Katheryn Winnick has signed with CAA. She plays Queen Lagertha on History’s hit drama series Vikings, which starts production shortly on a third season. Winnick has appeared in Ed Zwick’s Love And Other Drugs and Robert Luketic’s The Killers. She continues to be managed by Alchemy Entertainment and is with the law firm Jackoway Tyerman.
Justin Long has inked with Gersh. His recent credits include TV’s Mom, New Girl and Unsupervised, and he stars in Fox’s comedy pilot Sober Companion. Long also has appeared in such features as Ask Me Anything, Live Free Or Die Hard, The Break-Up and Dodgeball and next stars in the films The Lookalike, Tusk and Comet.
After a lengthy courtship, Justin Long has signed on as one of the two leads in Fox’s comedy pilot Sober Companion, originally developed and greenlighted as multi-camera. As part of getting Long to commit, Fox is converting CBS Studios-produced Sober Companion to single-camera, which is a format I hear Long was open to doing full-time. He has experience in both, doing a memorable arc on the first season of Fox’s single-camera comedy New Girl and an arc on CBS’ freshman sitcom Mom this past fall. The switch from multi- to single-camera impacts a couple of crew members who will have to be replaced, though director Don Scardino, who has helmed both multi- and single-camera comedy series, is staying put. Written/exec produced by David S. Rosenthal & Jennie Snyder Urman, Sober Companion centers on a charming, but self-destructive attorney who finds his world turned upside down when a court-appointed sober companion (Long) takes control of his life. Long’s Jeremy is a perennially upbeat, maddeningly eccentric sober companion who uses unconventional methods to keep clients clean. The actor, repped by ICM Partners and Intellectual Artists Management, recently wrapped features Tusk and Comet.
Well Go USA has acquired North American rights to crime-romance The Lookalike, starring Justin Long, John Corbett, Gillian Jacobs, Jerry O’Connell, Gina Gershon, Scottie Thompson and Luiz Guzman. Richard Gray directed and produced the pic about drug lord William Spinks, who uses his gangster pals Bobby and Frank to get to the woman of his dreams. When she dies, the duo sets out in search of a lookalike to replace her. A theatrical and VOD release is planned for Summer 2014. Arclight Films’ Ying Ye negotiated the deal with Doris Pfardrescher on behalf of Well Go USA, which is also handling international rights.
The Vladar Company’s bodybuilding docu Generation Iron sold all overseas rights over the weekend. Those pacts include theatrical deals in Germany (KSM Film), Australia and New Zealand (Madman Entertainment), and Brazil (Probiotica). Vlader is currently locking deals for additional territories including Italy, Spain, China, and the UK. The pic opened domestically in September and has grossed $800K. Pumping Iron‘s Jerome Gary produced the film, which was helmed by Vlad Yudin and features appearances by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno and Mr. Olympia Phil Heath.
Fox‘s Walking With Dinosaurs 3D has added a quartet of thesps to its voice cast. John Leguizamo joins the BBC Earth production as the Alexomis bird Alex, with Justin Long leads a trio of Pachyrhinosauruses as Patchi, Alex’s symbiotic host pal. Tiya Sircar will voice Juniper and Skyler Stone will voice Scowler rounding out the dino threesome. Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale are helming the CG/live-action December 20 release based on the 1999 BBC miniseries. Leguizamo is a client of UTA and Silver Lining Entertainment. Long is repped by ICM Partners and Intellectual Artists Management. Sircar is repped by Talent Works and Elevate. Stone is repped by DPN, Buchwald, and Luber Roklin.
Universal‘s James Brown biopicGet On Up has found another castmember to back Chadwick Bozeman’s Godfather of Soul. Keith Robinson will play Baby Roy, one of the original members of Brown’s band, joining Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in the Imagine Entertainment, Jagged Films, and Universal pic from The Help‘s Tate Taylor. Robinson, an actor and singer, showed off his pipes in Dreamgirls and also appeared in This Christmas. He’s repped by APA and D2 Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Justin Long started his acting career on NBC as a regular on dramedy Ed before segueing to features. Now Long is returning to the network with a comedy starring vehicle. Long is co-writing and expected to star in the project, which has received a script commitment with penalty from NBC. It hails from 20th Century Fox TV and Jason Winer‘s studio-based Small Dog Picture Co. Written by Long, his younger brother Christian Long, also an actor, and Graham Wagner (The Office), The Younger Man centers on a relentlessly optimistic guy in his early 30′s, a role earmarked for Justin Long, who is happily married to the love of his life, a sophisticated woman more than ten years his senior. While raising their teenage son, the two must endure his mother’s scorn and sideways glances from their community, but they are driven forward by his unspoken mantra “I’m gonna make you love me.” Justin Long doesn’t have a formal acting deal for the project but intends to star if it goes forward. He and Christian Long are co-executive producing, with Wagner and Small Dog’s Winer and Renate Radford executive producing. The Younger Man reunites Justin Long with 20th TV. The actor dipped his toe back in the series world with a well-received arc on the studio’s Fox comedy New Girl two years ago. This marks the fourth sale this season for Small Dog Picture … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: ICM Partners has signed Justin Long, who just finished shooting the independent film Comet opposite Emmy Rossum. That film was written and directed by Sam Esmail. He also stars in A Case Of You, which premiered at Tribeca. Long co-wrote and produced that film, which was acquired by IFC. Long, who left CAA, continues to be repped by Intellectual Artists Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Milestone Media is just getting underway with Comet, a quirky indie romantic comedy that stars Emmy Rossum (Shameless) and Justin Long. Sam Esmail is directing his screenplay, and Scott Stone and Farnaz Fahid are producing for Milestone along with Lee Clay and Anonymous Content’s Chad Hamilton and Steve Golin.
Set in a parallel universe, Comet bounces back and forth over the course of an unlikely but perfectly paired couple’s six-year relationship. “Comet is about the drama, comedy and utterly surreal state of heartbreak — a subject in which I am well versed,” the writer-director explained. Besides her role as Fiona Gallagher on the Showtime comedy-drama, Rossum shot You’re Not You with Hilary Swank for Alcon Entertainment. Long most recently starred in the Kat Coiro-directed IFC film In Case Of You opposite Evan Rachel Wood, Sam Rockwell, Sienna Miller, Busy Philipps, Peter Dinklage, Vince Vaughn and Brendan Fraser. That film premiered at Tribeca, and Long co-wrote it with Christian Long and Keir O’Donnell, and he’s also serves as producer. Rossum is repped by The Schiff Company and ICM Partners. Long is repped by CAA and Intellectual Artists Management and Esmail by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content.
IFC Films has picked up U.S. rights to Kat Coiro’s rom-com A Case of You, which bowed at Tribeca last month. Justin Long stars in the film, which he co-wrote with his brother Christian Long and Keir O’Donnell and produced with O’Donnell and Holly Wiersma. It follows a writer (Long) who builds a very embellished online profile in an attempt to win his dream girl (Evan Rachel Wood) then has to deal with reality when she falls for it. Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage, Busy Philipps and Sienna Miller co-star in the pic from Lagniappe Films. The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films, with CAA and Cassian Elwes on behalf of the filmmakers. Red Granite is handling international sales.
EXCLUSIVE: Justin Long is in negotiations for the lead role in The Ten O’clock People. The Live Free Or Die Hard actor would play Brandon Pearson in the modernized adaptation of the Stephen King short story. As previously reported, Tom Holland will direct and has written the screenplay. The story follows Pearson’s attempt to quit smoking and the unknown and terrifying aspect of reality that he uncovers as he tries to kick. The Ten O’clock People comes from King’s 1993 Nightmares And Dreamscapes collection. The film starts shooting September 10 in New York. It’s produced by Making Ten O’clock Productions and Holland’s Dead Rabbit Films with Nathaniel Kramer and E.J. Meyers producing. Long is repped by CAA and Principato-Young.
BREAKING: Anchor Bay Films has picked up U.S. distribution rights to Ten Year, the Jamie Linden-directed drama that premiered at 2011 Toronto Film Festival. The film will be released next spring. Anchor Bay has been negotiating for this for the past month, and it is now nearly done with the deal. It’s low seven figures, including minimum guarantee and P&A for what looks like a platform release. Linden, whose script credits include We Are Marshall and Dear John, wrote the script for a film that was inspired by his own high school reunion. The film has a cast of up-and-comers that includes Channing Tatum, Anthony Mackie, Lynn Collins, Rosario Dawson, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Brian Geraghty, Ari Graynor, Oscar Isaac, Ron Livingston, Justin Long, Kate Mara, Max Minghella, Aubrey Plaza, Scott Porter, and Chris Pratt.
The film tells a Big Chill-style story about a group of friends who reunite and assess where they find themselves and what they hope to accomplish in the future. The film was produced by Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, and Iron Horse Entertainment’s Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin. Eric Gores, Scott Lumpkin and Frank Mancuso Jr were exec producers. Gores and Mancuso’s Boss Media funded the film and the Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group made the deal with Anchor Bay president Bill Clark and Kevin Kasha, exec veep of acquisitions and co-productions.
Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and already there are fireworks. Deadline broke news yesterday that Harvey Weinstein would start a VOD business, making the acquisitions market for fringe films more competitive; and last night, I heard that a bidding battle had already broken out for the Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which should be sold by the time it screens Sunday. Fox Searchlight is the favorite, Sony Pictures Classics is in the mix and I’ve heard that The Weinstein Company is hovering. Bidding began right after its Telluride screening, and the mid-six figures thrown around yesterday will probably go higher. That’s huge, considering the movie is an unabashed NC-17, McQueen has final cut, and the sex-obsessed protagonist is unlikable. Oh, yeah, and the sellers want it released this year for Oscar consideration to capitalize on Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan’s Oscar-caliber performances.
Does this mean we’re in for a drunken buying frenzy? Hardly, buyers tell me. They are eager to see the films, but say there’s no title here that’s going to guarantee somebody will overpay. They are also mindful that many of last year’s deals turned out to be box office busts. More deals will be made than … Read More »
Fox is adding more big-screen star power to new comedy series New Girl, which is toplined by indie darling Zooey Deschanel. In his first major TV role since his breakthrough gig on NBC’s Ed, Justin Long has signed on for a 3-episode arc opposite Deschanel on New Girl. The 20th TV-produced series centers on Jess (Deschanel), an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Starting with Episode 6, Long will play Paul, a music teacher and Jess’ love interest. The casting stems from Long’s longstanding relationship with New Girl creator/executive producer Liz Meriwether. After his co-starring role on the NBC dramedy Ed, Long switched to features full-time (and those Mac-PC commercials). His only notable TV series appearances since was in an 2006 episode of That ’70s Show, which, like New Girl, aired on Fox.
EXCLUSIVE: Not long ago, newcomer Oscar Isaac tested for Tony Gilroy and the lead role in Universal’s The Bourne Legacy and made such a strong impression that the director seriously considered giving the actor the lead role that went to Jeremy Renner. Well, Isaac has just landed the role of “Number 3,” another brainwashed assassin in the film, and it’s a major role in the movie that Gilroy will direct. Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton are also expected to star in The Bourne Identity spinoff. Isaac is about to wrap filming on Steel Town, the Walden Media drama that also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis. He was most recently seen in Sucker Punch and stars in the Nic Refn-directed Drive opposite Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. He also stars in the Madonna-directed W.E., and stars in Ten Year with Channing Tatum, Anthony Mackie, Justin Long and Rosario Dawson. He’s repped by UTA and Inspire Entertainment.
Justin Long, Jess Weixler, Tyler Labine and Californication‘s Addison Timlin head the cast of Lumpy, an indie film just getting underway in Minnesota. Michael Landes, Evan Jones and Shelley Long costar in the directorial debut of Ted Koland, who wrote the script. The film begins with a wedding in Arizona, where the groom (Long) and bride (Weixler) find their nuptials heightened by their life of the party best man, Lumpy (Labine). That’s until he dies at the end of the evening. As the couple cancels their honeymoon and heads back to Minneapolis to arrange a funeral, they slowly learn that Lumpy wasn’t who they thought he was. The film’s being produced by David Abbitt, Jen Roskind and Sharyn Steele. Koland has done extensive work writing and producing TV before taking his feature shot with Lumpy.
EXCLUSIVE: Justin Long has formed I’m So Sorry Productions with partners Keir O’Donnell and Christian Long. There’s no apology needed for their early progress: they’ve sold a half-hour sitcom to CBS and CBS Television Studios in a preemptive deal; they’ve got producers Joe Roth and Palak Patel shopping their feature spec script A Case Of You as a star vehicle for Long; and they’ve sold the online series Fanfare to College Humor and will begin shooting episodes next month of a series that recreates bizarre encounters between fans and celebrities.
The CBS sitcom is about two high school science teachers–an endearing degenerate and a socially awkward misanthrope–who live together and have to balance contrasting lifestyles and school jobs. Long and his partners will write and exec produce. Electus’ Ben Silverman and Principato-Young’s Paul Young and Peter Principato will also be exec producers. The feature spec written by the trio is the story of a young writer (Long) who pursues his ideal girl with the help of her online profile. After he starts a relationship, the guy has to figure out how to keep up the facade he’s created that allows him to appear her perfect match. Roth is out to financiers.
The company formation comes while Long is shooting back-to-back movies. He’s … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s an early peek at a director’s test done by Dear John and We Are Marshall scribe Jamie Linden for Ten Year, an ensemble feature film he has written about a 10-year high school reunion. The short features such familiar faces as Channing Tatum, Kate Mara, The Hurt Locker‘s Brian Geraghty, and Haylie Duff. Other twentysomething actors who are circling roles in the four other story lines for the feature include Anna Faris, Chris Pratt and Justin Long. The picture is being put together by Twilight Saga producers Temple Hill, and they are currently shopping the director’s test to get financing for Linden to make his directing debut. Temple Hill worked with both Linden and Tatum in Dear John, and Tatum and his 33 And Out partner Reid Carolin have been very involved in the Ten Year effort. I’m told that several financiers and distributors are angling, but that if the right deal doesn’t materialize, Temple Hill may cash flow the picture as it did for the Dan Rush-directed Everything Must Go, the $5 million Will Ferrell-starrer which got a distribution deal with Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
SATURDAY PM/SUNDAY AM 3RDUPDATE: Late shows made the difference after a sluggish Friday box office, especially for matinees. But attendance picked up dramatically on Saturday, as much as +24%-to-+38%, allowing a clear winner for the 3-day weekend to emerge, Focus Features’ The American starring George Clooney with $12.9M. Sony’s holdover Takers was close behind Saturday. But Machete from Robert Rodriguez should finish the 3-day weekend with $11.3M, good enough for 2nd place. Here are Friday, Saturday, and estimated Labor Day holiday weekend grosses for North America. Analysis coming:
1. The American (Focus Features) NEW [2,823 Theaters] Opened Wed
Friday $3.8M, Saturday $4.9M, 3-Day Weekend $13.3M, Est 4-Day Holiday $16.1M, Est Cume $19.2M
This is the way a Clooney picture should be sold from now on. Even though early exits show that attendance was partly driven by the “George Clooney factor”, he just can’t muster wide domestic appeal even if he is still a big name on the international scene. Focus Features marketed Clooney’s The American to his core +35 adult audience as the more cerebral and sophisticated choice that was a counterprogramming alternative to the summer’s mindless crap. (Focus did the same with 2005′s The Constant Gardener.) Problem is, moviegoers didn’t like what they saw: the CinemaScore was a poor “D-”. Focus execs say Control helmer Anton Corbijn’s performance exceeded internal projections which undoubtedly it did. But a star of … Read More »