Just back from Comic-Con, Paramount has released a trailer for its upcoming November 7 Christopher Nolan sci-fi mystery Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey as a haggard, ex-pilot father of two, who has to leave his kids behind while he heads to outer space. Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Cainealso star. It’s no secret that Nolan is making a number of homages to one of his fave films, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The director, who made his first Hall H appearance at the San Diego fanboy confab last week, told the crowd: “I grew up in a time when being an astronaut was the highest ambition of any child. The idea that we’d keep exploring space seemed an inevitability.”
Van Sant has assembled a top-notch creative team to work on the film including Oscar-winning editor Pietro Scalia, Emmy nominated production designer Alex DiGerlando (HBO’s True Detective), cinematographer Kasper Tuxen (Beginners), Oscar-nominated costume designer Danny Glicker (Milk, Up In The Air) and make up department head Felicity Bowring (The Bourne Legacy, The Social Network). Read More »
Here’s one to keep an eye on. I’m hearing that Matthew McConaughey has come aboard The Company Man, the Black List script by Andrew Cypiot that had been known as the Untitled Ed Wilson Project. The Oscar-winning actor’s reps caution that none of this is set in stone, but I’m hearing he’s guiding the process of looking for a director before the project is shopped as a spec later this summer. It’s based on true events. CIA agent Edwin Wilson went behind enemy lines to secure a weapons contract and report information back to the CIA shortly after the Cold War. He had a meteoric rise until company policies changed and he was unceremoniously fired. Even after, he continued to operate as a man without a country and became public enemy No. 1 to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Former DreamWorks senior exec Mark Sourian is producing with Josh Kazdan. McConaughey’s repped by CAA, Cypiot by Verve. Sounds like another gritty project for him to sink his teeth into, after his superb performance in HBO’s True Detective.
History has a chance to repeat itself at the Emmy Awards on August 25th if Matthew McConaughey wins Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He would become the first – and only other male — to pull off an Oscar win and Emmy win in the same year since George C. Scott did it 43 years ago in 1971. Scott, who famously didn’t attend either ceremony, won the Best Actor Oscar for Patton on April 15th of that year and then less than a month later on May 9th pulled off the Emmy for Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for the “The Price”episode of ITV Saturday Night Theatre. Of course, McConaughey won the Oscar in March for Best Actor in Dallas Buyers Club. Both also won Golden Globes in their respective years too.
As everyone knows, Scott actually refused the Oscar and called the ceremony a “meat parade.” Goldie Hawn announced him as the winner by saying “Oh my God, it’s George C. Scott!” As I recall, when presenter Suzanne Pleshette opened the Emmy envelope that year she parodied that moment by saying, “Oh my God, it’s George C. Scott!” It should be noted that, unlike his unwanted Academy Award, Scott never turned down the Emmy. He just didn’t show up for it and it was accepted instead on his behalf by Jack Cassidy.
This promises to be one of the most exciting categories at the Emmys this year, with the list of nominees announced this morning not producing a ton of surprises but offering a rich group of nominees featuring the TRIED (Downton Abbey, Mad Men, etc), the TRUE (Detective) along with the NEW (Orange Is The New Black, Silicon Valley, etc). The most astounding thing to me was to see Netflix really break through big-time with 31 nominations and within shouting distance of the traditional three networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) and ahead of Fox. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: With last night’s Broadcast Television Journalists Association’s 4th Annual Critics Choice Television Awards now out of the way, and Emmy ballots due by 10 tonight, there is lots of news on the TV awards front. But I have learned there also is news on the nascent movie awards season that could mean a radical shake up for the BFJA’s kissing cousins’ Critics Choice Movie Awards.
A meeting will be held today to discuss moving the CCMAs up in the season by as much as a month to mid-December. Yikes! (Full Disclosure: I vote in those awards). For the last two years they have been held on Oscar nomination day (January 17th earlier this year), drawing a big star-and-industry turnout as well as lots of attention due to the fact that newly minted Oscar nominees hit the CCMA red carpet just hours after getting the big news. But I am told BFCA officials are frustrated by the forced proximity not only to the higher profile Golden Globes show on NBC, but also the glut of other pre-Oscar events and guild nomination announcements. Also factoring in is a new broadcast partner as The CW, which has carried the show for the past two years (after previous stints with VH1 and E) is no longer going to be involved. Last night’s TV awards was also the first — and apparently last — broadcast for that show as well on The CW. The BFCA/BFJA (same group of … Read More »
Matthew McConaughey this year won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club and is a frontrunner for an Emmy nom for HBO’s True Detective. Now he has another honor on the way: today he was named the recipient of its 28th American Cinematheque Award. The benefit gala is set for October 21 at the Beverly Hilton. He follows last year’s honoree Jerry Bruckheimer, the first producer so honored by the nonprofit group, which said McConaughey was a unanimous choice for the honor. That means another one of those patented McConaughey Speeches he perfected during the last awards season, like this one after his Golden Globes win:
When movie stars go cold, the smart ones can find their way back. For Robert Downey Jr, that meant an Iron Man screen test so overwhelming that skeptical studio execs had no choice but to hire him. Ben Affleck scripted his own second act as writer and director and won the Best Picture Oscar for Argo. When we look back on how Matthew McConaughey sprang himself from rom-com prison by taking creative risks in small edgy films, his transformation won’t simply be pegged to the performance as AIDS activist Ron Woodroof that won him the Best Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey’s second wind is a one-two punch capped off by his Emmy-caliber performance as the tightly coiled fatalistic cop Rustin “Rust” Cohle opposite Woody Harrelson in HBO‘s groundbreaking 8-episode drama series True Detective. Among other things, McConaughey explains here how patience was key to turning around a stalled career and how patience allowed him to let a complicated character percolate over a time span four times longer that he gets in feature films.
DEADLINE: True Detective is a high-water mark in this golden age where pay and cable TV series are as good or better than what we see on movie screens. Still, it’s chancy for a movie star to say yes to a TV … Read More »
Christopher Nolan’s new movie has been shrouded in secrecy — an impressive feat in this day and age (the pic opens November 7). Matthew McConaughey leads a loaded cast in movie from the Nolan brothers who did a couple little Batman movies among other things together. Here’s the first look at Interstellar from Warner Bros, Paramount and Legendary:
Matthew McConaughey‘s remarkable ride over the last two years arguably started at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where he had two films – Mud and The Paperboy in competition — and another, Magic Mike, about to be released. Now after a Best Actor Oscar win for Dallas Buyers Club a couple of months ago, he blew back into Cannes today to tout his first movie post-Oscar: Sea Of Trees to shoot this summer under the direction of Gus Van Sant, who joined McConaughey for a discussion for buyers from around the world moderated by Alex Walton. Walton is the former Exclusive Media head of International Sales and Distribution who is launching his new company Bloom (with partner and Sea Of Trees producer Ken Kao) here in Cannes this week. Both McConaughey and Van Sant said the project originally came to them through its other producer Gil Netter, no stranger to hard-to-describe projects like Life Of Pi and The Blind Side, both netting him Best Picture Oscar nominations.
Actually for McConaughey this is a project he had lined up for a while and told me about when I sat with him at last February’s Oscar Nominees lunch. He was as excited about it then as he seemed today, although he said it’s not easy to describe. “It’s not the easiest one to explain,” he told me after the presentation, “but we hope it will be top notch.” McConaughey said the script by Chris Sparling was the best he had read in five years. ”It’s high-quality. It gave me the chills in parts,” he told buyers. It deals with a suicidal man’s visit to a dense forest at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan, a place where people go to contemplate life and death. There he sets out to help save a Japanese man (likely played by Ken Watanabe) and changes his own life in the process. Although it sounds like pretty heady material, McConaughey was careful to use the word “action” a few times in discussing the elements in the movie. This is, after all, a group of international buyers in Cannes, and it’s tough to sell metaphysics. Walton, who told me they have held back all territories until Cannes, doesn’t even like to use the word “sell” when talking about the business aspects of pushing his new company’s first project. “We’re here today to share it rather than sell it,” he laughed. In addition to the hopeful Watanabe casting, Walton said they are also looking at Naomi Watts for the role of McConaughey’s wife. Read More »
BREAKING: Lot of naysayers out there predicting there will be little worthy product in Cannes, but here’s a title that should draw interest. As Exclusive Media winds down, former head of International Sales and Distribution Alex Walton has teamed with financier and producer Ken Kao for a Cannes launch of Bloom. The shingle comes to the Croisette with Sea Of Trees, the Gus Van Sant-directed drama that stars Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey and reportedly Ken Watanabe, and Life Of Pi’s Gill Netter producing along with Kao. The latter will finance through his Waypoint Entertainment banner. CAA and WME Global will handle domestic on the Chris Sparling-scripted film that stars McConaughey as a suicidal man who treks to a dense forest at the foothills of Mount Fuji. Though the Sea Of Trees is called the perfect place to die, he encounters a lost Japanese man (Watanabe) and invests all his energy to save him, and saving himself in the process. Read More »
Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business.
Fleming: Working on the Deadline/Awardsline Emmy issues prompted me to binge my way through cable series like True Detective and House Of Cards. It really got me depressed about the movie business.
Fleming: Because those series and 10 more like them are better than anything I see on a movie screen. For the 25 years I’ve covered it, film has always been the sexiest, most prestigious part of the business. Sure, TV packages drove the bottom line, but agencies and studios were measured by the feature stars and directors in their stables. TV, particularly pay and basic cable, has gradually overtaken movies and become the trendsetting cool place to work. Why leave the house for the theater when so many movies regurgitate past success, especially at studios? Look at the projects put in development last week. Revamps of Power Rangers, The Flintstones, Private Benjamin. Uninspiring. The most successful major studio right now, Disney, has a success formula based on recycling old movies like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, sequelizing Marvel superheroes, and refashioning fairy tales. The definition of excellence in studio summer movies these days is putting a smart spin on an old concept, as happened on Rise Of The Planet Of … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Boyhood, a time-lapse narrative feature film that Richard Linklater shot over a 12-year period, has been set for a July 11 release through IFC Films, which has stepped up and committed to a theatrical platform rollout and awards campaign. The film played Sundance and Berlin and its makers have positioned it for what they hope will be a long summer run as audiences watch actor Ellar Coltrane and his supporting cast actually grow up before their eyes, and adults Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette mature as his parents.
At Sundance, there had been some question of whether a large distributor would take the film off the table, but it only seems right that IFC stepped up. After all, as IFC President Jonathan Sehring told me back then, he was the one who wrote an annual check to Linklater for over a decade, and when his bosses would ask him to explain the expenditure and when they would see a payoff, he’d shrug his shoulders. Sehring’s a producer on the film, and so is John Sloss, who made this deal. “We went to Sundance with the understanding we would talk to other distributors,” Sloss said. “You have to understand when they committed to fund this, IFC didn’t have a distribution arm. So they didn’t have distribution rights, even though they are a co-owner along with Rick and the filmmaking team. This is a very special movie, and we wanted to make sure it has every opportunity for success. We’ve realized this film plays for a young audience and it will need word-of-mouth that comes from staying in theaters for a long time. IFC really stepped up.”
On his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report,Stephen Colbert discusses the terrible evil of slavery resulting in an Oscar for Best Picture, and Matthew McConaughey‘s acceptance speech for his Dallas Buyers Club win, in which he talked about his personal hero – Matthew McConaughey. Watch here:
Monica Corcoran Harel is contributing to Deadline’s Oscars coverage.
Clearly, God loves a red carpet. How else to explain how the torrential rain miraculously ceased by noon today so we wouldn’t have to see actresses with frizzy hair and streaked mascara in belted trench coats? Instead, this year’s Oscar red carpet brought us a bevy of gold beaded dresses, dozens of bare shoulders, an al fresco Jennifer Lawrence pratfall and many leading men in blue.
That red carpet also brought about $2.3M to our local economy, according to a recent study from a Los Angeles consulting firm that tallied wardrobe expenses for women attending the Academy Awards. (Of course, nominees and presenters don’t have to buy anything — all is custom designed or borrowed.) Celebrity stylists, however, can earn up to $10,000 per day for prepping, pulling looks and fitting clients. (Having co-written a book with Rachel Zoe last year, I can attest to stress of the task. However, any monthlong job that earns enough money to buy a Tesla is no crap gig, eh? )
This year, beaded metallics reigned. Cate Blanchett in pale gold Armani Prive, Angelina Jolie in sparkly Elie Saab Couture, Sally Hawkins in Valentino and Lady Gaga wearing Atelier Versace were reflective. With barely any sunlight, the flashes of paparazzi made these women sparkle. Bare shoulders also were a major trend, and the ones who did it right opted for dramatic bodices and necklines, including Charlize Theron in Christian Dior, Sandra Bullock in navy Alexander McQueen and Amy Adams in Gucci Couture. The lack of straps also makes a great canvas for diamond necklaces, as we saw on Lawrence in $2 million worth of Neal Lane sparklers.
Here we are again after the Golden Globes, Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset.
That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. The film is up for 10 awards, and has grossed over $240 million on a $40 million budget.
Then there is The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo DiCaprio giving the most emphatic and complete performance of a great career, and Jonah Hill right there with him as his crazy con man sidekick. The film is up for five nominations, including Martin Scorsese for directing a terrific adaptation from The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire vet Terence Winter.
So did the 12 Years A Slave team contemplate a potential best pic loss tonight? According to producer and co-star Brad Pitt — it didn’t matter if they won or lost. 12 Years A Slave in and of itself is a benchmark in cinematic history, unlike many films being made today. Asserted Pitt, “I love this story. It’s a historical story of man in an inhumane situation finding freedom. It’s an important film because it deals with our history that hasn’t been shown on screen. It’s important that we understand this era as it explains who we were, so we can better understand who we are now. The film is a gentle reminder that we’re all equal and want dignity for ourselves and for our families.” Fielding a question about how 12 Years A Slave has evolved cinema about African-Americans in the south since Gone With The Wind 75 years ago, McQueen exclaimed, “It’s obviously a progression. The background characters are now in the foreground and now they’re being recognized. It’s indicative of what’s going on; how people are ready for this narrative and how they want to look at this history. It’s like Brad said, ‘If you don’t know your past, we don’t know our future.’” Speaking about 12 Years‘ momentum around the world, producer Dede Gardner pointed out how Solomon Northup’s book is now available in high school libraries throughout the country after being out of print, while producer Jeremy Kleiner said, “the universality of the film’s story has broken down ideological concepts of what is a domestic and what is an international story.”