Despite the whole Grace Of Monaco controversy that has overwhelmed early coverage of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, The Weinstein Company showed off an impressive slate of their other films tonight. Harvey Weinstein hosted as usual and brought up stars Naomi Watts who co-stars with Bill Murray in the upcoming (and very funny, based on the footage shown) St. Vincent. And also Ryan Reynolds who is co-starring in Woman In Gold, a 2015 title.
Related: Harvey Weinstein Defends Actions On ‘Grace Of Monaco’
He also gave a solo spot to debuting director Ned Benson whose The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby premieres in Cannes on Saturday night as a single film. It will be released that way in September after being picked up as “a work in progress” by TWC at last September’s Toronto Film Festival where it was actually shown as two different movies, each from the point of view of one of the main characters played by Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. All three versions – Him, Her and Them – will be seen in Cannes during the festival, but it’s the new combined and streamlined Them that will get the most commercial play and, in my opinion, real Oscar consideration. In fact, it is one of TWC’s strongest Academy Award prospects and highlights remarkably fine performances across the boar, especially Chastain, McAvoy and William Hurt, and marks the emergence of a real talent in Benson.
Related: Weinstein To Unspool Footage From Host Of Fall Films On Friday
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The Weinstein Company has dated three more films on its 2014 slate, all in prime position for awards season. TWC has set a September 26 limited release for The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby, a November 21 limited release for The Imitation Game and a Christmas Day bow for Big Eyes. Ned Benson’s Eleanor Rigby stars Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy as a once happily married couple who suddenly find themselves as strangers trying to understand each other in the wake of a tragedy. It faces off against Focus Features’ animated pic The Boxtrolls, Sony/Columbia’s The Equalizer, A24′s romcom Laggies, Relativity’s Hector And The Search For Happiness and Five And Two Pictures’ A Matter Of Faith. The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. It’s pitted against Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Buena Vista’s McFarland. Directed and produced by Tim Burton, Big Eyes is based on the true story of Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), who was one of the most successful painters 1950s and early 1960s.
The Weinstein Company announced today that Terence Stamp has joined Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, Danny Huston, Krysten Ritter and Jason Schwartzman in Big Eyes. The actor will play John Canaday, the elitist and exasperated senior art critic for the New York Times in the Tim Burton-directed film based on the life of painter Margaret Keane and her husband Walter, played by Adams and Waltz. Walter took credit for his wife’s work while she remained in the background. Burton is producing the film with Lynette Howell for Electric City Entertainment, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Alexander and Karaszewski wrote the screenplay for the project, on which they also are producers. Currently seen in Unfinished Song, Stamp is repped by Untitled Entertainment.
The Weinstein Company has set Danny Huston to join Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, Krysten Ritter and Jason Schwartzman in Big Eyes, the Tim Burton-directed film based on the true story of painter Margaret Keane and her manipulative husband Walter, who took credit for her artwork. Huston will play the part of gossip journalist Dick Nolan. Burton is producing the film with Lynette Howell for Electric City Entertainment, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Alexander and Karaszewski wrote the screenplay for the project, which they are also producers on. ICM Partners, Julian Belfrage Associates and attorney David Fox rep Huston.
Related: Krysten Ritter Joins Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes’
EXCLUSIVE: Krysten Ritter has joined Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams in Big Eyes. The Tim Burton-directed film is about Margaret and Walter Keane, the married couple whose paintings of large-eyed children became one of the first mass-marketed art sensations of the 1950s and ’60s. Adams plays the San Francisco housewife who actually generated the paintings. Her husband (Waltz) was a charismatic marketing wiz who went on talk shows claiming he was also responsible for the brush strokes. The movie is about how Margaret came out of her shell to try and claim the credit she deserved, after they split up. Ritter, most recently seen as the title character in Don’t Trust The B____ In Apt. 23 and in Breaking Bad, will play DeeAnn, the free-spirited confidante to Margaret who tries to coax her friend to come out of her shy shell. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski wrote the script and The Weinstein Company is financing and distributing. Alexander, Karaszewski, Burton and Electric City Entertainment’s Lynette Howell are producing the film, which begins production this summer. Ritter is repped by WME, is co-managed by The Group Entertainment and Sanders Armstrong Caserta, and lawyered by Dave Feldman.
EXCLUSIVE: A few weeks ago, I reported that The Weinstein Co. would screen footage of its upcoming fall films at a special event in Cannes. Further ramping up the company’s use of the festival and market as a platform, I’ve learned it will also roll out a red carpet for a project that’s in pre-production: the Tim Burton-directed Big Eyes. Burton will come to town and be joined by star Christoph Waltz – a Cannes jury member this year – for a round-table brunch to discuss the film that starts shooting in two months. International interest is high and I hear multiple offers are pending. Waltz and Amy Adams star in the Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski scripted story of Margaret and Walter Keane, whose paintings of large eyed children were one of the first mass-marketed art sensations in the 50s and 60s. Walter became a full-fledged celebrity, but his shy wife was the actual artist. When they split, she tried to get her due and a long legal battle ensued until they were ordered to a courtroom paint-off.
Related: Tim Burton To Direct ‘Big Eyes’; The Weinstein Company Putting Finishing Brush Strokes On Deal For Painting Saga
EXCLUSIVE: Tim Burton will direct Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams in Big Eyes, the film that Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski scripted. At the same time, The Weinstein Company is closing a deal to fund and distribute. This is a major development on a project that has followed a long development track. Of all the development projects I’ve written about over the years, this is my favorite that has not yet gotten made. And the casting seems so promising. The film will be produced by Alexander and Karaszewski and Burton, with Electric City Entertainment’s Lynette Howell. This will be Burton’s next film, and production will begin this summer.
Waltz, who’s coming off another Oscar turn in Django Unchained, and Adams, nominated for The Master, will play Margaret and Walter Keane, whose paintings of large eyed children became one of the first mass marketed art sensations in the 50s and 60s. Those prints sold in gas stations and every five and dime store across the country. While Walter was the marketing genius, he also took the bows for doing the brush work. He was a full fledged celebrity, a regular on the TV talk show circuit. His shy wife was the actual artist in the family. When they split and she tried to get … Read More »