Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson have signed on to star in Amazon’s science-fiction drama “Bliss,” with Mike Cahill directing from his own script.
Wilson portrays a recently divorced man whose life is falling apart when he meets Hayek’s character, a woman who lives on the streets and is convinced that the polluted, broken world around them is not real. She believes they are living in an ugly, harsh simulated world inside of the beautiful, peaceful “real” world of bliss.
Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern is producing, with the company’s Lucas Smith serving as executive producer. Marsha Swinton will also executive produce. Production began this week in Los Angeles.
Cahill directed “Another Earth” and “I Origins,” which were released by Fox Searchlight. Both films won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the Sundance Film Festival where they premiered.
Hayek will next star alongside Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne in Paramount’s comedy “Limited Partners,” which will be released in January. She most recently appeared in “The Hummingbird Project” alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård, as well as 2017’s “Beatriz at Dinner.”
Wilson most recently starred in “Wonder,” with Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, and “Father Figures,” which also starred Ed Helms, Christopher Walken, J.K. Simmons, and Glenn Close.
Cahill is repped by WME and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Hayek is represented by CAA, Evelyn O’Neill at Management 360 and attorney Bill Sobel at Laird & Sobel. Wilson is repped by UTA.
Comedy might be dead at the box office, but it’s perfectly alive on Netflix.
The streamer via its comedy Twitter handle announced today that the Friday-Sunday viewership for its Jennifer Aniston–Adam Sandler movie Murder Mystery was watched by 30.87M accounts, making it the biggest opening weekend for a Netflix film. That breaks out into 13.37M in the U.S./Canada and 17.5M accounts abroad.
The movie written by James Vanderbilt and directed by Kyle Newacheck dropped on June 14. Murder Mystery follows a A New York cop and his wife who while on a European vacation, get framed and are on the run for the death of an elderly billionaire. Murder Mystery reps Aniston and Sandler’s second movie together after 2011’s Just Go With It which grossed $214.9M worldwide ($103M domestic) off an $80M production cost.
The first 3-days of the Will Smith 2017 fantasy action movie Bright was reported at 11M. Netflix over the Christmas break said that the first week of the Sandra Bullock thriller Bird Box was watched by 45M global accounts during its first seven days. Nielsen later verified that 26M U.S. subscribers tuned into Bird Box in its first week.
Last awards season, Netflix won three Oscars for Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma (including best foreign film and director) which hit theaters exclusively in advance for three weeks before hitting the streaming service, and continuing in theaters. Deadline broke the news recently that Netflix hired Fox distribution vet Spencer Klein as their Director of Theatrical Distribution. He’ll be overseeing the theatrical releases of their awards season slate which includes Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, Noah Baumbach’s untitled Adam Driver-Scarlett Johansson comedy, and more.
“This story is mostly true.” Robert Redford transforms into a bank robber with manners in the new trailer for The Old Man & The Gun. As Forrest Tucker, he’s a guy who escaped California’s San Quentin State Prison at the age of 70 and proceeded to confound authorities with a string of unique heists — unique in the sense that his victims all mentioned how polite he was. “You know what I do when the door closes?” he says. “I jump out the window.” Casey Affleck plays John Hunt, the police detective obsessed with Forrest’s case, and Sissy Spacek plays Jewel, the woman who loves Forrest in spite of his chosen profession. David Lowery follows up Disney’s live-action Pete’s Dragon and acclaimed indie A Ghost Story with The Old Man & The Gun, based on a screenplay the director also wrote. Lowery was recently set to helm Disney’s live-action Peter Pan. With a main cast rounded out by Danny Glover, Tom Waits, and Tika Sumpter, the film opens in theaters on Sep. 28. Watch the trailer above.
The Netflix series ‘Last Chance U’ is returning for a third season — though it won’t be in Scooba, Mississippi. Instead, it will follow the team at Independence Community College in Kansas. “While we now have the opportunity to head to Kansas, we hope to revisit the people we’ve grown to love over the past two seasons of Last Chance U,” said director Greg Whiteley in a statement. “We are forever grateful to the talented team at East Mississippi Community College who dedicated months of their lives in Scooba and trusted us to tell their incredible stories.” The first two seasons of the series followed the team at East Mississippi Community College. After the first season, coach Buddy Stevens admitted he didn’t like much of what he saw of himself on camera — and visibly tried to change a lot of his language and behavior in season two — though it didn’t always work. “I’m still a mess,” he told For The Win’s Chris Korman last month. “I feel like there was an effort there, but I’m still a work in progress.” But, he said, he wanted the series to stick around. “There’s a whole lotta story still to be written,” he said at the time. “All new kids, new coaches on the offensive side of the ball, a new defensive coordinator. It would show a whole new view.” A number of players from the first two seasons of the series have gone on to Division I schools — which was the premise of their attendance at East Mississippi in the first place. The series title ‘Last Chance U’ reflected that many were former Division I prospects who got in some sort of academic or legal trouble and needed a place to help them get a second chance. Many of them did. Four players from the series have signed on to play with Lane Kiffin at FAU — including John Franklin III, who announced he was transferring to that team after a successful season at Auburn. “It’s kind of addicting,” Kiffin told CBS Sports. “It’s kind of unusual because you’re watching a show that’s not real, [but] it’s real football.” The third season heads to a school that is more than just a geographic change from East Mississippi, which was a perennial powerhouse long before the camera crews descended on town. The Independence Pirates, according to the press release, are coming off their first winning season in 10 years under first year coach Jason Brown.
Netflix has renewed college-football documentary series “Last Chance U” for a third season. “Last Chance U” explores the world of junior-college football. The first two seasons focused on East Mississippi Community College, where many players are attempting to save their college-football careers after being bounced from Division I schools for disciplinary or academic issues. The new season will follow the Pirates of Independence Community College in Kansas. Under first-year head coach Jason Brown, the Pirates last year enjoyed their first winning season in a decade. “While we now have the opportunity to head to Kansas, we hope to revisit the people we’ve grown to love over the past two seasons of Last Chance U,” noted director Greg Whiteley. “We are forever grateful to the talented team at East Mississippi Community College who dedicated months of their lives in Scooba and trusted us to tell their incredible stories.” “Last Chance U” is produced by Netflix in association with Condé Nast Entertainment, Endgame Entertainment and One Potato Productions. Originally inspired by a feature article in GQ magazine, the documentary series is executive produced by Greg Whiteley, Joe LaBracio, Dawn Ostroff, Lucas Smith, James Stern, Ben Cotner, Adam Del Deo and Lisa Nishimura.
Fox Searchlight has picked up North American and U.K. distribution rights to Old Man and the Gun, the latest film from Ain’t Them Bodies Saints filmmaker David Lowery, the company announced Thursday. Robert Redford and Casey Affleck lead a cast that also includes Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits and Tika Sumpter. The crime pic is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford) and tracks him from his escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to a string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (Affleck), who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman (Spacek) who loves him in spite of his chosen profession. The film has wrapped principal photography in Cincinnati. No release date was given, but a 2018 opening is the likely target. Lowery, who last helmed 2016’s Disney movie Pete’s Dragon, directed and also wrote the script for Old Man, basing it on a short story by David Grann (The Lost City of Z) in The New Yorker. He calls it a “wild and wooly tale.” Producing are Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern, Conde Nast Entertainment’s Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler, Wildwood Enterprises, Identity Films’ Anthony Mastromauro, Sailor Bear’s Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston and Bill Holderman.
With “The One I Love,” a lo-fi gem about a vacationing couple that stumbles upon its doppelgangers, the filmmaker Charlie McDowell established himself as a brave new voice — a master of the original and screwball. His new movie, “The Discovery,” is different. The production is bigger, sexier and of the moment. The futuristic story arrives from Netflix — the film debuted Friday on the service and also opened theatrically in selected cities, including Los Angeles). Unlike “The One I Love” it was not shot in the home of the director’s mother and stepfather, Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson. It even comes with stars and a whiff of the tabloid: McDowell wrote the part for Rooney Mara, his longtime girlfriend, only to find himself finishing the movie after they broke up. But as he takes a step up the Hollywood ladder, McDowell wants film fans to know that he hasn’t sacrificed intimacy and relatable interactions even if he’s working on a bigger scale. “Human nature,” he said, “is the most interesting backdrop for a movie.”
Lakeith Stanfield will be putting on his Sunday best for Netflix. The Atlanta star will join Chiwetel Ejiofor in the real-life drama Come Sunday, based on a 2005 This American Life segment titled ‘Heretics.’ Come Sunday follows the story of a minister (Ejiofor) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who loses his congregation of thousands following the revelation that he no longer believes in Hell. Stanfield will play the music director of a megachurch who is also the devoted right-hand man of Ejiofor’s minister. In 2010, the feature was originally set up as a directing vehicle for World War Z helmer Marc Forster, but the directing reins have since been handed over Joshua Marston. Marcus Hinchey wrote the screenplay. This American Life host Ira Glass will produce, along with Alissa Shipp and Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern. Come Sunday marks the third Netflix feature for Stanfield. He will appear in the military satire War Machine from Brad Pitt and will star in the highly anticipated Death Note adaptation, which was originally set up at Warner Bros. before it headed over to the streaming giant. Stanfield, whose past film credits include Short Term 12, Straight Outta Compton and Oliver Stone’s Snowden, was recently featured on The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen Talent list. He will soon head to Sundance with the real-life drama Crown Heights, also adapted from a This American Life segment. He is repped by CAA, Colin Stark and Ginsburg Daniels.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is joining the Netflix flock. The 12 Years a Slave star is in negotiations to portray an evangelical minister in the true-story film Come Sunday for the streaming giant. Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) is directing. Ejiofor will star opposite Robert Redford, who is set to play Oral Roberts, as The Hollywood Reporter previously reported. Based on a This American Life episode from 2005, Come Sunday chronicles the story of Carlton Pearson (Ejiofor), a renowned evangelical minister in Tulsa, Okla., who stirs up controversy with his revelation that there is no hell. He loses everything and must rebuild his church and his family and find his own personal faith. Marcus Hinchey (All Good Things) wrote the screenplay. The project, formerly titled Heretics, was originally set up at Endgame Entertainment in 2010 as a directing vehicle for Marc Forster, who will be involved as an executive producer. Jeffrey Wright had previously been in talks to take on the starring role of Pearson, and Jonathan Demme also flirted with the long-gestating project. Endgame (Looper) is financing and producing, with production scheduled to begin in January. Endgame’s James D. Stern is producing Come Sunday alongside This American Life’s Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp. Color Force’s Brad Simpson, who was involved in the project when Forster was developing it, is executive producing. Julie Goldstein and Lucas Smith are overseeing the project for Endgame. Come Sunday is the latest pedigree film that Netflix has boarded in recent months. The company also announced on Tuesday that it is teaming with John Wells to bring a feature film about the Panama Papers to the screen. It also has the big-budget Will Smith starrer Bright on the horizon. Ejiofor, who co-starred in last year’s The Martian, will next appear as Baron Karl Mordo in Doctor Strange. He is repped by CAA and attorney Robert S. Wallerstein. Marston, whose Complete Unknown debuted at Sundance in January, is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Epstein, Levinsohn.
Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to love story The Discovery from The One I Love director Charlie McDowell. Rooney Mara, Robert Redford and Jason Segel star in the film, which is written by McDowell and Justin Lader. The film is set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified. Redford plays the scientist responsible for the discovery, while Segel portrays his son Will and Mara plays Isla, a woman haunted by a tragic past who Will begins to fall in love with. The project also stars Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough and Ron Canada. It was produced by Alex Orlovsky of Verisimilitude and James D. Stern of Endgame Entertainment, and was co-financed by Endgame Entertainment and Protagonist Pictures. Mike Goodridge and Dimitra Tsingou for Protagonist executive produced along with Julie Goldstein and Lucas Smith for Endgame. “To describe the story as original doesn’t begin to capture the world that Charlie has created that will envelop you,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “Our global viewers are going to love this film.” It will premiere on Netflix and in select theaters in the U.S. in 2017. The deal was negotiated by Protagonist, ICM Partners and WME Global.