12 years

Take some big guns and hand them to people who know a little something about sharp aim and hitting hard targets. Earlier today Fox Searchlight announced via Twitter that they have acquired 12 Years a Slave and plan to position Steve McQueen’s film for the final week of awards season. That’s not to say that nobody will get a look until then. We can expect the 12 Years a Slave to make its first appearance on the festival circuit — possibly as soon as May at Cannes.

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Television development news continue to be the greatest source of excitement in the off-season.

(via THR) FX is moving forward with a Fargo adaptation. Network president John Landgraf announced during his first upfront presentation Thursday that it will launch a 10-episode adaptation of the 1996 best picture Oscar nominee as a limited series during spring 2014.

The move comes as the network looks to push into limited series and mini-series fare, a bid to compete with premiere channel HBO and to fill a void left by the increasingly tentpole-focused film industry. To hear Landgraf tell it, there is a “huge opportunity” for content that falls between between those feature films and FX’s long-running series, or “90-hour movies” as he often dubs them.

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“A group of people around the world are suddenly linked mentally, and must find a way to survive being hunted by those who see them as a threat to the world’s order.”

To find out more about this threat to the world order of Hollywood’s choke-hold on film distribution, you’ll have to sign up and suddenly be linked mentally to other Netflix subscribers around the world.

(Press Release) Netflix will bring Georgeville Television’s Sense8, a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted, exclusively to its members to watch instantly in late 2014.

The 10 episode season one of Sense8 marks the first foray into television by the Wachowskis, the creative geniuses behind Bound, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, V for Vendetta, Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas, and is the latest project from veteran show runner J. Michael Straczynski, creator of the Hugo Award-winning Babylon 5 TV series and whose film credits include Changeling, Thor and Underworld Awakening,

“Andy and Lana Wachowski and Joe Straczynski are among the most imaginative writers and gifted visual storytellers of our time,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “Their incredible creations are favorites of Netflix members globally and we can’t wait to bring Sense8 to life.”

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Salon’s subhead has the right attitude: “The announcement comes two days after HBO this week canceled his beloved two-season show, Enlightened.” Matthew Quick’s new novel, called The Good Luck of Right Now, won’t be published until the Spring of 2014 but those who’ve seen the galleys say it involves four people with interlocking storylines and — I’m guessing — closets full of baggage packed with quirks. One character looks after his mother who’s drifting deeper into dementia so let’s just go ahead and assume whoever snags that role is getting an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Like Silver Linings, Quick’s new book is set in Philadelphia but the love interest this time around is a librarian instead of a “slut” (or maybe she’s both). She and her brother believe they were once abducted by aliens. So there’s that. I’m happy to report that all the characters are suffering from various stages of grief and loss. In all seriousness though, I have faith this is better than it sounds in summary or else Mike White wouldn’t be interested. Laura Dern would be brilliant as a librarian who thinks she’s been probed by aliens because Laura Dern is brilliant at everything.

JustJared has the poster for the Brad Pitt sci-fi extravaganza, and trailer number 2, just released. “United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt) traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to decimate humanity itself.”

Directed by Marc Forster, also starring Mireille Enos and David Morse. Hits theaters in June.

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(Press release) Summit Entertainment, a LIONSGATE® company, confirmed today that Kate Winslet will star as “Jeanine Matthews” in the studio’s futuristic action adventure DIVERGENT.

DIVERGENT will star Golden Globe nominated Shailene Woodley and Theo James who join other confirmed cast members Jai Courtney, Zoë Kravitz, Ansel Elgort and Maggie Q. The futuristic action adventure, based on author Veronica Roth’s New York Times best seller, will be directed by Neil Burger from a script by Vanessa Taylor and commences principal photography this April in Chicago. The original draft of the script was written by Evan Daugherty. Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher are producing the project via their Red Wagon Entertainment banner along with Pouya Shahbazian. Red Wagon’s Rachel Shane is executive producing. Summit will release the film theatrically in North America in THE HUNGER GAMES slot on Friday, March 21, 2014.

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“So we come out shooting.”

Twitter was a-flutter with reactions from a test screening of the Meryl Streep/Julia Roberts film August: Osage County.  I never trust test screenings where Oscar is concerned because they are almost always wrong. Moreover, they can sometimes set expectations too high for a film to then meet those expectations.  I hate it when that happens.  But you can’t put the genie back in the bottle once it’s out and so August: Osage County is not quite getting the Les Mis treatment yet but it might be headed in that direction. Remember: you need critics to see a movie to know if it’s going to be a Best Picture contender at the very least. Over the years test screening reactions have almost always turned out to be misleading.

Here’s what we know before we ever even go read those: Streep brings it. She brings it in bad movies (The Iron Lady) and brings it in great movies (Adaptation) — so there isn’t likely going to be anything disappointing about Streep in this film.  Therefore, it isn’t that surprising that the early word from the screening is a sploogegasm on the order of MERYL STREEP WILL WIN HER FOURTH OSCAR. And she very well might.  Since Hollywood, and the industry, really really really doesn’t like movies with strong female leads in them, and that there are barely enough of them to go around at all, it seems plausible that Streep’s tour de force could blow out any potential competition.

But enough of my empty, pointless speculation — on to the tweets.  A reader named Daniel sent this in (I hope he doesn’t mind if I post it):



You can read some twitter reactions over at the Awards Circuit.  A reaction review after the cut.    Continue reading…

(not to scale)
Warner Bros has announced Andy and Lana Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending is set for a July 25, 2014 premiere. Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean star in the science fiction film set in a time where humans are near the bottom of the evolutionary ladder. A young destitute human woman (Kunis) is targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe because her very existence threatens to end the Queen’s reign.

In a twist to the classic fairy tale ‘Snow White’, Mila Kunis plays the only person who possesses the same perfect genetic makeup as the highly evolved Queen of the Universe. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign is a Russian immigrant cleaning lady on Earth. A bounty hunter (Channing Tatum) is dispatched to take her down, but instead, falls in love with the earthling and decides to become her protector. The Wachowski siblings (The Matrix trilogy, Cloud Atlas) are directing the sci-fi action film with Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow co-financing. (MovieNewZ)


(AceShowbiz) Warner Bros. Pictures is reported reaching out to recent Oscars’ Best Director winner Ang Lee to direct a biblical epic based on the Moses story called “Gods and Kings”. The studio immediately sets eyes on the 58-year-old filmmaker after failing to seal a deal with Steven Spielberg.

Lee is said “intrigued” by the offer, but has not been invited to have formal meetings with the studio yet. If he accepts to direct the “Braveheart”-ish version of the Moses story, it will be another new genre for Lee, who is well-known as a genre-hopping filmmaker.

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Airs on HBO May 26. See full size after the cut.

(EW) Yes, that really is Michael Douglas and Matt Damon under the prosthetic makeup, wigs, and crystal-trimmed suits — all part of their costumes for Behind the Candelabra, the new Steven Soderbergh-directed HBO movie about the stranger-than-fiction romance between Liberace (Douglas) and his young lover, Scott Thorson (Damon) from 1978 to 1982. In this week’s issue, Damon and Douglas give a frank, funny interview about filming one of the weirdest, glitziest gay love stories ever put on film, one that required both actors to do things they’d never done before onscreen. Like, say, wearing a metallic thong — and nothing else. “Every Sunday night, this girl would come to my house and I would stand in my garage and I would hike my boxer briefs up into the crack of my a– and she would give me a spray tan,” explains Damon, who spends plenty of the movie in tiny swimsuits, and wasn’t too excited about his real-life wife seeing his bronzed backside. “We’ve been through three childbirths, we’ve been in the trenches, there are no secrets. But I really wish she didn’t see that. That’s too much.”

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Norman Bates’ origin story is revealed in the Bates Motel, premiering on A&E March 18.

In the future, everything is funny.

Trailer 1 after the cut.

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Over the past couple of days, the cast roster for Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu’s comedy Birdman has been quickly inked in. Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis are all set to appear in a film that sounds almost as if it might have been written by Charlie Kaufman. Another important role has filled today.

(via CinemaBlend) Edward Norton is the latest actor to join the cast of Birdman. Written by Innaritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, the story follows a has-been actor (Keaton) who was once famous for playing an iconic superhero. Finding himself broke, he decides that the best way to see his name in lights again is to put on a Broadway play based on a story by Raymond Carver. Unfortunately, according to Deadline, his plans get derailed by an “egotistical lead stage actor,” the character set to be played by Norton.

Watts will play Norton’s female co-star in the play-within-a-movie, Stone will be playing Keaton’s daughter/assistant, and Galifianakis will be the show’s slimy producer. The film will actually be shot in a Broadway theater in New York and production is currently scheduled to begin in the middle of next month.

The female lead role has yet to be cast. Watch this space for updates as this project continues to look more and more amazing.

(fullsize after the cut)

Press Release: In a contemporary adaptation of Langston Hughes’ celebrated play, the holiday musical drama BLACK NATIVITY follows Langston (Jacob Latimore), a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett). Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs’ rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson). Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey and along with his new friends, and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family.

  • Screenplay by: Kasi Lemmons
  • Directed by: Kasi Lemmons
  • Based on the play by: Langston Hughes
  • Produced by: Bill Horberg, Celine Rattray, Galt Niederhoffer
  • Executive Producers: Trudie Styler, Joy Goodwin
  • Executive Music Producer: Raphael Saadiq
  • Cast: Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige, Jacob Latimore, Nasir Jones and Jennifer Hudson

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Luke (Academy Award® nominee Ryan Gosling) is a high-wire motorcycle stunt performer who travels with the carnival from town to town. While passing through Schenectady in upstate New York, he tries to reconnect with a former lover, Romina (Eva Mendes), only to learn that she has given birth to their son Jason in his absence. Luke decides to give up life on the road to try and provide for his newfound family by taking a job as a car mechanic. Noticing Luke’s ambition and talents, his employer Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) proposes to partner with Luke in a string of spectacular bank robberies – which will place Luke on the radar of ambitious rookie cop Avery Cross (Academy Award® nominee Bradley Cooper).

More material on Beyond the Pines Tumblr. Opening in limited release March 29.

Trailer and poster after the cut.

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Count on a few important acquisitions later in the year, as yet unknown.

The Sapphires….. 3/22/13
Kon-Tiki………. 4/19/13
Unfinished Song… 6/21/13
Populaire……… 7/19/13
Haute Cuisine….. 8/16/13
Satanic……….. 8/30/13
Fruitvale……… 10/18/13
August: Osage County 11/8/13
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 11/29/13
Grace of Monaco… 12/27/13

(thanks rufussondheim)



This was just posted on Facebook by Deadline, so I assume it’s new? But if it isn’t, it’ll do ’til the new gets here.

The Great Gatsby was pushed back from last year and there was a story that Baz Luhrmann needed extra money to do reshoots. Luhrmann is a spectacular spectacular onto himself and I can’t believe we’ll finally get a chance to see this movie. I remain very very excited.

Pics after the cut.

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(Press release): LOS ANGELES – February 19, 2013 – CBS Films announced today it has acquired US rights to INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Written and directed by Academy Award©-winners Joel and Ethan Coen and produced by Scott Rudin and Joel and Ethan Coen, the film stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham and Justin Timberlake.

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