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Posts Tagged ‘Venice Film Festival’

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 10, 2007

russell crowe.jpegYuma Scores at Boxoffice
James Mangold and producer Cathy Konrad‘s follow-up to their Walk the Line, the western 3:10 to Yuma starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, took top stop at the boxoffice over the weekend. Variety reports that it played on the high-end of expectations with Ben Fritz writing that it was moved up to “give it more breathing room” before the release of Brad Pitt’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Read about how the rest of the pics played here.

Cates to Produce Oscars, Again
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is standing by its lucky guy Gil Cates who has signed on to produce the Oscarcast again next year. It will be his 14th time driving the Oscar train, a job that in itself has garnered 99 Emmy nominations and 25 wins, Variety reports.

Variety on Blanchett, Elizabeth
On the heels of her best actress win at the Venice Film Festival, Cate Blanchett made her way overseas to Toronto to tout a return to the throne in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Variety‘s Todd McCarthy is happy to see her reprise the role that made her famous, but that’s about it. “Without the pleasure of watching Cate Blanchett…there would be little to recommend this latest of many cinematic and television accounts of the celebrated monarch’s life…” If you care to read on, click here.

Penn to Go Gay for Gus
Gay helmer Gus Van Sant is pushing Sean Penn and Matt Damon for a biopic about openly gay politico Harvey Milk. Penn is attached to play Milk with Matt attached to play the assassin who guns him down, reports THR out of Toronto. Sideways Michael London is producing.

Lionsgate loves Mandate
In other Toronto news, Lionsgate said in THR Monday that it has made a buy to acquire Mandate Pictures for $56.3 million in cash and stock. The trade paper writes that the deal reunites Lionsgate with Joe Drake, who prior to launching Mandate served as head of Lionsgate’s international distribution. Since he left, he has been involved in Mandate pics like Stranger Than Fiction and the upcoming Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

- CHRIS GARDNER

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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 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