Broadway producer Jeffrey Richards, who is having a terrible spring, announced this morning that The Realistic Joneses, starring Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei, Michael C. Hall and Tracy Letts, will end its Broadway run on July 6. Richards is also the lead producer of The Bridges Of Madison County, the Jason Robert Brown/Marsha Norman musical that closed last Sunday at a loss of $8.5 million. Estimated cost of the Joneses: $2.5 million to $3 million.
An offbeat comedy-drama about suburban neighbors with mysterious pasts, the show came into New York after a Yale Repertory Theater tryout last year that was critically lauded, especially but hardly exclusively by N.Y. Times scribe Charles Isherwood. Reaction to the Sam Gold-staged show on Broadway was mixed, through Isherwood called it “far and away the most stimulating, adventurous and flat-out good play to be produced on Broadway this year.” It failed to garner any Tony nominations, though the play had many supporters and was doing respectable business, playing last week to 91% of capacity at the Lyceum Theater and taking in $590,378 — which was 82% of its gross potential and a $21,000 improvement over the week before during a down week on the Street.
Absent a long-term bump from the Tonys and offering little appeal to the summer tourist crowd, business was likely … Read More »
Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei will star opposite George Lopez in La Vida Robot, the true tale adapted from a WIRED article about four undocumented Mexican-American teens who form a robotics team in Phoenix. They go up against MIT in the national robots championship with an entry made from $800 and used car parts. Tomei will play a teacher whose belief in the rag tag team helps lead them to success. Lionsgate and Televisa’s Pantelion is producing the pic which Lopez is also producing for his Travieso Productions alongside David Alpert of Circle of Confusion, Rick Jacobs, Leslie Kolins Smith and Ben O’Dell. La Vida Robot is filming now in New Mexico under helmer Sean McNamara. Tomei is repped by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Now that Ira Sachs (Keep The Lights On) has John Lithgow in place for his next feature Love Is Strange, the NYC-set drama about a recently married gay couple has added Marisa Tomei to its cast. Lithgow last month boarded the project replacing Michael Gambon, who was initially set to star opposite Alfred Molina. Lithgow and Molina will now play Ben and George, respectively, partners of 38 years who finally are able to marry only to be forced to crash separately with friends and family after they lose their apartment. Tomei will play novelist Kate, who’s married to Ben’s nephew. When crisis strikes Ben moves in with the couple. Filming begins this month in New York. Tomei just wrapped Adam Rapp’s Why Now?! opposite Sam Rockwell. She’s repped by CAA and Untitled.
At various events and pre-Oscar parties this weekend I have heard over and over again the same line: “God,I just hope there are some surprises!” No matter what people seem to be personally rooting for, the one thing they really want are some good old-fashioned Oscar shockers in a year that doesn’t seem likely to have many, if any at all. That would mean anything but The Artist as Best Picture, maybe Gary Oldman or Demian Bichir as Best Actor or Glenn Close as Best Actress. How about Max von Sydow upsetting fellow 82 year old Christopher Plummer in the Supporting Actor race or The Help’s Jessica Chastain upending her co-star, favored Octavia Spencer, for Supporting Actress. The one category that in recent years has been ripe for surprise is Best Foreign Language Film. In fact the last few winners in the category were not the betting favorites so this year any movie other than Iran’s A Separation would indeed qualify as a surprise. If you want to bet the longshot there, go with Canada’s poignant, crowd-pleasing Monsieur Lazhar, the kind of film the more conservative older voters who participate in the Foreign Language process (you have to prove you have seen all five nominees in a theatre to vote) have tended to go for in recent years. But I don’t expect we will be surprised in this category, or for that matter almost any other this year.
… Read More »
Marisa Tomei and Joshua Jackson have joined Alexander Siddig aboard the thriller Inescapable, which Killer Films’ Christine Vachon, Myriad Pictures’ Kirk D’Amico and Alliance Films’ Mark Slone are executive producing; Alliance is distributing in Canada, and Myriad is shopping worldwide rights. Ruba Nadda wrote the script and will direct the story of a Syrian expatriate (Siddig) whose journalist daughter goes missing in Damascus, and he must return to his homeland to find her and calls on a former love (Tomei) to help him. An embassy official (Jackson) is at first helpful but may have an agenda of his own. Daniel Iron and Lance Samuels are producing. Nadda, Siddig and Irons are reuniting for the project after working together on 2009′s Patricia Clarkson-starrer Cairo Time.
EXCLUSIVE: The George Clooney-directed The Ides of March will open the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 31, I’m told. The film, adapted from Beau Willimon’s play Farragut North, stars Clooney as a presidential candidate, Ryan Gosling as a head of media and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a campaign manager. Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood also star. The drama takes place during the Ohio primary for the Democratic nomination. It’s extremely topical, given the recent resignation of Congressman Anthony Weiner for sending photos of his package to online “sexting” partners. The Ides of March involves similar scandalous activities. Clooney, who retreats to a vacation home in Lake Como in Italy, has had several of his films play at the festival. They include Intolerable Cruelty, The Man Who Stared at Goats, and the Steven Soderbergh-directed Out of Sight. Sony Pictures will distribute the film in fall.
The female portion of the cast of Aaron Sorkin’s HBO pilot is taking shape. Olivia Munn and Alison Pill are in negotiations for supporting roles in the project, while I hear Marisa Tomei is inching closer to committing to play the female lead. Tentatively titled More As This Story Develops, the project centers on cable news anchor Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels), who has his own show, as well as the show’s female executive producer and staff. Tomei, repped by CAA and Untitled, is poised to play the executive producer, MacKenzie, for whom producing the news is what she does best and everything else is tied for last place. Pill will play Maggie, an associate producer on the assignment desk. Munn, repped by CAA and Mosaic, will play a sexy financial analyst on the same cable network as McCallister.
Oscar winner Tomei has been one of several actresses considered for MacKenzie and the most heavily pursued by the producers. Said to be a big fan of Sorkin’s, she met with him earlier last week and again on Saturday when he attended her off-Broadway play Marie and Bruce. (Among the other contenders for the role, Emily Mortimer had emerged as a frontrunner.) Munn, who stars on NBC’s midseason comedy Perfect Couples, was courted for several broadcast pilots this pilot season but opted not … Read More »
BREAKING: Exclusive Media Group chairman Guy East and Nigel Sinclair are teaming with Cross Creek Pictures president Brian Oliver to finance The Ides of March, the drama that is based on the Beau Willimon Broadway play Farragut North. George Clooney, long set as director, will also star alongside Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. Clooney and his Smoke House Pictures partner Grant Heslov wrote the script with Willimon. The Smoke House partners are producing with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way. East, Sinclair and Oliver are co-producing. Exclusive Films International will sell offshore territories at AFM. CAA, which packaged the film and raised the financing, will broker the domestic deal. I’ve heard that Sony Pictures Entertainment is a potential landing place. The film begins production February in Michigan and Ohio.
Deadline revealed September 30 that Gosling would take the role that DiCaprio originally intended to play, a press spokesman for a candidate running in the presidential primary for the Democratic Party ticket. Clooney will play the candidate, a state governor with White House aspirations. Willimon based the play on his own experiences on the campaign trail with Howard Dean in 2004. In the play, the press agent falls prey to backroom politics, the manipulations of veteran political operatives and the seduction of a young intern. Giamatti plays a rival campaign manager, Tomei plays a reporter for the New York Times, and Wood plays an intern for the campaign.