Cannes Market: Elizabeth Banks Stars in Alan Ball’s ‘What’s the Matter with Margie?’

Cannes Market: Elizabeth Banks Stars in Alan Ball's 'What's the Matter with Margie?'
Cannes Market: Elizabeth Banks Stars Alan Ball's 'What's the Matter with Margie?'

A hit like “The Hunger Games” lifts all boats, and comedic actress Elizabeth Banks is one of them. She’s set to star in “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood” creator Alan Ball’s next dark comedy, “What’s the Matter with Margie,” which Myriad Pictures is selling at Cannes.

Produced and written by Ball, the film is set for an early 2013 start in Los Angeles. Banks plays a stepped-on office-worker who after years of abuse snaps and resorts to murderous revenge. Daniel Minahan (“True Blood,” “Series 7: The Contenders”) will direct and Anthony Bregman (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Savages”) and Ball will produce with Ball.

UTA reps both Ball and Minahan and packaged the film, is arranging financing, and selling U.S. and Canadian rights.

Banks is busy: she’s a frequent guest star on “30 Rock,” appears in this weekend’s opener “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” and stars opposite Chris Pine in Alex Kurtzman’s relationship drama “People Like Us.” She also produced Universal comedy “Pitch Perfect.” 

Alan Ball won the Best Screenplay Oscar in 2000 for Best Picture-winner “American Beauty,” starring Kevin Spacey.

HBO favorite Daniel Minahan directed both of this season’s premieres of “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood,” and directed many episodes of both as well as “Deadwood” and “Six Feet Under.”  His first film as director, “Series 7: The Contenders,” screened in Berlin and Sundance. Minahan co-wrote the screenplay with director Mary Harron for “I Shot Andy Warhol.”

Anthony Bregman produced “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” starring “Synecdoche, New York,” “Lovely and Amazing,” and “Friends With Money.” 

Myriad is selling the quite a few titles in Cannes:

INESCAPABLE – Marisa Tomei, Josh Jackson and Alexander Siddig star in this thriller about a man whose daughter is kidnapped in Damascus.  His past puts her future – and her life – in jeopardy.  Directed by Ruba Nada (Cairo Time).

A COMMON MAN – Academy Award®-winner Sir Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross star in this action thriller about a terrorist threatening to blow up key locations in an urban city, but with an unexpected twist. The film will premiere for buyers in Cannes.

BREAKING THE GIRLS – Jamie Babbit’s steamy thriller follows the relationship between two young women, one who unknowingly agrees to a double murder. Starring Madeline Zima, Agnes Bruckner and Shawn Ashmore.  This film will premiere for buyers in the market in Cannes.

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY, HIS STORY and HER STORY – Two films telling one story, from the perspectives of a husband and wife.  Jessica Chastain will star.  Shooting is scheduled to start this summer in New York City.

FREELOADERS – The Broken Lizard people who made Supertroopers and Beer Fest are back with another outrageous comedy about a group of slackers who have been crashing at their rock star buddy’s mansion for five years.  When their pal gets married and wants to sell the house, they come up with a hair-brained strategy to prevent it from happening.  Starring Jane Seymour and Josh Lawson.  This film will be released theatrically in the U.S. later this year by Salient Media.

 KNIFE FIGHT – Rob Lowe plays a political campaign consultant with a “winning is everything” approach in this comedy that takes a look behind the scenes at the nasty tactics he uses to beat his opponents. Also starring “Modern Family’s” Julie Bowen and Jamie Chung, the film is directed by Bill Guttentag and co-written by Guttentag and former Bill Clinton advisor Chris LeHane. The film had its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival Wednesday, April 25, 2012.

NOBODY WALKS – This well-received 2012 Sundance Jury Award-winner stars John Krasinski (“The Office), Olivia Thirlby and Rosemarie DeWitt, and was directed by Ry Russo-Young. Magnolia will release the film theatrically in the U.S. in October.  The film has its World Premiere at the Sundance London Film Festival on Thursday, April 26, 2012.

SECONDS OF PLEASURE –Neil LaBute wrote and will direct this script about lives becoming entangled aboard an overnight trans-Atlantic flight.   The project stars Matt Dillon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Hendricks, Brendan Fraser and Julia Stiles. This film is in pre-production.

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