Here’s our first look at Ridley Scott‘s biblical epic that’s hitting theaters at Christmastime. Christian Bale stars as Moses, who rises up against Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton) and leads more than a half-million slaves out of Egypt. Aaron Paul, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley co-star in the action-adventure film written by Steve Zaillian from Bill Collage & Adam Cooper’s story. Fox releases Exodus: Gods And Kings on December 12. Have a look:
So tonight there are big scoops about how David Fincher walked away from the movie Sony and Scott Rudin are developing about Apple visionary Steve Jobs, based on the Walter Isaacson book. What an unusual outcome to a story that was almost completely the result of overeager journalists. I remember when the Fincher rumor first circulated on tracking boards, and while every trade called to check, only one broke the news, claiming a deal for the director was nearly done. Then another publication splashed a story that Christian Bale was Fincher’s top choice for the role, another nugget that came from these tracking board sheets that are becoming too much a staple of what ends up being published and accepted as fact. All along, people close to the project cautioned that while they’d gone to Fincher and he liked the script, the director had not committed. Fincher is famous for falling in and out of love with projects. Insiders in the Bale camp were steadfast that while they’d heard the rumors their guy was coveted, the actor never had a single conversation with anyone. I am not sure that ever changed. So the media christened a director who didn’t have the job, and then the media cast the actor. Not surprisingly, the media has made a big deal out of Fincher dropping out of a project he never signed on to direct (the exit rumor went out on …
In advance of Sunday’s Oscars, CBS News has posted a 60 Minutes Overtime “Rewind” — Mike Wallace’s April 12, 1981 interview with real-life self-described swindler Mel Weinberg, who was portrayed by Christian Bale in American Hustle, which has a total of 10 Oscar noms, including one for Bale. The actor spent time with Weinberg to study the art of the hustle and Weinberg, who said he was paid $250,000 for story rights, told CBS News that Bale tried “to get into” his skin, but asked some “stupid questions.” The Abscam deconstruction, the cigar smoking at the bar — the comb-over — watch it here:
Michael Wilkinson, who is nominated for Best Costume Design Oscar for Sony/Annapurna’s American Hustle , began working with costumes on theater productions in Sydney when he was 17. After dabbling behind the scenes on several productions, his interest as a costume designer took hold and he eventually found himself working with director Jim Sharman (best known to American audiences for directing/co-writing The Rocky Horror Picture Show). Together they worked on such theater productions as Jean Genet’s Splendid and The Tempest at the Sydney Opera House. It was the opening night of The Tempest when the director gave him a book about Italian costume designer Piero Tosi, who had worked with such legendary directors as Federico Fellini and Franco Zeffirelli and was nominated for an Oscar in 1972 for his work on director Luchino Visconti’s Death In Venice. “He showed me that costume design is an art form,” said Wilkinson. The Italian master used texture, fabric and design to wrap the essence of the character around an audience, whether it be working-class people or those of the social elite. And Tosi’s artistry in that kind of diversity inspired Wilkinson.
“Every set had to be viewed in the context of the whole,” said Judy Becker, Oscar-nominated production designer for Sony/Annapurna’s American Hustle. “We had to look at the character from where they start and to where they go to … each of those sets has a place in the telling of the personal story.” David O. Russell’s homage to the 1970s tells the story of con men, political corruption and characters who try to negotiate through and rise above their circumstances. The film is nominated for 10 Academy Awards this year, including Best Picture. Becker and set decorator Heather Loeffler, worked together to bring a 1970s realism to the sets.
The film’s central character, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), begins as a low-level con man who has aspirations of greatness. When we first get to know him, he is in his office — a disheveled interior with peeling wallpaper. And, although he has a new desk and black leather couch, everything around it smacks of a certain lack of sophistication. “We know that he hasn’t reached the level of success of where he is going to get to, but we see from the office where he wants to be,” says Becker. “So we put in this modernesque desk that was a little too big for the space. We put things in that were kind of nice and were inspirational but not yet there.”
As Rosenfeld and his lover Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) start building “a business” based on scams and stolen artwork, the office space eventually becomes London and Associates, which flaunts beautiful sculptural and travertine walls. “Most eras have their own color palette. “We used a lot of yellow and blue for this film.” For the Adams’ character, who started as a stripper and then taught herself about design and sophistication from magazines, Becker used “a timeless, beautiful yellow. It wasn’t kitschy and felt very contemporary.” The bedroom is adorned with textured yellow walls that seem to cascade seamlessly down a perfectly matched headboard onto a yellow bedspread. It’s framed by a classic 1970s deep white shag carpet and offset by period-piece white nightstands. The room was built on a stage in Woodburn, MA.
The cast of David O. Russell‘s fictional pic based on the 1970s Abscam scandal will be feted January 4 during an Awards Gala at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The Ensemble Performance Award celebrates the film’s cast, which includes Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., Michael Pena, Lis Rohm and Alessandro Nivola. “David O. Russell has created a viscerally powerful film,” said PSIFF Chairman Harold Matzner. “American Hustle grabs you from the start and is populated by a group of eminently believable characters as brought to life by this brilliant cast.” The festival’s 25th edition runs January 3-13.
Folks in America’s media capitals will get an early look at Scott Cooper‘s awards-season drama. Relativity said today that Out Of The Furnace will open December 4 in limited release in Los Angeles and New York, two days before it goes out wide. The film, which had its world premiere November 9 at the AFI Fest and won an award at Rome last week, stars Christian Bale as a Rust Belt ex-con out for justice when his brother is drawn into a ruthless crime gang. It’s Cooper’s follow-up to his first feature, 2009′s Crazy Heart. He and Brad Ingelsby wrote the pic, which also stars Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard.
The Contenders 2013: ‘American Hustle’ Producer Tells Why Christian Bale Shaved His Head And Gained 40 Pounds (Video)
Until now David O. Russell‘s American Hustle (12/13) has been largely unseen, and along with Paramount’s The Wolf Of Wall Street (12/25) is the last 2013 awards contender to be unveiled. (I’m told screenings start this weekend for Hustle and at the end of the month for Wolf.). So all we have are the trailers and the six-minute opening sequence Russell showed at his AFI tribute last week. But at Deadline’s THE CONTENDERS event, one of the film’s producers, Richard Suckle, offered the 411 on just how far the American Hustle actors would go for their art in this wild crime drama.
EXCLUSIVE: Between nightly guild screenings and the AFI Fest, you could go to theaters all over Hollywood, throw a rock, and probably hit a great director or actor. One I’m intrigued by is Scott Cooper, whose debut Crazy Heart drew an Oscar for Jeff Bridges and a nomination for Maggie Gyllenhaal. His follow-up Out Of The Furnace threatens to do the same for a stellar ensemble cast of Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard. What’s fascinating is Cooper spent years knocking around as an actor, hoping for but never getting the kinds of roles he writes for other actors. He discusses that with Deadline along with the high price of truthful writing, the role of luck, fate and ’70s films in his process, and how painful violence in serious films imprints on a gun-crazy society.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Out Of The Furnace’
Deadline: It would have been hard to think of you in any other context than a struggling actor when you made your directorial debut on Crazy Heart. You put your on-camera background to good use, helping Bridges and Gyllenhaal to career performances. Scripts start coming your way and you latch onto The Low Dweller, the big-money Brad Ingelsby spec that stalled when Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio dropped out. Why did you choose it as the template for Out Of The Furnace?
Scott Cooper: I had very unremarkable career as an actor and wrote a very personal story in Crazy Heart. Robert Duvall, a mentor and close friend who let me get married on his farm, produced my first film and to have a guy like, who speaks the language of actors, get behind you was key. That film met with some modest success, and then I’m starting at a pile of scripts after never being offered anything in my life as an actor. I have kids to feed, but I want to stay true to myself. I said no to a lot of scripts that went on to become very good films that shall remain nameless. Ridley and Michael Costigan really loved Crazy Heart and so did the folks at Leo’s Appian Way. They offered me The Low Dweller, which received acclaim around town when Leonardo and Ridley were going to do it. I was in a place where I only wanted to tell personal stories. The script was very well written, but I didn’t want to film some of the themes that coursed through it and said no. They came back and said, why don’t you take carte blanche with it? I do have a brother, and there was this seed in that script that ultimately became the movie. A man gets out of prison and avenges the loss of his brother. From there, I personalized my life and turned it into something I felt would resonate.
Christian Bale stars as a Rust Belt ex-con out for justice when his brother is drawn into a ruthless crime gang in Out Of The Furnace, from Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper. Relativity has set the awards season drama for wide release on December 6 and recently landed a high-profile AFI Fest slot as its world premiere. Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard co-star. Check out the new trailer:
OPINION: I was as surprised as anyone when Ben Affleck was named the new Batman by Warner Bros. While I know I will be incurring the Wrath of Khan from a certain segment of Deadline readers for saying this, I do not share the alarm expressed by just about all 300+ Deadline commenters who’ve condemned the move and feel it’s awful for Affleck, Warner Bros, and humanity as a whole.
This is the biggest Affleck surprise I can recall since I saw Gone Baby Gone and was surprised to see that he was a helluva filmmaker. I guess what I’m saying is, Affleck has earned some rope from us; he knows what he is doing. I know he’s read the script, and he loves the concept. After watching Robert Downey Jr unexpectedly (at the time) establish himself as a global superstar after he auditioned for and won over Marvel for Iron Man, I see a lot of upside for Affleck to bolster his global viability, without a lot of career risk. This is a giant coup for the fledgling Greg Silverman-Sue Kroll regime at Warner Bros. Not only in their effort to create global hits, but also in their effort to strengthen studio ties to Affleck after the turbulent exit of Jeff Robinov (who’ll be looking to bring guys like Affleck over if and when he ever takes the top film job at Fox).
Even though I couldn’t understand all of the gravelly dialogue lines he delivered from beneath the Batmask, Christian Bale’s three turns as the Caped Crusader gave him global cred. They didn’t discount his other screen performances, either. That’s because, like Affleck and Downey, Bale wasn’t a newcomer when he took the job (newbies from George Reeves to Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh seem to get imprinted by the role and disappear after). His Batman persona also didn’t stop Oscar voters from giving Bale the trophy for his performance in The Fighter.
Affleck isn’t the same guy he was when he made 2003′s Daredevil, or when he hurt his career by starring with off-screen squeeze Jennifer Lopez in Gigli. After that, he smartly worked his tail off to write his career a second act as a writer-director who stars in his own films. That is his identity now. He’s the guy who directed, produced and starred in the reigning Best Picture Oscar winner Argo, and he has The Town and Gone Baby Gone under his belt. Name another filmmaker outside of Christopher Nolan whose last three films stack up with that kind of quality? Even if he moonlights as Batman, it doesn’t change that true identity. And I thought he did a great job acting in Argo and The Town.
Also, those painful career lessons made Affleck shrewdly selective. If this works, he will have created a great role he can return to in between his directorial outings, the same way that Downey will do for future Avengers installments. Affleck won’t have to carry these movies himself, and I’d be surprised if he made a freestanding Batfilm.
I have been waiting for Warner Bros to turn a corner with its DC Comics crimefighter universe, beyond Batman and Superman. They’ve taken a step in that direction even if it is by combining those two characters. Now, they have a bona fide leading man in the fold (because Henry Cavill could not pack a movie house right now if he wasn’t wearing the red cape). Suddenly, the next step, the inevitable Justice League film, looks intriguing and I bet more big names will enlist by the time that movie gets made. Sure, I’d feel better if Nolan was still steering it all, but a lot of people liked Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel. The DC franchise effort seems to be in good hands. And imagine if Affleck really likes the job enough to rescind his previous pass and direct that Justice League movie?
BREAKING: Looks like Christian Bale‘s Moses has found his match in Ridley Scott‘s upcoming biblical film Exodus for 20th Century Fox. Insiders say Joel Edgerton is in discussion to play to play Ramses in the film that is based on the script by Steve Zaillian. Adam Cooper and Bill Collage did the original. Fox got a clear path to the biblical story when Steven Spielberg stopped circling a rival project at Warner Bros. Edgerton is coming off Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
Related: Christian Bale Eyeing Moses?
Considering the pedigree of director and cast and its December 25 release date through Sony, the David O Russell-directed American Hustle figures to be a big Oscar contender. The studio has been quiet until now, but released a teaser trailer that was part of an interview that Russell gave to Good Morning America. Feels like everyone in the film has either won or been nominated for Oscars in the past couple years, with Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro. It also feels very much like one of those great Martin Scorsese crime sagas set in the 1960s and ’70s. Here is is:
Relativity Media recently moved Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper‘s drama into the heart of Oscar season with a Thanksgiving week limited release. Check out the first trailer for Out Of The Furnace, starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard:
Relativity Moves Scott Cooper’s ‘Out Of The Furnace’ Into Heat Of Oscar Season With November 27 Limited Release
EXCLUSIVE: Sensing it has a movie that can create heat during Oscar season, Relativity is moving the Scott Cooper-directed revenge thriller Out Of The Furnace from October 4 to a limited release on November 27, expanding that run beginning December 6th. The film stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard and Willem Dafoe. Crazy Heart helmer Cooper wrote the script with Brad Ingelsby. Bale plays a simple man in a blue collar job at the local steel mill, who cares for his terminally ill father at night. His brother (Affleck) returns from Iraq and falls in with a ruthless crime ring. When he disappears, that simple man takes matters into his own hands, and sets out to seek justice for his sibling. Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Killoran produced with Scott Free’s Ridley Scott, with Michael Costigan also producing with Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh. This has been a hot project since Ingelsby first sold the spec in a big money deal that came with DiCaprio attached to star and Scott to direct. The elements have shifted, but the Cormac McCarthy-style stark and simple revenge tale element has remained intact.
Relativity production president Robbie Brenner said that Cooper “has made a powerful, moving and brilliant film that we think will generate a tremendous amount of conversation and attention during this awards season. We are confident that this new date will give Scott’s …
EXCLUSIVE: Don’t consider this etched in stone yet, but it looks like Fox is putting a rush on the Moses movie it has been developing with Ridley Scott. I’m hearing that the director and studio are courting Christian Bale to star. The project is called Exodus, which was originally scripted by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage. Peter Chernin and his Chernin Entertainment bought the film as a pitch and they are producing with Scott and his Scott Free, which joined later. Now it has become a big priority after Steve Zaillian signed on to do a rewrite. Zaillian teamed with Scott on American Gangster. Scott is looking to mobilize this as soon as he completes The Counselor. The talks with Bale are early stage.
This comes as Warner Bros deals with Steven Spielberg dropping out of its mega-Moses project, Gods And Kings, the epic-sized film about life of Moses based on the script by Michael Green and Stuart Hazeldine. The studio’s Hail Mary pass is trying to secure the services of Ang Lee, fresh from his Oscar win for Life Of Pi.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Working Title are teaming with Emmett/Furla Films on Everest, a mountain climbing disaster film that The Deep helmer Baltasar Kormakur will direct, with Christian Bale in talks to star. Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce with WT’s Liza Chasin, along with Evan Hayes. Emmett/Furla’s Randall Emmett and George Furla are in discussions to co-finance the film and join in a producing capacity as well. Justin Isbell wrote the most recent script draft.
Bale is in early talks to star in a tale based on the 1996 disastrous expedition to scale Mount Everest. Three different expeditions were hit by a sudden blinding storm and by the time it was all over, eight climbers died. The tale was first made famous by Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, his first-person account of being among the lucky ones to make it back down the mountain. This film will be sourced from various books and interviews with survivors.
There is another studio film entitled Everest, the one at Sony Pictures that has Doug Liman attached to direct a Sheldon Turner adaptation of the Jeffrey Archer book. That film is same mountain, different tale, as Tom Hardy is attached to play Sir George Mallory in his quest to be the first to the top of Everest in the 1920s.
Kormakur seems a strong match for what will be a rugged shoot. He’s coming off The Deep, an Icelandic fact-based drama that was shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and which told the story of one man’s unbelievable ordeal of being the lone survivor after a fishing vessel went down in icy waters. Everyone else perished from hypothermia and drowning, but one man swam for hours until he reached the shore, in temperatures no human should have been able to survive. Shooting the film was a cold and harrowing experience as well.
Back in March, Deadline revealed that David O Russell had Christian Bale poised to star in the drama he was putting together, under the title American Bullshit. Shortly after, we told you that Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures was stepping up to finance the film. All of it got confirmed today. Here is the release:
(LOS ANGELES, CA) OCTOBER 5, 2012 – Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Amy Adams will be joined by Christian Bale in David O. Russell’s ensemble drama. Russell’s penning the film’s screenplay with Eric Warren Singer, based on Singer’s original script.
The upcoming film marks the director’s first time working with Renner (two-time Academy Award nominee), and his second collaborations with Bale (Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter”), Adams (three-time Academy Award nominee including “The Fighter”) and Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”). David O. Russell¹s acclaimed “Silver Linings Playbook” garnered the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
UPDATE: Christian Bale and his wife traveled to the town of the Aurora movie theater shooting and spent 2 1/2-hours meeting with seven gunshot victims who posted photos of their meeting Batman on the Internet. Warner Bros made it very clear to Deadline that The Dark Knight Rises star was representing himself, not the movie studio. (Though I hear studio reps accompanied him.) “The patients were really happy to meet Bale,” a hospital spokesperson said. “They are obviously big fans of his movies. They wanted to see Batman and were really pleased to see Bale.” Bale specifically asked that media not be notified of his trip. “He wanted to meet with victims and police,” the spokesperson said.