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In an eve of the market deal, Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur’s K5 International has acquired international rights to psychological thriller Mine starring and exec produced by Armie Hammer. Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro, the team behind award-winning short Afterville, are co-directing Mine from their own script. Hammer plays a soldier who finds himself stranded in the desert after a failed assassination mission. There, he has to survive the many dangers while also battling the psychological toll of his situation. Peter Safran is producing through the Safran Company, which is also financing. Joan Mao is co-producer. Production is set to start September in the Canary Islands. Hammer, who is next up in Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., is repped by WME which is handling Mine in the U.S. along with Safran.
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Lone Ranger stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer waited until they hit the UK press circuit to explain why the expensive Disney tent pole flopped big time at the summer box office. “This is the deal with American critics,” said Armie Hammer speaking to Yahoo UK/Ireland. “They’ve been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time. I think that’s probably when most of the critics wrote their initial reviews.” Hammer minced the fewest words of all the Lone Ranger gang throwing jabs at film critics he said “[jumped] on the bandwagon” and “[tried] to slit the jugular of our film.”
Depp toed the same company line, blaming an imaginary American film critics vendetta for why the Gore Verbinski-directed, Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Western reimagining failed over the 4th of July weekend and cost Disney an estimated $190M loss just a year after its $200M John Carter write-down. “I think the reviews were written when they heard Gore [Verbinski] and Jerry [Bruckheimer] and I were going to do The Lone Ranger,” said Depp. “To round it out as a big group, the American press, the journalists or whatever – yeah, I think the reviews were written 7, 8 months probably before we ever released the film.”
Related: Disney Expects To Write Down As Much As $190M For ‘Lone Ranger’ Read More »
On the Man From U.N.C.L.E. front, Deadline revealed that Guy Ritchie would direct the film, and that Tom Cruise and Armie Hammer will play the male leads. As is the case with these two hander espionage tent pole wannabees, the next step is to get the girl. I’ve confirmed reports the studio is in talks with Alicia Vikander, the Swedish beauty from A Royal Affair, to take that job.
EXCLUSIVE: Armie Hammer, who plays the title character opposite Johnny Depp in the Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger for Disney, is set to star with Tom Cruise in The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the remake of the classic TV series that Guy Ritchie will direct for Warner Bros. The original TV series ran from 1964-68, with Robert Vaughan and David McCallum playing Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, two agents of the United Network Command for Law Enforcement. With gadgets and their wits and charm, they fought the evil forces of Thrush.
Warner Bros has long been high on the project, especially when the studio had Steven Soderbergh ready to direct George Clooney in the lead. The actor dropped out because he needed surgery on his neck and back, and he wasn’t up for a physical role. After Soderbergh departed, the studio turned the project over to Ritchie and his producing partner Lionel Wigram. John Davis is also producing. Hammer would play a version of the role originated by McCallum, an NCIS regular who strangely doesn’t seemed to have aged since the ’60s. Hammer, who’s repped by WME and attorney Harris Hartman, is making his bid to be one of those up-and-comer leading men and getting on the ground floor of a franchise with Cruise … Read More »
It’s clear even from this Japanese-subtitled, English-language version that producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski have endeavored to deliver a rousing popcorn movie with Armie Hammer as the title character and Johnny Depp as his spirit warrior partner Tonto. Whether they succeeded or not, we’ll find out when The Lone Ranger opens July 3rd in the U.S.
Armie Hammer, Sir Ben Kingsley, John Malkovich, Michael Sheen and Teresa Palmer are set to star in the crime thriller Cut Bank. Scripted by Roberto Patino from a script that made the 2009 Black List, the pic will be directed by Matt Shakman (Mad Men, Six Feet Under), making his feature directing debut.
Set in Cut Bank, Montana, Patino’s script tells the story of Dwayne McLaren, a young auto mechanic and former high school football star who wants to get the hell out of this tiny town frozen in time. His attempt to do so sets in motion a series of events that will change his life, and the life of Cut Bank, forever.
Ed Zwick, Mickey Barold and Dan Cohen are producing. Untitled Entertainment’s Laura Rister is exec producing, and co-repping the domestic rights with WME Global Finance and Distribution Group.
Entertainment One (eOne) is representing the film for world sales, excluding North America, and will be launching the project in Cannes. According to Sally Caplan, Managing Director, “We at eOne Films International are proud and delighted to be representing Cut Bank. It’s rare to find a project that is such a compelling read with top notch cast and an exciting new director attached.”
Production is set to begin in the fall of 2012.
Jerry Bruckheimer tweeted this photo this morning of Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the masked man, along with the intro “Tonto and The Lone Ranger Ride Again!” Disney’s Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger began production February 13 after months of off-again on-again drama over the project’s budget; the studio had pulled the plug altogether in August before reviving it after Bruckheimer and Verbinski were able to get the budget down into the $215 million range. The movie is set for a May 31, 2013 release.
EXCLUSIVE: After he finishes playing the title role opposite Johnny Depp in Disney’s The Lone Ranger, Armie Hammer is planning to take a dark turn in By Virtue Fall. That is the gritty drama that will mark the directing debut of Up In The Air co-scribe Sheldon Turner. Hammer will play an ATF agent framed on a corruption beef and sent to a maximum security federal prison. He turns into a badass to survive, and when he emerges from that hellhole, he devotes himself to getting revenge on the person who destroyed his life: his former partner (Eric Bana). QED is funding the film and Jennifer Klein is producing with Turner. Hammer will be busy with The Lone Ranger until the summer, and the film will start later this year. Turner wrote the script.
By Virtue Falls gives Hammer the opportunity to play a different kind of character after the Winkelvoss twins in The Social Network, Clyde Tolson in J Edgar and Prince Charming in the upcoming Mirror Mirror. Hammer plans to bulk up and shave his head to play the ATF agent, who puts on the bulk to survive in prison. It will also remind Hollywood Hammer was once set to play Batman in the Justice League movie before Warner Bros halted that film to focus on separate Batman and Superman films. Hammer is repped by WME.
With its splashy world premiere as the opening-night film of AFI Fest on Thursday and a series of Q&As and receptions, Warner Bros’ campaign for J. Edgar — one of its big Oscar hopefuls — swung into high gear this week. In addition to the hoopla around the premiere, director Clint Eastwood did a DGA screening and discussion with Academy directing governor and fellow DGA and Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow on Tuesday night; stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts and Armie Hammer appeared for a Q&A in front of a packed-to-the-rafters SAG audience on Wednesday night (I moderated that one); and on Friday they all appeared for yet another screening, Q&A and reception at the LA County Art Museum. The latter was a prelude to Saturday night’s inaugural Art + Film gala, where Eastwood is being honored. Warners plans many more voter opps like these in the coming weeks.
First reviews of the film that opens next week are mixed to good depending on what you read and who you talk to (Rotten Tomatoes has it at 57% fresh, but only seven reviews are up so far). But it is done in classic and classy Eastwood style and, whatever the ultimate commercial and critical fate of the film, it is absolutely clear DiCaprio has a strong stake on a Best Actor Oscar nomination. As the complex and controversial FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, DiCaprio ages from his 20s to late 70s with seeming ease and has some heavy dramatic scenes — including one in which he dons his dead mother’s dress and another fight/kiss encounter with Hammer, who expertly plays his constant companion Clyde Tolson (and could be a Supporting Actor contender himself). Older Academy voters who remember Hoover should particularly respond to this well-crafted look at his complicated personal and professional life. Read More »
Relativity Media’s Snow White movie now has a title. Mirror Mirror, described as a comedy action adventure that stars Lily Collins, Armie Hammer, Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane and Sean Bean, will be released March 16, 2012. That puts it well ahead of Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman, which opens June 1 and looks more like The Lord of the Rings than a light fairy tale.
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: I’m hearing that Disney has set The Lone Ranger to start production February 6, 2012. That re-establishes one of the most intriguing examples of a star-driven film that was unplugged because of high budget and put back together in a way that gives the studio a chance to recoup its costs. Though The Lone Ranger has arguably the world’s most bankable movie star in Johnny Depp, it also is a Western, which (as evidenced by the lackluster performance of Cowboys & Aliens), doesn’t as a genre do strong business overseas. I expect this to be formalized by tomorrow.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, October 11, 4:38 PM: Well, it took a week longer than I thought it would, but Disney has finally reached a meeting of the minds on The Lone Ranger with director Gore Verbinski, Johnny Depp and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The studio is expected to formalize a new start date imminently and announce it is moving forward and putting Depp back in the saddle as Tonto, with Armie Hammer as the title character. It looked like the studio was going to announce last week when the picture brightened for the film, but it will be this week’s business instead. I don’t think Disney was able to salvage its December 21 release date because production won’t start in New Mexico until early next year.
The original plan was to begin shooting this fall. That was until, as Deadline revealed on August 12, the studio shockingly pulled the plug on a project it feared could come in at between $250 million-$275 million. The risk of such a figure on a Western became more glaring after Cowboys & Aliens had just turned in a severely disappointing domestic gross, to be followed by an even worse offshore performance, proving the adage that most Westerns don’t travel well. Cowboys & Aliens will be a costly money-loser, 50% shouldered by DreamWorks and the other half split between Universal and Relativity Media. On Lone Ranger, there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes drama as the three principal players made concessions in their deals, and worked on the script to salvage the spectacle that made the movie worth making in the first place while bringing the budget down to a more manageable figure in the $215 million range. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline told you a week ago that things were looking up for The Lone Ranger for the first time since we broke the shocking news on Aug. 12 that Disney had pulled the plug over budget. I’m hearing that the studio is likely to have everything resolved by next week, and can start rehiring crew so that the picture will be ready to begin production in January or February. How that late start impacts the Dec. 21, 2012 release date remains to be seen, but Johnny Depp will get to play Tonto (Disney wouldn’t make the movie without him), and Armie Hammer will be back in as the title character. Ruth Wilson, the scene-stealing killer from Idris Elba’s British cop series Luther, is also expected back as the female lead.
Disney has gotten to this point after a painful overhaul of the movie by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski to bring to $215 million a budget the studio feared could reach $250 or more. Verbinski’s struggle has been to reach that number while retaining enough of the spectacle that made them say yes in the first place. The cutting process has included the reworking of deals for Depp, Verbinski and Bruckheimer, and trimming the production budget and the long shoot. That would enable Depp, Gore and Bruckheimer to re-team after making the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films together. The Lone Ranger is one of several huge-budget films that Disney’s Rich Ross and Sean Bailey are managing. The others include John Carter, the Andrew Stanton-directed adaptation of John Carter of Mars with Friday Night Lights‘ Taylor Kitsch in the lead role, which has a budget around $250 million; and The Great and Powerful Oz, the Sam Raimi-directed James Franco-starrer, which is hovering around $200 million. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: For the first time since Deadline broke the shocking news that Disney had pulled the plug because of a huge budget on the Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, insiders tell me that things are starting to look up for the film and there is now optimism that the picture might actually get made. Back on August 12, Disney derailed a film that had a December 21, 2012, release date because the budget had gone to the stratosphere. Insiders feared the film could cost $275 million, though my sources at that time said the filmmakers had already taken $10 million out and got it to $232 million. No matter which of those numbers you embrace, that’s a lot of dough for a Western, and it’s probably not coincidence this standoff happened after the mega-budget Cowboys & Aliens tanked, and proved to be one of the summer’s biggest debacles.
Disney pulled the plug and initially demanded the film be brought down to $200 million; producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Verbinski have been trying for a number closer to $215 million. Deadline has reported Depp won’t make the movie without Verbinski, his director on the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films and Rango, so it is an all or nothing proposition because this film would never get made without the world’s most bankable male star. Verbinski’s … Read More »
Here is a first look at Lily Collins in the untitled Snow White film that Relativity Media has mounted for March 16, 2012 release, with Julia Roberts and Armie Hammer also starring for director Tarsem Singh. That puts Relativity Media in the lead against the rival Snow White and The Hunstman, which stars Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth.
EXCLUSIVE: Ruth Wilson is in negotiations to play the female lead in Disney’s Lone Ranger, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced film that stars Armie Hammer as the Masked Man and Johnny Depp as Tonto. Details of her role are sketchy, but it is the female lead whose name is Rebecca. The film has a Dec. 21, 2012 release date. Gore Verbinski is directing. Wilson, a UK actress, had been in the mix for the role along with Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life) and Abbie Cornish (Limitless). She has had a standout TV career across the pond, starring in the acclaimed 2006 Masterpiece Theatre miniseries Jane Eyre (she was nominated for a Golden Globe) and most recently on the BBC’s Luther opposite Idris Elba.
EXCLUSIVE: Disney and Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil are teaming up on two new projects: a feature version of the ’70s TV movie The Night Stalker, and a drama about the Midnight Ride made by Paul Revere to warn Colonial militia of the impending British invasion. Depp is the potential star of both films, and he and his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski will produce.
Like many, Dembrowski and Depp had fond memories of the ABC telepic and series The Night Stalker, and they got Disney’s Rich Ross and Sean Bailey sparked on a pitch for Depp to potentially play tabloid reporter Carl Kolchak. Originated by Darren McGavin, Kolchak was the dogged journalist first seen in the 1972 telepic (where he hunted a killer who was draining the blood of beautiful girls on the Las Vegas strip) and later in the ABC series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Kolchak’s investigations always seemed to lead him to the doorstep of vampires, zombies, werewolves and aliens. For its time, it was pretty scary stuff. The studio will go out to writers shortly. David Kennedy will be exec producer.
Dembrowski and Depp set up the Paul Revere film at Disney with Batman Forever scribes Lee and Janet Batchler writing the screenplay. The film will focus on the Boston silversmith and that 24-hour period in which he made the risky “midnight ride” from Charlestown to Lexington, becoming a seminal figure in the American Revolutionary War. Jon Brown and Infinitum Nihil’s Margaret French-Isaac will be executive producers.
It is a coup for Disney’s Ross and Bailey to be back in business with Depp, right after Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides cracked the $1 billion mark in worldwide gross. It’s the third time that the studio has reached the billion-dollar milestone on a film with Depp in the lead role, after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Alice In Wonderland. Depp next saddles up for the studio with Armie Hammer in the Gore Verbinski-directed The Lone Ranger. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Bracing for its race against Relativity Media on rival Snow White films, Universal Pictures has hired Hossein Amini to do a rewrite of Snow White and the Huntsman, the Rupert Sanders-directed film that stars Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth. Evan Spiliotopoulos wrote the most recent draft. Amini scripted Drive, the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed film that just debuted in Cannes, and he also rewrote the Keanu Reeves-starrer 47 Ronin, which director Carl Rinsch is directing for Universal.
Universal and Relativity have been playing a game of can you top this in terms of release dates. Universal moved up its Snow White film from late 2012 to a June 1 date, which put it a month ahead of Relativity’s Snow White film, the one that stars Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer, with Tarsem Singh directing. Then, Relativity Media trumped Universal by setting a March 16, 2012 release. It has created bad blood between the studio and Ryan Kavanaugh, but that is how it stands at the moment. Hossein is repped by WME.
BREAKING: Disney will release Lone Ranger on December 21, 2012, giving the studio a big holiday entry in a crowding field. The film, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Armie Hammer as the title character and Johnny Depp as Tonto, takes place in 1869. A Texas Ranger, left for dead, is saved by the Comanche Tonto, who gives his new partner the masked identity of Lone Ranger. Justin Haythe, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio wrote the script and Jerry Bruckheimer is producing. The film begins production later this year.
The holiday corridor of 2012 is getting more competitive. Warner Bros recently set a December 14, 2012 release date for the Peter Jackson-directed The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and on December 21, the Ang Lee-directed Life of Pi opens against Universal’s untitled Judd Apatow film as well as Relativity Media’s Hunter-Killer. Of course, date shifting is allowed.
Coming off the success of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, this is the second major film dated by Disney in the past two weeks. The Sam Raimi-directed Oz: The Great and Powerful was set for March 8, 2013 release.
BREAKING:Since neither Universal Pictures nor Relativity Media are blinking about going ahead with rival Snow White films, it seemed inevitable that Universal would not be content for its film to come out six months later. So the studio has just swapped release dates of Judd Apatow’s next untitled film (which was supposed to come out June 1), and has given that June 1, 2012 date to Snow White and the Huntsman. At present, Relativity Media’s film, The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, is dated for June 29, 2012 with shooting to begin in August. We’ll have to see whether Ryan Kavanaugh’s film division reconsiders. That Tarsem Singh-directed film stars Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer and Nathan Lane. The lesson of rival films about Truman Capote and In Cold Blood echoes loudly here. Capote came out first, won an Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman, and nobody cared when Infamous came out later. Being the second film on the same subject is perilous and when that prospect faced Baz Luhrmann and Dino De Laurentiis on their Alexander the Great movie because Oliver Stone beat them to the start gate, the project was scrapped.
Universal’s decision comes days after the studio finally set Thor star Chris Hemsworth as its Huntsman, which Deadline was the first to reveal would happen. He joins Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Sam Claflin in the Rupert Sanders-directed film. Apatow (who must be strutting after Bridesmaids defied expectations last … Read More »