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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Beloved Sisters’ Gets Germany’s Nod For Oscar Race; BAFTA Sets David Fincher Retrospective; More

1 hour ago

German Films said today that its nine-person jury has selected Dominik Graf’s Beloved Sisters as Germany’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race. The film tells the little-known true story of a ménage-à-trois among  Friedrich Schiller and the von Lengefeld sisters, a utopia on the eve of the French Revolution. Florian Stetter, Hannah Herzsprung and Henriette Confurius have the lead roles. “This designation is for me the greatest joy and the confirmation of my work,” producer Uschi Reich said. “What great luck for us all.” Beloved Sisters premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February and hit German theaters July 31 via Senator Film Verleih. Nominations for the 87th Academy Awards will be announced January 15.

BAFTA said today that American filmmaker David Fincher will discuss his life and career during the group’s A Life in Pictures event next month. Fincher is a two-time Oscar »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Four Join ‘One & Two’ For Sundance Winning ‘Rich Hill’ Director; ‘Total Frat Movie’ Taps Tom Green

5 hours ago

Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), Timothy Chalamet (Homeland, Interstellar), Grant Bowler (True Blood, Defiance), and Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight, True Detective) will star in One & Two, the next feature from director Andrew Droz Palermo. Palermo, a Dp whose credits include You’re Next, V/H/S, and Hannah Fidell’s A Teacher, made his helming debut with co-director Tracy Droz Tragos on Rich Hill, the 2014 documentary about youngsters growing up in an impoverished Midwestern town that won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize. One & Two follows a family of four who live peacefully in purposeful isolation in a mysterious farmhouse, where siblings Zac and Eva begin to explore unusual abilities and dark family secrets when their mother falls ill. Palermo co-wrote the film with Neima Shahdadi and will begin filming soon in North Carolina. Kim Sherman is producing with Bow + Arrow Entertainment’s Matthew Perniciaro and Michael Sherman. Bow + Arrow and Protagonist Pictures are executive producers. »


- Jen Yamato

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‘Sons Of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam Is Guy Ritchie’s Choice For King Arthur

5 hours ago

Exclusive: Going into his seventh and final season as the prince of the motorcycle club in Sons Of Anarchy, Charlie Hunnam will next have the opportunity to rise to king. Hunnam is director Guy Ritchie’s choice to play King Arthur in the epic Warner Bros project hatched by Joby Harold and intended to span six films. Harold wrote the first script and Akiva Goldsman is producing through Weed Road with Harold and Tory Tunnell through Safehouse Pictures, and Ritchie’s partner Lionel Wigram. Hunnam is in final negotiations to play the man who pulls the sword from the stone.

Related: Will Guy Ritchie Pull Sword From Stone After All And Make King Arthur Movie At Warner Bros?

If you ever doubted whether Hunnam made the right call passing on playing Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey, well, this story then is mean to convince you he is in pretty good shape. »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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Hot Trailer: Jean Dujardin Takes On French Drug Mafia In ‘The Connection’

6 hours ago

Gaumont Film Company and Drafthouse Films have just released an international teaser for Cédric Jimenez’s 1975-set crime thriller The Connection, starring The Artist Oscar winner Jean Dujardin. Inspired by true events and shot on 35mm, the film follows Dujardin as Pierre Michel, a young magistrate with a wife and kids who goes after the mafia-run French Connection drug organization and tangles with kingpin Gaetan Zampa (Gilles Lelouche of Mesrine: Killer Instinct).

Austin-based Drafthouse picked up U.S. rights out of Cannes based on an 8-minute sizzle reel and is plotting an April theatrical release, along with home video and digital formats. Drafthouse, the distribution arm of The Alamo Drafthouse, which hosts the genre festival Fantastic Fest in September, will offer exhibitors the option of screening 35mm prints in addition to DCPs in select markets. The Connection (Fka La French) is produced by Alain Goldman and Legende Films. Check out »


- Jen Yamato

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Warner Bros. Slams “Unauthorized” ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Copyright Lawsuit

7 hours ago

“There is no merit to this lawsuit,” said Warner Bros today in response to a copyright infringement lawsuit over a potential big screen Gilligan’s Island reboot. “Not only does the plaintiff have no rights in an unauthorized work based on the Gilligan property, the project he’s suing over never went forward.” The plaintiff in question is Travis Dunson, who hit the studio with a multi-claim complaint in federal court in Georgia earlier this week (read it here).

The seemingly creditless Dunson is alleging that WB lifted elements of his 1999 script Gilligan’s Island: 7 Stranded Castaways From The Hood for an adaption of the classic 60s CBS TV series. WB announced last December that they would be making a new Gilligan’s Island with Josh Gad. In his lawsuit, Dunson wants the new Gilligan shut down and he wants wide ranging unspecified damages – though it is unclear if it is the Gad, »


- Dominic Patten

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Update: ‘Magic Mike’ Sequel Moved Up To Wednesday Before Fourth Of July

7 hours ago

Updated, 3:15 Pm: Warner Bros said today it will give moviegoers two extra days to ogle Magic Mike 2 next Independence Day weekend. The sequel has been moved from July 3 to July 1. No Roman candle jokes, please.

Previously: Warner Bros has set Magic Mike 2 for July 3, 2015. The sequel to the 2012 film directed by Steven Soderbergh that was informed by Channing Tatum‘s early days as a male stripper. This is the latest extension of the pic that Soderbergh and Tatum hatched and financed themselves. It was a risk that turned into a major score when the original movie starring Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and other made $113.7M at the domestic box office — one of Soderbergh’s most lucrative movies ever — and has since spawned a Broadway musical now in the works.

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- The Deadline Team

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Lionsgate Horror Hit ‘Saw’ Set For 10th Anniversary Re-release

8 hours ago

Lionsgate has announced it will re-release its gruesome 2004 franchise-launcher Saw in a limited nationwide run this Halloween, giving horror fanatics something to mark their calendars for. Saw will open for a one week 10th anniversary engagement on Friday, October 31 with Thursday midnights in select locations. The serial killer pic spawned a seven-film, $874 million franchise with a simple high concept premise: Two men wake up in the lair of a serial killer named Jigsaw, forced to do the unthinkable to survive while figuring out their captor’s identity.

The gory thriller not only gave birth to the most succesful horror franchise in history, it also launched the career of director James Wan, who went on to helm recent hits Insidious, The Conjuring, Insidious: Chapter 2, and Universal’s upcoming Fast & Furious 7. Wan’s Saw co-writer Leigh Whannell starred in the first film and is now set to make his directorial debut with Insidious: Chapter 3. »


- Jen Yamato

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Walden Media, TWC Pledge Partial ‘Giver’ Proceeds To Literacy

9 hours ago

Two weeks after opening Lois Lowry’s novel adaptation The Giver in the #5 weekend box office spot, Walden Media and The Weinstein Co. are making a pledge for the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Fifty cents of every ticket sold during the holiday frame will go to the National Education Association Foundation. The Ticket To A Better World initiative will provide books to American children in need from ticket sale proceeds, up to the amount of $250,000.

That’s about 500,000 tickets that Walden and TWC will have to sell over the long weekend, or $4 million in box office going by average ticket prices. Last weekend the fantasy-drama starring Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, and Meryl Streep made $6.43 million over three days. Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy held strong for #1 last weekend and teen drama If I Stay may give The Giver its closest competition in its second week, but the only new »


- Jen Yamato

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‘Nightcrawler’ To Close Fantastic Fest 2014; ‘John Wick’ Joins Lineup

10 hours ago

Open Road’s Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Nightcrawler will close the 10th annual Fantastic Fest in its U.S. premiere and Keanu Reeves will drop by for a gala screening of Lionsgate’s John Wick, organizers announced today. The rising genre film fest held September 18-25 in Austin, TX will open with the previously announced Tusk from Kevin Smith.

Also unveiled today along with a second wave of programming is a centerpiece bout in the Fantastic Debates, in which filmmakers, critics, and celebs engage in discourse at a podium before taking it to the boxing ring to determine the ultimate winner. This year, BitTorrent’s Chief Content Officer Matt Mason will take on a challenger to duke it out over whether the file sharing platform is a valuable tool or an enabler of piracy.

Related: Kevin Smith’s Horror-Comedy ‘Tusk’ To Open Fantastic Fest 2014

This year’s festival marks the grand »


- Jen Yamato

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

11 hours 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

12 hours 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

12 hours 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 musical, imported from the Kennedy Center, are Darren Bagert, Martin Massman and Jayne Baron Sherman.

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

12 hours 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

13 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

14 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”

14 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

16 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

18 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’

26 August 2014 7:04 PM, PDT

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’

26 August 2014 6:34 PM, PDT

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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