One of the great mysteries of the 2012 movie calendar is whether or not Paul Thomas Anderson‘s highly anticipated film, The Master, would be released this year. The Weinstein Company will handle domestic distribution and, as was once again evidenced a few weeks back, they’re masters at Oscar campaigning. Anderson’s film, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, screams “award season contender” but there had been no formal announcement. Just assumptions about a release window.

There still hasn’t been an official release date announced but one of the film’s primary producers, Megan Ellison, took to Twitter to give us a hint. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

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In 2010, after the original incarnation of John Hillcoat‘s The Wettest County had collapsed, the director was eyeing the Black List script Triple Nine, with Shia LaBeouf attached to star. The Matt Cooke script sounds like a taut cop/heist thriller, and as such a slight departure for Hillcoat — it would be a more overtly modern film, if nothing else, than The Proposition or The Road, the movies for which he is best known.

But The Wettest County (then called The Promised Land) came back to life thanks to the interest of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, and the film is now complete and awaiting a release later this year. Now there is a minor suggestion — very minor — that Triple Nine may in the works once more with Hillcoat at the helm, and now housed at Annapurna. Read More »

Justin Lin Leaves ‘Terminator 5′, But May Be Back

After a couple years of slow-moving development, progress on Terminator 5 suddenly picked up earlier this year. Arnold Schwarzenegger and director Justin Lin both came aboard, indie financier Megan Ellison grabbed the rights and Lin began talking up what he’d like to see in the next installment of the franchise.

In fact, the problem now may be that things are moving a little too fast. Lin has been forced to pull out of the project due to scheduling issues. There’s still a chance he could find his way back to the franchise, but only if Ellison and Schwarzenegger are willing to adjust their timeline to account for Lin’s busy schedule. More details after the jump.

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Megan Ellison Lands ‘Terminator’ Rights

Briefly: And things get interesting. Megan Ellison‘s company Annapurna Pictures has won the auction for rights to make future films in the Terminator franchise, beating out LionsGate and becoming the producers behind Justin Lin and Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s potential Terminator sequel.

Deadline says the company now has rights to make “at least two more” films in the series. We don’t have much more detail now, and I’ll refer you back to the thoughts put down two days ago when this outcome started to seem like a real possibility. In short, we’re now looking at a new Terminator film from the same person who is financing some ambitious and very promising indie prestige pictures like The Wettest County in the World, Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmasters, and Kathryn Bigelow’s tentatively-titled Kill Bin Laden. This is a better outcome than having the rights land at a studio — The Terminator has always been an independently-owned series — and a development that augers well for the new film. I still think this series is close to being out of gas, but if the same person who wants to make all those movies I just listed also wants to make Terminator 5, I’m curious to see what happens.

And, just like that, I’m interested in a Terminator movie once more. An auction is going on now in which the rights to produce a new Terminator film are changing hands (yes, again) and LionsGate was emerging as the presumptive winner. But now Annapurna Pictures, the production company run by Megan Ellison, is trying to outbid the little lion.

Why is this a big deal? It might not be. But Megan Ellison has emerged as a recent savior for big indie prestige pics. She’s paying for Paul Thomas Anderson’s new one, Kathryn Bigelow’s Kill Bin Laden and John Hillcoat’s The Wettest County in the World, and helping fund Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmasters. The Terminator doesn’t seem like the type of movie her company would go for at all. So what gives? Read More »

This article could have an alternate title: Megan Ellison, movie savior. Allow me to explain. Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, has two children with movie business aspirations. David Ellison appeared in Flyboys, was trying to get that Taylor Lautner movie Northern Lights made, and he put up some of the money for Paramount films like True Grit and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. His 25-year old sister Megan is following in his footsteps, and is also listed as an exec producer on True Grit. She’s one of the people who put up money for John Hillcoat’s The Wettest County in the World, thereby bringing that film back from limbo. And now it looks as if she is ready to co-finance not one Paul Thomas Anderson project, but two: the film referred to as The Master and the Thomas Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice. Read More »

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