Bravo Media has put in development All The Pretty Faces, a dramedy-mystery executive produced by Jennifer Garner. Written and executive produced by J. Mills Goodloe, the project is set in the bucolic beach town of Half Moon Bay, CA. It centers on two warring families engaged in an epic, decades-long feud. The death of one of their own brings both families together in search of the secret to the affliction that has plagued them for generations…immortality. “All The Pretty Faces tracks with Bravo’s tradition of presenting strong, relatable characters and tackling provocative subjects in an entertaining way,” said Bravo’s VP Andrew Wang. Garner’s Vandalia Films is producing with Warner Horizon Television where the company has a deal, with Garner and Goodloe executive producing, and Juliana Janes serving as a producer. Bravo recently greenlighted its first two original scripted series, hourlong Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and half-hour Odd Mom Out.
The Theory Of Opposites doesn’t hit shelves until Tuesday, but it already has a movie deal. Jennifer Garner’s Vandalia Film has optioned the rights to adapt the Allison Winn Scotch novel for the big screen. Theory Of Opposites follows the trials and tribulations of Willa Chandler-Golden, daughter of a top self-help book author, as her marriage, her job and almost everything else in her seemingly stable life goes off the rails. The book is the first one that the New York Times bestselling author has self-published. Scotch is also author of Time of My Life, The Song Remains The Same, The One That I Want and The Department Of Lost & Found. Vandalia has several projects on the go including Miss Marple at Disney and via an overall deal with Warner Bros TV.
Fox has given a put pilot commitment to The Whole Shebang, a drama from Warner Bros TV and Jennifer Garner‘s Vandalia Films. Written by Jason Micallef — who wrote the 2011 feature Butter, also co-produced by Vandalia and starring Garner — Whole Shebang centers on a newly single soccer mom who inherits a rundown male strip club and unexpectedly finds herself at the center of a dysfunctional, makeshift family that helps her take charge of her life. Garner and Micallef, repped by WME and Underground, executive produce. This is the first sale for Vandalia under the overall deal the company inked with WBTV in June.
Dallas Buyers Club, one of the most anticipated films of the year and certainly this Toronto International Film Festival, made its debut Saturday night to a standing ovation. Star Matthew McConaughey lost tons of weight in order to convincingly play Ron Woodroof, an early victim of AIDS who extended his life by illegally pioneering into the world of drugs designed to stem the disease. With much advance Oscar buzz for the Focus Features release, Dallas Buyers Club recently moved into early November from its original December release date. There was heavy anticipation not only for Saturday night’s 10 PM screening but also earlier when I caught it at a morning press showing. Bottom line: It does not disappoint and contains the expected Oscar-caliber performance certain to finally gain a Best Actor nod for McConaughey – and also a surprising turn from Jared Leto, just superb as a transsexual AIDS patient who befriends Ron. It would seem an absolute no-brainer that both will be sitting front and center come March 2nd at the Dolby Theatre when Oscar winners are announced. If there are two better performances by anyone this year I have not seen them.
At the Ciba restaurant late night party following the screening, Focus Features President James Schamus was beaming. Not just from the reaction to Dallas, but also because he pulled off a coup at dawn (he told me) sealing the deal for the hilarious and well-received Jason Bateman directorial debut Bad Words. It went for $7 million – a steal considering the potential of this R-rated comedy I predicted would sell in a minute. Universal‘s Ron Meyer, Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley were also celebrating that coup and the success of their specialty division’s Dallas triumph. But this night belonged to the cast and crew, especially McConaughey whom Schamus told me at May’s Cannes Festival was delivering ”the performance of a lifetime”. This was a project, according to producers Rachel Winter and Robbie Brenner, that took nearly 20 years to bring to the screen. A good chunk of that was made of the blood, sweat, tears and never-say-die tenacity of Brenner who said she just kept pushing that Dallas rock up the hill no matter what the odds.
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Garner‘s Vandalia Films has signed a two-year overall deal with Warner Bros. TV to develop and executive produce series projects for the studio. The company most recently had a deal with Universal TV and previously was based at ABC Studios. Garner got her big break on TV with the ABC drama Alias, from J.J. Abrams whose Bad Robot banner also is at Warner Bros. TV. On the feature side, Vandalia, where Garner is joined by executive Juliana Janes, produced Butter and is developing several other projects. Garner, repped by Management 360 and WME, will next be seen in Dallas Buyers Club with Matthew McConaughey, currently is shooting Draft Day with Kevin Costner and just signed on for Alexander And The No Good, Very Bad Day with Steve Carell.
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.
BREAKING: Disney is in talks with Jennifer Garner to star with Steve Carell in the Miguel Arteta-directed live-action adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Lisa Cholodenko wrote the script with Rob Lieber, and Disney has Steve Carell attached to play Alexander’s dad. Garner will play his mother. Shawn Levy is producing through his 21 Laps banner along with Lisa Henson and Dan Levine. Production will begin in the fall. Alexander is the key character, and he starts a wretched day with the realization that the gum he fell asleep chewing is now hopelessly tangled in his hair. Things get worse from there, to the point he threatens to chuck it all and move to Australia.
Garner stars in Dallas Buyers Club, the film that just got acquired by Focus Features, and she’s set to star in Draft Day, the Ivan Reitman-directed gridiron backroom drama that stars Kevin Costner. She is repped by WME, Management 360 and attorney Jason Sloane.
Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Maron have already enlisted Barbra Streisand and Shirley Bassey for show duties, and now have added another nod to that generation with seven-time nominee and two-time winner Jane Fonda. Here’s the release that just went out:
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Academy Award® winner Jane Fonda will join Jennifer Garner, Kristen Stewart and Kerry Washington to present on the Oscar telecast, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.
Fonda earned seven nominations and won Academy Awards for her roles in “Klute” and “Coming Home.” Garner was seen in this year’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” and will be seen next in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Stewart is best known for her role as Bella Swan in the “Twilight” saga and also starred in 2012′s “On the Road” and “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Washington starred in the Best Picture Nominee “Django Unchained” and was seen in “A Thousand Words.” Washington is also the star of ABC’s hit drama “Scandal.”
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Garner is in talks to star in the long-gestating drama Dallas Buyers Club alongside Matthew McConaughey. The plot centers on a man who was given six months to live after contracting AIDS in 1986; he lived another six years by illegally smuggling medicine into the U.S., making sure a lot of other sufferers got them too. The spirit of the drama paints a picture at the time of powerful and unyielding bureaucrats at the Food and Drug Administration. We’re hearing that the production is also close to casting the key role of a cross-dresser, but nothing’s been sealed. Worldwide rights are available with Voltage Pictures’ Nicolas Chartier setting up sales at AFM.
Related: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Takes Shape
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Garner‘s Vandalia Films has signed a first-look deal with Universal Television. The first project to come out of the pact is an untitled comedy from writer Ellen Rapoport, which has sold to NBC.
Rapoport will write the semi-autobiographical comedy, which was put together by Television 360 (Game Of Thrones), the TV division of Management 360. It tells the story of Allie, a nerdy, twentysomething overachiever who is befriended and taken in by two promiscuous party girls. They give her the adolescence she never had, while she teaches them how to grow up. Rapoport will executive produce with Television 360′s Daniel Rappaport and Meghan Lyvers and Vandalia’s Garner and Juliana Janes.
The Weinstein Company has released the trailer for Butter which stars Jennifer Garner who is also one of the producers. The movie set in the world of competitive butter carving debuted at last year’s Telluride Film Festival. Cast includes Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, Alicia Silverstone and Ty Burrell. Weinstein/Radius is releasing Butter, directed by Jim Field Smith and written by Jason A. Micallef, it debuts September 7 via On Demand and in theaters on October 5.
Perhaps it was just because they come at the end of a long week and the exhibitors who come from around the country to Las Vegas for NATO’s CinemaCon convention are either tired or jaded at this point, but tonight’s closing Big Screen Achievement Awards were a pretty dry affair. Even mechanical by-the-numbers host Billy Bush (Access Hollywood) couldn’t pump much energy into the massive Colosseum theatre of Caesars Palace where these delegates have spent much of their time since Monday viewing studio presentations and seeing many of the same stars who were once again trotted out to get awards arranged by the studios and CinemaCon organizers. Of course these awards are geared to the industry’s big season and every single recipient has at least one — or more than one film coming out over the summer. So it may have been petty theft but producer/director Judd Apatow receiving the Award of Excellence in Filmmaking tried to get the crowd going and won big laughs in return for stealing the show. “You are a tough crowd,” he scolded the audience. “You always stop applauding just as the star reaches the top of the stairs. So let’s give me some more fucking applause please. This has been an exciting night but you don’t seem as excited as I am. C’mon people. Stallone was here for god’s sake!” Apatow proceeded to thank …
ABC has bought Cartoon Marriage, a comedy script based on the book by married New Yorker cartoonists Michael Maslin and Liza Donnelly. Jennifer Garner is executive producing the comedy, which will be written by Lizzie McGuire and Less Than Perfect creator Terri Minsky. It chronicles adventures in love and matrimony through the eyes of the cartooning couple. In the book, Maslin and Donnelly tell the story of their marriage through their separate perspectives, in cartoon form. The project was developed by Garner’s production company, Vandalia Films, with Garner and her producing partner Juliana Janes executive producing with Minsky for ABC Studios. This is Vandalia’s second comedy project for ABC this season, and both are based on books. The other, based on The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, is being adapted by Easy A writer Bert Royal.
I ran into Jennifer Garner Saturday afternoon at the candy counter of Telluride’s tiny Nugget Theatre and told her I was looking forward to seeing the new film she produced and stars in, Butter, which was having an official sneak preview at the festival later that night. “Thanks, but I hate it when people tell me that. It makes me too nervous,” she said. She shouldn’t have worried. The edgy smart comedy played liked gangbusters at its first packed screening at the Galaxy Theatre. There were big laughs for the small-town butter-carving satire, which might get a year-end release from The Weinstein Company to qualify for awards, especially for the Golden Globes and its comedy category. Garner nails the Michele Bachmann-like character in a way that’s smooth-as-buttah. The film itself is reminiscent of Michael Ritchie’s Smile and Alexander Payne’s Election, with both comparisons meant to be a compliment. In fact, shortly afterward, Payne told me he is anxious to see the film himself. Before it rolled, director Jim Field Smith told the crowd what pressure he was under to finish the film in time for next week’s Toronto Film Festival — and then was told it would be needed even earlier for Telluride. “Come on, you can do it,” Harvey Weinstein told him. Then there were the unexpected earthquakes, hurricanes, and a scary landing at the Tellruride airport that all contributed to his feeling he wasn’t going to make the deadline, but he did. “This is the first audience anywhere to see the film, so we could just die,” Garner added before forgetting to introduce co-star Ty Burrell (Modern Family).
Disney’s comedic drama The Odd Life of Timothy Green, directed by Peter Hedges, doesn’t have a release date yet. But Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton star in the story about a happy couple who can’t wait to start a family and who find a young boy on their doorstep on a stormy night.
Ealing Studios and The King’s Speech financier Prescience has merged their respective sales arms. The companies previously worked together on both St. Trinian’s films, Dorian Gray and Easy Virtue. They say combining gives them “a unique advantage,” because of the money that Prescience brings to the table. They also said no jobs will be lost in the consolidation. “The beauty of this merger is that we now have access to Prescience’s money,” says Will Machin, Ealing’s head of distribution. Machin will run Ealing Metro. “There are very few companies in the indie marketplace that can offer what we can now.” Prescience has raised around $250 million to date through its Aegis Film Fund and Metropolis Media EIS tax fund. Ealing Metro will offer equity, gap financing and in some cases will put up minimum guarantee advances against international sales, the money that gets films rolling. The plan is to handle 10-15 films a year, with Machin working alongside with Natalie Brenner and James Scott.
Ealing Metro’s current slate includes upcoming productions Better Living Through Chemistry, which stars Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Garner and shoots in July; the Iain Softley-directed psychological thriller Trap For Cinderella, which stars Tuppence Middleton and Alexandra Roach; and the Nina Simone biopic Nina, which stars Mary J Blige and David Oyelowo, and starts production May 23.
Chorion, the company which owns the rights to Agatha Christie, has told the BBC that the deal for Disney to remake Miss Marple has not closed. The Brit rights company and its reps were unavailable to elaborate. There has been general scorn over here since Deadline revealed Disney’s idea of reinventing Miss Marple as a younger, sassier amateur sleuth, with Jennifer Garner attached to play Marple. Her Vandalia Films label will produce. Disney confirmed the deal had gone down. Agatha Christie’s biographer Laura Thompson said that the author would not have been happy with Disney’s desire to mess with tradition. MGM cast Margaret Rutherford as Marple after it bought the rights in the late 50s. But Christie even disliked Rutherford’s interpretation of Marple. She complained in one letter: “Why don’t they just invent a new character? Then they can have their cheap fun and leave me and my creations alone.” It’s difficult to see how a kickboxing hottie like Garner would work as Miss Marple, who is meant to be an elderly spinster living in the English village of St. Mary Mead. Mind you, at 38, Garner would not be called young, at least not by Hollywood standards. Should we take the estate’s unwillingness to confirm the deal as a clue they are having second thoughts after the outcry? I’ll let you know when estate reps ring me back …
UPDATE: Jennifer Garner will be the actress who puts a young spin on Miss Marple in Disney’s reboot of the Agatha Christie mystery series sleuth. The character had been portrayed by a long line of actresses who played Marple as an elderly spinster who cracked crimes in her spare time. Garner and her Vandalia Films partner Juliana Janes will produce a film that will be shaped as a star vehicle for Garner, the former Alias star who will next be seen in Arthur.
EARLIER, 3:46 PM EDT: Disney has made a deal to revive the Agatha Christie mystery series staple character Miss Marple, but with one big difference: instead of the elderly spinster who lives in the English village of St. Mary Mead and solves mysteries as a hobby, the new configuration is for Mark Frost to script a version where Marple is in her 30s or 40s. Developing.