EXCLUSIVE:Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Mesrine, Ocean’s Twelve and Thirteen) has been tapped as a last-minute addition to Summit’s now-filming Soviet thriller Child 44. The Cesar-winning thesp is replacing previously cast Philip Seymour Hoffman in the pic which has been filming since June under director Daniel Espinosa (Easy Money, Safe House). Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Gary Oldman, and Joel Kinnaman also star in the tale of a military cop investigating a series of child murders in 1950s Stalinist Russia, adapted by Oscar-nominated Richard Price from Tom Rob Smith’s bestseller.
Child 44 is the first book in Smith’s trilogy featuring protagonist Leo Stepanovich Demidov, played by Hardy in the pic. Ridley Scott is producing Child 44 for his Scott Free Productions with Michael Schaefer and Greg Shapiro. Pic is co-financed and exec produced by Worldview Entertainment, whose Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Maria Cestone, Sarah Johnson Redlich are executive producing along with Douglas Urbanski. Lionsgate’s Erik Feig and Jim Miller are overseeing for the studio. Read More »
Beauty And The Beast is having quite the resurgence these days. There are 2 TV pilots in the works with the fairy tale as source material and now there’s going to be a new film adaptation courtesy of Christophe Gans. The picture marks a return to the big screen for the Silent Hill director after a six-year absence. France’s Eskwad and Pathé are teaming on the project to star Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux (who’ve both found steady work at home and in Hollywood). Richard Grandpierre is producing with principal photography to start in October this year. Gans has a pretty big cult following. He was part of a “new” new wave back in the late ’90s in France with Brotherhood Of The Wolf. On this film, he says he wants to “unleash” his imagination and “surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe never experienced before.” Pathé will sell the film internationally.
EXCLUSIVE: Hot off co-writing Trance for director Danny Boyle, Joe Ahearne has sold an untitled supernatural thriller pitch to Warner Bros. Dan Lin will produce under his Lin Pictures banner. Lin’s veep Jon Silk came up with an idea they are keeping under wraps and Ahearne expanded it before they pitched it to the studio and came away with a deal. Silk will be co-producer and WB’s Matt Cherniss is overseeing it. It’s the British writer’s second deal with Warner Bros, which recently hired him to rewrite Elf Quest for Rawson Thurber to direct. Thurber wrote the original draft. Ahearne will write Elf Quest and start the new pitch at the same time.
Trance, which stars James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson, is currently in production in London. Boyle will complete the shoot, then put it down to focus on directing the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He’ll then pick Trance back up and complete the picture. Ahearne, who wrote the feature script with John Hodge, wrote and directed the 2001 BBC telepic that Trance is based on. Ahearne also created the British vampire miniseries Ultraviolet that starred Idris Elba and Stephen Moyer, and Apparitions. He’s repped by ICM and Principal Entertainment, as well as UK-based United Agents.
EXCLUSIVE: Rosario Dawson has won the hotly contested female lead in the Danny Boyle-directed Fox Searchlight drama Trance. She is poised to join James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel, who are both in negotiations to play the male leads in a film that will start production in September. McAvoy’s in talks to play the inside man in an art heist that goes wrong. He runs afoul of an accomplice (Cassel), and Dawson will play a woman who develops an unusual relationship with both men in a thriller that is as moderately budget and edgy as Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. Joe Ahearne and John Hodge wrote the script.
Deadline was first to revealTrance in early May, when Boyle decided to work in a follow-up to 127 Hours even as he prepares to direct the opening ceremonies of next summer’s Olympics in London. He’s re-teaming with frequent producing collaborator Christian Colson. They will shoot the movie in the fall in London, then put it on a shelf while Boyle devotes himself to the Olympics beginning in January. When the games are over, Boyle will start cutting the film in August 2012 with the goal of having the picture ready for Fox Searchlight to release it in March 2013. Read More »
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.
Darren Aronofsky’s ballet psychological thriller will open the 67th Venice International Film Festival on September 1. Natalie Portman stars as a ballerina who finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with new rival Mila Kunis. Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder also star in the Fox Searchlight release. Aronofsky won the Golden Lion two years ago for The Wrestler. This year’s Venice – reckoned to be one of the top three festivals in the world with Cannes and Berlin – runs from September 1-11.
The government is talking about reducing the total amount people can write off their tax bills by 10%. France is trying to tackle its national debt crisis just like every other European country. This would be bad news for France’s Sofica tax break. Last year, Soficas injected €36 million ($45 million) in 98 movies, investing on average €370,000 in each feature. Half of all French feature productions use the tax break, including some English-language films.
“It’s cheap money from the producer’s point of view,” one insider tells me.
Worse, the cash-strapped Finance Ministry could cap the amount each Sofica can raise. Or combine the across-the-board 10% tax reduction with slashing the total Soficas are allowed raise through private investors.
Compared to other French tax shelters, Sofica is risky and long-term, which stands in its favour.
Joel Thibout of French financier Backup Films, which runs two Soficas, tells me he’s sceptical about the government clamping down on Soficas directly though. “There’s too much at stake politically given the comparatively tiny amount of money they cost the government,” he says.
French filmmakers have until December to make their feelings known, when next year’s Budget goes to the vote. France’s film and TV producers are a powerful lobby. Given recent demonstrations in Paris when President Sarkozy announced he was raising the pension age to 62, just imagine the media scrum if French stars such as Vanessa Paradis or Vincent Cassel take to the barricades.