Amanda Seyfried is in negotiations to co-star alongside Reese Witherspoon in Three Little Words, which Witherspoon’s Walk The Line helmer James Mangold will direct. Lewis Colick and Michael Petroni wrote the script, an adaptation of the 2008 New York Times bestseller by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, about a Florida girl who entered the child welfare system when she was 4 and was lost within it for 9 years until an unpaid volunteer (Witherspoon) discovered her. Production is set to begin in September.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has acquired Depth Of Field, a screenplay by J. Mills Goodloe that is an Americanized version of Get Her Off The Pitch, the 2009 bestselling memoir by Times Of London cultural critic Lynne Truss. Elizabeth Gabler bought it with the idea of shaping it as a star vehicle for Reese Witherspoon, who’ll produce it with Twilight Saga‘s Karen Rosenfelt and Bruna Papandrea.
Truss, once a self-described proud sports atheist, was sent on a lark by her editor to cover the World Cup. Her readers were amused, and Truss eventually spent four years covering major sporting events throughout Europe and America, writing humorous and somewhat academic essays. Along the way, she slowly became a convert, discovering the significance of sport, and how it affected her own life and relationships. Get Her Off The Pitch was never published in the U.S., but Goodloe discovered it in a bookstore while on a trip to Sydney. He transplanted Truss’ story to an American sport.
EXCLUSIVE: Corey Stoll (House Of Cards, Midnight In Paris) and Sarah Baker (The Campaign) have joined the cast of The Good Lie, about a young Sudanese refugee who wins a lottery for relocation to the U.S. with three others. Ugandan-born Brit Arnold Oceng (My Brother The Devil) nabbed the lead role of Mamere opposite Reese Witherspoon as a brash American woman assigned to help the Lost Boys. The pic, based on true events, begins filming Monday in Atlanta before production heads to Africa. Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) is directing from a screenplay by Margaret Nagle (Warm Springs, Boardwalk Empire).
Filmmakers took pains to cast actors of Sudanese origin in the project, which was developed in the Imagine-Reliance Entertainment Writers Lab. A worldwide casting search led them to Ger Duany, a former Sudanese Lost Boy who emigrated to the U.S. and became a professional model, and fellow ex-child soldier-turned-hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal.
Fox 2000 Lands J. Courtney Sullivan Novel ‘The Engagements’ For Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard
Fox 2000 is in final negotiations to acquire film rights to J. Courtney Sullivan’s upcoming novel The Engagements. Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea of Pacific Standard will produce. Marisa Paiva is the exec at the studio. Sullivan is the author of Maine and Commencement, and The Engagements will be published by Knopf in June. The novel tells a deeply romantic story that follows a diamond engagement ring from the 1930s to the present, connecting five very different relationships in surprising and unexpected ways. Witherspoon might be part of an ensemble cast. The book deal was brokered by ICM Partners on behalf of Brettne Bloom at Kneerim, Williams & Bloom.
Among the projects Witherspoon and Papandrea have at Fox is the Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl. That project is looking more and more like David Fincher’s next film, and with Witherspoon producing but not starring, it has become a coveted project among actresses.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Academy Award® winners Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon will present on the Oscar telecast, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. All four have previously won the award for Best Actress.
Berry won the award for her performance in “Monster’s Ball” (2001), Bullock for “The Blind Side” (2009), Kidman for “The Hours” (2002) and Witherspoon for “Walk the Line” (2005).
Toronto/London/Berlin – February 7, 2013 –Entertainment One (“eOne”) is pleased to announce that it has secured multi-territory rights in all media to the upcoming drama The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon. eOne will handle distribution of the film in the UK, Spain, Benelux and Australia/NZ. Lionsgate International represented the international rights to the film on behalf of the film’s producers.
From celebrated Canadian director Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar), The Good Lie tells the story of a young refugee of the Sudanese Civil War who wins a lottery for relocation to the United States with three other lost boys. They develop an unlikely friendship with a brash American woman (Witherspoon) assigned to help them, but the young man struggles to adjust to his new life and his feelings of guilt about the brother he left behind.
Reese Witherspoon is in talks to star in the THE GOOD LIE directed by Philippe Falardeau (MONSIEUR LAZHAR) with screenplay by Margaret Nagle (WARM SPRINGS). THE GOOD LIE will be produced by Molly Smith’s (THE BLIND SIDE) newly formed production and financing company Black Label Media. Along with the Black Label Media partners, Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Karen Kehela Sherwood are producers and Imagine’s Kim Roth and Reliance’s Deepak Nayar are named executive producers.
Inspired by true events, THE GOOD LIE follows a young refugee of the Sudanese Civil War who wins a lottery for relocation to the United States with three other lost boys. Encountering the modern world for the first time, they develop an unlikely friendship with a brash American woman assigned to help them, but the young man struggles to adjust to this new life and his feelings of guilt about the brother he left behind.
EXCLUSIVE: After seeing so many of his novels turned into films, Nick Hornby is taking on the work of a peer. He has signed to write the script for Wild, the bestselling Cheryl Strayed memoir that Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea have set up with River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad. Witherspoon and Papandrea will produce with Pohlad, who’ll finance development.
In Wild, Strayed tells the inspiring story of a woman who tries to rebuild her shattered life by taking on a mission not seen in film since Forrest Gump ran across the country. Traumatized by the death of her mother and then the breakup of her marriage, Strayed made the impulsive decision to try regaining her mojo by taking on an 1100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. Despite no experience in long-distance hiking, she succeeded and in the process pulled herself back together. Wild is among several female-driven projects that Witherspoon and Papandrea have put in development since they formed Pacific Standard last March; others include the Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl, Mitch Larson’s Pennyroyal’s Boot Camp, and Pharm Girl. Just as important, Wild creates an opportunity for Witherspoon to play a strong heroine, the role she shines in most brightly.
The CW has put in development Expectations, a modern reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations, which will be executive produced by Reese Witherspoon. Written by feature scribe J. Mills Goodloe, Expectations centers on a small-town girl with big dreams of making it in the city who is quickly disillusioned by the harsh reality of living in San Francisco — until her fortunes unexpectedly turn thanks to an anonymous benefactor. CBS TV Studios, Television 360 and Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea’s recently launched Pacific Standard produce; Goodloe, Witherspoon, Papandrea and Television 360’s Meghan Lyvers and Evelyn O’Neill executive produce.
EXCLUSIVE: Reese Witherspoon is set to executive produce Wendy & Peter, a half-hour comedy written by Jill Soloway that has been sold to Fox. The project, from 20th Century Fox TV, centers on single working mom Wendy, who gets the hardest assignment of her life: as the right-hand woman and den mother to kid-genius tech billionaire Peter and the lost boys he calls family. United States Of Tara and Six Feet Under alumna Soloway executive produces with Pacific Standard’s Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea and Television 360′s Meghan Lyvers and Evelyn O’Neill.
EXCLUSIVE: Summit Entertainment has acquired feature rights to Pennyroyal’s Princess Boot Camp, the M.A. Larson novel that had been optioned by Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea and their Pacific Standard production banner. Witherspoon latched onto the book early with the intention of playing a supporting role as well as producing. It was the first project they picked up when Pacific Standard was formed in March. The unpublished novel was recently picked up by Putnam Children’s for a two-book series.
EXCLUSIVE: In a whopping summer auction that reached seven figures, 20th Century Fox acquired Gone Girl, the Gillian Flynn novel that was just published by Crown and is atop The New York Times Bestseller List for the second week in a row. The book will be produced by Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea, along with Leslie Dixon. Flynn will write the screenplay. Other studios including Universal were in on the action and I think the Fifty Shades Of Grey action has elevated interest in bestsellers geared to female readers.
A woman disappears on the day of her fifth anniversary and all roads point to her husband as the killer. Flynn, who has three novels on the bestseller lists all at once, has two other movie projects in the works. Dark Places has Amy Adams attached to star, with Gilled Paquet-Brenner directing and her first novel, Sharp Objects, was optioned by Alliance with Blumhouse’s Jason Blum producing. Fox’s New York office, headed by Drew Reed, was all over this book. Reed and Chris Goldberg teamed with Peter Kang to bring it in. It was sold by Smiley Group’s Shari Smiley, the former longtime CAA agent who teamed with Stephanie Rostan of Levine/Greenberg Literary Agency. Smiley also sold the screen rights to the Cheryl Strayed book Wild, which currently sits atop the Non Fiction bestseller …
Top Commercials Helmer Bryan Buckley Returns To Features On ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’
EXCLUSIVE: Bryan Buckley returns to features on the Reese Witherspoon vehicle Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus at Lionsgate Summit. The film is based on the John Gray self-help title, a guide to relationships and marriage that is the best selling non-fiction hardcover book of all-time (excepting the Bible and Koran) with over 7 million copies in circulation. Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont have written the script and Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun are set to produce with Andrew Mittman co-producing and Meredith Milton overseeing for Summit. Plan is to shoot the film in January.
While Buckley has stuck mostly to commercials, you’ve likely seen his work. Called “King of the Super Bowl,” he has directed over 40 spots for the annual NFL title game. In the process, he has won 37 Cannes Lions, and gotten 6 Emmy nominations. He’s directed everything from the recent Siri campaigns for the Apple iPhone to the American Express spots with Ellen DeGeneres and Conan O’Brien, and the baseball rivalry campaign with John Krasinski and Alec Baldwin. Latter campaign, which pits the Yankees loving Baldwin against the Red Sox loving Krasinski, was just added to the permanent connection at the Museum of Modern Art. Buckley most recently wrote and directed the film Asad, which was honored as Best Narrative Short at the Tribeca …
Judging from the bad buzz that has haunted it since a 2PM buyers screening on May 16, the first day of the 65th Cannes Film Festival, you might have thought FilmNation’s and Everest Entertainment’s Mud was as appealing at its title. One published report a couple of days later said despite the fact it is one of the few movies with major stars still up for grabs and looking for distribution that “it didn’t take long for the theatre to start clearing out” including Harvey Weinstein who supposedly “left after 20 minutes” according to the report. (Actually that reporter got it wrong according to a well-placed source with knowledge of the situation. Weinstein stayed an hour before leaving but had told the filmmakers in advance he couldn’t stay for the entire duration of the film).
Well, those guys may have blown it. Now on the last day of official competition screenings Mud, which features big names like Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon and was directed and written by Take Shelter‘s Jeff Nichols, finally had its long-awaited press screening Saturday morning (official premiere is tonight) as the last of the 22 entries to be shown to the media and the response was clearly a lot more enthusiastic than what came out of that ill-fated first buyers screening (a second one was held a few days later). In fact it received by far the biggest applause I have yet heard at one of these 8:30AM screenings. Usually there’s just a trickle, …
Pacific Standard, launched by Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea, will develop the M.A. Larson children’s novel Pennyroyal’s Princess Boot Camp. They will produce and Witherspoon plans to play a supporting role. Book is a modern-day fairy tale about a school that shapes girls into warrior princesses to battle a growing coven of wicked witches. The book, set up to be a series, just sold to Putnam’s Children’s. CAA and Janklow-Nesbit made the deal.
Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea Team To Launch Pacific Standard Banner; Can They Bring Back The Sass?
BREAKING: Reese Witherspoon has just announced a new production banner to produce film vehicles. Hopefully, Witherspoon will generate some that portray her in the sassy way that audiences want to see her. Whether it was Water for Elephants or the recent stiff This Means War, Witherspoon has gravitated toward characters that are kind of passive. What happened to the sassy heroine of Election, Legally Blonde and Walk The Line. This Means War was a big setback for up and coming leading men Tom Hardy and Chris Pine, but most in Hollywood felt that Witherspoon bore the brunt of that misfire. Here’s hoping she gets back to the sass that got her to $15 million a picture.
Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea have joined forces to launch a new production banner, Pacific Standard. The duo will fold a number of projects into the partnership from their pre-existing shingles Type A Films and Make Movies.
Pacific Standard has several properties prepped to go out to the market. One of which is WILD, the soon-to-be published novel by Cheryl Strayed, a powerful and honest memoir that tells the story of an 1100 mile solo hike that breaks down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and brings her back to life.
Witherspoon and Papandrea look forward to utilizing the relationships they have forged with filmmakers, actors and writers to make smart, character-driven, commercial films both large and
Ryan Murphy Plans ‘One Hit Wonders’ With Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Beyonce And Andy Samberg
UPDATE: Beyonce’s camp says that she isn’t attached to One Hit Wonders, so perhaps this was a bit of over-exuberance on the part of the filmmakers. Still a crazy good cast if you ask me.
EXCLUSIVE: In a seven-figure preemptive deal, Sony Pictures is collaborating with Ryan Murphy on One Hit Wonders, a musical comedy pitch that will be written as a star vehicle for Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Beyonce and Andy Samberg.
Murphy is attached to direct, and he will write the script with his Glee cohorts Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. Murphy will produce with Paltrow (who has practically become a Glee cast member) and the latter makes her debut as a producer on this film. Murphy hopes to direct it after he completes The Normal Heart.
Paltrow, Witherspoon and Diaz will play three singers who each scored a top hit song in the 1990s before watching their careers go down the drain. They decide to form a super group. Samberg and his Lonely Island cohorts will be involved in generating music for the film, I’m told. The project came out of a dinner Murphy had at the Soho House with Paltrow, Diaz and Witherspoon. They wanted to do something fun together and kicked around ideas until they settled on One Hit Wonders. Murphy, who made Eat Pray Love with Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal, took the pitch to her. Pascal bought it 10 minutes in.
Yesterday, my colleague Mike Fleming and I reported on Universal’s action pic 2 Guns starring Mark Wahlberg and with Denzel Washington in discussions. Emmett/Furla Films has today confirmed it will co-finance the film adding it has entered into an agreement with Foresight Unlimited to handle foreign distribution rights. Wahlberg’s Contraband helmer Baltasar Kormakur is directing. Emmett/Furla has also pacted with Foresight to handle romcom Rule #1 starring Reese Witherspoon. Foresight Unlimited’s Mark Damon and Tamara Stuparich De La Barra will be offering the films to buyers at the EFM with Brian O’Shea of The Exchange assisting in the sales efforts.
Rule #1 will be directed by Frozen River helmer Courtney Hunt. Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing together with Brad Epstein of Panther films and Witherspoon through her Type A Films banner. Remington Chase and Stepan Martirosyan are executive producing. Story follows a woman trying to cope with OCD who takes in an unpredictable young woman with a newborn baby in an effort to face her anxieties and ultimately get her estranged husband back.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox is waving the white flag on what is supposed to be a worth-the-price-of-admission movie which in and of itself is a rarity these days. The studio was supposed to open its ‘romantic action comedy’ This Means War on Tuesday aka Valentine’s Day. But the studio hasn’t seen the pic’s poor tracking pick up at all in recent days, while Sony Pictures/Screen Gems’ The Vow is soaring in wannasee. So Fox has decided to get out of the way. In an unusual move this late in the game, the studio will sneak This Means War on Tuesday and then hope word of mouth spreads before its new release date of Friday, February 17th. I don’t get what the moviegoing public’s problem with this pic is: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, and Reese Witherspoon are just as cool casting as Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams (though apparently not as box office) and the trailers have been engaging (though thrust into a lot of clutter) and the film didn’t look dumb (and that’s half the battle with this genre).