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    Company Launches & Partnerships

    Music video-focused MCN Vevo has bought out ShowYou. ShowYou launched in 2011 as a tool to aggregate multiple social media feeds and has expanded its features to include subscription-based video channels.

    IBM has bought out cloud video provider Clearleap. Clearleap has developed video services for Verizon, the NFL, HBO, and others. Financial terms of the acquisition weren’t made available.

    Scripps Networks Interactive has launched Scripps Lifestyle Studios, a new in-house editorial unit designed to develop lifestyle content across multiple platforms and apps. The studio will create advertising solutions for digital formats, working with Scripps-owned networks such as HGTV and Food Network, to produce bonus content and advertising. Scripps exec Vikki Neil will lead the division as Scripps Lifestyle Studios SVP and General Manager.

    Endemol Shine UK has bought a 50% stake in Douglas Road, the shingle created last year by actor and comedian Lenny Henry and BAFTA-winning producer Barbara Emile. Douglas Road is focused on high-end TV across drama, comedy and factual. Its credits include the Sky Arts documentary When Lenny Got The Blues.

    FremantleMedia has bout a 25% stake in just-launched Man Alive Entertainment, founded by Justin Gorman, the former head of entertainment at Channel 4. Fremantle has an option to increase its share in the future. Under the deal Gorman will be named the Creative Director and CEO of Man Alive. Man Alive Entertainment will develop and produce large scale entertainment and factual entertainment programming as well as reality, game show and quiz formats. Previously Gorman was exec producer at Objective Productions and Princess Productions. FremantleMedia International has named Caroline Kusser as SVP, Sales and Distribution of its U.S. arm. She will develop FMI’s brand in the region and to maximize opportunities for the company’s content across linear, digital and home entertainment platforms. She was previously an executive at Red Arrow International.
    MGM will buy the 45% stake it didn’t own in its United Artists Media Group joint venture from partners Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, and Hearst. Roma Khanna has left her position as head of MGM Television and Digital, which Mark Burnett will now succeed and become the division’s President. The deals are expected to be signed early 2016. Burnett signed a 5-year contract and will report to MGM chief Gary Barber.

    Publisher HarperCollins and digital TV studio Insurrection Media are partnering to option and develop science fiction, dramatic and comedic literature for scripted series for digital, television and other distribution platforms. The partnership’s first project is to adapt Mila 2.0, the young adult trilogy written by Debra Driza and published by HarperCollins Children imprint Katherine Tegen Books, for several digital television series.

    Film

    Oscar- and BAFTA-winning sound supervisor and veteran exec Tom McCarthy has been elected President of the Motion Picture Sound Editors. He is currently Sony Pictures Studios’ EVP Post Production Facilities. He succeeds Frank Morrone.

    Richard Fox is relocating to China for Warner Bros International. Fox, their EVP, will expand their interests in the region within a joint venture Flagship Entertainment Group. The group was formed with China Media Capital in September to develop and produce a slate of Chinese-language films, including global tentpoles, for worldwide distribution. The venture’s first release is expected in 2016. Fox, who has been in his current position since 1992, will relocate in January.

    Rebecca Arzoian has been upped from Creative Executive to the Director of Development at Focus Features.

    Sam Newton has been upped from Press Assistant to the Deputy Director of Corporate Communications at MPAA. Chris Ortman has been hired as the VP of Corporate Communications at MPAA in Washington D.C. He was previously the Principal at Ortman Strategies.

    Kelly Summers and Scott Guthrie have been named Co-Presidents at Alchemy. Summers was formerly the SVP of Strategy & Financial Planning at Alchemy. Guthrie was previously the Chief Operating Officer at the company. Bill Lee has been named an Advisor to the Board, Investor at Alchemy in addition to his duties as CEO.

    Sara Rastogi has been hired as a Creative Executive at 20th Century Fox. She was formerly the Creative Executive at Ridley Scott Films.

    TV

    Keith Dawkins has been upped from SVP, General Manager to the EVP at TeenNick & Nicktoons in New York.

    Adam Glick has been shifted to be the EVP of Business Affairs at Warner Bros. Television. He was previously the EVP of Business Affairs at Warner Horizon Television.

    Sandy Varo Jarrell is shifting from SVP of Production and Development for TLC to SVP Creative for Discovery Studios. In the newly created role, Varo Jarrell will handle originating and developing projects for network clients and overseeing the creative direction of all Discovery Studios projects. Howard Lee’s role is being expanded to EVP of Development and Production. He will handle TLC’s entire production and development programming slate originating from the Los Angeles, New York and Silver Spring, MD, offices and will continue his role as General Manager of Discovery Life Channel reporting to Daniels.

    Willard Scott will retire from NBC’s Today after 35 years with the morning news show. Scott’s final appearance will be Tuesday.

    Amy Savitsky will be the new SVP of Development and Programming at A&E Network in their non-fiction development, working closely with fellow SVP Development & Programming Shelly Tatro. Savitsky and Tatro will manage the programming and development team. Savitsky has spent more than 10 years at Discovery Communications, most recently serving as SVP of Development for TLC.

    Skylar Isdale has been hired as the Communications Coordinator at Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks. She was formerly the Executive Assistant at Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Texas.

    Katie O’Connell Marsh has been hired as the Head of Global Live-Action Television at DreamWorks Animation (as of January 2016). She was formerly the CEO at Gaumont International Television.

    Brent Mitchell has been upped from VP of Marketing, Advertising & Digital/Social to the SVP, Consumer Marketing at E! Entertainment and Esquire Network.

    Simon Shalgosky has been hired as the Head of Entertainment Development at Lion TV. He was previously the Head of Development, Non-Scripted at Keshet International.

    Disney/ABC Television Group has promoted Skarpi Hedinsson to the position of CTO. He’ll oversee developing tech strategies and solutions for the company’s products and services, including its digital technologies. Formerly he was the company’s SVP of Technology and Platform, Digital Media.

    Rachel Smith has been upped from VP to the SVP of Current Production at Bravo Media in New York.

    Renu Thomas has been upped from SVP of Technology & Operations to the EVP of Media Operations, Engineering & IT at Disney-ABC Television Group.

    Courtney White has been hired as the SVP of Programming at Travel Channel. She was formerly the VP of Programming at HGTV, DIY Network & Great American Country in Knoxville.

    ITV has acquired a controlling interest in Leftfield Entertainment Group from its founder and CEO Brent Montgomery making ITV the largest unscripted independent producer in the US.  Brent Montgomery has been hired as the CEO at ITV America in New York. He was previously the Founder, CEO at Leftfield Entertainment in New York. Adam Sher has been hired as the Chief Creative Officer at ITV America. He was previously the Chief Creative Officer at Leftfield Entertainment. Ed Simpson has been hired as the EVP of Business Development & International at ITV America in New York. He was previously the SVP of Business Development & International at Leftfield Entertainment. Chris Valentini has been hired as the Chief Operating Officer at ITV. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer, General Manager at Leftfield.

    Alana Rosu has been hired as the Director of Talent Relations & Events at FX Networks. She was formerly the Manager of Branded Entertainment at NBCUniversal.

    Karen Ross has been hired as the Managing Director at Sidney Street Productions (as of January 2016). She was formerly the Creative Director of MasterChef.

    Management, PR, Agencies

    Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel’s Lotus Entertainment have launched a management division named Lotus Management. The division will work with writers, directors and content creators across all aspects of their careers. Lenny Beckerman will head the division as Principal. He was previously the EVP at Uber Content.

    Larry Goldhar has retired. He was previously the Co-Founder, President, Toronto Office at The Characters Talent Agency. Jennifer Goldhar has been upped from VP to the President, Toronto Office at The Characters Talent Agency in Toronto.

    Management 360 has named Justin Grey Stone, Chris Huvane, and Gabriel Cohen as new Partners, boosting their partners to 14. The Talent Managers have clients that include Margot Robbie, Johnny Galecki, Dakota Johnson, Chadwick Boseman, and Blake Lively. Ana Bedayo and Charlie Gavshon have been promoted and will become talent managers.

    Rob Greenwald has been upped from Publicist to the VP at Forefront Media. Samantha Srinivasan has been hired as the SVP at Forefront Media. She was formerly the Principal at Sechel PR.

    Ellen Jones has been upped from Coordinator to an Agent in TV Production at ICM Partners. Matt Sorger has been upped from Coordinator to Agent in International TV & Media at ICM Partners in New York.

    Dan Limerick has been hired as the Head of TV Business Affairs at WME. He was previously the EVP of Business Affairs at Warner Bros. Television. Andrew Wang has been hired as an Agent in TV Literary at WME. He was previously an Agent in TV Literary at Paradigm. Catherine Sugar has been shifted from Head of TV Business Affairs to the Head of Business Affairs at Global TV of WME.

    Ben Mench-Thurlow has been upped from Coordinator to Agent of Adult Contemporary Music, Concerts Division of APA. Guy Richard has been hired as the VP in the Adult Contemporary Music at Concerts Division at APA. He was previously the VP in Adult Contemporary Music at The Agency Group/UTA.

    Rob Miller has been hired as the Agent in Alternative TV at CAA in New York. He previously founded and was the President at Peleton Entertainment in New York. Daniel Pine has been hired as the Agent of Alternative TV in CAA. He was previously the Agent in Packaging at Peleton Entertainment.

    Oren Segal is now a Principal at Management Production Entertainment. He was previously a Partner at Radius Entertainment.

    Tyman Stewart has been upped from SVP to the President, Vancouver Office at The Characters Talent Agency in Vancouver.

    Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

    Vice Media has named David Purdy as its Chief International Growth Officer, a newly created position. Formerly, he served as SVP of Content and Video Product Management at the Canadian telco Rogers Communications. At Vice, Purdy will oversee building and expanding upon global partnerships.

    Multi-channel network Collective Studio 71 has hired Adam Boorstin as EVP of Global Digital Distribution. Formerly, he was Head of Partnerships at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Collective Studio 71 was formed earlier this year when Collective Digital Studio merged with Studio 71.

    Refinery29 has promoted Amy Emmerich to the position of Chief Content Officer, a newly created position. Emmerich will oversee driving content strategy and distribution. Previously, Emmerich held the title of EVP, Programming.

    Forefront Media has named Samantha Srinivasan as its new SVP. She was previously running her own company, Sechel PR for four years. She will bringing clients Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer and Jonathan Stern. Rob Greenwald has been promoted from Publicist to Forefront’s VP. His clients include Jim Gaffigan, Tony Hale, Marc Maron, Haley Joel Osment, Rob Riggle and Reggie Watts.

    John Brody has been hired as the EVP of Global Sales & Partnerships at WWE. He was previously the SVP of Sponsorship & Media Sales at NFL in New York.

    Richard Hall has been hired as the VP of TV Strategy at Videology. He was previously the Director of Product Management and Advanced TV at Cadreon.

    Adria Petty has been hired as the Director at Wondros. She was formerly the Director at Missing Pieces.

    Lisa Anderson has been hired as the Manager of Unscripted Development at Fullscreen. She was formerly an Associate Producer of Non-Fiction Programming at Lifetime.

    Ben Fast has been hired as the EVP of Development at Indigenous Media. He was previously the Director of Scripted Television at The Weinstein Company. Maira Nevarez has been hired as the EVP of Finance & Operations at Indigenous Media. She was formerly the VP Finance at E! Entertainment and Esquire Network.

    Jacqueline Saturn and Piero Giramonti will be General Managers for Caroline in addition to their duties General Managers at Harvest Records.

    Erika W. Burton has been hired as the EVP, General Manager at Digital Domain. She was formerly the Studio Executive at DreamWorks Animation.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Awards Feature: Actor-Turned-Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan Opens Up About His Writing Process On ‘Sicario’

    In his first ever produced screenplay, Sheridan explores a lawless world on the US/Mexico border where government agents and drug cartels battle for control of the drug trade. The Texan-native, best known for roles on Sons of Anarchy and Veronica Mars, was inspired to write the story after the quaint Mexican towns he visited in his youth evolved in to dangerous battle grounds dominated by drugs, corruption, militarized cartels and brutal violence. (SSN)

    ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Wins Another Best Picture Prize, Keeps Building Its Head Of Steam

    The Online Film Critics Society, which is made up of 254 critics from 22 different countries, handed the action film its Best Picture Prize. Apparently car chases translate into any language as George Miller won the Best Director award for his work on the movie as well. Fury Road also received editing and cinematography awards. (CB)

    From Superstar Writers to First-Timers, Screenplay Contenders Run The Gamut

    Unlikely everyday heroes, unlikeable main characters, biopics that aren’t really biopics and some animated heavyweights dot the landscape of this year’s diverse group of writing contenders in both the Adapted and Original Screenplay categories. (AL)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Exec Shuffle For 12/14/15: Richard Fox Heading to China for WB, Scripps Lifestyle Studios Launched, Today’s Willard Scott to Retire

    Another busy week in Hollywoodland sees a new EVP of Business Affairs at Warner Bros. Television, a promotion at Disney/ABC Television Group, and a new purchase for Vevo. There’s also a ton more, so click the link to read on. (SSN)

    The 2015 Black List Is Out, Did Your Screenplay Make the Cut?

    List, which recognizes the year’s most-liked unproduced screenplays as voted on by film executives, has unveiled its 11th edition today. The top vote-getter is Isaac Adamson’s Bubbles, which follows Michael Jackson’s life through the eyes of his adopted chimpanzee. Originally a boutique list, the surveyed execs have grown to 250 for this year, with 81 scripts making the 2015 list. (DL)

    MGM Television Has Itself a New President, and He’s Quite a ‘Survivor’

    Mark Burnett, who is behind the long-running competition series, among many others, has been named president of MGM Television and Digital Group and signed a five-year contract. MGM made the announcement and disclosed that it has bought out the remaining 45 percent interest that Burnett and Hearst Corp held in United Artists Media Group in deals worth $233 million. Roma Khanna, who had run MGM TV for the past four years, is leaving the company. (VAR)

    To the Surprise Of No One, Mark Wahlberg Confirms He Will Star In ‘Transformers 5’

    In the fourth film, Age of Extinction, he played Cade Yeager, a Texas inventor and mechanic who was also very protective of his daughter, Nicola Peltz’s Tessa Yeager. That film grossed over $1.1 billion at the global box office. The latest installment is set to be written by Art Marcum & Matt Holloway and Ken Nolan. Director Michael Bay hasn’t not been officially confirmed to return, though Bay remains in contention to return to the helm of the franchise. (CS)

    In Case You Were Wondering, TWC Has Released a List Of All the Places You Can See ‘The Hateful Eight’ In 70MM On Christmas Day

    The movie premieres tonight in New York in 70mm at the Ziegfeld theater and will then embark on the roadshow for one week starting December 25th. On December 31st, The Hateful Eight will open nationwide in traditional formats at a theater near you. Cities where it will play in that format include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, and plenty of others. (COL)

    Kathryn Bigelow Developing HBO Drama About Jihadi Recruitment in the U.S.

    The first female filmmaker to win an Oscar for Best Director is currently developing a drama for the cable network, once again finding inspiration in America’s War on Terror; the new series will focus on jihadi-recruitment efforts in Minnesota. Bigelow’s contributions will be as executive producer. Taking up writing and directing duties for the show will be Somali-Canadian rapper and poet K’naan Warsame. (WAH)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Star Trek Beyond’

    Paramount Pictures has released the first look at the third film in the rebooted franchise, starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella, and directed by Justin Lin. The film hits theaters July 22nd, 2016. (TP)


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Foreign Language Oscar Shortlist: The Top 10 Contenders

    The Foreign Language Oscar race consistently serves up a cornucopia of interesting auteur fare from around the world. Here’s the films with the strongest chances, and conversations with each of the directors behind them. (DL)

    ‘Mad Max’ Picking Up Steam with London Critics’ Circle Film Awards Nomination

    Voted on by 140 members of The Critics’ Circle Film Section, this year awards will be handed out on January 17. Mad Max, Carol and 45 Years are among the films that earned nominations this year among others. (BBC)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Inside the Colossal ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ World Premiere and Party

    Hollywood has seen plenty of big premieres over the years, with Marvel superheroes, A-list stars and plenty of glamorous after-parties taking over the iconic Hollywood Blvd. But none of that compares to the massive premiere held for Star Wars Monday night. (THR)

    And the Next President of the United States Is….Kiefer Sutherland

    Kiefer Sutherland is coming back to television – and getting a big government promotion. Sutherland, who played the iconic U.S. counter-terrorism operative Jack Bauer in 24, will play the president in Designated Survivor, which was ordered straight to series Monday by ABC. (USA)

    Paramount and Hasbro Latest to Create Their Own Movie Universe, This Time Around G.I. Joe and Four Other Brands

    Under a new deal between the studio and Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures, G.I. Joe will join up with characters from the Micronauts, Visionairies, M.A.S.K. and ROM brands. (THR)

    Howard Stern Moves Stock Price of SiriusXM Upon Signing 12-Year Deal

    There aren’t many celebrities with the power to move a company’s stock price. But Howard Stern is one of them after agreeing to stay on the air for five years as part of a 12 year deal with the satellite radio company that includes its first foray into streamed video programming. (DL)

    After ‘Star Wars’ Studios Prepare to Battle it Out for 2016 Chinese Film Slots

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be the first Hollywood film to play in China in 2016, with a Jan. 9 release date. But now that the CineAsia convention has ended, executives from each Hollywood studio will begin campaigning to see which other films will be the winners of the quota sweepstakes. (VAR)

    Annual List of The 10 Most Overlooked Movies of the Year

    Over 800 movies were released in 2014, and this year promises even more than that, with so many films released, there are many hidden gems. The 2015 edition counts a trippy biopic, a hip-hop bildungsroman, and a movie shot entirely on iPhone among its entries. (DB)

    How Virtual Reality is Going to Change Our Lives

    2016 will be the year of VR. Here are four ways in which virtual reality is going to change everything from medicine to the military over the next five years. (TEL)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Teaser

    Although the Harry Potter spinoff is still in production, Warner Bros. Pictures has revealed the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trailer. The film will star Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, and Jon Voight, among others. (CS)


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    2 Black Dudes
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): Fuzzy Door Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Seth MacFarlane, Michael A Mariano
    Writer(s): J. Lee
    Logline: Originally from St. Louis, two African-American cousins with two completely different perspectives on life, now live in Los Angeles and continuously bump heads on everything from religion, sex, politics, and being black in America all the way down to who’s the best ninja turtle.
    SSN Insight: J. Lee was previously a story editor on MacFarlane’s The Cleveland Show. Mariano took over for creator Greg Garcia as showrunner on the final season of the Fox/20th TV comedy series Raising Hope under a multi-year deal with Fox that included development.

    8 Years Lost
    Network: USA Network
    Studio: Universal Television
    Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Jason Blum
    Writer(s): Lauren MacKenzie, Andy Gettens
    Logline: Jayna Beckner was a teenage girl who went missing in 2007 and whose body is discovered eight years later. When we learn these remains were just a few weeks old the mystery deepens– where has Jayna been all this time? And why was she killed now?
    SSN Insight: Will look and feel exactly like a true crime documentary. MacKenzie and Gettens recently wrote for A&E The Returned and are now producers on CBS’s American Gothic.

    Animal Kingdom
    Network: TNT
    Studio: Warner Horizon Television
    Production Company(s): John Wells Productions
    Executive Producer(s): John Wells, Jonathan Lisco, Andrew Stearn, David Michôd, Liz Watts
    Writer(s): Jonathan Lisco
    Logline: When 17-year-old Josh moves in with his wild, free-wheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town, he is pulled into their life of indulgence and excess. But after Josh discovers that it’s all being funded by criminal activities, it becomes clear to him that joining the family comes with more danger and excitement than he might be ready to handle.
    Details: Based on the film, “Animal Kingdom,” (Australia/ 2010) directed by David Michôd and starring Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton and Jacki Weaver.
    SSN Insight: TNT ordered the pilot back in May and gave a series order on December 10.

    Bob’s Your Uncle
    Network: CBS Entertainment
    Studio: CBS Television Studios
    Production Company(s): Amigos de Garcia Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Greg Garcia
    Writer(s): John Cochran
    Logline: A hot shot lawyer takes his socially awkward nephew under his wing and becomes his guide both in and out of the office.
    SSN Insight: Cochran finished 8th on Survivor’s South Pacific season before winning Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites in 2012.

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

    Dope Girls
    Network: MTV Networks
    Production Company(s): Management 360
    Executive Producer(s): Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan, Marcus Blakely, Guymon Casady, Jill McElroy
    Writer(s): Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan
    Logline: Paige and Jordan may be weed dealers, but in their eyes they are entrepreneurs. Their dope delivery app is quickly gaining popularity with foodies, celebrities and the most particular and crucial consumers, hipsters. These two girls, living in Los Angeles, are desperate to succeed, find a little romance, and keep their clients happy and high, all with the least amount of effort possible.
    SSN Insight: MTV has given a series order as of December 14.

    Good Behavior
    Network: TNT
    Writer(s): Blake Crouch, Chad Hodge
    Logline: Letty Dobesh is a thief and a con artist whose life is always one wrong turn, one bad decision from implosion — which is exactly how she likes it. Fresh out of prison, Letty is attempting to stay afloat. But when she overhears a hitman being hired to kill a man’s wife, she sets out to derail the job, setting her on a collision course with the killer and entangling them in a dangerous and seductive relationship.
    Details: Based on the Letty Dobesh novel series, written by Blake Crouch and published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    SSN Insight: TNT ordered the pilot back in July and has since given a series order on December 10.

    Highland
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): Tomorrow Studios, ITV Studios
    Executive Producer(s): Margaret Cho, Liz Sarnoff, Marty Adelstein, Becky Clements
    Writer(s): Liz Sarnoff
    Logline: After a court ordered rehab, Margaret Cho gets a chance to start over but has to move in with her dysfunctional family who now runs a pot dispensary.
    SSN Insight: Adelstein and Clements currently executive produce ABC’s Last Man Standing, NBC’s Aquarius and TNT’s Good Behavior.

    Little Darlings
    Network: MTV Networks
    Production Company(s): Shiny Penny
    Executive Producer(s): Stacey Sher, Emily Levitan, Amanda Lasher
    Writer(s): Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
    Logline: College student Ophelia is an edgy, hip young trouble magnet: she works in a vintage record store, sells weed on the side, and is on a first-name basis with Campus Security. Jules is a sweet, small-town girl who is a member of the one of the best sororities on campus — but she has a secret identity as a masked superheroine who dishes out rough justice to those getting away with sexual assault and bullying on campus. When Ophelia learns all about Jules and her clandestine operation, she insists on playing Batgirl to , well, to Batgirl.
    SSN Insight: MTV gave a series order as of December 14.

    Miracle Man
    Network: NBC Entertainment
    Studio: Sony Pictures Television
    Executive Producer(s): Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, Kevin Sorbo, Bob Eisele, Sam Sorbo
    Writer(s): Bob Eisele
    Logline: Jason, a decorated Army Ranger, is nearly killed in Afghanistan. Haunted by the experience, he’s discharged and returns home to a wife who’s left him and an adult son he barely knows. As he struggles to piece his life together, he discovers that he has the ability to make miracles happen that can change people’s lives, and sets out on a quest to discover why.
    SSN Insight: Series to star Kevin Sorbo who previously starred in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Andromeda and on the film side, God’s Not Dead.

    NOS4A2
    Network: AMC
    Studio: AMC Studios
    Production Company(s): The Tornante Company
    Executive Producer(s): Michael Eisner
    Logline: Victoria “Vic” McQueen is a young woman with an uncanny talent for finding lost things… a gift that is gradually destroying her mind. Her search for help leads her to someone with powers not unlike her own: the psychopath Charlie Manx, who has survived for a century by abducting children in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith (license plate: NOS4A2), and draining his passengers of their souls to keep himself forever young. When Manx kidnaps Vic’s own son, she’ll plunge into the impossible, nightmare world that lies just beneath the surface of everyday America in a desperate attempt to get him back. Based on the novel.
    Details: Based on the novel, “NOS4A2,” written by Joe Hill and published by William Morrow on October 15, 2013.
    SSN Insight: Hill’s fantasy thriller Horns was adapted for the 2014 film starring Daniel Radcliffe, his novel Heart Shaped Box is currently being redeveloped at Warner Bros. and Hill’s supernatural comic series Locke & Key was first developed for TV and later as a feature at Universal.

    Now You See Her
    Network: CBS Entertainment
    Studio: CBS Television Studios
    Production Company(s): James Patterson Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): James Patterson, Leopoldo Gout, Siobhan Byrne O’Connor, Bill Haber, Bill Robinson
    Writer(s): Siobhan Byrne O’Connor
    Logline: A successful attorney at a boutique New York City law firm is hiding her true identity and past as a murderer when one case threatens to expose her and upend her new life and career. Based on the novel.
    Details: Based on the novel, “Now You See Her,” written by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge and published by Little, Brown and Company June 27, 2011.
    SSN Insight: James Patterson Entertainment has a first-look deal at CBS TV Studios.

    Shots Fired
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): Imagine Television
    Executive Producer(s): Gina Prince-Bythewood, Reggie Rock Bythewood, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo
    Writer(s): Gina Prince-Bythewood, Reggie Rock Bythewood
    Logline: When a black officer shoots a white teen in a racially charged Tennessee town, the country is suddenly buzzing. Meanwhile, outrage over police brutality has been going unheard for awhile. Considering the unusual circumstances of this case, however, two out-of-town, black prosecutors are brought in to sort through the evidence and find out what really happened. Preston Terry and Ashe Bell have different ways of doing things, but both seek justice all the same. As new evidence surfaces and the community grows anxious, Terry and Bell must keep personal bias and suspicions to themselves as they seek the truth.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial commitment of a pilot presentation. The project is planned as a limited series.

    Sweet Harts
    Production Company(s): Hartbreak Films, 44 Blue Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Melissa Joan Hart, Paula Hart, Stephanie Drachkovitch
    Writer(s):
    Logline: The show will focus on Melissa Joan Hart and her ex-showbiz siblings as they open and operate Melissa’s dream dessert store – Sweet Harts – in her hometown of Westport, Connecticut. After a failed attempt with other partners in Sherman Oaks, California, Melissa is ready to try again – but this time, the right way. With her opinionated family by her side helping her, everyone is excited to see this dream to fruition – but of course, it wouldn’t be a dream without a little drama along the way.
    Details:
    SSN Insight: Melissa Joan Hart can next be seen in the upcoming film, God’s Not Dead 2.

    The Circus: Inside The Greatest Political Show On Earth
    Network: Showtime Networks
    Production Company(s): Left/Right Films
    Executive Producer(s): Banks Tarver, Ken Druckerman, Mark Halperin, John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon
    Logline: A weekly half-hour show between January and November that will follow multiple individual stories and key characters from the campaigns and capture their unique perspectives.
    SSN Insight: The real-time documentary series will premiere in January.

    The Job Squad
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Production Company(s): Amigos de Garcia Productions, Big Talk Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Stephnie Weir, Greg Garcia, Kenton Allen, Matthew Justice
    Writer(s): Stephnie Weir, Greg Garcia
    Logline: Set at an unemployment office in Burlington, Vermont, Trish is an office manager who heads up a staff of colorful characters doing their best to turn Un-Employment into Fun-Employment.
    Details: Based on the British series, “The Job Lot,” which premiered on ITV in 2013.
    SSN Insight: ABC has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty.

    The Letter
    Network: ABC Family/ Freeform
    Production Company(s): Sirens Media
    Executive Producer(s): Rebecca Toth, Valerie Haselton, Lucila D’Agostino
    Logline: In each episode, four people close to one another draw names and anonymously write to the selected person a thoughtful yet totally honest letter outlining what, in their opinion, needs to be changed in order to improve and transform for the better the life of the recipient. For one week, each “reader” must follow all the rules and instructions outlined in the letter – culminating in a dramatic and emotionally charged meeting where the authors of each letter reveal themselves to their best friends.
    SSN Insight: ABC Family/Freeform has given a series order.

    Untitled Coast Guard Drama Project
    Production Company(s): Armada Partners
    Executive Producer(s): David M. Rudy
    Logline: The series will tell stories about the nation’s oldest and premiere maritime agency, the United States Coast Guard.
    Details: Inspired by real-life stories of the U.S. Coast Guard.
    SSN Insight: The U.S. Coast Guard has joined with production company Armada Partners to develop the project which is in the early concept stages. Established in 1790 the Coast Guard is the oldest continuous seagoing service within the U.S. Armed Forces.

    Untitled Nicole Byer Comedy Project
    Network: MTV Networks
    Executive Producer(s): Avi Gilbert, Christian Lander
    Writer(s): Christian Lander
    Logline: Out of money, luck and options, myopically self-serving Nicole is forced to move in with her sister and her sister’s four kids.
    SSN Insight: MTV gave a series order, as of December 14.

    Untitled Richard LaGravanes/ Julianne Hough Dance Drama
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): Temple Hill Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Richard LaGravenese, Julianne Hough, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen
    Writer(s): Richard LaGravenese
    Logline: Set in the competitive world of dance, the show highlights how dancers must work, fight, and create to achieve their dreams.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Awards 2016: He Said/She Said: Deconstructing the SAG and Golden Globe Nominations

    For their second installment of the mighty He Said/She Said column, SSN Editors Neil Turitz and Dina Gachman discuss the SAG Awards and Golden Globe nominations. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they vehemently disagree and verbally spar over their respective opinions, like Adonis Johnson Creed and “Pretty” Ricky Conlan in the ring. (SSN)

    Seven Finalists Named To Compete For Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar

    The group includes a critically acclaimed action-adventure, an epic Western, two gangster movies, and at least one title few, if any, awards watchers were predicting to contend: director Felix Herngren’s Swedish literary adaptation The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared. Notably, neither The Danish Girl nor Carol — two of the films most favored to receive attention in this category, made the shortlist. (TOH)

    Oscar Below-the-Line Contenders: Too Creative to Be Called ‘Tech Work’

    At this time of year, all eyes are on the best-picture prizes; otherwise, the media devote most of their energy on the “money categories” — i.e. acting. (Writers and directors get a little attention, if they’re lucky.) But in truth, the artisan races are often the most interesting. Voting from the guilds is under way and there is genuine suspense in how they — and Oscar voters at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences — will go in a wide-open year. (IC)

    Can the Last Minute Entry Of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Shake Up the Oscar Race?

    After last night’s unprecedented and humungous premiere the question is certainly being asked. Now, with 2015’s most awaited – and secretive- movie being unveiled simultaneously in Hollywood’s three biggest venues (Dolby, Chinese, El Capitan) followed by the biggest post-premiere party some have ever seen, there were plenty of Academy members talking about it. (AL)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    TV Development for 12/15/15: MTV Orders Female Vigilante Series, Kiefer Sutherland Elected President in New Fox Series, Amazon Teams with Margaret Cho

    Even with the year winding down, there is still plenty of action on the TV front. Among the creators with new projects are Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Kevin Sorbo, and Michael Eisner. Check out the link for the full skinny. (SSN)

    Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton Re-Team To for Netflix’s ‘Divanation’

    Members of The First Wives Club are reconvening for the feature from Netflix that will see the three actresses as a singing group that reconnects after a volatile split 30 years prior. Lisa Addario and Joey Syracuse wrote the script for Divanation, which will be produced by Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt, William Sherak and Alan Nevins. (THR)

    Black List Script Gets Itself a ‘Shades Of Grey’ Director, as Sam Taylor-Johnson Signs On To ‘Chappaquiddick’

    Script by Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan details the 1969 car accident that killed his passenger, 28-year-old former Robert Kennedy campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne, who drowned. Kennedy failed to report the accident to police until several hours later, which cast suspicion on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Story is described as a political thriller that chronicles the true story of the seven most dramatic days of Kennedy’s life. (SF)

    ‘Fargo’ Fans Will Have To Be Patient: Season Three Won’t Premiere Until 2017

    Series show runner Noah Hawley said he doesn’t expect the new season before then. Hawley revealed that and a few other details about his plans for the third season during a postmortem conference call for the second season of the FX drama. The third season will be set in 2010, four years after Season 1, but will not include any of the first season regulars as primary players in the action. (VAR)

    Another Houdini Project Enters Hollywood Mix, Courtesy Of STX, Bringing the Current Total To Three

    Houdini has projects based on his life in development at Sony and Summit. Now STX has acquiring the movie rights to David Jaher’s The Witch Of Lime Street: Seance, Seduction and Houdini in the Spirit World, which delves into his quest to debunk Margery Crandon, considered to be one of the most gifted and accurate psychic mediums of the era. Andres Muschietti will develop, direct and produce the thriller from a screenplay by Jaher. (DH)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Eddie the Eagle’

    Lionsgate has released the first look at the upcoming comedic biopic, starring Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton. Directed by Dexter Fletcher, the film opens February 26th, 2016. (TP)


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    Participant Media, the Reliance Group and Entertainment One have partnered to create Amblin Partners, a new film, television and digital content company. Dreamwork’s Steven Spielberg finalized the deal with Jeff Skoll of Participant, Aninl Ambani of Reliance and Darren Throop of eOne. J.P.Morgan Chase structured the company with $500 million debt syndication along with a personal investment by Steven Spielberg. Under the pact, Amblin Partners will develop and produces films using all three labels: Amblin, DreamWorks and Participant. Universal Pictures will facilitate the marketing and distribution under a multi-year pact covering four to seven films, beginning with DreamWorks’ The Girl on the Train.

    Comedian Dulcé Sloan was awarded top honors at the 12th annual StandUp NBC comedy showcase. With this win, Sloan has been signed to a talent holding deal with NBCUniversal. StandUp NBC alumni who went on to star in NBC series include Brandon T. Jackson (Mr. Robinson), Ron Funches (Undateable) and Lil’Rel Howery (The Carmichael Show).

    Lionsgate UK now has a 25% equity stake in indie Kindle Entertainment. Kindle has won BAFTA awards for its drama and comedy series across family, kids, primetime and young adult audiences. Among its credits are the Sky/Syfy mini Treasure Island, Henry Winkler series Hank Zipzer and interactive mystery Dixi.

    Actress-producer Ashley Tisdale and her shingle Blondie Girl Productions have inked a two-year exclusive development deal with Warner Horizon Television. Under the two-year deal, Blondie Girl will develop scripted dramas and comedies, unscripted programming and digital projects =. Ally Lattman, VP scripted development at Warner Horizon, will come aboard the shingle as their Head of Development. Tisdale’s sister, Jennifer Tisdale, will continue as EVP of Production and Development.

    E-commerce billionaire Jack Ma, internet mega-corporation Tencent and China’s top private film company Huayi Bros. are partnering to develop, produce and finance English language films. Ma will invest in the joint venture through his Yunfeng Capital equity fund. The new company, which will be based in Hong Kong, will produce 10 live-action films and invest an estimated $50 million in the films. In addition, three animated features will be produced with an initial investment from China Jiuhao of $24 million.

    Vertigo Entertainment has signed a two-year exclusive deal with Warner Bros. TV to develop drama and comedy series. Vertigo previously had a first-look deal with Fox 21 for cable series. The company’s TV operations will be based on the studio lot and led by Michael Connolly, who previously founded management/production company Mad Hatter Entertainment. Vertigo has also hired Melissa Lora from Bad Robot to serve as coordinator for the division.

    Fargo creator/executive producer Noah Hawley has signed a new three-year overall deal with FX Productions and FX Networks. Under the pact, Hawley will remain creator/showrunner of Fargo and develop new projects. Fargo garnered several Golden Globe nominations including those for Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson along with Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. Hawley’s other projects in development include the X-Men-themed pilot Legion for FX and FX Prods, Cat’s Cradle, a limited series, Hellhound On His Tail and Hot Rock.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Awards 2016: How the Film Team’s Mission for Native American Authenticity Created the Stunning Look of ‘The Revenant’

    It’s been 25 years since Dances With Wolves hit movie screens, perhaps the greatest film ever made about Native American culture in the 19th century. Now, a quarter century after Kevin Costner’s epic tale, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárittu brings The Revenant to theaters. While on the surface, the film is a story of survival and revenge, it’s a film that stresses historical authenticity, providing an insight into a native culture that eventually vanished. (SSN)

    Awards 2016: Legendary DP Roger Deakins Takes Us Behind the Art of Designing “Natural Light” on ‘Sicario’

    If there is a list out there somewhere of people who are comfortably in their 60s and not only in their prime, but actually still doing some of the best work they have ever done, there are two things about it which we can absolutely consider to be certainties. The first is, that list is exceptionally short, and the second is that Roger Deakins’ name is on it. (SSN)

    American Film Institute Picks Its Top Tens for 2015, Including ‘The Big Short’ and ‘Straight Outta Compton’

    The two AFI film and television juries who vote on the top ten American films and television shows for the year boast an unusual mix of industry players, including some Academy members, critics and academics. They pushed back this year’s voting to accommodate the late-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens which didn’t screen until Monday and did indeed make the cut, as did The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road. (TOH)

    Critics, Globes Add Fuel to Campaign Fires With Industry Groups on the Horizon

    Even before there was zero overlap among the major categories awarded by the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angles Film Critics Assn., the awards season felt very wide open. Now, with nominations for the SAG Awards, the Golden Globes and the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.’s Critics’ Choice Awards in the bank, that seems even more to be the case. (IC)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Film & TV Deals For 12/16/15: Trio of China Giants Join Forces, Ashley Tisdale Inks Deal with Warner Horizon TV, and More

    Also included in this week’s deals, Lionsgate UK’s big purchase, Vertigo Entertainment’s new deal with Warner Bros. TV, and Noah Hawley’s big new contract with FX Productions and FX Networks. Click on the link to read all about it. (SSN)

    It’s Official: Spielberg, DreamWorks, Participant, eOne, Others Pact For Amblin Partners

    Steven Spielberg, Jeff Skoll of Participant Media, Anil Ambani of Reliance Group and Darren Throop of Entertainment One announced the formation of the new film, television and digital content company. Universal Pictures will handle the marketing and distribution for the new entity in what is being described as a mutli-year pact covering four to seven films, beginning with The Girl on the Train, which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name. (DH)

    Chadwick Boseman Nails Down Yet Another Great Part, Will Play Thurgood Marshall In Courtroom Thriller Biopic

    Marshall focuses on a provocative case in the early career of one of America’s greatest legal minds, when he was a young lawyer, long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the late 1930s, a nearly bankrupt NAACP sends Marshall to conservative Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur against his wealthy socialite employer in a sexual assault and attempted murder trial that quickly becomes tabloid fodder. Reginald Hudlin is directing. (CS)

    The Chloe Grace Moretz Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’ Remake Finds Itself a Director

    Filmmaker Rebecca Thomas is in talks to land the coveted gig after a meeting with the star proved fruitful. Thomas is an up and coming director with the 2012 indie Electrick Children under her belt, and is also attached to the John Green adaptation Looking For Alaska. Love Actually scribe Richard Curtis is penning the screenplay for The Little Mermaid. (COL)

    Quentin Tarantino Courts Controversy, Accuses Disney Of Coercion Over ‘Star Wars’ Booking

    Despite much hype and excitement around Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening Friday, there’s at least one person who isn’t too happy with Disney — the Oscar-winning writer-director of the upcoming The Hateful Eight. He claimed on today’s Howard Stern SiriusXM radio show that Disney is “going out of their way to f— me,” among other choice words. The dispute is over the booking of the famed Arclight Cinerama Dome. (VAR)

    Hollywood’s Last Survivors: 70 Years Ago, the Holocaust Ended. Only 11 People Who Lived Through It Remain From the World Of Entertainment

    Now, in gripping video testimonials, Oscar winners, actors, Dr. Ruth and even Judy Garland’s hairstylist tell their personal stories, filled with hope and horror, one last time as their themes of genocide, displacement and discrimination continue to resonate today. (THR)


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Academy Releases List Of Best Original Score Qualifiers

    The Academy has released the 112 scores in contention or Best Original Score during February’s 88th Academy Awards.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens and John Williams appear in the initial list. (EW)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    National Geographic Channel Taps Carolyn Bernstein To Head Scripted Programming

    National Geographic Channel is getting serious about scripted programming, recruiting respected biz vet Carolyn Bernstein to serve as exec VP and head of global scripted development and production. (VAR)

    Movie About L.A. Sheriff’s Department Scandal In Works From Black Label Media & Jason Bateman

    Black Label Media has acquired rights to an untitled Operation Pandora Project feature film from Jason Bateman’s Aggregate Films. (DH)

    Berlin Film Festival: First Panorama Titles Unveiled

    Rebecca Miller’s Maggie’s Plan with Greta Gerwig and Ethan Hawke and Clemence Poesy-starrer The Ones Below are among the titles screening at the 2016 fest. (THR)

    ‘Fuller House’ Gets Premiere Date On Netflix — Watch First Promo

    Netflix announced that Fuller House‘s 13-episode first season will hit the streaming service on Feb. 26. Along with the announcement comes the first official teaser promo. (TVL)

    ‘Star Wars’ Scores $2 Million Opening Day In Italy, In Line With Expectations

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in line with expectations in Italy, pulling Euros 1.81 million ($1.97 million) from more than 780 screens and 219,000 admissions, according to national box office compiler Cinetel. (VAR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Storks’

    Watch the first trailer for Nicholas Stoller’s animated Storks with Andy Samberg, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. (IW)

    How 17 Years Of ‘SNL’ Helped Paula Pell Write ‘Sisters’

    The writer behind the Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler comedy discusses how being the go-to punch-up person on SNL helps her film work. (FC)

    Screenwriters: Selling Your Screenplay

    Screenwriter Dan Benamor on being a development executive and his spec script sale. (SM)

     

     


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    New Attachments

    Braven
    Logline: A logger who lives on the U.S./Canada border is confronted by a group of drug runners in his secluded mountain cabin, and must do everything he can to protect his family.
    Production Company(s): LINK Entertainment, Pride of Gypsies, Hassell Free Productions
    Producer(s): Jason Momoa, Brian Mendoza, Michael Nilon, Molly Hassell
    Writer(s): Thomas Pa’a Sibbett
    Director(s): Lin Oeding
    Cast: Jason Momoa, Garret Dillahunt
    SSN Insight: Dillahunt, who previously starred on Raising Hope, will play villain in the film.

    Casual Encounters
    Logline: When his girlfriend leaves him, Justin decides to try online dating.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Grindstone Entertainment Group
    Production Company(s): Traverse Media
    Producer(s): Cole Payne, Roger M Mayer
    Writer(s): Erik Steinmetz, Sebastian J. Michael
    Director(s): Zackary Adler
    Cast: Taran Killam, Brooklyn Decker, David Krumholtz, Mark Boone Junior, David Arquette
    SSN Insight: Grindstone Entertainment Group has acquired U.S. distribution rights and Lionsgate Home Entertainment is handling distribution for the film.

    Dirty Thirty
    Logline: About an epic 30th birthday party that gets a bit too epic.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): Michael Goldfine Productions
    Writer(s): Mamrie Hart, Molly Prather
    Director(s): Andrew Bush
    Cast: Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, Hannah Hart, Kelen Coleman, Andy Ridings, Matt Dellapina, Drew Monson, Anna Akana
    SSN Insight: Drew Monson is known on Youtube for his mytoecold channel, which has over 600,00 subscribers in addition to his 84,000 followers on Twitter.

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
    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): James Gunn
    Director(s): James Gunn
    Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell (In Negotiations)
    Details: Sequel to “Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana. The original movie and sequel are based on “Guardians of the Galaxy” created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and published by Marvel Comics.
    SSN Insight: Russell is in negotiations to play the father of Peter Quill.

    Leavey
    Logline: Megan Leavey, a US Marine who was injured with her dog Rex by an IED while on patrol in Iraq, was awarded the Purple Heart, and years later fought through bureaucratic red tape to adopt and reunite with Rex upon his retirement from duty.
    Production Company(s): LD Entertainment
    Producer(s): Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Hilton Monroe, Pete Shilaimon
    Writer(s): Annie Mumolo, Tim Lovestedt, Jordan Roberts, Pamela Gray
    Director(s): Gabriela Cowperthwaite
    Cast: Kate Mara, Edie Falco, Ramon Rodriguez, Tom Felton, Damson Idris, Common
    SSN Insight: Cowperthwaite previously directed Blackfish. LD Entertainment will finance as it did previously with Risen and Antropoid.

    Move That Body
    Logline: Five friends rent a beach house in Miami for a bachelorette weekend and accidentally kill a male stripper.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures
    Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment, Matt Tolmach Productions, Paulilu
    Producer(s): Lucia Aniello, Paul W Downs, Matt Tolmach, Dave Becky
    Writer(s): Lucia Aniello, Paul W Downs
    Director(s): Lucia Aniello
    Cast: Paul W Downs, Scarlett Johansson (In Negotiations)
    SSN Insight: Sony won a heated bidding battle on June 19, 2015 and closed a deal for an untitled R-rated comedy spec script. Project was included in the 2015 Black List.

    The King Of Oil
    Logline: The story of billionaire Marc Rich, who made deals with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis and received a controversial presidential pardon.
    Production Company(s): BB Films Productions
    Producer(s): Uri Singer, Daniel Turcan
    Writer(s): Russell Gewirtz
    Details: Based on the book “The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich” published by St. Martin’s Press in 2009.
    SSN Insight: Gewirtz previously wrote the script for Inside Man. BB Film Productions also recently announced the production of the biopic, Tesla.

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

    The Titan
    Logline: In the near future, a military family is relocated so they can participate in a ground-breaking experiment of man’s genetic evolution into space.
    Production Company(s): Motion Picture Capital, 42, Automatik
    Producer(s): Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Benjamin Pugh, Rory Aitken, Arash Amel, Leon Clarance
    Writer(s): Max Hurwitz
    Director(s): Lennart Ruff
    Cast: Sam Worthington, Ruth Wilson, Sofia Boutella, Taylor Schilling, Tom Wilkinson
    SSN Insight: Schiling is known for her role on Orange is the New Black. Voltage Pictures is handling international sales, with CAA handling domestic sales.

    The Yellow Birds
    Logline: A look at the harrowing lives of two soldiers in Iraq and the effects of war on their families at home.
    Production Company(s): Story Mining & Supply Co., Cinelou Films
    Producer(s): Jeffrey Sharp, Evan Hayes, Mark Canton, Courtney Solomon
    Writer(s): R. F. I. Porto, David Lowery
    Director(s): Alexandre Moors
    Cast: Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, Alden Ehrenreich, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Patric, Toni Collette
    Details: Based on the novel “The Yellow Birds” written by Kevin Powers and published by Little, Brown and Company September 11, 2012.
    SSN Insight: Benedict Cumberbatch was previously attached to star. David Lowery was previously attached to direct.

    Thor 3: Ragnarok
    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): Stephany Folsom, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost
    Director(s): Taika Waititi
    Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Jaimie Alexander, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett (In Negotiations)
    Details: Based on the comic book character Thor who first appeared in “Journey into Mystery” created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and published by Marvel Comics in August 1962. Sequel to “Thor” (2011) and “Thor: The Dark World” (2013).
    SSN Insight: If Blanchett is signed on, it will be her first role in a superhero film. The role is unspecified.

    Untitled Barbie Project
    Logline: Barbie uses the skills she has gained in her personal life and professional experience to help others
    Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
    Production Company(s): Mattel, Inc., Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, Image Nation, Pascal Pictures
    Producer(s): Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald, Amy Pascal
    Writer(s): Lindsey Beer, Hilary Winston, Bert V. Royal, Diablo Cody, Jenny Bicks
    Details: Based on the Barbie fashion doll created by Ruth Handler and manufactured by Mattel, Inc. Barbie made her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9, 1959.
    SSN Insight: In a push for the project, Sony has hired Beer, Winston and Royal to each turn in a separate draft of the script. Bicks wrote the first draft and Cody was also previously tapped to write the script.

    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, Herbie Hancock
    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.

    Zoom
    Logline: A cartoonist draws a comic book about a filmmaker, who shoots a film about a novelist, who writes a book about a cartoonist.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Screen Media Ventures
    Production Company(s): Rhombus Media, Inc., O2 Filmes
    Producer(s): Niv Fichman, Andrea Barata Ribeiro
    Writer(s): Matt Hansen
    Director(s): Pedro Morelli
    Cast: Gael García Bernal, Alison Pill, Mariana Ximenes, Don McKellar, Tyler Labine
    SSN Insight: Screen Media has acquired U.S. rights to the film with plans to release it day and date in Q3 2016.

    New Projects

    & Sons
    Logline: Following a breakdown, a legendary and reclusive writer tries to make amends with the people he’s hurt, and gathers his three sons together for the first time in years.
    Production Company(s): Le Grisbi Productions, RatPac Entertainment
    Producer(s): Brett Ratner, John Lesher (In Talks)
    Director(s): Sarah Polley
    Details: Based on the novel “& Sons” written by David Gilbert and published by Random House on July 23, 2013.
    SSN Insight: Sarah Polley previously wrote and directed the films Stories We Tell, Take this Waltz and Away From Her.

    51 Dons
    Logline: In 1951, the University of San Francisco Dons football team declined an invitation to play the Orange Bowl because it required them to leave their black players behind.
    Production Company(s): Walden Media, Mandalay Sports Media
    Producer(s): Michael Tollin
    Writer(s): Isaac Adamson
    Cast: Live Schreiber
    SSN Insight: Adamson’s script Bubbles topped the 2015 Black List.

    Avtomat
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
    Production Company(s): Hutch Parker Entertainment
    Producer(s): Hutch Parker, Dan Wilson
    Details: Based on the novel “Avtomat” written by Daniel H. Wilson and to be published by Doubleday.
    SSN Insight: Wilson previously wrote the novel Robopocalyspe, to which Steven Spielberg remains attached as director at DreamWorks, as well as How To Stop A Robot Uprising.

    Chappaquiddick
    Logline: In 1969, Ted Kennedy is involved in a tragic car accident that takes the life of campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne and results in a political scandal for the Senator.
    Production Company(s): DMG Entertainment, Apex Entertainment
    Producer(s): Mark Ciardi, Campbell G. McInnes, Chris Cowles
    Writer(s): Taylor Allen, Andrew Logan
    Director(s): Sam Taylor-Johnson
    SSN Insight: Project was included on the 2015 Black List. Sam Taylor-Johnson previously directed Fifty Shades of Grey.

    Marshall
    Logline: Young Thurgood Marshall goes conservative 1940s Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur in a famous attempted murder trial.
    Production Company(s): Chestnut Ridge Productions, Super Hero Films, Ltd.
    Producer(s): Paula Wagner, Reginald Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger, Jun Dong
    Writer(s): Michael Koskoff, Jacob Koskoff
    Director(s): Reginald Hudlin
    Cast: Chadwick A Boseman
    SSN Insight: Marshall is being financed by China-based Super Hero Films, Ltd. Boseman will next be seen as the Black Panther in the Marvel film Captain America: Civil War.

    Untitled Operation Pandora Project
    Logline: In 2011, the LA County Sheriff’s Department was rocked by the scandal of Operation Pandora’s Box, in which an informant inmate fed the FBI information on abuse at the Men’s Central Jail.
    Production Company(s): Aggregate Films, Black Label Media
    Producer(s): Jason Bateman, Aaron Schmidt, Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Thad Luckinbill
    Writer(s): Jesse Zwick, Mike Weintraub
    SSN Insight: Black Label previously was behind Sicario, which is making waves in the awards circuit.

    Untitled Jason Moore/John Lyons Comedy Project
    Logline: After an ordinary woman performs a heroic act that makes her world famous, she sells the rights to her life story to a huge movie star, who starts shadowing her in preparation for the role.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Fox 2000
    Producer(s): Jason Moore, John S. Lyons
    Director(s): Jason Moore
    SSN Insight: Moore previously directed Pitch Perfect and Sisters which opens December 18.

    Untitled Matthew Orton Sci-Fi Action Pic
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM),
    Writer(s): Matt Orton
    SSN Insight: MGM has acquired the film from Orton in a preemptive deal for mid-six figures. Last month MGM made a pre-emptive deal for his untitled spec script about the team that hunted down and captured Adolf Eichmann.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Awards 2016: Director Todd Haynes Finds Inspiration For ‘Carol’ In Obscure Docudrama’s “Lost Language Of Femininity”

    The director is no stranger to stories about the social mores of 1950s America. His Oscar-nominated film Far From Heaven explored racial tensions and a marriage in crisis in 1950s Connecticut. It was an homage to the films of Douglas Sirk, and looked like a film from that era. With Carol, his latest, Golden Globe nominated film, he takes that 1950s nostalgia a step farther. (SSN)

    A Month Ahead Of the Academy Award Nominations Announcement, Some Predictions About Who Might Actually Win Them

    Is Spotlight emerging as a genuine frontrunner for Best Picture? Will the Best Director winner be different from the Best Picture? Will Ridley Scott take home the gold for The Martian, or does Mad Max: Fury Road’s George Miller have a real shot? Is this the year Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins his Oscar? Can anyone challenge Brie Larson? There are so many questions, and this only serves to add fuel to the discussion fire. (GD)

    Guild of Music Supervisors Announce Noms for Sixth Awards Ceremony

    For its sixth annual awards ceremony, the Guild of Music Supervisors focused on the soundtracks of several music-driven films and TV shows, including the features Pitch Perfect 2 and Straight Outta Compton, the documentaries Amy, Janis: Little Girl Blue and Cobain: Montage of Heck. (IC)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Film Development For 12/17/15: Sony Calling For Three Separate Drafts For Barbie Pic, Scarlett Johansson Circling ‘Move That Body’, and More

    Among the other attachments being discussed this week include a stunning, Oscar-winning addition to Thor: Ragnarok, the possibility of Kurt Russell also joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a new director for the live action The Little Mermaid project, and plenty of others. Click on the link to read all about it. (SSN)

    Hold the Phone! Sundance Reveals Seven Late Additions To Its 2016 Lineup

    Among the highlights are special presentations of Kelly Reichardt and Nicole Holofcener’s first features and the world premiere of Douglas McGrath’s documentary Becoming Mike Nichols. New Zealand doc Tickled is the only competition film added to the list. (TOH)

    Jean-Marc Vallee Signs On To Direct All Of HBO’s Nicole Kidman-Reese Witherspoon Mini

    Director will helm all seven episodes of Big Little Lies, an adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2014 darkly comic novel about three mothers of kindergartners – Celeste (Kidman), Madeline (Witherspoon) and Jane — whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. The book was optioned by Kidman’s Blossom Films and Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard. Laura Dern, Adam Scott, Zoë Kravitz and Kathryn Newton co-star. (DH)

    Universal’s New Monster Universe Lands a Writer For Its ‘Bride Of Frankenstein’ Remake

    Blockbuster writer David Koepp has landed the job to update the James Whale classic, which will follow the lead of the “narrative architects” Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, and that the new iteration of Bride of Frankenstein will take place in the present day “in order for the film’s characters to have cross-over capabilities with other monster movies.” (COL)

    If You’re Waiting To See the ‘Power Rangers’ and Final ‘Divergent’ Movies, the Wait Just Got a Little Longer

    Lionsgate has moved back the releases of two of its key franchises. Power Rangers will move back two months from January 13th, 2017, to March 24th, 2017. That date had been occupied by The Divergent Series: Ascendant, so the Shailene Woodley sci-fier will also move back two months to June 7th, 2017 — giving the last film in the series a summer playdate. (VAR)

    Jeremy Renner Signs On To Play Legendary Fighter Rocky Marciano In New Biopic

    The Hurt Locker star will play the famous boxer who held the heavyweight crown from 1952 to 1956 in Undefeated: The Rocky Marciano Story. Marciano is the only heavyweight champion to retire from his professional career undefeated, with a record of 49-0. Morris S. Levy will produce the film, written by Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore, which is currently seeking a director. The film will follows Marciano’s life from childhood until his death in a plane crash in 1969. (THR)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’

    Paramount Pictures has released the first look at the upcoming true life war memoir, starring Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie, Billy Bob Thornton, and Christopher Abbott, and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. The film hits theaters March 4th, 2016. (TP)


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    ‘Son of Saul’ and These 8 Other Foreign Films Inch Closer to Oscar Nominations

    Out of 80 accepted Oscar submissions, nine features have been shortlisted to advance to the next round of voting. The five nominees will be announced on January 14, 2016 alongside all other categories. (IDW)

    In Predicting the Best Picture Oscar Winner, Study Shows Films Often Tap into What’s Trending

    The most common type of best picture winner is one that, directly or indirectly, speaks to the zeitgeist — the spirit of the age, the issues people care about in the moment, the things that seem “important” now. (THR)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Begins Epic U.S. Box Office Siege with Record Thursday-Night Opening

    J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens is headed for a $50 million-$55 million Thursday-night opening at the North American box office. Prerelease tracking suggests Force Awakens will earn in the $180 million-$220 million range for the weekend. (THR)

    Across the Globe, ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is Hitting Light Speed

    After taking $14.1 million on its opening day in 12 markets on Wednesday, The Force Awakens went into light speed in the UK on Thursday with an estimated £9.6 million — that’s $14.3 million in one day and one market alone. (DL)

    ‘Steve Jobs’ Katherine Waterston to Star in ‘Alien: Covenant’

    The actress broke out last year with Inherent Vice, delivered an emotional performance in Steve Jobs and shot the highly anticipated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Next up is Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus sequel, Alien: Covenant. (/FILM)

    In David and Goliath Battle, Goliath Scores Win in UTA and ICM vs. Boutique Agency Lenhoff & Lenhoff

    A federal judge granted UTA and ICM Partners’ motion to dismiss the claims in the dispute arising out of two clients of the smaller agency allegedly being poached by the big guys, the charges include complaint of cartels among the so-called ‘Uber’ talent agencies and conspiracy to create an oligopoly. (DL)

    Colombia’s Caracol TV Doesn’t Skimp in Launching Mega-Production at NATPE

    Featuring up to 11 exotic locations in Colombia, authenticated period costumes and up to 400 extras in battle and village scenes, telenovela The White Slave took seven months to shoot after five months of development and pre-production. (VAR)

    ‘Maze Runner’s’ Dylan O’Brien Sprints Over to ‘Little White Corvette’

    The action comedy that was once set up at two different studios and was to have been a starring vehicle for Emma Stone has now been picked up by Twentieth Century Fox and will now star Dylan O’Brien. (THR)

    The Show Everyone Around the World is Watching is Africa’s Take on ‘Sex and the City’

    The web TV series An African City follows the lives of independent young women in the Ghanaian capital Accra – and it has struck a chord with women around the world. (BBC)

    12 Ways to Make Your Commute a Little More Tolerable

    With traffic beginning to take over all hours of the day in L.A. along with cyclists, potholes, pedestrians, and construction making streets a veritable obstacle course, here are some ways to make that commute more bearable. (HP)


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    STARTS

    All Eyes On Me
    12/14/2015
    Logline: This biopic will follow rapper Tupac Shakur’s career, including his time at Death Row Records and his involvement in the rivalry between East coast and West coast rappers, culminating in his murder in 1996.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Open Road Films
    Production Company(s): Morgan Creek Productions, Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films
    Director(s): Benny Boom
    Executive Producer(s): Afeni Shakur, Tom Ortenberg, Peter Lawson
    Producer(s): James G. Robinson, David C. Robinson, LT Hutton, Randall Emmett, George Furla
    Cast: No Actor Available.
    Writer(s): John Singleton, Ed Gonzalez, Jeremy Haft, Michael Starrbury, David McKenna
    SSN Insight: Antoine Fuqua was previously attached to direct. Soulja Boy was previously mentioned to star. Project was previously in development at Universal.

    Carrie Pilby
    12/12/2015
    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.

    Marshall
    12/14/2015
    Logline: Young Thurgood Marshall goes conservative 1940s Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur in a famous attempted murder trial.
    Production Company(s): Chestnut Ridge Productions, Super Hero Films, Ltd.
    Director(s): Reginald Hudlin
    Executive Producer(s): Peter Luo, Jialing Deng, Beely Lee
    Producer(s): Paula Wagner, Reginald Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger, Jun Dong
    Cast: Chadwick A Boseman
    Writer(s): Michael Koskoff, Jacob Koskoff
    SSN Insight: Marshall is being financed by China-based Super Hero Films, Ltd. Boseman will next be seen as the Black Panther in the Marvel film Captain America: Civil War.

    WRAPS

    A Bus Could Run You Over
    12/14/2015
    Logline: Connor doesn’t want to leave London and go to Ibiza, but only he can help his best friend who’s mixed up with a drug gang. He might even be happy there, if he can stay alive.
    Production Company(s): Fulwell 73 Productions
    Director(s): Benjamin Turner
    Executive Producer(s): Max Leverett, Jeremy Bussey, Andy Ruhan, Tony Truman, Wayne Lineker
    Producer(s): Leo Pearlman
    Cast: Billy Zane, Owain Arthur, Lyndon Ogbourne, Joel Dommett, Billy Boyd
    Writer(s): Colin Butts
    Details: Based on the novel “A Bus Could Run You Over” written by Colin Butts and published by Orion on July 1, 2004.
    SSN Insight: Executive producers and investors on the project include owners of Ibiza bars and clubs, which will provide access to the dance scene of the island.

    Assassin’s Creed
    12/18/2015
    Logline: A bartender finds out he comes from a long line of assassins. He is captured by a secret corporation who sends him back to various times and places in order to bring back artifacts.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Regency Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Distribution
    Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, New Regency Productions, DMC Films, Ubisoft Motion Pictures
    Director(s): Justin Kurzel
    Executive Producer(s):
    Producer(s): Jean-Julien Baronnet, Eli Richbourg, Michael Fassbender, Conor McCaughan, Frank Marshall
    Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Ariane Labed, Michael K. Williams, Jeremy Irons
    Writer(s): Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, Scott Frank, Mike Lesslie
    Details: Based on the video game “Assassin’s Creed” published by Ubisoft and first released on November 14, 2007.
    SSN Insight: Columbia Pictures was in negotiations to produce in 2011. Alicia Vikander was previously in discussions to play the role ultimately filled by Ariane Labed.

    Bridget Jones’ Baby
    12/15/2015
    Logline: Bridget Jones tries to have a baby.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures,
    Production Company(s): Working Title Films, Monumental Television
    Director(s): Sharon Maguire
    Executive Producer(s):
    Producer(s): Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Jonathan Cavendish
    Cast: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Ed Sheeran
    Writer(s): Paul Feig, Helen Fielding, David Nicholls
    Details: Sequel to “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001), directed by Sharon Maguire and “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” (2004), directed by Beeban Kidron.
    SSN Insight: Paul Feig was previously attached to direct. Shooting delayed from a February start due to script changes.

    Colossal
    12/18/2015
    Logline: After a giant lizard starts destroying Tokyo, a young woman in New York comes to realize that the power of her mind is connected to the far-off events and she tries to halt the destruction.
    Production Company(s): Brightlight Pictures, Voltage Pictures, Sayaka Producciones
    Director(s): Nacho Vigalondo
    Executive Producer(s): Nacho Vigalondo, Garrett Basch
    Producer(s): Nicolas Chartier, Shawn Williamson, Nahikari Ipina, Anne Hathaway
    Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell, Dan Stevens
    Writer(s): Nacho Vigalondo
    SSN Insight: Godzilla copyrights holders Toho took Voltage Pictures and writer-director Nacho Vigalondo to court over the film and they reached an undisclosed settlement.

    Crash Pad
    12/18/2015
    Logline: When a man learns that his “true love” was just using him as revenge against her husband, he threatens to tell her husband, but then the husband decides to move in with him.
    Production Company(s): Sodona Entertainment, Wonderful Films, Indomitable Entertainment, Windowseat Films
    Director(s): Kevin Tent
    Executive Producer(s): Alexander Payne, Dominic Ianno, Jon Ferro, Stuart Pollok, Joseph McKelheer
    Producer(s): Bill Horberg, Lauren Bratman
    Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Christina Applegate, Thomas Haden Church, Nina Dobrev
    Writer(s): Jeremy Catalino
    SSN Insight: Domhnall Gleeson can be seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This film reteams Church and Payne who previously worked together on Sideways.

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
    12/18/2015
    Logline: In New York, seventy years before Harry Potter’s birth, an ambitious magiczoologist named Newton Artemis Fido Scamander, aka Newt, is commissioned to write a reference guide to magical beasts, which would eventually become a definitive Hogwart’s textbook
    Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
    Production Company(s): Heyday Films, Wigram Productions, Bronte Film and Television
    Director(s): David Yates
    Producer(s): J.K. Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram
    Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, Samantha Morton
    Writer(s): J.K. Rowling
    Details: Based on the novel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by J.K. Rowling; published by Arthur A. Levine June 2001 .

    SSN Insight: Project is the first in a trilogy. Alfonso Cuaron had previously been mentioned to direct.
    Feed
    12/18/2015
    Logline: Eighteen-year-old twins prepare for their last year of school together when tragedy tears them apart.
    Production Company(s): Indy Entertainment
    Director(s): Tommy Bertelsen
    Executive Producer(s):
    Producer(s): Ross Kohn, Nancy Leopardi, Troian Bellisario, Tommy Bertelsen
    Cast: Troian Bellisario, Tom Felton, Amanda Collier
    Writer(s): Tommy Bertelsen
    SSN Insight: Production took place in Los Angeles. The film marks Bellisario’s first feature-length screenplay.

    How to Talk to Girls at Parties
    12/18/2015
    Logline: In 1970s London, a teenage boy who is into punk music gets involved with a tourist who want to escape from her tour group and explore the dangerous suburb of Croydon.
    Studio/Distributor(s): A24
    Production Company(s): Fortissimo Films, See-Saw Films, Little Punk
    Director(s): John Cameron Mitchell
    Executive Producer(s): Michael J. Werner, Winnie Lau
    Producer(s): Howard Gertler, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, John Cameron Mitchell, Neil Gaiman
    Cast: Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, Matt Lucas
    Writer(s): Philippa Goslett, John Cameron Mitchell
    Details: Based on the short story “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” written by Neil Gaiman and published by neilgaiman.com in 2006.
    SSN Insight: The project reteams Mitchell with Kidman, who worked together on the Rabbit Hole (2010) for which Kidman received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

    Leavey
    12/17/2015
    Logline: Megan Leavey, a US Marine who was injured with her dog Rex by an IED while on patrol in Iraq, was awarded the Purple Heart, and years later fought through bureaucratic red tape to adopt and reunite with Rex upon his retirement from duty.
    Production Company(s): LD Entertainment
    Director(s): Gabriela Cowperthwaite
    Producer(s): Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Hilton Monroe, Pete Shilaimon
    Cast: Kate Mara, Edie Falco, Ramon Rodriguez, Tom Felton, Damson Idris
    Writer(s): Annie Mumolo, Tim Lovestedt, Jordan Roberts, Pamela Gray
    SSN Insight: Cowperthwaite previously directed Blackfish. LD Entertainment will finance as it did previously with Risen and Antropoid.

    Man Down
    12/15/2015
    Logline: When a US Marine is discharged following a catastrophic error in Afghanistan, he seeks long-lost relatives across America as a trauma counselor guides him through the darkest, most thrilling recesses of his mind that leads them to an unprecedented discove
    Production Company(s): Mpower Pictures, TT Games Publishing
    Director(s): Dito Montiel
    Executive Producer(s): John Shepherd, Myles Nestel, Lisa Wilson, Roger Goff, Russell Geyser
    Producer(s): Dawn Krantz-Weiner, Federico Bauder, Steve McEveety, Jon Burton
    Cast: Kate Mara, Jai Courtney, Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Clifton Collins Jr.
    Writer(s): Adam Simon
    SSN Insight: Terrence Howard was previously in talks to star.

    Phil
    12/17/2015
    Logline: After a dentist’s patient dies in his chair, he impersonates a plumber to get into the home of his widow.
    Production Company(s): Bron Media Corp.
    Director(s): Greg Kinnear
    Cast: Greg Kinnear, Emily Mortimer, Kurt Fuller, Taylor Schilling, Megan Charpentier
    Writer(s): Stephen Mazur
    SSN Insight: The film, previously entitled Phil: A Tale of Flossing and Plumbing, marks the directorial debut for Kinnear.

    She Has A Name
    12/18/2015
    Logline: An American lawyer tries to convince a young girl in Bangkok to testify against her pimp, putting her life in danger.
    Production Company(s): Unveil Studios
    Director(s): Matthew Kooman, Daniel Kooman
    Producer(s): Donna Abraham, Shari Aspinall, Daniel Kooman, Matthew Kooman, Andrew Kooman
    Cast: Will Yun Lee, Eugenia Yuan, Teresa Ting, Giovanni Mocibob, Gil Bellows
    Writer(s): Andrew Kooman
    Details: Based on a play written by Andrew Kooman in 2009 as a single act and expanded to full length in 2010.
    SSN Insight: The play from which it was based, received strong endorsement from Canadian activists including MP Joy Smith, Ratanak International’s Brian McConaghy, and IJM Canada’s Jamie McIntosh.

    The Last Poker Game
    12/18/2015
    Logline: Dr. Abe Mandelbaum forms an unlikely friendship with a womanizing gambler, but their their relationship is tested when they each tries to convince a mysterious nurse that he is her long-lost father.
    Production Company(s): Long Road Film
    Director(s): Howard Weiner
    Executive Producer(s): Dennis Selko
    Producer(s): Peter Pastorelli, Marshall Johnson, Eddie Rubin
    Cast: Martin Landau, Paul Sorvino, Maria Dizzia
    Writer(s): Howard Weiner
    SSN Insight: First feature from Long Road Film, launched by producers Peter Pastorelli, Marshall Johnson and Eddie Rubin with the goal of producing several films per year with budgets of $5 million-$10 million.


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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 12-18 c


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Awards 2016: Nature Calls — How ‘The Revenant’ Filmmakers Made an Immersive Experience For Moviegoers

    There aren’t a lot of mainstream movies that engulf the viewer in nature to such a degree that you’ll feel like you should have brought camping gear to the theater. Wild and Into the Wild come to mind. Jeremiah Johnson, for sure. But when a movie is so deeply committed to portraying frigid temperatures that you feel the need to put on a sweater part way through the film, it enters a whole new level of interactive moviegoing. (SSN)

    Awards 2016: How Oscar-Winning Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim Broke the Traditional Doc Mold to Craft ‘He Named Me Malala’

    The incredible story of Malala Yousafzai, a teenager targeted and shot by the Taliban on her school bus in Pakistan, is the subject of the documentary. The film is among 15 documentary feature films shortlisted for the 88th Academy Awards. (SSN)

    ‘The Force Awakens’ Could Invade Critics’ Choice Noms After The Fact

    The Broadcast Film Critics Association might be Forced to make an unprecedented move. The group sent an email to its members this morning saying it will poll them next week “to determine whether we should add Star Wars: The Force Awakens to our list of Critics’ Choice Award nominees for Best Picture.” (AL)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    SSN Box Office Trending Report for 12/18/15: What Slice of the Pie Will Films Other Than ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Grab This Weekend?

    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 12/18/15: Chadwick Boseman Stars on ‘Marshall’, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’ Wrap Up Production

    While the year might be ending, movie productions are still beginning, including a new film starring Bel Powley and Eddie Izzard, and a new project co-written by John Singleton, while Assassin’s Creed, Colossal and the 70s London period piece How To Talk To Girls At Parties wrap up principal photography. Check out the link for more. (SSN)

    Perfect Casting? Sean Penn Signs On To Play Andrew Jackson In New HBO Miniseries

    American Lion will be the actor’s first major TV part. The six-hour series hails from first-time producer Matt Jacobson. Penn will have an executive producing credit as well as the starring role. The series is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by historian Jon Meacham, entitled American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. Meacham will serve as consultant. (CB)

    Universal Hires a New Writer To Re-Work a Script It Spent Seven Figures To Acquire

    Dan Mazeau has been tapped to work on Section 6, the origin story of Britain’s spy agency MI6. Universal won a heated bidding war for the script, written by Aaron Berg, in October 2013, paying $1.2 million against $2 million with a progress to production set in motion after a rewrite step. The project quickly got its lead in Jack O’Connell, who starred in the studio’s Angelina Jolie-directed drama Unbroken, and it became a passion project for director Joe Cornish. (HV)

    Busy Day For Amazon, Which Gives a Second Season To ‘Man In the High Castle’ …

    The renewal came four weeks after the show’s release. Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel and penned by Frank Spotnitz, the drama asks what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II, picking up the action 20 years afterward. The cast includes Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rupert Evans, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Joel De La Fuente, Rufus Sewell and DJ Qualls. (TVL)

    And Also Picks Up Five New Series While Renewing ‘Hand Of God’ and ‘Red Oaks’ as Well

    Company’s Prime Network picked up two dramas —  the 1969 newsroom-set Good Girls Revolt, and political thriller Patriot, and three comedies: Tig Notaro’s dark comedy One Mississippi, Bob Nelson’s Highston, and Z, starring Christina Ricci as Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. A sixth, Shane Black and Fred Dekker’s Western Edge starring Max Martini, is getting its option extended. (DH)

    Trailer Buzz: ’11.22.63’

    Hulu has released the latest trailer from its highly anticipated eight-hour adaptation of the Stephen King bestseller. Starring James Franco, Chris Cooper, Cherry Jones and Sarah Gadon, and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, it drops on February 15th, 2016. (SF)


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    The 2016 Oscar Shortlist Cues Innovative Theatrical Distribution in Arab Markets

    The 2016 Oscars shortlist has prompted the theatrical re-release in the region of Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar’s desert adventure pic Theeb, and also of pluriprized short Ave Maria, by Palestinian director Basil Khalil. (VAR)

    12 Films’ Strategic Keys to Winning at This Year’s Oscars

    Now’s as good a time as any to step back, take a widescreen look at the field and identify the key things each of the dozen hopefuls needs to do to wind up at the podium at the end of the night Feb. 28. (THR)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Box Office: A List of All the Records ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Broke in a Weekend

    Here is a list of records that Star Wars has beaten in the space of a weekend. Note that box office numbers are still being adjusted, as is the case with the global box office, which hit $528 million to beat Jurassic Park’s $524 million. (THR)

    What Effect Has ‘Star Wars’ Epic Weekend Had on Disney Stocks?

    If you thought that the weekend’s record shattering sales for Star Wars: The Force Awakens would lead to a rally for Disney and exhibition stocks, you might be surprised by the group’s performance this morning. (DL)

    Host Steve Harvey Crowns Wrong Miss Universe Contestant Before Real Winner

    Colombia contestant Ariadna Gutierrez Arevalo was already wearing the crown as this year’s Miss Universe winner when host Steve Harvey returned to apologize. Just minutes after the flub, Harvey took to Twitter to once again apologize and Donald Trump’s comments weren’t far behind. (CBS)

    ‘The Man in the High Castle’ Becomes Amazon’s Most Streamed Show After Record-Setting Pilot Views

    Alternative history Nazi drama The Man in the High Castle only needed a month to become Amazon’s most-streamed original show, overtaking shows like the detective-centric Bosch and Jill Soloway’s feted dramedy Transparent. (VG)

    Breaking Down the TV Guest Actor Pay Squeeze: Recurring Are The New Regulars

    It is getting harder and harder to make a living as a TV actor, with series regular roles harder to come by and guest starring gigs regularly relegated to day players. (DL)

    Multi-Platform Prod. House Fullscreen Nabs Hires From MLB, Netflix, XBox and to Build Design Team

    Youth-oriented multi-platform production company and multi-channel network Fullscreen isn’t messing around and has brought on execs from Major League Baseball, Netflix and Xbox Entertainment Studios to lead its design team and upcoming SVOD service. (VI)

    Screenwriters: Which Screenplay Should I Write Next?

    Sources for ideas are infinite. You can adapt a news story, find a novel in the public domain, or even modernize a fairytale, to list just a few options. But, no matter where the idea springs from, here is a list of what you need to ask yourself before sitting down to write your next script. (SM)

    Lifehack: 10 Products to Get You Moving at Work

    You’ve probably heard by now, most likely while you were parked in front of your TV or computer, that sitting kills. But mixing moving and sitting is easier said than done with a hefty workload. Here are the new gadgets and gear that can help. (CNN)


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    Company Launches & Partnerships

    MCN Fullscreen has launched a new SVOD service and hired three executives. Martin Keely, previously of MLB Advanced Media, will serve as General Manager of the new service. Randy Ahn, previously a product exec at Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios, be the SVP of Product Strategy and Trent Good, formerly at Netflix and Hulu, will be the service’s SVP of Design.

    A+E Networks has taken a stake in the cooking brand Panna. Panna’s subscription app features detailed video recipes by well-known chefs. The two companies will collaborate on FYI: 12 Hacks of Christmas, a series of 45-second interstitials, set to air every night during FYI’s primetime lineup, ending December 24.

    Fusion is joining forces with the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts to start a film scholarship challenge for young multicultural filmmakers and digital journalists. Winners will be awarded a scholarship funding to produce their films (short documentary and fiction film) which will be featured and distributed across Fusion’s various television, digital, and OTT platforms.

    CBS Sports Digital has bought 247Sports, a property featuring numerous team-specific sites spanning multiple sports. All 247Sports content will now be incorporated into CBSSports.com‘s assets.

    MCN and multi-platform production company AwesomenessTV has signed an SVOD distribution deal with video services provider Vubiquity. The deal will bring numerous AwesomenessTV series, including Fifth Harmony Takeover and Makeup Mythbusters, to the Middle East, Africa, Southeastern Europe, and most of Latin America. The content will be available through Vubiquity SVOD platforms.

    Yahoo and NBC Sports Group have renewed and expanded their digital partnership, including Yahoo’s fantasy sports products. The deal brings expanded content including Premier League soccer highlights, NBC Sports Regional Network team reports and Golf Channel content. It also spreads the scope of digital and on-air experiences beyond desktop to mobile and Tumblr.

    Screenvision, The No. 2 seller of movie theater ads, has forged a strategic alliance with KAOS Connect, founded by former NCM Fathom Events execs Shelly Maxwell and Dan Diamond. They will be offering movie theaters with non-Hollywood content, such as concerts and Broadway performances, to help fill seats on weekdays when attendance is low.

    Film

    Pam Kunath has been named the EVP of Content Strategy at Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group. She was previously the EVP, General Manager at Screen Gems. Zach McGee has been named the SVP of Business Affairs at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. He was previously the SVP and Head of Business & Legal Affairs at Miramax.

    TV

    Graham Elliot, a judge on Fox’s MasterChef since its launch back in 2010, says Season 6 will be his last. Season 6 of the cooking competition wrapped in September and was renewed in July for a seventh.

    Carolyn Bernstein will be on board as the EVP, Head of Global Scripted Development and Production at National Geographic Channel starting January 4. She was formerly an executive at Endemol Shine. Bernstein will be NatGeo’s first dedicated scripted executive for the cable network, to be based in Los Angeles.

    Julie Holland has been promoted to VP Communications at Endemol Shine North America. In her new role, Holland oversees all unscripted communications efforts for the company, as well as PR initiatives surrounding its brand, integration, commercial partnerships and ancillary products group. Holland previously led consumer publicity campaigns for several top unscripted programs at Endemol.

    Nate Kirtman, the SVP of Corporate PR for NBC Entertainment has left the company and is now pursuing other opportunities.

    Patrice Baillargeon has been named the VP of Unscripted Content at Project 10 Productions. She was previously the Partner, Director, Executive Producer at The Order Productions.

    Mark Burnett has been named as the President of Television & Digital Group at MGM. He was previously the CEO of United Artists Media Group. MGM bought the remaining 45% interest that Burnett and Hearst Corp held in United Artists Media Group in deals valued at $233 million. Burnett’s and Roma Downey’s interests in United Artists Media Group will be absorbed under the MGM Television Group umbrella. Roma Khanna, previously the President of Television Group & Digital at MGM, is leaving the company.

    Michael Connolly has been named the Head of Television at Vertigo Entertainment. He was previously the Principal at Mad Hatter Entertainment. Melissa Lora has been hired as a Coordinator in the Television department at Vertigo Entertainment. She was previously the Executive Assistant at Bad Robot Productions.

    Kristin Martini has been upped from Manager of Production & Development to the Director of Television at John Wells Productions.

    Lauren Paget has been promoted from Development Executive to the Director of Development at Assembly Entertainment.

    Jorge Dominguez has been upped from VP to the SVP of Art & Design at Univision Communications Inc. Sam Abiad has been named the SVP of Ad Sales Operations & Local Business Strategy, Univision Communications Inc. (New York) He was previously the SVP of Commercial Excellence & Operations at Univision Communications Inc. Hilda García has been named the VP of Digital Local Media at Univision Digital. She was previously the VP of Multimedia Content & Community Development at Entravision Communications Corporation.

    David Doyle has been named the VP of Production & Non-Fiction Development at Litton Entertainment. He was previously the President, Executive Producer at Ampersand Media.

    Skarpi Hedinsson has been named the Chief Technology Officer at Disney-ABC Television Group. She was previously the SVP of Technology & Platform, Digital Media at Disney-ABC Television Group.

    Sandy Varo Jarrell has been named the SVP of Creative at Discovery Studios. She was previously the SVP of Production & Development at TLC. Matthew Vafiadis has been named the VP of Current Production at Discovery Channel. He was previously the SVP of Production & Development at Ellen Rakieten Entertainment.

    Caroline Kusser has been named the SVP of Sales & Distribution at FremantleMedia International. She was previously the Managing Director at Carokusser.

    Howard Lee has been named the EVP of Development & Production at TLC and General Manager at Discovery Life Channel (Silver Spring, MD). He previously was the EVP of the East Coast division.

    Mauricio Piccone has been named the SVP of Reality Programming at Telemundo in Miami. He was previously the Co-EVP at Endemol Shine Latino (Miami)

    Daniel Suratt has been upped from EVP of Digital Media & Business Development to the President of Corporate Development, Strategy and Investments at A+E Networks (New York, as of January 1st, 2016). Amy Savitsky has been named the SVP of Development & Programming at A&E. She was previously the SVP of Development at TLC in Washington D.C. Sean Cohan has been named the President of International and Digital Media in New York, as of January 1st. He was previously the EVP of International at A+E Networks.

    Management, PR, Agencies

    Edwin Hayfron was hired at BWR Public Relations in the Talent office and will report to BWR Executive Vice Presidents Melissa Raubvogel in New York and Nicole Perna in Los Angeles as of January 10. He was formerly a Senior Publicist at Premier PR.

    The following Counsels have been made Partner at O’Melveny & Myers: Nima Amini (Hong Kong), Melody Drummond Hansen (San Francisco), Jaroslaw Hawrylewicz (New York), Shelly Heyduk, Don Melamed, Anton Metlitsky (New York), Danielle Oakley, Bimal Patel (Washington DC/New York), Scott Sugino (Tokyo), Cassandra Seto, and Silvia Vannini.

    CAA has promoted several Agent Trainees: Justin Cahill has been upped to Music Agent in Nashville, Joe Della Rosa and Luke Rodgers have been upped to Film Finance & Sales Agents, Monique Francis and Amanda Jimenez have been promoted Executives in Marketing, Ryan Vogt has been upped to Licensing Agent. In addition, Lori York has been hired as an Alternative TV Agent at CAA. She was previously the Partner, International TV & Media at ICM Partners.

    Gabriel Cohen, Chris Huvane, and Justin Grey Stone have been named Partner in the Talent department at Management 360. They are currently Talent Managers. Ana Bedayo has been promoted from Assistant to Evelyn O’Neill to Talent Manager. Charlie Gavshon has been upped form Assistant to Justin Grey Stone to Talent Manager.

    A.B. Fischer, a Literary Manager at The Shuman Company, has been named Partner.

    Marc Shaer has been hired as a Talent Manager at Bohemia Group. Marc was formerly a Talent Manager at Apex Talent Group.

    Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

    Steve Hasker will take on the role of COO in addition to his role as the Global President and COO of Nielsen Holdings plc as of January 1st.

    Sarah Harden has been named the President of Otter Media. She was previously the EVP of Strategy & Investments at Otter Media.

    Ynon Kreiz is pursuing other opportunities (as of January 11th, 2016). She was previously the President at Maker Studios. Courtney Holt will be promoted from Chief Strategy Officer to the EVP, Head at Maker Studios.

    Andreea Gleeson has been named the VP of Marketing at TuneCore (New York). She was previously the Digital VP of Marketing at Lord & Taylor.

    Roy Sekoff, a founding editor of The Huffington Post and the current President of HuffPost Live, is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

    Univision Digital has named Alberto Cairo as their Visualization Innovator-in-Residence. In the newly created role, he’ll act as an internal consultant, helping to establish guidelines and strategy for visual information content across the company’s digital platforms. Cairo previously held positions at the University of Miami.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Awards 2016: The Academy Narrows Down Its VFX Finalists, Names the Final 10 Contenders

    The list includes films that were mostly expected to be there, including Ant-Man, Ex Machina, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, while such films as Bridge of Spies, Chappie, Everest, Furious Seven and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 all failed to make the cut. (IC)

    With This Year’s Oscar Race So Clearly Wide Open, No Holiday Breaks Are Planned For Those In Contention

    If it seems the town should be starting to slow down with the Christmas/New Year’s break just about upon us, think again. Because this is such a wide open Oscar race, everyone seems to be going down to the wire trying to win Oscar voter attention as balloting begins on December 30th, right in the sweet spot of the holidays.  (AL)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Exec Shuffle For 12/21/15: Mark Burnett Named President of MGM TV & Digital, CAA Ups Several Agent Trainees, Multiple Shifts at A+E Networks

    Even as we enter the week before Christmas, there are still deals aplenty happening. Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group has a new EVP of Strategy, MCN Fullscreen has launched a new SVOD service and hired three executives, and Julie Holland has earned a promotion at Endemol Shine North America, among plenty of others. (SSN)

    ‘Star Wars’ Helps Disney Make the Big Leap Into the $5 Billion Club For the First Time

    Propelled by the intergalactic juggernaut that is The Force Awakens, Walt Disney Studios will top $5B is worldwide grosses today for the first time. The J.J. Abrams-helmed behemoth is providing only the latest rocket boost for Disney, which has reached stratospheric heights with such 2015 fare as Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Inside Out, Cinderella and Ant -an. (DH)

    Avast! Pirates Leak ‘The Hateful Eight’ and ‘The Revenant’ Online In the Days Before Their Release

    Screener copies of the Oscar contenders have leaked online, according to TorrentFreak. The films have already found their way into the top 10 most-pirated films of the week, with Revenant being the fifth most-downloaded film and Hateful Eight the tenth most. A copy of Hateful Eight, which had no time stamps or watermarks, had been downloaded 220,000 times as of this morning, while Revenant had been downloaded 300,000 times. (HRT)

    It Might Not Be a Critics Choice Award, or a Golden Globe, but ‘The Martian’ Just Won a Pretty Prestigious Prize

    Ridley Scott’s sci-fi adventure won the inaugural Sloan Science in Cinema Prize from the San Francisco Film Society, presented in partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which celebrates outstanding achievement in the depiction of science on screen. (TOH)

    Since He Still Does Not Have Enough On His Plate, James Franco Teams With Lifetime for ‘Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?’ Remake

    Franco penned the story for the remake, with a script written by Amber Coney. Melanie Aitkenhead will direct, and Franco will exec produce with Vince Jolivette, Diane Sokolow and Rachel Verno. The remake hails from Sony Pictures Television in association with Rabbit Bandini Productions, and will air in 2016. (LF)

    Ridley Scott Finds His Female Lead For ‘Alien: Covenant’

    Katherine Waterston — who is on a pretty big hot streak, what with her recent roles in Inherent Vice, Steve Jobs and next year’s Fantastic Beasts and How To Find Them — will star opposite Michael Fassbender in the upcoming Prometheus sequel/Alien srequel, which is set to start filming in March and hit theaters in summer of 2017. (EMP)

    Seinfeld Snags a Big One: President Obama to Guest Star on ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’

    As he enters the final year of his presidency, Obama will guest star on Jerry Seinfeld’s internet talk show. He will be the first guest star of Season 7, which premieres Wednesday, Dec. 30th. Along with the President, other guest stars for the new season include Will Ferrell, Steve Martin, Garry Shandling, Kathleen Madigan and Sebastian Maniscalco. (VAR)

    Bad News For Fans of ‘Banshee’ Eagerly Awaiting the Final Season: You’re Going To Have To Wait a Couple Extra Months

    Cinemax announced that the show’s final season has been delayed from its initial premiere date of January 29th to April 1st. Show creator Jonathan Tropper made the announcement on Twitter. As a sort of apology to fans, the cable network released a new trailer. (COL)


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Black Film Critics Names Their Top Ten Films of the Year

    The Black Film Critics Circle has voted Creed as the best film of 2015, but which nine films also made their list? Click here to find out. (BBC)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Just How Much Money Did ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Actors Earn to Join a Galaxy Far, Far Away?

    Harrison Ford picked up a reported $25 million to reprise his role, but Daisy Ridley didn’t come close to that payday. Stars will also have to wait until the film crosses $1 billion at the box office to collect back-end bonuses. (VAR)

    11 Shows Given Holiday Presents in the Form of California Tax Credits

    ABC’s Mistresses, rookie dramas Code Black and Rosewood and the Syfy telepic Sharknado 4 are among the 11 TV projects that received an early Christmas gift from the state of California today. (DL)

    Need Money for Your Film? Head to New Zealand as Cloud 9 Launches $100 Million Film Fund

    Indus Media and Entertainment is teaming with Raymond Thompson’s Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment Group — best known for The Tribe — to develop and produce motion picture, TV and animation titles. (VAR)

    ABC Greenlights ‘When We Rise’ Eight-Part Mini from Gus Van Sant & Dustin Lance Black

    Two and a half years after it was put in development, ABC has given an order for When We Rise, an eight-hour miniseries exploring the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community’s civil rights movement. (THR)

    ‘Harry Potter’ Director Mike Newell Enchants Amazon Pilot to Lift its Contingency

    Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell has been tapped to direct Amazon drama pilot The Interestings, an adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s bestselling book. The pilot, originally picked up as director-contingent, is now cleared for production. (DL)

    Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard on a Roll at ABC With Another Script Sold

    ABC has picked up a script for Please Don’t Go. Meaghan Oppenheimer will exec produce the ABC Studios entry alongside Witherspoon and her studio-based Pacific Standard topper Bruna Papandrea. The project follows the personal and professional life of a ruthless divorce attorney in Dallas. (THR)

    The 10 Most Creative Micro Films of the Year (Hint, They’re Commercials)

    Ad agencies have pushed to imaginative new heights in an attempt stand apart from the fray. The most innovative commercials this year surpassed the usual branded gimmicks and contrived viral stunts with clever or moving conceits that sometimes packed a powerful punch. (MB)

    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 under-furnished Brooklyn apartment… it all matters. 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)

    Radical Candor — The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss

    Kim Scott, an acclaimed coach for companies like Twitter, Shyp, Rolltape, and Qualtrics, has spent years distilling her experiences into some simple ideas you can use to help the people who work for you love their jobs and do great work. (FR)


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    American Lion
    Network: HBO Network
    Studio: Lionsgate
    Executive Producer(s): Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, Matt Jacobson, Sean Penn
    Writer(s): Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard
    Logline: The story of Andrew Jackson, a man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy.
    Details: Based on the book, ” American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” written by Jon Meacham and published by Random House on November 11, 2008.
    SSN Insight: HBO has greenlighted the six-hour event miniseries with Oscar winner Sean Penn set to play the President in his first major TV role.

    Apparition
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Albert Torres, Tom Lassally
    Writer(s): Albert Torres
    Logline: A successful New Orleans doctor is reluctantly pulled into the world of paranormal investigation when she discovers a secret family history that awakens an ability to connect with the afterlife. She teams up with an uncle she never knew she had and a former TV ghost hunter to help troubled souls, dead and live, find peace in this life and the next.
    SSN Insight: Apparition is Torres’ first foray into television, previously he wrote the 2008 film Henry Poole Is Here and last year he adapted comic book series Locke & Key for Universal.

    Botcop
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): KatCo
    Executive Producer(s): Geoff Barbanell, Itai Grunfeld, Tracy Katsky, Aaron Kaplan
    Writer(s): Geoff Barbanell, Itai Grunfeld
    Logline: In 1985 botcop was the cutting edge of law enforcement technology. Half man and half robot, all bad ass and he cleaned the mean streets of LA bringing crime to its lowest levels of all time. Now, 30 years later, botcop is nothing more that an outdated relic, he is fired from the LAPD and forced to take the only law enforcement gig he can get – that of a meter maid.
    SSN Insight: Rolled from 2015-2016 season. Fox has given a pilot presentation order as of December 15.

    Bunsen is a Beast!
    Network: Nickelodeon
    Executive Producer(s): Butch Hartman
    Logline: Bunsen is the first beast to attend a human-grade school. On his first day of school, Bunsen befriends a classmate named Mikey, who over time guides Bunsen through the ups and downs of life as a human. On the flip side, Bunsen introduces Mikey to the wild and wacky world of monsters which, as it turns out, is a lot more fun than scary. No matter what the stakes, Bunsen and Mikey will always have each other’s backs.
    SSN Insight: Network has ordered 20 episodes.

    Good Girls Revolt
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: TriStar Television, Sony Pictures Television, Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): Lynda Obst Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Lynda Obst, Jeff Okin, Dana Calvo, Darlene Hunt, Don Kurt
    Writer(s): Dana Calvo
    Logline: A group of young female researchers at “News of the Week” simply ask to be treated fairly. Their revolutionary request will spark convulsive changes and upend marriages, careers, sex lives, love lives, and friendships.
    Details: Based on the sexual discrimination cases chronicled in “The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace,” written by Lynn Povich and published by PublicAffairs on September 10, 2012.
    SSN Insight: Amazon has picked up the pilot to series. Additionally, new series Red Oaks and Hand Of God will join recently renewed The Man In The High Castle in getting second-season pickups.

    Highston
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): Four by Two Films
    Executive Producer(s): Bob Nelson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, Todd Hoffman
    Writer(s): Bob Nelson
    Logline: Highston Liggetts is a 19-year-old with a wide circle of celebrity friends—that only he can see. His parents, Jean and Wilbur, force him to get psychiatric help, but his Uncle Billy thinks he’s just fine.
    SSN Insight: Amazon has picked up the pilot to series and gave a ten episode order.

    Hoff The Record
    Network: UKTV, AXS TV
    Production Company(s): Me & You Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Krishnendu Majumdar, Richard Yee, Eric Gardner, Iain Coyle
    Logline: The show follows TV legend David Hasselhoff – playing a highly fictionalized version of himself – as he arrives in the UK in an attempt to reignite his flagging career. It’s been thirty years since he rose to worldwide fame in Baywatch and Knight Rider and things have since gone a little stale for The Hoff. Will a move across the Atlantic change his luck?
    SSN Insight: AXS TV bought Season 1 of UK mockumentary series and will premiere it in early spring.

    Kill Jill
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: Warner Bros. Television
    Production Company(s): FourBoys Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Laura Solon, Patricia Heaton, David Hunt
    Writer(s): Laura Solon
    Logline: An idealistic graduate, desperate to escape her small hometown, takes a job with a glamorous West Coast businesswoman who appears to have it all — including a plot against her life.
    SSN Insight: Kill Jill is under the deal FourBoys (run by Heaton and Hunt) inked with WBTV back in August.

    Mindhunter
    Network: Netflix
    Production Company(s): Denver & Delilah Films
    Executive Producer(s): David Fincher, Charlize Theron
    Logline: Storyline under wraps. Based on the book.
    Details: Based on the book “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit,” written by John Douglas and Mark Olshker and published by Pocket Books on August 1, 1996.
    SSN Insight: Previously set up at HBO and Fox 21 in 2009 with writer Scott Buck. Fincher is expected to direct.

    One Mississippi
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: FX Productions, Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): Pig Newton, Inc.
    Executive Producer(s): Tig Notaro, Diablo Cody, Louis C.K., Dave Becky, Blair Breard
    Writer(s): Tig Notaro, Diablo Cody
    Logline: Tig Notaro deals with the complex reentry into her childhood hometown of Bay Saint Lucille, Mississippi, to deal with the unexpected death of her mother, the interminable life of the party, Caroline. Reeling from her own recently declining health, Tig struggles to find her footing with the loss of the one person who actually understood her, with help from her older but not always wiser brother, Remy, and her emotionally distant stepfather, Bill. A surprise visit from Tig’s girlfriend, Brooke, only compounds the reality of how out of place Tig is in a world without her mother.
    Details: Loosely inspired by Tig Notaro’s life.
    SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at FX. Louis CK was previously attached to direct.

    Patriot
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Executive Producer(s): Steve Conrad, Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, Charlie Gogolak, Gil Bellows
    Writer(s): Steve Conrad
    Logline: The story follows the complicated life of intelligence officer John Tavner. His latest assignment is to prevent Iran from going nuclear, requiring him to forgo all safety nets and assume a perilous “non-official cover” — that of a mid-level employee at a Midwestern industrial piping firm. A bout with PTSD, the Federal government’s incompetence, and the intricacies of keeping a day job in the “front” industrial piping company, cause a barrage of ever-escalating fiascos that jeopardize Tavner’s mission.
    SSN Insight: Amazon has given a series order of ten episodes.

    Please Don’t Go
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: ABC Studios
    Production Company(s): Pacific Standard
    Executive Producer(s): Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea
    Writer(s): Meaghan Oppenheimer
    Logline: The story follows the personal and professional life of a ruthless divorce attorney in Dallas. Raised in the trailer parks of Texas, she has left behind a life of struggle amid squalor, working her way into a corner office and mansion in Dallas’s most prestigious neighborhood. But beneath her facade of togetherness, she’s plagued by self-destructive tendencies and long hidden family secrets that begin to unravel her life.
    SSN Insight: Pacific Standard is also prepping a romantic mystery drama from Rob Long for ABC and is producing HBO’s Big Little Lies, in which Witherspoon will star.

    Revenge Body
    Network: E! Networks
    Studio: Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): Ryan Seacrest Media, Rogue Atlas Productions, KhloMoney Productions, Inc.
    Executive Producer(s): Khloe Kardashian, Eli Frankel, Ryan Seacrest
    Logline: In each episode, two heartbroken individuals will get the opportunity to recreate themselves with the help of a team of Hollywood’s most elite trainers, stylists and glam squads assembled by Khloe Kardashian.
    SSN Insight: Ordered to series. E! has ordered 6 episodes.

    The Interestings
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: TriStar Television, Amazon Studios
    Executive Producer(s): Lyn Greene, Richard Levine, Michael De Luca, Lindsay Sloane
    Writer(s): Lyn Greene, Richard Levine
    Logline: Based on a group of friends who meet at an arts camp when they’re 15 in 1974. The series chronicles their relationships throughout the next three decades dealing with the great expectations of youth juxtaposed with the realities life hands you as you get older.
    Details: Based on the novel “The Interestings,” written by Meg Wolitzer and published by Riverhead Books in 2013.
    SSN Insight: Mike Newell, who previously directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, has lifted the director contingency on this project.

    The Passion
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Production Company(s): Dick Clark Productions, Eye2Eye Media
    Executive Producer(s): Allen Shapiro, Michael Mahan, Mark Bracco, Jacco Doornbos, Adam Anders
    Logline: Set in modern day, but told through song and Bible verse, The Passion will unfold live at some of New Orleans’ most iconic locations as Jesus presides over the Last Supper, is betrayed by Judas, arrested, put on trial by Pontius Pilate, convicted and ultimately resurrected. In addition, hundreds of people from New Orleans will participate in a live procession as a 20 foot, illuminated cross is carried through the streets of New Orleans from the Superdome to the location of the live stage at Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River.
    Details: Based on a format originally created in the Netherlands.
    SSN Insight: The show first aired in 2011, and became the most successful live storytelling event ever on Dutch TV.

    The Windsors
    Network: Channel 4
    Production Company(s): Noho Film and TV
    Executive Producer(s): Camilla Campbell, Robert Wulff-Cochrane
    Writer(s): Bert Tyler-Moore, George Jeffrie
    Logline: A look at the imagined lives and loves of the royal family.
    Details: Inspired by real events.
    SSN Insight: Ordered to series. UK’s Channel 4 has ordered six episodes.

    Untitled Latin Romeo and Juliet Drama Project
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
    Production Company(s): No Production Company Available.
    Executive Producer(s): Eduardo Cisneros, Jason Shuman
    Writer(s): Eduardo Cisneros, Jason Shuman
    Logline: A modern Romeo and Juliet tale set against the backdrop of Los Angeles’ new Latino wealth in the music and radio industry.
    Details: Based on the play “Romeo and Juliet” written by William Shakespeare.
    SSN Insight: The famous play is also the basis for the ABC series is developing entitled Still Star-Crossed.

    Untitled Riddick Drama Project
    Studio: Universal Television
    Production Company(s): One Race Films
    Executive Producer(s): Vin Diesel, Samantha Vincent
    Logline: Storyline under wraps. Based on the films.
    Details: The project is based on the Riddick film trilogy, which included “Pitch Black”(2000), “The Chronicles of Riddick” (2004), “Riddick” (2013).
    SSN Insight: Vin Diesel and his One Race Television has signed a multi-year, first-look production deal with Universal TV.

    When We Rise
    Network: ABC Entertainment Group
    Studio: ABC Studios
    Production Company(s): Laurence Mark Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Laurence Mark, Dustin Lance Black, Bruce Cohen, Gus van Sant
    Writer(s): Dustin Lance Black
    Logline: The story centers on the gay rights movement starting in the 70s up to the overturning of Prop 8 and the legalization of gay marriage.
    Details: Based on the life of Dustin Lance Black.
    SSN Insight: Planned as an 8-hour miniseries.

    Z: The Beginning of Everything
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): Killer Films
    Executive Producer(s): Dawn Prestwich, Nicole Yorkin, Christina Ricci, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon
    Writer(s): Dawn Prestwich, Nicole Yorkin
    Logline: A series based on the novel, “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald”.
    Details: Based on the novel, “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Anne Fowler (2013)
    SSN Insight: Ordered to series. Amazon has given a series order of 10 episodes.


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    AWARDS HEADLINES

    Awards 2016: Broadcast Critics Decide To Change Their Rules, Include ‘Star Wars’ In Their Best Picture Race

    In an unusual move, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has received an 11th-hour Critics’ Choice Award nomination for best picture more than a week after contenders were initially announced. The film was not screened in time for nominations balloting so the board of directors decided to hold a special vote yesterday to determine if it would have been nominated had members been able to consider it. J.J. Abrams’ pic was thereby able to thwart the rules. (COL)

    Awards 2016: Discussing Cinematography — Three Star DPs Discuss Their Craft

    This year, Hollywood’s most respected cinematographers went to extreme lengths to bring to audiences some stunning imagery. When it comes to this work, for several D.P.s the Oscar is an afterthought, it’s all about the craft. Here, Beasts of No Nation’s Cary Fukunaga, The Revenant’s Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki and Sicario’s iconic Roger Deakins talk about their work. (AL)

    Awards 2016: Six Best Editing Oscar Contenders — There’s More Than Survival at Stake

    Among the year’s editorial achievements: a metaphysical journey, the economic collapse as black comedy, a massive Catholic Church cover-up, post-apocalyptic adventure, one man’s colonization of Mars and LA’s “reality rap” story. (TOH)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    TV Development for 12/22/15: David Fincher & Charlize Theron’s ‘Mindhunter’ Lands at Netflix, Amazon Sets 5 Primetime Series, Vin Diesel Developing ‘Riddick’ Series

    The year isn’t quite over yet, as plenty of series move forward in some form or another. Among the new attachments and items include Sean Penn’s mini-series about Andrew Jackson, David Hasselhoff playing a fictionalized version of himself, and yet another new project for Reese Witherspoon and her Pacific Standard shingle. (SSN)

    ‘Force Awakens’ Brings In $40.1 Million Yesterday, Breaks All-Time Monday Record

    Disney and Lucasfilm’s megamovie racked up a global Monday of $81.8M raising its worldwide run to $610.8M. In the U.S./Canada, Force Awakens’ $40.1M Monday at 4,134 venues, blew away Spider-Man 2‘s $27.7M previous Monday high by 45 percent, taking its domestic tally to $288.1M. Jurassic World was the fastest film to cross $300M domestic in eight days, but Force Awakens is going to easily cross the three century mark tomorrow in a record five. (DH)

    Never Fear, ‘Avatar’ Fans! James Cameron Has Confirmed Release and Shooting Dates

    The Oscar-winning filmmaker says that Christmas 2017 is “the target,” and that the two sequels after that will come out a year apart, which means Avatar 3 is set for Christmas 2018 and Avatar 4 in 2019. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver are all returning for the sequels. (CS)

    Warner Bros. Sees the Competition, Decides To Move ‘King Arthur’ From Next Summer To February 2017

    In its original July 22nd spot, the movie was set to go against Star Trek Beyond and the latest Ice Age film, but now the Guy Ritchie-directed film, which stars Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Eric Bana, Jude Law and Djimon Hounsou, will now hit theaters on President’s Day Weekend in 2017. (EMP)

    Disney Board Members Seek End to Shareholder Lawsuit Over Anti-Poaching Pacts

    Three decades ago, George Lucas sold a computer division of Lucasfilm to Steve Jobs and thus, Pixar was born. At the time, the two companies agreed not to poach each others’ workers. Many years later, Lucasfilm and Pixar would each be acquired by Disney, which is now facing civil lawsuits asserting antitrust violations over the very same Lucas-Jobs anti-poaching pact that was allegedly extended to other companies in the visual effects industry. (HESQ)

    Kurt Russell Still Hasn’t Seen Guardians of the Galaxy’, but Is Still Considering a Role In the Sequel

    The actor himself has confirmed that he’s in the running for the role. However, before he seriously considers it, he needs to sit down and watch the first one, because he hasn’t watched it yet, and knows absolutely nothing about it. Russell is up for the role of Star Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father. Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper will all be back, when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 arrives on May 5th, 2017. (SF)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Everybody Wants Some’

    Paramount Pictures and Annapurna Pictures have released the first look at Richard Linklater’s followup to Boyhood, which is being called a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused. Will Brittain, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Anthony Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Blake Jenner, Glen Powell and Wyatt Russell star in the movie, which hits theaters April 15th, 2016. (YT)


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