David Fincher No Longer Attached to CLEOPATRA with Angelina Jolie

by     Posted 2 years, 59 days ago

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It appears we’ll never get to see David Fincher’s iteration of Cleopatra.  The director began eyeing the project back in March of 2011, but now it appears that talks between Fincher and Sony have broken off and he’s no longer involved.  Angelina Jolie has long been attached to star in the film based on Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life.  Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button scribe Eric Roth entered talks to pen the screenplay late last year, but the last update about the project came from Fincher himself last December:

“Cleopatra, I haven’t even begun. I’ve just spoken with Angie [Angelina Jolie] and Eric [Roth] and I’m trying to figure out how to weigh in. It’s just a discussion about what can it be, what are people expecting, what do we need to do to destroy that?”

Hit the jump for more on the future of Cleopatra and what other projects Fincher is circling for his feature film follow-up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Billy Ray to Pen Martin Scorsese’s SINATRA

by     Posted 2 years, 69 days ago

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As Martin Scorsese gears up to direct the financial-centered drama The Wolf of Wall Street, another one of his many percolating projects is moving closer to the production stage. Deadline reports that Universal Pictures has tapped Billy Ray (State of Play) to write the screenplay for the biopic Sinatra, which Scorsese has been developing for the quite some time.  Little is known about the film’s plot or what aspects of Sinatra’s life will be depicted onscreen, but the hiring of a writer signals that Scorsese is keen on making Sinatra sooner rather than later.

Hit the jump for more, including a recap of what other projects Scorsese has on his plate.

HBO Executives Michael Lombardo and Richard Plepler Talk the Future of GAME OF THRONES, THE NEWSROOM Criticism, Another Season of CURB, the ENTOURAGE Movie and More

by     Posted 2 years, 79 days ago

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While at the HBO portion of the TCA Press Tour, President of Programming Michael Lombardo and co-President Richard Plepler took some time to talk about new and returning programming.  During the interview, they spoke about how long Game of Thrones and True Blood could run for, the status of the Entourage movie, their movie deal with Larry David and the affect that could have on future seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, their thoughts on the first season of The Newsroom, the possibility of a fourth season for Treme, and what viewers can expect from the Woody Harrelson/Matthew McConaughey series True Detective.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Emma Stone to Star in Cameron Crowe’s Long-Developing DEEP TIKI for Sony

by     Posted 2 years, 83 days ago

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Well here’s a project we haven’t heard about in years.  In 2008, it was announced that writer/director Cameron Crowe’s post-Elizabethtown project would be a romantic comedy called Deep TikiBen Stiller and Reese Witherspoon were attached to star, but due to scheduling conflicts with the two actors Crowe had to keep pushing production back.  Months came and went with no update, until we ultimately learned that development had stalled.  Crowe’s first narrative feature since 2005 eventually came in the form of last year’s We Bought a Zoo, and I assumed that Deep Tiki was dead.

Now it appears that following a rewrite by Crowe, development on Deep Tiki has picked up again with none other than Emma Stone is set to star.  Hit the jump for much more. 

Johnny Depp to Star in Wes Anderson’s Next Film, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

by     Posted 2 years, 97 days ago

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About a week ago, we heard that writer/director Wes Anderson was eyeing a top-notch ensemble cast for his next untitled feature, with stars like Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Jeff Goldblum, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe and Angela Lansbury apparently being eyed for roles.  Though the exact status of each actor’s involvement was unclear at the time (it’s safe to assume Murray and Wilson will definitely be onboard), we now have confirmation that at least one of those actors is officially involved: Johnny Depp.  Hit the jump for more.

Zach Galifianakis Attached to Star in A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES; James Bobin in Talks to Direct

by     Posted 2 years, 152 days ago

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Zach Galifianakis and director James Bobin (The Muppets) are a match made in heaven, to the degree that I had to check IMDB to see if Galifianakis ever hopped over from his HBO show Bored to Death for a guest spot on Bobin’s HBO show, Flight of the Conchords.  Nope.  But the pair may make up for the lost opportunity on Paramount’s feature adaptation of A Confederacy of DuncesVulture hears Galifianakis is attached to star as Ignatius Reilly and Bobin is in talks to direct.  Scott Rudin (Moneyball) will produce, and Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids) is reportedly working on the screenplay.

That’s quite a lineup, but Confederacy of Dunces has a long history of trying and repeatedly failing to become a movie.  Harold Ramis set up the first attempt in 1982, but was derailed when his Ignatius, John Belushi, died.  The role subsequently passed from John Candy to Chris Farley to John Goodman over the years, but never stuck.  The most recent iteration was led by Will Ferrell and director David Gordon Green, but fell by the wayside at Paramount.  When asked what happened to it, Ferrell could only respond, “It’s a mystery.  For some reason that’s a very scary project for people to take on.”  Hit the jump for a synopsis of John Kennedy Toole‘s seemingly unadaptable novel.

Greg Mottola to Adapt THE MARRIAGE PLOT for Producer Scott Rudin

by     Posted 2 years, 158 days ago

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Writer/director Greg Mottola has been tapped to adapt Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugendies’ novel The Marriage Plot.  Mottola is probably best known for helming Superbad, but he also wrote and directed the excellent coming-of-age dramedy Adventureland and helmed Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in 2011’s PaulVariety reports that Mottola is in early talks to write the script for the project, and they speculate that Mottola could also direct given that his schedule is clear in the near future.  The story focuses on a love triangle involved three graduates of Brown in the 1980s.  Producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) acquired the feature rights last November, and it appears he’s eager to get things going.

Mottola most recently directed the pilot and created the visual language for Aaron Sorkin’s highly anticipated new HBO series The Newsroom, also produced by Rudin.  I’m a huge, huge fan of Adventureland, and the kind of “coming-of-age” story that The Marriage Plot involves sounds like it’s right up Mottola’s alley.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of The Marriage Plot.

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE Director Jared Hess to Helm Disney’s Alien Comedy THE PET

by     Posted 2 years, 235 days ago

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The world was Jared Hess‘ oyster after Napoleon Dynamite became a surprise hit and minor pop culture phenomenon in 2004.  Unfortunately he used his points to make Nacho Libre and followed that up with the lackluster Gentleman Broncos, before circling back to a Napoleon Dynamite animated series on Fox.  The shine has surely worn off, but the oyster shell has not snapped shut just yet.  Producer Scott Rudin (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) hired Hess to direct The Pet, a family comedy that Disney has been developing since 2007.  Based on an original idea from Matt Lieberman—who recently signed on to the Short Circuit rebootThe Pet follows “a man who’s abducted by aliens, taken to their planet and turned into a family pet.”

The latest draft is by Tim Dowling (This Means War), but Variety makes it sound like Hess will take over the script from here on out.  If so, Hess will likely turn to wife and longtime collaborator Jerusha Hess for help on the script.  To my knowledge, this will be Hess’ first time directing material from an outside source.  I don’t know that this fact will freshen up his idiosyncratic style, but it can’t hurt to try.

Ben Stiller to Star, Direct, and Produce HBO Comedy Pilot ALL TALK, Written by Jonathan Safran Foer; Alan Alda in Talks to Co-Star

by     Posted 2 years, 272 days ago

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Ben Stiller and HBO clearly want to work together.  Word of a David O. Selznick biopic Stiller wants to produce (and possibly star in) surfaced in October.  That may still be in the early stages, but THR reported on a separate project that Stiller is more directly, more officially involved in.  Stiller has signed on to executive produce, direct, and star in the comedy pilot All Talk, scripted by Jonathan Safran Foer, the writer behind the novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.  The potential series is described as a “politically, religiously, culturally, intellectually, and sexually irreverent” look at a Jewish family in Washington DC.  Alan Alda is in talks to co-star in what would be his first regular series role since M*A*S*H.  My best guess says Alda and Stiller will play father and son—sounds fantastic on paper.  The pair previously worked together on Tower Heist and Flirting with Disaster.  Since Stiller is 46, there is room for at least one more generation in this family comedy.  Given the pieces so far, I am really curious to see how they fill out the cast.

Extremely Loud producer Scott Rudin and Eli Bush will executive produce alongside Stiller and Foer.  The pilot is tentatively scheduled to shoot this fall.  Stiller will next be seen on the big screen in the July 27 release Neighborhood Watch.

Stephen Daldry Wants to Adapt Michael Chabon’s THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY as 8-Part HBO Miniseries

by     Posted 2 years, 315 days ago

A feature film adaptation of Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay has been in the works for nearly a decade now. The book was published in 2000 and centers on two Jewish cousins who collaborate during World War II to work on a new American novelty: the comic book. The novel spans multiple continents and and culminates in the dawn of the Golden Age of comic books. Soon after its publication, producer Scott Rudin began work on a feature film adaptation. After years of troubles adapting the expansive book into a succinct feature script, director Stephen Daldry (The Reader) signed on to take the helm. Numerous actors were rumored to be involved (Natalie Portman, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire), but the project found itself lodged in development hell.

Steve recently got the chance to speak with Daldry about his upcoming drama Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (also produced by Rudin), and the director revealed that he’d now like to adapt the novel into an 8-part miniseries for HBO. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

David Fincher Addresses THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Embargo Controversy; Says He Wouldn’t Have Shown Film to NYFCC

by     Posted 2 years, 320 days ago

Just a few days ago a pretty significant controversy erupted over The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It began when The New Yorker’s film critic David Denby announced that he would be breaking the review embargo imposed on the film by publishing his review this week (yesterday, to be exact). He was able to see the film when Sony agreed to a last-minute screening of the pic after the New York Film Critics Circle moved up their voting deadline in order to be the first out the gate in the awards race. Uber-producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network, No Country for Old Men) was naturally upset, and you can read his email exchange with Denby (along with Matt’s thoughts on the matter) here.

That about brings us up to speed, and now director David Fincher has weighed in on the matter. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

Producer Scott Rudin and New Yorker Film Critic David Denby Clash over Breaking THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO Review Embargo

by     Posted 2 years, 321 days ago

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For those who don’t know the inner workings regarding the relationship between studios and film critics, it’s an illuminating story.  For those that do, it asks interesting questions about what that relationship means.  To begin, the New York Film Critics Circle moved up their voting deadline so they could be first out the gate in trying to steer the awards race (a meaningless endeavor since last year showed that near-universal critical love for The Social Network wasn’t enough to beat out the Academy-friendly The King’s Speech).  To accommodate this new deadline, Sony agreed to provide a last-minute screening of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  However, this screening was for voting purposes only.  Reviews were embargoed until December 13th.

The New Yorker’s film critic David Denby broke this embargo and his review went online today.  Unsurprisingly, Dragon Tattoo producer Scott Rudin wasn’t too pleased with this development and after the jump you’ll find the e-mail correspondence between the two.

Scott Rudin Acquires Rights to THE MARRIAGE PLOT; Ron Nyswaner to Adapt AMERICAN WIFE

by     Posted 2 years, 352 days ago

In Great American novel-adaptation news today, producer Scott Rudin (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) has purchased feature rights to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot. The coming-of-age story focuses on a love triangle involving three graduates of Brown in the 1980s. Eugenides previously penned “The Virgin Suicides” and won the Pulitzer for “Middlesex.”

Adapting the best-selling Curtis Sittenfeld novel, American Wife, will be Ron Nyswaner, best known for scripting Philadelphia and The Painted Veil. The novel tracks the First Lady as she struggles with a scandal that threatens to derail her husband’s presidency and their marriage. When it was published in 2009, American Wife drew speculation that its central characters resembled President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Hit the jump for more on both projects.

MONEYBALL Producer Scott Rudin to Adapt SWAMPLANDIA for HBO

by     Posted 3 years, 3 days ago

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HBO is starting to feel pretty homey for feature producer Scott Rudin (Moneyball).  Rudin is one of the producers on Aaron Sorkin’s cable news comedy that HBO just ordered to series, and recently set up an adaptation of The Corrections at the network.  As of tonight, Rudin has at least one more iron in the HBO fire.  THR reports Rudin is attached to executive produce a half-hour comedy based on the Karen Russell book Swamplandia.  The story follows Ava Bigtree, “a 13-year-old alligator wrestler who embarks on an improbable journey through the mangrove wilderness of southwest Florida as she searches for her lost sister.”  Well that sounds cool.  You had me at “13-year-old alligator wrestler.”

Russell is on board in a consulting role.  HBO and Rudin are currently in search of a writer to shepherd the process  through development.  Read the full book synopsis after the jump.

Dianne Wiest and Chris Cooper to Star in HBO’s Adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s THE CORRECTIONS

by     Posted 3 years, 4 days ago

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Being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is just one of many good ways to get your writing noticed. Luckily for Jonathan Franzen, his National Book Award-winning novel The Corrections has been picked up by the capable folks at HBO. Now, screenwriter Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) and producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) have some equally capable actors to work with. Dianne Wiest (In Treatment) has landed the female lead of Enid Lambert and may star opposite Chris Cooper (Adaptation) who is in negotiations to play her husband, Albert.

The Corrections is a sprawling satire of a conservative Midwestern couple suffering from “empty nest syndrome,” among other things. The novel wanders through time, highlighting each of the family members’ successes and mistakes until finally converging at a point where they all begin to correct the individual courses of their lives. Hit the jump for more on The Corrections.

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