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Christopher Plummer Replaces Michael Caine In ‘Imagine’

By | Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 1:21pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Christopher Plummer will join Jennifer Garner, Al Pacino, Annette Bening and Bobby Cannavale in Imagine, the film that gets underway July 1 in Los Angeles with Crazy, Stupid, Love scribe Dan Fogelman making his directorial debut. Plummer will take on a role that Michael Caine was going to play before scheduling knocked him out. Pacino plays a 70ish musician still leading the decadent rock n roll life. Plummer will play his manager, who gave him an undelivered letter written to him by a 19-year old John Lennon. It compels him to clean up and reconnect with his estranged son. Since winning the Oscar for Beginners, Plummer has wrapped the Michael Radford-directed Elsa & Fred opposite Shirley MacLaine, and the HBO film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. Plummer is repped by ICM Partners and Lou Pitt.

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Cannes: Jennifer Garner, Michael Caine Join ‘Imagine’

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 9:25am PDT

Jennifer Garner and Michael Caine have been cast alongside Al Pacino, Annette Bening, and Bobby Cannavale in Imagine, about an aging rock star (Pacino) who reconnects with his grown son after opening a letter sent from John Lennon to his 19-year-old self. Garner will play Pacino’s daughter-in-law, with Caine onboard as his longtime friend and manager. Writer Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Tangled) is set to direct from his own script for Inimitable Pictures and Mister Smith Entertainment, with filming to begin late June/early July in LA. The based-on-a-true-story pic was originally set up at WB for Steve Carell before it went into turnaround and was revived as an indie production. Denise DiNovi, Jessie Nelson, and Nimitt Mankad are producing. Shivani Rawat is executive producing for Inimitable Pictures which is financing the film. David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment will be shopping foreign rights this week at Cannes. WME Global is handling US sales and negotiated the deal with Mister Smith, with Stephen Dembitzer LLP repping Inimitable Pictures.

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Michael Caine Joins Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ Cast

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Marking their sixth teaming, Michael Caine has been set to star in the Christopher Nolan-directed Interstellar for Paramount and Warner Bros. Caine, who worked on three Nolan-helmed Dark Knight movies, also starred in Inception and The Prestige. He joins Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain in a project where Nolan rewrote a script by his brother Jonah, and the ambition is a heroic interstellar voyage to the farthest borders of our scientific understanding. It is shaping up to be a very ambitious and well-cast undertaking. Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are producing with Lynda Obst. Next up for Caine, repped by ICM Partners and 42, is the Lionsgate/Summit magician heist pic Now You See Me with Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Isla Fisher, due out May 31. He also has been booked for Millennium Films’ Eliza Graves with Ben Kingsley and Kate Beckinsale, which begins shooting next month.

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Millennium Adds Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess To ‘Eliza Graves’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess have joined Kate Beckinsale in Eliza Graves, the Brad Anderson-directed film that Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films has green lit to start shooting June 24. Based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story, the film is a turn of the century thriller about a young doctor who comes to apprentice at a remote mental institution. He meets a beautiful patient, with whom he falls in love under circumstances which may be much more complicated than they seem.

Joe Gangemi wrote the script, and Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson, Mark Amin and Cami Winikoff are producing. The executive producers are David Higgins, Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman.

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London Crix Go Roeg With Top Honor

The London Film Critics Circle is to present director Nicolas Roeg with the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, the org announced Friday. The prize is the venerable group’s highest honor and has previously gone to such talent as Dirk Bogarde, Michael Caine, Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Ken Loach, Judi Dench, Quentin Tarantino and Kristin Scott Thomas. Roeg’s diverse filmography includes 1971’s Walkabout, 1973’s Julie Christie/Donald Sutherland-starrer Don’t Look Now, 1976’s David Bowie vehicle The Man Who Fell To Earth and 1990′sThe Witches starring Angelica Huston. Roeg will receive the tribute at the Circle’s 32nd annual awards ceremony which was recently moved up to January 19. Nominees in the major categories will be unveiled Dec 20.

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Sidney Kimmel Comes Aboard Michael Caine-Starrer ‘Mr. Morgan’s Last Love’

By | Monday November 14, 2011 @ 9:19am PST

Sidney Kimmel Entertainment announced that it will co-finance and co-produce Mr Morgan’s Last Love, a comedic melodrama that has Michael Caine attached to star. The story is based on the Francoise Dorner novel La Douceur Assassine and centers on a retired, lonely American widower in Paris whose encounter with a free-spirited and vibrantly naive beautiful young French woman brightens his life. Together they share a precious moment that not only touches their hearts but changes their lives. Sandra Nettlebeck wrote the adaptation and is directing the film, which has begun shooting in Paris and co-stars Clémence Poésy, Justin Kirk, Jane Alexander, Anne Alvaro and Gillian Anderson. Bavaria Pictures, Kaminski Stiehm Film and Senator Film will co-produce with Belgium-based Scope Pictures and SKE in association with Elzevir Films. Sidney Kimmel will also produce, and SKE will rep domestic distribution rights; Bavaria Film reps foreign.

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Metallica Gets Rocking On 3D Feature Film

By | Friday October 21, 2011 @ 4:40pm PDT
Mike Fleming

The members of the heavy metal band Metallica are planning to self-finance a 3D feature film, I’m told. The band has hired producer Charlotte Huggins to get the ball rolling. She has produced the 3D films Journey to the Center of the Earth, and just completed the sequel Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which stars Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine and Josh Hutcherson. The band’s now looking for a director with the stones to direct a Metallica-style feature. This would be the first major film made by the band members, but Metallica has already made a strong impression on the medium. Their decision to lend their music to Paradise Lost, the 1996 documentary on the West Memphis 3 that was directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, helped give that film weight and helped create international outrage over how three teens could be convicted of mass murder without a shred of physical evidence but an abundance of innuendo. Prosecutors cited the defendants’ passion for Metallica music as a strike against them, and it took 17 years for the trio to finally be freed. The band then starred for Berlinger and Sinofsky in Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, a chronicle of the band’s attempt to mend discord through intensive therapy. One can only imagine what they’re planning for their first big feature. I will tell you more as I learn it.

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Beau Flynn Makes New First-Look Producing Deal At New Line

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After splitting up with Contrafilm partner Tripp Vinson in June following a decade-long partnership, Beau Flynn has formed a new company, Flynn Picture Co. He hasn’t strayed far from home. Flynn has made a two-year, non-exclusive, first-look producing deal with Toby Emmerich and New Line Cinema, which was home to Contrafilm for over seven years. Flynn is in the process of staffing up and has taken new office space in Hollywood. Among the pictures he’s producing: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island with Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson and Michael Caine for New Line and Warner Bros; Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton for Paramount; and the Anna Faris-Chris Evans-starrer What’s Your Number, the Fox/New Regency comedy that will be released Sept. 30. He’s also got the long-gestating Chris Hemsworth-starrer Red Dawn, which was made by MGM but which is closing on a new distribution deal.

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Hot Teaser Trailer: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Mike Fleming

Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures have released a teaser for The Dark Knight Rises, Chris Nolan’s third and possibly final installment of the Batman franchise. Pic stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard, with Nolan bringing back a lot of the cast of his last film Inception.

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Contrafilm Partners Beau Flynn And Tripp Vinson Splitting After Decade Together

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson have formally announced their split and issued this statement: “We have nothing but love and respect for each other, and our decision to pursue our own separate paths after 10 amazing years together is not an easy one,” Flynn and Vinson said. “But we have reached the stage where it is time to embrace new challenges and make films on our own. This isn’t goodbye since we will be working together on many projects that will be reaching the marketplace soon. And while we can look back at a lot of success we’ve had together, we are also excited to be looking ahead to the next chapter.”

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE: Contrafilm partners Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson are splitting after a decade together. The move comes as their first-look deal at New Line is expiring. Contrafilm will be frozen as a holding company for the projects they developed together that they will continue to move forward. They tell me the split is amicable, but after two years of whirlwind projects, they took stock and decided it was a good time go solo. Each will form his own new company over the summer and both will concentrate on making mainstream commercial fare.

The move comes after Contrafilm wrapped four films: the MGM remake of Red Dawn with Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck and Josh Hutcherson; the Anna Faris and Chris Evans comedy What’s Your Number? at New … Read More »

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Warner Bros, Legendary Start Shooting ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ Final Chapter Of Christopher Nolan’s Trilogy

Mike Fleming

BURBANK, CA, May 19, 2011 – Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises,” the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar® winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake. Returning to the main cast, Oscar® winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.

Read More »

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A 14-Year ‘Gambit’ Finally Provides a Big Payoff For Producer Mike Lobell

Mike Fleming

Production begins today on Gambit, a caper comedy that stars Colin Firth as a London art curator who plans to con England’s richest man into buying a phony Monet painting. To do it, he enlists a Texas steer roper (Cameron Diaz) to pose as a woman whose grandfather liberated the painting at the end of WWII. Michael Hoffman is directing, Alan Rickman and Tom Courtenay also star, and it’s Firth’s first big job since winning the Best Actor Oscar for The King’s Speech. And the script was written by Oscar winners Joel and Ethan Coen. Isn’t Hollywood great, the way these things just magically come together?

Gambit actually took a remarkable 14 years to get to this point, a case study on how impossible it is for producers to succeed without infinite patience and an inability to comprehend the word “no.” These Don Quixote types are the only ones in the moviemaking equation who don’t cash big paychecks through the development process, collecting serious fees only when their movies get made. They have a harder road than ever, because cost-cutting studios have made first-look producer deals an endangered species. After all, producers are bringing them projects anyway. In the case of Gambit, the driving force has been producer Mike Lobell. A seasoned vet who has gotten 14 pictures made — The Freshman, Honeymoon in Vegas and Striptease among them — Lobell … Read More »

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CBS Films Acquires Colin Firth-Cameron Diaz Redo ‘Gambit’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: CBS Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Gambit. The film has a script by Joel and Ethan Coen, and Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz are set to star for The Last Station helmer Michael Hoffman. Firth plays an art curator who enlists a Texas rodeo queen in a scam to con England’s richest man. Shooting begins in London this May. The film is based on the 1966 Michael Caine-Shirley MacLaine British caper film.

Mike Lobell is producing with Crime Scene Pictures partners Adam Ripp and Rob Paris, and Rizal Risjad is exec producer. I’ve been writing about this movie for going on a decade, with Lobell  a tireless advocate for a picture that got close several times over the years. Now, the movie seems charmed, with Firth coming off The King’s Speech and his Academy Award for Best Actor. Diaz just starred in Bad Teacher. The picture was funded by Crime Scene. Financing was arranged by CAA, which brokered the domestic distribution deal.

CBS Films is becoming an increasingly busy player in the acquisition circuit after the success of the remake The Mechanic. Those acquisitions are meant to bolster CBS’ slate of homegrown pictures that includes the recent release Beastly.

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Cameron Diaz Joins Colin Firth In ‘Gambit’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Cameron Diaz is attached to star with Colin Firth in Gambit, the Joel and Ethan Coen-scripted remake that will be directed by The Last Station’s Michael Hoffman. The 1966 original starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. Mike Lobell is producing with Crime Scene Pictures partners Adam Ripp and Rob Paris. Crime Scene is financing and FilmNation Entertainment will handle offshore sales at the European Film Market in Berlin. The film will shoot in London this May.

Firth plays a London art curator who plans to con a wealthy collector into buying a phony Monet painting. He enlists a Texas steer roper (Diaz) to pose as a woman whose grandfather liberated the painting at the end of WWII. Diaz is currently starring in The Green Hornet and recently wrapped Bad Teacher. Lobell has spent the better part of a decade trying to push this picture up the hill.  Adding Diaz to the fact Gambit will be Firth’s first project since all the awards hoopla surrounding The King’s Speech, the stars have certainly aligned for Lobell and his passion project.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’

Mike Fleming

Touchstone has a new trailer out for Gnomeo and Juliet, the animated feature that will be released February 11. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are the title characters, and Jason Statham, Michael Caine, Maggie Smith and Patrick Stewart round out the voice cast.

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