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Reply #60 on: March 23, 2009, 10:34:46 PM
Anne Hathaway gets 'Happy'
Actress to star as Judy Garland
Source: Variety

Anne Hathaway will play Judy Garland in the Weinstein Co.'s legit and film adaptations of the Gerald Clarke-penned biography "Get Happy."

TWC recently optioned legit and film rights to the book, first published by Delta in 2001.

VP of production and development Ben Famiglietti, whose purview includes both film and legit productions, said it is unclear which version would come first. The stage version would naturally be cheaper and quicker to produce, but some filmmakers could even guide both, starting with a film.

While Garland's life and legacy have been explored before in popular culture, Weinstein noted Clarke's take "is particularly outstanding because of its exclusive details from her own writings."

Famiglietti said Hathaway's commitment has already prompted strong interest from filmmakers, screenwriters and librettists.

"You get an enhanced perspective of Judy Garland through this book and we feel Anne can really put her own stamp on that," he said.

Garland was the subject of an Emmy-winning 2001 telepic produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. She also appeared as a character in Broadway's "The Boy From Oz," and Rufus Wainwright performed a sold-out, one-night re-creation of Garland's famed concert at Carnegie Hall.

"Get Happy" is the second legit project for Hathaway to be announced this spring. The thesp stars later this summer in the Shakespeare in the Park production of "Twelfth Night."

The actress, who showed off her singing chops during this year's Oscarcast, has long been discussed as a promising candidate for a Broadway stint. Over the past few years she's been tipped to be circling a couple of Rialto tuners, including "Guys and Dolls" (which opened this spring with another cast) and a potential revival of "Promises, Promises."

She was previously seen on the Gotham boards in an Encores! production of "Carnival" in 2002.

TWC's Garland plans fall in line with the recently-boosted profile of the company's legit projects.

A developing tuner version of "Finding Neverland," planned for a Rialto bow in 2010, is the first in a lineup that also includes stage adaptations of Pink Floyd's "The Wall," "Shakespeare in Love," "Chocolat," "Cinema Paradiso" and "Shall We Dance?"
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Reply #61 on: September 17, 2010, 12:49:12 AM
Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury in film
GK Films taps 'Borat' thesp for biopic; Peter Morgan to write
Source: Variety

Sacha Baron Cohen will star in a Freddie Mercury bio­pic for Graham King's GK Films in partnership with Robert De Niro's and Jane Rosenthal's Tribeca Prods. and Queen Films.

Peter Morgan ("Frost/Nixon") is scripting the untitled film, which will focus on the years leading up to Queen's appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Production is set to begin next year.

Mercury, a native of Zanzibar, formed Queen in 1970 and served as lead singer until his death in 1991 at the age of 45. Queen has sold more than 170 million albums. Its best-known titles -- all sporting powerful vocals from Mercury -- include "We Will Rock You," "We Are the Champions" and "Bohemian Rhapsody."

"Freddie Mercury was an awe-inspiring performer, so with Sacha in the starring role coupled with Peter's screenplay and the support of Queen, we have the perfect combination to tell the real story behind their success," King said in a statement.

Baron Cohen is starring in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo Cabret," also produced by GK Films. Morgan wrote "Hereafter," directed by Clint Eastwood, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival.

Baron Cohen is repped by WME. Morgan is repped by UTA in the United States and Independent Talent Group in the U.K.
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Reply #62 on: September 17, 2010, 04:13:01 AM
At first I scoffed, then I kind of thought about it and think it's pretty awesome. But Peter Morgan is an uberhack.
Let's go to a motel. We don't have to do anything -- we could just swim.


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Reply #63 on: September 17, 2010, 10:54:56 AM
I love Queen.  I grew up on the music and have always been fascinated by Mercury.
I love Sacha... even if the movie sucks, I'll probably enjoy it.

I also just realized I have somehow managed to never see a Peter Morgan penned project.


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Reply #64 on: July 23, 2013, 06:09:00 PM
Sacha Baron Cohen Exits Freddie Mercury Biopic Over Creative Differences With Queen
BY NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

EXCLUSIVE… Sacha Baron Cohen is just not seeing eye to eye with the remaining members of Queen who have script and director approval over that biopic on iconic lead singer Freddie Mercury. That film had Cohen circling the role but I’ve just learned he’s now pulled out. The reason is that the band wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen while Cohen was counting on a gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gifted gay singer. Given the astonishing physical resemblance, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Freddie but Sacha. Cohen had brought in Peter Morgan to write and various directors including David Fincher and Tom Hooper to develop the project for himself. However, none were approved by the band. Film is set at Sony Pictures and GK Films and Cohen has long been attached to play Mercury. But because of the dispute over ‘creative differences’ no formal offer could go out to Hooper  who’d just worked with Sacha on Best Picture Oscar nominee Les Miserables. Graham King and Tim Headington are producing with Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal and Queen Films.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Reply #65 on: November 07, 2013, 08:15:30 AM
Tom Hardy To Play Elton John In ‘Rocketman’
BY Deadline
As Deadline reported in June when FilmDistrict paid $10 million to acquire U.S. rights to the Elton John film Rocketman, Tom Hardy has been set to play Captain Fantastic himself in the Michael Gracey-directed biographical musical film. The script is by Billy Elliot‘s Lee Hall. Gracey’s directing Fox’s upcoming The Greatest Showman On Earth starring Hugh Jackman, and Disney’s The Muppet Man. FilmDistrict bought it when the film was the talk of Cannes, where it was shopped by UTA, the agency that structured the financing. It was there that UK-based Icon’s production arm AI Film agreed to come aboard to co-finance the film with Rocket Pictures.

The deal went down before FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel took over Focus Features, the latter of which will release the film. Schlessel’s distribution company paid around a $10 million minimum guarantee for a guaranteed wide theatrical release and size-able P&A. There is also a generous gross corridor after the film recoups. The film follows John’s journey from 5-year old musical prodigy who by age 11 won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, to a young man who rebelled against his strict upbringing, wore outrageous costumes and became a global icon who teamed with songwriter Bernie Taupin to sell more records than just about any musical artist of his era. John’s musical catalog is part of the mix, so this is going to be a major film. Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish are producing the project along with Lawrence Bender for AI Film. Sir Elton John and Access Industries’ Len Blavatnik are executive producing the film, along with Icon/AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi and FilmDistrict CEO Schlessel.

Here’s the official release:

Tom Hardy will star as Elton John in Rocket Pictures’ Rocketman, and Focus Features has come aboard to give the film a major U.S. release, producers announced today.

The Hardy deal caps a lengthy search to cast the role of Elton in the film, which will be co-financed by AI Film.

Much like the man himself, Rocketman is a larger-than-life movie musical spectacle that tells the story of a child prodigy turned music legend.  Elton will re-record many of his iconic hits to parallel the emotional beats of the film that will have audiences on their feet, singing along to his much loved music.  The film is scheduled to shoot in fall 2014.

Incoming Focus CEO Peter Schlessel, brought Rocketman from FilmDistrict to Focus Features.
Rocketman is produced by Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish of Rocket Pictures and Lawrence Bender on behalf of AI Film, the film production and financing company created out of the acquisition of Icon by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries.  Sir Elton John and Len Blavatnik are executive producing, along with AI Film CEO Aviv Giladi and Focus Features CEO Peter Schlessel.  UTA Independent Film Group arranged financing for the project and negotiated the project’s sale to FilmDistrict.  Good Universe is handling international sales.

“Tom is a stellar talent who will add extraordinary depth and nuance in bringing Elton’s story to life,” said Rocket Pictures CEO Steve Hamilton Shaw.  “We are excited to have such a gifted actor on board, and equally excited to be in the hands of Peter Schlessel and the entire Focus Features team.”

“Tom is quickly becoming known as one of the world’s most versatile actors, and like others at the top of their craft, he has proven his ability to transform himself completely into the character or subject found in the material,” said Schlessel.  “We are confident that Tom will embody the physicality and spirit of Sir Elton.  This, in conjunction with the creative team led by Michael and Rocket Pictures, will provide the foundation for something that will be a unique cinematic event.”

Rocketman will be directed by Michael Gracey (Fox’s upcoming The Greatest Showman on Earth starring Hugh Jackman, and Disney’s The Muppet Man). The original screenplay is written by Academy Award® nominee Lee Hall (War Horse, Billy Elliot).

British actor Hardy will next be seen in Steve Knight’s Locke and in the reboot of the Mad Max franchise for Warner Bros. and George Miller.  Hardy recently wrapped Child 44 with director Daniel Espinosa and Animal Rescue for director Michael Roskam.  He most recently starred in The Dark Knight Rises and previously worked with director Chris Nolan on Inception.  His credits include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bronson and Warrior.  He is represented by CAA, Lindy King at United Agents and attorney Jason Sloane.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Reply #66 on: April 25, 2016, 04:45:31 AM
Been on a bit of a Beatles binge, and found The Hours and Times [1991] to be a little gem of a flick. Focusing only on John Lennon and Brian Epstein and their trip to Barcelona just as Beatlemania was kicking off in Britain, it's a 60-minute black and white chamber drama asking 'what if' Lennon and Epstein had a homosexual fling together.

Quote from Lennon around 79/80 i think;

I was on holiday with Brian Epstein in Spain, where the rumours went around that he and I were having a love affair. Well, it was almost a love affair, but not quite. It was never consummated. But it was a pretty intense relationship.

It was my first experience with a homosexual that I was conscious was homosexual. He had admitted it to me. We had this holiday together because Cyn was pregnant, and I went to Spain and there were lots of funny stories. We used to sit in a cafe in Torremolinos looking at all the boys and I'd say, 'Do you like that one, do you like this one?' I was rather enjoying the experience, thinking like a writer all the time: I am experiencing this, you know. And while he was out on the tiles one night, or lying asleep with a hangover one afternoon, I remember playing him the song Bad To Me. That was a commissioned song, done for Billy J Kramer, who was another of Brian's singers.

Soon after they returned to England, John Lennon severely beat up a man at Paul McCartney's 21st birthday party for suggesting they had had sex.

Anyway, I usually hate biopics but this is a good one, no cringeworthy references to Beatles lyrics/history shoehorned into the script, and Ian Hart gets the youthful causticity of Lennon down to a tee. Well recommended even if you're not a Beatles fan. Apparently one of John Waters' favourites.