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Universal Buys Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt Pic Deadline Broke In May

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 2:10pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Universal Buys Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt Pic Deadline Broke In MayEvery studio was after it, but Universal Pictures acquired worldwide rights to the script Angelina Jolie is writing to possibly make her next movie, one she’ll star in with Brad Pitt. Deadline broke news of the project in May. It now has a title, By The Sea, and the studio says Jolie will direct. I’d heard that when I broke the story, but they weren’t admitting it at the time. Jolie and Pitt will produce.

Jolie and Donna Langley have developed a strong relationship after Langley tapped Jolie to direct Unbroken, the adaptation of the Laura Hillenbrand book about the late Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini. That film bows on Christmas Day. Jolie has been fully focused on making that date, so don’t expect this next film to happen all that quickly. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: David Ayer’s ‘Fury’

By | Wednesday June 25, 2014 @ 9:40am PDT

Hot Trailer: David Ayer’s ‘Fury’Here’s the first full trailer for Fury, the WWII actioner about a battle-hardened sergeant nicknamed Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) leading a five man tank against the odds into Nazi Germany. Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, and John Bernthal co-star. Sony releases the David Ayer picture November 14:

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DeadlineNow: E3 Confab Halftime Report (Video)

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 3:51pm PDT
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What's Big At E3

After last year's splashy console reveals, this year's games industry convention now underway in LA is focusing on software and Hollywood convergence, like new footage from Brad Pitt's tank pic 'Fury'. Deadline's David Bloom and Dominic Patten report.

Related: David Ayer’s WWII Actioner ‘Fury’ Rolls Out At E3

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Hot Featurette: David Ayer’s WWII Actioner ‘Fury’ Rolls Out At E3

By | Tuesday June 10, 2014 @ 8:49pm PDT

fury-brad-pittToday at E3 Sony unveiled a behind-the-scenes first look at David Ayer‘s WWII actioner Fury, the ensemble war film that Bill Block’s QED International paid a cool $1M for in last year’s pricey spec sale. Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, Logan Lerman, and Jon Bernthal star in the story of the five-man crew of an American tank battling Germans, and the odds, behind enemy lines. Block is producing for QED with John Lesher and his Le Grisbi Productions banner alongside Ethan Smith. Fury will hit theaters November 14:

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Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt Teaming On New Project She Wrote

By | Friday May 2, 2014 @ 3:50pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Brad PittjolieEXCLUSIVE: Here is a film that instantly becomes the one every studio will want on their slate. Angelina Jolie is in early talks to star with Brad Pitt in an original script that she has written. It’s in the early talking stages and nothing is solidified, but I hear it’s happening. I don’t know a lot more at this point.

Related: Sundance: Angelina Jolie Joins Ethiopian Pic ‘Difret’ As Executive Producer

The film hasn’t locked distribution, but it will team Jolie and Pitt together for the first time since 2005′s Mr. And Mrs. Smith. That film displayed an intense chemistry onscreen, and this was before they became a couple offscreen. Jolie is working on post-production on Unbroken, the adaptation she directed of the Laura Hillenbrand book. Universal has set a December 25 release for the harrowing survival tale of Olympic track prodigy-turned-WWII POW Lou Zamperini. It’s expected to be right in the Oscar mix. Unbroken was a hotly contested directing project, and Jolie won the job with a presentation that wowed the studio, where Donna Langley also was very impressed with her directorial debut, In The Land Of Blood And Honey. She next stars in Disney’s Maleficent, which opens May 30 with Jolie playing the title character in the revisionist version of the fairy tale.

Related:Read More »

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New Regency & Plan B Go Genre By Acquiring ‘3 Videotapes’

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 10:46am PDT
Mike Fleming

bpitEXCLUSIVE: New Regency, RatPac Entertainment and Plan B have acquired 3 Videotapes, a pitch by Ian McCulloch that puts both companies in the low-budget genre game. The film is an elevated thriller with aspects of The Ring and Memento. RatPac’s Brett Ratner is executive producer. New Regency’s Arnon Milchan and Brad Weston brought in Plan B last fall after they collaborated on Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave. They recently acquired The Operators, which will be developed as a star vehicle for Brad Pitt with Animal Kingdom helmer David Michôd to write and direct  The latter project is also being done with RatPac, with Pitt producing with his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, and Ratner exec producing. WME reps McCulloch.

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New Regency Taps Brad Pitt, David Michod To Tell Gen. Stanley McChrystal Afghan Story ‘The Operators’

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 8:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

pitttBREAKING: Animal Kingdom helmer David Michôd will write and direct The Operators, which will be developed as a star vehicle for Brad Pitt. The project’s backed by Plan B, New Regency and RatPac Entertainment, and it was announced by Brad Weston, New Regency’s president and CEO. Pitt will produce along with his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.

Based on the Michael Hastings book, The Operators focuses on the rise and fall of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. It portrays the backrooms and politics behind the war, and the high-stake maneuvers and the political firestorm that shook the country.

michodNew Regency and RatPac made a multi-year producing partnership with Pitt’s Plan B late last year after Regency teamed with Plan B on the Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave. Michôd is repped by UTA and attorney Alan Wertheimer, Pitt and Plan B by CAA and Brillstein.

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Brad Pitt Circling Steven Knight-Scripted WWII Tale

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 12:12pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Brad Pitt World War II MovieEXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt is circling an untitled WWII romantic thriller which Steven Knight has scripted for Graham King‘s GK Films. While it’s not a done deal yet and not yet set with a distributor, I’m hearing it’s serious and that a big director will be set with an eye toward starting production early next year.

Pitt produced and co-starred in Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave, and he just finished another WWII battlefield film, the David Ayer-directed Fury, which Sony Pictures releases November 14. Pitt also worked the WWII terrain in the Quentin Tarantino-directed Inglourious Basterds. He also starred in and is prepping a sequel to World War Z. He’s repped by CAA and Brillstein.

Knight scripted Eastern Promises, and more recently the British series Peaky Blinders, the Helen Mirren-starrer The Hundred Foot Journey for DreamWorks, and he wrote and directed Locke with Tom Hardy. He’s repped by CAA and United Agents.

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OSCARS: A Selfie-Important Academy Awards Honors Our Past And Our Future And Hits Just The Right Notes

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 6:43am PST
Pete Hammond

In the end the Academy Awards fell right into place with every other awards show this season. Gravity got LOTS of love but it ended with 12 Years A Slave‘s Steve McQueen making the big Oscars selfie Ellenacceptance speech of the night for Best Picture — just like it went at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Movie Awards, BAFTA, PGA and others. It’s a weird year when a blockbuster picture like Gravity can win seven Oscars including Best Director yet lose the big one. But science fiction is not a category the Oscars have ever embraced in that way, and this year was no exception. In 1977 Star Wars also won seven Oscars yet lost in the end to Best Pic winner Annie Hall, which only picked up four awards overall much like Slave’s haul of three nods this year. The record still stands though with 1972′s Cabaret winning eight Oscars but losing ultimately to The Godfather which won only three including Best Picture.

Related:
OSCARS: The Complete Winners List
OSCARS: 2014 Winners Photo Gallery

86th Annual Academy Awards - ShowHow do you explain it? It’s called spreading the wealth but wanting to save your most important award for a movie that has real gravitas, one that breaks barriers over what the Academy has ever done before. A movie directed by a black person has never before won nor has a film that so harrowingly details one aspect of the black experience. 12 Years A Slave may have depicted the dark side of this country in a way Oscar had never before recognized, but the Academy wanted to spotlight that and reward it with its highest prize in a year of great films about the black experience. In fact the whole show was full of diversity including numerous black presenters and the Best Director award to Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron.

Related:
OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog
Backstage At The Oscars

Read More »

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UPDATE: Italian Distributor Apologizes After Recalling ‘12 Years A Slave’ Posters

By | Thursday December 26, 2013 @ 4:10pm PST

bradpitt12yearsposter2ND UPDATE, 4:10 PM: BIM Distribuzione has officially apologized for the 12 Years A Slave posters in Italy that featured more Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender than the film’s main star Chiwetel Ejiofor – ones that were unauthorized by Summit and Lionsgate. “We apologize for creating and releasing unauthorized posters for 12 Years A Slave in Italy featuring Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in a manner inconsistent with approved advertising materials. All inappropriate materials have now been withdrawn. We are very proud of the film and regret any distraction this incident may have caused.”

UPDATE, TUESDAY PM: We’ve now learned that Italian distributor BIM Distribuzione has agreed to stop distributing the materials in question and is in the process of recalling the unauthorized materials already in circulation.

PREVIOUSLY: Studios want to create buzz for their films, but you can probably bet this is not the kind of buzz envisioned for Oscar hopeful 12 Years A Slave. Posters for the race drama recently released in Italy feature separate images of Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender (who had small roles in the pic) prominently over a much tinier image of the film’s main star, black actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. Read More »

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Brad Pitt’s Plan B Move Unveiled: Moving To Deal With New Regency And RatPac Partners James Packer And Brett Ratner

pitttEXCLUSIVE: So, what is happening with Paramount and Plan B, the production shingle run by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner? We can report definitively that the company is moving to a new 3-year pact with New Regency and RatPac partners James Packer and Brett Ratner. This new marriage, which starts when the Plan B deal at Paramount expires at month’s end, comes after New Regency co-financed the Oscar contender 12 Years A Slave, and they are in postproduction on True Story, the film directed by Rupert Goold, with  James Franco and Jonah Hill starring. Plan B has five projects percolating at New Regency, Arnon Milchan has a strong relationship with Pitt that goes all the way back to Fight Club, and Weston has a strong relationship with Pitt and Gardner from the New Regency business and when Weston ran production at Paramount. Those projects include Black Hole, The Operators and Big Bucks.

Related: 2014 Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Up For Best Feature

slaveWe’re told that this move is not acrimonious and that the relationship is fine between the Brads, as in Brad Pitt and Paramount chief Brad Grey. In fact, they completed their biggest film, World War Z — it was the highest-grossing film in Pitt’s career, though it’s unclear how profitable it was because of the high cost of re-shooting — and they are starting progress on a sequel that Juan Antonio Bayona directing. But the feeling was the Plan B label fit better with New Regency after the collaboration on 12 Years A Slave and so many other projects.

Related: Paramount Moving Forward On ‘World War Z’ Sequel

The move happens shortly after Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer took residence at Paramount in a first-look deal he moves to from Disney. He joins Lorenzo di Bonaventura and David Ellison’s Skydance and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot at the studio. Paramount doesn’t make a ton of movies, and a lot of Plan B’s projects languished. There should be more opportunity to get movies made in this deal, where Regency and RatPac go 50/50 on Plan B-developed projects. New Regency had a distribution deal with Fox. The way it works is, New Regency and RatPac finance future films from Plan B, and RatPac has the opportunity to co-finance the projects that Plan B currently has with New Regency.

New Regency sees this as a coup, a next step for a financier/producer establishing itself with tastemaker fare. Read More »

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Paramount Moving Forward On ‘World War Z’ With Helmer Juan Antonio Bayona

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 3:31pm PST
Mike Fleming

wwzJ.A. Bayona helmed the monsoon disaster pic The Impossible, but he might be taking on something close to that title as Paramount and Skydance have signed him to oversee figuring out a sequel to World War Z. The first film, which was directed by Marc Forster and released last summer, was perhaps the most maligned film in memory prior to its release, certainly for a film that actually turned out to be quite good. The film went significantly over budget, when basically the last third was scrapped for a tense, contained conclusion. Trouble is, Brad Pitt’s United Nations staffer effectively solved the zombie quandary.

The original scrapped ending featured a bloody mano a mano battle against humanity and zombies in Russia that led seamlessly into a second installment. But the studio and Forster felt it was all too much, after the show-stopping insect swarm of zombies that overwhelmed Israel. It turned off audiences and the drastic decision was made that nobody would want a sequel if they walked out disliking the first film. Even at a cost of $220 million or higher, depending on who you ask, and another $125 million to launch the film globally, WWZ‘s $540 million global gross made a sequel possible. How they make the storyline anything more than mop-up duty to eradicate the flesh eaters will be the challenge facing Bayona and Pitt’s Plan B. The Max Brooks book was written with a UN … Read More »

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Brad Pitt WWII Tank Film Rolls Toward November 12 Date With ‘Gravity’ Composer Steven Price Scoring

By | Tuesday November 19, 2013 @ 8:14am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Composer Steven Price, who scored Gravity, has signed on to create the music for David Ayer‘s currently untitled WWII tank film, which stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal and Michael Peña. The film was put together under the title Fury. Price previously scored Edgar Wright’s The World’s End and Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block. The WWII film will be released by Sony Pictures November 12, 2014.

“Steven Price’s fresh approach to scoring and his extraordinary creativity make him the perfect collaborator for my film,” said Ayer. The film is set near the end of WWII in April 1945, as the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre. A battle-hardened army sergeant (Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, they face overwhelming odds as they strike at the heart of Nazi Germany. Read More »

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Telluride: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Ignites The Festival, But Fox Searchlight Plans To Take It Slow

Pete Hammond

Telluride has been buzzing since last night’s first screening of Steve McQueen‘s excellent slavery drama, 12 Years A Slave. One site which shall remain nameless was so overcome that the writer already just about declared the Oscar race over and done. “Guess we don’t have to go to Toronto now,” said a publicist here with another contender. One blogger stopped me on the street today after I saw the film and asked, “So do you agree with us (bloggers) the actor race is done?” he said in referring to star Chewitel Ejiofor‘s towering and dignified performance as the slave Solomon Northup, who lived to tell his harrowing tale and write a book about it in 1853. As I said yesterday, hyperbole is a big part of any festival like this and intelligent moviegoers are so thirsty for Oscar-quality adult movie fare they might have a tendency to go overboard with praise. But it’s a disservice to a very fine but challenging film like 12 Years A Slave to build up such high expectations no movie could possibly live up to it.

As I exited the packed 650-seat Herzog Theatre, I ran into Fox Searchlight co-President Nancy Utley, who was there gauging reaction to her film, which they open in LA and NY on October 18 and then roll out slowly. She agreed it is a film that should be “discovered” but, obviously happy with the ecstatic reaction so far at its first two screenings, added that this film needs special handling. “It’s a movie that will depend on critical reaction and awards play to really tell people that despite tough subject matter it’s a film they must see,” she said.

Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday August 18, 2013 @ 11:00am PDT

These are the top film stories that Deadline ran this week: 

‘Elysium’ #1 But Can’t Break $30M, ‘The Millers’ #2, ‘Planes’ #3, ‘Percy Jackson: Monsters’ #4; ‘Smurfs 2′ Now $156M Global
By Nikki Finke – MONDAY 7 AM, 7TH UPDATE: This weekend’s total moviegoing was $158M which is +11% from last year. Overall a too-crowded marketplace.

Brad Pitt, Paramount Get The Last Laugh As ‘World War Z’ Cracks $500 Million WW To Become His Highest Grossing Film
By Mike Fleming Jr. Paramount Pictures reports that World War Z had passed the $500 million worldwide gross mark, surpassing Troy’s $497.3 million to become Brad Pitt’s highest grossing film ever.

Bradley Cooper Boards Warner Bros’ Lance Armstrong Film As Producer And Potential Star As Race To Mount Bike Pic Heats Up
By Mike Fleming Jr. EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros, Atlas Entertainment and director Jay Roach are making their move in the race to mount a feature on Lance Armstrong, the 7-time Tour de France champion who was defrocked and disgraced when he finally admitted he was doping

MPAA Read More »

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Brad Pitt, Paramount Get The Last Laugh As ‘World War Z’ Cracks $500 Million WW To Become His Highest Grossing Film

By | Sunday August 11, 2013 @ 2:42pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Paramount Pictures reports that World War Z had passed the $500 million worldwide gross mark, surpassing Troy’s $497.3 million to become Brad Pitt’s highest grossing film ever. Now, you could argue that WWZ received the benefit of a higher ticket price particularly because of its 3D numbers. But considering how badly maligned this film was in the weeks before it bowed, hitting the half billion dollar plateau seems something to brag about, even for a movie that cost in the $220 million range.

According to Paramount (which co-financed with Skydance and GK Films), WWZ has set several records for Pitt, whose Plan B produced. It set a personal best with a $66 million opening on June 21, and a total $197.4 million in the U.S., both of which exceeded Mr. & Mrs. Smith‘s total domestic gross of $186.3 million and $50.3 million opening weekend. The film has earned $305.2 million at the international box office, to date.

This pales in comparison to the numbers put up by Johnny Depp and his Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, but Pitt has done a lot of cool movies that were never meant to be blockbusters, and this was his most mainstream film since Troy and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. He seems happy with hitting a solid double with a Moneyball than playing the tent pole game. Passing the half billion dollar mark begs the question of … Read More »

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Hot Clips: Ridley Scott’s ‘The Counselor’

By | Tuesday August 6, 2013 @ 12:40pm PDT

Michael Fassbender reunites with Prometheus helmer Ridley Scott in The Counselor, starring as a lawyer who enters the drug trade only to find himself in over his head. Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Penelope Cruz also star in the pic scripted by Cormac McCarthy which Fox has slated for an October 25 release. Fassbender’s title character gets a few warnings from Pitt and Bardem in the first clips from The Counselor. The full trailer drops tomorrow:

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Hot Trailer: ‘12 Years A Slave’

By | Monday July 15, 2013 @ 4:34pm PDT

Chiwetel Ejiofor stars for director Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame) in the true story of Solomon Northup, a free-born black man who was kidnapped, drugged, and sold into slavery in 1841 before regaining his freedom 12 years later. Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Quvenzhane Wallis, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Garrett Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, Dwight Henry, and Michael K. Williams also star in the drama which Fox Searchlight will open October 18 with an eye on awards season. Watch the first 12 Years A Slave trailer:

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Hot Teaser Trailer: Ridley Scott’s ‘The Counselor’

By | Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 1:37pm PDT

“You may think there are things these people are simply incapable of — there are not.” Brad Pitt speaks that ominous line in the new international teaser trailer for Ridley Scott‘s follow-up to last year’s Prometheus. The Counselor follows a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who wades into treacherous waters when he gets involved in the drug trade. The Fox 2000 thriller written by Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men) also stars Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, John Leguizamo and Goran Visnjic. It’s produced by Scott, Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz. Fox releases the pic, titled The Counsellor in the UK, on October 25:


Watch this video on YouTube.

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