Heather Graham, absent from the New York stage since 2003′s Recent Tragic Events at Playwrights Horizons, will return to off-Broadway next month to star in the world premiere of Neil LaBute‘s new play, The Money Shot, directed by Terry Kinney. The play is the season opener at Bernard Telsey and Robert LuPone’s MCC Theater, which operates at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village. Performances begin September 4, with an official opening on September 22 for a limited run slated to end October 12. LaBute is MCC’s Playwright-In-Residence.
Graham (Boogie Nights, Drugstore Cowboy, etc.) co-stars with Gia Crovatin, Callie Thorne and Frederick Weller. In The Money Shot, Karen (Graham) and Steve (Weller) are formerly glamorous movie stars desperate for a hit. Will it be the latest movie by a hot shot European director? The night before filming a big scene guaranteed to make news, Karen, her partner Bev (Thorne), Steve, and his aspiring actress wife Missy (Crovatin) meet to discuss how far will they will go to reclaim past glory.
The Money Shot reunites LaBute with Kinney (Reasons To Be Pretty). Co-Artistic Director of MCC Theater, Will Cantler said, “This is our ninth collaboration with our Playwright-in-Residence, and this time he’s delivered everything we expect in a Neil LaBute play, and funnier — with a wrestling match. We can’t wait to bring this play to life with this great cast and reunite Neil with director Terry Kinney.”
In a move not entirely unlike casting Michele Pfeiffer in a film role originated onstage by Kathy Bates (which is what happened when Frankie And Johnny In The Clair De Lune became Frankie And Johnny), Amber Tamblyn will play a woman who emphatically terminates her four-year relationship with her boyfriend when she finds out he’s described her looks as “regular” when the Geffen Playhouse presents Neil LaBute‘s excellent drama Reasons To Be Pretty next month.
Shawn Hatosy (Southland, Reckless) is Greg, the thoughtful-but-stuck-in-a-dead-end-job boyfriend of Tamblyn’s Steph, and they will have the pleasure of duking it out in the opening scene, one of the funniest, nastiest, loudest smackdowns ever written, in a flash-flood of epithets that would make Trey Parker blush.
Opposite them will be Nick Gehlfuss (Shameless, The Newsroom), as Greg’s not precisely reliable macho friend Kent, and Alicia Witt (Justified, 88 Minutes) as his wife Carly. The show, which was nominated for a Tony best play award in 2009 (which was before it got capital letters), will be staged by Geffen a.d. Randall Arney. The run is July 29-August 31, with the official opening set for August 6.
K5 International has boarded world sales on Neil LaBute’s Dirty Weekend. Matthew Broderick and Alice Eve star in the film about a businessman trying to reconstruct the details of a drunken encounter. The film is currently shooting in New Mexico with Duncan Montgomery and Tiller Russell producing through their Horsethief Pictures. Joey Stewart also produces. K5 will start sales at the AFM. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: MGM‘s If I Stay has added Joshua Leonard (Humpday) as the drama heads into production next week. Leonard just wrapped another pic for MGM, the Jason Blum and Ryan Murphy-produced horror The Town That Dreaded Sundown. He joins If I Stay playing Denny, the ex-punk rocker dad to Chloe Grace Moretz‘s Mia, a 17-year-old classical music prodigy who’s forced to choose between life and death after an accident kills her entire family. The Killing‘s Mireille Enos is onboard as Mia’s mother in the Gayle Forman bestseller adaptation which R.J. Cutler is directing. Leonard’s upcoming projects include HBO’s True Detective and the Polsky Brothers’ The Motel Life. In early 2014 he’ll direct Behold My Heart from his own co-written script. Leonard is repped by Silver Lining Entertainment and Bob Myman.
Project X‘s Thomas Mann has joined the cast of RKO’s Barely Lethal, opposite Hailee Steinfeld, Jessica Alba, Sophie Turner, and Samuel L. Jackson. Steinfeld plays a teen assassin who yearns for a normal life in the action-comedy produced by Brett Ratner. Mann will play Roger, Steinfeld’s secretly infatuated pal who’s stuck in the friend zone as she sets her sights on a more popular boy. Kyle Newman (Fanboys) is directing the pic. … Read More »
Tribeca Film acquired U.S. rights to Neil LaBute’s Some Velvet Morning. Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve star in the relationship drama written and directed by LaBute and produced by Tim Harms, Daryl Freimark, Michael Corrente, Trent Othick, and David Zander. Pic premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and Tribeca plans a theatrical and on-demand release platform in December. Pic is about a man who shows up on the doorstep of his mistress after a four-year absence. He says he has finally left his wife, but she isn’t interested and he becomes obsessed with her and things get ugly. It’ll come out on multiple platforms December 10 and reach some theaters three days later. Submarine repped the film.
EXCLUSIVE: A mental institution will live up to its funny farm nickname as the setting of a half-hour NBC comedy project written and executive produced by playwright-screenwriter Neil LaBute (The Shape Of Things) and executive produced by Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. Harmony House centers on a young psychiatric resident who finds the woman of his dreams in the most unlikely of places: as a patient in the psychiatric facility where he recently has taken a job. The single-camera project is a romantic comedy that reminds us that love can drive you a little crazy. 20th Century Fox TV is producing. The Harmony House sale comes on the heels of ICM Partners-repped LaBute signing a deal with DirecTV to produce a series of 10 short films about human relationships. DirecTV’s limited series Full Circle, based on LaBute scripts, premieres next month.
EXCLUSIVE: DirecTV is partnering with playwright-screenwriter Neil LaBute (The Shape Of Things) to produce a series of ten short films which will air on the satcaster’s Audience Network. LaBute will write, direct and produce the stand-alone tales, each of them exploring human relationships. The deal comes a month before the premiere of DirecTV’s limited series Full Circle, which was based on LaBute scripts. LaBute plans to be far more involved in the short films than he was in Full Circle, making the new project his first serialized TV effort. “I’m very excited to move forward on this new project, and there is not a better home than DirecTV for an ambitious series like this,” he said. “Although I am incredibly proud of my scripts for Full Circle, I was disappointed I was not available to be a part of the production. That fact drove home for me how important it is, from an artistic standpoint, to roll up my sleeves and immerse myself in all aspects of the creative process on television.” Chris Long, DirecTV’s SVP Original Content and Production, stressed that LaBute will be given full creative control in making the short films. “We are proud that Neil has chosen DirecTV as the first place to write, produce and direct his own material,” he said. “The films will be produced with a true auteur model; we’re striving for the least possible distance between the artist’s … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Will direct-to-consumer distribution make indie filmmaking more sustainable? Leeden Media will be the first lab rats in Vimeo‘s new On Demand program when it self-releases Neil LaBute‘s Some Girl(s) day and date in NY/LA and digitally June 28. The low-budget comedy-drama directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer (Party Girl) stars Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Jennifer Morrison, Mia Maestro, Zoe Kazan, and Emily Watson and premiered in March at SXSW, where Vimeo announced its bold new distribution venture. The program, offering creators marketing control and the ability to set their own prices, streaming periods, region parameters, and an enticing 90/10 profit split, had filmmakers salivating. Leeden Media partners and producers Patty West and Chris Schwartz even turned down traditional distribution offers to try their luck going DIY. “Foreign sales agents said the film might make it out in a year or two”, West told Deadline. “Domestic reps said maybe 2014. The timeline usually takes so long to get to the audience”, but through Vimeo the pic will make it to viewers just about four months after its SXSW world premiere. Read More »
For its second original drama series, DirecTV will be keeping company with Neil LaBute. The satcaster formally announced a 10-episode order to drama Full Circle, which is described as a modern day La Ronde meets My Dinner With André. The director, screenwriter and playwright’s unconventionally structured TV series debut will examine the human condition through conversations between 11 people whose lives, unbeknownst to them, are intertwined. The project, which had been in the works at DirecTV for months, was developed as a low budget miniseries, and is expected to be made for under $1 million total for all 10 episodes.
Nick Hamm of Momentum TV, executive producer of DirecTV’s first original series, Rogue, also exec produces Full Circle. LaBute is series creator and serves as writer and co-executive producer. Production will start in LA this summer for air on DirecTV’s Audience in the fall. FremantleMedia International is handling global distribution.
EXCLUSIVE: After nine years on The Office, series star Jenna Fischer is venturing into theater, making her stage debut with a starring role in the off-Broadway production of Neil LaBute‘s new play Reasons To Be Happy. Fischer will segue from the Emmy-winning NBC series, which wraps production Friday on its ninth and final season, to Reasons To Be Happy at the MCC Theater. A follow-up to LaBute’s Tony-nominated Reasons To Be Pretty, Reasons To Be Happy features the same characters three years later. After a contentious break-up, Steph (Fischer) and Greg are wondering if they can make a fresh go of it. Trouble is, she’s married to someone else and he’s just embarked on a relationship with Steph’s best friend. Alison Pill played the Steph role in Reasons To Be Pretty, which also originated at the MCC Theater before moving to Broadway. Previews for Reasons To Be Happy begin at the MCC Lucille Lortel Theater on May 16, the same night The Office finale airs on NBC. The play opens June 11. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE:Adam Brody (Lovelace) stars as a writer visiting his exes on the eve of his wedding in Some Girl(s), world premiering March 9 at SXSW. Party Girl‘s Daisy von Scherler Mayer is at the helm of her first big screen feature since 2002′s The Guru. Neil LaBute penned the script from his own play of the same name and produced the indie feature with Patty West, Chris Schwartz, and Andrew Carlberg for neophyte production company Leeden Media. Filling out the cast are Jennifer Morrison, Mia Maestro, Zoe Kazan, Emily Watson and Kristen Bell. Here’s an exclusive look at Brody and Watson in the pic, which Cinetic is repping at the fest:
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired U.S. and Canada rights, along with select international territories, on Crooked House, the Neil LaBute-directed adaptation of the Agatha Christie’s murder mystery novel that is being made by Ealing Metro International. Script is by Gosford Park and Downton Abbey scribe Julian Fellowes, Tim Rose Price and LaBute. “It’s been far too long since we’ve seen Agatha Christie’s work on the big screen,” LaBute said. “Crooked House is one of her best and most surprising murder mysteries. It’s the perfect title with which to bring a whole new audience to Christie, while at the same time delivering a wonderfully suspenseful experience to her legions of existing fans.” Shooting will start in the fall in London, with Brilliant Films’ Joe Abrams and Rory Gilmartin producing with Marc Samuelson of Samuelson Productions.
Myriad Pictures has acquired worldwide rights outside the UK for the Neil LaBute-scripted Seconds Of Pleasure. Mike Figgis will direct a film that will star Matt Dillon, Julia Stiles, Brendan Fraser, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Hendricks. Seconds Of Pleasure explores a series of intimate and emotionally charged events that occur among a small group of people traveling together on a trans-Atlantic flight from Chicago to London. LaBute adapted it from his novel, which weaves together the intertwined yet separate stories of the six couples searching for those moments that make life worth living. Seconds Of Pleasure is a production of Scotland broadcasting giant STV. Margaret Enefer, STV Productions’ Head of Drama, Bill Shapter and LaBute are the producers. Read More »
Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks has signed on to star in Seconds of Pleasure, which Mike Figgis is directing from a Neil LaBute script. The story takes place on an airplane and connects the lives of people on the plane through vignettes. Hendricks plays a wife who catches her husband in a compromising position. Brendan Fraser plays the husband, and Julia Stiles, Matt Dillon and Kristen Scott Thomas also star. LaBute is producing, with production to begin this summer in the UK. Hendricks, also shooting the Doug McGrath-directed I Don’t Know How She Does It with an ensemble cast that includes Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker, is repped by Paul Kohner Agency and KLWG Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Brendan Fraser has returned to CAA, after spending the past half decade at WME. Move comes just as Fraser is signing on for Seconds of Pleasure, a drama which Neil LaBute is prepping to shoot in the UK in March. Kristin Scott Thomas will also star, and Colin Firth and Ed Harris are mulling offers. Fraser’s slot was open, after he left the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth. While the original 3D film was a hit, New Line would not pay a pre-negotiated sequel option price of around $15 million. They re-cast, and Dwayne Johnson took the male lead in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Brillstein Entertainment Partners continues to manage Fraser.