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TOLDJA! Michael Shannon Gets Villain Role In Superman Movie

By | Sunday April 10, 2011 @ 1:43pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Deadline revealed last month that Michael Shannon was in Zack Snyder’s sights for the villain role in the Superman film Man of Steel. Warner Bros just announced he got the job. Here’s the official announcement:

BURBANK, CA, April 10, 2011 – Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today that Michael Shannon will star in the role of General Zod in director Zack Snyder’s new Superman film, titled “Man of Steel.”
Snyder stated, “Zod is not only one of Superman’s most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don’t. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role.”
As General Zod, Shannon will go toe-to-toe with Henry Cavill, who plays the new Clark Kent/Superman in the film. The main cast also includes Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent.
Michael Shannon was honored with an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road,” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Shannon was most recently seen in the award-winning HBO drama series “Boardwalk Empire,” from executive producer Martin Scorsese. He will next be seen in Sony Pictures Classics’, “Take Shelter,” from director/writer Jeff Nichols.
Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are the producers of the film. The screenplay

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‘Dead Circus’ In Tune With Talent For Pic On Death Of ’60s Singer Bobby Fuller

By | Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 4:30pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Producer John Palermo’s Palermo Pictures banner is eyeing a summer start for The Dead Circus, a drama that builds a fictitious storyline into the actual mysterious death of I Fought The Law singer Bobby Fuller. James Marsden, Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Shannon [UPDATE: Shannon's reps said scheduling has knocked him out of the role], Dexter star Michael C. Hall and Oscar winner Melissa Leo are attached. The script is by Adam Davenport and John Kaye, based on Kaye’s novel. Davenport will make his directing debut on the film.

Fuller’s song became a hit in 1966, but a week after, the 23-year-old singer was found dead. It was ruled a suicide even though his body was battered, with gasoline poured down his throat. In the drama, a grieving screenwriter (still to be cast) plunges into a crusade to solve the mystery of Fuller’s death. Leo will play a Manson Family matriarch who comes out of hiding five years after the murder to reveal to the writer that the answer to his questions might be found in 16 mm snuff films buried in Death Valley. Marsden, who stars this weekend in Hop, will play Charles Manson.  Hall will play a corrupt, wheelchair-bound manager of the dead musician. Palermo, who split with longtime Seed Productions partner Hugh Jackman, is solidifying the financing … Read More »

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Superman Takes Villain Focus: Michael Shannon Contender

Mike Fleming

After setting Henry Cavill for the lead role, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner for Ma and Pa Kent, Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures and director Zack Snyder are working on a villain for Superman: Man of Steel. I’m told there’s interest in Michael Shannon. Shannon is coming off a memorable first season in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and he turned in a strong performance in Take Shelter, which Sony Pictures Classics acquired at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Neither the studio nor Shannon’s reps were helpful.

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Berlin Day 3: FilmNation Takes ‘Shelter’; ATO Buys ‘The Woman In the Fifth’

FilmNation has taken overseas rights to Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter, which Sony Pictures Classics bought early on at the Sundance Film Festival. Michael Shannon stars opposite Jessica Chastain as a man haunted by his dreams who obsessively starts building a storm shelter in his backyard. But what he can’t tell those closest to him is what he really is afraid his dreams signify. Ad Vitam has already come on board for France. FilmNation will begin selling in earnest at Cannes.

… ARC Entertainment and XLrator Media Partnership have also taken U.S. rights to John Carpenter’s The Ward, the cult director’s first feature since the late 90s. Amber Heard (Drive Angry 3D), Mamie Gummer (Off the Map) and Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th) star in this shocker set in a 60s mental institution terrorised by malevolent forces. Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding of Echo Lake Entertainment (Tsotsi) produce along with Peter Block of A Bigger Boat. XLrator negotiated the deal with Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Echo Lake’s Andy Spaulding. FilmNation is handling overseas.

… And Blue Lake Entertainment Fund, an “8-figure” fund launched by Echo Lake Entertainment and Canadian financier Blue Ice Entertainment, is to finance projects on the books of Paris-based sales agent Celluloid Dreams. Blue Lake will finance projects budgeted over $10 million by proven directors with global appeal. Celluloid Dreams has a reputation of being one of the toniest sales agents in Europe, having in the past worked with directors Michael Haneke, Jacques Audiard and Francois Ozon. Celluloid Dreams CEO … Read More »

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Sundance 2011: Does 38 Film Deals Mean That The Indie Biz Is Back?

Mike Fleming

Dealmakers who came into Park City hoping to recapture the acquisitions momentum of last fall’s Toronto Film Festival returned this week with smiles on their faces. And why not? By my count, 38 transactions have been completed on Sundance films so far, with several more coming. Buyers estimate that at least eight of those deals brought a minimum guarantee of $2 million or higher: The Details and My Idiot Brother to The Weinstein Company, Like Crazy to Paramount/Indian Paintbrush, Margin Call to Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions, Another Earth to Fox Searchlight, Silent House to Liddell Entertainment, Homework to Fox Searchlight, and The Devil’s Double to Lionsgate and Herrick Entertainment.

Nobody could be accused of the drunken spending that occasionally happened in past Sundance Festivals. But considering the shellacking the indie business has taken over the past several years, there were intriguing team-ups and bold plays all over the place. Like when Sony Pictures Classics acquired the Michael Shannon-in-meltdown-mode Take Shelter, sight unseen, and the SPC team strutted when the film played to glowing reviews; when Steven Rales’ Indian Paintbrush became the surprise catalyst in the  $4 million deal to acquire festival favorite Like Crazy, or when Ron Burkle partnered with Harvey Weinstein in the $7.5 million guarantee/$10 million P&A acquisition of the Tobey Maguire black comedy The Details; when Focus Features bought Dee Rees’s much discussed directing debut Pariah, and made her next … Read More »

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‘The Iceman’ Draws Killer Cast: Michael Shannon, Benicio Del Toro, James Franco

Mike Fleming

(LOS ANGELES, CA) Michael Shannon, Benicio Del Toro and James Franco will be starring in THE ICEMAN, it was announced today in a joint statement made by Millennium Films and Bleiberg Entertainment.

Ariel Vromen (Danika,Rx) is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Morgan Land (Rx, The Point of No Return), based on the book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer by Anthony Bruno and on interview footage from the documentary The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer by Jim Thebaut.

Ehud Bleiberg is producing the film. Millennium Films’ Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Avi Lerner and Boaz Davidson are executive producing with Untitled Entertainment’s Laura Rister. Rabbit Bandini’s Miles Levy and Vince Jolivette are also executive producers. Bleiberg Entertainment’s Nicholas Donnermeyer will be associate producer. Nu Image, Inc., Millennium Films’ parent company, will handle worldwide sales.

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Pair Of AFM Projects Telling Killer Tale

Mike Fleming

There are two AFM project packages being shopped on the same subject: Richard Kuklinski, the notorious New Jersey mob hit man. Nu Image has Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Shannon to play Kuklinski and Benicio Del Toro and (maybe) James Franco attached to The Iceman, a film that will be directed by Ariel Vromen that is eyeing a production start next summer. Natural Selection CEO Matty Beckerman comes to AFM with a rival project, on which he said he has just closed a deal for life rights of Kuklinski’s wife, Barbara, and Pat Kane, the cop who brought Kuklinski to justice. The project, based on the Philip Carlo book The Ice Man: Confessions Of A Mafia Contract Killer, is being scripted by American History X‘s David McKenna and has Mickey Rourke attached to play Kuklinski. Beckerman is producing and said his Natural Selection will fully fund a movie that will start production in the spring.  No director has yet been set. Read More »

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