EXCLUSIVE: Guillermo del Toro has withdrawn as the director of Beauty, the live-action revisionist take on Beauty And The Beast that has Emma Watson attached to star. Warner Bros has started the process of finding a new director. Del Toro had other commitments, but he’s still firmly part of the movie. He wrote the script, and he’s producing the film with Denise DiNovi. Del Toro is directing the haunted house pic Crimson Peak.
Column: Social media has had a tremendous impact on movie and television marketing, increasing awareness and visibility for a TV show or movie across the globe in a click — a lot clicks — of a button. Some of the best social media teams right now on TV are the two Jimmys — late-night talk hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. These two are in a constant battle for viewers and they really go at each other on social media. Their social engagement across platforms and their understanding of social heralds a new generation of savvy Hollywood stars backed by sophisticated online marketing teams that understand how to push past traditional media to build a tremendous fan base. Increasingly, stars, celebrities and their teams are using social media to extend awareness of their brands — because that is what they have become — online and off, driving ratings and box office as well as bigger fan bases.
These days, a performer’s social media footprint is strongly considered when marketers start strategizing a film’s campaign. Vin Diesel is the current king of social, almost entirely because of the monster presence he’s built on Facebook. In the months since his emotional tribute on FB for his good friend and Fast & Furious co-star Paul Walker who died in a car crash, Diesel has seen his Facebook presence vault from an already whopping 54M likes to 72.3M, according to RelishMix, which tracks social-media engagement by TV shows, films and performers. And in six months, his following has jumped 46%.
Unlike Kimmel and Fallon, Diesel has no team to manage his social profile. He does it entirely on his own. “Vin is a very unique case in that he curates that himself and the voice is authentic and all the posts seem real because they are real,” says Michael Moses, co-president of marketing at Universal Pictures. “He doesn’t have a social-media team. He maintains that. He has an authentic relationship with his fans.” Moses calls it “a higher level of commitment and engagement.”
Robert Downey, Jr. Finally Gets His Own Twitter Account, Reflective Of Social Media’s Importance To Film Marketing
The Iron Man himself has finally joined Twitter. With only 4 tweets this morning, he’s dipped his toe into the social media universe. Within hours, Downey has tallied 912K followers. Wow, word travels fast. And why not? Iron Man is a billion dollar franchise for Marvel since they first introduced Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark in 2008. Worldwide the first film grossed $585M, the second one, $623.9M and the third, $1.2B. The next Marvel title for the actor is Avengers: Age of Ultron which will bow May 1, 2015 from Disney. Welcome to the SMU, Mr. Downey, No doubt, Disney and Marvel are thrilled. The actor has long been a strong presence on social media due to his many fans who call him #RDJ. His fans post video bits from the actor from media, on-stage award shows, red carpet appearances, and other media events showcasing the wise-cracking, irreverance. His opening Tweet:
Loving all the love, folks. It’s been a blast. Though can somebody please explain how anyone can keep their thoughts to 140 characters or le
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) April 12, 2014
Emma Watson will star in Regression, the TWC-Dimension thriller to be directed by Alejandro Amenabar, who wrote the original screenplay. Ethan Hawke is already aboard the pic, the storyline of which is being held close to the vest. Hawke became attached during November’s AFM, where CAA brokered the deal with Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s label. FilmNation is handling international sales, and a 2015 release date is planned. Amenabar worked with the Weinsteins before on The Others, the hit 2001 thriller that starred Nicole Kidman. Amenabar’s longtime producing partner Fernando Bovaira is producing Regression for MOD Entertainment with Canadian producer Christina Piovesan.
Watson, who has broken out of the Harry Potter franchise with roles in The Bling Ring and This Is The End and co-stars in the upcoming Darren Aronofsky pic Noah, is repped by WME and Markham Froggatt Irwin in the UK.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired key international rights to lit adaptation Your Voice In My Head, set to star Harry Potter‘s Emma Watson. Francesca Gregorini directs the drama about a young bipolar English woman living in New York and the selfless psychiatrist who saves her life, adapted from Emma Forrest’s NY Times bestseller. International Film Trust, repping sales, made the deal with SPWA for UK, Australia/New Zealand, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Latin America. IFT’s Christian de Gallegos negotiated the multi-territory deal with Michael Helfand, EVP of Business Affairs, Chan Phung, VP of Acquisitions, and Jon Freedberg, VP of Business Development on behalf of SPWA. IFT’s additional sales on the pic include South Korea to Sookie, Turkey to Kalinos, Switzerland to Praesens, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan to PT Parkit, Singapore to Shaw, China to HGC and the Middle East to Shooting Stars. Filming begins in early 2014. The film is produced by Alison Owen and Michael Benaroya for Benaroya Pictures with Ruby’s Faye Ward executive producing. CAA is repping domestic sales.
EXCLUSIVE: Stephen Chbosky, who directed Emma Watson in the sleeper hit The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, has re-teamed with the actress at 20th Century Fox on While We’re Young. Based on the Adena Halpern novel 29, While We’re Young will be scripted by (500) Days Of Summer scribes Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter. Karen McCullah and Kiwi Smith penned the original script and Weber and Neustadter handled the most recent rewrite. John Davis is producing through his Davis Entertainment banner. The log line: A 75-year-old woman, still feeling frisky and that she has far more in common with her 29-year-old granddaughter than with her stuffy 55-year-old daughter, is granted a birthday wish. She gets to be 29 again, for a day. She uses the time to go on an adventure with her now same-aged granddaughter. The film tells the story of three generations of women.
It’s a departure for Chbosky, who adapted his own coming-of-age novel The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and got a WGA nomination for the script. He also wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of the Jonathan Larson stage musical Rent. Perks was a very important movie for Watson, as it allowed her to play a sophisticated young woman, warts and all, as she tried to create distance from Hogwarts and her childhood spent in the Harry Potter movies.
Harry Potter‘s Emma Watson will lead lit adaptation Your Voice In My Head, adapted from Emma Forrest’s NY Times bestseller about a young bipolar Englishwoman living in New York. Francesca Gregorini (Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes) is set to direct from Forrest’s Black List script. Alison Owen and Benaroya Pictures‘ Michael Benaroya are producing. International Film Trust is repping international sales and made the announcement today out of Toronto. CAA is repping domestic rights. Watson’s repped by WME and Markham Froggat Irwin in the UK. Gregorini is represented by CAA, The Schiff Company and Bloom Hergott. Forrest is repped by CAA and Casarotto Ramsay & Associates in the UK.
Emma Watson leads the cast of Sofia Coppola‘s true crime pic, about a band of young burglars thieving from Hollywood celebs. Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga, and Leslie Mann also star in the pic which A24 releases June 14 in the U.S. — after it opens the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival. Here’s the trailer:
BREAKING: Upstart distributor A24 has set a June 14 limited theatrical release launch of the Sofia Coppola-directed The Bling Ring, and it has set an August 2 limited release for the James Ponsoldt-directed The Spectacular Now. This spring, A24 launches Ginger & Rosa and Spring Breakers, films also aiming at a young demographic.
The Bling Ring stars Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Gavin Rossdale and Paris Hilton, latter of whom was actually ripped off by the title characters, young bandits who broke into the homes of well to do celebutantes. The film’s based on the Vanity Fair article The Suspects Wore Louboutins by Nancy Jo Sales.
The Spectacular Now was scripted by (500) Days of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber and stars Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Elizabeth Winstead in a drama about a mismatched young high school students. It was bought at Sundance in January.
EXCLUSIVE: Emma Watson is in talks to join Darren Aronofsky’s cast of Noah, which stars Russell Crowe as the Biblical ark builder. Watson is in discussions to play Ila, a young woman who develops a close relationship with Noah’s son, Shem. That role will be played by Douglas Booth, with Logan Lerman playing Noah’s other son, Ham. Still to be cast is Noah’s wife–Jennifer Connelly is one of the actresses in contention–and Noah’s nemesis. The film’s being co-financed by Paramount and New Regency.
UPDATE: Director David Yates has confirmed his withdrawal from the helm of Your Voice In My Head, which Deadline revealed yesterday. He has issued this statement: “Unfortunately, due to conflicting schedules and ongoing commitments in the narrow window I was hoping to make this film, it has become no longer possible for me to direct ‘Your Voice in My Head.’ I am sincerely sorry to be leaving such a fantastic project, and I wish producer Alison Owen and everyone involved the very best for what I am sure will be a distinctive film.”
EARLIER, 2:07 pm, EDT: David Yates is exiting Your Voice In My Head, the Warner Bros film that had been expected to be his next movie after completing the Harry Potter series. I’m told that Yates dropped out for personal reasons involving a family health situation. Yates was going to do the film with his Potter star Emma Watson and wanted to postpone, but the writers and producers didn’t want to wait.
I wonder how crazy the studio will be about going forward without him. Beyond Chris Nolan and Ben Affleck, Warner Bros tends to bring every script it has to Yates, and that was a primary reason the studio was interested. Your Voice In My Head is the Emma Forrest-scripted drama based on the scribe’s memoir. Watson is playing a young woman who attempts suicide before …
Emma Watson will lead an ensemble cast in the latest from Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola. The Bling Ring is inspired by real events in which a group of teens engage in a string of celebrity burglaries.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is negotiating to acquire Your Voice in My Head, the Emma Forrest-scripted drama based on the scribe’s memoir that is expected to be the next film by director David Yates. The film is shaping up to be a Harry Potter reunion. Yates is in discussions with Emma Watson to star in the role of a young woman who attempts suicide before being saved by a New York-based psychiatrist who’s dying of cancer. Watson and Yates worked together on the last four Harry Potter films. Warner Bros has made it a priority to get right back in business with Yates. The studio offered him its script Imitation Game, but Yates didn’t bite and the studio is putting together a list of directors I’m told includes Ralph Fiennes and Bryan Singer. As for the lead male role in Your Voice in My Head, the studio is aiming high, with names like Tom Hanks and George Clooney in the mix. Yates is expected to make this film before he does A Reliable Wife at Sony. Watson is repped by WME, Yates by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and Zack Snyder are in talks with Julia Ormond to play Superman’s Kryptonian mother, Lara Lor-Van, in Man of Steel. I expect the deal to make shortly. Russell Crowe has been offered the role of Jor-El, the father of Superman (Henry Cavill). Kevin Costner and Diane Lane were previously set to play Clark Kent’s Earthbound parents. This comes after Ormond completed the role of Vivian Leigh in the Simon Curtis-directed My Week With Marilyn, which stars Michelle Williams, Emma Watson, Dominic Cooper and Kenneth Branagh. Ormond’s repped by Gersh and Artists Independent.
EXCLUSIVE: As Deadline told you, Summit Entertainment post-Twilight Saga is continuing to bet heavily on books for its future franchises. Most are conducive to young casts. Now I can report that another young actress to watch is making the transition from TV to movies: CW’s The Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev has been cast as Candace in the film based on Stephen Chbosky’s novel The Perks of Being A Wallflower, which the author is adapting for Harry Potter‘s Emma Watson and Logan Lerman as well as Paul Rudd. This was a much sought-after lead role. The 22-year-old Bulgarian-Canadian actress played Mia Jones, the single teenage mother, on Degrassi: The Next Generation, from the show’s 6th to 9th season. She currently plays Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce on The Vampire Diaries and won the ”Young Hollywood Making Their Mark” category at the 12th Annual Young Hollywood Awards. (Disclosure: these awards are owned by my parent company PMC).
The start of Summit Entertainment’s trajectory began when the mini-major convinced Stephenie Meyer to sell her Twilight Saga book series after she’d been left so frustrated by how Paramount Pictures let it languish. Was it a billion dollar lucky break? As the vampire-werewolf series that fueled Summit’s recent $750 million refinancing comes to a close, Summit has bet heavily on books for its future franchises. Under production chief Erik Feig, Summit has been as prolific a buyer of books as any studio in town over the past two years. Most are conducive to young casts.
As Deadline predicted, Summit Entertainment has closed a screen rights deal for Veronica Roth’s young adult novel Divergent, which will be published by the HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books. It takes place in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into factions as kids are categorized based on human traits. A teenage girl and guy rebel against the labels, which is a very dangerous thing to do. The buying community has compared it to The Hunger Games in tone and violent content. Red Wagon’s Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce with Pouya Shahbazian. The latter works for FinePrint Productions and stirred up some dust in the early deal brokering with what I’m told were high demands like 35% of the fee from whatever established producer came onto the picture, even though the book fell …
Berlin Day 1 Roundup: Emma Watson Goes From ‘Potter’ To ‘Perks,’ Twilight Saga’s Peter Facinelli Pens ‘El Chico Blanco’
Summit Entertainment acquired feature rights to The Perks of Being A Wallflower, with novelist Stephen Chbosky adapting and directing his novel. Emma Watson and Logan Lerman star in a coming of age story of a 15-year old crushing hard on a girl while he deals with his best pal’s suicide and other emotional issues. Shooting begins this summer and Summit Intl is selling offshore rights…Titan Worldwide set a June production start for El Chico Blanco, with Carl Franklin directing a script by Twilight Saga‘s Peter Facinelli. Facinelli stars as a white outcast raised in the barrio who becomes the head of a notorious crime family. Hyde Park is handling foreign sales…W2 has launched as a new distribution company based in LA, Vancouver and Toronto. The principals are John Flock, Warren Nimchuk and Warren Fergus. Flock had been CEO of Peace Arch. They plan to buy completed films for distribution, pre-buy rights to packages and through affiliate W2 Entertainment Finance, can finance tax credits and other production incentives and fund cash flow against distribution sales and arrange gap financing. W2′s initial slate includes the horror pic The Woman, which bowed at Sundance and Shadow and Lies, which has James Franco and Josh Lucas in its cast…