EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Charlize Theron will narrate the documentary Angels In Exile about street kids in her native South Africa. Directed by Billy Raftery, the film examines the real life of homeless youth in Durham, South Africa. Raftery spent eight years following two youths in particular, Zulieka and Ariel, as they grew from children to adolescents and dealt with the dangers of their world. “You can’t help but connect with Zulieka, her strength and radiant disposition somehow shines through the unimaginably rough world she finds herself in,” said South African-born Theron about what drew her to the project. Raftery, Adam Paul Smith, Franklin Martin and Doug Matejka are producing Angels In Exile in association with the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, Red Granite Productions and Act 4 Entertainment. Riza Aziz, David Johnson, Joe Petri and Harry Barton executive produce. Theron’s charity works to keep African young people safe from HIV/AIDS. Appearing in the upcoming Mad Max reboot, Charlize Theron is repped by WME.
John Madden has been set to direct Murder Mystery, a comedic whodunit movie that Charlize Theron will co-produce and is negotiating to star in. James Vanderbilt wrote the script, and he is producing with Tripp Vinson, Beau Flynn, Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern, Tower Hill’s William Shively, and Theron through her Denver and Delilah Productions. Endgame’s Julie Goldstein and Lucas Smith will oversee production, and Doug E. Hansen will executive produce. The plan is for a first-quarter 2013 production start, with Endgame and Tower Hill financing. The film is described as an “affectionate deconstruction” of an Agatha Christie tale involving comedy, action, and mystery around an American couple abroad.
Madden is coming off helming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the Fox Searchlight hit that has crossed $100 million in global box office. He is repped by CAA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates. Vanderbilt is repped by WME and UFUS, and Theron by WME.
EXCLUSIVE: In one of the first major sales this development season, I hear NBC is finalizing a deal for a modern-day Hatfields and McCoys drama series project created by John Glenn (Eagle Eye) and produced by Charlize Theron and ABC Studios. The project, which has a significant penalty attached to it, reignites the centuries-old family feud in a contemporary urban setting. The Hatfields have risen to incredible wealth and power, while the McCoys are working-class. Dawn Parouse Olmstead and Beau Flynn are producing with Theron’s Denver And Delilah Prods through their deal at ABC Studios. The deal extends ABC Studios’ relationship with NBC, where it co-produced the drama pilot Beautiful People last season.
The sale comes a week after History’s three-part Hatfields & McCoys miniseries about the famous feud starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton broke basic cable ratings, averaging 13.8 million viewers over three nights. With its modern-day urban setting, the NBC project is not a Western, but its lineage will likely give it some of that flavor. NBC has been the most aggressive among the broadcast networks in the Western development arena, ordering period Western drama pilots for two consecutive years: The Crossing in 2011 and The Frontierthis year. Additionally, the network is now revisiting another Western script that didn’t make it …
A new international trailer (UK) for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus appeared today and we’re passing it along. Mixed with some of what we’ve seen before, the new bits tease just enough to keep fanticipation high. Opens June 8th in North America.
Jimmy Kimmel and President Obama high-fived their performances. But it was anything but a memorable evening of comedy at tonight’s White House Correspondents Dinner, that annual media-politics-showbiz schmoozefest in Washington DC. After three years in a row of telling funny jokes, President Obama flatlined. And ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel didn’t fare any better: he was bland to a fault. They also couldn’t get any laughs out of the few Mitt Romney jokes they told, even though the GOP presidential candidate wasn’t in attendance. Here’s the live-blog. Judge For yourself:
UPDATE 7:30 PM: Jimmy Kimmel at the mic now. Just as Obama closed on a mention of the Secret Service scandal, that’s the topic Kimmel opens with. “Mr. President, I know you won’t be able to laugh at any of my jokes about the Secret Service,” Kimmel says looking at the Commander-in-Chief, “so cover your ears if that’s physically possible.” The ABC host continues: “I do have a lot of jokes about the Secret Service. I told them for $800 I wouldn’t tell any. But they only offered $30.” Kimmel is on a roll and tells still more Secret Service jokes.
Then he starts on other subjects. “It’s kind of hard to be funny with the President of the United States sitting right next to you, looking at you. And somehow day in and day out, Joe Biden manages to do it,” says Kimmel noting the Veep’s absence. Praising the popular First Lady and her anti-childhood obesity campaign, Kimmel makes a joke about the girth of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who laughs when the talk show host reminds that the state’s slogan is “not the Olive Garden State”. He raises the Democratic strategist’s comment who criticized Mitt Romney’s wife Ann for “not working a day in her life”. Then the crowd loves it when Kimmel uses that to make fun of tonight’s guests “Kim, Lindsay, etc” for not knowing anything about current events.
Kimmel’s digs at the press are the first real lulls in his performance. “What’s black and white and read all over?” he asks. His answer of “Nothing any more” gets public groans from the mediacentric audience. A boo is heard. “Really?” Kimmel asks in response. “The Christie jokes are OK, but not [that]?”
After a joke about Abraham Lincoln killing himself falls flat, Kimmel asks, “Is the Fox table laughing or did Rupert Murdoch hack into all my jokes already? … Some people think Rupert Murdoch was intentionally trying to appear to be confused when he testified in front of the British government recently. I don’t know. The man is 81 years old. I think you have to know how to use a cell phone before you can know how to hack into one.”
Kimmel starts on the campaign fundraiser which George Clooney is hosting for President Obama at the actor’s home in Los Angeles on May 10th: “I for one have always dreamed of eating a Hot Pocket with the President of the United States and Batman,” quipped the comic.
Kimmel is now weighing in on a wide range of targets. Some are observations, like this: ”Here in one room we have members of the media, politicians, corporate executives, advertiser, lobbyists and celebrities. Everything that is wrong with America is here in the room tonight.” He jokes that Kim Kardashian is as big a threat to America as Osama Bin Laden, which doesn’t go over well. His other jokes are about gay marriage, Keith Olbermann, Current TV (“Channel 1,000,000″), pot-smoking, Michelle Bachman’s husband (and his sexuality), Benjamin Netanyahu’s name (shortening it to “Yahoo!”), Midest peace (“a mutual love of Falafel and terrible dance music”), and the Obama healthcare plan. “I think I’ve figured it out,” Kimmel says, addressing the President. “you’re not from Kenya. It’s even worse. You’re from Canada.”
Finally Kimmel gets around to Mitt Romney yet can only muster the bland joke that the GOP presidential candidate was “picked out of a Land’s End catalogue”. And this one. “You can’t have a beer with him because he doesn’t drink. You can’t have a cup of coffee with him because he can’t have caffeine. You can’t even play Monopoly with him because he keeps trying to put the dog on the car.”
Kimmel closed with, ”I’d like to thank Jake Tapper for writing all the jokes you didn’t like.” (Reference to the ABC White House correspondent.) Kimmel’s routine ends after about 40 minutes with a high five of the President.
UPDATE 7:00 PM: The President starts off with a live mic joke of him lamenting tonight’s dinner and tolerating he has to “open for Jimmy Kimmel”, or the cast of Glee being invited. Then the President says to the audience: “Delighted to see the cast members of Glee out here. And, Jimmy Kimmel, it’s an honor, man.”
Obama continues, “We gather during a historical anniversary. Last year we finally delivered justice to one of the world’s most notorious individuals.” Of course everyone thought he meant Bin Laden. But the audience howls when a picture of Donald Trump is shown on the screen.
Perhaps it was just because they come at the end of a long week and the exhibitors who come from around the country to Las Vegas for NATO’s CinemaCon convention are either tired or jaded at this point, but tonight’s closing Big Screen Achievement Awards were a pretty dry affair. Even mechanical by-the-numbers host Billy Bush (Access Hollywood) couldn’t pump much energy into the massive Colosseum theatre of Caesars Palace where these delegates have spent much of their time since Monday viewing studio presentations and seeing many of the same stars who were once again trotted out to get awards arranged by the studios and CinemaCon organizers. Of course these awards are geared to the industry’s big season and every single recipient has at least one — or more than one film coming out over the summer. So it may have been petty theft but producer/director Judd Apatow receiving the Award of Excellence in Filmmaking tried to get the crowd going and won big laughs in return for stealing the show. “You are a tough crowd,” he scolded the audience. “You always stop applauding just as the star reaches the top of the stairs. So let’s give me some more fucking applause please. This has been an exciting night but you don’t seem as excited as I am. C’mon people. Stallone was here for god’s sake!” Apatow proceeded to thank …
BREAKING: Universal Pictures is making a deal for Agent 13, a package shopped by WME that has Charlize Theron attached to star and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt attached to direct. I’m told the package drew bids from Paramount, MGM and Fox, but Universal won the day with a whopping deal. This comes off the studio’s multi-million acquisition of Fifty Shades of Grey. Script is by T.S. Nowlin. Theron is producing via her label Denver and Delilah. Sean Daniel and Jason Brown are producers for the Sean Daniel Company along with Union Entertainment.
All this will have to wait until Wyatt does a sequel to Apes, which is a high priority for Fox. The studio has an option on Wyatt’s services and he most assuredly is doing this next. Fox has been keen on this since the studio locked in Andy Serkis for a repeat at Caesar, the lead talking primate.
Mirror Mirror may not have burned up the box office in its opening weekend. Its estimated $19 million made the family film a distant and weak third, but that won’t stop a trend among Oscar winning actresses from going evil. Not since Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Olivia DeHavilland and other multi-Oscared legends collectively turned to horror films in order to regain boxoffice clout in the early 60′s have we seen so many Oscar winning actresses decide bad is good for a career, at least as far as playing mean queens and witches.
Taking a cue from the billion dollar success of Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland which featured a hilarious turn by Oscar nominated Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, it seems a plethora of Academy Award winning female stars have jumped on the fairy tale evil bandwagon, perhaps in order to prove that Oscar also can still mean gold where it counts, at the boxoffice where none of this award-laden crop have been ‘the fairest of them all’ lately. Mirror Mirror’s conniving queen Julia Roberts is just the tip of the iceberg of this trend. Now with Charlize Theron in June’s Snow White And The Huntsman , Angelina Jolie about to start Maleficent in a couple of months and Rachel Weisz having wrapped playing the Wicked Witch Of The East in Oz The Great And Powerful, we have three other Oscar winners of the past decade jumping into the fray. It reminds me of the famous ad line for the 1949 melodrama Beyond The Forest: “Nobody’s As Good As Bette Davis …
After the success of Pinkberry: The Movie, the spoof film that was generated internally by WME staff for a quarterly meeting, the agency lit department has unveiled a sequel: Staff Meeting: The Movie. The new spoof made its debut at the all company meeting last Friday, and somebody put it on YouTube, which is where I found it. While Pinkberry mainly took swipes at actual WME agents, this film spreads the pain to other agencies as well. Back as the Ari-esque agency head is Miles Fisher, who has a pretty good film career going as a result of the fact everybody in Hollywood saw Pinkberry. The new movie was directed by Dave Green, scripted by Henry Gayden, with Charlize Theron, Shawn Levy and Max Landis joining in the mischief as well as a host of agents including Adam Venit, Phil Raskind, Danny Greenberg and Rick Rosen. I particularly love the shout out to Deadline and our mellow band of commenters. Enjoy!
With two upcoming high-profile roles — in Snow White And The Huntsman, due on June 1, and Prometheus, due one week later — Charlize Theron is being honored in Las Vegas by CinemaCon with its Distinguished Decade of Achievement in Film Award. The honor will be handed out April 26 at the theater owner’s convention’s awards ceremony. Theron, a new mother on top of everything else, is coming off some of the best reviews of her career in the 2011 dramatic comedy, Young Adult. She won a Best Actress Oscar for 2003′s Monster, in which she played against her looks by playing Daytona Beach prostitute Aileen Wournos, who became a serial killer. The CinemaCon convention is the annual Las Vegas meeting put on by the National Association of Theater Owners.
Hot Trailer: ‘Snow White And The Huntsman’ With Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron And Chris Hemsworth
Universal Pictures has released an extended new trailer for the Rupert Sanders-directed Snow White And The Huntsman, the revisionist fairy tale that will be released June 1. The studio has also released a featurette on the making of a film that stars Charlize Theron as the sinister queen, Kristen Stewart as Snow, and Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth as the Huntsman. The fantasy setting looks a lot like Middle Earth. Universal debuted the trailer on Comcast-owned Xfinity.com. Trailer is below, followed by the featurette. It looks pretty compelling, and the key is whether the young crowd that wants to see Snow White wrapped in chain mail and wielding a sword. Will those images be too upsetting? Similarly ominous images did not keep them away from Alice In Wonderland, which triggered the fairy tale frenzy.
There’s a new international trailer for Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s return to the terrain he explored in the science fiction classic Alien. It’s making the web rounds on sites like Aint It Cool News. Harry Knowles says there isn’t too much new in this trailer, and while he has the geek cred, I have to say that while I would have seen it anyway, this trailer makes Prometheus a must-see. Fox releases the 3D film June 8, with Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Noomi Rapace, Patrick Wilson and Guy Pearce heading the cast.
The Best Actress race is hot this year.
That isn’t always the case as the paucity of realistic contenders in this category often reflects the lack of good roles for women in Hollywood. But the gods were smiling in 2011, providing killer parts for a nice mix of veterans, past nominees and winners and young stars looking for their first major recognition from Oscar. But as usual, Meryl Streep leads the pack. Here’s the rundown.
MERYL STREEP, THE IRON LADY
You know you are in a different league when people start saying it is high time you had another Oscar when you already have two at home. But Streep is indeed in another league and in fact only keeps breaking her own records. With 16 nominations — far more than any actor in film history — it has still been 29 years since she last won (for 1982′s Sophie’s Choice), and many feel that with her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher her time has come again. The New York Critics agreed, but she’s been in this position before and there’s stiff competition.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
The stiffest competition for Streep may well be coming from two-time nominee Williams whose multi-layered portrayal of screen icon Marilyn Monroe as she attemps to make …
EXCLUSIVE: After going out last weekend on its modestly wide break to nearly 1000 screens where it grossed $3.4 million and cracked the box office Top 10, Paramount’s Young Adult is shifting its emphasis in TV spots airing starting on Thursday. It’s the same thing Paramount did last year when it transitioned the campaign for The Fighter from its consumer emphasis to one that was “Oscar-centric.” With Academy ballots going to members early next week, the distributor wants to emphasize the awards-worthiness of the film directed by four-time Oscar nominee Jason Reitman, written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody (Juno) and starring Oscar winner Charlize Theron (Monster). Although the spots are not full of the usual “sell” for films of this type, Paramount is obviously hoping Academy members will be sold on the merits of this dark comedy, which has already earned Theron nominations for Golden Globes and a Critics Choice Movie Award – the group that also nominated Cody’s script and supporting actor Patton Oswalt. Here’s the new ad:
Here’s a red band TV spot (really? for what markets?) in which Charlize Theron spews over a messy collision involving something cold, wet and sticky.
One of the last pieces of this year’s increasingly hot Best Actress race puzzle fell into place this week as The Weinstein Company unveiled Meryl Streep’s The Iron Lady at an exclusive media screening Tuesday night at the Warner Bros Screening Room in New York and Thursday morning for a handful of journalists at the 10-seat Weinstein Co. screening room at their new offices in Beverly Hills. Deadline was represented on both coasts. If there was any question about Streep’s viability as a major Oscar contender again this year, her performance as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will erase all doubts. Again she is extraordinary, absolutely capturing the essence of Thatcher in every way, but is particularly powerful in those scenes depicting her enveloping dementia. She shows a poignant side, not really known about this woman who rose to the top of an exclusive men’s club and triumphed for nearly 12 years in the top job in her country. Jim Broadbent as her husband Dennis also has his moments but the film, expertly directed by Mamma Mia’s Phyllida Lloyd, belongs to Meryl. Even in England where Thatcher is sooooo well known and dissected, both early reviews in The Guardian and Daily Telegraph are singing her praises.
Last week we got a glimpse of Universal’s Snow White And The Huntsman directed by Rupert Sanders. The first trailer for Tarsem Singh’s take on the fairy tale arrived today. Relativity’s Mirror Mirror will make it to theaters March 16 ahead of Universal’s version set for June 1.
Universal Pictures has released a new teaser trailer for Snow White And The Huntsman, the studio’s big revisionist fairy tale that stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. Rupert Sanders directed the film, which will be released June 1, 2012. That’s several months behind Relativity Media’s Mirror, Mirror, but these are obviously vastly different versions of the Snow White tale.