David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor.
When 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 to 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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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 »
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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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 … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: 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 »
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 … Read More »
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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“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 »
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 … Read More »
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 … Read More »
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 … Read More »
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 »