Twins Maggie and Milo have been estranged for a decade, but a surprise reunion has them re-examining their lives and relationship in this R-rated dramedy. Longtime Saturday Night Live colleagues Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader star as the titular sibs in The Skeleton Twins, which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman. Johnson also directed. Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell and Boyd Holbrook co-star. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will open the film, which counts the Duplass brother among its exec producers, in theaters on September 19 — the same day fellow SNL veteran Tina Fey’s This Is Where I Leave You bows wide. Here’s a look:
While Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo declined to make a sequel to their comedy hit Bridesmaids, they have made a TriStar deal for an original comedy they’re writing for the former Saturday Night Live star to make her directing debut. Tom Rothman’s company announced they will star as best friends who find themselves in over their heads and out of their depths, which were, perhaps, not too deep to begin with. Mumolo recently wrote the film on Miracle Mop lady Joy Mangano for Fox 2000, which David O Russell will direct with Jennifer Lawrence starring. Wiig will next be seen opposite fellow former SNL castmember Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins, which premiered at Sundance. She and Mumolo got Oscar noms for their Bridesmaids script.
Sundance: Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions, Sony Pictures Worldwide Pay $3.5 Million For ‘Skeleton Twins’
In separate deals that add up to $3.5 million and likely the biggest total so far for a film at the Sundance Film Festival, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions bought domestic rights, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions bought the rest of the world on The Skeleton Twins, the Craig Johnson-directed film that stars Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell and Kathleen Rose Perkins. Former Saturday Night Live co-stars Hader and Wiig play estranged twins who reunite and look back over their lives after they cheat death on the same day. Lionsgate/Roadside takes U.S., SPWA gets other worldwide rights. They plan to release it late summer. This gives Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions a shot at redemption after Robert Redford singled them out for not pushing him for Oscars for All Is Lost.
I’ve heard strong reaction for a breakout turn by Hader, who plays a suicidal sibling in a role that is way more serious than the characters he became known for playing expertly on SNL. The film is produced by Stephanie Langhoff, Jennifer Lee and Jacob Pechenik, and the film got its first screening last Saturday at the Library Theater. ICM and UTA brokered the deal for the film that is in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.
Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgard and Bel Powley have joined the cast of the pic from first-time writer-director Marielle Heller. Caviar and Cold Iron Pictures have come aboard to finance and produce The Diary of a Teenage Girl, based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel. The 1970s-set film, which is filming in San Francisco, follows a brutally honest teenage artist (Powley, in her U.S. feature debut) as she attempts to navigate her way through an affair with her mother’s boyfriend. Bert Hamelinck and Madeline Samit of Caviar (Nymphomaniac) will produce along with Miranda Bailey of Cold Iron and Anne Carey of Archer Gray. Amanda Marshall and Michael Sagol are executive producers along with Jorma Taccone.
IFC’s new parody of epic TV miniseries, The Spoils Of Babylon, From Funny or Die, boasts a boatload of Saturday Night Live alums behind and in front of the camera: Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele, etc. Six, half-hour episodes will premiere on IFC in early 2014. Not surprisingly, the SNL alums got asked, during Winter TV Press Tour 2014, to weigh in on the controversy that erupted this season over the lack of black female cast member on the NBC late-night series. In response to the controversy, Lorne Michaels in the past several days has hired not only a black comedienne for the cast, but also two black female writers.
“If you can give little insight, was this ever really anything? And is this ultimately good for the show, and what it means,” one critic asked the Spoils panel, a little unclearly.
Host Paul Rudd and his Anchorman 2 cohorts Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and David Koechner kept the promo train chugging along for Ron Burgundy’s December 18 return to screens last night on Saturday Night Live. First Anchorman 2 cast mate and former SNL grand dame Kristen Wiig lampooned NBC’s universally panned The Sound Of Music Live in a cold open featuring Dooneese, then the Anchorman 2 gang backed Rudd in a monologue face-off against boy band One Direction. They closed the show with a Bill Brasky sketch penned by Anchorman director/co-writer Adam McKay, reviving the character first created by Ferrell and McKay. Check out the Channel 4 News team moonlighting on SNL and other highlights below (opening monologue video not available):
Hit the jump for more video clips.
20th Century Fox is hitting the New York Film Festival again today after last year’s big success with Life Of Pi, which opened the fest and went on to win four Oscars including Best Director for Ang Lee. Perhaps hoping lightning strikes twice, or maybe just praying for a commercial hit, the studio is holding the World Premiere tonight of its Christmas Day opener The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, which is directed by and stars Ben Stiller. Two and a half months before its release, critics and select press got a look at it earlier Saturday with precisely timed simultaneous screenings in New York and on the Fox lot in L.A. (An L.A.-based publicist told me they actually had a bicoastal countdown to the film’s start to make sure there was no unfair advantage.) And also like Pi, 20th earlier did an elaborate presentation during its April CinemaCcon event in Las Vegas to get exhibitors on board early for the movie they are hoping will be favorably compared to the Oscar-winning Forrest Gump. That move, which included 15 minutes of footage from the then-unfinished movie, also probably heightened blogger awards anticipation.
NEW YORK, NY (September 17, 2013) – IFC Films announced today that the company is acquiring US rights to Liza Johnson’s HATESHIP LOVESHIP. The film, based on a short story by Alice Munro with a screenplay by Mark Poirier, stars Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Hailee Steinfeld, Nick Nolte, Christine Lahti, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sami Gayle. HATESHIP LOVESHIP was produced by Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Jamin O’Brien, Dylan Sellers and Cassian Elwes and executive produced by Jacob Pechenik, Michael Raimondi and Abigail Disney. The film made its world premiere as a special presentation at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
Will Ferrell-Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions and Bron Studios today set casting for Welcome To Me to be directed by Shira Piven (Fully Loaded) from a screenplay by Eliot Laurence. The dramatic comedy will star Kristen Wiig as Alice who suffers from dissociative personality disorder and wins the lottery only to spend her money on a cable access talk show about herself. Her desire to be famous alienates friends and family in the process. Wiig appears in the upcoming McKay-helmed Anchorman: The Legend Continues opposite Ferrell. Co-starring in Welcome To Me are Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Robbins, and Linda Cardellini (Mad Men).
Dressed As Queen, Helen Mirren Dresses Down Drummers
There really is nothin’ like a Dame. Helen Mirren won an Olivier Award last week for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s The Audience. But Saturday night’s performance led the Oscar winner to use some not-so-royal language when dressing down a troupe of drummers who were passing by the West End’s Gielgud Theatre. “The drumming just slowly got louder and louder and then settled right outside the stage door,” Mirren told The Telegraph. Unable to hear her co-star and sensing the audience couldn’t either, Mirren “literally walked straight off stage, straight up the stairs and straight out the stage door and banged my way through the crowd who were watching and said, ‘Stop, you’ve got to stop right now’ — only I might have used stronger language than that,” she told The Telegraph. “I’m afraid there were a few ‘thespian’ words used.” The Times quotes her saying, “I think they must have thought I was some completely batty old bird.” The “very sweet” drummers stopped immediately, and Mirren says she’d like to invite them to see the play.
Champs-Elysées Fest Turns 2
The Champs-Elysées Film Festival will celebrate its second year June 12-18 in Paris with Olivier Martinez acting as president. The fest opens with the Chris Colfer-penned Struck By Lightning, which Eurozoom releases in France the following week. The fest closes …
One the splashiest pickups at Toronto last year was the forgettably titled Imogene. The Kristen Wiig-Annette Bening comedy now known as Girl Most Likely is hitting theaters July 19 via Roadside and Lionsgate. The American Splendor duo of Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini directed the pic about a once-rising playwright (Wiig) whose life goes off the rails. She’s forced to move back in with her estranged — and strange — gambling-addict mom (Bening). Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Darren Criss also star in the film scripted by Michelle Morgan. Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, Alix Madigan-Yorkin and Mark Amin produced it.
EXCLUSIVE: This is some serious star power. I’ve learned that Tobey Maguire and Kristen Wiig are set to star opposite Will Ferrell in The Spoils Of Babylon, IFC’s six-episode miniseries produced by Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny Or Die. In the vein of The Thorn Birds and Winds Of War, the epic story of The Spoils Of Babylon chronicles the sexy and dramatic lives of the Morehouse family who made their fortune in the oil business. As the story unfolds, the booze, the passion and the heartache lead to illegal arms deals and international espionage with the Shah of Iran (also played by Ferrell) not to mention the creation of the doomed sub-prime market. Maguire will play Devon Morehouse, who as an orphaned child was taken in by future oil magnate Jonas Morehouse, and his daughter, Cynthia (Wiig). Devon and Cynthia will go on to run Morehouse Enterprises, the seventh largest company in the world, together while fighting their feelings for each other. Andrew Steele (Saturday Night Live) co-wrote the script with Matt Piedmont (Casa de mi Padre) who is directing. The two executive produce with Ferrell and McKay. Maguire next stars as Nick Carraway in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, which opens the Cannes Film Festival. SNL alumna Wiig is filming Ferrell and McKay’s Anchorman sequel.
Kristen Wiig will make her first appearance as host of Saturday Night Live on May 11, and Ben Affleck will close out the late-night show’s 38th season the following week. Wiig memorably signed off the NBC late-night series at the end of last season, wrapping a seven-year stint on the show. Her feature film career is on fire, having earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing Bridesmaids and starring soon in pics like Girl Most Likely, Despicable Me 2, Anchorman: The Legend Continues and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. Vampire Weekend will be the musical guest for her show. Affleck, whose Argo won the Best Picture Oscar this year, will host for the fifth time for May 18′s season finale, with Kanye West as musical guest. The show already revealed that Zach Galifianakis will host May 4 with musical guest Of Monsters and Men.
EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, which made one of the splashiest deals at the last Toronto Film Festival in acquiring U.S. distribution rights to the Kristen Wiig-Annette Bening-starrer Imogene, has set the film for a July 19 nationwide release. They’ve also changed the film’s title to the catchier Girl Most Likely.
When it was bought, I remember thinking that Imogene was an awful title, unless the film was a biopic of Imogene Coca, and I wouldn’t go see that movie anyway. The new title is a clever reference to Wiig’s character, a one-time playwright-to-watch who unfortunately has saved her most dramatic moments for her trainwreck of a life. A crisis of confidence stunts her professional momentum and when her boyfriend dumps her, she fakes a suicide attempt. She thinks he’ll be sympathetic and take her back. Instead, she’s consigned to return home to Jersey to live with her estranged gambling addict batshit crazy mother (Bening). Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Darren Criss also star, and American Splendor‘s Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer directed from Michelle Morgan’s script. Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, Alix Madigan-Yorkin and Mark Amin produced it.
LOS ANGELES, CA, MAY 25, 2012 – Atlas Independent announced today Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired Revenge for Jolly!, for distribution in the U.S. and Canada. The acquisition marks the first for the newly-formed affiliate company of Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment. A unique dark comedy that examines the moral ambiguity of revenge, the film most recently premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. The deal was negotiated by Sony with UTA Independent Film Group.
Directed by Chadd Harbold and written by Brian Petsos, Revenge for Jolly! stars Petsos and Oscar Isaac, with special cameos by Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Ryan Phillippe, and Kristen Wiig among others. The film follows a man (Petsos) who, with the help of his cousin (Isaac), seeks to avenge the death of his beloved dog, who was killed under confusing and suspicious circumstances. The two men follow a series of clues in an attempt to track down the dog’s murderer, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.
Last night’s season finale of NBC’s Saturday Night Live featured an emotional send-off to key cast member Kristen Wiig, making her departure after seven season official (video below). There was no mention of the two other SNL cast members whose contracts are up and may be leaving, Jason Sudeikis and Andy Samberg. Last night’s SNL with host/musical guest Mick Jagger posted a 5.2/13 in the metered-market households. That was in line with the previous two weeks (5.2 for the show hosted by Eli Manning, 5.1 for the one hosted by Will Ferrell). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, SNL averaged a 2.7/12 in adults 18-49, down from the 3.1 rating for the last two telecasts with Ferrell and Manning. That means that the March 3rd show hosted by Lindsay Lohan (5.5/14, 3.3/15) remains SNL‘s highest-rated regular telecast this season.
Dark comedy Revenge For Jolly! premiered at Tribeca earlier this month. It’s produced by Atlas Independent, the division of Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment that’s headed by William Green. Highland Film Group is now on board to handle international sales on the film about a guy who goes on a hunt for the person who killed his beloved Miniature Pinscher. Chadd Harbold makes his feature directing debut while Brian Petsos, in his screenwriting debut, stars. He’s joined by Oscar Isaac – who’ll next be seen in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis – and a group of actors that includes Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Gillian Jacobs, Bobby Moynihan, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Corrigan, David Rasche and Jayne Atkinson. Green produced along with Aaron Ginsburg and Petsos. Atlas Independent is on track to produce three pics per year with such other upcoming titles as Sacha Bennett’s Get Lucky in post-production and Apollo 18 director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego’s Open Grave starting principal photography on May 4. William Monahan’s Mojave is also due to start filming later this year.
Entertainment names as diverse as Chelsea Handler, Kristen Wiig, Louis C.K., Matt Lauer, Stephen Colbert and Viola Davis joined the likes of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney Kate Middleton, Fifty Shades Of Grey author E.L. James and Apple’s Tim Cook on Time magazine’s ninth annual Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people, released today. The package includes honoree blurbs written by the likes of Angelina Jolie, Ashton Kutcher and Sarah Jessica Parker. The best include Howard Stern on Lauer (“We all wondered, Was it over? It’s over, it’s over, he’s losing his hair! It’s got to be over! But we were wrong! … He was still the smartest, the strongest, the classiest…. No wonder NBC is paying someone $25 million a year and it ain’t me!”) and Johnny Depp on Harvey Weinstein (“There are producers, and then there are producers. Harvey belongs to the latter batch…. Harvey isn’t afraid of a duke-’em-out. [I’ve had the pleasure of being both his ally and his enemy at various times.] He stops at nothing for what he believes in”). An online poll awarded a spot on the list to Anonymous, the Internet hacking group that made news last year for breaking into databases at Sony and PBS among other outlets. Check out Time’s full list here.