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This year, Lionsgate finds itself in the same position that Warner Bros. was in a few years back. Its golden goose franchise—The Hunger Games—is coming to an end, and the studio is trying to find ways to bolster up its slate. Given that Catching Fire and Mockingjay – Part 1 were the #1 and #2 movies, respectively, of 2013 and 2014, it’s certainly gonna hurt not to have that kind of revenue coming in next year. But the studio is doing all it can to get some new franchises going, and fresh off this morning’s news that Now You See Me 3 is already in development comes word that the studio’s upcoming adaptation of The Odyssey will span a number of films. We learned last month that director Francis Lawrence—who has helmed every Hunger Games film except the first—is reteaming with Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson and Lionsgate on an »
- Adam Chitwood
CEO Jon Feltheimer made the disclosure Friday in response to a question during the company’s conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly earnings. “Our deal with Francis contemplates more than one movie,” he said.
Lawrence took over directing duties on the final three “Hunger Games” movies (including the upcoming “Mockingjay — Part 2”) after Gary Ross exited following the first film. Jacobson has also produced all four films through her Color Force producing banner.
“The Odyssey” is believed to have been »
- Dave McNary
The woman pretends the baby is hers with the mother of her ex-boyfriend. When the baby is returned to her rightful mother the three women forge an unbreakable bond. ICM Partners represents Us rights.
Route One is the financier with Ocean Blue Entertainment on board as co-financier.
“We believe in emotionally charged stories with universal themes,” said Levine. “This project has award-winning talent teamed up with a gifted young writer-director who wrote a brilliant script.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Even with his Oscar beside him, Matthew McConaughey showed he's still open to more than small-to-mid budget features today with last year's Interstellar. Of course, not every movie is directed by Christopher Nolan, but certainly that's not going to stop studio executives from coming up to him and his agent with new hot properties. That is, unless they read the reviews to his new Cannes feature. But the actor remains open to the prospects -- even some certain franchise properties -- if they can provide the goods he wants. In an interview with Variety to discuss his much maligned Gus Van Sant feature Sea of Trees, the conversation transitioned to talk to superhero movies today when the actor discussed how he and his Dallas Buyers Club cast and crew were allotted $5 million and 27 days to make their Oscar-winning film, yet tentpole projects like superhero movies get free reign. When asked »
- Will Ashton
Exclusive: Christopher Woodrow flies into Cannes with a new finance and production venture that has raised $100m in equity and got behind six of the biggest titles to hit the market in the last two years.
The former CEO of Worldview will continue to raise funds to enable Vendian Entertainment to grow into a global media company capable of mounting six or more star-driven commercial films a year in the $15-65m range.
CAA advised on the formation of the La and New York-based company, which will seek to greenlight projects with North American distribution in place.
The first six projects on which Vendian will co-finance and serve as executive producer include Oliver Stone’s potential awards contender Snowden starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which Open Road will distribute in the Us on December 25.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
“The greatest challenge that we face is to keep evolving,” he said in a recent interview as his company prepped for Cannes with 20 completed titles for the marketplace, including“The Secret in Their Eyes,” directed by Billy Ray and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts; “The Free State of Jones,” helmed by Gary Ross and toplining Matthew McConaughey and Keri Russell; and “Silence,” from Martin Scorsese with Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson.
Indeed, Im Global is among the top tier of sales-financing-production outfits along with FilmNation, Sierra/Affinity and Mister Smith Entertainment. The movie business has undergone deep changes with Hollywood majors focusing more on tentpoles, opening up screen doors to the indie sector, which has seen a steady growth in such sales-financing-producing shingles. »
- Dave McNary
At a time when the six major studios continue to focus most of their attention on blockbusters, Im Global’s production and financing unit is gearing up to fill the gap for mid-budget films.
Stuart Ford’s 8-year-old banner is now producing and financing five to seven films annually, ranging from micro-budgeted, specialty genre to commercial features. The current slate includes the recently completed “The Secret in Their Eyes,” starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts, and two projects in mid-production: “The Free State of Jones,” directed by Gary Ross and starring Matthew McConaughey and Keri Russell, plus “Silence,” from Martin Scorsese and starring Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson.
“When I came on in the fall of 2013, Stuart and I talked »
- Dave McNary
From its new offices atop the tallest building in Burbank, Stx Entertainment literally towers over the competition.
Backlots at Warner Bros., Disney and Universal can be glimpsed from the windows of the start-up company’s gleaming headquarters. The view is emblematic of Stx’s immense ambitions — to carve out a place for itself as the next major Hollywood studio.
Stx was launched last year by film producer Robert Simonds and Tpg managing partner Bill McGlashan with a mission to fill a hole in an entertainment business that has become fixated on budget-busting superhero epics. Instead of cooking up its own answer to the Marvel universe, the studio plans to produce films in the $20 million to $80 million budget range with big-name actors. It aims to release as many as 15 films annually by 2017, and already has lined up projects with Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, director Gary Ross and “The Purge” producer Jason Blum. »
- Brent Lang
Jennifer Lawrence in a long, red dress at the Oscars Jennifer Lawrence at the Academy Awards Stunning in a red dress, Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 2011 Academy Awards held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Lawrence was a first-time Best Actress Oscar nominee for her first major film role: a near-destitute, young Ozark woman looking for her missing drug-dealing father in Winter's Bone, Debra Granik's generally well-received indie drama. Winter's Bone also earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (John Hawkes), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini; based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell). Jennifer Lawrence's competitors in the Best Actress Oscar race were: Annette Bening for Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right. Michelle Williams for Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine. Nicole Kidman for John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole. Natalie Portman, the eventual winner, for Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. »
- D. Zhea
Set during the Civil War, The Free State of Jones tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and with the assistance of local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones. His marriage to a former slave, Rachel, and his subsequent establishment of a mixed race community was unique in the post-war South. Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.
- Scott J. Davis
After spending a few years in development (and taking time out to direct the first Hunger Games film), Gary Ross has finally had the chance to work on one of his passion projects. New images from the film, The Free State Of Jones, are now online. Matthew McConaughey stars in the American Civil War drama, playing real-life advocate Newton Knight. A Mississippi man who had been a loyal Confederate recruit, he defected from the army and took a group of like-minded troops with him to create the Free State of Jones. Knight later married a slave (Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s Rachel), creating one of the first ever publicised mixed race unions in the South, fought against the Confederates from within his new state and led a daring raid to free children who were still enslaved following the end of the conflict.Stx Entertainment is backing this one, which Ross wrote as well as directed. »
See Full Gallery Here
Stx Entertainment and Im Global’s financial partnership for civil war drama Free State of Jones is beginning to bear fruit, as the studios have unveiled a pair of new stills for Gary Ross’ feature that showcase Interstellar star Matthew McConaughey in action.
For the film, he’ll assume the role of Newton Knight, a confederate soldier who spearheads one of the largest, and most significant rebellions in the bloody history of the four-year battle. Opposite McConaughey for the film is Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights), a slave named Rachel who wins the heart of the iconic protagonist, paving the way for one of the first mixed-race marriages in the state. Rachel’s relationship with Newton has been documented as one of the defining periods of his life, and it’ll be fascinating to see that play out on the big screen under Ross’ astute eye. »
- Michael Briers
Two more The Free State of Jones images have landed online. Written and directed by four-time Oscar-nominee Gary Ross (The Hunger Games), the Civil War movie is based on the true story of Newt Knight (Matthew McConaughey), a Southern farmer who led a rebellion against the Confederacy during the Civil War. It’s a fascinating story that stretches into his marriage with a former slave (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the establishment of a mixed-raced community in the South, and Knight’s continued efforts through Reconstruction. While I’m definitely excited to see how Ross will follow up The Hunger Games and this is a fascinating story, I hope it doesn’t fall into the “White Savior” trap. Check out The Free State of Jones images below. The film opens March 11, 2016 and also stars Keri Russell and Mahershala Ali. [caption id="attachment_448789" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image via Stx Entertainment[/caption] [caption id="attachment_448793" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image via Stx Entertainment[/caption] Here’s the official »
- Matt Goldberg
After the first look at Gary Ross‘ Civil War drama The Free State of Jones, we now have more images from the 2016-bound film starring Matthew McConaughey. Also including Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell, and Mahershala Ali, the story follows our lead as a Mississippi farmer who brought forth a southern rebellion against the Confederates during the Civil War. Following those we […] »
- Jordan Raup
Bob Simonds’ Stx Entertainment will finance and distribute the pic, which is based on the true story about how softcore porn maestro Russ Meyer teamed with Roger Ebert on “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” the first X-rated film to be released by a studio.
Production is set to start later this year.
“Russ & Roger Go Beyond” joins a slate of Stx films that include Civil War pic “Free State of Jones,” starring Matthew McConaughey with Gary Ross directing, and “The Secret in Their Eyes,” starring Julia Roberts and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Winterbottom has recently directed the BBC drama “The Faces of an Angel,” starring Kate Beckinsale, »
- Justin Kroll
According to The Tracking Board, Universal Pictures is eyeing Scarlett Johansson (Avengers: Age of Ultron) for a role in its Universal Monster shared universe, with the site reporting that she has been offered the female lead in a remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Directed by Jack Arnold and released in 1954, Creature from the Black Lagoon told the story of a group of scientists who discover a human/fish hybrid during an expedition to the Amazon. The new remake will apparently be produced by Gary Ross, Robin Bissell, Marc Abraham and Eric Newman, from a screenplay by Ross, Jeff Blitz, Tedi Sarafian and Paul Schering.
Universal launched its shared monster universe last year with Dracula Untold, and has The Mummy set for June 24th 2016. An as-yet-untitled release is slated for April 27th, 2017, which you’d have to assume would be this project if casting is underway.
- Gary Collinson
Back in October 2012, Universal Pictures set David Kajganich to work on the script for their Creature from the Black Lagoon remake, although that was the last we heard of the project. Today, The Tracking Board reports that Scarlett Johansson is the studio's top choice to star in the remake, but it isn't known if an official offer has been made quite yet. The studio is developing a Universal Monsters Shared Universe franchise, which is being spearheaded by Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, but it isn't known if this project is part of that initiative yet.
Last year's Dracula Untold was confirmed as the first entry into this universe, with the Untitled Mummy Reboot, set for release on June 24, 2016, slated to be the next, although it isn't clear what project will follow from here. The studio did set an April 21, 2017 release date for one of their monster movies, but it was »
According to The Tracking Board, Scarlett Johansson is Universal’s top choice to star in the Creature From The Black Lagoon remake, and is apparently being "courted for the lead role". That wouldn't be the prehistoric man-fish of the title, but the lady (played by Julia Adams in the original movie) he takes a shine to. This remake of the incredibly influential 1954 classic will be produced by Gary Ross, Robin Bissell, Marc Abraham and Eric Newman, with a screenplay by Jeff Blitz, Gary Ross, Tedi Sarafian and Paul Schering. It's reportedly being lined up to be a part of Universal's shared monster universe, which would also include their planned remake of The Mummy and last year's Dracula Untold. Of course, even if Johansson is Universal's pick, there's no indication that she'll be interested so we'll have to wait and see how this shakes out. The highly in-demand actress will next »
As Universal attempts to breathe life back into its classic movie monsters, The Tracking Board reports that Avengers: Age of Ultron star Scarlett Johansson is the studio’s top choice to star in a Creature from the Black Lagoon remake.
No details yet on which role Johansson, one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actresses, would take on, but Jack Arnold’s 1954 original starred Julia Adams as the imperiled female lead, so it’s possible that she could be enlisted for a similar ‘scream queen’ role. The first Creature from the Black Lagoon focused on a group of scientists who, while exploring the Amazon, discovered a dangerous prehistoric creature that was part human and part fish.
The new pic will be part of Univeral’s inchoate Universal Monsters brand, which kicked off last fall with Dracula Untold. Though that Luke Evans historical epic was weakly reviewed, it proved a box office success, »
- Isaac Feldberg
It looks like Scarlett Johansson might be taking a dip in the Black Lagoon. Universal’s been working on a Creature from the Black Lagoon remake since way back in 1982 when John Landis tried to get Jack Arnold back to direct. Clearly that never panned out and neither did the iteration John Carpenter tried getting off the ground or the one Gary Ross almost did with Breck Eisner. However, things might be picking up again because according to The Tracking Board, Universal has offered Johansson the lead role in the film. Arnold’s 1954 original centers on a group of scientists who go on an expedition and wind up running into a “gill-man,” a creature that’s part human and part fish. The outlet doesn’t have any information regarding the remake narrative, but assuming the new version sticks close to the original, Johansson must have been offered the role originally played by Julie Adams, »
- Perri Nemiroff
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