Mark Strong has been set to star alongside Sacha Baron Cohen in Grimsby, the Louis Leterrier-directed comedy for Sony Pictures. Scripted by Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston and Peter Baynham, the comedy is about a British black-ops spy (Strong) whose idiotic brother is an English football hooligan (Baron Cohen).
The drama is not being renewed, making official its cancellation after one low-rated season. Low Winter Sun, which wrapped its 10-episode run in September, marks just the second AMC scripted drama not to receive a season-season order, following 2010′s Rubicon. The co-production between Endemol Studios and AMC Studios was based on the two-part 2006 British miniseries that starred Mark Strong, who reprised his role in the U.S. redo. Chris Mundy was written and executive produced by Chris Mundy. AMC liked what it saw originally, picking it up to pilot in May 2012 and ordering it to series that December. But after drawing 2.5 million viewers in its series premiere in August following the the first of Breaking Bad‘s final eight episodes, the ratings dropped off. Today’s news comes a couple of weeks after AMC renewed its Western drama Hell On Wheels for a fourth season and 13 episodes. It also has two new dramas in the works: Turn and Halt & Catch Fire.
AMC has handed a 10-episode series order to pilot Low Winter Sun. Written/executive produced by Chris Mundy, the project is based on the 2006 British miniseries starring Mark Strong, who is reprising his role in the AMC version. A co-production between Endemol Studios and AMC Studios, Low Winter Sun is described as a story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption that starts with the murder of a cop by fellow Detroit detective Frank Agnew (Strong). Seemingly the perfect crime, in reality the murder activates forces that will forever alter that detective’s life and pull him into the heart of the city’s underworld. Lennie James co-stars. AMC’s other drama pilot, the untitled LaGravenese & Goldwyn Project, remains in consideration for a potential series pickup in 2013.
EXCLUSIVE: Mark Strong, who starred in the 2006 British miniseries Low Winter Sun, is in negotiations to reprise his role in AMC‘s U.S. adaptation. James Ransone is set to co-star in the drama pilot, a co-production between Endemol Studios and AMC Studios.
Written/executive produced by Chris Mundy (Criminal Minds), the AMC project is described as a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption that starts with the murder of a cop by fellow Detroit detective Frank Agnew (Strong). Seemingly the perfect crime, in reality the murder activates forces that will forever alter that detective’s life and pull him into the heart of the Detroit underworld. Ransone will play Damon Callis, a member of the Detroit organized crime syndicate.
Strong drew critical praise for playing Frank Agnew in the 2006 two-part mini (photo above), in which Frank was one of two cops who murder a fellow officer. He will next be seen in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. Ransone, repped by UTA and Management 360, will next be seen in the features Broken City and Empire State.
Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden Movie Looking To Add Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong And Edgar Ramirez To Killer Cast
EXCLUSIVE: While the Republicans keep kicking Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s Bin Laden movie around like a political football, Annapurna Pictures and Sony Pictures are ready to get the mission underway. I’m told that Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong and Edgar Ramirez are circling to join the previously discussed ensemble cast of Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt.
The drama portrays Navy SEAL Team 6′s long hunt for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Osama Bin Laden was finally killed in a covert mission last year. Reports today assert that the Pentagon will investigate charges made by Rep Peter King that Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker tandem Bigelow and Boal somehow got inside information about the mission from the Obama Administration in preparing the script. This saber rattling hasn’t affected the film’s progress: the script is now finished and the film is going forward. Sony Pictures has dated the film for release on December 19, deliberately steering clear of the Presidential Elections.
The prospect of Chastain joining the Bin Laden film has cast doubt on whether she will star alongside Tom Cruise in Universal’s Oblivion, which shoots in March. They apparently are trying to work out dates, but two informed sources tell me it looks dicey at the moment that she’ll do Oblivion. Chastain, who today was announced as star of a revival …
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.
EXCLUSIVE: Up in the Air star Vera Farmiga is set to star with Mark Strong in Closer to the Moon, a period drama set in communist Romania. Nae Caranfil is directing, and production begins early fall in Bucharest. Strong plays Max Rosenthal, a former head of a criminal investigation unit for the Bucharest police force who is implicated in a bank robbery in which he and three others perpetrated the crime while assuring the crowds they were filming a movie. They are tried and sentenced to death because they are Jews, but only after the communist government forces them to re-enact their crime in a propaganda film. Farmiga plays Max’s former lover and mother of his child, who returns from studying in Moscow as the drama unfolds. Michael Fitzgerald is producing. Farmiga’s directorial debut, Higher Ground, will be released by Sony Pictures Classics in late August. She most recently starred in Source Code and Henry’s Crime, and she recently wrapped Safe House opposite Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds for Universal. She’s repped by CAA and Jon Rubinstein.
There’s a new trailer up for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the Tomas Alfredson-directed adaptation of the John Le Carre espionage novel. The film stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ciaran Hinds. Oldman unbelievably has managed to exist as one of the most consistently great actors, without being nominated for an Oscar. From what I’ve heard, his performance in this movie provides Oldman with his strongest chance to be a serious contender to put a trophy on his mantel. Focus Features releases the film in the US on Nov. 18.
Reports about Universal’s dating of the John Le Carre adaptation Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on November 18 have blown out of proportion about what occurred. Reports make it sound like the movie changed hands. It hasn’t, at all. Universal-owned Focus Features will put the picture out, something that was a possibility way back when Deadline revealed that the picture was acquired as one of the hottest titles at the Berlin Film Festival. It feels more like a Focus film. But there was no fresh acquisition, and Universal hasn’t stepped away from the film. It’s the same company. The Tomas Alfredson-directed film stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong and Ciaran Hinds.
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has just signed Mark Strong, the British actor who has fast become a go-to guy for dramas, especially those with great bad guys. Strong, who had been repped at ICM, will next be seen in the Martin Campbell-directed Green Lantern for Warner Brothers. He’s also in Disney’s John Carter Of Mars opposite Taylor Kitsch for Disney, and the Tomas Alfredson-directed Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy for Universal, opposite Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy. His recent credits include the Peter Weir-directed The Way Back, the Ridley Scott-directed Robin Hood, and the Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes (he also starred in Ritchie’s Rock N Rolla). Strong stays with his UK agents at Markham, Froggatt and Irwin.
Universal Acquires Hot Berlin Title ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ With Oscar Winner Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired domestic distribution rights to Tinker, Tailor, Solder, Spy, the Tomas Alfredson-directed adaptation of the John Le Carre novel that stars Gary Oldman, freshly minted Oscar winner Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong and Ciaran Hinds. The rights were held by Studiocanal, and the film was produced by Working Title. Universal is eyeing a November or December release for the picture, which is in post production. Script was written by Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan.
The project was one of the hottest titles shopped in Berlin, where buyers watched several minutes of footage and read the script for Afredson’s follow-up to Let the Right One In. I’m told that Universal, through its first look deal with Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, had a first look that it initially didn’t exercise. Then the picture got hot, with The Weinstein Company and Summit Entertainment chasing it hard. I’ve heard the bidding was in the vicinity of $5 million for domestic rights before Universal swooped in and took the project off the table. Studiocanal, which fully financed the film, will distribute in the UK, France and Germany and is handling international sales throughout the rest of the world. Bevan and Fellner produce with Robyn Slovo, with Liza Chasin, Le Carre, Peter Morgan, Douglas Urbanski and Debra Hayward exec producing.
Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications has brought the Doha Film Institute aboard as a co-producer of Black Gold, the Jean-Jacques Annaud-directed feature that began production in Tunisia on October 18. DFI, making its first foray into a major international feature production, will provide a mix of equity, services and locations. Even though the $55 million picture is directed by a French helmer, Black Gold is shaping up to be groundbreaking for a film that is back by Arabs with subject matter about them. An adaptation of the Hans Reusch novel The Great Thirst, Black Gold stars Antonio Banderas, Tahar Rahim, Mark Strong, Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed and Liya Kebede. The drama is about the rivalry between two Emirs in Arabia in the 1930s, just as oil is being discovered, and the rise of a young dynamic leader who unites the various tribes of the desert kingdoms. The film is being earmarked for Christmas, 2011 release, and Warner Bros has signed on to distribute in France, UK, Latin America and the Middle East, while Universal Pictures International will release it in Germany and Spain and Quinta’s Eagle Pictures has Italy.
Warner Bros and Universal are sharing territories on Tunisian entrepreneur Tarak Ben Ammar’s next feature Black Gold. The story revolves around the rivalry between Arabian rulers in the 1930s just as oil is being discovered, and the rise of a young, dynamic leader who unites the various tribes of the desert kingdoms. Filming begins in Tunisia on October 18, with shooting taking place in Ben Ammar’s Empire Studios and on location in Tunisia. Tahar Rahim (A Prophet), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Riz Ahmed and Liya Kebede star along with Banderas. Jean-Jacques Annaud (Enemy at the Gate, Seven Years In Tibet) will direct, based on the screenplay by Menno Meyjes (Empire of the Sun, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). Warner will distribute in France, the UK, Latin America and the Middle East. Universal Pictures International (UPI) is releasing the film in Germany and Spain. Quinta Communications’ Eagle Pictures is handling distribution in Italy. Quinta says remaining territories are being finalised for a worldwide Christmas 2011 release. Ben Ammar, who sits on the board of The Weinstein Company, most recently co-produced Rachid Bouchareb’s Outside the Law.
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
First up is Warner Bros’ GREEN LANTERN writer Geoff Johns, who says the week he spent on the movie set was the best week of his life. And we have some footage to see: The screen goes black, as a voice tells us we all have been selected, but before we can be recruited, we must be tested. Green swirling energy appears on the screen, as the voice tells us to focus our mind and “move the light with your will”. Then images: Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan holding the alien power ring. The purplish corpse of dying alien Abin Sur. Peter Sarsgaard’s head getting bigger and veinier. Blake Lively looking out the window. Voiceover of Reynolds uttering the familiar Green Lantern oath: “In brightest day, in blackest night…”