EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: Well, it took all day, but I can tell you that The Weinstein Company is now in an exclusive negotiation and will close a U.S. distribution deal on a bitter bidding battle for The Coup, the John Erick Dowdle-directed thriller that stars Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan. I’d written yesterday that TWC was considered the frontrunner, but it was an all-day battle for the Bold Films picture that pitted TWC against Relativity. TWC has until early tomorrow evening to close a deal expected to land $5 million and that makes it the second-biggest acquisition of the Cannes market behind the whopping $20 million that Paramount paid for Story Of Your Life. The hope is to give it a wide release late winter or early spring. Deal is being papered now by WME Global’s Graham Taylor, who was also in the middle of that Story Of Your Life deal (with FilmNation’s Glen Basner), and Nightcrawler (done with CAA).Nightcrawler, which closed with Open Road last night for $4.5 million, is also a Bold Films-backed production, so that company has also had a hot hand. Sierra/Affinity is selling both The Coup and Nightcrawler, a task that will be much easier for Nick Meyer with wide release domestic deals in place.
“Kidnap? Crashing a wedding? Stealing a diamond? All right, we’re in.” Well, that and Emma Thompson and Pierce Brosnan as a divorced couple who head to Paris after being screwed out of their pension by their company’s new owners. Will the City of Light charm the former spouses as they try to right the corporate wrong? Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Louise Bourgoin and Laurent Lafitte co-star in the pic from writer-director Joel Hopkins. Ketchup Entertainment, which acquired the comedy after its Toronto premiere last year, will open it May 23. Here’s a peek:
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity has acquired U.S. distribution rights to November Man, the Roger Donaldson-directed spy-thriller that stars Pierce Brosnan, Olga Kurylenko and Luke Bracey. It marks the second project for Relativity with Donaldson, who helmed the 2008 hit The Bank Job. Relativity has committed to a wide release later this year. The film is produced by Brosnan’s Irish DreamTime and Das Films, in association with The Solution Entertainment Group, Merced Media Partners and Palmstar Media Capital.
The thriller is an adaptation of the Bill Granger novel There Are No Spies, in which a former CIA operative who is brought back in on a very personal mission finds himself pitted against his former protégé in a deadly game involving high-level CIA officials and the Russian President-elect. The film is produced by Brosnan’s longtime partner Beau St. Clair and Sriram Das. Michael Finch & Karl Gajdusek wrote the script. Relativity president Tucker Tooley was at the center of the deal. Read More »
Last week, Mike Fleming talked about the premium on star-driven films at AFM and noted that schlock is in short supply. He’s too busy focusing on the high-end films. I’m here in the corridors of the Loews in Santa Monica, and I am a schlock connoisseur. While he might be right in labeling this AFM a cut below the Surf Nazis Must Die heyday of the ’90s, allow me to butcher a Mark Twain quote and say that rumors of schlock’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. While I might be bashful to ask him this directly, has Mike pondered the tantalizing cinematic possibilities of Kama Sutra 3D? And how about All Cheerleaders Die: Revenge Is A Bitch or Dead Sea: It’s Feeding Time or even Bigfoot Wars: The Battle For Boggy Creek?
And what about the mutant electric eels running rampant in Shock Attack? Or the time-traveling Army Of Frankensteins, where a neck bolt brigade shows up to fight in the Civil War? There’s the promising Bikini Model Academy with Gary Busey and Morgan Fairchild. Hungry? The cannibal tale Bone Boys is on the menu here.
Hands down, the schlock title to beat is FDR American Badass, with Barry Bostwick battling werewolves in a pimped-out wheelchair. It might be easy to dismiss what’s billed as a “kick-werewolf-ass movie for history buffs (or not),” but I am not here to judge. After all, did we not learn from Timur Bekmambetov that Abe Lincoln was a vampire killer and didn’t Quentin Tarantino fill us in on how Hitler and his cohorts were blown up in a theater during the premiere of the Nazi propaganda film Nation’s Pride? Here, FDR takes out Nazis as well as werewolves. MutliVisionaire Pictures seems to be getting a good response. And based on this trailer, can anyone be surprised?
And while Thor crushed all comers at the box office this weekend, how about the D-level version of that, which Halcyon International has in God Of Thunder. Now, there’s a long history of satirical takes on movies (and the litigation that follows), but give Halcyon points for good timing.Both based on Norse mythology, as far as I can tell, the only difference between the Disney/Marvel franchise and this one is the main character’s tresses: This hero’s hair is shorter than Chris Hemsworth’s blond mane, and it looks like Supercuts was involved. It seems there wasn’t enough money in the budget for a suicide blond dye job, but Loki, Asgard and Thor are also here in a movie we’re told is “based on the Fox Comics Super Hero.” In postproduction, God Of Thunder will be in a theater, or a courtroom, near you in 2014. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ketchup Entertainment acquired the romantic comedyThe Love Punch with Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie. The film, scripted and directed by Last Chance Harvey helmer Joel Hopkins, made its premiere at Toronto last month. Pic’s produced by Process Media’s Tim Perell and Nicola Usborne with Love Punch Limited’s Jean Charles Levy and Radar Films’ Clément Miserez. SND is co-producing, financing and handling worldwide distribution. Ketchup will release next year through Open Road Films. Brosnan and Thompson play a divorced couple whose pension is stolen by a ruthless businessman. They reunite to steal it back, and while they are racing around France, old passions arise. “The film is a perfect fit for the Ketchup slate, and typifies Ketchup’s commitment to ensure we can help bring high-quality independent entertainment to audiences in the US,” said Ketchup CEO Gareth West. Read More »
Jovovich plays a State Department employee newly posted to the American embassy in London, where she is charged with stopping terrorists from getting into the U.S. That puts her right in the line of fire and she is targeted for death and framed for crimes. Discredited, she is forced to go on the run while she tries to clear her name and stop a large-scale terrorist attack set for New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
EXCLUSIVE: Pierce Brosnan is set to star inI.T., a revenge thriller that Stefano Sollima will direct. Voltage Pictures is financing. Brosnan will play a successful book publisher who finds himself pitted against a young disgruntled I.T. consultant who is tech savvy and uses that to threaten the author’s family and livelihood. Sollima hails from Italy, where he helmed the film A.C.A.B.: All Cops Are Bastards, and the upcoming SkyItalia miniseries Gomorra. I.T. will be produced by David T. Friendly, Craig Flores, Nicolas Chartier and Beau St. Clair, the latter of whom is Brosnan’s producing partner in Irish DreamTime. Dan Kay wrote the script based on an idea by Friendly through his Friendly Films banner.
They are now casting the antagonist role, and aiming for a 2014 start date. Voltage, which most recently backed the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-directed Don Jon, is out securing a domestic studio partner and will sell the film at AFM next month. Voltage’s Dominic Rustam negotiated the deals. Brosnan and Sollima are repped by CAA, Kay by APA
EXCLUSIVE: Bold Films has established its first revolving credit line with Comerica Bank, a $35 million debt facility that will cover an expanding slate of features. It allows Bold to step up and finance The Coup, an action thriller that will shoot in Thailand in November, with Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan starring. The Coup, written by brothers Drew Dowdle and John Erick Dowdle and directed by John Erick Dowdle, is the story of an American expatriate businessman in a third world city who gets caught in the middle of a violent revolution. He must flee to safety with his wife and two small children while being hunted by a murderous rebel leader. Bold Films’ Michel Litvak and David Lancaster will produce with Gary Michael Walters serving as executive producer. Drew Dowdle will also produce the film.
The film was originally put together to be financed by Crime Scene Pictures. The first film covered by the Comerica facility is How To Catch A Monster, the film that marks the writing and directorial debut of actor Ryan Gosling. Christina Hendricks, Saiorse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Matt Smith and Ben Mendelsohn starred in a film that recently wrapped production in Detroit. Warner Bros will distribute the film domestically. Read More »
Pierce Brosnan, Jessica Alba and Kristin Scott Thomas will star in the Tom Vaughan-helmed sexually charged romantic comedy How To Make Love Like An Englishman, the Matthew Newman-scripted film that is backed by Southpaw Entertainment’s Richard B. Lewis, Irish Dreamtime’s Beau St. Clair and Envision Entertainment’s Grant Cramer. Solution Entertainment will sell the film in Cannes. Brosnan plays a Cambridge University professor who is forced to reexamine his hedonistic lifestyle after meeting a great gal (Thomas). Things get complicated when he impregnates her grad student stepsister (Alba). Pic will shoot in September, financed by Envision and Merced Media Partners, and will be Executive Produced by Stepan Martirosyan and Remington Chase of Envision, Raj Brinder Singh and Kevin Scott Frakes of Merced Media Partners, Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel of The Solution, and Jon Amiel. CAA represents the U.S. distribution rights.
Danish director Susanne Bier‘s Love Is All You Need, the follow-up to her 2011 Oscar winner In A Better World, releases in the UK on April 19 via Arrow Films. Sony Pictures Classics has U.S. rights with a May 3 release date. Trine Dyrholm and Pierce Brosnan star in the romantic comedy set at a wedding in Sorrento, Italy. Brosnan plays a middle-aged widower living in Denmark whose son is marrying the daughter of Dyrholm’s Danish hairdresser, a cancer survivor who has just learned her husband is leaving her for a younger woman. The film debuted in Venice last year. Bier’s next film, Serena, reteams Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and just got the sizzle reel treatment in Berlin. Here’s the UK trailer for Love Is All You Need:
Pierce Brosnan’s production company Irish DreamTime has signed a multi-picture financing and distribution deal with Solution Entertainment Group. The first film in the arrangement will be the espionage thriller November Man, starring Brosnan and Dominic Cooper and directed by Roger Donaldson. It’s based on the Bill Granger book There Are No Spies and was adapted for the screen by Michael Finch and Karl Gajdusek. The film is scheduled to start shooting in October on location in Berlin. CAA, which represents Brosnan, Cooper, and Donaldson, brokered the deal on behalf of DreamTime. CAA also reps U.S. distribution rights on the pic, which Solution will sell at Cannes alongside its slate that includes the psychological thriller Grand Piano starring Elijah Wood and the comedy Writers starring Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly and Lily Collins.
Michelle Monaghan will star with Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan in The Coup, a thriller centered on an American family who moves to Southeast Asia and finds themselves entangled in a violent coup with merciless rebels attacking the city. Devil helmer John Erick Dowdle will direct a script he co-wrote with his brother Drew Dowdle.
Monaghan will play Wilson’s wife in the action thriller, which is scheduled to begin production in October. Crime Scene Pictures’ Adam Ripp and Rob Paris are financing and have teamed up with Steve Alexander and Drew Dowdle to produce. Sierra/Affinity will be handling international sales beginning at Cannes while CAA is representing U.S. rights.
ICM-repped Monaghan, who is managed by Frank Frattaroli, recently wrapped Penthouse North and Tomorrow You’re Gone.
Pierce Brosnan will star alongside Owen Wilson in John Erick Dowdle’s The Coup, the Crime Scene Pictures thriller that begins production in October. The film, written by Dowdle and his brother Drew, centers on an American family that moves to Southeast Asia and finds itself entangled in a violent coup where merciless rebels are attacking the city. Brosnan, repped by CAA and attorney Stuart Brookman, will play a mysterious government operative. Crime Scene’s Adam Ripp and Rob Paris are financing and producing with Steve Alexander and Drew Dowdle. Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales beginning next month at Cannes.
Here is the first teaser for A&E Network’ upcoming Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, a two-night, four-hour mini-series starring Pierce Brosnan. The teaser for the mini will debut during the second season premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead on Sunday. Based on King’s bestselling novel, the Sony TV-produced project co-stars Annabeth Gish and Melissa George. Mick Garris directed from a script by Matt Venne.
EXCLUSIVE: A&E Network has greenlighted for production Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, a two-night, four-hour mini-series starring Pierce Brosnan. Annabeth Gish will co-star in the project, based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel. Kelly Rowland also is expected to join the cast of the mini, from Sony Pictures Television, which will premiere on A&E in the fourth quarter of 2011. Mick Garris will direct from a script by Matt Venne. Filming is scheduled to begin next month in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Bag of Bones centers on bestselling novelist Mike Noonan (Brosnan), who is unable to stop grieving after the sudden death of his wife Jo (Gish). A dream inspires him to return to the couple’s lakeside retreat in western Maine where he becomes involved in a custody battle between the daughter of an attractive young widow and the child’s enormously wealthy grandfather, the mysterious ghostly visitations, the ever-escalating nightmares and the realization that his late wife still has something to tell him.
Bag of Bones is executive produced by Mark Sennett for Mark Sennet Entertainment, Mick Garris for Nice Guy Prods., Stewart Mackinnon for Headline Pictures and Craig Sheftell. Brian Gary and David Davoli are the co-executive producers. Garris, Sennett and Venne had been working on a Bag of Bones adaptation for several years, originally as a feature and then as a mini.
This is the second high-profile miniseries fronted by a movie star to be greenlighted at a A&E Network over the past couple of months. Read More »
IFC Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide teamed for North American rights to Salvation Boulevard, the George Ratliff-directed film that stars Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Jim Gaffigan and Marisa Tomei. Brosnan plays a charismatic preacher who captivates a city with his charm. When an accident with an antique firearm does in preacher’s adversary, he calls in a loyal worshiper and former Deadhead (Kinnear) for help. All hell breaks loose. UTA brokered the deal for Mandalay Vision, the division of Mandalay Pictures. Cathy Schulman, Celine Rattray and Peter Fruchtman produce. IFC will distribute.
Traditionally, most Hollywood businesses grind to a halt for the 5-day Thanksgiving holiday. But not this wide-open awards season. Tangled had its official Academy screening last Sunday morning but only drew about 200 people. Instead, the holidays actually seem like a good time to push an animated Disney musical. So Disney isn’t even taking Turkey Day off: instead, the studio has skedded screenings of Tangled at the DGA open to all Guild and Academy members. This isn’t actually a new practice. In the past, Oscar hopefuls like Dreamgirls, The Lord Of The Rings, and others have done the same thing at the DGA theater drawing surprisingly strong crowds of potential voters on a day most people are thought to stay at home. Disney also sent a note warning some early voting groups that they wouldn’t be able to send screeners of the film before deadlines for ballots (piracy concerns are part of that problem), so the T-Day screenings take on even greater import.
Tangled aside, distributors have been rushing to get screeners in as many voter hands as possible before Thanksgiving when they think people will have more time on their hands to pop a DVD in the player before the real crunch comes in December. Among those sent in the last few days are The Social Network, Made In Dagenham, Inside Job, Stone, Let Me In, 127 Hours, Black Swan, Conviction, Never Let Me Go, Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, The Town, Inception, Hereafter, Legends Of The Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole, and The Ghost Writer.
Meanwhile, campaign season continues. Over the weekend, American Cinematheque also proved why it can be a very useful tool during awards season by hosting two sold-out events for Oscar hopefuls. Saturday night, there was a tribute to Pierce Brosnan at the Aero in Santa Monica with a double feature of Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer and Matador. Inbetween, Pierce appeared for a nearly hour-long Q&A (I moderated) in which he discussed his career from TV’s Remington Steele to James Bond to an Roman Polanski’s Ghost Writer in which he plays ex-British Prime Minister (Tony Blair, anyone?) now writing his controversial memoir. Summit Entertainment is hoping the pic will land him in the Best Supporting Actor conversation. Its early February release is a hindrance but by having a toney organization like American Cinematheque create these little tribute evenings, studios believe they can get the “right” kind of association for their contenders.
It was completely sold out, as was the next night at the same venue which hosted a Q&A session with writer Aaron Sorkin and stars Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield and Armie Hammer following a special screening of Sony Pictures’ The Social Network. All were talking about the genius of Director David Fincher (away on location in Sweden shooting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake) and the number of takes he would require of his actors. “Sometimes there would be 99 of them, but not 100, never 100,” Timberlake said. In an encouraging sign for writerly respect, most of the audience questions from the predominantly young crowd were surprisingly directed at Sorkin who said dialogue-heavy movie might have been written by Paddy Chayefsky in another era. Not bad company to be in since Paddy won no less than three screenwriting Oscars. Some are asking if there is any way Sorkin can lose the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar this year? Especially after The Social Network opened tonear-unanimous acclaim and strong business for a drama.
Other Best Picture competitors were also active over the weekend Read More »
Pierce Brosnan is returning to television with an investigative thriller fromveteran ER writer-producer Jack Orman and Sony Pictures Television that will likely go straight to series. Orman has written a pilot script for the ex-007′s project, which Sony is shopping to international broadcasters with the goal to land pre-sales elsewhere before taking it to U.S. networks. The untitled drama centers on a “fixer,” private investigator specializing in international crisis intervention who is called in to help solve homicides, abductions, financial schemes and other crimes anywhere in the world. It is largely based on Read More »