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Too little too late, but ABC has finally found the perfect companion piece for "Pan Am." A bright-and-glossy dose of '60s nostalgia mixed with easily digestible proto-feminism, ABC's "Astronaut Wives Club" premieres on Thursday (June 18) night, more than three years after "Pan Am" was cancelled and I suspect they're likely to be remembered in the same way: Period dramas with high production values, a fantastic cast that ABC will look back at yearningly and unrealized creative potential obscuring otherwise solid storytelling. Is there a hypothetical TV series about the wives of the Mercury astronauts that's more than a slightly superficial, slightly choppy and slightly misfocused showcase for fine performances and some snazzy retro-style? Absolutely, but there's still some virtue to this sort of watchable, somewhat nourishing summer entertainment, even in a landscape that's overflowing with summer viewing options. Thursday's exposition-heavy premiere episode begins in 1961 with Louise Shepard (Dominique McElligott »
- Daniel Fienberg
More than 30 years after “The Right Stuff,” Philip Kaufman’s 1983 movie based on Tom Wolfe’s tome devoted to the Mercury 7 space program, “The Astronaut Wives Club” seems like inordinately fertile material for a primetime soap. Essentially a slow-motion version of the film, the main wrinkle in the ABC series — culled from Lily Koppel’s book — is viewing the story from the perspective of the women behind the men, who instantly became celebrities, with all the distractions that entails. While it’s not clear how long the producers can keep the concept aloft, the opening episodes certainly make for a splashy entry.
Written by Stephanie Savage and directed by Lone Scherfig, the premiere opens with the shrewd framing device of Alan Shepherd’s 1961 space flight, flashing back two years to when the program began. As part of a scheme envisioned by what amounts to Nasa’s perpetually apoplectic PR guru »
- Brian Lowry
Winston Baker has unveiled the lineup for its sixth annual International Film Finance Forum, sponsored in part by Variety, to coincide with the 68th Cannes Film Festival.
The forum, which takes place on May 15 at the Carlton hotel in Cannes, will feature top entertainment industry professionals including directors, producers, financiers, agents and executives.
Featured events during the half-day program include a panel on digital strategies and a director’s keynote panel with Lone Scherfig (“An Education,” “One Day”) and writer and director Ariel Vromen (“The Iceman”).
Additional information, including registration, can be found on the event’s website.
The full list of confirmed speakers:
Ashok Amritraj, chairman and CEO, Hyde Park Entertainment Tom Ara, shareholder, Greenberg Traurig Joseph Calabrese, global chair, entertainment, sports and media practice, Latham & Watkins Jeffrey Chan, co-founder and CEO, Distribution Workshop Joseph Chianese, executive VP, Ep Financial Solutions, Entertainment Partners Guillaume de Chalendar, senior VP, »
- Seth Kelley
Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy head up the cast of the romantic comedy about a young woman screenwriter during the Blitz in London, which is set to start shooting late summer. It is an adaptation of Lissa Evans’s 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction nominated novel.
Hanway are handling worldwide sales in Cannes.
Zygi Kamasa, Lionsgate UK CEO, who will executive produce together with BBC Films’ Christine Langan, said: “A project such as this with a visionary director, established producing team and impressive British cast cements the fact that British cinema is thriving and we’re thrilled »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Sarah Cooper)
Sweden is flush from significant Cannes and Venice triumphs in 2014, and at Berlinale more recently. This year, Cannes slots include Magnus von Horn’s debut “The Here After,” to be screened at Directors’ Fortnight, and Romanian Radu Muntean’s “One Floor Below,” a co-production, at Un Certain Regard.
Playing in the Fortnight shorts section is David Sandberg’s passionate ’80s homage “Kung Fury.” Isabella Carbonell’s short “Boys” is selected for Critics’ Week. Add Stig Bjorkman’s intimate portrait of Ingrid Bergman in the Cannes Classics’ “Ingrid Bergman, in Her Own Words” — in which Swedish star Alicia Vikander voices the iconic thesp — and a thriving image of Swedish cinema comes to light.
Not without a reason. Over the past half-decade Swedish film has experienced a significant rise in quality and diversity. Patrik Andersson, producer and head of development at B-Reel, says the improvement is reflected both in festival and hits »
- Jon Asp
Cannes — Lionsgate has taken U.K. rights to “Their Finest Hour and a Half,” which Lone Scherfig (“The Riot Club,” “An Education”) will direct. The pic will star Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy.
The romantic comedy, which is set in the early 1940s, combines the quick-fire repartee of a screwball battle of the sexes infused with the reality of filmmaking under threat of invasion and London in the Blitz. It’s a witty and warm-hearted portrayal of a young woman screenwriter finding her way in matters of life, death and the heart.
BBC Films has developed and will co-finance the film, which is being produced by Number 9 Films and Wildgaze Films, led by Stephen Woolley (“Carol”) and Amanda Posey (“Brooklyn,” “An Education”). It has been adapted for the screen by Gaby Chiappe from Lissa Evans’s novel. Zygi Kamasa of Lionsgate U.K. and Christine Langan and »
- Leo Barraclough
Exclusive: Lionsgate has moved quickly to snap up UK rights to Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest Hour And A Half. Gemma Arterton (Quantum Of Solace), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) and Bill Nighy (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) star in a screwball comedy battle of the sexes that follows the misadventures of a British movie crew trying to make a patriotic film to boost morale during the Blitz. BBC Films developed and co-finances the film, which is being… »
Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games franchise, The Riot Club, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) is set to star in the soccer legend biopic Robin Friday, to be directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Henry-Alex Rubin (Murderball, Disconnect), it was announced today by producers Mike Young, Julian Stone and Paolo Hewitt of Rf Movie Productions Ltd. Financing partners include Global Film Partners’ Daniel Koefoed and Guirec van Slingelandt, Telegael’s Paul Cummings and 9Magnan’s Meghana Gupta.
Fortitude International, co-founded by Nadine de Barros, Robert Ogden Barnum and Daniel Wagner, will handle foreign rights and will present the project to buyers at the Cannes Film Market. De Barros will be supported by her sales team including Katie Irwin, VP of International and Samantha Peel, Director of International Sales and Marketing.
CAA, which packaged and arranged financing for Robin Friday, will represent the film’s North American rights.
Based on the biography »
- Michelle McCue
Every year, the Istanbul Film Festival organizes a Masterclass on the serene campus of Boğaziçi University. In an auditorium surrounded by leafy trees, with a balcony overlooking the magnificent Bosphorus, an acclaimed filmmaker delves into his or her career and shares lessons learned along the way. In 2014, Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian auteur who's been feted by everyone from the Oscars to the Berlinale, spoke about the guiding principle of his career: being "unbiased and just." This year, Lone Scherfig took his place. The Danish filmmaker is most famous for the Oscar-nominated "An Education," but was already renowned in the international film fraternity for her association with the Dogme 95 movement and the Silver Bear-winning film "Italian for Beginners." Her latest film is "The Riot Club," which screened at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. As can be expected from a career spanning the Danish film school, writing characters for »
- Laya Maheshwari
“Astronaut Wives Club” is finally ready to blast off at ABC, with the network announcing on Monday a summer premiere date for the new drama.
Originally scheduled to bow last summer and then pushed to spring for retooling and some cast changes, “Astronaut Wives Club” will air Thursdays at 8 p.m. starting June 18. That launch date will allow the network to promote the series during coverage of the NBA Finals, which will occupy Thursdays earlier in the month.
ABC had announced its summer schedule earlier this month, but there was no mention of “Astronaut Wives Club” at that time.
Based on the book by Lily Koppel, “Astronaut Wives Club” focuses on seven women who were key players behind some of the biggest events in American history. As America’s astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, the lives of their young wives were transformed, seemingly overnight, from military spouses to American royalty. »
- Rick Kissell
Film4 sits down with great directors including Quentin Tarantino, David Cronenberg, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Ben Wheatley, Steve McQueen, Joe Carnahan and Lone Scherfig to candidly talk the art of filmmaking, where and how they got started, and their fears. One thing, which is said by Mark Romanek, is true for even the most ruthless of the bunch: "Every director... goes in in the morning terrified that what they're doing is not going to work." Read More: David Fincher Reveals "Gone Girl" Secrets, and Whose Side He's Really On Ryan Lattanzio is the staff writer for Toh at Indiewire. Follow him on Twitter. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Deadline is reporting that Gemma Arterton (The Voices), Sam Claflin (Love, Rosie) and Bill Nighy (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) are set to star in new romantic comedy, Their Finest Hour and a Half, to be directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education).
BBC Films has developed the project, which it also co-finances, and is based on Lissa Evans’ 2009 novel which is set in World War II London in the early 1940’s. The film is “a romantic comedy imbued with the screwball repartee of classic Hollywood of the time, Their Finest Hour and a Half is a battle of the sexes that follows the misadventures of a British movie crew trying to make a patriotic film to boost morale during the Blitz.”
- Scott J. Davis
The film, directed by Lone Scherfig (The Riot Club, An Education), will also star Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) and Bill Nighy (The Second Best Marigold Hotel, Pride), it was announced today.
BBC Films developed and will co-finance the feature, which is being produced by Oscar-nominated Number 9 Films and Wildgaze Films, led by Stephen Woolley (Carol, Made in Dagenham) and Amanda Posey (Brooklyn, An Education).
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Cannes — Gemma Arterton (“Quantum of Solace,” “Tamara Drewe”), Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay”) and Bill Nighy (“The Second Best Marigold Hotel,” “Pride”) are set to star in romantic comedy “Their Finest Hour and a Half,” which Lone Scherfig (“The Riot Club,” “One Day,” “An Education”) will direct.
BBC Films developed and will co-finance the film, which is being produced by Number 9 Films and Wildgaze Films, led by Stephen Woolley (“Carol,” “Made in Dagenham”) and Amanda Posey (“Brooklyn,” “An Education”). It has been adapted for the screen by Gaby Chiappe from Lissa Evans’s comic 2009 novel. Christine Langan and Ed Wethered of BBC Films will exec produce.
HanWay Films has boarded worldwide sales rights. The film is set for a late summer shoot.
A romantic comedy with a difference set in the early 1940s, the film combines the quick-fire repartee of a screwball battle of the sexes infused »
- Leo Barraclough
Exclusive: Gemma Arterton (Quantum Of Solace), Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) and Bill Nighy (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) are set to star in Their Finest Hour And A Half, with Lone Scherfig (An Education) directing. BBC Films developed and co-finances the film, which is being produced by Oscar-nominated producers Number 9 Films and Wildgaze Films, led by Stephen Woolley (Made In Dagenham) and Amanda Posey (Brooklyn). Gaby Chiappe has adapted Lissa… »
In just a couple months, school will be out for the summer, but for the moment, class is in session with "The Riot Club." The latest from "An Education" director Lone Scherfig recently went into limited release, and today we have an exclusive clip from the film. Starring Sam Claflin, Max Irons, Douglas Booth, Natalie Dormer, Ben Schnetzer, and Jessica Brown Findlay, and adapted from Laura Wade's acclaimed 2010 play, “Posh” (she also wrote the screenplay), the film takes viewers inside the rotten inner-workings of The Riot Club at Oxford University. It's here where the wealthy, privileged, upper crust youth let their hair down in some truly noxious ways. And in this clip, you see them assembled, drinking with enthusiasm, and singing "God Save The Queen." "The Riot Club" is now playing in limited release and is available on VOD. Watch below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Those of us who lead hapless lives know how frightening getting up in the morning can be. Instead of rising and embracing the daylight with an ardent cuddle and a zealous "Yahoo!" we see grey clouds overhead and wonder aloud, "What now?" Another egg carton with broken shells? A second bedbug infestation within twelve months? Still no replies to our Christian Mingles ad even though we've noted we can recite the Book of Revelation by heart in Latin?
Ah, if only we were born into a family of elites. The ultra-rich. Aristocrats with an enviable gene pool.
But instead we're impoverished and pear-shaped with squinty eyes and in need of Proactiv+.
On top of these misfortunes, we really know the gods are against us if while fingering the remote, we accidentally come across Joshua Jackson in The Skulls (2000), and begin to watch it out of inertia. This incapacitating thriller was inspired by Yale's secretive society, »
- Brandon Judell
Home, the newest feature from animation studio Dreamworks, won the top spot in its opening weekend, beating out competitors with a $54 million opening. The total marks Dreamworks’ first box office top finish since Mr. Peabody and Sherman achieved the feat a year ago, and the studio’s first opening weekend victory since 2013’s The Croods. The PG-rated Home was joined at the top by fellow new opener and R-rated Get Hard, as the Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy took in $34.6 million in its opening weekend, good for a second place finish.
Among the rest of the films, the other big entry was the indie horror film It Follows. Distributors’ plans to forego a VOD opening this weekend in favour of taking the film to a wide theatrical release instead paid off, as the movie made $4 million in its expansion, finishing in fifth place on the chart with a $4 million total. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
[This is a re-post of my The Riot Club review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is available on VOD and in select theaters starting today, March 27th.] It’s nice to think that we live in a pretty fair world. Sure humanity is sprawling and varied, but our differences are mostly overcome by a sense of harmony or karma. It’s nice to think that, but it’s not necessarily true. Life isn’t fair. We aren’t all born with equal opportunity. You can’t be “whatever you want to be” when you grow up. The fact of the matter is, our destiny comes with restrictions based on the circumstances into which we are born. Location, time period, genetics—these are all factors that determine the ill-defined (but definitely real) limit to our reach, and like it or not, few are more significant than wealth and status. Director Lone Scherfig’s (An Education) new film, The Riot Club, tackles class and social structure head-on from the eye of the young elite, following the members of a »
- Adam Chitwood
London — BBC Films, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary at a party in London today, has revealed its latest slate, which includes new projects from the directors of “The Theory of Everything” and “The Lunchbox,” as well as films by Armando Iannucci and Ricky Gervais.
James Marsh, the director of “The Theory of Everything,” is helming a film recounting the true story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst, and his attempt to win the first single-handed round-the-world yacht race in 1968. Pic is produced by Blueprint Pictures; it is written by Scott Z. Burns and stars Colin Firth.
Ritesh Batra, who helmed “The Lunchbox,” will direct an adaptation of Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prize-winning novel “The Sense of an Ending.” The adaptation is the debut screenplay of playwright Nick Payne, whose play “Constellations” has recently been on Broadway starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The film tells the story of Tony Webster, whose comfortable world »
- Leo Barraclough
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