In this digital era, more and more creatives are going the online streaming way to get difficult projects funded by more accomodating streaming giants like Netflix and HBO. But a theatrical release is still a powerful draw, as proven by Searchlight Pictures' recently winning a fierce bidding war to produce American gymnast biopic Perfect, with Olivia Wilde set to direct, for $15 million.
Perfect is based on gymnast Kerri Strug's memoir 'Landing on my Feet, a Diary of Dreams'. The story follows Strug's career all the way to the 1996 Olympics when an 18-year-old Strug performed her routine despite having a severely injured ankle, helping her team win its first gold medal.
It is the kind of positive, inspiring true-to-life story with a feminist twist that has every chance of becoming a darling of the critics and a box-office hit, so there is no wonder there was a fierce bidding war to buy the rights to the Kerri Strug movie when Wilde made her presentation of the script written by Ronnie Sandahl at the Berlin Film Festival last month.
It is being said that HBO Max was particularly anxious to buy the project, and offered a great deal more money than the other, more traditional movie production teams, which included A24, WB, and Paramount. But Wilde instead chose to go with the option which would ensure that her film would be released in theaters before going to home streaming.
Wilde has already garnered acclaim for her debut feature as a director Booksmart, which got her an Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature Film. Backed by her win, she was able to get the lucrative deal with Searchlight, with CAA Media Finance brokering the deal. Nik Bower is attached to co-produce Perfect for Riverstone Pictures and Thomas Benski for Pulse Films, along with Jeremy Baxter and Moss Barclay. Wilde will act as executive producer along with Deepak Nayer, Marisa Clifford, and Sandalh.
Strug's triumph at the 1996 Olympics is widely considered one of the most iconic moments for women in sports. The photo of Strug with her injured ankle being carried out to the medals podium to join her teammates is frequently cited in online lists of the most inspiring examples of perseverance and team spirit in sports.
Following the event, Strug became an instant celebrity, appearing on one talk show after another, visiting President Clinton, and featuring on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The athlete's achievement also became the stuff of pop legend, finding reference on many shows like Murphy Brown, Community, and Sabrina: The Teenage Witch.
As of now, there is no news on the casting for the film, neither is a start date for filming locked down. With the present condition of the world not allowing for any kind of gathering of large groups, the production of the movie will no doubt have to be stalled indefinitely until conditions improve enough for the project to begin filming. Deadline brougt this news first....
Bong Joon Ho also received three awards for his film Parasite and career to date.
WWI drama, 1917, was named best picture as well as best action/war film by the Hollywood Critics Association, formerly known as the L.A. Online Film Critics Society, on Thursday night in Los Angeles. The film also recognized editor Lee Smith and director of photography Roger Deakins for their individual achievements in putting together the one-take film that is rapidly becoming the frontrunner for this year's Oscars.
But the evening belonged to South Korean director Bong Joon Ho, who received three awards for his film Parasite and career to date. Parasite won for best original screenplay, with Bong joking that each coffee shop he picks to write his screenplays closes permanently once his work is completed because he chooses ones that don't get a lot of traffic. Parasite also won best foreign language film honors, and the director won an honorary filmmaker achievement award. “I will continue to create films until Parasite is considered one of my early works,” vowed the director, who turned 50 in September.
The other big winner of the night was Olivia Wilde, receiving the award for best female director for Booksmart, which also tied for best comedy with Rocketman. “For the longest time people said women weren't funny. They were always wrong, but it's great to be part of the proof,” said Wilde.
Kaitlyn Dever received an award for best actress 23 and under, for her performance in the film, and Wilde was declared a Trailblazer, in part for taking on Delta airlines for censoring LGBTQ content for the in-flight version of Booksmart. “It's the best day of my life. I love it here. This is the only awards show that counts,” an elated Wilde said as she took the stage for the third time. But to Wilde, and best first feature winner Alma Har'el, the evening was equally a reminder of how female filmmakers are still being shut out of the bigger awards shows.
“This year has been an incredible year for women directors. Some of the best movies this year were directed by women. I think it was important to see that this is a systemic problem,” Har'el told THR before the ceremony. “What we're seeing tonight is one of the first reactions to this, which is to have award shows that are more inclusive, that have more categories, that really help celebrate films that are being left out from the main award shows.”
“I believe it's the deeply embedded misogyny of this industry that is still taking us a while to unwind. I have no better explanation for it than that,” added Wilde about the lack of female nominees at some of the more traditional awards shows. “It's interesting because, what do accolades mean? How do you compare art? But it's that ability to continue working that these awards often determine....