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A ‘Sophie’s Choice': ‘Jaws’ Or ‘Goodfellas’?

7 hours ago

We write about the film business cynically as a business, but we’re a bunch of film geeks, really. I thought this when I experienced moments ago the closest thing a guy on his couch will face to a “Sophie’s Choice.”  On Spike TV, there was the incomparable Roy Scheider slinging chum off the back of a boat, and a giant great white shark surfacing in Jaws, and Scheider telling Robert Shaw, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” And on AMC, at the same time, there’s Goodfellas, nearing its climax, when Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco) is directed by Jimmy (Robert De Niro) to go in a storefront to pick out dresses. This after she sets up a meeting between Jimmy and her recently pinched husband Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), who’s about to go rat on his Lufthansa heist pal. What would have happened had Karen gone »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Zoe Cassavetes Ponders Plight Of The L.A. Actress In ‘Day Out Of Days’

9 hours ago

Exclusive: After her debut feature Broken English snagged distribution out of Sundance and a pair of Independent Spirit Award nominations, filmmaker Zoe Cassavetes linked up with actress pal Alexia Landeau to write her sophomore feature. Landeau, who appeared in Cassavetes’ first film, the 2000 short Men Make Women Crazy Theory, now leads the Day Out Of Days cast as a 40-year-old actress struggling to make it in the cutthroat business of Hollywood while contending with ever-youthful competition.

Joining Landeau in Day Out Of Days are Melanie Griffith, Eddie Izzard, Cheyenne Jackson, Vincent Kartheiser, Alessandro Nivola, Brooke Smith and Bellamy Young. Cassavetes just wrapped a 17-day shoot on location in La, a production made possible by a successful $60,000 FundAnything crowdfunding campaign that Cassavetes and her fellow producers Gina Kwon (Camp X-Ray, The Future, The Motel, Me and You and Everyone We Know) and Kate Roughan (Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives) launched last year. »


- Jen Yamato

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Matthew Weiner On Directing His 2nd Film: “Everyone Always Knew This Was An Independent Film”

10 hours ago

After several cast changes and an eight-year journey to the screen, Matthew Weiner’s feature directorial Are You Here finally made its Hollywood premiere last night at the Arclight on Sunset Blvd. This Friday, Millennium Entertainment will unspool the film, which stars Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler, in limited theaters as well as on DVD.

“Like most of what I do, this is a genre-less film,” Weiner told the audience before the projector rolled, “Laugh where you want to laugh.”

Despite his reputation for creating the monumental, award-winning period TV drama  Mad Men, Weiner’s uphill battle to get Are You Here made further underscores the challenges of getting adult feature dramas off the ground.  With its comedic star wattage cast and a set-up that involves a crazed stoner (Galifianakis) inheriting a farm after his father’s death with his weatherman philandering friend along for the ride (Wilson »


- Anthony D'Alessandro

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Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide Ending After 45 Years – Internet Kills Iconic Print Paperback

11 hours ago

Another print icon bites the dust.  Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide will be the final edition of this film lovers’ guide which started in 1969 under the title TV Movies. But in recent years the annual guide, which now numbers 1,611 pages and features nearly 16,000 capsule movie reviews, has become a victim of the changing times and the way information is consumed by a new generation. The new edition, which comes out on September 2nd is the last and that will be bad news for many industry-ites and film lovers who used it religiously. “An entire generation has been raised to acquire all their information online from their mobile devices or computers. These are not the likely customers for a physical paperback reference book. Our sales have sharply declined in recent years,” Maltin told me this morning.  The virtual death of bookstores likely didn’t help the cause either. “We still have a loyal readership. »


- Pete Hammond

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Universal & Legendary Date ‘Krampus,’ ‘Spectral'; Open Road Shifts ‘Nightcrawler’

11 hours ago

Universal Pictures has set a 2015 date for horror comedy Krampus, the Christmas-set flick to be directed by Trick ‘R Treat‘s Michael Dougherty. The yuletide frightener co-written by Dougherty, Todd Casey and Zach Shields is based on the ancient legend of a pagan demon who punishes wicked children – a really bad Santa. Producers are Legendary’s Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Alex Garcia. Krampus will hit theaters Wednesday, November 25, 2015 just in time to go up against Disney’s The Good Dinosaur, Fox’s The Martian, and WB’s Midnight Special for the Thanksgiving crowd.

Universal and Legendary have additionally set an August 12, 2016 date for the 3D thriller Spectral, about an elite Special Ops team on the trail of a phantom threat that can’t be explained. Nic Mathieu is directing James Badge Dale, Emily Mortimer, Max Martini and Bruce Greenwood in the pic scripted by Ian Fried, George Nolfi and John Gatins. »


- The Deadline Team

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Paula Wagner Tags Film Rights To Hip-Hop Mama Sylvia Robinson’s Story

13 hours ago

Hollywood and Broadway producer Paula Wagner has acquired the film rights to the life story of  the late Sylvia Robinson, the singer, songwriter, record producer, publisher, and record company head known as “the Mother of Hip-Hop.” The film will feature rap music owned by Robinson’s family and administered by Universal Music Publishing Group. Rights were acquired directly from the family. Sylvia’s son, Joey Robinson, will exec produce and consult on the project. Veteran music executive Robert Kraft will co-produce. Grandmaster Melle Mel, lead rapper of the group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5, will serve as a consultant to Joey Robinson.

Robinson earned the nickname as producer of the landmark 1979 hit “Rapper’s Delight” and co-founder of Sugar Hill Records with her husband Joe Robinson. She had earlier success as part of Mickey & Sylvia, who scored with the 1958 hit “Love Is Strange.”

Sylvia Robinson’s life story has all »


- Jeremy Gerard

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Jason Reitman’s ‘Men, Women & Children’ Pacts With Secret-Spiller Whisper

13 hours ago

Paramount has unveiled the first trailer for Jason Reitman‘s Labor Day follow-up Men, Women & Children, launching a campaign tailored to digital-age moviegoers. Adapted by Reitman and Erin Cressida Wilson from the Chad Kultgen novel, the ensemble drama stars Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ansel Elgort, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, and Adam Sandler as a group of high schoolers and their parents navigating life, love, and relationships in the age of social media and online obsession. The complexities of living in a plugged-in world ruled by texts, emails, and the ubiquitous Internet are underscored in the unusual dialogue-free trailer told through devices and pop-up convos (watch it below).

Men, Women & Children world premieres next month at the Toronto International Film Festival, though an official release date has yet to be confirmed by Paramount. The studio took Reitman’s Labor Day to Telluride and Toronto last year before opening it over the Christmas holiday. »


- Jen Yamato

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Cara Delevingne Circling Beach Boys Musical ‘All Summer Long’

15 hours ago

English model-actress Cara Delevingne may be surfing along with the Beach Boys musical All Summer Long, from producers Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, and John Stamos. The Pan co-star is in talks for a lead role in the musical film which Michael Sucsy is set to direct for Fox 2000. The studio shelled out $2 million in 2010 for the pitch from Susannah Grant along with rights to the Beach Boys catalogue in a 1960s California-set story inspired by the crooners’ music.

Hairspray and Chicago producers Zadan and Meron teamed previously with Stamos on the 2000 ABC TV biopic The Beach Boys: An American Family, which the three exec produced. Further details on All Summer Long are under wraps but Delevingne would play Caroline. Last month the project was selected as one of 26 projects to receive tax credit cash in the California Film Commission’s annual lottery.

Delevingne only recently transitioned into acting after launching »


- Jen Yamato

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Mark Wahlberg In Talks To Star In ‘Deepwater Horizon’

17 hours ago

Exclusive: Mark Wahlberg is in talks to star in the J.C. Chandor-directed Deepwater Horizon for Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment and Participant Media. Based on the true-life story of the 2010 Bp oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico which caused the worst oil spill since the Exxon Valdez, the movie is being produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian. The story, adapted from The New York Times’ article “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour,” highlights the courage of those who worked on the oil rig when it blew, killing 11 and injuring 16 others.

Wahlberg will star as the No. 2 manager on the doomed oil rig in the story about what happened behind-the-scenes in the 48 hours leading up to and the day of the disaster. It revisits the acts of heroism that followed in trying to rescue men in the water, stories not known to the general public. The project is »


- Anita Busch

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Paul Schrader’s ‘Dying Of The Light’ Acquired By Lionsgate Home Entertainment

18 hours ago

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has acquired the Over Under Media/Tin Res Entertainment/Grindstone Entertainment pic Dying of The Light, starring Nicolas Cage and Anton Yelchin, announced today by producers Scott Clayton, Todd Williams and Gary Hirsch. The film will be released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Paul Schrader wrote and directed it. Cage plays a veteran CIA operative, Evan Lake, who goes on a global manhunt when his old nemesis resurfaces. It’s a race against time because the op has a deteriorating mental condition that puts a real ticking clock on this. Yelchin plays the CIA protégé, with Irene Jacob playing Lake’s ex-lover.

“We are thrilled to have acquired “Dying of the Light,” a suspenseful, thrill ride in which Schrader has captured one of the best performances of Cage’s career,” stated Barry Brooker, President & CEO of Grindstone Entertainment Group. Clayton added, “We are confident that our collaboration with »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Hot Trailer: Marion Cotillard Has ‘Two Days, One Night’

22 hours ago

The UK’s Artificial Eye is bowing Marion Cotillard-starrer Two Days, One Night in a crowded field of more mainstream fare on Friday that includes Warner Bros’ Into The Storm. It’s also a week that’s got a lot of ladies in the mix. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For is releasing with a cast that includes Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson and Eva Green, as is Luc Besson’s Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson. But packing a plea, rather than a pistol, in Two Days, Cotillard plays a woman who has one weekend to convince her co-workers to give up their bonuses so that her job can be saved. The film, which is also going out on-demand in the UK this week, debuted in competition in Cannes where it won raves, if not prizes. The unusually accessible drama from Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne showcases the talents »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Warner Bros Pre-empts ‘Mack Bolan'; Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips Aboard

18 August 2014 6:51 PM, PDT

Exclusive: In a pre-emptive deal worth multiple seven-figures for the package, Warner Bros has acquired the Don Pendleton anti-terrorist operative Mack Bolan novel series and will develop it as a star vehicle for Bradley Cooper to potentially play Bolan, and Todd Phillips to potentially direct him. Avatar 4 co-writer Shane Salerno – who acquired the rights to the franchise from Pendleton’s estate — will write the script and produce along with Cooper and Phillips, who earlier this year joined forces and formed a Warner Bros-based producing label. It potentially could be the first action franchise for Cooper, who bulked up to play Navy Seal Chris Kyle in American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood for Warner Bros. Phillips is next directing Arms And The Dudes, about hapless guys who become arms dealers.

Related: After 40 Years Of Trying With McQueen, Stallone, Eastwood, Reynolds And Vin Diesel, Mack Bolan Pic Is Back

Considering how »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Hot Trailer: ‘Open Windows’

18 August 2014 6:20 PM, PDT

Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey star for Spanish helmer Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial, The ABCs of Death) in Open Windows, an internet age suspense thriller presented through the lens of a computer desktop. Call it high tech Hitchcock: Wood stars as Nick, a superfan who’s won a dinner with his favorite actress, Jill Goddard (Grey). When she refuses the date a mysterious third party offers Nick a chance to watch Jill secretly through her webcam, sparking a terrifying cat and mouse game. The real-time thriller premiered in March at SXSW and was partially filmed at Austin’s annual Fantastic Fest where Vigalondo and Wood are frequent guests. Fantastic Fest’s 2014 edition kicks off September 18 and will host the U.S. premiere of anthology threequel V/H/S Viral, for which Vigalondo directed a segment. Cinedigm will peel back the curtain on Open Windows first on VOD on October 2, then »


- Jen Yamato

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Anne Frank Film Shoots In Gaza Amid Hate, War And Death

18 August 2014 4:48 PM, PDT

During a pause in the missile attacks, the cameras roll and a young Palestinian girl playing the role of Anne Frank speaks her lines against the backdrop of a bombed-out school in Gaza. “Why is a nation spending more money on war than on medicine, education and art?” she asks, her words both weary and wise. It is a question for the ages, one that could be asked of any war. But in this case, it’s being asked in the middle of a war zone during production of What Does Anne Frank Mean Today?

Two days later, cameras are rolling again. There have been more missiles, more destruction, and more death. The young actress takes her mark in front of a new set of ruins and begins to talk about Anne’s hopes and dreams for a future that will never be. As she speaks her lines, two men »


- David Robb, Special To Deadline

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’s Michael Rooker Rejoins Jazz Biopic ‘Bolden’

18 August 2014 4:14 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Hot off his turn as the bounty hunter Yondu in Marvel’s hit Guardians Of The Galaxy, Michael Rooker is returning to Bolden. After starting production seven years ago and doing reshoots in 2009, the film’s writer, director, and financier Dan Pritzker lost key stars to scheduling including lead Anthony Mackie, who went on to superhero heights in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Now filming is set to start again this fall with Downton Abbey‘s Gary Carr in the title role as New Orleans cornet player Buddy Bolden. Rooker will resume the role of Pat McMurphy, sidekick to Bolden’s nemesis Judge Perry, when production kicks off in North Carolina.

Related: Seven Years Later, Dan Pritzker’s ‘Bolden’ Skeds New Shoot

The third time’s the charm for Pritzker’s passion project about the ragtime musician many consider to be the father of jazz. Rooker had filmed scenes before Bolden reset, »


- Jen Yamato

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Will Disney Take ‘Pirates 5′ Down Under Using ‘20,000 Leagues’ Tax Incentive?

18 August 2014 3:48 PM, PDT

While Hollywood has been fighting to get new tax incentives cleared by Sacramento that would help stem runaway production, Australia has faced its own battle to push for legislation that would allow it to be more competitive as a location destination. In recent years, the strong Oz dollar has hampered Australia’s ability to attract large-scale foreign films, but one mega-production may soon be setting sail for the Gold Coast.

Disney is understood to be considering an early 2015 shoot for Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Australia. I hear Oz is just one location being mulled, but if the movie were to set up shop Down Under, it could do so under potentially lucrative circumstances. Last year, in the largest inducement it’s ever offered to a Hollywood production, the Oz government confirmed it would give Disney a one-off payment of A$21.6M (Us$20.14M) to »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Giovanni Ribisi, Juno Temple & More Join ‘Meadowland’

18 August 2014 2:37 PM, PDT

Giovanni Ribisi, Scott Mescudi (Aka rapper Kid Cudi), Mark Feuerstein, Kevin Corrigan and Juno Temple are the latest thesps bound for Meadowland. Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson star for award-winning cinematographer Reed Morano (The Skeleton Twins, Kill Your Darlings, HBO’s Looking, Frozen River), who is making her directing debut with the psychological thriller currently in production. Story follows Sarah and David, a New York couple dealing with the unthinkable after their son disappears. The Bron Studios flick is being produced in association with Creative Wealth Media and also stars Elisabeth Moss, Natasha Lyonne, and Ty Simpkins. Matt Tauber and Wilde are producing alongside Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Margot Hand. Jennifer Levine and Jason Cloth are exec producers and domestic rights are repped by Wme and Gersh.

»


- Jen Yamato

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Elizabeth Reaser Takes Over Heather Graham Role in Neil Labute’s ‘Money Shot’

18 August 2014 1:41 PM, PDT

Update, Monday 1:40 p.m.: McC Theatre Co-Artistic Director Bernard Telsey released a statement this afternoon confirming that Elizabeth Reaser (True Detective, The Good Wife) will replace Heather Graham in Neil Labute’s The Money Shot. “We wish her well,” he said of Graham. The show is still scheduled to begin performances September 4 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village.

Exclusive: I hear that just three days after a press meet-and-greet for Neil Labute’s new play The Money Shot, Heather Graham is parting ways with the company to focus on her film, Half Magic. The play, produced by McC Theatre, is slated to begin performances Sept. 4 at the Lucille Lortel Theater in Greenwich Village, with an official opening Sept. 22 for a limited run through October 12. Labute is McC’s Playwright-In-Residence; the director is Terry Kinney.

In the play, Graham (Boogie Nights, Drugstore Cowboy, etc.) was to play »


- Jeremy Gerard

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John Legend’s ‘Breaking Through’ Launches YouTube Star Search

18 August 2014 12:10 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Executive producer John Legend and writer-director John Swetnam (Step Up All In and Into the Storm ) have teamed with DanceOn, the multi-channel YouTube network co-founded by Madonna, on a unique casting call for the upcoming dance pic Breaking Through. Dancers will be selected from submissions to the DanceOn site to either perform at a live taped event this month or have their videos appear in the internet generation coming-of-age drama starring Sophia Aguiar and Jordan Rodrigues.

The casting call is the first initiative in the filmmakers’ partnership with DanceOn, a YouTube network created as online community for dancers and dance lovers. DanceOn’s 10 million-plus subscribers and over 2 billion video views also mean that in addition to being a source for undiscovered talent, DanceOn is a strategic promotional partner that’ll put Breaking Through in front of its target audience early on. The venture was founded by Madonna, Guy Oseary, »


- Jen Yamato

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Wes Bentley Joins Zac Efron In ‘We Are Your Friends’

18 August 2014 11:06 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Wes Bentley is joining Zac Efron in drama We Are Your Friends, the story of a troubled aspiring DJ named Cole who finds his place in the world of electronic dance music. Bentley, who’s been racking up credits since appearing in Summit’s hit The Hunger Games, will play James, a wealthy, binge-drinking DJ who takes Cole under his wing and mentors him to success in the world of Edm. In July “Blurred Lines” model-actress Emily Ratajkowski landed the role of Sophie, James’ much-younger girlfriend who Cole falls for.

Catfish‘s Max Joseph is making his directing debut and scripted with Meaghan Oppenheimer from a story by Richard Silverman. Filming starts today in the San Fernando Valley. Working Title FilmsTim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing and Silverman is exec producer. Studio Canal is financing and repping domestic rights.

Bentley is set to appear on FX’s »


- Jen Yamato

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