UPDATE, THURSDAY AM: As the Berlin Film Festival kicks off today, Sony Pictures Classics has confirmed its acquisition of all U.S. and Latin American rights to competition title, Aloft. This is Milk Of Sorrow helmer Claudia Llosa’s first English-language film. It screens next Wednesday. The deal was negotiated by executive producer Mark Johnson, Dreamcatchers’ Marina Fuentes and SPC.
PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY PM, EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Classics is closing on a deal to release Aloft, the film that premieres in competition at the Berlin Film Festival. The picture is directed by Claudia Llosa, whose last film The Milk Of Sorrow won the Golden Bear Prize at Berlin. The picture stars Jennifer Connelly, Cillian Murphy and Melanie Laurent.
Told in two different periods, the film stars Connelly as a struggling mother of two young sons who becomes a renowned artist and healer. Years later, a journalist (Laurent) tracks down the son she abandoned, and sets up a meeting between them. Murphy plays the son as an adult. The film is produced by Iban Cormenzana, Mark Johnson, Phyllis Laing, Jose Maria Morales, and Jerome Vidal. Here’s a clip:
EXCLUSIVE: Cillian Murphy jas joined the cast of In The Heart Of The Sea, the Ron Howard-directed adaptation of the Nathaniel Philbrick book for Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures. Brian Grazer is producing with Joe Roth, Paula Weinstein and William Ward, with Palak Patel exec producing. Murphy will play Matthew Joy, second mate on the whale ship Essex. Citing reports of cannibals in the Society Islands, Joy and first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) convince first time Captain Pollard (Benjamin Walker) to sail to South America after an enraged sperm whale rams and sinks the Essex, leaving 21 crew members adrift in small boats, 3,000 miles from land. The film begins shooting around London in mid-September.
Murphy is currently at work on Wally Pfister’s Transcendence with Johnny Depp in New Mexico. He wrapped Cry/Fly, an indie opposite Jennifer Connelly and Mélanie Laurent and this fall stars in Peaky Blinders, a six-part miniseries for the BBC about the Shelby gang in 1920s Birmingham. He’ll next be seen in Broken, the British Independent Film Award-winning drama he stars in with Tim Roth, with Film Movement releasing in July in the U.S. Murphy is repped by CAA, the Lisa Richards Agency, Lou Coulson Associates and attorney David Weber.
EXCLUSIVE: British actress Annabelle Wallis is headed home to UK television to star opposite Cillian Murphy in the six-part BBC Two drama series Peaky Blinders. Created by Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight, an Oscar-nominee for Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things, the series is set in 1919 Birmingham where a ruthless family of gangsters, led by Murphy’s character Tommy, rules the lawless post-war slums. Wallis, whose credits include X-Men: First Class and W.E. along with TV programs The Tudors and Pan Am, will play a mysterious new arrival in the neighborhood who peaks Tommy’s interest. The Tiger Aspect/Caryn Mandabach Productions crime saga is produced by Katie Swinden, with Otto Bathurst directing. Writers include Knight, David Leland, Stephen Russell and Toby Finlay. Principal photography has just gotten underway in Birmingham and Leeds. Peaky Blinders is expected to air in 2013 in the UK. Wallis is repped by ICM Partners, United Agents and Untitled Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Cillian Murphy has been set to star as Tommy, the most ruthless brother in a family of gangsters in the six-part BBC Two drama Peaky Blinders. Created by Steven Knight, who wrote David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises and was Oscar nominated for Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things, the series is set in 1919 Birmingham where Tommy’s family rules the lawless post-war slum neighborhoods as returning soldiers, revolutionaries and criminals fight for survival. The family is known as the “Peaky Blinders” based on their practice of sewing razor blades into the peaks of their caps. Murphy’s Tommy finds his leadership challenged when a Belfast police chief comes to clean up the city, and a beautiful, mysterious woman arrives with a dangerous secret. The Tiger Aspect/Caryn Mandabach Productions crime saga is produced by Katie Swinden and starts principal photography in September for a 2013 UK debut. Otto Bathurst will direct. Writers include Knight, David Leland, Stephen Russell and Toby Finlay. Murphy’s just coming off The Dark Knight Rises, his third turn in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. Upcoming, he’s got Broken, the British drama that opened Critics Week in Cannes. He is repped by CAA in the US, Lou Coulson Associates in the UK and The Lisa Richards Agency in Ireland.
EXCLUSIVE: While Lie To Me star Tim Roth waits for his next series that will come from the deal he signed with 20th Century Fox TV, he’ll first go back to the UK to star in a pair of films he’ll make back to back. Roth and Cillian Murphy will star with newcomer Eloise Laurence in Broken, an adaptation of the Daniel Clay novel that was scripted by Mark O’Rowe and will be directed by Rufus Norris, the British theater director whose credits include the Tony-nominated Les Liasons Dangereuses. The film will be produced by Dixie Linder, Nick Marston and Tally Garner, and funded by BBC Films and the BFI in association with Lip Sync and Bill Kenwright Ltd, a Cuba Pictures Production. BBC Films developed it.
Roth plays the father of an 11-year-old girl living in North London who witnesses a violent attack that changes the way she looks at the world around her. Shooting begins this month in England.
Roth follows with The Liability, starring with Peter Mullan and Talulah Riley. The film’s directed by Craig Viveiros, whose debut film Ghosted just made its premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival. John Wrathall wrote the script and Richard Johns and Rupert Jermyn of Corona Pictures are producing. Funding comes partly from Northstar Ventures through the North East Creative Content Fund, in association with Northern Film and Media. The film is a darkly comic road trip taken by an aspiring hit … Read More »
Fox and New Regency put up a trailer this weekend for In Time, the Andrew Niccol-directed futuristic science fiction thriller that takes place in a world where people who want to live beyond 25 have to purchase time. The protagonist’s clock is about to run out when a rich guy tired of living gives away his time. Niccol used a similar plot driver in his 1997 directorial debut Gattaca, where Ethan Hawke got the chance to escape his dreary home planet and got a shot at space travel despite inferior genetics when an elite athlete (Jude Law) whose body is ruined gives him his ticket off the planet. It worked well in that movie, and In Time gives Justin Timberlake an opportunity to move from romantic comedies to action terrain in a movie career that so far has been a pleasant surprise. Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde and Cillian Murphy also star in a film that opens Oct. 28.
Craig Bankey has left WKT Public Relations to form his own company repping actors and filmmakers. He made the move last Friday, and said he is bringing with him clients that include Muhammad Ali, Matthew Goode, Michael C. Hall, Djimon Hounsou, Daniel Dae Kim, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe and Sendhil Ramamurthy. Bankey hasn’t named his company yet but will soon.
TheBig Bang Theory has made Johnny Galecki a hot property, and now he’s in final negotiations to star in New Regency’s untitled sci-fi movie from Andrew Niccol that used to be called I’m Mortal. He’s joining already-announced Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried and Cillian Murphy in a not-so-distant future in which the aging gene has been switched off. To avoid overpopulation, time has become the currency with which people pay for things. Galecki will be playing Timberlake’s best friend. He’s repped by CAA and Untitled. Eric Newman, Marc Abraham, Kristel Laiblin and Andrew David are producing.
Jamie Bell has signed on to star with Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton in The Retreat, the British thriller that begins production in Wales next month. Produced by Magnet Films, the thriller focuses on a couple vacationing on a remote island as they try to repair their marriage. When they find a soldier washed up on the beach in a biohazard suit, they discover everyone else has been killed by an airborne virus. Carl Tibbets is making his directorial debut on the script he wrote and Magnet’s Gary Sinyor is producing and David Frost is exec producer. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Inception star begins filming this British thriller in September on location in Wales. Thandie Newton will play Murphy’s wife. Sony Pictures has already taken UK rights. Moon was its last British acquisition. Another studio deal is pending for Germany. Murphy and Newton will play a husband and wife who rent a remote island cottage while trying to repair their marriage. One day they find a biohazard-suited soldier washed up on the beach, who warns them that everybody on the mainland has been killed by an airborne virus. That’s when the psychological fun-and-games begin…
Producer Gary Sinyor of Magnet Films pitches The Retreat as a landlocked “Knife In the Water meets Dead Calm.” Carl Tibbetts, an editor who’s worked on Alien Vs Predator, is the first-time writer/director. He’s repped by Independent Talent in London. SC Films International is handling worldwide sales. And the executive producer is David Frost – yes, that David Frost from Frost/Nixon.