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Samuel Goldwyn To Help Kirk Cameron “Put Christ Back Into Christmas”

50 minutes ago

That’s the promise Kirk Cameron’s made with his latest film, Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, which Samuel Goldwyn Films has set for a November 14 limited theatrical release. Cameron stars in the film which regrounds the Christmas tradition in its Biblical roots and is the first title in a new three-picture deal his Camfam Studios has struck with Sony Music Entertainment’s Nashville-based Provident Films. Saving Christmas also marks a re-teaming of Cameron and Samuel Goldwyn, which scored a $33 million hit with Christian audiences on his 2008 film Fireproof.

Darren Doane, Bridgette Ridenour, David Shannon, Raphi Henley, and Ben Kientz also star in the film directed by Doane from his script with Cheston Hervey. Henley, Shannon, Doane, and Ankara Rosser are producers and Cameron is exec producer. Camfam produced the film with Liberty University, which previously partnered on 2013 documentary Unstoppable. Faith-based production and distribution label Provident Films also previously collaborated with Cameron, »


- Jen Yamato

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David Frankel To Direct ‘Departure’ For Good Universe

1 hour ago

The Devil Wears Prada helmer David Frankel has taken over the directing reins of Good Universe’s sci-fi romance Departure. Oscar-nominated Billy Ray penned the script and was previously set to direct the tale of a brilliant Faa investigator who is obsessed with learning how a 727 suddenly vanished into thin air and then reappeared in the exact same spot ten minutes later. As mysterious occurrences continue to occur with increasing frequency in the skies over Miami, the investigation becomes personal when the employee’s beloved wife is on one of the planes affected.

Jim Whitaker and Ray will produce. Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane will executive produce alongside John Middleton and Roy Lee. Spencer Wong is overseeing for Good Universe with Adam Borba for Whitaker Entertainment. Project was inspired by the book Ghosts Of The Air by Martin Caidin. Frankel is repped by Wme and managed by Anonymous Content. Bill P. »


- Jen Yamato

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Universal Takes Producing Stake In Bill Condon’s Broadway ‘Side Show’ Revival

1 hour ago

Exclusive: The much-ballyhooed Broadway revival of Side Show has a new above-the-title producer: Universal Pictures. Christopher Herzberger, Universal’s executive, live theatricals, pushed the deal, which I’m told includes a financial stake in the tuner. Lead producers of the production, imported from the Kennedy Center, are Darren Bagert and Martin Massman.

Based on the true story of Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, the musical will begin performances October 18 at the Jujamcyn-owned St. James Theatre, with Erin Davie and Emily Padgett reprising their leading roles. Opening night is set for November 17. Rick Miramontez, spokesman for the show, had no comment.

 

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- Jeremy Gerard

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Drafthouse Films, Participant Pact On ‘Act Of Killing’ Follow-Up

1 hour ago

Drafthouse Films and Participant Media have jointly acquired U.S. rights to The Look Of Silence, the latest film from Joshua Oppenheimer and a companion piece to his Oscar-nominated doc The Act Of Killing. Where The Act of Killing chronicled a generation of Indonesian death squad leaders basking in the legacy of their atrocities, The Look Of Silence examines one victim’s journey as he searches for and confronts his brother’s killers.

Oscar winner Errol Morris and Oscar nomined Werner Herzog, who executive produced The Act Of Killing, are also exec producers on the new film along with Emmy nominee André Singer (Little Dieter Needs to Fly). Signe Byrge Sørensen also produced The Look Of Silence, which will world premiere in Venice before hitting Tiff and the New York Film Festival. Drafthouse and Participant will release it theatrically stateside next summer.

The deal was negotiated by Cinephil’s Philippa Kowarsky »


- Jen Yamato

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‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’s Jamie Dornan To Star In Miramax’s ‘The 9th Life Of Louis Drax,’ Alexandre Aja Directing

2 hours ago

Miramax has tapped French director Alexandre Aja (Horns, The Hills Have Eyes, High Tension) to direct psychological thriller The 9th Life Of Louis Drax, with Fifty Shades Of Grey star Jamie Dornan in the lead role. The adaptation of Liz Jensen’s bestselling novel follows young Louis Drax, who suffers a near-fatal fall on his ninth birthday. In order to reveal the strange circumstances surrounding the boy’s accident, Dr. Allan Pascal (Dornan) is drawn into a thrilling mystery, testing the boundaries of fantasy and reality.

The script is by actor Max Minghella, who makes his screenwriting debut and will produce alongside Tim Bricknell (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Breaking And Entering) of Antcolony Films, Shawn Williamson (The Interview, 50/50) of Brightlight Pictures, and Aja. Jensen’s book was first optioned in 2004 by Minghella’s father, the late writer-director Anthony Minghella, who had developed it with Sydney Pollack.

Rosanne Korenberg (Half Nelson, »


- Jen Yamato

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Harvey Weinstein Wants To Give Negatory ‘Neverland’ Columnist Riedel The Hook

3 hours ago

Update #2 Aug. 27: Riedel responds.

Update Friday morning: Motown The Musical announced its January, 2015 closing — paving the way, maybe, for Finding Neverland to be the next tenant at the Nederlander-owned Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

The Riedel Watch: I promised occasional updates on reaction to some of my pal Michael Riedel’s more combustible columns (so many to choose from!), and on Wednesday he produced a doozy. Surveying two New York reviews of Finding Neverland, the Broadway-bound musical that opened last week at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Ma., Riedel complained that New York Times chief drama critic Ben Brantley and Deadline’s yours truly had “pulled our punches” in reviewing Harvey Weinstein’s show, suggesting with ever-unimpeachable taste that “if you’re going to review the baby in the cradle, strangle it.”

Related: Harvey Weinstein’s ‘Finding Neverland’ Re-Boot Is Twee To The Max

My own reaction is that Riedel kinda, »


- Jeremy Gerard

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Venice: ‘Birdman’s Michael Keaton Is “Ok With The Elephant In The Room”

4 hours ago

Michael Keaton’s character in raved-about Venice Film Festival opener and Competition entry Birdman and the actor himself share a common thread — they both gained enormous fame playing superheroes in the ’90s. In the film, Keaton’s Riggan Thompson is unable to escape his winged, spandex-clad alter ego who haunts, taunts and goads him incessantly. Keaton and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu both feel everybody has their own sort of Birdman, but for Keaton it’s not the caped crusader he played in Tim Burton’s Batman movies. They had a “giant effect” on his career especially as his international profile skyrocketed, but the character isn’t a sort of negative presence. A first question about Batman came up early in a press conference for Birdman in Venice today and Keaton said, “I just came back from Africa and I fucking love elephants, so I’m Ok with the elephant in the room… »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Napa Valley Film Fest Says “The Show Must Go On” Despite Quakes, Sets Lineup

5 hours ago

As aftershocks continue to rock California’s wine country, the Napa Valley Film Festival unveiled its competition lineup today. “Our thoughts are with everyone in the Napa Valley who has suffered losses from the recent earthquake,” said fest Co-Founder/Artistic Director Marc Lhormer of Sunday’s temblor, the Bay Area’s biggest in a quarter-century. “We are proud to be part of a community that rallies in support of each other in such a generous and big hearted way. As they say in the business, the show must go on.” Here is the schedule of narrative and docu features vying for awards at the fourth annual event, which runs November 12-16 in Napa:

Narrative Competition Section

Thank You A Lot – Music agent and manager Jack Hand has a bad reputation and an even worse track record. He has only two clients left: an indie band on the verge of a »


- The Deadline Team

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Venice: ‘Birdman’ Soars To Raves In Seamless Festival Bow

7 hours ago

Venice has done it again. Last year, Gravity blasted the lid off the festival as the opener and today Birdman, a film that’s got a fair bit in common with that one, bowed to one of the best receptions I have ever experienced on the Lido. (It’s even trending at No. 4 on Italian Twitter.) Applause, laughter and strong emotion emanated from attendees in the refurbed Sala Darsena this morning during the first press screening. Making my way out afterwards, I heard “bellissimo” uttered at least a dozen times.

Ahead of the festival, chief Alberto Barbera told me the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu-directed dark comedy was “inventive.” He wasn’t kidding. A scorching satire on celebrity mixed with existential musings on life, it’s being hailed as a technical tour de force and a potentially career-defining role for lead Michael Keaton as a former Hollywood star known primarily for his »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Pyramid’

16 hours ago

French horror scribe Grégory Levasseur (High Tension) moves into the director’s chair with The Pyramid, an enclosed-space thriller about a team of archaologists who find horrors buried inside an ancient lost pyramid. Levasseur’s frequent collaborator Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, P2, Mirrors, and the upcoming Horns) produced his longtime pal’s helming debut alongside Mark Canton and Chady Eli Mattar. Ashley Hinshaw, James Buckley, Denis O’Hare, Christa-Marie Nicola, and Amir K. star in the pic written by Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon. Fox will release The Pyramid wide and uncontested on December 5, a week before opening its other desert-set winter offering, Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings:

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- The Deadline Team

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Steve Carell Reunites With Julianne Moore In ‘Freeheld’

17 hours ago

Exclusive: Steve Carell is replacing Zach Galifianakis in Freeheld, the Peter Sollett-directed film based on the 2007 documentary about Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree. They fought to amend the Domestic Partnership Act, which grants pension benefits to domestic partners of all New Jersey public employees. The film stars Julianne Moore and Ellen Page. It’s produced by Page, Kelly Bush, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, James D. Stern, Richard Fischoff, Duncan Montgomery, Jack Selby, Duncan Montgomery, and Cynthia Wade. Ron Nyswaner wrote the script.

Related: Hot Trailer: Channing Tatum & Steve Carell In ‘Foxcatcher

Galifianakis has dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Carell will play the supporting role of Steven Goldstein, a passionate advocate for Garden State Equality. Carell, who starred with Moore in Crazy, Stupid, Love, found a spot of availability in his schedule between the time he’ll spend promoting his starring roles in Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Tech Bits: ‘Madden NFL 15′ Kicks Off To Quieter Audience

17 hours ago

A few years back, today would have been a very bad day for workplace productivity, as hundreds of thousands of fans of EA Sports’ Madden Football franchise either took the day off or missed a big chunk of it to wait in line to buy the latest iteration of the iconic videogame series. These days, not so much. With online pre-orders, electronic downloads and disappearing game retailers, finding a line of camped-out gamers waiting for midnight and this year’s Madden is a lot harder. But the game itself continues to pile on the cash, both directly and with the add-on content that publishers now rely on to boost margins and protect their development investments.

Analysts are projecting this year’s Madden Football 15, which costs around $60 for a copy, will generate around $300 million, with downloadable add-on content generating another $50 million from really hardcore players. Original endorser John Madden, the Hall »


- David Bloom

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Paradigm Signs Joe Johnston

18 hours ago

Exclusive: Joe Johnston has signed with Paradigm, reuniting the filmmaker with his longtime reps Adam Kanter and Martin Spencer. The writer-director moves from Wme, where he signed in March as Kanter and Spencer were leaving Resolution. He worked with Kanter for years at CAA and then left to join the dealmaker at Resolution, where it didn’t work out. The prolific writer-director is quite a catch for Paradigm; Johnston’s hits include Captain America: The First Avenger, October Sky, Jurassic Park III, Jumanji and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. He stepped up to direct after winning an Oscar for Visual Effects for his work on Raiders Of The Lost Ark and also did the visual effects on such blockbusters as the original Star Wars trilogy, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, and The Rocketeer.

Johnston is developing the sci-fi thriller Extinction for Good Universe and Gotti: In The Shadow Of My Father for Relativity. »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Lake Bell To Helm ‘Emperor’s Children'; Jack Kilmer Joins ‘Stanford Prison Experiment'; ‘The Finest Hours’ Adds ‘Outlander’s Graham McTavish

18 hours ago

After making her directing debut with In A World, Lake Bell will take her sophomore turn behind the camera with The Emperor’s Children for Imagine Entertainment. Noah Baumbach adapted the script from Claire Messud’s 2006 book about three friends in their early thirties living in NYC in the months leading up to September 11, 2001. Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins are producing for Imagine. Bell wrote, directed, and starred in In A World, which nabbed her Sundance’s Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award along with an Indie Spirit Award nomination for Best First Screenplay. She stars in the upcoming The Coup for TWC and in Man Up opposite Simon Pegg.

Neophyte thesp Jack Kilmer will play one of a handful of infamous college research subjects in The Stanford Prison Experiment, now filming in L.A. The film directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez from Tim Talbott’s script chronicles the notorious 1971 experiment conducted at Stanford University, »


- Jen Yamato

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Avi Arad & Bruno Wu Using Genghis Khan To Invade China

19 hours ago

In late 2011, Chinese media entrepreneur Bruno Wu’s Seven Stars Entertainment announced a joint venture with producer Avi Arad. The aim was wide-ranging: to develop superhero franchise properties across live-action tentpoles, animated TV series, merchandising, digital platforms, and mobile apps. All of the stories were to be inspired by Chinese history and mythology. In 2013 the venture morphed into a more formal agreement that created Dragon Entertainment.

It’s often said about China that the bigger the announcement, the less real the deal. Feeding that theory, there’s been no public-facing fruit from the Wu-Arad hookup since the jv was first unveiled. But a new project with an important stamp of approval from the China Film Group could change that.

Dragon Entertainment has entered into a multi-year co-development and co-production agreement with China Film Co, the distribution and production arm of the state-run Cfg, which essentially controls distribution in China and »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Lionsgate Nabs Schwarzenegger Starrer ‘Maggie'; Oscilloscope Rocks With ‘Jingle Bell’ Docu

20 hours ago

In a preemptive deal that knocked it out of the Toronto premieres line-up, Lionsgate has acquired North American rights to apocalyptic thiller Maggie. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator and Expendables franchises, Total Recall, Batman And Robin), Oscar-nominated Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Ender’s Game) and Joely Richardson (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Tudors, Nip/Tuck), Maggie tells the story of a deadly zombie virus that has put a plague on the world. When Maggie, a vivacious young woman becomes infected, her father brings her home to let her be with their family. As Maggie’s condition worsens, the relationship between father and daughter is tested. Henry Hobson is directing from the Black List script by John Scott 3. Bill Johnson and Ara Keshishian produced alongside Colin Bates, Joey Tufaro, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, Matthew Baer and Schwarzenegger. Claudia Blumhuber and Jim Seibel are exec producers. Silver Reel and Gold Star Films »


- The Deadline Team

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead Thriller ‘Faults’ Goes To Screen Media

22 hours ago

Screen Media Films has set a March 6, 2015 U.S. release date for Faults, an indie thriller starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead that premiered earlier this year at SXSW. Winstead stars as Claire, a cult member whose parents hire a deprogrammer (Leland Orser) to kidnap and rehabilitate her, sparking a battle of wits between the two. Writer-director Riley Stearns makes his feature debut with Faults, which was produced by Snoot Entertainment’s Keith Calder and Jessica Calder along with Winstead. Brian Joe is exec producer and Chris Harding and Roxanne Benjamin are co-producers.

Beth Grant, Chris Ellis, Jon Gries and Lance Reddick also star in the film, which will open nationwide theatrically along with a day-and-date VOD platform release. Screen Media’s Seth Needle made the deal after catching the film at SXSW. “Everyone at Screen Media has expressed such passion for the film, and it’s a pleasure to work with »


- Jen Yamato

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Participant Joins DreamWorks On Spielberg Cold War Pic & ‘The Light Between Oceans’

23 hours ago

Participant Media and DreamWorks Studios, which teamed on their sixth film The Hundred-Foot Journey this summer, will continue their partnership on Steven Spielberg’s untitled Cold War pic and the upcoming adaptation The Light Between Oceans. Spielberg’s true story spy tale stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance and Amy Ryan in the story of James Donovan, an attorney sent by the CIA to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Joel and Ethan Coen penned the script. Twentieth Century Fox boarded the project as co-financer in June and will distribute the pic internationally. Filming is set to start next month in New York and Berlin. Spielberg is also a producer alongside Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger, while Adam Somner and Daniel Lupi are exec producers. Disney has set an October 16, 2015 release.

Participant is also aboard for period drama The Light Between Oceans, which begins filming next month in New Zealand and Australia. »


- The Deadline Team

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Magnet Snags Teen Horror Pic ‘Satanic’

26 August 2014 10:41 AM, PDT

Ahead of Tiff, The Wagner/Cuban Company’s genre arm Magnet Releasing has acquired worldwide rights to supernatural teen horror pic Satanic, a co-production between MarVista Entertainment and The Walking Dead producer Circle of Confusion. Story tracks a van full of young college-aged coeds visiting old Satanic Panic-era sites in La. They follow the creepy owner of an occult store home, only to find themselves saving a suspicious girl from an apparent human sacrifice who turns out to be much more dangerous than the cult from which she escaped.

It’s an early pact for the project which is currently in script stage and written by Anthony Jawinski (Vanishing On 7th Street). TV director Jeff Hunt (The Vampire Diaries, Fringe, CSI, Nikita) will make his feature debut on Satanic, which will be produced by MarVista’s Michael Moran and Circle of Confusion’s Lawrence Mattis. Circle of Confusion’s Stephen Emery, »


- Jen Yamato

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Intl Box Office Update: ‘Lucy’ Crosses $100M Overseas; ‘Sin City 2′ Drops In Russia; More

25 August 2014 2:33 PM, PDT

4th Update, 2:33 Pm Pt: Universal, Sony and Lionsgate have weighed in, so we have nine more titles reporting (see below for final numbers on all films).

3Rd Update, 12:45 Pm Pt: Actuals are coming in for the international weekend with Disney, Paramount, Fox and Warner Bros reporting. There were no major discrepancies, although Guardians Of The Galaxy jumped from an estimated $20.7M to $21.3M for the weekend. In the reverse, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For was less sexy than predicted in Russia with $3.35M versus an initial estimate of $4.7M. Fox is releasing there on behalf of A Company Russia. Figures have been updated for the films above as well as How To Train Your Dragon 2, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Into The Storm, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Hercules, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, The Fault In Our Stars, Relatos Salvajes, Let’s Be Cops, »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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