Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Donald Sutherland & Anne Hathaway Join Cate Blanchett In James Gray’s ‘Armageddon Time:’ Hot Virtual Cannes Package
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EXCLUSIVE: Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Donald Sutherland and Anne Hathaway will join the previously announced Cate Blanchett in Armageddon Time, the period drama James Gray will next stage for RT Features.
Wild Bunch International will present the film to buyers in the Cannes virtual market and represent the film's international rights. CAA Media Finance, who arranged the financing, represents the film's domestic distribution rights. WBI and CAA Media Finance jointly represent Chinese rights.
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Gray wrote and will direct and partner with RT Features after recently working on Ad Astra, the Brad Pitt space thriller with Sutherland. RT Features' Rodrigo Teixeira will produce, Lourenço Sant'Anna and Rodrigo Gutierrez will act as Executive Producers.
Gray designed a childhood-based drama, a generous coming-of-age story that explores friendship and loyalty against the backdrop of an America that is ready to elect Ronald Reagan as president. It is very different from his most recent pictures and he hopes to be able to shoot in New York as soon as the possibilities after the pandemic make it possible. He spoke to Deadline about his ambition.
"Every film you make is different, but I'm trying to do something that is the opposite of the huge, lonely, and dark void of the film I just directed," said Gray. "I strive to do something that has a lot to do with people, with human emotions and interactions between people, and I want it to be filled with warmth and tenderness. In a sense, it's about my childhood, but an example of family love, really at every level. I am convinced that most people do their best and do their best in difficult circumstances. In a sense it is a nice thing and very moving for me.
“In a larger sense, history and myth always begin in the microcosm of the personal when I sound a little sententious and pretentious, and even though you use something so small and specific in your life, the result can become universal if it accesses real emotions. I tried to approach the opposite of a cold, dark room. I want to be political and historical, but fill it with love and warmth. What happened to me, quite simply, I had big problems when I was around 11, even though the boys are 12 in the film, and the story is about my public education movement that I got into private school and into one World of privileges. This film is about what that meant for me and how lucky I was and how bad luck my friend had and what pause meant for me and what it meant for him. "
Earlier reports mentioned that the private school was attended by future U.S. President Donald Trump.
"The private school, yes, Donald Trump was there and Fred Trump was on the board of trustees," said Gray. "It is symbolic of what the school represented at that time, anchored in this white Protestant ethic. I found it very strange to me, a product of the public school system in New York City in the 1970s. It is about this transition and how it reflects what American society was and still is, how we are separated by class and ethnicity. The film is really about my transition from school to one. The impact is pretty big. The world was made for really divided myself clearly based on the belongings. I didn't write the script last week, but quite a few months ago, and it's strange that a lot of what we're seeing is playing out of a lot of the issues that I originally did This obsession with examining American ideas about class mobility to do so in a context that is human and has social implications t. "
Gray is optimistic that people will want to be moved when cinema returns, and he believes Armageddon Time will fit this bill.
"Movies make intimacy and family relationships very good, even better than the theater because your best seat in the theater is still 20 feet from the actor," said Gray. “In the cinema, the close-up has an enormous power. What I want is something really moving. My memory when I think back to that moment, which is 1980 as the film's timeframe, and what an important year it was in the country's history and for me personally, and how I was pretty damn lucky in a way. My parents, who weren't rich at all as a working class family, used all the leverage they could to go to school. That saved my life at the same time, but also awakened me to real racism and anti-Semitism. In a way, the idea of presenting such a story in the context of this family, which is told with great warmth, is sometimes your greatest Trojan horse, in order to emotionally involve people in this way. And history is a great weapon for delivering pretty tough news. "
De Niro, Sutherland, Hathaway, Blanchett, Gray and RT Features are represented by CAA. Hathaway is also represented by Management 360. Isaac is represented by WME and Inspire Entertainment.
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