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    hunger games mockingjay arrow slider

    ‘Mockingjay’ Continues Its Winning Streak In an Otherwise Light Weekend

    The third movie in the Hunger Games franchise did $21.6 million, to top Penguins Of Madagascar and bring its total domestic take thus far to $257.7 million. (SSN)

    North Korea Denies Having Anything To Do With the Sony Hack

    A state official praised the attack and reiterated the country’s disapproval of the upcoming comedy, The Interview, but otherwise denied responsibility in the attack, which has been an ongoing headache for Sony. (THR)

    ‘Boyhood’ Continues Its Early Win Streak With LA Critics Top Prize

    Richard Linklater took home another award for Best Picture, also winning for Best Director as Patricia Arquette won Best Actress over Julianne Moore. Tom Hardy’s performance in Locke won Best Actor. (DH)

    So, Now Roberto Orci Will Not Be Directing ‘Star Trek 3,’ After All

    No immediate word as to why, but the writer-producer, who co-wrote and produced each of the first two entries in the franchise reboot, will stay on as a producer. Word is that Paramount is interested in bringing in Edgar Wright to replace him. (NSA)

    Forget the 12 Days of Christmas, J.K. Rowling Is Giving Fans 12 Days Of Potter!

    The author has revealed she will release a new piece of writing every day from December 12th until the 24th. Each one will be released at 8:00 EST on Pottermore. (COL)

    Starz Can’t Find a Buyer, as Prospectives Find It Overvalued

    CBS, Lionsgate, AMC and Fox all kicked the tires on the pay cable network, which is now considering alternatives to a sale after reaching out to potential bidders who passed on making an offer. (AA)

    Robert Schwentke Enjoyed His Time Directing ‘Insurgent’ So Much, He’s Coming Back For ‘Allegiant’

    The Red director, who took over for Divergent helmer Neil Berger in the second movie of the franchise, will now handle directing duties for the two-part franchise finale, starring Shailene Woodley. (EMP)

    Aside From Justin Theroux and a Few Others, It’s Going To Be a New Cast For Season Two Of ‘The Leftovers’

    A large portion of the fourteen regular cast members on the HBO show won't be returning for season two as the show undergoes a creative reboot. Amy Brenneman, Carrie Coon, Margaret Qualley, Chris Zylka, and Christopher Eccleston are also back. (VUL)

    Your Creative Calendar: 55 Things To Read, Watch, Hear and Read This Month

    It’s always nice to take a look at this festive foreword to the most promising movies, shows, albums, and other fun stuff coming your way, which is sure to keep you busy well into 2015. (FCC)

    Screenwriters: Creating Wonderfully Wicked Villains

    Characters with psychological problems and quirks have appeared as long as people have told stories. How can you maximize your own villain’s problems and quirks? (MO)

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    daniel craig james bond

    STARTS

    A Year and Change 12/1/2014 Logline: After falling off a roof at a New Year’s party, Owen makes some big life changes: He quits drinking, gets to know his estranged son, renews old friendships and falls in love. Production Companies: Unbound Feet Productions, Pebble Hill Films Director: R. Stephen Suettinger Producer(s): Emily Ting Cast: Jamie Chung, Bryan Greenberg, Claire van der Boom, T.R. Knight, Marshall Allman, Jamie Hector Writer(s): R. Stephen Suettinger, Jim Beggarly SSN Insight: Currently seeking distribution, per Slated. This marks Seuttinger’s feature directorial debut. Suettinger also co-wrote the script with Jim Beggarly. Jamie Chung can be heard as the voice of Go Go in “Big Hero 6”.

    Beyond Skyline 12/8/2014 Logline: Storyline under wraps, sequel to “Skyline” (2010) directed by Colin & Greg Strause. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Company: Hydraulx Director: Liam O'Donnell Producer(s): Liam O'Donnell, Kristian Andersen, Greg Strause, Colin Strause, Matthew E Chausse Cast: Frank Grillo, Antonio Fargas, Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian Writer(s): Liam O'Donnell, Joshua Cordes Details: Sequel to "Skyline" (2010) directed by Colin & Greg Strause. 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.

    Spectre 12/8/2014 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: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Danjaq, LLC., Eon Productions Director: Sam Mendes Producer(s): Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson Cast: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux Writer(s): Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan Details: Sequel to "Skyfall" (2012) directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig. The 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, beginning with "Dr. No" in 1962. SSN Insight: Ang Lee, Nicolas Winding Refn and Christopher Nolan were all rumored to be possible directors by the press. Hoyte Van Hotema, hot off lensing Interstellar has been tapped as Director of Photography as well.

    The Hateful Eight 12/8/2014 Logline: In the late 19th century, a group of stagecoach passengers – two bounty hunters, a Confederate general, an Englishman, a Frenchman and a female prisoner – become stranded in the mountains during a blizzard and take refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery. Studio: The Weinstein Company Production Companies: FilmColony, Shiny Penny Productions Director: Quentin Tarantino Executive Producer(s): Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, G Mac Brown Producer(s): Pilar Savone, Richard Gladstein, Stacey Sher, Shannon McIntosh Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, James Remar Writer(s): Quentin Tarantino SSN Insight: On April 19, 2014 a live read of the first draft was performed at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. Performers included Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Amber Tamblyn, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern among others. Quentin Tarantino and the producers planned to shoot the project on 65mm film and undergo the widest 70mm film release in more than 20 years, with an expected 35 mm and digital release to follow. Amber Tamblyn had previously been mentioned for a role in the film.

    Vincent-N-Roxxy 12/2/2014 Logline: A man and woman go on a crime spree while falling in love. Production Company: Red Band Films Director: Gary Michael Schultz Producer(s): Keith Kjarval Cast: Anton Yelchin, Megalyn Echikunwoke Writer(s): Gary Michael Schutlz SSN Insight: The project was developed at Unified Pictures through Keith Kjarval. It begins lensing in Louisiana. WME is handling the domestic rights, while Fortitude International is repping overseas rights and presented the project at AFM.

    Who Gets the Dog? 12/8/2014 Logline: A recently broken-up couple fights over custody of their dog. Production Companies: 2DS Productions, LLC, Epic Pictures Group Director: Steven C. Miller Producer(s): William Ryan, Reid Brody Cast: Alicia Silverstone Writer(s): Matt Wheeler, Rick Rapoza SSN Insight: Eva Longoria was previously attached to star and produce.

    WRAPS

    Dad's Army 12/3/2014 Logline: A spy on the loose, along with the arrival of a glamorous journalist, brings chaos and hilarity to a Dover army base in the closing days of World War II. Production Company: DJ Films Limited Director: Oliver Parker Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): Damian Jones Cast: Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Daniel Mays Writer(s): No Screenplay Available. Details: Project is based on the BBC sitcom, "Dad's Army" written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on the BBC from 1968 to 1977. SSN Insight: Pathe International was previously attached.

    Daughter of God 12/4/2014 Logline: When a police detective is investigating his partner’s death, a young Latina woman is experiencing strange happenings. Production Companies: Company Films, Grodfilm, Elevated Film Sales, Remark Films Director: Gee Malik Linton Executive Producer(s): Cassian Elwes, Dan Grodnik, Katie Mustard, Curt Kramer, Seth Kramer Producer(s): Keanu Reeves, Gee Malik Linton, Robin Gurland Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ana de Armas, Mira Sorvino Writer(s): Gee Malik Linton SSN Insight: The film marks Reeves’ and Roth’s second collaboration after theupcoming Knock Knock. Fortitude International handled international presales at the Toronto Film Market earlier this year. CAA is handling domestic rights. The estimated budget is $10 million per StudioSystem.

    Mechanic: Resurrection 12/11/2014 Logline: This sequel continues to follow the adventures of the elite assassin Arthur Bishop, who is known for his skill in cleanly eliminating targets. Studio: Nu Image/Millennium Films Production Companies: Winkler Films, Off The Chart Entertainment Director: Dennis Gansel Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): Avi Lerner, Billy Chartoff, David Winkler, Frank DeMartini Cast: Jason Statham, Tommy Lee Jones, Jessica Alba, Michelle Yeoh Writer(s): Philip Shelby, Richard Wenk Details: Sequel to the film "The Mechanic," (2011) directed by Simon West, which was a remake of the 1972 film,  directed by Michael Winner and starring Charles Bronson. SSN Insight: Simon West was previously attached to direct.

    Sacrifice 12/7/2014 Logline: When Tora and her husband move to his childhood home on the Shetland Islands, off the coast of Scotland, Tora discovers a woman's body buried on their property and fights to discover the truth. Production Companies: Cheyenne Enterprises, Subotica Entertainment, Meyers Media Group Director: Peter Dowling Producer(s): Arnold Rifkin, Peter Lewis, Tristan Orpen Lynch Cast: Radha Mitchell, Rupert Graves, Colm Meaney Writer(s): Peter Dowling Details: Based on the book “Sacrifice” published in 2006 which was an instant success and translated into several European languages as well as shortlisted for the International Thriller Writers' Best First Novel award. SSN Insight: Filming will take place mainly in Dublin, Ireland, New York and in the Shetland Islands, U.K. Of the book, the author S.J. Bolton has commented, ““I thought the story was fascinating but very dark with a creepy atmosphere, and I wanted to see if I could make it work as a contemporary crime novel that is credible in the 21st century.”

    The Last Witch Hunter 12/5/2014 Logline: Tormented by the loss of his family and cursed with immortal life, the last witch hunter (Vin Diesel) is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history Studio: Summit Entertainment, LLC Production Companies: Lakeshore Entertainment, One Race Films, Goldmann Pictures, Atmosphere Entertainment MM LLC, Aperture Entertainment Director: Breck Eisner Executive Producer(s): Adam Goldworm, Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Eric Reid Producer(s): Bernie Goldmann, Mark Canton, Vin Diesel, Samantha Vincent Cast: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Michael Caine, Lotte Verbeek Writer(s): Melisa Wallack, Dante W. Harper, Cory Goodman SSN Insight: Timur Bekmambetov previously attached to direct and produce. Summit Entertainment acquired the pitch from Cory Goodman for mid-six figures.

    The Lennon Report 12/3/2014 Logline: The stories of the people present at Roosevelt Hospital while staff members were trying to save John Lennon’s life are told. Production Company: Francisco Productions Director: Jeremy Profe Producer(s): Gabriel Francisco, Rafael Francisco Cast: Stef Dawson, David Zayas, Devin Ratray, Richard Kind, Evan Jonigkeit Writer(s): Jeremy Profe, Walter Vincent SSN Insight: Kevin Dillon was previously attached as a member of the cast.

    Truth 12/7/2014 Logline: Based on the true story of iconic newscaster Dan Rather’s report that George W. Bush had received preferential treatment to avoid the Vietnam War draft, which resulted in a scandal that damaged Rather’s career. Production Companies: Echo Lake Entertainment, Mythology Entertainment, RatPac Entertainment Director: James Vanderbilt Executive Producer(s): James Packer, Neil Tabatznik, Steven Silver Producer(s): James Vanderbilt, Bradley Fischer, William Sherak, Mikkel Bondesen, Brett Ratner Cast: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Elisabeth Moss, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace Writer(s): James Vanderbilt Details: Based on the memoir "Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and the Privilege of Power" written by Mary Mapes and published by St. Martin's Press in 2006.

    Unlocked 1/17/2015 Logline: A female CIA interrogator is tricked into getting a terrorist to provide crucial information to the wrong side, forcing her into the middle of a devastating biological attack on London. Studio: No Studio Available. Production Companies: Di Bonaventura Pictures, Silver Reel Partners Director: Michael Apted Executive Producer(s): Erik Howsam Producer(s): Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Georgina Townsley Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Douglas, Orlando Bloom Writer(s): Peter O'Brien SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Warner Bros. Mikael Hafstrom was previously attached to direct.


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    he said she said slider 2

    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    BELOW THE LINE: ‘THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING’

    Awards 2015: An Inside Look At ‘The Theory Of Everything’ From Below-The-Line Artists

    With so many aspects of Stephen Hawking’s life to cover, the below-the-line talent worked closely with director James Marsh and actor Eddie Redmaye to achieve a delicate balance that subtly showcased each aspect on the big screen. (SSN)

    He Said/She Said: SSN Discusses the Best Director and Best Supporting Actor and Actress Contenders

    Senior editor Neil Turitz and senior staff writer Dina Gachman are back with another informative and entertaining conversation about awards season. This week, their genuine disagreement over Rene Russo's performance in Nightcrawler gets close to personal. At least they agree about how great Tilda Swinton is. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    On The Set For 12/08/14: James Bond Pic ‘Spectre’ and ‘The Hateful Eight’ Start Shooting

    Meanwhile, Vin Diesel wraps The Last Witch Hunter, while Dad’s Army, Daughter Of God, Mechanic: Resurrection and Sacrifice also finish principal photography. (SSN)

    Sony’s Playstation Network Has Apparently Been Hacked Again

    The company’s online system suffered an outage of several hours last night, extending into early this morning U.S. time, with a group that previously claimed to have disabled PSN reportedly taking credit for the attack. (VAR)

    Jennifer Garner Is the Latest To Sign On To a YA Adaptation

    She takes on The Tribes of Palos Verdes, along with Maika Monroe and Tye Sheridan, which will be directed by D.J. Caruso. Project is based on the novel by Joy Nicholson. (THR)

    Jamie Lee Curtis Returns To Her Roots, Will Star In Ryan Murphy’s ‘Scream Queens’

    The star of the original Halloween, will be joined by Emma Roberts in the comedy-horror series created by Glee creators Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. The 15-episode first installment of the anthology series, slated for next fall, revolves around a college campus that is rocked by a series of murders. (DH)

    Warners Isn’t the Only Studio With More ‘Godzilla’ Plans

    Japanese studio Toho — where the creature was born — plans to resurrect the king of the monsters, to create a new Godzilla that "will represent Japan and be loved around the world" by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (EMP)

    Jason Momoa Will Be Aquaman For Four Different Movies, and ‘Batman Vs. Superman’ Is One Of Them

    While specific movies were not mentioned, it would seem the other three are Justice League: Part 1, Justice League: Part 2, and the Aquaman solo film, which he hopes will be directed by Zack Snyder. (COL)

    Mark Hamill Will Be Reprising an Old Villain On the New Version Of ‘The Flash’

    Just as he did in the first version of the show, in 1990, Hamill will once again play James Jesse, aka The Trickster, in the new hit version on The CW, starring Grant Gustin. (CB)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The Last Five Years’

    The first, tuneful look at the upcoming musical romantic dramedy, starring Anna Kendrick. The film hits theaters February 13th, 2015. (VUL)

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    michael lynton sony

    Michael Lynton Declares an “All Hands” Briefing On the Scope Of the Sony Hack

    The company’s CEO sent out a memo to staff on the corporation’s ongoing attempt to dig out of the damage done. The meeting will happen later today on the Sony lot to let the rank and file know what’s going on. (DH)

    AFI Has Released Its List Of the Year’s Best Films, But Couldn’t Keep It To Just 10

    For the first time, there was a tie, bringing the final number to 11. Among the picks were American Sniper, Birdman, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler and Whiplash. (DP)

    The Suddenly Troubled ‘Jobs’ Biopic Takes Another Hit as Natalie Portman Passes

    The pic, starring Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen, and to be directed by Danny Boyle from an Aaron Sorkin script, is based on the Walter Isaacson biography and was originally set up at Sony before Universal picked it up out of turnaround when Sony let it go. (VAR)

    SAG-AFTRA Makes a Surprising Move, Gets Behind Copyrights For Some Performers

    The actors’s union joins with Actors Equity Association, the American Federation of Musicians and a few other labor groups in the entertainment industry, saying an actor can indeed have a copyrightable interest in a performance that's separate and apart from the interest anyone else holds in a motion picture. (HE)

    Pixar’s Next Movie Just Added an Impressive Pair Of Voices

    Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan join Inside Out along with Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling in the film, which is due in theaters June 19th, 2015. (MF)

    Sundance Has Announced Even More Of the Movies It Will Be Showing Next Month

    The festival revealed the films playing in the Premieres, Documentary Premieres, Special Events and 'Power of Story' Panels lineup. Premieres include new films from Joe Swanberg and Paul Weitz. (IW)

    Because There Are Still Not Enough TV Shows Based On Comic Books, Syfy Is Developing Another One

    Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer is behind Krypton, a Superman prequel drama that will tell the story of Superman’s grandpa, “as he brings hope and equality to Krypton, turning a planet in disarray into one worthy of giving birth to the greatest superhero ever known.” (COL)

    FXX Is Bringing Back ‘The League’ For a Seventh and Final Season

    The comedy, which began its run on FX and moved to the sister network last year, follows a bunch of friends with questionable morality as they do battle in fantasy football. (VUL)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Still Alice’

    The first look at the drama about a woman fighting early onset Alzheimer’s, starring Julianne Moore, is currently in limited release for an Oscar qualifying run and opens wide January 16th.  (CB)

    Online Film School: Robert Rodriguez’s Eight-Minute Film School

    The director of Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, three Spy Kids movies, two Machete flicks, two Sin City’s and Planet Terror can help you make your first film in less time than it takes to hard boil an egg. (NFS)

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    at arrivals for 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals 2, Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica, CA March 1, 2014. Photo By: Gregorio Binuya/Everett Collection

    CW/ Untitled John Wells Kenny Wormald Drama Project Network: CW Television Network Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company: John Wells Productions Executive Producer(s): John Wells, Andrew Stearn Writer(s): Andrew Hinderaker Logline: The story offers a peek behind the curtain of Hollywood’s hip-hop dance scene, centering on a top-flight back-up dancer who dreams of becoming a choreographer. SSN Insight: Loosely inspired by the life of actor-dancer Kenny Wormald.

    Dear Zachary Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company: Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Sean Perrone, Aaron Kaplan Logline: Andrew Bagby was allegedly murdered by former girlfriend Shirley Jane Turner who gave birth to their child, Zachary, while on trial. After she was sent to jail, Bagby’s parents obtained full custody of Zachary, which they were later forced to share with Turner when she successfully appealed and was released, despite ample evidence that she may be mentally and emotionally disturbed. She went on to kill herself and 13-month Zachary. Details: Based on the documentary, "Dear Zachary: A Letter To A Son About His Father," (2008), directed by Kurt Kuenne. SSN Insight: Kurt Kuenne recently commented on his decision to sell the rights for a miniseries, “For six years, I’ve turned down overtures to dramatize this story because I didn’t think such a production needed to exist, but the number of people who’ve written me to say this story changed their life made me realize that bringing it to a wider audience might do a lot of good, as long as the story was told with humanity, dignity and honesty.”

    Frauds Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Companies: FanFare Productions, Rough House Pictures Executive Producer(s): David Caspe, Gil Ozeri, Jamie Tarses Writer(s): Gil Ozeri Logline: A family of two-bit criminals decide to pull off an elaborate Ponzi scheme. SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial script commitment. Caspe and Tarses both have overall deals at Sony Pictures Television. Ozeri, Caspe and Tarses previously worked together on Happy Endings. Currently, Caspe and Tarses are producing NBC's Marry Me, starring Caspe's wife and Happy Endings alum Casey Wilson. Ozeri, began his career with UCB N.Y., and was a writer on Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

    Home For the Weekend Production Company: Party Over Here Executive Producer(s): Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone Logline: The show is a mockumentary-style comedy following a celebrity’s return trip to his or her hometown, where pleasant strolls down memory lane can take unexpected turns and reveal surprising backstories about high-profile stars. SSN Insight: One of three projects produced by newly formed shingle Party Over Here (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone).Per Deadline, the project is currently in production with the intent to distribute via over-the-top video platforms like Hulu and Roku to start and later becoming a more traditional half hour series on a Fox channel.

    Imitation Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Companies: Alloy Entertainment, Jerry Bruckheimer Television Executive Producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Leslie Morgenstein, Cheryl Dolins Writer(s): Ian Sobel, Matt Morgan Logline: The story takes place in a world where human clones exist and the privileged elite use them to maintain their status. This secret and illegal operation thrives until a 24-year-old clone replaces her imperiled human and threatens to bring down everything her creators have built. Details: Based on the digital novel, "Imitation," written by Heather Hildenbrand and published by Alloy Entertainment in 2014. SSN Insight: NBC has given an initial script commitment.

    Krypton Network: SyFy Studio: SyFy, Warner Horizon Television Executive Producer(s): David S. Goyer, Ian Goldberg Logline: one-hour drama about Superman’s grandfather set at the fictional planet. This series follows The Man of Steel’s grandfather as he brings hope and equality to Krypton, turning a planet in disarray into one worthy of giving birth to the greatest Super Hero ever known. Details: Based on the DC Comic Superman, first published in 1938. SSN Insight: Goldberg is penning the pilot from a story by Goyer and himself. For Goyer, Krypton will be his third series on air along with Constantine and Da Vinci's Demons (Starz). Warner Bros is also developing another property in the Superman mythos, Supergirl for CBS.

    Preacher Network: AMC Network Studio: Sony Pictures Television, AMC Studios Production Companies: Original Film, Point Grey Pictures Executive Producer(s): Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Sam Catlin, Neal H. Moritz, Vivian Cannon Writer(s): Sam Catlin, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg Logline: Reverend Jesse Custer, a tough Texas preacher who has lost his faith, has learned that God has left Heaven and abandoned His responsibilities. He finds himself the only person capable of tracking God down and making Him answer for His dereliction of duty. Accompanying Jesse on his journey is his former girlfriend and a friendly vampire. On his tail is an immortal, unstoppable killing machine named the Saint of Killers, in the archetype of a western lone gunman. Details: Based on the comic book series, "Preacher," written by Garth Ennis, illustrated by Steve Dillon and first published April 1995 by DC Comics imprint, Vertigo Comics. SSN Insight: Ordered to pilot by AMC which has picked up five pilots this year with the dramas Galyntine, White City, Knifeman and The Walking Dead spin-off and the comedy I Hate Paul Revere. Rogen and Goldberg have been developing Preacher for the last seven years.

    Quick Shots Of False Hope Network: HBO Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company: Too Mutch Ink Executive Producer(s): Max Mutchnick, Laura Kightlinger Writer(s): Max Mutchnick, Laura Kightlinger Logline: A 1970s-era single mom maintains an ongoing quest to find a husband, while still sleeping with her daughter’s married father. Details: Based on the the memoir, "Quick Shots of False Hope: A Rejection Collection," written by Laura Kightlinger and published by Avon Books in 1999. SSN Insight: The single-camera comedy stems from Emerson College alums Mutchnick and Kightlinger who will write and executive produce via the former's Warner Bros. Television-based Too Mutch Ink shingle. Quick Shots is Mutchnick's first sale under his new solo development deal at WBTV, but he will continue to producer projects with David Kohan under their joint KoMut banner.

    Route 66 Studio: Slingshot Global Media Production Company: Slingshot Global Media Executive Producer(s): Kirk Hallam Logline: A reboot of the 1960s action drama series chronicling the journey of two young adventurers traveling through the Heartland of America in their cool sports car, encountering people from all walks of life and exploring the social problems and changing mores of the time. Details: A reboot of the series, "Route 66," which aired on CBS from 1960-1964. SSN Insight: Slingshot, funded by private investment firm TPG Growth with headquarters in LA, was launched in February by former FremantleMedia head David Ellender. It has teamed up with Keanu Reeves on two series, Rain and New Angeles. The company also signed a non-exclusive venture with EuropaCorp to co-develop and co-finance two “globally appealing” projects annually.

    Storyville Network: Starz Production Company: Playground Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Colin Callender Writer(s): George C. Wolfe Logline: Set in New Orleans during the turn of the 20th century where prostitution was decriminalized and an exceedingly vibrant, hedonistic, celebratory subculture emerged and fueled the birth of jazz. Details: Based on an original idea by George C. Wolfe. SSN Insight: The deal reunites Starz CEO Chris Albrecht with Colin Callender who had formerly worked together during their time while at HBO.

    The Tyler Zone Production Company: Party Over Here Executive Producer(s): Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone Writer(s): Keith Schofield Logline: When Tyler moves to a new town, he finds himself in the middle of a series of supernatural occurrences. Are they really happening, or is it all in his head? SSN Insight: One of three projects produced by newly formed shingle Party Over Here (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone).Per Deadline, the project is currently in production with the intent to distribute via over-the-top video platforms like Hulu and Roku to start and later becoming a more traditional half hour series on a Fox channel.

    Those Who Can't Network: No Broadcast Network Available. Studio: No Studio Available. Production Companies: 3 Arts Entertainment, Thank You, Brain! Productions Executive Producer(s): Adam Cayton-Holland, Andrew Orvedahl, Ben Roy, Richard Korson, Tracey Baird Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: Three delinquent public school teachers fight to stay employed at floundering James Buchanan High School. SSN Insight: A pilot was developed, shot and streamed on Amazon on April 19, 2013. Project did not go further. truTV is redeveloping this project. Ordered to pilot.

    Topics With Andre Hyland Production Company: Party Over Here Executive Producer(s): Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone Writer(s): Andre Hyland Logline: Comedian Andre Hyland morphs into his uniquely hilarious band of characters and interacts with an unsuspecting public. SSN Insight: One of three projects produced by newly formed shingle Party Over Here (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone).Per Deadline, the project is currently in production with the intent to distribute via over-the-top video platforms like Hulu and Roku to start and later becoming a more traditional half hour series on a Fox channel.

    What Happened, Miss Simone? Network: Netflix Production Company: Radical Media Executive Producer(s): Liz Garbus Logline: The story of Nina Simone, the iconic singer and civil rights activist. The film chronicles Nina Simone's Journey from child piano prodigy to iconic musician and passionate activist, told in her own words. SSN Insight: Directed by Academy Award-nominated director Liz Garbus,Netflix has said the film will take an "unflinching" look at the singer’s life and is set to distribute it next year. Netflix has also distributed the 3D-printing documentary Print the Legend and last year’s Academy Award-nominated The Square.


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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR AND SUPPORTING ACTRESS

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: ‘Boyhood’s Ethan Hawke Talks Growing Up On-Camera … Twice

    The thrice-nominated writer-actor looks to be in great shape to earn his fourth Oscar nomination for his brilliant work in the Richard Linklater film that appears to be this year’s frontrunner. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Laura Dern Surrenders To the ‘Wild’ and Reveals the Scariest Role She’s Taken On

    Previously nominated for Rambling Rose is looking at another nod for her role playing Reese Witherspoon’s mother in the new film from Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée. (SSN)

    Rep Moves For 12/09/14: Andy Samberg’s Party Over Here Banner Producing Trio Of Efforts

    There is also a new show in the pipeline at Syfy about Superman’s grandfather, AMC orders that long-gestating Preacher pilot, and lots more. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    J.J. Abrams Sets Up a New Project At Sony With a First-TIme Director

    The Force Awakens director will produce an untitled top secret project through his Bad Robot banner. It’s a science fiction film that will mark the feature directorial debut of Chris Alender, who helmed the short Eye Of The Storm. (DH)

    From Webslingers To Corporate Espionage, Marc Webb Makes a Deal At Showtime

    The Amazing Spider-Man director is attached to a new comedy at the cable network, which has ordered three scripts for the project. Titled Professionals, the project will be written by David J. Rosen. (VAR)

    David O. Russell Has Cast Jennifer Lawrence’s Husband In Their Next Film, ‘Joy’

    Edgar Ramirez joins the Hunger Games star and Robert De Niro, both of whom have signed on to the project, a biopic about Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano. The film will start shooting in February. (EMP)

    Get Ready For a Lot More Netflix Shows Coming To Your Computer Screen

    Within the next five years, the online streaming service would like to premiere a new original series or new season of an existing series every two-and-a-half weeks. (AA)

    Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘The Walk’

    The first look at the upcoming drama starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and directed by Robert Zemeckis, that follows the story of Phillippe Petit, who walked on a high wire above the World Trade Center in 1974. The story was first told on screen in the 2008 Oscar-winning doc, Man On Wire. (EW)

    Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘San Andreas’

    The initial trailer for the upcoming disaster flick, starring Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino and Alexandria Daddario. Hits theaters May 29th, 2015. (TP)

    A Hobbit’s Dream Comes True: Peter Jackson Gets a Star On the Hollywood Walk Of Fame

    The director of three Lord of the Rings movies and three Hobbit films is cheered on by his stars, including Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly and Elijah Wood. (DM)

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    The SAG Award Nominations Have Been Announced: Did You Make the Cut?

    Some big surprises emerge in the film races, including Jake Gyllenhaal’s stunning nod for Best Actor for his work in Nightcrawler, and Naomi Watts getting a supporting nod for St. Vincent. (HP)

    In Case You Weren’t Actually Keeping Score, There Is a Complete List Of What We’ve Learned From the Sony Hacks

    In the two weeks since eerily adept cybercriminals hacked into Sony's computer systems, paralyzed their operations, and tapped into a trove of hypersensitive, internal information. Here's an updated list of everything revealed by the hacks so far. (VUL)

    Fans Of the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim Are Getting Some Good News Today

    The network renews three shows, giving second seasons to the live action Black Jesus, and the animated shows Mr. Pickles and Mike Tyson Mysteries. (TLF)

    Lionsgate Is Putting Mel Gibson Back In Theaters

    The studio buys U.S. rights to Blood Father, in which Gibson plays an ex-con who reunites with his estranged 16-year-old daughter, and vows to protect her from the drug dealers who are trying to kill her. Jean-Francois Richet directed, from a script by Peter Craig who adapted his novel of the same name. (VAR)

    Ryan Murphy, Gearing Up To Shoot ‘American Crime Story,’ Has Found His O.J. Simpson

    Cuba Gooding Jr. has been cast to play the former football great in Murphy’s 10-episode FX series about Simpson’s murder trial. Murphy regular Sarah Paulson has landed the role of prosecutor Marcia Clark. (EW)

    Just Because ‘Green Lantern’ Didn’t Work Doesn’t Mean That Martin Campbell Has Sworn Off Comic Book Movies

    The director of the ill-fated Ryan Reynolds film, who also helmed Daniel Craig’s first James Bond outing in Casino Royale, will direct the adaptation of graphic novel Sebastian X for producer Gale Anne Hurd and Voltage Pictures. (EMP)

    All Those Who Think Shawn Levy Is Still Directing the ‘Minecraft’ Adaptation, Stand Up. Not So Fast!

    Both Levy and the writing team of Kieran and Michele Mulroney have departed the Warner Bros. project after the video game’s developers had a different vision for the film. The studio is looking for a new helmer. (COL)

    No Natalie Portman? No Problem For ‘Jobs’ Biopic, as Jeff Daniels Circles a Big Role

    The Emmy-winning star of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom is being tapped to play former Apple CEO John Sculley, who was the CEO of Apple from 1983 to 1993 and, in that time, sales at the company increased from $800 million to $8 billion. (SF)

    Benderspink Continues Its Run Of Comic Book Adaptations, Nabs ‘Marksmen’

    The production shingle is teaming with Benaroya Pictures for the project, which takes place in a dystopian future America where civil war over oil resources has left New San Diego as the last remaining bastion of peace and prosperity, protected by walls by the titular militant guards. (DH)

    Screenwriters: ‘Body Heat’

    The 120-page third draft by Lawrence Kasdan, dated October 6th, 1980. (DS)

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    APA: Comedian/Actor Tom Papa has been snapped up by APA. His most recent role is as a recurring on Cinemax’s The Knick. In 2015, Papa will host the new Fox game show Boom! He continues to be managed by 3 Arts.

    Paradigm: Writer and Co-Executive Producer of FX’s Sons of Anarchy, Charles Murray has signed with Paradigm.  He is also the writer and co-executive producer on the upcoming FX series,  The Bastard Executioner.

    Stan Rosenfield & Associates (PR): 78 year old Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. has added publicity firm Stan Rosenfield & Associates to his reps. He currently is a recurring on CBS’ Extant.

    ICM Partners:  22 year old British actress and singer Eliza Bennett has signed with ICM Partners. She’s best known for her role in New Line’s Inkheart. She currently stars in Cinemax’s action series Strike Back and will next appear in the second season of the ITV crime drama Broadchurch.

    BWR PR: Chinese actress Jing Tian has signed up with Nicole Perna and John Goschin at BWR Public Relations. Recently she won the very first Hollywood International Award at the Hollywood Film Awards for her role in Police Story 2013, opposite Jackie Chan.

    ICM Partners: Actress Betty Gilpin who recurs on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, has signed with ICM Partners. She recently appeared in the indie rom-com Take Care and will appear in the Fox drama True Story alongside James Franco and Jonah Hill.

    Creative Talent: Las Vegas based sports broadcaster James “Smitty” Smith has signed a multiyear management deal with Creative Talent. He specializes in boxing. Smith is a Fox Sports Radio contributor and hosts the syndicated TV show In This Corner, whose guests have included Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Sugar Ray Leonard among others.


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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    BELOW THE LINE: ‘BOYHOOD’

    Awards 2015: The Dedicated Below the Line Artists Of ‘Boyhood’ Take SSN Behind Its Epic, 12-Year Shoot

    It’s not often that below the line talent signs onto a project that takes over a decade to complete. But Richard Linklater is a director that most anyone in the industry would jump to work with, even if it required a twelve-year commitment. (SSN)

    Rep Moves For 12/10/14: Strikeback’s Eliza Bennett Moves To ICM, Tom Papa To APA, and More

    Sons Of Anarchy’s Charles Murray also makes a move, as do Betty Gilpin, Louis Gusset Jr. and several more. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    Commence the Countdown: David Letterman’s Final Episode Has Been Announced

    The late night legend will end his decades-long career — the final 22 years of which he spent hosting the Late Show on CBS — on May 20th. No start date has been announced for Steven Colbert’s replacement show. (HP)

    To the Surprise Of Exactly No One, J.K. Rowling’s “Secret” ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ Books Getting the TV Treatment

    A mild surprise: it’s BBC One and not Hollywood taking the first crack at the series, originally released under the pen name Robert Galbraith. Series will be based on the first two books that feature war veteran Cormoran Strike who turns private investigator after losing a leg in Afghanistan. (DH)

    FX Has Found Its Two Leads For Season Two Of ‘Fargo,’ and They Are …

    Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons land the coveted roles in the next go round of Noah Hawley’s anthology, originally based on the Coen Brothers’ Oscar winning film. Shooting for the 10-episode run starts next month in Calgary. (THR)

    It’s Promotion Day At Warner Bros!

    The company’s longtime CFO, Ed Romano, has been stepped up to Vice Chairman. He will work closely with Tsujihara to implement its recently outlined growth strategies including international expansion, digital transition and resource reallocation. (VAR)

    Has Universal Found Its Greatest Success Ever By Bucking a Current Hollywood Trend? All Signs Point To Yes

    Studio has had its most lucrative year ever even though it did not have a single conventional, mega-budget tentpole, which has become the industry norm. For Universal, The films were smaller, the grosses were smaller, but the profits were bigger. (FBS)

    Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’

    The red band trailer from the upcoming comedic spy thriller starring Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Matthew Vaughn. The film hits theaters February 13th. (MF)

    Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Mad Max — Fury Road’

    The high-powered new trailer from the reboot of the classic post-apocalyptic trilogy, from series creator George Miller. Film stars Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron and has a May 15th release date. (TP)

    Looking Ahead, Here Are Six Directors To Consider For the ‘Aquaman’ Movie Not Named Snyder

    Some truly outside the box thinking on who might be behind the camera on the film, due from Warner Bros. in 2018 and set to star Jason Momoa. (FSR)

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    The Golden Globes Nominations Are Out: Did You Make the Cut?

    Some big surprises — like how much the HFPA loves Wes Anderson — come with the announcement, but not surprising is that Birdman leads with seven nods, while Boyhood and The Imitation Game each get five. (USAT)

    Be Afraid: It Turns Out the Malware In the Sony Hack Would Get Past 90 Percent Of Cybersecurity Defenses

    An FBI official underscored the unprecedented nature of the hacking attack, suggesting to a Senate committee that most of private industry and even the government is unprepared to defend against that type of security breach. (VAR)

    Speaking Of Sony, Studio Rather Ironically Says There Will Be No Interviews At Tonight’s Premiere Of ‘The Interview’

    In the wake of the massive cyberattack, the star-studded, red carpet event will be broadcast media-free, and no interviews will be granted to print press. (THR)

    If You Want To Tell a True Life Story About the Creation Of a Fast Food Empire, John Lee Hancock’s Your Man

    The Saving Mr. Banks director is circling The Founder, which will tell the story of how salesman Ray Kroc acquired the McDonald’s restaurant and turned it into a billion dollar empire. (COL)

    Dan Fogelman’s NBA Buddy Comedy Just Found a Home At ABC

    The single camera comedy about a rookie who doesn’t speak English and a translator who doesn’t speak basketball gets a put pilot commitment at the network that actually broadcasts the league’s games. (DH)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Inside Out’

    The first full-length trailer from next year’s Pixar film, the first from the studio since 2013. The movie, about the dueling emotions in a teen girl’s brain and starring the voice talents of Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling and Bill Hader hits theaters June 19th. (MF)

    Beyond the Lights, Beyond the Urban Narrative: When Marketing Gets In the Way Of Story

    How do you market a love story? Seems likes a simple question, but, what happens when marketing actually works against the depth and texture of a film, making it appear to be something it’s not? (SAA)

    If You Only Watch One Documentary Short About Elephant Poaching, Watch This One

    Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow’s animated film shows the horrifying consequences of buying an ivory trinket, illustrating in reverse order the journey that brought the ivory to market. (CO)

    Screenwriters: Creating Movie Characters That Jump Off The Page

    Imagine, if you will, The Fugitive with Ace Ventura as the lead. While much of the plot of this exciting movie could remain intact, the entire flavor of it would be radically different.  (MO)

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    NEW ATTACHMENTS

    Splinter Way Logline: Adrenaline junkie brothers race motorcycles and fight to break the 100 mph speed record. Studio/ Distributor:  Warner Bros. Production Company: John Wells Productions Producers: John Wells Writer: Mitchell Akselrad Director: John Wells SSN Insight: Both Wells and Akselrad are TV vets; Akselrad is a writer/ producer on AMC’s Turn and Wells, of course, is best known for his TV success with ER, Third Watch and The West Wing, before turning to features such as The Company Men and August: Osage County. The Death and Life of John F. Donovan Logline: An American movie star has a secret correspondence with an 11-year-old Londoner. Production Company: Lyla Films, Metafilms Inc., Sons of Manuel Producers: Xavier Dolan, Lyse Lafontaine, Nancy Grant Writer: Jacob Tierney and Xavier Dolan Director: Xavier Dolan Cast: Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Jessica Chastain, Kit Harington SSN Insight: Xavier is the red-hot director of the film, Mommy, which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May.  Mommy is Canada’s official entry into the Oscar foreign-language category and is set to release in the U.S. on January 23.

    The Founder Logline: The true story how Ray Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brother’s speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself in a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create the billion dollar fast food empire, McDonald’s. Production Company: FilmNation, Combine Producers: Jeremy Renner, Don Handfield Writer: Rob Siegel Director: John Lee Hancock SSN Insight: This won’t be the first time director Hancock tackles a 50’s period piece about a larger than life historic personality.  He recently directed Saving Mr. Banks, about how Walt Disney secured the fights to Mary Poppins.

    The Divergent Series: Insurgent Logline:Tris Prior must try to save those she loves as she grapples with looming war between factions, her own conflicted feelings, new discoveries, and shifting relationships, all while she embraces and comes to terms with her Divergence. Studio/ Distributor: Summit Entertainment Production Company: Red Wagon Entertainment, New Leaf Literary & Media, Mandeville Films Producers: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Pouya Shahbazian Writer: Akiva Goldsman Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts, Keiynan Lonsdale, Suki Waterhouse Director:  Robert Schwentke SSN Insight: The sequel to the best-selling YA book series is due in theatres March 20, 2015.  Neil Burger, the director of Divergent, was unable to direct this film as post production and pre-production overlapped.

    NEW PROJECTS

    Untitled Chris Alender Project Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Bad Robot Producers: J.J. Abrams Writer: Justin Doble Director: Chris Alender SSN Insight: Project was hotly sought after and went to Sony’s president Michael De Luca in a bidding war.  Project is said to be Cloverfield in tone and launch the directing career of Chris Alender much in the way Cloverfield launched Matt Reeves.

    Nottingham and Hood Logline: A revisionist version of the classic Robin Hood story. Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Production Company: The Picture Company Producers: Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman Writer: Brandon Barker SSN Insight: This spec acquisition by Disney puts the studio in the competitive race with Sony who bought a revisionist Robin Hood pitch earlier this year.

    Passengers Logline: A spaceship passenger is prematurely thawed from a cryogenic slumber a century before anyone else. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Original Film, Start Media, Company Films Producers: Ori Marmur, Neil Moritz, Michael Maher, Stephen Hamel Writer: Jon Spaihts SSN Insight: The project has a long and convoluted history, having several previous homes and attachments, including The Weinstein Company, Reese Witherspoon and director Brian Kirk.


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    THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, director James Marsh, on set, 2014. ph: Liam Daniel/©Focus

    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    BEST DIRECTOR

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Director Christopher Nolan Journeys Across Space For ‘Interstellar’

    “It’s going to happen someday,” says the director, who is still looking for his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director. Now, he’s hoping to get it with the hugely successful and very personal Interstellar. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Director James Marsh Talks Hawking and ‘The Theory Of Everything’ 

    The director, who won an Oscar for helming the documentary Man On Wire, talks about wanting to “embrace light as much as possible,” in his romantic tale of the world’s most famous physicist and his first wife. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    Film Development For 12/11/14: ‘Divergent’ Sequel Gets a Director, Disney Targets Arrows At ‘Nottingham and Hood’

    John Wells gets a new directing gig, Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates get new jobs, a long-gestating space opera finds a new home, and plenty more. (SSN)

    Twentieth Century Fox and Vice Media See the Future Of Cinema, and It Is Millennials

    The two companies have launched Vice Films, focused producing two films per year for around $2 million each, with both companies collaborating on development, Fox handling production and theatrical distribution while Vice manages marketing outreach and digital distribution. (IW)

    Les Moonves Will Be Sticking Around At CBS For a While Longer

    The network extends the CEO’s contract for two years, through 2019, at which point the 65-year-old exec will serve as “executive advisor” for five years, the company says, with an option to create a production company “under CBS’s auspices.” (DH)

    A Day After Promoting Ed Romano To Vice Chairman, Warner Bros. Finds His Replacement For CFO

    Former CFO of CORE Media Group Kim Williams takes over for Romano, and will now have responsibility for the company’s financial activities, including financial reporting, budgeting and planning for future growth. (THR)

    If You Were Looking Forward To Seeing ‘Kung Fu Panda 3,’ You’ll Have To Wait Longer Than Expected

    DreamWorks Animation moves the third movie in the popular franchise out of its December 23rd, 2015 slot to make way for the anticipated dominance of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The new release date is March 18th, 2016. (VAR)

    George Clooney and Bennett Miller Want To Bring You a TV Show About the ‘90s Movie Business

    Rescue Me co-creator Peter Tolan is also involved in developing the series, which is a dark comedy looking at the movie business through the eyes of the studio executives running it. (VUL)

    ‘True Detective’ Show Runner Nic Pizzollato Is Clearly a Fan Of ‘Hard To Hold,’ Casts Rick Springfield In Season Two

    The actor and singer, perhaps better known for singing hits like “Jessie’s Girl,” has joined the last of the Emmy-winning series, currently shooting its second season with stars Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell. (MF)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The Gunman’

    The first official trailer from Sean Penn’s very first action movie, also starring Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone and Mark Rylance, and directed by Pierre Morel. Film hits theaters March 20th, 2015. (YM)

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    COMPANY LAUNCHES

    IM Global Music: IM Global’s founder and CEO, Stuart Ford announced that leading independent feature-film and television financing, production and sales studio IM Global, a subsidiary of Reliance ADA, has made a strategic step into the music business with the launch of IM Global Music.  The new venture is launched in partnership with veteran music industry executive David Schulhof who will serve as President and as a Partner of the New York and Los Angeles headquartered new business.

    VICE Films: Fox and VICE Media have teamed up to launch VICE Films to develop, produce and distribute films from  directors leveraged from VICE’s content creation initiatives. Using the best of both worlds, Fox will share its production and distribution capabilities while VICE Media will bring its new media skill set to the table.

    The Media Entertainment Fund: Bona Film Group, China's largest private film distributor and film company chairman Yu Dong, private equity firm Tembusu Partners and Singapore media entrepreneur Calvin Cheng will together launch a $100M fund focused on China’s media and entertainment industry, based in Singapore. It's the first such non-Reminbi dominated fund to invest in China’s media and entertainment sector. The five-year fund is closed-ended and will be open to capital after March 31 when the fund is formalized.

    Fox 21: Fox 21 and Fox Television Studios has been combined under the banner Fox 21 with offices not on the Fox lot, but in West LA that had been the home of Fox TV Studios. Bert Salke, who has headed the Fox 21 division since 2010, will serve as president of Fox 21 Television Studios. The restructuring was due to Fox TV Studios prexy David Madden’s shift to oversee programming for Fox Broadcasting Co.

    Downtown Music Publishing/Rock Mafia: Songwriting and production team Rock Mafia has entered a joint venture with Downtown Music Publishing. Ryan O’Donnell will serve as VP of Creative and A&R.

    STUDIOS, NETWORKS, AND MEDIA CONGLOMERATES

    DreamWorks Animation Asia: DreamWorks Animation announced a new TV channel to broadcast to 19 Asian countries, excluding China. It will start airing in 2015 and pull from the company’s library of 2000 hours of already produced TV programming and 1200 hours of material currently in production like the upcoming All Hail King Julien in addition to 300 hours of content through their Netflix content deal.  HBO Asia will operate the tech duties, sales and marketing.

    Cablevision Systems: Former ad executive Mickey Paxton will be the new senior vice president and executive director of creative services at Cablevision in charge of the creative execution of Cablevision’s marketing and brand initiatives, including both internal and external creative services teams, ensuring consistent, cohesive communication. He will report to Matt Lake, Cablevision’s senior vice president of marketing and advertising.

    Charter Communications: Jodi Robinson has been named Senior Vice President, User Experience Design and Development at Charter in Denver. She was formerly at Starz as Vice President of Internet and Interactive Technology.

    Warner Bros.: Warner Bros. 20 year veteran Ed Romano has been promoted to the newly created post of Vice Chairman. He will work closely with CEO and Chairman Kevin Tsujihara and focus on what Tsujihara calls, “growth strategies for the Studio, including international expansion, digital transition and resource reallocation from mature businesses to high opportunity, content-creating divisions.” Kim Williams will be stepping in as the new CFO, making the leap to the WB after two years as the CFO at CORE Media Group.

    FILM

    ArsenalFX: Sean Starkweather will be the new creative director at ArsenalFX. He had been creative director at Stardust. Blumhouse Productions: Ryan Turek is the New Director of Development at Blumhouse, formerly an editor at Shock Till You Drop.

    Cinedigm: Kristin Harris has been promoted from director to executive director of theatrical releasing at Cinedigm and will be reporting to evp of acquisitions Yolanda Macias. Harris will be in charge of Cinedigm’s growing focus on star-driven co-productions with label partners. She has played key roles in the acquisition of Short Term 12, Open Windows, and The Invisible War.

    Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact): Pact, the UK trade association representing and promoting the commercial interests of independent creative content producers, has elected current Executive Chair of Emerald Films, Sara Geater as the new Pact Chair from January 2015. Her career has spanned multiple platforms on both the business and creative ends. She was previously the CEO of FremantleMedia UK, Director of Rights and Business Affairs at the BBC, and Head of Production at Film Four.

    Story Mining and Supply: Luke Parker Bowles has been named the head of production at Story and was previously the Executive Vice President, Production at Open Road Integrated Media.

    Millennium Entertainment: Vincent Scordino is the new Senior Vice President, Marketing, Millennium Entertainment and was formerly at Cinedigm as the Senior Vice President, Theatrical Acquisitions and Releasing.

    Mandeville Films: Noah Weinstein is the new Director of Development at Mandeville Films, previously held the same title at Schorr Pictures.

    TELEVISION

    CBS: Longtime NBC late-night exec Nick Bernstein its new VP Late Night Programming, West Coast for CBS.  In the newly created post, he will serve both CBS Entertainment and CBS Television Studios. He will report to Nina Tassler, Chairman, CBS Entertainment, and David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios.

    CBS: Kimberly Godwin has been named senior broadcast producer of CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley on CBS, promoted from senior producer.)

    AGENCIES, MANAGEMENT COMPANIES, PUBLIC RELATIONS, AND LAW FIRMS

    OddLot Entertainment (OLE):  Kevin Garrett Monroe has joined OddLot in the position of EVP of Business and Legal Affairs. Kevin has held key positions in Business and Legal Affairs at Focus Features/FilmDistrict as well as with Overture/Relativity and The Walt Disney Motion Picture Group.

    UTA: Lisa Stein has been promoted to Director of Corporate Communications at UTA from manager. Atlas Entertainment: Producer Charles Roven is expanding Atlas to include a management subsidiary to be headed by veteran manager Dave Fleming. Fleming met Roven while working at The Gold/Miller Company (not to be confused with the Miller/Gold Agency). Roven has since worked for Miller at Mosaic Media Group.

    Sucherman Consulting Group: 20 year veteran Richard Tackenberg has joined Sucherman, the premier advisory and executive search firm for the media and entertainment industries, as a Senior Consultant in its Los Angeles office.  He will report to Jamie Waldron, Executive Vice President in charge of Executive Search and Sucherman’s LA Office.

    Falco Ink:Julie Chappel has been named an account executive at Falco along with Monica Delamater. Both were promoted from the publicist position.

    72andSunny: Martin Ringqvist will be serving as group creative director at MDC Partners' 72andSunny and be based in its flagship Los Angeles office. He was formerly a copywriter and senior partner at Swedish shop Forsman and Bodenfors, where he was a copywriter and senior partner. He is best known for the Volvo Jean Claude Van Damme online ad.

    DDB: Worldwide marketing communications network DDB has named Jacques Blanchet group account director at DDB Canada, and Arnaud Deneux and Arnaud Tartier as art directors.

    Warner Bros. Pictures: Ernie Johnston has been promoted from Vice President to Senior Vice President, Promotions and Field Publicity at Warner Bros. Pictures.

    CABLE

    Fusion: The millennial-focused cable channel and digital media outlet, Fusion, has hired four new staffers: Hillary Frey, currently editorial director for NBCNews.com, to serve as its new director of global news operations, former NBC News senior editor Danielle Friedman will oversee coverage of health, sex and relationships,writer and stand-up comedian Akilah Hughes, will write and produce videos under director of culture coverage Dodai Stewart, and documentary filmmaker Orlando de Guzman is joining Fusion's breaking news video team as a shooter and producer, working with Tim Pool.

    E!: John Najarian was tapped to be the executive vice president of news and digital with additional oversight of the network’s news division and E! News series, and will continue to head its digital operations. Jen Neal was also named executive vice president of marketing for E! Entertainment and Esquire Network. In addition to her existing responsibilities as head of E! marketing she will now oversee branding and marketing for Esquire Network. Fox News: Kevin Corke has been named Washington D.C. correspondent at Fox News, snapped up from NBC News where he was the White House correspondent. NBC News: Janelle Rodriguez has been named senior vice president, editorial, at NBC News, she had formerly been the vice president, programming, at CNN.

    ABC Family: Kenny Miller is the new Senior Vice President, Digital Programming and Product, ABC Family.

    Pivot: Kelsey Balance is now the manager of original programming at Pivot.

    Starz: Brian Huggins is the new Vice President, Finance at Starz. Sue Provan is now the Vice President of Accounting. Lionsgate: David Luner is the new Executive Vice President handling Worldwide TV Marketing at Lionsgate.

    WEtv: Suzanne Gladstone Murch is the newVice President, Original Programming, Angela Molloy is the new Vice President of Development and David Stefanou is the new Vice President of Development in the New York offices.

    Nickelodeon: Gerald Raines has been named the Senior Vice President, Recreation Business Development, Nickelodeon up from the Vice President position.

    MUSIC

    UMG’s Capitol Music Group: Jennie Boddy and Erin Cooney will serve as the new VPs of Publicity after the department’s restructuring.

    Universal Music Group: Mike Tunnicliffe has been tapped to be the new EVP of Business Developments and Partnerships. Tunnicliffe was previously Chief Growth and Marketing Officer at GroupM.

    ADVERTISING

    The Marketing Arm: Greg Gibson has been named business development manager at The Marketing Arm, a marketing and promotions agency owned by Omnicom Group. He was formerly the business development manager at Marchex. MDC's CP&B: Veteran Wieden and Kennedy Creative Director Kevin Jones has been named the top creative in CPandB’s Los Angeles office, which works on accounts such as Charles Schwab, and Grey Poupon. As executive creative director, Mr. Jones will run creative for the L.A. office without a co-executive creative director as CCO Rob Reilly left last year, and the agency decided not to fill his post. Earlier this year, CPandB won the massive global Infiniti account and will open an office in China to aid in facilitations.


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    Exec Shuffle For 12/12/14: IM Global Ventures Into Music, Fox 21, DreamWorks Animation Expands Into Asia, and More

    Cablevision and Warner Bros. also get in on the action, as do Blumhouse, Cinedigm and Millennium, among others. (SSN)

    Leak Of Sony Emails Leads To an Apology From Amy Pascal

    After the embarrassing, racially-tinged emails about President Obama’s imagined movie tastes see the light of day, the studio head says of them that they, “are not an accurate reflection of who I am.” (NYT)

    Today’s “All Hands” Town Hall Meeting At Sony Has Been Postponed, Due To Weather

    The briefing about the massive hacking attack that occurred was originally scheduled for this afternoon, but was pushed to Monday because of the heavy rains expected today. Employees were notified yesterday afternoon. (VAR)

    Hearst Picks Up a Big Piece Of DWA’s AwesomenessTV For a Nice Chunk Of Change

    The company pays $81.25 million for a 25 percent stake in the YouTube multichannel network, which is currently valued at $325 million. DreamWorks Animation, which purchased the company in May 2013 for $33 million, will retain majority ownership. (THR)

    The Warner Bros. Version Of ‘The Jungle Book’ Has Been Pushed Back a Year, To 2017

    This one, to be directed by Andy Serkis, was pushed from October 21st, 2016 to October 6th, 2017, while Disney’s version, directed by Jon Favreau, is still on target for October 9th, 2015. (COL)

    Sega Sees the Future, and It Involves Turning Its Video Game Properties Into TV Shows and Movies

    The company has enlisted another entity, Stories International, to help it develop properties like Shinobi and Altered Beast for the big and small screens, as Ubisoft has done previously. (SF)

    USA Network Continues To Explore Its Dark Side, Picks Up ‘The Terrestrial’ Drama From ‘Annabelle’ Writer

    Gary Dauberman’s new drama focuses on a schizophrenic man who, after his estranged teenage daughter goes missing, is forced to confront his troubled past as he begins to believe his daughter’s kidnappers are the same as the ones that abducted him 10 years prior: aliens. (DH)

    Blair Underwood Lands a Major Role In an Upcoming Episode of ‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

    The longtime TV star will recur during Season 2 as May’s estranged ex-husband, Dr. Andrew Garner, whom we first will meet in a March episode. (SAA)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The Hobbit — The Battle Of the Five Armies’

    A few days before the film’s release comes the final trailer for the upcoming finale to the Hobbit trilogy. The film, starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Evangeline Lilly and Benedict Cumberbatch hits theaters on Wednesday. (TP)

    Screenwriters: ‘Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang’

    The 126-page script, subtitled “You’ll Never Die In This Town Again,” by Shane Black, dated November 21, 2003. (DS)

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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    BELOW THE LINE: ‘THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL’

    Awards 2015: The Below the Line Artists Take SSN Behind the Building Of ‘The grand Budapest Hotel’

    For his latest film, Wes Anderson set his quirky caper almost entirely in the hotel of a fictional European town, in a story that spans several decades. The film bears his signature style including a storybook aesthetic, a handmade quality, quick cuts and bright colors. (SSN)

    ROI Insight: How Does ‘Exodus’ Compare With Other Biblical Epics At the Box Office? Will History Repeat Itself?

    Once a popular sub-genre, biblical epics had fallen out of favor, until studios started bringing them back as of late, with The Passion of the Christ, Noah, and Son of God, to name a few.  (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    Never Mind the Denials, the House Intel Committee Chair Thinks North Korea Is Behind the Sony Hack

    Outgoing House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Rogers (R-Mich) says,“I would argue, as a former FBI guy, that when a nation state says that this group who doesn’t know who we are but did this on behalf of the North Korean people … and we appreciate it…As we would say in the FBI, ‘That is a clue.’” (DH)

    Aaron Sorkin, Seth Rogen and Other Celebs Go Public To Defend Amy Pascal

    The writer of the Jobs project that was at the center of a heated email exchange between Pascal and producer Scott Rudin has come forward to voice support for the embattled studio chief. (THR)

    With ‘Community’ In His Rearview Mirror, Donald Glover Is Heading To ‘Atlanta’

    FX Networks has given a pilot order to Atlanta, a half-hour that Glover has been developing since 2013. He will EP and also star as one half of the central duo: two cousins, with wildly different takes on life, navigating the Atlanta rap scene. (TLF)

    In What Should Be Not At All Surprising News, It Seems Every Young Actress In Hollywood Wants To Be In Paul Feig’s ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot

    Names like Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Lizzy Caplan, Amy Schumer and Rebel Wilson have been discussed, as well as Melissa McCarthy and Gillian Anderson, who has said she definitely would like to suit up for Feig’s comedy. (TP)

    Penny Marshall Is Finally Getting Back In the Director’s Chair, and It’s Familiar Subject Matter

    The director of A League Of Their Own is taking on helming duties for Effa, a biopic of Effa Manley, the first woman to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s Marshall’s first film in 13 years. (WAH)

    If You Were Hoping To Get More ‘Star Wars’ Info, Like Character Names, Today’s Your Lucky Day

    A new series of collectible trading cards have revealed the names of several characters in the film, including those played by Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, as well as BB-8, that rolling droid. (TFS)

    The Berlinale Announces Its First Wave Of Titles For the 2015 Edition

    The 65th Berlin International Film Festival, which runs February 5th through the 15th, released a list of its Generation 2015 films. It includes five feature-length films and two shorter ones “spanning many distinct genres and styles.” (TOH)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’

    The first trailer from comedy sequel features stars Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Adam Scott. Steve Pink directs the film, which hits theaters February 20th, 2015 (EMP)

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    Spotlight: “Bleed For Love” & “Unfinished Song” Could End Diane Warren’s Runner-Up Streak

    Diane Warren has won two Grammys and a Golden Globe, and she’s a six-time Academy Award nominee in the Best Original Song category. SSN spoke with Warren last awards season about how the songs for Winnie Mandela and Unfinished Song came about. (SSN)

    Spotlight: Producer Jason Blum Talks Oculus, Purge Anarchy & Turning Big Scares into Big Profits

    Jason Blum was the grand kingpin of 2014's SXSW Festival with two debut films, Oculus and Creep, and delivered one of the festival’s inaugural keynote speeches. SSN spoke with Blum about Oculus, distribution models, his forthcoming remake of The Town That Dreaded Sundown, and more. (SSN)

    From Vision to Reality: Inside ‘Oz The Great and the Powerful’ with Costume Designer Michael Kutsche

    In this installment of our Vision to Reality series from Awards 2014, Costume Designer Michael Kutsche describes the influences and ideas behind the designs that led to the finished costumes in his film Oz the Great and the Powerful. (SSN)

    Emmy Spotlight: Scandal’s Kerry Washington Talks Pregnancy On-Set & the Evolution of Olivia Pope

    From Emmys 2014, Washington talks to SSN about her role, what it was like shooting last season while pregnant, and why the so-called “Kerry Washington Effect” is very misleading. (SSN)

    SSN A-List Spotlight: Brooklyn Weaver on Building a Brand & Discovering New Voices

    As CEO of Energy Entertainment, Brooklyn Weaver has weathered the writers’ strike and the massive shift in the business that occurred directly afterwards. In 2011, he rebooted his company, focusing on his core brand as it related to his sensibilities and track record; here is SSN’s interview with Weaver. (SSN)

    Spotlight: Inside Amy Schumer’s Success – No Ego, Hard Work & Provocation

    Amy Schumer, 32, spoke to SSN about what she learned from other female showrunners, and her upcoming film project with Judd Apatow. (SSN)

    Spotlight: Alan Ladd, Jr. on Championing ‘Star Wars’ & the Highs and Lows of a Legendary Career

    Alan Ladd, Jr.—aka “Laddie”—started as an agent and producer before becoming Head of Creative Affairs and then Pres. of Twentieth Century Fox, championing Star Wars, All That Jazz, Alien and Breaking Away. He eventually went back to producing via The Ladd Company. SSN spoke to Ladd about his time at Twentieth Century Fox, budget problems with Star Wars, and the changes he’s seen within the studio system. (SSN)

    24 Hours with ‘House of Lies’ Creator & Showrunner Matthew Carnahan

    Matthew Carnahan took a moment to sit down with SSN and gave us the rundown on a typical day, writing while an episode is shot in Los Angeles. How does he manage to fit in surfing, business meetings, and helping with homework while writing a show and a film in one day? Plenty of coffee. (SSN)

    From Vision to Reality: Inside ‘The Book of Life’ With Filmmakers Jorge Gutierrez and Guillermo Del Toro

    The writer-director and producer of the Fox animated film examine their process and how they executed this unique project. (SSN)

    Uber-Producer Greg Berlanti Flashes Through Pilot Season and Divulges What He’s Learned from Reinventing His Career

    The Writer-Producer-Director has carved out a nice corner of the medium with character-driven dramas through his Warner Bros.-based Berlanti Productions. (SSN)

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    Exodus Flees the Competition To Take Top Spot At This Weekend’s Box Office

    Ridley Scott’s Bible epic pulls in $24 million to knock The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 out of first place for the first time since it opened in November. Penguins of Madagascar came in third. (SSN)

    The Morality, Sexism and Lawfulness Of Media Outlets That Publish Sony's Emails

    The thinking here is, if it was a crime to publish the photos from the celebrity phone hack, why is it okay to publish the emails from Sony? This piece suggests the media is engaging in total hypocrisy. (BB)

    Contrary To Published Reports, Sony Films Are Still Shooting, In Spite Of Hack

    The James Bond film Spectre is shooting in the UK; the untitled Peter Landesman-directed film about football concussions that stars Will Smith is shooting in Pittsburgh, and YA novel adaptation The Fifth Wave,  about an alien invasion, is shooting in Atlanta. (DH)

    The Critics’ Choice Awards Nominations Have Been Announced. Did Your Film Make the List?

    Birdman again leads the way with 13 nominations, while The Grand Budapest Hotel lands 11 and Boyhood gets eight, further showing who leads the pack in this year’s awards race. (CC)

    Another Travesty Coming Out Of the Sony Hack: ‘Spectre’ Script Among Things Stolen

    The next Bond film’s producers, EON Productions, has put out a rather straightforward warning that they will take stiff legal action against anyone who might want to publish the screenplay. (THR)

    It’s Official: There Are 79 Original Songs and 114 Original Scores In Contention For the Oscar Race

    “Everything Is Awesome” might be the front runner for the top song, but the list of scores is impressive and shows it is entirely possible that Alexandre Desplat could end up with two nods for Best Score. (COL)

    A Short List Has Emerged For Who Will Play Benedict Cumberbatch’s Mentor In That ‘Doctor Strange’ Movie

    Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy are the three actors currently in the running to play The Ancient One in the flick, which will be directed by Scott Derrickson for a November 4th, 2016 release. (TP)

    That ‘King Kong’ Prequel Has Been Re-Titled and Moved Back to 2017

    The movie formerly known as Skull Island is now called Kong: Skull Island, and has been moved off its originally scheduled November 4th, 2016 date to the following March. Jordan Vogt-Roberts will direct. (GR)

    First Look: ‘The Jungle Book’

    The initial look at the concept art for Jon Favreau’s retelling of the timeless Rudyard Kipling story. The Disney film will swing into theaters October 9th, 2015. (SF)

    Screenwriters: Dream Career Toolkit — What Win/Win Really Means

    If you grow up with the idea that there is always a winner and a loser in every competitive situation, that life is a zero sum game, how do you reconcile the concept of everyone winning?What does that look like? (SM)

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    at arrivals for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL Premiere, The Ziegfeld Theatre, New York, NY December 19, 2011. Photo By: Harmon Seare/Everett Collection

    Note- There were not any films scheduled to start production this week mainly due to the holiday season.

    WRAPS

    Genius 12/12/2014 Logline: A chronicle of Max Perkins's time as the book editor at Scribner, where he oversaw works by Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others. Production Companies: Michael Grandage Company, Desert Wolf Productions Director: Michael Grandage Executive Producer(s): Tim Bevan Producer(s): John Logan, Michael Grandage, James Bierman Cast: Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Guy Pearce, Dominic West Writer(s): John Logan Details: Based on the book "Max Perkins: Editor of Genius" written by A. Scott Berg and originally published in 1978. SSN Insight: Sean Penn was previously attached to the role of Max Perkins. Bill Pohlad was previously attached to direct and produce through River Road Entertainment.

    Girl Flu 12/12/2014 Logline: When young Bird moves from the San Fernando Valley to Echo Park, over the course of one challenging week she gets her first period, finds herself abandoned by her immature stoner of a mom, and finds out that she'll never be able to return to the Valley. Production Company: Free Chicken Films Director: Dorie Barton Executive Producer(s): Paul Schiff, Richard Hull Producer(s): David K Wilson, Jay Lowi Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Jade Pettyjohn, Heather Matarazzo, Jeremy Sisto, Judy Reyes Writer(s): Dori Barton SSN Insight: The film will shoot in and around Los Angeles. The film marks Dori Barton’s feature directorial debut. She was previously cast in All About Steve and Meet the Fockers.

    I Saw the Light 12/12/2014 Logline: The story of the brief, turbulent life of 1950s country music star Hank Williams, who wrestled with alcohol, chronic back pain, a tempestuous marriage, and his own monumental talents before his shocking, sudden death at age 29. Production Companies: Bron Studios, 821 Entertainment Group, RatPac Entertainment, Creative Wealth Media Finance Director: Marc Abraham Executive Producer(s): James Packer Producer(s): Marc Abraham, Aaron Gilbert, Brett Ratner, Eric A Geadelmann, G Marq Roswell Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Cherry Jones, Wrenn Schmidt, Maddie Hasson Writer(s): Marc Abraham Details: Based on the book "Hank Williams: The Biography" by Colin Escott; published by Back Bay Books (first published 1994). SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Strike Entertainment with Eric Newman and Anastasia Brown producing.

    Life at These Speeds 12/14/2014 Logline: A moving story about forgiveness and hope, it follows a teenager from the Heartland who loses his best friends in an accident and channels his grief into running, becoming a high school track star. Production Companies: Cinema Revival, Inc., Culmination Productions Director: Leif Tilden Executive Producer(s): Sam Rockwell Producer(s): Scott William Alvarez, Peter Holden, Frank Vitolo, Tom Butterfield Cast: Graham Rogers, Billy Crudup, Yul Vasquez, Melanie Lynskey, Liana Liberato Writer(s): Marc Novak Details: Based on the novel "Life at These Speeds" written by Jeremy Jackson and published by Thomas Dunne Books on July 5, 2002. SSN Insight: Justin Long previously attached to star. Sam Rockwell previously attached to star.

    Room 12/15/2014 Logline: In a tale of resilience and love, a mother musters courage and resources to make sure that her little boy enjoys his childhood, despite their having being held captive in a small, single room since before the boy was born. Production Companies: Film4, Irish Film Board, Element Pictures, No Trace Camping Director: Lenny Abrahamson Executive Producer(s): Andrew Lowe, Tessa Ross, Sue Bruce-Smith, Rose Garnett, Jeff Arkuss Producer(s): Ed Guiney, David Gross Cast: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, William H. Macy Writer(s): Emma Donoghue Details: Based on the novel "Room" written by Emma Donoghue and published by Little, Brown and Co. in 2010.

    Skiptrace 12/15/2014 Logline: A Hong Kong detective is given the job of tracking down an American gambler who is on the run, and the two men form an unlikely partnership to catch a notorious criminal. Production Company: Talent International Film Company Director: Renny Harlin Executive Producer(s): Yang Zhenhua, Liu Xiaolin Producer(s): Jackie Chan, David Gerson, Charlie Coker, Esmond Ren, Damien Saccani Cast: Jackie Chan, Fan Bingbing, Johnny Knoxville Writer(s): Rodney Rothman, Derek Elliott, Jack Donaldson, Geoff Moore, David Posamentier SSN Insight: Sam Fell was previously attached to direct. Seann William Scott was previously attached to co-star in the role played by Johnny Knoxville. Previously in development with Exclusive Media.

    The Black Prince 12/15/2014 Logline: The last Sikh prince of Punjab is placed on the throne at five, but when India is annexed to the British, he is sent to England and never allowed to return to his home. Production Company: Brillstein Entertainment Partners Director: Kavi Raz Producer(s): Jai Khanna Cast: Satinder Sartaaj, Shabana Azmi, David Essex, Jason Flemyng, Rupert Everett Writer(s): Kavi Raz SSN Insight: Project is bilingual, in English and Hindi. The film’s estimated budget is $5 million. Brillstein will help coordinate the international cast, provide crew and production logistics, as well as assist in securing international sales. The project was originally scheduled to wrap on November 22, 2014.

    The Call Up 12/13/2014 Logline: A group of gamers invited to test out a virtual reality game find themselves fighting for their lives. Production Companies: Stigma Films, Red and Black Films Director: Charles Barker Executive Producer(s): Alan Martin, Richard Holmes Producer(s): Matt Wilkinson, John Giwa-Amu Cast: Max Deacon, Morfydd Clark, Ali Cook, Parker Sawyers, Tom Benedict Knight Writer(s): Charles Barker SSN Insight: Script by Charles Barker was featured on the 2011 Brit List (the U.K. equivalent of the Black List).

    The Cellar (also titled Valencia) 12/15/2014 Logline: A young woman wakes up after a terrible accident to find that she's locked in a cellar with a doomsday prepper, who insists that he saved her life and that the world outside is uninhabitable following an apocalyptic catastrophe. Uncertain what to believe, the woman soon determines that she must escape at any cost. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company: Bad Robot Director: Dan Trachtenberg Producer(s): J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk Cast: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr. Writer(s): Daniel Casey, Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken SSN Insight: The screenplay was originally titled The Cellar and has been codenamed Valencia by Bad Robot, but still lacks an official title (per Slashfilm). In accordance with other Insurge projects, the film has an estimated budget of $5 million to meet the company’s goal of producing high concept, small budget films.

    The Confirmation 12/11/2014 Logline: Everything goes wrong when 8-year-old Anthony and his estranged father wind up spending two days together, but it leads to them forging a relationship. Production Companies: Lighthouse Pictures , Bungalow Media + Entertainment, Great Point Media Director: Bob Nelson Executive Producer(s): Robert Halmi Jr., Jim Reeve, Robert Friedman Producer(s): Bob Nelson, Todd Hoffman Cast: Clive Owen, Jaeden Lieberher, Maria Bello, Patton Oswalt, Tim Blake Nelson Writer(s): Bob Nelson SSN Insight: The project marks Nebraska scribe, Bob Nelson’s directorial debut. Bungalow Media + Entertainment, a new company focused on development, production, and distribution has partnered with him. Bungalow also manages writers and directors under its Storied Media Group banner. Lighthouse Pictures will oversee production in Canada.

    The Dressmaker 12/13/2014 Logline: A glamorous woman returns to her small town in rural Australia. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms the women and exacts sweet revenge on those who did her wrong. Production Companies: Mirabella Productions, Screen NSW, Film Art Media Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse Executive Producer(s): Hugo Grumbar, Tim Haslam, Gavin Poolman, Michael Shyjka Producer(s): Sue Maslin Cast: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Caroline Goodall Writer(s): Jocelyn Moorhouse Details: Based on the novel "The Dressmaker" written by Rosalie Ham and published in 2000 by Duffy and Snellgrove. SSN Insight: Isla Fisher and Elizabeth Debicki were previously attached to the cast, but had to exit the project for scheduling reasons. Embankment Films, in charge of distribution sales, presented footage from the film at this year’s AFM.

    Three Generations 12/15/2014 Logline: A teen transitioning from male to female, her single mother and her lesbian grandmother live under one roof in New York City. Production Companies: InFilm Productions, Big Beach Director: Gaby Dellal Executive Producer(s): Naomi Watts, Leah Holzer, Daniele Melia, Peter Pastorelli Producer(s): Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Dorothy Berwin Cast: Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts, Susan Sarandon Writer(s): Nikole Beckwith SSN Insight: IM Global launched international sales at AFM with ICM Partners handling the domestic end. Big Beach has previously produced and financed The Kings of Summer, Safety Not Guaranteed and Little Miss Sunshine under founders Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub’s leadership.


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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    MID-SEASON REPORT

    Awards 2015: He Said/She Said — Discussing the Chances Of ‘Unbroken,’ ‘Into the Woods,’ 'Whiplash’ and Others In Our Mid-Season Report

    This week, senior editor Neil Turitz and senior staff writer Dina Gachman again engage in a war of words over everything that’s happened thus far in awards season, and speculate about what’s to come. In a most entertaining fashion, of course. (SSN)

    On the Set For 12/15/14: J.J. Abrams Wraps ‘The Cellar,’ Tom Hiddleston Finishes ‘I Saw the Light,’ and More

    While nothing new started shooting this week, due to the holidays and all, a good number of projects finished principal photography, just in time for said holidays. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    Michael Lynton Announces At the Sony Town Hall Meeting: “Hackers Won’t Take Us Down"

    The two meetings, postponed from Friday due to the heavy rains, were each approximately 20 minutes and included a brief introduction by SPE co-chairman Amy Pascal who addressed her leaked emails, apologizing for some of her remarks. (DH)

    If It’s December, It Must Be Time For “The Black List” To Be Announced. Did Your Script Make It?

    This is the 10th annual edition of the list, which features the year's best in un-produced scripts. The 70 screenplays were chosen by a group of 250 development executives, agents and other insiders. (IW)

    From the, “If At First You Don’t Succeed” File: Universal Is Considering Another Go At ‘Miami Vice’

    Reports say that the studio is out to screenwriters, accepting pitches for a potential reboot, though no word if Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx might return, after performing in the 2006 feature film adaptation of the popular ‘80s TV show. (SAA)

    In the Wake Of Roberto Orci’s Departure, Four Directors Are On the Shortlist For the ‘Star Trek 3’ Gig

    Rupert Wyatt is apparently the top choice for the job, although Morten Tyldum, Daniel Espinosa and Justin Lin, are all under consideration. The movie is scheduled to come out in 2016. (GR)

    David Oyelowo Might Get an Oscar Nod For Best Actor, But He’s Definitely Working With Lupita Nyong’o

    The Selma star will join the 12 Years a Slave Oscar winner in Americanah, based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel, about Ifemelu, her early life in Nigeria, her expatriate experience working in America, and her later return to her home country. (EMP)

    No More ‘Mad Men’? No Problem For Christina Hendricks, Who Lines Up Her Next Gig

    The Emmy-nominated actress is joining Cameron Crowe's Showtime pilot Roadies. The one-hour comedy will follow a touring rock band through the eyes of the titular crew members who make it all happen. Hendricks will play Shelli, the band’s production manager who is "married to her job," but tough and emotional. (HP)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Knight Of Cups’

    The first trailer for the latest film by Terrence Malick, the film stars Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Antonio Banderas and Brian Dennehy, and will debut at February’s Berlin Film Festival. (COL)

    The Oral History Of ‘Boogie Nights’ You Never Knew You Really Wanted

    Seventeen years after the release of the movie that jumpstarted writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s career and made a star out of Mark Wahlberg, comes a look at how it all came together from a bunch of the people who were there. (GL)

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    Seven Films Make the Academy Shortlist For a Potential Hair and Makeup Nomination

    Among the lucky few are Foxcatcher, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Theory of Everything. Of the seven films on the shortlist, three will eventually earn nominations. (TOH)

    Aaron Sorkin Feels Strongly That the Media Should Not Be Covering Information Leaked In the Sony Hack

    In an op-ed printed in Sunday’s New York Times, the Emmy and Academy Award-winning writer calls news outlets who print the info, “is morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable.” (HP)

    Tom Hanks Is Going To Enter ‘The Circle’ With ‘The Spectacular Now’s James Ponsoldt

    Hanks will star and produce, along with partner Gary Goetzman, while Ponsoldt adapted Dave Eggers’ novel and will direct the film. Thriller is about the perils of life in a digital age where privacy is essentially obsolete. (DH)

    Alan Dershowitz Joins Roman Polanski’s Legal Team, Hopes To End Statutory Rape Case

    The famed lawyer filed a motion in Los Angeles Superior Court requesting permission to represent Polanski, while also demanding a hearing to close the case, based in part on fresh testimony that Judge Peter Espinoza acted unethically and prejudiced matters related to the case. (HE)

    After a Lengthy Search, Steven Spileberg Has Found His Sophie For ‘The BFG’

    Newcomer Ruby Barnhill has been selected to play the young girl in the adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel, to be directed by Spielberg and starring Mark Rylance as the friendly giant of the title. (VAR)

    J.K. Simmons Does Not Only Have an Oscar Nomination In His Near Future, But Also a Starring Role In ‘Kong: Skull Island’

    The Whiplash star will join Tom Hiddleston in the film, which will start shooting in 2015 for a March 10th, 2017 release. Godzilla scribe Max Borenstein and Flight writer John Gatins are writing the film, which will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. (SF)

    That ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Mini-Series Is Now Officially a Go At Netflix

    A sequel series from the 2001 comedy cult hit is moving forward on the online streaming service, with co-writer/director David Wain overseeing, along with co-writer Michael Showalter and Jonathan Stern, Peter Principato, and Howard Bernstein. (COL)

    More Than a Month Before the Festival Actually Opens, Sundance 2015 Already Has Its First Sale

    Slow West, starring Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee, has found a U.S. home at A24 and DIRECTV. The film will premiere in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the festival, and comes from first-time feature filmmaker John Maclean. (IW)

    So, It Looks Like It’ll Be One Season and Out For Fox’s ‘Gracepoint’

    The remake of the hit British series Broadchurch completed its first and only season last week to middling ratings. The show had always been billed as a “limited series,” so no second season was ever necessarily part of the plan. (ITV)

    Online Film School: Six Filmmaking Tips From Mike Nichols

    The late legend was known as an actor’s director and was one of the most revered filmmakers of the last half century. He leaves behind an incredible legacy. (FSR)

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