Craig Viveiros will helm Queen & Country for Chernin Entertainment at Fox. The project, which will star Ellen Page, is based on the Oni Press comic book series Queen & Country written by Greg Rucka. Page will play a British agent who goes on the run from her own people as she tries to bring down a terrorist on English soil.
Viveiros made shorts and commercials, including the award winner Back To Back. Viveiros then produced, wrote and directed his debut feature film, Ghosted, which starred Art Malik, John Lynch and Martin Compston. He then moved to Haiti to work as a volunteer at the country’s film institute and returned to England to make The Liability with Tim Roth, Peter Mullan and Jack O’Connell. Read More »
Citing industry pressures and her feeling of “personal obligation and a social responsibility,” Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page delivered an emotional speech yesterday at the Time to THRIVE Conference held in support of LGBT youth saying, “I am here today because I am gay.” Watch it below:
Evan Rachel Wood has joined Ellen Page in Into the Forest, an adaptation of Jean Hegland’s apocalyptic novel about two sisters struggling to survive in the remote Northern California wilds after society collapses. Patricia Rozema (Grey Gardens, Mansfield Park) adapted the screenplay and is directing with Page, Kelly Bush Novak and Sriram Das producing for Das Films. Haroon (Boon) Saleem is executive producer and Kristina Sorensen is associate producer on the project. Page is repped by WME, Barnes Morris Klein Mark and Yorn, and Vie Entertainment. CAA reps Wood and Rozema.
BREAKING: After making her mark on features from Juno to Inception, Ellen Page will make her directing debut on Miss Stevens, and she’s got Anna Faris attached to play the title role. The film was written by Julia Hart (The Keeping Room) and will be produced by Gilbert Films (The Kids Are All Right) and Anonymous Content (Winter’s Bone). Gary Gilbert and Jordan Horowitz of Gilbert Films will produce with Doug Wald of Anonymous Content, and Nicole Romano and Trevor Adley of Anonymous Content will serve as Executive Producers.
Faris will play a teacher whose life is in disarray when she chaperones a group of high schoolers on a weekend trip to a state drama competition. There, through the admiration and humanity of her students, she rediscovers her own self-worth.
Page next stars in The East for Fox Searchlight, a film that premiered at Sundance. She begins production on X-Men: Days Of Future Past this spring and then films Freeheld, a Ron Nyswaner-scripted adaptation of the Oscar-winning documentary short. She’s also part of the ensemble of Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, which also premiered at Sundance. Read More »
The Fox Searchlight thriller The East, directed by Zal Batmanglij and co-written by Batmanglij and Brit Marling, who also stars, debuted yesterday at Sundance. The film centers on a mysterious anarchist collective (called The East) and an ex-FBI agent (Marling) who goes undercover and dedicates herself to taking it down. Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard also star. Check out the trailer below:
EXCLUSIVE: Incognito Pictures, a new production company led by producer/financier Jack Selby and veteran film producer Scott Stone, has stepped up to produce and finance a feature adaptation ofFreeheld, the Oscar-winning documentary short. Ellen Page is attached to star and Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) wrote the script. Double Feature Films partners Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg are also producing with Kelly Bush and Kristina Sorensen of Vie Entertainment, James Stern of Endgame Entertainment, and Cynthia Wade. Wade directed the 2007 documentary, and Endgame developed the feature script.
Page will play Stacie Andree, who was denied the pension benefits of her longtime partner and New Jersey police detective Laurel Hester, when the latter became terminally ill. While Hester’s detective partner Dane Wells was conservative and surprised to learn of Hester’s orientation, Wells stepped up to become the leader in the fight for Laurel’s rights to assign her benefits to Andree. Page is repped by WME, VIE Entertainment and attorney Kevin Yorn, Nyswaner by UTA and Anonymous Content.
BREAKING: Woody Allen has changed the title of his new Rome-set film from the confusing The Bop Decameron to the much catchier Nero Fiddled. Allen got tired of all the blank stares he received when telling people the title of his film, and found something that better conveys the locale. He shot the film this summer and starred in it with Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. The film is a Gravier Productions comedy produced by Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum. It’s the first Allen film funded by the Italian production/distribution company Medusa Film. Nero Fiddled will be released next year. Allen’s most recent film, Midnight In Paris, crossed $50 million to become his career highest-grosser in North America.
One thing missing so far from the upcoming film Woody Allen will shoot in Italy has been … Italian actors. Allen has so far set Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, Ellen Page and Alec Baldwin. I’m hearing that Allen will land iconic Italian director/actor Roberto Benigni to join the ensemble cast. For the most part, Benigni hasn’t been seen in these parts since he was climbing over seated superstars to accept the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and then later bounding up and saying he wanted to make love to everyone after he was named Best Actor in the 1997 film Life is Beautiful. The last dull Oscarcast could certainly have used him. I believe he’ll be announced as part of Allen’s The Wrong Picture cast at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, where Allen premieres his latest film, Midnight in Paris.
Ellen Page has made a deal to join Woody Allen’s next film. Deadline told you Monday about Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg starring, and Penelope Cruz had been announced in early April. The pic shoots in Rome.
Page has been busy. She plays a psychopath superhero sidekick alongside Rainn Wilson in the James Gunn-directed Super, a film that is being rolled out by IFC after it acquired the film at Toronto last fall. Page is also attached to Freeheld, a Ron Nyswaner-scripted feature adaptation of the Oscar-winning documentary.
HBO has passed on the comedy pilot Tilda, which starred Diane Keaton as a powerful and reclusive Hollywood blogger (not unlike Deadline’s Nikki Finke). The hot pilot had a great pedigree – co-written by Bill Condon and Cynthia Mort, directed by Condon, and starring Keaton, Ellen Page and Jason Patric. But a rift between Condon and Mort during the production of the pilot became messy and ultimately public. Then after the pilot was deep-sixed, HBO tried hard to make the show work by ordering additional scripts and hiring Six Feet Under alum Alan Poul, Alexa Junge and John Hoffman as executive producers. But the option on the actors was set to expire in mid-March, and HBO gave the thumbs down ”despite everyone’s best efforts”, the pay cable network said in a statement today. While Tilda was conceived and written and developed without Finke’s knowledge or involvement, word is HBO is still interested in a show about her, this time with her on board from the beginning.
HBO has yet to make a decision whether it will pick up comedy pilot Tilda to series but it has put in place a team in case it does. Six Feet Under alum Alan Poul has come on board as an executive producer. Writers Alexa Junge and John Hoffman have also been brought in as executive producers and to work with co-creator/executive producer Bill Condon on conceptualizing the potential series. Condon directed the pilot for Tilda from a script he co-wrote with Cynthia Mort. Tilda stars Diane Keaton as a powerful and reclusive Hollywood blogger (not unlike Nikki Finke) and boasts an A-list cast including Ellen Page and Jason Patric. The pilot was shot in June but the show has had a rocky production and post-production run marred by creative differences.
UPDATE: Toldja! IFC (below) has confirmed its Super buy.
EXCLUSIVE FROM TORONTO: In the first major deal since 2010 Toronto began, IFC has captured U.S. rights to Super, the raucous James Gunn-directed film which had several buyers circling since its premiere at Friday’s Midnight Madness low-budget genre program. I’m told it was a seven-figure commitment and happened after an all-night bargaining session. IFC doesn’t usually pay that much for its deals, but there was competition. I heard that Magnolia was among three other bidders vying for the deal brokered by UTA’s Rich Klubeck and WME’s Graham Taylor. The pic rocked the audience in its premiere at the Ryerson Theater. Rainn Wilson plays a wannabe superhero (his power comes from the business end of a plumber’s wrench), Ellen Page as his psycho sidekick, and Kevin Bacon in a hilarious turn as the drug dealer who charms away the superhero’s troubled gal (Liv Tyler).
New York, NY (September 12, 2010) – IFC Films, the leading American distributor of independent and foreign films, announced today that the company has acquired U.S. rights to James Gunn’s shockingly hilarious SUPER after an all-night auction that concluded this morning. IFC Films will release SUPER under its new IFC Midnight banner. SUPER was also written by Gunn, and was produced by Miranda Bailey via her LA-based production company, Ambush Entertainment and Ted Hope, via his Gotham-based production
EXCLUSIVE: Is it an exaggeration to say not since Gone with the Wind has the actress casting search for a studio film captured such attention? The decision on who’ll play Lisbeth Salander in Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo continues. Director David Fincher tested actresses this week and will hold another testing this Sunday. I’ve heard that Fincher will test as many as six actresses this time, and the stakes have been raised. Daniel Craig will read alongside the aspirants, and each of them will get the full hair, makeup, wardrobe, and piercings treatment, which wasn’t done in the earlier tests. This should give Fincher a sense of who is the best match to play the rogue computer hacking genius – one of the most complex roles to come along for a young actress in a very long time.
Right now the actresses who are being seriously considered may still include Inception’s Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Sarah Snook (Sleeping Beauty), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), Sophie Lowe (Blame) and now French actress Lea Seydoux. Browning and Wasikowska didn’t make test deals, while Page sent in her own. Fish Tank discovery Katie Jarvis is a late entry but she isn’t testing Sunday.
Sony Pictures will release the first filmed installment of Stieg Larsson’s bestselling trilogy of books on December 21, 2011, and will begin production in early fall. Steve Zaillian wrote the script and Scott Rudin … Read More »
SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM UPDATE: These numbers will be refined in the morning. But sources have given me early North American grosses now for the Top 10. Hollywood expected Inception to hold well in the large markets and on both coasts and it did with a $43.5 million second weekend and new domestic cume of $143.6M. But Salt definitely put some pepper into Friday’s and Saturday’s box office with a $36.5 million weekend. Thanks to these big #1 & #2, the overall weekend grosses looks like $160M, or +12% from last year. The other newcomer Ramona and Beezus joined an already crowded family film market and finished with $8 million: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: The plot is thickening on the David Fincher-directed adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the internationally hot Stieg Larsson mystery novel. Of course, with the Swedish film version having made $100+M worldwide so far this year, many quarters are predicting that Sony Pictures will screw up the Hollywood version. Today, the studio set a December 21, 2011 release date for the film — even though the two leads are not locked in. The studio continues talking with Daniel Craig to play publisher Mikael Blomkvist, but sources tell me there’s a scheduling problem for him involving the long delayed next Bond pic and Cowboys & Aliens.
The studio is also signing test deals with a group of young actresses dying to play the complex role of Lisbeth Salander. While Carey Mulligan, Ellen Page, and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) have been mentioned as possible Lisbeth candidates, I’m told others include Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Sara Snook (Sleeping Beauty), Rooney Mara (The Social Network) and Sophie Lowe (Blame). Some have submitted their own tapes to director David Fincher already, while others will test shortly for the role. It’s a process similar to the one Sony orchestrated before choosing Andrew Garfield to play Spider-Man. Meanwhile, I hear Fincher is telling actresses to working on their Swedish accents, which indicates the novel may not Americanized. The book was adapted by Steve Zaillian and is being produced by Scott Rudin, who just worked with Fincher on … Read More »
SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM UPDATE: Friday, Saturday, and weekend numbers for North America’s Top 5 movie grosses:
1. What an impressive start for the Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures mind-bending scifi thriller from 3,792 theaters, with Friday’s $21.6 million (including $3M midnight shows in 1,600 locations) and Saturday’s $21.5 million. The studio pegged the weekend opening at $60.4M, solid for a 2D film, against a $150M budget. Audiences rated it an overall ”B+” Cinemascore, with the under-25 crowd giving it an “A”. Then again, this is Summer 2010′s most anticipated film because of Chris Nolan’s incredible track record for critically acclaimed big box office actioners (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) as well as smaller psychological dramas (Memento and Insomnia) films — and Inception represents both genres. (By the way, have you seen Inception’s comic book preview? This rather innovative marketing gimmick is here.) This gives star Leonardo DiCaprio his biggest debut ever, out-grossing the mid-February opening of his Shutter Island with Marty Scorsese. Also, the IMAX screenings of Inception accounted for 12% of the weekend gross with an amazing $7 million in 197 locations: the best ever for an IMAX 2D title.
But I’ve rarely seen Hollywood all over the map when it came to a movie’s expected 3-day weekend grosses like this time. That’s because this was an original film not easily explained in a 30-second spot. Rival studios gave me predictions ranging from a low of $40sM to a high of $60M — and everything inbetween. Especially because, surprisingly, tracking didn’t jump quite … Read More »