June 2012 - Posts

'Smash' Producers to Present a Live 'Sound of Music' Broadcast on NBC

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the exective producers of "Smash" as well as the producers of the movie adaptations of musicals "Chicago" and "Hairspray," are going to be bringing a live broadcast of the original Broadway "The Sound of Music" to NBC. According to the network's chairman Robert Greenblatt, this will be a new version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, but one that actually harkens back to an earlier era of television: "There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live back in the 1950s and we're thrilled to do it once again with a musical that has been a family classic for five decades." Rather than reproduce the film version of "The Sound of Music," Zadan says that the hope here is to give more of a sense of the energy and spontaneity of a stage performance -- "all of the actors will be singing live; there will be no lip-synching to pre-recordings." NBC's live...
Posted by Indiewire

Academy Invites 176; Terrence Malick, Lucy Walker, Michel Hazanavicius and the Dardennes Make the Cut

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has extended invites to join the organization to 176 artists and executives. Per usual, the list is a doozy of newcomers and established talent. Big names to finally make the cut include: Terrence Malik who was nominated last year for "The Tree of Life"; Palme d'Or winning filmmaking duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; "In the Mood for Love" auteur Wong Kar Wai; Matthew McConaughey who's experiencing a creative high this year thanks to strong turns in "Magic Mike" and "Killer Joe"; "Tumbleweeds" star Janet McTeer; and Michelle Yeoh. Among some of the new names: "Bullhead" director Michael R. Roskam; Academy Award-winner Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist"); Jessica Chastain; and both stars from "The Artist," Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin. Invited Documentary filmmakers include: "Waste Land" helmer Lucy Walker; Marshall...
Posted by Indiewire

Casting on Your iPhone? New Bret Easton Ellis Film "The Canyons" Goes Mobile

Author Bret Easton Ellis ("Less Than Zero," "American Psycho") has new film project, "The Canyons," a contemporary thriller set in Hollywood. It's familiar turf for him; it tells the story of ambitous 20-somethings' questing for "power, love, sex and success." Paul Schrader is set to direct. What's different is the pre-production. A portion of the funding was raised through Kickstarter (with unique prizes from Schrader and Ellis) and casting is taking place on the mobile app and social media website Mobli. Mobli describes themselves as "a mult-platform photo and video sharing community that brings people together around common interests. For the role of Caitlin, a beautiful and shallow Los Angeles socialite, aspiring actresses from around the country are using their phones and webcams to post audition readings to Mobli's "Canyons" channel. While an innovative way to get the word out about a film and...
Posted by Indiewire

USA Greenlights 'Graceland,' From 'White Collar' Creator Jeff Eastin

"Graceland" will be the latest quirky/addictive character-driven dramedy on USA's roster -- a niche that's kept them in the top spot in terms of original cable programming. The network announced today that it was giving a series order to the show, which is from "White Collar" creator Jeff Eastin. Like "White Collar," "Graceland" sounds like a mix of crime elements and domestic/workplace banter -- the series stars Daniel Sunjata ("Rescue Me"), Aaron Tveit ("Howl"), Brandon Jay McLaren ("Falling Skies"), Vanessa Ferlito ("Death Proof") and Manny Montana ("The Chicago Code") as agents from the DEA, FBI and U.S. Customs who are forced to live together undercover in a Southern California beach house. In other works, it's like "The Real World," but scripted and with more guns...? Russell Fine directed the pilot, which Sean Daniel executive produce. USA...
Posted by Indiewire

Vote for Project of the Week! Will It Be 'Stripped,' 'Veteran,' 'White People' or 'Cheer'?

Vote below for this week's Project of the Week. The winning filmmaker will receive a digital distribution consultation from SnagFilms and will become a candidate for Project of the Month. That winner will be awarded with an as-yet-to-be-announced industry consultation. The four projects up for the prize:  'Stripped,' 'The Farmer Veteran Project,' 'Dear White People' and 'The Cheer Ambassadors.' Voting will end on Monday July 2, at 11AM Eastern. Which film do you most want to see?
Posted by Indiewire

Movie Lovers We Love: Lawrence Kaufman Wants Hollywood and Indies to Embrace 3D Filmmaking

In our corner of the movie universe, people (for example, Roger Ebert) often grumble about the coming onslaught of 3D films in our theaters.  You'll also see many of the same people dismissing the phenomenon because of its bulky glasses and higher ticket prices celebrating the stunning visuals of something like "Avatar." There are some people who are happy that studios are putting money into coming up with better ways to do 3D transfers, though.  Even as studios are just converting films into 3D to make their blockbusters more failproof at the box office.  At the end of July, Lawrence Kaufman, the President of the National Stereoscopic Association, will convene a group of 3D afficianados at the annual 3D-Con in Costa Mesa, California.  Kaufman told Indiewire about the event, "3D is a passion for me.  It's my 8th year as president, our 38th year as an annual convention, we do everything 3D -- we have people that have put...
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The Top 10 Indies to Watch on VOD This July

Indiewire has weeded through the films hitting VOD this month to bring you the ten to look out for. You'll find everything from an ensemble globe spanning drama, to a Danish sex comedy, to a documentary that gets to the bottom of what it means to be a man in the 21st century. Here are the ten films to watch on VOD this July, in alphabetical order: "2 Days in New York" (July 6) Julie Delpy's winning follow-up film to "2 Days in Paris," "2 Days in New York," adds Chris Rock to the mix as Delpy's love interest. The result? A sequel that's even funnier than the first entry. The free-wheeling comedy centers on Marion (Delpy) and Mingus (Rock), a happy couple living with two young children from previous relationships. When Marion's father (played by Delpy's real-life dad!), her horny sister and her sister's boyfriend drop in from Paris for a visit, their bond is put to the test. "360" (July 1) ...
Posted by Indiewire

Watch: Trailer For 'The Sessions' Takes A More Mature Approach to the Losing-Your-Virginity Comedy

Ben Lewin's "The Sessions" has been generating buzz (under various names including "The Surrogate" and "Six Sessions") since its screening at this year's Sundance Film Festival, where it garnered the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize for a dramatic cast. John Hawkes plays Mark O'Brien, a polio victim who has been confined to an iron lung, enlisting the help of a sex surrogate, played by Helen Hunt, to "know a woman in the biblical sense." Critics have been praising both Hawkes and Hunt's performances in the film, with whispers of an Oscar nomination growing for Hawkes. Indiewire's Eric Kohn wrote that this marks Hunt's finest turn since her performance in "As Good As It Gets". William H. Macy as Mark's priest and Moon Bloodgood as his therapist round out the cast. Catch the promising trailer for the film, which highlights some great exchanges between Hawkes and Macy on God's opinion...
Posted by Indiewire

Taylor Kitsch Talks His Bad Run at the Summer Box Office at NY 'Savages' Premiere: "I'd do it all over again."

Manhattan got a bruising Wednesday night at the New York premiere of Oliver Stone's aptly titled "Savages," starring Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively and John Travolta, all of whom made an appearance at the glam event hosted by The Wall Street Journal and The Peggy Siegal Company. Stone's follow-up to his midly received "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" is a horny and violent blast that harkens back to the lurid thrills of "U-Turn" and "Natural Born Killers." The film, which Stone described as a "ride" to Indiewire on the red carpet, pairs Kitsch up with Aaron Johnson as two young pot-growing titans who share one girlfriend, the gorgeous Ophelia (Lively). When a Mexican cartel (led by a fierce and terrifying Salma Hayek) moves in on their territory and demands to partner with them, the two friends refuse, leading the Cartel to kidnap Ophelia. Despite the surface nods back to his work from the '90s, Stone stressed...
Posted by Indiewire

Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie' Will World Premiere at Fantastic Fest

Tim Burton's latest foray into stop-motion animation, Walt Disney Pictures' "Frankenweenie," will have its world premiere on September 20 as the opening night film for Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. It opens wide on October 5. "Tim Burton stands as a titan of modern genre cinema," said Fantastic Fest Co-founder & Creative Director Tim League. "To world premiere the feature adaptation of his early beloved short is a huge honor for me personally and for the festival in general." Based on the short film that launched Burton's career, "Frankenweenie" is a 3D black-and-white feature about a boy who brings his dead dog Sparky back to life. The voice cast includes Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau and Winona Ryder. This year's Fantastic Fest runs September 20-27.  
Posted by Indiewire

Damon Lindelof Heads to HBO to Adapt Tom Perotta's Rapture-y 'The Leftovers'

"Lost" co-creator and "Prometheus" scripter Damon Lindelof is heading back to TV -- or, well, HBO. In what would be his first cable television venture, Lindelof will be overseeing an adaptation of "The Leftovers," a 2011 novel by "Election" and "Little Children" author Tom Perrotta. According to Deadline, Lindelof will co-write the script with Perrotta, and will serve as showrunner if it goes to series. "The Leftovers" has a supernatural/portentous twist that's right up Lindelof's alley. It's set in the town of Mapleton after the Sudden Departure, during which a portion of the population vanished with no explanation -- was it the Rapture? The book focuses on the town's new mayor and his shattered family as they struggle on in the aftermath. In an interview with Vulture, Lindelof says he pursued the project after he "fell deeply and passionately in love" with the novel,...
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Critic's Notebook: From 'Battleship' to 'G.I. Joe,' Hasbro Continue to Dominate Hollywood. Will Better Movies Ever Make a Comeback?

It’s worth taking a step back and remember that "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" was slated to open this week, before instead of being sent to the bush leagues of next winter. When we take that step back, we see reality for the horror it is: Toy and game manufacturer Hasbro has become a major Hollywood player. Hasbro. You may have thought at one point or another that the Hollywood bar couldn’t get any lower. Then this. Maybe it’s just a phase, right? After all, "Battleship" disappointed at the box office, and the "G.I. Joe" sequel seems destined to do the same. But together, the "Transformers" movies, "G.I. Joe" and "Battleship" have earned well over $3 billion. (That's more than the GNP of France. Just saying). In Hollywood they call this "we’re just getting started." "Stretch Armstrong" and "Candy Land" are in inauspicious pre-production, with...
Posted by Indiewire

Sarah Polley Talks 'Take This Waltz': 'I wanted to make a film about the concept of emptiness'

"I feel like this film does raise questions that can be uncomfortable for people," Sarah Polley told Indiewire about her second directorial effort, "Take This Waltz." "About familiarity and passion... and whether those things are mutually exclusive. That's been really interesting to get to listen to the conversations that come out of that and hear the debates that break out in terms of which characters people sympathize with and which ones they don't." Those conversations and debates are about to be heard across North America as "Waltz" makes its theatrical debut this weekend, nine months after it premiered in Polley's hometown at the Toronto International Film Festival (the films is also currently available on VOD via Magnolia Pictures). Undeniable in its authenticity and perception, the film is Polley's follow-up to her universally acclaimed directorial debut, "Away From Her" (which earned her an Academy Award...
Posted by Indiewire

'The League Of Pan': Peter Pan Getting a Modern Day TV Reimagining

Peter Pan, the flying boy who doesn't age and who lives amidst fairies, mermaids and pirates on the island of Neverland, may or may not be coming to the small screen. His gang of Lost Boys, on the other hand, definitely are -- as is the trend these day, via a reimagining of J. M. Barrie's story set in the modern day. According to Deadline, "The League of Pan" is based on an idea by newcomer Brian McCauley Johnson and will check in on the Lost Boys a decade after they left Neverland, having been adopted by the Darling family (Peter, on the other hand, refused to stay, not wanting anyone to "catch him and make him a man"). Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox TV are looking for a showrunner to write the pilot with Johnson before taking the project to the networks. Presuming it's picked up, "The League of Pan" will join fellow fairytale updates "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time." This won't be the first time the...
Posted by Indiewire

Academy Approves New Rules For Oscars

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved rules for next year's Oscars. The rules will most significantly affect the Music, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Visual Effects categories. Full press release noting all changes below. Beverly Hills, CA – The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved rules for the 85th Academy Awards. The most significant changes affect the Music, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Visual Effects categories. In the Music (Original Song) category, the Executive Committee may recommend that a fourth songwriter for an individual song be considered in rare and extraordinary circumstances. This amends the rule that has been in effect since 2005, whereby up to two songwriters could be eligible per song, although a third songwriter could be added if he or she were found to be an essentially equal contributor. In the Foreign Language Film category, films...
Posted by Indiewire
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