EXCLUSIVE: Marking their sixth teaming, Michael Caine has been set to star in the Christopher Nolan-directed Interstellar for Paramount and Warner Bros. Caine, who worked on three Nolan-helmed Dark Knight movies, also starred in Inception and The Prestige. He joins Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain in a project where Nolan rewrote a script by his brother Jonah, and the ambition is a heroic interstellar voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding. It is shaping up to be a very ambitious and well-cast undertaking. Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing with Lynda Obst. Next up for Caine, repped by ICM Partners and 42, is the Lionsgate/Summit magician heist pic Now You See Me with Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Isla Fisher, due out May 31. He also has been booked for Millennium Films’ Eliza Graves with Ben Kingsley and Kate Beckinsale, which begins shooting next month.
The fallout continues from Dan Aloni’s firing from CAA and move to WME last year. On Tuesday. Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan sought to get his legal action against his past and present agencies dismissed so the parties can go to arbitration. Nolan’s lawyers filed the paperwork in LA Superior Court to dismiss the commissions suit he launched against CAA and WME last September without prejudice. The next step is for everyone to go before a trio of judges on an arbitration panel; a case management hearing has been set for next week to move the matter forward. Nolan’s suit last fall erupted over which agency pockets his commissions. The director, his wife Emma Thomas Nolan, and their production company Syncopy filed the suit to end any potential threat that they themselves could be sued by either CAA or WME over the money. They requested the court to determine which agency they were supposed to pay the 10% commission from deals struck between late 2005 and early 2012. The Nolans said in the suit that they “are ready and willing to deliver the Commissions to the party who is legally entitled to receive them.”
Matthew McConaughey has confirmed he’ll star in Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar for Paramount and Warner Bros, which Deadline told you exclusively a week ago. The actor doesn’t say much about the role, just that he’s doing it. Having veered from the rom-com, he’s having a nice second wind to his career. Now, you might think it douchey of me to feel the need to remind that Deadline broke the story, but there are so many online sites creating businesses by swiping our stories, many with no credit, that we need to drop reminders of who’s putting in the work and turning over the hard ground. These aggregating sites are getting more brazen. The one that has been grating on me lately is Slashfilm. I don’t see a lick of original reporting, and I don’t think that site would exist without Deadline or the work of trade reporters like Borys Kit and Justin Kroll.
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s an intriguing casting possibility to chew on going into the holiday weekend. I’m told Christopher Nolan has offered the male lead of his next film, Interstellar, to Matthew McConaughey. The character’s name is Cooper and while there is no deal yet, who says no to Nolan? The project is a co-production between Paramount and Warner Bros. Interstellar was originally set up in 2006 by Steven Spielberg, when Paramount owned DreamWorks, and after Spielberg became intrigued by Caltech physicist and relativity expert Kip S. Thorne and his scientific theory that wormholes exist and can be used for time travel. It was Spielberg who set Jonah Nolan to write the script, which made it easy for Christopher Nolan to come aboard after Spielberg left the project. After all, the Nolan siblings have a collaborative track record, with Jonah hatching the short story that became Christopher’s first hit Memento, and following that with two Batfilms and The Prestige. Christopher Nolan signed on in January to write a script that merged an original idea of his with the script that Jonah wrote. The ambition is a film that will depict a heroic interstellar voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding. Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing with Lynda Obst. Jordan Goldberg is joining as exec producer alongside Thorne, who’ll remain on as technical consultant.
Scoop hounds like myself love to lock filmmakers into projects and move on in search of the next splashy headline. A look at some recent big director developments, and at the tortured road several directors traveled before getting Oscar nominations this morning, shows that good movies really do find their way into the right hands, even if it takes forever to happen.
Among today’s Best Director nominees, Steven Spielberg only found the handle on Best Picture nominee Lincoln after he trashed an earlier version and labored more than a decade; David O Russell got Silver Linings Playbook because Sydney Pollack could not figure out how to meld humor with mental problems; Ang Lee got to crack the challenging Life Of Pi — which recently became the highest-grossing film in his career — after previous tries by Dean Georgaris and M. Night Shyamalan ended in futility. None of this is as dramatic as, say, when Spielberg traded Martin Scorsese Cape Fear in exchange for Schindler’s List, but it is intriguing how the moves of one major director impacts another, how the right guy for the picture usually ends up in the director’s chair, and why patience can be a virtue.
Some Oscar dreams flourished and some were dashed with this morning’s announcement of the 85th annual Academy Award nominations. Academy voters can be as harsh as they can be predictable, and some snubs seem designed to sting. Thankfully some take it with a degree of humor. “I just got snubbed for a flu shot at CVS,” tweeted Prometheus co-writer Damon Lindelof today. Here are some of the directors, films and actors who got left out today even though they might have deserved better.
Kathryn Bigelow – The Zero Dark Thirty director was the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar for The Hurt Locker– she won’t be repeating that feat this year even though her film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden was nominated for Best Picture. “Kathryn Bigelow was robbed. So f—ed up. #recount,” tweeted ZD30 producer Megan Ellison after the nominations were announced Thursday.
Leonardo DiCaprio – He got a Supporting Actor nomination from the Golden Globes for his Calvin Candie in Django Unchained but nothing today — cast mate Christoph Waltz got the nod.
Marion Cotillard – No Best Actress for her Rust and Bone performance?
The Intouchables – A big hit at home and France’s submission for Best Foreign film, this comedy-drama Weinstein released movie got treated like an untouchable.
Ben Affleck – No Best Director or Best Actor for Argo. Really? Even though it got a Best Picture nomination?
Skyfall – Yes it’s a James Bond movie. But, as the PGA recognized, it is a Sam Mendes-directed Bond movie starring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem. It would have been a nice addition to the tribute the Academy plans for the Bond movies’ 50th anniversary during the Oscarcast, but Oscar himself was neither shaken nor stirred beyond Adele’s best song nom.
Cloud Atlas – Not even a technical nomination? The Academy must have really hated it.
John Hawkes – His performance in The Sessions made this past nominee seem a sure thing for a Academy Award nomination – what happened Oscar?
Rise Of The Guardians – That must have really hurt over at DreamWorks Animation this morning.
Related: OSCARS: Nominations By Picture
Quentin Tarantino – The Golden Globes gave the Django Unchained helmer a nomination and the Academy gave the movie itself a Best Picture nomination today but no Best Director for Quentin? Too much controversy?
Perks Of Being A Wallflower – If any movie called out for Best Adapted Screenplay, it was this coming of ager directed and written by Stephen Chbosky based on his own acclaimed 1999 novel. And yet Oscar offered no perks at all.
Christopher Nolan – Holy Oversight, Batman! Even though Inception was nominated for Best Picture in 2010 and he’s picked up a pair of writing noms, The Dark Knight Rises director has never received a nomination for his helming work — including on the hugely successful Batman franchise. And just like with 2005’s Batman Begins and 2008’s The Dark Knight, Nolan was again left off the Best Director list.
Christopher Nolan Suing CAA And WME After Caught Inbetween Both Agencies Fighting Over His Commissions: UPDATED
UPDATED AT 3:45 PM WITH MORE ANALYSIS…
EXCLUSIVE… BREAKING 1:51 PM… This is what’s known as an interpleading. Batman trilogy director Christopher Nolan wants to pay his …
‘Dark Knight Rises’ $161.8M For All-Time 2D Opening Weekend; $76.1M Friday 3rd All-Time Domestic Debut Day & Best 2D Single Day; $45.2M Saturday, $40.5M Sunday; Tragedy Lowers Grosses For All Movies
July 20-22 Weekend Actuals
1. Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/Warner Bros) NEW [4,404 Theaters] PG13
Friday $75.8M, Saturday $44.9M, Sunday $40.2M, Weekend $160.9M
2. Ice Age 4 (Blue Sky/Fox) Week 2 [3,886 Theaters] PG
Friday $6.8M, Saturday $7.8M, Sunday $5.9M, Weekend $20.4M (-56%)
Domestic Cume $88.8M Foreign Cume $438.0M, Global Cume $526.8M
3. Amazing Spider-Man (Columbia/Sony) Week 3 [3,753 Theaters] PG13
Friday $3.4M, Saturday $4.3M, Sunday $3.2M, Weekend $10.9M (-69%), Cume $228.6M
4. Ted (MRC/Universal) Week 4 [3,214 Theaters] R
Friday $3.2M, Saturday $3.9M, Sunday $2.9M, Weekend $10.0M (-55%), Cume $180.4M
5. Brave (Pixar/Disney) Week 5 [2,899 Theaters] PG
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $1.8M, Weekend $6.0M (46%), Cume $208.8M
6. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,606 Theaters] R
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $1.6M, Sunday $1.1M, Weekend $4.3M (-52%), Cume $102.0M
7. Savages (Universal) Week 3 [2,336 Theaters] R
Friday $1.0K, Saturday $1.3M, Sunday, $1.1M, Weekend $3.4M (-64%), Cume $40.1M
8. Madea’s Witness Protection (TPerry/Lionsgate) Week 4 [1,540 Theaters] PG13
Friday $713K, Saturday $949K,Sunday $591K, Weekend $2.3M (-60%), Cume $60.3M
9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 9 [895 Theaters] PG13
Friday $557K, Saturday $748K, Sunday $527K, Weekend $1.8M (-51%), Cume $36.1M
10. To Room With Love (Sony Classics) Week 5 [552 Theaters] R
Friday $401K, Saturday $602K, $397K, Weekend $1.4M (-43%), Cume $11.1M
SUNDAY 11:30 PM, 14TH UPDATE: Tonight my sources see the domestic box office picking up a bit more than the estimates. The Dark Knight Rises domestic tally is now $161.8M but the actual numbers here and abroad will be released by Rentrak, as well as Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures, Overseas, Christopher Nolan’s final installment in his Batman trilogy opened #1 in the UK, Australia, Spain, and the rest of the total 9 countries where it opened. It raked in $A15.1 million in its first four days in Australia. That ranks as the 4th biggest opening weekend Down Under.
Here is the Top Five tally in North America after Sunday:
1. Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/Warner Bros) NEW [4,404 Theaters]
Friday $76.1M, Saturday $45.2M, Sunday $40.5M, Weekend $161.8M
2. Ice Age 4 (Blue Sky/Fox) Week 2 [3,886 Theaters]
Friday $6.6M, Saturday $7.6M, Sunday $3.3M, Weekend $20.3M (-57%)
Domestic Cume $88.8M, Foreign Cume $442.7M, Global Cume $531.5M
3. Amazing Spider-Man (Columbia/Sony) Week 3 [3,753 Theaters]
Friday $3.4M, Saturday $4.2M, Sunday $3.3M, Weekend $10.9M, Cume $228.7M
4. Ted (MRC/Universal) Week 4 [3,214 Theaters]
Friday $3.2M, Saturday $3.8M, Sunday $3.1M, Weekend $10.1M, Cume $180.4M
5. Brave (Pixar/Disney) Week 5 [2,899 Theaters]
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.2M, Sunday $1.8M, Weekend $6.0M, Cume $208.8M
SUNDAY 9:20 AM, 13TH UPDATE: It may seem callous to post about less-than-packed theaters around the country and North American and worldwide box office this weekend after the Colorado movie theater tragedy. And of course our hearts go out to those killed and wounded. (I stayed up all Friday post-midnight/pre-dawn reporting on the shooting as the horrendous event unfolded.) But this is an entertainment business website that tracks movie grosses. And so many filmmakers inside and outside Hollywood worked exhaustively on The Dark Knight Rises — just as they do on every pic released each year — that the final product should be examined for its success vis a vis ticket sales. Warner Bros Pictures has decided not to release its box office results this weekend until Monday. Also some other studios. Rentrak won’t report worldwide estimates. That said, there can be no doubt that Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures last installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is huge in terms of domestic grosses. In fact the entire moviegoing weekend should be up around +35% over last year, demonstrating the resilience of the public and their love for watching films in the shared experience of a movie theater. Hopefully, with more security provided, the emotional distress and financial setback caused by one psychotic gunman won’t be permanent for theater chains. But the entire movie industry’s shock and grieving over the Aurora tragedy is real and intense. Although the national and international debate over the sociological effect of film violence will be ongoing — and necessary. Now, back to business.
Business was gargantuan Friday but definitely off Saturday and may be off Sunday, too. I was told Friday night there were a lot of admissions still to count. On Saturday morning my sources said The Dark Knight Rises brought in $77.2 million Friday (give or take one million) from 4,404 domestic theaters. Now that Friday number has been adjusted to $76.1M as either more theaters reported a lesser number, or refunds hit the books. Either way, when looking at it closely this morning, it went down a little. That is still the 3rd all-time opening day and the best 2D single day. There was indeed a huge -41% drop Saturday mostly because of those $30.6M in midnight shows (including $2.2M IMAX grosses) which expanded Friday’s tally. Previous installment The Dark Knight dropped -29% its Saturday. I can now tell you that The Dark Knight Rises made $46.2M Saturday and is projected at $39.3M Sunday (-12%). My sources now say the 3-day weekend cume looks around $161.1M with the caveat that the Colorado tragedy may have an impossible-to-predict effect until Monday actuals. This could still be the largest grossing 2D North American opening weekend ever, past 2008′s The Dark Knight at $158M. However, despite the “like nothing ever happened” box office momentum which Warner Bros saw Friday morning, it is clear that Dark Knight Rises numbers won’t be record-breaking overall. Yes, because of pre-sales, midnights shattered the $18.4M generated by Marvel’s The Avengers earlier this summer. But The Dark Knight Rises didn’t beat Avengers‘ $80.5M Friday and won’t come near Avengers‘ all-time $207.4M collected from 2D, Digital 3D, RealD, and IMAX 3D.
Here’s the rest of the Top Ten list based on weekend estimates:
6. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,606 Theaters]
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $1.5M, Weekend $4.3M, Cume $102.0M
7. Savages (Universal) Week 3 [2,336 Theaters]
Friday $990K, Saturday $1.2M, Weekend $3.3M, Cume $40.0M
8. Madea’s Witness Protection (TPerry/Lionsgate) Week 4 [1,540 Theaters]
Friday $744K, Saturday $984K, Weekend $2.3M, Cume $60.4M
9. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 9 [895 Theaters]
Friday $551K, Saturday $741K, Weekend $1.8M, Cume $36.1M
10. To Room With Love (Sony Classics) Week 5 [552 Theaters]
Friday $401K, Saturday $602K, Weekend $1.5M, Cume $11.2M
Christopher Nolan made two things extremely clear today as the Produced By Conference got underway on the Sony lot in Culver City. He will definitely not be making a fourth Batman movie, and he believes that digital filmmaking is “devaluing of what we do as filmmakers.” The Dark Knight Rises director said he actually never had a plan for any Batman sequels when he made 2005′s Batman Begins. “We never had a specific trajectory,” Nolan noted. “I wanted to put everything into making one great film, I didn’t want to hold anything back.” And Nolan certainly didn’t hold anything back on his feelings about Hollywood’s “rapid” move to digital moviemaking. Nolan said to the audience, which included Warner Bros‘ Jeff Robinov, that he “didn’t have any interest in being the research department for an electronics company.” Nolan added, “It’s like filmmakers are being encouraged to buy cameras like we are buying iPods.”
Christopher Nolan’s third (and final) installment of his Batman saga, The Dark Knight Rises, opens July 20, 2012, but it’s never too early to get amped up for it. This first trailer, released today via iTunes, is a very promising start to what will be a ton of hype for …