Entertainment One has picked up U.S. rights to TIFF comedy The Grand Seduction, starring Brendan Gleeson (The Guard) and Taylor Kitsch (Lone Survivor) in the tale of a small town that mobilizes to woo a fast-living doctor (Kitsch) to become a resident so they can qualify to host an economy-boosting petrochemical plant. Gleeson plays the unemployed fisherman leading the town campaign. Pic is helmed by Don McKellar and adapted by Michael Dowse and Ken Scott from Scott’s 2003 French-Canadian original, La Grande Seduction. eOne’s Mark Slone exec produced with Jeff Sackman and Joe Iacono. Roger Frappier and Barbara Doran produced. A summer theatrical release is in the works via eOne, which also has rights in Canada and the UK. Jeff Sackman negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers with eOne’s Richard Rapkowski.
UPDATE, 12:50 PM: Fox Searchlight has confirmed a deal for rights in the U.S. and select overseas territories for the black comedy/drama and plans a 2014 release. Check out the release after the main break.
PREVIOUS BREAKING, 10:29 AM: I’m hearing from the airport here that Calvary has sold to Fox Searchlight for $2.5 million. The Irish-UK pic starring Brendan Gleeson and directed by John Michael McDonagh co-stars Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, and Aidan Gillen. It screened Sunday in Park City in the fest’s Premieres section. The pic centers on a priest (Gleeson) who one day is told by an unseen man that he’s going to kill him precisely because he’s done nothing wrong. Given a week to make his peace with God, the priest ministers to sundry lost souls — visits that double as a guided tour of suspects. His preparation for death is further complicated by the arrival of his daughter, who has recently attempted suicide. It recently was added to the Panorama sidebar at Berlin and will screen there next month.
Brendan Gleeson is set as the lead in The Money, David Milch‘s latest drama project for HBO. With Gleeson on board, it has received a formal pilot order. Written by Milch, The Money is about wealth and corruption among the super elite, focusing on American mogul and patriarch James Castman (Gleeson), who wields power and influence to expand his media empire and control his family.
Milch is executive producing with Art & John Linson (Sons Of Anarchy). Frank Rich, who has a deal at HBO, also is exec producing. Justin Chadwick is set to direct the pilot and co-executive produce with Eric Roth and Sarah Caplan. Gleeson, repped by Principal Entertainment and Ireland’s The Agency, has won an Emmy for an HBO project, the 2009 movie Into the Storm. This would mark the veteran actor’s first U.S. TV series. For Milch, who has been under a deal at HBO for a decade, The Money marks his fifth pilot at the pay cable network. Three of the other four — Deadwood, John From Cincinnati and Luck — went to series.
Brendan Gleeson and Taylor Kitsch will star in The Grand Seduction, which Don McKellar is directing from a screenplay by Michael Dowse and Ken Scott. Scott scripted the 2003 French original Le Grande Seduction. Cast will also include Gorden Pinsent, Mary Walsh, Cathy Jones and Liane Balaban. Casting is by Heidi Leivitt and Lucie Robitaille.
Roger Frappier produced the original and is back for the remake, producing with Barbara Doran. Shooting is just getting underway in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada and in various outport communities around Trinity Bay, Red Cliff, New Bonaventure and Port Rexton.
The film centers on the small harbor of Tickle Cove, which is in dire need of a doctor so the town can land a contract to secure a factory that will save the town from financial ruin. Village resident Murray French (Gleeson) leads the search, and when he finds Dr. Paul Lewis (Kitsch) he employs — along with the whole town — tactics to seduce the doctor to stay permanently.
Brendan Gleeson and Abbie Cornish will star in An Ordinary Man, with Brad Silberling directing his script. The drama revolves around the relationship between a war criminal in hiding and his maid, who becomes his only human contact. Shooting will begin this fall, and Radiant Films International president and CEO Mimi Steinbauer will sell at Cannes. Silberling is producing with Chris Miller, James Burke and Michael Richter, with David Lonner exec producing. Pic will shoot in Belgrade, Serbia.
Protagonist Pictures has taken on international sales for Reprisal Films’ Calvary from The Guard director John Michael McDonagh. McDonagh also wrote the screenplay for the blackly comic drama about a good priest tormented by his community. The director reteams here with his Guard star Brendan Gleeson along with Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes) and Aidan Gillen (Shadow Dancer). Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo of Reprisal are producing. Elizabeth Eves will serve as co-producer. The film is slated to shoot from late summer this year. McDonagh is nominated for a BAFTA award this Sunday for his Guard screenplay.
The Guard star Brendan Gleeson has joined Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Brit Marling and Anna Kendrick in the Redford-directed The Company You Keep. Gleeson will next be seen opposite Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs, in the John Cusack-starrer The Raven, and with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in the Daniel Espinosa-directed Safe House for Universal. He’s repped by Principal Entertainment and Ireland-based The Agency.
Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman Animations announced they’ve set Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey and Ashley Jenson to provide the voices in The Pirates! Band of Misfits, a stop-motion 3D animated pic that will be released March 30, 2012. Aardman’s Peter Lord is directing a script by Gideon Dafoe.
Grant’s character? A bearded pirate captain who is vying for the Pirate of the Year Award. When I got a missive about a Hugh Grant film, I got a little excited. Because he doesn’t work much and his last few films have been underwhelming Hollywood comedies like Did You Hear About the Morgans and Music and Lyrics. This is the guy who owns the British romantic comedy, from Four Weddings and a Funeral to Love Actually (his British prime minister character wears well even if you’ve seen the film 50 times), Notting Hill, About A Boy and those Bridget Jones films. So, great to see Grant working and who wouldn’t want to be a cartoon pirate? But can somebody please lock Grant and Richard Curtis in a room and not let them out until they’ve come up with something in the way of a live action British comedy?
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Vera Farmiga to star with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in Safe House, the Daniel Espinosa-directed drama. Production is already under way, with Reynolds playing a young agent assigned to escort a dangerous criminal to safety after they are attacked at a safe house. Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Robert Patrick and Liam Cunningham will also star in the drama. Scott Stuber is producing and Intrepid Pictures’ Trevor Macy and Marc D. Evans are exec producers. Farmiga will play a CIA operative supervising Reynolds’ character. Farmiga stars in Source Code and made her directorial debut in Higher Ground, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. She’s repped by CAA and Authentic.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Classics has closed a 7-figure deal for U.S. and Latin American distribution rights to The Guard, the Irish action comedy written and directed by John Michael McDonagh. The film premiered last Thursday and multiple distributors have been circling since.
Brendan Gleeson plays a local cop who begrudgingly assists an FBI agent (Don Cheadle) who is chasing the members of an international drug smuggling ring that has taken up residence in the Irish town. McDonagh, the brother of In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh (the pic’s executive producer), makes his feature debut. It’s the third deal of the festival for SPC partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, but the first one they made on the ground at Park City. They are distributing Morgan Spurlock’s documentary POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. And made a sight-unseen preemptive acquisition of the Jeff Nichols-directed drama Take Shelter, the drama that stars Michael Shannon as a small town man who builds a storm cellar in his yard after dreams tell him that an imminent apocalyptic event. Jessica Chastain plays his wife. That drama premiered today at Eccles Theater and it has received glowing reviews.
UTA’s Rena Ronson and David Flynn brokered the deal with Metropolis Film Sales.