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Only a week after Danny Boyle announced he would be shepharding a series to television, another filmmaker known for his eccentric visual style will be joining him. Tom Tykwer, of Cloud Atlas and Run Lola Run, will be adapting the Babylon Berlin series of novels to German television now that his next film has wrapped. Tykwer has been on a string of adaptations lately, from Cloud Atlas, to Dave Eggers' A Hologram for the King with Tom Hanks, and now to Babylon Berlin. The novels follow an Inspector who moves to Berlin in the 1920s, just in time to watch the rise of the Nazi party.
While the show obviously deals with difficult history, the overall move towards WWII will be slow, as the Inspector spends most of his time solving local crime as overall social and political changes happen around him. While there's more than enough detective procedurals out there, the regional and cultural specificity will hopefully distinguish Babylon Berlin from the pack. Tykwer's fellow producer, Stefan Arndt, hopes to imbue the series with a real sense of time and place: "We are aiming artistically and narratively for the top end of what is possible in German television [...] Berlin has such magnetic appeal internationally and so many people have been coming here in recent years that they want to see the city as it really was."
Now more than ever, there's exciting television happening overseas, and hopefully the series will quickly (and legally) make its way over to our shores before some American cable network announces a remake.
Brit Marling has joined James Nesbitt in director Danny Boyle's Babylon, UK cop drama about an American PR expert who attempts to bolster the image of the London police department. After her breakout in 2010's After Earth, Marling took a few parts in other films, but this will be her first starring role in a TV series. The show would look at every side of police work, like a (hopefully) more inventive Law and Order; with the American character there to bridge cultural differences, this could be the next British/American crossover hit. Boyle will be producing and directing while the show is written by Peep Show alums Sam Bains and Jesse Armstrong. And while Peep Show was a comedy, the amazing way in which it built moments and orchestrated the most elaborate possible embarrassment for its characters speaks to two great storytellers who should be able to transition well to drama.
Boyle seems determined to bring his signature visual style to both UK and American television, with projects developing on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to Babylon, over here he's working with Simon Beaufoy and Christian Colson, who helped write and produce Boyle's films Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours, to beat Michael Bay to the story of the Norweigens who helped destroy Hitler's nuclear facilities. Their project is called Telemark and would appear on FX.
Boyle is confident that both Telemark and Babylon will be able to capture his unique filmmaking style, which is both visually ambitious and adrenaline-filled, despite the limited budget of television. So add Boyle to the list of talent who's stepping over to television from the world of film. Even if it's simply because he believes these two ideas are best suited for series instead of standalone stories, it does make it ever clearer that the move between the two mediums is a lateral one. And with Boyle's last film, Trance, underperforming at the box office, maybe he'll find that TV actually marks a better place for some of his ideas. Either way, it's a great gain for TV fans.
Fox Searchlight Pictures
To the surprise of absolutely no one who has seen, heard of, or had precognitive dreams about 12 Years a Slave, the weighty historical drama snagged the Audience Award at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Steve McQueen's film — based on the true story of a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1850s — has been pinpointed as an Oscar contender since Academy conversation began, regaled for its material, McQueen's direction, and performances by star Chiwetel Ejiofor and supporting players Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o. Looking at past recipients of the TIFF honor, we wonder what sort of odds this gives 12 Years in the awards circuit. How many past TIFF top prize winners...
...have won the Best Picture Oscar?Four: Chariots of Fire (1971), American Beauty (1999), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and The King's Speech (2010).
...have been nominated for the Best Picture Oscar (but didn't win)?Seven: The Big Chill (1983), Places in the Heart (1984), Shine (1996), Life Is Beautiful (1998), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Precious (2009), Silver Linings Playbook (2012).
...have won the Best Director Oscar?Three: Sam Mendes for American Beauty, Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire, and Tom Hooper for The King's Speech.
...have won the Best Actor Oscar?Four: Geoffrey Rush for Shine, Roberto Benigni for Life Is Beautiful, Kevin Spacey for American Beauty, and Colin Firth for The King's Speech.
...have won the Best Actress Oscar?Two: Sally Field for Places in the Heart and Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook.
...have won an award for writing?Four for Best Original Screeplay: Chariots of Fire, Places in the Heart, American Beauty, and The King's Speech; two for Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire and Precious.
More:Why TIFF Is More Important than CannesTIFF 2013: 5 Movies with Oscar Chances'12 Years a Slave' Trailer
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Oscar-nominated producer Michael De Luca is set to be honoured with the Hollywood Producer Award at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards in October (13). The award is presented annually "to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry."
De Luca has produced several Hollywood blockbusters, including The Social Network and Moneyball, for which he earned his Oscar nominations, as well as The Mask, Boogie Nights, American History X, Blow and I Am Sam.
Past honourees have included Mel Gibson and Danny Boyle.
Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle is heading back to the small screen for the first time in 12 years to work on a new comedy series. The Slumdog Millionaire moviemaker will team up with the creatives behind British film Four Lions for a police-based show entitled Babylon.
Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, who have also penned hit comedies Peep Show and The Thick of It, will write the pilot which will be directed by Boyle.
Channel 4 boss Jay Hunt revealed the project at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in Scotland.
Boyle last worked on TV in 2001, overseeing the production of two movies, Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise and Strumpet, starring Timothy Spall and Christopher Eccleston respectively. He was also at the helm of the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, which was broadcast around the world last July (12).
Danny Boyle has paid a touching tribute to the tragic British stuntman who parachuted into the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony as James Bond after he was killed in an accident. Mark Sutton, 42, died when he crashed into a mountain ridge in Martigny, Switzerland on Wednesday (14Aug13) after a plane wing-diving stunt went wrong.
He thrilled millions of viewers when he and fellow stuntman Gary Connery, who was dressed as Britain's Monarch Queen Elizabeth II, leaped from a helicopter at the start of the Opening Ceremony, and Boyle, who orchestrated the elaborate event, had paid tribute to a "wonderful, gentle and thoughtful man".
In a moving piece published by the London Evening Standard, Boyle writes, "Such sad news about the wonderful Mark Sutton. As one of the world's top skydivers and stuntmen, his death is a huge loss to his profession. In a brilliant partnership with Gary Connery they made the stadium gasp at the Opening Ceremony in London 2012 and left indelible memories for people from all walks of life all over the world.
"They were a delight to work with and after each practice jump brought their cheery, care-free smiles into the stadium control room. Their courage, professionalism and modesty were always a boost for those of us locked inside the park. Disciplined and brave in situations most of us would find terrifying, Mark was also a gentle and thoughtful man. The show was built from so many contributions from so many people, none finer and braver than Mark Sutton.
"On behalf of everyone in the show we were all honoured to have worked with him and to have known him as a friend and a professional. All our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues. Thank you Mark."
Oscar-winning filmmaker and London Olympics mastermind Danny Boyle has been honoured with a special centenary award for services to the arts at a gala marking the 100th birthday of the UK Critics' Circle. Theatre director Max Stafford Clark, late conductor Sir Colin Davis and choreographer Sir Peter Wright were also saluted at the Tuesday (07May13) ceremony, held at London's Barbican Centre.
Danny Boyle paid tribute to fellow director and former collaborator Hamish Hamilton as he scooped the top honour at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) TV Craft Awards on Sunday (28Apr13). Hamilton was handed the ceremony's Special Award in honour of his lengthy career, in which he has taken charge of Madonna and Beyonce's Super Bowl half-time shows, as well as overseeing the Oscars and concerts for stars including Neil Diamond, U2 and Robbie Williams.
Boyle, Beyonce, Bono, Usher and Williams all recorded video messages to be shown at the annual prizegiving, which recognises behind-the-scenes talent.
In his tribute clip, the Slumdog Millionaire moviemaker praised his pal for the work they did together on last year's (12) opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
He declared, "Imagination is not the ability to invent but to reveal what is already there. Hamish has that."
The 2012 Olympics were a big winner at the London event - three prizes were handed out to the technical teams behind coverage of the games, while Darryl Hammer bagged the Production Design honour for Sienna Miller's Alfred Hitchcock drama The Girl.
British moviemaker Tom Hooper has signed up as president of the jury at the upcoming Shanghai International Film Festival in China. The Les Miserables director will lead the panel in selecting the recipient of the 2013 Golden Goblet Award at the event, which runs from 15-23 June (13).
Hooper says, "I was most touched and honoured to have been asked to serve as President of the Jury at this year's Shanghai International Film Festival. I am delighted to accept this invitation and am very much looking forward to my stay in Shanghai and participating in this year's festival. I have great admiration for the festival's efforts to provide a platform for directors to realise their dreams as this is, of course, close to my heart."
Festival bosses will also screen a selection of Hooper's films in its Tribute To Masters section. Luc Besson and Danny Boyle are among the past jury presidents at the event.
Former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston was so afraid of getting locked in a real-life mortuary for a scene in Shallow Grave, director Danny Boyle had to ask a crew member to stand in the shadows and comfort the nervous actor. The future TV time lord hated the idea of being shut in the final resting place, surrounded by dead bodies, so Boyle came up with a plan to make him feel more at ease.
He explains, "It was a real mortuary and there were real dead bodies in there. Christopher, who went on to be a future master of the universe said, 'I can't do this!'
"Eventually we agreed that we'd put one of the prop guys in there, so when the door is closed and it goes dark he wouldn't be alone with the dead.
"In fact, on the soundtrack when the door is closing and the lights go off, you can hear this guy going, 'It's alright Chris!'"