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 …
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.
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 …
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
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: 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 …