Joe Berlinger, the documentary filmmaker who co-directed the Paradise Lost trilogy about the West Memphis 3 and Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster, will make the narrative pic Facing The Wind. The film has Vera Farmiga, Evan Rachel Wood and Alessandro Nivola attached and it will be sold at Cannes. An adaptation of the nonfiction book by ex-Wall Street Journal reporter Julia Salamon, it tells the story of Bob Rowe, who spiraled from model husband to a man who commits a shocking act of violence against a loved one and then tries to redeem himself. Nivola will play Rowe, Farmiga will play his first wife, whom he murders. Wood plays his second wife, whom he marries after pleading insanity and avoiding prison. Rita Wilson and Jennifer Beals will play supporting roles.
EXCLUSIVE: Radius-TWC has closed a deal to pay $2 million to Pathe for North American rights to Paradise Lost. The Andrea Di Stefano-directed film stars The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson as a young surfer who visits his brother in Colombia and falls in love with the country, especially when he meets and marries the gorgeous girl of his dreams. Then he finds himself sucked into the family business. She’s the niece of notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who’s played by Benicio Del Toro. The film also stars Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene’s Brady Corbet and newcomer Claudia Traisac.
The film has been slated for release later this year by Radius, whose presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego have now made three deals during an otherwise sluggish Berlin (not counting TWC’s $7 million acquisition of The Imitation Game). Radius also snapped up the Salma Hayek thriller Everly and the Danish horror pic When Animals Dream. The label’s got some momentum, with two Oscar nominations for the docus 20 Feet From Stardom and Cutie And The Boxer.
Paradise Lost is produced by Dimitri Rassam and and co-produced by Romain Le Grand on behalf of Pathe and Frédérique Dumas on behalf of Orange Studio. Miguel Angel Faura from Spain’s Roxbury and Belgium’s uMedia also co-produced.
Quinn and Janego confirmed the deal. “We have been tracking this project for months and could not be more energized by Benicio’s outstanding performance, Josh’s extraordinary turn and Claudia Traisac’s star-making role,” the pair said. “Di Stefano has delivered the goods and we feel privileged to be working alongside him on this fantastic film.”
EXCLUSIVE: Brady Corbet, who stars in the upcoming IFC release Simon Killer, has signed on to star with Benicio Del Toro and Josh Hutcherson in Paradise Lost. The drama is about notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and it was written and marks the directing debut of Andrea di Stefano. Corbet plays the brother of Hutcherson’s character. Hutcherson’s character visits Colombia, meets the love of his life, only to see things go awry when he meets her uncle Pablo. The film will begin production in Panama in March.
Corbet is repped by WME and KillerMoxie.
EXCLUSIVE: The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson is negotiating to star with Benicio Del Toro in Paradise Lost, the drama about notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar that was written and will mark the directing debut of Life Of Pi’s Andrea di Stefano. Hutcherson is actually the principal character in the fact-based tale. He plays Nick, a young Irish surfer who visits his brother in Colombia. There he meets the love of his life — until he meets her uncle Pablo. The film will begin production in Panama in March.
Hutcherson, repped by ICM Partners and The Beddingfield Company, takes the job after wrapping Catching Fire, the second installment of The Hunger Games. He also lends his voice to the Fox Animation feature Epic.
EXCLUSIVE: The big-budget film Paradise Lost, which was slated to start shooting in January but was pushed till early summer, has been scrapped, I’m told. The epic-sized Alex Proyas-directed film about the battle between good and evil inspired by the John Milton poem was to star Bradley Cooper as Lucifer, Benjamin Walker as the archangel Michael, Diego Boneta playing Adam and Camilla Belle Eve, with a host of other actors lined up for the action epic.
Legendary made the decision after trying to bring the cost of the movie down to $120 million, tops. The producer/financier spent low eight figures to get this far but had never green lit the film and therefore should not be on the hook for pay or play talent deals. It is possible that the film could return down the line, as Best Picture nominee Moneyball, American Gangster and some other pictures have done after being scrapped just short of a production start. But Paradise Lost might be halted for a while, until technological advancements in visual effects bring to a reasonable cost the task of creating a believable depiction of the celestial battles that are at the heart of this film. It was too rich for Legendary’s blood even though the company scoured every way possible to find a way to be grand but disciplined.
EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures has halted plans to begin production early next year on Paradise Lost, the epic-sized Alex Proyas-directed film about the battle between good and evil that is inspired by the John Milton poem. Bradley Cooper had been set to play Lucifer, Benjamin Walker to play the archangel Michael, and Diego Boneta playing Adam and Camilla Belle Eve, with a host of other actors lined up for the action epic. I’m told that the film isn’t scrapped; rather, Legendary’s Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and producer Vincent Newman will continue developing it to rework a budget that had passed the $120 million mark by 10% or 15%. The picture has crewed up for an Australia shoot and the talent and below the line is learning about the postponement right now. Films including Moneyball and American Gangster had their plugs pulled within a month of production and bounced back, but it is always a shock when a large film has its start date scratched so close to production, even if it is temporary.
I’m told by insiders that this process is being likened to The Lone Ranger, which Disney had originally scheduled to begin production last fall, until Deadline revealed last August that it had been unplugged abruptly, with Disney threatening to scrap it because the studio feared the budget would turn into a runaway train and could sail past $250 million. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore …
Castings continue on Legendary Entertainment’s Paradise Lost, the action- and effects-centered take on John Milton’s epic poem being directed by Alex Proyas. The latest: Diego Boneta, who is playing the lead in New Line’s musical Rock Of Ages, has been cast as Adam. He will play opposite Camille Belle, whom Deadline reported is playing Eve. Bradley Cooper is Lucifer and Benjamin Walker plays the archangel Micheal in the film, which tells the biblical tale of the battle between good and evil that was the war that began all wars. Production is slated to begin in January.
EXCLUSIVE: I hear that Camilla Belle is Legendary Entertainment and Alex Proyas’ choice for the lead role of Eve in Paradise Lost. She would join Bradley Cooper as Lucifer and Benjamin Walker, who plays the archangel Michael in the action epic battle between good and evil that is inspired by the John Milton poem. Belle starred in 10,000 B.C. and before that played Daniel Day-Lewis’ daughter in The Ballad of Jack and Rose. Let’s see if her deal works, but this is a role a lot of young actresses wanted. She sparks the war that began all wars for the future of mankind. Belle is repped by WME. Warner Bros is distributing and eyeing a fourth quarter 2013 release.
EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures is negotiating with Benjamin Walker to play the archangel Michael in Paradise Lost, the action epic battle between good and evil that is inspired by the John Milton poem. Walker, who just wrapped the title role in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, will go mano a mano against Bradley Cooper’s Lucifer in what I’m told is the war that began all wars. After being cast out of Heaven, Lucifer mounts an army that battles the forces of good, and the film will have cutting-edge visual effects that will make these battles resemble 300 meets Lord of the Rings — but with winged warriors. While Warner Bros is finalizing a release date, I’m told Paradise Lost is likely to reach theaters in fourth-quarter 2013.
Production will begin in January in Sydney, which will give Cooper time to star alongside Jennifer Lawrence in the David O Russell-directed The Silver Linings Playbook for The Weinstein Company.
Paradise Lost is a sprawling fantasy epic that has taken seven years of development to get right. It was originally scripted by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi, with subsequent drafts by Stuart Hazeldine and Lawrence Kasdan, and the latest draft by Ryan Condal. Paradise Lost is being produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, and Vincent Newman (Red Dawn). The film’s logistics are still being worked out with Digital Domain, but the picture is likely to …