Screen Talk: Good call

 

Actress Abigail Spencer, best known for Mad Men,
has set Hollywood atwitter by writing a script named Wrong Number.

She's dialled up a film script good enough to likely get made rather than just admired – and not only that, Spencer's writing has attracted a producer in the shape of fellow front-of-camera star James Franco. The early plans see Spencer starring alongside a cast already boasting Andrew Leeds, Matt Gould, Griffin Matthews, Camille Chen and Eric Roberts. Number is billed by backers as a comedic romance about two people who "meet" on a wrong-number phone call at a pivotal moment in their lives. The story centres on a wife dealing with the loss of her father and the stranger she pursues. They strike up an unlikely friendship, which turns romantic, revealing the often-mixed signals in intimate friendships among men and women. AnnaRose King will direct the movie, which is set to shoot in April in New York.

Smith's new Phase

Kevin Smith, a man who has had the usual hard time getting backing from financiers, studios and independent backers recently, has struck a distribution deal. The film-maker, who held a mock auction for rights to his film Red State at last year's Sundance Film Festival, has sealed a deal with Toronto-based Phase 4. The deal calls for Phase 4 to exhibit and distribute up to 12 films per year in the US and Canada under the "Kevin Smith and SModcast Presents" label. Phase 4 will release four of the films in cinemas annually, all of which will be promoted via a live tour with Smith doing the talking. Smith bought the rights to Red State for $20 following its premiere at the Eccles Theatre and said he would distribute it via his SModcast Pictures.

Ready to Crow

Enemies don't always have to stay enemies for long in Hollywood. No sooner had the Weinstein Co and Relativity Media settled their legal differences over remake rights to The Crow than the production powerhouses were announcing details of the freshly flying plans. F Javier Gutiérrez will direct the film while Jesse Wigutow is to write the script. The original was distributed by the Weinsteins at Miramax in 1994 and grossed $50.6m in the US. It will long remain the stuff of after-dinner conversations over what happened between the two, who were swapping writs when early plans to remake the film together hit the rocks. Especially as the settlement is a private out-of-court settlement. All are friends again in the fight to corral audiences for a remake of the cult gothic-horror classic.

New deal

Jack Selby has become the latest ex-PayPal executive and internet entrepreneur to kick-start his film-making ambitions in Hollywood. Selby has created Incognito Pictures, a production company geared to making movies under $10m, and secured a distribution deal with the Weinstein Co. He follows PayPal's former COO David O Sacks into the shark-infested waters of movie production, with a $50m cash pool and ambitions to make movies in all genres, not just horror. It's a wait and see on whether or not Selby's plans will be buffering too long to produce anything.

Boone times

Josh Boone's directorial debut, Writers, is hoping to seal the acting services of Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly. The duo is in negotiations with the film's backers to star in the film that Boone also wrote. Billed as a drama, the script focuses on the complicated relationships between a successful novelist, his ex-wife, and their college-age daughter and teenage son. The project has heavyweight backing from US company Informant Media, the production banner behind Hysteria, the Victorian-era comedy about the invention of the vibrator, which stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy.

Arts and Entertainment
Loading individual letters on to an original Heidelberg printing press
books
Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
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.

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'