The producers of Natalie Portman's new film Jane Got A Gun are suing the movie's former director, who quit the project a day before shooting began in March (13). The executives, led by Scott Steindorff, claim Lynne Ramsay was paid $750,000 (GBP500,000) for a job she didn't complete, and they have filed documents in court in New Mexico alleging her departure delayed the production.
In paperwork obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the producers also claim Ramsay was "abusive to members of the cast and crew and was generally disruptive," adding, she "failed to adhere to proper safety protocol for handling weapons on set, when she pointed a prop gun directly at a camera and, in turn, at the camera crew before first taking proper precautions."
Producers are demanding that Ramsay pays back her salary, and they are also seeking punitive damages over claims of fraud and breach of contract.
The We Need to Talk About Kevin director was replaced by Gavin O'Connor.
The project has also struggled with casting troubles - Michael Fassbender was replaced by Jude Law, who was in turn replaced by Bradley Cooper, who exited the film in May (13).
Portman and Joel Edgerton stayed with the movie and were joined by Ewan McGregor when filming eventually got underway this summer (13).
Actor John Leguizamo has landed the role of Pablo Escobar in the biopic King Of Cocaine. After Oscar Isaac dropped out of the movie, the Ice Age star went to great lengths to prove to producers he was right for the role, even though he had been turned down several times, according to Deadline.com.
Leguizamo spent $15,000 (GBP10,000) on a fatsuit and prosthetic makeup to look more like the drug kingpin in his prime.
He then filmed his own screen test and had producer Scott Steindorff submit it to movie studio executives without revealing the name of the actor behind the outfit. The Colombian star was hired shortly after.
In addition to Isaac, Benecio Del Toro was also in talks for the role.
Have you ever watched a funny video on the Internet? Chances are, then, you've been on Funny or Die's website and laughed a lot. Now, the Will Ferrell and Adam McKay-fronted comedy site (also co-created by Chris Henchy) is transitioning to life beyond the computer screen: namely, the big one. The site is pairing up with producer Scott Steindorff and his company Scott Pictures for a multi-year deal that focuses on creating a slate of comedy films for life outside the small, small screen.
In a deal that was reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the partnership sets the stage for a two-to-three picture per year deal. It's an interesting concept for the site that came into prominence almost immediately following its 2007 launch. Funny or Die's mix of professional and amateur clips is unique in that it is a veritable hotbed for the digital comedy scene. FoD has become synonymous with quality comedy — and its impressive roster of writers, directors, comedians, and actors seemingly on speed-dial, there's a credibility attached to to the FoD product you don't see with other video-hosting sites often used for comedic shorts. THR equates the branding move "something akin to the 21st century’s National Lampoon," and the comparison feels on-the-nose. A stamp of approval from National Lampoon in the 70s and 80s all but guaranteed a raucuous romp was in store. FoD's brand has found equal reverence coming its way since in the past few years. It seems inevitable that — if done successfully — they will find themselves in a very similar position to the aforementioned institution of funny.
As for Steindorff? His is a name that is most recently known for producing the decidedly unfunny on purpose film, 2011's The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey. "The hope is that in one of the two or three movies, we find the next Animal House or breakaway comedy," Steindorff explained. In addition to the hope of fostering these sort of iconic comedy movie moments, the partners all agree that being open to a variety of distribution options — such as VOD, digital downloads, or the more traditional studio release — will help them to find and finance the right projects at the appropriate level in an age that seems to be awash with different ways to distribute and find success for niche and wide-audience films alike.
But it seems the sweet-spot of a good partnership was there regardless of intentions: Scott Pictures is said to be quite well-stacked in the financial stability department, and is giving FoD the chance to back projects that are low- and high-budget alike. These projects will no doubt be incubators of creativity to further the careers of the FoD writing and directing team, and therefore has the opportunity to garner the star power it needs to attract theatrical distributors. It's the Hollywood deal equivalent of having friends in high places.
For President of production, Mike Farah, the partnership is a natural progression for the ever-expanding brand. "This is a great way for the Funny or Die brand to go into the next obvious stage ... [the folks of Funny or Die] are the best at what they do in the comedy world."
As for Ferrell and McKay's take on the deal? Nothing less than what is to be expected. Speaking to THR, the two released a joint statement, announcing that "Will is riding a bike now eating a tuna sub and reading the script for Elf 2: Sao Paulo Nights but just gave me a big thumbs-up on this whole deal for Funny Or Die pictures." Buddy in San Paulo — now that would be quite the counterintuitive adventure (also, he's kidding). Everybody's a comedian!
Are you looking forward to the future of Funny or Die? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Eric Charbonneau/WireImage]
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As notoriously elusive as Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar was to his pursuers, his story has just as stubbornly eluded the big screen. Two films based on his life – one helmed by Oliver Stone, the other by Joe Carnahan – have been set up, only to stall out in pre-production and be placed in turnaround. Brad Furman is hoping the third time’s a charm. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Lincoln Lawyer helmer has signed on to direct a new, as-yet-untitled Escobar biopic based on a script from Matt Aldrich. Scott Steindorff will produce under his Stone Village Pictures banner. Steindorff calls the project “The Latino Godfather,” a label I suspect Scarface might take issue with.
Vincent Chase is in talks to star.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Film bosses are battling to be the first to make a movie about the kidnapping of 15 hostages, including former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt.
The group was kidnapped by Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) in 2002, when Betancourt was running for office. They were finally freed last week after a daring rescue operation.
And the incredible story looks destined to be played out on the big screen, with a number of production companies angling for rights.
According to Daily Variety, producers Scott Steindorff and Phil Maloof are negotiating with the Colombian government for its story.
But they could be beaten to the box office by Venezuelan actress Patricia Velasquez, who already has the rights to Betancourt's husband's memoir--and plans to have a film in theaters next year.
Velasquez says, "We had finished the treatment and presentation the day before Ingrid's release. Her release changes our treatment, which had a poetic ending and a call for her freedom and others like her. Now we have a better ending, but the struggle has not ended."
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As dean of a small college Coleman Silk (Anthony Hopkins) has made a nice life for himself--until a false accusation of racism ruins his career and he loses his wife to a brain aneurysm. Suddenly Coleman has nothing--until he embarks on an intensely sexual relationship with Faunia Farley (Nicole Kidman) a local woman with an abusive ex-husband Lester (Ed Harris) who won't leave her alone. The intensity of Coleman's love for Faunia leads him to reveal his long-held secret: He has been passing himself off as Jewish and white for most of his adult life but in reality he is a light-skinned African-American. From there a series of flashbacks to the 1940s introduce us to a younger love-struck Coleman (Wentworth Miller) and reveal the events that led him to his fateful decision. Somehow Coleman's deep dark secret isn't as shocking as it's probably meant to be but the relationship between Faunia and Coleman is--especially when it slips into the danger zone with Lester breathing down their necks.
Wentworth Miller who makes his film debut as the younger Coleman does an amazing job with his role establishing Coleman's quiet yet fierce determination to live a life free of intolerance. And as ever Hopkins is the consummate professional with flashes of intense passion and brilliance in his steely eyes. One does have to get over the fact that a Welsh actor has been cast as an elderly light-skinned African-American but if Hopkins can give nuance to a declaration of how Viagra has changed his character's life (ick) he can pull off the race thing easily enough. Kidman as the dour Faunia also has some stunning moments easily sinking to the depressive depths required of her character--not surprising considering she won the Oscar doing the same thing in The Hours. What really makes you clench your teeth though is when the two of them get together on screen--in the biblical sense. These Oscar winners are so sorely miscast as tortured lovebirds that their sexual moments make you squirm in your seat. It's not the age difference; there's simply no spark between them.
"We leave a stain a trail and imprint " Philip Roth writes in his novel the third in a trilogy on postwar America. "It's the only way to be here." The author goes on to explore myriad themes around this main premise including how we leave our marks how our decisions have consequences and how people can find one another under the direst circumstances. Unfortunately these big ideas get lost in translation on the big screen and the film suffers from adaptation blues. Director Robert Benton and screenwriter Nicholas Meyer gives Roth's ideas voice only through Nathan Zuckerman (Gary Sinise) the reclusive author Coleman asks to write his life story and even that artistic character talks more about how sex is clouding Coleman's judgment than about his own life or ideology. Ultimately Meyer focuses his script too heavily on the guarded Coleman leaving the other characters too little developed. Why has Nathan secluded himself away from the world? What haunts him? Sinise does what he can with the character but there's too little background. The same goes for Faunia. Although she describes in one monologue after another the horrors of her life--she was abused as a girl and lost her two children in a terrible fire--Faunia's hardships seem distant and it's hard to connect with her character. Only the wounded Lester a Vietnam veteran seems made of real emotions and desires--he's filled with hatred and passion--and if he makes only a brief appearance in the film he certainly leaves a mark.