Craig’s Purity miniseries lands at Showtime

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz in December 2014. event.

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz in December 2014 event.

Daniel Craig’s Purity miniseries will be televised by the Showtime cable network, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER said.

Besides starring the 20-episode series, the current screen James Bond will also be an executive producer, according to the entertainment news website. Production is scheduled to begin in 2017 and the 20 episodes will be televised over two years, the website said.

In February, Variety reported that producer Scott Rudin was shopping around the project to various bidders, including Showtime and Netflix.

Here’s an excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter story:

The series…centers on a young woman named Purity (who is known by the name of Pip) who, in search of answers about herself and her family, winds up interning at South America at the Sunlight Project, a group which deals with all the secrets of the world. It’s described as a story about youthful idealism, fidelity and murder. Craig is eyed to play Andreas, a German provocateur who crosses paths with Pip.

Todd Field will write, direct and exec produce Purity. Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Franzen and David Hare will also exec produce. Haren and Franzen will also serve as writers on the series, while Field will direct all 20 episodes.

Besides Purity, Craig is scheduled to do a stage production of Othello later this year and may appear in Logan Lucky, a heist movie directed by Steven Soderbergh.

There has been plenty of speculation whether Craig will return for a fifth turn as 007. For the moment, there’s no way to determine when Bond 25 may come out. Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which controls half of the 007 franchise, doesn’t have the resources to release a movie on its own. MGM’s 007 contract with Sony Pictures expired after SPECTRE. MGM has yet to reach an accord with Sony or any other studio.

 

BvS unlikely to join $1B club, may not match SPECTRE

Batman v Superman poster

Batman v Superman poster

We’ve mostly written about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because how it illustrates the expectations game among major movies.

Anyway, the movie is in its fourth weekend of release and it’s now expected Batman v Superman won’t the $1 billion club for worldwide box office — something that had been widely predicted before its release last month. BvS may not match the global box office of SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film.

In the U.S. and Canada, BvS is projected to finish this weekend with about $9 million in ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo. The movie is coming in at No. 4 for the weekend.

The movie’s cumulative totals are $311.3 million for U.S.-Canada and $827.3 million worldwide.

Most studios would would kill for those kinds of worldwide numbers. But Warner Bros. had higher hopes for the first joint appearance in movies of DC Comics’ two most famous characters. To provide a little 007 context, Batman v Superman may not match match SPECTRE’s $880.6 million worldwide box office.

The editor of the BoxOfficeGuru.com website said the movie is just about done.

On Twitter, two writers for The Hollywood Reporter did a quick analysis.

SPECTRE No. 1 in U.S.-Canada for 2d weekend

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE was the No. 1 movie in the U.S. and Canada for the second weekend in a row with estimated box office of $35.4 million, according to BOX OFFICE MOJO.

The 24th James Bond film’s second weekend declined by about half compared with its debut weekend, which is a typical drop.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER said SPECTRE has generated $130 million so far in the region, down from about $161 million during the comparable period for its 007 predecessor, 2012’s Skyfall. Last weekend, SPECTRE debuted at $70.4 million, compared with $88.4 million for Skyfall’s first weekend.

The new 007 film “is making up ground overseas, where it is pacing head of Skyfall in many markets,” THR’s Pamela McClintock wrote, concerning SPECTRE’s box office outside the U.S. and Canada.

SPECTRE “was No. 1 globally for the second straight week and has rung up more than half a billion dollars in roughly two weeks,” THE WRAP‘s Todd Cunningam wrote.

Skyfall’s global box office was $1.11 billion, the first Bond film to go past the $1 billion mark. Of that figure, $304.4 million came from the U.S. and Canada.

The No. 2 film this weekend was The Peanuts Movie at $24.2 million. Peanuts also debuted last weekend. In 2012, Skyfall was the only new movie in general release in its opening weekend.

UPDATE: The Wrap HAS PUBLISHED more information. The website said SPECTRE had an opening of $48 million in China and that the movie’s global box office is almost $550 million.

SPECTRE has $73 million opening in U.S.-Canada

SPECTRE promotional art

SPECTRE promotional art

SPECTRE generated estimated box office of $73 million for the Nov. 6-8 weekend in the U.S. and Canada, according to BOX OFFICE MOJO

The 24th James Bond film was the No. 1 film for the weekend, which also includes Thursday night ticket sales. SPECTRE, despite higher ticket prices, was 17 percent lower than the $88.4 million opening of 2012’s Skyfall.

Three years ago, Skyfall was the only new movie in general release in the U.S. and Canada. Other new films out that weekend, such as Lincoln, were available only in limited release in a few cities. Skyfall also was the 50th anniversary 007 movie, and it enjoyed a big promotion from the 2012 Olympics, where the Opening Ceremonies included an elaborate James Bond skit, featuring Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth.

This time around, SPECTRE had more competition in the form of The Peanuts Movie, an animated film based on the comic strip, which had an estimated $45 million weekend.

Final figures for the weekend will be released on Monday.

Meanwhile, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reported that SPECTRE had a global weekend of “nearly $200 million” and its global box office so far is “north of $300 million.” The movie debuted late last month in the U.K.

Skyfall was the first Bond film to crack the billion-dollar-mark, with worldwide box office of $1.11 billion.

Craig on 007’s misogyny, his own training, other topics

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz at Dec. 4 media event.

Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz at Dec. 4 media event.

Daniel Craig did AN INTERVIEW with a website called The Red Bulletin. It’s being cited by other media outlets (including The Hollywood Reporter and Vanity Fair) because of his comments on James Bond’s misogyny, but it actually covers a range of other subjects also.

A quick look:

On the character of 007: “But let’s not forget that he’s actually a misogynist…(W)e’ve surrounded him with very strong women who have no problem putting him in his place.”

On Bond’s appeal: “I guess that one of the biggest reasons why the character has endured for so long is because he represents the eternal struggle between good and evil.”

Workout and diet related to filming:: “Then, three months before we began filming, I started going to the gym five or six days a week. While we’re filming, I stick to a diet—it’s all about preventative measures, so that I don’t get ill or injured.” Referring to a knee injury he suffered during SPECTRE filming, he added, “But as you’ve seen, of course, something unpredictable can happen anyway. There’s no way around that.”

Craig also said, “This time, I deliberately took time off to get involved in the script.” There were no additional details in the interview about that. To read the entire interview, CLICK HERE.

Reading between the lines of THR’s story on MGM and Sony

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

The Hollywood Reporter has A STORY BY GREGG KILDAY examining whether Sony Pictures will no longer release 007 films after SPECTRE. But the story has some other interesting data as well.

Sony has released all four Bond films of the Daniel Craig era, but its current two-film deal expires with SPECTRE. Here’s a look at some of the other side issues raised in the story.

SPECTRE’s budget: Kilday quotes sources he doesn’t identify as insisting “that the final net budget now stands in the neighborhood of $250 million.”

It’s known, thanks to the Sony hacks, that SPECTRE spending was on track to reach around $350 million. The Hollywood Reporter story suggests that production placement and similar deals (such as the subsidies Mexico paid out to the production) helped bring in about $100 million to offset a substantial portion of those costs.

Mind games between studios: There’s also an anecdote in the story about some mind games between Sony and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio that controls half of the Bond franchise along with the Broccoli-Wilson family.

According to the story, MGM told Sony in June 2013 if it wanted its name in a press release announcing the release date of the then-untitled movie, Sony had “to opt in immediately.” At the time, there was no firm budget but Sony was being pressed to commit anyway, THR says. (Not mentioned in the story: there wasn’t even a first-draft script. That wasn’t submitted by initial writer John Logan until March 2014.)

The release was issued in JULY 2013.It had this joint quote from Sony executives Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal: “It’s a privilege to work on the Bond films. EON, John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with an extraordinary follow up to SKYFALL and we, along with our partners at MGM, can’t wait to share this new chapter with audiences all over the world.”

Subsequently, Logan was replaced writing the movie and Pascal was fired after bad publicity from the Sony hacks.

To read the entire Hollywood Reporter story, CLICK HERE.

Bill Finger to get credit on Batman adaptations, THR says

Gotham promotional art

Gotham promotional art

Bill Finger, widely viewed as the co-creator of Batman, is to get a credit for his work on Batman-related adaptations, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER SAID.

Finger will begin receiving a credit on the Gotham television series “beginning later this season,” according to a statement from DC Entertainment published by THR. Finger (1914-1974) will also get a credit in the 2016 film Batman v. Superman: The Dawn of Justice, DC said in the statement.

Bob Kane has received sole creator credit for Batman since the character debuted in 1939, including seven Warner Bros. movies released since 1989.

Finger’s contributions to the character include major revisions to Kane’s original costume (such as the cowl and gauntlets as well as a dark color scheme), the Bruce Wayne true identity, Bruce Wayne back story, the original Robin, the original Robin’s back story, etc. Finger wrote the first Batman story published in Detective Comics No. 27 and many other early stories.

In 2014, illustrator Ty Templeton did a cartoon showing what Batman would have been like without Finger’s contributions.

DC said in the statement published by THR it and Finger’s family “reached an agreement that recognizes Mr. Finger’s significant contributions to the Batman family of characters.”

In addition to Batman, Finger also co-created the original version of Green Lantern, which debuted in 1940. Finger also co-wrote a two-part story in the 1966 Batman television series.

DC has long been owned by the various parent companies of Warner Bros. DC now is part of Warner Bros. and moved to Burbank, California, from New York, the comics company’s long-time home.

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