With the openings of Draft Day and Joe this weekend we suddenly re-discover two Oscar winners from the ’90s who have found their groove again after years of cinematic disappointments. I can’t remember the last time either Kevin Costner and especially Nicolas Cage delivered performances worthy of their prime as Costner does in Summit’s Draft Day and Cage does in Roadside Attractions’ Joe. Both come from companies associated with Lionsgate and hopefully both will find some sort of audience this weekend as they reaffirm the power of great actors in the right role.
Costner, who won Oscars for directing and producing Dances With Wolves in 1990, is right in his wheelhouse playing the general manager who has the opportunity to turn a hapless Cleveland Browns football team around with a No. 1 draft pick of a hot Heisman Trophy winner. It’s reminiscent not only of Moneyball but more importantly, of the kind of sports-oriented movies like Bull Durham and Field Of Dreams that made him a star in the first place. And Cage, is playing a combustible ex-con who becomes a surrogate father figure to a troubled teen (Tye Sheridan) in the Southern-set drama Joe. Cage turns down his usual volume of late to deliver a performance of power and poignancy in a film that has much in common with last April’s surprise indie hit Mud (also from Roadside and also co-starring Sheridan) but even more akin to the 1953 George Stevens classic Shane. It is perhaps his best screen acting since winning the Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas almost 20 years ago. And from what I can tell, both these stars clearly know they have again hit their mark. Read More »
In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom talk about the highlights in this year’s TCM Classic Film Fest, which opens tonight with a beautifully restored version of the 1955 musical Oklahoma, among many other treasures. David and Pete also mark the passing of Mickey Rooney, whose film career spanned nearly nine decades before his death this week.
Pete also gives his take on the weekend’s notable movie debuts, led by two films featuring the strongest performances in years from Oscar winners Kevin Costner (in Draft Day) and Nicolas Cage (in Joe). Pete and David also talk about the weekend’s likely box-office champ, the animated sequel Rio 2, and a thoughtful revenge drama, The Railway Man featuring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.
Listen to the podcast in your choice of formats here:
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 69 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 69 (.M4A version)
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Not much choice but to buy ad time during the Super Bowl for Summit Entertainment‘s Draft Day, the Ivan Reitman-directed pic about an NFL franchise and its beleaguered GM that risks it all during the draft in order to save football in Cleveland (no, this is not a … Read More »
As the NFL regular season heads into its final week, Summit has suited up the first trailer for its football flick. Kevin Costner stars in Draft Day as the employment-imperiled general manager of the Cleveland Browns, who tries to wheel and deal his way into the … Read More »
McG‘s darkly comic action thriller follows a Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) who comes out of retirement for one last mission in exchange for access to an experimental drug –administered by Amber Heard — that could save his life. Hallucinatory action ensues as he tries to complete the … Read More »
The McG-directed action thriller starring Kevin Costner had been slated for the busy Valentine’s Day slot but now will open February 21. Three Days To Kill faces a much less crowded opening field led … Read More »
Motion picture and television talent agent/manager J.J. Harris died of what is believed to be natural causes on Friday afternoon and was found today in her Beverly Hills home by her staff. She was 62. Always classy … Read More »
Here’s a reason for some of us to feel old. Could it really be 30 years ago since The Big Chill, the saga of yuppies reconnecting, pouring out angst and bed hopping to Motown songs? The Toronto Film Festival will bring back the cast and crew of a film … Read More »
Following on the heels of his successful Hatfields & McCoys miniseries, Kevin Costner continues to expand his reach into television. Costner and his Treehouse Films have entered a first-look deal with Sea To Sky Entertainment, the TV production and distribution joint venture between Lionsgate and Frank Giustra’s Thunderbird Films, the two companies announced today. Under the pact, Costner, along with Treehouse creative exec Jasa McCall, will develop and produce scripted programming, which Costner may also direct and/or act in, depending on the project. “Hatfields & McCoys was an extraordinary achievement, and when we learned that Kevin wanted to expand his activities in television, we were immediately interested in meeting with him,” said Kevin Beggs, president of Lionsgate Television Group. “We’re excited about the ideas he wants to pursue and delighted to be in business together.” Read More »
BREAKING…Kevin Costner is in negotiations to star in Midnight Delivery for Universal Pictures. Neil Cross, who co-wrote Universal’s Mama and is creator of the BBC series Luther, has written the screenplay in his latest tie-up with … Read More »
Relativity said it will release the Kevin Costner pic currently titled Three Days To Kill on February 14th, 2014. McG directed the script by Luc Besson and Adi Hasak and Hailee Steinfeld, Amber Heard, and Connie Nielsen … Read More »
Deadline revealed last week that Kevin Costner was going to reteam with Upside Of Anger helmer Mike Binder on Black And White. IM Global has confirmed the scoop, adding that The Help‘s Octavia Spencer will also be in the cast. Here’s the official release:
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EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Costner has been set to re-team with Upside Of Anger helmer Mike Binder in Black And White, an indie that Costner will star in and produce through his Treehouse Productions banner. The film will be done in co-production with Binder’s Sunlight Productions, and Todd Lewis. Shooting begins in New Orleans this summer. In the Binder-scripted drama, Costner plays a grandfather, widowed after the car crash death of his wife, who has raised his own bi-racial granddaughter since his daughter died in childbirth. The child’s paternal grandmother surfaces to wage a custody battle over the little girl, and the thrust becomes about race and where she should grow up. Read More »
Summit and OddLot Entertainment’s dramedy Draft Day began filming today in New York, timed to the real NFL Draft that begins Thursday at Radio City Music Hall. Kevin Costner stars alongside Jennifer Garner, Ellen Burstyn, Denis Leary and Frank Langella as the GM of the Cleveland Browns who tries to trade up for the first pick and save football in the city. The pic is directed and produced by Ivan Reitman from a Black List script by Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman. 42 star Chadwick Boseman has a small role as former star college player, and Terry Crews, Sean Combs, Josh Pence, Rosanna Arquette, Timothy Simons, David Ramsey, Wade Williams, Chi McBride, W. Earl Brown, Brad Henke, Griffin Newman, Kevin Dunn, Patrick St. Esprit, Arian Foster, Christopher Cousins, Pat Healy, Laura Steinel and Wallace Langham are also aboard. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Hailee Steinfeld, who burst on the scene with an Oscar-nominated turn in True Grit, has landed the lead role opposite Kevin Costner in the untitled action film that McG will direct for Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and Relativity Media. Scripted by Besson and Adi Hasak under the title Three Days To Kill, the film stars Costner as a Service agent who discovers he’s dying. Before he goes, he attempts to complete a final mission, and reconnect with his estranged daughter. He’s also taking an experimental drug that could prolong his life, and that adds complexity to the ticking clock because of the drug’s hallucinatory side effects. Besson and Virginie Besson-Silla are producing with Hasak and Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh. Tucker Tooley’s exec producer. Read More »
UPDATE: I am hearing now that Paramount Pictures is pursuing the Tom Cruise-attached Our Name Is Adam. My bet is that the studio makes the deal. The price tag is high, but Paramount brass is doing everything they can to make the numbers work before their first look expires and others get a shot at it. In fact, they are in an exclusive negotiation now so I expect this will result in another film for Paramount and Cruise, beyond the revived Mission:Impossible franchise, Jack Reacher and possibly Top Gun 2, those three a co-production between Paramount and Skydance. Stay tuned.
EARLIER, 8:32 pm EDT EXCLUSIVE: There has been some heavy decision-making going on lately at Paramount Pictures. After the studio added the Oscar-bait Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio pic The Wolf Of Wall Street to its late 2013 slate, Paramount has just made a free agent out of its NFL-themed film Draft Day, putting in turnaround a film that has Kevin Costner attached to star and Ivan Reitman to direct. At the same time, the studio seems likely to take a pass on Our Name Is Adam, the T.S. Nowlin-scripted science fiction pic that our sister publication Daily Variety reported has Tom Cruise circling.
Let’s take each one separately. Reitman and partner Tom Pollock developed the Moneyball-esque Draft Day, the fictional account of the events that take place on a draft day for the perennial also-ran Buffalo Bills. Costner would play the team’s GM, but timing is a major challenge for this film.
Paramount chose not to make it in the small window that Reitman has before he is expected to finally get the long-gestating Ghostbusters reboot in front of the cameras next summer for Sony Pictures (sans Bill Murray). Costner–who has made more quality sports films than any active actor–Field of Dreams, Tin Cup, Bull Durham and For Love Of The Game–is also very busy. He’s filming the Jack Ryan relaunch, and after that he has the Luc Besson pic Three Days To Kill, about a dying assassin who has a short window to clean up professional and personal loose ends. It would be tough to find room to squeeze in the football film and finish before Reitman goes back to Ghostbusters duty. Read More »