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BAFTA Breakthrough Brits Opened Up; Ben-Hur Races To Cinecitta: Global Briefs

BAFTA Awards 2015 Analysis

BAFTA this evening opened applications for the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits, an initiative that celebrates and supports the UK's future stars of film, TV and games. To mark the start of this year's scheme, helmer Christopher Nolan turned up at BAFTA's London headquarters to chat with former Breakthrough Brits honorees and discuss his creative process. Other supporters of the initiative include Paul Grengrass, Miranda Hart, Toby Jones and Simon Pegg. Applications are open… Read


David Letterman Gets Advice On Next Career Move From Sen. Al Franken

cbs david letterman nyc marquee

David Letterman sought advice from Sen. Al Franken tonight in re his concern about his home state’s controversial “religious freedom” law, which has been blasted by many as an invitation for businesses to discriminate against LGBT people using religion as a cover. "I love Indiana and will probably be buried in Indiana,” Letterman said. “And I know I've embarrassed the state many many times.”   "And the entire country," Franken added, helpfully. "What I want to know: What… Read


Ana Ayora Books ‘Banshee’ Role; Mustafa Shakir Joins ‘Quarry’

Ana Ayora Mustafa Shakir 2 shot

Ana Ayora (The Big Wedding, Chop Shop) has booked a season-long arc on Season 4 of Cinemax's Banshee. The drama series from Alan Ball centers on Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, PA, where he continues his criminal pursuits while enforcing his own code of justice. Ayora will play Nina Cruz, a smart, tough, streetwise deputy for the Banshee Sheriff’s Department who really is an inside plant working for… Read


Shine Australia CEOs Exiting Amid Endemol Shine Consolidation

Shine Australia logo

Brothers Mark and Carl Fennessy are set to exit as joint CEOs of Shine Australia after their contract with the newly merged Endemol Shine Group expires later this year. The move is the latest in the wake of the 50-50 joint venture formed late last year between 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management. The company said it plans to create a combined Shine and Endemol business within Australia sometime this year. Until then, Shine Australia and Endemol Australia will… Read


OddLot Bags Spec ‘Septillion To One’


OddLot Entertainment has acquired rights to Septillion To One, a romantic comedy spec script by Adam R. Perlman and Graham Sack. It will be fast-tracked and financed by OddLot. The logline: an over-zealous former FBI agent who has been relegated to the fraud unit of the Texas State Lottery begins investigating a beautiful and shrewd woman who had inexplicably defied all odds and hit the lottery jackpot three times. He realizes the odds are over one in a billion for this… Read


Hollywood Is Out Ahead Of California’s New Water-Conservation Mandate

California drought

Governor Jerry Brown's call today for statewide water restrictions is not expected to have a huge impact on the film and TV industry; all the major studios have already launched green initiatives and have been conserving water for years. CGI and greenscreen technology also makes parting the Red Sea a lot easier and water efficient than in the past. Even so, the industry seems ready to pitch in and conserve as much of the precious wet stuff as possible as California’s… Read


‘Power Of The Dog’ Author Don Winslow Firms Sequel Book And Movie Plans


EXCLUSIVE: Alfred A. Knopf has firmed plans for a June 23 publication date for The Cartel, the title author Don Winslow has chosen for the sequel novel to his seminal 2005 drug war epic The Power Of The Dog. The sequel novel is the first one edited by Sonny Mehta since he won back Winslow from S&S; it was Mehta who edited The Power Of The Dog and The Winter Of Frankie Machine. Winslow has had some of his novels adapted into movies — the Oliver Stone-directed Savages  the… Read


Amazon Developing Drama Based On ‘Boy In The Suitcase’ Mystery Books

Amazon Studios 2

Another best-selling Scandinavian mystery book series is looking to make the leap to American TV. I’ve learned that Amazon Studios has put in development an untitled drama project based on The Boy In The Suitcase mystery/thriller books by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, published by SoHo Crime. Kirsten Sheridan (In America) will write script for the project, executive produced by Joshua Maurer & Alixandre Witlin through their company City Entertainment. In the books, a… Read


Matt Lanter Boards ‘USS Indianapolis’ With Nicholas Cage; Two More Jump In ‘The Lake’

Humane Society Of The United States 60th Anniversary Gala - Red Carpet

Matt Lanter has been cast as the 2nd lead opposite Nicolas Cage in the upcoming film USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, based on the true story of the American warship sunk by a Japanese sub in the Philippine Sea in the closing weeks of World War II. 900 crewmen survived, but were left stranded in shark-infested waters. With the Navy unaware the ship had been lost, the sailors awaited rescue for more than three days. Nearly 600 of the survivors died before help arrived… Read


Bill Block Slams “Ridiculous” QED Infringement Lawsuit

"Fury" New York Premiere

Just hours after the veteran film financier and producer was hit today with a sprawling trademark infringement and unfair competition complaint by the current QED CEOS, the former QED CEO is hitting back. "I have all along been acting in the best interests of QED, our filmmakers, our production partners and the employees of the company I founded,” said Block today in a statement release through his lawyer Marty Singer over the legal action. “I'm confident that I will be… Read


‘A.D. The Bible Continues’ Review: Burnett-Downey Latest Tops Original

AD The Bible Continues

Debuting appropriately on Easter Sunday on NBC, the latest Bible-based epic from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey will face a very busy April 5 with the return of Mad Men on AMC, the debut of Wolf Hall on PBS and the premiere of its own lead-out American Odyssey, and of course ABC’s annual broadcast of The Ten Commandments among others. But, as my video review above says, the 12-part A.D. The Bible Continues is a sophisticated and layered series that can more than hold its… Read


Amy Winehouse Documentary Finally Gets U.S. Deal, Lands At A24

amy winehouse

A24 has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Asif Kapadia’s Amy, the documentary about British singer Amy Winehouse who died four years ago at age 27 from alcohol poisoning. This has all happened quietly and there’s no word on a U.S. release date, but sources say that July is being eyed. In the UK the pic just got a July 3 date via Altitude Film Distribution — that will make it almost four years to the day of her July 23, 2011 death. The film has been on the market for a… Read