EXCLUSIVE: Maybe the Oscar nominated actress has a thing for movies with “wild” in the title. Laura Dern was in Wild At Heart back in 1990 and now she’s joining Wild with Reese Witherspoon. Dern has been added to the cast of the Nick Hornby-scripted adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling 2012 memoir. The actress will play the mother to Witherspoon’s lead. Still dealing with the death of her mother years before, drug use and a collapsed marriage, Witherspoon’s character decides to walk the 1000-mile Pacific Crest Trail alone in a search for meaning in her life. Jean-Marc Vallée, who also helmed the upcoming Matthew McConaughey-starrer Dallas Buyers Club, is directing the Fox Searchlight pic. Wild started filming last week in Oregon. Laura Dern is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and attorney Kevin Marks with Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has won a quiet but fevered bidding battle for worldwide distribution rights to the untitled next film by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film begins production June 13, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix so far set to star. Megan Ellison is financing. It is Anderson’s first trip behind the camera since There Will Be Blood.
Hoffman and Phoenix are locked. As for the actresses, I’m told that Anderson is eyeing such women as Madisen Beaty (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) for a role, with Amy Adams, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s Lena Endre and Laura Dern also mentioned as actresses Anderson is interested in. The auction was held at CAA headquarters late last week, with Fox Searchlight also squarely in the mix.
This is the project that Anderson has worked on for a long time, once under the title The Master. He has greatly overhauled the script and now, Hoffman stars as a man who returns after witnessing the horrors of WWII and tries to rediscover who he is in post-war America. He creates a belief system, something that catches on with other lost souls. The film is fully financed by Ellison’s Annapurna banner. At a time when the implosion of the indie film marketplace made pricey auteur films so hard to finance, Ellison has emerged as something of a godsend to the small group of auteurs she is working with. She’s enabled Anderson to make the movie at or near the $35 million budget the film was going to cost back when Universal stepped away.
EXCLUSIVE: There is a saying that you’ve got to be an Oscar winner to get to direct an HBO pilot these days: look at Martin Scorsese (Boardwalk Empire), Alexander Payne (Hung), Bill Condon (Tilda) and Kathryn Bigelow (The Miraculous Year). Now you may need an Oscar statuette to be an episodic director on the pay cable channel too. The Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme has been tapped to direct two episodes of HBO’s upcoming Mike White/Laura Dern comedy series Enlightened.
EXCLUSIVE: In a last-minute recasting, Timm Sharp has joined HBO’s upcoming Mike White/Laura Dern comedy series Enlightened as a regular. The single-camera comedy stars Dern as a self-destructive woman who has a spiritual awakening and decides to live an enlightened life, which …
EXCLUSIVE: Mos Def has joined HBO’s upcoming Mike White/Laura Dern comedy series Enlightened as a regular. The single-camera comedy stars Dern as a self-destructive woman who has a spiritual awakening and decides to live an enlightened life, which creates havoc at home …