Check Out Our New Look

London Critics Heart ‘Shakespeare In Love’; NY Times Not So Much

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 9:03am PDT

London Critics Heart ‘Shakespeare In Love’; NY Times Not So MuchThe stage adaptation of Oscar winner Shakespeare In Love has opened at London’s Noel Coward Theatre to raves from many of the UK critics but a big ho-hum from the New York Times‘s Ben Brantley, which could throw a wet blanket over plans for a Broadway transfer by co-producers Disney and Sonia Friedman.

“I’ve often attacked our modern mania for turning movies into plays. But, in the case of Shakespeare In Love, the transformation is fully justified,” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian. “Even more than the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall’s new version is a love letter to theatre itself, and one that celebrates the way magic and mystery are born out of chaos and confusion.”

“Screen to stage transfers are so frequent and mostly catchpenny and cynical that the prospect of yet another tends to fill a critic’s heart with dread,” wrote Paul Taylor in The Independent. “But here there’s the elating sense that the material – with its rivalry between two public playhouses echoing the feud between the Montagues and Capulets – is revelling in its natural element in the theatre. And the smartest move made by the producers was to hire director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod, the world-renowned Cheek By Jowl team whose profound understanding of Shakespearean drama (its dazzling fluidity; its blithe refusal to respect the “rules” of genre; its mood-mingling suppleness) enriches a production that is filled … Read More »

Comments (1)

`Hairspray,’ `Utopia’ Helmer Jack O’Brien Signs With CAA

By | Wednesday May 7, 2014 @ 9:15am PDT

O'BRIEN_JACKJack O’Brien, a Broadway polymath as comfortable directing Tom Stoppard chin-strokers as he is developing big Broadway musicals, has signed with CAA. O’Brien, who led San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre from the early 1980s through 2007,  helping turn the regional nonprofit into a sometime Broadway tributary. O’Brien, 74, has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning three for his stagings of Stoppard’s sprawling three-part triptych The Coast Of Utopia (2007), Shakespeare’s Henry IV (2004) and the blockbuster musical adaptation of Hairspray (2003). For Lincoln Center Theatre, he made brilliant sense of Stoppard’s nigh incomprehensible Hapgood in 1995. He staged the London bow of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s unfortunate Phantom sequel, Love Never Dies and is  currently attached to a long-aborning Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) musical about escape-artist Harry Houdini.

Other notable directing assignments include the musical versions of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Full Monty. A writer, lyricist and producer, he added opera to his portfolio, staging Puccini’s Il trittico for the Metropolitan Opera, among other productions. Accolades include the 2002 Mr. Abbott Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation. He was a 2008 inductee into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

Comments (0)

Tom Stoppard, Solipsist Films Set Scribe For Franz Stigler WII Drama ‘A Higher Call’

By | Monday May 5, 2014 @ 5:20pm PDT

higher-callEXCLUSIVE: Neophyte screenwriter John Marckesano has been tapped to adapt true story WWII tale A Higher Call for Oscar-winner Tom Stoppard (Empire of the Sun, Shakespeare In Love) and Solipsist Films. Adam Makos wrote the 2012 NY Times bestseller nonfiction tome A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II, about the unlikely December 1943 incident that occurred in the skies above Europe between American Lieutenant Charlie Brown and German ace fighter pilot Franz Stigler. As the highly unusual historical event goes, Stigler opted not to shoot down Brown’s crippled B-17 bomber and instead escorted Brown and his heavily wounded crew to safety. The two men reunited decades later.

Stoppard and Solipsist Films acquired the rights with producer Stephen L’Heureux. Marckesano, a recent USC grad and full time commercial airline pilot, was tapped to adapt Higher Call after developing another project, Black Flag, with Solipsist. L’Heuruex and Will Stoppard will produce. Marckesano is repped by Erik Hyman of Loeb & Loeb. Stoppard is repped by Paradigm and United Agents in the UK. Solipsist is repped by CAA.

Comments (2)

Tom Stoppard, Solipsist Films Set Scribe For Franz Stigler WWII Drama ‘A Higher Call’

By | Monday May 5, 2014 @ 5:20pm PDT

higher-callEXCLUSIVE: Neophyte screenwriter John Marckesano has been tapped to adapt true story WWII tale A Higher Call for Oscar-winner Tom Stoppard (Empire of the Sun, Shakespeare In Love) and Solipsist Films. Adam Makos wrote the 2012 NY Times bestseller nonfiction tome A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II, about the unlikely December 1943 incident that occurred in the skies above Europe between American Lieutenant Charlie Brown and German ace fighter pilot Franz Stigler. As the highly unusual historical event goes, Stigler opted not to shoot down Brown’s crippled B-17 bomber and instead escorted Brown and his heavily wounded crew to safety. The two men reunited decades later.

Stoppard and Solipsist Films acquired the rights with producer Stephen L’Heureux. Marckesano, a recent USC grad and full time commercial airline pilot, was tapped to adapt Higher Call after developing another project, Black Flag, with Solipsist. L’Heuruex and Will Stoppard will produce. Marckesano is repped by Erik Hyman of Loeb & Loeb. Stoppard is repped by Paradigm and United Agents in the UK. Solipsist is repped by CAA.

Comments (0)

Maggie Gyllenhaal To Make Broadway Debut In Tom Stoppard Revival ‘The Real Thing’

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 9:36am PST

Maggie Gyllenhaal BroadwayOscar-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to make her Broadway debut in Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, opposite Ewan McGregor, who is also taking his first trip to the Great White Way. The Tony-winning play is about a playwright (McGregor) who leaves his wife for another woman (Gyllenhaal) and questions whether life is imitating art and if their love is the real deal. Sam Gold is directing the Roundabout Theatre Company production, which opens in limited engagement October 30 with previews starting October 2 at the American Airlines Theatre. The play originally premiered in 1982 in London and won the 1984 Tony for Best Play, but it hasn’t been produced on Broadway in more than a decade. Gyllenhaal’s upcoming screen credits include Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank with Michael Fassbender and the BBC/Sundance original series The Honourable Woman.

Comments (3)

Ewan McGregor To Make Broadway Debut In Tom Stoppard’s ‘The Real Thing’

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 2:07pm PDT

Previews begin October 2, 2014, at the American Airlines Theatre for The Real Thing, the Tom Stoppard play that originally premiered in 1982 in London. It won the 1984 Tony Award for Best Play and most recently was produced on Broadway 14 years ago. Sam Gold is directing the latest incarnation, which will open October 30, 2014, and run through January 4, 2015, and is from the Roundabout Theatre Company. Ewan McGregor will play Henry, a playwright not so happily married to Charlotte, the lead actress in his play about a marriage on the verge of collapse. When Henry’s affair with their friend Annie threatens to destroy his own marriage, he discovers that life has started imitating art. After Annie leaves her husband so she and Henry can begin a new life together, he can’t help but wonder whether their love is fiction or the real thing. The rest of the cast has not been announced. McGregor recently wrapped production on Jane’s Got A Gun and is now filming Mortdecai opposite Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow. He’s also in the ensemble cast of another Tony winner — the adaptation Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer-winning August: Osage County which hits theaters on December 25. He is repped by UTA and United Agents in the UK.

Related: ‘An American In Paris’ Musical Has Eye Read More »

Comments (3)

Hot Teaser: BBC Radio’s ‘Darkside’

By | Wednesday August 21, 2013 @ 8:55pm PDT

Remember those Pink Floyd laser shows? Well, here’s an update. This is the Aardman-created trailer for the upcoming Tom Stoppard-penned radio play that will mark the 40th anniversary of the band’s The Dark Side Of The Moon. The voice cast includes Bill Nighy, Rufus Sewell, Adrian Scarborough, Iwan Rheon and Amaka Okafor. It’s accessible to global audiences on BBC Radio 2 from the premiere on August 26. Titled Darkside, it’s billed as a fantastical take on the themes from the Floyd’s seminal album. Enjoy:

Comments (3)

Global Showbiz Briefs: Local Pics Booming In Denmark; Tom Stoppard Radio Play Celebrates ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’; More

Denmark Sees Boom In Admissions For Homegrown Films
Danish films are on a roll at home, with local pics taking 34% of the box office in the first six months of 2013, Cineuropa reports. Three Danish pics are at the top of the heap, led by Thomas Vinterberg’s 2012 Cannes entry The Hunt, which won Mads Mikkelsen the best actor prize at the festival. Homegrown films had a record 33% of the market in 2012 and in the first half of 2013 have sold 2.25M tickets, according to figures from the Danish Film Institute. Of those tickets, The Hunt, Martin Miehe-Renard’s My African Adventure and Rasmus Heide’s All For Two sold 1.47M. Conversely, TV viewing is down. Recent TNS Gallup figures show that Danes watched 13% less television than in the same period last year, Cineuropa said.

Tom Stoppard Radio Play Celebrates Floyd’s ‘Dark Side’ Turning 40
Tom Stoppard has written a new radio play to mark the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon. Darkside, premiering August 26 on BBC Radio 2, is a fantastical based on themes from the album. The cast includes Bill Nighy, Rufus Sewell, Adrian Scarborough, Iwan Rheon and Amaka Okafor. On the night of broadcast, visitors to bbc.co.uk/radio2 will be able to watch a specially commissioned animation by Aardman to accompany the drama.

Read More »

Comments (1)

Tom Stoppard Signs With Paradigm

By | Friday April 5, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Screenwriter and playwright Tom Stoppard has signed with Paradigm, re-joining longtime agent Robert Bookman. That means in two consecutive days, two Oscar-winning screenwriters have followed Bookman from CAA to Paradigm. The Silence Of The Lambs scribe Ted Tally joined yesterday.

Stoppard most recently scripted Anna Karenina. He’s best known for co-scripting Shakespeare In Love, and his credits include Enigma, Empire Of The Sun and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. He won the Oscar for Shakespeare In Love and was nominated for Brazil. On the TV side, he just got nominated for a BAFTA for the HBO miniseries Parade’s End. Paradigm is repping him for screenwriting. Read More »

Comments (8)

Global Showbiz Briefs: BBC’s ‘Big School’; Tom Stoppard’s ‘Dark Side’; Thai Man Jailed Over Documentary

By | Thursday March 28, 2013 @ 9:00pm PDT

Catherine Tate Set For ‘Big School’
The Office’s Catherine Tate is set to star in a new BBC One sitcom created by David Walliams, who’ll also star. Big School is a six-part comedy set in a secondary school about a dysfunctional staff room, unrequited love and interactive white boards. Walliams will play a chemistry teacher who has taught at Greybridge School for years, Tate plays the school’s enthusiastic new recruit, who despite being a French teacher has never actually been to France. Also starring are Life On Mars’ Philip Glenister, The History Boys’ Frances de la Tour, The Thick Of It’s Joanna Scanlan and Cemetery Junction’s Steve Speirs. Big School is a BBC Production in association with Bert Productions. Jo Sargent is producing and Mark Freeland is exec producer. Read More »

Comments (1)

Tom Stoppard To Receive WGA West’s Laurel Award For Screen

By | Monday January 14, 2013 @ 10:20am PST

Tom Stoppard, the screenwriter and playwright whose latest feature film work is this year’s Anna Karenina, has been named the winner of the WGA West‘s 2013 Laurel Award for Screen, the guild’s lifetime achievement award for movies. He will receive the honor February 17 during the WGA Awards‘ West Coast ceremony at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE. Previous recipients include David Mamet, Lawrence Kasdan, Robert Benton, Barry Levinson, Steven Zaillian, and Eric Roth last year.

Stoppard has adapted everyone from Nabokov and le Carre to Doctorow and Tolstoy. He wrote and won an Oscar for 1998′s Best Picture winner Shakespeare In Love and was nominated for co-writing 1986′s Brazil. He also won four Best Play Tony Awards in his career, which began in 1960 as a London playwright before jumping into television in 1965. Here’s the WGA West’s full release: Read More »

Comments (3)

OSCARS Q&A: Tom Stoppard

By | Monday December 17, 2012 @ 5:00pm PST
Pete Hammond

At age 75, Tom Stoppard is still at the top of his game, and still seeking new challenges in film, television, and stage. The legendary writer responsible for such original theatrical experiences as Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead, Arcadia, The Invention Of Love, The Real Thing, and Coast Of Utopia has also made his mark with a slew of memorable movies including Brazil, Empire Of The Sun, Billy Bathgate, and his Oscar-winning script for Shakespeare In Love (co-written with Marc Norman). Now he is partnering, so to speak, with Leo Tolstoy on a risky but thrilling new version of the Russian classic AnnaKarenina. Though there are many film and TV versions already in existence, Stoppard was frightened by the prospect of following in their footsteps yet he embraced it.

AwardsLine: Why did you want to take on Anna Karenina? It’s a very ambitious project.
Tom Stoppard: I had no thought about it until I was asked whether I would be interested in doing it with Joe Wright, and I was immediately interested in it. You don’t often get a proposal to do Tolstoy for a really interesting director—that’s easy to say yes to. Read More »

Comments (2)