Check Out Our New Look

TriStar Wins Auction For $30 Million Jodie Foster-George Clooney Pic ‘Money Monster’

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 11:59am PDT
Mike Fleming

TriStar Wins Auction For $30 Million Jodie Foster-George Clooney Pic ‘Money Monster’EXCLUSIVE: In a whopping deal, Tom Rothman’s TriStar Pictures has won the right to finance and release the $30 million budget Money Monster, a Jodie Foster-directed thriller that will star George Clooney as a Jim Cramer-like TV stock tout who is held hostage on air by a man who followed the huckster’s advice, lost his money and put his young family in precarious straits. Jamie Linden wrote the script. The thriller takes on a Network-like sensibility in that the hostage-taker warns he’ll execute the smooth-talking stock tipper the moment cameras are turned off, and the nation becomes obsessed with the drama that unfolds on their TV screens. The film begins production in the spring after Clooney completes the Coen brothers-directed Hail Caesar.

tom rothmanThe film was packaged independently and is being produced by The Allegiance Theater’s Daniel Dubiecki, Lara Alameddine and Smokehouse’s Clooney and Grant Heslov. Drafts of the script were also done by Jim Kouf and Alan DiFiore. The huge deal was spearheaded by CAA, which reps Smokehouse and Dubiecki, and UTA on behalf of Foster. Linden is repped by Paradigm.

This becomes the latest example of a major Hollywood studio being aggressive on a fully percolated movie with star elements that is instantly ready to be added to a release slate. The budget doesn’t really seem that high, considering the star power of Foster and Clooney, and their upside will come in the film’s success from the back-end. It is also another high-profile project for Rothman’s TriStar. Much is being written about Sony Pictures, but as usual its long-term success will be determined by its picture pickers. Read More »

Comments (15)

Universal Lands WW Distribution Rights To Coen Bros Pic ‘Hail, Caesar!’ With George Clooney, Josh Brolin To Star

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Universal Pictures has acquired worldwide distribution georgecrights to Hail, Caesar!, Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest original screenplay. The siblings will direct George Clooney and Josh Brolin in the starring roles. The Coens will produce under their Mike Zoss Productions banner alongside Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan for Working Title Films. This will be the eighth collaboration between the Coen Brothers and Working Title.

brolinClooney starred for the Coens in Intolerable Cruelty, O Brother Where Art Thou? and Burn After Reading, while Brolin starred for them in No Country For Old Men and True Grit. The last film by the Coens, Inside Llewyn Davis, was released by CBS Films.

coeMy colleague Anita Busch was the first to reveal the details of the Coens’ next film. Here is how she described it: it’s about a fixer in Hollywood circa 1950s who works for the studios to protect the stars of the day. Entitled Hail Caesar, the comical yarn centers on a man named Eddie Mannix who sounds a lot like the Fred Otash of his day — the famed 1950s private investigator who worked for Confidential magazine and was the muckraker of the time using wiretaps to spy on movie stars and gather dirt. Otash was a former lifeguard who became a cop, lost his job as a cop … Read More »

Comments (3)

George Clooney & Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures Inks Overall Deal With Sony Pictures TV

By | Monday June 9, 2014 @ 4:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

clooneyheslovGeorge Clooney and Grant Heslov‘s company Smokehouse Pictures, which was behind best picture Oscar winner Argo, is making a move in television with an overall deal at Sony Pictures TV. Under the pact, the company will develop and produce comedy and drama series for all platforms: broadcasSony_Pictures_Television_p__121119113410t, cable and digital. Since launching Smokehouse in 2006, Clooney and Heslov have been focused primarily on features, developing and producing films that the two directed, like Leatherheads, The Ides Of March and The Monuments Men (Clooney) and The Men Who Stare At Goats (Heslov) as well as features directed by others, most recently Argo, helmed by Ben Affleck and last year’s August: Osage County, directed by John Wells. Clooney comes from a strong TV background, having started in television as an actor and then producer. CAA-repped Smokehouse has a history at Sony  — the company moved its feature deal from Warner Bros. to Sony in 2009.

Comments (0)

George Clooney & ‘Monuments Men’ Headed For White House

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 4:00pm PST

monuments-men__131108120434-575x431President Obama on Tuesday will host cast and crew members of Sony’s The Monuments Men for a screening at the White House. George Clooney, who co-wrote, directed and stars in the pic, will be attending the closed-press evening event, we’re told. The pic, based on the true story of an unlikely World War II unit that was tasked with saving priceless art from the Nazis, opened February 7 and has grossed $46M+ to date. It’s a rare case of the White House screening a movie that’s already in theaters. This is not Clooney’s first go-round with the president: He hosted a May 2012 Obama re-election fundraiser at his Studio City home that raised a then-record $15 million. “We raised a lot of money because everybody loves George,” Obama said during that $40,000-a-ticket event. “They like me, they love him.”

Related: Berlin: George Clooney & ‘Monuments Men’ Artfully Cut Up For Press

Comments (2)

Berlin: George Clooney & ‘Monuments Men’ Artfully Cut-Up For Press; WWII Dramedy Is An Escape From “Cynical Movies”

BerlinFilmFestival_badge__140204155938George Clooney and his merry band of Monuments Men arrived in Berlin this weekend. The film is playing in the Competition section tonight, although it is not actually vying for prizes (despite some tough reviews, it just opened Stateside with an expected haul of $20.6M). As with Berlin opening movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, Monuments Men was shot in Germany, taking advantage of local tax breaks, and that has not been lost on the festival. The U.S. ambassador today held a reception honoring both films with two rooms in the vast embassy decked out to look like sets from each (an idea he said came from his bunny hop“ambassadorable” wife who used to be in the entertainment biz). Festival chief Dieter Kosslick, MPAA head Chris Dodd and former AMPAS president Hawk Koch all attended. At the Monuments Men press conference later in the afternoon, Clooney, Matt Damon, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas, Justus von Dohnányi and writer/producer Grant Heslov serenaded photographers with Working In The Coal Mine… and formed a conga line.

monuments menWhen the group settled, most of the talk centered on why Clooney had chosen to make the film. He and Heslov had been “doing rather cynical movies for quite some time” and the film’s source novel – The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves And The Greatest Treasure Hunt In History – “reminded me of movies I grew up loving like Guns Of Navarone and Kelly’s Heroes,” Clooney said. Recent headlines about recovered artworks were simply a coincidence, but Clooney joked, “We had a three-year conversation with the guys here at Fox to get the news to hold the story. It was very expensive so we’d like to thank Jim Gianopulos.” Read More »

Comments (0)

GALLERY: 71st Golden Globes Highlights

Golden Globes 2014 photos

Nominees and celebs hit the 71st Golden Globe Awards, underway now at the Beverly Hilton. Hit the jump for full images from tonight’s fete and refresh for latest: Read More »

Comments (4)

Harvey Weinstein, George Clooney And Tracy Letts On ‘August: Osage County’s Ending Change And Release Date Shift

Mike Fleming

auguEXCLUSIVE: After this week’s L.A. premiere of August: Osage County, Harvey Weinstein is prepared to make two proclamations as the film launches into a crowded Oscar season. “When it comes to Oscars, I’ll take bets on this movie, it’s going to be a surprise and a sleeper, but it’s gonna be there,” he said. His second proclamation: “I’m never again going to rush to play a movie festival anymore, until the movie is locked,” Weinstein said. “We rushed to get a version of August: Osage County because we wanted the heat of Toronto. It wasn’t finished and it has created a disconnect.”

Weinstein, George Clooney (a producer with Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov) and Tracy Letts (who adapted his Pulitzer Prize-winning play into the John Wells-directed film) called me to dispel a misperception they hope will not become a problem: that because of slight changes between the Toronto version and the final cut, this was a problem picture. In this case, the early version of the Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts-starrer had a slightly different ending than it does now. The finished film is a bit longer and more polished and contains over its closing credits ”Last Mile Home”, a moving acoustic song that Kings Of Leon wrote for the film. “Our worst review has been three stars, but forevermore in the age of the Internet you read that reaction was mixed in Toronto and it colors people,” Weinstein said. “There’s something in the air and the way to take it out of the air is for the three of us to combat it.” I won’t give away the ending here, but it involves how things are left between a dysfunctional family matriarch (Streep) and the daughter (Roberts) in danger of following in her bitter footsteps. Besides Toronto, there were test screenings and the usual back and forth that resulted in what the three said is the best version of the film, the one they showed this week.

Related: Toronto: Huge Reaction For Oscar-Bait ‘August: Osage County’ – But Will It Divide Audiences? Read More »

Comments (19)

OSCARS Q&A: Sandra Bullock On The Challenges Of ‘Gravity’

Pete Hammond

When Sandra Bullock won the best actress Oscar for The Blind Side three years ago, her position asAwardsLine.LogoBW the number-one female movie star on the planet was secure. But after all the box office and awards success, Bullock was very careful about what projects she chose to do next. Eschewing the easy route of another romantic comedy after her supporting role in 2011’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Bullock took on the role of Dr. Ryan Stone, a novice astronaut stranded in space and struggling to survive in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. At its core, the film is not your average sci-fi blockbuster, but rather an intimate look at summoning the will to go on.

sandra-bullock-says-filming-gravity-made-her-depressedAwardsLine: They created something called the light box for this, a really isolating contraption. What was it like in there?
Sandra Bullock: It was literally a 9- by 9-foot box that was elevated on a platform. On one side, there were black curtains where all the technical geniuses were sitting, and there was a long track in the center. You know the (robot) arms that make the cars in Detroit? They were these massive things with the camera on them. There was a metal harness that I had to get up through that clamped around my waist. It was timed mechanically with the camera, so it would turn my body, and the camera was then spinning, and I had to figure out, “Am I upside down? Or am I right side up?”
Read More »

Comments (7)

Deadline Awards Watch 50: The Early Oscar Frenzy Edition

Pete Hammond

Listen to (and share) episode 50 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. 

Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about more highlights from Deadline’s recent Oscar race preview event, The Contenders, including notable moments from and conversations about Tim’s Vermeer, Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years a Slave, and The Croods.

We’ll also talk about a Friday full of craziness from the AFI Fest and events promoting the latest from David O. Russell and Saving Mr. Banks, and a lethally funny comedy bit by Sasha Baron Cohen as he picked up the Charlie Chaplin Award at this year’s Britannias. It’s also been a big week for the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and for the many people who labor behind the camera and below the line at the Hamilton Awards.

Finally, we’ll get Pete’s take on this week’s new movie releases in a quiet week at the box office, including Nebraska and The Best Man Holiday.

Deadline Awards Watch episode 50 (M4A version)
Deadline Awards Watch episode 50 (MP3 version)

The M4A version of this podcast is designed to run on any device using Apple’s iTunes software, and includes enhanced graphics and links to stories and other resources. The MP3 version of this podcast is designed to play on virtually any device capable of playing digital audio.

Those with “podcatcher” … Read More »

Comments (0)

Daniel Loeb Says He And George Clooney Want Same Things For Sony

The CEO of Third Point says that George Clooney was “a little hyperbolic” in August when the actor — in an interview with my colleague Mike Fleming Jr – defended Sony Entertainment execs from the hedge fund manager’s attacks. Daniel Loeb just told The New York Times’ DealBook’s Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference that Clooney “misinterpreted” the effort to persuade Sony to divest a minority stake in its movie, TV and music properties: He and Clooney want the same thing, Loeb says, “less spending on overhead and more on films.” Indeed, Loeb says, “I’d love to meet [Clooney] some time and talk these things over.” Sony rejected the investor’s stock sale proposal, but he says that he’s satisfied with the outcome of his campaign. “The reason we wanted the spin off is because we wanted transparency” — which he expects to see later this month when Sony Entertainment execs plan to meet with investors. “I see that as a great outcome for us.” Loeb also says he has “a good relationship” with Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai, who he has met twice including at a breakfast a few weeks ago. Loeb’s much friendlier than he was in July when he attacked the studio saying that its summer films After Earth and White House Down had “bombed spectacularly.” He added that they were “2013′s versions of Waterworld and Ishtar” and that it was “perplexing” that the company gave … Read More »

Comments (12)

Britannia Awards: Sacha Baron Cohen Kills – LITERALLY? – And Steals The Show

By | Sunday November 10, 2013 @ 1:52am PST
Pete Hammond

There’s no question about it. Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award For Excellence In Comedy winner Sacha Baron Cohen stole the BAFTA-LA ‘s annual Britannia Awards Saturday night with a comedy routine that had half the packed Beverly Hilton audience roaring and the other half shaking in their Jimmy Choos wondering if he had really just killed an elderly woman in a wheelchair – or was it one of his patented tasteless gags? You can see for yourself when the show airs Sunday night on BBC America but the reaction was so visceral in the room host Rob Brydon had to literally calm down the normally more sedate British crowd. Some clearly thought it was real.

At any rate, the bit made the awards gathering memorable for reasons organizers probably didn’t imagine. One BAFTA exec told me later that they were up until 3 AM just trying to clear all the legalities of Cohen’s acceptance bit which involved presenter Salma Hayek on stage with someone rolled out in a wheelchair she very believably identified as Grace Collington, an actress she said appeared with Charlie Chaplin in 1931′s City Lights at the age of five. “At 87, she’s the oldest surviving actor to have worked with Chaplin in a silent movie,” she told the audience as the woman sat there. When Cohen came up to accept his award from them, “Collington” warmly presented him with one of Chaplin’s famous canes. He then proceeded to push her off the stage and she landed face down, motionless and apparently dead on the ground. “Grace Collington is the oldest, sorry, was the oldest… I dedicate my award to her. It’s obviously a tragedy, but on the bright side what a great way to go. She’ll probably make the Oscars In Memoriam section… Anyway tonight is not about her, it’s about me,” he said as the limp body was carried out of the ballroom to rollicking laughter of the sort you rarely hear at these events. Read More »

Comments (7)

George Clooney, ‘Hunger Games’, ‘Mary Poppins’ And More On A Dizzying Awards Season Friday Night

Pete Hammond

Any doubt that awards season has not kicked into full gear even though it’s only early November were firmly erased Friday night as I kept running into the same Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Academy members as we dashed from an AFI Fest pre-party for The Weinstein Co.‘s August Osage County premiere in Hollywood, to a Lionsgate holiday (!) celebration at Spago, to Disney‘s Mary Poppins sing-a-long for Saving Mr. Banks at the Beverly Hills Hotel. And that doesn’t even count Sony‘s  tribute to their American Hustle David O. Russell for the AFI Fest at the Egyptian. When the picture isn’t ready to show why not just throw a tribute with clips instead? (they sneaked the first six minutes).  Deadline’s Jen Yamato was there and reports Jane Fonda and his Oscar winning Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence showed up for the pre-reception. Just down the street at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Gravity star Sandra Bullock was holding court doing a Q&A for SAG nominating committee members after a screening of the film (Warner Bros. had a separate Gravity press cocktail reception Wednesday night in West Hollywood which drew director Alfonso Cuaron and son, co-writer Jonas, along with producer David Heyman).

At Hollywood and Highland’s The Grill, August Osage County co-producer George Clooney was clearly the star attraction taking photo after photo with excited (mostly female) members of the HFPA who swarmed around him at the intimate, but crowded event before the North American premiere of the film at the Chinese. If anyone knows how to work a room like this, it is Clooney. When I managed to catch his eye he told me the film has been reworked a bit since I saw it at its Toronto Fest debut in September and that, after the balancing act of getting the adaptation of a 3 1/2 hour play down to a tight – and funny – two hours (it’s entered in the Golden Globes as a comedy),  both Harvey Weinstein and director John Wells are happy with it, as Wells also confirmed. The director said he worked on honing the script for over two years with Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Tracy Letts (also at the reception).  As Clooney explained they had to take a rather insular play and open it up a bit which wasn’t easy, but the film I saw played like gangbusters in Toronto and was well-received at AFI, I am told by some who saw it last night for the first time.  Co-stars Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson, Dermot Mulroney and Chris Cooper who has a couple of scenes that stop the show were also at the reception before hitting the red carpet (stars Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep were absent). Read More »

Comments (4)

George Clooney’s ‘The Monuments Men’ Gets Berth At Berlin Film Festival

The Berlin Film Festival has added George Clooney‘s The Monuments Men to its official program. This is the second film announced by the fest which kicks off on February 6th. Both Monuments Men and the recently-set Berlin opener The Grand Budapest Hotel were shot in Germany. This will be the international premiere of Monuments Men, which is based on a true story and focuses on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by the Allies with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. The subject is especially timely given that just this week, about 1,500 works of art were discovered in a Munich apartment, allegedly including pieces by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Edvard Munch and Emil Nolde. “Over five million cultural assets stolen by the Nazis were returned to their countries of origin in the years following World War II. As the recent discovery in Munich demonstrates, the art theft of that time is as current as ever. The Monuments Men finally gives this little-known subject a worldwide audience,” said festival director Dieter Kosslick. This is Clooney’s second directorial appearance in the official program after 2003′s Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind. Clooney also co-wrote, produced and stars in Monuments Men with Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John … Read More »

Comments (0)

UPDATE: ‘Monuments Men’ Gets February 7 Release Date After George Clooney Sets Record Straight

By | Thursday October 24, 2013 @ 10:36am PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 10:36 AM: Sony and 20th Century Fox have found their February date: Monuments Men will be released February 7, 2014, we’ve learned. That date jibes what with George Clooney told us exclusively yesterday. It also means MGM and Sony’s RoboCop will move five days to open on Wednesday, February 12, ahead of the four-day President’s Day weekend that this year includes Valentine’s Day on that Friday. As part of the release plan rethink, Sony also is moving Sony and Annapurna Pictures’ American Hustle up a week — the film will now open wide December 18 after opening in limited release December 13.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, WEDNESDAY AM: Last night, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox moved the George Clooney-directed Monuments Men from December 18 to early next year. It took less than an hour for Internet wonks to look for signs of trouble, even though Clooney said he simply couldn’t complete the visual effects and music in time to make the date. Rather than watch a repeat of what his pal Brad Pitt went through when people were inscribing World War Z headstones before anybody saw that film, Clooney asked for the opportunity to explain on Deadline. Who says no to George Clooney?

Related: George Clooney’s ‘Monuments Men’ Delayed To 2014

He was troubled enough to call from the Abbey Road Studios in London after reading a ridiculous “exclusive” Sharon Waxman splash on TheWrap that claimed Clooney had confided that his struggles were over tone. “I was talking awhile ago about Gravity, she says, ‘How’s it going on Monuments Men‘ and I say, ‘It’s a tricky tone,’ and she writes this piece that the movie is in trouble over tone. She doesn’t call me, and it’s absolutely ridiculous and false.”

What it sounds like to me is the same situation that Martin Scorsese went through with Paramount when they could not get Shutter Island ready before year end and moved the film to a February 19, 2010, berth. It too moved out of the Oscar corridor, but like Monuments Men, it wasn’t viewed by the studio as an Oscar entry as much as for being a crowd-pleasing potential blockbuster. All alone in the marketplace, Shutter Island grossed $128 million domestic and $295 million worldwide.

“The straight-up facts are these,” Clooney told me. “We had a really good test last week, scoring in the mid 80s, in Arizona. And when we were on the plane coming back with Jeff Blake, Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton, they said look, let’s be honest. There are lots better times to bring this movie out than December 18. How about November 22? Can you do it? Now, today is our first day at the scoring stages at Abbey Road. Then they call and ask, how about the 15th of November? We like to pull stuff off, and we said, let’s see what we can do. That was two days ago.”

Clooney then consulted the guys who are providing the effects, and got a dose of reality. “We had a meeting with all the effects guys for our CGI stuff, and, we’re just not going to get there in time,” he said. “Then we looked at the date we had, December 18. I don’t know how many movies are opening, but it’s got to be the toughest December in recent memory for box office. We said, where’s another good place to land? And we looked at February and the Shutter Island slot.”

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘The Monuments Men’ Read More »

Comments 31

OSCARS: Do Recent 2013 Dropouts Make Any Difference In Best Picture Race? Definitely Not

By | Wednesday October 23, 2013 @ 4:47pm PDT
Pete Hammond

It seems highly unlikely that films once thought since Cannes to be potential Best Picture Oscar contenders — The Weinstein Co’s Grace Of Monaco and The Immigrant, both highly touted in May — would have made the Academy’s final list, even if it goes for the full 10 nominees this year. And no one is missing them now that they’ve moved on.

The real “SHOCKER” as some breathless headlines stated yesterday, was the decision by George Clooney and Grant Heslov, who won the Best Picture Oscar just last year for Argo, to move their planned December release of the World War II thriller, Monuments Men to February. (That decision follows a similar path Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island took a few years ago, a move that resulted in the film becoming Scorsese’s most successful ever at the box office.) As Clooney told my colleague Mike Fleming Jr. earlier today, he wasn’t in this for the Oscars and December was a good luck date where his Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve films had played. I had always heard from the beginning that Clooney wasn’t ever really looking at Men as an Academy Award play but rather a commercial picture — his Guns Of Navarone as he reiterated in the Fleming interview. In fact a top Sony source told me in the summer that Clooney had told them he wasn’t looking to campaign it (but the exec insisted they would cross that bridge when they came to it). Of course sometimes you can have both box office success and Oscar recognition.

Related: ‘Monuments Men’ Gets Feburary 7 Release Date Read More »

Comments (12)

George Clooney’s ‘Monuments Men’ Delayed To 2014

By | Tuesday October 22, 2013 @ 6:21pm PDT

George Clooney‘s World War II tale The Monuments Men has been pushed to an unspecified date in early 2014. We’ve learned that the pic was delayed because visual effects could not be completed in time for the Sony film’s scheduled December 18 release date. Composer Alexandre Desplat also has not yet recorded the score. The thriller about a platoon of art historians and museum directors tasked with rescuing priceless art from the Nazis did well in screenings late last week in Phoenix and the week before in Sherman Oaks, CA. The film now won’t be eligible for the Academy Awards, but it was never Clooney’s goal to push it for Oscar attention. Rather, he intended to make an ensemble film in the style of 1961′s The Guns Of Navarone. Clooney also is burning the candle at both ends. He’s busy shooting Disney’s Tomorrowland as well as trying to wrap up Monuments Men.

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘The Monuments Men’

Comments 22

Hot Trailer: ‘The Monuments Men’

By | Thursday October 10, 2013 @ 4:26pm PDT

Sony Pictures is readying for the December 18 release of The Monuments Men — the Oscar-season sweet spot — with the latest trailer to drop. George Clooney directs and heads the cast of the thriller about a World War II platoon of art historians and museum directors tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue priceless art from the Nazis. Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett also star. Check it out:

Comments (14)

Deadline Caption Contest Winner: Clooney Photo-Bombs Spielberg And Seinfeld

By | Monday October 7, 2013 @ 5:24am PDT

AND THE WINNER IS…
It’s every Jewish person’s nightmare: A huge ham lurking behind you.

Honorable Mentions:
“Wait, doesn’t Steven know Jerry was caught making out during Schindler’s List?”
“Wait, Steven Spielberg? I thought you were Steven Soderberg!!”
“Wait, I’ll convert.”

SUNDAY AM: I couldn’t resist a Deadline caption contest for this. George Clooney photobombs Steven Spielberg and Jerry Seinfeld and wife Jessica at the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s 2013 Ambassadors For Humanity gala held in NYC on Friday. Clooney at the event received the Spielberg-founded foundation’s Ambassador For Humanity Award for his global humanitarian efforts in Haiti and throughout Africa. Have fun with this but, in keeping with DH policy that we don’t do personal, leave Jessica out of it. Winners announced Monday.

Comments 61

David Heyman Follows Harry Potter With ‘Gravity’: Can He Finally Orbit The Oscars?

By | Friday October 4, 2013 @ 3:03pm PDT
Pete Hammond

With Gravity looking like it is soaring at the box office today and the Harry Potter 8-pack of films successfully behind him, producer David Heyman is riding high. Of course, director Alfonso Cuaron and stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are getting the lion’s share of attention for the space drama, but Heyman is happy to give credit where credit is due. He actually was the one who brought Cuaron aboard for Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban. “We had a great experience on Harry Potter“, he said in a recent interview at Chateau Marmont. ” I asked him to do it which was a big thing.” This time around it was Cuaron who asked Heyman to get involved on Gravity and produce it with him.

“When he asked me to do it I jumped — there was not a moment of hesitation” Heyman said. “One, it’s a lovely compliment that he asked, and as a producer it’s what we dream about. I knew it was going to be challenging. He’s always pushing, never settling. We finished the film early this year and we hadn’t done the mix. He looked at the film and he said ‘Damn’. He had an idea which was to take the spacecraft and flip it because it was coming in top-up. You’re in outer space, there’s not up and down, so if you flip it’s fine but it took 10 weeks. One shot, two minutes. But he’s always pushing and never settling. So I knew it was going to be extraordinary, but to actually now be here and feel the response is pretty great,” he said.

That’s an understatement. The film was rapturously received at all three big fall festivals — Venice, Telluride and Toronto — a decision Heyman said was easy to make considering Cuaron is the director of such films as Y Tu Mama Tambien, A Little Princess and Children Of Men. “I think Alfonso is a filmmaker where festivals are responsive because there’s real art to his direction. It’s beautiful, fluid motion and I think there was faith in that and I think Warners, to give them credit, took a big leap in making this film. You know a female-driven action movie, not inexpensive, with one character alone for most of the time. But they believe in the filmmaker. Then they poured money  into it . For a year and a half we had nothing . We were trying to figure out how to do it, and then when Alfonso decided he wanted to change the shot around, that’s probably 100K , they said ‘sure, go ahead and do it’. And then putting it on the festival circuit, they just believed in it,” he said.

Related: Venice: ‘Gravity’ Exerts Strong Pull

Read More »

Comments (5)
More Deadline | Hollywood »