Articles on this Page
- 12/23/15--08:06: _‘Hateful Eight’ Pir...
- 12/23/15--11:13: _Rep Moves for 12/23...
- 12/23/15--12:11: _Film & TV Deals for...
- 12/23/15--13:35: _Awards 2016: ‘The R...
- 12/24/15--05:08: _BFCA Controversy Ov...
- 12/24/15--14:14: _Awards 2016: What A...
- 12/25/15--07:30: _Awards 2016: Caitly...
- 12/28/15--07:57: _‘Star Wars’ Smashes...
- 12/28/15--11:51: _Exec Shuffle for 12...
- 12/28/15--13:56: _Awards 2016: Animat...
- 12/29/15--08:15: _Bryan Cranston Snag...
- 12/29/15--13:09: _TV Development for ...
- 12/29/15--14:13: _Awards 2016: ‘Sicar...
- 12/30/15--09:01: _Rentrak Confirms Bi...
- 12/30/15--11:59: _Film & TV Deals for...
- 12/31/15--08:51: _Spielberg Invests i...
- 12/31/15--13:06: _Film Development fo...
- 12/31/15--13:36: _Awards 2016: ‘The R...
- 12/31/15--19:51: _On the Set for 1/1/...
- 01/01/16--09:30: _On the Set 1/1/16, ...
A copy mailed to Alcon Entertainment co-CEO Andrew Kosove was uploaded to file-sharing sites as the FBI probes a damaging leak of the Quentin Tarantino film. Although it is likely that Kosove is a victim in this leak rather than the perpetrator. (THR)
Two virtually unknown presenters, a German racing driver and a motoring journalist, have been picked to be Chris Evans’ sidekicks on the new season of Top Gear. It comes after the series is rebranding after several hosts left earlier this year. (TG)
The Beatles, who have long withheld their legendary catalog from streaming services, will finally offer up their discography to Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and more starting December 24th at 12:01 a.m. local times around the globe. (RS)
Fusion was launched in 2013 as an English language digital and cable network aimed at the fast-growing population of second generation Latinos, but switched focus shortly and broadened its target market to all millennials. Univision is now in negotiations to take over the ownership and operation of Fusion. (CNBC)
A blackly comic crime drama, Florida Roadkill is based on an ongoing series of novels by Tampa-based author Dorsey, which chronicle the violent and bizarre adventures of a charismatic criminal named Serge Storms. (DL)
Leading box office analyst reveals insight as to whether Star Wars: The Force Awakens could wind up passing Avatar as the top worldwide grosser of all time. (VAR)
Two top mainland Chinese executives at financially troubled Hong Kong animation studio Imagi International, producer of the 2007 hit TNMT, are missing. When Chinese companies announce they have “lost contact” with their leadership, the individuals are typically presumed detained by authorities. (THR)
In true Disney style, the box office is only one place the studio cashes in on its mega franchise. With the release of The Force Awakens, a new Nielsen analysis explores the sales figures behind the franchise over the past few years, focusing on Star Wars-related discs, books, and consumer packaged goods. (NL)
Since its launch two years ago, The Shade Room has quickly gained readers thanks to its quick-hit, bottom-up approach to black celebrity gossip. The Shade Room was the first to launch on Instagram with a social media spin: It actually did detective work on Instagram to figure out who was dating whom, who had broken up, who was in a fight. (BF)
Elf is the story about one of Santa’s elves who learns of his true identity as a human and goes to New York City to meet his biological father, spreading Christmas cheer in a world of cynics as he goes. (DS)
WME: Oscar-winning production designer and director of Maleficent, Robert Stromberg has shifted from CAA to WME for representation. Stromberg is the first production designer to win back-to-back Oscars for his work on Avatar and Alice In Wonderland. His directorial debut, Maleficent grossed over $750 million worldwide. He recently finished directing the 25-minute Virtual Reality experience for Ridley Scott’s The Martian, to be released in early 2016. He will next direct a film adaptation of the Liz Kessler bestselling children’s fantasy novel The Tail Of Emily Windsnap.
RPMedia: Sylvester Stallone has signed with a new manager, Rick Nicita who’s headquartered at RPMedia. Stallone’s agency representation remains at WME, the team that helped convince Stallone to take a gamble on Ryan Coogler’s vision for a new series of Rocky films. The film, Creed, has since grossed over $97 million and many say the feature will be nominated at this year’s Academy Awards. Stallone and Nicita previously worked together while Nicita was an agent at CAA.
WME: Stephen David Entertainment has shifted its representation from CAA to WME. The shift follows the company’s move into a major expansion into scripted television with the appointment of Dirk Hoogstra as Chief Creative Officer. The company’s credits include The Men Who Built America and The World Wars at History as well as The Making Of The Mob and the upcoming The West at AMC. Their first fully-scripted series, Sons of Liberty, airing on History, just earned a WGA Award nomination.
Elevate: Filmmaker Jake Hoffman has signed with Elevate Entertainment for representation in talent and literary. He most recently wrote, directed and produced the feature Asthma starring Krysten Ritter and Rosanna Arquette among others. His acting credits include Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street and Barney’s Version alongside Paul Giamatti. He’ll next be seen in Danny Sangra’s Goldbricks In Bloom. He’s also repped by WME.
ICM: Screenwriters Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore, whose script Mayday 109 was on this year’s Black List have signed with ICM Partners. Mayday 109 tells the story of then-Navy Lt. John F. Kennedy’s encounter with a Japanese destroyer in 1943 during World War II when he was aboard PT-109. The script has been acquired by Thunder Road with Beau Flynn producing. The pair are also developing a biopic on boxer Rocky Marciano to star Jeremy Renner.
WME: Screenwriter Chuck MacLean has shifted representation from CAA to WME. His script titled Boston Strangler, landed on the 2014 Black List and has since been set up at Warner Bros for Casey Affleck and Kevin McCormick. The story is set in the 1960s around a determined detective who puts his life and career on the line to solve the case of the Boston Strangler. He also wrote the script Mercy Seat for Fox Searchlight, which has Michael Roskam attached to direct.
ICM: Actress and model Dree Hemingway has shifted from WME to ICM Partners for representation. She recently starred in the film Starlet, an intergenerational drama that premiered at SXSW in 2012 and won the Robert Altman Award at the Indie Spirits. She most recently appeared in While We’re Young, Listen Up Philip and X/Y. She will next be seen in Love After Love, the feature debut of writer-director Russ Harbaugh. She is also known for being the daughter of Mariel Hemingway and great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway.
Vin Diesel along with his One Race Productions banner have inked a multiyear overall deal with Universal Television to produce TV series for the studio. His first project under the deal will be a television adaptation of Diesel’s sci-fi franchise Riddick. Former Fox Broadcasting executive Shana C. Waterman is also coming aboard One Race as head of television. On the film side, Diesel has not only starred in the Fast and Furious franchise but has also produced four of the films. He’s also produced features A Man Apart, The Chronicles of Riddick and Hitman, as well as documentaries A War Hero and Life Is a Dream.
The Weinstein Company is partnering with American Media to launch a new TV production unit to center on the development, creation, production and distribution of original television, film and digital initiatives based on American Media’s portfolio. American Media’s extensive portfolio includes titles such as the National Enquirer, Men’s Fitness, OK!, Star, National Examiner and Jupiter Entertainment. The initial focus will be on unscripted programming. To that end, Jupiter already produces non-scripted shows including Animal Planet’s Wild West Alaska, Oxygen’s Snapped while TWC produces The Project Runway series and its spin-offs. Patrick Reardon, EVP of TWC’s TV department, Dylan Howard, AMI’s VP and COO, and Stephen Land, Chief Executive of Jupiter Entertainment will head the new venture.
The FCC has approved Altice NV’s $9.1 billion purchase of controlling interest (70%) in Suddenlink Communications. Under the deal Altice now holds the reins to a cable operator with 1.5 million customers across 17 states. Suddenlink’s outgoing CEO, Jerry Kent, has made an investment in Altice USA and will become a chairman of a new Advisory Council.
German producers Philipp Kreuzer and Jörg Schulze are launching Maze Pictures, a film and TV company to develop and finance high-end content for local and international markets. Among the first projects is the adaptation of crime drama The Crimson Rivers as an international hour-long series in partnership with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp Television. Maze Pictures is also developing Rupert Everett’s directorial debut The Happy Prince with BBC Films and Lionsgate UK among others as well as an international series Heirs Of The Night with NDR/KIKA, ZDF Enterprises and Hamster Film.
Sony Pictures Television and DISH Network signed long-term carriage agreements including the first-time nationwide distribution of classic TV channel getTV, the addition of Spanish-language Cine Sony Television on DishLATINO, and continued distribution of the Sony Movie Channel.
The CW Network has signed new long-term affiliation agreements with Nexstar Broadcasting Group for all nine of Nexstar’s owned or operated stations that are currently CW affiliates. The deal follows CW’s similar renewal with Gray Television as the network seeks to secure markets in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago controlled by its affiliate group, Tribune. Negotiations between Tribune and The CW parents CBS and Warner Bros., are expected to come to a head in early 2016.
Channel 4 has picked up the broadcast rights to Formula One in the UK after the BBC, cancelled its six year deal three years early. Channel 4’s new deal will span three years, cover the broadcast of ten races a season from 2016 on, and has a value of $90 million. As Channel 4 is state owned but does carry advertising, it will not air ads during the live races. BBC’s deal cancellation was made due to pressure on the channel to find savings in excess of $1 billion this year and it followed its job cuts of more than 1,000 workers in the summer.
Awards 2016: It’s History — How ‘The Revenant’s’ Filmmaking Team Showed You the Frontier Like No One Ever Has
In case you ever wondered what it was like to be on the American Frontier in the first quarter of the 19th century, amidst the fur traders and trappers, Native Americans, the untapped forestry and pristine wilderness, the bustling wildlife … all of it, then there is finally a movie for you. (SSN)
Awards 2016: ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Room’ & ‘Suffragette’ Production Designers Work Within Confines Of Time & Space
While this Oscar season has been ripe with standout above-the-line performances, some of the most outstanding and overlooked work is coming from this year’s production designers. Spotlight‘s Stephen H. Carter was faced with creating an authentic newsroom environment. Room’s Ethan Tobman dealt with the challenges of creating and shooting within a 10-by-10-foot box. And Suffragette’s Alice Normington recreated Edwardian London. (AL)
Film & TV Deals for 12/23/15: Weinstein Company Launches TV Unit with American Media, Vin Diesel Inks Overall Deal with Universal TV
Things are winding down, for sure, but there is still a little bit of action. There’s also a purchase approval by the FCC, a new deal between Sony TV and the Dish Network, and a new long-term affiliation agreement for The CW. Click on the link to read on. (SSN)
Rep Moves For 12/23/15: Sly Stallone Signs with New Manager, ‘Maleficent’ Director Robert Stromberg Inks with WME, ICM Nabs Black List Screenwriters
A surprisingly active week before Christmas, as several artists find new representation in Hollywoodland. Rather than tell you more, we’ll instead direct you to click the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)
After dominating the opening weekend box office with $238 doemstic and $529 million global, the film continues its box office domination. As announced today, the movie has surpassed $300 million at the North American box office in record time, a scant five days. Also, by scoring $37.3 million yesterday, it broke the Tuesday record of $35 million by The Amazing Spider-Man. (COL)
With the film already a topic of national conversation among NFL fans and commentators, Sony Pictures is offering NFL players and their families free admission to the movie during the duration of the film’s run, which begins Friday. The studio has already engaged many current and former NFL players, holding private screenings in each team’s city in advance of its opening. (CS)
Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie being directed by The Lego Movie‘s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller has been shifted from July 20th, 2018 to December 21st, 2018. The push comes after the studio earlier this year unveiled its Spider-Man reboot plan with Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal steering the ship of its $4 billion live-action franchise. (DH)
There’s yet another change at the top of the Golden Globe-nominated drama, which is making its third showrunner change. Gone is Adam Fierro, and in are Jose Padilha and Eric Newman. This marks the third showrunner change overall for the drug cartel drama revolving around crime lord Pablo Escobar. Chris Brancato, who oversaw the first season of the drama, exited ahead of the series debut. (LF)
The director is evidently already having second thoughts about his decision to step out of the director’s chair for the next Star Wars film, after reading the script by that movie’s director, Rian Johnson. Abrams’ lifelong friend Greg Grunberg said in an interview that he has never heard the director express regret in such great capacity. (VAR)
STX Entertainment has released the first look at the upcoming thriller, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Gael Garcia Bernal. Marking the directorial debut of Jonás Cuarón, the movie hits theaters on March 4th, 2016. (SF)
Awards 2016: From the “It Was Probably Inevitable” File: BFCA Move To Add ‘Star Wars’ To Best Picture Race Causes Outcry, Two Resignations
The Broadcast Film Critics Association announced this week that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would be the 11th nominee for Best Picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards. The film didn’t screen early enough for consideration, but after voters saw the film, a “special referendum” was held to determine if it should be included. Since then, members of the BFCA are criticizing the organization for attempting to stir up higher TV ratings. (COL)
More Controversy! Director Gee Malik Linton Removes Name from Upcoming Thriller Due to Studio Tampering
Filmmaker’s Exposed, which he wrote and directed, stars Keanu Reeves and Ana de Armas and is set to come out next month. The film was originally titled Daughter of God, and its focus was on a young Dominican woman who experiences strange occurrences after witnessing a miracle. Meanwhile, a police detective searches for answers behind his partner’s death. However, when Lionsgate picked it up, the company recut it. Now Linton will use the pseudonym Declan Dale. (SAA)
Filming of Morgan Creek’s Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez On Me, is underway and the actor playing the leading role has been revealed to be unknown actor Demetrius Shipp, Jr. So far Shipp, Jr.’s film credits are limited to the made-for-TV movie #unlock’d but what he may lack in experience he makes up for in his resemblance to the late hip-hop icon. (THR)
Many of the cancelled ABC drama’s unaired episodes are now available on Hulu. Episodes Four through Seven, which had not aired on the Alphabet net before the serial killer drama was cancelled in November, became available on the streaming video service yesterday. No word yet on the eighth and final episode, though that is expected to appear on the site, as well. (TVL)
Sony Pictures Animation has set an Aug. 11th, 2017, release date for the film, making it the first title to land on the date. Sony won rights in July to the project, based on a pitch by Eric Siegel and Anthony Leondis about the round-headed figures that have become ubiquitous in social media. The duo are co-writing the script with Leondis directing. The logline is under wraps. (VAR)
Simon Rich’s comedy has enlisted Robin Givens for a season-two guest role. Givens will guest star and play Vicki Claus, Santa Claus’ wife. Set to air in the spring, the “Tinsel” episode will feature Vicki as a smart, fierce and fabulous character who has helped turn Christmas into a trillion-dollar holiday, but when her husband, Santa, falls for a younger woman, it puts her marriage — and their industry — at risk. (LF)
This was an excellent year for higher-brow popcorn entertainment. Movies that placed an emphasis on set-piece construction and eye-popping visuals (movies like The Martian or Mad Max: Fury Road) are the same ones that are contending for year-end awards consideration. Audiences didn’t have to turn their brains off during the summer blockbuster season. Here, now, are the 10 best actions scenes, and you can watch them all. (CB)
AMC has released the trailer for its upcoming series, based on the story begun in the 1976 horror classic, The Omen. New series follows the adult life of Damien Thorn, the mysterious child from that film, who has grown up seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him. Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny — that he is the Antichrist. The series will premiere in 2016. (BC)
Last month’s column, “I Want To Taste Your Logline,” tantalized some readers, given the number of those who took up the offer of a Thumbs Up or Down on their logline and concept. While there were some well-expressed, commercially viable ideas, other loglines left columnist Barri Evins wanting more. Still hungry! (SM)
With a record breaking box office week, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has landed with a love that’s palpable in all corners of not just the internet, but among general circles in and out of your life, deserved or not. The big question people keep asking is, “how many Oscar nominations will the film get?” or “is it in the running for Best Picture?” The honest answer is, no one knows. (AC)
Awards 2016: When It Comes To the Oscars, Best Picture Ballots Are Counted Differently From the Rest
After hearing from the key regional film critics’ groups and then the SAG, Globes and Critics’ Choice voters, it is a good time to revisit the system by which the Oscars determine the Best Picture nominees. Alas, the process is not as simple as one would hope. Academy members will rank up to five films on ballots which are then counted by a complicated method. So, take a deep breath, as we dive into the Oscar pool. (GD)
California’s governor has pardoned the actor for a 1996 drug conviction that sent the actor to prison. Gov. Jerry Brown’s office announced today that Downey was among 91 people receiving pardons. Downey was convicted of felony drug possession after he was arrested on a Los Angeles County highway and authorities found heroin, cocaine and a pistol in his vehicle. In 1999, he was sent to prison for nearly a year after violating his probation. (THR)
Film’s directors Joe and Anthony Russo have revealed that their film will be shot entirely in the format, a decision that made after shooting 20 minutes of Captain America: Civil War in that format. Russo went on to explain that fans “won’t be disappointed” by the extensive roster of characters in the films, calling the two-part blockbuster the culmination of 20 films. (NR)
AT&T has delivered an early Christmas present to the impressario in setting a DirecTV distribution pact for the music mogul’s two-year-old cable channel. The deal calls for Revolt to be distributed broadly in DirecTV’s Xtra channel package of 220 networks. AT&T’s U-verse platform added Revolt about six months ago. Together, DirecTV and U-verse reach about 25 million subscribers. Adding DirecTV to the mix brings Revolt’s base to about 60 million. (VAR)
It’s going to be a busy 2016 for Devious Maids‘ star Mariana Klaveno. She’s been cast on the newly announced third season of DirecTV’s anthology drama Full Circle joining Dougray Scott and Kim Raver; and also has been tapped for a role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Elliot Lester-directed 478, which started production last week in Columbus, OH. (DH)
What if your knowledge of professional basketball begins and ends with LeBron James’ work in Trainwreck? Fret not! Hoops has become as synonymous with the Christmas holiday as football is on Thanksgiving, and unlike the hulks lurking beneath those helmets in the NFL, NBA players are unencumbered by equipment and allowed to express the full measure of their personalities on the court. Herewith, a guide to what you can expect tomorrow. (EW)
Charles Aitken has been added to the cast as founding father Ichabod Crane’s arch enemy, Dr. Japeth Leeds. The character is described as “a twisted, mysteriously brooding genius” whose talents include alchemy. Crane and Leeds come face to face again in modern-day Sleepy Hollow, after Ichabod learns that the doctor “paid the ultimate price when one of his twisted experiments went awry.” (TVL)
Studios release their Christmas movies well in advance to let them play longer in theaters, knowing that few will want to see them once January rolls around. Here is a look at some of the best ever, and don’t worry, Die Hard is on the list. (TP)
Twentieth Century Fox has released a special, Christmas Eve teaser trailer to the upcoming comic book adaptation, starring Ryan Reynolds as the Merc with a Mouth. The full, red band trailer arrives tomorrow, and the movie hits theaters February 12th, 2016. (UR)
The world’s most famous trans person is throwing her support behind the first-ever Oscar campaign for a trans actress, Tangerine‘s best supporting actress hopeful Mya Taylor. On the evening of January 4th, at a Los Angeles location still to be named, Jenner will host a screening for Academy members of Sean Baker’s critically-acclaimed indie and then attend a reception with Taylor, Baker and the film’s executive producers, Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass. (TR)
Latest Pew Research Center survey of broadband adoption rates has sobering statistics for Hollywood. Some 19% of adults in the 18 to 29 age range have become cord cutters, dropping cable or satellite TV service, while another 16% have never had a traditional subscription TV package. (VAR)
‘Star Wars’ Isn’t the Only Movie This Season To Get an HDR Dolby Release, as ‘The Revenant’ Does, Too
A Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos version of Alejandro G. Inarritu’s wilderness-set survival thriller has been created and will be released by Fox and New Regency in select cinemas that support the format. Dolby Vision is a new high-dynamic-range (HDR) format, meaning that it can reproduce a wider range between the blackest blacks and whitest whites in an image. (THR)
Company’s top executive will be paid $900,000, down from the $1 million baseline salary he was paid in 2015 and the $3 million he received in 2014. But Hastings will make up for that cut with a rise in stock option allowances of as much as $19 million, up from the $13.7 million in stock option allowances that he received in 2015. (TB)
Twenty Years Later, How ‘Heat’, Michael Mann’s Masterpiece About Cops and Criminals, Has Aged So Well
It was one of the most anticipated films of 1995, with a perfect storm of elements working in its favor. Mann had shown his action-movie chops and his flair for romance with Last of the Mohicans three years earlier. There was also the small matter of Heat being the first time Robert De Niro and Al Pacino would share a screen together. A major American auteur was clearly swinging for the fences. Attention had to be paid. (VUL)
The Jim Henson Company posted a selection of these to their YouTube channel and it’s fun to see puppeteers like Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson and Jim Henson himself both stay in character and occasionally break when props fail to work or lines are flubbed. (BC)
From “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?” to “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum,” and from “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” to “Pain don’t hurt,” plenty of lines to make you grow hair on your chest. (ESQ)
HBO has released the first trailer from its brand new season of the seminal children’s show. The new batch of episodes will run a “dynamic” 30 minutes (versus an hour), beginning with a double pump on January 16th (starting at 9 am ET). From there on, a new original will air every Saturday at 9, followed by a repeat. (TVL)
The 119-page shooting draft, dated December 7th, 1982. Screenplay by Jean Shepherd, Bob Clark and Leigh Brown, based on original material by Jean Shepherd. (DS)
Russia’s Academy for cinematic arts and sciences has announced the nominees for the Golden Eagle, the local equivalent to the Oscars. The winners will be announced at Moscow’s Mosfilm studio on January 29, 2016. (THR)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens once again hit high-water marks over the holidays, racking up $153.5 million domestically. That represents both the biggest Christmas holiday result and the best second weekend for a film. (VAR)
For the first time in history, the domestic box office will hit $11 billion, but that hefty number was achieved on the back of a small collection of pictures. (VAR)
Newcomer Demetrius Shipp, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Shakur, is joined by an unexpected costar, as Jamal Woolard has been cast as Christopher Wallace, AKA The Notorious B.I.G. Woolard notably made his own screen debut playing B.I.G. in the 2009 biopic Notorious. (DL)
Haskell Wexler, one of Hollywood’s most famous and honored cinematographers and one whose innovative approach helped him win Oscars for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory, died Sunday. He was 93. (NPR)
HBO’s Game of Thrones once again topped TorrentFreak’s year-end list of the most pirated TV shows, but check out what other shows made the list here. (THR)
Disneyland is making room for its previously announced Star Wars lands — revamping 14 acres out of the Anaheim park’s 85 acres. Next month the Walt Disney Co.’s signature theme park will be closing 10 attractions or eateries, only some of which will return. (DL)
Want no-fee stock trading, a better way to skip time-wasting tasks, an app to watch your favorite HBO shows, or one to find the optimal time to fly? Check out this hot list of the top iPhone apps of 2015. (BI)
As the trailer suggests, this won’t be your typical superhero movie. Fox will release Deadpool in theaters on February 12, just in time for Valentine’s Day. (TI)
Inside The Wrestler’s journey with screenwriter Robert Siegel who previously ran one of America’s most successful comedy publications. He struggled for years to become a comedy writer, only to discover he was meant to do something else entirely. (SM)
Company Launches & Partnerships
NEP Group has bought Mediatec Asia Pacific, extending NEP’s video display capabilities into Australia and other countries in the region. “Mediatec Asia Pacific has an exceptional reputation for service in the Australian market. I am very pleased to have them join NEP as we continue to expand our international video display and live events business,” commented NEP Group CEO Kevin Rabbitt.
Startup StartApp has created a platform to help publishers and advertisers monetize, distribute, and advertise apps. It partnered with Inneractive, a mobile ad exchange, to develop a new programmatic video ad exchange. It has inventory for more than 150 countries and more than 2,000 apps.
Univision Communications and Grupo Televisa are behind a new initiative to offer Latinos with more opportunities in the U.S. media and tech sectors in 2016, including education, mentorship and career development programs. The initiative “will create opportunities for a new generation in our industry at this critical time when it’s so important for diverse voices to be heard,” commented Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
AT&T and DirecTV have started to link their operations after a $69 billion deal and will both raise their rates. U-Verse TV subscribers can expect $2-$4 monthly price hikes and other increases in other fees such as the “Regulatory Video Cost Recovery Charge” and a “Broadcast TV Surcharge.” DirecTV’s monthly rates will be jump $2 to $8 on most TV packages, as of Jan. 28. Other fees will also rise.
The African American Film Critics Association has relaunched the AAFCA Seal of Approval Program for film marketers and distributors. Titles that receive the AAFCA Seal of Approval must meet quality standards, including cultural/historical relevance, and are appraised by a special panel of AAFCA members, film journalists and academics.
Josh Berger has been named the new Chair of the British Film Institute, making him the first American to head the most powerful film body in the UK. He will take over for the current chair Greg Dyke when his term expires in February. Berger is the President and Managing Director of Warner Bros in the UK, Ireland and Spain.
CBS Chief Les Moonves is expected to become chairman of the board for CBS Corp. following the death of Sumner Redstone, 92. Redstone currently controls both CBS and Viacom through his National Amusements holding company. His interest will pass to his trust run by seven trustees.
Commentator Josh Elliott has left NBC Sports. Previous to that position, he was one of the hosts on Good Morning America. He is currently pursuing other opportunities.
Adam Fierro will not be returning in his position as Executive Producer of Narcos for Season 2. Fierro took over for Chris Brancato, who exited as showrunner in April for an overall deal at ABC Studios. Jose Padilha and Eric Newman are returning as EPs and working with the series’ writing team on the season. The Netflix drama returns in 2016.
Lika Blank has been promoted to general Producer at CTC Media, an independent broadcast company in Russia. Blank was previously head of the Domashniy and CTC Love channels.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has signed on former Google exec Michelle Guthrie as Managing Director, effective May 2016. In the new role, Guthrie will head editorial content and join ABC in April to replace outgoing exec Mark Scott.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has signed on Abby Ho to head up its new CBC Fullscreen Creator Network. The MCN launched in late September in a partnership that is intended to bring Fullscreen’s content to a Canadian audience, while providing the CBC with an expanded digital portfolio. Ho had previously been an interactive producer with the CBC since 2013 and was in charge of the broadcasting corporation’s digital comedy brand, Punchline.
Scripps Networks promoted John Feld to SVP of programming and production and Steven Lerner to SVP of programming and production for Scripps Networks Interactive. Scripps Networks Interactive named Suzanne Underwald as SVP, business and legal affairs, content distribution & marketing. Scripps Networks Interactive has launched HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel on Apple TV. Pay-TV subscribers will be able to access programming on demand or watch live streams of the nets.
Management, PR, Agencies
Full-service ad agency, offering strategic marketing, multi-platform media planning/buying, Young & Laramore has hired Taylor Harruff as a Brand Action Strategist and Christopher Weiper as a Web Developer.
Content-powered engagement agency, Meredith Xcelerated Marketing named Adam Jackson as Executive Creative Director and Peter Sloterdyk as Group Account Director.
International advertising, marketing and public relations agency Ogilvy & Mather has promoted Anthony Wong to Worldwide Effectiveness Director.
Award-winning digital agency specializing in search engine marketing, social media, mobile marketing and web design and development, 360i named Geline Midouin as Chief Talent Officer. Midouin will head recruitment, professional development and human resources across all agency offices. Geline was previously at Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, where she served as SVP of global human resources and resource management, supporting their global brands.
Austin agency GSD&M has hired Shannon Jensen and Sam Nelson as Associate Media Directors. Jensen was previously at TM Advertising, Nelson was formerly at LIN Digital. The agency has also added three Account Supervisors: Marie Graw, Patty Liendo and Brandon Santos. Graw joins from BI Worldwide, Liendo from Latinworks and Santos from Carmichael Lynch.
Atlanta agency 22squared has promoted John Stapleton, naming him Chief Creative Officer. Stapleton had been EVP and Chief Creative Director.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
Andi Poch has been named SVP of Sales at CBS Local Digital Media. Poch was previously SVP of Integrated/Digital Sales and Strategy at Townsquare Media.
Rodrigo Velloso will head the video-gaming division of Twitter. Previously, he was the Director of Gaming Partnerships at YouTube.
Investment app Acorns has hired Jennifer Barrett as VP of editorial and founding editor of Grow, Acorns’ new digital magazine. She was formerly a Personal Finance Editor for CNBC. Tom Arrix, former VP of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook, is expanding his advisory role with the company as Chief Revenue and Partnership Officer.
IBT Media has named Arbell Noach VP and Director of social media, reporting to CMO Mitchell Caplan. Noach was most recently engagement lead at Doremus.
Enterprise social media marketing platform that helps marketers manage audience experiences and monitor brand engagement, Spredfast named Eric Anderson as Chief Revenue Officer.
Framestore, the Bafta and Oscar-awarding winning creative studio that offers a range of visual effects, production, direction and post production services, has upped Lucy Killick to managing director in their Montreal offices.
Awards 2016: ‘Inside Out’s’ Oscar Lock in Question as 2016 Marks One of the Strongest, Varied Years in Animation in Recent History
Most years, when Pixar releases a movie, that film becomes a serious contender for the Animated Feature Oscar. Pixar didn’t have an entry last year, because it had to push The Good Dinosaur to 2015, but now that means the company has not one, but two thoroughbreds in this year’s race. Which is not to say they are the only two films with a realistic shot at taking home the trophy. Far from it. (SSN)
We look for them every year. The nominee who swoops in at the last minute and shows either the strength of a certain film that is nominated for Best Picture, or one that simply makes your jaws drop. This year, with so many races still wide open, here are a few possible spoilers who could do said last minute swooping. (AC)
Awards 2016: Palm Springs Film Fest: Directors of Oscar-Shortlisted Foreign Language Films to Participate in Panel
The PSIFF is hosting a gathering you won’t find anywhere else. The directors of all nine films that the Academy has chosen for its best foreign language film Oscar shortlist — five of which will soon become Oscar nominees — will take the stage at 6 p.m. next Wednesday, January 6th at the Palm Canyon Theatre for a 90-minute conversation about their films entitled, appropriately enough, “Oscar-Shortlisted Foreign Filmmakers in Conversation.” (TR)
Exec Shuffle for 12/28/15: Les Moonves Expected to be CBS Chairman, Josh Elliott Leaving NBC Sports, Josh Berger Named Chair of British Film Institute
As we enter the final week of 2015, there are still deals being made, executives changing positions and the usual bit of hirings, firings and other agreements. Click on the link to get the full deal. (SSN)
Nolan will direct the film from his own original screenplay as his next project. Insiders say the yet-to-be cast unknowns will lead the cast, but that Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy are in talks to join the ensemble. Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner and wife, Emma Thomas. The story is set during the legendary evacuation of the northern French city during WWII. (COL)
‘Doctor Strange’ Fans Looking For Info About Which Actors Are Playing Which Characters Get Some Big News Today
Benedict Cumberbatch is obviously playing the title role, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton all filling out the cast. It was already known that Swinton is playing a mystic called The Ancient One, and Ejiofor is playing an associate of The Ancient One known as Karl Mordo, but now comes word that McAdams will play a fellow surgeon who has a history with Dr. Strange, and Mikkelsen will play the movie’s main villain. (CS)
Byron Allen’s company has a carriage deal with AT&T and DirecTV — a little more than a year after it joined in a $10 billion lawsuit that accused the distributors of carrying too few minority-owned services. The deal resolves a discrimination suit filed last December by Entertainment Studios and the National Association of African American Owned Media. (DH)
The project is part of a new slate from BBC One. The original adaptation of E.M. Forster’s literary classic was previously brought to the screen in 1992 by James Ivory, which won three Oscars, including Best Actress for Emma Thompson. The rest of the slate also includes a new project from The Honorable Woman creator Hugo Blick. (TP)
The cable network will offer viewers early online access to the premieres of new drama Billions and Shameless starting Friday. The premium cabler will make both episodes available to non-Showtime subscribers on a range of platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Hulu, Roku, PlayStation Vue, iTunes and its own Sho.com website, as well as cable VOD and the Showtime Anytime authenticated streaming service. (VAR)
The opening credits on most TV shows often come with a side order of lies. The main offender is the “written-by” credit. Barring some exceptions, what actually happens is an entire writers room full of interlocking personality types forms like a comedy Voltron to pitch and polish ideas until one or two writers have enough material to go off and write up a draft. It’s a process that’s known as breaking a story, and it is incredibly difficult to do. (FCC)
Awards 2016: Bryan Cranston to be Honored at Palm Springs Fest with Award that’s a Solid Oscar Predictor
Bryan Cranston will venture into the valley’s west side Saturday to accept the Spotlight Award, Actor, at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala. All past recipients received Academy Award nominations in the year they were honored. (DN)
French actor and Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu will star as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a planned movie with the working title Le divan de Staline (Stalin’s Sofa). (THR)
He was a trailblazer in the field of awards campaigning and his clients included Frank Sinatra, the Television Academy, Miramax, Judy Garland, Danny Kaye, Red Skelton, Dick Van Dyke, the Smothers Brothers. (VAR)
According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, only three of the top 25 cable nets in 2015 demonstrated year-over-year prime time ratings growth. AMC and HGTV managed to squeak out wins in the freezing climate. (AA)
A lawsuit over the rights to a lullaby sung on The Big Bang Theory is challenging the ownership of “Soft Kitty”. The song was so popular that CBS built a marketing campaign around it, featuring “Soft Kitty” t-shirts, plush toys, key chains, coffee mugs and hoodies. (DL)
As Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues its global box office domination, it’s worth remembering that George Lucas’ original 1977 classic tale of Jedis and the Dark Side was far from a sure thing. One fascinating side-note from Star Wars: A New Hope is the impact the film had on the small Mediterranean country of Tunisia. (DL)
Despite the disappointing total overall, a healthy 18 shows grossed more than $1 million apiece, with three productions crossing the $2 million threshold. Disney’s The Lion King led the field taking in $2.5 million. (THR)
Chinese model-turned-actress Angelababy is about to get her big Hollywood break, playing a fighter pilot in summer 2016’s Independence Day: Resurgence. In January 2015, Angelababy had around 46 million followers on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter and knows how to plug products like no other. (AA)
The new superhero series, takes place in the same universe as Arrow and The Flash and surrounds “eight outcasts” who team up to fight a supervillain who’s trying to destroy the world. Legends of Tomorrow premieres on Thursday, January 21 at 8pm on the CW. (COL)
In an increasingly confusing world for independent film, industry heavyweights weigh in on how to get your film made. (IW)
Danger & Eggs
Studio: Amazon Studios
Executive Producer(s): Shadi Petosky, Michael Owens, Vincent Stall
Writer(s): Shadi Petosky
Logline: Follows the endless adventures of fearless D.D. Danger and her ever-cautious best friend, a giant, talking egg named Phillip. D.D., an energetic future stuntwoman, is always chasing her next big thrill. Lucky for her, Phillip is always there with jerry-rigged safety mechanisms to more responsibly–and sometimes absurdly–make her thrill seeking dreams come true.
SSN Insight: Amazon has given a series order. Michael Owens previously was a BAFTA award winner for his visual effects works on The Witches of Eastwick. He’s credited as a visual effects supervisor on American Sniper and Tropic Thunder among other films.
Production Company(s): Sonar Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Evan Endicott, Josh Stoddar, Jennifer Eatz, Danny Davids, Neil Canton
Writer(s): Evan Endicott, Josh Stoddard
Logline: About the violent and bizarre adventures of a charismatic criminal named Serge Storms. While Serge suffers a range of mental illnesses that render him compulsive, paranoid and frequently homicidal, his strong sense of justice and rigid moral compass make him a compelling antidote to Florida’s ethically-challenged crooks and miscreants.
Details: Based on the Serge Storms novel series by Tim Dorsey. The first book in the series is titled Florida Roadkill.
SSN Insight: Production and distribution company Sonar Entertainment has previously given projects a straight-to-series order, so this project will likely follow that model. Endicott and Stoddard created the Amazon comedy series Betas and are presently writers and producers on MTV’s forthcoming The Shannara Chronicles.
Network: BBC One
Production Company(s): Playground, City Entertainment, KippSterEntertainment
Executive Producer(s): Colin Callender
Writer(s): Kenneth Lonergan
Logline: Explores the changing landscape of social and class divisions in early 20th century England through the prism of three families: the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, the wealthy Wilcoxes from the world of business, and the working class Basts.
Details: Based on the EM Forster novel of the same name. It was later adapted into an Oscar-winning Merchant Ivory feature in 1992.
SSN Insight: Was originally developed for BBC Two. Production on the four-part drama is set to begin in the summer of 2016. Kenneth Lonergan is a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and playwright best known for You Can Count On Me and Gangs Of New York.
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Studio: Amazon Studios
Production Company(s): Fearless Films, Mercury Films, A Canada Film Capital Company
Executive Producer(s): Ken Scarborough, Laura Numeroff, Felicia Bond, Clint Eland
Writer(s): Ken Scarborough
Logline: Follows the adventures of Mouse, Oliver and other familiar friends as they discover that when you’ve got a curious Mouse for a friend (not to mention a Moose, a Pig, a Cat and a Dog), one thing always leads to another, then another, and then another! You never know what to expect, but you do know it’s going to be fun—and maybe a little bit messy. Much like the books, the story will start in one place and lead to unexpectedly delightful twists and turns until we are back at home where we started.
Details: Based on the book “”If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” written by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond and published by Harper & Row in 1985.
SSN Insight: Amazon ordered 26 episodes for a full season order. Ken Scarborough was previously the head writer on the PBS series Arthur and has writing credits on NBC’s SNL.
Niko and the Sword of Light
Studio: Amazon Studios
Writer(s): Rob Hoegee
Logline: Ten-year-old Niko who is the last of his kind in a strange, fantastical world, must embark on an epic quest to defeat the darkness and bring the light back to his land. Armed with his magic sword, brave Niko journeys to the Cursed Volcano, making new friends and powerful foes along the way, all while uncovering secrets about his mysterious past.
SSN Insight: Amazon has given a series order. Rob Hoegee was previously a story editor on Cartoon Network’s Generator Rex and Teen Titans.
Top Gear (Revamp)
Network: BBC Two, BBC America
Production Company(s): BBC In House Productions
Executive Producer(s): Andy Wilman
Logline: Featuring super-cars, extreme stunts and challenges, time trials, road tests and the occasional celebrity driver, to be hosted by four presenters, one of whom is a secret test driver.
SSN Insight: Previous hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond along with executive producer Lisa Clark and script editor Tom Ford all departed the show in 2015. The revamped series will have three new hosts to aid veteran presenter Chris Evans: racecar driver Sabine Schmitz, motoring journalist Chris Harris and ex-Formula One driver David Coulthard.
Awards 2016: ‘Sicario’ Director Denis Villeneuve Talks Shooting with Night Vision Cameras Alongside a Former Navy SEAL
At first glance, a French-Canadian filmmaker directing a tale about the US/Mexico drug trade may seem like an odd right fit, but the morality theme behind Denis Villeneuve’s latest feature film, Sicario, is exactly in the director’s wheelhouse. In the film, those involved in the drug war are either questioning their moral responsibility or completely disregarding it. (SSN)
Based on personal impressions, publicly available information, historical considerations, precursor awards and conversations with industry insiders, one respected analyst throws down where everyone and everything stands, as the clock ticks closer to the January 14th announcement of nominees. (TR)
Screenplays as diverse as Inside Out, Carol, Ex Machina and The End of the Tour are now available for downloading, which means you have a chance to read several different scripts that have either a good shot or a great shot at actually scoring an Oscar nomination this year. (IW)
TV Development for 12/29/15: ‘Top Gear’ Gets a Retool, BBC Greenlights ‘Howard’s End’, Sonar Developing ‘Florida Roadkill’
As we enter the final week of 2015, there are still projects moving forward, attachments being announced, and the standard fare, including a bunch of new shows for Amazon Studios, like something interesting being called Danger & Eggs. Click on the link to get the full deal. (SSN)
The former star of the Fox series has been arrested for possession of child pornography. Los Angeles police department officials say the arrest was made after a warrant was obtained to search the 32-year-old actor’s residence in Sunland. (DH)
Halloween Returns was supposed to shoot over the summer, but didn’t. Now, it won’t happen at all, as the company begun by Bob Weinstein as a genre outlet alongside parent company Miramax has lost the rights entirely, with the Disney-owned Miramax retaining the rights and now looking for a new partner in the franchise. (SF)
The movie development, finance, production and distribution group owned and run by Andrea Iervolino and Lady Monika Bacardi plans to shoot the film this summer in Italy as well as other locations around the world that played a role in shaping the legend of the Italian businessman. The film has a working title of Lamborghini – The Legend. No word on a writer or director, or any talent attached. (CS)
Walt Disney release now has a global take to date at $106 million, and without a China release. That beats Jurassic World, which took 18 days to reach $100 million in global box office with a day and date China release. Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed $27.2 million at the worldwide box office this past weekend, with $18.6 million having come from 391 Imax screens domestically, and another $8.6 million from 282 Imax screens globally. (THR)
Have You Stopped To Think About Your Favorite Movie Trailers Of the Year? Because Here’s a Pretty Definitive List
Everybody loves movie trailers. It used to be you’d get to the theater early so you could be sure not to miss the previews, but nowadays the theatrical showcase of a trailer is most likely the second time (at least) you’ve seen said trailer. Here, the 15 best have been singled out. (COL)
Rentrak now confirms that the domestic film revenues have crossed the $11 billion mark, with $11.1 billion projected as the final tally by Thursday, December 31. This makes 2015 the biggest overall year for the industry in North American box office history. (DH)
Sony Pictures Animation set release dates for three upcoming animated features: The Emoji Movie will hit theaters August 11, 2017, followed by a new adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit on March 23, 2018 and finally the untitled animated Spider-Man movie, which will now hit screens December 21, 2018. (AM)
Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios have sued the makers of the upcoming crowdfunded Star Trek film Axanar for alleged copyright infringement. (VAR)
Economic vampires, suburban superheroes and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ first comic book lie ahead next year. (THR)
2015 brought no shortage of visionary directors and Collider gives their choices here. (COLL)
Read through the slides on Fast Company for superb nuggets of insight into a productive life, from the likes of Margaret Atwood, Paul Scheer, A$AP Rocky, and more. (FC)
The Mos Eisley Cantina scene from the original Star Wars has been capturing the imaginations of fans for nearly 40 years — fans like director J.J. Abrams, who worked his own version of a cantina scene into the upcoming sequel Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (YM)
Only Yesterday trailer brings Studio Ghibli masterpiece to America for first time in 25 years. (IW)
Canadian media company Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks are partnering on a new joint venture, Blue Skye Entertainment, to develop and distribute the world’s largest library of Ultra HD (4K) natural history and wildlife content. Blue Skye Entertainment, operating out of London, will distribute this content globally via SVOD and linear television services under Blue Ant Media’s Love Nature brand and Smithsonian Network’s stand-alone streaming service, Smithsonian Earth. Joining Blue Skye Entertainment is Jo Parkinson, appointed to the Managing Director role. Jo previously worked was the VP and General Manager at WWE’s London office.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) order of Canada’s cable and satellite TV providers to offer a-la-carte TV stations will take effect in December 2016. The order makes huge waves for the industry as it upends the current cable business model of offering specialty channels in bundles. Subscribers instead will be able to pick and pay for each separate channel or choose a small package. Subscribers can also choose a small package as CRTC ruled back in March that TV providers must include all specialty channels in at least one channel bundle.
AMC is in the middle of negotiations with the National Cable Television Cooperative, which represents 740 small and medium cable companies that jointly serve upwards of 4 million subscribers. AMC is reportedly upping their price by at least 150%, but as a part of the deal, operators would also receive streaming and VOD rights. This follows AMC’s numerous hits in recent years including Mad Men, The Walking Dead, and Better Call Saul.
As noted in Exec Shuffle, AT&T and DirecTV have started to link their operations after a $69 billion deal and will both raise their rates. U-Verse TV subscribers can expect $2-$4 monthly price hikes and other increases in other fees such as the “Regulatory Video Cost Recovery Charge” and a “Broadcast TV Surcharge.” DirecTV’s monthly rates will be jump $2 to $8 on most TV packages, as of Jan. 28. Other fees will also rise.
Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has inked a carriage deal with AT&T and DirecTV after it participated in a $10 billion lawsuit that accused the distributors of carrying too few minority-owned services. Under the deal DirecTV will offer Comedy.TV and Justice Central.TV and U-verse will offer Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV, ES.TV, MyDestination.TV, Cars.TV, and Pets.TV.
AT&T will add Sean “Diddy” Combs’ music channel Revolt to DirecTV. Revolt will be included in DirecTV’s Xtra package and U-verse’s U-200 package and AT&T will offer it “across multiple platforms in the future.” Revolt reports it reaches upwards of 50 million young adults across all platforms. The channel’s also available domestically on Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Verizon FiOS, CenturyLink Prism TV and Suddenlink.
T-Mobile users can now access unlimited streaming of Netflix, HBO, and Hulu. YouTube will not be under that deal as the now Google-owned company is accusing T-Mobile of downgrading video quality and “throttling all video services,” which would be a violation of net-neutrality rules.
Mnet America and Time Warner Cable will extend their carriage agreement in Los Angeles and extend the network to San Diego and Desert Cities. The network will continue to be available in New York City, Dallas-Fort Worth and Honolulu. Mnet America’s overall distribution tallies upwards of 20 million homes.
Scripps Networks Interactive has made HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel available through Apple TV. Pay-TV subscribers will be able to access programming on demand or watch live streams of the nets.
Steven Spielberg has made the rare-for-him move of investing his own money in the latest iteration of his DreamWorks Studios, putting $50 million into the new multimedia company that he named after his first 35mm film. (VAR)
Oscar- and Palme d’Or-winning Austrian director Michael Haneke is preparing to shoot his latest film, Happy End, in France’s Calais region next spring. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Isabelle Huppert, who both appeared in Haneke’s Oscar winner Amour, are starring. (DH)
Hollywood’s movies accounted for just 38.42 percent of the Chinese box office this year, falling from a 45.5 percent market share in 2014. (THR)
Will Quentin Tarantino ever get around to making Kill Bill, Vol. 3? The filmmaker is keeping hope alive by saying it’s still a possibility. (COLL)
Chris Pratt’s lead role as the motorbike-riding, raptor-training Owen in Universal’s Jurassic World, which grossed 1.7 billion dollars at the global box office, makes him the the highest-grossing actor of the year. (FOR)
At the stage read, Quentin Tarantino announced to the 1600 people in attendance that he was in the middle of a rewrite and the ending was going to change from the one exposed at the table read. Here’s a list of the changes and an insight into QT’s creative process. (HUFF)
As we look forward to another year at the movies, here are 17 films Indiewire has already checked out and can recommend for your 2016 film-going pleasure. (IW)
Logline: The crew of the spaceship Covenant discover what they believe is an uncharted paradise, but in fact it is a dark and dangerous world whose only inhabitant is David.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): Ridley Scott Films
Producer(s): Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer
Writer(s): Michael Green, Jack Paglen
Director(s): Ridley Scott
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Rebecca Ferguson, Katherine Waterston
Details: Sequel to “Prometheus” (2012) directed by Ridley Scott and starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron.
SSN Insight: Noomi Rapace’s character Elizabeth Shaw will appear briefly in the film.
All Eyez on Me
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
Producer(s): James G. Robinson, David C. Robinson, LT Hutton, Randall Emmett, George Furla
Writer(s): John Singleton, Ed Gonzalez, Jeremy Haft, Michael Starrbury, David McKenna
Director(s): Benny Boom
Cast: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Jamal Woolard
SSN Insight: Antoine Fuqua was previously attached to direct. Soulja Boy was previously mentioned to star. Project was previously in development at Universal.
Logline: Storyline kept under wraps, but reportedly about the World War II evacuation of Dunkirk which took place from May-June 1940.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Syncopy Films
Producer(s): Emma Thomas
Writer(s): Christopher Nolan
Director(s): Christopher Nolan
Cast: Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy
SSN Insight: The film will be shot on IMAX 65mm and 65mm large-format film. Warner Bros has scheduled its release for July 21, 2017.
Logline: A young African American man visits his white girlfriend’s family, with horrifying consequences.
Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment
Producer(s): Jason Blum, Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm
Writer(s): Jordan Peele
Director(s): Jordan Peele
Cast: Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya, Lil Rel Howery
SSN Insight: Lil Rel Howery is a regular cast member on NBC’s The Carmichael Show and created and appeared in truTV’s Friends of the People.
Logline: About a reality TV crew’s staged investigation into the paranormal that becomes terrifyingly real. When the house they’re exploring turns out to be haunted by the ghost of a serial killer, each crew member fights to stay alive and — more important — make their reality show a hit at any cost.
Production Company(s): Full Auto Films, Code 3 Films
Producer(s): Jim Klock
Writer(s): Tommy McLaughlin, Chad Ridgely
Director(s): Jim Klock
Cast: Jim Klock, Chad Ridgely, Autumn Federici, Michael Buonomo, Scott Burkhardt
SSN Insight: Klock can currently be seen as playing Detective Chisolm on Scream Queens. His other TV credits include Nashville, True Detective, The Astronaut Wives Club and the upcoming Quarry.
Logline: Storyline under wraps, but will have immigration as a key theme.
Production Company(s): Les Films du Losange
Producer(s): Margaret Menegoz
Director(s): Michael Haneke
Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert
SSN Insight: Haneke previously wrote and director Amour. He was also a part of the 5,500 film industry professional coalition who made an appeal entitled “For a Thousand Lives: Be Human” to the EU last fall on behalf of the refugees. The film will shoot in France’s Calais region, which serves as a ferry port for transport to the UK, and was in the news due an escalation of the refugee crisis.
Logline: The new pic tells the true story of a convict named George Lee Martin who became infamous in the Tennessee prison system as an unbeatable boxer. When he is offered an opportunity at freedom in exchange for fighting for Team USA in the 1984 Olympic Games, he shocks everyone by saying no.
Producer(s): Angela Shelton, Shawn Caulin-Young and Kim Barnard
Writer(s): Angela Shelton
Director(s): Angela Shelton
Cast: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Jackson Rathbone, Quinton Aaron, Keir O’Donnell, Justice Leak, Abe Benrubi, Michael Badalucco, Ann Cusack
Details: Based on the life of boxer George Lee Martin.
SSN Insight: The film is set to begin shooting in New Orleans next month and is being planned for Sundance 2017 premiere. Gbenga Akinnagbe is best known for his roles in The Following and The Wire.
Lamborghini – The Legend
Logline: Before he was an icon, before creating the car that would define his image, Ferruccio Lamborghini manufactured tractors and military vehicles in World War II. This is an exploration of his life and legacy.
Producer(s): Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi
SSN Insight: Finance, production and distribution company AMBI Group has optioned life rights to Ferruccio Lamborghini, whose son, Tonino Lamborghini, will serve as a consultant on the production. The plan film will be shot this summer in Italy among other locations.
Le Divan De Staline
Logline: The story is set on the Black Sea where a young painter is called to create a fresco in Stalin’s honor and learns far more about the Russian leader than bargained for.
Production Company(s): Leopardo Filmes, Alfama Films
Producer(s): Paolo Branco
Director(s): Fanny Ardant
Cast: Gérard Depardieu, Paul Hamy, Emmanuelle Seigner
Details: Based on the 2014 book of the same name by Jean-Daniel Baltassat.
SSN Insight: The film will begin shooting in Portugal. Gérard Depardieu renounced his French papers in 2012 and was granted Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin. Alfama Films has international rights.
Untitled Phantom Four/Zach Dean Sci-Fi Project
Logline: A disgraced astronaut embarks on a mission to reach the bottom of a newly discovered oceanic trench, theorized to be the lowest point on planet Earth. He encounters an increasing level of danger, and soon finds himself in a psychological (and physical) fight against mysterious forces.
Production Company(s): Madhouse Entertainment, Phantom Four, Skydance Productions
Producer(s): David S. Goyer, Kevin Turen, Adam Kolbrenner
Writer(s): Zach Dean
SSN Insight: Landis previously wrote the script for Chronicle, American Ultra and Victor Frankenstein.
Untitled Universal/Imagine Jewel Thriller Project
Logline: This gangster saga revolves around the mystery of the world’s largest emerald and is set in Colombia’s lawless mining region.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Imagine Entertainment
Producer(s): Brian Grazer
Writer(s): Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist, Zack Akers
Director(s): Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist
SSN Insight: Universal Pictures optioned the untitled pitch from Grazer. The Zimbalist brothers wrote, produced and directed The Two Escobars for ESPN’s 30 For 30 series, the documentary Youngstown Boys, and Arnold’s Blueprint centering on Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Awards 2016: How a Two-Time Oscar Winner Helped Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárittu Turn ‘The Revenant’ Into a Full-On Acoustic Experience
The first thing you notice, from the first few frames, is how gorgeous it is. But listen closely, and you quickly notice something else: that every whisper of wind through the trees, every gurgle of water flowing in a river, every crunch of boot against gravel, all of it is as crisp and clear as the images on the screen. It’s easy to say that sound is as important to a good movie as the pictures, but there is sound and then there’s sound, and there is a very distinct difference. (SSN)
The Accidental Turitz: How ‘The Martian’ Screenwriter Drew Goddard Adapted “Diary Entries Describing Science Experiments” Into One of the Most Entertaining Films of the Year
Senior Editor Neil Turitz returns with his eponymous column to discuss his favorite movie of the year and the writer who turned a nerdy bestseller into the blueprint for exactly the kind of movie the studios don’t normally make anymore. Strap yourself in for a look at Goddard’s process and why he might have a gold statuette in his future. (SSN)
SSN Screening Series: The Team Talks About ‘The QT Factor’, Smashing Guitars and Shooting In Minus 10 Degrees On the Set of Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’
Last night, SSN Insider held a screening of Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, in a packed theater on the CBS Raleigh Studio lot. The Weinstein Company released the film Christmas day in 70mm, 35mm and digital, but the audience on the lot viewed the three hour, specialty, roadhouse cut of the film. Sound mixer, Mark Ulano, BAFTA nominated editor Fred Raskin, and make-up department head Heba Thorisdottir were on hand to discuss the film. (SSN)
When you consider the seemingly non-stop lunches, brunches, dinners, cocktail receptions, Q&As, private screenings, musical events, and endless ads, billboards and TV spots it does seem like the Oscar campaign season has been on overdrive since the Fall festivals kicked it off in early September. Now, with so many races still so wide open, voting is in progress. (AL)
Film Development for 12/31/15: New Details on Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’, ‘All Eyez on Me’ Finds its Tupac Shakur, AMBI Plans Lamborghini Pic
In the final installment of the year, we see more movement on Alien: Covenant, something new from Jordan Peele, another new film from Michael Haneke, and a jewel theft thriller from producer Brian Grazer. Click on the link for all the info. (SSN)
Cable net is increasing the episode order from 10 to 13 for the futuristic mystery’s sophomore turn. Set 200 years in the future, show stars Thomas Jane and Steven Strait as a hardened detective and a rogue ship captain whose unlikely alliance may end up exposing the greatest conspiracy in human history. (VAR)
Too much TV, better TV and defining TV all helped make 2015 a fascinating time to talk about the goings on of the small screen. Things like “There is no such thing as too much,” and “Netflix’s viewing statistics,” and how “streaming has caught up with cable, even at the Emmys” are all examined, as well as several other items that have added to our communal pop culture education. (IW)
This is not “Posters for the Most Loved Movies of the Year,” nor is it “Posters for the Highest-Grossing Movies of the Year,” but rather, “The Best Movie Posters,” period. Yes, some of 2015’s most beloved/money-making flicks made the cut, and yes there are movies on here you have never heard of. All of them, however, are outstanding pieces of art. (CS)
And, Finally, Since This Time Of Year Is All About the “Best” Lists, Here’s a List Of the Best Lists
It’s an eclectic list of lists, to be sure, and includes such things as investigations into police shootings, the books that “literally” every white male owns, Arya Stark’s Kill List from Game of Thrones, and David Letterman’s final Top 10 list, from his final show. (VUL)
Disney has released the new trailer for Walt Disney Animation’s new film, starring the voice talents of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Shakira, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, Nate Torrence, Jenny Slate, Tommy Chong, Octavia Spencer, Bonnie Hunt, Don Lake, Alan Tudyk, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Raymond Persi, Katie Lowes, Jesse Corti, and John DiMaggio. The film opens in theaters March 4th. (COL)
Logline: Chris Cringle, adopted son of Santa Claus, finds his life thrown into disarray when his father passes away and leaves all Santa duties to him, a big new responsibility that becomes even more difficult after Cringle’s sled trial-run crash lands in Hawaii, with Christmas fast approaching.
Production Company(s): Infinite Entertainment Now
Director(s): Jonathan Ari Yudis
Executive Producer(s): JC Spink, Jamie Foxx, Mark Bakshi, Gato Scatena, Jordan Rosner
Producer(s): Jonathan Ari Yudis, Eric Gilliom, Dominique Telson
Cast: George Lopez
Writer(s): Jonathan Ari Yudis, Adam “Tex” Davis, Mike Davis
SSN Insight: George Lopez is currently executive producing and in the cast of Lopez, a TV series for TV Land. He’s also cast in the feature, Car Dogs in active development.
Before I Fall
Logline: Centers on Samantha Kingston, a high school senior who finds that she may be living the last day of her life over and over until she gets it right. Amid that, she must untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
Production Company(s): Jon Shestack Productions, AwesomenessTV
Director(s): Ry Russo-Young
Producer(s): Jonathan Shestack, Carla Hacken, Matt Kaplan, Brian Robbins
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Diego Boneta
Writer(s): Gina Prince-Bythewood, Maria Maggenti
Details: Based on the novel “Before I Fall” written by Lauren Oliver and published by HarperCollins on March 2, 2010.
SSN Insight: Previously in development with Paper Pictures. Gina Prince-Bythewood was previously attached to direct.
Logline: When Lucy comes out of the Brooklyn subway and finds her neighborhood under attack, she crosses five dangerous blocks of Bushwick with her new companion Stupe to get home to her grandmother.
Production Company(s): XYZ Films, Bullet Pictures
Director(s): Cary Murnion, Jonathan Milott
Producer(s): Nate Bolotin, Adam Folk
Cast: Dave Bautista, Brittany Snow
Writer(s): Nick Damici, Graham Reznick
SSN Insight: Shot in New York. Bautista will next be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Gods and Secrets
Logline: The film focuses on the dark side of being a superhero, for the heroes themselves and for the people they protect.
Production Company(s): Discourse Productions
Director(s): Adi Shankar, Stewart Yost
Producer(s): Jenni Powell
Cast: Denise Richards, Jane Seymour, Max Alder, Mark Salling, Josh Sussman
Writer(s): Shawn Deloache
SSN Insight: Shankar has previously executive produced The Grey, Lone Survivor and Dredd. He is also known for producing the unauthorized short film, Power Rangers.
Logline: A pregnant woman goes on a killing spree and her motivation for revenge is gradually revealed.
Production Company(s): Western Edge Pictures/Gennaker
Director(s): Alice Lowe
Producer(s): Jennifer Handorf, Jamie Adams, Vaughan Sivell
Cast: Alice Lowe, Eileen Davies, Kate Dickie
Writer(s): Alice Lowe
SSN Insight: Western Edge Pictures/Gennaker is fully financing. Lowe previously co-wrote and starred in Sightseers.
Logline: The true story of Griselda Blanco, who became the deadliest, wealthiest woman to head a Colombian drug cartel.
Production Company(s): First Born Films
Director(s): Gerard Johnson
Executive Producer(s): Nicholas Pileggi, Nicolas Meyer, Marc Schaberg, Kelly McCormick
Producer(s): Daniela Cristina Cretu
Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Olivier Martinez, Jordi Mollà, Mehdi Dehbi
Writer(s): Frank Baldwin
Details: Life rights of Griselda Blanco optioned by Daniela Cretu.
SSN Insight: Eva Sorhaug was previously attached as director. Jon Bernthal and Oscar Jaenada were previously attached as cast members.
Logline: After an assassin is double-crossed by gangsters and sent to a rogue surgeon who turns him into a woman, he (now she) sets out for revenge, aided by a nurse.
Production Company(s): SBS Productions
Director(s): Walter Hill
Producer(s): Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez
Writer(s): Walter Hill, Denis Hamill
SSN Insight: Producers were interested in Andrea Riseborough to play the assassin, but a potential deal fell through because of scheduling issues with her role on the Netflix series “Bloodline.” Freida Pinto was previously attached to co-star.
Logline: Based on the journalistic account of a cold case investigation by a hard boiled detective, in which an author became a suspect when the incidents described in his hit novel closely resembled the firsthand inner-workings of the unsolved murder.
Production Company(s): InterTitle Films, RatPac Entertainment
Director(s): Alexandros Avranas
Producer(s): Brett Ratner, David Gerson, John Cheng
Cast: Jim Carrey, Agata Kulesza, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kati Outinen, Zbigniew Zamachowski
Writer(s): Jeremy Brock
Details: Based on the article “True Crime” written by David Grann and published in The New Yorker on February 11, 2008.
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Focus Features. Roman Polanski was previously in discussions to direct.
SSN Insider wants to wish everyone a very happy New Year and a prosperous and successful 2016.
Thank you for reading.
On the Set for 1/1/16: George Lopez Starts ‘Aloha Santa’, Dave Bautista Wraps ‘Bushwick’, Catherine Zeta-Jones Finishes ‘The Godmother’
Other wraps include the film adaptation of the novel Before I Fall and True Crimes starring Jim Carrey. (SSN)
Wrapping up its third-highest grossing year ever, 20th Century Fox International today reported total offshore box office for 2015 came to $2.73 billion. Fox’s biggest year was 2014 with $3.73B and its second-best was 2010 with $2.93B. (DH)
AMC Networks and a coalition of independent cable operators are going down to the wire in negotiations on a new carriage agreement covering about 4 million subscribers, most of them in small and rural markets. (VAR)
Will Adele’s tour top Taylor Swift’s? Can ‘Batman v. Superman’ launch a Warner Bros. franchise? And can Netflix expand to China? Mark your calendar now for these major moves. (THR)
For his last column of the year, James discusses his favorite recent films with his alter-ego, Semaj. (IW)
Cinematography is an aspect of filmmaking that often goes overlooked and undervalued. The best cinematographers know that to maintain the artistic integrity of the film itself, all of these should be motivated by character or story. Collider highlights the very best cinematography from 2015. (COLL)
With 11 nominations and five wins for Hugo at the 2012 Oscars, Martin Scorsese remains one of the most influential directors in Hollywood. But what influenced him? Here’s an A-Z list of the films that mattered to Scorsese. (FCC)
The January 24, 1939 final shooting draft by Sidney Howard. (DS)