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She’s among the fresh faced talents that will have spilled over into the mainstream/indiestream after an attention grabbing perf at Sundance ’15 with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Olivia Cooke will topline, while James White‘s Christopher Abbott, veterans Mireille Enos, Jim Belushi and Mary Steenburgen will take on supporting player roles in Katie Says Goodbye –- the directorial debut from Wayne Roberts. THR reports that Borderline Films’ Sean Durkin, Antonio Campos and Josh Mond are exec producing and reteaming with James White producers Jacob Wasserman and Relic Pictures’ Eric Schultz (The Preppie Connection), alongside Kimberly Parker (The Adderall Diaries) and Carlo Sirtori. Moments away from lensing in New Mexico, Cinematographer Paula Huidobro (Paul Bettany’s Shelter) is also on board.
Gist: In hopes of leaving her small Arizona town, a 17 year-old waitress (Cooke) attempts to overcome the hardships of poverty by prostituting herself in order to »
- Eric Lavallee
As collaborators, Sean Durkin and Antonio Campos have been a formidable pair. Campos produced the Durkin-directed breakout "Martha Marcy May Marlene," while roles were reversed for Campos' directorial efforts "Simon Killer" and "Afterschool." And the pair put their producing powers behind recent Sundance film festival hit "James White." Clearly they've got taste and talent, and they are putting it to use once again, producing "Katie Says Goodbye." Olivia Cooke, Mireille Enos, Christopher Abbott, Jim Belushi and Mary Steenburgen will star in the drama about "a 17-year-old waitress, played by Cooke, who attempts to overcome the hardships of poverty by prostituting herself in order to fulfill her dream of a new life in San Francisco." Wayne Roberts will direct with filming starting this month. [THR] Johnnie To always has several projects on the go at once, so here's another: he'll direct the heist thriller »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Jon Bernthal, Richard Armitage and Tom Holland have all joined the Irish action thriller "Pilgrimage" for Xyz Films. A seven-week shoot is set to commence next month on the West Coast of Ireland and the Ardennes region of Belgium.
The story follows 13th century monks whose faith is tested when they escort a monastery's holiest relic to Rome. Brendan Muldowney will direct from a screenplay by Jamie Hannigan, while Conor Barry, John Keville and Benoit Roland will produce. [Source: Screen]
Alvin and the Chipmunks 4
In the film, a series of misunderstandings has led chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in New York and dump them. Thorne will play Ashley. [Source: Deadline]
- Garth Franklin
Olivia Cooke, who moved Sundance as a teen with cancer in Grand Jury and Audience winner "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," is set to follow up her breakout role with "Katie Says Goodbye," a drama from the indie collective behind "Martha Marcy May Marlene." (THR has the full scoop.) Cooke will play the title character, a 17-year-old waitress who prostitutes herself in order to get by while pursuing greener pastures in San Francisco. She is joined by "The Killing" star Mireille Enos, Jim Belushi, Mary Steenburgen and Christopher Abbott, who also broke big out of Sundance as a self-destructive twenty-something in "James White." In the "Katie," Abbott plays Cooke's mechanic love interest, with Enos playing her unfit mother. The feature is set to begin shooting at the end of March in New Mexico. "James White" producers Sean Durkin, who directed "Martha Marcy," and "Simon Killer" »
- Ryan Lattanzio
In her first deal since her breakout performance in the Sundance hit, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Olivia Cooke has signed on to star as the title character in Katie Says Goodbye, an indie drama overseen by the makers of Martha Marcy May Marlene. Joining Cooke in the feature are The Killing star Mireille Enos, Christopher Abbott, Jim Belushi and Mary Steenburgen. Sean Durkin, the filmmaker who wrote and directed Martha Marcy May Marlene and its producer Antonio Campos and Josh Mond are exec producing Katie. (Durkin and Campos also produced James White, which starred Abbott and was
- Borys Kit
Paramount Pictures has announced that principal photography has begun on a brand new film starring “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star Tina Fey, Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit” franchise, “Sherlock” and Margot Robbie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Focus”). Filming on the currently untitled film is taking place in New Mexico. The film also stars Alfred Molina, Sheila Vand, Nicholas Braun, Christopher Abbott, Stephen Peacocke, Evan Jonigkeit and Billy Bob Thornton. The film is based on “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” an autobiography by Kim Barker. The tone of the film seems to be one that will play on various emotions; the New York Times described [ Read More ]
John Travolta is in talks to star in the Chuck Russell-directed indie action-thriller "I Am Wrath" for Patriot Pictures. Michael Mendelsohn, Nick Vallelonga and Richard Salvatore are producing and filming begins next month in Ohio.
Travolta will play a man out for vigilante justice after a group of corrupt cops are unable to catch his wife’s killer. Paul Sloan penned the script based on a story by Yvan Gauthier, and the hope is this will be to Travolta what "Taken" was to Liam Neeson. [Source: The Wrap]
Universal Pictures has acquired the action comedy pitch "Mother" which will be developed as a star vehicle for Halle Berry. Berry and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas will produce and Pablo Fenjves will write the screenplay. [Source: Deadline]
- Garth Franklin
Paramount Pictures announced that principal photography has commenced on the Untitled Tina Fey - Margot Robbie - Martin Freeman Project, starring Tina Fey (30 Rock, This Is Where I Leave You), Margot Robbie (Focus, The Wolf of Wall Street) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit franchise, Sherlock).
Based on the autobiography The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker, which the NY Times called "hilarious and harrowing, witty and illuminating, all at the same time," the film is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Focus, Crazy Stupid Love) from a screenplay by Robert Carlock (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock). The producers are Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live, Three Amigos!, Mean Girls), Tina Fey and Ian Bryce (Transformers franchise, World War Z).
Based on Kim Barker’s memoir “The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the film will recount Barker’s years as a journalist in Afghanistan and Pakistan after arriving in the the region in 2002.
Shooting is currently under way in New Mexico.
Thornton, who recently won a Golden Globe for his role in the FX series “Fargo,” was last seen in Warner Bros.’ “The Judge.” He can be seen next in “Entourage” and “Our Brand Is Crisis” opposite Sandra Bullock.
He is repped »
- Justin Kroll
Paramount Pictures announced that principal photography has commenced on the “Untitled Tina Fey – Margot Robbie – Martin Freeman Project,” starring Tina Fey (“30 Rock,” “This Is Where I Leave You”), Margot Robbie (“Focus,” “The Wolf Of Wall Street”) and Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit” franchise, “Sherlock”).
Based on the autobiography The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker, which the NY Times called “hilarious and harrowing, witty and illuminating, all at the same time,” the film is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (“Focus,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love”) from a screenplay by Robert Carlock (“Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock”).
- Michelle McCue
Billy Bob Thornton and Alfred Molina have signed on to join Tina Fey, Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman in Paramount’s untitled comedy based on Kim Barker’s memoir “The Taliban Shuffle,” the studio announced Wednesday. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are directing the film from a script by Robert Carlock, and production is now under way in New Mexico. Lorne Michaels is producing with Fey and Ian Bryce, who also produced “World War Z” and the “Transformers” franchise for Paramount. The supporting cast includes Nicholas Braun (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”), Christopher Abbott (HBO’s “Girls”), Sheila Vand (“Argo”), Stephen Peacocke (“Hercules”) and. »
- Jeff Sneider
The 37th annual Sundance Film Festival was, as always, a glitzy riot of rumors, acquisitions, and hype, but at its heart, again like always, the Park City extravaganza hums on the quality of its films and acting. The roster of sterling performances this year was as strong as ever—and unusually diverse: Actors best known for TV showed themselves capable of commanding the screen, fresh faces came out of nowhere and won standing ovations, and previously unheralded yeomen proved themselves brilliantly as leading men—and hateable villains. Here, we shine a much-deserved spotlight on six actors and actresses whose work in films — both eagerly awaited and pleasantly surprising — had the Utah movers and shakers thinking big. *******Christopher Abbott Film: James White Perhaps Christopher Abbott was right to leave Girls. As James White’s title character, Abbott spills over with raw anxiety and tenderness. He plays a Manhattan 20-something whose usual »
- Kyle Buchanan,Bilge Ebiri,Jada Yuan
My first Sundance is in the books and it went much too quickly. As evidenced by the fact I’m still publishing reviews, my eyes were obviously bigger than my stomach. Still, I’d rather see too many movies than too few, and there were some hidden gems in this year’s lineup. Here are my Top Five films, along with a couple of honorable mentions because I’m feeling generous (and sleep deprived).
Written by Tim Talbott
Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
This ultra-glossy dramatization of the infamous Zimbardo psychology experiment didn’t disappoint. Tense throughout, Alvarez uses an impressive supporting cast and impeccable editing to create a palpable sense of impending doom. It’s a frightening peek into the human psyche executed with relentless precision. With the right marketing, this film could make a serious awards run next autumn.
Written by Guy Maddin, »
- J.R. Kinnard
Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2014 discoveries”…
Lavallee: Prior to playing the titular figure in Josh Mond’s James White, you were the visually tattooed/perhaps tormented central figure in his short film. How did that collaboration essentially assist in helping you reach the emotional depths demanded for this role?
Abbott: It didn’t really. But I think it started to establish how Josh and I would work together. We were friends already but hadn’t collaborated in that way yet.
Lavallee: Could you describe James relationship to with his mother, the unique bound they have and perhaps how that separation informs or influences his exchanges with those that surround him…
Abbott: I think their relationship in the film is pure, dependent, at times volatile and unhealthy, »
- Eric Lavallee
Michael and I had a lot of fun covering this year's Sundance for you, though we definitely missed Glenn this time around resulting in less films covered. The more is always the merrier with movies. Here is a complete list of our 29 reviews in alpha order by film in case you missed any or to use as a reference guide when the films reemerge in the real world.
Tomorrow we'll talk favorite performances and Oscar (we realize it's way too early) but that's a separate conversation. Here's to Sundance 2015!
The Movies We Screened
10,000 Saints (Michael) Manhattan in the 80s with Hailee & Asa
Dark Horse (Nathaniel) documentary on breeding race horses
Diary of a Teenager Girl (Michael) sexual coming-of-age drama
Dope (Nathaniel) a hip hop lovin' comic treat »
- NATHANIEL R
Fimmel will play the role of Gary about a young woman tries to make it on her own in New York City. Filming is slated to begin this month. [Source: Deadline]
Scott Eastwood will join Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley in Oliver Stone's untitled film about Nsa leaker Edward Snowden for Open Road and Endgame. Eastwood will play an Nsa agent who leads the group. [Source: Deadline]
Christopher Abbott ("Girls," "James White") has scored a role in Tina Fey's untitled project based on Kim Barker’s wartime memoir "The Taliban Shuffle" at Paramount Pictures. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are directing and shooting begins in New Mexico this month.
The dark comedy is fish-out-of-water experience about the »
- Garth Franklin
Fresh off garnering strong praise for his performance in drama James White at Sundance, Christopher Abbott has booked a role in Tina Fey's untitled project. The Paramount film is an adaptation of journalist Kim Barker’s wartime memoir, The Taliban Shuffle. The story recounts Barker’s experiences covering conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It's said to be a dark comedy dealing with Barker's fish-out-of-water experience and the challenges of being a woman in wartime Afghanistan and Pakistan. Fey will produce and play the journalist, while Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman are also attached. Abbott's role currently is being kept under
- Rebecca Ford
Directed by Josh Mond
The edge is where you find it. For James White, the jarring first feature from director Josh Mond, the edge is the only home he knows. Unrelenting and formless, Mond’s character study explores the toll that life can take if you aren’t paying attention. This isn’t a grand epic with plot twists and moments of self-revelation; just a story about a good son careening toward self-destruction. Simple, yet powerfully effective.
James White (Christopher Abbott), as his dying mother (Cynthia Nixon) astutely observes, is a man “with 96 crayons in his box.” Staring down the barrel of 30, twenty-something James is a study in contradictions, his hard drinking and narcissism at odds with the tireless dedication with which he cares for his mother. He’s a slacker on a mission. “We always thought you would end up in prison,” seems to be the consensus on his future prospects. »
- J.R. Kinnard
James White begins in a burst of abstraction, with Christopher Abbott’s face coming in and out of focus in extreme close-up, swaying slowly in the warm haze of a nightclub. The throbbing club music battles the gentle songs playing through the young man’s earbuds, blending into a sonic blur. Director Josh Mond’s frame starts off close, too close, then pulls back a bit, then jumps in again — as if trying to find the right distance. But once it settles, the handheld camera never loses its focus on Abbott. It remains fixed on him for the rest of the film, as if it has captured a prime specimen and isn’t about to let go. From that ethereal opening, James White follows its lead as he makes his way back to sit Shiva for his recently deceased, estranged father. He greets some well-wishers, including his dad’s second »
- Bilge Ebiri
It takes seven stages to get over grief. Twelve steps to kick booze. An as-yet-undetermined number of steps or stages or whatever to stop being an unsympathetic and unmitigated asshole. Josh Mond’s James White chronicles the eponymous James White (Christopher Abbott), who could stand to benefit from attempting to take a few steps in any direction, as long as those steps are aware from his grief, his alcoholism, and his profound addiction to being an asshole. Sensitively told and clearly close to Mond’s heart, James White follows James during a terribly gray period in his life, just after the death of his father (who he did not love) and the seemingly inevitable demise of his cancer-stricken mother (who he does). As James fumbles to come to terms with his life, he continually makes not just terrible decisions, but stupid ones, poor ones, idiotic ones, the kind that ensure that the haze and daze of his »
- Kate Erbland
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