SUSAN SARANDON: I don't know anything about it. I'm doing something called 'Peacock' with Cillian Murphy, Bill Pullman and I'm not sure who else and then something else called 'The Greatest' with Pierce Brosnan.
'Greatest' gig for Brosnan, Sarandon Family drama hooks duo By MICHAEL FLEMING
Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon are set to star in "The Greatest," a drama that marks the directing debut of its screenwriter, Shana Feste.
The drama revolves around a young girl who throws into chaos a family that is trying to get over the loss of a teenage son. Brosnan and Sarandon play the grieving parents. Shooting will begin this summer on the East Coast.
Barbarian Films will finance and serve as exec producer on the co-production of Silverwood Films and Brosnan's Irish DreamTime. Silverwood's Lynette Howell and Irish DreamTime's Beau St. Clair will produce.
Brosnan will exec produce with Doug Dey, Aaron Kaufman, Douglas Kuber and Ron Hartenbaum.
"What drew us to this piece is Shana's rare ability to uniquely dramatize the complicated dynamics of a family's struggle to stay together as they deal with unforeseen tragedy," said St. Clair.
Kimmel Intl. is brokering overseas rights on the film, while a domestic distribution deal is being put together by CAA (which reps Brosnan) in tandem with Endeavor, which reps Feste and Silverwood and whose independent division put together the financing.
Brosnan will next be seen starring alongside Meryl Streep in Universal's "Mamma Mia!," and he will reprise the title role in "The Thomas Crown Affair 2," which Paul Verhoeven will direct for MGM.
Sarandon, who just opened in "Speed Racer," just wrapped the Peter Jackson-directed "The Lovely Bones."
CANNES -- Most U.S. buyers might be keeping their wallets shut this Cannes, but there is no sign of slowdown on the international side, as sellers -- both U.S. and worldwide -- reported steady if not spectacular business as the Marche du Film wraps up.
International distributors gobbled up U.S. indie product, perhaps as insurance against the potential actors strike.
"Fame," Mandate's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," Summit's "Disaster Movie" Inferno Entertainment's "The Women" and "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" and Focus Features' "Milk," "A Serious Man" and its untitled Sam Mendes project selling out to most major territories.
"It's been a good market with several territories making a comeback," Kimmel International president Mark Lindsay told THR. Lindsay cited Spain in Europe and South Korea in Asia as upping the buying ante here this year.
Some of Kimmel's bigger deals in Cannes included selling the Pierce Brosnan-starrer "The Greatest" to Deaplaneta in Spain and inking two German deals, selling Katherine Dieckmann's "Motherhood" to Telepool and the thriller "Unthinkable" to Senator.
"A diverse slate is key because not everything works in every territory," Lindsay said. "We did almost exactly the same amount of business this year as we did last year and it's not finished so we are hoping to surpass that."
IM Global's Stuart Ford said buyers were doing "an awful lot of tire kicking" but that sales did pick up after the first weekend -- unusually late for Cannes.
One thing helping the American sellers was the weak dollar, which cut prices for their product internationally. But as the greenback continues to slide, some U.S. companies are also looking to do Euro-based deals.
"We did a deal (for Dror Soref's thriller 'Not Forgotten') with ZDF in Germany in Euros because we think the Euros will continue to be strong and that will generate more dollars for us,'" said Myriad head Kirk D'Amico. Myriad also inked with CIS (Luxor), Canada (Equinoxe), Greece (Audiovisual) and Portugal (LNK) for "Not Forgotten."
MEANWHILE: Sarandon is taking a quick family trip to Maine with Tim Robbins and their sons Jack, 19, and Miles, 15, before beginning work with Pierce Brosnan July 9 on the big-screen drama "The Greatest."
Now, Jack, "who is studying film in school," will be working on "The Greatest" on the camera crew. "I'm really excited about that," Susan says. "When you're working with people you care about and respect and have a project you care about in common, the gift of that kind of experience is fabulous. There's nothing better than being able to work with people you love."
Next up I will be in New York making a movie called "The Greatest" with my production company Irish DreamTime. It is written by a young woman named Shana Feste who will also be making her directorial debut. The talented and beautiful Susan Sarandon is cast to play my wife in this drama about a family who tragically loses their son in a car accident only to find that the young girl he was with that night is now carrying his child. It is a complex study of love, grief and forgiveness.
Pierce Brosnan's Irish DreamTime producing the drama
By Leslie Simmons
July 23, 2008, 12:00 AM ET Carey Mulligan and Michael Shannon have joined the cast of the indie drama "The Greatest," being co-produced under Pierce Brosnan's Irish DreamTime Prods. shingle and Silverwood Films.
Also on board are Aaron Johnson, Zoe Kravitz and Johnny Simmons.
The film centers on a young girl (Mulligan) who throws a family into chaos as they try to get over the loss of their teenage son, Bennett (Johnson). Shannon plays a friend of Bennett's; Simmons plays Bennett's brother; and Kravitz plays his friend.
"Greatest" marks the directorial debut of scribe Shana Feste ("Jonah"), who also penned the screenplay.
CAA and Endeavor co-rep the project on all North American rights, with Kimmel International handling international.
Mulligan's credits includes the upcoming drama "Brothers" as well as "Pride and Prejudice." She is repped by CAA and Julian Belfrage & Associates.
Shannon's credits include "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead," "Shotgun Stories" and the upcoming indie "Revolutionary Road." CAA and Spellman Paul Entertainment rep him.
Simmons, repped by Endeavor and Untitled Entertainment, recently wrapped the horror comedy "Jennifer's Body" and will next be seen in "The Spirit."
Johnson, a regular on the British drama "Nearly Famous," appears in the upcoming Nickelodeon Movies comedy "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging." He is repped by WMA, Principal Entertainment and Hamilton Hodell in the U.K.
Credits for Kravitz, the daughter of rocker Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet, include "The Brave One" and "No Reservations." She is repped by Paradigm.
Filmmaker Magazine's Class of 2008: 25 Names to Watch For By Eric Lavallee
Tuesday, July 22, 2008 EDT
Apart from the monthly (and damn expensive) Cahiers du Cinema and Sight & Sound I receive, if there is one issue that I look forward to wearing out the inside pages is Filmmaker Magazine's annual summer issue. Seeing that IONCINEMA.com heavily favors and caters to the indie film biz, this list of 25 names/faces of upcoming indie talent serves as guide to help indentify those who'll we'll come in contact with in the years and festivals to come.
Among the notable names that have stuck out in recent headlines are Shana Feste - who earlier this summer was filming with Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan. Her directorial debut The Greatest is based on (from what I've heard) an extremely smart screenplay of hers.
Just had a long phone chat with Susan Sarandon, actress extraordinaire and Oscar winner for Dead Man Walking. And, believe it or not, we never once mentioned politics or any kind of social activism.
We talked about making movies and also about her Emmy nomination for "best actress" in the Doris Duke story, HBO's Bernard and Doris.
Susan was on a film set in either Nyack, N.Y., or maybe it was the Bronx, N.Y., where she's busy with a little low-budget independent film co-starring the gorgeous Pierce Brosnan. She gave me a cute imitation of his phone call to her when he accepted his role in The Greatest.
"Hello, Susan? Pierce here. This is Pierce Brosnan. About the movie - why not?"
She laughed. "Here he is, hot from Mamma Mia! and he has such a good sense of humor."
Of her decision to enroll in the producing program at AFI, Shana Feste, who is days away from production of her first feature, The Greatest, laughs, “You have to do things to figure out that they are wrong for you, and producing was so wrong for my personality.” She produced more than 20 short student films there, many of which she also wrote. “I‘d be in the background sweeping the floors, cleaning the toilets and watching the directors direct my material, work with actors, and do all the things that I wanted to do. [At the time] I never really thought I could be a director. I didn‘t have many female directors who were role models — I could barely count female directors on one hand. But I realized at AFI that [the directors] and I all knew the exact same things.”
So, Feste, who acted as part of the Young Professionals Actors program from the age of 11 to 18, set her sights on writing and directing, a journey that was aided by a couple of significant postgraduation jobs. She worked as a researcher for writer-director Robert Towne on a World War II project and also as an executive assistant to CAA‘s Richard Lovett, who read her script Love Easy and championed it at the agency. But Love Easy, a film inspired by her roguish father, is not the film she‘s about to make. “I spent two years trying to get it of the ground,” she says. “It‘s been fully cast and ready to go, and each time it would fall apart. It was devastating. I wrote The Greatest in order to have something else out there.”
The Greatest tells the story of a teenage girl who inserts herself in the lives of a grief-stricken family recovering from the death of their son. Being produced by Lynette Howell and Beau St. Claire, financed by Barbarian Films and starring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon, The Greatest is one of a number of recent and upcoming films dealing with death and loss. But Feste, who cites Kramer vs. Kramer and Hal Ashby‘s films as her favorites, says that it‘s important for her that the film not be immersed in sadness. “I recently went to a meeting of the Compassionate Friends Network, where you have to have lost a child to get in,” Feste says. “The thing you notice is that there is a lot of laughter in the room. When you are grieving, you are not crying for 100 percent of your day. And with The Greatest, I didn‘t want to show a marriage falling apart — I wanted to show a family that comes out of this alive and together. It‘s all about finding the hope and the laughter in this journey.” — Scott Macaulay
"For the past few years, 17-year-old Bennett and Rose looked forward to the moment when they pass each other going home from school. Still, they never exchanged a single word until the last day of school when Bennett musters up the courage to confess his love to Rose. At last they kiss, and end up having the most memorable night of their lives.
Seconds after Bennett says goodbye to Rose, a tragic car accident takes his life. His mother Grace (Academy Award winner Sarandon) has a hard time coping with the devastating news and becomes obsessed with the final moments of Bennetts life. Her husband Allen (Brosnan) tries to make up for his past mistakes while fighting to keep his family together, and the youngest son Ryan feels neglected and overcome by his own problems. And then one night, Rose shows up at their doorstep announcing she is pregnant with Bennetts baby and has been disowned by her own family. While things will never be the same for each of them, together they come to recognize that the life of a family will carry on."
Drama starring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon about a family dealing with the loss of a son and the arrival of his girlfriend on their doorstep. Pic is helmed by first-timer Shana Feste, and produced by Lynette Howell ("Half Nelson") and Brosnan's partner Beau St. Clair. First footage screens at AFM. (Kimmel Intl.)