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13 items from 2007


'Sconosciuta' known as Capri's film of year

2 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

ROME -- Giuseppe Tornatore's La Sconosciuta (The Unknown Woman) will receive the Capri Award as film of the year at the 12th annual Capri Hollywood International Film Festival.

The film -- which has racked up scores of awards in Italy this year, including the honor of being Italy's choice for the foreign-language film Oscar -- tells the story of an Eastern European immigrant to Italy.

The festival also announced it will present director Joel Schumacher with a lifetime achievement award.

The Capri Hollywood International Film Festival is the only festival in the world that starts one year and finishes the next: The next edition runs Dec. 27-Jan. 2.

Hollywood producer Mark Canton -- whose production credits include Gabrielle Muccino's The Pursuit of Happyness and "300" from Zack Snyder -- will chair the festival, which will focus on Italian cinema this year.

The festival's other award will be named during the Jan. 2 award ceremony. Tornatore and Schumacher are expected to be on hand for the event. »

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'Sex' tops Goldwyn's script nods

30 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LOS ANGELES -- "Sex and Sylvia Plath", written by Jennifer O'Kieffe of UCLA, has taken the top prize in the 52nd annual Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards, which were announced Monday at the UCLA Westwood campus by Samuel Goldwyn Jr., president of the Samuel Goldwyn Foundation.

The awards were founded by Samuel Goldwyn Sr. in 1955 to encourage young writers.

As the place winner, "Sex", a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl who loses her virginity to a boy who also is having an affair with her mother, was awarded a $15,000 prize.

Second place, worth $7,500, went to UCLA's Michael Vukadinovich for his screenplay "Buckbee".

Third place, worth $2,000, went to UCLA's Mark Humphrey for "Coup".

Two honorable mentions, worth $1,000 each, were awarded to "Zen Dog in the Clouds", by Kevin Cramer of UC Riverside, and "Room for Error", by Andrea McCloud of UCLA.

Judging the competition were Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart, producer Cathy Schulman and director/writer/producer Joel Schumacher. »

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Wallace unravels 'Arcanum'

23 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Writer-turned-director Randall Wallace has stepped on board to helm The Arcanum, a Thomas Wheeler-scripted fantasy adventure being produced by Paul Brooks' Gold Circle.

Adapted from Wheeler's debut novel, the 1919-set story follows Arthur Conan Doyle as he leads a secret society known as the Arcanum -- whose members include magician Harry Houdini, voodoo priestess Marie Laveau and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft -- against a powerful supernatural force that threatens the world. Wheeler is doing a production polish before going out to cast.

Gold Circle's Scott Niemeyer and Norm Waitt will executive produce. Gold Circle's Guy Danella, who brought the project into the shingle, will shepherd through production.

Mandate Pictures will handle international sales.

Gold Circle is in postproduction on Joel Schumacher's horror thriller Town Creek, which Lionsgate will distribute, and is prepping the romantic comedy Chilled in Miami, starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr.

Wallace most recently adapted Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged for Lionsgate and was nominated for a best screenplay Oscar for Braveheart. His directing credits include We Were Soldiers and The Man in the Iron Mask. He is repped by WMA. »

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'Prison Break' Star Splits From Wife

23 October 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Prison Break star Dominic Purcell and wife Rebecca Williamson have separated. Purcell, 37, and Williamson have four kids together. A spokesperson for the actor tells website People.com, "The separation is completely amicable and they remain friends." Purcell will next be seen in the thriller Town Creek, directed by Joel Schumacher.

»

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Paramount Vantage, Schumacher in 'News' biz

25 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Paramount Vantage is stopping the presses for Breaking News, a remake of a Hong Kong action movie that Joel Schumacher is in negotiations to direct. Alex De Rakoff is writing the script for the movie, which will be produced by Gold Circle's Paul Brooks.

The story is set in motion when a TV news unit broadcasts live an embarrassing defeat of a police battalion by five bank robbers in a ballistic showdown. While on a separate investigation and stakeout in a run-down building, a detective discovers the hideout of the robbers. But the situation is complicated by an inspector who, in order to beat the media at its own game, decides to turn the stakeout into a breaking-news show.

The original screened Out of Competition at the 2004 Festival de Cannes and was directed and produced by acclaimed filmmaker Johnnie To.

Guy Danella is overseeing for Gold Circle.

Breaking News reunites Schumacher with Gold Circle, for which he is in post on the horror movie Town Creek, which Lionsgate Films is distributing. »

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Baquero is Gold Circle 'Daughter'

27 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Ivana Baquero, the young actress best known for starring in Pan's Labyrinth, has signed on for her first English-language role.

In her first post-"Pan" gig, Baquero will star in the title role of Gold Circle Films' The New Daughter.

Written by John Travis and based on a short story by noted horror-thriller writer John Connolly, the story follows a single dad who has moved his two children to a remote farm where a strange mound in the surrounding fields appears to be the key to his daughter's increasingly ominous behavior.

Daughter will be produced by Paul Brooks. Scott Niemeyer and Norm Waitt are executive producers. Gold Circle execs Brad Kessell and Guy Danella brought the material into the company and also will have producing roles.

The film will be fully financed by Gold Circle Films, with international sales handled by Mandate Pictures.

The project is out to directors.

Gold Circle is in production on Town Creek, with Joel Schumacher directing and Lionsgate on board as domestic distributor. »

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Rogers, BEG clock in at Omega

25 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Omega Entertainment has made a pair of moves designed to transform it into a global financing, production and sales entity. Peter Rogers has been named president, and the company has entered into a two-year, first-look financing deal with Howard and Karen Baldwin's Baldwin Entertainment Group banner.

Switzerland-based Omega, which had been financing small- to midsize pictures and selling pan-European rights, is seeking to become a "European-based independent powerhouse," founder Markus Barmettler said. It plans to make and release as many as 10 films a year, with budgets ranging from $10 million-$60 million.

Rogers, who will be headquartered in a new London office overseeing all international operations, was president of Lakeshore International.

Omega and BEG are in the midst of putting together a slate that includes "Mandrake", a contemporary action-adventure based on the classic comic "Mandrake the Magician", which Chuck Russell will direct; "Luna", a biopic of eco-warrior Julia Butterfly Hill, to be directed by Deepa Mehta; "1:30 Train", a love story that Joel Schumacher is in talks to direct; and the romantic comedy "Indiscretion", which Peter Cattaneo will direct. »

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'Ghost' rides away with top spot

26 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Sony Pictures' Ghost Rider stayed aflame a second week in a row at the North American boxoffice. The new releases, most of them rated R, couldn't hold a candle to Nicolas Cage's fiery vigilante in the Marvel Comics adaptation.

Ghost grossed an estimated $19.7 million, flying by New Line Cinema's Jim Carrey thriller The Number 23, which debuted at No. 2 with an estimated $15.1 million. The R-rated "23" from director Joel Schumacher did boast the highest per-theater average of the top 10: $5,476. But 20th Century Fox's Reno 911! Miami, another of the weekend's three R-rated national bows, barely crossed into double digits, opening in fourth place at an estimated $10.4 million for the three-day period.

The weekend's more uplifting new releases bowed to mixed results. Presented by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions, Amazing Grace, from Bristol Bay Prods., launched with an estimated $4.3 million from only 791 theaters. The PG film about William Wilberforce, who led the British parliamentary campaign against the slave trade, grabbed the 10th spot with a strong per-theater average of $5,442. But Warner Bros. Pictures' The Astronaut Farmer finished a disappointing ninth, chalking up only $4.5 million from 2,155 theaters for a per-theater average of $2,095.

Of the holdovers, Buena Vista's Bridge to Terabithia grossed $13.6 million to place third in its second session. The only family film in the top 10 held on solidly, falling an estimated 40%. Paramount Pictures' release of DreamWorks' Norbit also continued to attract audiences in its third week. The Eddie Murphy starrer fell 42% to gross an additional $9.7 million, good for the No. 5 spot. The comedy has now earned $74.7 million at the North American boxoffice.

In sixth place, Warner's romantic comedy Music and Lyrics fell only 41% its second session, earning $8 million to put its 12-day cume at $32.1 million. Universal Pictures' Breach also held up respectably in seventh place. The CIA thriller dropped 41% to $6.2 million, putting its two-week total at $20 million. »

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'Ghost Rider' edges out '23' at Friday b.o.

25 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Sony Pictures' "Ghost Rider" held on to the top spot at the domestic boxoffice, outdistancing the new Jim Carrey psychological thriller "The Number 23" in a close race.

"Ghost Rider"'s estimated Friday haul was $5.9 million according to the boxoffice tracking site boxoffice mojo.com, bringing its one-week gross to $64.9 million.

The comic book-based actioner starring Nicolas Cage was tested in its second weekend lap by New Line Cinema's "The Number 23", which garnered $5.8 million in its first day of release on 2,759 theatres, compared to 3,620 for "Ghost Rider". "The Number 23", directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Jim Carrey, follows a man who becomes obsessed with an obscure book that he is convinced is based on hits own life.

Coming in third place Friday was 20th Century Fox's "Reno 911! Miami." The big-screen adaptation of the Comedy Central series took in $4.2 million in 2,702 theatres.

Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media's "Bridge to Terabithia", being distributed by Buena Vista, dropped to fourth place Friday with an estimated take of $3.5 million. »

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Fewer restrictions for holdovers

23 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

With three of the four new releases this frame carrying an R rating, their upside for the weekend might be limited by their own restrictions. As a result, Sony Pictures' Ghost Rider could remain the No. 1 film for the second consecutive week, even if it falls in the 50% range.

Also sure to thrive this weekend is Buena Vista Pictures' family film Bridge to Terabithia. With nothing else in the market targeting that audience, it is likely to experience only a small dropoff for its sophomore session.

New Line Cinema debuts the psychological thriller The Number 23 in 2,759 theaters. From director Joel Schumacher, "23" stars Jim Carrey as a man who becomes obsessed with an obscure book that he is convinced is based on his life. Co-starring Virginia Madsen, Danny Huston and Rhona Mitra, the R-rated film sees Carrey in a serious role -- two, actually, because he and other actors play more than one role.

Playing against type has been a mixed bag for Carrey, who succeeded in Michel Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" in 2004 but not as much with Frank Darabont's The Majestic in 2001. With a screenplay from Fernley Phillips, "23" should bow in the midteen-million range, perhaps rising above that if reviews are favorable. »

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Fewer restrictions for holdovers

23 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

With three of the four new releases this frame carrying an R rating, their upside for the weekend might be limited by their own restrictions. As a result, Sony Pictures' "Ghost Rider" could remain the No. 1 film for the second consecutive week, even if it falls in the 50% range.

Also sure to thrive this weekend is Buena Vista Pictures' family film "Bridge to Terabithia". With nothing else in the market targeting that audience, it is likely to experience only a small dropoff for its sophomore session.

New Line Cinema debuts the psychological thriller "The Number 23" in 2,759 theaters. From director Joel Schumacher, "23" stars Jim Carrey as a man who becomes obsessed with an obscure book that he is convinced is based on his life. Co-starring Virginia Madsen, Danny Huston and Rhona Mitra, the R-rated film sees Carrey in a serious role -- two, actually, because he and other actors play more than one role.

Playing against type has been a mixed bag for Carrey, who succeeded in Michel Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" in 2004 but not as much with Frank Darabont's "The Majestic" in 2001. With a screenplay from Fernley Phillips, "23" should bow in the midteen-million range, perhaps rising above that if reviews are favorable. »

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The Number 23

21 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Numerologists will have a field day, but most audience members are likely to find themselves first baffled and then numbed by the absurdities of "The Number 23", the new thriller starring Jim Carrey. This tale of an ordinary man caught up in an increasingly convoluted tale involving the number's supposed magical properties is executed in reasonably stylish fashion by director Joel Schumacher, but like so many contemporary thrillers, it becomes carried away by its own excesses.

Carrey, along with several other members of the cast, plays two roles here. The first is Walter Sparrow, a dog catcher who, in one of the film's more ridiculous plot elements, becomes obsessed with one particularly evasive pooch who likes to hang out at the local cemetery. The other is Fingerling, the detective who is the main character of "The Number 23", a mystery novel given to him by his wife, Agatha (Virginia Madsen).

As Walter becomes increasingly obsessed with the supposed mystical properties of the number 23 -- the film provides us with many provocative examples, both verbally and visually -- he also finds himself drawn into the complicated murder mystery at the heart of the novel, involving the detective, a beautiful femme fatale (Madsen), a "Suicide Blonde" (Lynn Collins) and assorted other unsavory characters. The events of the book seem to correspond with Walter's life in uncanny ways, culminating with a surprise twist that will have audience members less shocked than shaking their heads with bemusement.

Ultimately the sheer preposterousness of Fernley Phillips' original screenplay overwhelms the overly convoluted proceedings, and despite the undeniable conviction of the performers, the film eventually becomes more laughable than chilling. Carrey, in his first attempt at a thriller, tries hard to contain his natural exuberance but doesn't really come across as the intended everyman; he seems to be having much more fun in the more stylized role of the shady detective. Madsen, as is the case so often, is wasted as the supportive wife but is more than convincing as the sexy damsel in the fantasy segments. And Danny Huston uses his sonorous voice and natural gravitas to such good effect that for brief moments the premise actually seems convincing.

THE NUMBER 23

New Line Cinema

Contrafilm/Firm Films

Credits:

Director: Joel Schumacher

Screenwriter: Fernley Phillips

Producers: Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson

Executive producers: Mike Drake, Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Keith Goldberg, Brooklyn Weaver, Eli Richbourg

Director of photography: Matthew Libatique

Production designer: Andrew Laws

Editor: Mark Stevens

Costume designer: Daniel Orlandi

Music: Harry Gregson-Williams

Cast:

Walter Sparrow/Fingerling: Jim Carrey

Agatha Sparrow/Fabrizia: Virginia Madsen

Robin Sparrow: Logan Lerman

Isaac French/Dr. Miles Phoenix: Danny Huston

Suicide Blonde/Mrs. Dobkins/Young Fingerling's Mother: Lynn Collins

Laura Tollins: Rhona Mitra

Running time -- 95 minutes

MPAA rating: R

»

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The Number 23

21 February 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Numerologists will have a field day, but most audience members are likely to find themselves first baffled and then numbed by the absurdities of "The Number 23", the new thriller starring Jim Carrey. This tale of an ordinary man caught up in an increasingly convoluted tale involving the number's supposed magical properties is executed in reasonably stylish fashion by director Joel Schumacher, but like so many contemporary thrillers, it becomes carried away by its own excesses.

Carrey, along with several other members of the cast, plays two roles here. The first is Walter Sparrow, a dog catcher who, in one of the film's more ridiculous plot elements, becomes obsessed with one particularly evasive pooch who likes to hang out at the local cemetery. The other is Fingerling, the detective who is the main character of "The Number 23", a mystery novel given to him by his wife, Agatha (Virginia Madsen).

As Walter becomes increasingly obsessed with the supposed mystical properties of the number 23 -- the film provides us with many provocative examples, both verbally and visually -- he also finds himself drawn into the complicated murder mystery at the heart of the novel, involving the detective, a beautiful femme fatale (Madsen), a "Suicide Blonde" (Lynn Collins) and assorted other unsavory characters. The events of the book seem to correspond with Walter's life in uncanny ways, culminating with a surprise twist that will have audience members less shocked than shaking their heads with bemusement.

Ultimately the sheer preposterousness of Fernley Phillips' original screenplay overwhelms the overly convoluted proceedings, and despite the undeniable conviction of the performers, the film eventually becomes more laughable than chilling. Carrey, in his first attempt at a thriller, tries hard to contain his natural exuberance but doesn't really come across as the intended everyman; he seems to be having much more fun in the more stylized role of the shady detective. Madsen, as is the case so often, is wasted as the supportive wife but is more than convincing as the sexy damsel in the fantasy segments. And Danny Huston uses his sonorous voice and natural gravitas to such good effect that for brief moments the premise actually seems convincing.

THE NUMBER 23

New Line Cinema

Contrafilm/Firm Films

Credits:

Director: Joel Schumacher

Screenwriter: Fernley Phillips

Producers: Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson

Executive producers: Mike Drake, Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Keith Goldberg, Brooklyn Weaver, Eli Richbourg

Director of photography: Matthew Libatique

Production designer: Andrew Laws

Editor: Mark Stevens

Costume designer: Daniel Orlandi

Music: Harry Gregson-Williams

Cast:

Walter Sparrow/Fingerling: Jim Carrey

Agatha Sparrow/Fabrizia: Virginia Madsen

Robin Sparrow: Logan Lerman

Isaac French/Dr. Miles Phoenix: Danny Huston

Suicide Blonde/Mrs. Dobkins/Young Fingerling's Mother: Lynn Collins

Laura Tollins: Rhona Mitra

Running time -- 95 minutes

MPAA rating: R

»

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13 items from 2007


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