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Worldwide Rights Acquired for New Paul Anderson Film

Posted by kristineko | October 18, 2016

LOS ANGELES, September 8th, 2016 – Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s untitled new film starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Focus will distribute the film in the U.S. with Universal Pictures handling international distribution. Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures is producing the movie, with Mr. Anderson and JoAnne Sellar producing through his Ghoulardi Film Company. The film will begin production in January for release in 2017.

Darkest Hour To Be Released in November 2017

Posted by kristineko | October 18, 2016

LONDON, September 6th, 2016 – Continuing creative collaborations that began over a decade ago, premier specialty label Focus Features is reteaming with both Working Title Films, one of the world’s leading film production companies, and director Joe Wright on Darkest HourFocus will hold worldwide rights to the film as part of the company’s renewed global initiative; Focus will release Darkest Hour domestically on November 24th, 2017 in the U.S. and Universal Pictures International (UPI) will distribute the film around the world, beginning with the U.K. on December 29th, 2017. Production on Darkest Hour begins this fall.

Exclusive Kubo XV Sneakers Auctioned Off for Charity

Posted by kristineko | October 18, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 9th, 2016 – Famed NIKE designer Tinker Hatfield ‘s much-anticipated new Kubo XV sneaker celebrates the epic new adventure movie from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA, Kubo and the Two Strings, to be released nationwide by Focus Features on August 19th. 220 pairs of the limited-edition Kubo XV have been put up for auction on eBay for users to bid on, with all proceeds from the auctions – directly accessible at www.kuboxv.com – going to the just keep livin Foundation (www.jklivinfoundation.org).

Focus Features Joining with Loving Day

Posted by kristineko | June 9, 2016

NEW YORK, June 9th, 2016 – The world’s largest multicultural celebration, Loving Day (www.lovingday.org) is coordinated by the Loving Day Project to remember a love story. For a 13th consecutive year, Loving Day festivities commemorate the June 12th, 1967 anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision that ruled in favor of married couple Richard and Mildred Loving, who got the Court to reaffirm the very foundation of the right to marry.

Focus Features Debuts Transgender Docuseries with Time Inc. and The Advocate

Posted by kristineko | March 2, 2016

NEW YORK,  March 1st, 2016 – Focus Features is partnering with Time Inc. and The Advocate to debut the new digital short film documentary series We’ve Been Around today, Tuesday, March 1st @2:00 PM ET. The series, which shares previously untold histories of transgender pioneers, will premiere exclusively across three Time Inc. websites – People.com, EW.com, and Essence.com – as well as on Advocate.com.

Production Begins on The Book of Henry

Posted by kristineko | February 24, 2016

NEW YORK, October 5, 2015 – Filming has begun locally on The Book of Henry, director Colin Trevorrow’s (Safety Not Guaranteed) first feature as director since this year’s blockbuster Jurassic World (which has grossed nearly $1.7 billion worldwide). Focus Features is overseeing the production and holds worldwide rights, including for domestic release.

The Zookeeper's Wife Begins Production

Posted by kristineko | February 24, 2016

PRAGUE, October 19, 2015 – Production has begun in the Czech Republic on The Zookeeper’s Wife, adapted from Diane Ackerman’s nonfiction book of the same name which was based on the diaries of Antonina Żabiński. Focus Features will release the film domestically; Universal Pictures International has distribution rights to the film in the U.K., France, Germany, Scandinavia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.



More Than Gold

NBC Sports Films to Premiere Historic Berlin Olympics Documentary

Posted by kristineko | February 11, 2016

 Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman narrates NBC Sports Films’ latest project, More Than Gold: Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics, a one-hour documentary which chronicles Jesse Owens’ historic performance at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Debuting Sunday, February 14, at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, More Than Gold follows Owens’ journey during the Berlin Games, and explores the context and historical impact of the 1936 Olympics.


Focus Features to Release SUFFRAGETTE

Posted by Peter Bowen | March 17, 2015

Focus Features has acquired the North American distribution rights to SUFFRAGETTE, directed by Sarah Gavron from a script written by Abi Morgan, for a Fall 2015 domestic release.  SUFFRAGETTE is a moving drama that will empower all who are striving for equal rights in our own day and age. The stirring story, inspired by the early-20th-century campaign by the suffragettes for the right of women to vote, centers on Maud (played by Carey Mulligan), a working wife and mother who comes to realize that she must fight for her dignity both at home and in her workplace. Realizing that she is not alone, she becomes an activist alongside other brave women from all walks of life. The early efforts at resistance were passive but as the women faced increasingly aggressive police action, the suffragettes become galvanized - risking their very lives to ensure that women's rights would be recognized and respected. In addition to Mulligan, the cast includes Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, Anne-Marie Duff, Brendan Gleeson, and Meryl Streep. Peter Schlessel, CEO of Focus Features, said, "SUFFRAGETTE is a story that will resonate with men and women across the generations; it is about parents and children, courage and dedication, and making hard choices. Sarah, Abi, Alison and Faye are women who represent an amazing convergence of filmmaking talent. We're proud to partner with Pathé to bring this powerful drama to audiences worldwide."


THE DANISH GIRL to be released in NY and LA on Nov 27, 2015

Posted by Peter Bowen | March 4, 2015

Focus Features's CEO Peter Schlessel announced today that THE DANISH GIRL will be released by Focus Features in exclusive engagements in New York and Los Angeles beginning Friday, November 27, 2015 and by Universal Pictures International overseas.  

THE DANISH GIRL, directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper, is the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Einar and Gerda Wegener (being portrayed, respectively, by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander), whose marriage and work are cast into the unknown when Einar begins a groundbreaking journey to become one of the world's first transgender women, Lili Elbe. THE DANISH GIRL has been adapted into a screenplay by BAFTA Award nominee Lucinda Coxon, based on the novel of the same name by David Ebershoff. The film's cast also includes Matthias Schoenaerts (The Drop), Ben Whishaw (Skyfall), and Amber Heard (The Rum Diary). Mr. Schlessel commented, "In the tradition of Focus' history of epic and moving love stories, THE DANISH GIRL promises to be unforgettable. Tom Hooper is an extraordinary storyteller who always elicits beautiful performances from his actors. We are so pleased to be working with Eddie Redmayne again after our shared success with Working Title on THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING."


LAIKA and Focus team up for KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS

Posted by Peter Bowen | December 22, 2014

The magic continues. LAIKA and Focus Features, the companies behind CoralineParaNorman and The Boxtrolls, today announced production on their fourth collaboration, Kubo and the Two Strings. LAIKA President & CEO Travis Knight and Focus CEO Peter Schlessel made the announcement today.

Based on an original screenplay by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler (ParaNorman) and marking the directorial debut of Mr. Knight, Kubo And The Two Strings is a sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in a mythical ancient Japan that will be brought to life with the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, Brenda Vaccaro and Art Parkinson (who will voice the character of Kubo). In the epic fantasy, scruffy, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living while devotedly caring for his mother in their sleepy shoreside village. It is a quiet existence - until a spirit from the past catches up with him to enforce an age-old vendetta. Suddenly on the run from gods and monsters, Kubo's chance for survival rests on finding the magical suit of armor once worn by his fallen father, the greatest samurai the world has ever known. Summoning courage, Kubo embarks on a thrilling odyssey as he faces his family's history, navigates the elements, and bravely fights for the earth and the stars."

The movie, slated to open domestically on August 19th, 2016, will be first movie in the new three-picture partnership between LAIKA and Focus. "Kubo and the Two Strings is a rare gem," said Mr. Knight. "It's a gripping yarn woven from Japanese folktales and mythology, with lost civilizations, mystical origami, noble heroes, star-crossed lovers, and blood-curdling monsters. At once epic and intimate, Kubo is a funny, intense, and ultimately uplifting fairy tale draped in some of the most bizarre and exciting imagery I've ever seen. Most importantly, it's deeply moving. It's a story that means something, a story that deserves to be told. In short, it's a LAIKA movie. And with a poetic script, sublime cast, and our freakishly talented artists and craftspeople, Kubo will be a strange, stirring, and altogether stunning film. I can't wait to share it with the world." "LAIKA raises the bar on animated movies as a creative art," said Mr. Schlessel. "Each picture Focus does with them is unique yet identifiably theirs. Travis and Arianne have convened a wonderful group of animators, actors, and artisans to tell a story that moviegoers of all ages will be transported by."


NY Times video: James Marsh Directing

Posted by Peter Bowen | October 29, 2014

The New York Times speaks with director James Marsh about what it was like to direct the story of Stephen and Jane Hawking in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. Fascinating video piece. 


Jeremy Renner & Michael Cuesta All In with Chris Hayes

Posted by Peter Bowen | October 20, 2014

On MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes," KILL THE MESSENGER star/producer Jeremy Renner and director Michael Cuesta talk with Hayes about Gary Webb and the imporantance of getting his story out and onto the big screen with this movie. Smart stuff. 


Jon Stewart and Jeremy Renner Talk KILL THE MESSENGER

Posted by Peter Bowen | October 10, 2014

Jeremy Renner came on the The Daily Show to talk with Jon Stewart about KILL THE MESSENGER, and its amazing story about investigative reporter Gary Webb - and what happened to him. 


Rosemarie DeWitt on Today Show

Posted by Peter Bowen | October 9, 2014

Rosemarie DeWitt showed up on the Today Show to chat with the whole gang about what it was like to play Jeremy Renner's wife in KILL THE MESSENGER. See what she says. 


THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Soundtrack Available 11/4

Posted by Peter Bowen | October 9, 2014

Back Lot Music/Universal Music announces the 11/4 release of THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING soundtrack -- both digitall and on CD -- with a score from acclaimed Icelandic Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. Jóhannsson, who met TTOE director James Marsh in 2010, was fascinating by both the director and the subject. "I'm a big fan of James as director - ever since I saw Man on Wire years ago," recalls Jóhannsson, "and I have also always been fascinated by Stephen Hawking, both as a writer and theorist as well as a human being. I approached the music very much on emotional terms."  To create his score, Jóhannsson played with conceits inherent in the story. "It's a film about an astrophysicist, but it's in essence a love story," explains Jóhannsson. The music stems in a way from the tension between the Hawking the man and Hawking the scientist. Most of the score is derived from very simple elements that are announced in the first frames of the film -- a four-note piano ostinato which then slowly expands into more complex forms and appears and re-appears evolved, deconstructed and re-assembled in various renderings throughout the film."


KILL THE MESSENGER Soundtrack On iTunes

Posted by Peter Bowen | October 8, 2014

Get the pulsing score for KILL THE MESSENGER today. Nathan Johnson, who previous distinguished himself with striking scores for films likeLooper and Brick, composed the music for Michael Cuesta's political thriller starring Jeremy Renner. You can score your own copy of the soundtrack from Back Lot Music now at iTunes


Jeremy Renner joins Jimmy Fallon to talk KILL THE MESSENGER

Posted by Peter Bowen | October 8, 2014

Jeremy Renner came on The Tonight Show to talk with Jimmy Falllon about why KILL THE MESSENGER was his dream project. See why.  


Jeremy Renner on Gary Webb's Legacy

Posted by Peter Bowen | October 7, 2014

In this special featurette for The Hollywood Reporter, Jeremy Renner joins the KILL THE MESSENGER filmmakers and people who knew Webb to talk about this real life reporter and his legacy. Fascinating. 


LAIKA and Focus Features Sign Up for Three More Movies

Posted by Peter Bowen | October 3, 2014

With THE BOXTROLLS in cinemas now, Focus CEO Peter Schlessel and LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight announced that the two companies are joining forces for three more animated films. Focus opened THE BOXTROLLS nationwide last weekend to a $17.3 million gross, marking the biggest debut yet for a LAIKA movie. THE BOXTROLLS follows the successful and acclaimed Focus and LAIKA animated films CORALINE (2009) and PARANORMAN (2012), each of which grossed over $100 million worldwide. CORALINE earned Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics' Choice, and Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature Film; and was named one of the year's 10 Best Films by the American Film Institute (AFI) with an AFI Award. PARANORMAN was cited as best animated feature film by more critics' groups than any other 2012 animated feature; and earned BAFTA, Critics' Choice, and Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature Film. Mr. Schlessel commented, "I am very pleased to continue our relationship with our friends at LAIKA. Travis and his company have elevated the art of animated films and we are proud to be part of their success." "Focus and LAIKA are kindred spirits," said Mr. Knight. "Over eight years and three films we've forged an incredible bond over a shared love for, and commitment to, bold, distinctive, and enduring stories. Peter and his superlative team have created a welcoming home for original voices and enriching, challenging filmmaking. They're the bravest studio in the world. We look forward to many ongoing cinematic adventures with our Focus/Universal family. The best is yet to come."