The fallout from the box office flop of The Lone Ranger continues …
Listen to (and share) episode 38 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about whether Lovelace can do for VOD movies what House Of Cards did for VOD TV; the below-the-line boost that may have put Cheryl Boone Isaacs at the top of the Motion Picture Academy; what to expect from Ellen DeGeneres as the Oscar host; and the latest Emmy chat as final-round voting gets underway. Pete also gives his take on the week’s movie debuts, including Neil Blomkamp’s thinking man’s sci-fi film Elysium, Pixar’s animated sort-of sequel Planes, and young-adult book adaptation Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
UPDATE, 5:10 PM: Despite a $10 million copyright and trademark suit field on Tuesday, Lovelace is still coming out on Friday. US District Judge Thomas Griesa today rejected Arrow Productions request for a temporary …
Lawsuits aside, can Lovelace become the latest high profile theatrical/VOD release to also get Oscar attention? I was thinking about that after attending the splashy Monday night Hollywood premiere of the Radius/TWC – Millennium film at the Egyptian. The movie has a name ensemble cast all delivering terrific performances, but two are true standouts. Amanda Seyfried as notorious Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace and a de-glammed supporting turn by Sharon Stone as her mother could have strong appeal to the Academy’s actors branch. The film is not the type to gain traction in the Best Picture race but the actors might go for it if they see it. Radius (the VOD arm of The Weinstein Company) co-President Tom Quinn tells me the company quietly opened the film in Encino for a week in order to make sure it qualifies before the big simultaneous theatrical/VOD run starts Friday. However Academy rules, as I read them, seem to indicate the film would be eligible anyway so long as the VOD premiere does not precede the opening day of the theatrical run.
In any event with the Video On Demand component for increasingly high profile movies such as Lovelace or the Ryan Gosling starrer, Only God Forgives which Radius opened day and date with VOD in July after playing in competition in Cannes, awards talk would seem to be a natural. The Academy’s rules only seem to punish a film that first plays VOD or other non-theatrical formats and arrives in theaters later. Nevertheless most distributors still play it safe and qualify these movies in traditional ways. With the Academy, you don’t want to take a chance. Quinn says they also did a week-long qualifying run for Only God Forgives in Encino and grossed $7000 without anyone really even knowing it was playing there.
Harry Reems, who starred in the classic 1972 pornographic feature hit Deep Throat, died in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. He was 65. Reems was a Marine before acting in off-off-Broadway plays and starting in adult films. He was hired as a lighting director on Deep Throat but took over the lead role of Dr. Young when the actor originally cast did not turn up to work. The film became an international phenomenon, earning some $600M and a place in cinema history. Lovelace, about Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace, debuted in Sundance this year; Adam Brody plays Reems in the movie. In 2005, Reems appeared in the documentary Inside Deep Throat, which also had its premiere in Sundance.
UPDATE: The deal is official, with Radius-TWC planning a fall 2013 release date. The company’s release is after the original story.
EXCLUSIVE: After a late-night Sundance courtship, Radius-TWC is closing a deal to acquire Lovelace in a deal that will climax in the range of $3 million, I hear. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the film stars Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace, who headlined the 1972 pornographic film hit Deep Throat, which captured the zeitgeist. But she was manipulated and bullied into participating in a film which became a financial juggernaut by her coercive boyfriend Chuck Traynor, who is played by Peter Sarsgaard. Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco and Sharon Stone also star.
The picture, which premiered Tuesday night at the Eccles Theatre, had several buyers massing, but Radius-TWC heads Tom Quinn and Jason Janego moved aggressively to make a deal with Millennium Films heads Avi Lerner and Mark Gill. Millennium financed a film whose edgy, racy subject matter and star casting should hit a strong mark as a multi-platform title. This goes down as the third Sundance deal for the multi-platform division of The Weinstein Company, which got underway last year as it landed Bachelorette and made that edgy comedy a big VOD hit. Radius-TWC got this fest off to a start when it acquired the acclaimed docu on backup singers Twenty Feet From Stardom, and then bought the drama Concussion.
Foot traffic on Main Street is building, and the deals are starting to go down. In the second part of my 2013 Sundance Film Festival opener, here are the films that have been mentioned most often by the buyers who’ll determine whether or not this will be a good festival for the filmmakers. There are some good-sounding films with strong casts, the kind that ring up decent numbers.
DON JON’S ADDICTION: Writer-director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Cast: Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly. Gordon-Levitt plays a porn addict who becomes torn between two women. This one premieres tonight, 6:30 PM at Eccles, and it will likely be the fest’s first real auction.
AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS: Writer-director: David Lowery. Cast: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker, Keith Carradine. The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Killer title and good cast. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 12:15pm – Eccles
THE WAY, WAY BACK: Writer-director: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash. Cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph. An introverted 14-year-old comes into his own over the course of a comedic summer when he forms unlikely friendships with the gregarious manager of a rundown water park and the misfits who work there. Carell’s last festival film like this was Little Miss Sunshine. 1st Screening – Monday, January 21st, 3:30pm – Eccles
BREATHE IN: Writer-director: Drake Doremus. Cast: Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, Felicity Jones, Mackenzie Davis. A teacher falls for one of his students, the one who just transferred from London. Doremus and Jones reteam from Like Crazy. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 19th, 3:00pm – Eccles
Related: Sundance: Five Directors To Watch
BEFORE MIDNIGHT: Writer-director: Richard Linklater (written with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke). Sure it might be the lowest-grossing film franchise in film history, but buyers are sparked for the third installment which picks up Jesse and Celine nine years later in Greece, some two decades after they first met on a train bound for Vienna. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 9:45pm – Eccles
THE LIFEGUARD: Writer-director: Liz W. Garcia. Cast: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Amy Madigan. Bell plays an ex-valedictorian who bails on her journo job in Gotham to return to her last happy place. That’s the family home in Connecticut, and she gets a lifeguard job and falls into a dangerous relationship with a troubled teen. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 19th, 5:30pm – Library
THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN: Director: Fredrik Bond. Writer, Matt Drake. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Grint, Til Schweiger. Countryman is a young man who’s traveling abroad. When he falls for a beauty he becomes determined to find his way into her heart. That means taking brutal punishment from her violent ex. 1st Screening – Monday, January 21st, 6:30pm – Eccles
PRINCE AVALANCHE: Writer-director: David Gordon Green. Cast: Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 2:30pm – Library
Related: Sundance: Five Producers To Watch
The Berlin Film Festival has unveiled the first titles for 2013′s Panorama section. The sidebar will include works from European, Asian, Latin and North American filmmakers. Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s feature directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction will have its international premiere in Berlin after it debuts at Sundance in January. Fellow Sundance premiere Lovelace, from directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, will also make its offshore bow in Berlin. The section screens dramatic and documentary features and this year adds the $5,000 Heiner Carow Prize for “a film that employs extraordinary aesthetic means to deal with social and political issues, past or present.” Following is the list of confirmed Panorama titles to date:
Chloë Sevigny has been added to the cast of Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Lovelace, the biopic of iconic adult film star Linda Lovelace. Sevigny will play a feminist journalist assigned to write …
Demi Moore has dropped out of the Linda Lovelace biopic entitled Lovelace, her publicist confirmed tonight. She had a small role as feminist activist-author Gloria Steinem. According to a statement released by her publicity firm, “Because of the stresses in her life right now, Demi has chosen to seek professional …
Eric Roberts, Adam Brody and Demi Moore have joined the cast of Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Lovelace. Brody will play Deep Throat co-star Harry Reems, Roberts is coming aboard as lie detector expert Nat Laurendi and Moore will do a turn as play feminist author-activist Gloria Steinem. Amanda Seyfried …
Sharon Stone confirmed that she is set to play the mother of Linda Lovelace in Lovelace, a biopic about the porn star from Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Amanda Seyfried is already aboard to play Lovelace, one of the …