CBS Films has closed a U.S. rights deal for Pride, the comedy that premiered at Cannes. CBS Films has skedded the film to open September 19. Directed by Tony-winning God of Carnage helmer Matthew Warchus from a screenplay by Stephen Beresford, the film takes place summer of 1984, when Margaret Thatcher went head to head against the striking National Union of Mineworkers. That prompted a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers’ families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. David Livingstone produced with Cameron McCracken, and Christine Langan and Natascha Wharton are exec producers. Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Andrew Scott, Joseph Gilgun, George MacKay and Ben Schnetzer star. Pathé is distributing the film in the UK and France and Pathe International has sold the film throughout the rest of the world. McCracken, the Managing Director of Pathe Productions, brokered the deal with Deputy Managing Director Pierre du Plessis, and Scott Shooman handled the deal for CBS Films.
Iron Man 3 has made way for The Iron Lady. Disney’s gala London premiere of the Robert Downey Jr. film was originally scheduled for next Wednesday, April 17, but has been pushed to Thursday, April 18 in light of Margaret Thatcher‘s funeral which is being held on the 17th. Former Prime Minister Thatcher passed away on Monday and more than 2,000 guests have been invited to attend her ceremony which will begin with a procession from Westminster through central London and on to St. Paul’s Cathedral. A Disney spokesperson tells Deadline, “London will basically be in traffic chaos and it would have been difficult logistically” to maintain the premiere’s original slot. The date is the only change, however, and Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and others are expected to appear at the Odeon Leicester Square on Thursday for the film’s red carpet. Iron Man 3 opens in the UK on April 26.
Rupert Murdoch Credits Inspiration Of Margaret Thatcher
The death of Margaret Thatcher has stirred intense reaction in the UK this week. The former British Prime Minister was a polarizing figure, but Rupert Murdoch has made no secret of his respect for her. Last year around this time, he told the Leveson Inquiry into UK media ethics that he remained “a great admirer.” Today, he penned a tribute in his London Times newspaper crediting her with being “an inspiration in my business life.” Murdoch had meetings with Thatcher around the time that he was bidding to acquire Times Newspapers, but has said he never asked her for any favors. Thatcher was famous for her stance against the unions during the 1979 strikes in Britain. Murdoch in his tribute called her “a risk-taker” who inspired his own position in the newspaper strikes of 1986, “the first major strike in private industry that had been won by the owners since the war.” Without that win, Murdoch writes, “We would not have the vigorous competitive press that is a feature of modern Britain. It was the same in the television industry. We took huge risks in creating satellite television which many critics derided as the end of civilization, but as a result, we created thousands of jobs and viewers now enjoy far greater choice.” In conclusion, Murdoch wrote, “Thanks to her I have experienced in Britain many of my defining moments as a businessman.”
The UK’s longest serving Prime Minister over the last century has died of a stroke at age 87 according to multiple news reports this morning. Meryl Streep won an Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in 2011′s The Iron Lady. The British leader, who drove efforts to privatize the country’s economy during her tenure from 1979-1990, was also played by Andrea Riseborough in the 2008 TV film The Long Walk To Finchley and by Lindsay Duncan in the 2009 film Margaret. Thatcher was a controversial figure both during and after her years at 10 Downing Street. Supporters say that she helped to end the Cold War, slowed the country’s inflation, and revived the public’s spirit by projecting confidence and optimism. But critics note that Thatcher’s policies did little to combat unemployment, and that she contributed to racial tensions by characterizing immigrants as a threat.
Another trailer has gone up for The Weinstein Company release The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher who was prime minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. Jim Broadbent plays her husband Denis Thatcher and Richard E. Grant is Conservative Party challenger Michael Heseltine. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, screenplay by Abi Morgan. It opens December 30 in limited release.
EXCLUSIVE: Meryl Streep is waiting until almost the last possible minute to jump into this year’s Oscar race. Although many places list her Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady as a December 16 release, The Weinstein Company has decided it is best to keep us waiting a little longer. So the official opening date for the movie that co-stars Jim Broadbent and is directed by Phyllida Lloyd is now December 30 in a limited platform release, with a wider break to come on January 13 to cash in on those expected Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. Streep is expected to be a front-runner for lead actress, which would be her 14th nomination in that category and 17th overall (she has three in supporting) with two wins, the last coming in 1982 for Sophie’s Choice. The records she keeps breaking are her own. Although an impressive statistic, Streep likes to remind people she has also lost more times than any other actor in Oscar history. The closest competitor for number of Best Actress nods is Katharine Hepburn who stopped at 12 (although Kate’s ahead in the actual gold count with four wins).
Will her portrayal of Thatcher bring Streep that elusive third Oscar? She has tough competition from potential nominees Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs, Charlize Theron in Young Adult, Viola Davis in The Help and Tilda Swinton in We Need To Talk About Kevin among others….
20th Century figures seem to be the rage, from Colin Firth’s King George VI in The King’s Speech to Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn to Meryl Streep’s upcoming turn as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The next figure to watch out for: actress-turned-Monaco princess Grace Kelly. Shortly after his agents began circulating the Arash Amel script Grace of Monaco, producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has agreed to fully fund a $15 million project that is now out to directors and will soon look for an actress to play Princess Grace. The film covers a half year period in 1962, when French leader Charles De Gaulle and Monaco’s Prince Rainier III were at odds over Monaco’s standing as a tax haven. France gave Monaco six months to reform its tax laws, and the situation escalated. By that time, Kelly (33 at the time) had given up her acting career to become a full time princess, and the film details her political manuevering behind the scenes to save Monaco. The CAA-repped Amel scripted the Aaron Eckhart-starrer The Expatriate. Who should play Princess Grace?
EXCLUSIVE: Emboldened by the critical reaction that the Simon Curtis-directed My Week With Marilyn received in its New York Film Festival debut, The Weinstein Company has moved the film from November 4 to November 23, placing it smack into the Thanksgiving holiday fray. The film received strong reviews, particularly for Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, Kenneth Branagh’s turn as Sir Laurence Olivier, Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller, and Eddie Redmayne’s performance as the production assistant who gets Monroe to drop her suffocating star persona as he shows her a good time in Britain. TWC’s hope is that the film will be commercial enough to play through the year’s end and build momentum into Golden Globes and beyond. Just as Fox Searchlight is expected to have two contributions to the Best Actor category with Shame‘s Michael Fassbender and The Descendants’ George Clooney, Harvey Weinstein seems poised to have dual aspirants for Best Actress with Williams and Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, a film we’ve yet to see.
EXCLUSIVE: British thesp Harry Lloyd has landed the lead role in Closer to the Moon, joining Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong in the period drama. The film’s set in 1959 Bucharest, where a Jewish group of former anti-Nazi revolutionaries refocus their skills against the communists and are arrested for robbing a bank under the guise of staging a film shoot. A year later, the culprits are sentenced to death but first are forced to reenact the caper in a propaganda film. Lloyd plays a cameraman recruited to shoot that film. He falls in love with the character played by Farmiga, who has a child with one of the men (Strong) sentenced to die. Nae Caranfil is directing the film, which shoots early fall in Bucharest. Michael Fitzgerald is producing.
Lloyd’s Game of Thrones character, the wannabe king Viserys Targaryen, suffered one of the most shocking deaths on that series and so he won’t be back for Season 2. He just starred with Gemma Arterton and Rupert Friend in The Little Dog Laughed at London’s Garrick Theatre, and starred in the Cary Fukunaga-directed Jane Eyre. Lloyd just wrapped the Meryl Streep-as-Margaret Thatcher drama The Iron Lady and will also be seen in BBC’s Great Expectations, opposite Vanessa Kirby and Douglas Booth. Lloyd’s repped by ICM and UK-based Curtis Brown.
On Tuesday, our Pete Hammond posited that Glenn Close has positioned herself to be a player in the Oscar Best Actress race with her new film Albert Nobbs, which is set to premiere during the fall’s awards season. Today comes the first look at the front-runner in that race: Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in the Weinstein Co’s The Iron Lady, which is due out Dec. 16.
EXCLUSIVE: The majority of deal buzz at the Cannes Film Festival market is where the Megan Ellison-financed Wettest County in the World will be dealt for distribution, I’m told the next big deal to come together will be a Sony Pictures acquisition of Great Hope Springs, the David Frankel-directed Meryl Streep comedy from Mandate Pictures. I’ll have to get back to you on whether the studio bought more than domestic distribution rights, [UPDATE: I've heard in the neighborhood of $20 million for North American rights] but it’s being made in Hollywood and I’m told it dwarfs any deal that’ll be made here in Cannes. It’s a film Amy Pascal really wanted on her release schedule.
Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play one half of the troubled couple and Steve Carell plays the marriage therapist who tries to help rekindle their loveless relationship after 31 years of marriage. It’s their last shot before divorce. Vanessa Taylor wrote the script. Escape Artists’ Todd Black and Film 360′s Guymon Casady are producing. Shooting starts in August.
It is the second deal in recent days for a Meryl Streep film, after The Weinstein Company won a bidding battle Friday for Pathe’s The Iron Lady, shortly after buyers were shown five minutes of the film. Streep stars as Margaret Thatcher and Harvey Weinstein intends …
Pathé UK has released the first shot of Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Streep is in the 2nd week of filming The Iron Lady here in London. It’s the first feature from director Phyllida since she directed Streep in Mamma Mia. Jim Broadbent plays Thatcher’s husband Dennis. Damian Jones is the producer. Fox will release here in Britain through its output deal with Pathé, which is handling international sales itself. Pathé will unveil footage at Cannes. North American rights are still unsold. “I am trying to approach the role with as much zeal, fervour and attention to detail as the real Lady Thatcher possesses – I can only hope my stamina will begin to approach her own,” says Streep.