Danny Boyle is keeping busy in TV these days. In the U.S., he’s teamed with FX and his Slumdog Millionaire writer and producer Simon Beaufoy and Christian Colson for 10-part WWII miniseries Telemark. Closer to home, he’s readying a pilot for Channel 4‘s straight-to-series police comedy/drama Babylon. BAFTA winners Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong are scripting the pilot which Boyle will direct. Brit Marling (Another Earth, Arbitrage) has now been cast in the lead as Liz Garvey, a new-media savvy American who’s parachuted in to revolutionize the PR department of London’s police force. James Nesbitt (The Hobbit) plays Chief Constable Richard Miller. Also in the ensemble cast are Paterson Joseph (Peep Show), Jill Halfpenny (EastEnders), Adam Deacon (Kidulthood), Daniel Kaluuya, Jonny Sweet, Andrew Brooke and Bertie Carvel. Described as “razor-sharp and visually audacious,” Babylon takes a wry look at the people and politics in the command rooms and on the frontlines of a modern police force, as it attempts to uphold the peace under constant scrutiny. The pilot shoots this fall for an early 2014 airdate and a further six episodes have been ordered for production in 2014. Boyle is exec producing with Robert Jones (The Usual Suspects), Armstrong and Bain. Producers are Jones and Derrin Schlesinger. Marling is repped by CAA, Nesbitt is repped by Artist Rights Group in the UK and by UTA.
Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage.
Danny Boyle threatened to resign as artistic director of the opening ceremony of last year’s Olympic Games in London, he has disclosed. In an updated book of conversations with journalist Amy Raphael, to be published on April 4, Boyle claims he butted heads with Games organizers Locog over creative differences and his displeasure with certain decisions being made for the Games. He came “close to walking away” when he heard of plans for ground-to-air missile silos to be installed on buildings near the Olympic site, and became “unbelievably unpleasant” during meetings with Locog. “Occasional threats to resign were useful,” he said. “There’s a terror of bad headlines in the press, which you have to turn to your advantage.” A major point of contention was a stadium wrap being designed by the artist Damien Hirst. Hirst pulled out over a row about sponsorship from Dow Chemical and its links to the Bhopal gas disaster in India in 1984, which killed 15,000 people. “He didn’t want to be associated with Dow,” Boyle said, although Hirst did later contribute a design to the closing ceremony.
Danny Boyle made his first trip to SXSW to tease footage from his psychological thriller Trance, which opens via Fox Searchlight April 5. But in the packed Vimeo theater on Saturday, Boyle raised eyebrows by screening a pivotal last-act sequence that seemed to give away the film’s finale. The shocked audience reaction to the potential spoiler was so palpable it was the first thing moderator David Carr mentioned when the lights came up, and I hear the studio was taking pains to manage the unexpected situation following the event. “That’s not the exact ending”, Boyle insisted to Deadline following his spoilery faux pas. “It’s near the end but it’s not the exact ending, no. We showed it because there’s no point in coming to SXSW without showing something dynamic. So you show them a bit of your proper filmmaking”. Boyle says he would have preferred to screen the entire film at SXSW but distribution politics made things tricky. “Pathe distribute in the UK and France because they were the ones who gave us money to do Slumdog, so we stayed loyal to them in those two territories”, he said. (Trance world premieres in London on March 19.)
News Corp’s Australian Arm Plunges Further Into the Red
News Limited incurred an operating loss of $A457.3 million ($482.3 million) after writing down the value of its mastheads by $731. 7 million in fiscal 2012, according to accounts filed with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. That compares with a $201.6 million loss in fiscal 2011 and $300 million in profits in 2010. The Australian company quantified job losses, mostly redundancies, for the first time, revealing the head count fell by 306 to 9,543 in the year to June 30. It reported revenue fell by nearly 10% to $2.65 billion and operating income plunged by 25.3% to $493.6 million as advertising revenues declined “driven by negative consumer sentiment”. Trying to put a positive spin on the numbers, the company pointed to the $1.94 billion acquisition of Consolidated Media Holdings, which owned 25% of paybox Foxtel and 50% of Fox Sports, and online titles Business Spectator and Eureka Report, and said its publishing businesses performed solidly. The company generated $676 million in cash during the fiscal year. – Don Groves.
“London 2012: Time to find out who we are” reads a headline in today’s Guardian. I’m not so sure about that, but the world will find out tonight what Danny Boyle’s had up his sleeve during his long months of preparing the Olympics Opening Ceremony. A shroud of secrecy has hung around the build-up to the event and around two dress rehearsals Boyle held earlier this week. What did leak was news that the hashtag #SaveTheSurprise had been projected on screens around the stadium during the rehearsals. Seems to have worked.
What we also know is that the warm-up show will start in London at 8:12 local time tonight (20:12 in military time), kicking off in earnest at 9 PM and running to 12:30 AM. Folks in the U.S. will have to wait until several hours later since NBC made the decision to slot the opening and closing ceremonies in primetime. Yesterday, NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell praised Boyle’s extravaganza, saying it has “amazing moments including one of the more astonishing and memorable in opening ceremony history.”
You have to wonder if London 2012 organizers are whispering to each other, “Be careful what you wish for.” With the weather still a question mark after weeks of inclemency comes a report that Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony …
As the Summer Olympics draw near, Danny Boyle has unveiled more details of the opening ceremony for London 2012. In his role as artistic director for the opener that’s titled Isles Of Wonder, the British filmmaker said “The ceremony is an attempt to capture a picture of ourselves as a nation, where we have come from and where we want to be.”
For the Tempest-inspired gala, the whole of the Olympic Stadium’s field of play will be transformed into the rolling British countryside. The set will include meadows, fields and rivers, and feature picnicking families, folks playing sports on village greens and farmers tilling the soil. There will also be live animals grazing including 12 horses, 3 cows, 2 goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese, 70 sheep, and 3 sheep dogs.
Danny Boyle‘s production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at London’s National Theatre is coming to select U.S. cinemas June 6-7. The two-night showing is presented by NCM’s Fathom Events, in collaboration with National Theatre Live and …
For the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, movie director Danny Boyle said he’s aiming for intimacy rather than spectacle. “We wanted to make the feel of the opening ceremony … intimate and personal,” he said in an interview today. The anticipated TV audience of a billion viewers is important, “but we wanted the 80,000 people who were lucky enough to be in there to be the conduit through which you feel this experience.” The ceremony will be called “Isles of Wonder” and it will involve a big bell and lots of nurses. The nurses are part of a tribute to the National Health Service, and the title was inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. A specially cast bell will ring out to signal the start of the opening ceremony. The bell will be inscribed with Caliban’s line in The Tempest: “Be not afear’d; the isle is full of noises.”
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off co-writing Trance for director Danny Boyle, Joe Ahearne has sold an untitled supernatural thriller pitch to Warner Bros. Dan Lin will produce under his Lin Pictures banner. Lin’s veep Jon Silk came up with an idea they are keeping under wraps and Ahearne expanded it before they …