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Thompson on Hollywood

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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SXSW Video: Jodie Foster Talks Beaver Stars Gibson and Lawrence's Pain, Her Own Split Personality

Jodie Foster had a problem. After completing production on her third feature film, The Beaver, her old pal Mel Gibson, who she had adored since they first worked together in 1994's Maverick, was in terrible trouble. At the end of reshoots on the film, she watched helplessly as he suffered through a career-destroying tabloid crisis of leaked phone tapes during his break-up battle with model Oksana Grigorieva.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 18, 2011 9:15 AM
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SXSW: Jodie Foster Intros The Beaver, Starring "Beloved" Mel Gibson, to Upbeat Response; See Clips

Jodie Foster took Austin's Paramount stage for the Wednesday night premiere of The Beaver, a dark, moving family drama centered on Mel Gibson, who is well-cast as a tortured man in crisis. (See indieWIRE's review; here's Hollywood Wiretap's round-up).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 17, 2011 4:24 AM
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SXSW Video: Duncan Jones and Jake Gyllenhaal Talk Source Code

SXSW Video: Duncan Jones and Jake Gyllenhaal Talk Source Code
Jake Gyllenhaal was attached to sci-fi script Source Code when he saw Duncan Jones' $5 million space drama Moon, starring Sam Rockwell in a multi-layered performance. He thought Jones was perfectly suited to direct Source Code, which played well as the SXSW Film Fest opener Friday night. Summit will release it April 1.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 15, 2011 5:30 AM
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SXSW Day One: Early Buzz, Opener Source Code Plays Well

SXSW Day One: Early Buzz, Opener Source Code Plays Well
People keep telling me to see Ti West's horror flick The Innkeepers. So I'll check it out Saturday night. That's what film festivals do. They start buzz on a movie that few have seen or know anything about, and suddenly a career is born--or not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 12, 2011 10:49 AM
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Summit Closes $750 Million Funding; Develops New York Times Article "Deepwater Horizon's Final Hour"

 No, James Cameron has not picked up the rights to the December 25 New York Times article Deepwater Horizon's Final Hour, although he might turn up as a character in the final movie that Summit Entertainment and Participant Media are developing about the BP Oil disaster (with backing from Imagenation Abu Dhabi). And Summit confirms that it has finally closed a new $750 million deal, for a $550-million term loan plus a $200-million revolving line of credit, led by banks JP Morgan and UBS AG.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 9, 2011 12:04 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Jodie Foster's The Beaver To Debut at SXSW, Open Wide April 8

Smart move. Summit Entertainment has decided to world premiere Jodie Foster's controversial Mel Gibson drama The Beaver at SXSW (March 11-19), which decided to let the film speak for itself. Said festival director Janet Pierson: "It's an actress/filmmaker carefully and beautifully tackling a heartbreaking subject in her finest work yet." The film starring Gibson as a man who talks to a sock puppet will be a centerpiece premiere on March 16. SXSW is a fest attended by film fans of every stripe who could send good buzz into the blogosphere and help to move the movie beyond Gibson's toxic tabloid history. Foster will attend; no word on Gibson as yet. Summit releases the film limited on March 23, expanding on April 8.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2011 8:30 AM
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Golden Globes Nominations Led by King's Speech, with Seven

While The Golden Globes nominations have an impact on momentum going into the Oscar race, they are not predictive. That's partly because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (some 80 foreign correspondents) break their categories into Drama and Comedy or Musical. Thus it becomes easy to dismiss certain titles that the Oscars are likely to ignore, including Frankie & Alice, Burlesque, Barney's Version, Easy A, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Red, Casino Jack, The Tourist, and Love & Other Drugs. (Full list of nominees below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 1:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Polanski's Ghost Writer Scores Six at European Film Awards

The European Film Awards are not predictive of Oscars. But six wins for The Ghost Writer moves the film to the top of the screener pile. Maybe some folks will watch it now. One of my favorite films of last year, it shares with Shutter Island and The Town a formal elegance and control. These films are well-made across the board. But they are also genre films, accessible and fun--as opposed to high art. That is the question. This is no The Pianist. Summit is pushing the movie for awards consideration.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2010 9:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Doug Liman Talks Fair Game, CIA Spies, Valerie Plame, Bourne, Jumper, New York vs. Hollywood

Doug Liman Talks Fair Game, CIA Spies, Valerie Plame, Bourne, Jumper, New York vs. Hollywood
Director Doug Liman fascinates me. He's hard to get a handle on. An indie filmmaker who broke through with Swingers and Go, after his smash hits The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Liman became a Hollywood director for hire (see: Warners' upcoming All You Need is Kill and Universal's Moon project).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2010 4:52 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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