BAFTA 2012 Preview: Very British Affair Takes On International Hue
Tim Adler is a contributor to AwardsLine.
It was an overcast morning in London last October when, in the magisterial headquarters of BAFTA, upstairs at 195 Piccadilly, 11 people were seated around a heavy wooden boardroom table, preparing to make a decision that could have a profound impact on some young actors’ future. Black and white photographs of previous BAFTA awards ceremonies — Britain’s closest equivalent to the Oscars — hung on the high-ceilinged walls. Sienna Miller, Simon Pegg and Harry Potter director David Yates were among those deciding who should make it onto the shortlist of eight names being proposed for this year’s Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award. (It would be down to customers of UK telco Orange to decide on the final five young stars being groomed for stardom.) The public votes for the winner, which will be announced along with all British Academy of Film and Television Arts winners tonight in London.
James McAvoy, Tom Hardy and Noel Clarke have won the Orange Rising Star in the past. That’s why the honor is important: It acts as a kind of early-warning system for Hollywood about talent coming its way. Hardy is now co-starring in the new Batman movie, while McAvoy was the lead in X-Men: First Class. Clarke will appear in the next instalment of Star Trek. “The Rising Star award is very useful in terms of shining a light on actors who have done a couple of roles but aren’t stars yet,” says jury chair Pippa Harris, producing partner of Sam Mendes. “Because it’s a public vote, it’s fantastic in terms of giving them a platform. The award is definitely something that Hollywood looks at for fresh talent.” Clarke, who got his first break in Doctor Who, is a case in point. WME picked the multi-hyphenate for U.S. representation after he won the Rising Star in 2009. Read More »
BAFTA announced the nominees for its Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award, which recognizes an international actor whose talent has captured the imagination of the UK public. The nominees are Adam Deacon (Kidultood), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Eddie Redmayne (My Week With Marilyn) and Tom Hiddleston (War Horse). It is the only Orange British Academy Film Awards category to be voted on by the public. The winner will be announced during the ceremony February 12.
EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios has set Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat to rewrite Thor 2 for director Alan Taylor. Rodat is reworking a draft by Don Payne. Disney will put the film into production later this year for release in 2013 with Chris Hemsworth returning as the title character. The sequel changed when Taylor, a prolific director of TV series including Game of Thrones, replaced Monster helmer Patty Jenkins. Rodat is represented by Gersh.
EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios has found its Thor 2 director. I’m told that Marvel has set Alan Taylor, who was widely rumored to be on the short list to replace Patty Jenkins. Taylor is an accomplished TV director whose recent credits include Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and Nurse Jackie, and he directed the feature Palookaville. Jenkins got the job but then fell out over differences with Marvel on the sequel.
This will put the film back on track to meet its November 15, 2013 release date. The sequel brings back Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-wielding superhero, from a script by Thor co-writer Don Payne. The Kenneth Branagh-directed original grossed $448 million worldwide and launched the star of Hemsworth, who reprised Thor in The Avengers and then played the latter title role opposite Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal. Taylor is repped by UTA.
EXCLUSIVE: Director Patty Jenkins is leaving Thor 2. Best known for directing Charlize Theron to an Oscar in Monster and the pilot of AMC’s The Killing, Jenkins had been set to helm the film in late September. I’m told that Marvel Studios is already talking to agencies as it canvasses for a new director, something that is expected to happen quickly. Her exit had to do with creative differences, but the feeling is that she’ll probably end up working on one of these superhero films, but perhaps not on a sequel. Marvel will have to move fast because it has to meet a November 15, 2013 release date for the sequel, which brings back Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-wielding superhero, and Thor co-writer Don Payne is writing the script. The Kenneth Branagh-directed original grossed $448 million worldwide and launched the star of Hemsworth, who reprised Thor in The Avengers and then played the latter title role opposite Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal.
The trailer for The Cabin In The Woods went online today. The horror thriller that stars Chris Hemsworth was finished before his breakthrough as Thor. Directed by Cloverfield scribe Drew Goddard, who co-wrote it with Joss Whedon, the MGM project stalled because of that company’s financial problems and Lionsgate made a deal to distribute it, eventually setting it to open April 13, 2012. Cast includes Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Jesse Williams, Kristen Connolly, Anna Hutchison, Brian White, Amy Acker, Reila Aphrodite and Jodelle Ferland.
The longlist for BAFTA’s 2012 Orange Rising Star Award has been announced. The group is made up of 4 Brits, 2 Americans, an Irishman and an Aussie who are seen as the hottest up-and-comers of the year – though some of them are so high-profile already, it’s hard to think of them as newbies.
On the list are: Thor stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, Like Crazy‘s Felicity Jones, My Week With Marilyn‘s Eddie Redmayne, Bridesmaids‘ Chris O’Dowd, last year’s Best Actress Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, Tree Of Life‘s Jessica Chastain and actor/rapper Adam Deacon, who’s mostly known to UK auds for pics like Kidulthood, Adulthood and Anuvahood. A judging panel that includes Sienna Miller, Simon Pegg and Harry Potter director David Yates came up with the initial group while the British public will vote to whittle the list down to 5 finalists who’ll be announced Jan 11. Another vote will follow with the winner announced at the BAFTA ceremony on Feb 12. The special prize has previously gone to the likes of Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart, Shia LaBeouf and James McAvoy.
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.
Universal has released new artwork for Snow White And The Huntsman. The three-character banner shows Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth as the title characters and Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen. Directed by Rupert Sanders, it’s slated to open June 1, 2012. Relativity’s rival movie — a lighter version of the same fairy tale directed by Tarsem Singh — recently titled Mirror Mirror, reaches theaters first on March 16.
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.
Deadline broke the news when Patty Jenkins was the surprise choice to direct Chris Hemsworth in Thor 2, and Marvel has just confirmed that her deal closed. Jenkins, who directed Charlize Theron in her Oscar-winning Monster performance, also directed the pilot of the AMC series The Killing. Still, she was a surprise because superhero directing assignments most often go to men. Here is the official word:
Marvel Studios announced today that Patty Jenkins will direct THOR 2, which will be released in theatres on Friday, November 15, 2013. Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman will return to star in the film along with Tom Hiddleston. Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige will produce the sequel to this summer’s blockbuster THOR, which has grossed over $448 million worldwide to date.
Patty Jenkins previously directed MONSTER starring Charlize Theron, who won an Academy Award® for her performance in the film. Jenkins, who received an Emmy nomination for directing the pilot of AMC’s acclaimed series The Killing, has also directed episodes of Entourage and Arrested Development. Most recently, she directed “Pearl,” one of the five short films that comprise Lifetime’s original movie FIVE.
In addition to THOR 2, Marvel Studios is currently scheduled to release MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS on May 4, 2012, and IRON MAN 3 which is slated for release on May 3, 2013.
Jenkins is represented by CAA, Anonymous Content, and Alan Wertheimer.
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.
BREAKING: Universal Pictures has made a three-year deal to distribute at least six pictures produced and funded by Cross Creek Pictures. The first film in this deal will be Rush, the Ron Howard-directed Formula One drama. Cross Creek, run by president Brian Oliver and CEO Timmy Thompson, has quickly emerged as a significant film financier. They got started with the Darren Aronofsky-directed Black Swan and continue with the upcoming George Clooney-directed The Ides of March and Daniel Radcliffe-starrer The Woman in Black, which will be distributed by CBS Films.
The deal was announced by Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley, along with Oliver and Thompson.
Cross Creek is partnered with Exclusive Media Group as co-financier and co-producer of Rush, the Howard-directed drama about the battle between ’70s Formula One racers Niki Lauda and James Hunt that stars Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth and Inglourious Basterds‘ Daniel Bruhl. Peter Morgan wrote the script, and Howard and the actors shot some footage during Formula One races held at Nurburgring Race Track in Germany. It was there, in the 70s, that Lauda was almost killed in a fiery accident that is a major part of the drama. The film seems a natural fit for Universal, since Oliver’s fellow producers are Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Both Imagine and Cross Creek have overall deals at the studio.
Aside from pictures that Cross Creek brings into the equation, the company will likely become a financier of existing Universal projects getting close to green lights. The budgets of the films will range from $15 million-$65 million, with the average film costing between $25 million-$35 million. Cross Creek is set up to generate up to four films per year, with Universal to distribute at least two of them with a wide-release commitment. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: If Joe Roth were any more closely associated with fairy tales, he’d be one of the Grimm Brothers. Roth, who help start Hollywood’s feverish devotion to fairy tale films by producing the $1 billion-grossing Alice in Wonderland, is negotiating to become producer of Maleficent, Disney’s re-telling of its 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty, this time told from the vantage point of the evil witch. It’s no secret that Angelina Jolie wants to play that character. The script was written by Linda Woolverton, who scripted Alice in Wonderland as well as Disney’s recently re-released The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. They are looking for a director after a preliminary courtship of Alice helmer Tim Burton didn’t work out.
Aside from Alice in Wonderland, Roth is producing Disney’s Sam Raimi-directed Disney pic Oz: The Great and Powerful with James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz, as well as Snow White and the Huntsman, the Universal Pictures epic that is being directed by Rupert Sanders and stars Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth.
EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Studios is getting close to naming a director for Thor 2, and I’m hearing they might go with a surprise: Patty Jenkins, best known for directing Charlize Theron to an Oscar in Monster, and also for directing the superb pilot for AMC’s The Killing. This would be a real surprise, because women directors aren’t usually high on the list for superhero movies. Let’s see how this plays out, but it looks pretty serious. Kenneth Branagh directed the original.
This is all expected to happen soon. Marvel and Disney have set a July 26, 2013 release date for the sequel, which brings back Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-wielding superhero, and Thor co-writer Don Payne is writing the script. The original grossed $448 million worldwide and launched the star of Hemsworth, who is currently playing the latter title role opposite Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal.
BREAKING: NBCUniversal’s new owners at Comcast have given a vote of confidence to the studio’s feature film operation. They’ve exercised an option on Universal Pictures’ Chairman Adam Fogelson and extended his contract through 2014. I’m told that Fogelson is, in turn, in the process of exercising the option of Donna Langley and she will continue as the studio’s co-chairman. They will also keep their executive team intact. Fogelson will continue to have full day-to-day operating responsibility for the Motion Picture Group, reporting to Universal Studios President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Meyer (whose contract was recently re-upped through 2015) and will now also report to NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke.
While Universal has had its ups and downs, higher-ups are clearly convinced that Fogelson, Langley and their team are making progress. They’ve had recent hits –Bridesmaids, Hop! and Fast Five– but also had some recent misses that include The Dilemma, Change-Up and Cowboys & Aliens. In the latter case, the studio was on the hook for one-third of the film, and shared that third with Relativity Media. It has also been a year in which Fogelson and his team have made some painful decisions and let pricey productions go. That began with the Guillermo Del Toro-directed At the Mountains of Madness, which Universal developed for years and which was ready to go with Tom Cruise, until the studio made a late decision not to go forward because of the possibility the $150M film could carry an R-rating. Universal also dropped two projects that were in advanced stages of development: The Dark Tower, the Akiva Goldsman-directed adaptation of the Stephen King novel series that was to be made into three feature films and two limited-run TV series, with the first film and TV segment directed by Ron Howard and produced by Brian Grazer and Goldsman; and Oiuja, the Hasbro board game that had McG directing and Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners producing with Hasbro. The moves were surprising because Howard and Grazer are cornerstone filmmakers for Universal; and Del Toro and Hasbro have overall deals there. Ouija is one of several Hasbro properties the studio dropped, the others being the Gore Verbinski-directed Clue, the Ridley Scott-directed Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering. These were part of a groundbreaking deal the studio made with the toymaker several years ago, but the studio and Hasbro have re-focused their attention solely on Battleship, Stretch Armstrong, and Candy Land. Read More »
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.