EXCLUSIVE: Katie Holmes has been set to join Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl, and Antje Traue in The Woman In Gold, the Simon Curtis-directed drama from Worldview Entertainment, BBC Films and The Weinstein Company. Scripted by Alexi Kaye and Alex Campbell, the story is set in 1998 and follows a holocaust survivor who solicits the help of her newly minted lawyer grandson to help her sue the Swiss government to get back priceless artwork stolen by the Nazis. Holmes, who’s repped by ICM Partners and Untitled, next will be seen in The Giver. She previously starred with Mirren for TWC’s Teaching Mrs. Tingle, a dark comedy by Kevin Williamson about students seeking revenge on a tyrant teacher.
Over The Cannes Transom: Worldview On Mel Gibson Pic, Aaron Paul & Helen Mirren In ‘Eye In The Sky’, ‘The Master Cleanse’ Gets Cast And Kickoff, More
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.
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.
DreamWorks and Participant Media’s adaptation of Richard Morais’ bestseller stars Hellen Mirren as famed French chef Madame Mallory in The Hundred-Foot Journey, a culinary drama about an Indian restaurant and a three-Michelin-star restaurant across the street from each other in southern France. Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake are producing Steve Knight’s script, and Lasse Hallström is directing. Disney is releasing it August 8. Check out the first trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has set Ryan Reynolds and is negotiating with Daniel Bruhl to join Helen Mirren in Woman In Gold, a fact-based story that Simon Curtis will direct in May. Mirren will play real-life heroine Maria Altmann, a Jewish WWII survivor who fought the Austrian government to get back several paintings by Gustav Klimt that were pilfered from her family during wartime. Reynolds will play the attorney who took his case despite knowing little about art, and Bruhl will play his adversary.
David Thompson and Kris Thykier are producing, while the executive producers are Harvey and Bob Weinstein for TWC, Christine Langan for BBC and Ed Rubin.
The script was written by Alexi Kay Campbell. The film reunites Harvey Weinstein with Curtis, who most recently directed My Week With Marilyn for TWC. Reynolds just finished Mississippi Grind for directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and he is the lead of Atom Egoyan’s The Captive and in the Tarsem-directed Selfless, the latter for Focus Features. He’s repped by WME and Darren Statt and his 1314 Management. Bruhl is coming off Rush and most recently wrapped the Anton Corbjin-directed A Most Wanted Man. He’s repped by WME and Anonymous Content.
London, 27 January 2014: On Sunday 16 February, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will present Dame Helen Mirren with the Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House, London. Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games. Fellows previously honoured for their work in film include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee and Martin Scorsese. Sir Alan Parker received the Fellowship at last year’s Film Awards.
Global Showbiz Briefs: New Study Looks At Entertainment Media Consumption In The Middle East; Helen Mirren Wins Again; More
New Study Looks At Entertainment Media Consumption In The Middle East
Northwestern University in Qatar and the Doha Film Institute are partnering on a research project to explore trends in entertainment media consumption in the Middle East. The survey research will cover entertainment, culture, and sports in six countries including Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Tunisia. The aim is to learn more about media use and society in the post-Arab Spring era. “The changing social currents in the Middle East have generated a significant shift in what audiences consume, want, and consider appropriate entertainment, but there is not a lot of recorded data to understand these issues in detail,” said Abdulaziz Al-Khater, CEO of the Doha Film Institute. “Producing quantitative knowledge on the subject will help members of the industry make better-informed decisions.”
Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Kevin Spacey Among Theatre Awards Honorees
Helen Mirren has scooped yet another prize for playing Queen Elizabeth II. The actress won the top award at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday for her role in the West End play The Audience. She previously won an Olivier Award for the role (and an Oscar for playing the monarch in 2007’s The Queen). Best actor was a tie between Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear, for their respective performances as Shakespeare’s Othello and Iago at the National Theatre. Other nods went to Maggie …
The Oscar-winning actress will be starring in The Hundred Foot Journey, DreamWorks Studios officially announced today. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr first reported in early June that Helen Mirren was circling the project to play eccentric and famous chef Madame Mallory. Mirren will be joined in the adaptation of Richard Morais’ bestseller by Manish Dayal from 90210 and ABC Family’s Switched At Birth in the role of Hassan Haji. Lasse Hallstrom will direct the culinary competition drama about an Indian restaurant and a three-Michelin-star joint literally across the street from each other in Southern France. Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake are producing. Steve Knight wrote the screenplay for the film, which is set to begin production this fall in France and India. The Hundred Foot Journey will be released on August 8, 2014. The Walt Disney Company is distributing the film in the United States and in select international territories, while Mister Smith Entertainment is handling distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. DreamWorks’ partner Reliance will distribute the film in India. Dayal is repped by Innovative Artists, Industry Entertainment and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman. Soon to be seen in the seniors spy action sequel Reds 2, Helen Mirren is repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks is setting Lasse Hallstrom to direct The Hundred-Foot Journey, an adaptation of the Richard C. Morais novel about the rivalry between an Indian restaurant that is 100 feet away from a three-Michelin-star restaurant in France. The French restaurant is run by the famous eccentric chef Madame Mallory, who reluctantly forms a mentoring bond with a young Indian boy whose family owns the rival eatery. Their bond, and his culinary awakening, is a core of the story. I’m hearing that Helen Mirren will play Madame Mallory, but DreamWorks said no casting has been set. Shooting will begin in the fall.
This amounts to a bit of home cooking for DreamWorks and its financing partner, India-based Reliance, and it satisfies an ambition to find a film with relevance to the Indian market. Besides a well-reviewed novel, the project has pedigree: It was adapted by Eastern Promises scribe Steven Knight, and the producers are Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake.
It seems a role that is a strong fit for Mirren, whose other culinary-themed film, the Peter Greenaway-directed The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, was a bit strong for my palate. This is also the kind of movie that Hallstrom does well, as he has proved on films from Chocolat to What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, …
Dressed As Queen, Helen Mirren Dresses Down Drummers
There really is nothin’ like a Dame. Helen Mirren won an Olivier Award last week for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s The Audience. But Saturday night’s performance led the Oscar winner to use some not-so-royal language when dressing down a troupe of drummers who were passing by the West End’s Gielgud Theatre. “The drumming just slowly got louder and louder and then settled right outside the stage door,” Mirren told The Telegraph. Unable to hear her co-star and sensing the audience couldn’t either, Mirren “literally walked straight off stage, straight up the stairs and straight out the stage door and banged my way through the crowd who were watching and said, ‘Stop, you’ve got to stop right now’ — only I might have used stronger language than that,” she told The Telegraph. “I’m afraid there were a few ‘thespian’ words used.” The Times quotes her saying, “I think they must have thought I was some completely batty old bird.” The “very sweet” drummers stopped immediately, and Mirren says she’d like to invite them to see the play.
Champs-Elysées Fest Turns 2
The Champs-Elysées Film Festival will celebrate its second year June 12-18 in Paris with Olivier Martinez acting as president. The fest opens with the Chris Colfer-penned Struck By Lightning, which Eurozoom releases in France the following week. The fest closes …
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time was the big winner at Sunday night’s Olivier Awards, the British theater’s highest honor. The drama took seven prizes, tying the record set by last year’s Matilda The Musical. Among the wins for The Curious Incident were best new play, best actor for Luke Treadaway, best supporting actress for Nicola Walker and best director for Marianne Elliott. Helen Mirren was crowned best actress for playing Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s drama The Audience. (Mirren won an Oscar for playing Elizabeth in Stephen Frears’ Morgan-scripted The Queen in 2006.) Richard McCabe was best supporting actor for The Audience. Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton won best actor and actress for the revival of musical Sweeney Todd and Top Hat was named best new musical. See below for the full list of winners:
Nominees for the 2013 Olivier Awards, Britain’s answer to the Tonys, include a host of well-known names. Helen Mirren is nominated for Best Actress for playing Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Daldry’s The Audience. No stranger to the role, Mirren won an Oscar for her portrayal of Elizabeth in Stephen Frears’ 2006 feature The Queen. And just to keep things in the family, Oscar-nominated Queen scribe Peter Morgan also scripted Audience. James McAvoy, tackling Macbeth for the first time, is nominated for Best Actor in his well-reviewed turn. Also among the nominees are Rupert Everett as Best Actor in The Judas Kiss; Kristin Scott Thomas as Best Actress for Old Times; and Imelda Staunton as Best Actress in a Musical for Sweeney Todd. The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time leads all nominations with eight, followed by Top Hat with seven and Sweeney Todd with six. The prizes will be handed out April 28 at London’s Royal Opera House. Click over for a full list of nominees:
Global Showbiz Briefs: Helen Mirren, BBC & ‘Pompidou’, Cannes Critics’ Week President Named, World Cup Windfall
Helen Mirren’s Sam Mendes Quotes Misquoted
Helen Mirren is never shy of a making a bold statement or two. But stories circulating in the British press following her appearance at Sunday night’s Empire Awards have misquoted the actress as criticizing director Sam Mendes for naming an all-male list of his inspirations. In a speech earlier in the evening, Mendes had praised inspirational moments from the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder and Akira Kurosawa, which Mirren highlighted when she stepped up to receive a lifetime achievement prize. But far from tearing down Mendes, she used his list to illustrate how much attitudes had changed since she started. “When I first came into the film industry it was a really bloke-y world,” she said. “Nowadays, that’s really changed and it’s great to see women in cinematography, in sound, and obviously in producing and writing.” She said she was certain that in “five or ten years” a successor to Mendes would include female directors on their list of inspirations as a result. “Nothing against Sam, absolutely,” she insisted. “They were great, great moments he chose.” Given the press fervor that greeted her misrepresented comments, it’s no wonder she earlier joked, “The critics bloody well piss me off. What do they know, honestly?” – Joe Utichi
The “retired and extremely dangerous” spies are back in Red 2, and this time they’re hunting a portable nuke that’s gone missing. Dean Parisot directed the sequel from Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber’s screenplay adapted from the graphic novel Red by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren again lead the sizable cast. The Lionsgate/Summit release opens August 2:
WATCH IT ON YOUTUBE: Red 2 – Official Trailer #1
Even as Oscar nomination polls were closing Friday afternoon, the awards season action was already shifting to the Southern California desert as the 10-day Palm Springs International Film Festival kicked off, not only with its highly publicized Saturday night gala where enormous statuettes are handed out to Oscar hopefuls looking for a boost in the race, but also as a genuinely impressive public showcase for world cinema.
42 of the 71 official Oscar foreign entries are on display at the Fest (which runs through January 13) including 8 of the 9 finalists which made the shortlist. Many of those filmmakers nervously awaiting results, of which of the 9 become the 5 nominees, were at the fest all weekend, even as a select group of about 30 high-profile Academy members (including Meryl Streep, who told me last year she had a great time on this uber committee) in New York and Los Angeles were viewing the finalists and making their choices (to be announced with other Oscar nominees on Thursday morning).
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Phil Spector is, in a sense, being retried in the court of artistic expression in the HBO biopic Phil Spector that debuts this spring featuring the typically impressive HBO pedigree: Al Pacino in the title role as Spector and Helen Mirren as his co-star. Oh, and David Mamet as writer-director. At the afternoon TCA panel promoting the film, defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden, who defended Spector in his first trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson and served as a consultant on the film, remains unconvinced that her client did in fact commit the crime. “It was not proven,” she believes, “and to some degree that’s what this movie explores. What does reasonable doubt mean in a jury trial? Mamet, too, remains unconvinced of Spector’s guilt. “All I knew when we started the project is that he was a freak who killed some girl,” he said. But by the time he finished watching a documentary about Spector, Mamet admits he had changed his tune, to the point where he was almost equally convinced that Spector was extremely bright, misunderstood — and quite possibly not guilty. But his marching orders were “don’t indict the victim,” so he worked to make sure that was the case.
After executive producing the London Olympics’ closing ceremony, Stephen Daldry is turning his attention to another live spectacle with The Audience, a stage play written by The Queen scribe Peter Morgan. The Queen Oscar winner Helen Mirren will return to the stage and the role of Queen Elizabeth II for the run in London’s West End beginning February 15, 2013. For 60 years, the Queen has met with each of 12 Prime Ministers from Winston Churchill to David Cameron in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. The meetings are private with an unspoken agreement never to reveal their contents. The Audience imagines a series of pivotal, sometimes revealing meetings between the Queen and the PMs. Matthew Byam Shaw for Playful Productions, Robert Fox and Andy Harries are producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Biel committed today to the second female lead in the Sacha Gervasi-directed Alfred Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho. Biel will play the role of Vera Miles, who played Lila Crane in the 1960 classic. Anthony Hopkins plays Hitchcock, Scarlett Johansson will play Janet Leigh, Helen Mirren will play Alma Reville and James D’Arcy is reportedly up for the role of Anthony Perkins. Biel will next be seen starring opposite Colin Farrell in the Total Recall remake for Sony Pictures. Biel beat out several actresses for the Hitchcock role. She’s repped by CAA, Management 360 and attorney Karl Austen.
Robin Williams, Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren and Jason Isaacs will be among the presenters at BAFTA LA’s 2011 Britannia Awards, set for November 30 at the Beverly Hilton. Alan Cumming is hosting the ceremony, which will air December 4 on TV Guide Network. The already announced 2011 honorees are Warren Beatty (Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film), Helena Bonham Carter (Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year), John Lasseter (Cubby Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment), Ben Stiller (Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy), and David Yates (John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing).
EXCLUSIVE: Less than a week after filming of the HBO Films movie Phil Spector was suspended after co-star Bette Midler had to pull out for medical reasons, the producers of the David Mamet-written and directed movie have found a replacement. And boy did they deliver. Oscar winner Helen Mirren has been tapped to star opposite Al Pacino in the film, which explores the client-attorney relationship between legendary music producer Phil Spector (Pacino) and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Mirren), who represented Spector during his first trial for murder. Mamet, Barry Levinson and Pacino are executive producing Phil Spector, which had done 6 days of shooting when it suspended production last Tuesday after Midler suffered from a herniated disk. Filming is now expected to resume next week. In addition to her Academy Award for The Queen, Mirren has won 4 Emmy Awards, including one for the HBO miniseries Elizabeth I.