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Bear Necessity: Ben Whishaw To Voice CG ‘Paddington’

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 4:21pm PDT

Bear Necessity: Ben Whishaw To Voice CG ‘Paddington’After parting company with original star Colin Firth, The Weinstein Co.’s fast-approaching Paddington Bear pic has found a new voice for its furry London-dwelling protagonist. Ben Whishaw has stepped in as the voice of Paddington, starring alongside Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Sally Hawkins in the live action/CG big-screen adventure adapted from UK author Michael Bond’s beloved children’s books. King’s Speech Oscar-winner Firth was set to play the CG bear for producer David Heyman and helmer Paul King before his voice was deemed not quite right for the character. His departure was announced last month. The Weinstein Co. releases the pic Christmas Day stateside, but overseas there’s more of a time crunch: Paddington opens in the UK, home base to the Peruvian-born Paddington Bear himself, on November 28.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Paddington’

Well, this made me chuckle on a Monday morning. After a tease in March, Studiocanal has released a new trailer for the David Heyman-produced Paddington. The video below provides the first full look at the CGI bear with a passion for all things British who travels to London in search of a home. The UK’s Framestore, whose credits include Heyman’s Gravity, is handling VFX. Colin Firth voices Paddington while Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent play the live action roles. Paul King (Come Fly With Me, The Mighty Boosh) directs. The Weinstein Co’s TWC-Dimension is releasing in the U.S. on Christmas Day; Studiocanal unwraps it on November 28 in the UK.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’

Kingsman_c20th Century Fox has released the first look at Matthew Vaughn‘s Kingsman: The Secret Service, the pic based on the comic series by Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Of course Vaughn wrote and directed the first Kick-Ass movie, and he also wrote and directed X-Men: First Class — both were hits. But he decided not to helm Kick-Ass 2 and he backed out of the First Class follow-up X-Men: Days Of Future Past – and after the latter Mike Fleming Jr told us Vaughn was eyeing Secret Service as his next pic. (Bryan Singer, the franchise’s launcher, took the Days Of Future Past gig and that is due out this week.). Vaughn wrote Secret Service with writing partner Jane Goldman, and his Marv Films financed and produced. Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Strong and Michael Caine and Taron Egerton star in the drama that closely follows the comic, about a veteran secret agent who leads a young protege into the shadowy business. Fox has set an October 24 release date after shifting it around a couple times. It received strong response at CinemaCon and WonderCon when the studio showed sneak peeks. Here’s the trailer:

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Hot Trailer: Woody Allen’s ‘Magic In The Moonlight’

By | Wednesday May 21, 2014 @ 1:33pm PDT

Emma StoneMagicInTheMoonlight__131015184313-e1381862630429-275x196 and Colin Firth star in Woody Allen‘s new romantic comedy Magic In The Moonlight. Stone plays a fake medium/psychic (or is she the real deal?), Firth plays an Englishman brought in to unmask a possible swindle and personal and professional complications ensue. Pic is set in the south of France in the 1920s against a backdrop of wealthy mansions, the Côte d’Azur, jazz joints and fashionable spots for the wealthy of the Jazz Age. Eileen Atkins, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, and Jacki Weaver also star. Sony Pictures Classics opens the pic July 25. Check it out the trailer:

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Cannes: Gavin Hood To Helm ‘Eye In The Sky’ For eOne & Colin Firth’s Raindog Films

eone logoEntertainment One is getting ready for a busy Cannes. The Canadian giant will produce and distribute contemporary action thriller Eye In The Sky in colin firthassociation with Colin Firth and Ged Doherty’s Raindog Films. Gavin Hood is directing with Firth attached to star in the ensemble. Firth and Doherty will produce with Xavier Marchand who is heading up the eOne’s new global film production arm. The film is expected to kick off in South Africa on August 11.

Cannes2014_badgeWritten by BAFTA winner Guy Hibbert (Five Minutes Of Heaven, Omagh) Eye In The Sky centers on London-based military intelligence officer Colonel Michelle Madden who is remotely commanding a top secret drone operation that aims to capture a group of terrorists in Nairobi. The mission suddenly escalates from a “capture” to a “kill” operation when she realizes the targets are about to embark on a suicide mission, which would result in the deaths of many innocent civilians. Meanwhile, American drone pilot Steve Watts is poised to destroy the safe-house when a nine-year-old-girl enters the kill zone. With unforeseen collateral damage factoring into the equation and with the volatility of the situation increasing, Madden must pass the mission’s authority up the “kill chain” to politicians and lawyers, including the British Foreign secretary.

“The use of unmanned aircraft … Read More »

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Jude Law Joins Colin Firth In ‘Genius,’ Adaptation Of Scott Berg Biography

By | Friday April 25, 2014 @ 3:23pm PDT
Mike Fleming

judelawDirector Michael Grandage has set Jude Law to play literary icon Thomas Wolfe alongside Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in Genius, the John Logan-scripted adaptation of the celebrated A. Scott Berg book that recounts the relationship between Wolfe and renowned editor Max Perkins (Firth) that changed both men forever. The film’s produced by The Michael Grandage Company with shooting to begin this fall in the UK and U.S.  Silver Reel is co-financing with FilmNation Entertainment handling all international sales and CAA handling domestic.

firthkidmanGenius will be produced by Grandage and James Bierman, who first worked together at Donmar Warehouse Theatre before setting up MGC. Logan is also producing, while Tim Bevan is exec producer. MGC is producing with Desert Wolf Productions.  Logan and Grandage previously collaborated on the Tony-winning Red and followed with Peter And Alice.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Devil’s Knot’

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 8:27am PDT

Devil’s Knot is the story of three teenagers accused of the brutal 1993 murder of three 8-year-old boys in West Memphis, Ark. — two of them sentenced to life imprisonment and one to death even though there was not a shred of physical evidence. The film explores the lives of deeply misunderstood outsiders, their families and communities, and the hysterics that drove the trial. Reese Witherspoon stars as the mother of one of the murdered boys, and Colin Firth plays a lawyer who takes on the the unpopular case. Cast also includes Amy Ryan, Mireille Enos, Stephen Moyer, Alessandro Nivola and Dane DeHaan, Atom Egoyan directs from a script by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson. Devil’s Knot hits U.S. theaters on May 9. Check out the trailer:

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Hot Teaser: ‘Paddington’

Here’s a first look at the eponymous bear in the David Heyman-produced Paddington. The Weinstein Co’s TWC-Dimension label is releasing the movie in the U.S. on December 12; it will go out ahead of that in the UK on November 28 via Studiocanal which is fully financing. Colin Firth voices Paddington, the curious young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British who travels to London in search of a home. Lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family who offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed, until he catches the eye of a museum taxidermist played by Nicole Kidman. Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent also star. Paul King (Come Fly With Me, The Mighty Boosh) directs. The UK’s Framestore, which received so much recognition on the recent awards circuit for its work on Gravity, is handling VFX.

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Christopher McQuarrie To Helm Colin Firth In ‘Three To Kill’

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 5:40pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Lauren Productions has committed to finance Three To Kill, an adaptation of the novel by French author Jean-Patrick Manchette. Christopher McQuarrie has signed on to direct and Colin Firth will star. Howard Rodman will write the script and Lauren will produce with Laura Bickford. Pic is a thriller set on the coast of France. A disillusioned businessman witnesses a murder and finds himself being hunted by two relentless sociopaths. The novel was adapted by Jacques Tardi into the graphic novel West Coast Blues, and that was nominated for two Eisner Awards in 2010. Manchette’s The Prone Gunman was separately turned into The Gunman, a Studio Canal Silver Pictures co-production that was directed by Pierre Morel with Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Idris Elba starring.

Related: Chris McQuarrie To Direct ‘Star Blazers’ From ’70s Anime Series
Read More »

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TWC-Dimension Sets ‘Paddington’ For December 2014 Release

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 11:29am PST

That duffle coat wearing bear found in a train station is coming Stateside in time for Christmas 2014. New Weinstein Co label TWC-Dimension announced today that the live-action version of Paddington will be released on December 12 of next year.  “The holiday season is the perfect time to bring the humorous adventures of one of the world’s most loveable bears to family audiences everywhere,” said distribution president Erik Lomis today in a statement. The project was initially announced in Cannes in 2012 and TWC-Dimension acquired the U.S. rights in September of this year. The Harry Potter franchise and Gravity’s David Heyman is producing the first ever live action pic inspired by Michael Bond’s classic book, which were first published in 1958. Paddington is fully financed by StudiocanalColin Firth is voicing the CGI Paddington. The pic is a reteam for Firth with his Railway Man co-star, Nicole Kidman will play an evil taxidermist out for revenge. Also in the cast are Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent. The story follows a curious young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British who travels to London in search of a home. Lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the Brown family who offer him a place to live. Paddington seems to have found a happy life the rarest of bears gets the attention of a scheming museum taxidermist. You’ll have to wait until next Christmas to find out how … Read More »

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Toronto: Image Lands West Memphis 3 Pic ‘Devil’s Knot’ With Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon

Mike Fleming

Image Entertainment has acquired the Toronto title Devil’s Knot and will release it in second-quarter 2014. The Atom Egoyan-directed film stars Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Amy Ryan, Mireille Enos, and Stephen Moyer. Image’s Chief Acquisition Officer Bill Bromiley made the deal with CAA and WME on behalf of financier Worldview Entertainment. The film is the story of three teenagers accused of the brutal 1993 murder of three 8-year-old boys in Memphis, Ark. — two of them sentenced to life imprisonment and one to death even though there was not a shred of physical evidence. The film explores the lives of deeply misunderstood outsiders, their families and communities, and the hysterics that drove the trial. The conviction of the West Memphis 3 — Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley Jr, and Jason Baldwin — riled the American justice system, shocked a tightly knit religious town and outraged the nation. Pic is based on the Mara Leveritt book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three. Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson wrote the script and Boardman produced with Elizabeth Fowler, Richard Saperstein, Clark Peterson and Christopher Woodrow of Worldview Entertainment.

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Weinsteins Acquire ‘Paddington’ For New TWC-Dimension; Colin Firth & Nicole Kidman To Lead Cast Of CGI Live-Action Pic

The Weinstein Co has taken North American rights to the upcoming big-screen transfer of Michael Bond’s classic kids character Paddington Bear. Paddington will be the first release under a new label for the company, TWC-Dimension, which will see Harvey and Bob Weinstein team on films for which they share a common passion. The Harry Potter franchise’s David Heyman is producing Paddington which is fully financed by Studiocanal. Colin Firth has been set to voice the CGI bear and, in a reteam with his Railway Man co-star, Nicole Kidman will play an evil taxidermist out for revenge. Also joining the cast are Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent.

This is the first-ever live action film inspired by the books which Bond began in 1958. The story follows a curious young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British who travels to London in search of a home. Lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family who offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed, until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.

Principal photography starts this month with Paul King (Come Fly With Me, The Might Boosh) directing. Shooting is set to take place in the UK with Framestore handling VFX. Studiocanal has set a November 28, 2014 event release in the UK and will go day-and-date in its other territories that include France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. TWC-Dimension will release in North America in the first quarter of 2015. Studiocanal has international sales.

The project was initially announced in Cannes in 2012 and Studiocanal chairman Olivier Courson tells me the idea was to take time developing a script that would be a “real family comedy” that’s not just for kids. Read More »

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TORONTO UPDATE: Weinstein Co In $2M U.S. Deal For Colin Firth-Nicole Kidman Pic ‘The Railway Man’

Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 2:40 PM: The Weinstein Company just made this deal official (see the release below the original break).

PREVIOUS BREAKING, 10:37 AM: Harvey Weinstein has done it again. The Weinstein Company is acquiring U.S. distribution rights for around $2 million to The Railway Man, director Jonathan Teplitzky’s drama that stars Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. It’s the true story about a British Army officer who is tormented at a Japanese POW camp. Decades later, he discovers the Japanese interpreter responsible for the brutality is alive. He sets out to confront him and his haunting past. The deal for the film, which premiered Friday at Roy Thompson Hall, was brokered by CAA. Andy Paterson and Chris Brown produced. It’s the third buy for TWC after the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life? and The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers. All of them will be released in 2014. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Railway Man’

By | Wednesday September 11, 2013 @ 6:19am PDT

The Railway Man debuted to a standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival, Deadline’s Pete Hammond wrote over the weekend. Present at the screening was Patti Lomax, the widow of Eric Lomax, the real-life subject of the story about a man who confronted his Japanese tormentor decades after the war. Nicole Kidman plays Patti in the Jonathan Teplitzky-directed film, opposite Colin Firth as Eric. Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine and Hiroyuki Sanada also star. It doesn’t have a U.S. distributor, but there were several buyers checking it out in Toronto. CAA/Lionsgate is repping North America and Lionsgate UK releases in Britain on January 3.

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UKTV Launches Drama Channel With Giant Lake Statue Of Colin Firth As Mr. Darcy

Britons recently voted a scene from the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice as the most memorable TV moment of all time. Therein, Colin Firth‘s Mr. Darcy takes a dip in a lake and then, dripping wet and under-dressed, runs into Jennifer Ehle’s Elizabeth Bennett. In honor of UKTV‘s new Drama channel, the media company has erected a 12-foot statue of Darcy in Hyde Park’s Serpentine lake. The sculptor says Firth’s Darcy was a starting point, but that notes were used from others who’ve portrayed him including Matthew Macfadyen and Laurence Olivier. Still, the end result bears a striking resemblance to the King’s Speech Oscar winner. The statue will eventually settle at Lyme Park in Cheshire, the scene of the Pemberley manor in Pride And Prejudice. The BBC is adapting Death Comes To Pemberley, based on the suspense novel by P.D. James that pays homage to Jane Austen’s iconic characters. Matthew Rhys is playing Darcy. At the time the three-part serial was announced, Rhys said his Darcy would be different from the ones who have gone before, “And also, I don’t have to appear from a lake in a white shirt and breeches.” Video of the original scene is on the next page: Read More »

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TOLDJA! Emma Stone, Colin Firth Officially Set To Star In Woody Allen’s Next Pic

By | Tuesday April 30, 2013 @ 11:07am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Deadline broke separate stories about Emma Stone and Colin Firth being set for Woody Allen’s next pic. Now, the Woodman has confirmed the news, along with our revelation the film will be set in the South of France. If that part of France stirs Allen as much as did Paris in Midnight In Paris, we should be in for a treat. Here’s the official news:

Woody Allen’s new, untitled comedy will star Colin Firth and Emma Stone. The Gravier Productions film is produced by Allen’s longtime associates, Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum.

Set in the South of France, Allen will shoot the film this summer, once again collaborating with cinematographer Darius Khondji (MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, TO ROME WITH LOVE), production designer Anne Seibel (MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, TO ROME WITH LOVE) and costume designer Sonia Grande (MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, TO ROME WITH LOVE and VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA).

This latest film marks Allen’s second time filming in France and his eighth set in Europe. His previous European films are: TO ROME WITH LOVE (Rome), MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (Paris), YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER (London), VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA (Barcelona), CASSANDRA’S DREAM (London), SCOOP (London) and MATCH POINT (London).

Allen’s upcoming film, BLUE JASMINE, will be released on July 26 by Sony Pictures Classics.

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Colin Firth In Talks For Male Lead In Woody Allen’s Next

By | Monday April 29, 2013 @ 3:46pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After locking in Emma Stone as the female lead, Woody Allen is in talks with Colin Firth to play the male lead in his next film. The untitled pic will shoot in the South of France, I’m told. Firth separately is attached to star in The Secret Service, the next film by X-Men: First Class helmer Matthew Vaughn for Fox, but he is carving out room in his schedule to work for the Woodman. He’s repped by CAA and UK-based Independent Talent Group.

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Tom Shadyac Eyes ‘The Intouchables’ Remake As Return To Comedy Helming

By | Thursday February 28, 2013 @ 10:50am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Tom Shadyac, once a prolific director of blockbuster comedies before a near-death experience sent him on a life-changing journey chronicled in his feature documentary I Am, is returning to laffer mode. Shadyac is in talks with The Weinstein Company to helm its remake of the Olivier Nakache/Eric Toledano French sensation The Intouchables.

TWC has a script by Paul Feig, and Colin Firth has been circling to star, though casting is not locked. The picture seems primed for remake — it grossed $416 million overseas, and only $10 million domestic. That is a decent number for a foreign film but leaves a lot of room for an American audience to discover the story. TWC released it here and got remake rights as part of the bargain. Feig was once going to make it his directorial follow-up to Bridesmaids but he left the project after writing the screenplay about an aristocrat who, after being paralyzed in a hang-gliding accident, hires a young man from the projects to be his caretaker. TWC’s Dylan Sellers has been shepherding the redo. Read More »

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AFM: Colin Firth & Michael Fassbender Join ‘Genius’

By | Thursday November 1, 2012 @ 2:05pm PDT

Oscar winner Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender are set to star in Genius. Based on the relationship between author Thomas Wolfe and renowned editor Max Perkins, the film will be directed by Michael Grandage. Gladiator and Skyfall scribe John Logan will adapt the script from A. Scott Berg’s award-winning biography Max Perkins: Editor Of Genius. James Bierman for the Michael Grandage Company will produce Genius. CAA will arrange the financing and represent the film’s North American distribution rights. FilmNation start international sales on Genius at AFM this week.

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