Annapurna Films

Back in November, we reported that newly un-retired director Steven Soderbergh’s next film would be a thriller about the world of psychopharmacology called Bitter Pill. Following Soderbergh’s projects has been kind of a roller coaster ride lately though, so having faith that Bitter Pill was actually going to get made was kind of a…ahem, tough pill to swallow. But things are now looking a lot better on that front. While this is still the Scott Z. Burns script that Soderbergh intends to work on, the film has now been retitled Side Effects, a seemingly arbitrary change that at least points to the fact that active work is being done on development. And that’s not even the big news. The big news is that heiress Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures is stepping up to fund the film, alongside Open Road Films, who will be handling the domestic distribution. That kind of makes this one a lot more official, and seeing as Open Road is hoping for a release in the first half of 2013, shooting is scheduled to start in April and the casting process should begin ASAP. I would imagine that Soderbergh is calling up Matt Damon and George Clooney as we speak. [THR]

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Likes Miles Bennett Dyson before her, Megan Ellison is single mindedly marching forward with plans that will lead to the creation of Terminators. There have been rumors going around that a new Terminator movie is in the works with Justin Lin directing and Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to do at least something in the acting department. Well turns out that those rumors are very much true, as the rights to the film have been auctioned off and Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Films has come up the winner. Up until zero hour it was reportedly looking very much like Lionsgate would come out on top of the bidding war, but the fact that Ellison has a bunch of money seems to have been the difference maker. This grab at a big budget franchise marks a bit of a turn in the strategy Ellison has employed so far in her budding film producing career. Up to this point she had seemed to be sticking to funding beleaguered projects that respected but financially underappreciated directors had in the works. She is involved in Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming Bin Laden film, John Hillcoat’s bootlegging adventure The Wettest County in the World, and even several projects that Paul Thomas Anderson has on the table, including a religious drama starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Now she’s very pointedly going after an established franchise with one of the biggest names in the world attached.

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