Jeff Daniels Eyed for Steve Jobs Movie; Edgar Ramirez Joins Jennifer Lawrence in JOY; Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates Set for Xavier Dolan’s Latest

by     Posted 9 days ago


We’ve got a trio of interesting casting developments to address this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom star Jeff Daniels is being eyed to play Apple CEO John Sculley in the Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs biopic.
  • Zero Dark Thirty actor Edgar Ramirez is in final negotiations to join Jennifer Lawrence in director David O. Russell’s next film, Joy.
  • Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates have been added to the increasingly fantastic cast for Mommy director Xavier Dolan’s English-language debut, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.

More on the aforementioned casting after the jump.

David O. Russell Says JOY Will Be a “Departure” and an “Unexpected Movie” for Jennifer Lawrence

by     Posted 35 days ago


After director David O. Russell’s romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook nearly took the Oscars by storm a couple years ago, the filmmaker doubled down with the incredibly awards friendly American Hustle.  While the 2013 ensemble comedy was certainly colorful and fun, it ultimately felt a bit hollow, and it ended up nabbing zero awards despite a hefty 10 nominations.  So what does the director do next?  Well a movie about the inventor of the Miracle Mop, of course.  Russell is firming up Joy as his next picture with a February production start-date planned, as he’s assembling his cast around star Jennifer Lawrence that could include Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle co-stars Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper in supporting roles.

As filming looks to get underway in a few months, Russell recently spoke a bit about his plans for the picture, which he describes as a “departure” and an “unexpected movie” both for himself and for Lawrence.  More after the jump.

David O. Russell Wants Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper to Join Jennifer Lawrence in JOY [Updated]

by     Posted 37 days ago


Why bother to switch things up when working with top talent like Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro tends to lead to Academy Award nominations?  David O. Russell already has Lawrence on board for his next project, Joy, but he also just revealed that he’s going after Cooper and De Niro as well.

The film tells the true story of Joy Mangano (Lawrence), the Long Island native responsible for inventing the Miracle Mop, a mop that can be wrung without getting your hands wet.  She was a single mother just trying to get by until her mop hit it big on QVC during her on-air appearance, selling 18,000 mops in just 20 minutes.  Hit the jump for more on Joy. [Update: THR confirms that De Niro is in official talks to join the film as Mangano's father. His casting is contingent upon Lawrence's deal closing, and production is scheduled to begin in February.]

David O. Russell’s Shelved NAILED Gets a UK Release Date, New Title, and Synopsis

by     Posted 43 days ago


Starting with 2010’s The Fighter, filmmaker David O. Russell began kind of remaking himself as a director.  While his previous films like I Heart Huckabees, Three Kings, and Spanking the Monkey were odd and irreverent, The Fighter marked the beginning of more mainstream material from the director, and was followed by the awards friendly Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.  However, Russell shot an unreleased film before The Fighter, one that sounds like it might be the last “old Russell” picture that he ever made.  The health care satire Nailed starred Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal and revolved around three people with serious health issues that stormed Washington D.C. to demand treatment, including a woman with a nail stuck in her head.

The production of Nailed was contentious on account of the financier.  It was shut down a whopping 14 times, but Russell was able to shoot all but one scene—the crucial one in which Biel gets the nail in her head.  Russell never got the chance to shoot the scene or edit the film at all, and eventually abandoned it altogether in 2010.  But now, it appears that the film will see the light of day after all as a Nailed release date has been set for 2015 in the UK.  More after the jump.   

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES Finally Shooting in September With Lily James, Sam Riley and Bella Heathcote

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I wasn’t expecting to write this piece of news today, especially since I remarked in conversation just a few days ago that I considered this project dead, but it appears the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith‘s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is finally happening.  And soon, with shooting due to start this coming September.  The film will star Lily James, Sam Riley and Bella Heathcote and will be directed by Burr Steers (who has been onboard since Lily Collins came on and fell off) from a script credited to Steers and David O. Russell (who was at one point attached to direct).  Cross Creek Pictures has acquired the domestic rights.

Hopefully this thing will be good.  I imagine that O. Russell was able to do something worthwhile with the script because the project has been attracting (and losing) a lot of talent for a genre mash-up.  Natalie Portman was at one point going to star (she’s still listed as a producer).  After that Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy were bandied about. Then Emma Stone was offered the role before they went to Blake Lively.  None of it stuck.  On the creative front, Mike White took the reigns briefly before Craig Gillespie became attached (and subsequently left).  Buffy writer Marti Noxon took a crack at the script at one point. You get the idea.  Hit the jump for more on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies finally heading into production.

JOY Firmed Up as David O. Russell’s Next Film; December 25, 2015 Release Set

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It appears that David O. Russell has settled on his next project.  Earlier this year, we learned that Russell was developing a biopic about Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano as a star vehicle for frequent collaborator Jennifer Lawrence.  It looks like the film, titled Joy, has now been firmed up as Russell’s next movie, as 20th Century Fox has set a December 25, 2015 release date for the project.  Long Island native Mangano was a single mother of three when she developed the prototype for her Miracle Mop in 1990.  The product became a huge seller on QVC when Mangano went on air to pitch it, and she now has over 100 patents and a key role on the Home Shopping Network.  Hit the jump for more.


by     Posted 264 days ago


It may speak to the year or the film itself, but David O. Russell’s American Hustle exploded on the scene, arriving to quickly become an Oscar front runner, and netting ten nominations in the process (while also grossing nearly $150 Million at the box office).  But by the time of the awards ceremony, Hustle went home empty handed, even though stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence we all nominated.  The film turned out to be all sizzle and no steak.  Which is actually the story of the movie as two hustlers are put on the spot by the FBI to help catch bigger swindlers.

Hit the jump for my American Hustle Blu-ray review.

Watch: Jeremy Renner Lashes Out in Deleted Scene from AMERICAN HUSTLE

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Though American Hustle failed to land a single win out of its 10 nominations at the Oscars last weekend, the film remains a hit with audiences with a worldwide box office total of $248.2 million.  Director David O. Russell’s latest feature hits Blu-ray and DVD in a couple of weeks, and in anticipation of the home video release a deleted scene from the pic has been released online.  It’s no secret that Russell has a very particular way of working that involves plenty of improvisation and the creation of new scenes on the fly, and that energy is prevalent in this deleted scenes which finds the core characters played by Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, and Christian Bale giving a tour of New Jersey to “the Sheikh”, played by Michael Peña.  All does not go as planned, resulting in Renner’s character losing his cool in front of some New Jersey residents.

Hit the jump to watch the new deleted scene.  It’s unclear exactly how many deleted scenes will be included on the Blu-ray/DVD, but there’s likely plenty of footage that didn’t make the finished film.  American Hustle will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 18th.  Click here to pre-order.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Named Best Film at BAFTA Awards; GRAVITY Wins Best Director and Best British Film

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts handed out its awards this evening, and while the BAFTAs have increasingly become a solid bellwether of how the Oscars will vote, tonight’s tallies do little to settle the virtual tie between Gravity and 12 Years a SlaveGravity won the most awards of the night with six, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron and Best British Film, but 12 Years a Slave took the top honors as Best Film as well as Best Actor for Chiwetel EjioforAmerican Hustle also had a fairly strong showing with three awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence over 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’Oone of this year’s toughest categories.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners, and to catch up on our awards coverage be sure to take a look at our running Oscar Beat column.

Oscar Beat: Breaking Down This Year’s Toughest Races

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The Academy Awards ceremony is now only a few weeks away, and though it’s been a month since the nominations were announced, there are still a number of races that are shaping up to be very, very close.  It’s been clear since the fall festival circuit that this was going to be a tough year, but it really is shaping up to be one of the most competitive Best Picture races in history.  Moreover, there’s been plenty of nastiness behind-the-scenes from those trying to slow down the momentum of one film or another: Gravity is inaccurate!” “The Wolf of Wall Street” condones despicable behavior! “12 Years a Slave” is too hard to watch!

We’ve seen frontrunners rise and fall over the past few months in a number of categories, and with the official ceremony within arms reach, now seems like a good time to take a look at the toughest races.  There’s plenty of competition to thumb through, so hit the jump to check out this latest installment of Oscar Beat.

David O. Russell Reflects on His Career and Talks the Importance of I HEART HUCKABEES, the Awards Process, NAILED, Delving into TV, and More at SBIFF

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David O. Russell is a filmmaker on fire, telling compelling stories about fascinating characters that are completely flawed and human.  With his last three films – The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle – receiving 25 Oscar nominations between them, and his actors giving star-making performances in their roles, it’s no surprise that he was recognized as the Outstanding Director of the Year at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).  Collider was there to cover and attend the event, and we’ve compiled the highlights of what he had to say, both on the press line and during the Q&A.

While there, writer/director David O. Russell talked about what this ride has been like for him, when and how he started making films, how he learned the craft of filmmaking, the affect Sundance had on him, how starting out with short films led to him making his first feature Spanking the Monkey, weaving spiritual insight with comedy, writing such strong female characters, why I Heart Huckabees was a transition film for him, why Nailed never got released, adding a sense of enchantment and romance to the stories he’s telling now, how blessed he feels to work with Jennifer Lawrence, what change means to him, and what’s drawn him to the longer storytelling format of television (he’s currently developing a 13-episode series for ABC).  Check out the in-depth interview after the jump. 

David O. Russell Wants Jennifer Lawrence for Biopic About Miracle Mop Inventor Joy Mangano

by     Posted 322 days ago


David O. Russell is in early talks to rewrite a Fox 2000 project about Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano with the intent to direct.  The director wants his Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle muse Jennifer Lawrence to play Long Island native Mangano.  Mangano was a single mother of three when she developed the prototype for her Miracle Mop in 1990.  The Miracle Mop became a big seller on QVC when Mangano went on air to pitch the product, selling out 18,000 mops in 20 minutes.  Over 5 million mops later, Mangano now has 100+ patents (including Huggable Hangers) and has become one of HSN’s best-selling presenters.  More after the jump.

ABC Orders 13 Episodes of Country Club Soap from David O. Russell and Susannah Grant

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ABC has ordered an untitled drama executive produced by David O. Russell (American Hustle) straight to series.  The story by Russell and Susannah Grant (A Gifted Man) is described as “an upstairs/downstairs soap” set at a private country club.  The Live Feed reports Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman (Justified) are on board as executive producers.

FX ultimately passed on Russell‘s previous effort on a TV series starring Connie Britton, so this is his first TV drama.  I don’t know how involved Russell will be given his busy feature career (5 Oscar nominations in 3 years!), but I hope he at least directs the pilot to set in motion a few sure-to-be crazy plots.  ABC give Russell and Grant 13 episodes to play with in the initial order.

Adam Predicts the 2014 Oscar Nominees

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Well, folks, the time has finally come.  I’ve been covering this year’s awards season since last fall when we launched our awards column Oscar Beat, and after running through the ups and downs of the season thus far, it’s now time to predict which films, performances, screenplays, and other cinematic achievements from 2013 the Academy will choose to single out.  I feel very confident about some of my choices while others feel like more of a crapshoot.  One thing’s for sure: this has been quite an interesting season thus far, and there’s still no consensus with regards to some of the big winners.

Hit the jump as I take a stab at predicting the 2014 Oscar nominees.  The nominations will be announced at 5:30am PST on January 16th.

David O. Russell Talks AMERICAN HUSTLE, His Style of Directing, How His First Cut Was 3 Hours, Deleted Scenes, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 341 days ago


Now playing in theaters is director David O. Russell’s comedic drama American Hustle.  The story is based on the Abscam sting operation that uncovered widespread political corruption in the late 1970s, and Russell’s fantastic ensemble cast is led by Christian BaleAmy AdamsBradley CooperJennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner. The film is definitely an awards contender, landing a Best Picture award from the New York Critics Circle and many nominations from a number of other groups, including the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild.  For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.

At the New York City press junket I landed an exclusive video interview with David O. Russell. He talked about his style of directing and how it’s changed over the years, how his assembly cut was over three hours, deleted scenes, what will be on the Blu-ray, future projects, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

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