EXCLUSIVE: Former Focus Features exec Christopher Kopp has been hired by Material Pictures as its new Head of Development. Kopp joins the Tobey Maguire-helmed shingle after an eight-year run out of Focus’s NY headquarters, which shuttered after last October’s surprise exec shake-up. Kopp had served as Director of Development & Production at Focus, overseeeing development on Gerardo Naranjo’s A Man Must Die, Nathaniel Halpern’s Rose with ImageMovers, and The Yankee Commandante with Smokehouse as well as overseeing the Tina Fey-Paul Rudd starrer Admission. In his new post he’ll stay in NYC to head development on Material Pictures’ slate and will report to Maguire and SVP Production Matthew Plouffe, who himself exited Focus in 2011 to join the company. Material Pictures expanded last year after locking new financing. Upcoming pics include Craig Zobel’s Z For Zachariah and Ed Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice starring Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Michael Stuhlbarg, Peter Saarsgard and Lily Rabe.
IFC‘s miniseries parody The Spoils Of Babylon chronicles the sexy and dramatic lives of the complicated Morehouse family who made their fortune in the oil business. Tobey Maguire, Tim Robbins and Kristen Wiig lead the all-star cast which also includes Jessica Alba, Will Ferrell, Jellybean Howie, Val Kilmer, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, and Steve Tom. The six-part series is produced by Funny or Die for IFC and executive produced by Ferrell, Adam McKay, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele and Nate Young. Steele and Piedmont created and wrote the series, and Piedmont directed. The Spoils Of Babylon premieres with two back-to-back half-hour episodes January 9 at 10 PM on IFC. Check out the new trailer:
Material Pictures and Zik Zak Filmworks are pleased to announce Chris Pine, Amanda Seyfried, and Chewitel Ejiofor have joined the cast of Z FOR ZACHARIAH. The film will be directed by Craig Zobel (The Great World of Sound, Compliance) from a script penned by Nissar Modi. Material Pictures’ Tobey Maguire and Matthew Plouffe will produce alongside Zik Zak Filmworks’ Skúli Malmquist, Thor Sigurjonsson and Palomar Pictures’ Joni Sighvatsson. Gary Ross and Lucky Hat Entertainment’s Stephen Bannatyne will executive produce, along with Silver Reel’s Claudia Bluemhuber and Lotus Entertainment’s Jim Seibel and Bill Johnson. Lotus will commence international sales at Cannes. CAA arranged financing for the project, and CAA and WME will co-represent domestic rights.
An adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien’s classic science fiction novel of the same name, Z FOR ZACHARIAH is a psychological thriller about a girl who believes she is the only survivor after a devastating nuclear event, but comes to learn she is not alone.
EXCLUSIVE: This is some serious star power. I’ve learned that Tobey Maguire and Kristen Wiig are set to star opposite Will Ferrell in The Spoils Of Babylon, IFC’s six-episode miniseries produced by Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Funny Or Die. In the vein of The Thorn Birds and Winds Of War, the epic story of The Spoils Of Babylon chronicles the sexy and dramatic lives of the Morehouse family who made their fortune in the oil business. As the story unfolds, the booze, the passion and the heartache lead to illegal arms deals and international espionage with the Shah of Iran (also played by Ferrell) not to mention the creation of the doomed sub-prime market. Maguire will play Devon Morehouse, who as an orphaned child was taken in by future oil magnate Jonas Morehouse, and his daughter, Cynthia (Wiig). Devon and Cynthia will go on to run Morehouse Enterprises, the seventh largest company in the world, together while fighting their feelings for each other. Andrew Steele (Saturday Night Live) co-wrote the script with Matt Piedmont (Casa de mi Padre) who is directing. The two executive produce with Ferrell and McKay. Maguire next stars as Nick Carraway in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, which opens the Cannes Film Festival. SNL alumna Wiig is filming Ferrell and McKay’s Anchorman sequel.
LOS ANGELES, CA, MARCH 28, 2013 – Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures has secured independent financing to expand the production company. Richard Weinberg joins as a financial partner as Material Pictures hires Ben Tierney as Vice President of Production and promotes Anastasiya Kukhtareva to Creative Executive. Tierney and Kukhtareva will report to Material Pictures’ SVP of Production, Matthew Plouffe.
Warner Bros is working on not one but two high-profile films about the illegal poaching and trafficking in endangered animals around the world. Both projects are being produced by Tobey Maguire‘s Material Pictures, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way and Tom Hardy‘s Executive Options. I don’t know if both of these projects get made, but at a time when Hollywood studios are preoccupied with pretend crises like zombies and vampires, bravo for a major to step up and try to weave in a global problem like ivory trafficking into a drama.
The first project is being written by Up In The Air co-writer Sheldon Turner as a star vehicle for Hardy, based on an idea by the Dark Knight Rises and Warrior star. The untitled film is set in Africa and the aim is for Hardy to play a former Special Forces soldier who signs on with a friend to work in the bush, training rangers to fight off the poachers decimating the rhino and elephant populations in Zimbabwe. The soldier falls in love with the land, and the animals he is trying to save. Given his skill set, this spells bad news for the poachers. Also producing is Dean Baker, who is Hardy’s producing partner, and Paul Grey, along with Hardy, Maguire and DiCaprio. Hardy is working with Turner and producers Jennifer Klein and Dave Bartis on Everest, the Sony film that Doug Liman intends to direct, with Hardy playing British climber George Mallory and his attempts to become the first man to scale Everest and make it back alive. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ed Zwick is in talks to helm Pawn Sacrifice, the drama that will star Tobey Maguire as troubled chess wiz Bobby Fischer, the prodigy who captured who captured the world’s imagination when he won the World Chess Championship over Russian Boris Spassky in a Cold War-era match that drew international media attention. Fischer had a rougher time after that as he straddled the line between genius and madness. He faded from view, living abroad and surfacing to make anti-American and anti-Semitic statements. He lived in exile in Iceland until he died.
Maguire is producing through his Material Pictures banner with Gail Katz through Gail Katz Productions. Steven Knight wrote the script. Zwick replaces David Fincher, who had developed to direct the film. Zwick had been expected to direct The Great Wall for Legendary East, a project that is somewhat up in the air as a new backer in Asia is being secured. The film is being prepped to begin production next year, and Maguire’s Material partner Matt Plouffe is shepherding. Zwick is repped by CAA. Maguire is filming Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, and stars in the Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby next summer. He’s repped by WME and Management 360.
BREAKING: Tobey Maguire, who parted ways yesterday with CAA, has just signed with WME. His run with CAA went back to 2003, and the agency repped him through his Spider-Man years (though the deals were made by Gersh before he left there). I’d heard yesterday that the relationship with the agency had run its course and Maguire will take the next steps in his career with WME. Maguire just took a lead role in the Jason Reitman-directed Labor Day, and he plays Nick Carraway in the Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby, which Warner Bros opens Christmas Day. He remains repped by Management 360.
EXCLUSIVE: Tobey Maguire has joined the cast of the Jason Reitman-directed Labor Day, which begins shooting this month in Massachusetts. Mr. Mudd’s Lianne Halfon and Russ Smith are producing along with Helen Estabrook and Reitman. Indian Paintbrush is exec producing. Maguire is the final major piece alongside Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, J.K. Simmons, Brooke Smith, Gattlin Griffith, and Brighid Fleming. Paramount is co-financing and distributing worldwide.
Reitman wrote the script, an adaptation of the Joyce Maynard book. The story centers on a thirteen year old boy, Henry, from New Hampshire who learns valuable life lessons over a five-day Labor Day weekend. Maguire will play the adult version of the boy, and Maguire also narrates the film.
After stepping out of Spider-man, Maguire has been busy. He’ll next be seen starring in the Jacob Aaron Estes-directed black comedy The Details, which The Weinstein Company releases September 7, followed by the Baz Luhrmann-directed The Great Gatsby, which Warner Bros opens on Christmas Day. Maguire plays Nick Carraway opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher and Joel Edgerton in the adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary masterpiece.
Maguire will not appear in the upcoming Ang Lee-directed Life of Pi. To be consistent with his other casting choices for the film, the director decided to go with an entirely international cast. He’s repped by CAA and Management 360.
Per White House officials, President Obama followed last night’s Hollywood shindig at George Clooney’s home by playing basketball this morning with the former Batman, ex-Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, and staff members before heading out.
EXCLUSIVE: Larry Moss has set Helen Hunt, David Duchovny, Maggie Grace, Joan Chen and John Robinson to star in Relative Insanity, a contemporary Hampons-set adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. Pier 3 Pictures’ Michael Din and Juri Henley-Cohn wrote the script and will produce with their partner Janine Giaime. Moss is an acting coach whose students have included Hunt and Duchovny, as well as Hilary Swank, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Jim Carrey, Michael Clark Duncan, Tea Leoni and Justin Timberlake. After teaching acting for 35 years, Moss is making his feature directorial debut on an adaptation of his favorite play. They’ll start shooting next year and Pier 3 is putting together the funding.
Warner Bros. has set The Great Gatsby to open Christmas Day 2012. Director Baz Luhrmann began filming his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel last month in Australia. The 3D production stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke and Elizabeth Debicki.
EXCLUSIVE: Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures has hired Focus Features executive Matthew Plouffe to be its new SVP Production. Plouffe, who has spent the past six years in the New York headquarters of Focus, will move to Los Angeles and start the job Oct. 1. Plouffe is currently Focus’ Director of Production and has worked on such Focus films as the Sam Mendes-directed Away We Go, Shane Acker’s 9, the Ryan Fleck/Anna Boden-directed It’s Kind of A Funny Story and most recently on the Lone Scherfig-directed adaptation of One Day that stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. Plouffe wanted to move West, and the transition was done with the blessing of Focus Features chief James Schamus, who wrote and produced Maguire’s breakout film as an actor, The Ice Storm. “All of us at Focus have been blessed over the past six years to see Matt grow to become one of the smartest, hardest-working and kindest execs out there, and while we’re sad to see him go, he couldn’t have found a better opportunity than the one Tobey has offered. It’s great to see two of the smartest people in the business teaming up,” Schamus said. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Sofia Vergara, who was announced to be part of the cast in the Lee Daniels-directed drama The Paperboy, has just dropped out of the film. These independent films take forever to come together, and when the start date of the movie got pushed back a week, the schedule conflicted with her day job on Modern Family, whose third season will be getting underway by then. “Modern Family is her first priority, so once she was made aware of the change in schedule, she had no choice but to pull,” said an insider in her camp. Vergara did have time on her hiatus to star for Peter and Bobby Farrelly in The Three Stooges, and she has wrapped that role. Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron and Tobey Maguire star in The Paperboy, which is based on the Pete Dexter novel about a newspaper reporter who returns home to Florida to investigate the possible unlawful imprisonment of a death-row inmate. Millennium/Nu Image picked up the Pedro Almodovar-produced film during Cannes last month.
EXCLUSIVE: Joel Edgerton has been set by director Baz Luhrmann to play Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. He will join Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, Isla Fisher as Myrtle (Tom’s mistress), and Australian newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker. Edgerton, the Australian actor who was on the short list to star in The Bourne Legacy spinoff at Universal and other plum roles, takes a part that was going to Ben Affleck until his schedule didn’t work when he committed to direct and star in Argo for Warner Bros. Luhrmann’s update of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic will be made for Warner Bros, which will release it in 3D. Edgerton next stars with Tom Hardy in Warrior, the Gavin O’Connor-directed drama about brothers who square off in the mixed martial arts arena. Edgerton has an imposing physicality that makes him an intriguing choice for the role of Tom, played by Bruce Dern in the 1974 film.
Luhrmann, who took the above photo of Edgerton as Buchanan, confirmed he’d found his man: “In casting Tom one had to find an actor who could credibly be (as Fitzgerald describes him) ‘one of the most powerful ends that ever played football at New Haven,’ had five-star acting chops and in the big dramatic showdown scenes between Gatsby and Tom, hold the screen against Leonardo DiCaprio, in the appropriate age group. Read More »
Millennium Films has picked up rights to The Paperboy, a sexual thriller based on the 1995 Peter Dexter novel that Dexter and Pedro Almodovar developed over 10 years. Matthew McConaughey, Tobey Maguire, Sofia Vergara and Zac Efron star, and Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels directs and produces with Hilary Shor (Children Of Men). Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Danny Dimbort and Cassian Elwes executive produce. The plot centers on an idealistic Miami reporter who returns to his Florida hometown to investigate the possibly unlawful imprisonment of a death-row inmate. The deal was put together by CAA, and Nu Image is handling foreign sales.
Though director Baz Luhrmann wanted Ben Affleck to play Tom Buchanan in his 3D update of The Great Gatsby, the actor won’t be taking part in the movie adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic. Luhrmann offered Affleck the role in early April and courted him hard. The problem was, the film will shoot in Australia, and the scheduling just didn’t match up on Argo. Affleck is committed to direct that film, about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, in the Middle East. They tried to work it out but ultimately couldn’t.
So far, Luhrmann has commitments from Leonardo DiCaprio to play Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan to play Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire to play Nick Carraway. Warner Bros is in talks with Isla Fisher to play Myrtle, the wife of a gas-station owner who is cheating with Buchanan. Luhrmann is looking for another actor to play him. Word is he’s trying to get Australian actors for some of the roles because it helps the film’s financial situation. Luhrmann, who wrote the script with Craig Pearce, is producing with his Luhrmann/Bazmark Films partners Catherine Martin and Catherine Knapman, and Red Wagon partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher.
Tobey Maguire has been cast in Ang Lee’s novel adaptation Life of Pi, the Fox movie that is shooting in India ahead of a December 2012 bow. Yann Martel’s bestseller centers on an Indian boy who escapes a shipwreck but is stranded on a life raft with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a tiger. Maguire will play a writer who interviews the boy as an adult. Maguire, who will play Nick Carraway in Baz Luhrmann’s 3D The Great Gatsby for Warner Bros, also appeared in the Lee-directed movies The Ice Storm and Ride With The Devil.