Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

First Look: Jeremy Renner Blows the Whistle on a Sprawling Conspiracy in 'Kill The Messenger'

Focus Features has set a release date for "Homeland" executive producer and director Michael Cuesta's upcoming conspiracy thriller "Kill The Messenger," starring Jeremy Renner.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
  • |
  • March 5, 2014 4:30 PM
  • |
  • 6 Comments

Sundance Deal Tally: Who's Bought What? (Score Card UPDATED)

UPDATED: We continue to add to our ongoing deal tally out of Sundance (which wrapped January 26). While the buys haven't been high-end, they've been steady. So, who's bought what? A breakdown of companies and numbers of buys, below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
  • |
  • February 5, 2014 1:57 PM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

Sundance: Focus Features Nabs Zach Braff's Kickstarted 'Wish I Was Here'

Focus Features has scooped up North American and international rights to Zach Braff's "Wish I Was Here," which premiered January 18 at Sundance. The film is his follow-up to "Garden State," which he controversially Kickstarted, crowd-funding more than $3 million for the project.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
  • |
  • January 20, 2014 12:06 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

How Indies 'Dallas Buyers Club' and 'Out of the Furnace' Got Made: Relativity's Robbie Brenner Talks Bale, McConaughey and Leto

Relativity's Robbie Brenner backed two movies in the year-end awards derby, "Out of the Furnace" and "Dallas Buyers Club."
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • December 3, 2013 7:20 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Schlessel Reshapes Focus Features: Loses Karpen and Foley, Keeps Brody and Bowles (ANALYSIS)

The new CEO of Focus Features, Peter Schlessel, has wasted no time reconfiguring two distributors, FilmDistrict and Focus, into one. By insisting on shutting down the Focus New York branch, he lost several valuable executives including Focus COO Andrew Karpen, who was asked to stay on. Schlessel aims to broaden Focus by expanding its film slate to include a greater number of both specialty and wide-release genre fare. He's putting in charge of the company his key FilmDistrict execs, but leaving Focus production president Jeb Brody--who happens to have a key role in "Fifty Shades of Grey," in charge of that function.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 15, 2013 5:22 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Focus Takes Rights to CIA Manhunt Thriller 'Circle of Treason,' on the Capture of Traitor Aldrich Ames

Focus Features has nabbed screen rights to Sandra Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille's "Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed." In the book, the authors describe systematically hunting down America's most notorious traitor, all the while pushing up against the CIA's institutionalized sexism.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • October 7, 2013 12:47 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Universal Replaces Schamus with Schlessel to Expand Focus Features Brand

Universal is under new management. And another specialty division bites the dust. I may be overstating it, but safe to say, the old Focus Features--a high-class specialty division with an eye for awards worthy content--is no more. Longtime Focus CEO and co-founder James Schamus, a New Yorker of discernment who managed to work within a major studio's financial expectations for 12 years, is finally leaving the specialty division.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • October 2, 2013 3:06 PM
  • |
  • 4 Comments

In the Works: Derek Cianfrance On Board to Direct 'ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun' for Focus

Derek Cianfrance ("The Place Beyond the Pines") is attached to direct "ESPN: Those Guys Have All the Fun." The book by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales follows the rise of the eponymous cable network, via interviews with past and present ESPN personalities and producers.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • September 25, 2013 1:54 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

IN THE WORKS: 'Mother of George' Director Dosunmu to Helm 'Fela Kuti' Musical Biopic for Focus

Focus Features is developing a drama about famed Nigerian musician/activist Fela Kuti, who was also front and center in the hit Broadway musical "Fela!" "Mother of George" filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu will direct "Fela Kuti," which Focus is describing as a "drama with music," as opposed to a fullblown musical.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • September 16, 2013 4:14 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Jude Law Captains the Cast of Kevin Macdonald's 'Black Sea,' Now in Production in U.K.

Focus Features and Film4 have kicked off the UK production of director Kevin Macdonald's maritime thriller "Black Sea." Starring Jude Law as an intrepid sea captain, the film sails into theaters in 2014.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
  • |
  • August 9, 2013 1:08 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates