After True Detective, toplined by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the casting bar for HBO‘s new drama series is pretty high. Enter the pay cable network’s pilot Westworld, which has locked in Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood for lead roles. The project, inspired by Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi movie set at an amusement park, hails from from J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot, Person Of Interest creator Jonathan Nolan, writer Lisa Joy Nolan, producer Jerry Weintraub and Warner Bros TV. It landed at HBO a year ago with one of the biggest commitments ever for the premium network, a pilot production commitment, and now has been officially greenlighted to pilot with Hopkins and Wood on board. Described as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin, the series will keep the setting of the movie, which starred Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin and introduced new digital visual techniques.
UPDATE, 7:05 PM: Well, that didn’t take long. Just hours after the producers of 10 Things I Hate About Life went after actress Evan Rachel Wood for more $30 million for allegedly leaving their movie, the actress’ reps responded. Calling today’s lawsuit “preposterous,” Team Wood claimed this is all because the producers ran out of cash, not because the actress wouldn’t be in the film. Read the statement here:
“The lawsuit is preposterous and simply a bullying tactic from financially troubled producers. The production shut down in February 2013 when the producers ran out of money. Even after that, Evan agreed to resume production in Nov. 2013 by which time the producers said they would have cleared up their issues. However, the producers still could not get their act together, nor did they pay Evan money that was owed. Repeated subsequent promises by the producers to resume production and pay Evan also turned out to be false. Enough is enough. The producers, not Evan, have breached contract.”
PREVIOUSLY, 6:39 PM: Nearly a year and a half after Evan Rachel Wood allegedly backed out of 10 Things I Hate About Life, the producers are going after the actress for more than $30 million. 10 Things Film LLC today filed a breach of written agreement and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing complaint in LA Superior Court against Wood and her loan-out company. “Plaintiff has suffered significant and extensive damages and financial harm, including, but not limited to, the loss of, at a minimum, $6,000,000.00 in equity investments, costs and related expenses in the Picture financing costs and expenses in the amount of, at a minimum, $500,000.00, lost profits in the amount of, at a minimum, $20,000,000.00 and additional general and special damages in the amount of $5,000,000.00,” said the producers in their 10-page complaint (read it here).
Evan Rachel Wood has taken to Twitter to vent her anger against the MPAA over a sex scene in her new film Charlie Countryman that had to be deleted in order for the pic to receive an R rating. The graphic scene between lead characters Wood and Shia LaBeouf was cut in the final version after the film’s debut at Sundance. “The scene where the two main characters make “love” was altered because someone felt that seeing… …a man give a woman oral sex made people “uncomfortable” but the scenes in which people are murdered by having their heads blown off… …remained intact and unaltered“, she wrote. The indie drama was given an R rating because of “some brutal violence, language throughout, sexuality/nudity, and drug use”, according to the MPAA.
Here’s the complete text of what Wood had to say:
Here’s a redband look at Fredric Bond’s genre-bending feature debut Charlie Countryman, starring Shia LaBeouf as an American who falls for a gangster’s girl in Bucharest. Mads Mikkelsen, Evan Rachel Wood, Til Schweiger, Rupert Grint, James Buckley, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Melissa Leo co-star in the November 15 release from Millennium:
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.
EXCLUSIVE: Evan Rachel Wood has landed the female lead in 10 Things I Hate About Life, the film that is being mounted by the producing and directing duo behind the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You. That’s writer-director Gil Junger and producer Andrew Lazar, who’s producing with Junger and Intandem Films CEO Gary Smith. The Los Angeles-set romantic comedy isn’t a sequel to the 1999 film that starred Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Rather, it’s about a young man and woman who meet while each is attempting to commit suicide, and they find in each other some great reasons to keep on living. Production begins shortly in LA. Last seen in The Ides Of March, Wood has several films coming up including The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman. She’s repped by CAA.
Evan Rachel Wood is in talks to star as the lead character, a female trucker named “RAINBEAUX”
18 WHEEL BUTTERFLY by Christian Divine is a colorful road movie. An adorable gear-grindin’ female trucker is accused of a crime that she did not commit and must outrace the law, brother truckers, feds and bounty hunters in the in the Texas bubble gum, redneck chic summer of 1977.
Compared to a throwback to SMOKEY & THE BANDIT, CONVOY, SUGERLAND EXPRESS, THELMA & LOUISE.
18 WHEEL BUTTERFLY will be produced by Aaron Magnani under his Water Bear/Aaron Magnani Productions Banner along with A Polish Brothers Construction.
Magnani and producers are currently seeking financing.
Michael Polish directed and recently released, FOR LOVERS ONLY, and the upcoming BIG SUR based on 1962 novel by Jack Kerouac.
Wood will be seen in the upcoming, “A Case of You” with Vince Vaughn and “The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman” with Shia LaBeouf.
Magnani is also producing the Karyn Kusama-directed indie, THE RUT staring Chloe Grace Moretz, Ray Liotta and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Divine’s credits include the video game DEUS EX and various magazines such as
Salon and Creative Screenwriting.
Polish is repped by Oren Segal at MPE and CAA. Evan Rachel Wood and the Magnani controlled project is also repped by CAA.
Deadline told you Monday that Warren Beatty was getting behind the camera for the first time since Bulworth. Paramount and Beatty are keeping details under wraps, but here’s what I’ve heard: He will play Howard Hughes, but it’s not really a biopic; part of the plot involves an affair he had with a young woman in the later years of his life. I’ve heard that he’s going top shelf for the ensemble cast he is putting together. Here is who he’s meeting with: Andrew Garfield, Alec Baldwin, Annette Bening, Shia La Beouf, Jack Nicholson, Evan Rachel Wood and Rooney Mara. Beatty has wanted to play Hughes forever. The courtship of Baldwin is particularly intriguing, since in Martin Scorsese’s superb Howard Hughes movie The Aviator, Baldwin played Hughes’ main adversary, Pan Am World Airways founder Juan Trippe. We’ll see which actors end up making the movie, but it certainly sounds like this project that Beatty wrote and has ruminated on for years is going to happen in a most ambitious way.
EXCLUSIVE: The George Clooney-directed The Ides of March will open the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 31, I’m told. The film, adapted from Beau Willimon’s play Farragut North, stars Clooney as a presidential candidate, Ryan Gosling as a head of media and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a campaign manager. Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood also star. The drama takes place during the Ohio primary for the Democratic nomination. It’s extremely topical, given the recent resignation of Congressman Anthony Weiner for sending photos of his package to online “sexting” partners. The Ides of March involves similar scandalous activities. Clooney, who retreats to a vacation home in Lake Como in Italy, has had several of his films play at the festival. They include Intolerable Cruelty, The Man Who Stared at Goats, and the Steven Soderbergh-directed Out of Sight. Sony Pictures will distribute the film in fall.
BREAKING: Exclusive Media Group chairman Guy East and Nigel Sinclair are teaming with Cross Creek Pictures president Brian Oliver to finance The Ides of March, the drama that is based on the Beau Willimon Broadway play Farragut North. George Clooney, long set as director, will also star alongside Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. Clooney and his Smoke House Pictures partner Grant Heslov wrote the script with Willimon. The Smoke House partners are producing with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way. East, Sinclair and Oliver are co-producing. Exclusive Films International will sell offshore territories at AFM. CAA, which packaged the film and raised the financing, will broker the domestic deal. I’ve heard that Sony Pictures Entertainment is a potential landing place. The film begins production February in Michigan and Ohio.
Deadline revealed September 30 that Gosling would take the role that DiCaprio originally intended to play, a press spokesman for a candidate running in the presidential primary for the Democratic Party ticket. Clooney will play the candidate, a state governor with White House aspirations. Willimon based the play on his own experiences on the campaign trail with Howard Dean in 2004. In the play, the press agent falls prey to backroom politics, the manipulations of veteran political operatives and the seduction of a young intern. Giamatti plays a rival campaign manager, Tomei plays a reporter for the New York Times, and Wood plays an intern for the campaign.