7 items from 2014
London — Berlin-based international sales and production outfit Picture Tree Intl. has secured the global distribution rights for the Paulo Coelho biopic “The Pilgrim — the Best Story of Paulo Coelho” from Brazilian production house Cuatro Dama Filmes.
Coelho’s 30 novels — including “The Alchemist” and “Adultery” — have been translated into 80 languages, distributed in 224 countries and sold more than 165 million copies.
“The Pilgrim” retraces Coelho’s own story, which was the chief inspiration for his work. He flirted with death, escaped madness, experimented with drugs, overcame torture, made rock-and-roll history in Brazil, and found fame as a writer.
Julio Andrade (“Serra Pelada,” “Gonzaga de Pai Para Filho”) shares the role of the writer with his younger brother, newcomer Ravel Andrade. The cast also features Fabiana Gugli (“Blindness”) and Lucci Ferreira in the role of Coelho’s music partner Raul Seixas. Nancho Novo (“Lovers of the Arctic Circle”) and Paz Vega (“Spanglish,” “Sex and Lucia”) complete the cast. »
- Leo Barraclough
Rob Lowe is heading back to Lifetime. Again. The former “Parks and Recreation” star, who previously starred in Lifetime's ripped-from-the-headlines offerings “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” and “Prosecuting Casey Anthony,” is once again teaming with the network for “Beautiful and Twisted,” about convicted murderer Narcy Novack, who was found guilty of killing her husband, Fountainebleau Miami Beach hotel heir Ben Novack Jr. See video: Rob Lowe Flashes Ellen DeGeneres His Tattoo The cast also includes “Murphy Brown” alum Candice Bergen and Paz Vega (“Sex and Lucia”). Lowe will play the ill-fated hotel heir, while Vega will play Narcy. Bergen will play Ben Novack's mother Bernice. »
- Tim Kenneally
Russia, Israel and Poland are in negotiation with very strong interest also in Eastern Europe, Australia, Latin America. More pre-sales expected to close here, Seville Intl., the boutique sales arm of eOne Films Intl., confirmed after a lunch hosted for Cruz, producer Alvaro Longoria at Spain’s Morena Films and prospective buyers at Cannes by Entertainment One president/CEO Darren Throop and eOne Films Intl. president Harold van Lier.
Helmed by Julio Medem, one of Spain’s preeminent directors (“Vacas,” “Sex and Lucia”) who also produces, “Ma Ma” stars Cruz as Magda, a mother reacts valiantly to tragedy. “Ma Ma” marks Cruz’s first lead role in a Spanish-language film in five years.
“The response to ‘Ma Ma’ has been amazing and we »
- John Hopewell
Penelope Cruz will be in Cannes today to present “Ma Ma,” which is her first as a producer. In it, she plays Magda, a gutsy mother who battles to overcome tragedy. “Ma Ma” also marks Cruz’s first film with Spanish auteur Julio Medem, who has directed some of the most sensorial, sensual and involved portrayals of feminine sensibility in modern Spanish cinema (“Vacas,” “Lovers of the Arctic Circle,” “Sex and Lucia”). Cruz and Medem talked to Variety exclusively about “Ma Ma,” which bows Monday. “Ma Ma” is being sold at Cannes by Seville Intl., the boutique sales arm of eOne Films Intl. Cruz, Medem and Alvaro Longoria at Spain’s Morena Films produce, in association with France’s Backup Media Group. France’s Mare Nostrum co-produces. CAA represents U.S. rights.
You both live in Los Angeles. Why return to Spain to make a film in Spanish?
Medem: “Ma Ma »
- John Hopewell
Since crossing over into the mainstream with 2006’s “Borat,” Sacha Baron Cohen has worked with the likes of Tom Hooper, Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton, a feat impressive for any actor, much less a comedic one. Variety reports Baron Cohen is in early talks to re-team with his “Sweeney Todd” co-star Johnny Depp for the slow-brewing “Alice in Wonderland” sequel, “Through the Looking Glass.” Depp and Mia Wasikowska will reprise their roles with “The Muppets” director James Bobin stepping in for Burton. All that’s known about is Baron Cohen’s role is that it’ll be the main villain. “Through the Looking Glass” hits theaters May 27th, 2016. Though she’s done her fair share of work in her native county, Penelope Cruz has yet to work with fellow Spaniard “Sex and Lucia” director Julio Medem but that’s all about to change. Per THR, Cruz will co-produce and star »
- Cain Rodriguez
• Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) is in early talks to join the cast of Disney’s Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. James Bobin (The Muppets) will direct, with Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger) and Mia Wasikowska (Stoker) reprising their roles as the Mad Hatter and Alice, respectively. Details of the plot are being kept secret, with filming expected to begin toward the end of the year with a May 27, 2016, release date. [Variety]
- Jake Perlman
An intimate woman’s drama, laced by moments of comedy, “Ma ma” turns on Magda, a woman who reacts valiantly to tragedy, digging deep into her interior. “She and those in her intimate circle will live unsuspected scenes of humor and of delicate happiness,” a press release announced Tuesday.
Though Medem is now based out of Los Angeles, “Ma ma” will shoot entirely in Spain in Spanish this spring. It will co-star Luis Tosar (“Miami Vice”) and Asier Exteandia (“Broken Embraces”). Medem will co-produce. Madrid-based Morena Films, one of Spain’s still active significant production houses that has recently opened L.A. offices, will associate produce. Alvaro Longoria, producer of Medem’s “Room in Rome,” will produce out of Spain. »
- John Hopewell
7 items from 2014
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