UPDATE, WEDNESDAY AM: Sony has released an “official” green-band trailer for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, after the slightly less tame red-band one we had for you over the weekend was taken down all over the Internet by the studio, which claimed it was unauthorized. Publicity ploy or no, the new one is below, and it still looks pretty darn good.
PREVIOUS, SUNDAY AM: Sony Pictures has produced its first red band trailer for the David Fincher-directed The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the Scott Rudin-produced, Steve Zaillian-scripted adaptation of the Stieg Larsson novel that stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and Robin Wright. Seems worth the wait, no?
EXCLUSIVE: After suing Paramount Pictures to recapture rights to his Harry Bosch crime novels The Black Ice and The Black Echo, Michael Connelly is in talks to make a new film alliance with Yellow Bird Films, the Swedish production company run by Soren Staermose and Ole Sondberg that generated the Stieg Larsson crime novel trilogy adaptations that started with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. They are also producing with Scott Rudin the Larsson adaptation for Sony Pictures that David Fincher is directing with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara starring.
In order to get those books out of Paramount, the deal comes with a provision they pay the studio $3 million for sitting on the franchise for close to two decades. Connelly is paying that money himself, illustrating that while crime doesn’t pay, writing about it sure does. The move comes just as another of his bestsellers, The Lincoln Lawyer, was released in film form with Matthew McConaughey starring. I’m told the deal being worked out for the Bosch series will make Connelly a partner in the film venture. This is his signature book series, revolving around Bosch, an LAPD homicide detective who has been the centerpiece of 16 novels that have sold millions of copies. The two books were optioned in 1992 and Connelly sued last year because when he attempted to recover rights to the stalled film project, he felt that Paramount loaded an unreasonable amount of development costs … Read More »
Former ER star Goran Visnjic has signed on to play Dragan Armansky in Sony Pictures’ The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the David Fincher-directed adaptation of the Stieg Larsson bestseller. Visjnic’s character, the CEO of a security firm that employs Lisbeth Salander, is part of the entire trilogy and the actor has signed on for all three films. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara star in the Steve Zaillian-scripted film, and Scott Rudin is producing. Visnjic, who was a frontrunner for the James Bond role that went to Craig, most recently completed the Mike Mills-directed Beginners and starred in the BBC miniseries The Deep. He’s repped by WME and Management 360.
EXCLUSIVE: Anchor Bay has closed a deal to distribute Tanner Hall, a coming-of-age film that premiered at Toronto last fall. The film got a dose of deal momentum after its unknown star, Rooney Mara, landed the coveted role of Lisbeth Salander in the David Fincher-directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Anchor Bay, which bought domestic, UK, Australia and New Zealand rights, plans to release the film in close proximity to Dragon Tattoo, which gets released December 21 by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Tanner Hall also stars Tom Everett Scott, Chris Kattan and Amy Sedaris, and marks the directorial debut of Francesca Gregorini and Tatiana von Furstenberg. The film takes place at a boarding school in a New England town where four restless teens come of age. Brie Larsen, Georgia King and Amy Ferguson round out the quartet. The picture was well received at Toronto, and came out of the festival looking like it would get distributed by Moving Pictures Film & Television. By the time Mara got the Salander role that every young actress in Hollywood wanted, Tanner Hall’s distribution situation had become tenuous and MPF&T agreed to step aside. Submarine Entertainment’s Josh Braun and attorney Marc H. Simon made the new deal with Anchor Bay’s Bill Clark, Kevin Kasha, Josh Thomashow and Richard Turner.
The business story of the Toronto International Film Festival was a cautious resurgence of the specialty film market. But in my opinion the more compelling and even uplifting story surrounds those Toronto films now emerging as Best Picture Oscar candidates. The reason is that so many of them easily could have fallen apart in the struggle to get them to the big screen if not for the filmmakers’ admirable persistance:
127 Hours: After Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle could have taken a multi-million paycheck to direct James Bond or any of several other big budget studio films. Instead he chose to do on an indie level what Chris Nolan did on a studio level when he used his clout to direct his wholly original spec script Inception. Boyle took an upfront salary of just $666K and put all his Slumdog credibility chips on the table to make 127 Hours. The movie’s pitch — hiker amputates pinned arm with dull knife — is so preposterously non-commercial that even Boyle’s writing partner Simon Beaufoy didn’t get it until Boyle sketched out a first draft that showed the potential for a visceral and spiritually uplifting drama. “Sometimes, and this was the first time for me, you can’t explain it verbally, you have to write it down and test it on your collaborators,” Boyle said. Said producer Christian Colson: “While Slumdog was the classic underdog story — not enough money, nearly went straight to DVD, no stars, no power — … Read More »
The Internet is becoming more and more like a game of telephone, where rumors spread and become deemed factual because too many reporters don’t pick up the phone to check them. A swarm of claimss have surfaced that Rooney Mara was seriously injured and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been postponed. Sources I trust tell me this is completely false. Mara had a small spill on a motorcycle three weeks ago, but she was fine that day. She doesn’t start shooting until around October 2nd.
UPDATE: Sony Pictures Entertainment has issued a press release on Mara. I’ve included it after Deadline’s story break.
EXCLUSIVE: Ending one of the most drawn out and closely watched casting searches for an actress in years, Sony Pictures Entertainment and director David Fincher have chosen Rooney Mara to play Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the film that begins shooting this fall in Sweden, with Daniel Craig starring. The film will be released December 21, 2011. Rooney was considered Fincher’s first choice in the process: the director had just helmed her in The Social Network. Closing a deal will amount to a formality, because Mara essentially agreed to terms when she and other young actresses signed on to tests that Fincher and producer Scott Rudin have conducted over the past several weeks. Her deal includes an option for two sequels that will cover The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, the second and third books in the Millennium Trilogy by the late author Stieg Larsson. The books continue the same murder conspiracy storyline.
Deadline revealed that Craig was signed a deal with two options weeks ago to play Mikael Blomkvist, the investigative journalist and part owner of the magazine Millennium, and Deadline also broke the story that Robin Wright was in talks to play Erika Berger, his occasional bed partner and the publisher of Millennium. Stellan Skarsgard was also … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Is it an exaggeration to say not since Gone with the Wind has the actress casting search for a studio film captured such attention? The decision on who’ll play Lisbeth Salander in Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo continues. Director David Fincher tested actresses this week and will hold another testing this Sunday. I’ve heard that Fincher will test as many as six actresses this time, and the stakes have been raised. Daniel Craig will read alongside the aspirants, and each of them will get the full hair, makeup, wardrobe, and piercings treatment, which wasn’t done in the earlier tests. This should give Fincher a sense of who is the best match to play the rogue computer hacking genius – one of the most complex roles to come along for a young actress in a very long time.
Right now the actresses who are being seriously considered may still include Inception’s Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Sarah Snook (Sleeping Beauty), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), Sophie Lowe (Blame) and now French actress Lea Seydoux. Browning and Wasikowska didn’t make test deals, while Page sent in her own. Fish Tank discovery Katie Jarvis is a late entry but she isn’t testing Sunday.
Sony Pictures will release the first filmed installment of Stieg Larsson’s bestselling trilogy of books on December 21, 2011, and will begin production in early fall. Steve Zaillian wrote the script and Scott Rudin … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: The plot is thickening on the David Fincher-directed adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the internationally hot Stieg Larsson mystery novel. Of course, with the Swedish film version having made $100+M worldwide so far this year, many quarters are predicting that Sony Pictures will screw up the Hollywood version. Today, the studio set a December 21, 2011 release date for the film — even though the two leads are not locked in. The studio continues talking with Daniel Craig to play publisher Mikael Blomkvist, but sources tell me there’s a scheduling problem for him involving the long delayed next Bond pic and Cowboys & Aliens.
The studio is also signing test deals with a group of young actresses dying to play the complex role of Lisbeth Salander. While Carey Mulligan, Ellen Page, and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) have been mentioned as possible Lisbeth candidates, I’m told others include Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Sara Snook (Sleeping Beauty), Rooney Mara (The Social Network) and Sophie Lowe (Blame). Some have submitted their own tapes to director David Fincher already, while others will test shortly for the role. It’s a process similar to the one Sony orchestrated before choosing Andrew Garfield to play Spider-Man. Meanwhile, I hear Fincher is telling actresses to working on their Swedish accents, which indicates the novel may not Americanized. The book was adapted by Steve Zaillian and is being produced by Scott Rudin, who just worked with Fincher on … Read More »