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 by Sony TriStar’s volcanic actioner Pompeii. The film from Relativity and Luc Besson’s Europacorp centers on an elite government hitman (Costner) who finds out he has a terminal disease and decides to give up his high-stakes life to build a relationship with his estranged wife and daughter, whom he’s kept at arm’s length to keep out of danger. But when his agency offers him an experimental, potentially life-saving drug in exchange for one last mission, it’s an offer he can’t refuse — even if he must go after the world’s most ruthless terrorist while babysitting his daughter. Three Days To Kill was written by Besson and Adi Hasak and co-stars Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld and Connie Nielsen.
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 …
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.”
EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), Andre Holland (42), and comedian/actor Bill Burr (The Heat) have joined the cast of Black and White, the indie drama that re-teams Kevin Costner with his Upside Of Anger director Mike Binder. Costner stars as a grieving widower fighting for custody of his bi-racial granddaughter with the girl’s paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) and his drug addict son-in-law (Holland), who he blames for his own daughter’s death. Racial tension and bitterness erupt as they wage battle over the child. Binder wrote the script, his first feature drama since 2007′s Reign Over Me. In addition to Ehle, Holland, and Burr, Mpho Koaho and newcomer Jillian Estell round out the cast. Filming begins Monday in New Orleans.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Paramount In Talks For Tom Cruise Pic ‘Our Name Is Adam,’ But Studio Punts Ivan Reitman/Kevin Costner’s ‘Draft Day’
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.
File this one under, exclusive, my ass. Back in early August, Deadline broke the story that Kevin Costner would star in Three Days to Kill, and also told you that McG was going to direct and Relativity Media would …
Kevin Costner Makes Atria Book Deal For ‘The Explorers Guild’, Eyes Series And Films For Epic Series
BREAKING: Kevin Costner is at the center of a world rights deal made with Atria Books for The Explorers Guild, an epic serialized illustrated adventure novel series that Costner hopes will transfer to multiple platforms including a feature film that he will star in and produce. The first book in the series, The Explorers Guild, Volume One: A Passage To Shambhala, will be published in 2014.
Costner told me he feels the book has the sweep of adventure classics he grew up reading, including Arabian Nights and The Red Badge Of Courage. He’s producing and developing the book with writer and art director Jon Baird, and it will be heavily illustrated by Rick Ross. The hope is to create a series that will have resonance for both a young-adult and mature audience.
Publishing is a new foray, but Costner is no stranger to sprawling historical-based projects, from Dances With Wolves to the recent Emmy-nominated History miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, which he starred in and produced. The Explorers Guild is a clandestine group of adventurers who seek out the places where light gives way to shadow, and reason is usurped by myth. The secrets of this unknown world are hidden in mountain ranges and lost in deserts, sunk to the ocean floor and lodged deep beneath polar ice. The aim of The Explorers Guild: to discover the mysteries that lie beyond the boundaries of the known world. The first adventure is set against the backdrop of World War I and revolves around the quest to find the mythic Buddhist city Shambhala. Guild members are looking for different things there: one hopes to save his brother’s life, another looks for spiritual enlightenment and peace; others fear it will bring mankind to the brink of apocalypse. The search includes treks to the Polar North, the Mongolian deserts and underground canals of Asia to the Himalayas.
Paramount’s ‘Jack Ryan’ Resurrecting Tom Clancy’s Hero Finally Set For 4th Quarter 2013; Keira Knightley Cast As Chris Pine’s Love Interest; Prequel Story Starts Trilogy
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline can now confirm the cast for this long gestating, highly anticipated action thriller that will be the first of an anticipated franchise trilogy. It resurrects the popular Tom Clancy character of CIA analyst Jack Ryan last seen on film in 2002 and now played by Chris Pine in the role already made famous by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. After various starts and stops, bad luck and good fortune, Deadline also has learned that Jack Ryan finally has come together for a release in the 4th quarter of 2013.
Paramount chose to wait for Pine to complete the second installment of Star Trek in this contemporized original prequel story that picks up Ryan before he joined the CIA. (Paramount long ago locked in Pine after he played Captain Kirk.) His love interest and the female lead is Keira Knightley. Paramount was intensely searching because it’s a high profile role — an older version of the character was played by Anne Archer in the Harrison Ford films — and involves options that would potentially put the actress in three pictures.
As Deadline previously reported, Kevin Costner has an invented but key role as does the film’s director Kenneth Branagh who will play the Russian villain plotting to wreck the U.S. economy. Paramount began talks with the Thor helmer to replace the once-attached Jack Bender. Paramount courted Costner to become a linchpin in not only Jack Ryan but also the spinoff franchise Without Remorse based on Clancy’s 1993 novel. (The studio is now courting The Dark Knight Rises villain Tom Hardy to star, with Christopher McQuarrie rewriting to direct.) The deal that came together envisions Costner potentially headlining his own film as William Harper, a true blue American idealist who recruits and mentors both Ryan and John Kelly from Without Remorse. Kelly later becomes CIA operative Clark.
Paramount like every studio is looking to build tentpoles and has a good opportunity for more than one here by cross-pollinating characters Ryan and Clark like The Avengers successfully keeps doing.
Branagh recently described the movie as “an original story that allows us to understand how Jack Ryan develops into a CIA analyst, before joining, and perhaps even joining, the CIA. It’s a very contemporary action thriller set in the here and now.” its launching point is mentioned in Clancy’s The Hunt For Red October book and film: a terrifying helicopter crash that nearly killed Ryan when he was a 23-year-old Marines platoon leader and the only member to survive.
Paramount Pictures and co-financier Skydance Productions went top shelf to get the franchise relaunch to the starting line and hired David Koepp for 7-figures to redraft the script by Adam Cozad known as Moscow. Cozad was a screenwriter without a screen credit and yet now is in the middle of some of the bigger projects in town.
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline told you two weeks ago that Paramount was courting Kevin Costner to play a key role opposite Chris Pine in the Kenneth Branagh-directed Jack Ryan film. I’m told that Costner has now accepted and they are working …