January 22, 2017

Tag Archives: Scott Rudin

Louis C.K.: the next actor/comedian to become a successful filmmaker?

For a couple of years now, I’ve been waiting for the news that Louis C.K. would be taking the plunge back into the filmmaking world after one misguided attempt a while back (Pooty Tang, for those of you who don’t know). Well, it’s apparently coming soon, as he is planning to write, direct, and act in an independent film called I’m a Cop. This could really mark the start of C.K. not just conquering the stand up comedy world with his act and the television landscape with his show Louie, but also the indie film world as well. In fact, I don’t think it’s insane to think about him as a possible Academy Award nominee in the near future. Am I getting ahead of myself? Sure, but isn’t that sort of the point about this kind of an article? I thought so.
There aren’t many details about I’m a Cop available yet, but this is the synopsis for the script that C.K. wrote: it’s the story of a depressed middle aged man who is employed as a volunteer police officer but is living in the shadow of his mother, a retired highly decorated officer herself. When she dies, her large and continued influence compels him to become a real police officer, which is something he never wanted to be in the first place. C.K. will star as the man, as well as directing his own script. There’s no word on any other cast members, but one has to assume that the mother part could be a baity one, so expect a choice pick there.
I think C.K. has a ton of potential as a filmmaker, perhaps becoming our next Woody Allen, if you’ll allow me to really go overboard a bit here. If that’s too much, maybe a more dramatically minded Judd Apatow who will also act in his own movies? That’s the ideal, clearly, but it’s all just speculation right now. The thing is, since C.K. re-invented himself over the past decade or so, he’s been on an incredible run. Pretty much every single thing he touches these days turns to gold. As such, you have to bet on C.K. knocking this one out of the park.
If the best case scenario comes to pass, I’m a Cop could thread the needle between comedy and drama, becoming an awards contender in the process. Sight unseen, it’s silly to predict how nominations could […]

Megan Ellison: The Most Exciting Producer in Hollywood

I’m fascinated by Megan Ellison. In the normally boring world of movie producers, she’s an intriguing star among them. Usually, you rarely know the names of producers, short of an uber-producer like Scott Rudin or one who’s heavily involved in a filmmaker’s whole universe like Scott Mosier is for Kevin Smith, but aside from those Scotts, most of them are borderline anonymous. Ellison is definitely a new breed, a throwback to an older generation where the films being made were different and exciting. Her recent Best Picture nominations and flirtation with an Oscar win has her primed to become a real star in this line of what. I wanted to show you all the films that she’s helped get onto the big screen, if only to elaborate on just how valuable to the business she is.
Ellison is a champion of the auteur. She’s come to the rescue of such filmmakers as Paul Thomas Anderson (on The Master) while also letting someone like Bennett Miller pursue a passion project (with the upcoming Foxcatcher later this year). She also gave Spike Jonze the freedom to make the masterpiece that was Her and David O. Russell the support to go wild with American Hustle. That’s an impressive run, and only a part of her resume.
Also in existence because of Ellison, we have films like The Grandmaster, Killing Them Softly, Lawless, and Spring Breakers. She sees filmmakers she admires and she gives them the tools to succeed. That’s the ideal producer in my eyes…someone who helps make memorable movies and lets unique talent be unique. I’m not the first person to praise her for this, but it’s just so rare you almost have to keep repeating it over and over again.
It’s rare that you look at producers who deserve Academy Awards, but I think we have an exception with Ellison. She had two horses in the race last year with American Hustle and Her, while the year before she was in play with Zero Dark Thirty. She’s come up short to date, but I have a feeling that she’ll be holding a statue in her hands on stage before too long has passed.
Basically, I wanted to quickly mention how great it is to have her in the business. Will all of her projects be instant classics? No, of course not, but she’s been directly responsible for some of the very best bits of cinema […]

‘Captain Phillips’ producer Michael De Luca to be Feted at Hollywood Film Awards

Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive producer of the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards, announced today that two-time Academy Award®-nominated producer Michael De Luca (who co-produced David Fincher’s The Social Network with Scott Rudin and Dana Brunetti; and co-produced Bennett Miller’s Moneyball with Brad Pitt and Rachael Horovitz) will be honored with this year’s Hollywood Producer Award. Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, and De Luca also produced Paul Greengrass’ upcoming film Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, which Sony Pictures will release on October 11, 2013, following its world premiere as the Opening Night film at the 2013 New York Film Festival. The award will be bestowed at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony on Monday evening, October 21, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
“Every year, we are very proud to honor excellence in the art of filmmaking in all its disciplines. Academy Award® nominated producer Michael De Luca is an exemplary representative of that excellence,” said de Abreu.

Captain Phillips is director Paul Greengrass’s multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is – through Greengrass’ distinctive lens – simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks), and his Somali counterpart, Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Set on an incontrovertible collision course off the coast of Somalia, both men will find themselves paying the human toll for economic forces outside of their control. The film is directed by Academy Award® nominee Paul Greengrass, from a screenplay by Billy Ray based upon the book, A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. 
De Luca served as the Head of Production at DreamWorks and spent seven years as the President and COO at New Line Productions. As a studio chief, De Luca helped to launch the highly successful Friday, Blade, Austin Powers and Rush Hour franchises, and championed such groundbreaking sleeper hits as Seven, American History X, Magnolia, Wag the Dog, Old School, Pleasantville, Anchorman, and Boogie Nights. In 2004, De Luca launched his own development and production company, the LA-based Michael De Luca Productions, and signed a long-term development and production deal at Columbia Pictures. Through this deal, De Luca […]

Producers Guild of America Awards announce winners

Tonight the Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced this year’s winning motion picture and television productions at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
In addition to the competitive awards, the PGA recognized several producers with honorary awards including Bob and Harvey Weinstein (Milestone Award), Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner (David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures), J.J. Abrams (Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television), Russell Simmons (Visionary Award), and BULLY (Stanley Kramer Award). The 2013 Producers Guild Awards were chaired by Michael De Luca.
The 2013 Producers Guild nominated films and television programs are listed below in alphabetical order by category, along with producers. The producers’ names for each nominated production are listed in alphabetical order and may not reflect the order of screen credits. The winners are indicated in bold and with an asterisk (*).
The theatrical motion picture nominees and winners are:
The Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:
* ARGO (Warner Bros.)
Producers: Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey, Josh Penn
DJANGO UNCHAINED (The Weinstein Company)
Producers: Reginald Hudlin, Pilar Savone, Stacey Sher
LES MISÉRABLES (Universal Pictures)
Producers: Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
LIFE OF PI (Fox 2000 Pictures)
Producers: Ang Lee, Gil Netter, David Womark
LINCOLN (Touchstone Pictures)
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
Producers: Wes Anderson & Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales
Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon
SKYFALL (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson
ZERO DARK THIRTY (Columbia Pictures)
Producers: Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Megan Ellison
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:
BRAVE (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer: Katherine Sarafian
FRANKENWEENIE (Walt Disney Pictures)
Producers: Allison Abbate, Tim Burton
PARANORMAN (Focus Features)
Producers: Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (Paramount Pictures)
Producers: Nancy Bernstein, Christina Steinberg
* WRECK-IT RALPH (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Producer: Clark Spencer
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:
Producers: Marc Swenker, Aaron Yeger
THE GATEKEEPERS (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky, Dror Moreh
THE ISLAND PRESIDENT (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Producers: Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen
Producers: Marius Markevicius, Jon Weinbach
* SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN (Sony Pictures Classics)
Producers: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn
The television nominees and winners are:
The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television:
“American Horror Story” (FX)
Producers: […]

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield in “Death of a Salesman”

By Roger Friedman
HollywoodNews.com: The greatest American play? Quite possibly Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” set in 1949 and revived last night on Broadway in a production that is outstanding. Mike Nichols directed and reinvented Miller’s classic, with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman, Andrew Garfield (the new movie Spider Man) as Biff, Linda Emonds as Willy’s wife Linda, and Finn Wittrock as Happy. This is a historic production, quite possibly the best ever (and there have been many great ones starring Dustin Hoffman, Brian Dennehy, Lee J. Cobb, George C. Scott). Thursday night’s star studded opening was the second time I’ve seen this production, and it’s only gotten more devastating, deep, emotional, and overwhelming. Philip Seymour Hoffman is our generation’s Jason Robards. He is perfection as Willy Loman in all aspects–from Willy’s wrestling with his past (the father and brother who left him) to his denial about more current events, and his increasing mental in capacities. PSH has an Oscar for “Capote” but this is his Tony Award. He cannot be missed.
The whole cast is spot on. Considering it’s a play about fathers and sons, I was particularly moved by Andrew Garfield’s father’s reaction to seeing his son as the angry ne’er do well, Biff. At the party following the opening night at Bryant Park Grill, Mr. Garfield and Andrew just kept hugging and crying. The cast is extremely worn out emotionally after each performance. Even last night Mike Nichols, who’s sat through every preview to give “notes,” told me he was overwhelmed. Arthur Miller’s famous actress sister, Joan Copeland, t0ld me it was the best production she’d seen since the original. Martin Short told me that Tom Hanks had seen it a few days ago and declared it “the best thing he’s ever seen, period.” Columbia Pictures’ Amy Pascal came to congratulate her upcoming Spider Man.
Scott Rudin produced this extravaganza, and it made for quite a glittering night. In the audience were Nichols and Diane Sawyer, Paul Simon, Barbara Walters (who came with David Geffen), Julianna Margulies, Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich, Catherine Keener, Amy Ryan, Spike Lee, Anjelica Huston, Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, and Garfield’s actress gf Emma Stone, Julia Roberts, plus “Saturday Night Live” star Bill Hader, who said he almost fainted when Nichols complimented his “SNL” work. It was kind of funny at one point seeing Streep, Gummer, Nichols, Sawyer and Huston all dining […]

Oscars: Artist, Descendants In – Snubs: Clint, Leo, Tintin, Albert Brooks

By Roger Friedman
HollywoodNews.com: Best Picture nominees: The Artist, The Help, The Descendants, War Horse, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, Tree of Life, Hugo, and the big surprise–Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Not nominated: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Bridesmaids. Other big shocks–Albert Brooks was not nominated for “Drive,” which is s a shame in the Best Supporting Actor category. His spot went to Max von Sydow in “Extremely.” Another big shock — “Tintin” was not nominated for Best Animated Feature. This is actually shocking. Leonardo DiCaprio was not nominated for “J Edgar” in Best Actor–his spot went to Damien Bachir in “A Better Place.” The other actor nominees were George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Jean DuJardin, and Gary Oldman for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” The latter film did much better than anyone could have guessed. Best Director went to Michel Hazanavicius, Alexander Payne, Woody Allen, Terrence Malick, and Martin Scorsese. In the end their five films–The Artist, The Descendants, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, and The Help–become the real contestants. No surprises in Best Actress with Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Michelle Williams, Rooney Mara, and Glenn Close all expected. In Supporting Actress, the only shock was Melissa McCarthy for “Bridesmaids.” Otherwise, Berenice Bejo, Janet McTeer, Octavia Spencer, and Jessica Chastain.
In the end, it’s the movies with the most acting nominations that carry the day. The only exception in this case will be Meryl Streep, for “The Iron Lady.”
Nominees for the 84th Academy Awards
Actor in a Leading Role
Demián Bichir in “A Better Life”
George Clooney in “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”
Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”
Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn”
Jonah Hill in “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte in “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer in “Beginners”
Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis in “The Help”
Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn”
Actress in a Supporting Role
Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain in “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer in “The Help”
Animated Feature Film
“A Cat in Paris” Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
“Chico & Rita” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
“Kung Fu Panda 2″ Jennifer Yuh Nelson
“Puss in Boots” Chris Miller
“Rango” Gore Verbinski
Art Direction
“The Artist”
Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie […]

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro Rock New York Film Critics Event

By Roger Friedman
HollywoodNews.com: Brad Pitt was hilarious and touching last night accepting his Best Actor award from the New York Film Critics Circle. Joining other honorees Meryl Streep, Albert Brooks, Jessica Chastain and the folks from “The Artist,” Pitt was a little nervous and actually spoke softly from the podium at restaurant. Angelina Jolie was with him, looking more gorgeous than ever, accepting kudos for her underrated film “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” Viola Davis, herself a nominee for “The Help” from many different groups, presented Best Actress to Streep. Davis joked: “I popped a lot of Stress Tabs when we made ‘Doubt’.” Streep was philosophical, having won the same award two years ago: “We do this for love, and for as long as we can.”
Surprise presenters were Robert DeNiro –who had trouble with “Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius‘s name–and Francis Ford Coppola, who came for “Artist” producer Thomas Langmann. The Coppolas, it turns out, have been long time friends of the Langmann family. Famed late French film director Claude Berri (“Jean de Florette”) was Langmann’s father–his real name was Claude Berel Langmann. And Thomas told me something stunning: when Claude Berri won an Oscar in 1966 for a short film, “Le Poulet” but he didn’t have the money to go to Hollywood and claim it. The Academy mailed it to him instead! Sacre bleu!
Anyway, back to Brad Pitt, who’s on track to win the Oscar for his work in “Moneyball.” He said the award was a big deal considering “I’d never been on ap plane til I was 25.” He talked about coming to New York to audition for a soap opera in 1989. “I had to put myself up in an apartment on Christopher Street,” Brad recalled. “My first impression of the city was There are a lot of guys around here. But they’re so nice!” That got big laughs.
He continued: “On set the clock’s ricking, the camera’ rolling. A lot of what we do comes out of instinct and intuition. I am continually surprised about how much I learn about storytelling and filmmaking from your reviews. We are complex, we are industries to ourselves, we are difficult to each other…we live in continual flux, Christians and Muslims, Democrat and Republican, Denby and Rudin…” — a reference to a recent feud between producer Scott Rudin and film critic David Denby. Again more laughs.
To read more go to […]

Producers Guild produces a few surprises with 2011 nominations – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: It’s unclear yet how many films will compete for a Best Picture trophy at this year’s Academy Awards. Rule changes eliminate the need to film 10 slots, so a fluid number of pictures could end up with nominations on Jan. 24. But it’s safe to bet that the movies that do make the cut will come from this list.
The Producers Guild of America in just revealed its l0 nominees for Producer of the Year Award. Unlike the Academy, the group stuck with a traditional 10, and found room for a few surprises. Here are their selections:
Producer: Thomas Langmann
Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Clayton Townsend
Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Producers: Ceán Chaffin, Scott Rudin
Producers: Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus, Brunson Green
Producers: Graham King, Martin Scorsese
Producers: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Brian Oliver
Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
Producers: Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg

Heavy hitters like “The Artist,” “The Descendants,” “War Horse” and “The Help” likely can book their ticket for the Kodak Theatre. But today’s announcements generated hope for alleged fringe players like “Moneyball,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “Bridesmaids.”
Also, quietly, George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” has received significant support from the PGA and the HFPA. Could the Academy follow their leads?
“Drive” and “Shame,” which appeared to be longshots, took a hit here, though both could be helped by the Directors Guild, who easily could honor Steve McQueen and Nicolas Winding Refn and put both films right back on the Oscar map.
In addition, the PGA revealed its nominees for Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures, which were:
Producers: Peter Jackson, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg
Producer: Denise Ream
Producer: Melissa Cobb
Producers: Joe M. Aguilar, Latifa Ouaou
Producers: John B. Carls, Gore Verbinski
For a full list of this morning’s PGA nominees, click here.
Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
– Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
– Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
– Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
– Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
– Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
– David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
– […]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: “Mediocrity has taken over film criticism” Armond White

HollywoodNews.com: Every year the world of film criticism, gutter blogging, and awards campaigning collide. At CityArts, journalist Armond White, expresses his disgust at today’s state of film criticism. He highlights the fiasco that ensued when “The New Yorker” film critic David Denby decided to break the embargo imposed by the studio with the film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
As per our prior post, Scott Rudin fires back after stupid “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” embargo bust, we discussed the fact that in the realm of contemporary film criticism, publishing first — or “First!” for those who subscribe to gonzo, “Toldja!” journalism — has its advantages. Getting ahead of the eventual surge of reviews from rival outlets often generates serious traffic, and can help grab headlines for a positive or negative review. But at what cost?
In White’s article titled “Embargo Blues: Reflections on the Film Critic Business,” he starts by saying “Mediocrity has taken over film criticism. Producer Scott Rudin’s despotic response to an early review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo made this embarrassment unignorable—from the fawning review itself to the pathetic defense from New Yorker film critic David Denby about running the review. Saddest of all is the media’s confusion over the entire mess. The New York Times, Slate and innumerable blogs have demonstrated the decline of critical journalism through numerous writers dithering about the ethics of criticism; envious of Denby’s ignominy, afraid to call it out, yet unsure of their own role in cultural journalism.”
White exposes what he believes to be the manipulation of the media by the studios and their publicity apparatus. “There should be no question whether critics ought to respect a so-called “embargo:” In the interest of maintaining critical independence, they should resist any such “embargo.” The job of journalism is to provide news and information, especially when it comes to reviewing. Maintaining independence prevents the possibility of influence and conflict-of-interest.”
And he concludes by saying “We find ourselves in a state of mediocrity where journalists are no longer willing to risk free access to movies for fear of being left behind on opening day. That’s an impractical concern in an era when movie coverage is everywhere all the time and the only real news is a critic’s individual point of view—if he has one. Denby forgot his pride. Disappointingly, one colleague told me ‘none of this matters.’ But it […]

David Fincher addresses Denby’s “Dragon Tattoo” embargo bust – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Virtually every critic under the sun had something to say over David Denby’s illogical shattering of a press embargo set for David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” as well as producer Scott Rudin’s measured slap-down of Denby’s selfish actions.
But one voice not yet heard in the matter is “Dragon Tattoo” director David Fincher, who addressed the situation during an interview with Rene Rodriguez, chief film critic for the Miami Herald.
Here’s Fincher’s take on Rudin’s reponse to the embargo smashing:
“I think Scott [Rudin]’s response was totally correct. It’s a hard thing for people outside our business to understand. It is a bit of a tempest in a teapot. But as silly as this may all look from the outside – privileged people bickering – I think it’s important. Film critics are part of the business of getting movies made. You swim in the same water we swim in. And there is a business to letting people know your movie is coming out. It is not a charity business. It is a business-business.
“This is not about controlling the media. If people realized how much thought goes into deciding at what point can we allow our movie to be seen, they would understand. There are so many other things constantly screaming for people’s attention. I started shooting this movie 25 days after I turned in The Social Network. We have been working really hard to make this release date. And when you’re trying to orchestrate a build-up of anticipation, it is extremely frustrating to have someone agree to something and then upturn the apple cart and change the rules – for everybody.
“Embargoes … look, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t show movies to anybody before they were released. I wouldn’t give clips to talk shows. I would do one trailer and three television spots and let the chips fall where they may. That’s how far in the other direction I am. If I had my way, the New York Film Critics Circle would not have seen this movie and then we would not be in this situation. I would be opening this movie on Wednesday Dec. 21 and I would have three screenings on Tuesday Dec. 20 and that would be it.
“That’s where [Rudin] and I get into some of our biggest fights. My whole thing is, ‘If people want to come, they’ll come.’ But […]

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