UPDATED: Annette Bening will play Goneril opposite John Lithgow’s addled monarch in the Public Theater’s upcoming Shakespeare In The Park production of King Lear, the Public announced this morning. The production will run July 22-August 17 at the Delacorte Theater, following Much Ado About Nothing, running June 3-July 6. Additional casting includes Jessica Collins as Cordelia, Jessica Hecht as Regan, Jay O. Sanders as Kent, Stephen Boyer as Fool, Chukwudi Iwuji as Edgar, and Eric Sheffer Stevens as Edmund. Daniel Sullivan directs.
Casting was also announced this morning for the fall 2014 Broadway premiere of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, the Olivier Award-winning Best New Play from the UK’s National Theatre. The Simon Stephens drama, adapted from Mark Haddon’s 2003 bestseller and staged by Marianne Elliott (with movement by Steven Hoggett), will star tyro actor Alexander Sharp, a soon-to-be Juilliard grad, in his Broadway debut. He plays brainy but odd 15-year old Christopher, suspected of killing his neighbor’s dog. His search for the real killer has consequences for lots of people (and, presumably, dogs). The show is slated to begin performances at the Barrymore Theatre on September 10, with an official opening October 5. Producers announced that 50-plus tickets at each performance will sell for $27. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Search, Michel Hazanavicius‘s follow to the Oscar-winning The Artist, is near a deal to broker Canadian rights to Remstar for around $500,000. The film is being sold by CAA and Wild Bunch for offshore sales, and the film is expected to be one that bidders jump on for U.S. rights, possibly before its Cannes premiere on Wednesday. Worldview Entertainment bought the North American rights at AFM last year, and I’ve heard that both The Weinstein Company and Fox Searchlight have been all over it to try and see the film before Wednesday. TWC would seem to have an inside track; it released The Artist and helped guide the silent black and white film to an unlikely Best Picture Oscar. And also, it made a long term alignment with Worldview just recently. The film stars Berenice Bejo and Annette Bening. It’s much different from The Artist. The Chechnya-set adaptation of 1948 Oscar winner The Search follows an NGO worker who bonds with a small boy who’s been separated from his mother in the war-torn nation. It is certainly beginning to look like good money is going to be spent before many buyers leave here.
EXCLUSIVE: It took two decades, but it’s finally getting off the ground thanks to billionaires Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer’s and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. The heavies have come together to finance Warren Beatty’s long-gestating Howard Hughes-based project. The roughly $26.7M production, which Beatty will direct and star in as Hughes, will revolve around Hughes’ assistant (Alden Ehrenreich, Beautiful Creatures) and his love interest (Lily Collins, Mirror, Mirror). New Regency, Beatty and Ratner are producing, with Packer executive producing. Regency will handle foreign through Fox. They’ve already shot a small amount of film on the picture, but it starts rolling in earnest today. Beatty’s wife Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick and other surprises are expected (a la Jack Nicholson, maybe? One can only hope). The focus of the film is the love story of the two younger characters. Read More »
The Artist helmer Michel Hazanavicius just inked actresses Bérénice Bejo and Annette Bening for his next film, a Chechnya-set adaptation of 1948 Oscar-winner The Search. Now Worldview Entertainment has snagged North American rights to the pic, which follows an NGO worker who bonds with a small boy who’s been separated from his mother in the war-torn nation. Filming is underway now overseas in Georgia and will next head to France. Hazanavicius penned the script updating the original tale’s setting from post-WWII Berlin to Eastern Europe. He reunites on the film with his Artist producer Thomas Langmann and leading lady Bejo. Worldview’s Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Maria Cestone and Sarah E. Johnson will executive produce. CAA brokered the deal on behalf of Worldview. Wild Bunch is repping international sales at AFM.
Related: Bérénice Bejo & Annette Bening To Star In ‘The Search’
EXCLUSIVE: In what promises to be a moving, adult romance (remember those?) Annette Bening stars as a widow who learns to love again with an art teacher played by Ed Harris who is a near-double for the husband she lost. What happens leads to surprising consequences and unexpected turns. Bening and Harris are said to both turn in terrific performances and IFC is hoping buzz will build out of Canada as they finalize release plans for The Face Of Love, a Toronto International Film Festival World Premiere. Here’s your first look at the film which debuts here on Tuesday.
Watch this video on YouTube.
One the splashiest pickups at Toronto last year was the forgettably titled Imogene. The Kristen Wiig-Annette Bening comedy now known as Girl Most Likely is hitting theaters July 19 via Roadside and Lionsgate. The American Splendor duo of Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini directed the pic about a once-rising playwright (Wiig) whose life goes off the rails. She’s forced to move back in with her estranged — and strange — gambling-addict mom (Bening). Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Darren Criss also star in the film scripted by Michelle Morgan. Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, Alix Madigan-Yorkin and Mark Amin produced it.
The financing is in place and Anthony Hopkins and Annette Bening are on board for Andy Garcia in Hemingway & Fuentes. Hopkins will play the Nobel Prize-winning author. Bening will portray Hemingway’s third wife, Mary Walsh Hemingway. Garcia will direct the film and play Gregorio Fuentes, the longtime first mate on Hemingway’s boat. The novelist’s niece Hilary Hemingway and Garcia wrote the screenplay. Shooting is scheduled to start in January 2013. Garcia’s CineSon production company and Edward Walson’s Sunrider Productions will produce. Sundrider provided the financing. The Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group, who arranged financing, will handle the film’s domestic distribution. Cargo Entertainment will handle foreign sales at the Cannes Film Festival.
Hemingway & Fuentes details the writer’s time in Cuba in the early 1950s and his inspiration for The Old Man And The Sea. The 1952 book was the last new work published by the writer before his death in 1961. It was a best seller, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and was mentioned by the Nobel Committee in 1954 as one reason Hemingway was given the prize. Fuentes, who died in 2002 at 104 years old, was one of the novelist’s closest friends during the last decades of his life.
Hopkins, who will soon be … Read More »
Amy Brenneman and Jess Weixler have joined Annette Bening, Ed Harris and Robin Williams in the Arie Posin-directed romantic drama Look Of Love. Posin wrote the script with Matthew McDuffie. Mockingbird Pictures’ Julie Lynn and Bonnie Curtis are producers. The film begins shooting April 9 in Los Angeles.
Curtis and Lynn found most of the funding in Dallas. That is where they sourced funds for the Glenn Close-starrer Albert Nobbs, which got three Oscar nominations. In Look Of Love, a widow (Bening) meets a man (Harris) who is a dead ringer for her deceased husband. A flood of old feelings return as she realizes she’s met the love of her life, again. Weixler will play Bening’s daughter in the picture. CAA and WME are co-repping North American distribution and Exclusive Media will sell foreign at Cannes.
EXCLUSIVE: After a long search, Warren Beatty has chosen Like Crazy star Felicity Jones to play the female lead in the untitled film about reclusive industrialist Howard Hughes. The film is still mobilizing its financing, with New Regency in place as a co-financier after Paramount dropped out. Still, Beatty has begun casting, and he met with many young actresses before deciding on Jones. Her breakthrough came in the Drake Doremus-directed Like Crazy, which has been slowly rolling out in release through Paramount Vantage. The film was acquired by Paramount and Indian Paintbrush when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to high acclaim last January.
Jones will play a young woman who develops a relationship with Hughes’s young driver and confidante, before she falls in love with Hughes. Beatty, who’ll direct and who wrote the script, will play Hughes. He’s narrowing choices for the young male lead, and I’ve heard names ranging from Justin Timberlake to Alden Ehrenreich. Also in the mix for roles are Annette Bening, and potentially Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin and Owen Wilson. The film, which Beatty has been working on for years, is expected to start production sometime next year. CAA-repped Jones recently completed another movie directed by Like Crazy‘s Doremus. It shot last summer, and is currently untitled.
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has made a deal to develop the Oscar-nominated comedy The Kids Are All Right as an hour-long series. Lisa Cholodenko, who co-wrote and directed the Focus Features release, will write the pilot script. I’m told that it will continue the adventures of the five main characters. They were the same-sex partners (played in the film by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore), their son and daughter (played by Josh Hutcherson and Mia Wasikowska) and the biological father of the kids/sperm donor who surfaces and tears the family apart (played by Mark Ruffalo in the film). Deals are still being worked out, but Cholodenko will be exec producer alongside the film’s original producers, Antidote Films’ Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Gilbert Films’ Gary Gilbert and Maven Pictures’ Celine Rattray. Cholodenko is repped by Cinetic.
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Dillon has been set to co-star in Imogene, joining Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening in the indie comedy that started shooting this week in New York. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are directing, and Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s Maven Pictures is producing with Anonymous Cntent’s Alix Madigan and Steve Golin. Dillon plays the eccentric love interest of Bening’s character. He claims to be in the CIA, but his behavior suggests he just might be crazy. In the Michelle Morgan-scripted comedy, Wiig plays a playwright who stages a fake suicide attempt in reaction to the triple-whammy of losing her job, getting evicted and getting dumped by her boyfriend. She hopes to gain sympathy from her ex, but instead is consigned to return to the home of her gambling addict mother (Bening). Dillon last starred in Takers and guested on Modern Family. He’d been expected to star with Brendan Fraser and William H. Macy in the Charlie Matthau-directed Elmore Leonard novel adaptation Freaky Deaky, but when Fraser dropped out of that due to personal reasons, the other actors followed, and that film will now star Christian Slater, Billy Burke, and Crispin Glover. Dillon is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Annette Bening has signed on to star with Kristen Wiig in Imogene for American Splendor helmers Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Shooting starts in late summer. Wiig plays a moderately successful Gotham playwright who stages a fake suicide attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend, only to end up forced into the custody of her gambling-addict mother. Bening will play mom. The script’s by Michelle Morgan, and pic’s being produced by Maven Pictures’ Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler and Anonymous Content’s Alix Madigan, with Steve Golin, Wiig and Morgan the exec producers. UTA is repping North American rights on the film.
Bening, who was Oscar-nominated for The Kids Are All Right, is currently starring with Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan in Fox Searchlight’s He Loves Me, which is being directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. I’ve heard it’s likely that Bening will be part of the Howard Hughes film that Warren Beatty will star in and direct for Paramount Pictures. She’s repped by CAA.
Deadline told you Monday that Warren Beatty was getting behind the camera for the first time since Bulworth. Paramount and Beatty are keeping details under wraps, but here’s what I’ve heard: He will play Howard Hughes, but it’s not really a biopic; part of the plot involves an affair he had with a young woman in the later years of his life. I’ve heard that he’s going top shelf for the ensemble cast he is putting together. Here is who he’s meeting with: Andrew Garfield, Alec Baldwin, Annette Bening, Shia La Beouf, Jack Nicholson, Evan Rachel Wood and Rooney Mara. Beatty has wanted to play Hughes forever. The courtship of Baldwin is particularly intriguing, since in Martin Scorsese’s superb Howard Hughes movie The Aviator, Baldwin played Hughes’ main adversary, Pan Am World Airways founder Juan Trippe. We’ll see which actors end up making the movie, but it certainly sounds like this project that Beatty wrote and has ruminated on for years is going to happen in a most ambitious way.
THURSDAY 11:59 PM BREAKING NEWS… 2ND UPDATE WITH MORE EXCLUSIVE DETAILS… FRIDAY 2 AM WRITETHRU: This is a huge surprise: not just that Film Independent czarina Dawn Hudson was chosen as the new CEO by the uber-establishment Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Board Of Governors. But also that AMPAS insider Ric Robertson, who thought he was a shoo-in for the job to replace retiring executive director Bruce Davis, was passed over and now has to report to someone else again. I’d been hearing for weeks ever since the most recent and wretched Oscars that certain board members wanted an outsider to tranfuse anemic AMPAS with fresh blood in the form of an experienced film executive with new ideas. That’s certainly Hudson “who not only brings tremendous credibility but turned the Spirit Awards from basically nothing to the terrific event it is today,” one insider just told me. “AMPAS almost always promoted from within. But the Board was just so impressed with Dawn.”
So here’s what happened, according to my insiders: Tonight the Board Of Governors had “the” meeting to vote on a new top executive to run the Academy. The Board last Thursday also met in secret and that was supposed to be the deciding confab. But it wasn’t. The reason is that there were two factions on the Board — one wanting to keep the status quo, the other wanting a clean sweep.
“There was some feeling to keep Bruce Davis’s deputy Ric Robertson who assumed the job was his. But that would have been a continuation of the old line, etc. And the Academy Board realized they couldn’t do business as usual anymore,” another insider gives me the scoop. “Tom Sherak, Annette Bening, Jim Brooks, Sid Ganis liked Dawn Hudson a lot. She talked about the creative side of movies, her involvement with filmmakers, the academy’s need to shape an updated identity. And that disasterous [Oscar] show helped her because they realized fresh blood was needed.” Read More »