Director David O. Russell is plotting a third film with actress Jennifer Lawrence. The two are currently making the awards rounds for Silver Linings Playbook, which netted Lawrence a Best Actress Oscar nomination and Russell a Best Director nomination. We recently learned that Lawrence has joined the cast of Russell’s next film, an untitled drama about an undercover sting operation in the 1980s, and now THR reports that Russell is set to direct the Weinstein Company drama The Ends of the Earth with Jennifer Lawrence poised to star.
The pic is based on the lives of Ernest and Lydie Marland and centers on the controversial love affair between the oil baron/eventual Governor of Oklahoma and his adopted daughter and how their relationship lost Ernest everything he had. Argo scribe Chris Terrio wrote the script, and Russell could very well tackle the pic after he wraps his next project. That untitled drama starts shooting next month with a lead cast that includes Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Amy Adams—all of whom Russell has worked with in the past.
Nothing’s going to come close to the news of J.J. Abrams directing Star Wars: Episode VII today, but a sequel of a different sort is also moving closer to production. Deadline reports that The Weinstein Company is planning on a May production start date on the sequel to Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning 2000 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The follow-up is based on author Wang Du Lu’s Silver Vase, Iron Knight, which is the fourth book in the Crane-Iron Pentalogy. The pic has a script by John Fusco (Hidalgo, Young Guns) and Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason, Bride of Chucky) is in talks to direct.
The story again centers on the character of Yu Shu Lien, played by Michelle Yeoh in the first film. Casting will begin once the director is officially signed, but some actors are expected to reprise their roles and Fusco imagines choreographer Wo Ping Yuen to come back.
Two Black List-approved scripts found studio homes today:
- The Weinstein Company is in final negotiations to finance and distribute St. Vincent De Van Nuys, which stars Bill Murray as a war veteran who has taken to such hobbies as drinking and gambling in retirement before befriending a 12-year-old neighbor.
- Silver Pictures has acquired the Andrew Baldwin script The Outsider, set in post-WWII Japan in the Yakuza underworld. Tom Hardy is rumored for the lead role.
Hit the jump for details on both projects.
Director Bong Joon-ho’s (The Host) English-language debut Snow Piercer has secured distribution. Per Deadline, The Weinstein Company has acquired U.S. rights to Joon-ho’s sci-fi thriller. The film boasts an excellent ensemble cast that includes Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, and Octavia Spencer and centers on a group of train passengers learning to co-exist in a new ice age. The ice age is a result of a failed experiment to stop global warming that killed off all life on the planet except for the inhabitants of a train called Snow Piercer, which travels the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine” The conflict in the story comes from a revolution that brews as a result of the class system that forms on the train.
Though nothing has been set in stone, Deadline adds that a wide summer release in 2013 is likely. It would be a smart move for TWC, and the intriguing concept, heady social issues, and stacked cast definitely make this one to look forward to. Click here to see what Evans had to say about the film during his recent interview with Steve.
The long-in-development feature film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s lauded children’s book The Giver is taking a big step forward. Variety reports that director Philip Noyce (Salt, Patriot Games) is now in early talks to helm the adaptation for The Weinstein Company, Walden Media, and star Jeff Bridges. The book concerns a utopian society where all memories of the past reside with a sage figure known as “The Giver”. When a 12-year-old boy is selected to be the new Giver, he learns of the hypocrisies and hidden truths of his world. Bridges nabbed the rights to the book 20 years ago with the intention of developing it as a starring vehicle for his father, Lloyd, but now he intends to produce and star. Hit the jump for more.
The Weinstein Company has picked up distribution rights for Precious director Lee Daniels’ period drama The Butler. The film tells the true story of Eugene Allen, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986, and Daniels has filled his supporting cast with a number of familiar faces to play the notable persons who walk the halls of the White House throughout this period. The stars of the film, however, are Forrest Whitaker as Allen, Oprah Winfrey as his wife, and David Oyelowo as his son. Though one might think this is an early awards contender acquisition, Daniels’ latest film The Paperboy has been viciously panned this year so it’s with cautious optimism that I approach The Butler. The film is being readied for release sometime in 2013.
Hit the jump to read the full press release and the check out a new image of Whitaker in character. The film also stars Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Minka Kelly, Lenny Kravitz, Melissa Leo, James Marsden, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Live Schreiber, and Robin Williams.
The Weinstein Company has pushed back the release of director Andrew Dominik’s (The Assassination of Jesse James) crime drama Killing Them Softly yet again. After previously being moved from September to October in order to swap with TWC’s The Master, the film has now been pushed to November 30th so that it may be better positioned for awards season. Harvey Weinstein noted the attractiveness of the spot given that the Brad Pitt-starrer could open as the only major wide release that weekend, with the iffy John Cusack/Nicolas Cage serial killer drama The Frozen Ground its only real competition.
The Weinstein Company has a number of major players in the awards race this year—including The Master, Silver Linings Playbook, and Django Unchained—and it’ll be interesting to see how they play their cards. Killing Them Softly premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to an extremely positive response, with many noting the film’s strong political undertones and dialogue-driven narrative, so the film could be a major player in the Oscar race. Hit the jump to watch the pic’s trailer.
Tugg, the web-based platform that allows you to bring fan-selected films to a theater near you, has added an extensive list of features from The Weinstein Company. Now available are Best Picture Oscar-winners, The Artist and The King’s Speech, along with award-winning films Inglourious Basterds, The Reader and more. Boasting over 500 titles, Tugg allows fans to relive the theatrical experience of some of their favorite blockbusters and sought after indies. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
Though she’s now the star of two major franchises, Jennifer Lawrence has no plans to turn her back on smaller-scale dramas. It was announced today that the Oscar nominee is attached to star in the romantic drama The Ends of the Earth, which is based on the lives of Ernest and Lydie Marland. The pic centers on the controversial love affair between the oil baron/eventual Governor of Oklahoma and his adopted daughter and how their relationship lost Ernest everything he had. Lydie was adopted as a girl by her aunt and uncle as their daughter, and Ernest went on to actually marry Lydie. The young woman fought for better conditions for his workers (ie. raised wages and better medical care).
No male lead or director is currently attached, but the film has a script by Chris Terrio (Argo). The Weinstein Company is in final negotiations to acquire the project, so I expect we’ll hear much more in the coming months. Lawrence appears this fall in David O. Russell’s drama The Silver Linings Playbook and recently wrapped the thriller Serena. She’ll next shoot The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and the X-Men: First Class sequel Days of Future Past back-to-back. Hit the jump to read the press release.
Good news, everyone! Paul Thomas Anderson’s ridiculously anticipated There Will Be Blood follow-up The Master will be hitting theaters a month earlier than expected. Variety reports that The Weinstein Company has moved the pic up to September 14th from its previous release date of October 19th. The film will open in limited release on the 14th before expanding the following weekend. The possibly Scientology-centered pic stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in what look to be two powerhouse performances.
The Master will open against Finding Nemo 3D, Resident Evil: Retribution, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Liberal Arts on that September date. Hit the jump for more, including release date news concerning another extremely promising pic, Killing Them Softly.
A new trailer for The Weinstein Company’s U.S. release of the Swedish thriller Easy Money (Snabba Cash) has landed online. The pic is based on a novel by Swedish author Jens Lapidus and follows a taxi driver (Joel Kinnaman) in Stockholm who gets caught up in a drug-running operation. Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), the film made a splash in Sweden when it was released in 2010. Kinnaman has since found success in the U.S. on the AMC series The Killing, and he’s set as the lead in the upcoming RoboCop reboot. Martin Scorsese has attached his named to the U.S. release of the film, and this trailer does a good job of selling the action to audiences who may be averse to reading subtitles.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Matias Padin Varela, Dragomir Mrsic, Lisa Henni, Dejan Čukić, Annika Whittembury, Lea Stojanov, and Fares Fares. Easy Money opens on July 11th.
ER reunion alert! Well, sort of. George Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov have signed on to produce longtime ER showrunner John Wells’ impressive next directorial feature, August: Osage County. The film is based on the Pulitzer/Tony Award-winning play by Tracy Letts and follows “the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.” The Weinstein Company is backing the pic, which is set to star Meryl Streep as the family’s pill popping matriarch and Julia Roberts as her daughter.
Though he’s directed numerous television episodes (including ER and The West Wing), Wells made his feature directorial debut with 2010’s The Company Men. Casting for August: Osage County is ongoing, but Clooney and Heslov make yet another impressive addition to this promising production. Filming is set to get underway this fall, so expect Streep’s name to be among the 2013 Best Actress nominees. Hit the jump to read the press release.
Though one wouldn’t necessarily peg Quentin Tarantino as the corporate sponsor type, the director is taking part in a decidedly Tarantino-esque contest sponsored by Red Bull for his upcoming film Django Unchained. It was announced today that The Weinstein Company and Red Bull Media House are launching an online contest for emerging filmmakers to put together an original multi-media piece that will be viewed and judged by Tarantino and his team.
The task is to make a piece that is at most three-minutes in length and incorporates footage from either the official Django Unchained trailer or from one of three of Tarantino’s favorite spaghetti westerns that inspired his latest film: Django (1966), The Grand Duel (1972) and Day of Anger (1967). Hit the jump for more details, including the possibility of Tarantino and Django Unchained coming to Comic-Con and a video message from Tarantino himself.
Earlier today, we got our first look at director Paul Thomas Anderson’s long-awaited new film The Master by way of a brief teaser. While it was definitely great way to start the day, select folks over at the Cannes Film Festival were treated to something a bit more special. The Weinstein Company offered an extended look at The Master, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook a few hours ago.
While us common folk have to wait a while to see anything from the aforementioned titles, we’ve compiled a round-up of reactions to the footage from Tarantino’s latest for those interested to see how the pic is shaping up. Hit the jump for more.
After weeks of hemming and hawing over the R-rating stamped to the documentary, Bully has now been granted a PG-13 rating by the MPAA. Though director Lee Hirsch wasn’t forced to cut a crucial scene in order to bring the rating down, he did remove three uses of the word “fuck” from the film in order to obtain the school-friendly PG-13. The crucial scene in question involved a teen being bullied and harassed on a school bus and is said to be one of the major concerns the MPAA had with the film, but the new version of the doc will retain the entire scene uncut. The MPAA is famously backwards when it comes to their ratings system, and many contend that Bully was in no way worthy of the R rating all along.
It’s more than a little messed up that movies like This Means War are given a PG-13, but an important documentary that could have a real impact on kids across the country is deemed “inappropriate” for those under the age of 17. Nevertheless, with the new rating Bully should now be able to reach those that it was intended to help free of that filthy, harmful, terrible f-word. Hit the jump to read the press release and to watch the powerful trailer.