EXCLUSIVE: In a whopping deal, Tom Rothman’s TriStar Pictures has won the right to finance and release the $30 million budget Money Monster, a Jodie Foster-directed thriller that will star George Clooney as a Jim Cramer-like TV stock tout who is held hostage on air by a man who followed the huckster’s advice, lost his money and put his young family in precarious straits. Jamie Linden wrote the script. The thriller takes on a Network-like sensibility in that the hostage-taker warns he’ll execute the smooth-talking stock tipper the moment cameras are turned off, and the nation becomes obsessed with the drama that unfolds on their TV screens. The film begins production in the spring after Clooney completes the Coen brothers-directed Hail Caesar.
The film was packaged independently and is being produced by The Allegiance Theater’s Daniel Dubiecki, Lara Alameddine and Smokehouse’s Clooney and Grant Heslov. Drafts of the script were also done by Jim Kouf and Alan DiFiore. The huge deal was spearheaded by CAA, which reps Smokehouse and Dubiecki, and UTA on behalf of Foster. Linden is repped by Paradigm.
This becomes the latest example of a major Hollywood studio being aggressive on a fully percolated movie with star elements that is instantly ready to be added to a release slate. The budget doesn’t really seem that high, considering the star power of Foster and Clooney, and their upside will come in the film’s success from the back-end. It is also another high-profile project for Rothman’s TriStar. Much is being written about Sony Pictures, but as usual its long-term success will be determined by its picture pickers. Read More »
Jodie Foster is carving out a nice, new career as a TV director. Though she hit a bump with her last feature directorial, the Mel Gibson drama, The Beaver ($971K), she rebounded today with an Emmy nomination for her comedy series helming work on the third episode of Jenji Kohan’s Orange Is the New Black entitled “Lesbian Request Denied”. It’s actually Foster’s second Emmy nod overall, her first being for the Showtime 1999 movie she executive produced, The Baby Dance, starring Stockard Channing and Laura Dern. It would be an understatement to say that the word ‘bold’ is always associated with Foster’s oeuvre, whether it’s playing a child prostitute in Martin Scorsese’s 1976 iconic Taxi Driver to producing and acting in the 2007 femme vigilante film The Brave One. Orange Is the New Black is arguably the first time that Foster as a director has dealt with the subject of lesbianism on screen. She also returned to direct the second season premiere of Orange Is The New Black with the episode “Thirsty Bird” and also went behind the camera for Netflix‘s House of Cards episode ”Chapter 22″. Frequently, feature directors are finding creative redemption in TV, read Doomsday British helmer Neil Marshall who was behind two Games of Thrones episodes, this season’s being “The Watchers on the Wall”. Read More »
Were any doubt to remain, let it be clear: Netflix is doing its level best to make the Emmy season as big as the Oscars, with glitzy events showcasing its biggest stars to would-be voters. Case in point: Thursday night’s showcase at the TV Academy of five women from three of its most prominent programs, including Oscar winner Jodie Foster, Golden Globe winner Robin Wright, Golden Globe nominees Taylor Schilling and Kate Mulgrew and Jehane Noujaim, director of an Oscar-nominated documentary.
The first four are either actors, directors or both on Netflix series House Of Cards and Orange is the New Black, while Noujaim directed The Square, the 2013 documentary about the Egyptian democracy uprising that Netflix distributed on VOD and video in the U.S. As is typical in such gatherings with a loose theme — in this case the theme appeared be Totally Rocking Actor-Director Humans Who Are Also Women And Also Doing Great Stuff For Netflix — there wasn’t much of a narrative through-line in the conversation, but there were lots of great bits, as you might expect from a group of such smart and accomplished people doing great stuff with great shows. Herewith are some of the highlights from a thoroughly engaging evening:
Read More »
Elysium from District 9‘s Neill Blomkamp is being digitally re-mastered for the large-screen format and is set to hit IMAX theatres worldwide beginning August 9, IMAX, TriStar Pictures and Media Rights Capital announced today. Matt Damon and Jodie Foster star in the sci-fi actioner produced by Blomkamp, Bill Block and Simon Kinberg.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Elysium’
It’s 2154, and a new caste system is in place. Earth is populated by the have-nots, while the privileged live in a veritable utopia aboard a massive spaceship. Earth-bound ne’er-do-well Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) gets some souped-up surgery and invades the ship monitored by Secretary of Defense Delacourt (Jodie Foster). Much battling ensues. Elysium is the second feature from writer-director Neill Blomkamp, who scored an Adapted Screenplay Oscar nom for his 2009 debut, District 9. Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura and Faran Tahir co-star in the sci-fi actioner produced by Blomkamp, Bill Block and Simon Kinberg. Sue Bader-Powell exec produces. Check out the extended second trailer for the pic from Media Rights Capital and TriStar Pictures, which Sony releases August 9:
Matt Damon and Jodie Foster star in Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 follow-up, set in a future where humanity is divided into the very wealthy who live on a man-made space station and the poor who still live down below on a ruined Earth. Sony releases Elysium, from TriStar Pictures and Media Rights Capital, on August 9. Here’s the trailer:
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s Golden Globes coverage.
Jodie Foster was not exactly springing a surprise on Hollywood tonight at the Golden Globes. The fact that she is gay is no secret in this town. What wasn’t known is how long she wouldn’t talk about it publicly. After all, for decades, her longtime (and now-retired) publicist Pat Kingsley fought the prying media against outing Foster publicly. But Jodie’s own acceptance speech tonight (see video below) of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award was revelatory – and the big topic backstage during and after the ceremony. Not the least of the commentary came from Foster, who spent about 10 minutes backstage fielding questions — about twice as long as most awardees. Foster’s speech ranged from her future plans (more directing but not retiring, an impression she might have given — not intentionally, she says) to her privacy, which included her making her most public coming-out statement to date.
Related: Nikki Finke: Live-Snarking Golden Globes
“Seriously, I hope that you’re not disappointed that there won’t be a big coming-out speech tonight because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open … Read More »
David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor
Few stars can rival Jodie Foster’s durability. One has to go back to Hollywood’s golden age—to the likes of Judy Garland—to find those who even approach her successful transition from childhood roles to adult parts. And what other child actor started directing after accomplishing that transition? None. Which is why it’s fitting that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is bestowing on Foster its highest honor, the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Foster has been with us so long, it’s almost impossible to believe she’s just 50. Amazingly, it’s been 20 years since she won her second best-actress Oscar (for Silence Of The Lambs). Her first came three years earlier (for The Accused). But her first Academy Award nomination dates back to 1977, for Taxi Driver, in which she played a young teen prostitute, opposite Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.
“I’ve been doing this a long time,” Foster says with typical understatement during a recent phone interview. “And it feels like a long time, but it also feels great. I don’t remember ever starting. My earliest memories are doing commercials and TV. And here comes this celebration of my whole life. So now what? Hopefully there’s more to come.”
Related: Golden Globes Film: HFPA Spreads Wealth As Tightest Awards Race In Years Accelerates
There no doubt will be for Foster, who continues to eye both acting and directing projects with an eagerness tempered by discernment. Yet she acknowledges a certain ambivalence regarding her career. “I don’t know if I have the personality for it,” she says. “I’m not sure if I’d not fallen into it, it’s what I’d have done. I mean this mostly as an actor rather than as a director, but I’m one for entirely different reasons from most people. It’s become a psychological evolution. I chose movies based on what I had to learn about myself, not because I had to act. There’s lots of things I’m not interested in, and I don’t want to play parts in those movies.” Read More »
The Hollywood Foreign Press is bestowing its lifetime achievement award on actor-director-producer Jodie Foster and will present it at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 13. The announcement was made this morning in a ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The two-time Globe winner (best actress drama wins for Silence Of The Lambs and The Accused) and five-time nominee most recently was nominated for last year’s Carnage, and she last directed The Beaver starring Mel Gibson, but her career in Hollywood began in commercials at age 3 and now includes producing. Chosen by the HFPA Board of Directors, the award is given annually recognizing a person’s impact on the world of entertainment. Morgan Freeman won last year.
Jodie Foster publishes an impassioned plea to social media to leave Kristen Stewart and her private life alone. The two women know each other well from 2001: they spent 5 months on the set of Panic Room “mostly holed up in a space the size of a Manhattan closet” when Stewart turned 11 years old and played Foster’s daughter. Foster in The Daily Beast on Wednesday decries social media scrutiny for young actors:
We seldom consider the childhoods we unknowingly destroy in the process… I have been an actress since I was 3 years old, 46 years to date. I have no memories of a childhood outside the public eye. I am told people look to me as a success story… The truth is, like some curious radioactive mutant, I have invented my own gothic survival tools. I have fashioned rules to control the glaring eyes. Maybe I’ve organized my career choices to allow myself (and the ones I truly love) maximum personal dignity. And, yes, I have neurotically adapted to the gladiator sport of celebrity culture, the cruelty of a life lived as a moving target. In my era, through discipline and force of will, you could still manage to reach for a star-powered career and have the authenticity of a private life. Sure, you’d have to lose your spontaneity in the elaborate architecture. You’d have to learn to submerge beneath the foul air and breathe through a straw. But at least you could stand
… Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In her first major behind-the-camera foray into television, Jodie Foster is set to direct and executive produce Angie’s Body, a drama project set at Showtime and produced by Sony Pictures TV and studio-based Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment. Written by Rob Fresco (Heroes, Jericho), Angie’s Body centers around a shrewd, sexy and, when necessary, lethal woman who runs a family-based crime syndicate. Foster and Fresco will executive produce the project with Russ Krasnoff.
Foster has been focused on directing for the past few years. While at Comic-Con promoting her latest acting vehicle, Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium, Foster indicated that she was eyeing a move into cable TV. This marks the first TV directing/producing gig for Foster who helmed an episode of the 1980s syndicated anthology series Tales From the Darkside before segueing to movie directing with Little Man Tate, Home For The Holidays and Beaver. Angie’s Body reunites Foster with Showtime where she executive produced the 1998 telefilm The Baby Dance in her only previous TV producing stint. Fresco, who serves as a co-executive producer on Fox’s Touch, is repped by UTA, which also repped Foster in the deal, having signed the Oscar winner for directing in March.
Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.
The most-anticipated moment of the Sony panel was easily the presentation of Neil Blomkamp‘s Elysium, and it did not disappoint, looking like a 2001/District 9 hybrid, or maybe even Wall-E with humans. It’s another stylish sci-fi class-struggle parable with Matt Damon as a shaven-headed working-class guy on an overpopulated earth (downtown LA is shown covered with tent encampments, even atop the skyscrapers). He was inadvertently exposed to toxic radiation and given a mechanical exoskeleton to help him capture a rich bureaucrat played by William Fichtner and infiltrate Elysium, an off-world space station created for the richest 1%, where disease can be eradicated and everything is perfect. Sharlto Copley’s also in there as a crazy bearded dude with a personal force-field. Robotic cops look not unlike the District 9 bugs. It feels like a potential smash. The footage shown had rough, unfinished effects but it didn’t matter. Panelists were Blomkamp, Jodie Foster, producer Simon Kinberg, Copley (hugely cheered by this crowd) and Damon. Copley revealed that his character is a villain, which wasn’t evident in the clips. He also begged fans to ask Blomkamp for a District 9 sequel, joking that he’s still looking for work.
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: Two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Jodie Foster has signed with UTA for directing and will remain at longtime home ICM for acting. Foster had been taking agency meetings with UTA and Gersh. (CAA and WME wouldn’t rep her just for directing gigs.) ICM was hoping to hang onto her for helming but couldn’t set up any movies or even a TV pilot for her. “It’s hard out there for her,” a source told me when I originally broke the news she was looking around. “The market for her is really cold.” Foster’s last directing effort was The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson, and it did little business. Her dilemma might explain why she sent DVD screeners of the film to the entire membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences in February: maybe it was a directing job application.
EXCLUSIVE: As an actress Jodie Foster is sticking with ICM which has long repped her. But as a director she’s taking agency meetings with UTA and Gersh. (CAA and WME wouldn’t rep her just for directing gigs.) ICM still hopes to hang onto her helming but couldn’t set up any movies or even a TV pilot for her. I hear she’s making a decision by Monday. “It’s hard out there for her,” a source explains to me. “The market for her is really cold.” (Then Hollywood is full of idiots because I think she’s a talented helmer.) Foster’s last directing effort was The Beaver starring Mel Gibson and it did little business. Her dilemma may explain why the two-time Oscar winner sent DVD screeners of the film to the entire membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in February: maybe it was a directing job application.
EXCLUSIVE: In an unprecedented move this late in Oscar season, two-time Academy Award winning actress and director Jodie Foster, with the help of her film’s distributor Summit Entertainment, is sending DVD screeners of The Beaver (the Mel Gibson film she directed and co-starred in) to the entire membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Summit tells me they expect to start shipping Monday so the Academy members should have this in their mailboxes by Wednesday.
That’s right. The Beaver. It’s NOT nominated for a single Oscar — or any other award for that matter. It opened and closed quickly last May in the wake of Gibson’s latest scandal and grossed just under $1 million in its brief, unsuccessful U.S. run. Although reviews were mixed it did receive a 69% fresh rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes and, despite his personal woes, Gibson got some of the best personal notices of his career. But when awards season arrived Summit nixed a campaign and did not send out screeners to the Academy as they did for two other movies, 50/50 and A Better Life (the first screener sent to Academy members on September 7).
The fact that there were no screeners and no Oscar nominations has not deterred Foster who feels strongly about her movie and wants it to be seen by her peers. In a letter that will accompany the DVD (read the letter here), Foster begins by writing: “It is unusual to get a screener after the Oscar nominations have been … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in Black Sands, an action film that will be directed by Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy. Financed by Bill Block’s QED, the film will begin production April 1, 2012. In the script that Skip Woods has rewritten, Schwarzenegger will play a loner who wages war against a ruthless weapons manufacturer and his private army in the Southwest. The tone is Man On Fire meets High Plains Drifter. Block will be selling worldwide territories starting today.
Woods scripted A Good Day To Die Hard, which Fox is readying for production. Waugh and McCoy most recently directed Act Of Valor, an action adventure that features actual Navy SEALs. That film was acquired at an auction for distribution by Relativity Media, which paid a $13 million minimum guarantee and a $30 million P&A commitment, and scheduled the film for release on February 17, which is President’s Day Weekend.
Al Ruddy will produce Black Sands with Block and Paul Hanson. Waugh, McCoy and Max Leitman are the executive producers through their Bandito Brothers banner. Sergio Altieri and Kevin Elders wrote early drafts of the script that Woods is rewriting. scSchwarzenegger has squarely returned to his action wheelhouse since returning to acting after ending his run as California governor. He’s shooting the Kim Jee-woon-directed The Last Stand for Lionsgate, after completing The Expendables 2.
QED just completed I, Alex Cross, the Rob Cohen-directed thriller based on the James Patterson novel, with … Read More »
The American Cinematheque tribute to Robert Downey Jr last night held might have been unthinkable just a few years ago when the actor was hopelessly hooked on drugs, destroying his career and winding up in prison. But if there is anything Hollywood loves, it is redemption – and a second (or third or fourth) chance. That’s something Downey received and ran with largely thanks to his wife Susan who put him on the right course and hasn’t let him fall off since. With a hot career thanks to a second Oscar nomination for Tropic Thunder and blockbuster franchises like Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, Downey not only turned around his career, he fixed his life and now he’s reaping the rewards as evidenced by the great turnout on Friday night at the Beverly Hilton. But the evening took a serious turn when Downey made an impassioned plea to Hollywood to “forgive” his friend Mel Gibson who was on hand to present him with the award. “Unless you are without sin – and if you are, you are in the wrong [expletive] industry, you should forgive him and let him work,” Downey said to much applause.
The undisputed highlight of the night came when previously unannounced guest Mel Gibson appeared. Gibson and Downey Jr co-starred in Air America and Gibson’s unwavering support of Downey during his darkest hours was well-documented at the time. Gibson brought up Downey to accept the award to a standing ovation and said, “He taught me many things and I will use the ‘C’ word, courage. There’s nothing so much wrong with him. Of course you have to worry about the guy making the judgement here. He’s a good dude with a good heart.”
“This is my fuckin’ time,” Downey said. “Mel and I have the same lawyer, same publicist and same shrink. I couldn’t get hired and he cast me. He said if I accepted responsibility – he called it hugging the cactus – long enough, my life would take meaning. And if he helped me, I would help the next guy. But it was not reasonable to assume the next guy would be him.” Downey then went to on to hug Gibson and urge people to let Mel continue his career without shame.
It was a star-studded event, to be sure. Jack Black called Downey a “stone cold stud muffin” while Michael Douglas (looking great) said working with Robert Downey Jr on The Wonder Boys was “something special. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Sony Pictures Classics is near a deal to distribute Hysteria, the Tanya Wexler-directed romantic comedy based on the surprising truth of how Mortimer Granville came up with the world’s first electro-mechanical vibrator as an advance in medical science. The film created a — wait for it — buzz when it premiered September 15 at Roy Thomson Hall. Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Felicity Jones star in the film. Samuel Goldwyn Films and Millennium also chased the title. Sony Pictures Classics partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have this evening’s opening-night film of the New York Film Festival with the premiere of Carnage, the Roman Polanski-directed feature adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play. Polanski shot the film in Paris, with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly starring. Hysteria was repped by Cassian Elwes and Elle Driver.