Daniel Emmerson Joins Michael Fassbender’s Production Company
Producer Daniel Emmerson has joined Michael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan’s London-based production outfit DMC Film. The company is in postproduction on Slow West, the feature debut of director John Maclean, who won the 2012 BAFTA for Best Short Film for Pitch Black Heist. Fassbender stars in Slow West, which is backed by Film4 in co-production with See Saw Films. Other DMC projects include Assassin’s Creed with Ubisoft and New Regency, and due to start shooting in 2015, as well as the BBC Films backed Garagistas written by James Graham. Emmerson brings with him a slate of projects and relationships with emerging talent including Fagin’s Kitchen, which is being co-developed with Film4 and will be directed by Kibwe Tavares and written by Daniel Kaluuya.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Daniel Emmerson Joins Michael Fassbender’s DMC Film; ‘Remember’ Sells To Dozen-Plus Territories; More
Daniel Emmerson Joins Michael Fassbender’s Production Company
Adam Smith’s directorial debut Trespass Against Us is picking up steam ahead of a scheduled summer production start, with Lionsgate picking up UK rights. Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Lyndsey Marshal and Rory Kinnear star in the pic scripted by Alistair Siddons. It is set across three generations of the rowdy Cutler family, who live as outlaws in the English countryside – hunting hares, ram-raiding stately homes and taunting the police. As the letter of the law finally catches up with Chad (Fassbender), he is torn between the archaic principles of his father (Gleeson) and what he believes is best for his children. Smith was tapped for the gig in November ahead of AFM. His credits include episodes of Doctor Who, Little Dorrit and Skins in the UK and the feature documentary The Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think — that duo will write and perform the original score for the movie, for which Protagonist Pictures is handling global presales at Cannes.
Kurzel isn’t a household name in the action arena just yet, but he and Fassbender just came off Macbeth. They wrapped that Weinstein Company film, with Fassbender in the title role, and the actor must have really liked what he saw. No deal yet, but they are eager to get this film started, so it’ll come soon. Regency and Ubisoft are also moving quickly on Splinter Cell, which Doug Liman will direct with Tom Hardy starring. Kurzel is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.
This is the movie that features Michael Fassbender wearing an enormous head throughout. The 12 Years A Slave Oscar nominee plays the title character in Frank, the mysterious and enigmatic lead singer in a band of eccentrics. Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy and Carla Azar also star. Lenny Abrahamson directed the film from a script by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan. Frank, which Magnolia picked up after its Sundance premiere, bows May 2 in the UK and Ireland. Here’s the trailer:
Global Showbiz Briefs: Irish Film & TV Academy Nominations; Sky Renews ‘Stella’; Sylvie Pialat Honored In France; More
The Irish Film and Television Academy has unveiled its nominees for the 11th annual Irish Film and Television Awards, which takes place on April 5 in Dublin. In the Best Film category are Neil Jordan’s Byzantium; John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary; Steph Green’s Run & Jump; Stephen Brown’s The Sea; and John Butler’s The Stag. Ruiri Robinson is nominated for director for his debut sci-fi feature film The Last Days On Mars alongside Butler, Jordan and McDonagh. The Best Actor category includes Brendan Gleeson for Calvary; Domhnall Gleeson for About Time; Ciarán Hinds in The Sea; and The Stag’s Andrew Scott. Antonia Campbell-Hughes is nominated for Best Actress in 3096 Days, alongside Saoirse Ronan in Byzantium; Jane McGrath in Black Ice; and Kelly Thornton in Life’s A Breeze. The male supporting race includes Colin Farrell for Saving Mr Banks; Michael Fassbender for 12 Years A Slave; Edward MacLiam for Run & Jump and Peter McDonald for The Stag. Female supporting actors recognized are Sinead Cusack for The Sea; Fionnula Flannigan for Life’s A Breeze; Amy Huberman for The Stag and Orla O’Rourke for Calvary. Up for Best International Film are 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, Philomena and The Wolf Of Wall Street. Among TV nominees is Gillian Anderson thriller The Fall; HBO’s Game Of Thrones; historical action drama Vikings; period crime series Quirke; and urban drama Love/Hate. Downton Abbey, Moone Boy and Dracula also scored acting nods. The full list of IFTA nominees is here.
UPDATE: Magnolia Confirms Domestic Deal At Sundance For ‘Frank,’ The One That Has Michael Fassbender Wearing The Giant Head
UPDATE, 3:16 PM: Magnolia Pictures has confirmed news that Deadline broke yesterday: It has acquired North American rights to Frank, starring Michael Fassbender. Read the full release below the original story.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, THURSDAY AM: Magnolia is zeroing in on a low seven-figure domestic deal for Frank, the Lenny Abrahamson-directed film about a band that is led by an eclectic genius lead singer who, everywhere he goes, wears an oversized head, even on stage. Now, this has been one of the most intriguing titles, given that the actor playing him is Michael Fassbender, the hunky Irishman who was just Oscar-nominated for his role in 12 Years A Slave.
The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy and Domhnall Gleeson and the vantage point is a fledgling musician who joins the band. The film is repped by WME Global, and while the deal flow has been a bit on the slow side, that agency has managed to close a deal through all of the six days of the fest. I wrote about how Graham Taylor’s Sundance team of Mark Ankner, Liesl Copland and Alexis Garcia got minted as partners, and maybe that was the extra motivation, but they bagged the fest’s first big deal on the opening night film Whiplash, and haven’t let up. Frank first premiered last Friday night at the Eccles Theater.
British director Adam Smith will make his narrative feature debut with Trespass Against Us. Alastair Siddons penned the script for the gangster pic and will produce with Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood of Potboiler Productions (A Most Wanted Man). Michael Fassbender is in negotiations to star as Chad Cutler, a man who wants out of his outlaw family’s multi-generational criminal ways. Smith’s credits include episodes of Doctor Who, Little Dorrit and Skins and the feature documentary The Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think. The British electronic music duo will write and perform the original score for Trespass Against Us. Siddons has directed documentaries Turn It Loose and Inside Out: The People’s Art Project. This is his first feature fiction screenplay. Shooting is scheduled for 2014 in the UK, and Protagonist Pictures will begin pre-selling the film at the AFM next week. It was developed by and is being co-financed by Film4. The busy Fassbender is shooting Slow West for director John Maclean in New Zealand and will take on the leading role in Macbeth for Justin Kurzel in January. He’s repped by Troika Talent and CAA.
Mike Fleming Jr broke this story last week that The Weinstein Company would acquire rights to a new version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Weinstein and Fox Searchlight had been sparring over the pic. Here’s the company’s release today confirming the North American rights deal:
New York, NY (October 23, 2013) – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that they are acquiring U.S. and Canadian rights from Studiocanal for director Justin Kurzel’s (SNOWTOWN) big screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s MACBETH. Jacob Koskoff and Todd Louiso (THE MARC PEASE EXPERIENCE) have penned the screenplay for the film, which will star Michael Fassbender (12 YEARS A SLAVE, SHAME) and Marion Cotillard (THE IMMIGRANT, RUST AND BONE). The project is being produced by See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (THE KING’S SPEECH). STUDIOCANAL is financing and is handling international sales. Film4 developed and is partnering on the project.
Catch up with the top film stories you missed this week:
OSCARS: Why Michael Fassbender’s Refusal To Campaign Likely Won’t Matter
By Pete Hammond - Campaign or no campaign, in Fassbender’s case it may not matter. He’s very likely going to get nominated — and could win — for Best Supporting Actor and I think that’s a scenario whether he lifts a finger or not in doing the usual rounds.
Tom Hanks Retraces A Life In Pictures, Talks Pitfalls Of Comedy & Freedom From Self-Consciousness At BAFTA Event
By Nancy Tartaglione - Tom Hanks was in London on Saturday to spend an evening with BAFTA. The British Academy’s Life In Pictures series is a walk through an actor or director’s career – Hanks’ this evening lasted two hours, which, considering his resumé, wasn’t nearly enough time to touch on every film.
Oren Aviv Exited As Chief Movie Marketing Officer At 20th Century Fox
By Nikki Finke - EXCLUSIVE: There’s yet another shake-up inside a major Hollywood studio. I’ve learned that Thursday will be the last day for 20th Century Fox Chief Marketing Officer Oren Aviv at Twentieth Century Fox even though his contract had another 18 months to go.
Tony Sella Not Out Yet At Fox Film – But Decision Day Is Monday
By Mike Fleming Jr. - Might 20th Century Fox Film chief creative officer Tony Sella be soon following marketing chief Oren Aviv out the door?
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company is nearing a deal to distribute a new version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth that has Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard starring, This is the one being directed by Snowtown helmer Justin Kurzel, from a script by Jacob Koskoff Todd Louiso that features the original Shakespearean dialogue, but doing an ambitious job of visually framing Macbeth’s plight, as his ambitious wife coaxes him into taking underhanded means to grab power from the reigning king Duncan. The film’s produced by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films. TWC and Fox Searchlight have been sparring over the picture in the last month or so.
This puts Fassbender in the hands of Harvey Weinstein and despite what the actor said in GQ about not wanting to participate in the Oscar proceedings, Weinstein can certainly be persuasive in making stars of his movies see the benefit in at least trying to play the game. When an actor makes public comments like the ones Fassbender did, the danger is that it can come off as indifference or disdain to Oscar voters and the process. That puts the focus squarely on performance, which of course is where it should be anyway, but we all know life doesn’t work out that way. In this case, Fassbender’s work in 12 Years A Slave is so overpowering it might not matter. It certainly didn’t stop Joaquin Phoenix from getting a Best Actor nomination for his towering performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master even after the actor went public for his aversion to the whole Oscar dog and pony show.
Buried near the end of a lengthy Michael Fassbender profile in the November issue of GQ, writer Zach Baron gets the Oscar-buzzed actor to explain why he has no plans to do the campaign circuit this season for his supporting role as the vicious slave owner in 12 Years A Slave.
“I’m going to be busy working. I just don’t really have time. (Campaigning is) just not going to happen, because I’ll be in New Zealand. I’ll be on the other side of the world. You know, I get it. Everybody’s got to do their job. So you try and help and facilitate as best you can. But I won’t put myself through that kind of situation again. It’s just a grind. And I’m not a politician. I’m an actor,” Fassbender said of the whole Oscar process, which seems to grow every year and includes numerous Q&As, luncheons, meet-and-greets, private screenings, film festival tributes, presenting at endless awards shows, well-timed talk show appearances, etc etc. Many artists who suddenly find themselves the object of an all-out Oscar campaign find this part of the job even more grueling than making the actual film. And by the time the Oscars roll around they are spent.
Campaign or no campaign, in Fassbender’s case it may not matter. He’s very likely going to get nominated — and could win — for Best Supporting Actor and I think that’s a scenario whether he lifts a finger or not in doing the usual rounds. The film and the role are so strong it’s hard to imagine the actors branch ignoring him. Now after the nominations it could change, especially in a tight, competitive race where every vote counts.
Telluride has been buzzing since last night’s first screening of Steve McQueen‘s excellent slavery drama, 12 Years A Slave. One site which shall remain nameless was so overcome that the writer already just about declared the Oscar race over and done. “Guess we don’t have to go to Toronto now,” said a publicist here with another contender. One blogger stopped me on the street today after I saw the film and asked, “So do you agree with us (bloggers) the actor race is done?” he said in referring to star Chewitel Ejiofor‘s towering and dignified performance as the slave Solomon Northup, who lived to tell his harrowing tale and write a book about it in 1853. As I said yesterday, hyperbole is a big part of any festival like this and intelligent moviegoers are so thirsty for Oscar-quality adult movie fare they might have a tendency to go overboard with praise. But it’s a disservice to a very fine but challenging film like 12 Years A Slave to build up such high expectations no movie could possibly live up to it.
As I exited the packed 650-seat Herzog Theatre, I ran into Fox Searchlight co-President Nancy Utley, who was there gauging reaction to her film, which they open in LA and NY on October 18 and then roll out slowly. She agreed it is a film that should be “discovered” but, obviously happy with the ecstatic reaction so far at its first two screenings, added that this film needs special handling. “It’s a movie that will depend on critical reaction and awards play to really tell people that despite tough subject matter it’s a film they must see,” she said.
Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard has boarded See-Saw Films’ Macbeth, to be directed by Snowtown‘s Justin Kurzel. Natalie Portman had previously been attached to play the scheming Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender as the iconic eponymous antihero. Fassbender is still in the mix. King’s Speech and Shame producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman are producing. Pre-production is slated for the end of the year with principal photography to kick off in the UK in January 2014. Studiocanal is financing the majority of the picture with Film4 and will handle international sales. It is also releasing in the UK, France and Germany. Cotillard is repped by CAA and Agence Adequat.
The international trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Counselor has arrived via 20th Century Fox UK (hence the double L in the titles below). This is the longest look at the film so far and includes a bit more on the story. Michael Fassbender stars as a lawyer who gets in over his head when he enters the drug trade. Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Penelope Cruz also star. Fox releases in the U.S. on October 25 and in the UK on November 15.
Michael Fassbender reunites with Prometheus helmer Ridley Scott in The Counselor, starring as a lawyer who enters the drug trade only to find himself in over his head. Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Penelope Cruz also star in the pic scripted by Cormac McCarthy which Fox has slated for an October 25 release. Fassbender’s title character gets a few warnings from Pitt and Bardem in the first clips from The Counselor. The full trailer drops tomorrow:
“You may think there are things these people are simply incapable of — there are not.” Brad Pitt speaks that ominous line in the new international teaser trailer for Ridley Scott‘s follow-up to last year’s Prometheus. The Counselor follows a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who wades into treacherous waters when he gets involved in the drug trade. The Fox 2000 thriller written by Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men) also stars Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, John Leguizamo and Goran Visnjic. It’s produced by Scott, Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz. Fox releases the pic, titled The Counsellor in the UK, on October 25:
France’s Studiocanal will co-finance the upcoming adaptation of Macbeth that has Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman toplining. Snowtown‘s Justin Kurzel is directing from a script by Todd Luiso and Jacob Koskoff. Principal photography starts in January in the UK. See-Saw’s Iain Canning and Emile Sherman will produce the project that was developed with Film4 who’s also a co-financier. Studiocanal takes distribution rights in the UK, France and Germany and will start international sales in Cannes. The company recently backed the Coen brothers’ Cannes competition title Inside Llewyn Davis.
Film4′s film adaptation of the Shakespeare classic has Snowtown helmer Justin Kurzel attached to direct. Project is glued together by a number of prior relationships. Michael Fassbender is attached to play the iconic title antihero, with Natalie Portman attached to play his scheming Lady Macbeth. The pair recently filmed Terrence Malick’s untitled Austin-set pic together. Script is by Todd Luiso and Jacob Koskoff, who previously teamed up on 2009′s The Marc Pease Experience. Fassbender’s Shame producers Iaian Canning and Emile Sherman, whose UK-Australia See-Saw banner also produced The King’s Speech, are producing with Film4. Sherman had a hand in financing Kurzel’s feature debut Snowtown (AKA The Snowtown Murders). Kurzel, Fassbender, and Portman are repped by CAA.