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Jason Reitman to Direct ‘I Would Only Rob Banks for My Family’
Jason Reitman will direct “I Would Only Rob Banks for My Family,” a true-life tale of an unlikely family of bank robbers, for Fox Searchlight.
The project is based on a Texas Monthly article by Skip Hollandsworth, published in July, about a Houston family that pulled off two heists before members were caught attempting a third. Scott Catt, a structural engineer, teamed with his 20-year-old son and 18-year-old daughter for the robberies.
The Reitmans collaborated on “Up in the Air” with Jason directing. He most recently directed “Men, Women and Children” for Paramount.
- Dave McNary
Mike Nichols, ‘Graduate’ Director, Dead At 83
Mike Nichols, the award-winning director of Broadway and movies, has passed away suddenly at the age of 83, according to information released by ABC News. Nichols was the husband of ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer.
No cause of death was given.
Nichols created some of American film’s most popular works, including “The Graduate” and “Working Girl.” He won awards for directing writing, producing and is among the few to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.
“This is a seismic loss,” director and producer Steven Spielberg said in a statement. “Mike was a friend, a muse, a mentor, one of America’s all time greatest film and stage directors, and one of the most generous people I have ever known. For me, The Graduate was life altering—both as an experience at the movies as well as a master class about how to stage a scene. Mike »
- Brian Steinberg
Gracepoint Recap: “Episode Eight”
Hmmm. In my enthusiasm over "Episode Seven's" big departure from Broadchurch, I might have overestimated Gracepoint's decision to really strike out on its own. "Episode Eight" was more or less a kind of reset, and the kind that made "Episode Seven" look largely like wheel-spinning. Nothing much was revealed in this new episode, either, which seems to suggest that the two-episode expansion from the original series may not ultimately yield any different results. Hit the jump for why I'm running hot and cold about this series. Tom has proved an interesting subject on Gracepoint, but somehow the least interesting thing he did was disappear and reappear (because, as we learned in this hour, he was doing his own investigation). That whole storyline petered out early, with Tom's excursion not shedding any particular light on the crime. What was far more intriguing was the circling back to Tom's deletion of emails »
- Allison Keene
Chris Pratt in Talks To Star in ‘Cowboy Ninja Viking’
The screenplay is based on Aj Lieberman and artist Riley Rossmo’s graphic novel of the same name about a skilled assassin with multiple personalities, published by Image Comics. Scribes Paul Wernick and Everett David Reese (“Zombieland”) wrote a first draft, with the most recent draft coming from Craig Mazin (“Identity Thief,” “The Hangover Part II”).
Guymon Casady and Ben Forkner of Film 360 are set to produce along with Mark Gordon of The Mark Gordon Company. Bryan Zuriff will exec produce. There’s currently no word on who will direct the pic. Film 360 found the underlying material based on the graphic novel, and then brought the project to Mark Gordon Productions.
- Marianne Zumberge
Martin Freeman Joins The Taliban Shuffle; Bryce Dallas Howard in Talks for Pete’S Dragon; Matt Smith to Star in Patient Zero
A few pieces of casting to report: Martin Freeman is in talks to join Tina Fey and Margot Robbie in The Taliban Shuffle, a black comedy set in Kabul. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy Stupid Love) will direct the adaptation of Kim Barker’s memoir. Bryce Dallas Howard is in talks to join the cast of Pete's Dragon. Oakes Fegley, Oona Lawrence, and Robert Redford also star in the picture directed by David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints). Matt Smith will star opposite Natalie Dormer in pandemic thriller Patient Zero, directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky (Deadfall). More on each project after the jump. According to THR, Freeman will play a Scottish photojournalist, a love interest for Fey's protagonist. Here's the synopsis for Barker's book: When Kim Barker first arrived in Kabul as a journalist in 2002, she barely owned a passport, spoke only English and had little idea how to do »
- Brendan Bettinger
Japanese Indie Distributor France Eigasha Goes Bankrupt
Tokyo – France Eigasha, a pioneering Japanese indie distributor that started business in 1968, has filed for bankruptcy.
The company was best known for its Bow Series of films by leading foreign auteurs, including Theo Angelopoulos, Jim Jarmusch, Wim Wenders, Hou Hsiao Hsien and Jane Campion. Among its hits were “Wings of Desire” (1987), “The Puppet Master” (1993) and “The Piano” (1993).
The company’s revenues, which once reached $7 million annually, have since fallen below the $1 million mark as Japanese filmgoers turn away from foreign films in general and art house films in particular.
According to the bankruptcy filing in Tokyo District Court the company owes $321,600 to thirteen creditors.
Among other small-to-mid-level Japanese distributors that have gone bust in recent years are Prenom-h, Movie-Eye, Tornado, Wise Policy and Cine Qua Non.
- Mark Schilling
Greer Grammer named Miss Golden Globe
Greer Grammer will be this year's Miss Golden Globe, the awards announced Thursday. The 22-year-old actress plays ditzy Lissa on MTV's Awkward; she also appears in the upcoming film Life Partners, opposite Leighton Meester, Adam Brody, and Gillian Jacobs. And, as Miss and Mr. Golden Globe of years past, she also happens to be the child of a celebrity: as you may have guessed, Grammer's father is three-time Golden Globe winner Kelsey Grammer. (Her mother is makeup artist Barrie Buckner.) Grammer joins a long line of past Golden Globe assistants including Sosie Bacon, daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick; Sam Fox, »
- Hillary Busis
Casting Net: Penelope Cruz signs on for 'Zoolander 2'
• Penelope Cruz will star opposite Ben Stiller in Zoolander 2. Stiller is directing from a script by Justin Theroux, and will produce alongside Stuart Cornfeld for Red Hour. Will Ferrell and Owen Wilson are rumored to be reprising their roles as Mugatu and Hansel, respectively. [Deadline] • Mel Gibson and Andrew Garfield are in talks for the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge. Gibson would direct the film with Garfield in the role of Private First Class Desmond T. Doss, a war hero who won the Congressional Medal of Honor, two Bronze Stars, and three Purple Hearts. Doss saved 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa, »
- C. Molly Smith
Le Boxeur joins Revolution
“I find this documentary to be very relevant for an international audience and I was keen to become part of the process of helping to bring it out,” said Van Wijk. “Khushboo and Vinay have rendered the story with cinematic ease, which is rare to find in such young talent.”
Scheduled for delivery in mid-2015, the documentary follows India’s Aam Aadmi Party, an offshoot of the anti-corruption Janlokpal movement.
The filmmakers ran a successful crowdfunding campaign for the project, which also received »
Rohfilm and Haq add voice to People
Exclusive: Germany’s Rohfilm, which co-produced The Lunchbox, is continuing its association with South Asian cinema by co-producing Iram Haq’s What Will People Say.
The project, which has been selected for this year’s Co-production Market at Film Bazaar, is expected to start shooting in Norway and the Indian states of Rajasthan and Punjab towards the end of next year. The producers are in talks with India’s Sikhya Entertainment, also a producer on The Lunchbox, to collaborate on the film.
Rohfilm co-founder Karsten Stoter said was impressed by Haq’s debut film, I Am Yours, which premiered at Toronto in 2013, while he described her new project as a “heartbreaking female personal drama with culture clashes between two different worlds.”
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Udita Jhunjhunwala)
Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp Promotes Lisa Ellzey to President of U.S. Operations
The move comes a month after EuropaCorp announced it had secured $600 million of financing with plans to spend most of it on English-language projects. EuropaCorp generated a solid hit with Scarlett Johansson’s “Lucy” through Universal with $440 million worldwide, and launched a joint distribution venture for the U.S. with Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media.
Their first Red release will be “The Transporter Legacy,” set for a June 19 opening.
Ellzey came on board EuropaCorp USA in March, 2013, as a senior VP.
She had been exec VP of production at Lionsgate and Twentieth Century Fox. Before that, she was prexy of Scott Free Entertainment.
News was first reported by Deadline.com.
- Dave McNary
Director Francis Lawrence Talks The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Deleted Scenes, the Lack of IMAX, the Batman vs. Superman Logo in I Am Legend, and More
Opening this weekend is director Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. In the next installment, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol. Unlike the last two films which focused on surviving the games, Mockingjay – Part 1 is about the rebellion spreading throughout Panem and the way both sides play the media to gain the upper hand. It’s an extremely well done movie and fans of the franchise will not be disappointed. Joining the cast are Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham) alongside Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, and Donald Sutherland. A few days ago in New York City I landed a great video interview with Francis Lawrence. During »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
‘Everly’ Producers Eye Black List Action-Thriller ‘Dig’
Exclusive: Vega, Baby!, the new production and finance outfit from Ricky Budhrani and Everly producer Adam Ripp, has optioned Black List 2013 genre script Dig, by scribe Adam Taylor Barker. The action-thriller set in the Appalachian Mountains tracks Sol, a tough-as-nails grave digger out for revenge after his father-in-law kidnaps his daughters.
Vega, Baby! opened up shop in August with backing from Singapore-based financiers and recently added an acquisitions and distribution arm, picking up horror pic Ghoul for release in 2015. The company is moving fast on Dig, packaging the project to shoot next year.
Ripp and Everly co-producer Brett Hedblom will produce for Vega, Baby! Productions with Andrew Deane of Industry Entertainment, and Andrew Pfeffer. Rizal Risjad, Ricky Budhrani and Michael Botti are executive producers. Vega, Baby!’s Everly, starring Salma Hayek was acquired by Radius-twc and is awaiting release. Barker is repped by ICM Partners, Industry Entertainment, and attorney Lev »
- Jen Yamato
Josh Boone Now Says The Stand Will Be Four Movies With a Cast The Will “Blow People’s Minds”
Wow. Sometimes I hate the way films are tailored for the global marketplace (i.e. Transformers: Age of Extinction), and sometimes I'm okay with it. Today is one of the days I'm okay with it. Writer/director Josh Boone (The Fault in our Stars) has announced that his adaptation of The Stand will now be four movies. Why? Because Warner Bros. wanted to have a product with enough set pieces to satisfy the international market without skimping on character. While there's still no cast in place, this is incredibly exciting news for anyone in favor of bold, creative decisions. This isn't a plug-and-play scenario like The Hobbit, it's a little bit risker than that. But damn do I hope it pays off. Hit the jump for more on The Stand turning into four movies. Boone told Kevin Smith's Hollywood Babble-On Podcast (via Slashfilm) about his initial version of the script, »
- Evan Dickson
Hero Blend #43: X-Men: Apocalypse And The Importance Of Young Jean Grey And Cyclops
We.ve spent a great deal of this year celebrating the success of Bryan Singer.s X-Men: Days of Future Past, but the time has come to look towards the future. With production scheduled to start in the first half of next year, X-Men: Apocalypse has begun its casting process . and already they.re eyeing some talented new actors. As we reported earlier in the week, a pair of actor shortlists have been leaked and feature three actors, respectively, that could wind up playing young Jean Grey and young Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse. It appears that 20th Century Fox is aiming to bring a big name aboard for the former role, as Chloe Moretz, Elle Fanning and Hailee Steinfeld have been listed as the actresses in contention, but for the latter part they seem to be looking for a newcomer, focusing in on Ben Hardy, Charlie Rowe and Timothee Chalamet. »
Superhero Bits: Gotham, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men Apocalypse, Black Panther, Arrow
Where does Jennifer Lawrence think Mystique is as X-Men Apocalypse starts? When did Chadwick Boseman agree to be Black Panther? Will the Gotham producers kill any major characters? Why did Matthew Vaughn do Kingsman instead of X-Men: Days of Future Past? Want to hear the Warner Bros. CEO describe why they announced their DC Comics […]
- Germain Lussier
Steve McQueen to bring British TV series 'Widows' to the big screen
Steve McQueen is directing, writing, and producing a big screen adaptation of the British TV series Widows, EW has confirmed. The 1983 TV mini-series, written by Lynda La Plante, began with three armed robbers who are killed during a heist. Their widows discover their plans for the robbery, and set out to finish the jobs themselves. The feature will follow the same basic premise. »
- C. Molly Smith
The Wedding Ringer Red Band Trailer Is Outrageous And Raunchy
There can.t be too many people out there who have a bad word to say about either Kevin Hart or Josh Gad. Both of them are eminently watchable and always seem to be on the precipice of making someone laugh. And the red-band trailer for The Wedding Ringer seems to suggest that will be the exact same scenario for their upcoming cinematic collaboration. You can watch it below. Prior warning though, it is laced with profanity from start to finish. Seriously, how can you not love both Kevin Hart and Josh Gad like they are your own flesh and blood? Hopefully The Wedding Ringerwill allow the pair.s explosive comedic talents to erupt across the screen in tandem., and the early hints are that it should do just that. As you.d expect from a red band trailer, there is an awful lot of potty mouth in this new »
Roger Donaldson Remembers New Zealand Beginnings
Before he became one of Hollywood’s most dependable big-movie helmers with hits for stars such as Eastwood, Pacino, Cruise, Costner, Hopkins, Statham, Brosnan et al, Roger Donaldson literally helped invent the film industry in New Zealand. It all started with a micro-budget smallscreen Kiwi anthology project called “Winners & Losers” in 1975.
Where did you see that first mention of your work?
I saw it in New Zealand. It was my first foray into filmmaking but I believe it was also the first project from New Zealand that sold well overseas. It got sold to 52 countries and everybody in New Zealand was very excited. It was the impetus for making feature films.
Were people in New Zealand aware of Variety’s role in the business?
Absolutely! And at the point it was a big deal to be noticed outside New Zealand.
Did you have a plan to direct feature films at that point? »
- Steven Gaydos
Will 'Mockingjay' Open Over $150 Million This Weekend?
In what's rightly being called the movie event of the year, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 is poised to take over the box office this weekend.The third entry in the massively successful Hunger Games franchise opens at 4,151 theaters, and should score the best debut since its predecessor, Catching Fire, debuted to $158 million on this same weekend last year.Fandango is reporting that Mockingjay is the biggest advanced ticket seller of the year so far, which isn't surprising or particularly noteworthy. The biggest opening of the year so far is Transformers: Age of Extinction's $100 million; if Mockingjay fell short of that number, it would be a massive disappointment.It's also not going to happen. The previous two Hunger Games movies each opened over $150 million, and were each well received by critics and audiences. The sequel, Catching Fire, ended with the type of cliffhanger that leaves an audience »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
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