Archive for the ‘Role Rumors’ Category
Disney Picks Up Fairy-Tale Comedy ‘Happily Ever After’ for Reese Witherspoon (Exclusive)
Disney is taking a comedic look at the fairy-tale genre.
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The studio has picked up Happily Ever After, a pitch from Nahnatchka Khan, the creator of Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, that has Reese Witherspoon attached to star.
Witherspoon is also on board to produce with her Pacific Standard partner Bruna Papandrea. John Jacobs of Smart Entertainment is also producing.
The idea is to catch up with a prince and princess about 10 years after they have ridden off into the sunset for their “happily ever after.” The couple discovers that even in fairy-tale land, you have to work to keep your relationship and your life together.
The studio’s Kristin Burr and Erin Westerman will oversee the project.
The Happily deal was two years in the making
The idea for it was generated by at Smart Entertainment’s head of production, Zac Unterman. Jacobs and Unterman approached Khan with the idea; they knew the writer from working on American Dad for many years. The three developed together into a great pitch, which they then took to Witherspoon. After some more honing, they then took it to Burr and Westerman who sparked to it and set the project up.
Unterman will act as an exec producer.
Happily brings Witherspoon back into the fold of the studio that made her 2002 hit romantic comedy, Sweet Home Alabama. The actress is in pre-production on Wild, Fox Searchlight’s adaptation of the Cheryl Strayed memoir. (Witherspoon is starring and producing via Pacific Standard the Jean-Marc Vallee drama.)
Khan worked on American Dad! as a writer and executive story editor before going on to create Apartment 23, the ABC comedy that starred Krysten Ritter. She is also writing and executive producing an animated untitled Russell Brand project for FOX.
Smart was a producer on Beverly Hills Chihuahua for Disney and is involved with the sequel to Ted, Seth McFarlane’s hit comedy, and Blumhouse’s new thriller, The Boy Next Door, starring Jennifer Lopez.
Witherspoon is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson. Khan is repped by WME.
Reese Witherspoon to Star in ‘Wild’
Reese Witherspoon is set to star in “Wild” for Fox Searchlight, which has acquired worldwide rights to scribe Nick Hornby’s (“An Education”, “High Fidelity”) adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s NY Times #1 best-seller.
Pic will be produced by Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea through their Pacific Standard banner with River Road Entertainment’s Bill Pohlad. Fox Searchlight’s Claudia Lewis and David Greenbaum will oversee the project.
Strayed’s book recounts how she hiked 1,000 miles alone on the Pacific Crest Trail following years of destructive behavior in the wake of the dissolution of her marriage and her mother’s death.
The film is slated to begin production in the late fall once a director is in place.
“We are so excited to be working with Fox Searchlight to bring ‘Wild’ to the screen,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “It is an extraordinary company that continually strives to bring original, inspirational films to the marketplace. We are thrilled to collaborate with them on ‘Wild.’”
Casting Director Seeks Talent for Reese Witherspoon Feature
The upcoming Reese Witherspoon feature “Three Little Words” has a casting director attached, Backstage has learned.
Witherspoon is set to play the lead in the upcoming film based on the memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter. The book chronicled Rhodes-Courter’s traumatic childhood in foster care and her turbulent relationship with her biological mother.
James Mangold, who worked with Witherspoon on “Walk The Line,” is set to direct.
With the production planning a September start, Los Angeles-based Sheila Jaffe Casting will be tasked with filling out the cast.
Universal Wins Auction For ‘Don’t Mess With Texas;’ Spec Teams Reese Witherspoon And Sofia Vergara
After a spirited bidding battle, Universal has just closed a deal for Don’t Mess With Texas, a comedy spec by John Quaintance & David Feeney that will make for an onscreen pairing of Reese Witherspoon and Modern Family‘s Sophia Vergara. Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea will produce through their Pacific Standard banner along with Dana Fox. Vergara will be co-producer. Fox is the scripter of such features as What Happens In Vegas, and also the exec producer of the Ben And Kate, the just-canceled Fox series where Quaintance & Feeney were writers. Don’t Mess With Texas is on a fast track, with plans to begin production March, 2014.
Pic is a female driven comedy about a cop and a prisoner on the run in Texas, with crooked cops in hot pursuit. Witherspoon is coming off the Jeff Nichols-directed Mud, and she will star alongside Keanu Reeves in Passengers, the sci-fi film that was bought by The Weinstein Company at Cannes. She will next be seen starring in the Atom Egoyan-directed drama Devil’s Knot about the West Memphis 3 case, and she’ll next star for Paul Thomas Anderson in Inherent Vice. She’s repped by CAA and Management 360. Besides the hit ABC series Modern Family, Vergara most recently starred in The Three Stooges, with Machete Kills upcoming. She’s repped by CAA, Latin World Entertainment and Untitled. Fox is repped by WME, Quaintance by CAA and Art/Work, and Feeney by UTA.
Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Chastain among the front-runners to play Hillary Clinton in Rodham
Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon are among actresses being considered to portray the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Rodham – about the younger years of the former First Lady and senator – is due out some time around the 2016 presidential election, in which Clinton might be a canditate. It will focus on 1974, when she was a Washington lawyer.
Among those in the running to play the 26-year-old Clinton are Amanda Seyfried, who starred in Les Misérables, Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, and Scarlett Johansson, most recently seen playing Janet Leigh in Hitchcock.
Rodham director James Ponstoldt said: “They’re all wonderful actresses. We’re very fortunate that a lot of really great actors are interested in playing these roles. We’re in an enviable position.”
“Regardless of people’s political affiliation or how they feel about Hillary Clinton, you don’t find people who question the quality of her intelligence or her drive. I want a wonderful actress who could embody that.”
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Cannes: Weinstein Co. Picks Up Reeves-Witherspoon Space Romance ‘Passengers’
The Weinstein Company has acquired the U.S. rights to sci-fi romance movie, Passengers, starring Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon.
The company has committed to a multi-million dollar guarantee and will spend a minimum $25 million on marketing the release. Wayfare Entertainment is financing and producing the film.
Developed by Reeves and Stephen Hamel at their Company Films, the script was written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). The film will be the feature directing debut of Irish TV director Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire).
Reeves plays a character aboard a spaceship destined for a faraway colony whose sleep chamber malfunctions and awakens him 90 years before the ship is due to arrive. Facing a solitary life and death in deep space, he wakes up a fellow passenger, played by Witherspoon, and a novel interstellar romance ensues.
Hamel and Wayfare CEO Ben Browning are producing. Start Media’s Michael Maher and Lynwood Spinks are onboard to executive produce. Exclusive Media is selling the project to foreign buyers in Cannes.
The Weinsteins have been busy on the Croisette this year. The company pre-bought the U.S. rights to the Michelle Williams starrer Suite Francaise, which starts shooting in June; and also inked a deal for Stephen Frears’ Philomena — starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan — paying $6.5 million for rights in the U.S., Canada and Spain.
The Weinstein Co. also grabbed North American rights to writer-director Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin, which is showing in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar in Cannes.
Reese Witherspoon Reuniting With ‘Walk the Line’ Director
Reese Witherspoon is reuniting with James Mangold for Three Little Words, an adaptation of the memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter.
Witherspoon will star in the adaptation, which Mangold will direct.
Amanda Seyfried, who last starred in Les Miserables, is in talks to star opposite Witherspoon but no deal is done.
Mangold is producing with also producing with his partner, Cathy Konrad, via their Tree Line Films banner, marking a reunion of the team behind Walk the Line, for which Witherspoon won a best actress Oscar.
Jami Gertz (A Better Life) and her Lime Orchard Production banner are also producing.
Red Crown’s recent boarding of the project gave it momentum and principals Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker and Daniel Crown are on board to produce. Red Crown’s Dover Shores Capital, a New York-based private equity firm, is fully financing the project, for which Good Universe will launch international sales at Cannes.
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Cannes: Reese Witherspoon Joining Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’
All actors want to work with Paul Thomas Anderson and it’s no surprise he’s lining up a killer cast for his adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel Inherent Vice. I hear Reese Witherspoon is the latest marquee name to join Joaquin Phoenix, Owen Wilson and Benicio Del Toro in the film. Book takes place in Los Angeles at the turn of the 1970s, as drug-fueled detective Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of an ex-girlfriend. Witherspoon re-teams with Phoenix, with whom she had a triumphant pairing in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line. Witherspoon won the Oscar for her portrayal of June Carter and Phoenix got an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Johnny Cash. Warner Bros will distribute Inherent Vice. She’s repped by CAA and Management 360.
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Fox 2000 Acquires Americanized ‘Get Her Off The Pitch’ For Reese Witherspoon
Fox 2000 has acquired Depth Of Field, a screenplay by J. Mills Goodloe that is an Americanized version of Get Her Off The Pitch, the 2009 bestselling memoir by Times Of London cultural critic Lynne Truss. Elizabeth Gabler bought it with the idea of shaping it as a star vehicle for Reese Witherspoon, who’ll produce it with Twilight Saga‘s Karen Rosenfelt and Bruna Papandrea.
Truss, once a self-described proud sports atheist, was sent on a lark by her editor to cover the World Cup. Her readers were amused, and Truss eventually spent four years covering major sporting events throughout Europe and America, writing humorous and somewhat academic essays. Along the way, she slowly became a convert, discovering the significance of sport, and how it affected her own life and relationships. Get Her Off The Pitch was never published in the U.S., but Goodloe discovered it in a bookstore while on a trip to Sydney. He transplanted Truss’ story to an American sport.
This seems like a good fit for Witherspoon, who has done well with fish-out-of-water pics from Legally Blonde to Sweet Home Alabama. It becomes another strong project she and Papandrea have set up to produce under their Pacific Standard banner at Fox. They include Gone Girl, the Gillian Flynn bestseller that I keep hearing will be David Fincher’s next film. Witherspoon just opened opposite Matthew McConaughey in the Jeff Nichols-directed Mud. Goodloe most recently adapted the Nicholas Sparks novel The Best Of Me for Warner Bros and director Michael Hoffman. Witherspoon is repped by CAA and Evelyn O’Neill at Management 360. Goodloe is repped by UTA and Eryn Brown at Management 360.
Reese Witherspoon in Talks to Join Keanu Reeves in Sci-Fi Love Story ‘Passengers’
Reese Witherspoon has entered into talks to star opposite Keanu Reeves in Passengers, a sci-fi love drama that Brian Kirk is directing for Wayfare Entertainment.
The script – Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) wrote the most recent draft – in which a starship transporting human cargo to a colony malfunctions, causing one passenger (Reeves) to prematurely thaw from a cryogenic slumber nearly a century before anyone else. Not wanting to be alone, he decides to wake up another passenger, a female.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that talks are in the early stages, but should a deal close, Witherspoon would play the female lead.
Reeves is producing the movie with Stephen Hamel and Ben Browning. Michael Maher is exec producing. The project is expected to be presented to buyers at Cannes.
A shoot in Montreal is being planned.
Witherspoon, who was arrested last month in Atlanta for disorderly conduct after her CAA agent husband was pulled over for a DUI, is making the rounds promoting her indie drama Mud, in which she stars with Matthew McConaughey. She next appears in Devil’s Knot, a true-life drama about the West Memphis Three.
The Passengers deal would mark Witherspoon’s first project since the arrest.
Witherspoon is repped by CAA, Management 360 and Hansen Jacobson.
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