Variety: Brad Pitt and Cross Creek Developing Medical Drama ‘He Wanted the Moon’ With Tony Kushner

Cross Creek Pictures and Brad Pitt’s Plan B are teaming with writer Tony Kushner to develop medical research drama “He Wanted the Moon.”

The project is a co-production with Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson producing with Plan B. The companies have acquired movie rights to the memoir, written by Dr. Perry Baird’s daughter Mimi and Eve Claxton, titled “He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him.”

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Deadline: Cross Creek Pictures Moving To Sony

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After co-financing/producing tastemaker films including Black Mass, Everest, Rush, The Ides of March, and Black Swan, Cross Creek Pictures is ready to take that next step up. Cross Creek principals Timmy Thompson and Brian Oliver and Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group chairman Tom Rothman have shaken hands on a new three-year, multifaceted co-financing, production, and distribution deal.

“We feel fortunate that Timmy and Brian were open to expanding their relationship with us. They have incredible taste and proven success with smart, commercial movies that serve worldwide audiences, and we know that their films will be a terrific addition to our slate.” -Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Chairman

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Hollywood Reporter: HACKSAW RIDGE Begins Filming in Australia

Director Mel Gibson’s World War II film, Hacksaw Ridge, has begun production in New South Wales, Australia.

The film stars Andrew Garfield as conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss, and just-announced additions to the cast include Rachel Griffiths, Teresa Palmer and Richard Roxburgh, while Gibson’s son Milo has also claimed a role.

“Not only is Andrew perfect for the role of Desmond Doss, the entire cast are an incredible mix of experience, depth and exciting up-and-coming talent.” -Mel Gibson

Hacksaw Ridge is the true story of conscientious objector Doss, who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing a gun. Believing that the war was just but killing was nevertheless wrong, he was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon.
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Variety: Venice Film Review – Johnny Depp in Black Mass

“Johnny Depp does career-best work as notorious Boston gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in Scott Cooper’s taut, elegantly understated crime drama.”

The icy blue eyes of notorious Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger stare out from the screen in Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” like the gaze of some confident jungle predator calmly lying in wait, holding his ground until the moment he moves in for the kill. And that same coolly calculated composure extends to every aspect of how the actor playing Bulger embodies the role, or rather disappears into it. But if Johnny Depp’s mesmerizing performance — a bracing return to form for the star after a series of critical and commercial misfires — is the chief selling point of “Black Mass,” there is much else to recommend this sober, sprawling, deeply engrossing evocation of Bulger’s South Boston fiefdom and his complex relationship with the FBI agent John Connolly, played with equally impressive skill by Joel Edgerton. Something of an anti-“The Departed” (which was partly inspired by the Bulger case), the movie has an intentionally muted, ’70s-style look and feel that may limit its appeal to the date-night multiplex crowd, but quality-starved adult moviegoers should flock to one of the fall’s first serious, awards-caliber attractions.
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Deadline: Review – Big-Screen 3D Adventure Hits A New Peak


Set for its world premiere tonight as the opener of the Venice Film Festival, Everest is the kind of big-screen adventure picture Hollywood used to make regularly but seems to have forgotten about in the rush to comic book movies. This true story based on the ill-fated 1996 expeditions to the peak of the imposing Mount Everest has, as I say in my video review (click the link above), been brought to life with stunning clarity by director Baltasar Kormakur in a movie tailor-made for the big-screen glory of Imax and 3D. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen a movie better suited for these formats. In other words folks, don’t watch this one on your keychain.

The movie should be a real player in the crafts categories of the Oscars, but I have a feeling it could go even further than that. Hopefully audiences will want to see this terrific film which represents the best of moviemaking at its most daunting.

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Deadline: Mounting An Epic – EVEREST – Venice Q&A

Mounting Working Title’s Everest, which opens the Venice Film Festival on Wednesday, was a climb that Sisyphus wouldn’t have envied. A long development period came with financing issues and the inherent challenges of shooting in a decidely inhospitable environment.

“Balt came along and crafted, forgive my French, a f***-off film. It’s got spectacle and integrity and heart.” -Jason Clarke

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