The Way, Way Back is the coming-of-age story of a 14-year-old introvert who spends a difficult summer vacation with his single mom, her not so warm and fuzzy boyfriend and his daughter. Having a hard time fitting in, the teen finds unlikely friendships with the prickly manager and the misfit workers at a run down water park. Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph and Liam James star in the pic directed and scripted by Oscar-winning The Descendants scribes Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. Fox Searchlight won a nearly $10 million bidding war for the film in one of the most spirited auctions in recent memory at Sundance. It’s set for release July 5th. Check out the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: After recently co-starring together in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Steve Carell and James Gandolfini are reuniting for another comedic movie, this time on TV. Carell and Gandolfini are set to star and executive produce HBO Films‘ Bone Wars. The project, now in development, is based on the real-life Bone Wars (aka the Great Dinosaur Rush) between Edward Drinker Cope of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and Othniel Charles Marsh of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale. Set during the post-Civil War birth of American science, the film is a sophisticated comedy about one of history’s most notorious feuds — the great dinosaur fossil race between paleontologists Marsh (Gandolfini) and Cope (Carell) — a decades-long competition that led to the discovery of more than 160 dinosaurs and their mutual downward spiral.
Search is underway for a writer to pen Bone Wars, which is executive produced by former Sopranos star Gandolfini and Alexandra Ryan of Gandolfini’s Attaboy Prods. and The Office alum Carell and Thom Hinkle of Carell’s Carousel Television. Gandolfini and his Attaboy banner have had constant presence at HBO since the end of The Sopranos. He developed a few projects including the original movie …
EXCLUSIVE: The Warner Bros comedy Mail Order Groom has been pushed to next year. The film, which will re-team Date Night stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell, has been postponed because of scheduling conflicts with other film commitments Fey and Carell have. Fey will next star for Warner Bros in This Is Where I Leave You, the adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel that Shawn Levy will direct in May. She has been filming The Muppets…Again! for Disney.
Carell will next star in Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book that Miguel Arteta just committed to direct for Walt Disney. Carell is currently reprising his role as weatherman Brick Tamland in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. He and Fey will return to Mail Order Groom in 2014.
Miguel Arteta Will Helm Disney’s ‘Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ With Steve Carell
EXCLUSIVE: Disney is in talks with Miguel Arteta to replace Lisa Cholodenko as the director of its live-action adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. You might recall that late last month, The Kids Are All Right helmer Cholodenko stepped out as director. She wrote the script with Rob Lieber, and Disney has Steve Carell attached to play Alexander’s dad. Shawn Levy is producing through his 21 Laps banner along with Lisa Henson and Dan Levine. Production will begin in the fall.
EXCLUSIVE: It’s not a great day for Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day at Disney. The Kids Are All Right helmer Lisa Cholodenko, who has long been working on the project, has stepped out and decided not to direct it. The good news is that Disney still has Steve Carell attached to play Alexander’s dad, and the studio is still gearing up to make the movie this fall. So it means a good job for a director and Disney has already started searching.
Disney signed on to the project last fall after Fox decided not to make the adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book. The film has a script by Cholodenko and Rob Lieber, with Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps producing with Lisa Henson.
This is one of the more entertaining and humorous of the yarns you read endlessly to your kids at night. Alexander starts a wretched day with the realization that the gum he fell asleep chewing is now hopelessly tangled in his hair, and things get worse from there, to the point he threatens to chuck it all and move to Australia. Here’s hoping it makes it to the screen.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has set David Flebotte to rewrite its untitled FBI Wedding comedy, the one that has Steve Carell attached to star and his Carousel Productions partners Charlie Hartsock and Vance Degeneres producing with Sparkler Entertainment’s Charles Segers and Landscape Entertainment’s Bob Cooper. The scribe takes over a script originated by Phil Alden Robinson. It’s in the vein of Stakeout and My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Universal production veep Kristin Lowe will oversee the comedy. Flebotte is represented by CAA and attorney Philip Klein. Carell and his Carousel cohorts produced The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which New Line opens March 15. He’s repped by WME, Media Four’s Steve Sauer and attorneys Sam Fischer and Bryan Wolf.
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
The Actors Stories speeches that set the stage for each Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony—unofficially referred to as the “I’m An Actor” speeches—have become one of the most anticipated elements of the awards show. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable:
“My first memory of wanting to be an actor came when I saw my mother play the title role in Evita. I watched her die on stage and come back to life in time for the applause, and I thought, Hi-diddly-dee. My name is Anne Hathaway, and I’m an actor”.
“I performed my first scene ever when I was 12 years old in the 7th grade at Birmingham High School. I was very shy, and I had no idea what I was doing, so I just flung myself off the cliff and felt like I was falling. I’ve been falling ever since. I think that’s kind of what it is, informed falling. I’m Sally Field, and I’m an actor”.
The Office exec producer Greg Daniels announced at TCA last week that Steve Carell would not make a re-appearance in the show’s last season or the final episode and Carell explained why in a recent interview with Access Hollywood. “I just didn’t think it was right for the character, because that character had had an arc within the story and kind of grew and sort of evolved past the idea of the documentary,” Carell told Access Hollywood’s Tim Vincent. Carell said he does plan to visit the set, though, before its nine-season run ends. “I’m really good friends with everybody on the cast and with [executive producer] Greg Daniels and I want to go back to say, ‘Hi,’ certainly, before it all ends, but I just thought, in terms of the character, it didn’t make sense,” he said. Carell made his comments at Sundance where he was promoting his new film The Way, Way Back.
UPDATE: SUNDANCE DEAL PRECEDENT PART 2 – Fox Searchlight Confirms ‘The Way, Way Back’ Deal For Nearly $10 Million
UPDATE, 10:19 AM: Fox Searchlight confirms that it has closed the deal on The Way, Way Back, saying it’s for just under $10 million. Since I was up all night writing cross-eyed to break the story hours ago, I would rather not repeat myself, so here is the early-morning story again, and I’ll put the official press release below my original story break when it arrives (it’s there now).
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 4:09 AM: The Sundance Film Festival has emerged as one of the craziest for deal making in recent memory. After a wild all-night negotiating session following a raucous premiere screening yesterday of The Way, Way Back, Fox Searchlight has emerged as the frontrunner to acquire domestic rights and several other territories. The price tag is around $10 million minimum guarantee, with a P&A and theatrical commitment.
Searchlight was among bidding distributors that include Lionsgate, FilmDistrict, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros. Buyers began mobilizing right after the film’s Monday 3:30 PM first screening at Eccles Theatre, and numerous sources have been telling me all night that this has been one of the most spirited auctions in recent Sundance memory.
By the time the deal gets closed this morning, it should also be just about the richest deal ever made at the festival, as the sale of additional foreign territories will raise the value of the deal even higher. The rabid pace of deal making and the high numbers are a surprise to me, because both buyers and sellers expected the films to go in low upfront deals. Then, the buyers started discovering an exceptional crop of films programmed by Sundance.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
It’s official. Greg Daniels, executive producer and showrunner of The Office, said at today’s TCA that Steve Carell would not make a re-appearance in the last season or the final episode of the show’s nine-season run. Daniels said that Carell “was very much of the opinion that the ‘Goodbye Michael’ episode and story arc leading up to it was the goodbye to the fans and the show”. This final season, the producer said, “is the goodbye that the rest of the show gets to have.”
Daniels said viewers should not expect every detail of 9 seasons to be wrapped up in the final episode, which does not yet have a completed script and is still at the table-read stage. He said next week’s episode is “the beginning of the end” of the 24-episode season. Daniels would not reveal any plot spoilers but said that one character is fired in Episode 15.
He added that the finale will be one hour and some series regulars and guest stars may return, including Mindy Kaling.
When he announced in August that the current ninth season of The Office will be the series’ last, developer/executive producer Greg Daniels was hopeful that the final season and especially the series finale would feature original central character Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell for The Office‘s first seven seasons.”We certainly wish Michael Scott would return,” Daniels said at the time. “But we’re not going to put pressure on Steve to write something only he could do.”
Today NBC boss Bob Greenblatt all but shut the door to that possibility. “We’re hopeful but I don’t think (Carell) will,” Greenblatt said after the NBC executive session. “He left in the way he wanted to leave, and he and Greg talked about it, and I don’t think he will. There’s maybe a little Hail Mary pass on a cameo, but I think the decision would be compromising his schedule.”
Steve Carell successfully made the transition from Daily Show corespondent to comedy series star with The Office. He is now getting behind another well-known Daily Show cast member, Jason Jones, in his foray into primetime. Steve Carell and Chris & Paul Weitz are executive producing an untitled comedy project for Fox written by and starring Jones.
The project, produced by 20th Century Fox, Carell’s Carousel Television and the Weitz Brothers’ Depth of Field, chronicles what happens to a successful single guy (Jones) in Manhattan who never wanted a family until his sister’s two kids are thrust upon him when she is called back to active duty. Jones, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, Carell, Carousel TV’s Thom Hinkle and Depth of Field’s Andrew Miano exec produce.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Disney is stepping up to make Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book that has Steve Carell attached to star and The Kids Are All Right writer-director Lisa Cholodenko helming a script she wrote with Rob Lieber. The film will be produced by Shawn Levy and Dan Levine for 21 Laps along with Lisa Henson.
The project became a free agent when 20th Century Fox put it in turnaround last month. Carell boarded the project last April. There was interest from Universal, Sony, MGM and Walden but Disney grabbed the live action project. Disney gets one of the more entertaining and humorous of the yarns you read endlessly to your kids at night. Alexander starts a wretched day with the realization that the gum he fell asleep chewing is now hopelessly tangled in his hair, and things get worse from there, to the point he threatens to chuck it all and move to Australia. Carell will play his dad.
EXCLUSIVE: Moneyball helmer Bennett Miller is putting together the final casting pieces for Foxcatcher, the Annapurna Pictures-funded drama that stars Steve Carell as paranoid schizophrenic heir Jon DuPont, who created a training center for wrestlers and murdered Olympic grappler Dave Schultz. That wrestler will be played by Mark Ruffalo, and Sienna Miller will play his wife, Nancy. Channing Tatum is playing Schultz’s brother, Mark, in the tragic tale.
Fox Puts In Turnaround Steve Carell-Starrer ‘Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a hot little property hitting the market. 20th Century Fox has put in turnaround its adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the one that has Steve Carell attached to star and The Kids Are All Right writer-director Lisa Cholodenko helming a script she wrote with Rob Lieber. Carell boarded the project last April. Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is producing.
The film is far along the development track, and it will be shopped immediately with those participants I hear. It is live-action, and I understand that Fox was uncomfortable with the budget. Carell is getting ready to star for Moneyball’s Bennett Miller in Foxcatcher, the story of paranoid schizophrenic heir John du Pont, who build a wrestling camp and wound up killing Olympic grappler Dave Schultz. In Alexander, Carell is aboard to play the boy’s father in a tale that is one of the more entertaining and humorous of the yarns you read endlessly to your kids at night. Alexander starts a wretched day with the realization that the gum he fell asleep chewing is now hopelessly tangled in his hair, and things get worse from there, to the point he threatens
EXCLUSIVE: Justin Theroux has been set to rewrite and direct Swear To God, a Warner Bros comedy that will star Will Ferrell and Steve Carell. They are looking to get this one into production next July. Gary Sanchez is producing.
Theroux, who scripted Tropic Thunder and who wrote with an eye to direct Zoolander 2, will helm a two-hander comedy in which Ferrell will play a narcissistic hedge fund manager who thinks he has seen God. Ferrell would make the film after he reprises local newscaster Ron Burgundy in the Anchorman sequel.
This is a surprise in that Warner Bros doesn’t usually spark to new directors, but they have embraced Theroux, who will be rewriting a script by Due Date scribes Alan Cohen and Alan Freedland. Adam McKay and Ferrell and Chris Henchy will produce this for Gary Sanchez. This comes as the label tomorrow releases the Jay Roach-directed The Campaign, starring Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis with Warner Bros.
Carell is just opening alongside Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs. He also stars in the Lorene Scafaria-directed Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, and has reprised voicing Gru in Despicable Me 2. He also stars opposite Jim Carrey in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Ferrell …
Today Sony Pictures is doing the unthinkable. It is breaking, on a wide release of 2500+ screens, a dialogue-driven adult comedy/drama about the sex life (or lack of it) of a long-married couple both in their 60′s. And in the middle of August no less!
Sure it stars Meryl Streep, a bona fide box office draw even at her age, but it’s highly unusual and somewhat risky business to go this wide with a movie that is clearly aimed at the much older audience who is slow to show up no matter what the attraction. The studio is opening on a Wednesday in order to build some good word of mouth and reviews for its first weekend where it must face more typical summer flicks like Universal’s The Bourne Legacy and Warner Bros. The Campaign. Currently it stands at a decent 77% fresh for reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, a good sign for a movie that would seem like it would be more indie-oriented fodder than summertime major studio fare.
With the August release though Sony is also getting a jump on awards season as this cast includes such Oscar favorites as 17- time nominee and 3- time winner Streep (most recently in February for The Iron Lady) as well as Supporting Actor winner Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive), along with a deadpan Steve Carell as their couples therapist who counsels them at a week-long retreat on how to put the sexual spark back into their marriage. Of course Streep tends to get Oscar noms for just showing up on the set, while Jones was last nominated for Best Actor for 2007′s In The Valley Of Elah, a bit of a surprise then since his film was a boxoffice non-starter that had largely been written off at that point indicating the Academy likes him, they really like him. Both stars are getting strong reviews so far. Whether the strategy works at the boxoffice for this very Academy-friendly fare (official Los Angeles Academy member screening is Sunday night at the Goldwyn) remains to be seen but producers Todd Black and Guymon Casady told me they are just hoping the audience turns out, and happy they decided to go the studio route even though that wasn’t initially the plan.
EXCLUSIVE: Max Winkler and Matt Spicer are on board for The Coward. The duo will co-write the adaptation of Nick Jones’ comic play about 18th century English aristocrats. Winkler will direct and Spicer will executive produce the Big Beach Films project. American Work’s Scot Armstrong and Ravi Nanden, along with Big Beach’s Mark Turtletaub and Peter Saraf, will produce. The duo, along with Jason Reitman, worked together on 2010’s Ceremony, starring Uma Thurman. Winkler has also been attached to direct a crime comedy with Steve Carell for Warner Bros. Both Winkler and Spicer are repped by CAA and Principato Young.
EXCLUSIVE: Steve Carell and 20th Century Fox are in early discussions for him to star in the live action adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The Kids Are All Right writer/director Lisa Cholodenko is directing the film. The script was written by Rob Lieber & Cholodenko.
I’m told that the role is Ben, Alexander’s dad. The book, one of the more entertaining and humorous of the yarns you read endlessly to your kids at night, concerns young Alexander, who starts a wretched day with the realization that the gum he fell asleep chewing is now hopelessly tangled in his hair, and things get worse from there, to the point he threatens to chuck it all and move to Australia. Carell has done well in animated children’s films, starting with Horton Hears A Who and then Despicable Me, about which a sequel is being developed. Carell’s repped by WME and Media Four. He next stars in Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World and Burt Wonderstone.