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Global Showbiz Briefs: UK, India, Korea

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. Read More »

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Relativity Moves Snow White To March 16, Three Months Before Universal Rival

Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Relativity Media has struck back in the ongoing competition of Snow White movies. Ryan Kavanaugh’s film shingle has pushed up its untitled Snow White project to March 16, 2012, from June 29. This comes days after Universal moved Snow White and the Huntsman up six months to June 1. I’m not sure that Uni can push forward any further. After all, you have to make the movie before you can release it. Relativity’s movie has Tarsem Singh directing Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer, while Universal has Rupert Sanders directing Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth. Will both of these pictures actually make it into production under such high stakes? It sure looks that way. The one saving grace is that Universal’s film has a darker Alice in Wonderland tone, while Relativity’s seems to be an unabashed family film.

This is just one of three pictures that Relativity has dated in moves that seem to be geared directly toward this competition against Universal, the studio with which Kavanaugh had a long slate-financing relationship. Read More »

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Snow White Battle Intensifies As Universal Moves Its Pic One Month Before Relativity Rival

Mike Fleming

BREAKING:Since neither Universal Pictures nor Relativity Media are blinking about going ahead with rival Snow White films, it seemed inevitable that Universal would not be content for its film to come out six months later. So the studio has just swapped release dates of Judd Apatow’s next untitled film (which was supposed to come out June 1), and has given that June 1, 2012 date to Snow White and the Huntsman. At present, Relativity Media’s film, The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, is dated for June 29, 2012 with shooting to begin in August. We’ll have to see whether Ryan Kavanaugh’s film division reconsiders. That Tarsem Singh-directed film stars Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, Armie Hammer and Nathan Lane. The lesson of rival films about Truman Capote and In Cold Blood echoes loudly here. Capote came out first, won an Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman, and nobody cared when Infamous came out later. Being the second film on the same subject is perilous and when that prospect faced Baz Luhrmann and Dino De Laurentiis on their Alexander the Great movie because Oliver Stone beat them to the start gate, the project was scrapped.

Universal’s decision comes days after the studio finally set Thor star Chris Hemsworth as its Huntsman, which Deadline was the first to reveal would happen. He joins Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Sam Claflin in the Rupert Sanders-directed film. Apatow (who must be strutting after Bridesmaids defied expectations last … Read More »

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Sam Claflin Crowned Prince For ‘Snow White And The Huntsman’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is setting Sam Claflin to play the role of the prince in Snow White and the Huntsman, the Rupert Sanders-directed re-imagining of the fairy tale that stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White and Charlize Theron as the evil queen. The studio is still working on its huntsman, and as Deadline was the first to tell you, the offer is with Thor star Chris Hemsworth. Claflin just starred in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and he has just been offered the title role opposite Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore in the Warner Bros/Legendary supernatural thriller The Seventh Son. Claflin could make that film, which starts in March, and then follow with Snow White and the Huntsman. CAA and Independent Talent rep him.

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‘Thor’ Star Chris Hemsworth Eyeing ‘Huntsman’ Role In Universal’s Snow White Saga

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Thor’ star Chris Hemsworth has emerged as a front runner to star in Snow White and the Huntsman, the Universal fairy tale that also Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart. Rupert Sanders is directing. Hemsworth’s stock is up as Thor continues to clean up overseas in anticipation of Friday’s domestic opening for the Kenneth Branagh-directed Marvel film. It isn’t clear yet whether Hemsworth will take that role. Stay tuned.

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Universal Targets Hugh Jackman For ‘Snow White And The Huntsman’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sensing a possible opening with Hugh Jackman because The Wolverine lost its director and a plan to shoot in Japan turned precarious, Universal Pictures has offered Jackman the huntsman role in Snow White and the Huntsman. The Rupert Sanders-directed film has Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron ready to star. Also, I’ve heard Universal is in talks with Hossein Amini to come aboard and do some script work on a project slated to begin production mid-September.

Whether Jackman accepts is unclear. Jackman would obviously have to be paid a premium to pump up the star power of a film that will  reach theaters after its rival, Relativity Media’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. That film has Julia Roberts playing the evil queen, but unproven thesps Armie Hammer and Lily Collins in the leads. Clearly, Jackman’s priority is his signature  razor-clawed X-Men mutant hero. He has been very hands on developing The Wolverine with screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, and he himself drafted Darren Aronofsky, who exited earlier this month. Jackman and the studio are just getting started on finding a replacement. I’ve heard names like Duncan Jones, director of the well-reviewed Source Code, and David Slade, the Twilight Saga: Eclipse helmer who was in the mix before Aronofsky got hired. Read More »

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Armie Hammer Set To Play Prince & Saoirse Ronan In Talks For Relativity’s Snow White

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Relativity Media has confirmed Armie Hammer. Release is below.

EXCLUSIVE, 9:58 AM: Saoirse Ronan could be cast opposite Armie Hammer in Relativity’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White that’s an revisionist adult retelling of the fairy tale from director Tarsem Singh. Armie Hammer, fresh off The Social Network, has closed a deal to play Prince Andrew Alcott in the pic. But Ronan (Atonement, and the upcoming Hanna) is still only “in discussions” for the title role. Julia Roberts already has been cast. It’s worth noting that Relativity plans to be in production first for a June 29th, 2012, release before Universal’s Snow White And The Huntsman starring Twilight saga superstar Kristen Stewart gets going and comes out December 21, 2012. Supposedly, Viggo Mortensen is shaky in that version.

(Beverly Hills, CA) March 26, 2011 – Relativity Media has closed a deal with The Social Network breakthrough star Armie Hammer to play Prince Andrew Alcott in its upcoming untitled Snow White feature, based on the Brothers Grimm story, directed by Tarsem Singh (Immortals, The Cell).

Hammer joins Oscar®-winner Julia Roberts who was previously announced in the role of the Queen. Pre-production has begun, and principal photography will start in May. The theatrical release date is set for June 29, 2012.

Relativity’s Snow White, a retelling of one of the most beloved fables of all-time, will eschew the traditional story in

Read More »

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TOLDJA! Kristen Stewart Closing ‘Snow White’ Deal

Mike Fleming

Deadline was first to tell you in January that despite Universal Pictures’ testing of young actresses, Twilight Saga’s Kristen Stewart had materialized as a likely candidate to play the lead role in  the Rupert Sanders-directed Snow White and the Hunstman. Now, Palek Patel, who’s producing with Joe Roth, has tweeted that she’s in final negotiations to star with Charlize Theron and Viggo Mortensen in the rebooted fairy tale that’s going head to head with Relativity Media’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, which will star Julia Roberts. Gersh-repped  Stewart will complete production on the final Twilight installment at the end of April, and will shoot Snow White in August.

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Will Kristen Stewart Follow Viggo Mortensen Into ‘Snow White And The Huntsman?’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: With word circulating that Viggo Mortensen is in talks to play one of the title characters in the Rupert Sanders-directed Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal Pictures, will Twilight Saga‘s Kristen Stewart end up with playing Snow White? Though the studio has been testing young actresses and no one is set, there are persistent rumors that Stewart looms large as a potential lead. Mortensen surfaces in the lead of that movie in a role that had been rumored for Michael Fassbender. But Fassbender never had an offer and he committed to the Ridley Scott-directed Prometheus with Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron. Ironically, Theron is also starring in Huntsmen as the Evil Queen. Stewart is repped by Gersh. Stay tuned…

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‘Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick joins ‘J. Edgar’

Mike Fleming

Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick has landed a major supporting role in J. Edgar, the Clint Eastwood-directed drama about manipulative FBI director J. Edgar Hoover that stars Leonardo DiCaprio. At the same time, Charlize Theron will not be playing the role of Helen Gandy, as was rumored. She’s signing on for Snow White and the Huntsman at Universal and Eastwood is now looking at Naomi Watts and Amy Adams as possibles for the Gandy role. As for Westwick, the British actor will play a clean cut operative with writing skill. Once Hoover discovers he can write, he conscripts Agent Smith to write Hoover’s biography, until Smith gets a little too close to the truth. The film’s produced by Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment and Eastwood’s Malpaso. The Social Network‘s Armie Hammer also signed on to play Hoover’s assistant and secret lover Clyde Tolson.

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Dueling Snow White Films Target Charlize Theron And Julia Roberts As Mean Queens

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: An intriguing tale of rival Snow White is unfolding between Universal Pictures and Relativity Media. I’m told that Charlize Theron is hot and heavy in negotiations to play the Evil Queen in Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman (with Michael Fassbender the front-runner to play the woodsman). For its rival project The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, Relativity Media is courting Julia Roberts to play the Evil Queen. That film will be directed by Tarsem from a script by Melisa Wallack.

Universal is negotiating with Theron at the same time that she is reading the script for a key role in J. Edgar, the Clint Eastwood-directed film that will star Leonardo DiCaprio as FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover. The studio is moving quickly after paying $1.5 million against $3 million for the Evan Daughtery spec script that will be directed by Rupert Sanders.

The projects are very different, and both films are on the fastest possible track. It will be interesting to see if both fairy tales have happy endings.

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Tarsem Singh Signs On For ‘Snow White’

By | Monday November 1, 2010 @ 5:31pm PDT

Tarsem Singh will direct Snow White, it was announced on Monday. The film begins production in March. Singh is currently in post-production on The Immortals which opens November 11 from Universal.

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Universal Sets Film Slate Release Dates

Mike Fleming

Universal has locked in release dates for some of its most ambitious films hatched by the team of Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley. Add these to previously set releases that include The Fast and The Furious sequel Fast Five (June 10, 2011), Cowboys and Aliens (July 29, 2011), Tower Heist (November 4, 2011), Battleship (May 18, 2012) and Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (March 12, 2012). Here are the newly dated releases:

Larry Crowne, the Playtone production directed by and starring Tom Hanks and starring Hanks and Julia Roberts, will be released on Friday, July 1, 2011. Safe House, a Stuber production starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds and directed by Daniel Espinosa, will be released on Friday, February 10, 2012. Contraband, a Working Title production starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale and directed by Baltasar Kormakur, will be released on Friday, March 16, 2012. Untitled Judd Apatow, written, directed and produced by Judd Apatow, will be released on Friday, June 1, 2012. The Bourne Legacy, a Kennedy/Marshall and Captivate Entertainment production written and directed by Tony Gilroy, will be released on Friday, August 3, 2012. Ouija, a Hasbro Entertainment and Platinum Dunes production, will be released on Friday, November 9, 2012. 47 Ronin, a Stuber production starring Keanu Reeves and directed by Carl Rinsch, will be released on Wednesday, November 21, 2012. … Read More »

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Universal Aims At ‘Snow White & Huntsman’

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: I’m told that the deal being finalized will be worth $1.5 million against more than $3 million, easily making it one of the biggest spec deals of the year.

EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Universal Pictures is putting the finishing touches on a multi-million dollar deal for Snow White and the Huntsman, a revisionist take on the fairy tale scripted by Evan Daugherty and produced by Alice in Wonderland‘s Joe Roth. Attached to direct is Rupert Sanders, who has been on a short list for many plum studio jobs including The Hunger Games and All You Need Is Kill, based on his reel of stylishly-directed commercials Read More »

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Can Abe Lincoln And Snow White Stir Sluggish Spec Market?

Mike Fleming

After watching most of their summer sequels and branded pictures underwhelm audiences while original stabs like Inception and Despicable Me drew plaudits and profits, studios this week have a chance to get bold. I’m told that agencies have about 8  spec projects circulating. Two in particular have the town abuzz: a live action adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith macabre novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with Wanted helmer Timur Bekmambetov as its director and Tim Burton its producer; and Snow White and the Huntsman, a revisionist take on the fairy tale scripted by Evan Daugherty and produced by Alice in Wonderland‘s Joe Roth. Attached to direct is Rupert Sanders, who has been on a short list for many plum studio jobs including The Hunger Games and All You Need Is Kill, based on his reel of stylishly-directed commercials that include Microsoft’s Halo. Now, some studios claim they are out of development money and all of them have grown accustomed to making conservative spending decisions, but my bet is they will make an exception here and that both of these will sell in big deals possibly before the week is out. Word is both potential tent poles have offers already.

The Abe Lincoln yarn has had heat on it since Burton and Bekmambetov used their own money to option the book earlier this year. I’m told that it’s a large canvas re-imagining of … Read More »

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