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Cannes 2014: A Look At Hot Titles; Was It Over Before We Got Here And Paramount Made Record Deal?

Cannes2014_badgeIf there is a recurring theme among buyers and sellers we’ve spoken to in the early moments of the Cannes Film Festival, it is that none can remember the last time there was such a sellers’ market here on the Croisette. The trouble is, nobody seems to really have anything all that compelling to sell, and that is driving the sellers crazy.

amy adamsThe market opened in the grandest possible way, with a record-setting $20M deal as Paramount paid for North America and China rights to the Denis Villeneuve-directed science fiction film Story Of Your Life. Well, the weather has also been grand so far — the deals, not so much. In fact, the next one came as The Weinstein Company finally closed its long-expected deal for Grace Of Monaco, slashing its original $5M commitment almost in half for a film where director Olivier Dahan shot a version that didn’t reflect the original script, before unveiling it as the Cannes opening-night film to terrible reviews.

Related: Cannes: ‘Grace Of Monaco’ Opens Fest As Critics & Royals Take Aim

Since then, nobody has seemed in much of a hurry to gobble up much of anything. No one was saying Paramount spent drunkenly in setting the record with Story Of Your Life. The rationale: $20M for a movie with commercial potential budgeted around $50M, an actress who routinely garners Oscar nominations for her work in Amy Adams, and a director who is fast emerging, is something major Hollywood studios would pay any day. With a major U.S. wide release in place, Glen Basner’s FilmNation’s effort to finish sales around the world has been the equivalent of selling ice cream in the desert. Territories are paying generously, in a textbook example of how the deal-making here is supposed to work.

cannes opening nightIf only there were more of those films. A package could still fall into place that creates another feeding frenzy, but most sellers are resigned to kicking themselves for not having enough killer product and missing out on an opportunity. Buyers and sellers are moving warily, particularly those who are coming here with other projects that haven’t begun production, or are selling on the basis of a sizzle reel. Some of these movies might just as easily surface as Toronto business as walk away with a big Cannes deal. Then again, there are those that believe the lack of films that have come together with sought-after talent is not a momentary anomaly, but part of a larger trend. Read More »

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AFM: Charlize Theron Pic ‘Dark Places’ Goes Everywhere As Exclusive Media Wraps Sales

By | Friday November 8, 2013 @ 5:59pm PST

Exclusive Media has closed a ton of deals to send the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller to five continents. Charlize Theron toplines and co-produces writer-director Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s Dark Places, which has sold in more than 20 territories at AFM. The thriller now has all-rights deals with Mars in France, Remstar in Canada, CCC in Japan, Svensk in Scandinavia, Ascot Elite in Switzerland, Nu Metro in South Africa, Odeon in Greece, Sam Films in Iceland, Tanweer in Turkey, India and Pakistan, Tandem in Bulgaria, Discovery in Croatia/Slovenia/Serbia, AQS in the Czech Republic, Prorom in Hungary and Romania, Monolith in Poland, West in Russia/the Baltic States, Noori in South Korea, and United King in Israel. It also pacted with IDC in Latin America, Front Row in the Middle East, PT Amero in Indonesia, Universal Excel in Malaysia, Captive in the Philippines, Intercontinental in Hong Kong, M Pictures in Thailand, Noori / Megastar in Vietnam, Cathay in Singapore, CMC in Taiwan, Fox/Star for SEAsian TV and Jaguar for planes/ships.

Related: AFM: Mark Strong Orbits ‘Ad Inexplorata’ Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks Lands New ‘Dark Places’ Role

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 5:32pm PDT

UPDATE, 5:32 PM: Charlize Theron just got a new movie mother, and it is Christina Hendricks. The Mad Men actress has gone from a supporting role to a lead in the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling 2009 thriller Dark Places, I’ve learned. Originally set to play stripper Krissi Cates in the Gilles Paquet-Brenner directed movie, Hendricks now will play Patty Day, the murdered mother of Theron’s Libby Davis character. The producers offered the role to the Emmy-nominated actress after Samantha Morton fell out. Like the book, the film follows Libby learning that the supposed massacre of her family by brother Ben, which she testified in court decades beforehand, might not be what was assumed. Hendrick’s Patty will be seen in a series of flashbacks throughout the movie as the truth of really happened and what Libby really saw becomes clearer. Also starring Chloe MoretzNicholas Hoult and House Of Cards’ Corey Stoll, the pic produced by Exclusive Media, Cuatro Plus Films, Denver & Delilah, Hugo Productions and Mandalay Vision began shooting last week in Louisiana. UPDATE: Former Sopranos star Drea de Matteo has landed the Krissi Cates role. The Emmy Winning de Matteo is repped by the Gersh Agency and Untitled Entertainment.

PREVIOUSLY, AUG. 20: EXCLUSIVE: The movie adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling thriller about … Read More »

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‘Dark Places’ Adds ‘House Of Cards’ Corey Stoll & ‘Rescue Me’s Andrea Roth

The cast for the Charlize Theron co-produced Dark Places continues to grow. House Of Cards’ Corey Stoll and Rescue Me’s Andrea Roth have both been added to the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling mystery novel about a woman forced to re-examine the massacre of her family more than 20 years beforehand. Stoll will play Ben Day in the film alongside Theron and Chloe Moretz. Stoll’s Day is 44 years old and has been in prison for over 25 years for the murders that he claims he did not commit. Tye Sheridan will play the teenage Ben. Theron, who is co-producing with Exclusive Media and Mandalay Entertainment, plays Libby Day. In both the book and the film, Libby has been ignoring the protests of innocence of her brother for years but now realizes there might be more to the story and sets to right a potential wrong. Roth, who played Denis Leary’s sometimes-estranged wife on FX’s Rescue Me for seven seasons, will portray the older version of the Diondra character in Dark Places. Moretz joined the film back in April to play the younger version of the character.

Stoll’s addition to the pic comes with him also set to play the lead in FX’s The Strain, the vampire apocalypse series from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse based on the novels the … Read More »

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John Gallagher Jr. & Kate Lyn Sheil Set For ‘The Heart Machine’; Gregg Henry Joins ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy,’ Tye Sheridan Heads To ‘Dark Places’

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 5:00pm PDT

John Gallagher Jr. (The Newsroom, Short Term 12) and Kate Lyn Sheil (V/H/S, House of Cards) have been set to star in Parts & Labor‘s indie mystery-drama The Heart Machine, from writer-director Zachary Wigon. Gallagher Jr. and Sheil will play Cody and Virginia, a couple in a long-distance online relationship who have never met in person. Cody begins to suspect Virginia’s been living in New York the whole time and sets out to investigate. Filming begins today in NYC. It’s the debut film for Wigon who is a film critic for The Village Voice among other outlets. Lucas Joaqui and Alex Scharfman are producing. Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen of Parts & Labor will exec produce with Abe Schwartz and Jordan Lewis. Gallagher Jr. is repped by Gersh, Station3, and Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo. Sheil is repped by APA and One Entertainment.

After appearing in James Gunn’s Slither and Super, actor Gregg Henry is re-joining the helmer in Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. Henry tweeted the news over the weekend. His official role in the superhero comic book pic has not been disclosed. Last week it was revealed that Vin Diesel was in talks to play Groot in the ensemble. Henry is also set to star opposite Christina Ricci in Lifetime’s Lizzie Borden pic following stints on AMC’s The Killing and ABC’s Scandal. Henry is repped by Domain Talent. Read More »

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‘Dark Places’ Adds ‘Jack The Giant Slayer’s’ Nicholas Hoult

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 11:22am PDT

Nicholas Hoult has joined the cast of Dark Places with Charlize Theron. The actor would play a character named Lyle in the adaptation of the Gillian Flynn mystery novel about a woman forced to re-face the massacre of her family over two decades before. An awkward young man, Lyle is the treasurer of the Kill Club, the group investigating the case of the killing of the family of Libby Day (Theron) As Deadline broke earlier this week, Chloe Moretz is in talks to join the Exclusive Media and Denver and Delilah Productions produced film too. Gilles Paquet-Brenner is writing and directing the adaptation of the 2009 book. Exclusive’s Guy East and Nigel Sinclair are producing with Theron’s Denver & Delilah and partners Beth Kono and AJ Dix and Mandalay Vision’s Matthew Rhodes and Hugo Productions’ Stephane Marsil. Exclusive’s Alex Bruner and Tobin Armbrust will executive produce along with Peter Safran. Mandalay’s Cathy Shulman will also produce. Hoult was recently seen in the zombie romance Warm Bodies and Warner Bros’ Jack The Giant Slayer and will be in the upcoming Mad Max Fury Road, also with Theron. He’ll also be in X-Men Days of Future Past and Young Ones. Hoult is repped by UTA and 42.

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Chloe Moretz In Talks To Join ‘Dark Places’ With Charlize Theron

By | Monday April 1, 2013 @ 2:14pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Chloe Moretz is in negotiations to join Charlize Theron in the thriller Dark Places. The actress would play a character named Diondra in the adaptation of the Gillian Flynn mystery novel, about a woman forced to re-face the massacre of her family over two decades before. Deadline broke the story in early February that Theron was on board. In the film, Theron, who is co-producing through her Denver and Delilah Productions, plays Libby Day, a woman who 25 years ago testified against her brother as the killer of their family. Now a group called the Kill Club believes he is innocent and is out to prove it. Gilles Paquet-Brenner is writing and directing the adaptation of the 2009 book. Exclusive Media is fully financing and producing alongside Denver and Delilah. Read More »

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Berlin TOLDJA! Charlize Theron Locked For ‘Dark Places’

By | Wednesday February 6, 2013 @ 6:24pm PST

Deadline has been out in front on most of the star packages being unveiled in Berlin, including the revelations that Johnny Depp will star in Black Mass, Colin Farrell is joining Anthony Hopkins in Solace, and that Jeremy Renner will star in Kill The Messenger. We broke the story Monday that Charlize Theron would be signing on to star and produce the film adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel Dark Places, and it was just confirmed by Exclusive Media. Here’s the official word:

Los Angeles, CA (February, 2013) – Academy Award winning actress Charlize Theron (SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMEN, PROMETHEUS, MONSTER) will star in and produce the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel Dark Places to be written and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner (SARAH’S KEY), it was announced today by Exclusive Media’s Co-Chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East.

Exclusive Media’s Guy East and Nigel Sinclair will produce and fully finance the film alongside Theron’s production company Denver and Delilah Productions with partners Beth Kono and AJ Dix; Stephane Marsil’s Hugo Productions and Mandalay Vision’s Matthew Rhodes. Tobin Armbrust and Alex Brunner of Exclusive Media will executive produce with Peter Safran, and Mandalay’s Cathy Schulman will also produce in some capacity.

Stephane Marsil has developed and produced all of Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s films starting with 2001’s PRETTY THINGS which garnered star Marion Cotillard a César nomination. When Gilles

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Charlize Theron Could Go To ‘Dark Places’ In Adaptation Of Gillian Flynn Novel

By | Monday February 4, 2013 @ 12:47pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: The EFM doesn’t start until Thursday, but the market is already percolating with a bevy of star-driven packages. While many folks are lamenting the time it takes to fortify deals, there’s nevertheless been a flurry of projects coming together with talent attached in just the past few days (Johnny Depp in Black Mass; Jeremy Renner in Kill The Messenger; Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins in Solace…). The latest one I’m hearing that’s driving strong interest is Dark Places, the adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel that had Amy Adams in talks back in May. Adams has since fallen out and I understand from myriad sources that Charlize Theron is orbiting the story of a woman who, at 7 years old, survived the brutal massacre of her family and testified against her brother as the murderer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club, a secret society obsessed with solving notorious crimes, brings her to question and confront the truth of what took place that day.

French sales outfit Kinology was initially lined up to handle international rights but is no longer involved and U.S. and European sales agents have been vying hard for the film. The latest I’ve heard is that it’s landed at Exclusive Media. Theron’s involvement is not locked, but there is interest on both sides and a deal would involve her producing through her Denver & Delilah with partner Beth Kono. The roughly $15M Dark Places, directed by French helmer Gilles Paquet-Brenner (Sarah’s Key), has been eyeing a March start. Stéphane Marsil is also producing through Paris-based Hugo Productions. Read More »

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