Kristin Scott Thomas Crowned Queen For New West End Run Of ‘The Audience’
Helen Mirren won an Olivier Award in 2013 for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in the Stephen Daldry-directed West End drama The Audience. That production is moving to Broadway beginning on February 17, 2015. Back in London, Kristin Scott Thomas is stepping into the lead part in a new version of the Peter Morgan-scripted play. She'll hit the boards at the Apollo Theatre from April 21-July 25. Further casting for the West End run is yet to be announced; Daldry will return to… Read
Wild Bunch Opens Window On Pan-European Digital Distribution: AFM
After world premiering Abel Ferrara's sex scandal pic Welcome To New York in an unconventional way at the Cannes Film Festival last May, French powerhouse Wild Bunch is launching Europe's first “e-distribution” company. The aim is to acquire four to five titles during the upcoming AFM which will be released via different VOD services throughout Europe, or — laws permitting — simultaneously on VOD and a small number of screens. Contrary to Netflix, which entered several… Read
Sony Posts Wider Q2 Loss, Beats Estimates On Strong PlayStation4 Sales
Sony came out ahead of analyst estimates with a smaller-than-expected second quarter loss thanks primarily to increased demand for its PlayStation4 game console. However, overall losses widened to 136B yen ($1.2B) from 19.6B yen in the comparable period in 2013 as the mobile phone unit bled $1.58B. Sales and operating revenue were up overall by 7.2% compared to the same period last year at $17.4B. The games and network services segment recorded an 83.2% bump in sales and… Read
Bette Midler Wings Way To First UK TV Special; ITV To Feature Songs & Sit-Down
Singer-actress Bette Midler will appear in her first UK television special later this fall with Bette Midler: One Night Only. Hosted by Ab Fab's Joanna Lumley, the ITV program will feature musical performances intercut with an interview with Midler and a look back at her career. Among the tunes she'll perform are Beaches anthem “Wind Beneath My Wings,” 1990 hit “From A Distance” and “The Rose,” the title song from her 1979 breakout movie for which she received a Best… Read
Open Road Goes Global With FilmNation Partnership – AFM
EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films is expanding into the international sales and distribution business after inking a strategic partnership with Glen Basner's FilmNation Entertainment.
The deal, announced today by Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg and FilmNation CEO Basner, will allow Open Road to acquire worldwide rights on selected feature projects, with Film Nation selling and servicing international. The move will allow Open Road to offer filmmakers equity and bank financing for… Read
‘Every Brilliant Thing’, U.K. Pop-Up Hit, Rolls To Off-Broadway
A major hit from August's Edinburgh Festival Fringe before transferring to London, Every Brilliant Thing will take over the Greenwich Village house, the Barrow Street Theatre, in December. That's where shows including Buyer & Cellar, Tribes and Our Town already have proven there's money to be made in a 200-250 seat Off-Broadway theater — when reviews, word-of-mouth, ticket-bait material and smart producing converge.
The show, staged by George Perrin, was jointly developed… Read
Alex Garland’s ‘Ex Machina’ Gives New Life To Artificial Intelligence: Hot Trailer
Alex Garland's feature helming debut, Ex Machina, was picked up for U.S. distribution by A24 on Wednesday, just in time for the first trailer to drop. Garland, who penned 28 Days Later and Sunshine, also wrote the psychological thriller that stars Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander.
Gleeson plays a 24-year-old coder at the world's largest Internet company who wins a competition to spend a week at a retreat belonging to the company's reclusive CEO (Isaac)… Read
Undaunted, Hong Kong Stars Court China Ire With Occupy Central Support
At the beginning of October, Hong Kong actor and international star Chow Yun-fat became one of the few high-profile local celebrities to speak out on the pro-democracy protests in his native country. Over the past week, a backlash has started to brew against Chow and others who have lent their support to the demonstrators. The stars, of whom Chow is arguably the most famous outside Asia, are the latest this year to take potentially risky positions on global political… Read
‘The Fall’ Season 2; Red Planet Prize Winners & More Global Showbiz Briefs
Gillian Anderson's UK crime drama The Fall has set its second-season debut. BBC Two tweeted that the show will return at 9PM November 13. The psychological thriller that also stars Fifty Shades Of Grey's Jamie Dornan was a hit in the UK last year, and the second season also will be coming soon to Netflix in the U.S. Created by Allan Cubitt, The Fall focuses on a game of cat and mouse between Anderson's highly driven detective and the sexually motivated serial killer she's… Read
EuropaCorp Fined In France For Financial Reporting Errors
Luc Besson's French mini-major Europacorp has been fined 200,000 euros by the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) for imprecise and inaccurate accounting information following a three-year investigation. Authorities at the French regulator had been seeking a fine of 300,000 euros.
The penalties are related to two elements of Europacorp's financial information, relating to lack of precision in its 2009-2010 financial outlook and lack of precision concerning the depreciation… Read
‘Aladdin’ Alights In Hamburg; Looks Like Disney’s New Global Blockbuster
Disney Theatrical Productions' Thomas Schumacher says the second stand-alone export of Aladdin will open in fall 2015 at the Stage Theatre Neue Flora in Hamburg, Germany. That will follow the May opening of the Casey Nicholaw production at the Dentsu Shiki Theatre Umi in Tokyo. The Alan Menken-Howard Ashman-Tim Rice-Chad Beguelin musical has been one of Broadway's top-grossing shows since opening in March at Disney's Times Square HQ, the New Amsterdam Theatre. The Hamburg… Read
Zodiak Rights Hires BBC WW Exec Chris Stewart As Head Of Scripted Acquisitions
Marking a continued effort to increase its drama output, Zodiak Media's international arm, Zodiak Rights, has scooped up BBC Worldwide Head of Drama Chris Stewart to fill the newly created role of Head of Scripted Acquisitions. As further evidenced on an international scale at the recent Mipcom TV market, drama is all the rage and Zodiak's existing brands include Wallander with Kenneth Branagh, supernatural series Being Human, the upcoming English-language period series Ve… Read