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    sony-chair-amy-pascal-speaks-out-for-first-time-since-cyberattacks

    With Amy Pascal Now Out At Sony, Who Is Poised To Replace Her?

    After the top executive spent 15 years in the studio's top creative role, Hollywood is abuzz with speculation about who might get the vacant job. The two most obvious candidates are Jeff Robinov and Tom Rothman, both former studio heads at Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, respectively, but there is scuttlebutt that neither was tipped off about Pascal’s move. There are also others from inside the company who could be elevated. (THR)

    It May Only Be February, But NBC Is Already Renewing Five Of Its Dramas

    The peacock network has handed out early renewals to The Black List, Chicago P.D., Chicago Fire, Law & Order: SVU and Grimm. By the numbers, that’s season three for Blacklist, season four for Chicago Fire, season three for P.D., a whopping 17th season for SVU and season five for Grimm. No other renewal or cancelation decisions have yet been made. (EW)

    Netflix Just Can’t Stop Greenlighting New Original Programs, Adds Baz Luhrmann’s New Show To the List

    The online streaming service has just given a 13-episode order to Baz Luhrmann's first television series, "The Get Down," a period drama set in New York City when hip-hop, punk and other innovative music exploded onto the scene. Simultaneously, a surge in crime, violence and urban decay plagued the Big Apple, making for a perfect thematic pairing for the Oscar-nominated director's new, extended venture. (IW)

    Ryan Murphy Finds His Johnnie Cochran For ‘American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson’

    Courtney B. Vance has been cast as the firebrand attorney who coined the phrase “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” He joins Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson, David Schwimmer and John Travolta in the cast. Mini-series will be written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Ryan is executive producing with fellow American Horror Story co-creator Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson & Brad Simpson, Alexander, Karaszewski and Dante Di Loreto. (DH)

    Two Oscar Nominations Under His Belt, Writer-Producer Anthony McCarten Is Now Taking On Winston Churchill

    McCarten is developing The Darkest Hour with his The Theory Of Everything production company Working Title. Film is set in 1940, when Churchill was in his first days as Prime Minister. With Britain under serious threat from Germany and the tide looking likely to turn even further against us, Churchill was under pressure to strike a deal with Hitler that would see Britain effectively become a Third Reich puppet stake. (EMP)

    Who Says Indie Romantic Comedies Don’t Sell? IFC Nabs North American Rights To ‘Sleeping With Other People’

    Two weeks after its successful Sundance premiere, the Allison Brie-Jason Sudeikis flick went for above seven figures to the company behind Boyhood, with a commitment for a seven figure P&A. Leslye Headland directed from her own script, with Sudeikis portraying a womanizer and Brie a serial cheater. The characters first meet in college, then rekindle their relationship when they run into each other more than a decade later at a sex addicts meeting. (VAR)

    Shout! Factory TV Launches New Free Streaming Service, Highlighting Eclectic Cult and Vintage Series

    As of yesterday’s launch, the site will host over 2,500 hours of classic television and movies, including Mystery Science Theater 3000, Father Knows Best, and The Twilight Zone. It also has a variety of comedy specials, 16 films and documentaries from the Werner Herzog collection, and Roger Corman‘s cult classics. (COL)

    John Wick Himself Joins Nicholas Winding Refn’s Next Film, ‘Neon Demon’

    Keanu Reeves will become part of a cast that includes Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone and Bella Heathcote, and which will star Elle Fanning. The film is a horror movie about “vicious beauty,” in the words of Refn himself. Shooting is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles later this year. (SF)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Poltergeist’

    The first look at the remake of the classic 80s horror flick, starring Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt and Jared Harris. The film is scheduled for release on July 24th. (MF)

    Screenwriters: ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

    The 97-page, unspecified draft of the screenplay by Adolph Green and Betty Comden, dated May 23rd, 1951. (DS)    

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    Studios, Networks, Conglomerates

    Sony Pictures confirmed that longtime studio chief Amy Pascal will be stepping down from her post. Pascal, who has been at Sony since 1988, will launch a major new production venture based on the Culver City lot. The Walt Disney Co. named Thomas O. Staggs to the post of chief operating officer. This makes the parks chief the number two executive at the world's largest entertainment company. Zodiak Americas’ Jonny Slow has stepped down from his role as CEO. Previously COO of Zodiak Media, Slow oversaw the creation of Zodiak Americas in 2012 and the reorganization of its activities to best serve the needs of Zodiak's non-U.S. production companies. He will work with Zodiak on a consultancy basis with Marc-Antoine d'Halluin, CEO of Zodiak Media, who takes on the role on an interim basis. Distribution and exhibition vet Steve Bunnell (previously Cinemark Theatres’ EVP of Global Content Programming) has been named Senior Vice President, Assistant General Sales Manager at Universal’s domestic theatrical distribution division. He will report to Nicholas Carpou, Universal’s President of Domestic Distribution.

    Television

    New BBC America president Sarah Barnett has hired her top lieutenant at SundanceTV, Nena Rodrigue. Rodrigue will be EVP, Original Programming, Acquisitions and Production for BBC America, a newly created position. She will oversee all of BBC America's development, original productions, co-productions, and acquisitions. ITV Studios America has tapped Lucienne Papon as SVP Scripted Television. Papon joins from Martin Campbell Productions, where she helped launch the company’s ABC Studios-based TV division. She will oversee development of ITV Studios America’s scripted slate and execution of its programs.

    Digital

    ITV Studios America has tapped Bruce Gersh for the newly created position of EVP & Head of Digital, Strategy and Branded Entertainment. Gersh will focus on maximizing opportunities for brand expansions and revenue streams for ITV’s content.

    Management, PR, Music

    Former CAA employee Ben Dogra is now the co-CEO of the football division at Relativity Sports, a division of global media company Relativity Media.

    Peter Van Steemburg, previously VP Acquisitions at Magnolia Pictures, has joined ICM Partners' international and independent department. His time at Magnolia and Magnet Releasing began in 2008, and he worked on the negotiation of films including Nymphomaniac, Goon, and John Dies At The End.


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    SSN ORIGINALS

     

    What's Ahead For BAFTA's Rising Star Nominees

    SSN looks at the projects that the five nominees have in the pipeline. (SSN)

    The Wachowskis and Other Directors Who Bomb - But Keep Getting Work

    Talented filmmakers like Michael Mann, Ridley Scott, and David Koepp all saw their films get killed by critics and mostly ignored by audiences. But does it matter? (SSN)

    Exec Shuffle for 2/6/2015

    Amy Pascal's exit, Thomas O. Staggs named COO at Disney, and more. (SSN)

    TODAY'S HEADLINES

     

    Brad Pitt Joins Robert Zemeckis Romantic Thriller

    Pitt will star and Zemeckis will direct for Paramount Pictures, GK Films and New Regency. Steven Knight wrote the script. (DH)

    Seth Rogen, Zac Efron Back For Neighbors 2

    Universal Pictures is moving ahead with a sequel to the comedy Neighbors, with a May 13, 2016, release. (VAR)

    Spike Lee on Selma's Oscar Snubs and Hollywood's Biggest "Lie"

    The filmmaker talks about the state of black cinema, racial politics in Hollywood and how the Academy messed up with Driving Miss Daisy. (THR)

    The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2015

    New books from Toni Morrison, Nick Hornby, Kelly Link and more. (PW)

    NBC News Investigating Brian Williams’ False Iraq Story

    Williams is expected to anchor NBC Nightly News Friday evening, this person said, despite the probe. (VAR)

    Geena Davis on Her Crusade to Get More Women On-Screen

    Davis has concluded that there is one easy way for studios to immediately increase the number of females we see on-screen at least. (VF)

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    ‘SpongeBob’ Does as Expected and Takes Box Office Crown Over Three-Time Champ ‘Sniper’

    The mostly animated sequel did over $56 million to end American Sniper’s box office reign, though the six-time Oscar nominated film did come in with a very respectable $24.2 million, to give it a cumulative of more than $282 million since its release. Meanwhile, Jupiter Ascending came in third, with $19 million. (BO)

    The BAFTAs Where Handed Out Yesterday, and ‘Boyhood’ May Have Just Received the Big Push It Needed …

    Richard Linklater’s magnum opus won the British Academy’s top prize, while he also won the Best Director prize. Meanwhile, The Theory of Everything won Best British Film, as expected, and all four acting awards likewise played out predictably, with Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette all taking their respective categories. Empire has the full list of winners. (EMP)

    Although the DGA also Handed Out Its Awards, and the Big Winner There Was ‘Birdman’

    Alejandro González Iñárittu and his team won the guild’s top prize, beating Linklater and his Boyhood team. That means that, while Boyhood has swept many of the critics prizes, including the Golden Globes, Birdman has now taken the SAG, PGA and DGA awards. Meanwhile, Homeland and Transparent were the big TV winners, with Lesli Linka Glatter and Jill Soloway, respectively, winning trophies. (TP)

    With Oscar Nominated Director Morten Tyldum Firmly On Board To Direct ‘Passengers,’ Two Big Stars Circle Lead Roles

    According to reports, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are in talks to frontline the sci-fi love story, based on a script by Jon Spaihts that has been in development purgatory for years. Story follows a passenger on a colonization ship traveling through deep space who wakes decades before the journey’s planned end, and then wakes another passenger to share those decades with. (SF)

    Under Fire For Lying About Being Under Fire, Brian Williams Cancels His Upcoming Letterman Appearance

    The embattled NBC news anchor and managing editor of the news division has backed out of his scheduled segment. He was originally scheduled to appear on Thursday night’s episode of The Late Show With David Letterman, but that was put together before the controversy erupted over his lying about being on a helicopter under enemy fire in Iraq in 2003. (VAR)

    Good News For ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Fans: Both Book Sequels Will Be Turned Into Movies

    Sam Taylor-Johnson, director of the first film which is out in theaters on Friday, attended an advance screening of the film Friday in New York City, where she told an enthusiastic crowd that the two follow-up books in the E.L. James-penned series would indeed be made into films. Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Marcia Gay Harden star in the first film. (THR)

    Netflix Continues Its Foray Into Interesting Television, Will Develop a Live Action ‘Legend of Zelda’ Series

    Looking to make its own Game of Thrones, the online streaming service is working with Nintendo on the series, based on the Japanese company's video game. Zelda, which is one of Nintendo's most popular games, follows the young boy Link on his journey to save Princess Zelda and the fictional kingdom of Hyrule. The goal would be to make the fantasy program for a family audience. (HP)

    If You Were Concerned That You Might Not Be Able To See Terrence Malick’s Upcoming Film, You Can Rest Easy Today

    Upstart distributor Broad Green Pictures picked up North American rights to Knight Of Cups, starring Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, and Rooney Mara, among others, and will probably release it this spring. The company also picked up the rights to Malick’s next film, still untitled, which also stars Bale and Fassbender. (IW)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Straight Outta Compton’

    The first look at the electrifying red band trailer for the upcoming biopic about N.W.A. The film, directed by F. Gary Gray, and starring O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr. and Paul Giamatti, opens nationwide August 14th. (DH)

    Screenwriters: Submissions Insanity — Six Steps To Strategic Submissions

    A strategy is a no-brainer when it comes to making screenplay submissions. But surely, it’s all a bit “hit or miss” as standard and it’s impossible to predict how an industry as mad as ours will turn out?! Nope! Fact is, a screenwriter – new, middling or veteran – can come up with a submission strategy that works. (SM)

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    STARTS

    90 Minutes in Heaven 2/3/2015 Logline: A Baptist pastor is pronounced dead after a car accident, but comes back to life an hour and a half later recalling a vision of heaven. Production Companies: Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Family Christian Entertainment Director: Michael Polish Producer(s): Rick Jackson, Randall Emmett, George Furla, Dawn Parouse Olmstead, Mark Mathis Cast: Hayden Christensen, Kate Bosworth Writer(s): Michael Polish Details: Based on the book "90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life" written by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey and published by Revell in 2007. SSN Insight: Rick Jackson, the founder of Family Christian Stores, the nation’s largest Christian retail chain, formed Family Christian Entertainment last month. The company will produce two films per year beginning with this project and teaming with Emmett Furla Oasis. Jackson was previously a passive financier in six films with Randall Emmett and George Furla.

    Folk Hero & Funny Guy 2/9/2015 Logline: A struggling stand-up comic goes on the road as the opening act for his successful singer-songwriter friend. Production Companies: Vacationeer Productions, Chhibber Mann Productions Director: Jeff Grace Executive Producer(s): Vinny Chhibber, Mike C Manning Producer(s): Jeff Grace, Ryland Aldrich Cast: Wyatt Russell, Alex Karpovsky, Liza Oppenheimer, Melanie Lynskey, Michael Ian Black Writer(s): Jeff Grace SSN Insight: This project marks Grace’s directorial debut and was originally a Kickstarter project that achieved $50,000 of its $48,000 goal. Grace began his career at Second City in Chicago. As a founding member of comedy troupe The Vacationeers, he’s written and directed online content including Google Maps, which hit six million views. Grace also produced and starred in The Scenesters winning the 2010 Slamdance “Rosebud Award” and It’s A Disaster, also starring David Cross, America Ferrera and Julia Stiles. Disaster was the #1 independent film on iTunes in June 2013.

    Love & Friendship 2/5/2015 Logline: Set in the 1790s, a widow waits out rumors about her dalliances while she seeks a husband for herself, and a husband for her reluctant daughter. Production Companies: Netherlands Film Fund, Irish Film Board, Westerly Films, Blinder Films, Chic Films, Revolver Films (Netherlands) Director: Whit Stillman Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): Katie Holly, Whit Stillman, Lauranne Bourrachot Cast: Chloe Sevigny, Kate Beckinsale, Xavier Samuel, Stephen Fry Writer(s): Whit Stillman Details: Based on the novel/novella "Lady Susan" written by Jane Austen, written sometime between 1794 and 1805, and first published in 1871. Sienna Miller was previously attached to play the role of Lady Susan. SSN Insight: Protagonist will launch international sales at the Berlin Film Festival.

    Message From The King 2/9/2015 Logline: A mysterious outsider travels to Los Angeles to bring those responsible for his younger sister's disappearance to justice. Production Companies: Entertainment One, White Hare, Ink Factory, Rumble Films Director: Fabrice Du Welz Executive Producer(s): Ash Shah, Chadwick A Boseman Producer(s): Stephen Mark Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas, Simon Cornwell, David Lancaster Cast: Chadwick A Boseman Writer(s): Oliver Butcher, Stephen Mark Cornwell SSN Insight: Previously in development at FilmNation, which was also handling international sales. James McTeigue was previously attached to direct with Aaron Ryder producing and Peter Cornwell and Oliver Butcher executive producing.

    Oppenheimer Strategies 2/8/2015 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. Director: Joseph Cedar Executive Producer(s): Matthew Malek, Amanda Marshall, Michal Graidy, Caroline Kaplan, Jim Kaufman Producer(s): Oren Moverman, Lawrence Inglee, Eyal Rimmon, Gideon Tadmor, Gaston Pavlovich Cast: Richard Gere, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Josh Charles Writer(s): Joseph Cedar SSN Insight: Originally set to start January 12, 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 Childhood of a Leader 2/3/2015 Logline: The story follows the triumphs, travails, and complicated relationships of a young leader in the years following World War I. Production Companies: Unanimous Pictures, Scope Pictures, Bow & Arrow Entertainment Director: Brady Corbet Executive Producer(s): Brian Young Producer(s): Antoine de Clermont-Tonnere, Martine Clermont-Tonnarre, Chris Coen, Amour Fou, Matthew Perniciaro Cast: Robert Pattinson, Tim Roth, Bérénice Béjo, Stacy Martin Writer(s): Brady Corbet, Mona Fastvold SSN Insight: Juliette Binoche was originally cast in the role played by Berenice Bejo.

    WRAPS

    Daddy's Home 2/6/2015 Logline: A man becomes distraught when the "perfect" family he's formed with his wife and her two children from a previous marriage is torn apart by the return of the wife's ex-husband. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Gary Sanchez Productions, Red Granite Pictures Director: Sean Anders Executive Producer(s): Jessica Elbaum, Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland, Sean Anders, Diana Pokorny Producer(s): Will Ferrell, John Morris, Adam McKay, Kevin J. Messick, Chris Henchy Cast: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Hannibal Buress, Paul Scheer Writer(s): Sean Anders, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Etan Cohen, John Morris SSN Insight: Ed Helms was previously mentioned to co-star. Steve Carell was previously mentioned to co-star. Zach Galifianakis was previously mentioned to co-star.


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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Director Damián Szifron On His Oscar Nominated Foreign Film, ‘Wild Tales’

    When Argentine writer/director Damián Szifron’s Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes) premiered at Cannes last May, it was saluted for its humor. Produced by Pedro Almodovar and his brother Agustin, the darkly humorous film is made up of six vignettes connected by the theme of vengeance, and what happens when the oppressed start, well, going wild. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    SSN Gift Guide: Twelve Yummy Gifts and Uncommon Finds For Your Valentine

    If you’re out of ideas of what to give said loved one or tired of giving the same flowers and candy, SSN is here to give you a cheat sheet of the most uncommon finds and fun treats from naughty to nice for the one you love, be that your significant other, child, or…you! (SSN)

    On the Set For 2/9/15: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg Wrap ‘Daddy’s Home,’ Kate beckinsale Starts ‘Love & Friendship,’ and More

    Other starts include Michael Polish’s new movie, 90 Minutes in Heaven, as well as the comedy Folk Hero & Funny Guy and the new Richard Gere film Oppenheimer Strategies, among others, while Ferrell and Wahlberg’s film finishes up shooting in the Big Easy. (SSN)

    Hot Off the Success Of ‘American Sniper,’ Warner Bros. Wants To Stay In the Bradley Cooper Business

    Studio is in negotiations to pick up the movie rights to Orphan X, an upcoming book by Gregg Hurwitz for Cooper to produce and possibly star. Todd Phillips, Cooper’s partner at their untitled Warners-based shingle, will also produce. Hurwitz will pen the adaptation. The thriller centers on a man named Evan Smoak, who helps others, sometimes through violent means. A job draws him into a world of human slavery, engineered by an LAPD detective. (HV)

    Samuel L. Jackson Will Be In Tim Burton’s New Movie, Allowing Him To Cross Another Director Off the List

    Nick Fury himself is set to appear in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, based on the novel by Ransom Riggs. He joins Eva Green and Asa Butterfield in the film and will play Barron, an important new character created just for the film. It’s unclear exactly how he’ll figure into the story, although word is that the character is a villain. (SF)

    Danny McBride and Jody Hill’s New HBO Show, ‘Vice Principals,’ Just Got a Whole Lot Better

    The project, which was announced last May when HBO picked up 18 episodes (to run over several seasons), just added Justified’s Walton Goggins and Boardwalk Empire‘s Shea Whigham. Show tells the story of a high school and the people who almost run it: the vice principals: Neal Gamby (McBride) and Lee Russell (Goggins), a conniving politician who enters into an unholy alliance with Gamby. Whigham plays Ray Liptrapp, the frequent target of Gamby’s hostility, despite being a genuine and supportive guy. (COL)

    It Appears That Studiocanal Wants To Make Another ‘Paddington’ Movie

    Production company behind the film is reportedly moving forward with a sequel to the recent live-action film. Negotiations having already begun with the film’s producer David Heyman for another round of bear-based chaos. According to Olivier Courson, the chairman and CEO of Studiocanal, the movie is now being seen as the start of a new family-based strategy for the French-based studio. (CB)

    After Years and Years of Waiting, We’re Finally Getting That ‘Zoolander’ Sequel

    Zoolander 2 will begin shooting this spring in Rome, where it will film for 12 weeks at the city’s Cinecittà Studios, and on location around the city. Ben Stiller will once again star as male model extraordinaire, Derek Zoolander, while Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell are also expected to return as Hansel and Mugatu respectively. Stiller is expected to direct, as he did with the first film. (GR)

    With This Latest Reprieve, the Poppy Montgomery Show ‘Unforgettable’ Should Maybe Be Called ‘Unkillable’

    The crime procedural that has twice been cancelled by CBS is about to be picked up for a fourth season by A&E, the same network that cancelled the high-rated Longmire last year. A new deal is being negotiated with Montgomery and co-star Dylan Walsh, while show creators John Bellucci and Ed Redlich will remain involved as exec producers, along with Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly. (TVW)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Bloodline’

    The first extended trailer for the upcoming Netflix show, starring Emmy winner Kyle Chandler, as well as Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sam Shepard, Sissy Spacek, Norbert Leo Butz, Jamie McShane, Jacinda Barrett and Enrique Murciano, from the creators of Damages. Show premieres March 20th. (HP)


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    Spider-Man Is Swinging Back Into Action At Marvel, But Not the Way Everyone Originally Thought

    Under the deal, Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film that is part of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, and then Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion franchise, on July 28, 2017. There had been rumors that Sony might sell the webslinger back to Marvel and Disney, but that’s not what is happening. Instead, Sony keeps its top franchise but this opens the door to Marvel Comics’ biggest superhero being able to cross pollinate in the Marvel universe. Marvel head Kevin Feige and outgoing Sony topper Amy Pascal will produce. (DH)

    Warner Wants To Stay In Business With ‘American Sniper’ Producer Andrew Lazar

    Lazar has been developing an adaptation of the book Queen of the Air, which tells the tale of Lillian Leitzel, a trapeze artist in the first part of the 20th century who rose to become one of the most famous women in the world at the time. Warner Bros. is set to make a pre-emptive purchase of the script, written by Cat Vasko, whose script Romantic Comedy made the 2014 Black List. (THR)

    AMC Is Giving Young Filmmakers a Chance To Reshoot Every Scene In the ‘Mad Men’ Pilot Episode

    In preparation for the final half season of the Emmy-winning series, the network has unveiled an ambitious project to harness the collaborative creativity of the show's most die-hard fans. They've cut the show's pilot episode into 154 separate scenes, spanning anywhere from eight to 58 seconds long, and are challenging fans to reshoot each one to eventually create Mad Men: The Fan Cut. (FCC)

    Blair Underwood Follows the Trend By Optioning a Book To Turn Into a Movie In Which He Will Star

    Actor-producer Underwood has picked up the rights to David R. Stokes' best-selling book Camelot's Cousin: The Spy Who Betrayed Kennedy, as a starring vehicle. The espionage thriller, set against the backdrop of the Kennedy administration, follows Templeton Davis, a scholar and media personality, who becomes lost in an investigation, after the discovery of a long-buried journal suggests that one of President Kennedy’s most trusted friends was actually a Soviet spy. Underwood will of course play Templeton Davis. (SAA)

    Because Why Not? Werner Herzog’s Next Film Will Be a Bolivian Volcano Thriller

    The film is called Salt and Fire, which will star German actress Veronica Ferres, and is about a scientist (Ferres) butts heads with the head of a corporation responsible for an ecological disaster. When a local super volcano starts to display ominous signs, however, she has to team up with her antagonist to stave off a natural disaster. (EMP)

    HBO Gives a Third and Final Season To Hospital Comedy ‘Getting On’

    Show, which is based on a U.K. show of the same name, stars Laurie Metcalfe, Niece Nash, Mel Rodriguez and Alex Borstein, follows the staff in the women’s geriatric long-term-care ward of a dysfunctional Long Beach, Calif., hospital as they battle the medical bureaucracy. Production on the final six episodes will begin later this year. (VAR)

    Sundance TV Is Bringing a German Period Drama To American Television

    Cable net has partnered with FreemantleMedia International to co-produce Deutschland 83 with UFA Fiction. Created by Anna and Joerg Winger, the eight-part period drama will become the first ever original German-language drama to air in the United States. Show is described as a gripping coming-of-age story set against the real culture wars and political events of Germany in the 1980s. (IW)

    Talk About a Vote Of Confidence! Martin Scorsese Adds His Name To Ben Wheatley’s Next Film

    Scorsese will act as executive producer for Free Fire, follows the aftermath of a gun deal gone wrong, and is “a hard-boiled crime film set in 1970s Boston. A secluded meeting between two gangs in a warehouse suddenly explodes into a shoot-out and a fight for survival.” Film stars Luke Evans, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde and Michael Smiley. (SF)

    The Folks Over At ‘Editors Guild Magazine’ Have Polled Their Members and Come Up With a List Of the 75 Best Edited Films Ever

    Which films made the list? The Top 10 is made up of Raging Bull, Citizen Kane, Apocalypse Now, All That Jazz, Bonnie and Clyde, The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia, Jaws, JFK, and The French Connection. The oldest film on the list, Sherlock, Jr., was released in 1924, while the newest, The Tree of Life, came out in 2011. Check out to see if your favorite film is on it. (TP)

    Online Film School: Six Filmmaking Tips From Mike Leigh

    The unique, Oscar-nominated writer-director made a name for himself with acutely humanist works of British social realism that bore some inheritance to the “kitchen sink” tradition, but imbue drama with a type of wit, spontaneity, and empathy that is simply inimitable. Leigh’s patient, improvisatory, and collaborative process produces human dramas that are deeply felt and strikingly insightful. (FSR)

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    BattleBots Network: ABC Production Company: Whalerock Industries Executive Producer(s): Mack Anderson, Bradley Anderson, Debbie Liebling, Lloyd Braun Logline: Series that features fights between BattleBots, homemade remote-controlled mechanical robots in a variety of weight classes that fight to the "death" in a 48' by 48' "Thunderdome-like" arena constructed of shatterproof glass rising nearly 20 feet. SSN Insight: Comedy Central ended the series twelve years ago. ABC is picking it back up for a six-episode summer series.

    Big Family Mansion Network: ITV 1 Production Company: Plimsoll Productions Executive Producer(s): Grant Mansfield Logline: The show challenges a family to live under the same roof with their extended family for one month. They will need to establish family rules and negotiate everything from dividing up bedrooms, voting on meal times, assigning cleaning duties and child care arrangements. At the end of the month, they must decide whether they would ever move in permanently together or go their separate ways. SSN Insight: Project stems from Grant Mansfield’s 16-month-old reality company Plimsoll Productions, based in Bristol and London, with offices soon to open in Santa Monica. Former Discovery Channel executive Andrew Jackson is also on board as as EVP of International Production, with the goal of developing the company’s U.S. expansion strategy.

    Cheerleader Death Squad Network: CW Television Network Studio: CBS Television Studios Production Company: Cherry/Wind Productions Executive Producer(s): Neal Baer, Daniel Truly, Marc Cherry, Sabrina Wind Writer(s): Marc Cherry, Neal Baer, Daniel Truly Logline: When a disgraced CIA agent-turned-teacher at an elite Washington D.C. prep school realizes that his students have high-level access through personal connections, he trains a select few to be his eyes and ears into the world of international espionage and help him earn his way back into the agency. SSN Insight: The CW ordered the pilot on February 3. Bauer had an overall deal at CBS Television.

    Colony Network: USA Network Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company: Legendary Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Carlton Cuse, Ryan Condal Writer(s): Carlton Cuse, Ryan Condal Logline: In 2015, Los Angeles exists in a state of occupation. Some collaborate with the alien authorities and benefit from the new order, while others rebel and suffer the consequences. A family is torn by those opposing forces, making difficult choices as they balance keeping their family together with the struggle of the human race. SSN Insight: USA ordered the pilot on July 28 and ordered 10 episodes on February 3.

    Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company: The Jackal Group Executive Producer(s): Jay Lacopo, Gail Berman Writer(s): Jay Lacopo Logline: Celebrates the mistakes and misadventures we all make during the years after college. SSN Insight: Fox ordered the pilot on February 2. This is The Jackal Group’s first pilot order, the independent production venture launched last summer by Fox Networks Group and Berman.

    Cordon Network: CW Television Network Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company: No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Julie Plec, David Nutter Writer(s): Julie Plec, David Nutter Logline: When a deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a large city quarantine is quickly enforced, leaving those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives. Loved ones are tragically torn apart, and the society that grows inside the cordon reveals both the devolution of humanity and the birth of unlikely heroes. Details: Based on the original Belgian series "Cordon" which was created by Carl Joos and aired in 2014. SSN Insight: The CW ordered the pilot on February 2.

    Dead People Network: CW Television Network Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Companies: Bad Robot, Aggressive Mediocrity, Inc Executive Producer(s): Tom Kapinos, J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk Writer(s): Tom Kapinos Logline: A roguishly charming, barely-famous former musician is shot dead and miraculously comes back to life with a newfound purpose: helping troubled ghosts find peace through unconventional ways. SSN Insight: The CW ordered the pilot on February 2.

    Insecure Network: HBO Production Company: 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Larry Wilmore, Erwin Stoff, Dave Becky, Issa Rae, Michael Rotenberg Writer(s): Larry Wilmore, Issa Rae Logline: Focuses on the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern day African-American woman. SSN Insight: The show will have the same themes Rae focused on in her successful webseries, The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl, which won a Shorty Award. The project was originally set up at HBO in summer 2013. HBO ordered the pilot on February 4.

    MTV/ Untitled Jill Soloway/ Lyle Friedman/ Ashley Skidmore Comedy Project Network: MTV Production Company: Brillstein Entertainment Partners Executive Producer(s): Jill Soloway, Robin Schwartz Writer(s): Jill Soloway, Lyle Friedman, Ashley Skidmore Logline: Two young girls meet at summer camp and bond over their passion for second-wave feminism. During a wild night in the forest both girls are struck by lightning and their friendship, power and destiny is fatefully sealed. Now, 10 years later, they romp around town hell-bent on saving all of womankind (if only they could save themselves first). SSN Insight: “Lyle and Ashley have a magical ability to tap into the female psyche, and through their own special brand of truth and humor they absolve us of our most humiliating moments,” Soloway said in an interview with Deadline. “I’m so excited to godmother this show and bring Lyle and Ashley’s fresh take on lady power to MTV.”

    NBC/ Untitled Aseem Batra Comedy Project Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company: No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Aseem Batra, Joe Russo, Anthony Russo Writer(s): Aseem Batra Logline: The story is a politically incorrect office comedy centered on best friends Dale and Georgie whose relationship is upended when he starts dating the "perfect" woman. SSN Insight: NBC ordered to pilot on February 4.

    Quarry Network: Cinemax Production Company: Anonymous Content Executive Producer(s): Graham Gordy, Michael Fuller, John Hillcoat, Ken Levin, Max Allan Collins Writer(s): Graham Gordy, Michael Fuller, Jennifer Schuur, Max Allan Collins Logline: Mac Conway, a Marine who returns home to Memphis from Vietnam in 1972, finds himself shunned by those he loves and demonized by the public. As he struggles to cope with his experiences at war, Conway is drawn into a network of killing and corruption that spans the length of the Mississippi River. Details: Based on the series of novels written by Max Allan Collins, with the first novel "Quarry" published by Perfect Crime Books on November 1, 2010. SSN Insight: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Stellan Skarsgard and Noah Taylor were previously attached to star. Cinemax has ordered 8 episodes.

    Queen Sugar Network: OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Production Company: Harpo Studios Executive Producer(s): Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey Writer(s): Ava DuVernay Logline: A spirited woman leaves her upscale Los Angeles lifestyle behind to claim an inheritance from her recently departed father an 800-acre sugar cane farm in the heart of Louisiana. Her world and identity are turned upside down as she and her teenage daughter attempt to navigate a new and very different environment while rebuilding their farm from scratch. She is met with curiosity and community, with resistance and romance. It isn’t long before a transformation begins and she realizes that she’s been living a lot farther from her Southern roots than mere miles. Details: Inspired by the novel, "Queen Sugar: A Novel," written by Natalie Baszile and published by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking in 2014. SSN Insight: OWN Ordered to series on February 2. Per an interview with Deadline Winfrey said, “The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show.”

    Tales From the Darkside Network: CW Television Network Studio: CBS Television Studios Production Company: K/O Paper Products Executive Producer(s): Joe Hill, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Mitchell Galin, Heather Kadin Writer(s): Joe Hill Logline: Based on the 1984 series by George A Romero, "Tales From the Darkside.” The series explores horror, science fiction, and fantasy. SSN Insight: The CW ordered the pilot on February 2. The project re-teams Kurtzman and Orci with Hill, son of horror novelist Stephen King. The trio previously worked together on Locke & Key, a drama adaptation of Hill’s  graphic novel, which went to pilot at Fox

    The Eichmann Show Network: BBC 2 Studio: No Studio Available. Production Company: Feelgood Fiction Executive Producer(s): Philip Clarke Writer(s): Simon Block Logline: Producer Milton Fruchtman and director Leo Hurwitz televise the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief Nazi architects of the Holocaust, and expose its horrors to a global audience over four months in 1961. Details: Based on the televised 1961 trial of Adolph Eichmann.

    The Get Down Network: Netflix Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company: Midd Kid Productions Executive Producer(s): Baz Luhrmann, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Shawn Ryan, Marney Hochman Nash, Catherine Martin Writer(s): Stephen Adly Guirgis Logline: A mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world forever. SSN Insight: Netflix has ordered 13 episodes.

    The Perfect Kill Studio: Fox 21 Television Studios Production Company: Imagine Television Executive Producer(s): Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Elwood Reid, Robert Baer Writer(s): Elwood Reid Logline: Chronicles the history of assassination as a political tool and outlines his rules for an effective kill. Details: Based on the book, "The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins," written by Robert B. Baer and to be published by Blue Rider Press on October 28, 2014. SSN Insight: Grazer optioned the book last June, ahead of the book’s October release. Imagine TV is also currently producing the hit series Empire.

    The Reaper Production Companies: Macmillan Publishing, The Weinstein Company Executive Producer(s): Brendan Deneen, Marc Resnick Logline: Nicknamed "The Reaper" by his battalion, Nicholas Irving became one of its deadliest snipers, breaking records for enemy kills in a single deployment. The first African-American ever to serve as a sniper in his battalion, Irving's story gives an inside look at his development in the military, what those in the special operations community go through and the sacrifices they make to their country and families. Details: Based on the autobiographical memoir," The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers, written by Nicholas Irving with Gary Brozek and published by St. Martin's Press on January 27, 2015. SSN Insight: Planned as a 5-part event series, with production set to begin this coming summer. TWC had also partnered with Deneen and Macmillan to adapt Daniel Stashower’s historical detective novel, The Hour Of Peril for TV.

    Unforgettable Network: A&E Studio: CBS Television Studios, Sony Pictures Television Production Company: Timberman/Beverly Productions Executive Producer(s): Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Ed Redlich, John Bellucci, Richard Shepard Writer(s): John Bellucci, Ed Redlich, Sherri Cooper, Spencer Hudnut, Jennifer Levin Logline: A female NYPD detective remembers everything, which helps her in her career, but haunts her in her personal life. SSN Insight: Previously on CBS for three seasons, the series is being revived from cancellation for a second time. A&E is finalizing a deal for 13-episode fourth season of the Sony TV-produced crime procedural to air in late 2015.


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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

    Awards 2015: From Vision To Reality — Oscar Makeup Nominee Bill Corso On Transforming Steve Carell In ‘Foxcatcher’

    The actor is mesmerizing as the wealthy, lonely, manipulative John du Pont. Based on real events, the film and the performance are both tinged with a melancholy, sinister tone that borders on the macabre. Carell’s performance was aided in no small part to makeup and hairstylists Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, who are up for an Academy Award. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    TV Development For 2/10/15: The CW Green Lights Four New Pilots, Ava Duvernay and Oprah Team Up, and More

    ABC brings BattleBots back to life, Marc Cherry’s Cheerleader Death Squad is one of The CW’s pickups, while HBO, NBC, Fox, MTV, ITV, Cinemax and a host of others all get in on the pilot go aheads. (SSN)

    More Details Are Emerging About the Marvel-Sony Spider-Man Deal

    Sony will continue to finance, distribute, own, and have creative control of the Spider-Man films, the two studios are exploring opportunities to integrate other characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man movies, the part of Spider-Man will be recast with a much younger actor than the 31-year old Andrew Garfield, and director Marc Webb will also not return. There’s more. (COL)

    Perhaps Today’s Least Surprising News: Sony’s ‘Sinister Six’ Has Been Indefinitely Delayed

    After last night’s announcement that Sony and Marvel will now be working together to reboot Spider-Man and introduce him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the spin-off film about a half dozen of the web slinger’s biggest villains has been pulled from its November 11th, 2016 release date. Project will remain in development but not move forward any time soon, though Drew Goddard is still attached to write and direct. (MF)

    Because the IFC Network Knows a Good Thing When It Sees One, ‘Portlandia’ Gets Renewed Through 2017

    The cable net has renewed the sketch comedy series for seasons six and seven, ensuring the network's biggest hit remains happy for another two years. Stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein remain attached, of course, along with co-creator and series director Jonathan Krisel. Season five is currently airing Thursdays at 10pm, and Seasons one through four are available on Netflix. (IW)

    Sony Pictures Entertainment Looks To Have Class Action Hacking Lawsuits Dismissed

    Studio is arguing that two ex-employees had failed to show that they suffered “concrete injury” from the data breach. In a response to one class action lawsuit filed by two former employees, the studio called the breach “massive and unprecedented,” and even included an FBI press release attributing it to North Korea. It is arguing that the plaintiffs do not have standing. (VAR)

    ‘Jane Got a Gun’ Producer Scott Steindorff Lands Himself a Pretty Big Best Seller

    Producer has acquired film and TV rights to Emily St. John Mandel's best-selling novel Station Eleven, and will be produced by Steindorff and Dylan Russell. Novel revolves around a Hollywood star, his would-be savior and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. (THR)

    Discovery Channel Will Be ‘Racing Extinction’ With New Doc Acquisition

    Cable net has nabbed domestic and international distribution rights to broadcast Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos’s documentary, which just premiered at last month’s Sundance Film Festival. Network will premiere the doc in all of its 220 international markets, and will give it a 10 market, U.S. theatrical run and special event screenings, as well as VOD. (Z2)

    ‘Mortdecai’ Might Have Bombed, but David Koepp Is Still Clearly In High Demand

    Sony has hired the writer to adapt Sylvain Neuvel’s sci-fi novel, The Themis Files. Book posits a world where aliens have buried the parts of a giant humanoid relic throughout the world and a physicist working with the University of Chicago spearheads an attempt to re-assemble the giant figure, sparking public panic and greed and the shadow of war, even as the research team try to figure out what the humanoid could represent. (EMP)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Pitch Pefect 2’

    The latest look at the upcoming sequel to the huge — and surprising — hit 2012 film. New film, directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee and Hailee Steinfeld, finds the Barden Bellas at a crisis point. (CB)

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    From the “All Good Things Must End” File: Jon Stewart Is Leaving ‘The Daily Show’

    After 16 years behind the desk and giving people the fake news, Stewart will leave the show later this year. Ratings for the show have increased 400% from the year Stewart took over. The show has received 50 Emmy nominations and won 15. In 2000 and 2004, the show won two Peabody Awards for its coverage of the presidential elections relevant to those years, called “Indecision 2000″ and “Indecision 2004,” respectively. (TIME)

    With No Sign Of Scandal Dying Down, NBC Suspends Brian Williams For Six Months Without Pay

    Williams, who has been the NBC Nightly News anchor for more than a decade, voluntarily stepped down from his position on Saturday after the network launched an internal investigation into a false claim that his helicopter came under fire during the Iraq war in 2003. Williams made the claim during his January 30th broadcast. Lester Holt will continue to anchor the news in Williams’ absence. (TVG)

    Ava DuVernay Becomes the Latest In a Long Line Of Talented Film Directors Turning To TV

    No Oscar nomination? No problem for the talented filmmaker, who remains very much in demand. She has signed on to direct the pilot for CBS’ drama For Justice, which hails from Law & Order writer and showrunner Rene Balcer. The project is based on author James Patterson's very first novel, The Thomas Berryman Number, which follows the investigation and research of a Nashville reporter into the murder of Jimmie Lee Horn, Nashville's first black mayor. (SAA)

    UTA Acts as Trailblazer, Becomes First Hollywood Agency To Open a Fine Arts Division

    Joshua Roth, whose father helped to build CAA, is going to help lead UTA into a whole new world of photographers, painters, sculptors, and mixed media and multi-platform artists. The former Chair of the Art Law Department at Glaser Weil, the firm of heavyweight Hollywood lawyer Patricia Glaser, Roth was announced yesterday as the leader of the brand new UTA Fine Arts. (DH)

    Good News and Bad News About Piracy: It’s Shifting Away From Downloading, Is the Good News

    But the bad news is that it is moving towards streaming, according to a new report from the Digital Citizens Alliance. The organization, a nonprofit set up to highlight consumer perils from the trafficking in pirated goods online, will unveil their report in a few weeks, but their preliminary findings showed that between the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2014, there was a “significant shift” to streaming and away from torrent file-sharing and downloads. (VAR)

    So, Spider-Man Is Definitely Entering the MCU, But Sony Is Also Still Moving Forward With Multiple Spinoffs

    While The Amazing Spider-Man 3 has been outright cancelled, the studio is still moving forward with Sinister Six (which has been delayed, but remains in development), Venom, and a film featuring female characters from the Spider-Man universe. Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, who will produce the next Spider-Man stand alone film with Amy Pascal, is not expected to be creatively involved in these films. (COL)

    Universal Snags Film Rights To New Kids’ Book, ‘The Terrible Two’

    Written by Mac Barnett and Jory John with illustrations by Kevin Cornell, the two writers will adapt the screenplay for the film, which centers on a middle-school kid named Miles Murphy, who is the best prankster his school has ever seen. When he's forced to move to the sleepy town of Yawnee Valley, he expects to become the best prankster at his new school as well, but he discovers he's got some stiff competition. (THR)

    South By Southwest Announces Its Midnight Features and Short Films — Did Your Film Make the Cut?

    This year’s slate includes nine world premieres among the 11 genre films that fit into the thriller, sci-fi and dark comedy genres from a mix of new and veteran filmmakers. Additionally, 106 short films were selected from a record 4,935 short film submissions, an overall increase of 16% from 2014. The films will play in 10 curated programs. (IW)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Unfinished Business’

    The final red band trailer for the Vince Vaughn film, also starring Sienna Miller, James Marsden, Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson. Raunchy comedy opens in theaters March 6th. (EMP)

    Screenwriters: ‘High Noon’

    The 153-page, Oscar-nominated screenplay of the classic film, starring Gary Cooper. Undated shooting draft by Carl Foreman, based on a story by John M. Cunningham. (DS)

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    WME: Fresh Off The Boat star Constance Wu has signed with WME. The actress plays Jessica Huang in ABC’s new show, the first Asian-American family comedy on TV in two decades. Wu also has a lead role on the Amazon pilot Browsers and most recently booked a recurring role on Bryan Fuller’s Syfy pilot High Moon. She was previously with TalentWorks. 42West: Agent Carter star Hayley Atwell and model/actress Cara Delevingne have both signed with 42West. Atwell is reprising her Captain America role in the ABC/Marvel series and willbe seen in the World War I coming of age drama Testament of Youth. Delevingne has landed some high-profile roles. The model, who previously appeared in Anna Karenina and The Face of an Angel, got the female lead in the John Green YA adaptation Paper Towns and will play the DC Comics character Enchantress in Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad.

    ICM Partners: ICM has signed Shameik Moore, the 19-year-old star of the Sundance Film Festival hit Dope, which sold to Open Road and Sony Pictures in one of the fest’s biggest deals.

    Verve: Verve signed writer/director Tomas Vergara off his cutting-edge short film Isolated. The agency will try to turn his short into a feature that Vergara will direct.

    ICM Partners: Downton Abbey’s Matt Barber has signed with ICM Partners. The British actor joined the period drama in its fifth season, which premiered to 10.1 million viewers on PBS in the United States last month.

    Paradigm: Actor Miles Fisher has signed with Paradigm. Fisher has a recurring role on FXX’s new comedy Man Seeking Woman and co-starred in the Christian satire Believe Me.

    UTA: UTA has signed actress Adria Arjona (Narcos). Arjona recently shot the Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer Untitled Miami Project for Warner Bros/TNT opposite Matt Barr. She can next be seen in the second season of HBO's True Detective.

    APA: Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Dirk Blocker has signed with APA. The actor plays Det. Hitchcock, one of the precinct’s most bumbling pair of partners on the Fox comedy.

    ESA: Skipp Sudduth is now a client at Equitable Stewardship for Artists (ESA), represented by Rachel Sheedy for acting. Sudduth will soon be joining the cast on a few episodes of the new Cinemax drama Quarry.

    UTA: Actor Luka Jones has signed with UTA. Last year he appeared in the ensemble cast of the Amazon dark comedy pilot Really. He has guest starred on Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother and recurred on NBC’s Up All Night. On the feature side his credits include Her, the Will Ferrell/Zach Galifianakis election comedy The Campaign and the Zoe Kazan indie dramedy The Pretty One. Jones continues to be repped by 3 Arts and Hansen Jacobson.


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    NIGHTCRAWLER, from left: Jake Gyllenhaal, director Dan Gilroy, on set, 2014. ph: Chuck

    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    THE WRITER’S GUILD AWARDS

    Awards 2015: Inside the WGA-Nominated Screenplays With Richard Linklater, Dan Gilroy, James Gunn, and More

    Since 1948, the Writer’s Guild of America has honored exceptional accomplishments in film, television, and radio writing at their annual awards show, which is seen by many as a precursor to the Oscars. In each of the Adapted and Original Screenplay categories, eight of the last ten WGA winners have gone on to win an Oscar. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    Rep Moves For 2/11/15: Hayley Attwell Signs With 42West, ‘Fresh Off the Boat’s Constance Wu Moves To WME, and More

    A bunch of moves from all over the agency scope this week, with UTA and ICM both making multiple moves, and lots of other places around town getting in on the action. Click the link for more info. (SSN)

    HBO’s Upcoming Streaming Service Will Be Treated as Premium Content, and Priced as Such

    Cable net will launch its highly anticipated standalone digital service later this year, but the premium cabler remains tightlipped about what programs it will offer and how much it will cost. Network has said it is launching the over-the-top service as a way to crack the 10 million households in the U.S. that are broadband-only and don’t have cable packages. (VAR)

    BitTorrent Is Becoming the Latest Online Service To Develop More Original Content

    The peer-to-peer file sharing platform, which has been trying to rid itself of its associations with piracy, has partnered with Rapid Eye Studios to produce and distribute projects via its Bundle platform, to be known as BitTorrent Originals. First project from the new banner will be Children of the Machine, a sci-fi series announced last year, with additional projects to be announced in the next few months. (IW)

    That CBS ‘Rush Hour’ Pilot Might Not Have Its Cast Yet, But It Does Have a Director

    National Treasure helmer Jon Turtletaub will take the reins of the adaptation of the popular movie series, originally directed by Brett Ratner. Ratner will act as an executive producer on the series, which is still casting its two leads. Turtletaub has directed multiple pilots in the past, the last three of which, Jericho, Harper’s Island (both for CBS) and Common Law (USA) have gone to series. (COL)

    Progress Is Progress: CBS Casts ‘Orange Is The New Black’s Laverne Cox In New Pilot

    The Emmy-nominated transgender actress has been cast in the legal drama Doubt, created by married writing duo Tony Phelan and Joan Rater, who will pen the script and executive produce the CBS Television Studios drama alongside prolific producers Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly. Cox will play a transgender lawyer, a role specifically created for a transgender actress. (THR)

    Bruce Campbell Just Got Some Company On His New ‘Evil Dead’ Show

    Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo have joined the star of the original film trilogy, who will return in Ash Vs. Evil Dead, a 10-episode series to premiere on Starz towards the end of this year. Campbell reprises his role as Ash, who is forced to face his demons, personal and literal, when a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind. Santiago will play Ash’s loyal sidekick, while DeLorenzo is a moody wild child trying to outrun her past. (DH)

    With That Sony-Marvel Spider-Man Deal, You May Be Wondering Which Studio Owns What Marvel Character, Here’s Some Help

    In the 1990s, Marvel Comics began selling off the movie rights of its characters, so only certain studios could use them. When Marvel started getting its rights back, it created its own studio to launch a shared universe of films, but doesn’t have them all back yet. The graphic you will find by following this link shows which studio owns which character as of now. (BI)

    Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Cinderella’

    The maiden trailer for the upcoming live action take on the classic fairy tale, starring Lily James in the title role, with Cate Blanchett as her glamorously evil stepmother, Richard Madden as the Prince, Stellan Skarsgård as the Grand Duke determined to keep the Prince and Cinderella apart and Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother. Kenneth Branagh directs the film, due in theaters March 13th. (MF)

    Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Trainwreck’

    The first look at Amy Schumer’s cinematic debut, in which the comedian-actress plays a journalist struggling to deal with monogamy. The film, which Schumer also wrote, also stars Bill Hader, Brie Larsen, Tilda Swinton and LeBron James (!), was directed by Judd Apatow and hits theaters July 17th. (EMP)

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    ‘Fifty Shades’ Producer Dana Brunetti Teams With Relativity For New, Untitled Benghazi Thriller

    The film will be about two Americans who were killed during the 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Libya. The studio bought the life rights of CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, the former U.S. Navy SEALs who rescued 30 Americans in the attacks at the CIA Annex in Benghazi. Deepwater Horizon screenwriter Matthew Sand has been hired to write the script for the Benghazi movie. Michael Bay is directing a rival project. (VAR)

    Peter Dinklage Has a Leprechaun Movie With Paramount and It Just Landed a Big Time Director

    His long-gestating project just brought Adam Shankman onboard to helm O’Lucky Day, which was written by Bad Words scribe Andrew Dodge and is currently being rewritten by Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, who first pitched the idea. Paramount and Disruption Entertainment are aiming for an April shoot date. Dinklage will play “a con man who may or may not be a real Leprechaun, but who certainly passes himself off as one.” (COL)

    Glitch Alert! Netflix Accidentally Releases First 10 Episodes Of ‘House Of Cards’ Season Three

    Subscribers on their game got a look at the new season two weeks early, when they found most of the third season available to stream yesterday. The episodes were quickly pulled down, but viewers who had been watching the Season 3 premiere before Netflix remedied the situation were able to continue doing so even after the fix. According to a tweet from the official "House of Cards" account, the third season will have a full compliment of 13 episodes. (HP)

    Thanks To Interactive One, There Will Be a Long Overdue Digital Video Initiative For Women Of Color

    Site is set to launch HB Studios to complement the website HelloBeautiful, which features editorial content about black women largely in entertainment, though categories on the site include news, issues, style, beauty, and careers. HB Studios video programming will fill out those categories beginning with a documentary called Women of Color. Doc will run for 14 minutes and will debut in March. (TVI)

    Add Amazon Studios To the List Of Operations In the Reboot Business

    Company behind Transparent and this week’s new release Bosch is partnering with veteran producers Sid and Marty Krofft to develop a reimagined pilot of their classic ‘70s children live-action series Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. The show centered on two brothers, Johnny and Scott Stuart who discover Sigmund, a friendly young sea monster who had been thrown out by his comically dysfunctional undersea family for refusing to frighten people. (DH)

    Imagine Entertainment Wrangles Jeff Bridges For ‘The Emperor’s Children’

    Based on best-selling novel, in which a legendary journalist and liberal opinion-maker named Murray Thwaite, exposing the ambition and pride of his family and friends, and his entanglement with his daughter's best friend, all in the days leading up to 9/11. Bridges, obviously, will play Thwaite. Noah Baumbach wrote the script, Lake Bell will direct, and Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Erica Huggins are producing. (THR)

    Halle Berry Continues Her Foray Into Producing, Sells Action-Comedy Pitch To Universal

    The Oscar-winning actress will also star in Mother, with plot details kept under wraps. Berry and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas will produce through their 606 Films Production banner, which they launched last year to produce "socially conscious" work, in the spirit of the company's name (after the anti-paparazzi bill that Berry pushed, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law in 2013). Pablo Fenjves, primarily a TV writer, has been hired to pen screenplay. (SAA)

    Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Insurgent’

    In the latest trailer for this sequel to last year’s hit film Divergent, based on the YA book series, Shailene Woodley’s Tris has the weight of the world on her shoulders, as all-out war threatens to break out as factions are pitted against each other. Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet star in the film, which is out March 20th. (MF)

    Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Aloha’

    A first glance at Cameron Crowe’s latest film features star Bradley Cooper in a tale about a military contractor who once blew a massive assignment in Hawaii, but is now sent back to the island to set up a new US satellite. Emma Stone, Rachel McAdam, Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray, Danny McBride and a host of others also star. Film hits theaters . (EMP)

    Screenwriters: The Art Of Plotting Your Story & Screenplay Structure

    For many people plot is the same thing as structure. Both deal with designing the story, creating relationships between its elements and developing how action builds to a climax. When you structure a film story, you're working out the plot to discover the best way of telling it. (MO)

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    NEW ATTACHMENTS

    Vanish Man Logline: A man who helps people flee their troubled lives by staging their deaths and creating new identities, gets enlisted by the FBI to track down a former client who was never supposed to disappear. Studio/ Distributor: Lionsgate Production Company: 21 Laps Entertainment Producers: Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen Writer: Lee Toland Krieger Director: Lee Toland Krieger SSN Insight: Krieger directed the Age of Adaline for Lionsgate as well and was also previously attached to direct The Spectacular Now before James Ponsoldt took over.

    The Themis Files Logline: A secret project buried in pieces by aliens all over the U.S. results in paranoia and greed, pushing mankind to the brink of a world war. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Matt Tolmach Productions Producers: Matt Tolmach, Josh Bratman Writer: David Koepp Notes: Based on the novel "The Themis Files" written by Sylvain Neuvel and to be published by Bot Bot on February 2, 2015. SSN Insight: Despite the recent performance of his film, Mortdecai, Sony has hired Koepp to write the first draft of their hot sci-fi adaptation. The Emperor’s Children Logline: In New York during the months prior to and following the September 11th attacks, three Brown University educated students, raised in upper-crust surroundings and expected to do... Production Company: Imagine Entertainment Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Erica Huggins Writer: Noah Baumbach Director: Lake Bell Cast: Jeff Bridges Notes: Based on the novel "The Emperor's Children" written by Claire Messud and published by Knopf August 29, 2006. SSN Insight: This project has almost come together several times previously, once with Noah Baumbach to direct and another time with Ron Howard and stars such as Michelle Williams and Eric Bana mentioned to star. O Lucky Day Logline: A man of short stature tells people that he is a leprechaun. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company: Disruption Entertainment Producers: Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Peter Dinklage Writer: Damian Shannon & Mark Swift, Andrew Dodge Director: Adam Shankman Cast: Peter Dinklage SSN Insight: The plan is to start production in April after Dinklage wraps the next season of Game of Thrones. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars Logline: On an isolated island off of Wales, 16-year-old Jacob discovers an abandoned orphanage that was a home for children with strange powers. Production Company: Chernin Entertainment Producers: Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Dylan Clark Writer: Jane Goldman Director: Tim Burton Cast: Sam Jackson, Eva Green, Asa Butterfield Notes: Based on the novel "Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children" written by Ransom Riggs and published by Quirk on June 7, 2011. SSN Insight: Jackson is said to be playing the role of “Barron,” a new character created just for the film. Passengers Logline: A spaceship passenger is prematurely thawed from a cryogenic slumber a century before anyone else. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Company Films, Start Media, Keep Your Head Productions, Original Film Producers: Stephen Hamel, Keanu Reeves, Michael Maher, Neal Moritz, Ori Marmur, Anthony Katagas Writer: Jon Spaihts Director: Morten Tyldum Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt SSN Insight: The project was initially scheduled to be released by the Weinstein Company on April 3, 2015 until its star, Rachel McAdams, dropped out. The project has many previous high-profile attachments such as, Marc Forster, Emily Blunt, Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon. Untitled World War II Project Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures Production Company: GK Films, New Regency Productions, Imagemovers Producers: Graham King, Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey Writer: Steven Knight Director: Robert Zemeckis Cast: Brad Pitt

    Arm and the Dudes Logline: Based on a Rolling Stone article about two stoners who became mega arms dealers. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Mark Gordon Company, S/Z Pictures Producers: Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper, Mark Gordon, Scott Budnick Writer: Jason Smiliovic, Todd Phillips Director: Todd Phillips Cast: Miles Teller, Jonah Hill SSN Insight: Jesse Eisenberg, Shia LeBeouf and Chris Pratt were all previously attached to star.

    NEW PROJECTS

    The Terrible Two Logline: When prankster Miles moves to a new, small town, he discovers that there is already a resident prankster at school, so they team up and pull the best prank ever. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Writers: Mac Barnett and Jory John Notes: Based on the book "The Terrible Two" written by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell and published by Amulet Books on January 13, 2015. SSN Insight: The book debuted on the New York Times children’s middle grade best-seller list in its first week on sale and is a planned four book series with the second book scheduled for early 2016. Station Eleven Logline: A post apocalyptic drama that revolves around a Hollywood star, his would-be savior and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. Production Company: Stone Village Productions Producers: Scott Steindorff, Dylan Russell Notes: Based on the novel, “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel SSN Insight: The New York Times best-seller is already said to have directors circling but Steindorff will hire a writer to adapt first. Untitled Ghost Story Project Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Dreamworks Studios Production Company: Madhouse Entertainment Producers: Adam Kolbrenner Writer: Carter Blanchard SSN Insight: Blanchard has become a hot writer since doing the rewrite on Independence Day 2, selling Glimmer to Dreamworks in a bidding war and adapting Kindergarten Heroes for Fox.

    Queen of the Air Logline: The story of famed trapeze artist Lillian Leitzel and her relationship with fellow trapeze artist Alfredo Codona is told. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Producers: Andrew Lazar Writer: Cat Vasko Notes: Based on the book "Queen of the Air" written by Dean N. Jensen and published by Crown Publishers in 2012. SSN Insight: American Sniper producer, Andrew Lazar, packaged the book with a spec script by new writer Vasko and shopped it to the studio.

    Mother Logline: After leaving her mobster fiancé at the alter, a woman goes on the run and pretends to be the mother of a young man in order to hide out with him. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company: 606 Films, CFP Entertainment, Vincent Cirrincione & Associates Producers: Halle Berry, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Vincent Cirrincione, Chris Miller Writer: Pablo Fenjves Cast: Halle Berry SSN Insight: Berry and producing partner, Goldsmith-Thomas, recently joined forces in March 2014 to form 606 Films and generate socially conscious content.

    Orphan X Logline: Evan Smoak, aka "Nowhere Man," who helps people by sometimes violent means, finds himself drawn into a world of human slavery, on a job created by an LAPD detective. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Producers: Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips Writer: Gregg Hurwitz Cast: Bradley Cooper Notes: Based on the novel "Orphan Black" to be written by Gregg Hurwitz and published by MacMillan Publishing in February, 2016. SSN Insight: Director Todd Phillips and Bradley Cooper recently joined forces in an unnamed production company, which has a three year first-look deal at Warner Bros.

    Neighbors 2 Logline: In this sequel, a sorority moves next door to married parents Mac and Kelly, who turn to their former nemeses from the Delta Psi Beta fraternity to help battle the wild young women. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company: Point Grey Pictures, Good Universe Producers: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver Writer: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien Cast: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne Notes: Sequel to Neighbors (2014), directed by Nicholas Stoller and starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron.


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    at arrivals for The 68th Annual Tony Awards 2014, Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY June 8, 2014. Photo By: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection

    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

    Awards 2015: Oscar Nominee Ethan Hawke Delved Into ‘Boyhood’ and His Own Career Evolution

    It might be hard to believe, but Ethan Hawke’s film career has now spanned 30 years. That’s a long time by any stretch, but when you consider that he’s 44 years old, it takes on added meaning. It’s for that reason, having appeared on-screen several times as a teenager in movies like Explorers, Dad, and Dead Poets Society, that he was the perfect choice to play the father in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, for which Hawke has earned his fourth Oscar nomination. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    SSN Pilot Watch 2015: The Five CBS Pilots With Potential

    Pilot season is dominating the television industry. Pilots have been ordered, casting is underway, and directors are clamoring to helm the hot comedy or drama that might just become the next Modern Family or Scandal. There’s a mix of book adaptations, spinoffs, reboots, and original content this season and SSN has gotten a sneak peek at some of the scripts that have the potential to go the distance – meaning, the potential to make it to series, get renewed, and maybe even score some Emmy love. Here’s our take… (SSN)

    Film Development For 2/12/15: Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt In For ‘Passengers,’ Halle Berry To Produce/Star In ‘Mother’ and More

    It’s been a very busy week where it comes to attachments and the announcing of new projects. Actors like Jeff Bridges, Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Pitt, Miles Teller, and filmmakers David Koepp, Lee Toland Krieger and Adam Shankman all became attached to projects, while a plethora of other projects also moved forward. (SSN)

    Hulu’s Adaptation Of Stephen King’s ’11/22/63’ Has Just Found Its Star

    James Franco has signed to play the lead role of Jake Epping in the nine-episode limited series, a 21st century Maine teacher who finds a doorway into the past and tries to prevent the Kennedy assassination. Franco will also be a producer on the project, which is from J.J. Abrams’s Warner Bros. TV–based Bad Robot Productions. (VUL)

    The Unstoppable Rise Of Dave Bautista Continues: He Will Be The Kurgan In That ‘Highlander’ Reboot

    Pro-wrestler turned Guardian of the Galaxy turned Bond villain henchman will play the arch nemesis of Conor Macleod, the Highlander, himself. Clancy Brown first played the part in the 1986 original, staring Christopher Lambert. No word yet on who will play MacLeod in the reboot, but Cedric Nicolas-Troyan is directing for Summit Entertainment. (EMP)

    Speaking Of Unstoppable, ‘Walking Dead’ Creator Robert Kirkman Has Another Show Hitting the Air

    The writer-producer’s exorcism comic Outcast was just given a series order by Cinemax. Show follows Kyle Barnes, “a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life. Now, with the help of the Reverend Anderson, a preacher with personal demons of his own, Kyle embarks on a journey to find answers and regain the normal life he lost. But what Kyle discovers could change his fate—and the fate of the world—forever.” Patrick Fugit and Philip Glenister star. (EW)

    Miles Teller’s Good Run Also Continues: He Lands Plum Co-Star Spot In New Jonah Hill Flick

    Based on an article in Rolling Stone, Arms and The Dudes follows Teller and Hill as two unlikely arms dealers who secured a $300 million contract to supply weapons for U.S. allies in Afghanistan. They soon found themselves in danger abroad and in trouble back home because they were completely out of their depth. Todd Phillips is directing. (DH)

    Rob Lowe’s Return To TV Just Took Another Big Step Forward, as Well

    Fox has greenlit his comedy pilot, The Grinder, in which Lowe plays a beloved TV lawyer who finds himself at a crossroads in life, after his long-running hit show comes to an end. He decides to move back to his small hometown, under the impression that his experience as a television personality has prepped him to take over his family’s law firm. Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel wrote the pilot and Jake Kasdan is directing. (VAR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’

    The first look at the upcoming spy thriller, starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer and based on the popular ‘60s TV series starring Robert Vaughn. Guy Ritchie co-wrote and directed the film, in theaters August 14th. (TP)

    First Look: ‘Spectre’

    Begin the countdown to November 6th: Sony has released the first image from the upcoming James Bond Film, Spectre, once again starring Daniel Craig. In the new film, also starring Christoph Waltz, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Rory Kinnear, Andrew Scott, and Monica Bellucci, a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. Sam Mendes is directing. (COL)

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    cbs logo

    SSN Pilot Watch 2015: The Five CBS Pilots With Potential

    Pilot season is dominating the television industry. Pilots have been ordered, casting is underway, and directors are clamoring to helm the hot comedy or drama that might just become the next Modern Family or Scandal. There’s a mix of book adaptations, spinoffs, reboots, and original content this season and SSN has gotten a sneak peek at some of the scripts that have the potential to go the distance – meaning, the potential to make it to series, get renewed, and maybe even score some Emmy love. Here’s our take… (SSN)

    Awards 2015: Inside the WGA-Nominated Screenplays With Richard Linklater, Dan Gilroy, James Gunn, and More

    Since 1948, the Writer’s Guild of America has honored exceptional accomplishments in film, television, and radio writing at their annual awards show, which is seen by many as a precursor to the Oscars. In each of the Adapted and Original Screenplay categories, eight of the last ten WGA winners have gone on to win an Oscar. (SSN)

    Awards 2015: From Vision To Reality — Oscar Makeup Nominee Bill Corso On Transforming Steve Carell In ‘Foxcatcher’

    The actor is mesmerizing as the wealthy, lonely, manipulative John du Pont. Based on real events, the film and the performance are both tinged with a melancholy, sinister tone that borders on the macabre. Carell’s performance was aided in no small part to makeup and hairstylists Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, who are up for an Academy Award. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Director Damián Szifron On His Oscar Nominated Foreign Film, ‘Wild Tales’

    When Argentine writer/director Damián Szifron’s Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes) premiered at Cannes last May, it was saluted for its humor. Produced by Pedro Almodovar and his brother Agustin, the darkly humorous film is made up of six vignettes connected by the theme of vengeance, and what happens when the oppressed start, well, going wild. (SSN)

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    California Film Commission Unveils Details of How Tax Credits Will Be Awarded

    When Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law last September a dramatic expansion of the state’s film and TV tax credit program, it was in many ways just the start of the new effort to lure production back to California. Yesterday, the California Film Commission unanimously passed draft regulations that will govern how the $330 million in annual tax credits will be disbursed. The regulations now go to the state Office of Administrative Law for final approval, so there still could be changes. (VAR)

    Park City Police Have Charged Emile Hirsch With Felony Assault For Sundance Fight

    The Into the Wild and Speed Racer actor got into a brawl that led to him choking Paramount executive Dani Bernfeld last month. If convicted, the actor could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The scuffle happened around 3:30 AM on January 25th during a Sundance party at the nightclub Tao. Police were called after Bernfeld, who is VP of Paramount Digital Entertainment and Insurge Pictures, reported the incident to security. (DH)

    Good News For Fans Of Crazy TV, as Cinemax Renews ‘Banshee’ For a Fourth Season

    The ultra violent drama about an ex-con posing as a sheriff in small town Pennsylvania is in the middle of its third season on the cable net. Unlike the first three seasons, which shot in North Carolina, the fourth season will do so in Pittsburgh. Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Lili Simmons, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Ulrich Thomsen, Hoon Lee, and Frankie Faison star in the series. (COL)

    Matt Damon Is Getting Some Good Company To Build ‘The Great Wall’

    Willem Dafoe has signed to join Damon in the film, Legendary’s fantastical retelling of the origin of China’s wondrous barrier. Zhang Yimou is directing the feature that is a pet project of Legendary CEO Thomas Tull, who conceived it with World War Z writer Max Brooks. It is eyeing an April start in China. (HV)

    Guy Ritchie Casts King Arthur’s Dad In His New Camelot Movie

    Eric Bana will play Uther, the father of young Arthur, in Ritchie’s Knights of the Round Table, which features Charlie Hunnam as Arthur and Jude Law and Djimon Hounsou also in the cast. The project, which is set to start shooting later this year, is the first in what studio Warner Bros. hopes will be a six-film series. This first installment is set for release on July 22nd, 2016. (CB)

    That Untitled Tina Fey-Margot Robbie Project Just Added a Pair Of Impressive Names

    Alfred Molina and Billy Bob Thornton have joined the cast of the film, which is based on Kim Barker’s memoir The Taliban Shuffle. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are directing the film from a script by Robert Carlock, and production is now under way in New Mexico. Fey is also producing, along with Lorne Michaels and Ian Bryce. (WF)

    Keri Russell and Marshala Ali Become the Latest To Join ‘The Free State Of Jones’

    Matthew McConaughey and Gugu Mbatha-Raw star in the Civil War drama about a Mississippi man who had been a loyal Confederate recruit, he defected from the army and took a group of like-minded troops with him to create the Free State of Jones. Knight later married a slave, creating one of the first ever publicized mixed race unions in the South, fought against the Confederates from within his new state and led a daring raid to free children who were still enslaved following the end of the conflict. Gary Ross is directing. (EMP)

    A Huge New Documentary About ‘Saturday Night Live’ Will Open Up This Year’s Tribeca Film Festival

    Bao Nguyen’s Live From New York will open the Tribeca Film Festival on April 15th. Nguyen’s documentary is based on the best-selling oral history of SNL of the same name. Tickets for the TFF 2015 Opening Night Gala go on sale on March 23rd, and the festival runs from April 15th to April 26th. (UR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Hot Pursuit’

    The first look at the upcoming comedy starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, which follows an uptight and by-the-book cop (Witherspoon) tries to protect the sexy and outgoing widow (Vergara) of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen. Film opens May 8th. (TP)

    Screenwriters: ‘The Muppets’

    The 102-page screenplay, written as The Greatest Muppet Movie Of All Time, by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, dated October 30th, 2009. (SS)

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    exec shuffle feature image

    Company Launches

    Omnia Media has launched GlamboothTV, a new division that’s focused on women’s lifestyle content. The company has hired Carmen Wong as head of partnerships and strategy for GlamboothTV. She is a former manager of talent acquisitions and development at StyleHaul,

    David Unger is co-CEO of Three Six Zero Entertainment, a new venture that will create a bridge for the youth music-centric company to move into entertainment management and production. Uger will run the venture with Mark Gillespie and Dean Wilson, who run Three Six Zero Group.

    Film

    Bold Films’ new European branch includes Managing Director Svetlana Metkina and VP Production & Development Dominic Buchanan. The company has expanded its senior creative team in Los Angeles by hiring Lisa Zambri and Jon Oakes, both as SVP Production and Development.

    Vinay Singh has joined Archer Gray as chief financial officer. Singh moves to the production, finance and venture firm from Cinetic Media, where he headed up the company’s consulting business. At Archer Gray, Singh will spearhead development of an advisory business and oversee the company’s portfolio and financing strategies.

    Television

    Jerry Leo is adding strategic planning and programming duties at E! Entertainment and Esquire Network to his responsibilities at Bravo and Oxygen Media. His new role is EVP Program Strategy, Lifestyle Networks & Production.

    Susan Hogg exited BBC Productions after 14 years to become Head of Drama and President of Scripted Programming at Studio Lambert in London. She was previously Senior Drama Executive Producer at BBC Productions.

    CBS exec Angelica McDaniel is expanding her duties. CBS has folded development of syndicated series into the broadcast network's daytime programming operation. As CBS’ head of daytime, she will now oversee both the network’s daytime programming and new series development for first-run syndication.

    Longtime Fox exec Missy Halperin has been upped to EVP Talent Relations. In her new role, Halperin will continue to work with the network’s talent, and willnow also oversee the integration of talent into marketing campaigns, cross-network programming, charitable events and corporate initiatives.

    ABC’s Los Angeles O&O has promoted Cheryl Fair to President and General Manager. Fair had been VP and News Director at KABC-TV since 1994. She succeeds Arnie Kleiner, who retired in January. With the combined operation of E! News and digital divisions, Romina Rosado, who was previously VP E! Online, will serve as SVP, Content for News and Digital, Gerald Abrahamian, previously VP, E! Online, will work as SVP, Product, Technology and Operations for News and Digital. Edward Zarcoff will serve as SVP, Digital Programming & Production and Bryce Kristensen is VP, Social and Interactive Experiences.

    Heather Olander, Syfy’s new head of alternative development and production, is building her team She has recruited Kelly Garner of Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios to the network as VP Alternative Development and Production.

    Management, PR, Music

    CAA has hired Sherrie Sage Schwartz for the newly created post of Chief Human Resources Officer. The agency said Schwartz will lead its “people efforts on a global scale.” Joshua Roth is going to move UTA into a whole new direction with photographers, painters, sculptors, and mixed media and multi-platform artists. Roth, former Chair of the Art Law Department at Glaser Weil, will become the leader of the brand new UTA Fine Arts.

    Brillstein Entertainment Partners manager-producer Brian Stern has moved to AGI Lifestyle Entertainment as SVP. The company is changing its name to AGI Entertainment Media & Management.


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    SSN AWARDS ORIGINALS

    BEST DIRECTOR

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Filmmaker Richard Linklater On Directing ‘Boyhood’ — “It Still Feels Like It’s a Part Of Us All”

    In the final installment of our three-part interview, the thrice-nominated Linklater talks about the directing side of a project that took over a dozen years to complete, as well as the assembling of all that footage, working with his daughter and seeing a small boy become a fully-fledged collaborator over the course of it all. (SSN)

    TODAY’S HEADLINES

    Will E.L. James’ Level Of Exacting Power Over ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Be Replicated In Future Deals?

    It’s not often that a relative novice of the literary world has as smashing a success as E.L. James found with her trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey. Even rarer is when a studio grants a sweeping level of control to said neophyte, allowing her to have final approval over the director, writer, cast, locations, screenplay, marketing materials, trailers, and just about every facet of production. (SSN)

    Exec Shuffle For 2/13/.15: UTA Launches Fine Arts Division, Bold Films Expands Team

    Also on the docket, a pair of company launches, a couple of moves on the film front and all kinds of action in the TV world, as well as plenty in the management and PR divisions, to boot. Click on the link to get the whole skinny. (SSN)

    A Pilot That Aired On FXX At 1:30 AM Has Now Led To a Lawsuit About a Pretty Huge Rights Issue

    Winter Dragon, based upon the massively popular fantasy book series Wheel of Time quietly arrived in the wee hours of the morning on Feb. 9 instead of a later date, and while many WOT fans were taken by surprise, a just-launched lawsuit against Harriet McDougal, widow of WOT author Robert Jordan, contends she knew the deal despite her comments posted online indicating otherwise. At issue: it’s a rights reversion situation, with a February 11th deadline. (HESQ)

    The Dudes In ‘Arms and the Dudes’ Just Got Some Female Company

    Ana de Armas has landed a starring role opposite Miles Teller and Jonah Hill in the Warner Bros. movie, to be directed by Todd Phillips and which kicks off production this month. The story revolves around two buddies who join forces as young adults to become successful international arms dealers until the find themselves well beyond their depth. It’s based on a 2011 Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson. (DH)

    It Appears That Warner Bros. Might Finally Have Its Replacement For Tom Hardy In ‘Suicide Squad’

    Joel Kinnaman is in early talks to take over the role of Rick Flagg, previously to be played by Hardy. Jake Gyllenhaal, Joel Egerton and Jon Bernthal were previously rumored as possible replacements for the part in the comic book movie ensemble flick. The latter are apparently still possibilities, but for right now, Kinnaman is the frontrunner. David Ayers is directing the film, which stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. (TP)

    We Now Have Confirmation That the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Movie Will Be In Theaters Before the End Of Next Year

    Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has confirmed in a company earnings call that the long-planned cinematic adaptation of the popular gaming series will indeed hit cinema screens on December 21st, 2016. Moreover, it has officially started production. The parkour-fuelled historical killing spree is directed by Justin Kurzel, and will star Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. (EMP)

    Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Deadpool’ Movie Just Added an Actress and a Mutant To Its Cast

    Gina Carano will play Angel Dust, a character from the underground group called the Morlocks, while the character of Colossus will also show up. While no actor has been named to play the Russian immigrant who turns his body into unbreakable metal, it might be Daniel Cudmore, who played the part in several X-Men movies. Tim Miller is directing the film, which will hit theaters this time next year. (SF)

    With ‘SNL’s 40th Anniversary Special Sunday Night, Check Out 20 Personal, Funny Tales From the People Who Were There

    From former NBC executive Dick Ebersol recruiting a then-30-year-old Lorne Michaels back in the mid-1970s to Michael Cera agreeing to host the episode that viewers will never see some three-plus decades later, here are 19 stories that helped shape SNL(THR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Crimson Peak’

    The first look at director Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming horror film, starring Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam. Film is a ghostly fairy tale about a young newlywed who discovers that her new husband has some rather ghastly secrets and hits theaters October 16th. (MF)

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    cbs logo

    SSN Pilot Watch 2015: The Five CBS Pilots With Potential

    Pilot season is dominating the television industry. Pilots have been ordered, casting is underway, and directors are clamoring to helm the hot comedy or drama that might just become the next Modern Family or Scandal. There’s a mix of book adaptations, spinoffs, reboots, and original content this season and SSN has gotten a sneak peek at some of the scripts that have the potential to go the distance – meaning, the potential to make it to series, get renewed, and maybe even score some Emmy love. Here’s our take… (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Filmmaker Richard Linklater On Directing ‘Boyhood’ — “It Still Feels Like It’s a Part Of Us All”

    In the final installment of our three-part interview, the thrice-nominated Linklater talks about the directing side of a project that took over a dozen years to complete, as well as the assembling of all that footage, working with his daughter and seeing a small boy become a fully-fledged collaborator over the course of it all. (SSN)

    Awards 2015: Inside the WGA-Nominated Screenplays With Richard Linklater, Dan Gilroy, James Gunn, and More

    Since 1948, the Writer’s Guild of America has honored exceptional accomplishments in film, television, and radio writing at their annual awards show, which is seen by many as a precursor to the Oscars. In each of the Adapted and Original Screenplay categories, eight of the last ten WGA winners have gone on to win an Oscar. (SSN)

    Awards 2015: From Vision To Reality — Oscar Makeup Nominee Bill Corso On Transforming Steve Carell In ‘Foxcatcher’

    The actor is mesmerizing as the wealthy, lonely, manipulative John du Pont. Based on real events, the film and the performance are both tinged with a melancholy, sinister tone that borders on the macabre. Carell’s performance was aided in no small part to makeup and hairstylists Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, who are up for an Academy Award. (SSN)

    Awards 2015 Spotlight: Director Damián Szifron On His Oscar Nominated Foreign Film, ‘Wild Tales’

    When Argentine writer/director Damián Szifron’s Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes) premiered at Cannes last May, it was saluted for its humor. Produced by Pedro Almodovar and his brother Agustin, the darkly humorous film is made up of six vignettes connected by the theme of vengeance, and what happens when the oppressed start, well, going wild. (SSN)

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