BREAKING …Lawyers for Terrence Malick said today that it’s not his Sycamore Pictures but London-based film financing company Seven Seas Partnership who is guilty of breach of contract over the director’s long-time-in-the-making Voyage Of Time documentary series. In a counterclaim (read it here) to SSPL’s July 19 complaint over the “epic film” filed Monday in federal court in New York, Malick’s company claims that the financier “concocted the story told in its Complaint and asserted its trumped-up claims as a pretext for the fact that it either ran out of, or never had, the funds necessary to meet its financing obligations under the Agreement, or otherwise decided not to continue funding VOT in breach of its contractual obligations.” Asserting that they’ve met every milestone required and calling the initial complaint “completely without merit,” Sycamore’s counterclaim also says SSPL is using its “claims to hold hostage VOT-the films Mr. Malick has been working on for most of his professional life.” In today’s filing, Sycamore is seeking either an enforcement of the parties’ agreement over the film or the return of VOT’s copyright and the extensive production materials and footage that SSPL has claimed as theirs. And with two very different sides of the story like this, let’s be clear – there’s a lot more filings to come.
UPDATE, 12:55 PM: Sycamore’s lawyer Maura Wogan of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz just responded to the suit. “The claims of Seven Seas are without merit. The film was on budget, on schedule, and all funds were used appropriately. Additionally, Seven Seas’ decision to file this lawsuit under the cover of darkness and go public before presenting Sycamore with a copy of the suit itself speaks to the weakness of the allegations.”
PREVIOUS BREAKING, 11 AM: In Hollywood, everyone knows that legendary director Terrence Malick marches to the beat of his own drum. But his unorthodox ways has led to a lawsuit in New York Federal court, waged against his Sycamore Pictures LLC by the London-based film financing company Seven Seas Partnership. They charge that after investing millions of dollars into Voyage Of Time – a documentary series narrated by the likes of Brad Pitt about the ascent of man — the film has been a no-show, with funds and Malick’s time allegedly redirected toward his other film projects. The lawsuit (read it here) claims Malick did little or no work on what is supposed to be a trio of projects. When confronted, Malick and his company refused to open the books or produce the footage that was supposed to have been shot.
This drama Red Wing based on George Sand’s 19th century novella is directed by Will Wallace whose stepfather Terrence Malick is the executive producer. When a mysterious foster child grows up to be a perceived threat, a family is torn apart. Bill Paxton, Luke Perry, Frances Fisher, Joelle Carter, Glen Powell …
Magnolia Pictures has released another trailer for Terrence Malick‘s film that the company picked up last fall at the Toronto Film Festival. To The Wonder stars Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem. Magnolia plans a multi-platform release with an initial theatrical rollout starting …
EXCLUSIVE: In what amounts to the last major film to emerge from the Toronto Film Festival with a distribution deal, Magnolia has acquired To The Wonder, the Terrence Malick-directed film that stars Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem. Magnolia will release it in a multi-platform strategy that starts with a theatrical release in 2013.
Affleck plays an American, Neil, who falls in love with a Ukranian girl Marina (Kurylenko) he meets in Paris, and asks her to return with him to Oklahoma to start a life together. While Marina and Neil can’t connect in her new home, she makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile (Bardem) who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews a relationship with a childhood sweetheart, Jane (McAdams). The film will be marketed by Magnolia as an exploration of love in its many forms.
EXCLUSIVE: Jason Clarke is in negotiations to play the male lead in the Terrence Malick-produced The Green Blade Rises. He will play Tom Lincoln, the father of Abraham Lincoln. The film tells of the formative years of the 16th U.S. president and the hardships that shape him including abandonment by his father in the harsh winter wilderness, a tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality. Clarke’s character has a callous, quiet demeanor, verbally and physically abusive towards Abe on many occasions, but lets his son know how proud he is of him. He is married to Sarah Lincoln (played by Diane Kruger), Abe’s beautiful stepmother.
As is typical with a Terrence Malick film, there was a lot of mystery surrounding To The Wonder ahead of its Venice debut this morning. The recent confirmation of who made the director’s final …
To The Wonder, Terrence Malick’s impressionistic take on love and religion, was met with a mix of bravos and boos at the end of this morning’s first screening in Venice. Applause was hearty in my section of the …
Venice: ‘Reluctant Fundamentalist’ Bows With Star Turn By Riz Ahmed; Curiosity High On Anderson’s ‘Master’, Malick’s ‘Wonder’
The Venice Film Festival kicked off last night with the premiere of Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Indian-born filmmaker Nair, one of 21 female directors in the main selection – notable after a year when Cannes saw zero in competition – said yesterday she felt she was “put on this earth to tell stories about people like me who live between two worlds.”
Based on the book by Mohsin Hamid, the story follows a young Pakistani man’s rise from Lahore to Princeton to the height of Wall Street success pre-9/11. A brunette Kate Hudson plays lead Riz Ahmed’s love interest. They’re torn apart as Ahmed’s character, Changez, is treated with overt suspicion and brutality by American authorities post-9/11. Disillusioned by the American Dream, he heads back to Lahore and becomes a teacher while local radicals attempt to recruit him. Liev Schreiber plays a journalist/spook who finds an uneasy kinship with Changez while investigating the kidnapping of an American citizen.
Nair won the Golden Lion in 2001 for Monsoon Wedding and a few days later was in Toronto when planes crashed into the World Trade Center. With this film, she said, “I sought to bring some sense of bridge-making between America and the Muslim world that goes beyond myopia and ignorance.” Ahmed, easily the biggest takeaway from the movie, said “Viewers will react differently. I hope the film has respect for its audience.” The actor is known in Britain for films that include Michael Winterbottom’s The Road To Guantanamo and Trishna and the recent drama Ill Manors by English rapper Ben Drew (aka Plan B), but he has yet to break in the States. I’d expect that to change soon. At the opening night dinner, admirers positively swooned around him. Upping the “aw” factor, he mostly spent the evening tending to his date – his mother.
Venice Film Festival: Terrence Malick’s ‘To The Wonder’, Brian De Palma’s ‘Passion’ Among Competition Pics
Alberto Barbera has unveiled his first lineup as artistic director of the 69th Venice Film Festival. The main competition is heavy on Euro fare, but also includes Terrence Malick‘s To The Wonder starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz; Brian De Palma’s (French-produced) Passion also with McAdams and Noomi Rapace; Ramin Bahrani’s At Any Price with Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid; and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers starring James Franco and Selena Gomez. Out of competition premieres include Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, Susanne Bier’s Love Is All You Need and Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson documentary Bad 25. A handful of classic films will be screened in restored versions including Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander and Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate. Talent will stroll the Lido from August 29-September 8. Below are the full in- and out-of-competition slates.
Venice 69 (Competition)
Something In The Air, dir: Olivier Assayas
Clément Métayer, Lola Créton, Félix Armand
At Any Price, dir: Ramin Bahrani
Zac Efron, Dennis Quaid, Kim Dickens, Heather Graham
Bella Addormentata, dir: Marco Bellocchio
Toni Servillo, Isabelle Huppert, Alba Rohrwacher, Michele Riondino, Maya Sansa, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio
La Cinquième Saison, dirs: Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth
Aurélia Poirier, Django Schrevens, Sam Louwyck, Gill Vancompernolle
Fill The Void, dir: Rama Burshtein
Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg, Chaim Sharir
E Stato Il Figlio, dir: Daniele Cipri
Toni Servillo, Giselda Volodi, Alfredo Castro, Fabrizio Falco
Un Giorno Speciale, dir; Francesca Comencini
Filippo Scicchitano, Giulia Valentini
Passion, dir: Brian De Palma
Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, Paul Anderson, Karoline Herfurth
Superstar, dir: Xavier Giannoli
Kad Merad, Cecile De France
At various events and pre-Oscar parties this weekend I have heard over and over again the same line: “God,I just hope there are some surprises!” No matter what people seem to be personally rooting for, the one thing they really want are some good old-fashioned Oscar shockers in a year …