EXCLUSIVE: Lights Out star Holt McCallany has booked a lead role opposite Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis in the untitled Legendary Pictures movie being directed by Michael Mann that centers on cyber terrorism. The thriller is expected to begin shooting this month in China. The plot is being kept quiet, but McCallany will play a street-smart U.S. Marshal charged with the custody of Hemsworth’s character. McCallany played heavyweight champ Patrick “Lights Out” Leary on the FX series that lasted one season. That jump-started a string of feature roles including in Gangster Squad and Bullet To The Head. He is repped by APA and Mosaic.
Some people are still parsing Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, but it’s emerging as a favorite among festgoers and the press here in Venice. Of 8 films that have officially screened, Anderson’s lush post-war relationship opus, set against …
The 69th Venice Film Festival gets underway today as Alberto Barbera debuts his first selection effort since returning to run the show. Venice’s artistic director from 1998 to 2002, he stepped back in when Marco Muller was ousted late last year.
Venice’s position as the first international fall festival means it can have an impact on awards season. Last year, it thrust Michael Fassbender into the spotlight with the best actor Volpi Cup for Shame. (Fox Searchlight’s Shame pick-up was confirmed in Toronto, though the deal was all but signed in Venice.) Other recent films and talent to see their stock rise from a Venice bow include Brokeback Mountain, The Wrestler, Black Swan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Helen Mirren (The Queen) and Colin Firth (A Single Man). Then again, two years ago, Quentin Tarantino’s jury gave his ex-girlfriend Sofia Coppola the Golden Lion for Somewhere, a film that was a non-factor in that year’s Oscar race. Michael Mann is jury president this year.
The highest-profile pic on the premieres bill here this year is Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, regarded as a thinly veiled reference to Scientology with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Joaquin Phoenix which The Weinstein Company will release Sept. 14 in the U.S.
Films on deck without a domestic deal include Mira Nair’s opening night film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist with Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland and Liev Schreiber, handled in North America by Hal Sadoff for the Doha Film Institute and Bart Walker of Cinetic; Terrence Malick’s love story To The Wonder with Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams which FilmNation is handling; and Brian De Palma’s Euro-produced Passion also with McAdams and Noomi Rapace.
The American director, screenwriter and producer Michael Mann – a total filmmaker and one of the most influential and representative figures in contemporary American cinema – has been designated to chair the International Jury for the Competition at the 69th Venice International Film Festival (29 August – 8 September 2012), which will award the Golden Lion and other official prizes.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
HBO’s new series Luck is about horse racing, but at today’s TCA panel, the sport in question was prize-fighting — whether reported friction between the strong personalities involved in the show led to ego clashes behind the scenes. The contenders: Stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, pilot executive producer/director Michael Mann and pilot executive producer/writer David Milch. All four acknowledged their reputations for being difficult, but insisted that peace reigns on Luck. Concerning rumors of contention on the pilot set, Mann said: “It’s ridiculous.” He explained, “There’s a time when any director wants the set to himself” and said a request to have non-participants step away at one point “got contorted into something else.” After the session, Mann said testily, “We’re not four difficult people. People who are insecure don’t have strong egos. We’re good at what we do, so we don’t have insecurity.”
After Arnon Milchan reconstituted New Regency with a new $500 million credit line and plans to reemerge at the helm with former Paramount production president Brad Weston as CEO, Alexandra Milchan has returned to the company as executive vice …
A trailer has been released for Texas Killing Fields, the drama that is directed by Ami Canaan Mann and produced by Michael Mann. The gritty drama stars Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chloe Moretz and Jessica Chastain. A New York and local detective team to investigate a series of murders. …
EXCLUSIVE: Mimi Leder has signed on to direct All Quiet on the Western Front, an adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s WWI novel that was previously turned into the 1930 film that won a Best Picture Oscar and another for director Lewis Milestone. The novel is about the intense and terrifying action of 1918 trench warfare that traumatizes a young and idealistic German soldier on the Western front. The script is by Ian Stokell and Lesley Paterson. They will produce through their Sliding Down Rainbows Entertainment shingle. They have also come up with part of the funding, Leder told me.
Leder, whose feature credits include Deep Impact and The Peacemaker, just completed directing the season finale of Luck, the HBO series that stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, with Michael Mann and David Milch exec producing. She hadn’t read the novel or seen the original film when she was sent the WWI script by Stokell and Paterson, but was struck by how the themes of disillusion and loss of humanity during ferocious fighting hadn’t lost its relevance despite the period setting.
Here is a first look at HBO’s upcoming horse racing drama series Luck from Michael Mann and David Milch. Set to premiere in the fall, it stars Dustin Hoffman and co-stars Dennis Farina, John Ortiz and Nick Nolte. Joan Allen and Michael Gambon are recurring.
Michael Mann, who last directed Public Enemies, is closing in on his next picture. He’s getting serious about Gold, a contemporary Treasure of the Sierra Madre-type treasure hunt about prospectors and speculators involved in the chase for gold. The project is just taking shape. It had been developed by Paul Haggis, who showed it to Mann as a writing sample for scribes Patrick Massett and John Zinman. Mann liked it so much that he became the director. He’s producing through his Forward Pass banner, with Haggis and his Highway 61 partner Michael Nozik. The hope is to begin production late in the year.