Actor Leslie “Les” M. Carlson, who starred in four David Cronenberg films including Videodrome during his 38-year career in film, television, and the stage, died May 3 after a battle with cancer at his Toronto home, under hospice care. He was 81. South Dakota-born Carlson began his screen career in the 1970s, with turns in films including 1974′s Deranged and the sorority slasher classic Black Christmas. Cronenberg cast him as Spectacular Optical Corporation head Barry Convex in 1983 sci-fi horror Videodrome, for which Carlson earned a Genie Award nomination. He’d go on to act in three more Cronenberg films: The Dead Zone, The Fly, and 2000′s Toronto Film Festival short Camera. Carlson’s credits also include films High-Ballin’, A Christmas Story, Rolling Vengeance, and K2, as well as TV appearances on 21 Jump Street, The X-Files, Highlander, Babar and the Adventures of Badou, Rookie Blue, and a recurring run on Disney’s Road To Avonlea.
Producers Jeff Sackman and Michael Baker today announced that they will remake the horror classic Shivers, David Cronenberg’s first feature film. That film, highlighted with a special screening at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, broke ground with its boundary-pushing sexuality and violence in its original release, nearly 40 years ago.
Shivers will be directed by award-winning Danish filmmaker Rie Rasmussen from a screenplay written by Ian Driscoll. Sackman and Baker will produce through their respective companies, TAJJ Media and Bunk 11 Pictures. Working with them as executive producer is the film’s original executive producer, André Link. Shivers will begin shooting in February 2014, with casting currently underway.
Canadian giant Entertainment One will team with Martin Katz’s Prospero Pictures to back David Cronenberg‘s upcoming ensemble thriller Maps To The Stars. Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson and Sarah Gadon are to star in the ghost story that’s described as a scathing attack on celebrity-obsessed LA. The script is by Wild Palms‘ Bruce Wagner.
EOne will also handle worldwide sales, which it plans to launch in Cannes next month, and distribute in the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Australia and New Zealand. Production starts in July in Toronto and LA. This is Cronenberg and Katz’s fourth collaboration. Katz and SBS Films’ Saïd Ben Saïd are producing. Sentient Entertainment’s Renee Tab, Cronenberg’s manager, will exec produce. EOne’s Benedict Carver is also exec producing and will oversee for the studio. Integral Films’ Alfred Hurmer is co-producing.
Cosmopolis director David Cronenberg has signed on to voice Tales From The Organ Trade. The documentary is produced by Toronto’s Associated Producers in association with HBO, Global TV and Canal D. Tales From The Organ Trade is scheduled to be broadcast on HBO next year. Directed by Ric Esther Bienstock, the investigative documentary tracks the global market in the illegal sales of human body parts. David Cronenberg is repped by WME and Sentient Entertainment.
David Cronenberg‘s long-gestating Maps To The Stars is gaining momentum. Robert Pattinson, who starred in Cosmopolis, and Cronenberg regular Viggo Mortensen have already been linked to the Hollywood-set film. Rachel Weisz is now in the mix, according to a French trade report. A person close to the film confirms Weisz’s interest but tells me deals still need to be signed for all three actors. Bruce Wagner penned the script that’s been described as a darkly comic look at Hollywood excess. Frenchman Saïd Ben Saïd, whose recent credits include Brian De Palma’s Passion and Roman Polanski’s Carnage, has come aboard as producer. He joins Prospero Pictures’ Martin Katz, who worked with Cronenberg on Cosmopolis and A Dangerous Method and is lead producer on the project. Germany’s Integral Films is co-producing. The plan is to start shooting in L.A. in May.
EXCLUSIVE: Celebrated commercials helmer Adam Berg is in talks to make his feature directing debut on Videodrome, the remake of the 1983 David Cronenberg-directed film that is set up at Universal Pictures. Ehren Kruger scripted the remake and is producing with partner Daniel Bobker.
Berg won the Film Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival for his Carousel ad for Philips, and has helmed numerous other commercials and short films. He is represented by CAA, Management 360 and attorney PJ Shapiro. Reno Malo will be exec producer.
James Woods starred in the original Videodrome as the head of Civic TV Channel 83. He makes his station relevant by programming Videodrome, a series that depicts torture and murder that transfixes viewers. When Kruger and Bobker set it up at Universal, they planned to modernize the concept, infusing it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.
Here’s a look at Berg’s Carousel, which has an early Cronenberg-esque vibe to it:
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar nominee Tim Roth has signed on to star in Media Rights Capital’s TV series project Knifeman. David Cronenberg is set to direct the pilot and executive produce the series, which centers on John Tattersall (Roth), a radical, self-educated surgeon who will go to unorthodox lengths to uncover the secrets of the human body. The straight-to-series project, which is expected to be taken out to networks shortly, was written by Emmy-nominated writer-producer Rolin Jones (Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, Weeds) from a story by Jones and Ron Fitzgerald (Friday Night Lights, Weeds). Jones and Fitzgerald serve as Executive Producers with Cronenberg. Sam Raimi, Josh Donen and Robert Zotnowski of Stars Road are also Executive Producers, with Sentient’s Renee Tab serving as Co-Executive Producer.
This marks British actor Roth’s second U.S.series gig following his starring turn on the Fox drama Lie To Me. For the past year, he was under a deal at 20th Century Fox, which produced Lie To Me. Out of that pact, which just expired, came out a drama project, which Roth and former Lie To Me co-showrunner Alexander Cary recently sold to FX. The untitled project, now in development, was created by the two as a potential starring vehicle for Roth, with 20th TV’s cable division Fox21 producing. The project is still moving forward, with Roth, repped by CAA and attorney Geoff Oblath, and Cary currently writing the script. Given Roth’s commitment to Knifeman, if the FX …
LOS ANGELES/TORONTO – JUNE 7, 2012 – Entertainment One Films US is thrilled to announce the US release date for David Cronenberg’s COSMOPOLIS has been set for August 17, 2012. The film had its world premiere at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival. COSMOPOLIS will open in New York and Los Angeles before expanding into additional markets.
LOS ANGELES/TORONTO/LONDON – MAY 3, 2012 – Entertainment One (“eOne”) is pleased to announce that it has acquired the US and UK distribution rights to COSMOPOLIS in all media, from Paris-based Kinology. As previously announced, eOne will also handle the theatrical release of the film in Canada.
Based on award-winning writer Don DeLillo’s novella of the same name, Cosmopolis is a contemporary thriller about a hedge fund trader who is stalked while his fortune evaporates under the weight of his cynical bets against the survival of the global economy.
Directed by the highly-esteemed and multi-award winning David Cronenberg, the film stars Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Paul Giamatti. Cosmopolis is a presentation of Paulo Branco and Martin Katz. The film is produced by Paulo Branco of Alfama Films and Martin Katz of Prospero Pictures and is co-produced by Grégoire Melin of Kinology.
David Cronenberg wrote and directed Cosmopolis based on Don DeLillo’s novel, a study of capitalism in a slightly futuristic metropolis. It stars Robert Pattinson and is a sure bet to be headed for Cannes in May. It is being released first May 23 in France, where it is the first release from Stone Angels, the new company founded by Luc Besson’s former partner Pierre Ange Le Pogam. Jay Baruchel, Samantha Morton, Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti, Mathieu Amalric and Sarah Gadon co-star.
Beverly Hills, CA (March 12, 2012) – Media Rights Capital announced today that director David Cronenberg will direct the pilot and serve as Executive Producer on its latest television series “KNIFEMAN,” which marks his first foray into television. Cronenberg has directed such movies as Eastern Promises and The Fly. He recently wrapped filming on Cosmopolis, based on the Don De Lillo novel and starring Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti and Juliette Binoche.
“KNIFEMAN” is written by Emmy nominated writer and producer Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights) with the story by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald (Friday Night Lights). Based on the novel by Wendy Moore, “KNIFEMAN” follows the trials and triumphs of a radical, self-educated surgeon delivering a visceral and psychological portrait of the extraordinary and unorthodox lengths he will go to uncover the secrets of the human body. This is the latest television series to come from MRC after “House of Cards”, from director and executive producer David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey, debuts on Netflix in 2012. “KNIFEMAN” is produced by MRC with Executive Producers David Cronenberg, Rolin Jones, Ron Fitzgerald and Sam Raimi, Josh Donen and Robert Zotnowski of Stars Road. Sentient’s Renee Tab will serve as Co-Executive Producer.
The British Film Institute will award David Cronenberg, director of A Dangerous Method, and Ralph Fiennes, director of Coriolanus, a BFI Fellowship each. It’s the highest award the BFI can offer. Previous fellows include Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor and David Lean. This year’s ceremony will take place at LSO St Luke’s on October 26. A Dangerous Method and Coriolanus will both screen at this year’s London Film Festival, which runs October 12-27.
Meanwhile, the BFI has announced which films are in the running for the Best Film Award. 360, The Artist, The Deep Blue Sea, The Descendents, Faust, The Kid With A Bike, Shame, Trishna and We Need To Talk About Kevin will all be competing. Director John Madden (The Debt) will chair the Best Film Award jury, whose other members are actress Gillian Anderson, writer/director Asif Kapadia, producer Tracey Seaward, writer Andrew O’Hagan and director Sam Taylor Wood. Jury members on other panels include producers Andy Harries (The Lady) and Stephen Woolley (Made In Dagenham) and Andrew Eaton (Trishna).
London – 4 October 2011: The 55th BFI London Film Festival is delighted to announce the shortlists and juries for the 2011 Festival Awards, supported by MontBlanc, which will take place at LSO St Luke’s on 26 October.
At this year’s ceremony, the BFI will bestow its highest honour, the BFI Fellowship, on David Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes. The original and provocative Canadian
EXCLUSIVE: Career tributes will be awarded to Charlize Theron, director David Cronenberg and Gary Oldman at the 21st Gotham Independent Film Awards on Nov. 28. That trio will join Fox Filmed Entertainment chairman/CEO Tom Rothman, who was previously announced by the awards organizers at the Independent Filmmaker Project. The tributes will be added to the usual seven competitive awards for films, filmmakers and actors.
All three of the honorees have films that are expected to figure in awards season. Theron stars in the Jason Reitman-directed Young Adult from Paramount, Cronenberg directed A Dangerous Method for Sony Pictures Classics, and Oldman is the star of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the Tomas Alfredson-directed adaptation of the John Le Carre novel for Focus Features. The Gotham Award nominees will be announced Oct. 20. The event will be held at Cipriani Wall Street.
HAMMOND: Controversial ‘Shame’ Arrives, Stirring Telluride Talk And Scaring Distribs; David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’
On the heels of their world premieres at the Venice Film Festival, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Steve McQueen’s Shame had their North American premieres at Telluride on Sunday. Both films star Michael Fassbender, and in the controversial latter film, he really reveals all as does co-star Carey Mulligan. The sexually provocative scenes were enough to guarantee an NC-17 rating, which made at least three potential distributors who saw it here skittish. One told me that without the 55-plus crowd this art picture will die and the potential NC-17 will drive them away. But McQueen isn’t editing it even if distribs suggest cuts. (For instance, Mulligan who plays a night club singer does a rendition of New York, New York that lasted longer than the Spanish Civil War.) Despite the film’s attributes, Shame will be a very tough sell even with sex scenes as marketing bait. McQueen was still in Venice and couldn’t make it to the Rockies. But he sent a video introduction. Reaction among the packed audiences for the first two showings of Shame today were mixed. Some hated it and some appreciated it, but no seemed to be doing cartwheels except critics in Venice.
One thing is clear, however: Fassbender is a definite star, not only in McQueen’s film but also in A Dangerous Method, playing Swiss doctor Carl Jung opposite his intellectual equal, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). He keeps his …
New York, NY, August 15, 2011 – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the first-time addition of two Galas to join the Opening, Centerpiece and Closing Night Galas for the upcoming 49th New York Film Festival (September 30 – October 16) with David Cronenberg’s A DANGEROUS METHOD set to screen on Wednesday, October 5 and Pedro Almodovar’s THE SKIN I LIVE IN on Wednesday, October 12.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming David Cronenberg to the festival for the first time and to be welcoming back one of the NYFF’s closest friends, Pedro Almodovar,” says Richard Peña, Selection Committee Chair & Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center. “It’s a special pleasure to introduce our audiences to exciting new work by two of contemporary cinema’s most challenging artists.”