In an interesting pairing, Martha Marcy May Marlene helmer Sean Durkin will make his British TV debut with Channel 4 drama Southcliffe, based on a script by Tony Grisoni, who wrote the Red Riding trilogy for the net in 2009. Warp Films is producing the four-part Southcliffe to be aired in 2013.
Following a raft of shootings in a fictional English market town, the story is told through the eyes of a journalist and the tragedies’ victims. Grisoni calls it an “anthem to ordinary people’s ability to reinvent themselves in the face of ultimate darkness.” His similarly-themed neo-noir Red Riding crime trilogy achieved cult status in 2009. It was released theatrically by IFC in the U.S.
Durkin, who won the Best Director prize in Sundance with Martha Marcy, is also directing the feature indie, Joplin, next year. The $20M pic looks at the last 6 months in the singer’s career and has Tony-winning actress Nina Arianda lined up to star. Southcliffe‘s cast has yet to be set. Derrin Schlesinger is producing Soutchliffe with Peter Carlton exec producing for Warp Films. Sophie Gardiner exec produces for Channel 4.
EXCLUSIVE: After recently winning the Tony for best actress in a play for Venus In Fur, Nina Arianda will make her screen-starring debut playing 1960s rock icon Janis Joplin. Joplin, a film that looks back on the final six months of the singer’s life with flashbacks to her early career, will be directed by Sean Durkin, whose feature debut Martha Marcy May Marlene won him a slew of festival acclaim including Best Director at Sundance.
Joplin will be made for a budget under $20 million, with production to start early next year, said producer Peter Newman, who with his partners have spent the last 12 years trying to put an indie film together with rights that include exclusive use of 21 of Joplin’s best-known songs. He said Arianda will sing Joplin’s tunes in the film, and that she has the chops to do justice to Joplin’s signature gritty sound. Read More »
As part of our Sundance kickoff, Deadline posted a list of the famous and about-to-be-famous whose films are premiering at the festival. Now with the first full day of the event underway, I’m spotlighting a dozen Sundance veterans who have new work screening this year:
Christine Vachon, executive producer Shut Up And Play The Hits — It’s hard to imagine Sundance or even independent film without this producing tour de force. Her credits include I Shot Andy Warhol, Happiness, Velvet Goldmine, Boys Don’t Cry, Far From Heaven and many others. For this year’s edition she’s executive producing along with Keith Wood and The Creators Project on a doc spotlighting LCD Soundsystem’s final show at Madison Square Garden featuring an intimate portrait of James Murphy and his lead-up to the final concert.
Mary Jane Skalski, producer Hello I Must Be Going — Skalski has also made an indelible mark on the Sundance landscape with films stretching back into the ’90s. This century her Sundance portfolio includes The Station Agent, Mysterious Skin, The Hawk Is Dying and last year’s Pariah and Win Win. She returns as producer on Todd Louiso’s competition feature Hello I Must Be Going about a down-and-out 35-year-old woman who finds solace from a 19-year-old boy after returning home to live with her parents.
Eugene Jarecki, director of The House I Live In — Jarecki previously has taken on America’s conflicts abroad, but now turns the lens on the war on drugs which has cost 45 million arrests over four decades — making America the world’s top jailer. Jarecki’s first short, Seasons Of The Lifterbees debuted at Sundance in 1993. He won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and a Peabody Award for 2005′s Why We Fight and premiered his HBO doc Reagan at the festival last year.
Paul Dano, executive producer/actor in For Ellen — Dano may be a name in a good number of households following his stints in Fast Food Nation, There Will Be Blood and Meek’s Cutoff. In 2006, Little Miss Sunshine took Sundance by storm, in which he starred along with then-newcomer Abigail Breslin. He’s back again, starring in and executive producing For Ellen directed by So Yong Kim (also a Sundance vet who took a Special Jury Prize for In Between Days at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival). Dano plays Joby, a struggling musician who takes an overnight long-distance drive to fight his estranged wife for custody of their young daughter.
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Borderline Films, the company behind the Sundance hit Martha Marcy May Marlene, has signed a two-year first-look deal with Fox Searchlight, the studio that picked up the the Elizabeth Olsen-starring psychological thriller during the festival. Borderline Films was launched in 2003 by Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin and Josh Mon, who rotate their roles as writer, director and producer. “Sean, Antonio and Josh are an exciting talent collective with unique voices and a bold vision,” said Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley, who announced the deal today. “They are not afraid to challenge audiences with thought provoking films. We are thrilled to be in business with them and look forward to a very creative partnership.” UTA’s David Flynn, Melissa Breaux at Washington Square Arts and attorney Peter Nelson repped the filmmakers in the deal; Searchlight was repped by SVP Megan O’Brien. SVP Production Zola Mashariki will oversee Borderline’s production slate.