As Pilot Season heats up, more and more projects start to move forward, including new stuff from Shondaland, an adaptation of a popular telenovela, an off shoot of NBC’s popular American Ninja Warrior series, and an Eric Kripke-Shawn Ryan team up, among others. Click on the link to read more. (SSN)
The sales and online viewing giant has taken a step to one-up Netflix by doing something the latter streaming service said they would never do: offline playback will now be available to Prime subscribers so they can download their favorite show or movie before they hop on a plane or hit the road. In addition to dropping “Instant” from the service’s name, Amazon moves away from being purely a streaming library. (SF)
Producer Hill and writer-producer-director Hudlin take over for Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who ran the show for each of the last three years. Hill recently left his post as an executive VP at Fox to hang out his own producing shingle, while Hudlin earned a 2012 Oscar nod for producing Django Unchained. The Oscars will appear live on ABC on February 28th, 2016. (DH)
A total of 238 fiction and documentary features, including 16 world premieres, eight international premieres, 40 European premieres and 11 archive films (including 5 restoration world premieres) will play across London. The Festival opens with the European premiere of Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette, and closes with the European premiere of Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs. (EMP)
Matt Damon makes his return to the series after sitting out The Bourne Legacy, and will star alongside Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones and Julia Stiles. Paul Greengrass is back to direct and co-pen the script with Christopher Rouse. Frank Marshall again produces the action-thriller alongside Jeffrey Weiner for Captivate Entertainment. Plot details are unknown at this time, though sources say Cassel will play an assassin tracking Bourne. (VAR)
The film, described as a debaucherous comedy centering on two outsiders who defied the Hollywood establishment and made one of the first X-rated films ever released by a major movie studio, having the party of a lifetime in the process, already has Will Ferrell on board to play Russ Meyer. The movie follows the making of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which was co-written by the film critic and the exploitation king. (THR)
Psychologists say it’s not uncommon to think of fictional characters as your friends. They call these attachments parasitical relationships, and a growing body of research suggests there may be more to these connections than we realize. It turns out that as we grow emotionally attached to characters who are part of a minority group, our prejudices tend to recede. (NPR)
The Venice Film Festival kicks off this week with the world premiere of Everest and that’s as good as a starting gun: Awards season is here. Over the next six weeks, Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York (which has established itself as the full-on fourth member of the fall festival Oscar influencers) will offer the first look at dozens of films that may or may not factor into this year’s race. (IW)
Universal Pictures and Focus Features have released the first trailer for the upcoming drama, based on a true story, starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, and Matthias Schoenaerts, and directed by Tom Hooper. It hits theaters November 27th. (TP)
The Weinstein Company has released the first U.S. trailer for the latest adaptation of the Shakespeare play. Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star, along with Sean Harris, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Jack Reynor, and Elizabeth Debicki. (COL)
Kenneth Branagh is hopping aboard the long-in-development project, based on Eion Colfer’s bestselling 2001 novel which launched a massively lucrative and successful children’s series that spanned another seven entries and a graphic novel adaptation. The two studios are now out to writers to adapt the script. (TB)
Baltasar Kormakur has gotten together with Ridley Scott’s productions shingle on the adaptation of the hit sci-fi subscriber online game. Set in a galaxy of 7,800 star systems more than 21,000 years in the future, Eve is a massive multi-player role-playing game in which space-ship participants engage in professions and combat each other for gain. Kormakur’s RVK and Scott Free are currently in talks with potential financiers with the aim of creating a series pilot. (VAR)
New series from writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Greg Berlanti is set to be written by Aguirre-Sacasa. The series is described as “a sexy reimagining of Dracula as a family drama with a trio of strong, diverse female leads, a show about empowered women and the things they do to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy — and their non-traditional family.” (CS)
The firebrand defense attorney is the inspiration for a drama series project set up at CBS through CBS TV Studios. Written by Deborah Schoeneman, the untitled project, which has a script commitment, is a fictional drama loosely based on the life of the famed feminist lawyer. It centers on a fearless, outspoken attorney who takes on the toughest civil rights cases and is masterful at using the media to get justice. (DH)
Karen Gillan joins Hanks, Emma Watson and John Boyega in the film, adapted from the novel by Dave Eggers. James Ponsoldt is directing the film, which tells the story of a young woman who gets what she thinks is her dream job at a Google-like internet company, only to see it turn into a nightmare. Watson plays said young woman, while Boyega plays a boy wonder visionary, Hanks a mysterious older man, and Gillan another member of The Circle. (SF)
The future looks bright for Syfy’s Killjoys and Dark Matter, both of which have been renewed for Season 2 soon after wrapping their freshman runs. The fate of Syfy’s other Friday-night drama, Defiance — which just closed Season 3 with a very series finale-y episode — has yet to be determined. (TVL)
In an extensive interview, the actor reflects on a decade in which he has redefined the once cartoonish secret agent as a symbol of masculinity for the modern age: embattled, conflicted, but still standing, still ready to take on the world. (ESQ)
It can make you feel good, it can get stuck in your head, it can make you want to dance. But is it good or is it bad for productivity? Apparently it can be good, if you choose wisely. Researchers claim that background music can make you work faster, help you focus, and increase your productivity. But, you’ve got to be choosy: not just any music will do. (INC)
Sony has released the first international trailer for the upcoming YA adaptation, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Ron Livingston, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe and Terry Serpico. The film hits theaters January 15th, 2016. (EMP)
The Oscar-winning 256-page screenplay, by Sidney Howard, based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell. Script is labeled final shooting draft, and dated January 24th, 1939. (DS)
WME: Actress Naomie Harris, known for her role as Moneypenny in the current James Bond films has signed with WME. She will reprise her role in the upcoming film Spectre. She also just wrapped Our Kind Of Traitor, playing the lead opposite Ewan McGregor and will also be in Jungle Book: Origins for Warner Bros. Harris continues to be repped by Untitled, Melanie Cook and Jamie Afifi of Ziffren Brittenham, and Angharad Wood in the UK.
WME: WME has signed on digital influencer Jake Roper. He is a YouTube vlogger with two and a half million subscribers and counting. Vsauce3 is a channel dedicated to fictional worlds and video games. There are currently six recurring segments including HeadShot, Game LÜT, DONG, App All Knight, 9bit, and Fact Surgery.
CAA: Producer Robert Rovner has shifted from UTA to CAA. He is the co-executive producer on drama series Blood & Oil, premiering this fall on ABC. Previously, he was an exec producer on TNT’s Dallas, and was the co-showrunner on the ABC drama series Private Practice. He continues to be managed by Larry Shuman at The Shuman Company.
WME: Youtuber Caspar Lee, with five million subscribers on his channel and two million subscribers each on Twitter and Instagram, has been signed by WME. He hails from South Africa and started the channel in 2010. He was recently seen in the 2015 Spongebob Squarepants film.
Paradigm: Actress-producer-writer Anne Heche has inked with Paradigm. She most recently starred in the USA series Dig and in last year’s Lionsgate action film, Wild Card toplined by Jason Statham. She currently is developing a modeling industry series entitled Icon for NBC with producing partner Cindy Crawford. On the film side she’ll next be seen in One Shot, the backstage musical comedy with Topher Grace, Taye Diggs and Rob Riggle.
WME: Elise Strachan, known for her YouTube channel MyCupcakeAddiction has also signed with William Morris. Her channel currently has two million subscribers. Her channel is about learning how to create baked goods like the professionals in informative, easy to follow tutorials.
WME: Comedian and rappers David and Andrew Fung aka the Fung Brothers have also signed with William Morris. They have over one million subscribers and describe themselves as “brothers who believe in advancing the education and discussion of Asian and Asian-American topics for people around the world.”
Amazon will be offering Prime Instant Video to customers in Japan this fall with Prime members to enjoy streaming content at no additional cost when the service debuts. Customers will be able to access the service with Android and iOS devices, as well as gaming consoles and smart TVs.
Charles D. King’s multiplatform media company, Macro has closed its first round of funding from lead investor Emerson Collective and others including MNM Creative, Medialink, tech entrepreneur Justin Yoshimura, Raymond McGuire, Global Head of Corporate and Investment Banking at Citigroup and Michael Kane, Managing Director of the private equity firm Caltius Capital. Formerly a WME partner and agent, his upcoming projects include films from Fruitvale Station’s Ryan Coogler and Hustle & Flow’s Craig Brewer.
Former COO of QED International and Annapurna Pictures Paul Hanson has partnered with Media Content Capital to launch Covert Media, a new feature production, financing and distribution company. Media Content Capital will fund the new company looking to produced three to four films per year in the $10-50-million-dollar range. Covert Media will also support past and upcoming projects for the MCC-owned QED including the Bill Murray comedy Rock The Kasbah, the Jason Bateman-directed The Family Fang, the Theo James starrer Franny, the Richard Gere starrer Time Out Of Mind, and the thriller Strange But True, starring Imogen Poots.
Hulu has signed a new non-exclusive deal with Epix. Epix previously had a deal with Netflix along with several streaming-inclusive deals with Amazon Prime Instant Video, AT&T’s U-Verse and Dish’s Sling TV. Craig Erwich, the SVP and Head of Content at Hulu remarked that it’s “a landmark deal for Hulu and it marks a huge expansion for our offering of premium programming.”
Comedy writer-producer Lee Hupfield has singed an exclusive first-look deal with Andrew O’Connor and ITV Studio’s Cats on the Roof Media. Under the deal Hupfield will write, direct and produce in the UK exclusively through the group’s comedy label, Second Act Productions. Hupfield was the showrunner of Betty White’s Off Their Rockers and previously created Balls of Steel, Star Stories and The Friday Night Project for UK’s Channel 4.
SAG-AFTRA and a group of companies including Sony, Warner affiliates, Universal, Capitol and Hollywood Records, are in talks on a deal that, if passed, will include a payment formula for online streaming and non-permanent digital downloads that accounts for revenue generated internationally. Among new provisions is an agreement to make payments based on earnings worldwide from streaming services and non-permanent download services like Spotify.
Members of the Animation Guild, which covers 3,100 members of IATSE Local 839, have ratified a new three-year contract with management. The new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will include a 3% annual increases in contract minimums, no rollbacks and a 10% pension increase for those retiring after August 1, 2015. All the major animation companies have signed the contract, including Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Fox Animation, Marvel, Universal, Cartoon Network and ABC Studios.
Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield’s production shingle, The Combine, has signed a deal with PalmStar Media to jointly produce two to three films per year. Under the deal PalmStar will cover producing services, overhead, development and production financing. PalmStar’s films include the upcoming Will Smith starrer Collateral Beauty, American Ultra and Pawn Sacrifice. PalmStar also has deals with Basil Iwanyk’s Thunder Road, Dylan Sellers’ Rivers Edge, Anthony Bregman’s Likely Story, and Buddy Patrick’s Windy Hill Pictures. Since launching in 2011, The Combine has produced the thriller Kill the Messenger, starring Renner, The Throwaways, an action comedy starring Sam Worthington, and recently wrapped on the Michael Keaton starrer The Founder, directed by John Lee Hancock.
TV director-producer Danny Cannon has inked a three-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television. Under the deal he will continue as executive producer/director on the studio’s Fox drama series Gotham and develop new projects for network, cable, and streaming services. In addition to Gotham, Cannon also executive produces CSI and was an executive producer on CSI: Miami and CSI: New York.
Actress Victoria Justice has signed a talent deal with Fox and 20th Century Fox TV. Under the deal the studio and network will develop joint projects with roles specifically designed for her in addition to guest spots on existing series. Justice previously starred in the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious and MTV thriller Eye Candy. She can next be seen in the indie romantic comedy Naomi + Ely’s No Kiss List, which will be released September 18 on iTunes and in the comedy The Outskirts, opening wide November 6.
As reported in SSN’s Exec Shuffle, China-based YooZoo Pictures has joined Bliss Media to form a $100 million equity YooZoo Bliss Film Fund for use on Chinese co-productions and films designed for worldwide distribution. The fund’s managing directors are the LA-based co-founder and President of Bliss Meida Wei Han and CEO of YooZoo Pictures U.S. Lin Qi. CAA advised on the fund and will continue to represent it. YooZoo Pictures recently aquired the Chinese distribution rights to the IM Global feature, Hacksaw Ridge.
What was the Creative Committee? It was a group of people (Alan Fine, Ike Perlmutter, Brian Michael Bendis, Dan Buckley and Joe Quesada) who would give notes and thoughts on Marvel productions as they made their way from script to screen. This committee was the source of much filmmaker frustration and consternation, and is said to be what drove Edgar Wright off of Ant-Man. (BMD)
Attorneys for a proposed class action against Sony Pictures over a large hack attack have revealed in court papers filed yesterday they have reached an agreement in principle to resolve the dispute. The judge overseeing negligence claims has been asked to push back deadlines so that the settlement may be presented in California federal court. Because this is a class action, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Klausner will need to approve it. (HESQ)
Two bankers and a hedge fund manager who are familiar with Relativity Media said they expect no one will bid more than the $250 million stalking horse bid already put forward by senior creditors who pushed for the sale. While there is some interest from strategic buyers in Relativity’s television assets, a movie studio with high overhead and a paltry library is seen as a potential liability. (VAR)
American Wolf is based on material from Texas Monthly senior editor Nate Blakeslee, who chronicled a hunter in Yellowstone National Park and his accidental killing of an endangered wolf. Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way company is part of the team courting Cooper, though Leo is not currently attached to star in the project. (EMP)
Simone Missick and Theo Rossi have joined Mike Colter and Alfre Woodard in the series, with Missick playing Cage’s ally Misty Knight and Rossi and Woodard playing villains. Additionally, Rosario Dawson will reprise her role as Claire Temple from Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Chen Hodari Coker serves as executive producer and showrunner on the series, produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix. (DH)
Though the family horror/comedy isn’t set to spook audiences until October 16th, the studio is confident that the Jack Black-led pic could ignite a new franchise. The news isn’t too surprising given the mass appeal of the property, which is of course based on the worldwide phenomenon that is R.L. Stine’s iconic books series. (TB)
Streaming giant announced yesterday that it will now offer a commercial-free plan for $11.99 per month. That’s $4 more than its regular plan. After fielding so many questions about why the service has had commercials in the past that it had an answer on its FAQ page, the company has finally made the switch for customers willing to pay the extra four dollars per month. (HP)
The Laguna Beach, California-based film company is known for big-screen, 70mm films and has so far produced 38 films for IMAX and giant-screen theatres, including Everest and The Living Sea. The new small-screen division aims to bring IMAX-quality content into TV production using 70mm film and 4, 5 and 6K digital footage rarely used in non-fiction programming. (RS)
Columbia Pictures has released the first green band look at the upcoming holiday comedy starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie, Jillian Bell, Lizzy Caplan, Mindy Kaling, and Michael Shannon. Directed by Jonathan Levine, the film opens November 25th. (COL)
Often, we spend so much time talking about strategy, that we neglect some of the fundamentals. So, I’m going to spend a few minutes today talking about one of the most important things in your career, your motivation behind your goals, also known as your Why. (SM)
Logline: Dr. Stephen Strange loses his ability to operate after a terrible accident, but finds new purpose when a mystical being known as the Ancient One reveals that Dr. Strange is the newly designated Sorcerer Supreme, responsible for protecting the planet from evil.
Studio/Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment
Producer(s): Kevin Feige
Writer(s): Jon Spaihts, Thomas Dean Donnelly, Josh Oppenheimer, David S. Goyer, Michael France
Director(s): Scott Derrickson
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen (in talks)
Details: Based on the Marvel Comics character of Dr. Strange created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko who debuted in the series in 1963.
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Savoy Pictures with Wes Craven attached to write and direct. Project was previously set up at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Everything Will Be Fine
Logline: A man who accidentally struck and killed a child with his car still cannot let go of his guilt twelve years later.
Studio/Distributor: IFC Films
Production Company(s): Bac Films Distribution, ZDF/Arte, Neue Road Movies, Gata Film, Montauk Productions, MER Film
Producer(s): Wim Wenders, Gian-Piero Ringel, Jeremy Thomas, Erwin M Schmidt
Writer(s): Bjorn Olaf Johannessen
Director(s): Wim Wenders
Cast: Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marie-Josie Croze, Robert Naylor
SSN Insight: Sarah Polley had been attached to play the girlfriend.
Five Against a Bullet
Logline: In Mexico, after a man’s father is killed by a drug cartel, he vows to run for office and clean up the streets despite the high degree of danger. He then must try to accomplish this task while staying one step ahead of the drug cartels pursuing him.
Production Company(s): Di Bonaventura Pictures, Red Dragon Productions, Mimran Schur Pictures, Suretone Pictures
Producer(s): Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Jordan Schur, Sandrine De Clercq, David Mimran
Writer(s): Joe Carnahan, Alex Litvak
Director(s): Joe Carnahan
SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Columbia Pictures. Bruce Willis was previously attached to star.
Logline: Loosely based on a true story, an enormous amount of gold is discovered in the jungles of Indonesia in 1993, leading to a scandal involving the mining corporation.
Production Company(s): j.k. livin Productions, Hwy61 Films, Black Bear Pictures
Producer(s): Michael Nozik, Teddy Schwarzman, Patrick Massett, John Zinman, Matthew McConaughey
Writer(s): Patrick Massett, John Zinman
Director(s): Stephen Gaghan
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Bryce Dallas Howard, Corey Stoll, Toby Kebbell
SSN Insight: Michael Mann previously attached to direct and produce. Spike Lee previously attached to direct. Michelle Williams was previously attached to the role played by Bryce Dallas Howard.
Logline: A young New Yorker struggles to take control of his reckless, self destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges.
Studio/Distributor: The Film Arcade
Production Company(s): Borderline Films , Relic Pictures
Producer(s): Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Max Born, Eric Schultz
Writer(s): Josh Mond
Director(s): Josh Mond
Cast: Christopher Abbott, Cynthia Nixon, Kid Cudi, Makenzie Leigh, Ron Livingston
SSN Insight: The Film Arcade will be making an awards push for the film with the release date set for November 13.
Live by Night
Logline: A young gangster climbs through the ranks during the Prohibition era.
Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Production Company(s): Pearl Street Films, Appian Way
Producer(s): Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Ben Affleck
Writer(s): Ben Affleck
Director(s): Ben Affleck
Cast: Ben Affleck, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Chris Messina (in negotiations)
Details: Based on the novel “Live by Night,” written by Dennis Lehane and published by William Morrow on October 2, 2012.
SSN Insight: Messina previously was seen in Affleck’s critical and commercial hit Argo.
Code Name Veil
Logline: A young CIA agent struggles to maintain his morality while navigating dangerous and absurd conditions in 1980s Beirut.
Production Company(s): Black Label Media
Producer(s): Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill
Writer(s): Matt Billingsly
Director(s): Matt Cuesta
Cast: Ansel Elgort
SSN Insight: In August, 2015, the California Film Commission picked the film as one of 11 films to share $55.2 million in incentives and receive up to 25 percent in tax credits. Previously in development at Harms Way Productions.
Logline: As elderly Marjorie’s memories begin to fail her, she subscribes to a service that provides holographic recreations of her deceased loved ones as she would like to remember them.
Production Company(s): BB Films
Producer(s): Uri Singer
Writer(s): Michael Almereyda
Director(s): Michael Almereyda
Cast: Jon Hamm (in talks)
Details: Based on the play “Marjorie Prime” written by Jordan Harrison which premiered at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles on September 10, 2014.
SSN Insight: Hamm is in ongoing talks for the role of Walter. Production is scheduled to begin in October.
Logline: Susan receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, and reading it causes her recall her first marriage and confront some dark truths about herself.
Studio/Distributor: Focus Features
Production Company(s): Fade to Black Productions
Producer(s): Tom Ford, Robert Salerno
Writer(s): Tom Ford
Director(s): Tom Ford
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Kim Basinger, Armie Hammer
Details: Based on the novel “Tony and Susan” written by Austin Wright and published by Baskerville Publishers in 1993.
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Smokehouse Pictures with George Clooney and Grant Heslov attached to produce. Focus Features and Universal Pictures International secured the rights at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival in a reportedly $20 Million deal, marking one of the biggest deal in Cannes history.
Logline: An American college student falls in love with a terminally ill Oxford professor.
Studio/Distributor: Screen Gems
Production Company(s): Temple Hill Entertainment
Producer(s): Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey
Writer(s): Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, Allison Burnett
Cast: Melissa Benoist, Sam Heughan
SSN Insight: Benoist will next be seen in the CBS upcoming series, Supergirl. Sam Heughan plays the lead role in the Starz hit series Outlander.
Rebel in the Rye
Logline: JD Salinger is followed from the early days of his writing career, though his service in WWII, which change him forever and help him find his voice as a writer.
Production Company(s): Blue Star Entertainment, Bruce Cohen Productions, Black Label Media
Producer(s): Danny Strong, Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Thad Luckinbill, Bruce Cohen
Writer(s): Danny Strong
Director(s): Danny Strong
Cast: Nicholas Hoult
Details: Based on the biography “JD Salinger: A Life” written by Kenneth Slawenski and published by Random House in 2010.
SSN Insight: Nicholas Hoult’s upcoming films include Autobahn, Equals, Kill Your Friends and X-Men: Apocalypse.
Russ & Roger Go Beyond
Logline: This is the story of the collaboration between provocative filmmaker Russ Meyer and film critic Roger Ebert while they made “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.”
Studio/Distributor: STX Entertainment
Production Company(s): Permut Productions, Sobini Films, Chautauqua Entertainment
Producer(s): Mark Amin, David Permut, Richard Waltzer, Cami Winikoff, Tyler Boehm
Writer(s): Michael Winterbottom, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons, Chris Cluess
Director(s): Michael Winterbottom
Cast: Will Ferrell, Josh Gad
SSN Insight: Josh Gad is currently attached to the Untitled Permut Presentations/Sam Kinison Project in active development, Gilligan’s Island also in active development, Angry Birds in production the Beauty and the Beast that wrapped.
The Brits Are Coming
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): Primary Wave Entertainment, Autumn Pictures, Golden Gate Media
Producer(s): Cassian Elwes, J.C. Chandor, Robert Ogden Barnum, David Hansen, William Clevinger
Writer(s): James Oakley, Alexander G. Michaelides
Director(s): James Oakley
Cast: Uma Thurman, Stephen Fry, Maggie Q, Sofia Vergara, Tim Roth, Parker Posey, Alice Eve
SSN Insight: Kristin Chenoweth and Steven Berkoff were previously attached as cast members.
Logline: storyline under wraps.
Production Company(s): Playtone, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, Likely Story
Producer(s): Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Anthony Bregman, James Ponsoldt, Walter F Parkes
Director(s): James Ponsoldt
Cast: Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, John Boyega, Karen Gillan
Details: Based on the novel “The Circle” written by Dave Eggers and published by McSweeney’s in October, 2013.
SSN Insight: Alicia Vikander was previously attached to co-star. Karen Gillan was previously seen on Doctor Who and Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Logline: After they lose their daughter’s college fund, a couple start an illegal casino in their basement to try to earn it back.
Studio/Distributor: New Line Cinema
Production Company(s): Gary Sanchez Productions, Good Universe
Producer(s): Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Joe Drake, Nathan Kahane
Writer(s): Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien
Director(s): Andrew Jay Cohen
Cast: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Ryan Simpkins
SSN Insight: The film was in a bidding war earlier this year, with New Line winning and setting a $40 million budget.
Logline: After three decades of not speaking, Ian Paisley, staunch evangelical Protestant and advocate for Northern Ireland, and Martin McGuinness, a former leader of the IRA are forced to ride in a car together. Will their proximity help in the quest for peace?
Production Company(s): Tempo Productions, Generator Entertainment, Greenroom Entertainment
Producer(s): Nick Hamm, Mark Huffam, Piers Tempest
Writer(s): Colin Bateman
Director(s): Nick Hamm
Cast: Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney
SSN Insight: CAA and Bloom are selling the project on a promo reel at Cannes. Liam Neeson and Kenneth Branagh were previously attached to star.
The Lost City of Z
Logline: The true story of British explorer Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett, who disappeared in 1925 while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon.
Studio/Distributor: No Studio Available.
Production Company(s): Keep Your Head Productions, Plan B Entertainment, MadRiver Pictures
Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Anthony Katagas, Dale Armin Johnson
Writer(s): James Gray
Director(s): James Gray
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Angus MacFadyen
Details: Based on the book “Lost City of Z” written by David Grann; published by Doubleday in February 2009. The book is an expansion of an article, written by Grann, that appeared in The New Yorker magazine in September 2005.
SSN Insight: Project previously set up at Paramount Pictures. Brad Pitt previously attached to star.
Untitled Jason Bourne Sequel
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor: Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, Pearl Street Films, Captivate Entertainment
Producer(s): Frank Marshall, Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, Jeffrey Weiner, Ben Smith
Writer(s): Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Director(s): Paul Greengrass
Cast: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel
Details: Sequel to “The Bourne Identity” (2002) directed by Doug Liman and starring Matt Damon. Based on the novel “The Bourne Supremacy” written by Robert Ludlum and published by Bantam Books in 1987.
SSN Insight: Cassel will next appear in Partisan, scheduled for an October 2 release.
Untitled Richard Pryor Biopic
Logline: This biopic about brilliant but troubled comedian Richard Pryor focuses on his life and career during the 1970s.
Studio/Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Production Company(s): Bruce Cohen Productions
Producer(s): Jennifer Lee Pryor, Bruce Cohen
Writer(s): Bill Condon, Danny Strong
Director(s): Lee Daniels
Cast: Mike Epps, Oprah Winfrey, Eddie Murphy, Kate Hudson
SSN Insight: Michael B. Jordan, Marlon Wayans, Mike Epps and Nick Cannon were being considered to play Pryor before Mike Epps got the role.
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: Steve Carell, Jeannie Berlin, Jesse Eisenberg, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart
SSN Insight: Bruce Willis was previously attached as a co-star, and withdrew from the project shortly after principal photography began because of commitments to appear in the Broadway stage adaptation of Stephen King’s “Misery.” Steve Carell filled the role in his place.
The Headhunter’s Calling
Logline: Follows Dane Jensen, a corporate headhunter who works at Blackrock Recruiting arranging jobs for engineers. He is well on his way to achieving his longtime work goal of taking over the company when his 10-year-old son falls ill and his personal and professional priorities clash.
Producer(s): Alan Siegel, Mark Williams, Gerard Butler
Writer(s): Bill Dubuque
Director(s): Mark Williams
Cast: Gerard Butler
SSN Insight: Marks the directorial debut for Mark Williams. Production begins October 26 in Toronto. Voltage Pictures will handle international rights and CAA domestic, with sales opening at Toronto this month.
Logline: Set in the future when humanity has spread out into interplanetary colonies, the film follows Sy, a drifter who falls in with Kane, an off-world military contractor trying to rescue his daughter Indi from peril while evading a global crisis caused by the military contracting company he works for.
Production Company(s): A Storm Alley Entertainment, Eclectik Vision, Phonetic Images
Producer(s): Matthew Graham, Brett Thornquest, Sidonie Abbene and Shane Abbess
Writer(s): Shane Abbess
Director(s): Shane Abbess
Cast: Isabel Lucas, Luke Ford, Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson, Teagan Croft
SSN Insight: Currently filming in Sydney and the Australian Outback. Worldwide sales are being overseen by XYZ Films.
Logline: A robotic dog named Archie, who was created to help those in need, escapes when the military shuts down the research program that created him.
Production Company(s): Trilight Entertainment
Producer(s): Shayne Putzlocher, Glenn Paradis, Sara Shaak
Writer(s): Robin Dunne
Director(s): Robin Dunne
Cast: Katharine Isabelle, Michael J. Fox, Robin Dunne
SSN Insight: Michael J. Fox will voice the dog Archie in the film. This marks the feature film debut for filmmaker Robin Dunne (Just Friends, Sanctuary) as he will co-star.
Oh! Heavenly Dog
Logline: After a private investigator is killed, he gets a chance at redemption, coming back to Earth as a dog in order to solve his own murder.
Studio/Distributor: Fox 2000
Production Company(s): Temple Hill Ent.
Producer(s): Brandon Camp, Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey
Writer(s): Dave Johnson, Tim Hill
Director(s): Tim Hill
Details: Remake of the 1980 Chevy Chase comedy Oh! Heavenly Dog.
SSN Insight: Producer Brandon Camp is the son of the original movie’s director and co-writer, Joe Camp.
Logline: Storyline about a daring heist is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Producer(s): Nico Mastorakis
Writer(s): Chris Frazier, Charlie Frazier
SSN Insight: WB production exec Cate Adams will oversee the project. Chris and Charlie Frazier also wrote In the Company of Lies, in active development with Brett Ratner producing.
Untitled Lucille Ball Biopic
Logline: The biopic focuses on the 20-year marriage of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Production Company(s): Escape Artists
Producer(s): Lucie Arnaz, Desi Arnaz Jr.
Writer(s): Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Cate Blanchett
SSN Insight: Cate Blanchett was recently seen in the film fest favorite, Carol which TWC picked up. She will also be seen in Truth from Sony Pictures Classic, Jungle Book: Origins, an Untitled Terrence Malick/Christian Bale project and Cancer Vixen.
Logline: A young boy tracks down Billy the Kid for help when his father is murdered, and disillusioned with the legend, finds a real hero who takes on the challenge.
Production Company(s): Upload Films , Silver Lining Entertainment, Suretone Pictures
Producer(s): Jordan Schur, Nick Thurlow, Sam Maydew
Writer(s): Andrew Lanham
Director(s): Vincent D’Onofrio
Cast: Vincent D’Onofrio, James Franco, Ethan Hawke
SSN Insight: Daredevil star Vincent D’Onofrio marks his feature directorial debut with this film.
The Second Life of Nick Mason
Logline: A man released early from prison is forced to do anything a crime lord asks, and is hounded by the cop who put him away.
Production Company(s): The Story Factory, Color Force
Producer(s): Shane Salerno, Nina Jacobson
Details: Based on the novel “The Second Life of Nick Mason” written by Steve Hamilton; to be published by Putnam in May 2016.
SSN Insight: The acquisition is in line with the author’s shift to Putnam after the end of his 17-year relationship with St. Martin’s Press. Putnam will publish the novel in spring 2016.
Logline: In the near future, a military family is relocated so they can participate in a ground-breaking experiment of man’s genetic evolution into space.
Production Company(s): Motion Picture Capital, 42, Automatik
Producer(s): Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Benjamin Pugh, Rory Aitken, Arash Amel, Leon Clarance
Writer(s): Max Hurwitz
Director(s): Lennart Ruff
Cast: Sam Worthington, Ruth Wilson, Sofia Boutella
SSN Insight: The film will begin shooting January 18 in Europe. Voltage Pictures will start international sales at Toronto with CAA overseeing domestic sales. Leon Clarance and Motion Picture Capital are fully financing the film.
Other film development news includes, Michael J. Fox attaching to voice Archie in the film adaptation, Fox 2000 picking up a remake of Oh! Heavenly Dog, and Lionsgate grabbing Vincent D’Onofrio’s directorial debut. (SSN)
Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, Cary Fukanaga’s Beasts of No Nation, Scott Cooper’s Black Mass, Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight and Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette are among the films announced for the 42nd Telluride Film Festival, which kicks off Friday and runs through Sept. 4. (THR)
CMT has greenlighted a series for web stars Dude Perfect. The Dude Perfect Show, which marks the group’s first-ever TV series, hails from Rob Dyrdek’s Superjacket Productions. It is slated for a 2016 debut. (VAR)
The thriller TV drama project, inspired by real life events, was bought preemptively by NBC . Former Homeland executive producer Alex Cary and producer Aaron Kaplan (Secrets & Lies, The Mysteries Of Laura) are on board. (DH)
Matt Damon, Naomi Watts and Eddie Redmayne among the guest lists for top events beginning Sept. 10. (WRAP)
Nickelodeon is considering reviving classics that might include Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, You Can’t Do That on Television and Victorious. (HUFF)
Empire debriefs you on everything you need to know about James Bond’s 24th adventure. (EMP)
After writing and directing comedies like the forthcoming Super Troopers 2 for over 20 years, here’s what Jay Chandrasekhar learned. (FC)
Cable channel Showtime and David McKenna — the screenwriter of American History X — are developing a limited series about the life of the 26th President/Secretary of the Navy/war hero/naturalist/assassination survivor. While no lead actor is yet on board, the creative team says they have somebody in mind who would not only star as Roosevelt but would also be an executive producer. (CB)
As Trevor Noah prepares to sit in the host’s chair, the new hires are Ronny Chieng, a Malaysian-born stand-up comic who currently resides in Australia, Roy Wood Jr., a veteran actor, stand-up, and radio personality, and Desi Lydic, an actress you may recall from Awkward., where she plays crazed guidance counselor Valerie Marks. (VUL)
Drama stars Wagner Moura as Escobar and tells the story of the Medellin Cartel, once the world’s most ambitious and violent trafficking organization. Adam Fierro will take over as showrunner for Chris Brancato, who oversaw the freshman series and departed to board ABC’s now-midseason biblical drama Of Kings and Prophets. The series had been ramping up its writers room back in April in anticipation of an expected second-season renewal. (TLF)
The show’s creator, Mike Schur, and consulting producer Matt Hubbard are behind a single camera series that centers on Andrew and Josie, a happily married interracial couple whose lives take a turn when they move close to Josie’s family in Missouri. Hubbard will write the script (which has received a production commitment from NBC) and will exec-produce alongside Schur and David Miner. (TVL)
Hot feature writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are venturing into television with a single-camera comedy project for Fox, which has received a script commitment plus penalty. Written by the Daley and Goldstein, the single-camera comedy, described as a mix of adrenaline and heart, follows a group of adult underdogs as they try to ignite a spark in their lives and stand up for themselves when their town is overrun by a teenage street gang. (DH)
Following Wednesday’s announcement that Netflix’s upcoming series added Simone Missick as the female lead opposite Mike Colter, playing a variation of Misty Knight… yesterday, it was announced that Mahershala Ali has booked a key role playing Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, another adversary for the title character to battle. (SAA)
The family drama set in the world of big money recruitment from writer Bill Dubuque and first-time director Mark Williams. The Scottish actor will play a ruthless headhunter called Dane Jensen, who is set on taking over the company he works for when his young son falls ill and his priorities change. Voltage Pictures is representing the movie internationally and will launch the project to foreign buyers at the Toronto Film Festival. (THR)
The Universal Pictures comedy sequel already has Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Chloe Grace Moretz on board, as well as other returning stars Rose Byrne and Dave Franco. Nicholas Stoller is also back in the director’s chair, writing alongside Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. (CS)
Lin Oeding is directing the film, based on an original story by Mike Nilon and scripted by Thomas Pa’a Sibbett, which finds Momoa as a logger living and working along the border between the US and Canada with his family. But his happy life is threatened when a group of drug runners decide that the quiet border spot where he works would be the prime location for their new route. He’s forced into a serious battle protect the people he loves the most. (EMP)
The 130-page second draft of the screenplay written by Alvin Sargent. Script is dated September 21st, 1979. (DS)
Logline: A bartender finds out he comes from a long line of assassins. He is captured by a secret corporation who sends him back to various times and places in order to bring back artifacts.
Studio/Distributor(s): Regency Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Distribution
Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, New Regency Productions, DMC Films, Ubisoft Motion Pictures
Director(s): Justin Kurzel
Producer(s): Jean-Julien Baronnet, Eli Richbourg, Michael Fassbender, Conor McCaughan, Frank Marshall
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Ariane Labed, Michael K. Williams
Writer(s): Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Scott Frank, Mike Lesslie
Details: Based on the video game “Assassin’s Creed” published by Ubisoft and first released on November 14, 2007.
SSN Insight: Columbia Pictures was in negotiations to produce in 2011. Alicia Vikander was previously in discussions to play the role ultimately filled by Ariane Labed.
Logline: A mysterious man in the witness protection program must go on the run, and save his daughter’s life, when his cover is blown and a world-class assassin is hired to track him down.
Production Company(s): WWE Studios, The Tea Shop & Film Company
Director(s): James Nunn
Executive Producer(s): Richard Lowell
Producer(s): James Harris, Mark Lane, Michael Luisi
Cast: Stu Bennett, Scott Adkins, Wade Barrett
Writer(s): Nathan Brookes, Bobby Darby
SSN Insight: WWE Studios and UK’s Richwater Films out of the UK will co-produce and co-finance the action-thriller Eliminators and Rampage. Eliminators will start shooting in London.
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(s): Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Point Grey Pictures, Good Universe
Director(s): Nicholas Stoller
Executive Producer(s): Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nathan Kahane, Joe Drake
Producer(s): Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver
Cast: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Ike Barinholtz, Chloe Grace Moretz
Writer(s): Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien
Details: Sequel to “Neighbors” (2014), directed by Nicholas Stoller and starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron.
SSN Insight: Nicholas Stoller is currently in preproduction as well on Storks for WB, which he is writing, co-directing and producing.
Logline: This film follows iconic British statesman Lord Mountbatten in 1947 Delhi, when he served as India’s last Viceroy, and was charged with handing India back to its people.
Production Company(s): Kintop Pictures, BBC Films, Bend It Films
Director(s): Gurinder Chadha
Executive Producer(s): Christine Langan
Producer(s): Gurinder Chadha, Deepak Nayar, Paul Ritchie
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson
Writer(s): Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, Moira Buffini
SSN Insight: Gurinder Chadha previously wrote and directed Bend it like Beckham and Paris, I Love You.
Logline: A satirical fictionalized behind-the-scenes look at the Afghanistan war from the military commanders with their high-stakes decisions and infighting, to the soldiers on patrol.
Studio/Distributor(s): Regency Enterprises, RatPac Entertainment, Netflix
Production Company(s): New Regency Productions, Plan B Entertainment, Ian Bryce Productions
Director(s): David Michod
Executive Producer(s): Brett Ratner
Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Ian Bryce
Cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Michael Hall, Topher Grace, Scoot McNairy, Keith Stanfield
Writer(s): David Michod
Details: Based on the book “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” written by Michael Hastings and published by Penguin on January 5, 2012.
SSN Insight: When “War Machine” was in preproduction, Netflix acquired distribution rights for both theatrical and digital streaming for an estimated $30 million, marking the company’s biggest investment to date in a single feature film. Brad Pitt’s character is based on real-life General Stanley McChrystal, US Army, retired.
All We Had
Logline: Set during the worldwide financial crisis in 2008, a single mother and her teenage daughter find a new home and hope for their future when they move to a small Midwestern town.
Production Company(s): Tribeca Films
Director(s): Katie Holmes
Producer(s): Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh, Katie Mustard
Cast: Katie Holmes, Stefania Owen, Richard Kind, Luke Wilson, Judy Greer
Writer(s): Josh Boone, Jill Killington
Details: Based on the novel “All We Had: A Novel” by Annie Weatherwax; published by Scribner August 5, 2014.
SSN Insight: Feature film directorial debut of Katie Holmes.
Burn Your Maps
Logline: A nine-year-old boy, grieving with his parents over the recent loss of his baby sister, becomes obsessed with the idea that he’s actually a Mongolian goat herder who belongs back home in his small village in Mongolia.
Production Company(s): Patrick Aiello Productions, Atmosphere Entertainment MM LLC, After Dark Films, Cinelou Films
Director(s): Jordan Roberts
Producer(s): Patrick Aiello, Mark Canton, Courtney Solomon
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Virginia Madsen, Jacob Tremblay, Suraj Sharma, Ramon Rodriguez
Writer(s): Jordan Roberts
Details: Based on the short story by Robyn Joy Leff; published January 2002 in the Atlantic Monthly.
SSN Insight: Sam Worthington was previously attached to co-star.
Miracles From Heaven
Logline: The true story of a young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder has a near-death experience, visits heaven and returns to life, healed of her crippling condition.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
Production Company(s): TDJ Enterprises, Roth Kirschenbaum Films, Franklin Entertainment
Director(s): Patricia Riggen
Executive Producer(s): Matthew Hirsch, Derrick Williams, Zack Roth
Producer(s): Joe Roth, T.D. Jakes, DeVon Franklin
Cast: Jennifer Garner, Martin Henderson, John Carroll Lynch, Eugenio Derbez, Queen Latifah
Writer(s): Randy Brown
Details: Based on the memoir “Three Miracles From Heaven: A Sick Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and the Lives Forever Changed,” written by Christy Beam and to be published by Hachette in spring 2015.
SSN Insight: Patricia Riggen also directed The 33, which WB will release in November.
Logline: A team of supervillains is given one last shot at redemption by taking on missions that will most likely get them killed.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Production Company(s): DC Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment
Director(s): David Ayer
Executive Producer(s): Colin Wilson, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Geoff Johns
Producer(s): Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney
Writer(s): David Ayer
Details: Based on the comic book series “Suicide Squad” created by John Ostrander and published by DC Comics from May 1987 to June 1992. An early incarnation of “Suicide Squad,” created by Robert Kanigher, appeared in DC Comics’ The Brave and the Bold #25 in 1959.
SSN Insight: Jesse Eisenberg was rumored to be attached in the role of Lex Luthor. Lin Pictures previously attached to produce.
The Late Bloomer
Logline: A man has a tumor removed and goes through puberty at age 30.
Production Company(s): Ineffable Pictures, Eclectic Pictures
Director(s): Kevin Pollak
Producer(s): Jesse Israel, Raphael Kryszek, Heidi Jo Markel
Cast: Johnny Simmons, J.K. Simmons, Maria Bello, Jane Lynch, Brittany Snow
Writer(s): Paul A Kaplan, Kyle Cooper, Austyn Jeffs, Mark Torgove, Joe Nussbaum
Details: Based on the book “Man Made: A Memoir” written by Ken Baker and published in 2001.
SSN Insight: Project was originally in development at Circle of Confusion with a screenplay written by Gary Rosen. Alcon optioned the source material and the script by Rosen. Seth Rogen was previously mentioned to star.
Colorado festival stands apart in that it doesn’t label anything as a new premiere, preferring to keep things low key. Despite that, it still has had its share of awards-grabbing first-time releases, including 12 Years A Slave, Argo, Gravity, The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, Up In The Air, Black Swan, Juno, Birdman and The Imitation Game. This year is no different. (SSN)
Among the other films now up and running are the Neighbors sequel, Brad Pitt’s satire War Machine, and the India-set Viceroy’s House, while Katie Holmes’ directorial debut, All We Had, and Kevin Pollak’s narrative feature debut, The Late Bloomer, wrap up principal photography. Click the link to read more. (SSN)
Among the items that will be available are, in apparel, J. Crew, Kohl’s, and JCPenney offer plenty of items, while, for the home, Pottery Barn, Amazon, and Michael’s are involved. Meanwhile, Walmart, Petco and Kay Jewelers are also part of the plan. (DH)
Today, Creative Artists Agency filed an amended lawsuit adding three additional claims against United Talent Agency and agents Gregory Cavic and Gregory McKnight, part of a group of CAA comedy agents who defected to UTA in late March. The amended complaint alleges that UTA and the agents induced a breach of contract, aided and abetted a breach of fiduciary duty and aided and abetted a breach of the duty of loyalty. (HESQ)
Legendary performer is seeking to stop a planned screening today of the documentary culled from concert footage shot in 1972 by director Sydney Pollack. In the complaint, Franklin contends that the footage was taken with the express understanding that it would not be used commercially without her agreement and consent. It notes that Franklin previously sued in 2011 over the footage, which was resolved after the producer agreed not to release the film. (VAR)
Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s company picked up approximately 400 titles, such as Donnie Darko, Memento and Cruel Intentions. AMBI is acquiring the library in partnership with Raven Capital Management, a New York-based private equity firm. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Other films in the library include End of Watch, The Ides of March, The Mexican, Rush, Sliding Doors, Snitch, Undefeated and The Way Back. (TW)
Talent agency APA said to be shopping the project around, which will be titled Welcome to Death Row, and will focus on the years after N.W.A formed, and all the acts that came after them, forging their own solo careers — rappers like Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Dogg Pound and others. Project is based on the book and documentary of the same name by S. Leigh Savidge. (SAA)
Taken director Pierre Morel is producing the film along with Christopher Tuffin, with Derek Haas and Michael Brandt on script duties and Antonio Negret directing. Eastwood will play one of two brothers, who just so happen to be car thieves. When they head to the south of France, presumably looking for new opportunities to get their mitts on some exotic, high end automobiles, they run afoul of a local crime boss. (CB)
British actress joins John Leguizamo as a new cast member for the Emmy-nominated show, and will play Evangeline, a streetwise and unpredictable character from the past of series anti-hero Danny Rayburn. Series revolves around the Rayburn family, which starts to fall apart when eldest son Danny returns home, revealing some of the darker secrets the clan has kept buried for years. (EMP)
Netflix has released the first trailer from the highly anticipated drama from director Cary Fukunaga, and starring Idris Elba. The film just debuted at the Venice Film Festival, and will also screen at Telluride and Toronto. it will hit Landmark theaters and Netflix on October 16th. (CS)
Company Launches & Partnerships
Production company Citizen Skull Productions has started CSP Management, a management division representing actors, writers, DPs, directors and social media influencers. CSP Management’s goal is to broaden influencers’ digital profiles and assist them cross platforms into film and television. Clients include Sienna Spalding, Nessa Varez and Lynette Cenee.
Time Inc. has launched The Foundry, a new collective that joins editorial and branded content creators under a single group. The Foundry’s first new vertical will be the automotive-centric The Drive, to launch in September. The group will be lead by Mark Ford, Time Inc.’s EVP of Global Advertising Sales.
Swedish media company Modern Times Group has acquired Turtle Entertainment, an e-sports firm based in Germany that hosts numerous gaming leagues in tournaments.
Multi-platform video services provider Vubiquity has acquired Juice Worldwide, an encoding house and digital distributor, out of Toronto. As Juice has preferred vendor status with iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, and Google Play, and other major digital and OTT providers, the deal will give Vubiquity’s media partners to distribute content to all of them. Juice Worldwide will keep its name and retain its CEO, Andrew Buck.
Broad Green Pictures has tapped Alix Madigan to be their head of creative affairs. She previously worked as a staff producer at Anonymous Content, and also had stints at Propaganda Films, Skouras Pictures and Avenue Entertainment. She also currently serves on the board of Film Independent.
Michael Francis will be leaving his post as the Chief Global Brand Officer of DreamWorks Animation, but will remain on as a Consultant.
Jonathan S. Headley has been upped to SVP, Treasurer of The Walt Disney Company. He was previously the SVP, Corporate Finance and Assistant Treasurer.
Anikah McLaren is now the SVP of Production at Fox Searchlight Pictures. She was formerly the VP of Production & Development at Universal Pictures.
David Ansen has been tapped as the Lead Programmer for the Palm Springs International Film Festival. He previously spent four years as Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival. In his new role he will be tasked with acquiring films for upcoming festivals from U.S.-based distribution outlets and international sales companies. He also will be on the selection committee for films submitted to the festival.
Kelli Konop is now the EVP of Physical Production at Good Universe. She was formerly the EVP of Physical Production at Mandate Pictures.
Jason Seagraves is now the VP of Production & Development at Cross Creek Pictures, he was previously a Production Executive there.
Jack Talley is now the EVP of Physical Distribution at Alchemy. He was previously the EVP at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Cara Dellaverson has been tapped by NBC Ent. as their new SVP of Drama Development to report to Pearlena Igbokwe, EVP of Drama Development. She was previously the SVP of Television Development and Current Programming at Lionsgate, where she oversaw the launch of ABC’s Nashville and Orange Is The New Black.
Authentic Entertainment has revealed its new executive team structure. Michael Bouson will now serve as their COO, promoted from Executive in Charge of Production and SVP of Production & Operations. Nneka Enurah now holds the title of Director of Digital & Communications at Authentic Entertainment. She was formerly a Manager of Development there. Paul Halperin now holds the title of SVP of Finance & Risk Management. He was previously the SVP of Business Affairs. Mark LaFleur is now a Creative Director at Authentic Entertainment. He was previously the Senior Director and DP. Doug Mirabello is now the SVP of Development, up from Director of Development. Paul O’Malley is now the VP of Development; he was previously the VP of Casting & Talent at Authentic. Will Pisnieski is now the CTO and Head of Post-Production, promoted from his title of SVP. Patrick Stringer is now the VP of Broadcast Operations, up from Director. Jeff Weaver is now the SVP of Current Programming. He was previously an Executive Producer and Showrunner for the company. Carolyn Yamazaki is now the VP of Business & Legal, she was promoted from Counsel.
Jon Adler now holds the title of Director of Development at CNN, up from Associate Director.
Kerri Clark now holds the title of VP and Assistant General Counsel at Legal & Business Affairs, Content Distribution at Turner Broadcasting System. She was formerly Senior Counsel, Content Distribution at Turner Broadcasting System.
The Jackal Group has promoted Dani Gorin to the role of Director of Development, Television, up from Manager of Development. In her new position, Gorin expands her responsibilities to strategically identify scripted television projects across cable, broadcast, comedy and drama to be developed by the company. She will also help oversee the development and production of all television projects in the company’s pipeline.
Max Kisbye has been promoted from VP to SVP of TV Production & Development at MGM Television. Lindsay Sloane is now the EVP of TV Production & Development at MGM Television. She was formerly the SVP of Head of Television at TriStar Productions. Nathan Taylor is now the Director of Development at MGM Television, up from Creative Executive. Rob Hochberg now holds the title of Creative Executive at MGM Television, up from Executive Assistant.
Cameron Larson is now the VP of Original Programming at Crown Media Family Networks. She was formerly a Writer, Producer at Aviator Entertainment.
Jennifer O’Connell is now pursuing other opportunities. She was formerly the Head of U.S. Television at CORE Media Group.
Philip Matthys has been named the Head of Business Affairs, Original Series at Hulu. He was previously the SVP and Head of Business Affairs at USA, Syfy, and Universal Cable Productions.
Entertainment One Television has upped Jeff Lynas from SVP, Operations & Business Development to Chief Operating Officer and will report directly to CEO John Morayniss. In his new role, Lynas will handle all day-to-day operations for eOne Television on a global basis and continue in his business development capacity, establishing and structuring new business relationships for eOne Television across production, distribution and digital. Polly Williams is now the Head of Drama at Entertainment One and Creative England Television Drama Venture. She was formerly a Development Director at Sally Head Productions.
Jenny Ramirez is now the SVP of Development at Irwin Entertainment. She was formerly the VP of Development & Production, CORE Media Group.
Jon Rutherford is now the President of Distribution at Temple Street Productions. He was previously the EVP of Distribution & Business Development at Tricon Films & Television.
Bryan Seabury is now the SVP of Drama Development at CBS Entertainment, up from VP.
Management, PR, Agencies
Daniel Martinez has been upped from VP to EVP of Brand & Entertainment Marketing at PMK-BNC. Joanne Melzer has been promoted from VP to SVP of Insights & Analytics at PMK-BNC.
Lori Swift is now a Manager, Talent at Sweet 180. She was formerly an Agent, Talent and Head of New York Office at Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin & Associates.
Tony Wang is now a Partner at O’Melveny & Myers. He was previously a Partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
Michael Goldfine, CMO at YouTube MCN Fullscreen has left the company to work on future projects. Together, Polly Auritt as their new VP of Scripted Content and Katy Chen as their VP of Unscripted Development will fill that role. Auritt previously served as MTV’s VP of Scripted Series Development; Chen comes from Awesomeness TV, where she was the Director of Development.
Cynthia Rapp has been named the SVP, Global Creative, Consumer Products at 20th Century Fox. She was formerly the CMO of Stila Cosmetics.
Amol Jadhav has been named the VP of Global Expansion at The Weather Company. He was previously the Head of Global Platform at Ebates.
Funny or Die has hired Owen Burke as their Editor-in-Chief. He previously was the EP of Funny or Die-produced The Chris Gethard Show for Fusion and ran the TV department for Will Ferrell and Adam McKay‘s Gary Sanchez Productions. The company also named Chris Bruss as President of Digital Content. Bruss started with the company in 2009, serving as VP of Branded Entertainment.
Jon Carvill has been named the VP of Communications at Vevo. Prior to that, he served as VP of Corporate Communications at billion-dollar tech startup Globalfoundries.
Andrew Goldman has been named the Chief Strategy Officer at TVtibi. He was previously the VP of Programming Strategy & Planning at HBO.
Global experiential marketing and eSports agency NCompass International, has tapped Brent Koning, formerly of Microsoft, to oversee all gaming and global partnerships for NCompass and will work out of the Seattle office, headed up by SVP Ryan Fitzpatrick. They’ve also hired Aaron Miller, formerly of George P. Johnson, as VP of Innovation and will report to SVP Matt Mayer, in the Los Angeles office.
Melissa Boag has been named the SVP of Kids & Family Entertainment at Shout! Factory. She was upped from VP of Kids & Family Entertainment. Tom Chen has been named the VP of Publicity at Shout!, up from Associate VP of Publicity & Corporate Communications. Jordan Fields has likewise been promoted from Associate VP of Acquisitions to VP. David McIntosh has been upped from VP to SVP of Business Affairs & Digital Distribution.
Kate Hart has been promoted to Director of Development at Think Tank Management & Production. She was formerly one of their Creative Executives.
Among the many things that happened in the last week before Labor Day were that Time Inc. has launched The Foundry, a new collective that joins editorial and branded content creators under a single group, Broad Green Pictures has tapped Alix Madigan to be their head of creative affair, and David Ansen has been tapped as the Lead Programmer for the Palm Springs International Film Festival. There’s a lot more, so click the link to read on. (SSN)
The faith-based film ended Straight Outta Compton’s three-week run at the box office with $9.35 million, while the N.W.A. biopic came in second with $8.85 million. A Walk In The Woods surprised with a third-place finish and a solid $8.17 million, while Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation did $7.15 million to edge out Transporter Refueled for fourth place. The new Transporter film debuted softly with $7.13 million. (BO)
Now the third-highest grossing film of all-time (after Avatar and Titanic), it’s also the fourth movie in history to earn more than a billion dollars internationally. Combined with the $647 million World has made in North America, and that comes to a total of $1.65 billion. It also continues the studio’s record-breaking year, marking the first time any studio has ever cleared that number in a single calendar year. Also, remember that it’s only Labor Day. (DH)
Disney’s Tomorrowland and Fox’s Fantastic Four were both big losers for their respective studios, while Adam Sandler and Cameron Crowe were among the others who have definitely had better summers in their lives. (THR)
After initially being reluctant to sign on to play the iconic character back in 2011, the actor has become a star in the ensuing four years. There were rumors that he would leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe upon the expiration of his contract, which extends through the two-part Avengers: Infinity War in 2018 and 2019, but while pushing his directorial debut, Before We Go, he said that “if Marvel wants me, they got me.” (COL)
Duo are moving forward on a pitch from Richard Naing and Ian Goldberg, who will also write the screenplay. Jake Steinfeld is on board as an executive producer. Story will center on a group of adolescents at a summer camp haunted by an urban legend that dates back to the Colonial period. The studio is said to be looking to mix horror and humor, much like Gremlins and The Goonies. (CS)
The Pitch Perfect star was slated to voice a character named Mei Mei, a ribbon-dancing panda who is romantically obsessed with Po. However, Almost Famous star Hudson has now been hired to replace her on the film. Apparently, the production schedule for the movie was extended, which unfortunately led to Wilson having to bow out. (SF)
Freddie Stroma has signed on to play Samwell’s brother, Dickon. Little is known about Dickon from George R.R. Martin’s novels, except that he is Sam’s (John Bradley-West) younger and more physically capable brother. Sam was last seen in the fifth season leaving Castle Black with Gilly (Hannah Murray) for Oldtown to study to become a maester. So far, the series has yet to introduce their father, Lord Randyll Tarly. (TLF)
Just when it feels like summer will last forever and we’re all stuck in a Gordian time knot, the first signs of fall are arriving. Prepare to say goodbye to the leaves and hello to new Daily Show host Trevor Noah and new Late Show maestro Stephen Colbert. Don’t you feel at least a little bit refreshed and less teetering-on-the-brink-of-heatstroke already? No? Well then, read on and forget that whole summer bit even happened. (FCC)
Generally speaking, there are three big questions young writers like to ask in regard to submissions, such as, is it better to enter screenplay competitions early, when should one follow up on a script submission, and what if one doesn’t ever hear back? All these answers and more come by reading the piece. (SM)
Domestic grosses for the 2015 summer season totaled $4.48 billion, the second largest figure in history, trailing only 2013’s $4.75 billion. It’s also an impressive 10.4 percent increase from last summer, where only one film (Guardians of the Galaxy) grossed $300 million. In 2015, there were four such projects. However, just because the numbers are up overall doesn’t mean that all the studios will be celebrating together, as most of it came from Disney and Universal. (SR)
Director Danny Boyle, in Telluride with his new movie Steve Jobs, confirmed that the sequel will be his next film and that all four stars of the first film — Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle and Ewen Bremner — are all committed to doing the film, it’s only a matter of coordinating schedules. (CB)
Something stinks at the Chinese box office – at least, that’s what the CEOs of the country’s two largest private film studios are suggesting. Since its release on Aug. 28, Chinese propaganda film The Hundred Regiments Offensive has been battling Paramount’s Terminator: Genisys for the top spot at the Chinese box office. Now, a broad swath of China’s film community has raised questions about the nationalistic war epic’s outsize performance. (THR)
Oscar winner is in talks to board Baby Driver opposite Lily James and Ansel Elgort. Foxx is set to play a crime boss who coerces a young, talented getaway driver to work for him. Elgort pays the driver, who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best. He must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. Wright will write and direct with Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan and Nira Park producing. (DH)
Andrew Stearn, formerly president of television at John Wells Productions, has come aboard the company to run its U.S. operation. Stearn is set to join the company and will work closely with Working Title Films founders Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner as well as Liza Chasin, Working Title’s president of U.S. production. His mandate is to work with creative talent and broadcasters on both sides of the Atlantic to develop a range of projects and co-productions. (VAR)
The actor has recently appeared in HBO’s Girls, BBC’s Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, and there are no details yet as to his role. He joins other recent castings like former HBO star Ian McShane (in another Thrones mystery role) and silver screen legend Max von Sydow (in a re-casting of the Three-Eyed Raven), as well as Freddie Stroma as Dickon Tarly (Samwell’s brother) and Pilou Asbæk as Euron Greyjoy (Theon’s uncle). Thrones returns next spring. (EW)
Barry Sonnenfeld has come on the project to direct and executive produce the series, based on Lemony Snicket’s best-selling series. Sonnenfeld is currently at work on the cat comedy Nine Lives, starring Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner and Christopher Walken, due out next year. The Netflix series will cast its leaden pall on the streaming service sometime in 2016. (EMP)
Speculation has run rampant over the last few months regarding just who might be performing the movie’s them song, but Sony and MGM have been able to keep a lid on the identity of the artist who wrote and recorded the song in secret. That changed yesterday, when Smith tweeted a picture of him wearing a ring featuring the villainous group’s logo on it. The song hits the internets this morning. (COL)
People talk a lot about productivity, but rarely spend much time discussing what it is. “Productivity” is highly personal, but ultimately, it’s about achieving goals. A goal could be anything from maximizing profits in a business, to getting a nine-to-five job done faster so that you have some mental and physical resources left over to pursue personal interests. (FB)
The maker of a film about the climbing of the difficult peak Meru has some thoughts that could be helpful to other filmmakers who might be able to apply them to less extreme types of shoots and even to non-climbing documentary filmmaking. (IW)
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): Berlanti Productions
Executive Producer(s): Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter
Writer(s): Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Logline: A trio of strong, diverse empowered women- who happen to be the three brides of Dracula who have survived for centuries and are now living in New York City- do what they must to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy and their non-traditional family. Inspired by the novel, “Dracula.”
Details: Inspired by the novel, “Dracula,” written by Bram Stoker and published by Archibald Constable and Company in 1897.
SSN Insight: NBC gave a pilot order on September 1. Berlanti Productions is also producing Legends of Tomorrow currently in preproduction and ordered to series at the CW, Riverdale, in development at the CW and You, in development at Showtime.
By The Book
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): Storyline Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Dava Savel, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron
Writer(s): Dava Savel
Logline: The project explores the question: What do you do when your wife dies, leaving two kids to raise and you haven’t a clue how to do it? Simple – follow the instructions she left for you in a book.
SSN Insight: Storyline is under a three-year deal at Universal TV. Zadan and Meron are also producing NBC’s live holiday production of The Wiz and in production on the NBC comedy series Better Late Than Never.
Untitled Gloria Allred Drama Project
Network: CBS Entertainment
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Production Company(s): Principato-Young Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Gloria Allred, Deborah Schoeneman, Peter Principato, Paul Young
Writer(s): Deborah Schoeneman
Logline: A fearless, outspoken attorney takes on the toughest civil rights cases and is masterful at using the media to get justice.
Details: Loosely based on the life of lawyer Gloria Allred.
SSN Insight: CBS gave an initial script commitment on September 1.
Production Company(s): Goalpost Pictures Australia, Red Arrow International, Pukeko Pictures
Executive Producer(s): Amelie von Kienlin, Jan David Frouman, Kylie du Fresne, Ben Grant, Sally Riley
Writer(s): Michael Miller, Jon Bell
Logline: The story is set in the near future where a group of nonhumans battle for survival in a world where humans feel increasingly inferior and want to silence, exploit and kill them. Two estranged indigenous brothers are forced together to fight for their own survival.
Details: Based on an original concept by Ryan Griffen.
SSN Insight: SundanceTV acquired the U.S. rights to the limited six-episode series to premiere in 2016. The drama will have its market launch at MIPCOM in October.
Production Company(s): Bainframe, Oil & Cattle
Executive Producer(s): Allen Bain, Gary Pearl, Thomas E. Carter, Tedd Smith
Logline: Humanity’s last survivors are saved by an ancient alien race just before the destruction of the earth. They are given the choice of either mating with the aliens to create a new mixed species, or die as the last humans.
Details: Based on the novel, “Dawn,” the first book in the Lilith’s Brood (or Xenogenesis) trilogy, written by Octavia E. Butler and originally published by Warner Books in 1987.
SSN Insight: Butler was a pioneer of the sci-fi genre and the first sci-fi writer to win the MacArthur Fellowship, otherwise known as the “Genius Grant.” She was posthumously inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010. Series currently in development without a network commitment.
Untitled John Francis Daley/ Jonathan Goldstein Comedy Project
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Chernin Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, Peter Chernin, Dante Di Loreto, Jenno Topping
Writer(s): John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Logline: A group of adult underdogs try to ignite a spark in their lives and stand up for themselves when their town is overrun by a teenage street gang.
SSN Insight: Fox gave an initial script commitment plus penalty as of September 3. Goldstein and Daley previously scripted Horrible Bosses and have been tapped to pen the Spider-Man reboot at Sony and Marvel.
Lab Rats: Elite Force
Network: Disney XD
Production Company(s): It’s A Laugh Productions
Executive Producer(s): Chris Peterson, Bryan Moore
Logline: Set in the “Lab Rats” world after the Mighty Med hospital is destroyed by a band of unknown super-villains. Kaz, Oliver and Skylar join forces with Chase and Bree to form a powerful elite force that combines bionic abilities and superpowers. Together, they vow to track down the villains and keep the world safe.
Details: Spin-off of “Lab Rats” and “Mighty Med” (Disney XD)
SSN Insight: Disney XD gave a straight to series order. Disney XD is ending the two series from which it connects, Lab Rats and Mighty Med. Their recent crossover episode, Lab Rats vs. Mighty Med on July 22 scored a one year high for Lab Rats in total viewers at 1.3 million.
Production Company(s): Red Productions, Smac Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): James M Johnston, Michael Strahan, Constance Schwartz, Justin “Red” Sanders, Derek Brown
Writer(s): James M Johnston
Logline: Marcus, a man in his 30s, resurrects his decade-old dream of becoming a hip-hop artist after being blindsided by a life-threatening disease. The show will explore the surprising, unpredictable way in which the owner of a coffee shop in Fort Worth pushes past obstacles to become a rising star.
Details: Based on the 15-minute short film, “Melville,” which debuted in 2015 at the SXSW Texas Shorts Competition.
SSN Insight: Red Entertainment last produced the sports move satire Balls Out that featured several SNL cast members. Johnston, Halbrooks and Lowrey co-run Sailor Bear Films, which produced the Melville feature as well as the Sundance films including Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.
Untitled Dan Fogelman Dramedy Project
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Rhode Island Ave. Productions
Executive Producer(s): Dan Fogelman, Jess Rosenthal, Charlie Gogolak, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra
Writer(s): Dan Fogelman
Logline: The show will follow a unique ensemble of characters all born on the same day.
SSN Insight: NBC ordered the pilot on September 2. Fogelman, Requa and Ficarra previously worked together on Crazy, Stupid, Love which Fogelman scripted and Requa and Ficarra directed. Requa and Ficarra will direct this pilot.
Untitled Matt Hubbard/ Mike Schur Couple Project
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Executive Producer(s): Matt Hubbard, Michael Schur, David Miner
Writer(s): Matt Hubbard
Logline: Centers on a happily-married interracial couple, Andrew and Josie, whose lives take a turn when they move close to Josie’s family in Missouri.
SSN Insight: NBC gave an initial production commitment as of September 3. Schur and Hubbard are both under deals at Universal TV.
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Shore Z Productions, Moonshot Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): David Shore, Bryan Cranston, Seth Gordon, Erin Gunn, James Degus
Logline: The story centers on a thirty-something con man who, upon leaving prison, takes cover from his darker past by assuming the identity of a cellmate. “Sneaky Pete” hides out from the mob while working for the cellmate family’s bail bond business, taking down criminals worse than himself. Over time, he discovers a family life he’s never had, and possibly true love with a woman who sees through his BS.
SSN Insight: CBS initially ordered a pilot back in January but passed after the pilot was shot. Amazon picked the pilot up and released it on their Amazon Prime platform on August 7. Amazon has now given a series order.
Stuck in the Middle
Network: Disney Channel
Production Company(s): It’s A Laugh Productions
Executive Producer(s): Linda Videtti Figueiredo
Writer(s): Alison Brown, Linda Videtti Figueiredo
Logline: The story of the Diaz family is told from the perspective of Harley, an engineering whiz who uses her inventions to navigate life as the middle child in a large family of seven kids. Harley’s overlooked status proves to be both a blessing and a curse, as she maneuvers her way through the everyday antics that come with being part of a big family.
SSN Insight: Disney ordered the pilot in February and gave a series order on September 4. Jane The Virgin’s Jenna Ortega will star as Harley Diaz. Production starts in November for a spring premiere.
The Life And Times Of Teddy Roosevelt
Production Company(s): Authentic Entertainment, Electus
Executive Producer(s): Ben Silverman, Sean Canino, Jon Rubinstein, Jason Egenberg
Writer(s): David McKenna
Logline: Centers on the 26th President of the United States, who served two terms from 1901-09. Taking office after the assassination of President McKinley, the 42-year-old Roosevelt became the country’s youngest POTUS.
SSN Insight: Planned as a limited series. No word yet on a network commitment. Electus is also behind Separation Anxiety, in preproduction and ordered to series at TBS and Flaked in production and ordered to series at Netflix.
Executive Producer(s): Nancy Hower, John Lehr
Writer(s): Nancy Hower, John Lehr
Logline: Centers on a couple who downsizes everything and chooses to sail the Loop â€” a nautical course that cuts through the heart of America. All goes wrong when they become entangled in a smuggling ring.
SSN Insight: Hower and Lehr also produced the comedy series Quick Draw, airing for two seasons on Hulu and co-created with Robert Hickey the TBS comedy series 10 Items Or Less.
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): Kapital Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Alexander Cary, Aaron Kaplan
Writer(s): Alexander Cary
Logline: A psychological thriller based on real events surrounding a young couple and their two children who move into their dream home in a small town, only to be terrorized by anonymous letters and sinister threats, and trapped in the web of a dangerous mystery.
Details: Inspired by real events.
SSN Insight: NBC gave an initial script commitment on September 3. The project is the first sale under the overall deal Cary signed with Universal TV.
Other TV Development news includes, feature writers Goldstein and Daley setting up a comedy project at Fox with Chernin producing, Amazon giving a series order to the David Shore, Bryan Cranston, Seth Gordon produced show Sneaky Pete and NBC ordering Alexander Cary’s project The Watcher. (SSN)
The Toronto Film Festival has pulled Amazing Grace after the Aretha Franklin documentary became the subject of a legal dispute. (VAR)
Michael Moore, Shia LaBeouf and a Jason Bateman comedy could generate bidding wars as rich new buyers (Amazon, Broad Green) make up for Relativity’s implosion. (THR)
New Line Cinema is nearing a deal for worldwide rights to the Will Smith-led Collateral Beauty. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) directs and Allan Loeb pens. (DAH)
Drama writer Aron Eli Coleite has signed a multi-year overall deal with Warner Bros. TV. The pact comes on the heels of TNT giving a pilot order to Home, written and executive produced by Coleite for Warner Horizon Television and Warner Bros TV-based Jerry Bruckheimer TV. (DH)
Maggie Gyllenhaal, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Poehler, LL Cool J and Empire stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard will be handing out statuettes. (FOX)
Relativity president of production Robbie Brenner is finalizing a deal to join Jeff Kwatinetz’s reconstituted management/production company The Firm. She will become a partner in the venture and president of its film division. (DH)
Ron Burch and David Kidd, the executive producers of Dinotrux, a new DreamWorks Animation Television series debuting Aug. 14 on Netflix, discuss how to create the perfect mashup for kids. (AM)
First-time writer/director Marielle Heller opens up about learning to have total faith in her creative vision despite what anyone may think. (FC)
Online streaming giant has stuck a deal with series creator Charlie Brooker and his production shingle House of Tomorrow to make “multiple new episodes”. Brooker is said to be writing those episodes right now. Previous seasons of Black Mirror have featured performances from Toby Kebbel, Jon Hamm, Domhnall Gleeson, Jessica Brown Findlay, Rory Kinnear, Michael Smiley, and Hayley Atwell. (COL)
The as-yet undetermined film will hit theaters on July 21st, 2017. The studio has world rights, as it has had with all of Nolan’s recent pictures except for Interstellar, which involved Paramount. When Jeff Robinov left Warner Bros to start his new shingle Studio 8 at Sony with money from China, the challenge for Greg Silverman was to keep Nolan in the fold, as well as other director relationships, Ben Affleck. Both have now successfully retained. (DH)
The Snowman is based on one of the author’s 10 novels about Oslo police detective Harry Hole, with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy helmer Tomas Alfredson on board to direct. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce the project along with Piodor Gustafsson, with a script by Soren Sveistrup. Story has Hole investigating the disappearance of a woman whose scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman. (VAR)
Universal Pictures has acquired the pitch from writer Erica Oyama that Poehler will produce alongside Brooke Posch through their Paper Kite Productions banner. Plot details are being kept in detention, but the comedy will explore the lengths a high school teacher will go to gain the respect she deserves. (THR)
Actor, best known for playing movie star manager Eric Murphy on Entourage, is set to direct John Travolta in Gotti, the long-gestating biopic about the late New York City mobster John Gotti and the son who succeeded him. Written by Leo Rossi and Lem Dobbs, film will chronicle the Teflon Don’s rise through the ranks of the Gotham underworld to lead the Gambino crime family; it will also explore the kingpin’s bond with son John Angelo Gotti III, known as Junior Gotti. (EW)
Remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 tale of witchcraft at a boarding school for dance had David Gordon Green planning to direct the film, but he fell out and producers have been searching for a replacement. Now, they have one in Luca Guadagnino, whose film I Am Love was released in 2009, and who has the new movie A Bigger Splash at the Venice Film Festival. No word yet on a timeline of when the film might go in front of cameras. (SF)
After a long period of late-night firing, retiring, and hiring, it’s time to quantify the monologues and interviews, and crown the all-time kings (and a few queens) of talk. Rankings include some hosts who are entirely fictional, others who’ve expanded the job’s original boundaries through podcasting and satellite radio, and those who turned daytime TV into must-see entertainment. It does not, however, include John McEnroe, Magic Johnson, or Tony Danza. (VUL)
Fox Searchlight has released the first look at the upcoming drama from director Jean-Marc Vallee. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Naomi Watts, the movie hits theaters April 8th, 2016. (CB)
Warner Bros. has shared the first trailer from the upcoming political satire starring Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton, adapted from the award-winning documentary of the same name. Directed by David Gordon Green, the movie is scheduled for release on October 30th. (CS)
The 112-page screenplay by Rodrigo Garcia, labeled Goldenrod Revisions and dated February 3rd, 2009. (GITS)
Momentum Pictures and Orion Releasing have entered into a multi-picture agreement to jointly acquire and distribute specialized multiplatform releases in the U.S. and select international territories. Entertainment One (eOne) is reintroducing its Momentum Pictures banner and reviving the successful film brand as a new distinct label focused on securing great films for digital and ancillary exploitation on a global basis. The first films to be distributed in select theaters and other platforms will include THE Wannabe, written and directed by Nick Sandow and Ava’s Possessions, written and directed by Jordan Galland.
NBCUniversal International announced a multi-year movie licensing deal with Chinese mega e-commerce company, Alibaba Group. Terms of the pact remain classified, but it will include titles from Universal Pictures’ new release and library slates, to be made available on Alibaba’s TMall Box Office service starting later this month, kicking off with blockbusters Furious 7 and Jurassic World. The licensing deal is part of Alibaba’s latest efforts to grow its entertainment business to encompass film, TV and gaming. To that effort, Alibaba previously invested in Paramount’s Mission: Impossible 5 and launched the streaming service, TBO.
Fox is expected to close a deal later this year that will pay National Geographic $725 million in cash and equity to control The National Geographic Society’s other media assets, including their magazine, cable channels, National Geographic Studios, digital and social media platforms. Upon deal close, Fox will have a 73% stake in the joint venture to be named, National Geographic Partners. The venture will double NatGeo’s endowment to around $1 billion, allowing it to increase its investments in science, research, and education.
Media General has agreed to pay Meredith in a $2.4 billion cash and equity deal that will move Media General up to the number three TV station owner considering its reach in 88 outlets and 54 markets, or roughly 30% of viewers. RBC Capital Markets and JPMorgan Chase are financing the deal that will see the company renamed as Meredith Media General. The deal includes Meredith’s magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and Shape. Meredith’s Stephen Lacy will be named the new company’s CEO with Joseph Ceryanec to be named their CFO.
Former Atlas Ent. EVP, Alan Glazer, is launching Trimax Media to develop feature films, television, digital content and applications. The company already has an overhead deal with Dominant Entertainment for production financing along with an unnamed private equity investor. The venture is slated to produce and finance three films per year in the $5 to 40 million dollar range. Strategic financial partner, Jesus Lorenzo Nevarez, with 27 years of experience, will oversee the financing.
Netflix Spain has signed its first distribution deal with telecommunications company Vodafone Spain that will integrate the streaming service into its platform. Vodafone TV subscribers will be able to access Netflix content using set-top boxes, as well as tablets and smartphones.
The 400 title strong library of producer-financier Exclusive Media Group has been majority sold to AMBI, the group of vertically integrated film development, production, finance and distribution companies, in a deal in partnership with private equity firm Raven Capital Management. As part of the deal AMBI will also control projects in active development along with any sequels or remakes to library titles. The library includes films such as Memento, The Skulls, Sliding Doors and End of Watch. Exclusive was previously overseeing the rights sales of Venice and TIFF stand-out Black Mass and Equals, starring Kristen Stewart.
SSN brings you five attention-grabbing films that are making headlines along with five other films that are flying under-the-radar and still have available rights just waiting to be snagged. (SSN)
Other film and TV deals include, former Atlas Entertainment VP launching a new company Trimax Media and Media General acquiring media and marketing company Meredith and renaming to Meredith Media General. (SSN)
Cruise is joining director Doug Liman to develop long-gestating sci-fi action pic Luna Park with an eye to star in the film for Paramount. (VAR)
Today we got our first hit of news from the much anticipated Seth Rogen/ Evan Goldberg adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s comic series, Preacher. Rogen tweeted out the first poster art for the AMC series and a release date of May 2016. (COLL)
Road House’s bouncer role, famously played by Patrick Swayze, could be passed to Ronda Rousey, the UFC fighter. MGM has been developing a new version of the cult 1989 drama since 2013. (EMP)
Paramount Pictures has acquired the feature rights to Little Brother, the New York Times bestselling novel by Cory Doctorow, for Angry Film producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford. (DH)
Hitman: Agent 47 debuted on top in Russia on September’s first weekend. The crime thriller grossed 126 million rubles ($1.9 million). (THR)
The awards conversation can change considerably in the six days between the Venice Film Festival kicking off and the Telluride Film Festival shutting down. Indiewire has a look at the ever-changing awards landscape. (IW)
Patrick Dempsey is in final negotiations to join the cast of Bridget Jones’s Baby for Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. The third installment sees Renee Zellweger reprising her role as the British publishing executive as she enters her 40s. (DH)
Director Rian Johnson is already gearing up and getting to work on the next Star Wars film. Lucasfilm confirmed yesterday that Star Wars: Episode VIII will begin filming on the island Skellig Michael off the southern coast of Ireland later this month. Between the Episodic titles and the spin-off stories, formerly known as anthology films, Lucasfilm is gearing up to deliver a Star Wars film once a year. (COL)
Pitched as Wall-E meets Splash, the intriguing take was written by Del Toro, and sees the Pacific Rim director also attached to helm. DanTram Nguyen and David Greenbaum are overseeing for Fox, while Del Toro produces. His gothic horror Crimson Peak, bows October 16th and he’s also in development on another project for Universal, a sequel to his acclaimed 2013 epic Pacific Rim, titled Pacific Rim 2: Maelstrom. (TB)
The stunning turn of events comes a little more than a month after the TWC President and COO announced he would depart after his contract expires, joining an exodus of top executives leaving the film and television venture over the past year. In recent weeks, Glasser had been entertaining other offers, such as a potential post at DreamWorks Animation. But after lengthy negotiations, Glasser and the Weinsteins instead hammered a new three-year deal. (BIZ)
Marvel’s 13-episode series will drop in its entirety on November 20th at 12:01 AM PT. Series is the second of four live-action adventure series to premiere only on Netflix. Kristen Ritter stars as Jessica Jones who, after a tragic ending to her short-lived Super Hero stint, is rebuilding her personal life and career as a detective who gets pulled into cases in New York City. Cast also includes David Tennant, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, and Carrie-Anne Moss. (DH)
Called (Un)Cover, the feature is being billed as a multiplatform series that reimagines the traditional magazine cover feature. Each installment of the ongoing series will include fashion photography, video interviews and editorial content. In this first installment, Hathaway shares her thoughts on Internet trolls, her crush on Amy Schumer and why it’s important to be comfortable in your own skin. (THR)
To be broadcast on BBC One (no ETA yet), the series stars Okonedo as Maya, who’s about to become the first black Director of Public Prosecutions, and Adrian Lester as her husband. Just as her life comes under intense public scrutiny, Maya discovers that he has been lying to her for years. Is he concealing an affair, or is it something altogether more sinister? Haysbert has signed up to play a man who has been wrongly imprisoned on death row for 20 years. (SAA)
Looking for originality? This fall’s crop of movies might disappoint you. Over the next four months, you can expect to see about as many sequels as you did the last four months. Worse is the number of remakes, many of them dramatic retellings of stories that were covered just fine in documentaries. You may not be interested in seeing every single major release between now and the end of the year, but if you are you might also be interested in checking these out. (FSR)
One of the early breakout performers from the original Upright Citizen Brigade Theater, he went from an acclaimed sketch show on MTV to juggling his own Adult swim series and a role on FX’s The League in just a couple years. Since then, he’s doubled-down on acting while also assisting in the creation of the Hotwives series for Hulu, and making exceedingly random nostalgia-based comedies for JASH. (FCC)
The Weinstein Company has released the first full-length American trailer for the upcoming drama, which has already won awards at Cannes and built enormous buzz ahead of it. Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and directed by Todd Haynes, the film hits theaters November 20th. (IW)
Founded in 2004, the Showcase not only presents selected films from WIFTI Chapters around the world; some of the recent Showcase short films have been nominated for Academy Awards received distribution deals, garnered recognition around the world. Last year for the 10th anniversary, WIFTI Short-Case received 869 submissions from 58 countries. (SM)