UPDATES with more casting news, below: The New Group, an off-Broadway standard bearer, heads into its 20th season in a new home further west on 42nd Street with a lineup that will feature Cynthia Nixon (Sex And The City) in her directing debut and the world premiere of a new play by and starring Jesse Eisenberg (Social Network). The season also includes the return to the stage of Dianne Weist and Holly Hunter.
The company leaves 42nd Street’s Theatre Row to take up residence a block west in the Frank Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center complex, which has in a short time become one of the city’s premiere theater destinations, noted for its $25 ticket policy, live-jazz-accompanied cafe and open space bookstore. The season will kick off in October with a revival of David Rabe’s seminal Vietnam-era drama Sticks And Bones, with Holly Hunter and Bill Pullman playing a black-comedy riff on iconic American TV couple Ozzie and Harriet. Their world is turned inside out when son David returns home from the war. New Group artistic director Scott Elliott will direct. Joseph Papp’s original 1971 production moved to broadway and won the Tony Award for best play of 1972. Read More »
Things get mighty tense as three eco-saboteurs plot to take out a hydroelectric dam in Oregon. Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard star in Night Moves, which Cinedigm picked up after it screened at Toronto, Venice and Deauville. Kelly Reichardt directed the thriller, which she wrote with Jon Raymond. Here’s the trailer for the pic, which arrives May 30:
EXCLUSIVE: The appetite for scripts and partially finished films is soaring. Lionsgate is tying up a deal today to pay $7 million to pre-buy U.S. distribution rights to American Ultra, the action comedy that begins shooting in New Orleans in five weeks with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart starring for Project X director Nima Nourizadeh. In the script by Chronicle writer Max Landis, Eisenberg plays a stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend (Stewart) is upended when his past catches up with him, putting him the crosshairs of a government operation bent on wiping him out. It’s a co-production between A Likely Story and Circle Of Confusion, with Anthony Bregman, David Alpert and Britton Rizzio producing, and Kevin Scott Frakes of Palmstar Media Capital and Raj Brinder Singh of Merced Media Partners exec producing.
The buzz on this one has been building since Berlin, and I thought a deal might be made there. This rivals the record $7 million Berlin deal that The Weinstein Company paid for U.S. rights to the Morten Tyldum-directed The Imitation Game, the film that sold based on script and promo reel about WWII war hero Alan Turing, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley starring. The same team at CAA brokered this giant American Ultra deal with Lionsgate after the agency packaged the film and arranged the financing. While many felt that the results … Read More »
Magnolia has dropped a new trailer for The Double. Richard Ayoade directed and co-wrote with Avi Korine and Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in the adaptation of Dostoevsky’s doppelganger tale. Eisenberg plays Simon, a timid, isolated man who’s overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams (Wasikowska). The arrival of a new co-worker, James (also played by Eisenberg), serves to upset the balance. Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Cathy Moriarty, Chris O’Dowd, Sally Hawkins, Craig Roberts and Paddy Considine also star. The Double premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Magnolia releases the pic in theaters and iTunes/OnDemand on May 9.
Grove Atlantic will publish the tentatively titled collection Bream Gives Me Hiccups: And Other Stories from actor and playwright Jesse Eisenberg in spring 2015, the publishing house said today. The book will include pieces Eisenberg has written for the New Yorker and McSweeney’s as well as never-before-published stories. The title comes from a series of stories Eisenberg wrote from the point of view of a 9-year-old boy whose mother brings him to expensive LA restaurants so she can bill her ex-husband for the meals. Other stories imagine discussions in ancient Pompeii just before the volcanic eruption, explore post-gender-normative dating in NYC, and chart a marriage counselor’s heckling at a Knicks game. “In different ways, the stories explore what it means to be navigating the modern world, and are all illuminated by Eisenberg’s ironic wit and gift for writing,” Grove Atlantic said in the release announcing the deal, which was brokered by his agency CAA. Read More »
A week after Kilburn Media came aboard to finance The End Of The Tour, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has picked up rights for multiple territories to the pic at Berlin. Jason Segel stars as Infinite Jest author David Foster Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008 during a book tour at the start of his fame. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky, who accompanied Wallace on the tour. Along the way, jealousy and competition emerge between the two writers as they discuss women, depression and the pros and cons of fame. The film is directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), and David Kanter and Matt DeRoss are producing for Anonymous Content with Modern Man Films’ James Dahl. Manuel and O’Neal will produce for Kilburn. Anonymous Content’s Paul Green is exec producing. Shooting is expected to begin soon. The newly launched sales and finance company Fortitude International is selling the film at the European Film Market.
Both castings show the young-ification of the DC Comics franchise; Caine is 15 years older than Irons, and Gene Hackman, the most prominent of past big-screen Lex Luthors, was in his late 40s and early 50s when he played the role. Eisenberg is 30. Irons, who takes over from Michael Caine who played the role in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, joins fellow Oscar winner Affleck and Oscar nominees Adams, Fishburne and Lane in the movie; Eisenberg was nominated for an Oscar for The Social Network.
Apsara Distribution has inked multi-territory rights to a pair of films out of AFM. The pan-Asian division of IM Global locked rights to Project X helmer Nima Nourizadeh’s American Ultra, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as a small town stoner and his girlfriend who are targeted by a government operation. Apsara will release the pic in nine territories: Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, and India. The action comedy, scripted by Chronicle‘s Max Landis, is produced by Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman and Circle of Confusion. FilmNation’s Rob Carney negotiated the deal with Ben Rekhi of Apsara and Darius Kapfer of DK Media.
Apsara also nabbed multiple Asian rights to The Night Comes For Us, from VHS 2‘s Timo Tjahjanto and The Raid‘s Gareth Evans. Tjahjanto will direct the pic about a Triad enforcer who returns home to the Jakarta crime world, which Evans co-wrote and will produce for his own PT Merantau Films alongside XYZ Films. Earlier this year the pair co-wrote and co-directed the VHS 2 segment “Safe Haven” to critical acclaim. Evans, who is finishing post on his own action sequel The Raid 2 for Sony Classics, will work on Night next and will distribute it in Indonesia through his own distribution banner. Read More »
Richard Ayoade directed and co-wrote with Avi Korine The Double, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska in an adaptation of Dostoevsky’s doppelganger tale that played at last month’s Toronto Film Festival. Magnolia Pictures has picked up U.S. rights and plans a theatrical release in 2014. Eisenberg plays Simon, a timid, isolated man who’s overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams (Wasikowska). The arrival of a new co-worker, James (also played by Eisenberg), serves to upset the balance. The deal was negotiated by Magnolia director of acquisitions John Von Thaden, with WME Global and Protagonist Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers.
BREAKING: The Match Factory is selling foreign at Toronto for the Kelly Reichardt-directed Night Moves, which stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard as three radical environmentalists who come together to execute the most spectacular direct action event of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam — the very source and symbol of the energy-sucking, resource-devouring industrial culture they despise.
Shooting begins next month and UTA Independent Film Group is handling domestic sales on the co-production of Maybach Film Productions, RT Features and filmscience.
Match Factory today closed a French rights deal with Paris-based Ad Vitam Distribution, with Ad Vitam’s Alexandra Henochsberg and Gregory Gajos making the deal with Match Factory’s Brigitte Suarez and Michael Weber. Reichardt, who last directed Meek’s Cutoff, wrote the script with Jon Raymond. Neil Kopp and Anish Savjani are producing with Chris Maybach, Saemi Kim and Rodrigo Teixeira. Saerom Kim, Lourenço Sant’ Anna, Alejandro de Leon, Todd Haynes and Larry Fessenden are executive producing. UTA reps Reichardt.
Another NBC Olympic gaffe. Cameras for the Numbskull Broadcasting Company spotted actor Jesse Eisenberg sitting in the audience during the USA vs Spain gold medal basketball game. Then a commentator is caught on video identifying The Social Network star as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, adding: “Every executive of note it seems worldwide is attending these games.” No wonder NBC hates live Olympic coverage.
Originally titled Predisposed when it was snapped up by IFC Films after its Sundance premiere, Why Stop Now is about a piano prodigy (Jessie Eisenberg) and his mother (Melissa Leo), who struggles with drug addiction. When she plans to enter rehab the day of her son’s audition for a prestigious music program, a glitch in the system forces them to enlist the help of her drug dealer (Tracy Morgan). Philip Dorling and Ron Nyswaner directed the comedy, which is getting a pre-theatrical run via on-demand outlets like SundanceNOW and iTunes starting today before its theatrical release August 17. New trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Jesse Eisenberg is exiting ICM after more than a dozen years with the agent who helped put him in The Social Network which earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination. ICM hoped it could hold him, but sources tell me he was surrounded by a bunch of CAA clients on his current film in production Now You See Me and “CAA started hitting on him and he’s buying the pitch”. ICM had even scheduled a dinner with the actor tonight but the bad news came down just now. The feeling inside ICM is that talent agent Joanne Wiles had repped Eisenberg “as well as can be” including “doing an incredible job getting him that part” as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Among his pics have been The Squid And The Whale, The Education of Charlie Banks, Adventureland, and Zombieland. She also recently negotiated several “huge paydays” for him including Rio 2 as well as The Double where Eisenberg stars with Mia Wasikowska in the Richard Ayoade-directed drama inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic novella.
More titles slated for the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival were revealed Thursday. The 11th-annual event unveiled films screening in its Spotlight and genre-centered Cinemania section as well as Special Screenings and its Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival lineup. Spotlight includes 34 films, 22 narratives and 12 documentaries, with 19 films having their world premieres. Seven narratives make up the international group of Tribeca’s Cinemania titles. Earlier this week, the festival released its competition slate. The 2012 festival is April 18-29 in New York. Here are the latest titles:
2 Days in New York, directed and written by Julie Delpy. (France) – New York Premiere, Narrative. This deliriously witty follow-up to 2 Days in Paris finds Marion (writer/director Julie Delpy) living a comfortable life in New York with her latest hipster boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock, brilliantly playing it straight), and their two young kids from prior relationships. A riotous comedy of cultural errors ensues when Marion’s totally unhinged, gleefully unfiltered family arrives from Paris to meet Mingus for the first time. In English, French with subtitles. A Magnolia Pictures release.
Any Day Now, directed by Travis Fine, written by Travis Fine and George Arthur Bloom. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In the late 1970s, when a mentally handicapped teenager is abandoned, a gay couple takes him in and becomes the family he’s never had. But once the unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to love as their own. Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt star in TFF alum Travis Fine’s (The Space Between) touching and occasionally incendiary drama.
Predisposed is the bittersweet story of piano prodigy Eli Smith (Jessie Eisenberg) and his mother Penny (Melissa Leo), who despite her cheerful, loving disposition struggles with drug addiction. When Penny plans to enter rehab on the day of Eli’s audition for a prestigious music program, a glitch in the system forces them to enlist the help of an unlikely ally: her drug dealer (Tracy Morgan). Philip Dorling and Ron Nyswaner directed the film, which premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Isiah Whitlock Jr, Sarah Ramos, and Emma Rayne Lyle co-star. IFC Films SVP Acquisitions & Productions Arianna Bocco negotiated the deal with ICM and UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers. ICM also represents Eisenberg and Ramos.
Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska have joined the Richard Ayoade-directed The Double with shooting to start this spring in the U.K. Inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic novella, the story centers on an insignificant man driven to near breakdown by the appearance of his doppelganger. Submarine helmer Ayoade co-wrote the script with Avi Korine. Alcove Entertainment’s Amina Dasmal and Robin Fox are producing with Andy Stebbing to co-produce. The U.K.’s Film4 is co-financing while Protagonist Pictures has international sales and will begin meetings on the project at the EFM in Berlin next week.
EXCLUSIVE: Dave Franco has joined the cast of Now You See Me, which is his second straight movie for Summit Entertainment. Franco joins Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman and Isla Fisher in the Louis Leterrier-directed drama about a team of FBI agents that track a group of illusionists pulling off daring bank heists during their performances. Franco plays one of the Four Horsemen, as the illusionists bill themselves. Franco, the younger brother of 127 Hours star James Franco, is currently shooting Warm Bodies for Summit opposite Nicholas Hoult, John Malkovich and Teresa Palmer. Franco will next be seen starring in 21 Jump Street with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, which Sony releases March 16. Miles Levy and Paradigm made his deal.
BREAKING: Woody Allen has changed the title of his new Rome-set film from the confusing The Bop Decameron to the much catchier Nero Fiddled. Allen got tired of all the blank stares he received when telling people the title of his film, and found something that better conveys the locale. He shot the film this summer and starred in it with Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. The film is a Gravier Productions comedy produced by Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum. It’s the first Allen film funded by the Italian production/distribution company Medusa Film. Nero Fiddled will be released next year. Allen’s most recent film, Midnight In Paris, crossed $50 million to become his career highest-grosser in North America.