Enough Said, the Nicole Holofcener-directed comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini in his second-to-last film role before his death in July, will now kick off its platform release Wednesday, September 18. Fox Searchlight originally had …
Days after yet another round of filings in the Black Swan interns’ class action, Fox Searchlight and Fox Entertainment Group got some traction and some status quo out of the overseeing federal judge. The traction this week came out of Judge William Paley III granting (read the order here) the Fox companies’ June 25th request to limit the time period in which potential class action participants can be considered qualified to join the suit. Instead of stretching from September 28, 2008 to September 1, 2010 as originally granted on June 11, the qualifying period will now be from a much tighter January 18 to September 1, 2010. The case was modified down to less than nine months in range due to the three year statute of limitations and the fact that plaintiff Eden Antalik, didn’t join the initial September 2011 action by Black Swan interns Alex Footman and Eric Glatt until an amended complaint was filed in late 2012. While Glatt and Footman worked on the 2010 Darren Aronofsky-directed film, Antalik was an unpaid intern in Fox Searchlight’s NYC corporate office. This order on August 26 could now see the number of people who can actually join the class action cut quite severely – which is a carving up the case that works for Fox.
Just under two months after they took their first swipe at getting the judgment against them and a class action in the Black Swan interns’ case reversed, Fox Searchlight and the Fox Entertainment Group have hit back again. In filings late last week, Fox asked a federal judge for formal permission for an “immediate appeal” to his potentially industry game changing June 11 ruling that unpaid interns on the 2010 Darren Aronofsky-directed film were really employees. “The Order meets all of the statutory requirements for certification, and the circumstances of this case are very much in keeping with other cases in which courts — including this Court — have granted certification for immediate, interlocutory appeal. The Court should therefore grant Defendants’ motion and allow the Second Circuit to provide much-needed guidance on the issues raised in the Order,” said the memo (read it here) filed on August 23 in U.S. District Court in New York. If certified by Judge William Paley III, the appeal would head to the Second Circuit. Primary plaintiffs Alex Footman and Eric Glatt first launched their civil action case back in September 2011 on behalf of themselves and more than 100 Fox Searchlight interns.
Missed them first time round? Check them out:
Squash Those Petitions! Why Ben Affleck As Batman Is Good Move For Warner Bros
By Mike Fleming Jr - OPINION: I was as surprised as anyone when Ben Affleck was named the new Batman by Warner Bros.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox Searchlight has acquired screen rights to Sorta Like A Rock Star, the 2010 novel by Matthew Quick, who wrote Silver Linings Playbook. The film will be produced by Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen and Gotham Group’s Lee Stollman and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein.
None of Quick’s novels are easy adaptations (it took David O Russell’s understanding of bipolar subject matter to turn Silver Linings into an Oscar-nominated film), but just about all of his work is getting bought up. In Sorta Like A Rock Star, the protagonist is Amber Appleton, a high school senior who secretly lives in the back of a school bus, a situation that arose when her mother’s boyfriend kicked them out. The bus (they call it Hello Yellow) is the same one that her mother uses to drive kids to school, and despite the adversity, Amber is a self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism. A fatal tragedy puts her optimism to the test. The deal comes with a script that Laura Sandler and Amanda Harlib wrote on spec, but it’s likely the studio will seek out a director to guide how the project takes shape.
Fox Searchlight has dated Enough Said for a platform release September 20, just after the film has its world premiere as a special presentation at the Toronto Film Festival. The comedy written and directed by Nicole Holofcener stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Catherine Keener as well as James Gandolfini as Louis-Dreyfus’ love interest. Gandolfini died June 19 of a heart attack while traveling in Italy. The pic centers on Eve (Louis-Dreyfus), a divorced soon-to-be empty-nester wondering about her next act. Then she meets Marianne (Keener), the embodiment of her perfect self. Armed with a restored outlook on being middle-aged and single, Eva decides to take a chance on her new love interest Albert (Gandolfini), a sweet, funny and like-minded man — who also happens to be Marianne’s dreaded ex–husband. Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson, Tavi Gevinson and Tracey Fairaway co-star, and Anthony Bregman produced.
Last month the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences took great strides in order to bring more diversity to its membership. Now will that effort affect the actual Oscar race itself? Certainly this year distributors, particularly The Weinstein Company and Fox Searchlight, are going to be giving the Academy every opportunity to put some diversity into that race, especially in terms of a major African- American presence. Beginning with this Friday’s platformed Weinstein release of the widely acclaimed Sundance and Cannes award winner, Fruitvale Station there is a highly promising lineup of films that seriously depict the Black experience to be released in the second half of 2013. And I am not talking about Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas.
This group of movies, which also includes the increasingly-controversial The Butler (8/16- Weinstein), 12 Years A Slave (10/18- Searchlight), Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom (11/29 – Weinstein), Black Nativity (11/27 – Searchlight), Blue Caprice starring Isaiah Washington (IFC – 9/13), the recently -released documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom (Radius-TWC) and (far less likely) even the long-delayed Winnie Mandela (Image Entertainment) starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard now being released in September, provide a bountiful opportunity to let the Academy show off its new spirit of diversity, not that they have been completely dormant in that area in recent years. Of course 2012′s Beasts Of The Southern Wild made the most recent Best Picture cut and won its 9 year old star Quvenzhane Wallis a Best Actress nomination. And Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar winning Original Screenplay for another 2012 Best Pic nominee, Django Unchained had a unique take on slavery. Two years ago the box office success of The Help propelled it towards a Best Picture nomination and acting nods for Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, the latter winning for Best Supporting Actress. And just four years ago Precious won a couple of key Oscars for Supporting Actress Monique and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher as well as Best Picture and Directing (for Lee Daniels) nominations.
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Fox Searchlight‘s The Way, Way Back made a splash as the 4th of July holiday weekend rolled on, opening in 19 theaters Friday and grossing an estimated $572K for hot $30K PSA. Not bad going up against the huge debut of Despicable Me 2 and the left-over blockbusters crowding the multiplexes. As one industry insider said to me Sunday, “Fox Searchlight just knows how to open movies.” Magnolia Pictures bowed doc Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me in a pair of showings. The film rallied a good number of fans of the ’70s-era band it spotlights to come out, grossing $21K. Millennium‘s Stuck In Love, however, debuted with less traction though in a fairly hefty 21 theaters. The feature grossed just over $38K for a $1,816 average. And in expansion RADiUS-TWC‘s doc 20 Feet From Stardom shot well past the 7-figure threshold. The crowd pleaser will likely be the highest-grossing doc of 2013 in the next week as it continues its momentum. CBS Films‘ The Kings Of Summer also hit the $1 million mark in its sixth frame.
LOS ANGELES, CA July 1, 2013 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired most worldwide rights including North America and the United Kingdom to BELLE, inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle. Directed by BAFTA Award winner Amma Asante and written by Misan Sagay, BELLE features Gugu Mbatha-Raw in her first starring role along with Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson, Academy Award nominee Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Penelope Wilton, Academy Award nominee Miranda Richardson, Tom Felton and Matthew Goode. The film was produced by Damian Jones. The film is scheduled to be released in Spring 2014.
“Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a revelation as Belle, she gives a brave and powerful performance joined by an outstanding ensemble cast and we look forward to introducing her to film audiences everywhere. We were entranced by this inspiring story of love and perseverance during a time of significant social and legal changes,” said Gilula and Utley.
EXCLUSIVE: The release date chess game of the Oscar-bait autumn films continues. After some exuberant test screenings, Fox Searchlight is moving the Steve McQueen-directed Twelve Years A Slave to a limited platform release that will begin October 18. The original plan for the film backed by New Regency and River Road was to start the limited platform release in late December. They felt it could thrive in the fall, instead of waiting for winter. With a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Brad Pitt, the film is based on the true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom in the pre-Civil War America. Ejoifor plays Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery. He faces cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner played by Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindness. In the 12th year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Pitt) forever alters his life.
Fox Searchlight said it was going to try to get the June 11 judgment against it and for a class action in the Black Swan Interns case reversed, and today it started that effort. Aiming to carve up the order, the company filed a motion of partial reconsideration (read it here) Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New York. A motion that said the court didn’t really know what it was talking about. “The Court’s Order adopted plaintiff’s proposed class and collective definitions, without apparent consideration of the undisputed facts that Fox Group and Fox Interactive Media (‘FIM’) are not and never have been subsidiaries or divisions of FEG or Searchlight,” said the memorandum of support accompanying the motion. Primary plaintiffs Alex Footman and Eric Glatt first launched their civil action case back in September 2011 on behalf of themselves and more than 100 Fox Searchlight interns.
With this procedural move, Fox Searchlight and Fox Entertainment Group took a strategic swipe at Judge William Paley III’s order earlier this month granting Footman and Glatt a summary judgment that they were treated as Fox employees in their internship under the definitions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. At the time, the judge also certified a class action that will look at the way the intern programs at Fox really work and whether they actually provide educational experience. The Fox entities today also want to limit the time period in which potential class action participants can be considered qualified to join the suit.
Interns Win Key Ruling Against Fox Searchlight In ‘Black Swan’ Lawsuit; Studio Says It Will Seek Reversal
Two former Black Swan interns today got a big legal boost in their favor against Fox Searchlight. In a dense order issued Tuesday, a federal judge in New York granted Alex Footman and Eric Glatt a summary judgment (read it here) saying they were in fact treated as Fox employees in their internship under the definitions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. Perhaps more importantly for Hollywood at large, Judge William Pauley III also certified a class action that will look at the way the intern programs at Fox really work and whether they actually provide educational experience. Fox obviously does not like either decision. “We believe they are erroneous, and will seek to have them reversed by the 2nd Circuit as quickly as possible,” it said in a statement Tuesday.
Fox may disagree with what he ordered, but the judge was clear in his definitions. In Pauley’s view what Footman and Glatt were actually doing while on director Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 film wasn’t particularly educational. “The benefits they may have received — such as knowledge of how a production or accounting office functions or references for future jobs — are the results of simply having worked as any other employee works, not of internships designed to be uniquely educational to the interns and of little utility to the employer. They received nothing approximating the education they would receive in an academic setting or vocational school,” Pauley wrote in the 36-page order.
BREAKING: Fox Searchlight, which was uncharacteristically quiet at Cannes, has just made a buy. Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley have closed a deal for North American and a few other territories on the Richard Shepard-directed Dom Hemingway. The darkly comic crime saga stars Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir and Emilia Clarke. Jeremy Thomas produced through Recorded Picture Company and the film will be released next year. “We were so attracted to this film, with its rich array of characters and sharp dialogue. Jude Law’s clever and outrageous performance as Dom is completely transformative, unlike anything you have seen him do before,” said Utley and Gilula.