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Hot Teaser: David O Russell’s ‘American Hustle’

Mike Fleming

Considering the pedigree of director and cast and its December 25 release date through Sony, the David O Russell-directed American Hustle figures to be a big Oscar contender. The studio has been quiet until now, but released a teaser trailer that was part of an interview that Russell gave to Good Morning America. Feels like everyone in the film has either won or been nominated for Oscars in the past couple years, with Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro. It also feels very much like one of those great Martin Scorsese crime sagas set in the 1960s and ’70s. Here is is:

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How Jason Hall Went From Struggling Actor To Hot Screenwriter With ‘American Sniper’ And Two More Big Deals Coming

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jason Hall was marked an A-list screenwriter the moment DreamWorks and Warner Bros joined forces after Steven Spielberg agreed to direct Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, based on the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Not surprisingly, both studios want more from Hall. Warner Bros has just closed a blind script deal with him, and I’ve learned that DreamWorks is in early talks to have Hall adapt the upcoming David Finkel book Thank You For Your Service, about the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder syndrome that is becoming a major issue for vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s something Spielberg likes as a potential project down the line, though that is all early days.

I sought out Hall because I find it instructive to see how a guy with one screen credit (2009′s Spread) and another coming (an adaption of the Joseph Finder novel Paranoia) gets white-hot so quickly. Every writer’s trajectory is different, but there’s a common thread: there is no such thing as an overnight success screenwriter. It’s years of struggle to find a voice, and then maybe a lucky break. Hall came to Hollywood to be an actor, and only found his way to screenwriting because things were going so badly. “I did TV parts in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and other shows, playing the bad guy or the MacGuffin bad guy, with the half-baked mustache,” Hall told me. “I would read these terrible movie scripts, and I couldn’t get auditions. I thought, maybe I could write a terrible script for myself, but they wouldn’t even let me audition when I did that. My first script, I remember this funny lawyer telling me I was getting more than Ben and Matt did at the beginning. This producer says, I know you want to act in this, but what if I told you Milos Forman wanted to direct this, with someone else?” Still in full actor mode, Hall was direct: “I remember being in the lobby of The Four Seasons, and saying a little too loud, ‘Milos Forman can go fuck himself!’ So that went away, and then I wrote another script about a blind wrestler. I wrestled since I was a kid, and there are these great blind wrestlers who compete up to nationals. I’ve wrestled them, and you have to keep your hands on them at all times, and if you separate the ref blows the whistle and connects you again. Some of these guys are really good. So I’m ready to play this blind wrestler, and John Dahl is interested and says to me, this is perfect for Matt Damon. And I said, ‘Matt Damon can go fuck himself!’ And that went away.” Read More »

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Cannes: Bradley Cooper Commits To ‘Chef’ As Cease And Desist Goes To Jon Favreau’s Rival Chef Pic

Mike Fleming

Bradley CooperEXCLUSIVE: Bradley Cooper has now formally confirmed to star in the John Wells-directed Chef, making this one of the early projects stirring action from foreign buyers who can now visualize the Silver Linings Playbook star back in meltdown mode in this Shampoo-like drama. He plays a Paris chef named Adam Jones, who destroys his wunderkind status in a blaze of decadence and out of control behavior. He cleans up and returns to Paris sober, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars. This has been in the works a bit, and recently Cooper saw Wells’ upcoming TWC Oscar-bait movie August: Osage County and then TWC set Wells to direct Chef. They are now looking to round out that cast, and I’m hearing Michelle Williams and Marion Cotillard as potential female leads, and Omar Sy for co-starring role. The film’s produced by Stacey Sher, Erwin Stoff and Michael Shamberg. Read More »

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Ewan McGregor Loads His Guns To Take Over Villain Role In ‘Jane Got A Gun’

By | Monday May 6, 2013 @ 7:04pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The resilient indie Western Jane Got A Gun finally has its bad guy. Ewan McGregor is negotiating to play the pivotal role of the leader of an outlaw gang in the film that Gavin O’Connor is now directing. Natalie Portman plays the wife of an outlaw (Noah Emmerich) who leaves that gang after he gets shot up, and returns home. Knowing his former outlaw mates will come to finish him off and destroy her farm, Jane is forced to rekindle a relationship with a past love (Joel Edgerton), a capable gunman who can help her. This is the role that Jude Law originally was going to play, but he exited when original director Lynne Ramsay abruptly left the night before production began. After O’Connor came on to replace Ramsay behind the camera, they got Bradley Cooper to play the part, but his schedule is so impossibly busy — particularly after shooting got postponed on the David O Russell-directed American Hustle because of the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent city lockdown — that Cooper had to drop out. This was OK because the villain wasn’t scheduled to shoot until later into the production. Read More »

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John Wells Deal To Direct Bradley Cooper In ‘Chef’

By | Thursday May 2, 2013 @ 2:48pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After helming August: Osage County for Harvey Weinstein, John Wells is getting ready to take on another big film for The Weinstein Company. He’s making a deal to direct Chef, the Steven Knight-scripted drama that Bradley Cooper will star in next year. 3 Arts’ Erwin Stoff is producing with Double Feature Films partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. Timing on this picture got skewered with Steven Spielberg’s commitment last night to direct Cooper in American Sniper. Still open for debate is whether Cooper will have time to bring a revival of The Elephant Man to Broadway. The plan was for it to open in time for Tony Awards consideration for next year, but Cooper’s schedule suddenly got very crowded and it might have to be pushed until next fall.

In Chef, Cooper will play Paris chef Adam Jones, who blows his status as an up and coming chef when controlled substances lead to out of control behavior. Jones straightens out and returns to Paris sober, and becomes devoted to building a restaurant that can attain three Michelin stars, the mark of cuisine supremacy. Cooper, who made Silver Linings Playbook with Weinstein, got a peek at Wells’ August: Osage County, the play adaptation which has a cast that includes Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. They were impressed enough to offer Wells the Chef job and the deal is being made.

When does Cooper fit in all these killer … Read More »

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Steven Spielberg’s Next Film Will Be Bradley Cooper’s ‘American Sniper’

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: DreamWorks and Warner Bros will team on Steven Spielberg‘s next film American Sniper, with Bradley Cooper aboard to star in the autobiography of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Cooper optioned the book himself, along with Andrew Lazar’s Mad Chance, and it has turned out to be quite a coup for the actor. Jason Hall (Paranoia) wrote the script and will executive produce, with Spielberg, Cooper, Lazar, and Peter Morgan producing. Kyle, an expert marksman who spread his love for weapons by teaching others how to shoot, was recently and tragically gunned down along with a pal by a fellow discharged vet they had taken to a Texas shooting range to deal with his post-traumatic stress disorder.

The film is based on the book American Sniper: The Autobiography Of The Most Lethal Sniper In U.S. Military History by Kyle, Scott McEwan and Jim DeFelice. The film chronicles Texas native Kyle’s journey from rodeo cowboy to SEAL Chief with the highest number of sniper kills in U.S. military history. The book spent 18 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and 13 weeks at No. 1. Cooper’s production company, 22nd & Indiana Pictures, optioned rights to the book a year ago with Lazar’s Mad Chance. Sheroum Kim overseeing for 22nd & Indiana and Jon Berg is overseeing for Warner Bros. DreamWorks’ Kristie Macosko Krieger and Adam Somner … Read More »

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Bradley Cooper Confirms Deadline Report: He Has Exited ‘Jane Got A Gun’

By | Wednesday May 1, 2013 @ 5:53pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Bradley Cooper has confirmed his exit from Jane Got A Gun, and he has offered this statement: “Regretfully, due to date conflicts between the film I an currently shooting for David O Russell and Jane Got A Gun, I am unable to join Natalie, Joel, Noah and Gavin on this truly exciting project. I was really looking forward to being a part of it and hope to work with each and every one in the future.”

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 5:17 pm PDT: It is proving hard for the makers of Jane Got A Gun to find a good outlaw. Bradley Cooper, who had agreed to replace Jude Law opposite Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton in the Gavin O’Connor-directed Western, has had to exit a film that is well into production. The filmmakers are working hard to replace him, and are courting a short list of actors that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hiddleston. Cooper signed on to play the gang leader who will come to kill an outlaw colleague (The AmericansNoah Emmerich) who got shot and headed home. That unfortunate homecoming prompts his estranged wife (Portman) to lean on a former lover (Edgerton) to stand up to the bad guy to save her farm. Unfortunately, Cooper is shooting David O Russell’s American Hustle, and the schedule in Boston got messed up by the terrorist bombing that took … Read More »

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Rachel McAdams In Talks To Join Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone In Cameron Crowe Film

Mike Fleming

Rachel McAdamsEXCLUSIVE: What a cast Cameron Crowe and producer Scott Rudin have cooked up for the film they are prepping at Sony Pictures. Rachel McAdams is in talks to star with Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone. McAdams will play a former lover of Cooper’s character. They’re keeping the plot specifics under wraps, but the role McAdams is in negotiations for is a great part and the movie is funny and romantic, with a tone similar to past Crowe films Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. Crowe wrote the script and will direct the film beginning in October. McAdams is repped by UTA and Magnolia Entertainment.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Hangover Part III’

By | Thursday April 11, 2013 @ 10:36am PDT

Warner Bros has just dropped the new trailer for The Hangover Part III. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis star in the third and final film in the comedy franchise. This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off. Todd Phillips directed the pic which opens May 24th. Check it out:

Watch this video on YouTube.

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‘Jane Got A Gun’ Has A New Bad Guy; Bradley Cooper Filling Jude Law Role

By | Friday April 5, 2013 @ 5:09pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Bradley Cooper Jane Got A Gun ReplaceEXCLUSIVE: Bradley Cooper is poised to join the cast of Jane Got A Gun, stepping in to play the bad guy role that Jude Law exited shortly after We Need To Talk About Kevin helmer Lynne Ramsay‘s abrupt exit. Cooper joins Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton in the film that Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor took over.

Related: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Loses Director Lynne Ramsay On First Day

Despite a tough start, the film is now two weeks into production. The producers, including Scott Steindorff, Portman, Terry Dougas and Aleen Keshishian, have pulled off a minor miracle here. As Deadline revealed exclusively, the cast and crew found out the morning of the first day of shooting that Ramsay had withdrawn from the film. They managed to keep the crew and cast from scattering until they could set O’Connor. Then Law exited, because he wanted to work with Ramsay. I’ve seen independent films fall apart with less adversity, but these guys persevered. They got the film started, but needed to find a replacement with someone with comparable value to Law in the overseas marketplace. They’ve overachieved in landing Cooper. Read More »

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Bradley Cooper To Remake German Hit ‘Kokowaah’ At Warner Bros

By | Wednesday February 27, 2013 @ 5:19pm PST
Mike Fleming

Bradley CooperEXCLUSIVE: Hot off his Best Actor Oscar nomination for Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper has signed on to to star in the English-language remake of Kokowaah at Warner Bros. Cooper and Sheroum Kim are setting up the project through his WB-based 22nd & Indiana shingle. They will shape it as a star vehicle for him and he might well direct the film (it becomes one of several candidates for his feature directing debut). Black List writers Scott Rothman & Rajiv Joseph are re-writing the screenplay from an earlier draft by Chris Shafer & Paul Vicknair.

Kokowaah explores the relationship between two men – carefree bachelor Henry and devoted husband and father Trevor–when they are forced to re-evaluate their lives after discovering the reality behind the paternity of Trevor’s 8-year old daughter Maddy.

Kokowaah was Germany’s highest-grossing film of 2011 and the sequel recently opened at number one there. Read More »

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VP Biden Meets With David O. Russell, Bradley Cooper In D.C. (Photo)

Vice-President Joe Biden’s office today tweeted this photo of him meeting with Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell and actor Bradley Cooper. The duo, whose Oscar nominated movie is about people dealing with mental health issues, were in Washington to help announce introduction of the Excellence in Mental Health Act to Congress. The bi-partisan bill was drafted in response to the shootings last year in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado. The legislation’s goal is to expand access to mental health services across the nation. Russell was scheduled to be in LA for a WGA panel Thursday night but dropped out for the meeting with the Veep.

Related: Showbiz Groups Pledge “To Seek Meaningful Solutions” On Gun Violence

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OSCARS: Best Actor/Best Actress Race Handicap

Pete Hammond

In a race as tight as the one this year for Best Actress and particularly Best Actor, there were many deserving performances that might have made the cut in any other year but were overlooked because of intense competition. As far as lead acting categories go, this year is one of the most fiercely fought in recent Oscar history. So what was it about the 10 nominated performances in the top two acting categories that sealed the deal with Academy voters? Here’s a look at why they made it to the golden circle.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper | Silver Linings Playbook

Coming into the project just shortly before production began, Cooper proves a shrewd choice to play Pat Jr., a volatile man just released from an institution, in denial about his dead marriage, and just trying to put his life back together. Mark Wahlberg was cast in the part originally, but after he dropped out, Cooper got the role and ran with it. It’s a delicate balance of comedy and drama that Cooper must navigate, and he creates a wholly original and likable character, a neat trick considering Pat Jr. isn’t always sympathetic. Coming off popcorn movies like The Hangover and The A Team, Cooper finally shows his true acting chops, and his scenes opposite Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence prove he is a talent to be reckoned with. Watching … Read More »

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‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Gets D.C. Moment With Bradley Cooper

By | Thursday January 31, 2013 @ 12:44pm PST
Mike Fleming

I cannot remember a year where so many Best Picture Oscar candidates reverberated so much on Capitol Hill. First, there was the Lincoln screening for Congress, and we know how Zero Dark Thirty has shaken things up amidst its D.C. premiere. Now it’s Silver Linings Playbook‘s turn, for its message of hope toward those who’ve suffered silently with mental challenges.

Bradley Cooper, Oscar nominated for his role as the film’s bipolar protagonist, will join former Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy in a press conference Friday at the Center for American Progress to discuss how the film has helped make progress toward removing the stigma of mental illness. This comes after Cooper and Robert De Niro taped an appearance with Katie Couric to talk about the movie and its mental health message. In that appearance, I’m told that De Niro actually broke down when he discussed a personal connection to the subject matter. Read More »

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Warner Bros Ties Bradley Cooper To ‘Man From Primrose Lane’

By | Tuesday January 29, 2013 @ 4:43pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired the James Renner novel The Man From Primrose Lane, and will develop it as a star vehicle for Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook star Bradley Cooper. Langley Park’s Kevin McCormick will produce with Cooper and his 22nd & Indiana banner, which is also based at the studio. The script will be written by Chad Feehan, a Southland writer whose script Beyond The Pale made the Black List.

Published by Farrar, Staus and Giroux, the novel is about true-crime writer David Neff, who, in investigating the strange murder mystery of a recluse known as “the man with a thousand mittens,” quickly becomes obsessively embroiled in a chain of serial murders. The closer Neff comes to uncovering the true identity of the Man from Primrose Lane, the more he discovers his own dangerous connection to the series of crimes. He realizes in order to end the cycle of death and capture the killer he must look outside the parameters of what he believed to be true about time and space. Warner Bros will develop it for Cooper to play the crime writer.

Langley Park’s Rory Koslow and Cooper’s producing partner Sheroum Kim. Cooper’s repped by CAA, Feehan by CAA and Management 360, and UTA repped the book for the author and lit agent Julie Barer and manager Yuli Masinovsky. Renner is turning this into a series … Read More »

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Bradley Cooper In Talks With J.J. Abrams To Play Lance Armstrong: Report

By | Sunday January 27, 2013 @ 1:33pm PST

Best Actor Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper is in talks with J.J. Abrams about playing Lance Armstrong in the producer-director’s planned movie project about the disgraced cyclist, according to Entertainment Tonight. Shortly after Deadline broke the news about Abrams and partner Bryan Burk’s Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures securing screen rights to the proposed book Cycle Of Lies: The Fall Of Lance Armstrong, Cooper publicly expressed interest in the role to the BBC and later in an email to Abrams. Cooper “sent me an email and we’ve been talking”, Abrams told ET last night at the Producers Guild Awards. The project is based on the proposed book by New York Times writer Juliet Macur for HarperCollins.

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Bradley Cooper In Warner Bros Deal For ‘Dark Invasion’

By | Monday January 14, 2013 @ 4:40pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has just closed a high-six-figure deal to acquire the upcoming Howard Blum book Dark Invasion and will develop it as a star vehicle for Silver Linings Playbook‘s Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper. Cooper and his 22nd & Indiana banner will produce with John Lesher and his Le Grisbi banner and Adam Kassan. The nonfiction book will be published by Crown/Random on 9/11/13. The date is significant, as the book is about what is considered the first attacks on U.S. soil since its formative years.

The book is a true spy thriller set in 1915 when Germany, with war raging in Europe and the U.S. still neutral, decides to send their Secret Service to America to wage a covert war to keep this country from helping the Allies. The Kaiser’s spies bomb factories, sabotage ships, shoot JP Morgan Jr (a financier of the Allies), bomb the U.S. Capitol Building, and set up an anthrax lab six miles from the White House. Cooper is attached to play NYPD Capt Tom Tunney, who’s tasked with establishing the team that will bring these German spies to justice. CIA considers Tunney to be its first head of homeland security, according to the book. Read More »

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Awards Race Moves To Palm Springs: Foreign Film Contenders, Glitzy Gala And Lots Of Oscar Talk

Pete Hammond

Even as Oscar nomination polls were closing Friday afternoon, the awards season action was already shifting to the Southern California desert as the 10-day Palm Springs International Film Festival kicked off, not only with its highly publicized Saturday night gala where enormous statuettes are handed out to Oscar hopefuls looking for a boost in the race, but also as a genuinely impressive public showcase for world cinema.

42 of the 71 official Oscar foreign entries are on display at the Fest (which runs through January 13) including 8 of the 9 finalists which made the shortlist. Many of those filmmakers nervously awaiting results, of which of the 9 become the 5 nominees, were at the fest all weekend, even as a select group of about 30  high-profile Academy members (including  Meryl Streep, who told me last year she had a great time on this uber committee) in New York and Los Angeles were viewing the finalists and making their choices (to be announced with other Oscar nominees on Thursday morning). Read More »

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Hot Featurette: ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE:  Silver Linings Playbook continues on its awards roll this season with a Best Picture nomination from the Producers Guild to add to its many other laurels to date including 4 SAG award nominations, 4 Golden Globe nods, 5 Independent Spirit mentions and 10 Critics Choice Movie Award noms in addition to its spot on the AFI Ten Best list of 2012. The David O. Russell film is expected to be a major contender as well when Oscar nominations are announced on January 10th. Here’s an exclusive look at a new featurette on the making of the film.

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Related:
PGA Awards Film: Best Picture List Offers No Surprises
Robert De Niro’s ‘Silver Lining’
Fleming Q&A’s David O. Russell On ‘Silver Linings Playbook’

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