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2011 Comic-Con: Which Film Will Deliver?

Deadline Comic-Con film correspondent Luke Y Thompson files:

If Comic-Cons can be said to have a theme, this year’s which began Wednesday is “free-for-all.” Usually, there is one property that is expected to dominate (IRON MAN and TRON LEGACY have been there, done that) and one that upsets (300, SIN CITY). This year, with AVENGERS unexpectedly not doing a presentation – though they have a giant set in the main hall with the logo for photo ops – it’s a wide-open field. TWILIGHT will of course be huge with a very particular segment of the audience, and Universal’s new SNOW WHITE may persuade those fans to stick around. REAL STEEL dominates the banners that hang from lamp-posts, and while that’s not doing a formal presentation either, Comic-Con attendees just might want to follow @realsteelmovie on Twitter. And maybe @RealHughJackman too.

GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE has the potential to be something truly nuts, but THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is a question mark. With a high-quality trailer already leaked, some of the wind is out of its sails. The trailer looks fine, and surprisingly Fincher-esque coming from the director of (500) DAYS OF SUMMER. But it feels redundant: that same origin tale again, and so soon that there’s a disconnect – my eyes expect Emma Stone’s face to be Bryce Dallas Howard’s each time Gwen Stacy shows up.

Steven Spielberg is more of a draw than the movie he’s representing; ditto Patrick Stewart, but if we … Read More »

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Big Drama At Closing Night Of L.A. Film Fest

Pete Hammond

2011 Los Angeles Film Festival Winners

The closing-night film of the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, was designed to scare the crap out of the audience. But who knew the real nightmares would come from the actual screening itself.

Just an hour into the world premiere of the movie Sunday night the Regal L.A. Live theater, the emergency warning system started flashing lights accompanied by a siren-like noise and an announcement that audience members should vacate the premises immediately due to an “emergency in the building.” Everyone got up and marched outside before the all-clear was quickly declared (a false alarm), the auditorium filled again and the film restarted at the crucial point it left off. And you wonder why producers get ulcers.

But THAT was nothing compared to the nightmare end of the movie that surrounded audience members from that screening (and the overflow house upstairs) who simultaneously had to retrieve their cellphones and BlackBerrys that had been seized for fear of piracy when they entered the theater. The crush as final credits rolled was mammoth as theater personnel slowly took claim tickets and acted like they were on a scavenger hunt. The guy searching for my phone finally came back and rather pathetically asked me, ‘Uh, what color is it?’ to which I replied ‘Black,’ like every single other friggin’ one there.

FilmDistrict (which is releasing the film Aug. 26) distribution honcho Bob Berney came over during the forced intermission of the showing to say that co-writer/producer Guillermo del Toro thought the unplanned interruption was the dirty work of Bob Weinstein or the MPAA (which gave his film an unwanted ‘R’ rating for “violence and terror,” particularly since it involved a minor, according to Berney). Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Devil’s Double’

By | Tuesday April 26, 2011 @ 6:17am PDT
Mike Fleming

The Lee Tamahori-directed drama The Devil’s Double has a new trailer. It was one of the most buzzed about films at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired by Lionsgate. Dominic Cooper plays Saddam Hussein’s brutal son Uday, as well as the man pressed to be his lookalike. Cooper has jumped from the film to get a role in Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and was on a short list of actors who tested for the lead in The Bourne Legacy. Here is the trailer:

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Sundance: Lionsgate Closes ‘Devil’s Double’ Deal

By | Thursday February 3, 2011 @ 5:55am PST
Mike Fleming

Deadline revealed Wednesday, January 26 that Lionsgate was in exclusive negotiations to acquire the Sundance Film Festival drama The Devil’s Double. It took a week to make it official. It was regarded by festgoers as a return to form for director Lee Tamahori, in what was his first real independent effort since his sensational breakthrough film Once Were Warriors. Here’s the news:

Santa Monica, CA, February 03, 2011– LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading diversified independent studio, today announced that it has acquired North American distribution rights along with motion picture production and financing company, HERRICK ENTERTAINMENT to THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE following its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Starring Dominic Cooper (AN EDUCATION, CAPTAIN AMERICA) and Ludivine Sagnier and directed by Lee Tamahori (ONCE WERE WARRIORS, DIE ANOTHER DAY), THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE is a dynamic and chilling portrayal of Latif Yahia’s autobiographical novel. The film was adapted for the screen by Michael Thomas (LADYHAWKE, THE HUNGER), and produced by Corsan’s Paul Breuls and Catherine Vandeleene, with Corrino Media Group’s Michael John Fedun and Stacatto’s Emjay Rechsteiner. Harris Tulchin of Tulchin Entertainment and Arjen Terpstra are executive producers.

The announcement was made jointly today by Joe Drake, Lionsgate Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President, and Jason Constantine, Lionsgate President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions and Norton Herrick, Chairman/CEO of Herrick Entertainment, a leading motion picture and theatrical production and

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Sundance: Lionsgate Near ‘Devil’s Double’ Deal

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire The Devil’s Double, the Lee Tamahori drama about the man who was forced to become the body double of Saddam Hussein’s thuggish son, Uday. Lionsgate team has been pursuing the film since it first aired last Saturday at the Eccles Theater, as had Summit and Relativity Media. The subject matter is rough, but festival goers have been talking about the breakout double performance by Dominic Cooper, who plays both Uday and the body double. The picture marks Tamahori’s first independent film since his breakthrough Once Were Warriors, another viscerally-shot drama with disturbing moments. The film seems a good fit for Lionsgate, which has been mentioned as competitive in several festival films. CAA and Paradigm worked together on the deal.

The Devil’s Double is one of the last titles that were on the priority lists of major buyers, in what has been a most satisfying festival for acquisition deals.  Developing…

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