Sky Atlantic HD‘s six-episode comedy series from writer/director Robert B. Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm), has added five cast members to join Nick Frost who’s playing the titular Mr. Sloane. Olivia Colman (Broadchurch, Hyde Park On Hudson), Ophelia Lovibond (Mr. Popper’s Penguins), Peter Serafinowicz (The Muppets… Again!) and Lawry Lewin (Horrible Histories) have boarded the bittersweet 1960s-set romantic comedy that centers on Frost’s buttoned-down man in crisis. Shooting is underway in London for a 2014 airdate. Sky Atlantic has been pushing deeper into original series, recently partnersing with Starz on drama Fortitude, with Canal Plus on The Tunnel and with BBC America on biopic Fleming.
Can a PBS documentary actually have a major impact on this year’s Oscar race?
That’s the question I asked writer-director-producer Robert Weide, whose two-part American Masters portrait of Woody Allen begins airing on PBS stations November 20-21. Of course this is perfect timing because Sony Pictures Classics is launching a major Oscar campaign on behalf of what has turned out to be Allen’s most successful film ever, Midnight In Paris, which so far has a domestic gross of $55 million, is critically acclaimed, and is on every pundit’s list of potential Oscar players this year.
Weide is an 11-time Emmy nominee and three-time winner for directing Curb Your Enthusiasm as well as various showbiz docus on W.C Fields, The Marx Brothers and Lenny Bruce (a feature doc for which he also earned an Oscar nomination in 1998). He has tried for decades and finally got unprecedented access and cooperation from Allen and his associates and colleagues in the making of this remarkable documentary on all things Woody. But if you think this was all calculated to impact the Oscars, think again. For SPC, it is just a happy coincidence.
“Listen, when I approached Woody, he was still shooting [2009's] Whatever Works with Larry David, and then I was on the set with him for You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, thinking that that would be, sort of, the most current film at the time of the release,” Weide …
Submarine Entertainment and HanWay Films are promoting Robert B. Weide’s Woody Allen: A Documentary to international buyers at the American Film Market this week in Santa Monica. Various North American rights have already sold. It will air in two parts November 20-21 on PBS’ American Masters. The documentary features clips of Allen’s movies including his most commercially successful Midnight in Paris. Emmy-winning and Oscar nominated Weide examines Allen’s life and creative process, from his childhood and early career to the present. Weide had extensive access to observe Allen’s writing habits, casting, directing, editing and relationship with his actors. Interviews of actors too numerous to list cover his whole career from Louise Lasser, Tony Roberts, Dianne Wiest, Diane Keaton all the way to Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Watts and Owen Wilson. Writing collaborators Marshall Brickman, Mickey Rose and Doug McGrath weigh in along with cinematographers Gordon Willis and Vilmos Zsigmond along with producing partner Letty Aronson, producers Robert Greenhut and Stephen Tenenbaum and longtime managers Jack Rollins and Charles H. Joffe plus Martin Scorsese among many others.
Woody Allen isn’t here at Toronto, but a documentary about him will screen here. An invite has gone out for buyers to take in a “sneak peek screening” of an unfinished version of the documentary about Allen’s creative process that was directed by Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Robert Weide. The screening will be held tomorrow. The film’s being sold by Submarine’s Josh Braun.