Keri Russell strays just a weensy bit from her badass Soviet spy character in FX’s The Americans for her latest film role. In the Sundance rom-com Austenland, she plays Jane, a single gal with a borderline-unhealthy Jane Austen obsession who’s looking for her very own Mr. Darcy. She books a pricey stay at the resort billed as “the world’s only immersive Austen experience,” but — having bought the lowest-level Austenland package — she is relegated to the servants’ quarters. Jane is determined, though: “An Austen heroine gets engaged by the end of the book,” she asserts. “That is what I am going to do.” J.J. Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Seymour also star in the pic directed by Jerusha Hess, who co-scripted with the source novel’s author Shannon Hale. Produced by (Twihard alert!) Stephenie Meyer, Gina Mingacci and Meghan Hibbett, the Sony Pictures Classics film opens August 16. The first trailer:
On its fourth day, the Sundance Film Festival is wall to wall with some of Hollywood’s best known actors and actresses — and we don’t mean the ones who show up just to party hop. While the festival can be a great launching pad for emerging filmmakers, Park City has never been shy about letting the already well known show their wares there too. It was created by Robert Redford after all. This year sees a number of famous faces and names get behind the camera with new films. As buyers begin to dig in, expect to see these marquee names generating some serious interest as they play out of their regular position. And then there’s the plethora of Oscar winners and nominees, blockbuster and TV stars and indie superstars in front of the camera — check out our comprehensive list below.
James Franco – Executive Producer, kink; Co-director, Interior. Leather Bar. - Actor, director, conceptual artist, grad student and failed Oscar host, Franco wears many hats. This year, he’s adding producer and co-director for two separate films for Sundance. Franco produced kink, a documentary directed by Christina Voros about the Internet’s biggest producer of BDSM. Franco also co-directed Interior. Leather Bar with Travis Matthews. The film seeks to re-create the 40 minutes of Gay S&M footage rumored to be cut from 1980’s Cruising staring Al Pacino to avoid an X rating. Sure the sexual subject matter of both films is similar but Franco’s ambition is wide ranging. Franco also makes an appearance in front of the camera in Interior. Leather Bar and Lovelace.
Alicia Keys – Executive Producer, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete - The multi-platinum singer/songwriter is no stranger to cinema. More than a few films feature her tunes on their soundtracks and Keys was in front of the camera in 2006’s Smokin’ Aces. However, this Sundance is Keys’ debut as a producer. Directed George Tillman Jr. and starring Skylan Brooks, Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson and Anthony Mackie, the coming of age film could be the start of a whole new career for Keys.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Director/Writer, Don Jon’s Addiction – He sings, he dances, he starred in The Dark Knight Rises and Looper last year, and now Gordon-Levitt slips into the director’s role on the comedy Don Jon’s Addiction. The actor’s directorial debut, which he also wrote the script for, stars Gordon-Levitt himself as a lady’s man who begins seeking a more fulfilling emotional life. Scarlett Jonansson, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson and Tony Danza co-star in the film.
Dave Grohl – Director/Producer, Sound City - No stranger to movie soundtracks, the Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer has now moved into the director’s chair with his debut documentary Sound City. Debuting early in the Festival, the film is about the famous Van Nuys studio where Nirvana, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns and Roses and others have recorded. Even before the Festival began, Gravitas Ventures acquired worldwide VOD to Grohl’s movie.
Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke – Writers, Before Midnight - This one’s a bit of a cheat because the duo are actually on both sides of the camera at this year’s Sundance. Premiering tonight, the Richard Linklater directed Before Midnight sees Delpy and Hawke return to their roles as Jesse and Celine from 1995’s Before Sunrise and 2004’s Before Sunset. The onscreen duo also retuned to their off screen roles as writers. Like Before Sunset, which was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay, Delpy and Hawke crafted Before Midnight’s script with Linklater. This year marks the second time the trio have premiered their tale of the perpetually unfulfilled lovers to Sundance –Before Sunrise debuted at the Festival in 1995.
Best known as the author of The Twilight Saga novels, Stephenie Meyer has brought the first feature from her Fickle Fish Films to the Sundance Film Festival this year. Based on Shannon Hale’s novel of the same name, Austenland focuses an obsessed Jane Austen fan’s search for love and visit to a theme park based on the famous author. Selected for the U.S. Dramatic competition, the comedy stars Keri Russell, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour and Bret McKenzie and marks the directorial debut of Napoleon Dynamite co-writer Jerusha Hess. Austenland premiered at the Festival on January 18 with a sold out screening yesterday and four more screenings planned, all of which are sold out too. A producer on all The Twilight Saga movies as well as the upcoming The Host, Meyer sat down with Deadline at Sundance to talk about producing a film not based on a book she wrote, adaptations and an Austenland sequel.
Deadline: How did Austenland come together as Fickle Fish’s first feature?
Stephenie Meyer: Austenland happened because years ago my good friend and author Shannon Hale sent me the manuscript for her book. I loved it obviously and I thought it read like a movie to me. You could see everything, it’s very visual. And I got halfway through and thought how much fun it would be to go and make it real. So I figured 10 years down the road, we’re going to go to England and film it ourselves. Which my partner Meghan Hibbett and I did but a little earlier than scheduled and a little more elaborately than we planned. I’ve always loved book adaptations. I don’t always love what comes out of it but I love the idea of it. Every time I read a book I’m casting it in my head. So producing for me started out as really cool hobby and Austenland was the perfect place to start.
One day in, the Sundance Film Festival is already packed with producers gauging audience reaction at screenings and meeting with potential distributors. As the sale today of Twenty Feet From Stardom to Radius/TWC shows, this is where the art of the deal becomes reality. This year’s festival sees some producing veterans return and some relative newcomers put their shingle out. Here are a few worth noting and watching both at Sundance and afterward.
Related: Mike Fleming’s Sundance 2013 Preview
Stephenie Meyer, Austenland: Though she’s been a producer on all the adaptations of her best-selling The Twilight Saga books, Meyer is branching out to other material this Sundance. Premiering today, Austenland is the first project from Meyer’s Fickle Fish production company. The Jerusha Hess-directed film is an adaption of Shannon Hale’s novel about an obsessed Jane Austen fan’s search for love and visit to a theme park based on the famous author. Meyer is producing with Gina Mingacci, and Robert Fernandez and Dan Levinson are executive producers.
With the tween-focused The Hunger Games opening imminently, Open Road is hoping to whet the appetite of that audience for another film in that vein, with the first teaser trailer from the adaptation of Twilight writer Stephenie Meyer‘s sci-fi novel. The Host stars Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, …
If Summit Entertainment is actually serious about a merger or a sale, the company has the benefit of wheeling and dealing while it is at a high-water mark. Summit announced today that The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1, flew past $500 million in global box office in just 12 days. The film is at $508 million today. It was released November 18 and single-handedly has brightened the overall box office picture. The film has generated $223 million domestic, making it one of only 12 films to reach $220 million in 10 days. Creatively, I thought the movie would have been much better had director Bill Condon finished Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn book in one movie. Let’s face it, the Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) wedding and subsequent pregnancy were sooooo drawn out, and nothing much happened. But then again, I am not a teenage girl or a Summit executive looking at another half-billion dollar haul once the second installment comes out next November 16.
Max Irons is getting the role of Jared in The Host, the adaptation of the science fiction novel by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer that will star Saoirse Ronan and be directed by Andrew Niccol, who wrote the script. This …
EXCLUSIVE: Actor Jake Abel is frontrunner to play one of the two male lead roles in The Host, the adaptation of the science fiction novel by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer that will star Saoirse Ronan and be directed by …
Los Angeles, CA August 1, 2011 – In an action that further communicates that those who steal images, video and other intellectual property will be identified and prosecuted globally, Summit Entertainment communicated today that it has identified the principal hacker who earlier this year stole unreleased materials from THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN which were then distributed on the internet. Civil actions in the United States and Argentina name Daiana Santia, along with others, as being involved in stealing photographs, unfinished images and video from both parts of the yet to be released THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN which first appeared on the internet of March 31 of this year. Criminal action in Argentina has also been filed.
The investigation, which utilized the services of Kroll Inc. and the law firm of Keats McFarland & Wilson LLP, spanned four continents (North America, South America, Europe and Australia) and has led to the town of Posadas in northern Argentina. It is believed that others may also be involved in the crime and thus the investigation is on-going.
A week after Deadline told you that upstart distributor Open Road had closed a splashy deal for the Andrew Niccol-directed adaptation of Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer’s scifi novel The Host, Open Road has confirmed the scoop. They’ve also dated the film for Easter weekend 2013 release, with the …