Tag: Paramount

Actor/Director Denzel Washington to be Honored by Santa Barbara Film Festival

Denzel Washington Fences
Denzel Washington (UNIMEDIA IMAGES/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Denzel Washington has been selected to receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Feb. 2, 2017 at the Arlington Theatre.

Washington will be honored for his longstanding contributions to the film industry, culminating with Paramount’s upcoming movie “Fences,” which he directs, produces, and stars in.

The award is named for film critic Leonard Maltin, who will return for his 26th year to moderate the evening.  Roger Durling, the festival’s executive director, said, “Denzel Washington directing, producing and acting in ‘Fences’ defines the Modern Master for the 21st Century.”

Washington portrays a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a decision that threatens to tear his family apart.

The screenplay is written August Wilson, adapted from Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The film also stars Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney. Paramount opens “Fences” on Dec. 25.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/festivals/denzel-washington-santa-barbara-film-festival-1201928237/

Chadwick Boseman Makes Deal at Paramount to Develop Film About Anti-Gang Violence Activist Rev. Jeffrey Brown

David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw to Star in J.J. Abrams’ ‘God Particle’

David Oyelowo Gugu Mbatha-Raw God Particle
David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to Variety.com, actors David Oyelowo (“Selma”) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Beyond The Lights”) are lined up to star in J.J. Abrams-produced sci-fi thriller “God Particle” for Paramount Pictures.

Julius Onah is directing the film, which takes place in the near future. It centers on a team of astronauts who make a terrifying discovery that challenges all they know about the fabric of reality, as they desperately fight for their survival.  The film will be released in theaters on Feb. 24, 2017.

Oyelowo recently finished production on “A United Kingdom” costarring Rosamund Pike, as well as Disney’s “Queen of Katwe.”   Mbatha-Raw most recently appeared as Will Smith’s wife in “Concussion” and has the Civil War drama “Free State of Jones,” opposite Matthew McConaughey coming out this summer.

“Selma” Cast, Director Ava DuVernay Wear “I Can’t Breathe” Shirts at N.Y. Premiere

Eric Garner Selma premiere protest I
(RAY TAMARRA/GC IMAGES)

Parties and protests don’t typically overlap, but the “Selma” cast made an exception and a statement on Sunday night following the film’s Manhattan premiere. At one point during the otherwise splashy festivities, director Ava DuVernay took to the steps of the New York Public Library with actors David OyelowoE. Roger MitchellWendell PierceOmar DorseyJohn Lavelle, Stephan James, Kent FaulconLorraine ToussaintAndre HollandTessa Thompson and Colman Domingo, donning “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts over their partywear and raising their arms in the “don’t shoot” pose.

It was not just an unusually sobering photo op, but also a direct acknowledgment of the eerie timing of Paramount’s civil rights drama, with its scenes of organized protest and its urgent plea for justice and reform. The premiere was held the same weekend that more than 25,000 men and women marched through Manhattan, in the largest protest the city has seen since a grand jury decided not to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner.

The picture’s timeliness is undeniable, said Toussaint, who plays the civil rights activist Amelia Boynton. “There are no accidents,” she said. “I’m so proud to be a part of this film, and I’m so proud of Ava’s accomplishment. To bear witness to the fact that this voice is being heard at this moment … it speaks to the times and the needs of this time, too.”

Introducing the screening, along with Oyelowo and producers Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, DuVernay noted that the last time she had set foot in the historic Ziegfeld Theater, it was in her capacity as a publicist. That was back in 2006, at the New York premiere of “Dreamgirls.”

“I was on that film for a year,” DuVernay recalled at the afterparty. “I remember what Jennifer Hudson wore. I remember what Beyoncé wore. It was a madhouse of A-list celebrities, and I walked that same carpet.” Is it better walking it as a filmmaker rather than a flack? “A little better, a little better. I’ve got better gear on than that black suit.”

Fortunately for actor Alessandro Nivola, the premiere was held on his one night off from “The Elephant Man,” the Broadway play in which he’s currently starring alongside Bradley Cooper. Nivola had to dash over to the Ziegfeld from the matinee, just in time for the film’s 6 p.m. screening.

“I would’ve walked offstage a little early to get to the red carpet if it had meant that I was going to miss it (otherwise),” Nivola said.

He noted that it was a treat to work again with Oyelowo, with whom he also appeared in “Who Do You Love” and the upcoming “A Most Violent Year.” “He was particularly inspired in this particular role by his faith. Whether or not you believe in God, when you see somebody who feels that drive in him in a performance, it’s a pretty powerful thing.”

Also in attendance were Paramount chairman-CEO Brad Grey, Viacom president-CEO Philippe DaumanJames Schamus and Harvey Weinstein, as well as “Selma” actors Carmen EjogoCommonTim Roth and Tom Wilkinson. Paramount will roll the film out on Christmas Day in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., followed by a wide release on Jan. 9.

article by Justin Chang via Variety.com

Chris Rock Lands $12.5 Million Deal with Paramount for His New Film “Top Five”

Top Five Toronto Film Festival

Paramount is about to finalize what will likely be the biggest deal of this year’s Toronto Film Festival: a whopping $12.5 million for the Chris Rock comedy “Top Five.”  The studio, which is acquiring worldwide rights to the movie, has also agreed to spend $20 million on marketing.

The Scott Rudin-produced film, which Rock stars in and directs about a day in the life of a comedian movie star, premiered in Toronto on Saturday night and sparked a fierce bidding war among several studios.

The film’s budget was north of $10 million.  Buyers interested in the film included CBS Films, Sony, Open Road and Relativity.

Part of the concern for potential buyers is that with a substantial promotional commitment and Rock’s limited international following, the film would be almost wholly dependent on its domestic box office in order to make a profit. However, the film was enthusiastically received by audiences at Toronto and knowledgeable insiders say it has real commercial potential.

Paramount makes sense because the studio’s chief, Brad Grey, has a longstanding relationship with Rock.

article by Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh via Variety.com

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