Heard It Here First: Tom Hardy To Play Elton John In ‘Rocketman’

By | Wednesday October 23, 2013 @ 12:34pm PDT
Mike Fleming

As Deadline reported in June when FilmDistrict paid $10 million to acquire U.S. rights to the Elton John film Rocketman, Tom Hardy has been set to play Captain Fantastic himself in the Michael Gracey-directed biographical musical film. The script is by Billy Elliot‘s Lee Hall. Gracey’s directing Fox’s upcoming The Greatest Showman On Earth starring Hugh Jackman, and Disney’s The Muppet Man. FilmDistrict bought it when the film was the talk of Cannes, where it was shopped by UTA, the agency that structured the financing. It was there that UK-based Icon’s production arm AI Film agreed to come aboard to co-finance the film with Rocket Pictures.

Related: FilmDistrict Seals $10 Million Deal On ‘Rocketman’

The deal went down before FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel took over Focus Features, the latter of which will release the film. Schlessel’s distribution company paid around a $10 million minimum guarantee for a guaranteed wide theatrical release and size-able P&A. There is also a generous gross corridor after the film recoups. The film follows John’s journey from 5-year old musical prodigy who by age 11 won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, to a young man who rebelled against his strict upbringing, wore outrageous costumes and became a global icon who teamed with songwriter Bernie Taupin to sell more records than just about any musical artist of his era. Read More »

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FilmDistrict’s ‘Are We Officially Dating?’ Now Titled ‘That Awkward Moment’

By | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 10:50am PDT

FilmDistrict has changed the name of its Zac Efron-starrer. Formerly called Are We Officially Dating?, the pic which also stars Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, is now titled That Awkward Moment. It’s … Read More »

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FilmDistrict Shifts ‘Oldboy’ Release To Thanksgiving Weekend

By | Monday July 29, 2013 @ 4:29pm PDT

FilmDistrict is moving Oldboy‘s release to a crowded Thanksgiving Eve, November 27, about a month later than its initial October 25 date. The Spike Lee-directed film now will go up against two Weinstein Company pics: Grace Of MonacoRead More »

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‘Walk Of Shame’ Shifts Back Release Date

By | Monday June 17, 2013 @ 9:45am PDT

FilmDistrict said it will now release Walk Of Shame wide on Friday, March 14, 2014. It originally was scheduled for September 20. The Elizabeth Banks-starrer written and directed by Steve Brill is a romantic comedy about an aspiring reporter (Banks) … Read More »

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FilmDistrict Seals Whopping $10 Million Deal On ‘Rocketman’; Tom Hardy Circling Elton John Role

By | Wednesday June 12, 2013 @ 6:31pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: FilmDistrict is nearing a deal to acquire U.S. rights to Rocketman, the Michael Gracey-directed biographical musical film about Sir Elton John. The script is by Billy Elliot‘s Lee Hall, and Tom Hardy is circling to play the lead role. This film was the talk of Cannes, where it was shopped by UTA, which structured the financing. It was there that UK-based Icon’s production arm AI Film agreed to come aboard to co-finance the film with Rocket Pictures during the Cannes Film Festival. I’m told that FilmDistrict is betting big here, with Peter Schlessel’s distribution company paying around a $10 million minimum guarantee for a guaranteed wide theatrical release and size-able P&A. There is also a generous gross corridor after the film recoups.

The film follows John’s journey from 5-year old musical prodigy who by age 11 won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, to a young man who rebelled against his strict upbringing, wore outrageous costumes and became a global icon who teamed with songwriter Bernie Taupin to sell more records than just about any musical artist of his era. John’s musical catalog is part of the mix, so this is going to be a major film. Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish are producing the project along with Lawrence Bender for AI Film. Sir Elton John and Access Industries’ Len Blavatnik are executive producing the film, along with Icon/AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi and FilmDistrict CEO Schlessel. Read More »

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FilmDistrict Dates ‘Selfless’ For Sept. 26, 2014

By | Wednesday June 12, 2013 @ 1:47pm PDT

Tarsem-directed Selfless will bow wide on September 26, 2014 opposite Focus Features’ animated The Boxtrolls. Ryan Reynolds stars in the sci-fi thriller that centers on a terminally ill billionaire who buys a chance for eternal life … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Insidious: Chapter 2′

By | Wednesday June 5, 2013 @ 10:23am PDT

FilmDistrict scored a $97M hit on a reported $1.5M budget with 2011′s indie ghost pic Insidious, helmed by Saw creator James Wan. Before Wan steps up to the Fast & Furious franchise he’ll return along with microbudget horror producers Jason Blum and … Read More »

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FilmDistrict Shifts ‘Oldboy’ Release Date

By | Thursday May 23, 2013 @ 10:33am PDT

The Spike Lee-directed remake of Park Chan-wook’s cult Korean classic will now see its wide release on October 25, 2013, after FilmDistrict originally slated it for October 11. Oldboy will now bow opposite Paramount’s Paranormal Activity Read More »

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FilmDistrict Launches Boutique Distribution Label

By | Monday April 15, 2013 @ 11:53am PDT

Los Angeles April 15, 2013 – FilmDistrict announced today the launch of High Top Releasing, a new boutique label which will provide theatrical booking services to independent producers. This new label, which will exist as a standalone

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FilmDistrict Boards Paranormal Horror Pic ‘The Last Word’

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 11:42am PDT

FilmDistrict has come on to co-finance and release the true story horror pic, set to hit theaters in 2014. Based on actual events, The Last Word unfolds after a young Texas man is wrongfully convicted … Read More »

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FilmDistrict Acquires U.S. Rights To Paul W.S. Anderson’s ‘Pompeii’

By | Tuesday April 9, 2013 @ 4:31pm PDT

FilmDistrict has acquired U.S. rights to Pompeii, the Paul W.S. Anderson-directed action adventure film, set for a February 28, 2014 release. Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland, Carrie-Ann Moss, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and … Read More »

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Release Date Roundup: FilmDistrict’s ‘Walk Of Shame’; Summit’s ‘Escape Plan’

By | Tuesday April 9, 2013 @ 3:07pm PDT

The Elizabeth Banks-starrer Walk Of Shame will bow wide September 20, 2013. That’s the date FilmDistrict originally planned to release its horror sequel Insidious Chapter 2, but the distributor has now shifted that title up a week to a September 13, where it will face Open Road’s Machete Kills and Screen Gems’ drama Battle Of The Year. Steve Brill wrote and directed Walk Of Shame, a romantic comedy about an aspiring reporter (Banks) whose dreams of becoming a network news anchor are compromised after a one-night stand with a handsome stranger (James Marsden) leaves her stranded in downtown LA without a phone, car, ID or money – and eight hours to make it to a big job interview. Read More »

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FilmDistrict Ups Three In Business Affairs, Finance & Marketing

By | Monday March 4, 2013 @ 10:38am PST

LOS ANGELES March 4, 2013 – Independent U.S. distributor FilmDistrict announced today the promotion of three executives within the company’s business affairs, finance, and marketing divisions. Beth Lemberger will move in to the role of Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel, continuing to report to FilmDistrict CEO Peter Schlessel; Brad Goldberg now holds the new title Executive Vice President of Media and Digital, and will continue to report to Christine Birch, FilmDistrict’s President of Marketing; and Anjay Nagpal has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Finance and Business Development, continuing to report to Chief Operating Officer Adrian Alperovich.

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‘Insidious Chapter 2′ Release Pushed To September 20

By | Friday March 1, 2013 @ 3:02pm PST

FilmDistrict said today the sequel to the low-budget 2011 horror pic will now be released September 20, 2013. It originally was scheduled for August 30, when it would have gone up against four films including The Weinstein Company’s own … Read More »

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Sony Moves ‘Evil Dead’ Into April 5 Slot After Fox Bumps ‘The Heat’ To Summer

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 12:55pm PST

Evil Dead RemakeSony has shifted the release of its reboot with FilmDistrict of Evil Dead to April 5 now that Fox has moved its Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy comedy Read More »

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Sundance: Sales Action Heating Up On ‘Austenland,’ ‘Look Of Love’ And Others

Mike Fleming

The Sundance acquisition logjam appears to be breaking. Deal-making is close on Austenland, and a deal just closed on The Look Of Love, with offers starting to be made on several other films. Word is that FilmDistrict is in talks for Austenland, which stars Keri Russell as an obsessed Jane Austen fan who visits a theme park based on the famed author’s work and her search for romance. Pic’s repped by UTA, which tells me this hasn’t been decided yet.

At the same time, a deal is closing for IFC to acquire North American rights to the Michael Winterbottom-directed Steve Coogan-starrer The Look Of Love. Coogan plays Paul Raymond, who ran Soho’s notorious Raymond Revue Bar and Men Only magazine. UTA consulted for Studiocanal on the deal. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Dead Man Down’

By | Wednesday January 2, 2013 @ 1:09pm PST

The first trailer for the Colin Farrell-starring Dead Man Down dropped today. Niels Arden Oplev directed the crime thriller, about a professional killer and right-hand man to an underground New York crime lord who’s seduced and blackmailed by a crime victim seeking retribution. The latter juicy role is … Read More »

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FilmDistrict Moves ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ To March 22, 2013

By | Friday December 14, 2012 @ 12:34pm PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Perhaps trying to create more space between competing movies, FilmDistrict has moved Olympus Has Fallen to March 22. That film, directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman, has a storyline very similar to … Read More »

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‘Insidious’ Sequel Set For Aug 30, 2013

The cast, writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan are returning for Insidious Chapter 2, which FilmDistrict will release August 30, 2013. The first horror pic, released in April 2011, was one of the most profitable films of … Read More »

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