EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 8:48 am PST: Coming into Sundance, many expected big things for upstart distribution company A24, and the label hasn’t …
Sundance: A24 Acquiring J.C. Chandor-Helmed ‘A Most Violent Year’ With Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain
UPDATE: As Deadline’s Mike Fleming reported from Toronto on Wednesday, TWC was nearing a deal to acquire U.S. and multiple territories on The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers and The Weinstein Company just made it official. See today’s release below the original break.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE: In its second big deal of the Toronto Film Festival, The Weinstein Company is near a deal to acquire U.S. and multiple territories on The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers. I hear the deal is around $3 million and covers U.S., Canada, UK and France for the Ned Benson-directed film that stars Jessica Chastain, William Hurt, Viola Davis, James McAvoy, Ciarin Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, Jess Weixler and Nina Arianda. The structure on this one is unusual. It’s the story of a married couple that experiences a difficult time in their relationship, as seen in two films. One is through the eyes of the husband, and the other is from the wife’s perspective. The picture made its debut Monday at the Elgin, and the deal is being brokered by WME Global and the TWC team led by Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser and, as has been the case on most of these deals, they went at it all night.
Guillermo Del Toro’s Next Pic ‘Crimson Peak’ Casts Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone & Charlie Hunnam
BREAKING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone and Charlie Hunnam have signed on to star in Legendary Pictures’ haunted house thriller Crimson Peak, which will be the next movie to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and is set to begin shooting in January 2014. Del Toro originally wrote the ghost story script with frequent collaborator Matthew Robbins and had set it up at Universal; he now is giving it a rewrite with Lucinda Coxon. Legendary will produce and be a participating financing partner, with Universal retaining an option to also finance at a later date. Legendary is also behind del Toro’s Pacific Rim, which is due out July 12 via Warner Bros. Warners will likely distribute Crimson Peak via its deal with Legendary.
Del Toro previously told Deadline that Crimson Peak is best described as “a very set-oriented, classical but at the same time modern take on the ghost story. It will allow me to play with the conventions of the genre I know and love, and at the same time subvert the old rules.”
EXCLUSIVE: We all know that tensions rise during those final weeks leading up to the Academy Awards as media outlets decide who’s worthy and who’s not. So this begs the question: with so much money and prestige at stake, is it possible for even major and reputable media outlets to voice any negativel opinions while Oscar campaigning is underway? Especially if they want Academy Award contenders to take out ads and sit for interviews and come to parties? Increasingly, no.
It’s well known that The Hollywood Reporter and Variety cravenly promise Oscar hopefuls flattering coverage. But Vanity Fair? Granted, its year-round showbiz coverage has all the heft of a marshmallow. But its Deputy Editor Bruce Handy this Oscar season wrote for the magazine’s website one brief but hardly brutal column dissecting Jessica Chastain‘s body of work. This wasn’t some freelancer: this was the magazine’s #2 who dared to express mild criticism about the Best Actress Oscar nominee for Zero Dark Thirty. ”I’m surprised it’s being hailed as one of the year’s great performances, and that it has earned her an Oscar nomination for best actress,” Handy opined. “It’s not the sort of flashy thing, like playing a transgendered murder victim or quadriplegic boxer, that the Academy normally rewards.” He included much praise but also said Chastain was an “empty vessel”‘ and “recessive presence” who doesn’t “quite hold your eye”.
The piece posted on the VF website January 25th at a pivotal point in Oscar campaigning: just before final paper ballots went out and online voting began. Within a day, the analysis was gone. Not just gone from the VF website but really really really erased from the Internet at large. (Replaced by this sassy VF error message flaunting top editor Graydon Carter.) Publicists for Sony Pictures and Chastain’s BNC flackery told me it was “not true” that VF deleted the article. But, to its credit, Vanity Fair owned up to it. Explained VF spokeswoman Beth Kseniak: “We took it down because it ran counter to what a number of people at the magazine believed.”
Ran counter to what? Its 19th annual Vanity Fair Hollywood issue whose centerpiece was a 44-page Bruce Weber portfolio completed over 8 days photographing 125 people including 75+ actors? Or this year’s crop of invitations to the VF Hollywood party? (Actual attendees, who haven’t been diissed by the magazine in decades, included Ben Affleck, Daniel Day-Lewis, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Ang Lee, Chris Terrio, Quentin Tarantino, Amy Adams, Jennifer Aniston, Elizabeth Banks, Jason Bateman, Kate Beckinsale, Len Wiseman, Halle Berry, Orlando Bloom, Kate Bosworth, Russell Brand, Adrien Brody, Sandra Bullock, Gerard Butler, Sacha Baron Cohen, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chris Evans, Jane Fonda, Jamie Foxx, Richard Gere, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jon Hamm, Armie Hammer, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hugh Jackman, Tommy Lee Jones, Taylor Lautner, Michael Pena, Chris Pine, Natalie Portman, Daniel Radcliffe, Jeremy Renner, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Amanda Seyfried, Hilary Swank, Channing Tatum, Marisa Tomei, Chris Tucker, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Reese Witherspoon, Judd Apatow, Steve Martin, Melissa McCarthy, JJ Abrams, Jerry Bruckheimer, Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, Cameron Crowe, Tom Hooper, Ron Howard, Penny Marshall, Brett Ratner, David O. Russell, Bryan Singer, Steven Spielberg, Aaron Sorkin, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, Barbara Broccoli, Brian Grazer, Kathleen Kennedy, Graham King, Jane Rosenthal, Megan Ellison, Jim Berkus, Ari Emanuel, Kevin Huvane, Bryan Lourd, Richard Lovett, Patrick Whitesell, Michael Barker, Tom Bernard, Rob Friedman, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Donna Langley, John Lasseter, Jeff Robinov, Sir Howard Stringer, Harvey Weinstein?)
Here’s the article which Vanity Fair worked so hard to erase. Judge for yourself:
The Jessica Chastain Conundrum: Greatest Actress of Her Generation or Found Art?
By Bruce Handy
Movie acting is a strange, alchemic art. This weekend, for instance, you can go to your local multiplex and see Jessica Chastain play a credibly fierce C.I.A. officer in Zero Dark Thirty. Then you can go next door and see Mama, in which Chastain plays the least fierce, least credible punk rocker in the history of film. Maggie Smith could have done it with more edge and nerve.
Monica Corcoran Harel is an AwardsLine contributor
If all roads once led to Rome, then most fashion runways now merge into the Red Carpet. For the past decade or so, celebrity stylists have cherry-picked the fashion runways for the very …
BREAKING: Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence all hope they will take the Oscars stage at some point to accept a golden trophy and thank their agents and everybody else they know. But we’re now guaranteed to see them onstage. The trio has joined the lengthy list of Oscar presenters, the Academy has announced. With so much star power milling around backstage, will it blunt host Seth MacFarlane’s ability to make fun of them as he does on Family Guy? It’s so much easier when they are not in proximity to punch you or at least give you the fish eye.
Chastain, who is nominated for her lead performance in the Best Picture nominee “Zero Dark Thirty,” received her first nomination last year for her supporting role in the Best Picture nominee “The Help.”
Lawrence, who received her first nomination in 2010 for her leading role in “Winter’s Bone,” is nominated for her lead performance in the Best Picture nominee “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain has joined the Liv Ullmann-directed project Miss Julie, based on Strindberg’s play, with Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton.
OSCARS: Jennifer Lawrence And Jessica Chastain Stir Things Up In Tight Best Actress Race, But Does It Matter?
The tight Oscar race for Best Actress between the presumed co-frontrunners, Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence and Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain, took a few twists and turns this weekend. But will any of it affect the outcome one way or another? Momentum is a fickle thing — you can win it or lose it in an instant.
Related: Jennifer Lawrence Monologue On ‘SNL’
Both young stars are coming off a stellar week where they won Golden Globe and Critics Choice Movie Awards for their performances. And now, just 2 1/2 weeks before Oscar voting begins and smack in the middle of SAG balloting, Chastain pulled off the neat trick of starring in the No. 1 and No. 2 films at the box office (#1 Mama and #2 Zero Dark Thirty). Before Mama opened, some pundits observed that starring in a standard horror film in the midst of Oscar crunch time could hurt Chastain the same way Norbit’s Oscar-time release was perceived to hurt Eddie Murphy when he lost for Dreamgirls. But in fact Mama received generally good reviews (62% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes) and way overperformed at the box office, helping to make the emerging Chastain an even bigger star. And the fact that she simultaneously continues in her Broadway run in The Heiress (a film based on the play won Olivia DeHavilland an Oscar) also helps as voters love actors who move between theatre and movies with ease.
Critics’ Choice Movie Awards: ‘Argo’ Best Picture, Director; Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain Take Acting Honors
Ben Affleck got some consolation tonight when his Argo was named Best Picture and he was honored as Best Director at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. Affleck, who was overlooked in the director category at today’s Oscar Nominations, took things in stride tonight as he picked up his award for Argo: “I would like to thank the Academy. I’m kidding, this is the award that really counts”.
The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards took place at the Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport. This morning Lincoln dominated Oscar nominations with 12, and Steven Spielberg’s historic film portrait also dominated the broadcast critics contenders with 13. The CW is broadcasting the event from 8 PM to 10 PM Eastern time, tape delayed for the West Coast.
Daniel Day-Lewis, accepting his award for Best Actor, said that Lincoln was “One of the great unforeseen privileges of my life. Each and every day was filled with discovery and the joy of discovery.” Jessica Chastain was voted Best Actress for her work as a driven CIA analyst for Zero Dark Thirty. Jennifer Lawrence nabbed two prizes, one for Best Actress in an Action Movie for The Hunger Games and the other for Best Actress in a Comedy for Silver Linings Playbook.
A complete list of winners follows:
And the hits just keep on coming. After a dry first nine months of the year, the Oscar season is heating up with one sensational contender after another. In the first half of Thanksgiving weekend, Les Miserables put itself firmly in the leading tier of the race. Now Sony Pictures’ surefire Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty took over the latter half of the holiday. It earned enthusiastic standing ovations for star Jessica Chastain and director Kathryn Bigelow at a Sunday unveiling (the first major screening) at LA’s Pacific Design Center. Shrouded in controversy throughout its pre-production and shooting stages, this riveting story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden had quite a checkered history in coming to the screen. As Oscar-winning screenwriter Mark Boal explained in the Q&A following the film, he and Bigelow had been developing for the better part of a decade the story of how bin Laden eluded capture and most likely would never be caught. Then suddenly in 2011 he was nailed. That changed the whole trajectory of their story, and Zero Dark Thirty suddenly became a movie about his ultimate capture and killing.
It’s a remarkable effort on the part of Boal and Bigelow, who won Oscars for their acclaimed The Hurt Locker three years ago. I would venture to say they will be back in the race again this year for this follow-up effort which should figure strongly in the Best Picture, Actress (for Chastain), Director, Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Cinematography, Sound Mixing and Editing and Music Score (a haunting underscore by Alexander Desplat) categories. Talk on editorial pages and among moviegoers upon its limited December 19th opening — followed by a January wide break — will only add to the Oscar potential here, with critics groups year-end honors also likely to figure into the picture.
This is turning into a hell of an Oscar race. Strategists were hoping that many of the November-December releases would fall by the wayside and clear the way for earlier contenders like Argo and Toronto sensation Silver Linings Playbook, but clearly the late-innings flicks are delivering big time, clouding the picture and adding an unusual amount of mystery to the race.
Universal has released a new trailer for the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror film Mama. Courting the Latino market, the studio rolled out this English-language trailer with Spanish titles with Univision. Directed by Andres Muschietti, the supernatural thriller starring Jessica Chastain and Game Of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau opens nationwide …