January 24, 2017

Tag Archives: President

‘Deadliest Warrior’ coming to the big screen from Paramount

HollywoodNews.com: Paramount Pictures announced today it has made a deal for Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment to do a big-screen adaptation of sister company Spike TV’s original hit series “Deadliest Warrior.” The announcement comes on the heels of the show’s Season 2 finale, which brought about exceptional ratings for the network. Spike TV has renewed the series for a third season.
This partnership by Paramount and Spike TV marks the first time that the Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B) owned companies have worked together. “Spike has some of the most innovative and forward-thinking content on television today, “Deadliest Warrior” being no exception. The property has proven its ability to engage audiences across multiple platforms,” said Paramount Film Group President Adam Goodman. “We hope this is the first of much future collaboration with Spike.”
“Deadliest Warrior” pits history’s greatest warriors against one another to determine who reigns supreme. Along with the use of 21st century science and the latest in CGI technology, the series enlists world-class fighters, historians and weapons experts to provide insight into the unique history and style of these combatants which culminates in a head-to-head final fight between two warriors to declare which one would have been the deadliest. The first two seasons showed such memorable battles as Spartan vs. Ninja, Viking vs. Samurai, Pirate vs. Knight, Yakuza vs. Mafia and Comanche vs. Mongol.
The film’s storyline is being kept under wraps.
Shawn Levy and 21 Laps President Dan Levine will produce the film, with the possibility that Levy may direct. The property fits within Levy and 21 Laps’ ongoing expansion from family comedies to event action movies, following the “Night and the Museum” franchise and Levy’s current action drama “Real Steel” with Hugh Jackman for DreamWorks.
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Lady Gaga using fame to make a difference for LGBT community

By Greg Hernandez
HollywoodNews.com: Lady Gaga has turned out to be a wonderful LGBT ally and she is using her immense fame to try and make a difference.
After Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, she spoke with Ellen DeGeneres in the video above about her campaign to have the military’s anti-gay Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy repealed.
“If we call [House of Representatives Majority Leader] Harry Reid in the Senate and tell him to schedule the vote to repeal ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ this month, then we can get the bill to the president to sign,” she told Ellen (see video below).

To read more go to GregInHollywood.com.
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Michael Swan’s “White Lion” acquired by Screen Media

HollywoodNews.com: Robert Baruc, President of Screen Media, announced today the acquisition of North American rights to “White Lion,” a live-action family adventure film about a rare white lion cub who rises above many challenges to become one of the most powerful and revered lions in all of Africa.
Directed by Michael Swan, the film features over 30 real-life lions trained by famed “lion whisperer” Kevin Richardson. Richardson also served as a producer.
“White Lion” was shot on location, at The Kingdom of the White Lion, an enterprise 50 miles outside of the city of Johannesburg, along the Crocodile River, established especially for this film. This marks the first production – entirely about lions – starring real lions from South Africa.
“White Lion” was the recipient of three South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAS) awards including Best Cinematography (Michael Swan), Best Music Composition (Phillip Miller) and Best Sound Design (Ivan Millborrow, Nicky De Beer and Charlotte Buys).
The deal for “White Lion” was brokered by Robert Baruc and David Fannon at Screen Media and Scott Bedno and David Jackson at Showcase Entertainment. To promote the release of the film Screen Media is partnering with local zoos across the country.
Said Baruc, “We are thrilled to be working with Michael Swan and Kevin Richardson whose “lion whispering” talents are unmatched. We are also excited to be partnering with zoos across the country to get the word out about this heartwarming film.”
“‘White Lion’ has been our passion project for years and I’m so thrilled that it has found a home with Screen Media”, said director Michael Swan and producer Kevin Richardson in a joint statement. “From the start, we were impressed with the company’s enthusiasm for the film and we know it’s in good hands. We are excited audiences across America will soon be able to see a motion picture shot in South Africa featuring lean, mean and heroic South African lions.”
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TIFF ’10: Robert Redford’s ‘The Conspirator’ a compelling slice of American history

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A last-minute invitation to Roy Thompson Hall had me sitting down for the Gala premiere of Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator” Saturday evening instead of heading back to the hotel room to write a longer “127 Hours” review. Last-minute schedule changes have been the norm at Toronto this year, which is fine – particularly when the end result is a ticket to an anticipated screening.
As a history buff (and proud Southern resident, where much of “Conspirator” was filmed), this one was on my list to check out while in Toronto. A recent story in the L.A. Times about Redford’s parallels to Sept. 11 — whether intentional or not — was top of mind, seeing as how this was the anniversary of those tragic attacks. And while Redford didn’t hook me with his last two films, his “Conspirator” returns the director to the sturdy period storytelling methods employed in “Quiz Show” and “A River Runs Through It.”
Redford is aided immensely by James McAvoy, who delivers a mature and complex performance as Civil War attorney Frederick Aiken. A veteran of the Union Army, Aiken begins practicing law near the end of the bloody conflict only to find himself defending Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), a Southerner accused of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth (Toby Kebbell) to kill President Abraham Lincoln.
Despite her claims of innocence, Surratt is railroaded through the Union-influenced justice system by a bloodthirsty Northern prosecutor (Danny Huston) while Aiken clings to the rights granted an individual in the Constitution, even though defending Surratt is far from the popular thing to do.
You don’t have to look too deep into “Conspirator’s” soul to unearth connections to post-Sept. 11 America. Following a national tragedy, protective (but misguided) government officials seek swift retaliation because “the people want that.” McAvoy and Wright do most of the heavy moral lifting between decently staged courtroom sequences, arguing whether the rights of a few should be sacrificed to appease the vengeful demands of many. Redford’s attention to period detail impresses, though his casting decisions are questionable. Not Tom Wilkinson and Kevin Kline. They could blend into any feature. But Danny Huston, Colm Meaney and Justin Long (!!) look as out of place in a Civil War drama as Maggie Smith or Judi Dench would look in “Saw VI.”
Overall, Redford’s “The Conspirator” is a solid effort. It’s a compelling legal drama and a […]

Freida Pinto film ‘Miral’ a hard sell for Weinsteins

HollywoodNews.com: After wowing award season voters with his 2007 title “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” director Julian Schnabel’s “Miral” looks to stir some agita for the Weinstein Company.
The film is based on the director’s Palestinian girlfriend Rula Jebreal who is portrayed in the film by Freida Pinto. The Weinstein Co. have set a December 3 release for the message drama.
Here’s the problem: Not only did critics loathe the film at the Venice Film Festival, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (who is behind the Golden Globes), gave Harvey Weinstein a difficult time during a Q&A. Specifically, because the movie mogul has been known to be a supportive of Israel.
Says a Page Six source: “The real problem is the movie is pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel and it is going to be very difficult to get American audiences excited to see it.”
Schnabel split from his Spanish wife, Olatz, mother of their twin 17-year-old boys, two years ago after meeting Jebreal. He was so entranced by Jebreal, the director decided to bring her 2004 novel about a beautiful Palestinian orphan’s life amid ethnic hatred and violence to the big screen.
“I felt it was my responsibility to [turn] Rula’s book into a film,” Schnabel told reporters at the Venice Film Festival, “And I thought that I would have something — coming from my background as an American Jewish person whose mother was the president of Hadassah in 1948 — I figured I was a pretty good person to tell the other side.”
Schnabel’s daughter, Stella, 27, also stars in the film. She plays a Jewish girl who falls for a Palestinian man.
Schnabel was nominated for a best directing Oscar for “Butterfly,” however, won the Golden Globe for that category.
Photo Credit: Weinstein Co.
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Fox Searchlight acquires Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life”

HollywoodNews.com: Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced today that the company has acquired U.S. rights from River Road Entertainment to the epic drama “The Tree of Life.” Written and directed by Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life” stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain. The film was produced by Bill Pohlad, Sarah Green, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Grant Hill. Fox Searchlight Pictures will release the film in 2011.
“Terrence Malick has crafted a deeply moving, keenly observed and magisterial film,” said Utley and Gilula. “Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and the entire cast’s performances are simply amazing. This is a signature film by a signature filmmaker and we are proud to be releasing it.”

“Terry Malick has given us another masterpiece that is both profoundly moving and stunningly beautiful,” said Pohlad. “And there is no better partner than Fox Searchlight to bring this film to audiences. Their ability to distribute and market independent films with a passion and creativity is incredibly rare in our industry.”
From the acclaimed director of such classic films as “Badlands,” “The Thin Red Line” and “Days of Heaven,” “The Tree of Life” is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950’s chronicling the journey of the eldest son, Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn), through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years – trying to reconcile the complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.
The deal was brokered on Fox Searchlight’s side by Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien. Mitch Horwits, President of River Road Entertainment negotiated on behalf of the company.
Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.
River Road Entertainment is one of the leading independent production companies known for developing, producing and financing unconventional feature films and documentaries that astonish, inspire, reveal and provoke. The company’s pictures include Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, Sean Penn’s Into the […]

Clint Eastwood on Superman, 007 offers: ‘That’s not for me’

HollywoodNews.com: He’s been Dirty Harry and the Man With no Name, but Clint Eastwood was almost – James Bond and Superman.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the legendary actor, whose next directorial title “Hereafter” bows in October, reveals that he passed on both offers as he felt they didn’t jive with his dramatic sensibility.
After Sean Connery left the 007 franchise following 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever,” Eastwood received a call.
“I was offered pretty good money to do James Bond if I would take on the role,” he said. “But to me, well, that was somebody else’s gig. That’s Sean’s deal. It didn’t feel right for me to be doing it.”
And if Warner Bros. had their way, it would have been Clint in tights, not Christopher Reeves.
“I can remember, and this was many years ago, when [Warner’s President] Frank Wells came to me about doing Superman. So it could have happened,” says Eastwood.
“This was when they first started to think about making it. I was like, ‘Superman? Nah, nah, that’s not for me’. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s for somebody, but not me.”
IMDB describes the plot of “Hereafter” as “A supernatural thriller centered on three people — a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy — who are touched by death in different ways.”
Photo Credit: Hollywood News Media
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Adam McKay tells all: ‘Anchorman 2,’ ‘Boys,’ ‘Band,’ ‘Other Guys 2’

HollywoodNews.com: At the premiere for his reality feature production “The Virginity Hit,” director-producer Adam McKay expounded on the future of “Anchorman 2,” his next film “The Boys” and his upcoming HBO series “I Don’t Care About Your Band.”
And there was also a whisper about “The Other Guys 2.”
Talking to Collider, McKay said that the fan revolt over Paramount’s nixing “Anchorman 2” was a huge help; that there’s a chance the film might get made down the road:
“Paramount heard it. Adam Goodman, the President of Paramount, was on the first one so he loves it and when that outcry came, he was kind of excited because he knew it could maybe push it towards happening. That having been said, I’m clearly going into it like another movie so if it does happen it’s still two years away or a ways away. And I haven’t talked to anyone. There’s nothing happening right now but it helped, it helped.”

While McKay is waiting for a greenlight on that film, he’s bringing Garth Ennis’ comic book “The Boys” to the big screen. He’s set to polish up the latest draft and begin casting.
McKay also talked about his “full frontal assault at ‘Sex and the City’” with the Lizzie Caplan TV series “I Don’t Care About Your Band” based on the book by Julie Klausner. Playwright Leslye Headlead is adapting the book for TV.
Says McKay about the plot:
”Can the dating memoir be brought back after the long shadow of that? So it’s sort of the opposite. These are people with no money, these are people without romantic affairs. They’re kind of ugly and strange and dysfunctional and we think it’s a good time to try that. It’s New York City and it sort of takes place in like the hip, Brooklyn music scene and the improv scene and the stand up comedy scene and its 20-25 year olds, guys with way too many DVDs who don’t know how to call a girl back.”

As far as the future of “The Other Guys 2,” McKay explains that when it comes to comedy sequels, they’re typically considered a year after the first film’s performance; when the studio counts the monies from DVD and TV ancillaries. Stay tuned.
Photo Credit: DreamWorks
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“Alice in Wonderland’s” production designer Robert Stromberg to be honored by HFF

HollywoodNews.com: Academy Award® winning Production Designer Robert Stromberg, whose work has been most recently featured in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and James Cameron’s “Avatar,” will receive the Hollywood Film Festival’s Hollywood Production Designer of the Year Award at the Festival’s October 25 Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony, it was announced yesterday by festival founder and president Carlos de Abreu. Stromberg’s selection followed a recommendation to the festival by the Art Directors Guild Council.
Stromberg was first introduced to Cameron in 2005. They immediately formed a unique creative relationship, which eventually evolved into the creation of “Pandora” for the film “Avatar.” Stromberg along with Rick Carter became co-production designers for the film and in 2009 they won the Academy Award® for Best Achievement in Art Direction for this work. In addition, Stromberg and Carter were honored with the Art Directors Guild’s Excellence in Production Design Award and the BAFTA Film Award for Best Production Design for “Avatar.”
In 2008, Stromberg was introduced to Burton and again a creative bond was formed and Stromberg was hired as the production designer on “Alice in Wonderland” (2010). Together they created a unique spin on the offbeat universe of this classic tale.
Stromberg will be honored during the Hollywood Film Festival’s black-tie Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony banquet before a gathering of 1,200 industry and guild executives, stars, celebrities, filmmakers and media, from the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. Previous recipients of the Festival’s Production Designer honors are Robert Boyle, Henry Bumstead, Rick Carter, Stuart Craig, William Creber, Dante Ferretti, Sarah Greenwood, Grant Major, Harold Michelson and John Myhre.
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Piers Morgan puts an end to the Larry King speculation

HollywoodNews.com: After lots of speculation and rumors surrounding who will take over Larry King’s coveted position, finally the truth has been revealed by CNN.
The network has finally announced that Piers Morgan will take over for King in January and the name of the show still has yet to be determined, reports NY Times. Morgan will continue his role on the British network ITV as host for a series called “Life Stories” in conjunction with the new role.
CNN/U.S. president Jonathan Klein said, “We are delighted that he will now bring his dynamic, probing interview style to American television and to CNN viewers around the globe.”
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