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    Film Development for 11/5/15: Liam Neeson in Talks for ‘Felt’, Miramax in for Bad Santa 2, Kevin Spacey Books Two Films, David S. Goyer to Produce ‘Miles’

    Plenty of action this week, including new attachments for films like 478, Baby Driver and Billionaire Boys Club — with both of the latter snagging Kevin Spacey — while new projects like Felt and King Cobra get rolling. Click on the link to learn more. (SSN)


    A Changing Paradigm? Warner Bros. Is Opening ‘Point Break’ In China Three Weeks Before the U.S.

    While this is not the first time a major Hollywood studio film has opened there first (Iron Man 3 and Penguins of Madagascar both did), it is an unprecedented lead time, and will be the last American movie to premiere there in December, which is normally a “blackout” period for foreign releases. The question being asked is, will this start a trend? (SF)

    Awards Season Gets Into Swing, as 16 Animated Features Submitted To 2015 Oscar Race

    Assuming all 16 qualify, the field is just large enough to warrant a full five-nomination slate at the upcoming 88th annual Academy Awards. The submitted features include Anomalisa, The Good Dinosaur, Home, Hotel Transylvania 2, Inside Out, Minions and The Peanuts Movie. (VAR)

    TBS Renews Rashida Jones Comedy ‘Angie Tribeca,’ Sets 25-Hour Season One Marathon

    Cable network has preemptively renewed its long-gestating project for a second season and set an unprecedented 25-hour commercial-free series premiere for the police comedy’s entire freshman order. The single-camera comedy will debut Sunday, January 17th at 9 p.m. and run through Monday, January 18th at 10 p.m. Season Two of the series will debut on Monday, January 25th with new episodes available weekly across all TBS platforms at 9:30 p.m. (LF)

    STX Entertainment Takes a Big Step Toward Being a Major 21st Century Player

    Company has locked down distribution agreements in more than 50 territories. The platform gives the ambitious company a top-tier worldwide distribution network for the studio’s 12-15 motion pictures a year. The first slate of films to come through the output deals will be The Space Between Us, Hardcore, Mile 22, Bad Moms, The Foreigner, Russ & Roger, and Happytime Murders. (DH)

    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Is In Talks To Play the Singer With the Golden Voice In a Biopic

    Noomi Rapace is circling the lead in a film about the late British soul icon Amy Winehouse in a scripted project that is gathering steam at the AFM. August Rush director Kirsten Sheridan has written the script and is due to direct the feature. Music rights are currently in negotiation on the development project. (SD)

    Julie Klausner’s Star Continues To Rise, as ‘Difficult People’ Co-Creator’s Book Gets Optioned For Film

    Writer-actress’ 2010 memoir, I Don’t Care About Your Band, is currently being adapted for an eventual feature film. The book chronicles her many 20-something romantic and sexual entanglements with various men. Klaunser will co-write the script, with the possibility of her starring, although it has not yet been decided. Five years ago, the book was adapted for a pilot starring Lizzy Caplan, but HBO passed on it. (VUL)

    Knowing a Good Thing When It Sees One, Alcon Will Continue Its Distribution Agreement With WB Through 2019

    LA-based financing and production company is extending its long-standing “output” distribution agreement with the studio for four more years. The company has concurrently arranged a $200 million senior secured credit facility via a structured finance transaction involving a bank syndicate led by JP Morgan Chase, CIT Bank and Bank of America, it was announced by company co-founders and CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. (CS)

    Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘The Hateful Eight’

    The Weinstein Company has released the first full-length trailer for the highly anticipated new film from Quentin Tarantino. Starring Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir, it opens in limited release on Christmas Day. (CB)

    Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Concussion’

    Sony Pictures has released the latest trailer for the upcoming drama from director Peter Landesman, and starring Will Smith. Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Albert Brooks, Luke Wilson, Paul Reiser, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and David Morse co-star in the film, which opens Christmas Day. (IW)

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    Today In Relativity News: Filmmakers Accuse Ryan Kavanaugh Of Operating a Massive “Sham”

    The accusation was made yesterday in a scathing legal filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York by lawyers for producer Neal Moritz and the writers attempting to make the film Hunter Killer, with Gerard Butler previously set to star as a submarine captain trying to save the world from the threat of a renegade Russian military leader. Accusation accuses hedge funds of continuing to prop up to avoid booking huge losses they have suffered as investors. (VAR)

    Woody Harrelson Trades In One Brilliant Young Actress For Another With ‘The Glass Castle’

    After co-starring with Jennifer Lawrence in four Hunger Games movies, Harrelson will join Brie Larson in the drama based on Jeannette Walls’ harrowing memoir. Harrelson would play the unconventional patriarch, who struggled with alcohol. Destin Cretton, who directed Larson Short Term 12, has co-written the screenplay (with Andrew Lanham) and will direct. (COL)

    As ABC Family Rebrands Into Freeform, It Greenlights Two Shows To Series

    Disney-owned cable net has picked up Tim Kring’s Beyond and its Amanda Knox-themed drama Guilt to series. Supernatural drama Beyond revolves around a young man who wakes up from a coma after 12 years and discovers new supernatural abilities that propel him into the middle of a dangerous conspiracy. Guilt is an edgy, soapy thriller that revolves around an American in London who becomes the prime suspect in the savage murder of her roommate. (LF)

    Scott Free Makes Major TV Push, Inks a Big Deal With CBS Studios

    Fourteen years after the company’s television division was officially launched, it is in a major expansion mode. Scott Free has signed a new first-look deal for broadcast projects at CBS TV Studios where the company has two series, both for CBS, the award-winning The Good Wife and the upcoming BrainDead. Under the pact, Scott Free has also sold three drama projects to CBS for next season. (DH)

    Diane Lane Joins Liam Neeson In Peter Landesman’s Upcoming Deep Throat Drama

    Film explores the experiences of special agent Mark Felt (Neeson), the man who eventually revealed himself to be the mysterious source who helped Washington Post reports Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (you might recall their story from All The President’s Men) investigate and eventually expose the dodgy goings on, with what they dug up eventually leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Lane will play Felt’s wife. (EMP)

    ‘Fargo’ Star Allison Furman Lands Lead In New ABC Pilot

    The breakout star of the first season of FX’s Emmy-winning series has been cast in the starring role of “Nan” in the comedy pilot Downward Dog. Her character is described thusly: “Nan’s life is in a constant state of upheaval, but she always feels like she’s about to turn the corner. Her ideal self lies just on the other side of this juice cleanse, or new relationship, or maybe if she gets a standing desk.” (EW)

    Happy Holidays, ‘Luther’ Fans! BBC America Picks a December Premiere Date For the Big One-Off Special

    Written and created by Neil Cross and directed by Sam Miller (No Good Deed), the Luther movie — which will run nearly three hours — finds Idris Elba’s antihero pulled “out of seclusion” by a case involving “a cannibalistic serial killer.” The film, which also includes Rose Leslie, Laura Haddock, Darren Boyd, John Heffernan, Patrick Malahide, Michael Smiley and Dermot Crowley, will hit the airways Thursday night, December 17th at 9 pm EST. (TVL)

    Seven Productivity Beliefs That Will Absolutely Get You Nowhere Fast

    We’re all looking for faster, more productive ways to work, but sometimes our positive intentions can override practicality. In other words, what sounds like a good idea at the time can quickly turn into the worst idea ever. However, we often don’t know what a good idea looks like until we try. Taking risks is important — buying down risk is better. There’s a fine line between smart and stupid, and sometimes our motivations can make that line a little blurry. (EC)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘London Has Fallen’

    Gramercy Pictures and Millennium Films have released the first trailer for the upcoming sequel to the 2013 hit film, Olympus Has Fallen. Starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett and Morgan Freeman star in the film, which opens March 4th, 2016. (BC)

    Screenwriters: ‘Legend’

    The 108-page screenplay for the upcoming drama, by Brian Helgeland. Script is labeled Final Shooting Draft. (GITS)

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    A Meyers Christmas
    Logline: An estranged family spends their first Christmas together after their patriarch dies.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
    Production Company(s): Will Packer Productions
    Director(s): David E. Talbert
    Executive Producer(s): Lyn Talbert, James Lopez, David E. Talbert, Gabrielle Union, Jeff Morrone
    Producer(s): Will Packer
    Cast: Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover, Mo’Nique, Kimberly Elise, J.B. Smoove
    Writer(s): David E. Talbert
    SSN Insight: Spec script acquired for mid-six figures upfront and upped to seven figures for script and directing as the movie is being made.

    Beat Up Little Seagull
    Logline: A fragile woman is already stressed from a fast-paced world when her mother dies and she must find a means for survival, while hiding her struggles from her new boyfriend
    Production Company(s): Killer Films
    Director(s): Andrew Dosunmu
    Producer(s): Christine Vachon
    Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland
    Writer(s): Darci Picoult, Andrew Dosunmu
    SSN Insight: Michelle Pfeiffer was most recently in American Horror Story and can be seen in the HBO film Wizard of Lies.

    Fender Bender
    Logline: A serial killer purposely gets into car accidents to meet his future victims.
    Production Company(s): Brainstorm Media, Shout! Factory, EchoWolf Productions
    Director(s): Mark Pavia
    Executive Producer(s): Nadia Redler, Meyer Shwarzstein
    Producer(s): Carl W. Lucas, Joshua Bunting
    Cast: Makenzie Vega, Steven Michael Quezada, Dre Davis, Cassidy Freeman, Bill Sage
    Writer(s): Mark Pavia
    SSN Insight: This is Shout! Factory’s first original film. Shout! Factory will develop, finance and executive produce the film and will shoot it in New Mexico.

    Girl on the Train
    Logline: A young woman gets mixed up in a murder investigation because of what she sees on her daily commute.
    Studio/Distributor(s): DreamWorks Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
    Production Company(s): Marc Platt Productions
    Director(s): Tate Taylor
    Executive Producer(s): Jared LeBoff, Celia D Costas
    Producer(s): Marc Platt
    Cast: Haley Bennett, Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Edgar Ramirez, Luke Evans
    Writer(s): Erin Cressida Wilson
    Details: Based on the novel “Girl on the Train” written by Paula Hawkins and published by Riverhead Books in 2015.
    SSN Insight: Kate Mara was mentioned to co-star. Chris Evans was previously in negotiations for the role filled by Justin Theroux.

    Sand Castle
    Logline: True story of Americans soldiers who are sent on a mission to repair an aqueduct in a dangerous rural village in Iraq.
    Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company, 42, Treehouse Pictures
    Director(s): Fernando Coimbra
    Executive Producer(s): Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
    Producer(s): Mark R. Gordon, Justin Nappi, Benjamin Pugh
    Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Henry Cavill, Beau Knapp, Glen Powell, Logan Marshall-Green
    Writer(s): Chris Roessner
    SSN Insight: Seb Edwards was previously attached to direct. Project was included on the 2012 Black List. Luke Evans was previously attached to play the role filled by Logan Marshall-Green.

    Logline: A man and his fiance find their lives turned upside down when a teenager unintentionally shoots him.
    Production Company(s): Wyle/Katz Company
    Director(s): Jeremy Kagan
    Producer(s): Noah Wyle, Jeremy Kagan
    Cast: Noah Wyle, Elaine Hendrix
    Writer(s): William Lamborn, Anneke Campbell
    SSN Insight: The film is being repped at AFM by veteran distribution executive Omar Kaczmarczyk, who is also the global IP manager for the Global Genesis Group.
    The Bye Bye Man
    Logline: Inspired by a series of events that occurred in Wisconsin in the 1990s, three college students play with a Ouija board and summon a spirit with a dangerous story.
    Studio/Distributor(s): STX Entertainment
    Production Company(s): Intrepid Pictures, Los Angeles Media Fund
    Director(s): Stacy Title
    Executive Producer(s): Marc Evans, David Britten Prior
    Producer(s): Trevor Macy, Simon Horsman, Jeffrey Soros
    Cast: Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas, Lucien Laviscount, Doug Jones
    Writer(s): Jonathan Penner, David Britten Prior
    Details: Based on the short story: “The Bridge to Body Island” from anthology “The President’s Vampire: Strange-but-True Tales of the United States of America”; published by Anomalist Books November 1, 2005.
    SSN Insight: David Britten Prior was previously attached to write and direct. The deal with TWC-Dimension includes a proceed-to-production commitment.

    The Godmother
    Logline: The true story of Griselda Blanco, who became the deadliest, wealthiest woman to head a Colombian drug cartel.
    Production Company(s): First Born Films
    Director(s): Gerard Johnson
    Executive Producer(s): Nicholas Pileggi, Nicolas Meyer, Marc Schaberg, Kelly McCormick
    Producer(s): Daniela Cristina Cretu
    Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Olivier Martinez, Jordi Molle , Mehdi Dehbi
    Writer(s): Frank Baldwin
    Details: Life rights of Griselda Blanco optioned by Daniela Cretu.
    SSN Insight: Eva Sorhaug was previously attached as director. Jon Bernthal and Oscar Jaenada were previously attached as cast members.

    The Legacy Of A Whitetail Deer Hunter
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    Production Company(s): Scott Rudin Productions, Rough House Pictures
    Director(s): Jody Hill
    Executive Producer(s): Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, John Carcieri, Lila Yacoub
    Producer(s): Scott Rudin, Jody Hill, Eli Bush
    Cast: Josh Brolin, Danny McBride
    Writer(s): Jody Hill, Danny McBride, John Carcieri
    SSN Insight: Danny McBride’s upcoming films include Hot Sugar’s Cold World, Don Verdean, Masterminds and Zeroville.


    American Pastoral
    Logline: A man who inherits his father’s business and marries a beauty queen has his idyllic life turned upside down when his daughter becomes a Vietnam War activist and carries out a terrorist act.
    Production Company(s): Lakeshore Entertainment, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
    Director(s): Ewan McGregor
    Executive Producer(s): Jim Tauber, Matt Berenson
    Producer(s): Tom Rosenberg, Richard Wright, Gary Lucchesi, Sidney Kimmel
    Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Ewan McGregor, Dakota Fanning, Corey Stoll, Valorie Curry
    Writer(s): John Romano
    Details: Based on the novel “American Pastoral” written by Philip Roth and published by Vintage in 1998.
    SSN Insight: Lakeshore Entertainment has picked up the feature film rights to the novel “American Pastoral” by Philip Roth from turnaround. It is the third Philip Roth novel in development at Lakeshore. Project was previously in development at Lynda Obst Productions.

    Ghost Team
    Logline: A team of ghost hunters who get more than they bargained for when they set out to do their own paranormal investigation.
    Production Company(s): Preferred Content, Mott Street Pictures, Tandem Pictures
    Director(s): Oliver Irving
    Executive Producer(s): Kevin Iwashinia
    Producer(s): Julie Christeas, Schuyler Weiss, Oliver Irving, Alex Sagalchik
    Cast: Jon Heder, David Krumholtz, Melonie Diaz, Paul W Downs, Justin Long
    Writer(s): Peter Warren
    SSN Insight: The producers announced that that this will be the first feature to use the new Steadicam Tango, an innovation by cinematographer Garrett Brown.

    Kill the Czar
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    Production Company(s): Rabbit Bandini Productions
    Director(s): James Franco, Bruce Cheung
    Producer(s): Jay Davis, Manaal Khan
    Cast: James Franco
    SSN Insight: James Franco’s upcoming films include The Night Before, Memoria, The Adderall Diaries, Yosemite and Zeroville.

    Logline: Lyndon Johnson goes from powerful Senate Majority Leader, powerless Vice President to President of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
    Production Company(s): Castle Rock Entertainment, Star Thrower Entertainment, Acacia Entertainment, Savvy Media Holdings
    Director(s): Rob Reiner
    Executive Producer(s): Allan Mandelbaum, Lloyd Braun, Andrew Mittman, Martin Shafer, Elizabeth Bell
    Producer(s): Matthew George, Rob Reiner, Liz Glotzer, Michael Williams, Tim White
    Cast: Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins, Bill Pullman, Kim Allen, Michael Stahl-David
    Writer(s): Joey Hartstone
    SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2014 Black List.
    Mean Dreams
    Logline: The daughter of a corrupt cop steals drug money from him and goes on the run.
    Production Company(s): Woods Entertainment
    Director(s): Nathan Morlando
    Executive Producer(s): Allison Black, Patrice Theroux, Jonathan Bronfman, Rob McGillivray, Ben Stranahan
    Producer(s): William Woods
    Cast: Bill Paxton, Colm Feore, Kevin Durand, Sophie Nelisse, Josh Wiggins
    Writer(s): Ryan Grassby, Kevin Coughlin
    SSN Insight: Bill Paxton’s upcoming films include The Bottoms which he’s signed on to direct and he’s been cast in The Second Coming and Life Briefly, all in active development.

    Operation Insanity
    Logline: A shy young man turns to his grandfather, and his grandfather’s rugged old war buddies, for help rescuing the woman of his dreams from kidnappers.
    Production Company(s): CCi Entertainment
    Director(s): Erik Canuel
    Producer(s): Arnie Zipursky, Jeff Sackman
    Cast: Paul Sorvino, James Caan, Jessica Walter, Louis Gossett Jr., Dylan Everett
    Writer(s): Jeff Schechter
    SSN Insight: Erik Canuel previously directed Lac Mystere, Barrymore, Cadavres, The Last Tunnel and Bon Cop, Bad Cop.

    The Journey
    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
    Director(s): Nick Hamm
    Executive Producer(s): Stuart Ford, Matt Jackson
    Producer(s): Nick Hamm, Mark Huffam, Piers Tempest
    Cast: Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, John Hurt, Toby Stephens, Freddie Highmore
    Writer(s): Colin Bateman
    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.
    Production Company(s): Keep Your Head Productions, Plan B Entertainment, MadRiver Pictures
    Director(s): James Gray
    Executive Producer(s): Marc Butan, Julie May, Glenn P Murray
    Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Anthony Katagas, Dale Armin Johnson
    Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Angus MacFadyen
    Writer(s): James Gray
    Details: Based on the book “Lost City of Z” written by David Grann; published by Doubleday in February 2009.
    SSN Insight: The book is an expansion of an article, written by Grann, that appeared in The New Yorker magazine in September 2005. Project previously set up at Paramount Pictures. Brad Pitt previously attached to star.

    The Purge 3
    Logline: On one night during the year, murder is legal and bad things happen to people who don’t stay locked in their homes.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
    Production Company(s): Why Not Productions, Platinum Dunes, Blumhouse Productions
    Director(s): James DeMonaco
    Producer(s): Jason Blum, Sebastien Lemercier, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form
    Cast: Frank Grillo, Betty Gabriel, Edwin Hodge, Kyle Secor, Joseph Julian Soria
    Writer(s): James DeMonaco
    Details: Based on the film The Purge and its sequel The Purge Anarchy.
    SSN Insight: James DeMonaco previously wrote and directed The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy. He’s attached as a screenwriter to the upcoming films Gangster for MGM and The Listener for Disney, both in active development.

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    On the Set for 11/6/15: Emily Blunt and Luke Evans Start ‘Girl on the Train’, Brad Pitt Wraps ‘Lost City of Z’

    Things get under way for other films, like producer Will Packer’s new Christmas film, a drama starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Kiefer Sutherland, and the true story, Sand Castle. Meanwhile, among the other projects wrapping principal photography are American Pastoral and James Franco’s Kill the Czar. Click on the link to learn more. (SSN)

    SSN Box Office Trending Report for 11/6/15: James Bond Continues Streak, But Charlie Brown Manages to Muscle In Ticket Sales

    In our latest weekly series, SSN Insider will take a deep dive into the film ticket sales of the week leveraging data from the powerhouse ticketing website, Not only will the infographic pinpoint which movies are claiming the largest piece of the pie from day to day in terms of sales but also which film had the biggest uptick in terms of a percentage variance surge and which had the biggest downtick or steepest dive between any two points. (SSN)


    ‘Call of Duty’ Movie, ‘Skylanders’ TV Series On the Way as Activision Blizzard Sets Up Studio

    On the launch day of the latest Call of Duty, Activision Blizzard announced that the franchise is finally heading to the big screen. The company announced the formation of Activision Blizzard Studios, a new internal division of Activision that will focus on film and TV production, and a Call of Duty movie is tentatively expected to arrive in 2018 or 2019, meant to be the first in a series. The studio is also working on an animated TV series based on Skylanders. (EW)

    Another Video Game Adaptation Is also On Its Way, as ‘The Witcher’ Goes Into Development

    Originally a well-regarded series of novels and stories by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, which were then adapted into a trilogy of critically acclaimed video games, the movie adaptation of will be spearheaded by producer Sean Daniel. He will work alongside Poland’s own Platige Films. (SF)

    Take Heart James Bond Fans, Producer Thinks Daniel Craig Will Return For One More Go Round

    Not only does Michael G. Wilson expect Craig to come back for a fifth outing as the standout of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, he also thinks there will soon be a resolution to the question of which studio distributes the Bond films. With Sony’s deal up, MGM (which produces the series but does not release it) has been talking to three studios in all, he says, without naming them (though Warner Bros. and Paramount have been rumored to be interested). (THR)

    New Line Creates New Position Of Literary Scout, Names Jake Bauman To Fill It

    Bauman will serve as the studio’s primary liaison with the publishing industry, and in that capacity will identify book-to-film opportunities alongside New Line’s existing outside literary agency. Based in New York, he’ll work with New Line’s creative team on all literary acquisitions and development. (DH)

    Disney Nabs Film Rights To Hot Upcoming Book ‘The Explorer’s Club’

    Studio has picked up Adrienne Kress’ new adventure series, with Michael De Luca on board to produce. The book, set for publication next fall, is the first in Kress’ three book deal with Delacorte Press. The Explorers Club centers on Sebastian, a shy boy who teams up with the risk-taking Evie in search of her grandfather, who’s been kidnapped for a map leading to the fountain of youth. (TB)

    MTV Makes a Change, Brings In New Showrunners For Season Two Of ‘Scream’

    Season one co-showrunners Jill Blotevogel and Jaime Paglia are stepping down. Instead, frequent collaborators Michael Gans and Richard Register will serve as showrunners for the second season of the horror remake from Dimension Television. Blotevogel will remain with the series as a consultant, while Paglia will no longer be involved with the show. (LF)

    More Bond Stuff: With ‘Spectre’ Opening Today, a Comprehensive Ranking Of All 23 Previous James Bond Movies

    Prepare to be offended! Courting plenty of controversy, the list is not for the faint of heart or those lacking strong opinions. From no-brainers (the bottom five are pretty much what you might expect) to some serious thinkers (number four on the list might surprise you), the list is a bold and thoughtful look at one of the most lucrative, and coolest, movie franchises ever. (FSR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Warcraft’

    Universal Pictures has released the first look at the video game adaptation. Directed by Duncan Jones, the film stars Travis Fimmel, Toby Kebbell, Paula Patton, Rob Kazinsky,Ben Foster, Daniel Wu, and Clancy Brown, and opens June 10th, 2016. (COL)


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    Box Office: ‘Spectre’ Opens To $73M In U.S.; ‘Peanuts’ Grabs $45M

    Overseas, Spectre took in $117.8 million for an early worldwide total of $300 million after opening in the U.K. two weeks ago; Spotlight shines at the specialty box office, where Brooklyn is also off to a solid start. (THR)

    Donald Trump Gives ‘SNL’ Its Biggest Ratings In Years

    According to NBC, SNL had a whopping 6.6 household rating on Saturday night, easily beating the season’s previous high: the 41st season premiere last month, hosted by Miley Cyrus and with a guest appearance by Hillary Clinton. (EW)

    RealD To Go Private In $551 Million All-Cash Deal

    The company will be acquired by Rizvi Traverse Management, LLC and valued at $11 per share. (WRAP)

    Netflix ‘Making A Murderer’ Getting In On True Crime Racket

    The streaming service has announced its own heartland murder-mystery with all the real-life twists you can handle, streaming this December. (SC)

    ‘John Wicks 2’ Fills Out Cast, Old Favorites Return

    Ruby Rose, Riccardo Scamarcio and Peter Stormare join the already announced Common and returning Ian McShane in John Wick 2. Also coming back from the first movie are John Leguizamo, Bridget Monahan, Tom Sadowski, and Lance Reddick. (DH)

    Magnolia Pictures Nabs U.S. Rights To Thriller ‘The Ones Below’

    The story of a suburban couple’s standoff with new tenants in the apartment below them marks the feature film debut of David Farr. (VAR)

    Johnny Depp To Star In ‘Sherlock Gnomes’

    Johnny Depp has been tapped to voice the titular role of Paramount Animation and MGM’s Sherlock Gnomes — a sequel to indie animated hit Gnomeo and Juliet from Elton John’s Rocket Pictures. (AM)

    Stephanie Zacharek Will Be Time’s Film Critic

    The ‘Village Voice’ critic is moving uptown, and Daniel D’Addario will be the magazine’s new TV critic. (IW)

    Screenwriters: Components Of Screen Storytelling – The Protagonist

    Screenwriter Ray Morton lays out the essential elements of the most important component of a film narrative following its structure: the Protagonist. (SM)

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    Company Launches & Partnerships

    3D technology company RealD said in February has been bought by private equity investor Rizvi Traverse Management which has agreed to pay $551 million, including assumption of debt which renders to $11 a share, just 4.1% above the closing price on Friday. Rizvi Traverse Managing Partner Ben Kohn said this of RealD, “the market leading 3D cinema platform with a history of innovation and strong growth prospects. …We are excited to partner with Michael Lewis and the current management team in this new chapter for RealD.”

    Google has acquired Fly Labs, a company that focuses in making video-editing apps for the iPhone. The Fly Labs team will also begin contributing to Google Photos, which provides cloud storage for photos and videos, and catalogs images in a way that makes them easily searchable.

    The CBS Television Stations group and Health Media Network have joined in a new multi-year partnership. HMN, a Point of Care Media company that uses digital TVs to offer patient education in waiting rooms and medical practices, will now deliver CBS Television Stations’ health and lifestyle content to consumers.

    Chinese E-commerce mega-company Alibaba completed its acquisition of Chinese streaming giant Youku Tudou in a deal worth $4.2 billion and will pay $27.60 per American depository share.

    In addition to comScore buying Rentrak and selling Digital Analytics, the big data business intelligence service to Adobe. comScore also announced that it has a strategic global partnership in place with Spotify and is launching a “Total Home Panel,” to measure household media consumption across all screens, devices, and platforms.

    Private wealth management firm Fleet-Fairhaven has financed a $50 million P&A fund targeted towards U.S. releases for international sales company Double Dutch International (DDI) releases, exclusively for films represented by DDI for worldwide sales rights that are strong cast-driven films with a US release of at least 100 screens. The first movie to be funded will be the animated film Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer, which will receive $15 million. M from the fund, said Jason Moring, president of DDI. Movies from the DDI slate, which will benefit the Fleet-Fairhaven P&A fund, must be strong cast-driven pieces with the ability to get a US release on at least 100 screens.

    Activision Blizzard Studios has been launched in an effort to develop films and TV shows based on its hit games including Call Of Duty, Diablo and others and announced their initial production an animated TV series entitled Skylanders Academy. Activision seeks to build on the broad appeal of its games by turning them into franchises that could lead to consumer product sales. Disney alum Nick van Dyk will serve as Co-President. Parent company Activision Blizzard also acquired mobile gaming giant King Digital Entertainment, best known for the Candy Crush franchise. Activision Blizzard spent $5.9 billion dollars on the acquisition.


    Jake Bauman
    has been hired in the new role of Literary Scout for New Line Cinema and be the studio’s primary liaison with the publishing industry, identifying book-to-film opportunities alongside New Line’s existing outside literary agency. He previously had the same role at Chernin Entertainment.

    Tom Butterfield
    has been hired by Content Media as Head of Production in their movie division. He will oversee productions already in the pipeline at Content and be charged with sourcing commercially viable projects for Content’s development and production slate. He previously founded and ran the indie production company Culmination Productions, where he produced a slate that includes the upcoming Life At These Speeds and London Town.

    Brenda Gilbert has been named the President at Bron Animation. She will continue to be a Partner at Bron Media Corp. which she also Co-Founded. Luke Carroll’s role of VP of Production has been expanded to include Development has been named the VP of Production & Development at Bron Animation in Burnaby, British Columbia. Teunis de Raat has been upped from VFX Supervisor to the VP of Digital at Bron Animation. Adam Wood has been upped from Creative Director to the VP of Creative at Bron Animation.

    Caddy Vanasirikul has been hired on as an Executive of Acquisitions at The Exchange. She started as an intern for the company. Nathaniel McCormick has been upped to the position of Executive VP Worldwide Distribution after three years at the Exchange to report to company founder and CEO Brian O’Shea and will co-lead the worldwide distribution efforts for the company’s roster of films.

    Joanne Lee and JR Smith have both been promoted to Director of Acquisitions at IM Global in their LA offices. Prior to IM Global, Lee was at Exclusive Media and at CAA. Weihan Zhang has been promoted to Senior Manager, Sales and Acquisitions Asia. Smith joined IM Global’s acquisitions and productions team in January 2013.


    Nicola Andrews has been named the VP of Distribution at Gaumont Television. She was previously the Managing Director at Hemisphere Distribution Ltd.

    Jay Bastian has been upped from VP to the SVP of Series at Warner Bros. Animation.

    Brian Bockrath has been named the President at Bays Thomas Productions in New York. He was formerly the VP of Scripted Programming at AMC.

    Elizabeth Cain has been named the Communications Associate, E! and Esquire Network Publicity. She was previously the Coordinator of Communications at Nickelodeon.

    Maria Isabel Figueroa has been named the VP of Marketing at Telemundo Network in Miami. She was previously the VP of Marketing at Sony Pictures Latin America & Brazil.

    Cheryl Fullerton has been named the EVP of People at Corus Entertainment Inc. She was previously the VP of Leadership at Maple Leaf Foods in Toronto.

    Jonathan Gabay has been upped from Executive Director to the VP of Comedy Development & Programming at FOX Broadcasting Company. Tony Tompson has been upped from Director of Drama Development & Programming to the VP of Drama Development & Programming at FOX Broadcasting Company. Joe Earley will leave his post as the COO at Fox Television Group at the end of 2015 to pursue other opportunities. Samata Narra has been upped from VP to the SVP of Comedy Development & Programming at FOX Broadcasting Company.

    Lynneise Joseph has been upped from Programming Manager to the Director of Current Programming at The Africa Channel. Karen Juve has been upped from Director to the VP of Programming & Acquisitions at The Africa Channel. Narendra Reddy has been upped from SVP of Programming & Production to the EVP of Content & Global Operations at The Africa Channel.

    Susie Kricena has been named the SVP of Program Acquisitions at Viacom Media Networks in New York. She was previously the SVP of Program Acquisitions at Comedy Central.

    Management, PR, Agencies

    Mark Owens
    has been named the CEO of Rogers & Cowan. Previously Owens joined Corbis in 2012 when the company acquired the Norm Marshall Group, serving as CRO. While at Corbis he headed up the company’s media, entertainment and images businesses among other duties.

    Keith Bielory has been hired to be an Agent in alternative programming and digital media group at Abrams Artists Agency. Bielory previously worked at PMG Sports and CelebExperts in business development and account management. Fatmata Kamara has been upped from assistant to Agent in the Los Angeles-based theatrical youth and young adult division.

    Anne Damato has made Partner at Rain Management Group where she is a Literary Manager. She began her career at Lightstorm Entertainment where she worked on True Lies and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Some of Damato’s clients include Ayanna Floyd, (Empire) , Keto Shimizu (Arrow), Wendey Stanzler (Shameless, Grace & Frankie, Arrow), Millicent Shelton (American Crime, Black-ish, Flash), Miller Tobin (Secrets & Lies, Quantico, Girlfriends Guide) and PJ Pesce (100, Supernatural).

    Nick Damiano has been upped to Manager at One Entertainment and will relocate to Los Angeles. One Entertainment’s clients include Idina Menzel, Lorraine Bracco, Scott Cohen, Lola Kirke, Adria Arjona and Paul Sparks among others.

    Sarah Early has been signed on as a Digital Media at UTA. She was previously an Agent of Global Branded Entertainment & Digital Strategy at ICM Partners. Drew Welborn has shifted to UTA where he will be a Comedy Touring Agent in their New York office. He will rep established and emerging talent for the touring biz well as in film, TV and digital media. Welborn was previously an agent at WME in the personal appearances department with a focus on comedy and digital talent.

    Mike Esola is currently pursuing other opportunities. He was formerly a Literary Agent at WME.

    Cara Lewis is currently pursuing other opportunities. She was previously a Music Agent at CAA in New York.

    Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

    Carlos Chirinos
    has been named the Senior Political Editor at Univision Digital. He was formerly the Deputy Bureau Editor at BBC Mundo.

    Jason Klarman has been named the CMO at Fullscreen in New York. He was formerly the President at Hashtag Media Ideas.

    Francis M. Buono has been named SVP Legal Regulatory Affairs and Senior Deputy General Counsel at Comcast and will provide corporate-wide legal advice on regulatory matters and overseeing the company’s legal regulatory advocacy, including filings in federal and state regulatory proceedings and related litigation and appeals. Previously he spent 25 years at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP where he most recently was partner and chair of the Communications, Media & Privacy Department.

    Karen Bennett has been named the SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer at Cox Media Group in Atlanta. She was previously the SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer at YP. Deborah Thomas has announced her retirement. She was previously the SVP of Human Resources & Communications at Cox Media Group in Atlanta.

    Cameron Blanchard has been named the EVP of Corporate Communications at Condé Nast in New York. He was formerly the SVP of Corporate Communications at NBCUniversal. Tatiana Gonzalez Rama has been hired in a newly created position and will lead CNE’s research and analytics team, spearheading efforts to analyze data and grow audiences across the company’s digital video network. Gonzalez has held analytics positions at Google and, most recently, Spotify.

    Scott Braley has been named the General Manager of Programmatic Advertising at Ooyala in New York. He was formerly the SVP of Demand at OpenX.

    Bianca Bucciarelli has been named the West Coast Lifestyle Communications Manager at Audi of America. She was previously a Talent Publicist at Vision PR.

    Todd Dupler has been named the Senior Director of Advocacy & Public Policy at The Recording Academy in Washington D.C. He was formerly the Director at the Academy.

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    Exec Shuffle for 11/9/15: Activision Blizzard Studios Launches, comScore Partners with Spotify, RealD Acquired, Shifts at UTA

    Another busy week in Hollywoodland, as companies are launched, partnerships established, and plenty of hirings and firings, coming and goings. Among them are a new acquisition for Google, a new financing operation for international sales company Double Dutch International, and a new head of movie production for Content Media. Click on the link to learn more. (SSN)


    Cross Creek Inks a Brand New Deal, Finds a Brand New Home At Sony

    Production shingle behind such films as Black Mass, Rush, The Ides of March and Black Swan will now bring their award-winning slate of high-profile, commercial films to a new home at Sony Pictures’ motion picture group. The deal with Sony is a broad-ranging, multi-platform one, where in addition to distributing Cross Creek pictures on a worldwide basis, Sony and Cross Creek will have the opportunity to co-finance certain films, originating in either pipeline. (CS)

    Is That Ariel Calling? Chloe Grace Moretz Signs Up For Disney’s Live Action ‘Little Mermaid’

    It might have lost director Sofia Coppola, but Universal and Working Title are pushing ahead on development with their take on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most famous fairy tales. And now the companies have a star. Moretz will play the young aquatic woman who dreams of a life among humans but makes a terrible deal to have her wish come true. It also now looks like Richard Curtis in talks to tackle script duty. (EMP)

    Good News For ‘Blindspot’ Fans, as NBC Has Already Given the Show a Second Season

    Just seven episodes into its initial season, the show has already impressed everyone important enough to get a big batch of new episodes next year. At this point, though, it’s not exactly clear how many episodes that will end up being. When the show was first ordered, it was only for 13 episodes. Since its debut, NBC has ordered 10 more. (CB)

    Olivia Munn Is Going Back In Time With The CW For a 70s-Set Female Sportscaster Drama

    Set in 1974, the drama revolves around a young journalist who gets hired by an ambitious New York news programming chief as a publicity stunt to be one of the first female on-air sports reporters. She then has to learn to navigate gender politics in front of and behind the camera at a time when women were literally not even allowed in the press box. Ted Humphrey will pen the script and executive produce the CBS Television Studios entry alongside Munn. (LF)

    Adam And Naomi Scott Sell a Pair Of Comedy Projects, One To HBO, and One To NBC

    HBO has bought Deep S.I.X. with Wet Hot American Summer scribe Anthony King attached to write. Show follows a rag-tag Homeland security team that no one believes in as they investigate paranormal threats that no one believes in. NBC has put in development Donuthead, a single-camera comedy set in the world of an anxiety-ridden 11-year old boy and his single mother. Series will be written by Irene Mecchi and Bridget Terry. (DH)

    With Her TV Appetite Whetted By ‘Gotham’, Jada Pinkett Smith Is Making a Return With Her Own Show

    ABC has ordered a put pilot for a legal drama called Murder Town, from the studio that produces Lifetime’s Unreal. Pickett Smith will play a woman who becomes Wilmington, Delaware’s first black district attorney. It’ll be written by Castle‘s Barry Schindel, who’ll also executive-produce along with Pinkett Smith and Miguel Melendez. (VUL)

    Amazon Continues Its Foray Into the Feature Film World, Picks Up Nicholas Winding Refn’s ‘Neon Demon’

    Amazon has been nipping at Netflix’s heels, first with Transparent, Spike Lee’s Chi-raq is on the way, and now it has picked up Refn’s new movie. Starring Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Bella Heathcote, Desmond Harrington, Christina Hendricks, and Keanu Reeves, the Countess Bathory-inspired tale follows an aspiring model who becomes prey to other women who want what she has. (TP)

    In Case You Were Wondering, ABC Family Has Released the Schedule For Its 25 Days Of Christmas

    While the slate doesn’t begin until December 1st, ABC Family — soon to be rebranded as Freeform — has unveiled the full schedule, and it’s chock-full of stop-motion classics, holiday staples, forgotten failures, and a couple of puzzlers. (COL)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Better Call Saul’

    AMC has released the first look at Season Two of the Emmy-nominated Breaking Bad prequel. Bob Odenkirk, Michael McKean and Jonathan Banks, and premieres in early 2016. (IW)

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    Jeffrey Dean Morgan Joins ‘The Walking Dead’ As Major Comic Book Villain

    Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been cast as comic-book villain Negan.  Morgan is expected to appear toward the end of the current season and then return for season 7, potentially as a regular. (EW)

    Lionsgate Takes U.S. Rights To 3-D Animated Movie ‘Robinson Crusoe’

    Lionsgate has acquired U.S. rights to the animated 3-D family adventure film Robinson Crusoe from European studio Studiocanal. The movie will be released wide Stateside by Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label in mid-2016. (VAR)

    China’s Le Vision Acquires Lionsgate’s ‘Gods of Egypt,’ Unveils 10-Film Slate

    The U.S. arm of the Chinese studio also announced deals with Dark Horse Comics and ‘Lion King’ director Rob Minkoff. (THR)

    Magnolia Pictures And Participant Media Jointly Pick Up ‘Thru You Princess’

    Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media have co-acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Thru You Princess, the documentary from Israeli filmmaker Ido Haar. The movie takes a look at the interconnectivity of the YouTube generation and premiered to favorable reviews at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. (IW)

    Netflix, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Back $50M Korean Movie ‘Okja’

    Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Bill Nighy have been cast in the film by ‘Snowpiercer’ director Bong Joon Ho. (THR)

    Lionsgate Developing TV Series With ‘Twlight’ Writer Stephenie Meyer For Hulu

    Lionsgate is developing a new, one-house with Twilight novelist Stephenie Meyer titled Rook that will play on Hulu and on an unnamed, leading British broadcaster. (DH)

    Amazon’s Transparent Adds Anjelica Huston And Cherry Jones

    Anjelica Huston and Emmy Award winner Cherry Jones (24) are among the guest stars joining the second season of the multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series. (CS)

    Online Film School: 6 Filmmaking Tips From The Coen Brothers

    Joel Coen got his start as an assistant editor on Fear No Evil and The Evil Dead. He and his brother then partnered for their first movie on Blood Simple, which rightly launched them to prominence where they’d go on to craft Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, and countless other modern classics. (FSR)

    Trailer Buzz: First Trailer For Pixar’s ‘Finding Dory’

    Finding Dory, the sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo, finally has its first trailer. The film follows Dory, the chatty blue fish voiced by Ellen Degeneres, as she goes on a journey to find her fish family.  (VER)

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    244 Degrees of Freedom
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Executive Producer(s): Steven Maeda
    Writer(s): Steven Maeda
    Logline: The story takes place in a world where robots have evolved in intelligence, influence, and social status, humans have been relegating to a permanent underclass- until one man is driven to lead a rebellion against the machines, risking everything to uncover a conspiracy that could spell the end of the human race.
    SSN Insight: Maeda recently had an overall deal at Sony TV where he served as showrunner/executive producer on the studio’s Syfy series Helix for two seasons.

    Network: ABC Family/Freeform
    Production Company(s): IM Global, Imperative Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Tim Kring, Adam Nussdorf, Zak Kadison, Justin Levy, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
    Writer(s): Adam Nussdorf
    Logline: A young man wakes up from a coma after 12 years and discovers new supernatural abilities that propel him into the middle of a dangerous conspiracy.
    SSN Insight: ABC Family has given a series order. Callan McAuliffe was previously attached to play Holden, but was recast by Burkely Duffield, who was originally attached to play Luke.

    Bob the Valkyrie
    Network: CW Television Network
    Studio: CBS Television Studios
    Production Company(s): Shane Brennan Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Matthew Greenberg, Shane Brennan, Grant Anderson
    Writer(s): Matthew Greenberg
    Logline: Every generation faces a rising tide of evil, adversary of the legendary Valkyries- three women chosen by fate to defend humanity against this evil. This generation is no different- only this time, fate accidentally chooses a male when selecting its Valkyries. Now Bob, a chauvinistic “dude-bro,” must learn to face darkness and fight evil-all while getting in touch with his feminine side.
    SSN Insight: NCIS: Los Angeles showrunner Shane Brennan is under a deal with CBS TV Studios.

    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): Particular Pictures
    Executive Producer(s): Shawn Wines, John Hamburg, Jacob Robinson
    Writer(s): Shawn Wines
    Logline: The story revolves around dysfunctional members of a workspace collective, set in the emerging Rust Belt paradise of Buffalo, New York.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial commitment to a script plus penalty.

    Network: FX
    Production Company(s): Circle of Confusion, Writ Large
    Executive Producer(s): Tim Schlattmann, Britton Rizzio, Gregory Shephard, Brad Mendelsohn
    Writer(s): Dutch Southern, Tim Schlattmann
    Logline: The story follows the interconnected lives of three sets of criminals.
    Details: Based on an idea by Dutch Southern and Magnus Martens.
    SSN Insight: FX bought Caper in a competitive situation.

    Studio: Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): Superb Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Meryl Poster
    Writer(s): T Cooper, Allison Glock Cooper
    Logline: The story tracks the journey of an average suburban boy who becomes an incredible young woman who becomes a reluctant hero who becomes the person she was meant to be. Ethan is a Changer, a little-known, ancient race of humans who live out each of their four years of high school as a different person. After graduation, Changers choose which version of themselves they will be forever.
    Details: Based on the novel series, “Changers,” written by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper and published Black Sheep/Akashic Books in 2014.
    SSN Insight: A+E has invested in Superb Entertainment, but the unique deal is not exclusive to A+E Networks and is not a first look, giving Poster the ability to develop and sell projects anywhere.

    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: ABC Studios
    Executive Producer(s): Casey Wilson, June Diane Raphael
    Writer(s): Elizabeth Laime, Casey Wilson, June Diane Raphael
    Logline: Crystal is a hustler from the wrong side of the trailer park who, fresh out of prison, lands a job in the suburbs as an in-home health aide. Despite having no education, experience or vaccinations she is determined to succeed at her job and change her life.
    SSN Insight: Raphael and Wilson have an overall deal at ABC Studios.

    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): IM Global
    Executive Producer(s): Ilene Kahn Power, Elizabeth Stanley
    Logline: Adventures set on the exotic planet of Darkover. Based on the novel series.
    Details: Based on the novel series, “Darkover,” written by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
    SSN Insight: Darkover was among the projects on IM Global Television’s very first development slate.

    Deep S.I.X.
    Network: HBO
    Studio: Universal Television
    Production Company(s): Gettin’ Rad Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Adam Scott, Naomi Scott
    Writer(s): Anthony King
    Logline: A rag-tag Homeland security team that no one believes in investigates paranormal threats that no one believes in.
    SSN Insight: As an actor, Scott will next appear in Universal and Legendary’s Krampus and recently wrapped production on the upcoming comedy My Blind Brother. Gettin’ Rad is under a first-look deal at Universal TV.

    Designated Survivor
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: Universal Television
    Production Company(s): Infinitum Nihil
    Executive Producer(s): Nikki Toscano, Johnny Depp, Christi Dembrowski
    Writer(s): Nikki Toscano
    Logline: When the President, Vice President and Cabinet all meet in one location for an event such as the State of the Union, one Cabinet member is conspicuously missing: the Designated Survivor. Hidden away in an undisclosed location with Presidential-level security, the Designated Survivor is ready to take the reins of the President should the unthinkable happen and the rest of the government is wiped out in an attack.
    SSN Insight: Toscano has an overall deal with Universal TV.

    Dino Dana
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): Sinking Ship Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): J.J. Johnson, Blair Powers, Matt Bishop
    Writer(s): Christin Simms, J.J. Johnson
    Logline: The series will feature two sisters, Dana, a “paleontologist in training,” and her teenage sister Emily, as the begin to see dinosaurs all around the which leads to plenty of action and adventure.
    SSN Insight: Amazon has given a series order.

    El Chiringuito De Pepe
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): Small Dog Picture Company
    Executive Producer(s): Donald Todd, Jason Winer, Sergio Aguero, Jaime Davila Jr.
    Writer(s): Donald Todd
    Logline: Centers on a world-famous chef who comes to a small beach town to work his magic on his father’s failing cantina and is surprised to find the town working its own magic on him.
    Details: Based on the Spanish series “El Chiringuito De Pepe,” created by Curro Velazquez and currently airing on Telecino, with a second season premiering December 2015.
    SSN Insight: ABC has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty.

    Fair and Balanced
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): Industry Entertainment, Hurwitz & Schlossberg Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Kal Penn, Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz, Daniel Spilo
    Writer(s): Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz
    Logline: An aspiring NPR reporter is swayed to work at a Fox News-type channel.
    SSN Insight: Schlossberg and Hurwitz also wrote and directed the 2012 American Pie movie American Reunion.

    Family For Sale
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Executive Producer(s): Roselyn Sanchez, Eric Winter, Ian Gurvitz, Aaron Serna, Robin Schwartz
    Writer(s): Aaron Serna, Ian Gurvitz
    Logline: Explores the conscious uncoupling and marriage through the lens of the divorce of an affluent Hispanic family.
    Details: Based on the Fox International Channel’s 2014 Colombian series of the same name, which starred Roselyn Sanchez.
    SSN Insight: The original series was recently was nominated for an International Emmy Award for best comedy series.

    First Impressions
    Network: USA Network
    Production Company(s): Renegade 83 Entertainment, Gaspin Media
    Executive Producer(s): Dana Carvey, Jeff Gaspin, David Garfinkle, Jay Renfroe
    Logline: The series pits America’s best amateur impressionists against each other in a weekly battle of celebrity impression. It will feature celebrity guests, and Carvey himself will mentor contestants and participate in the game play.
    SSN Insight: USA has given a series order.

    Network: CBS Entertainment
    Studio: CBS Television Studios
    Production Company(s): Shane Brennan Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Dustin Lee Abraham, Shane Brennan, Grant Anderson
    Writer(s): Dustin Lee Abraham
    Logline: An Oakland parole officer with a checkered past tries to “make the bad guys good again” and keep former inmates from being sent back to prison.
    SSN Insight: NCIS: Los Angeles showrunner Shane Brennan is under a deal with CBS TV Studios.

    Network: ABC Family/Freeform
    Studio: Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): Sea to Sky Entertainment, Wonder Monkey TV
    Executive Producer(s): Nichole Millard, Kathryn Price, Steve McPherson, Gary Fleder
    Writer(s): Nichole Millard, Kathryn Price
    Logline: An American girl is studying abroad in London. When her Irish roommate is brutally murdered, she finds herself the prime suspect and focus of an international media frenzy.
    SSN Insight: Draws parallels to the story of Amanda Knox. Rolled from 2013-2014 by Fox. Project was previously in development at Fox.

    Intern Affairs
    Network: Lifetime
    Production Company(s): Superb Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Meryl Poster
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    SSN Insight: A+E has invested in Superb Entertainment, but the unique deal is not exclusive to A+E Networks and is not a first look, giving Poster the ability to develop and sell projects anywhere.

    Left Of Center
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Production Company(s): The Jackal Group
    Executive Producer(s): Robert Horn, Gail Berman
    Writer(s): Robert Horn
    Logline: A group of four backup singers become an unconventional family, despite the fact that each of them thinks they have what it takes to be the star.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial script commitment.

    Lost in Oz
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Executive Producer(s): Darin Mark, Mark Warshaw, Richard Scott, Andy Pearce
    Writer(s): Abram Makowka, Darin Mark, Jared Mark
    Logline: Set in a modern, metropolitan Emerald City and stranded in this spectacular world is 12-year-old Dorothy Gale befriends West, a young, street-smart witch grappling with dark temptations, and Ojo, a giant munchkin. With Dorothy’s dog Toto, this unlikely crew embarks on an epic journey, seeking out the magic Dorothy needs to get back to Kansas. The challenge for Dorothy, and everyone else in this world, is that Oz is facing the greatest magic crisis in eons.
    SSN Insight: Pilot screened on Amazon Instant Video this summer, and user feedback was used to determine if it would go forward as a series. Amazon has since given it a series order.

    Network: CBS Entertainment
    Studio: Warner Bros. Television
    Production Company(s): Gulfstream Television
    Executive Producer(s): Austin Winsberg, Alex Litvak, Mike Karz, Bill Bindley
    Writer(s): Austin Winsberg, Alex Litvak
    Logline: A young American woman marries the Prince of England and discovers that she’s now part of a longstanding secret society of princesses who use their access to the seats of power to be the best secret agents on the planet.
    SSN Insight: CBS has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty.

    Network: NBC Entertainment
    Studio: Warner Bros. Television
    Executive Producer(s): Meg LeFauve, Ben Queen
    Writer(s): Meg LeFauve, Lorien McKenna, Christine Whitaker
    Logline: A working mom tries to get over her obsession with being the “perfect parent” by banding together with her friends to admit- and even celebrate- the messy reality of parenting. They share their daily screw ups, deepening their friendship, and their kids survive- and even thrive.
    SSN Insight: This is Queen’s third network sale this season under his WBTV overall deal.

    Network: Hulu
    Studio: Lionsgate
    Executive Producer(s): Stephenie Meyer
    Logline: A series that follows a woman with extraordinary powers employed by a mysterious British government agency responsible for defending the UK from supernatural threats.
    SSN Insight: This follows Hulu picking up the long-form comedy series Video Game High School with Lionsgate, starring YouTuber Freddie Wong.

    Screwed For Life
    Studio: CBS Television Studios
    Production Company(s): King Size Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Michelle King, Robert King, Liz Glotzer
    Writer(s): Joey Hartstone
    Logline: The story Al Goldstein, the controversial, acerbic, over-the-top founder of Screw magazine and host of his own long-running cable access show, “Midnight Blue,” who was the face of porn in 1970s New York.
    Details: Based on the life of Al Goldstein.
    SSN Insight: In a competitive situation, CBS TV Studios landed the TV movie. King Size Productions also has a deal under CBS TV Studios.

    Smoke Sex Magic
    Network: NBC Entertainment
    Studio: Universal Television
    Production Company(s): Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation
    Executive Producer(s): Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Owen Shiflett
    Writer(s): Matthew Murphy
    Logline: Two sisters inherit their mother’s popular restaurant only to discover that the secret to her cooking was black magic.
    SSN Insight: Additionally, Parkes + MacDonald’s martial arts drama Warrior is being redeveloped by Fox with original writer Dave Digilio.

    Son of Zorn
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): Lord Miller
    Executive Producer(s): Reed Agnew, Eli Jorne, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Seth Cohen
    Writer(s): Reed Agnew, Eli Jorne
    Logline: Upon arriving home for the first time in ten years, an animated Barbarian father finds that reconnecting with his moody, live-action teenage son Alan and ex-wife while suffering a mundane office job and the banality of suburban life is harder than waging actual war in his distant, animated world.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given a series order.

    The Diplomats
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: Universal Television
    Production Company(s): Will Packer Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Andrew Lenchewski, Will Packer
    Writer(s): Andrew Lenchewski
    Logline: Two female State Department agents are assigned to work together on a major diplomatic crisis but the fate of the world may rest on whether these women can get along with each other.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty.

    The Interestings
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: TriStar Television, Amazon Studios
    Executive Producer(s): Lyn Greene, Richard Levine
    Writer(s): Lyn Greene, Richard Levine
    Logline: Based on a group of friends who meet at an arts camp when they’re 15 in 1974. The series chronicles their relationships throughout the next three decades dealing with the great expectations of youth juxtaposed with the realities life hands you as you get older.
    Details: Based on the novel “The Interestings,” written by Meg Wolitzer and published by Riverhead Books in 2013.
    SSN Insight: Amazon has given a director-contingent pilot order.

    The Kicks
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): Full Fathom Five
    Executive Producer(s): David Babcock, James Frey, Todd Cohen, Andrew Orenstein
    Writer(s): David Babcock
    Logline: An empowering story of a twelve-year-old soccer player Devin who is on the verge of being named seventh-grade captain on her Connecticut school soccer team when her family moves to California and she has to start from scratch in one of the most competitive soccer states.
    Details: Based on the Full Fathom Five middle school book series “The Kicks” (USA/2013), by Olympic gold Medalist Alex Morgan.
    SSN Insight: Pilot screened on Amazon Instant Video this summer, and user feedback was used to determine if it would go forward as a series. Amazon has since given it a series order.

    The Last Tycoon
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: TriStar Television, Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): No Production Company Available.
    Executive Producer(s): Billy Ray, Christopher Keyser, Perri Kipperman, Joshua Maurer, Alixandre Witlin
    Writer(s): Billy Ray
    Logline: Centers on Hollywood’s first wunderkind studio executive in the 1930′s as he climbs to the height of power pitting him against his mentor and current head of the studio Pat Brady. Delves into the true violence, sex and towering ambition of Hollywood in the 30′s.
    Details: Based on the final unfinished novel, “The Last Tycoon,” written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1941.
    SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at HBO. Amazon has given a cast-contingent pilot order.

    The Out-Law
    Network: CBS Entertainment
    Studio: CBS Television Studios, Universal Television
    Production Company(s): No Production Company Available.
    Executive Producer(s): Christopher Moynihan, Kelly Kulchak
    Writer(s): Christopher Moynihan
    Logline: A perpetually positive, Berkeley-born, liberal white-collar doctor and only child marries into a loud, cynical, blue-collar Long Island family.
    SSN Insight: CBS has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty.

    The Work
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation
    Executive Producer(s): Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Owen Shiflett
    Writer(s): Scott O’Connor
    Logline: The show is set in the world of professional wrestling.
    SSN Insight: Script was written on spec by Scott O’Connor, author of the novels Untouchable and Half World.

    Triangle Below Canal
    Network: HBO
    Production Company(s): Superb Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Meryl Poster
    Writer(s): Nathalie Prisco
    Logline: The series explores the plight of frustrated married young mothers in New York.
    SSN Insight: A+E has invested in Superb Entertainment, but the unique deal is not exclusive to A+E Networks and is not a first look, giving Poster the ability to develop and sell projects anywhere.

    True Love
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: ABC Studios
    Production Company(s): Fabrik Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Anne Fletcher, Kristen Campo, Henrik Bastin, Mikkel Bondesen
    Writer(s): Gemma Burgess
    Logline: The anthology series is very loosely inspired by classic fairy tales and subverted with a provocative and authentic post-feminist twist that believes you can stand on your own and still want to be swept off your feet.
    Details: Loosely inspired by classic fairy tales.
    SSN Insight: Burgess is writing the movie Undergrads for New Regency and Locomotive and recently rewrote Lovestruck for Maven Pictures and Pretty Matches for HBO.

    Untitled Dan Bucatinsky Jen Kirkman Comedy Project
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: CBS Television Studios
    Production Company(s): Is Or Isn’t Entertainment, Ryan Seacrest Media
    Executive Producer(s): Dan Bucatinsky, Lisa Kudrow, Ryan Seacrest, Nina Wass
    Writer(s): Dan Bucatinsky, Jen Kirkman
    Logline: Four women friends rattled by a 40-something feeling of irrelevance embark on a mission to turn their invisibility into invincibility.
    SSN Insight: ABC has given an initial commitment of a put pilot.

    Untitled Judah Miller Comedy Project
    Network: CBS Entertainment
    Studio: Warner Bros. Television
    Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Judah Miller, Jonathan Berry, Tom Lassally
    Writer(s): Judah Miller
    Logline: Two very different brothers merge their medical practices and have to learn how to get along under one roof.
    SSN Insight: Last year, Miller developed a comedy series starring Megan Hilty at ABC that went to pilot.

    Untitled Nikki Toscano Eva Longoria Soap Project
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: Universal Television
    Production Company(s): Conde Nast Publications, Inc., UnbeliEVAble Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Eva Longoria, Ben Spector, Dawn Ostroff, Gina Marcheschi, Nikki Toscano
    Writer(s): Nikki Toscano
    Logline: Latino golden boys Chris and Alex Reyes are brothers who are both best friends and rivals. They are rising stars in Texas politics whose destiny is engineered by their manipulative mother Maria. She is determined to turn the Reyes family into the most powerful dynasty modern politics has ever seen. Based on the article.
    Details: Loosely based on the article, “Pair of Aces: Rising Democratic Stars Julian and Joaquin Castro,” written by Jacob Weisberg and published in Vogue Magazine on March 1, 2013.
    SSN Insight: Toscano has an overall deal with Universal TV. ABC has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty. Previously in development for the 2015-2016 season.

    Untitled Olivia Munn Ted Humphrey Drama Project
    Network: CW Television Network
    Studio: CBS Television Studios
    Executive Producer(s): Ted Humphrey, Olivia Munn, Stacia Peters
    Writer(s): Ted Humphrey
    Logline: Set in 1974, a young journalist gets hired by an ambitious New York news programming chief as a publicity stunt to be one of the first female on-air sports reporters, and has to learn to navigate gender politics in front of and behind the camera at a time when women were literally not even allowed in the press box.
    SSN Insight: This marks the first sale as a TV producer for Munn.

    Network: NBC Entertainment
    Studio: Warner Bros. Television
    Production Company(s): Doozer Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Adam Sztykiel, Bill Lawrence, Jeff Ingold
    Writer(s): Adam Sztykiel, Vladimir Caamano
    Logline: A family comedy inspired by Caamano’s real-life family dynamic living with his Dominican father and older brother in the Bronx.
    Details: Inspired by the life of Vladimir Caamano.
    SSN Insight: NBC has given an initial commitment of a put pilot.

    Wing Person
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Production Company(s): Kindle Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Anne Brogan, Melanie Stokes, Siobhan Bachman
    Writer(s): Ed Weeks, Hannah McKay
    Logline: The story of the co-dependent relationship between a lesbian lothario and her cautious, straight male best friend.
    SSN Insight: Weeks currently stars as Dr. Jeremy Reed on The Mindy Project, which is now in its fourth season on Hulu.

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    AFM 2015: Cutting Through the Buzz To Pick the 10 Most Bankable Films For U.S. Audiences

    As the 36th American Film Market (AFM) winds down at the Loews in Santa Monica SSN Insider is here with our annual pick list of the ten most bankable titles out of the 2,000 films from the 391 exhibiting companies. Nearly 1,600 buyers were in attendance from more than 70 countries. Four hundred and seven films were screened in more than 30 languages, including 87 world premieres and 242 market premieres. (SSN)

    TV Development For 11/10/15: Olivia Munn Sets First TV Project At The CW, Amazon Gives Multiple Orders, and More

    There is just no stopping Phil Lord and Chris Miller, as the duo’s Son Of Zorn gets a series order from Fox. Meanwhile, Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael, Adam and Naomi Scott, Johnny Depp, and Kal Penn and his Harold and Kumar writer/directors also set up new projects. Click on the link for the full skinny. (SSN)


    It’s Promotion Day At Showtime, Which Ups Gary Levine To President Of Programming

    With boss David Nevins’ moving into the role of CEO, Levine will now oversee casting and program operations for the premium network. He will continue with his prior duties, too, including being responsible for the development and creative oversight of all Showtime original series, docs and specials. Levine has been with Showtime since 2001, and has been a key player in expanding the network’s reach in recent years. (HRT)

    In What Should Be a Surprise To Absolutely No One, FX Wants a Sixth Season Of ‘American Horror Story’

    The as-of-yet untitled sixth installment will air on FX in 2016 with the next chapter of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning franchise co-created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. Tim Minear, Brad Buecker, Jennifer Salt, James Wong and Alexis Martin Woodall also serve as Executive Producers. The American Horror Story franchise is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television. (CS)

    Twentieth Century Fox & Temple Hill Make Franchise Play With Kazu Kibuishi’s ‘Amulet’

    Graphics novel series follows the story of a young girl named Emily, her younger brother Navin, and their mother Karen as they move to their great-grandfather’s house to start a new life. The house proves to contain a dangerous portal, and after a creature pulls Karen through it, the kids set out to save her in an alternate world inhabited by demons, giant robots, elves and highly intelligent animals. Temple Hill partners Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey will produce. (DH)

    Scarlett Johansson Gets Some Familiar Company In Her Upcoming Action Movie

    Danish actor Pilou Asbæk has landed the male lead in Rupert Sanders‘ adaptation of the Japanese manga, Ghost In the Shell. After working with ScarJo on Lucy, Asbæk will reteam with the actress for DreamWorks’ live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga created by Masamune Shirow. Story follows the exploits of a member of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, which specializes in fighting technology-related crime. (TW)

    Paramount Gets Writer Drew Pearce To RSVP For Its ‘The Wedding Sting’ Project

    Based on an incredible true story first published in The Atlantic, tale centers on Flint, Michigan at a time when it was overrun with drug dealers, leading to Flint being labeled as “one of the worst cities in America to live in” in 1987. With the police department lacking funds to round up dealers, a group of officers decided to organize a fake wedding, invite the suspects, and arrest them. The case became so legendary that agencies all began using it as a case study. (TB)

    Brian De Palma Sets Up His Next Film, Will Direct Chinese Co-Production ‘Lights Out’

    Lamont Magee and Jeff W. Byrd wrote the script, which finds a blind Chinese girl with heightened other senses who is caught up in a plot to expose a top-secret assassination program. No casting has been locked in yet, but De Palma will be looking for an A-list Chinese actress to take the lead, and likely some US stars in supporting roles. De Palma replaces Xavier Gens who had been attached but has moved on. (EMP)

    Ever Wonder About All Those Jame Bond Gadgets? Check Out This Supercut Of Every Single One Of Them

    The James Bond franchise persists because it’s reflective. Politics, culture, and current events force each installment to reconsider the enigmatic super spy. Spectre, for instance, tackles a surveillance-stricken world without much need for a 00 program. If it didn’t go that direction, the film would still be verifiably 2015. It would have to be. Unlike most blockbuster confection, the success of Bond depends on relevancy. A pro and con of 007 being only human. (ESQ)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Transparent’

    Amazon has released the first look at the second season of its Emmy Award-winning original series, along with news that the studio has renewed the show for a third season. The upcoming second season will become available on the site on December 11th. (COL)

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    Entertainment One To Partner On Steven Spielberg’s New DreamWorks

    The media giant will join Participant Media as investors in Spielberg’s company, timed to a new distribution deal between DreamWorks and Universal that could be announced by Thanksgiving. (THR)

    Fox Lands Sci-Fi Novel ‘The Gone World’; Neill Blomkamp In Talks To Write & Direct

    Fox has just landed The Gone World, the next sci-fi novel by Thomas Sweterlitsch, and the studio is in talks with District 9 helmer Neill Blomkamp to write the script and direct it. Chernin Entertainment is producing. (DH)

    Sony Pictures Promotes Andrew Gumpert To Top Dealmaking Post

    Sony Pictures Entertainment has promoted veteran executive Andrew Gumpert to the newly created post of president of worldwide business affairs and operations for the motion picture group. (VAR)

    Lawrence Kasdan Is Done With Star Wars After Han Solo Movie

    Renowned screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote The Force Awakens with director J.J. Abrams, has announced his retirement from the Star Wars franchise. After finishing production on the upcoming Han Solo project, Kasdan’s pen will fall silent. (SC)

    David Frankel Taking Over Directing ‘Collateral Beauty’

    The man who made The Devil Wears Prada and the Paul Potts biopic One Chance, is looking to take over the drama after Gomez-Rejon left due to creative differences with New Line. (EMP)

    Paramount Animation Announces Release Dates

    Paramount Animation announced release dates for several of the studio’s upcoming films, which will be released by the studio beginning in March of 2016, through March of 2019, including Little Prince, Spongbob Squarepants 3 and Monster Trucks. (CS)

    Judy Greer To Direct Common And Allison Janney In Her Feature Directorial Debut

    The prolific actress will make her directorial debut with A Happening of Monumental Proportions. Common and Allison Janney will star in the dramedy, written by Gary Lundy. (EW)

    Director Catherine Hardwicke Speaks Out Against Hollywood’s Gender Imbalance

    The Miss You Already director talks about the films living “in her garage” because she can’t get them made. Why? They star women. (FCC)

    Screenwriters: ‘Power of One’

    The February 1990 draft written by Robert Mark Kamen based on the novel by Bryce Courtenay. (DS)


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    CAA: Key & Peele co-creator and co-star Jordan Peele will now be repped by CAA. Following the final episodes of his series that ran for five seasons he will next be seen alongside Key & Peele co-star Keegan-Michael Key in their New Line movie Keanu to be released April 22. Next up he’ll direct a horror film, Get Out. He’s also producing Substitute Teacher at Paramount along with Keegan-Michael Key, based on their series’ skits among other projects. On the TV side, the duo has sold a single-camera undercover cop comedy to Fox. Peele is also producing Weird City at Hulu and the animated series Van & Mike at Comedy Central.

    Paradigm: Filmmaker Tom Shadyac has shifted from WME to Paradigm. He previously directed blockbusters Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Patch Adams and Bruce Almighty. He also exec produced the ABC hit sitcom 8 Simple Rules. He also wrote, directed and was the center of the2011 documentary I Am, which explored what happened to the filmmaker after a cycling accident. After recovering he embarked upon a journey to discover how he as an individual, and we as a race, can improve the way we live.

    Abrams Artists Agency: Actress JoJo Kushner will now be repped by Abrams Artists Agency in all theatrical areas including TV, film and stage. The six-year-old debuted in Nancy Meyers’ comedy The Intern and landed a spot on Entertainment Weekly’s “12 Under 12: The Best Child Actors of 2015” list. She started her acting career with a 2014 commercial for Chanel No. 5. She continues to be managed by Marianne Leone at Terrific Talent and Associates.

    WME: Actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. has shifted from UTA to WME. He made his feature film acting debut playing his real-life father, Ice Cube, in the hit Straight Outta Compton. Previous to acting he was a production assistant on the Sony film Are We Done Yet? starring Ice Cube. He will continue to be repped by The Firm and Cube Vision.

    Untitled Entertainment: Youtuber and actress Lisa Schwartz has signed with Untitled Entertainment. She currently has over 1.6 million subscribers on her YouTube channel lisbug, over 900,000 followers combined via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Her incredibly popular video “Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball Parody” accumulated around 6 million views in less than a year. She was also featured in an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and has appeared on Atom Tv and Comedy Central’s Tosh.0.

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    Thunder Studios is launching a division that will back indie films and distribute them across theatrical, VOD, cable and digital platforms. The new division plans to acquire and distribute six to eight indie projects per year, domestically and/or internationally. Thunder Studios is also partnering with Pipeline Motion Picture Group to represent, sell and distribute film and TV properties to international markets. “Thunder Studios’ mission has always been to empower filmmakers, commercial directors and digital content creators who are looking to produce the highest-quality content across multiple platforms,” CEO Rodric David said.

    Financing and production company Alcon Entertainment has extended its long-standing output deal with Warner Bros. through 2019. Alcon has also readied a $200 million senior secured credit facility via finance transaction involving a bank syndicate led by JP Morgan Chase, CIT Bank and Bank of America. Under the new deal, the studio will release a minimum of 10 new films starting with the Nov. 13 release of the The 33, which has already opened internationally in certain markets. That will be followed by Point Break on Christmas Day.

    STX Entertainment has solidified their first major international distribution agreements in more than 50 territories, creating a worldwide network for the studio’s 12 to 15 motion pictures a year. Some of the major deals include Tobis Film in Germany and Austria, Sun Distribution Group in Latin America and Spain, VVS Films in Canada and Freeman Entertainment in Eastern Europe. Huayi Brothers Media Corp., which has invested in STX, will handle the studio’s films in China and related territories. The deals, which have been in the works for months, rep the first major international distribution agreements STX has forged. The films included in the output deals include The Space Between Us, Mile 22, Bad Moms, The Foreigner, and Happytime Murders.

    Scott Free has inked a new first-look deal for broadcast projects at CBS TV Studios where the company has two CBS series: the award-winning The Good Wife and the upcoming BrainDead. Under the deal, Scott Free has sold three drama projects to CBS for next season, a drama based on the life and career of Sunny Hostin, Sensory, a medical drama based on Dr. Joel Salinas, written by David Zabel and the cop comedy Rubber Guns from TJ Fixman and Scott Gemmill.

    Entertainment conglomerate Sun Seven Stars has joined with Chinese online financing giant Yucheng Group in a $1.6 billion equity fund called the China Global Alliance Film Fund for the international film market with an emphasis on the Hollywood talent pool. The company is currently developing a feature adaptation of James Patterson’s Maximum Ride, a sci-fi superhero re-imagining of Zorro called Zorro Reborn, and a feature based on the popular Tetris video game. “The difference between most Chinese investment up to now is that other Chinese companies see China as their home market. I see the U.S. and the world as my home market,” Sun Seven Stars head Bruno Wu said in a statement.

    As reported in Exec Shuffle, Activision Blizzard Studios has been launched in an effort to develop films and TV shows based on its hit games including Call Of Duty, Diablo and others and announced their initial production an animated TV series entitled Skylanders Academy. Activision seeks to build on the broad appeal of its games by turning them into franchises that could lead to consumer product sales. Disney alum Nick van Dyk will serve as Co-President. Parent company Activision Blizzard also acquired mobile gaming giant King Digital Entertainment, best known for the Candy Crush franchise. Activision Blizzard spent $5.9 billion dollars on the acquisition.

    Cross Creek Pictures has left Universal and signed a three-year, multifaceted co-financing, production, and distribution deal with Sony Pictures. The company will continue to focus on developing, producing and co-financing quality films with mid-range budgets. Cross Creek’s next film is the Brian Helgeland-directed drama Legend about the British twin terror Kray Brothers, both played by Tom Hardy to be released by Universal on November 20. Other films include the Liam Neeson-starrer A Walk Among The Tombstones and the Daniel Radcliffe-starrer The Woman In Black.

    Film financier Prescience has launched Ignition Media Finance to provide short term media finance and pre-production funding for producers. Producers will be lent anywhere between 15% and 20% of the total budget during pre-production. The first film to get financing from Ignition will be Roger Spottiswoode’s A Street Cat Named Bob, based on the bestselling book to star Luke Threadaway.

    Insurrection Media has signed a sci-fi pod deal with Robert Kirkman and David Alpert’s Skybound Entertainment. Under the deal, Insurrection will provide Kiliaen Van Rensselaer resources and support for Skybound to develop, and produce genre series that Insurrection will distribute in the U.S. and overseas on digital and linear platforms. Skybound will handle production services and work on licensing and merchandise with an emphasis on video games.

    Red Hour is joining with Bold Films to produce a slate of film, TV and digital projects. Producer/executive Nicky Weinstock will join Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld’s Red Hour, which previously had a deal at 20th Century Fox. Under the pact, Red Hour’s offices will meld into Bold Films’ L.A. and N.Y. offices, and Bold will provide the overhead, development and production financing on the projects.

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    The Accidental Turitz: Will the Death of Star-Driven Pictures Finally Give Way to the Power of Modern Thinking at AFM?

    Senior Editor Neil Turitz returns with his last regular column before next week’s launch of SSN Insider’s Awards Coverage. With complaints from buyers about the dearth of good material at this past week’s AFM in Santa Monica, the suggestion is made that, perhaps, buyers are working from an antiquated model. (SSN)

    Rep Moves For 11/11/15: Jordan Peele Signs With CAA, ‘The Intern’s Jojo Kushner Inks With Abrams, and More

    A light week of movement this week, but among them is O’Shea Jackson, Jr., who played his own dad Ice Cube in this summer’s hit N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton. There are more, of course, and if you’d like to see them, click on the link. (SSN)

    Film & TV Deals For 11/11/15: $1.6 Billion China Global Alliance Film Fund Launched, New Deal For Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Ent., and More

    Meanwhile, it was a busy week on the deal front, with Alcon resigning with Warner Bros., STX Entertainment’s solidifying its first major international distribution agreement, a new deal for Scott Free TV, and the launch of Activision Blizzard Studios. Plenty more where that came from, too. (SSN)


    Universal Reveals Title Of Previously Unknown Illumination Entertainment 2016 Project, and a Release Date, Too

    Studio announced today that the project has been titled Sing and will be released on its previously-announced date, Friday, December 21st, 2016. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly star in a musical comedy about finding the shining star that lives inside all of us. (CS)

    Today In Remake News: Tomorrow Studios Is Adapting ‘Snowpiercer’ as a TV Series

    Josh Friedman will write the script for the production shingle, which has optioned the rights to the film. The potential series will be based on the 2013 film that was written and directed by Bong Joon Ho, starred Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, and is set in a post-apocalyptic Ice Age where the only remaining life on the planet survives aboard a train that travels around the globe. (LF)

    Good News, Newhart Fans! Legendary Comedian To Make His ‘Big Bang Theory’ Return In December

    Comedian Bob Newhart will make his fourth appearance in Season Nine of the Emmy-winning series, and his first since the end of Season Seven. He will reprise his role as Arthur Jeffries in the CBS sitcom’s Dec. 17th episode. Naturally, his character will once again appear as a ghostly Jedi, this time to help Shelton “sort out his feelings” and reach a crucial conclusion. (TVL)

    Bryan Cranston Finds His Next Film, Will Star in Adaptation Of Nathaniel Hawthorne Story, ‘Wakefield’

    Robin Swicord will direct the project from her own script. Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn are producing through their Mockingbird Pictures banner with Elliot Webb co-producing. The film is based on the Hawthorne short story of the same name about a man who unexpectedly leaves his wife for an extended period of time. (VAR)

    Sony Finds the Latest Sci-Fi Short To Turn Into a Major Motion Picture

    Studio has picked up the rights to The Flying Man, a short film written and directed by animator and visual effects artist Marcus Alqueres, with the intent to adapting it into a full-length feature. At the same time, the studio has entered into a first-look deal with Scott Glassgold, who is attached to produce the big-screen take and who has made a career of discovering these kinds of shorts and developing and setting them up as film projects. (HV)

    Alex Garland’s ‘Ex Machina’ Follow-Up Is Coming Together, and Gina Rodriguez Looks To Be a Big Piece

    Annihilation is an adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s sci-fi novel and has been in development since 2013, when producer Scott Rudin bought the rights and set the project up at Paramount. Garland came aboard to direct and Natalie Portman will star. Story chronicles an expedition into a mysterious, remote and sealed-off zone known as Area X. Rodriguez will co-star in an unknown role. (EMP)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The Finest Hours’

    Disney has released the new trailer for its upcoming drama, based on real events. Starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Eric Bana, it opens in theaters on January 29th, 2016. (YT)


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    David Geffen Gives $100 Million to Fund UCLA College-Prep School

    Entertainment mogul David Geffen has given another $100 million to the University of California, Los Angeles, to fund a college-prep school on campus. (WSJ)

    Writers Guild of America Names ‘Annie Hall’ The Funniest Screenplay Of All Time

    The Writers Guild of America has put together a list of 101 features they consider to be the best comedies the movie business has ever offered. The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at Hollywood’s Arclight Cinema Dome. (IW)

    Spike Scraps Jerry Bruckheimer Drama Series ‘Harvest’

    The Viacom-owned cable network has reversed course on its Jerry Bruckheimer drama Harvest, opting to cancel the series after problems casting the lead. (THR)

    The ‘Van Helsing’ Reboot Finds New Writers

    Screenwriters Jon Spaihts (PassengersPrometheus) and Eric Heisserer (The Thing prequel) have signed on to pen the Van Helsing reboot for Universal. (SF)

    ABC Buys ‘Work Married’ Comedy From ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Co-Creator

    ABC has put in development Work Married, a multi-camera comedy from Wet Hot American Summer co-creator/star Michael Showalter and Warner Bros TV. (DH)

    Zoe Kazan To Star In Lena Dunham’s HBO Pilot ‘Max’, Replacing Lisa Joyce

    Zoe Kazan will star in the HBO pilot as Maxine Woodruff, a low-level magazine writer who stumbles into a fight for women’s rights that neither she nor the world may be prepared for. (EW)

    Making of ‘Peanuts Movie': How Blue Sky Studios Won Over the Schulz Family

    The first seed for The Peanuts Movie, which debuted to a strong $44.3 million debut this past weekend, was unknowingly planted seven years ago with a CG reel that showcased the Peanuts backgrounds and characters. (THR)

    Guy Takes Out Full-Page Ad To Pitch His ‘Die Hard’ Story Idea

    One man has an idea he thinks can save the Die Hard prequel and bring the franchise back to basics. Eric D. Wilkinson, producer and writer of indie films like Sparks and Mischief Night, made his pitch for Die Hard Year One known by taking out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter. (COLL)

    Screenwriters: The Art Of The Rewrite

    Writer/filmmaker Carol Phiniotis discusses the art of rewriting. Some modifications include: replacing contrived moments, trimming in strategic places, fleshing out character, maximizing scene transitions, and making the generic specific. (SM)


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    New Attachments

    A Meyers Christmas
    Logline: An estranged family spends their first Christmas together after their patriarch dies.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures
    Production Company(s): Will Packer Productions
    Producer(s): Will Packer
    Writer(s): David E. Talbert
    Director(s): David E. Talbert
    Cast: Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover, Mo’Nique, Kimberly Elise, J.B. Smoove, Nicole Ari Parker, Omar Epps
    SSN Insight: Spec script acquired for mid-six figures upfront, and upped to seven figures for script and directing as movie is getting made.

    All Roads Lead to Rome
    Logline: An American woman travels through Italy with her Italian ex-boyfriend as they look for her rebellious teenage daughter.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Momentum Pictures
    Production Company(s): Paradox Entertainment, Inc., AMBI
    Producer(s): Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Silvio Muraglia
    Writer(s): Ella Lemhagen, Cindy Meyers, Josh Appignanesi
    Director(s): Ella Lemhagen
    Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Day, Raoul Bova, Claudia Cardinale, Paz Vega
    SSN Insight: Julie Sultan of AMBI Distribution negotiated the deal for the rights with Momentum Pictures.

    Logline: Follow a young girl named Emily, her younger brother Navin, and their mother Karen as they move to their great-grandfather’s house to start a new life. The house proves to contain a dangerous portal, and after a creature pulls Karen through it, the kids set out to save her in an alternate world inhabited by demons, giant robots, elves and highly intelligent animals.
    Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
    Production Company(s): Temple Hill Entertainment
    Producer(s): Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey
    Details: Based on the graphic novel “Amulet: The Stonekeeper” written by Kazu Kibuishi and published by Scholastic Books in January 2008. “Amulet: The Stonekeeper” is the first in a series of five graphic novels from Scholatic Books.
    SSN Insight: Willow Smith and Jaden Smith were previously attached to star.

    Cold Warriors
    Logline: When a video gamer goes to Europe with his dull step-father, he finds out that the man is an ex-CIA agent working on an assignment.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Millennium Films
    Production Company(s): Revelations Entertainment, Schorr Pictures
    Producer(s): Robin Schorr, Lori McCreary
    Writer(s): Todd Berger
    Director(s): Raja Gosnell
    Cast: Morgan Freeman
    SSN Insight: Freeman can next be seen in London Has Fallen, produced at Millennium, then the epic remake of Ben-Hur at Paramount and he’s in the cast of Going In Style in post-production at New Line Cinema.

    Collateral Beauty
    Logline: A man who works in a New York ad agency finds his life turned upside down when a tragedy sends him into a depression, and his colleagues set out to lift his spirits.
    Production Company(s): Overbrook Entertainment, Anonymous Content, PalmStar Entertainment, Scarlet Fire Entertainment, Likely Story
    Producer(s): Michael Sugar, Bard Dorros, Will Smith, Allan Loeb
    Writer(s): Allan Loeb
    Director(s): David Frankel (in negotiations)
    Cast: Jason Segel, Will Smith
    SSN Insight: Hugh Jackman was previously attached to co-star. Johnny Depp was previously in talks to co-star. Rooney Mara was previously attached to co-star.

    Logline: The true story of Mark Felt, the lifelong G-Man who, as “Deep Throat,” leaked information to the press and broke the Watergate scandal is dramatized.
    Production Company(s): Ridley Scott Films , Playtone, Everyman Pictures, Vendian Entertainment, Cara Films Ltd., MadRiver Pictures
    Producer(s): Ridley Scott, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Giannina Scott, Marc Butan
    Writer(s): Peter Landesman
    Director(s): Peter Landesman
    Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Jason Bateman
    SSN Insight: CAA arranged the financing and repped domestic rights at AFM; Sierra/Affinity handled the foreign rights.

    Free Fire
    Logline: In 1978, an arms deal in Boston goes terribly wrong.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Alchemy
    Production Company(s): Rook Films
    Producer(s): Andy Starke, Ben Wheatley
    Writer(s): Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
    Director(s): Ben Wheatley
    Cast: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley, Sharlto Copley
    SSN Insight: Olivia Wilde was previously attached to the role played by Brie Larson. Luke Evans was previously attached to co-star. Alchemy acquired domestic rights for an amount estimated to be above $3 million at 2015 AFM.

    Ghost Team
    Logline: A team of ghost hunters who get more than they bargained for when they set out to do their own paranormal investigation.
    Studio/Distributor(s): The Orchard
    Production Company(s): Preferred Content, Mott Street Pictures, Tandem Pictures
    Producer(s): Julie Christeas, Schuyler Weiss, Oliver Irving, Alex Sagalchik
    Writer(s): Peter Warren
    Director(s): Oliver Irving
    Cast: Jon Heder, Justin Long, Amy Sedaris, David Krumholtz, Melonie Diaz
    SSN Insight: The producers announced that that this will be the first feature to use the new Steadicam Tango, an innovation by cinematographer Garrett Brown. The Orchard has acquired North American, UK, Australian and New Zealand rights to the film.

    Lego Batman
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
    Production Company(s): Vertigo Entertainment, Animal Logic Entertainment, Lord Miller, LEGO Group, Lin Pictures
    Producer(s): Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord, Chris Miller
    Writer(s): Seth Grahame-Smith
    Director(s): Chris McKay
    Voice Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis, Rosario Dawson, Mariah Carey (in talks)
    Details: Spinoff of “The Lego Movie” (2014) directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Based on the line of toys manufactured by the Lego Group.
    SSN Insight: Mariah Carey is in talks for the role of Commissioner Gordon.

    Live by Night
    Logline: A young gangster climbs through the ranks during the Prohibition era.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
    Production Company(s): Pearl Street Films, Appian Way
    Producer(s): Ben Affleck, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Todd
    Writer(s): Ben Affleck
    Director(s): Ben Affleck
    Cast: Ben Affleck, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Chris Messina, Max Casella
    Details: Based on the novel “Live by Night,” written by Dennis Lehane and published by William Morrow on October 2, 2012.
    SSN Insight: Casella has been cast as Digger, the boorish and overly aggressive son of a mob boss who is a thorn in Coughlin’s side.

    Megan Leavey
    Logline: Megan Leavey, a US Marine who was injured with her dog Rex by an IED while on patrol in Iraq, was awarded the Purple Heart, and years later fought through bureaucratic red tape to adopt and reunite with Rex upon his retirement from duty.
    Production Company(s): LD Entertainment
    Producer(s): Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Hilton Monroe, Pete Shilaimon
    Writer(s): Annie Mumolo, Tim Lovestedt, Jordan Roberts, Pamela Gray
    Director(s): Gabriela Cowperthwaite
    Cast: Kate Mara, Edie Falco, Ramon Rodriguez, Tom Felton, Damson Idris
    SSN Insight: Idris recently wrapped Pete Travis’ City Of Tiny Lights alongside Riz Ahmed and Kush Jumbo and will also be in John Singleton’s Snowfall.

    Logline: Storyline is under wraps for this monster movie.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Netflix
    Production Company(s): Plan B Entertainment, Lewis Pictures
    Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Lewis Taewan Kim
    Director(s): Bong Joon-Ho
    Cast: Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Kelly Macdonald, Bill Nighy
    SSN Insight: Netflix is financing the film with an estimated $50 million budget.

    Our Kind of Traitor
    Logline: A couple on vacation becomes entangled in the dealings of a Russian mobster wishing to defect and the British Secret Service.
    Studio/Distributor(s): StudioCanal, Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): Film4 Productions, Potboiler Productions, Ink Factory
    Producer(s): Stephen Mark Cornwell, Simon Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas, Gail Egan, Andrea Calderwood
    Writer(s): Hossein Amini
    Director(s): Susanna White
    Cast: Ewan McGregor, Stellan Skarsard, Damian Lewis, Jeremy Northam, Naomie Harris
    Details: Based on the novel, “Our Kind of Traitor,” by John LeCarre, published by Viking Adult on October 12, 2010.
    SSN Insight: Justin Kurzel was previously attached to direct.

    Outlaws and Angels
    Logline: An outlaw hiding out in a frontier family’s home falls in love with their youngest daughter, while a bounty hunter closes in on his location.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Momentum Pictures
    Producer(s): Rosanne Korenberg, Chris Ivan Cevic, Luke Daniels
    Writer(s): JT Mollner
    Director(s): JT Mollner
    Cast: Luke Wilson, Chad Michael Murray, Teri Polo, Francesca Ruth Eastwood, Ben Browder
    SSN Insight: Momentum Pictures has acquired rights in multiple territories including the U.S.

    Logline: Right before his wedding, a man is visited by his future self who warns him against marrying his true love.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment, Matt Tolmach Productions
    Producer(s): Matt Tolmach, Erwin Stoff, Francis Lawrence
    Writer(s): Allan Loeb, David Gordon Green
    Details: Based on the novel “Q: A Novel” written by Evan Mandery and published by HarperCollins on August 23, 2011.
    SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Columbia Pictures. David Gordon Green was previously attached to direct.

    Sand Castle
    Logline: True story of Americans soldiers who are sent on a mission to repair an aqueduct in a dangerous rural village in Iraq.
    Studio/Distributor(s): ,
    Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company, 42, Treehouse Pictures
    Producer(s): Mark R. Gordon, Justin Nappi, Benjamin Pugh
    Writer(s): Chris Roessner
    Director(s): Fernando Coimbra
    Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Henry Cavill, Beau Knapp, Glen Powell, Logan Marshall-Green, Tommy Flanagan
    SSN Insight: Seb Edwards was previously attached to direct. Project was included on the 2012 Black List. Luke Evans was previously attached to play the role filled by Logan Marshall-Green.

    Sherlock Gnomes
    Logline: Gnomeo and Juliet get a famous detective to help them uncover the mystery of disappearing gnomes, but they find themselves in over their heads when they discover a sinister plot.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM)
    Production Company(s): Rocket Pictures
    Producer(s): Elton John, David Furnish, Steve Hamilton-Shaw, Carolyn Soper
    Writer(s): Ben Zazove, Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil
    Director(s): John Stevenson
    Voice Cast: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp
    Details: Sequel to “Gnomeo & Juliet” (2011) directed by Kelly Asbury and starring James McAvoy and Emily Blunt.
    SSN Insight: Depp will star as the title character.

    Logline: A woman accidentally kills her husband during a violent fight while on vacation, and then embarks on a life-changing trip across California and Nevada.
    Studio/Distributor(s): IFC Films
    Production Company(s): Pandora Film Produktion, Le Bureau
    Producer(s): Bertrand Faivre, Gabrielle Dumon
    Writer(s): Fabienne Berthaud, Pascal Arnold
    Director(s): Fabienne Berthaud
    Cast: Diane Kruger, Gilles Lellouche, Lena Dunham, Norman Reedus, Q’Orianka Kilcher
    SSN Insight: IFC Films has bought the North American rights to the TIFF pic that marks the English-language debut of Fabienne Berthaud.

    The Bleeder
    Logline: The true story of New Jersey heavyweight boxer and womanizer Chuck Wepner.
    Studio/Distributor(s): ,
    Production Company(s): Hyde Park Entertainment, Campbell Grobman Films, Mandalay Sports Media
    Producer(s): Michael Tollin, Liev Schreiber, Carl Hampe, Christa Campbell, Lati Dana Grobman
    Writer(s): Jeff Feurerzeig, Jerry Stahl, Michael Cristofer
    Director(s): Philippe Falardeau
    Cast: Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Elisabeth Moss, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Rapaport, Ron Perlman
    SSN Insight: Jeff Feurerzeig was previously attached to direct. Christina Hendricks was previously attached to co-star.

    The Commuter
    Logline: A businessman on his daily commute home unwittingly gets caught up in a criminal conspiracy, which threatens not only his life but the lives of those around him.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): The Picture Company
    Producer(s): Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman
    Writer(s): Philip de Blasi, Byron Willinger
    Cast: Liam Neeson
    SSN Insight: Olatunde Osunsanmi was previously attached to direct. Previously in development at Gold Circle with Julian Jarrold attached to direct. Previously in development at Boies/Schiller Film Group and Landscape.

    The Girl in the Photographs
    Logline: When a beautiful young woman discovers a series of grisly photographs, she’s spooked into ditching her small town and her dead-end job, but as she attempts to enter the big city fashion industry, she finds deeper horrors that are tailor-made for her.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Vertical Entertainment
    Production Company(s): Al-Ghanim Entertainment
    Producer(s): Andrea Chung, Thomas Mahoney
    Writer(s): Osgood Perkins, Robert Morast, Nick Simon
    Director(s): Nick Simon
    Cast: Claudia Lee, Kal Penn, Mitch Pileggi, Katharine Isabelle, Miranda Rae Mayo
    SSN Insight: Halston Sage was previously attached to star.

    The Little Mermaid
    Logline: A young mermaid gives up her life in the sea to be with a prince with whom she falls in love.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures,
    Production Company(s): Working Title Films
    Producer(s): Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
    Writer(s): Richard Curtis, Caroline Thompson, Kelly Marcel, Abi Morgan
    Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz
    Details: Based on the fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” written by Hans Christian Andersen and originally published in Denmark by C. A. Reitzel in April 1837.
    SSN Insight: Joe Wright was previously attached to direct. Sofia Coppola was previously attached to direct.

    The Trap
    Logline: When a novelist learns that her sister’s murderer is a high-profile journalist, she decides to expose his guilt by writing a book about the killing and promoting it in an interview with him.
    Studio/Distributor(s): TriStar Productions
    Production Company(s): The Cantillon Company, Immersive Pictures
    Producer(s): Elizabeth Cantillon, Josh Bratman
    Writer(s): Phyllis Nagy
    Details: Based on the novel “The Trap (Die Falle)” written by Melanie Raabe and to be published in the U.S. by Grand Central in 2016.
    SSN Insight: Phyllis Nagy also wrote the Cate Blanchett-Rooney Mara film Carol.

    Thru You Princess
    Logline: Two very different musicians — Princess Shaw, a young black woman in the American South who posts her performances of her own songs on the web and Israeli viral-video artist Kutiman, whose YouTube-sampling compositions have earned millions of online hits
    Studio/Distributor(s): Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media
    Production Company(s): Atzmor Productions
    Producer(s): Liran Atzmor, Steve Apkon
    Director(s): Ido Haar
    SSN Insight: Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media have co-acquired U.S. rights to the documentary by Israeli filmmaker Ido Haar that premiered in at TIFF.

    Untitled John Wick Sequel
    Logline: In this sequel, the fearsome head of security for a stunning female crime lord will stop at nothing in his quest to destroy John.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, LLC
    Production Company(s): Thunder Road Pictures, 87eleven
    Producer(s): Basil Iwanyk, David Leitch
    Writer(s): Derek Kolstad
    Director(s): Chad Stahelski
    Cast: Keanu Reeves, Common, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Bridget Moynahan, Ruby Rose, Riccardo Scamarcio, Peter Stormare
    Details: Sequel to “John Wick” (2014) directed by Chad Stahelski and starring Keanu Reeves and Michael Nyqvist.
    SSN Insight: David Leitch was previously attached to co-direct, but left the project to instead direct the film “Coldest City,” with Stahelski staying on to direct “Wick 2″ on his own.

    What Lola Wants
    Logline: Untamed runaway Lola Franklin forges her own kidnapping, falls in love with a charming and talented pickpocket, and fiercely blazes her own trail.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Anchor Bay Entertainment
    Production Company(s): Bubble Factory, The, Cruzach Films
    Producer(s): Ayisha Davies, Monnie Wills
    Writer(s): Rupert Glasson
    Director(s): Rupert Glasson
    Cast: Sophie Lowe, Beau Knapp, Charles S. Dutton, Dale Dickey, Robert Taylor
    SSN Insight: Starz subsidiary Anchor Bay Entertainment has bought the U.S. Rights, including Blu-ray/DVD, VOD and Digital HD to the flim.

    New Projects

    A Court of Thorns and Roses
    Logline: After teenage huntress Feyre kills a wolf, she is taken to magical land by a powerful fairy.
    Production Company(s): Tempo Productions
    Producer(s): Jo Bamford, Piers Tempest
    Details: Based on the novel “A Court of Thorns and Roses” written by Sarah J. Maas and published by Bloomsbury on May 5, 2015.
    SSN Insight: Tempo acquired the option in a competitive situation. Tempo recently wrapped filming on Nick Hamm’s The Journey.

    Amy Winehouse
    Logline: Based on the life of Amy Winehouse, storyline under wraps.
    Production Company(s): City Entertainment, Subotica Entertainment, Lotus Entertainment
    Producer(s): Alexandra Whitlin, Joshua Maurer, Tristan Orpen Lynch
    Writer(s): Kristen Sheridan
    Director(s): Kristen Sheridan
    Cast: Noomi Rapace
    SSN Insight: Talks are talking place with Winehouse’s father, Mitch Winehouse for obtaining music rights. Lotus Entertainment will finance, executive produce and handle international sales.

    Logline: A troubled young woman who has been recruited by a covert agency discovers that she is the descendant of Athena, goddess of wisdom and war.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures
    Production Company(s): Pascal Pictures
    Producer(s): Amy Pascal, Rachel O’Connor, Bryan Haas
    Writer(s): Michael Diliberti
    SSN Insight: Amy Pascal acquired the pitch in an estimated mid-six against seven figures deal.

    Black-Eyed Susans
    Logline: When the lone survivor of a serial killer begins doubting the guilt of man convicted of the crime, she launches her own investigation.
    Production Company(s): Battleplan Productions
    Producer(s): Rod Lurie, Marc Frydman
    Writer(s): Rod Lurie, Kyra Davis
    Details: Based on the novel “Black-Eyed Susans” written by Julia Heaberlin and published by Ballantine Books in 2015.
    SSN Insight: Lurie’s films include The Last Castle, The Contender, Straw Dogs and Nothing But The Truth. Lurie’s Battleplan Productions will finance the movie.

    Crash Override
    Logline: It tells the story of how Zoe Quinn, creator of such hip interactive games as Depression Quest, was targeted by a digital mob bent on upending her life when a blog post by her ex-boyfriend went viral. It sparked the widely-discussed Gamergate controversy
    Production Company(s): 360 Entertainment, Pascal Pictures
    Producer(s): Amy Pascal, Rachel O’Connor
    Writer(s): Rebecca Angelo, Lauren Schuker Blum
    Details: Based on the memoir “Crash Override: How To Save The Internet From Itself”, written by Zoe Quinn to be published by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster in September 2016.
    SSN Insight: Pascal Pictures won the option in a bidding war. Pascal Pictures will finance the film.

    My Husband’s Ex-Wife
    Logline: A young woman who is married to an older man and pregnant deals with several new issues, including the impact of her husband’s ex-wife being diagnosed with cancer.
    Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company, Shondaland
    Producer(s): Mark R. Gordon, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers
    Writer(s): Michelle Lirtzman
    SSN Insight: The Mark Gordon Company will finance the film. Mark Gordon Company and Shondaland previously teamed up for the long-running TV series, Grey’s Anatomy.

    Logline: Four new mothers who meet in a new mommy group team up to right the societal injustices that are faced by new mothers like them.
    Production Company(s): The Firm
    Producer(s): Amanda Blue Peterson, Tessa Benson, Robbie Brenner, Jeff Kwatinetz
    Writer(s): Amanda Blue Peterson
    SSN Insight: Supermoms is the second film at The Firm since Brenner joined as film president/partner. Her first project was the Jennifer Garner/Maika Monroe-starrer Tribes of Palos Verdes.

    The Gone World
    Logline: The storyline of this sci-fi time travel procedural is under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
    Production Company(s): Chernin Entertainment
    Writer(s): Neill Blomkamp (in talks)
    Director(s): Neill Blomkamp (in talks)
    Details: Based on the not-yet-published novel “The Gone World” written by Thomas Sweterlitsch.
    SSN Insight: Blomkamp’s previous films include District 9, Elysium and Chappie

    Untitled Tennessee Williams Biopic
    Logline: This biopic chronicles the life of legendary playwright Tennessee Williams.
    Production Company(s): Broad Green Pictures
    Details: Based on the biography “Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage Of The Flesh” written by John Lahr and published by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. in 2014.
    SSN Insight: Reportedly, the project will next go out to available writers to adapt.

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    Film Development for 11/12/15: Amy Pascal Wins ‘Crash Override’ and ‘Athena’, Chloe Grace Moretz Set for ‘The Little Mermaid’, Alchemy Nabs Hot AFM Title ‘Free Fire’

    A whole lot of new attachments this week, including new actors for films like A Meyers Christmas, Felt, Live By Night, and Sherlock Gnomes, new distributors for All Roads Lead To Rome, Amulet, Free Fire, Ghost Team and Okja, among others, and a new director for Will Smith’s Collateral Beauty. All the info is just a click away. (SSN)


    Today In Relativity Legal Issues: Company and Original Films Resolve ‘Hunter Killer’ Issues

    Production on the action-thriller will move forward after producer Neal Moritz resolved his legal issues with Relativity Studios. Moritz and his attorneys had been trying to extricate the film from the tangle of Relativity’s ongoing bankruptcy. That devolved into a war of words, with the Moritz team accusing the company and its founder Ryan Kavanaugh of operating a massive “sham” and making false statements about their financial health. (VAR)

    Could Time Warner Take On a Piece Of Hulu? A Partnership Is Looking More Likely

    Company is considering the possibility of becoming a part owner of the streaming service — joining Disney, Fox, and Comcast. It appears that the players are circling around terms that would give Time Warner a 25 percent stake in the streaming service in a deal that values Hulu at more than $5 billion. The goal would be to help Hulu challenge Netflix and Amazon. (DH)

    Your Next Nine-Figure, Star-Driven, High End Movie Slate Film Fund Has Arrived, Thanks To Ambi Group

    The consortium of film companies owned and operated by Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, has launched a $200 million film fund to finance a high end, star-driven movie slate. The fund will have Bacardi, Iervolino and New York-based private equity firm Raven Capital Management as anchor investors. Ambi will use the $200 million to finance five movies in the $25 million to $30 million range, and at least ten more movies under $10 million each. (THR)

    Warner Bros.’ ‘Pinocchio’ Project Has an Opening For a Director, as Paul Thomas Anderson has Cut Ties To the Project

    The auteur had originally been attached to write the project, with Robert Downey Jr. attached, and potentially direct, but now he has walked away entirely and there is no word if his script will even be used. Warner is still reeling from the disaster that was Pan earlier this fall, and Disney has a similar project in development, so there is no word on whether this version will even continue forward. (COL)

    Morgan Freeman Shows No Sign Of Slowing Down, Signs Up For Spy Comedy ‘Cold Warriors’

    With London Has Fallen, Ben-Hur and Going In Style all complete and awaiting release next year, the Oscar winner has signed up for the project, which will see him as a retired CIA agent with some unfinished Cold War business. The plot involves him recruiting his videogame-obsessed stepson to continue the mission, using his newfangled tech skillz. Raja Gosnell is directing from a script by Todd Berger. (EMP)

    Prepare For a Lot Of ‘Grey’, as the Next Two ‘Fifty Shades’ Sequels Will Shoot Back To Back

    James Foley is on board to direct both installments of the trilogy, adapted from the runaway bestselling series. The two films will both shoot in 2016, with the first sequel out in 2017 and the other a year later. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, the second and third chapters of the series. (CS)

    Studio 8 Finally Is Ready To move Forward With Its First Movie, Has Kodi Smit-McPhee Set To Star

    Australian actor, who will play Nightcrawler in X-Men: Apocalypse, is nearing a deal to topline Ice Age-set survival epic The Solutrean from director Albert Hughes. Based on a screenplay by Dan Wiedenhaupt, story is set 20,000 years ago in Europe and centers on a young man’s quest to brave the dangerous conditions and find his way back to his tribe. The big-budget film is poised to mark the first homegrown project to come from Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8. (HV)

    FX Plans a Busy 2016, Sets Premiere Dates For Both New and Returning Shows

    The network announced today that Ryan Murphy’s limited-run look at the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial will debut on Tuesday, February 2nd, while Baskets, FX’s new Zach Galifianakis comedy, will kick off on Thursday, January 21st. As the network launches that pair of newcomers, it will hold off the Season 4 premiere of The Americans until March — which will mark the Russian spy drama’s latest premiere thus far. (TVL)

    A Systemic Change In Hollywood: What Do We Do Now?

    Earlier this week, Reese Witherspoon spoke at the Glamour Women of the Year event, and in her speech, she talked about how she would see scripts on a regular basis, and the common theme for the female characters was that they were always asking the men in times of need, “What do we do now?” That is her most hated line, she said, because it suggests that women don’t have agency in their own lives. So … what happens now that people want change? (WAH)

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    ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ TV Spot Reveals New Han Solo Footage

    A new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” TV spot — introduced by Shonda Rhimes — aired Thursday during ABC’s three-hour “Thank God It’s Thursday” lineup. The one-minute clip revealed footage of a gun-wielding Han Solo in action. (VAR)

    Doug Liman Is In Final Talks To Direct Channing Tatum In ‘Gambit’

    After losing original director Rupert Wyatt and with an October 7, 2016, release looming, Fox has furiously met with filmmakers to direct the X-Men spin-off Gambit and is nearing a deal with action director Doug Liman. (THR)

    Anonymous, Paramount TV Develop English Version of Swedish Hit ‘Torpederna’

    Anonymous Content and Paramount TV are developing Legbreakers, an English-language version of the hit Swedish drama Torpederna. The original series airs on Sweden’s TV4.  Legbreakers will be exec produced by Anonymous Content’s Chad Hamilton and Steve Golin. (DH)

    Scott Eastwood To Play Ben Affleck’s Brother In WB’s ‘Live By Night’

    After working together on Suicide Squad, director Ben Affleck has cast Scott Eastwood as his younger brother in Warner Bros.’ prohibition-era crime drama Live By Night. (WRAP)

    CBS Sets LAPD Mexican-American Family Drama Produced By Leonard Goldberg

    The network has put in development Protect & Serve, a drama executive produced by Blue Bloods executive producer Leonard Goldberg and co-executive producer/director Dave Barrett. Written and executive produced by Elizabeth Davis Beall. (DH)

    Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson Sign To ‘Sing’

    Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Seth MacFarlane will be joining previously announced headliner Matthew McConaughey in the voice cast for Sing, an animated musical comedy coming next year from Illumination Entertainment. (AM)

    ‘Murder in the First’ Renewed At TNT

    Starring Taye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson as San Francisco homicide detectives, Murder wrapped its second season on Aug. 24, with an episode that brought in 1.8 million total viewers. Season 3 will debut in 2016. (TVL)

    Saoirse Ronan To Receive International Star Award At Palm Springs

    The actress is in the thick of the Best Actress Oscar race for her vibrant performance in John Crowley’s Brooklyn. (IW)

    Screenwriters: ‘Elizabethtown’

    The March 2003 draft by Cameron Crowe (DS)

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    Logline: Eighteen-year-old twins prepare for their last year of school together when tragedy tears them apart.
    Production Company(s): Indy Entertainment
    Director(s): Tommy Bertelsen
    Producer(s): Ross Kohn, Nancy Leopardi, Troian Bellisario, Tommy Bertelsen
    Cast: Troian Bellisario, Tom Felton
    Writer(s): Tommy Bertelsen
    SSN Insight: Felton’s upcoming films include Risen, A United Kingdom, Megan Leavey and Stratton.

    How to Talk to Girls at Parties
    Logline: In 1970s London, a teenage boy who is into punk music gets involved with a tourist who want to escape from her tour group and explore the dangerous suburb of Croydon.
    Studio/Distributor(s): A24
    Production Company(s): Fortissimo Films, See-Saw Films, Little Punk
    Director(s): John Cameron Mitchell
    Executive Producer(s): Michael J. Werner, Winnie Lau
    Producer(s): Howard Gertler, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, John Cameron Mitchell, Neil Gaiman
    Cast: Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, Matt Lucas
    Writer(s): Philippa Goslett, John Cameron Mitchell
    Details: Based on the short story “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” written by Neil Gaiman and published by in 2006.
    SSN Insight: John Cameron Mitchell previously wrote/directed/produced the film Shortbus and afterwards directed the film Rabbit Hole.

    Logline: After an assassin is double-crossed by gangsters and sent to a rogue surgeon who turns him into a woman, he (now she) sets out for revenge, aided by a nurse.
    Production Company(s): SBS Productions
    Director(s): Walter Hill
    Executive Producer(s):
    Producer(s): Said Ben Said, Michel Merkt
    Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez
    Writer(s): Walter Hill, Denis Hamill
    SSN Insight: Producers were interested in Andrea Riseborough to play the assassin, but a potential deal fell through because of scheduling issues with her role on the Netflix series “Bloodline.” Freida Pinto was previously attached to co-star.

    True Crimes
    Logline: Based on the journalistic account of a cold case investigation by a hard boiled detective, in which an author became a suspect when the incidents described in his hit novel closely resembled the firsthand inner-workings of the unsolved murder.
    Production Company(s): InterTitle Films, RatPac Entertainment
    Director(s): Alexandros Avranas
    Executive Producer(s):
    Producer(s): Brett Ratner, David Gerson, John Cheng
    Cast: Jim Carrey, Agata Kulesza, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kati Outinen, Zbigniew Zamachowski
    Writer(s): Jeremy Brock
    Details: Based on the article “True Crime” written by David Grann and published in The New Yorker on February 11, 2008.
    SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Focus Features. Roman Polanski was previously in discussions to direct.


    Logline: In the summer of 1987, a working-class Italian-American, who has little on his mind but racing cars and chasing girls, meets a Jewish girl from Long Island who has gone to his neighborhood for some illicit thrills on the wrong side of the tracks.
    Production Company(s): AG Studios
    Director(s): Robert Siegel
    Producer(s): Alex Garcia, Laura Walker, Holly Brown, Scott Lastaiti
    Cast: Emily Ratajkowski, Spencer Boldman, Kathrine Narducci, Gino Cafarelli, Noah Robbins
    Writer(s): Robert Siegel
    SSN Insight: Robert Siegel previously wrote the film Turbo and has penned the screenplay for The Founder at The Weinstein Company.

    First Round Down
    Logline: A former hockey player and hitman returns home to escape his past and care for his brother.
    Production Company(s): Marina Cordoni Entertainment, Substance Production
    Director(s): Brett M. Butler, Jason G. Butler
    Executive Producer(s): Marina Cordoni
    Producer(s): Brett M. Butler, Jason G. Butler
    Cast: Dylan Bruce, Rachel Wilson, Peter MacNeill, John Kapelos
    Writer(s): Brett M. Butler, Jason G. Butler, Ennis Esmer
    SSN Insight: Jared Keeso, Lauren Lee Smith, Gil Bellows, and Ennis Esmer were previously attached as cast members.

    Midnight Sun
    Logline: Sheltered 17-year-old Katie, who has a rare disease that makes sunlight deadly to her, meets Charlie and they have a summer romance.
    Production Company(s): Boies/Schiller Film Group, LLC, Rickard Pictures
    Director(s): Scott Speer
    Executive Producer(s): Alan Ou, James McGough, Scott Speer, David Boies, Hiroki Shirota
    Producer(s): John Rickard, Zachary Schiller, Jen Gatien
    Cast: Bella Thorne, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Rob Riggle, Quinn Shephard
    Writer(s): Eric Kirsten
    Details: Based on “Taiyo No Uta (Midnight Sun”) (Japan/2006) directed by Norihiro Koizumi and starring Takashi Tsukamoto.
    SSN Insight: Project is listed in SSN’s 10 Most Bankable Films for U.S. Audiences at AFM2015, which can be read here.

    Shimmer Lake
    Logline: This murder mystery centers on a sheriff investigating a series of killings, as well as the disappearance of a bank robber wanted for a heist committed three days earlier.
    Production Company(s): Footprint Features, Writ Large
    Director(s): Oren Uziel
    Executive Producer(s): Daniel Bekerman, Steve Eddy, Youmi N. Ma
    Producer(s): Britton Rizzio, Adam Saunders
    Cast: Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson, Wyatt Russell, Mark Rendall
    Writer(s): Oren Uziel
    SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Fox Atomic. Project was previously in development at Josephson Entertainment with Barry Josephson attached to produce. Project was included on the 2009 Black List.

    The Boy Downstairs
    Logline: A woman moves into her ex-boyfriend’s apartment, reopening old wounds.
    Production Company(s): Motion Picture Capital, Cliffbrook Films
    Director(s): Sophie Brooks
    Executive Producer(s): Paul Brooks
    Producer(s): David Brooks, Dan Clifton, Leon Clarance
    Cast: Zosia Mamet, Deirdre O’Connell, Matthew Shear, Diana Irvine, Sarah Ramos
    Writer(s): Sophie Brooks
    SSN Insight: Marks the feature film debut for Sophie Brooks.

    The Space Between Us
    Logline: A boy born to an American astronaut while on a mission to Mars and raised on a space station returns to Earth as a teen and embarks on a US road trip in search of the father he has never met.
    Studio/Distributor(s): STX Entertainment
    Production Company(s): Southpaw Entertainment
    Director(s): Peter Chelsom
    Executive Producer(s): Allan Loeb, Steven Pearl, Sasha Harari, Douglas Urbanski
    Producer(s): Gabrielle Jerou
    Cast: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino, Trey Tucker
    Writer(s): Peter Chelsom, Tinker Lindsay, Allan Loeb
    SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Relativity Media with Robbie Brenner attached to produce and Ryan Kavanaugh and Tucker Tooley attached as Executive Producers.

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    -In our latest weekly series, SSN Insider will take a deep dive into the film ticket sales of the week leveraging data from the powerhouse ticketing website, Not only will the infographic pinpoint which movies are claiming the largest piece of the pie from day to day in terms of sales but also which film had the biggest uptick in terms of a percentage variance surge and which had the biggest downtick or steepest dive between any two points.-

    Box Office Trending 11-13a

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