LOS ANGELES, CA, January 17, 2013 – Bill Pohlad, Academy Award® nominated producer, is set to direct Love & Mercy with Paul Dano (Looper, Ruby Sparks, There Will Be Blood) starring as legendary musician Brian Wilson in his early years. Pohlad is also casting an actor to play Brian Wilson later in his life.
Academy Award® winning composer Atticus Ross (The Social Network) is in talks to work on the sound design of the film and the soundtrack, which will include the music of Brian Wilson.
EXCLUSIVE: After seeing so many of his novels turned into films, Nick Hornby is taking on the work of a peer. He has signed to write the script for Wild, the bestselling Cheryl Strayed memoir that Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea have set up with River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad. Witherspoon and Papandrea will produce with Pohlad, who’ll finance development.
In Wild, Strayed tells the inspiring story of a woman who tries to rebuild her shattered life by taking on a mission not seen in film since Forrest Gump ran across the country. Traumatized by the death of her mother and then the breakup of her marriage, Strayed made the impulsive decision to try regaining her mojo by taking on an 1100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. Despite no experience in long-distance hiking, she succeeded and in the process pulled herself back together. Wild is among several female-driven projects that Witherspoon and Papandrea have put in development since they formed Pacific Standard last March; others include the Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl, Mitch Larson’s Pennyroyal’s Boot Camp, and Pharm Girl. Just as important, Wild creates an opportunity for Witherspoon to play a strong heroine, the role she shines in most brightly. Read More »
River Road Entertainment has acquired the rights to Pulitzer Prize finalist Greg Grandin’s Fordlandia: The Rise And Fall Of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City. Screenwriter Ben Coccio, who most recently penned Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines starring Ryan … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Bill Pohlad’s River Road Entertainment has optioned screen rights to the Joanna Smith Rakoff novel My Salinger Year, and has set Emma Forrest to write the script. Smith Rakoff’s novel, which will be published by Knopf in the winter, is inspired by the author’s own experiences as a college grad who takes a clerical job at the agency that repped famed author J.D. Salinger. The novel deals with an unexpected relationship she developed with the iconic author as she stood as a barrier between him and his adoring public, guarding the reclusive author’s privacy and answering letters that Salinger demanded not to see.
Forrest has an affinity for adapting a book based on the author’s story. She adapted her memoir, Your Voice In My Head, a project that is a priority at Warner Bros with Harry Potter‘s Emma Watson attached, even though David Yates recently dropped out. That book was about her own experiences of losing the psychiatrist who helped her through all kind of personal turmoil when he died of lung cancer without ever telling his patients he was ill. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: River Road Entertainment optioned screen rights to The Age of Miracles, a first novel by Karen Thompson Walker that sold in a 7-figure deal to Random House and 24 international territories. Hanna scribe Seth Lochhead has been set to … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After opening Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life in the U.S., Fox Searchlight presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula have acquired the U.K. rights to the film from Bill Pohlad’s River Road Entertainment, which financed the film. They’ve dated … Read More »
What a difference a year makes. On the eve of 2010 Cannes, Bill Pohlad’s plan to build Apparition into a powerhouse specialty film distributor was dashed by Bob Berney’s stunning decision to take an out in his contract, just as … Read More »
Fox Searchlight has acquired the Terrence Malick-directed The Tree of Life from Bill Pohlad’s River Road Entertainment. Though the film might be an awards season magnet with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn starring, the distributor is flush with those kinds of films already, and will release in 2011. At the Toronto International Film Festival, Searchlight will fete 127 Hours, Black Swan, Conviction and Never Let Me Go. Read More »
In a pre-Toronto blow to the indie film community, Bill Pohlad’s Apparition has let go almost the entire staff that hadn’t been laid off in July. That means about 8 staffers have followed the original cut of about 15 staffers. … Read More »
UPDATE 12:13 PM: Apparition just made official its restructuring plans after Deadline broke the story.
EXCLUSIVE: Bill Pohlad has begun the first phase of restructuring Apparition, the indie distribution company that was thrown into disarray when co-founder Bob Berney exited in bombshell fashion just before the Cannes Film Festival. The first step is painful: 60%, or approximately 15 staffers were informed moments ago they are being let go and receiving severance packages. Last day for those staffers is this Friday. Read More »