With about two weeks to go before kickoff, the Cannes Film Festival has announced the jury members who will make up this year’s main panel. Supporting president Jane Campion will be four men and four women, another example of this year’s (unofficial) emphasis on female filmmakers. The world cinema “luminaries” include French actress and former Bond Girl Carole Bouquet; festival habituée Sofia Coppola, whose The Bling Ring opened the Un Certain Regard sidebar last year; Iranian actress Lelia Hatami (A Separation); Korean actress Do-yeon Jeon, winner of the 2007 Cannes Best Actress prize; American actor Willem Dafoe; Mexican filmmaker Gael Garcia Bernal; Chinese filmmaker Zhangke Jia, who won the screenplay award for last year’s A Touch Of Sin; and 2011 Cannes directing prize winner Nicolas Winding Refn. The jury will judge the 18 films in Competition with awards to be handed out May 24. The festival runs May 14-25.
EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Coppola is negotiating to direct The Little Mermaid, a live-action version of the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale for Universal Pictures and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Caroline Thompson of Edward Scissorhands fame is rewriting the script, about the mermaid willing to make a Faustian bargain to live on land after she falls in love. Previous drafts were done by Fifty Shades Of Grey scribe Kelly Marcel and Shame scribe Abi Morgan, and Joe Wright was at one time eyeing this to direct.
The intention is to move quickly. This is a departure for Coppola in that her projects are usually focused on adult themes. She’s got kids and it wouldn’t be shocking if she wanted to please them with a movie they can see and understand. Working Title is currently in production on Everest, the drama about the climbing disaster. The director is repped by ICM Partners and attorney Barry Hirsch. ICM also reps Thompson. Coppola last helmed The Bling Ring.
EXCLUSIVE: American Zoetrope has acquired screen rights to Alysia Abbott’s Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, with Sofia Coppola set to adapt it with Andrew Durham. She will produce with Roman Coppola. The memoir was published by W. W. Norton & Co last June. The book is a coming of age story set against San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene in the 1970s and ’80s, both before and after the AIDS epidemic, a crisis that would later claim the life of Abbott’s father, Steve Abbott, a widowed poet and gay activist.
“I love the book Fairyland; it’s a sweet and unique love story of a girl and her dad, both growing up together in 1970′s San Francisco,” Coppola said. “I think it will make an engaging and touching movie on a subject I’ve never seen before.”
Said the author: “I’m delighted that Sofia Coppola and Zoetrope are going to create the film version of Fairyland. Sofia’s understanding of the feminine perspective and the artistic vision that she shares with Andrew Durham make them ideal partners to make this movie. I could not be happier.”
Abbot is repped by Gersh’s Brandy Rivers, attorney David Davoli and David Patterson at Foundry Literary + Media. Zoetrope was represented by ICM Partners and attorneys Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof + Fishman.
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Some said that opening opposite a juggernaut like Man Of Steel would be box office suicide, but not everyone went for the obligatory tentpole. After a splash earlier this year with Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers ($263K opening, 3 theaters in March) A24 once again found box office gold with youth gone awry formula, this time via Sofia Coppola‘s The Bling Ring. The Cannes Un Certain Regard debut opened in just five theaters, grossing $210K. The distributor was clearly pleased, noting that Bling is Coppola’s highest opening since Oscar-winning Lost In Translation. Said A24 Sunday: “Sofia Coppola’s latest and greatest has certainly entered the zeitgeist and we look forward to capitalizing on this great success as we expand nationwide next weekend. It is the highest opening for a Sofia Coppola film since Lost in Translation and played to sold-out crowds in NY and LA on Friday and Saturday with the highest per screen average of the weekend.”
Sofia Coppola‘s teen crime caper The Bling Ring will make its North American debut at the 39th Seattle International Film Festival after world-premiering at Cannes. The A24 release opens June 14. SIFF is the most highly-attended film festival in the US and runs May 16-June 9. This year’s program screens 447 films and launches its new African Pictures Program highlighting films from indigenous African filmmakers, made possible by a multi-year grant from the Academy. Hit the fest’s website for the full line-up.
Sofia Coppola‘s The Bling Ring has been tapped to open the Un Certain Regard section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival on May 16. The pic had been thought to be a potential competition entry; Un Certain Regard is part of the festival lineup but its films are not eligible for the Palme d’Or race. Danish director Thomas Vinterberg has been named the sidebar’s jury president. Bling Ring stars Emma Watson, Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga, Gavin Rossdale and Paris Hilton in the story about a group of young burglars who broke into the homes of celebrities including Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom and Hilton in 2008-2009. It’s based on the Vanity Fair article “The Suspects Wore Louboutins”, by Nancy Jo Sales. A24 picked up U.S. rights and will release it in the U.S. on June 14. It will be released in France on June 5, a couple weeks after Cannes concludes. The full lineup is being announced tomorrow morning in Paris.
Sofia Coppola‘s The Bling Ring recently got a June 14 domestic release date from distributor A24, which acquired the film in January. Before that, Pathé releases in France on June 5 (there’s also buzz about a potential slot at May’s Cannes Film Festival). Emma Watson stars with Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga, Gavin Rossdale and Paris Hilton in the story about a group of young burglars who broke into the homes of celebrities including Rachel Bilson, Orlando Bloom and Hilton herself in 2008 and 2009. It’s based on the Vanity Fair article The Suspects Wore Louboutins, by Nancy Jo Sales. Here’s the teaser trailer:
It has been a good two weeks for the Pfister clan. Shortly after renowned cinematographer Wally Pfister was set to make his feature directing debut on an untitled film for Alcon Entertainment, his daughter Claire Julien was set by Sofia Coppola to join the ensemble of her new film The Bling Ring, which stars Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga and Leslie Mann. Shooting starts next week in LA. Julien joins fellow newcomers Israel Broussard, Katie Chang and Georgia Rock in the project based on real events surrounding a group of celebrity-obsessed teens who looted nearly $3 million in personal property from the homes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom between 2008-2009.
Coppola is directing her script, and producing alongside brother Roman Coppola and Youree Henley. Julien will next be seen playing a small role in The Dark Knight Rises. Pfister has been cinematographer on all of Chris Nolan’s Batfilms, and Pfister won the Oscar for his work on Inception. She’s repped by Eric Skinner, one of the eight ICM coordinators upped to agent status recently. ICM also reps Pfister.
Emma Watson will lead an ensemble cast in the latest from Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola. The Bling Ring is inspired by real events in which a group of teens engage in a string of celebrity burglaries.
Bumble Ward, who halted her career as a personal publicist to take up creative writing in 2005, is in negotiations to head up film publicity at 20th Century Fox, I’m told. She would replace Carol Sewell and report to Oren Aviv and Tony Sella. When Ward stepped away from the PR game, it was a shock. At the time she shuttered the 10-year old firm she built after coming to Hollywood from London in 1987, Ward had a list of clients to die for — repping Quentin Tarantino, Sofia Coppola, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Marc Forster, Tony Scott, Stephen Gaghan, James Mangold, Mira Nair, Tim Burton and Paul Thomas Anderson. She also had a thriving Oscar-season business. I could not get a confirmation from Fox, but I believe this will all go down soon.
The Italian press has criticised the Venice jury president for handing out two major awards to his friends: his ex-girlfriend Sofia Coppola who received the top Golden Lion award, and his mentor Monte Hellman who was given a special career award. Paolo Mereghetti, film critic for Italian daily Corriere della Sera, wrote this morning that “the [jury] presidency of Quentin Tarantino runs the risk of being the most obvious conflict of interest, given that Somewhere and [Hellman’s] Road to Nowhere seemed charming and intriguing but nothing more”. The London critics weren’t particularly wowed when they reviewed Somewhere after its Venice premiere. “For all the similarities, this does not have the brilliant seriocomic moments of Lost In Translation. If that was her hit single, then this is the B-side,” said the Guardian. The London Evening Standard said the film lacked drama. Tarantino has rejected suggestions of awarding his friends. “I wasn’t going to let anything like that affect me at all,” he told reporters after the awards ceremony. “I was just going to literally respond to the film. There was no me steering any direction.” Tarantino said Coppola’s award had been a unanimous jury decision. “It enchanted us from the first,” said Tarantino, “Being her friend didn’t affect me or make me sway the jury in any way. The other members of the jury don’t know her at all. They just loved the film. We kept coming back to it, as one …
BREAKING NEWS: The Sofia Coppola-directed Somewhere has won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The film, which stars Stephen Dorff, Michelle Monaghan, and Benicio Del Toro, won by unanimous decison of a jury headed by Quentin Tarantino. Focus Features releases the film in the U.S. Here’s the full list of winners:
WINNERS OF THE 67TH VENICE FILM FESTIVAL
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION JURY
Somewhere – Sofia Coppola (U.S.)
The Last Circus “Balada triste de trompeta” – Alex de la Iglesia (Spain, France)
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Essential Killing – Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland, Norway, Hungary, Ireland)
Vincent Gallo – Essential Killing
Ariane Labed – Attenberg (Greece)
MARCELLO MASTROIANNI PRIZE FOR YOUNG PERFORMER
Mila Kunis – Black Swan (U.S.)
Alex de le Iglesia – The Last Circus “Balada triste de trompeta” (Spain, France)
TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTION — Best Cinematography
Mikhail Krichman - Silent Souls “Aleksei Fedorchenko (Russia)
SPECIAL LION (FOR THE OVERALL BODY OF HIS WORK)
Monte Hellman (U.S.)
LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS LION OF THE FUTURE
Majority – by Seren Yuce (Turkey)
Verano De Goliat – Nicolas Pereda (Mexico, Canada)
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE FOR FEATURE FILMS
The Forgotten Space – Noel Burch, Allan Sekula (The Netherlands, Austria)
Coming Attractions – Peter Tscherkassy (Austria)
MEDIUM LENGTH FILM
Out – Roee Rosen (Israel)
Jean Gentil – Laura Guzman and Israel Cardenas (Dominican Republic, Mexico, Germany)
VENICE SHORT NOMINEE FOR THE EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS
The External World – David O’Reilly (Germany)
20 Cigarette – Aureliano Amadei (Italy)
L’Oreal Paris Prize
Vittoria Puccini (Italy)
JAEGER–LECOULTRE GLORY TO THE FILMMAKER AWARD
Mani Ratnam (India)
Persol 3-D Prize for most creative 3D film …
The director’s fourth film sees her back in Lost in Translation mode rather than the camp period drama of Marie Antoinette, agree London critics. This time it’s Stephen Dorff rather than Bill Murray who’s playing an actor living an affectless life in a flat, blank hotel room. “For all the similarities, this does not have the brilliant seriocomic moments of Lost In Translation. If that was her hit single, then this is the B-side,” says the Guardian. The London Evening Standard says the film has no dramatic moments. Critic Derek Malcolm thinks Somewhere may last in the memory a little longer than Marie Antoinette, if not quite as long as her breakthrough second film.
New movies from Sofia Coppola, Darren Aronofsky, Vincent Gallo and Julian Schnabel will be slugging it out on the Lido. This year’s Venice Film Festival will take place September 1-11. Twenty two films will be competing for the Golden Lion. Among the name European and Asian directors are Germany’s Tom Tykwer and Japanese directors Takashi Miike and Anh Hung Tran. Terrance Malick’s The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, was expected to be In Competition too. Venice says that one more title will be added to the line-up on September 6.
Movies screening Out of Competition include Robert Rodriquez’s Machete, Ben Affleck’s The Town and his brother Casey Affleck’s Joaquin Phoenix documentary I’m Still Here.
13 Assassins, Takashi Miike, Japan
Attenberg, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece
Barney’s Version, Richard J. Lewis, Canada/Italy
Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky, USA
Black Venus, Abdellatif Kechiche, France
Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame, Tsui Hark, China
Happy Few, Antony Cordier, France
Meek’s Cutoff, Kelly Reichardt, USA
Miral, Julian Schnabel, USA/France/Italy/Israel
Noi Credevamo, Mario Martone, Italy
Norwegian Wood, Anh Hung Tran, Japan
La Passione, Carlo Mazzacurati, Italy
La Pecora Nera, Ascanio Celestini, Italy
Post Mortem, Pablo Lerrain, Chile
Potiche, Francois Ozon, France
Promises Written in Water, Vincent Gallo, USA
Road to Nowhere, Monte Hellman, USA
A Sad Trumpet Ballad, Álex de la Iglesia, Spain
Silent Souls, Aleksei Fedorchenko, Russia
The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Saverio Costanzo, Italy
Somewhere, Sofia Coppola, USA
Three, Tom Tykwer, Germany