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Hot TV Spot: ‘American Hustle’

By | Wednesday November 13, 2013 @ 4:02am PST

David O Russell‘s American Hustle opens in limited release on December 13th and goes wide on December 18th. Sony sneaked six minutes of the period drama about the FBI’s late-70s Abscam sting at an AFI Fest tribute to Russell over the weekend. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner star. This first TV spot includes footage that wasn’t in the previous trailer:

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Contenders 2013: ‘Captain Phillips,’ ‘American Hustle,’ ‘Tim’s Vermeer,’ ‘Before Midnight,’ ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ ‘Lone Survivor,’ ‘Despicable Me 2’ & ‘The Croods’ Bid For Oscar

Anna Lisa Raya is a Deadline contributor.

The second half of Deadline’s 3rd annual Contenders event at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills got off to an energized start after lunch on the outdoor terrace. Deadline Awards columnist Pete Hammond returned with Captain Phillips star Barkhad Abdi, who had one of the bigger moments of the day when he revealed he ad-libbed his momentous “I am the captain now” line in the Sony film, essentially stealing the scene from Tom Hanks. The film’s producers, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti, were spotted in the audience joining in the roaring applause.

Related: Deadline’s Contenders 2013 – Morning Panels

Anyone who’s been waiting for David O. Russell’s follow-up to last year’s Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle (also for for Sony), will be happy to know the film was locked down today. This is per one of the film’s producers, Richard Suckle, who was on hand to discuss the genesis of the film which is loosely based on the ABSCAM scandals of the 1970s. One of his funnier reveals was that star Bradley Cooper — not wanting to perm his hair for the film — spent hours in hair and makeup every day getting it curled. Co-star Christian Bale, on the other hand, gained 40 lbs. for his role and shaved the crown of his head to perfect his character’s outlandish comb over.

Julie Delpy, co-writer and star of Sony Pictures ClassicsBefore Midnight, had a lot to say about the intense writing and preparation that went into making the film appear as improvised and natural as it does. Acting the role was “extremely stressful,” she told Hammond. “There’s no plot. There’s nothing to hold onto but character and emotional arc.” Also for SPC is Tim’s Vermeer — a documentary about one man’s attempt to recreate a Johannes Vermeer painting — which was uncharacteristically directed by Teller (better known as the other half of Penn & Teller). He was thankful for his editor, Patrick Sheffield, who made sense of the over 2,400 hours of footage. Writer Kelly Marcel was on-hand to discuss Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, the only film ever allowed to feature Walt Disney as a character. She called the studio “unbelievably brave” in how hands-off they were with her and director John Lee Hancock.

Related: PHOTOS: Contenders 2013 Gallery
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David O. Russell Gets Tribute Treatment At AFI Fest

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 3:00pm PDT

LOS ANGELES, CA, October 31, 2013 – AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi, a program of the American Film Institute, today announced a Special Tribute to David O. Russell on Friday, November 8. AFI FEST will take place November 7 through 14 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

For the fifth consecutive year, AFI FEST will offer free tickets to all screenings. Free individual tickets to AFI FEST screenings and galas will be available to the general public online and at the AFI FEST AT&T Box Office at The Hollywood & Highland Center starting on November 2. The American Film Institute honors excellence in film artistry annually through AFI FEST, which brings icons, emerging artists and audiences together to experience global cinema in the movie capital of the world.

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Hot Trailer: ‘American Hustle’

By | Wednesday October 9, 2013 @ 4:48pm PDT

David O. Russell‘s dream team cast of Russell vets Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro (plus Jeremy Renner) have eyes on awards season with the period drama American Hustle, about the FBI’s late-’70s Abscam sting. Sony has just released a new trailer for the pic, which hits limited release December 13 and goes wide on Christmas Day:

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Hot Teaser: David O Russell’s ‘American Hustle’

Mike Fleming

Considering the pedigree of director and cast and its December 25 release date through Sony, the David O Russell-directed American Hustle figures to be a big Oscar contender. The studio has been quiet until now, but released a teaser trailer that was part of an interview that Russell gave to Good Morning America. Feels like everyone in the film has either won or been nominated for Oscars in the past couple years, with Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro. It also feels very much like one of those great Martin Scorsese crime sagas set in the 1960s and ’70s. Here is is:

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2013 Humanitas Prize Finalists Announced

By | Wednesday July 17, 2013 @ 6:17am PDT

Twenty-seven writers including John Gatins, Quentin Tarantino and David O. Russell were named finalists in nine categories for the 39th annual Humanitas Prize. The writers will compete for $95,000 in prize money to be handed out at the annual luncheon September 20 at the Montage Beverly Hills. The Humanitas Prize was created to honor TV and film writers for telling stories, which “truly and deeply explore the human experience in a way that both entertains and enlightens,” the org says. Of the finalists, executive director Cathleen Young said, “These gifted storytellers made us laugh and cry and ultimately, brought us closer together as a family by deeply exploring what it means to be human!” Click over for the full list of nominees: Read More »

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David O Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ To Resume Boston Filming After Manhunt

By | Sunday April 21, 2013 @ 3:17pm PDT

Filming on David O Russell‘s American Hustle was suspended Friday amid the Boston manhunt. But the ’70s-set corruption pic is going back into production on Monday, a Sony spokesperson tells me. Pic reunites Russell with his Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro as well as The Fighter‘s Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Production began March 8 and filmed in Worcester until last Wednesday when the pic moved to the Boston area.

Related: David O Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ Halts Production Because Of Boston Manhunt

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David O Russell Named Guest Director For LA Film Festival

By | Friday April 19, 2013 @ 11:15am PDT

Silver Linings PlaybookDavid O Russell will also receive the Spirit of Independence Award at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival, which is set for June 13-23 and opens with Pedro Almodovar’s comedy I’m So Excited!” In his role as guest director, he will host a special screening of his 1999 pic Three Kings that will also include a discussion with the filmmaker about his body of work, which most recently included writing and directing Silver Linings Playbook, which landed seven Oscar nominations. Russell also will attend the 12th annual Filmmaker Retreat at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, CA, a gathering of festival filmmakers and other invited artists. Passes for the fest go on sale today.

Russell’s currently making American Hustle, which stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jack Huston and had to shut down production today in Boston owing to the manhunt for the marathon bomber.

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David O Russell’s Abscam Pic Titled ‘American Hustle’

By | Tuesday April 16, 2013 @ 8:09pm PDT

David O. Russell‘s upcoming corruption drama, formerly known as American Bullshit, has a new name. It’s now titled American Hustle. The pic has been getting a lot of buzz because of its killer cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jack Huston. Written by Eric Singer and Russell, American Hustle centers on the ’70s FBI sting operation Abscam that took down a bunch of U.S. congressmen.

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Michael Pena Joins David O Russell Pic

By | Friday April 5, 2013 @ 9:25am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Pena is the latest name to join David O Russell‘s next film, which already stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence. The Sony Pictures drama, formerly known as American Bullshit, is inspired by a true story of a notorious financial con artist and his mistress/partner in crime, who were forced to work with an overly ambitious federal agent to turn the tables on other con artists, mobsters and politicians. Russell is working with original scribe Eric Warren Singer on a rewrite, and Sony has set a December 13 release. Pena, whose recent credits include co-starring in David Ayer’s End Of Watch and Gangster Squad, recently completed voice work on DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo due out in July and also just wrapped the Diego Luna-directed Chavez. He is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Rick Genow. Read More »

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‘Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston Joins Killer Cast Of David O Russell Pic

By | Tuesday March 26, 2013 @ 11:21am PDT
Mike Fleming

Jack HustonEXCLUSIVE: Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston has just joined the cast of David O. Russell‘s untitled corruption drama, the one that has been known as American Bullshit and more recently the ABSCAM project. Huston joins Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence. Huston, who plays the scarred WWI vet Richard Harrow who continues to be one of the most riveting characters in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, will next be seen starring opposite Daniel Radcliffe, Elizabeth Olsen and Dane DeHaan in Kill Your Darlings, which Sony Pictures Classics acquired at Sundance. He also stars in the Bille August-directed Night Train To Lisbon, which screened at Berlin, and Posthumous opposite Brit Marling. Huston was last seen onscreen in the David Chase-directed Not Fade Away. He’s repped by UTA, Untitled and Ken Mcreddie Associates. Read More »

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Sony Sets Christmas Wide Release For David O Russell Untitled Film

By | Tuesday March 12, 2013 @ 11:56am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Sony will open the David O Russell-directed drama formerly known as American Bullshit in limited released December 13, with a wide opening planned for Xmas Day. The film stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Louis CK, with Alessandro Nivola also in talks to play a prosecutor of the ABSCAM case that brought down a bunch of congressmen.

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Alessandro Nivola Joining Stellar Cast For David O Russell’s ABSCAM Pic

By | Tuesday March 12, 2013 @ 9:16am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Alessandro Nivola is negotiating to join Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence in the David O Russell-directed drama on the ABSCAM scandal. Nivola will play Reggio, the federal prosecutor who tried the case in court. The Eric Singer-scripted drama is about the ’70s FBI sting operation Abscam that took down a bunch of U.S. congressmen.

Nivola recently wrapped the Atom Egoyan-directed Devil’s Knot, the drama that stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. He plays Terry Hobbs, a stepfather of one of the three murdered children, who later became a focus of suspicion though he has denied any part in the triple murder and has not been brought up on charges. Nivola will next be seen as Elle Fanning’s anarchist father in the Sally Potter-directed Ginger And Rosa, which opens March 15. Nivola is also booked to star with Cooper in the Scott Rudin-produced Broadway revival of The Elephant Man. He’s repped by CAA and Management 360. Read More »

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David O Russell, Jennifer Lawrence Reteam For ‘The Ends Of The Earth’

By | Tuesday February 19, 2013 @ 2:51pm PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: The Weinstein Company acquired worldwide rights to David O. Russell’s upcoming project The Ends Of The Earth. Jennifer Lawrence, who is up for for an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook, will star. Scripted by Oscar-nominated Argo scribe Chris Terrio, the film is produced by Todd Black, Steve Tisch and Jason Blumenthal of Escape Artists. Russell signed his deal last night, and Harvey Weinstein expects this to be close to Django Unchained in terms of the epic size and budget.

Lawrence just enlisted in Russell’s next film, the untitled Abscam film that also stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.

Black and Tisch said “Jennifer Lawrence is one of the most versatile actresses we have ever seen. Her performance in Silver Linings was transcendent and was truly the heart and soul of the film. Jennifer was basically asked to play 4 personalities — depressed, sexy, romantic and a wild dancer — and did them all brilliantly. After seeing that performance we knew we had our anchor for Ends Of The Earth. Her dedication to the craft and all those who work with her is inspiring and if she is the future of our business we are certainly in good hands.” Read More »

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OSCARS: Directing Nominees On The Process

Michael Haneke | Amour

Oscar pedigree: He has two nominations this year for screenwriting and direction. Previously, 2009’s The White Ribbon received two noms for best foreign language film and cinematography.

Birds and death: “The pigeon. You can’t direct a pigeon. At most, you can entice it to move it a certain way by placing corn on the ground. But even then, it won’t obey your instructions. Of course I’m joking when I say that. The most difficult scene in the film is the one in which (Georges) suffocates (his wife). The scene is preceded by a 10-minute monologue. And Jean-Louis Trintignant had a broken wrist at that time, so we had to shoot around that. And Emmanuelle Riva was concerned about her safety physically. So it was difficult for everyone involved”, says the Amour director.

No shame: When directing Emmanuelle Riva’s nude shower scene in which she is assisted by a healthcare worker, Haneke explains: “As a director, it wasn’t difficult for me. It was far more uncomfortable for her. But it was clear from the beginning that it was necessary to shoot this scene—to capture the fragility of her situation. My job as a director was to make sure I didn’t betray her, that she wasn’t shown critically or depicted in an unpleasant light, but just to show what people in such situations have to go through”.—David Mermelstein

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Hot Featurette: Will Oscar Shine On ‘Life Of Pi’s Ang Lee In Strong Best Director Race?

By | Friday February 15, 2013 @ 1:13pm PST
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: Whatever happens in the Best Picture Oscar race, where Argo has emerged as a strong frontrunner thanks to an unbroken string of victories in all the key precursor awards, the race for the Best Director Oscar is turning out to be a nail-biter. Since Argo’s Ben Affleck was famously snubbed by the directors branch and won’t be competing (he most likely would have won), all eyes are turning to the five directors who actually were nominated, Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Michael Haneke (Amour), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) and Ang Lee (Life Of Pi).

Because Affleck won the DGA award, usually the most reliable indicator of success for the Oscar-winning director, all bets are off. Spielberg and Lee, both past winners and icons, also have the benefit of films with the most nominations with 12 for Lincoln and 11 for Life Of Pi. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook also is very strong, particularly with the all-important and very large Academy actors branch, where it became the first film in 31 years to win nominations in all four acting categories (Lincoln was close behind with noms in three acting categories — no actor in a Spielberg film has ever won an Oscar for that film, but that’s likely to change this year).

But without a single acting nomination for his film, could Lee still possibly emerge the winner? Yes. The … Read More »

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Jennifer Lawrence Reuniting With David O Russell For Abscam Pic

Mike Fleming

Jennifer Lawrence Movie AbscamEXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Lawrence has been tapped to star opposite Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner in the David O Russell pic formerly known as American Bullshit, the drama written by Eric Singer and Russell about the ’70s FBI sting operation Abscam that took down a bunch of U.S. congressmen. That puts Lawrence back in business with Russell and Cooper, her cohorts on The Weinstein Company’s Silver Linings Playbook that landed them all Oscar nominations; she already has won the SAG Award and a Golden Globe for the role. She will play Bale’s wife in the Abscam movie, which is being produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle through Atlas Entertainment, which developed the film at Sony Pictures. The ensemble is being fully financed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Ellison also is producing and has been developing the script.

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OSCARS Q&A: Robert De Niro

By | Saturday February 9, 2013 @ 6:00pm PST
Pete Hammond

Robert De Niro hit his stride in terms of movie recognition in 1973 when both Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets put him on the map. The latter remains a special favorite because it marks the beginning of his long association with Martin Scorsese. Remarkably, De Niro didn’t come close to peaking after winning his first supporting actor Oscar for 1974’s The Godfather Part II — he’s still going strong nearly four decades later, thought by many to be our greatest living film actor. But effortlessly playing the young Don Corleone and doing it entirely in a Sicilian dialect should have signaled to anyone that this was a talent like no other. A look at the other roles that won him recognition from the Academy an impressive six times overall between 1975 and 1992 only confirms that early promise. There’s Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Awakenings, Cape Fear, and of course, Raging Bull, which brought him a second statuette for best actor in 1980. But consider some of the brilliant performances Oscar didn’t recognize, and you get an idea of the career we are talking about here: The King of Comedy, The Mission, Midnight Run, Awakenings, Once Upon a Time in America, Casino, Heat, and one especially close to his heart, Everybody’s Fine, to name just a few. As a producer, entrepreneur, and founder of the ever-growing … Read More »

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VP Biden Meets With David O. Russell, Bradley Cooper In D.C. (Photo)

Vice-President Joe Biden’s office today tweeted this photo of him meeting with Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell and actor Bradley Cooper. The duo, whose Oscar nominated movie is about people dealing with mental health issues, were in Washington to help announce introduction of the Excellence in Mental Health Act to Congress. The bi-partisan bill was drafted in response to the shootings last year in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado. The legislation’s goal is to expand access to mental health services across the nation. Russell was scheduled to be in LA for a WGA panel Thursday night but dropped out for the meeting with the Veep.

Related: Showbiz Groups Pledge “To Seek Meaningful Solutions” On Gun Violence

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