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Toronto: Benedict Cumberbatch To Star In ‘Lost City Of Z’ For James Gray

By | Wednesday September 4, 2013 @ 1:14pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a testament that good projects sometimes rise above development hell. Benedict Cumberbatch, who figures to be a big man on campus at the Toronto Film Festival with 12 Years A Slave, The Fifth Estate and August: Osage County getting big premieres, is negotiating to star in Lost City Of Z, which James Gray will direct from a script he adapted. Panorama Media will finance the film and handle foreign sales.

The film is based on the David Grann bestselling book. Cumberbatch is in talks to play Percy Fawcett, who in 1925 headed into the depths of the Amazon jungles in Brazil. Fawcett was there to map the jungle and, hobbled by malaria, he discovered a mythical city he called The Lost City Of Z. Scorned by peers who claimed that this ancient kingdom was a fraud, Fawcett headed back into the jungle with his son and one other, braving the dangers of disease, insects, snakes, poison darts and other hazards to reinforce his discovery. None of them were ever seen again and it remains one of the great exploration mysteries of the 20th Century.

Plan B‘s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Anthony Katagas (who worked with Cumberbatch on 12 Years A Slave) will produce. Plan B has been developing the project for several years, and it initially seemed like Pitt would be … Read More »

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Panorama Media To Proffer Jake Gyllenhaal-Starrer ‘Mississippi Grind’ In Berlin

By | Friday February 1, 2013 @ 2:42pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Panorama Media, the production, finance and sales entity backed by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, has boarded road trip drama Mississippi Grind. Half Nelson duo Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are directing from their own script with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Mendelsohn starring. The pair play unlikely gamblers on a winning streak who head to New Orleans and along the way encounter old flames, loan sharks and some bad bets, but ultimately discover what’s really important in their lives. I understand Emmett/Furla are financing the roughly $10M pic which Gyllenhaal is producing along with Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell of Electric Entertainment and John Lesher of Le Grisbi Productions. Randall Emmett and George Furla will also be involved in a producing capacity. Shooting starts in the spring and Panorama will kick off sales at the EFM in Berlin next week.

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BBC Stands By Documentary Allegation That News Corp Sabotaged Pay TV Rivals

By | Friday March 30, 2012 @ 5:55am PDT

The BBC has picked up the gauntlet that News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch threw down this week when his company charged that the broadcaster used manipulated emails in a critical documentary broadcast on Monday. A BBC1 show, Panorama, said that News Corp and a video software and content security provider it has controlled, NDS, illegally helped to sabotage Murdoch’s pay TV rivals. ”We stand by the Panorama investigation,” the BBC says in a statement. The emails cited in the program “were not manipulated, as NDS claims” and nothing in the company’s letter to the BBC demanding a retraction “undermines the evidence presented in the program.” Panorama and a separate report by the Australian Financial Review revived this week long-simmering allegations that NDS helped to crack encryption codes used by satellite and pay TV companies that competed with Murdoch-controlled services including UK’s Sky. The data found its way to the Internet, enabling consumers to easily pirate the TV services — and undermine the businesses. For example, the BBC show reported that security codes for ITV’s ONdigital TV smart cards were hacked as far back as 1998 contributing to its demise in 2002. Read More »

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News Corp And NDS Say BBC Manipulated Emails For Satellite Card Hacking Charges

Rupert Murdoch News CorpNews Corp is fighting to disprove fresh charges that a video software and content security provider it has controlled, NDS, illegally helped to undermine Rupert Murdoch’s business rivals. News Corp COO Chase Carey said tonight that a BBC1 show that revived the allegations in a report on Monday “presented manipulated and mischaracterized emails to produce unfair and baseless accusations.” NDS chief Abe Peled demanded a retraction saying that the investigation that ran on the program Panorama showed “flagrant disregard to the BBC’s broadcasting code, misleading viewers and inciting widespread misreporting.” The allegations come at a sensitive time: They feed into the investigations into phone hacking and bribery at News Corp’s UK tabloids. Also, this month Cisco agreed to pay $4B for NDS. News Corp currently owns 49% of the firm.

Related: Rupert Murdoch Takes To Twitter: “Old Toffs And Right Wingers…Let’s Have It On!” Read More »

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2012 Berlin Film Festival Unveils First Panorama Pics

The Berlin Film Festival has announced the first 20 out of a total 50 titles for its Panorama section. Included are works by Volker Schlöndorff, Tony Gatlif, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang and Hou Hsiao-hsien. Gatlif’s Indignados, which touches on the Occupy movement and is inspired by Stéphane Hessel’s book Time For Outrage!, is one of two opening films for the Panorama Special series. The other is Malgoska Szumowska’s Elles starring Juliette Binoche. The remainder of the lineup will be announced throughout January. Below is a list of titles thus far:

10+10 by Hou Hsiao-hsien, Wang Toon, Wu Nien-Jen, Sylvia Chang, Chen Guo-Fu, Wei Te-Sheng, Chung Meng-Hung, Chang Tso-Chi, Arvin Chen, Yang Ya-Che and others, Taiwan

Death For Sale by Faouzi Bensaïdi, France
With Fehd Benchemsi, Fouad Labiad, Mouhcine Malzi, Imane Elmechrafi, Faouzi Bensaïdi

Die Wand (The Wall) by Julian Roman Pölsler, Austria/Germany
With Martina Gedeck

Dollhouse by Kirsten Sheridan, Ireland
With Seana Kerslake, Jonny Ward, Ciaran McCabe, Kate Brennan, Shane Curry
Read More »

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