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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

If you missed this week’s top film stories from Hollywood and Cannes, catch up now:

godzilla‘Godzilla’ Sequel In The Works At Warner Bros. & Legendary
By Anita Busch
EXCLUSIVE: After opening to $103M internationally — the biggest opening of 2014 so far — and grossing $93M domestic stateside this weekend, it should come as no surprise that Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. are already developing a sequel to the monster hit. It was confirmed to Deadline this morning that a Godzilla sequel is underway.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Godzilla’ Monster Hit at $93M+

Coen Brothers’ Next Film: ‘Hail Caesar,’ A Fixer In 1950s Hollywood
By Anita Busch
EXCLUSIVE: Joel and Ethan Coen are putting together their next film, and 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.

spike leeNo Cannes Do: Why Spike Lee Nixed ‘Do The Right Thing’ Silver Anniversary For Black Fest Fete
By Mike Fleming Jr.
INTERVIEW: The 2014 Cannes Film Festival marks 25 years since Spike Lee brought Do The Right Thing to the Croisette in a premiere that left some journalists labeling it a powder keg and predicting a trail of racial violence for its U.S. release. Read More »

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Cannes: Harvey Weinstein Defends Actions On Grace Kelly Movie, Says Monaco Royal Family Has A “Legitimate Problem” With The Film

Pete Hammond

As previously exclusively reported on Deadline, The Weinstein Company had its annual product preview session for press and buyersCannes2014_badge tonight at the Majestic Hotel, and the packed crowd got first looks at several films including Paddington, Macbeth, Imitation Game, Big Eyes, Suite Francaise, St. Vincent, and the in-production-phase Jake Gyllenhaal boxing film Southpaw. Harvey Weinstein presided over the presentation, but only after the highlights reel ended was there even a mention from him of the controversy over Grace Of Monaco, the movie TWC (which has U.S. distribution rights ) reportedly threatened to back away from if director Olivier Dahan did not make desired changes to his cut. The director’s cut, and the version that opened Cannes to some derision from critics (to say the least), is being released this week in France by Gaumont. Just before its official press conference Wednesday, it was announced that TWC and Dahan had come to an agreement and TWC would be releasing the film after all. Weinstein, in Jordan for a “long-planned” humanitarian mission, missed the opening-night screening and still hasn’t seen the version shown here. At least that’s what he told reporters who cornered him after tonight’s presentation.

Related: ‘Grace Of Monaco’ Opens Fest As Critics & Royals Take Aim

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Cannes: Controversial ‘Grace Of Monaco’ Opens Fest As Critics & Royals Take Aim And Star Nicole Kidman Defends Her Film

Pete Hammond

The Weinstein Company avoided any of the expected controversy at Grace Of Monaco Nicole Kidman Cannesthe Grace Of Monaco press conference after the first Cannes screening of the movie earlier today when it put the word out that a deal had been reached and they would be releasing the film in the U.S. (Gaumont is releasing in France later this week) after threatening to walk away. (At one point I heard they were even thinking about trying to sell it to Lifetime.) In fact the only reference to the distribution controversy came from a terse reply to a question posed to director Olivier Dahan, who now was pleased with the way it has all worked out. Speaking in French (for other questions he answered in English), he said, “Harvey will use this version of the film. If there are any changes we will do them together. There is no dispute. It is all resolved and I am happy with the whole situation,” he said.

Related: Cannes: Why Harvey Weinstein Will Miss ‘Grace Of Monaco’ Premiere

Cannes2014_badgeWhat he probably wasn’t happy with were some of the absolutely scathing reviews that appeared even before this morning’s first press screening. But critics seemed to be gunning for this one as soon as it was announced for the high-profile opening-night slot of the 67th Cannes Film Festival, which seems a little unfair. In addition to a terrific and credible turn from Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, Dahan’s portrait of a movie star-turned-princess caught up in a lifestyle change for which she was ill-prepared and now full of self-doubt is a good-looking film that doesn’t purport to be anything other than a piece of fiction based on real events (there’s a disclaimer right at the film’s start to that effect). “Almost everything is true though. I twisted reality just a little bit without really twisting it. It’s all based on historical fact. What I’ve tried to do is to detect the heart of things,” Dahan said. This may be more of an audience film than one aimed at critics. It certainly fulfilled the glamour requirements on the red carpet as tonight’s official kickoff to the festival.

For Kidman taking on a iconic public figure like this  is typical of her recent career moves. She likes to take risks. “It was such a great opportunity. I think in my whole career I have been looking for things that put me on a high wire. And this was one of those roles,” she said. No doubt about that. And she added she was not happy that Monaco’s royal family heirs have been so vocal about their displeasure with this portrayal of their mother. “Obviously I feel sad. I think the film has no malice towards the family or towards Grace or Rainier (played by Tim Roth). It’s fictionalized. We’ve said that. It’s not a biopic. It’s the essence of truth butOpening Ceremony & "Grace Of Monaco" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival with a lot of things you take dramatic license at times. I understand also because of them being their mother and father. And I understand the protection of the privacy of their mother and father. It’s awkward. It is what it is. But I say that with respect and I want them to know that the performance was done with love. And ultimately if they ever did see it, they would see  there was an enormous amount of affection for both their parents and their love story,” she said. Read More »

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Cannes: Why Harvey Weinstein Will Miss ‘Grace Of Monaco’ Premiere

By | Wednesday May 14, 2014 @ 3:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

monacEXCLUSIVE UPDATE: Considering the drama involved in Grace Of Monaco, many have been asking whether Harvey Weinstein will be there walking the red carpet tonight at the Palais premiere. Deadline has the answer. Weinstein’s team including COO David Glasser will be there, but Harvey will not. He’s got a good excuse. Weinstein explains: “My wife Georgina and I have been in Jordan visiting two Syrian refugee camps, Cannes2014_badgeAl Zaatri yesterday and Azraq today. This was a long planned trip with the UNHCR and our friend Neil Gaiman to bring attention plight of refugees who have been forced to flee Syria and the incredible work of UNHCR,” Weinstein said. “I’m wishing Olivier, Nicole, Pierre Ange and Uday and the Grace Of Monaco team all the best for the screening in Cannes tonight.”

EARLIER: Despite it being one of the noisiest negotiations in recent memory, The Weinstein Company is closing its deal to release Grace Of Monaco, which premieres tonight as the opening film of the Cannes Film Festival. This deal will be smaller than the original $5 million struck, back when the film was skedded to be released in early 2014 and before it got selected for Cannes. Read More »

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Cannes: Sun Shines On French Riviera As World’s Most Famous Film Festival Gets Ready To Roll Out The Red Carpet

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 5:15pm PDT
Pete Hammond

On my way in from the Nice Airport today the driver flatly predicted this would be a Cannes Film Festival without rain and that, just like today, the Cannes2014_badgesun would be shining non-stop on this most famous of film festivals. The reason he said it is because for the last several years Cannes has been plaugued with rainstorms literally raining on this parade of the best in world cinema. Last year’s opening night for The Great Gatsby was a virtual flood as partygoers tried to avoid the drips in the tent Warner Bros erected and had to hightail it over deep puddles of water just to get inside. I for one hope this driver is right and the festival that started 67 Guests arrive under pouring rain for theyears ago as a valentine to cinema, sun and glamour can retain that reputation. Time will tell on that, but what is the forecast for the movies themselves, and the market they inspire? So far there is no consensus on whether this will be a Cannes to remember or one that brings in enthusiastic buyers. But there are so many titles I want to see — spread over the various competitions associated with Cannes — that  it is already becoming a Solomon’s Choice in terms of picking and choosing.

Related: Cannes: Could This Year’s Lineup Lead All The Way To Oscar?

grace-of-monaco-cannes-01242014-100439Grace Of Monaco is opening the fest Wednesday night and it is already bathed in controversy between a version opening in France vs. one The Weinstein Company planned to open for American audiences.  The version being shown on opening night is said to be somewhere in between the original darker cut of director Olivier Dahan’s and the more accessible path reportedly preferred by Harvey Weinstein. It’s still not clear what will happen to the film starting Nicole Kidman as iconic film star-turned-Princess Grace Kelly in terms of a U.S. release as Weinstein Co still has not officially announced plans. But I am told Harvey Weinstein will not be arriving in Cannes until after the official opening anyway, so any awkward moments on the red carpet look like they will be avoided. But Monaco’s Royal Family has also been very vocal about its opinions on the film (although it’s not quite clear if they have seen it) and have publicly denounced it. Nevertheless it could be an interesting start to the festival that promises a little something for everyone. It will be Kidman’s third Cannes in a row having been here for two films, The Paperboy and Hemingway & Gellhorn in 2012; as a juror last year; and now opening the fest.

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Grace Of Monaco’

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Paradigm Signs Frank Langella

By | Tuesday May 6, 2014 @ 10:08am PDT
Mike Fleming

franklEXCLUSIVE: Paradigm has just classed up the place by signing Frank Langella, the three-time Tony winner. This just before the Cannes Film Festival opening-night film Grace Of Monaco, which Langella stars in with Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth. He’s coming off Draft Day and the Tribeca film 5 To 7, and soon stars opposite Gena Rowlands in the Millennium thriller Parts Per Billion. He also lent his voice to Noah and soon will be heard in the Salma Hayek-produced animated film The Prophet. Langella   recently completed an acclaimed run in King Lear on the UK stage and brought it to Brooklyn Academy of Music. He’ll be repped for film and TV by Paradigm’s Andrew Ruf and remains lawyered by Sendroff & Baruch.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The Extra Mile’ Debuts Big In Israel; 24 Producers On The Move Partners Named; More

‘The Extra Mile’ Debuts Big In Israel
The Extra Mile, the new reality format from Israel’s Studio Glam, debuted locally on Tuesday as the the extra milemost-watched show on Channel 10 in the past two years. The show, which challenges divorced couples to work together in hope of winning a trust fund for their children, had an average rating of 26.6 with a 37.7% share, the latter a 167% increase on the slot average. It was the highest launch in Channel 10 history and the No. 1 show of the day. At Mip-TV earlier this month, Endemol acquired rights to produce the format in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Scandinavia.

European Film Promotion Taps 24 Partners For Producers On The Move
The European Film Promotion, the international network of organizations that promotes and markets European cinema worldwide, has selected 24 emerging producers to take part in its Producers On The Move initiative at the Cannes Film Festival next month. From May 17-19, the program will include working sessions, one-to-one speed-dating meetings and various opportunities to exchange knowledge and follow-up discussions on future projects. EFP launched the scheme in 2000. Last year’s Producers On The Move resulted in 17 co-productions going into development. A full list of up-and-comers who’ll be in Cannes is available here. Read More »

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Cannes Lineup: ‘Foxcatcher’, ‘Mr Turner’, ‘The Homesman’, ‘Maps To The Stars’ In Competition; Ryan Gosling, Wim Wenders In UCR; ‘The Rover’, ‘The Salvation’ At Midnight

Cannes2014_badgeCannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux is about to unveil the Official Selection lineup for the 67th running of the event which kicks off May 14 with Nicole Kidman in Grace Of Monaco. Folks are settled in at the UGC Normandie movie theater on the Champs-Elysées to get some clarity on the rampant speculation that annually precedes the daddy of all international festivals. Will Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice be in the mix? Which of the myriad French movies made the cut? Has Cannes pinned down the Foxcatcher premiere? I’ll be updating the titles as they are revealed, so keep refreshing for the latest.

Related: Cannes: Lineup Has Few Surprises, Big Canadian Presence & Lots Of Female Helmers

Cannes Film Festival Lineup 2014Opening Film: Grace Of Monaco, dir: Olivier Dahan
Closing Film: To be announced

COMPETITION
Winter Sleep, dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Clouds Of Sils Maria, dir: Olivier Assayas
Saint Laurent, dir: Bertrand Bonello
Maps To The Stars, dir: David Cronenberg
Two Days, One Night, dirs: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Mommy, dir: Xavier Dolan
The Captive, dir: Atom Egoyan
Goodbye To Language, dir: Jean-Luc Godard
The Search, dir: Michel Hazanavicius
Jimmy’s Hall, dir: Ken Loach
The Homesman, dir: Tommy Lee Jones
Futatsume No Mado, dir: Naomi Kawase
Mr Turner, dir: Mike Leigh
Foxcatcher, dir: Bennett Miller
Leviathan, dir: Andrey Zvyaginstev
Wild Tales, dir: Damian Szifron
Le Meraviglie, dir: Alice Rohrwacher
Timbuktu, Abderrahmane Sissako

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Cannes: Official Selection Buzz Sharpens (& Sprawls) Ahead Of Thursday’s Reveal

22x30_Cannes2014On Thursday, Thierry Frémaux will unveil the lineup for the 67th running of the Cannes Film Festival. Speculation, comme d’habitude, has been rife for at least the past month as to which titles may make the trip to the Croisette. While one exec with movies in contention says, “It’s going to the wire this year,” some contenders are coming into sharper focus. Although nothing is confirmed until Frémaux says so, among the titles I hear consistently cited as near faits-accomplis are DreamWorks Animation‘s How To Train Your Dragon 2; the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night with Marion Cotillard; Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher; Mike Leigh‘s Mr Turner; Tommy Lee JonesThe Homesman; and David Cronenberg‘s Maps To The Stars. There are many, many more required to fill the Competition, Out-of-Competition, Un Certain Regard, Special Screenings and other sections. Here’s a primer for what’s looking likely, and what isn’t, to make the cut in an official category on Thursday:

Related: Cannes: 67th Fest Poster Celebrates Marcello Mastroianni In Fellini’s ‘8 1/2’

We know that Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco is the opening-night film. French distributor grace of monacoGaumont is planning a classic Cannes soirée which will follow the official screening and dinner on May 14. In other certainties, French debut feature Party Girl is opening the Un Certain Regard sidebar; a less showy title than 2013’s Bling Ring, but one that fits with UCR jury president Pablo Trapero’s take on the section this year. Jane Campion, the only woman ever to win a Palme d’Or (for The Piano in 1993), is president of the Competition jury whose other members will be revealed shortly.

how-to-train-your-dragonAmong the high-profile Hollywood titles expected is DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon sequel, which I hear is getting a special screening. The studio isn’t commenting, but DWA and Cannes have a long history – going back to when Frémaux took over the selection in 2001 and caused a stir by putting Shrek in the Competition. We’ve heard that Frémaux has put a full-court press on Paul Thomas Anderson to get Inherent Vice (Warner Bros) to the festival. But with a release date at the end of 2014, this could be a long shot, and some I’ve spoken with believe it won’t be ready for next month. Some wonder if Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys jersey boyscould make the trip. Eastwood has been to Cannes several times before and is esteemed by Frémaux who gave him the inaugural Lumière Prize in 2009 at the October festival he oversees in Lyon with Bertrand Tavernier. Although I’m told Jersey Boys isn’t a typical Cannes film, I wouldn’t fully rule it out — it’s also got a timely June release. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Grace Of Monaco’

Here’s a much more revealing look at Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco than any we’ve had before. The film, directed by Olivier Dahan, takes place during the early 1960s when Grace Kelly (Kidman) was married to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth), and during a political dispute between the principality and France. The trailer below provides a take on the struggles the former Hollywood star faced over her role as Princess Grace. Frank Langella, Derek Jacobi, Paz Vega, Parker Posey and Milo Ventimiglia also star. Produced by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam’s Stone Angels, Uday Chopra’s YRF Entertainment, and Arash Amel (and written by Amel), the movie makes its world premiere as the opening-night film of the Cannes Film Festival on May 14. It also goes out in France on that same day and Warner Bros releases in the UK on June 6. The Weinstein Co has the movie Stateside.

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‘Grace Of Monaco’ To Open Cannes Film Festival In World Premiere

cannes film festivalOlivier Dahan’s Grace Of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman will kick off the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, out of competition. There was some confusion yesterday when The Weinstein Co moved Grace off of its previously scheduled March 14 U.S. release date. I suspected this might have something to do with Cannes rather than with reported strife between Harvey Weinstein and director Dahan. Gaumont, which is distributing Grace in France, had, grace posterin December, changed its local release date from January 29 to March 19. That move was because the film had only just been finished. When I recently ran into Grace producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam in Paris, I asked him if the date might change again for a surprise Cannes berth and he gave me a cryptic “Who knows?” I’m promised the biopic about actress turned princess Grace Kelly is a stunner. The film portrays a period in her life after marrying Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth) in 1956. Six years later, amid occasional difficulties in fulfilling her role, she was invited back to Hollywood by Alfred Hitchcock, to star in Marnie. At the time, France was threatening to tax, and even annex, Monaco. The film asks the question: Was Grace still an actress or was she really Princess of Monaco? Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Jeanne Balibar, Derek Jacobi … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Czech Republic Contracts ‘The Office’; ‘Ugly Betty’ In The Middle East; ‘Grace Of Monaco’ French Release Shifted

officeThe Czech Republic is about to go inside The Office. BBC Worldwide has signed a local production deal with broadcaster Czech Television for a local version of the show that will be produced in-house for channel CT1. The first six episode series goes into production in January. Ricky Gervais, co-creator of The Office UK, said, “I’m extremely flattered and excited that there is about to be a new version of The Office. Prague was the first place in the world to produce a stage version, so I’m very glad a local adaptation is coming to TV too. Cue jokes about Gervais and another fat Cheque.” The Czech version will be based on the UK show that Gervais created with Stephen Merchant and is the 9th international sale of the format. Casting for the series has begun and actor Václav Kopta is confirmed to play the lead part of Marek Chvála, aka David Brent. The Office will be renamed as Kancl, slang for office or workplace.

ugly bettySony Pictures Television has made a first deal for its Arabic version of telenovela Betty La Fea (Ugly Betty in the States) with leading pay TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, OSN, acquiring the premiere rights. The regional broadcaster has acquired all 90 episodes of the series, which will be called Hebal Regal El Ghorab (Crow’s Foot) and … Read More »

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OSCARS: ‘Foxcatcher’ Becomes Latest Film To Drop Out Of This Year’s Race

Pete Hammond

Scratch off another potential Oscar contender. Sony Pictures Classics has announced the planned December release of the Bennett Miller-directed drama Foxcatcher has been moved out of this year’s awards race and into 2014 so filmmakers “can have more time to finish the film”. The announcement is a bit startling since AFI Fest, a prime showcase for major Oscar contenders, recently had announced it for a major world premiere berth on November 8. Obviously that will have to be replaced.

Related: SPC Moves Bennett Miller’s ‘Foxcatcher’ To 2014

The film becomes the latest casualty this week in what is turning out to be a very competitive awards season. Earlier this week The Weinstein Company announced their expected contender Grace Of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman was being moved from November (after previously being scheduled for December) and on to its spring 2014 slate, effectively removing Kidman’s portrayal of Grace Kelly from the Best Actress race.
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Hot Trailer: ‘Grace Of Monaco’

Here’s a first look at Olivier Dahan’s Grace Of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman as legendary actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly. The film takes place during the early 1960s when Kelly was married to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth), and during a political dispute between the principality and France. Frank Langella, Derek Jacobi, Paz Vega, Parker Posey and Milo Ventimiglia also star. Produced by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam’s Stone Angels, Uday Chopra’s YRF Entertainment, and Arash Amel (and written by Amel), the film goes out Stateside via The Weinstein Co on November 27. Warner Bros is releasing in the UK beginning November 29.

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‘Grace Of Monaco’ Team Sets Epic Love Story Between Ingrid Bergman And War Photog Robert Capa

By | Wednesday June 5, 2013 @ 3:14pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Grace Of Monaco scribe Arash Amel and that film’s financier Uday Chopra have found another untold story involving an iconic actress as their next project together. Chopra’s YRF has optioned Seducing Ingrid Bergman, a book by Chris Greenhalgh that will be published in the U.S. next year. Amel is writing the script and will produce with Chopra, who’ll finance the film, same roles they played on the Olivier Dahan-directed Grace Of Monaco, which The Weinstein Company releases this fall. Seducing Ingrid Bergman is the story of a torrid, clandestine romance between the beloved actress and the celebrated war photographer Robert Capa. Their tryst took place in post-WWII 1945 Paris, right before the onset of the Cold War and communist witch hunting. Amel tells me that the love affair set the stage for an image change for Bergman, whose The Bells Of St. Mary’s wholesome image would be shattered when her affair with director Roberto Rossellini became public and she was actually denounced by the U.S. Senate for loose morals when this Swedish housewife left home and fell in love with a playboy filmmaker.

Amel was just completing Grace Of Monaco when his CAA agents slipped him galleys of the Bergman book, and he responded to a symmetry between the stories of actresses in crossroad moments. Grace Of Monaco is many things, but at its core, it is the story of Grace Kelly’s struggle to surrender Hollywood stardom and swallow her ego to become a subordinate, a princess supporting her husband at a time when Monaco was under siege from France. Bergman is about an actress breaking free from the wholesome image she cultivated for herself, which didn’t match a true self that was far more complicated. Amel liked the idea that the book was written by an academic who got permission from Bergman to tell that story and of Capa’s role in liberating her. Read More »

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Hammond On Cannes: Weinstein Brings Out Stars For 2013 Oscar Contenders

Pete Hammond

Following a relatively new tradition they started a few years ago, The Weinstein Company on Friday night brought together a group of buyers, partners and press to preview its 2013 slate and meet filmmakers and stars. Although Harvey Weinstein never once mentioned the word “Oscar”, you can tell that’s definitely what he is thinking with a diverse mix of prestige projects that should give the awards-happy company lots of campaign fodder for 2013. He said after a rocky start the company has had a very good last four years and for 2012 made more than they ever did at Miramax. He also made a plea to the international audience gathered for the presentation at the Majestic Hotel for the continued independence of European filmmaking, especially in light of problems with the European Cultural Initiative. “We can’t let Europe be the same like the United States. What’s great about European movies is they are different and as long as they reflect their culture there will always be special movies like Amour, which we didn’t release last year, and so many movies like that. So keep your eye on the newspaper when this stuff comes up for votes or things we can do to influence it,  I think it’s very important,” he said.

Related: Cannes: Weinstein Eyes ‘Philomena’ In First Big Bidding Battle Of Festival

After the 40-minute reel led by the August 16th release The Butler and ending with the long-gestating Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Weinstein told me, “It’s a very eclectic, hard-hitting lineup that I am really proud of. What am I going to say? I feel very confident about this year”. Though he may not have been directly making an Oscar-season pitch (thankfully that’s still many months off even for Harvey — well, maybe not), he did make an overt plea for his official competition entries Only God Forgives and The Immigrant when introducing Cannes jury member Nicole Kidman, star of the December 27th release Grace Of Monaco. “We have a member of the jury with us tonight and she has to go for a jury meeting to hopefully decide which movie of mine wins the Palme d’Or. I have certainly given Steven (jury president Spielberg) enough money over the years,” he said to big laughs. Read More »

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Cannes: Weinsteins’ ‘Grace Of Monaco’ To Screen Footage; Whither The Studios?

We’re six days from definitively learning the Cannes Film Festival lineup while hopefuls await a call from fest chief Thierry Frémaux in the hours just preceding Thursday’s announcement. Of the high-profile possibilities, we reported last month that Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco would not be ready, and while that intel remains correct, I’m now hearing that footage from the film will turn up on the Croisette. It’s possible it could be part of an officially sanctioned event, but I understand that has yet to be determined.

By Hollywood standards, if that Weinstein Co. footage were to be an official part of the proceedings, it could be one of the most high-profile parts of the selection since the major studios are largely sitting this one out. With the exception of Warner Bros., whose Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby is opening the festival, I’m hearing that either the timing has not aligned or that upcoming studio films don’t jive with Cannes as a platform. “It’s a great place if you have something to promote… But it’s expensive, so it has to be the right thing for the movie,” one insider tells me. Estimates put the cost of an official red carpet Cannes screening and fête at up to $3M and beyond.

Cannes is still considered by Hollywood to be a useful marketing tool, but could it be that’s becoming truer outside of the official selection? Witness TWC, which last year rented a plush room in the Majestic Hotel to screen about 20 minutes of footage from three of its fall films – Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook and The Master. The move turned out to be a prescient means to whet the appetite for pictures that TWC was confident would be awards contenders later in the year. If the company repeats that select screening effort – which I understand it might do in a much bigger way – the top picks for this year look to be Salinger, the Shane Salerno feature doc about the Catcher In The Rye author; August: Osage County, John Wells’ Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts-starrer; One Chance, David Frankel’s pic about Britain’s Got Talent’s first winner Paul Potts; Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, the biopic starring Idris Elba, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

The above formula proved fruitful for TWC last year in a non-official capacity. However, for the U.S. majors, appearing in official selection is viable to launch Europe, but doesn’t mean much domestically, I’m told by someone who’s been down the road before. Another believes that to merit the whole red carpet pomp & circumstance “it has to be the right movie for the right audience because all eyes are on you. It is not the right place to toe dip… If you’re not going to deliver above expectations, why put yourself in the position?” Even DreamWorks Animation, long termed by Frémaux as a “friend of the festival” and which usually bows a movie in Cannes, won’t be there this year, I understand. Its upcoming Turbo rolls out in Europe in the fall. Typically, high-profile movies that open in Cannes are released theatrically quite quickly after the festival or are films that benefit from a very long lead critical campaign. Read More »

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TOLDJA! The Weinstein Company Finds Oscar Candidate In ‘Grace Of Monaco’; December 27 Limited Release Set

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: The Weinstein Company has confirmed the scoop Deadline Hollywood broke on Oscar morning, that while most people were getting dressed for the Oscars, Harvey Weinstein was wrapping up one of two deals that could give him Oscar contenders for the next race, sewing up distribution rights to Grace Of Monaco. Later, Deadline reported Weinstein closed a deal for the Shane Salerno-directed Salinger, after getting an exclusive first look at that docu on J.D. Salinger the same weekend his team closed the Grace Of Monaco deal. TWC has set a December 27 limited release for Grace Of Monaco, and Salinger will be released September 6. 

I reported that TWC wrapped up a deal to acquire domestic rights to Grace Of Monaco, the Olivier Dahan-directed drama that stars Nicole Kidman as actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, and Tim Roth as Monaco’s Prince Rainier III. I’m hearing that TWC has made a big bet, paying a $5 million minimum guarantee and a P&A commitment around $10 million for a minimum 800-screen run. CAA shopped domestic rights and established the film as a hot buzz title by showing sizzle reel footage at Berlin. TWC’s Weinstein and David Glasser made the deal Friday night here in Hollywood with CAA on behalf of Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, who produced the film with Uday Chopra and Arash Amel. Amel wrote the script. Here is the official announcement: Read More »

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Too Early To Talk 2014 Oscars? Harvey Weinstein Buying ‘Grace Of Monaco’ With Nicole Kidman As Grace Kelly

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: With two Best Picture candidates in the hunt, Harvey Weinstein has begun putting together the Oscar season slate for next year. I’m told that The Weinstein Company is wrapping up a deal to acquire domestic rights to Grace Of Monaco, the Olivier Dahan-directed drama that stars Nicole Kidman as actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, Tim Roth as Monaco’s Prince Rainier III. I’m hearing that TWC has made a big bet, paying a $5 million minimum guarantee and a P&A commitment around $10 million for a minimum 800 screen run. I was unable to get comment from TWC or CAA, which shopped the domestic rights and established the film as a hot buzz title by showing a sizzle reel footage at Berlin. TWC’s Weinstein and David Glasser made the deal Friday night here in Hollywood with CAA on behalf of Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, who produced the film with Uday Chopra and Arash Amel. Amel wrote the script. The film will be released in December, smack in the middle of next awards season, a release pattern that will be similar to the one TWC used for The Iron Lady. Inferno and Silver Reel were also in the deal. A $2 million deal for Canada is also in the offing.  Read More »

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