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Chicago – The familiar character actor and voiceover artist, Sam Elliott, has been breaking out in that latter part of his career. Known for his cowboy roles, smooth bass-tone voice and epic mustache, the icon has been seen lately in diverse roles in “Grandma,” “Digging for Fire,” “Grace and Frankie” and his latest – and perhaps greatest – “The Hero.”
Photo credit: The Orchard
“The Hero” is co-written (with Marc Basch) and directed by Brett Haley, who had previously directed Elliott, opposite Blythe Danner, in “I’ll See You in my Dreams.” Haley must have been inspired, because he wrote “The Hero” expressly for Elliott, and uses the actor’s cowboy character past as a basis for the role of Lee Hayden, an old actor with a broken past, and a health condition that changes everything. Elliott is masterful as the lead in the film, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
It's fitting that you hear the voice first. Even if the name Sam Elliott somehow doesn't ring a bell, you definitely know that gravelly baritone, the same one that's graced everything from Dodge Ram commercials to Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski's stoner escapades. When we meet up with him in The Hero, the man with the world's greatest living mustache is in a sound booth, recording an TV spot for a BBQ sauce: "The per-fect pardner for your chick-en." An unseen director keeps asking for one more take; Elliott's character, a »
“La La Land” producer Fred Berger has set multilayered noir thriller “Strange but True” as his next project. British sales company Bankside Films is handling international sales on the film, which it will introduce to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival this week.
Academy Award nominees Amy Ryan and Greg Kinnear will lead the cast, which also includes rising stars Nick Robinson, Margaret Qualley and Connor Jessup, and Tony and Emmy Award winner Blythe Danner. The film, which is based on a 1994 novel by John Searles, is directed by British filmmaker Rowan Athale from an adaptation by Eric Garcia, and is scheduled to begin shooting in Toronto in June.
“Strange but True” tells the story of a woman who, five years after the tragic death of her boyfriend, arrives on the doorstep of his family to tell them she is pregnant with his child. Though skeptical, the family find themselves trying to prove her right, »
- Robert Mitchell
Bloom to kick off pre-sales on action-thriller in Cannes.
Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee are producing alongside Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones, Mark Lane, James Harris and Ollie Madden of The Fyzz Facility, which is now financing the project and represents Us rights.
Three Seconds follows a reformed criminal and former special ops soldier who goes undercover for the FBI on a mission to bust a Polish drug gang.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
From making flower arrangements, to simply squeezing their family members and sending sweet messages, Sunday was all about Mother’s Day for many celebrities.
Stars took to social media to share photos of their children, mothers and grandmothers to honor the holiday, from throwbacks — including a bathtub photo — to day-of snaps.
And Kris Jenner came up with two throwback photo grids, wishing her mother, Mj, a happy mother’s day, including a »
- Katherine Richter
The Oscar winner took to Instagram to share a look at her and her ex-husband standing outside the Museum of Ice Cream in Los Angeles, alongside the birthday girl and her younger brother, Moses, who turned 11 last month.
"Best Apple's birthday/Mother's Day Ever at the @museumoficecream," Paltrow captioned the cute family shot, adding, "So Fun."
Watch: Gwyneth Paltrow Poses With Lookalike Kids Apple and Moses in Barcelona
The museum, located in downtown L.A., has been described as something akin to Willy Wonka's fantastical chocolate factory. Visitors get two free ice cream samples with the price of admission, and there is even a sprinkle pool, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Paltrow also penned a super sweet message for her daughter, which she posted alongside a beautiful snapshot of her »
Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.
– IFC Films has acquired the U.S rights to director Jamie M. Dagg’s thriller “Sweet Virginia,” starring Jon Bernthal, Christopher Abbott, Imogen Poots, Rosemarie DeWitt and Odessa Young. The film, which premiered at the recent Tribeca Film Festival, was written by Ben and Paul China from their Black List script, and was produced by Brian Kavanaugh-Jones for Automatik, Chris Ferguson for Oddfellows and Fernando Loureiro and Roberto Vasconcellos for Exhibit, who also financed.
- Graham Winfrey
The actors, who completely morphed into Bernie Madoff and his wife, Ruth, for HBO’s upcoming “The Wizard of Lies,” were at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Thursday to celebrate the completion of the film — six years after executive producer Jane Rosenthal optioned Diana Henriques’ book of the same name.
“I had a lot of hesitation after I signed on,” Pfeiffer admitted. “That’s when it really dawned on me the full impact of playing a real person who is still alive and who had been through so much trauma, loss, and had been victimized over and over again.”
The thesp was adamant that she did not want to contribute to Ruth’s suffering, which she made clear to director Barry Levinson.
“We had many discussions about how important it was to me that »
- Addie Morfoot
Hilary Swank: Time/ YouTube
Elizabeth Chomko’s feature debut has found a home. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Bleecker Street snagged the North American rights to “What They Had,” a family drama toplined by Hilary Swank. Blythe Danner, Michael Shannon (“Boardwalk Empire”), Taissa Farmiga (“American Horror Story”), and Robert Forster (“Jackie Brown”) co-star in the film, which recently wrapped in Chicago and La.
Revolving around a family in crisis, “What They Had” sees Bridget (Swank) returning home to Chicago after her brother pressures her to “deal with her mother’s (Danner) Alzheimer’s and her father’s (Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together,” THR summarizes. Chomko penned the script, which won her a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting.
“I was incredibly moved by Elizabeth’s story of a family working through their collective issues and the heartache of dealing with a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s,” Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen commented. “We know audiences will relate to the characters’ love, compassion, and humor in dealing with each other.”
Chomko added, “Making this film has been a true labor of love for me, my creative team, and the magnificent cast. I could not be more delighted to include Bleecker Street among our family and have this film be part of theirs.”
Bleecker Street is planning a theatrical release for 2018.
Swank is among the project’s executive producers. Her recent credits include “You’re Not You” and “The Homesman.” The two-time Oscar winner — who took home awards for “Million Dollar Baby” and “Boys Don’t Cry” — has previously spoken out about the gender pay gap that persists in the film industry, noting “My male counterpart will get paid 10 times more than me — 10 times. Not double, but 10 times for the same job.” She explained, “Both [women and men] are compelling, interesting, diverse, [and] wonderful in all their own separate ways. And yet there’s an influx of male roles and there’s just not for women.”
Elizabeth Chomko’s Feature Debut Starring Hilary Swank Acquired by Bleecker Street was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Mother's Day is on Sunday, which got us thinking about all the famous moms out there who have given birth to celebrity kids. Some mothers, like Blythe Danner and Demi Moore, have appeared on screen with their offspring, while others, like Robin Wright and Maria Shriver, have supported their kids' careers of choice in other ways. See moms being cute with their famous not-so-little ones below, and don't forget to check out noncelebrity mothers getting adorable with their famous children! »
- Maria Mercedes Lara
Bloom handles international sales.
What They Had centres on a family in crisis as two grown-up siblings deal with their mother’s Alzheimer’s and their father’s reluctance to let go of the life he has built with his wife.
Chomkos’s script is a Nicholl Award-winning screenplay. Production wrapped recently in Chicago and Los Angeles and Bleecker Street plans a 2018 release.
“I was incredibly moved by Elizabeth’s story of a family working through their collective issues and the heartache of dealing with a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s,” Bleecker Street »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
“What They Had” centers on a family in crisis. Swank’s character returns home to Chicago at the urging of her brother (Shannon) to deal with her mother’s Alzheimer’s and her father’s reluctance to let go of their life together. Danner and Forster portray the parents.
Production recently wrapped in Chicago and Los Angeles. The film will be released in 2018.
“I was incredibly moved by Elizabeth’s story of a family working through their collective issues and the heartache of dealing with a loved one affected by Alzheimer’s,” said Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street. “We know audiences will relate to the characters’ love, »
- Dave McNary
Bleecker Street has acquired North American distribution rights to What They Had, a family drama from first-time writer-director Elizabeth Chomko. The pic stars Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster and Taissa Farmiga and just wrapped production in Chicago and Los Angeles. A 2018 release is planned. Based on Chomko’s Nicholl-winning screenplay, What They Had centers on Bridget (Swank), who returns home to Chicago at the urging of her brother… »
9 May 2017 11:10 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Bleecker Street has acquired North American rights to writer-director Elizabeth Chomko’s family drama What They Had starring Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster and Taissa Farmiga.
The film marks Chomko's feature directing debut and revolves around a family in crisis. Bridget (Swank) returns home to Chicago at her brother’s (Shannon) urging to deal with her mother’s (Danner) Alzheimer’s and her father’s (Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together.
Bleecker Street is planning a 2018 theatrical release.
- Tatiana Siegel
Gwyneth Paltrow flew some very friendly skies.
On Sunday, the 44-year-old actress shared a handwritten note on a cocktail napkin that she received from a flight attendant. The message read: "I was once a daddy's girl too. Blessings."
Posting the napkin note to Instagram, Paltrow wrote: "When a flight attendant you've never met kinda knows you better than anyone #daddysgirl"
Exclusive: Gwyneth Paltrow Reveals the One Food That Really 'Offends' Her -- and It's Not Spray Cheese
In October 2002, Paltrow's father, Bruce, a film director and producer, died after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 58.
In her 2016 cookbook, My Father's Daughter, the Oscar winner opened up about the close bond she shared with her dad.
“I always feel closest to my father, who was the love of my life until his death in 2002, when I'm in the kitchen,” she noted in the book's introduction. "I can still hear him over my shoulder, heckling me, telling »
Brett Haley has a thing for older actors. A Sundance regular, his feature debut, “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” starred Blythe Danner as a widow and former singer seeking a new lease on life. The ubiquitous character actor Sam Elliott (“The Big Lebowski”) played Danner’s love interest, but hers was not the only interest he piqued. Haley quickly set his sights on writing a project for Elliott to lead, and “The Hero” is the result.
Elliott plays fading Western star Lee Hayden, whose resume of cowboy films and commercial voiceover work loosely mirrors Elliott’s. When Hayden learns that he is receiving a lifetime achievement award, it sets off an existential crisis that leads him to a relationship with a younger woman (Laura Prepon) and an attempted reconciliation with »
- Jude Dry
While smart-house moviegoers can be discerning — see Fox Searchlight’s “Wilson” — the holocaust drama overcame modest reviews to score in wider initial release. The dearth of other product should help Focus to find bigger success ahead.
Read More: ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’ Director Niki Caro Has a Plan for Fighting Hollywood’s Gender Gap
New openings finding niche interest were led by “David Lynch – The Art Life” (Janus) as smaller films continue to struggle.
At a time of dwindling movie ad revenue, streaming service Netflix took out two full-page ads for five films in both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. They touted four Sundance debuts: “The Discovery” starring Robert Redford and Rooney Mara, which played limited theatrical dates with no grosses reported, »
- Tom Brueggemann
This weekend, strong holdover “T2 Trainspotting” outperformed Fox Searchlight disappointment “Wilson” at the specialty box office. Jazz documentary “I Called Him Morgan” is the bright spot among new specialty entries — at just one theater. This year, there are so many well-reviewed wide releases enjoying huge success with smart adults that the indies need a strong critical response to compete for moviegoers.
Wilson (Fox Searchlight) Metacritic: 50; Festivals include: Sundance 2017
$330,000 in 310 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $1,065
“Wilson” did not make a splash at Sundance, and even a top-flight specialized distributor like Fox Searchlight can’t transform a film with mediocre reviews into a success. It’s got a great pedigree — directed by Craig Johnson (“The Skeleton Twins”), Daniel Clowes adapted it from his own graphic novel and its includes Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern. Searchlight went with a non-platform wider initial release of 330 theaters. For all that, however, the results »
- Tom Brueggemann
THR has revealed that Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon and Robert Forster have joined Taissa Farmiga and Blythe Danner in the cast of What They Had, a drama which centers on a woman (Swank) who must fly back to her hometown and confront her past when her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother wanders into a blizzard.
The drama will mark the feature directorial debut of actress and playwright Elizabeth Chomko, who is directing from her own script, which was the recipient of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting.
“Elizabeth is an exceptionally talented new voice and we are excited to be partnering with her on her extraordinarily moving directorial debut,” said Keith Kjarval, who is producing the project. “Hers is a very personal story about a subject that affects millions of people around the world.”
- Gary Collinson
Today, it's been confirmed that actors Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon have signed on to star in the major major-motion-picture drama What They Had. Directed by Elizabeth Chomko, the film focuses on a woman (Swank) who returns to her hometown after receiving word that her Alzheimer's-stricken mother (played by Blythe Danner) has wandered into a harsh blizzard. The trip back home then... Read More »
- Steve Seigh
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