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The Prohibition-era drama Ezekiel Moss is moving forward, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams set to star and Philip Seymour Hoffman set to direct the pic written by Keith Bunin, whose script made the 2011 Black List. A Likely Story and Mandalay Vision, which secured the project back then, are aboard, with Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman and Mandalay’s Cathy Schulman producing with PalmStar Media Capital’s Kevin Frakes and Merced Media Partners’ Raj Brinder Singh. The story follows Iris (Adams) who, emotionally fragile by the recent loss of her husband, manages to scrape by to provide for her spirited son by running a boarding house in a small town overrun by religious fervor. Their lives are forever changed when she begins to fall in love with Ezekiel Moss (Gyllenhaal), a mysterious drifter who has the divine ability to channel and physically inhabit the spirits of the dead. Exclusive Media and its president of international sales and distribution Alex Walton will handle overseas sales at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin.
Jessica Alba has signed on to star and Kevin Connolly has signed on to direct The Wright Girls, based on the Japanese film 2LDK. Bert V Royal wrote the screenplay and production is set to begin in the second quarter of this year in LA. The story centers on Kate and Vanessa, co-stars on a past-its-prime sitcom and roommates in real life. When they realize they are both up for the same lead role in a big movie that could catapult their careers, they go from best friends to worst enemies in the course of one action-packed night. Atlas Independent’s William Green and Aaron Ginsberg will produce with Atlas Entertainment’s Alex Gartner. Highland Film Group will sell it at EFM. Alba and Connolly are repped by CAA and 3 Arts Entertainment. Royal is repped by Paradigm. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After hatching characters that fueled movies such as Wayne’s World and Austin Powers, Mike Myers quietly spent the past two years readying his feature directorial debut on a docu about Shep Gordon, a music manager as colorful as any previous Myers creation. Few knew this was how Myers was spending his time until Toronto unveiled a lineup that included Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon. The film premieres tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 at Roy Thompson Hall as an acquisition title. Myers chronicles the spiritual and career journey of Gordon, whose trajectory is parts Forrest Gump and Being There, in terms of the number of chance encounters with icons that helped make him a giant in his field. It started when he arrived in a hotel room in California after quitting a job on the first day. Hearing a woman in distress outside, he rushed to her aid and promptly got face-punched by Janis Joplin after breaking up her consensual sexual encounter. She felt bad the next day, and she and Jimi Hendrix helped Gordon get into the music biz, where he broke Alice Cooper, Teddy Pendergrass and others. Later, his desire to help his chef friends birthed the zillion-dollar celebrity chef industry, and Gordon also became part of the Dalai Lama’s inner circle.
DEADLINE: You have made a career creating and playing these great eccentric memorable characters. Is there a common thread shared by Shep Gordon and your fictional characters?
MIKE MYERS: My friend Dave Foley from Kids In The Hall said that all comedic characters have obsession and compulsion. They’re just like you and I, only heightened in specific areas. For Austin Powers, it is about girls; he’s this girl machine. With Dr. Evil it’s exotica, and he’s a take-over-the-world machine. Wayne Campbell was a party machine and Linda Richman a Barbra Streisand machine. It’s all about obsessions and compulsions. Shep Gordon is just this lovely man, the nicest I’ve met in my life. He is a “fair” machine. He wants to help everyone, and correct any injustice done to someone he cares about, in his Mr. Magoo way. And once he enlists, he has the Midas touch. I have wanted to do a documentary on him forever. I met him on the set of Wayne’s World in 1991. Lorne Michaels told me early on that Wayne’s World was my movie and I had to be willing to fight with it. “You want Alice Cooper in your movie, go work it out with Shep Gordon,” he said. I’d never met a music manager before, I’d never been in a film before. I meet this guy who’s wearing a satin baseball jacket, with a receding hairline and a ponytail. I was six years removed from being a spiky haired punk rocker and we all loved Alice Cooper. When I asked to use the songs Eighteen and School’s Out in the movie he stops me and says, “How about something from the new album?”
DEADLINE: Your reaction?
MYERS: Umm, how about no? In 10 minutes, he not only had me convinced, I wanted him to be my dad. He says, “Look, I read the script. The band is going to be on stage for eight seconds. If you put School’s Out at the end of the movie over the credits, no one is going to remember the song he is singing for the eight seconds you see him onstage in the movie. And the backstage scene is so hilarious, Alice is excited to do it.” He got everything Alice wanted, and the scenes we did, I still can’t believe I was part of that. I came to learn it was vintage Shep. He came up with this compromise, and made me feel very good about it.
DEADLINE: Was he right, or were you agented?
MYERS: He was right. People don’t really remember “Feed My Frankenstein”, which he sang a snippet of in the movie, but the audience liked the song. And they loved the theatrics and the backstage scene. Seth started inviting me out to his home in Hawaii, and I grew to realize he is the most generous man I’ve ever met.
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BREAKING: Mike Myers, who has spent a career on Saturday Night Live and in features hatching eccentric characters, is out to chronicle a real one. Myers has joined with A&E IndieFilms, the documentary feature production arm of A&E to make his directorial debut on Supermensch. The film will focus on the career of talent manager Shep Gordon. Myers first became intrigued with Gordon when the music manager held him at bay over granting rights to use the Alice Cooper tune Feed My Frankenstein that Myers desperately wanted in Wayne’s World. Myers got the song and Cooper to appear in the film, and Myers and the manager have been friends ever since. While steering the careers of artists from Blondie to Luther Vandross, Raquel Welch, Gordon has a compelling personal story that Myers will tell, going back to his career break after a chance encounter in 1968 with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
“I met Shep Gordon in 1991 on the set of Wayne’s World. I thought he was a perfect combination of Brian Epstein, Marshall McLuhan and Mr Magoo. I’ve been trying to get Shep to agree to let me make a movie about him for 10 years,” Myers said in a statement. “Last year he finally he said yes. I loved him like a brother before we started making this film and now having sifted through his life and his legacy, I love him … Read More »