The Roundabout Theatre Company has set Alan Cumming to play Emcee and Michelle Williams to make her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles in a limited run revival of Cabaret. Sam Mendes is directing and Rob Marshall is co-directing and choreographing, returning to the roles they played in the 1998 production that won the Tony Award. The book is by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, based on the John Van Druten play and stories by Christopher Isherwood. Since Cumming starred in that version, the new wrinkle here is Williams, the three-time Oscar nominee who’s coming off Oz The Great And Powerful.
Deadline reported in May that Sony Pictures and MGM were in talks for Skyfall helmer Sam Mendes to return behind the camera for the next installment of the James Bond franchise. The studios, along with producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, today confirmed Mendes will direct, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as Bond for the fourth time. There was a lot of speculation about Mendes returning. In March, he said he had made the “very difficult decision” not to return, citing theater and TV commitments. Wilson and Broccoli seemed resigned and they moved on, but they ultimately circled back and decided to wait for Mendes to work through the other commitments. Those include a musical version of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory which bowed on London’s West End last month. At the premiere, he told Deadline that Bond was indeed a possibility. It’s good news for Skyfall fans. The Mendes-helmed pic grossed over $1.1B worldwide to become the biggest 007 film and the eighth-highest-grossing film of all time. John Logan is writing the next, as-yet untitled movie, which will bow in the UK on October 23, 2015 and in the U.S. on November 6, 2015. Here’s today’s official release:
CULVER CITY, Calif., July 11, 2013 – Producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, EON Productions; Gary Barber, Chairman & CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Entertainment, Inc, and Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that Daniel Craig will once again return as the legendary British secret agent in the 24th James Bond film and Sam Mendes will also return to direct the screenplay written by John Logan. The film is set for release in UK theaters on October 23, 2015 and in US theaters on November 6, 2015.
SKYFALL™, the 23rd James Bond film, took in $1.1 billion worldwide and set a new mark as the highest-grossing film of all time in the UK; it was the best-selling Bond film on DVD/Blu-ray and was the most critically acclaimed film in the history of the longest-running film franchise.
Commenting on the announcement, Wilson and Broccoli said, “Following the extraordinary success of SKYFALL, we’re really excited to be working once again with Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes and John Logan.”
“I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24. I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time,” said Mendes.
Fox Rebrands Sports Channels In The Netherlands
Fox International Channels is rebranding the home of the Dutch national soccer leagues, Eredivisie Live, to Fox Sports Eredivisie and also is launching Fox Sports in the Netherlands. The switch to Fox Sports Eredivisie goes live on August 1 followed by the launch of Fox Sports on August 17. Fox Sports, will become the Dutch destination of top international soccer, including the Premier League, Série A, the FA Cup, the League Cup, Coppa Italia and the UEFA Europa League. The Fox Sports launch in the Netherlands follows a recent announcement of FIC’s plans to launch Fox Sports in Italy.
Mendes’ ‘Charlie’ Adds Six Months To Run
Sam Mendes’ Charlie And The Chocolate Factory just opened Tuesday night on London’s West End, but it’s already adding six months to its run. The adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s story will be performed until May 31, 2014, The Guardian reports. Reviews have been somewhat mixed, but already the show was seen by more than 70,000 during previews. Tony and Olivier Award winner Douglas Hodge plays Willy Wonka with songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. A New York transfer for the Warner Bros. Theatrical Ventures production is still uncertain.
Sam Mendes’ ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’ Bows On London’s West End; Director Still Mulling Next James Bond Pic
The Warner Bros. Theatrical Ventures production of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory had its West End opening at London’s iconic Theatre Royal Drury Lane Tuesday night. The show, directed by Skyfall helmer Sam Mendes, has been in previews …
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures and MGM have started talks for Sam Mendes to return and direct Daniel Craig in the next installment of the James Bond franchise. Mendes helmed the last installment, Skyfall, an audience-pleasing film that grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide to become the biggest Bond film and the eighth-highest-grossing film of all time. John Logan is writing the next film.
There has been much speculation on whether Mendes would come back — right now he’s knee-deep preparing for the West End launch of the stage musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which will then move to Broadway. That happened because Mendes bowed out, claiming that musical and King Lear were his new priorities and producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli seemed resigned and they moved on. Recently, he and the producers got back in touch. While Mendes’ first love is theater, it became clear that the producers wanted him and he wanted to return, and the only thing standing in the way were these stage commitments that Mendes felt obligated to do. So, they’ve decided to wait for him to work through those other commitments, and he’s now making a deal to start production probably next year. What’s the hurry? Craig doesn’t seem to have aged since he took the Bond role; he’s always in rocking shape. While Mendes looked doubtful, a bunch of names have been floated in the press, from Ang Lee to Nicolas Winding Refn and Christopher Nolan. I’m not sure there is much validity to any of them, but now it is a moot point, because Mendes will be the director of the next Bond.
EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of their movie Skyfall smashing worldwide box office records as the highest-grossing James Bond pic of all time and landing the franchise’s first Oscar nominations in 30 years, the film’s co-writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes are headed to Showtime. I’ve learned that the pay cable network, flying high on the critical success of original drama Homeland, has landed the duo’s high-concept drama project, which Logan and Mendes took out to premium cable networks in November as a spec written by Logan. Deals are still being finalized but I hear that the project is eyeing a straight-to-series order at Showtime, with Logan and Mendes executive producing with an eye for Mendes to direct. The untitled drama, which has undergone some tweaking from the original spec to tailor it to the Showtime audiences, is described as a psychological horror drama series with literary underpinnings, including Dr. Frankenstein and his creature, set in the 1800s. This would mark both Logan and Mendes’ series debut. They are executive producing the show with Pippa Harris, Mendes’ partner at Neal Street Prods.
James Bond and Abraham Lincoln both were very impressive at the box office this weekend but they also killed at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with packed turnaway crowds, certainly among the biggest of the year there and a good omen for their Oscar chances.
At Saturday night’s Lincoln screening the 1,012 seat Samuel Goldwyn Theatre was already full with Academy members by 7:10 and the smaller theatre in the building that seats about 80 was also at capacity just a few minutes later. In a rare moment for these official Academy screenings about 50 to 60 were turned away. One member who didn’t make it in and regularly attends almost all the Acad member weekend showings told me it was the first time in all the years he has been going that he wasn’t able to get in. The film reportedly played extremely well with a standing ovation for star Daniel Day-Lewis at the Q&A which also included director Steven Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, screenwriter Tony Kushner, composer John Williams and co-star Sally Field. I was also told that virtually everyone stayed for the Q&A which often isn’t the case. This intense interest bodes well for the film’s Oscar prospects down the line. An earlier all-Guild screening at the Westwood Bruin also drew a capacity crowd and strong response at the Q&A.
Looking to expand its TV slate, Neal Street Productions has appointed BBC director of UK drama Nicolas Brown as a company director. He will start his job early next year and take a seat on the Neal Street board alongside founders Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris and Caro Newling. At the BBC since 2006, Brown this year took responsibility for the delivery of all BBC network drama including EastEnders, Silent Witness, The Paradise and Luther. Prior to joining the BBC, he was a producer in his own right and recently executive produced two short films for Danny Boyle’s Olympics Opening Ceremony — notably one in which Daniel Craig’s James Bond escorts Queen Elizabeth II to the Olympic stadium via helicopter. At Neal Street, he’ll work with Skyfall director Mendes and Harris on both film and TV projects. In the past year, Neal Street’s Call The Midwife was the BBC’s highest-rated new drama ever. The 1950s-set series recently completed a successful run on PBS in the U.S.
EXCLUSIVE: With the latest James Bond movie Skyfall already smashing box office records, the film’s co-writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes are re-teaming on the TV side. In what would be both Logan and Mendes’ series debut, the two have partnered for a drama project. We’ve learned that the script, written by Logan with Mendes attached to produce and possibly direct, has been sent to premium cable networks.
It is described as an origin story set in the 1800s London in the vein of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which also was set in 19th century Europe, including London, and featured an assortment of fictional literary characters. The Logan/Mendes project features such characters as Van Helsing and Doctor Frankenstein as they hunt for vampires. The drama is unlikely to have spy elements as Eon Prods., which produces the Bond films, has a long history of preventing its writers and directors from working on other ‘spy’ material, even when they’re done with a 007 movie and have moved on. In the case of Logan, he is far from done with Bond – he already has been tapped to write the next two installments, Bond 24 and 25. Meanwhile, Mendes was the first Oscar winner to direct a Bond pic with Skyfall. He is producing the TV project through his Neal Street Prods.
While not quite as revelatory as, say, Peter Jackson’s 10-minute+ digital missives from Hobbiton, Sam Mendes here presents a 90-second videoblog from the set of Skyfall. The new 007 director waxes on his own Bond nostalgia and there are even a few glimpses of filming (Daniel Craig stalking in a …
Los Angeles, Nov. 3: Leading independent financing, production and sales company IM Global is co-financing, with BBC Films (who developed the film), dramatic thriller BLOOD. The film will be produced by Neal Street Productions, the company of Oscar winning director Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, Jarhead) and Nicola Shindler’s Red Productions (Bedlam, Queer as Folk), it was announced today by IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford.
Nick Murphy (The Awakening) will direct the project from a script by Bill Gallagher, based on his original, award winning TV series, Conviction. It will star Paul Bettany (Legion, The Da Vinci Code), Brian Cox (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Red, The Bourne Supremacy) and Stephen Graham (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, This is England).
‘Skyfall’ Confirmed As Title Of New Bond Movie; Budget Around $230M; Sam Mendes Says He’s Open To Follow-up
Shooting on the latest James Bond movie starts Monday, Daniel Craig revealed at this morning’s press conference for Skyfall, the 23rd 007 movie. Producer Michael G Wilson scotched UK tabloid rumors that the budget for the latest Bond film has been slashed by $100 million. “We’re in the same budget range as the last film. We haven’t had to change anything in the script. In fact, we keep adding things — everything is going to be just as it was,” he said. Director Sam Mendes also denied he was making a downbeat Bond with fewer action sequences. He would be directing action sequences himself. “There will be plenty of surprises,” Mendes promised. “The action needs to be balanced with the drama.” Mendes said he was open to directing another Bond installment, “if I still feel that it’s as much fun in six months’ time, then the answer is yes.”
EXCLUSIVE: Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures has hired Focus Features executive Matthew Plouffe to be its new SVP Production. Plouffe, who has spent the past six years in the New York headquarters of Focus, will move to Los Angeles and start the job Oct. 1. Plouffe is currently Focus’ Director of Production and has worked on such Focus films as the Sam Mendes-directed Away We Go, Shane Acker’s 9, the Ryan Fleck/Anna Boden-directed It’s Kind of A Funny Story and most recently on the Lone Scherfig-directed adaptation of One Day that stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. Plouffe wanted to move West, and the transition was done with the blessing of Focus Features chief James Schamus, who wrote and produced Maguire’s breakout film as an actor, The Ice Storm. “All of us at Focus have been blessed over the past six years to see Matt grow to become one of the smartest, hardest-working and kindest execs out there, and while we’re sad to see him go, he couldn’t have found a better opportunity than the one Tobey has offered. It’s great to see two of the smartest people in the business teaming up,” Schamus said.
Solid First Half For UK’s Pinewood Shepperton Studios
Revenues are up 68% over the first half of the 2011 according to interim results released today, from $27M to $42M over the same period a year ago. The largest film production based at Pinewood Studios during the period was Dark Shadows (Warner Bros), and the largest production based at Shepperton Studios was Wrath of the Titans (WB). Other films that used Pinewood Shepperton facilities included The Iron Lady (DJ Films/Pathé), Gravity (WB), Woman in Black (Hammer Films), 47 Ronin (Universal) and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (Fox). Universal’s Snow White And The Huntsman has just begun shooting at Pinewood. The surge in film business offset a drop in TV revenues from $8.3M last year to $7.6M, which the studio attributed to using more space on movie productions.
Off-Track Bond 23 May Exit India For South Africa
Unhappy that permission to shut down portions of two railways outside Mumbai still has not been granted, Take One Productions is threatening to move production of Bond 23 from India to South Africa. Originally scheduled to shoot in the fall, the Sam Mendes-directed project starring Daniel Craig is now pointing for a January start. “South African authorities are waiting to provide everything that is required to support this movie,” said Take One’s Pravesh Sahni. “If we can’t get this cooperation from India, the film will no longer be shot here.” The railroad scenes will be a major part of the film, Sahni told The Times of India.
EXCLUSIVE: Javier Bardem is close to sealing his deal with Universal Pictures to play gunslinger Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower, the mammoth adaptation of the Stephen King 7-novel series that’ll span three movies and a limited run TV series in between each film. Director Ron Howard begins production on the first film in September, and he’ll also direct the first TV segment. Akiva Goldsman has scripted the film and the initial TV component. Imagine Entertainment chief Brian Grazer is producing the films with Goldsman and King. Goldsman will produce the TV part through his Weed Road banner.
Bardem, who won the Oscar for his ferocious portrayal of a hit man in No Country For Old Men and who was more recently nominated for Biutiful, is a strong match to play the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers. Deadline revealed in late January that Bardem had been offered the role of Deschain, who becomes humanity’s last hope to save civilization as he hits the road to find the Dark Tower. Along the way, he encounters characters, good and bad, in a world that has an old West feel.
Bardem’s WME reps are putting the finishing touches on the deal, and they are close enough that Howard has begun meeting with other actors to cast the roles around Bardem. It’s a complex deal, almost unprecedented, because it calls for Bardem to star in the feature film and the TV component. His deal will also include options for two sequels (the TV program that runs between the second and third films will be a prequel). I’m told it will add up to a career-best payday for Bardem. Howard and Goldsman have told me they see the trilogy as their answer to the Peter Jackson-directed adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. While Middle Earth had a mystical medieval feel, The Dark Tower vibe is one that Goldsman described as “an alternate Americana, one part post-apocalyptic, one part Sergio Leone.”