Actor Don Cheadle’s obsession with Miles Davis began as a child with the jazz trumpeter’s album Porgy and Bess, a beloved staple of his family’s music collection. Now, Cheadle will make his feature film directorial debut with a crowdfunded biopic on Davis that will focus on the musician’s transition into music after a five-year hiatus—otherwise known as his “silent period”—and tumultuous relationship with first wife Frances Taylor Davis. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Biopic (1-10 of 14)
Rocker Gregg Allman has dropped his lawsuit against Midnight Rider producers, settling on an out-of-court agreement in the aftermath of a deadly accident on the film’s set.
On Tuesday, attorneys for Allman and film director Randall Miller’s production company Unclaimed Freight Productions appeared in a Savannah court, according to the Associated Press. They told a judge that they had reached an agreement just one day after Miller gave his court testimony regarding the fatal accident. READ FULL STORY
Production on Midnight Rider, a biopic about rock guitarist Gregg Allman, has been suspended following a tragic train accident last Thursday which left one crew member dead and several others injured, multiple outlets are reporting.
In a statement obtained by Variety, production company Film Allman, LLC confirmed the suspension: “In light of the tragic loss, we have decided to put the production of Midnight Rider on hold.”
Second camera assistant Sarah Elizabeth Jones, 27, was struck and killed by a train as she helped stage a scene for the film on train tracks near Savannah, GA on Feb. 20. Jones and other staff employed by Open Road Films and Georgia-based production company Meddin Studios were gathered on the tracks on the first day of production when a train operated by CSX Transportation en route from Memphis to Savannah unexpectedly arrived and fatally struck Jones. Approximately seven others were injured, according to Wayne County authorities.
Director Randall Miller’s production company Unclaimed Freight Productions has not responded to multiple requests for comment. A Los Angeles-based publicist for the company released a message of condolences Friday, stating, “All of us on the production team are devastated by the tragic accident that happened today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our crew member.”
A online petition to include Jones, a South Carolina native, in Sunday’s Oscars Memoriam tribute has earned nearly 38,000 signatures as of Thursday morning. Friends and family of Jones — who worked as a crew member on shows like Army Wives — offered condolences, photos and memories of the young woman on a Facebook page titled “Slates for Sarah.”
“She was an awesome person,” camera assistant Tony Summerlin said of Jones in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “She was very organized. She was really great.”
Summerlin and Jones were in the process of assembling a “dream sequence” with the use of a hospital bed on the tracks, said Summerlin. A meeting had been held to review safety, Summerlin told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but he was not aware of whether a permit had been secured on the tracks.
“As a camera person you don’t show up and ask, ‘where’s the permit?’ You’re trying to make a movie,” he said. “You’re thinking safety but you’re thinking that’s someone else’s job.”
Two trains had passed by the crew during their work on the sequence, Summerlin confirmed. Then a third train appeared, “going full speed.”
“It seemed like it took half a mile to stop,” he said of the train. “We were running. She said, ‘I can’t carry all this stuff.’ I said, ‘Throw it. Throw it down.'”
But Jones was unable to move in time, said Summerlin, who shared that the two were “face to face up to the last second.”
An investigation of the incident is currently being conducted by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
Open Road Films still plans to distribute the film domestically, EW can confirm, starring lead actress Eliza Dushku. Actors Tyson Ritter and William Hurt will play Allman in his younger and present-day incarnations, respectively.
A new biopic on slain rapper Tupac Shakur is coming.
Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla Films announced in a Thursday news release they are in final negotiations to partner on the production of Tupac. The picture will begin filming next year in Atlanta. READ FULL STORY
Music biopic fans were dealt a serious blow yesterday when news broke that Sacha Baron Cohen had dropped out of a long-planned film about Freddie Mercury. Thankfully, they’ve still got something else to look forward to: All Is By My Side, a film that covers Jimi Hendrix’s early years (and, interestingly enough, doesn’t actually feature any of Hendrix’s famous songs).
Outkast’s André 3000 — a.k.a. André Benjamin — will play the Seattle-born guitar virtuoso as a struggling musician in London, shortly before the release of Are You Experienced, the album that would be his big break. The movie is set to debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival — and in anticipation of its release, TIFF has just released the first photo of André as Hendrix.
Can an Outkast convincingly play an icon? Check out the picture above — then speculate away.
Casting Net: Carey Mulligan is front-runner to play Hillary Rodham Clinton; Plus James Franco, Javier Bardem, Emmy Rossum, and more
• A handful of American actresses have been rumored to be in consideration for the role of Hillary Rodham Clinton in upcoming biopic Rodham — Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, Amanda Seyfried, and Emma Stone, most prominently. But now a front-runner has emerged: British actress Carey Mulligan, who most recently starred as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. Mulligan hasn’t officially announced her candidacy for the role of the former first lady, New York senator, and secretary of state, but THR reports that the 28-year-old actress will soon meet with director James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) about the project. Rodham will focus on the early years of Clinton’s career, including meeting future president Bill Clinton and her position as a lawyer on the committee involved in Richard Nixon’s impeachment. [THR]
The long-in-development biopic Spinning Gold, about music producer Neil Bogart, has finally found a financier. Foresight Unlimited has come aboard the project to produce, finance, and handle worldwide sales.
Justin Timberlake is set to produce and also star as Bogart, a 1970s music industry icon who promoted the careers of such artists as KISS, Donna Summer, and the Village People before he died at age 39. His son, Timothy Scott Bogart, wrote the script for the biopic. Dreamgirls producer Laurence Mark, who earned an Oscar nomination for Jerry Maguire, will also produce. READ FULL STORY
One of the more hotly-anticipated films of the spring will have a bit more time to build anticipation, as Jobs, the biopic that stars Ashton Kutcher as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, has been bumped from its April 19 release date.
Distributor Open Road Films had gravitated toward the April 19 date because it marks the 37th anniversary of the founding of Apple in Jobs’ legendary garage (where part of the film was actually shot). According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, the movie was bumped in order to create a better marketing window, but no new date has been set.
Jobs was written by newcomer Matthew Whiteley and directed by Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote), and also has a pretty killer supporting cast in Dermot Mulroney, J.K. Simmons, Lukas Haas, and Matthew Modine. It premiered at January’s Sundance Film Festival, where EW film critic Owen Gleiberman called it “a starkly honest portrait” that still “leaves you wanting more.”
Sundance: Ashton Kutcher gets his angry geek on in ‘jOBS,’ a fascinating Steve Jobs biopic that leaves you wanting more. Plus, James Franco’s ‘Interior. Leather Bar.
Bill Gates on ‘Colbert': ‘Steve Jobs was always cooler than me’ — VIDEO
Ashton Kutcher tweets mindbending image of himself with Steve Jobs — PHOTO
Ashton Kutcher gets honest: ‘I know exactly what films I’ve done that f–ing suck donkey’
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