UPDATED:The Toronto Film Festival announced several additions to the 2014 lineup this morning including the documentary pics and the lineups for The Masters, Vanguard and Midnight Madness. The docu lineup features pioneers of BASE jumping in Sunshine Superman; Los Angeles sex workers in Tales Of The Grim Sleeper; survivors of the Indonesian genocide in The Look Of Silence; and, in Red Army, a hockey captain’s transition from national hero to political enemy during the rise and fall of the Soviet game.
The Midnight Madness section includes the world premiere of Kevin Smith’s Tusk, the wacky horror thriller that dropped its first trailer during Comic-Con. Set in the Canadian wilderness, it stars Justin Long as a podcaster who’s assigned to interview a mysterious seafarer (Michael Parks) who happens to have a strange obsession with walruses. Haley Joel Osment and Genesis Rodriguez also star. The pic hits theaters just after the fest on September 19; the Toronto fest runs September 4-14.
We are still a little more than a month away from the official start of awards season, but for IFC‘s smash-out-of-the-box indie hit, Boyhood, it already began in earnest on Sunday with back-to-back screenings and Q&As for members of the newly chosen 2000-strong Screen Actors Guild Nominating Committee, and later its official Academy screening at the newly re-opened Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at the Acad’s Beverly Hills headquarters. The SAG nom comm is just beginning its long schedule of these kinds of screenings, and Sunday afternoon’s was the first big one in LA, although I am told there were a couple of smaller films for the nom comm early in June just as the randomly-chosen group of actors was formed for this year’s race. They packed the Pacific Design Center’s screening room and after the Q&A with stars Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and young Ellar Coltrane along with writer/director Richard Linklater, the SAG crowd gave them all a heartfelt standing ovation. I moderated and there was also much applause when I brought each of them on stage for the 40-minute conversation. The making of the film on 36 shooting days over the course of 12 years has been a well-publicized story this summer, and each of them offered detailed answers on various aspects of a film that is unique in motion picture history, particularly from the point of view … Read More »
After it debuted last week to the second-best opening of any specialty film in 2014, Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood is already considered an early Oscar contender that has a chance to cross over as it broadens its run to 10 markets today. It is unprecedented for a narrative film to be shot like this one was. It proved to be a time-lapse process that allows viewers to watch Ellar Coltrane and his castmates age naturally from age 6 to 18 and believably go through the joys and dramas, big and small, inherent in the lives of children. Linklater told Deadline he was lucky nothing unfortunate happened in the lives of the cast and crew, almost all of whom returned year after year. Here, Deadline looks at some of the things that happened to the participants over that span, including in Texas, where Linklater shot the film.
Number of other features, TV movies and shorts directed by Richard Linklater: 10 Number of TV episodes created by Richard Linklater: 6 (Up To Speed) Read More »
IFC Films‘ Boyhood had momentum and expectations building as it headed into its opening weekend after a tremendous run of festival awards and word-of-mouth screenings. Opening in five theaters in New York and Los Angeles this weekend, it proved to be a very big boy indeed, with one of the year’s biggest box-office debuts among Specialty releases, second behind only Searchlight’sThe Grand Budapest Hotel, which opened March 7 with a nearly $203K PTA in four theaters.
Boyhood, directed and written by Richard Linklater and filmed over 12 years as its star Ellar Coltrane grew up, grossed $360K to $385K for a spectacular per-theater average of $72K to $77K, depending on how much box office drops Sunday. Given that the title opened against Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes on turf typically ruled by studio mush, the numbers bode especially well for the film, which also stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Lorelei Linklater. Given its pre-launch buzz, the film has already been tipped as a strong contender when Awards Season grinds into into full gear this fall.
“I think we knew the movie would play,” IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring told me this morning. “(Fellow producer) John Sloss and I were at screenings with audiences and we were more than gratified by the audience responses. There were dozens of sell outs [in Manhattan, Brooklyn and L.A.]. It was crazy. It wasn’t an old audience, not young, it was a mix of everyone.”
The first thing that catches you about Richard Linklater‘s new movie, Boyhood, is the gimmick: It took 12 years to make. And this wasn’t some Orson Welles-like fight with a studio or money people or an artistic fugue state like those afflicting early Terrence Malick or late Stanley Kubrick. It was done on purpose. And the studio behind the project, IFC, was all for it, doling out about $200,000 a year so Linklater could annually gather his cast and crew to shoot a few days at a time for a dozen years followed by, as Linklater put it, “a big chunk at the end” to finish the film.
But here’s the other thing: The movie is really good. And taking all that time might be part of the reason. The film follows the life of a boy named Mason (Ellar Coltrane in his long-developing but remarkable debut) from age 5 until his first days in college at 18. It also tracks the twists in the lives of his two parents (Patricia Arquette and Linklater regular Ethan Hawke), who split before the film’s start, when Mason and his older sister (played by the director’s daughter Lorelei Linklater) were very young.
EXCLUSIVE: Taissa Farmiga is getting Violent with The Sacrament director Ti West. She’s joined the cast of the filmmaker’s 1890′s-set Western In A Valley Of Violence, led by Ethan Hawke and John Travolta. Story follows Paul (Hawke), a drifter with nothing to lose who seeks revenge on the thugs who killed his best friend. Farmiga will play a young woman who runs the town’s hotel with her older sister and helps Paul in his quest for vengeance. Blumhouse’s Jason Blum is producing. West’s longtime producer Peter Phok and Sacrament producer Jacob Jaffke are exec producers.
West (House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) world-premiered his latest film The Sacrament in Venice and opens the Jonestown-esque cult thriller on June 6 via Magnolia Pictures. He’s moving fast on Valley, which he wrote and is directing with filming set to begin late next month in New Mexico. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Andrew Niccol has cast and a title for his upcoming directorial project. He’s named the picture Good Kill, and Mad Men‘s January Jones has signed on to star as the wife of a fighter pilot-turned-drone operator. Ethan Hawke — who worked with Niccol in Gattaca and Lord Of War — is playing the pilot, Zoe Kravitz (Divergent) and Jake Abel (The Host) play members of his flight crew, and Bruce Greenwood plays his superior officer. The tension comes from the stress of battling the enemy by drone. He fights the Taliban by remote control for 12 hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other 12. He starts to question his mission, asking himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is killing in a war seemingly without end. Niccol wrote the script. The film began shooting at the end of last year in Morocco. Production resumes next month in New Mexico.
Nicolas Chartier, Zev Foreman, and Mark Amin are producing for Voltage Pictures and Sobini Films. Ted Gidlow, Patrick Newall, and Cami Winikoff will executive produce. Voltage also is handling international rights and will look to finish selling the last available territories in Berlin.
Said Voltage’s Foreman: “This film will give the public a glimpse into what they are reading about and seeing on the news every day. … Read More »
Ethan Hawke and Asa Butterfield have signed on to star in the film adaptation of Eleanor Henderson’s novel Ten Thousands Saints. Maven Pictures and Archer Gray are producing the coming-of-age story set in the East Village Punk scene of 1987. Sent to live with his estranged father in Manhattan, the story follows Jude (Butterfield) on an unforgettable journey where he discovers love, music and forges a new connection with his dad Les (Hawke). Hailee Steinfeld (Ender’s Game, Romeo And Juliet, True Grit) also stars. Bob Pulcini and Shari Berman (American Splendor) will direct with producers Anne Carey and Amy Nauiokas for Archer Gray, Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray (Filth) for Maven, and Luca Borghese. CAA-repped Hawke (Gattaca, Before Midnight) is slated to star in the upcoming suspense thriller Regression and the Shakespeare adaptation Cymbeline. Butterfield’s credits include Hugo and Ender’s Game and he recently wrapped X Plus Y. He’s repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group.
EXCLUSIVE: In a whopping deal with a mid-seven figure minimum guarantee and a wide release-caliber P&A commitment, The Weinstein Company-Dimension has acquired U.S. rights to Regression, an elevated suspense thriller that will star Ethan Hawke and will be directed by Alejandro Amenabar. This establishes the film as a major title coming into the start of AFM where FilmNation will be selling offshore territories. CAA brokered the deal.
This marks a re-team between Amenabar and Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who last worked with the helmer at Miramax on The Others, the sleeper hit thriller that starred Nicole Kidman and grossed $97 million U.S. and $210 million worldwide in 2001. Amenabar returns to the English language terrain on Regression, which is set in 1980 in a small Minnesota town where a man is arrested for sexually abusing his daughter. He admits his guilt despite having no memory of it. With the help of a psychologist, he relives the memories and implicates a police officer as his partner in crime. The man’s estranged son and other townspeople are also suddenly able to relive suppressed memories of horrific abuse. At the same time, the local news reports blame a Satanic cult that has been performing rituals of orgies, assault, killing animals and even babies, for years. The officers are alarmed when similar reports come in … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Writer/director Andrew Niccol has found his next film, and set a familiar face to anchor it. Ethan Hawke is in talks to star for the third time in a Niccol film. This time, he’ll play a fighter pilot in the untitled thriller who becomes a Las Vegas-based drone pilot. He fights the Taliban by remote control for twelve hours a day, then goes home to the suburbs and feuds with his wife and kids for the other twelve. He starts to question his mission, and asking himself if he is creating more terrorists than he is killing in a war seemingly without end. Hawke previously starred in the Niccol-directed Gattaca and Lord Of War. He has also had a strong year with The Purge and the Sundance darlingBefore Midnight.
The film will begin shooting in February, and it will be sold at AFM. Voltage Pictures’ Nicolas Chartier (The Hurt Locker) and Zev Foreman (Dallas Buyers Club) are producing, and Voltage will handle worldwide sales. Hawke, repped by CAA and The Schiff Company and attorney George Sheanshang, just wrapped Cymbeline opposite Dakota Johnson and will begin previews of Macbeth at Lincoln Center on October 24th. Niccol is repped by CAA.
UPDATE, 7:52 PM:Reddit is looking a little red-faced today. After alleging Wednesday that someone at Warner Bros was trying to game comments and postings about the about-to-open driving thriller Getawayon the social news and entertainment site, Reddit is now changing its tune. The site said tonight that neither Warners nor anyone working for it actually had anything to do with the supposed under-handed marketing move. After looking into the matter more and likely fielding some calls from WB lawyers, Reddit updated its original post with the following statement late Thursday:
After further investigation, we have found that neither Warner Bros. nor any of their employees was involved in this activity. To be perfectly clear, the posts that we detected came from a third party who had no affiliation with Warner Bros. This third party was not part of the marketing efforts of Warner Bros for the film. We regret confusion about the source of these posts, and appreciate the cooperation and understanding of Warner Bros who has taken this as seriously as we do and has very strict policies on these matters.
In Warner Bros’ Getaway, Ethan Hawke stars as an ex-race car driver who steals a Shelby Cobra Mustang and snatches up its owner (Selena Gomez) in order to save his kidnapped wife. The Warners-Dark Castle action thriller, directed by Courtney Solomon, opens August 30. Here’s the second trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Almereyda’s Cymbeline has a King in Ed Harris and now it has its Queen in Milla Jovovich. The actress has been added to the cast of the biker gang and bad cops update of the William Shakespeare play with Harris, Ethan Hawke and Penn Badgley. In the play, the Queen schemes to move her own son from a previous marriage onto the throne at the expense of the orphan Posthumus and the King’s daughter. Badgley will play Posthumus in the new version of Cymbeline. Best know for her role of killing machine Alice in her battles against the Umbrella Corporation in the Resident Evilfranchise, Jovovich has acting as well as action chops. She starred opposite Robert De Niro and Edward Norton in the 2010 John Curran-directed Stone, among other roles. Not that Jovovich is done with Resident Evil. Sony’s Screen Gems has scheduled the sixth film in the $900 million worldwide grossing series for a September 12, 2014 release. Having signed with the agency back in February, Jovovich is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and lawyer Steve Warren.
EXCLUSIVE: The cast of Michael Almereyda’s Shakespeare adaptation continues to grow. Ethan Hawke and Ed Harris will now be joined by Penn Badgley in Cymbeline. The former Gossip Girland Greetings From Tim Buckley actor will play the orphan Posthumus. For those familiar with the original play, the character secretly marries the daughter of King Cymbeline and is banished by the monarch who raised Posthumus as a son. Warfare follows, to put it mildly. Harris will play Cymbeline himself in this modernized biker gang and dirty cops version. Anthony Katagas is producing Cymbeline for Keep Your Head Productions alongside Michael Benaroya, who is producing and financing through his Benaroya Pictures banner. Benaroya’s Ben Sachs is the pic’s exec producer. Cymbeline joins Parts Per Billion on Badgley’s dance card. The actor joined the Brian Horiuchi-directed and -written drama with Frank Langella, Gena Rowlands, Rosario Dawson, Josh Hartnett and Hill Harper late last year. Badgley is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.
Oscar nominee Ed Harris will join Ethan Hawke in the Shakespeare adaptation Cymbeline, which updates the romantic tragedy/comedy to a modern day America where corrupt cops clash with a drug dealing biker gang. In the pic described as Sons of Anarchy meets Romeo + Juliet, Harris will play King Cymbeline. Michael Almereyda (Hamlet) is writing and directing the film, with Anthony Katagas producing for Keep Your Head Productions alongside Michael Benaroya, who is producing and financing via his Benaroya Pictures banner. Benaroya’s Ben Sachs is exec producing. Filming begins in two weeks in NYC. Harris’s upcoming films include The Weinstein Co.’s Snowpiercer and The Face Of Love opposite Annette Bening. He is repped by CAA.
Thirteen years after updating Hamlet to a modern day NYC setting, Ethan Hawke is reteaming with writer-director Michael Almereyda (Nadja, New Orleans, Mon Amour, William Eggleston in the Real World) on William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. Hawke will star in the contemporary-set romance set against the backdrop of a war between dirty cops and drug-dealing bikers, in what’s being described as Sons of Anarchy meets ROMEO + JULIET. Michael Benaroya will produce for Benaroya Pictures, which is fully financing the project. Anthony Katagas, who also worked with Hawke and Almereyda on Hamlet, will produce for Keep Your Head Productions. Benaroya’s Ben Sachs is executive producer on the film.
Hawke reunites with the Hamlet gang as he’s enjoying a hot streak following this year’s Before Midnight for Sony Pictures Classics and Universal’s The Purge. He’ll next star in WB’s Getaway with Selena Gomez before returning to the stage for more of the Bard in Lincoln Center’s Macbeth, debuting in November. He is repped by CAA and The Schiff Company. Filming on Cymbeline begins August 19 in NYC. Benaroya’s International Film Trust is handling international sales.
Warner Bros. and Dark Castle Entertainment close out the summer with Getaway, an action thriller starring Ethan Hawke as an ex-race car driver who commandeers a Shelby Cobra Mustang and its owner (Selena Gomez) in order to save his kidnapped wife. Courtney Solomon directed from a script by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker. WB releases the pic August 30. Check out the first trailer:
Ethan Hawke stars in the thriller that follows a family over the course of a single night in which any and all criminal activity – including murder – is legal. The newly unveiled clip below features James (Hawke) and his wife Mary (Lena Headey) as they struggle with a vicious intruder who breaks into their home. James DeMonaco directs. Produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse, Platinum Dunes’ Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, and Sébastien Kurt Lemercier, The Purge opens June 7. Check it out:
Refresh for latest… Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris and Vera Farmiga are attached to star in Neil LaBute’s crime thriller The Geography of Hope. London-based Salt Pictures is handling international sales on the movie that’s due to start shooting in early 2014 in Puerto Rico. French actress Emmanuelle Devos is also attached. LaBute wrote the script and will direct the 1970s era pic that takes place at a resort where two small time crooks meet two vacationing women and a catastrophic series of events is set in motion. Producers are Stefan Nowicki, Joey Carey, Trace Sheehan and Tim Harms. Read More »