BREAKING: One day after the close of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, The Weinstein Company has finally closed a film acquisition deal. TWC completed a U.S. rights deal on the Stephen Frears-directed Lay the Favorite, the D.V. DeVincentis-scripted adaptation of the Beth Raymer memoir about a young woman who gets in with some older gamblers who figure out how to manipulate the Vegas sports book system. Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vince Vaughn, Laura Prepon and Joshua Jackson star. The deal was in the $2.2 million range. Distribution is being worked out for the fall, and the plan is a combination of day and date theatrical release in 50 markets and release on VOD. That gives Tom Quinn and Jason Janego–who were hired last fall to start a multi-platform releasing company for TWC–a solid star-studded project to work with. The deal was brokered by the film’s financier, Emmett Furla Films’ Randall Emmett, CAA and TWC’s David Glasser, Quinn and Janego. Emmett said they had offers that were higher, but felt most comfortable with TWC. “Stephen Frears has made several movies with Harvey Weinstein, and that made this a perfect fit for the film.”
EXCLUSIVE: Catherine Zeta-Jones has been set to star in Side Effects, the thriller that Steven Soderbergh will direct. She joins Blake Lively, Jude Law and Channing Tatum, who are also negotiating. The Scott Z. Burns scripted film is being financed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, with production to start in April in New York on a thriller that has a budget in the $30 million range. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing with Greg Jacobs and Burns. Open Road recently signed on to distribute in the U.S.
The film is a potboiler in the Jagged Edge-Basic Instinct mold, and Zeta-Jones will play Dr. Erica Siebert. Lively plays a troubled and depressed woman who is taking serious amounts of prescription drugs, which leads her into a relationship with another doctor (Law). Her intake is ostensibly designed to help her deal with the anxiety surrounding the pending release of her husband (Tatum) from prison. Burns wrote it several years ago and set it up at Miramax under the title The Side Effects, intending to direct it but never getting there because of his busy scripting schedule that included the Soderbergh projects Contagion, The Informant! and Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Zeta-Jones and Soderbergh previously worked together on Traffic and Ocean’s Twelve, and he developed a musical version of Cleopatra for her that probably isn’t going to be part of his retirement tour. Her latest film, the Stephen Frears-directed Lay the Favorite, premiered this week at the Sundance …
Vince Vaughn has joined the cast of the Stephen Frears-directed Lay The Favorite. Emmett Furla Films and Wild Bunch are financing the Random House Films project, which has just gotten underway. Stephen Frears is directing the adaptation of the Beth Raymer gambling memoir, with Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Anthony Bregman’s Likely Story, Emmett Furla partners Randall Emmett and George Furla and Ruby Films’ Paul Trijbits are producing, with Curtis Jackson exec producing.
Zeta-Jones will play the wife of a legendary gambler (Willis). Hall plays a young woman who becomes involved with the guy as he figures out how to gain an edge on the Vegas sports book system. Vaughn plays the role of Rosie, a Long Island bookie that Raymor once worked for. D.V. De Vincentis wrote the script and is also producing. Vaughn’s repped by CAA.
Pathe And Emmett Furla Replace Focus On ‘Lay The Favorite,’ With Catherine Zeta-Jones Joining The Gambling Film
EXCLUSIVE: Focus Features has been scratched before getting to the start gate on Lay The Favorite, but I’m told that Pathe and Emmett Furla Films have come to the rescue as co-financiers. Not only that, but Catherine Zeta-Jones is in talks to join a film now set to begin production in April. The movie adaptation of the Beth Raymer gambling memoir already had Stephen Frears ready to direct Bruce Willis and The Town‘s Rebecca Hall.
As Deadline originally revealed, that cast was set by Focus Features through its co-financing joint venture with Random House Films. But the film came in at a $20 million budget, which didn’t make sense for Focus. Random House, …
EXCLUSIVE: If you’re handicapping Lay The Favorite – the Stephen Frears movie adaptation of the Beth Raymer gambling memoir — take Bruce Willis and The Town‘s Rebecca Hall. I’ve heard they are the front runners for Raymer’s tale about how she became involved with some older guys who figured out how to gain an edge on the Vegas sports book system. D.V. De Vincentis wrote the script for Focus Features and Random House Films. Neither Willis nor Hall are sure bets, though. Willis is also circling the Wes Anderson-directed Moon Rise Kingdom, and Hall recently read for the role of Daisy Buchanan opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in the Baz Luhrmann-directed adaptation of The Great Gatsby.