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Radius-TWC Promises “Surprising” Launch Against ‘Transformers’ For LA Film Fest Opener ‘Snowpiercer’

Pete Hammond
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Snowpiercers And Jersey Boys And Everything In Between

The Los Angeles Film Festival kicked off its 20th edition with the arty action pic from Bong Joon-ho. Deadline's Pete Hammond and Dominic Patten discuss what's in store at Hollywood's hometown fest leading up to Clint Eastwood's closing-night film just ahead of its box office bow.

Radius-TWC co-president Tom Quinn told me Wednesday night’s Los Angeles Film Festival opener Snowpiercer is going to 7ddd396b0cbae471e84f83c1797e9c96have a unique rollout when it launches against formidable competition, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, on June 27. Although that sounds like a suicide mission for another action-oriented picture, Quinn, speaking at the after-party, calls his film from Korean director Bong Joon-ho an “intelligent tentpole” made for a thinking audience who likes its thrills delivered with smarts. He says they will open in 10 markets and follow up the next week on about 150 screens. That’s chump change for the opening Paramount plans for Transformers, but Quinn and co-president Jason Janego were pumped by the LA Fest response and hope to gain attention with a series of premieres, including train trips (for a film that’s set on the ultimate train trip) to Seattle, San Francisco and Austin, plus four separate premieres across New York state. “And when this film, which only could have been made by Bong Joon-ho, opens on the 27th, the only place you will be able to see it in America is on a theater screen,” he said, emphasizing that the company — an offshoot of The Weinstein Company, which opens most of its films day-and-date with VOD — will not be making it 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival - Opening Night Premiere Of "Snowpiercer" - Red Carpetinstantly available for home viewing. “We are plotting a surprising and different way of opening this film,” he said while not committing to any specific date as to when it actually will be available on VOD.

I would guess the VOD date won’t lag too far behind, but Quinn clearly wants to get the word out first that this is a big-screen experience. You might recall that Radius released its Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom theatrically first and that worked out, as it became the top docu at the 2013 box office before hitting home screens.

After seeing the film, which also played the Berlin Film Festival, and LAFF2014which Harvey Weinstein pre-bought and later turned over to his Radius team (Quinn had worked with the director on The Host and Mother), I can say if ever there was a big-screen must-see, it’s this riveting story of the last humans alive after Earth is completely frozen-over and humanity wiped out — except for a few riding aboard a train that never stops and has every conceivable level of class, from its tail section to its super engine, as it continuously circles what’s left of the world. Although it is dark, grimy and claustrophobic, the director clearly knows how to make a classic train picture and his superb cast includes a hilarious Tilda Swinton, chewing the scenery like no one’s business, and Ed Harris in an extended cameo as the Master of this particular world. Both turned up for what was billed as the pic’s U.S. premiere. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Snowpiercer’

By | Friday May 30, 2014 @ 11:24am PDT

Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt and Ed Harris star in Bong Joon-ho‘s sci-fi actioner. Snowpiercer, which will open the Los Angeles Film Festival next month, is set in postapocalyptic ice age that forces humanity’s last survivors aboard a globe-spanning super train. One man risks everything to lead a revolt for control of the engine and the future of the world. The film spurred a spat between its director and Harvey Weinstein over length and pacing, but a truce was struck: The director’s cut — which ran 2 1/2 hours-plus — was kept intact, but it will get a platform release rather than opening wide. Written by Bong and Kelly Masterson, Snowpiercer opens June 27 via Radius-TWC: Here’s the trailer:

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Hot Trailer: ‘Captain America’ Sequel

It’s two years since The Avengers, and Steve Rogers is still adjusting to a contemporary existence in Marvel‘s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Here, Chris Evans is paired with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Sundance icon Robert Redford, in his first superhero effort. Marvel has just released a trailer for its April 4 release. Trailer timing coincides with the November 8 release of another Marvel sequel, Thor: The Dark World.

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Chris Evans To Helm ’1:30 Train’ Before Reprising Captain America In ‘Avengers 2′

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Evans will make his feature directorial debut on 1:30 Train, a Ron Bass-scripted film that will be funded by Wonderland Sound And Vision. Evans will star and produce with Mark Kassen, Howard and Karen Baldwin, Bill Immerman, and Wonderland’s McG and Mary Viola. I’ve heard Evans plans to direct the movie this fall, completing production before he picks up his shield to play Captain America in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, the Joss Whedon-directed sequel for Marvel. The film is a romance in the vein of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, focusing on two strangers who meet in Manhattan and spend one night together as the conflicts in their own lives become the basis for their exploration of each other and themselves.

This becomes the first financed feature for Wonderland since director-producer McG re-launched his Wonderland banner last month with a multi-year funding partnership with Mickey Liddell’s private equity-backed LD Entertainment. This has enabled Wonderland to be a buyer and independently develop, produce and finance its own slate of feature film, television and digital projects. Wonderland’s McG and Viola worked with Evans on the upcoming Justin Reardon-directed A Many Splintered Thing, and 1:30 Train grew out of that. Evans had been involved in an earlier incarnation of the film with another director. And he never forgot the material. Now’s he’s in a position to do something about it. Evans is repped by CAA and 3 Arts. … Read More »

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Marvel’s ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Sequel Sets Final Cast

Captain America 2With filming now underway on Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the studio today unveiled final cast and plot details for the sequel slated for an April 4, 2014 release. Those include confirmation of Deadline’s scoop that Robert Redford has joined the film as Agent Alexander Pierce, a senior leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. The pic is also bumping up Scarlett Johansson‘s role as her Avengers character Natasha Romanoff teams with Captain America (Chris Evans) in the present day “to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, DC”. Anthony and Joe Russo are directing from Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s script and have filled out their supporting cast with returning Marvel actors and new faces: Sebastian Stan is back as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, last seen in Captain America: The First Avenger‘s 1943 timeline, along with Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter and Toby Jones as Arnim Zola. Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), and Maximiliano Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell) return, joined by Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow, and UFC champ Georges St-Pierre as Georges Batroc. Emily VanCamp is aboard as Steve Rogers’ new love interest, Agent 13. Filming is underway in LA and will move to Cleveland and Washington DC.

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‘Revenge’s Emily VanCamp Landing Lead In ‘Captain America 2′

By | Friday February 1, 2013 @ 2:30pm PST
Mike Fleming

Emily VanCampEXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Marvel Studios has found its female lead for the sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They are in talks with Emily VanCamp, who makes the leap to the big screen after starring in such series as ABC’s Revenge, the WB’s Everwood and Brothers And Sisters. She joins Chris Evans in a sequel that doesn’t have a firm start date, but will be released April 4, 2014. The film is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. If you recall, the first film started period and morphed into the present. I’ve heard talk that Scarlett Johansson will bring her Black Widow character to the mix. She is repped by UTA and Thruline.

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AFM: Weinstein Co Acquires ‘Snow Piercer’; Thriller Stars ‘Avengers” Chris Evans

By | Friday November 9, 2012 @ 11:03am PST

EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has picked up the English-language rights to the thriller Snow Piercer from South Korea’s CJ Entertainment. Made at this year’s AFM, the deal for the multiple territory acquisition of the future-set film was in the seven figures. Weinstein Company will distribute Snow Piercer in North America, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The English-language directorial debut of Bong Joon-ho, the movie stars The Avengers’ Chris Evans, Ed Harris, The Help’s Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton and Song-Kang-ho. Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson wrote the screenplay based on the graphic novel Le Transperceneige. The movie is set in the not too distant future where a new Ice Age has wiped out most of the human race. With a revolt brewing onboard, the Snow Piercer is a train of Earth’s lone survivors that travels around the cold world. WME Global’s Alexis Garcia negotiated the deal with Weinstein on behalf of CJ Entertainment. There is no release date set yet for Snow Piercer but sources say a wide Summer 2013 release looks likely.

Related: Weinstein Company Acquires Rights To ‘Kon-Tiki’

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Topher Grace, Anthony Mackie Join ‘A Many Splintered Thing’

By | Tuesday October 2, 2012 @ 8:39am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Topher Grace has signed on to star opposite Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Anthony Mackie, Aubrey Plaza, and Giovanni Ribisi in A Many Splintered Thing, the Justin Reardon-directed film for McG’s Wonderland Sound & Vision and Voltage Pictures. Production begins October 26.

In the vein of Amelie and (500) Days Of Summer, the film tells the story of a young man disillusioned by love who meets a breathtaking young woman at a charity dinner by pretending to be a philanthropist. Turns out that she’s engaged to a guy who doesn’t like her going on dates. Challenged by the chase, and egged on by his eclectic friends, he feigns a platonic relationship in order to keep seeing her as he tries to conquer her heart. Grace will play the poser’s best friend. The film is being produced by Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores and Wonderland’s McG and Mary Viola.

Wonderland initially optioned the Black List screenplay from Chris Shafer & Paul Vicknair last year. The screenplay was also a 2011 Nicholl Fellowship Finalist. Wonderland brought the project to Voltage to co-produce and finance, and together they attached Reardon, a commercials director. Voltage Pictures is handling foreign sales on the picture.

Grace most recently starred in Too Big To Fail for HBO, Lionsgate’s The Big Wedding with Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried and Katherine Heigl, The Giant Mechanical Man and The … Read More »

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Toronto: Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan Star In ‘A Many Splintered Thing’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Wonderland Sound & Vision and Voltage Pictures are starting preproduction on A Many Splintered Thing, an offbeat film that will star Chris Evans and Michelle Monaghan. Michelle Monaghan A Many Splintered Thing MovieChris Evans A Many Splintered Thing MovieThe film, which will begin production October 26, is called an “anti-romantic comedy,” and it marks the Captain America: The First Avenger star’s first film as executive producer. Justin Reardon will direct.

In the vein of Amelie and (500) Days Of Summer, the film tells the story of a young man disillusioned by love who meets a breathtaking young woman at a charity dinner by pretending to be a philanthropist. Turns out that she’s engaged to a guy who doesn’t like her going on dates. Challenged by the chase, and egged on by his eclectic friends, he feigns a platonic relationship in order to keep seeing her as he tries to conquer her heart. The film is being produced by Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores and Wonderland’s McG and Mary Viola. Read More »

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Winona Ryder To Play Killer’s Wife In Indie ‘The Iceman’

By | Monday December 12, 2011 @ 3:33pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Winona Ryder has just committed to star with Michael Shannon and Chris Evans in The Iceman, the Ariel Vromen-directed drama based on the Anthony Bruno book about Richard Kuklinski, a family man who secretly carried out contract killings for the mob. Millennium Films/Nu Image is financing. Shannon is playing Kuklinski, aka The Iceman, and Evans is playing his mentor, Robert Pronge. Ryder, most recently seen in Black Swan and The Dilemma, will play Kuklinski’s wife, Deborah, who did not know that he was a contract killer. Gersh-repped Ryder just wrapped the indie The Stare opposite James Franco.

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Chris Evans Replacing James Franco In ‘The Iceman’

By | Monday November 21, 2011 @ 11:50am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Captain America’s Chris Evans is taking a turn to the darkside. Evans has made a deal to replace James Franco in The Iceman, the Ariel Vromen-directed drama based on the Anthony Bruno book about Richard Kuklinski, a contract killer for the mob. Michael Shannon is attached to play Kuklinski, aka The Iceman, and Franco was going to play his mentor, Robert Pronge. Millennium Films/Nu Image is starting production on the picture next month. Aside from playing the title character in Captain America: The First Avenger, Evans starred in Puncture and is reprising his Captain America role in the Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers. He’s repped by CAA and 3 Arts.

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WME Signs British Actor Tom Hiddleston

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: WME has just signed Tom Hiddleston, who reprises his Loki character from Thor in the upcoming Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers. Hiddleston, who was last repped in the U.S. by ICM, had a year in which he also starred in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, as well as Steven Spielberg’s upcoming War Horse. All the agencies were after him. In The Avengers, Hiddleston’s Loki takes on Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Hiddleston continues to be repped by UK agents Mikey Symons and Christian Hodell, and manager Jon Rubenstein.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Avengers’

Mike Fleming

Marvel Studios has released its first full trailer for The Avengers, its Joss Whedon-directed dream teaming of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and team leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who team up against Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who emerged as a villain in the first Thor film. Whedon has the fanboy cred and they’ve done nothing here to dampen enthusiasm for a film that Disney releases May 4, 2012.

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New Images From ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’

Marvel’s The Avengers, due May 4, 2012, brings together Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson as superheroes teaming against an unexpected threat to global security. Here’s a peek at the heroes in action:

Read More »

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Interview: Can ‘Captain America’s Chris Evans Break Out With The Drama ‘Puncture’?

By | Friday September 23, 2011 @ 1:21pm PDT
Pete Hammond

It is often the case in this business that when actors are out promoting movies they have a filter on that keeps the real honesty at bay. That’s definitely not the case with the blazingly truthful Chris Evans, whose new indie film, Puncture, opens in limited release today from distributor Millennium Entertainment and who is also coming off the summer hit Captain America: The First Avenger, which has grossed $364 million worldwide. He is currently back in “Cap” mode shooting the all-star Marvel flick The Avengers, which Disney and Marvel release in May. Evans, in his guise of Captain America (aka Steve Rogers), is signed up for three Captain America and three Avengers films, having previously appeared in two Fantastic Four films as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch. So it’s no wonder in his down time between superhero travels he is proud to get the chance to do a small, true-life drama like Puncture, in which plays Mike Weiss, a drug-addicted lawyer who takes on a giant health supply company while trying to overcome his own problems with the needle and other demons.

When I talked with him, he made no apologies for doing the films that pay the big bucks. But to drum up interest in this tiny film for which he is receiving the best reviews of his career, he will even be out making personal appearances at the Landmark Theatre in Los Angeles, where the movie opens this weekend. Read More »

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Shocker! New Regency Co-Chairmen Bob Harper And Hutch Parker To Exit

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: A major shake up is taking place at Arnon Milchan’s New Regency. Co-chairmen Bob Harper and Hutch Parker will not renew their contracts when they expire in December. I’ve confirmed with Harper that he and Parker are negotiating their exits. There had recently been a ripple of rumors about this, and there will be the inevitable speculation over whether the duo are jumping before being pushed. Harper didn’t get into that, but said that he was confirming because he and Parker were aware of the rumors and were most concerned with reassuring filmmakers with Regency projects that the duo would continue to be closely involved and see those films through to release. Harper also said the decision came after months of conversations with Milchan over whether or not to renew. Recently, they came to the conclusion that this was the best course. Milchan could conceivably name a replacement quickly, but Harper told me that he and Parker will continue to see through the completed films as well as some of the projects that are gearing up for production starts, regardless of how quickly the succession takes place.

Harper had been in the job for four years (he moved from the post of vice chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment and has worked for Fox since 1986), and Parker had been in the post for more than three years (he moved over from the post of 20th Century Fox vice chairman, and had been with the studio 13 years when he took the job). They have been involved in every facet of New Regency films, including production, marketing, distribution and administering the library. Harper said it is unclear what will happen next year, and that he and Harper haven’t solidified their plans. I wouldn’t be surprised if they remain on the Fox lot as producers or in some other capacity. Read More »

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Beau Flynn Makes New First-Look Producing Deal At New Line

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After splitting up with Contrafilm partner Tripp Vinson in June following a decade-long partnership, Beau Flynn has formed a new company, Flynn Picture Co. He hasn’t strayed far from home. Flynn has made a two-year, non-exclusive, first-look producing deal with Toby Emmerich and New Line Cinema, which was home to Contrafilm for over seven years. Flynn is in the process of staffing up and has taken new office space in Hollywood. Among the pictures he’s producing: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island with Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson and Michael Caine for New Line and Warner Bros; Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton for Paramount; and the Anna Faris-Chris Evans-starrer What’s Your Number, the Fox/New Regency comedy that will be released Sept. 30. He’s also got the long-gestating Chris Hemsworth-starrer Red Dawn, which was made by MGM but which is closing on a new distribution deal.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Puncture’

By | Wednesday August 17, 2011 @ 2:27pm PDT

Millennium Entertainment’s drama Puncture, a drama about a pair of personal-injury lawyers who take on the health care and pharmaceutical industry that is based on a true story, is set for a platform release in Los Angeles, New York and Houston on Sept. 23. Captain America‘s Chris Evans and Vinessa Shaw star, and Mark and Adam Kassen direct. Here’s the just-released trailer:

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Contrafilm Partners Beau Flynn And Tripp Vinson Splitting After Decade Together

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson have formally announced their split and issued this statement: “We have nothing but love and respect for each other, and our decision to pursue our own separate paths after 10 amazing years together is not an easy one,” Flynn and Vinson said. “But we have reached the stage where it is time to embrace new challenges and make films on our own. This isn’t goodbye since we will be working together on many projects that will be reaching the marketplace soon. And while we can look back at a lot of success we’ve had together, we are also excited to be looking ahead to the next chapter.”

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: Contrafilm partners Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson are splitting after a decade together. The move comes as their first-look deal at New Line is expiring. Contrafilm will be frozen as a holding company for the projects they developed together that they will continue to move forward. They tell me the split is amicable, but after two years of whirlwind projects, they took stock and decided it was a good time go solo. Each will form his own new company over the summer and both will concentrate on making mainstream commercial fare.

The move comes after Contrafilm wrapped four films: the MGM remake of Red Dawn with Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck and Josh Hutcherson; the Anna Faris and Chris Evans comedy What’s Your Number? at New … Read More »

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