Moves are being made with regards to the next Terminator film. If you’ll recall, the rights to the franchise were put up for auction in 2011, at which point Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures picked up the rights to produce the next installment in the series. Very little movement has been made since that time, but Megan’s brother David Ellison (True Grit, Star Trek Into Darkness) singed on to be the financial and creative partner on the project via his Skydance Productions banner last December, and the Ellison siblings tapped Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) and Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry) to start working on a script for Terminator 5 earlier this year.
Now The Wrap reports that Paramount Pictures is in talks to acquire distribution rights to the next Terminator pic, which makes perfect sense given that Skydance has a strong partnership with Paramount. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to return for the next film, and with distribution nearly settled, we should start seeing firm movement towards production on Terminator 5 very soon.
As we previously reported, filming on Paul Thomas Anderson‘s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s Inherent Vice will begin soon. Today we’ve learned that Warner Bros., not the previously rumored Annapurna Pictures, who financed The Master, will be coming on board to finance the picture. That’s a big step up in terms of visibility and ultimately promotion of the picture. If Warner Bros. had come on as a distributor after the film successfully showed at a festival, that would be less surprising, but apparently the studio has enough faith in what is admittedly a lower-budget picture than their usual fare. It also signals that the movie may be more mainstream than The Master, and perhaps a return to Anderson’s previous pictures Boogie Nights and Magnolia, which were released through Warner subsidiary, New Line Pictures. Cigarettes and Red Vines reports that the parting from Annapurna was “amicable” and that the two hope to work together in the future.
Hit the jump for more on Inherent Vice including the involvement of director of photography, Robert Elswit.
The new Terminator film has taken another step forward closer to production. Last month we learned that Megan Ellison’s brother, David Ellison, had come aboard the project to co-produce the next installment of the franchise through his Skydance Pictures banner alongside Megan’s Annapurna Pictures, and now the producers have tapped a couple of writers to start work on the script. Deadline reports that Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier will write the script for the new Terminator film, though further details are understandably being kept under wraps.
Kalogridis previously penned the scripts for Shutter Island and Alexander, as well as the pilot for the TV series Bionic Woman. Lussier, meanwhile, was responsible for writing 2011’s Drive Angry and received a “story by” credit on Dracula 2000, which he also directed. As I mentioned, we know next to nothing about where this new Terminator stands in relation to the previous films, but Megan Ellison has confirmed that it will indeed be rated R. With screenwriters now firmly onboard, expect to hear more news regarding the next Terminator sooner rather than later.
Columbia Pictures has picked up U.S. distribution rights to Moneyball director Bennett Miller’s real life drama Foxcatcher. The film tells the true story of John du Pont, a paranoid schizophrenic who built a wrestling training facility on his 800-acre Pennsylvania estate where he subsequently shot and killed Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Schultz in 1996. Heir to his family’s chemical fortune, du Pont locked himself in his mansion for two days after murdering his friend, and spent the time on the phone with negotiators.
The swell ensemble cast includes Steve Carell as du Pont and Mark Ruffalo as Schultz, as well as Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, and Anthony Michael Hall. Today’s announcement adds that Vanessa Redgrave has also joined the cast, making for one hell of an ensemble. Production is underway in anticipation of a Fall 2013 release. Given how great Miller’s past two efforts have been (Moneyball and Capote), it’s safe to assume that Foxcatcher will likely be an awards contender. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
It’s been three long years since we’ve seen a new film from director Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are), but he’s currently hard at work on his next feature. Very little has been known about the film besides the fact that Joaquin Phoenix stars alongside Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, and Olivia Wilde. It was previously rumored that the film centers on a man who falls in love with the voice of a Siri-like computer device, and now a bit more light has been shed on the film’s plot by way of an official synopsis. Hit the jump for the full synopsis and title.
It’s been a bit of a long road for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master. The project was pretty much dead until Megan Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures resurrected the film and provided the financing (thanks for that, Ms. Ellison!). In December, we heard that the film was likely to be released at near the end of the year. PTA fan site Cigarettes and Red Vines contacted Ellison about the release date, and she responded:
@cigsandredvines I know you guys are waiting on a release date for ‘the Master’, and it’s still a bit early, but I’d keep my eyes on October
Hit the jump for more.
Before tonight, we knew a few things about the “psychopharmacology thriller” that Steven Soderbergh and his Contagion writer Scott Z. Burns are developing:
- The title is either The Side Effects or The Bitter Pill.
- Blake Lively, Jude Law, and Channing Tatum form the three corners of the love triangle at the center of the tense plot.
- Annapurna is financing. Open Road is distributing.
A lot has changed. First the addition: Catherine Zeta-Jones joined the cast. Now the subtraction: the latest reports omit the article, referring to the project as just Side Effects. More notably, Annapurna has pulled out of the project, which puts the involvement of the aforementioned cast in jeopardy. More after the jump:
Back in March, we reported that Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures would back an untitled project from director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (the duo behind Being John Malkovich and Adaptation.). The film would reportedly be a satire “about how world leaders gather to figure out all the seismic events that will take place in the worlds, from oil prices to wars that will be waged.” Twitch now reports that Warner Bros. has picked up the film, which means they will most likely distribute it as well. The project is reportedly eyeing a March 2012 start date.
Twitch also reports that Joaquin Phoenix is attached to star, which is a smart career move on his part. Phoenix needs to reestablish his credibility with audiences after the I’m Still Here debacle and working with directors like Jonze and Paul Thomas Anderson is a good way to do that.
Lionsgate has missed out on the rights to The Terminator franchise again. After losing the bidding war to Pacificor back in February 2010, the rights went back up for sale at Cannes and Lionsgate once again tried to grab the franchise. But on Wednesday we learned that Megan Ellison, whose Annapurna Pictures had taken to backing prestige directors like Paul Thomas Anderson and Kathryn Bigelow, unexpectedly threw her hat into the ring. Now Deadline is reporting that Ellison has won the bidding war and it’s a surprising film to add to her indie-dominated portfolio. Hit the jump for more on Ellison’s other projects and my thoughts on her Terminator acquisition.
Producer Megan Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures have entered a bidding war with Lionsgate over the rights to the Terminator franchise. As you may recall, Ellison previously has set her production company to backing smaller films with acclaimed directors like Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled religious drama and Inherent Vice, and Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt for Osama Bin Laden film. It looked like Lionsgate was going to win the rights with a bid yesterday, but Deadline reports that Ellison has submitted a higher amount even though she doesn’t have a distributor locked in (although it’s probably not too difficult to find a studio willing to distribute a Terminator film).
Hit the jump for more on this potential deal.
Producer Megan Ellison has recently been proving herself to be the patron saint of film nerds. In addition to backing Paul Thomas Anderson‘s adaptation of Inherent Vice and his untitled Scientology movie, as well as a movie about WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, it now looks like Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures are acquiring an untitled satire that would re-team director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.
We reported back in December that the Being John Malkovich and Adaptation duo were pitching a new film, so presumably this is it. Deadline reports that the untitled satire is “about how world leaders gather to figure out all the seismic events that will take place in the worlds, from oil prices to wars that will be waged.” I have a feeling that the project will be a tough sell, but I’m glad that Ellison is clearly up to the challenge.