EXCLUSIVE: Hot Cannes seller Equals has been steadily casting up over the past several weeks as it preps for an August start in Japan and Singapore. Already on board are Nicholas Hoult, Kristen Stewart, Guy Pearce, Kate Lyn Sheil and Aurora Perrineau. I’ve learned that two-time Oscar-nominated Australian actress Jacki Weaver is also now in negotiations to join the futuristic love story that’s being helmed by Drake Doremus from a script by Moon‘s Nathan Parker. The picture is set in a future society where emotions have been eradicated and the new breed of humans is called Equals. When “Switched-On Syndrome” infects Silas (Hoult), he becomes an outcast. Nia (Stewart) suffers from the same condition, but is able to hide her emotions. The only way for them to ensure their survival is to escape. Weaver would play Bess, a powerful woman trained as a doctor. She meets Silas in a support group and ultimately helps both Silas and Nia. Producers are Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Ann Ruark, and Jay Stern and Chip Diggins of Route One which is also financing. Weaver received her most recent Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for 2012′s Silver Linings Playbook and is next up in Woody Allen’s Magic In The Moonlight as well as Gracepoint, Fox’s adaptation of hit British drama Broadchurch. She’s repped by ICM Partners, Elevate Entertainment and Felker Toczek Suddelson.
EXCLUSIVE: Actress Kate Lyn Sheil (House of Cards, You’re Next) has been cast in Equals, the futuristic love story from director Drake Doremus (Like Crazy, Breathe In) starring Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart and X-Men‘s Nicholas Hoult.
The hot Cannes 2014 sales project is set in a future society where emotions have been eradicated. A new breed of humans, called Equals, live peacefully until a disease begins activating emotions in its victims, who are sent away and never seen again. Hoult is set to star as Silas, who becomes infected and is outcast until he connects with Nia (Stewart), another “switched on” Equal who is able to hide her emotions. Sheil will play Kate, a fellow co-worker of Silas and Nia. Guy Pearce signed on last month to the pic, which is gearing up for an August shoot in Japan and Singapore and was scripted by Moon writer Nathan Parker.
EXCLUSIVE: English actor and writer Jim Piddock has been cast in the dark comedy Kill Your Friends, based on the novel by John Niven. BAFTA-nominated Owen Harris (Holy Flying Circus) directs the pic about an A&R man (X-Men‘s Nicholas Hoult) during the Britpop music wave of the late ’90s who goes to extremes to find the next hit. Piddock, a frequent Christopher Guest player, will play Derek Sommers, the managing director of the record label. Author Niven adapted his own screenplay for Kill Your Friends, which Gregor Cameron and Will Clarke are producing. Piddock next appears in Think Like A Man Too with Kevin Hart. He and Guest co-created last year’s HBO original series Family Tree, in which they also appeared opposite Chris O’Dowd. Piddock is repped by Lighthouse Entertainment, United Agents, and AEF.
EXCLUSIVE: Drake Doremus is casting up his next film Equals for an early 2014 start, and I hear he is courting The Twilight Saga‘s Kristen Stewart and Warm Bodies and X-Men: Days Of Future Past star Nicholas Hoult to be the young couple that anchors this science fiction tale penned by Nathan Parker (Moon). Doremus talked up the project while doing press for Breathe In, the most recent film he helmed that stars his Like Crazy heroine Felicity Jones, Guy Pearce and Amy Ryan. Indian Paintbrush, Steven Rales’ production/financing company that forged a relationship with Doremus on Like Crazy, is backing the film. Stewart is repped by Gersh and Hoult by UTA and 42.
Nicholas Hoult has joined the cast of Dark Places with Charlize Theron. The actor would play a character named Lyle in the adaptation of the Gillian Flynn mystery novel about a woman forced to re-face the massacre of her family over two decades before. An awkward young man, Lyle is the treasurer of the Kill Club, the group investigating the case of the killing of the family of Libby Day (Theron) As Deadline broke earlier this week, Chloe Moretz is in talks to join the Exclusive Media and Denver and Delilah Productions produced film too. Gilles Paquet-Brenner is writing and directing the adaptation of the 2009 book. Exclusive’s Guy East and Nigel Sinclair are producing with Theron’s Denver & Delilah and partners Beth Kono and AJ Dix and Mandalay Vision’s Matthew Rhodes and Hugo Productions’ Stephane Marsil. Exclusive’s Alex Bruner and Tobin Armbrust will executive produce along with Peter Safran. Mandalay’s Cathy Shulman will also produce. Hoult was recently seen in the zombie romance Warm Bodies and Warner Bros’ Jack The Giant Slayer and will be in the upcoming Mad Max Fury Road, also with Theron. He’ll also be in X-Men Days of Future Past and Young Ones. Hoult is repped by UTA and 42.
Warner Bros has released the latest trailer for Jack The Giant Slayer. The Bryan Singer-directed pic is based on the Jack and the Beanstalk tale and stars Nicholas Hoult as Jack. The newest trailer focuses a bit less on the comedic elements and more on the action sequences. Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Warwick Davis, Bill Nighy, Ian McShane, Eleanor Tomlinson and Eddie Marsan also star. Writers are Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney. Jack The Giant Slayer opens March 1st:
Here’s Warner Bros’ latest trailer for Bryan Singer’s version of the tale of a boy, a cow and some beans. Nicholas Hoult plays Jack and cast includes Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Warwick Davis, Bill Nighy, Ian McShane, Eleanor Tomlinson and Eddie Marsan. Writers are Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney. Jack The Giant Slayer opens March 1st:
A zombie romantic comedy? Warm Bodies gets going when a young zombie (Nicolas Hoult) rescues a human (Teresa Palmer) from a horde of undead. Directed by Jonathan Levine who adapted from Isaac Marion’s novel, Warm Bodies also stars Dave Franco, Rob Corddry and John Malkovich. The Lionsgate/Summit release opens February 1st, 2013.
Warner Bros released a trailer for Bryan Singer’s reimagining of the children’s tale about a boy, a cow and those beans. Nicholas Hoult plays Jack and the cast includes Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Warwick Davis, Bill Nighy, Ian McShane, Eleanor Tomlinson and Eddie Marsan. Jack The Giant Killer opens June 15.
EXCLUSIVE: Dave Franco has joined the cast of Now You See Me, which is his second straight movie for Summit Entertainment. Franco joins Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman and Isla Fisher in the Louis Leterrier-directed drama about a team of FBI agents that track a group of illusionists pulling off daring bank heists during their performances. Franco plays one of the Four Horsemen, as the illusionists bill themselves. Franco, the younger brother of 127 Hours star James Franco, is currently shooting Warm Bodies for Summit opposite Nicholas Hoult, John Malkovich and Teresa Palmer. Franco will next be seen starring in 21 Jump Street with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, which Sony releases March 16. Miles Levy and Paradigm made his deal.
John Malkovich has signed on to Summit’s Warm Bodies, the Jonathan Levine-directed adaptation of the novel about a zombie who rediscovers his soul through a relationship with a human girl. Nicholas Hoult plays the zombie; Teresa Palmer plays the girl; and Malkovich will play her father, General Grigio. It starts an interesting autumn for Malkovich, who’ll perform in two operas, The Giacomo Variations and The Infernal Comedy, before going off to direct a French-language version of Les liaisons dangereuses in Paris. Malkovich starred in 1988′s Dangerous Liaisons. He’ll be free in January, and will certainly follow by reprising his eccentric assassin Marvin Boggs in the sequel to the 2010 hit Red. Summit is right now searching for a director to replace Robert Schwentke, who’s directing Universal’s R.I.P.D. Malkovich is repped by WME.
‘World War Z’ With Brad Pitt And Marc Forster Regroups; Can It Beat Imminent Zombie Pic Infestation?
While there have been reports that Paramount might kill World War Z because of a $125 million budget and no partners, I’m hearing that hot and heavy talks are going on with David Ellison’s Skydance and as many as two other financiers to share the load on a movie that is gearing up for production as soon as June. The plan remains for Brad Pitt to star and for Marc Forster to direct the adaptation Max Brooks’ novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. The book looked at the aftermath of a global zombie war 10 years after the conflict, with a researcher for the UN Postwar Commission interviewing survivors in countries that were decimated by flesh eaters. It was thorough, and a thoroughly creepy read. Matt Carnahan wrote the script.
The temptation is to joke about the irony of a zombie project coming back to life after it was pronounced near dead. As a devotee of great zombie movies from George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead to Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, Zack Snyder’s spirited Dawn of the Dead remake and genre spoofs Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead, I am excited enough by WWZ that I hope it stays on its fast track. Because if it waits around much longer, Hollywood might by that time have killed off the genre with an …
Rock Of Ages starring Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige and directed by Adam Shankman will be released on 06/01/12
Jack The Giant Killer starring Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor and directed by Bryan Singer will be released on 06/15/12
The start of Summit Entertainment’s trajectory began when the mini-major convinced Stephenie Meyer to sell her Twilight Saga book series after she’d been left so frustrated by how Paramount Pictures let it languish. Was it a billion dollar lucky break? As the vampire-werewolf series that fueled Summit’s recent $750 million refinancing comes to a close, Summit has bet heavily on books for its future franchises. Under production chief Erik Feig, Summit has been as prolific a buyer of books as any studio in town over the past two years. Most are conducive to young casts.
As Deadline predicted, Summit Entertainment has closed a screen rights deal for Veronica Roth’s young adult novel Divergent, which will be published by the HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books. It takes place in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into factions as kids are categorized based on human traits. A teenage girl and guy rebel against the labels, which is a very dangerous thing to do. The buying community has compared it to The Hunger Games in tone and violent content. Red Wagon’s Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher will produce with Pouya Shahbazian. The latter works for FinePrint Productions and stirred up some dust in the early deal brokering with what I’m told were high demands like 35% of the fee from whatever established producer came onto the picture, even though the book fell …
EXCLUSIVE: Director Bryan Singer has set Eleanor Tomlinson to play the female lead in Jack the Giant Killer for New Line and Legendary Pictures. She stars opposite Nicholas Hoult. The 19-year old Tomlinson plays Isabella, the princess who runs away from the kingdom and is kidnapped by the giants. Before that happens, she runs into Jack, the son of a farmer and makes a strong enough impression that he leads a mission into the land of the giants to get her back. Singer did an extensive search before deciding on Tomlinson. The British actress has been acting in films since she was 12, including The Illusionist and Angus , Thongs and Perfect Snogging. More recently, she played a role in Alice in Wonderland, but this is the biggest role of her career so far. Her reps at WME and UK-based Conway Van Gelder just made her deal, and she’s off to London to begin shooting.
Nicholas Hoult, who already bagged the title role in Jack the Giant Killer, has landed the lead in Warm Bodies, the Summit Entertainment adaptation of the Isaac Marion novel. The book will be published by Atria, and the film will be directed by Jonathan Levine, who wrote the script. Like the Jack role, this was one of the most coveted parts for young actors.
Hoult will play an existentially tormented zombie who begins an unlikely friendship with the girlfriend of one his victims, and it starts a chain reaction that transforms him and perhaps will do the same for his fellow zombies and maybe the whole lifeless world. Summit production president Erik Feig and veep Gillian Bohrer are overseeing.
Shooting starts late summer, after Hoult completes Jack the Giant Killer for director Bryan Singer at New Line. Hoult is repped by UTA and UK-based Independent. The British actor, who has grown from the About A Boy hanf-pint into a 6’3″ leading man. Hoult starred in the original UK series Skins, and starred with Colin Firth in the Tom Ford-directed A Single Man.
Hoult will next be seen playing the role of Beast in X-Men: First Class coming out in June through 20th Century Fox. Hoult will also star in Fury Road, the George Miller-directed prequel to the Mad Max films. That will film next year, with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron also starring.
While James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been busy pulling it together to host Sunday’s Oscarcast, Franco’s CAA reps and Disney have closed his deal to play the title role in Oz: The Great and Powerful. That puts the film on track to begin production in July, with Franco reuniting with his Spider-Man director Sam Raimi in the prequel to the L. Frank Baum novel that was scripted by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire. Joe Roth is producing.
There had been much discussion around town lately about Disney’s gyrations in trying to pare the budget of the film down to a mere $200 million, but they must have figured it out if they locked in Franco. For Franco, the multi-tasking marvel’s dance card for 2011 now looks like this: he’ll first star in the Noah Baumbach-directed While We’re Young, and then will shoot Oz. That brings him to the late fall/winter, when he’ll star in Sweet Bird of Youth, the David Cromer-directed revival of the Tennessee Williams play that will be produced by Scott Rudin. Kidman will play Alexandra Del Lago, the aging voracious movie star, while Franco will play her gigolo paramour Chance Wayne. While Franco has starred in eclectic indies and is even a recurring soap opera star, he has event film experience from the Spider-Man films with Raimi, and stars this fall in Fox’s Planet of the Apes prequel Rise of the Apes. Still, this is a …
EXCLUSIVE: Nicholas Hoult has been offered the lead role and is negotiating to star in Jack the Giant Killer, the Bryan Singer-directed drama for New Line and Legendary Pictures. Hoult is expected to close quickly, after emerging as the lead following a long testing process. It’s the biggest role so far for the British actor, who has grown from the About A Boy star into a 6’3″ leading man. Hoult starred in the original UK series Skins, and starred in A Single Man. Hoult has X-Men: First Class coming out in June. He plays The Beast, and Singer produced that film, so he knew well what Hoult was capable of. Hoult will also star in Fury Road, the George Miller-directed prequel to the Mad Max films. That will film next year, with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron also starring. Hoult is repped by UTA and UK-based Independent.
Scripted by Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bomback and Darren Lemke, Jack the Giant Killer is a scary revisionist take on the Jack and the Beanstalk mythology and Hoult will play a farmer who leads an expedition into the giants’ kingdom to rescue a kidnapped princess. Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci and John Kassir were recently cast.
EXCLUSIVE: Edi Gathegi, who played a chillingly evil vampire in Twilight and Twilight Saga: New Moon, is joining X-Men: First Class in the role of Darwin. That character, the first bi-racial mutant (in the comic series), has the power of “reactive evolution,” which allows him to adapt to any situation or environment. Plunged underwater, he’ll grow gills, he’ll gain night vision in pitch black and his skin grows fire retardant when burned.
Gathegi, who played Laurent in the Twilight films, just wrapped production on the Paul Johansson-directed adaptation of the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged. He’s repped by Paradigm and Framework.
X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn has set James McAvoy to play Xavier, Michael Fassbender to play Magneto, Alice Eve as Emma Frost, Nicholas Hoult to play Beast, Jennifer Lawrence to play Mystique, Caleb Landry Jones to play Banshee and Lucas Till to play Havoc. Kevin Bacon is playing the villain.