Sky Atlantic Sets Steve Coogan For New Season Of ‘Mid Morning Matters’
After bringing his long-running Alan Partridge character to the big screen last year, Steve Coogan will return as the socially awkward North Norfolk digital radio DJ in a new season of Mid Morning Matters on the UK’s Sky Atlantic HD. Shooting has started on the six-part series that’s produced by Coogan’s Baby Cow. A 2015 airdate is planned. Along with the new episodes, Sky Atlantic has also ordered a one-hour documentary special hosted by Partridge. Before making his feature debut, Partridge, created in 1991 by Coogan and Armando Iannucci, returned to UK TV in June 2012 with two Sky Atlantic specials, Welcome To The Places Of My Life and Alan Partridge On Open Books With Martin Bryce. Coogan won a BAFTA as lead male in a comedy program for Places Of My Life, which was Sky Atlantic’s highest-rated comedy commission. Those programs were followed by a six-part special edition of the first season of Mid Morning Matters. The new series is written by Coogan, Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons and produced by Ted Dowd. Executive producers are Coogan and Henry Normal for Baby Cow Productions. Coogan last year was nominated with co-writer Jeff Pope for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Philomena. The pair won the BAFTA in the same category. Speaking as Partridge today, Coogan said: “I am both thrilled, humbled, gladdened and excited to be bringing Mid Morning Matters back to …
Global Showbiz Briefs: Steve Coogan’s ‘Mid Morning Matters’ Returning To Sky; ITV Orders WWII Drama ‘Jambusters’; More
Sky Atlantic Sets Steve Coogan For New Season Of ‘Mid Morning Matters’
Philomena‘s Steve Coogan takes his long-running character to the big screen in Alan Partridge, in which the TV and radio broadcaster finds himself in the middle of a hostage crisis at his radio station. Colm Meaney, Felicity Montagu, Simon Greenall, and Tim Key co-star in the film directed by Declan Lowney. Alan Partridge opened last summer in the UK as Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and will make its stateside bow via Magnolia on iTunes/On Demand February 27 and in theaters April 4. Check out the official trailer:
One of the highlights of Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip was a Michael Caine-off between stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. The duo is back again in Winterbottom’s The Trip To Italy, and so are the Caine impressions. The film just premiered in Sundance and will be released by IFC Films later this year. It will also air on the BBC in the UK. The previous film saw Coogan and Brydon play fictionalized versions of themselves on a restaurant tour of Northern England. In the follow-up, the pair sets off to Italy eating at some of the best gastronomic establishments and improvising along the way. This has been a strong year for Coogan who is nominated for an Oscar for co-writing and producing Best Picture nominee Philomena. The first Trip has a cult following and earned about $2M at the U.S. box office. Reviews out of Sundance have been strong and Coogan’s growing notoriety in the U.S. could help give the sequel a boost. Here’s a clip of Coogan and Brydon as they riff on Caine and the cast of The Dark Knight Rises.
EXCLUSIVE: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Stephen Frears, and author Martin Sixsmith (The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee) discuss the origins of Weinstein sleeper Philomena in the exclusive featurette below. Dench stars in the pic as Philomena Lee, an Irish woman who enlists the help of a writer (Coogan) in her search for the son that was taken away from her 50 years prior. Coogan and Jeff Pope won Best Screenplay honors at the Venice Film Festival and nominated for the Golden Globe. Philomena is also Globes-nominated for Best Actress (Dench) and Best Picture. Check it out:
Dame Judi Dench is poised to have a very happy new year. She is certainly no stranger to awards, but there could be more in her immediate future. She’s had 6 Oscar nominations and one win as 1998 Supporting Actress for an eight minute role in Shakespeare In Love. There are also 11 Golden Globe nominations and two wins. And then the British superstar can also boast of an astounding 25 BAFTA nominations and 10 wins split between her film and television work — the most recent coming for her final appearance as M opposite James Bond in 2012′s Skyfall. So what does she need another one for?
The fact is she’s back in awards contention in a big way again this season in Philomena, another signature role as Philomena Lee, a true life story of a woman who had to give up her young child for adoption in the Irish orphanage where she worked — only to search for him 50 years later and discover some startling truths along the way. She’s already racked up SAG, Globe and Critics Choice Movie Award nominations for the crowd-pleasing film (which also has a Best Drama Picture bid at the Globes too) and seems a sure thing for another go at the Oscars when nominations are announced January 16th. This would be her fifth nod (in addition to Mrs. Brown, Iris, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Notes On A Scandal) as actress in a leading role , quite a feat for a performer at any age but particularly one who just turned 79 years old earlier this month. A win would make her the second oldest ever (after Driving Miss Daisy’s Jessica Tandy) to nab the Best Actress Oscar.
One of the most anticipated films in the Venice competition, Stephen Frears’ Philomena blew a breath of fresh air onto the Lido this morning. Essentially a Judi Dench/Steve Coogan two-hander, it screened to laughs, tears and lots of applause – the latter both during and after the film. Following a series of intensely serious movies – some of which, like Gravity, have been very well-received – festgoers were still looking for a genuine crowd-pleaser. Although Philomena treats a very delicate subject matter, which resulted in the pulling out of a lot of hankies in the Sala Darsena, it’s also a very funny and heart-warming film. The Weinstein Co. won a bidding war for it in Cannes after Pathé screened a seven-minute reel for buyers.
Philomena was positioned to open here using a similar strategy to The Queen. Frears also directed that film which won Helen Mirren the Best Actress Volpi Cup, a screenwriting prize for Peter Morgan and the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI). It later garnered six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress which Mirren won. Philomena next heads to Toronto. An exec involved in the film recently told me they hoped to arrive at that festival “with a little bit of a reputation.” Given today’s reaction, that hope would appear fulfilled.
Wagner/Cuban Company’s Magnolia Pictures has picked up the UK comedy Alan Partridge, starring Steve Coogan in the long-running character he created over two decades ago. The Baby Cow/Studiocanal production directed by Declan Lowney is the character’s first feature film foray after numerous appearances in radio and TV. The film finds Partridge, a spoof of British sports reporters and presenters, at the center of a hostage situation when a disgruntled fellow DJ (Colm Meaney) loses his job and takes over their radio station. Pic was released in the UK earlier this month and will get a stateside premiere next month at the New York Film Festival. Magnolia is aiming for an early 2014 release. Alan Partridge is written by Rob Gibbons, Neil Gibbons, Coogan, Armando Iannucci and Peter Baynham. Kevin Loader and Henry Normal are producers, with Rob and Neil Gibbons, Iannucci, Danny Perkins, Joe Oppenheimer and Christine Langan executive producers. Magnolia SVP Acquisitions Dori Begley and Director of Acquisitions Peter Van Steemburg negotiated the deal with Studiocanal on behalf of the filmmakers.
Related: Hot Trailer: ‘Alan Partridge’
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Alan Partridge’ Bows To Social Media Pressure; John Woo Starts Work On Two-Part Epic Film; More
Social Media Campaign Nets ‘Alan Partridge’ Premiere For English Town
The people of Norwich, England, have won. After a Facebook and Twitter campaign to bring the premiere of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa to the town that’s the setting for the film, distributor StudioCanal and writer Armando Iannucci today announced it will indeed launch at Norwich’s Anglia Square on July 24. Steve Coogan plays the cult character whose fictional radio station, North Norfolk Digital, is located in Norwich. The movie will premiere at a lunchtime showing in Norwich before being screened later that evening in London’s Leicester Square. The official UK release is August 7. Click on the image at left to enlarge the note Iannucci tweeted from Partridge himself.
John Woo Begins Work On What Local Media Is Calling Chinese ‘Titanic’
Director John Woo has started production on his next helming effort, The Crossing. Beijing Galloping Horse is producing the war epic/disaster movie as a two-part feature. The film, set in 1940s Shanghai and Taiwan, revolves around three couples from different backgrounds whose lives are affected by the tide of history. It’s been dubbed by local media as the Chinese Titanic. The lead cast includes Zhang Ziyi, Takeshi Kaneshiro (House Of Flying Daggers), Huang Xiao Ming (The Banquet), Tong Dawei (The Flowers Of War) and Japan’s Masami Nagasawa. Veteran director Woo, whose U.S. titles include M-I:2 Mission: Impossible 2 and Face/Off, last helmed 2009′s Red Cliff II.
Here’s the first full trailer for Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. Steve Coogan stars as the eponymous radio host, a character he created with Veep‘s Armando Iannucci in 1991. The socially awkward Partridge is an iconic figure in Britain where the highly anticipated film bows via Studiocanal on August 7. Coogan and Iannucci penned the script with frequent Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Peter Baynham and Neil and Rob Gibbons. It sees Partridge’s Norwich, England radio station under siege and the host forced to act as negotiator between the police and the disgruntled employee who’s holding the station hostage. Sean Pertwee, Colm Meany and Anna Maxwell Martin also star. Declan Lowney directed.
For his follow-up to House, David Shore is bringing to US broadcast television another popular British comedy actor-comedian-writer to play the lead of a drama project. Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder) is set to topline Shore’s ABC legal drama pilot Doubt. The project, from Sony TV, centers on Vincent (Coogan), a former cop who’s now a cunning but charming low-rent lawyer who uses his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife. Doubt would mark the US series debut for Coogan, a popular TV actor in his native Britain, the way fellow UK comedy star Hugh Laurie was introduced to American television as the lead of Shore’s Fox drama House. This is Coogan’s second US pilot; in 2010, he teamed with Tropic Thunder cohorts Justin Theroux and Ben Stiller for HBO comedy pilot Documental. I hear Coogan, repped by 3 Arts, UK’s Independent and Rick Genow, had no interest in doing US broadcast TV but responded to Shore’s script.
Most British comedy returns after long absences fall flat — especially when their creators have sworn off bringing them back. That’s what Steve Coogan did before deciding instead to revive his cult BBC TV character Alan Partridge in the upcoming Baby Cow/Studiocanal pic. Coogan is raising his profile this year with Sundance hit The Look Of Love, Toronto debut What Maisie Knew and the Alan Partridge movie, now officially titled Alan Partridge Is In Alpha Papa. The meta-teaser below sees Partridge, Coogan’s maladroit Norfolk DJ, and cohorts try to come up with that title. The film picks up from last year’s specials that aired via Sky: Partridge’s digital radio station is taken over by a giant media corporation and he gets caught up in a siege of the building. No word on whether Coogan, who settled a phone-hacking case with the News Of The World, took inspiration from any real-life media giants. Studiocanal releases August 7 in the UK.
EFM Roundup: K5 Lands Rights To Tim Robbins’ ‘Man Under’, Political Thriller ‘The Lion’s Share’; WestEnd Secures Atom Bomb Drama ‘Midnight Sun’
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K5 International has acquired international rights to Man Under, which will be directed by and star Tim Robbins. Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Moretz co-star in the pic, about a Yonkers family swept up in New York’s art and high society scene after their picture is taken by a photographer whose tragic death raises her profile and that of her subjects. Ann Cherkis (The Secret) wrote the screenplay, and Alexandra Milchan through her EMJAG Prods, Scott Lambert of Film 360, and Aimée Peyronnet of Wild Child Films are producing. K5 is introducing Man Under to EFM buyers at the Berlin Film Festival; UTA Independent Film Group is repping North American rights. Robbins is represented by UTA and 3 Arts, Pfeiffer by CAA and Management 360, and Moretz by WME and 3 Arts.
K5 also has taken worldwide rights to the political thriller The Lion’s Share, to be directed by Nathan Morlando and star Jim Sturgess and Djimon Hounsou. It begins shooting in September and is the story of journalist Aaron Fletcher (Sturgess), who travels to Somalia to secure a career-making interview with highly dangerous pirate Samakab “Kab” Roble (Hounsou). The danger escalates for both men and the interview takes on new stakes as the journalist learns the only way out may be to deliver the head of a man who is both hero and criminal. Morlando and Allison Black co-wrote; Black and Genevieve Hofmeyr are producing. …
‘Everybody Dance Now’ Stumbles But Murdochs Keep Music Playing
Everybody Dance Now, a new Australian series hosted by Lachlan Murdoch’s wife Sarah Murdoch and featuring American “dance masters” Kelly Rowland and Jason Derülo, has stumbled badly on Network Ten, whose chairman is … Lachlan Murdoch. The Sunday night premiere averaged just 598,000 viewers against Nine’s debuting Big Brother and local crime series Underbelly: Badness. The audience dropped to 304,000 for the second episode on Monday night. Ten insists it’s sticking with the show produced by FremantleMedia Australia, although it’s been cut back to one hour on Sunday nights from three hours over two nights. Offering more than $A450,000 ($472,000) in prizes, the show aims to find the most entertaining dance act in Oz. - Don Groves
Alan Partridge Returns To UK TV Ahead Of Big Screen Debut
Funnyman Steve Coogan is bringing his signature character, Alan Partridge, back to UK television audiences next year via Sky Atlantic. The show, Mid Morning Matters 2, follows a first series that was aired on Sky Atlantic this year. It sees the hapless, politically incorrect radio presenter working at a shabby radio station in North Norfolk, England. Filming has begun on the series that’s produced by Coogan and Veep’s Armando Iannucci along with Baby Cow chief exec Henry Normal. There’s an Alan Partridge feature in the works that starts shooting in January for an August 16, 2013 UK release which StudioCanal is handling. Coogan and Iannucci penned that script with frequent Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Peter Baynham and Neil and Rob Gibbons. Declan Lowney is directing.
Studiocanal has acquired UK rights to The Alan Partridge Movie. A maladroit radio and TV host created by Steve Coogan and Veep‘s Armando Iannucci, Partridge has been played by Coogan since the 90s, most notably in the British TV series I’m Alan Partridge. In his first move to the big screen, Partridge will attempt to salvage his public career and negotiate a potentially violent turn of events at his Norfolk radio station. Coogan is best known to US audiences for getting blown up in Tropic Thunder and doing impressions of Michael Caine in 2010′s The Trip. Alan Partridge starts shooting in January for an Aug 16, 2013 release. Coogan and Iannucci penned the script with frequent Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Peter Baynham and Neil and Rob Gibbons. Declan Lowney is directing.
HanWay and BBC Films are partnering on Don Hemingway, a black comedy that will star Jude Law and Richard E. Grant. The Matador’s Richard Shepard is directing the London-set pic about a larger than life safecracker with a short fuse. Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company is producing with shooting to start in the fall. HanWay is handling sales.
Steve Coogan has signed on for Northern Soul, a film about the underground music movement in 1970s England. Coogan is best known to US audiences as the director who gets blown up in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder – and for his Michael Caine impression in last year’s The Trip. In the Loop director Armando Iannucci is also prepping a feature based on Coogan’s UK TV personality, Alan Partridge. Elaine Constantine is directing Northern Soul which will be produced by Debbie Gray. Elliot James Langridge, Josh Whitehouse, James Lance, Christian Mckay, Roisin Murphy and singer Lisa Stansfield also star. The Little Film Company is handling sales in Cannes with shooting to start in June.
EXCLUSIVE: ICM just signed British comedian/actor Steve Coogan. Coogan last starred in Our Idiot Brother and the upcoming Michael Winterbottom-directed The Trip, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. He’s developing several other projects including Cruise of the Gods, the David Guion/Michael Handelman-directed comedy, and a feature based on Coogan’s Alan Partridge character. He’s managed by 3 Arts and is repped in the UK by Independent Talent Group.
British police have made what could turn out to be a high-profile arrest in conjunction with the phone-hacking scandal at News Corp’s former tabloid News Of The World. Metropolitan Police officers took a 41-year-old man into custody this morning in London who is believed to be private eye Glenn Mulcaire, a prominent figure in the ongoing investigation. Police said in a statement to the press that the man had been arrested “on suspicion of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages … and on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.” This is one of few of the 18 arrests in the case to include the latter charge. When contacted by Deadline, the Met said it could neither confirm nor deny the identity of the man and wouldn’t release a name until formal charges had been made. However, The Telegraph reports that neighbors of Mulcaire’s say they heard “something going on” at his house this morning.