Silent House will be released by Open Road Films and Liddell Entertainment on March 9, 2012, the companies announced today. This is the horror thriller that was part of newcomer Elizabeth Olsen’s coming-out doubleheader at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; her other film there was the critical darling Martha Marcy May Marlene. It was in Park City where Liddell made the deal for Silent House, which is co-directed by Open Water helmers Chris Kentis and Laura Lau; Open Road came in over the summer to help distribute it. The film centers on a woman (Olsen) who finds herself sealed inside her family’s secluded lake house. With no contact to the outside world, and no way out, panic turns to terror as events become increasingly ominous in and around her.
Mickey Liddell’s Liddell Entertainment closed a U.S. rights deal from Voltage Pictures for Killer Joe, the drama directed by William Friedkin that premiered Sunday night at the Ryerson Theater. This might get CAA bragging rights for the largest sale of the festival so far, with a $4 million minimum guarantee and an even larger P&A commitment. The UTA-brokered Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was also a large deal, said to be in excess of $5 million. Liddell is working on a distribution plan right now for 2012, and he will make a service deal with a distributor. Deadline revealed last night that Liddell was going to get the film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival before coming to Canada. The sexy drama stars Matthew McConaughey as the contract killer title character as well as Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon and Juno Temple. In Killer Joe, Hirsch plays a drug dealer whose cash gets stolen by his mother and has to come up with $6000 or he’s dead. He hires Killer Joe (McConaughey) when he learns mom’s life insurance policy is worth $50,000. Joe usually demands his money up front but is flexible when the drug dealer offers his sister as sexual collateral.
EXCLUSIVE: It appears Glenn Close may be shaking up the Best Actress Oscar race this year. Today’s announcement that Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment have acquired all U.S. rights to Albert Nobbs, in which Close plays a woman passing as a man in order to survive in 19th century Dublin, and plan a fall release and likely Oscar campaign adds a bit of drama to 2011′s budding Academy race. Meryl Streep, a two-time winner and 16-time nominee, is the presumed front-runner as Margaret Thatcher in the Weinstein Company’s The Iron Lady. Streep hasn’t won since 1982, and many think (sight unseen) that Thatcher could be her ticket back to the winner’s circle. Ironically, that was also the year Close received the first of her five nominations (for her first film, The World According To Garp) in a remarkable run between 1982 and 1988 when she received her last nod for Dangerous Liaisons. Of course she’s won Tonys and Emmys, but the Oscar has famously eluded her.
In fact, 1982 was also the year she first played Albert Nobbs in an off-Broadway production of the play and won an Obie Award for it. Even though that was near the beginning of her career, she’s had her eye on it as a possible film ever since and has been actively trying to get it produced for the past 15 years. In addition to starring, she also co-produced and co-wrote the screenplay, enlisting her Nine Lives and Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her director Rodrigo Garcia to helm.
When I caught up with her today on the phone from her Maine vacation spot, she still couldn’t believe this dream project was finally going to be seen this year. “I’m kind of pinching myself. It’s a story I never ever forgot and an extraordinary character. It’s a simple story that has huge resonance,” she said, adding that ultimately this is a very human tale dealing in part with the power of secrets that people hide about themselves.
She offered words of praise for Roadside, which had a very big year in 2010 with Oscar contenders Winter’s Bone and Biutiful, saying the film got wonderful response from other potential distributors but that Roadside was the most passionate. “They got it to the depths of the story. No one has been a part of this project without bringing committment and passion to it, so they just extended all that, which was thrilling for all of us,” she said.
Liddell Entertainment and Roadside Attractions have acquired US rights to Albert Nobbs, which stars Glenn Close as a woman passing as a man in order to work and survive in 19th century Dublin. Rodrigo Garcia directed the drama, which also stars Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Janet McTeer, Pauline Collins, Brenda Fricker, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Brendan Gleeson. Close has a vested interest in this one: she played the character off-Broadway in the early 1980s, the script with Gabriella Prekop and John Banville marks her first screenplay credit (the story is by Istvan Szabo, adapted from the George Moore novella), and she’s a producer alongside Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn and Alan Moloney. The deal was announced by Mickey Liddell of Liddell Entertainment and Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff; the companies, who partnered on the distribution of Biutiful last year, plan a fall release for Nobbs, which puts it in awards season. WestEnd is handling international sales.
EXCLUSIVE: Murderball helmer Henry-Alex Rubin will make his narrative feature directing debut on Disconnect, a drama being financed by Liddell Entertainment and Wonderful Films. Scripted by Andrew Stern, Disconnect tells the linked stories of a group of contemporary characters searching for human connection in a wired world. Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Hilton and William Horberg are producing, while Marc Forster and Brad Simpson are exec producers. A fall start is planned. Rubin recently won the 2011 British Arrow Award for top TV commercial, for a T-Mobile spot he helmed for Saatchi & Saatchi. Rubin’s repped by CAA and Management 360.
EXCLUSIVE: Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment have acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to I Love You Phillip Morris. Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the fact based film stars Jim Carrey as a married conman who falls in love with his cellmate—Ewan McGregor—and commits all kinds of crazy misdeeds like breaking out of Texas prisons four times, to be with his lover. Roadside Attractions has set a December 3 release date.
The deal closely follows an announcement by Roadside Attractions and Liddell that they completed an acquisition of the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Biutiful, which confirmed a story Deadline broke on August 10. Biutiful will also be released in December.
The deal ends a prolonged odyssey for I Love You Phillip Morris to find its way to movie screens here. Financed by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, the film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and opened on schedule internationally, grossing around $17 million. Besson’s hopes to see the film get a simultaneous domestic release turned into a nightmare. The film’s original distributor, Consolidated Pictures Group, missed the original February 12 release date, and two other slots–March 26 and April 30–were also scratched.
While the upstart company made a Canadian distribution deal with Alliance and floated in the press a plan to platform the film July 30 and release it wide on August 6, Besson and producers Andrew Lazar and Far Shariat …
What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yeah. Tojdja! Roadside Attractions and Liddell Entertainment just announced they’ve acquired U.S. rights to the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Biutiful, which won a Best Actor Award for Javier Bardem at Cannes. Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen and Liddell Entertainment’s Mickey Liddell teamed on the deal and CAA repped the picture.
Deadline broke the news on August 10. The film will be released in December.