Dailies: George Clooney Heats Up Cannes


  • In the first major pickup of the Cannes Film Festival, Overture Films has acquired the U.S. rights to George Clooney’s war comedy Men Who Stare at Goats, co-starring Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. (Variety)
  • Separately, Focus Features has tapped Clooney to star as an isolated assassin in A Very Private Gentleman, set to be directed by former music video director Anton Corbijn. (Variety)
  • DreamWorks is working on a Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, the first film to be authorised by King’s estate. Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider worked feverishly to acquire King’s life rights for the project, which will allow them to use King’s intellectual property including his “I Have a Dream” speech. (Variety)
  • NBC is believed to have (finally) renewed Law & Order for a 20th season. Tying Gunsmoke’s record for the longest running drama series, next season of L&O is expected to only consist of 16 episodes. (THR)
  • William Morris has laid off 100 staffers, including at least 32 agents, less than 15% of the agency’s employees after the firm learned that its merger with endeavour would not be held up by the Federal Trade Commission. (Deadline Hollywood Daily)
  • Since one financial film isn’t enough, Fox is developing a comedy about an older couple who lose all of their money in a Wall Street Ponzi scheme (hilarious!) and are forced to move in with their son. The movie will be written and directed Steve Brill, who helmed the flop Drillbit Taylor for Paramount. (Variety)
  • Fox has pushed up the start times for the World Series, in an effort to expand the audience for the games. The first pitch will be thrown out at 7:57 p.m. Eastern time, the first time in 40 years that World Series games will start before 8 p.m. (Broadcasting & Cable)
  • Kevin Spacey and Colin Firth are set to star in the film adaptation of George Orwell’s Catalonia. The movie will be directed by Chariots of Fire helmer Hugh Hudson and is seeking distributors at Cannes. (Variety)
  • A settlement has been reached in a $10 million lawsuit filed by a screenwriter against Mel Gibson over The Passion of the Christ. The screenwriter claimed Gibson and others vastly understated the budget for the movie and told him Gibson wouldn’t receive any money from the film. (THR)

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