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Thompson on Hollywood

CASTING WATCH: Aronofsky's 'Noah' Wants Winstone, Watson & Wife; Penelope Cruz Joins 'Counselor,' Reteams with Almodovar

Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" is adding to its ark. Aussie Russell Crowe will play the titular Biblical character, while Brit Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast," "The Departed," "Hugo") has been offered the villain role. Emma Watson is in talks to join as Ila, a girl rescued by Noah, a role Dakota Fanning had to turn down due to scheduling conflicts.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 12, 2012 4:28 PM
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Strand Takes Eytan Fox's 'Yossi'; Heading to Fall Fests Prior to 2013 Release

Strand Releasing takes North American rights to Israel's "Yossi," from director Eytan Fox. The film, which debuted at Tribeca to strong reviews, is the director's follow up to "Yossi & Jagger," and features Ohad Knoller again in the titular role. In "Yossi," he plays a lonely workaholic doctor in Tel Aviv who is sent on vacation by his boss; when he meets a group of soldiers, he is shaken awake. 


  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 12, 2012 4:27 PM
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Sony Pictures Acquires Dark Comedy "Revenge for Jolly!"

Sony Pictures acquires "Revenge for Jolly!" for US and Canadian distribution - marking the first acquisition for the newly-formed affiliate company of Charles Roven's Atlas Entertainment. "Revenge for Jolly!" premiered at the 2012 Tribeca FIlm Festival. The dark comedy examines the moral ambiguity of revenge as one man tries to avenge the suspicious death of his beloved dog. Directed by Chadd Harbold and written by Brian Petsos, "Revenge for Jolly!" stars Petsos and Oscar Isaac, and features cameos from a long roster of other actors and comedians including Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Ryan Phillippe, and Kristen Wiig.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 25, 2012 1:16 PM
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Submarine and Dakota Form Torpedo Pictures

Just what we need: more indie genre films. Indie seller Submarine Entertainment and Dakota Group Ltd. have formed the aptly named Torpedo Pictures -- a new indie label to produce low-budget, high-concept sci-fi, thriller and horror films. The label's fund will go towards projects in the $500,000 to $1.5+ million range, with a focus on emerging and established auteur directors and notable casts. Dakota will finance and Submarine will handle domestic and foreign rights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 22, 2012 1:55 PM
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IN THE WORKS: 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Blanchett-Wasikowska Lesbian Romance, Paltrow for Picasso & Dujardin's Next

Ridley Scott has an idea for a sequel to his classic 1982 film "Blade Runner," and the original's writer Hampton Fancher is in talks to put it into action on paper. Scott and Alcon Entertainment say only that the story would pick up "some years after the first film concluded."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 18, 2012 6:23 PM
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Zaillian's Film Rites Banner Signs with Fox; Whither 'The Girl Who Played with Fire?'

There's no reason why screenwriter Steve Zaillian ("Schindler's List," "Gangs of New York") and his Film Rites banner with Garrett Basch shouldn't sign a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox. The question is, why didn't Zaillian go with Sony, which backed his Oscar-nominated script for "Moneyball" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 18, 2012 3:28 AM
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Cannes Market: Robert Altman Documentary In the Works, 'Bob would be happy'

A documentary on director Robert Altman will be produced by Sphinx Productions and directed by Ron Mann ("Twist," "Comic Book Confidential"). The film will explore the life and work of Altman, who gave the world "M*A*S*H," "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," "Nashville," "The Player," "Short Cuts," "Gosford Park" and "A Prairie Home Companion."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 17, 2012 5:18 PM
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Lily Rabe to Play Mary Pickford in Untitled Biopic; Producers In Cannes to Cast Chaplin, Fairbanks, Griffith

While producers Julie Pacino, Jennifer DeLia, and Said Zahraoui are at Cannes to cement the rest of the casting for their untitled Mary Pickford film, they've found their leading lady in Lily Rabe (“All Good Things,” “American Horror Story” ). The film is based on Eileen Whifield's biography, "Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 17, 2012 4:01 PM
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Fisher Stevens Helming Adaptation of Philip Roth's 'American Pastoral'

Fisher Stevens will direct "American Pastoral" for Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. John Romano (Lakeshore and SKE's "Lincoln Lawyer) adapted the first novel in Philip Roth's post-war trilogy about the destruction of the American dream.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 17, 2012 3:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Market: 70mm Doc 'Samsara' Sells to Canada, Australia and New Zealand; Oscilloscope Has U.S.

"Samsara," documentarian Ron Fricke's follow-up to "Baraka," was shot over five years on five continents on 70mm film. eOne Canada acquired rights to the film, which will be released in the US by Oscilloscope and in Germany by Busch Media Group on August 24.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 17, 2012 1:30 PM
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