UK-based financier Cascade Pictures, which launched at Toronto in September, has boarded its first feature, The Lady Who Went Too Far. Oscar-winning King’s Speech writer David Seidler is adapting the screenplay from Kristen Ellis’ biography, Star Of The Morning. The King’s Speech‘s Gareth Unwin, of Bedlam Productions, is producing. Story follows the true tale of Britain’s Lady Hester Stanhope, who rejected London society in the early 1800s to travel across the Mediterranean and into the Middle East, where she played a major role in stifling Napoleon’s advances towards India. The pioneering Stanhope was a controversial figure in her time and the film will mix elements of romance, espionage and adventure. A production start is being eyed for later this year. Bedlam is producing with support from Cascade, the BFI Film Fund, British Film Company, HW Buffalo & RPTVA. Cascade CEO Mark Fisher says, “Working with Gareth and David to bring this enthralling story to screen is the best opening scene for Cascade as a company.”
BREAKING: David Seidler, who won the Oscar for his The King’s Speech script, has signed with WME. Seidler famously waited 28 years for the Queen Mother to die after she asked him not to make a movie out of …
David Seidler’s The King’s Speech and an episode of Friday Night Lights penned by Jason Katims were among the winners of the Humanitas Prize, which were unveiled today during a ceremony at Montage Beverly Hills. A total of 11 winners received took home a total of $85,000 in prize money for films and TV shows that “entertain, engage and enrich the viewing public.” The organization also bestowed its Kieser Award to Gary David Goldberg. Here’s the full list of winners:
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is finalizing a deal to develop a feature about the romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as a directing vehicle for Martin Scorsese. The film will be produced by Julie Yorn, Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff of Krasnoff Foster Productions, and Scorsese through his Paramount-based Sikelia banner. They are assembling the resources to tell Hollywood’s most famous star-crossed love story.
They’ve optioned Furious Love, the book by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger that was published by HarperCollins last year. At the same time, the producers have a rights agreement with Burton’s estate, and a pledge of cooperation from his widow, Sally Hay Burton, to make his library available as a resource. The filmmakers have also reached out to the estate of Taylor with the same hopes. A screenwriter will be hired shortly.
I’m told that Paramount made the book deal as other parties pursued the book, with other suitors including Oscar-winning Black Swan star Natalie Portman and The King’s Speech Oscar-winning scribe David Seidler. All this for a book that got 100 passes when initially shopped for a movie deal by the author’s reps, Justin Manask and David Kuhn. Film interest in the book — for which Taylor made available many of the love letters Burton wrote to her over the years — grew when Taylor passed away in March and reports focused on the relationship between Taylor and Burton.