Screen Media Films has taken U.S. rights to Young Ones, the dystopian sci-fier from writer-director Jake Paltrow. Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee star in the film about ranchers (Shannon and Hoult) at odds in a desert wasteland where water has become the most precious commodity on the planet. Screen Media is plotting an October release for Young Ones, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and marks Paltrow’s second feature following 2007′s The Good Night. Tristan Orpen Lynch and Michael Auret produced the film, and Daniel Wagner, Robert Ogden Barnum, Marina Fuentes Arredonda, James Atherton, Peter Garde, Nathan Johnson, Tara Moross, Brian O’Shea, and Jan Pace are exec producers. Subotica, Spier Films, and Saint Shadow co-financed the film in association with BiFrost Pictures, Quickfire Films, Six Sales, and The Exchange. Screen Media’s Suzanne Blech and Seth Needle negotiated the deal with UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.
EXCLUSIVE: Laura Dern (Enlightened) has joined the cast of Ramin Bahrani‘s 99 Homes opposite Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon. Garfield plays Dennis Nash, an unemployed contractor whose family is evicted during the economic crisis. In order to get his home back he goes to work for the realtor who evicted him (Shannon) who teaches Dennis the legal and illegal ins and outs of the foreclosure game. Oscar-nominated Dern will play Lynn Nash, Dennis’s widowed mother who raised him and his nine-year-old son Connor. The New Orleans shoot is underway. Dern will appear next in Fox 2000′s The Fault In Our Stars and Fox Searchlight’s Wild. Dern is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.
Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon are set to star in 99 Homes, a timely drama that will be directed by Ramin Bahrani and will start production November 18 in New Orleans. Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment and Image Nation Abu Dhabi will produce and fully finance. Bahrani, who helmed At Any Price and Chop Shop, wrote the script with Amir Naderi and Bahareh Azimi‐Khoie. The roles seem a strong fit for the empathy of The Amazing Spider-Man’s Garfield and the tough guy qualities of Boardwalk Empire’s Shannon. Amritraj, Kevin Turen, Bahrani, and Garfield are producing, and Manu Gargi and Justin Nappi are the exec producers. Offshore rights will be shopped at AFM, which kicks off today. CAA is repping U.S. rights.
Set against the backdrop of the economic crisis, the drama revolves around an unemployed contractor who gets evicted from his family home with his mother and his nine‐year old son. Desperate to get his home back, he strikes a deal to work for the powerful, greedy, charming, gun‐toting real estate broker (Shannon) who evicted him. While it puts a roof over his daughter’s head, becoming the broker’s apprentice puts the contractor in a moral bind: is having a home worth losing your values and soul? Bahrani’s latest film, At Any Price, most recently played at Venice.
UPDATE: Took awhile, but I’ve gotten clarity on this Jeff Nichols Warner Bros project, and it was worth the wait. Michael Shannon, the Boardwalk Empire star who turned in a powerhouse performance in Nichols’ Take Shelter and appeared more recently in Mud, will star in Midnight Special, which Nichols wrote and will direct at Warners. Described to me as a contemporary science fiction chase film, the pic will be produced by Sarah Green and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, with Glen Basner and Christos V. Konstantakopoulos the exec producers. Shannon just played a hitman in The Iceman, and he plays General Zod in the Superman reboot Man Of Steel, so he is absolutely on the Warner Bros radar.
The thriller starring Michael Shannon as real-life hitman/family man Richard Kuklinski premiered at Venice last fall and is due for to his U.S. theaters in May via Millennium Entertainment. Ray Liotta, Wynona Ryder, Chris Evans and James Franco co-star along with plenty of ’70s-era mustaches. Kuklinski was a mob killer-for-hire who knocked off more than 100 men before begin caught in 1986, with his family not having the first clue about what he did for a living. The Iceman was written by Morgan Land and Ariel Vromen based on Anthony Bruno’s book. Vromen directed.
WATCH IT ON YOUTUBE: The Iceman – Official Trailer 2
Samantha Morton and Michael Shannon have been cast as the leads of The Harvest, a psychological thriller to be directed by Wild Things helmer John McNaughton. Precious producer Elephant Eye Films is producing and handling international sales; Living Out Loud Productions will finance. The story centers on Katherine (Morton), a successful heart surgeon and overprotective mother, and Richard (Shannon), her co-dependent husband who has retired from his career as a nurse to care for their sick son Andy. Andy lives in a controlled world until an innocent 13-year-old neighbor moves in and gives Andy hopes of a better life. As the teens grow closer, the tight-knit world Katherine has created begins to unravel. Charlie Tahan, Natasha Calis, Leslie Lyles, and Meadow Williams co-star. Stephen Lancellotti wrote the script. Kim Jose, David Robinson, Steven A. Jones, and Williams are producing the film, which is shooting in Palisades and Brooklyn through January.
Sundance, Cannes and Berlin are just some of the world’s top festivals where major movie sales are completed. But Telluride is mostly a launchpad for Fall awards contenders. Yet, unexpectedly, this 39th edition is drawing a large number of distributors interested in picking up some great deals. Among the titles for sale here are Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha starring a delightful Greta Gergwig; Canada’s and Sri Lanka’s Midnight’s Children; thriller The Iceman starring Michael Shannon; director Sally Potter’s Ginger And Rosa; the documentary Love, Marilyn based on newly discovered diaries of Marilyn Monroe; and Saudi Arabia’s Wadjda. Of course, 2009′s The Last Station devised an unusual strategy by exclusively premiering in Telluride and also nabbing a Sony Pictures Classics deal plus two major acting Oscar nominations. And in 2010, Fox Searchlight execs saw a secret showing of The Tree Of Life here and quickly nailed rights for the film, which would eventually be nominated for Best Picture of 2011.
Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon are the latest movie stars to take the Broadway stage. They will star in Grace, the Craig Wright play that opens officially October 4 for a limited run. Ed Asner and Kate Arrington also star in the Dexter Bullard-directed play about a couple that heads to Florida with plans to open a chain of gospel motels.
EXCLUSIVE: Winona Ryder has just committed to star with Michael Shannon and Chris Evans in The Iceman, the Ariel Vromen-directed drama based on the Anthony Bruno book about Richard Kuklinski, a family man who secretly carried out contract killings for the mob. Millennium Films/Nu Image is financing. Shannon is playing Kuklinski, aka The Iceman, and Evans is playing his mentor, Robert Pronge. Ryder, most recently seen in Black Swan and The Dilemma, will play Kuklinski’s wife, Deborah, who did not know that he was a contract killer. Gersh-repped Ryder just wrapped the indie The Stare opposite James Franco.
New York Film Critics Online added its ranks to Sunday’s parade of honors. From the group’s website:
Film – The Artist
Actor – Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
Actress – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Director - Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
Supporting Actor – Albert Brooks (Drive)
Supporting Actress – Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids)
Breakthrough Performer – Jessica Chastain (The Tree Of Life, The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, Coriolanus, Texas Killing Fields)
Debut Director – Joe Cornish (Attack the Block)
Ensemble Cast – Bridesmaids
Screenplay – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (The Descendants)
Documentary – Cave Of Forgotten Dreams
Foreign Language – A Separation
Animated – The Adventures of Tintin
Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life)
Use of Music - Ludovic Bource (The Artist)
EXCLUSIVE: Captain America’s Chris Evans is taking a turn to the darkside. Evans has made a deal to replace James Franco in The Iceman, the Ariel Vromen-directed drama based on the Anthony Bruno book about Richard Kuklinski, a contract killer for the mob. Michael Shannon is attached to play Kuklinski, aka The Iceman, and Franco was going to play his mentor, Robert Pronge. Millennium Films/Nu Image is starting production on the picture next month. Aside from playing the title character in Captain America: The First Avenger, Evans starred in Puncture and is reprising his Captain America role in the Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers. He’s repped by CAA and 3 Arts.
EXCLUSIVE: Director Jeff Nichols has added his Take Shelter star Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Sarah Paulson, Ray McKinnon, Joe Don Baker and Paul Sparks to Mud, the drama that stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan. Production began today in Arkansas. Scripted by Nichols and produced by Sarah Green, Everest Entertainment’s Lisa Maria Falcone and FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder, Mud is a coming-of-age drama centered on two 14-year-old boys who encounter a mysterious fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Intrigued by the man, the boys try to help him evade capture and reconnect with the love of his life. Nichols and Shannon are working together for the third time; besides Take Shelter, the Sundance and Cannes sensation that premieres September 30 through Sony Pictures Classics, they also worked together on Shotgun Stories. Shannon has also turned in stellar work on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire as the sexually repressed liquor-busting FBI agent, and he also stars in the Marc Forster-directed Machine Gun Preacher. Shannon is playing a villain in the Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot Man of Steel. Paulson next stars in the Sundance film Martha Marcy May Marlene. Shepard just starred opposite Brad Pitt in Cogan’s Trade. FilmNation’s Glen Basner is exec producing, and selling Mud in international territories. CAA and FilmNation are handling U.S. sales for Mud. Everest Entertainment most recently produced 127 Hours and Win Win.
EXCLUSIVE: Superman is getting a new mom. Ayelet Zurer, the Israeli actress who starred in Angels & Demons and who played the wife of Avner (Eric Bana) in Munich, has been set to play the role of Lara Lor-Van, Superman’s Kryptonian mother, in Man of Steel. Production is underway on the Warner Bros/Legendary film. That role was originally going to be played by Julia Ormond. I was unable to find out why director Zack Snyder made the last-minute change, but I’ve confirmed that Zurer will start filming this week. Henry Cavill plays Superman, Russell Crowe plays Superman’s Kryptonian father, Jor-El, and Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Michael Shannon also star. Zurer will next be seen starring in the Lawrence Kasdan-directed Darling Companion opposite Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline and Dianne Wiest for Sony Pictures Classics. She’s repped by IFA Talent Agency. Man of Steel is produced by Chris Nolan, Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder and Emma Thomas.
EXCLUSIVE: Anchor Bay Films just acquired U.S. distribution rights to 13, Gela Babluani’s remake of his 2005 thriller 13 Tzameti. The film isn’t playing here at Toronto, but it will be one of a flurry of titles being shopped during the festival, something that proved very effective in Cannes, where some of the biggest acquisition deals were made on the basis of sellers showing promo reels to hungry distributors.
The remake stars Sam Riley, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Ray Winstone, Alexander Skarsgård, Michael Shannon, Ben Gazzara, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Mickey Rourke and Jason Statham. Anchor Bay president Bill Clark and EVP Worldwide Acquisitions and Co-Productions Kevin Kasha made the deal with WME Global’s Alexis Garcia.
“13 was a great pick-up for Anchor Bay Films,” Kasha said. “The film has an amazing cast and it truly keeps you guessing. We’re excited to be working with Babluani in releasing it.”
The original won the 2006 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and Babluani won best director at the Venice Film Festival later that year. A desperate man steals an envelope promising a mysterious job that can make him a fortune. Assuming a false identity, he discovers he’s enlisted to be a numbered participant in an underworld Russian roulette competition where gamblers place bets on the contestants. The potential payoff is so high he goes through with it despite the long odds of survival.
EXCLUSIVE: While Johnny Depp waits to see if director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer can figure out a way to salvage The Lone Ranger after Disney halted the film because of a huge budget, Depp is making forward progress on dusting off another period property. David Koepp has been set to write the script for the remake of the 76-year-old film The Thin Man, the remake that Depp set up last year at Warner Bros as a vehicle to re-team with his Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall. Depp will produce with his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski, Langley Park’s Kevin McCormick, Marshall and John DeLuca. There was talk that Jerry Stahl was going to write, but apparently nothing was written and Koepp is going to start from scratch. Which means he’ll go back to the Dashiell Hammett novel that spawned the series of six MGM films that starred William Powell and Myrna Loy.
Depp will play Nick, the former detective who marries an adorable young socialite, drinks a lot and occasionally solves a case. There is no word yet on who’ll join Depp and play Nora. The original intention is to take elements of the first two films and work them into one film, putting it into a period setting and giving it a Sherlock Holmes-like stylized treatment. Marshall also intends to use his talent as a choreographer (remember he did Chicago) and work in a musical number or two.
Warner Bros today released a first photo of British actor Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel, the franchise reboot that’s being directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan. Cavill stars with Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Michael Shannon, Antje Traue, Julia Ormond, Russell Crowe, Chris Meloni, Harry Lennix and Laurence Fishburne. Currently in production, Man of Steel is slated for release on June 14, 2013:
Warner Bros has pulled The Man of Steel from a planned late 2012 release date and has slotted it to open wide on June 14, 2013 release. The Zack Snyder-directed reboot of the Superman franchise feels like a summer film anyway. Henry Cavill stars with a cast that includes Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Russell Crowe. The distribution calendar is just forming for films that far in advance, but what’s also interesting about that date is it strays close to the expiration of certain rights that revert back to the estates of creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Warner Bros has spent a fortune defending its position to keep the Superman rights–some say as much as $25 million in legal fees–but right now it looks like there will be a splitting of rights between the creator estates and DC Comics. As long as the film has been shot, Warner Bros won’t have problems releasing the films, but you don’t reboot Superman to make one movie, so there will likely have to be some stunning court decision or a major payday for those heirs if Man of Steel is to soar in a trilogy of movies.
CANNES: ‘Take Shelter’ Wins Critics Week Prize, ‘The Giants’ And ‘Breathing’ Win Directors’ Fortnight
While the big Cannes Film Festival awards get handed out this weekend, Take Shelter, the Jeff Nichols-directed Michael Shannon-Jessica Chastain drama, took the Grand Prix Nespresso, the top prize at Cannes Critics Week. Sony Pictures Classics bought the film before it screened at Sundance, and based on the Cannes buzz, they were smart to pounce before everybody saw the finished product. The Belgian film The Giants won the Art Cinema Award and the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers’ SACA Prize, while the Austrian film Breathing was named top European film in Directors’ Fortnight.
Speaking to an audience at RiverRun, Michael Shannon describes the trippy ordeal that went into winning the villain job General Zod in Warner Bros’ Superman film Man of Steel. Deadline was first to reveal that Shannon was wanted for bad guy duty, but clearly a lot goes into figuring not only whether Shannon could play the role originated by Terence Stamp (a no-brainer if you’ve seen HBO’s Boardwalk Empire), but also the way that director and studio figure out the alchemy in matching up actors. Here, he describes the effort to see how he melded with Henry Cavill in the Zack Snyder-directed film.