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Posts Tagged ‘Michael McConnell’

Trade Round-Up: August 30, 2007

Atonement Wows Venice Fest
keira.jpegA-list celebs and their filmmaker friends are causing a commotion in the canals right now at the Venice Film Festival, which kicked off its 75th anniversary yesterday with the premiere of Joe Wright’s war romancer Atonement. Variety gives complete coverage, calling the fest’s opening “an invigorating shot of youth.” The news story, by Nick Vivarelli and Ali Jaafar, says the pic received a positive reception, a rare occurrence in Venice. Reviewer Derek Elley agreed with the report in his own critical account of “Atonement,” writing “rarely has a book sprung to vividly to life” in a “smart, dazzling” film. He continues that its stars – Keira Knightley and James McAvoy – show “impressive star poise and physical elan.” Speaking of physical, the tabs are likely to have a field day with Knightley’s presence on the red carpet with early chatter criticizing on her gaunt appearance. Those starlets never seem to catch a break do they?

Easton Ellis Novel Headed to Big-Screen
Another Bret Easton Ellis novel is being prepped for the big-screen with the packaging of his The Informers almost fully formed thanks to the addition of cast-members Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger and Brandon Routh, THR reports. Ashley Olsen, Jon Foster, Austin Nichols and Lou Taylor Pucci are also in the mix for the adaptation to be directed by Gregor Jordan. The story centers on seven stories taking course during a week in the life of a movie exec, his wife, his mistress, a rock star, a vampire and a kidnapper. Oh my!

Innovative Agents Show Fortitude
That interesting lawsuit sitch at Innovative Artists – two agents sued the firm’s partner to get out of allegedly unfair employment contracts – continues to play itself out with Michael McConnell and Ben Press announcing in THR today that they’ve launched their own fully-financed agent. The duo has formed a new shingle, fortitude, bringing a client list that includes Chevy Chase, Gina Gershon, Lara Flynn Boyle and Cybill Shepherd, among others. Rosters aside, Innovative honcho Scott Harris says in the story that his former employees’ claims are “disappointing.”

Zellweger Headed to Miami
renee.jpegIn casting news, Variety reports that Renee Zellweger will team up with Harry Connick Jr. in the fish-out-water comedy Chilled in Miami for Gold Circle Films. Pic will find the Oscar-winning actress starring as a Miami businesswoman who is transferred to Minnesota. Jonas Elmer is directing and funny enough, his last film was a Danish pic called Nynne which was often referred to as the Danish Bridget Jones.
- CHRIS GARDNER

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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