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    at arrivals for 18th Annual Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Awards, The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA February 8, 2014. Photo By: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection

    #Winning Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company: Working Title Television Executive Producer(s): Ben McMillan, Meredith Philpott, Josh Greenbaum, Gina Girolamo, Christine Conley Writer(s): Ben McMillan, Meredith Philpott Logline: A group of friends break up with by their sixth bestie once he becomes famous. SSN Insight: NBC has given an initial script commitment.

    Cortes Network: HBO Studio: HBO Production Company: Sikelia Productions Executive Producer(s): Chris Gerolmo, Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Bickford Writer(s): Chris Gerolmo Logline: The story of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, who brought down the Aztec empire; Malinche, the Mayan girl who helped him do it; and Montezuma, the Aztec leader he befriended and finally put in chains. Details: Based on actual events involving the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés. SSN Insight: Scorsese has worked with HBO beforeas he directed the pilot of Boardwalk Empire, for which he won an Emmy. He recently directed the pilot for an untitled Rock ‘N’ Roll drama for HBO, a collaboration with Mick Jagger and Terence Winter.  Previously Del Toro played Latin American historical figures in Escobar: Paradise Lost and Steven Soderbergh’s Che. 

    Difficult People Network: Hulu Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Companies: Marobru Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Amy Poehler, Dave Becky, Michele Armour Writer(s): Julie Klausner Logline: Billy Eichner and Julia Klausner star as frustrated comedians and pop culture-loving best friends living in New York City who hate everyone -- except each other. SSN Insight: This original series is the first team-up between Hulu and Universal Cable Prods. The project was previously shot as a pilot presentation for NBCUniversal’s USA Network.

    Fox/ Untitled Rob Riggle Comedy Project Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Companies: Principato-Young Entertainment, Intrigue Executive Producer(s): Rob Riggle, Steve Hely, Tariq Jalil, Peter Principato, Paul Young Writer: Steve Hely Logline: The story follows the quirky inhabitants of a small struggling town whose mayor is prepared to do anything to save his community. Seriously. Anything. Details: Based on the Austrian series "Braunschlag," which aired on the ORF Network in 2012. SSN Insight: Jalil and WME first brought the format to Principato Young.  When Riggle signed up with the comedy, the project entered into a bidding war. 20th TV teamed up with sibling Fox to win the pitch, and they then attached Hely as a writer, who is under an overall deal at 20th TV.

    Future Shock Network: Nickelodeon Production Company: Katlin/Bernstein Productions Executive Producer(s): Mitchel Katlin, Nat Bernstein Logline: Two brothers get the shock of their lives when a girl from the future accidentally transports them with their mom to the year 2070. SSN Insight: Initial pilot commitment given by Nickelodeon with production set for January 2015.

    I Like You Just The Way In Am Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company: FanFare Productions Executive Producer(s): Jenny Mollen, Jamie Tarses, Karen Kehela-Sherwood Writer(s): Jenny Mollen Logline: Based on Mollen's memoir about her life as an actress and best-selling author (not to mention Twitter celeb and wife of Jason Biggs). Details: Based on the memoir, "I Like You Just The Way I Am," written by Jenny Mollen and published by St. Martin's Press in June of this year.

    Lip Sync Battle Network: Spike Studio: Viacom Production Companies: Viacom, Inc., Sunday Night Productions, Matador Content, Eight Million Plus Productions Executive Producer(s): Jimmy Fallon, Rick Schwartz, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, Jay Peterson Logline: Each episode will feature celebrities going head to head lip synching the song of their choice and battling for bragging rights. Details: Based on Jimmy Fallon’s Lip Sync Battle skits on Late Night and later Tonight Show. SSN Insight: Former SNL director Beth McCarthy-Miller will direct the pilot episode to be filmed in front of a live audience in New York in January.  It’s tentatively scheduled to premiere on April 2, 2015.

    Luther Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Companies: Chernin Entertainment, BBC Worldwide Productions Executive Producer(s): Neil Cross, Idris Elba, Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Jane Tranter Writer(s): Neil Cross Logline: John Luther is a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can’t always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions. Based on the series. Based on the British series, "Luther," which aired on BCC One from 2010-2013. Initial Commitment: Put SSN Insight: Fox has greenlit a put pilot commitment with a hefty seven-figure penalty to the adaptation per Deadline. The original Luther series that aired in the U.S. on BBC America, garnered eight Emmy nominations for best miniseries, one for Elba for best actor, and best writing/directing.

    Straight Up With A Twist Network: Oxygen Production Company: All3Media America Executive Producer(s): Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Stephen Lambert, James Flint Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: Cameras will capture various groups of Millennial friends and their post-work bar debates. These hilarious conversations will be intertwined with quick-witted animations and sketches to give viewers one truly legendary Happy Hour. SSN Insight: One of five new series under the Oxygen rebrand “Very Real” focusing on developing projects with "authentic, proudly imperfect and diverse characters". Preacher of LA was the first series under the rebrand to get the greenlight, previously announced in September.

    Survival of the Clickiest Network: Oxygen Production Company: Trium Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Mark Koops, Eric Day, Ronak Kordestani, Stephen Lentini Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: A group of young, budding online style stars each forge a path in the ultra-competitive world of vlogging. With no rules, no backup plans and plenty of haters, life outside the online bubble is never as glamorous as it seems as these emerging entrepreneurs juggle the demands of their followers, friends and family. SSN Insight: One of five new series under the Oxygen rebrand “Very Real” focusing on developing projects with "authentic, proudly imperfect and diverse characters". Preacher of LA was the first series under the rebrand to get the greenlight, previously announced in September.

    Taboo Network: FX Network Studio: BBC One, FX Productions Production Companies: Scott Free Productions, BBC Worldwide Productions, Hardy Son and Baker Executive Producer(s): Tom Hardy, Ridley Scott, Liza Marshall, Kate Crowe, Dean Baker Writer(s): Steven Knight Logline: Set in 1813, Taboo follows a man who returns from Africa with 14 ill-gotten diamonds and seeking to avenge his father’s death. Refusing to sell the family business to the East India Company, he sets out to build his own trade and shipping empire and finds himself playing a dangerous game with two warring nations, Britain and America. Details: Based on an original story by Tom Hardy and his father, Chips Hardy. SSN Insight: BBC One has ordered eight one-hour episodes. In a statement Hardy commented that, “We’re creating a flagship British drama for this generation. A hybrid of orthodox and unconventional story telling, packed with darkness and spirited characters. “

    Teaching English Network: Oxygen Production Company: Relativity Television Executive Producer(s): Tom Forman, Brad Bishop Logline: Whether it be the spontaneous decision to teach English to children in Singapore or to work at an international school in Russia, this adventurous project will follow a group of young Americans living abroad in countries where English is rarely heard. Fortunately, there are other fellow expats to rely on when the idea of "taking off" proves to be more difficult than expected. SSN Insight: One of five new series under the Oxygen rebrand “Very Real” focusing on developing projects with "authentic, proudly imperfect and diverse characters". Preacher of LA was the first series under the rebrand to get the greenlight, previously announced in September.

    The Dunes Club Network: Nickelodeon Executive Producer(s): Heather Flanders Logline: Set at a high-end beach club, the story centers on the unlikely friendship that forms between a sheltered, privileged boy and a street-smart local girl who takes a job for the summer to earn extra cash. SSN Insight: Initial pilot commitment given by Nickelodeon with production set for January 2015. Per Variety, Nickelodeon president Russell Hicks said this pilot along with “Future Shock” will exemplify Nick’s dedication to “relatable concepts with unique voices, bold, breakout characters and fresh humor with heart.”

    The Long Gray Line Network: No Broadcast Network Available. Studio: No Studio Available. Production Company: Linson Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Phil Klay, Art Linson, John Linson Writer(s): Phil Klay Logline: A twenty-five-year saga of the West Point class of 1966. Details: Based on the book, "The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point's Class of 1966," written by Richard Atkinson and published by Houghton Mifflin in 1989.

    The Misty Copeland Project Network: Oxygen Production Company: Sirens Media Executive Producer(s): Rebecca Toth, Valerie Haselton, Misty Copeland Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: As talented hopefuls from diverse backgrounds descend upon New York to take on the next major step in their ballet careers, who better to train and mentor them than Misty Copeland — the renowned ballerina who herself has defied all odds and shattered boundaries by overcoming the cultural pressures of professional ballet. SSN Insight: One of five new series under the Oxygen rebrand “Very Real” focusing on developing projects with "authentic, proudly imperfect and diverse characters". Preacher of LA was the first series under the rebrand to get the greenlight, previously announced in September.

    Vamp Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Companies: Offspring Entertainment, A.B. Baby Productions Executive Producer(s): Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, Amy B. Harris Writer(s): Amy B. Harris Logline: A ballerina is torn between her mother - a woman who gave up her dreams for her family - and her mentor, a prima ballerina at the end of her career. Trapped between the hopes, desires and regrets of these two strong women, our young ingénue, finds her escape dancing at Vamp; New York City’s most decadent and outrageous nightclub. SSN Insight: ABC gave an initial script commitment plus penalty. This is Harris’ second sale this season, the first was a comedy for Fox based on the movie Monster-In-Law. Vamp will face competition as Starz also has a drama about a young ballerina in New York, Flesh And Bone, airing as a limited series in 2015.

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    at arrivals for Variety's 2014 Power of Women Event in LA, Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA October 10, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection



    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Reese Witherspoon Goes ‘Wild’ — “We Shot On the Precipice Of Crumbling Rock”

    The producer and star of Wild, which opens next week, plays Cheryl Strayed in the drama about a woman lost in grief, substance abuse, and soulless sex, who does something completely out of character when she decides to hike the thousand-mile Pacific Crest Trail. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: ‘The Theory Of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne On the Pressure Of Portraying Stephen Hawking

    The 32-year-old actor pushed his body beyond its limits to play Hawking, first as a young, healthy student, who, due to motor neuron disease, gradually becomes a wheel chair-bound man who uses a speech synthesizer to communicate. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Jake Gyllenhaal On His Role In ‘Nightcrawler’ — “If a Character Feels Primal, It’s Got Me”

    The actor has been on an impressive run of late, with critically acclaimed performances in films like End Of Watch and Prisoners, and has now given what might be his best yet in Dan Gilroy’s noir thriller. (SSN)


    TV Development For 11/25/14: Martin Scorsese and Benicio Del Toro Bring ‘Cortes’ To Life For HBO, Jimmy Fallon Spinning Off ‘Lip Synch Battle’ For Spike

    Among other projects that get at least an initial “go” order are the Billy Eichner-Julia Krausner sitcom for Hulu and a new comedy project for Rob Riggle at Fox. (SSN)

    The Independent Spirit Award Nominations Have Been Announced. Did Your Film Make the List?

    Birdman leads the nominees with six nods, while Boyhood, Nightcrawler and Selma are right behind it with five nominations apiece. The awards will be handed out in February. (THR)

    Kidman! Witherspoon! On TV! Yes, the Two Oscar Winners Will Team Up For a New David E. Kelley Limited Series Event

    The pair will star in Big Little Lies,  based on the book of the same name by Australian author author Liane Moriarty. It is described as a subversive comedy which tells the tale of three mothers of kindergartners whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. (DH)

    Little Known Indie Comic ‘Drafted’ Will Be Making Its Way To the Big Screen, Thanks To Benderspink

    The original series, written by Mark Powers and drawn by Chris Lie and Rebekah Isaacs, ran in 2007, depicted Earth's first contact with extraterrestrials in advance of a forthcoming hostile invasion and sees the human race drafted into an intergalactic war, and ran for 12 issues. (CBR)

    Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Jurassic World’

    The hot first trailer from one of next summer’s most highly anticipated films, the fourth in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park franchise. This one is directed by Colin Trevorrow, stars Chris Pratt, and hits theaters June 12th. (NSA)

    Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Justified — Season 6’

    The action-packed trailer for the final season of the Emmy-winning series from FX, based on the Elmore Leonard stories and starring Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, and Joelle Carter. (COL)

    Hollywood Journal: Of Mike and Me — Wesley Strick Remembers Mike Nichols

    The successful screenwriter recalls the time, over two decades ago, when he worked with the legendary late director while rewriting Wolf, starring Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer. (HJ)

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    Sarah Jones

    The Civil Case Settled, ‘Midnight Rider’ Director and Producer Try To Dimiss Train Company’s Trespass Charge

    Randall Miller and Jodi Savin are asking a Georgia court to dismiss them and their business entities from a cross-claim by CSX, whose remaining involvement in the ongoing civil suit filed by Jones’ family has kept the filmmakers tethered to the wrongful death case. (DH)

    CBS and Dish Network Extend Their Talks Yet Again, So You Won’t Lose ‘Big Bang Theory’ Over Thanksgiving

    The Eye and the satellite service had faced a Nov. 20 expiration of their previous deal that covered retransmission consent rights. As the clock ticked down last week, the sides agreed to a five-day extension to keep the lights on as talks inched along. (VAR)

    HBO and Alex Gibney Are Taking On Scientology In New Doc

    The director of The Armstrong Lie is teaming with the cabler to adapt Lawrence Wright's non-fiction look at the organization, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief,” which will air some time in 2015. (TOH)

    ‘Blade Runner 2’ Appears To Finally Be Moving Forward, but Ridley Scott Won’t Direct It

    According to Scott, he will stay on as a producer, and Harrison Ford will make an appearance “in act three” of the story. The movie looks like it will finally go in front of the cameras in the second half of 2015. (TP)

    Regina King Has Booked Herself the Lead Role In a New FX Pilot

    The Southland actress will star opposite Bill Burr in Pariah, from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia writer/producers John Chernin and Dave Chernin. (SAA)

    More Details Are Emerging For ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ and Now Frank Grillo Is Behind the Latest

    One of the stars of The Winter Soldier reveals that Marvel has called him up and told him that his character, a villain known as Crossbones, will indeed be a part of the third movie in the franchise, due in theaters May 5, 2016. (EW)

    Speaking Of Comic Book Movies, Guillermo Del Toro Has Turned In His ‘Justice League Dark’ Script

    The Pacific Rim filmmaker, currently in postproduction on Crimson Peak, handed it in to Warner Bros. execs. Del Toro is attached to direct the project, but is scheduled to make his Pacific Rim sequel first, for a 2017 release. (SF)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Cake’

    The first look at a decidedly un-glammed Jennifer Aniston in the drama that was a big hit at Toronto and launched the Friends star into the Oscar race. The film will get a limited qualifying run in December before a wider January launch. (IW)

    A Couple Short Weeks Before the Final ‘Hobbit’ Film, Take a Digital Tour Of Middle Earth

    Over the course of six movies, countless lands have been explored, many epic journeys have been undertaken and bloody battles have been fought — and won. (FCC)

    Screenwriters: ‘Get Him To the Greek’

    The 123-page first revision draft by Nicholas Stoller, based on a character created by Jason Segel. (DS)

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    HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, US advance poster art, clockwise from top left: Jason Sudeikis, Jamie Foxx,

    HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, US advance poster art, clockwise from top left: Jason Sudeikis, Jamie Foxx,We’ve all been there – you get a job, celebrate your success, and show up on day one only to find that you’re working for a lunatic who likes to hurl garbage cans at your head when a call gets dropped. We’ve all been there - at least once. It’s the age-old case of the horrible boss.

    Not all bosses are tyrants (just like not all assistants are perfect), but Hollywood is notorious for its terrible, ridiculous, tyrannical bosses – see Swimming With Sharks, The Player, and Entourage, for a start. Ari Gold was lovable and hilarious on TV, but if you were working for him in real life you’d probably be in a straightjacket.

    In honor of this week’s release of Horrible Bosses 2, we asked several former and current assistants about their own real-life horrible boss stories. They all spoke on condition of anonymity of course – you’ll see why when you read their sordid tales of humiliation, agony, and normal, workaday torture below.

    “I worked at a small production company and one of my tasks was to organize my boss’ four-year old collection of Variety (and this was when it was still Daily Variety, in print) by date and file them all neatly – even though she never, ever looked at a single one of them once she’d read it. It was probably the least productive thing I’ve ever done.”

    “I had a bag of pretzels thrown at my head when I was working as an agent’s assistant because I bought the ‘wrong’ shaped pretzel for one of his clients.”

    “The same week Lloyd prevented Ari from throwing his rented computer out the window on an episode of Entourage, I had to do the same when my producer boss was in a rage over someone’s contract and wanted to toss his computer. I managed to save the computer and avoid being hit after he threw a tissue box. Later that day, he commented on how much he loved Entourage and that Ari Gold was his hero.”

    “My producer boss would call me to his office by yelling ‘Jesus Christ Donna!’ It got to the point where it sounded like Jesus Christ was my first name.”

    “I worked as the assistant to the Executive Producers of a TV show; one of the office rules was that negativity was never allowed. Unfortunately, during my tenure, my mother-in-law-to-be died and it was very unexpected. I came to work the next day and was brought into the office and was told that my ‘hello’ was not elevated enough. I asked to take time off for the funeral and was granted my request. The day of the funeral I got a call from the office where my boss called me ‘selfish’ for going to the funeral instead of helping her plan a vacation with her boyfriend and then proceeded to fire me for taking the time off to attend the funeral.”

    “One boss I had never smiled and had zero sense of humor. One day she told our department she was taking us to happy hour, which shocked us all, but we thought maybe she was lightening up. We got to happy hour, got our drinks, and then she pulled out some papers and told us all we were going to take one of those ‘personality tests’ – so we basically spent the entire happy hour in silence, filling them out. Fun.”

    “Months after our show wrapped, one of our crew members passed away. At the funeral service, the showrunner (my former boss) texted me, demanding to know why I hadn't reminded him of the funeral and that it was my fault that he now looked like a ‘dick.’ …I had emailed him twice in the week and sent a reminder.”

    “I once had a (female) boss tell me that she prefers to have male assistants because ‘They’re just better.’ And I’m a female.”

    “My seventy-two year old producer boss was away on a cruise and outside cell service when I received a call from his maid that his house had flooded. As the producer had put me in charge of his entire life, I had access to his homeowner’s policy and called them up and took care of it. Upon going over to oversee the damage, the plumber asked if I could remove everything from the bathroom cabinets. Front and center was a very sticky box holding what was described as a “tight Asian pu**y”. Not wanting my boss to know I had seen it and not wanting to pick it up, I found oven mitts and hid it in a toiletries bag. When he returned he didn’t thank me for saving his house but we also never spoke of the box.”

    Do you have a story to share? Sound off in the comments below (you can change your name to protect the innocent). Warner Bros’ Horrible Bosses 2 opens November 26.

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    at arrivals for AFI FEST 2012 Closing Night Premiere of LINCOLN, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA November 8, 2012. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

    WME: Writing and directing duo Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer have signed with WME. Their SXSW thriller Starry Eyes has done well on iTunes and it debuted in select theaters and digital platforms this fall via Dark Sky Films.

    ICM: Actor Jared Harris has signed with ICM Partners just as he has two big films slated in 2015: Warner Bros.' The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Fox 2000’s Poltergeist remake. Harris is best known for his role as Lane Pryce on AMC's Mad Men, which landed him a Best Supporting Actor Emmy nod.

    Gersh: The Case Against 8’s Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, both LGBT advocates, have signed with Gersh. The couple was one of two who served as plaintiffs in the American Foundation for Equal Rights’ lawsuit over Proposition 8, as seen in the HBO documentary.

    Verve: Filmmaker Shane Acker has signed with Verve. He received an Academy Award nomination for his 2005 animated short 9 when he was a UCLA student. He turned that into the 2009 feature of the same name, which was produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov. He has worked as a visual effects supervisor (47 Ronin, Oz the Great and Powerful, 2012’s Total Recall), and is preparing to direct Reel FX’s CG-animated adaptation of the Dark Horse comic Beasts of Burden.

    APA: Actor John Robinson has signed with APA. The Portland native was discovered by Gus Van Sant with his 2003 drama Elephant, and was cast by Stacy Peralta (to portray a younger version of Peralta) in the autobiographical Lords of Dogtown, opposite Heath Ledger and Emile Hirsch. Robinson has appeared in Peter Bogdanovich’s comedy She’s Funny That Way, and the horror thriller Something Wicked.

    Wolf-Kasteler: Unbroken lead Jack O’Connell has signed with Wolf-Kasteler’s Lisa Kasteler. The British thesp got his start on the U.K. teen series Skins and appeared in 300: Rise of an Empire earlier this year. His role in Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken is expected to make him a breakout star.

    Shelter PR: Actor Miyavi has signed with Shelter PR, which was formed by WKT’s Cara Tripicchio, Christine Tripicchio and Marla Farrell in August. Miyavi, aka Takamasa Ishihara, could get Oscar attention for his supporting role as Louis Zamperini’s sadistic tormenter in Unbroken.

    Shelter PR: Firm has also signed Bobby Cannavale. The actor is starring in the untitled HBO period rock drama from Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter and he is filming a role in Marvel’s Ant-Man. This year he appeared in indie comedies Chef and Adult Beginners.

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    2014 Gotham Independent Film Awards: Which Nominees Have the Best Chance Of Winning?

    No awards show is an exact blueprint for what we can expect at the Oscars, but there’s obviously plenty of overlap each year, although last year’s big Gotham Awards winners, Inside Llewyn Davis and Fruitvale Station, were all but snubbed come Oscar time. (SSN)

    From Vision To Reality: ‘Big Hero 6’ Directors Don Hall & Chris Williams On Bringing the Huggable Robot Baymax To Life

    Walt Disney Animation Studios won an Academy Award for last year’s Frozen, and a nomination for Best Animated Feature the previous year with Wreck-It Ralph. The success of this year’s Big Hero Six could land the company its third consecutive nod. (SSN)


    True Tales Of Real Life Horrible Bosses

    In honor of this week’s release of Horrible Bosses 2, we asked several former and current assistants about their own real-life horrible boss stories. They all spoke on condition of anonymity of course – you’ll see why when you read their sordid tales of humiliation, agony, and normal, workaday torture. (SSN)

    Rep Moves 11/26/14: Jared Harris Shifts To ICM, Bobby Cannavale Now Repped By Shelter PR, and More

    Shelter also signs one of the stars of the upcoming and highly anticipated Unbroken, Japanese actor Miyavi, while Gersh, WME, Verve, APA and Wolf-Kasteler all sign new clients, as well. (SSN)

    Now That Universal Has Taken On the ‘Jobs’ Movie, Things Appear To Be Moving Fast

    Natalie Portman is now in talks for a mystery role in the film, which already has Michael Fassbender on board to play the title role and Seth Rogen negotiating to play co-founder Steve Wozniak. (COL)

    It’s Now Actually Official: Fox Execs Flash the Green Light For ‘Independence Day’ Sequel

    The long-awaited film has been slotted for a May production start as the studio moves to close Roland Emmerich’s directing deal. The movie will hit theaters June 24th, 2016. (DH)

    Mel Brooks Is Undead and Loving It In ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’

    The comedic legend will voice the role of Vlad, the ancient, undead and incredibly grumpy father to Dracula, who of course is once again played by Adam Sandler. Film is slated for a September 25th, 2015 release. (AS)

    James Cameron Is Already Hyping His ‘Avatar’ Sequels, and Is Using Very Retro Language To Do So

    The Oscar-winning filmmaker and his team of four writers —Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno— are hard at work on the next three films in the series, which he says are “gonna be bitchin’.” (EMP)

    Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Unfinished Business

    The red band trailer for the upcoming Vince Vaughn comedy, directed by Vaughn’s Delivery Man helmer Ken Scott, and due in theaters March 6th. (THR)

    Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Game of Thrones — Season Five’

    The very first teaser for the fifth season of the insanely popular HBO series has arrived, and it’s in the form of a new website that is asking fans to sign up for “visions” of the new season and, one imagines, the first real trailer in the coming weeks. (HP)

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    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Jennifer Aniston Opens Up On the Struggles Of Shooting ‘Cake’

    In the new indie, the actress stars as a woman unable to move on from an accident that has left her physically and emotionally scarred, and addicted to pain pills.(SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Oscar Isaac On His Character In ‘A Most Violent Year’

    A Golden Globe nominee last year for the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis says of his performance in writer-director J.C. Chandor’s latest, “The idea that everything was a calculation was helpful to me.” (SSN)

    He Said/She Said: SSN Dives Into This Year’s Sea Of Golden Globes Contenders

    SSN senior staff writer Dina Gachman and senior editor Neil Turitz are back with their weekly verbal mano a mano to the (metaphorical) death. This week’s subject is all things Globe-related. (SSN)


    On The Set For 12/1/14: ‘Now You See Me 2’ and ‘Kickboxer’ Start Shooting

    Richard Linklater’s That’s What I’m Talking About wraps up, while Eddie Murphy’s new starring vehicle, Cook, also gets rolling and Ethan Hawke finished up playing Chet Baker In Born To Be Blue. (SSN)

    And the First Critics Awards Are In, Thanks To the New York Film Critics Circle

    Boyhood and director Richard Linklater take top honors, as does Patricia Arquette in the Supporting Actress category, while Timothy Spall, Marion Cotillard and J.K. Simmons take other acting prizes. (MF)

    The FBI Has Gotten Involved In Getting To the Bottom Of This Sony Hack Attack

    The bureau confirmed that it is working with other U.S. law enforcement agencies to investigate the attack that hit Sony last week, an incident that was possibly perpetrated by a group affiliated with North Korea. (VAR)

    As the Sarah Jones Wrongful Death Case Continues, Family Fights a “Frivolous” Motion

    Rail company CSX’s efforts to seal court documents has been attacked by the family, which called the efforts to prevent details from hitting the media “groundless,” “frivolous,” “desperate,” and “malicious.” (DH)

    George C. Wolfe Is Getting Together With Starz For a New Show About the Birth Of Jazz

    The new show, called Storyville, is set in New Orleans during the turn of the 20th century when an exceedingly vibrant, celebratory subculture emerged, and fueled the birth of jazz, and will be written and directed by Wolfe. (SAA)

    Fans Of ‘Parks and Recreation’ Will Get Their Final Season, But In a Shortened Window

    NBC announced that it will start airing the seventh and final season of the beloved series on Tuesday, January 13th, and then air two episodes per night until the finale, on February 24th. (HP)

    Lauren Graham Stands Poised To Join the Late Night TV Boys’ Club — Sort Of

    NBC has given a script development deal to Kate on Later, which, if ordered, would be a potential post-Parenthood starring role for Graham, who is also co-writing with Liz Tuccillo (EW)

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    The Gotham Awards Were Handed Out Last Night In New York, Here Are the Winners

    Michael Keaton and Julianne Moore take top acting honors and give themselves a big awards season boost, while Birdman wins Best Feature the same day that Boyhood took NYFCC honors. (DH)

    The Annie Award Nominations Have Been Announced! Did Your Animated Flick Make the List?

    The awards cover 36 categories including features, commercials and the newest and 36th category, Best Character Animation in a Video Game. The winners will be announced on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at UCLA's Royce Hall. (TOH)

    Will Ferrell Will Be Getting His Shakespeare On With a Brand New Comedy

    The currently untitled comedy from Mosaic centers around the intense, competitive world inside a Shakespearean theater company and will be written by David Guion and Michael Handelman. (VAR)

    Waiting For News About a Season Three Premiere Date For ‘House Of Cards’? Good News!

    The Emmy-winning series returns on February 27th, 2015. As before, Netflix will make the entire season available at once. (HP)

    Will Forte’s New Show Casts a Pair Of Formidable Women

    January Jones and Kristen Schaal join the cast of Fox’s midseason sticom, Last Man On Earth, which will premiere March 1st, 2015, and star Forte as the titular fellow. (CB)

    It Appears ‘Suicide Squad’ Has a Shoot Date, a Location and Most Of Its Cast

    A report emerges that suggests the film will shoot in Toronto from April to September, 2015, with Margot Robbie, Tom Hardy, Jai Courtney and Jared Leto all finalizing their deals. No further word on Will Smith’s involvement. (COL)

    Why Yes, Jean-Claude Van Damme Will Be In That ‘Kickboxer’ Remake

    The star of the original has joined the new version, replacing Tony Jaa as the film’s martial arts master who trains a vengeful warrior, played by JCVD in the original and stuntman and actor Alain Moussi now. (EMP)

    Stephen Hawkings’ Next Goal In Life Is To … Play a Bond Villain

    The world’s most famous physicist thinks his “wheelchair and the computer voice would fit the part,” though he’s got some stiff competition in Christoph Waltz, who has signed to play the baddie in next year’s Bond 24. (WD)

    Teaser Buzz: ‘Better Call Saul’

    A new clip has been released of the Breaking Bad spinoff starring Bob Odenkirk, and it features a fan favorite character. Show premieres on AMC on February 8th. (TVW)

    Online Film School: Eight Killer Tips For Making Found Footage Horror Movies

    The directors of each of the three V/H/S movies, including duardo Sánchez of The Blair Witch Project, offer practical tips for generating cliché-free scares with a found footage horror movie. (FCC)

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    at arrivals for 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Arrivals, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Los Angeles, CA August 16, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

    Ascension Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Companies:  Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Underground Executive Producer(s): Kevin O'Hare, Trevor Engelson Writer(s): Kevin O'Hare Logline: Centers on brilliant but impulsive FBI agent Alexa Reyes who discovers that a staggering amount of the country's most brutal and violent offenders can be traced back to Ascension, Fla. When she tries to uncover the origin of the evil in the resort town she's confronted by her own haunted past, and forces far greater than she ever expected. SSN Insight: ABC has given an initial script commitment

    Big Little Lies Production Companies:  Pacific Standard, Blossom Films Production Executive Producer(s): David E. Kelley, Bruna Papandrea, Per Saari Writer(s): David E. Kelley Logline: The tale of three mothers of kindergartners whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. Details: Based on the novel "Big Little Lies," written by Liane Moriarty and published by Putnam Adult on July 29, 2014. SSN Insight: Project is planned as a limited series. Witherspoon and Kidman’s shingles optioned the film and TV rights to Big Little Lies earlier this year. The series will be shopped to buyers soon per Deadline.

    Comments Section Network: E! Studio: E! Production Company: Free Period Productions, Pygmy Wolf Productions Executive Producer(s): Joel McHale, Jason Burns, KP Anderson Logline: Will focus on deconstructing the often snarky comments on popular websites starring comedian Michael Kosta. SSN Insight: This marks the first project under McHale’s new producing deal with E! In addition to hosting The Soup he will also be seen in Community on Yahoo!

    Conviction Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Companies: Martin Chase Productions, JuVee Executive Producer(s): Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, Jeff Melvoin, Debra Martin Chase, Kim Swann Writer(s): Jason Wilborn Logline: A legal drama inspired by the life of Kym Worthy, the chief prosecutor of Wayne County, MI, known as the toughest woman in Detroit. Details: Inspired by the life of Kym Worthy, the chief prosecutor of Wayne County, MI.

    Deep State Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Companies: Teakwood Lane Productions, Boom! Studios Executive Producer(s): Howard Gordon, Hugh Fitzpatrick, Ross Richie, Stephen Christy Writer(s): Anna Fricke Logline: Centers on a curious and driven FBI agent Katherine Branch, who was recruited by a shadowy branch of the government known as Control where she discovers its role in promoting popular conspiracy theories to distract from fantastical happenings and unexplained events. Partnered with mysterious Control agent John Harrow, Branch finds out how far Control goes to cover up the truth and how much their own lives are at stake. Details: Based on the comic book series "Deep State," created and written by Justin Jordan and drawn by Ariela Kristantina. SSN Insight: This is one of two drama projects under comic book publisher BOOM! Studios’ first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Their acquisition of indie publisher Archaia increased their new original series to 29, will increase to 35 next year making BOOM! the biggest library of controlled original comic series outside of Marvel and DC. BOOM! also has a first-look deal with Fox on the feature side, which has yielded Malignant Man, with James Wan directing and The Foundation which Evan Daugherty is adapting.

    The Indris Elba Project Network: Discovery Channel Studio: Discovery Networks International Production Companies: Shine North, Green Door Pictures Executive Producer(s): Idris Elba, Elizabeth McIntyre, Victoria Noble, Rick Murray Logline: Six part reality show about extreme racing. Elba will push is body, mind and engineering skills to the edge by racing on land, water and in the air. SSN Insight: This is Elba’s first project from of his co-production deal with Shine North, they previously worked together on Elba’s racing documentary, King of Speed.  Discovery will air the docu-series in mid-2015 in upwards of 220 countries including the U.S.

    Jeff & Some Aliens Network: Comedy Central Studio: Viacom Production Company: ShadowMachine Executive Producer(s): Sean Donnelly, Alessandro Minoli, Alexander Bulkley, Corey Campodonico Writer(s): Sean Donnelly, Alessandro Minoli Logline: Follows Jeff and three extraterrestrials who are sent to Earth to study the world's most average guy to evaluate whether humanity and the planet should be destroyed. Details: Spinoff of "TripTank" currently airing on Comedy Central. SSN Insight: Donnelly and Minoli are also developing an animated/live-action comedy called The Amazing Danny which has reaped a script commitment. Kate on Later Network: NBC Studio: Warner Bros. TV Production Companies: A Very Good Production Executive Producer(s): Ellen DeGeneres, Liz Tuccillo, Jeff Kleeman, Lauren Graham Logline: It centers on Kate (Graham) who thought her day job was all her life would amount to when an opportunity arises that’s bigger than she ever dreamed possible. But that opportunity means she’s going to have to break one of the last remaining glass ceilings — the world of late-night network television talk shows. SSN Insight: In addition to being a lead in the single-camera half hour comedy with a script commitment, Lauren Graham will co-write along with EP Tuccillo. This project is Graham’s second collaboration with A Very Good Production. Last season, they developed Someday, Someday, Maybe, that sold to the CW, a drama based on Graham’s debut novel.

    The Bazillion Dollar Club Network: SyFy Studio: NBCUniversal Production Company: Zero Point Zero Productions, Inc. Executive Producer(s): Lydia Tenaglia, Christopher Collins, Craig H. Shepherd Logline: Follows two of the world’s most aggressive accelerator programs: the software concentrated 500 Startups, led by the relentless drill sergeant Dave McClure; and the hardware focused Highway 1, headed by quirky genius Brady Forrest. SSN Insight: SyFy has ordered six episodes. The one-hour series will shoot later this year and will air in 2015. McClure was an early employee of PayPal and in five years has raised over $2 billion for tech entrepreneurs through his venture capital firm. Meanwhile, Forrest has developed mobile medical testing kits, baking assistant and iPhone HUD for cars and has funded over 35 consumer product companies through PCH & Highway1.

    The Rinse Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company: Boom! Studios Executive Producer(s): Mick Betancourt, Ross Richie, Stephen Christy Writer(s): Mick Betancourt Logline: Follows Jeff Sinclair, an underworld money laundering figure, who is unwillingly pulled into a dangerous gig laundering $25 million in stolen casino skim money. Details: Based on the comic book series "The Rinse," created and written by Gary Phillips and drawn by Marc Laming. SSN Insight: This is one of two drama projects under comic book publisher BOOM! Studios’ first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Their acquisition of indie publisher Archaia increased their new original series to 29, will increase to 35 next year making BOOM! the biggest library of controlled original comic series outside of Marvel and DC. BOOM! also has a first-look deal with Fox on the feature side, which has yielded Malignant Man, with James Wan directing and The Foundation which Evan Daugherty is adapting.

    Suze Orman’s Money Wars Studio: Warner Bros TV Group’s Telepictures Executive Producer(s): Suze Orman Logline: Centering on families, friends and couples whose arguments over money are affecting their lives. Orman will assist the opposing parties resolve their conflicts while starting them on the road to financial responsibility. SSN Insight: The two time Emmy winner and New York Times best seller, Orman is ending her 14 year run on CNBC of The Suze Orman Show. Money Wars will air five days a week.In addition, she has co-produced and hosted eight PBS specials based on her books and is presently an editor for O: The Oprah Magazine.

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    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Screenwriter James Lapine On Adapting ‘Into The Woods’ From His Broadway Play

    The writer teamed with Stephen Sondheim to originate the long-running Broadway musical, and when filmmaker Rob Marshall wanted to bring the stage production to the big screen, he got the duo’s blessing and enlisted Lapine to adapt the screenplay. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Director Jean-Marc Vallée Talks Wild — “Every Aspect Of Filmmaking Reinforces Her Point Of View”

    The director’s last film, Dallas Buyers Club, won Oscars for its stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. His newest, Wild, based on Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir, premiered at Telluride to rave reviews and Oscar buzz for star and producer Reese Witherspoon. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Director Bennett Miller Reveals What Surprised Him Most About Steve Carell’s Performance In ‘Foxcatcher’

    Much has been made of the actor’s physical transformation in the film, but it’s the emotional and visceral power of his performance that have earned him, and the film, awards attention. The movie premiered at Cannes in May to rapturous reviews, and Miller won Best Director. (SSN)


    TV Development For 12/02/14: David E. Kelley’s ‘Big Little Lies,’ Joel McHale Develops ‘Comments Section’ For E! and More

    Viola Davis, Howard Gordon, Idris Elba, Ellen DeGeneres and Lauren Graham are among the other known talents who also have projects in development. (SSN)

    The Academy Has Released Its List Of the 15 Doc Features Still In the Running

    Just as newsworthy as the films that made the list, including Life Itself, CitizenFour and The Case Against 8 are the movies that didn’t, including Red Army, Happy Valley and Supermensch. (TOH)

    The National Board Of Reviews Also Releases Its List Of Winners

    A Most Violent Year and its stars, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, are the big winners, as well as Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore and Clint Eastwood, who copped Best Director for American Sniper. (THR)

    More Fallout From the Sony Cyber Attack: Employee Information and Internal Documents Leaked

    Sony Pictures Entertainment’s headaches continue as personal information of its 3,803 employees leaked online as part of the massive security breach that has plagued the company for over a week. (VAR)

    HBO Picks Up Martin Scorsese’s Rock and Roll Show Straight To Series

    Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter will run the show, which will star Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Juno Temple, Andrew “Dice” Clay and Ray Romano, among others. Scores-directed pilot will shoot in New York in the new year. (TP)

    ‘Dawn Of the Planet Of the Apes’ director Matt Reeves Is Lining Up His Post-Franchise Schedule

    The helmer has signed on to helm an untitled bank heist thriller based on a pitch from Matt Charman. There are no details about the plot, but it’s described as being “in the vein of Heat and Dog Day Afternoon. (COL)

    ‘Inferno,’ the Latest Robert Langdon Adventure, Wants Felicity Jones On Board

    The latest sequel to The Da Vinci Code will again star Tom Hanks and again be directed by Ron Howard, and will find Langdon in Italy, grappling with amnesia and a chilling puzzle revolving around Dante’s Inferno. (EMP)

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    The ‘Suicide Squad’ Cast Is Now Official, and Both Will Smith and Jared Leto Are Part Of It

    Smith will play Deadshot, Leto is The Joker, Jesse Eisenberg will reprise Lex Luthor, Tom Hardy is Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney is Boomerang and Cara Delevinge is The Enchantress, while David Ayer is directing the film, which will start shooting in Toronto in April. (SF)

    Billy Ray’s Remake Of Foreign Film Oscar Winner ‘The Secret In Their Eyes’ Goes To STX

    The movie, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman, will get American distribution from Robert Simonds’ new shingle. Film starts shooting next month in Los Angeles. (VAR)

    Dolby Is Coming After IMAX, Plans a New Theater Experience

    The company known for its sound system is set to launch Dolby Cinema, a premium, large-format theater experience that could challenge large-format leader IMAX. (THR)

    And, After a Heated Competition, Your ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake Female Lead Is …

    Nazanin Boniandi, of Homeland and How I Met Your Mother, has landed the role of Esther opposite Jack Huston in the Timur Bekmambetov-directed film for MGM and Paramount. (DH)

    Tom Hooper Wants Amber Heard To Join Him For ‘The Danish Girl’

    The Oscar-winner for The King’s Speech is working with one of his Les Miz stars, Eddie Redmayne, in the story of Danish painter Einar Wegener's life as he became the first man to undergo a sex change operation in the early 1930s, becoming Lili Elbe. (EMP)

    Right Now, With Pre-Sales Of His Next Film Through the Roof, It’s Pretty Good To Be Jean-Marc Vallée.

    Fox Searchlight, the studio behind his latest, Wild, announced that his next project, Demolition, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts has already sold to over 25 territories worldwide. (TOH)

    It Looks Like ‘Source Code’ Is Getting a Sequel, But Neither Duncan Jones Nor Jake Gyllenhaal Are Returning

    Ben Ripley, who wrote the original film, will write the new script, and Anna Foerster, of the Starz network’s Outlander series, is on board to direct. No distributor is yet attached. (COL)

    ‘Effie Gray,’ Emma Thompson’s Latest Flick, Finds a Buyer In, Appropriately, Adopt Films

    Thompson wrote the film and stars in it, along with Dakota Fanning. Richard Laxton directed the tale, about the eponymous former teenage bride of art critic and author John Ruskin. Film will hit theaters in the spring. (IW)

    With the Recent News That Netflix Saved ‘Longmire,’ Four Reasons To Love the Show

    After being cancelled by A&E despite great ratings, the online streaming service picked up the show for a fourth season. No word yet on a premiere date, but it appears to be second half of 2015. (WF)

    Screenwriters: ‘Collateral’

    The 113-page shooting draft, dated August 24, 2003. Screenplay by Stuart Beattie, revisions by Frank Darabont, further revisions by Michael Mann. (DS)

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    at arrivals for The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAGs) - ARRIVALS 1, The Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA January 18, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

    Paradigm: Actor Stephen Dorff has signed with Paradigm. Previously he moved to Resolution from Gersh to go back to his longtime agent David Unger. Dorff launched his career with films like The Power Of One, Judgment Night, and Backbeat in the '90s, and he starred in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere.

    ICM: ICM Partners has signed Emmy winner Anna Gunn, who won for best supporting actress in a drama series two years in a row for AMC’s Breaking Bad. She was previously with UTA. Gunn currently stars on Fox’s Gracepoint, the U.S. adaptation of the British series Broadchurch.

    WME: Japanese star Miyavi is making waves for his work in Angelina Jolie’s Oscar contender Unbroken, which recently premiered. The Japanese rock star-turned-actor has signed with WME in all areas.

    ICM: Actor/comedian Tom Arnold has signed with ICM Partners after the closure of agency Resolution. Arnold reteams with John Burnham, the former William Morris agent who got the actor a role in his first film, 1992's Hero, and got him in front of James Cameron who cast him opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies.

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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS GOLDEN GLOBES: FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM/ORIGINAL SONG AND SCORE/ANIMATED FEATURE FILM Awards 2015: Golden Globes Animated Feature Race Heats Up With ‘Big Hero 6,’ ‘The LEGO Movie’ and More This year’s field is quite different, without offerings from usual heavy hitters like Sony Pictures Animation, Aardman, or Pixar. Today, we run down the [...]

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    Finally, We Know Much More About ’Bond 24,’ Including Its Title and Cast

    The movie is titled Spectre, and Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista and Andrew Scott join Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear in the impressive cast. (DH)

    AMC Orders the Seth Rogen-Evan Goldberg ‘Preacher’ Project To Pilot

    Based on a long-running, popular comic book from DC’s Vertigo imprint, Rogen and Goldberg wrote the adaptation, and Sam Catlin is set to serve as showrunner. The pilot will be produced in summer 2015, with hopes of the series debuting in 2016. (CBR)

    Jonah Hill Hops Aboard Todd Phillips’ Next Film, ‘Arms and the Dudes’

    The Warner Bros. film is based on Guy Lawson's Rolling Stone article, which follows two stoners from Miami Beach who ended up becoming arms dealers for the U.S. government. Phillips is producing with Bradley Cooper and Mark Gordon. (THR)

    Matthew Vaughn and His Marv Films Just Optioned the Next Big YA Franchise

    The X-Men: First Class director has snapped up the rights to the Ghostgirl series of novels by author and filmmaker Tonya Hurley, which centers on a high school senior who is desperate to be popular even after her death — from choking on a Gummi Bear. (VAR)

    Comic Book Fans Waiting For Info About the Upcoming ‘Fantastic Four’ Reboot Now Have It

    After much speculation about how it would be different form what we’ve seen before, the new plot details reveal an interesting new take on the material. Josh Trank directs the film, which hits theaters August 6th, 2015. (EMP)

    The Long-Gestating ‘The Crow’ Remake Has Yet Another New Director 

    Music video director Corin Hardy is the latest to occupy the director’s chair for the project, which has been in development for years and has had numerous directors and actors attached. Luke Evans is now on board to star. (COL)

    So, Ridley Scott Might End Up Directing That ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel, After All

    The director had said he would only be producing the film, which will reportedly feature Harrison Ford and is set to shoot next year, but now says “the script is very, very good” and won’t rule out doing it himself. (GR)

    Monterey Media Nabs Itself American Distribution Rights To ‘3 Nights In the Desert’

    The film, starring Wes Bentley, Vincent Piazza and Amber Tamblyn, follows three estranged friends who reunite to celebrate turning thirty and reminisce about how they almost made it as a rock band. (IW)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Top Five’

    The new, red band trailer from the highly anticipated film from writer-director-star Chris Rock, which is filled with F-bombs and is most definitely not safe for work. (SAA)

    Screenwriters: Breaking In — Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Script Doom

    What’s an even greater mystery than the Riddle of the Sphinx?  Why aspiring screenwriters keep writing movies that don’t move. (SM)

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    at arrivals for LIKE CRAZY Premiere, Landmark's Sunshine Theatres, New York, NY October 18, 2011. Photo By: Andres Otero/Everett Collection


    Arms and the Dudes Logline: Based on a Rolling Stone article about two stoners who became mega arms dealers. Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Mark Gordon Company, S/Z Pictures, Unnamed Todd Phillips and Bradley Cooper Production Company Producers: Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper, Scott Budnick, Mark R. Gordon Cast: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller Writer:  Jason Smilovic, Todd Phillips, Stephen Chin Director: Todd Phillips Notes: Based on the Rolling Stone magazine article "Arms and the Dudes" by Guy Lawson, published March 31, 2011. SSN Insight: Jesse Eisenberg and Shia LaBeouf were previously attached to star. Chris Pratt was previously mentioned as one of the stars.

    Ben-Hur (Remake) Logline: A young Ben-Hur, who encounters Jesus Christ, finds himself betrayed by his best friend but survives after being sold into slavery and extracts revenge. Studio/Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Paramount Pictures Production Company: Mark Burnett Productions, Point Blank Productions, The Sean Daniel Company Producers: Sean Daniel, Joni Levin, Mark Burnett Cast: Jack Huston, Nazanin Boniadi, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Pedro Pascal Writer:  John Ridley, Keith Clarke Director: Timur Bekmambetov Notes: Based on the novel "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ," written by Lew Wallace and published in 1880. Source material was previously adapted as "Ben-Hur" in 1959 and "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ" in 1925. SSN Insight: Gal Gadot was previously in negotiations to play Esther, but had to pass on the project because of production conflicts with "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," in which she played Wonder Woman, as well as ongoing commitments to play the superhero in upcoming Warner Bros. films.

    Beyond Skyline Logline: Storyline under wraps, sequel to "Skyline" (2010) directed by Colin & Greg Strause. Studio/Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company: Hydraulx Producers: Liam O'Donnell, Kristian Andersen, Greg Strause, Colin Strause, Matthew E Chausse Cast: Frank Grillo, Antonio Fargas, Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian Writer:  Liam O'Donnell, Joshua Cordes Director: Liam O'Donnell SSN Insight: Greg and Colin Strause made careers as visual effects artists with films like Galaxy Quest, 300 and The Incredible Hulk. After a series of shorts, the duo made their directorial debut in 2007 with Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem, which grossed $128 million worldwide.

    Inferno Logline: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is drawn into the nightmarish world of Dante's "Inferno" when he follows its clues to stop a worldwide plague. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Imagine Entertainment Producers: Ron Howard, Brian Grazer Cast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones Writer:  David Koepp Director: Ron Howard Notes: Based on the novel "Inferno" written by Dan Brown and published by Doubleday on May 14, 2013.

    The Magnificent Seven (Remake) Logline: A group of seven tough gunslingers are hired by a village to put a stop to the vicious bandit and his gang who have been pillaging it for years. Studio/Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) Production Company: Roger Birnbaum Productions Producers: Roger Birnbaum Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt (in discussions) Writer:  John Lee Hancock, Nic Pizzolatto Director: Antoine Fuqua Notes: Remake of "The Magnificent Seven" (1960) directed by John Sturges and starring Yul Brenner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson. SSN Insight: Tom Cruise was previously attached to star. Lawrence Kasdan previously attached to direct when project was in development at United Artists. Previously in development at United Artists who hired Terry Swann and Mark Kasdan to write.

    Source Code (Sequel) Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Production Company: Mark Gordon Company, Vendome Pictures Producers: Philippe Rousselet Cast: TBA Writer:  Ben Ripley Director: Anna Foerster SSN Insight: This will mark Foerster’s first feature as a director, she previously served as a DP on White House Down and as a DP in the second unit on Aeon Flux and 10,000 BC. Spectre Logline: James Bond springs into action when a cryptic message from his past provides a gateway to the powerful, deceptive, and sinister organization known as SPECTRE, while M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive. Studio/Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Columbia Pictures Production Company: Danjaq, LLC., Eon Productions Producers: Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson Cast: Daniel Craig, Penelope Cruz, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Andrew Scott, Monica Bellucci Writer:  Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan Director: Sam Mendes SSN Insight: Hoyte Van Hotema, hot off lensing Interstellar has been tapped as Director of Photography as well.

    Unforgettable Logline: A woman settling into a new marriage and life as a mom must contend with her husband’s ex, who is seemingly trying to gaslight her. Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Di Novi Pictures Cast: Denise Di Novi, Alison Greenspan Cast:  Kerry Washington, Kate Hudson Writer: Christina Hodson Director: Amma Asante SSN Insight: Director Amma Asante, is one of the few black women in her field. She gained heat with her previous film, Belle, a critical hit, about a mixed-race aristocrat in the 18th century. The script is penned by newcomer Christina Hodson.


    The Seven Five Logline: The true story of Michael Dowd is told. Dowd led a ring of criminalized cops in the corrupt 1980s NYPD until he was arrested in 1992. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Chernin Entertainment Producers: Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping Notes: Based on the documentary The Seven Five (USA/2014) directed by Tiller Russell.

    Untitled Will Ferrell Shakespearean Theatre Project Logline: The story takes place inside an intensely competitive Shakespearean theater company. Studio/Distributor: Columbia PIctures Production Company:  Mosaic Cast: Will Ferrell Writer:  David Guion and Michael Handelman SSN Insight: Project was developed internally at Mosaic and then pitched to Sony. No director named yet. Ferrell can next be seen in the prison comedy Get Hard, to be released in March. Guion and Handelman have been on a hot streak when it comes to comedies. They recently wrote Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and are no stranger to Will Ferrell having worked on Blades of Glory.

    Untitled Logline: Storyline under wraps Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company: Chris Morgan Productions Producers: Chris Morgan Writers: Matt Allen, Chris Borrelli SSN Insight: Project is said to be an action comedy tent-pole.  Allen and Borrelli both have long-standing relationships with Fast & Furious writer/producer Chris Morgan. Matt Charman Bank Heist Thriller Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company:  Material Pictures. 6th & Idaho Producers:  Tobey Maguire, Matt Reeves, Matthew Plouffe, Adam Kassan Writer:  Matt Charman, Matthew Plouffe Director: Matt Reevves SSN Insight: The idea was hatched by Matthew Plouffe, who runs Tobey Maguire’s production company, Material Pictures.  Matt Charman is the hot writer of Steven Spielberg’s Cold War spy thriller starring Tom Hanks.

    DJ Tatiana Project Logline: The true story of DJ Tatiana, who disguised herself as a man in order to break into the electronic dance business, is dramatized. Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Production Company: Phoenix Pictures Producers:  Mike Medavoy, Brian Medavoy, Erwin More SSN Insight: This is the first joint project for More and the Medavoy’s after 13 years of being apart.  Warner Bros. bought the rights to the life story in a pre-emptive bid.

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    scandal jeff perry



    Awards 2015: ‘Game Of Thrones,’ ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ and More Make SSN’s Golden Globes TV Noms Predictions

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association—all 100 or so of them—like to see themselves as rugged individualists, and their choices in the television categories tend to reflect precisely that. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: ‘Scandal’s Jeff Perry Talks Cyrus’s Evolution and Shonda Rhimes

    It’s difficult to reconcile the mild-mannered guy with the man who portrays ruthless, mega-intense chief-of-staff Cyrus Beene on the ABC hit Scandal each week. But that’s why they call it acting. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Joanne Froggatt Opens Up About ‘Downton Abbey’ Season Five

    After a tumultuous fourth season for both the actress and her character, Anna Bates, how has it felt for Froggatt to be the world’s most famed fictitious rape victim? (SSN)


    Film Development For 12/04/14: Felicity Jones Continues Her Blazing Career With ‘Inferno’

    In other news, Will Ferrell delves into Shakespearean drama, Jonah Hill joins Todd Phillips’ latest, Ben-Hur remake finds a female lead and a female DJ’s odd life story also move forward. (SSN)

    And, Your New Star Of Netflix and Marvel’s Upcoming ‘Jessica Jones’ Series Is …

    Krysten Ritter, late of Breaking Bad and The B—— In Apt. 23, lands the coveted lead role in the second series the two companies are combining to produce. The first, Daredevil, premieres in 2015. (DH)

    CBS Has Set a Premiere Date For Its four-Hour Event Series, ‘The Dovekeepers’

    The series, based on based on Alice Hoffman’s bestselling, critically acclaimed historical novel about a group of extraordinary women whose lives intersect in a fight for survival at the siege of Masada, will air Tuesday, March 31st and Wednesday, April 1st, from 9 to 11 on both nights. (VAR)

    Chris Pratt Is Doing His Darnedest To Become the Biggest Star In the World

    The star of Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World is in talks to join Denzel Washington in Antoine Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven remake (which, of course, was a remake of Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai). (COL)

    More Titles Have Been Revealed as Part Of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

    Spotlight, Midnight and New Frontier Films are listed, with highlights including Eli Roth's new horror Knock Knock, starring Keanu Reeves, and Yann Demange's war drama '71, starring Unbroken breakout Jack O'Connell. (IW)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Terminator: Genisys’

    The first full-length trailer for the long-awaited next chapter in the Terminator series, due in theaters July 1, 2015. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke and Matt Smith star. (MF)

    In the Wake Of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Recent Update On the ‘Sandman’ Movie, A Brief History

    The movie, based on a beloved comic book, has been in development for years, but now seems to finally be making its way to the big screen, thanks to a new script by David Goyer, Jack Thorne and JGL, himself. (FSR)

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    Studios, Networks, Conglomerates

    Universal Pictures has tapped Michael Wise as SVP and Chief Technology Officer. Wise will oversee tech strategies and operations for the studio, working with SVP-CIO Steve Lapinski to handle IT issues for the film group.

    The MPAA has hired Dean Marks as Deputy General Counsel for its war on piracy. The studio lobby group said Marks will be taking over as EVP, Deputy General Counsel and Chief of Global Content Protection this winter. The move by the Warner Bros. Longtime executive Michael Robinson will be retiring in March.

    Jasmine Madatian is now Executive Vice President, Communications, at DreamWorks Studios. Previously Madatian
served as Managing Director, Communications, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences/Oscars. She’s taking over for Chip Sullivan, former head of publicity who was promoted to head of global brand integration at DreamWorks Animation this fall.


    David S. Goyer is growing his film and TV production company Phantom Four. He’s hired Kevin Turen as president. Turen’s background is with independent films like A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, Arbitrage, last year’s Robert Redford-starrer All Is Lost and, most recently, the film 99 Homes. Margaret O'Brien has been appointed to the newly created position of EVP Corporate Development at eOne. She will beresponsible for overseeing the company's M&A activities. O'Brien joined eOne in 2008.

    3AM, the new consultancy venture between Ridley Scott’s RSA Films and theatrical advertising agency Wild Card, has hired Chris Eyerman as Creative Director. He will be responsible for spearheading content strategy and creative for the new company, and will report to Managing Partners Alison Temple and Jules Daly.


    E!’s head of digital John Najarian is now EVP, News and Digital for the network, taking on oversight of the News division and E! News series. He will continue to lead E!’s digital and business development. Najarian takes over the E! News duties of network vet Cyndi McClellan, President of Network Strategy & E! News.

    E! head of marketing Jen Neal has been named EVP, Marketing for E! Entertainment and Esquire Network, adding oversight of brand strategy and marketing for Esquire Network to her existing responsibilities.

    Tony Maxwell
has been tapped as Senior Vice President, Promotional Creative & Strategy at Nickelodeon Group. Previously he served as Senior Vice President, Promotional Strategy & Creative, VH1, VH1 Classic and Palladia.


    Soon after Evan Shapiro left as Pivot president in a management shakeup at Participant Media's startup network, he is moving to NBCUniversal as EVP Digital Enterprises. The newly created position involves companywide strategic development of digital opportunities to reach emerging audiences, including alternative platforms and direct to consumer distribution models.

    Andy Forssell
is now Chief Executive Officer at Showyou in San Francisco.
Previously Forssell served as Acting Chief Executive Officer, Hulu.

    Ken Tucker, one of the founding editors of Time Inc.’s Entertainment Weekly, will join Yahoo as TV critic. Previously, he was editor-at-large for Entertainment Weekly and was the magazine’s DVD critic. Agencies, Management Companies, Marketing, Public Relations, Law Firms PromaxBDA, the leading global association for marketing, promotion and design professionals in the entertainment industry, has announced that the company's former board member Steve Kazanjian has been named president and CEO. Kazanjian is a Fortune 500 brand marketing executive and former vice president of Global Creative for MWV, a worldwide leader in consumer packaging.


    Live Nation Entertainment has named music vet Jimmy Iovine to the concert promoter's board of directors. Iovine serves as an independent director of the board.

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    Exec Shuffle For 12/05/14: Jasmine Madatian To DreamWorks, Kevan Turen To Phantom Four, and More

    Universal Pictures, the MPAA, eOne, the E! network and Live Nation all make big moves, while Yahoo hires a seasoned pro to be its new TV critic. (SSN)

    Is Robin Hood the New Potential Franchise For the Studios? Disney Seems To Think So

    The Mouse House has acquired the Brandon Barker spec Nottingham & Hood, which follows Sony staking a claim to Sherwood Forest as it bought a pitch by Cory Goodman and Jeremy Lott earlier this fall for high price. (DH)

    On the Heels Of Marvel and Netflix Announcing Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones Comes News Of a Luke Cage Casting

    Mike Colter, best known for his work on The Good Wife and in the upcoming Halo: Nightfall, has nabbed the coveted role, and will not only appear in the upcoming Jessica Jones series, but also star in is own spinoff series. (SAA)

    The ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie Is Closing In On Nabbing Itself a Writer

    Jason Fuchs, who wrote the currently in post-production Pan for Warner Bros., is closing in on a deal to work with director Michelle MacLaren on the script for the upcoming superhero flick, to star Gal Gadot. (CBR)

    Not To Tell You Something You Didn’t Already Know, But Now It’s Official: Cumberbatch Is Doctor Strange

    After weeks of speculation, Marvel has confirmed that the actor — a probable Oscar nominee for his work in The Imitation Game — will star as the Sorcerer Supreme in its upcoming film, scheduled to hit theaters November 4th, 2016. (NSA)

    Fox and Ryan Reynolds Are Closing a Deal For the Actor To Return as Deadpool

    The film, a standalone for the popular comic character introduced on screen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is being directed by Tim Miller, from a script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Film is tentatively scheduled for February 2016. (CB)

    That ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff Has Found Its Lead Actor

    Cliff Curtis has been cast as the anchor of the show, which doesn’t yet have an official title, but is codenamed Cobalt, focuses on Curtis’ divorced teacher, a good man trying to do right as civilization crumbles around him. (EMP)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘While We’re Young’

    The first full-length trailer for the comedic drama from Noah Baumbach, starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts and Adam Driver, and in theaters March 27th, 2015. (TP)

    A Brief and Entertaining Look At the 30 Most Important Sex Scenes In Movie History

    Some of the scenes here are to be expected (like Don’t Look Now and Last Tango In Paris), but there are some fun surprises, as well. (VUL)

    Screenwriters: ‘The Lion In Winter’

    The 141-page second draft of the Oscar-winning screenplay by James Goldman. (DS)

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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS GOLDEN GLOBES: BEST MOTION PICTURE Awards 2015 Spotlight: Rob Marshall On Producing-Directing the Modern, Darker Fairy Tale ‘Into The Woods’ For Disney The director has directed adaptations of two Broadway musicals: Chicago and Nine. Now, he’s back with his third musical, an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. The ensemble cast [...]

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    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Rob Marshall On Producing-Directing the Modern, Darker Fairy Tale ‘Into The Woods’ For Disney

    The director has directed adaptations of two Broadway musicals: Chicago and Nine. Now, he’s back with his third musical, an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. The ensemble cast includes Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, and Chris Pine, among others. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: ‘Unbroken’ Producer Matt Baer On Trusting Angelina Jolie’s Instincts and the True Meaning Of “Passion Project”

    Hollywood is full of producers who struggle for years to get their passion projects off the ground. Unbroken producer Baer stuck with Lou Zamperini and his story for nearly fifteen years, and the result is a beautifully directed film with Angelina Jolie at its helm. (SSN)

    Awards 2015: ‘Game Of Thrones,’ ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ and More Make SSN’s Golden Globes TV Noms Predictions

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association—all 100 or so of them—like to see themselves as rugged individualists, and their choices in the television categories tend to reflect precisely that. (SSN)

    Awards 2015: Golden Globes Animated Feature Race Heats Up With ‘Big Hero 6,’ ‘The LEGO Movie’ and More

    This year’s field is quite different, without offerings from usual heavy hitters like Sony Pictures Animation, Aardman, or Pixar. Today, we run down the potential nominees in what will be a fiercely competitive and interesting race. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Composer Antonion Sanchez Takes SSN Into the Jam Sessions That Created ‘Birdman’s’ Percussion Score

    Fox Searchlight’s acclaimed film stands out from the rest with its look of one continuous shot, intense acting by Michael Keaton, sharp commentary on the blockbuster superhero genre, and a score that solely features percussion.  (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Screenwriter James Lapine On Adapting ‘Into The Woods’ From His Broadway Play

    The writer teamed with Stephen Sondheim to originate the long-running Broadway musical, and when filmmaker Rob Marshall wanted to bring the stage production to the big screen, he got the duo’s blessing and enlisted Lapine to adapt the screenplay. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Jennifer Aniston Opens Up On the Struggles Of Shooting ‘Cake’

    In the new indie, the actress stars as a woman unable to move on from an accident that has left her physically and emotionally scarred, and addicted to pain pills.(SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Oscar Isaac On His Character In ‘A Most Violent Year’

    A Golden Globe nominee last year for the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis says of his performance in writer-director J.C. Chandor’s latest, “The idea that everything was a calculation was helpful to me.” (SSN)

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