Via its arrangement with David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment, DreamWorks has steadily been adding to its portfolio of offshore partners. Today’s news is that it’s pacted with the Hadida brothers’ indie powerhouse Metropolitan Filmexport in France. It’s also entered a deal with Inter-Film for Ukraine and a multi-picture agreement with MediaPro for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. Here’s the release: READ MORE »
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Sundance Selects scored in the specialty arena this weekend, opening Gimme The Loot at its IFC Center in Greenwich Village with a solid $23,400. The movie, which IFC Films’ Sundance Selects label picked up last year out of the SXSW Film Festival, reported sold-out screenings Friday and Saturday nights, boosted by Q&As with former The Daily Show personality Wyatt Cenac. It premiered at MoMA on Tuesday with Sofia Coppola, Mike Birbiglia , Elizabeth Olsen, and Josh Safdie among the attendees. Loot next weekend will head to Chicago’s Music Box, L.A.’s NuArt and the Jacob Burns Center in Upstate New York. The Weinstein Company launched Cannes 2012 entrant The Sapphires in 4 NYC/LA theaters with a decent $10,232 average. Among other openers, Paladin debuted My Brother The Devil with two runs, averaging just over $6K. Starbuck is an original that DreamWorks Sudios is adapting to star Vince Vaughn. It was a hit at home north of the border, but opened comparatively quietly here, averaging $5,482 in three theaters. Next month, distributor eOne will take it to the top 30 to 50 markets. Archstone’s A Resurrection took in $7,250 at a single cinema.
DreamWorks Takes On Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Acquiring Upcoming David Finkel Book ‘Thank You For Your Service’
EXCLUSIVE: As Steven Spielberg has been barnstorming the globe, he revealed plans for a mini about Napoleon while in France and a movie in Kashmir as he has been touring India. He’s not abandoning the home front, though. DreamWorks has acquired screen rights to Thank You For Your Service, an upcoming book by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter David Finkel. He is also the author of The Good Soldiers, the acclaimed 2009 book about his experience embedding with a battalion of elite soldiers that led the “surge” to overtake Baghdad called for by President George W. Bush in 2007.
That book dealt mostly with the soldiers and their battlefield experiences. Finkel’s follow-up, to be published in the fall by Sarah Crichton Books, covers the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is making it so difficult for these and other soldiers to return from the battlefield and reintegrate into society. I am told DreamWorks will soon set a major writer to script a film. It’s unclear whether Spielberg would direct this, though he certainly has done his share of war films, and PTSD is going to become a growing problem as troops continue returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them traumatized by their experiences.
Steven Spielberg‘s international tour of newsy tidbits continues. Speaking to France’s Canal Plus recently, the filmmaker dropped info about his development of a Napoleon miniseries based on a screenplay by Stanley Kubrick. Yesterday, Spielberg was in India to talk about Lincoln, meet with the local industry and attend a party hosted by Anil Ambani, the head of DreamWorks partner Reliance Entertainment. He also spoke to The Times Of India about a project that DreamWorks plans to make locally. “We have finalized a script for a movie that DreamWorks and our partners Reliance Entertainment plan to make together. Part of it will take place on the India-Pakistan border in Kashmir. But we’re still trying to figure out the casting, locations and who’s going to direct it,” Spielberg told the paper. He also renewed talk of a long-gestating Martin Luther King project saying “DreamWorks-Reliance is also planning a movie on Martin Luther King Jr. I wouldn’t call it a biopic, it’s more a story of King and the movement and also about how his admiration for Mahatma Gandhi helped to shape his moral core.” DreamWorks acquired the civil rights leader’s life rights from the King Estate in 2009
EXCLUSIVE: As New Line today opens Jack The Giant Slayer and Disney readies next week’s Oz The Great And Powerful, Hollywood’s infatuation with revisionist fairy tales shows no signs of abating. DreamWorks jumped into the fray last night by closing a mid-six figure against seven-figure deal for Merry Men, a pitch for a film that will be scripted by Brad Ingelsby with Act Of Valor co-director Scott Waugh attached to direct. Neal Moritz will produce through his Original Film banner. Waugh will also be a producer through his Bandito Bros shingle and Toby Ascher will be exec producer.
I’m told that the pitch is for a tentpole re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend. There has been no shortage of movies on him, starring the likes of Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner and most recently Russell Crowe. This is an ensemble piece centered around the supporting characters Little John, Friar Tuck, Maid Marian and Will Scarlet. There is a high-concept revenge angle that tonally is reminiscent of The Dirty Dozen and Ocean’s Eleven.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Monolith Films & DreamWorks Ink Distribution Deal, Leonardo Da Vinci Docu Set For UK Premiere
Monolith Films has inked a long-term deal to distribute DreamWorks films in Poland. ”We feel honoured to become a strategic distribution partner of such a legendary film studio as DreamWorks. As the leading, independent distributor in Poland we have great hope that this partnership will lead to several joint projects that will be successful both on the Polish and international film distribution market,” Mariusz Łukowmski, president of Monolith group, told Film New Europe, which first reported the deal. The upcoming DreamWorks titles slated for distribution include the Vince Vaughn-starrer The Delivery Man; The Fifth Estate, a drama about the WikiLeaks scandal; and the action pic Need For Speed.
The co-star of the in-limbo Fox series Ben And Kate has been added to the cast of DreamWorks‘ adaptation of the EA video game, which already stars Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper and Imogen …
UPDATE, 10:40 AM: DreamWorks has confirmed my story, and they’ve got a title for the WikiLeaks feature – The Fifth Estate. (At right is also a first photo from the production featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Assange and Daniel Bruhl as Berg.) I’m putting the press release after the original scoop.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, 9:44 AM: Participant Media is closing a deal to become DreamWorks‘ partner on the untitled feature film that Bill Condon is directing about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The studio has Benedict Cumberbatch playing Assange, with Daniel Bruhl playing Daniel Domscheit-Berg, whose book, Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange At The World’s Most Dangerous Website, was one of two books that were the primary source material for the script written by Josh Singer. Steve Golin and Michael Sugar are producing.
This becomes the fifth film partnership between DreamWorks and Participant, where Jeff Skoll and Jim Berk’s focus is to generate socially relevant subject matter. Those other collaborations are the Best Picture nominee Lincoln, The Help, The Kite Runner, and The Soloist.
This gives a clear shot at a production start on the film at a time when there has been big interest in the rogue web entrepreneur Assange. That includes one that Zero Dark Thirty scribe Mark Boal partnered on with Management 360 and financier/producer Megan Ellison that’s based on The Boy Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, an article about Assange in The New York Times Magazine written by the newspaper’s executive editor Bill Keller.
DreamWorks, which rousted former President Bill Clinton to introduce the Steven Spielberg-directed Lincoln at Sunday’s Golden Globes, continues to pull out the stops to get the movie noticed in Oscar season. Today, they’ve released a behind-the-scenes special entitled …