Briefly: 2011 was a great year for Woody Allen. His playful, entertaining film Midnight in Paris turned into the year’s runaway arthouse hit, taking in $60m to become Allen’s greatest domestic success. Sony Classics has distributed the director’s last few films and after their stellar success with Midnight in Paris, I think it has been pretty much a foregone conclusion that his next movie, Nero Fiddled, would go out via the company as well.

Variety reports that deal has been set, with Sony Classics picking up North American and UK rights to the film, which stars Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. As is typically the case with a new Allen film we don’t know much about the plot — all we’ve got is that the Rome-set film “consists of four separate vignettes — two with American characters, two with Italian characters — but the vignettes never intersect.”

The film will get a summer 2012 release, and is a likely bet for a Cannes debut.

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Woody Allen Renames Upcoming Film ‘Nero Fiddled’

This past summer, Woody Allen enjoyed the unexpected success of his film Midnight in Paris, which has been going strong in arthouses since May with over $100m earned worldwide. He also shot a new film in Rome, and for quite some time he was planning to call the movie Bop Decameron. There’s a lot to like about that title — it’s very Woody Allen, and even a good bit more jaunty than most of his titles. But it isn’t the sort of title that will keep a movie on screens for six months. Midnight in Paris sounds romantic and enticing. Bop Decameron sounds like… well, I imagine Woody realized a lot of people might not know what it sounds like.

So the film is now called Nero Fiddled. Not as jaunty or romantic, but at least people will know what he’s talking about. I hope. Read More »

Al Pacino is in talks to star in Imagine, playing an aging rocker who “decides to change his life after discovering a letter written to him by John Lennon.” The note inspires him to reach out to his biological son, whom he’s never met. Imagine will be the directorial debut of Dan Fogelman, the screenwriter behind Tangled and the upcoming Crazy Stupid Love. Fogelman has written the script for Imagine as well.

At one point, Steve Carrell was attached to play the son. He’s since dropped out of the role, though he remains involved as a producer. Which means we get to talk about who might be a good fit to fill the part — who do you think could play Pacino’s son? [Variety]

After the jump, Olivia Munn shacks up with Paul Schneider and a trio of Italians join Woody Allen’s Italian movie.

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