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Johnny Knoxville Takes ‘Sick Day’ For Universal

By | Monday April 28, 2014 @ 6:13pm PDT
Mike Fleming

knoxEXCLUSIVE: Johnny Knoxville has come attached to star in Sick Day, the comedy that Jeremy Garelick will direct for Universal Pictures. Jordan Cahan will rewrite the script originated by Garelick, the latter of whom picked Cahan because he is busy in postproduction on The Wedding Ringer, his directorial debut for Screen Gems. Brian Grazer is producing the comedy for Imagine Entertainment alongside Kim Roth. Edward Bates will also produce under his Bates Entertainment banner.

In what is a modern-day Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Knoxville will play one of three thirtysomething friends who uphold a tradition of calling in sick one day a year to fulfill fantasies while not getting caught. He is the first actor in the fold. I still can remember at Variety, being the first journalist to see and write about his absolutely shocking home movie shot by Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze that became the template for Jackass, where Knoxville subjected himself to the most medieval forms of abuse, capped by being shot with a handgun while wearing a cheap bulletproof vest. So forgive me if I get a little misty as my little Johnny gets another big studio starring role, where they have stuntmen, and he doesn’t have to get paintballed or gored by a bull or have his nut sack throttled in the many indignities he subjected himself to during his run as Jackass star. Read More »

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Melissa Benoist Joins ‘Imagine’; Natalie Dormer Cast In ‘Posh’; Carter Jenkins Leads ‘Skate God’

By | Thursday July 11, 2013 @ 8:05pm PDT

Melissa Benoist has been cast in Dan Fogelman’s Imagine. The actress, who recently was promoted to series regular on Fox’s Glee, will play Jamie, a desk clerk at a hotel frequented by one of her favorite rock stars of all time. The indie pic will shoot on location in Los Angeles. Benoist is represented by UTA and Authentic Management.

Natalie Dormer has joined the ensemble cast of Posh for director Lone Scherfig. The film follows two first-year students determined to join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed in one night. The Game Of Thrones actress, who next appears in the features Rush and The Counselor, is repped by UTA, Untitled Entertainment and United Artists.

Carter Jenkins will topline Skate God for director Stephen Sobisky. He (Valentine’s Day) plays a skateboarder in a Dystopian future who discovers he is the descendant of a Greek god and is thrust into an on-going battle with a clandestine society over mankind. Production on the 3D pic is set to start in the fall. Jenkins is repped by Paradigm and inMomentum Management.

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Christopher Plummer Replaces Michael Caine In ‘Imagine’

By | Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 1:21pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Christopher Plummer will join Jennifer Garner, Al Pacino, Annette Bening and Bobby Cannavale in Imagine, the film that gets underway July 1 in Los Angeles with Crazy, Stupid, Love scribe Dan Fogelman making his directorial debut. Plummer will take on a role that Michael Caine was going to play before scheduling knocked him out. Pacino plays a 70ish musician still leading the decadent rock n roll life. Plummer will play his manager, who gave him an undelivered letter written to him by a 19-year old John Lennon. It compels him to clean up and reconnect with his estranged son. Since winning the Oscar for Beginners, Plummer has wrapped the Michael Radford-directed Elsa & Fred opposite Shirley MacLaine, and the HBO film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. Plummer is repped by ICM Partners and Lou Pitt.

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Cannes: Jennifer Garner, Michael Caine Join ‘Imagine’

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 9:25am PDT

Jennifer Garner and Michael Caine have been cast alongside Al Pacino, Annette Bening, and Bobby Cannavale in Imagine, about an aging rock star (Pacino) who reconnects with his grown son after opening a letter sent from John Lennon to his 19-year-old self. Garner will play Pacino’s daughter-in-law, with Caine onboard as his longtime friend and manager. Writer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Tangled) is set to direct from his own script for Inimitable Pictures and Mister Smith Entertainment, with filming to begin late June/early July in LA. The based-on-a-true-story pic was originally set up at WB for Steve Carell before it went into turnaround and was revived as an indie production. Denise DiNovi, Jessie Nelson, and Nimitt Mankad are producing. Shivani Rawat is executive producing for Inimitable Pictures which is financing the film. David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment will be shopping foreign rights this week at Cannes. WME Global is handling US sales and negotiated the deal with Mister Smith, with Stephen Dembitzer LLP repping Inimitable Pictures.

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