September 16, 2013

The news of Charlie Hunnam’s casting as Christian Grey in the upcoming film adaptation of E L James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” continues to have Hollywood – and fans – buzzing.

And while the fan debate rages on, as to whether Charlie – perhaps best known for his role as Jackson “Jax” Teller on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” – is the right choice, at least one fellow big screen leading man is lending Charlie his full support.

“I know Charlie, he’s a great guy!” Brad Pitt beamed to Access Hollywood at the Toronto Film Festival, when asked for his thoughts about the “Fifty Shades” casting news.

“He’s a good egg and one of the guys that are putting story and craft first,” Brad continued of Charlie, who many have said looks a lot like Brad. “I hope good things for him.”

In fact, Brad’s production company Plan B is slated to produce a vampire film “Vlad,” for which Charlie wrote the screenplay.

As for Brad, he was in Toronto promoting his new drama “12 Years A Slave,” in which he plays Samuel Bass – a Canadian abolitionist who helps Solomon Northrup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) gain his freedom after being kidnapped and sold into slavery in New York in 1841.

“It’s an incredible movie. It’s a very special film, it’s a rare film – it’s why we all get into the business,” Brad said of his new film.

While Brad was busy promoting the film in Toronto, Angelina Jolie was in Australia, along with the couple’s six children.

“Yeah, she’s got her hands full,” Brad joked with Access. “I’m actually jealous.”

Read more. Thanks Nikki.

September 3, 2013
by admin / plan b

Hulu is continuing to expand its original programming slate, announcing on Tuesday that they had purchased 10 episodes of half-hour series “Deadbeat,” a supernatural comedy co-produced by Lionsgate and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.

“Deadbeat” comes from creators Cody Heller and Brett Konner, who previously worked on FX’s “Wilfred.” Set to debut next year, the series focuses on a hapless but gifted male medium who aids New York’s ghosts in settling their unfinished business. Troy Miller (“Flight of the Conchords”) will direct and executive produce all episodes through his Dakota Pictures banner.

“On behalf of the Hulu team, we are very proud to be working with Cody, Brett, Troy and the talented executives of Lionsgate and Plan B on this uniquely funny and imaginative show,” said Charlotte Koh, Hulu’s head of development in a statement. “‘Deadbeat’ is a welcome addition to our growing slate of smart, distinctive original programming.”

With production slated to begin in the fall, “Deadbeat” joins Hulu’s original content slate that includes Seth Meyers’ “The Awesomes” and western comedy “Quick Draw.”

Read more.

July 30, 2013
by admin / plan b

Ava DuVernay is taking over directing duties of the Martin Luther King Jr feature project that Lee Daniels was once originally attached to helm, but faced a financing wall, and moved on to other projects.

Deadline reports that David Oyelowo, who was to star in Daniels’ project, will stay onboard to play MLK, reuniting with DuVernay (he co-starred in her 2012 acclaimed sophomore effort, Middle Of Nowhere).

Titled Selma, DuVernay was brought onboard to direct the project by Pathe UK, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and producer Christian Colson, who were impressed by her last effort, Middle Of Nowhere.

The feature drama centers on the 1965 landmark voting rights campaign regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement.

DuVernay has reportedly already began scouting locations, and is working over the script with screenwriter Paul Webb, with production aimed to begin sooner than later, given the competition in the form of several other MLK projects, on the horizon.

Daniels’ Selma was reportedly held up because family and close friends of the King estate didn’t approve of the project, which would have highlighted some of King’s vices. No word on whether there’s been a shift, whether in the script, or the attitudes towards it.

Read more.

May 27, 2013
by admin / plan b

Longtime Plan B Entertainment exec Jeremy Kleiner has been promoted to co-president of the production banner that is run by Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner.

Kleiner shares producing credit with Pitt and Gardner on Paramount’s anticipated summer tentpole, World War Z.

He is also producer on the company’s upcoming feature Twelve Years a Slave, which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as True Story, starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. Slave is set for a December 27 release from Fox Searchlight, while Story is eyeing an opening sometime in 2014.
Kleiner joined the company in 2003 as a creative exec, rising to producer and now co-president. He works with Gardner on Plan’s development and production slate, and received credit on movies such as Kick-Ass, Eat, Pray, Love and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

Read more.

April 29, 2013
by admin / plan b

When Rachel Boynton first went to Africa to research her documentary Big Men, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, she had three unrelated phone numbers. Six years later, she had a film that takes an expansive, yet focused, look at how oil makes its way from deep in an ocean off the coast of Ghana to the U.S. stock exchange, and the ensuing complications.

The film explores the connections between the Ghanaian company who finds the oil field, the small Texas oil company who drills, the Wall Street private equity partners who invest, and the Ghanaian government officials who manage the contracts. The glitch, depending on your seat, comes when Ghanaian leadership changes, the justice department is called in to investigate allegations of corruption on the part of the U.S. firm and credit contracts due to the financial crisis.

The film’s backdrop is the increasing violence in Nigeria, where militants are stealing from and blowing up foreign gas pipelines in an effort to siphon off profits from the corrupt Nigerian government who isn’t sharing the riches. The doc simultaneously looks at the process and implications of western companies investing in foreign oil ventures, profiles an African country trying to profit after centuries of exploitation and watches as everyone navigates how to slice the billion-dollar pie.

Read more.

April 4, 2013

Today, with very little effort, anyone can land in virtually any city in this country, and within a day or two, procure their drug of choice. Since declaring a war on drugs 40 years ago, the United States has spent more than a trillion dollars, arrested more than 45 million people, and racked up the highest incarceration rate in the world. Yet it remains laughably easy to obtain illegal drugs. So why do we continue down this same path? Why do we talk about the drug war as if it’s a success? It’s a charade.

The drug war continues because it is a system that perpetuates itself. On a local level, any time a bust is made, scarcity drives up prices and, of course, the profit potential. History has taught us that there is no shortage of opportunists willing to fill the void and so the cycle continues and rates of drug use and dealing remain unchanged while incarceration skyrockets.

Read more.

March 11, 2013
by admin / plan b

The new movie True Story, which is being produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company, is currently filming around Cascade Rd and Brady Rd in Warwick, NY. They are also working around Warwick County Park.

The movie is based on a memoir by Michael Finkel, the former New York Times Magazine writer who learned Christian Longo, one of the FBI’s Wanted, had been living under his identity for years. The day after Longo was captured, Finkel was fired for falsifying a story but, just when it seemed his career was over, Longo decided he would only do interviews with Finkel, which gave him a chance to redeem himself.

Jonah Hill is playing Finkel and James Franco has signed on to play Longo. The film will shoot in and around New York City through May 1st. Other locations will include Sparky’s Diner in Garnerville and their home studio, Cine Magic Riverfront Studios, in Brooklyn

Read more.

.

December 23, 2012
by admin / plan b

Brad Pitt, John Legend, Russell Simmons, Danny Glover and filmaker Eugene Jarecki released joint statements in praise of President Barack Obama’s evolution on the enforcement of marijuana legislation on Wednesday, agreeing with Obama’s assertion that “we’ve got bigger fish to fry.”

The president was discussing recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington, two states that legalized recreational pot use by adults.

Pitt and company — executive producers of the Jarecki-directed film “The House I Live In” — released the following statement:

President Obama should be commended for expressing the will of the people in Colorado and Washington. Our jails are overburdened with nonviolent drug users in this country, too often serving harsher sentences than violent criminals. This defies all common and economic sense. The President’s statement reflects a saner and more sensible drug policy, and a step away from the decades long failed war on drugs

“The House I Live In” is an award-winning documentary that urges reforms to drug laws, with a particular focus on sentencing.

Read more.

December 16, 2012
by admin / plan b

In a late buy, ABC has put in development The Returned, a serialized drama produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and ABC Studios. Written by Aaron Zelman (AMC’s The Killing), The Returned is based on the debut novel by Jason Mott, which is slated to be published next September by Mira Books. The rights to the book sparked a bidding war among several production companies and studios. Brillstein and Plan B were able to land the property in their first teaming together, and the project was taken to ABC Studios where Brillstein is based. Executive producing alongside Zelman are JoAnn Alfano and Jon Liebman from BEP and Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner from Plan B.

The Returned is one of several projects BEP has set up this season, including two with CSI creator Anthony Zuiker: soap Taboo at ABC and an Alice In Wonderland sequel at NBC. Zelman is repped by UTA and Circle of Confusion.

Read more.

December 1, 2012
by admin / plan b SB Forum

HBO is developing “Paper,” an hourlong drama inspired by Jake Halpern’s essay “Pay Up,” featured in the New Yorker. Dede Gardner and Brad Pitt will exec produce through Pitt’s shingle, Plan B Entertainment, where Gardner serves as president.
“Paper” centers on a notorious ex-gangster and single father in Buffalo, N.Y., who is trying to reform himself by also serving as a professional debt collector. He finds, however, that life in the debt collection business can be just as lethal as the biz he’s struggling to leave behind.

Short-story scribe Wells Tower will pen the project and co-exec produce.

Read more.

PS. If you are experiencing problems logging into the SB Forum, just email me at webmaster@simplybrad.com and I will sort you out :)