Global Showbiz Briefs: France, Australia, Korea, China

By | Friday September 9, 2011 @ 3:45am PDT

Canal Plus Eyes Vincent Bollore’s Channels In Free TV Push
Vivendi’s Canal Plus said today it is working to take a majority stake in channels owned by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, as part of a push into free TV. Its proposed deal would give Canal Plus 60% of Direct 8 and music-focused Direct Star in exchange for Vivendi shares. Canal Plus has an option to buy the remainder within the next three years, its head Bertrand Meheut told French daily Les Echos. The deal, subject to approval by the government and employee reps, values the Bollore assets at about $650M. Canal Plus wants to defend itself against new players in France such as Netflix, Google and Apple.

WB’s ‘Great Gatsby’ Adds Indian Icon Amitabh Bachchan
Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan is making his Hollywood debut in Warner Bros’ new adaptation of The Great Gatsby. He’ll play Meyer Wolfsheim, a Jewish man described as a gambler in F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. The $126M film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Baz Luhrmann, has begun shooting in Australia. Bachchan, 68, has acted in more than 180 Indian films over a 40-year period. He remains Indian’s most popular actor and recently returned as the celebrity host of the Indian version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. Read More »

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Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures Taps Focus Exec Matthew Plouffe For SVP Post

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures has hired Focus Features executive Matthew Plouffe to be its new SVP Production. Plouffe, who has spent the past six years in the New York headquarters of Focus, will move to Los Angeles and start the job Oct. 1. Plouffe is currently Focus’ Director of Production and has worked on such Focus films as the Sam Mendes-directed Away We Go, Shane Acker’s 9, the Ryan Fleck/Anna Boden-directed It’s Kind of A Funny Story and most recently on the Lone Scherfig-directed adaptation of One Day that stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. Plouffe wanted to move West, and the transition was done with the blessing of Focus Features chief James Schamus, who wrote and produced Maguire’s breakout film as an actor, The Ice Storm. “All of us at Focus have been blessed over the past six years to see Matt grow to become one of the smartest, hardest-working and kindest execs out there, and while we’re sad to see him go, he couldn’t have found a better opportunity than the one Tobey has offered. It’s great to see two of the smartest people in the business teaming up,” Schamus said. Read More »

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Leonardo DiCaprio Attached To ‘Gambler’ Remake At Paramount With Martin Scorsese

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In what shapes up as a reteam for the writer, director and star of the Oscar-winning The Departed, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to star in The Gambler, a Paramount remake of the 1974 drama. James Caan starred in writer … Read More »

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Joel Edgerton Gets Tom Buchanan Role In ‘The Great Gatsby’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Joel Edgerton has been set by director Baz Luhrmann to play Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. He will join Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Isla Fisher as Myrtle (Tom’s mistress), and Australian newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker. Edgerton, the Australian actor who was on the short list to star in The Bourne Legacy spinoff at Universal and other plum roles, takes a part that was going to Ben Affleck until his schedule didn’t work when he committed to direct and star in Argo for Warner Bros. Luhrmann’s update of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic will be made for Warner Bros, which will release it in 3D. Edgerton next stars with Tom Hardy in Warrior, the Gavin O’Connor-directed drama about brothers who square off in the mixed martial arts arena. Edgerton has an imposing physicality that makes him an intriguing choice for the role of Tom, played by Bruce Dern in the 1974 film.

Luhrmann, who took the above photo of Edgerton as Buchanan, confirmed he’d found his man: “In casting Tom one had to find an actor who could credibly be (as Fitzgerald describes him) ‘one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven,’ had five-star acting chops and in the big dramatic showdown scenes between Gatsby and Tom, hold the screen against Leonardo DiCaprio, in the appropriate age group. Read More »

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Newcomer Elizabeth Debicki To Play Jordan Baker In ‘The Great Gatsby’

By | Wednesday May 11, 2011 @ 2:46pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Baz Luhrmann has found his Jordan Baker for The Great Gatsby, his 3D adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famed novel for Warner Bros. She’s newcomer and fellow Aussie Elizabeth Debicki, who’s coming straight from the Victorian College of the … Read More »

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Ben Affleck Can’t Do ‘The Great Gatsby’

By | Tuesday April 19, 2011 @ 2:56pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Though director Baz Luhrmann wanted Ben Affleck to play Tom Buchanan in his 3D update of The Great Gatsby, the actor won’t be taking part in the movie adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic. Luhrmann offered Affleck the … Read More »

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Ben Affleck Circling Big ‘Great Gatsby’ Role

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ben Affleck is in talks to play the role of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, the Baz Luhrmann-directed 3D adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic at Warner Bros. Now, Affleck will have to work to fit … Read More »

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Warner Bros Nearing Deal To Acquire Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While James Bond has gotten the lion’s share of attention from studios this week, Jay Gatsby has also been making a stir around town. I’m told Warner Bros has emerged as the clear frontrunner to finance and take worldwide … Read More »

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Update: Relativity Confirms Julia Roberts In Snow White Pic

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Relativity confirmed they’ve signed Julia Roberts, and have set a June 29, 2012 release date. That puts The Brothers Grimm: Snow White six months ahead of the preliminary release plan for Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman. … Read More »

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Baz Luhrmann Tells Deadline: Carey Mulligan Is My Daisy Buchanan

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann has found his Daisy Buchanan. He has officially given the starring role in The Great Gatsby to Carey Mulligan, the Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and Never Let Me Go star who’ll play the manipulative heroine … Read More »

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Cameron Crowe Eyes Actresses For ‘Zoo’

Mike Fleming

Baz Luhrmann isn’t the only director meeting with top young … Read More »

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Baz Casting Wider Daisy Net For ‘Gatsby’

Mike Fleming

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Baz Luhrmann Workshops ‘The Great Gatsby’ In New York

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: While Baz Luhrmann hasn’t settled on whether he’ll make The Great Gatsby his next film, he workshopped the adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel that he wrote with … Read More »

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Would Leo DiCaprio Make A Good Gatsby? What’s Real And Not About Baz’s Next…

Mike Fleming

The blogosphere was jumping late last week with a very speculative report that Baz Luhrmann had set Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Amanda Seyfried to play the leads in The Great Gatsby, a new adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Now let me tell you what’s real and what’s not: The truth is Luhrmann doesn’t know if he’ll do Gatsby next. He’s set up an original musical at Media Rights Capital that is also a candidate for his next directing slot. But Luhrmann does love DiCaprio after directing him in Romeo & Juliet and nearly getting to the starting line with him in an Alexander The Great film that got derailed because Oliver Stone got into production first with Colin Farrell. (And we know how that fared.) I’m told Baz has had a conversation with DiCaprio for the role of Jay Gatsby, played by Robert Redford in the 1974 film. This has been an obvious development, even mentioned by Deadline’s Nikki Finke when she broke the exclusive in late 2008 that Luhrmann was working on a new Gatsby.

The latest is that Leo hasn’t said yes. In fact, no offer has been made. Yes, Tobey Maguire is at the top of Luhrmann’s mind to do Nick Carraway, the narrator played by Sam Waterston in the 1974 bomb. Despite the speculation about Seyfried, I’m told that role is wide open in Luhrmann’s mind. Mia Farrow played the Daisy role in the 1974 film, and I found her so annoying that I couldn’t for a moment imagine why Redford’s Gatsby would have pined for her all those years.

Who doesn’t reimagine Fitzgerald’s enigmatic classic, so here are some casting suggestions for both a young and old interpretation. If Baz casts young, I’d like to see Chris Pine or Michael Pitt as Gatsby if Leo turns it down. We agree that Tobey would be a great Nick. Daisy is the key, but in the book she’s a much more manipulative and calculating socialite than the aging ingenue that Farrow portrayed last time around. Nikki likes Carey Mulligan for Daisy, but I’d go with Natalie Portman. Zachary Quinto has the edge with us to play Daisy’s dangerously jealous husband Tom because he has the sexual edge that Bruce Dern was missing. And Emma Stone or Michelle Monaghan could handle the sexpot Myrtle Wilson which Karen Black played in too ditzy fashion. Both actresses could bring an earthy knowingness to enhance the role. And I suggest Rachel McAdams as Jordan. Read More »

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Baz Bringing ‘Strictly Ballroom’ To Stage

By | Thursday September 23, 2010 @ 4:41pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING NEWS: Baz Luhrmann is refashioning his feature directing debut Strictly Ballroom into a stage musical. The original film was written and directed by Luhrmann based on a stage play he originally conceived and cowrote as a student at Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art. It’s getting another go on the stage as Luhrmann will hold a creative workshop in December in Sydney, Australia. Sounds like this one will follow a fast track to the stage. Read More »

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Baz Luhrmann Named Honorary Chairman Of New York Musical Theatre Festival

By | Wednesday August 25, 2010 @ 5:47pm PDT

NEW YORK, NY. – The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) is proud to announce that Oscar and Tony nominee, writer/producer/director Baz Luhrmann has been named the honorary chairman of the 2010 festival beginning September 27th through October 17th.

In recognition of the upcoming Blu-ray release of Luhrmann’s culture-shifting films

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