Idris Elba boarded UK indie featureOne Square Mile as a producer in June 2013, but at the time it was unclear if he would star as well. A little more than a year later, the movie has undergone a title change to A Hundred Streets, found a new director, firmed its cast, and is beginning production. Elba is starring alongside Gemma Arterton in the drama about four people with extraordinary stories that are all lived out within a square mile in contemporary London. Michael Caton-Jones was due to helm the film, but has left for another project. Stepping in is Irish TV director Jim O’Hanlon who will make his feature debut on the pic. O’Hanlon’s credits include BBC mini Emma, HBO/BBC biopic House Of Saddam, Cinemax’s A Touch Of Cloth and BBC drama/horror series In The Flesh. Leon Butler, who directed the short One Square Mile: London, penned the script for A Hundred Streets.
Elba and Arterton play an estranged married couple, he an ex-rugby superstar and she a housewife, as both struggle with life. Omar‘s Adam Bakri has also joined the cast as a rich playboy who gets more than he bargained for when a beautiful ex-girlfriend re-enters his life; and Edge Of Tomorrow‘s Franz Drameh is a small time drug dealer who strikes up an unlikely friendship with an aging actor. Read More »
Gemma Arterton Coming To West End With ‘Made In Dagenham’ Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is set to star in a West End musical version of 2010 film Made In Dagenham. She’ll play Rita O’Grady, a role originated by Sally Hawkins in the Nigel Cole-directed movie. The show is a musical comedy about women who battled for equal rights at a Ford factory in Essex, England, in 1968. The BBC reports that Richard Bean, who wrote One Man, Two Guvnors, is penning the script for the show, which opens November 5 at the Adelphi Theater. Rupert Goold (Enron, American Psycho) is directing. Arterton recently starred onstage in The Duchess Of Malfi. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Renner, who received an Oscar nomination for the Ben Affleck-directed heist film The Town, is back in bank robbery mode. Renner is attached to star in King of Heists, an adaptation of the J. North Conway nonfiction book from Lion Press about one of the greatest bank robberies in American history. He’ll play George Leslie, who came to New York appearing to be a mannered gent, but secretly put together a crew and masterminded a heist of nearly $3 million in cash and securities from the Manhattan Savings Institution in 1878. Renner and his The Combine partner Don Handfield will produce with Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman. Black Bear Pictures optioned the book and plans to finance development and production.
Will Staples will write the script. Staples most recently sold the science fiction pitch Myth to Fox with Sam Worthington attached and Lorenzo di Bonaventura and James Cameron producing. Staples, who until recently wrote with partner Sean O’Keefe, is teamed with him on an adaptation of the Lorenzo Carcaterra novel Apaches for Jerry Bruckheimer, the pitch World’s Most Wanted at Universal and Kings of the Trail at Walden Media with Gavin Hood attached to direct. Black Bear Pictures is in production on the untitled Ramin Bahrani-directed pic that stars Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid, and begins filming A.C.O.D. with Adam Scott next spring. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: British thesp Harry Lloyd has landed the lead role in Closer to the Moon, joining Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong in the period drama. The film’s set in 1959 Bucharest, where a Jewish group of former anti-Nazi revolutionaries refocus their skills against the communists and are arrested for robbing a bank under the guise of staging a film shoot. A year later, the culprits are sentenced to death but first are forced to reenact the caper in a propaganda film. Lloyd plays a cameraman recruited to shoot that film. He falls in love with the character played by Farmiga, who has a child with one of the men (Strong) sentenced to die. Nae Caranfil is directing the film, which shoots early fall in Bucharest. Michael Fitzgerald is producing.
Lloyd’s Game of Thrones character, the wannabe king Viserys Targaryen, suffered one of the most shocking deaths on that series and so he won’t be back for Season 2. He just starred with Gemma Arterton and Rupert Friend in The Little Dog Laughed at London’s Garrick Theatre, and starred in the Cary Fukunaga-directed Jane Eyre. Lloyd just wrapped the Meryl Streep-as-Margaret Thatcher drama The Iron Lady and will also be seen in BBC’s Great Expectations, opposite Vanessa Kirby and Douglas Booth. Lloyd’s repped by ICM and UK-based Curtis Brown.
EXCLUSIVE: After splitting up with Contrafilm partner Tripp Vinson in June following a decade-long partnership, Beau Flynn has formed a new company, Flynn Picture Co. He hasn’t strayed far from home. Flynn has made a two-year, non-exclusive, first-look producing deal with Toby Emmerich and New Line Cinema, which was home to Contrafilm for over seven years. Flynn is in the process of staffing up and has taken new office space in Hollywood. Among the pictures he’s producing: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island with Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson and Michael Caine for New Line and Warner Bros; Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton for Paramount; and the Anna Faris-Chris Evans-starrer What’s Your Number, the Fox/New Regency comedy that will be released Sept. 30. He’s also got the long-gestating Chris Hemsworth-starrer Red Dawn, which was made by MGM but which is closing on a new distribution deal.
UPDATE: Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson have formally announced their split and issued this statement: “We have nothing but love and respect for each other, and our decision to pursue our own separate paths after 10 amazing years together is not an easy one,” Flynn and Vinson said. “But we have reached the stage where it is time to embrace new challenges and make films on our own. This isn’t goodbye since we will be working together on many projects that will be reaching the marketplace soon. And while we can look back at a lot of success we’ve had together, we are also excited to be looking ahead to the next chapter.”
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: Contrafilm partners Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson are splitting after a decade together. The move comes as their first-look deal at New Line is expiring. Contrafilm will be frozen as a holding company for the projects they developed together that they will continue to move forward. They tell me the split is amicable, but after two years of whirlwind projects, they took stock and decided it was a good time go solo. Each will form his own new company over the summer and both will concentrate on making mainstream commercial fare.
The move comes after Contrafilm wrapped four films: the MGM remake of Red Dawn with Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck and Josh Hutcherson; the Anna Faris and Chris Evans comedy What’s Your Number? at New … Read More »
While James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been busy pulling it together to host Sunday’s Oscarcast, Franco’s CAA reps and Disney have closed his deal to play the title role in Oz: The Great and Powerful. That puts the film on track to begin production in July, with Franco reuniting with his Spider-Man director Sam Raimi in the prequel to the L. Frank Baum novel that was scripted by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire. Joe Roth is producing.
There had been much discussion around town lately about Disney’s gyrations in trying to pare the budget of the film down to a mere $200 million, but they must have figured it out if they locked in Franco. For Franco, the multi-tasking marvel’s dance card for 2011 now looks like this: he’ll first star in the Noah Baumbach-directed While We’re Young, and then will shoot Oz. That brings him to the late fall/winter, when he’ll star in Sweet Bird of Youth, the David Cromer-directed revival of the Tennessee Williams play that will be produced by Scott Rudin. Kidman will play Alexandra Del Lago, the aging voracious movie star, while Franco will play her gigolo paramour Chance Wayne. While Franco has starred in eclectic indies and is even a recurring soap opera star, he has event film experience from the Spider-Man films with Raimi, and stars this fall in Fox’s Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes. Still, this is a … Read More »
Peter Stormare has joined Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, and Famke Janssen to star in Paramount/MGM’s Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters. He plays the villainous town sheriff ‘Berringer’. Stormare recently wrapped the Luc Besson produced feature film Lock Out for Sony. Stormare also stars with Keanu Reeves and Vera Farmiga in Henry’s Crime, and opposite Mel Gibson in How I Spent My Summer Vacation, and in Ed Gass-Donnelly’s Small Town Murder Songs. He’s repped by ICM and The Collective. Stormare also recently had a memorable turn in a Super Bowl ad for Budweiser. It might have been the game’s best commercial, behind Volkswagen’s pint-sized Darth Vader. See below:
The Tommy Wirkola-directed Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters at Paramount Pictures is now set for a March 2, 2012, release date. We hear the budget is pegged at $60 million and that MGM will co-finance because it’s now run by the Spyglass Entertainment guys and they had a close relationship with Paramount for years. (Besides, MGM’s soon-to-close co-financing deal with Sony Pictures, accomplished by leveraging James Bond #23, won’t be exclusive.) Paramount will take worldwide theatrical and home entertainment and domestic television rights, while MGM will handle international television. Hansel & Gretel 3D stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the title characters who, 15 years after their narrow fairy tale escape from the gingerbread house, become specialized bounty-hunters looking to take down the witches that almost killed them. Famke Janssen will play the leader of the witches. The movie is being produced by Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy, Adam McKay, and Kevin J. Messick.
Big day for casting female fairy tale villains. Famke Janssen will play the leader of the witches in the Tommy Wirkola-directed Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters at Paramount Pictures. She joins Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the title characters who, 15 years after their narrow fairy tale escape from the gingerbread house, become specialized bounty-hunters looking to take down the witches that almost killed them. Janssen takes the job the same day that Julia Roberts closed to play the Evil Queen in Relativity Media’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. Gary Sanchez is producing the witch project. Janssen just wrapped her scripting/directing debut on Bringing Up Bobby. She’s repped by CAA and Brookside Artists.
Today at BAFTA Headquarters, jury member, film director, actor, and award-winning singer-songwriter Ben Drew announced the hotly anticipated nominees for the newly named Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award 2011. The nominations recognise five international actors and actresses whose talent has captured the imagination of the British public. The nominees are:
• Gemma Arterton
• Andrew Garfield
• Tom Hardy
• Aaron Johnson
• Emma Stone
Orange’s accolade for up and coming talent is the only award at the Orange British Academy Film Awards that is voted for by the public and, for the first time this year, allowed Orange Wednesdays customers to be part of the selection process. The winner will be announced Sunday, February 13. Previous winners of the award include James McAvoy in 2006, Eva Green in 2007, Shia LaBeouf in 2008, Noel Clarke in 2009 and Kristen Stewart in 2010.
This Fall’s line-up in London’s West End lacks the star power of previous years. Gemma Arterton (Tamara Drewe) and Derek Jacobi are the biggest name draw this autumn. Last year, Rachel Weisz, James McAvoy, Jude Law and Helen Mirren all trod the boards. “Looking at autumn’s West End line-up, it’s certainly slim pickings in terms of star power,” theatre consultant Richard Andrews tells me. Ironically, it’s the battered British film industry which is to blame. A number of ambitious British films are shooting or are about to go into production, including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, My Week With Marilyn and Thatcher, all tying up top-flight actors. And then there’s the usual Hollywood talent drain. “It’s cyclical,” agent Michael Foster of talent agency Peters Fraser and Dunlop tells me. “Winter will see bigger names announced for the stage.” As on Broadway, it’s becoming increasingly hard to put any kind of show on. That is why theatre producers have to be conservative in their choices, which must appeal to coach parties. Read More »