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Cannes: Matthew McConaughey Hits Croisette To Talk First Movie Since Oscar Win – “This One Scares Me”

By | Thursday May 15, 2014 @ 9:57am PDT
Pete Hammond

Matthew McConaughey‘s remarkable ride over the last two years arguably started at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where he had two films – Mud Cannes2014_badge and The Paperboy in competition — and another, Magic Mike, about to be released. Now after a Best Actor Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club a couple of months ago, he blew back into Cannes today to tout his first movie post-Oscar: Sea Of Trees to shoot this summer under the direction of Gus Van Sant, who joined McConaughey for a discussion for buyers from around the world moderated by Alex Walton. Walton is  the former Exclusive Media head of McConaugheyVanSantInternational Sales and Distribution who is launching his new company Bloom (with partner and Sea Of Trees producer Ken Kao) here in Cannes this week. Both McConaughey and Van Sant said the project originally came to them through its other producer Gil Netter, no stranger to hard-to-describe projects like Life Of Pi and The Blind Side, both netting him Best Picture Oscar nominations.

Actually for McConaughey this is a project he had lined up for a while and told me about when I sat with him at last February’s Oscar Nominees lunch. He was as excited about it then as he seemed today, although he said it’s not easy to describe. “It’s not the easiest one to explain,” he told me after the presentation, “but we hope it will be top notch.” McConaughey said the script  by Chris Sparling was the best he had read in five years. ”It’s high-quality. It gave me the chills in parts,” he told buyers. It  deals with a suicidal man’s visit to a dense forest at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan, a place where people go to contemplate life and death. There he sets out to help save a Japanese man (likely played by Ken Watanabe) and changes his own life in the process. Although it sounds like pretty heady material, McConaughey was careful to use the word “action” a few times in discussing the elements in the movie. This is, after all, a group of international buyers in Cannes, and it’s tough to sell metaphysics. Walton, who told me they have held back all territories until Cannes, doesn’t even like to use the word “sell” when talking about the business aspects of pushing his new company’s first project. “We’re here today to share it rather than sell it,” he laughed. In addition to the hopeful Watanabe casting, Walton said they are also looking at Naomi Watts for the role of McConaughey’s wife. Read More »

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Justin Kelly Teams With James Franco & Gus Van Sant For ‘Michael’

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 12:39pm PDT
Mike Fleming

mag-19friend-t_CA1-articleInlineJustin Kelly, a protege of Gus Van Sant, has set a summer start date for Michael, a film that Kelly will direct that will star James Franco. The pic is based on the Benoit Denizet-Lewis article “My Ex-Gay Friend,” published in The New York Times Magazine. franco__120329160903While there have been some gay empowerment-themed films cropping up (Van Sant and Franco did Milk together), this one takes the opposite track. Franco is playing the title character, a gay activist who, after enduring years of taunts and struggle, becomes an anti-gay Christian pastor. Kelly, who’s repped by Gotham Group and attorney Peter Nichols, wrote the script. Benoit is repped by Zachary, Shuster, Harmsworth and Hotchkiss & Associates.  Franco, Vince Jolivette, Scott Reed, Ron Singer and Joel Michaely will produce, while Van Sant is exec producer.

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Matthew McConaughey To Topline Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 6:41pm PST

Matthew McConaughey mugGus Van SantThe Dallas Buyers Club Oscar nominee has lined up his next role. Matthew McConaughey will star in Sea Of Trees, a drama from director Gus Van Sant about a suicidal American who befriends a Japanese man lost in a forest near Mount Fuji. Ken Watanabe also stars. Chris Sparling is scripting the film, with Gil Netter (Life Of Pi) producing. CAA and WME are talking to financiers about Sea Of Trees, and both will rep domestic rights. McConaughey, who stars on HBO’s new drama True Detective, already has bagged a SAG Award, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Movie Award for his Dallas Buys Club role. Van Sant, a two-time Best Director Oscar nominee for Milk and Good Will Hunting, will direct a segment of WGN America’s Ten Commandments event series. Variety first reported the news.

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Focused On ‘Promised Land’: Will 2012′s Last Film Be A Major Contender?

Pete Hammond

Not to be outdone by aggressive campaigning from its rivals, Focus Features this week moved boldly ahead with an Oscar campaign plan on two fronts for Friday’s release of Anna Kareninawhich had its L.A. premiere last night, and its late-breaking December 28th entry, Promised Land, which is launching its awards bid with some private screenings for some very big heavy hitters.

Regarding the latter film, what do you do when you are the very last major movie of the year? Director Gus Van Sant only delivered the final cut of the film in the past two weeks, and knowing they are under the gun in getting this one seen in time for the earlier Academy voting (now taking place ten days earlier than usual with ballots in the mail December 17 and due back January 3rd), Focus is trying to get the word out within the industry. So before even showing it to most of the press they began an early “influencer” campaign that has featured private screenings and receptions at the plush theatre inside L.A.’s Soho House. Tuesday night Cameron Crowe held one with guests including Meryl Streep, Sam Mendes, Colin Firth, Kate Hudson, Ben Affleck (coming over after getting his GQ man of the year award) and other academy voters who were able to mingle with star and co-writer (with John Krasinski) Matt Damon. Earlier in November Aaron Sorkin hosted a similar screening that drew Demi Moore, Jennifer Aniston and SAG President Ken Howard among others. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Promised Land’

By | Friday September 21, 2012 @ 12:34pm PDT

Promised Land reteams Gus Van Sant and his Good Will Hunting star Matt Damon in a story about a natural gas conglomerate that descends on a small farming town. Damon and Frances McDormand are the company’s point people who run into plenty of problems once they arrive. John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt and Hal Holbrook co-star. Damon and Krasinski co-wrote the script based on a Dave Eggers story. Focus Features is releasing this one in an Oscar-qualifying run December 28 before expanding in January.

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Focus Features Puts Gus Van Sant-Matt Damon Pic ‘Promised Land’ Into Oscar Race

By | Thursday August 23, 2012 @ 12:51pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: In a surprise move that adds another intriguing film to Oscar season, Focus Features has committed to release in a qualifying two city run Promised Land, the Gus Van Sant-directed film that stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski, both of whom wrote the script. The film will be released in exclusive engagements in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, December 28th, 2012, prior to an expansion in January. The film, based on a story by Dave Eggers, also stars Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married), Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild), Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly), Titus Welliver (The Town), and Oscar winner Frances McDormand. Participant Media co-financed the movie, for which Focus holds worldwide rights.

Damon plays Steve Butler, a corporate salesman who arrives in a rural town with his sales partner, Sue Thomason (McDormand). With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (Krasinski) who counters Steve both personally and professionally.

Damon and Krasinski produced the film with Chris Moore, the latter of whom teamed with Damon and Van Sant on Good Will Read More »

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Focus, Participant Acquire Matt Damon/John Krasinski Film; Gus Van Sant Directing

By | Wednesday February 1, 2012 @ 3:33pm PST
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: I’m told the film has a new title: Promised Land.

EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Focus Features and Participant Media won a bidding battle for the untitled film that Gus Van Sant will direct with Matt Damon and John Krasinski starring, from the script those actors co-wrote. Focus and Participant are tying down the details. You’ll recall that Damon planned to make his directing debut on the film, but when his schedule made that impossible, he and producer Chris Moore brought it to their Good Will Hunting director Van Sant, who signed on. The film, which got a first draft from Dave Eggers when its title was Gold Mist, is a Capraesque tale in which Damon and Krasinski play rival corporate executives. Damon plays a sales executive who arrives in a small town only to have his whole life called into question. Moore, Damon and Krasinski will produce and production begins in April. Read More »

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Gus Van Sant Replacing Matt Damon As Director Of Capraesque Drama

By | Friday January 6, 2012 @ 8:49am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: When Matt Damon was unable to commit the time to prep and direct the untitled film that he co-wrote and will star in with John Krasinski, Damon took the script to the director who helmed the last screenplay the actor co-wrote. Last night, Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant committed to helm the film, which is on track to start production early April. The project, which got a first draft from Dave Eggers when its title was Gold Mist, is a Capraesque tale in which Damon and Krasinski play rival corporate executives. Damon plays a sales executive who arrives in a small town only to have his whole life called into question. The film will be produced by Damon’s former Live Planet partner Chris Moore, Damon and Krasinski.

Now that Van Sant is in, details on the film will fall into place quickly. When Damon was going to direct, the film had been set up at Warner Bros through the production shingle that Damon has there with Ben Affleck. It’s unclear if Warner Bros will make the movie, and the process of setting the $15 million budget and distribution will begin in earnest next week. Plans to shoot in upstate New York could also change and the location could be closer to Van Sant’s Portland base. The project is … Read More »

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Hot Clip: Gus Van Sant’s ‘Restless’

By | Friday October 14, 2011 @ 7:46am PDT

Starring Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper (Dennis Hopper’s son), this Sony Pictures Classics coming-of-age film from Imagine Entertainment opened September 16 in Los Angeles and New York City and adds more cities October 14 and subsequent weekends. The overlayed date atop the beginning of the “Annabel’s drawings” clip refers to the movie’s U.K. release date.

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Starz Offers Full-Episode Previews of Kelsey Grammer’s ‘Boss’

By | Thursday October 13, 2011 @ 6:59pm PDT

In a strategy to build interest in the new Kelsey Grammer series Boss, Starz beginning today is making the premiere episode available for sampling to 76 million households across multiple platforms in the runup to the October 21 debut. Grammer plays Tom Kane, hardened Machiavellian mayor of Chicago who finds himself struggling with a potentially debilitating medical problem he desperately wants to keep secret. Connie Nielsen plays his wife and Martin Donovan plays his political advisor. Viewers can watch the full debut episode directed by Gus Van Sant on www.starz.com/boss and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/boss.starz and on-demand or online via multiple cable or telco and satellite outlets. Read More »

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2011 Toronto Festival Fills Out Slate And Sets Maverick Lecture Program

Mike Fleming

The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival has filled out the rest of its slate, which consists of 268 features and 68 short films that will unspool next month. The fest announced that the likes of Brad Pitt (Moneyball), George Clooney (The Ides of March), and U2 (the Davis Guggenheim-directed docu From The Sky Down) will be among a long list of boldface names at the fest.

Toronto added 13 films to its Masters Lineup, including the North American premiere of Gus Van Sant’s Restless, and a Discovery Programme lineup that includes the international debut of the Dee Rees-directed Pariah, which premiered in January at Sundance. The fest also announced its complete lineup for Mavericks. It includes a discussion with Christopher Plummer, who stars in Barrymore, the Erik Canuel-directed adaptation of Plummer’s Tony-winning performance as actor John Barrymore; a conversation between Deepa Mehta and Salman Rushdie; a conversation with Francis Ford Coppola, whose Twixt plays Toronto; Neil Young and Jonathan Demme as they premiere the documentary Neil Young Life; Tilda Swinton as she brings We Need to Talk About Kevin to the fest; and a discussion with Sony Pictures Classics founders Michael Barker and Tom Bernard as their distribution company reaches its 20th year milestone.

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Toronto Taps David Hare’s ‘Page Eight’ As Closer, Bulks Up Slate With Gala Starpower

Mike Fleming

The 2011 Toronto Film Festival has selected David Hare’s spy drama Page Eight, starring Bill Nighy, Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, as its closing-night film and added a slew of Gala premieres and Special Presentations that boost the star wattage with the likes of Robert De Niro, Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, James Gandolfini and Gerard Butler. The additions to the previously announced film slate includes a Future Projects lineup that features James Franco and Gus Van Sant reminiscing about My Own Private Idaho, a documentary about Exit through the Gift Shop‘s Mr. Brainwash (Thierry Guetta), and Peter Lynch’s Buffalo Days; and a Wavelengths program of international experimental films. Here is the release about the additional Galas and Special Presentations:

Toronto – The Toronto International Film Festival® announces the addition of 8 Galas and 17 Special Presentations to the high-calibre selection of crowd-pleasers premiering in September. Today’s announcement includes 14 World Premieres and reveals that Festival-goers will be treated to a programming lineup featuring world premieres from directors including Nick Murphy, Gary McKendry, Joel Schumacher, Gianni Amelio, Agnieszka Holland, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Pankaj Kapur, Anne Fontaine, Mathieu Kassovitz and Geoffrey Fletcher. The films unveiled today feature onscreen appearances by Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen, Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Gerard Butler, Ralph Fiennes, Imelda Staunton, Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Deneuve, Shahid Kapur, Isabelle Huppert, Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel and James Gandolfini, among others.

This announcement brings the final number of Galas to 20, and the final number of Special Presentations to 67.

GALAS
Closing Night Film
Page Eight
David Hare, United Kingdom International Premiere
Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving M15 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the stability of the organization. Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny’s striking next-door neighbour and political activist Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) seems too good to be true. Set in London and Cambridge, Page Eight is a contemporary spy film which addresses intelligence issues and moral dilemmas peculiar to the new century. Also stars Ralph Fiennes and Judy Davis.

Read More »

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Q&A: Brian Grazer And Ron Howard On 25 Years Together As Imagine Partners

Mike Fleming

UPDATE EXCLUSIVE: Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have reached a milestone unusual in Hollywood: partners for 25 years. When they first got together, Grazer was a TV producer. Howard, after growing up on the small screen in The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, had only directed a couple of TV movies and the low budget Roger Corman-produced Grand Theft Auto. Grazer and Howard have been at it together ever since, building a company that over 25 years has been one of the most consistent generators of content. Their TV series output includes 24, Parenthood, Arrested Development and Friday Night Lights; their movies have grossed $13.5 billion worldwide. That includes A Beautiful Mind, which won Howard the Academy Award for Best Director. Grazer and Howard shared Best Picture Oscars that night as well. Not everything they’ve done has succeeded, of course. They they took their company public and repurchased the shares; they helped launched and fold the online venture Pop.com; their most recent film together, the adult comedy The Dilemma, was a misfire that created controversy over the inclusion of the word “gay” in a trailer. They’ve had way more hits than misses.

In honor of Imagine’s Silver Anniversary, Deadline invited Howard and Grazer to look back over their quarter century together, and into a future that includes something never tried before by anyone in Hollywood. They’re adapting Stephen King’s 7-novel series The Dark Tower into a film trilogy, and a limited run TV series in between. It has pushed the envelope enough that their longtime home studio, Universal  Pictures, postponed a planned late summer start until next year and asked the filmmakers to cut the budget. Some question the studio’s resolve on such a massive undertaking. The studio has to green light the film by next month or the rights revert to Imagine, Akiva Goldsman and King, who are determined to make it regardless.

DEADLINE: Not many marriages of any kind last 25 years in Hollywood. What is most important about the anniversary?
HOWARD: It’s such a challenging time to get movies made. And yet, look at all we have coming out. Tower Heist, the Gus Van Sant movie Restless, J Edgar with Clint Eastwood and Leo DiCaprio, Cowboys & Aliens, this big broad appeal four quadrant fantasy adventure story with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. With The Playboy Club getting on the air, and Parenthood getting picked up, I’m proud we’re doing what we’ve always done. A wide variety of projects that got made because we care and put in the energy to get them done in light of how difficult it is these days.

DEADLINE: I’ve watched filmmaker partnerships fail because of jealousy, ego, greed, or lack of sustained success. Why have you avoided those pitfalls?
HOWARD: The bi-coastal relationship!

DEADLINE: Simple as that?
HOWARD: Because I’m in New York, we’re not forced to stare at each other’s faces 24/7. But I think that’s not really it. We love what we’re doing, we have fun doing it and our sensibilities are in sync. In a business that can create so many feelings of anxiety and self-doubt, I learned to trust in that. Brian is smart and cares about me doing well and feeling good about what I’m doing. It’s a partnership built on support. It has been that way since the beginning.
GRAZER: It works because we have similar tastes and not only gravitate toward the same material but also what lives inside the core of the movie it becomes. We’ve done, and Ron has directed, all kinds of genres. We have a common interest in the humanity aspect of a movie, regardless if it’s a comedy or a drama. We also share a similar work ethic.

DEADLINE: When you cover all genres, does Imagine have a wheelhouse? For a company looking to last, is it advisable to have one?
HOWARD: The process is what gets Brian and me excited, whatever the genre. Not specializing has given our company a sense of flexibility and adaptability to whatever the market or the zeitgeist is suggesting. We’ve always respected each other as creative people. If Brian loves something and I don’t quite get it, I’ll tell him that but I’ll never try to impede the progress. He’s the same with me. With Apollo 13, I  wasn’t sure the genre would work, because space films hadn’t done that well. Brian was instantly so excited about it, and made me realize we were onto something. 8 Mile, I don’t know anything about rap. This was something he understood. I didn’t know how to make that movie, but I recognized a great idea. Whenever the two of us get excited, on films like Splash, Night Shift and Parenthood, those have resulted in the building blocks of the company. I’ve always liked TV  but I phased it out for awhile and it was Brian’s perseverance that has made us strong in both TV and films. Independent companies are rarely strong in both.
GRAZER: What we’ve do is agree on the moral center of a project, but nobody’s better at finding the language of a particular movie than Ron. He’s got a grasp of understanding  new vocabularies, whether it’s the The Da Vinci Code, fantasy like Cocoon or Splash, or Backdraft and The Grinch. He is great at inhabiting a world and completely understanding and expressing its language. In A Beautiful Mind, he entered that world and understood the medical science of mental illness. So there have been times where he led the charge, and I was drawn in by his excitement.

DEADLINE: What was the last hard conversation or professional disagreement you can remember?
HOWARD: I can’t think of one offhand, but even when we have disagreements, I can’t think of a case where one of us ever said, ‘Oh, please don’t do this.’ If there’s a lot of passion from one or the other, then the support of the company is going to be there. Read More »

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CANNES: Competition Underway With Double Bill Of Tilda Swinton & Gus Van Sant

Pete Hammond

After a fun opening night living vicariously through Woody Allen’s Paris, the Cannes official competition and sales market really got down to business Thursday. And how’s this for a good time? The fest started the competitive entries with a double bill of downer flicks directed by two very smart women. Unfortunately, only one of them worked.

First up was the dreadful Sleeping Beauty, an Australian drama revolving around a girl, played by Emily Browning, who subjects herself to such degrading inhuman sexual acts we can’t even go into it here. As she is induced into a coma-like state a number of eighty-something men have their way with her. Fun, huh? The really stunning thing is that rare Palme D’Or winning woman, Jane Campion (The Piano), is lending her name to this dreary exercise from first-timer Julia Leigh.

It could only go up from there and it did — waaaaay up — at the 8:30 AM Thursday morning press screening for Lynne Ramsey’s extraordinary We Need To Talk About Kevin, starring the ever-remarkable Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly as parents dealing with tragic circumstances caused by their out-of-control son. It is a most impressive acting and directorial feat that gives the festival its first genuine awards contender, and if it can secure domestic distribution (may distribs such as Sony Pictures Classics and Lionsgate were seen entering the early AM screening), the Oscar-winning Swinton could once again find herself in the Academy race next year and definitely for a prize here on May 22. Read More »

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Starz Sets Production Start And Remaining Cast For Kelsey Grammer Series ‘Boss’

By | Wednesday April 20, 2011 @ 11:16am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Deadline told you about the Kelsey Grammer Starz series Boss last fall, and now the network has confirmed everything, with Gus Van Sant set to make his TV directing debut. Not included in the release is that Troy Garity will join the series for a key story arc as a newspaper reporter.  Here’s the release:

Beverly Hills, Calif. – April 20, 2011 – Production begins April 27 in Chicago on “Boss,” an original dramatic series from STARZ and Lionsgate Television, starring TV icon Kelsey Grammer and with its first episode directed by acclaimed filmmaker Gus Van Sant in his TV helming debut. Over its eight-episode season, the show centers on the Machiavellian machinations of a fictional Chicago mayor with a dark secret and is set to premiere exclusively on STARZ in October 2011.

Joining Grammer, who will be making his first dramatic TV series debut as Chicago Mayor Tom Kane, in the main cast on “Boss” are Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, The Devil’s Advocate) as his wife Meredith, a formidable Chicago power in her own right; Jeff Hephner (“The O.C.,” “Hellcats,” “Easy Money”) as ambitious young politician Alex Zajac; Hannah Ware (Cop Out) as the Kanes’ estranged daughter Emma; and Kathleen Robertson (“Girls Club,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” Hollywoodland) as Mayor Kane’s supremely organized aide Kitty O’Neil.

“Boss” was created by Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto), who is also an executive producer on the series, along with Grammer, Van Sant, Brian Sher, Stella Stolper,

Read More »

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Gus Van Sant’s ‘Restless’ To Open Un Certain Regard Cannes Sidebar

Sony Pictures Classsics expects to release Gus Van Sant’s new film Restless in North America this fall, with Sony Pictures Releasing distributing in the rest of the world. Henry Hopper and Mia Wasikowska star in this coming-of-age story about two teenage outsiders brought together by unseen circumstances.

The film Restless by Gus Van Sant will open Un Certain Regard, selection of the Festival de Cannes, on the evening of Thursday, May 12.

Produced by Columbia Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and 360 Pictures, the film examines the relationship of two teenagers, played by Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper.

Gus Van Sant received the Palme d’or in 2003 for Elephant and the 60th anniversary award for Paranoid Park (2007). His first nomination at the Festival de Cannes was in 1995 for To Die For.

Un Certain Regard chooses close to twenty films each year for its official selection.

The president of the jury, Emir Kusturica, will present the Prize Un Certain Regard on May 21.

The official selection will be announced on Thursday, April 14.

The president of the jury, Emir Kusturica, will present the Prize Un Certain Regard on May 21.

The official selection will be announced on Thursday, April 14.

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Sony Pictures Classics Releasing ‘Restless’ With Gus Van Sant

By | Thursday March 31, 2011 @ 3:37pm PDT
Mike Fleming

NEW YORK (March 31, 2011) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they will release Gus Van Sant’s new film, RESTLESS, in North America, with Sony Pictures Releasing International distributing the film in the rest of the world. Jason Lew penned the film’s script that stars Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska, Ryo Kase, Schuyler Fisk and Luisa Strus. RESTLESS is produced by Bryce Dallas Howard, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard under the Imagine Entertainment banner and Columbia Pictures. SPC expects a fall release.

Van Sant assembled a world class crew to work on RESTLESS, director of photographer Harris Savides (MILK, AMERICAN GANGSTER, ZODIAC), production designer Anne Ross (LOST IN TRANSLATION, SOMEWHERE, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE), editor Elliot Graham (X MEN, SUPERMAN RETURNS, MILK), costume designer Danny Glicker (UP IN THE AIR, MILK, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) and music by Danny Elfman (ALICE IN WONDERLAND, MILK, SPIDERMAN).

RESTLESS is a powerful and emotional coming of age story that centers on the relationship of two outsiders brought together by unforeseen circumstances. The story of friendship becomes an engaging and provocative love story.

“Having known and admired Gus’ work for years, we are so pleased to be releasing his newest film, which to our mind, is one of his very best. We are also thrilled to be working with producer Bryce Howard and the impressive team at Imagine,” states Sony Pictures Classics.

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James Franco & Gus Van Sant Redo ‘My Own Private Idaho’ With Unused Footage Into Two Films For Art Exhibition

By | Wednesday February 23, 2011 @ 10:37am PST

Here’s further fuel to fire up those beliefs that James Franco has succeeded in cloning himself. Beginning on Saturday, the actor together with director Gus Van Sant are debuting an exhibition titled “Unfinished” at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. It consists of two films based on My Own Private Idaho which Van Sant directed but Franco did not star in. (It co-starred Keanu Reeves and the late River Phoenix as street hustlers.) But after casting Franco in 2008′s Milk, Van Sant showed him the dailies and other footage that he had shot many years before for the 1991′s My Own Private Idaho but which did not make it into the final cut. So Franco decided to fashion it into two new films, riffing off the original title: Endless Idaho and My Own Private River.

According to the official descriptions, Franco “edited outtakes, deleted scenes, alternate takes, and behind-the-scenes footage from My Own Private Idaho into the 12-hour film Endless Idaho which circa Andy Warhol provides an unprecedented look into the workaday process of making a movie, from location scouting to repeated takes. In a blend of documentary and fiction, interviews with actual hustlers who played secondary characters in My Own Private Idaho are intercut with shots of River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves improvising and refining their performances under the direction of Van Sant and his crew”. By contrast, My Own Private River “consists largely of … Read More »

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‘Nip/Tuck’ Duo Join Starz’s ‘Boss’ As EPs

By | Friday February 4, 2011 @ 12:36pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Former Nip/Tuck executive producers Richard Levine and Lyn Greene have joined Starz’s upcoming series Boss as executive producers/co-showrunners. Boss, which received an 8-episode straight-to-series order in November, is a political drama starring Kelsey Grammer as the Mayor of Chicago who is diagnosed with a degenerative mental condition that only he and his doctor know about. It was created by Apocalypto co-writer Farhad Safinia, with Milk director Gus Van Sant on board to direct the pilot in what will be his TV debut. Also joining Boss is top feature casting director Francine Maisler (untitled Spider-Man reboot), who has worked with Van Sant on several films, including Milk.

Levine and Greene will be co-showrunning the Lionsgate TV-produced series with Safinia who is making his TV writing debut with Boss. Safinia, Levine, Greene, Van Sant and Grammer are executive producing with Grammer’s new Grammnet Prods. partner Brian Sher as well as Stella Stolper. Levine and Greene most recently created and ran ABC’s summer series Scoundrels, an adaptation of a New Zealand format. Maisler’s only series credits ate The Larry Sanders Show and the pilots for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Mr. Sunshine.

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