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Specialty B.O.: ‘Magic In The Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man’ Find A Little Magic In Debuts

Specialty B.O.: ‘Magic In The Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man’ Find A Little Magic In DebutsBold debuts from two of the weekend’s openers in a crowded specialty box office included yet another Woody Allen film as well as a last starring turn from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight was another solid opener in a string of recent successes for the veteran writer-director, with a good per-screen average. That said, the numbers were less stratospheric than some of his recent summer films when comparing on a straight theater average, though this go-around did bow in substantially more locations.
Magic is Allen’s third consecutive summer release (and seventh if you count the ”shoulder” seasons).  The formula continues to be a lucrative one for Allen and his backers. In its opening weekend, Magic brought in nearly $426K in 17 theaters, for a solid $25K PTA. The film, starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, bowed with 11 more runs than last year’s box-office and award-winning behemoth Blue Jasmine (the best performer of Allen’s very long career), which debuted to a $102K PTA in 6 theaters. That film also had a $612K opening weekend and went on to cume over $33.4M.
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OSCARS: Can Summer’s Awards Curse Be Reversed To Generate ANY Heat For Contenders In 2014 Race?

Pete Hammond

The Cannes Film Festival is getting underway next week and represents the Oscar_badge__140302212232first important stop of the year for what we hope will be Oscar-worthy movies. Of course most of those movies will not open until the fall when the usual glut of contenders descends on Hollywood. So far the 2014 pickings have been slim, but that is usually the case. There could be scattered nominations here and there for the likes of Noah, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego Movie and last weekend’s art house opener Belle among the precious few movies so far in 2014 that have a chance of turning up somewhere on Oscar’s list. Mainly what we have seen so far is just preparation for the race and anticipation. The National Board of Review was the latest group to announce their dates this week and will vote early on December 2nd. The major guilds, Golden Globes and Oscars have already staked out their key dates.

normalheart5But before we get to fall (the earliest 2013 Best Picture nominee, Gravity, didn’t open until early October), we have a long hot summer to get through after the highs (and hopefully not too many lows) of Cannes are over. But Oscar pickings seem even more slim than usual from a survey of the summer months leading up to the fall festival trifecta of Venice, Telluride and Toronto. I remain hopeful, but what can you say about a season where the strongest Best Picture prospect — in terms of gravitas and quality —  is going to debut on HBO?

That pay network’s The Normal Heart from director Ryan Murphy has all the earmarks of a true Oscar player except for one thing: It’s not eligible since it’s not a theatrical release. Small detail, but I have a feeling that if HBO had decided to try for theatres first it could have figured strongly at the Academy Awards. Instead, this story set in the early days of the AIDS crisis and  penned first as a play by Larry Kramer, who wrote this adaptation, promises to sweep the Emmys in August in many categories including for actors Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Matt Bomer (the latter heartbreakingly standing out among a uniformly fine supporting actor cast). Emmy voters have already received the screener of the movie which doesn’t debut on HBO until May 25th. US-OSCARS-PRESS ROOMIt’s no wonder so many A-list actors are flocking to the small screen when a net like HBO offers a home for projects like this that have been so consistently rejected by movie distributors that it takes an iron will just to get them made. You could easily have imagined last season’s Oscar juggernaut, Dallas Buyers Club, going the same TV route as Normal Heart had its producers given up — particularly Robbie Brenner (with Rachel Winter) along with Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey persevering and virtually willing it into theatres leading to that Oscar triumph March 2nd.

Related: Hot TV Trailer: HBO’s ‘The Normal Heart’

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Hot Trailer: Philip Seymour Hoffman In ‘A Most Wanted Man’

By | Saturday April 12, 2014 @ 9:31am PDT

“It takes a minnow to catch a barracuda, a barracuda to catch a shark,” German intelligence agent Gunther Bachmann says. He’s using a young lawyer for a human rights group who is harboring a mysterious client as bait to trap an Islamist terrorist with Chechen connections who has made his way into Germany. So goes A Most Wanted Man, an international thriller based on spy-meister John le Carré’s 2008 novel. It’s the final starring role for Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February. Director Anton Corbijn’s cast also includes Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright. Andrew Bovell wrote the pic, which debuted at Sundance. Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions opens the film July 25. Here’s a look:

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BAFTAs: Cate Blanchett Dedicates Award To Philip Seymour Hoffman (Video)

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 9:15am PST

One of the most poignant moments of Sunday’s BAFTA Awards came during Cate Blanchett‘s acceptance speech after winning the Leading Actress prize for Blue Jasmine, when she paid tribute to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. The two starred together in The Talented Mr Ripley. Clearly Hoffman had a profound impact on her. Check it out:

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Hollywood A-Listers Gather For Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Funeral In Manhattan

By | Friday February 7, 2014 @ 1:44pm PST

Hoffman FuneralA number of Hollywood’s biggest stars turned out today for the private Manhattan funeral for Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Oscar-winning actor’s actor who died Sunday. Friends and colleagues who came to pay their respects were Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Joaquin Phoenix, Louis C.K., Spike Lee, Mike Nichols, Diane Sawyer, Mary Louise Parker, John Slattery, Jerry Stiller, Marisa Tomei, Brian Dennehy and Ellen Burstyn, the AP reported. Police cordoned off the block outside the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, and media were kept away from the mourners. The funeral followed a small private wake for Hoffman held last night, and a larger memorial service is being planned for later in the month.

Related:
PHOTOS: Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)
Hollywood Remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman
Cameron Crowe On Philip Seymour Hoffman’s “Magic Trick” In ‘Almost Famous’: Video

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Berlin Sets Special Screenings In Honor Of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Maximilian Schell

BerlinFilmFestival_badgeThe Berlin Film Festival has organized tribute screenings to mark the recent passing of two actors who had a long history with the event. On February 11, Philip Seymour Hoffman will be honored with a showing of Capote, for which he won the Best Actor Oscar in 2006. That film also played in competition here that year. Other Hoffman films to have appeared in Berlin include 2003 Panorama title Owning philip-seymour-hoffmanmaximilian-schellMahowny; Spike Lee’s 25th Hour; Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr Ripley and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, which won the Golden Bear in 2000. In memory of Maximilian Schell, who passed away on February 1, producers Margit Chuchra, Dieter Pochlatko, and Werner Schweizer are presenting his film My Sister Maria in collaboration with the festival and the German Film Academy. The special screening is set for Sunday. Schell’s Marlene Dietrich documentary Marlene, ran in competition here in 1984. He returned to the competition as an actor in Jeroen Krabbé’s Left Luggage in 1998.

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Cameron Crowe On Philip Seymour Hoffman’s “Magic Trick” In ‘Almost Famous’: Video

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 3:57pm PST

AlmostFamousThe writer-director took to his blog The Uncool today to post an anecdote about his time directing Philip Seymour Hoffman in Almost Famous, in which Hoffman played iconic rock critic Lester Bangs. Cameron Crowe describes a scene in which the late actor “leapt over the words and the script, and gone hunting for the soul and compassion of the private Lester, the one only a few of us had ever met.” Here’s Crowe’s eloquent post, followed by the scene:

Related:
Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead At 46 Of Apparent Overdose
Hollywood Remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman

My original take on this scene was a loud, late night pronouncement from Lester Bangs. A call to arms. In Phil’s hands it became something different. A scene about quiet truths shared between two guys, both at the crossroads, both hurting, and both up too late. It became the soul of the movie. In between takes, Hoffman spoke to no one. He listened only to his headset, only to the words of Lester himself. (His Walkman was filled with rare Lester interviews.) When the scene was over, I realized that Hoffman had pulled off a magic trick. He’d leapt over the words and the script, and gone hunting for the soul and compassion of the private Lester, the one only a few of us had ever met. Suddenly the portrait was complete. The crew and I will always be grateful for that front row seat to his genius.

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UPDATE: Showtime On Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death; Future Of His Series ‘Happyish’ Uncertain

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 1:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE, 1:45 PM: Happyish creator/executive producer Shalom Auslander issued a statement Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead Happyishon Hoffman’s passing: “This planet is no damned place to have a heart, and Phil had the biggest, brokenest heart of anyone I have ever met. He was a beautiful person in a hideous world. Great actor, too.” Auslander and his writing team had been working on scripts for the recently picked up series, which now has been put on hold.

PREVIOUS, SUNDAY 12:50 PM: Like all great actors whose lives are tragically cut short way too early, Philip Seymour Hoffman is leaving a number of unfinished projects behind. Only two weeks ago, Showtime unveiled its two new series for 2014, including Happyish starring Hoffman in what would’ve been his first series role. (He earned an Emmy nomination in 2005 for the HBO mini Empire Falls.) Today, Showtime issued the following statement: “Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of our generation’s finest and most brilliant actors. He was also a gifted comedic talent. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are all absolutely devastated by this sudden loss. Our thoughts go out to his family at this very difficult time.”

Related:
Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead At 46 Of Apparent Overdose
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Role Mostly Filmed

Of course, the news is so sudden and shocking, it will take time for Showtime brass to make a decision on the future of Happyish. But judging by the trailer from the pilot shown at TCA, Hoffman WAS the show. Read More »

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Deadline’s Top Film Stories Of The Week

If you missed Deadline’s biggest stories of the week, catch up now:

Jesse Eisenberg Lex Luthor Jeremy IronsJesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor & Jeremy Irons As Alfred In Superman-Batman Pic
By The Deadline Team – Two more key roles have been cast in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman-Batman movie for Warner Bros. Jesse Eisenberg will play Superman’s arch enemy Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Bruce Wayne’s butler/mentor Alfred in the pic, which is set for a May 6, 2016 release.

Box Office: ‘Ride Along’ No. 1, Will ‘Frozen’ Sing-A-Long Skate Around ‘That Awkward Moment’?
By Anita BuschRide Along wins the weekend, as expected, but the No. 2 spot is at issue. Will the position go to That Awkward Moment or will Frozen skate by it? Read More »

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Hollywood Remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman

By | Sunday February 2, 2014 @ 3:10pm PST

phil hoffmanHollywood is reacting to the death today of Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman in New York. Here are some of his colleagues weighing in:

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Yolonda Ross, actress
“From the very first day I met Philat Labyrinth theater Company he had a profound and deep impact on my life. He opened his world to me and became an active mentor to me professionally. He had a kind heart and gave so much to others. Today I feel a deep loss of a dear friend and a true professional. His support of the arts from the heart never stopped. My heart goes out to Phil’s family, especially his children. I hope he’s at peace.”

Related: PHOTOS: Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)

Ken Howard, SAG-AFTRA president
“He was an extraordinary actor with tremendous range and the gift of fully and deeply realizing his amazing characters in films from Magnolia and Capote to Charlie Wilson’s War and Doubt. He was such a great talent and his loss is just deeply sad. On behalf of his fellow actors and all members of SAG-AFTRA, our condolences go out to his family and friends.”

George Clooney, The Ides Of March co-star
“There are no words. It’s just terrible.”

Related: Lionsgate: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Role Mostly Filmed

Francis Lawrence, Suzanne Collins, Nina Jacobson, Jon Kilik, Jennifer Lawrence, on behalf of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay cast and crew
“Words cannot convey the devastating loss we are all feeling right now. Philip was a wonderful person and an exceptional talent, and our hearts are breaking. Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to his family.”

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PHOTOS: Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)

By | Sunday February 2, 2014 @ 3:00pm PST

Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead

The late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead at age 46 this morning in NYC, contributed countless indelible characters to the screen and stage in an Oscar-winning career that spanned over two decades. Take a look at some of Hoffman’s best-loved turns in our In Memoriam gallery: Read More »

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Philip Seymour Hoffman Project ‘Ezekiel Moss’ Will Not Be Sold In Berlin

phil hoffmanPhilip Seymour Hoffman, who died suddenly today at the age of 46, was due to direct Prohibition-era drama Ezekiel Moss later this year. I understand he had been actively involved with the project for well over a year, developing it with Keith Bunin, author of the 2011 Black List script. On Friday, it was announced that Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal had boarded the hot project which follows a widow whose life is forever changed by a mysterious drifter with the divine ability to channel and physically inhabit the spirits of the dead. A Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman and Mandalay Vision’s Cathy Schulman are producers with PalmStar Media Capital’s Kevin Frakes and Merced Media Partners’ Raj Brinder Singh. In the wake of today’s sad news, they will now assess possible next steps. Exclusive Media was due to kick off pre-sales at next week’s EFM, but Hoffman’s untimely death has put those plans on hold. Here’s a statement from Exclusive:

Related: PHOTOS: Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)
Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead At 46 Of Apparent Overdose

Exclusive Media is deeply saddened to learn the shocking news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s passing. He was a truly gifted actor and director who not only inspired his fellow colleagues, but audiences around the world and he will be greatly missed. We give our sincere condolences to his family and friends during this difficult

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Lionsgate Issues Statement On Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death; ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ Role Had Been Mostly Filmed

Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead MockingjayThe studio behind The Hunger Games franchise which introduced the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee in last year’s Catching Fire has released a statement on the actor’s passing: “Philip Seymour Hoffman was a singular talent and one of the most gifted actors of our generation. We’re very fortunate that he graced our Hunger Games family. Losing him in his prime is a tragedy, and we send our deepest condolences to Philip’s family.”

Related: Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead At 46 Of Apparent Overdose

We’re hearing Hoffman had completed the majority of his work on Lionsgate‘s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2 prior to his sudden death Sunday morning. He had seven days of filming to go before wrapping Mockingjay Part 2, but there’s no word yet on what Lionsgate plans to do to make up for that remaining week Hoffman was supposed to film. The role is a significant one that increases in stature following Plutarch’s introduction in Catching Fire, in which the new Head Gamemaker shares brief encounters with Katniss and is seen pulling strings for the Capital behind the scenes. In the subsequent Mockingjay novel which Lionsgate has split into two films, Plutarch plays a key role in the resistance. Read More »

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UPDATE: Philip Seymour Hoffman Dead At 46 Of Apparent Overdose

By and | Sunday February 2, 2014 @ 10:52am PST

Philip Seymour Hoffman DeadOscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has died. He was 46. According to NYPD, Hoffman was discovered Sunday morning in his Manhattan home after suffering an apparent drug overdose. Police were called to the scene around 11:30 AM by Hoffman’s friend who found the actor non-responsive in the bathroom of the apartment this morning, according to NYPD, which said that a hypodermic needle and two glassine envelopes containing what appeared to be heroin were found in the fourth-floor apartment. Police would not confirm the name of the friend who found Hoffman. An autopsy will be performed and results could take  some time for toxicology reports to become available.

Related: PHOTOS: Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)

The industry well knows Hoffman’s films credits, but his real role in life was as father of three young children with costume designer Mimi O’Donnell: Cooper, 11, Tallulah who is seven and Willa who is six years old. O’Donnell and he met in 1999 when Hoffman directed the play In Arabia We’d All Be Kings. His family just issued the following statement: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving.  Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.”

Hoffman, who audiences will most recently remember for his turn … Read More »

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Sundance: IFC Near Deal On ‘God’s Pocket’ By ‘Mad Men’s John Slattery

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 8:18pm PST
Mike Fleming

pockeEXCLUSIVE: Capping a rocking day for deals at the Sundance Film Festival, IFC Films is closing a deal to acquired God’s Pocket, the directorial debut of Mad Men star John Slattery. The black comedy stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, and John Turturro. Slattery wrote the black comedy with Alex Metcalf. Slattery, Sam Bisbee Lance Acord, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Emily Ziff and Hoffman produced. Hoffman plays Mickey, who, after his nutty stepson gets killed in a construction “accident,” tries to hide the truth from a newspaper columnist (Jenkins) who profiles the people of God’s Pocket. And though he’s gone to seed, he might uncover the truth unless Mickey can stop him. The film is playing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, and it has been a buzz title since it premiered late Friday afternoon at the Eccles Theater. The film is being repped by Gersh.

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The dam finally broke on film deals after a slow start. The numbers aren’t huge, but nobody expected them to be. I’d ask people about films, and they liked many of them. When I asked if they had commercials potential, the reviews weren’t so stellar. Many left the festival today, and … Read More »

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Showtime To Pick Up Drama ‘The Affair’, Philip Seymour Hoffman Comedy To Series

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 9:15am PST
Nellie Andreeva

showtime_logo__121211185844__130120002910__130730210613__131210182749Showtime is expected to announce during their TCA session this morning that it has picked up to series drama pilot The Affair, starring Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson, and comedy pilot Happyish (formerly Trending Down), starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifan. Both will receive 10-episode orders. This is the second consecutive year that Showtime is picking up two of its three pilots to series. (The third 2013 pilot, drama The Vatican, did not go forward.) Since David Nevins joined the network as an entertainment president, he has ordered a total of eight pilots, six of which have gone to series. The first four series, Homeland, House Of Lies, Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex all have been critical and commercial successes. (Add to that CBS’ Under The Dome, which was fully developed at Showtime.) They will now be joined by The Affair and Happyish as well as the upcoming direct-to-series genre drama Penny Dreadful. Read More »

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Sundance 2014: William H. Macy- Helmed ‘Rudderless’ Gets Closing-Night Slot; Roger Ebert Docu & ‘The Raid 2′ Among Premiere Selections

sundance 2014The Sundance Film Festival today unveiled its Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections for the 30th anniversary gathering in Park City next month. Among the selections in the out-of-RUDDERLESS_still2_BenKweller_BillyCrudup_AntonYelchin__byJRCooke_2013-12...competition sections is the William H. Macy-directed musical drama Rudderless, which will be the fest’s closing night film. The rock and roll themed pic is the Shameless star’s feature directorial debut and stars him as well as Selena Gomez Billy Crudup, Felicity Huffman, Anton Yelchin, and Laurence Fishburne, Rudderless will play at 6:30PM on the night of January 24th in the Eccles at the upcoming Sundance, which runs January 16-26.

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Roger Ebert & Gene SiskelAmong other premiering films announced today for next month’s Sundance is a documentary about one of the festival’s biggest supporters Roger Ebert. The Steve James-directed film about the Pulitzer Prize winning critic, who passed away on April 4 this year, will see the writer’s wife Chaz Ebert in attendance. This coming Sundance also sees the festival’s first Fellowship for Film Criticism inspired by Ebert. The 2014 festival will see the return of directors Michael Winterbottom, Gregg Araki and Lynn Shelton, who had her Your Sister’s Sister follow-up Touchy Feely in the 2013 festival, with new films. The Indonesian action pic The Raid Read More »

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Vincent Cassel Replacing Philip Seymour Hoffman In ‘Child 44′

By | Thursday August 29, 2013 @ 10:26am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Mesrine, Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen) has been tapped as a last-minute addition to Summit’s now-filming Soviet thriller Child 44. The Cesar-winning thesp is replacing previously cast Philip Seymour Hoffman in the pic which has been filming since June under director Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money, Safe House). Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, and Joel Kinnaman also star in the tale of a military cop investigating a series of child murders in 1950s Stalinist Russia, adapted by Oscar-nominated Richard Price from Tom Rob Smith’s bestseller.

Child 44 is the first book in Smith’s trilogy featuring protagonist Leo Stepanovich Demidov, played by Hardy in the pic. Ridley Scott is producing Child 44 for his Scott Free Productions with Michael Schaefer and Greg Shapiro. Pic is co-financed and exec produced by Worldview Entertainment, whose Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah Johnson Redlich are executive producing along with Douglas Urbanski. Lionsgate’s Erik Feig and Jim Miller are overseeing for the studio. Read More »

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Lionsgate Acquires ‘A Most Wanted Man’; John Le Carre Adaptation Stars Philip Seymour Hoffman And Rachel McAdams

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has closed a deal for U.S. distribution rights to A Most Wanted Man, the Anton Corbijn-directed adaptation of the contemporary thriller novel by John le Carre. Corbijn has wrapped the film, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and Willem Dafoe. Andrew Bovell adapted the novel. Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood produced through Potboiler Productions alongside Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell through The Ink Factory. They have not set a release date yet.

The focus is a Chechen-Russian immigrant who is on the run and arrives in Hamburg, trying to claim his late father’s suspiciously acquired fortune. Both U.S. and German security agencies go on high alert to figure out if he is an oppressed victim or an extremist bent on destruction. FilmNation Entertainment CEO Glen Basner and exec Alison Cohen made the deal. Demarest Films financed the equity on the project for U.S. rights, with William D. Johnson and Sam Englebardt exec producers along with Film 4′s Tessa Ross. FilmNation is handling worldwide sales of the film, and negotiated with Lionsgate execs Jason Constantine, Eda Kowan and Wendy Jaffe. John Sloss, Jerry Dasti and Demarest’s Englebardt worked with FilmNation on the deal.

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