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‘Bachelorette’ Duo Leslye Headland, Kirsten Dunst Enlist Jason Sudeikis For ‘Sleeping With Other People’

By | Tuesday September 10, 2013 @ 10:30am PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Bachelorette writer-director Leslye Headland is re-teaming with Kirsten Dunst and Gary Sanchez Productions on Sleeping With Other People, a co-production between Gary Sanchez and IM Global. Jason Sudeikis, who left Saturday Night Live and starred in the summer hit We’re The Millers, will play the male lead. He’s separately set to reprise in Horrible Bosses 2.

Sudeikis plays a good-natured womanizer who befriends a remorseful serial cheater (Dunst). Their platonic relationship reforms their chronic infidelity but sparks an inconvenient romantic attraction to each other. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Jessica Elbaum are producing. CAA packaged the film and will rep U.S. rights, while IM Global is handling international rights. Bachelorette, an edgy comedy that premiered at Sundance, became a multi-platform success through Radius.

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Toronto: IM Global To Launch Justin Bieber Doc ‘Believe’ From ‘Never Say Never’ Helmer

EXCLUSIVE: Gearing up for Toronto, IM Global chief Stuart Ford says the company is “engineering its usual full-on assault on the marketplace.” Ford is currently in Venice in support of Ti West’s The Sacrament and Steven Knight’s Tom Hardy-starrer Locke. Both of those films are part of an abundant Toronto slate that’s spread across the outfit’s different labels. Among the brand new movies on the lineup are Justin Bieber’s Believe, which will screen for select buyers in Toronto. Jon M. Chu, who helmed hit concert film Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never, directed Believe in what was an under the radar operation. IM Global’s wide release label Opus is handling worldwide sales and Open Road is releasing domestically. The documentary mixes in concert footage to trace Bieber’s path to becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Read More »

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Warner Bros Sets Kirsten Dunst For ‘Midnight Special’

By | Monday August 12, 2013 @ 3:14pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has set Kirsten Dunst to play the female lead in Midnight Special. She will star opposite Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton in the Jeff Nichols-directed film. In the film, a father and his 8-year old go on the run when dad realizes the boy has some kind of special powers. Nichols, who last helmed Mud, wrote the script. She’s repped by UTA and Management 360. Dunst was most recently seen in Melancholia and Bachelorette, On The Road and Upside Down.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Upside Down’

By | Tuesday January 29, 2013 @ 5:50pm PST

Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess are star-crossed lovers separated by class, wealth, and a pair of side by side planets whose gravities are mutually incompatible in Upside Down, the second feature from French-Argentinian director Juan Diego Solanas. More than two years after wrapping in late 2010, the ambitious science fantasy romance, made for only $50M, will finally get a limited North American platform release beginning March 15. A dual production by Studio 37 and Onyx Films, Upside Down is distributed by Millennium Entertainment.

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On The Road To Awards Season? Kerouac Book Finally Makes It To The Screen After 55 Years – Cannes

Pete Hammond

Critics may have been mixed after this morning’s press screening,  but the World Premiere audience at Wednesday night’s Cannes gala of director Walter Salles’ long-gestating film  On The Road was highly enthusiastic giving the film about the Beat Generation a 10 minute standing ovation. Co-producer Rebecca Yeldham said it was sweet justification for the 8 years she has been shepherding the picture with Salles. I caught up with her and the cast at the ultra-crowded after-party next door to the Palais at the oddly-named club, Magic Garden Meets LeBaron.  The film based on the famous 1957 classic book by Jack Kerouac (actually written in 1951) has had several people attempt a film version with no luck and it has taken 55 years to get to the screen. Kerouac himself even sent it to Marlon Brando right after publication  but never got a response. Francis Ford Coppola eventually secured the rights over 30 years ago but couldn’t come up with a way to make the complex film work. Finally Salles and his The Motorcycle Diaries screenwriter Jose Rivera cracked the code and after some false starts finally got the job done (Roman Coppola is also a producer on the film for American Zoetrope). IFC and Sundance Selects will distribute the film but it won’t be part of their VOD platform, but rather a major theatrical release. IFC’s and Sundance Selects President Jonathan Sehring, also at the party , said he couldn’t be higher on the film and they plan to open it in December and … Read More »

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‘Melancholia’ Named Best Picture By National Society Of Film Critics

By | Saturday January 7, 2012 @ 12:55pm PST

UPDATED: Lars von Trier’s Melancholia is the big winner as the National Society of Film Critics unveiled its awards today. The film took best picture honors, and star Kirsten Dunst was selected best actress as she was at the Cannes Film Festival. The drama beat out Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life for the top honor, according to the group’s vote total, followed by the Iranian film A Separation; Malick did win best director. Brad Pitt was voted best actor for Moneyball and Tree Of Life. Here’s the full list of winners:

BEST ACTOR
*1. Brad Pitt – 35 (Moneyball, The Tree Of Life)
2. Gary Oldman – 22 (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
3. Jean Dujardin – 19 (The Artist)

BEST ACTRESS
*1. Kirsten Dunst – 39 (Melancholia)
2. Yun Jung-hee – 25 (Poetry)
3. Meryl Streep – 20 (The Iron Lady)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
*1. Albert Brooks – 38 (Drive)
2. Christopher Plummer – 24 (Beginners)
3. Patton Oswalt – 19 (Young Adult)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
*1. Jessica Chastain – 30 (The Tree Of Life, Take Shelter, The Help)
2. Jeannie Berlin – 19 (Margaret)
3. Shailene Woodley – 17 (The Descendants)

BEST PICTURE
*1. Melancholia – 29 (Lars von Trier)
2. The Tree Of Life – 28 (Terrence Malick)
3. A Separation – 20 (Asghar Farhadi)

BEST DIRECTOR
*1. Terrence Malick – 31 (The Tree Of Life)
2. Martin Scorsese – 29 (Hugo)
3. Lars von Trier – 23 (Melancholia) Read More »

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Kirsten Dunst, Orlando Bloom Join Indie Feature ‘Cities’

By | Friday October 28, 2011 @ 4:57pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom have joined Clive Owen and Anil Kapoor in Cities, the international thriller being directed by Roger Donaldson. Matthew Metcalfe and Chris Curting are producing. The film is a cautionary tale about greed and ambition that takes place in the exuberant months leading up to the Dow Jones all-time stock market high. Fortunes, both big and small are put at risk as people around the globe gamble that the financial market’s meteoric rise will continue. In New York, a hedge fund manager (Owen) has everything he wants – money, sex and power, but he wants more.  In London, a young couple just want to buy their first home, but it seems impossibly out of reach. In Mumbai, a cop fights against corruption between property speculators and his villainous colleague Seth (Kapoor). These stories will all dramatically collide in a world where the fortunes of individuals are interwoven with the lives of others across the globe they have never even met. Dunst and Bloom starred together in Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown.

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Toronto: As Magnolia Turns 10, Owner Todd Wagner Says It’s Not For Sale And That VOD Strategy Is Thriving

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Along with everything else about the 2001 Toronto Film Festival, the launch of Magnolia Pictures was quickly forgotten on September 11, as co-founder Eamonn Bowles and other indie film execs scrambled to find ways to get home. Magnolia marked its 10th anniversary at 2011 Toronto. While the company still doesn’t carry the profile of some other indie distributors, Bowles and co-owner Todd Wagner said their model — mixing traditional indie theatrical distribution with emerging digital technology — has made them distinctive and profitable. VOD revenues now often outpace theatrical for Magnolia films, and they return profit to filmmakers because of low P&A spends. Bowles and Wagner have been honing the VOD model since they were branded charlatans by theater chains in 2005 when Steven Soderbergh’s micro-budget film Bubble was released simultaneously on movie screens, VOD and DVD. Wagner and partner Mark Cuban put Magnolia and other film assets under the 2929 Entertainment banner on the selling block earlier this year, but pulled them back when they didn’t get a high price. Wagner said he’s staying.

Magnolia releases 35-40 films each year now, with upcoming releases that include the 2011 Toronto title Melancholia (which got Lars von Trier banned by Cannes for making dumb pro-Nazi comments). Some Magnolia efforts follow a theatrical release cycle, others go direct to DVD. But VOD has increasingly become the distributor’s calling card and Wagner said proof of its viability came when Harvey Weinstein poached Magnolia execs Tom Quinn and Jason Janego to start a VOD venture for The Weinstein Company.

“Harvey’s been in the industry forever, and he thought it was a good enough model to hire some of our folks away,” Wagner told me. “I’m flattered. There are other people doing this now, from IFC to John Sloss. To me, it’s validation that we’ve hit on something. But we’ve got an advantage, a unique collection of assets in the Landmark Theater chain, a home video division, and HDNet. The big theater chains still absolutely won’t play Ultra VOD titles, so having a theater chain is helpful. As is having the television network for the relationships it has made us with all the MSO’s. These synergies allow us to be freewheeling in how we license content. And producers are coming back to us with films because we are cutting them checks. That rarely happens elsewhere because of all the P&A that stands in front of them.” Read More »

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Adam Scott Stars In Indie Comedy ‘A.C.O.D.’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Adam Scott has been set to star in A.C.O.D., with Stuart Zicherman making his directorial debut on a script he wrote with Ben Karlin. The project is being financed and produced by Black Bear Pictures, which is currently in production with an untitled Ramin Bahrani-directed pic that stars Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid.

The title, A.C.O.D., is an acronym for Adult Children of Divorce, and Scott plays a thirty-ish man who was forced at an early age to be the adult of his family when his parents split bitterly. Fed up dealing with his parents’ long running feud, he must get his folks together once more time and keep from blowing a gasket after his younger brother unexpectedly decides to get married. Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman is producing with Karlin (who co-created The Colbert Report) and Tim Perell. The film will shoot in March, and Scott will work it into his schedule starring in the NBC sitcom Parks and Rec. Read More »

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CANNES: Hammond Analysis, Jury Explains Their Vote, Winners Talk

Pete Hammond

CANNES AWARD SHOCKER: Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree Of Life’ Wins Palme d’Or

In the end, it was the movie that has been the most talked about over the past two Cannes Film Festivals, so it was probably preordained, even in a great year for movies like this one has been, that Terrence Malick’s epic dissertation on life  would win the big prize, the Palme d’Or, and so it has. But Malick wasn’t there to accept for The Tree of Life, and instead producers Bill Pohlad and Dede Gardner took the stage, saying he was too shy to show, a line they first used in their post-screening press conference and later tonight at a post-awards news conference. They were joined at the press confab by a jubilant Patrick Wachsberger of Summit, who has been handling international distribution, and EuropaCorp’s Luc Besson. Pohlad said he talked to Malick just before the show and said, “I think there’s a chance we might win something.” Gardner said Malick told her he would have thanked his wife and parents if he were there, but of course he wasn’t there. Earlier in the week at the premiere, he skipped the news conference and the red carpet but appeared in the theatre to take applause and see the film. The Tree of Life was the sole competition entry to be designated as American, even though two other winners … Read More »

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CANNES AWARDS SHOCKER: Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree Of Life’ Wins Palme d’Or

Pete Hammond

Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, which just handed out its awards. The reclusive director did not attend the ceremony, and the award was picked up by producers Bill Pohlad and Dede Gardner. The meditative drama starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain and Sean Penn received a mixed reaction when it had its world premiere in competition this week, a year after it was supposed to appear at the festival. Fox Searchlight opens the film in the U.S. on May 27. Here is the full list of winners, with an analysis coming later today:

Official Competition
Palme d’Or: The Tree Of Life (dir: Terrence Malick)
Grand Prix (Runner-up to main award): (tie) Kid With A Bike (dir: Dardenne brothers), Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Mise en Scene (Best Director): Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)
Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)
Prix du Scenario (Screenplay): Joseph Cedar, Footnote (Israel)
Prix Du Jury: Poliss (dir: Maiwenn)

Also:
Palme d’Or Court Metrage: Cross Country (dir: Maryna Vroda)
Camera d’Or (Best First Film): Las Acasias (dir: Pablo Giorgelli)

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CANNES: Watch Lars Von Trier’s Meltdown

By | Thursday May 19, 2011 @ 6:36am PDT
Mike Fleming

Here’s a video look at Melancholia director Lars von Trier trying to be humorous during the press conference with some of the comments that got him banned from the Cannes Film Festival this morning. Poor Kirsten Dunst looks like she wants to melt through the floorboards as von Trier just can’t bring himself to stop digging a hole he and his film might find it difficult to climb out of.

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CANNES UPDATE: Lars Von Trier Apologizes After Saying During Press Conference That He’s A Nazi And Sympathizes With Hitler “A Bit”

By | Wednesday May 18, 2011 @ 9:30am PDT
Pete Hammond

UPDATE: 9:30 AM: Now director Lars von Trier has issued an apology: “If I have hurt someone this morning by the words I said at the press conference, I sincerely apologize. I am not anti-semitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi.”

PREVIOUS, 9:05 AM: The Cannes Film Festival has just issued a press release saying it was disturbed by von Trier’s comments and asked for an explanation from the Danish director, who it said has apologized.

The Festival de Cannes was disturbed about the statements made by Lars von Trier in his press conference this morning in Cannes. Therefore the Festival asked him to provide an explanation for his comments.

The director states that he let himself be egged on by a provocation. He presents his apology.

The direction of the Festival acknowledges this and is passing on Lars von Trier’s apology. The Festival is adamant that it would never allow the event to become the forum for such pronouncements on such subjects.

PREVIOUS, 6:31 AM: As usual, you can leave it to Danish director Lars von Trier to make waves. But now enough may be enough. Participating in the Cannes Film Festival for the 11th time,

the controversial helmer set more than a few mouths agape at a press conference following the 8:30 AM press screening of his latest opus, Melancholia. Because, asked at one point about his German roots — though he was actually born in Copenhagen in 1956 — he jumped right in with the kind of “Is he putting us on or what?” abandon he is known for:

“For a long time I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew, then I met Susanne Bier [fellow Danish director and this year's Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film] and I wasn’t so happy. But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family was German. That also gave me pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler. I sympathize with him a bit.”

Then, in the spirit of Mel Gibson, who wisely skipped The Beaver press conference yesterday, thereby dodging bullets of this type that come up from a room full of international press, von Trier kept on going:

“I don’t mean I’m in favor of World War II and I’m not against Jews, not even Susanne Bier. In fact I’m very much in favor of them. All Jews. Well, Israel is a pain in the ass [pause] … How can I get out of this sentence? OK, I’m a Nazi.” Read More »

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CANNES: Weinstein Company Near Deal For ‘Wettest County’ While Distribs Fret Over Buying Pics Sight-Unseen

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company, already on a Cannes acquisition spree, has emerged as the clear frontrunner for  domestic distribution rights on The Wettest County in the World, after another all-night bargaining session between Harvey Weinstein’s acquisition team and CAA. I’m told a deal is very close. Considering how many distributors showed interest going into the weekend, it might  seem surprising that the Wettest County in the World has taken this long. Relativity Media had been the favorite all weekend since posting the highest bid, north of $5 million. I heard they got word from the producers last night that it wasn’t going to happen with them. I suspect what gave TWC the edge is its awards season experience, and a relationship that is growing between Harvey Weinstein and Megan Ellison, who financed the picture with Michael Benaroya. Ellison just sold to Weinstein world rights to the untitled Paul Thomas Anderson-directed film, which starts production next month with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix starring. I believe that The Wettest County in the World will get a platform release at year end, and open wide in early 2012.

The behind the scenes drama that has been going on all weekend illustrates the predicament for distributors on the Croisette who are trying to maintain some discipline in the closest thing to a sellers market that Cannes has seen in years. Buyers in this case wanted some control over a film that is done … Read More »

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