Sean Penn To Direct Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem In ‘The Last Face’ For River Road’s Bill Pohlad

Seanpenn1 Charlize TheronAn interesting film project is quickly coming together now with Sean Penn, Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem, which is readying to be shot in Africa. The love story, called The Last Face, will be directed by Penn and is on the verge of getting the go-ahead from River Road and Bill Pohlad, with Bill Gerber and Matt Palmieri also producing. Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is The Warmest Color) is also on board. Theron, who is romantically linked with Penn, will star as a doctor who doing humanitarian relief work in Africa amidst violent political conflicts in the region. She meets another doctor (Bardem) who is doing the same work, and the story revolves around tough moral decisions that must be made during time of civil unrest. Exarchopoulos is expected to play a journalist.Javier_Bardem

This will be Penn and Pohlad’s fourth collaboration. They previously worked together on Into the Wild, which garnered two Oscar noms. Pohlad also produced Terence Malick’s Oscar-nominated Tree Of Life, which Penn narrated and starred, as well as Fair Game. Of course Pohlad was one of the producers of this year’s Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave. Penn, Theron, Bardem and Pohlad are all Oscar winners. Read More »

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Steven Spielberg, Javier Bardem, Steve Zaillian Circle Montezuma-Cortez Epic From Script By Blacklisted Writer Dalton Trumbo

Mike Fleming

Steven SpielbergEXCLUSIVE: One of the most compelling movie questions coming into 2014 is, what film will Steven Spielberg direct? I don’t know if this is next or far down the line, but here is a tantalizing possibility: I’m told that he has his sights on Montezuma, an epic tale of the kinship and ultimately the bloody collision between Montezuma and Cortez as the latter led the Spanish infiltration into Mexico. I’ve heard that Javier Bardem has sparked to playing the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez, and that the catalyst here is a nearly 50-year old script by Dalton Trumbo that is being rewritten by Steve Zaillian, who teamed with Spielberg on the Oscar-winning Schindler’s List.

Zaillian is boarding this project as producer, likely alongside Spielberg and his DreamWorks team. The rights are now controlled by DreamWorks, but Zaillian’s first look deal is at Fox and I don’t know if a team-up there is in the works. Zaillian is currently producing the Moses epic Exodus for Fox, with Ridley Scott directing Christian Bale in the lead role.

"Skyfall" Royal World Premiere - ArrivalsThis project could be retitled Cortez, since the viewpoint will be from the latter character to be played by fellow Spaniard Bardem. The project, considered one of the great unmade scripts in moviedom, has an illustrious history. Trumbo wrote it for actor/producer Kirk Douglas, with whom he did the classics Spartacus and Lonely Are the Brave. Trumbo turned in a 205-page draft in 1965, when Martin Ritt was supposed to direct Douglas in the film. It never happened. Read More »

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Warner Bros Chasing Javier Bardem For Blackbeard Role in ‘Pan’

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 5:28pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Javier Bardem has been offered the lead villain role in Pan, the Warner Bros take on the Peter Pan myth based on a Jason Fuchs script. This is the origin story pic based on JM Barrie’s … Read More »

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Hot Clips: Ridley Scott’s ‘The Counselor’

By | Tuesday August 6, 2013 @ 12:40pm PDT

Michael Fassbender reunites with Prometheus helmer Ridley Scott in The Counselor, starring as a lawyer who enters the drug trade only to find himself in over his head. Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Penelope Read More »

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Ray Winstone Has Sean Penn’s Back In ‘The Gunman’

By | Friday June 14, 2013 @ 2:48pm PDT
Mike Fleming

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 »

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Javier Bardem Pacts Pair: He’ll Star In J.C. Chandor’s ‘A Most Violent Year’ And Opposite Sean Penn In ‘The Gunman’

By | Wednesday June 5, 2013 @ 4:57pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Javier Bardem has found a couple of killer roles. He will star as the good guy (for a change) in J.C. Chandor’s next film, A Most Violent Year, which will shoot in Manhattan … Read More »

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Perennially Ignored By Academy Voters, James Bond Gets Oscarcast Tribute

By | Friday January 4, 2013 @ 6:26am PST
Mike Fleming

James Bond Oscar Tribute SkyfallBREAKING: It has only taken 007 half a century to get his due from the Academy. Oscars exec producers will include a tribute to the James Bond franchise, it was announced this morning. It’s a good idea from the standpoint of getting the masses interested in avoiding a snore-fest like last year, but the timing is also fortuitous for honoring moviedom’s most enduring feature franchise.

The most recent installment, the Sam Mendes-directed Skyfall, recently became the first 007 film to crack the $1 billion worldwide gross mark; also, Bond celebrated its 50-year anniversary with the Skyfall release.

Related: Academy Celebrates 50 Years Of James Bond Music From ‘Goldfinger’ To ‘Skyfall’

It is a remarkable exception to how the Academy has historically dismissed the James Bond films as award-worthy. Only 1964′s Goldfinger and 1965′s Thunderball won awards, and they were for Best Effects. The 2006 film Casino Royale, which introduced Daniel Craig as 007 and is on my Top 10 favorite films, didn’t get a single Oscar nomination. Perhaps this year will be different — Javier Bardem’s villain character in Skyfall has so far been nominated for SAG and PGA Awards. I’m not sure about a Best Picture nomination, because there are so many worthy films up against Skyfall. At least the series will get a little bit of love from Oscar. Has 007 been done an injustice all these years by Oscar?

Here’s the official announcement: Read More »

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Beijing Conference On International Actors’ Treaty Opens With Video From Meryl Streep

More than 10 years in the making, an international treaty aimed at protecting actors’ rights is due to be signed in Beijing in the coming week. Backed by UN agency WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the treatyRead More »

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Ridley Scott Drafts Brad Pitt And Javier Bardem For ‘The Counselor,’ With Fox Circling

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Back in February, Deadline revealed that Ridley Scott was aiming high for a nemesis to play alongside Michael Fassbender in The Counselor, with Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem on the wish list. I’m told now that Scott is on the verge of getting both actors into the movie. … Read More »

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Warner Bros In Talks For Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’; Will Javier Bardem Saddle Up?

By | Monday March 12, 2012 @ 5:03pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Javier Bardem Stephen King The Dark TowerEXCLUSIVE: When Universal Pictures said no to making three feature films and two limited-run TV series from Stephen King’s mammoth post-apocalyptic Western The Dark Tower, the partners in the film all pledged they were going to find a way to get a movie made. Well, I hear that Warner Bros is now very close to a deal that will give Ron Howard the chance to direct at least the first feature, potentially with Javier Bardem starring as gunslinger Roland Deschain. And Akiva Goldsman (who wrote the script) is producing with Brian Grazer and the author.

Basically the studio bought Goldsman’s script and are paying him to do a polish. Howard remains attached to direct, likely in first-quarter 2013. Pic is a co-production between Goldsman’s Weed Road and Howard and Grazer’s Imagine. Bardem’s participation would depend upon his availability, but he was firmly attached when the project was at Universal.

That is an amazing development for fans of the book and for a movie that has been searching for new backing since Universal let it go last July. Back then, Universal was deciding on three features and the two TV segments, which was perhaps the most ambitious movie project since Peter Jackson shot three installments of The Lord Of The Rings back to back. Read More »

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Top Actors Lining Up For Villain Role In ‘The Counselor’

Mike Fleming

The hot role that actors are lining up for is the villain in The Counselor, the Ridley Scott-directed Cormac McCarthy-written thriller that will star Michael Fassbender. I’m hearing that The Bourne Legacy‘s Jeremy Renner and No Country For Old Men‘s Javier Bardem are among the actors circling. I’ve been hearing … Read More »

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James Bond ‘Skyfall’ Adds Helen McCrory, Ola Rapace To Cast As Cameras Roll

As filming got underway Monday for Skyfall, the names of two additional actors but not their characters’ identities were posted on the movie’s Twitter account @007: Helen McCrory (Hugo, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2) and … Read More »

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‘Skyfall’ Confirmed As Title Of New Bond Movie; Budget Around $230M; Sam Mendes Says He’s Open To Follow-up

Shooting on the latest James Bond movie starts Monday, Daniel Craig revealed at this morning’s press conference for Skyfall, the 23rd 007 movie. Producer Michael G Wilson scotched UK tabloid rumors that the budget for the latest Bond film has been slashed by $100 million. “We’re in the same budget range as the last film. We haven’t had to change anything in the script. In fact, we keep adding things — everything is going to be just as it was,” he said. Director Sam Mendes also denied he was making a downbeat Bond with fewer action sequences. He would be directing action sequences himself. “There will be plenty of surprises,” Mendes promised. “The action needs to be balanced with the drama.” Mendes said he was open to directing another Bond installment, “if I still feel that it’s as much fun in six months’ time, then the answer is yes.” Read More »

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Candescent Films Launches With Jeff Nichols, Javier Bardem, R.J. Cutler Pics

By | Wednesday September 21, 2011 @ 12:55pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Candescent Films, a new venture formed to make films that advance a social agenda, is financing and co-producing a small slate of films that are passion projects of A-list talent. Spearheaded by Lilly Hartley, Candescent kicks off with Native, a drama being written by Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols, with Hartley producing with Sarah Green (The Tree of Life) and Automatik Entertainment’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones. Candescent is also the catalyst for two documentaries. Javier Bardem is the star and producer of Sons of the Clouds, an in-producton documentary that explores the political and human rights issues facing the people of the Sahara, with an emphasis on a former Spanish colony in Africa that is now occupied by Morocco and where there are more than 200,000 refugees living in camps in the desert. Bardem is producing with Hartley and Alvaro Longoria of Morena Films. Longoria directed it and is close to finished, with Candescent financing.

Candescent is also financing development of The Fifth Estate, a feature documentary to be written and directed by The September Issue‘s R.J. Cutler that examines the future of journalism in the digital age, and the role of the Internet in 21st century democracy. WME Global’s Liesl Copland packaged both of the documentaries. Read More »

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Universal Nixes Stephen King’s ‘Dark Tower’ – No Ambitious Film Trilogy Or TV Series

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The moment has come for Universal Pictures to fish or cut bait on The Dark Tower, the ultra-ambitious adaptation of the Stephen King 7-novel series that was going to encompass a trilogy of feature films and two limited run … Read More »

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Universal Pushes ‘Dark Tower,’ Attempts To Trim Budget

By | Friday May 13, 2011 @ 12:56pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has pushed this year’s start date on the Ron Howard-directed adaptation of Stephen King’s mammoth novel series Dark Tower until February, I’m told. It was supposed to start this summer. The studio will work with the … Read More »

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Javier Bardem Closing ‘Dark Tower’ Deal

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Javier Bardem is close to sealing his deal with Universal Pictures to play gunslinger Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower, the mammoth adaptation of the Stephen King 7-novel series that’ll span three movies and a limited run TV series in between each film. Director Ron Howard begins production on the first film in September, and he’ll also direct the first TV segment. Akiva Goldsman has scripted the film and the initial TV component. Imagine Entertainment chief Brian Grazer is producing the films with Goldsman and King. Goldsman will produce the TV part through his Weed Road banner.

Bardem, who won the Oscar for his ferocious portrayal of a hit man in  No Country For Old Men and who was more recently nominated for Biutiful, is a strong match to play the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers. Deadline revealed in late January that Bardem had been offered the role of Deschain, who becomes humanity’s last hope to save civilization as he hits the road to find the Dark Tower. Along the way, he encounters characters, good and bad, in a world that has an old West feel.

Bardem’s WME reps are putting the finishing touches on the deal, and they are close enough that Howard has begun meeting with other actors to cast the roles around Bardem. It’s a complex deal, almost unprecedented, because it calls for Bardem to star in the feature film and the TV component. His deal will also include options for two sequels (the TV program that runs between the second and third films will be a prequel). I’m told it will add up to a career-best payday for Bardem. Howard and Goldsman have told me they see the trilogy as their answer to the Peter Jackson-directed adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. While Middle Earth had a mystical medieval feel, The Dark Tower vibe is one that Goldsman described as “an alternate Americana, one part post-apocalyptic, one part Sergio Leone.” Read More »

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OSCAR: Javier Bardem Q&A

Pete Hammond

Javier Bardem’s first acting job was at the age of six, but his career has heated up since the mid-1980s not only in a number of notable films in his native Spain for such directors as Pedro Almodovar but now as a full-fledged international star. Read More »

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OSCAR: Hammond Polls Academy Voters

Pete Hammond

With ballots out and not due back until 5 PM on February 22nd, I decided to talk to a sampling of Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voters directly to see how they’re picking their winners. By doing this very unscientific survey … Read More »

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