Clive Owen will play one third of an unusual love triangle in Rebecca Miller‘s Maggie’s Plan. The romantic comedy of manners set Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore in January and will shoot in New York City later this year. Miller penned the screenplay based on a story by Karine Rinaldi that focuses on a woman trying to make her way in the Big Apple. Protagonist Pictures is selling international rights to the film in Cannes. CAA and Cinetic are handling financing and repping North American rights. Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball) shares producer credits with Damon Cardasis and Miller, via Miller and Cardasis’ Round Films and Horovitz’s Specialty Films. Owen most recently appeared in Fred Schepisi’s romantic comedy Words And Pictures with Juliette Binoche and in Guillaume Canet’s crime saga Blood Ties. He’s repped by CAA.
As principal photography gets underway in Ireland, Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster has netted further cast to join the previously announced Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux and Olivia Colman. John C. Reilly, Ashley Jensen, Michael Smiley (The World’s End) and Jessica Barden (Far From The Madding Crowd) are boarding the unconventional love story from Element Pictures, Limp and Scarlet Films. The dystopian tale follows a desperate man who breaks with the rules of The City where single people are arrested and obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days at The Hotel. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods. Ariane Labed (Before Midnight) and Angeliki Papoulia round out the cast. Lanthimos, whose Dogtooth won the Un Certain Regard prize in Cannes in 2009, is making his English-language debut with The Lobster which he also co-scripted with longtime collaborator Efthimis Filippou.
EXCLUSIVE: London-set action thriller Blowback is moving forward with Armadillo helmer Janus Metz in the director’s chair. Penned by Gregory Burke, writer of the hot Berlin Competition pic ’71, the film will shoot this summer. The story follows a team of soldiers who return to London from Afghanistan and are drawn into crime on a major scale. But all is not what it seems as they encounter one deception and double-cross after another. Casting is underway with what I’m told will be high-level British talent.
Metz won the top prize in Cannes’ Critics’ Week in 2010 with war documentary Armadillo, and Burke’s 71 is a wartime drama; Blowback teams them on familiar ground. The UK’s Shine Pictures and LA’s Fields Entertainment have boarded in association with American Entertainment Investors. The film is fully financed and Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales. Blowback will be produced by Ollie Madden and Simon Fields, with Stephen Garrett and Joseph Cohen exec producing. Shine’s Madden says, “We’re thrilled to be moving forward with this project, which as well as being a gripping, entertaining thriller also feels very timely. Janus is a huge talent with an obvious affinity for the material, and Greg Burke is one of the very best writers in this space.” The news comes a couple …
Alive Alone, the Thunder Road produced drama that Protagonist Pictures is selling, was originally announced in Cannes with Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts starring. Schoenaerts has had to pull out for personal reasons, and now boarding are Idris Elba and Sam Worthington for a March start. The New York-set drama marks the feature helming debut of Khurram Longi. He’ll direct form his own script which featured on both the Black List and the UK Brit List. Elba stars as an ex-detainee of Guantanamo Bay working as a taxi driver, and Rapace plays a prostitute on the run from a feared crime boss (Worthington). When their worlds collide, they unexpectedly find salvation in one another. Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk is producing with Rapace acting as executive producer. Michael Benaroya’s Benaroya Pictures is financing and Protagonist is selling here in Berlin. Elba is repped by WME; Longi, Rapace and Worthington by CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Yann Demange’s Berlin Competition entry ’71 has a lot of heat on it going into the festival. The anti-war parable centers on a young British soldier who is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe, and increasingly wary of his own comrades, he must survive the night alone and find his way to safety through a disorientating, alien and deadly landscape. Starred Up and Skins’ Jack O’Connell stars. He’ll next be seen in 300: Rise Of An Empire and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. Paul Anderson, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Martin McCann, Charlie Murphy, Sam Reid, Killian Scott, David Wilmot, Jack Lowden and Jim Sturgeon round out the cast. Written by Gregory Burke, ‘71 is Demange’s feature debut after directing TV series including the award-winning Top Boy for Channel 4. Robin Gutch of Warp Films and Angus Lamont of Crab Apple are producers. Protagonist Pictures is selling in Berlin where it debuts Friday. Here’s a clip:
British director Adam Smith will make his narrative feature debut with Trespass Against Us. Alastair Siddons penned the script for the gangster pic and will produce with Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood of Potboiler Productions (A Most Wanted Man). Michael Fassbender is in negotiations to star as Chad Cutler, a man who wants out of his outlaw family’s multi-generational criminal ways. Smith’s credits include episodes of Doctor Who, Little Dorrit and Skins and the feature documentary The Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think. The British electronic music duo will write and perform the original score for Trespass Against Us. Siddons has directed documentaries Turn It Loose and Inside Out: The People’s Art Project. This is his first feature fiction screenplay. Shooting is scheduled for 2014 in the UK, and Protagonist Pictures will begin pre-selling the film at the AFM next week. It was developed by and is being co-financed by Film4. The busy Fassbender is shooting Slow West for director John Maclean in New Zealand and will take on the leading role in Macbeth for Justin Kurzel in January. He’s repped by Troika Talent and CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a movie package that should be a hot one at Cannes. Protagonist and Thunder Road have teamed on Alive Alone, a drama that marks the feature directing debut of Khurram Longi. Bullhead star Matthias Schoenarts and Noomi Rapace are attached to play the leads in a thriller that focuses on the relationship between an ex-detainee of Guantanamo Bay, and a woman who is on the run from a crime boss. Longi’s script made both the Black List and the UK-centric Brit List. Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk is producing and Peter Lawson is exec producing, with production to start January in New York City. Protagonist Pictures will sell territories in Cannes while CAA reps domestic rights.
The teaming is intriguing: the Belgian Schoenarts made his breakthrough playing the tragic protagonist in Bullhead and followed starring with Marion Cotillard in Rust And Bone, and next appears in Bullhead helmer Mikael Roskam’s Animal Rescue for Fox Searchlight, the film that also stars Rapace and Tom Hardy. Since playing Lisbeth Salander in the Millennium trilogy in Sweden, Rapace has been building up her global profile in Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, Dead Man Down with …
Tribeca Film today announced it has concluded a deal with Protagonist Pictures to acquire all North American rights to Irish director Lenny Abrahamson’s drama What Richard Did – which swept this past weekend’s Irish Film & Television Awards, taking home five IFTAs for Best Film, Best Director, Best Script, Best Actor and Best Editing.
Newcomer Jack Reynor (to be seen in the upcoming Transformers sequel) and Róisín Murphy star alongside Sam Keeley (The Other Side of Sleep, Misfits), and Lars Mikkelsen (The Killing) in this striking portrait adapted from Kevin Powers’ award-winning book Bad Day in Blackrock. The world is bright and everything seems possible for Richard Karlsen, the golden boy of his privileged set of Dublin teens, until he does something that destroys it all and shatters the lives of the people closest to him. Featuring extraordinary performances from its largely young cast, What Richard Did is a quietly devastating study of a boy confronting the gap between who he thought he was and who he proves to be.
It’s always interesting when a journalist goes from covering the biz to working in it. That’s what just happened to Mike Goodridge: The editor of UK trade Screen, will see the other side when he segues to become CEO of London-based Protagonist Pictures this summer, it was announced today. The move follows the appointment of Protagonist CEO Ben Roberts to head of the Fillm Fund at the British Film Institute last April. Protagonist is an international sales and finance company whose shareholders include Film4, Vertigo Films and Ingenious Media. Its roster of upcoming films includes Nick Loves’ action thriller The Sweeney, Richard Ayoades’ The Double starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska, How I Live Now by Kevin Macdonald and John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary. Goodridge, a former colleague of mine at Screen, started there in 1994 and was based in LA for 12 years before returning to London as editor.
Ben Roberts is to be the new Director of the BFI Film Fund, the BFI announced today. Thirty six year old Ben Roberts is currently CEO of Protagonist Pictures which represents many British films in the international market place. Since 2007 he has overseen a range of releases including recently, Submarine, Kill List, Nativity, Deep Blue Sea, Tyrannosaur, Streetdance 3D and In The Loop. Ben has 15 years film of industry experience across international sales, studio acquisitions, UK distribution and film finance, and has developed strong relationships with new and established filmmakers.
Based on Francesca Simon’s popular children’s book series, Horrid Henry: The Movie will head to North America via Phase 4 Films. The deal for the family comedy directed by Nick Moore includes U.S. and Canadian rights. Starring Theo Stevenson, Anjelica Huston and Richard E. Grant, Horrid Henry follows young delinquent Henry, whose every school antic is crazier than the next. Phase 4′s SVP Acquisitions Larry Greenberg and Director of Business and Legal Affairs Sam Posner negotiated the deal with Ben Roberts and Simon Osborn from Protagonist Pictures on behalf of the filmmakers. Phase 4, which will release the film under its kids and family label kaboom! Entertainment, is tentatively planning a day-and-date theatrical and VOD release. The film has grossed £6.6 million ($10.5 million) at the UK box office.
Protagonist Pictures has taken on international sales for Reprisal Films’ Calvary from The Guard director John Michael McDonagh. McDonagh also wrote the screenplay for the blackly comic drama about a good priest tormented by his community. The director reteams here with his Guard star Brendan Gleeson along with Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids), Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes) and Aidan Gillen (Shadow Dancer). Chris Clark and Flora Fernandez Marengo of Reprisal are producing. Elizabeth Eves will serve as co-producer. The film is slated to shoot from late summer this year. McDonagh is nominated for a BAFTA award this Sunday for his Guard screenplay.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions grabbed North American rights to Bel Ami, the Protagonist Pictures drama that stars Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci. Pattinson plays penniless ex-soldier Georges Duroy, who rises to power in Paris with ambition, power and seduction. Rachel Bennett adapted the Guy de Maupassant novel and Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod directed. Uberto Pasolini produced and Simon Fuller is exec producer.