EXCLUSIVE: German-based Tandem Communications and Ridley and Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods. have locked in the main cast of their $44 million eight-hour miniseries World Without End, a follow-up to The Pillars of the Earth, which the two companies also co-produced. Cynthia Nixon, Miranda Richardson, Ben Chaplin, Peter Firth (MI5), Charlotte Riley (The Duchess) and Tom Weston-Jones (Enlightenment) lead the cast of the mini, based on the novel by The Pillars of the Earth author Ken Follett. Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy) is directing from a script by John Pielmeier, who also adapted The Pillars of the Earth for Tandem and Scott Free. The two companies are co-producing World Without End with Canada’s Take 5 Prods. and Galafilm.
Set in England 200 years after the events in Pillars, World chronicles tough times for ordinary citizens who are being hit with enormous taxes by the King, the Church as England teeters on the brink of a devastating 100-year war with France, and Europe is bracing for a terrible plague, which will wipe out a third of the continent’s population. The mini centers on Caris (Riley), a visionary woman who, with her lover Merthin, builds a community that stands up to the Crown and the Church. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Echo Lake Entertainment president Doug Mankoff and Blue Ice Entertainment’s Steven Silver and Neil Tabatznik have unveiled Blue Lake Entertainment, a fund to finance films with budget $10 million and higher. The 8-figure fund is backed by private investors in the US and Canada and will invest in up to four films per year. The emphasis is on commercial fare with bankable directors and casts. Blue Lake will have a non-exclusive relationship with Glen Basner’s FilmNation, which will handle foreign sales on select titles. Blue Lake’s first investment is La Piel Que Habito, the Pedro Almodovar-directed film which just wrapped and has Sony Pictures Classics aboard for domestic distribution. FilmNation is selling foreign on that film.
“The relationship with FilmNation is critical in helping Blue Lake identify and sensibly invest in commercially viable films,” Echo Lake president Doug Mankoff said. “While our first picture is a high-end specialty film, we fully intend to invest in genre and cast driven films.” Targets will be comparable to Echo Lake’s last two films, the upcoming John Carpenter’s The Ward, and the Demi Moore-David Duchovny-starrer The Joneses. Echo Lake’s other films include the Sarah Polley-directed Away From Her and Gavin Hood’s Tsotsi. Echo Lake’s management division, headed by Mike Marcus and Amotz Zakai, reps Carpenter, Walter Hill, Deepa Mehta, Michael Caton-Jones and Fred Schepisi. Blue Ice is a division of the Blue Ice Capital Group, which in 2009 sold off its film/TV production company … Read More »