EXCLUSIVE: The new indie film is called The One I Love, which will be directed by Charlie McDowell from a script by Justin Lader and will star Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass and Ted Danson. Moss and Duplass play a young couple with marital problems and Danson will play their therapist. Mel Eslyn is producing and Mark Duplass executive producing. McDowell is making his directing debut. He is best known as the man behind the popular Twitter feed about a young man inspired to think as women do after he discovers that he can overhear the conversations that his unsuspecting neighbors are having in the apartment above him. He turned that into Dear Girls Above Me, a book that will be published in June. Duplass is repped by ICM Partners, Moss by WME and manager Gay Ribisi, and Danson by CAA.
MIPCOM Briefs: Jane Campion On ‘Top Of The Lake’, Syfy’s ‘Defiance’ Sells In Canada, ProSieben Gets ‘Restless’, ITV Acquires ‘Money Pump’ Format Rights
Jane Campion Mulls More Minis
Director Jane Campion is no stranger to Cannes, but she’s usually here for the film festival. In town for Mipcom this week, she’s here in support of her BBC/Sundance Channel limited series Top Of The Lake. The six-hour drama is produced by Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech) and stars Elisabeth Moss. The move to longform TV 20 years after leaving the medium put Campion in a new environment where she “really gained a lot of respect” for folks who work in the business all the time. “It’s so different to map out six hours; we were shooting a feature ever four and a half weeks,” she says. Undaunted, Campion and her co-writer Gerard Lee tell me they’re already thinking about doing another similar project that would be set in Thailand. Top Of The Lake, set in Campion’s home country of New Zealand, centers on a female detective (Moss) investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl, who is the daughter of a local drug lord. Campion’s The Piano star Holly Hunter also appears as a sort of enlightened woman that Campion says she based on a man she once knew. BBC Two and Sundance will sked the series for next year.
‘Defiance’ Finds Canadian Home
Shaw Media has acquired Syfy’s Defiance for broadcast on Canada’s Showcase. The deal was made with NBCUniversal Television Canada on the future-set series. Showcase will air in the spring. Defiance introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. It centers on Jeb Nolan (Grant Bowler), the law-keeper in frontier boomtown Defiance that is one of the new world’s few oases of civility and inclusion. The Syfy Trion Worlds partnership is the first-ever convergence of TV and Massive Multiplayer Online gaming. Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Graham Greene and Mia Kirshner also star. The series is executive produced by Kevin Murphy and Michael Taylor. Production is currently underway in Toronto.
Sundance Channel has closed a deal with BBC Worldwide to co-produce and distribute in the U.S. Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake miniseries for BBC Two. Oscar winner Campion (The Piano) and Australian director Garth Davis will direct the seven-part mini written by Campion and Gerard Lee (Sweetie). Joining star Elisabeth Moss are Holly Hunter, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Campion’s The Piano; Peter Mullan (War Horse); and David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings). Oscar winners Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech) of See-Saw Films and Philippa Campbell of Escapade Pictures are producing Top Of The Lake, which will be made available in both seven-hour (with commercials) and six-hour (without) formats.
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Why She Was Nominated: The TV academy really had no choice. While this is Moss’ third consecutive nomination for Mad Men (two for lead, one for supporting), it’s one that for the first time raises Moss above the crowd. The submitted episode, “The Suitcase” (written by creator-showrunner Matthew Weiner), is an actress’ dream. It elevates her to the favorite’s position in a year when none of the past three category winners (Kyra Sedgwick, Glenn Close and Sally Field) is in the running.
Why She Has To Win: From the time it premiered, “The Suitcase” episode of Mad Men has been hailed as the show’s clear-cut accolade vehicle. It found Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Peggy Olson (Moss) hanging together in the office after hours when Don finds out a close friend has died. They get plastered on booze, and Draper lets loose in a way he rarely does. Moss more than holds her with Hamm in an episode that stands to win a bunch of people a bunch of Emmys (Moss included). “This episode is absolute magic,” a producer tells me, “and Elisabeth Moss is a big reason why.”
Why She Can’t Possibly Win: She’s never won before, and neither has anyone else from Mad Men — yet. If it doesn’t happen this year, we can all start writing about the cast being cursed. It’s also a fact that Julianna Margulies could win here and no one would be the slightest bit shocked.
Thursday night’s lively Emmy-nominee cocktail reception for the writers branch at the Television Academy was the 20th nightly peer group gathering taking place there during the past month, “an incredible pre-Emmy marathon,” said writers branch co-governor Margaret Nagle, who gave special mention to the Academy’s Barbara Chase for organizing each of the events.
The Academy transformed the interior lobby of the Goldenson Theatre into something that looked like a New Orleans bordello — “What better setting than to celebrate writing, the world’s true oldest profession,” said one wag – and there was an elaborate setup outside as well in the plaza area for nominated and non-nominated writers to network and talk business.
Midway through, guests and nominees were shepherded inside the massive 600-seat theater for a breezy clip reel showcasing all the noms from the five writing categories and then the presentation of nominee certificates presided over by the evening’s host, The Office‘s Kate Flannery. The event made everyone feel like a winner before Sunday night, when the majority of them will become “losers.”