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Black Bear Pictures Promotes Pair

By | Monday February 11, 2013 @ 10:28am PST

Ben Stillman has been promoted to VP at Teddy Schwarzman’s NY-based production and financing company Black Bear Pictures. Stillman was hired as Creative Executive in 2011 after working international sales for Cinetic Media; his CE post will be filled by Amanda Greenblatt, who arrived from Chernin Entertainment five months ago. Stillman was a co-producer on Black Bear’s Broken City, starring Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, and the Sundance 2013 entry A.C.O.D.. He also served as associate producer on the company’s Zac Efron-Dennis Quaid starrer At Any Price, which Sony Classics opens April 26. Read More »

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Benedict Cumberbatch In Talks To Play Alan Turing In ‘The Imitation Game’

By | Friday February 1, 2013 @ 9:21am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Benedict Cumberbatch‘s next high-profile role looks like it will be playing English mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Graham Moore’s heralded screenplay that went from Warner Bros to Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures. Headhunters helmer Morten Tyldum recently signed on to direct, and I hear it will be Cumberbatch (he’s in deep conversations but hasn’t yet signed a deal) who plays the genius most responsible for cracking the German “Enigma Code” during World War II that helped the Allies stave off defeat, and who would later be prosecuted by Britain in the early 1950s for being a homosexual. Schwarzman is producing along with Ampersand Pictures’ Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky. Moore will be exec producer.

This is the 2011 Black List script that originally got set at Warner Bros with Leonardo DiCaprio expected to star. In what seems shocking today, the hero was forced to make a radical choice, and he chose chemical castration over prison. He was so demoralized that he eventually committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple. Black Bear is fully financing. With the helmer and Cumberbatch, I can’t imagine some distributor will jump on this Oscar-bait undertaking. Read More »

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‘Headhunters’ Helmer Morten Tyldum To Direct ‘The Imitation Game’

By | Tuesday December 4, 2012 @ 3:46pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Morten Tyldum, the Scandinavian director who made Headhunters, will helm The Imitation Game, Graham Moore’s heralded screenplay about Alan Turing, the English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist who singlehandedly helped crack the German “Enigma Code” during World War II that helped the Allies stave off defeat. Tyldul will take on the project for Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures, with Schwarzman producing along with Ampersand Pictures’ Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky. Moore will be exec producer.

Turing’s story, which topped the 2011 Black List, is hardly a happy hero tale. Not long after he made his contribution to toppling the Nazis in WWII, Britain criminally prosecuted him in the early 1950s for being a homosexual. He chose chemical castration over prison and was so demoralized that he eventually committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple (legend has it that Turing’s advancements for what became the computer so inspired Steve Jobs that he named the company Apple). Read More »

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Black Bear Pictures To Finance Mining Scandal Drama ‘Gold’

By | Wednesday October 17, 2012 @ 8:30am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Black Bear Pictures has stepped up to finance production of Gold, a script by Patrick Massett & John Zinman that is based on a true story about the 1993 Bre-X Mineral Corporation mining scandal in which vast amounts of gold were reportedly discovered in the Indonesian jungle. Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman will produce alongside Paul Haggis and Michael Nozik under their Hwy61 production banner. Massett and Zinman will also produce. Read More »

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Black Bear Pictures Wins Graham Moore Black List Script ‘Imitation Game’

By | Friday September 28, 2012 @ 1:45pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: When I was covering Toronto, the big talk was all about deals for completed films. But the one script buyers were talking up was The Imitation Game, Graham Moore’s heralded screenplay about Alan Turing, the English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist who single-handedly helped crack the German “Enigma Code” during World War II that helped the Allies stave off defeat. In a competitive situation, Teddy Schwarzman’s Black Bear Pictures has come aboard to finance production of the film, with Schwarzman producing with Ampersand Pictures’ Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky, with Moore exec producing.

Turing’s story, which topped the 2011 Black List, is hardly a happy hero tale. Not long after Turing made his contribution to toppling the Nazis in WWII, Britain criminally prosecuted him in the early 1950s for being homosexual. He chose chemical castration over prison and was so demoralized that he eventually committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple (legend has it that Turing’s advancements for what became the computer so inspired Steve Jobs that he named the company Apple).

The script originally sold in a seven-figure spec deal to Warner Bros, when it appeared that Leonardo DiCaprio was interested in starring. The studio put J Blakeson on the project, but the deal had a quick trigger and the rights reverted back to the screenwriter, who then got the job of adapting The Devil In The White City for Warner Bros. That’s being crafted for DiCaprio to play serial killer Dr. HH Holmes, with DiCaprio and Appian Way partner Jennifer Killoran and Double Feature partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. Read More »

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead Joins ‘A.C.O.D.’

By | Thursday March 1, 2012 @ 11:43am PST

EXCLUSIVE: Mary Elizabeth Winstead has been added to a cast with the previously announced Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins and Jane Lynch in the comedy directed by Stuart Zicherman and based on a script from Zicherman and Ben Karlin. Karlin and Tim Perell will produce. Winstead will play Lauren Stinger, a long-time girlfriend of Carter (Scott) and the rock in his increasingly chaotic life. Teddy Schwarzman is producing and fully financing A.C.O.D. via his company Black Bear Pictures.

Next up for Winstead is the starring role of Mary Todd Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter based on the bestselling novel. She also starred in Sundance’s Smashed along with Aaron Paul and Octavia Spencer. Her other credits include Live Free Or Die Hard, The Thing and Scott Pilgrim Vs.The World. She is represented by CAA and attorney Karl Austen.

Black Bear Pictures recently wrapped Broken City, starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones and the untitled Ramin Bahrani film with Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid. Black Bear will produce J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost starring Robert Redford and is in development with Jeremy Renner on King Of Heists based on the bestseller by J. North Conway.

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‘Glee’s Jane Lynch Joins Indie Film Comedy

By | Friday February 10, 2012 @ 4:20pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Glee star Jane Lynch has boarded Black Bear Pictures’ feature film A.C.O.D. She joins Richard Jenkins and Adam Scott in the Stuart Zicherman-directed comedy which Zicherman wrote with Ben Karlin. Karlin is the co-creator of The Colbert Report and long time exec producer of The Daily Show who most recently got a Golden Globes nomination for producing 50/50. Teddy Schwarzman is producing and fully financing the project through his Black Bear Pictures’ shingle. Karlin and Tim Perell will also produce. Read More »

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