This year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice. To mark the occasion, the BBC is prepping three-part serial Death Comes To Pemberley, based on the suspense novel/homage by crime writer P.D. James. The book centers on three of Austen’s most iconic characters: Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy and George Wickham. The Americans‘ Matthew Rhys will play Darcy, Anna Maxwell Martin (who was Cassandra Austen in Becoming Jane) is Elizabeth and Matthew Goode is Wickham. The story picks up six years into Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage as they prepare for the annual ball at their magnificent Pemberley home. When Elizabeth’s wayward sister Lydia arrives, she brings a shocking halt to the proceedings. A murder investigation unfolds and a web of secrets and deceit threatens all that the Darcys hold dear. Juliette Towhidi (Calendar Girls) did the adaptation which will be directed by Daniel Percival (Crossing Lines).
Matthew Goode Cast In Showtime Pilot ‘Vatican’, Virginia Madsen To Star In NBC’s ‘Hatfields & McCoys’
Matthew Goode (A Single Man) has been cast in Vatican, Showtime’s drama pilot from Paul Attanasio, Sony Pictures TV and Scott Free. Directed by Ridley Scott, Vatican is described as a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church. Goode will play Papal Secretary Bernd Koch, the current Pope’s closest confidante, giving him a very powerful perch within the inner-circle of the Vatican.
Virginia Madsen has been tapped for a lead role in NBC’s drama pilot Hatfields & McCoys, a modern-day Hatfields and McCoys project created by John Glenn and produced by Charlize Theron, Dawn Parouse Olmstead, Beau Flynn and ABC Studios. A startling death re-ignites the feud between these two legendary families in present-day Pittsburgh, unleashing decades of resentment. Madsen will play the matriarch of the McCoy clan, Eloise McCoy, a self-made woman who, despite her seemingly calm demeanor, is an extremely vengeful and calculated woman who will do anything for her family.
Tonight is a busy evening for acquisition title premieres, with The Oranges to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Take This Waltz and Rampart all showing for buyers for the first time. Right in the middle of that is the Jonathan Teplitzky-directed Burning Man, the Australian film that stars Matthew Goode as a successful chef at a Bondi Beach restaurant who reacts to personal tragedy with reckless behavior and an inability to connect with his 8-year-old son. A group of six women in his life try to bring him back from the brink. Bojana Novakovic, Essie Davis, Kerry Fox and Rachel Griffiths also star. The film came in high on buyers’ lists, and its first official screening is at 6:15 PM at Bell Lightbox 1. Here’s some exclusive footage from the film:
Last year’s Toronto Film Festival started slow for acquisitions, but finished with a flurry of modest distribution deals that served notice the specialty film business had finally pulled out of its nosedive. This year’s festival hasn’t started and already there are fireworks. Deadline broke news yesterday that Harvey Weinstein would start a VOD business, making the acquisitions market for fringe films more competitive; and last night, I heard that a bidding battle had already broken out for the Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which should be sold by the time it screens Sunday. Fox Searchlight is the favorite, Sony Pictures Classics is in the mix and I’ve heard that The Weinstein Company is hovering. Bidding began right after its Telluride screening, and the mid-six figures thrown around yesterday will probably go higher. That’s huge, considering the movie is an unabashed NC-17, McQueen has final cut, and the sex-obsessed protagonist is unlikable. Oh, yeah, and the sellers want it released this year for Oscar consideration to capitalize on Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan’s Oscar-caliber performances.
Does this mean we’re in for a drunken buying frenzy? Hardly, buyers tell me. They are eager to see the films, but say there’s no title here that’s going to guarantee somebody will overpay. They are also mindful that many of last year’s deals turned out to be box office busts. More deals will be made than …
Craig Bankey has left WKT Public Relations to form his own company repping actors and filmmakers. He made the move last Friday, and said he is bringing with him clients that include Muhammad Ali, Matthew Goode, Michael C. Hall, Djimon Hounsou, Daniel Dae Kim, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe and Sendhil Ramamurthy. Bankey hasn’t named his company yet but will soon.
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has hired Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan to adapt and direct Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, based on the 1992 John Gray book that highlights the vast differences between men and women, and attempts to bridge the differences. Elfont and Kaplan will turn the title into a romantic comedy, with BermanBraun’s Lloyd Braun and Gail Berman producing.
Gray, whose book has sold over 50 million copies in 45 countries, details the vast gender differences and make suggestions on how to find common ground. Despite that apparent gulf between the sexes, Elfont and Kaplan have done pretty well. They have been creatively collaborating since they met at NYU. They most recently scripted the Amy Adams-Matthew Goode romantic comedy Leap Year, the Patrick Dempsey romantic comedy Made of Honor, and the Ben Affleck-James Gandolfini comedy Surviving Christmas. They’ve directed Can’t Hardly Wait, and Josie and the Pussycats. They are both repped by CAA and Benderspink.