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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Get Santa’ Finalizes Cast As Production Begins; The Lab’s ‘Game Of Chefs’ Set For Launch; More

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 9:45pm PST

Christmas Pic ‘Get Santa’ Adds Cast As Filming Begins
jim-broadbentStephen Graham, Ewen Bremner, Jodie Whittaker, Warwick Davis, Joanna Scanlan and Nonso Anozie have joined the cast of Get Santa. Filming starts Thursday in London and Yorkshire on the Christmas movie starring Jim Broadbent and Rafe Spall. In the days before Christmas, 9-year-old Tom finds Santa (Broadbent) in his garden shed after escaping the wreckage of his sleigh and amid a desperate bid to return to Lapland. He’s ultimately arrested for trying to liberate his reindeer from Battersea Dogs Home as Tom and his father embark on a quest to save Christmas. Christopher Smith-directed film from Scott Free London, the BFI, Screen Yorkshire and Altitude Film Entertainment. Get Santa is produced by Liza Marshall, executive produced by Ridley Scott and Carlo Dusi and co-produced by Andrew Litvin and Jack Arbuthnott for Scott Free London. Natascha Wharton is executive producer on behalf of the BFI and Will Clarke and Andy Mayson exec producers for Altitude. Warner Bros is releasing in the UK. Altitude Film Sales is handling international sales.

The Lab’s Cooking Competition ‘Game Of Chefs’ Launching In Israel
Game-of-Chefs-5154ITV Studios and Reshet joint venture The Lab is launching new primetime competitive cooking series, Game Of Chefs. The 20-part hourlong series, produced in Israel by Constantine, will kick off January 19 in that country on Reshet with international format rights sold by ITV Studios Global Entertainment. Game Of Chefs follows three distinguished cooks who compete to find the country’s finest cooking talent. Pressure is on the mentors to ensure the amateurs are up to scratch, as their reputations are on the line. Contestants who make it through the audition phase have to survive a boot camp in which they must impress the chefs over a series of culinary challenges. The chefs then mentor the aspiring talents and their teams through a series of gastronomic battles in which they will cater for tricky clients in various challenging situations. The guests are the judges who eliminate someone from the losing team each week. The Lab previously developed reality format My Dream Wedding, which ITV Studios America has produced for TLC. Read More »

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Hot Festival Trailer: ‘Le Week-End’

Roger Michell’s bittersweet Le Week-End is making the festival rounds this month. It’s already played Toronto and San Sebastian, and next heads to Rio before sreening at the New York Film Festival on September 29th. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play a couple visiting Paris on their 30th wedding anniversary as long-established tensions spill out in humorous, and painful, ways. Jeff Goldblum also stars as an old friend. Hanif Kureshi wrote the script. Le Week-End goes out in the UK on October 11th via Artificial Eye. Music Box Films is releasing in the U.S. in February next year:

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Toronto: Samuel L. Jackson-Starrer ‘Big Game’ Adds Cast

Oscar winner Jim Broadbent and Ray Stevenson (Thor, GI Joe: Retaliation) have joined the cast of action adventure pic Big Game. Samuel L. Jackson is playing the president of the United States in the film that starts shooting today. It’s written and directed by Jalmari Helander, the Finnish helmer of 2010′s Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. The story centers on a shy 13-year-old boy (Onni Tommila) who undergoes a test of manhood by spending a day and night alone in the wilderness. On the same night, Air Force One is shot down by terrorists and the boy discovers the president in an escape pod in the forest where the pair team up in a struggle for survival. Also joining the cast is German actor Mehmet Kurtulus. Petri Jokiranta is producing for Subzero; Will Clarke and Andy Mayson for Altitude Film and Jens Meurer for Egoli Tossell. Alex Garland is executive producer. Altitude has worldwide sales and is jointly repping North America with WME.

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Jim Broadbent To Star In BBC’s ‘Great Train Robbery’ Serial

Oscar winner Jim Broadbent will play Tommy Butler, the detective who relentlessly sought to bring the gang behind the infamous August 8, 1963 robbery of a Royal Mail train to justice. The BBC‘s two-part drama The Great Train Robbery kicks off with The Robbers’ Tale, the story of how the heist was planned and executed. Luke Evans will play Bruce Reynolds, the mastermind behind the heist. The second part, A Coppers’ Tale, will feature Broadbent leading the Scotland Yard team Butler assembled to bring the thieves to justice in a race against time. Also joining A Coppers’ Tale are Tim Pigott-Smith (Downton Abbey, Alice In Wonderland), Robert Glenister (Law & Order: UK, Hustle), Tom Chambers (Waterloo Road), Tom Beard (Salmon Fishing In The Yemen), James Wilby (Titanic) and James Fox (W.E., Utopia). Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Iron Lady’

By | Thursday December 8, 2011 @ 7:35am PST

Another trailer has gone up for The Weinstein Company release The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher who was prime minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. Jim Broadbent plays her husband Denis Thatcher and Richard E. Grant is Conservative Party challenger Michael Heseltine. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, screenplay by Abi Morgan. It opens December 30 in limited release.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: UK, Africa, Australia

‘Arthur Christmas’ Slays ‘Em In The UK
Sony Pictures Animation and Aardman’s Arthur Christmas jumped to the top of the UK box office this weekend – in its fourth week of release. This bit of holiday magic came courtesy of a £1.9 million weekend take for a cume of £11.5 million. The film has been holding steady in second place since it bowed on November 11 and this weekend faced off against Happy Feet Two for the family audience. Largely positive notices and the British voice cast — including James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton — have no doubt been a local draw. Sony Pictures Releasing UK’s Peter Taylor said: “Opening a movie at No. 1 in such a competitive market as the UK is difficult enough, but to reach the top of the chart in the fourth week of release is almost unprecedented. We are all delighted.”

Tom Hooper Decides Against 3D For ‘Les Miserables’
Although director Tom Hooper flirted with the idea of filming the new movie version of the hit stage musical Les Miserables in 3D, the Oscar-winning helmer of The King’s Speech has decided to stick with 2D. Hooper told the BBC he had been “very tempted” to use 3D but worried that some audiences might “physically struggle” with the format. Not to worry, purists. “I can definitely announce it’s good old-fashioned 2D,” Hooper said at the British Independent Film Awards. “I wanted to make a film that would touch everyone. I believe the story is so strong, 3D is not essential.” Hooper added that the casting of Eponine and Cosette would be announced soon. “I’ve never done a film where big star actors are as obsessed with being in it as this.” Starring Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert, Read More »

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First Look: Meryl Streep As Mrs. Thatcher

By | Tuesday February 8, 2011 @ 4:13am PST



Pathé UK has released the first shot of Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Streep is in the 2nd week of filming The Iron Lady here in London. It’s the first feature from director Phyllida since she directed Streep in Mamma Mia. Jim Broadbent plays Thatcher’s husband Dennis. Damian Jones is the producer. Fox will release here in Britain through its output deal with Pathé, which is handling international sales itself. Pathé will unveil footage at Cannes. North American rights are still unsold. “I am trying to approach the role with as much zeal, fervour and attention to detail as the real Lady Thatcher possesses – I can only hope my stamina will begin to approach her own,” says Streep.

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‘Dr Who’ Star To Play Time-Travelling Juliet

By | Tuesday November 16, 2010 @ 4:32am PST

EXCLUSIVE: Karen Gillan, co-star of BBC TV’s sci-fi show, is to play a spiky New Jersey high school teenager who finds herself trapped Alice In Wonderland-style in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Gillan wakes up in mythical 13th century Verona with all the people she knows from her high school life playing characters in the play. And she wants to get out because she knows how the play ends. Gillian Anderson will play the dual roles of Gillan’s mother and the Nurse, while Robert Sheehan, star of cult E4 TV comedy The Misfits, will play the school nerd who becomes her Romeo. The $7 million Romeo and Brittney will start shooting in May. David Baddiel, writer of The Infidel, will be making his directing debut, producer Arvind Ethan David tells me. Baddiel is well known over here as a novelist as well as a stand-up comedian. David is pitching the project as “Shakespeare In Love meets Clueless.” He says: “We both love literate teen comedies and we wanted to do our own version. After all, 10 Things I Hate About You was based on The Taming On the Shrew just as Clueless was based on Jane Austen’s Emma and Easy A is inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. And what is Twilight if it’s not Romeo and Juliet with vampires and werewolves?” Slingshot will co-produce with an Eastern European producer and is just about to go out to financiers. “There’s … Read More »

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James McAvoy And Hugh Laurie Voice Aardman’s ‘Arthur Christmas’

They join Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton for Aardman’s first movie under its 3-year Sony Pictures Animation deal. The 3D CG film is slated for release on November 23 of next year. Set on Christmas night, the film’s story reveals the answer to every child’s question: “How does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?” McAvoy leads the cast as Arthur, Santa’s youngest son, while Laurie plays his older brother Steve, who runs Christmas night with military-style precision. Sony is also in production with Aardman on The Pirates!

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Awards Roundup: Honors For ‘The King’s Speech,’ Annette Bening

The King’s Speech scored eight British Independent Film Award nominations, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and two Best Supporting Actor nominations. The other nominees for Best Film include Four Lions, Kick-Ass, Monsters and Never Let Me Go. In the acting categories, Jim Broadbent (Another Year), Riz Ahmed (Four Lions), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Scoot McNairy (Monsters) and Aidan Gillen (Treacle Junior) received nominations. The Best Actress race is between Manjinder Virk (The Arbor), Ruth Sheen (Another Year), Andrea Riseborough (Brighton Rock), Sally Hawkins (Made in Dagenham) and Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go). Winners will be announced on December 5th. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will present Annette Bening with the American Riviera Award. She’ll be honored at the Arlington Theatre on January 28.

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