UPDATED: The movie world has changed drastically, particularly in the last five or six years,” Billy Bob Thornton said when asked why he’d signed to star, along with Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman, in FX’s first limited series Fargo.
“When I was coming up, if you went to television from film it meant something was wrong…Now it’s the opposite,” Thornton told TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2014 for FX’s series inspired by Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 film of same name. The kind of “mid-level movies and higher-budget independent films” Thornton said he and his peers came up in the business making, “that doesn’t exist any more. The motion picture studios make big event movies, and broad comedies, and action movies — and movies where vampires are all models. Television has now taken that spot. For actors who want to do good dramatic work, with dark humor and drama, you have to do it on television. If you want to be a celebrity, then go to the dentist in Beverly Hills and punch somebody,” he quipped — a reference to a reported recent Kanye West encounter with a guy outside a Beverly Hills medical office.
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Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
While the weekend’s higher profile directors tanked at the indie box office with new pics, several smaller films opened in one theater and the tactic appears to have mostly worked in their favor. Oscilloscope bowed Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother Of George in one theater, handily scoring the weekend’s top PSA with $22,456. The film about a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn lured packed crowds. “[Mother Of George] played to sold out shows throughout the weekend and drew an extremely diverse crowd on the heels of unanimously positive reviews,” said an O-scope spokesperson Sunday about the film which picked up a Cinematography prize at Sundance in January. “We look forward to expanding over the coming weeks.”
Sundance Selects‘ Blue Caprice, which bowed at Sundance and New Directors/New Films earlier this year and stars Isaiah Washington, opened IFC Center in New York, taking the weekend’s second highest PSA with $15,200. The distributor plans a slow roll out for the film which recalls the shooting spree in and around Washington, D.C. in 2002. Sundance Selects said it will expand Blue Caprice to the top 15 markets throughout September.
Also doing solid business in one run was Submarine Deluxe‘s documentary GMO OMG, reporting a $15,121 weekend gross. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Production is getting underway today in London on an adaptation of the Martin Amis novel London Fields. Mathew Cullen makes his feature directing debut on the adaptation of the futuristic murder mystery that Amis adapted with Roberta Hanley. Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton, Jim Sturgess, and Theo James are starring. Heard plays the ultimate eternal sexual femme fatale, possessed of unusual beauty and hypnotic magnetism. Mysterious and clairvoyant, she sets a plan in motion to fulfill the prophecy of her own murder. Caught up in Nicola’s plan are a terminally ill writer (Thornton), a lowly street hustler (Sturgess) and an unhappily married banker (James), who become intertwined in a love triangle that unfolds in the grimy underbelly of London. Samson convinces Nicola to let him document her manipulations in a book she says will be his literary masterpiece but only she knows who the tale will end and who her killer will be.
The film is produced by Chris Hanley of Muse Productions, Jordan Gertner of Hero Entertainment, and Geyer Kosinski of Media Talent Group. A co-production with Demarest Films, the film will be ready for release next year and IM Global is handling worldwide sales.
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Anchor Bay acquired the Billy Bob Thornton-directed Jayne Mansfield’s Car during last year’s Toronto Film Festival, where it had its North American premiere. Thornton stars with Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Katherine LaNasa, Ray Stevenson, and Robert Patrick. Thornton co-wrote it with Tom Epperson. Here’s … Read More »
UPDATED: Billy Bob Thornton is set to star in FX’s first limited series Fargo, executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. A 10-episode limited series inspired by the Coens’ 1996 film, FX’s Fargo will … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Doug Ellin has signed to rewrite and possibly direct Bad Santa 2, the sequel to the 2003 R-rated classic black comedy that starred Billy Bob Thornton in the title role, along with the late Bernic Mac and John Ritter. Ellin rewrites a script by Johnny Rosenthal. The picture resides at Miramax, and Geyer Kosinski is producing it through his Media Talent Group banner. Some things need to fall into place for this one. Ellin, for one, has turned in his script for the movie version of the hit HBO series Entourage and is waiting to see when he will direct it. Ellin has started on Bad Santa 2, though.
Thornton wants to make the film in the fall after he completes London Fields, starring opposite Amber Heard. That Mathew Cullen-directed film is casting, with offers out to actors including Alexander Skarsgard. That film will begin production September 9, with Chris Hanley’s Muse producing with Media Talent, financed by Demarest Films. Bad Santa 2 will follow. Read More »
Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton and Jacki Weaver have signed on for Parkland, a film about the John F. Kennedy assassination. Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are producing in association with Exclusive Media, which will also … Read More »
BREAKING: Anchor Bay Films has acquired North American and UK rights to Jayne Mansfield’s Car, the Billy Bob Thornton-directed film which which makes its North American premiere on September 13th here at Toronto. Thornton stars with … Read More »
There are buyer screenings tonight in LA and New York for The Baytown Disco, an action movie whose trailer found its way out today. Billy Bob Thornton and Eva Longoria star in the story about three infamously ruthless Alabama brothers who find themselves on the wrong side of a wild … Read More »
The Berlin International Film Festival has added 10 world premieres to its competition lineup including Billy Bob Thornton’s drama Jayne Mansfield’s Car starring Kevin Bacon, John Hurt, Robert Duvall and Thornton. Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut In The Land Of Blood … Read More »
Billy Bob Thornton has set Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick and Ray Stevenson to star with Thornton in Jayne Mansfield’s Car, the first dramatic feature that Thornton has directed since 2001′s Daddy and Them. The film is being funded by AR Films, whose principal, Alexander Rodnyansky, will produce with Media Talent Group’s Geyer Kosinski. Production begins June 22 in Georgia.
Thornton, who co-wrote the script with frequent collaborator Tom Epperson, has been mobilizing the picture for a while and just locked his final cast. He has also set John Patrick Amedori to play a lead in the film. A comedy with dramatic overtone, it revolves around the culture clash of two families, from different continents, in 1969.
Rodnyansky is the founder of the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1 and former CEO of CTC Media when it became the biggest independent publicly traded media conglomerate in Russia with five channels in three countries. He has produced over 20 TV series and 30 films including Elena, which received the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes last month. “I’ve started to look for opportunities in America, and this is definitely not a single picture strategy,” he told me. “When I read that script, I fell in love with it. I was a fan of Sling Blade and Billy Bob’s other movies. No matter where you are making movies, it’s all about the script.” Read More »
Eva Longoria will star with Billy Bob Thornton in Baytown Disco, the Barry Battles-directed independent drama. Battles wrote the script with Griffin Hood and State Street Pictures is producing. The film is about three violent redneck brothers who are hired … Read More »
He’s still managed by Media Talent Group and legal rep Bob Myman.