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Ed Helms, Hilary Swank & Ed Harris In Talks To Star In Alejandro González Iñárritu’s MRC Series ‘One Percent’

Nellie Andreeva

Ed Helms, Hilary Swank & Ed Harris In Talks To Star In Alejandro González Iñárritu’s MRC Series ‘One Percent’Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s MRC series is taking shape, with Ed Helms, Hilary Swank and Ed Harris in various stages of negotiations to topline the hour-long project. In his U.S. TV debut, the Oscar-nominated Iñárritu will direct the series, titled One Percent, which he co-created with Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolas Giacobone, and Armando Bo. MRC Logo NewThe four recently collaborated on the script of Iñárritu’s latest feature, black comedy Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance, which has been selected to open this year’s Venice Film Festival in its world premiere and as the closing-night title for the New York Film Festival.

helmshilaryswankOne Percent is set against the backdrop of the organic farming community. Helms and Swank would play a husband and wife who are struggling professionally and personally to keep their business afloat, while Harris would play the family patriarch. MRC is expected to take the project out to buyers in a few weeks, likely seeking a straight-to-series order, which has been the company’s strategy. It has been able to secure two-season pickups for its Emmy-winning David harris2Fincher-Kevin Spacey drama House Of Cards at Netflix and the Seth MacFarlane comedy at Starz.

One Percent, which … Read More »

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EOne Acquires Hilary Swank Drama ‘You’re Not You’; ARC Entertainment To Release Duchovny Starrer ‘Louder Than Words’

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 1:42pm PDT

hilary swankEntertainment One Films US has sprung for drama You’re Not You, starring Hilary Swank, Emmy Rossum, and Josh Duhamel. George C. Wolfe directed the film about a woman with ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease (Swank) and a self-absorbed college student (Rossum) hired to be her caregiver. Screenplay is adapted from the novel by Michelle Wildgen by Jordan Roberts and Shana Feste. DPP produced the pic in association with Alison Greenspan of Di Novi Pictures and Molly Smith and Swank for their 2S Films. eOne will release You’re Not You theatrically later this year. eONe VP Worldwide Acquisitions Sejin Croninger negotiated the deal with CAA repping the filmmakers. Myriad Pictures  is handling international.

Louder than WordsARC Entertainment has picked up North American rights to the Rod Lurie-exec produced drama Louder Than Words, starring David Duchovny and Hope Davis. Anthony Fabian (Skin) directed the pic, which is based on the true story of John and Brenda Fareri, who channeled their grief over the death of their daughter into establishing the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in New York. Timothy Hutton also stars in the picture, which was produced by Identity Films’ Anthony Mastromauro. ARC Head of Acquisitions Scott Moesta and Abby Davis and Kevin Iwashina of Preferred Content negotiated the deal. Epic Pictures Group is handling foreign.

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PILOT SEASON: Which Actors Are Getting The Early Offers

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 6:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Pilot-Season-300x147We’re in the midst of the annual ritual of broadcast casting executives chasing their tails, also known as casting the leads of dozens of network pilots at the same time. As usual, many pilots go after the same names, resulting in a few actors holding a slew of offers thus bringing pilot season to a standstill.

Related: Primetime Pilot Panic Listings

jenconnellydianelaneLast year, Damages‘ Rose Byrne was the focus of attention with virtually every pilot vying for her, but she ended up passing on all. Actresses receiving multiple offers early on this season but not yet committing include Jennifer Connelly, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Diane Lane, Maria Bello, Hilary Swank, Octavia Spencer, Felicity Huffman, Kyra Sedgwick, Sarah Chalke and Elizabeth Banks. We already had a very elusive leading lady, Tea Leoni, locked in for a pilot, CBS drama Madam Secretary, with popular pilot targets Jack Davenport, Jennifer Carpenter (both on ABC’s Sea Of Fire) and David Schwimmer (ABC’s Irreversible) also spoken for. Several usual suspects, including Ellie Kemper and Natasha Lyonne, got an early jump by attaching themselves to projects (NBC’s Tina Fey/Robert Carlock series for Kemper, the Amy Poehler pilot for Lyonne).

Related: PILOT SEASON: Walls Of Vertical Integration Fall Down Read More »

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Producer Molly Smith Forms New Production Group Belle Pictures

By | Thursday March 8, 2012 @ 6:43pm PST

Molly Smith’s (P.S. I Love You) new production outfit will develop and produce theatrical motion pictures and television properties in association with Warner Bros.based Alcon Entertainment in a “four-year discretionary first-look deal.” Belle Pictures’ first project is an adaptation of The Bootlegger’s Boy, based on football coach Barry Switzer’s memoir, which looks at his life and years coaching at Oklahoma University and the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. Smith remains partners with Hilary Swank in their production company 2S Films.

LOS ANGELES, CA, MARCH 8, 2012 – Producer Molly Smith (“P.S. I Love You,” “The Blind Side”) has formed Belle Pictures, a production banner to develop and produce theatrical motion pictures and television properties in association with Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment in a new four-year discretionary first-look deal, it was announced by Smith and Alcon Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.

Allison Rayne has been tapped VP of Development at Belle Pictures, Jon Schumacher will serve as Development Executive and Emma Branch as Production Executive.

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Hilary Swank On Her Ill-Fated Chechnya Trip: “I Should Know Where I’m Going’

By | Saturday December 3, 2011 @ 1:10am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Hilary Swank tonight kicked off her image-rehabilitating campaign after a disastrous paid appearance at tyrannical Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s birthday party with a visit to The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. The backlash from the October 5 appearance in Grozny led to Swank firing her manager and most of her agents. The fallout also included her PR firm 42West reportedly dropping her over disagreement how the aftermath of her embarrassing stint should be handled, so it’s unclear who booked her appearance on Leno tonight. In it, Swank tried to repair some of the damage by claiming ignorance. She ultimately took responsibly for her blunder but left some blame for her representatives too. “Human rights organizations had reached out to warn me before I went, but I did not get those warnings, they weren’t shared with me,” she said in a subtle jab at her reps. “The bottom line is I should know where I’m going and should do better research.” Watch Swank’s account of the events in the video clip below. Curiously, the clip stops just before the end of the conversation, which, in typical Leno fashion, didn’t include a single tough question. In the left-out part, after talking about how little she knew about Chechnya and its government before the incident and how much she has learned since, Swank said, “I actually didn’t know that Chechnya was separate from Russia.” The statement is somewhat puzzling … Read More »

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Hilary Swank Dropped By 42West: Report

By | Thursday November 3, 2011 @ 9:26pm PDT

Chechnya tyrant Ramzan Kadyrov’s birthday party is the gift that keeps on giving — or maybe the opposite of that. Hilary Swank’s PR firm 42West has released the actress, EW reports, amid the continuing fallout from her appearance at the October 5 event. As one of the trades might have said, the “praisery” decided to distance itself from Swank because she and they disagreed how the aftermath of her appearance should be handled. Swank already fired longtime manager Jason Weinberg and a pair of CAA agents but remains with CAA as a client. For now.

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Hilary Swank Fires Manager Jason Weinberg

I’ve confirmed that the actress has axed her manager of 8 years Jason Weinberg, the founding partner of Untitled Entertainment whom she thanked in her 2005 speech for winning the Best Actress Oscar for Million Dollar Baby. The firing was first reported today by the UK’s The Independent On Sunday newspaper. It writes that Swank also is removing CAA agents Amie Yavor and Josh Lieberman from her team and is upset with the tenpercentery’s Lauren Hale as well. But the paper says Swank is not exiting CAA where her partner of five years, John Campisi, is an agent. So what’s the reason? The horrible publicity which Swank received after human rights organizations outed that she’d accepted a fat fee to walk the Red Carpet and make a speech and give greetings to Chechnya’s tyrannical president Ramzan Kadyrov at his birthday party earlier this month even though he’s been linked to brutal abuses. ”There’s a world of s–t going down at CAA over it…,” a knowledgeable source emails me. It sure seems that a lot of people exercised terrible judgment, first and foremost among them Swank herself. Read the entire backstory from The Independent‘s Los Angeles corespondent Guy Adams here.

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Acting Teacher Larry Moss Makes Feature Directing Debut With Chekhov Adaptation

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Larry Moss has set Helen Hunt, David Duchovny, Maggie Grace, Joan Chen and John Robinson to star in Relative Insanity, a contemporary Hampons-set adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. Pier 3 Pictures’ Michael Din and Juri Henley-Cohn wrote the script and will produce with their partner Janine Giaime. Moss is an acting coach whose students have included Hunt and Duchovny, as well as Hilary Swank, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Jim Carrey, Michael Clark Duncan, Tea Leoni and Justin Timberlake. After teaching acting for 35 years, Moss is making his feature directorial debut on an adaptation of his favorite play. They’ll start shooting next year and Pier 3 is putting together the funding.

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Cannes: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Takes Shape With Matthew McConaughey, Hilary Swank

By | Wednesday May 11, 2011 @ 1:37pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Content Film has acquired The Dallas Buyers Club for international sales. That puts the picture on track to finally happen, with Matthew McConaughey and Hilary Swank starring, and Jean-Marc Vallee directing. He helmed The Young Victoria, and just wrapped Cafe de Flore. Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack wrote the screenplay. The project has long been a passion of top actors and directors. McConaughey will play a Texas electrician named Ron Woodroof. Given six months to live by his doctors in 1986 after contracting AIDS, he hung on and lived another six years by illegally smuggling medicine into the US. He made sure a lot of other sufferers got them. The spirit of the drama paints a picture at the time of powerful and unyielding bureaucrats at the Food and Drug Administration.

The film is produced by Robbie Brenner (Machine Gun Preacher) and Rachel Rothman-Winter. Nathan Ross will also be a producer. Content Film president Jamie Carmichael will lead Content’s effort to broker offshore territories while CAA reps the film for a domestic deal.

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Hilary Swank, Josh Brolin Set As Oscar Presenters

They’ve been added to this Sunday’s Academy Awards. Swank has won two Best Actress Oscars, in 1999 for Boys Don’t Cry and in 2004 for Million Dollar Baby. She is currently producing Something Borrowed and will next be co-starring in New Year’s Eve. Brolin received an Oscar nomination in 2008 for his supporting performance in Milk. He’s currently co-starring in Best Picture nominee True Grit.

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Ice Cube Joining ’21 Jump Street’ And Shops Directing Vehicle ‘Chrome And Paint’

Mike Fleming

Ice Cube is negotiating to join Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street. He is also preparing to shop Chrome and Paint, a gritty Boyz N’ The Hood-style drama that Cube wrote with Eva Vives as a starring and directing vehicle that focuses on custom car culture of South Central Los Angeles. In 21 Jump Street, Cube will play the precinct captain role originated by Steven Williams in the TV series that launched the career of Johnny Depp. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing the pic for Sony Pictures. Cube livens up the cast, but if they are planning to replicate the series plot about undercover cops that infiltrate schools, I’m still waiting to see if they cast anybody that remotely looks like they might be proofed in a bar. Depp was a baby-faced 24 when he started the series: Tatum is 30 and Hill is 27. Shooting begins in late April and Neal Moritz is producing.

Cube will jump into that film after he finishes a role in the New Line romancer New Year’s Eve, matched with Hilary Swank. Cube, who directed the 2010 Oakland Raiders documentary Straight Outta L.A. for ESPN, hasn’t directed a narrative feature since 1998′s The Players Club, which he also wrote. In Chrome and Paint, Cube uses the subculture of tricked out Mercedes, BMW and Low Rider cars to frame a drama about the temptation to place materialism above all else. Cube’s … Read More »

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Katherine Heigl Will Celebrate ‘New Year’s Eve’ With Bon Jovi Instead Of Halle Berry

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Katherine Heigl, not Halle Berry,  will be the one smooching Jon Bon Jovi in New Line’s ensemble romantic comedy New Year’s Eve. I’m told Berry has dropped out of the picture, which is just getting underway. Heigl was available because she recently withdrew from Adaline, a film that was supposed to shoot in March from Lakeshore and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. Her reps said Heigl, who recently adopted her first child, didn’t want to go back to work right away. New Year’s Eve is the perfect job then, because it’s a true ensemble that won’t require a long production commitment from the actress.  Heigl had been in early talks for the original film, the Marshall-directed Valentine’s Day, but a deal was never consummated. Losing Berry is a blow, but Heigl’s certainly a draw in the romantic comedy genre. The Garry Marshall-directed film stars Robert De Niro, Sofia Vergara, Russell Peters, Hilary Swank, Ice Cube, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Josh Duhamel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Seth Meyers, Jessica Biel and Til Schweiger. Mike Karz and Wayne Rice are producing.

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OSCAR: Hilary Swank Q&A On ‘Conviction’

By | Friday January 14, 2011 @ 2:06am PST
Pete Hammond

Few actresses move from TV’s 90210 and the film The Next Karate Kid to become a 2-time Best Actress Oscar winner for Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby. Unless you’re Hilary Swank. Though recent films which she has starred in were unsuccessful at the box office, some found favor with the critics. That has also been the case with Fox Searchlight’s Conviction. Swank portrays Betty Anne Waters, a Massachusettes wife and mother who put herself through high school, college, and law school in order to free her wrongfully imprisoned brother. A surprise SAG nomination for Swank for Outstanding Female Actor In A Leading Role has resulted in a stepped-up Oscar campaign:

DEADLINE: In Conviction you play another real-life person.
SWANK: You know when you take on a role and it’s challenging and you think, “Oh, am I going to be able to do this?”  – which I do every single time. I think, “Can I do this? Can I do this?” And it scares me in a deep place – which is part of my ride, too. I like that. I’m an adrenaline junkie. But then you add the layer of it being a real person and how much that person means to me. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if she saw the movie and said, “You didn’t get it, and that’s not how it happened.” And everyone felt that way on this movie and everyone really stepped up. Read More »

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‘Winter’s Bone’ Wins Big At Gotham Awards

The winners for the 20th Anniversary Gotham Independent Film Awards were announced tonight. The awards organized by the Independent Feature Project already announced the recipients of their honorary awards handed out this evening, including filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, actors Hilary Swank and Robert Duvall, and Focus Features CEO James Schamus. Tonight’s marquee category awards at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC are considered the first major ceremony of the awards season:

Best Feature
Winter’s Bone
Debra Granik, director; Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, producers (Roadside Attractions)

Best Documentary
The Oath
Laura Poitras, director/producer (Zeitgeist Films and American Documentary/POV)

Best Ensemble Performance
Winter’s Bone
Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan (Roadside Attractions)

Breakthrough Director

Kevin Asch for Holy Rollers (First Independent Pictures)

Breakthrough Actor
Ronald Bronstein
in Daddy Longlegs (IFC Films)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

Mike Ott, director; Frederick Thornton, Laura Ragsdale, Sierra Leoni, producers

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Image Buys ‘The Resident’ Starring Hilary Swank

Mike Fleming

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 9, 2010) — Image Entertainment, Inc. has acquired all U.S. rights to Hilary Swank-starrer The Resident from Exclusive Media Group’s Hammer Films. In addition to two time Academy Award winner Swank, The Resident also stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, P.S. I Love You), Hammer Films icon Sir Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, Dracula) and Lee Pace (A Single Man, The Good Shepherd). The Resident was directed by Antti Jokinen. Bill Bromiley, Chief Acquisitions Officer for Image Entertainment, made today’s announcement. The film will be released theatrically in Spring 2011.

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‘Winter’s Bone’ Leads Nominations For Gotham Independent Film Awards

Winter’s Bone leads with three nominations – Best Feature, Best Ensemble Performance and Breakthrough Actor. The ceremony will be held on Monday, November 29th, at Cipriani Wall Street. Robert Duvall, Hilary Swank, Darren Aronofsky and Focus Features CEO James Schamus will each be receiving a career tribute.

Best Feature

Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky, director; Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Blue Valentine
Derek Cianfrance, director; Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Kids Are All Right
Lisa Cholodenko, director;  Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Jordan Horowitz, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Philippe Hellmann, producers (Focus Features)

Let Me In
Matt Reeves, director; Simon Oakes, Alex Brunner, Guy East, Tobin Armbrust,  Donna Gigliotti, John Nording, Carl Molinder, producers (Overture Films)

Winter’s Bone
Debra Granik, director; Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, producers (Roadside Attractions) Read More »

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Gotham Indie Awards Fete Actor Foursome

Mike Fleming



New York, NY (September 30, 2010) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, announced today that director Darren Aronofsky, actors Hilary Swank and Robert Duvall, and Focus Features CEO, James Schamus, will each be presented with a career Tribute at the 20th Anniversary Gotham Independent Film Awards on Monday, November 29th at Cipriani Wall Street, New York, New York.

This year’s Tribute selection represents a range of individuals – all veterans well-versed in the journey between lower-budget independent films and large-scale studio releases.  In addition, the honorees represent some of the most critically acclaimed and highly anticipated films including: Get Low from Sony Pictures Classics (directed by Aaron Schneider and featuring Robert Duvall); the upcoming Fox Searchlight release Conviction (directed by Tony Goldwyn and featuring Hilary Swank); Black Swan from Fox Searchlight (directed by Darren Aronofsky); and Focus Features’ The Kids are All Right (James Schamus, CEO).

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Matthew McConaughey Circling ‘Dreams Of A Dying Heart’

EXCLUSIVE: He’s considering starring opposite Hilary Swank in a project that reunites her with Boys Don’t Cry producer Killer Films. Production is expected to start in October. Intandem, the London-based sales agent is handling international sales. Swank will play a soldier who returns home after a tour of duty only to witness strange goings on. Shawn Lawrence Otto, who wrote the Oscar-nominated House of Sand And Fog, is directing from his own script. Swank won her first Oscar for Boys Don’t Cry. Deadline reported last month that McConaughey is developing comedy series Kick Ass Militia for FX.

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