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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Fleming’

Sundance Sets on Indiewire-Brian Brooks Relationship

For whatever reason, Nikki Finke has recently been posting news of major Deadline.com hires on holidays. As we previously reported, it was on Thanksgiving Day that she announced the recruitment to her PMC flagship of a pair of HollywoodWiretap.com veterans.

And via a subsequent Christmas Day blurb, Finke tipped that Brian Brooks (pictured), the longtime New York-based managing editor of Indiewire, will be joining Deadline.com as LA-based film editor later this month. Just in time to cover the very familiar Sundance Film Festival beat alongside new colleague Michael Fleming.

The vacancy left open by Brooks is one of the best film beat journalism gigs in the U.S. Indiewire editor-in-chief Dana Harris confirms to FishbowlLA that the position will remain based in New York City, but that the title has changed. They are now looking for a news editor.

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Nikki Finke Leaks Oscar Script

Yes, blogger Greg Mitchell has already dubbed it Nikkileaks.

Nikki Finke has got her hands on the play by play of the Academy Awards this Sunday. She writes:

I’ve obtained the annotated schedule for Sunday night’s 83rd Academy Awards show and what’s confirmed at this point looks to be yet another snorefest from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences airing on ABC and in 200 countries around the globe. Here will be the highlights or lowlights depending on your point of view when it comes to the overly long and usually boring Oscars telecast

Read the entire scoop here.

Update – 02/26/11: As a result of Finke’s actions, the Academy has revoked the Oscar show press credentials of the site’s New York based reporter Michael Fleming.

Pitt to Become an ‘Inglorious Bastard’ for Tarantino, Media Says

Brad Pitt.jpgIt’s not the weirdest thing in the world to hear that Brad Pitt will take a role in Quentin Tarantino‘s next film, “Inglorious Bastards” for the Weinstein Brothers and Universal Pictures.Quentin.jpg

What’s much more interesting is watching how the media, which is by all accounts in love with Pitt’s professional and personal life, handles the news.
Variety, which would be expected to break this kind of news — it’s their job for heaven’s sake — posted a full write-up at 3:20 p.m. on Thursday. Veteran reporter Michael Fleming and newbie Tatiana Siegel were bylined on the piece.
Blogger extraordinaire Nikke Finke, who prides herself on not being anything remotely like the trades and continually disparages their presence and even the news they report, issued her own one-line version with a headline that said: “Toldja.”
To her credit, the one-line version was posted at 3:13 p.m. Thursday. So she managed to get her six-word epiphanic story out all of seven minutes before Variety’s several hundred-word opus.
Maybe it’s the internet.

Trade Round-Up: Oct. 11, 2007

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DiCaprio, Clooney Team Up for WB
Warner Bros. has a super A-list project on its hands courtesy of a big-screen adaptation of Beau Willimon’s play called Farragut North, Var‘s Michael Fleming reports. Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to star in the pic with George Clooney “eyeing” the project to direct. Both actor’s respective production companies will produce. Var says the story centers on “a young communications director for a fast-rising presidential candidate. During the course of the campaign, the idealistic young man falls prey to the backstabbing and other dirty trickery of seasoned rivals.”

NBC Moving to Uni’s Headquarters
NBC will soon consummate its marriage with Universal by sharing the same address. Variety is reporting that after 50 years in Burbank, NBC will sell a large portion of its 34-acre property and move across the street from Universal Studios. On the move will be NBC’s West Coast news operations and local stations KNBC and KVEA in a new complex in 2011, the trade paper says. More news about the move here.

THR on Fire
THR’s Kirk Honeycutt takes a closer look at Susanne Bier’s Things We Lost in the Fire starring Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro. In his review he calls the pic “an unstable mix of a tearjerker, junkie-recovery story and odd-couple pairing.” Honeycutt was also turned on by the “refreshing change” that Bier brought to the project by casting a racially mixed cast in parts that were “undoubtedly” written as white.

- CHRIS GARDNER

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 12, 2007

jon stewart.jpegStewart Tapped for Academy Awards
He’s baaaack! Jon Stewart has signed on to front next year’s Oscarcast, bringing him back to the Kodak Theatre stage for the second year in a row. And even though it’s his second outing, Stewart says in today‘s Variety, “I’m thrilled to be asked to host the Academy Awards for the second time because, as they say, the third time’s the charm.”

Pitt Back to Work, Again
Even though Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie already have four kids and seem to repeat to the press over and over how they plan to take some time off, Mr. Pitt has signed on for yet another film role. He’ll reteam with his Fight Club costar Edward Norton in State of Play for Universal Pictures, Michael Fleming reports in today’s Variety. It’s an adaptation of the British miniseries and Kevin Macdonald will direct.

Toronto Film Acquisitions
THR’s film team gives the scoop on several acquisitions out of the Toronto Film Festival including George Romero’s Diary of the Dead to the Weinstein Co. and Tom McCarthy’s The Visitor to Overture Films. Read the rest of the fest sales wrap here.

- CHRIS GARDNER

Trade Round-Up: September 7, 2007

will smith.jpegSmith for Seven Pounds
Will Smith is pursuing a major reteam with the creative minds behind The Pursuit of Happyness. The actor has inked to star in Seven Pounds, Variety reports. The project reunites him with helmer Gabriel Muccino and production company Escape Artists along with Smith’s own Overbrook Entertainment. Variety‘s Tatiana Siegel and Michael Fleming write that the story centers on a man who inadvertently falls in love while attempting to kill himself.

Lynton, Pascal On Top in Variety
Will Smith is known as a bit of a showman himself, but Variety has instead selected Sony chairmen Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal as its Showmen of the Year. The VPlus special breaks down their business styles and backgrounds, citing a “team concept that also allows the experts the freedom to do what they do best.” In other words, keep making Spider-Man movies that keep them atop of the studio heap.

Michael Clayton’s Fashion Turn for Clooney
Variety may not be the first place you look for fashion coverage but Diane Clehane delivers a story about George Clooney‘s lawyer duds for his new pic Michael Clayton. It’s a fresh look at the process to get Clooney outfitted by costume designer Sarah Edwards in suits (Armani or Gucci) that best fit his character in the film, which just premiered overseas. Get the fashion goods here.

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Trade Round-Up: Sept. 6. 2007

sherri.jpegShepherd to Join View, Variety Says
Variety does some source leaning in today’s paper, announcing that Sherri Shepherd is the new cohost on The View, taking the fifth spot on the morning chatfest alongside Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Elizabeth Hasselbeck and newly-installed Whoopi Goldberg. The trade paper cited its sources in confirming the story, which also says the announcement will be officially unveiled on this Monday’s show.

Rudin Wrangles Graves Novel

Producer Scott Rudin has reeled in the movie rights to Robert Graves historical novel, I, Claudius, in a major $2 million deal, reports Variety. Michael Fleming‘s story also says that The Departed pair of Leonardo DiCaprio and scribe William Monahan will become attached to the project, likely to end up at Disney where Rudin has a production deal.

Toronto In’Panic’
A looming actors strike next summer is having an effect on the Toronto International Fim Festival, reports THR’s Gregg Goldstein. The possible strike cloud hanging over the industry’s head coupled with new distributors and few Oscar contending pics has added to the pressure at the fest, which is in a mood of “panic” according to one of his sources. Read the pre-fest recap here.

- CHRIS GARDNER

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 5, 2007

Burton Busts Out Todd in Venice
burton.jpegTim Burton took his filmmaking act to the Venice Film Festival where he picked up a Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement. In return, Burton took the festival opportunity to unspool an eight-minute sneak of the big-screen adaptation of his next pic, Sweeney Todd starring longtime actor collaborator Johnny Depp. Variety reports that Burton described the film – likely a potential Oscar pic for Paramount/DreamWorks – as an “old-fashioned horror movie with music in it.” And yes, Depp can carry a tune!

Big Cash for Big Name Directors
Robert Rodriguez, Ricky Gervais, Walter Salles, Ryan Murphy, Richard Kelly, Bennett Miller and Todd Field all got a shot in the arm for their new directing projects thanks to a $250 million equity fund from Media Rights Capital, reports Variety. The fund comes from a combo of Fortune 500 companies, Wall Street money and private equity, Michael Fleming‘s story says, and will cover eight pics that span all genres. Read all about Hollywood’s new influx of cash here.

High School Musical On Top, Again
A new week delivered pretty much the same results on the album charts – as far as the top spot is concerned. Disney‘s High School Musical 2 soundtrack is No. 1 again, selling 210,000 copies. Its cume has now topped the 1 million mark and is joined on the top 10 charts by two other Disney releases including Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus. Read Variety‘s chart breakdown of all the new discs on the market here.

Penn’s Wild New Pic
Sean Penn is back in the director’s chair with a new dramatic pic set for release this fall. But before it bows in theaters, Into the Wild is making the festival rounds with a screening at the picturesque Telluride Film Festival. THR got a glimpse of the pic based on Jon Krakauer’s book. The review is basically mixed but mostly negative calling the pic – a story about a young man’s demise in the wilderness – an “extravagantly ambitious, unfocused film that chronicles this tragic episode with flights of brilliance, self-indulgence and thrilling nature cinematography.”

ITunes Out, Amazon In at NBCUni
When one door opens another one closes. Atleast that’s the case for NBC Universal, which announced on Tuesday that it would not renew its contract for series downloads with iTunes, instead opting for a new deal with Amazon’s Unbox. Deal includes such series as The Office, Heroes, 30 Rock, Bionic Woman and Chuck.
- CHRIS GARDNER

Trade Round-Up: August 28

OWEN2.jpegIn the wake of Owen Wilson‘s hospitalization and recovery, Variety does its best to diagnose his slate of upcoming films. New Variety staffer Tatiana Siegel writes that first up, the actor was due to begin shooting a role in “Tropic Thunder” opposite Ben Stiller followed by the January start of “Marley & Me” opposite Jennifer Aniston. He’s also scheduled for promotional activities to support Wes Anderson‘s “The Dareeling Limited,” set for release Sept. 28 from Fox Searchlight.

Variety‘s Michael Fleming writes that Oliver Stone has set his sights on yet another Vietnam project by closing a deal with United Artists to finance “Pinkville.” Pic is a drama about the investigation of the 1968 My Lai massacre. He’ll direct and Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum will star. Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July” star Tom Cruise now runs UA with partner Paula Wagner.

Jennifer Lopez is also hustling with a new project for the small-screen, teaming up with Jane Startz Prods. to develop “The Amigas Sweet 15 Club,” a half-hour comedy about five Miami teens who run their own Quinceanera party-planning biz.

Innovative Artists has been ripe with a lot of work-related gossip this year from assistant drama to a brand new lawsuit. THR reports that Innovative agents Michael McConnell and Ben Press filed suit Monday in LA demanding that they be allowed to leave the tenpercentery along with their clients due to unfair one-sided employment contracts.

Scott Baio‘s reality run on VH1 with his self-titled TV show has been extended but the new season won’t just find him “45…and Single” but instead a year older and expecting his first child. THR says the new plotline will focus on impending fatherhood following a season finale engagement with girlfriend Renee.

– CHRIS GARDNER

Trade Round-Up: August 21, 2007

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Variety’s Daniel Frankel and Ben Fritz tag team on a story about the drama surrounding Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s DVD decisions. Paper announced on Tuesday that the studios have exclusively picked HD DVD for all future releases. The story details the move, saying that it’s the third by Paramount in an “ongoing format war,” not to mention DWA’s Jeffrey Katzenberg’s back-and-forth quotes on the format. Katzenberg normally isn’t one to second-guess major decisions, so read all of Variety’s archive reporting here.

Jennifer Garner is headed to the Great White Way, reports Variety. The “Alias” actress has signed on to star opposite soon-to-be big-nosed Kevin Kline in a revival of “Cyrano de Bergerac.” The role will be Garner’s first foray to the Broadway stage. Well, kind of. She served as an uderstudy in the 1995 revival of “A Month in the Country.” But film auds have no need to fret: she’ll be back on the big-screen soon in Uni’s “The Kingdom” and Fox Searchlight’s “Juno.”

Bidding wars are few and far between these days in Hollywood. However, a hot one has recently gone down with Universal cashing its way to the top of the crop to acquire “Lone Survivor.” The story centers on the life of Marcus Luttrell, a Navy Seal who led a team into Afghanistan in search of a major Taliban leader. THR dishes the details on the new deal, which include Peter Berg on board to direct.

Speaking of new projects, THR has also the scoop on another redo, this time about the sci-fi thriller “Logan’s Run.” The long-in-development Warner Bros. project will be directed by commercial helmer Josesph Kosinski and THR’s Borys Kit gives all the back-story in today’s report.

Variety also has a couple song and dance stories to fill the paper today. On the heels of news that “Hairspray” has become only the third recent musical to cross $100 million at the domestic box office, Michael Fleming reports that Rob Marshall and Harvey Weinstein are prepping a “Chicago” follow-up with “Nine.” Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Javier Bardem are on board. Get the rest of the musically-charged deets here.

- CHRIS GARDNER

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