Archive for the ‘Announcements/Upcoming Events’ Category

Berlin: Clarius Dials Up Rights to John Cusack-Samuel L. Jackson Thriller ‘Cell’

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

John Cusack Drive Hard Distribution

SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 | 09:00AM PT

Clarius Entertainment has picked up the U.S. rights to the Stephen King thriller “Cell,” starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Tod “Kip” Williams (“Paranormal Activity 2”).

International Film Trust is handling foreign rights to the film, which it is selling at the European Film Market.

Pic is based on the Stephen King novel; King wrote the screenplay with revisions by Adam Alleca (“Last House on the Left”) and Mark Leyner (“War Inc.”).

“Cell” is produced by Michael Benaroya, Richard Saperstein, Brian Witten and Shara Kay.

Cusack, Paddy Cullen, Edward Mokhtarian, Armen Aghaeian, Xavier Gens, Laurence Freed, Stephen Hays, Peter Graham, Ben Sachs, Tyler Hawes, Brian Pope, Geno Tazioli, Marina Grasic and Jan Korbelin are executive producers; Leyner, Ben Insler and James Lejsek are co-producers.

The deal was negotiated by Nick Ogiony at CAA and Ben Weiss at Paradigm on behalf of the filmmakers and William Sadleir from Clarius Entertainment.

Source: Variety / Carole Horst

Sundance: Get Ready To Dance In Clip From ‘Z For Zachariah’ With Chris Pine, Margot Robbie, And Chiwetel Ejiofor

Friday, January 30th, 2015
Z for Zachariah, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine

Since her impressive breakout turn in “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” Margot Robbie has been missing from the big screen with three films set to hit this year, one of which is the Sundance-premiering “Z for Zachariah.” While we won’t have a review until after the screening this weekend, you can make do with a short clip from the post-apocalyptic film, via Hitfix.

Running under a minute, the clip centers on an innocent moment between the three survivors of a disaster that wipes out most of the planet. Though it could be billed as a picture in the science-fiction realm, the film is directed by Craig Zobel, whose “Compliance” focused on the ways people can wield power over others. So yeah, expect less gunfights and more exploration of the relationships that develop between strangers in the face of a tragedy.

“Z for Zachariah” premieres at the Sundance Film Festival this Saturday at the Library Center Theatre at 8:30 PM. Watch the clip below and keep an eye out for our review.

Source: IndieWire / Cain Rodriguez

Watch: Nicole Kidman Plays a Real-Life Victorian Archaeologist in ‘Queen of the Desert’

Friday, January 30th, 2015

'Queen of the Desert'

If you’ve ever wondered what Homeland’s Sergeant Nicholas Brody and Moulin Rouge’s Satine look like kissing, today is your lucky day. A one-minute clip of Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert has debuted online, and it begins with a newly mustachioed Damien Lewis locking lips with Nicole Kidman, who plays real-life archaeologist, traveler, explorer, writer, cartographer, and political officer Gertrude Bell. (However did she fit all those titles on her business card?)

Kidman’s Gertrude is all business here, too, quickly pulling away from Lewis with a mysterious explanation: “I’d never be with a man again because I lost a man.”

It’s certainly a promising role for Kidman, who most recently appeared in the extremely well-received Paddington, which is still in theaters.

Queen of the Desert will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it will be screened in competition.

Source: IndieWire / Laura Berger

Everest: An Ensemble Cast in the True Story about the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

UNIVERSAL PICTURES’ EVEREST IS AN ADVENTURE-THRILLER FILM INSPIRED BY THE REAL EVENTS SURROUNDING A TREACHEROUS ATTEMPT TO REACH THE SUMMIT OF THE WORLD’S HIGHEST MOUNTAIN. IT FOLLOWS THE AWE-INSPIRING JOURNEY OF TWO DIFFERENT EXPEDITIONS CHALLENGED BEYOND THEIR LIMITS BY ONE OF THE FIERCEST SNOWSTORMS EVER ENCOUNTERED BY MANKIND. THEIR METTLE TESTED BY THE HARSHEST OF ELEMENTS FOUND ON THE PLANET, THE CLIMBERS WILL BE SEEN FACING NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE OBSTACLES AS THEIR LIFELONG OBSESSION BECOMES A BREATHTAKING STRUGGLE FOR THEIR VERY SURVIVAL.

4:20 PM EST 1/12/2015 BY KARA MICHELLE, CELEBEAT REPORTER

Everest: An Ensemble Cast in the True Story about the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster

Universal Pictures’ Everest is an adventure-thriller film inspired by the real events surrounding a treacherous attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain. It follows the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind. Their mettle tested by the harshest of elements found on the planet, the climbers will be seen facing nearly impossible obstacles as their lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for their very survival.

Directed by Baltasar Kormakur from a screenplay written by Simon Beaufoy and Mark Medoff, Everest will be shown in theaters in 3D beginning September 18.

Everest stars Martin Henderson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, Michael Kelly, John Hawkes, Sam Worthington, Jason Clarke, Robin Wright, and Thomas M. Wright. Others in the cast include Martin Henderson, Michael Kelly, Naoko Mori, Clive Standen, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Goodman-Hill, Ingvar Eggert Sigurosson, Charlotte Boving, and Micah Hauptman. The film which is now in post-production is being scored by Dario Marianelli.

According to the studio, the upcoming movie is based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster wherein eight people were caught in a blizzard and died as they struggled to reach and then descend from the summit. There were then two expedition groups of mountain climbers. One led by Scott Fischer (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) was called ‘Mountain Madness’ while the other, called ‘Adventure Consultants,’ was led by Rob Hall (played by Jason Clarke). Both Fischer and Hall were among those killed during the real 1996 Mount Everest disaster.

The script for Everest was reportedly based on the various written accounts about what happened in Mount Everest on May 10-11, 1996, as well on actual interviews with some of the survivors. Among the books written about the events are Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and Left For Dead: My Journey Home from Everest by Beck Weathers who were both members of Hall’s group at the time of the disaster and The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev who was part of Fischer’s group.

Universal to Release EVEREST on September 18, 2015; Film Stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, and Jake Gyllenhaal; Capt. Vijay Lama talks about his experience on set

Monday, January 5th, 2015

everest-movie-jason-clarke

Universal Pictures has bumped the survival drama Everest from February 27, 2015 to September 18, 2015.  Directed by Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns), the movie focuses on two different expeditions that struggle to survive while climbing the world’s tallest mountain.  The film stars Jason ClarkeJosh BrolinJohn Hawkes, and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as Martin HendersonEmily WatsonMichael Kelly, and Thomas M. Wright.  Even though we’ll have to wait a little longer, the date change is encouraging since Universal might think they have an awards contender if they’ve moved the picture to the fall.  The studio will release Everest in 3D and IMAX 3D.

Right now, there’s no competition on September 18, 2015, but a week later Sony will have the family flick Hotel Transylvania 2 and Warner Bros. is releasing the comedy The Intern.  Hit the jump for the official synopsis for Everest.

Everest is amongst the most anticipated movies of 2015.

ALPINE SHOOT: Capt Vijay Lama (left) who acts as a rescue pilot in the forthcoming Hollywood movie Everest on location in the Italian Alps in early 2014 with a helicopter painted in Nepal Army colours.

The story revolves around Beck Weathers, an American climber who miraculously survived two nights above 8,000m and was rescued with a Taiwanese climber, by Nepali Army rescue pilot, Col Madan KC from Camp II. The risky rescue was the highest-ever helicopter landing in history at the time. Col KC’s role is played by Nepali actor and airline pilot, Capt Vijay Lama.

For Vijay Lama, who has acted in numerous Nepali films over the last three decades, 2014 was an exciting year in which he got to experience how Hollywood movies are made. He was on location in the Italian Alps in early 2014 where some of the scenes of the helicopter rescue on Mt Everest were shot. Later, he went toPinewood Studios to shoot some of the other scenes in a flight simulator.

“I got to be treated like a star with other members of the cast, including Josh Brolin, Martin Henderson, John Hawkes,” Lama recalled, “ever since my first Nepali film I had always dreamt of acting in a Hollywood movie. I am living proof that dreams are not impossible if you believe in it and pursue it honestly.”

Being a pilot made the role easier for Lama, who insisted on speaking in Nepali with his co-pilot with English subtitles.

Lama says he was also impressed with the logistics and preparation that goes into an international film shoot. “The crew and the cast of Everest is so huge that it took many people who were assigned specific tasks to work together,” he recalls, “one little mistake would mean huge losses. It was a team game, team spirit, team effort and most of all team discipline – something we in Nepal can learn from.”

Working in the mountains of Val Senales in Italy was not easy for the crew and cast, there were blizzards, wind and unexpected delays. In comparison, it was easier shooting at Pinewood where the summit of Everest, the Hillary Step, helicopter simulators were all recreated in the studio. Says Lama: “Working with these international units have humbled me and have given me more reason to work harder in the coming days and learn to be more professional in the subjects I am involved in.”

Our Top Pick Of The Sundance Film Festival 2015 – Z for Zachariah

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Guarantee you’ll be talking about Z for Zachariah next year

The Sundance Film Festival unveiled the 16 feature films competing in the U.S. Dramatic Competition for the 2015 event this week, alongside the documentary lineup. There’s a load of interesting entries in there including the Jack Black starring The D-Train and Kristen Wiig playing a woman whose boyfriend is sleeping with her daughter in The Diary of a Teenage Girl. But our top pick for the renowned festival is Z for Zachariah, we guarantee everyone will be talking about it next year, and here’s why…

The festival has released some official info on each film, so let’s start with the synopsis for Z for Zachariah:

In a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when another survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman’s affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature. Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine.

Chris Pine, Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in Z for Zachariah

The film is based on the novel by Robert C. O’Brien, which was published posthumously in 1974 after the author’s wife Sally M. Conly and daughter Jane Leslie Conly completed the book guided by his notes. O’Brien mainly concentrated on children’s books during his career, with Z for Zachariah winning teen literature awards. And we know how well post-apocalyptic, teen novels do on the big screen. This year’s adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent enjoyed big box office success while Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series have become mega hits at the cinema thanks to Jennifer Lawrence and co.

Interestingly though, it looks like screenwriter Nissar Modi has altered O’Brien’s book. Fans will know it’s all about Margot Robbie’s character Ann Burden and Chiwetel’s Loomis in the novel. Chris is taking on the role of a second stranger, Caleb, who stumbles into Ann’s life though, and with the trio all in the official still and synopsis it’s safe to say the movie has made some pretty big plot changes, another one being that Ann in the book is just a teenager. Of course the changes mean fans of the book will be in for a twist or two which should help draw in more viewers. Clever.

The film is based on the 1970s teen novel

The cast may be small but it’s pretty stellar, with Brit Chiwetel receiving an Oscar nomination this year for 12 Years a Slave, while Margot Robbie (who replaced Amanda Seyfried after that actress dropped out) starred in the other big 2014 Academy Awards contender from Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street, AND she’s just been cast in DC Comics’ Suicide Squad.  Pine meanwhile is no stranger to blockbusters thanks to his lead role in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek movies and this year’s big Christmas movie Into The Woods.

The other big star is the landscape, with director Craig Zobel choosing the beautiful Banks Peninsula in New Zealand to shoot, and we all know how stunning that country’s landscape looks on screen thanks to Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies. While entirely shot in New Zealand though, the film is set in the USA’s Mid-West, as is the book.

Despite the popularity of the book, the movie plans have been languishing around Hollywood for awhile, with the screenplay appearing on the famous Hollywood Black List, an annual survey of the “most liked” motion picture screenplays not yet produced, based on a survey of studio bigwigs.

Z for Zachariah will screen at Sundance in Utah sometime between January 22 and February 1 2015, and is expected to open on worldwide, general release later in the year.

Source: Entertainment Wise / Joanna Crawley

[Sundance ’15] ‘Z for Zachariah’ and ‘The Witch’ to Premiere

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The Sundance Film Festival is the premiere fest for independent cinema.

Today they’ve begun unloading their announcements, and while the Midnight titles won’t be revealed until tomorrow, we have found two genre films playing in other Sundance programs.

Pictured above and in the below gallery is The Witch, hailing out of the U.S. and Canada.

Robert Eggers both writes and directs with Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Lucas Dawson, Ellie Grainger starring.

New England in the 1630s: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness. When their newborn son vanishes and crops fail, the family turns on one another. Beyond their worst fears, a supernatural evil lurks in the nearby wood.

Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah will also premiere.

In a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when another survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman’s affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature.

Cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, and Chris Pine.

Z for Zachariah

Source: Bloody Disgusting / MrDisgusting

First Look: ‘Z for Zachariah’ Starring Chris Pine, Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Z for Zachariah First Look

LOTUS ENTERTAINMENT

NOVEMBER 8, 2014 | 03:09PM PT

Variety has the exclusive first look photo from Craig Zobel’s “Z for Zachariah,” starring Chris Pine, Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Adapted from Robert C. O’Brien post-apocalyptic 1974 novel, the thriller follows a small-town girl (Robbie) who lives alone on a farm in the only valley with breathable air in the wake of nuclear war. Her world is turned upside down when two strangers wander in from the forest.

The film is directed by Craig Zobel, produced by Material Pictures, and exec produced by Lucky Hat Entertainment along with Silver Reel and Lotus Entertainment, who is handling international sales.

The sci-fier is slated for release next year.

Source: Variety

Werner Herzog Talks ‘Queen Of The Desert’ & Makes “Ominous Prediction” About Nicole Kidman’s Performance

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

German filmmaker Werner Herzog is on the brain today. The 71-year-old filmmaker is about to celebrate the release of the superb Shout Factory boxset “Herzog: The Collection” and he’s got a new film waiting in the wings. Titled “Queen Of The Desert,” the film features the filmmaker’s most starry cast to date: Nicole Kidman,James Franco, Robert Pattinson, “Homeland” star Damian Lewis and many more. The film chronicles the events of Gertrude Bell’s life, a British explorer, traveler, archaeologist and political officer. And apparently it’s done and in the can.

Co-producer Nick N. Raslan tweeted the first photo of the movie over the weekend, said the movie was done and described it as a “true epic”. Surely if the picture is done that means we can absolutely expect it at one of the fall film festivals this September, at either TIFF, Telluride, Venice or NYFF(it’s on our Fall Festival Wishlist feature as well). Producer Cassian Elwes has also said on Twitter he hopes to release the film in the fall, so that certainly means a fall film festival debut first and then hopefully after a strong reception, a distributor who’s willing to release it this year.

Why this year and not next as many indies often do? Well, according to Werner Herzog itself, it’s potentially because Nicole Kidman may have some awards-season fire in it. Playlist contributor James Rocchi spoke to Herzog last week and during a conversation about the acting powers of Klaus Kinski and Nicolas Cage, Herzog veered off to discuss how impressed he was with Kidman. “I think in all my films, the actors are at their best—and it includes Nicolas Cage in ‘Bad Lieutenant.’ I believe he is better than even in the part that won him an Academy Award,” Herzog said of Cage’s Best Actor win for “Leaving Las Vegas.”

“Now, Nicole Kidman,” Herzog said of her lead performance in “Queen Of The Desert.” “Wait for that one. Wait for it. I make an ominous prediction: How good she is.”

Herzog wasn’t shy about giving self-props to the environment he creates to assist the actor in giving their best performance possible. “I really take care of actors. I’m not explaining too much, but they feel safe, they feel guided, they feel a kind of dynamic that I can create. They know I can get the best of the best out of them. That’s what I do. That’s what I’m paid for.”

Herzog’s actors have had similar praise for the filmmaker. Robert Pattinson recently told Little White Lies magazine that Herzog has “insane confidence.”

“It’s insane because he wrote the script as well and it’s one of the most difficult scripts I’ve ever read,” he said. “Werner’s great. He’s exactly what you’d expect. He’s got so many amazing stories. He’s got insane confidence as well. I think that’s where all his creativity comes from. He’s got 100% belief in himself.”

Earlier this year Kidman spoke about working with the filmmaker and said that protective environment is unique. “I call it Werner World,” she said of being directed by him. “Werner World is just a different realm. It’s glorious. I said to him, ‘Werner, I feel like I’ve been in a dream with you for the past two-and-a-half months, and now I’ve got my feet back on earth.’ I’m at a place where I’m so interested in exploring things and going places that I haven’t been. I want my life to be full, so that means all of us—my family—up and moving to Morocco and doing this so we can have the experience.”

Certainly “Queen Of The Desert” is one of the most anticipated films for what’s left of 2014. You’ll certainly see it this fall at one (or two) of the fall film festivals, it’s really just a matter of which one lands the picture for the premiere. More from our lengthy Werner Herzog interview next week.

Source: IndieWire / Edward Davis

Keira Knightley Joins Cast of Working Title’s 3D Epic ‘Everest’

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Keira Knightley

MAY 2, 2014

LONDON — Keira Knightley has joined the cast of Working Title’s 3D epic “Everest.”

Other cast members include Jason Clarke (“The Great Gatsby,” “Zero Dark Thirty”), who plays climber Rob Hall, Josh Brolin (“True Grit,” “No Country for Old Men”), John Hawkes (“Lincoln,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene”), and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Source Code,” “Brokeback Mountain”). Knightley portrays Hall’s wife Jan Arnold.

The movie, which is about rival Everest expeditions caught in a blizzard, shot at Pinewood Studios and CineCitta, and on location in England, Nepal and the Italian Alps.

Baltasar Kormakur (“2 Guns,” “Contraband”) directs the pic, which is in post-production.

Universal Pictures will distribute worldwide.

The casting of Knightley was first reported in Baz Bamigboye’s column in the Daily Mail.

Source: Leo Barraclough / Variety