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    GORDON AND THE WHALE NEWSLETTER



Focus Features announces 2010 slate

Kate Erbland

by: Kate Erbland
November 13th, 2009

Focus Features
Focus Features CEO James Schamus has announced the company’s release slate for 2010. The confirmed line up includes six films, including quite a few films we’ve already been discussing here at GATW for some time. Schamus said, "next year's Focus slate follows one of the company's best years ever...our 2010 lineup is as audacious as any in our history, ranging from American indies like Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY to big international productions like Anton Corbijn's THE AMERICAN."

Hit the jump to get a sneak preview at the six films anchoring Focus in the year ahead, including synopses and release info!

GREENBERG
Opening in select cities on March 12, 2010. Starring Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Chris Messina, Rhys Ifans, Juno Temple, Mark Duplass, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Written and directed by Noah Baumbach (THE SQUID AND THE WHALE), from a story conceived of with Leigh (his wife). Official synopsis: “at a crossroads in his life, Roger Greenberg (Stiller) ends up housesitting at his brother's home in Los Angeles. There, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his brother's assistant Florence (Gerwig), an aspiring singer. Florence and Greenberg's encounters lead to an uncertain and wonderfully vulnerable courtship.”

BABIES
Opening in select cities on April 16, 2010. Directed by Thomas Balmès from an original idea by Alain Chabat. Official synopsis: “the film simultaneously follows four babies around the world - from birth to first steps. The children are, respectively, in order of on-screen introduction: Ponijao, who lives with her family near Opuwo, Namibia; Bayarjargal, who resides with his family in Mongolia, near Bayanchandmani; Mari, who lives with her family in Tokyo, Japan; and Hattie, who resides with her family in the United States, in San Francisco.”

THE AMERICAN
Opening nationwide on September 1, 2010. Starring George Clooney. Directed by Anton Corbijn (CONTROL). Official synopsis: “alone among assassins, Jack (Clooney) is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Larry (Bruce Altman) that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten), is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli) and pursues romance with local woman Clara (Violante Placido). But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.” Currently in production.

THE EAGLE OF THE NINTH
Opening nationwide in the fall of 2010. Starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, and Donald Sutherland. Directed by Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald. Jeremy Brock (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND) has adapted the screenplay from Rosemary Sutcliff's classic novel of the same name. Official synopsis: “set in the dangerous world of second-century Britain. In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth.” Currently in production.

IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY
Opening in select cities in November of 2010. Starring Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Viola Davis, Zoe Kravitz, Aasif Mandvi, Lauren Graham, and Jim Gaffigan. Written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (HALF NELSON, SUGAR). The comedy-drama has been adapted by Boden and Fleck from Ned Vizzini's 2006 novel of the same name; sixteen year old Craig (Gilchrist), “stressed out from the demands of being a teenager, checks himself into a mental health clinic. There he learns that the youth ward is closed - and finds himself stuck in the adult ward. One of the patients, Bobby (Galifianakis), soon becomes both Craig's mentor and protégé. Craig is also quickly drawn to another 16-year-old, Noelle (Roberts). With a minimum five days' stay imposed on him, Craig is sustained by friendships on both the inside and the outside as he learns more about life, love, and the pressures of growing up.” Production begins in New York City in early December 2009.

SOMEWHERE
To be released in 2010 (release date TBD). Starring Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning. Written and directed by Sofia Coppola (LOST IN TRANSLATION). SOMWHERE “is the story of Johnny Marco (Dorff), a bad-boy actor stumbling through a life of excess at the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood. With an unexpected visit from his 11-year-old daughter (Fanning), Johnny is forced to look at the questions we all must confront.”

Source Focus Features

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