After launching the funded producing shingle Fable House this morning, Adrien Brody has been set by Corsan to play the title role in Emperor, a revenge tale helmed by Once Were Warriors director Lee Tamahori. Brody will play the brilliant strategist Emperor Charles V, trying to hold together a fragmented Empire, in a 16th century world of wealth, debauchery, violent retaliations, sex, manipulation and treason. Corsan’s Paul Bruels is producing.
The Devil’s Double scribe Michael Thomas III wrote the original script and Jeffrey Hatcher (The Duchess) is working on the latest draft. Filming starts August 2014, and the film shoots in both Czech Republic and Belgium. Corsan World Sales is handling sales on the project and Paradigm is selling North America. Corsan just teamed with Brody on the Paul Haggis-directed Third Person, which Sony Pictures Classics releases in June.
Said Brody: “I have long admired Lee’s work and a true fan since he blew me away with Once Were Warriors. The gritty and complex nature of his films and the characters within them haunt me to this day. When Lee approached me to play the role of Charles V – a man with great power, and greater flaws – whose demons took his empire to the brink – I felt compelled to accept the challenge.”
Tribeca Film’s Somebody Up There Likes Me bowed exclusively at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre with the best score among the specialties this weekend with a strong $38,495. The 2012 SXSW Film Festival entry had multiple sold-out showings in the 700-seat theater, with producer and Chicago native Nick Offerman hosting Q&As. The weekend potentially bodes well for distributor Tribeca, although momentum will be better gauged once it hits other cities. It will next head to Cinefamily in L.A. next weekend, according to Tribeca Film. Somebody Up There Likes Me will open San Francisco on March 22 and New York on March 29 with Austin to follow. Paladin/108 Media opened Michel Gondry’s The We And I with an average of $6,140 in a pair of NYC locations. The We And I heads to Los Angeles, San Francisco and 5 other top markets on March 22. Read More »
Roadside Attractions will open its Matthew Fox-Tommy Lee Jones starrer Emperor in more than 200 theaters this weekend, making it the largest rollout among new specialty releases. The distributor will follow the previously successful pattern it followed for previous releases Arbitrage and Friends With Kids, although the strategy is not without risk. Cinedigm will attempt to cash in on its doc Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, which chronicles the rise to fame of a YouTube star into the rock mainstream. Also joining the limited release fray this weekend are two films shot overseas, including Romania’s Beyond The Hills and Germany’s thriller The Silence. And Magnolia genre label Magnet Releasing will open The ABCs Of Death, which it financed. The film shot in over a dozen locations around the world.
Director: Peter Webber
Writers: Vera Blasi, David Klass, Shiro Okamoto
Cast: Matthew Fox, Colin Moy, Tommy Lee Jones, Kaori Momoi, Takataro Kataoka
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
Roadside Attractions first saw Emperor last summer ahead of its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. It centers on U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur (Jones) who must decide what to do with Japan’s wartime monarch, Hirohito. “People don’t know he was considered a potential war criminal,” noted Roadside chief Howard Cohen. “The Nuremberg Trials are a very well-known post-war event [in Europe], but the end of the war in Japan is less known.” Similarly to Roadside’s recent midsize rollouts, Emperor will open in 259 theaters this weekend. Read More »
In episode 16 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond, our Awards Columnist talks host David Bloom about Emperor and Oz The Great And Powerful, two big movies debuting this month with some year-end awards potential. They also look at the lingering Oscars controversy over which entertainment notables were left out of this year’s ceremony’s “In Memoriam” segment, and talk about the MTV Movie Awards, which have shifted schedule to adapt to a summer blockbuster season that starts well into spring. With the nomination of Oscar winners such as Daniel Day-Lewis, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence and the lack of nominations for the last of the Twilight films, Pete says the MTV Movie Awards also appear to be moving upscale in their choices.
Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox star in Emperor, directed by Peter Webber. Jones plays General Douglas MacArthur in the film that’s set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. It’s based on a screenplay by David Klass and Vera Blasi. Yoko Narahashi, Gary Foster, Eugene Nomura and Russ Krasnoff are producing. The movie opens March 8th via Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions.
Toronto, September 14, 2012 – Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Peter Webber’s Emperor, which had its world premiere this evening at the Toronto International Film Festival. Roadside will release theatrically, and all other US rights will be distributed by partner company Lionsgate. The film stars Golden Globe nominee Matthew Fox (World War Z, I, Alex Cross, Lost), Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln, Men in Black), and rising Japanese actress Eriko Hatsune (Norwegian Wood). Based on a screenplay by David Klass and Vera Blasi and produced by Yoko Narahashi, Gary Foster, Eugene Nomura and Russ Krasnoff. Roadside Attractions is planning a spring 2013 theatrical release.
Tommy Lee Jones will join Matthew Fox in Emperor, a drama directed by Peter Webber. Jones will portray General Douglas MacArthur in the film based on a screenplay by David Klass and Vera Blasi. Yoko Narahashi, Gary Foster, Eugene Nomura and Russ Krasnoff are producing.
Inspired by true events, Emperor is set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. Gen. MacArthur is the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces, and he leans on a leading Japanese expert on his staff, General Bonner Fellers (Fox), to reach a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal? Fellers’ feellings are complicated by his love affair with Aya, a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S. Memories of Aya and his quest to find her in the ravaged post-war landscape help Fellers to discover both his wisdom and his humanity and enable him to come to the momentous decision that changed the course of history and the future of two nations.
Producer Gary Foster said: “Tommy will bring strength, intelligence, and gravitas to the portrayal of General Douglas MacArthur, a legendary American hero.” Jones is repped … Read More »
Peter Webber is attached to direct Emperor. The indie drama was scripted by David Klass and Vera Blasi, and will begin production in January in New Zealand and Japan. The film will be produced by Yoko Narahashi, Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff and Eugene Nomura. The drama is set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end ofWorld War II. On the staff of General Douglas MacArthur, a leading Japanese expert, General Bonner Fellers, is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal? Interwoven with this nail-biting political thriller is the story of Fellers’ love affair with Aya, a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S.
“The end of WW2 in the far east and the relationship between General MacArthur and Japan, is a part of history which has been largely unexplored on film,” said Foster. “With most documents burned, historians have relied on accounts which are being debated to this day.”