Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker have officially been set to star in the world premiere of the first-ever play from Amanda Peet. The Commons Of Pensacola is set for a limited off-Broadway engagement at Manhattan Theatre Club, with previews starting October 22 at New York City Center’s Stage 1 and opening night November 21. MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow is directing. Danner and Parker had staged a reading of the play after MTC said it would stage the play this season, and had been expected to have the inside track on the roles. The comedic drama centers on Judith (Danner), who has been divested of her assets and forced to leave her luxurious NY life after her husband’s Wall Street scam became headline news. When her daughter Becca (Parker) and Becca’s filmmaker boyfriend pay Judith a visit to the one-bedroom condo Judith now occupies in Pensacola, FLA, everyone’s motives are called into question. Danner and Parker previously starred together in MTC’s 1995 production Sylvia by A.R. Gurney.
Obama’s Next Dinner – Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie? Jay-Z & Beyonce? George Clooney Again? Who Would You Bring?
Two days before a big fundraiser at Sarah Jessica Parker’s house in New York, the Obama campaign today announced a new version of its popular and profitable lotto dinner. “We’re adding a twist to the upcoming Dinner with Barack: You not only have the chance to sit down for a meal with the President and a guest of your choice. You also get to help pick the President’s guest,” said the campaign in an online and email blast today. Like with the record-breaking May 10 fundraiser at George Clooney’s pad and this week’s big affair co-hosted by the Sex and The City star and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, potential attendees need only donate $3 to enter into the guest lotto. Like the Clooney and Parker events, there will of course likely be other guests who paid big bucks to be in the room — tickets for the Clooney dinner went for around $40,000 a pop. While they’ll cover the winners’ airfare and hotel, the campaign offered no date or location for this latest dinner. Maybe that’s the next fundraising twist — pick where to have dinner with the president. Bet they have great snacks down in the Situation Room.
Kate Hudson will do an extensive six-episode arc on Fox’s Glee next season, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly announced during the network’s conference call …
Garry Marshall’s romantic comedy New Year’s Eve from New Line has a new trailer showing its ensemble cast preparing for the big night. Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Sarah Jessica Parker and Halle Berry are seriously ready to get this party started on Dec. 9.
The Weinstein Co is experiencing a brutal 2011 with every movie it releases that’s not The King’s Speech. In quick succession, Scream 4, Spy Kids 4D, Our Idiot Brother, Apollo 18, and last weekend’s I Don’t Know How She Does It didn’t open worth a damn. And that doesn’t even count the rough reception given Madonna’s W.E. at the Venice Film Festival which Harv is releasing during the awards corridor. (Awards? Not unless he can buy her a Golden Globe.) I don’t know how the studio is going to stay on track with its reorganized finances if Dimension films keep bombing or TWC pics get no traction. If only Harvey Weinstein hadn’t bragged during the Tribeca Film Festival that 2011 was “going to be our best year financially” and that his indie studio was on track to outpace even its most profitable years at Miramax. But that was in April, before The Weinstein Co began its losing streak. That $150M it made from The King’s Speech before ancillary revenue streams kick in won’t last long. Weinstein said he has to rebuild “a model that’s beyond Oscar”. The real question now is whether he even knows how.
I Don’t Know How She Does It was based on a well-known book just like The Weinstein Co’s The Nanny Diaries which women rejected just as summarily. Problem is, IDKHSDI is such an awful movie (only 17% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) starring the annoying Sarah Jessica Parker (just go back to television already) in an abominable premise (a working wife under stress). But ask The Weinstein Co why it tanked, and the claim is that the opening weekend of The Lion King 3D took a $6M-$7M bite out of Parker’s pic. Because older women had a choice between seeing Sex And The City‘s Carrie as a clone of themselves or taking themselves and their kids to Lion King 3D – and picked the toon. (Given the choice between IDKHSDI and a kidney transplant, i would have picked the surgery.)
Harvey Weinstein just set a new air, land and sea world record for attending movie premieres. The Weinstein Company mogul managed to show up at three, count ‘em, three different premiere events in two different countries all on Monday night. “Yeah, this was some fun wasn’t it?” he deadpanned when I asked him about his landmark photo-op achievement.
Although he has been in Toronto this week, Weinstein had to go back to New York City on Monday night to attend the premiere of his company’s romantic comedy I Don’t Know How She Does It, which stars Sarah Jessica Parker and opens nationwide Friday. Then it was right back to Canada and two more North American premieres: Madonna’s directorial outing W.E. and the Ralph Fiennes-directed Coriolanus – and he made ito to both post-parties at Soho House. On one floor he was dining with Madonna and her exclusive guest list, then he did a walk-through one floor down at the Coriolanus preem. Then it was back up to the third floor, where he huddled with Jennifer Garner and Olivia Wilde, the stars of yet another Weinstein Company movie, Butter, which premieres here on Tuesday (I saw it in Telluride). I am told they will open the film for a one-week Oscar-qualifying run October 28 and reopen it sometime in early 2012.
As for the Madonna film, which was critically lambasted in Venice, the spin I got from one of its international reps was that it’s really not all that bad. It’s just that it’s not all that good either. There are some nice visual touches, but the material about the romance between King Edward and Wallis Simpson (written by the Material Girl herself) just isn’t all that compelling. My overall impression is that she is to be commended for trying something different with this British period piece, but for someone normally so edgy, this film very much lacks edge. It is undoubtedly an older person’s movie and facing a daunting commercial climb.
Before the film started (a half hour late), Madonna told the hometown crowd, “As you know I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, so I almost feel Canadian. Even when I have been arrested here I had a heck of a time,” she said. At the earlier Monday morning press screening, a paltry crowd of less than 100 reportedly showed up for their first opportunity to see her directing and writing effort. By the time it was finished, less than half remained in the massive 555-seat Scotiabank Theatre. But following the evening screening at the Roy Thomson Hall, the crowd gave Madonna a brief standing ovation before heading for the exits. But it wasn’t the kind of enthusiastic standing applause heard at the Machine Gun Preacher screening just one night earlier.
NEW YORK, NY August 2, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Rainmaker Entertainment announced today the all-star voice cast for ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH which includes Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Rob Corddry, James Gandolfini and Craig Robinson. The 3D animated family comedy is currently in full production.
The announcement was made today by Donna Gigliotti, TWC’s President of Production, and Catherine Winder, President and Executive Producer, Rainmaker Entertainment. Both Gigliotti and Winder serve as producers on the animated feature film.
ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH is directed by Cal Brunker, best known for his work on the animated feature films DESPICABLE ME, 9 and HORTON HEARS A WHO! Producers Gigliotti and Winder are joined by Rainmaker’s Luke Carroll as a producer on the film. TWC Co-Chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein are executive producers. The film was written by Cal Brunker and Bob Barlen based on an original screenplay by Tony Leech and Cory Edwards.
Reaching into their past to (hopefully) repeat some of their glory, Harvey and Bob Weinstein have tapped a familiar face to be The Weinstein Company’s president of production. Donna Gigliotti was was an executive at Miramax from 1993-1996. She was also one of the Oscar-winning producers on Miramax’s Shakespeare In Love back in 1998 and received an Oscar nomination for TWC’s The Reader in 2008.
New York, NY (October 18, 2010) – Having established a relationship for more than seventeen years, The Weinstein Company (TWC) has hired Oscar-winning producer and former Miramax Films Executive Vice President Donna Gigliotti as president of production. She will work directly with TWC Co-Chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein, as well as produce several films for the company. Gigliotti’s first production will be I Don’t Know How She Does It, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, which will begin principal photography January 17. She is currently overseeing My Week With Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams shooting in the UK, and will produce David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook in the latter half of 2011.Gigliotti is one of only five women ever to win a Best Picture Oscar. In her first outing as an independent producer, she received the 1998 Academy Award for producing the seven-time Oscar-winning Miramax film Shakespeare in Love, and was subsequently nominated for a Best Picture Oscar for The Weinstein Company’s 2008 romantic drama The Reader.