CinemaCon kicked off tonight at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with a presentation from Paramount. In only its 3rd year, what used to be ShoWest is proving to have the magic touch as once again all the major studios plus …
EXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt is in final negotiations to star in Fury, the David Ayer-directed drama that will start production in September. This is the Ayer script that Bill Block‘s QED International paid $1 million to acquire back in February. It was QED’s biggest spec deal ever, and when an indie company hooks a star like Pitt, it’s money well spent. Fury is a WWII script by the End Of Watch writer-director, and QED will produce with John Lesher and his Le Grisbi Productions banner. Ethan Smith, Block and Lesher are producing and they are eyeing a fall production start. QED is selling foreign.
The action takes place in 1945 as the Nazi regime collapses and the five-man crew of an American tank called Fury battles a desperate German army. Ayer and QED reteam after the action thriller Ten, which Ayer directed and which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington and Mireille Enos. Open Road will release it next January. Lesher produced Ayer’s End Of Watch. Pitt most recently starred in and produced World War Z, but he’s back in the WWII territory of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.
ABC made a late charge on the pilot pickup front to end what will likely be the busiest day this season. (For full list of all broadcast pilots, click here.) The network has given the green light to comedy Pulling, from Bad Teachers scribes Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and producer Aaron Kaplan. On the drama side, picked up are dramas Betrayal from David Zabel; Venice from McG and Byron Balasco, with McG set to direct; and The Returned, from writer Aaron Zelman, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Single-camera comedy Pulling is based on the praised 2006 British series. Eisenberg and Stupnitsky wrote the adaptation, produced by ABC Studios and Kapital Entertainment. Sharon Horgan and Dennis Kelly, creators of the original series, executive produce with Eisenberg, Stupnitsky and Kaplan. Pulling revolves around three dysfunctional women in their 30s living their lives the way they want, even if society tells them they should have it all figured out by this point. This marks the second pilot order for Kaplan today, joining CBS’ Dana Klein comedy, and third so far this season, along with NBC’s The Gates.
Brad Pitt’s ‘Killing Them Softly’ Dies With ‘F’ CinemaScore As Twilight Saga, James Bond, And ‘Lincoln’ Dominate Box Office Yet Again
SUNDAY 7:30 AM, 3RD UPDATE: No change in the three top movies’ order at the domestic box office: Summit Entertainment’s Twilight Saga finale Breaking Dawn Part 2 is #1 for the third weekend in a row, the …
Here’s the latest trailer for writer-director Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, based on George V. Higgins’ novel Cogan’s Trade. Brad Pitt stars as a mob enforcer/hit man in The Weinstein Company release that opens November 30th. The movie also features Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins and James Gandolfini:
After closing down the New York Film Festival on Sunday night with the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight, Paramount chief Brad Grey and production topper Adam Goodman hung around Gotham for an extra day to show a promo reel from its slate through 2014.
Flanking Grey in the Paramount screening room at 15125 Broadway were Flight helmer Robert Zemeckis and David Chase, the Sopranos creator whose feature film debut Not Fade Away (see the trailer here) was part of a reel that included another Transformers and the Star Trek sequel (they showed JJ Abrams’ appearance on Conan O’Brien, where the ultra-secretive JJ was eager to show three frames of Star Trek Into Darkness, a humorous aside because you couldn’t see a thing). There was Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise who, despite being nearly a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter than the hulking hero of Lee Child’s book, capably kicks ass in the launch of yet another franchise, with another Mission: Impossible clearly in the offing. There was the G.I. Joe sequel, pushed to next year and now in 3D and built around Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis. And the relaunch of the Jack Ryan franchise with Star Trek‘s Chris Pine, who just signed with CAA and seems an agency’s ultimate catch since he will soon be on firm footing headlining two big franchises.
EXCLUSIVE: While reports had Damon Lindelof coming in to write a new ending to the Marc Forster-directed Brad Pitt-starrer World War Z, it actually was his Lost compadre Drew Goddard who did the bulk of the writing of the finale. Lindelof, who reworked Prometheus and co-wrote the Star Trek sequel, cracked a potential new ending of the film, but Lindelof didn’t have time to do the scripting so that task fell to Goddard, who most recently adapted Robopocalypse, which is Steven Spielberg’s next film at DreamWorks.
Both of those guys are off to other projects, so it’s quite possible that Paramount will tap another writer to punch up this ending — if the studio decides to use it. I’m hearing Christopher McQuarrie, whom the studio is high on after he adapted and directed Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher, based on the Lee Child novels. That isn’t set in stone because McQuarrie is Cruise’s go-to guy and he will be doing some script work on All You Need Is Kill, the Doug Liman-directed action film that Cruise will next star in after he completes Oblivion. So it is questionable whether he will be available or whether Paramount will need him. No date has been set for the reshoots that will be needed to implement the new ending, but insiders say Forster will be shooting those scenes.
Killing Them Softly, the last of the films from The Weinstein Company in the Cannes Film Festival‘s official selection – and easily the distributor’s most controversial, politically at least – is premiering tonight. Star Brad Pitt made the day of the paparazzi who kept incessantly yelling “Brad! Brad! Brad!” at the pre-press conference photo call even as his co-stars and director Andrew Dominik stood virtually ignored in the same shots. Pitt marks the biggest star presence yet at the festival: Showing his true power, even the rainy skies turned blue, the temperature outside heated up and the sun came out just in time for his hike up the Palais’ red-carpeted steps.
The film, on which Pitt and partner Dede Gardner were among the producers through their Plan B shingle, is a tough-as-nails, tight, noirish and brutal crime thriller that boasts an ensemble of exceptionally fine performances. That includes Pitt as an strictly all-business hit man hired by the mob after small-time crooks pull off a heist of their poker game. Also perfectly cast are veterans James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta, Sam Shepard (briefly) and Scoot McNairy. The only woman I can remember in the cast was a prostitute roundly and hilariously insulted by the sex-obsessed hired gun played by Gandolfini.
The testosterone-driven genre film stands with the best recent examples, and it is also surprisingly political — switching the setting of the 1974 Boston-based George Higgins novel Cogan’s Trade to 2008 New Orleans right at the time of the presidential election and economic meltdown. For most of the movie’s running time, the politics are simmering in the background with numerous excerpts of speeches from then-candidate Barack Obama and then-President George W. Bush. Toward the end it gets more pronounced, particularly when Pitt’s character Jackie Cogan seemingly puts out one of his “hits” on Obama’s hopeful speech-making.
EXCLUSIVE: Back in February, Deadline revealed that Ridley Scott was aiming high for a nemesis to play alongside Michael Fassbender in The Counselor, with Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem on the wish list. I’m told now that Scott is on the verge of getting both actors into the movie. …