Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   November 10, 2020

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTERCooke will voice the lead in the original animated feature about a young girl in 1920s New York who aspires to be the world’s first firefighter.

Olivia Cooke, Laurie Holden, Kenneth Branagh, and William Shatner have joined the voice cast of Fireheart, a musical animated feature about a young girl who aspires to be a firefighter in New York in the 1920s.

Cooke (Ready Player One) will voice the lead, sixteen-year-old Georgia Nolan, who dreams of being the world’s first-ever firefighter. When a mysterious arsonist starts burning down Broadway, New York’s firemen begin vanishing. Georgia’s father, Shawn (Kenneth Branagh), is called out of retirement by the Mayor of New York (William Shatner) to lead the investigation into the disappearances. Desperate to help her father and save her city, Georgia disguises herself as a young man called “Joe” and joins a small group of misfit firefighters trying to stop the arsonist.

Mara Junot, Wilex Ly, and Ryan W. Garcia are also part of the voice cast of the film. The film’s soundtrack will include re-orchestrated 1920’s style covers of modern pop songs.

Main Journey (Ballerina aka Leap!), Anton (Paddington) and Caramel Films are producing Fireheart. The film, currently in production at the L’Atelier Animation studios in Montreal, is set for delivery in 2021. Anton has already sold out Fireheart internationally, with distribution partners including eOne (for the U.K., Germany, Spain, Australia, Benelux, and Canada), M6 (France) Peak Films (China), IDC (Latin America) and Leone (Italy).

Anton and CAA Media Finance are jointly selling domestic rights to the project at the virtual American Film Market, where they will debut the first footage to U.S. buyers this week.

Laurent Zeitoun, producer of French mega-hit The Intouchables and 2017 animated feature Ballerina (aka Leap!) is directing Fireheart together with Ted Ty, an animator on How to Train Your Dragon 2 and animation director on Ballerina. Zeitoun wrote the script, based on his original idea, together with Daphne Ballon and Jennica Harper. He is also producing Fireheart together with Yann Zenou for their Main Journey shingle.

Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   November 09, 2020

VARIETY – Going through the festival circuit has been part of the awards strategy for Amazon Studios’ “Sound of Metal,” which began its journey at Sundance back in January. As its awards prospects continue to grow for star Riz Ahmed in best actor, Variety has learned exclusively his co-star, Olivia Cooke, has been confirmed to campaign for best supporting actress for the upcoming Academy Awards.

The 26-year English actress has been building her acting resume for the last few years with standout performances in 2015’s “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and A&E’s “Bates Motel.” As distributor, Amazon Studios continues to mount a campaign for the film.

Following strong receptions out of Toronto, Middleburg and AFI Film festivals, Cooke could find some room to break through a seemingly thinner best supporting actress race, which has yet to reveal a traditional “frontrunner.” Although her performance is beautifully orchestrated, Cooke will have steep competition including Olivia Colman (“The Father”), Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”), Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) and Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”).

Aside from Ahmed and Cooke’s emotional and powerful turns, the film looks to be competitive for a nomination in categories such as best original screenplay (Darius Marder, Abraham Marder, Derek Cianfrance), sound (Nicolas Becker), editing (Mikkel E.G. Nielsen) and original score (Abraham Marder).

“Sound of Metal” tells the story of a heavy-metal drummer named Ruben (played by Riz Ahmed), who’s life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing. Cooke plays Lou, Ruben’s girlfriend.

The film is directed by Darius Marder, in his feature debut. Other stars include Paul Raci, Mathieu Amalric, Shaheem Sanchez and Chelsea Lee.

“Sound of Metal” will be released in select theaters on Nov. 20 and will be available on Amazon Prime Video Dec. 4.

Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   September 24, 2020

VARIETYIFC Films has nabbed Chad Hartigan’s “Little Fish,” a love story set in a post-pandemic world that will have an eerie resonance when viewed in light of the coronavirus crisis.

The deal is for North American rights. IFC, which has remained active during COVID-19, releasing films such as “The Nest” and “The Trip to Greece,” will debut the picture on Feb. 5, 2021. “Little Fish” stars Olivia Cooke (“Ready Player One”), Jack O’Connell (“Unbroken”), Raúl Castillo (HBO’s “Looking”), and French singer-songwriter Soko. “Little Fish” boasts a screenplay by Mattson Tomlin based on a short story by Aja Gabel.

According to the official log line, “Little Fish” unfolds in a world where a pandemic has broken out. The disease causes its victims to lose their memories. Newlyweds Emma (Cooke) and Jude (O’Connell) have to grapple with this painful new reality. After Jude contracts the disease, the young couple struggles to hold onto the memory of their romance.

“Chad Hartigan’s prescient and deeply felt love story blew us away on every level,” said Arianna Bocco, EVP of acquisitions and productions at IFC Films. “The stellar performances and gorgeous cinematography complement Chad’s unique and beautiful vision. This is the love story for this moment – bring tissues.”

Hartigan is best known for directing “This is Martin Bonner,” which won Best of NEXT Audience Award as well as the John Cassavetes Award at the Film independent Spirit Awards. He also directed “Morris From America,” which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. “Little Fish” was expected to debut at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. However, the annual film gathering was upended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, Hartigan said he was happy to land at an indie distributor like IFC, citing the company’s penchant for backing unconventional films.

“’From ‘Me and You and Everyone We Know’ to ‘Hunger,’ IFC has released countless films that have inspired and shaped me over the years and as the challenges of 2020 have proven again, they remain one of the most adept and adaptable distribution companies in the business,” he said. “I can think of no better partner to bring this pandemic love story to audiences.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Bocco for IFC with CAA Media Finance representing the filmmakers. Sony Pictures’ Stage 6 Films has rights to the film outside of the U.S.

Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   September 11, 2020

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTERSaban Films is closing in on a North American distribution deal for Pixie, a comedy thriller that stars Olivia Cooke and Alec Baldwin.

Pixie also stars Ben Hardy, Daryl McCormack and Colm Meaney, with Barnaby Thompson directing from a script by Preston Thompson (Kids in Love). The pic centers on a character played by Cooke who wants to avenge her mother’s death by masterminding a heist.

Her plans go awry and she finds herself on the run across the wild Irish countryside with two young men, played by Hardy and McCormack, who are in over their own heads and being chased by a psychotic hitman and a gang of gun-toting priests. Pixie has to pit her wits against everyone, taking on the patriarchy to claim the right to shape her own life.

James Clayton is producing Pixie with Peter Touche, while Samantha Allwinton executive produces.

Jonathan Saba and Bill Bromiley negotiated the deal for Saban Films, along with Endeavor Content working on behalf of the filmmakers.

Endeavor Content is also handling international sales. Paramount Pictures is releasing Pixie in the UK and Ireland.

Olivia Cooke Central STAFF   September 14, 2019

VARIETYAmazon has acquired “Sound of Metal,” Variety has learned.

The drama looks at a heavy metal drummer who is beginning to go deaf, and features a bravura performance from Riz Ahmed. It marks the feature film directing debut of Darius Marder, who also penned the script. Olivia Cooke co-stars. Reviews were strong after the film premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Many viewers noted the visceral use of sound design to illustrate the experience of a musician losing his hearing.

IndieWire’s Eric Kohn called the film “mesmerizing” and added “Ahmed’s brilliant performance coasts on a complex soundscape that resonates even in total silence.” Ahmed learned to play the drums and picked up American Sign Language to play the role.

“One of the most beautiful things about being an actor is learning new skills. It’s such a unique gift, and this film was fully transformative,” Ahmed told Variety.

The pact is for U.S. rights and includes a theatrical release. Amazon has endured a rough period at the box office. The summer it released “Late Night,” a Mindy Kaling comedy that it picked up at Sundance, but failed to generate much in the way of ticket sales. Other recent flops include “Peterloo,” “Beautiful Boy,” and “Life Itself.” The studio did score a best foreign language film and best director Oscar nomination for 2018’s “Cold War” and the jury is still out on “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” another Sundance acquisition that is still in limited release. Upcoming features include the Adam Driver thriller “The Report” and the Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones adventure film “The Aeronauts,” which earned strong reviews at Toronto.

Other studios were interested in the movie, including Neon. Protagonist Pictures is selling international rights.