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Global Showbiz Briefs: Glum News For ‘Glee’ In The UK?; Thelma Schoonmaker To Be Honored At Venice; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: Glum News For ‘Glee’ In The UK?; Thelma Schoonmaker To Be Honored At Venice; MoreIn 2011, Mark Tughan, whose Comic Enterprises owns four Glee Clubs in the UK, filed a lawsuit against Fox over musical dramedy Glee, claiming the name of the show infringed on his trademark, creating a confusion that his venues are somehow associated with the series. On Friday, Britain’s High Court ruled that the show must change its name. The Associated Press reports a judge told 20th Century Fox that it had to re-name the series in Britain, though the order has been stayed until an appeal has been heard. Comic Enterprises is also seeking damages, with a final amount to be determined later, the AP said. In the interim, the judge ordered Fox to pay £100,000 ($171,000). A Fox spokesperson told Deadline, “We are pleased that the trial judge agreed to let the Appeal Court rule before ordering any relief that would adversely affect fans’ enjoyment of Glee in the UK. We look forward to the next stage of this case and remain confident in the merits of our argument.” Season 6 of Glee will be its last, so the title issue could be moot for the show’s primary run given the length of the appeal process, though it would affect Glee’s syndicated run in the country.

thelma schoonmakerThelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese’s venerated and longtime editor, will receive a Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Venice Film Festival, as will … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby’

Hot Trailer: ‘The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby’Ned Benson‘s directorial debut The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby received a 10-minute standing ovation at its Cannes premiere in May. The version that played was Them, the film that Benson cut to tell a straight narrative story after two versions, Him and Her, debuted in Toronto last fall. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain play a married couple whose relationship disintegrates when tragedy intervenes. The Weinstein Co is releasing the combined version Stateside on September 26. Six weeks later, it will put out the two earlier takes. All told, there is expected to be a big awards-season push by TWC, and in particular for the performances of Chastain and McAvoy. Viola Davis, Bill Hader and William Hurt also star. Here’s the trailer:

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Cannes: Harvey Weinstein Plans Big Oscar Push For ‘Eleanor Rigby’, Jessica Chastain And James McAvoy

Mike Fleming

After a 10-minute standing ovation at its Cannes premiere this week,elean Harvey Weinstein is going to make a big awards-season push on The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby, and in particular the performances of Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy. Following that thunderous ovation and glowing reviews, Weinstein told his marketing team it has been a long time since he’d seen performances like these, and that they were to start working on the Oscar campaign strategy and go for it.

Cannes2014_badge__140417160328-150x150 (1)The new strategy will be to release the Ned Benson-directed film on September 26 at the start of awards-season films. I mean Them, the version that played Cannes, the one that Benson cut to tell a straight narrative story. Some six weeks later into Oscar season, TWC will release Him and Her, the two versions of the love story that played to acclaim at Toronto last fall. I saw Them at its later premiere screening, and came away feeling that Weinstein has a lot to work with. It is a moving story of a married couple on the rocks which showed sides of Chastain and McAvoy I hadn’t seen before. I came away actually wanting to see the other two versions, something I never expected.

Related: Cannes: How New Version Of ‘Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby’ Found Its Way To Croisette

disapOne of the most interesting occurrences of the festival is how some of the best reviewed films here found their groove, something my colleague Pete Hammond has been chronicling all week. It’s clear that Bennett Miller was smart to avoid the last Oscar season so that he could take the time to make Foxcatcher as good as he could, a move done in concert with Sony Pictures Classics and producer/financier Megan Ellison. That movie also played like gangbusters here and will be right there in the Oscar mix.

Related: Cannes: Hollywood Arrives In Force As American Films And Stars Crash The Competition

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Film Roundup: Ridley Scott Ponders ‘Martian’, Jessica Chastain Eyeing ‘Mission: Impossible 5′, Peter Sarsgaard & Winona Ryder Eye ‘Experimenter’

By | Tuesday May 13, 2014 @ 5:10pm PDT

chastainFox has been talking to big directors to team with Matt Damon on Martian, and the latest is Ridley Scott. The filmmaker reportedly is eyeing the Gravity-like project about a stranded astronaut, but it would be surprising if he takes this over Prometheus 2. Paul Greengrass was among the directors kicking the tires on this one recently.

Don’t know if she’ll make the deal, but Jessica Chastain is the choice to star alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 5. Read More »

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Sundance: A24 Acquiring J.C. Chandor-Helmed ‘A Most Violent Year’ With Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain

Mike Fleming

chandUPDATE:  A24 had just confirmed Deadline’s scoop. I’ll attach press release at the bottom of this post.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 8:48 am PST: Coming into Sundance, many expected big things for upstart distribution company A24, and the label hasn’t disappointed. A24 is closing the biggest deal so far for the company, acquiring domestic distribution rights from Participant Media to A Most Violent Year, the drama written and directed by All Is Lost and Margin Call helmer J.C. Chandor. The film stars Inside Llewyn Davis‘s Oscar Isaac and Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain. I’m told the plan is to release the film wide, late this year, giving A24 a likely horse in the next Oscar race. It starts shooting shortly. I’m told it will be 1200 screens, minimum.

chastThis comes after A24 acquired two of the best liked films at this year’s Sundance: the Lynn Shelton-directed Laggies with Keira Knightley, Chloe Moretz and Sam Rockwell, and the Gillian Robespierre-directed comedy Obvious Child, which features a breakout performance by former Saturday Night Live cast member Jenny Slate.  Laggies came after an all night auction, and it’s a smart buy because the film will likely be released after TWC unveils Toronto title Can A Song Save Your Life, a breakout film that will cast Knightley in a different career light once audiences see the John Carney-directed film.

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Weinstein Company Acquires ‘The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby’

Mike Fleming

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. Read More »

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Jessica Chastain In Talks For Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Chastain is in talks to star with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in Interstellar, the next film that Christopher Nolan will direct. She will play the third lead, I’m told, and this is a great follow to her Oscar-nominated turn in Zero Dark Thirty. Quite a cast Nolan is cooking up; Hathaway won the Oscar for Les Miserables, and McConaughey is on a run himself. Not much is known about the specific log line (Nolan and cohorts work under the cone of silence) and that includes casting. I was able to break the news about McConaughey (he confirmed it a week later), and also Hathaway. The film is a co-production between Paramount and Warner Bros and was put in motion by Lynda Obst, who commissioned the original treatment. Steven Spielberg came aboard in 2006, when Paramount owned DreamWorks, and after the filmmaker became intrigued by Caltech physicist and relativity expert Kip S. Thorne and his scientific theory that wormholes exist and can be used for time travel. Spielberg set Jonah Nolan to write the script, which made it easy for Christopher Nolan to come aboard after Spielberg left the project. After all, the Nolan siblings have a collaborative track record, with Jonah hatching the short story that became Christopher’s first hit, 2000′s Memento, and following that with two Batfilms and The Prestige. Christopher Nolan signed on in January to write a script that … Read More »

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‘Tarzan’ Dying On The Vine At Warner Bros?

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 1:02pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Alexander SkarsgardEXCLUSIVE: Things are not looking very good right now for Tarzan, the re-imagining of the Edgar Rice Burroughs tale that has Harry Potter helmer David Yates preparing to make it this year, with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard playing the title character and Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain circling the female lead. I’m hearing they’ve shut down plans to make the film this year, and are shuttering the production office. Sounds like it had to do with a high budget they just couldn’t reduce to the level that made the studio comfortable. Casting and timing could also have been an issue, as word is the studio had been courting Jamie Foxx to play the film’s third lead but hadn’t made a deal. This is the film that Warner Bros has tried to get going for years, even hiring scribes Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer to separately script their own visions for the franchise.

Nobody was commenting officially, but insiders at the studio tell me they are trying again for 2014 and that Yates is still in the fold. The studio hadn’t greenlit the film and did not have pay or play deals, so it wasn’t that hard to apply the brakes. Warner Bros is always voracious for franchises that can play on a global stage, but the studio also has been pretty bold about unplugging films that cost too much or don’t get the … Read More »

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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.” Read More »

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Vanity Fair Pulled Jessica Chastain Criticism While She Chased Best Actress Oscar

By | Sunday March 3, 2013 @ 10:21pm PST

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.

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark ThirtyIt’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 AffleckDaniel Day-LewisChristoph WaltzJennifer LawrenceAnne HathawayAng 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.

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OSCARS: Red Carpet Is Fashion’s Runway

By | Friday February 22, 2013 @ 8:00pm PST

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 best frocks for their A-list clients on awards nights. In essence, you would first see a gown on Kate Moss and then on Cate Blanchett. But more recently, the trend is for actresses to show up to the Oscars in ready-to-wear or one-of-a-kind couture gowns that haven’t yet debuted at fashion week or the European shows. In many instances, the Red Carpet is the new runway. Case in point: The one-shoulder black-and-white column gown that Claire Danes wore to the SAG Awards came from Givenchy’s pre-fall 2013 collection. “In an effort to trump other celebs, it’s become about wearing something that hReasn’t even been seen on the runway yet”, says Cameron Silver, a fashion expert known for his serrated wit and the author of the new style encyclopedia, Decades: A Century Of Fashion. “The system is so out of control”. By system, Silver means the big, greasy machine in which actresses and designers make exclusivity deals. Though no star or stylist will speak on the record about such dalliances, it’s been suggested that anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 can come sewn into the hem of a red-carpet gown … Read More »

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OSCARS: Frontrunners Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence Join Presenter Parade

By | Thursday February 14, 2013 @ 6:10am PST
Mike Fleming

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.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Academy Award® nominees Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence will present on the Oscar telecast, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.

Academy Award-winner Affleck, who is nominated this year for producing the Best Picture nominee “Argo,” won the award in 1997 for co-writing the Best Picture nominee “Good Will Hunting.”

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.”

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OSCARS: Best Actor/Best Actress Race Handicap

Pete Hammond

In a race as tight as the one this year for Best Actress and particularly Best Actor, there were many deserving performances that might have made the cut in any other year but were overlooked because of intense competition. As far as lead acting categories go, this year is one of the most fiercely fought in recent Oscar history. So what was it about the 10 nominated performances in the top two acting categories that sealed the deal with Academy voters? Here’s a look at why they made it to the golden circle.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper | Silver Linings Playbook

Coming into the project just shortly before production began, Cooper proves a shrewd choice to play Pat Jr., a volatile man just released from an institution, in denial about his dead marriage, and just trying to put his life back together. Mark Wahlberg was cast in the part originally, but after he dropped out, Cooper got the role and ran with it. It’s a delicate balance of comedy and drama that Cooper must navigate, and he creates a wholly original and likable character, a neat trick considering Pat Jr. isn’t always sympathetic. Coming off popcorn movies like The Hangover and The A Team, Cooper finally shows his true acting chops, and his scenes opposite Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence prove he is a talent to be reckoned with. Watching … Read More »

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Jessica Chastain In Liv Ullmann’s ‘Miss Julie’

By | Wednesday January 30, 2013 @ 4:40pm PST

Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain has joined the Liv Ullmann-directed project Miss Julie, based on Strindberg’s play, with Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton.

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OSCARS: Jennifer Lawrence And Jessica Chastain Stir Things Up In Tight Best Actress Race, But Does It Matter?

Pete Hammond

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.

Related: Golden Globes Movies: Does Winning Really Affect Oscar Chances? Read More »

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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:
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Hot Featurette: ‘Mama’

By | Tuesday January 8, 2013 @ 3:15pm PST

Here’s an inside look at Mama, a supernatural thriller starring Jessica Chastain and Game Of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their parents were killed. They are rescued years later and taken in by family, but apparently aren’t the only ones who tag along. As producer Guillermo del Toro explains “we are not only telling a story of a monster, we are telling the story of a very human emotion”. Universal releases the pic January 18.

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‘Zero Dark Thirty’s’ Jessica Chastain Defends Film’s Accuracy On Letterman: Video

David Letterman wasted no time last night asking Zero Dark Thirty actress Jessica Chastain about the controversy surrounding the film during her appearance on The Late Show. “I’m getting ready to be called in front of a Senate committee after the show,” Chastain joked in reference to Senator Diane Feinstein’s investigation of the making of Zero Dark Thirty and what the CIA shared with filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal about how Osama bin Laden was found. “I think it is important to know that the film is not a documentary,” Chastain also noted. Watch a portion of the interview below:

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‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Debuts: Can It Overcome Controversy To Wow Oscar Voters?

By | Sunday November 25, 2012 @ 10:20pm PST
Pete Hammond

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.

Related: Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond, Episode 1

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. Read More »

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