Fox recently cleared some prime summer 2015 real estate for its reboot of Marvel’s Fantastic Four, now it appears to have its actors. After a long search — Chronicle‘s Josh Trank was announced as the director at the 2012 Comic-Con — Fruitvale Station breakout Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller (Divergent), Kate Mara (Transcendence) and Jamie Bell (Nymphomaniac) are working on deals to star as the ’60s-spawned superhero quartet. The deals aren’t in cement yet, but Jordan and Bell look pretty solid. The roles as they stand would be Jordan as Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch), Teller as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Mara as Sue Storm (the Invisible Woman) and Bell as Ben Grimm (the Thing). The latest script is from X-Men: Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg.
Sundance Awards: ‘Whiplash’ & ‘Rich Hill’ Win Grand Jury Prizes; Dramatic Directing Goes To Cutter Hodierne For ‘Fishing Without Nets’
It was the first major deal of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and tonight Whiplash was the big winner at the fest’s Awards Ceremony. The Damien Chazelle-directed film about a young drummer, played by Miles Teller, and his demanding teacher, played by JK Simmons, took both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury prize and the Audience Award. “This is awesome, thanks so much,” said Chazelle accepting the pic’s Audience Award earlier in the evening. Little did he know the fest hit would go on to win Sundance’s top dramatic prize. The U.S. Documentary Award went to the Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos-directed Rich Hill, about three small town Missouri boys seeking better from their sometimes bleak environment. Also making waves with buzzy Sundance awards tonight were first-time director Justin Simien, whose conversation-sparking Dear White People nabbed a Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent; the Ethiopian World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award winner Difret, exec produced by Angelina Jolie; and the Nick Cave docu 20,000 Days On Earth which snagged both Best Directing and Best Editing in the World Cinema Documentary category.
Hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, this year’s Awards started over 30 minutes later than its scheduled 6PM PT kick-off time. Once things got going, after a lurid but lame routine by the hosts, it moved fast. Like last year when Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who had his own directorial feature debut Don Jon premiere at Sundance 2013, hosted the awards ceremony, Offerman and Mullally both have films at the festival. The Parks & Recreation star fronted Nick Offerman: American Ham, which premiered on January 23 in Salt Lake City, and Mullally is one of the voices in the English-language version of the animated pic Ernest & Celestine, which was screened January 18 as part of the new Sundance Kids selection. Offerman and Mullally opened with a monologue that centered more on their sex life than indie film. “In short, we have seen your movies and we have found them arousing,” deadpanned Offerman.
EXCLUSIVE: Two offers are in on Two Night Stand, the directorial debut of Max Nichols, son of the great helmer Mike Nichols. The film stars Miles Teller and Crazy, Stupid, Love‘s Analeigh Tipton as young lovers who have a one night stand and have it end by getting into a huge fight. She goes to leave, but a snowstorm requires her to spend another night in his Brooklyn apartment. This is the Black List script by Mark Hammer which Beau Flynn produced with Ruben Fleischer and Demarest’s Sam Englebardt. I’m told that A24 and RADiUS-TWC are among those in the mix after a buyer’s screening held at The Grove last Wednesday. Deal will likely close by tonight, with UTA brokering. Stay tuned.
The FilmDistrict comedy was titled Are We Officially Dating? until a month ago. Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan — in his first film since Fruitvale Station — star as three buddies who vow to stay single after one of them is dumped. Things go swell until they all stumble into relationships and have to secretly find a way around their promise. Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis and Jessica Lucas co-star in writer-director Tom Gormican’s That Awkward Moment. Here’s the raunchy and definitely NSFW trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Miles Teller, who went from Project X to The Spectacular Now, has signed on to star in Whiplash, a feature that’s being made from the Sundance Short Film Jury Award-winning pic of the same title. Damien Chazelle, who wrote the short, will direct the full-length feature, which starts shooting in September.J.K. Simmons portrays a brutal jazz orchestra teacher who unloads his frustrations on a novice drummer (Teller) who begins to lose his humanity in his quest to become the core skins pounder of the top jazz orchestra in the country. The tone they’re going for is Full Metal Jacket at Juilliard — and if you’ve seen Simmons’ work in the HBO series Oz, he’s quite a tormenter when motivated. Whiplash is produced by Bold Films, Jason Reitman, Helen Estabrook, Jason Blum and Couper Samuelson. Bold Films is financing the picture. Teller is repped by CAA. Teller next co-stars in Divergent, and co-stars opposite Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan in Film District’s Are We Officially Dating. The Whiplash short was made specifically to get funding for a feature-length version, and it worked.