EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Sony Pictures Classics is near a deal to distribute Hysteria, the Tanya Wexler-directed romantic comedy based on the surprising truth of how Mortimer Granville came up with the world’s first electro-mechanical vibrator as an advance in medical science. The film created a — wait for it — buzz when it premiered September 15 at Roy Thomson Hall. Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Felicity Jones star in the film. Samuel Goldwyn Films and Millennium also chased the title. Sony Pictures Classics partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have this evening’s opening-night film of the New York Film Festival with the premiere of Carnage, the Roman Polanski-directed feature adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play. Polanski shot the film in Paris, with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly starring. Hysteria was repped by Cassian Elwes and Elle Driver.
Deadline told you last week that Sony Pictures Classics was wrapping up distribution on Roman Polanski’s adaptation of the Broadway hit God of Carnage. They’ve just announced the deal for the movie, with the abbreviated title Carnage:
NEW YORK (April 14, 2011) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they will release Roman Polanski’s new film, CARNAGE, in North America. Polanski penned the script with Yasmina Reza, which is adapted from Reza’s 2009 Tony Award® winning play God of Carnage. CARNAGE is produced by Said Ben Said (THE WITNESSES, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN) and stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly. SPC expects an end of year release.
Sony Pictures Classics acquired the film from Said Ben Said and ICM’s Jeff Berg.
Polanski assembled an all-star crew to work on CARNAGE, director of photographer Pawel Edelman (THE GHOST WRITER, RAY, THE PIANIST), production designer Dean Tavoularis (THE NINTH GATE, THE GODFATHER, THE OUTSIDERS), editor Herve de Luze (THE GHOST WRITER, WILD GRASS, TELL NO ONE), costume designer Milena Canonero (DARJEELING LIMITED, MARIE ANTOINETTE, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE) and composer Alberto Iglesias (TALK TO HER, VOLVER, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, THE KITE RUNNER).
Set in contemporary Brooklyn, New York, CARNAGE centers on two pairs of parents one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Sony Pictures Classics partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard are tying up a deal to acquire US rights to God Of Carnage, the Roman Polanski-directed feature adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play. Polanski shot the film in Paris, with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly starring.
This is just one of several plum pictures currently being shopped for distribution. Others include the Phyllida Lloyd-directed Margaret Thatcher pic The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep starring (the ask is $7 million for US rights), and the Paolo Sorrentino-directed This Must Be The Place, starring Sean Penn as a bored, retired rock star who tries to find his father’s killer, an ex-Nazi war criminal hiding in the U.S.
Back to God of Carnage. It’s a strong cast, and counting Polanski, everyone has won Oscars except Reilly, who has been nominated. The plot: two sets of parents meet after their kids brawl in the schoolyard, and get along worse than the kids did. The Broadway show ran 452 performances with roles originated by James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis. ICM packaged the film and is making the distribution deal.
With a foot of snow on my Long Island doorstep, it’s already easy to envy anyone in Los Angeles. Now, the original cast of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play God of Carnage has agreed to reunite for a six-week run at the Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre from April 5 through May 15. Opening night is April 13. Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden will star. They were all nominated for Tonys when they opened the show on Broadway. Harden won and so did director Matthew Warchus, who’s also back with producers Stuart Thompson and Robert Fox. The show ended its Broadway run last June, with Dylan Baker, Daniels, Lucy Liu and Janet McTeer taking the final bows.
Roman Polanski is about to get underway with the feature adaptation in Paris. John C. Reilly stars with Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz in the drama about two sets of parents who meet after their kids brawl in the schoolyard, and get along worse than the kids.
UPDATE: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) will also star in Polanski’s adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play. I’m told the second male lead isn’t cast yet. Shooting begins in Paris in February for 12 weeks. Although the film is set in Brooklyn, Polanski’s legal troubles mean that he has to shoot in France. The Academy Award-winning director cannot enter the US due to allegations against him for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in 1977. The film is being co-produced by French producer SBS and Constantin Film of Germany. Said Ben Said of SBS recently produced Reza’s feature directing debut Chicas, which starred Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner. Jeff Berg of ICM has been packaging the project since Reza first disclosed she was adapting her play with the Academy Award-winning director this summer. I’m told that Pathe and UGC are both vying to be French distributor. God of Carnage tells the story of two sets of parents who meet after their sons are involved in a schoolyard fight. The meeting goes disastrously wrong as each pair attacks the other’s parenting skills before turning on each other about problems in their own marriages. The show ran for 452 performances on Broadway before closing in June. James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis originally starred. God of Carnage won three Tony awards, including Best Play.