CASTINGSLiev Schreiber will portray tennis coach Paul Cohen in Warner Bros.’ “King Richard” opposite Will Smith. Reinaldo Marcus Green is directing the drama, written by Zach Baylin, about Richard Williams helping daughters Venus and Serena Williams to become tennis stars. Smith plays Richard Williams and his daughters will be portrayed by Saniyya Sidney as Venus and Demi Singleton as Serena. Cohen also worked with Pete Sampras and John McEnroe.
Jon Bernthal and Aunjanue Ellis also star in “King Richard,” produced by Smith via his Westbrook Studios banner along with Tim White and Trevor White through Starthrower Entertainment. Warner Bros. has set the film for a Nov. 25 release. Schreiber recently completed the final season of “Ray Donovan.” He’ll be seen next in Wes Anderson’s “French Dispatch.”
"The Hunger Games." On the set of the Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence told co-star Josh Hutcherson she could kick all the way over his head. Instead, she gave him a concussion.
Popular on Variety
****Vernon Davis, who recently retired from professional football after 14 years, has been cast in a starring role in Supremacy Films thriller “Red Winter.”
The movie, directed by Steven C. Pitts from a John Prescott script, is set to begin shooting in Denver this week. “Red Winter” stars Ashley A. Williams as a woman in her early 30s with heightened survival skills. She, her father, a friend and Davis’ character are put to the test when they are stranded in a deadly Colorado winter blizzard after a snowmobile trip turns disastrous. Davis appeared in Wes Miller’s “Hell on the Border” (Lionsgate) opposite Ron Perlman and in “Baywatch.” He’s repped by UTA, Jason Yorker of Invertix Management and Fox Rothschild.
"The Terminator." Arnold Schwarzenegger worked with guns every day for a month to prepare for the role. The first two weeks of filming he practiced weapons stripping and reassembly blindfolded until the motions were automatic, like a machine. He spent hours at the shooting range and practicing with different weapons without blinking or looking at them when reloading or cocking. He also had to be ambidextrous.
James Cameron was homeless when writing the movie "The Terminator," and sold the rights for US$1, on the condition he could direct it.
COMMENCEMENTThree-time Academy Award-nominee Jason Blum has been selected to deliver the commencement address at Vassar College on May 24. Blum agreed to address Vassar graduates 29 years after he received his own diploma from the college, where he majored in drama. “Jason’s innovative work in the film and television industry is well known, but here at Vassar we are just as appreciative of the work he has done as a member of our Board of Trustees, particularly his passion for our commitment to being a need blind institution,” said Elizabeth Bradley, president.
Blum received Oscar nominations for producing “BlacKkKlansman,” “Get Out” and “Whiplash.” He is the founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, which has gained renown for the strategy of producing high-quality, micro-budget films.
"The Dark Knight." In preparation for his role as The Joker, Heath Ledger hid away in a motel room for about six weeks. During this extended stay of seclusion, Ledger delved deep into the psychology of the character. He devoted himself to developing The Joker's every tic, namely the voice and that sadistic-sounding laugh.
ACQUISITIONBreaking Glass Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to the Irish character study “Rialto.” Peter Mackie Burns directed from a script by Mark O’Halloran, who adapted his stage play “Trade” for the screen. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in the Horizons section.
The film follows Colm, a man in his mid-40s who has a comfortable life and a kind, loyal wife. After the death of his father, a destructive figure, his emotional life cracks open and he finds himself drawn to a 19-year-old man who dabbles in prostitution. “’Rialto’ is one of the most potent and devastating films of the year,” said Richard Ross, co-president of Breaking Glass. “Mackie Burns’ assured and precise direction, and Vaughan-Lawlor’s tortured, yet heartbreaking Colm lead a genuinely superb cast in a truly unforgettable experience.”
Two actors have died playing Judas in live Biblical productions by accidentally hanging themselves for real during his death scene.
BOX OFFICE DreamWorks Pictures’ “1917” has topped $350 million in worldwide box office with $152.9 million domestically via Universal and $198.8 million internationally via Universal and Amblin Partners. “1917,” directed by Sam Mendes, won three Academy Awards and has remained in the Top 10 domestically since going wide on Jan. 10. The story of two soldiers on a mission to save their comrades opened at No. 1 in 22 territories. It grossed $55 million to date in the U.K., distributed by eOne.
After watching Star Wars, James Cameron decided to quit his job as a truck driver to enter the film industry.