EXCLUSIVE: The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson is negotiating to star with Benicio Del Toro in Paradise Lost, the drama about notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar that was written and will mark the directing debut of Life Of Pi’s Andrea di Stefano. Hutcherson is actually the principal character in the fact-based tale. He plays Nick, a young Irish surfer who visits his brother in Colombia. There he meets the love of his life — until he meets her uncle Pablo. The film will begin production in Panama in March.
Hutcherson, repped by ICM Partners and The Beddingfield Company, takes the job after wrapping Catching Fire, the second installment of The Hunger Games. He also lends his voice to the Fox Animation feature Epic.
When Deadline revealed a month ago that Philip Seymour Hoffman had ended his Death of a Salesman run by leaving his longtime agency Paradigm, we were first to tell you that Hoffman was being courted by Lionsgate to play the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in the Francis Lawrence-directed The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Lionsgate has confirmed that he’s set to join Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson and will play the head game organizer in the film, which should be a welcome respite from his grueling nightly performances as Willy Loman in the Mike Nichols-directed Tony-winning Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s classic play. Here’s the release:
Santa Monica, CA, July 9, 2012- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE are pleased to announce that Philip Seymour Hoffman has been cast in the role of Plutarch Heavensbee, Head Gamemaker for The Hunger Games, in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel Catching Fire.
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GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organization awarded its honors in Los Angeles tonight for most outstanding images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the media. AP is reporting that the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media … Read More »
Buyers board ‘Titanic: Blood And Steel’
Italy’s De Angelis Group has entered a handful of licensing deals on its $30 million mini Titanic: Blood And Steel. Not to be confused with the Julian Fellowes-scripted Titanic 4-parter that’s currently airing on ITV in the UK, this 12-part series is a multi-national co-production that stars Chris Noth, Neve Campbell, Kevin Zegers and Derek Jacobi. Deals were signed in Belgium (Telenet and VMMA), Bulgaria (Fox), Denmark (DR), Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Macedonia (Visionary), Iceland (Screen One), Pan Asia (AETN), Romania (Pro.TV) and Slovakia (TV JOJ). Co-producers are De Angelis, RAI, 3 Arts, CBC, Artists Studio, Tandem Communications, Epos Films and Antena 3. Tandem is handling worldwide television distribution. The production recently wrapped in Dublin for delivery later this year.
Shine, SMG Cook Up Chinese ‘MasterChef’
Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine has reached a deal with Shanghai Media Group to bring MasterChef to China. SMG’s Dragon TV will produce and air the cooking series later this year. Shine Netwok will consult. The MasterChef format originally launched in the UK and is now produced in over 30 countries. According to Shine, MasterChef has generated in excess of $270 million in global retail revenue through ancillary activity including cookware, live events, publishing and digital properties.
‘Heartthrob’ Doc Traces Rise Of Hutcherson & Hemsworth
Revolver Entertainment has acquired exclusive worldwide TV and home entertainment rights to Liam Vs Josh: The Heartthrob Games which it is selling this week in Cannes. The hourlong doc follows the rise of The Hunger Games stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Set for delivery in June 2012, the show will be released in UK & US territories by Revolver Entertainment in early summer 2012. Read More »
Lionsgate has released its first trailer for The Hunger Games, the Gary Ross-directed adaptation of the first of a trilogy of Suzanne Collins novels. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth and will be released March 23. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has made a deal to develop the Oscar-nominated comedy The Kids Are All Right as an hour-long series. Lisa Cholodenko, who co-wrote and directed the Focus Features release, will write the pilot script. I’m told that it will … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After splitting up with Contrafilm partner Tripp Vinson in June following a decade-long partnership, Beau Flynn has formed a new company, Flynn Picture Co. He hasn’t strayed far from home. Flynn has made a two-year, non-exclusive, … Read More »
UPDATE: Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson have formally announced their split and issued this statement: “We have nothing but love and respect for each other, and our decision to pursue our own separate paths after 10 amazing years … Read More »
As my colleague David Lieberman pointed out this morning, Lionsgate brass crowed to Wall Street analysts about their high expectations for the four movies that will be made from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games novels. Wait a minute, four movies? Lionsgate toppers inadvertently dropped a bit of a bombshell, because everybody thought there would be three movies, one for each book in the series. Right now, the notion of making four movies isn’t set in stone, but apparently, Lionsgate has been carefully observing predecessors who squeezed an extra film out of a book franchise. Namely Warner Bros on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Summit on Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Unlike those two examples, Lionsgate has covered itself by signing the cast to option deals that encompass all four films. By contrast, the Harry Potter kids made set-for-life fortunes when their contracts had to be changed to add another film, and so did the Twilight Saga stars. We’re talking tens of millions of dollars here in the monies paid to Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and the other cast members. Lionsgate will likely have to sweeten the cast deals if the films hit as big as everybody expects them to, but the indie studio will have the leverage. As for how the trilogy will be turned into four films, it’ll go much the way that Harry Potter and Twilight Saga did. The first two books will be the first two films. The last book will be split in half. The final installment, Mockingjay, is logistically ambitious and can be scaled up comfortably to cover two films. I believe that Gary Ross and Collins have done rewrites and already figured out how to create a satisfying ending to the third film. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate is making a deal with MGM to distribute The Cabin in the Woods, putting an end to an unexpectedly long shelf life for a horror film that has a terrific creative pedigree and a high degree of fanboy wanna-see. Cloverfield writer Drew Goddard directed the film and co-wrote it with Joss Whedon. The film’s cast includes Chris Hemsworth, who made it before he was set to star as the title character in Marvel’s Thor. Ironically, Whedon and Hemsworth are reuniting, with Whedon directing The Avengers, and Hemsworth reprising his hammer-swinging role. It’s unclear when Lionsgate will release the film, but October is a good bet.
The delay has little to do with the quality of the film. It was once slated to be released by MGM on Oct. 23, 2009, but was pulled back because it was going to be converted to 3D. Then, everything froze at MGM because of the strangling debt load, and The Cabin in the Woods was among several pictures that languished. By the time the picture is released, Thor will have established Hemsworth’s star value, which will certainly help a film that also stars Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford.
That leaves the remake of Red Dawn as the last holdover MGM film seeking a distributor. That picture also stands to gain from having sat on a shelf. Read More »
UPDATE: Gary Ross has added Jack Quaid (son of Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan) to play Marvel, the other combatant from District 1. Quaid is making his screen debut and plays a thuggish competitor from a district heavily … Read More »
Lionsgate made official what Deadline foreshadowed last Friday. Josh Hutcherson has now been set by director Gary Ross to play the baker’s son Peeta Mellark, and Liam Hemsworth is set to play Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games. They will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence in what is expected to be a trilogy of films based on the Suzanne Collins novels. These were two the most coveted roles for young actors this year. Here’s Lionsgate’s release:
LOS ANGELES, CA, April 4, 2011- Lionsgate® and the filmmakers of THE HUNGER GAMES are pleased to announce that actor Josh Hutcherson (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) has been cast in the role of Peeta Mellark, with Liam Hemsworth (THE LAST SONG) joining the film in the role of Gale Hawthorne in the much anticipated film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ worldwide smash hit novel. Both actors will star opposite Jennifer Lawrence, who it was recently announced will play heroine Katniss Everdeen.
About The Characters
Peeta accompanies heroine Katniss Everdeen into the 74th annual Hunger Games as the male tribute chosen from their native District 12, the most remote and marginalized district of all the subjugated districts of Panem. At the outset of the Games, Peeta publicly confesses his longtime feelings for Katniss, setting up one of the most fascinating fictional rapports of all time with his supposed arena rival.
Though Katniss and Gale have never had a romantic relationship, they share a transcendent bond, often of few words. When Katniss volunteers to participate in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in her younger sister’s stead, they both presume that bond will carry her far through the horrors she will face in the arena, and they each silently hope they’ll be reunited in safety on the other side of the ordeal.
About The Film
THE HUNGER GAMES will be directed by Gary Ross, and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. Collins’ best-selling novel, which has over 3 million copies in print in the United States alone, is the first in a trilogy of science fiction/action novels which have developed a global following.
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Che star Benicio Del Toro is back in Havana, making his directing debut on one of seven segments that will make up the feature 7 Days in Havana. Seven directors each take on each day of the week with storylines … Read More »