BREAKING… Nicolas Cage, Juno Temple and Johnny Knoxville will star in Wild Side, a road trip action film to be directed by Jesse Baget from a script he wrote with Stefania Moscato. Zero Gravity Management’s Mark Holder and Christine Holder are producing and financing with Hollywood Media Bridge’s Phillip B. Goldfine and Oak Street Films. Arclight Films is selling international and Lionsgate is handling domestic. Shooting begins July 23 in Louisiana.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount has joined MGM’s effort to mount a musical film remake of 1983′s Valley Girl, the film that helped launch the career of Nicolas Cage. The remake will launch a new feature directing career, as the studios chose Clay Weiner over a number of well-established helmers who wanted the job. Who is Clay Weiner and how did this happen?
Weiner is a prolific commercials director — he helmed the Super Bowl spot for Time Warner Cable with Ricky Gervais and Mary Louise Parker — but his only real credit is the Nickelodeon film Fred: The Movie. He was determined to win the Valley Girl job, and his reps were able to include him among a bunch of helmers who met with studio executives before the holiday. Weiner was the only one who spent the two-week holiday break putting together a three-minute demo reel, paid for out of his own pocket, that featured choreographed dance routines set to a mash-up of the 1980s tunes that will be sung in the film. He demonstrated the spirit, design, costuming and camera work that reflected his vision for the film. It told the studio execs everything they needed to know. This week, they gave Weiner the job and it was the reel that won it for Weiner. Negotiations are now getting underway between the studios and Weiner’s reps at UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Sony updated this one today on its website and we know how much you enjoy telling us what you think. Here’s Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance. Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, screenplay by Scott M. Gimple & Seth Hoffman and David S. Goyer. Opens …
Emmett/Furla Films, a company that has been growing more ambitious in the film financing and production arena, has teamed with Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase’s Envision Entertainment to establish a new $250 million revolving equity and debt fund to finance a new slate of star-driven commercial films. The fund was announced as EFF principal Randall Emmett comes to Toronto to make deals on films that include the Allen Hughes-directed political corruption drama Broken City, which stars Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, and Frozen Ground, the fact-based thriller about a serial killer in Alaska that will star Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. Martirosyan and Chase are executive producers on the latter.
The fund carries no set restrictions on how and where capital is allocated, but it will continue EFF’s momentum. The company recently financed the Stephen Frears-directed Lay The Favorite — with a cast that includes Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Vince Vaughn and Catherine Zeta-Jones — with films in the works that include the David Ayer-directed crime drama End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick; Fire with Josh Duhamel, Willis and Rosario Dawson; and Freelancers, a drama that stars Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. EFF’s Emmett continues to be Jackson’s partner in Cheetah Vision Films, which has a deal at Lionsgate. EFF will make nine films this year.
EXCLUSIVE: Russell Crowe is set to star alongside Mark Wahlberg in the Allen Hughes-directed independently financed noir drama Broken City. Production begins in November. Wahlberg plays an ex-cop-turned-private detective who is hired by the mayor (the role Crowe will play) to see if his wife is cheating on him. The private eye confirms those suspicions, and when the mayor’s wife’s cheating partner ends up dead, the private eye immerses himself in the mayor’s business and uncovers a real estate scandal that involves the pol dealing himself choice city-owned properties. The script by Brian Tucker made the 2008 Black List. The $60 million film will be financed by Emmett/Furla Films.
Wahlberg is producing through his Closest to the Hole banner; Stephen Levinson through Leverage; and Randall Emmett, George Furla and Hughes are also producing. Wahlberg and Levinson, partners on Entourage and Boardwalk Empire, just wrapped the drama Contraband. Crowe is costarring as Jor-El in the Superman reboot Man of Steel and just wrapped The Man With The Iron Fists.
Sony said today that it has slated Columbia Pictures’ Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance for wide release on Feb. 17, 2012. The 3D film, a sequel to the 2007 original, again stars Nicolas Cage, and is directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
EXCLUSIVE: Nicolas Cage and John Cusack are in talks to star in The Frozen Ground, a drama to shoot this fall in Anchorage, Alaska. It will mark the feature directing debut of Scott Walker, who wrote the script. Pic is based on true events surrounding Alaska’s most notorious serial predator, Robert Hansen. Cusack is in talks to play a respected family man who for over 12 years abducted more than 24 women and flew them into the Alaskan wilderness to be hunted. Cage is in talks to play a principled and dedicated Alaskan State Trooper who finds Hansen’s only surviving teen victim alive on the street. The trooper and the young girl finally bring Hansen to justice.
The pic’s produced by Emmett Furla Films’ Randall Emmett and George Furla and Amber Entertainment’s Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky. Pic will be exec produced by Envision Entertainment’s Stephan Martirosyan and Remington William Chase, and Curtis Jackson. Financing is by Emmett Furla and Voltage will handle international sales. Emmett Furla just finished Fire With Fire and the Stephen Frears-directed Lay the Favorite and is gearing up for production on Broken City and the David Ayer-directed End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal.
Lionsgate and Millennium have released a new overseas trailer for Drive Angry 3D, a Nicolas Cage vehicle that gets released February 25. The trailer has a Grindhouse feel, with a devilish turn by William Fichtner. Summit distributes domestically.
Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
I have never concealed my nuttiness for Nic Cage. And I don’t mean indie-drama, alcoholic downbeat Nic Cage, but bug-eyed, wig-wearing, attention-deficit-crazed Nicolas Cage. Or maybe I just have a thing for bad wigs. (William Shatner and the late Wally George are also faves. But then there’s Burt Reynolds, who never did much for me.) Nicolas Cage in 3D is a dream come true. Just give me one massive closeup of his face in full freakout mode. Summit’s DRIVE ANGRY, which based on the big-screen logo they showed is not merely going to be called DRIVE ANGRY, or even DRIVE ANGRY 3D, but rather DRIVE ANGRY SHOT IN 3D, sounded on paper like a DEATH WISH-type story. But then they roll the preview: “He escaped from Hell.”
Lucy Punch has signed with WME. Punch, who’d been repped by ICM, makes the move at a time when she’s about to open in the Jay Roach-directed Dinner for Schmucks, followed by Woody Allen’s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, …
FRIDAY, JULY 23
STAR WARS DAY (This is a meaningless appellation unless and until George Lucas sees fit to say or do anything regarding the proposed live-action TV series.)
Luke Y Thompson covers Hollywood events at the …
What a difference a week makes. Last week, the tracking on Jerry Bruckheimer’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice was worse than for his Prince Of Persia. The latest numbers show nice gains, so Disney can breathe easier. “It’s a lot less dire than a week ago,” one rival studio exec tells me. …
Summit Entertainment joins the phalanx of studios bringing film footage and star casts to the geek altar that is Comic-Con. Summit, which for the past two years has brought its Twilight Saga cast to the event, this time herds the cast …