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‘Rabbit Hole’s Nicole Kidman And David Lindsay-Abaire Re-Team On ‘Family Fang’

By | Tuesday May 8, 2012 @ 10:24am PDT
Mike Fleming

Nicole Kidman Family FangEXCLUSIVE: Nicole Kidman will reunite with her Rabbit Hole scribe David Lindsay-Abaire on The Family Fang, the adaptation of the Kevin Wilson bestseller that Kidman will star in and produce. Kidman won a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Rabbit Hole, which Lindsay-Abaire adapted from his Pulitzer-winning play about a husband and wife grieving the loss of their child.

David Lindsay-Abaire Family FangThe Family Fang is about a couple of performance artists who routinely sucked their kids into taking part in a variety of bizarre events. When the full-grown children return home in a state of crisis, they are unwittingly enlisted to help in the execution of a daring and mysterious final performance by their parents, who are hellbent on achieving the act of a lifetime. Their kids harbor more than a little resentment and blame the performance art for how badly their own lives have turned out.

Kidman and her Blossom Films partner Per Saari optioned the book last fall, along with Rabbit Hole co-producers Olympus Pictures’ Leslie Urdang and Dean Vanech (Beginners). Read More »

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Zach Braff Joins ‘Oz: The Great & Powerful’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Zach Braff is in final talks to join Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful, the Sam Raimi-directed film for Disney. Braff will play the role of Frank, the loyal but under-appreciated assistant to Oz (James Franco), a charismatic circus magician who is treated as a powerful wizard after his balloon blows off course into Oz and the townsfolk want him to eradicate a Wicked Witch and bring peace. Mila Kunis will play the witch Theodora, Michelle Williams will play Glinda and Rachel Weisz will play Evanora. The pic starts shooting in July in Michigan, with Joe Roth, Josh Donen and Grant Curtis producing and Palek Patel exec producing. Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire wrote the script, with Disney releasing the 3D film March 8, 2013.

Braff takes the role after writing his first play, All New People, which opens off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre with opening night July 25. Braff is also starring in the Tribeca Films feature High Cost of Living. He’s repped by CAA and Management 360.

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James Franco Closing Disney Deal For ‘Oz: The Great And Powerful’

Mike Fleming

While James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been busy pulling it together to host Sunday’s Oscarcast, Franco’s CAA reps and Disney have closed his deal to play the title role in Oz: The Great and Powerful. That puts the film on track to begin production in July, with Franco reuniting with his Spider-Man director Sam Raimi in the prequel to the L. Frank Baum novel that was scripted by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire. Joe Roth is producing.

There had been much discussion around town lately about Disney’s gyrations in trying to pare the budget of the film down to a mere $200 million, but they must have figured it out if they locked in Franco. For Franco, the multi-tasking marvel’s dance card for 2011 now looks like this: he’ll first star in the Noah Baumbach-directed While We’re Young, and then will shoot Oz. That brings him to the late fall/winter, when he’ll star in Sweet Bird of Youth, the David Cromer-directed revival of the Tennessee Williams play that will be produced by Scott Rudin. Kidman will play Alexandra Del Lago, the aging voracious movie star, while Franco will play her gigolo paramour Chance Wayne. While Franco has starred in eclectic indies and is even a recurring soap opera star, he has event film experience from the Spider-Man films with Raimi, and stars this fall in Fox’s Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes. Still, this is a … Read More »

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Sam Raimi Commits To Disney ‘Oz’ Take, While ‘Rabbit Hole’ Scribe Will Rewrite

Mike Fleming

While Disney topper Rich Ross and production president Sean Bailey have been beating the drum on both coasts for Tron: Legacy and Tangled, they have just solidified their next 3D event-sized family film followup to Alice in Wonderland. The studio has received a commitment from director Sam Raimi to Oz: The Great And Powerful as his next film. Raimi had become attached to Oz in June, with the hope of landing Robert Downey Jr to play the title character.  At the time, Raimi was also hot and heavy into the Legendary Pictures property World of Warcraft and it became a footrace to see which Raimi would make after dropping out of a 4th Spider-Man. Read More »

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Frances McDormand Makes NY Stage Date

By | Wednesday July 7, 2010 @ 2:58pm PDT
Mike Fleming

69199366_ph1Fargo star Frances McDormand has become the latest film star to make stage plans. She’s committed to star in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s world premiere production of Good People, a play written by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Daniel Sullivan. The plan will open March 3 at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on West 47th Street. She’ll play a struggling South Boston woman who has lost another job and sees a potential end to her struggles in an old fling who has escaped the neighborhood and made his fortune. Lindsay-Abaire, one of the writers who took a crack at the Spider-Man 4 script before it was scrapped, won the Pulitzer for his play Rabbit Hole. McDormand’s previous stage turns include the Mike Nichols-directed The Country Girl,  the Stephen Daldry-directed Far Away, and turns as Stella and Blanche in different productions of A Streetcar Named Desire. Sullivan directed her in The Sisters Rosenzweig. McDormand has time to work on her Southie accent, but it’ll have to be good to erase the memory of her rural Minnesotan patter from Fargo, evident in Marg Gunderson lines like, “And I guess that was your accomplice, in the woodchipper.”

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