Frank Langella has been set to star opposite Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic, the Matt Ross-directed drama that will start filming shortly in Albuquerque. Langella just completed the independent film The Driftless Area in Vancouver, co-starring with Anton Yelchin and Zooey Deschanel, and he co-stars in the upcoming 5 TO 7, which opened at Tribeca and also stars Yelchin and Glenn Close. All three films are planned for release in 2015. Langella is represented by Paradigm.
EXCLUSIVE: Six young actors have joined Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic, the drama project about an idealistic father who returns to society from living off the grid for a decade in the Pacific Northwest with his children. A worldwide search was undertaken to cast Mortensen’s brood, and Scottish BAFTA winner George Mackay (How I Live Now, For Those In Peril), Annalise Basso (Oculus, The Red Road), Samantha Isler (NBC’s Sean Saves The World), Aussie Nicholas Hamilton (Strangerland), Shree Crooks (Extant, The New Normal), and newcomer Charlie Shotwell landed the roles. Filming is scheduled to begin in July.
EXCLUSIVE: Viggo Mortensen is in talks to star in Captain Fantastic, a drama written and to be directed by Matt Ross. Production will begin this summer. Lynette Howell and Jamie Patricof of Electric City Entertainment are producing. Lest you think that Mortensen is being fitted for spandex for a superhero role, think again. While unforgettable for his trilogy turn as Aragorn in The Lord Of The Rings, that’s probably as close to superhero as he’ll get. In Captain Fantastic, Mortensen will play an idealistic father who, after a decade of living off the grid in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, must return with his six young kids to assimilate back into society. What does it mean for a young filmmaker to land an actor like Mortensen, who is so particular in the roles he plays? ”Viggo Mortensen’s dedication to his craft and to the world of the story he’s telling have been an inspiration to me for years,” said Ross. “There is a depth to his art that I greatly admire. Any film he’s in is a film I want to see. He’s one of the greats. Getting to collaborate with him on Captain Fantastic is quite literally the best thing that’s happened to me since my wife asked me to marry her.”
This festival entry starring Viggo Mortensen is directed and co-written by Ana Piterbarg. It premieres tomorrow.
A new international trailer is up for A Dangerous Method, the drama involving psychiatrists Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Sony Pictures Classics releases the film later this year. It stars Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Vincent Cassel.
EXCLUSIVE: Luke Evans has bagged the role of Bard in The Hobbit, a last major part that Peter Jackson hadn’t cast in a production that’s underway in New Zealand. Bard the Grim is a skilled archer, and the heir of King Girion of Dale. The king was killed by the talking dragon Smaug. The character plays a greater role in the second film, and is somewhat reminiscent of the action-hero exploits of Viggo Mortensen’s Aragorn, I’m told.
It seemed evident that the Welsh actor was going to win one of these roles that involve a competition between multiple young thesps. He was a finalist to play the lead in Tony Gilroy’s The Bourne Legacy that went to Jeremy Renner, and was a finalist for the role of Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, which went to Joel Edgerton. Evans plays Aramis in the upcoming Three Musketeers, after supporting roles in Immortals, Robin Hood and Clash of the Titans. He’s repped by WME and Ruth Young at United Agents in the UK.
That leaves the voice of Smaug as the major casting yet to be revealed. I’d heard early on that it would likely be Bill Nighy, but have heard nothing since then.
CANNES: Weinstein Company Near Deal For ‘Wettest County’ While Distribs Fret Over Buying Pics Sight-Unseen
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company, already on a Cannes acquisition spree, has emerged as the clear frontrunner for domestic distribution rights on The Wettest County in the World, after another all-night bargaining session between Harvey Weinstein’s acquisition team and CAA. I’m told a deal is very close. Considering how many distributors showed interest going into the weekend, it might seem surprising that the Wettest County in the World has taken this long. Relativity Media had been the favorite all weekend since posting the highest bid, north of $5 million. I heard they got word from the producers last night that it wasn’t going to happen with them. I suspect what gave TWC the edge is its awards season experience, and a relationship that is growing between Harvey Weinstein and Megan Ellison, who financed the picture with Michael Benaroya. Ellison just sold to Weinstein world rights to the untitled Paul Thomas Anderson-directed film, which starts production next month with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix starring. I believe that The Wettest County in the World will get a platform release at year end, and open wide in early 2012.
The behind the scenes drama that has been going on all weekend illustrates the predicament for distributors on the Croisette who are trying to maintain some discipline in the closest thing to a sellers market that Cannes has seen in years. Buyers in this case wanted some control over a film that is done …
LOS ANGELES, CA May 5, 2011 – Sanford Panitch, President of Fox International Productions, announced today that Fox International Productions has brokered a deal for the worldwide rights to EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Soledad Villamil (The Secret in Their Eyes) in the feature film directorial debut of writer/director Ana Piterbarg. The film, which will be distributed by Twentieth Century Fox in Spain and Argentina, will be introduced to select international distributors for the first time at the Marché Du Film at the Cannes Film Festival by Fox International Productions’ Senior Vice President of Sales Shebnem Askin-Schreger.
EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN tells the story of Agustín (Mortensen), a man desperate to abandon what he gradually has come to feel is an unfulfilling existence after years of living in Buenos Aires. Following the death of his identical twin brother Pedro, Agustín sets out to begin his life anew by assuming Pedro’s identity and returning to the mysterious Tigre Delta region where the brothers had spent their childhood. Soon after his homecoming, however, Agustín finds himself unwittingly embroiled in the deadly criminal underworld that his brother had been part of.
The film is set against the peculiar landscape of the Tigre Delta, a maze of islands and rivers that once served as a recreational playground for the Buenos Aires elite, where one can still find French- and English-style mansions flanking the Delta’s waterways as
Graham King’s GK Films has hired Focus Features exec Kahli Small to be executive vice president of production and development. She will report directly to King and will work out of GK’s Santa Monica headquarters. Kahli is a seven-year vet of Focus Features and most recently held the title of executive vice president of production and development. Her projects have included the Oscar-nominated Harvey Milk biopic Milk, the David Cronenberg-directed Viggo Mortensen starrer Eastern Promises, and The American, which starred George Clooney. Before Focus, she was head of production at Key Entertainment, and was an exec at MGM.
“Her reputation in the industry and track record for success are exactly the qualities that we are looking for in executives as we expand our company,” King said in a statement. The appointment comes at a time when GK (run by King and partner Tim Headington) are gearing up on several major projects. They include a movie adaptation of the hit stage musical Jersey Boys, the untitled biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury that has a script by Peter Morgan and Sacha Baron Cohen starring, and a reboot of Tomb Raider. GK is about to start production on the Tim Burton-directed Johnny Depp starrer Dark Shadows at Warner Bros, and is in post production on the Martin Scorsese-directed 3D film Hugo Cabret, which Paramount releases Nov. 23. GK has also wrapped the William Monahan-directed London Boulevard with Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley and …
Before it got released on DVD today, Tron: Legacy managed to play in theaters long enough to establish Joseph Kosinski as the highest-grossing first-time director of a live-action film in Hollywood history. The film’s $399 million global gross recently eclipsed the $397.5 million gross that JJ Abrams turned in on 2006′s Mission: Impossible 3.
Now, such a distinction is relative. Tron: Legacy cost between $165 million and $170 million to make and a comparable amount to market. Sam Mendes made his debut on the $15 million American Beauty, which grossed $356 million worldwide in 1999. Jan De Bont’s debut on the $30 million Speed turned in a $350 million worldwide gross in 1994. Ticket prices were lower when American Beauty and Speed were released, and Tron: Legacy had the extra benefit of higher 3D pricing. American Beauty and Speed were extravagantly profitable. Disney will make some money on Tron: Legacy, but they won’t need to back up the Brink’s truck.
But Tron: Legacy’s performance certainly gives the studio reason to think it has poured the foundation for a franchise. Disney has begun work on a sequel, which Kosinski is constructing with original writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Maybe because of Tron: Legacy’s pricey launch and heightened expectations, I had the impression that the film had been a bit underwhelming, despite a $44 million opening weekend. But looks are deceiving. For one …
Deadline was first to tell you in January that despite Universal Pictures’ testing of young actresses, Twilight Saga’s Kristen Stewart had materialized as a likely candidate to play the lead role in the Rupert Sanders-directed Snow White and the Hunstman. Now, Palek Patel, who’s producing with Joe Roth, has tweeted that she’s in final negotiations to star with Charlize Theron and Viggo Mortensen in the rebooted fairy tale that’s going head to head with Relativity Media’s The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, which will star Julia Roberts. Gersh-repped Stewart will complete production on the final Twilight installment at the end of April, and will shoot Snow White in August.
UPDATE: Relativity confirmed they’ve signed Julia Roberts, and have set a June 29, 2012 release date. That puts The Brothers Grimm: Snow White six months ahead of the preliminary release plan for Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman. Relativity Media’s press release is at bottom of the story.
EARLIER 9:33 AM: Deadline revealed late last year that Julia Roberts was being courted by Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media to play the Evil Queen in the Tarsem Singh-directed The Brothers Grimm: Snow White. I’m told that the deal will close within two hours, with the talks basically down to “whether Julia gets a Town Car or an SUV.”
Committing to Roberts means that neither Relativity Media or Universal Pictures is blinking on the race to mount rival Snow White pictures for 2012 release. Universal has set a December 21, 2012 release date for the Rupert Sanders-directed Snow White and the Huntsman, which has come together strongly with Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen playing the title characters, and Charlize Theron playing the Evil Queen. Usually, rival picture races end when one project either lands a big star or makes it into production first. That’s happened on such films as the Oliver Stone-directed Alexander, which ended the Alexander the Great film Baz Luhrmann was prepping with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Relativity Media might get into production before Universal’s planned summer start, with pre-production underway and shooting to begin possibly as soon as next month, insiders said. …
EXCLUSIVE: With word circulating that Viggo Mortensen is in talks to play one of the title characters in the Rupert Sanders-directed Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal Pictures, will Twilight Saga‘s Kristen Stewart end up with playing Snow White? Though the studio has been testing young actresses and no one is set, there are persistent rumors that Stewart looms large as a potential lead. Mortensen surfaces in the lead of that movie in a role that had been rumored for Michael Fassbender. But Fassbender never had an offer and he committed to the Ridley Scott-directed Prometheus with Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron. Ironically, Theron is also starring in Huntsmen as the Evil Queen. Stewart is repped by Gersh. Stay tuned…
EXCLUSIVE: After Javier Bardem’s terrifying Oscar-winning turn as the assassin in No Country For Old Men, is there any doubt he’d fit as the gunslinger Roland Deschain in The Dark Tower, the mammoth adaptation of the Stephen King 7-novel series that’ll span three movies and a limited run TV series in between?
I’m told that Bardem has officially been offered the lead role by director Ron Howard and Universal Pictures. While formal negotiations haven’t yet begun, there’s a high level of enthusiasm internally that they’ve got their cowboy. Akiva Goldsman has scripted the first movie, and will write the TV component as well. Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer is producing with Goldsman and the author. Universal is financing and distributing the films, and NBC Universal Television Entertainment is backing the TV component, which will either be a limited run series or a miniseries.
It has been a heady week for Bardem. He received a Best Actor nomination for his performance as a terminally ill street hustler in the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed Biutiful, and Bardem and Penelope Cruz just welcomed their first son into the world. Since Deadline first revealed that King, Goldsman, Howard and Grazer were joining forces on the ambitious project that would tell the story on multiple platforms, speculation has been rampant over who’d play the lead role. Bardem has been mentioned, as has Viggo Mortensen and Christian Bale. Deschain …
EXCLUSIVE: Francis Ford Coppola has been working for 30 years to turn Jack Kerouac’s seminal Beat Generation novel On the Road into a movie. It is starting to look like it was worth the wait. Amy Adams and Viggo Mortensen are joining the Walter Salles-directed adaptation that will begin this month, I’m told. She will play Jane, the emotionally damaged junkie mother of two children and the wife of Old Bull Lee. Mortensen is going to play Lee. Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley and Tron: Legacy‘s Garrett Hedlund are also set for the pic. Script’s by Jose Rivera, who teamed with Salles on The Motorcycle Diaries. Coppola and Rebecca Yeldham are producing. The film began production today.
Adams, who next stars opposite Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in the David O. Russell-directed The Fighter, will follow On The Road by treading on more hallowed 60s ground. She’s attached to play songstress Janis Joplin in a film to be directed by City Of God helmer Fernando Mierelles that could happen next year. Mortensen just wrapped the role of Sigmund Freud in the David Cronenberg-directed A Dangerous Method.