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Toonsmiths Get An Earful on Guild’s Pending ‘Wage Suppression’ Suit Against Disney, DreamWorks And Other Studios

3 hours ago

The Animation Guild is gathering information for a possible “wage suppression” lawsuit against Hollywood’s major animation studios, members were informed on Tuesday night. The guild believes that toon studios, including Disney and DreamWorks, might have entered into an illegal pact not to recruit one another’s employees, thus suppressing their wages. Guild members were informed of the fact-finding mission during Tuesday night’s packed general membership meeting. “It’s come to light that Disney, DreamWorks, and other studios may have participated in a … wage suppression cartel, and our members have been interested in the guild taking action on behalf of those who may […] »

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Twitter Reactions to Robert Halmi Sr.’s Death

3 hours ago

The death of Robert Halmi Sr., the vastly respected producer of ambitious and Emmy-winning TV projects who led a very full life over 90 years, stirred plenty of comment and reaction on social media and beyond. Below is a sampling of reactions from some of the industry’s notables, including producer Gale Anne Hurd‘s (The Walking Dead) simple homage of two hashtags.   https://twitter.com/GunnerGale/status/494638275718430720   https://twitter.com/sharonafox/status/494654002487767041   https://twitter.com/alexdgreenfield/status/494641538149154817   https://twitter.com/sonitahenry/status/494636898359341056   https://twitter.com/PedroCorro/status/494656090412314624   https://twitter.com/FredTopel/status/494658181126045696   https://twitter.com/NonStopPop/status/494657358401134592 »


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R.I.P. Robert Drew, Pioneer Of American Cinema Verite

5 hours ago

The documentary filmmaker who was called the “father of American cinema verite” died today at his home in Sharon, Conn. Robert Drew was 90. He was a Life magazine correspondent and editor when he formed Drew Associates in 1960 and hired a team of filmmakers that included then-unknowns D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles and Ricky Leacock. Their first project was Primary, which followed handsome young senator John F. Kennedy as he campaigned in Wisconsin for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination. Starting with Primary, Drew’s films pioneered a new journalistically minded code of documentary creation, including not directing subjects or using set-up shots or […] »


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Legendary Sets Scribe For ‘Operation Shakespeare’

5 hours ago

Exclusive: Legendary Pictures is in talks with Michael Werwie to script Operation Shakespeare, an adaptation of the John Shiffman book. Title was the code name for an international sting, led by an elite Homeland Security team, to snare foreign arms dealers from acquiring and selling U.S. military technology. The book was published this month by Simon & Schuster. Werwie is scripting Lost Girls for Warner Bros. Related: Comic-Con: Legendary Unveils Glimpse Of New King Kong Pic ‘Skull Island’ Legendary showed at Comic-Con it can mount monster movies with the best of them, but this project follows an equally hot-button premise […] »


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Universal Buys Drew Daywalt Kid Book ‘The Day The Crayons Quit’

5 hours ago

Universal Pictures has preemptively acquired film rights to The Day The Crayons Quit, the bestselling children’s picture book by Drew Daywalt with illustrations by Oliver Jeffers. Matt Lopez has been set to script and Madhouse Entertainment will produce. The book tells the story of a box of crayons whose inhabitants decide to go on strike after growing sick and tired of how they’re being used. Among the lead characters: a white crayon with an existential crisis because he doesn’t show up on white paper, a black crayon who longs to color a rainbow or a beach ball, and a pink […] »


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Sony Ww Creative Advertising Prexy Tommy Gargotta Leaving

5 hours ago

Exclusive: The internal moves at Sony continue. Deadline hears that Tommy Gargotta is leaving the studio. The president of Worldwide Creative Advertising, he will be replaced. I’m told this is not related to the recent exit of Jeff Blake, whom the studio is in the process of replacing. More details as they emerge. It might be unrelated to Blake, but from what I hear, Gargotta  is an institution in the Jimmy Stewart building second only to (until last week) Blake and publicity president Andre Caraco. He has long been considered a top creative advertising mind in the business, by studios, […] »


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Universal Unwraps Alex Kurtzman As New ‘Mummy’ Man

6 hours ago

Two weeks after Deadline revealed that Universal Pictures was putting its classic movie monster franchises in the hands of Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, the studio is setting Kurtzman to direct the resuscitation of The Mummy franchise. The studio tapped that duo to come up with a creative game plan and maybe take on some of these monster classics, and clearly The Mummy was the first one to go in production, so this is not a startling development. Universal has been trying to reopen the sarcophagus on this one for a while. The original trilogy, hatched by helmer Steve Sommers […] »


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‘Maude’ About Norman, Pen USA Laurels Lear With Lifetime Achievement Award

7 hours ago

Exclusive: Incomparable writer, producer, First Amendment apostle and funny guy Norman Lear will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award from Pen Center USA, which works on global issues of freedom of speech and censorship. The non-profit human-rights group also said it is giving its First Amendment Award to journalist Glenn Greenwald and documentary director Laura Poitras for their work disseminating documents relating to Nsa surveillance. Journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas will receive the Freedom to Write Award for his work on immigration issues. Lear, who turned 92 on Sunday, made his name creating groundbreaking TV sitcoms in the 1970s, […] »


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In Switcheroo, SAG-aftra, DGA Say ‘No Comment’ To FCC On Net Neutrality

8 hours ago

The FCC received so many comments – more than a million – on proposed changes to its net neutrality rules that its website crashed. But don’t blame SAG-aftra or the DGA; neither weighed in before the deadline. “We have not filed comments,” said an official for the actors union. Likewise, said a rep for the directors: “The DGA hasn’t made any filings regarding net neutrality in the latest round.” Related: WGA Makes Last FCC Pitch On Latest Net Neutrality Rules The WGA, on the other hand, has told the FCC that its proposed changes threaten our very democracy and “throws the […] »

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Brownie Points To Tarantino, Apatow & Pals For New ‘Development’ Deal To Save Celluloid

8 hours ago

Celluloid lives to film another day: “After extensive discussions with filmmakers, leading studios and others who recognize the unique artistic and archival qualities of film, we have in place a plan that will enable us to continue production” of film stock, Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke says. The company once famous for “Kodak moments” will make about 450M linear feet of film — about 1/28 its output in 2006 as Hollywood has shifted to digital recording and projection. Kodak was about to go to zero — with plans to close the last remaining film production plant, in Rochester, NY — before directors including […] »


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2020, Defiant Pics Pact On ‘Divorce Party’

8 hours ago

Exclusive: Defiant Pictures and 2020 Entertainment have joined together in fiscal union to back The Divorce Party, an original comedy feature written by actors Lane Garrison (Camp X-Ray, Bonnie & Clyde) and Mark Famiglietti (Premonition, The Greens Are Gone). Story tracks a newly dumped divorcee who hires his sexy former wedding planner to throw a “divorce party” celebrating his new singledom. Garrison and Famiglietti were inspired by the increasing popularity of fetes thrown to mark the end of wedded unions, a trend that’s grown its own cottage industry in recent years. They teamed with Salt producer Sunil Perkash to develop […] »


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Penelope Cruz Clarifies Gaza Genocide Comments

9 hours ago

Update, 1:35Pm: Penelope Cruz has issued a statement to clarify the open letter that she, husband Javier Bardem and director Pedro Almodovar signed yesterday, which called for an end to “the genocide perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army in the Gaza strip against Palestinian civilians.” The comments were bound to be regarded as incendiary and polarizing, taking sides in a most controversial issue. Today, Cruz explains that her reaction was not motivated by politics as much as humanitarian concerns. “I don’t want to be misunderstood on this important subject,” she said. “I’m not an expert on the situation, and I’m […] »


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Hot Trailer: Matthew McConaughey Heads To Space In ‘Interstellar’, Leaves Kids Behind

11 hours ago

Just back from Comic-Con, Paramount has released a trailer for its upcoming November 7 Christopher Nolan sci-fi mystery Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey as a haggard, ex-pilot father of two, who has to leave his kids behind while he heads to outer space. Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Cainealso star. It’s no secret that Nolan is making a number of homages to one of his fave films, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The director, who made his first Hall H appearance at the San Diego fanboy confab last week, told the crowd: “I grew up in a time when being an astronaut […] »


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Lucy Fry Enrolls In Private School Drug-Trafficking Pic ‘The Preppie Connection’

11 hours ago

Lucy Fry will play Alexis, the most popular girl in school who becomes the apple of a young drug dealer’s eye in Joe Castelo‘s film. The Preppie Connection follows a group of private school students who ran a drug ring during the early 1980s.  The ring is spearheaded by Toby, one of the lower-class scholarship candidates at the school, who uses his street cred and access to drugs to work his way into the popular-kid clique, which includes Alexis. Production began this week on Staten Island. Fry recently wrapped Blumhouse/Universal’s 6 Miranda Drive starring Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell and Matt Walsh.  She […] »


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UTA Signs ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ Star Pierre Niney

11 hours ago

Pierre Niney, who played the iconic French fashion designer in Yves Saint Laurent, has signed with UTA. The biopic debuted at Cannes and is distributed in the U.S. by The Weinstein Company. Niney was nominated for Cesar awards in 2012 and 2013 as most promising actor for his work in J’aime Regarder les Filles and Comme des Freres, the latter also earning him a Lumiere Award nomination as most promising young actor. Other acting credits include It Boy,  and the TV series Casting(s), which he also directed. Niney, repped in France by Brigitte Descormiers, has been announced to play Philippe Cousteau in the upcoming The […] »


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Olivia Wilde, Elisabeth Moss, Luke Wilson, Natasha Lyonne Head To ‘Meadowland’

11 hours ago

Olivia Wilde, Luke WilsonElisabeth Moss and Natasha Lyonne will be headlining the psychological feature drama Meadowland, which marks the directorial debut of Dp Reed Morano. Written by Chris Rossi, Meadowland follows a couple, Sarah (Wilde) and New York City cop David (Wilson), who are dealing with the crisis of their son’s disappearance. While David loses his way, Sarah also places herself in dangerous situations following the calamity. Meadowland will go before the cameras in NYC in mid-August.  British Columbia-based Bron Studios is producing the film in association with Creative Wealth Media Finance. Matt Tauber and Wilde also are producing, alongside Bron’s Aaron L. […] »


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‘Sea Of Trees’ With Matthew McConaughey Begins Lensing In Massachusetts, Japan

12 hours ago

Gus Van Sant’s next directorial Sea of Trees starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts is currently in production in rural Massachusetts and will be moving its production to Japan in September.  Financier and producer Ken Kao and Alex Walton’s international sales, production and financing company, Bloom, launched and introduced Sea of Trees in Cannes, and by the end of the festival had sold out most of the world. Van Sant has assembled a top-notch creative team to work on the film including Oscar-winning editor Pietro Scalia, Emmy nominated production designer Alex Digerlando (HBO’s True Detective), cinematographer Kasper Tuxen (Beginners), Oscar-nominated costume […] »


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Lionsgate Acquires ‘Down A Dark Hall’ From ‘Twilight’ Producers & Temple Hill

12 hours ago

Lionsgate has acquired rights to Down A Dark Hall based on the 1974 Ya bestseller from Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer) with Rodrigo Cortés attached to direct. Screenwriter Michael Goldbach wrote the original adaptation for the screen, and Chris Sparling (Sea of Trees, Buried) has come aboard to also write on the film. Twilight author Stephenie Meyer and Meghan Hibbett will produce via their Fickle Fish Films along with Temple Hill Entertainment’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen. Meyer optioned the book last year and brought on Goldbach to write the adaptation. The supernatural suspense novel follows […] »


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Paging Mr. Bill Murray: Toronto Wants To Honor You With ‘St Vincent’ Gala, But Cannot Find You

12 hours ago

To a distributor launching a prestige film in the fall, a berth in the first weekend of the Toronto Film Festival is like finding a Golden Ticket in a Wonka Bar. Toronto organizers want to do just that for the Ted Melfi-directed comedy St Vincent before its October 24 bow, and they also want to turn the premiere into a celebration honoring the work of its star, Bill Murray. Here’s the challenge: Nobody has been able to get hold of him. He has no agent, he’s got an attorney who’ll try to reach Murray, but even that is a problem […] »


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Lauren Sanchez & Dan Friedkin Launch Pursuit Productions, First Doc ‘Found’ In The Works

12 hours ago

Emmy award-winner Lauren Sanchez, who is a frontrunner to join The View as a co-host, has formed Pursuit Productions with Dan Friedkin.  Pursuit will focus on telling compelling real life stories from around the globe. The company already has its first documentary feature in the works, Found, and closed a deal with Mark Monroe (Sound City, The Tillman Story, The Cove) to write. Found follows the search for those pilots whose planes were lost in The Battle of Peleliu during World War II.  Also joining the search for the missing pilots in the doc is former United States Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, whose memoir Lone Survivor […] »


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