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Veteran studio executive DeVon Franklin is leaving his position as senior VP of production at Columbia Pictures and segueing to a producing deal on the Sony lot, telling TheWrap that he is “going back to what drew me to the industry.” A well-respected motivational speaker and Christian preacher, Franklin is also a published author who has been behind such inspirational faith-based hits as “Heaven Is for Real” and Sony's family comedy “Jumping the Broom.” He got his start as an intern at Will Smith‘s Overbrook Entertainment, with whom he collaborated on “The Karate Kid,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Seven Pounds »
- Jeff Sneider
Encompassing both film and television, Franklin and his namesake production company, Franklin Entertainment, will develop projects that appeal to both faith-based and urban markets.
“This is a plan tailor-made for DeVon’s specific skill set and interests,” Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures told Variety. “It’s clear that his ambition was to get closer to the product and maintain his speaking and writing career.”
An ordained preacher, the exec has spent nine years at Sony, overseeing projects such as “Heaven Is for Real,” “The Karate Kid” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.” In that role, he developed and produced commercial material focused on those two markets.
- Alexandra Cheney
A successful Us scheme which enables moviegoers to select a title from a library and. screen it at a participating cinema is being introduced to Australia.
David Doepel.s Leap Frog Films is partnering with the Us cinema-on-demand platform Tugg to pitch the service to cinemas, producers and distributors in Oz and New Zealand.
Leap Frog piloted the scheme on March 24 by holding a crowd-sourced screening of its film Half of a Yellow Sun at the Piccadilly cinema in Adelaide.
Doepel said there was a sizable turn-out for the drama which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and Thandie Newton (The Pursuit of Happyness) as an upper class couple whose marriage is put to the test when Nigeria breaks into a crippling civil war in 1967.
The first Us title from Tugg.s library to be screened in Australia will be Why We Ride, a Us documentary about the passionate devotees of motorcycle riding, »
- Don Groves
To celebrate the release of The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty on DVD and Blu-ray release on April 21st, we’ve a great insight into the film thanks to the star and director Ben Stiller and screenwriter Steve Conrad.
The film focuses around the life of Walter Mitty (Stiller), a modern day-dreamer, and an ordinary magazine photo editor who takes a regular mental vacation from his normal existence by disappearing into a world of fantasies electrified by dashing heroism, passionate romance and constant triumphs over danger. But when Mitty and the co-worker he secretly adores (Kristen Wiig) stand in actual peril of losing their jobs, Walter must do the unimaginable: take real action – sparking a global journey more extraordinary than anything he could have ever dreamed up.
- Dan Bullock
The 33 jury members will be split into seven groups, one for each competition category: World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Best New Narrative Director, Best New Documentary Director, Narrative Short Film, Documentary and the Student Visionary Award. Two other awards, the Bombay Sapphire Award for Transmedia and the Norah Ephron Prize, will also be awarded. Winners of the seven festival categories will receive $150,000 and prizes, and eight of the winners will also get to take home an original artwork. Winner of the second annual Nora Ephron Prize, which recognizes a female writer or director, will receive $25,000.
Seven Juries Will Award Prizes At 2014 Tribeca Film Fest
Today, we have two more names to add to the already impressive cast of Gabriele Muccino’s upcoming film, Fathers and Daughters. Deadline reports that Jane Fonda and Bruce Greenwood have joined the generation-spanning drama, which also stars Russell Crowe, Aaron Paul, Amanda Seyfried, Diane Kruger, Quvenzhane Wallis, Haley Bennet and Octavia Spencer.
The film was written by newcomer Brad Desch and is described as “a love story between a troubled father and his daughter.” Crowe plays Jake Davis, a famous writer and widower who struggles with mental illness while trying to raise his 5 year-old daughter Katie. The story spans 25 years, from the 1980′s to the present day, and has Seyfried playing Katie as an adult, who eventually has demons of her own that were caused by her troubled upbringing.
Fonda will play Davis’ longtime friend and literary agent, while Greenwood will portray his brother-in-law, who wages a legal battle »
- James Garcia
• Gerard Butler is attached to star in the sci-fi adventure Geostorm. Longtime writer-producer Dean Devlin (Independence Day) is writing and directing the movie which posits a world where satellites can control the climate. When they begin to malfunction, Butler’s “charming satellite designer” has to work quickly to save the world from the imminent storm. [THR]
• Javier Bardem will join Charlize Theron and Adèle Exarchopoulos in the Sean Penn-directed movie The Last Face. Theron and Bardem will play doctors doing humanitarian work in a conflict-ridden region of Africa. Exarchopoulos will play a journalist. [Deadline]
- Lindsey Bahr
The Tribeca Film Festival announced its jurors for this year’s event, which runs from April 16-27. The list includes Toni Collette, Lake Bell, Whoopi Goldberg, Catherine Hardwicke, Heather Graham, Anton Yelchin, Paul Wesley and 26 other leaders of the filmmaking community.
In addition to the Festival’s main competition juries in seven categories, Tribeca named Delia Ephron, Natasha Lyonne, and Gary Ross to select the second annual Nora Ephron Prize, which awards $25,000 to a female writer or director.
Click below for the entire list of jurors, with biographical information courtesy of the Tribeca festival:
World Competition Categories
The jurors for »
- Jeff Labrecque
Will Ferrell already starred in movies about basketball and soccer, and has now signed on to take the lead in a tennis drama, called "Match Makers," about tennis' legendary battle of the sexes match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Based on Don Van Natta Jr's Espn.com article, "The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, the Mafia and the Battle of the Sexes," the story follows the high profile rivalry between the two tennis pros and their iconic 1973 tennis match. The match was watched by 50 million Americans, who tuned in to see whether a 29-year-old female King could beat the retired 55-year-old Riggs. The new movie will be written by Steve Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Pursuit of Happyness). »
It follows the news in February that director Danny Boyle and writer Simon Beaufoy met with King in New York to discuss the project; Boyle had previously been seen at the premiere of a documentary on the match, entitled Battle of the Sexes. It isn't clear whether Boyle is still in the running, but Beaufoy will not pen the script, which will be taken on by Steve Conrad, writer of last year's Secret Life of Walter Mitty remake as well as The Pursuit of Happyness and a forthcoming John Belushi biopic.
Continue reading »
- Ben Beaumont-Thomas
• Will Ferrell is attached to star in the tennis drama Match Maker, about the famous 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Steve Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) is writing the screenplay based on an Espn.com article by Don Van Natta Jr. [Variety]
• Johnny Knoxville (Bad Grandpa) will voice the part of Leonardo and Monk’s Tony Shalhoub will voice Splinter in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Pete Ploszek and Danny Woodburn played the parts during filming. The Michael Bay-produced pic stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and William Fichtner »
- Lindsey Bahr
In the coming-of-age pic, high school senior (Davenport) must choose between the college of her dreams and taking care of her mother living with bipolar disorder (Manning). Fuller will play the mother’s psychiatrist whose care proves to be both helpful and harmful.
Moira McMahon Leeper penned the script.
- Justin Kroll
The second season of the suspense drama starring Thandie Newton and new addition Cole Hauser will debut on Wednesday, May 28 at 10 Pm, DirecTV announced today. Newton (The Pursuit Of Happyness, Crash) will resume her role as the morally and emotionally conflicted undercover detective Grace Travis, and Hauser (Transcendence, Olympus Has Fallen) joins the cast as the charming and enigmatic Ethan Kelly. Season 2 of Rogue will pick up with Grace trying to navigate a new life as she remains separated from her husband while balancing her job as handler for an FBI Task Force investigating the shadowy world of corporate espionage in San Francisco. Rogue is a Canada-uk co-production from eOne, which also handles worldwide rights, and Greenroom, produced in participation with DirecTV. Series creator Matthew Parkhill executive produces with Greenroom’s Nick Hamm and eOne’s John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
You know, the Oscars weren’t the only major awards to be handed out this past weekend! On Saturday, the 34th Annual Razzie Awards were announced in a ceremony at IgnitedSpaces in Hollywood. While the Academy Awards celebrate the very best that Hollywood has to offer, these make a point of highlighting the worst.
While many expected Grown Ups 2 to walk away with the majority of the prestigious Golden Raspberry statues, it was in fact the even worse Movie 43 which would end up the big winner (or should that be loser?) of the night.
Will Smith and his son Jaden would end up taking away prizes for both “Worst Actor” and “Worst Supporting Actor”, a sharp contrast to eight years ago when both were praised for their performances in The Pursuit of Happyness. Many of his fans still right believe that the older Smith has an Oscar in his future, »
- Josh Wilding
The cast of Gabriele Muccino’s Fathers And Daughters keeps growing. With big names such as Russell Crowe, Aaron Paul, Amada Seyfried, Octavia Spencer, Quvenzhane Wallis and Diane Kruger already attached, the latest addition comes in the form of Music And Lyrics star Haley Bennett.
With movies such as The Pursuit Of Happyness and Seven Pounds under his belt, Muccino is sure to turn this moving love story between a New York father and his daughter into one hell of a film. Moving back and forward from the 1980s into the present day, the movie follows the story of Jake Davis (Crowe), who struggles with mental illness while trying to raise his 5-year old daughter Katie, and the story of present day 30-year old Katie (Seyfried), dealing with the demons of her past.
Bennett is set to play Stacey, a college student who looks after Katie when she is young. »
- Tina Baraga
Deadline is reporting that Haley Bennett will be joining Gabriele Muccino’s Fathers and Daughters, which already stars a pretty impressive cast that consists of Russell Crowe, Aaron Paul, Amanda Seyfried, Octavia Spencer, Quvenzhane Wallis and Diane Kruger.
Scripted by Brad Desch, the film details “the bond between a father and daughter living in New York.” The story will move between the 1980s and present day as it follows Jake Davis (Crowe), a famous writer and widower who “struggles with mental illness” as he tries to raise his 5-year-old daughter Katie.
Growing up with a troubled childhood, Katie (Amanda Seyfried) eventually has demons of her own that she has to deal with when she’s older and that’s what the present day portion of the story focuses on.
- Matt Joseph
Oscar 2014 presenters range from Alfred Hitchcock heroine to ’12 Years a Slave’ producer (photo: Oscar 2014 presenter Jennifer Lawrence) Expect at least a couple of standing ovations at the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony to be held on Oscar Sunday, March 2, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. Oscar 2014 producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced earlier today the complete list of movie celebrities — all actors, including a handful of actor-directors / actor-producers — who will be presenters at the ceremony, to be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, and which will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide — even in the United States, via the ABC network. (See the full list below.) Among the Oscar 2014 presenters, you’ll find a number of past Oscar winners and nominees. With a couple of exceptions, not from the very distant past, mind you, as the overwhelming majority of presenters are performers working in »
- Steve Montgomery
Will Smith has been hard to miss ever since breaking out as a hip-hop artist in the late '80s.
Perhaps the biggest star of the last 20 years, the musician-turned-actor has seemingly been in one commercial success after another, from his start on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" to "Men in Black" to "Hitch." This Friday, however, Smith takes an uncharacteristically minor role in the Colin Farrell-starring "Winter's Tale."
Whether or not you've had a chance to see Smith of late, there's still much to know about the multi-talented star. From his early achievements as a musician to his unbelievable Rubik's Cube skills, here are 17 things you probably don't know about Will Smith.
- Jonny Black
Saturday, February 8, 2014 ratings — New episodes: 48 Hours. Sports: Xxii Winter Olympics. Specials: The Pursuit of Happyness (movie). Reruns: The Middle, Two and a Half Men, The Millers, The Mentalist, Rake, and The Following.
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What were you watching last night? »
Theater Mania interviews the great Charles Busch (Die Mommy, Die!) about his career and new play "The Tribute Artist" in which he does impressions of Marilyn, Bette Davis, and Katharine Hepburn among others. (I met Mr Busch at the anniversary Cabaret screening last year and he was so sweet)
Gothamist Alfonso Cuarón's Oscar campaign hits Lincoln Center soon for screenings and discussions of Children of Men and Gravity here in NYC. Ah c'mon Lincoln Center. Throw in Y Tu Mama Tambíen (still his best picture) and we'll totally be talking!
Pajiba on the whitewashing of Egyptian mythology on screen. Why not cast people of color. »
- NATHANIEL R
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