In this special holiday edition of our Deadline Awards Watch podcast, Awards Columnist Pete Hammond talks with Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi about the making of Captain Phillips with director Paul Greengrass. Pete also talks with Taylor Swift, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter behind “Sweeter Than Fiction,” the theme song of One Chance, about writing for films and her own budding acting career. If you didn’t make the in-theater screenings for these films, hearing Pete’s Q&As is almost like being there — particularly if you’re an awards voter busily working through a big DVD pile of awards contenders this holiday week. Also in this episode, Pete talks with host David Bloom about all the newly debuted films jamming this week’s box office.
Taylor Swift has been cast in The Giver, the feature adaptation of Lois Lowry’s dystopian young adult novel that kicks off production October 7 in South Africa ahead of a planned August 15, 2014 release via The Weinstein Company. Walden Media is co-financing and co-producing the film, which stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes, Odeya Rush, and Cameron Monaghan. Philip Noyce is directing Michael Mitnick’s script based on the 1994 Newberry Award winner. The story centers on Jonas (Bridges), who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. …
Rob Riggle has just joined the cast of Dumb and Dumber To playing identical twins. He joins Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Universal’s sequel from Red Granite. Kathleen Turner, Rachel Melvin, Laurie Holden and Steve Tom also star. The pic is eyeing a summer 2014 release, 20 years after the original movie. Riggle, repped by WME and Principato-Young, is next up in 22 Jump Street and Fox’s Let’s Be Cops. His film credits include The Other Guys and Dr Seuss’ The Lorax.
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine
Who better to provide a voice to the well-received feature adaptation The Hunger Games than the generation’s most popular soulful vocalist, 23-year-old Taylor Swift? However, when Lionsgate executives and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter T-Bone Burnett approached Swift to pen an end-credits song, it wasn’t about the marriage of pop brands, rather it was her penchant for confessional folk ballads that caught their ear. Still, synergy doesn’t hurt. Last year, Swift’s album-sales headlines read like the boxoffice numbers of a record-breaking tentpole film: Her fourth album Red marked the second time in a debut week she sold over a million records, a feat no other female recording artist—not even Lady Gaga—can tout.
“They wanted the song to reflect what Appalachian music would sound like in 300 years, and they wanted me to write from Katniss Everdeen’s (Jennifer Lawrence’s character) perspective,” says Swift of the Golden Globe-nominated tune. After watching exclusive clips from the apocalyptic thriller in Nashville, she promptly ripped through Suzanne Collins’ trilogy before teaming up with Burnett and the Civil Wars (Joy Williams and John Paul White). When the four gathered in a studio home that Burnett was working from, “It was just like lighting a match,” she says. “Joy suggested that we write about how Katniss wants to protect and comfort (the youngest Hunger Games contestant) Rue to the very …
Six-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift will join LL Cool J as co-host of CBS‘ Grammy Nominations Live! special, which will be carried live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, December 5, at 10 PM. This marks Swift’s return to co-hosting duties on the nominating special, which she also co-emceed with LL Cool J in its first 2008 edition. LL Cool J has hosted the special every year since its inception, as well as the Grammy Awards this year. Performers locked in for the special include Maroon 5 and Luke Bryan. Ken Ehrlich is executive producer.
Danny DeVito voices the title character and Zac Efron, Taylor Swift voice the kids in Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. It opens March 2.
Taylor Swift, the Civil Wars, Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire collaborated with T-Bone Burnett as the first of several contributors to the companion album for The Hunger Games, Lionsgate and Universal Republic Records confirmed today. Produced by Burnett, the companion album will feature all newly written songs based on themes that figure in The Hunger Games. Swift collaborated with Burnett to write and perform the album’s first single Safe and Sound which launched yesterday on iTunes and became one of the site’s top 10 songs within 12 hours. Butler and Chassagne have written a song with Burnett for the album entitled Horn Of Plenty, and The Decemberists contributed the original song One Engine. Burnett is executive music producer for the movie, and James Newton Howard is composing the score. The companion album will be released before the movie’s opening March 23. The Hunger Games soundtrack will be released separately.