Sony Banks On Meryl Streep As ‘Hope’ Springs Into Theatres & 2012 Awards Race

By | Wednesday August 8, 2012 @ 10:01am PDT
Pete Hammond

Today Sony Pictures is doing the unthinkable. It is breaking, on a wide release of 2500+ screens, a dialogueHope Springs-driven adult comedy/drama about the sex life (or lack of it) of a long-married couple both in their 60′s. And in the middle of August no less!

Sure it stars Meryl Streep, a bona fide box office draw even at her age, but  it’s highly unusual and somewhat risky business to go this wide with a movie that is clearly aimed at the much older audience who is slow to show up no matter what the attraction. The studio is opening on a Wednesday in order to build some good word of mouth and reviews for its first weekend where it must face more typical summer flicks like Universal’s The Bourne Legacy  and Warner Bros. The Campaign. Currently it stands at a decent 77% fresh for reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, a good sign for a movie that would seem like it would be more indie-oriented fodder than summertime major studio fare.

With the August release though Sony is also getting a jump on awards season as this cast  includes such Oscar favorites as 17- time nominee and 3- time winner Streep (most recently in February for The Iron Lady) as well as Supporting Actor winner Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive), along with a deadpan Steve Carell as their couples therapist who counsels them at a week-long retreat on how to put the sexual spark back into their marriage. Of course Streep tends to get Oscar noms for just showing up on the set, while Jones was last nominated for Best Actor for 2007′s In The Valley Of Elah, a bit of a surprise then since his film was a boxoffice non-starter that had largely been written off at that point indicating the Academy likes him, they really like him. Both stars are getting strong reviews so far. Whether the strategy works at the boxoffice for this very Academy-friendly fare (official Los Angeles Academy member screening is Sunday night at the Goldwyn) remains to be seen but producers Todd Black and Guymon Casady told me they are just hoping the audience turns out, and happy they decided to go the studio route even though that wasn’t initially the plan. Read More »

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Sony Eyes Jason Segel And Reese Witherspoon To Star In Nick Stoller-Helmed ‘Sex Tape’

By | Thursday October 27, 2011 @ 11:36am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures is starting to get hot and heavy with Sex Tape, the Kate Angelo-scripted comedy that the studio acquired in June in a seven-figure spec deal. The script’s about a married couple who take a night off … Read More »

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Universal, Illumination, And Escape Artists To Film Harlem Teen Gospel Story

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Illuminaton Entertainment have acquired the rights package to make a film based on the 60 Minutes segment Gospel for Teens. Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Meledandri has made the project his company’s first live action family film deal, and he will produce with Escape Artists’ Todd Black. The script will be written by Stephen Belber, who is currently adapting the book Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun, as a potential starring vehicle for Jamie Foxx. Belber most recently sold The Long Run to Sony and Overbrook Entertainment, and he wrote and directed the Jennifer Aniston-Steve Zahn-starrer Management. The rights package was brokered by ICM. Read More »

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Sony Pictures Pays Big Bucks To Buy ‘Sex Tape’

By | Friday June 3, 2011 @ 7:23pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: A low seven-figure spec script deal just went down as Sony Pictures acquired a spec script with the working title Sex Tape. Written by Kate Angelo, it’s about a married couple who get a night off from their kids, get adventurous and decide to spice up their lives by … Read More »

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Cannes: Sony Pictures Closing Deal For Meryl Streep Comedy ‘Great Hope Springs’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The majority of deal buzz at the Cannes Film Festival market is where the Megan Ellison-financed Wettest County in the World will be dealt for distribution, I’m told the next big deal to come together will be a Sony … Read More »

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Larry Charles To Direct Jim Carrey Comedy

Mike Fleming

larrycharlesEXCLUSIVE: Larry Charles, who steered Sacha Baron Cohen through audacious comic turns in Bruno and Borat, is now ready to do the same for Jim Carrey. Charles has signed on to direct Pierre Pierre, a comedy that has Carrey playing the … Read More »

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