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Lifetime Passes On Renee Zellweger’s Pilot ‘Cinnamon Girl’

By | Friday February 15, 2013 @ 3:36pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Lifetime has decided not to go forward with Cinnamon Girl, its drama pilot co-created and executive produced by Renée Zellweger, which was set against the backdrop of the Los Angeles music and movie scenes of the late 1960s/early 1970s. It tells the story of four coming-of-age girls — Cassie (Allie MacDonald), Lola (Alexis Knapp), Junie (Brooke Anne Smith) and Lou (Jade Bartlett) — and explores their lives at the crossroads of the era’s political, artistic, social and sexual rebellions. Zellweger co-created Cinnamon Girl with Anthony Tambakis (Warrior), and the premise was a combination of Zellweger’s real-life journey from small-town Texas to Hollywood stardom and Tambakis’ lifelong fascination with the Laurel Canyon music scene and the New Hollywood, auteur-driven era that began in the late ’60s. Read More »

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Renee Zellweger’s Lifetime 1970s Drama Pilot ‘Cinnamon Girl’ Casts Its Leads

By | Friday September 14, 2012 @ 6:19pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Allie MacDonald (Score: A Hockey Musical), Alexis Knapp (Project X), Brooke Anne Smith, Jade Bartlett and Sebastian Piggott have been cast as the  the leads in Cinnamon Girl, Lifetime’s drama pilot co-created and executive produced by Renée Zellweger, which is set against the backdrop of the Los Angeles music and movie scenes of the late 1960s/early 1970s. It tells the story of four coming-of-age girls — Cassie (MacDonald), Lola (Knapp), Junie (Smith) and Lou (Bartlett) — and explores their lives at the crossroads of the era’s political, artistic, social and sexual rebellions. Read More »

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Toronto: Renée Zellweger To Make Directorial Debut With ‘4 1/2 Minutes’

Renée Zellweger will star with Johnny Knoxville in the comedy that marks the actress’ directorial debut. K5 International and PalmStar Media Capital concluded a financing and sales deal today on the film, which K5 will introduce to buyers in Toronto. 4 1/2 Minutes is set in New York City’s stand-up milieu with Knoxville playing a commitment-phobic comic whose life is falling apart when he takes a job looking after single-mom Zellweger’s genius son. The story is based on the comedy of real-life stand-up Dov Davidoff. Warrior‘s Anthony Tambakis penned the script. Zellweger and Tambakis are already working together on TV drama Cinnamon Girl, a 1970s-set project that the pair co-created and which Lifetime picked up to pilot in July. She’ll also star in the upcoming Broadway adaptation of The Hustler, written by Tambakis and to be directed by Warrior‘s Gavin O’Connor. PalmStar’s Kevin Frakes is producing 4 1/2 Minutes with Zellweger and Tambakis through their All Together Now banner. Raj Brinder Singh will executive produce. Film is set to start production in NYC in February. Zellweger is repped by CAA which is also handling North American rights.

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Lifetime Picks Up Renee Zellweger-Produced Drama ‘Cinnamon Girl’ To Pilot

By | Wednesday July 25, 2012 @ 9:46am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Renee Zellweger Cinnamon GirlLifetime has given Renée Zellweger‘s drama project Cinnamon Girl a pilot order. The period drama set against the backdrop of the Los Angeles music and movie scenes of the late 1960s/early 1970s was put on fast-track development by Lifetime in October when president Nancy Dubuc called it “a game changer” for the network. Oscar winner Zellweger co-created Cinnamon Girl with Anthony Tambakis (Warrior). The drama tells the story of four coming-of-age girls — Cassie, Lola, Junie and Lou — and explores their lives at the crossroads of the era’s political, artistic, social and sexual rebellions. The genesis of the idea is a combination of Zellweger’s real-life journey from small-town Texas to Hollywood stardom and Tambakis’ lifelong fascination with the Laurel Canyon music scene and the New Hollywood, auteur-driven era that began in the late ’60s. Zellweger and Tambakis will executive produce Cinnamon Girl with Gavin O’Connor, who co-wrote Warrior with Tambakis and directed the movie. CAA-repped Zellweger and Tambakis co-wrote the story, with Tambakis writing the script, O’Connor set to direct the pilot and Danny Bramson (Almost Famous) serving as producer and music supervisor. Read More »

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Hugh Grant: We’re Making ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’

By | Friday February 3, 2012 @ 10:34am PST
Mike Fleming

Add Hugh Grant’s to the chorus of voices refuting reports that Bridget Jones’s Baby was imploding. On behalf of Grant, his rep said: “Hugh is keen that Bridget Jones 3 happens, but Renee [Zellweger], Colin [Firth] and he all have some issue with the present script. They are hoping to help work them out.”

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Is ‘Bridget Jones’ Sequel In Trouble?

By | Thursday February 2, 2012 @ 6:30pm PST
Mike Fleming

I’ve been hearing from sources all day that Bridget Jones’s Baby is in big trouble. And Universal and Working Title have been denying it. The rumor has been that production was weeks away and was shut down after Hugh Grant walked off in a huff because of script problems. Now that I’m seeing rumors reported as fact, I want to weigh in. Sources close to the production ara adamant they will make this movie this year. Yes, they are still tweaking the script. But Grant, Colin Firth and especially Renee Zellweger are determined to make it, I’m told by people I trust. Those people are denying that Grant has bailed on the film. There has been a bit of turbulence, with Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig bailing and Brit Peter Cattaneo taking the helm of the film. “Bullshit,” said my source, of the idea that the film might be scrapped or that it is in danger of imploding. If my sources are wrong, and I’m the one being bullshitted, we’ll know soon enough and we will fix the nooses.

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Peter Cattaneo In Talks To Direct ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Full Monty helmer Peter Cattaneo is in talks to direct Bridget Jones’s Baby, the Universal Pictures/Working Title sequel that brings back Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Shooting begins early next year. The directing assignment has been open since early October, when Bridesmaids helmer Paul Feig stepped away after working on the most recent script draft. At the time, the feeling was that the Helen Fielding novels and film series has an inherently British sensibility that made it better suited for a British helmer. Cattaneo fits that bill and has been circling the project for some time. Fielding wrote the script with Feig and David Nicholls. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing with Little Bird Films’ Jonathan Cavendish. Cattaneo is repped by UTA and UK-based Independent Talent Group.

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‘Warrior’ Co-Writer Lands Book Deal

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Anthony Tambakis, who teamed with Gavin O’Connor and Cliff Dorfman to write the underrated film Warrior, has sold his novel Swimming With Bridgeport Girls to Simon & Schuster for spring 2013 publication. This comes at a time when Tambakis and O’Connor are teamed on a stage play adaptation of The Hustler, the Walter Tevis novel that was turned into the 1961 pool hustler film that starred Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. Tambakis and O’Connor are writing it and eyeing a Broadway bow, with Renee Zellweger aboard to play Sarah Packard, Fast Eddie Felson’s companion.

Swimming With Bridgeport Girls is a romantic comedy about a charismatic young gambler who loses everything and sets off on a quest to win back his wife, using a faulty recollection of the climax of The Great Gatsby as his inspiration. Tambakis will adapt the novel for the screen, and The Gotham Group will produce.

On the Warrior front, I am surprised that it is generating no awards-season buzz, especially for what should have been a breakout performance by Tom Hardy. Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte were also on top of their games in this tragic father-son-brother triangle.

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Lifetime Buys 1960s Drama Co-Created & Executive Produced By Renée Zellweger

By | Wednesday October 12, 2011 @ 4:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Lifetime has teamed with Renée Zellweger for Cinnamon Girl, a period drama series project set against the backdrop of the Los Angeles music and movie scenes of the late 1960s/early 1970s, which Lifetime president Nancy Dubuc called “a game changer” for the cable network. Oscar winner Zellweger co-created Cinnamon Girl with Anthony Tambakis (Warrior). The drama tells the story of four girls — Cassie, Lola, Penny and Lou — coming of age during a revolution and explores the characters’ lives at the crossroads of the era’s political, artistic, social and sexual rebellions. The genesis of the idea for project is a combination of Zellweger’s real-life journey from small-town Texas to Hollywood stardom and Tambakis’ lifelong fascination with both the Laurel Canyon music scene and the New Hollywood, auteur-driven era that began in the late ‘60s. Zellweger and Tambakis will executive produce Cinnamon Girl with Gavin O’Connor, who co-wrote Warrior with Tambakis and directed the movie. CAA-repped Zellweger and Tambakis will co-write the story, with Tambakis writing the script, O’Connor directing and Danny Bramson (Almost Famous) serving as producer and music supervisor. “Renée’s passion, clarity of character and deep emotion for this project immediately transported us to the late ‘60s/early ‘70s and created a resonance with us wanting to relive that energy,” Dubuc said. “Cinnamon Girl is a game changer for our network and is exactly the type of show we want to deliver.” The changes at Lifetime were key … Read More »

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Paul Feig Exits ‘Bridget Jones 3′; Universal Looking For Brit Director For January Start

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Working Title Films will need a new director for Bridget Jones 3, and I hear they want a Brit. Paul Feig has withdrawn after developing the most recent draft of the script with the intention to direct. I’m told that both sides agreed it didn’t work out and that maybe this is just a quintessential British comedy that needs a British sensibility. They will set a director soon as they are still slated to start production in January, with Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant all eager to return.

Feig has enough to keep him busy at Universal, where he just directed the sleeper hit Bridesmaids. He’s got two projects there including an untitled comedy that he’s writing to direct for producer Judd Apatow, with the hope that Jon Hamm will play a guy obsessed with a woman who’ll be played by Melissa McCarthy. That certainly puts much of the Bridesmaids team together, and it will have to do until the studio figures out a way to get moving on a Bridesmaids sequel after the first one grossed $286 million worldwide on a $32 million budget. Read More »

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‘Warrior’ Director Gavin O’Connor Takes On ‘The Samurai’ And Stage Version Of ‘The Hustler’

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: In a high-six-figure deal, Warner Bros has acquired The Samurai, a spec script that will be the next film directed by Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor. The intention is to get it into production quickly, because O’Connor is also working on a stage play adaptation of The Hustler, the Walter Tevis novel that was turned into the 1961 pool hustler film that starred Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. O’Connor secured the rights from the author’s estate and Fox and is writing the stage play with his Warrior co-writer Anthony Tambackis. They are deep into it, and while they’ve not yet taken the play out for financing, O’Connor is eyeing a Broadway bow and said he’s got a commitment from Renee Zellweger to play Sarah Packard, the companion of Fast Eddie Felson who was played in the film by Piper Laurie.

As for The Samurai, O’Connor wrote the spec with Michael J. Wilson. The action adventure is about a rogue assassin named Townes Joyce, who breaks out of a Texas jail that puts him on the run from an international manhunt. Along the way, he gets involved with a woman and her child, and they go along for a ride that spans Costa Rica, Colombia, Paris and back to the U.S. O’Connor intends to make this his film follow-up to Warrior, which stars Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte. I’m not … Read More »

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