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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, MovieTickets.com. 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 12-4a


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Awards 2016: Harvey Keitel Breaks Tough Guy Routine to Muse on the Merits of Friendship & Joke with Michael Caine on the Set of ‘Youth’

    If it seems like you haven’t seen Harvey Keitel do a lot of smiling and laughing on the big screen of late, you’re not alone. He’ll be the first one to agree with you, saying “I share your observation.” Which will be followed by a knowing chuckle by the legendary tough guy, putting you at ease with the notion that his performance as an aging film director in this week’s Youth is so out of the norm. (SSN)

    The Oscars’ Year of the Crucible: Evaluating the Top Cinematography Contenders

    Vengeance, hate, survival, redemption and forbidden love are explored in this year’s top six Best Cinematography contenders, in which nature very much determines character. Will Roger Deakins get his 13th nomination and finally win his first Oscar? Will Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki take his third straight trophy? It’s been a beautiful year at the movies. (TOH)

    As We Wonder About Which Actors Will Be In What Categories, We Also Know That the Academy Has a Long History Of Category Fraud

    “Category fraud” is a harsh term to describe the fact that Oscar strategists are pushing some actors into unexpected categories, in hopes that it works to their advantage. There’s no reason to worry, though, because voters will be the ultimate arbiters, deciding how they want to define a work. Equally important, the history of awards is filled with blurred lines, and over the years, most people have stopped questioning it. (IC)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    SSN Box Office Trending Report for 12/4/15: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Picks Up Even More Steam Ahead of Release

    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, MovieTickets.com. 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)

    On the Set For 12/4/15: Gal Gadot Grabs Her Lasso for ‘Wonder Woman’, Brad Pitt Wraps ‘War Machine’, ‘Resident Evil’ Team Finish Final Chapter

    A lot of projects get off the ground this week, including Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner in Wakefield, a new Blumhouse film called The Keeping Hours, and Will Smith, Jason Segel and Helen Mirren in David Frankel’s Collateral Beauty. Meanwhile, the new Bridget Jones movie, the boxing pic The Bleeder and The Conjuring sequel all complete principal photography. (SSN)

    Lucasfilm Looks Forward, Talks With Four Female Directors and Three Female Writers For Its Next Film

    Adriana Alberghetti, an agent and partner at power agency William Morris Endeavor, has managed to procure meetings for several of her clients with an eye towards upcoming Star Wars movies. While none off the women are named, Alberghetti represents such high profile directors as Sarah Gavron (Suffragette) and S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones) as well as prolific screenwriters like Linda Woolverton (Maleficent) and Marti Noxon. (CS)

    The Tracking Board Has Come Out With Its 2015 Hit List — Did Your Script Make the Cut?

    It’s that time of the year again, as the website puts out its sixth annual list of the most admired spec scripts, as voted on by industry professionals. To be eligible, a spec needs to have hit the market between December 1st and November 30th. For the full list, head on over to The Tracking Board. (TB)

    Universal’s ‘The Wolf Man’ Reboot Sets Its Sites On a 2018 Release Date

    The second film in the studio’s intended Monster Universe will open on March 30th, 2018. That’s approximately one year after the March 24th, 2017 release of The Mummy, to be directed by Alex Kurtzman and potentially starring Tom Cruise. Aaron Guzikowski has written the script for The Wolf Man, which is now looking for a director. (SF)

    Female Revenge Drama From Jennifer Johnson & Sue Chung Set At The CW

    The pair have teamed up for an untitled drama project (aka Furious), which has been set up at the network. Written by Chung, the drama centers on a trio of women who work outside the law to deliver justice against those who evade punishment in the legal system. At the same time, they seek personal revenge against the people responsible for destroying their own lives. Chung and Johnson executive produce for Warner Bros. TV. (DH)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The Nice Guys’

    Warner Bros. has released the first red band trailer of the upcoming action comedy, starring Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Kim Basinger and Matt Bomer. Written and directed by Shane Black, the movie hits theaters May 20th, 2016. (EMP)


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    Box Office: ‘Krampus’ Beats ‘Good Dinosaur’ With $16M; ‘Hunger Games’ Stays No. 1

    Holiday horror-comedy Krampus outperformed expectations in its debut at the North American box office, grossing $16 million from 2,902 theaters to come in No. 2 behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2. (THR)

    ‘Spotlight’ Named Best Of 2015 By The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.

    Spotlight, the drama about the Boston Globe’s investigation into abuse by Catholic priests,  was named best picture of 2015 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. The drama also won for best screenplay, written by the film’s director, Tom McCarthy, and Josh Singer. (LAT)

    ‘Ex Machina’ Triumphs At British Independent Film Awards

    The sci-fi thriller wins four awards, including best British independent film, while Saoirse Ronan and Tom Hardy take home acting prizes. (GUAR)

    ‘Spotlight’ Named Best Film Of 2015 By Boston Society Of Film Critics

    Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight has been named the best film of the year by the Boston Society of Film Critics. Mad Max: Fury Road was the runner-up. (VAR)

    Grammy Nominees 2015: The Full List

    Kendrick Lamar and his album To Pimp A Butterfly paced the field with 11 nominations for this year’s ceremony, the second-highest total for a single night behind Michael Jackson’s 12 in 1984. (FOR)

    Ethan Hawke Boards Luc Besson’s Sci-Fi Epic ‘Valerian’

    Luc Besson announced on his Instagram account that Ethan Hawke has joined the cast of his $180M 3D sci-fi epic Valerian based on the French 1967 graphic novel series by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières. (DH)

    ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Trailer Attached To ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

    We will get our first glance at the first Star Trek Beyond trailer in front of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We don’t know how much, if any, footage will be shown from the new Trek film, but it will at least serve as an announcement trailer. (COLL)

    The Last Human Robot

    After four decades in the C-3PO suit, Anthony Daniels is Star Wars’ most special effect of all. (VUL)

    Screenwriters: Ten Spec Script Musts

    Based on Ray Morton’s observations in and around the screenwriting business, he’s identified ten things a spec script must do in order to be successful. (SM)

     


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    Company Launches & Partnerships

    The marketing platform, Reelio, which matches brands with digital influencers, has launched Reelio Cares, a division that will focus on matching digital celebs with nonprofits and corporate brands to participate in campaigns that raise awareness for causes. Ava Kelly, Founder and CEO of Love Notes Records, will come aboard to manage the new division.

    U.K. digital distributor MoMedia has signed a new content deal with production company Shaftesbury. Under the pact, MoMedia will distribute 37 hours of content from Shaftesbury’s film and TV catalog, market and promote the content and provide Shaftesbury with analytics support.

    Oprah Winfrey will be heading a to-be-named book imprint under Flatiron Books, the NYC-based division of Macmillan. The same company that will publish her autobiography, The Life You Want, set for release in January 2017.

    Fusion, which launched a VR unit and entered into a content and technology partnership with VR company Littlstar to produce immersive stories and technology in 360 degrees.

    Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events will continue their partnership to screen classic films in theaters through 2016. TCM and Fathom Events started their partnership in 2012 to show classic film titles several times a year.

    Indigenous Media is partnering with Actor/Producer Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, The Kids are All Right) for the first of four incubators it will roll out over 2016. Powered by the Black List, the first incubator is specifically designed to discover and mentor emerging filmmakers focused on the young adult market.

    Film

    Chris Ortman has been signed on as VP of Corporate Communications at the MPAA, replacing Kate Bedingfield who left in August to work with VP Joe Biden. Previously, Ortman headed an independent strategic planning and communications consulting firm and before that he was VP of Communications and Corporate Affairs at CreativeFuture, a coalition of movie, TV and content companies opposed to digital piracy. The MPAA also upped Sam Newton to Deputy Director, Corporate Communications.

    Irene Yeung has been hired as the VP of Development at Ian Bryce Productions. She was formerly the VP of Development at Vertigo Entertainment.

    Indigenous Media, a next generation media company formed by award-winning filmmakers Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia and Jake Avnet has hired two EVPs. Ben Fast, previously Director of Scripted Television at The Weinstein Company, joins as EVP, Development, and Maira Nevarez, former VP of Finance, E! Entertainment and Esquire Television Networks at NBC Universal is on board as EVP of Finance and Operations. Both positions report to Jake Avnet.

    Peter McKelvy has signed on to AeroCinema as their SVP of Business Development. He spent 22 years at Discovery Communications, and most recently was managing director, North America, for Epidemic Sound of Sweden, a stock music licensing business.

    TV

    Skylar Isdale has been hired on as the Communications Coordinator at Sportsman Channel. Formerly she was in the communications department for Lt. Governor of Texas Dan Patrick.

    Courtney White, previously a Senior Programming Executive for HGTV, DIY Network and Great American Country, has been upped to SVP of Programming for Travel Channel. She will handle all series development and production for the network, leading the Travel Channel programming team based in Knoxville.

    Miriam Brent has been hired as the Script Executive at Duchess Street Productions in London. She was formerly the Development Editor at Raw TV.

    Alan Yentob is currently pursuing other opportunities. He was formerly a Creative Director of U.K. broadcaster the BBC.

    Valerie Cabrera has been hired as the SVP of Distribution at AMC Studios. She was formerly the EVP of TV International at Entertainment One. Melissa Landau has been hired as the SVP of Business Affairs at AMC Studios in New York. She was formerly the SVP of Business Affairs and Deputy General Counsel at Comedy Central and TV Land.

    Stephen Driscoll has been upped from SVP of International Sales to the EVP, EMEA at all3media International in London. Sabrina Duguet has been promoted from SVP of International Format Sales to the EVP of Asia Pacific at all3media International.

    Linda Ellerbee will retire as of January 2016. She was formerly the CEO at Lucky Duck Productions in New York.

    Melissa Gelineau has been hired as the VP of Television & Development at Latin World Entertainment. She was formerly the VP of Development at NBCUniversal International TV Production.

    Jared Greenstein has been upped from Executive Assistant to Meryl Poster to the Director, Creative Affairs & Operations at Superb Entertainment. Miura Kite has been hired as the EVP of Scripted Television at the company. She was formerly the Executive Producer and Head, Development at Assembly Entertainment. Logan Kriete has been upped from Coordinator to Manager of Scripted Development at Superb Entertainment. Tesha Crawford has been hired as the VP of Scripted Development at Superb Entertainment. She was formerly the Director of Development at Marvel Television.

    Janine Jones-Clark has been upped from Director to the Executive Director of Creative Talent Development & Inclusion at Disney-ABC TV Group. Kristi Shuton has been upped from Analyst to the Senior Analyst of Creative Talent Development & Inclusion at Disney-ABC TV Group. Victor Bui has been upped from Executive Assistant to VP Tim McNeal to a Coordinator of Creative Talent Development & Inclusion at the company.

    Lisa Leingang has been hired as the SVP of Scripted Programming at First Look Media in New York. She was formerly the Network Executive at Bravo’s Odd Mom Out.

    Tonia O’Connor has been promoted from President at Content Distribution & Business Development to the Chief Commercial Officer and President of Content Distribution at Univision Communications, Inc. in New York.

    Hilary Smith has been hired as the SVP of Corporate Communications at NBCUniversal. She was formerly the SVP of Communications at USA Network in New York. NBCUniversal’s Content Innovation Agency has signed on John Harrobin as their CMO, reporting to Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships. Formerly, Harrobin served as CMO of Verizon’s Consumer an Mass Business Unit.

    Tanya Shaw has been upped from Creative Director to the Managing Director at Shine TV in London. Tim Whitwell has been upped from Head of Programs to the Creative Director at Shine TV in London.

    Richard Thompson has been upped to Executive Director, Operations, Planning and Strategy for Lincoln Square Productions. Formerly, Thompson was the company’s Director of Finance. Linda Berman will come aboard ABC News and Lincoln Square Productions as Director, Scripted Content. Berman was previously an executive producer on ABC’s upcoming Madoff mini-series.

    Brent Montgomery, founder and CEO of ITV-owned Leftfield Entertainment, has been signed on as the CEO of ITV America, formerly ITV Studios U.S. Group. Montgomery will head ITV’s U.S. group of businesses, which together produce over 100 programs on 43 networks, mostly focusing on unscripted content.

    Management, PR, Agencies

    Adam Brill has been hired as a Music Agent at CAA. He was previously a Music Agent at APA. Ben Buchanan has been hired as a Music Agent at CAA in their Toronto office. He was previously a Music Agent at The Windish Agency. Brian Hill has been hired as a Music Agent at CAA in their Nashville office. He was previously a Music Agent at Paradigm.

    Fran Curtis has been upped from EVP to the Co-President of Entertainment Worldwide at Rogers & Cowan in New York. Alan Nierob has been upped from EVP to the Co-President of Entertainment Worldwide at Rogers & Cowan. Richard Davis has been hired as the CFO, COO at Rogers & Cowan. He was previously the CFO of the Western Region at CMG.

    Russell “Rusty” Weiss has been hired as the Partner at Sidley Austin LLP. He was previously the Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP.

    Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

    Adria Petty has joined the directors collective Wondros. Petty’s work in commercials and music videos include projects for Lancome, Target, Converse and McDonald’s.

    BitTorrent Live, BitTorrent’s live-streaming product, has hired Monica Piriz as the company’s new VP of Programming and Acquisition. She previously was the VP of Content Acquisition and Strategy at Piksel.

    NYC ad agency Sawyer Studios has upped EVP Zachary Soreff to partner. Sawyer specializes in promotional campaigns for both theatrical and digital film and TV releases, including for film Boyhood and The Overnight.

    Video advertising platform Videology has hired Richard Hall as the VP, North America Television Strategy. Hall will manage the rollout of Videology’s new Advanced TV Platform. Formerly, Hall served as Director of Product Management, Ad Tech, Video, TV & Mobile Advertising at IPG Mediabrands.

    Live-streaming startup Streamup has established a new advisory board to develop original programming. Members to include Endemol Shine North America co-CEO Charlie Corwin, World of Wonder founder Fenton Bailey, and former American Idol judge Randy Jackson.

    Andy Forssell has been hired as the COO at Fullscreen. He was previously the CEO at ShowYou.

    Brooke Turpin has been upped from Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships to the VP of Global Consumer & Strategic Partnerships at Variety.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Yes, That Dazzling Boxing Sequence in ‘Creed’ Really Was One Shot

    If you have seen the film, you witnessed an example of a “oner,” as an entire two-round boxing match is captured in one exciting take. Shockingly, given the editorial tools at the disposal of filmmakers today, there was no post-production stitching employed to connect a series of takes together and provide the effect of a single shot. (IC)

    Speaking Of ‘Creed’, Film Joins ‘Straight Outta Compton’ as African American Film Critics Association’s Big Winners

    Universal’s N.W.A. biopic won Best Picture, one of three categories it topped along with Best Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor for Jason Mitchell. Best Director went to Creed helmer Ryan Coogler, while its star, Michael B. Jordan, won for Breakout Performance and Tessa Thompson was named Best Supporting Actress. Best Actor went to Will Smith for Concussion and Best Actress to Teyonah Parris for Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq.(AL)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Exec Shuffle For 12/7/15: Oprah Winfrey Forms Book Imprint, Indigenous Media Partners with Josh Hutcherson, Reelio Cares to Match Digital Stars with Nonprofits

    Among the various moves this week, the MPAA has a new VP of Corporate Communications, AMC Studios has a new SVP of Distribution, as well as plenty of other action. Of special note, Linda Ellerbee has announced she will retire in January. Click the link for more. (SSN)

    Sundance Announces Projects From James Schamus, Steven Soderbergh, J.J. Abrams to Debut

    Fest has unveiled the 2016 lineup for its Premieres, Documentary Premieres, Spotlight, Sundance Kids and Special Events sections. A number of familiar faces will converge on Park City, from former Focus Features CEO and indie film veteran James Schamus, who will be on hand with feature directorial debut Indignation, to Steven Soderbergh, who will debut the first four episodes of his upcoming Starz TV series The Girlfriend Experience. (THR)

    Marvel Finds Its ‘Black Panther’ Director In the Form Of ‘Creed’ Helmer Ryan Coogler

    After making the successful vault this year from the Sundance Film Festival hit Fruitvale Station to the widely-praised, mid-budget studio Rocky spinoff, the filmmaker is now lined up to take the reins of the 2018 film, set to star Chadwick Boseman as the title character. A deal still needs to be struck, but all signs point to that happening this week. (TP)

    It’s Taken a While, but Marvel Finally Has a Showrunner For Its ‘Iron Fist’ Series

    Studio’s latest Netflix series has set Scott Buck as showrunner, the company announced today. The new series follows Daniel Rand as he fights against the criminal element corrupting New York City with his incredible kung-fu mastery. Marvel has already released the first seasons of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, Luke Cage premiering in 2016. All four heroes will then unite in the mini-series event “Marvel’s The Defenders.” (TW)

    That Long-Awaited ‘Trainspotting’ Sequel Is Officially a Go, With the Original Cast Coming Back

    Sony TriStar has just picked up the rights to the project, which will shoot next year. Original director Danny Boyle returns along with original cast members Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle. Shooting will begin in the spring. The release is planned for some time in 2017, just missing the first film’s 20th anniversary. John Hodge, who adapted the original film from Irvine Welsh’s 1993 novel, also returns as screenwriter. (SF)

    James Franco Adds More Impressive Names To the Cast Of His Tommy Wiseau Biopic

    Jacki Weaver, Hannibal Buress, Ari Graynor and Andrew Santino have joined The Disaster Artist, a comedy from New Line that Franco will write, direct and star in the film, playing Wiseau, the cult figure who wrote, directed and starred in The Room. Franco’s brother Dave also stars in the film, as do Josh Hutcherson and Seth Rogen. Scott Neustadter and Micheal H. Weber also worked on the script. (VAR)

    A Trans Woman Has a Take On ‘The Danish Girl’, and It’s Not At All Flattering

    Columnist Carol Grant, already no fan of star Eddie Redmayne, calls Tom Hooper’s movie “regressive, reductive, harmful” and “embarrassing.” The timing of this film’s release could not have been more opportunistically lined up with not just the rise in transgender visibility in the media, but also the author’s very own life. (SB)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Jane’s Got a Gun’

    Lionsgate has released the first look at the upcoming film, starring Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Joel Edgerton, Noah Emmerich and Rodrigo Santoro. Directed by Gavin O’Connor, the movie will hit theaters next year. (COL)


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Oscars: ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Mad Max’ On Preliminary Visual Effects Shortlist

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has narrowed the visual effects category to 20 films for the 88th Academy Awards — including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road. (VAR)

    Palm Springs Film Fest: Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender Tapped For Honors

    The Danish Girl supporting actress will receive the Rising Star Award and the Steve Jobs lead actor will receive the International Star Award. (THR)

    Michael Caine To Recieve Rare EFA Honor

    Sir Michael Caine is to be presented with the Honorary Award of the EFA President and Board at the 28th European Film Awards – only the third time the honour as been bestowed in nearly 30 years. (SD)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Slamdance Unveils Special Screenings, Beyond, Shorts Programs

    Slamdance has announced its Special Screenings, Beyond, and Shorts programs for their 22nd Film Festival. The programs present a variety of filmmakers from all over the world and include 23 World, 13 North American, and 13 U.S. Premieres. (WRAP)

    Queen Latifah To Headline ‘Empire’ Co-Creator Lee Daniels’ New Music Drama Pilot

    Queen Latifah has scored the leading role in the Empire co-creator’s newest series that follows a trio of young women with big music dreams who form a group. (EW)

    WBTV’s Dan Limerick Joins WME As Head Of TV Biz Affairs; Catherine Sugar To Run Global TV BA

    Warner Bros TV’s head of business affairs Dan Limerick, who just left the studio will take over WME’s  TV business affairs department, replacing Catherine Sugar, who will segue to a new role as Head of Business Affairs, WME Global TV. (DH)

    Kim Stanley Robinson’s ‘Red Mars’ Heads To Spike With Full Series Order

    Spike is heading into the scripted series game by ordering a full 10-episode season adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson‘s beloved sci-fi tome Red Mars. Robinson’s novel is the first book in a trilogy of novels about the colonization of the planet by humans. (COLL)

    ‘The Blacklist’ Renewed For Season 4

    NBC has renewed its James Spader-led drama series for a fourth season. (TVL)

    Online Film School: Watch a Video Essay On the Importance Of Settings and Locations In Film

    A film can take place inside a haunted, centuries-old manse, or on an alien planet, or maybe in a slightly underfurnished Brooklyn apartment… it all matters. In movies, your location can quickly become a character in and of itself. A perfectly chosen setting can highlight or pervert a particular character’s frame of mind — in some cases, it can also provoke a nervous, borderline physical reaction reaction. (TP)


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    Accidentes
    Network: CBS Entertainment
    Studio: CBS Television Studios
    Production Company(s): Tannenbaum Company
    Executive Producer(s): Mark Perez, Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Haswell-Tannenbaum
    Writer(s): Mark Perez
    Logline: A disgraced Wall Street lawyer who had distanced himself from his Latino roots goes back home to work at his family’s strip-mall law firm in the heart of Little Havana.
    SSN Insight: Perez has written for Disney’s The Country Bears and Universal’s Accepted, in addition to Mothers I’d Like To…, a comedy developed for Jennifer Lopez at Universal and Game Night at New Line.

    Barbarians Rising
    Network: History
    Production Company(s): October Films
    Executive Producer(s): Adam Bullmore, Kristen Burns, Russ McCarroll, Sally Habbershaw
    Logline: The story of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire told from the perspective of the barbarian rebel leaders.
    SSN Insight: Planned as a limited series, History has given a series order of eight episodes.

    Brief Encounters
    Network: ITV 1
    Production Company(s): CPL Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Fay Rusling, Oriane Messina, Arabella McGuigan, Danielle Lux
    Writer(s): Fay Rusling, Oriane Messina
    Logline: The 1980s-set story of four unlikely female entrepreneurs. The series introduces Steph, Pauline, Nita and Dawn who begin to sell exotic lingerie — to the dismay, and often delight, of their loved ones.
    Details: Based on the memoir, “Good Vibrations: The True Story of Ann Summers,” written by Jacqueline Gold and published by Trafalgar Square in May, 1996. The series and memoir are both inspired by the early days of the Ann Summers Party Plan business.
    SSN Insight: ITV has given a series order of six episodes.

    Hard Corps.
    Network: Fuse
    Production Company(s): Seven Bucks Productions, 44 Blue Prods.
    Executive Producer(s): Hiram Garcia, Rasha Drachkovitch
    Logline: Set in the competitive world of Drum Corps International, Hard Corps (wt) follows two all-star teams, one in Pennsylvania and one in Northern California, who for the last 20 years, have been battling it out for the championship. The series will culminate at the world championships in Indianapolis, IN, in August.
    SSN Insight: Production began last month at locations throughout the U.S. Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia are the principals at Seven Bucks Productions.

    Hard Sun
    Network: BBC 1
    Production Company(s): Euston Films
    Executive Producer(s): Kate Harwood, Elizabeth Kilgarriff
    Logline: Set in contemporary London, detective partners and enemies, Elaine Renko and Robert Hicks seek to enforce the law and protect their loved ones in a world that every day slips closer to certain destruction. But what’s the point of justice in the face of Armageddon?
    SSN Insight: BBC has given a series order of six episodes.

    Harrow County
    Network: Syfy
    Studio: Universal Cable Productions
    Production Company(s): Dark Horse Entertainment
    Writer(s): Rebecca Kirsch
    Logline: Emmy has always known that the deep, dark woods surrounding her home crawled with ghosts, goblins, and the restless dead. On the eve of her 18th birthday, she learns that she is connected to these creatures and to the land itself in a way she never imagined, for she is the reincarnation of a powerful witch who was put to death on the very day Emmy was born. For this reason, the townsfolk mean to kill her too. In order to survive, Emmy must embrace the unusual powers at her command.
    Details: Based on the comic book series, “Harrow County,” written by Cullen Bunn and to be published by Dark Horse on December 15, 2015.
    SSN Insight: Kirsch has previously written for Syfy’s Dominion and Twelve Monkeys.

    Heist
    Network: NBC Entertainment
    Production Company(s): The Boardwalk Entertainment Group
    Executive Producer(s): Chuck Rose, Gary A. Randall
    Writer(s): Chuck Rose
    Logline: Myriad characters on both sides of a high end jewel heist scheme, plot and betray each other on their way to a huge payday that promises to change all their lives.
    SSN Insight: Rose’s hourlong scripted drama The Art of More recently received a second season renewal from Sony’s Crackle days after its premiere.

    Live & Learn
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: Universal Television
    Production Company(s): Will Packer Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Crystal Jenkins, Tim Story, Will Packer
    Writer(s): Crystal Jenkins
    Logline: Sydney Mitchell is a suburban freshman who impulsively enrolls in Owen College, a fictional black college in Atlanta, where her long-lost father teaches. The show follows her as she reconnects with her father, Bryan, while trying to gain the sense of cultural identity she lacked her entire life.
    SSN Insight: Will Packers Prods. are also developing the Think Like A Man TV series and the drama The Diplomats for Fox, comedy My Friend 50. In addition, they are developing the comedy Bonita & Mechelle and the drama Buckhead, both for NBC.

    Power
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Production Company(s): Sander/Moses Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Ian Sander, Kim Moses, Michael G. Cooney
    Writer(s): Michael G. Cooney
    Logline: Set in the alternate reality of Steampunk – circa 2016 – this is the story of two rival families battling for power and the woman who takes them down.
    SSN Insight: Separate to this series, producers Ian Sander and Kim Moses (Ghost Whisperer, Reckless, Profiler) have inked a first-look deal with NBC Universal International TV Studios.

    Presence
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: ABC Studios
    Production Company(s): International Famous Players Radio Picture Corp., Stearns Castle
    Executive Producer(s): John Ridley, Michael McDonald
    Writer(s): John Ridley
    Logline: Presence Foster is a former army counter-insurgency operative who finds herself navigating a widely divergent and highly colorful cross section of Los Angeles as she unintentionally begins a career as an unlicensed private investigator.
    SSN Insight: ABC gave an initial script commitment back in June and ordered the pilot on December 3.

    Queen Charlotte
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): Sander/Moses Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Ian Sander, Kim Moses, Tina Andrews
    Writer(s): Tina Andrews
    Logline: The German-born British queen is suspected of being a Moor hiding her color, having a famous lover, and a relic the Vatican desperately wants all while her husband, King George III, loves a mistress he can’t marry, is losing the Seven Years War, and is fending off secret enemies within Buckingham Palace.
    SSN Insight: Separate to this series, producers Ian Sander and Kim Moses (Ghost Whisperer, Reckless, Profiler) have inked a first-look deal with NBC Universal International TV Studios.

    Red Mars
    Network: Spike TV
    Studio:
    Production Company(s): Skydance Productions, Studio JMS
    Executive Producer(s): Vince Gerardis, J. Michael Straczynski, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Marcy Ross
    Writer(s): J. Michael Straczynski
    Logline: The story explores the colonization and terraforming transformation of Mars into a place where humans can sustainably live. It asks the core question – what is it to be human when we are no longer of earth? Are we not then Martians? Based on the novel series by Kim Stanley Robinson.
    Details: Based on Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Mars” novel series, starting with “Red Mars,” published by Spectra – Bantam Books, January 1, 1993.
    SSN Insight: Originally in development as a miniseries for Syfy with Valhalla attached as the prodction company and Gale Anne Hurd attached as executive producer- the project rolled over to 2008-2009 at AMC. Rolled over to 2009-2010 season at AMC. Spike has given a series order of ten episodes.

    Section 13
    Network: CBS Entertainment
    Studio: Warner Bros. Television
    Production Company(s): Tom Welling Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Carla Kettner, Tom Welling
    Writer(s): Carla Kettner
    Logline: After a personal tragedy, a CIA black ops officer-turned-private contractor joins a covert organization devoted to carrying out the most difficult and dangerous high-stakes assignments.
    SSN Insight: Tom Welling previously starred in CW’s long-running Smallville TV series. He will next be seen in film in Lionsgate’s The Choice. He will star in Section 13.

    Shady Neighbors
    Network: truTV
    Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment, Thank You, Brain! Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Dean Lorey, Tracey Baird, Krysia Plonka, Jonathan Berry, Tom Lassally
    Writer(s): Dean Lorey
    Logline: Tom and Wendy’s marriage lacks pizzazz, and to make matters worse, nothing seems to be going their way. They’ve lost their jobs, the bills are mounting up, and it seems the world is out to get them. Fed up and worn out, they make a bold decision to dabble in a little criminal activity. Feeling pretty good after a successful heist, they find that their newly found life of crime is sort of addictive – and it breathes new life into their marriage.
    SSN Insight: truTV has given a pilot order.

    The Code
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: Sony Pictures Television
    Production Company(s): Nemo Films, Rooney McP, DCD Media, Playmaker, Me2U Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Graham Yost, Fred Golan, Michael Dinner
    Writer(s): Graham Yost, Fred Golan
    Logline: Two very different brothers, a journalist and a hacker, unearth information that those at the highest levels of political power will kill to keep secret.
    Details: Based on the Australian series, “The Code,” which premiered on Australia’s ABC1 on September 21, 2014.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty.

    The Halcyon
    Network: ITV 1
    Production Company(s): Left Bank Pictures
    Executive Producer(s): Sharon Hughff
    Logline: The story of a bustling and glamorous five-star hotel at the center of London society and a world at war. It will reveal London life against the backdrop of war and the impact it has on families, politics, relationships and work across every social strata. It unspools through the eyes of visiting American journalist Joe O’Hara.
    SSN Insight: ITV has given a series order of eight episodes.

    Through My Eyes
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: Fox 21 Television Studios
    Production Company(s): Bender Brown Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Lawrence Bender, Kevin Brown, Zaur Bolotaev
    Writer(s): Joel Wyman
    Logline: The show is a horror/thriller where the story unfolds though the direct point of view of a different character each episode. Based on the Russian format.
    Details: Based on the Russian format, “Moimi glazami (Through My Eyes)” which premiered in 2013 on the Russian network, TNT.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial script commitment.

    Transylvania
    Network: CW Television Network
    Studio: CBS Television Studios
    Production Company(s): Midnight Radio
    Executive Producer(s): Hugh Sterbakov, Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Scott Rosenberg
    Writer(s): Hugh Sterbakov
    Logline: Set in 1880, a headstrong young woman in search of her missing father ventures from New York City to Transylvania where she teams up with a wrongfully disgraced Scotland Yard detective. Together they witness the births of the most famous monsters and villains in history.
    SSN Insight: Midnight Radio has a first-look deal at CBS Studios.

    Untitled Stephen Falk Alison Bennett Comedy Project
    Network: FX Network
    Studio: FX Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Stephen Falk, Alison Bennett
    Writer(s): Stephen Falk, Alison Bennett
    Logline: Ali is an unrelentingly dissatisfied TV writer who returns to her hometown in rural Pennsylvania to live “the simple life.”
    SSN Insight: Falk recently signed an overall deal to develop and produce projects for FX Networks and FX Prods. following FXX’s third-season renewal of You’re The Worst, which he created and executive produces.

    Untitled Sue Chung Jennifer Johnson Drama Project
    Network: CW Television Network
    Studio: Warner Bros. Television
    Executive Producer(s): Sue Chung, Jennifer Johnson
    Writer(s): Sue Chung
    Logline: A trio of women work outside the law to deliver justice against those who evade punishment in the legal system. At the same time, they seek personal revenge against the people responsible for destroying their own lives.
    SSN Insight: Chung has previously written on Gotham and Agent Carter.

    Upstart Crow
    Network: BBC 2
    Production Company(s): BBC In House Productions
    Logline: The show focuses on the life of playwright William Shakespeare before he became famous.
    Details: Inspired by the pre-famous life of William Shakespeare.
    SSN Insight: BBC 2 has given a series order of 6 episodes.

    Vatican City
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: CBS TV Studios
    Production Company(s): Scott Free Prods., King Size Prods.
    Executive Producer(s): Robert King, Michelle King, Liz Glotzer, Ridley Scott, David Zucker
    Writer(s): Robert King, Michelle King
    Logline: Tells the story of an American, female, on-screen reporter working at a financial news network in Rome. There she comes to the attention of the liberal pope, Clement, who, knowing he can’t buck tradition and make women priests, decides to shake up the curia by making her the papal spokesperson. Once there, she’s forced to navigate 2000 years of sexism and a boss who 1.2 billion people consider infallible.
    SSN Insight: Robert King and Michelle King are behind two other series: CBS’ The Good Wife and the upcoming BrainDead. Scott Free previously produced the 2013 Showtime drama pilot The Vatican.

    Voice of the City
    Network: NBC Entertainment
    Studio: Universal Television
    Executive Producer(s): Claudia Shear, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Bruce Cohen
    Writer(s): Claudia Shear
    Logline: Set in New York City in 1891 and told from the point of view of a romantic showman, Patrick and his love, Lucy, as they struggle to create a life in a new land in the only business they know.
    SSN Insight: Actress and playwright Shear was previously nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play and Best Actress for Dirty Blonde. Her musical adaptation of Tuck Everlasting opens on Broadway this spring 2016.

    You’re Back In The Room
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Production Company(s): BBC Worldwide Productions, Tuesday’s Child
    Executive Producer(s): Karen Smith
    Logline: Contestants are challenged to complete a variety of simple, everyday tasks, from frosting a cake to painting a picture after being hypnotized.
    Details: Based on the UK series, “You’re Back In The Room,” which premiered on ITV on March 14, 2015.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given a series order of eight episodes.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    As We Approach the Announcement Of the Golden Globe Nods, It’s Time To Predict the Nominees

    Thanks in large part to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, the Golden Globes have become a near equal to the Oscars in terms of actual ceremony anticipation, regardless of their actual importance to the Academy Awards. But first come the nominations, which will be announced this Thursday morning. And they should be a very interesting batch. (IW)

    Seven Indie Contenders on Tight Budgets, Outside-the-Box Opportunities, Keeping Studios Out of Fests

    The group includes Grandma star Lily Tomlin, 99 Homes co-writer/director Ramin Bahrani, I’ll See You in My Dreams actress Blythe Danner, Brooklyn actress Saoirse Ronan, The End of the Tour actor Jason Segel, I Smile Back actress Sarah Silverman and Meadowland actress/producer Olivia Wilde, all together to talk about indie cinema. (TR)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    TV Development For 12/8/15: Robert & Michelle King Developing ‘Vatican City’, Tom Welling Producing/Starring In ‘Section 13’, and More

    Among the various announcements this week is the news that The CW has its eye on some monsters with Transylvania, a History Network look at the rise of the Roman Empire, an action-drama hour-long for NBC from The Art Of More creator Chuck Rose, and something new from the very busy John Ridley, among many others. (SSN)

    PGA Lists Its 2016 TV Nominees, Mostly Ignores First-Timers For Veterans

    In the Best Comedy and Best Drama categories this year, in fact, there’s only one freshman series: AMC’s Better Call SaulInside Amy Schumer earned it first nomination for best comedy series, following a breakthrough year that saw the third season become its most critically lauded yet. All other PGA nominations will be announced on January 5, 2016, and the awards will be presented on Saturday, January 23, 2016. Click the link for the full list. (TVG)

    Benedict Cumberbatch Heading Back To World War II For ‘The War Magician’

    Storyscape Entertainment principals Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein, who made the announcement, are producing the project, which adapts the fact-based book by David Fisher and has Garry Whitta writing the screenplay. No director is on board the project currently.  Cumberbatch will portray British hero Jasper Maskelyne, the titular magician whose clever illusions helped the Allied forces fight against the Nazis during World War II. (HV)

    Apparently, Having Learned Nothing From the ‘Star Wars’ Universe, Lionsgate Explores ‘Hunger Games’ Prequels

    While nothing has gone beyond the pondering stage, Lionsgate vice chairman Michael Burns dropped word that the studio is at least exploring development of prequels to be set before Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen came along and ruined President Snow’s fun. Talking up the fact that younger fans apparently missed the Hunger Games elements in the later Hunger Games films, Burns said, “if we went backwards, there obviously would be arenas.” (EMP)

    Ang Lee’s Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier 3D Thrilla In Manila Film Back On As Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 Answers Bell

    Project, which originated at Universal Pictures after Lee won the Oscar for directing Life of Pi, is fast coming back together at Robinov’s new shingle. In 2013, Peter Morgan wrote a script and Lee planned to produce the film with his longtime producing partner James Schamus. Studio 8 insiders said it’s in development, but word is that Lee has already begun scouting and would like this to be the next film he directs. (DH)

    Amazon Announces a New, “Streaming Partners Program” That Will Include Showtime and Starz

    Company announced an over-the-top streaming subscription service for content providers that enables them to reach tens of millions of Amazon Prime members. Initial launch partners include: Showtime, Starz, A+E Network, AMC, Gaia, RLJ Entertainment, DramaFever, Tribeca Short List, Cinedigm, Smithsonian, IndieFlix, Curiosity Stream, Qello, FlixFling, BroadbandTV, DEFY Media, Gravitas, and Ring TV Boxing. (SAA)

    Today In Remake News: ABC Greenlights a Three-Hour, Musical Version Of ‘Dirty Dancing’

    Network has officially greenlit the new version of the 1987 hit romantic drama that starred Patrick Swazye and Jennifer Grey. This time around, Abigail Breslin will play the new “Baby.” EPs include Allison Shearmur and Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote the screenplay for the original movie. Jessica Sharzer will write the adaptation and Wayne Blair will direct. The music will be done by Adam Anders and Peer Astrom with Andy Blankenbuehler as choreographer. (EW)

    Paramount Finds a Writer For Its Highly Touted ‘Wedding Sting’ Project

    Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation scribe Drew Pearce has been tapped to pen the dramedy for the studio, which had optioned the rights to the Atlantic article, The Wedding Sting, after a competitive bidding war. Mary Parent is on board to produce. Written by Jeff Maysh, story tells the tale of how the police department in Flint, Mich., devised a plan in 1990 to create a fake wedding in order to lure all the local drug dealers to one party. (VAR)


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    SAG Award Nominations Led by ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Trumbo’

    Trumbo and House of Cards have dominated the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, taking three nods each. Trumbo took nods for best ensemble cast, Bryan Cranston for best actor and Helen Mirren for supporting actress. (VAR)

    ‘Carol’ Star Rooney Mara To Receive Cinema Vanguard Award At Santa Barbara Film Fest

    The Vanguard Award, which honors actors who have “forged their own path — taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film,” will be presented by Carol costar Cate Blanchett during the festival’s ceremony on Feb. 12, 2016. (EW)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    George Clooney Near To Locking ‘Suburbicon’; Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin In Talks

    George Clooney has committed to direct as his next film Suburbicon, and is in negotiations with Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Josh Brolin to star. Joel Silver is producing through his Silver Pictures with Clooney and his Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script. (DH)

    Sundance 2016 Unveils Massive Short Film Program

    72 short films are heading to Park City, Utah next year for the festival’s annual Short Film program. Click here for the full lineup. (IW)

    Donna Langley: The Secret Weapon Behind Hollywood’s Biggest Box-Office Year Ever

    The studio chairman churns out a diverse slate and draws on a reserve of steel from childhood: “If you can get through that, you can kind of get through anything.” (THR)

    ‘Miracle Man’ Army Vet Drama Starring Kevin Sorbo From Sam Raimi & Robert Tapert Set At NBC

    The Hercules: The Legendary Journeys team of producers Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert and star Kevin Sorbo have reunited for a new drama, Miracle Man, which has been set up at NBC with Sony Pictures TV producing. (DH)

    New Film Project ‘Art Drug’ Spins A Tale From NYC’s ’80s Underground

    Filmmaker Billy Martin and writer Mark Andrew Ferguson have posted some test footage and expanded treatments on the film’s project page, and Art Drug looks like it will be a trippy audio-visual treat. (WIR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The BFG’

    The first trailer teases Steven Spielberg’s take on Roald Dahl’s classic tale. (COLL)

    Screenwriters: ‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid’

    The July 15, 1968 final draft by William Goldman. (DS)


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    Italian indie film companies Eagle Pictures and Leone Film Group have signed a deal to jointly release the next two installments in the Divergent series Allegiant and Ascendant, Keanu Reeves action sequel John Wick 2 and Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield. The two companies will do a 50/50 split on costs and revenues associated with the release of the four films. Eagle will also handle distribution on future Leone Film Group titles not tied into state broadcaster Rai.

    DreamWorks Animation has signed a five-year strategic content deal with DHX Media, a key international player in family-oriented content. Under the pact, DreamWorks Animation and DHX will co-produce 130 episodes of original animated children’s content at DHX Studios. Content will air on DHX Television’s suite of channels and DHX will handle distribution for the content in Canada with DreamWorks Animation distributing globally. DHX has also licensed more than 1,000 half-hours of programming from DreamWorks Animation to begin broadcast next June.

    DHX Media has also signed a pact with multi-platform media company AwesomenessTV, majority owned by DreamWorks Animation, to license 300 half-hours of teen content for exclusive broadcast in Canada on Family Channel. AwesomenessTV series include F2N, which releases in January 2016, anchored by DHX’s Degrassi: Next Class.

    CAA has acquired boutique talent agency Peleton Entertainment, which focuses in repping reality TV producers of shows such as History’s Pawn Stars and Alone, Discovery’s Yukon Men and FYI’s Tiny House Nation. The company is led by Rob Miller, a former rep with N.S. Bienstock. Daniel Pine will join Miller at CAA with Miller in the agency’s New York office and Pine in the Los Angeles headquarters.

    Sales company Bridge Independent and indie distributor-financier Ketchup Entertainment have signed a digital distribution pipeline for select titles from Bridge’s indie slate. Under the deal Ketchup will distribute 5-10 titles a year with a marketing push. Bridge Independent is headed by Straight Outta Compton producer Bill Straus.

    WWE Studios and Lionsgate’s Codeblack Films have inked a pact to co-produce and co-finance a slate of films. The first film will be the action thriller Brother’s Blood with John Pogue directing. The deal expands WWE Studios’ longtime relationship with Lionsgate who have produced several films together with top WWE wrestling talent in leading roles. Under the pact, Codeblack will distribute. Codeblack and WWE will jointly handle the marketing, with WWE leveraging its popular TV shows including Monday Night Raw and SmackDown as well as digital, social media and WWE Network.

    ITV Studios America has signed an overall deal with Christina Wayne and her Assembly Entertainment. Wayne and her team will relocate to ITV Studios America’s offices in New York and Los Angeles. Wayne is currently the executive producer on the Showtime comedy pilot I’m Dying Up Here, through her previous deal with Endemol Shine Studios. She is also producing nine one-hour cable dramas in active development at Cinemax, Amazon, WGN, USA, A+E and BBC America.

    Sales-financing banner IM Global has signed a pact with Marza Animation Planet, the filmmaking subsidiary of video game developer Sega, and Pigmental Studios to handle sales on its forthcoming feature projects. The first films under the deal will be Household Pets along with Mean Margaret, based on the National Book Award-nominated children’s book by Tor Seidler.

    beIN Media (Qatar) has signed a mega five year, 600-title output deal with Lebanon’s Italia Films (Lebanon). Italia already has development deals in place with producers such as Basil Iwanyk and his Thunder Road banner along with exclusive output deals with the Weinstein Co., Glen Basner’s FilmNation, Dreamworks and is the official sub-distributor for Disney in the Middle East and North Africa. Titles under the Italia deal include The Hateful Eight, The Commuter, A Hologram For The King, and Skiptrace.

    Peter Nowalk has inked an overall deal with ABC Studios, the home of his show, How To Get Away With Murder, which Nowalk is the creator/executive producer/showrunner. Under the deal, Nowalk will continue his positions on the role and develop new projects. The three-year pact is retroactive to the beginning of the season. Previously he was a writer on Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy and a co-executive producer on Scandal.


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    WME: Maroon 5 and its frontman Adam Levine have shifted from CAA to WME, and the agency will represent both in all areas. Maroon 5 has sold more than 27 million albums and 48 million singles globally along with picking up three Grammys and three AMAs among other accolades. Currently the band is in the middle of a two-year, 104-date world tour for its fifth album, V. Frontman Levine continues his gig as a coach on NBC’s The Voice and has a development deal with the network via his 222 Productions banner, which also is now repped by WME. 222 most recently received a pilot order for an untitled hidden-camera show.

    WME: Girl power toy company GoldieBlox, hailed for its thought-provoking video campaigns, has signed with WME. Founded in 2012 with the help of Kickstarter, the company’s focus is to drive young girls’ interest in engineering. The company earned over eight million views in 2013 YouTube video titled “GoldieBlox & Rube Goldberg ‘Princess Machine'” with a cover of the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls.” Their latest video, “Fast-Forward Girls 2015”, features young girls posing as women who had big moments in 2015 and has scored 214,000 views.

    WME: Up-and-coming actor Justice Smith has signed with WME. Previously he co-starred in the feature film adaptation of the YA novel, Paper Towns earlier this year. He can next be seen as one of the four young leads of Netflix’s The Get Down, the period hip hop drama from Baz Luhrmann. He will still be represented by David Kohl at The Kohl Group and attorney Steven Younger at Myman Greenspan.

    UTA: Young actress Joey King has signed with UTA. Her break-out role was as Ramona Quimby, in 2010’s Ramona and Beezus, opposite Selena Gomez. Recently she appeared on the first season of FX’s Fargo and will next be seen in Independence Day: Resurgence, after being featured in director Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall this year. After that she will star in Catherine Hardwicke’s upcoming adaptation of the YA novel Stargirl.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    With the Announcement Of Any Major Award Nominations, There Are Always Surprises and Snubs, and the SAG Nods Are No Different

    The absence of names like Matt Damon, Will Smith, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Keaton, Sylvester Stallone and Benicio Del Toro should have everyone confused, while the inclusion of others, like Sarah Silverman, are also fodder for further discussion. (IC)

    In What Should Be a Surprise To Exactly No One, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Wins Australian Oscars

    Chalk up another win for the brilliant action film. George Miller’s franchise reboot had been picking up critics prizes in the past few weeks and can now add an Australian Oscar to the mantle. The AACTA Awards, Oz’s equivalent to the Oscars, were held tonight in Sydney where Miller took Best Director and Best Film. (AL)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Film & TV Deals For 12/9/15: CAA Buys Peloton Ent., WWE and Codeblack Films Team Up, DreamWorks Animation Signs Deal With DHX Media

    As we start to wind down toward the end of the year, fewer and fewer deals are being made. That doesn’t mean the wheels have stopped entirely, of course, but the numbers are certainly less than what we are used to. Either way, it’s interesting stuff, so head on over to SSN Insider for the full skinny. (SSN)

    Rep Moves for 12/9/15: Maroon 5, Adam Levine & Girl Power Toy Company GoldieBlox Snagged by WME

    A very light week in the representation moving business, with just a handful of moves, most of which were perpetrated by WME. Click on the link to get all the details. (SSN)

    Hollywood Reporter Releases Its 2015 List Of Women In Entertainment Power 100

    There are 22 new entries (28 if you count each of the Kardashians and Jenners — and yes, that includes Caitlyn), each offering a snapshot of the direction of the industry now. The various categories include Power Squad, The Chiefs, The Film Forces, The Industry Stewards, The Makers, The TV Set, The Stars, The Reps and The Dealmakers. (HRB)

    It’s Taken a While, but NBCUniversal Finally Has a Launch Date and a Comedy Slate For Its Seeso Comedy Channel

    The channel will launch January 7th with previously announced The UCB Show, Dave and Ethan: Lovemakers, Sammy J & Randy in Ricketts Lane, Before the Morning After and The Cyanide & Happiness Show as well as comedy specials from Rory Scovel and Matt Besser. The first episodes are free, with new eps being made available to subscribers each week starting January 13th. Other series and specials will be rolled out throughout the coming year. (VAR)

    It Looks Like Christopher McQuarrie Isn’t the Only Major ‘Rogue Nation’ Player Returning For ‘Mission: Impossible 6’

    After much speculation, Rebecca Ferguson is going to reprise her role as Ilsa Faust in the upcoming sixth installment in the popular action franchise, making her the first female lead in the series to return. Tom Cruise is on board to produce and play Ethan Hunt, with Rogue Nation writer-director McQuarrie filling the same role on the next film, the first time a series director is coming back for seconds. The film will shoot this year and hit theaters in 2017. (CS)

    Marvel Is Bringing Back ‘Ant-Man’s Uncredited Writers To Work On the Sequel, This Time For Credit

    Aside from bringing back Peyton Reed to direct Ant-Man and The Wasp, the studio announced that Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari will team up with star Paul Rudd and Adam McKay to pen script for the sequel. While Rudd and McKay were officially credited on Ant-Man, Barrer and Ferrari did six months of uncredited rewrite work on the movie while it was in production. (COL)

    Dwayne Johnson Snags Will Gluck To Helm His Next, Still-Untitled Action Comedy

    The Annie director will take the reins of the project. Not much has been released about the film in terms of plot specifics, though it is known that Dave Callaham’s script will attempt to strike a buddy action comedy tone reminiscent of 48 Hours and Midnight Run. New Line is behind the film, which reunites Johnson with San Andreas producer Beau Flynn. (EMP)

    Showtime Wants At Least One More Year Of Both ‘Homeland’ and ‘The Affair’

    The Emmy-winning Homeland, which righted the ship creatively in Season 4 after a lackluster third season, has been a solid ratings performer, drawing a 2.4 million viewers in Live+3 for its most recent episode. The next season will be its sixth. Meanwhile, the divisive The Affair has has softer numbers, most recently logging a 1.4 million viewers. Still, both shows have edged the other original series on premium cable in the fourth quarter. (DH)


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Golden Globe Nominations: The Complete List

    Carol leads film noms, with The Big Short and Revenant and Jobs close behind — as many new TV series enter the race. (THR)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    ‘The Dark Tower': Idris Elba Eyed For The Gunslinger Role

    Matthew McConaughey was Sony’s first choice for the role of The Dark Tower‘s main villain, The Man in Black (Randall Flagg) – and now Idris Elba is the frontrunner for the role of Roland Deschain, AKA The Gunslinger. (SR)

    Adam Scott, Laura Dern Join HBO Drama ‘Big Little Lies’

    The Parks and Recreation alum is joining the cast of the HBO drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. (EW)

    Stephnie Weir & Greg Garcia Adapting British Comedy ‘The Job Lot’ For ABC With Weir Starring

    ABC has landed a single-camera comedy written and executive produced by writer-actress Stephnie Weir and Raising Hope creator Greg Garcia. Tentatively titled The Job Squad, the project is based on the British comedy The Job Lot. (DH)

    ‘Wayward Pines’ Renewed For Season 2

    Nearly five months after its freshman run ended, the M. Night Shyamalan drama has been renewed for a second season. (TVL)

    Richard Fox To Head China Operations For Warner Bros

    Veteran studio executive Richard Fox will relocate from Los Angeles to Beijing to take over expanded China operations for Warner Bros. (VAR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Legend of Tarzan’

    Directed by David Yates of Harry Potter fame, Legend of Tarzan is actually about Tarzan 10 years after he leaves the jungle and joins civilization. (USA)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2′

    Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo are back. After a brief teaser, we now have the first full trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, and it’s crazy. (VER)

    Screenwriters: The Reasons You Will Fail As A Screenwriter And What To Do About It

    Attention all writers: Implant this sentence in your head: Your script is a big Glad™ garbage bag! Why will most agents and managers think it sucks before they have even read it? It sucks until you have received enough feedback to make it saleable and then for it to be produced, released into theaters and become a box office hit. (SM)

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    New Attachments

    Ant-Man and the Wasp
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
    Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment
    Producer(s): Kevin Feige
    Writer(s): Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Paul Rudd
    Director(s): Peyton Reed
    Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas
    Details: Sequel to “Ant-Man” (2015) directed by Peyton Reed and starring Paul Rudd.
    SSN Insight: Barrer and Ferrari’s first script, Die In A Gunfight, made the Black List and was acquired by MRC. Since then, they’ve sold numerous scripts and participated in the Transformers writers room.

    Behold My Heart
    Logline: After the tragic death of her husband, a woman and her teenage sons must fight through their grief to become a family again.
    Production Company(s): Through Films, Autumn Pictures
    Producer(s): Mary Pat Bentel, Marisa Tomei, David Hansen, Johnny Mac, Marcus Cox
    Writer(s): Joshua Leonard, Rebecca Lowman
    Director(s): Joshua Leonard
    Cast: Marisa Tomei, Timothy Olyphant, Mireille Enos, Charlie Plummer, David Call
    SSN Insight: Holly Wiersma was previously attached to produce.

    Brother’s Blood
    Logline: Jake goes to prison to protect his friends and his best friend Chris turns his life around to become a police officer. When Jake is released after 15 years, he seeks revenge.
    Studio/Distributor(s): , Code Black Entertainment
    Production Company(s): WWE Studios, Code Black Entertainment
    Producer(s): Michael Luisi
    Writer(s): Karl Gajdusek, Michael Finch, Charles Murray
    Director(s): John Pogue
    Cast: Trey Songz
    SSN Insight: First film under the deal between WWE Studios and Lionsgate urban label Codeblack Films to co-produce and co-finance a slate of films.

    Catherine the Great
    Logline: Sophia Augusta’s marriage to Peter III, the Emperor of Russia, is anything but the fairy-tale life that she had been promised. She takes control of her life, her marriage, and her kingdom, becoming Russia’s most celebrated and beloved monarch.
    Production Company(s): Gil Netter Productions
    Producer(s): Gil Netter
    Writer(s): Kristina Lauren Anderson
    Director(s): Barbra Streisand
    SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2014 Hit List and Black List. Previously in development at Atlas Entertainment.

    Counterfeit Son
    Logline: Surrounds a family shocked when a young man appears at their door claiming to be their long lost and presumed dead son, who went missing six years earlier. The timing of their “son”‘s return — just as his trust fund matures — as well as the young man’s traumatic past, place him under suspicion and potential danger.
    Production Company(s): Alcon Entertainment, Lion Share Productions
    Producer(s): Jessica Horowitz Rhoades, Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Steven Wegner
    Writer(s): Matthew Aldrich, Salim Akil (polish)
    Director(s): Salim Akil
    Details: Based on the novel “Counterfeit Son” written by Elaine Marie Alphin published by Harcourt Children’s Books; September 1, 2000.
    SSN Insight: Alcon Entertainment paid Matthew Aldrich a reported six-figures to adapt the novel. Ericson Core was previously attached to direct.

    Denial
    Logline: Recounts Lipstadt’s legal battle for historical truth against David Irving, who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust Denier. In the English legal system, the burden of proof is on the accused; therefore, it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust happened.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Bleecker Street
    Production Company(s): Participant Media, BBC Films, Krasnoff Foster Entertainment, Shoebox Films
    Producer(s): Russ Krasnoff, Gary Foster, Rikki Lea Bestall
    Writer(s): David Hare, Max Borenstein
    Director(s): Mick Jackson
    Cast: Tom Wilkinson, Rachel Weisz, Timothy Spall, Andrew Scott, Caren Pistorius
    Details: Based on the memoir “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier” written by Deborah E. Lipstadt and published by HarperCollins in 2005.
    SSN Insight: Mick Jackson was previously attached to direct. Hilary Swank was previously attached to co-star.

    Dude
    Logline: Four high school senior girls party hard before parting ways for college.
    Production Company(s): Mosaic
    Producer(s): Langley Perer, Lawrence Inglee, Rob Ree, Heather Rae, Jimmy Miller
    Writer(s): Olivia Milch
    Director(s): Olivia Milch
    Cast: Lucy Hale, Kathryn Prescott, Alexandra Shipp, Awkwafina, Nat Wolff, Austin Abrams, Jerry MacKinnon
    SSN Insight: Project was included on the 2013 Black List.

    Forgive Me
    Logline: After the tragic death of his son, TV personality and cigarette huckster Mike Wallace joins CBS News, transforming himself into one of the best investigative journalists of his generation while struggling tohide a growing depression that threatens his marriage, his career, and eventually his life.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): COTA Films
    Producer(s): Michael Costigan
    Writer(s): Max Hurwitz
    SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2014 Hit List and Black List.

    Get Out
    Logline: A young African American man visits his white girlfriend’s family, with horrifying consequences.
    Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment
    Producer(s): Jason Blum, Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm
    Writer(s): Jordan Peele
    Director(s): Jordan Peele
    Cast: Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya, Catherine Keener
    SSN Insight: Keener recently appeared in Paul Haggis’ HBO miniseries Show Me A Hero, along with Captain Phillips, Begin Again and the animated feature The Croods.

    Snowtime! (Animated)
    Logline: The film follows a group of kids in a small village who set out during winter break to hold a massive snowball fight. However, what begins as a fun contest deteriorates into a more bitter conflict teaching the children valuable lessons about friendship, the importance of unity, and the emotional consequences of vicious rivalry.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Shout! Factory, CarpeDiem Film & TV
    Producer(s): Marie-Claude Beauchamp
    Writer(s): Normand Canac-Marquis, Paul Risacher
    Director(s): Jean-Francois Pouliot, Francois Brisson
    Voice Cast: Angela Gallupo, Lucinda Davis, Sonja Ball, Sandra Oh, Ross Lynch, Jenna Wheeler
    SSN Insight: Slated to premiere during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

    Starfish
    Logline: A couple’s love is tested when the husband contracts a rare and terrible disease.
    Production Company(s): What’s the Story, CrossDay Productions, Origami Films
    Producer(s): Joanne Froggatt, Pippa Cross, Mel Paton, Ros Hubbard
    Writer(s): Bill Clark
    Director(s): Bill Clark
    Cast: Joanne Froggatt, Tom Riley, Peter Lang
    SSN Insight: Starfish is Froggatt’s first producer credit and her first feature lead since winning a Golden Globe as Anna in Downton Abbey.

    Suburbicon
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): TriStar Productions, Sony Pictures Releasing
    Production Company(s): Silver Pictures, Mike Zoss Productions, Smokehouse Pictures
    Producer(s): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Joel Silver, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
    Writer(s): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
    Director(s): George Clooney
    Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon (in negotiations), Julianne Moore (in negotiations), Josh Brolin (in negotiations)
    SSN Insight: Previously in development at Warner Bros.

    The Dark Tower
    Logline: The tale of gunslinger Roland Deschain’s quest for the Dark Tower.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
    Production Company(s): Imagine Entertainment, Weed Road Pictures
    Producer(s): Brian Grazer, Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard, Erica Huggins, Stephen King
    Writer(s): Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner
    Director(s): Nikolaj Arcel
    Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba (in talks)
    Details: Based on the seven-book series “Dark Tower” that begins with “The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger” written by Stephen King and published by Donald M. Grant in 1982.
    SSN Insight: “The Dark Tower” is planned to be the first in a series of movies. A complementary television series is also being developed by co-financier Media Rights Capital. Screenwriters Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner reportedly started from scratch and disregarded all previous incarnations of the project.

    The Last Battle
    Logline: The true story of the final battle of World War II in Europe and the only time that Germans and Americans ever fought together against a common enemy.
    Studio/Distributor(s): StudioCanal
    Production Company(s): Stellar Productions, The Picture Company
    Producer(s): Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman, Bryce Zabel
    Writer(s): Bryce Zabel
    Details: Based on the book “The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe” written by Stephen Harding and published by Da Capo Press on May 7, 2013.
    SSN Insight: Rona and Heineman are prepping The Last Battle under The Picture Co’s deal to produce up to three films per year for StudioCanal. The Commuter is also under this pact.

    The Thinning
    Logline: Set in a near future in which the nations of earth are staring down an overwhelming population crisis. In the U.S., the government has opted for an annual event called The Thinning, which sees high school students in every grade forced to take a difficult exam, with the lowest-scorers summarily executed. Things go sideways when two students accidentally stumble on the fact that the tests are a sham, forcing them to fight to expose a deeper conspiracy and bring The Thinning to an end.
    Production Company(s): Legendary Entertainment, Kids At Play
    Director(s): Michael J. Gallagher
    Cast: Logan Paul, Peyton Roi List, Ryan Newman, Lia Marie Johnson, Michael Traynor, Calum Worthy, Matt Glave
    SSN Insight: Production will begin this month, with release through digital sell-through and VOD planned for 2016- the first such release strategy for Legendary Digital.

    The True Memoirs Of An International Assassin
    Logline: About a fiction writer whose novel about an international assassin accidentally is published as nonfiction, leading him to be caught in a web of danger and intrigue as he’s forced to flee to Belize.
    Production Company(s): PalmStar Entertainment, Hey Eddie Productions, Merced Media Partners
    Producer(s): Todd Garner, Kevin Scott Frakes, Raja Collins, Justin Begnaud, Raj Singh
    Director(s): Jeff Wadlow
    Cast: Kevin James, Génesis Rodríguez, Andy Garcia, Kim Coates
    SSN Insight: Project was previously in development as a feature film.

    The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip (Animated)
    Logline: A little girl in a small seaside town must fight off the Gappers, creatures who attach themselves to goats because they love them, but it keeps the animals from giving milk.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM),
    Producer(s): George Saunders, Mike Jones
    Writer(s): Mike Jones
    Details: Based on the children’s book “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip” written by George Saunders, illustrated by Lane Smith and published by Villard in 2000.
    SSN Insight: Jones is also scripting the USS Indianapolis project for Team Downey at Warners. He recently finished a feature adaptation of Sesame Street for Fox and Shawn Levy.

    The War Magician
    Logline: Based on the true story of Jasper Maskelyne, a British stage musician who used his knowledgeof magic to help fight against the Germans in World War II.
    Production Company(s): Lonetree Entertainment, SunnyMarch, Storyscape Entertainment
    Producer(s): Tony Eldridge, Bob Cooper, Richard Saperstein, Adam Ackland, Adam Selves
    Writer(s): Gary Whitta
    Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch
    Details: Based on the novel “The War Magicain” written by David Fisher published by Putnam; January, 1983.
    SSN Insight: Tom Cruise was previously attached to star. Peter Weir formerly attached to direct.

    The Wedding Sting
    Logline: In 1990, the police in Flint, Michigan lacked funds to round up the city’s drug dealers, so they a created a fake wedding to get them in one place and arrest them.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures,
    Production Company(s): Distruption Entertainment
    Producer(s): Mary Parent
    Writer(s): Drew Pearce
    Details: Based on the article “The Wedding Sting” written by Jeff Maysh and published in the May, 2015 issue of The Atlantic.
    SSN Insight: Pearce is also attached to Secretaries Day as executive producer and screenwriter (spec pitch) along with The Billion Brick Race as director and screenwriter and an Untitled Punk Rocker Comedy as executive producer and screenwriter at Fox.

    Trainspotting 2
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): TriStar Productions, Sony Pictures Releasing
    Production Company(s): DNA Films, Film4 Productions, Figment Films, Cloud Eight Films, Decibel
    Producer(s): Andrew Macdonald, Danny Boyle, Christian Colson, Bernard Bellew
    Writer(s): John Hodge
    Director(s): Danny Boyle
    Cast: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kelly Macdonald
    Details: Sequel to “Trainspotting” (UK/1996) directed by Danny Boyle and starring Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller. Based on the novel “Porno” written by Irvine Welsh and published by Jonathan Cape August 2002.
    SSN Insight: Hodge also wrote the screenplays for the Boyle-directed A Life Less Ordinary, The Beach and Trance.

    Untitled Ang Lee Boxing Project
    Logline: An exploration of the great rivalries of boxing that dominated the sport in the 1960s through the 1970s.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Studio 8, Sony Pictures Releasing
    Producer(s): Ang Lee, James Schamus
    Writer(s): Peter Morgan
    Director(s): Ang Lee
    SSN Insight: Project was previously being developed at Focus Features. Project was previously set up at Universal Pictures. David Oyelowo is rumored to be the choice to star.

    Valerian
    Logline: A man and woman are partners for a space-time police organization.
    Production Company(s): EuropaCorp, Fundamental Films
    Producer(s): Virginie Silla
    Writer(s): Luc Besson
    Director(s): Luc Besson
    Cast: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke
    Details: Based on the comic book series “Valerian,” written by Pierre Christin and published in France by Pilote in 1967.
    SSN Insight: During the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, China’s Fundamental Films agreed to invest $50,000,000 into this project, marking the biggest deal of the year’s festival.

    New Projects

    Claire
    Logline: A woman who lives on a rural farm must protect her daughter when the girl falls in with the wrong crowd.
    Production Company(s): Ridley Scott Films , Black Bicycle Entertainment
    Producer(s): Erika Olde, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Michael A. Pruss
    Writer(s): Brad Ingelsby
    SSN Insight: Brad Ingelsby has also written the pitch for Merry Men (DreamWorks) and The Signal, specs for The Burning Woman and screenplays for Point Blank and The Raid remakes.

    Household Pets
    Logline: An imaginative boy does battle with the monsters that hide under his bed.
    Production Company(s): Marza Animation Planet, Pigmental Studios, SPA Studios
    Producer(s): Sergio Pablos, Marina Martins
    SSN Insight: First film under the deal between Stuart Ford’s sales-financing banner IM Global and Marza Animation Planet, the filmmaking subsidiary of video game developer Sega, and Pigmental Studios to handle sales on feature projects.

    Human People
    Logline: An ensemble film which follows a group of New Yorkers who navigate various problems and relationships over the course of a single day.
    Production Company(s): Park Pictures, Sailor Bear, Bow & Arrow Entertainment, Forager Films
    Producer(s): Sara Murphy, Toby Halbrooks
    Director(s): Dustin Guy
    Cast: Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson, Abbi Jacobson, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Michaela Watkins
    SSN Insight: Cera and Gevinson recently were in the cast together in a Broadway production of Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth.

    Tesla
    Logline: This biopic about inventor Nikola Tesla focuses on his life in America.
    Production Company(s): BB Films Productions
    Producer(s): Uri Singer
    Director(s): Michael Almereyda
    SSN Insight: Pre-production is set to start in April.

    The Big Sick
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps, but is based on true events in the lives of Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon.
    Studio/Distributor(s): FilmNation
    Production Company(s): Barry Mendel Productions, Apatow Productions
    Producer(s): Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel
    Writer(s): Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon
    Director(s): Michael Showalter
    Cast: Kumail Nanjiani
    SSN Insight: Glen Basner’s FilmNation will fully finance and handle international sales on the project. Nanjiani plays Dinesh on HBO’s award-winning comedy Silicon Valley in addition he is also a writer, executive producer and co-host of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown.

    The Paladin
    Logline: The true story of how Winston Churchill used a top-secret program during WWII to turn a 15-year-old boy into a deadly assassin.
    Production Company(s): The Firm
    Producer(s): Robbie Brenner, Jason Keller, David Dobkin, Jeff Kleeman
    Writer(s): Eric Pfeffinger, Jason Keller
    Details: Based on the novel “The Paladin” written by Brian Garfield and published by Simon and Schuster in 1979.
    SSN Insight: This is Brenner’s second pickup since leaving Relativity Media as production president to head the film-side The Firm. The first is an adaptation of Joy Nicholson’s novel Tribes Of Palos Verdes Brenner developed at Relativity.

    Untitled Will Gluck/Dwayne Johnson Action Comedy Project
    Logline: The storyline of the mismatched buddy movie is under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): New Line Cinema
    Production Company(s): Olive Bridge Entertainment, Flynn Picture Co., 7 Bucks Entertainment
    Producer(s): Beau Flynn, Will Gluck, Dwayne Johnson
    Writer(s): David Callaham
    Director(s): Will Gluck
    Cast: Dwayne Johnson
    SSN Insight: Deal was reported to be in the high-six against seven figures for Callaham, who recently wrote the script Zombieland 2 for Sony.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Don’t Put Too Much Stock In the SAG and Golden Globe Noms, as Oscar Voters Probably Won’t Line Up With Them

    It’s partly because 2015 awards attention has been all over the map. But, more important, it’s because members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are a unique group, who always manage to offer surprises and contradict the early “bellwethers.” (IC)

    And, With the Announcement Of the Golden Globe Nominations, There Also Comes a List Of the Snubbed

    The thing about the Globes is that everyone in Hollywood giggles at the self-important show, and yet everyone takes it seriously. So this morning’s announcement of the noms for the 73rd annual Hollywood Foreign Press Association shindig undoubtedly left some rather glum as their awards hopes were Scrooged by the 100 or so members of the HFPA. (AL)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Film Development for 12/10/15: Benedict Cumberbatch to be ‘The War Magician’, Dwayne Johnson Boards New Line Action Flick, Studio 8 Picks Up Ang Lee Project

    A whole passel of new attachments this week, including a new directorial effort for Barbra Streisand, new writers for the Ant-Man, a host of impressive names joining Josh Leonard’s directorial debut, and a new project for Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt. Click the link to read the whole list. (SSN)

    Inaugural DGA Diversity Report Comes Out, Reveals Women Make Up Only 6.4% of Film Directors

    The DGA’s inaugural Feature Film Diversity Report confirms what was already known: the employment numbers for women directors are deplorably low. The DGA crunched the numbers for the 376 features released in 2013 and 2014 and found that women helmed just 6.4% of those works. That number plummets to 3.1% when considering films with a $10+ million box office. (WAH)

    Good News For ‘The Leftovers’ Fans: There Will Be a Third and Final Season

    The Damon Lindelof drama drew critical raves this year for its slightly retooled and creative run, but the show lost a significant amount of viewers in between the first and second seasons, meaning it was really a toss up whether HBO would renew the show. Lindelof returns to act as showrunner for the show’s third and final season alongside Tom Perrotta, the author whose novel served as the source material for the series in the first place. (COL)

    Netflix Also Gives ‘Grace and Frankie’ a Third Season, Before Season Two Even Premieres

    Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda-starring show, which earned Tomlin a Golden Globe nomination, premiered May 8th to mixed reception. Though Netflix doesn’t divulge view counts, the extra 13 episodes for 2017 tacked on indicates it’s more than pleased with its performance. In comparison, House of Cards’ third-season pick-up occurred right before the season 2 debut. (EW)

    ‘Rogue One’ Writer Chris Weitz to Tackle ‘Mountain Between Us’ for Fox 2000

    Weitz will do a rewrite on the drama, which stars Charlie Hunnam and Rosamund Pike as a pair who fall in love while stranded in the wilderness after a plane crash. J. Mills Goodloe and Scott Frank penned earlier drafts of the screenplay. Weitz has been brought in to get the film in shape for an early summer shoot somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, where it will be winter and snowing. Hany Abu-Assad is, based on the 2010 novel by Charles Martin. (THR)

    TNT Greenlights Michelle Dockery’s ‘Good Behavior’ & ‘Animal Kingdom’

    Behavior, starring Dockery and Juan Diego Botto, tells the story of Letty Dobesh, a thief and a con artist fresh out of prison. When she overhears a hitman being hired to kill a man’s wife, she sets out to derail the job, launching her on a collision course with the killer. Kingdom stars Ellen Barkin, Scott Speedman, Shawn Hatosy, Ben Robson, Jake Weary, Finn Cole and Daniella Alonso, and is based on the 2010 Australian film of the same name. (VAR)

    No End in Sight For TV Ratings Free Fall, but These Three Shows Are Growing

    As the broadcast networks settle in for their long winter’s nap, there is little evidence to suggest that the coming year will spell an end to the ongoing ratings crisis. Through the first 11 weeks of the 35-week regular-season TV schedule, only three legacy programs have improved upon their year-ago ratings numbers, while no fewer than 39 returning series have suffered double-digit percentage declines: Sunday Night Football, Empire, and The Middle. (AA)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘The Brothers Grimsby’

    Sony Pictures has released the new trailer for the spy spoof, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Penelope Cruz, Isla Fischer and Gabourey Sidibe. Louis Leterrier directs from a script by Baron Cohen and Phil Johnston. It hits theaters March 11th, 2016. (CS)


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    Jeff Nichols’ ‘Midnight Special’ Leads 2016 Berlin International Film Festival Competition Lineup

    Nichols’ highly anticipated sci-fi drama joins Where to Invade Next and a new Alex Gibney documentary in this first lineup announcement from the Berlinale. (IW)

    ‘Carol’ Star Rooney Mara To Be Honored By Palm Springs Film Festival

    The Palm Springs International Film Festival will present Rooney Mara with the spotlight award for her performance in the film Carol. (VAR)

    ‘Sisters’ Helmer Jason Moore Makes Fox 2000 Pitch Deal For His Next Picture

    Jason Moore, whose Universal comedy Sisters opens December 18, has just closed a deal for what he hopes will be his next film. Moore and Sisters producer John Lyons sold an untitled pitch to Elizabeth Gabler at Fox 2000. (DH)

    Cate Blanchett Joining ‘Thor 3′

    Cate Blanchett, coming off her best actress nomination for the 1950s-set drama Carol, is in final negotiations to join Thor: Ragnarok. (THR)

    Sanaa Lathan Event Series ‘Shots Fired’ Ordered By Fox

    Fox has given the greenlight to event series Shots Fired starring Sanaa Lathan. The project hails from Beyond the Lights director Gina Price-Bythewood and her husband, producer Reggie Rock-Bythewood. (WRAP)

    Andy Serkis Confirmed And Hossein Amini Tapped For ‘Steelskin’ From 20th Century Fox

    Andy Serkis is moving forward with plans to produce, direct and star in 20th Century Fox’s Steelskin, an update of the classic Rumplestiltskin fairy tale. Drive scribe Hossein Amini has been tapped to write the script.  (TB)

    Short Film Tries To Answer: Who Writes ‘The Comments’ On Deadline?

    Filmmakers Jim & Brian Kehoe put together a pretty good cast and have made a short film that tries to answer the question of who writes the comments on Deadline? (DH)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

    Following all the teasing from director Bryan Singer, 20th Century Fox has revealed the full X-Men: Apocalypse trailer. (CS)

    Screenwriters: ‘The Power of One’

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

     


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    STARTS

    Billionaire Boys Club
    12/07/2015
    Logline: Based on the true story of the Billionaire Boys Club, a group of wealthy young men who resorted to murder in Los Angeles in the 1980s.
    Production Company(s): Holly Wiersma Productions
    Director(s): James Cox
    Executive Producer(s): Tim Zajaros, Christopher Lemole, Crystal Lourd, Jere Hausfater, Logan Levy
    Producer(s): Cassian Elwes, Holly Wiersma
    Cast: Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, Kevin Spacey, Emma Roberts, Suki Waterhouse
    Writer(s): Captain Mauzner, James Cox, Steve Cox
    SSN Insight: Featured in SSN’s 10 Most Bankable Films at AFM 2015. Elgort previously starred in Fault in Our Stars and Egerton broke-out in this year’s Kingsman: The Secret Service.

    Carrie Pilby
    12/05/2015
    Logline: A person of high intelligence struggles to make sense of the world as it relates to morality, relationships, sex and leaving her apartment.
    Production Company(s): Braveart Films
    Director(s): Susan Johnson
    Executive Producer(s): Elaine Harris
    Producer(s): Suzanne Farwell, Susan Cartsonis, Susan Johnson
    Cast: Bel Powley, Eddie Izzard, Tom Wilkinson, Jason Ritter, Vanessa Bayer
    Writer(s): Kara Holden, Dean Craig
    Details: Based on the novel “Carrie Pilby” written by Caren Lissner and published by Red Dress Ink in 2003.
    SSN Insight: Hailee Steinfeld was previously attached to star.

    Superstition: Final Chance
    12/10/2015
    Logline: Deaths always come in threes — or more. When two unrelated deaths happen on a college campus, a betting pool is opened on who is next to die. A student wins that pool, but with murderous consequences.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): CodeBlack Films, Global Renaissance Entertainment Group
    Executive Producer(s): Jeff Reddick
    Producer(s): Arthur Wylie, Dale Godboldo, Carol Ann Shine
    Writer(s): Jeff Reddick
    SSN Insight: Jeff Reddick previously wrote the story and screenplay for Final Destination.

    The Disaster Artist
    12/07/2015
    Logline: The story of the making of the 2003 feature “The Room,” which some have called the “worst movie ever made,” is told.
    Studio/Distributor(s): New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
    Production Company(s): Rabbit Bandini Productions, Point Grey Pictures, Good Universe
    Director(s): James Franco
    Producer(s): James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver
    Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor
    Writer(s): Scott Neustadter, Michael Weber, Ryan Moody
    Details: Based on the book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room” written by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell and published by Simon & Schuster in 2013.
    SSN Insight: James Franco can next be seen in I Am Michael, Yosemite, Memoria, The Adderall Diaries and Zeroville.

    WRAPS

    A Street Cat Named Bob
    12/06/2015
    Logline: A recovering drug addict has his life transformed when he meet a stray ginger cat.
    Production Company(s): Prescience Film Finance, Shooting Script Films
    Director(s): Roger Spottiswoode
    Executive Producer(s): Damian Jones, Tim Smith, Paul Brett, Anders Erden
    Producer(s): Adam Rolston
    Cast: Luke Treadaway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt, Anthony Head
    Writer(s): Maria Nation, Tim John
    Details: Based on the book “A Street Cat Named Bob” written by James Bowen and published by St. Martin’s Press in 2013.
    SSN Insight: Roger Spottiswoode previously directed Tomorrow Never Dies, Midnight Sun and The Journye Home.

    Bastards
    12/05/2015
    Logline: Two brothers, raised to believe their biological father died, find out their mother slept with many powerful and famous men in the 1970s and the siblings hit the road to find their real father.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
    Production Company(s): Alcon Entertainment, The Montecito Picture Company, DMG Entertainment
    Director(s): Lawrence Sher
    Executive Producer(s): Chris Fenton, Chris Cowles
    Producer(s): Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock, Ali Bell
    Cast: Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, J.K. Simmons, Ving Rhames, Katt Williams
    Writer(s): Justin Malen
    SSN Insight: Paramount Pictures acquired the spec script from writer Justin Malen in a reported six-figure deal. Project was previously set up at Paramount, but went into turnaround. Jason Sudeikis was previously attached to co-star.

    Iron Sky: The Coming Race
    12/08/2015
    Logline: The surviving members of humankind, living in a former top-secret Nazi base on the moon, attempt a daring mission to save the world.
    Production Company(s): 27 Films Productions, Iron Sky Universe
    Director(s): Timo Vuorensola
    Producer(s): Tero Kaukomaa, Oliver Damian, Peter De Maegd, Tom Hameeuw
    Cast: Tom Green, Lara Rossi, Julia Dietze, Vladimir Burlakov, Udo Kier
    Writer(s): Dalan Musson
    Details: Sequel to “Iron Sky – We Come in Peace” (Finland/2012) directed by Timo Vuorensola.

    Nocturnal Animals
    12/05/2015
    Logline: Susan receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, and reading it causes her recall her first marriage and confront some dark truths about herself.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Focus Features, Focus Features
    Production Company(s): Fade to Black Productions
    Director(s): Tom Ford
    Producer(s): Tom Ford, Robert Salerno, Diane Sabatini
    Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Kim Basinger
    Writer(s): Tom Ford
    SSN Insight: Based on the novel “Tony and Susan” written by Austin Wright and published by Baskerville Publishers in 1993. Project was previously in development at Smokehouse Pictures with George Clooney and Grant Heslov attached to produce.

    The Bye Bye Man
    12/11/2015
    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, Carrie-Anne Moss
    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. Project was previously set up at TWC-Dimension. Project was included on the 2010 Blood List.

    The Dancer
    12/10/2015
    Logline: Loie Fuller tours with fellow dancer Isadora Duncan creating innovative new techniques at the turn of the 20th century.
    Production Company(s): Les Films du Fleuve, Les Films du Tresor, Sirena Film Prague, Wild Bunch AG
    Director(s): Stephanie Di Giusto
    Producer(s): Alain Attal, Vincent Maraval, Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Artemio Benki
    Cast: Lily-Rose Depp, Soko, Gaspard Ulliel, Mélanie Thierry, François Damiens
    Writer(s): Stephanie Di Giusto, Thomas Bidegain, Sarah Thiebaud
    SSN Insight: Directorial debut of Stephanie Di Giusto. Elle Fanning was previously attached to star.
    The Headhunter’s Calling
    12/11/2015
    Logline: A ruthless recruiter is about to take over the company when his son’s illness sets up a conflict between career ambition and his personal life.
    Production Company(s): Scythia Films Inc.
    Director(s): Mark Williams
    Executive Producer(s): Bill Dubuque, Danielle Robinson, Daniel Bekerman
    Producer(s): Gerard Butler, Mark Williams, Alan Siegel
    Cast: Gerard Butler, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Gretchen Mol, David Koechner
    Writer(s): Bill Dubuque
    SSN Insight: Scythia Films Inc.’s upcoming films include The Witch and Bang Bang Baby.

    This Is Your Death
    12/11/2015
    Logline: For Mason Washington, a man struggling to support his family, a reality show that induces contestants to kill themselves for entertainment may be his best option.
    Production Company(s): Great Point Media, Dobré Films
    Director(s): Giancarlo Esposito
    Executive Producer(s): Robert Halmi Jr., Jim Reeve
    Producer(s): Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher D’Elia, Michael Klein, Lawreen Yakkel
    Cast: Josh Duhamel, Famke Janssen, Giancarlo Esposito
    Writer(s): Noah Pink, Kenny Yakkel
    SSN Insight: Giancarlo Esposito wll next be heard as the voice of Akela in The Jungle Book and will be seen in This Is Your Death and The Long Home.

    Underworld V
    12/11/2015
    Logline: In this fifth installment of the “Underworld” franchise, a new, younger generation of vampires and werewolves are embroiled in a supernatural race war.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Screen Gems
    Production Company(s): Lakeshore Entertainment
    Director(s): Anna Foerster
    Producer(s): Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright, David Kern, Len Wiseman
    Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Clementine Nicholson, Lara Pulver
    Writer(s): Cory Goodman, Kyle Ward
    SSN Insight: Anna Foerster is the first woman to direct a film in the “Underworld” franchise.


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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, MovieTickets.com. 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 12-11


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    SSN Screening Series: Charlie Kaufman and the Filmmakers Behind ‘Anomalisa’ Take Us Inside Its Bootstrap, Meticulous Production

    Last night at the Landmark Theater, SSN Insider held a screening of the film, which Paramount is releasing December 30th. The stop-motion animated feature has so far scored a staggering 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes out of 40 reviews. It’s no wonder as it came from the mind of Academy Award winner Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) who was the co-director, writer and producer of the film. (SSN)

    Academy Narrows the Race For Best Original Song To a Perfectly Manageable List Of 74

    Among the titles that made the cut are “A Simple Song” from Youth, “See You Again” from Furious 7, “Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades Of Grey, “Better When I’m Dancin’” from The Peanuts Movie, and numerous songs each from movies like Chi-Raq, Creed, Danny Collins, Home, and Pan, among others. Click the link for the whole list. (HRA)

    In Case You Were Wondering, There’s a Pretty Impressive List Of Composers In Contention For Oscar This Year

    Names like Carter Burwell and Thomas Newman are joined by Pixar veteran Michael Giacchino, as well as Room composer Stephen Rennicks, The Revenant’s Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Brian Tyler of Truth. They join a host of others looking to score Oscar gold in 2016. (IC)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    SSN Box Office Trending Report for 12/11/15: Will ‘In The Heart of the Sea’ Conjure Tidal Waves or Merely a Ripple in Theaters?

    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, MovieTickets.com. 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)

    On the Set For 12/11/15: James Franco and Seth Rogen Start ‘The Disaster Artist’, Owen Wilson and Ed Helms Wrap ‘Bastards

    As the year starts rolling toward its end, fewer films are starting up and more are wrapping. Among the former is the remake of Billionaire Boys Club with Ansel Elgart, Taron Egerton and Kevin Spacey, while the new Iron Sky sequel and Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals are among the latter. Head over to SSN Insider for the full skinny. (SSN)

    Moviegoers Outside Of New York and Los Angeles Can See ‘The Hateful Eight’ Sooner Than Expected

    In a move that should please Quentin Tarantino fans across the country, The Weinstein Company has moved up the nationwide release of his eighth film from its previously announced January 8th date to New Year’s Day. The movie will open wide on January 1st with its 35mm digital print version. The movie will still open on Christmas Day at select theaters capable of playing the movie on 70mm film. (IW)

    Mark Your Calendars, as STX Sets Release Dates For Three Upcoming Films

    New studio has dated a trio of releases, all set to hit theaters in late summer/early fall of 2016.  An untitled comedy, previously called Bad Moms, starring Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate and Kristen Bell, is out August 19th. Out on Sept. 30th is a yet to be titled coming-of-age dramedy starring Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Woody Harrelson and Blake Jenner. Finally, horror-thriller Bye Bye Man will hit theaters on Oct. 14th. (THR)

    Fox Buys a Pair Of New Dramas From Super Producers Temple Hill

    Fox has given a script commitment with penalty to two drama projects from Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen’s Temple Hill (Rosewood) — a dance show written/executive produced by Richard LaGravenese and executive produced by Dancing With The Stars’ Julianne Hough and medical show Juarez General from Oz creator Tom Fontana. Both will be produced by 20th Century Fox TV, where Temple Hill is under an overall deal, with Godfrey and Bowen executive producing. (DH)

    When Something Works, It Works: ‘The Wiz’ Producers Reteaming With Choreographer for NBC Dance Drama

    Network has picked up a script from The Wiz executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan that’s based on the life of the live musical’s choreographer, Fatima Robinson. Inspired by Robinson’s life as a dancer-turned-choreographer, the untitled drama is set in Los Angeles with early plans to set it in the 1990s, as dance begins to dominate pop culture on the streets and clubs that gave birth to hip-hop dance. (LF)

    NBC Also Wants More a Few Episodes Of ‘Chicago Med’, Five More, To Be Exact

    Peacock has seen enough good numbers for the freshman show to order five additional episodes of the hospital drama, bringing the show’s first-year total to 18. Thanks in part to its potent lead-in from The Voice, it has won its Tuesday 9 p.m. time period in the demo every week. Because of its late start (November 17th), NBC will be set for the year, as it will have 14 episodes available to air January through May. (VAR)


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Critics’ Choice Awards Nominations: ‘Mad Max’ Leads Film; ABC, HBO, FX Networks & ‘Fargo’ Top TV

    The nominees have been announced on both the film and TV sides for the Critics’ Choice Awards, the newly combined honors from the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Winners will be announced at the 21st annual Critics’ Choice Awards set for January 17. (AL)

    ‘Carol’ Tops Toronto Film Critics Association’s 2015 Awards

    Todd Haynes’ romance notched another win, but the 6’s critics broke fresh ground with awards for Tom Hardy and Shaun the Sheep. (IW)

    Cruz, Binoche, Darin, Robbins In Goya Running

    Penelope Cruz (Ma ma), Juliette Binoche (Nobody Wants the Night), Ricardo Darin (Truman) and Tim Robbins (A Perfect Day) all feature among nominations for 2016’s 30th Spanish Academy Goya Awards. (VAR)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Box Office: Ron Howard’s ‘Heart of the Sea’ Capsizes With $11M U.S. Debut

    Hunger Games: Mockingjay 2 narrowly beats the seafaring epic — starring Chris Hemsworth — to stay at No. 1; Adam McKay’s The Big Short mints money in specialty box office debut after earning multiple Golden Globe nominations. (THR)

    MGM Buys Sci-Fi Action Pitch From Matthew Orton

    MGM has acquired an untitled sci-fi action pic from UK scribe Matthew Orton in a preemptive deal for mid-six figures. It comes after the studio last month made a pre-emptive deal for his untitled spec script about the team that hunted down and captured Adolf Eichmann. (DH)

    Brad Pitt to Adapt ‘He Wanted the Moon’ By Mimi Baird

    Brad Pitt has optioned Mimi Baird’s He Wanted the Moon, the true story of her father, Dr. Perry Baird, and her quest to get to know him fifty years following his death. (WF)

    ‘Mike & Molly’ Cancelled?

    Mike & Molly, the CBS sitcom starring Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell, is entering its sixth season, which will be its final season, according to co-star Rhondi Reed. (VUL)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’

    Twenty years after the citizens of Earth foiled the plans of an invading extraterrestrial force, a new battalion of conquering beings are coming back for revenge in Independence Day: Resurgence. Watch the first full trailer here. (CB)

    Screenwriters: 5 Tips on Writing Love Relationships

    Not all films contain the formula of boy meets girl, but they do contain empathetic characters — characters the audience cares about and are rooting for them to succeed in their journey. (SM)

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