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Appeals Court Affirms $12M Award To ‘Crash’ Director Paul Haggis, Brendan Fraser & Producers

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 6:51pm PST

DJP LEGAL BADGEA nearly seven-year lawsuit over profits from the Oscar-winning Crash finally might be putting on the brakes. Late last week, a three-judge appeals court panel found in favor of the 2004 film’s director/co-writer Paul Haggis, co-writer/producer Bobby Moresco, producer Mark Harris and actor Brendan Fraser and Celebrating Haitian Heroes Of The St. Luke Foundationconcurred with a December 2011 lower court ruling that awarded the four $12 million. “In a bench trial the court found for the plaintiffs and awarded them over $12,000,000 in damages and prejudgment interest,” the 2nd Appellate Court said in its January 31 ruling (read it here). “We conclude that appellants have not carried their burden of showing prejudicial error, and we therefore affirm,” Judges Frances Rothschild, Jeffrey Miller and Victoria Chaney added. Since its wide release on May 6, 2005, Crash — which won Best Picture and two other Academy Awards has made more than $98 million worldwide.
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UPDATED: AFM Briefs: Vertical Entertainment Gets U.S. On ‘Dark Hearts’ & ‘Hairbrained’; The Exchange Shopping Gregg Allman Biopic

By | Friday November 1, 2013 @ 4:19pm PDT

UPDATED, 5:25 PM: Vertical Entertainment has grabbed U.S. rights ahead of AFM to Dark Hearts, a pulp thriller set in LA’s underground art scene. Lucas Till, Kyle Schmid, Goran Visnjic and Rachel Blanchard star for Rudolf Buitendach, who makes his directorial debut on the film. It was written by Christian Piers Betley and produced by Jack Bowyer, Courtney Lauren Penn, Brandon Burrows, Kees van Oostrum and Alexis Varouxakis. Vertical also has picked up all U.S. rights to Hairbrained, a college comedy starring Brendan Fraser and Alex Wolff. Billy Kent directed the film from a script he wrote with Sarah Bird and Adam Wierzbianski. Kent, Bird and Avram Ludwig; Stacy Blain, Stephanie Ingrassia, Tim Ingrassia and Jason Mraz are the exec producers. Vertical will open the film in February. Premiere Entertainment is handling international sales.

The Exchange is bringing Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story to Santa Monica next week. Randall Miller and Jody Savin wrote the screenplay for the biopic about the Southern rock icon, based on his best-selling 2013 autobiography My Cross To Bear. Miller is directing the film, and Savin is producing. Allman and his manager Michael Lehman are serving as exec producers. Open Road will release Midnight Rider in the U.S.

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Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser Lend Voices To Animated ‘The Nut Job’

By | Thursday November 15, 2012 @ 1:04pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The animated feature The Nut Job has drawn a voice cast that will be led by Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon, and Jeff Dunham. The feature, which Peter Lepeniotis will direct based on his 2005 short film Surly Squirrel, is a co-production between Canada-based ToonBox Entertainment and Korea-based Redrover Co, Ltd. Redrover is financing with plans to release next year.

Written by veteran Disney animation scribe Lorne Cameron (Brother Bear, Over The Hedge), The Nut Job is an action-packed comedy set in the late 1950s in fictional Oakton. Pic follows the travails of the mischievous squirrel Surly and his rat pal Buddy as they plan a nut store heist that gets out of hand.

Thom Chapman and Graham Moloy are producing and Daniel Woo, Hong Kim, Mike Karz, and Tom Yoon are executive producers, in association with Gulfstream, headed by Karz and Bill Bindley. Gulfstream will make the distribution deal.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the cast that’s being assembled for our first feature,” said Chapman, ToonBox vice president. “They have brought the film to a whole new level. Each voice is perfect for their respective roles, and they truly make the characters come alive.”

Lepeniotis has worked with Pixar Animation Studios and ILM and as an animator on such films as Fantasia 2000 and Toy Story 2. His first project with … Read More »

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Brendan Fraser Exits TNT Pilot ‘Legends’

By | Thursday November 1, 2012 @ 2:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Brendan Fraser Exits Legends TNT Pilot Brendan Fraser has departed TNT’s drama pilot Legends. The Mummy star was set to make his series debut with the project, developed by Howard Gordon, Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Mark Bomback from the novel by Robert Littell. He was to play the lead, Martin Odum, a deep-cover operative who has an uncanny ability to transform himself into a different person for each job. The parting of the ways happened after the actor and showrunner Gordon did not see eye to eye on the character and couldn’t bridge their creative differences. The role will now be recast. Read More »

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Producer Todd Moyer Files Lawsuit Against Brendan Fraser, After Fraser Sued Moyer

By | Friday July 13, 2012 @ 10:15am PDT

We told you a couple of months ago that Brendan Fraser sued producer Todd Moyer over a planned movie about William Tell. Now Moyer is firing back with a complaint of his own. Moyer filed a lawsuit (read it here) yesterday in L.A. Superior Court against Fraser alleging assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Moyer claims Fraser punched him repeatedly in the chest on two different occasions, the first time in a hotel in Indianapolis where he and Fraser had been working with screenwriters on The Legend Of William Tell. According to the complaint, Fraser “in an intoxicated state began to physically push, verbally threaten and punch Plaintiff repeatedly in the chest”. The second time happened about a year later during a production meeting on Tell. Read More »

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Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Elijah Wood, Vincent D’Onofrio Join Wayne Kramer’s ‘Pawn Shop Chronicles’

By | Monday June 4, 2012 @ 2:18pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Director Wayne Kramer has set Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Elijah Wood, Vincent D’Onofrio, Pell James, Thomas Jane, Lukas Haas, Chi McBride, Ashlee Simpson, Kevin Rankin, DJ Qualls, Michael Cudlitz and Norman Reedus for Pawn Shop Chronicles. They join Paul Walker, who was set to star and produce. Jordan Schur, CEO and co-chairman of Mimran Schur Pictures, revealed the cast just as shooting gets underway in Baton Rouge, La.

Schur is producing with David Mimran, Walker, Nick Thurlow and Steven Schneider. Walker’s Laguna Ridge is also producing, with Matt Luber and Brandon Virtell exec producing. Adam Minarovich wrote the screenplay. Mimran Schur is financing.

The film is a dark comedy about a man searching for his abducted wife, a couple of white-supremacist meth heads and a sad sack Elvis impersonator all linked through items sold or found in a small Southern town’s local pawn shop.

“This is a superbly written mind-bender of a story that grabs you from the first line, and doesn’t let go,” stated Schur. “We are incredibly fortunate to have found Wayne Kramer to present it, and equally thrilled with the diverse and talented cast assembled.”

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Brendan Fraser Files Suit Over William Tell Project, Seeks $3M In Damages

By | Thursday May 10, 2012 @ 4:49pm PDT

Brendan Fraser has filed suit in Superior Court in Santa Monica against producer Todd Moyer over a planned movie about William Tell. Arclight Pictures approached Fraser in early 2011 about starring in William Tell … The Legend 3D. According to the suit, after Fraser became attached to star, Moyer took over development of the movie. Fraser contends that subsequently Moyer assured him that principal photography would begin by October 11, and as a result Fraser turned down other offers. Meanwhile, the suit alleges, Moyer and Fraser agreed the script was too “dark and serious” and needed a substantial amount of work to transform the project into a family-friendly action adventure. At Fraser’s suggestion Moyer hired Eric Brevig, who directed Fraser in Journey To The Center Of the Earth. Moyer also used Fraser’s involvement to attempt to raise financing for the project, the suit continues, but movie never advanced to production. Fraser’s suit contends Moyer never had sufficient financing and he either refused to sign agreements or alienated potential investors. Read More »

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Bob Yari Owes ‘Crash’ Participants $12M In Profits Dispute, Judge Rules

By | Tuesday December 20, 2011 @ 8:38pm PST

In a long-running dispute over profits from the Oscar-winning movie Crash, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that companies controlled by Bob Yari owe about $12 million to director/co-writer Paul Haggis, co-writer Bobby Moresco and Brendan Fraser a member of the large ensemble cast. Tuesday’s award follwed a July ruling by Judge Daniel Buckley that found Yari’s companies in breach of contract for failing to pay profits to the trio. Buckley determined Haggis, Moresco and Fraser should receive roughly $9 million in profits and $3 million in interest. Attorney for the Yari companies Behzad Nahai said he and his clients “respectfully but vehemently disagree” with the judge’s decision. He did not say whether Yari’s side would appeal. Among details noted by the judge were that Yari should not have charged the film $1,300 for his Oscar and Golden Globes tickets nor for his $40,000 sponsorship of the Independent Spirit and Gotham awards. In addition to suits filed over profit-sharing for Crash, producer Cathy Schulman filed suit accusing Yari of firing her in retaliation for his being denied a producer credit on the movie by the PGA which in turn resulted in Yari’s not making the cut as one of the winners of the movie’s Best Picture Oscar.

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AFM: Myriad Acquires Mike Figgis-Directed ‘Seconds Of Pleasure’

Mike Fleming

Myriad Pictures has acquired worldwide rights outside the UK for the Neil LaBute-scripted Seconds Of Pleasure. Mike Figgis will direct a film that will star Matt Dillon, Julia Stiles, Brendan Fraser, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Hendricks. Seconds Of Pleasure explores a series of intimate and emotionally charged events that occur among a small group of people traveling together on a trans-Atlantic flight from Chicago to London. LaBute adapted it from his novel, which weaves together the intertwined yet separate stories of the six couples searching for those moments that make life worth living. Seconds Of Pleasure is a production of Scotland broadcasting giant STV. Margaret Enefer, STV Productions’ Head of Drama, Bill Shapter and LaBute are the producers. Read More »

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Eric Brevig Will Reteam With Brendan Fraser To Direct ‘William Tell: 3D’

By | Wednesday September 7, 2011 @ 7:39pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Eric Brevig has been set to direct Brendan Fraser in William Tell: 3D, the historical family action adventure that will be shot next spring in Romania. Brevig replaces Nick Hurran. Brevig previously directed Fraser in the 3D hit Journey to the Center of the Earth, and also helmed Yogi Bear. Brevig is more than capable of shooting the splitting of an apple in 3D; he graduated to director from the position of visual effects supervisor on such films as Total Recall, Pearl Harbor, Men in Black and The Day After Tomorrow. Producer Todd Moyer said that he sparked to the idea of reteaming Fraser and Brevig. “Family action adventure is exactly what Brendan and Eric do best,” he said. “Eric’s skills and experience will make this film compete with any studio film.” Because Hurran dropped out, the film is now eyeing a mid-March 2012 start in Castel Studios in Romania and on location in Switzerland. The budget is upped to $27 million and Chad and Evan Law are tweaking their script. The film will be sold in Toronto by Gary Hamilton’s Arclight Pictures. According to the producers, Tell is a revered historical figure in Europe. Hermann Gessler, the local potentate of the Hapsburg monarch, forces Tell to shoot the apple off his son’s head because he refused to bow before Gessler’s hat. Tell drills the apple cleanly and wins both his and his son’s freedom. When Gessler asked Tell … Read More »

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Matt Dillon Set For Indie Comedy ‘Imogene’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Matt Dillon has been set to co-star in Imogene, joining Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening in the indie comedy that started shooting this week in New York. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are directing, and Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s Maven Pictures is producing with Anonymous Cntent’s Alix Madigan and Steve Golin. Dillon plays the eccentric love interest of Bening’s character. He claims to be in the CIA, but his behavior suggests he just might be crazy. In the Michelle Morgan-scripted comedy, Wiig plays a playwright who stages a fake suicide attempt in reaction to the triple-whammy of losing her job, getting evicted and getting dumped by her boyfriend. She hopes to gain sympathy from her ex, but instead is consigned to return to the home of her gambling addict mother (Bening). Dillon last starred in Takers and guested on Modern Family. He’d been expected to star with Brendan Fraser and William H. Macy in the Charlie Matthau-directed Elmore Leonard novel adaptation Freaky Deaky, but when Fraser dropped out of that due to personal reasons, the other actors followed, and that film will now star Christian Slater, Billy Burke, and Crispin Glover. Dillon is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.

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Animated Film ‘Escape From Planet Earth’ Gets Voice Cast

Mike Fleming

NEW YORK, NY August 2, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Rainmaker Entertainment announced today the all-star voice cast for ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH which includes Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Rob Corddry, James Gandolfini and Craig Robinson. The 3D animated family comedy is currently in full production.

The announcement was made today by Donna Gigliotti, TWC’s President of Production, and Catherine Winder, President and Executive Producer, Rainmaker Entertainment. Both Gigliotti and Winder serve as producers on the animated feature film.

ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH is directed by Cal Brunker, best known for his work on the animated feature films DESPICABLE ME, 9 and HORTON HEARS A WHO! Producers Gigliotti and Winder are joined by Rainmaker’s Luke Carroll as a producer on the film. TWC Co-Chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein are executive producers. The film was written by Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen based on an original screenplay by Tony Leech and Cory Edwards.

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‘Freaky Deaky’ Gets Cast And Start Date

Mike Fleming

Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, William H. Macy and Craig Robinson are in talks to star in Freaky Deaky, the Charlie Matthau-directed adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel. Shooting starts June 27 in Detroit. The novel has caught the eye of numerous filmmakers over the years including Quentin Tarantino, but the premise — about 60s radicals who try to use their bomb-making skills to become capitalists in the 70s — was a bit of a problem because the book was set in the late 80s. Matthau wrote the script, and had a breakthrough when Leonard suggested setting it right at the time the bombers decided to turn their skills to make money, which meant putting the drama in 1974. Dillon plays Chris Mankowski, a Vietnam vet who is on the Detroit police bomb squad; Fraser plays Skip, the former 60s radical who becomes a Hollywood demolition guy; Macy (who signed on late last year) plays an alcoholic playboy millionaire who’s threatened by Skip and his girlfriend that he’ll have his mansion blown up if he doesn’t pay $3 mlllion; and Robinson plays a former Black Panther also looking to cash in.

The film is being financed by Eyde Studios. Matthau is producing and Leonard is exec producing with Donald Zuckerman, Michael Meltzer, Robert Cantrell, Steven M. Berez, Tom Ortenberg, along with George, Lou and Nathaniel Eyde and Lee Greenberg. Talks are underway with domestic distributors, and Nicolas Chartier’s Voltage has … Read More »

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Brendan Fraser Kicks Career Into Overdrive Shooting ‘Four Kings’, ‘Escape From Planet Earth’ & ‘Gimme Shelter’ All This Summer

EXCLUSIVE: You remember Brendan Fraser, right? Whose movie career has been in the witness protection program since CBS Films’ Extraordinary Measures and hasn’t had a major hit since 2008′s Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D and The Mummy 3. But whose roles remain as eclectic as anyone’s in Hollywood? Well, he hasn’t changed his ways even though he’s been absent from the box office recently. Fraser will star in what’s being billed to me as a “sweeping epic historical drama” that starts production in Toronto in August. Four Kings is set against the French and Indian War that essentially divided North America. Executive produced by Todd Moyer and James Holt, the film is produced by Jeff Sackman (American Psycho) from a project developed by Telefilm Canada. Fraser, himself a Canadian-American, stars as Colonel Lord Francis Nicholson, a vastly wealthy Brit who self-finances the war in the hope of creating a utopian society in what is now Canada. Writer/director Damian Lee of Alchemist Entertainment is attached. 

Fraser will also voice the role of Scorch in The Weinstein Company’s much-delayed 3D animated film, Escape From Planet Earth, about a group of aliens plotting to escape that top-secret Nevada compound popular with conspiracists known as Area 51. It was first announced back in 2006, no kidding! The film is Read More »

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Christina Hendricks Uses ‘Mad Men’ Hiatus For ‘Seconds Of Pleasure’

Mike Fleming

Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks has signed on to star in Seconds of Pleasure, which Mike Figgis is directing from a Neil LaBute script. The story takes place on an airplane and connects the lives of people on the plane through vignettes. Hendricks plays a wife who catches her husband in a compromising position. Brendan Fraser plays the husband, and Julia Stiles, Matt Dillon and Kristen Scott Thomas also star. LaBute is producing, with production to begin this summer in the UK. Hendricks, also shooting the Doug McGrath-directed I Don’t Know How She Does It with an ensemble cast that includes Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker, is repped by Paul Kohner Agency and KLWG Entertainment.

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Brendan Fraser Heads Back To CAA, Signs On For Neil LaBute’s Next

By | Monday January 10, 2011 @ 4:33pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Brendan Fraser has returned to CAA, after spending the past half decade at WME. Move comes just as Fraser is signing on for Seconds of Pleasure, a drama which Neil LaBute is prepping to shoot in the UK in March. Kristin Scott Thomas will also star, and Colin Firth and Ed Harris are mulling offers. Fraser’s slot was open, after he left the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth. While the original 3D film was a hit, New Line would not pay a pre-negotiated sequel option price of around $15 million. They re-cast, and Dwayne Johnson took the male lead in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Brillstein Entertainment Partners continues to manage Fraser.

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