A new unrated trailer has been issued for Ironclad, the Braveheart-style medieval action film that stars Paul Giamatti, Kate Mara, James Purefoy and Brian Cox. Jonathan English directed it. ARC Entertainment will release on VOD June 8 and in theaters July 8.
EXCLUSIVE: The cast of the Adam Shankman-directed Rock of Ages continues to look better and better. Paul Giamatti is signing on to play the manager of the rock band headed by Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) in New Line’s adaptation of the Broadway stage musical. Giamatti just opened in Fox Searchlight’s Win Win, and won a Golden Globe for Barney’s Version. He’ll star in the HBO film playing Ben Bernanke in HBO’s Too Big To Fail. He just wrapped the George Clooney-directed The Ides of March. Giamatti’s not a singing virgin. He starred in the Bruce Paltrow-directed karaoke film Duets with Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow. He’s repped by UTA and Kipperman Management.
Aside from Cruise and Giamatti, Rock of Ages has Mary J. Blige, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand and Julianne Hough. Shankman is courting Amy Adams for a key role.
ARC Entertainment has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the ContentFilm International medieval action thriller Ironclad. ARC made the deal in collaboration with Barry Gordon’s XLrator Media, and will release the film theatrically in June. Directed by Jonathan English, the film is the true story of a motley crew of battle-hardened warriors who go to war to defend their country’s freedom.
Rome‘s James Purefoy, Brian Cox, Derek Jacobi, Kate Mara, Paul Giamatti and Jason Flemyng star with Jamie Foreman, Aneurin Barnar, Mackenzie Crook, Vladimir Kulich and Charles Dance. English wrote the script with Erick Kastel and Stephen McDool, and Mythic International Entertainment’s Rick Benattar, Andrew Curtis and English produced it.
“The partnership between ARC Entertainment and XLator is the perfect team to distribute Ironclad,” said ContentFilm’s Jamie Carmichael. ContentFilm most recently generated the Ian Palmer-directed documentary Knuckle that premiered at Sundance. The film, about a longstanding dispute between two clans in Ireland that gets periodically settled through bare knuckle brawls, came away with a remake rights deal CAA made at HBO for a potential series from the Eastbound & Down team of Danny McBride, Jody Hill and David Gordon Green of Rough House Pictures.
Here’s a trailer for Ironclad:
Screening rooms all over town are booked solid for the tsunami of Q&A sessions being held for WGA, PGA, DGA, SAG and countless media organizations which host their own sponsored screenings of contenders. One SAG Nominating Committee member I ran into at the Arclight said he was skipping the screenings and just hopscotching from one Q&A to another. Someone was asking me this week if I thought there were more Q&As than usual this season. It seems like it but probably not, even though publicists are running their stars and filmmakers ragged trying to get them from one part of town to the other for two and sometimes three post-screening chat sessions in one day. Wednesday night alone at the Arclight in Hollywood, there seemed to be as many “private screening” notices on the multi-screen electronic box office marquee as there were regular features playing. Paul Giamatti was being shuttled from one house to another to talk up his new Sony Classics film, Barney’s Version. And Jada Pinkett Smith and co-star Michael Vartan were also there doing a session in front of SAG nominating committee members in hopes of gaining attention for their TNT medical drama, Hawthorne. (Pinkett–Smith fielded questions like “How do I get financing for my movie?” to “Would you consider making a sports movie? I have a script.”) Despite having won every imaginable trophy several times over (including two consecutive SAG ensemble awards), Mad Men isn’t giving it a rest and …
EXCLUSIVE: Paul Giamatti has been set to join The Hangover Part II. He will join director Todd Phillips and the film’s cast in Thailand in a few weeks. Giamatti is filming Too Big to Fail for HBO, playing Ben Bernanke, and he’s been stumping for Oscar consideration for his starring role in Barney’s Version. Giamatti will next be seen in the Tom McCarthy-directed Win Win for Fox Searchlight.
BREAKING: Exclusive Media Group chairman Guy East and Nigel Sinclair are teaming with Cross Creek Pictures president Brian Oliver to finance The Ides of March, the drama that is based on the Beau Willimon Broadway play Farragut North. George Clooney, long set as director, will also star alongside Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. Clooney and his Smoke House Pictures partner Grant Heslov wrote the script with Willimon. The Smoke House partners are producing with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way. East, Sinclair and Oliver are co-producing. Exclusive Films International will sell offshore territories at AFM. CAA, which packaged the film and raised the financing, will broker the domestic deal. I’ve heard that Sony Pictures Entertainment is a potential landing place. The film begins production February in Michigan and Ohio.
Deadline revealed September 30 that Gosling would take the role that DiCaprio originally intended to play, a press spokesman for a candidate running in the presidential primary for the Democratic Party ticket. Clooney will play the candidate, a state governor with White House aspirations. Willimon based the play on his own experiences on the campaign trail with Howard Dean in 2004. In the play, the press agent falls prey to backroom politics, the manipulations of veteran political operatives and the seduction of a young intern. Giamatti plays a rival campaign manager, Tomei plays a reporter for the New York Times, and Wood plays an intern for the campaign.
John Heard and Sex and the City alum Evan Handler have joined the cast of the HBO film Too Big to Fail, while Kathy Baker has boarded the Lifetime drama pilot Against the Wall. Directed by Curtis Hanson, Too Big to Fail dissects the 2008 financial crisis and the power brokers who decided the fate of the world’s economy as the system teetered on collapse. Heard will play former Lehman Brothers president Joe Gregory, while APA-repped Handler will prortray Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs. They join a star-studded ensemble cast led by William Hurt, James Woods and Paul Giamatti.
HBO has assembled the cast of Too Big to Fail, the Curtis Hanson-directed movie about the 2008 financial crisis and the power brokers who decided the fate of the world’s economy as the system teetered on collapse. Joining William Hurt, previously set to play Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, are James Woods as Dick Fuld, the last chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers nicknamed the “Gorilla” on Wall Street; HBO regular Paul Giamatti as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke; Billy Crudup as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Ed Asner as Warren Buffett; Kathy Baker as Wendy Paulson and Cynthia Nixon as Michele Davis. Also cast in the movie, set to begin production in mid-October, are Ayad Akhtar as Neel Kashkari, Topher Grace as Jim Wilkinson, Dan Hedaya as Barney Frank, Michael O’Keefe as Chris Flowers, Tony Shalhoub as John Mack and Joey Slotnick as Dan Jester.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told the agency has come on board following a cast and crew screening yesterday afternoon at London’s Empire Leicester Square cinema. ContentFilm International is handling overseas rights on the $25 million medieval action thriller, starring Paul Giamatti and James Purefoy. People at the screening tell me that Ironclad – which has been pitched as a 13th-century Saving Private Ryan – is pretty bloody stuff. It’s already sold to 15 territories including Square One Entertainment in Germany and DeAPlaneta for Spain.
UPDATE: Moments after I wrote that Barney’s Version was rumored to be headed for Sony Pictures Classics, the distributor has announced that it acquired U.S. rights to the film. They might not be done with acquisitions: I wrote yesterday about Apparition’s mass layoff and the Terrence Malick-directed Tree of Life being shopped. I’ve heard that SPC’s Michael Barker was seen dining with the film’s financier, Bill Pohlad, on Sunday. Guess SPC’s in the hunt for that prestige picture, as well.
EARLIER: The Hamptons International Film Festival will open October 7 with the U.S. debut of the Paul Giamatti/Dustin Hoffman-starrer Barney’s Version in East Hampton. Closing the fest on October 11 will be the Darren Aronofsky-directed Fox Searchlight release Black Swan, which has created strong festival buzz for Natalie Portman’s performance as an overly ambitious dancer. While it would seem that a festival could only have one opening night film, the Hamptons Fest is claiming two, with the Tom Hooper-directed The King’s Speech bowing in Southampton on Friday, October 8. That picture is being distributed by The Weinstein Company. The Centerpiece film will be the John Madden-directed Miramax holdover The Debt, which stars Sam Worthington and Helen Mirren.
Barney’s Version, which is directed by Richard J. Lewis, hasn’t yet picked up a distributor, though Sony Pictures Classics is rumored as a possible destination.
Julian Schnabel will be at the fest for the U.S. premiere of his film Miral, and James Franco will …
Newspaper critics are increasingly being put off by how expensive the Venice Film Festival, which begins tomorrow, has become. One critic from Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf says that he can spend two weeks covering Toronto for the same cost of one week in Venice. This at a time when newspapers are reducing staff and slashing travel budgets. Increasingly, critics are covering either the first few days or the closing few days. The London Guardian is sending just two critics and a reporter to the festival. And those two critics who are leap-frogging each other.
Baz Bamigboye, show-business reporter for the Daily Mail, tells me: “My sense is that it’s no longer special. There are fewer important films and the place has become another junket nightmare.” Bamigboye isn’t going to Venice this year. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian agrees: “Venice is declining in importance.”
A deeper problem though is Hollywood stars staying away. It’s very expensive to get Hollywood A-listers to come out to Italy. And when they are there, they want to stay at one of the city’s big luxury hotels such as the Gritti Palace or the Danieli – both of which are some distance from the Lido, where the fest takes place. Even transporting Hollywood stars from their suites to the event becomes expensive. Distributors cannot justify dropping so much money this early in the awards season. Toronto is a great deal …
Essential Entertainment has signed on to rep overseas distribution rights on Barney’s Version, the Richard J. Lewis-directed film that has its world premiere at Venice September 10 and then moved to the Toronto fest two days later. Paul Giamatti plays the title role and the ensemble cast includes Dustin Hoffman, Minni Driver, Scott Speedman and Bruce Greenwood. A U.S. distribution deal is in the works, and E1 just bought Canadian rights.
A roundup of what else happened today on the deal front: HBO and Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are determined to show the versatility of Paul Giamatti. He played American patriot John Adams in the miniseries that won 13 Emmys for Playtone and HBO. Now, they’ve got him playing Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev in K Blows Top, an adaption of the Peter Carlson book that is being scripted as a telepic by Paul Bernbaum. Project was brought
He just left ICM last week. Paul Giamatti has signed with UTA in all areas. The Oscar nominee (Cinderella Man) and Emmy winner (John Adams) will next be seen in Win Win, and then Barney’s Version based on the best-selling novel. He was nominated for 45 separate awards between 2001 and 2008, and won 26 of them. Giamatti will continue to be managed by Perri Kipperman.