EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has won a quiet but fevered bidding battle for worldwide distribution rights to the untitled next film by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film begins production June 13, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix so far set to star. Megan Ellison is financing. It is Anderson’s first trip behind the camera since There Will Be Blood.
Hoffman and Phoenix are locked. As for the actresses, I’m told that Anderson is eyeing such women as Madisen Beaty (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) for a role, with Amy Adams, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s Lena Endre and Laura Dern also mentioned as actresses Anderson is interested in. The auction was held at CAA headquarters late last week, with Fox Searchlight also squarely in the mix.
This is the project that Anderson has worked on for a long time, once under the title The Master. He has greatly overhauled the script and now, Hoffman stars as a man who returns after witnessing the horrors of WWII and tries to rediscover who he is in post-war America. He creates a belief system, something that catches on with other lost souls. The film is fully financed by Ellison’s Annapurna banner. At a time when the implosion of the indie film marketplace made pricey auteur films so hard to finance, Ellison has emerged as something of a godsend to the small group of auteurs she is working with. She’s enabled Anderson to make the movie at or near the $35 million budget the film was going to cost back when Universal stepped away. READ MORE »
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has emerged as the front-runner to finance and distribute Oblivion, the Joseph Kosinski-directed sci-fi project that has Tom Cruise in early talks to star. The studio has entered into exclusive negotiations for a deal that would carry progress to production language, with a goal to begin shooting in October. The deal hinges on Kosinski’s ability to bring in the film at around the $100 million mark. Cruise doesn’t have a deal at this point, but they are talking. Deadline told you last week that Universal was among three studios chasing the film. The film was scripted by William Monahan, with Karl Gajdusek currently rewriting.
Oblivion recently shook loose from Disney, where Kosinski made his feature directorial debut on Tron: Legacy. That film just hit the $400 million worldwide gross mark for Disney, and the studio has a Tron sequel and other projects with Kosinski. But the studio let the filmmaker shop it because the post-apocalyptic Oblivion premise didn’t fit the studio’s family film mandate. Attempts to bring it in as a PG film was creatively strangling the project. It will be made as PG-13.
The project is based on a Radical Publishing graphic novel that came from an idea by Kosinski, and was published by Barry Levine’s imprint while Kosinski was preoccupied with Tron. The graphic novel was always viewed as a blueprint for a feature film, and Disney acquired in a heated auction last summer. Universal was among the studios chasing it last summer, along with Paramount and Fox and Chernin Entertainment. Oblivion is a futuristic science fiction love story that takes place in an apocalyptic future where most of the population lives in clouds above an earth surface that has been rendered for the most part uninhabitable. An earthbound soldier — stuck there repairing drones that patrol and blast a savage alien life form — encounters a beautiful woman who crashed in a craft, and they have an experience that forces him to question his world view. There are really only a handful of characters in the last-man-on-earth storyline, and so the feeling is that Cruise is a strong match. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Alec Baldwin has committed to star in Woody Allen’s next film. And where will the quintessential New York actor and Gotham’s arguably most famous director be filming? Try Rome. Allen has chosen that city as the site of his … Read More »
New Line Cinema has set Diego Gonzalez Boneta to play the lead in Rock of Ages, the movie version of the Broadway musical.
He’ll play Drew Boley, a 22-year old who moves to Los Angeles with dreams of making it in … Read More »
The director revealed the news in an interview with a Los Angeles Times blog today from Paris, where he was publicizing Sucker Punch. Zach Snyder phoned the 36-year-old three-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams with the news today. “There was a big, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Adam Shankman is heavily courting Oscar-nominated The Fighter star Amy Adams to join Rock of Ages, playing the journalist who falls into a bedroom romp with Tom Cruise’s decadent rock star character, Stacee Jax. This … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has hired Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan to adapt and direct Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, based on the 1992 John Gray book that highlights the vast differences between men and women, and attempts … Read More »
Paramount and the AFI Festival pulled off a sneak awards season manuever Tuesday night with a previously unannounced screening of Oscar hopeful, The Fighter. Billed as a “secret screening” on the ticket but also labeled a “World Premiere” in a Tuesday morning … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: (Video below) In an idea worthy of Don Draper himself, Paramount is debuting a special “trailer-style” piece for their December 10 Oscar contender, The Fighter, that has been created specifically for tonight’s season finale of Mad Men. This promotional gambit was first tried by Paramount on last season’s Mad Men finale for … Read More »
Today the website Fearnet had an interview with film producer Wyck Godfrey about the Twilight Saga, and the subject of a long-in-the-works Janis Joplin biopic came up. Godfrey mentioned in passing that Amy Adams would play the 1960s singer. … Read More »