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Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals
Kiliaen Van Rensselaer is leaving Fox Television Group to launch Insurrection Media, a digital TV studio with a goal to create content to be shopped to OTT providers as the first window of distribution. Allen DeBevoise’s Third Wave Capital Partners made an equity capital investment in Insurrection, and will serve on the board of advisors.
Disney’s Maker Studios has acquired start-up Instafluence as a way to connect social influencers with advertisers. Instafluence reports 10,000 sponsored posts on popular networks, resulting in more than 150 million engagements for brands including PacSun, Crossmedia and VH1.
Vice Media inked a multiyear deal to provide content for Verizon’s upcoming Internet TV service, including exclusive programming. Verizon’s new service is expected to launch later this year, with Viacom, AwesomenessTV, Scripps Networks Interactive, as well as ESPN and CBS Sports for college sports programming. They’ve also recently locked in deals with Spotify, Samsung and Snapchat.
Comcast and Electronic Arts (EA) have partnered to develop an HD gaming platform on X1 called Xfinity Games. It will be streamed over the Internet to customers’ X1 set-top boxes and the games would count under Xfinity Internet data plans.
The Wall Group, an artist management and consulting agency has been acquired by WME | IMG. The agency also advises commercial and luxury brands such as P&G, Unilever, Target, and Chanel. The Wall Group will continue to operate as a separate entity with its leadership team, including Founder Brooke Wall and Directors Ali Bird and Kate Stirling, continuing in their current roles.
Alchemy has acquired ANconnect and Anderson Digital and has formed a strategic alliance with ARC Entertainment. As part of the deal Charlie Anderson has become an investor in Alchemy. Distribution company Alchemy is an aggregator for Walmart and Target with an annual content flow to more than 1,300 films and 3,000-plus television episodes. ARC is a family and faith-based supplier to Walmart among others. In addition, Alchemy will financially support the Bentonville Film Festival.
Forrest Lucas and Ali Afshar have partnered together to launch ESX Entertainment, a production company with an aim to develop and finance three to six commercial projects a year across feature films and digital/TV series. This is Lucas’ first foray into film. He is the founder and owner of Lucas Oil Products, MAVTV and Lucas Cattle Company. Afshar’s pre-existing ESX Productions will fold into the company with its upcoming films including the drama The Wrong Side of Right with Lea Thompson, the coming-of-age story The Wizard starring Jon Voight and Born To Race films.
VOD platform MUBI has signed a multiyear distribution deal with Sony Pictures Television exclusive to the UK market and will feature classic titles including Taxi Driver, Closer, Dr.Strangelove and Snatch. MUBI’s USP is offering viewers a selective service like an online film festival, with a new film highlighted every day. MUBI has recently partnered with eOne, Icon and StudioCanal.
Keshet International (KI), the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group, has established Keshet Studios, the company’s new LA-based studio which will oversee development, production, packaging, promotion and sales of KI’s scripted programming activities in the US. Veteran television executive Peter Traugott has been named Keshet Studios’ President of Scripted, while Rachel Kaplan also joins as EVP. Traugott joins Keshet Studios directly from TBD Entertainment, a television production company he founded, and will oversee the new studio’s slate of scripted projects with Kaplan, who also comes from TBD. Keshet Studios is represented by WME’s Rick Rosen and Marc Korman.
Broad Green Pictures has tapped Dave Saxena as Chief Investment Officer of Broad Green Investments, the studio’s new private equity and venture capital arm. He will run the company’s investment efforts focused on media, technology and entertainment businesses that are complementary to the studio’s core creative and distribution operations. Marc Danon has been named the company’s President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions. He was previously Lionsgate’s SVP of Acquisitions & Business Development.
Athina Rachel Tsangari has become the third filmmaker in residence at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. During her residency, Tsangari will be working on White Knuckles, described as a screwball action-thriller that centers on two criminal sisters. Her newest feature, Chevalier, a buddy comedy set aboard a luxury yacht astray on the Aegean Sea, will have its world premiere in August at the Locarno l Film Festival.
Stuart Brown has been named the Head of Programming & Acquisitions at the BFI to report to Creative Director Heather Stewart. He was promoted from his post as Head of Events. His new aim will be to maximize the cultural and commercial performance of BFI cinemas and BFI distribution across UK theatrical, non-theatrical, DVD, VOD and international tours of BFI programs.
Kori Bernards will be leaving Universal Pictures after seven years as chief communications strategist and lead spokesperson. Universal hopes to announce a new head of communications in the coming weeks. Bernards will be staying on for the transition and will continue to serve as an advisor through the process.
Starz has tapped TWC’s CMO Jeffrey Hirsch to be their President of Global Marketing and Product Planning. He’ll report to Starz CEO Chris Albrecht and oversee new products and services, boost awareness of Starz’ original programming, and help with strategy and distribution.
Alec Botnick has been named the VP of Comedy Development at CBS TV Studios. He was previously an agent of Scripted TV at WME.
Chris Salvaterra is now a Production Executive of Miniseries at HBO. He was previously a producer at Katonah Pictures.
Eli Shibley has been tapped by IM Global’s TV division as their new President, International Distribution and Co-Productions. He will work with IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford and IM Global TV president Mark Stern. He will oversee sales of their scripted slate as well as acquisitions of third-party scripted and unscripted projects from U.S., UK, and international content partners.
Chanel Carmona has been promoted from manager to associate director of development, original series at CNN. Lizzie Kerner is the new VP of Original Series at CNN and was upped from Sr. Director.
Jocelyn Hamilton has been named the President of eOne TV. She was previously the VP of Original Programming & Production, Corus Entertainment.
Dean Possenniskie is taking over for Tom Davidson in his role as A+E Networks UK Managing Director after his departure July 20. Possenniskie is a board member of the A+E/Sky joint venture and will continue in that role along with his new responsibilities.
Eli Shibley has been named the President of International Distribution & Co-Productions, IM Global Television. He was previously the SVP of International Media & Formats at Electus.
Shelly Tseng has been upped from exec. assistant to manager of talent development and programming at GSN.
Jonathan Hewes has been named the CEO of Mentorn Media and Pioneer Productions in London. He was previously the head of International at Wall to Wall.
Angelique Mais is the new VP of Creative Services, TV One. She was formerly the Creative Director, Brand Creative at A&E Networks.
Christel S. Miller has been upped from Manager to Director of Current Programming, NBC Entertainment.
BBC Worldwide North America has tapped Dawn Williamson to be their SVP, Advertising Sales and Tim Wastney to VP, Advertising Sales. Williamson will handle the delivery of ad sales revenues for BBC.com in North America and global sales originating from the U.S. for BBC.com and BBC World News, along with TopGear.com and bbcgoodfood.com. Formerly a VP at BBC Advertising, Wastney will drive ad sales across all the BBC’s key businesses both nationally and internationally.
Kerri Hendry has been named the VP of Current Programming at Lionsgate Television. She was tapped from eOne TV where Kerri was Director, Current Programming.
Jane Rimer has been named the Chief of International Business & Creative Development, Insight Productions. She was previously a consultant there.
Hannah Wyatt has been upped from Creative Director to Managing Director of Boundless Productions in London.
Vivian Yin has been named FremantleMedia China’s CEO. She was previously the VP of Production and Chief Representative for Star China.
Management, PR, Agencies
Entertainment agency United Entertainment Group has promoted Mary Scott to president of sports and brand experiences and Robby Wells to CSO. Scott had been managing director, while Wells was previously executive vice president of strategy and creative development. The agency has also brought on Gabe Banner as SVP of brand experiences, Nicole Bradley as VP of communications, Dave Santaniello as SVP of rights and partnerships and Melanie Washington as VP of brand experiences.
ICM Partners has hired Hilary Baum McQuaide, formerly a partner at Skouras Agency, as an agent in their Motion Picture Production Department. Rebecca Ewing, previously of Intellectual Artists Management was tapped as an agent in ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department. Taryn Ariel, formerly a comedy agent based in APA’s New York office, has been tapped as a talent agent focusing on comedy development. Kati Kolben has been promoted to agent status and has been with ICM since 2011.
United Artists Media Group, the joint venture from Hearst, MGM and producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey has tapped William Eide as their SVP Corporate Development and he will report to CEO Burnett and COO Brian Edwards. In his new role he will evaluate and execute new growth initiatives including organic opportunities, acquisitions and investments.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
The Chernin Group hired Mike Kerns as President of Digital. He will also join the board of Otter Media, the company’s venture with AT+T. Kerns was previously at Yahoo, where he was Senior Vice President of Product, Homepage and Verticals.
Deborah K. Bothun formerly the Entertainment, Media & Communications U.S. Leader at PwC has had her role expanded from U.S. to Global.
Jeff Ivers has left Participant Media as their COO. No word yet on his next role.
Polly Auritt has been named the VP of Scripted Programming at Fullscreen. She hails from MTV where she was VP of Scripted Series Development.
Mashable has hired Juana Summers as a politics editor ahead of the 2016 elections, a new position at the website. Summers previously covered Congress at NPR.
Adam Soldinger has been hired by The Huffington Post as VP in charge of video programming and operations. Previously he served as the head of business development and strategic partnerships for Say Media’s digital magazine publishing platform Tempest and prior to that he was a VP at Complex Media.
Don Steele, previously the SVP of Fan Engagement & Multi-Platform Marketing at Comedy Central has been tapped by Tumblr as their new head of Audience Development. Evan Minskoff is coming onboard as well as the new Head of Marketing & Operations.
Damon Williams has been upped from VP to SVP of Programming Strategy & Partnerships at Music Now.
Exec Shuffle For 7/17/15: WME Acquires the Wall Group, ICM Hires Three Agents, Plus Updates at Starz and ViceAnother busy week in Hollywoodland has a Fox exec leaving the company to start a new shingle, several different major company acquisitions, as well as the usual amount of comings and goings, hirings and firings. Click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)
David Gordon Green’s Strange and Winding Career Takes Another Turn With Boston Marathon Bombing Film, ‘Stronger’Director with many different titles through his career — indie breakout, second coming of Terrence Malick, studio stoner comedy helmer, reviver of once-great actors — has Our Brand Is Crisis starring Sandra Bullock and Anthony Mackie on the way, and is taking on a true-life tale that could be Oscar material. He will direct a film based on the memoir of Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the bombing and became a key witness in the subsequent criminal case. (COL) (SF) (VAR) (THR) (DH) (TP) (INC)
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Another Day, Another Bit Of ‘Ghostbusters’ Intel, With Director Paul Feig Now Revealing Character NamesAccording to a tweet from the director, the four stars of the film, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, are playing Erin Gilbert, Jillian Holtzmann, Abby Yates and Patty Tolan. However, there was no word from the director, or anyone else, as to which actress is playing which character. (SF) (TVL) (EW) (INC) (SM)
Don't Knock Twice 7/20/2015 Logline: A guilt-ridden mother must save her daughter by uncovering the terrifying truth behind an urban legend surrounding a vengeful, demonic witch. Production Company(s): Content Media Corporation, Seymour Films Director(s): Caradog James Executive Producer(s): Jamie Carmichael Producer(s): John Giwa-Amu, Claire Moorsom Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Lucy Boynton Writer(s): Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler SSN Insight: The film will shoot in the U.K. and was financed by Altara, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Content Media. The project is another team-up between Content Media and James, who worked together on sci-fi action thriller The Machine.
Sleight 7/20/2015 Logline: After his mother’s death, a young street magician turns to dealing drugs at parties to support his little sister. When she kidnapped by his supplier, he uses his sleight of hand and keen intelligence to find her. Production Company(s): Diablo Entertainment Director(s): JD Dillard Producer(s): Eric B. Fleischman, Sean Tabibian Cast: Jacob Latimore, Dule Hill, Tyga, Storm Reid, Seychelle Gabriel Writer(s): JD Dillard, Alex Theurer SSN Insight: Dule Hill is best known for his role on USA’s Psych. He currently has a recurring role on HBO’s Ballers as Larry and was cast in the CBS pilot, Doubt.
Southside With You 7/13/2015 Logline: The story of the eventful date in 1989 when a young associate named Barack Obama was trying to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson on a summer afternoon and evening that took them from the Art Institute of Chicago to a screening of Spike Lee’s "Do the Right Thing," to the site of their first kiss outside an ice cream parlor. Production Company(s): State Street Pictures, IM Global Director(s): Richard Tanne Executive Producer(s): Tracey Bing Producer(s): Robert Teitel, Richard Tanne, Tika Sumpter, Stuart Ford, Matt Jackson Cast: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers Writer(s): Richard Tanne SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Homegrown Pictures with Stephanie Allain attached to produce.
Stratton 7/15/2015 Logline: The adventures John Stratton, an operative of the special forces of the British Navel Service, are chronicled. Production Company(s): Amber Entertainment, GFM Films Director(s): Simon West Producer(s): Ileen Maisel, Lawrence Elman, Charlie Cavill, Rex Glensy Cast: Dominic Cooper, Austin Stowell, Gemma Chan, Tyler Hoechlin, Tom Felton Details: Based on the 8-novel "Stratton" series written by Duncan Falconer and published by Little, Brown Book Group. The first novel, "The Hostage" was published on March 1, 2003 and the eighth novel "Assassin" was published on published July 26, 2012. "Duncan Falconer" is a pseudonym for the author who drew on his own military background to create the character "John Stratton." SSN Insight: Henry Cavill was previously attached to star. Simon West is also directing a remake of The Blob for Goldcrest, currently in preproduction.
Swiss Army Man 7/14/2015 Logline: In this absurdist comedy, a hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a journey to get home. Production Company(s): Cold Iron Pictures , Blackbird Films Director(s): Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan Executive Producer(s): Gideon Tadmor, Jim Kaufman, William Sten Olsson Producer(s): Jonathan Wang, Lawrence Inglee, Amanda Marshall, Miranda Bailey, Eyal Rimmon Cast: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead Writer(s): Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in 2014 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab
The Brits Are Coming 7/20/2015 Logline: A con artist couple from Britain who owe a huge debt to a Russian gangster travel to Los Angeles and plan a big diamond heist. Production Company(s): Evolution/Primary Wave Director(s): James Oakley Producer(s): Cassian Elwes, J.C. Chandor, Robert Ogden Barnum, William Clevinger Cast: Uma Thurman Writer(s): James Oakley, Alexander G. Michaelides SSN Insight:Kristin Chenoweth and Steven Berkoff were previously attached as cast members.
The Free World 7/15/2015 Logline: Mo Lundy is adjusting to civilian life after 20 years in prison for a crime he didnâ€™t commit when he meets Doris, and soon is willing to risk even his new freedom for the mysterious woman. Production Company(s): Untitled Entertainment, Memento Films Director(s): Jason Lew Executive Producer(s): Emilie Georges, Nick Shumaker Producer(s): Laura Rister Cast: Cillian Murphy, Elisabeth Moss, Boyd Holbrook Writer(s): Jason Lew SSN Insight: Cillian Murphy was previously attached to star. Bryce Dallas Howard was previously attached to star.
What Happened to Monday? 7/14/2015 Logline: In a world where families are allowed only one child, some resourceful, identical septuplets must avoid governmental execution while investigating the disappearance of one of their own. Production Company(s): Raffaella Productions, Vendome Pictures Director(s): Tommy Wirkola Producer(s): Raffaella De Laurentiis, Philippe Rousselet Cast: Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close Writer(s): Max Botkin SSN Insight: Morten Tyldum was attached to direct. The lead was originally written for a male actor but was rewritten when Rapace met with Wirkola.
Florence Foster Jenkins 7/20/2015 Logline: The true story of New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, who aspired to become an opera singer despite an assertive lack of talent, and her aristocratic British "husband" and manager who both championed her skills and sought to protect her from the hard truth about her abilities. Production Company(s): N1 European Film Productions and Co. KG, Qwerty Films Director(s): Stephen Frears Producer(s): Michael Kuhn, Tracey Seaward Cast: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda Writer(s): Nicholas Martin SSN Insight: Streep is also starring in Ricki and the Flash and Suffragette, both awaiting release along with The Good House in active development.
Free Fire 7/17/2015 Logline: In 1978, an arms deal in Boston goes terribly wrong. Production Company(s): Rook Films Director(s): Ben Wheatley Executive Producer(s): Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff Producer(s): Andy Starke, Ben Wheatley Cast: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley, Sharlto Copley Writer(s): Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump SSN Insight: Olivia Wilde was previously attached to the role played by Brie Larson. Luke Evans was previously attached to co-star.
Indignation 7/17/2015 Logline: Two complicated and unique individuals, one the son of a kosher butcher from Newark and the other the daughter of a well-regarded surgeon from Cleveland, explore a relationship at their Midwestern university in the 1950s. Production Company(s): X-Filme Creative Pool, Symbolic Exchange, Likely Story, RT Features Director(s): James Schamus Executive Producer(s): Stefanie Azpiazu, Avy Eschenasy, Lourenco Sant Anna, Logan Lerman, Jonathan Bronfman Producer(s): Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Rodrigo Teixeira Cast: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Linda Emond, Danny Burstein Writer(s): James Schamus Details: Based on the novel "Indignation" written by Philip Roth and published by Houghton Mifflin in September 2008. SSN Insight: Scott Rudin preemptively acquired the novel by Philip Roth in a reported seven-figure deal. Project was previously in development at Scott Rudin Productions with Scott Rudin attached to produce.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 7/16/2015 Logline: This sequel involves a swashbuckling search across the seas for a legendary and powerful artifact, the Trident of Poseidon. Studio/Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production Company(s): Jerry Bruckheimer Films Director(s): Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg Producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson, Chad Oman Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Ian McShane, Stephen Graham Writer(s): Jeff Nathanson, Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott Details: Sequel to Walt Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003). SSN Insight: Rob Marshall had been mentioned to direct. Jared Leto and Christoph Waltz were reportedly eyed for the villain role. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg are best known for directing the Netflix series, Marco Polo.
ON THE SET FOR 7/20/15: DANIEL RADCLIFFE STARTS SHOOTING ‘SWISS ARMY MEN’, MERYL STREEP FINISHES ‘FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS’In other On the Set news, director Simon West's film, Stratton, and Uma Thurman's film, The Brits are Coming, both start production and the latest installment of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean wraps production. (SSN) (SSN)
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Xena: Warrior Princess (Reboot) Studio: NBC Universal International Production Company(s): Renaissance Pictures Executive Producer(s): Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi Logline: Storyline under wraps, centers on the adventures of a smart and charming warrior princess. Details: Based on the Xena: Warrior Princess series that was was produced by Studios USA and Universal Worldwide Television and distributed by Universal Television in syndication for six seasons from 1995-2001. The series was a spin-off of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. SSN Insight: The drama is in development and looking to premiere in 2016. Original star Lucy Lawless may return as Xena or in another role as well as in a producer role.
Kocktails with Khloe Network: FYI Production Company(s): Pilgrim Studios Executive Producer(s): Khloe Kardashian, Craig Piligian, Gena McCarthy, Toby Faulkner,Lauren Wohl Logline: Talk show with friends joining Khloe Kardashian in the kitchen and around the table for an intimate dinner party filled with cooking, pop culture, conversation and outrageously fun party games SSN Insight: FYI has ordered eight 1-hour episodes of the series, currently in production and slated to launch late 2015. In addition to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Khloe has also starred in the spin-offs Khloe & Lamar, Kourtney and Khloe Take The Hamptons. She also serves as the EP on the pilot Dash Dolls which E! ordered to series.
Heir Heads Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Lime Pictures, All3Media America Executive Producer(s): Derek McLean, Kate Little, Phil Harris, Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert Logline: For these families, all business is personal as they look to transition their companies’ leadership to the next generation. With the help of a savvy business expert, these heirs apparent will get their shot to inherit the keys to their own kingdom during a trial period as CEO. SSN Insight: Producers Eli Holzman and Stephen Lambert are also behind Fit Club that has been ordered to series by Bravo.
Tabatha's Life Takeover Network: Bravo Production Company(s): All3Media America, Morocco Junction Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Tabatha Coffey, Heather Schuster, Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert Logline: Tabatha Coffey will use her unique brand of no-nonsense tough love to help people at a major cross roads complete a life makeover. In her unapologetic, but compassionate fashion, Tabatha will inspire, cajole and sometimes scare them into seeing their lives and situations in a whole new light. SSN Insight: Tabitha rose to fame after competing on Bravo’s show, Shear Genius. Based on that success, Bravo gave Tabitha her own series, Tabitha Takes Over.
Yours, Mine or Ours Network: Bravo Production Company(s): JV Productions Inc. Executive Producer(s): Courtney Campbell, Kirk Hipkiss Logline: Committed couples looking to cohabitate enlist the help of boisterous real estate agent Reza Farahan and interior designer and decorator Taylor Spellman to figure out which residence they should call home. Taylor will present stunning design renderings showcasing how to transform their existing spaces while Reza tempts them with brilliant new properties they can make all their own. The couples will have to weigh their options before making the ultimate decision of yours, mine or ours. SSN Insight: Reza Farahan previously starred on Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset for four seasons.
Hotel Transylvania Network: Netflix Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): Nelvana Enterprises, Sony Pictures Animation Executive Producer(s): Rick Mischel, Colin Bohm, Irene Weibel Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: The series focuses on the teenage years of Dracula’s daughter, Mavis, and her friends. Based on the movie. Details: Based on the film, "Hotel Transylvania," (2012), directed by Genndy Tartakovsky and starring the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg and Selena Gomez. SSN Insight: The 2012 film grossed $358 million worldwide. The sequel is slated for release on September 25, 2015.
New Orleans, Here & Now Studio: Time, Inc. Production Company(s): Killer Films, Field Office Films, Rampante Executive Producer(s): Patricia Clarkson, Scott Bakula, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler Logline: The docuseries will focus on life in the city of New Orleans post-Katrina, looking at stories such as Tiffany Junot’s path to becoming WBC welterweight champion, the TBC Brass Band and the history of a popular local Vietnamese restaurant. SSN Insight: Time has given a six episode series order. Each episode will be a short film. Directors include John Maringouin, Darius Clark Monroe, Angela Tucker, Lily Keber, Zach Godshall and Kate Dellamaggiore. The series will be distributed across Time Inc. digital properties in the fall, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
The Family Shakespeare Executive Producer(s): Patrice Theroux, Leif Bristow, Agnes Bristow, John Rhys-Davies Writer(s): Shane Connaughton Logline: The story focuses on William Shakespeare's adult life and his constant struggle between family life in Stratford and a flourishing professional career in London. Details: Inspired by the adult life of William Shakespeare. SSN Insight: Planned as a 6-part miniseries. After leaving eOne’s Global Film Division, Théroux’s first project was a comic adaptation of ReincarNATE, which is being developed as a one-hour supernatural crime drama.
Bad Medicine Network: Spike TV Production Company(s): MomentumTV Executive Producer(s): Nick Hamm Writer(s): Aaron Mendelsohn Logline: A man in pain is miraculously cured by a brilliant but unconventional doctor who specializes in clinical trials. The man goes all out to help this doctor find more breakthrough cures, only to realize that there are deadly consequences to the work the doctor does. SSN Insight: Nick Hamm’s shingle, Momentum TV is part of Momentum Entertainment, owned by advertising giant Interpublic Group.
Hummel & Howe Network: Spike TV Studio: Endemol Studios Production Company(s): Additional Dialogue Executive Producer(s): Scott Aversano, Tom Gormican Writer(s): Andy Bellin Logline: This series showcases the wild cases and lives of William Howe and Abraham Hummel in Gilded Age New York. They are two criminals desperate to escape their past who become among the greatest criminal defense attorneys in American history. Details: Based on the lives of 19th century attorneys William Howe and Abraham Hummel. SSN Insight: Scott Aversano’s executive producing feature credits include Safe House, Team America: World Police and School of Rock. He previously worked with Tom Gormican on That Awkward Moment film which Gormican wrote and directed and Aversano produced.
Mr. In Between Network: Spike TV Executive Producer(s): Diane Houslin, Walter Mosley Logline: A high-stakes courier traffics in sensitive information between people for whom privacy is a matter of life and death. Details: Based on the short story, "Mister In Between," written by Walter Mosley and included in the short story collection, "Dead Man's Hand," published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on November 5, 2007. SSN Insight: Author Walter Mosley has penned more than forty books over the course of his career. His first published book, Devil in a Blue Dress was adapted for the 1995 film starring Denzel Washington. In 2013 he was inducted into the New York Writers Hall of Fame.
Secret America Network: Spike TV Production Company(s): Alcon TV Executive Producer(s): Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson Writer(s): Joshua Goldin, Rachel Abramowitz Logline: Set in the near future, this series explores a society where the threat of terrorism has turned the US government into an autocratic state. The show will chronicle the lives of one family as they fight for survival in a world where everyone is watched and no one can be fully trusted, and where patriotism is demanded, not earned. SSN Insight: Andrew Kosove’s most recently executive produced HBO’s Sinatra: All or Nothing At All. He is also executive producing the TV mini-series Everest (in pre-production) along with Point Break and Blade Runner remakes, both currently in production on the feature side.
World War III Network: Spike TV Production Company(s): Bad Hat Harry Productions, Benay Bros. Executive Producer(s): Bryan Singer Writer(s): Aaron Benay, Matthew Benay Logline: As the world’s geopolitical balance shifts and the next global conflict explodes, America’s Heartland will become Occupied Territory. One man with a troubled past will galvanize a Resistance movement, calling upon ordinary citizens to become the extraordinary heroes of WWIII. SSN Insight: X-Men director Singer is no stranger to TV having served as the executive producer on Battle Creek, Spooked, H+, House M.D., Dirty Sexy Money and The Triangle mini-series.
TV DEVELOPMENT FOR 7/21/15: 'XENA' RETURNING TO BATTLE, FYI ORDERS 'KOCKTAILS WITH KHLOE', NETFLIX CHECKING INTO 'HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA'Other TV development news includes, Shear Genius' Tabatha Coffey's new show on Bravo, Tabatha's Life Takeover, a Hurricane Katrina anniversary docuseries from Time, Inc., and a Shakespeare miniseries. (SSN) (SSN)
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Turner Broadcasting’s TNT and TBS have set their creative development and production teams, with Joey Chavez joining the company as SVP Original Programming for TNT and Thom Hinkle promoted to SVP Original Programming for TBS. (DH)(VI) (HP) (FC) (EW)
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WME: Actress Rachel Weisz has moved from CAA to WME. She has a bunch of projects on her slate including The Lobster, a film that won the jury prize at Cannes and was picked up by Alchemy. She will star alongside Michael Fassbender in The Light Between Oceans for DreamWorks, in an untitled drama for filmmaker Joshua Marston alongside Michael Shannon and another untitled film by director James Marsh about an amateur yacht racer played by Colin Firth.
UTA: Actress Emily Ratajkowski has shifted from Innovative Artists to UTA. She is best known for appearing in the Blurred Lines music video and her role in Gone Girl. She will next be seen in Warner Bros’ We Are Your Friends with Zac Efron, Jon Bernthal and Wes Bentley. She continues to be repped by manager Evan Hainey and attorneys Carlos Goodman and Gregory Slewett.
WME: Digital entertainment group RocketJump has signed with its first agency, WME. The company is behind the massively popular Youtube series Video Game High School. Its founders include Freddie Wong, Matt Arnold and Dez Dolly. Recently Hulu gave an eight episode order to the Lionsgate produced series entitled RocketJump: The Show that will chronicle the filmmaking behind the company’s newest short. RocketJump is also represented by attorneys Adam Kaller and Duncan Hedges of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller, LLP.
CAA: Comedian Ron White has shifted from APA to CAA and signed with the agency for all areas of representation including touring, film, television, endorsements, branding and publishing. He's most notable for being a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour alongside Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. His four comedy albums have all hit No. 1 on Billboard's comedy charts, selling 14 million units and winning three Grammy awards. White will continue to be managed by Michael Blakey of Electra Star Management.
APA: Producer G. Mac Brown has signed with APA. His producing credits include The Departed, Scent of A Woman, Public Enemies, Australia, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, St. Vincent and Somewhere. Most recently he executive produced the hotly anticipated The Hateful Eight by Quentin Tarantino awaiting release.
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DEVELOPMENT PICK LIST: THE #FILMMAKERS, CIVIL WAR #ROBINHOOD & FREEDOM FIGHTER #COMIC TO CHECK OUT THIS MONTHWelcome to another round of Development Pick List where SSN scouts the internet to find the very best hidden gems to use in your next project. (SSN)
REP MOVES FOR 7/22/15: RACHEL WEISZ MOVES TO WME, GONE GIRL’S EMILY RATAJKOWSKI SHIFTS TO UTA & MOREOther rep moves include digital entertainment group, RocketJump, signing with WME and comedian Ron White shifting from APA to CAA. (SSN)
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CBS Is Staying In Business With Robert and Michelle King, Greenlights a Brand New Series From the DuoStudio has put in a straight-to-series order for the one-hour comic-thriller BrainDead, from the creators of The Good Wife. The series will center on a young staffer whose first day on the job in Washington D.C. alerts her to the fact that the government is no longer performing at full capacity and that many of the Congressmen and other faculty members have had their brains eaten by aliens. Show will mix up the worlds of comedy, sci-fi and suspense. (CB) (COL)
Syfy Is Giving Us a Fourth ‘Sharknado’, and Will Ask Viewers To Help Decide the Fate Of One Of Its Characters“You decide if #AprilLives or #AprilDies,” the network promised viewers after they saw a large-ish bit of space shuttle flotsam careening toward April Wexler, aka Tara Reid, at the end of last night’s Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! “Life Or Death? You Decide!” Syfy said, telling viewers if they were anti-tweet voters they also could vote on sharknado.syfy.com. “Her fate will be revealed in Sharknado 4 … because we’re not done yet!” (DH) (TLF) (THR) (TVL)
As Universal’s Winning Streak Continues, It’s Time To Examine Why the Studio Is Having Such a Banner YearWith Trainwreck opening to an impressive $30.2 million, Illumination's animated spin-off comedy Minions going strong ($625 worldwide so far) and blockbuster Jurassic World hitting on all cylinders ($1.5 billion worldwide and counting), 2015 will be a profitable year indeed for veteran studio chief Ron Meyer and his chairman Donna Langley, who has shepherded a diverse and varied slate that has worked with audiences. (TOH) (TP) (SM)
A Better You Logline: About hypnotherapist Dr. Ron Knight who practices an unusual and jarring method. When his fragile ego and increasing isolation begin to undermine his marriage and family, he spirals into a midlife crisis, But his salvation might come from an unlikely friendship he forms with a day laborer named Hugo. Studio/Distributor: FilmBuff Producer(s): Kirk Roos Writer(s): Matt Walsh, Brian Huskey Director(s): Matt Walsh Cast: Matt Walsh, Horatio Sanz, Erinn Hayes, Brian Huskey, Morgan Walsh SSN Insight: FilmBuff will distribute the film in select theaters and on VOD beginning October 9. The film premiered at this year’s Santa Barbara Film Festival.
Logan’s Run Logline: Remake of the 1976 sci-fi futuristic tale set after a holocaust when human survivors have sealed themselves into a domed city to survive. To maintain the population balance, the computers that run the city have decreed that all people must die by the age of 21. Logan, a policeman in the city, is forced to go on a mission to find the place where humans have been escaping to live beyond 21, however, after seeing for himself that there is life beyond his dreary world, Logan begins to question his own society. Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Production Company(s): Silver Pictures, Genre Films Producer(s): Joel Silver, Simon Kinberg Writer(s): Simon Kinberg (story and treatment) Details: Based on the novel "Logan's Run" published by Amereon Ltd; June, 1976. SSN Insight: Bryan Singer, Skip Woods, Joseph Kosinski, Carl Rinsch, and Nicolas Winding Refn were all previously attached to direct the film which started development in 2000. Christopher McQuarrie, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, Bryan Singer are among those who have penned drafts of the script.
A Cure for Wellness Logline: An employee sent to rescue his boss from a European spa soon realizes he's trapped. Studio/Distributor: New Regency Productions Production Company(s): 20th Century Fox Distribution Production Company(s): BlindWink Productions Producer(s): Gore Verbinski Writer(s): Justin Haythe Director(s): Gore Verbinski Cast: Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth, Jason Isaacs, Celia Imrie SSN Insight: Production is underway in Europe. Imrie was last seen in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films along with What We Did On Our Holiday.
Brain on Fire Logline: The film tells the story of a young woman's descent into insanity. Production Company(s): Denver & Delilah Films, Foundation Features, Broad Green Pictures Producer(s): Charlize Theron, A.J. Dix, Beth Kono, Robert Merilees, Lindsay MacAdam Writer(s): Gerard Barrett Director(s): Gerard Barrett Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Jenny Slate, Richard Armitage, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tyler Perry Details: Based on the memoir "Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness" written by Susannah Cahalan and published by Free Press in 2012. SSN Insight: Dakota Fanning was previously attached to the role played by Chloe Grace Moretz. Will Poulter was previously attached as a member of the cast.
Untitled Clea DuVall Film Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Production Company(s): Burn Later Productions Producer(s): Paul M. Bernon, Sam Slater, Sev Ohanian Writer(s): Clea DuVall Director(s): Clea DuVall Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Natasha Lyonne, Vincent Piazza, Jason Ritter, Ben Schwartz, Alia Shawkat, Cobie Smulders SSN Insight: Feature marks DuVall’s directorial debut whose acting credits include The Grudge, 21 Grams and Argo. Project is currently in production.
High Wire Act Logline: A CIA station chief is kidnapped. Production Company(s): Radar Pictures Producer(s): Ted Field, Mike Weber, Tony Gilroy Writer(s): Tony Gilroy Director(s): Brad Anderson Cast: Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike SSN Insight: Good Universe is handling international sales.
LBJ Logline: Lyndon Johnson goes from powerful Senate Majority Leader, powerless Vice President to President of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Production Company(s): Castle Rock Entertainment, Star Thrower Entertainment, Acacia Entertainment, Savvy Media Holdings Producer(s): Matthew George, Rob Reiner, Liz Glotzer, Michael Williams, Tim White Writer(s): Joey Hartstone Director(s): Rob Reiner Cast: Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2014 Black List. Richard Jenkins was just nominated for an Emmy for his role in Olive Kitteridge.
Minecraft Logline: The film is based on the video game in which players create avatars that use cubes to make whatever environment they can imagine in a virtual world. Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company(s): Vertigo Entertainment Producer(s): Roy Lee, Jill Messick Writer(s): Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney Director(s): Rob McElhenney Details: Based on the video game "Minecraft" created by Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson, developed and published by Mojang and publicly released for the PC on May 17, 2009. SSN Insight: Shawn Levy was previously in discussions to direct a script written by Kieran and Michele Mulroney. McElhenney is most notable for co-creating and co-starring in the long-running FX/FXX series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
Mother's Day Logline: The stories of several mothers intertwine during the day leading up to the Motherâ€™s Day holiday. Studio/Distributor: Open Road Films Production Company(s): PalmStar Entertainment, Gulfstream Pictures Producer(s): Wayne Rice, Mike Karz, Kevin Scott Frakes Writer(s): Anya Kochoff, Lily Hollander Director(s): Garry Marshall Cast: Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis SSN Insight: Open Road will release the film wide on April 29, 2016, the weekend prior to Mother’s Day. Production starts in Atlanta next month.
Rampage Logline: The film is based on the popular 1980s arcade game in which players take control of huge monsters who are trying to survive against attacks by the military. Studio/Distributor: New Line Cinema Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution Production Company(s): Flynn Picture Co., Rickard Pictures, 7 Bucks Entertainment Producer(s): Beau Flynn, Brad Peyton, John Rickard, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia Writer(s): Ryan Engle Director(s): Brad Peyton (in talks) Cast: Dwayne Johnson Details: Based on the video arcade game "Rampage" introduced by Bally Midway in 1986. SSN Insight: Brad Peyton is in talks to direct and it would be a reteam with the producers, writers and star of San Andreas. Scarpetta Logline: Opera-loving coroner Dr. Kay Scarpetta investigates mysteries. Studio/Distributor: Fox 2000 Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company, Media Talent Group, Tall Girls Productions Producer(s): Mark R. Gordon, Geyer Kosinski, Melissa Rosenberg Writer(s): Liz Friedman, Theresa Rebeck, Kario Salem, Kerry Williamson Details: Based on the crime novel series centering on the character of Kay Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell; first published by Pocket Books January 1, 1990. SSN Insight: Source material was previously optioned by Columbia Pictures. Angelina Jolie previously attached to star. This would be Friedman’s first feature deals, who co-wrote the pilot to Orange Is The New Black and was a co-EP on Elementary. Spider-Man (Reboot) Logline: Storyline is under wraps, but involves a teenage Peter Parker. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Sony Pictures Releasing Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment, Pascal Pictures Producer(s): Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal Writer(s): John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein Director(s): Jon Watts Cast: Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei Details: Based on the legendary Marvel comic book, Spider-Man created by writer/editor Stan Lee and writer/artist Steve Ditko, he first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 cover-dated August 1962. SSN Insight: Actors in contention for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man included Nat Wolff, Asa Butterfield, Tom Holland, Timothee Chalamet, Judah Lewis, Matthew Lintz, Charlie Plummer, Charlie Plummer and Liam Jame. They did screen tests in Atlanta and ultimately, Tom Holland got the role. Drew Goddard was previously in talks to write and direct.
Steelheart Logline: After a group of people gain extraordinary powers, they lord power over ordinary humans, but a group called the Reckoners fight back. Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): 21 Laps Entertainment Producer(s): Shawn Levy Writer(s): Carter Blanchard Director(s): Shawn Levy (in talks) Details: Based on the first two books in the YA novel trilogy "The Reckoners" written by Brandon Sanderson and published by Delacorte Press. "Steelheart" was published in 2013, "Firefight" in 2015, and the third novel is yet to be published. SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at FilmEngine and Chair Entertainment Group with Anthony Rhulen, David McIlhargy and Donald Mustard attached to produce. Blanchard also wrote the sequel to Independence Day and Glimmer, currently in preproduction.
The Fixer Logline: A wealthy businessman gets involved with a shady drug dealer who is also employing the businessman's son. Production Company(s): Fubar Films, Gold Star Films, Rumble Entertainment Producer(s): Gregory Chou, Colin Bates, Joey Tufaro Writer(s): Bill Kennedy SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2013 Black List from House Of Cards writer Bill Kennedy.
Unbranded Logline: A documentary following four friends on a 3000 mile journey on recently trained wild mustangs across the great American West. Production Company(s): Gravitas Ventures, Cedar Creek Productions, Implement Productions Producer(s): Phillip Baribeau, Ben Masters, Dennis Aig Director(s): Phillip Baribeau SSN Insight: Gravitas Ventures has acquired all U.S. rights to the documentary which premiered at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto. As part of the deal, the film will be released September 25 in more than 25 theaters, with a simultaneous VOD release.
Untitled (Woody Allen 2015 Feature Film) Logline: Logline under wraps. Production Company(s): Gravier Productions Producer(s): Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, Edward Walson Writer(s): Woody Allen Director(s): Woody Allen Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Bruce Willis, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Parker Posey (final talks) SSN Insight: Parker Posey was in Woody Allen’s previous film, Irrational Man. Passengers Logline: A spaceship passenger is prematurely thawed from a cryogenic slumber a century before anyone else. Studio/ Distributor: Sony, 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, Michael Sheen 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 (Columbia Pictures/ Animated Emoji Project) Logline: This animated feature centers on the round-headed images of social media correspondence fame, the Emoji. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company(s): Sony Pictures Animation, MRK Productions Producer(s): Kristine Belson, Michelle Raimo Kouyate Writer(s): Eric Siegel Director(s): Tony Leondis SSN Insight: Sony Pictures Animation won a three-studio auction for the animated movie pitch in a deal near seven figures. The project was pitched by director Anthony Leondis.
Untitled Basketball Comedy Project Logline: A woman who was once a promising basketball coach is asked to lead an NBA team and finds herself under scrutiny by the reluctant organization. Studio/Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Bluegrass Films, Paper Kite Productions Producer(s): Amy Poehler, Scott Stuber Writer(s): Ike Barinholtz, Dave Stassen Cast: Amy Poehler, Ike Barinholtz SSN Insight: Poehler and Barinholtz will next be seen in Universal’s upcoming Sisters.
Way Down Dark Logline: In the vein of Alien and The Hunger Games, centers on a 17-year-old living on a giant spaceship that is a maze of gangs, violence and a struggle to survive. Studio/Distributor: Studio 8 Producer(s): Chris Goldberg Details: Based on the first book in a planned trilogy, released in the UK and awaiting release in the U.S. by award-winning author James Smythe. SSN Insight: The sequel to the book, published by Hodder & Stoughton, will be released in the UK in April 2016. The U.S. rights are being overseen by Jason Bartholomew at H&S.
Happy Krampus! Logline: Follows Santa’s forgotten helper and giver of coal to naughty children who lost his job at the North Pole due to modern parents spoiling their children. To prove that he is still needed, he travels to NYC to replace Christmas with Krampus Day. Production Company(s): Jim Henson Prods., Walden Media Producer(s): Blanca Lista, Naia Cucukov Writer(s): Kealan O’Rourke SSN Insight: Jim Henson Co. recently joined STX Entertainment to produce a live-action, as yet untitled puppet film with a twist.
Untitled Urban Explorers Logline: A young-adult adventure set in New York City’s Lower East Side. Production Company(s): End Cue Producer(s): Andrew Kortschak, Walter Kortschak Writer(s): Christopher Ford, Jon Watts Director(s): Jon Watts SSN Insight: Watts and Ford previously joined forces on the Sundance film Cop Car, acquired by Focus Features.
Sword in the Stone Logline: A live-action retelling of Disney’s animated tale of King Arthur as a boy. Studio/Distributor: Disney Producer(s): Brigham Taylor Writer(s): Bryan Cogman Details: Based on the Disney animated film, The Sword in the Stone. SSN Insight: Adds to the long list of animated films Disney is revamping for live action including Pinocchio, Dumbo and Aladdin.
Untitled Presidential Debate Dramedy Logline: Months of planning and millions of dollars culminate in 270 minutes of highly scrutinized debate. Production Company(s): Team Downey Producer(s): David Gambino, Mark Williams, Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey Writer(s): Bill Dubuque SSN Insight: This marks a re-team for Dubuque and Robert and Susan Downey who previously worked together on The Judge.
FILM DEVELOPMENT FOR 7/23/15: SIMON KINBERG SPRINTS TO LOGAN’S RUN, MINECRAFT LANDS NEW DIRECTOR, SPIDER-MAN REBOOT ADDS WRITERSOther film development news includes Brad Peyton in talks to direct New Line's video game adaptation of Rampage, Carter Blanchard attaching to adapt Fox's YA adaptation Steelheart and Sony Animation buying an animated feature based on emoji's. (SSN)
OTHER HEADLINES(COLL) (VAR) (THR) (TVL) (CS) (LAT) (VAR) The 32-year-old British actress has her first lead in the 20th Century Fox action thriller Hitman: Agent 47 opposite Rupert Friend and Zachary Quinto. (VF)
So, If You’re Keeping Score, It’s Kevin Costner Out, Billy Bob Thornton In On David E. Kelley-Amazon Legal DramaOscar winner is set for the lead in Trial, the Amazon Studios drama from The Practice, Ally McBeal and Picket Fences creator, which is on track for a 10-episode straight-to-series order. Costner previously had been eyed for the role but talks fell through. David Semel is expected to direct. (DH) (CS) (VUL) (VAR) (TVL) (EMP) (SF) (GITS)
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Broad Green Pictures and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have inked a multi-year agreement with Universal handling Blu-ray and DVD distribution for all Broad Green titles. Broad Green will continue to run sales and marketing. On the slate for Broad Green are 16 speciality and wide-release films per year to be distributed across multiple platforms. Films include: 99 Homes, A Walk In The Woods, Infiltrator, Brain On Fire, Samba, I Smile Back and Learning To Drive, Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups, Voyage Of Time and a yet untitled project starring Ryan Gosling.
Alchemy, the largest independent distributor of film and television content in North America, has secured distribution deals with leading content producers Archstone, Hollywood Media Bridge, and The Little Film Company to further build out its feature film pipeline. Under the agreements, Alchemy will provide tailored release strategies for each title utilizing its network of diverse distribution platforms to maximize each film’s potential, with the goal of growing each partner’s line.
Bill Simmons has signed a mega exclusive multi-year, multi-platform deal with HBO. Simmons had previously left ESPN where he was Editor in Chief of Grantland after his contract was not renewed in May. As part of the new deal Simmons will star in a weekly talk show series for HBO set to premiere in 2016. He will have a production deal to produce content including video podcasts and features and will consult for HBO Sports to include the development of new show and documentaries.
Actress Eliza Coupe has inked a development deal with ABC Studios and ABC Signature Studios. She is best known for her role as Jane Kerkovich-Williams for three seasons on the ABC sitcom Happy Endings. She also starred in USA’s Benched developed by ABC Signature, the boutique division of ABC Studios. She recently was seen in Hulu’s comedy series Casual.
Basketball superstar LeBron James has inked a content creation deal with Warner Bros Entertainment through his SpringHill Entertainment shingle to produce content for TV, film and digital. LeBron James was recently seen in the film Trainwreck now in theaters. SpringHill’s series include Disney XD’s inspirational series Becoming, the Starz’ scripted comedy Survivor’s Remorse, Turner’s multimedia platform Uninterrupted within Bleacher Report and an as yet untitled game show for NBC.
Popular YA novelist, John Green, author of Paper Towns, the adaptation of which is now in theaters, has signed a first look deal with Fox 2000. His other novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was also adapted and grossed over $300 million worldwide. The next film based on a novel of his, Looking for Alaska, is in development at Paramount. Green is repped by UTA and Writers House.
Film & TV Deals For 7/24/15: Bill Simmons Lands Mega HBO Deal, Author John Green Inks With Fox 2000, and MoreLots happening in Hollywoodland this week, with Broad Green Pictures signing a big home distribution deal with Universal, big stuff for Alchemy, and LeBron James’ gigantic new agreement with Warner Bros. Click the link for the full skinny. (SSN)
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No Green Screen Here: a New Featurette Details the Lengths To Which the ‘Everest’ Cast Went To Capture RealityWhile it would be easy to shoot an entire film like this on a sound stage and use visual effects to complete the scenery, director Baltasar Kormakur wanted the cast (including Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Jake Gyllenhaal) to experience the elements firsthand by shooting on location in Nepal on the foothills of Everest, as well as the Italian Alps. Now an Everest featurette shows what that was like for the stars of the film. (SF) (CS)
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While Hopes Are High For a Fifth Season Of ‘Arrested Development’, It Turns Out There Are Still Deals To Be MadeProducer Brian Grazer said in April that the show would return for 17 more episodes on Netflix, but in a more recent interview, he said that creator Mitch Hurwitz is just now putting together his writer’s room and the deals are still being made with the show’s cast, as well as between 20th Century Television and Netflix. He also talked about “retrofitting” the number of episodes to what Hurwitz and the writers come up with for the season’s arc. (COL)
In the Wake Of a Disappointing Opening For ‘Pixels’, a Look At How ‘Funny People’ Ruined Adam SandlerIn December 2003, Mel Gibson showed an audience an unfinished version of The Passion of the Christ. Someone asked where he could go from here and, shielding his eyes symbolically from the spotlight, he said there was no way he could return to the types of movies he’d made before exploring the final hours of Joshua of Nazareth’s life. If anything, Funny People was Adam Sandler’s Passion, but it didn’t come with the same sort of obvious shift. (FSR) (SM)
SSN ORIGINALSpart one, Kenworthy began his tips with the opening shot which introduced the character of the french farmer, played by Denis Ménochet and ended right before he meets the infamous Hans Landa, played by Christoph Waltz. Here we pick up right when the fateful meeting occurs. (SSN)
EXEC SHUFFLE FOR 7/27/15: CHINESE INVESTMENT BACKED HERO FILMS LAUNCHES PLUS MOVES AT ICM, HULU AND UNIVERSALOther big moves include, Susanne Daniels leaving MTV and moving to YouTube's VP of Original Content and Kori Bernards leaving Universal as SVP of Communications and being replaced by Teri Everett. (SSN)
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Richard Linklater May Have Just Found His Next Film, and It Happens To Have Jennifer Lawrence AttachedSony is in negotiations with Linklater to helm The Rosie Project, based on the book by Graham Simison. The book tells the story of professor Don Tillman, a genetics expert on the Asperger’s scale who never seems to be able to land a second date. He starts The Wife Project, working up a questionnaire to find the perfect partner, but is instead entranced by the free-spirited Rosie (Lawrence), who matches none of his criteria but might just be his soul mate. (EMP) (EW) (DH) (TLF) (MS)
With the Fifth Film In the Series Hitting Theaters This Weekend, a Look at ‘Mission: Impossible’s Best Action ScenesBrian De Palma‘s first Mission: Impossible film wasn’t packed with action set pieces — there are only three, really, but those three are all top-tier action filmmaking, and one of those three defined the series for years to come. In the two decades since, the series has been tackled by a variety of directors — John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird, and now Christopher McQuarrie — each of whom has a slightly different balance of action and espionage. (SF) (IW)
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