“Casting By,” the new documentary by “Guest of Cindy Sherman” director Tom Donahue, has been acquired for TV by HBO. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Monday and next screens at the New York Film Festival October 12.
Produced by Kate Lacey, Donahue, Ilan Arboleda and Joanna Colbert, “Casting By” looks at the last fifty years in Hollywood by way of casting directors, profiling pioneers in the field like Marion Dougherty and Lynn Stalmaster, whose ability to spot screen potential helped shape the New Hollywood era with films such as “Midnight Cowboy,” “The Graduate,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” These casting directors helped steer cinema away from traditional conceptions of leading men and women, finding places for actors such as James Dean, Dustin Hoffman, Bette Midler, Robert Duvall and Gene Hackman.
Interviewees in the film include Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Glenn Close, Duvall, Jeff Bridges, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Diane Lane, Jon Voight, Midler and John Travolta, who appear alongside extensive archival material to tell the untold tale of Hollywood’s most unheralded profession.
Per Donahue, “The creation of ‘Casting By’ was a collaborative process made in the spirit of the late Marion Dougherty to recognize these unsung heroes. We could not be more excited to have found the perfect home for our film at HBO.”
Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment negotiated the deal with HBO.
The network is also in the mix on another showbiz doc that had its premiere at Toronto Wednesday night — Liz Garbus’ “Love, Marilyn,” which looks into the screen icon’s never-before-seen letters, diaries and notebooks as performed on screen by Marisa Tomei, Uma Thurman, Glenn Close and others. Though no deal for the film’s rights has been nailed down, HBO has handled Garbus’ last few films, including “There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane,” “Bobby Fischer Against the World” and “Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech.”