After a successful Oscar campaign for The Weinstein Company’s Silver Linings Playbook, TWC is already lining up author Matthew Quick’s upcoming novel, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. Writer/director James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The Spectacular Now) has been tapped to both pen and direct the adaptation. It tells the tale of a boy who, on his birthday, plans to take a gun to school and kill his former best friend and himself.
Keeping it all in the family, TWC has also signed Ponsoldt to draft a screenplay of the 1970s Broadway musical Pippin, from Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz. The play features a mysterious performance troupe who narrate the story of a young prince on his quest for meaning in his life. Hit the jump for more on both projects.
Director Tim Burton’s long-developing biopic Big Eyes is finally moving forward. The filmmaker first became attached to the pic back in 2010, when he sparked to a script by Ed Wood scribes Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski that he intended to produce. The film’s story focuses on the artistic coupling of Margaret and Walter Keane. Walter became famous in the 1950s and 60s for paintings featuring saucer-eyed kids, though it was the shy Margaret who really did the work. Margaret eventually tired of the misplaced credit, which led to a divorce and a heated court battle to prove authorship of the paintings.
Ryan Reynolds and Reese Witherspoon became attached to play the couple early last year, but now a different promising duo of actors will be bringing The Keanes to life on the big screen with Burton in the director’s chair, as Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams have signed on to topline the pic. Hit the jump for more.
It’s been less than a week since this year’s Oscars, but The Weinstein Company has already set fall release dates for four of next year’s contenders. And with Meryl Streep in the mix, it’s safe to say that Harvey “Thanked More Than God” Weinstein’s chances are looking good. So what’s on tap? Check it out below:
- Fruitvale – This Sundance darling (read our review), the true story of a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was shot to death in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2009, will open October 18.
- August: Osage County – A family comes together after their alcoholic patriarch goes missing in this adaptation of Tracy Lett’s comedic play, which is slated for November 8.
- Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom – Idris Elba portrays Nelson Mandela in this film based on the South African president’s 1995 autobiography, scheduled for November 29.
- Grace of Monaco – Nicole Kidman steps into the shoes of the legendary Hollywood star who became a princess in this film, which opens on December 27.
Hit the jump for more on each of the movies, as well as their release dates.
Moves are being made on The Weinstein Company’s English-language remake of the smash hit French film The Intouchables. The story follows a wealthy white aristocrat who suffers a tragic paragliding accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. After cycling through a number of caretakers, the man bonds with a young, troubled immigrant caregiver. The original pic was a massive hit overseas, taking in over $420 million against a budget of just $9 million, and so TWC has been working hard to get the English-language remake together.
Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) was at one point in talks to direct and Colin Firth has been circling the lead role for some time, and now it looks as though prolific comedy director Tom Shadyac is looking to make his big Hollywood comeback with the film. Hit the jump for more.
The game of “hot potato” over the long-in-development boxing drama Southpaw continues. The pic was initially developed as a starring vehicle for Eminem, centering on a welterweight’s rise to a championship title “as he battles various tragedies in his personal life and wins back the love of his daughter.” Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) wrote the script and Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) came aboard to direct in the summer of 2011 only to see DreamWorks back out of producing the film soon thereafter. MGM and Sony subsequently stepped in to take control of the property, but last spring the studios decided to put the film on the backburner.
Fuqua moved on to helming the upcoming White House actioner Olympus Has Fallen in the meantime, but now another studio looks to be stepping up to get the film back on track: The Weinstein Company. Hit the jump for more.
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.