‘Harry Potter’ Among Warner Bros Movies To Land At ITV
ITV announced that it has acquired free-to-air broadcast rights to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince along with other movies as part of a wide-ranging multiyear deal with Warner Bros. The pact was unveiled today by Warner Bros International Television Distribution president Jeffrey Schlesinger and ITV’s Angela Jain. Other films in the package include recent titles 300, I Am Legend and Body Of Lies as well as library fare like The Matrix trilogy and Mystic River. ITV was already home to the previous Harry Potter films.
British Culture Minister In Town This Week; BFI Adds To P&A Fund
Ed Vaizey, the UK’s minister for culture, communications and creative industries, arrived in Los Angeles on Monday for two days of powwows with studio and indie execs. Joining Vaizey is British Film Commission CEO Adrian Wootton as the duo aim to further develop relationships in town and boost the number of U.S. productions shooting in Britain now that the UK’s tax rebate system has been extended to at least 2015. The sojourn will also give Vaizey a chance to peruse the U.S. biz ahead of the publication of a comprehensive film policy review. Meanwhile, the British Film Institute today announced it would devote an additional £1 million to its P&A Fund in order to help get films like Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin and Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus out to wider audiences. Read More »
Will Forte has booked his first full-time TV gig since leaving Saturday Night Live last summer, joining Fox’s upcoming animated series Allen Gregory as a regular voice cast member. On the show, about an accomplished 7-year-old boy embarking on elementary school, Forte will voice characters alongside co-creator/executive producer Jonah Hill and French Stewart. Forte has had a frequent presence on Fox’s animated comedy block. He has voiced recurring characters on American Dad! and The Cleveland Show and was a regular on Sit Down Shut Up.
On the feature side, Forte has signed on to star in Run and Jump. The indie, from Samson Films (Once), was written by Ailbhe Keogan and Steph Green, with Green directing. It was developed by the Irish Film Board and the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, with Tamara Anghie producing. Maxine Peake, Brian F. O’Byrne and Sharon Horgan have also been cast in the movie, which will be filmed on location in Ireland in May.
Additionally, Forte recently boarded Tim And Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, which just landed financing from Mark Cuban’s 2929 Prods. Forte, repped by UTA and Mosaic, last year headlined his first movie, MacGruber, an extension of his SNL skits.
EXCLUSIVE: Simon Perry, CEO of the state film agency, expects his budget will be cut again next year “but not to the bone”. Perry tells me anything up to 15% could be sliced off the €16.5 million ($23 million) he was given this year by the Irish government. I’m also hearing 5% is the figure. This year’s budget is already 5% down on 2009’s. Like the UK Film Council, Read More »
UPDATE:Ireland’s film subsidy body is not renewing CEO Simon Perry’s contract when it expires in January 2011. The board of Bord Scannán na hÉireann – to give it its Gaelic name – will start advertising for a new CEO at the end of this month. I understand that Perry was taken by surprise when the board decided not to renew his contract. What’s at stake are divergent visions of the IFB’s future: Perry has always supported local indie filmmakers, while the IFB’s board wants to use preserve its cash to encourage more big Hollywood movies to shoot in Eire. With his deeply-delicious voice, Perry is such a fixture of the European film scene it’s difficult imagining it without him. He ran UK film subsidy body British Screen Finance for many years, before losing his job when the Film Council took over a decade ago.