While we’re out chasing news, the press releases keep coming. Deadline broke news last March that Mel Gibson would star in the Jean-Francois Richet-directed Blood Father, and the news today is that Worldview Entertainment will co-fi and produce the drama, which Peter Craig adapted from his novel. Gibson will play an ex-con who reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her. Filming just started. Wild Bunch will handle international sales here and CAA is repping domestic…
Kathryn Bigelow and Zero Dark Thirty backer Annapurna’s Megan Ellison are reteaming on an adaptation of The True American, a nonfiction book by journo Anand Giridharadas that has Tom Hardy is set to star. Bigelow will direct and produce the film through her production shingle, First Light. The deal was announced here at Cannes. Like Zero Dark Thirty, this has 9/11 overtones. In the volatile days following that terrorist attack in New York, a self styled American terrorist named Mark Stroman murdered two immigrants in Texas, nearly killing a third man he shot in the head. That victim, Raisuddin Bhuiyan, was a former Bangladesh Air Force vet who set up a new life as the owner of a Dallas convenience store.
Entertainment One announced that Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul are joining Colin Firth in Eye In The Sky, a drone warfare drama that Gavin Hood is directing.
Johnny Galecki, Chloë Sevigny and Anjelica Huston have been cast in The Master Clense, a fantasy horror comedy to be produced by Bron Studios and Gilbert Films that will be the feature debut of writer-director Bobby Miller. Production is set to begin in July in Vancouver. After holding onto heartbreak for several years, Paul (Galecki) decides to restart his life, joining a spiritual retreat designed to cleanse negative toxins from his body. But the cleanse releases something far greater than everyday toxins and traumatic experiences. XYZ Films is introducing the pic in Cannes, and WME Global arranged financing and is repping North American rights.
Glenn Close has boarded The Wife, committing to star in scribe Jane Anderson’s adaptation of the bestselling Meg Wolitzer novel. Swedish director Björn Runge will direct the pic. The book is a sharply observed drama about the unraveling of a marriage during a couple’s journey to the Nobel Award ceremony in Stockholm. The film will shoot primarily in Stockholm in both English and Swedish and production is planned for winter/spring 2015. Read More »
UPDATED: Tony Fire-Power For Albee Revival. Glenn Close, absent from Broadway since 2003, will return in the fall for an 18-week run opposite John Lithgow in a revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance. All-star cast includes Lindsay Duncan (spectacular in the current film Le Week-End), Bob Balaban, Clare Higgins and Martha Plimpton. Pam MacKinnon, Tony winner last season for her engrossing revival of Albee’s Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, is set to direct the Scott Rudin production. Show will run at the the Shubert’s Golden Theatre beginning October 20, with opening night set for November 20. Rudin’s run of star-fired revivals includes this season’s Tony-nominated A Raisin In The Sun, with Denzel Washington; last fall’s Mike Nichols-directed version of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, with Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Rafe Spall; and, earlier, Nichols’ Philip Seymour Hoffman-led stunner of Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman in 2012.
Albee’s 1966 Pulitzer Prize winner features the married Agnes (Close) and Tobias (Lithgow), their grown daughter (Plimpton), returned home following serial wrecked marriages, and best friends Balaban and Higgins along with Agnes’s boozy sister Claire (Duncan). Close has three Tony Awards (for Sunset Boulevard, Death And The Maiden and The Real Thing). Broadway regular Lithgow’s Tonys are for The Changing Room and Sweet Smell Of Success. Duncan owns Tonys for … Read More »
Vera Farmiga has signed on to star in relationship comedy Prima. Even Greenberg wrote the script and is directing the film that was previously known as Dance Of The Mirlitons. The film is prepping for a March start and centers around a 12-year-old girl who shocks everyone when she is accepted into a prestigious school for dancers. While she learns that to get to the top, she must kill or be killed, her mother struggles to acclimate to her posh stomping grounds. The Allegiance Theater’s Daniel Dubiecki and Lara Alameddine are producing along with Karine Martin under her Mediamax banner. Highland Film Group has worldwide sales here in Berlin. Farmiga is repped by CAA, Jon Rubinstein of Authentic Talent and Literary Management, and Jodi Peikoff of Peikoff Mahan.
Principal photography is currently underway on another Highland Film Group pic, Ami Canaan Mann’s Your Right Mind with Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes starring. Joining the cast are Clea DuVall, Sheryl Lee, Emily Alyn Lind and Ryan Bingham. Canaan Mann wrote the script about a modern-day traveling folk singer who puts his dreams of becoming a successful musician on hold when he meets a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter. Molly Hassell is producing with Canaan Mann and John Jencks. Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Highland Film Group’s Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier, and Main Street Films’ … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Glenn Close has been set to play Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be the Grand Russian Duchess Anastasia, in Duchess. The film reunites Close with The Chumscrubber director Arie Posin and producers Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn, who teamed with Close for Albert Nobbs. They will produce through their Mockingbird Pictures.
Posin wrote the script with Reversal Of Fortune scribe Nicholas Kazan. It’s described as a dark road-trip comedy based on true events and covering the last days of Anna and her American husband Jack Manahan. After the courts forcibly put Anna into a retirement home in Charlottesville in 1983, Jack kidnapped her, and together they evaded the authorities across rural Virginia hoping to experience the honeymoon they never had. The film will shoot in Virginia.
Close most recently wrapped Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. Posin’s next film, The Face Of Love with Annette Bening and Ed Harris, will be released March 7 by IFC. Close is repped by CAA and Posin by WME and Industry.
EXCLUSIVE: Tim Blake Nelson is getting more company on his ensemble drama Anesthesia. The Lincoln actor wrote, stars in, and is directing the pic which follows the disparate stories of New Yorkers whose lives come together after the violent mugging of a Columbia University philosophy professor. Sam Waterston has been cast as said professor, Walter Zarrow. Oscar-nominated Glenn Close will play Zarrow’s wife Marcia, with Corey Stoll (Midnight In Paris) as an investment banker who witnesses the attack and Gretchen Mol as his wife, an alcoholic New Jersey homemaker. As I reported Sunday, Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart has taken a supporting role in the ensemble drama; she’ll play Zarrow’s troubled student Sophie. Nelson will step in front of the camera himself to play Zarrow’s son. Read More »
Days after director James Gunn took his Guardians of the Galaxy cast to Comic-Con, production has officially begun in the UK. As Deadline reported, Glenn Close will play the Nova Corp. leader Marvel and Disney confirm is Nova Prime in the August 1, 2014 release:
BURBANK, CALIF. (July 23, 2013) – “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the next epic adventure from Marvel Studios has started shooting at the UK’s Shepperton Studios. Directed by James Gunn (“Slither,”“Super”) from his screenplay, with a story by Nicole Perlman and Gunn, the film will introduce audiences to a whole new side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The all-star cast includes Chris Pratt (“Zero Dark Thirty”, “Moneyball”) as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana (“Star Trek Into Darkness”, “Avatar”) as Gamora, Dave Bautista (“Riddick”) as Drax the Destroyer, Lee Pace (“The Hobbit,” “Lincoln”) as Ronan the Accuser, Michael Rooker (AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) as Yondu, Karen Gillan (BBC TV’s “Doctor Who”) as Nebula, two-time Academy Award® nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Amistad”, “Gladiator”) as Korath, with Academy Award® winner Benicio del Toro (“Traffic”) as The Collector, Academy Award® nominee John C. Reilly (“Chicago”) as Rhomann Dey, and six-time Academy Award® nominee Glenn Close (“Albert Nobbs,” “Fatal Attraction”) as Nova Prime. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is slated for an August 1, 2014 release in the U.S.
Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. The executive producers are Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso,
… Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Here is a big one for Marvel fans. I’m told that Marvel Studios is setting Glenn Close to a major role in its newest franchise creation, Guardians Of The Galaxy. They’re always circumspect at Marvel, but I’m told that Close is playing a leadership role in Nova Corp, the intergalactic space patrol. The James Gunn-directed Guardians Of The Galaxy starts production in about a month, with a cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly and others. I believe Close’s role would be the closest thing to the one that Samuel L. Jackson plays in Marvel’s Avengers movie. Having seen Close’s work in Damages, and going back to Fatal Attraction and The World According To Garp, she certainly has a hard side to her.
Close just finished shooting the indie film Lowdown and is shooting Five To Seven with Anton Yelchin and Frank Langella. She’s repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: The indie film 5 To 7, which surfaced when Star Trek‘s Anton Yelchin signed to star, just got a major cast infusion. Glenn Close, Frank Langella, Skyfall‘s Bérénice Marlohe, Lambert Wilson and Olivia Thirlby have joined the cast of a film that is a co-production between Mockingbird Pictures and Demarest Films. Mad Men writer Victor Levin is directing the film, which starts shooting next month in New York. In the romantic comedy, Yelchin plays an aspiring novelist who has an extramarital affair with the beautiful wife (Marlohe) of a French diplomat. Cultures, world views, personal ethics and dietary preferences clash as love deepens. The pic is being produced and co-financed by Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson of Demarest Films, and by Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn of Mockingbird Pictures with their investor group as executive producers. The film is co-executive produced by Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel of The Solution Entertainment Group, which is handling international sales and will represent the film at the Cannes Film Market. CAA and WME are co-representing the U.S. rights.
Nick Nolte and Glenn Close are about to get very rock’n’roll with Chris D’Arienzo. The multiple Oscar nominees have signed on to the Rock Of Ages creator’s Always On My Mind. D’Arienzo will direct the movie from his own script. Occupant Entertainment’s Joe Neurauter and Felipe Marino will produce. Nolte will play an aging rocker who is beginning to suffer from Alzheimer’s. Close will play the supportive spouse trying to take care of her husband after a hard-lived life. Close is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content. Nolte and D’Arienzo are repped by CAA.
When a big studio decides it has a shot at Oscars, it often rolls out a spectacular Academy Award campaign with a budget rivaling that of the actual film. In the case of the $8 million independent movie Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close — star, writer and producer — is the campaign. Her Oscar nomination for Best Actress and Golden Globes noms for her and her co-star Janet McTeer are helping to get the word out. But a lot depends on Close being available to tell the story of her 30-year labor of love despite the time demands of her TV series, the DirectTV legal drama Damages. Close spoke about her journey with AwardsLine contributor Diane Haithman.
AWARDSLINE: Let’s see — a period drama adapted from a play, set in Dublin, in which you portray a woman living as a man. Obviously this is a “special needs” project. Doing so much press must be a huge demand on you as a working actress.
GLENN CLOSE: I’ve tried to show up for as much as I can. It’s just amazing to me that I finally got it made. I must have walked into every single office of every single independent film company that existed in the past 30 years.
AWARDSLINE: One can imagine some of the things that must have been said in some of those meetings. What kind of reaction did you get? Just … huh?
CLOSE: [Laughs] Yeah, I go into an office, looking like me, and say: “Well, I’m gonna be a butler, and then I die.” It was a pretty hard sell. And I never resented that. I’ve always felt that an independent film is a film that almost doesn’t get made. When we went on our foray into Dallas, we found John and Cami Goff; John Goff is a very, very successful real estate guy, and he just liked what he heard and believed in the team. I told him: “You are like the one pearl in a vast beach of white stones.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe turned in great numbers on the CBS Films-distributed The Woman In Black, and Emma Watson readies for a re-team with David Yates in Your Voice Inside My Head for Warner Bros, what has become of that bratty Draco Malfoy, who tormented the hell out of Potter and his wand-waving mates over eight films? Tom Felton is in negotiations to star opposite Elizabeth Olsen and Glenn Close in Therese Raquin. Written and set to be helmed by acclaimed theater director Charlie Stratton, the film’s being produced by William Horberg and Mickey Liddell. Close is attached for the role of Madame Raquin, and Olsen for Therese, who, with her lover Laurent, murder her husband (Felton), a sick boy that Madame Raquin forced Therese to marry. After Therese later marries her true love, the couple is haunted by the ghost of the dead husband and it poisons their love into all-consuming hatred.
Felton, who last year finished off the Harry Potter series and had a supporting role in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, just finished production on the Tandem/Scott Free Productions TV mini Labyrinth as well as From The Rough, and The Apparition at Warner Bros. WME reps him along with Untitled and UK-based Troika.
Today’s 31st annual Oscar nominees luncheon was typically relaxed and collegial — a place where there were only winners, at least for today — and contenders could catch up with old friends who also just happen to be rivals in this year’s race.
So there were Best Actor nominees George Clooney and Brad Pitt walking into the ballroom together deep in conversation. And Best Picture producing nominees Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese walked up to the risers, arms around each other, standing together until Academy COO Ric Robertson called their names to come up onstage and get their nomination certificates. All the 150 (out of 188) of Oscar’s class of 2011 lined up more or less alphabetically for the annual “class photo” — starting with Transformers: Dark Of The Moon nominee Erik Aadahl and ending more than a half-hour later with Moneyball co-screenwriter Steven Zaillian. At my table, Hugo screenwriting nominee John Logan observed, “Scanning this stage how can you not be getting your heart beating?” Our table-mates included Academy Governor Paul Mazursky, Iron Lady makeup artist Mark Coulier, Moneyball sound-mixing nominee Ed Novick and past Academy President Arthur Hiller. Logan listened raptly as Hiller recalled the making of The Americanization of Emily and The Hospital, both written by screenplay god Paddy Chayefsky.
All the tables mixed nominees from various disciplines. Academy … Read More »
OSCARS: Best Actor Race Pits Veterans Vs. “Sexiest Men Alive”
The Best Actress race is hot this year.
That isn’t always the case as the paucity of realistic contenders in this category often reflects the lack of good roles for women in Hollywood. But the gods were smiling in 2011, providing killer parts for a nice mix of veterans, past nominees and winners and young stars looking for their first major recognition from Oscar. But as usual, Meryl Streep leads the pack. Here’s the rundown.
MERYL STREEP, THE IRON LADY
You know you are in a different league when people start saying it is high time you had another Oscar when you already have two at home. But Streep is indeed in another league and in fact only keeps breaking her own records. With 16 nominations — far more than any actor in film history — it has still been 29 years since she last won (for 1982′s Sophie’s Choice), and many feel that with her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher her time has come again. The New York Critics agreed, but she’s been in this position before and there’s stiff competition.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
The stiffest competition for Streep may well be coming from two-time nominee Williams whose multi-layered portrayal of screen icon Marilyn Monroe as she attemps to make … Read More »
National Board Of Review Names ‘Hugo’ Best Film, Martin Scorsese Best Director
‘The Artist’ Is NY Film Critics Best Picture; Meryl Streep Best Actress, Brad Pitt Best Actor
The first week of actual awards-giving and nominations has now passed and pundits are searching for clues. Has anything actually been clarified in this year’s Oscar race?
Based on the mixed bag out of the New York Film Critics, National Board of Review and Gotham Awards winners along with the announced nominees for Independent Spirit Awards, this year is completely, completely wide open. But then you knew that already.
The New York Critics so wanted to be first and “influence” the Oscars that they advanced their voting date up two weeks and prematurely presented a list of winners Tuesday that seemed downright conservative and very “Academy friendly.” After honoring harder edged films in the past, they went for a delightful black and white silent film as their Best Picture (The Artist) and Director (Michel Hazanavicius) plus big stars Meryl Streep (in another biopic — as Margaret Thatcher this time) and Brad Pitt (Moneyball) both playing real-life characters, something Academy voters have tended to favor in many of their recent acting winners. It was Streep’s fifth acting honor from the NYFCC. The group moved their voting up in order to beat everyone else, particularly the National Board of Review which is normally first, and in effect forced Sony to show them David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by agreeing to move their voting date back a day (and then ignored the film). They also miscalculated Warner Bros’ willingness to show Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close before it was completely finished and ready to be seen by some of the nation’s most “important” (at least in their own minds) critics. So that one wasn’t part of their deliberations. The Broadcast Film Critics Association (I am a member) and the Los Angeles Film Critics among others will be able to see Dragon Tattoo starting Friday. Neither has changed its voting schedules (about 10 days out) in order to jump the gun and will be able to see everything before weighing in on the year’s best. That seems like the right course for critics groups instead of trying to force the hands of filmmakers in order to pursue their own delusional quixotic quest for influence. Read More »
One of the last pieces of this year’s increasingly hot Best Actress race puzzle fell into place this week as The Weinstein Company unveiled Meryl Streep’s The Iron Lady at an exclusive media screening Tuesday night at the Warner Bros Screening Room in New York and Thursday morning for a handful of journalists at the 10-seat Weinstein Co. screening room at their new offices in Beverly Hills. Deadline was represented on both coasts. If there was any question about Streep’s viability as a major Oscar contender again this year, her performance as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will erase all doubts. Again she is extraordinary, absolutely capturing the essence of Thatcher in every way, but is particularly powerful in those scenes depicting her enveloping dementia. She shows a poignant side, not really known about this woman who rose to the top of an exclusive men’s club and triumphed for nearly 12 years in the top job in her country. Jim Broadbent as her husband Dennis also has his moments but the film, expertly directed by Mamma Mia’s Phyllida Lloyd, belongs to Meryl. Even in England where Thatcher is sooooo well known and dissected, both early reviews in The Guardian and Daily Telegraph are singing her praises.
Her unbelievable 17th Oscar nomination is assured and perhaps the only thing standing between her and a third Oscar is well, Streep herself. The problem is … Read More »
OSCARS: 2011 Governors Awards – Photos
At Saturday night’s third annual Governors Awards, Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) was seated next to me and before the show unexpectedly said of being in the room with Oprah: “This is extreme for me. I am an Oprah worshipper.” After this year’s recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award earned a trio of standing ovations and ended her emotional acceptance speech to bring the big night to a close, Cody concluded, “I feel like I have just freebased Oprah”. Indeed it was Oprah’s night in this room. But it also belonged to the other honorary Oscar winners, too – makeup legend Dick Smith and actor James Earl Jones, who accepted his award from London’s Wyndham stage in a segment taped earlier in the day after a matinee performance of Driving Miss Daisy in which he is appearing alongside Vanessa Redgrave.
So far I have been to all three Governors Awards ceremonies and I would say this seemed the most emotional of them all with both Winfrey and Jones referencing their long journey from Mississippi to this Hollywood moment. One attendee told me afterwards, “I was really moved by this more than any other year”. If only the speeches could be this good on the Oscar show itself. Then the Academy wouldn’t have to worry about who hosts or produces the show.
Academy President Tom Sherak made his entrance in a Darth Vader uniform (in tribute to Jones) and opened with the same line he used to introduce a screening of the Jones film, The Great White Hope on Friday night: “How was your week?” It was an obvious reference to the tumultuous events surrounding this year’s Oscar show. But that was the only time the week’s events came up all evening. This was a night for the honorees and they all made the most of it. Before dinner a stirring reel was shown highlighting the entire 84-year history of honorary Oscar winners, followed by a touching tribute to past Oscar show producers Laura Ziskin and Gil Cates who both died this year.
Alec Baldwin got the show rolling after dinner by honoring his The Hunt For Red October co-star Jones saying, “Unlike many actors, James Earl Jones never had to get his career back because he never lost it. He is one of the greatest actors in history”. Glenn Close came out to praise him by referencing his Broadway triumph Fences. “He is the only actor who has broken me apart and transformed me until I was a screaming slobbering mess. James Earl Jones is indeed a world treasure.” Redgrave via tape surprised her co-star by bringing on Sir Ben Kingsley with an Oscar to present to Jones. ”You achieve what every actor is striving for. You are always so damn good,” Kingsley praised.
Jones was genuinely taken aback. “If an actor’s nightmare is being onstage butt-naked and not knowing his lines, then what the hell is this?” he laughed. ”This is an actor’s wet dream. I am gobsmacked at this improbable moment in my life. You cannot be an actor like I am and not have been in some of the worst movies like I have. But I stand before you deeply honored, mighty grateful, and just plain godsmacked.” Read More »
HAMMOND: An Emotional Governors Awards
J.J. Abrams, Glenn Close, John Travolta, Alec Baldwin, Larry Gordon, Rick Baker, Mary J. Blige, and Maria Shriver were some of the names who helped the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences present Honorary Awards to actor James Earl Jones and makeup artist Dick Smith and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to philanthropist Oprah Winfrey. It was the Academy’s 3rd Annual Governors Awards dinner last night at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center. Photos on next page: Read More »
The Guard star Brendan Gleeson has joined Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Brit Marling and Anna Kendrick in the Redford-directed The Company You Keep. Gleeson will next be seen opposite Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs, in the John Cusack-starrer The Raven, and with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in the Daniel Espinosa-directed Safe House for Universal. He’s repped by Principal Entertainment and Ireland-based The Agency.