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Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o Set To Produce And Star In ‘Americanah’

lupita nyongoLupita Nyong’o will star and produce the feature adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah together with D2 Productions, Plan B and Potboiler Productions.  A winner of the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award, Americanah tells the epic love story of two young immigrant Nigerians, Ifemelu and Obinze, as their lives span various continents. Americanah was also listed as one of the “Ten Best Books of the Year” by The New York Times Book Review, the BBC, and Newsday. Adichie is the MacArthur Fellowship winning author of such novels Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun.

Said Nyong’o, “It is such an honor to have the opportunity to bring Ms. Adichie’s brilliant book to the screen. Page after page I was struck by Ifemelu and Obinze’s stories, whose experiences as African immigrants are so specific and also so imminently relatable. It is a thrilling challenge to tell a truly international story so full of love, humor and heart.” Read More »

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New Regency & Plan B Go Genre By Acquiring ‘3 Videotapes’

By | Tuesday April 22, 2014 @ 10:46am PDT
Mike Fleming

bpitEXCLUSIVE: New Regency, RatPac Entertainment and Plan B have acquired 3 Videotapes, a pitch by Ian McCulloch that puts both companies in the low-budget genre game. The film is an elevated thriller with aspects of The Ring and Memento. RatPac’s Brett Ratner is executive producer. New Regency’s Arnon Milchan and Brad Weston brought in Plan B last fall after they collaborated on Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave. They recently acquired The Operators, which will be developed as a star vehicle for Brad Pitt with Animal Kingdom helmer David Michôd to write and direct  The latter project is also being done with RatPac, with Pitt producing with his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, and Ratner exec producing. WME reps McCulloch.

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Paramount Taps ‘Anchorman’ Helmer Adam McKay To Adapt And Direct Michael Lewis’ ‘The Big Short’ About Economic Meltdown

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 10:12am PDT

BigShortBREAKING: Paramount Pictures and 12 Years A Slave producer Plan B said that writer-director Adam McKay will take on Michael Lewis‘ bestselling book The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine, adapting and directing the book about the housing and credit bubble that was published in 2010. It marks the adam mckaylatest tie-up betweento Paramount for McKay, who co-wrote and directed two Anchorman movies for the studio, including last year’s sequel that has grossed more than $170M worldwide. McKay, repped by WME and Mosaic, co-runs Gary Sanchez Prods and Funny Or Die with Will Ferrell but the bet here is this will not be a comedy. “There are those rare literary treasures — as with The Big Short — that park in the harbor and you just wait, with hope,” Plan B said in announcing the hire. “Adam McKay is a singular voice and talent and a ferocious mind — the vector of Adam and this book is what a producer dreams of.” Plan B principal Brad Pitt starred in Sony’s Moneyball, another Lewis adaptation which earned six Oscar noms in 2012 including a Best Actor nom for Pitt.

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Brad Pitt’s Plan B Move Unveiled: Moving To Deal With New Regency And RatPac Partners James Packer And Brett Ratner

pitttEXCLUSIVE: So, what is happening with Paramount and Plan B, the production shingle run by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner? We can report definitively that the company is moving to a new 3-year pact with New Regency and RatPac partners James Packer and Brett Ratner. This new marriage, which starts when the Plan B deal at Paramount expires at month’s end, comes after New Regency co-financed the Oscar contender 12 Years A Slave, and they are in postproduction on True Story, the film directed by Rupert Goold, with  James Franco and Jonah Hill starring. Plan B has five projects percolating at New Regency, Arnon Milchan has a strong relationship with Pitt that goes all the way back to Fight Club, and Weston has a strong relationship with Pitt and Gardner from the New Regency business and when Weston ran production at Paramount. Those projects include Black Hole, The Operators and Big Bucks.

Related: 2014 Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Up For Best Feature

slaveWe’re told that this move is not acrimonious and that the relationship is fine between the Brads, as in Brad Pitt and Paramount chief Brad Grey. In fact, they completed their biggest film, World War Z — it was the highest-grossing film in Pitt’s career, though it’s unclear how profitable it was because of the high cost of re-shooting — and they are starting progress on a sequel that Juan Antonio Bayona directing. But the feeling was the Plan B label fit better with New Regency after the collaboration on 12 Years A Slave and so many other projects.

Related: Paramount Moving Forward On ‘World War Z’ Sequel

The move happens shortly after Pirates of the Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer took residence at Paramount in a first-look deal he moves to from Disney. He joins Lorenzo di Bonaventura and David Ellison’s Skydance and JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot at the studio. Paramount doesn’t make a ton of movies, and a lot of Plan B’s projects languished. There should be more opportunity to get movies made in this deal, where Regency and RatPac go 50/50 on Plan B-developed projects. New Regency had a distribution deal with Fox. The way it works is, New Regency and RatPac finance future films from Plan B, and RatPac has the opportunity to co-finance the projects that Plan B currently has with New Regency.

New Regency sees this as a coup, a next step for a financier/producer establishing itself with tastemaker fare. Read More »

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Brad Pitt’s Plan B Banner Promotes Jeremy Kleiner To Co-President

By | Wednesday May 22, 2013 @ 3:18pm PDT

Brad Pitt and Plan B Entertainment President Dede Gardner said today that Jeremy Kleiner is upped to Co-President of the busy production company. “Jeremy Kleiner has played an immeasurable role in the success of this company,” said Pitt in a statement. “This promotion is long overdue. We are happy to make it official.” Along with Pitt and Gardner, Kleiner produced Plan B’s upcoming World War Z, which stars Pitt and is being released by Paramount on June 21. He is also a producer on Plan B’s Twelve Years A Slave, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti, which will be released by Fox Searchlight on December 27. With Gardner, Kleiner oversees Plan B’s development and production slate. He joined Plan B in 2003 and rose through the ranks from Creative Executive to Producer and now Co-President.

Related: Paramount Out To Prove Its Zombie ‘World War Z’ Doesn’t Stink

Kleiner also is a producer on True Story from New Regency which is directed by Rupert Goold and stars Jonah Hill and James Franco. Kleiner is also an Executive Producer of Plan B and Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ ABC/ABC Studios pilot, Resurrection, and on Plan B productions Kick-Ass, Eat Pray Love, and The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee. He previously worked as a creative executive at Dick and Lauren Shuler Donner’s company before joining Plan B.

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FILM ROUNDUP: Steve McQueen & Chiwetel Ejiofor Join ‘Twelve Years A Slave’, Film Movement Buys ‘Corpo Celeste’, ‘Straight A’s Lands Leads

Steve McQueen and Chiwetel Ejiofor are going to be seeing a lot of each other. McQueen has come aboard to direct Twelve Years a Slave, which will star Ejiofor in a true story about a New York man who was kidnapped in the mid-1800s and forced to become a slave on a Louisiana cotton plantation. Brad Pitt’s Plan B is producing. The news comes more than a year after Deadline told you that McQueen and Ejiofor are teaming on a Focus Features film based on the Broadway musical Fela!, about African musician-activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Ejiofor has learned to play piano and saxophone for that role. It’s unclear which of these movies will be made first. McQueen — who made waves with his debut film Hunger, about the Irish hunger strike that starred Michael Fassbender and earned the helmer the Camera d’Or at Cannes in 2008 — will premiere his latest feature, Shame, this fall in Venice. …

Film Movement has acquired North American rights to the Cannes Film Festival drama Corpo Celeste, the Italian-language feature that played in the Directors Fortnight sidebar. Alice Rohrwacher’s debut feature follows a 13-year-old girl’s coming-of-age in the poor southern Italian province of Calabria. The company plans a first-quarter 2012 theatrical launch day and date with VOD, with a national rollout to follow. Read More »

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Michelle Ryan Goes Back To Her Roots

Michelle_RyanEXCLUSIVE: The former UK soap EastEnders star, who went on to become the Bionic Woman, is set to return to the East End. She’s in negotiations to appear in Turnout, a low-budget Brit love story set in east London. This micro-budget production is due to start filming next month. The director is Lee Sales. George Russo plays a man who foolishly tries to make some quick money on a drugs deal that goes wrong. In the process, he manages to lose his girlfriend (Jaime Winstone), his money and his friends. Young Brit soul singer Plan B co-stars. Executive producer Leo Pearlman describes it as a “twisted love story.”

Private investors are fully-financing this sub-£1 million drama, which shoots for three and a half weeks. DP Films and Fulwell 73 Productions are co-producing. They’ll go out and find a sales agent once it’s in the can. Let’s hope it’s not the usual “you fuggin’ Muppet” East End gangster nonsense.

Pearlman tells me: “These kinds of low-budget films are so execution dependent, but when we were brought the script for this one, it really stood out.”

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