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 …
IFC’s new parody of epic TV miniseries, The Spoils Of Babylon, From Funny or Die, boasts a boatload of Saturday Night Live alums behind and in front of the camera: Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Matt Piedmont, Andrew Steele, etc. Six, half-hour episodes will premiere on IFC in early 2014. Not surprisingly, the SNL alums got asked, during Winter TV Press Tour 2014, to weigh in on the controversy that erupted this season over the lack of black female cast member on the NBC late-night series. In response to the controversy, Lorne Michaels in the past several days has hired not only a black comedienne for the cast, but also two black female writers.
“If you can give little insight, was this ever really anything? And is this ultimately good for the show, and what it means,” one critic asked the Spoils panel, a little unclearly.
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.
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 …
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.
Related: President Obama Talks Gay Marriage At George …
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.
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.
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 …