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OSCARS Q&A: Anthony Hopkins

By | Sunday December 30, 2012 @ 5:00pm PST

David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor.

Anthony HopkinsWhen we think of Anthony Hopkins, psychopaths may spring to mind. After all, the Welsh actor won an Oscar in 1992 for playing Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, a career-defining role. But of course there’s much more to Hopkins than playing brilliant fictional villains. He’s also displayed a knack for portraying complicated historical figures. In addition Hitchcockto playing Hitler (on TV) and William Bligh, the actor has earned Oscar nominations for playing the lead in Oliver Stone’s Nixon (1995) and John Quincy Adams in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad (1997). Now, Hopkins has assumed the role of Alfred Hitchcock in Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock, which chronicles the development and making of Psycho.

AwardsLine: What attracted you to playing Alfred Hitchcock?
Anthony Hopkins: The project originally came to me eight years ago. I met the two producers and thought, Yes, it’s interesting. But who wants to see a film about Alfred Hitchcock? Plus, I didn’t want to put on weight, having just gotten fit. So it never happened. But then it came back around. Sacha Gervasi now had it, and he had such passion and blatant enthusiasm for it. He had no experience directing actors, and I thought that would be a challenge. So I decided to just jump in.
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OSCARS: Danny Elfman

By | Tuesday December 4, 2012 @ 8:00pm PST

Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.

After composing five film scores straight, without a weekend off, it’s fair to say that Danny Elfman has had a very long year. Still, there was no limit to what he would do to work on a film about his idol, Alfred Hitchcock.

“I don’t know how I’m going to do this, but I have to do this,” Elfman recalls about committing to Fox Searchlight’s Hitchcock, which was scheduled for delivery right before his opus on Disney’s Oz: The Great And Powerful. “I wouldn’t have a film-music career if it wasn’t for Bernard Herrmann, who has inspired me since the age of 12.”

It would be an understatement to say that Elfman is a big fan of the Master of Suspense and his longtime music collaborator. Never mind the large photograph of Hitch that hangs in Elfman’s office (as observed by Hitchcock helmer Sacha Gervasi), Elfman is the only composer who has handled the sacred scrolls: Herrmann’s original manuscript for Psycho, which Elfman deftly adapted for Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake. For his current project, Elfman was so stoked to visit the Hitchcock set where they were shooting the Psycho editing-bay scene with Anthony Hopkins (as Hitch) and Helen Mirren (as his wife, Alma) that he asked if he could come back for a second day.

Related: OSCARS: Alfred Hitchcock Is New Again Read More »

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Specialty Box Office Preview: ‘Hitchcock’, ‘The Central Park Five’, ‘Rust And Bone’

By | Tuesday November 20, 2012 @ 12:21am PST

Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.

Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren’s potential Oscar candidate Hitchcock hits theaters this weekend in limited release. The AFI Fest opener will launch a platform release before expanding nationally. A possible non-fiction awards contender, The Central Park Five, made news recently as New York City attorneys sought footage in connection with pending litigation. And previous Best Actress Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard won acclaim along the festival circuit for Rust And Bone which debuted last May in Cannes and  Thanksgiving weekend.

The Central Park Five
Directors – Writers: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Subjects: Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Angela Black, Calvin O. Butts III, David Dinkins Jim Dwyer, Ronald Gold
Distributor: IFC Films

CP5 received a flurry of news coverage recently when New York City lawyers subpoenaed outtakes for their defense of a civil suit filed by five men who were wrongly convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989. “From the minute we saw the film we felt moved and inspired, and we’ve been consistently gratified as we’ve introduced it at festivals that audiences have been too,” said IFC Films’ Ryan Werner. “It was also the opportunity to work with one of the world’s great filmmakers Ken Burns on his first theatrical documentary in 25 years along with his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon.”

Central Park Five opens Friday in New York at Lincoln Plaza, IFC Center and the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. The NuArt will open the film in Los Angeles the following weekend with additional select markets on tap for December. It is also available via VOD. Werner said “Media attention will hopefully raise the profile with segments on CBS Morning News, The View, David Letterman, Colbert and Charlie Rose to name a few”.
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Anthony Hopkins Joins Anti-Awards Campaign Club

By | Monday November 19, 2012 @ 8:11pm PST

Last month Joaquin Phoenix slammed awards season, telling Interview magazine he considers it  ”utter bullshit”. Now Anthony Hopkins, whose film Hitchcock is getting Oscar buzz, seems to be joining the anti-Oscar campaign. Hopkins tells the Huffington Post he’s not interested. ”Having to be nice to people and to be charming and flirting with them … oh, come on! People go out of their way to flatter the nominating body and I think it’s kind of disgusting. That’s always been against my nature”, said Hopkins, who won the Best Actor Oscar in 1991 for Silence Of The Lambs. He tells Huffpo he agrees with other actors who want the work to speak for itself. “You know, kissing the backside of the authorities that can make or break it; I can’t stand all that. I find it nauseating to watch and I think it’s disgusting to behold. People groveling around and kissing the backsides of famous producers and all that. It makes me want to throw up, it really does”.

Is this a trend? If so, who will be next to make awards consultants pull their hair out?

Related: ‘Hitchcock’ Opens AFI Fest, Starts Oscar Talk

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Johnny Carson Estate In Feature Deal For Biopic On Iconic Late-Night Host

By | Tuesday November 13, 2012 @ 12:55pm PST
Mike Fleming

Johnny Carson Biopic MovieEXCLUSIVE: Heeeeeeere’s a feature film project that has potential. John McLaughlin and producer Tom Thayer have teamed up with the estate of Johnny Carson on a feature film about the life of the venerable Tonight Show host. The film will be scripted by McLaughlin, who wrote the Darren Aronofsky-directed Natalie Portman-starrer Black Swan and most recently adapted the Sacha Gervasi-directed Hitchcock from Steve Rebello’s book. Thayer produced that movie, which stars Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, and he will produce the Carson project. They’ll shop McLaughlin’s script to buyers right after the holidays. Read More »

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Hot International Trailer: ‘Hitchcock’

By | Saturday November 10, 2012 @ 12:14pm PST

Based on Stephen Rebello’s book Alfred Hitchcock And The Making of Psycho, the movie also examines the relationship between the famous director and his wife Alma. Anthony Hopkins and Hellen Mirren head the cast which also stars Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Jessica Biel and many others. Directed by Sacha Gervasi from John J. McLaughlin’s adaptation, the picture opened LA’s recent AFI Fest and Fox Searchlight will launch Hitchcock November 23:

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OSCARS: Alfred Hitchcock Is New Again

By | Sunday November 4, 2012 @ 2:51pm PST

Craig Modderno is an AwardsLine contributor

Director Alfred Hitchcock is experiencing something of a revival—32 years after the master of suspense left this mortal coil. Fox Searchlight’s Hitchcock, which stars Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, just opened the AFI Fest; Universal just released an elaborate box set, Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection, which showcases 13 of his films on Blu-ray; and HBO recently aired The Girl, starring Toby Jones and Sienna Miller, which examines the tempestuous relationship between Hitch and Tippi Hedren.

Hedren, a former model who made her feature-film debut in 1963’s The Birds, was an object of obsession for the director, something she’s only recently begun discussing in detail. Hedren served as an adviser on the HBO movie and recently attended a screening of a digitally remastered version of The Birds at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
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‘Hitchcock’ Opens AFI Fest, Starts Oscar Talk

By | Friday November 2, 2012 @ 12:21pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Good Evening,” AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale said as he welcomed guests to AFI Fest 2012 with the famous salutation of Alfred Hitchcock. And it did indeed turn out to be a very good evening for both AFI and their opening-night film, Hitchcock. The last of the major fall film festivals, AFI Fest can boast just like other recent fests (Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York) that it has put another major Oscar contender into play in the ever-increasing list of potential nominees.

With the world premiere of Hitchcock at the Chinese theatre  Fox Searchlight has a solid contender in several acting categories along with some below-the-line contests and, depending how things pan out, even Best Picture. Time will tell on that: It’s never easy for showbiz stories to make the Best Picture cut because industry voters don’t always take movies about their own as seriously as loftier subjects, but on the heels of last year’s Best Pic, The Artist maybe that’s changing. And what Hitchcock really is at its core is a remarkable love story. ”Just wait until you see this one,” a smiling and confident 20th Century Fox chairman Jim Gianopulos told me as he grabbed some popcorn before the film rolled. He had reason to be happy. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Hitchcock’

By | Wednesday October 10, 2012 @ 11:06am PDT

Here’s a first look at Hitchcock, the Fox Searchlight biopic that stars Anthony Hopkins as the famed director. It centers on the making of his iconic film Psycho and is being billed as a love story of Hitch and his wife Alma Reville, played by Helen Mirren. The killer cast of the Sacha Gervasi-directed pic also includes Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins. It opens the AFI Fest on November 1 before its platform release November 23, which puts it squarely in the heart of awards-season. So will it be a factor in Oscar chatter or not?

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‘Hitchcock’ To Open AFI Fest On Nov. 1

By | Thursday September 27, 2012 @ 10:17am PDT

This makes for a pretty solid awards-season bookend for AFI Fest, which last week announced that Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln will be the closing-night film. The world premiere for Hitchcock comes ahead of the film’s November 23 wide release. The festival runs November 1-8, and the event’s full lineup will be announced next month.

LOS ANGELES, CA, September 27, 2012 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that HITCHCOCK, starring Academy Award® winner Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock, Academy Award® winner Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma Reville, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins, will have its World Premiere on Thursday, November 1, as the Opening Night Gala of AFI FEST 2012 presented by Audi. The film is directed by Sacha Gervasi and also stars Toni Collette, Danny Huston and Michael Stuhlbarg. From a screenplay by John J. McLaughlin, the film is based on the book “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho” by Stephen Rebello. HITCHCOCK is produced by Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock and Joe Medjuck of Montecito Picture Company, along with Tom Thayer and Alan Barnette. Fox Searchlight Pictures will release the film this November.

HITCHCOCK, a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock, and his wife and partner, Alma Reville, takes place during the making of the distinguished director’s seminal 1960 movie, PSYCHO.

Related: Fox Searchlight To Read More »

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Fox Searchlight To Release ‘Hitchcock’ On November 23

By | Thursday September 20, 2012 @ 10:29am PDT

BREAKING…The Sacha Gervasi-directed Hitchcock is set for a limited platform release November 23, 2012, meaning Fox Searchlight is placing it at the heart of the movie awards season. Based on Stephen Rebello’s book Alfred Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho, the film is a love story about the filmmaker and his wife Alma Reville. Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson and Danny Huston star along with Toni Collette, Jessica Biel, Michael Stuhlbarg, James D’Arcy, Michael Wincott, Richard Portnow, and Kurtwood Smith. John J. McLaughlin penned the screenplay. Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck, Tom Thayer, Alan Barnette are producing.

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Toronto: Fox Searchlight Brings ‘The Sessions’ To Reignite Awards Talk

Pete Hammond

Fox Searchlight brought its Sundance pickup and Oscar hopeful, The Sessions, to the Toronto International Film Festival today to kick-start the film’s October launch. (Now set for October 26 but very possibly moving up a week to the 19th). Last January, the film debuted under the title The Surrogate and immediately sparked early 2012 awards talk, particularly for the performances of John Hawkes and Helen Hunt. It’s a small but surprisingly funny and ultimately quite touching film that drew so many big laughs at today’s Elgin Theatre screening the dialogue was drowned out during some scenes, usually those between Hawkes and William H. Macy. There were three standing ovations for the director and principal stars, a very enthusiastic response to be sure.

Fox Searchlight Co-Presidents Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley were there and said after the Sundance sale no cuts were made to the film and none requested by the MPAA in order to get the ‘R’ rating (for some explicit but tastefully shot sexual content).

Gilula notes that with so many movies competing for attention at TIFF it’s tough for a movie that debuted at Sundance or Cannes. Media, he says, just want to spotlight the newest movies even though this one doesn’t even open until next month. At this point it is the mini-major’s only fall/holiday release, and it’s hoping to build strong word of mouth and awards attention. The studio is still trying to determine whether to push Hunt for lead or supporting. (The Oscar winning star of As Good As It Gets could probably slip comfortably into either slot.) Fox Searchlight also have summer releases Beasts Of The Southern Wild  and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on their potential awards plate. And there still is the possibility of a last-minute contender coming in December if they decide to rush Hitchcock. Read More »

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