Michiel Huisman has joined The Age Of Adaline and will play Blake Lively’s love interest in the romantic drama from Lionsgate, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment. Harrison Ford and Ellen Burstyn also are aboard the pic, which begins production next month. The movie, written by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz with revisions by Allison Burnett, follows the miraculous life of 29-year old Adaline, who stops aging after recovering from a near-fatal accident. Over the course of the 20th century she embarks on an epic but isolated worldwide journey, keeping her secret, until she meets a man who forever alters her life. Huisman, repped by ICM Partners and Authentic, appeared in World War Z and recently was upped to regular for Season 5 of HBO’s Game Of Thrones. He also has a role in Fox Searchlight’s Wild starring Reese Witherspoon and directed by Jean-Marc Vallee. Sidney Kimmel, Tom Rosenberg, and Gary Lucchesi are producing Adaline. Jim Tauber and Eric Reid are exec producing.
Blake Lively has signed with WME. The former Gossip Girl star starred in the Rebecca Miller-directed The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee, the Ben Affleck-directed The Town and the Oliver Stone-helmed Savages. She’s next booked to star with Ellen Burstyn and Harrison Ford in Age Of Adaline. Lively left CAA recently, and WME seems a good place to land. Her husband, Safe House star Ryan Reynolds, made the same move not long ago. Lively continues to be managed by Management 360′s Justin Grey Stone and attorney Jeff Bernstein.
EXCLUSIVE: The romantic drama The Age Of Adaline has been through a couple of incarnations, but it is now set to go into production in March as a co-production between Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment. The Town‘s Blake Lively is set to star with Ellen Burstyn, with Lee Toland Krieger directing. Lionsgate is set to release the film domestically.
Scripted by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz, with revisions by Allison Burnett, Age Of Adaline follows the miraculous life of the 29-year-old title character, who stops aging after recovering from a near-fatal accident. Over the 20th century she embarks on an epic but isolated worldwide journey, keeping her secret, until she meets a man who forever alters her life. Sidney Kimmel is producing with Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi. Jim Tauber and Eric Reid will be executive producers.
EXCLUSIVE: Looks like Management 360 has pulled off a Monday morning coup. I’m told that the company has brought in Justin Grey Stone as a talent manager. Stone had been at Untitled, and his client list includes Blake Lively, Big Bang Theory‘s Johnny Galecki, Michelle Rodriguez, Dakota Johnson, and a whole bunch of others. No comment from Management 360 but the expectation is that those clients will join him in the move. Stay tuned.
Open Road Making Deal For Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Side Effects’; Film To Star Blake Lively, Jude Law, Channing Tatum
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road is locking a distribution deal for Side Effects, the Scott Z. Burns script that Steven Soderbergh will direct as his next film. Blake Lively, Jude Law and Channing Tatum will star. The film is being financed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, with production to start in April on a thriller that has a budget in the $30 million range. This is a surprise outcome. Deadline revealed in early December that Summit was the frontrunner for a script (which had been called The Bitter Pill at the time). The script wasn’t distributed widely, at least initially. David Linde’s Lava Bear and Paramount were the other initial places (producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura’s deal is there), though a few equity financiers mulled the project as well. Soderbergh sparked to the film after Warner Bros halted The Man From U.N.C.L.E. after disagreements over budget and difficulty finding the lead after George Clooney dropped out because he was having surgery.
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off My Week With Marilyn, Eddie Redmayne has been set to play the role of Marius in Les Miserables, the Tom Hooper-directed musical for Universal Pictures that stars Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Inspector Javert and Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Universal has set the Working Title-produced musical for release in the center of next year’s Oscar race with a December 7, 2012 date. Cameron Mackintosh is producing with Working Title’s Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Debra Hayward. William Nicholson wrote the script and the music is by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil.
Redmayne, whose starring role opposite Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn has put him in the Oscar discussion, won a Tony Award for Red and he is preparing to star in Richard II, which is Michael Grandage’s farewell production as artistic director of Donmar Warehouse. That play opens December 1. Redmayne, who made a memorable debut in the Robert De Niro-directed The Good Shepherd, recently wrapped the Derick Martini-directed Hick alongside Chloe Moretz and Blake Lively, and the BBC two-part WWI miniseries Birdsong. Redmayne is repped by CAA, manager Gene Parseghian and United Agents in the UK.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired the Don Winslow bestselling novel Satori and will develop it as a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio to play a Westerner, raised in Japan and taught an assassin’s skills, who gets caught up in the chaos of post-WWII as the U.S., Soviet Union, France and China maneuver for power in Southeast Asia in the early 1950s. Shane Salerno will write the script with Winslow, and John Lesher’s Grisdi Productions and DiCaprio’s Appian Way partner Jennifer Killoran are producing. Salerno is executive producer.
DiCaprio will play Nicholai Hel, raised in Japan by a martial arts expert and genius at Go, the complex chess-like Japanese game. The master, a Japanese general, passes on all his secrets and the student repays him by murdering his mentor as an act of devotion; the military leader would have been disgraced and killed as a war criminal.
For that act, Hel is thrown in solitary confinement in a Tokyo prison and tortured for three years. He is finally sprung by the CIA after agreeing to assassinate the Soviet commissioner to China. Hel is trained for the task by a beautiful French woman he falls in love with. Though he now sees a happy ending to the dangerous assignment, Hel is betrayed by his backers and, using his Go skills for strategy, makes his way through Vietnam hunted by American, Chinese, Russian and French intelligence agencies as well as a Corsican mob and Vietnamese criminal syndicate. It’s a sophisticated thriller, and the studio sees potential for its own Jason Bourne-type action franchise.
BREAKING: NBCUniversal’s new owners at Comcast have given a vote of confidence to the studio’s feature film operation. They’ve exercised an option on Universal Pictures’ Chairman Adam Fogelson and extended his contract through 2014. I’m told that Fogelson is, in turn, in the process of exercising the option of Donna Langley and she will continue as the studio’s co-chairman. They will also keep their executive team intact. Fogelson will continue to have full day-to-day operating responsibility for the Motion Picture Group, reporting to Universal Studios President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Meyer (whose contract was recently re-upped through 2015) and will now also report to NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke.
While Universal has had its ups and downs, higher-ups are clearly convinced that Fogelson, Langley and their team are making progress. They’ve had recent hits –Bridesmaids, Hop! and Fast Five– but also had some recent misses that include The Dilemma, Change-Up and Cowboys & Aliens. In the latter case, the studio was on the hook for one-third of the film, and shared that third with Relativity Media. It has also been a year in which Fogelson and his team have made some painful decisions and let pricey productions go. That began with the Guillermo Del Toro-directed At the Mountains of Madness, which Universal developed for years and which was ready to go with Tom Cruise, until the studio made a late decision not to go forward because of the possibility the $150M film could carry an R-rating. Universal also dropped two projects that were in advanced stages of development: The Dark Tower, the Akiva Goldsman-directed adaptation of the Stephen King novel series that was to be made into three feature films and two limited-run TV series, with the first film and TV segment directed by Ron Howard and produced by Brian Grazer and Goldsman; and Oiuja, the Hasbro board game that had McG directing and Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners producing with Hasbro. The moves were surprising because Howard and Grazer are cornerstone filmmakers for Universal; and Del Toro and Hasbro have overall deals there. Ouija is one of several Hasbro properties the studio dropped, the others being the Gore Verbinski-directed Clue, the Ridley Scott-directed Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering. These were part of a groundbreaking deal the studio made with the toymaker several years ago, but the studio and Hasbro have re-focused their attention solely on Battleship, Stretch Armstrong, and Candy Land.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Jennifer Lawrence is in pole position for the role in The Silver Linings Playbook, the drama that David O Russell will direct with Mark Wahlberg starring. This was a coveted role that many young actresses wanted.
Among those actresses mentioned as being in the mix have been Rachel McAdams, Blake Lively, Anne Hathaway and Andrea Riseborough (Madonna’s W.E.). If things go the way I’m hearing, Lawrence would shoot the film after she completes the role of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, which Gary Ross is directing for Lionsgate. Production on Silver Linings will begin in the fall. Based on Matthew Quick’s novel, the film revolves around a former high school teacher who was institutionalized for depression and is then released into the care of his mother. He tries to win back his ex-wife but becomes involved with an eccentric neighbor with problems of her own. That is the coveted role.
EXCLUSIVE: Simon & Schuster has made a deal for Don Winslow to write a prequel novel to Savages, his bestseller that forms the basis of the film that Oliver Stone will begin shooting for Universal Pictures July 6, with Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Emile Hirsch, Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro starring. Simon & Schuster’s Jofie Ferrari-Adler acquired the book from CAA. The Story Factory made his publishing deal.
Savages, a book that got wide acclaim last year before its paperback publication (The New York Times named it one of the top 10 books of 2010), focuses on a couple of Laguna-based pot growers who are muscled by a Mexican drug cartel that kidnaps O, a young woman who’s their best friend and occasional bed partner. Faced with an impossibly high ransom, the growers begin hijacking the cartel’s own shipments to ransom back their friend. That book has something of a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid climax, so a sequel wasn’t in the cards. The idea of the prequel book came from Shane Salerno, who wrote the movie script with Winslow and Stone. The prequel fleshes out the relationship between the pot growers (played by Kitsch and Johnson) and O (played by Lively), and will add interaction with characters from Winslow’s other novels that include The Winter of Frankie Machine and The Power of the Dog. Winslow is already deep into the writing and …
EXCLUSIVE: Chris Nolan is lining up actresses he’ll meet for two female lead roles in The Dark Knight Rises, the third installment of the Batfranchise which Warner Bros has dated release on July 20, 2012. I’m told one of the roles is a love interest for Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne, and the other is a villain. The actresses are: Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway and Keira Knightley. Nolan is keeping the roles under wraps, just the way that he did when he drafted his Inception star Tom Hardy to come aboard to likely play a villain. Deadline broke that story October 13. I’m still not sure what the role is and I believe Hardy took the job without knowing or reading a script that’s still being tweaked.
EXCLUSIVE: Director Baz Luhrmann is expanding his search for Daisy Buchanan as he moves closer to committing to The Great Gatsby as his next film. Deadline revealed recently that Luhrmann did a workshop of the screenplay he wrote with Craig Pearce, with Leonardo DiCaprio reading Jay Gatsby, Tobey Maguire reading Nick Carraway, and The Town‘s Rebecca Hall reading Daisy Buchanan. Luhrmann wants those guys to star, but he’s casting a wider net on Daisy. I’m told that Hall is in the running, but that he’s got a bunch of actresses and wants to see how they read with DiCaprio. Luhrmann likes to work shop his scripts, and this should play out over the next two weeks, in New York. This might be hard for some of the actresses, who are shooting movies abroad. Among the names I’ve heard on Baz’s list: Keira Knightley, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams and Scarlett Johansson. Aside from those names, I’ve heard that Luhrmann is also sweet on Natalie Portman, the …
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
First up is Warner Bros’ GREEN LANTERN writer Geoff Johns, who says the week he spent on the movie set was the best week of his life. And we have some footage to see: The screen goes black, as a voice tells us we all have been selected, but before we can be recruited, we must be tested. Green swirling energy appears on the screen, as the voice tells us to focus our mind and “move the light with your will”. Then images: Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan holding the alien power ring. The purplish corpse of dying alien Abin Sur. Peter Sarsgaard’s head getting bigger and veinier. Blake Lively looking out the window. Voiceover of Reynolds uttering the familiar Green Lantern oath: “In brightest day, in blackest night…”