WB and Village Roadshow unveil more in the latest trailer for sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow, playing up the Groundhog Day element in the tale of a military officer (Tom Cruise) stuck in a time loop that restarts his day every time he dies, allowing him to slowly turn into the ultimate weapon to fight invading alien hordes. Emily Blunt co-stars in the June 6 release helmed by Doug Liman and adapted by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel All You Need Is Kill:
Coming off April’sOblivion, Tom Cruise stars in Doug Liman‘s futuristic sci-fier as an officer in a brutal alien war who becomes stuck in a time loop and is forced to re-live the same combat mission over and over. Emily Blunt is the lethal soldier who helps Cruise become a warrior while he’s trapped in his Groundhog Day-style existential crisis. WB and Village Roadshow release Edge of Tomorrow on June 6. Check out the first trailer for the pic formerly known as All You Need Is Kill:
I tipped this as one of the hot titles of this year’s Toronto Film Festival. The Dante Ariola-directed comedic love story is being sold by CAA and UTA and premieres here Monday.Colin Firth and Emily Blunt star in the story of a depressed divorced dad who fakes his death and adopts a new identity, then meets a troubled woman who spurs him on to new heights during a cross-country road trip. Becky Johnston wrote the script. Here’s an exclusive clip:
Universal’s The Five Year Engagement opens April 27, 2012 and stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt. It’s helmed by Nicholas Stoller, who directed Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Stoller and Segel co-wrote this one, and Judd Apatow and Rodney Rothman produced.
“Lasse Hallström has done it again with this beautiful, heartwarming, and elegant picture. The performances are amazing from top to bottom,” commented Shooman who continued, “We are honored to have the opportunity to bring this extraordinary film to American audiences.”
UTA Independent Film Group set up the film’s financing and brokered the dealwith CBS Films.
UPDATE, 6:11PM: The deal has closed, and CBS Films has acquired U.S. rights to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Sources close to the buyer say it’s the $4 million that the sellers asked for, while sources close to the seller say it’s $5 million. Summit got the deal to that level. What’s clear is this is a healthy deal.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 12:26 PM: CBS Films is in advanced negotiations to reel in U.S. distribution rights to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, the Lasse Hallstrom-directed film that premiered last night at the Princess of Wales Theater. Fox Searchlight, Summit, Focus and Miramax have been circling, but CBS appears to be tying down the property for a low-seven-figure deal. Adapted by Simon Beaufoy from the Paul Torday novel, the film stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked, the latter playing a wealthy sheik who pays a fisheries scientist to stock a stream with trout. The sheik believes that fishing brings him closer to God, an experience he wants to share with his countrymen, despite the dangerous fact that some local leaders oppose it; there is a burgeoning love story between his British legal rep (Blunt) and the stuffy fisheries scientist (McGregor) who is locked in a dull marriage. Read More »
Just as it did last year, the 2011 Toronto Film Festival has gotten off to a slow start on the acquisitions front. I spoke with many buyers after last night’s onslaught of acquisition title premieres, and the common feeling was these distributors need to fill slots in their schedules and they want to fall in love, but haven’t quite gotten there yet with most of these films. They had some reservations on just about all of the films they saw. These films will clearly find distribution homes, but the reaction means that deals will drag out because those distributors aren’t going to be posting large minimum guarantees, the way they did in Cannes.
Even the big sale of the festival so far, the Steve McQueen-directed NC-17 sex drama Shame, wasn’t a huge commitment for all the press hoopla that followed Deadline’s reveal that the film had sold to Fox Searchlight. I am hearing the deal was a mid-six figure minimum guarantee around $400,000, and a P&A commitment around $1.5 million. That sounds about right, because the filmmakers were most concerned with entering this year’s Oscar race to capitalize on the performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, and ensuring that not a frame of the picture was changed. But it doesn’t sound like a wide release picture.
As for the wide release titles, they are going to sell, but it will be a struggle for sellers to get the dollars they want. I saw one of those titles that sit atop buyer lists last night. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was scripted by Simon Beaufoy, directed by Lasse Hallstrom and stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked, the latter playing a wealthy sheik who pays a fisheries scientist to stock a stream with trout. The film is sophisticated, funny, timely and utterly charming, and I would be surprised if it isn’t snapped up by Monday or sooner. That film got the best reaction from the buyers I spoke with. The pace of auctioning has been complicated by the volume of premieres last night, including Rampart, Take This Waltz,The Oranges, the hockey comedy Goon and the Morgan Spurlock-directed documentary Comic-Con: A Fan’s Hope. Buyers had to make choices, and some were seeing films like Salmon this morning. I expect a flurry of deals toward the end of the festival, which is how it played out last year.
Since there’s little going on so far, you have time to notice things. Here are a few things I’ve noticed: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In a clear signal that Netflix is preparing for a major expansion into the UK, the streaming company has made what I believe to be its first content deal with a film company there. My sources tell me that Netflix has signed a multi-year exclusive output deal for first pay TV rights with Lionsgate UK. Netflix would not comment, nor would Lionsgate UK, but this pact sets the stage for what will be the first competition that Rupert Murdoch’s Sky has faced in the pay TV movie business in the UK for over a decade.
It is also a deal that gives Lionsgate UK CEO Zygi Kamasa an opportunity to take his company to the next level with a state-of-the-art pay TV deal that will kick in when Netflix opens for UK business. Like Lionsgate in the US, Lionsgate UK is part of the Lionsgate Group, but it operates autonomously under Kamasa, financing film productions and making acquisitions for the UK theatrical and ancillary marketplace. The company’s recent film acquisitions have included The Hurt Locker, The Mechanic and the Ralph Fiennes-directed Coriolanus. Lionsgate UK has also been getting more aggressive in generating British product. It recently completed production on the second film it fully financed, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The Lasse Hallstrom-directed film stars Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Kristin Scott Thomas, and it premieres at next month’s Toronto Film Festival.
Netflix has so far announced it will make its first … Read More »
After making a splash by funding the wildly profitable Darren Aronofsky-directed Black Swan, Timmy Thompson and Brian Oliver’s Cross Creek Pictures has become an increasing presence in the independent film producing and finance game. To help manage the growing project volume, they’ve hired Becky Sloviter to be senior vice president of development and production. She started work yesterday and had most recently been veep of development and production at MGM, where she worked on such titles as the Kevin James-starrer Zookeeper and the Drew Goddard-directed The Cabin in the Woods, as well as the musical Valley Girl which is on a fast track at MGM. Before that, Sloviter had been a production exec at Stuber/Parent Productions. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Rocket Pictures is re-teaming with Gnomeo & Juliet writer/director Kelly Asbury on Will Gallows and the Snake Bellied Troll, a live-action/CGI-animated feature. Based on the first in a series of books by Derek Keilty, the film tells the story of a young cowboy who seeks justice in a world that mashes together fantasy and the Wild West. Andersen Press published the book last March. Rocket Pictures, which is Sir Elton John’s label formed to make family-themed film and TV projects, acquired the feature rights for a film that, like Gnomeo & Juliet, will have strong musical elements. Rocket Pictures’ Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish will produce, and John will be executive producer.
“It’s a classic cowboy story for kids, set in an amazing world,” John said in a statement. “We think family audiences will love it.” Rocket and Asbury scored a sleeper hit with Gnomeo & Juliet, with James McAvoy and Emily Blunt the lead voices, and new songs by John. The film grossed just shy of $100 million domestically for Disney, and its worldwide gross was just over $190 million. Asbury co-directed with Andrew Adamson Shrek 2 and he also directed Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, both for DreamWorks. Both he and Rocket Pictures are repped by UTA.
EXCLUSIVE: A frenzied Saturday auction on the Croisette has ended with FilmDistrict in final negotiations for U.S. distribution rights to Looper, the Rian Johnson-directed science fiction film that stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Bruce Willis. There were at least six bidders spanning major studios and independents, and it sounds like some serious upfront money was paid. But the intriguing part is that the deal orchestrated between CAA and FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel will likely end in FilmDistrict using an option with Sony Pictures, which would release and market the film through the TriStar label. That replicates the distribution structure of District 9, which Schlessel acquired while he was at Sony. The picture has a similarly brainy construct and is also reminiscent of the first Terminator.
Johnson wrote the script, about a contract killer who works for the mob of the future, and who kills victims that are sent back in time 30 years, so there is no trace of the crime in the future. It’s a great gig, until the killer (Gordon-Levitt) recognizes that one of his targets (Willis) is a futuristic version of himself. Piper Perabo, Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels also star. The film was financed by Endgame’s James Stern, who produced with Johnson’s partner Ram Bergman.
CAA still has to paper the deal, but that likely gives Sony and Amy Pascal its second release schedule addition in the last 24 hours. As Deadline revealed early Saturday, the studio acquired the David Frankel-directed Great Hope Springs with Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell starring. Read More »
Focus Features International will be selling territories on an untitled dark comedy that will pair The King’s Speech star Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. The film will be directed by Dante Ariola from a script by Becky Johnston. The film’s financed by Vertebra Films and is produced by Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver, Johnston and Alisa Tager. UTA and CAA package it and will broker a domestic deal.
Ariola comes out of commercials and is making his directing debut. Firth plays a man who hates his job and is hated by his ex-wife and son. Feeling he missed his one shot at living the dream, he fakes his death and buys a new identity. Along the way he meets a woman (Blunt) who is also trying to leave her past behind. The pair break into empty homes and pose as the absent owners. The two find a kindship despite all the lying.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set Oscar-nominated Animal Kingdom star Jacki Weaver to join the cast of Five Year Engagement, the Judd Apatow-produced comedy that stars Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie, Chris Pratt, Rhys Ifans and Lauren Weedman. Nicholas Stoller is directing the script he wrote with Segel. The comedy charts the ups and downs of an engaged couple en route to the altar. Weaver’s repped by ICM and Elevate.
Michel Gondry is adapting and is attached to direct Ubik, the legendary book by scifi author Philip K. Dick. Steve Zaillian and Steve Golin are producing through Film Rites and Anonymous Content, with Golin putting up the financing for development until they shop to studios. (Zaillian’s Film Rites has its first look through DreamWorks, so the project could end up there.) The book was called one of the 100 greatest novels of all-time by Time Magazine. Film Rites’ Garrett Basch will be exec producer. The book is a metaphysical comedy of death and salvation, revolving around dead characters who give business advice, plan their next incarnation, and risk dying once again.
The late author, whose Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep was turned into Blade Runner, next has The Adjustment Bureau coming with George Nolfi directing Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, and a remake of Total Recall in the works with Colin Farrell starring for director Len Wiseman.
UPDATE: Fox is negotiating with The Devil’s Double star Dominic Cooper to play Abe Lincoln’s mentor Henry, the mysterious ageless guy who teaches Abe to kill bloodsuckers. The studio had been in talks with Joaquin Phoenix for that role, but it’s going to be Cooper, another up-and-comer, whose dual performance as Uday Hussein and the man forced to be his body double was the talk of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
EARLIER, 12:30 PM: Anthony Mackie is in talks to star with Benjamin Walker in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for 20th Century Fox. Mackie will play the role of Will, Lincoln’s best friend. The role is a good one, he gets to be in the center of the vampire slaying. Director Timur Bekmambetov is putting together a group of up and comers to headline the movie. Mackie is ready to pop and is on the cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood issue. He next stars with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau and stars with Hugh Jackman in Real Steel. Mackie is repped by UTA and Inspire Entertainment. Mackie also turned in a fascinating performance as jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden in the Dan Pritzker-directed Bolden!. I’ve seen some footage from that picture, which Pritzker shot in a rather meticulous production that took forever. Pritzker completed and released an offshoot silent film Louis, which toured with a … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in talks to reunite with his Inception director Christopher Nolan in The Dark Knight Rises for Warner Bros. I’m not sure what role he’ll play, but I’m told that he will be in the movie when Nolan starts production this spring. Gordon-Levitt will be done shooting the Rian Johnson-directed Looper with Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt by then. Gordon-Levitt has the indie Hesher coming out this spring, as well as Live With It, the Jonathan Levine-directed pic about a 27-year old who tries to overcome a cancer diagnosis. CAA-repped Gordon-Levitt established himself with indie films like Brick, the underrated Scott Frank-directed The Lookout, and the Marc Webb-directed (500) Days of Summer. Nolan keeps his films shrouded in secrecy, though he did lift the veil recently to disclose that Anne Hathaway would play Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Gordon-Levitt’s Inception co-star Tom Hardy will play Bane. What role fits Gordon-Levitt?
EXCLUSIVE: They’re about to work together in Lynn Shelton’s new semi-improvised and as-yet-untitled project. Production starts later this month in Seattle. Steven Schardt, co-producer on Shelton’s bromantic comedy Humpday, will produce. The whole movie’s only taking a couple of weeks to shoot, which is how Rachel Weisz can squeeze it in after spending one week on Terrence Malick’s untitled new film, and before Terence Davies starts shooting The Deep Blue Sea in November. Blimey, Weisz must be the busiest actress working in Britain. She’s repped by Independent in London and CAA in the US. Not that Blunt’s any slouch. She recently signed to headline Rian Johnson’s Looper, opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. In March 2011 she’ll star opposite Matt Damon in sci-fi mystery The Adjustment Bureau opposite Matt Damon. Blunt is repped by CAA in the U.S. and Ken McReddie Associates in London. Shelton, meanwhile, recently directed an episode of Mad Men, and has signed on with Focus Features to direct Then We Came To The End, an adaptation of the Joshua Ferris novel to be produced by Ted Hope and Anne Carey’s This Is That. It’s the story of copy writers at a Chicago ad agency when the dot com bubble bursts in 2001. Shelton is repped by UTA and Industry Entertainment.
Touchstone has a new trailer out for Gnomeo and Juliet, the animated feature that will be released February 11. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are the title characters, and Jason Statham, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith and Patrick Stewart round out the voice cast.
Disney just released what it’s calling the “first image” for GNOMEO & JULIET, the greatest love story ever told, starring garden gnomes. Adapted from Shakespeare, directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2) with classic and original songs by Elton John, it features the voices of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt: