Mike Epps Confirmed to Play Richard Pryor in Lee Daniels’ Biopic

by     Posted 59 days ago

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A biopic of legendary comedian Richard Pryor has been in the works for years now, but it appears that the film is finally coming to fruition.  We learned earlier this year that Precious and The Butler director Lee Daniels was signing on to helm the biopic, as contenders for the role of Pryor emerged.  Actors like Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock had all vied for the part at one point or another in previous iterations of the project, and Daniels’ iteration was reported to have Murphy, Marlon Wayans, and Michael B. Jordan circling the role.  But over all the iterations, one name had regularly surfaced as a standout: Mike Epps.  Apparently his screen test for a previous version of the film blew people away, and last night on Twitter Daniels and Epps confirmed that the Hangover and Next Friday actor will indeed be playing Richard Pryor in this new biopic.  More on the Richard Pryor movie after the jump.

Quentin Tarantino’s HATEFUL EIGHT Trailer to Debut in Theaters with SIN CITY 2; May Not Be Online

by     Posted 71 days ago

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Nearly everything about Quentin Tarantino’s next film, The Hateful Eight, has been non-traditional.  The Django Unchained filmmaker first began publicly talking about the Western as his next film earlier this year, as he was finalizing the script and getting ready to send it to a few actors he had in mind for the lead roles.  But then the script leaked online and Tarantino angrily stated that he would not be making the movie to spite the unofficial leak.  The director subsequently staged a live-read of his Hateful Eight screenplay with a bevy of talented actors—including Bruce Dern and Samuel L. Jackson—and after he cooled off, he then decided that he would be making The Hateful Eight as his next movie after all.

Tarantino revealed at Comic-Con that filming would be getting underway early next year, but it appears that the first Hateful Eight trailer might actually be arriving in theaters next week attached to Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.  However, there’s a catch: it might not be released online at all.  More after the jump. [Update: Deadline has confirmed that the Hateful Eight trailer will indeed be attached to Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.]

Tim Burton’s BIG EYES Opens December 25th; THE IMITATION GAME Bows November 21st; ELEANOR RIGBY Slated for September 26th

by     Posted 176 days ago

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If you haven’t had your fill of release date news today already, The Weinstein Company has dated a trio of promising pics:

  • Big Eyes – Director Tim Burton’s next feature will open on December 25th, opposite Unbroken, Disney’s musical Into the Woods, the comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Cameron Crowe’s new film.  Big Eyes stars Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz as the troubled, real life artistic couple of Margaret and Walter Keane, and sees Burton treading dramatic territory.
  • The Imitation Game – The biopic of WWII mathematician and persecuted homosexual Alan Turing opens on November 21st opposite The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, just in time for awards season.  Benedict Cumberbatch leads the pic as Turing alongside Keira Knightley.
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – The ambitious relationship drama will bow on September 26th, facing off against the animated The Boxtrolls, the thriller The Equalizer, and the dramedy Laggies.  The film stars James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain and tells the story of a relationship from two points of view.

Ben Stiller in Early Talks to Join Alan Ball’s I AM CHIPPENDALES; Still Interested in Directing THE CURRENT WAR

by     Posted 207 days ago

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Ben Stiller may soon be adding “Chippendales choreographer” to his resume.  Deadline reports that Stiller is in early talks to take a lead role in writer/director Alan Ball’s upcoming drama I Am Chippendales.  Though at first glance the pic may seem like a cheap Magic Mike cash-in, Chippendales tells the odd true story of gas-station-attendant-turned-Chippendales-co-founder Steve Banerjee.  An immigrant to the U.S., Banerjee became inundated with excess and riches, growing paranoid and eventually hiring a hit man to murder a Chippendales choreographer and two ex dancers.  Should he sign on, Stiller would play the choreographer.

Hit the jump for more, including an update on Stiller’s next directorial effort.

The Weinstein Company Breaks Record for THE IMITATION GAME; RADiUS-TWC Acquire EVERLY with Salma Hayek; Open Road Acquires ROCK THE KASBAH

by     Posted 258 days ago

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Here’s the latest word on acquisitions at the European Film Market in Berlin:

  • The Weinstein Company has acquired U.S. rights to Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing, for a reported record of $7 million.
  • RADiUS-TWC has acquired U.S. rights to Joe Lynch’s action thriller, Everly, starring Salma Hayek, Togo Igawa, Masashi Fujimoto, and Hiroyuki Watanabe.
  • Open Road has acquired U.S. rights to the Barry Levinson comedy, Rock the Kasbah, starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Danny McBride, Shia LaBeouf, and Zooey Deschanel.

Hit the jump for more on each picture.

Bong Joon-ho’s Cut of SNOWPIERCER Will Remain Intact for the U.S. but Will Receive Limited Release

by     Posted 259 days ago

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The saga of releasing Bong Joon-ho‘s post-apocalyptic action film Snowpiercer has come to a close.  For months, there’s been wrangling behind the scenes between Bong and producer Harvey Weinstein about which cut to release in the U.S. Bong, obviously, wants his cut, which was a huge hit when it was released in his native South Korea last August.  Weinstein wanted twenty minutes removed to put a heavier emphasis on the action.  It started to look like the film would remain stuck on the shelf (Weinstein has been known to do that), but today they’ve come to a reasonable compromise.

Hit the jump for more.  The film stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Alison Pill, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, and Ko Asung.

The Weinstein Company Pulls GRACE OF MONACO from Release Schedule [UPDATED]

by     Posted 274 days ago

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The biopic Grace of Monaco will no longer be hitting theaters this March, and it’s unclear when, exactly, we’ll be able to see it.  The Weinstein Company pulled director Olivier Dahan’s (La Vie en Rose) Nicole Kidman-fronted portrait of Grace Kelly from its scheduled November release last fall, noting that the film wasn’t yet finished, but Dahan was singing a different tune.  The filmmaker said that the film was, in fact, finished, but in two different versions: his and Harvey Weinstein’s.  He called the situation “catastrophic” at the time, but it appears that the director and studio still have yet to hash out their issues, as The Weinstein Company has now pulled Grace of Monaco completely off its 2014 calendar, nixing its scheduled March 14th release date.  The studio will instead release the British dramedy One Chance on that weekend.

No official reason was given for the move, but THR reports that the film has yet to be delivered to the studio, making it impossible to begin a marketing campaign.  Hopefully we hear more soon. [Update: Variety reports that the movie will open this year's Cannes Film Festival, and so while it may not have theatrical release date, it will definitely have to be finished by May]

Dear God, No: The Weinstein Company Planning Sequels to SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and ROUNDERS and TV Series Based on Other Miramax Titles

by     Posted 312 days ago

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Miramax is dead, but founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein are planning to play with its corpse.  According to Deadline, The Weinstein Company has struck a deal that will allow them to raid Miramax’s library and develop sequels and series based on old hits.  The standouts of their plan include sequels to Shakespeare in Love and Rounders and TV series based on Good Will Hunting and Flirting with Disaster.  There will also be a few in-development stories that TWC is transferring to their own development slate.  Notably, they’ll be handling The Alibi, a comedy written by Stephen Colbert that’s about creating alibis for cheating spouses.  There’s also The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, “a script that was being developed by the late Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack,” based on the novel of the same name by Liz Jensen.

Hit the jump for more on what the Weinsteins have planned for their older titles.  Prepare to shudder.

Bong Joon-ho Says His Uncut Version of SNOWPIERCER Tested Higher than The Weinstein Company’s Version

by     Posted 353 days ago

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Over the past several months, there’s been controversy regarding the North American cut of Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer.  The post-apocalyptic action-drama has been a hit in his native South Korea, but The Weinstein Company wants to remove 20-minutes to make the movie more palatable to U.S. audiences.  Bong’s response has ranged from restrained to furious regarding the cuts, but either way, there’s definitely some ongoing conflict behind-the-scenes.  We originally reported that the cuts Harvey Weinstein wanted would play up the action and add opening and closing voiceovers.  Bong has now clarified the nature of the cuts, and why his version may have the edge.

Hit the jump for more.  Snowpiercer stars Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Alison Pill, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Kang-ho Song, and Ko Asung.

Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman to Lead PADDINGTON; Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent Join Cast; 2015 U.S. Release Set

by     Posted 1 year, 41 days ago

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Things are heating up for the live-action/CGI hybrid adaptation of the popular childrens book series Paddington.  As production gears up to begin later this month, The Weinstein Company has come onboard to handle North American rights for the David Heyman-produced film.  Paddington will be the first release under TWC’s new banner TWC-Dimension, which will serve as a distribution arm that will see Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein “team on films for which they share a common passion.”  Additionally, director Paul King has filled out his cast for the film with Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent.  Hit the jump for more.

TIFF 2013: THE F WORD Goes to CBS Films, Weinstein Acquires ELEANOR RIGBY and RAILWAY MAN, and Lionsgate Nabs LIFE OF CRIME

by     Posted 1 year, 43 days ago

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We’ve got a number of exciting acquisitions to report on this afternoon from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Briefly:

  • The F Word – This fantastic relationship comedy from Goon director Michael Dowse stars Daniel Radcliffe as a young man who strikes up a close relationship with a girl (Zoe Kazan) who has a boyfriend (Rafe Spall).  It was one of my favorite films from TIFF this year and CBS Films has acquired US rights to the pic.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers – The ambitious two-part feature about a relationship between James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain is told from each partner’s point of view in two separate portions, and The Weinstein Company is now acquiring the U.S. rights to the Ned Benson-directed 190-minute pic per Deadline.
  • The Railway Man – The Weinstein Company is also acquiring (per THR) this war/post-war drama starring Colin Firth as a former POW suffering from PTSD who attempts to reconcile the events of his capture.  The pic as a whole never really comes together, but Jeremy Irvine stands out in flashbacks.  Read my review here.
  • Life of Crime – Deadline also repots that Lionsage and Roadside Attractions are nearing a deal for this Elmore Leonard adaptation starring Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey, and John Hawkes.

Hit the jump for more details in the full press releases.

The Weinstein Company Acquires TIFF Favorite CAN A SONG SAVE YOUR LIFE?, Starring Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley

by     Posted 1 year, 46 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Once writer/director John Carney’s new film Can a Song Save Your Life?.  The pic premiered last night at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and instantly became a crowd favorite.  Mark Ruffalo stars as a washed up A&R man who discovers a young singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley) soon after being fired, and the two set out to change each other’s fortunes for the better.  I had the pleasure of seeing the film earlier today at TIFF and it’s an incredibly sweet and fun pic that has the potential to be a real crowd-pleaser.  The soundtrack is fantastic, and Carney finds a fascinating way to both incorporate music and celebrate the beauty of New York City.  The pic is rounded out by swell turns from Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, and the surprisingly effective Adam Levine.

TWC paid a hefty $7 million for the film after a bidding war broke out, and they have committed $20 million in P&A (prints and advertising).  It’s unclear whether the studio will release the film this year or next, and while it’s not really an awards movie I could see it doing really well with the holiday crowd.  Hit the jump for the press release, and look for Matt’s full review on Collider soon.

Fall Festival Acquisitions Begin as The Weinstein Company Picks up TRACKS Starring Mia Wasikowska

by     Posted 1 year, 53 days ago

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The fall festivals aren’t only about prestige films being groomed for a chance at an Oscar.  There are also plenty of acquisitions, and some of those acquisitions can quickly be turned around into awards, a recent example being The King’s Speech.  According to The Wrap, The Weinstein Company, the Oscar-hungry distributor behind King’s Speech, has now made the 2013 festival season’s first major acquisition with John Curran‘s Tracks.  The film is based on the true story of Robyn Davidson (played by Mia Wasikowska), who in 1977 set out on a solo 2,700-kilometre journey by foot across the Australian Outback following the collapse of her marriage and the death of her mother.  The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival, played at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend, and will then move on to the Toronto International Film Festival.

Director Bong Joon-ho Talks The Weinstein Company’s Forced Cuts to SNOWPIERCER

by     Posted 1 year, 56 days ago

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A few weeks ago, we reported that U.S. distributor The Weinstein Company was forcing director Bong Joon-ho to trim twenty minutes out of his hit South Korean film, Snowpiercer, to make it more palatable to U.S. audiences.  It was an insult to both to Bong and to us especially since Snowpiercer may be a smart movie (I don’t know, I haven’t seen it), but at the very least, Americans should be able to understand the premise of a train traveling through a frozen, post-apocalyptic wasteland, and there’s a revolution brewing among the poorer passengers.  Nevertheless, Harvey Weinstein wants twenty minutes gone and opening and closing voiceovers.

Bong was recently reached for comment on the forced edits.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

The Weinstein Company Reportedly Wants Director Bong Joon-ho to Cut 20 Minutes from SNOWPIERCER for U.S. Distribution

by     Posted 1 year, 79 days ago

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I’ve been really looking forward to Bong Joon-ho‘s post-apocalyptic thriller, Snowpiercer, but I guess I’ll have to wait to see his original cut.  Even though the movie is a hit in Bong’s native South Korea, The Weinstein Company is handling distribution in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.  According to if.com.au, “Weinstein is demanding Bong slash the 126-minute running time by 20 minutes for the version to be released in TWC’s territories,” to which Bong responded that the cuts “would eliminate much of the character detail, which would make the film seem more like an action movie. Weinstein is also adding opening and closing voice-overs.”

Hit the jump for more.  The film stars Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner, Octavia Spencer, Ko Asung, and Kang-ho SongSnowpiercer currently doesn’t have a U.S. release date.

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