EXCLUSIVE: Stuart Blumberg has sold an original comedy pitch to New Line Cinema with Scott Stuber and Maven Pictures duo Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler producing. The untitled comedy centers around two very different families, one a blue-state liberal, the other a red-state conservative, who discover that they have been raising the other’s son since they were switched by accident 17 years ago.
Blumberg scripted The Kids Are All Right, for which he got an Oscar nom, and he made his directing debut on the sex addiction tale Thanks For Sharing with Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow. Stuber will produce through his Bluegrass Films banner and Styler and Rattray through Maven Pictures. Blumberg’s Class 5 Films cohorts Edward Norton and Bill Migliore are exec producing. This is a reunion between Rattray and Blumberg, who collaborated on The Kids Are All Right. New Line’s Richard Brener and Michael Disco are overseeing for New Line. Stuber’s coming off the hits Identity Thief and Ted, while Maven is coming off the Kristen Wiig-Annette Bening comedy Girl Most Likely and the James McAvoy-starrer Filth, which surprised to become the UK’s second highest grossing R-rated film of the year. Maven’s next, Black Nativity, will be released Thanksgiving by Fox Searchlight. Blumberg is repped by WME.
EXCLUSIVE: Maven Pictures’ Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler have acquired The Making Of Rock Hudson, a script by Tyler Ruggeri about the transformation of a young Midwesterner into a legendary movie star. Maven will produce with Gadabout’s Aaron Cruze and Stephanie Marin.
The transformation of Hudson from a shy kid into a sex symbol with rugged good looks was a tricky bit of business, in that he was forced to keep secret his homosexuality. The script tells the story from the vantage point of Henry Willson, the agent who discovered Hudson. Beyond changing the actor’s name, Willson became adept at keeping secrets. One would hope that such a stigma is fast becoming a thing of the past, as more and more actors are now open about their sexuality. Back in Hudson’s heyday, such honesty would have been instant career suicide. When the showbiz tabloid Confidential threatened to publish rumors that Hudson was leading a secret life in 1955, Willson arranged for Hudson to marry his secretary, Phyllis Gates. They did a good job of keeping Hudson’s private life private right up until he died in 1985, when he became the first major movie star to pass away from complications relating to AIDS. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: HBO Films has set up the Marisa Acocella Marchetto memoir Cancer Vixen: A True Story as a star vehicle for Cate Blanchett. The actress will be an executive producer on the project alongside Maven Pictures partners Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray. They are meeting with writers but the prospect of having the Oscar-winning actress in the lead role makes this a priority project. Blanchett has been sweet on the book for some time.
The protagonist is a cartoonist for magazines like The New Yorker and Glamour with a supercharged Manhattan lifestyle who is about to get married but must re-examine her life through wit and her animation when she is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Blanchett is shooting the George Clooney-directed The Monuments Men and is attached to Disney’s Cinderella, which Kenneth Branagh will direct. She’s repped by CAA.
Rollin’ Thunder is a comedy about a bowling champ-turned-ex-con who sees in a city-wide bowling tournament the chance to get back in the game, prove his innocence to the tycoon who owns Atlanta’s biggest bowling alley, and mend bridges with his estranged teenaged daughter. Kenny Smith Jr, who writes and directs BET’s series The Game, is penning the screenplay, and the film will have a major musical element as its set in hip-hop hub Atlanta. Federal Films’ David Schulhof and Monte Lipman are also producing — Lipman is head of Universal Republic Records, which will handle the soundtrack like it did for The Hunger Games. Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s Maven just came off selling its latest pic Imogene to Lionsgate and Roadside at the Toronto Film Festival. Smith is repped by Gersh, NWE and attorney Rick Genow.
The original 2000 French film With A Friend Like Harry centers on a family man, Michel, who is joined on vacation by an old schoolmate, Harry, who he doesn’t remember. At first Harry seems to be just what the family needs, but the friendlier he gets the more mysteriously menacing his effects become. Kimberly Peirce has been set to direct the psychological thriller, which Wentworth Miller is adapting. Maven Pictures‘ Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray is aboard to produce alongside Michelle Krumm. Peirce is directing the remake of Carrie starring Chloë Moretz and Julianne Moore. Miller’s latest script is Stoker, a horror-suspense pic that Fox Searchlight will release March 1, 2013, with Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska starring and Park Chan-wook directing.
Maven Pictures is bringing the ballet of Rudolph Nureyev to the big screen with an adaptation of Dancer, based on Colum McCann’s bestselling 2003 novel. Maven’s Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray are producing with Davide Azzolini. While not a straightforward biography, Dancer tells the story of Nureyev from a young boy to the height of his international fame both on and off the stage during the 1970s. He died in 1992. Maven currently has two films in postproduction: Filth, withJames McAvoy and Jim Broadbent, and Imogene starring Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, and Darren Criss.
EXCLUSIVE: Tom Vaughan has come on board to direct Mixtape, Stacey Menear-scripted film that Jim Wedaa Productions and Maven Pictures’ Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray will produce. Maven is financing. Vaughan helmed Starter For 10, Extraordinary Measures and What Happens In Vegas.
“This is a really funny and moving story about growing up, discovering the power of music and understanding who you are,” Vaughan said. “The script is full of rich, fully realized characters who are complicated and real and this is what makes it so rewarding.”
Mixtape is a music-driven coming of age comedy about a 12-year-old girl, raised by her aunt, who never knew her mother. Finding a mixtape that once belonged to her mom, she accidentally destroys it. Since the music on the tape is the only link she has to her deceased parents, the girl sets out to track down each of the obscure songs listed on the tape’s case, finding out something about her parents, or herself, along the way. In 2009 the script won the American Zoetrope screenwriting contest and it appeared on the Black List that same year.
Maven Pictures currently has two films in post-production: Filth, starring James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Jamie Bell, and Imogen Poots, and Imogene, starring Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, and Darren Criss. Maven is adapting the Steve Martin novel Object of Beauty, which will star Amy Adams as an ambitious young art entrepreneur; Face Blind, a psychological thriller starring … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Dillon has been set to co-star in Imogene, joining Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening in the indie comedy that started shooting this week in New York. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are directing, and Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s Maven Pictures is producing with Anonymous Cntent’s Alix Madigan and Steve Golin. Dillon plays the eccentric love interest of Bening’s character. He claims to be in the CIA, but his behavior suggests he just might be crazy. In the Michelle Morgan-scripted comedy, Wiig plays a playwright who stages a fake suicide attempt in reaction to the triple-whammy of losing her job, getting evicted and getting dumped by her boyfriend. She hopes to gain sympathy from her ex, but instead is consigned to return to the home of her gambling addict mother (Bening). Dillon last starred in Takers and guested on Modern Family. He’d been expected to star with Brendan Fraser and William H. Macy in the Charlie Matthau-directed Elmore Leonard novel adaptation Freaky Deaky, but when Fraser dropped out of that due to personal reasons, the other actors followed, and that film will now star Christian Slater, Billy Burke, and Crispin Glover. Dillon is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Celine Rattray is leaving her post as president of Mandalay Vision to partner with Trudie Styler in the launch of Maven Pictures, a Gotham-based film development, production and financing company. The Maven partners hope to produce three to five films per year and fund development and provide equity for films. Mandalay Vision was formed in 2010 and came out of the gate with the Oscar-nominated The Kids Are All Right. Rattray was one of the producers.
Rattray is bringing over her production team from Mandalay Vision, formed to produce and finance prestige pictures. Exiting staffers are Hardy Justice, who’ll be senior VP of production/development, Jenny Halper, who’ll be development executiv,e and Nic Marshall, who’ll be director of operations. Aside from The Kids Are All Right, Rattray and Mandalay Vision produced the Rachel Weisz-starrer The Whistleblower. Styler’s credits include the Guy Ritchie-directed Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Styler, the wife of musician Sting, also has her UK-based Xingu Films label, which is working on projects that include a Steve Zaillian-scripted adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. She was BAFTA-nominated for the Duncan Jones-directed Moon.
It wasn’t immediately clear what the next move is for Mandalay Vision or whether the company will remain in New York. I will update when I hear back from Mandalay chief Peter Guber.