Archive for the ‘Producing’ Category
April 13, 2015 • Category: Producing
, Role Rumors
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Lionsgate Buys ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’; Reese Witherspoon & Bruna Papandrea To Produce
Lionsgate has snapped up the rights to Jessica Knoll’s first novel Luckiest Girl Alive, which Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea will produce under their Pacific Standard Films banner. The Simon & Schuster tome will be published May 12.
Luckiest Girl Alive centers on Ani FaNelli, a 28-year-old New Yorker who appears to have it all: a sought-after position at a women’s magazine, a killer wardrobe and a dream wedding with her handsome fiancé on the horizon. But behind Ani’s veneer of perfection lies a dark trauma from her past, which resurfaces to unravel her meticulously crafted life.
Knoll has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan and articles editor at Self. Simon & Schuster’s Sarah Knight, who acquired and edited Luckiest Girl Alive, also acquired Gillian Flynn’s global best-seller Gone Girl and edited her best-seller Dark Places while at Random House. Papandrea served as EP and Witherspoon produced Gone Girl, which was a huge fall hit for 20th Century Fox and became director David Fincher’s highest-grossing film with $167.8M at the domestic box office and $368M worldwide. Pacific Standard Films also was behind the feature adaptation of the best-selling memoir Wild, which earned $52.4M at the global B.O. to date and earned Witherspoon a Best Actress Oscar nomination for the role of fearless hiker Cheryl Strayed and a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nom for Laura Dern, who played Cheryl’s mother.
“This is one of those rare books that come along every so often that you simply cannot put down,” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group President Erik Feig said in a statement about Luckiest Girl Alive.
Luckiest Girl Alive is the kind of book that grabs you and doesn’t let go,” added Witherspoon. “The hero of the book is a wily, intelligent, complex narrator. This character and the thrilling narrative that she drives are exactly the kind of story our company, Pacific Standard Films, wants to produce.”
VP Production Jeyun Choi Munford and Creative Exec Nirokhi Raychaudhuri is overseeing the project on behalf of Lionsgate. The deal was negotiated by CAA on behalf of Knoll, the novel and the producers. Paradigm reps Knoll.
Last month, Fox 2000 and Pacific Standard won the book rights auction to Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s book Ashley’s War: The Untold Story Of A Team of Women Soldiers On The Special Ops Battlefield. It follows the creation of a 2010 pilot program by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command that allowed elite female soldiers on the battlefield with Green Berets and Army Rangers in Afghanistan. The unit, CST-2, included 1st Lieutenant Ashley White, who would become the first CST member killed in action.
March 11, 2015 • Category: Producing
, Role Rumors
Comments Off on Fox 2000 Wins ‘Ashley’s War’ Auction For Reese Witherspoon And Bruna Papandrea
Update: Fox 2000 has indeed officially closed its deal for the Gayle Tzemach Lemmon book Ashley’s War. The deal was made by UTA, on behalf of lit agent Elyse Cheney. Another opportunity for Reese Witherspoon to craft a film with a heroine that rarely crosses your desk if you sit back and wait for these roles to be dropped in your lap. The role of White would likely be played by a younger actress–she died at 24–but Witherspoon barely flinched when David Fincher didn’t see her for the lead in Gone Girl. They have plenty of time to figure this stuff out.
Original story: Fox 2000 and Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea and Natalie Krinsky ended last night very close to winning a book rights auction to Ashley’s War: The Untold Story Of A Team of Women Soldiers On The Special Ops Battlefield, a Gayle Tzemach Lemmon book that Harper will publish late next month. It’s the story of the creation by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command of a pilot program that allowed elite women soldiers on the battlefield with Green Berets and Army Rangers in Afghanistan in 2010. The unit, CST-2, brought together a hand-picked group of women from the Army, and that included 1st Lieutenant Ashley White, who would become the first CST member killed in action.
In the wake of American Sniper‘s outsized grosses, this becomes the second female-driven war story in two weeks to make a splashy sale: Warner Bros last week bought the memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winning war photographer Lynsey Addario for Steven Spielberg to direct and Jennifer Lawrence to star, in heavy bidding. Ashley’s War didn’t quite reach that feverish level, but I’m told that Sony and Universal were also in the bidding here. Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler guided this one and UTA brokered the deal. Gabler and her exec Marisa Paiva will oversee the project for the studio.
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December 8, 2014 • Category: "Wild"
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Witherspoon’s ‘Wild’ Opening Weekend Treks Into Solid Box-Office Territory
Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon in the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed‘s memoir of a life-changing hike, blazed a trail into solid box office territory, opening in 21 theaters over the weekend with a $630K gross. The feature, which Witherspoon also produced under her Pacific Standard label, was easily the weekend’s biggest newcomer with a $30K per-theater average. Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, meanwhile, once again took the weekend’s highest PTA numbers as it added locations in its second week.
The Searchlight title opened in New York and L.A. Wednesday, expanding for the weekend to 21 theaters in 7 markets. Director Jean-Marc Vallée‘s previous film, Dallas Buyers Club, opened in November 2013 with a nearly $29K PTA, and went on to cume nearly $27.3M and three Oscars, including Best Actor for Matthew McConaughey. Searchlight said it plans to keep Wild hiking through theaters for a lengthy period to come.
“The reviews have been phenomenal and the response at the box-office this weekend was great as well,” Searchlight said in a release. “The film performed well in both Art/Specialty venues as well as in upscale mainstream complexes indicating to us that the film should be able to reach a very broad audience. We are very encouraged by this weekend’s results,” the company said Sunday reporting its numbers. Wild will open in 13 additional markets and expand in some cities where it’s currently playing, playing up to 100 theaters by Dec. 12, and as many as 900 theaters by Christmas Day.
Harper’s Bazaar UK start our year off with a bang with Reese on the cover of their January issue! She looks beautiful in a new photoshoot for the magazine, and talks to them about the production of Wild.
The magazine is available on newsstands tomorrow – pick up a copy!!
‘I would have fired myself a couple of times during rehearsals because I was so scared, oh my God. I got my shit together, but it took me a while.’ – Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon is Bazaar’s January Cover Star
Far from the cliché of the all-American blonde, Reese Witherspoon is a sophisticated, intelligent star who revels in making tough choices, in work and in life.
Reese Witherspoon is doing what she does best: playing up for the camera. In this case, that means dancing to hip-hop on the Bazaar photo-shoot, dressed in an A-line Michael Kors skirt that jiggles about her like a starched crinoline. Here she goes again, dipping, bopping and shimmying. Watching her from the sidelines, I have to say she’s fantastically entertaining, her face a rolling cartoon strip of perky expressions. Photo-shoots don’t come easily to all actresses but Reese is, as you might expect, handling herself like a pro.
In keeping with the shoot’s vague premise – a 1950s Beverly Hills housewife going about her day – Witherspoon cranes her neck to look past the assembled crew here in the kitchen towards the front porch. Suddenly, she’s the picture of wifely anticipation, her ears pricked up as if her imaginary husband were just now pulling into the driveway and about to barrel through the door with a cheery ‘Honey, I’m home.’
It’s impressive to see and gratifying to have one’s expectations borne out. Because isn’t this the Witherspoon we know and love? Bright, breezy and boundlessly energetic, the seasoned crowd-pleaser who has been at it since the age of 14, the Southern gal with a gift for comedy. Yes, it is, to an extent. But getting the full measure of this 38-year-old, we’d better not reduce her to that. There is a cautionary tale being told here about Hollywood and the media, and Witherspoon is the one telling it. It goes something like this: ‘Don’t put me in that box. Or any box, for that matter. People are complex, on-screen and off. Can’t we do justice to that?’ It’s a word that comes up time and again in discussions with and about her: complex.
Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Laura Dern (Wild), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Hilary Swank (The Homesman), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Reese Witherspoon (Wild) and Amy Adams (Big Eyes) discuss their critically acclaimed roles in 2014.
October 14, 2014 • Category: Producing
, Role Rumors
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Reese Witherspoon’s Peggy Lee Film Lands Director
The untitled Peggy Lee film starring Reese Witherspoon is back on, with Far From Heaven helmer Todd Haynes directing.
The project, based on a Nora Ephron screenplay, had been put on hold after Ephron died in 2012. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife) picked up the reins and did a rewrite of the screenplay. His credits include both the stage and film versions of Quills.
Witherspoon, who is at the Toronto Film Festival promoting Wild and The Big Lie, has long eyed the story of the Fever singer whose career in music spanned six decades. Lee died in 2002.
The project is set up at Fox 2000, which made Walk the Line, for which Witherspoon won a best actress Oscar.
Marc Platt, who produced Witherspoon’s two Legally Blonde films, is producing.
Haynes, who is known for directing strong female performances like Julianne Moore’s Oscar-nominated turn in Far From Heaven, most recently directed the Bob Dylan pic I’m Not There. He is in post-production on the Rooney Mara-Cate Blanchett starrer Carol.
Haynes is repped by CAA and attorney John Sloss.
Wright is handled by ICM Partners.
October 14, 2014 • Category: "Wild"
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Reese Witherspoon says Wild role was ‘hardest’ of career
Hollywood star Reese Witherspoon has said her new film Wild was the most challenging of her career to date.
The Oscar-winning actress plays a young woman who goes on a 1,100-mile hike across the Pacific Crest Trail after the break-up of her marriage.
Based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, Witherspoon’s role involves scenes of explicit sex and drug taking.
“It’s the hardest I’ve ever done for many different reasons,” Witherspoon told reporters in London.
“The physicality was really difficult, but after that was the emotional part of it,” she continued ahead of the film’s European premiere.
“The sex scenes were the hardest thing for me to do. I’ve never had to do anything like that in my entire life.
“I had to do all the parts of the movie, the parts that made me feel uncomfortable too, because it is about emotional honesty,” the 38-year-old went on.
The actress, who also co-produced the film, has been tipped as a frontrunner for next year’s best actress Oscar.
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June 21, 2014 • Category: "The Good Lie"
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Reese Witherspoon Drama ‘The Good Lie’ Shifts to October Release
It’s Reese Witherspoon versus the Rapture after Warner Bros. pushed the debut of the Oscar-winning actress’ upcoming indie drama “The Good Lie” back a month.
The film, which centers on the bond between an American woman and a young refugee of the Sudanese Civil War, will premiere on Oct. 3, 2014. It will face off against “Left Behind,” the adaptation of the best-selling end times books with Nicolas Cage, and “Gone Girl,” David Fincher’s take on Gillian Flynn’s mystery novel with Ben Affleck.
It will open in limited release. “The Good Lie” was originally slated to debut on September 10, 2014, a date it had to itself. The Tom Hardy crime thriller “The Drop,” the thriller “No Good Deed” and the Tina Fey and Jason Bateman comedy “This is Where I Leave You” all open two days later.
Philippe Falardeau (“Monsieur Lazhar”) directs “The Good Lie” from Margaret Nagle’s screenplay.