EXCLUSIVE: Idris Elba is in final negotiations to perform the role and provide the voice of the killer tiger Shere Khan in Disney’s live-action take on The Jungle Book. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film is a mix of live action and VFX that is being overseen by Rob Legato, whose VFX credits include Avatar, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Hugo and Titanic, the latter two of which won him Oscars. The studio has bolstered its creative team by setting as its production designers Alex McDowell (Man Of Steel, Rise Of The Guardians) and Chris Glass heading a team of concept artists that includes Michael Kutsche (Alice, Oz, Maleficent), Iain McCaig (Star Wars), and Justin Sweet (Chronicles Of Narnia). The story team is headed by Iron Man‘s David Lowery, who’s working around the clock with seven full-time illustrators, with Legacy Effects participating in creature design and rigging.
Disney is moving very quickly as it is in a race with Warner Bros on versions of Rudyard Kipling’s public domain title. The rival project is still looking for a director after Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu dropped from the project. Read More »
Alive Alone, the Thunder Road produced drama that Protagonist Pictures is selling, was originally announced in Cannes with Noomi Rapace and Matthias … Read More »
NBC announced this morning Matt Lauer will host Going For Gold — and yet, it’s not a Sochi Olympics walk-up. It’s a celebrity-studded walk-up to the network’s broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards, is an NBC News production, and will air Friday at 8 PM. If it’s Sochi Olympics walk-up you’re looking for, NBC will broadcast Shaun White: Russia Calling on January 25 — an hour-long program examining how the two-time gold medal winner balances work and play while prepping for the Games. It is not produced by NBC News, instead by Shaun White Enterprises, with Shaun White exec producing, and promises, modestly, to be “a rare inside look into the challenges and sacrifices that are made in order to be the best in the world.”
From NBC’s Going For Gold announcement: Read More »
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Hollywood is mourning the loss today of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela. Here are some of the thoughts on his passing:
Idris Elba, portrayed Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom:
“I am stunned at this very moment, in mourning with the rest of the world and Madiba’s family. We have lost one of the greatest human beings to have walked this earth; I only feel honored to be associated with him. He is in a better place now. What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Related: Mandela Death Brings News Schedule Changes
Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, U.S. distributor of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom:
“One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalize those who have made a profound impact on humanity. We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela’s story and legacy. It’s been an honor to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history’s greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice. I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism. We are deeply saddened by his loss; our hearts go out to his family and the entire South African nation.”
Morgan Freeman, portrayed Mandela in Invictus:
“Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve—a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind. As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.”
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Listen to (and share) episode 52 of our audio podcast “Deadline Awards Watch, with Pete Hammond.”
Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about the Independent Spirit Awards nominations, which feature plenty of Oscar contenders, and perhaps not enough truly spirited indie films; a Q&A with Oscar Isaac of Inside Llewyn Davis, which picked up several of those Spirit Award nods; and a splashy first public screening for David O. Russell’s latest awards season entry, American Hustle, featuring top-notch performances — particularly by Jennifer Lawrence.
They also talk about Oscar rules changes that could make a difference for better known films in the foreign-language and animation categories, and a Golden Globes rule decision that leaves one fantastic disembodied voice just plain dissed.
Finally, we’ll get Pete’s take on this week’s new movies, including old-school crime drama Homefront, with horror film Oldboy. They also discuss Black Nativity, a holiday musical with yet another fine ensemble cast of African-American actors led this time by Oscar winners Forrest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson, part of an unusually large spate of successful, often critically lauded films targeting black audiences over the past few months.
Deadline Awards Watch episode 52 (.M4A version)
Deadline Awards Watch episode 52 (.MP3 version)
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The Royal Film Performance is the major annual fundraising event for the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund, the UK charity that cares for industry employees and their families who are suffering hardship. Last year, Peter Jackson’s The … Read More »
Not everything goes smoothly, even at as efficiently organized an event as the Toronto International Film Festival. After this afternoon’s 3 PM press screening for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom had to be cancelled when the film went down 40 minutes in, all eyes were on the 6 PM premiere at Roy Thomson Hall hoping another calamity would not follow and jinx the movie. No problems there and the press screening was rescheduled for 10:15 PM Saturday night. Still that’s a drag for critics who would now just have to start over. This is why publicists chew their fingernails off.
Nevertheless, the actual premiere screening went off without a hitch and earned a nice standing ovation at the end of the two-and-a-half hour biopic of Nelson Mandela. The filmmakers literally flew into Toronto just yesterday saying they hadn’t even seen this cut yet. Boasting another two performances to add to the list of Oscar-contending portrayals this year – Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as his wife Winnie – this beautifully shot and realized epic takes us into the world of Mandela from 1942 at the beginning of his activism all the way to his election as president after being released from his Robben Island prison cell after 27 years. It is those prison scenes where the film really comes alive and Elba gets a chance to shine. That he does, in a towering portrayal of the man who stays in the headlines lately because of his frail health (he just went home from the hospital this week). Read More »
Luther creator Neil Cross confirmed prequel movie plans for the BBC series starring Idris Elba, saying he’d finish a screenplay and hopes to film next year. The film will follow Luther’s early career when he is still married to Zoe; the film’s final scene is the opening scene of the TV series first season, Cross said at the Edinburgh TV Festival, according to multiple press reports. “Idris is a brilliant leading man, and we’ve hoped to turn Luther into a movie for a long time,” Cross said.
Related: WME Signs Idris Elba
Elba is on board to play John Luther, as are Warren Brown, Indira Varma and Steve Mackintosh. Cross said he went with a prequel, rather than a follow-up to the series, so he could bring back popular supporting characters — including some who let’s say maybe don’t fare so well in the final season. Ruth Wilson’s Alice Morgan character, who doesn’t fit in, chronologically, with the prequel plans, is being mulled as a spinoff series, Cross told Variety last year.
Related: ‘Luther’ Season 3 Debut Collars 5M Viewers On UK’s BBC One
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Idris Elba is heading out on an international driving tour in two-part documentary King Of Speed. The Shine North/Shine TV production is a look at the origins of the car racing scene. The two hours will air … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Red Crown Productions has set Idris Elba to star and Cary Fukunaga to direct Beasts of No Nation, an adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s bestselling novel. The story follows the journey of a young boy, Agu, who, when civil war … Read More »
Just in time for Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday today, we get the first trailer for his biopic starring Idris Elba. Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom tells the story of the South African prisoner-turned-president from his formative years through his long incarceration to the end of apartheid and his … Read More »
The Justin Chadwick-directed Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom stars Idris Elba as the South African icon. Naomie Harris plays his former wife, Winnie. The Weinstein Co. screened footage of the film in Cannes where Harvey Weinstein promised it is not an ordinary … Read More »
While Idris Elba will soon be cancelling the apocalypse in Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, his cop drama Luther has just kicked off its third series on the UK’s BBC One. The first of four hourlong episodes topped Tuesday night in the ratings with … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Idris Elba, the talented star of Luther and The Wire who has been in play for the past couple months, has just signed with WME for all areas. This comes at a great time for Elba, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Looks like the sides have been chosen for the shoot-out film The Gunman, which Taken helmer Pierre Morel will direct for Silver Pictures and Studio Canal. Ray Winstone has just joined the film. He’ll play … Read More »
UK’s Sky Arts ‘Talks Music’ With The Stars
Britain’s Sky Arts is launching a new music interview series, …Talks Music. The 10-part show will look at the careers of some of the world’s most iconic music legends. Confirmed guests so far include Nile Rodgers, Boy George, Jeff Beck and Blondie’s Deborah Harry and Chris Stein. Whizz Kid Entertainment is producing, with Malcolm Gerrie conducting the sit-downs in front of a live studio audience. Gerrie and guests will also take questions from the floor. Jeff Wurtz, of Inside The Actors Studio, is directing and Gerrie is exec producing. A fall debut is planned.
Modern Times Group Buys Into UK Market For $23.6M
Modern Times Group, an international broadcasting outfit that operates free and pay-TV in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa, has added a UK-based international distributor to its portfolio with the acquisition of 92.4% of Digital Rights Group for £15M ($23.6M). Titles in the Digital Rights Group stable include The Inbetweeners, The Singing Bee, Kingdom, Sea Patrol and Criminal Justice. DRG founder and former CEO Jeremy Fox will return to the company, replacing exiting managing director Jonathan Jackson. MTG also picked up a 51% stake in Norwegian producer Novemberfilm for an undisclosed sum. The Oslo-based company produces series and commercials including key formats The Zookeepers, Insider and Missing. Read More »
After quietly leaving UTA last week, Idris Elba is the hot actor in play, and it’s suspected he’ll either land at WME or CAA. Elba seems poised to finally make that transition from great actor to movie star, … Read More »
While its sister channel Sky Atlantic gears up BBC America co-production Fleming, Sky Arts has assembled an all-star roster for its new Playhouse Presents showcase. The slate of new … Read More »