Samuel Goldwyn Acquires “Better Living Through Chemistry”

Samuel Goldwyn has snapped up rights to Better Living Through Chemistry, the dark comedy starring Sam Rockwell and helmed by Geoff Moore and David Posamentier. Rockwell plays a small town pharmacist whose quiet life is turned upside down when he embarks on a drug and alcohol-fueled affair with a customer (Olivia Wilde). Michelle Monaghan, Norbert Leo Butz, Ben Schwartz, Ken Howard, Ray Liotta, and Jane Fonda also star in the pic which marks the directorial debuts of Moore and Posamentier, directing from their own script. Samuel Goldwyn is plotting a spring theatrical release and Universal Studios Home Entertainment will handle home entertainment distribution. Universal Pictures International Entertainment will distribute ancillary in the UK, the Benelux, France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, South America, and select Eastern European and Asian territories. Better Living Through Chemistry is produced by Felipe Marino and Joe Neurauter. Keith Calder, Anders Erden, Graeme Law, Peter Nichols, David Posamentier, Tim Smith and Paul Brett are executive producers. Paul Davis is co-producer and Richard Naing and Kate Sharp are associate producers on the Occupant Entertainment pic. Will Machin negotiated the deal for Metro International with ICM.

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Olivia Wilde Offered Role In “Wonderful Tonight”

An offer has been made to Olivia Wilde to star alongside Patrick Dempsey in the romantic comedy WONDERFUL TONIGHT.

The film centers on an affluent bachelor (naturally played by Dempsey) who tries to rekindle a romance with the mother of his child, whom he had a one-night stand with two years earlier. If she takes the role, Wilde would play Claire Frost, Dempsey’s baby momma and an attractive, mid-twenties nurse. Amanda Seyfried was attached to star late last year, but no mention had been made on the exact specifics of her role. However, an offer out to Wilde could very likely mean that Seyfried has dropped out of the role of Claire.

Liz Glotzer, Susan Arnold and Donna Roth are producing. Christine Jeffs is directing from a script by J Mills Goodloe.

Wilde has previously starred in “Butter”, “Drinking Buddies” and “Rush”, as well as in the hit medical series “House” and teen drama “The O.C.” She will next be seen in Spike Jonze’s “Her”, which has been receiving excellent early reviews from critics.

She is repped by WME.

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Sony Classics Buys “Third Person”

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired U.S., German and Scandinavian rights to “Third Person,” directed by Paul Haggis, two months after its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Written and directed by Haggis, the film stars Liam Neeson, Kim Basinger, Adrien Brody, James Franco, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, and Maria Bello. Michael Nozik of Hwy61 and Haggis produced the film along with Paul Breuls of Corsan, who also provided the financing.

Sony Pictures Classics said, “Paul Haggis is one of our great movie storytellers and ‘Third Person’ is one of his best works featuring an exceptional cast led by Liam Neeson (also at his best).”

Haggis told Variety after the premiere that audiences would have a strong reaction to the romance.

“People are going to either love it or hate it, like ‘Crash,’” Haggis told Variety. “A lot of people want their movies to be easily understood, underlined and in bold. I want people to talk about this movie afterwards. As an industry, we need to respect the audience more.”

The premiere at the Elgin evoked sustained applause for the complex drama of three intertwined relationships: James Franco and Mila Kunis in New York; Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde in Paris; and Adrien Brody and Moran Atias in Rome.

Haggis began writing the film after completing work on “The Next Three Days,” drawing largely from his own life with an emphasis on the themes of denial, loss and love. He began shooting in January with a 45-day shoot, adding, “It was a healthy budget for an indie but a little uncomfortable.”

It was the third time that Haggis has premiered a film at Toronto. “Crash” screened in 2004 and “In the Valley of Elah” opened there in 2007.

Haggis was nominated for screenwriting Oscars for three straight years for “Million Dollar Baby,” “Crash,” and “Letters From Iwo Jima.” He won screenplay and picture Oscars for “Crash.”

Haggis approached the challenge of writing three stories by doing them one at a time and then mixing and matching the components — with much of that work done in the editing process and in small screenings earlier this year.

Bruels came on board in May 2012 when Neeson and Wilde were attached.

Corsan got 50% of the funding through Belgian tax credits, which require spending money on Belgian elements like development, crew and post-production. “Having that is a formidable cornerstone for the rest of your financing,’ Breuls added.

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Behind the scenes with Rush actress Olivia Wilde

Rush tells the high-speed story of real-life race car drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), detailing their competitive relationship in the high-stakes world of Formula One racing during the 1970s. Olivia Wilde plays Suzy Miller, a Playboy model who posed for the centerfold in September 1972.

Suzy married James Hunt, a notorious womanizer, and the film explores their volatile relationship. Wilde says, “Suzy and James are an example of the kind of reckless, romantic, optimistic behavior of the time and they had a tumultuous marriage. But she was very much in love with him, and I think he with her, but she ended up leaving him for Richard Burton.” Actor Richard Burton is famous for marrying Elizabeth Taylor not once, but twice. They were also divorced twice.

After meeting at a party in Spain, Suzy Miller and James Hunt got married in 1974, but were divorced by 1976. Suzy received a $1 million divorce settlement.

About falling in love with a dare-devil, Wilde adds, “James is not the safe bet your mother wants you to marry, but he was endearing and, I think, irresistible.” Who doesn’t love a bad boy?

Rush opens in theaters September 27th.

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TIFF 2013: Olivia Wilde on Rush and Third Person

Olivia Wilde had two movies at the Toronto International Film Festival. In the true story Rush, she plays Suzy Miller, a model who briefly marries F1 racer James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and moves on to Richard Burton. Hunt was the rival of Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) and the film chronicles their 1976 racing season. Third Person was screening the day after my interview with Wilde, and I couldn’t even get a ticket this week. It is an ensemble drama written and directed by Paul Haggis.

CraveOnline: Obviously they can never fit everything in the film. Did you shoot any more scenes as Suzy that got cut?

Olivia Wilde: No. No, Suzy was never a big role. The story’s always been about Hunt and Lauda. Actually, Suzy got an extra scene because there was originally a scene between Burton and Hunt. That last scene of me in the restaurant with James was originally a scene with James and Richard Burton where Burton’s explaining that he’s marrying Suzy and that he wants to pay well for her to settle the divorce. In reality he paid about a million pounds. That was a lot in ’76. That scene ended up being my scene so I actually got a little bonus which was fun.
 

So you really only have three scenes to portray the entire arc of this relationship. What was the exercise of that for you?

Well, I knew that the purpose of including Suzy in this story was to show a different side of James, to show the kind of tumult of his personal life, that he had demons and that he self-medicated and it made him nearly impossible to live with. Behind this kind of smiling charming golden boy public persona, he was quite a tortured person. Also, before that point, that he was actually quite a charming and romantic person who proposed to a woman he had just met, doing something completely spontaneous and wild and she was totally charmed by that as well. I also wanted to make sure that we portrayed their love story as a love story, that you got a sense that there was something real there. She wasn’t just another one of his conquests, nor was she a kind of long-suffering victim. She was very much in love with him.
 

Normally the breakup happens in the third act of a biographical story. This really changed things up, because they’re divorced before the halfway mark.

I really love the way Peter Morgan structured the script. So complex, and the editor did a brilliant job, I thought as well, of making it all clear. But really, if it’s a love story, it’s between Hunt and Lauda. The structure of it if you think of them as the love story works perfectly. They come back together in that final scene by the airplane which is one of my favorite scenes. My other favorite scene is when the Italians pick them up by the side of the road. Those two Italian guys and they’re like, “Lauda! Niki Lauda!” That scene’s brilliant but the end, the scene by the airplane, I just think it’s so moving. Peter Morgan says he wrote the whole movie for that scene and I love it because you get the sense that Lauda’s begging Hunt to stay in it, to stay his competitor because he is who is driving him to greatness. Without Hunt, can Niki push himself that hard? I thought that was great.
 

Do we know that Suzy kept watching the races?

Yes, she did.
 

So that’s not artistic license.

No, she did. She watched him for years and she’s still very fond of him, remembers him fondly and lovingly. She believes that they were in love and it just couldn’t work. I actually think it’s a very evolved, loving line when she says to him, “You’re not terrible. You’re just who you are at this moment in your life.” Most women, when a relationship doesn’t work, or most people I think find it hard to be that understanding. I think it’s quite loving of her to not say, “Yeah, you’re an asshole. You fucked up, you were a terrible husband.” She’s like, “No, it’s just who you are. It’s who you are right now and I have enough self-respect not to deal with it.”
 

When you see the role of Suzy in the story was to show that side of James, how much research do you do on the real Suzy?

As much as I could. There isn’t a huge amount available, so I read everything I could, I watched anything I could. I looked at all her photos trying to understand her. I learned a lot from the biographies on James Hunt because I thought, “What kind of woman would fall in love with him? What does that take? What kind of spirit was she?” And she’s still, although I think in her young, wild days she was just an amazingly spontaneous wild woman and now is more mature of course and only remembers the good things about James, when at the time I think he could be a nightmare. He could be a total nightmare.
 

The movie might bring back some memories.

Yeah, yeah, we’ll see.

CraveOnline: You’ve gotten a lot of great roles in film and television, in comedy and drama, but this summer was Drinking Buddies a really monumental role for you?

Olivia Wilde: Yes, game changer. That one was a passion project of mine and I think one of the reasons that people responded well to it is because we made it for the right reasons. We made it not for the result. We made it for the process. It was an exercise in telling a story honestly. I was so proud of it from beginning to end. It was a movie we made for no money, just in Chicago, literally working in a brewery with people working around us, borrowing people’s offices so we could shoot for an hour and then let them back in, and it was just a wonderful experience and I learned a lot from it. So to see it being embraced has been really great and I think it emboldens my drive to do more films like it.
 

How is it going to change the way you approach characters moving forward?

Well, aside from I doubt I’ll be able to improvise every movie from now on, but I think if you took that process of Drinking Buddies which really helped me understand a character very, very well because I had to be so aware of who she was. I had to be ready for any situation, any conversation at any point so I had to know her in such a deep way so that if another actor decided to bring up a question in a scene, “Where did you go to college? What do you like to eat? What’s your dream in life?” I’d be able to answer those questions. That should be a part of every process for every character. That should be part of the preparation. So if I take every script from now on and imagine having to put the entire thing into my own words and to really understand that person in a very deep way, I think it would serve me in a positive way.
 

Have you found that even people who never watched “House” know who 13 is?

That’s funny. I always assumed if they knew 13 then they watched the show, but maybe you’re right.
 

I think there were people who wanted to know who you were and they learned about number 13.

That’s hilarious. Well, I do hear it quite often and it makes me laugh because I remember the day I was in the writers room in “House” and David Shore, our head writer, said, because it was a nickname that House had come up with for me because I had a racing bib on that said 13. Shore said, “I think your name will be 13.” And I said, “Really? That’s ambitious. Won’t people find it confusing or odd?” He said, “No, it’s a name that is memorable and it will become a symbol of the show. You’ll see, it’ll stick.” So when people yell, “13!” I always think of David Shore saying that. I’m like, “You were right, man.”
 

Third Person hasn’t shown yet, so what kind of character did you get to play in that?

That’s a really exciting film. I play a young writer who is having an affair with Liam Neeson’s character who is also a writer, a quite well known novelist. She’s an icier character than I’ve played. She’s complex. She’s kind of damaged. She’s very smart and very mercurial and we learn a lot of tragic things about her but I spend most of the movie in a conversation with Liam. It’s fascinating because he’s so good and so subtle that when I watched the film I saw even more dimensions than I saw in person. He’s really, really good in this role. I call him the big friendly giant but he also carries this weight of a survivor on him that I think he’s probably had since he was a kid. I bet he was one of those little kids with grown-up eyes. So I’m really excited for people to see that. It’s a really intricate film. It’s three simultaneous stories and great actors. I think it’s Paul Haggis’ best thing in a while.
 

Did that come as an offer with your history with Paul?

I originally worked with him on a show called “The Black Donnellys” so we became good friends and then we started an organization together in Haiti with a couple people in the entertainment world called Artists for Peace and Justice. Paul and I have known each other a long time and this was an intimate experience, working on really difficult material with the writer who’s also the screenwriter. I was very honored to get this role. It was one of those roles you get and you’re like, “Whew, okay, this is the big leagues. This is varsity.”
 

What can we expect from Better Living Through Chemistry?

That’s a funny film. I play a pill popping drunk miserable trophy wife who convinces Sam Rockwell to kill my husband. I love Sam Rockwell so in that instance it was just getting to play with one of the most amazing actors of my generation, just so interesting and funny. That’s a great film. I can’t wait for people to see that.
 

Do you hear anything from Team Tron?

Occasionally it bubbles up and I hear things, little whispers of sequels. I told them at this point I don’t know who I would play because I can’t fit into that suit, so I told them I’ll play the mom.
 

Do you think you wouldn’t continue that story with Quorra in the real world?

Oh no, in seriousness, yes. I’d be into it. I liked Quorra a lot. I helped create that character from such an early stage that she felt very much my own and I was very proud of her. The film went through this kind of corporatization process. It’s a difficult story to tell and difficult to know what audience it’s for, but I would have a lot of fun being Quorra again. The last couple times we’ve talked, I said I would do it if they asked. We’ll see. We’ll see. Maybe they’ll take their time with it.
 

You can wear real clothes this time.

That’d be nice. I said they can make the suit out of sweatpants. 

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New Clip From “Rush”

Although he’s mainly associated with Thor, Chris Hemsworth has proven himself to be a very charismatic actor, even if the movie he’s in isn’t very good (see RED DAWN for example). So even though he can be seen as Thor again in November’s THOR: THE DARK WORLD, I’d say I’m more excited to see him in Ron Howard’s RUSH. Today we get a new clip from the film featuring him talking things over with Olivia Wilde, who’s not quite pulling off that British accent. Check it out below and see for yourself. RUSH stars Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Stephen Mangan, Christian McKay, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Jamie de Courcey, Pierfrancesco Favino and Natalie Dormer. The Ron Howard directed film races into theaters on September 27th.

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“Her” Theatrical Trailer

The theatrical trailer for the upcoming film “Her” has recently been released – check it out below!

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New “Drinking Buddies” Clip

Check out a new clip from “Drinking Buddies” below!

“Drinking Buddies” is now on VOD and you can catch it on the big screen starting August 23rd.

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“Drinking Buddies” Clip

Check out a clip from the upcoming film “Drinking Buddies”. The film is currently available on VOD, On Demand and iTunes. For a list of all viewing platforms, visit magpictures.com/ondemand. The film is scheduled to open in theaters August 23rd.

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“Third Person” To Premiere At 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

Its been announced that “Third Person” will premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Third Person follows three couples as their love stories intertwine in three cities across the globe: Rome, Paris, and New York. The stellar ensemble cast includes Academy Award winners Kim Basinger and Adrien Brody, Academy Award nominees Liam Neeson and James Franco, along with Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde and Maria Bello.

Michael, a New York writer who recently left his wife, receives a visit from his lover Anna in a Paris hotel. The story explores their complicated on/off relationship due to her inability to commit because of a terrible secret.

New Yorker Julia has recently been accused of negligence in an incident that almost led to her son’s death, a charge she firmly denies. As a result of these charges, her son is now in the custody of his father Rick, who’s doing everything in his power to take the boy away from her. Julia is trying at all costs to regain custody of her son.

Sean, an American businessman on a trip to Rome, falls in love with a Gypsy woman, Monica. Sean is inevitably drawn into a plot where he tries to free Monica’s daughter who has been kidnapped by an Italian gangster and is being held for ransom. Emotions run high as Sean questions whether he is being set up.

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