Refresh For Latest…
Ed Westwick Has A ‘Bone In The Throat’
EXCLUSIVE: Ed Westwick will play the lead in the film adaptation of Anthony Bourdain’s foodie noir thriller novel Bone In The Throat. Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises, Revenge) and Liam Cunningham (Game Of Thrones) have also joined the cast of the film to be helmed by commercials director Graham Henman in his feature debut. He co-wrote the screenplay with Mark Townend. Lenny Beckerman and Peter Heslop are producing the story of a sous-chef at the hottest restaurant in London’s East End who becomes embroiled in his uncle’s underground mob activity when he witnesses him commit a murder. Executive producer Maggie Monteith of Dignity Film Finance is backing the picture set to shoot in London in the fall. Westwick is repped by Michael Hallett at Emptage Hallet. Cunningham and Gorman are repped by Management 360 and the UK’s Independent Talent.
Fox, Bulgari Roll Out Red Carpet For Cannes ‘Cleopatra’
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is partnering with jeweler Bulgari to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s legendary Cleopatra. A restored 243-minute version will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21, hosted by Jessica Chastain and attended by members of the families of stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The screening will be followed by a reception featuring pieces on display from Taylor’s personal jewelry collection. The exhibition also will include original costumes from the film which are on loan from Cinecittà. Following the Cannes premiere, Twentieth Century Fox will release Cleopatra in limited theatrical engagements in more than 200 theaters around the world. The 50th anniversary Blu-ray Cleopatra debuts May 28. READ MORE »
Worldview Entertainment has grabbed U.S. rights from Wild Bunch to the Arnaud Desplechin-directed drama Jimmy P, which stars Benicio Del Toro and makes its debut in competition at Cannes. CAA repped Worldview in the deal, … Read More »
Wild Bunch Exec Protests High Costs Of French Filmmaking
An editorial written by Wild Bunch co-founder and sales chief Vincent Maraval has whipped up a mini-storm within the French film industry. The exec, who’s had a hand in such films as The Artist, The Wrestler, Pan’s Labyrinth, Fahrenheit 9/11, City Of God and March Of The Penguins, blasted the current state of French cinema, calling 2012 a “disaster”. France enjoys possibly the world’s most generous subsidy system which relies in part on investment by local TV networks, but Maraval says “even the biggest commercial successes lose money” with budgets inflated by above the line costs. Calling France “the world record holder for the average cost of production” after the U.S., Maraval says “French actors are rich from public funds and from a system that protects the cultural exception.” Maraval cites such talent as Vincent Cassel, Jean Reno, Marion Cotillard, Guillaume Canet and Audrey Tautou and asks why they would “be paid from €500,000 to €2M ($655K to $2.62M) for a French film limited to the French market but when they shoot an American film, whose market is worldwide, they’re happy with €50,000 to €200,000 ($65.5K to $262K)? Read More »
EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: Memphis, Paul Greengrass‘ film about the final days of Dr. Martin Luther King, is coming back around. Now, I hear that steps are underway to make Memphis Greengrass’ next directorial outing. I’ve heard that Veritas is in talks to finance with Wild Bunch. You might recall the picture was shelved after Universal Pictures dropped out, and Greengrass and producer Scott Rudin shelved it because it became too difficult to set up new financing and shoot the film so that it could be released during the MLK weekend holiday. Greengrass and Rudin moved on to make Captain Phillips, the Sony drama about the Somali pirate heist that stars Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips.
Related: Opposition To MLK Films Reveals Hard Truths About Biopic Biz
The script depicts Dr. King’s final days as he struggled to organize a protest march on behalf of striking black municipal sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was slain. That storyline is juxtaposed with an intense manhunt for King’s assassin James Earl Ray, involving some of the federal authorities who, at Hoover’s direction, had dogged King’s every step with wiretaps and whispering campaigns before the civil rights leader’s death. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Continuing its steady pace of pick-ups, The Weinstein Co has acquired French comedy Haute Cuisine from Wild Bunch. The Christian Vincent-directed pic is based on the true story of Danièle Delpeuch who was the private cook to late French … Read More »
Wild Bunch hits Cannes next week with a colossal 14 films in official selection and one each in Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight. Co-founder and sales chief Vincent Maraval tells me that’s a record for the company that last year unveiled The Artist at the festival.
There are also 4 new films debuting on the sales slate including Brian De Palma’s Passion starring Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace and Paul Anderson. The Saïd Ben Saïd-produced film is De Palma’s own spin on Alain Corneau’s 2010 thriller Crime D’Amour about a power struggle between a ruthless executive and her protégé. Wild Bunch is also handling Cube and Splice director Vincenzo Natali’s Haunter with Abigail Breslin. The supernatural thriller/ghost story focuses on a young girl and her family who have been trapped in their house since they died there in 1986. Steve Hoban is producing the currently shooting film from Copperheart Entertainment.
After 2010’s Film Socialisme, Jean-Luc Godard is back with Wild Bunch and Goodbye To Language 3D. Godard’s films are typically tough to describe, but Maraval tells me this one involves a couple and a dog who helps them communicate when they’re no longer able. Rounding out the new titles is Marina de Van’s English-language horror tale Dark Touch from Agat Films, Ex-Nihilo and Element Pictures. This one focuses on a young girl whose family is murdered by their house. When she tries to convince the police of the house’s rage, no one believes her. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Yesterday a French blog released a list of what it contended was the official Cannes selection for 2012. The blog said the list had been briefly published on the official Cannes Film Festival website before hastily being pulled down. … Read More »
In its first official comment since stories began appearing about a racy one-sheet featuring The Artist star Jean Dujardin holding a woman by the ankles to promote the comedy Les Infideles, Wild Bunch confirms it has removed the posters and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Wild Bunch is reteaming with Cristian Mungiu for the 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days helmer’s first feature effort since his 2007 Palme d’Or winning drama. Along with repping sales on the new film, Wild Bunch is producing with France’s Why Not and Mungiu. Set in an Orthodox convent in Romania, the story centers on a young woman’s descent into madness, her subsequent exorcism and the police investigation it sparks. Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval tells me the genre film has elements of 4 Months, but with a much more intense twist. Wild Bunch will commence pre-sales in Berlin and is eyeing a Cannes delivery date. Also on Wild Bunch’s Berlin sales slate are a series of titles likely to see play in the official selections at Cannes including West Beyrouth director Ziad Doueiri’s The Attack, a film that was previously in development at Focus. Based on the best-selling book by Yasmina Khadra, the film is about a Palestinian doctor who discovers uncomfortable truths about his wife following a suicide bombing attack. Wild Bunch has also boarded Broken, stage director Rufus Norris’ feature debut starring Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy, Rory Kinnear and Bill Milner. Adapted from Daniel Clay’s novel, story follows the turmoil a young girl faces after witnessing a violent attack. Maraval says the film could be a contender Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Twisted Pictures, the company behind the Saw series and other genre films, has made an output and distribution deal with Wild Bunch. The Paris-based distribution and sales company will acquire and distribute the worldwide rights in all media for Twisted Pictures, the genre label of Mark Burg’s Evolution Entertainment. The deal will run for three years, and Twisted Pictures plans to generate up to two films each year, with an emphasis on low-budget genre fare featuring new filmmakers. It’s a major step forward for Burg since he bought out co-founder Oren Koules’ 50% stake in Evolution last June and named Mike Menchel to run the production/management company as president. Evolution, longtime manager of Charlie Sheen, was a producer of Two And A Half Men and will be a producer on Sheen’s upcoming FX series Anger Management. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Wild Bunch has added eight French projects to its lineup ahead of the Rendez-Vous With French Cinema in Paris next week. They include works from the talent behind such films as Of Gods And Men, A Prophet and Tell No One, and I’ve got a preview of them below.
The Rendez-Vous brings out some 450 international buyers to sample the wares of local sales companies — and soak up a lot of champagne. Sponsored by France’s film export body Unifrance, it’s a must-attend on the calendar for indie distributors who spend four days at a market and screenings in Paris’ Opéra Garnier district. Although not a lot of business is transacted during the event per se, it remains a key opportunity for French sales companies to offer a glimpse at locally produced films that will circulate throughout the year. Wild Bunch typically uses the Rendez-Vous as a platform for its French pics. Last year, Vincent Maraval and his team started talking about eventual Cannes Jury Prize winner Poliss, which Sundance Selects later picked up. In 2010, the company emphasized Of Gods And Men, which ultimately won the Cannes Grand Prize and the Best Picture César and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. This year, along with talking up the new French projects, Wild Bunch will screen The Players for the first time. The star-studded series of vignettes about infidelity is from a group of directors that includes The Artist’s Michel Hazanavicius and Jean Dujardin (starring here in his first role since The Artist). It sold well during AFM while the new titles are also ones to watch given the company’s track record with some of the biggest exports of recent years.
Among those new titles are Tell No One producer Alain Attal’s 14 million euros Populaire, an already buzzy Mad Men-era typing competition romcom starring Romain Duris, Deborah François and Artist breakout Bérénice Bejo. Another romantic comedy on the slate, director Valérie Donzelli’s Hand In Hand, sees a mirror maker with a taste for hip-hop and an opera dance director befallen by a strange phenomenon that leaves them forced to mimic each other’s movements. Wild Bunch recently handled Donzelli’s Declaration Of War, which is this year’s Oscar entry from France. The company is also repping Fidélité Films’ Renoir, about the relationship between artist Auguste Renoir, his filmmaker son Jean and the muse they once shared. Michel Bouquet stars. Also on the slate, Of Gods And Men co-screenwriter Etienne Comar and Vendome Pictures’ Philippe Rousselet are producing Haute Cuisine, based on the true story of French president François Mitterrand and his personal cook.
Read More »
Wild Bunch acquired overseas rights to Violet & Daisy, the directorial debut of Precious scribe Geoffrey Fletcher that was screened as a work in progress at Toronto. Wild Bunch will sell at AFM while CAA handles domestic rights. Fletcher wrote … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: We Own The Night writer/director James Gray is fast mobilizing his next film. It’s called Low Life, and it will star Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix, with Jeremy Renner in discussions to play the third lead. The project is being packaged by CAA. Several financiers are in the mix, but I hear that Wild Bunch will likely get it. Discussions are also taking place with domestic distributors, and deal is expected to be sealed shortly. The Hurt Locker‘s Greg Shapiro is producing.
I’m told that Cotillard will play a woman attempting to immigrate from Poland. Her American dream turns into a nightmare. While sailing to Ellis Island and a new start, her sister grows deathly ill and she is forced to trade sexual favors for medicine and food to keep her sister alive. Once they land, she is warned to keep quiet about what happened. Though she does, she walks away with immigration papers that deem her a woman with bad morals. With no place to go, she falls prey to a charming sleazebag (Phoenix), who persuades her to turn tricks in New York. Renner is close to signing on to play the sleazebag’s cousin, a magician who sweeps the young woman off her feet and is her best chance to escape the nightmarish life she has fallen into. This will be Gray’s fourth film with Phoenix, who previously starred in The Yards, We Own The Night and most recently Two Lovers. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: In what shapes up as the first major acquisition of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, The Weinstein Company is near a deal to acquire U.S. and multiple international territories on The Artist, a black-and-white silent film that is written … Read More »