Turkey has increasingly put its footprint on scripted and non-scripted formats that can travel, with both drama The End and competition series Keep Your Light Shining selling to the U.S. in the past year. Global Agency, which handled the latter, has now sold its modern-day drama series 1,001 Nights into Uruguay via Canal 10 S.A.E.T.A TV, and to MundoFox for Hispanic audiences in the U.S. The series, originally titled Binbir Gece, previously sold to Chile where it has had strong ratings in primetime and has become the most successful import in the country’s history. The performance has opened the way for new negotiations in other countries in the region such as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. It previously aired in Turkey for three seasons on Kanal D and is also shown in more than 50 markets, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ’1,001 Nights’ Sells To U.S.; Spike Jonze Cancels Jerusalem Masterclass; Venice Adds Classics; More
He might not be the next Roger Ebert, but that didn’t stop futurist and artificial-intelligence pioneer Ray Kurzweil from giving Spike Jonze‘s Oscar-nominated and slightly satirical sci-fi dramedy Her a strongly positive review — on cinematic if not all technology grounds. “This is a breakthrough concept in cinematic futurism in the way that The Matrix presented a realistic vision that virtual reality will ultimately be as real as, well, real reality,” Kurzweil writes in a review posted recently on his site KurzweilAI.net. Kurzweil, now Google’s director of engineering, is author of books such as The Singularity Is Near and The Age of Spiritual Machines and subject of the documentary Transcendent Man, all of which detail Kurzweil’s vision of a future when computer intelligence becomes self aware and merges more fully with human intelligence.
First-time Oscar nominee William Butler, from the Grammy-winning band Arcade Fire, who is nominated along with Owen Pallett for the score of Her, said the music for the movie morphed as the relationship became stronger between the two main characters, played by Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson. The film, directed by Spike Jonze, is an unusual love story about a man who is isolated after being separated from his wife and struggling to let go of that relationship and eventually becoming intimate with his interactive computer operating system. Both “people” are trying to figure out what it means to be human. Jonze shot Her in only 42 days, but the editing took 14 months. (Her also is nominated for Original Song, “The Moon Song” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig.)
Butler and Jonze are old friends and actually visited at Jonze’s home, at one point, while he was writing the screenplay. “He was working on the film for seven years,” said Butler. “So when we would be in New York, we would sometimes stay there. Spike and I had done a short film together in 2010 and 2011, Scenes From The Suburbs, so we had worked together …
Specialty Box Office: ‘Her’ Nabs $42K Per-Screen; Bollywood’s ‘Dhoom 3′ Sizzles; ‘The Past’ Coasts In Opening; ‘Llewyn Davis’ Still Faring Well
In its limited debut, Spike Jonze‘s Her opened on 6 screens and tallied $257,815 over 3 days averaging $42,969 per screen. The tech-themed drama-romance starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man in love with his Siri-esque operating system (Scarlett Johansson) jumped to $361,474 over 5 days, averaging $60,246 for WB which has Oscar hopes for Phoenix. And beyond the Hobbits and Ron Burgundy shenanigans it was a Bollywood weekend in the USA (and Canada) this weekend. Bollywood also bows to the franchise machine and it cashed in with Dhoom 3, which Yash Raj Films opened in 236 theaters in North America, grossing over $3.3M and averaging a solid $14K. America and India did not have a good week diplomatically as protests raged in the subcontinent after a diplomat was arrested in NYC. Yash Raj touted some exciting factoids about the release Sunday morning: Dhoom 3 had the highest opening day gross of any Indian movie in North America Highest opening weekend gross of any Indian movie in North America First Bollywood movie to do over $1 million on opening day. Only Bollywood movie to do more than $1 million on 2 consecutive days. “Our biggest strength has been that our audiences are so clued in that technically we just need to announce a date and they will be there for a film like this,” Yash Raj’s VP – Int’l Operations, Avtar Panesar said this week. It will roll out further in the coming weeks.
China also made a grand opening with Feng Xiaogang’s Personal Tailor, launching in 9 locations this weekend. It opened in 9 runs, growing $104K for an $11,555 PSA.
The ever-quirky National Board Of Review has crowned Her as the year’s Best Film and its helmer Spike Jonze as Best Director. It only adds to what is becoming a year without consensus — at least so far, after the New York Film Critics Circle named American Hustle their best film yesterday and the Gotham Awards chose Inside Llewyn Davis. The latter won Best Screenplay from NBR, but there was no mention of Hustle anywhere on its list this morning (see the full list of winners below). Also largely ignored were three films most pundits put at the top of their Oscar frontrunners: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Captain Phillips. The latter was completely dissed and 12 Years and Gravity mentioned only in NBR’s Top Ten list, but NO individual awards other than a technical citation for Gravity’s “creative innovation”.
Unlike last year when NBR and NYFCC agreed on Zero Dark Thirty as Best Pic and Director , this morning’s list was far apart. The groups’ only matches came for The Wind Rises in animation, Stories We Tell in Documentary and Fruitvale Station as best first film. NBR’s acting choices of Bruce Dern and Will Forte in Nebraska, Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks and Octavia Spencer for Fruitvale represented a completely different quartet than the NYFCC picks of Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Jennifer Lawrence. But for those who harbor Oscar hopes, don’t despair. The National Board of Review, which describes itself as “a select group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students”, has had a lousy track record in recent years of picking eventual Oscar winners. In the past five years only one of their Best Film picks — Slumdog Millionaire — and just two acting choices — Christopher Plummer and Penelope Cruz — went on to win Academy Awards. They haven’t had a Best Director in common with Oscar since Martin Scorsese for The Departed in 2005 — the same year they chose Letters From Iwo Jima as Best Film. Here is NBR’s full list of winners:
Spike Jonze, HER
Bruce Dern, NEBRASKA
Emma Thompson, SAVING MR. BANKS
Best Supporting Actor
Will Forte, NEBRASKA
Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, FRUITVALE STATION
Best Original Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Best Adapted Screenplay
Terence Winter, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Best Animated Feature
THE WIND RISES
After Warner Bros unveiled its first trailer for Spike Jonze‘s unconventional romantic drama in August, the studio made a strategic move to December and took it to the NYFF and Rome fests, collecting kudos for star Scarlett Johansson. But early awards hopes for Johansson’s voice-only performance as a Siri-like operating system that captivates her owner (Joaquin Phoenix) were muted by an HFPA ruling that it’s ineligible for contention at the Golden Globes. Check out a new trailer for Her, which opens December 18 in limited release and expands January 10:
The Contenders 2013: Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ Creative Team Talks About Challenges Of Getting “Sucked Into Joaquin Phoenix’s Universe” (Video)
The unique cinematic worlds of Spike Jonze would provide any behind the scenes wizard a unique challenge as evidenced in such films as Adaptation, Being John Malkovich or Where The Wild Things Are, but his latest film Her could be the most difficult to pull off. We have to believe that in the near-future Los Angeles Joaquin Phoenix’s love-struck character could actually fall head over heels in love with Samantha, his Operating System, a Siri-like voice played brilliantly by Scarlett Johansson. For cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema and costume designer Casey Storm the challenges were unique to say the least as they explained on the Warner Bros panel at Deadline’s THE CONTENDERS event.
The New York Film Festival closed Saturday night with the World Premiere of Spike Jonze‘s fourth feature, the irresistibly charming romantic fantasy Her, about a man who falls head over heels for his “operating system”. The studio held a simultaneous screening on the West Coast Saturday afternoon for L.A.-based critics and bloggers. Initial reaction was upbeat.
Whatever the December Warner Bros. release’s many attributes, its awards potential is yet to be determined. But I would say if it catches on with the Academy crowd at all, it could be poised to make Oscar history in at least one category. Scarlett Johansson, who poignantly voices Samantha the computer system that organizes Joaquin Phoenix‘s life and strikes up an intense and heartbreaking personal relationship with him, could possibly become the first solely voice-over performance to win an acting nomination. It’s never happened in the past that an actor, unseen on screen and strictly doing voice work has been able to nail a nomination from the Academy’s actors branch. But if ever it was going to happen this is the year, and Johansson’s is the performance. Her work (she replaced Samantha Morton) is exemplary. She’s also great in the current Don Jon as well. I am told by a Warner Bros. source working on the campaign that they have checked and the role is eligible. They plan to run her seriously for Best Supporting Actress and, if successful, will make …
The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Spike Jonze’s HER, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Scarlett Johansson will make its World Premiere as the Closing Night Gala presentation for the upcoming 51st New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13).
NYFF’s Director of Programming and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones said, “Like many people I’ve come to expect great and surprising things from Spike Jonze, but HER is something altogether new in cinema. To discuss even a little bit of the plot – let’s just say that it’s about lonely people and artificial intelligence – is to deprive first-time viewers of the opportunity of discovering it themselves. The tone is magical, the freedom of the narrative is breathtaking, Joaquin Phoenix continues to be one of the most adventurous actors in movies, Rooney Mara and Amy Adams are unforgettable, Scarlett Johansson’s voice will break your heart, and so will this impossibly delicate, funny, daring movie.”
Written and directed by Jonze, HER is set in Los Angeles, in the near future and follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice
Warner Bros. has dropped the first trailer for Spike Jonze‘s HER, about an introverted man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with an artificially intelligent operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Amy Adams and Rooney Mara also star in the pic written and directed by Jonze, which WB has set for a November 20 debut:
Spike Jonze wrote and directed Her, which stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Samantha Morton and Olivia Wilde. The film is about a guy who falls in love with the voice of a computer, a la the iPhone’s Siri. Warner Bros will open the pic November 20, 2013 in limited release, two days before fellow specialty pic Nebraska from Alexander Payne and Paramount, Disney’s Delivery Man and of course Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Her has been percolating for a while, with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures coming aboard to finance it in March 2011. Jonze’s last feature was 2009′s Where The Wild Things Are. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has international rights. Joining Jonze as producers on the film are Vincent Landay and Megan Ellison. Daniel Lupi and Ted Schipper will serve as executive producers.
EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has made a deal with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures for international rights on two untitled film projects that will be directed by Spike Jonze and David O Russell, respectively. As she often does with auteur fare, Ellison stepped up to fully fund both films, as she did with the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed The Master, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty.
Maurice Sendak, author of Where The Wild Things Are, died today after suffering a stroke Friday. He was 83. Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are was awarded a Caldecott Medal for best children’s book of 1964, and President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of the Arts in 1996. As well as his work as a writer and illustrator, Sendak was a television producer of series based on his work, such as Seven Little Monsters, George And Martha and Little Bear. Spike Jonze made Where The Wild Things Are into a feature film in 2009; Sendak was a producer on the film. The author was also the subject of the documentary Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait Of Maurice Sendak, directed by Jonze and Lance Bangs.
(Photo: Getty Images)
UPDATE: Sources tell me that the project that Morton, Adams and Mulligan and Phoenix are doing was written by Spike Jonze himself, and not Charlie Kaufman. The film is about a guy who falls in love with the voice of a computer, similar to the Siri feature on the new iPhone.
EXCLUSIVE: I am hearing that Samantha Morton, Amy Adams and Carey Mulligan are in discussions to star with Joaquin Phoenix in the untitled project that Spike Jonze will direct, with a script by his Being John Malkovich and Adaptation scribe Charlie Kaufman. It’s very difficult to get any confirmation on the project because the filmmaker is secretive as is the financier, Megan Ellison of Annapurna Pictures. Deadline was first to reveal the project when it was shopped early last year to financiers and Ellison took it off the table.
At the time, I’d heard the film is a satire about how world leaders gather to figure out all the seismic events that will take place in the worlds, from oil prices to wars that will be waged. The Principato-Young-repped Morton next stars in John Carter; the WME/Brillstein Entertainment Partners-repped Amy Adams next plays Lois Lane in Man of Steel and soon stars with Clint Eastwood and …
EXCLUSIVE: Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures is negotiating to acquire an untitled satire that will re-team screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze, the tandem behind the mind-benders Adaptation and Being John Malkovich. The project was pitched recently to financiers, and I’m told it’s a satire about how world leaders gather to figure out all the seismic events that will take place in the worlds, from oil prices to wars that will be waged. Ellison, the daughter of Oracle founder Larry Ellison and sister of Paramount-based financier-producer David Ellison, has become an active buyer of tastemaker film projects that include The Wettest County in the World and Cogan’s Trade, as well as one of the projects mobilizing on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. She bought the Wong Kar-Wai-directed martial arts pic Grandmasters, and was an executive producer on the Joel and Ethan Coen-directed True Grit, which became a Best Picture Oscar nominee.
It’s not the only Kaufman project in the mix. I’m told he’s looking to direct his script Frank Or Francis. The film chronicles a volatile back and forth between a film director (Frank) and an online blogger (Francis), who takes delight in berating his cinematic talent. The project’s at Sony Pictures for the moment, and names like Adaptation’s Meryl Streep being talked about for roles.
Jonze and Ellison are repped by CAA, Kaufman by WME.