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UPDATE: Warner Bros’ Next Whitey Bulger Move: Ease Rift With Ben Affleck And Matt Damon

Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 12:04 PM: By damon_affleckWarner Bros jumping aboard the high-profile Johnny Depp-Joel Edgerton pic Black Mass, it means the studio won’t be taking on another Whitey Bulger project in its own backyard: the one that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon had been developing for a couple of years as a starring vehicle for Damon via their Warners-based Pearl Street Films. I’m hearing that Affleck and Damon were given a day or two advance notice that the studio was putting its eggs in the Black Mass basket, but that news came just a day before the latest rewrite was turned in by Aaron Stockard, who worked with Affleck on The Town and Gone Baby Gone and who rewrote the script by Oscar nominated The Wolf Of Wall Street scribe Terence Winter. There was much enthusiasm, then radio silence, and then…Naturally there are bruised feelings that Warners will have to repair with two of its most valuable players, as this was the first project pitched for Affleck to direct and Damon to star after Pearl Street inked its overall deal there, and I’m told the studio assured the pair it wanted to make their movie.

warnerbrosThis is all a part of the big rough and tumble game of studios needing to fill slates, and clearly someone was going to come out first with a Bulger biopic. But there are plenty of reasons to smooth any ruffles here. Affleck is directing and starring in Warner Bros’ Live By Night, an epic period crime drama that he adapted from the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane, author of Affleck’s first directorial outing Gone Baby Gone. It’s the follow-up to the Best Picture Oscar winner Argo he made for the studio. He also is playing Batman in Warner Bros’ Batman Vs. Superman. Read More »

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Warner Bros Taps Aussie Garth Davis To Helm Joel Edgerton In ‘Shantaram’

By | Wednesday October 9, 2013 @ 3:12pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is in early talks with Garth Davis to make his narrative feature directing debut on Shantaram, the adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts novel that has Joel Edgerton attached to star and Inifinitum Nihil partners Johnny Depp and Christi Dembrowski producing with GK Films’ Graham King. Davis is an Australian helmer who was Emmy nominated for Top Of The Lake, five episodes of which he directed with Jane Campion. The mini premiered at Sundance. This is quite an ambitious move, taking on Shantaram so early in his run as a filmmaker. It’s pretty sprawling stuff. The film has been with Warner Bros since the studio paid $2 million for screen rights in 2004, back when Depp wanted to star, only to see the film stall and fall apart because of the writers strike. Depp recently jump-started the process as producer by personally courting Edgerton. The lead character starts out as an Australian heroin addict who escapes a maximum-security prison, reinvents himself as a doctor in the slums of India and eventually uses gun-running and counterfeiting skills to fight against the invading Russian troops in Afghanistan.

The script is by Eric Roth. Back when Depp was going to star, Peter Weir was once attached to direct. Well they got themselves another Aussie on the Barbie. Sarah … Read More »

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Warner Bros Revives ‘Shantaram’, Johnny Depp Taps Joel Edgerton For Lead

By | Thursday September 5, 2013 @ 3:27pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is in talks with Joel Edgerton to star in Shantaram, an adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts novel that is being produced by Inifinitum Nihil partners Johnny Depp and Christi Dembrowski, and GK Films’ Graham King. Following a couple of stalled attempts to get this movie up and running after the studio paid $2 million for the rights in 2004, Depp himself jump started the process by personally courting Edgerton to play a role Depp once intended to play before the film was derailed by the Writer’s Strike.

Edgerton is being courted for the lead role of a remarkable protagonist who, at the time the book became a sensation in Hollywood, was said to have been modeled after the author in a thinly veiled memoir. He starts as an Australian heroin addict who escapes a maximum-security prison, reinvents himself as a doctor in the slums of India and eventually uses gun-running and counterfeiting skills to fight against the invading Russian troops in Afghanistan. Read More »

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Joel Edgerton In Talks To Go Mano A Mano Against Christian Bale In Ridley Scott’s Moses Movie

By | Tuesday August 13, 2013 @ 1:47pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Looks like Christian Bale‘s Moses has found his match in Ridley Scott‘s upcoming biblical film Exodus for 20th Century Fox. Insiders say Joel Edgerton is in discussion to play to play Ramses in the film that is based on the script by Steve Zaillian. Adam Cooper and Bill Collage did the original. Fox got a clear path to the biblical story when Steven Spielberg stopped circling a rival project at Warner Bros. Edgerton is coming off Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

Related: Christian Bale Eyeing Moses?

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Cannes: Joel Edgerton Moves From ‘Gatsby’ To Whitey Bulger Tale ‘Black Mass’

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 4:38pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Big day on the Croisette for Joel Edgerton. The Australian actor just took the bows for the Cannes opening night film The Great Gatsby, and I’ve learned that he’s just closed a deal to star alongside Johnny Depp in the Cross Creek crime thriller Black Mass, which Barry Levinson is directing. The picture is a co-production between Cross Creek and Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media, with the two entities co-financing and Universal Pictures releasing in the U.S. through Cross Creek’s distribution deal with the studio.

Whitey Bulger rose to the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List when he disappeared for a decade before he could be put behind bars. Many felt he could never have gotten that far without the help of John Connolly, an FBI agent and childhood pal of Bulger and his brother. Connolly was tasked with bringing down the Italian mob, and he was aided by Bulger, who burnished his own position as Boston crime kingpin by getting rid of the competition for his Winter Hill gang. Edgerton will play Connolly, who was lauded for his work before things went south for him. He was eventually convicted of racketeering and obstruction of justice for aiding Bulger, who is currently in a Massachusetts state prison for second-degree murder. Edgerton gets a meaty role in a story about a … Read More »

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Cannes: Michelle Williams, Joel Edgerton Star in Remake Of ‘The Double Hour’

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Michelle Williams and Joel Edgerton are set to star in The Double Hour, a remake of the 2009 Italian film of the same title. Joshua Marston, helmer of Maria Full Of Grace, is writing and will direct. Silver Reel Entertainment and Lotus Entertainment have partnered to finance and sell in Cannes. It’s a psychological thriller that tells the story of two lovers who find themselves victims in the midst of a dangerous and well planned robbery. Indigo Films’ Nicola Giuliano, Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee and Journeyman Pictures’ Paul Mezey are producing.

The original, directed by Giuseppe Capotondi and produced by Giuliano, premiered in competition to critical praise and awards at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival. Silver Reel’s Claudia Blumhuber, Lotus Entertainment’s Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel, Giulio Marantonio, John Powers Middleton, Jacob Pechenik and Florian Dargel will executive produce. UTA Independent Film Group and CAA are co-repping domestic rights. Marston is represented by WME and Anonymous Content, Williams by CAA, Edgerton by CAA and Shanahan Mgmt.

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Joel Edgerton In Talks For ‘Jane Got A Gun’

By | Tuesday December 11, 2012 @ 2:43pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Joel Edgerton is in negotiations to join the cast of Jane Got A Gun, the Lynne Ramsey-directed Western action film that stars Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender. It is set to start shooting early next year. The pic centers on Jane Hammond (Portman), who reaches out to her ex-lover (Fassbender) to help her when her outlaw husband becomes the target of a violent gang. Edgerton would play John Bishop, the leader of the gang coming to kill Hammond’s husband. Edgerton will soon to be seen in the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Zero Dark Thirty, playing the Squadron Team Leader in the film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. He also co-stars in The Great Gatsby and Felony, both of which are due out next year. He is repped by CAA.

Related: Marvel Testing Short List Of Actors For ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Leader

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Marvel Testing Short List Of Actors For ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Leader

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: As Marvel Studios does each time it looks to land a lead for a superhero franchise, Kevin Feige’s hit-making studio has put together a short list for the lead in its next major project, Guardians Of The Galaxy. Marvel, after reportedly hiring James Gunn as director, has begun the effort to cast Peter Quill, the Guardians leader who is the offspring of a human mother and an alien father. I’m hearing that Marvel is making test deals with a small group of leading men. Here are the names: Zero Dark Thirty‘s Joel Edgerton, Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston, Cloud AtlasJim Sturgess, Lee Pace (who has roles in both Lincoln and The Hobbit), and Eddie Redmayne from Les Miserables.

I’ve confirmed all of them are in contention but can’t say definitively that this list is all-inclusive as I’ve also heard of interest from or in Garrett Hedlund, James Marsden (he already played Cyclops in X-Men, but then again Chris Evans played Fantastic Four‘s Human Torch before landing Captain America) and Edgerton’s Animal Kingdom co-star Sullivan Stapleton. We’ll stay tuned, but this certainly means that Marvel and Disney are serious about launching new superhero franchises. Read More »

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Jai Courtney Joins Joel Edgerton In Aussie Thriller ‘Felony’

By | Monday October 15, 2012 @ 11:02am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Jai Courtney has been cast opposite Joel Edgerton and Tom Wilkinson in Felony, which centers on a decorated cop (Edgerton) who runs a cyclist off the road after drinking with his buddies to celebrate a major gang bust. His split-second decision to lie about the incident changes everyone’s lives forever. Courtney will play a fresh-faced police detective who suspects Edgerton’s character is lying and gradually builds a criminal case against him. Matthew Seville (Noise) is directing a script by Edgerton. The Solution Entertainment Group is producing. Courtney next appears as a bad guy in Paramount’s Jack Reacher opposite Tom Cruise and plays Bruce Willis’ son in A Good Day To Die Hard. He is repped by UTA, The Collective, and in Australia by Mark Morrissey and Associates.

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Toronto: Tom Wilkinson Joins ‘Felony’

By | Saturday September 8, 2012 @ 12:13pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Tom Wilkinson 'Felony'Tom Wilkinson has been set to star in Felony, joining Joel Edgerton in the thriller from The Solution Entertainment Group. Noise helmer Matthew Saville will direct Edgerton’s script. Solution partners Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel are funding and will be exec producers. Rosemary Blight and Edgerton are producing. Project is being shopped by CAA here at Toronto.

Driving home after a celebration drink with his team after cracking a major gang, a decorated cop (Edgerton) runs a cyclist off the road and lies about it. Wilkinson, who just got set for Belle, will play the lead investigator who arrives on the scene and investigates the accident. “Tom Wilkinson is one of the most versatile actors around who inhabits every character he plays with an incredible energy and credibility,” said Wilson.

Wilkinson is coming off The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. He’s repped by Principal Entertainment and Lou Colson.

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Screen Australia Backs 4 Films, 8 TV Projects

By | Wednesday July 25, 2012 @ 9:37pm PDT

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney

Hugo Weaving and Don Hany will star in Healing, an Australian drama about a sympathetic prison warden and his efforts to rehabilitate an Iranian-born prisoner, one of four features agency Screen Australia agreed to co-finance at its board meeting today. The other films that secured Screen Australia investment are Aim High in Creation, a hybrid documentary-drama celebrating “the cinematic genius” of the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, from writer/director Anna Broinowski and producer Lizzette Atkins; and the previously announced The Rover, a futuristic Western from Animal Kingdom writer/director David Michôd, starring Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce; and Felony, which will star Joel Edgerton as a decorated cop who knocks down a young cyclist while driving home after celebrating a drug bust, scripted by Edgerton and directed by Mathew Saville.
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Joel Edgerton Commits To ‘Felony’: Cannes

Joel Edgerton is to star in the Matthew Saville-directed Felony, a thriller that Edgerton also wrote and will produce. The Solution Entertainment Group arranged financing for the film and is handling international sales in Cannes with CAA repping the US. Shooting starts in late October on the story of a police officer who runs a young cyclist off the road. As he gives CPR to the child, fellow officers arrive to take his statement. In a split second decision he tells them a lie about the accident which will change all their lives. Goalpost Pictures Australia’s Rosemary Blight is also producing. Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel of The Solution will executive produce. Roadshow Films will distribute in Australia and New Zealand. Edgerton, who broke out in gritty Oz hit Animal Kingdom, is currently shooting Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. Saville’s feature debut, Noise, ran in Sundance in 2007. Edgerton is repped by CAA, Shanahan Management and Hirsh Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman.

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Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton To Star In Double Feature

Mike Fleming

Thursday, February 2, 2012 – Santa Monica…. Academy Award®-nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help, The Tree of Life) and Joel Edgerton (Warrior, Wish You Were Here) have signed on to star in a double-feature film project for Myriad Pictures: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers.

The love story explores a New York City couple’s relationship during a difficult time in their marriage, from the different perspective of the husband, (Edgerton), a restaurant owner, and of the wife (Chastain), who goes back to college. Academy Award® ‐ winner and 5-time nominee William Hurt (The Kiss of the Spider Woman, Syriana) is in discussion to join the cast.

Ned Benson (In Defiance of Gravity) wrote the two scripts and will direct both films. Cassandra Kulukundis (A Late Quartet, In Defiance of Gravity) is producing. Kulukundis is also Casting Director (There Will Be Blood, Shattered Glass).

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Entertainment One Buys Joel Edgerton Pic ‘Wish You Were Here’: Sundance

By | Thursday January 26, 2012 @ 11:58am PST
Mike Fleming

Park City/Los Angeles/Toronto – January 26, 2012 – Leading independent studio Entertainment One (eOne) is pleased to announce that it has acquired the North American distribution rights to Kieran Darcy-Smith’s directorial debut Wish You Were Here. Brokered by Sejin Park, eOne’s VP, Worldwide Acquisitions and Natja Noviani Rosner, LevelK’s Sales Director, the deal covers rights to the film in all media.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Wish You Were Here’

By | Friday December 2, 2011 @ 5:15pm PST

Kieran Darcy-Smith directed this Sundance Film Festival entry in the World Dramatic Competition. Darcy-Smith and Felicity Price wrote the screenplay about four friends on a holiday frolic in Cambodia from which only three make it home. With Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Felicity Price and Antony Starr.

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WB To Open ‘Great Gatsby’ Dec. 25, 2012

Warner Bros. has set The Great Gatsby to open Christmas Day 2012. Director Baz Luhrmann began filming his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel  last month in Australia. The 3D production stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke and Elizabeth Debicki.

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‘Warrior’ Director Gavin O’Connor Takes On ‘The Samurai’ And Stage Version Of ‘The Hustler’

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: In a high-six-figure deal, Warner Bros has acquired The Samurai, a spec script that will be the next film directed by Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor. The intention is to get it into production quickly, because O’Connor is also working on a stage play adaptation of The Hustler, the Walter Tevis novel that was turned into the 1961 pool hustler film that starred Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. O’Connor secured the rights from the author’s estate and Fox and is writing the stage play with his Warrior co-writer Anthony Tambackis. They are deep into it, and while they’ve not yet taken the play out for financing, O’Connor is eyeing a Broadway bow and said he’s got a commitment from Renee Zellweger to play Sarah Packard, the companion of Fast Eddie Felson who was played in the film by Piper Laurie.

As for The Samurai, O’Connor wrote the spec with Michael J. Wilson. The action adventure is about a rogue assassin named Townes Joyce, who breaks out of a Texas jail that puts him on the run from an international manhunt. Along the way, he gets involved with a woman and her child, and they go along for a ride that spans Costa Rica, Colombia, Paris and back to the U.S. O’Connor intends to make this his film follow-up to Warrior, which stars Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte. I’m not … Read More »

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Hot Restricted Trailer: ‘The Thing’

By | Monday September 19, 2011 @ 4:16pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Universal Pictures has released a restricted trailer for The Thing, the Matthjis van Heijningin Jr-directed prequel to the classic paranoid horror film. This one stars Warrior’s Joel Edgerton, and takes place at a research site in Antarctica, where a creature wreaks havoc on the base. The film’s released October 14.


More The Thing (2011) Videos

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Lionsgate Preps Sneaks of ‘Warrior’ Sept. 4

By | Tuesday August 30, 2011 @ 9:25am PDT

Lionsgate said today that it will offer nationwide sneak-preview screenings of Warrior, the Gavin O’Connor-helmed action drama starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 7 PM, ahead of the film’s official Sept. 9 bow. The studio is promoting the mixed martial arts pic via Twitter (it has sponsored a Promoted Trend, #WarriorMovieSneakPreview), which will offer a direct link to buy tickets to the Labor Day weekend screenings; Lionsgate hopes the hashtag will be used to discuss and share information about the movie leading up to its wide release. Tickets also can be purchased at

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