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Thompson on Hollywood

HBO, Tandem & Scott Free Team for Cinemax Crime Series The Sector, about Genetically Enhanced Humans

HBO, Tandem Communications and Scott Free Productions are developing an action-crime series to run on Cinemax. The one-hour series is "in the vein of Blade Runner/District 9" and "tracks the commander of a paramilitary unit who pursues a dangerous new race of genetically-enhanced humans." Criminal Minds's Simon Mirren will serve as exec-producer and showrunner for the project, from writer-creators Aaron Benay and Matthew Benay. Tandem is also behind Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth series, which also has a follow up series in the works with Scott Free, based on Follett's World Without End.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 1, 2011 8:46 AM
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Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain & Sam Worthington Star in The Debt's New International Poster

Focus will finally release The Debt, the war crime thriller from director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, Proof), this August after lingering in Miramax distribution limbo. Check out the international poster with stars Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain (Tree of Life) and Sam Worthington. Tom Wilkinson also stars. Here's our interview with Mirren and our profile on rising star Chastain. The trailer is below. [IMPA]
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 1, 2011 8:35 AM
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Filmmakers Bewail Twilight: Breaking Dawn Photo Leaks: "Stop Posting"

No leaked photos here. Summit has released a statement from Stephenie Meyer, Bill Condon, Wyck Godfrey and Summit Entertainment regarding leaked images from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: As some of you may know, pictures and screen grabs of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn as a work in progress have leaked on the internet. We are extremely proud of this film and also extremely heartbroken to see it out there at this stage.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2011 8:08 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Working Title's Fellner Talks Slate, Oscar Bait Anna Karenina & Tinker Tailor, Bad Movies

Working Title's Fellner Talks Slate, Oscar Bait Anna Karenina & Tinker Tailor, Bad Movies
What a difference an Oscar season makes. Back during the crash of 2008, when the indie market was in free fall, a new set of rules emerged: no dramas. That's how a little movie called The King's Speech was turned down by most Brit and U.S. backers, except UK's Momentum and Harvey Weinstein, who didn't need to get anyone's approval. He knew a likely Oscar contender when he saw one.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2011 7:48 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Mad Men, Tree of Life, Elizabeth Taylor, CinemaCon, Print to Digital, In Production

Weekly Wrap: Mad Men, Tree of Life, Elizabeth Taylor, CinemaCon, Print to Digital, In Production
BOX OFFICE & RELEASES
  • By Anne Thompson, Sophia Savage & Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • April 1, 2011 7:15 AM
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TV Over Movies: from Mildred Pierce and Nurse Jackie to Shameless and Justified

Reading the papers Friday morning, I realized that I'm more interested in Camelot, The Kennedys, The Borgias, Mildred Pierce and the American version of Scandinavian hit The Killing than the new movie reviews. It turns out that I can skip Camelot and The Kennedys, which earned lousy notices. And I'm already watching Todd Haynes' gorgeously-mounted HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce, which is well-acted by Kate Winslet, Melissa Leo, Guy Pearce and Mare Winningham, but judging from the draggy first two episodes, didn't need to be stretched to five installments. And David Ulin's review made me want to go back to my fave James Cain paperbacks, which I read in my 20s. Time to make a pitch to my book group.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Preview: Hop, Insidious and Must-Sees Source Code and Oscar-Winner In A Better World

It's a mixed bag at the box office this weekend, and the LAT warns that "Easter may still be weeks away, but that won't stop the holiday's iconic bunny from bouncing right over the competition at the box office this weekend." However, there are finer eggs in the basket if you are willing to hunt for them. Susanne Bier's Oscar-winning In A Better World offers serious cinematic substance, and Source Code offers stylish sci-fi action from Moon's outside-the-box director Duncan Jones. The Office funny man Rainn Wilson stars alongside Ellen Page in super-hero dark comedy Super.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 1, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Summit Takes Icon UK to a Los Angeles Arbitration Tribunal Over Tree of Life

Summit Takes Icon UK to a Los Angeles Arbitration Tribunal Over Tree of Life
It just didn't make sense that Icon would release The Tree of Life ahead of all the other distributors before Cannes. There had to be a back story. Summit had told me that there was no way that Icon would release the film before Cannes. What I heard from London sources today is that Icon nabbed the title by paying a typically high minimum guarantee, and after seeing the film, was trying to get out of releasing it. (My queries to Icon have been ignored.) Hence the release date stand-off. The question is, how does Summit protect what is surely a delicate art-house flower that needs serious critical acclaim from starting to look like tainted goods? By bad-mouthing Icon.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2011 12:21 PM
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Weiner and AMC Make Mad Men Pact

Raise high the roof beam, carpenters! AMC, Lionsgate and Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner have made their deal to extend his contract for as much as $30 million if it goes to three seasons. He will remain in charge of the lucrative show starring Jon Hamm as Madison Avenue ad exec Don Draper. Variety's Cynthia Littleton has the details:The sides came to a compromise on the running time issue by settling in allowing the show to run at its standard 47-minute length for each season premiere and season finale. The 11 episodes in between will run 45 minutes, but Weiner will have the option of delivering a 47-minute version to be made available on VOD and ultimately on DVD. (There's also been chatter about Lionsgate cutting a deal with Netflix for streaming rights to "Mad Men.")
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2011 12:07 PM
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More: TV, Mad Men, AMC

Sony Pictures Classics Officially Releasing Van Sant's Cannes-Bound Restless, Starring Wasikowska

We already announced this, but it's official now: Sony Pictures Classics will release Gus Van Sant's Restless in North America this fall. Columbia pulled the teen drama from the Sundance Premiere line-up at the last minute (it was literally the first film invited to the fest in August) in favor of sending it to Cannes. Given that Van Sant is a Croisette perennial, there's no way that Restless won't turn up there. Written by Jason Lew, the movie stars Jane Eyre's Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper (Kiss and Tell). The trailer is below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2011 10:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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