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INTL BO: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Spins $47M Web For Biggest Opening Of 2014; ‘Captain America’ Passes $500M; ‘Frozen’ Highest Animated Grosser Ever; ‘Rio 2′ passes $200M Overseas

Highlights: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (SONY) opens in 14 markets with $47M; Captain America: The Winter Soldier (DIS) passes $500M; Transcendence (WB) opens to $17.1M, mostly from China; Rio 2 (FOX) flies past $200M and is burning it up in Latin America. Noah (PAR) at $197.4M; Divergent (LGF/SUM/var) at $18M  for $74.7M cume; The Other Woman (FOX) bows with $5.3M in four markets; Spanish Affairs (UNI) phenom as Spain’s top local-lingo pic ever, still No. 1 … twice the marketshare of Spider-Man 2′s bow.

Related: Box Office: ‘Heaven Is For Real’ Rises High; ‘Transcendence’ Descends Into Hell

cinemaworld__1404061439493rd UPDATE, Monday, 10:50 PM PDT: Final numbers in for Transcendence, Divergent, Rio 2, The Other Woman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego Movie, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. All grosses for the movies have changed.

2nd UPDATE, Sunday, 6:50 PM. PDT: More estimates have been added for Rio 2, Divergent, and further analysis on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. There will be another update tomorrow, but no territory by territory breakdown this week. It’s always interesting to see a snapshot of the top international pictures so far in 2014. Disney’s has the two lead spots right now with  Frozen $462M) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($385.1M), followed by The Wolf of Wall Street ($262.5M), which is being handled by Universal and many other distribs. The difference between the No. 2 and No. 3 pictures is a substantial $122.6M so far. Surprising, no? Rounding out the top five is Warner Bros.’  duo The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ($244.5M) and 300: The Rise of an Empire ($223M).

Related: Specialty Box Office: ‘Fading Gigolo’ Seduces In Limited Opening; ‘Under The Skin’ Passes $1M

Amazing Spider-Man 2PREVIOUSLY, 10:27 AM, Sunday, PDT: Marking the biggest opening internationally of 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has taken the markets by storm, grossing an estimated $47M as it bows in such major territories as the U.K., Spain, Germany and Belgium, Mexico and Australia. All told, 14 markets. It was a big box office weekend internationally with several major pics playing well throughout the world. But all eyes are on Spider-Man, which opened strong in territories earlier in the week. The top market for the Sony franchise is Read More »

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The Horse’s Mouth 3: Fast Food, “Normal Stuff” Like Layoffs & Separated At Birth

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 7:32pm PDT

The Horses MouthThe Horse’s Mouth is an ongoing feature with a collection of head-scratching comments and crazy conversations we’ve had with people across the industry that made us laugh. We thought we’d share them with you. No need to call for a retraction as no one but your assistant (if they were listening in) will know who you are. We’ll never tell:

Reporter: Are we all still on for lunch?
Publicist: Yes, but we eat fast, so don’t order any desserts or coffee.

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Publicist: Can you put in that the movie had an A- CinemaScore?
Reporter: I did that already on Friday when I did all the other CinemaScores. Scroll down and you will see it.
Publicist: Ahhh, I didn’t scroll far enough. Thank u so much! Sorry to bother u on a Sunday.
Reporter: No worries … and it’s a Monday.

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Reporter: I heard there were a lot of layoffs at your company today.
Exec: Oh, it was nothing. Just normal stuff.
Reporter: Really?
Exec: Yeah, just one of those things. Just a normal day.
Reporter: Laying off an entire staff is a normal day?!
Exec: Well, I don’t want you to make a big deal of it.

Read More »

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Alcon’s Johnny Depp Failure ‘Transcendence;’ What The Hell Happened?

By | Monday April 21, 2014 @ 6:07pm PDT
Mike Fleming

transcMovies open every weekend. Some soar, some fail. Every once in a while a flop comes along that is so unexpected and devastating that everyone in town is left saying, “How the hell did that happen?” Recent examples include John Carter, The Lone Ranger and maybe even Pompeii or The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, even if the latter two sank without making much of a ripple. The $100 million Transcendence, the Johnny Depp-Morgan Freeman starrer that marked the directing debut of Chris Nolan’s vaunted cinematographer Wally Pfister, is one of those what-the-hell-happened films. Consider it grossed just $10.8 million domestic for its opening weekend, about half of Heaven Is For Real, a starless movie whose $12 million budget was likely less than Depp’s Transcendence salary. Heaven If For Real has grossed $30 million so far domestically and looks like a breakout sleeper hit.

Related: INTL BO: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Spins $47M For Year’s Best Opening

TRSo what the hell happened? There is blame to go around, including at Alcon Entertainment, which with its offshore partners fully financed the Warner Bros-distributed flop. Talking to numerous parties, I believe this was a movie that probably never should have been made because the script was complex, derivative, and hard to market, and it was not easy to discern who the audience should have been. It also is a case where yet again it was a mistake to give a first-time director the keys to a movie with complex subject matter that required meshing with the high maintenance of a big movie star and a giant budget. Transcendence seems similar in some ways to John Carter, where first-time live-action director Andrew Stanton had the endorsement of Pixar’s John Lasseter that led Disney execs to give him a lot of rope, and he proved out of his depth despite having directed so many animated hits. Here, Pfister got the job after standing aside Nolan as cinematographer, and proving himself a gifted visual artist on such films as The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception. Nolan, who made the film Insomnia at Alcon, endorsed his protege there and encouraged him to start on the kind of big canvas on which Nolan creates his masterpieces. But just because Pfister stands next to Nolan doesn’t mean he is Nolan, or has his ability for making the most complex storytelling palatable for the masses, like he did on Inception. The shoot was rough. Pfister and Alcon certainly put in the work here, and got the test scores to an acceptable level, but critics just hated the movie. Audiences felt the same, with the film getting a 19% rating on RottenTomatoes. And Johnny Depp, mostly seen as a computer image on a computer screen, didn’t open it the way that highly paid movie stars are supposed to.

Related: Box Office: Lukewarm Thursday Bow For ‘Transcendence’

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Box Office Final: ‘Heaven’ Is Real Deal Behind ‘Captain America’ Which Shoots Past $200M; ‘Rio 2′ Perches At No. 3; ‘Transcendence’ Short Circuited

OPENING: Heaven Is For Real (SONY) stellar at $22.5M (3-day) and $29.5M (5-day) for No. 2; Transcendence (WB) despondent at No. 4 with $10.8M; A Haunted House 2 (OPRD) $8.8M; Bears (DIS) hibernating with $4.7M.

Box Office Weekend Results5TH UPDATE, 2:45 PM: The final numbers are in for the box office Top 20, and Sony/TriStar has a lot to celebrate this weekend as peeps flocked to Heaven Is For Real this Easter holiday with a final tally of $22.5M (three-day) and $29.5M (five-day). Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier has a very good chance of being No. 1 for four weekends in a row as there is nothing in the hamper next weekend to stop it. captain-america-wallpaper-batman-vs-superman-avengers-2-captain-america-2-spider-man-2-is-this-the-golden-age-of-superhero-moviesNot since Lionsgate unleashed The Hunger Games in 2012 has that happened, and before that, the last time was in 2008 when Warner Bros introduced The Dark Knight. Rio 2 is No. 3 in its second weekend out, dropping 44%, and racking up $75M in two weeks. Transcendence, the Johnny Depp-starring sci-fi film, short-circuited this weekend and should have been retitled Despondence as it came in under $11M for Warner Bros. and Alcon. Uh, no peeps cared for that one. transcendence-trailer-johnny-deppSurprising coming from Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister who made his directing debut and delivered such a bomb. The trailer was confusing and hard to follow. Seemed like it was just a bunch of shots of Depp in different states of duress instead of selling futuristic sizzle. The one sheet was a headshot of Depp with digits on his head. And the production stills made him look like American Hustle‘s Bradley Cooper in perm rods. It’s like Lawnmower 2 for the YK2 generation. Yes, in fact, there is actually a Y2K joke in there … so 2000.

Leaving no question about Divine Intervention: Heaven Is For Real - Connor CorumNoah jumped up two notches yesterday over opener Bears and God’s Not Dead to round out the Top 10 … and … Draft Day (which dropped 42% this weekend) scored better in its sophomore frame and juked Divergent this weekend to get the No. 6 spot. A Haunted House 2 from Open Road creaked its way to No. 5 and $8.8M in its debut while Oculus dropped 57% in its second weekend. Opening next weekend: the Cameron Diaz-Kate Upton-Leslie Mann comedy The Other Woman (Fox), Brick Mansions (REL) which stars the late Paul Walker, and the horror film The Quiet Ones (LGF). Expanding from five theaters to 25 runs in LA and NY will be the John Turturo’s comedy Fading Gigolo (Millennium). Here are the final weekend box office numbers: Read More »

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Box Office: Lukewarm Thursday Bow For ‘Transcendence’, ‘Rio 2′ Might Get Its No. 1 Weekend Yet; ‘Heaven Is For Real’ May Surprise

transcendence-trailer-johnny-deppEven with taking over Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s IMAX theaters this weekend, the fact that it is a new sci-fi thriller, Johnny Depp’s the lead and it’s the only real newcomer with a shot at No. 1, Transcendences debut near the top of the box office is doubtful this weekend based on Thursday night’s grosses. Bets are on that Fox’s Rio 2 may end up with around $26M, Disney/Marvel’s Captain America 2 next with $22M-$23M and Warner Bros.’ Transcendence at No. 3 with around $18M-$20M. Those predictions come as Transcendence grossed only $850K on Thursday.

HeavenisforrealtheaterposterA question mark is Sony’s Heaven Is For Real and how many infrequent moviegoers (i.e. faith-based crowd) may boost attendance numbers. Sony noted this morning that it seems to be crossing over to a faith-based crowd and word is spreading on social media. It certainly seems to be. The film has an overall CinemaScore of A and an A+ with the under-35 demo. Right now the Greg-Kinnear-starring film based on the bestselling book is tracking around $12M-$14M for the three-day, similar to Marlon Wayans’ Haunted House 2 from Open Road. Heaven Is For Real took in a stellar $3.7M — on a Wednesday — and last night took in another $1.37M for a two-day cume so far of $7M, which puts it in line for a 5-day gross of around $20M for the Randall Wallace-directed drama.

Tonight’s business should be strong because today is Good Friday, but come Easter Sunday, moviegoing traditionally slows on the Christian holy holiday. Easter is unlike strong holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Read More »

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Deadline Awards Watch 70: The Cannes Lineup Assessment Podcast

By and | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 8:39pm PDT

Deadline Awards Watch podcast 70In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom assess the just-announced lineup for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which competing films have serious Oscar hopes and which pics Pete can’t wait to see when he hits the Croisette for Deadline next month. Today also was the last day for would-be Emmy voters to make themselves eligible with the TV Academy, and Pete and David take a look at the Emmy campaigns that are heating up, while also grumpily acknowledging the first Oscar campaign of the 2015 season. Finally, Pete gives his take on the weekend’s notable movie debuts, including Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence, the Woody Allen-John Tuturro collaboration Fading Gigolo and faith-based hit-in-the-making Heaven Is For Real. Read More »

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The Way Of The Future? Johnny Depp & ‘Transcendence’ In China Primetime: Video

TRANSCENDENCEThe primetime special built around Johnny Depp‘s two-day China promotional tour for Transcendence aired locally Thursday night on ZheJiangTV, a national network that reaches about 1.2 billion people. With an average nightly audience of about 200 million, it would be fair to say that a lot more Chinese are familiar with Wally Pfister’s directorial debut than they may have been otherwise. The event is part of a growing belief that marketing directly to China pays off. It was reminiscent of last year’s Iron Man 3 gala that put Robert Downey Jr front and center and was also organized by DMG Entertainment. That worked out well for Iron Man 3, and a similar effect is hoped for here.

Related: Johnny Depp Rocks Beijing In Support Of ‘Transcendence’: Photos

The Transcendence special was meant to be entertaining, but also had a very targeted agenda. I’m told much of the content was geared towards the audience better understanding what the film is about, and the science and technology behind it. The live audience at the events taped in late March saw Depp learn some Mandarin, share the stage with Chinese actors like Wu Xiu Bo and Wu Bing, and jam with with rocker David Tao. Singaporean pop star JJ Lin also performed a tribute to Depp singing a song from Sweeney Todd. Such efforts, it’s said, allow … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Watch 32: The Russian Movie Cap Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch podcast 32In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom look at whether Russia is likely to go ahead with a threatened cap on Western films in the wake of the Crimea crisis, two more deals affecting indie TV producers, update from Johnny Depp’s China tour into Transcendence, and mark the naming of another female filmmaker as a jury president at the Cannes Film Festival.

We’ll also take our weekly look at the international box office, led by the all-time box office record set by Frozen, whether The Lego Movie can ever catch up and big international debuts for the sequels to Captain America and Rio. Read More »

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Johnny Depp Rocks Beijing In Support Of ‘Transcendence’: Photos

Johnny Depp China Concert TranscendenceJohnny Depp started his Chinese promotional tour for Transcendence in Beijing tonight, playing guitar for about 1,000 invited guests and fans. The event was held at the 798 art zone inside a decomissioned factory that was built during the period of military-industrial cooperation between the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. Depp is in Beijing to boost the profile of Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, which opens day-and-date with the U.S. on April 18. Warner Bros is releasing Stateside. Hollywood stars are increasingly traveling to China to promote their films in the world’s second largest box office market. This two-day tour is hosted by DMG Entertainment which produced Transcendence with Alcon Entertainment and Straight Up Films. Last year, DMG pulled off a similar one-of-a-kind event in support of Iron Man 3, bringing Robert Downey Jr to town for a gala inside the Forbidden City. That show looked a little more formal, while tonight’s was more rock-and-roll, with a massive fan base coming out to see Depp. Joining him onstage was Taiwanese R&B/hard rock artist David Tao, a big local star. Depp jammed on guitar while Tao sang a tune made famous in the early 1990s by Cui Jian, aka “The Father of Chinese Rock”. Here’s an exclusive snap of the duo:

Johnny Depp David Tao China Concert

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Global Showbiz Watch 31 – The Johnny Depp China ‘Transcendence’ Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch ep 31In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom look at a big Chinese tour by star Johnny Depp ahead of Wally Pfister’s directorial debut on April 18 with Transcendence. They stay in China to discuss Discovery’s consulting and content deal with a new pay-TV channel from Wasu Digital, then jump to the UK, which has again beefed up its tax incentives for film and TV production, even with existing facilities there already straining to accommodate demand. Nancy and David also take their weekly peek at trends in the international box office, led by Need For Speed and Noah. The U.S. champ for the weekend, Divergent, opened in 18 territories, but remains a mystery as Lionsgate holds off reporting its numbers.

Global Showbiz Watch podcast 31 (.MP3 version)
Global Showbiz Watch podcast 31 (.M4A version)
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‘Transcendence’ Scores China Day-And-Date Release; Will Open With U.S. On April 18

transcendence posterWally Pfister‘s directorial debut Transcendence will open on April 18 in China, a coveted day-and-date release with the U.S. Warner Bros is distributing in the States. The Johnny Depp sci-fi action drama will be exclusively released in China in 3D and IMAX 3D, a growing trend that recently saw Robocop converted to the format solely for the massive market. Trenscendence will also have a 2D release locally. Day-and-Date is a big deal in China where piracy is rampant; Disney’s Need For Speed opened simultaneously with the U.S. two weeks ago and outperformed the domestic haul in its first weekend. China is now the movie’s biggest market worldwide. Transcendence is the first product of a partnership between Alcon Entertainment and Beijing-based DMG Entertainment to finance, produce, and distribute films (LA-based Straight Up Films is also a producer). DMG has some experience here, having secured a pre-day-and-date release last year for Iron Man 3 — it went out May 1 in China and May 3 in the U.S. and went on to be the No. 2 movie in China for the year with about $125M in box office. The China Transcendence release will follow Depp’s big promotional swing through China beginning March 31 and replete with a series of primetime TV specials to be shown nationwide in the lead up … Read More »

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Johnny Depp To Make Big Swing Through China For ‘Transcendence’; Events To Be Broadcast Across Country

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 2:31am PDT

transcendence-johnny-deppIn April 2013, China pulled out the stops for Robert Downey Jr’s splashy visit to Beijing in support of Iron Man 3. That included a red carpet gala at the Forbidden City; the only time a Hollywood film had ever been celebrated inside the imperial Taimiao Temple. The extra push paid off: The movie went on to be No. 2 at the Chinese box office for 2013 with over $121M. Marvel’s partner on Iron Man 3, DMG Entertainment, hosted the event and is now planning something similar China-And-Hollywood__130605112955-150x150__130925193515for Johnny Depp and sci-fic action drama Transcendence. In his first visit to the Middle Kingdom, Depp’s two-day tour kicks off on March 31 and I’m told it will be “as exciting and uniquely DMG/China,” but also tailored specifically to Depp and the film, with a different location, themes and content. DMG says Depp will appear alongside “the most acclaimed Chinese actors, the most popular Chinese musicians, and the most influential Chinese artists at events that will be broadcast across China” in the lead up to the film’s local premiere. Transcendence is the first product of a partnership between Alcon Entertainment and Beijing-based DMG to finance, produce, and distribute films. Warner Bros iron-man-3-china__130407151204-575x292releases the pic in the U.S. on April 18. There … Read More »

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WB Nudges Johnny Depp Sci-Fier ‘Transcendence’ Opening By A Day

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 6:17pm PST

warnerbrosWarner Bros has made a slight shift to the release of Wally Pfister‘s debut feature Transcendence, which now will open Friday, April 18, instead of Thursday the 17th. Johnny Depp stars in the sci fi action drama as an AI professor who uploads his consciousness into a computer with startling results. Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, and Morgan Freeman co-star.

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Hot Trailer: Johnny Depp In ‘Transcendence’

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 4:44pm PST

Johnny Depp stars as an AI professor who uploads his consciousness into the digital ether when his body dies in Transcendence, the directorial debut of Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister. Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, and Morgan Freeman co-star in the sci-fi thriller from a Black List script by Jack Paglen. Transcendence is the first product of a partnership between Alcon Entertainment and Beijing-based DMG Entertainment to finance, produce, and distribute films. Warner Bros releases the pic April 17. Here’s the new trailer:

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Hot Trailer: Johnny Depp In Wally Pfister’s ‘Transcendence’

By | Saturday December 21, 2013 @ 10:38am PST

Johnny Depp stars as an artificial intelligence researcher who uploads his consciousness into the digital ether when his body dies in Transcendence, the directorial debut of celebrated Christopher Nolan DP Wally Pfister. Consider it a companion pic of sorts to Spike Jonze’s kinder, gentler Her, with a touch of Lawnmower Man-esque menace. Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, and Morgan Freeman co-star in the sci-fi thriller written by Jack Paglen, who made the Black List with his script. Nolan and Emma Thomas are exec producers. Warner Bros. releases Transcendence April 17, 2014. Take a look:

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DMG, Alcon Team On ‘Point Break’ And ‘Transcendence’ As Part Of Multi-Picture Deal

DMG Entertainment, the Beijing-based company that teamed with Disney/Marvel on Iron Man 3, is partnering with Alcon Entertainment to finance, produce, and distribute a series of films beginning with Johnny Depp-starrer Transcendence. The sci-fi pic that marks Wally Pfister’s directorial debut began shooting last month and has set an April 2014 release. Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall and Kate Mara also star. DMG and Alcon will also pair on the Ericson Core-helmed remake of Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 surfing/crime thriller Point Break. Shooting starts at the end of 2013 with the action transferred to the world of international extreme sports. Under the partnership, DMG will distribute both pictures in China. Warner Bros. has North America.

The Transcendence team has done a solid job keeping a tight lid on the plot of Jack Paglen’s script, but DMG provided some details today in Beijing. The story is set in the world of artificial intelligence science and, according to CEO Dan Mintz, “is about that moment when human consciousness and the insanely fast rise of computing power collide.”

Mintz also said, “We are very excited that these will be the first two films of what will be a long-lasting and very successful partnership with Alcon. We look forward to making history with our new partner.” Read More »

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Warner Bros Dates Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore Pic ‘Blended’, Shifts ‘Transcendence’

By | Wednesday April 24, 2013 @ 2:59pm PDT

Blended is the next starring vehicle from Adam Sandler, who is reuniting with Drew Barrymore for the romantic comedy about blended families. Warner Bros said today that the pic has landed a May 23, 2014, release date. Sandler’s Happy Madison and Mike Karz’s Gulfstream Pictures will produce the film, which had been at the studio since 2007 via an original script from Ivan Menchell and Clare Sera. Frank Coraci, who helmed past Sandler-Barrymore pic The Wedding Singer as well as Sandler vehicles Click and The Waterboy, is aboard to direct. The logline: After a disastrous blind date, Jim and Lauren — each with their kids from a previous marriage — find themselves stuck together in a resort for families. Despite everything they can do to resist, the attraction grows between the two, and their kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship.

Meanwhile, the studio shifted its release date for Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence, the pic that stars Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara and Morgan Freeman. It moves up a week from its original April 25, 2014, slot to April 18 and also will be shown in IMAX venues.

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Morgan Freeman Boards Wally Pfister’s ‘Transcendence’

By | Thursday April 11, 2013 @ 2:22pm PDT

Morgan Freeman is in final negotiations to join Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall and Kate Mara in Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence ahead of a scheduled May start date for production. Freeman, repped by CAA, was in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, all of which were lensed by Pfister. Alcon Entertainment is financing and producing Transcendence, with Warner Bros already settled on an April 25, 2014 release date. The team has done a solid job keeping a tight lid on the plot of the script, written by Jack Paglen. The screenplay was developed by Annie Marter and Straight Up Films, whose company principals include Marisa Polvino, Kate Cohen and Regency Boies. Polvino, Marter and Cohen will produce with David Valdes, and Alcon’s Johnson and Kosove. Boies will co-produce. Pfister, Nolan and producing partner Emma Thomas have worked on seven films including Inception, which won Pfister an Oscar. Nolan, Thomas and Aaron Ryder are executive producing this one.

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Kate Mara Joins Johnny Depp Alcon Pic ‘Transcendence’

By | Wednesday March 27, 2013 @ 10:50am PDT
Mike Fleming

Kate MaraBREAKING: The directorial debut of Christopher Nolan’s longtime DP Wally Pfister continues to get more interesting. He’s added Kate Mara to the cast of Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany and Rebecca Hall in Transcendence. The pic is being financed and produced by Alcon Entertainment‘s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. Scripted by Jack Paglen, the screenplay was developed by Annie Marter and Straight Up Films, whose company principals include Marisa Polvino, Kate Cohen and Regency Boies. Polvino, Marter and Cohen will produce along with David Valdes, Johnson and Kosove. Boies will co-produce. Nolan, Emma Thomas and Aaron Ryder are serving as executive producers.

Mara is currently starring with Kevin Spacey in House Of Cards, the Netflix series whose second season will shoot in the spring. She is repped by UTA and attorney Neil Meyer.

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