Nov. 8: For an undisclosed amount, in early November 2010 Warner Bros. has announced plans to buy Leavesden Studios, the “Harry Potter Studios” – the U.K. facilities where Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the other HP movies, in addition to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Inception were filmed.
Additionally, Warner Bros. should invest 100 million pounds to expand the British studio, located about 40 kilometers northwest of London.
Angela Lansbury, the three-time Oscar nominee well-remembered today thanks to the cheesy television series Murder She Wrote, will play Katherine Heigl’s daughter in Adaline, to be directed by Andy Tennant, the man who brought you The Bounty Hunter, Fool’s Gold, and Sweet Home Alabama.
This isn’t one of those serious movies about people aging prematurely. Much to the contrary.
Adaline (Heigl) stops aging after she dies in a car crash and is resurrected by one of Zeus’ thunderbolts (lightning, for the scientifically inclined). Eventually she meets a man who makes her reconsider her immortality. That’s also when ailing daughter Lansbury needs Adaline’s help.
According to Deadline‘s Mike Fleming, J. Mills Goodloe and Sal Paskowitz penned the screenplay, which is currently “getting revisions” from Allison Burnett.
Summit Entertainment will distribute Adaline, which begins shooting in April 2011.
Lansbury is currently working on Mark Waters’ Mr. Popper’s Penguins, with Jim Carrey.
Via Cinema Blend.
Roland Emmerich movie shut down
Roland Emmerich’s The Zone, a low-budget sci-fier that was to have been directed by the man responsible for megabudgeted fare such as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012 has been shut down, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The $5m, docu-style, “lost footage found” sci-fier may have been killed by The Weinstein Company’s recent acquisition of Brian Miller’s screenplay Apollo 18, another “lost footage found” sci-fier that is scheduled to reach North American theaters in March 2011.
Peter Mackenzie and Brandon Scott were to have starred in The Zone.
Apollo 18 will be directed by Trevor Cawood. Wanted’s Timur Bekmambetov is co-producing the film.
Brian Miller’s sci-fi thriller Apollo 18, winner of the inaugural Astana (Kazakhstan) International Action Film Festival screenplay competition founded by Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov, has been acquired by The Weinstein Company.
Trevor Cawood, probably best known as a visual-effects technician on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, is set to direct the project. (Cawood also directed the short Terminus in 2007.)
Bekmambetov and Michele Wolkoff, President of Development for Bekmambetov Projects Ltd. (BPL), will produce Apollo 18, which will be shot “documentary style” as per TWC’s press release. As part of the Astana competition, Miller was awarded a cash prize and a development deal with BPL.
In Miller’s screenplay, lost footage from Apollo 18’s covert mission to the moon is uncovered, thus revealing evidence of other life forms – possibly even scarier than human beings. (As an aside, according to the official NASA story, the Apollo 18 mission was axed.)
Apollo 18 is slated to begin production this December for a March 2011 release date.
Upcoming TWC releases include Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter; Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling; and John Wells’ feature directorial debut Company Men starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Rosemary DeWitt, Maria Bello and Chris Cooper.
In his in-front-of-the-mirror monologue, Casino Jack‘s Jack Abramoff, played by Kevin Spacey, tells his imaginary listeners that he works out every day.
In case you didn’t believe him, in this “The Godfather impersonation” clip, we get to see Abramoff buffing it up (or at least trying to) while chatting with his wife, Pam (Kelly Preston).
“Washington is Hollywood with ugly faces,” Abramoff tells the wife when she reminds him that he’s no longer making movies.
Directed by George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl, The Man from Elysian Fields) and written by Norman Snider, Casino Jack also features Jon Lovitz, Barry Pepper, and Twilight‘s Rachelle Lefevre.
The Casino Jack synopsis and information below is from the Casino Jack press release:
Aided by his business partner Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper), Jack parlays his clout over some of the world’s most powerful men with the goal of creating a personal empire of wealth and influence. When the two enlist a mob-connected buddy (Jon Lovitz) to help with one of their illegal schemes, they soon find themselves in over their heads, entrenched in a world of mafia assassins, murder and a scandal that spins so out of control that it makes worldwide headlines.
“Mediocrity is where most people live … Mediocrity is in your schools, in your dreams. It’s in your family,” Kevin Spacey’s Jack Abramoff tells an imaginary crowd of listeners (while looking at himself in the mirror) in another clip from George Hickenlooper’s Casino Jack.
Davis Guggenheim (he of Waiting for ‘Superman’) would surely agree on the bit about mediocrity in schools.
This looking-at-himself-in-the-mirror monologue is clearly Kevin Spacey’s Oscar bait bit.
Best moment: When Spacey’s Abramoff reveals he works out every day.
Kevin Spacey, Academy Award winner for The Usual Suspects and American Beauty, stars in the recently deceased George Hickenlooper’s Casino Jack, about “a man hell bent on acquiring all that the good life has to offer.”
Based on an actual person – the infamous Jack Abramoff – Spacey’s character “plays in the same game as the highest of rollers and resorts to awe-inspiring levels of conning, scheming and fraudulent antics to get what he wants.”
The Casino Jack screenplay was penned by Norman Snider.
Also in the cast: Barry Pepper, Kelly Preston, Jon Lovitz, and Twilight‘s Victoria, Rachelle Lefevre.
Casino Jack opens in the US on Dec. 17.
Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story (above) and Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s 2009 Best Documentary Shot Academy Award nominee The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant will be screened as the final installment in Part One of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 29th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, November 17, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission is free.
The information below is from the Academy’s press release:
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant tells the inside story of the last days of a General Motors assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio, as experienced by the people who worked the line. For six emotional, tumultuous months, the documentary follows the workers as they grapple with the loss of their identity, income and friends.
Capitalism: A Love Story tackles an issue director Michael Moore has been examining throughout his career - the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans and the rest of the world. Moore produced the film with Anne Moore.
The 29th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series is a showcase of feature-length and short documentaries selected from among the 2009 Academy Awards nominees, as well as “other important and innovative films” considered by the Academy that year. Part Two of the series will begin March 2011.
The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available through the entrance on Homewood Avenue (one block north of Fountain Avenue). For additional information, visit www.oscars.org or call (310) 247-3600.
“The only thing that’s annoying to me is that the Sony PR machine is trying to make their Lisbeth Salander the lead Lisbeth Salander,” The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev complained to Word & Film about David Fincher’s American remake (set in Sweden) of Oplev’s worldwide blockbuster.
“That’s highly unfair because Noomi [Rapace] has captured this part and it should always be all her. That’s her legacy in a way I can’t see anyone competing with.”
“I hope she [Rapace] gets nominated for an Oscar,” Oplev added. “I know a lot of Academy members have seen the film and liked it because every time I go to LA I meet so many people who have seen my version of it. Even in Hollywood there seems to be a kind of anger about the remake, like, ‘Why would they remake something when they can just go see the original?’ Everybody who loves film will go see the original one.
“It’s like, what do you want to see, the French version of La Femme Nikita or the American one? You can hope that Fincher does a better job.”
The American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is expected to open in 2011.
Alden Ehrenreich, Sofía Castiglione and Vincent Gallo in Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro
Francis Ford Coppola is going to Brazil to promote Tetro, which is scheduled to open in that country on December 10.
According to Tetro‘s Brazilian distributor Imovision, Coppola will take part in a panel discussion at the São Paulo college Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado and will attend a pre-screening of Tetro on Nov. 29. The next day, he’ll show up at the Rio pre-screening.
Tetro, director-producer Coppola’s first film based on his own original screenplay since The Conversation (1974), stars Alden Ehrenreich, Vincent Gallo and Maribel Verdú.
Photo: Alicia Schemper
Source: Folha de São Paulo
‘TRON: Legacy’ preview
AFI FEST 2010 on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Among the highlights are:
A 60-minute presentation by Buzz Hays, Senior Vice President of the Sony 3D Technology Center, which will include a 20-minute preview of TRON: Legacy, featuring Garrett Hedlund and Jeff Bridges; Jean-Luc Godard’s Film Socialisme (with “Navajo English subtitles”), about – well, your guess is as good as mine; and John Wells’ corporate-downsizing drama The Company Men, which stars Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, and Rosemary DeWitt.
And finally, Jacques Tati’s masterful, Academy Award-winning 1958 classic Mon oncle, in my invariably humble opinion the wittiest, most poetic, most visually arresting “silent” comedy ever made.
Photo: AFI FEST
More on AFI FEST
AFI FEST 2010 on Thursday, Nov. 11. Among the highlights are:
Well, the scheduled highlight of the day is Darren Aronofsky’s closing night gala Black Swan. Despite mixed reviews at the Venice Film Festival, this psychological drama/thriller is being touted as a potential Oscar contender in the Best Picture category, and, more likely, in the Best Actress (Natalie Portman) and Best Supporting Actress (Barbara Hershey, Mila Kunis) categories as well. The film’s plot revolves around ballet, competition, and madness.
AFI FEST will also screen four Audience Award winners in various categories. Those will be announced in the coming days.
Photo: Niko Tavernise / Fox Searchlight