EXCLUSIVE: Alec Baldwin is the latest actor to join Warren Beatty‘s untitled Howard Hughes project, portraying the reclusive billionaire’s lawyer Bob Maheu. Beatty has been tapping some of his friends for various roles. Those who have already been reported by Deadline include Martin Sheen, Matthew Broderick, and Beatty’s wife Annette Bening. The two leads are Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures), who plays Hughes’ assistant, and the young assistant’s actress love interest, played by Lily Collins (Mirror, Mirror). The focus of the film is the love story between those two characters. Beatty portrays Hughes.
Related: Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes Pic Finally Takes Flight
An interesting note about the real Maheu is that the senior go-to guy for Hughes was widely reported at the time of Hughes’ death to have never actually have seen his boss and received all his instructions on hand-written notes. He was a very interesting man — a spy during WWII, he worked for the CIA and ultimately testified in the Senate about Hughes giving money to Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon. He also sued and won a defamation lawsuit against Hughes in his later years. Baldwin shot his role over two days. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Martin Sheen has joined the cast of Warren Beatty‘s untitled Howard Hughes project, the script of which is being kept tightly under wraps. Sheen and Beatty are old friends but this is the first time they’ve worked together. Sheen, who will next be seen opposite Rooney Mara in Stephen Daldry’s Trash, been on and off the set for director Beatty, who is also producing and plays Howard Hughes. The story centers Hughes’ assistant (played by Alden Ehrenreich) and his love interest (Lily Collins). The pic, known around town as the untitled Warren Beatty project, also includes Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick.
Related: Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes Pic Finally Takes Flight
The project was funded by billionaires Ron Burkle, Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. It’s a $26.7M negative. Ratner and Beatty are producing with Packer exec producing. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: It took two decades, but it’s finally getting off the ground thanks to billionaires Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer’s and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment. The heavies have come together to finance Warren Beatty’s long-gestating Howard Hughes-based project. The roughly $26.7M production, which Beatty will direct and star in as Hughes, will revolve around Hughes’ assistant (Alden Ehrenreich, Beautiful Creatures) and his love interest (Lily Collins, Mirror, Mirror). New Regency, Beatty and Ratner are producing, with Packer executive producing. Regency will handle foreign through Fox. They’ve already shot a small amount of film on the picture, but it starts rolling in earnest today. Beatty’s wife Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick and other surprises are expected (a la Jack Nicholson, maybe? One can only hope). The focus of the film is the love story of the two younger characters. Read More »
When George Clooney received his eighth Oscar nomination as a producer of Argo – he shared producing credits on the Best Picture nominee with Ben Affleck and Grant Heslov — he marched into the Academy Award record books in a very unique way. It was the sixth different category in which he was nominated, an unprecedented feat for the 24 categories currently handed out each year. It’s also a nearly-unprecedented feat in all 85 years of the Oscars — but that’s with an asterisk and we’ll get to that.
Clooney knocked off three of those categories in 2005, the first year he was nominated for anything, with Directing and Original Screenplay (with Heslov) nominations for Good Night And Good Luck and winning Best Supporting Actor for Syriana. Then there were those Best Actor nominations he seems to get every other year: Michael Clayton (2007), Up In The Air (2009) and The Descendants (2011). That’s four different categories, to which he added a fifth in 2011, when he also was nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay race for The Ides Of March (with Heslov and Beau Willimon). This feat with five ties him with Warren Beatty, Stanley Kubrick, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen and Kenneth Branagh — however, only Clooney’s and Beatty’s noms all came in Oscar’s marquee top eight races (Picture, Writing, Acting, Directing). For the record, in addition to their writing, producing, directing and/or acting nods, Kubrick won in Special Effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); Branagh was nominated for a Live Action Short, Swan Song (1992); and the Coens have shared Film Editing nominations twice under their pseudonym Roderick Jaynes.
With Best Picture frontrunner Argo, the versatile Clooney has now passed them all in this particular — and particularly impressive — Oscar statistic. Although some could say acting, directing, writing and picture are just four categories, I would argue they are very specific disciplines which is why the Academy separates out lead and supporting acting as well as Adapted and Original Screenplays. I would also point out Beatty’s feat of earning Picture, Actor, Directing and Screenplay nominations in the same year — not once but twice (Heaven Can Wait, Reds) — is a Herculean feat in itself. He won the Directing Oscar for Reds as well as the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award and has 14 nominations in all, but none of them were in the Supporting Actor category and that’s where Clooney topped him. In fact, Beatty has yet to play a supporting role in any film.
So in terms of sheer numbers of categories nominated, is George Clooney now the King of the Oscars? Read More »
Birthday wishes are in store for the famous Beverly Hills Hotel celebrating its centennial this year and kicking it off with a two-day affair, just ended at the famous Los Angeles landmark. With all proceeds benefitting the Motion Picture & Television Fund (which also holds a major fundraiser ahead of the Oscars called The Night Before) high-rollers were treated on Friday to comedy and jazz by the pool hosted by Bill Cosby and Saturday night to cocktails, dinner and a mini-concert by Mary J. Blige who said it was her favorite hotel, where she married the love of her life. She definitely had the Crystal room rocking.
Earlier in the evening MPTF founding Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg welcomed guests including one of the evening’s hosts Brett Ratner, and the main attraction for many in the room, Warren Beatty who serves on the MPTF board. “Somehow or another this place is the center of the universe. There’s no one in this room who knows this hotel better than Warren Beatty. I mean no one,” he said to laughs as Beatty took the stage to lead a toast. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After a long search, Warren Beatty has chosen Like Crazy star Felicity Jones to play the female lead in the untitled film about reclusive industrialist Howard Hughes. The film is still mobilizing its financing, with New Regency in place as a co-financier after Paramount dropped out. Still, Beatty has begun casting, and he met with many young actresses before deciding on Jones. Her breakthrough came in the Drake Doremus-directed Like Crazy, which has been slowly rolling out in release through Paramount Vantage. The film was acquired by Paramount and Indian Paintbrush when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to high acclaim last January.
Jones will play a young woman who develops a relationship with Hughes’s young driver and confidante, before she falls in love with Hughes. Beatty, who’ll direct and who wrote the script, will play Hughes. He’s narrowing choices for the young male lead, and I’ve heard names ranging from Justin Timberlake to Alden Ehrenreich. Also in the mix for roles are Annette Bening, and potentially Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin and Owen Wilson. The film, which Beatty has been working on for years, is expected to start production sometime next year. CAA-repped Jones recently completed another movie directed by Like Crazy‘s Doremus. It shot last summer, and is currently untitled.
Shirley MacLaine has been named the 40th recipient of the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award. The 77-year-old MacLaine will receive the tribute during a gala ceremony next June 7 that will be broadcast later that month on TV Land. In announcing the selection, AFI board of trustees chair Howard Stringer said, “Shirley MacLaine is a powerhouse of personality that has illuminated screens large and small across six decades. From ingenue to screen legend, Shirley has entertained a global audience through song, dance, laughter and tears, and her career as writer, director and producer is even further evidence of her passion for the art form and her seemingly boundless talents.” The 1984 Oscar winner as Best Actress for Terms of Endearment is being honored by AFI four years after her younger brother Warren Beatty was in 2008.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles will bestow its Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film to Warren Beatty at the organizations annual Britannia Awards gala Nov. 30 at the Beverly Hilton. The announcement today rounds out the field of honorees that also includes Ben Stiller (Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy), Helena Bonham Carter (Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year), John Lasseter (Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment), and David Yates (John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing). The ceremony will air Dec. 4 on the TV Guide Network.
EXCLUSIVE: Limitless helmer Neil Burger is in talks to team up with screenwriter Sheldon Turner and producers Sean and Bryan Furst and Marissa McMahon to bring to the screen a new version of the Depression Era outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Rights have been acquired by financier McMahon and her Kamala Films banner on Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, a book by Jeff Guinn published last year by Simon & Schuster. The book paints a less romanticized version than the 1967 Arthur Penn-directed film that starred Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. For one thing, the outlaws were just 22 when they were gunned down by a former Texas Ranger after they’d killed seven people. The first person Clyde Barrow killed was the cell mate who had sexually abused him repeatedly. Barrow had a strong code of honor: when a lifer in the prison took the rap for the killing, Barrow and his gang broke him out. The book also suggests that Bonnie Parker was a prostitute before joining up with and eventually going down in a hail of bullets with Barrow. The project’s financier, McMahon, is the wife of Shane McMahon, the son of the pro wrestling mogul Vince McMahon. Burger’s not committed. He’s booked to next direct Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, the Sony Pictures adaptation of the video game. Turner will write the script before directing By Virtue Fall with financing from QED later this … Read More »
Deadline told you Monday that Warren Beatty was getting behind the camera for the first time since Bulworth. Paramount and Beatty are keeping details under wraps, but here’s what I’ve heard: He will play Howard Hughes, but it’s not really a biopic; part of the plot involves an affair he had with a young woman in the later years of his life. I’ve heard that he’s going top shelf for the ensemble cast he is putting together. Here is who he’s meeting with: Andrew Garfield, Alec Baldwin, Annette Bening, Shia La Beouf, Jack Nicholson, Evan Rachel Wood and Rooney Mara. Beatty has wanted to play Hughes forever. The courtship of Baldwin is particularly intriguing, since in Martin Scorsese’s superb Howard Hughes movie The Aviator, Baldwin played Hughes’ main adversary, Pan Am World Airways founder Juan Trippe. We’ll see which actors end up making the movie, but it certainly sounds like this project that Beatty wrote and has ruminated on for years is going to happen in a most ambitious way.
BREAKING: In what will be his first trip behind the camera since 1998′s Bulworth, Warren Beatty has committed to direct and star in an untitled comedy for Paramount Pictures. Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey has announced the deal for Beatty, who wrote the script and will also produce. Casting is underway right now. Beatty made both Heaven Can Wait and Reds for Paramount, collecting 21 Oscar noms between them. Beatty won Best Director for Reds. He also received the Irving Thalberg Award.
“Warren’s script is quintessential Beatty, elegantly written and wonderfully entertaining,” said Grey. “It is our privilege to have one of the great artists in the history of the film industry come home to Paramount.” The movie is expected to go into production later this year.
Warren Beatty just received an early birthday gift. (He turns 74 next week.) A federal judge in Los Angeles has stopped Tribune Co from reclaiming the television and movie rights to comic-strip detective Dick Tracy from Warren Beatty. U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson granted summary judgment in the producer/director/actor’s favor yesterday, ruling that the fact Beatty had begun work on a half-hour TV special, which had Warren dressed as the Dick Tracy character answering questions from film critic Leonard Maltin, satisfied a use-it-or-lose-it clause in an agreement with Tribune to produce a Dick Tracy movie or TV show or lose the rights to the character. Now, what Warren wants to do with the Dick Tracy character whose rights he acquired from Tribune Media Services in 1985 going forward I can’t imagine.
The expensive 1990 movie he produced, directed and starred in for Disney’s Touchstone pictures was no blockbuster despite a stellar cast that included Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman and even a well-hyped romance between Madonna and himself. But it did collect seven Academy Award nominations, winning Oscars for Best Original Song, Best Makeup, and Best Art Direction. As for that TV special which featured Beatty discussing how Dick Tracy has been portrayed on film over the years, it only ran on Turner Classic Movies in July 2009. Beatty only made it to keep his rights intact. It’s hard to imagine today’s younger audiences caring about the detective, yet Tribune Co has said in bankruptcy filings that unfettered rights to Dick Tracy are potentially worth millions” to the company and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class writer/director/producer Matthew Vaughn tells me that a major Hollywood studio is very keen to fully fund his next big project: The Golden Age about a retirement home where superheroes end up. And the title is also a reference to early comic books of the 1930s when Superman and Batman first appeared. It’s based on the yet-to-be-published comic book written by Brit TV chat show host Jonathan Ross, who’s a huge comics buff. Vaughn is currently in LA editing X-Men: First Class for Fox, but tells me he wants to get actors attached to the new project before the script is written. His wish list is Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, and Warren Beatty to play the retired superheroes who help out their grandchildren when their middle-aged parent screw up the world.
Vaughn believes the success of The Expendables and Red shows that audiences are open to the idea of older action heroes. “You have these great star names and they’re mainly playing supporting roles now. I want to give them the lead again and let them have some fun.”
It’s not certain whether Vaughn’s partner Jane Goldman, who has co-written X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass for Vaughn to direct, will be penning this one, though. Vaughn says he may hire other writers. And he may not direct it himself either. He may produce The Golden Age. Vaughn started out in life as Guy Ritchie’s producer and then turned director.
Turf, Ross’s gangsters-versus-vampires comic book drawn by Tommy Lee Edwards, is up to issue 3 in its 5-part … Read More »
“These awards really took flight this year,” Warren Beatty effusively said to 2nd annual Governors Awards producer and Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences 1st Vice President Sid Ganis right after the ceremony ended around 11 PM Saturday night. It took place at the Grand Ballroom in the Hollywood and Highland complex where the Academy’s Post–Oscars Governors Ball is held every February. This time, these awards honored indelible actor Eli Wallach, film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, iconic director Jean-Luc Godard, and Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award receipient Francis Ford Coppola. “Can I use the ‘F’ word?,” Beatty asked. “I think the movie industry should tell the television industry to go F*** itself.” His likely meaning (at least in ‘Warren speak’) was that commercial interests should never compel the AMPAS to sell the Governors Awards as a TV special — a possibility raised after last year’s show — and ruin the “specialness” of the evening.
This separate lifetime achievement ceremony was created last year as a way to shorten the actual Oscar telecast and to hand out more than one honor each year in a more relaxed setting where the recipients aren’t forced to keep their acceptance speeches to 30 seconds or less. They aren’t televised and likely never will be according to Academy officials I talked to who were very pleased with the outcome. “This must have been what the original Oscars were like,” said one. And even though … Read More »