The last shoe to drop in the 2013 awards race hit Saturday as Martin Scorsese‘s much-awaited The Wolf Of Wall Street was unveiled to SAG voters at a couple of screenings at the WGA theatre in Beverly Hills. I caught the film earlier at a small 10 AM screening for some of the cast members on the Paramount lot and then moderated the Q&A following the 6:30 PM screening of the 3 hour film. To say it was rapturously received would be an understatement. Leonardo DiCaprio received a standing ovation when I introduced him, and co-star Jonah Hill also won huge applause from the packed-to-the-rafters house who also enthusiastically cheered co-stars Rob Reiner (who plays DiCaprio’s dad and stole the show at the Q&A), Jon Favreau, P.J. Byrne, Ken Choi and Cristin Milioti. I heard the film also received the same kind of enthusiastic response at the earlier screening too. Paramount also threw a party to kick things off in style. Celebration was in order since Paramount at one time wasn’t even sure the film would be ready as Scorsese has been editing to make a 2013 date. Originally it was scheduled for a November 15 release but moved to Christmas bumping Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit into January to make room for Wolf‘s wide release awards run.
Formal reviews are embargoed but as an initial observation I would label the movie ”Scorsese’s Satyricon,” a wild ride full of contemporary debauchery to say the least (DiCaprio compared some of it to Caligula), with a fine ensemble and a frenetic pace that belies its three hour running time. Even at that length it never lags. It is the perfect companion piece to Goodfellas and puts Scorsese right back in the thick of the Oscar race, if Academy members, particularly older ones, can deal with the almost non-stop parade of sex, drugs, nudity and rock and roll. Violence, a Scorsese staple in this type of film, is missing but there are a number of remarkable set pieces including a storm-driven yacht voyage that has to be seen to be believed (Rob Legato supervised the special effects team). An NC-17 was avoided by some reported judicious cutting but it’s hard to imagine the stuff that didn’t make it in considering the edgy material that did. Read More »
The latest teaming of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio will hit theaters just in time for an Oscar run. Paramount‘s The Wolf Of Wall Street is opening December 25. It originally was scheduled … Read More »
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Heard It Here First: Tom Hardy To Play Elton John In ‘Rocketman’
By Mike Fleming Jr. - As Deadline reported in June when FilmDistrict paid $10 million to acquire U.S. rights to the Elton John film Rocketman, Tom Hardy has been set to play Captain Fantastic himself in the Michael Gracey-directed biographical musical film.
Oscar-Buzzed ’12 Years A Slave’ In Top Ten, ‘Jackass: Bad Grandpa’ Opens #1 For $32M, All-Star ‘The Counselor’ Bombs With $8M
By Nikki Finke - The most interesting news of the weekend, at least to me, is that New Regency’s financed and produced Best Picture Oscar frontrunner 12 Years A Slave marketed and distributed by Fox Searchlight is only playing in 123 theaters (up from 19 last weekend) yet jumped into the Top Ten.
J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan Take Over As ‘Star Wars’ Scribes
By Dominic Patten - The new Star Wars movie has a new screenwriting team. It was announced online today that Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and Empire Strikes Back co-writer Lawrence Kasdan will take over as scribes for the upcoming Disney project which is set to be released in 2015. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros. is near a deal for Blood On Snow, the first of a two novel series by The Snowman author Jo Nesbo. It will be developed as a potential star vehicle for … Read More »
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Dalian Wanda Group wants a Hollywood studio to join a joint venture meant to build a massive studio and grow film and other media investments in the region. This has been part of a weekend in which stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman, moguls like Harvey Weinstein, and agents including UTA’s Jeremy Zimmer and WME’s Mike Simpson attended a launch party for Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin to unveil plans to spend up to $8.2 billion on an entertainment center in Qingdao he says will include a theme park and the world’s largest film studio. Wang Jianlin is reportedly China’s richest man, and WSJ reports he has made deals with four top talent agencies to attract talent that will be part of his plan to make 30 films each year.
We will have to see how this works out. India’s Reliance Entertainment made first-look deals five years ago with a coterie of stars and their companies to generate films with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Nicolas Cage, Brett Ratner, Chris Columbus, Jay Roach, Jim Carrey, Julia Roberts, Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment. Each was a seven-figure commitment from Reliance, which has nothing to show for its investment. Read More »
BREAKING: Warner Bros is acquiring Wilson, the just published Putnam biography of Woodrow Wilson, the academic-turned-politician who led the United States into joining the allies in WWI. The deal is being made to develop the film as a potential star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio, with he and Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran producing with Berg.
The book was 13 years of work for Berg, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his bio Lindbergh. Here, he tells the story of an academic who comes off as the great forgotten president, who, over the course of his presidency at first resisted and then rose to the occasion and led the U.S. into the war, claiming that it would make the world safe for democracy. The studio and Appian Way sparked to the similarities between circumstances surrounding WWI and the current political tensions in places like Syria.
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EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has made a preemptive acquisition of King Harald, a pitch that Mark L. Smith is writing as a potential vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. The subject: Harald Hardrada, the 11th Century conqueror who has been … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In the first major deal made by Greg Silverman since he was promoted to run Warner Bros‘ worldwide feature film production arm, the studio has acquired the upcoming S. Craig Zahler crime novel Mean Business On North Ganson Street as a reteam of Django Unchained stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jamie Foxx. Zahler will write the script and DiCaprio and his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran will be the producers. Sarah Schechter is steering it for the studio.
The book is in galleys and in the process of being shopped to publishers. The tale starts off with a bang: DiCaprio is a hardened detective who, after being told by a man that his beautiful wife is missing, tells him she is a hooker who obviously made off with his money. After the man commits a desperate tragic act right in the squad room, the disgraced detective is sent to a hellhole rust belt town called Victory, Missouri, where violent crime is skyrocketing. Partnered with an equally bad-assed detective who was demoted for publicly brutalizing a suspect (Foxx), the new partners get to do some real work. Police officers start showing up dead execution-style, and the cops think it might be open season on Victory’s police department. Read More »
Martin Scorsese reteams with Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street, their biographical crime pic based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort, the hard partying “boiler room” stockbroker who scammed $200M from investors and was indicted for securities fraud in 1998. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired Rasputin, a pitch by American Sniper scribe Jason Hall that will be developed for Leonardo DiCaprio to play the Russian mystic who became an advisor to the Russian Imperial family the Romanovs. … Read More »
Would you pay €1.5 million ($1.94 million) to spend a weekend at Oscar parties? Or €1.8 million to fly to the moon on Virgin Galactic with Leonardo DiCaprio? Someone did — and more. That happened at amFAR’s annual Cinema Against AIDS Cannes Film Festival gala’s very special 20th anniversary Thursday night. Co-hosts Weinstein and Kenneth Cole announced to a roomful of very high rollers that the event, held of the Hotel Du Cap, raised €25 million ($32.3 million), smashing last year’s record total of over €10 million. The ultra-high style party is a two decades long staple of the Cannes festival, and Weinstein told me if it just made a dollar more than the previous year they’d be happy. But these multimillionaires and billionaires obviously came to play this year and really stepped up at the auction that featured numerous stars including jury members Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz, along with Jessica Chastain, Jeremy Renner, Rosario Dawson, Heidi Klum, Goldie Hawn, Janet Jackson, Adrien Brody and major fundraiser/auctioneer Sharon Stone.
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Dennis Lehane will adapt Travis McGee for Fox and Appian Way, based on 1964′s The Deep Blue Good-By and 20 subsequent novels by John D. MacDonald. Chernin Entertainment and Leonardo DiCaprio are producing, with the latter eyeing to star. The project previously had Paul Greengrass and … Read More »
Doing something he says he has never done in his entire career, director Martin Scorsese has come to Cannes to personally sell a film to foreign buyers. But it is not just any film but rather a passion … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: HBO Films is developing Gorbachev, a movie about former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev from Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way and Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone. Gorbachev serves as a consultant on the … Read More »
Baz Luhrmann’s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby will kick off the 66th Cannes Film Festival on May 15, organizers said today. The Warner Bros drama will screen in the out-of-competition selection. The latest adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke. It opens in the U.S. on May 10 but day-and-date with its May 15 Cannes launch in France.
This was basically a no-brainer decision. Luhrmann is a favorite of the festival, and his 2001 musical drama Moulin Rouge still remains one of the splashiest opening nights in Cannes history with an elaborate, very expensive party thrown by distributor 20th Century Fox afterward. Those who were there (I was among them) will not soon forget the extragance of it all, and certainly if any other movie might deserve the same opulent treatment it is Luhrmann’s Gatsby, which was delayed from an awards-season opening in 2012 by Warner Bros so the director could continue to refine the ambitious film. Whether the studio will spring for a kickoff like a party Jay Gatsby himself might throw remains an open question, especially since it won’t be the world premiere of the film, but nevertheless it is worth the speculation.
Exhibitors actually got their first look at the 3D drama almost a full year ago when Warners previewed footage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas as part of their 2012 slate sneak look. After it was delayed by the studio into a 2013 debut, a Cannes opening seemed inevitable, particularly with the prospect of getting big star names like DiCaprio, Maguire and Mulligan to come to the Croisette for a glamorous European premiere. Read More »
Paramount has just set the Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer The Wolf Of Wall Street directed by Martin Scorsese for wide release November 15, 2013. The film about the real-life rise and fall of Wall Street hotshot Jordan Belfort also … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has acquired the upcoming Michael Armour novel The Road Home, and Crazy Heart helmer Scott Cooper has signed on the write the script, direct and produce with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran’s Warner Bros-based Appian Way. The drama will be shaped as a potential star vehicle for DiCaprio.
DiCaprio and Davisson Killoran jump right back into the frying pan with Cooper after he directed Out Of The Furnace, the revenge thriller that originally sold as a Brad Ingelsby spec that DiCaprio intended to star in for Ridley Scott. The film was rewritten by Cooper and got made by Relativity Media with Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson and Zoe Saldana starring, a co-production between Appian Way and Scott Free.
The Road Home is a Depression-era drama that focuses on Creek, a war-scarred rancher on the Central California coast who finds himself entangled in scandal when he is asked to investigate the brutal murder of a local man, a case that local police have swept under the rug.
Armour, by the way, was repped in the deal by Jeff Berg’s Resolution, the first deal for the new agency we have notched at Deadline.
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Leonardo DiCaprio says he’s taking a break from acting. After working on three films in two years, according to the Agence France-Press translation, DiCaprio told the Germany daily Bild ”I am a bit drained. I’m now going to take a … Read More »
Director Henry-Alex Rubin’s Disconnect will open the 28th Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Written by Andrew Stern, the movie starring Jason Bateman and Hope Davis explores the way digital technologies that are intended to bring … Read More »