right stuff, but she really delivers as a screen presence. She looks comfortable, and then she tears these guys in half.”
Soderbergh said he’ll start work in September on Magic Mike, the film that will star Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer as male strippers in a coming-of-age story reminiscent of Saturday Night Fever. He’ll follow by directing George Clooney in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in February. After that, Liberace with Michael Douglas and Damon will likely be Soderbergh’s swan song. While I reminded him that he’s walking away at a time when he has plenty to say and the wisdom to know how to solve problems that maturity brings, he disagreed.
EXCLUSIVE: This is going to gobsmack almost everyone in Hollywood. Not only did Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh just choose 21-year-old newcomer Alex Pettyfer for this juicy role in Magic Mike. But also, as Deadline has previously reported, the film has such an interesting storyline because the plot revolves around Channing Tatum’s real-life stripper sojourn. Now Pettyfer will play a young Tatum baring it all while Channing plays his older mentor. Pettyfer recently starred in I Am Number Four and Beastly, and will appear this fall opposite Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried for New Regency in a film that was called Now, and just changed its name today to In Time.
Soderbergh’s Magic Mike is the story of a friendship set in the world of male strippers. Tatum plays the title character, who schools a young dancer (Pettyfer) in how to hustle on and off the stage. It’s a wild summer of dancing, partying, and women. The inspiration was Channing’s own experiences as a stripper when he was 19. With Tatum, Nick Wechsler is producing with Gregory Jacobs and Reid Carolin who is writing the script. Soderbergh has called the film “sexy, funny and shocking” using Saturday Night Fever as a model.
While James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been busy pulling it together to host Sunday’s Oscarcast, Franco’s CAA reps and Disney have closed his deal to play the title role in Oz: The Great and Powerful. That puts the film on track to begin production in July, with Franco reuniting with his Spider-Man director Sam Raimi in the prequel to the L. Frank Baum novel that was scripted by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire. Joe Roth is producing.
There had been much discussion around town lately about Disney’s gyrations in trying to pare the budget of the film down to a mere $200 million, but they must have figured it out if they locked in Franco. For Franco, the multi-tasking marvel’s dance card for 2011 now looks like this: he’ll first star in the Noah Baumbach-directed While We’re Young, and then will shoot Oz. That brings him to the late fall/winter, when he’ll star in Sweet Bird of Youth, the David Cromer-directed revival of the Tennessee Williams play that will be produced by Scott Rudin. Kidman will play Alexandra Del Lago, the aging voracious movie star, while Franco will play her gigolo paramour Chance Wayne. While Franco has starred in eclectic indies and is even a recurring soap opera star, he has event film experience from the Spider-Man films with Raimi, and stars this fall in Fox’s Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes. Still, this is a …
The hot role for young actors right now is the lead in The Bourne Identity spinoff that will start production this fall with Tony Gilroy directing his script for Universal. Here are the names I’ve heard have met with Gilroy or are otherwise in the mix: Joel Edgerton, Josh Hartnett, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Paul Dano, Michael Pitt, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Luke Evans, Alex Pettyfer, Taylor Kitsch, Benjamin Walker. Gilroy will pare the list quickly. Several of the actors might have availability issues. Stay tuned.
Prez Weekend: ‘Unknown’ #1, ‘Gnomeo’ #2; ‘I Am Number Four’ #3, ‘Just Go With It’ #4, ‘Big Mommas’ #5; ‘Justin Bieber’ #6
SUNDAY PM/MONDAY AM, 7TH UPDATE: Sources are giving me these North American box office numbers for this Presidents Day long weekend, not helped by wet weather on the West Coast or snow in the Midwest and Plains. The order has been changing since Friday and should keep changing right through Monday evening:
1. Unknown (Dark Castle/Warner Bros) NEW [3,043 Theaters]
Friday $6.7M, Saturday $8.8M, Estimated Sunday $6.3M
Three-Day Weekend $21.7M, Estimated Four-Day Holiday $25.6M
Liam Neeson’s latest action thriller was for Dark Castle/Warner Bros. PG-13 Unknown grabbed No. 1 Friday by overperforming and hasn’t let go yet. Leonard Goldberg brought the book to Joel Silver’s Dark Castle, which for once wound up financing a decently made film to decent reviews. “This could be the Dark Castle film Silver needs to shore up the DC financing and continue to make films under his DC label,” a Warner Bros exec tells me. Studio execs tell me Unknown was positioned as an interesting mystery with a newly popular hero to root for, as shown by early test screenings that proved the film had great playability. Trailers were placed on varied films to reach both younger & older audiences, from Hereafter to Unstoppable, True Grit to The Fighter, and even The King’s Speech. But TV was key, launching in early January with high-profile sports events and a strong mix of cable and prime time, again reaching younger and …
DreamWorks just released a full trailer that lays out the mythology for I Am Number Four, the DJ Caruso-directed film starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, and Glee‘s Dianna Agron and skedded for February 18. It’s meant to be the first of a series based on the novels by Pittacus Lore.
DreamWorks has big plans for Alex Pettyfer. He’s the star of I Am Number Four, the adaptation of the James Frey novel that is envisioned as the start of a film franchise when it’s released February 18. The studio has locked Pettyfer into another vehicle. DreamWorks acquired Shunt: The Story of James Hunt, a book by Tom Rubython. Pettyfer will play James Hunt, the British racing driver who won the Formula One World Championships in 1976 and whose charm turned the whole country on to the sport. DreamWorks is out to high-end writers. Pettyfer will produce with John Palermo, who is also a producer on the Darren Aronofsky-directed Hugh Jackman-starrer Wolverine and is also producing Incareron, which just got Taylor Lautner attached as star.
While The New York Times today reports that DreamWorks intends to groom its I Am Number Four star Alex Pettyfer for stardom, Fox and New Regency have got him next. Pettyfer and Matt Bomer have been added to play starring roles in Now, the Andrew Niccol-directed film that stars Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. DreamWorks clearly hopes that Pettyfer will front a franchise in I Am Number Four, an alien story which will span multiple books. Pettyfer is also on a short list — along with Aaron Johnson and Max Irons and a couple others, I hear — for Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer. He also will stars in Beastly next year for CBS Films. As for Bomer, he’s got a high profile feature role, after almost coming out of nowhere to get a big feature shot several years ago, when Brett Ratner pushed hard for him to play Superman in a three-picture arc. That possibility went away when Ratner dropped from the project. Bomer has gone on to star in the USA Network series White Collar. Now takes place in a future where the aging gene has been turned off, and life as measured by units of time becomes the currency.
DreamWorks has released a teaser based on I Am Number Four, the DJ Caruso-directed adaptation of the novel co-written by James Frey that’s the first of a franchise. Alex Pettyfer plays the title character, an alien trying to assimilate as a human, but targeted for death by the baddies that destroyed his planet. Tim Olyphant’s also in the cast. Pic will be released February 18.