Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, and Ralph Fiennes are in talks to join Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1950s-set Hollywood film Hail, Caesar! The trio will join George Clooney and Josh Brolin in the pic about a fixer who works for Tinseltown’s studios to protect its stars. The Coens are directing their own original screenplay and producing under their Mike Zoss Productions banner alongside Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan for Working Title Films. Universal picked up worldwide distribution rights earlier this month. Our sister pub Variety scooped the Tatum news first.
Radius-TWC Promises “Surprising” Launch Against ‘Transformers’ For LA Film Fest Opener ‘Snowpiercer’
Radius-TWC co-president Tom Quinn told me Wednesday night’s Los Angeles Film Festival opener Snowpiercer is going to have a unique rollout when it launches against formidable competition, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, on June 27. Although that sounds like a suicide mission for another action-oriented picture, Quinn, speaking at the after-party, calls his film from Korean director Bong Joon-ho an “intelligent tentpole” made for a thinking audience who likes its thrills delivered with smarts. He says they will open in 10 markets and follow up the next week on about 150 screens. That’s chump change for the opening Paramount plans for Transformers, but Quinn and co-president Jason Janego were pumped by the LA Fest response and hope to gain attention with a series of premieres, including train trips (for a film that’s set on the ultimate train trip) to Seattle, San Francisco and Austin, plus four separate premieres across New York state. “And when this film, which only could have been made by Bong Joon-ho, opens on the 27th, the only place you will be able to see it in America is on a theater screen,” he said, emphasizing that the company — an offshoot of The Weinstein Company, which opens most of its films day-and-date with VOD — will not be making it instantly available for home viewing. “We are plotting a surprising and different way of opening this film,” he said while not committing to any specific date as to when it actually will be available on VOD.
I would guess the VOD date won’t lag too far behind, but Quinn clearly wants to get the word out first that this is a big-screen experience. You might recall that Radius released its Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom theatrically first and that worked out, as it became the top docu at the 2013 box office before hitting home screens.
After seeing the film, which also played the Berlin Film Festival, and which Harvey Weinstein pre-bought and later turned over to his Radius team (Quinn had worked with the director on The Host and Mother), I can say if ever there was a big-screen must-see, it’s this riveting story of the last humans alive after Earth is completely frozen-over and humanity wiped out — except for a few riding aboard a train that never stops and has every conceivable level of class, from its tail section to its super engine, as it continuously circles what’s left of the world. Although it is dark, grimy and claustrophobic, the director clearly knows how to make a classic train picture and his superb cast includes a hilarious Tilda Swinton, chewing the scenery like no one’s business, and Ed Harris in an extended cameo as the Master of this particular world. Both turned up for what was billed as the pic’s U.S. premiere.
Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt and Ed Harris star in Bong Joon-ho‘s sci-fi actioner. Snowpiercer, which will open the Los Angeles Film Festival next month, is set in postapocalyptic ice age that forces humanity’s last survivors aboard a globe-spanning super train. One man risks everything to lead a revolt for control of the engine and the future of the world. The film spurred a spat between its director and Harvey Weinstein over length and pacing, but a truce was struck: The director’s cut — which ran 2 1/2 hours-plus — was kept intact, but it will get a platform release rather than opening wide. Written by Bong and Kelly Masterson, Snowpiercer opens June 27 via Radius-TWC: Here’s the trailer:
Specialty Box Office: ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ Leads Newcomers; Nic Cage’s ‘Joe’ Opens Weak; ‘Railway Man’ Too Disturbing?
Only Lovers Left Alive held sway among Specialty newcomers this weekend, scoring the weekend’s highest average in a fairly crowded box office. The film starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston grossed nearly $97K in four theaters, averaging $24,244. Crowds packed the 268-seat Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center Friday night where director Jim Jarmusch took part in a Q&A for the 7pm screening of the film (he gave a rather interesting theory on William Shakespeare not being the author of his work). The weekend results for Lovers outperformed Jarmusch’s previous 2009 feature The Limits Of Control, which averaged $18,607 in three theaters when it opened in May of that year. It went on to cume over $426K domestically. Broken Flowers which starred Bill Murray, Sharon Stone and Julie Delpy had a slightly higher PTA launch, averaging $28,904 in 27 theaters when it opened in August 2005. The Focus Features release went on to total over $13.744M in the U.S.
“It’s a great start, people really seemed to love the film,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker Sunday. SPC will open Only Lovers Left Alive in New York and L.A. this weekend, expanding to San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C. the following week before heading to the top 50 markets through spring.
TWC opened The Railway Man in several locations, grossing $64,506 for an so-so $16,127 average. “We’re off to a respectable start on Railway Man,” said TWC president of Theatrical Distribution Erik Lomis Sunday. “Our exit information confirmed [what we thought]. It was a mostly an older audience. There’s some images that are disturbing, but it’s very relevant today with current events in Fort Hood. What we learned from the U.K. and Australia was that the midweek grosses were about as good as the weekends. So we’re just going to let it roll.
Nominees and celebs hit the 71st Golden Globe Awards, underway now at the Beverly Hilton. Hit the jump for full images from tonight’s fete and refresh for latest:
EXCLUSIVE: Terry Gilliam has set David Thewlis, Tilda Swinton, Moonrise Kingdom‘s Lucas Hedges and French actress Melanie Thierry (The Princess Of Montpensier) to join Christoph Waltz in The Zero Theorem.
Deadline told you in August that Gilliam was moving forward with the film, and that he’d cast Inglourious Basterds‘ Waltz to play an eccentric computer genius plagued with existential angst who aims to discover the purpose of life. The film begins production October 22 in Romania. Thewlis is repped by CAA and UK-based Ken McReddie Associates, Swinton by WME and Hamilton Hodell, Hedges by Abrams Artists and Anonymous Content, and Thierry by Hamilton Hodell and UBBA. Dean Zanuck is producing and Voltage Pictures is handling worldwide sales.
Deadline’s Awards Columnist Pete Hammond contributed commentary for this article.
Despite Warner Bros’ pricey campaign to put the final Harry Potter in the mix for Best Picture, its efforts only resulted in the same old technical noms the series usually gets (Visual Effects, Art Direction, Makeup). Universal also did a sizeable campaign to get its raunchy summer comedy Bridesmaids into the Best Picture conversation, but conventional wisdom that the Academy frowns on broad comedies in the category proved true again, relegating the hit movie to screenplay and Supporting Actress Melissa McCarthy — exactly the two categories the film was always thought to have its best chance.
David Fincher, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Steven Spielberg, War Horse
Stephen Daldry, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Tate Taylor, The Help
Bennett Miller, Moneyball
George Clooney, The Ides Of March
DGA nominee Fincher was the one anomaly between the usually reliable DGA list and the Oscar nominees in this category. Terrence Malick grabbed that spot, while Spielberg not only was snubbed here but in animated feature too for The Adventures Of Tintin. At least he has a Best Picture nom for War Horse to comfort him. Daldry, Taylor and Miller join him in the Snubbed Club even though their films were deemed Best Picture-worthy.
Actor In A Leading Role
Leonardo DiCaprio, J Edgar
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Ryan Gosling, The Ides Of March or Drive
Perhaps it was a sign when the Makeup branch failed to list DiCaprio’s Hoover makeup in their original seven finalists. The Academy thoroughly rejected Clint Eastwood’s movie, and DiCaprio went down with the ship too.
Motion Capture just isn’t a favorite with actors so that doomed Serkis from the start. Brooks missed SAG too, so that should have been a sign. Perhaps the film was just too violent for some? (Brooks had the best anti-reaction quotes of the day on his Twitter feed, posting “And to the Academy: You don’t like me. You really don’t like me” and “Looking forward to the State of the Union tonight. Hope the new Axis of Evil includes Hollywood.”)
Both of the above were more talked-about for noms than Rooney Mara, but in the end the newcomer triumphed over some Oscar-winning vets.
Actress In A Supporting Role
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Youth was not served in a tough category.
The Tree Of Life took honors for best picture and best director Terrence Malick when the San Franscisco Film Critics Circle announced their awards for 2011 on Sunday. Two actors who’ve generated a lot of buzz but have been largely overlooked, Gary Oldman and Tilda Swinton, were honored for best actor and actress in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and We Need To Talk About Kevin. Full list of winners follows:
Best Picture: The Tree of Life
Best Director: Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Best Original Screenplay: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Best Adapted Screenplay: Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Best Actor: Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, Drive
Best Supporting Actress: Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Best Foreign Language Film: Certified Copy
Best Documentary: Tabloid
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
Special Citation for underappreciated independent cinema: The Mill And The Cross
Marlon Riggs Award for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community: National Film Preservation Foundation — Since 1997, the San Francisco-based nonprofit’s fundraising and grant-giving programs have supported the restoration and preservation of hundreds of rare U.S. films. Led by director Annette Melville and assistant director Jeff Lambert, the NFPF makes this cinematic legacy available to the public through its “Treasures” DVD box sets, including the 2011 release “The West, 1898-1938.”
‘Melancholia’ Tops European Film Awards, Susanne Bier Named Best Director, Tilda Swinton & Colin Firth Get Acting Honors
The European Film Awards just wrapped in Berlin where Lars von Trier’s Melancholia was honored with the top prize. However, it was Susanne Bier who took the best director honors for her Oscar-winning In A Better World. Cannes-watchers may recall that during von Trier’s press conference at the festival last May, the Danish bad-boy not so kindly singled out his compatriot during the now-infamous rant that made him persona non grata on the Riviera. “For a long time I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew, then I met Susanne Bier and I wasn’t so happy,” von Trier said back then. “But then I found out I was actually a Nazi. My family was German. That also gave me pleasure. What can I say? I understand Hitler. I sympathize with him a bit.”
Melancholia tonight also took prizes for cinematography and production design. Other winners include Tilda Swinton, best actress for We Need To Talk About Kevin, Oscar winner Colin Firth, best actor for The King’s Speech, the Dardenne brothers for writing The Kid With A Bike, Wim Wenders’ Pina for best documentary and Ludovic Bource for his score of Oscar hopeful The Artist. A full list of winners can be found here.
It wasn’t lost on many in the crowd of independent film distributors and agents at this week’s Gotham Awards that the whole evening seemed full of contradictions. Indie film is a down and dirty, low budget affair, and yet the event was held in the cavernous confines of Cipriani at 55 Wall Street, where attendees dined on filet mignon and champagne, just around the corner from the Occupy Wall Street crowd. No one personified this dichotomy more than Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairman Tom Rothman, the only executive given a tribute award. Rothman’s roots are in the indie game, even though he now spends most of his time these days as the hands-on manager of big ticket films like A Good Day To Die Hard and readying the next installments of Rise of the Apes and X-Men: First Class and The Wolverine.
Rothman said he still has a soft spot for the indies, and he was touched by Ang Lee’s recollection of Rothman begging him not to “fry the kid” in Ice Storm, and then being supportive when Lee did it anyway, electrocuting Elijah Wood’s character in a gamble that worked out. Rothman said he felt like he’d come out on the winning side on another gamble, sneaking Cameron Crowe’s We Bought A Zoo all over the country. “I can’t recall any movie snuck like this a month early on a national wide basis, before the advertising hit,” Rothman said. He’s now …
Based on the mixed bag out of the New York Film Critics, National Board of Review and Gotham Awards winners along with the announced nominees for Independent Spirit Awards, this year is completely, completely wide open. But then you knew that already.
The New York Critics so wanted to be first and “influence” the Oscars that they advanced their voting date up two weeks and prematurely presented a list of winners Tuesday that seemed downright conservative and very “Academy friendly.” After honoring harder edged films in the past, they went for a delightful black and white silent film as their Best Picture (The Artist) and Director (Michel Hazanavicius) plus big stars Meryl Streep (in another biopic — as Margaret Thatcher this time) and Brad Pitt (Moneyball) both playing real-life characters, something Academy voters have tended to favor in many of their recent acting winners. It was Streep’s fifth acting honor from the NYFCC. The group moved their voting up in order to beat everyone else, particularly the National Board of Review which is normally first, and in effect forced Sony to show them David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by agreeing to move their voting date back a day (and then ignored the film). They also miscalculated Warner Bros’ willingness to show Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close before it was completely finished and ready to be seen by some of the nation’s most “important” (at least in their own minds) critics. So that one wasn’t part of their deliberations. The Broadcast Film Critics Association (I am a member) and the Los Angeles Film Critics among others will be able to see Dragon Tattoo starting Friday. Neither has changed its voting schedules (about 10 days out) in order to jump the gun and will be able to see everything before weighing in on the year’s best. That seems like the right course for critics groups instead of trying to force the hands of filmmakers in order to pursue their own delusional quixotic quest for influence.
Paramount’s Martin Scorsese film Hugo received a major shot in the arm for its Oscar hopes when the National Board of Review named it the 2011 Best Film of The Year and tapped Scorsese as Best Director. Today’s vote comes two days after the New York critics voted the Weinstein Co’s black-and-white silent pic The Artist as its top film and shut out Hugo altogether. “Hugo is such a personal film by Martin Scorsese,” said National Board president Annie Schulhof in a release announcing the winners. “It is a tribute to the early years of cinema that uses today’s cutting-edge technology to bring the audience into a completely unique and magical world. It is visually stunning and emotionally engaging.” The National Board also went with George Clooney (The Descendants) as Best Actor and Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin) as Best Actress, also different from the NYFCC, which went with Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep. Here’s the National Board’s full list:
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants
Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Best Supporting Actress: Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Breakthrough Performance: Felicity Jones, Like Crazy
Breakthrough Performance: Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Debut Director: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Best Ensemble: The Help
Spotlight Award: Michael Fassbender (A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class)
NBR Freedom of Expression: Crime After Crime
NBR Freedom of Expression: Pariah
Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
Best Documentary: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Special Achievement in Filmmaking: The Harry Potter Franchise – A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film
Director Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin explores the relationship between a mother (Tilda Swinton) haunted by the murderous rampage of her psychopathic son (Ezra Miller). John C. Reilly plays the father. With cinematography by Seamus McGarvey, the movie based on a novel by Lionel Shriver screened in competition this year at Cannes and recently won best picture at the London Film Festival. It opens in limited release December 9.
We Need to Talk About Kevin won best picture at the BFI London Film Festival on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Scottish director Lynne Ramsay’s movie starring Tilda Swinton as the mother of a troubled boy who went on a killing spree premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May. “In the end, we were simply bowled over by one film, a sublime, uncompromising tale of the torment that can stand in the place of love,” said John Madden, chair of the judging panel. Candese Reid took the British newcomer award for Junkhearts, her first professional acting gig. The Sutherland Award for most original and imaginative feature debut went to Argentinean director Pablo Giorgelli for Las Acacias. Werner Herzog’s death-row examination Into the Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life was chosen best documentary. David Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes were the previously announced winners of the prestigious BFI Fellowship. Fest closes Thursday with a gala screening of Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea, adapted from Terence Rattigan’s play and starring Rachel Weisz.
You can always count on it. It seems there is always some talent agency honcho who revives the decades-old quest to gain Oscar voting rights for agents. The subject always comes up, but the answer, whatever the merits of the idea, will always be the same. It will NEVER happen. I’ve heard the effort is gearing up once more and agency movers and shakers in the movement for equal Academy voting rights are trying to find sympathetic ears in the media to further the cause and make some noise again. Of course, the Academy has traditionally held a different opinion. Agents are allowed in only as associate members. The number of agents with that status in the Academy is well under 100 and has included major names like Jeff Berg, Kevin Huvane, Patrick Whitesell and many others like WME’s Brian Swardstrom, who actually has his own Oscar but not a vote (keep reading for more on that). Being an associate means they get invites to attend Academy events and maybe access to freebie movies at local theaters during Oscar time, but they don’t have their own branch or any reps on the Board of Governors and no voting rights whatsoever, kind of like illegal aliens.
HAMMOND: Controversial ‘Shame’ Arrives, Stirring Telluride Talk And Scaring Distribs; David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Method’
On the heels of their world premieres at the Venice Film Festival, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Steve McQueen’s Shame had their North American premieres at Telluride on Sunday. Both films star Michael Fassbender, and in the controversial latter film, he really reveals all as does co-star Carey Mulligan. The sexually provocative scenes were enough to guarantee an NC-17 rating, which made at least three potential distributors who saw it here skittish. One told me that without the 55-plus crowd this art picture will die and the potential NC-17 will drive them away. But McQueen isn’t editing it even if distribs suggest cuts. (For instance, Mulligan who plays a night club singer does a rendition of New York, New York that lasted longer than the Spanish Civil War.) Despite the film’s attributes, Shame will be a very tough sell even with sex scenes as marketing bait. McQueen was still in Venice and couldn’t make it to the Rockies. But he sent a video introduction. Reaction among the packed audiences for the first two showings of Shame today were mixed. Some hated it and some appreciated it, but no seemed to be doing cartwheels except critics in Venice.
One thing is clear, however: Fassbender is a definite star, not only in McQueen’s film but also in A Dangerous Method, playing Swiss doctor Carl Jung opposite his intellectual equal, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). He keeps his …
The 38th annual Telluride Film Festival unveiled its main program today with 25 films that include such awards-season hopefuls as The Weinstein Co’s The Artist, the Glenn Close-starrer Albert Nobbs, Alexander Payne’s The Descendants and Lynne Ramsey’s We Need to Talk About Kevin. The latter two films are notable since the festival is bestowing its Silver Medallion Awards, given to recognize an artist’s contribution to the world of cinema, to Descendants star George Clooney and Kevin star Tilda Swinton, who both are getting Oscar buzz for their roles. French actor-filmmaker Pierre Etaix also is a medallion recipient this year. Additional sneak preview screenings will be announced throughout the four-day festival that begins Friday and includes films shown in sidebar programs, classics and restorations, shorts, student films, seminars and Q&As. Here’s the main lineup just announced:
The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival has filled out the rest of its slate, which consists of 268 features and 68 short films that will unspool next month. The fest announced that the likes of Brad Pitt (Moneyball), George Clooney (The Ides of March), and U2 (the Davis Guggenheim-directed docu From The Sky Down) will be among a long list of boldface names at the fest.
Toronto added 13 films to its Masters Lineup, including the North American premiere of Gus Van Sant’s Restless, and a Discovery Programme lineup that includes the international debut of the Dee Rees-directed Pariah, which premiered in January at Sundance. The fest also announced its complete lineup for Mavericks. It includes a discussion with Christopher Plummer, who stars in Barrymore, the Erik Canuel-directed adaptation of Plummer’s Tony-winning performance as actor John Barrymore; a conversation between Deepa Mehta and Salman Rushdie; a conversation with Francis Ford Coppola, whose Twixt plays Toronto; Neil Young and Jonathan Demme as they premiere the documentary Neil Young Life; Tilda Swinton as she brings We Need to Talk About Kevin to the fest; and a discussion with Sony Pictures Classics founders Michael Barker and Tom Bernard as their distribution company reaches its 20th year milestone.
Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American distribution rights to We Need to Talk About Kevin, the Lynne Ramsay-directed pic that was a competition film at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Oscilloscope will release the film in the winter, with an awards campaign.
The acquisition was made from Luc Roeg’s Independent Film Company. The film got mixed reaction at the festival, not surprising considering its subject matter. Basically, it is a thriller revolving around parents (John C. Reilly and Tilda Swinton) who have to grapple the with ramifications of a heinous act committed by their evil 15-year-old son (Ezra Miller). Oscilloscope head Adam Yauch called the film “the most intense thriller I’ve seen since Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.” Deal was brokered by Cinetic’s Bart Walker and John Sloss. Ramsay wrote the script with Rory Stewart Kinnear from the Lionel Shriver novel.