Screen Talk: Eagle takes flight

Modern-day movie moguls are generally money men in suits, playing with stock money and gambling with other people's fortunes.

But recent times have seen tighter stock-market conditions, more stringent financial operating conditions and a general lack of optimism enveloping the suits behind the creatives. Which is why everyone is delighted to see a return to the fray for two big biz players armed with a $190m war chest to pump into media and entertainment ventures. The dynamic duo in question, Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, are well known in Hollywood and beyond. Sloan, former head of MGM, and Sagansky, a former head of CBS Entertainment, have set up Global Eagle Acquisition Corp., floated it on the stock market Stateside, raised just south of $200m, and are now scouring the globe for "a dynamic business to acquire for Global Eagle". The original target was $175m but it seems the appetite for media and entertainment businesses is returning.

Diesel power

Vin Diesel, currently enjoying box-office success with Fast Five, is to turn his hand to producing. He'll have to be on top of himself when it comes to spending any budget as he is also going to star in The Machine, a film at the recently re-financed MGM studio. The original script, penned by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, the writers of Night at the Museum and Diesel action comedy The Pacifier, will see the actor play "a human-like machine created in secrecy by the Pentagon as the world's first true ultimate weapon". No director on board yet.

Lyons on the loose

The world inhabited by film-makers such as the Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson and Paul Weitz felt a tremor recently. John Lyons, the respected and popular production chief at Focus Features, the speciality movie-making label owned by Universal Studios, stepped down from his role with the studio to pursue his own producing career and build on his philanthropic endeavours. At Focus, Lyons shepherded a host of movies through the system to the big screen, including Brokeback Mountain, The Constant Gardener and the Coens' A Serious Man. The production arm – run by James Schamus, whose credits include the screenplay for Lust, Caution – is popular among film-makers for letting them get on with making films without much interference. No doubt Lyons will be a popular man to call on as a producer.

Hope for the more mature viewer

Not every film is made for the teenage market, even though it often feels like they are. But when a studio mounts a movie with older-playing themes, it usually seeks to give the older audience stars to enjoy on screen. So the cast of Great Hope Springs, a comedy about a middle-aged couple who after 30 years of marriage attend an intense counselling weekend to examine wedlock and sex issues, is bursting with older casting draws. The impressive cast includes Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep (above right) and Steve Carell, and will be directed by David Frankel. Written by Vanessa Taylor, the picture is backed by Sony Pictures and was a popular project with buyers at Cannes looking to bolster release slates in their territories.

Prom fright

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the playwright of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, has been tasked with writing a fresh take on Stephen King's Carrie for the big screen. The book, which was King's first published work, centres on a shy high-school pupil who unleashes telekinetic powers when pushed too far during her prom. It was adapted into a 1976 Brian De Palma movie starring Sissy Spacek. Aguirre-Sacasa is a playwright who also writes comics for Marvel, notably its meticulous adaptations of King's epic The Stand.

Arts and Entertainment
The Rolling Stones at the Roundhouse in London in 1971: from the left, Keys, Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor and Mick Jagger

Music ...featuring Eric Clapton no less
Arts and Entertainment
In the dock: Dot Branning (June Brown); Union boss claims EastEnders writers are paid less than minimum wage

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Roger Christian wrote and directed the 1980 Black Angel original, which was lost until 2011

film
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Green (Hand out press photograph provided by Camilla Gould)

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones reviewWarning: Spoilers aplenty
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Arts and Entertainment
The Clangers: 1969-1974
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific