Here’s our first look at Columbia Pictures‘ take on the Tony-winning Broadway musical-turned-feature. Beasts Of The Southern Wild breakout Quvenzhané Wallis stars as Annie as the precocious foster kid from Harlem who is taken in by mega-rich mayoral hopeful Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx). Cameron Diaz — who took the Miss Hannigan role after Sandra Bullock passed — Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne co-star in the pic, which reimagines classic tunes including “Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow.” Will Gluck directs from a script he co-wrote with Aline Brosh McKenna and Emma Thompson. Gluck also is producing with James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Jay Brown, Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith, and Caleeb Pinkett. Jeffrey Wetzel and Olive Bridge Entertainment’s Alicia Emmrich are co-producers. Have a look:
Reports are surfacing that DreamWorks is ready to move forward with the authorized version of Martin Luther King‘s life story, the one that MLK’s family is behind and which has the rights to use his copyrighted speeches. They have Jamie Foxx and director Oliver Stone poised for an Any Given Sunday re-team on the project, which they want to do with Warner Bros. All I can think of as director Paul Greengrass and producer Scott Rudin prepare for tomorrow’s opening of Captain Phillips is, Paul, get busy on your MLK film Memphis, because your Oscar-caliber script is just way too good to get relegated to the scrap heap.
I’ve been writing for years about Memphis, Greengrass‘ script about a great man’s final days. It started out at Universal, which put it in turnaround right around the time that the director’s relationship with the studio soured over his unwillingness to do a fourth The Bourne Identity and after he clashed with the studio over the high-budget misfire Green Zone. It became a hot potato project then, when the King family and the activist’s close confidante, Ambassador Andrew Young, objected to it. Among their objections: King is depicted sharing a bed with a woman who was not his wife. The key has always been about opening the film on MLK weekend, and it stalled that first time because they couldn’t set it up again and make it fast enough. They tried again last year, with Veritas in talks to finance with Wild Bunch, but Greengrass instead took on Captain Phillips, the Sony drama about the Somali pirate heist that stars Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips. Rudin joined his Social Network cohorts Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti to deliver a tense, excellent drama.
Related: Opposition To MLK Films Reveals Hard Truths About Biopic Biz
The Memphis script depicts King’s final days as he struggled to organize a protest march on behalf of striking black municipal sanitation workers in Memphis, TN, where he was slain. That storyline is juxtaposed with an intense manhunt for King’s assassin James Earl Ray, involving some of the federal authorities who, at Hoover’s direction, had dogged King’s every step with wiretaps and whispering campaigns before the civil rights leader’s death. The dual narrative is explosive and I don’t know what Kario Salem has written for DreamWorks, but the word biopic makes you worry that it will be reverential and looong. Memphis was a snapshot on parallel with Greengrass’s Bloody Sunday. It is a powerful testament to King’s struggle and his sacrifice, and even if he was portrayed as an imperfect human being, it did not define him. Let’s face it, all those ’60s icons including the Kennedys were not monogamous. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures and Overbrook Entertainment have set Bobby Cannavale to star in Annie. He joins Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Rose Byrne in the Will Gluck-directed film. Cannavale is coming off Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine and turned in an epic villain performance in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. He’s Emmy nominated for that and a stint in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. He will play a bulldog political adviser to Foxx’s character as he makes a mayoral run in New York. The film is set for release Christmas Day 2014.
Gluck is producing with James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith through Overbrook Entertainment, and by Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Jay Brown, and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith through Marcy Media. Gluck is currently revising the film’s screenplay, which was written by Emma Thompson and rewritten by Aline Brosh McKenna. It’s based on the comic strip and the musical stage play Annie, with book by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse, and lyrics by Martin Charnin. The film is being overseen at the studio by Andrea Giannetti and Devon Franklin. Read More »
Comic-Con 2013 hasn’t officially launched, but the annual mega-gathering has spawned its first teaser clip. Sony plastered an Amazing Spider-Man 2 ad atop the Nobu restaurant in San Diego, but this sneak peek at Jamie Foxx as the villainous Electro is bound to cause a stir among the devotees. “You wanna know how powerful I am?” a very serious Electro inquires. “Well, I wanna know too.” The clip reminds any who need reminding that the Spidey sequel’s panel with director Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield, Dane DeHaan and Foxx happens at 4PM Friday in Hall H of the Convention Center:
Related: Comic-Con 2013: Day 1 Schedule
EXCLUSIVE: In the first major deal made by Greg Silverman since he was promoted to run Warner Bros‘ worldwide feature film production arm, the studio has acquired the upcoming S. Craig Zahler crime novel Mean Business On North Ganson Street as a reteam of Django Unchained stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx. Zahler will write the script and DiCaprio and his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran will be the producers. Sarah Schechter is steering it for the studio.
The book is in galleys and in the process of being shopped to publishers. The tale starts off with a bang: DiCaprio is a hardened detective who, after being told by a man that his beautiful wife is missing, tells him she is a hooker who obviously made off with his money. After the man commits a desperate tragic act right in the squad room, the disgraced detective is sent to a hellhole rust belt town called Victory, Missouri, where violent crime is skyrocketing. Partnered with an equally bad-assed detective who was demoted for publicly brutalizing a suspect (Foxx), the new partners get to do some real work. Police officers start showing up dead execution-style, and the cops think it might be open season on Victory’s police department. Read More »
In one of the highlights at Syfy‘s upfront in April, the cable network announced a five-episode horror anthology series executive produced, written and directed by Jamie Foxx. The show, in which the Oscar winner also was eying guest appearances, was slated to air during Syfy’s annual 31 Days Of Halloween programming marathon this October. That won’t happen. The series has been postponed for what were described as scheduling reasons. There is no new target date set, but the series clearly fits best into the network’s Halloween marathon. Foxx has been busy promoting his new movie White House Down and is expected to sit down with Syfy brass to discuss future plans for the horror series after the film opens Friday.
EXCLUSIVE: At its upfront presentation this evening, Syfy will unveil a high-profile new scripted series from Jamie Foxx and his Foxxhole Prods. The Oscar winner will executive produce, write and direct the five-episode horror anthology series, which will debut during Syfy’s annual 31 Days Of Halloween programming marathon this October. Foxx might also appear on the yet-untitled series, which is produced by Universal Cable Prods.
In the vein of horror classics like Tales From The Crypt and The Twilight Zone, the contemporary series tells creepy morality tales with themes such as envy, jealousy and superficiality. “This is a project that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’m so happy to see it come to life,” Foxx said. “Get ready to lose it when some special friends and I bring the scares this October, and who knows… maybe I’ll make a guest appearance or two along the way!” Added Syfy/UCP’s Mark Stern, “Jamie Foxx’s passion and unique perspective will transform these universal insights on the human condition into emotionally potent and truly scary cautionary tales.” Read More »
Academy Awards show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today that Oscar-winning actors Michael Douglas and Jamie Foxx will join Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd as presenters on the Oscars telecast Sunday.
This Jamie Foxx send-up of Tyler Perry in the bomb Alex Cross is deliciously mean since it’s hard for Perry to escape his Madea alter ego:
Here’s the latest theatrical trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. With an all-star cast led by Jamie Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington plus Christoph Waltz, Don Johnson and many others, The Weinstein Company release rolls out December 25th:
UPDATE, 12:50 PM: JFoxx might have given away his new role on his Twitter feed, posting, “Dressed up as Electro for Halloween last night. Costume fits well.”
PREVIOUS, 12:28 PM: Discussions are in the early stages for Jamie Foxx to join Columbia Pictures’ next installment of The Amazing Spider-Man, which has director Marc Webb and star Andrew Garfield already set to return. It’s unclear exactly how Foxx would fit into the script by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner and based on a previous draft by James Vanderbilt, though sources said he would play Electro, according to Variety, which had the news first. Shailene Woodley has an offer to play Mary Jane Watson in the pic, already set for a 3D release May 2, 2014. Production begins early next year. The original has grossed more than $750 million worldwide. Foxx next stars in Quentin Tarantino’s Western Django Unchained, which opens on December 25.
Sony Pictures’ White House Down has added Jason Clarke to its cast. The actor will play Stenz, the leader of the mercenaries who break into the Executive Mansion in the Roland Emmerich-directed thriller. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in White House Down, as does Channing Tatum. The Magic Mike star plays the Secret Service agent who tries to stop the mercenaries’ takeover. Jamie Foxx plays the President. Sony bought the James Vanderbilt spec script for $3 million earlier this year. Read More »
Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.
Django Unchained a Shaft prequel? Really? There’s one more week of shooting on Django, and they just did scenes with Jonah Hill as a member of the Regulators (the pre-Civil War version of the KKK). Quentin Tarantino said it turned into one of the funniest scenes he’s ever done, which he says is up there with the name-colors conversation in Reservoir Dogs. There is one character in the movie that ties into the larger Tarantino-verse which he’s keeping a surprise, but he says Kerry Washington‘s character Brunhilde von Shaft is, in his mind, an ancestor of John Shaft – this prompted QT to start singing the theme song out loud. The panel was moderated by Anthony Breznican from Entertainment Weekly, who said he needed a whole new level of grandiloquent profanity to describe Django, a “twisted, bloody fairy tale,” before introducing Jamie Foxx, Walton Goggins, Don Johnson (with Jeff Bridges-looking facial hair and gray ponytail), Christoph Waltz (long hair and a bushy white beard that almost looks false, like Santa Claus), Washington, and Tarantino (in a leather jacket, dorky felt fedora, and a T-shirt depicting many of his characters as kids playing in a sandbox).
Read More »
Straight off Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino and Jamie Foxx were announced today as presenters for Sunday’s BET Awards. The director and the star join Tyler Perry and Laz Alonzo, who also were announced today. Tarantino and Foxx’s presence is also a bit of a Django reunion as Sunday’s show is hosted by The Avengers star Samuel L. Jackson, who also appears in Django. Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good and Cedric the Entertainer have previously been announced as presenters. Django, which also stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Christoph Waltz, is scheduled to be released December 22. The BET Awards air live Sunday night from the Shrine Auditorium.
Related: Samuel L. Jackson To Host BET Awards
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has set Jonah Hill to play a role in Django Unchained, which is in production. I’m trying to find out who he’ll be playing, but am told it won’t be Scotty Harmony, the kid who loses Django’s slave wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) to Calvin Candie, a charming but utterly evil plantation owner, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, which sets up a showdown with Django, the former slave turned bounty hunter played by Jamie Foxx.
Hill was eyed for the role early on, but had to turn it down because his schedule was so busy. He’s back in another role. Hill, repped by WME and Karl Austen, will next be seen in the Fox comedy The Watch and is also starring opposite DiCaprio in the Martin Scorsese-directed The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Here’s a first look at still photos from Quentin Tarantino‘s slave drama Django Unchained, which the Weinstein Co is releasing on Christmas Day. Above, Leonardo DiCaprio plays evil plantation owner Calvin Candie. Below, Christoph Waltz is the bounty hunter who frees Django (Jamie Foxx) and teaches him the tricks of the trade as they embark on a journey to save Django’s wife from Candie.
UPDATE: Insiders on Django Unchained said that the talks with Michael Kenneth Williams just won’t work out because of his schedule on Boardwalk Empire. They are scrapping that role completely.
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Kenneth Williams, best known for his work as drug dealer/robber Omar in The Wire and bootlegger Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire, will play a supporting role in Snitch and is looking at another shot at joining Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. In the Ric Roman Waugh-directed Snitch, he’ll play a narcotics kingpin with a short temper who becomes involved with a man (Dwayne Johnson) who is turning DEA snitch to get his son a reduced prison stretch. The film shoots early next month. Django Unchained is also in the works. Williams was under consideration by Tarantino to play the title role, but Jamie Foxx got that job. Now, Williams’ reps at The Collective are trying to work out dates with the third season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire so that Williams can play another role in the film that Tarantino is working out creatively. I’m told that it’s likely he’ll play muscle for ranch owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
This un-PC video was shown at the start of last month’s American Cinematheque tribute to Robert Downey Jr and features Mel Gibson, Jamie Foxx, and Garry Shandling brainstorming. It’s very inside Hollywood: