BREAKING: Daniel Craig has come attached to star in courtroom drama The Whole Truth. The pic will be directed by Courtney Hunt (Frozen River). CAA and WME are packaging the project, with FilmNation emerging victorious …
Global Showbiz Briefs: BFI Details Yearlong Initiative To Bolster Relationship With China; Docu ‘Web Junkie’ Coming To UK TV Via BBC Storyville
British Film Institute Strengthening Industry’s Ties To China
In December, British Prime Minister David Cameron visited China on a mission to strengthen ties across many sectors, the film industry among them. During the trip, an agreement was made in principle to support the conclusion of a UK-China co-production treaty. The British Film Institute is now moving forward with further plans to increase its relationship with the world’s No. 2 box office market. The new initiative is going by the moniker Electric Shadows — the Chinese term for movies. The program will encompass a year of business, trade, and creative and cultural collaborations between the UK and China and is designed to grow mutual economic and cultural benefits for film from both countries. Part of the aim is to bring previously difficult-to-access Chinese cinema to UK audiences and, in turn, to make British cinema available to Chinese audiences. The moves fall in line with the BFI’s International Strategy, in which China is a key priority territory. In February, Personal Tailor and Back To 1942 director Feng Xiaogang will visit the UK to accompany a retrospective of his work, a gala screening of Back To 1942 and to be interviewed about his career at BFI Southbank. The BFI and the British Council also will work closely with the Beijing International Film Festival in April to lead a trade delegation and present British films at the event. From June through October, the BFI will stage an exploration of Chinese cinema in the UK, and in the fall, a selection of contemporary and classic British film will be shown in Beijing.
EXCLUSIVE: While my colleague Nancy Tartaglione has reported a somewhat soft market midway through Berlin, seeds are being planted for a lot of deals that might not bear fruit until Cannes. Domestic and foreign buyers have been watching a lot of sizzle reels. It’s a risky way to buy a movie, but sometimes it’s a lot better than having to sit through a whole picture in between all those meetings because these presentations usually range from five to eight minutes on in-progress films.
Some of these will get deals before the week is out, and on some it starts a dialogue that leads to an onslaught of deals at Cannes, when distributors really need to plug holes in release schedules. For sure, some of these films will likely factor in next year’s Oscar race. I’ve seen this kind of salesmanship lead to splashy sales on films that have included Looper, The Iron Lady and Drive. The titles most buzzed about that I’ve heard are Grace Of Monaco, and Diana on the prestige circuit, and on the genre circuit, there is the Eli Roth cannibal extravaganza The Green Inferno. Here are the ones I’ve heard about that are whetting the appetite of buyers in Germany right now.
Deadline has been out in front on most of the star packages being unveiled in Berlin, including the revelations that Johnny Depp will star in Black Mass, Colin Farrell is joining Anthony Hopkins in Solace, and that Jeremy Renner will star in Kill The Messenger. We …
EXCLUSIVE: Colin Farrell is closing a deal to star with Anthony Hopkins in Solace, the supernatural thriller that Afonso Poyart (Two Rabbits) will direct with production to begin in May. The film will be sold at Berlin by FilmNation’s Glen Basner, and domestic distribution rights are also up for grabs and are being repped by UTA.
The film’s scripted by Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin, James Vanderbilt and Peter Morgan. It has percolating long enough that the film’s first credited writer, Bailey, is currently president of production at Disney. The film originated at New Line but never came together quite right, and producers Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo, Tripp Vinson and Thomas Augsberger. Flynn finally got it back and got the financing through Claudia Bluemhuber’s Silver Reel. Matthias Emcke is exec producer with Bluemhuber, Gerd Schepers and Jacob Pechenik.
An FBI detective seeks the help of a retired and reclusive doctor, to try and solve a series of grisly murders. The doctor was a wiz at the murder game, but lost his mojo when his daughter died tragically. Desperate, the detective presses the doctor to come out of retirement for one more case. Farrell will play the serial killer, putting him mano a mano against Hopkins. That should be fun. They’ve yet to cast the detective.
The hot hot buzz titles at Sundance have been brokered, and while nobody involved in that festival seems to have yet caught up on sleep, the festival is fast fading in the rear view mirror. So what happens to the films that came in with big hopes but haven’t yet sold? Are they headed to the movie equivalent of the Island of Misfit Toys? Hardly, says Voltage chief Nicolas Chartier.
He came to Sundance with two films, and watched the Joe Gordon-Levitt-directed Don Jon’s Addiction quickly sell for close to a festival record $4 million with a $25 million P&A commitment for summer release by Relativity Media. His other Sundance pic, The Shia La Beouf-starrer The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman directed by Fredrik Bond, didn’t walk off the slopes with a deal.
Adopt Films is continuing its spending spree at the Berlin International Film Festival, landing U.S. rights to Christian Petzold’s drama Barbara just before the film won the runner-up Silver Bear at the festival’s awards ceremony yesterday. The latest deal, announced …
Magnolia Pictures had already picked up U.S. rights to the Kevin Macdonald documentary about the reggae legend. The pic made its world premiere last weekend at the Berlin festival, where it sold a slew of territories. Magnolia has set an April 20 release for North America, and it is timed …
Adopt Films has announced its acquisition of all U.S. rights to Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s “Caesar Must Die,” its second acquisition of a title competing for the Golden Bear at this year’s ongoing Berlin International Film Festival following Ursula Meier’s “Sister.”
“Caesar Must Die” is the latest and one of the most surprising entries to be co-directed by the Taviani Brothers. This revivifying effort is the latest chapter in a storied career that includes “Padre Padrone,” “The Night of the Shooting Stars,” “Good Morning, Babylon,” “Elective Infinities,” and “Kaos.”
“Caesar Must Die” was written by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani with the collaboration of Fabio Cavalli. It stars Cosimo Rega, Salvatore Striano, Giovanni Arcuri and Antonio Frasca. The deal was negotiated by Catia Rossi representing RAI Trade and Adopt’s Co-Managing Executive Tim Grady.
A fully scripted semi-documentary work, “Caesar Must Die” takes the audience behind the walls of Rome’s high-security Rebibbia prison for the rehearsal, staging, and performing of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, a production cast with actual prison inmates. Alternatively fierce and introspective, acted and experienced with abject reality, “Caesar Must Die” explores the transformative power of art even under the most dire and seemingly hopeless of circumstances.
Adopt Films has acquired U.S. rights to Sister (L´enfant d´en haut), the Ursula Meier-directed film that had its world premiere in the main competition of the Berlin International Film Festival. Adopt plans a late 2012 theatrical release. Sister stars Léa Seydoux and Kacey Mottet Klein. They play siblings struggling for survival amid the high-end ski resorts of the Swiss Alps, she working odd jobs, he excelling in not-so-petty acts of larceny, both of them walking a razor’s edge, their lives often as dangerously thrilling as those skiers from whom they steal. Seydoux played roles in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris and Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, and starred in the Berlin Competition opener Farewell, My Queen.
Toronto/Los Angeles/London/Amsterdam/Sydney – February 15, 2012 – Entertainment One (eOne) is pleased to announce that it has secured the rights to a broad selection of premium titles at this year’s annual European Film Market in Berlin. From comedies and dramas to zombie-flicks and thrillers, eOne scored films for each of its core markets and inked a number of key multi-territory deals.
Entertainment One secured multi-territory rights for, among others:
· 2 GUNS, starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, from Foresight, UK & Canada
· A MOST WANTED MAN, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, from FilmNation Entertainment, Canada & Benelux
· DEAD MINE, Writer/Director Steven Sheil, from Celluloid Nightmares, UK, Canada & Benelux
· LOVE PUNCH, starring Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan, from SND, UK, Canada & Australia
· MISS YOU ALREADY, Director Paul Andrew Williams and starring Jennifer Aniston, from The Salt Company, UK, Canada & Australia
· SIDE EFFECTS (‘BITTER PILL’), Director Steven Soderbergh and starring Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jude Law, from FilmNation, UK & Canada
· WE ARE WHAT WE ARE, Director Jim Mickle, from Memento Films, UK & Canada
Other acquisition highlights from across eOne territories include:
Deadline revealed exclusively Wednesday that Indomina acquired North American theatrical distribution rights to LUV. And that a significant TV component was part of the deal 7-figure deal brokered by ICM and Cinetic. BET is the TV piece. The film is now being screened for international buyers at EFM in …