EXCLUSIVE: Looks like director Werner Herzog is going to get a new Queen Of The Desert. I’m hearing that Naomi Watts is exiting the film about the early 20th Century explorer Gertrude Bell, and that Nicole Kidman is in talks to take the plum role.
This follows a switch of the male leads earlier this year, when Jude Law departed and James Franco replaced him. Robert Pattinson also stars. Bell is the iconic explorer, writer, archeologist and attaché for the British Empire who is credited with helping to catalyze the formation of the Middle East at the dawn of the 20th century. The story plays with the sweep of Lawrence Of Arabia, potentially, and Kidman seems a nice match for the material.
Nick Raslan is producing through his Palmyra Films banner along with Cassian Elwes and Michael Benaroya. Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures banner will finance the film. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales.
Kidman is here in Toronto where her new movie The Railway Man premiered Friday evening. That Jonathan Teplitzky-directed film, about a brutalized WWII POW who gets to confront his Japanese torturer, is considered a prime acquisition title here in the festival here. Kidman also stars in the Olivier Dahan-directed Grace Of Monaco, which The Weinstein Company releases November 27, in the head of the Oscar race. Kidman is repped by CAA and Media Talent Group.
EXCLUSIVE: Naomi Watts is in talks to star in Holland, Michigan, a thriller that will be directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris from a script by first time screenwriter Andrew Sodroski. The script is described as a suburban thriller with pitch black humor. Le Grisbi Productions’ John Lesher and Adam Kassan are producing and Sean Murphy will be co-producer. Production will start in April.
Watts will be seen next as Princess Diana in the Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed biopic Diana. She just wrapped the Ted Melfi-directed St. Vincent De Van Nuys with Bill Murray and the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Birdman, the latter of which Lesher produced.
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BREAKING… Entertainment One will release Diana, the Princess Diana biopic starring Naomi Watts, on November 1 in the U.S. in limited nationwide release. The distributor plans an expansion in subsequent weeks. The Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed drama about a secret love affair that Princess Diana had shortly … Read More »
Naomi Watts is Princess Di in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s biopic Diana, chronicling the Princess of Wales’ last two years and relationship with Pakistani heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews). EOne snagged the pic out of Cannes and is eyeing an Oscar season … Read More »
Naomi Watts and Robin Wright are BFFs who become romantically entangled with each others’ son in Anne Fontaine’s (Coco Before Chanel) English-language debut. Oscar-winning writer Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) adapted the script from Doris Lessing’s novella (and ostensibly not from SNL‘s Motherlover skit). Adore … Read More »
Entertainment One has released a UK teaser trailer for Diana, the Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed drama about a secret affair that Princess Diana had shortly before her tragic death. Naomi Watts stars in the pic with Naveen Andrews as Dr. Hasnat Khan, the Pakistani heart surgeon … Read More »
The steamy film that sold in Sundance under Two Mothers has gotten a release date and a new title. The Aussie-set film will now be called Adore. It stars Naomi Watts and Robin Wright as two lifelong friends, each of whom starts a torrid affair with the son of the other woman. It was acquired at Sundance by the Exclusive Media arm Exclusive Releasing, and it will be given a day-and-date release on September 6. The film’s directed by Coco Before Chanel helmer Anne Fontaine in her English-speaking directorial debut. It was scripted by Christopher Hampton, based on the novel by Nobel Prize for Literature winner Doris Lessing. Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville play the sons. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Entertainment One has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Diana, the Oliver Hirschbiegel-directed drama about a secret love affair that Princess Diana had shortly before her tragic death. With Naomi Watts as the princess, this was one of the higher-profile pictures shopped at the Cannes Film Festival and eOne bought the rights from Embankment Films and Ecosse Films. eOne will also distribute with major releases in the UK, Canada and Spain with the U.S. film coming in Oscar season later this year.
Hirschbiegel helmed the Oscar-nominated Downfall, and screenwriter Stephen Jeffreys wrote The Libertine. Watts, coming off an Oscar nom for The Impossible, stars with Naveen Andrews (best known for ABC’s Lost and The English Patient) in this drama about Diana’s covert love affair with Dr. Hasnat Khan, a Pakistani heart surgeon. This happened in the last two years of her life, before she met Dodi Fayed, and the need for privacy led to her meeting her lover in disguises. This gave her a sense of living an anonymous life, but her incredible worldwide fame became an issue. The film is produced by Ecosse Films’ Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae. Read More »
Ah, Cannes got off to such a nice, sunny start. But the skies opened up this evening with rain and thunder, and buyers tomorrow morning are going to have to deal with the clash of two high priority acquisition … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I’m not certain it’s going to happen as they try to sort scheduling issues, but Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert has James Franco circling the role that Jude Law was going to play. If you recall, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In another late night Sundance Film Festival deal, Exclusive Media-owned Exclusive Releasing is closing a deal for U.S. rights to Two Mothers, the Anne Fontaine-directed drama that premiered last Friday at the Eccles Theatre. Deal is a low seven figure advance and includes a few other territories, but most of the foreign territories belong to Gaumont, which funded the film. Pic is described as a gripping tale of love, lust and the power of friendships of two lifelong female friends who fall in love with each other’s sons. Naomi Watts and Robin Wright play the moms, and Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville also star. Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton penned the adaptation of Doris Lessing’s short story.
The deals calls for a traditional theatrical release through Exclusive Releasing, the distribution company that Exclusive co-chairmen Guy East and Nigel Sinclair launched last September, headed by Scott Pascucci and Matt Brodlie. There is a significant P&A and screen commitment for what will shape up as a specialized film release in the summer. Numerous bidders circled the film, some proposing a multi-platform strategy, but Exclusive Media’s Exclusive Releasing was most aggressive for its new release enterprise. CAA brokered the deal with Brodlie and Gaumont International chief Cécile Gaget. Read More »
Although Blancanieves missed making the shortlist for the foreign language Oscar, the entry from Spain leads nominations for the Goyas, the country’s equivalent to the Academy Awards. Pablo Berger’s black-and-white and silent re-telling of Snow White … Read More »
Christy Grosz is Editor of AwardsLine.
Naomi Watts plays the matriarch in The Impossible, the unbelievable story of a family reuniting after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Though Watts’ performance has been praised for the emotion she … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: One of the sleeper entries in this year’s Oscar race is the emotionally wrenching true story, The Impossible which chronicles a family split apart in the terrifying Tsunami in Thailand in 2004 and their efforts to survive and find each other, despite horrific injury and unspeakable devastation at the … Read More »
The Impossible tells the story of a family’s experience in the devastating 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami and the chaos that followed. The film, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Its North American premiere is set for September at the Toronto Film Festival. Here’s the … Read More »
Lionsgate has slated Summit Entertainment’s The Impossible, the Naomi Watts-Ewan McGregor movie about a family that survived the 2004 tsunami, to open December 21st in New York and Los Angeles. The Spanish-made movie was directed by J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage) from a script by Sergio G. Sánchez.
EXCLUSIVE: Wind and rain have been sweeping the Croisette but Cassian Elwes says, “I feel like I’m on fire.” The former WMA head of independent film who’s now producing and packaging indies has skin in the game in Cannes with … Read More »