After the stampede at Toronto to land domestic rights to John Carney‘s Can A Song Save Your Life?, here’s a Berlin title worth paying attention to. FilmNation Entertainment has been selected to sell international rights to Carney’s next film, which will begin production this summer in Dublin. Called Sing Street, the pic is autobiographical in tone, and Carney’s fellow Irishman pals U2′s Bono and The Edge will take part in the film’s music and in the film itself. The latter might mean some screen time, and it is a safe bet to say that after Can A Song Save Your Life?, that Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine will have a movie career if he wants one. Pic is a co-production with Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman and Carney’s Distressed Films, in partnership with PalmStar’s Kevin Frakes and Merced Media Partners’ Raj Brinder Singh in the U.S. along with Paul Trijbits and Christian Grass (FilmWave) in the UK. WME are handling the US rights for the film.
“John Carney has carved out a genre of his own — beautiful, soulful movies packed with longing, love, and music. Sing Street is his Cinema Paradiso — the musical film answer to where it all came from,” said Bregman.
Like his earlier films Once and Can A Song Save Your Life?, Sing Street is inspired by John’s life and love for music, and tells the story of … Read More »
Daniel Radcliffe is starring as an American journalist who covers the Japanese underworld in Tokyo Vice. FilmNation Entertainment will finance and sell international rights at AFM to the thriller, which is based on the memoir of reporter Jake Adelstein. His beat includes covering stories of the yakuza, extortion, murder, human trafficking, and fiscal corruption. Commercials and video director Anthony Mandler will helming the pic from a script being written by J.T. Rogers. John Lesher and Adam Kassan will produce the film, with Binn Jakupi aboard as executive producer. UTA is repping U.S. rights to Tokyo Vice, which is set to shoot in mid-2014. Radcliffe is represented by Sue Latimer at ARG in the UK and by UTA in the U.S. and attorney Fred Toczek. Mandler is represented by UTA and Management 360. Rogers is represented by WME. Adelstein is represented by UTA and William Clark Associates.
Kate Fasulo is joining Miriam Segal’s UK indie Good Films after 10 years at Working Title. There, the exec recently completed work on Richard Curtis’ About Time and Hossein Amini’s upcoming The Two Faces Of January. She will oversee Good Films’ six-feature slate which includes the adaptation of LAbyrinth, Randall Sullivan’s 2002 book that chronicles detective Russell Poole’s late-1990s investigation into ties between hip-hop, street gangs and the LAPD. The company and its packaging and development label, George Films, are working on pictures with budgets that range from $10M-$52M. The rest of the slate includes crime thriller Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Swedish author Liza Marklund and Peter Godwin’s When A Crocodile Eats The Sun. The company has a long-term international sales pact with Glen Basner’s FilmNation. Fasulo starts work at Good Films later this month.
EXCLUSIVE: FilmNation Entertainment has acquired from Jane Rosenthal the rights to the bestselling Ann Leary novel The Good House. They’re reuniting one of the great screen couples, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, and Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours (Streep starred in the movie) is set to adapt the book.
The novel is darkly comic, and told through the eyes of Hildy Good (Streep), a New England realtor and not-so-recovering alcoholic whose perfectly compartmentalized life starts to come apart at the seams when she forms a new friendship with Rebecca McCallister. As Rebecca becomes the subject of town gossip, Hildy rekindles an old flame with Frank Getchell (De Niro), a tell it like it is Yankee, who tries to un-complicate her complicated life. Streep and De Niro starred together previously in 1978′s The Deer Hunter, 1984′s Falling In Love and 1996′s Marvin’s Room.
De Niro’s Tribeca Productions partner Rosenthal will produce with FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder. Tribeca veep Berry Welsh will be exec producer and FilmNation partner Steve Samuels helped bring the project together through a relationship with the author.
Said Rosenthal: “Ann Leary has an intoxicating voice and created a truly original character in Hildy Good. When I read the book, I was only sorry it ended – but so thrilled that we’ll be able to bring it to the screen with Meryl Streep as the irresistible … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has closed a deal for U.S. distribution rights to A Most Wanted Man, the Anton Corbijn-directed adaptation of the contemporary thriller novel by John le Carre. Corbijn has wrapped the film, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and Willem Dafoe. Andrew Bovell adapted the novel. Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood produced through Potboiler Productions alongside Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell through The Ink Factory. They have not set a release date yet.
The focus is a Chechen-Russian immigrant who is on the run and arrives in Hamburg, trying to claim his late father’s suspiciously acquired fortune. Both U.S. and German security agencies go on high alert to figure out if he is an oppressed victim or an extremist bent on destruction. FilmNation Entertainment CEO Glen Basner and exec Alison Cohen made the deal. Demarest Films financed the equity on the project for U.S. rights, with William D. Johnson and Sam Englebardt exec producers along with Film 4′s Tessa Ross. FilmNation is handling worldwide sales of the film, and negotiated with Lionsgate execs Jason Constantine, Eda Kowan and Wendy Jaffe. John Sloss, Jerry Dasti and Demarest’s Englebardt worked with FilmNation on the deal.
FilmNation Entertainment will finance and handle sales for The Rules Of Inheritance, which will star Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence. Directing is Susanne Bier, who just helmed Serena with Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Abi Morgan, who scripted The Iron Lady and Shame, wrote the script, based on Claire Bidwell Smith’s memoir about a young woman who loses her family but finds herself in the process. Silver Linings Playbook‘s Bruce Cohen and Lawrence will produce. FilmNation Entertainment will executive produce. FilmNation’s Glen Basner and Aaron Ryder said, “We are thrilled to be working with the dream team of Jennifer Lawrence, Susanne Bier, Abi Morgan and Bruce Cohen. We have no doubt that this inspirational and hopeful book will be turned into an emotionally powerful movie that audiences around the world will fall in love with.” Producer Bruce Cohen commented, “Jennifer, Susanne, Abi and I are incredibly excited to be working on this extraordinary project together. We all believe this film can strike a deeply resonant chord with audiences, just as Claire’s riveting memoir has.”
Claire Bidwell Smith is an only child who, over a 7-year period as a young adult loses both her parents to cancer. While struggling to cope, she propels herself into many romances, adventures and travels in an inspirational, emotionally charged and surprisingly humorous journey that celebrates life, the people we love and lose and the discoveries we make along the way. Smith is represented … Read More »
Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment is headed to Cannes next week with three films in official selection: Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring and J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost. It’s also hitting the Croisette with an infusion of $50M. Here’s the release:
NEW YORK – Tuesday, May 7, 2013 – Following an exponential level of growth since its inception less than five years ago, punctuated by last year’s more than $420 million in international box office, New York-based FilmNation Entertainment announced today they have successfully negotiated $50 million in additional capital with an equity-backed, revolving multi-bank credit facility with Bank Of America Merrill Lynch and Union Bank. The unique structure of the arrangement was made possible in part due to FilmNation’s outstanding track record and their strong relationships with the financial community. It was also facilitated by the longstanding relationship between FilmNation and Bank of America’s Brian Stearns, Daniel Timmons and Sharad Bhatt as well as Union Bank’s Bryan LaCour, Anthony Beaudoin and Jason Feuerstein, each of whom have overseen many single picture deals between the company and Union Bank.
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BREAKING: FilmNation Entertainment has partnered with Lava Bear Films to finance, produce and handle worldwide sales for the sci-fi thriller Story Of Your Life. Scripted by Eric Heisserer, the film will be helmed by commercials director Nic Mathieu. The film will be produced by 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy and Dan Levine with FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder and Karen Lunder. Lava Bear’s David Linde, Tory Metzger, FilmNation’s Glen Basner and Heisserer will be executive producers. Based on a short story by sci-fi writer Ted Chiang, Story Of Your Life is a mind-bending science fiction thriller with a powerful, emotional twist. After aliens land around the globe, a linguist is recruited by the U.S. government in a race to decipher their intentions on Earth. Production will begin next year. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: FilmNation Entertainment is fully financing an untitled thriller hatched by Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli, which is just getting underway in Eastern Europe. Peli wrote the story and Brad Parker is directing. Peli wrote the script with Shane and Carey Van Dyke. Peli is producing with Brian Witten. The film centers on a group of friends stranded in an eerie and desolate city that was abandoned in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster. Nature has begun to reclaim everything and as the sun sets on the radioactive ghost town, the group hears inhuman-sounding cries that indicate they are not alone. The ensemble cast includes Jonathan Sadowski, Devin Kelley, Jesse McCartney, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Nathan Phillips, Ingrid Bolso Berdal and Dimitri Diatchenko. CAA will broker the domestic deal. FilmNation is handling international sales.
“We looked at a lot of projects to find FilmNation’s first fully financed movie, and when we were presented with the brilliant concept of this film, coupled with Oren’s pedigree, it the made the decision very easy,” said FilmNation CEO Glen Basner. FilmNation wrapped the Jennifer Lawrence-starrer House At The End Of The Street, and The Raven, which stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe. FilmNation is in production with the Jeff Nichols-directed Mud, starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey.
FilmNation has acqured Guy Hibbert’s screenplay Eye in the Sky for Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel to helm, a move that reteams the writer and director who collaborated on the 2009 Liam Neeson-starrer Five Minutes of Heaven, which won directing and screenwriting awards at Sundance. FilmNation EVP Production Karen Lunder brought in Eye in the Sky to the company and will produce alongside FilmNation production president Aaron Ryder. Stephen Wright, who works with the BBC where the project was initially developed, will also produce; FilmNation acquired the rights from BBC Films, in cooperation with BBC TV. The company plans to fast-track the movie — an international thriller that follows a group of characters impacted by the decision to drop a drone missile on a house in East Africa — and want to begin prep on it this year.
Buyers at the Toronto Film Festival got their first look today at Zhang Yimou’s The Flowers of War, which previously was known as Heroes of Nanking. The true-life drama stars Christian Bale and is set against the backdrop of the 1937 Nanking Massacre, when Japan’s army overran China’s capital city. An American (Bale) trapped amidst the chaos of battle and the ensuing occupation takes shelter in a church, joined by a group of schoolgirls and 13 courtesans, and helps lead the group to fight back. Zhang Weiping is producing and David Linde and Chaoying Deng are exec producing. About 20 minutes was shown to circling buyers and the press this morning, but it will be an interesting project to take on: The film is about 60% Mandarin-language and 40% in English. The film will have its world premiere in Beijing on Dec. 16. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales outside the U.S., China, and a few major Asian countries; North American rights will be licensed directly by New Pictures Films and producers Deng and Linde and Stephen Saltzman of Loeb & Loeb.
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, FilmNation Entertainment has acquired In the Event of a Moon Disaster, a Mike Jones spec script that re-imagines the first moon mission. In this version, disaster strikes and the astronauts find themselves up against insurmountable odds. Jones, a former colleague of mine at Variety, turned his attention to screenwriting and has been working steadily. Most recently, he has been collaborating with Henry Selick on an untitled Pixar project, and Jones also scripted a reboot of Popeye for Sony Pictures. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder will produce the space mission film, and Glen Basner will handle international sales. It will be the largest-budget film so far for FilmNation, which has aggressively put together its slate of projects.
FilmNation is in talks with Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon to star in Mud, the next film by Jeff Nichols, with whom FilmNation worked on Take Shelter. It also is fully financing Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli’s next untitled project, and recently completed the Jennifer Lawrence-starrer House at the End of the Street and The Raven, which stars John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe; Relativity Media releases that James McTeigue-directed film early next year. FilmNation will be bringing to Toronto Take Shelter; Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In; the Hugh Laurie-starrer The Oranges; and Midnight’s Children, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel. Jones is repped by CAA and The Gotham Group.
BREAKING: Take Shelter helmer Jeff Nichols has set Mud as his next film, and is in talks with Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tree of Life‘s Tye Sheridan to star. Everest Entertainment is fully financing and Lisa Maria Falcone is producing alongside Sarah Green and FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder. Green was a producer of Nichols’ festival favorite Take Shelter, which was acquired sight unseen by Sony Pictures Classics at Sundance. FilmNation’s Glen Basner is exec producing and handling international sales. CAA and FilmNation will broker a domestic deal. FilmNation made the deal for Take Shelter, which won Critics Week at Cannes.
Mud is a redemptive tale of a charismatic fugitive and his unlikely friendship with a 14-year-old kid who is determined to help Mud escape from the law and some tough bounty hunters so he can reunite with his soul mate Juniper (Witherspoon). Nichols wrote the script.
“Jeff Nichols has written a beautiful story with rich characters learning valuable lessons through life-changing circumstances. With Jeff’s vision, this will be a work of art,” says Everest Entertainment founder Falcone. “It’s an incredible script which Jeff, along with Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan, will bring to life. We’ve been privileged to work with incredible filmmakers like Danny Boyle, Tom McCarthy and Rodrigo Garcia and are thankful to add Jeff Nichols to that list.”
EXCLUSIVE: V For Vendetta helmer James McTeigue has been set to direct Message From the King for FilmNation Entertainment. Scripted by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell (Unknown), the thriller centers on Jacob King, an enigmatic outsider who comes to LA to investigate the sudden disappearance of his sister. FilmNation Entertainment production head Aaron Ryder will produce with Rhodri Thomas of The Ink Factory and Ash Shah and production will begin in late fall with FilmNation handling international sales.
McTeigue just completed the John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe thriller The Raven for FilmNation and Intrepid Pictures. Relativity Media releasing the film March 9 and McTeigue and Ryder will do a little tub-thumping for the film at Comic-Con. “After working with James on The Raven and then seeing a cut of the film, it was very clear to us that we needed to make his next movie,” Ryder said.
Cornwell and Butcher are adapting the Warren Ellis graphic novel series Gravel for Legendary Pictures and Cornwell is a cofounder of The Ink Factory. That company is prepping an adaptation of John Le Carre’s A Most Wanted Man, which Anton Corbijn will direct. CAA reps McTeigue.
Message From The King, a thriller that once had Will Smith and Michael Mann circling before it languished when Warner Independent Pictures folded, is generating some new heat. Glen Basner’s FilmNation Entertainment has come aboard to produce the action thriller and package it for spring 2011 production start. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder will produce alongside Ash Shah. The script by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell focuses on Jacob King, a mysterious outsider who comes to L.A. to bring those responsible for his younger sister’s disappearance to justice. Cornwell and Butcher wrote Unknown White Male, the upcoming Warner Bros thriller that stars Liam Neeson and January Jones.
Cornwell and Butcher’s new production company, White Hare, is also getting a producing credit and the shingle bears watching. Cornwell’s the son of The Constant Gardener author John Le Carre, and part of the company’s mandate is to package his father’s works into movies. That includes an adaptation of A Most Wanted Man, as well as the upcoming Our Kind of Traitor, the latter of which is being adapted by Hossein Amini.