Amazon Wins $10 Million U.S. Rights Auction For ‘This Is Us’ Creator Dan Fogelman Film ‘Life Itself’
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: In one of the year’s biggest acquisition deals, Amazon Studios has made a $10 million-plus deal for U.S. rights to Life, Itself, a drama directed and written by This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman. The completed film is a multi-generational love story, weaving together a number of characters whose lives intersect over the course of decades from the streets of New York to the Spanish countryside and back. Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, Mandy Patinkin, Sergio Peris-Mencheta and Alex Monner star. Pic’s produced by Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder, and Fogelman.
Amazon won the project over Paramount and Universal, and it was a big one for Amazon under Jason Ropell’s leadership. This project has been on the radar of distributors since the script topped the Black List before it began production, and again when FilmNation presented the package at Berlin at a time when This Is Us had established itself as the biggest breakout hit network series in years. But the auction — which came down to Paramount, Amazon Studios and Universal in the end — really commenced after distributors heard about a couple of “friends and family” screenings of the finished film. Studios — which had already read the script — began making sight-unseen proposals, and three finalists emerged and were then shown the finished film. The bidders made marketing presentations and how they would release the film in the Oscar corridor next year. This process had been going on for the past 10 days.
The film will likely be unveiled next fall in a prestige festival like Toronto or Telluride, and it will broaden from there. Fogelman, who wrote the animated films Cars, Tangled and Bolt and then moved into live action with scripts Stupid, Crazy, Love, The Guilt Trip and Last Vegas, made his directorial debut on a small film, the Al Pacino-starrer Danny Collins. Life Itself, one-third of which takes place in Spain with Spanish-language dialogue and subtitles, fuses the complex emotional resonance of This Is Us in a feature format that puts Fogelman in a position to mine turf of James L. Brooks. The film liberally uses the music of Bob Dylan, specifically from his album Time Out Of Mind.
This is the third major film that FilmNation fully financed, which became a huge sale, after Arrival and The Big Sick.
Endeavor Content brokered the U.S. deal with FilmNation, latter of which is the international sales agent. Fogelman is repped by WME, Management 360 and attorney Bruce Gellman of Hansen Jacobson.
Olivia has signed with True Botanicals as its chief brand activist!
“It’s up to us in this country to regulate what we’re using, because we cannot trust the government to regulate them in a safe way,” said the former Revlon ambassador.
Wilde has signed with True Botanicals as its chief brand activist, WWD has learned. She is the Mill Valley, Calif.-based brand’s first official celebrity endorsement, and the first prominent celebrity signing of a natural skin-care line in the beauty industry. The chief brand activist role — which Wilde and the business partners running the direct-sell luxury skin-care line are quick to say is more like that of a salaried employee in lieu of a traditional ambassadorship — was created specifically for her.
“She’s the spark,”said Christina Mace-Turner, chief executive officer of True Botanicals. “We’re part of a growing number of businesses thinking about sustainable practices and changing the norms in our industry. Olivia completely got what we were doing and it felt like a very natural partnership.”
For Wilde, the role is a far cry from her contract with Revlon, where she was signed as a face from 2011 to the end of last year. The move from representing mass brand to niche natural is just the latest sign of the continuing shift in the consumer drive toward wellness-oriented, better-for-you products. But even True Botanicals isn’t so niche anymore — in March, Unilever Ventures acquired a minority stake in the company as part of a $3 million round of seed funding.
“Everyone is a part of it for the right reasons,” said Wilde. “It’s a very different experience than working for Revlon, which is a massive global brand and has a legacy, [unlike] something new and trying to change the game like True Botanicals.”
Wilde is planning on playing an active role in promoting the brand via her social media channels, as well as working on projects with the True Botanicals team.
Of her new title, “We sort of made it up,” said Wilde. “I’m thrilled to be part of the company as an advocate and help spread the word about the important mission they’re on, whether it’s talking to consumers and vouching for it personally, testifying before congress, learning about the research behind the need for these [nontoxic] products, learning about clinical trials, [or becoming involved in the actual [product development]. I’m really eager to learn more about what consumers are looking for.”
Continue reading Olivia Signs With Skin-Care Brand True Botanicals
Olivia is set to star in 1984 on Broadway. This will be Olivia’s Broadway debut!
The limited engagement — which marks Wilde’s Broadway debut — begins performances May 18 at the Hudson Theatre.
Tom Sturridge, Olivia Wilde and Reed Birney are set to star in 1984 on Broadway.
Producers Sonia Friedman and Scott Rudin announced Monday that the trio will lead the new stage adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian novel.
The limited engagement — which marks Wilde’s Broadway debut — begins performances May 18 and will open June 22 at the Hudson Theatre. Adapted and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, 1984 transfers to Broadway after four successful U.K. runs and international tour dates including Los Angeles early last year.
Sturridge, Wilde and Birney will play the novel’s classic characters Winston Smith, Julia and O’Brien, respectively. They will be joined by Wayne Duvall (Parsons), Carl Hendrick Louis (Martin), Nick Mills (Syme), Michael Potts (Charrington), and Cara Seymour (Mrs. Parsons).
Orwell’s novel has seen a recent surge in sales as political pundits and editorialists draw parallels between the contemporary rise of far-right political movements and the author’s bleak vision of a future in which critical thought is suppressed by a totalitarian regime, ostensibly overseen by a party leader known as Big Brother.
First published in 1949, the book recently made its way back to the top of the Amazon best-seller list and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide since publication.
Olivia Wilde To Star In Emmett/Furla’s ‘A Vigilante’
EXCLUSIVE: Olivia Wilde will star in A Vigilante, a drama scripted and directed by Sarah Daggar Nickson that Emmett/Furla/Oasis has green lit for a February production start. Wilde (Drinking Buddies) plays The Woman, a secretive figure who rids victims of their domestic abusers. EFO’s Randall Emmett and George Furla are producing with Andrew D. Corkin of Uncorked productions and Lars Knudsen of Parts & Labor, and Ambyr Childers of Badlands Entertainment.
This marks the second collaboration between those producers, after Jan Kwiecinski’s The Incident. Wayne Marc Godfrey of The Fyzz Facility, Uncorked’s Bryan Reisberg, and Parts and Labor’s Jay Van Hoy will serve as executive producers. Tony Callie and Tim Sullivan will co-produce. WME repped Wilde, Nickson and Emmett/Furla, while Corkin and Knudsen are repped by André Des Rochers of Gray Krauss Stratford. Childers is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment and UTA.
EFO has the Martin Scorsese-directed Silence coming December 23, Amityville: The Awakening coming January 6, and just wrapped the John Travolta-starrer Gotti from director Kevin Connolly.
Unfortunately, HBO has announced that Vinyl will not continue for a second season, despite being renewed earlier, in February.
Thanks for all the kind words about Vinyl, my friends. We had a BLAST, and made something special. Party on. ❤️
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) June 23, 2016
‘Vinyl’ Canceled: HBO Scraps Plans For Revamped Season 2
HBO has changed course on Vinyl. The 1970s rock n roll drama had been renewed for a second season with a new showrunner, Scott Z. Burns, replacing co-creator, executive producer and showrunner Terence Winter. Now the premium cable network has decided not to go with Season 2 of the series, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger.
“After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl,” HBO said in a statement. “Obviously, this was not an easy decision. We have enormous respect for the creative team and cast for their hard work and passion on this project.
Cancellation was not based on the work of the new Vinyl creative team of Burns and executive producer Max Borenstein as no scripts for Season 2 had been delivered.
Vinyl has been a big-budget series from A-list auspices and a star cast that had underperformed. “Vinyl didn’t launch in the way we were hoping it would; it’s disappointing, but it happens,” HBO’s outgoing head of programming Michael Lombardo told Deadline last month.
The decision not to continue with Vinyl comes as HBO’s new programming chief Casey Bloys is settling into the job. It will free up resources and help him put his stamp on HBO’s drama output more quickly.
Vinyl had a 20-year development history, with Scorsese and Jagger originally attempting to do it as a movie. When it was set up at HBO in 2010, Winter was brought in as a writer/executive producer.
The big-budget period drama drew soft ratings for its first season, with viewership between 760,000 and 570,000 for a premiere airing.
The series starred Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, a record label president who is trying to save his company and his soul without destroying everyone in his path. Co-starring were Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, Ato Essandoh, Max Casella, P.J. Byrne, J.C. MacKenzie, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Juno Temple, Jack Quaid, James Jagger and Paul Ben-Victor.
Gravitas Ventures has acquired all U.S. rights to Peter Glanz’s directorial debut “The Longest Week”, a comedy that stars Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde, Billy Crudup and Jenny Slate.
The film will be released theatrically and on VOD on September 5.
Glanz’s script is based on his short film “A Relationship in Four Days,” which played both Cannes and Sundance.
Bateman stars as Conrad Valmont, heir to a hotel fortune, who is cut off from his allowance following his parents abrupt divorce and tossed out into the unforgiving streets of the Upper West Side. Luckily, he is taken in by his old friend Dylan (Crudup), and returns the favor by immediately falling for Dylan’s girlfriend Beatrice (Wilde). As Conrad attempts to woo Beatrice while keeping both their relationship and his bank balance secret, Dylan tries to set him up with Jocelyn (Slate). Committed to the charade that he eventually finds difficult to maintain, Conrad quickly realizes his charm can only extend so far into debt.
“‘The Longest Week’ and the performances of Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde and Billy Crudup offer a refreshing new perspective on a timeless love triangle. With the film, Peter Glanz follows in the great tradition of Woody Allen, Whit Stillman and Wes Anderson in incisively and hilariously portraying the challenges of falling in and out of love in Manhattan” remarked Gravitas Ventures founder/CEO Nolan Gallagher.
“Upon hearing Gravitas Ventures strategy for the film, we realized immediately that they are at the cutting edge of independent film distribution and would do a fantastic job with this film,” said YRF Entertainment CEO Uday Chopra.
YRF Entertainment (“Grace of Monaco”) financed “The Longest Week” and produced in association with Armian Pictures, Atlantic Pictures, and Far Hills. The film was produced by Uday Chopra and Neda Armian, and executive produced by Jonathan Reiman, Chris Marsh, Stone Douglass and Taylor Materne executive produced.