EXCLUSIVE: The saga of The Borgiasis coming to an end. The current third season of Showtime‘s medieval drama will be its last, with the June 16 season finale serving as series finale. Created by Neil Jordan, The Borgias stars Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the infamous Borgia dynasty, who builds an empire by bribing, buying and muscling his way into the papacy.
The series was originally envisioned as going for four seasons, matching the run of predecessor The Tudors. But while filming a pivotal scene in the Season 3 finale, Jordan said Irons turned to him and told him that “this feels like the end of something, that the family has come to an end.” While mulling a potential fourth season, Jordan said he wasn’t sure he had enough material for 10 episodes and wasn’t sure whether Showtime would want to commit to another season either. ”As a compromise, I proposed to finish the arc of all the characters with a two-hour movie,” Jordan said, adding that Showtime commissioned the script and he wrote it. “When they looked at what it could cost, it was just too expensive,” he said. “Sadly, that’s what happened. I would have loved to bring all the characters to a conclusion. All of the actors were heartbroken we couldn’t continue, and so was I.” Jordan said he still likes where the story currently ends with the third season finale, especially for siblings Cesare and Lucrezia, and thanked Showtime for supporting his vision. Read More »
An international trailer has surfaced for Neil Jordan‘s vampire movie Byzantium. The trailer boasts of Jordan’s connection to Interview With A Vampire, but Jordan’s 1984 scary lycanthrope fairy tale The Company of Wolves (with Angela Lansbury!) or even his work on Showtime’s The Borgias would be more of a lure than the director’s 1994 misadventure with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. IFC Films picked up U.S. theatrical rights last year at Toronto but hasn’t set a release date. This potentially intriguing story about a pair of vampires on the run stars Gemma Arterton, Caleb Landry Jones, Daniel Mays, Jonny Lee Miller, Sam Riley and Saoirse Ronan.
EXCLUSIVE: In the second seven-figure deal so far today at the Toronto Film Festival, IFC is acquiring U.S. rights to Byzantium, the vampire film by Neil Jordan that has festgoers feeling the filmmaker has returned to the terrain of Interview With The Vampire. I’m told that the deal coming together is several million dollars in minimum guarantee and marketing commitment. While IFC has been heavy into multiplatform, this film has designs on a theatrical release broadening out to several hundred screens.
Scripted by Moira Buffini, Byzantium stars Gemma Arterton, Caleb Landry Jones, Daniel Mays, Jonny Lee Miller, Sam Riley and Saoirse Ronan. It is produced by Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen. The story focuses on two vampires who are on the run from the past and who are hiding a terrible secret. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Below is the first image from Neil Jordan’s Byzantium which just wrapped principal photography. The film stars ‘teen action queen’ Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonny Lee Miller and Danny Mays. It’s produced by Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen of Number 9 films, Alan Moloney of Parallel Films and Sam Englebardt and William D. Johnson of Demarest Films. The movie follows two mysterious, penniless young women who flee the scene of a violent crime and end up in a run-down coastal resort where their past may finally catch up with them. WestEnd Films is handling international sales.
‘Harry Potter’ Among Warner Bros Movies To Land At ITV ITV announced that it has acquired free-to-air broadcast rights to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince along with other movies as part of a wide-ranging multiyear deal with Warner Bros. The pact was unveiled today by Warner Bros International Television Distribution president Jeffrey Schlesinger and ITV’s Angela Jain. Other films in the package include recent titles 300, I Am Legend and Body Of Lies as well as library fare like The Matrix trilogy and Mystic River. ITV was already home to the previous Harry Potter films.
British Culture Minister In Town This Week; BFI Adds To P&A Fund Ed Vaizey, the UK’s minister for culture, communications and creative industries, arrived in Los Angeles on Monday for two days of powwows with studio and indie execs. Joining Vaizey is British Film Commission CEO Adrian Wootton as the duo aim to further develop relationships in town and boost the number of U.S. productions shooting in Britain now that the UK’s tax rebate system has been extended to at least 2015. The sojourn will also give Vaizey a chance to peruse the U.S. biz ahead of the publication of a comprehensive film policy review. Meanwhile, the British Film Institute today announced it would devote an additional £1 million to its P&A Fund in order to help get films like Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin and Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus out to wider audiences. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Tarsem Singh, whose latest film Immortals just opened and who follows with the Julia Roberts-starrer Snow White film Mirror, Mirror, has become attached to Killing On Carnival Row. That is a script by Travis Beacham that producers Arnold and Anne Kopelson originally set up six years ago. It was a hot spec and the very first sale for Beacham, whose subsequent credits include Clash of the Titans, Pacific Rim, the Disney remake Black Hole, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Fox. The Kopelsons, who originally set it at New Line, have gotten close to making the film with Guillermo Del Toro and Neil Jordan, but they feel that Singh will put them over the top. Arnold Kopelson said he’s in talks with a studio he wouldn’t reveal but expects to begin production on the noir-style fantasy thriller next June in New Orleans. He’s starting to cast. The script takes place in the future in a city called the Burgue, which looks a lot like 18th Century London. It is inhabited by humans and other creatures, and a serial killer is on the loose. “I am thrilled that Tarsem will direct Carnival Row, which we’ve been developing over the past six years,” Kopelson told me. “His extraordinary visual sense and use of light and color can be compared to that of the great 16th Century Italian painter Michelangelo Caravaggio.” Singh has been circling several films, including Nautica with Escape … Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2011 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Drama Series Director race.
Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire (HBO) “Pilot” Why He Was Nominated: What, are you kidding? Had Martin Scorsese not been nominated for having directed the pilot of HBO’s Prohibition-themed mob epic Boardwalk Empire, the embarrassment would have been never-ending. The legendary director has eight Oscar nominations (and a lone win in 2007 for The Departed) to his credit along with three Emmy noms (including three this year). Most important, he’s Martin Scorsese. That’s really all you need to know. Why He Has To Win: For so many reasons. Start with the fact that, of Scorsese’s five previous Emmy noms, he won none. There’s an oversight that the TV Academy seemingly needs to correct. He’s coming off of a DGA Award triumph for Boardwalk. He’s a universally revered filmmaker and human being. And the competition, while it includes a fellow Oscar winner, isn’t overwhelming. Of course, even if it were, it wouldn’t matter. As one series director told me, “There are a lot of things I can imagine, but Martin Scorsese losing here isn’t one of them.” Why He Can’t Possibly Win: This would only be possible had Scorsese’s name inadvertently been omitted from the voting ballot. There is a slight possibility that the Boardwalk vote could be split given the fact there are a pair of nominees, but probably not. The fact the series premiere happened a year ago also could lose him a few votes. But not many. Read More »
His eponymous FX comedy may have been snubbed in the best comedy series category, but comedian Louis C.K. still managed to become the most nominated person at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards with four noms, sharing the honors with The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Louis C.K. was nominated in the lead comedy actor category for his role on FX’s Louie, in the writing for comedy series category for penning the Poker/Divorce episode of the show, as well as in two Variety, Music or Comedy special categories for his Epix comedy special Louis C.K.: Hilarious — for writing and for editing. Three of Schaffer and Taccone’s four nominations were in the Original Music and Lyrics category, in which The Lonely Island’s Schaffer, Taccone and Andy Samberg have a regular presence, often in tandem with Justin Timberlake, having won an Emmy together for Dick In a Box. This year, Saturday Night Live is completely dominating the category with four of the six nominations: three for Schaffer, Taccone and Samberg’s digital music videos I Just Have Sex, Jack Sparrow and their latest collaboration with Timberlake, 3-Way, and one for the song from host Timberlake’s opening monologue. Schaffer and Taccone’s fourth Emmy nomination is in the writing for VMC series category for their staff-writing duties on SNL.Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The director is writing and directing an adaptation of Paul Murray’s Booker Prize long-listed novel. Jordan is reuniting with regular producers Steve Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen of Number 9 Films and James Flynn of Littlewave Film Productions (Ondine). Recent credits from Number 9 include Made In Dagenham, starring Sally Hawkins, and How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, starring Simon Pegg and Kirsten Dunst. Skippy Dies follows the adventures of two unlikely schoolmates, Skippy and Ruprecht, at an Irish private school. The book’s been described as “South Park meets Tom Brown’s Schooldays” (now there’s one pitch I never thought I’d hear). Paul Murray is repped by Rob Kraitt at AP Watt.