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Ice Cube Pitch ‘Rocky Mountain High’ In Bidding Battle

17 minutes ago

Exclusive: There is a five-studio bidding battle over Rocky Mountain High, an original pitch that Ice Cube will star in and produce. Universal, Relativity, Paramount, MGM and New Line are all vying for this treatment that Cube hatched and will topline. The film has a reasonable budget and could spark a franchise. Cube will produce with Jeff Kwatinetz and Beau Flynn.

This comes as Cube is having the best year of his career. Ride Along and 22 Jump Street were both big hits; he’s producing his life story, Straight Outta Compton, at Universal; provides his voice in his first animated film in The Book Of Life; and he is prepping another Barbershop movie at MGM. I’ll let you know how this works out — it should be decided by tonight.

Cube is repped by UTA, Kwatinetz and attorney Matt Johnson.

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- Mike Fleming Jr

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‘The Bridge’s Diane Kruger Sets Indies ‘Maryland’ & ‘Sky’

57 minutes ago

Exclusive: With her FX series The Bridge wrapping its second season tonight, Diane Kruger has set two indie features to fill her winter schedule. German-born Kruger (Wicker Park, Inglourious Basterds, The Host) will first head to the south of France to film Maryland for director Alice Winocour, the helmer who made her debut two years ago with the Cannes entry Augustine. The film tracks an ex-soldier with Ptsd who is hired to protect the wife and child of a wealthy Lebanese businessman while he’s out of town. Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead, Rust and Bone) will play the soldier. Dharamsala and Darius Films are producing.

Kruger will then head to the American southwest set of Sky to re-team with director Fabienne Berthaud after their 2006 film Frankie and 2010’s Lily Sometimes. The film tracks a woman’s reawakening through her solitary journey into foreign lands and will mark Kruger and »


- Jen Yamato

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UTA Independent Film Group Adds Memento Films’ Nick Shumaker

3 hours ago

Film exec Nick Shumaker has joined UTA’s Independent Film Group as an agent after departing his post at Paris-based Memento Films International. Shumaker will focus on film packaging, co-production, finance, and sales based out of UTA’s New York outpost. He left Memento earlier this month after working on acclaimed indies including Compliance, Short Term 12, and Still Alice. “What both Memento and UTA have in common is a commitment to directors and director-driven voices,” Shumaker said. A veteran of production and international distribution, Shumaker also exec produced and helped finance Blue Ruin, We Are What We Are, Cold in July, and the forthcoming Louder Than Bombs.

He’ll work under UTA’s Independent Film Group head Rena Ronson, who also recently added film exec Alex Brunner to the division. “Nick brings vast knowledge and insight from his career as an executive working in both production and international distribution, »


- Jen Yamato

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Jesse Owens Biopic ‘Race’ Release Date Set For April 2016; William Hurt Joins Cast

3 hours ago

Focus Features said today it has dated its Jessie Owens biopic Race for April 8, 2016. It also has added William Hurt to the cast opposite Jeremy Irons, Jason Sudeikis, Carice van Houten and Stephan James as Owens.

Hurt will play Jeremiah Mahoney, president of the Amateur Athletic Union, who led efforts to boycott the 1936 Olympics. The casting comes after Hurt was circling the basketball pic Men Of Granite as a possible lead role. He just wrapped The Moon And The Sun opposite Pierce Brosnan. Hurt of course was on the train tracks playing Gregg Allman the day Sarah Jones was killed during production of Midnight Rider; he since has left the project. He is repped by ICM Partners.

Race, helmed by Stephen Hopkins, is now shooting in Montreal and Berlin. Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel penned the script, about the real-life hero who won a record-breaking four Olympic gold medals at the Berlin Olympics. »


- The Deadline Team

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‘Interstellar’ Trailer: Matthew McConaughey Will Save Us All

4 hours ago

The Interstellar marketing campaign is kicking into high gear today with a new trailer, hot on the heels of this morning’s announcement that the Chris Nolan space drama will get a rare nationwide sneak release on celluloid. Paramount and Warner Bros. have partnered with Google to launch an immersive Interstellar website highlighted by a new third trailer that reveals some inkling of plot for the first time. After hooking Nolan fans with stunning imagery and vague story points in previous promos, the new 2 1/2 minute trailer reveals why astronaut Matthew McConaughey is leaving his family behind to lead a spaceship crew into the final frontier: To save a doomed humanity whose clock is running out back on Earth. The film opens on November 7. Check it out:

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- Jen Yamato

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Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ To Open Two Days Early In 35mm, 70mm

6 hours ago

Paramount and Warner Bros. announced today that audiences nationwide can catch Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar two days early – projected on film. Starting November 5, Interstellar will screen in advance showings in 240 locations across the U.S. and Canada in 70mm IMAX, 70mm, and 35mm. Two days later the film opens wide as previously announced in 4K and IMAX digital screenings. There were 189 35mm, 41 70mm IMAX, and 10 70mm prints struck for the special film release, a studio source tells me. Film purist Nolan was one of a number of filmmakers who fought to save film stock from extinction at Kodak earlier this summer. The Dark Knight Rises helmer is one of a few directors with the clout to make a traditional film release happen after the majority of exhibitors made the switch to digital projection. He filmed Interstellar on 35mm anamorphic film and 65mm IMAX and seems to have his studio bosses »


- Jen Yamato

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‘Exodus: Gods And Kings’ Trailer: Christian Bale & Ridley Scott Take On ‘Ten Commandments’

8 hours ago

20th Century Fox has dropped a trailer for Ridley Scott’s epic take Exodus: Gods And Kings, which stars Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton as rivals Moses and Ramses. John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley also star. Like the first trailer that dropped over the summer, this certainly shows off Scott’s DNA and by the time of its December 12 release the question will most certainly will be out there: Who would win in a fight? Charlton Heston’s Moses or Bale’s?

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- The Deadline Team

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Ben Affleck On ‘Daily Show': Jon Stewart “Spoils” ‘Gone Girl’ & ‘Batman Vs. Superman’ (Video)

8 hours ago

A beefed-up Ben Affleck began his visit to The Daily Show last night by dinging host Jon Stewart for making a movie about Iran (Rosewater) when he’d already made a movie about Iran (Argo). Stewart returned the favor by spoiling Affleck starrers Gone Girl and Batman Vs Superman.

“What the f*ck! Are you kidding me?” Affleck shrieked in mock horror, before explaining that he gave David Fincher directing pointers on Gone Girl. “I don’t want to say ‘ghost director,’ ” Affleck joked, adding Fincher had asked him, “Hey Ben, you wouldn’t mind making all the decisions on the movie?”

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- The Deadline Team

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Hammer, eOne Nail First-Look Pact For Production, Financing & Distribution

8 hours ago

An iconic brand, London-based Hammer has had a resurgence over the past few years beginning with smash horror pic The Woman In Black in 2012. Expanding on a relationship that started with that film — via Alliance — and carried over to its upcoming sequel, Hammer and eOne have inked an exclusive multi-year first-look agreement, which includes production, financing and distribution. Under the pact, eOne will distribute Hammer films in Canada, the UK, Benelux, Spain and Australia/New Zealand. EOne Films International will handle the rest of the overseas territories. (Hammer films were previously sold by the now-defunct Exclusive.) EOne has been expanding its production business this year with Xavier Marchand as President of production and Harold van Lier heading up international. The company has also been going slightly more mainstream in offshore markets. Hammer’s other recent credits include Matt ReevesLet Me In and The Quiet Ones with Sam Claflin. The Woman In Black sequel, »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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‘The Water Diviner’ Trailer: Russell Crowe’s Epic Feature Helming Debut

10 hours ago

The Weinstein Co acquired Russell Crowe‘s feature directing debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May, where 12 minutes of the film was screened. I saw footage of The Water Diviner at Cine Europe in Barcelona in June and there is definitely an epic feel to the picture based on what was shown there. Crowe plays an Australian farmer who travels to Turkey four years after the battle of Gallipoli in search of his sons who have been reported missing in action. Olga Kurylenko plays the hotel owner with whom he forges a relationship and Jai Courtney is a soldier organizing the effort to identify the tens of thousands of soldiers killed. He reluctantly allows the grieving father to stay and look for his sons’ bodies. Written by Andrew Knight and Andrew Anastassios, The Water Diviner is a RatPac Entertainment film and is executive produced by Brett Ratner and James Packer. »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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‘Horrible Bosses 2′ Trailer: Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz Do Bad Biz In Sequel

22 hours ago

Self-employed buddies Kurt, Nick and Dale (Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day) go up against Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz in the sequel to 2011’s $209M comedy. This time they’ve gone into business for themselves, but turn to Dean ‘Mf’ Jones (Jamie Foxx) for help kidnapping a double-crossing investor. Sean Anders directed the film and co-wrote the script with John Morris. WB will unleash Horrible Bosses 2 in the holiday frame on November 26. Here’s the latest trailer:

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- The Deadline Team

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‘The Killer’ Movie: Alex Holmes Set To Adapt For Pierre Morel, Studiocanal

23 hours ago

Exclusive: Studiocanal has hired Alex Holmes to adapt The Killer for Pierre Morel to direct. This comes after Studiocanal acquired rights to Tom Wood’s critically acclaimed Victor The Assassin book franchise, with Morel attached along with The Picture Company to produce with Sentient Entertainment. Studiocanal and Morel collaborated on The Gunman, the action thriller starring Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone that Open Road Films will release in February. They are hoping to hatch a franchise with Wood’s six-book series. The Killer is the first book in that series. It centers on Victor, a mysterious, quick-witted and charismatic gun for hire whose conscience begins to catch up with him and as a result puts him at odds with his employers.

Holmes comes out of the UK and is an up-and-coming director-writer who just adapted Ex-Pats for CBS Films and who helmed the Lance Armstrong docu Stop At Nothing, »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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China’s ‘Breakup Buddies': Follow-Up To Smash ‘Lost In Thailand’ Palling Around At Home & Abroad (Video)

23 hours ago

With China‘s National Day holiday officially kicking off Wednesday, the Middle Kingdom box office is poised for an extra boost thanks to today’s timely release of Breakup Buddies. The comedy is a sort of follow-up to smash hit Lost In Thailand. That film was key to a surge in local box office at the end of 2012 and made headlines around the globe. Breakup Buddies, which is particularly racy as far as Chinese movies go (check out the trailer above), has the added cachet of releasing in the U.S. later this week. China Lion picked up the film for North America and Australia/New Zealand ahead of its Toronto Film Festival premiere and will send it out in those markets at the end of this week. Im Global acquired the rights before Toronto and is handling it internationally.

The film stars Xu Zheng and Huang Bo and is »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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After Moving Slow As Corpse, ‘Zombieland 2′ Gets Writer And Urgency

30 September 2014 3:32 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Sony Pictures looks to be getting more serious about mounting another installment of Zombieland. Studio just hired Dave Callaham to write the sequel under the supervision of Ruben Fleischer, who’ll return to direct. Gavin Polone is producing. Callaham’s script Barrow became The Expendables, and his recent credits include Legendary’s revival of Godzilla, and most recently Jackpot, a Focus Features film based on a story by Swedish crime writer Jo Nesbo that has Will Gluck producing. It was that darkly comic tale that sparked Sony to hire him for the Zombieland sequel. Callaham also did a production rewrite on Marvel’s Ant-Man. Insiders at the studio said no deal with Fleischer, but that of corpse they are getting serious about mounting the sequel of a 2009 cult favorite sleeper film that grossed $100 million worldwide. Not sure if the participants will be back; pretty much all of them have soared since making the original, »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Jai Courtney Joins Dito Montiel’s ‘Man Down’

30 September 2014 3:02 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Jai Courtney has joined the cast of Man Down, the psychological thriller from helmer Dito Montiel that’s ramping up to begin filming next month in Louisiana. The A Good Day To Die Hard and Divergent actor joins Shia Labeouf, Gary Oldman, Kate Mara and Toby Kebbell in the story of Gabriel Drummer, a haunted Afghanistan war veteran who attempts to come to terms with his past while searching for his family in a post-apocalyptic America. Courtney will play the role of Devin, Gabriel’s best friend who served with him in the war. Montiel is directing from a screenplay by Adam Simon. Dawn Krantz, Stephen McEveety, and Jon Burton are producers. Courtney’s upcoming slate includes studio sci-fiers Terminator: Genisys and Insurgent, in which he reprises his role from Ya hit Divergent, as well as Russell Crowe’s war drama The Water Diviner and Angelina Jolie’s award season biopic Unbroken. »


- Jen Yamato

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Is the Movie Business Healthy Or Hurting? Deadline’s Fleming and Busch Duke It Out In DeadlineNow Video

30 September 2014 2:22 PM, PDT

Is the movie business doing well, or is it in trouble? After a summer that was down double digits from 2013, rampant runaway production, and layoffs at multiple major studios, some would argue it’s been a bad year in the middle of a long, slow decline.

On the other hand, there are new investors, bringing lots of money and optimism to the game, including former Warner Bros. executive Jeff Robinov and and his overseas backers, and Robert Simonds‘ Stx. Who’s right?

Deadline’s editor in chief Mike Fleming Jr. and film editor Anita Busch take on the question that’s complicating life for too many in Hollywood. Guess which one’s the bull and which one’s the bear…

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- Mike Fleming Jr and Anita Busch

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AMC Joins Opposition To ‘Crouching Tiger 2′; IMAX Chief Urges Theaters To Reconsider

30 September 2014 1:43 PM, PDT

The No. 2 chain, AMC Entertainment, just joined other major exhibitors that say they won’t offer Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend on their IMAX screens next year when it simultaneously debuts on Netflix. “We license just the technology from IMAX,” AMC says. “Only AMC and [its parent company] Wanda decide what programming plays in our respective theatres. No one has approached us to license this made-for-video sequel in the U.S. or China, so one must assume the screens IMAX committed are in science centers and aquariums.”

The No. 1 exhibition chain, Regal, said this morning that it won’t  show the movie. Carmike joined the fray, saying it’s “committed to an exclusive theatrical release” and therefore is “opposed to showing day and date releases at our entertainment complexes.”  Cinemark also nixed the film. And Europe’s Cineworld, the continent’s top IMAX operator, joined the opposition: “We bring our customers »


- David Lieberman

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Dylan Sellers Exits President Post at TWC

30 September 2014 12:50 PM, PDT

Exclusive: After three years as president of production and acquisitions at The Weinstein Company, Dylan Sellers will be leaving the company and transitioning back to producing films. His contract’s up; he won’t have a producing deal at TWC, but might produce a film or two there as he sets up his next course. Sellers is working out those details right now with TWC COO David Glasser, who’ll soon be looking for an executive to fill that prexy role.

Sellers moved to TWC from Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne’s Unique Pictures, and given how strong and intense a presence Harvey Weinstein is on the production and acquisition fronts, three years in that job is a pretty good run. He was involved in such pics as August: Osage County and the upcoming St. Vincent, the Theodore Melfi-directed comedy that stars Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy and which »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Red Granite Hires Mika Pryce As Creative Executive

30 September 2014 12:41 PM, PDT

Former Langley Park Pictures story editor Mika Pryce has been tapped as creative executive at Red Granite Pictures, the indie finance, production and distribution outfit run by Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland. Pryce, who also has worked at Evolution Media Capital and Lionsgate International, will report to Red Granite president of production David Koplan.

Red Granite has Alexandre Aja’s Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple coming out October 31 via Radius-twc and is behind the Farrelly brothers’ Dumb And Dumber To which Universal releases November 14. On its development slate is The General, based on the story of George Washington, and The Brigands Of Rattleborge, the onetime Black List script about bandits who terrorize a Old West town under the cover of a torrential rain storm.

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- The Deadline Team

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Dennis Quaid Joins Dan Rather-George W. Bush Scandal Pic ‘Truth’

30 September 2014 12:23 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Dennis Quaid has landed the role of Col. Roger Charles in Truth, the story of the scandal that ended the careers of veteran CBS newsman Dan Rather and 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes. The film stars Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett in those two roles, with James Vanderbilt directing his script. Film starts shooting this week. Elizabeth Moss also signed on.

Quaid’s character served two tours in Vietnam, then in the Pentagon before becoming a liaison working with 60 Minutes II. He was invaluable in working with Mapes when she broke the blockbuster scandalous news story of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. On the heels of that triumph, Charles chased the rumor that then-President George W. Bush had ducked serving in Vietnam after he graduated Yale in 1968 and instead got a cushy gig in the National Guard because of the clout of his father, who was an ambassador at the time. »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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