OSCARS: Roadside Attractions’ ‘Mud’ Becomes First Official 2013 Screener Sent To Academy Voters

By | Saturday September 21, 2013 @ 10:50am PDT
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: The Emmys aren’t even over yet, but the  race to be the first movie awards DVD screener of 2013 to land in Oscar voters’ mailboxes is over. And the winner is…..Mud. The Roadside Attractions (with Lionsgate)  late April release starring Matthew McConaughey has been sent to all Academy members with some reporting they received it yesterday. The Blu-Ray/DVD came out in early August and at that time Roadside sent it to some bloggers who confused the issue by saying it was then the first Oscar screener to be sent.  Of course Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences rules are very clear in this regard and commercial Blu Ray/DVDs cannot be sent to Academy members as part of a campaign. It must be special, generally very plain, packaging without review quotes etc. That is what Academy members are receiving this weekend.

The Jeff Nichols-directed movie is one of the top independent releases of 2013 earning over $21 million at the box office. In fact until Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine surpassed it recently, it was the number one indie. Roadside picked up the film in August 2012 but held it for a Spring launch rather than rushing it out to compete in last year’s Oscar race. The distributor hopes Oscar voters will remember the film, which played in the 2012 Cannes Official Competition, and by getting the screener out first knows it is already on top of the pile of one for voters who have yet to see it. Being first is a mixed bag as far as ultimate results go. Last year The Weinstein Company sent its French import The Intouchables out as the first screener in Mid-October but it failed to land any nominations. In 2011 Summit won the screener race with an early September mailing of A Better Life  and was rewarded for its efforts with a Best Actor nod for Demian Bichir, considered a long shot at the time (Roadside virtually tied for first out that year too with The Music Never Stopped, but it came up empty). Read More »

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Warner Bros Sets Kirsten Dunst For ‘Midnight Special’

By | Monday August 12, 2013 @ 3:14pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has set Kirsten Dunst to play the female lead in Midnight Special. She will star opposite Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton in the Jeff Nichols-directed film. In the film, a father and … Read More »

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UPDATE: Michael Shannon To Reteam With ‘Mud’ Helmer Jeff Nichols On Warner Bros Project

By | Wednesday May 8, 2013 @ 5:21pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Took awhile, but I’ve gotten clarity on this Jeff Nichols Warner Bros project, and it was worth the wait. Michael Shannon, the Boardwalk Empire star who turned in a powerhouse performance in Nichols’ Take Shelter and appeared more recently in Mud, will star in Midnight Special, which Nichols wrote and will direct at Warners. Described to me as a contemporary science fiction chase film, the pic will be produced by Sarah Green and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, with Glen Basner and Christos V. Konstantakopoulos the exec producers. Shannon just played a hitman in The Iceman, and he plays General Zod in the Superman reboot Man Of Steel, so he is absolutely on the Warner Bros radar. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Matthew McConaughey In ‘Mud’

By | Friday January 18, 2013 @ 4:15pm PST

Writer-director Jeff Nichols’ third feature is screening at Sundance starting tomorrow. The tale which debuted last May at Cannes involves a pair of teenage boys who discover a boat wedged in a tree on an island in the Mississippi River. A drifter played by Matthew McConaughey intrudes and complications … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Jeff Nichols’ ‘Mud’

By | Thursday January 17, 2013 @ 12:59am PST

Jeff NicholsMud premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions later jointly acquired it for the U.S. with a release coming this spring. Before that, it will premiere Stateside as part of the Spotlight section of … Read More »

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Top Emerging Directors On Fox’s Short List To Helm ‘Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: 20th Century Fox has come up with a short list to replace Rupert Wyatt as the director of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. I’m hearing that Cloverfield’s Matt Reeves is atop the list, along with The Disappearance Of Alice Creed helmer J Blakeson, 28 Weeks Later helmer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Take Shelter and Mud director Jeff Nichols, Pacific Rim helmer Guillermo del Toro, The Impossible helmer Juan Antonio Bayona and Looper helmer Rian Johnson (Johnson’s reps deny he is in the hunt). Read More »

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Chernin Company Acquires Popular Science Article About 14-Year-Old Who Achieved Nuclear Fusion

By | Monday July 30, 2012 @ 3:25pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Chernin Entertainment has acquired The Boy Who Played With Fusion, the true story of Taylor Wilson, a 14-year-old Arkansan who became the youngest ever to achieve nuclear fusion. They are negotiating with Take Shelter and Mud writer-director Jeff Nichols to develop the film as a helming vehicle. The film will be developed through Chernin’s deal with Fox. Published in the March 2012 issue of Popular Science magazine by Tom Clynes, the article details an exceptionally smart and curious kid and what happens when his ordinary parents who didn’t quite understand how he’d become so gifted, gave him the room and encouragement to nurture his great gifts and passion for nuclear science and experimentation. When his grandmother became ill, the youth became involved in an attempt to harness the short-lived isotopes that kill cancer cells and then deteriorate before they harm healthy cells — in hopes that the cancer-curing isotopes could be generated on site at hospitals and save lives. He later harnessed his discoveries as an alarm system to root out dirty bombs in shipping containers. Read More »

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Zurich Film Festival: Jeff Nichols’ ‘Take Shelter’ Wins Best Feature Award

By | Saturday October 1, 2011 @ 6:43pm PDT

The 7th Zurich Film Festival announced its award winners tonight, with Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter taking best feature film. This year’s edition also was marked by an appearance from Roman Polanski, who received the fest’s lifetime achievement award Tuesday. A list of competition winners follows:

International Feature Film Competition
Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols (U.S.)

Outstanding Performance By An Actor
Deon Lotz for Beauty

Outstanding Performance By An Actress
Corinne Masiero for Louise Wimmer

International Documentary Film Competition
Buck by Cindy Meehl (U.S.)

Read More »

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Jeff Nichols Adds Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson to ‘Mud’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Director Jeff Nichols has added his Take Shelter star Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks to Mud, the drama that stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan. Production began today … 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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FilmNation Grabs Mike Jones Spec ‘In The Event Of A Moon Disaster’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, FilmNation Entertainment has acquired In the Event of a Moon Disaster, a Mike Jones spec script that re-imagines the first moon mission. In this version, disaster strikes and the astronauts find themselves up against … Read More »

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Jeff Nichols Lands Matthew & Reese In ‘Mud’

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Take Shelter helmer Jeff Nichols has set Mud as his next film, and is in talks with Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tree of Life‘s Tye Sheridan to star. … Read More »

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CANNES: ‘Take Shelter’ Wins Critics Week Prize, ‘The Giants’ And ‘Breathing’ Win Directors’ Fortnight

Mike Fleming

While the big Cannes Film Festival awards get handed out this weekend, Take Shelter, the Jeff Nichols-directed Michael Shannon-Jessica Chastain drama, took the Grand Prix Nespresso, the top prize at Cannes Critics Week. Sony Pictures Classics bought the film before … Read More »

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