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“The Simpsons” boss worries Sunday’s major death may be overhyped: We never said we’re killing off an “iconic” character “I’ve done everything I can to temper any disappointment by saying that, although the press is claiming this is an ‘iconic’ character, we never said that,” says executive producer Al Jean, in an interview with TVLine. “We just said it’s a ‘beloved’ character. I think it may have become overhyped, though I’ve never heard the term ‘underhyped’ before. Either way, it’s an emotional story, and it’s one we’re really proud of.” Plus: What TV critics said of “The Simpsons” when it debuted, and how “The Simpsons” looks at night -- illustrated. “Family Guy’s” crossover with “The Simpsons” is alternately fascinating, frustrating, amusing and annoying In other words, it’s your typical “Family Guy” episode. “Family Guy” Season 13: Stewie will get pregnant »
- Norman Weiss
After rousing reactions in Venice and Toronto elevated The Humbling above its stealth fest title origins, the newly reconfigured Millennium Entertainment has closed a deal for U.S. distribution rights to the Barry Levinson-directed adaptation of the Philip Roth novel that stars Al Pacino. Millennium will launch the film into Oscar season, and will campaign to be reckoned in Academy season. The film stars Greta Gerwig, Dianne Wiest, Kyra Sedgwick, Charles Grodin, Dylan Baker, Dan Hedaya and Tony winners Billy Porter, Nina Arianda and Mary Louise Wilson. Roth’s novel was adapted by Buck Henry and Michal Zebede.
While Pacino and Levinson have both won Oscars in the past, the filmmaker tells me that getting to this place was one of the most unusual experiences in his long career, including the fact they made this movie dirt cheap for around $2 million. “You’re in this business so long, you »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Millennium Entertainment is continuing to make moves following its deal to become a stand-alone distribution and catalog company. Today CEO Bill Lee unveiled that the soon-to-be-renamed outfit has closed a senior revolving credit facility and term loan facility worth $40 million.
The facilities helped finance Millennium and Virgo Investment Group’s August buyout of previous owners including Avi Lerner’s Nu Image, and will help Millennium going forward to acquire films for the studio’s upcoming slate. (The credit facilities provides for a $20 million term loan as well as a $20 million revolving line of credit with an additional accordion feature for future opportunities.)
Among those projects in Millennium’s pipeline is Madam Bovary, the Sophie Barthes-directed film that stars Mia Wasikowska, Paul Giamatti, and Ezra Miller. The company scooped up U.S. rights in a seven-figure deal sealed just before the period pic’s Toronto premiere earlier this month. Another »
- The Deadline Team
What a feat it requires to cinematically tell the story of Brian Wilson, the eccentric American musician and chief songwriter (among other things) of The Beach Boys who came up with the ultimate oddity of concept albums, Pet Sounds, in 1966. There and after, Wilson battled with crippling bouts of depression and substance abuse. He stayed in bed for 3 years, where he ballooned to 340 pounds.
What’s for sure is you can’t tell his story “straight”; that is, it cannot be told linearly, because Wilson’s mind doesn’t have a straight progression. Pet Sounds is too eclectic – a beautifully haphazard arrangement of instruments including flutes, harpsichords, bicycle bells, and even barking dogs – for an ordinary, Hollywood-served biopic.
The best biopics, I find, are structured according to the subject’s personality, or I should say the filmmaker’s interpretation of the subject. In that sense, Love & Mercy is successful. It »
- Parker Mott
The guy in the short-sleeved, striped button-down shirt certainly looks happy enough, playing the bass alongside his brothers and relatives, watching the kids dance to his band's hits about girls and cars and surfing. But something is clearly troubling the Beach Boys' singer-songwriter and resident musical genius Brian Wilson, and in the film Love & Mercy, the epiphany that will give birth to both creative heights and a descent into dark times is communicated in a few facial expressions. There's the silent look of dread on Wilson's face, as hears »
Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy is a game of two halves: the good half features Paul Dano, in an awards-calibre performance, as the young Wilson at the height of his powers, when he created his masterpiece Pet Sounds (released in 1966) as his psyche simultaneously began to unravel; the bad half features an inexplicably cast John Cusack as Wilson in the late ‘80s and early ’90s, when he was under the ‘care’ of the sinister Dr Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti).
The film cuts back and forth between the Dano/Wilson era and the Cusack/Wilson era, rather than having them follow each other chronologically, which helps the weaker Cusack section to an extent by allowing it to not have to stand on its own for an hour or so. Dano does an outstanding job with his impersonation of the troubled genius, which is bolstered as well by his general resemblance to Wilson. »
- Ian Gilchrist
Michelle Dockery wants Maggie Gyllenhaal to star in 'Downton Abbey'. The 32-year-old actress, who plays Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV period drama, admits she is a huge fan of the 'Honourable Woman' star so would love it if she made a cameo appearance in the popular programme. She told Bang Showbiz: ''I read somewhere that Maggie Gyllenhaal loves the show so I think that would be great if she fancied popping in and doing a cameo.'' Michelle admits she loves it when huge stars such as Paul Giamatti and Shirley MacLaine appear in the show but insists it is »
Andrew Garfield has addressed the criticism of Amazing Spider-Man 2 and lays the blame for its failings squarely on the shoulders of Sony. He reveals that the studio had “problems with certain parts of it” and made changes. He also speaks about appearing (maybe) in the Sinister Six.
There’s been a lot of debate over what went wrong with the Amazing Spider-Man 2. Why was it the lowest grossing Spider-Man film ever? Why were the reviews so mediocre? Why have internet fans been so vocal about their criticisms of the film? Andrew Garfield has finally addressed these criticisms.
While at the Toronto Film Festival promoting Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, a real estate drama in which he co-stars with Michael Shannon, Garfield sat down for an interview with the Daily Beast and when Amazing Spider-Man 2 was mentioned, he took the opportunity to give his opinions on the sequel.
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
The actor - who has played superhero Peter Parker since the series was rebooted in 2012 - said that the studio cut out scenes that affected the "flow of the story".
Asked by The Daily Beast about the criticism directed at the sequel, he said: "It's interesting. I read a lot of the reactions from people and I had to stop because I could feel I was getting away from how I actually felt about it.
"For me, I read the script that Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] wrote, and I genuinely loved it. There was this thread running through it.
"I think what happened was, through the pre-production, production, and post-production, when you have something that works as a whole, and then you start removing portions of it - because there was even more of it than was in the final cut, »
Toronto - One of the most original interpretations of the music biopic in recent years was 2007's "I'm Not There," in which no less than six actors played different versions of Bob Dylan. Directed by Todd Haynes, the film used the different actors as a way of getting to the essential truth about an artist renowned for reinventing himself. The co-writer of that film was Oren Moverman, and now he's the co-writer of "Love & Mercy," a beautiful new movie that once again refuses to fall into the formula that hobbles so many biopics of any kind. The cliches of the genre are so pervasive that Jake Kasdan's "Walk Hard" essentially destroyed the entire form for me. Ultimately, I think the best way to approach any biopic is to pick a moment that you feel illuminates the subject in a way that allows you to narrow in, focus, and tell »
- Drew McWeeny
The summer movie season is finally behind us, and, as far as box office receipts go, it was one of the worst in recent memory. Kicking off the season was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which earned $202.8 million domestically and $708 million worldwide, both tallies less than its predecessor The Amazing Spider-Man's domestic ($262 million) and worldwide ($757.9 million) totals.
While doing press for his new drama 99 Homes at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield fired back at critics for their negative response to the film, hinting that studio interference may have lead to the sequel's lackluster box office performance and its bad reaction from many reviewers and fans alike.
"It's interesting. I read a lot of the reactions from people and I had to stop because I could feel I was getting away from how I actually felt about it. For me, I read the script »
The deal was announced at the Toronto Film Festival, three days after its premiere at the Elgin.
Variety’s Andrew Barker gave “Love” a strong review, calling it “a wonderfully innervating cure for the common muiscal biopic.”
CAA repped the North American rights.
News was first reported by the Deadline.com site.
- Dave McNary
For studios looking to buy at the Toronto International Film Festival, Chris Rock emerged a very hot property. The comedian’s Top Five sparked a bidding war, according to multiple reports, with Paramount emerging the victor and scoring the worldwide rights to the film, the studio announced today. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio paid around $12.5 million for the film.
“Chris and I go back decades, both personally and professionally, and so I am particularly proud to have watched his career grow to its highest heights over many decades,” Paramount Chairman and CEO Brad Grey said in a statement. »
- Esther Zuckerman
In “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,” Ken Burns and writer Geoffrey C. Ward have a topic every bit as big as their canvas, and a subject that feels especially timely given the U.S. political dynasties of the modern age. Admirers of Burns’ documentary epics surely need no more incentive than seeing his name affixed to the Roosevelt name, and the documentary miniseries is a meticulously crafted and wonderfully executed effort that represents a very good new deal for PBS and its viewers.
Subtitled “An Intimate History,” “The Roosevelts” has the time to fulfill its promise, oscillating between the stories and lives of Theodore Roosevelt, his beloved niece Eleanor and distant cousin Franklin. Those principals’ personal correspondence, moreover, is given voice by Paul Giamatti, Meryl Streep (who remarkably replicates Eleanor’s distinct delivery) and Edward Herrmann, who played Fdr in the landmark miniseries “Eleanor and Franklin.”
For those who have studied the Roosevelts, »
- Brian Lowry
Millennium Entertainment has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Sophie Barthes’ drama “Madame Bovary,” which stars Mia Wasikowska, Paul Giamatti, Rhys Ifans, Ezra Miller and Logan Marshall-Green. The movie made its world debut in Telluride and will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival on Wednesday, Sept. 10. Also read: Millennium Entertainment's Catalog, Distribution Sold to Management Team, Virgo Entertainment Henry Lloyd-Hughes (“Anna Karenina”) and Laura Carmichael (“Downtown Abbey”) co-star in the film, which Felipe Marino adapted from Gustave Flaubert's classic novel of the same name along with Barthes. In “Madame Bovary,” Emma (Wasikowska) has always dreamt of a finer »
- Jeff Sneider
Director Sophie Barthes' Madame Bovary has landed a U.S. home with the newly reorganized Millennium Entertainment. Starring Mia Wasikowska, the movie made its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and will play at the Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 10. Madame Bovary, which has drawn mixed reviews, also stars Paul Giamatti, Rhys Ifans and Ezra Miller. Felipe Marino adapted the screenplay from Gustave Flaubert's classic novel of the same name with Barthes. Wasikowska plays Emma Bovary, a young, beautiful woman from northern France who marries the town doctor in order to escape a life of swine farming. But she
- Pamela McClintock
Paul Giamatti, Rhys Ifans, Ezra Miller, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Logan Marshall-Green and Laura Carmichael also star. Felipe Marino adapted the screenplay from Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel of the same name with Barthes.
The film — the 10th cinematic adaptation of Flaubert’s French drama — made its world debut in Telluride and will play at the Toronto Film Festival on Wednesday.
Wasikowska stars as Emma Bovary, who dreams of a finer life than the one she has on her father’s pig farm and soon discovers that marrying Mr. Charles Bovary does not make this possible.
Occupant Entertainment’s Marino and Joe Neurauter produced the film in association with Barthes through her Aden Film banner and Aleph Motion Pictures’ Jaime Mateus-Tique. Funding came from VP Finance and Prescience with Tim Smith »
- Dave McNary
Update, 9:23 Am: Millennium has officially confirmed the Madame Bovary acquisition that I scooped was happening over the weekend. The deal was finalized ahead of its Toronto screening set for tomorrow. The full release is below our original exclusive.
Previous Exclusive, Saturday Pm: Millennium Entertainment is getting close to a seven-figure deal to acquire U.S. rights to Madame Bovary, the Sophie Barthes-directed film that stars Mia Wasikowska, Paul Giamatti, and Ezra Miller.
The film is set in period France, and focuses on two years in the life of the beautiful wife of a small-town doctor. She engages in extra-marital affairs in an attempt to advance her social status. I’m hearing that companies like A24 and Sony Pictures Classics are still in the mix, but it looks like this one will close tonight. It premieres Wednesday in the Special Presentations section, but buyers caught it yesterday at a »
- Mike Fleming Jr
A wonderfully innervating cure for the common musical biopic, Bill Pohlad’s “Love & Mercy” vibrantly illuminates two major breakthroughs — one artistic, one personal — in the life of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. Certainly more conventional than Todd Haynes’ fractured Bob Dylan collage “I’m Not There,” but miles removed from the cookie-cutter approach taken by so many other rock bios, this finely crafted split portrait should win over music nerds skeptical of yet another complicated life being reduced to a series of highlight-reel moments, and provided more mainstream auds are willing to take the trip, Paul Dano and John Cusack’s expert performances should attract an appreciative reception.
Alternating back and forth in time, Pohlad and screenwriters Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner eschew a long-winded biographical approach in favor of two temporally specific parallel narratives. In one, roughly covering the period from 1965-68, Dano plays Wilson as he resigns from touring, »
- Andrew Barker
After last week’s news about Netflix securing The Blacklist for a record fee, a similar story came to light this week concerning the pre Batman prequel series Gotham. Now rather than getting it day and date after Us broadcast as per Breaking Bad and From Dusk Till Dawn, Gotham’s entire run will just arrive on Netflix after it’s finished its TV broadcast. Worse news is that this means you have to wait for Channel 5 to get their finger out and schedule it on one of their three channels and then muck it around the schedule just to confuse you further and for it to finish its run there. Kind of takes the wind out the sails doesn’t it? I wouldn’t expect to see Gotham on Netflix until this time next year at best but we will see.
In better news David Wain’s relatively well »
- Chris Holt
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