EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: Well, it took all day, but I can tell you that The Weinstein Company is now in an exclusive negotiation and will close a U.S. distribution deal on a bitter bidding battle for The Coup, the John Erick Dowdle-directed thriller that stars Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan. I’d written yesterday that TWC was considered the frontrunner, but it was an all-day battle for the Bold Films picture that pitted TWC against Relativity. TWC has until early tomorrow evening to close a deal expected to land $5 million and that makes it the second-biggest acquisition of the Cannes market behind the whopping $20 million that Paramount paid for Story Of Your Life. The hope is to give it a wide release late winter or early spring. Deal is being papered now by WME Global’s Graham Taylor, who was also in the middle of that Story Of Your Life deal (with FilmNation’s Glen Basner), and Nightcrawler (done with CAA).Nightcrawler, which closed with Open Road last night for $4.5 million, is also a Bold Films-backed production, so that company has also had a hot hand. Sierra/Affinity is selling both The Coup and Nightcrawler, a task that will be much easier for Nick Meyer with wide release domestic deals in place.
Owen Wilsonand Jessica Capshaw have joined the voice cast of Magnolia Pictures’ animated feature The Hero Of Color City, which chronicles the adventures of a diverse band of crayons that come alive in a little boys room when he drifts off to sleep. Christina Ricci, Rosie Perez, Wayne Brady and Craig Ferguson also star for director Frank Gladstone. Wilson next appears in Inherent Vice and The Coup. Capshaw co-stars as Dr. Arizona Robbins on Grey’s Anatomy.
Garrett Clayton is set to star in Don’t Hang Up, an indie thriller from directors Damien Mace and Alexis Wajsbrot. Clayton will play Brady, an athletic teen who gets caught after a series of drunken prank calls and has to fight for his life when the tables are turned on him and his best friend (Gregg Sulkin). Clayton’s credits include Teen Beach Movie, its upcoming sequel and The Fosters. He is repped by Gersh, ROAR and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.
Starz has put into development hourlong scripted drama WonderWorld, from Owen Wilson, Rene Balcer, Fred Berner, and Regina Lee. Set in Ronald Reagan’s America and inspired by one of the biggest undercover operations in FBI history, WonderWorld follows two straight-arrow FBI agents as they infiltrate the violent Mob-controlled porn industry of the 1980s, with dire consequences for themselves and their families. Wilson is executive producing. Emmy winner Rene Balcer will be writer and showrunner and will executive produce alongside Wilson and Berner, with Lee serving as a producer. Wilson is repped by UTA and attorney Bob Wallerstein; Balcer is with UTA and Don Walerstein; Berner is with Verve and Jeanne Newman.
EXCLUSIVE: Bold Films has established its first revolving credit line with Comerica Bank, a $35 million debt facility that will cover an expanding slate of features. It allows Bold to step up and finance The Coup, an action thriller that will shoot in Thailand in November, with Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan starring. The Coup, written by brothers Drew Dowdle and John Erick Dowdle and directed by John Erick Dowdle, is the story of an American expatriate businessman in a third world city who gets caught in the middle of a violent revolution. He must flee to safety with his wife and two small children while being hunted by a murderous rebel leader. Bold Films’ Michel Litvak and David Lancaster will produce with Gary Michael Walters serving as executive producer. Drew Dowdle will also produce the film.
The film was originally put together to be financed by Crime Scene Pictures. The first film covered by the Comerica facility is How To Catch A Monster, the film that marks the writing and directorial debut of actor Ryan Gosling. Christina Hendricks, Saiorse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Matt Smith and Ben Mendelsohn starred in a film that recently wrapped production in Detroit. Warner Bros will distribute the film domestically. Read More »
Free Birdstells the tale of two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks who must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the Thanksgiving menu for good. The stellar voice cast includes Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson Amy Poehler, Dan Fogler, Lesley Nicol, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, and Dwight Howard. Jimmy Hayward directs and Scott Mosier, John Strauss and David I. Stern produce. Hayward and Mosier wrote the screenplay based on Strauss and Stern’s story. The pic from Relativity and Reel FX bows wide on November 1. Check out the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Fresh from The Internship, Owen Wilson is joining Jim Carrey to star in Relativity‘s Untitled Action Comedy directed by Napoleon Dynamite helmer Jared Hess. Based on an original screenplay by Emily Spivey, this comedy — it got known around town for the title Loomis Fargo, but that’s being changed — has a script by Chris Bowman (The Wrong Brother) and Hubbel Palmer (Humble Pie). Relativity has worldwide rights to finance, produce and distribute, and the film will be produced by Lorne Michaels and John Goldwyn through their Michaels-Goldwyn banner.
Pic tells the fact-based story of a disgruntled armored car driver who is persuaded to risk it all for love, money, and extravagance. He and his cohorts liberate $20 million from a bank vault. They promptly double cross him, and as the driver’s left alone on the run in Mexico while they live the high life, he becomes obsessed with getting even. Danny McBride, Jody Hill, Michael Aguilar and Kevin Messick will be exec producers alongside Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and President Tucker Tooley. Read More »
Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play a couple of 40-ish sales guys who find themselves suddenly obsolete and out of jobs. Desperate to remain relevant and employable, they try to land internships at Google. With (naturally) Google+ as a promotional partner 20th Century Fox rolls out the movie June 7. Directed by Shawn Levy and written by Vaughn and Jared Stern, The Internship also features Max Minghella, Rose Byrne, John Goodman, Josh Gad, B.J. Novak, Aasif Mandvi, and Will Ferrell among others.
EXCLUSIVE:JoAnna Garcia has joined the cast ofInterns. Garcia, who also goes by JoAnna Garcia Swisher, will play Vince Vaughn’s girlfriend in the Shawn Levy directed comedy. Interns starsOwen Wilson and Vaughn as two middle-aged guys who lose their jobs and have to start at the bottom in the new American workforce. Interns is filming in Atlanta this summer. The former Privileged star was also recently named as the female lead opposite Justin Kirk in NBC’s upcoming new comedy series Animal Practice. Garcia is repped by WME and Carrabino Management.
Michelle Monaghan will star with Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan in The Coup, a thriller centered on an American family who moves to Southeast Asia and finds themselves entangled in a violent coup with merciless rebels attacking the city. Devil helmer John Erick Dowdle will direct a script he co-wrote with his brother Drew Dowdle.
Monaghan will play Wilson’s wife in the action thriller, which is scheduled to begin production in October. Crime Scene Pictures’ Adam Ripp and Rob Paris are financing and have teamed up with Steve Alexander and Drew Dowdle to produce. Sierra/Affinity will be handling international sales beginning at Cannes while CAA is representing U.S. rights.
ICM-repped Monaghan, who is managed by Frank Frattaroli, recently wrapped Penthouse North and Tomorrow You’re Gone.
Pierce Brosnan will star alongside Owen Wilson in John Erick Dowdle’s The Coup, the Crime Scene Pictures thriller that begins production in October. The film, written by Dowdle and his brother Drew, centers on an American family that moves to Southeast Asia and finds itself entangled in a violent coup where merciless rebels are attacking the city. Brosnan, repped by CAA and attorney Stuart Brookman, will play a mysterious government operative. Crime Scene’s Adam Ripp and Rob Paris are financing and producing with Steve Alexander and Drew Dowdle. Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales beginning next month at Cannes.
EXCLUSIVE: Crime Scene Pictures has set Owen Wilson to star in The Coup, an action drama that that Devil helmer John Erick Dowdle will direct from a script he co-wrote with his brother Drew Dowdle. Crime Scene Pictures’ Adam Ripp and Rob Paris are financing and have teamed with Steve Alexander and Drew Dowdle to produce. Rizal Risjad and Philip Elway will executive produce. Filming begins in October in Southeast Asia. Sierra/Affinity will handle international sales, while CAA is representing U.S. rights. The film is described as an intense thriller centered on an American family that moves to Southeast Asia and finds themselves embroiled in a violent coup where rebels mercilessly attack the city. Wilson plays the father in a film that has the tone of Taken, and puts him in action mode for the first time since Behind Enemy Lines. Wilson’s repped by UTA. Read More »
BREAKING… The Twentieth Century Fox comedy will have a June 2012 start. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson last teamed in the huge hit The Wedding Crashers and now reunite for director Shawn Levy. Fox made the announcement today because filming begins June 25th. In the story, Vaughn and Wilson portray two old school salesmen who find themselves suddenly unemployed and uschooled in the digital world. Yet they try to reinvent themselves by becoming interns at a major tech company. Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment and Vaughn’s Wild West Picture Show Productions will produce the film that is based on Vaughn’s original script. Jared Stern delivered the rewrite to Fox. That’s two in a row at Fox for both Vaughn and Wilson: Vaughn will star in this summer’s Neighborhood Watch while Wilson co-starred in The Big Year.
When we began our interview, I asked Matt Weiner, “So all those Emmys aren’t good enough? You’re going for the Oscar now?” He laughed and said, “I don’t expect to enter at that level but I’m getting to make something really important to me. So I’m really excited.” As previously reported, the multiple Emmy winner (7 for Mad Men and 2 for The Sopranos) who created AMC’s much-lauded Mad Men is using his down time from the show to jump into the perilous waters of indie filmmaking as director and writer of a longtime pet project, You Are Here. Now in its fifth season, Weiner only finished up the new season of Mad Men two weeks ago but has already arrived in North Carolina this week to begin pre-production and expects to start the two-month shoot on May 7th. The comedy stars Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler in a story of two childhood best friends who embark on a road trip home after one of them discovers his estranged father has died.
Weiner has been trying to launch You Are Here for 8 years, “I’ve re-written it a few times, I haven’t been available for part of the time, and the rest of it is just how hard it is to get a movie made. Especially an adult movie, one that doesn’t have a high concept, ” he says. ”I tried to get it together during other off-seasons and just hadn’t been … Read More »
Can a PBS documentary actually have a major impact on this year’s Oscar race?
That’s the question I asked writer-director-producer Robert Weide, whose two-part American Masters portrait of Woody Allen begins airing on PBS stations November 20-21. Of course this is perfect timing because Sony Pictures Classics is launching a major Oscar campaign on behalf of what has turned out to be Allen’s most successful film ever, Midnight In Paris, which so far has a domestic gross of $55 million, is critically acclaimed, and is on every pundit’s list of potential Oscar players this year.
Weide is an 11-time Emmy nominee and three-time winner for directing Curb Your Enthusiasm as well as various showbiz docus on W.C Fields, The Marx Brothers and Lenny Bruce (a feature doc for which he also earned an Oscar nomination in 1998). He has tried for decades and finally got unprecedented access and cooperation from Allen and his associates and colleagues in the making of this remarkable documentary on all things Woody. But if you think this was all calculated to impact the Oscars, think again. For SPC, it is just a happy coincidence.
“Listen, when I approached Woody, he was still shooting[2009's] Whatever Works with Larry David, and then I was on the set with him for You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, thinking that that would be, sort of, the most current film at the time of the release,” Weide … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After a long search, Warren Beatty has chosen Like Crazy star Felicity Jones to play the female lead in the untitled film about reclusive industrialist Howard Hughes. The film is still mobilizing its financing, with New Regency in place as a co-financier after Paramount dropped out. Still, Beatty has begun casting, and he met with many young actresses before deciding on Jones. Her breakthrough came in the Drake Doremus-directed Like Crazy, which has been slowly rolling out in release through Paramount Vantage. The film was acquired by Paramount and Indian Paintbrush when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to high acclaim last January.
Jones will play a young woman who develops a relationship with Hughes’s young driver and confidante, before she falls in love with Hughes. Beatty, who’ll direct and who wrote the script, will play Hughes. He’s narrowing choices for the young male lead, and I’ve heard names ranging from Justin Timberlake to Alden Ehrenreich. Also in the mix for roles are Annette Bening, and potentially Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin and Owen Wilson. The film, which Beatty has been working on for years, is expected to start production sometime next year. CAA-repped Jones recently completed another movie directed by Like Crazy‘s Doremus. It shot last summer, and is currently untitled.
Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights from Indian Paintbrush on Moonrise Kingdom, the Wes Anderson-directed film that stars Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Fran McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman. Anderson has begun filming, from a script he wrote with Roman Coppola. Focus Features International will sell international territories at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Anderson, Scott Rudin, Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales and American Epirical’s Jeremy Dawson are producing. As Deadline has reported, the teamup with Anderson came after Indian Paintbrush exec produced and co-financed the Anderson-directed Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited, both of which were produced by Rudin. Moonrise Kingdom is set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s. A young boy and girl fall in love and when they try to run away together, factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward play the young boy and girl.
Rales, who hired Rudin’s former president Mark Roybal to run the company, has become a prolific player in the prestige film space. Indian Paintbrush is in preproduction on Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, the Lorene Scafaria-directed drama that is Steve Carell’s rebound project after exiting The Office. Keira Knightley also stars. David Chase is currently shooting his period rock and roll project with James Gandolfini, and Indian Paintbrush just wrapped Jeff Who Lives At Home, written and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ben Stiller is in talks with 20th Century Fox to play the title role in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty after the previous script was finally dumped and a new approach and screenwriter was put on the project. That produced a reboot that Stiller wants to make his next film. Stiller sparked to the new take by Steve Conrad, writer of the Will Smith hit The Pursuit of Happyness. Now that Stiller is coming aboard, Fox will move quickly to lock in a cinematic director who can mix action with a PG rating, and get the picture ready for a late fall start. Stiller is repped by WME.
Mitty is still based on the 1947 Danny Kaye film from the James Thurber short story first published in The New Yorker in 1939. The story of a perpetual daydreamer had been in development so long that it seemed like it might never be more than a daydream. Everyone from Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen flirted with that previous script, and directors who have circled include Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Gore Verbinski. Mitty‘s problems stemmed from that script which was never quite right. But then Conrad started fresh and Stiller felt he knocked it out of the park. Stiller, who has starred in the lucrative Night at the Museum and Meet the Parents franchises, might have another big one on his hands. His Red Hour Films banner is based at Fox. Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and John Goldwyn have been shepherding the project as producers for years. Read More »
James Franco isn’t the only awards show host this weekend who has bagged a big film role. Joel McHale, who tomorrow hosts the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards, is in final negotiations to join Mark Walhberg, Mila Kunis and Seth Macfarlane in Ted, the live action comedy that MacFarlane is directing for Universal Pictures and Media Rights Capital. McHale will play Rex, the sleazy boss who is perpetually putting the moves on his employee (Kunis). She wants to marry her boyfriend (Wahlberg), but won’t until he redefines his relationship with his teddy bear, the one that came alive during a childhood wish and has become a slovenly womanizing slacker. McHale, star of NBC’s comedy Community, also continues to host E!’s The Soup. Additionally, McHale has three films coming out in 2011: The Big Year opposite Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson; What’s Your Number? with Anna Faris; and Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids reboot opposite Jessica Alba. He is repped by WME and Sonesta Entertainment.
Midnight in Paris, the new film by Woody Allen will open the Festival de Cannes on May 11th in the Lumière theatre, in the presence of the Jury presided by Robert De Niro.
The romcom, which was shot last year in the French capital, brings together a broad international cast, including Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard, as well as Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Gad Elmaleh and Léa Seydoux.
Following London (Match Point) and Barcelona (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), it’s the turn of Paris to be honoured by the lens of the New York film director most appreciated by European audiences.
“Midnight in Paris is a wonderful love letter to Paris”, declared Festival director Thierry Frémaux. “It’s a film in which Woody Allen takes a deeper look at the issues raised in his last films: our relationship with history, art, pleasure and life. His 41st feature reveals once again his inspiration.”
Produced by Médiapro (Spain) and Gravier Productions (New York), distributed by Mars Films in France, the film is to be released in France the same day it is screened at Cannes. French audiences will thus be able to enjoy it in 400 theatres throughout the country. For this occasion, the Festival de Cannes wishes, with the consent of its partner Canal+ and the support of the national federation of French theaters, to make the Opening Ceremony of the Festival available to any theatre requesting it, so that their audiences can experience live the entire programme of the Opening Night