Deadline Hollywood has been breaking news at the Cannes Film Festival for quite some time. But this year, we decided to close our laptops and turn off our phones (just for a little bit) and hold what is the first of many big splashes on the Croisette. Deadline Hollywood’s Cocktails on the Croisette — sponsored by American Express, The Consulate General of France in Los Angeles and the Film Fraternity — drew a plethora of studio executives, filmmakers and celebrities Friday afternoon at the 67th annual fest. Hosts Co-Editor-In-Chief Mike Fleming Jr., Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and International Editor Nancy Tartaglione were on hand at the exclusive La Gold Plage to raise a glass of champagne to executives from Sony Pictures Classics, Lionsgate, Cinedigm, Blumhouse Productions, Picturehouse, IM Global, Film4, Paradigm and Resolution Agency, among others. Click on a photo to launch the slideshow:
EXCLUSIVE: Julia Stiles has joined the cast of The Great Gilly Hopkins, an adaptation of Bridge To Terabithia author Katherine Paterson’s novel of the same name. The Book Thief‘s Sophia Nelisse is playing young protagonist Gilly, who dreams of being reunited one day with her mysterious and exotic mother. Stiles will play Gilly’s mother. Also newly added to the cast is Bill Cobbs (The Bodyguard, Rake) as Gilly’s blind, kindly neighbor Mr. Randolph. Cobbs stepped into the role replacing previously cast Danny Glover, who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Rounding out the cast is Billy Magnussen (Into The Woods, The East) as the youngster’s overworked and underpaid social worker. Kathy Bates, Octavia Spencer, and Glenn Close also co-star. Script is adapted by Paterson’s son David Paterson, who also co-adapted his mother’s Terabithia tome into the 2007 film. Picturehouse will distribute The Great Gilly Hopkins, which is now filming in and around New York City. Stiles is repped by ICM Partners, Untitled Entertainment and Sloane Offer Weber and Dern.
The surviving members of legendary comedy troupe Monty Python are reuniting for a series of live stage shows at London’s O2 Arena this July. On July 20, the last show of the “final reunion, sort of” will be broadcast to cinemas around the UK, as well as the U.S., Australia, Russia and Sweden. The UK’s Picturehouse Entertainment, which has carved a niche of bringing alternative content to cinemas internationally — including last year’s Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode — has acquired the international distribution rights to beam the show to the world. It will run in more than 450 cinemas in the UK as well as 1,500 more internationally.
Bob Berney‘s company has grabbed all U.S. rights to the latest from the team behind the Lionsgate slasher pic You’re Next. The Guest, from director Adam Wingard, writer Simon Barrett and Snoot Entertainment, follows a family who takes in a young soldier who claims to be a good friend of their son who was killed in action. But when people in their town start turning up dead, the teenage daughter becomes suspicious of their guest. Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick and Sheila Kelley star in the film, which is screening as a Midnighter at SXSW after bowing at Sundance in January. CAA brokered the deal for The Guest. Picturehouse is planning a fall release.
Kathy Bates and Danny Glover are attached to star in The Great Gilly Hopkins, the bigscreen adaptation of Katherine Paterson’s Newbery Award-winning novel. Stephen Herek is directing the story of a wisecracking girl who moves from foster home to foster home until she lands at the house of the weird Maime Trotter (Bates). The lead role of the 11-year-old Gilly is currently being cast. Paterson is also the author of The Bridge To Terabithia whose 2007 adaptation grossed over $200M worldwide. WestEnd Films has boarded the project and is selling here at the EFM.
Paterson’s son David wrote the Terabitha transfer and is also scripting Gilly. Keeping it all in the family, David Paterson will produce with his brother John Paterson under their Arcady Bay Entertainment banner. William Kay exec produces. Bob Berney will distribute in the U.S. through his newly re-opened Picturehouse.
BREAKING: One of my questions for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival has been answered: when the heck are Bob and Jeanne Berney getting back into the indie distribution mix? Well, they’re back. They’ve restarted Picturehouse, the shingle Berney ran before it was shut down by Warner Bros. After that, the Berneys started Apparition with Bill Pohlad, and left to start FilmDistrict with Peter Schlessel. After they left, they’ve been quietly been percolating the next move.
At a relaunched Picturehouse, the Berneys get underway distributing a new film: Metallica Through The Never. It stars the guys in the band (who were so memorable in the 2004 documentary Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster), and Dane DeHaan, the Chronicle star who plays a band crew member. Here’s the announcement, and it will be interesting to see if they will be active players in what is shaping up to be a promising acquisitions marketplace that will kick into gear this weekend in Park City:
Picturehouse, the full-service independent film marketing and distribution company started in 2005, is reopening its doors with founder Bob Berney at the helm. Berney will serve as CEO and Jeanne Berney will serve as President of the relaunched company, which will continue to be based in New York.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be back in business under the Picturehouse banner,” said Mr. Berney, who recently acquired the trademark and logo from Warner Bros. “We worked very hard to build it into a brand known for acquiring exciting, challenging and entertaining films from the U.S. and around the world, and helping them find their audiences.”
Picturehouse’s first new release will be Metallica Through The Never a feature film starring members of the iconic rock band and Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, The Amazing Spider-Man 2). DeHaan plays a young band crew member who is sent out on an urgent mission while the band is playing a rousing live set in front of a sold-out crowd and unexpectedly finds his world turned completely upside down. The film, written and directed by Nimród Antal (Kontroll, Predators), is due in theaters August 9. One of the bestselling rock acts of all time, Metallica has sold over 105 million albums worldwide.
It’s hard not to root for a Depression era kiddie movie that costs under $9 million, showcases good clean fun for little girls, and stars Abigail Breslin, the Hayley Mills of her generation, as well as a great supporting cast of very funny adults like Wally Shawn, Jane Krakowski, Joan Cusak and Stanley Tucci. So it sucks that the studio for Kit Kittredge: An American Girl opening July 2 has now been killed off. Can Picturehouse successfully release a film when it’s shutting down? In this case, apparently yes thanks to Hollywood greed. Orphaned Kit Kittredge has been adopted by Warner Bros and supervised by New Line and groomed by HBO. But it’s Warner Bros who now controls the American Girl franchise and is already developing the next one (as a musical set in the 1970s). So let’s look back at all the people who have fought to parent this little pic.
Yes, it was initially set up at Walden Media, which is when Anne Peacock (Narnia) was hired. But then Walden reneged on the initial P&A commitment, so a furious Mattell pulled American Girl and placed it with HBO Films/Picturehouse. Picturehouse, of course, was set up by New Line and HBO. Then, last November, Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne saw an early cut and had a secret meeting with Bill Nelson to essentially buy HBO out of the American Girl biz. HBO at the time was considering shutting down its film department so Nelson took the offer seriously. But Colin Calender became enraged and said absolutely no to any idea of a sale. It took all of one night for Nelson …
Everyone knew for months this was going to happen since it was just a matter of time after New Line was brought under Warner Bros. But the news still means that today is Black Thursday for all those people working at Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures. You have my deepest sympathies. Both were viable studios. Picturehouse had critical and commercial success with La Vie En Rose and Pan’s Labyrinth which garnered five Oscars between them. And let’s not forget that WIP under 2003 founder Mark Gill’s strong supervision had The March Of The Penguins which he snagged for $1 mil, made gazillions for Warner Bros., and won an Oscar for the studio. Only to get fired after warring from Day One with his boss Jeff Robinov, who then proceeded to make WIP as un-independent of him as possible. Here’s the statement:
(May 8, 2008 – Burbank, CA) Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures will cease operations, it was announced today by Alan Horn, President & COO, Warner Bros.
“With New Line now a key part of Warner Bros., we’re able to handle films across the entire spectrum of genres and budgets without overlapping production, marketing and distribution infrastructures,” said Horn. “After much painstaking analysis, this was a difficult decision to make, but it reflects the reality of a changing marketplace and our need to prudently run our businesses with increased efficiencies. We’re confident that the spirit of independent filmmaking