Sundance Channel has assembled the international cast of its eight-part miniseries The Honourable Woman starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and directed by Hugo Blick. Joining Gyllenhaal is Stephen Rea (The Shadow Line) as Hugh Hayden-Hoyle — a top MI6 spy on the verge of retirement, digging deep into the family of Nessa Stein (Gyllenhaal). His bitter ex-wife Anjelica is played by Lindsay Duncan (The Hollow Crown). Janet McTeer (Damages) plays the Head of MI6 Julia Walsh, who has a personal hold over Hayden-Hoyle (Rea).
After hooking up on three titles at the EFM in Berlin, Magnolia Pictures has closed yet another deal on a film from Scandinavian sales outfit TrustNordisk. Roger Gual’s Spanish ensemble comedy Tasting Menu has been acquired by the company for all rights in the U.S. while Vendetta Film has taken Australia and New Zealand. The movie follows a couple who book a table at the best restaurant in the world. But by the time the reservation rolls around, they’ve already been separated for a year. As it’s the last night before the culinary gem closes forever, they decide they can’t miss the unique event and meet at the restaurant (which sounds an awful lot like Ferran Adria’s El Bulli which shuttered in 2011). Stephen Rea, Fionnula Flanagan, Claudia Bassols, Jan Cornet and Togo Igawa star. Producer is David Matamoros for Zentropa International Spain and Subotica Limited. Executive producers are Peter Garde and Peter Aalbæk Jensen. The film’s Spanish release is set for June 14. Click over for the trailer:
BREAKING: Julia Stiles, Scott Speedman and Stephen Rea are starring in Out Of The Dark, a supernatural thriller just getting underway in Bogota, Colombia under Spanish helmer Lluis Quilez. Participant Media is backing with Image Nation and Colombia’s Dynamo and Spain’s Apaches Entertainment. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King and Nick Spicer of XYZ Films serve as executive producers. Alex & David Pastor and Javier Gullón wrote the script, about an American couple, Sarah and Paul Harriman, who move to Colombia with their young daughter, Hannah, to take over the manufacturing business owned by Sarah’s father, and soon realize that the house they’ve moved into is haunted.
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Blackthorn, a Western about the final days of Butch Cassidy. Pic stars Sam Shepard, Stephen Rea, Eduardo Noriega and Nicolaj Coster-Waldau. Mateo Gil directed it from script by Miguel Barros. Ibon Cormenzana and Andres Santana produced. Pic premiered last week in downtown Manhattan and will debut in the Market at Cannes next month.
EXCLUSIVE: Kurtwood Smith will co-star on CBS’ midseason drama series Chaos. He is set for the regular role of Director Higgins, which was played in the pilot by Stephen Rea. As part of CBS’ midseason series order to the 20th Century Fox TV-produced project in July, the two sides decided to recast the part. Chaos centers on rookie CIA Operative Rick Martinez (Freddy Rodriguez) who is forced to spy on his dangerously unpredictable new team members in the ODS (Office of Disruptive Services), facing the possibility that they’ll betray and abandon him in hostile territory.
The Isle of Man-based equity investor has announced its first TV drama, a six-part thriller for the BBC. Until now CinemaNX has invested in features, covering up to 100% of the budget. Company Pictures (Skins) is making The Shadow Line, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) and Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who). Stephen Rea and Anthony Sher also feature. The writer/director is Hugo Blick (Marion and Geoff), who also produces. Company is making the conspiracy thriller with Blick’s regular producer Baby Cow. The Shadow Line will screen in 2011.
CinemaNX is always the lead investor in projects, which must shoot a minimum of 50% of their schedule in this small island off Liverpool. Ecosse Films is currently making romantic comedy The Decoy Bride on the Isle of Man, starring David Tennant, another ex-Doctor Who.
It’s also been releasing its own features through a tie-up with UK cinema chain Vue. Two features have been self-released this way, Me and Orson Welles and The Disappearance of Alice Creed. Next up for distribution are Chico and Rita and Albatross. It is also editing 3D motorcycling documentary TT3D about the famous Isle of Man TT race.
Other UK financiers tell me they cannot understand how CinemaNX keeps funding films when features like Me and Orson Welles and The Disappearance of Alice Creed do so poorly at the UK box office. However, I’m told that Orson Welles has washed its face, while The Disappearance of Alice Creed has been a …