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    liam neeson taken 3

    Liam Neeson’s Particular Set Of Skills Drives Yet Another Box Office Win

    The third and “final” installment of the Taken series grossed $40.4 million to easily come out on top over a week field of openers. Selma comes in second at $11.2 million, with Into the Woods taking third. (BO)

    ‘Boyhood’ and ‘Grand Budapest’ Win Big At Golden Globes

    Richard Linklater takes Best Director, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore and Amy Adams win acting awards, while Jeffrey Tambor and Transparent win big on the TV side. THR has the complete list of winners. (THR)

    Another Sundance Film Sells Before the Festival Even Starts

    Noah Baumbach’s Mistress America, starring Greta Gerwig and newcomer Lola Kirke, has sold to Fox Searchlight ahead of its Sundance premiere later this month. Baumbach and Gerwig co-wrote the script, as well. (TOH)

    David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o Circle ‘Queen Of Katwe’

    Project tells the true story of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi. Mira Nair is directing “Queen” from a William Wheeler script. Disney is planning to start shooting in the spring in South Africa and Uganda. (VAR)

    Bradley Cooper Is Going To Add “Director” To His Already Impressive Resumé

    The actor, who also produced his current hit film American Sniper, is looking to star in and direct Honeymoon With Harry. Robert De Niro, who has worked with Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, Limitless and American Hustle, will co-star. (SF)

    That ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff Film Will Be Needing a New Writer

    In the wake of Michael Arndt leaving Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year, Gary Whitta has now left the still-untitled standalone film. Whitta had worked on the project for a year with director Gareth Edwards. The film is set for a December 16th, 2016 release. (COL)

    From Script To an Actual Pilot: Fox Green Lights ‘Minority Report’ 

    The project will be a female-led sequel to the Steven Spielberg-directed, Tom Cruise-starring 2002 film, and will take place 10 years after the events in that film. Show will follow a “precog” trying to get on with his life who hooks up with a detective haunted by her past. (UR)

    Filmmaker Oliver Daly’s ‘Miles’ Short Is Being Re-Packaged as a Feature

    The writer-director signed with WME, which is going to help him turn the cutting-edge short about the blurring of the boundaries of humanity and technology, into a full-length dramatic feature film. (DH)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Run All Night’

    The first look at the upcoming thriller, starring Liam Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, and Ed Harris,  directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, and in theaters April 17th. (GR)

    Screenwriters: Legally Speaking, It Depends — A Writer’s Web Presence

    There is an aspect of being a modern writer that’s staring you right in the face at this moment and you might be wondering how to make use of it to your advantage without screwing up your career or worse. (SM)

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    Ben-Hur (Remake) 1/12/2015 Logline: A young Ben-Hur, who encounters Jesus Christ, finds himself betrayed by his best friend but survives after being sold into slavery and extracts revenge. Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Mark Burnett Productions, Point Blank Productions, The Sean Daniel Company Director: Timur Bekmambetov Executive Producer(s): Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, Jason F. Brown, John Ridley Producer(s): Sean Daniel, Joni Levin, Mark Burnett Cast: Jack Huston, Nazanin Boniadi, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Pedro Pascal Writer(s): John Ridley, Keith Clarke Details: Based on the novel "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ," written by Lew Wallace and published in 1880. Source material was previously adapted as "Ben-Hur" (1959) directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston and "Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ" (1925) directed by Fred Niblo and starring Ramon Novarro. SSN Insight: Gal Gadot was previously in negotiations to play Esther, but had to pass on the project because of production conflicts with "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," in which she played Wonder Woman, as well as ongoing commitments to play the superhero in upcoming Warner Bros. films.

    I.T. 1/12/2015 Logline: A successful book publisher is threatened by a disgruntled I.T. consultant. Production Company: Friendly Films Director: John Moore Producer(s): David Friendly, Craig J. Flores, Nicolas Chartier, Beau St. Clair Cast: Pierce Brosnan Writer(s): William Wisher, Daniel Kay SSN Insight: Stefano Sollima previously attached to direct. Voltage, which recently was behind the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-directed Don Jon, opened sales at AFM. Kay penned the script based on a concept by Friendly through his Friendly Films banner.

    Oppenheimer Strategies 1/12/2015 Logline: Three years after small-time operator Norman Oppenheimer befriends a young politician during a low point in his life, the young man becomes an influential world leader and Norman’s life drastically. Studio: Tadmor Entertainment Group, Fabrica de Cine, Cold Iron Pictures Director: Joseph Cedar Executive Producer(s): Matthew Malek, Amanda Marshall Producer(s): Oren Moverman, Lawrence Inglee, Eyal Rimmon, Gideon Tadmor, Gaston Pavlovich Cast: Richard Gere Writer(s): Joseph Cedar SSN Insight: shooting begins in NY. Gere recently starred in Time Out Of Mind directed by Moverman as well as the sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. He is repped by WME. ICM Partners will be handling domestic rights, while The Solution Entertainment Group is representing international rights.

    The Trust 1/12/2015 Logline: Two corrupt cops find a mysterious vault while investigating a drug operation and things get complicated when they decide to rob it. Studio: Electric Shadow Fund, Highland Film Group Production Company: Hassell Free Productions Director: Alex Brewer, Ben Brewer Executive Producer(s): Michael Nilon, Arianne Fraser, Delphine Perrier Producer(s): Molly Hassell, Braxton Pope Cast: Nicolas Cage, Jack Huston Writer(s): Ben Brewer, Adam Hirsch SSN Insight: Highland Film Group’s other films include Barely Lethal, starring Hailee Steinfeld, Samuel L. Jackson and Jessica Alba, Kevin Connolly's The Wright Girls and Your Right Mind, starring Katherine Heigl. Cage recently appeared in David Gordon Green's Joe and the thriller flick Frozen Ground. Huston, who was recently seen on Boardwalk Empire, was in American Hustle and Kill Your Darlings.

    Wraps

    Cook 1/9/2015 Logline: When a young girl and her dying mother are joined by a black, male cook who comes to live with them, little do they know that their lives are about to change forever. Inspired by true events and set in New Orleans, Cook tells the story of a most unique friendship built not on the color of one's skin but on the unconditional love within one's heart. Production Companies: Atmosphere Entertainment MM LLC, After Dark Films, Envision Media Arts, Cinelou Films Director: Bruce Beresford Executive Producer(s): Brad Kaplan, Yu Wei-Chung Producer(s): Lee Nelson, David Buelow, Courtney Solomon, Mark Canton Cast: Eddie Murphy, Britt Robertson, Natascha McElhone, Lucy Fry, Xavier Samuel Writer(s): Susan McMartin SSN Insight: David Anspaugh previously attached to direct. Samuel L. Jackson was previously mentioned to star. Uma Thurman and Juno Temple were previously mentioned as cast members.

    Yoga Hosers 1/5/2015 Logline: Two 15-year-old yoga enthusiasts in Manitoba with an after school job at a convenience store called Eh-2-Zed join forces with a legendary man-hunter to battle an ancient evil and fight for their lives, yoga-style. Production Companies: SModcast Pictures, Invincible Pictures, StarStream Entertainment, Abbolita Productions Director: Kevin Smith Executive Producer(s): Kim Leadford, Charles Bonan, Tim Nye Producer(s): Elizabeth Destro, Jordan Monsanto, Jennifer Schwalbach-Smith Cast: Lily-Rose Depp, Harley Quinn Smith, Michael Parks, Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment Writer(s): Kevin Smith Details: Project is a spin-off to "Tusk" (USA/2014) directed by Kevin Smith and starring Michael Parks, Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment, and like "Tusk" is based on a podcast. The film is the second installment in director Kevin Smith’s True North Trilogy of stories that are steeped in Canadian myths and culture, preceded by "Tusk" (2014) and reportedly to be followed by "Moose Jaws," which Smith described as "just 'Jaws' with a moose." SSN Insight: Director Kevin Smith, a comic book enthusiast who has written for Marvel and DC comics and who previously wrote an unproduced "Superman" screenplay, has said that he considers "Yoga Hosers" to be his first comic book-style movie, "but instead of yet another dude saving the day our antiheroes are the most feared and formidable creatures man has ever encountered: two 15-year-old girls."


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    SSN ORIGINALS

    Box Office: Did ‘Taken 3’s $40 Million Weekend Gross Rocket Liam Neeson To the Top Spot Among Action Stars?

    The modern-day action film is smarter, global, and attracts some of the most notable performers of stage and screen. With Liam Neeson’s inexplicably popular Taken franchise again at the top of the box office, it’s time to take a fresh look at the action hero. (SSN)

    The Up and Up: 10 YouTube Stars Primed For Crossover Into Film and TV

    YouTubers have been making headlines of late with deals left and right. Last week, comedienne Grace Helbig snagged her own primetime talk show on E!; earlier this year, Endemol’s digital arm inked a development deal with Michelle Phan, and comedian Flula Borg will be seen in Pitch Perfect 2. (SSN)

    On the Set For 1/12/15: Timur Bekmambatov Starts Lensing ‘Ben-Hur,’ Kevin Smith Wraps ‘Yoga Hosers’ and More

    Also starting up, new films for Pierce Brosnan, Richard Gere and Nicolas Cage, while Eddie Murphy’s Cook also wraps principal photography. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    Fans Of Stephen Colbert Now Can Circle September 8th On Their Calendars

    That’s the day the comedian will debut his new show, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, which will broadcast from the Ed Sullivan Theater. David Letterman is set to retire May 20th. (HP)

    Sony, DreamWorks and Disney Ask For Dismissal Of Wage-Fixing Class Action Suit

    The three animation studios and Blue Sky Studios all have slammed the suit by visual effects artists, who claim the companies are denying workers in the community better employment opportunities. (HE)

    Good News For Fans Of ‘Scorpion,’ ‘Madam Secretary’ and ‘NCIS: New Orleans’

    All three series, midway through their debut seasons, have earned second season renewals from CBS. The network’s fourth new hour-long drama series, Stalker, has been given a full season but not yet been renewed for a second. (DH)

    DC and The CW Are Getting In On the Female Superhero Thing

    The comic book powerhouse and the network, already in business together with hit shows Arrow and The Flash, will now team on an animated series centered on African-American hero Vixen. (SAA)

    It’s Official: Netflix Is Definitely Doing That ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Prequel

    David Wain and Michael Showalter, the writers of the original, are again behind the eight-episode series, which will be set in 1981 and will actually feature most of the original cast. It began shooting last week, so expect it later this year or early 2016. (EMP)

    Fox Is Circling a Host Of Young Actors To Play Young Jean Grey, Cyclops and Storm

    The latest X-Men movie, X-Men: Apocalypse, which will again be directed by the series’ original director Bryan Singer, is looking at names like Saoirse Ronan, Tye Sheridan, and  Alexandra Shipp, respectively. (TP)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘House of Cards’

    The first look at season three of the Golden Globe-winning Netflix series, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Season three becomes available on the streaming service next month. (MF)

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    The CW Has a Busy Weekend, Renewing Eight Different Shows For Next Year

    Network president Mark Pedowitz told media at the TCA that early renewals have been handed out for The Flash, Arrow, The 100, Vampire Diaries, Reign, Supernatural, The Originals and the Golden Globe-winning Jane The Virgin. (MF)

    Showtime Also Has a Big Weekend, Picking Up a Sixth Season Of ‘Shameless’ and Announcing Premiere Dates, To Boot

    The show, starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, will get another 12-episode run, while Nurse Jackie’s final season premieres April 12th, Happyish debuts its 10-episode first season April 26th, and the second season of Penny Dreadful debuts the same night. (ITV)

    Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’ Remake Just Added a High-Powered Pair Of Actors

    Wes Bentley and Michael C. Hall have joined the cast, which already features Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard and young Oakes Fegley, who will be playing the titular Pete. David Lowery is directing, for a 2016 release. (CB)

    Happy Together: Adam Sandler’s Madison Shingle Re-Ups With Sony TV

    The two companies extend their existing deal another three years, with Happy Madison now having eight different comedy projects set up at the various networks. Among them are the Real Genius adaptation of the 1985 movie and What Up Wahlbergs, inspired by the Wahlberg brothers as kids growing up. (DH)

    Idris Elba Is Wearing His Producing Hat, and He’s Taking On Edgar Allen Poe

    The actor best known for The Wire and Luther has optioned Marc Olden’s historic thriller Poe Must Die as a trilogy through his Green Door Production Co. The book was originally written in 1978, takes place in 1840s New York with Poe fighting both demonic forces and his personal demons. (VAR)

    Fifty Years Later, It’s Clearly Time For Another Remake, This One Being Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Alphaville’

    Twin Peaks cinematographer Frank Byers will be directing an update of the film from a script by Franc. Reyes. Coming from Studiocanal, it’s said to “present a fresh take on the story that aims to reflect what’s happening in today’s political climate.” (TFS)

    Speaking Of ‘Twin Peaks,’ David Lynch Confirms That Kyle MacLachlan Will Return For the Show’s New Season

    The long-awaited new season, which will appear on Showtime in 2016, goes into production later this year and will have Lynch behind the camera, directing every episode in the show’s limited run. (COL)

    Trailer Buzz, Part 1: Avengers: Age Of Ultron

    The latest look at one of the year’s most eagerly awaited films, starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, James Spader, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner, among others, and directed by Joss Whedon. Hits theaters May 1st. (HV)

    Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’

    The new trailer from the hotly anticipated erotic drama, starring Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson and Marcia Gay Harden, due in theaters next month.  (IM)

    Online Film School: Six Filmmaking Tips From Xavier Dolan

    The French Canadian wunderkind is looking at the possibility of his first Oscar nomination this week for his latest, and some say best work, Mommy. It will be released in the U.S. later this winter. (FSR)

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    Minority Report Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television, Paramount Television Production Company: Amblin Television Executive Producer(s): Max Borenstein, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey Writer(s): Max Borenstein, Steven Spielberg Logline: Ten years after the end of Precrime in D.C., one of the three Precogs struggles to lead a "normal" human life but remains haunted by visions of the future. He meets a detective haunted by her past who just may help him find a purpose to his gift. Details: Based on the film "Minority Report" (2002), directed by Steven Spielberg. SSN Insight: Fox had previously given an initial commitment of a put pilot with a giant sized $1 million dollar penalty in September 2014. The project has now been ordered to pilot. This is the first scripted pilot order for 20th Century Fox TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman since they added oversight of Fox to their duties in July.

    The Studio Network: Showtime Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Companies: Smokehouse Pictures, Fedora Entertainment Executive Producer(s): George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Peter Tolan, Michael Wimer Writer(s):Peter Tolan Logline: The story of a movie studio in the early 90s, when the studios were being bought up by conglomerates and corporate culture crashed head-on into Hollywood’s excesses. The two men running the studio are best friends who struggle to maintain their humanity while they stockpile power, fight off irrelevance, and mercilessly screw over anyone who gets in their way — including each other. SSN Insight: After a bidding war, Showtime landed the hot project and gave an initial commitment with a penalty.Clooney has previously executive produced 2000’s Fail Safe and 2005’s Unscripted .

    Wet Hot American Summer Network: Netflix Studio: Universal Television Production Company: Abominable Pictures Executive Producer(s): David Wain, Michael Showalter, Jonathan Stern, Peter Principato, Howard Bernstein Writer(s):David Wain, Michael Showalter Logline: Follows campers and camp counselors at a summer camp. Details: Based on the film "Wet Hot American Summer" (2001), directed by David Wain and starring Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler. SSN Insight: Netflix hasgiven an 8 episode limited series order. Filming started this week with the majority of the original cast including: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Michael Ian Black, Janeane Garofalo, Ken Marino, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon, Kevin Sussman and more. While the original film only earned $295,000 at the domestic box office on a $1.8 million dollar budget, it has achieved cult status over the years.

    51st State Network: Syfy Studio: Fox 21 TV Studios Production Companies: Chernin Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Craig Borten Writer(s): Craig Borten Logline: A one-hour drama set in a future prison society in Greeland. When the promise of conditional freedom is denied to the male and female prisoners, the inmates are driven to the edge of their humanity. SSN Insight: Part of Syfy’s continued efforts to shift the network to produce more traditional and serious science fiction content in the wake of a plethora of Sharknado like movies of the week.

    Jack Vale: Offline Network: HLN Executive Producer(s): Jack Vale Writer(s): Jack Vale Logline: A reality series featuring the long-time video prankster and his huge family. SSN Insight: Jack Vale is one of the first Youtubers to cross over to a traditional outlet, following news of Grace Helbig’s new talk show on E! (read SSN’s latest Up&Up to discover more Youtubers primed for cross-over). His Youtube channel currently has over 1.2 million subscribers. His son, Jake has his own YouTube channel with 125,000 subscribers.

    Carnival Row Network: Amazon Studio: Legendary, Amazon Studios Production Companies: Del Toro Productions Executive Producer(s): Guillermo del Toro, Gary Ungar Writer(s): Guillermo del Toro, Travis Beacham, Rene Echevarria Logline: The story is set in a noir, Victorian-tinged city where humans, fairies and other creatures co-exist. Details: Based on a feature script entitled A Killing on Carnival Row penned by Beacham and once set up at New Line with Neil Jordan attached to direct and at Warner Bros. with Tarsem Singh attached to direct. SSN Insight: Beacham penned del Toro’s Pacific Rim and the epic drama Hieroglyph that was recently picked up by Fox. Ungar served as co-EP along with del Toro on The Strain. In an interview with THR, del Toro noted, “We tried to do it for so long as a film that the rights reverted back to Travis as a basic story,” del Toro told THR. “And I’ve always talked about it to anyone that would listen.”

    Apocalypse Slough Network: Sky1 Studio: Sky1 Production Companies: Working Title Television, Bigballs Limited Executive Producer(s): Juliette Howell, Andrew Conrad, Cameron Roach, Lizzie Gray Writer(s): Iain Hollands Logline: The story follows an eclectic group of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation: a collision is imminent with an eight-mile wide comet that’s destined to wipe out all life on Earth. The cast of characters is made up of a British bank manager, an Italian nun, a female death row inmate, a Five Star U.S. General, a White House civil servant and a bride with a one-eyed husband 30 years her junior. Together, they hunker beneath the town of Slough, about 20 miles west of London, to watch the end of the world on TV. SSN Insight: Britain’s Sky 1 has ordered 10 episodes. Filming to begin in January with an airdate planned later this year.

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder Network: Hallmark Channel Production Companies: Stephanie Germain Productions, Brad Krevoy Television Executive Producer(s): Brad Krevoy, Stephanie Germain, Eric Jarboe Logline: Hannah Swensen is the shop owner of the Cookie Jar, where much of the town’s gossip percolates along with the strong coffee. When a mysterious murder occurs, Hannah turns into a culinary detective and finds herself trying to solve the crime while getting caught in an unexpected romantic mystery of her own. Details: Based on the Hannah Swenson book series by Joanne Fluke, specifically the novel "Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder" published by Kensington Books in 2000. SSN Insight: The movie is slated to become a franchise and will star Alison Sweeney in the title role. “Our viewers will be taken on a captivating journey as we launch the newest mystery movie series,” said Michelle Vicary, Crown Media Family Networks programming and exec VP of publicity in an interview with Variety.

    Happyish Network: Showtime Production Company: In Cahoots Productions Executive Producer(s): Shalom Auslander, Ken Kwapis Writer(s):Shalom Auslander Logline: A dark comedy about a youth-obsessed culture and an examination on what it means to matter. SSN Insight: The project was originally ordered to pilot last year at the Winter TCA’s but following the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, had to be retooled. In an announcement at Winter TCA, Showtime said the show has been given a series order.  Steve Coogan, Bradley Whitford and Kathryn Hahn who were cast in the pilot will remain in the series.

    Park Row Studio: Fox Network Production Company: The Jackal Group Executive Producer(s): Gail Berman, Robert Rodat Writer(s):Robert Rodat Logline: The story focuses on the late-1800s newspaper circulation wars between publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. It follows Pulitzer, Hearst, their families, their mistresses, their friends, their enemies and their reporters who chronicled the sex, violence, brutality and corruption of the day selling a lot of newspapers and making a lot of money in the age of Yellow Journalism during the 1890s. Details: Based on the lives of and feud between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. SSN Insight: Rodat’s previous film credits include Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot and a co-story credit on Thor: The Dark World. Rodat alsocreated TNT's Falling Skies, holding the record for its long-running sci-fi drama. Gail Berman was previously the Fox Broadcasting entertainment president.

    Port Protection Network: NatGeo Studio: BBC Worldwide Production Company: Adjacent Prods. Executive Producer(s): Travis Shakespeare, Jane Tranter Logline: Set in the depths on the Alaskan rain forest, the series revolves around a group of self-determined individualists who have taken refuge from the modern world in order to fashion a life of their own making. To survive they’ll have to acquire food, fuel and shelter as well as protect themselves from wolves, bears and the unknown. SSN Insight: Ordered to series by NatGeo. Producers previously Arctic series from the producers of Life Below Zero. Zero’s second season was the channel’ssecond highest-rated series in 2014. Comes on the heels of news that NatGeo has renewed Wicked Tuna: North vs South for a second season and Life Below Zero for a third season.

    The Dresser Network: BBC (Network) Production Companies: Playground Entertainment, Sonia Friedman Productions Executive Producer(s): Colin Callender, Ben Stephenson, Polly Hill, Sonia Friedman Logline: The story of an ailing actor and his dresser, who is struggling to keep their theater company afloat during World War II. Details: Based on the play, "The Dresser," which was originally performed in London’s West End and on Broadway in 1980.

    Warrior Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Companies: Parkes/MacDonald Productions Executive Producer(s): David DiGilio, Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald Writer(s):David DiGilio Logline: Set in a grounded, contemporary multicultural and sometimes magical milieu, a damaged heroine works undercover with physical and spiritual guidance from a mysterious martial arts master to bring down an international crime lord. SSN Insight: NBC has given an initial commitment of a pilot.

    Surrender Network: American Heroes Channel (formerly Military Channel) Studio: Terranoa Production Companies: Roche Productions, TF1 Logline: Surrender looks at the final episodes of World War II from the German counter-offensive in the Ardennes in the winter of 1944 to VE Day on May 8, 1945, ending the war in Europe. SSN Insight: American Heroes Channel has landed the exclusive North American rights to the internationally produced two-part docu series Surrender to debut in time to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

    Shrink Network: Pivot Studio: Participant Media Production Companies: Jean Doumanian Productions Executive Producer(s): Chuck Martin Jean Doumanian and Patrick Daly Writer(s): Chuck Martin, Ted Tremper and Tim Baltz Logline: “Shrink” is based on the New York Television Festival award-winning selection (for Best Comedy Pilot and the Critics’ Choice Award) developed by Tremper and Baltz – both recently named by Complex Magazine, “Funny People Who Should Get Their Own TV Shows” – and is being written for Pivot by Chuck Martin, Tremper and Baltz. In “Shrink,” when a recent medical school graduate fails to match with a residency program, he uses his temporary medical license, Craigslist, and his parents’ garage to perform the 1,750 hours of free therapy needed to become a clinical therapist in hopes of fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming a real doctor. SSN Insight: One of the shows announced during Pivot’s presentation at the Winter TCA’s. Other projects include the docu-series Secret Lives of Americans produced by MME, Filmpool USA and All3Media America, an Untitled Brian Knappenberger Project produced by Luminant Media, Untitled Chris Kluwe Project produced by T Group Productions and the renewed season of Angry Planet.

    Sent Into Space Production Companies: Znak&Jones Executive Producer(s): Natalka Znak, Simon Jones Logline: Inventors compete for their cutting-edge creations to be tested in space on the International Space Station. SS. Hopefuls will make their sell to a panel of experts comprised of top flight specialists and ex-astronauts, showing what benefits the tests of their gadgets might have for mankind. “For the very first time, this format will give ordinary Americans the once in a lifetime opportunity to pitch their wildly imaginative and over-the-top inventions to some of the most prestigious experts in the world,” Znak said. SSN Insight: Znak summarized the series in an interview with Deadline saying “It’s essentially Shark Tank in space!” The series is being shopped at networks and cablers this week. Znak&Jones will partner with the Center of the Advancement of Science in Space, which manages research on the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. Before partnering this year, Znak was CEO of Zodiak USA and Jones was CEO of Talpa Media USA and COO of Simon Cowell’s Syco TV USA. Znak&Jones has a distribution partnership with Sky Vision, which has also invested in Znak&Jones.


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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    OSCAR NOMINATION PREDICTIONS

    Awards 2015: He Said/She Said — How Will the Oscar Nominations Shake Out Thursday Morning?

    The dynamic duo of Neil Turitz and Dina Gachman are back with an in depth look at the upcoming Oscar noms, as well as some hardcore predictions as to who will hear their names called, and who will get hosed. (SSN)

    TV Development For 1/13/15: Showtime Wins Clooney and Tolan’s ‘The Studio,’ ‘Minority Report’ To Series and TCA News

    Netflix green lights the Wet Hot American Summer prequel, Craig Borten stakes his flag in 51st State for Syfy, Guillermo Del Toro gets his Carnival Row up and running, and lots more. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    The Directors Guild Has Announced Its Nominees and, Of Course, There Was a Snub

    While Richard Linklater and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárittu both got expected nominations, and Wes Anderson and Morten Tyldum as well, Clint Eastwood took the fifth spot, edging out Ava DuVerney. Awards are handed out February 7th. (MF)

    From the “It Was Only a Matter Of Time” File: Woody Allen’s First Show Has a Full Season Pickup From Amazon Prime

    Four-time Oscar winning auteur’s untitled program (currently using the name "Untitled Woody Allen Project") will include half-hour episodes and already has a full-season order. Allen will write and direct every episode.  (HP)

    Talk About Heavy Hitters! Pitt, Gosling and Bale Are Getting Together For One Big Project

    The trio will star in Adam McKay’s adaptation of The Big Short, from Michael Lewis’ book. McKay will also direct, while Pitt’s Plan B is producing. No timetable yet for when it’s going to happen. (THR)

    Ben Affleck and David Fincher Are Working Together Again, and They’re Remaking a Hitchcock Film

    Hitch’s classic Strangers On a Train will now become Strangers On a Plane, with Affleck playing an actor on an awards season tour who ends up sharing a private jet with a wealthy psychopath, and sparks fly. Their Gone Girl writer, Gillian Flynn, is in discussions to write the script. (DH)

    David E. Kelley Is Getting Back On the Horse, As Well, Will Turn Stephen King Novel Into Limited Series

    Creator of Ally McBeal, Picket Fences, The Practice and Boston Legal is taking on Mr. Mercedes, which was published earlier this year. Kelley has enlisted director Jack Bender —a key player on another King property, Under The Dome— to help. (EMP)

    How Alibaba Plans To Make (and Market) Movies

    The e-commerce giant is preparing to make its first film, based on a short story from a writer who was discovered when his work went viral on social media. Meanwhile, the company is plotting to leverage its marketing power to promote its entertainment offerings. (AA)

    Jason Blum Is Bringing His Micro-Budget Production Model To the Small Screen

    The producer has made an agreement with Universal Cable Productions, which includes the Syfy and USA Networks, both of which have given him blind series commitments. He will develop both scripted and non-scripted programming. (VAR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Spy’

    The first trailers — both green band and red band — from this summer’s spy comedy starring Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, and Jude Law, and helmed by McCarthy’s The Heat director, Paul Feig. Film is in theaters May 22nd. (COL)

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    This Was Bound To Happen: the Sony Hack Class Actions Will Become One Big Suit

    All of the plaintiffs in the seven class action lawsuits filed against the studio over the massive leaking of personal information like Social Security numbers and alleged inadequate cyber protection have asked Judge R. Gary Klausne to consolidate their cases. (DH)

    With ‘Ant-Man’ Firmly In His Rearview Mirror, Edgar Wright Moves Forward With ‘Baby Driver’

    The writer-director’s latest, about the high-speed, musically influenced life of a young getaway driver, who grooves to his personal soundtrack on jobs to keep him at the top of his game, is close to casting Ansel Elgort. MRC and Tom Rothman’s TriStar will co-finance. (VAR)

    Today In Remake News: Fox Is Moving Forward With an ‘Escape From New York’ Re-Do

    No word if Kurt Russell, the original Snake Plisskin, will appear, but series writer-director John Carpenter will be an executive producer on the project and will, apparently, “exert creative influence” over the project. (COL)

    Disney’s Upcomimg Film Slate Just Became a Bit Clearer, as the Studio Nails Down Some Release Dates

    Films such as Ghost in the Shell, which will star Scarlett Johansson, Jon Favreau’s VFX-heavy Jungle Book, the Pete’s Dragon remake and the Coast Guard drama The Finest Hours all are now set for when they will hit theaters. (TP)

    It Appears That the ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake Has Found Its Jesus Christ

    Rordigo Santoro is in talks to play the Biblical figure in Timur Bekmambetov’s remake of the 1959 Oscar-winner. Jack Huston takes over for Charlton Heston in the lead role, and is joined by Toby Kebbell and Morgan Freeman, among others. (THR)

    Good News For ‘Community’ Fans! Yahoo! Has Announced Premiere Date For Season 6

    Creator Dan Harmon and his cast, including Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs and Ken Jeong, as well as new addition Paget Brewster, put out a new subliminal video  to tease the March 17th release of the new season. (IW)

    The Third ‘G.I. Joe’ Movie Is About To Hire a Director

    Paramount and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura are in the process of hiring Disturbia and Eagle Eye helmer D.J. Caruso for the project, which will star Dwayne Johnson. No other casting is known, but speculation is that Channing Tatum will also return. (SF)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The Audition’

    A pair of trailers for a short film directed by Martin Scorsese and featuring Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, which are part advertisements for casinos in Manila and Macau, part preview of the short film. (TFS)

    Swimming In a Sea Of Mediocrity: Why Hollywood Won’t Give Up On Bad Directors

    Have you wondered why it is that some talented folk make a single bad movie and are thrown into “director’s jail,” while others make one middling offering after another and keep getting hired? An interesting take on modern Hollywood. (FSR)

    Screenwriters: ‘Elizabethtown’

    The 138-page screenplay from the 2005 film, written by Cameron Crowe, version dated March, 2003. (DS)

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    UTA: Al Pacino recently signed with UTA. He had been previously repped by ICM Partners. Pacino’s next film is the Barry Levinson-directed adaptation of the Philip Roth novel The Humbling, opposite Greta Gerwig.

    CAA: Trading Spaces and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition‘s Ty Pennington has signed with CAA in all areas. Pennington hosted Extreme Makeover: Home Edition from 2003-12, and the show won two Emmys for Outstanding Reality Program, as well as two People’s Choice awards. He hosts TNT’s On The Menu and CNN’s American Journey.

    Paradigm: Paradigm has signed American Sniper thesp Cory Hardrict. Hardrict appears in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar contender, starring as fellow soldier ‘D’ opposite Bradley Cooper as real life Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. He also stars with Emily Mortimer and James Badge Dale in the sci-fi thriller Spectral.

    WME: Writer/director Oliver Daly has been signed by WME on the heels of his hot short film Miles. The agency will package the short as a feature film vehicle for their new client.

    ESA: Yolonda Ross is now a client at Equitable Stewardship for Artists (ESA), represented by Rachel Sheedy. Ross premieres in Whitney on Lifetime, directed by Angela Bassett. She’s also heading to Sundance with Lila & Eve with Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez. Ross was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award last year for John Sayles’ Go For Sisters. She is still represented by Sanders Armstrong Caserta.

    WME: IDW Entertainment has signed with WME. The agency will represent all film and TV projects for the company, a division of comic book publisher IDW Publishing.


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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    PHASE ONE WRAP-UPS

    Awards 2015: The Best Of SSN Phase One Quotes From Linklater, Gyllenhaal, Aniston, and More

    Before we head into round two of awards coverage, take a look at some of the best quotes and insights from our interviews with those three, as well as Eddie Redmayne, Ethan Hawke, Oscar Isaac, Alejandro González Iñárittu, and more. (SSN)

    Awards 2015: The Best Stories and Solutions From SSN’s Below the Line Artists Series

    As awards season heats up and guilds start flooding the news with nominations and awards, SSN has compiled the very best quotes and insights from our below-the-line talent series, which featured the talented people behind Boyhood, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, the Imitation Game, Interstellar and The Theory Of Everything. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    Rep Moves For 1/14/15: Al Pacino Shifts From ICM To UTA, IDW Entertainment Signs With WME, and More

    As the year begins, there are plenty of moves from the various agencies around town, including CAA, Paradigm, and ESA, as well as those mentioned above. Click on the link to see who moved where. (SSN)

    It Appears We’re Going To Have To Wait One More Year To Return To Na’vi

    James Cameron announces that he is pushing back the first Avatar sequel to 2017, because the writing of the trilogy he had envisioned is much more complicated than he had originally envisioned. The plan is still to release one film per year, starting December 2017. (MF)

    Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 Just Added Itself a Content Provider

    The fledgling new studio has signed a first-look deal with Rick and Julie Yorn’s LBI Entertainment. Robinov’s new operation is meant to produce up to six films annually for the global marketplace, and LBI will help them achieve that. (DH)

    It’s a Big Week For Movies. Not Only Do the Oscar Nominations Come Out Tomorrow, But Today, We Get the Razzie Noms

    Transformers: Age Of Extinction leads all comers with seven nominations, but Saving Christmas also gets hit, including a nod for Worst Screen Combo of Kirk Cameron and his ego. For the first time, the Razzies are handing out a “Redeemer” award for past winners who turned their career around. (TP)

    Netflix’s ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Prequel Just Added a Whole Passel Of Big Names

    Actors like Josh Charles, John Slattery, Lake Bell, Michaela Watkins, Paul Scheer, Richard Schiff and Rob Huebel are joining the eight-episode mini-series, which has begun filming with David Wain directing from scripts written by him and Michael Showalter. (COL)

    Comedy Central Sure Does Love Its Broads, Renews ‘Broad City’ For Season Three

    The show, which stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer — who also created it — has been renewed prior to tonight’s second season premiere. The third season will have 10 episodes and will premiere some time in 2016. (HP)

    Joel Edgerton Is Making His Directing Debut, and He’s Getting Help From Jason Bateman

    Jason Blum’s Blumhouse will be producing the film, currently with the working title Weirdo, which will also star Rebecca Hall. The two play a married couple who decide to breathe some life into their stale relationship with a fresh start in a new town. But their move takes them into the orbit of a friend from the past. Edgerton also wrote the script. (EMP)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Bosch’

    The first extended look at the upcoming Amazon Prime series, starring Titus Welliver and based on the series of books about L.A. detective Harry Bosch, by Michael Connelly. The 10-episode series premieres February 13th on the streaming service. (YT)

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    Oscar Nominations Are Out! And There Are Some BIG Surprises!

    Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead with nine nominations each (Boyhood had the expected six) and Bradley Cooper earns his third straight nomination, but perhaps the bigger news is that The LEGO Movie did not get an Animated Feature nod, Jennifer Aniston did not get a Best Actress nom, and Selma only earned two, for Best Picture and Best Song, meaning both director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo were snubbed. (THR)

    The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Just Hosed the ‘Boyhood’ Producers

    If the movie wins Best Picture, then Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and IFC topper Jonathan Sehring will not be able to take the stage, as they have been denied producer credits. Much like the PGA, the Academy is ignoring the fact that both men have been involved in the production from the very start and were, indeed, integral to the process. (CB)

    Republicans Are Apparently Planning Legislation To Protect Net Neutrality

    Senator John Thune (R -S.D.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) plan to introduce legislation that they say will offer net neutrality protections such as prohibiting broadband providers from blocking and throttling content or charging for premium delivery to consumers. (VAR)

    If You Were Really Looking Forward To Seeing the New Ron Howard Film In March, You’re Going To Have To Wait a While

    Warner Bros. has moved the film from March 13th to December 11th, which would lead one to believe that the studio sees a potential awards contender in the project. In its place, the studio is moving the Liam Neeson thriller Run All Night into the vacated March slot. (COL)

    John Krasinski Might Just Be Fronting the Next Michael Bay Movie

    The actor best known for playing Jim on The Office is up for a role as a Navy SEAL in Bay’s Benghazi tentpole project, 13 Hours. Chuck Hogan's script will detail the events leading up to and during the attack on the U.S.'s Special Mission Compound in Libya on the 11th anniversary of the notorious September 11 terrorist attacks. (VUL)

    Since ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ Worked Out So Well, Tom Cruise and Doug Liman Are Re-Teaming

    The duo will work together on Mena, the true tale of Barry Seal, who was a pilot for TWA in the 1970s who lost his job when he was caught flying plastic explosives from Miami to Mexico for an anti-Castro group. He subsequently went solo as an aviation consultant, and began a lucrative second career smuggling cannabis and cocaine between South and North America. (SF)

    Ben Affleck Just Got Himself a Golden Globe-Winning Co-Star In ‘The Accountant’

    Jeffrey Tambor, who just won the Globe for Best Actor In a Comedy Series for his work in Transparent, joins the Warner Bros. project, along with John Lithgow, Anna Kendrick and Jon Bernthal. Gavin O’Connor will direct a script by Bill Dubuque. (EMP)

    While Another Golden Globe Winner Is In Talks To Lead ‘The Founder’

    Michael Keaton, who just won his Globe for his work in Birdman, would play Ray Kroc in the dark story of the rise of the McDonald's fast food empire. John Lee Hancock will direct the film, which was written by Robert Siegel and is being produced by FilmNation and The Combine, the shingle run by Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield. (THR)

    ‘The Walking Dead’ Just Cast a Pretty Big Role For the Second Half Of Season Five

    Relative newcomer Ross Marquand has been added as a series regular for the second half of this season and possibly season six. While Marquand's role was not revealed, many are speculating whether he plays the "very prominent" gay character teased by comic creator Robert Kirkman on Talking Dead. (MF)

    Screenwriters: Writing Characters Using Conflict and Backstory

    Creating characters that are believable takes time and discipline. Creating dynamically real individuals and not imposing your own thoughts and impressions upon them is not easy to do, and is often the difference between screenplay that sits in a closet and one that finds its way around town and into the hands of audiences. (MO)

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    at arrivals for FOXCATCHER Premiere at the 52nd New York Film Festival, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, New York, NY October 10, 2014. Photo By: Gregorio T. Binuya/Everett Collection

    NEW ATTACHMENTS

    Thirteen Hours Logline: The true story of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Special Mission Compound and an CIA Annex in Benghazi on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 through firsthand accounts. Studio/ Distributor:Paramount Pictures Production Company: 3 Arts Entertainment Producers: Erwin Stoff Writer: Chuck Hogan Director: Michael Bay Cast: John Krasinski Notes: Based on the book "Thirteen Hours: A Firsthand Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi" written by author Mitchell Zuckoff with surviving members of the Annex Security Team who fought the battle, published by Twelve September 9, 2014. SSN Insight: Krasinski will play the lead, but Chris Pratt was also being considered for the role.

    The Accountant Logline: A seemingly a run-of-the-mill small town accountant who has overcome his severe Asperger's Syndrome and now heads a one-man accounting firm, where his clients include the world's most notorious criminals, secretly works as a hitman. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Electric City Entertainment Producers: Lynette  Howell, Mark Williams, Kevin Scott Frakes, Raj Singh Writer: Bill Dubuque Director: Gavin O’Connor Cast: John Lithgow, Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jeffrey Tambor SSN Insight: Film is finally set to start production next week after a long development history.  Project was previously set up at Warner Bros. before their option expired, then was picked up by Sony but was put in turnaround. Warner Bros. bought the project back.  Will Smith previously attached to star when the project was in development at Columbia Pictures.

    Untitled Illumination Animated Movie Logline: A music-driven event comedy tackling courage, competition and carrying a tune. Studio/ Distributor: Illumination/ Universal Production Company: Illumination Producers: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy Writer: Garth Jennings Director: Garth Jennings Cast: Matthew McConaughey SSN Insight: McConaughey is the first voice talent to sign on to the December 2016 release.  Projects are secret in animation for as long as possible so it’s likely we won’t know much more about this film for awhile.  Illumination in particular is very protective of their projects.

    The Big Short Logline:A look at the American economy, the recession, and the sub-prime mortgage. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount PIctures Production Company: Plan B Entertainment Producers: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Sarah Esberg Writer: Adam McKay Cast: Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale Director: Adam McKay Notes: Based on the book "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine" written by Michael Lewis and published by W.W. Norton on March 15, 2010. SSN Insight: Carell is proving himself a more serious actor, after getting awards attention for his recent role in Foxcatcher.  This would be his next dramatic role in a true-life drama.

    Mena Logline:The true story of pilot Barry Seal, who transported contraband for the CIA and the Medellin cartel in the 1980s. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures, CrossCreek Production Company: Quadrant Pictures, Imagine Entertainment Producers: Doug Davison, Brian Grazer, Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson Writer: Gary Spinelli Director:  Doug Liman Cast: Tom Cruise SSN Insight: Ron Howard was previously attached to direct when Universal originally picked up the script as a spec for $1 million.

    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 Cast: Michael Keaton SSN Insight: This film has been coming together quickly, only recently signing John Lee Hancock to direct.  As soon as the holidays were over, Hancock wasted no time finding his lead, meeting with Birdman’s lead Michael Keaton, who has enjoyed a career resurgence thanks to the awards buzz of Birdman.

    G.I. Joe Logline:Storyline under wraps Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures, MGM Studios Financer: Skydance Productions Production Company: Hasbro Inc., Di Bonaventura PIctures Producers: Bennett Schneir, Brian Goldner, Lorenzo di Bonaventura Writer: Jonathan Lemkin Cast: Dwayne Johnson Director:  D.J. Caruso SSN Insight: Caruso would be taking over the franchise from previous director, John Chu, who left to direct Jem and the Holograms for Universal.

    Ben-Hur Logline:A young Ben-Hur, who encounters Jesus Christ, finds himself betrayed by his best friend but survives after being sold into slavery and extracts revenge. Studio: MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures Production Company: The Sean Daniel Company, Mark Burnett Productions, Point Blank Productions Producers: Sean Daniel, Joni Levin, Mark Burnett Writer: John Ridley Cast: Rodrigo Santoro, Jack Houston, Nazanin Boniadi, Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Pedro Pascal, Sofia Black-D’Elia Director:  Timur Bekmambetov SSN Insight: The casting of this film is finally coming together despite a lot of turmoil; Gal Gadot was previously in negotiations to play Esther, but had to pass on the project because of production conflicts with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which she played Wonder Woman, as well as ongoing commitments to play the superhero in upcoming Warner Bros. films. Olivia Cooke was previously in talks for the role of Tirzah, ultimately played by Sofia Black-D'Elia.

    Strangers Logline:When an A-list movie star's private plane breaks down, he is given a lift back to Los Angeles by a wealthy stranger on a different private jet. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Pearl Street Films Producers: Ben Affleck Writer: Gillian Flynn Cast: Ben Affleck Director:  David Fincher SSN Insight: This Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock) remake finally comes together again with the new package of Ben Affleck, David Fincher and Gone Girl novelist, Gillian Flynn to adapt.  Project was previously set up with the Kopelsons producing and Noam Murro directing.

    Girl on a Train Logline:A young woman witnesses something on her daily commute that gets her involved in a murder investigation. Studio/ Distributor: Dreamworks Studios Production Company: Marc Platt Productions Producers: Marc Platt Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson SSN Insight: The Secretarywriter is said to be delivering her first draft soon to the studio who acquired the Paula Hawkins novel last March.

    NEW PROJECTS

    American Drug Lord Logline:Based on the story of Edgar Valdez, a high school football player from Texas who would become the only US citizen to become a drug cartel leader in Mexico. Studio/ Distributor: Legendary Entertainment Production Company: Legendary Entertainment, Plan B Entertainment Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner Writers: Jason Hall Cast: Charlie Hunnam SSN Insight: Legendary acquired this 2011 Rolling Stone article as a staring vehicle for Hunnam.

    Escape From New York Remake Logline: Convict Snake Plissken is sent in to the inescapable maximum security prison known as Manhattan to rescue the president. Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company: The Picture Company Producers: Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman SSN Insight: Fox recently bought the rights to attempt this remake after the project failed at Studio Canal with Joel Silver producing and New Line with Original Film producing.

    Baby Driver Logline: A young getaway driver who relies on his own beat to be the best in the game, is coerced into working for a crime boss and must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. Studio/ Distributor: TriStar Productions, Sony Pictures Production Company: Working Title Films, Big Talk Productions, Media Rights Capital Producers: Nira Park, Eric Fellner Tim Bevan, Writer: Edgar Wright Cast: Ansel Elgort Director: Edgar Wright SSN Insight: Wright recently dropped out of Marvel’s Ant – Man, which gave him reason to get Baby Driver off the ground.  Both Rothman and Working Title have long-standing relationships with Wright so the team makes sense.

    Dirty Rush Logline: Life in a sorority house is seen through the eyes of freshman Taylor Bell. Studio/ Distributor: TriStar Productions, Sony Pictures Production Company: Brownstone Productions Producers: Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman Notes: Based on the novel "Dirty Rush" written by Taylor Bell, a pseudonym for Tanner Cohen and David Oliver Cohen, and published by S&S division of Gallery Books in January, 2015. SSN Insight: Rothman’s TriStar Productions won out in a competitive situation to acquire the rights to this comic novel which Pitch Perfect duo Banks and Handelman are attached to produce.


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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    OSCAR NOMINATIONS

    Awards 2015: He Said/She Said — SSN Weighs In On the Snubs and Surprises Of the 2015 Nominations

    Dynamic duo Neil Turitz and Dina Gachman are back with their reactions to this morning’s announcements. They discuss their shared confusion about how and why Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, Gillian Flynn, The LEGO Movie, Life Itself and others were hosed by the Academy, while also expressing their happiness about the films and filmmakers who were recognized. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    Producer David Heyman Takes SSN Behind the Scenes Of ‘Paddington’ and Its 11th Hour Voice Switch

    The marmalade-loving bear from the classic British children’s book series, comes to the big screen with an all-star cast that includes Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon, Hugh Bonneville, Matt Lucas, and Nicole Kidman. It has already grossed over $40 million overseas. (SSN)

    Film Development For 1/15/15: Steve Carell Signs On For ‘The Big Short,’ Michael Keaton In For ‘The Founder’ and More

    In other news, John Krasinski looks like he’s on board Michael Bay’s latest, Ben Affleck gets some impressive company in The Accountant, Matthew McConaughey lends his voice to an untitled animated film, and Tom Cruise and Doug Liman are reuniting for a new project. (SSN)

    How To Become a Screenwriter

    Contributor, author and script consultant Stephanie Palmer tells SSN readers how to become a successful screenwriter, including the different phases of success, how to achieve each one, and what to expect when you get to where you’re trying to be. (SSN)

    Tom Hardy Drops Out Of Warner’s ‘Suicide Squad’ Film, But Could Jake Gyllenhaal Replace Him?

    The actor is currently shooting the frontier drama The Revenant for Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárittu, which is expected to go over its shooting schedule. Additionally, his next film, Mad Max: Fury Road, comes out in the midst of when he would otherwise be shooting Squad. Director David Ayers previously worked with Gyllenhaal in End of Watch. (MF)

    Charlize Theron Is Adding Television Impresario To Her Impressive Resumé

    The Oscar-winning actress’ Denver & Delilah production shingle has inked a first-look deal with Universal Cable Prods. to develop and produce scripted programming for NBCUniversal’s portfolio of networks. The company has four projects percolating at NBC, USA, Bravo and Amazon. (VAR)

    Syfy Hires ‘Fight Club’ Writer To Turn Novel ‘Spin’ Into Mini-Series

    The network has signed Jim Uhls to adapt Robert Charles Wilson’s Hugo Award-winning novel into a six-hour miniseries produced by Rob Morrow. The book centers on a young scientist trying to save humanity from the impending apocalypse of a mysterious, impenetrable cloud that has enveloped the entire Earth, blacking out the stars. (DH)

    Two Months Ahead Of Its Premiere, E! Is Already Giving a Second Season To ‘The Royals’

    The cable network’s first scripted series, from One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn, stars Elizabeth Hurley as the Queen and matriarch of a twisted soapy take on England's first family, and co-stars William Moseley, Alexandra Park and Vincent Regan. (THR)

    Bamboo-Ceiling TV: Or, How the Network Tried To Turn Eddie Huang’s Memoir Into a Corn-Starch Sitcom

    In this entertaining and sort of disturbing essay, Huang discusses the making of his new sitcom, Fresh Off the Boat, and how ABC wanted to turn him into America’s mascot, as well as how much he hated it. (VUL)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Get Hard’

    The red band trailer for the upcoming film starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. The comedy, written and directed by Etan Cohen, hits theaters March 27th. (TP)

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    Fox’s ‘Fantastic Four’ Movie Is Going In For Reshoots, But That’s Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

    Recent successful comic book adaptations have been making a habit of this, including Thor: The Dark World, X-Men: Days Of Future Past and the upcoming Avengers: Age Of Ultron. The movie, a reboot starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan and directed by Josh Trank, comes out on August 7th. (CB)

    You Know How Much You’ve Been Wanting To See a Couple Episodes Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ On IMAX? Now There’s a Theater List

    The screenings of season 4's final two episodes, "The Watchers on the Wall" and "The Children," will start January 29, a week later than originally scheduled. That's because "extraordinary consumer response" has prompted IMAX to add 50 more theaters. The new season premieres April 12th. (MF)

    Sadly For British Indie Film Buffs, There Will Be No Sundance London In 2015

    The offshoot of the Sundance Film Festival that has taken place at the U.K. capital's 02 Arena for the past three years, has been canceled for 2015, and organizers have said that the future of the event is under review, though they hope to bring it back “soon.” (THR)

    Motley Crüe Biopic ‘The Dirt,’ Is Still Alive and Has Been Picked Up By Focus Features

    Based on the book, The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band, the film version has been in the works for over a decade, and at one point had David Fincher attached to direct. Bad Grandpa director Jeff Tremaine is currently attached to direct, from a script by Rich Wilkes and Tom Kapinos. (COL)

    It’s Amazon Pilot Season Again! Your Guide To the Best and Worst the Streaming Service Has To Offer

    Less than a week after the online network won its first two Golden Globes for its show Transparent, it is premiering seven new shows and will have viewers vote on which ones to keep. The new shows feature talent like Jason Lee, Rachel Dratch, Rufus Sewall, Alexa Davalos, Leslie Bibb, Steve Zahn, Michael Imperioli and Billy Zane. (IW)

    There Will Now Be One Less Film Competing Against ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ On Its Opening Weekend

    Focus Features is moving its Anne Rice adaptation, Christ The Lord, which will now open 12 days earlier, on March 11th, 2016. Aside from the Warner Bros. superhero film, Paramount is also scheduled to open the new Beverly Hills Cop film on March 23rd. (DH)

    NBC Has Begun Buying Pilots, Including One From the Creator of ‘Ugly Betty’

    Silvio Horta is behind Curse of the Fuentes Woman, which revolves around a magical young man who emerges to breathe new life into three generations of troubled women. Network also picked up another drama, Love Is a Four Letter Word, which follows three diverse couples who put modern marriage to the test. (VAR)

    It Appears That USA Network Has Had Enough Of ‘Benched’

    The low-rated comedy, starring Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington, finished its first season in December and will not be picked up for a second season, though the company behind it, ABC Studios, is reportedly hoping another network will step in and pick it up. (UR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Anarchy’

    An extended look at the new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, from director Michael Almereyda and starring Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, Dakota Johnson, Penn Badgley, Anton Yelchin, Ethan Hawke, John Leguizamo, and Bill Pullman, and hits theaters and VOD on March 13th. (TFS)

    Screenwriters: ‘Out Of Sight’

    The 150-page salmon revision draft by Scott Frank, based on the novel by Elmore Leonard, dated March 23, 1998. (DS)

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    Company Launches

    Discover Communications founder John Hendricks, who retired in May, will launch a new project called CuriosityStream. It sounds like an online platform for nature and science lovers.

    Studios, Networks, Conglomerates
    Endemol Shine Group (the newly formed conglomerate combining Endemol, Shine and CORE Media) announced details about the company's new structure. Former Endemol UK CEO Lucas Church is Chairman of Endemol Shine UK, and former Endemol UK Chief Operating Officer Richard Johnston will be CEO of Endemol Shine UK.
    Film

    Studiocanal hired Shana Eddy-Grouf as SVP of International Production and Development. She will be looking to generate production opportunities for the European mini-major, from her L.A. base. She will also support Studiocanal's U.S.-based producing deals with The Picture Company and Grand Electric Entertainment.

    Berlin-based world sales and production company Picture Tree Intl. brought on Barbie Heusinger to handle sales and acquisitions for Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Heusinger, who is based in Germany and Brazil, already represented PTI at Ventana Sur, the Latin American film market, in December.

    Television

    TLC exec Amy Winter has landed the newly created position of EVP and General Manager at UP TV. She will oversee development and production of scripted and non-scripted series and movies as well as scheduling and acquisitions, marketing and public relations and digital and social media properties. Jocelyn Diaz has been named EVP for Original Programming at Epix. Previously she was VP of Production at Walt Disney Studios, helpeding to develop and produce live action movies including Into The Woods, and Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

    Pan-European pay TV giant Sky has named Gary Davey, who is executive VP programming at Sky Deutschland, to a larger role as managing director, content, with the additional responsibility for its entertainment, movies and news channels in the U.K. and Ireland. Peter Hutton has been tapped as chief executive officer of pan-European television sports network Eurosport, which Discovery Communications acquired in May 2014. Jonathan Barzilay was named COO of PBS. Barzilay was a former executive at ABC, CBS, FLO TV and the Ford Foundation. And he will be “charged with developing innovative and collaborative strategies that safeguard the health of the public broadcasting system, and for ensuring that resources are allocated effectively to meet business objectives, system priorities, and marketplace challenges and opportunities.”

    Digital

    Online-video company Fullscreen named film and TV vets Rozanna Tesler Fried and Suchir Batra to new exec posts as it expands business and legal affairs in a push into more original-content creation and development.

    Multiplatform video services provider Vubiquity appointed Michele Edelman, who was a longtime marketing exec at Warner Bros., as executive VP of marketing and communications. Agencies, Management Companies, Marketing, Public Relations, Law Firms

    Former New Wave Entertainment execs Mark Rousso and Paul M. Brown have joined Industry Entertainment Partners. The pair, both of whom were VP Management and Production at New Wave, will bring with them clients including Alexis Bledel, (Gilmore Girls) Laura Prepon (Orange Is The New Black), Noel Fisher (Shameless), Joey Lawrence (Melissa & Joey), Tommy Dewey (The Mindy Project), Corey Reynolds (Selma) and David Alan Basche (The Exes), among others.

    The Gersh Agency has upped three of assistants to agent status in the talent department. Louise Abnee Keshaviah has been promoted after three years at Gersh, where she worked for Nick Collins before moving to Leslie Siebert’s desk. Josh Glick has been working for talent head Alex Yarosh and will continue to work with Yarosh in his new position. Trey Cannon has been at Gersh for two and a half years, starting as an intern. He’s worked for SVP and TV talent agent Jennifer Craig. Inspire Entertainment has brought on talent manager Ali Forman. Forman comes to Inspire from Impression Entertainment, where she worked with clients like Ana de Armas, Tyler Blackburn, Sosie Bacon, Katie Nehra and Marisol Nichols. Forman will be working closely with Inspire partner Jason Spire on existing Inspire Entertainment clients as well as a select group of clients she will be bringing with her.

    Music

    The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has been run for the last 17 years by John LoFrumento, who retired last year. His replacement as CEO, Elizabeth Matthews, will step in as CEO, and she has been EVP and General Counsel since 2013. Before that she was EVP and Deputy General Counsel at Viacom Media Networks.

    In Jody Gerson's first major hire, Marc Cimino has been tapped for the newly created position of chief operating officer at the Universal Music Publishing Group.


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    at arrivals for STILL ALICE Premiere at AFI FEST 2014, Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, CA November 12, 2014. Photo By: Xavier Collin/Everett Collection

    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Julianne Moore On the “Tremendous Amount Of Prep” Involved For ‘Still Alice’

    The Golden Globe-winning actress earned her fifth Academy Award nomination yesterday for her performance in Still Alice, and is the clear front runner to take home her first Oscar. She spoke to SSN about preparing for the role, bringing co-star Alec Baldwin aboard, and taking time away from the Mockingjay films to shoot this labor of love. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: ‘The Theory Of Everything’s Felicity Jones On Becoming Jane Hawking — “It Took Me a Long Time To Recover”

    British actress Jones scored her first Oscar nod yesterday for her role as physicist Stephen Hawking’s first wife, in a film based on Jane’s memoir. The film has been nominated five times, including her co-star Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor, and the film for Best Picture. (SSN)

    Awards 2015: Oscar Nomination Studio Scorecard

    In the wake of yesterday’s announcement, were you wondering just which films earned how many nominations? And, for that matter, how many nominations each studio was able to nab? Well, today is your lucky day, because SSN has the entire list of nominations, including who got what, and it’s only a click away. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINE

    Exec Shuffle For 1/16/15: Shana Eddy-Gruf To StudioCanal, Jocelyn Diaz Named EVP For Original Programming At Epix, and More

    Lots of moves across the board this week, from company launches to executive hirings, as well as plenty of comings and goings in the digital and music industries. (SSN)

    ‘Beginners’ Director Mike Mills Has His Next Film, and Annapurna Is Producing

    The new movie, called 20th Century Women, follows three different women teaching a boy about life, love, freedom and finding your sanity in the raucous Southern California heyday of Santa Barbara 1979 during Jimmy Carter's last summer in office. But when the boy's mother takes in a male boarder, his worldview is shaken in unexpected ways. It will shoot this year. (TOH)

    Thanks To 20th Century Fox, There Is Another YA Series Coming To Your Movie Theaters

    Studio has picked up rights to The Reckoners, a young adult fantasy fantasy series by Brandon Sanderson. Deal was made for Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps to produce, with Daria Cercek overseeing for Fox and Will Rack for 21 Laps. Series follows a shadowy group of ordinary humans who spend their lives studying super-powered rulers known as Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. (DH)

    NBC Just Partnered Up With Stevie Wonder For an “Epic’ Eight-Hour Mini-Series About the Underground Railroad

    The network is adapting author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Betty DeRamus’ acclaimed book Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad, into Freedom Run. It will focus on three specific journeys and love stories, each based on actual people. Wonder will serve as an executive producer of the series, while B. Swibel, Adam Westbrook and Charles Randolph-Wright will write the miniseries and serve as executive producers. (SAA)

    A Trio Of Actors Just Joined Indie Flick ‘Elvis & Nixon’

    Colin Hanks, Alex Pettyfer and Johnny Knoxville join Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey, who play the respective leads the flick, which tells of the infamous Dec. 21, 1970, meeting between Presley and Nixon, both men at the height of their power in their respective fields. It has begun shooting in Atlanta.  (THR)

    As If There Were Any Doubts, ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Is Going To Be a Monster Hit

    Fandango has announced that the film is the fastest-selling R-rated movie in the company’s 15-year history. Considering that the movie doesn’t come out for another four weeks, that makes it even more impressive, considering that the ticket sales will increase exponentially the closer we get to the actual release date. (CB)

    Gary Sinise Just Got His Next TV Job, and It’s Another Spinoff

    The star of CBS’ CSI: New York will take on the lead of the network’s Criminal Minds offshoot, which is being developed in house by The Eye. The potential series will center on a top FBI division that helps American citizens in trouble abroad. Sinise will play Jack Garrett, a 20-year veteran of the bureau who oversees the FBI’s team for handling cases involving Americans overseas. (VAR)

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    at arrivals for STILL ALICE Premiere at AFI FEST 2014, Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, CA November 12, 2014. Photo By: Xavier Collin/Everett Collection

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Julianne Moore On the “Tremendous Amount Of Prep” Involved For ‘Still Alice’

    The Golden Globe-winning actress earned her fifth Academy Award nomination yesterday for her performance in Still Alice, and is the clear front runner to take home her first Oscar. She spoke to SSN about preparing for the role, bringing co-star Alec Baldwin aboard, and taking time away from the Mockingjay films to shoot this labor of love. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: ‘The Theory Of Everything’s Felicity Jones On Becoming Jane Hawking — “It Took Me a Long Time To Recover”

    British actress Jones scored her first Oscar nod yesterday for her role as physicist Stephen Hawking’s first wife, in a film based on Jane’s memoir. The film has been nominated five times, including her co-star Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor, and the film for Best Picture. (SSN)

    Awards 2015: Oscar Nomination Studio Scorecard

    In the wake of yesterday’s announcement, were you wondering just which films earned how many nominations? And, for that matter, how many nominations each studio was able to nab? Well, today is your lucky day, because SSN has the entire list of nominations, including who got what, and it’s only a click away. (SSN)

    Producer David Heyman Takes SSN Behind the Scenes Of ‘Paddington’ and Its 11th Hour Voice Switch

    The marmalade-loving bear from the classic British children’s book series, comes to the big screen with an all-star cast that includes Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Michael Gambon, Hugh Bonneville, Matt Lucas, and Nicole Kidman. It has already grossed over $40 million overseas. (SSN)

    The Up and Up: 10 YouTube Stars Primed For Crossover Into Film and TV

    YouTubers have been making headlines of late with deals left and right. Last week, comedienne Grace Helbig snagged her own primetime talk show on E!; earlier this year, Endemol’s digital arm inked a development deal with Michelle Phan, and comedian Flula Borg will be seen in Pitch Perfect 2. (SSN)

    Awards 2015: He Said/She Said — SSN Weighs In On the Snubs and Surprises Of the 2015 Nominations

    Dynamic duo Neil Turitz and Dina Gachman are back with their reactions to this morning’s announcements. They discuss their shared confusion about how and why Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, Gillian Flynn, The LEGO Movie, Life Itself and others were hosed by the Academy, while also expressing their happiness about the films and filmmakers who were recognized. (SSN)

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    ‘American Sniper’ Picks Off the Competition, Sets Record For Biggest Ever January Opening

    Coming immediately after the film earned six Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture and Bradley Cooper for Best Actor, the controversial film took in over $90 million in its opening and might clear $105 million by the time the three-day weekend is complete. The movie also set a record for the largest of director Clint Eastwood’s career. (BO)

    Francis Lawrence and Jennifer Lawrence Are Now In On James Cameron’s ‘The Dive’

    After years of development, plenty of writers and at least two other directors (including Martin Campbell and Cameron himself), the Mockingjay duo is jumping on the story of the 2004 record-breaking “no limits” free dive of Pipin Ferreras, which was a special event commemorating the death of Ferreras’s wife, Audrey Mestre, during a record attempt a year earlier. (FSR)

    Sony Definitely Lost Money On ‘The Interview,’ but It Doesn’t Look Like They Took a Bath

    After factoring in the $44 million budget and the $30-40 million spent on marketing, and taking into account money from the limited box office release and VOD numbers, the estimate is that the studio ended up with a write-off of $30 million for the film. (CB)

    Could ’24’ Work Without Jack Bauer? Fox Is Looking To Find Out

    The network is exploring the possibility of bringing back its popular action-drama without Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer, after 24/24: Live Another Day executive producers Howard Gordon, Evan Katz and Manny Coto pitched an idea that would tell a story focusing on the show’s supporting characters. (DH)

    Fox Is Bringing ‘Gotham,’ ‘Empire’ and ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Back Next Season

    No word yet on Bones and Sleepy Hollow, but apparently the network is hopeful that it can reach a deal with the Bones stars, while the success or failure of “creative changes” to Hollow that will make it more episodic will dictate whether or not that show will be given a third season. (TVG)

    Meanwhile, Fox Is Also Talking Seriously About Rebooting ‘The X-Files’

    Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Fox Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman revealed that the network is in talks with series creator Chris Carter and series stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, the latter of whom had sparked a fan frenzy when she expressed interest in a reboot during a Nerdist podcast interview. (HP)

    Louis C.K. Is Going Behind the Camera For Friend Pamela Adlon’s New Sitcom Pilot

    FX has green lit the pilot for Better Things, which stars Adlon as Sam, a working actor trying to earn a living, navigate her three daughters' lives, having fun with a friend or two, and also — just maybe — squeezing in some sex once in a while. Her life is funny to watch, but you wouldn't want to live it (except sometimes). Adeline and C.K. will co-write the script and C.K. will direct. (THR)

    Chris Hemsworth’s ‘The Huntsman’ Needs a New Director, but Is Close To Finding Its Villain

    Frank Darabont has dropped out of the project due to “creative differences,” even though he has spent a good part of the last year developing the script. Meanwhile, Emily Blunt is in talks to play opposite Hemsworth, as the evil sister of Charlize Theron’s villainous Ravenna character from the first film. (COL)

    Football Fans Can Continue To Look Forward To More Mid-Week Games On CBS and NFL Network

    The NFL and the Eye Network have agreed to renew a deal that gives CBS the right to air eight pro-football games on Thursday nights, a pact that will give CBS the ability to air NFL match-ups twice a week leading up to its 2016 broadcast of the fiftieth Super Bowl. (VAR)

    Screenwriters: Writers’ 101 — Stop Aspiring

    Blog writer Eric Haywood has some homework for you: You’re going to make a very specific New Year’s resolution by the time you finish reading this post, and you’re going to do your level best to keep it throughout the year or until it becomes second-nature, whichever comes first. Ready? (SM)

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    elvis and nixon

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    Elvis & Nixon 1/12/2015 Logline: Story of Elvis Presley's visit with Richard Nixon at the White House on December 21, 1970. Production Companies: Holly Wiersma Productions, Elevated Film Sales Director: Liza Johnson Executive Producer(s): Byron Wetzel, Tim Smith, Paul Brett Producer(s): Cassian Elwes, Holly Wiersma Cast: Kevin Spacey, Michael Shannon, Luke Wilson, Kevin Connolly, Evan Peters Writer(s): Jason Micallef, Cary Elwes, Joseph Sagal, Hanala Sagal SSN Insight: Eric Bana was previously in negotiations to play Elvis Presley. Emma Roberts was previously in negotiations to play Margaret. Danny Huston was previously attached to star. The film was featured in SSN’s list of the most bankable films at AFM, click here to read more.

    Lion 1/17/2015 Logline: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on a train and ends up being adopted by an Australian couple. Using Google Earth he attempts to find his lost family 25 years later. Based on a true story. Studio: The Weinstein Company Production Companies: Sherman Pictures (AUS), See-Saw Films, Aquarius Films (Australia), Sunstar Entertainment Director: Garth Davis Executive Producer(s): Andrew Fraser, Shahen Mekertichian, Daniel Levin Producer(s): Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Angie Fielder Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, Tannishtha Chatterjee Writer(s): Luke Davies Details: Based on the novel "A Long Way Home" written by Saroo Brierley and published by Putnam on June 12, 2014. SSN Insight: Weinstein acquired worldwide distribution rights, excluding Australia and New Zealand, for a rumored $12 million. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman also appeared together in "Australia" (2008), directed by Baz Luhrmann.

    Mohenjo Daro 1/18/2015 Logline: A Bronze-Age period tale of adventure and romance set during the heyday of the Indus Valley Civilization. Production Companies: Disney India - UTV, Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Director: Ashutosh Gowariker Producer(s): Ashutosh Gowariker Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde, Kabir Bedi SSN Insight: The schedule was delayed when Hrithik who was gearing up for shooting was injured. Filmmaker Gowariker specializes in period pieces. His previous film entitled, “Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India,” was set during the period of India's colonial British Raj and starred Aamir Khan, won an Oscar nomination for foreign-language film and was a enormous box office success totaling over $1.4 billion dollars.

    The Accountant 1/19/2015 Logline: A seemingly a run-of-the-mill small town accountant who has overcome his severe Asperger's Syndrome and now heads a one-man accounting firm, where his clients include the world's most notorious criminals, secretly works as a hitman. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Electric City Entertainment Director: Gavin O'Connor Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): Lynette Howell, Mark Williams, Kevin Scott Frakes, Raj Singh Cast: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson Writer(s): Bill Dubuque SSN Insight: Screenplay was on the 2011 Black List. Albert Hughes was previously mentioned to direct. Project was previously set up at Warner Bros. before their option expired, then was picked up by Sony but was put in turnaround. Warner Bros. bought the project back.

    Untitled (Blumhouse/Joel Edgerton Project) 1/19/2015 Logline: A happily married couple's lives are threatened when an old school classmate of theirs enters their lives seeking revenge for his past treatment by the husband. Production Companies: Blumhouse Productions, Blue Tongue Films, Ahimsa Films Director: Joel Edgerton Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): Rebecca Yeldham, Jason Blum Cast: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Joel Kinnaman Writer(s): Joel Edgerton SSN Insight: The film marks Edgerton’s directorial debut. Blumhouse is on a roll and its recently released “Ouija” held the number one box office spot for two weeks, marking Blumhouse’s 7th microbudget film to hit the top spot.

    Untitled De Niro/Efron Project 1/12/2015 Logline: A recently widowed veteran tricks his adult grandson into going on a road trip for Spring Break in Florida. Studio: Lionsgate Production Companies: Josephson Entertainment, Ninjas Runnin' Wild Productions Director: Dan Mazer Executive Producer(s): Alexander F. Young, John Friedberg Producer(s): Barry Josephson, Bill Block, Jason Barrett, Michael Simkin Cast: Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Zoey Deutch, Aubrey Plaza, Dermot Mulroney Writer(s): John Phillips SSN Insight: Screenplay was on the 2011 Black List. Project was previously set up at Universal.

    WRAPS

    Colonia 1/14/2015 Logline: A young German couple is swept up in the violence of the Chilean military coup of 1973. Production Companies: Majestic Filmverleih, Rat Pack Filmproduktion, Iris Productions Deutschland Director: Florian Gallenberger Producer(s): Benjamin Herrmann Cast: Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Nyqvist Writer(s): Florian Gallenberger, Torsten Wenzel SSN Insight: The filming locations included Luxembourg, Munich, Berlin and South America. This project marks Gallenberger’s first fully English-language feature following the German/English ‘John Rabe’ and 2004’s Bengali ‘Shadows of Time’.

    The 5th Wave 1/17/2015 Logline: A young girl searches for her missing brother taken by aliens that have invaded Earth. She falls for a human boy who helps her, but might actually be an alien. Studio: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Material Pictures, GK Films Director: J Blakeson Executive Producer(s): Denis O'Sullivan, Richard Middleton Producer(s): Tobey Maguire, Graham King, Matthew Plouffe, Lynn Harris Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Alex Roe, Liev Schreiber, Tony Revolori Writer(s): Susannah Grant Details: Based on the book "The 5th Wave," written by Rick Yancey published by Putnam May 7, 2013.

    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. 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.

    Vincent-N-Roxxy 1/16/2015 Logline: A man and woman go on a crime spree while falling in love. Studio: No Studio Available. Production Company: Red Band Films Director: Gary Michael Schultz Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): Keith Kjarval Cast: Emile Hirsch, Zoe Kravitz, Zoey Deutch, Emory Cohen Writer(s): Gary Michael Schutlz SSN Insight: Anton Yelchin and Megalyn Echikunwoke were previously attached to star.


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    graham moore

    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Screenwriter Graham Moore On His Long Quest To Bring Alan Turing’s Story To Light

    After a lifetime of admiring the little-known mathematician, then writing a screenplay about him, Moore has earned a spot on the Black List, a Golden Globe nomination and, as of Thursday morning, an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. (SSN)

    SSN Awards Check-In: Nomination and Awards Standings Of Films In Oscar Contention 

    Between guild nominations, critics’ awards from around the country, and numerous other organizations dolling out statues, it can be overwhelming to get a handle on awards season. Luckily, SSN is here to give you a guide to which Oscar nominated films are picking up steam. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINE

    On the Set For 1/19/15: Kevin Spacey Begins On ‘Elvis & Nixon,’ Joel Egerton Starts On New Blumhouse Film, and More

    Other projects getting underway include Ben Affleck’s new film, The Accountant, a new comedy starring Zac Efron and Robert De Niro, as well as Lion, based on the novel, A Long Way Home. Meanwhile, a handful of films finish principal photography, including the crime spree-love story Vincent-N-Roxxy, with Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kravitz. (SSN)

    From the “It Was Only a Matter Of Time” File: Amazon Studios Is Going To Start Producing Theatrical Features

    Fresh off its first two Golden Globe wins for Transparent, the company announces it will produce up to 12 features per year through its Amazon Original Movies shingle, with Amazon Prime subscribers getting an initial viewing window as soon as a month after the movie premieres. Indie film legend Ted Hope has been placed in charge of creative development. (MF)

    Apparently, “They Started It” Is an Appropriate Response When It Comes To Hacking

    A month after the FBI firmly cast blame on North Korea for the Sony hack, word emerges that the feds had first hacked North Korea in 2010, and had been keeping close tabs on the rogue nation’s system of cyber-attackers ever since. No word on why the NSA didn’t detect the looming attack on Sony or, if it did, why it didn’t warn the studio. (VAR)

    Ridley Scott and PBS Are Developing a New Scripted Mini-Series About the Civil War

    The epic, six-part series will explore a Virginia hospital during the Civil War, scheduled for an early 2016 premiere. Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker and Lisa Q. Wolfinger will executive produce, while co-creator David Zabel will write the new drama, set against the backdrop of doctors and nurses valiantly struggling to save lives while facing their own trials and tribulations. (SAA)

    Netflix and Will Arnett Enjoy Each Other’s Company So Much, They’re Doing Yet Another Show Together

    The actor who had previously starred in Arrested Development and currently voices Bojack Horseman will star in the new sitcom Flaked. Show centers around a self-appointed 'guru' who falls for the object of his best friend's fascination. Arnett will play Chip, a man doing his honest best to stay one step ahead of his own lies. Show will premiere next year. (IW)

    ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ Star Is Set To Soar Into His Next Role

    Taron Egerton, who stars opposite Colin Firth in next month’s comedic thriller, will take on the role of British Olympic “hero” Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards in Dexter Fletcher’s new film about how the ski-jumper made it to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Hugh Jackman stars as the man who trained him. (COL)

    Today In Horror News: Information Comes To Light About the Next ‘Purge’ Film, as Well as a ‘Ouija’ Sequel

    After rumors abounded that The Purge 3 — due in theaters July 1st, 2016 — would be a prequel, producer Brad Fuller put the kibosh on it and insisted “the material we are considering is not the night of the first Purge.” Meanwhile, despite lousy reviews, Ouija grossed over $50 million domestically off a $5 million budget, making another film a no-brainer. (EMP)

    If You’re Hoping To See the Oscar-Nominated Short Films, You’re In Luck

    ShortsHD, the Short Movie Channel, and Magnolia Pictures are partnering to release 2015’s Oscar-nominated Short Films in a record 450-plus theaters in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Latin America on Friday, January 30. The Live Action, Animation and Documentary short film nominees as three separate theatrical events. (DH)

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    It Was Dicey There For a While, But All Those BBC Series Will Continue To Be Available On Netflix

    After it looked likely that shows like Doctor Who, Luther, Top Gear, the original House of Cards and plenty of others would no longer be available as of February 1st, the network and the streaming service have come to an agreement to allow Netflix subscribers continued access. (MF)

    What Has Been Feared For a While Is Coming To Pass, as DreamWorks Animation Begins Layoffs

    Studio’s new co-presidents of the feature division, Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, will oversee the layoffs. Between 150 and 400 employees are expected to be affected at the company’s Glendale and Redwood City, Calif., outposts, with Bill Damaschke, DWA’s chief creative officer, having already stepped down. (VAR)

    The Berlinale Has Announced Its Final Lineup, and It’s Reasonably Star-Studded

    The festival will feature new films from Terrence Malick, Jafar Panahi, Alex Ross Perry, Anton Corbijn, Werner Herzog, Andrew Haigh, Wim Wenders, Pablo Larraín and Oliver Hirschbiegel. The entire list of films for the Berlin Film Festival is now online. (TFS)

    The Cannes Film Festival Selects a Brother Act To Head Its 2015 Jury

    Joel and Ethan Coen will be co-presidents of the judging panel for this year’s festival, marking the first time two people will run the jury. The brothers were last at Cannes for the premiere of Inside Llewyn Davis. They won the Palme d’Or in 1991 for Barton Fink, and won Best Director for Fargo and The Man Who Wasn’t There. Inside Llewyn Davis won the Grand Prix, awarded by Steven Spielberg. (DH)

    Rising Star Tye Sheridan Is Taking a ‘Detour’ To a New Indie

    With three different projects premiering this week at the Sundance Film Festival, the 18-year-old star’s next project, Detour, is a psychological thriller written and to be directed by Christopher Smith. Story follows a young law student who, while grieving for his dying mother, struggles to decide whether he should kill his unfaithful step-father. (THR)

    It’s About Time! Sesame Street Is Spinning Off Cookie Monster Into His Own Special

    The furry blue sugar addict’s very first solo outing, The Cookie Thief, will premiere next month and will take place not long after the Sesame Street population experiences the opening of its first cookie art museum. When exquisite paintings like Muncha Lisa and Girl with the Cookie Earring go missing, it doesn’t take much for Cookie Monster targeted as the prime suspect.  (CB)

    Comic Book Movie News: Long-Awaited ‘Deadpool’ Movie To Shoot This Spring In Vancouver

    After being discussed for years, the Ryan Reynolds vehicle will begin principal photography in late March, with Tim Miller directing and T.J. Miller and Ed Skrein co-starring. The character was first introduced onscreen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. (SF)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The Strain’

    The first look at Season Two of the hit FX show, adapted from the trilogy of novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The show will return to FX this summer. (COL)

    What With the Final Season Premiering Tonight, Here’s an Oral History Of the Creation Of ‘Justified’

    Almost five years after the show premiered, the sixth and final season of the Emmy-winning FX series begins its final 13-episode run tonight. Here, creator Graham Yost and several others look back at how the show came together and turned into one of the best dramas of the 21st century. (UR)

    Online Film School: Six Filmmaking Tips From Michael Mann

    His latest film might have tanked at the box office, but the Blackhat director is unquestionably a Hollywood legend, with such films as Thief, Manhunter, Last of the Mohicans, Heat, The Insider Ali, and Collateral under his belt, as well as the seminal TV show Miami Vice. (FSR)

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