week in review digest


Mickie to top Maximum int'l

TORONTO — Charlotte Mickie, who led North American operations at Dreamachine, on Tuesday was named head of Maximum Films International, the new Canadian film sales firm launched by veteran movie producer Robert Lantos (HR 8/29). As managing director of Toronto-based Maximum, Mickie will buy and sell first-run films internationally for theatrical release. The company's initial slate includes a host of films from Lantos' Serendipity Point Films shingle, including Jeremy Podeswa's "Fugitive Pieces," which is scheduled to open next week's Toronto International Film Festival. Lantos also is launching Maximum Film Distribution, a Toronto-based movie releasing company, with Tony Cianciotta on board as managing director for English-speaking Canada.

Goodman gets an ax to grind

NEW YORK — John Goodman has been cast as Paul Bunyan in Exodus Film Group's upcoming CG-animated family adventure "Bunyan & Babe" opposite comedian Eddie Griffin (HR 8/29). Goodman, who has had monster success voicing characters in Disney/Pixar's "Monsters, Inc." and "Cars," will play the legendary jumbo lumberjack in the film, in which Bunyan works with two adventurous kids to rescue his sidekick Babe the Blue Ox (Griffin) from the evil clutches of a demented circus owner. Jim Rygiel is directing.

Snyder inks for Warners' 'Illustrated'

Zack Snyder is sharpening his pencil for Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Illustrated Man" (HR 8/29). Snyder is attached to direct the adaptation based on Ray Bradbury's classic collection of short stories and will produce with his wife/producing partner Deborah Snyder via their Cruel and Unusual Films along with Denise Di Novi of Di Novi Pictures and Frank Darabont. "Illustrated" is a collection of stories linked by a storyteller whose tattoos come to life and tell a tale.

'Clayton' closing Atlantic fest

TORONTO — Tony Gilroy's "Michael Clayton" will close the Atlantic Film Festival on Sept. 22, organizers said Tuesday (HR 8/30). The Warner Bros. Pictures drama, which stars George Clooney as a fixer in a New York law firm, will screen at the Halifax, Nova Scotia, event ahead of its Oct. 5 theatrical release. The fest also announced gala slots for Halifax filmmaker Chaz Thorne's "Just Buried," Peter Greenaway's "Nightwatching," Francois Ozon's "Angel," Francois Girard's "Silk," Clement Virgo's "Poor Boy's Game" and the French animated film "Max & Co."

230 buyers plan French Rendez-Vous

PARIS — A record 230 foreign buyers will join reps from 54 Gallic TV distribution companies at the seaside resort of Biarritz for the 13th annual TV France International Rendez-Vous, organizers said Wednesday (HR 8/30). The four-day showcase, which kicks off Monday, expects 25% more participants than last year, its strongest attendance ever. This year the Rendez-Vous is moving from its traditional Saint-Tropez headquarters to Biarritz's Le Bellevue expo center. Foreign buyers will be able to watch the 822 available French television shows — 65% of which are new to the international market — in a digital viewing center.