The Playlist

'Compliance' Director Craig Zobel To Direct Untitled Thriller Pitch For Focus Features

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 29, 2012 3:36 PM
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Variety is reporting that Focus Features, the indie wing of monolithic Universal Pictures that has had a great year so far with sleeper hits in the stop-motion-animated marvel "ParaNorman" and the Wes Anderson romp "Moonrise Kingdom," has just acquired an untitled thriller pitch from "Compliance" director Craig Zobel. Zobel will write and direct the movie. Plot specifics are being kept under wraps, so we can go ahead and wildly speculate that it's about a vampire that falls in love with a robot but their love is put to the test when they uncover a conspiracy to assassinate the president of Uganda.

'Pariah' Director Dee Rees To Helm Indie Love Story 'This Man, This Woman'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 1, 2012 5:57 PM
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Director Dee Rees hasn't been in any particular hurry to follow up the acclaimed and excellent "Pariah," but she's not without options. Earlier this year it was reported she was writing a new film entitled "Large Print," about a recently divorced, mid-50s insurance adjuster, she's got a thriller called "Bolo" she's developing with Focus Features and she's working on a project at HBO with Viola Davis. Well, now her slate is beginning to get a little more crowded.

'An Education' Director Lone Scherfig To Helm 'My Life In Orange'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 26, 2012 2:42 PM
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With Lone Scherfig breaking out with "An Education" in 2009 and discovering a star in Carey Mulligan, it made it all the more disappointing when she returned two years later with the relatively limp rom-com "One Day." It took a bit off our shine for the helmer, but we're still interested to see what's she got cooking up next. Last year, she signed on to the historical drama "Music and Silence," but considering how hard it is to get anything that isn't a blockbuster or can't sell toys to kids, we're not surprised there hasn't been much movement on that. But this looks like someting that could develop a bit faster.

Ciarán Hinds, Julia Stiles & Riz Ahmed Join Untitled Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall-Led Suspense Thriller

  • By Edward Davis
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  • April 11, 2012 7:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Production begins next week in the U.K. on Focus Features and Working Title's latest collaboration: an untitled suspense thriller that stars Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall and Jim Broadbent. And there's plenty of reason to pay attention, apart from the boutique studios with discerning film taste and these three stars.

Discuss: Does America Want To See Their Kinks At The Multiplex With 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'?

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 26, 2012 1:12 PM
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  • 6 Comments
There is no doubt that films aimed squarely at women is an underserved market. Every year there is a title or two that does solid business (think "Julie & Julia," "Eat Pray Love," "The Help") that makes Hollywood act surprised that if you give that demographic quality product, they'll turn out to see it. And so, it's not really much of shock that one of the hottest books of the year for women started a studio bidding war.

Eric Bana & Rebecca Hall Starring In Untitled Thriller From 'Boy A' Helmer John Crowley & 'Eastern Promises' Writer Steven Knight

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 2, 2012 1:35 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Despite the idea of the suspense thriller for grown-ups being routinely declared dead, the genre itself refuses to stay dead. Every few months, some such film will quietly make a tidy profit at the box office, despite not gathering the same attention as pictures with more explosions in them. Last year saw films like "The Lincoln Lawyer," "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" all end up firmly in the black, and the companies behind the latter, producers Working Title Films and distributors Focus Features, are teaming up again for another highly promising-sounding turn.

Gus Van Sant/Matt Damon's 'Promised Land' Goes To Focus & Participant; 'Rust And Bone' With Marion Cotillard Lands At Sony Pictures Classics

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 1, 2012 7:11 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Sundance may be over and the European Film Market may just be a short way off, but that doesn't mean the dealmaking takes a break. Two very high profile films have landed new homes this afternoon.

Weinsteins 'Lay The Favorite,' Focus Had 'A Good Time,' Millenium Turns On 'Red Lights' & More Sundance Acquisitions

  • By Benjamin Wright
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  • January 25, 2012 11:43 AM
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  • 1 Comment
As many of you know, the Sundance Film Festival is well underway, and there’s been no shortage of studios acquiring some buzzed-about independent titles. As the fest winds into its last few days, the deals are getting done.

Weekend Box Office: Families Complete The Circle Of Life, Pack Theaters For Movie They Own On DVD

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • September 18, 2011 3:49 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Right now, some jerk at Disney is finding a way to use the term “circle of life” to define how they can release “The Lion King” anytime, and it will always make money. A 3D re-issue of the film became the number one weekend attraction by a very wide margin with $29 million, a huge middle finger to those who claim audiences are looking for something “fresh” or “new.”

Emily Watson and Alicia Vikander Added To Joe Wright's 'Anna Karenina;' Saoirse Ronan & Others Out

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • September 8, 2011 8:47 AM
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  • 3 Comments
As Promised, Keira Knightley, Jude Law & Aaron Johnson To StarWell, Joe Wright and Focus Features have locked down the cast for their lavish adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel "Anna Karenina," and it seems like a full house of talent – in addition to the already confirmed Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Matthew Mcfadyen ("Pride & Prejudice") and Olivia Williams, the film has added Domhnall Gleeson ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"), Alicia Vikander ("The Seventh Son"), Emily Watson, and Ruth Wilson (BBC series "Luther").

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