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’90s Redux: Bill Nighy May Be Broadway-Bound In Hare’s ‘Skylight’; `Master Class’ Helmer Mike Nichols Talks Shop for HBO

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 8:08am PDT

’90s Redux: Bill Nighy May Be Broadway-Bound In Hare’s ‘Skylight’; `Master Class’ Helmer Mike Nichols Talks Shop for HBOThe Union Jack will be flying over Broadway big-time this coming season, as talk heats up about bringing Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan and the acclaimed National Theatre revival of David Hare’s Skylight to New York in the spring. I wrote a few weeks ago that while the Stephen Daldry production will be telecast in the fall by NT Live, far better would be the chance to see Hare’s extraordinarily moving play — about the expired romance between an older, self-made businessman and an idealistic young teacher, roles created by Michael Gambon and Lia Williams — on Broadway.

Image (3) GerardColumn_badge__140512224655-150x150.png for post 735293This week the show, which runs in London through August, got the stamp of approval from the Times‘ Ben Brantley and Michael Reidel speculates that Scott Rudin and Robert Fox are joining forces to bring it over in the spring. I’m told that conversations are indeed going on to bring the show in. “Even more than in Richard Eyre’s fine 1996 Broadway production,” Brantley wrote of Nighy (who appeared on Broadway in Hare’s 2006 The Vertical Hour) and Mulligan, “I was always aware of how ineffably, achingly attracted each was to the other, and of the diametrically opposed ways in which that attraction became flesh.”

Skylight - Press NightSkylight will have plenty of company: September 10 will see the first performance of another celebrated National Theatre import, The Curious Incident Of The Dog in The Night-Time. And on Halloweeen, Jez Butterworth’s The River starts up at Circle In The Square with Hugh Jackman, directed by Ian Rickson (who also staged Butterworth’s amazing Jerusalem in 2011, with Mark Rylance). Read More »

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Strands: Lindsay Lohan, Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan’s West End News

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 7:17pm PDT

Strands:  Lindsay Lohan, Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan’s West End NewsOh all right, we’ll bite: Recovering tabloid bait Lindsay Lohan has signed on to play Karen, an office temp with an agenda, in an upcoming London revival of David Mamet’s semi-savage Hollywood comedy Speed-The-Plow. The casting of the other two roles — the newly appointed head of production at a studio and his friend, a producer – hasn’t been announced for the show, which will have a limited run beginning in September, opening October 2 and ending on November 29 at the Playhouse Theatre with Lindsay Posner, a Mamet specialist, directing.

Lohan’s role was originated by Madonna in the 1988 premiere at Lincoln Center Theater, which also starred Ron Silver and Joe Mantegna, with direction by Gregory Mosher. Madonna pleased the critics, and the show moved to Broadway, where Silver won a Tony for his performance.

Skylight - Press NightIn other news from the West End, a smash revival of David Hare’s remarkable play Skylight, starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, will be broadcast by the National Theatre Live, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The transmission by NT Live will first be seen in Great Britain live on July 17, followed by an international broadcast to movie theaters on Oct. 23. The Stephen Daldry production runs through August 23 at Wyndham’s Theatre. Nighy and Mulligan play former lovers, he an older self-made millionaire, she a young schoolteacher. The roles were memorably originated by Michael Gambon and Lia Williams in Richard Eyre’s 1996 Broadway production, a transfer … Read More »

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Stephen Daldry To Direct Carey Mulligan, Bill Nighy, Matthew Beard In West End ‘Skylight’

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 2:15am PST

carey mulliganbill nighyAfter helming Helen Mirren in the West End production of The Audience, Stephen Daldry will return to the London theater with Skylight. The major revival of David Hare’s Olivier Award winning play will star Carey Mulligan, Bill Nighy and Mulligan’s An Education co-star Matthew Beard. The drama is set on a bitterly cold London evening when schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Mulligan) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Nighy), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died. As the evening progresses, the two attempt to rekindle their once passionate relationship, but find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires. The Robert Fox Limited production will open at the Wyndham’s Theatre on June 18, with previews from June 6, and close on August 23. The original 1995 production was also at Wyndham’s.

matthew-beardNighy is a Hare regular, previously starring in a 1997 production of Skylight as well as stage versions of Pravda, Map Of The World and The Vertical Hour. Later this year he’ll reteam with Hare for the 2nd and 3rd installments of the BBC’s The Worricker Trilogy series. Mulligan is making her West End stage debut in Skylight. She was last on stage in the Atlantic Theater Company’s 2011 production of Through A Glass Darkly at … Read More »

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Carey Mulligan Eyes Re-Team With ‘Shame’ Scribe In ‘The Fury’

By | Wednesday July 24, 2013 @ 6:49am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Carey Mulligan is in early talks to star in The Fury, a Focus Features drama that will be directed by Brick Lane helmer Sarah Gavron. The film’s focus is the suffragist movement in the UK and it was scripted by Abi Morgan. Morgan co-wrote Shame with that film’s director, Steve McQueen, and Mulligan starred with Michael Fassbender. Producing is Faye Ward and Alison Owen of Ruby Films, the UK-based company behind the Tom Hanks-Emma Thompson-starrer Saving Mr. Banks at Disney. The film will be a co-production between Focus Features and Film 4. Mulligan, who starred in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, will next be seen in Inside Llewyn Davis, the Joel and Ethan Coen film that premiered at Cannes and opens in the fall through CBS Films. She is next booked to star in the Thomas Vinterberg-directed Far From The Madding Crowd. Mulligan is repped by WME and Julian Belfrage Associates. I’ll fill in more details on the log line when I can get them.

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WME Signs ‘The Great Gatsby’ Star Carey Mulligan

By | Wednesday June 5, 2013 @ 6:30pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Now, this is a coup. WME has just signed actress Carey Mulligan, who’s about as hot a gal as there is in town. She’s coming off Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, the Steve McQueen-directed Shame and the stylish Nicolas Winding Refn-directed Drive. Mulligan has a pair of pictures at Cannes; besides the curtain raiser Gatsby, she also starred in the Joel and Ethan Coen-directed Inside Llewyn Davis, which won the Grand Prix at the festival and will be released by CBS Films December 6. Mulligan had been repped by CAA, and she was signed by Warren Zavala, who had been at CAA but moved to WME last year with his whole client list. She has been rumored to be in contention to play Hillary Clinton in the James Ponsoldt-directed Rodham, but I’m told that’s far from a sure thing at this point. Mulligan will next begin production on Far from the Madding Crowd starring opposite Mathias Schoenaerts and directed by Thomas Vinterberg. She continues to be repped in the UK by Julian Belfrage & Associates and at Ziffren Brittenham.

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Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts Set For Searchlight’s ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, whose The Hunt was in the Cannes competition last year, will make his studio-produced English-language helming debut with the adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, Far From The Madding Crowd. The UK’s DNA Films is producing with Fox Searchlight, which confirms that Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts will star in the new take. They’ll play Bathsheba Everdine and Gabriel Oak in the story of the ill-fated passions of a willful young woman and her three suitors. Production is scheduled for this fall in the UK with Searchlight marketing and distributing for the world. A previous film version was directed by John Schlesinger in 1967 and starred Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Peter Finch and Alan Bates (as Oak). Mulligan is in Cannes this week in support of The Great Gatsby and Inside Llewyn Davis. Schoenaerts was in Cannes last year with Rust And Bone and is here now with Blood Ties. They are both repped by CAA; Vinterberg is repped by ICM Partners.

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Post-’Twilight Saga’, Robert Pattinson Takes Showy Role In ‘Hold On To Me’

By | Tuesday October 16, 2012 @ 12:58pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Robert Pattinson Carey Mulligan Hold On To MeEXCLUSIVE: As packages firm up for AFM, here’s one that will surely reverberate in Santa Monica. Robert Pattinson is signing on to star with Carey Mulligan in Hold On To Me. The film will be directed by James Marsh, who won an Oscar for the docu Man On Wire and followed with Project Nim. Pic is based on a true story about a femme fatale who with her boyfriend kidnaps and ransoms the town’s richest man. They bury him in a box and things go horribly awry. Pattinson plays the flashy supporting role of the woman’s life love, Jimmy, who isn’t involved in the crime. The project was scripted by Brad Ingelsby. Read More »

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Samantha Morton, Amy Adams And Carey Mulligan Circle Spike Jonze Film

By | Wednesday February 1, 2012 @ 6:12pm PST
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Sources tell me that the project that Morton, Adams and Mulligan and Phoenix are doing was written by Spike Jonze himself, and not Charlie Kaufman. The film is about a guy who falls in love with the voice of a computer, similar to the Siri feature on the new iPhone.

EXCLUSIVE: I am hearing that Samantha Morton, Amy Adams and Carey Mulligan are in discussions to star with Joaquin Phoenix in the untitled project that Spike Jonze will direct, with a script by his Being John Malkovich and Adaptation scribe Charlie Kaufman. It’s very difficult to get any confirmation on the project because the filmmaker is secretive as is the financier, Megan Ellison of Annapurna Pictures. Deadline was first to reveal the project when it was shopped early last year to financiers and Ellison took it off the table.

At the time, I’d heard the film is a satire about how world leaders gather to figure out all the seismic events that will take place in the worlds, from oil prices to wars that will be waged. The Principato-Young-repped Morton next stars in John Carter; the WME/Brillstein Entertainment Partners-repped Amy Adams next plays Lois Lane in Man of Steel and soon stars with Clint Eastwood and … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Hong Kong, Europe, UK, Australia

Run Run Shaw To Retire – At 104
At 104-years-old, legendary producer and TV mogul Run Run Shaw is to retire as chairman of Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts Ltd. Shaw is lately known for co-founding TVB which is one of the world’s biggest producers of Chinese-language programming, but he started his career in the film business dating back to 1920s China and has produced hundreds of films. He is also known for having been one of the backers of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. TVB has been something of a proving ground with such talent as Chow Yun-fat and Andy Lau getting a start there. Bloomberg reports that Shaw will step down at the end of the year to be replaced by the quarter-century younger Norman Leung.

EFP Names Shooting Stars
Ten European actors have been selected as Shooting Stars 2012. European Film Promotion will showcase the newcomers at the Berlin Film Festival in February. In all, 23 candidates were nominated by a jury of internationally established film industry pros. Shooting Stars is supported by the EU’s MEDIA Programme and EFP’s member orgs. The chosen group has had breakout perfs in their home territories and are those considered most ripe to make the jump to international work. Previous talent selected as Shooting Stars includes Carey Mulligan and Melanie Laurent. The Shooting Stars 2012 (pictured above) are as follows: Adele … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Shame’ Red Band

By | Tuesday November 29, 2011 @ 4:12pm PST

Fox Searchlight today posted on Facebook another trailer for Steve McQueen’s Shame. The movie starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan opens Friday; it was nominated earlier in the day by the Spirit Awards for Best International Film.

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HAMMOND: Oscar Hopefuls Swarm Hollywood Awards Gala

Pete Hammond

Across town, as President Barack Obama was drawing every celebrity not in contention for awards this season, the 15th annual Hollywood Awards Gala was taking place at the Beverly Hilton. All of the Oscar hopefuls who agreed to show up to accept an award were there in their Monday finest as this was a place to be seen if you want an ego boost at this early point in the season.

With 19 above- and below-the-line categories to plow through, this was a surprisingly fun show that, if it didn’t already exist, Hollywood would have to find some way to invent. Billed as the ”official” kickoff to awards season (if you don’t count all those film festivals we’ve just been through), The Hollywood Awards were created — and basically chosen — by executive director Carlos de Abreu, who, with Janice Pennington, founded the gala and accompanying film festival. They are the result of a months-long negotiation between him and the studios and distributors, who are using this early opportunity to get key positioning for the players they hope to advance during the long awards season leading ultimately to Oscar. The only caveat is that to get the award, you have to agree to show up.

This year, de Abreu has his pulse on some real contenders and handed out acting awards to — among many others — Michelle Williams, George Clooney and Christopher Plummer, who all could realistically be considered close to frontrunners in their respective categories.

A real highlight of the show was when Marilyn Monroe’s Oscar-nominated Bus Stop co-star Don Murray showed up to present Hollywood Actress of the Year to Williams, who plays the iconic star in The Weinstein Company’s My Week With Marilyn“I’m the last of the the on-screen lovers of Marilyn Monroe, and I still just happen to have a body that actually works, ” the 82-year-old actor said to much laughter. “Michelle re-created moments I was so intimately familiar with as I spent 14 months working with Marilyn. There’s not one thing in this film that’s not truthful. It was a revelation. Michelle’s performance made me appreciate Marilyn Monroe  so much more.”

Williams, noticeably nervous, said her friends always wanted to see her win a award so she could basically sweat through the experience. She did well though, closing with a touching perception about Monroe. “It seems to me that all Marilyn Monroe wanted was to be taken seriously as an actress, and she studied so hard and never really got there,” she said, adding that it was ironic Williams herself could get this kind of recognition that so eluded the star she played.

Read More »

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Mark Romanek Frontrunner For Sony’s ‘The Lost Symbol’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Mark Romanek has emerged as frontrunner to direct The Lost Symbol, Sony Pictures’ third installment of the Dan Brown-penned thrillers focusing on symbologist Robert Langdon. After directing the global blockbusters The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Ron Howard this summer opted out of directing a third, preferring to produce with his Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer. Grazer produced the first two films in the series with the late John Calley, who acquired the property before he left the Sony Pictures executive suite to become a producer.

Sony Pictures has been interviewing helmers for one of the more prominent open directing assignments. Romanek hasn’t got the job locked up yet, but I’ve heard negotiations should begin soon. Romanek, a top video director, made his feature helming debut on One Hour Photo, and most recently directed Never Let Me Go with Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. Romanek has so far made mostly budget films. He nearly helmed a big one in The Wolfman but left weeks before production started in a dispute with Universal over budget and other creative disagreements. Read More »

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WB To Open ‘Great Gatsby’ Dec. 25, 2012

Warner Bros. has set The Great Gatsby to open Christmas Day 2012. Director Baz Luhrmann began filming his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel  last month in Australia. The 3D production stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke and Elizabeth Debicki.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Shame’

By | Friday October 14, 2011 @ 8:13am PDT
Mike Fleming

UK-based Momentum Pictures has put up a trailer for Shame, the controversial, NC-17 Steve McQueen-directed drama that stars Michael Fassbender as a man caught in a spiral of promiscuity. Carey Mulligan plays his sister. Both are being mentioned for awards for a film that Fox Searchlight acquired for US distribution at the start of the Toronto Film Festival. The picture has been widely acclaimed on the festival circuit.

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Toronto: Distribution Deal For Luc Besson’s ‘The Lady’ Puts Michelle Yeoh And David Thewlis In Oscar Race

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Oscar race just got a little more interesting. EuropaCorp has made a U.S. distribution deal with Cohen Media Group for the Luc Besson-directed The Lady, the story of Burmese pro-democracy activist and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi. Upstart Cohen Media Group plans to release the film for an Oscar-qualifying platform release late this year to capitalize on strong performances by Michelle Yeoh, who plays Suu Kyi, and David Thewlis, who plays her Oxford professor husband Michael Aris. The film will get a wider release in early 2012. Suu Kyi has spent most of the last 20 years under house arrest by the repressive Burmese military-controlled government. Leaders cruelly barred her husband and two sons from visiting her, thinking that it would drive her to leave. Because she knew that once gone she would never be permitted re-entry, Suu Kyi sacrificed everything to stay and become an iconic symbol of democracy and human rights. Her husband and sons bolstered her spirit and campaigned for the Nobel Peace Prize, which she was awarded in 1991. The distribution deals came quickly after the film premiered Monday evening at Roy Thomson Hall, where Besson, Yeoh and Thewlis received a rousing standing ovation. The deal was brokered by EuropaCorp Group CEO Christophe Lambert and Cohen Media Group CEO Charles S. Cohen.

The Lady becomes the second Toronto title to become an instant entry into upcoming awards season, after Fox Searchlight acquired the NC-17 Steve McQueen-directed Shame with plans to campaign for Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.

After establishing himself as France’s answer to Steven Spielberg directing hits like La Femme Nikita and The Professional and co-writing and producing action films like Taken, Besson has become very selective in the projects he directs. While he has always had a soft spot for strong female protagonists, it has always been in action settings. The Lady is a decided departure and certainly his most personal film to date. Besson made it to refocus the world’s attention on an activist whose continuing plight gets easily forgotten in a turbulent world, even though she won that Nobel Peace Prize and U2′s Bono and The Edge wrote the song Walk On about her sacrifice (which got U2′s album banned in Burma). Read More »

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Toronto: Where Are The Film Deals?

Mike Fleming

Just as it did last year, the 2011 Toronto Film Festival has gotten off to a slow start on the acquisitions front. I spoke with many buyers after last night’s onslaught of acquisition title premieres, and the common feeling was these distributors need to fill slots in their schedules and they want to fall in love, but haven’t quite gotten there yet with most of these films. They had some reservations on just about all of the films they saw. These films will clearly find distribution homes, but the reaction means that deals will drag out because those distributors aren’t going to be posting large minimum guarantees, the way they did in Cannes.

Even the big sale of the festival so far, the Steve McQueen-directed NC-17 sex drama Shame, wasn’t a huge commitment for all the press hoopla that followed Deadline’s reveal that the film had sold to Fox Searchlight. I am hearing the deal was a mid-six figure minimum guarantee around $400,000, and a P&A commitment around $1.5 million. That sounds about right, because the filmmakers were most concerned with entering this year’s Oscar race to capitalize on the performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, and ensuring that not a frame of the picture was changed. But it doesn’t sound like a wide release picture.

As for the wide release titles, they are going to sell, but it will be a struggle for sellers to get the dollars they want. I saw one of those titles that sit atop buyer lists last night. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was scripted by Simon Beaufoy, directed by Lasse Hallstrom and stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked, the latter playing a wealthy sheik who pays a fisheries scientist to stock a stream with trout. The film is sophisticated, funny, timely and utterly charming, and I would be surprised if it isn’t snapped up by Monday or sooner. That film got the best reaction from the buyers I spoke with. The pace of auctioning has been complicated by the volume of premieres last night, including Rampart, Take This Waltz, The Oranges, the hockey comedy Goon and the Morgan Spurlock-directed documentary Comic-Con: A Fan’s Hope. Buyers had to make choices, and some were seeing films like Salmon this morning. I expect a flurry of deals toward the end of the festival, which is how it played out last year.

Since there’s little going on so far, you have time to notice things. Here are a few things I’ve noticed: Read More »

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Toronto: ‘Descendants’ Premiere Gets Big Reaction, Searchlight Has No Shame About Pickup Of Controversial ‘Shame’

Pete Hammond

Fox Seachlight’s annual party at the Thompson Hotel for the Toronto International Film Festival seemed especially ebullient Saturday after its growing Oscar contender, The Descendants, premiered to a standing ovation. Exactly a week earlier, the film received a similar enthusiastic response in Telluride. On top of that, Searchlight’s co-presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula had just won rights over The Weinstein Company and Sony Pictures Classics to the controversial Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which missed out Saturday on the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival but did nab star Michael Fassbender the Best Actor prize for his raw, let-it-all-hang-out performance as a sexually addicted man in freefall.

Shame Michael Fassbender Carey MulliganUtley confirmed that Searchlight will release Shame this year in time for the Oscar race, possibly December. Although they have not dated it, they do want enough time to put a campaign together. She was thrilled that Fassbender got the Venice prize for the film, which premieres in Toronto tomorrow night, after Read More »

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Toronto: Fox Searchlight Acquires ‘Shame’

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Fox Searchlight toppers Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula have confirmed the acquisition of Shame at Toronto. Searchlight’s official release is after the jump.

EXCLUSIVE: In the first major deal of the Toronto Film Festival, Fox Searchlight has acquired Shame, the Steve McQueen-directed NC-17 drama that was the talk of Telluride. Bidding came down to Searchlight and The Weinstein Company. The film is said to showcase a tour de force performance by Michael Fassbender, who plays a New Yorker unable to manage his sex life when his wayward younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment, and his world spirals out of control. Searchlight had been the frontrunner in the bidding. The film is a provocative purchase for a number of reasons: It is unabashedly NC-17, features graphic sex scenes and nudity — one source said “think dungeon sex” — and McQueen has final cut and will not change a frame. It will be a controversial release for Searchlight, whose parent company has already weathered plenty of scandal lately. Also, the deal calls for a late-year release and Best Actor campaign for Fassbender; Searchlight will already be waging a campaign in the same category for George Clooney in the Alexander Payne-directed The Descendants. Hanway brokered the Shame deal. Read More »

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2011 Toronto: ‘Shame’ Will Start Dealmaking Flurry, But Buyers Wait To Be Blown Away

Mike Fleming

Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and already there are fireworks. Deadline broke news yesterday that Harvey Weinstein would start a VOD business, making the acquisitions market for fringe films more competitive; and last night, I heard that a bidding battle had already broken out for the Steve McQueen-directed Shame,  which should be sold by the time it screens Sunday. Fox Searchlight is the favorite, Sony Pictures Classics is in the mix and I’ve heard that The Weinstein Company is hovering. Bidding began right after its Telluride screening, and the mid-six figures thrown around yesterday will probably go higher. That’s huge, considering the movie is an unabashed NC-17, McQueen has final cut, and the sex-obsessed protagonist is unlikable. Oh, yeah, and the sellers want it released this year for Oscar consideration to capitalize on Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan’s Oscar-caliber performances.

Does this mean we’re in for a drunken buying frenzy? Hardly, buyers tell me. They are eager to see the films, but say there’s no title here that’s going to guarantee somebody will overpay. They are also mindful that many of last year’s deals turned out to be box office busts. More deals will be made than … Read More »

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