HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM – Director Jonathan Levine is set to reteam with his 50/50 stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen for an Untitled Xmas Comedy. Sony beat out several studios to nab the project, which is on the fast track for a summer 2014 start.
The film revolves around three childhood best friends who reunite in New York City for their annual tradition of going out on Christmas Eve. Gordon-Levitt and Rogen will play two of the best friends, with the third lead role still to be cast.
The project also reunites the 50/50 trio with Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane, whose company Mandate Pictures — now named Good Universe — produced and co-financed 50/50. Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures also are on board to produce Xmas.
50/50, which centered on a 27-year-old man’s (Gordon-Levitt) struggles after a cancer diagnosis, became a critical hit and was nominated for a best picture Golden Globe. The film cost $8 million and earned $39 million worldwide.
Xmas was shopped as a package over the weekend and sparked heated interest from several studios, including Sony, Universal and Paramount. In a competitive situation, Sony emerged as the winner before the dust settled late Monday afternoon. Sony has a strong relationship with Point Grey, coming off last year’s hit comedy This Is the End. The studio also is making Rogen’s and Goldberg’s North Korea-set comedy The Interview.
Levine wrote the screenplay for Xmas. Rogen, Goldberg and Point Grey’s James Weaver are producing. Drake and Kahane will executive produce alongside Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir.
Good Universe, which produced the recent comedy Last Vegas, also has the upcoming Rogen vehicle Neighbors at Universal as well as Angelfall, an adaptation of Susan Ee’s bestselling book series, to be produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert.
Gordon-Levitt is repped by WME and attorney Karl Austen. Rogen and Goldberg are handled by UTA and attorney Fred Toczek. Rogen is additionally managed by Marsha McManus. Levine is represented by CAA and attorney Todd Stern. Dan Freedman negotiated the deals on behalf of Good Universe.
SCREENCRAVE.COM – Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the hottest young actors working today, which makes his interest in side projects and directing so fascinating. Here is an actor on every shortlist for the latest superhero movie, and he’d rather make an indie film about a sex addict. But he still likes acting, and besides his involvement with Sandman, he’s also now going to star in Man on a Wire for Robert Zemeckis.
The film would be based on the real life story of Philippe Petit, whose memoir To Reach The Clouds would serve as the basis for the film according to Twitch Film, who they broke this news. Sharp viewers may know that the book was already turned into a documentary in 2008, though there is surely more to explore.
This is also interesting in that Robert Zemeckis took a strange turn into motion capture for a couple of years in his career. Starting with The Polar Express in 2004, he spent the next five years making these sorts of movies until the experiment came to an end when the movies proved more expensive than popular, but it seemed to reflect his interest in the technology of cinema, which he used masterfully in films like Forest Gump and Cast Away. He rebounded with 2012?s Flight, which showed that he still knew how to work with actors, and was a master behind the camera. Hopefully he’s engaged with this material, as Zemeckis can be great. If this casting sticks, we’d expect the film to be made for Oscar season 2015.
THEWRAP.COM – It’s hard to imagine Joseph Gordon-Levitt ever having a career lull. But when he did, years ago, he decided to create his own project instead of waiting for someone to offer him one.
The result was “HITRECORD on TV,” a new variety show that premieres Saturday on Pivot but has been seen half a million times online. The series is assembled from clips Levitt helped assemble in his downtime from writing, directing, and starring in last year’s “Don Jon”; producing an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” comics; doing backflips on live TV; and being the only credible Robin ever caught on film.
“This is something that I’ve been working towards for many years,” he told TheWrap. “In fact, since before I had shit else going on.”
We talked to the 32-year-old about evolving from a “3rd Rock From the Sun” child star, the Trotskyan world of Reddit, and the 1929 book that helps fuel his creativity.
Joseph attended the Winter TCA Tour on January 11th to promote “HITRECORD on TV” which premieres on Pivot on January 18th. I have added 22 photos to our gallery.
IGN.COM – At the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour today, Joseph Gordon-Levitt appeared to discuss his new TV series, HITRECORD ON TV. Debuting next Saturday on the recently launched cable channel Pivot, the series is an extension of the hitRECord online collaborative production company Gordon-Levitt formed with his brother, Dan. Like on the website (and accompanying YouTube channel), the TV show includes short films, songs, animation and more that has been contributed to by thousands of different people from across the world. The first episode, for example, has a short film based on an essay submitted by one contributor, with voice over recorded by another and music by another, among many, many others whose work was incorporated.
The series is presented in a variety show format, with Gordon-Levitt in front of an audience. Asked about that format and the blend of genres he’s using, Gordon-Levitt said, “I have a really eclectic taste in what I like to watch. I don’t only like romantic comedies or only action movies, I like all kinds of movies. I don’t only want to listen to De La Soul or only want to listen to Johnny Cash, I like to listen to all kinds of music. HITRECORD is really a way I can work on a variety of things, and that diversity makes me happy.” He added, “We have thousands of peoples from across the world working on our collaboration and we’re going to get diverse [results].”
Levitt stressed that HITRECORD isn’t what is considered crowdsourcing or even asking people for submissions and only choosing one. “It’s a production company and I direct it. Instead of hiring a group of people that happens on a traditional set, we open up those doors on the internet and anyone can contribute to them.”
SCREENCRUSH.COM – Word broke last month that actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who made his directorial debut with ‘Don Jon,’ will next tackle a big screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s gothic comic book classic ‘Sandman.’ Since then, we haven’t heard much, but now Gordon-Levitt has opened up a bit about his plans for the film in a new interview. So what can we expect from this highly-anticipated project? Something “spectacular,” he promises.
Gordon-Levitt recently spoke to IGN, and when asked about the upcoming project he got pretty excited. The actor and director, who is also said to be in contention to star in the film (although which part he would possibly play is still up for speculation), is clearly a huge fan of the property, and the right man for the job:
Well, I love just the basic concept of it – just the concept of personifying Dream, along with all of his brothers and sisters, the seven Endless personifying Death, personifying Destruction and Delirium and Destiny and Desire and Despair. I mean, that’s just a fascinating and, I think, a really cinematic concept. You look at the art of Sandman, and it just looks spectacular. I love big, spectacular movies, but oftentimes big, spectacular movies sort of get stuck in a rut. They go down certain paths that end in big explosions or whatever. Sandman has so much opportunity to do something that’s on a grand, grand scale, but really unlike your average big, grand-scale, spectacular movie. I guess that’s the tip of the iceberg.
When asked about a tweet that included the word “prelude,” which seemed to hint that his ‘Sandman’ film might be just be the beginning of a series of films, Gordon-Levitt clarified:
I honestly just wrote that as sort of a pun, because this tweet was a prelude to who knows what’s to come. Obviously “Prelude” is the title of the first issue, but… Yeah, nothing is cemented yet. But there’s so much potential in that material. It’s exciting.
And there you have it. No big news here, but he’s excited and we’re excited to have someone who obviously has a clear vision for the film at the helm.