Meryl Streep As Hard Rocker? TriStar Closing Deal For ‘Ricki And The Flash’

streepEXCLUSIVE:  Tom Rothman’s TriStar Productions is closing a deal to finance and distribute Ricki And The Flash, a hot package that had several studios circling because it comes with Meryl Streep playing a hard rocking mama. Scripted by Juno‘s Diablo Cody, the film will be directed by Jonathan Demme, and produced by Marc Platt and Mason Novick. This comes on the heels of TriStar’s deal with Robert Zemeckis to direct the 3-D experiential film To Walk the Clouds about the French aerialist Phillipe Petit who crossed between the Twin Towers on a wire in 1974. The project is based on Petit’s memoirs To Reach The Clouds and is being produced by Zemeckis with his ImageMovers Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey and Rothman. Landing Ricki and The Flash is a coup for Rothman.

demmeStreep will play a rock n’ roll-loving woman who chased her tattered dream at the price of her family, but gets a last chance to get it right by reconciling with her estranged daughter. This isn’t some development deal. Rothman has committed to make the picture and Streep is already preparing. Demme has directed documentaries with Neil Young, and there was an impromptu encounter with Demme and Streep where Young was present, and the iconic guitarist and singer gave her some pointers. She has already demonstrated her ability to sing on Mamma Mia! This is new territory for an actress who has done most everything; her character belts out hard rock at night and is a grocery store checkout lady by day. Shooting begins this fall.
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Jonathan Demme Places Bet On Morocco Oscar Entry ‘Horses Of God,’ To Win

By | Tuesday October 29, 2013 @ 12:07pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Even when you are your home country’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film, it’s hard not to get lost in the competition among all the participating countries. Morocco’s selection, the Nabil Ayouch-directed Horses Of God, has gotten … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Jonathan Demme’s ‘Fear Of Falling’ To Premiere At Rome Fest; ‘We Are The Best!’ Lines Up Sales; More

Jonathan Demme’s ‘Fear Of Falling’ To Premiere At Rome Fest
Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme‘s Fear Of Falling will have its world premiere at the eighth annual Rome Film Festival in November. The film is based on a theater production — performed only a few times to friends — created for the stage by the actor-filmaker André Gregory, based on Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder, translated and adapted by actor-playwright Wallace Shawn. Gregory and Shawn also star in the film. Fear of Falling is produced by Rocco Caruso. The Rome fest runs November 8-17.

TrustNordisk Sells ‘We Are The Best!’ In Australia, Italy, Taiwan
TrustNordisk has closed multiple deals on Lukas Moodysson’s We Are The Best!, which premiered at Venice premiere and screened at Toronto. The Swedish teen punk film has sold to Australia (NewVision Films), Italy (Bim Distribuzione) and Taiwan (Maison Motion), with talks ongoing for other territories. We Are The Best! revolves around three young outsiders in 1980s Stockholm who find unity in music and form a punk band without having any instruments. Lars Jönsson for Memfis Film produced the film, which bows October 11 in Sweden.

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Jonathan Demme To Direct AMC Pilot ‘Line Of Sight’

By | Tuesday June 18, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Oscar-winning Silence Of The Lambs helmer Jonathan Demme has been tapped to direct and executive produce AMC’s drama pilot Line Of Sight. The project, from Brotherhood creator Blake Masters, marks AMC’s first foray into the sci-fi … Read More »

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Jonathan Demme Puts His Tag On Graffiti-Filled Indie ‘Gimme The Loot’

By | Thursday February 14, 2013 @ 6:50am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: When you see a filmmaker like Martin Scorsese or Jonathan Demme put their brand names on movies, you wonder how involved they get. Scorsese put his imprimatur on two films this month – Luc Besson’s Malavita and Andy Lau’s Revenge of the Green Dragons. Now, Demme has taken a “presenting” credit on Adam Leon‘s Gimme The Loot, hoping his contribution will be that people notice a worthy indie when it gets released in late March by IFC Films/Sundance Selects. Gimme The Loot won Best Narrative Feature at last year’s SXSW. Leon is a current nominee for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Film.

Said Demme: “Knowing that Gimme The Loot is — astonishingly — Adam Leon’s first feature most certainly adds to the film’s extraordinary sense of achievement. But the sheer entertainment value of this very smart, hilarious, and heartfelt movie made by young filmmakers about contemporary young people, filmed and played with great freshness and originality, is what makes Gimme The Loot a truly thrilling experience — this is really one crazily accomplished American motion picture debut.” Read More »

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Cinema Audio Society To Honor Jonathan Demme

By | Tuesday November 6, 2012 @ 3:52pm PST

Jonathan Demme will receive the Cinema Audio Society Filmmaker Award at the 49th CAS Awards on February 16 at Millennium-Biltmore in Los Angeles. Demme’s career … Read More »

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Jonathan Demme Scripting Two Films, But Finds Time For Occupy Wall Street Shorts

By | Wednesday October 26, 2011 @ 11:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

While Jonathan Demme is busy writing the script for Stephen King’s upcoming thriller novel 11/22/63, and completing another script for an animated feature adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel Zeitoun, the Oscar-winning director has become so captivated by the Occupy … Read More »

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Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Jonathan Demme’s Neil Young Docu

By | Tuesday October 11, 2011 @ 7:28am PDT
Mike Fleming

NEW YORK (October 11, 2011) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired the Worldwide Rights, excluding Latin America, to Jonathan Demme’s film, NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS from Shakey Pictures and Clinica Estetico. Demme and Elliot Rabinowitz produced the film, with Declan Quinn (RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW, JIMMY CARTER MAN FROM PLAINS) who served as director of photography. NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS had its World Premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival to a tremendous audience and great critical acclaim.

NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS marks the third film between Demme and Sony Pictures Classics. Previous films include JIMMY CARTER MAN FROM PLAINS and RACHEL GETTING MARRIED.

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2011 Toronto Festival Fills Out Slate And Sets Maverick Lecture Program

Mike Fleming

The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival has filled out the rest of its slate, which consists of 268 features and 68 short films that will unspool next month. The fest announced that the likes of Brad Pitt (Moneyball), … Read More »

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Jonathan Demme Deals For Stephen King’s JFK Book As Author Heats Up H’wood Again

It looks like Jonathan Demme is the latest big name to jump on a Stephen King project, with the director confirmed to have picked up rights to King’s yet-to-be-released novel 11/22/63, about a teacher who travels back in … Read More »

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Jonathan Demme Leaves ICM for WME

By | Wednesday August 10, 2011 @ 7:21pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: No announcements yet from either agency, but Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme (Silence Of The Lambs) had been an ICM client for seven years. The iconclastic helmer works in film moving between indie projects and big studio productions, TV, and theater. For Demme, ICM put together Rachel Getting Married, the … Read More »

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Lincoln Center Celebrates Sidney Lumet

By | Monday June 27, 2011 @ 5:19pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Pete Hammond Remembers Sidney Lumet
Having covered Hollywood from a New York base for over 20 years, I watched Gotham hold its own because of filmmakers that included Jonathan Demme, Alan Pakula, Woody Allen, Spike Lee, Martin Scorsese and Sidney Lumet. So let’s see where that leaves us. Demme doesn’t work often enough. Pakula, whose resume includes one of the greatest American movies ever in All the President’s Men, died in a freak accident on the Long Island Expressway. Allen has been on an extended tour of Europe that I admit has completely reinvigorated him as a filmmaker but hasn’t helped the production scene in Manhattan. Scorsese shoots all over the place, and Lee has had trouble getting his films funded even though he’s a voice well worth hearing. Finally, Lumet, the guy who made seminal movies like Network, 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon and Serpico, and continued directing films at such a fast pace that co-workers swore he shot while double-parked, passed away. Now, Lincoln Center has announced a summer series of films made by the great Lumet. It is worth checking out some of his great films. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for that electrifying new New York filmmaker who’ll have the clout to force productions to be shot in his backyard despite the high union costs, and who makes Gotham relevant again on the feature scene. Here’s the info on the Lumet retrospective:

New York, NY, June 27, 2011- Following a heartfelt and entertaining memorial for Sidney Lumet at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with speakers and performers including Lauren Bacall, Walter Bernstein, Bobby Cannavale, Glenn Close, Jonathan Demme, James Gandolfini, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jenny Lumet, David Mamet, Phylilis Newman and Christopher Walken among others, the Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the details today for a retrospective of the admired and beloved director’s work, Prince of the City: Remembering Sidney Lumet which will screen at the Walter Reade Theater July 19 – 25.

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S. Epatha Merkerson Joins CBS’ Medical Drama Pilot Directed by Jonathan Demme

By | Tuesday March 22, 2011 @ 4:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Law & Order veteran S. Epatha Merkerson has joined CBS’ untitled Susannah Grant supernatural medical drama pilot. Jonathan Demme is directing the pilot, from CBS TV Studios and Timberman/Beverly, which centers on Michael (Patrick Wilson), an ultra-competitive … Read More »

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De Niro Balks, Demme Walks, Movie Chalks (And Bradley Cooper Is Caught In Middle)

Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro appear together in this weekend’s release of Limitless from Virgin/Relativity. So I decided to check on that other reteaming of Cooper and De Niro in the works for New Line, the heartfelt dramedy Honeymoon With Harry, with Jonathan … Read More »

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Leslie Bibb Set As The Lead In ABC’s ‘Bitches’, Jennifer Ehle To Star In CBS Pilot

Nellie Andreeva

Leslie Bibb has been tapped for the lead in ABC’s dramedy pilot Good Christian Bitches, from ABC Studios, Kapital Entertainment, writer-exec producer Robert Harling and exec producer Darren Star. Based on Kim Gatlin’s book, it centers on Amanda … Read More »

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Patrick Wilson To Headline CBS Medical Drama Pilot Directed By Jonathan Demme

Nellie Andreeva

Feature and Broadway actor Patrick Wilson is making his first foray into series TV as the star of CBS’ untitled Susannah Grant drama pilot. Jonathan Demme is directing he supernatural medical drama, from CBS TV Studios and studio-based … Read More »

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PILOT SEASON: The Rise Of Feature Directors

Nellie Andreeva

In a series of stories, I’ll take an analytical look at the current broadcast pilot season and some of its trends and heroes.

In what was probably the last big pilot director signing this season, Jaume Collet-Sera yesterday closed a … Read More »

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Jonathan Demme To Direct CBS Drama Pilot

By | Tuesday February 1, 2011 @ 4:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The Silence of the Lambs helmer Jonathan Demme is making his pilot directing debut.  The Oscar winner  has signed on to direct and executive produce CBS’ untitled Susannah Grant drama pilot. The supernatural medical drama, from CBS TV Studios and … Read More »

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Sundance: A&E IndieFilms Grabs TV Rights For Roger Corman Documentary

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: It’s almost like the Sundance Film Festival has started, with all the advance acquisition activity. A&E IndieFilm just acquired TV rights to Corman’s World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel, the documentary about low-budget independent icon Roger Corman. A&E becomes … Read More »

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