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- 01/06/16--08:09: _HBO Plans ‘Girls’ F...
- 01/06/16--12:39: _Film & TV Deals for...
- 01/06/16--13:47: _Awards 2016: He Sai...
- 01/07/16--08:51: _Costume Designer Gu...
- 01/07/16--09:47: _Film Development fo...
- 01/07/16--13:43: _Awards 2016: Making...
- 01/08/16--08:31: _BAFTA Noms, Aaron S...
- 01/08/16--10:24: _On the Set for 1/8/...
- 01/08/16--11:39: _SSN Box Office Tren...
- 01/08/16--13:50: _Awards 2016: ‘The R...
- 01/11/16--09:27: _All the Golden Glob...
- 01/11/16--12:30: _Exec Shuffle for 1/...
- 01/11/16--13:42: _Awards 2016: Krasin...
- 01/12/16--08:06: _‘World War Z’ Seque...
- 01/12/16--12:22: _TV Development for ...
- 01/12/16--14:00: _Awards 2016: DGA an...
- 01/13/16--09:05: _Razzie Noms, WB Nab...
- 01/13/16--10:30: _Film & TV Deals 1/1...
- 01/13/16--10:55: _Rep Moves for 1/13/...
- 01/13/16--14:33: _Awards 2016: Hair &...
If you haven’t already, time to make some calls to get on the list for these Golden Globe parties. Here are the goings-on (CAA and WME soirees) and likely guests (Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett and Will Smith) around the annual awards show. (THR)
‘Carol’ Picks Up Steam, Landing Five Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award Nominations
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) announced the nominees for the international component of its awards, and Carol leads the pack with five nominations. The winners will be announced in Los Angeles at the 5th AACTA International Awards on Saturday, January 30. (SMH)
Awards analyst Scott Feinberg explains why PGA Award nominations tend to presage best picture Oscar nominations for some sorts of films but not for others. (THR)
Jason Mantzoukas has been set to write Battling Boy at Paramount with Plan B producing and Patrick Osborne directing. The live action-animated hybrid project is an adaptation of Paul Pope’s acclaimed graphic novel set in the city of Arcopolis, where monsters roam the streets and swallow children into the underworld. (DL)
The Lena Dunham series, Girls, will wrap up after its sixth season. The news comes before the comedy even enters its fifth season, which premieres in February, so there are still two full rounds of the series to come. (VAR)
Model Kelly Rohrbach will play C. J. Parker in the movie reboot of the 90s show in the role made famous by Pamela Anderson. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron star in the film, which will be directed by Seth Gordon. (THR)
Star and fan favorite Michael Weatherly is exiting broadcast television’s highest-rated drama, NCIS. Weatherly will continue to be involved with the company. The actor-producer has a development deal with studio counterpart CBS Television Studios. (THR)
Cable network SyFy announced today that it is launching Syfy Labs, a new innovation lab dedicated to creating immersive, multi-platform content and experiences for existing and emerging platforms. (VI)
CES can be useful to predict the trends in consumer technology for the year ahead (and sometimes, for two years ahead). Products such as virtual reality, high-resolution television, and autonomous vehicles all received major pushes at CES. This year be on the look-out for lots of 4K TVs and maybe a handful of 8K models. (TV)
One film about journalism, Spotlight, is making waves during awards season. But way before Spotlight there was another film about reporters following a hot story, All the President’s Men, which ended up taking home two Academy Awards. (DS)
Netflix and DreamWorks Animation have expanded their film and TV rights agreement. Under the deal, Netflix will launch multiple new DWA-produced series, including a reboot of the Voltron franchise, and Trollhunters, to be executive produced by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. The pact extends the rights of current original series airing on the streaming giant and expands the deal to include second-window rights for the series around the world, except for China. Other new series will be produced by DWA based on films from the studio, along with others from its archives.
In other Netflix news, the streaming giant launched in 130 new countries including Russia, India and Saudi Arabia as announced by CEO Reed Hastings during his keynote at CES 2016. After the keynote address, Netflix shares went up six percent. While most of the countries will receive programming in English, Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese will be added to the 17 languages it already offers. Also, in late 2016 Netflix will introduce high dynamic range to its 4K videos.
Chinese mega corporation, Dalian Wanda Group, has acquired a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment, whose past credits include Godzilla and Pacific Rim. Wanda has valued Legendary between three and four billion dollars, according to reports. Legendary’s other investors, Japan’s SoftBank and investment firm Waddell & Reed Inc. will sell their stakes in the company. Legendary just produced The Great Wall, the first tentpole-sized English-language film produced in China. It will be directed by local helmer Yimou Zhang and star Matt Damon with a November release date set.
The National Cable Television Cooperative has agreed to a new multiyear carriage deal with AMC Networks after extending negotiations beyond the year-end expiration of the previous contract signed back in 2010. The agreement will reportedly offer distributors streaming and VOD rights to AMC Networks shows. The deal will also hold for five years, two years longer than typical agreements. No details on AMC’s asks for price increases during negotiations.
21st Century Fox has bought a minority stake in Osterhout Design Group, a company that specializes in augmented and virtual reality and designs and manufactures smartglasses. Once confirmed, the deal will make Fox the principal outside investor in ODG. The companies also propose to form a strategic partnership that brings together ODG’s technologies with Fox’s content. Both will be showcasing during CES 2016. “Our agreement with ODG underscores the innovation we are bringing to market through our Fox Innovation Lab, most recently with VR experiences for The Martian and Wild,” said Jim Gianopulos, Chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film.
Jennifer Gabler has launched Omni Artists Limited, a management company. Gabler began as a trainee at CAA in 1991 and later became partner in 2003. She then left for Endeavor and was a partner before the formation of WME. After 16 years as an agent, Rawlings switched to management and signed on with Principato Young in 2012. Her clients include John Malkovich, Viggo Mortensen and Samantha Morton among many others.
Academy award winner Robert Redford has inked a two-year, first-look television deal with HBO. His first project under the deal will be The Burgess Boys, a miniseries based on the novel by Elizabeth Strout. Redford optioned the bestselling book in 2015 and will executive produce it under his Wildwood Enterprises banner. Previously through Wildwood, he executive produced the 1996 HBO film Grand Avenue. Redford has also produced documentary series including Chicagoland, Death Row Stories and AMC’s upcoming The West, which features scripted reenactments.
Reality TV producer Jonathan Karsh has inked a multiyear overall deal with Lionsgate TV. Under the deal, Karsh will develop and produce alternative programming via his new Shiny Objects Entertainment company. Previously Karsh was SVP of Creative Affairs at Relativity Television where he executive produced the pilot for Catfish: The TV Show, Policewomen and My Five Wives for TLC, My Extreme Animal Phobia for Animal Planet and Coming Home for Lifetime.
SSN Senior Editors Neil Turitz and Dina Gachman have some thoughts to share as the voting for Academy Awards nominations nears its Friday deadline. As per usual, the two disagree on plenty, but they do actually find themselves being of one mind about a few key categories. For instance, Brie Larson has nothing to worry about, if they have anything to say in the matter. (SSN)
Awards 2016: Not Your Standard Villain: How Tom Hardy Turned Real-Life Trapper John Fitzgerald Into a Multi-Faceted Character For ‘The Revenant’
At first glance, there is a very real, very evil antagonist in The Revenant, a man who resents his fellow trapper and is quick to dispose of him at the first opportunity. John Fitzgerald, as played by Tom Hardy in a performance being touted by many as Oscar-worthy, was a real person who actually did murder fellow trapper Hugh Glass’s son, bury Glass alive and leave him for dead. All the things you expect from the standard, one-note villain. But wait! There’s more. (SSN)
Writers Guild Announces Its Nominations, and It’s a Big Day For ‘The Martian’ and “Straight Outta Compton’
While a host of scripts were not nominated because they weren’t eligible — Quentin Tarantino, for instance, is not actually a member of the Writers Guild — both Joy and The Revenant were both passed over. Meanwhile, it’s also a big day for Amy Schumer, who earned a nod for Trainwreck. Winners will be announced at a bi-coastal ceremony on February 13th. (IC)
Meanwhile, the American Society Of Cinematographers Announces Its Nominees, and the List Should Surprise No One
In perhaps the least stunning announcement of the awards season, the five nominees are Roger Deakins, Janusz Kaminsky, Ed Lachman, Emmanuel Lubezki and John Seale, all of whom have been considered the frontrunners for Oscar nominations throughout the fall. (COL)
Film & TV Deals For 1/6/16: Netflix and DreamWorks Animation Expand Pact, Robert Redford Inks HBO Deal, Wanda Acquires Majority Stake In Legendary
Among the other announcements today is that Netflix has launched in 130 new countries, AMC has a new carriage agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative, a new management company launched by Jennifer Gabler, and a new deal with Lionsgate for a big time reality TV producer. Click the link to read all the details. (SSN)
Comedy Central Is Keeping The Talented Women On the Air, Renews ‘Amy Schumer’ For One Season, ‘Broad City’ For Two
Cable network has also ordered the limited series Time Traveling Bong, from the minds of Broad City co-creator and star Ilana Glazer and writers Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello. The three-episode series focuses on two cousins, Glazer and Downs, who get high and travel through time after finding a — you guessed it — time-traveling bong. (HP)
Actor-producer and his Nine Stories Productions is teaming with the cable net to develop an anthology that each season explores a different American cult persona as well as the provocative nature of belief. Season one of the untitled drama will focus on Jim Jones, the leader of the cult Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, and the infamous Jonestown commune where in 1978 more than 900 people died in a mass murder/suicide. (LF)
The Mad Men star will play the love interest opposite Thornton in the sequel to the 2003 dark comedy. Mark Waters is directing the movie, which is being produced by Andrew Gunn and Geyer Kosinski. Broad Green and Miramax are co-financing and co-producing the comedy that also has Kathy Bates in the cast and begins shooting Montreal next week. (THR)
Company has ambitious plans for this year so it can produce something new next year: serious profits. Investors have been fine with very little of those because Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings has said things would change after the company completed its global expansion. That’s supposed to happen in 2016, with the introduction of the online video service to more than 100 new markets, including China, India and Indonesia. (AA)
Netflix has released the first look at the new series from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, starring Shameik Moore, Justice Smith, Herizen Guardiola, Jaden Smith, Skylan Brooks, Tremaine Browne, Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jimmy Smits and Giancarlo Esposito. No premiere date has been announced, but it will hit the streaming service later this year. (IW)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jennifer Lawrence’s Joy and the first season of Empire are among the nominees for the 18th Costume Designers Guild Awards. (VAR)
USC Scripter Awards Nominations: ‘The Big Short,’ ‘Brooklyn,’ ‘Room’ In; ‘Carol’ And ‘Steve Jobs’ Snubbed
The USC Scripter Award, now in its 28th year, honors films adapted from novels, short stories, comic books, journalism, and other screenplays with both the source material and the adapted screenplay feted. This year’s nominees include, Room, The Big Short and Brooklyn. (GD)
Relativity Media Acquires Trigger Street; Sets Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti To Run Studio As It Emerges From Chapter 11
Relativity Media has acquired Trigger Street Productions and Ryan Kavanaugh has installed as new heads of his studio that production company’s owners – actor Kevin Spacey will become chairman of Relativity Studios and producer Dana Brunetti will become president. (DH)
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Overtakes ‘Avatar’, Is Now Top Grossing Movie of All-Time in North America
In just 20 days of release, the seventh Star Wars film has hit a domestic total of $758.2 million (as of yesterday). Compare that to Avatar, which topped out at $750 million after a seven-month run, which began back in December of 2009. (IGN)
Kelly Marcel is writing the script which is intended to be an origin story of the character. The project has no director but it is a priority for the studio which is hoping to shoot the film later this year. (THR)
Ben Mendelsohn has been offered the role of the main antagonist in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One adaptation. The sci-fi story, based on Ernest Cline’s nostalgia-steeped novel of the same name, centers on Wade, a poor orphan teenager who finds himself on the biggest treasure hunt of all time within the massive virtual world known as Oasis. (COLL)
The Netflix superhero drama will return for Season 2 on Friday, March 18. (TVL)
Bad Santa 2
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Miramax Films, Broad Green Pictures
Production Company(s): Media Talent Group
Producer(s): Geyer Kosinski
Writer(s): Doug Ellin, Johnny Rosenthal, John Phillips
Director(s): Mark Waters
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Christina Hendricks
Details: Sequel to “Bad Santa” (USA/2003) directed by Terry Zwigoff and starring Billy Bob Thornton.
SSN Insight: Johnny Rosenthal and John Phillips were both hired to write separate drafts of the script, giving the studios a choice between the two screenplays and the possibility of using one for a third film. Steve Pink was previously in discussions to direct and rewrite.
Logline: Based on the graphic novel about a city called Arcopolis, where monsters roam, swallowing children into the horrors of their shadowy underworld. Only one man is a match for them – the genius vigilante Haggard West. Unfortunately, Haggard West is dead. Arcopolis is desperate, but when its salvation comes in the form of a twelve-year-old demigod, nobody is more surprised than Battling Boy himself.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures,
Production Company(s): Plan B Entertainment
Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Sarah Esberg
Writer(s): Jason Mantzoukas, Josh Parkinson, David Gordon Green, Alex Tse
Director(s): Patrick Osborne
Details: Based on the graphic novel “Battling Boy” created by Paul Pope and to be published by First Second Books in 2010.
SSN Insight: Jason Mantzoukas can be seen in FX/FXX’s The League. He will be seen in the upcoming film How to Be Single for Warner Bros. and The House for New Line. He also is the screenwriter on Mr. Amnesia in development and attached as director and screenwriter on One Night Stand, also in development.
Fantastic Voyage (Remake)
Logline: About a submarine crew who shrink to microscopic size and venture into the body of an injured scientist to repair the damage to his brain.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): Lightstorm Entertainment
Producer(s): Rae Sanchini, James Cameron, Jon Landau
Writer(s): Laeta Kalogridis, Shane Salerno, Tab Murphy, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver
Director(s): Guillermo del Toro (In Talks)
Cast: Hugh Jackman
Details: Remake of “Fantastic Voyage” (1966), directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Raquel Welch, Stephen Boyd and Donald Pleasence.
SSN Insight: Roland Emmerich was previously attached to direct. Tarsem Singh was previously mentioned to direct. David S. Goyer will exec produce.
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, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones
SSN Insight: QC Entertainment is a new partnership between Darko Entertainment and Movie Package Company to finance and produce director-driven fare.
Logline: Based on the story of George Lee Martin, a convict 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.
Writer(s): Angela Shelton
Director(s): Angela Shelton
Cast: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Jay Huguley
Details: Based on the true story of George Lee Martin.
SSN Insight: Huguley will play Paul, a sadistic prison security officer who ends up as Martin’s nemesis. The film will begin shooting this month in New Orleans.
Untitled Transformers 5 Project
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures,
Production Company(s): Amblin Entertainment, Bay Films, Weed Road Pictures, Hasbro, Inc., Di Bonaventura Pictures
Producer(s): Michael Bay, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Steven Spielberg, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Vahradian
Writer(s): Matt Holloway, Art Marcum, Ken Nolan, Akiva Goldsman
Director(s): Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci
SSN Insight: The producers organized a “writer’s room” to develop story ideas for sequels as well as potential spinoff projects. This will be Michael Bay’s last time in the director’s chair on a Transformers film.
Logline: Follows the fallout after two young boys sneak into a secret military bunker, undetected since World War II, where they find something terrifying and deadly. The ensuing police investigation sees officers killed off one by one, but in a local nursing home an elderly vet, Jack, recognizes what’s happening and becomes involved.
Production Company(s): Evolutionary Films
Producer(s): John Adams, Diane Shorthouse
Writer(s): John Adams, Peter Adams
Director(s): John Adams
Cast: John Rhys-Davies
SSN Insight: Set to begin production January 13. John Rhys-Davies best known for his acting roles in the Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings franchises will also executive produce.
Untitled John Riggi Mrs. Claus Project
Logline: Mrs. Claus deals with her life and marriage during the stressful month before Christmas.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Brownstone Productions
Producer(s): Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman
Writer(s): John Riggi
SSN Insight: John Riggi was a staff writer on The Dennis Miller Show before becoming head writer on The Larry Sanders Show and writing for shows such as Will And Grace and Family Guy. He is currently under a long-term overall deal at WBTV. Most recently, he directed the pilot and was showrunner for ABC’s Super Fun Night.
John Williams’ themes from Star Wars and Jurassic Park. Bill Conti’s Rocky fanfare. The John Barry arrangement of Monty Norman’s “James Bond Theme.” Lalo Schifrin’s Mission: Impossible. Iconic film and TV themes, and viewers of today’s sequels, spinoffs and franchises might well feel cheated if they didn’t hear the music that is so indelibly associated with these franchises. But where to use them? And how to adapt them into a larger, original score? (IC)
Just a few weeks ago, it all seemed so clear: Warner Bros. had a surefire Oscar contender in Black Mass; Universal had a guaranteed winner in Steve Jobs; Focus Features was destined to reap multiple nominations for The Danish Girl; and Paramount, well, it had chosen to sit out the race — a year after doing an about-turn when late entry Selma bumped off Interstellar as the studio’s main contender. How quickly things change. (TR)
Awards 2016: Meanwhile, There Is a Reasonable Chance That This Could Be the Year Only Five Films Get Best Picture Nominations
The scenario is theoretically possible, but it hasn’t happened since the current system was adopted in 2012. This strange Oscar season may change that. The conventional wisdom has it that a wide-open field increases the chances of 10 films receiving a Best Picture nomination—voters spreading the love—but the math suggests otherwise. (TOH)
Film Development for 1/7/16: Guillermo del Toro in Talks to Helm ‘Fantastic Voyage’, Michael Bay Directing ‘Transformers 5’, Christina Hendricks in for ‘Bad Santa 2’
Among the other items on this week’s ledger are a new project for Jordan Peele and Jason Blum, an untitled take on Santa Claus’ wife from married producing team Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman, and a biopic of an unbeatable prison boxer. Click the link to read all the details. (SSN)
After eight years playing Dr. Gregory House, he’s signed up to star in a new drama called Chance. Based on Kem Nunn’s book, the show will see Laurie as Eldon Chance, who works in San Francisco as a forensic neuropsychiatrist whose life is thrown into turmoil when he’s targeted by his lover’s abusive husband, who also happens to be a ruthless police detective. Soon, he’s exploring the deeper frontiers of the human mind. (EMP)
Cable network is using the reboot to anchor a proposed two-hour block of horror programming, which will be overseen by the Sixth Sense director. For those not familiar, the original HBO program was based on an EC Comics series of anthology horror tales, and was itself an anthology series that featured short tales of horror and suspense. (COL)
Pee-Wee Herman’s New Movie, AMC’s ‘Preacher’ and ‘Midnight Special’ All Set To Premiere At SXSW 2016
South By Southwest, the annual event in Austin, Texas, has announced the first slate of media set to debut at the festival, including the Netflix special Pee-wee’s Big Holiday and the long awaited comic book adaptation from creators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Jeff Nichols’ latest film, starring Michael Shannon and Kirsten Dunst, also premieres. The full lineup of films will be released next month. (CS)
Cable network has opted not to move forward with the one-hour live-action drama that would have been based on younger characters in the WB-owned DC Comics universe. TNT president Kevin Reilly announced the news at the network’s TCA press day in Pasadena, Calif. He did not voluntary bring up the topic, but did confirm the project had been scraped when asked by a reporter of Titans’ status. (VAR)
Virtual Reality isn’t new, people have been talking about it since the 90s, so why has the industry never quite taken off in the way we might expect? The quick answer is that the technology simply wasn’t there. The hardware was prohibitively expensive and very bulky and the graphics capabilities were too limited to produce a successful VR user experience – unless you consider motion sickness a success. (AA)
Warner Bros. has released the first look at the upcoming horror sequel from director James Wan, and once again starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. The film hits theaters June 10th. (CB)
Steven Spielberg and Todd Haynes’s dramas have secured nine nominations apiece at this year’s Baftas, while The Revenant trails with eight and Mad Max: Fury Road surprises with seven – but there’s disappointment for Spectre and Suffragette. (GUAR)
‘Steve Jobs’ Scribe Aaron Sorkin To Make Directorial Debut On High-Stakes Poker Memoir ‘Molly’s Game’
Aaron Sorkin will make his directorial debut on Molly’s Game. This is the adaptation of Molly Bloom’s memoir that he signed on to write when Steve Jobs producer Mark Gordon optioned the book in late 2014. Amy Pascal has joined Gordon as producer on a film that has now taken root at Sony Pictures. (DH)
The Son, based on the book by Philipp Meyer from Sonar Entertainment, is described as a multi-generational drama about America’s birth as a superpower told through the rise and fall of one Texas oil empire. (THR)
HBO is already speaking with Game of Thrones creator/executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss about renewing the series for Seasons 7 and 8. (TVL)
Leveraging Studiocanal’s direct distribution operation in Europe and Australia/New Zealand, Aardman Studios and Studiocanal have set dates for the release of Early Man, a stop-frame adventure set at the dawn of time that will be directed by Aardman Studios’ Nick Park. (VAR)
Some of composer Hans Zimmer’s most notable work has been in collaboration with Christopher Nolan, on Interstellar, Inception, and the Dark Knight Trilogy specifically, and he’s now looking to continue this partnership by scoring Nolan’s recently announced Dunkirk. (COLL)
While The Force Awakens has smashed seemingly every box office record in its path, China may prove to be a more challenging market. (FOR)
As The Big Short generates award buzz, director Adam McKay discusses how he works and the critical factor in choosing ideas. (FC)
Pixar films are frisky, and self-aware; their virtues show when they quote The Shining, or Vertigo, or Mission: Impossible, and show us that their reach expands beyond the bounds of what technological virtuosity alone can offer. (IW)
Logline: A bank robber desperately tries to escape the dragnet that is closing in on him.
Production Company(s): Elara Pictures
Director(s): Josh Safdie, Ben Safdie
Producer(s): Sebastian Bear-McClard, Oscar Boyson
Cast: Robert Pattinson
Writer(s): Josh Safdie, Ronald Bronstein
SSN Insight: Robert Pattinson’s can next be seen in The Lost City of Z and The Childhood of a Leader. He was also cast in The Trap, which is in active development at Focus Features.
Logline: Two car thief brothers journey to the south of France for new challenges and wind up in the crosshairs of the local crime boss.
Production Company(s): Sentient Entertainment, Elastic Confusion
Director(s): Antonio Negret
Executive Producer(s): Renee Tab
Producer(s): Pierre Morel, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Christopher Tuffin
Cast: Ana de Armas, Scott Eastwood, Freddie Thorp
Writer(s): Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
SSN Insight: Alex Pettyfer and Matthew Goode were previously attached to star. Karl Urban, Ben Barnes, Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin were previously attached to co-star.
Logline: A woman faces a mother’s worst nightmare.
Production Company(s): Dahooma Productions
Director(s): Siofra Campbell
Executive Producer(s): Mark Lindsay
Producer(s): Peggy Cafferty, Sven Woldt
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Shannon, Matthias Schweighoefer
Writer(s): Siofra Campbell
SSN Insight: Noomi Rapace’s upcoming films include Rupture, Unlocked and What Happened to Monday? She’s currentinly in discussions to play Amy Winehouse in a biopic for Lotus Entertainment and to play the role of Laura Dominica in the film Ferrari.
Logline: A bartender finds out he comes from a long line of assassins. He is captured by a secret corporation who sends him back to various times and places in order to bring back artifacts.
Studio/Distributor(s): Regency Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Distribution
Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, New Regency Productions, DMC Films, Ubisoft Motion Pictures
Director(s): Justin Kurzel
Producer(s): Jean-Julien Baronnet, Eli Richbourg, Michael Fassbender, Conor McCaughan, Frank Marshall
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Ariane Labed, Michael K. Williams, 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. Fassbender and Cotillard previously teamed up on Macbeth.
Beat Up Little Seagull
Logline: A fragile woman is already stressed from a fast-paced world when her mother dies and she must find a means for survival, while hiding her struggles from her new boyfriend
Production Company(s): Killer Films
Director(s): Andrew Dosunmu
Producer(s): Christine Vachon
Cast: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland
Writer(s): Darci Picoult, Andrew Dosunmu
SSN Insight: Michelle Pfeiffer can next be seen in HBO’s Wizard of Lies TV movie opposite Robert DeNiro. She’s attached to Turn of the Screw at Sony and Privacy at Paramount, both in development.
The Keeping Hours
Logline: A lawyer sees the ghost of his dead son, which leads the man’s estranged wife back into his life.
Production Company(s): Voltage Pictures
Director(s): Karen Moncrieff
Executive Producer(s): John Miranda, Charles Layton, Couper Samuelson
Producer(s): Jason Blum
Cast: Lee Pace, Carrie Coon
Writer(s): Rebecca Sonnenshine
SSN Insight: Lee Pace can next be see in Revolt and Focus Features’ The Book of Henry. Currently he can be seen on the TV series Halt & Catch Fire for AMC.
Logline: The life and times of French oceanographer and filmmaker Jean-Yves Cousteau.
Production Company(s): Fidélité Films, Pan Europeenne
Director(s): Jérôme Salle
Producer(s): Nathalie Gastaldo, Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Pierre Niney, Audrey Tautou
Writer(s): Laurent Turner
Details: Based on the book “Capitaine de La Calypso” written by Albert Falco and published by Robert Laffont on May 29, 1990.
SSN Insight: French director Jérôme Salle, best known for The Tourist and Anthony Zimmer, is also attached to an untitled project in development at Lava Bear with Chris Morgan producing.
Logline: A man moves into his attic after a nervous breakdown.
Production Company(s): Mockingbird Pictures
Director(s): Robin Swicord
Producer(s): Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Garner
Writer(s): Robin Swicord
Details: Based on the short story “Wakefield” written by E.L. Doctorow and published in The New Yorker on January 14, 2008.
SSN Insight: Jennifer Garner can next be seen in Sony’s Miracles From Heaven. She’s also in the cast of Nine Lives which EuropaCorp is releasing and The Tribes of Palos Verdes for The Firm which is in preproduction.
-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.-
Awards 2016: Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárittu, Emmanuel Lubezki and the Team Take SSN Behind One of the Year’s Most Ambitious Projects – ‘The Revenant’
It’s not often that a filmmaker brings home a trio of Oscars, sweeping the categories in which he is nominated, then follows up with an even more challenging project, but it’s probably safe to say that Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárittu is not your standard filmmaker. Last year’s triumph for writing, directing and producing Birdman was not his first trip to the Oscars, and now he has an excellent chance of returning this year. (SSN)
Sarah Silverman on Getting Past “What If” & Getting in Touch with Her Own “Bones of Depression” for ‘I Smile Back’
The actress has long been associated with comedy, thanks to her work as a stand-up comedienne, a former Saturday Night Live writer and creator of her own Comedy Central television show among other accomplishments. But it’s been her vocal discussions of loneliness and depression in interviews that made author Amy Koppelman think of her for the lead role in the indie film adaptation of her novel I Smile Back. (SSN)
Everyone thinks everything “means” something vis a vis the Oscars, when in fact, precious few things really do. One thing that absolutely does mean something, though, is the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ annual nominations announcement, though admittedly, that didn’t used to be the case. (IC)
SSN Box Office Trending Report for 1/8/16: The Force is Still Strong with ‘Star Wars’ While ‘The Revenant’ Gains Traction
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 1/8/16: Robert Pattinson Starts on the Feature, ‘Good Time’ While Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Wrap ‘Assassin’s Creed’
A couple of other projects get rolling this week, including a new film from producer Pierre Morel, while a handful of projects wrap principal photography. Among them are a biopic of Jacques Cousteau, and a new thriller from Jason Blum starring Lee Pace and Carrie Coon. (SSN)
On the Verge Of an Almost Certain Oscar Nod, ‘Martian’ Director Ridley Scott Keeps Filling His Schedule
Legendary director is in early negotiations to direct The Prisoner, the screen version of the 1968 Patrick McGoohan British TV series. This has been a plum project at Universal for some time with numerous A-list scribes including Christopher McQuarrie and William Monahan writing drafts. Film is being produced by Bluegrass Films Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark. Scott’s Scott Free team will likely become part of it as they get the script that makes the director happy. (DH)
David Milch’s western series was abruptly cancelled after three seasons in 2006, meaning it never got to conclude its story. In the aftermath, there was some talk of a couple of TV-movies to wrap up the threads of the tale left to tell. They never materialized … until now. Following a brief flurry of rumors last year, the cable net has confirmed that a Deadwood movie has been green-lit. (EMP)
Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev, Bollywood star Deepika Padukone and Orange Is the New Black breakout Ruby Rose are in negotiations to join the cast of xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, the film project that seeks to reboot the Vin Diesel action spy franchise. Samuel L. Jackson is attached to the film that is in the throes of casting as it heads to a production start later this month with a script by F. Scott Frazier and D.J. Caruso in the director’s chair. (HV)
CES is the tech world’s big coming-out party for the New Year — a supersize circus of gadgetry that both follows major trends in tech and creates them. It’s never the same year to year, but it’s always a showcase of what’s to come in consumer technology. (MB)
Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street Pictures has released the first look at the upcoming fact-based drama about the 1970 White House meeting between the two title characters, played respectively by Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey. Colin Hanks, Johnny Knoxville, Sky Ferreira, Tracy Letts, Evan Peters, and Alex Pettyfer also star in the film, which will be released in April. (TP)
The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson were big winners last night, but who else took home statues? Here’s a round-up of all the winners at last night’s Golden Globes in one tidy place. (DL)
All the Golden Globes’ Highlights (and Lowlights) in One Place, Including Denzel, Leo and Mel Gibson
The Golden Globes represent the free-wheeling, booze-flowing, no rules side of an awards season that all too often takes itself too seriously. Here’s a summary with a critical eye on the Ricky Gervais-hosted telecast last night. (THR)
The Golden Globes are known for their unpredictability, and this year’s awards were among the Golden Globe-iest in that regard. While many of the top film champs can hardly be dubbed surprises, the TV picks were considerably more left field. And there were a couple of stunners in the movie races too. (VAR)
The 66th Berlin International Film Festival unveiled nine new competition titles Monday, including Thomas Vinterberg’s The Commune, Mia Hansen-Love’s Things To Come and Danis Tanovic’s Death in Sarajevo. (DL)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed to hang on to its box office crown for the fourth weekend in a row, but just barely. On Friday, The Revenant actually became the first movie to unseat The Force Awakens, even if it was only for one day. (EW)
Now filled with posthumous poignancy, David Bowie’s video for his new song “Lazarus” appears to be part of a carefully planned farewell from the world. Released along with the cultural genius’ final album Blackstar, this past Saturday — also Bowie’s 69th birthday — the song opens with the lyrics, “Look up here, I’m in Heaven!” (DL)
Every year, the broadcast networks vow to get in front of the pilot season craziness with off-season and early pilot orders but that rarely happens. This year, there actually were more off-cycle and early pickups, and the January orders started coming several days earlier than last year. (DL)
A new joint VR research study by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) was released today. CTA expects unit sales of VR headsets to increase by 500 percent in 2016, but there are still issues that need to be addressed. (VI)
Netflix dropped a thoroughly haunting trailer for season 4 of House of Cards during the Golden Globes on Sunday night. Here’s the full trailer. (THR)
While there is no such thing as offering a true how-to when it comes to writing commercial scripts, there are some patterns we can examine, commonalities among spec scripts that seem to have a higher or lower chance of getting traction in the current market. (SM)
Company Launches & Partnerships
Relativity Media has acquired Trigger Street Productions and has named Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey Chairman of Relativity Studios and Producer Dana Brunetti as President. Together, they will guide Relativity’s resurgence in feature films and scripted television, and expected in their new positions beginning next month. Trigger Street’s track record includes Best Picture-nominated films such as Captain Phillips and The Social Network, as well as the Emmy-nominated House Of Cards and Recount.
Hulu and Sony now have a new multi-year content deal. Several new series, including The Shield, Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek will be available on Hulu. And several new films from Sony’s archive, including Jerry Maguire, Midnight in Paris, and My Best Friend’s Wedding, will be coming to Hulu as well.
ICM Partners is expanding its Los Angeles office. While their corporate headquarters will remain at the same address, 10250 Constellation Blvd, they will move from floors 7, 8 and 9 to the top five floors of the same high rise and occupy 112,000-square-foot of new space to be renovated and designed by HOK. As part of the shift, ICM Partners will have exclusive signage atop the building. The new design will include a two-story sky lobby, outdoor terraces, high-tech functions and a central, internal staircase that connects each of its five floors.
Major League Baseball has secured a three-year deal with Le Sports, a unit of Chinese streaming services provider LeTV. MLB games will be shown live in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau beginning this month. Le Sports will broadcast 125 games per season and MLB-related programming in Mandarin over various platforms.
The Chernin Group has acquired a 51% stake in the website Barstool Sports, a comedy, sports and lifestyle media content brand started in 2004 by David Portnoy. It has since become one of the fastest growing sports websites in the past decade by delivering popular text, video and podcast content across its website, app and social platforms. Mike Kerns, President of Chernin’s Digital department and President Jesse Jacobs will join Barstool’s board of directors.
Sony Music will bring its content slate to Verizon’s mobile streaming service Go90 via a multi-year agreement to distribute multiple Sony Music-produced series on Go90. The first three series are Crashed a hidden camera comedy show, competition series Car Star and a concert series called A Live Festival. Multi-hypenate Milo Ventimiglia and digital studio StyleHaul are exclusively releasing the scripted series Relationship Status on Go90 as well.
Go-Pro and YouTube have partnered to create 360-degree video content. “We can leverage traditional content to market a VR-viewing experience. It’s not either-or; it can be both,” said GoPro CEO Nick Woodman. YouTube will also begin supporting HDR (high dynamic range) video.
Universal Music Group and iHeart Media, the nation’s largest radio station owner, are joining forces on a series of virtual reality concert experiences. Full shows by four artists will be produced as part of the iHeartRadio VR Concert Series held at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles. The debut of the VR series will overlap with iHeartRadio Music Awards, which will broadcast live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and on TBS, TNT and truTV on April 3.
MCN Fullscreen and GroupM, the media-buying arm of WPP, have joined on a venture named Playa, an influencer marketing partnership where GroupM and WPP clients will have first-look access to content produced by Fullscreen’s creators, and agencies will have access to Fullscreen’s analytics tools. Fullscreen will work with GroupM and WPP, coaching them on how to create ad campaigns featuring digital content creators.
21st Century Fox has entered into a preliminary agreement with Osterhour Design Group, a virtual and augmented reality and smartglass designer. Under the deal, 21st Century Fox would gain a minority stake in Osterhour, and become the company’s principle outside investor with the ultimate goal to merge ODG’s tech with 21st Century Fox’s entertainment content.
Film and TV Producer Pam Williams and indie Producer Effie Brown have joined Lee Daniels Entertainment. Williams was previously the Principal of Pam Williams Productions and President of Laura Ziskin Productions where she produced Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Brown’s credits include Dear White People and she recently served as a producer on HBO’s Project Greenlight. She also executive produces and writes the hit series Empire.
Universal General Sales Manager Mark Gaines is retiring after 39 years at the studio. Steve Bunnel will take over as EVP and Head of Sales. He was previously Uni’s Distribution SVP and Assistant General Sales Manager. Bunnell came onboard Universal last year and worked with Gaines on matters relating to licensing of Universal theatrical releases.
Andrew England has been named the CEO of National CineMedia. He was previously the CMO of MillerCoors in Chicago. Kurt Hall has been named the Retirement & Advisor of National CineMedia. He was previously the CEO of National CineMedia.
Bo Liebman has been promoted from Coordinator to Story Editor at Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert’s EMJAG Productions.
Bill Bost has been upped from Director to the VP of Development at Skydance Media.
Sandra Condito has been named the President of Production at Straight Up Films. She was formerly the President of Acquisitions & Production at Pantelion Films.
Andrew Essex has been named CEO of Tribeca Enterprises. Best known for operating the Tribeca Film Festival, the company also operates several other branded entertainment businesses. Essex previously was the Vice Chairman and founding CEO of the creative agency Droga5.
Jasmine Daghighian has been upped from Coordinator to a Creative Executive at Imperative Entertainment.
Julie Dansker has been upped from Director to the VP of Sales & Marketing at The Orchard. Danielle DiGiacomo has been upped from Director to the VP of Acquisitions. Dan Truong has been upped form Director of Strategy & Finance to the VP of Release Strategy and Financial Planning at The Orchard.
Tara Farney has been upped from a Creative Executive position to the VP at Vinson Film.
Andrew Norman has been upped from Story Editor to the position of Creative Executive at Original Film. Karina Rahardja has been promoted from Executive Assistant to a Creative Executive position at Original Film.
Time Warner has extended Jeff Bewkes’ employment agreement for another three years and he will remain as Chief Executive. “Since becoming CEO, Jeff has transformed the company to focus on video content, capitalized on the combined strength of Turner, HBO and Warner Bros., and delivered consistently strong operating and financial performance,” said Steve Bollenbach, the company’s lead independent director.
Carolyn Bernstein has been named the EVP of Head of Global Scripted Development & Production at National Geographic Channel. She was formerly the EVP at Endemol Shine Studios. Hamish Mykura has been named the EVP of Programming & Development at National Geographic Global Networks in London. He was previously the EVP and Head, International Content at National Geographic Channels International.
Jonathan Bingaman has been promoted from SVP to the EVP of Domestic Cable Sales at CBS Television Distribution. Robert Schildhouse has been upped from SVP to the EVP of Digital Licensing & Distribution at CBS Television Distribution.
Dexter Cole has been upped from VP to the SVP of Program Scheduling & Acquisitions at TV One (Silver Spring, MD).
Genevieve Croteau has been upped from Senior Director of Personnel to the VP of Human Resources at Sirens Media. Caroline Self has been upped from Executive Producer to the VP of Programming at Sirens Media.
Steven Lerner has been named the SVP of Programming & Production at Scripps Networks Interactive. He was previously the SVP of Programming at HGTV, DIY Network, and Great American Country. John Feld has taken over Lerner’s previous position and been upped from VP to the SVP of Programming & Production at HGTV, DIY Network, and Great American Country. Suzanne Underwald has expanded her title of SVP of Legal Affairs to include Business & Legal Affairs, Content Distribution & Marketing at Scripps Networks Interactive.
Jim Hoffman has been named the EVP of Program Partnerships & Strategic Initiatives at A+E Networks in New York. He was previously the EVP of Sales & Marketing at NBC Entertainment.
Julie Holland has been upped from Director to the VP of Communications at Endemol Shine North America.
Jonathan Karsh is now a Principal at Shiny Objects Entertainment. He was previously the SVP of Creative Affairs at Relativity Television.
Laura Lancaster has been named the President at Alcon Television Group. She was formerly the EVP of Drama Programming at NBC Entertainment.
Maggie Leyden has been upped from Client Manager of TV to the Senior Client Manager of TV at The Orchard. Kellie McElderry has been upped from Manager of Sales & Marketing to the Director of Sales & Marketing.
Hernan Lopez has left Fox International Channels where he was CEO and will start a new venture to be announced. The decision came as Fox International Channels is consolidating its global channels under its regional hubs in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Under the new structure, the FIC banner will be discontinued and Jan Koeppen will become President of Fox Networks Group Europe. Carlos Martinez and Zubin Gandevia will hold their same positions in Latin America and Asia.
Hilary Zaitz Michael has been named the Director of Development at Groundswell Productions. She was formerly an Executive at Your Face Goes Here Entertainment.
Gretchen Palek has been upped from Head of Talent Relations to the SVP, Talent & Casting at Leftfield Entertainment. Simon Thomas has been upped from Executive Producer to the VP of Programming.
Allison Rawlings has been named the SVP of Corporate Communications at NBC Entertainment. She was formerly the Head of Public Relations at DreamWorks Animation.
Shana C. Waterman has been named the Head of Television at One Race Television. She was formerly the SVP of Event Series at FOX Broadcasting Company.
Tim Hincks is stepping down from his post as Endemol Shine Group President and will leave later this year. “The last 17 years have been an incredible and exhilarating ride,” said Hincks. Hincks first came onboard Endemol in 1999 following his position in factual and current affairs programming at the BBC. Hincks will continue to serve on the Corporate Advisory Board of the National Theatre.
Management, PR, Agencies
Erin J. Cox, Benjamin J. Horwich, Heather E. Takahashi and E. Martin Estrada have been named the Partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson where they practice as Attorneys.
David Riggs is now a Sports Agent at WME. He was previously the VP of Integrated Sales & Talent Marketing at WWE. Michael Finkle has been upped from Coordinator to Agent in the Theatre department at WME. Paul Gongaware has been promoted from Assistant to Peter Wiederlight to Music Agent. Joe Izzi and Samantha Leon have been upped from Coordinator to Talent Agent. Josh Levy and Ross Raphael have been promoted from Coordinator to Agent in the Unscripted TV department. Carolyn Moneta has been upped from Coordinator to Agent in the Commercials department. Alex Rabens has shifted from Music Agent at the Windish Agency to WME. Danny Treibatch has been upped from Coordinator to Talent Agent.
Jennifer Gabler Rawlings has been named the CEO at Omni Artists Limited. She was formerly a Talent Manager at Principato-Young Entertainment.
Chris Regan has been named the SVP of Film & Digital at DKC. He was previously the VP of Film Publicity at Ginsberg/Libby.
Allen Vainshtein is now an Associate at McKuin Frankel Whitehead. He was previously the VP of Business & Legal Affairs at 3 Ball Entertainment.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
Full-service ad agency 22Squared has promoted several staffers. John Stapleton, a 15-year vet of the agency, will now serve as CCO. Previous Associate Media Director Anne DiNapoli has been named the Director, Paid Social and Digital. Genna Franconi, formerly VP and Director of Strategy is now the Team Account Director. Saya Heathco, formerly VP and Group Strategy Director is now the Director of Strategy. Meg Jokinen, formerly VP and Management Supervisor, will now serve as Account Director.
Leonora Epstein has been named the Executive Editor at the Time Inc. owned HelloGiggles, a mobile- and social-first brand geared toward millennial women. She previously served as the Deputy Editorial Director of BuzzFeed.
Jonathan Schroeder has been upped from VP of Strategy to the EVP of Advertising & Technology at Ribbow Media.
James Loftus has been named the SVP of Business Development & Operations at STX Digital (San Francisco/Burbank). He was previously a Partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
Andi Poch has been named the SVP of Sales at CBS Local Digital Media. He was previously the SVP of Integrated Digital/Sales & Strategy at Townsquare Media.
Ashley Newton has been named the President at Capitol Music Group and EVP of Creative/Special Projects at Universal Music Group. She was formerly the President at Columbia Records.
Your 2016 Academy Awards Nominations Will Be Read Live On Thursday By Guillermo Del Toro and John Krasinski
Ang Lee and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs will also read nominees, with the 24 Oscar categories split amongst the four presenters. Krasinski and Isaacs will unveil the nominees for Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Directing, Film Editing, Foreign Language Film, Original Score, Picture, Production Design, Visual Effects, Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay, and the two directors handling the rest. (HRA)
The final numbers are in for the 73rd Annual awards show, and while still down from last year, things have tighten up – both among adults 18-49 and in total viewership. Based on time zone adjusted numbers, including that last 6-minutes that were left out of the earlier numbers, last night’s Globes drew a 5.5 rating with an audience of 18.5 million viewers. Down five percent from last year’s third straight outing with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. (AL)
Exec Shuffle for 1/11/16: WME Celebrates the New Year with a Slew of Promotions, Kevin Spacey Now Chairman of Relativity Studios, ICM Expands LA Office
Among the new deals announced over the last few days is a new agreement between Hulu and Sony, Major League Baseball securing a contract with the Chinese streaming service LeTV, and a new acquisition by The Chernin Group. Click the link for more. (SSN)
The untitled drama centers on a couple whose relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. Aronofsky will write, direct and produce the film, with Scott Franklin and Ari Handel also producing. Paramount Pictures will the film in 2017. (EMP)
Disney Is Narrowing Down Its Potential Young Han Solo To a Short List, and Some Familiar Names Are On It
Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen, and Blake Jenner are among a dozen contenders now vying for the gig. So what’s the rush to cast somebody if the Phil Lord and Chris Miller-directed movie isn’t arriving until 2018? Apparently, Han Solo might have a cameo in the currently filming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which details the heist to steal the plans for the Death Star. (TP)
The comedian and actor created Barry under an exclusive deal he has with the cable network. Pilot focuses on the titular character, an ex-marine-turned-hitman who takes a job out in Los Angeles and ends up making friends with members of a theater troupe. The possible new series will pair Hader with Silicon Valley executive producer Alec Berg. (COL)
The actor will play Little John in the mini-major’s redo of the classic English tale about the archer-thief who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Egerton is on board as Robin Hood and Eve Hewson will be playing Maid Marian. Little John was Robin’s right-hand man and known to fight with a staff. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way is producing the project which will be directed by Otto Bathurst. (HV)
Good News and Bad News For ‘Creed’ Fans: Sequel Set For November 2017, but Ryan Coogler Probably Won’t Return
MGM is eyeing the release date so that the sequel would come out exactly two years after the hit film, starring Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson and Sylvester Stallone, hit theaters. Assuming that date is firm, it almost certainly means Creed co-writer and director Coogler won’t be able to helm the new film, as he has signed to direct Marvel’s Black Panther movie, set for release in February, 2018. (VAR)
As tributes, retrospectives and honorary think pieces continue to pour in from all corners of the world, one way to mourn the loss of David Bowie is to view some of his seminal features and documentaries now available to stream online. There’s no better way to honor Bowie today than by sampling his diverse body of work, whether it’s by watching one of the listed titles or by putting on any one of his classic albums (or all of them) on repeat. (IW)
For anyone connecting with Netflix over the holidays, it was anything but a merry Christmas. Premiering on Dec. 18th, the streaming service’s docu-series plunged viewers deep into one of the strangest and most disturbing true-crime cases in recent memory. Then things got weird. (RS)
After being passed over by every guild and industry group so far this season, The Hateful Eight finally caught a break Tuesday with a nomination from the Cinema Audio Society, celebrating excellence in sound mixing. (VAR)
With Oscar nominations around the corner on Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the official theme for the 2016 broadcast. Here’s the new TV spot featuring Morgan Freeman and new posters featuring Lupita Nyong’o, George Clooney and Meryl Streep. (DL)
The ‘World War Z’ Sequel is the Biggest Open Directing Assignment in Town Now that Juan Antonio Bayona Has Departed
Bayona’s abrupt exit is being attributed to timing. This immediately becomes one of the biggest Open Directing Assignments in town, maybe the biggest job this side of the Jurassic World sequel. (DL)
It’s official- China’s Wanda has acquired Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion. The deal marks the first time that a U.S. movie studio known for producing big-budget global tentpoles has come under Chinese ownership. (THR)
Along with Son of Zorn, Fox is ordering another pilot from Phil Lord and Chris Miller. It’s an untitled single-camera time-travel comedy (formerly In Time) that follows three friends who find a way to travel through time for truth, justice, and riches, which complicates their lives in 2016. (VAR)
The Big Short’s Steve Carell is set to produce and star in Europe and Other Mistakes aka Euro Style. Said to be Old School set on a backpacking trip across Europe, the Universal comedy will follow a 40-something guy who reunites with his old college friends to take the European vacation that he never had in his youth. (TB)
Hugh Hefner and his company, Playboy, are the subject of American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, a miniseries produced by Stephen David Entertainment and Playboy’s Alta Loma Entertainment. The project, which is currently being shopped to networks, is slated to begin production in 2016. (DL)
The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same: New Study Shows Number of Female Directors Matches 2001 Standings
A new study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film shows that women behind the camera made little progress last year. In 2015, women comprised just 19 percent of the filmmakers working behind the screen on the top 250 domestic-grossing movies as directors, writers, producers, editors and cinematographers. (THR)
Execs Can Find Female Directors for their Next Studio Picture at The Miami International Film Festival
The Miami International Film Festival has unveiled a partnership with Google on a seminar series addressing gender and racial gaps in the film industry. The festival, presented by Miami Dade College, opens its 33rd edition on March 4. The only major film festival produced and presented by a college also unveiled 21 female-directed films in its program. (VAR)
As a couple hundred lucky Sundance-bound teams of filmmakers all over the world prepare for one of the most important weeks in the life of their project, many are thinking about how their film will be received online. Since it uses your resources, you’ll want to make sure every bit of effort you’re expending actually sees returns. (IW)
American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story
Production Company(s): Stephen David Entertainment, Alta Loma Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Stephen David, Peter Jaysen, Dick Rosenzweig
Logline: Series to span over six decades of American history, telling the dual narrative of Hefner’s personal life, intertwined with the evolution of the country he sought to change.
Details: Based on the life of Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy.
SSN Insight: The “hybrid” docudrama style miniseries is currently being shopped to networks and slated to begin production in 2016. The producers will have full access to Hefner’s video and photographic archives and the Playboy library, which includes more than 60 years the magazine and unpublished material.
Network: HBO Network
Executive Producer(s): Bill Hader, Alec Berg
Writer(s): Bill Hader, Alec Berg
Logline: An ex-Marine works as a low-rent hitman in the Midwest. Lonely and dissatisfied in his life he begrudgingly travels to Los Angeles to kill someone and ends up finding an accepting community in a group of eager hopefuls within the L.A. theater scene.
SSN Insight: HBO ordered the pilot on January 11.
Behind The Mask
Production Company(s): SYCO Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Simon Cowell
Logline: Based on the book about a sex club that organizes decadent events in secret locations for the world’s elite. There, people explore their innermost fantasies and deepest sexual desires in a safe but sexually-charged environment. It is a club where women make all the rules and men must be invited to participate.
Details: Based on the memoir, “Behind The Mask: Enter a World Where Women Make – and Break – the Rules ,” written by Emma Sayle and published by HarperCollins on April 24, 2014.
SSN Insight: Behind The Mask is Sayle’s debut book. Cowell currently serves as a judge and executive producer on America’s Got Talent.
Studio: Fox 21 Television Studios
Executive Producer(s): Michael London, Kem Nunn, Alexandra Cunningham, Lenny Abrahamson, Brian Grazer
Writer(s): Kem Nunn, Alexandra Cunningham
Logline: Follows Eldon Chance, a San Francisco-based forensic neuropsychiatrist who reluctantly gets sucked into a violent and dangerous world of mistaken identity, police corruption and mental illness. After an ill-advised decision regarding an alluring patient who may or may not be struggling with a multiple personality disorder, Chance finds himself in the cross hairs of her abusive spouse, who also happens to be a ruthless police detective.
Details: Based on the novel “Chance,” written by Kem Nunn and published by Scribner on February 18, 2014.
SSN Insight: Hulu has given a two season order of 20 episodes.
Studio: Universal Television
Executive Producer(s): Lisa Rubin, Liza Chasin, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Writer(s): Lisa Rubin
Logline: Jean Holloway, a therapist, begins to develop dangerous and intimate relationships with the people in her patients’ lives.
SSN Insight: Rubin’s future projects include adapting best-selling novel I Was Here by Gayle Forman for New Line and adapting the novel Food Whore for DreamWorks.
Production Company(s): Midnight Radio, The Combine
Executive Producer(s): Don Handfield, Jeremy Renner, Richard Rayner, Jeff Pinkner, André Nemec
Logline: The series chronicles the actual events leading up to and following the persecution, downfall and burning at the stake of the Knights Templar on Friday the 13th, 1307. based on a true story.
Details: Based on the true story of the fall of the Knight Templar.
SSN Insight: History has given a series order for 10 episodes.
Made In LA
Studio: ABC Studios
Production Company(s): Orchard Films, Fake Empire
Executive Producer(s): Mila Kunis, Cami Curtis, Susan Curtis, Lisa Sterbakov, Sascha Rothchild
Writer(s): Sascha Rothchild
Logline: The story details how two friends founded a global clothing brand on just $200. Based on the memoir, ” “The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand.”
Details: Based on the memoir, “The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand,” written by Juicy Couture founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor and published by Gotham on May 29, 2014.
SSN Insight: This is the fourth collaboration between Rothchild and Fake Empire. They’re most recent team-up was on CW’s drama The Carrie Diaries.
Production Company(s): Televisa USA
Executive Producer(s): Mauricio Katz, Pedro Peirano
Writer(s): Mauricio Katz, Pedro Peirano
Logline: Don Enrique De Martino, a powerful Mexican businessman makes a deadly pact with the Devil.
Details: Based on the Mexican series “El Maleficio,” which originally aired on Canal de las Estrellas in 1983-84.
SSN Insight: Mauricio Katz is also the creator and executive producer behind Nino Santo, a pilot being developed for A&E.
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment, Unnamed Marlon Wayans Company
Executive Producer(s): Marlon Wayans, Christopher Moynihan, Rick Alvarez, Michael Rotenberg
Logline: An inappropriate but loving father is committed to successfully co-parenting with his polar opposite ex-wife.
Details: Loosely inspired by the real life of Marlon Wayans.
SSN Insight: NBC initially gave a put pilot commitment back in September, but has now ordered the pilot.
No Dumb Questions
Production Company(s): Big Breakfast/College Humor
Executive Producer(s): Sam Reich, Spencer Griffin, Jon Cohen
Logline: Led by host Emily Axford, a team of comedy journalists poses the questions you didn’t think to ask, but once you hear them, you have to know the answers.
SSN Insight: truTV gave a pilot order on January 7.
Network: TV Land
Production Company(s): On the Day Productions
Executive Producer(s): Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, Rachel Ramras
Writer(s): Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, Rachel Ramras
Logline: Inspired by the real lives of Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras, who watched as their friends from The Groundlings went on to star in blockbuster comedies and win Oscars, while they toiled away writing for children’s television.
Details: Inspired by the real lives of Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf and Rachel Ramras.
SSN Insight: TV Land gave an initial script commitment back in July and has since ordered the pilot.
One Day at a Time
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Act III Productions, Snowpants Productions, Small Fish Studios
Executive Producer(s): Norman Lear, Gloria Calderon Kellett, Mike Royce, Michael Garcia
Writer(s): Mike Royce, Gloria Calderon Kellett
Logline: This modernized multi-camera comedy revolves around a Cuban-American family where the heroine is a recently separated, former military mom who is navigating a new single life while raising her radical teenage daughter and socially adept tween son with the help of her old-school Cuban-born mom and a friends-without-benefits building manager named Schneider.
Details: Based on series “One Day at a Time,” which ran for 9 seasons on CBS from 1975-1984.
SSN Insight: Netflix has given a series order for 13 episodes.
People of Earth
Studio: Warner Horizon Television
Production Company(s): Conaco Productions
Executive Producer(s): Conan O’Brien, Greg Daniels, Jeff Ross, David Kissinger, Dan Halsted
Writer(s): David Jenkins
Logline: A serious journalist is tapped to write an article about an alien abduction support group. Initially dismissive, he gradually learns that he has more in common with these people than he’d like to admit. Eventually, he must accept that either he is having a nervous breakdown or that the small, upstate town of Beacon, New York is about to be invaded by aliens.
SSN Insight: Marylouise Burke was previously attached to star, but has been replaced by Nancy Lenehan. TBS has given a series order of 10 episodes.
Production Company(s): Big Beach
Executive Producer(s): Marc Turtletaub, Dan Pasternack, Erin Keating
Logline: Twin sisters Brook and Lyn Hernandez inherit an East LA building from the recently deceased aunt who raised them. They open Pour Vida, a new wine and tapas bar, in a building in Boyle Heights which houses a failing lesbian bar below and a village-like collection of Eastside denizens in three units above.
Details: Inspired by a short story by Richard Villegas, Jr.
SSN Insight: Marc Turtletaub’s credits include Little Miss Sunshine, Sunshine Cleaning and Safety Not Guaranteed.
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): DC Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Ben Queen, Michael Patrick Jann
Writer(s): Ben Queen
Logline: Set at one of the worst insurance companies in America, the show is about the reality of working life for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains. The series follows ordinary, “power-less” folk working at the insurance company who often envy the man and women outside their window who make headlines with their supernatural powers.
Details: Based on characters from DC Comics.
SSN Insight: NBC gave a pilot order. Queen previously created and executive produced A to Z for NBC that was also from Warner Bros. Television.
Executive Producer(s): Alejandro Brugués, Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale
Logline: Cuba’s doors are finally open to the world. But a secret war brews there, a clash between opposing sects of Santeria, the ancient religion born on the island. Two undercover agents investigating a bizarre murder are pulled into this supernatural conflict and discover it’s more dangerous and far-reaching than anything they could have imagined.
SSN Insight: Alejandro Brugues previously directed From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series and wrote and directed the film Juan of the Dead.
Studio: A+E Studios
Production Company(s): The Weinstein Company
Executive Producer(s): William Broyles Jr., David Broyles, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Alfredo Barrios Jr.
Writer(s): William Broyles Jr., David Broyles, Alfredo Barrios Jr., Bruce C McKenna, Karen Campbell
Logline: A Navy SEAL Team Six’s mission to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan goes awry when they uncover a U.S. citizen working with the terrorists.
Details: Based on an idea by Harvey Weinstein and inspired by real Navy SEAL missions.
SSN Insight: History has given a series order of eight episodes.
Tales from the Crypt
Production Company(s): Blinding Edge Pictures, Endgame Entertainment, Aloris Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): M. Night Shyamalan, Ashwin Rajan, James D. Stern, John Santilli, Daniel McKinnon
Logline: An anthology horror series. Based on the comic book.
Details: Based on the 1950s EC Comics series created by William Gaines. The comic also aired as the HBO series “Tales From the Crypt,” which premiered on June 10, 1989.
SSN Insight: TNT has given a series order. Shyamalan executive produced and directed the pilot for Wayward Pines, the TV series that was a ratings winner for Fox.
Production Company(s): Sonar Entertainment, ShineBox SMC
Executive Producer(s): Brian McGreevy, Lee Shipman, Michael Connolly, Philipp Meyer
Writer(s): Lee Shipman, Brian McGreevy, Philipp Meyer
Logline: A multi-generational epic telling of the story of America’s birth as a superpower through the bloody rise and fall of one Texas oil empire.
Details: Based on the novel, “The Son,” written by Philipp Meyer and published by Ecco on May 28, 2013.
SSN Insight: Originally planned as a limited series, before AMC was attached. AMC has given a straight-to-series order for the drama.
Time Traveling Bong
Network: Comedy Central
Executive Producer(s): Ilana Glazer, Paul W Downs, Lucia Aniello, Dave Becky
Logline: Two cousins discover a time-traveling bong and ride high as they blaze through time. Their buzz is killed when the bong breaks and the cousins are forced to bounce around the space time continuum, learning to appreciate there’s no time like the present.
Details: Ordered to series. Network has ordered 3 episodes. (1/6/2016)
SSN Insight: Comedy Central has given a limited series order of three episodes. Glazer, Downs and Aniello all currently work on Broad City.
Untitled Courteney Cox/Robert Padnick Charity Project
Studio: ABC Studios
Executive Producer(s): Robert Padnick, Courteney Cox, James Griffiths, Thea Mann
Writer(s): Robert Padnick
Logline: Centers on Hailey, a woman who inherits her late billionaire husband’s charity and quickly finds that changing the world is far less glamorous than she had imagined.
SSN Insight: Courteney Cox will star in the project and James Griffiths is set to direct the potential pilot. Cox will make her feature directorial debut in Hello I Must Be Going, with Seann William Scott & Kate Walsh attached to star.
Untitled Jake Gyllenhaal Cult Anthology Drama Project
Network: A+E Networks
Studio: A+E Studios
Production Company(s): Nine Stories Productions
Executive Producer(s): Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker
Logline: The series will explore a different major cult personality and the provocative nature of belief each season. Season 1 would focus on the notorious story of Jim Jones and his cult The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ. The series would chronicle Jones’ path from social leader and passionate integrationist to deranged spiritual dictator over a group of followers committed to his dangerous philosophy of faith, culminating in a mass murder-suicide in which 918 people died at the group’s Guyana compound in November 1978.
SSN Insight: A+E Networks will handle global sales. This is the first series that Jake Gyllenhaal has created.
Untitled Matt Hubbard/ Mike Schur Couple Project
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Matt Hubbard, Michael Schur, David Miner
Writer(s): Matt Hubbard
Logline: Centers on a happily-married interracial couple, Andrew and Josie, whose lives take a turn when they move close to Josie’s family in Missouri.
SSN Insight: NBC initially gave a production commitment back in September and has since ordered a pilot.
Untitled Phil Lord/Chris Miller Time Travel Project
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Lord Miller
Executive Producer(s): Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Julius Sharpe
Writer(s): Julius Sharpe
Logline: Revolves around three friends who find a way to travel through time for truth, justice, and riches, which complicates their lives in 2016. They visit some of the greatest moments of the past as they try to resolve their personal problems, while history and pop culture comically collide.
SSN Insight: Fox gave an initial commitment of put pilot back in October and has since ordered the pilot. This marks a second pilot order for Lord and Miller at Fox, the first being for Son of Zorn.
Marvel’s Most Wanted
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios
Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Jeffrey Bell, Paul Zbyszewski, Megan Thomas Bradner, Jeph Loeb
Writer(s): Jeffrey Bell, Paul Zbyszewski
Logline: Ex-Spies and ex-spouses Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter are on the run with no friends, no S.H.I.E.L.D. and every one of their enemies looking to claim a bounty on their heads. While uncovering the conspiracy that put their lives in jeopardy, these two heroes will go anywhere and save anyone in need.
Details: Based on the Marvel character, Mockingbird. The project is planned as a spinoff of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” which premiered on ABC in 2013.
SSN Insight: Rolled from the 2015-2016 season. ABC has given a pilot order.
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios
Executive Producer(s): Andrew Reich
Writer(s): Andrew Reich
Logline: Centers on a larger-than-life family matriarch who, after she finds out she has cancer, becomes intent on controlling and orchestrating every aspect of her family’s life before she dies.
SSN Insight: ABC has given a pilot order as of January 11. Reich was previously a writer on Work It and Romantically Challenged for ABC.
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Executive Producer(s): Scott Silveri, Jake Kasdan, Melvin Mar
Writer(s): Scott Silveri
Logline: A family with a special-needs child is good at dealing with the challenges it faces and excellent at creating new ones.
SSN Insight: The project was originally developed at Fox for the 2015-2016 season, for which it received a put pilot commitment with penalty but was not picked up. ABC ordered the pilot on January 11.
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Carol Mendelsohn Productions
Executive Producer(s): V.J. Boyd, Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz
Writer(s): V.J. Boyd, Mark Bianculli
Logline: Follows a single murder trial a season as seen through the eyes of the individual jurors, exploring the biases and experiences that influence the jurors’ judgment, and how their preconceptions change along the way.
SSN Insight: ABC gave an initial commitment of a pilot with a significant penalty back in August. ABC gave the official pilot order on January 7.
Network: National Geographic Channel
Production Company(s): Scott Rudin Productions
Executive Producer(s): Scott Rudin
Logline: A pair of poor Frenchmen travel across North America, China and New Zealand in the 17th century. Based on the novel.
Details: Based on the novel, “Barkskins,” written by Annie Proulx and set to be published by Scribner on June 14, 2016.
SSN Insight: Rudin is also an executive producer on the upcoming TV series, School of Rock to air on Nickelodeon.
Network: National Geographic Channel
Studio: FX Productions
Production Company(s): DNA Films
Writer(s): Joshua Brand
Logline: The series traces the massive global web of contraband animals and ivory, and its connection to the trafficking of narcotics, people and weapons. It exposes a shocking underworld that rewards greed and bloodshed while helping to fund the madness of terrorist regimes.
SSN Insight: Brand served as a writer on The Americans and previously wrote the screenplay for Mystery, Alaska.
Network: National Geographic Channel
Production Company(s): October Films
Executive Producer(s): Matt Robins, Jos Cushing, Chris Muckle, Douglas McCallie
Logline: A “herd’ of 20 elite men and women attempt to complete the world’s most famous animal migration across Africa. The human herd must brave harsh elements, deadly predators and each other as they attempt to endure Africa’s grueling Wildebeest migration through the Serengeti to the Mara River as they use their expert survival skills on a 200-mile, six-week journey.
SSN Insight: NatGeo has given a limited series order of six episodes.
One Strange Rock
Network: National Geographic Channel
Production Company(s): Protozoa Pictures, Nutopia
Executive Producer(s): Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel, Jane Root, Arif Nurmohamed, Peter Lovering
Logline: The series explores how intricate, interwoven and fragile life as we know it is on Earth and how rare it may be in the universe.
SSN Insight: The project is envisioned as an event series and NatGeo has given a series order. Aronofsky is also in development on the MaddAddam pilot for HBO.
Original Sin: How Sex Changed The World
Network: National Geographic Channel
Production Company(s): World of Wonder Productions
Executive Producer(s): Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Dan Partland, Kevin Tao Mohs
Logline: The series will look at the sexual revolution of the past half-century and how it has affected culture, science, and politics in the U.S. and around the world. It will uncover the surprising ways sex impacts humanity and how it’s changed during the past 50 years.
SSN Insight: NatGeo has given a series order of six episodes. Bailey is currently attached as a director on the upcoming HBO series, Mapplethorpe: Look At the Pictures and Every Brilliant Thing.
Untitled Sebastian Junger Syria & Iraq Documetary Project
Network: National Geographic Channel
Executive Producer(s): Nick Quested, Sebastian Junger
Logline: Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested explore the complexities of the war in Syria and Iraq as they gain access to clandestine organizations to offer a look at one of the most serious threats faced by the Western world.
SSN Insight: Sebastian Junger is a filmmaker, author and journalist, nominated for an Oscar for his documentary, Restrepo in 2010.
Directors Guild Announces Nominees, and To No One’s Surprise, Ridley Scott and Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárittu Made the List
George Miller and Tom McCarthy also earned nominations, as expected, but the fifth nomination went to The Big Short helmer Adam McKay, which now puts these five men in the driver’s seat to earn the quintet of Oscar nominations, which will be announced Thursday morning. The big snub? Steven Spielberg, who did not earn a nod for Bridge of Spies. (EMP)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens leads the list of nominees, while The Peanuts Movie earned an unexpected nomination in the Animated category. In addition to the long list of awards categories, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be also presented to award-winning director-producer Sir Ridley Scott. The ceremony is February 2nd. (COL)
Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games. Previous honorees for their work in film include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Martin Scorsese and Helen Mirren. Mike Leigh was honored last year. (SAA)
TV Development for 1/12/16: ABC Greenlights ‘Marvel’s Most Wanted’ Pilot, Sebastian Junger Tackling Syria Project, History Orders Series from Jeremy Renner
Lots of action in the new year, including a new mini-series about the life of Hugh Hefner, a new HBO comedy pilot for Bill Hader, a sexy new series from Simon Cowell, and something from Mila Kunis and her production company, among other news. Click the link for more. (SSN)
Jon Hamm, Shane Carruth, Lena Dunham and Keegan-Michael Key are among the 23 jury members who will be judging the various competitions at the 2016 festival. The annual event in Park City, Utah begins January 21st and runs until the 31st. (IW)
Girls and Star Wars star Driver will play the lead in Paterson, described as a wry comedy, with Amazon Studios and K5 International co-financing. Paterson also stars Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. K5’s Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur are executive producers and will handle international sales with ICM Partners repping domestic; it also reps Jarmusch. K5 will produce alongside Joshua Astrachan at Animal Kingdom and Carter Logan at Inkjet. (DH)
The two-time Emmy winner and the Veronica Mars star are joining the network’s new Michael Schur comedy, Good Place. Bell plays a woman from New Jersey who comes to realize that she hasn’t been a very good person and decides to turn over a new leaf by learning what it actually means to be “good” or “bad.” Danson plays a man who, through an unlikely set of circumstances, comes to be her guide through her self-designed self-improvement course. (CS)
The Friends and CougaAwardsr Town alum is developing an untitled single-camera project for Fox, which centers on a woman who inherits her late billionaire husband’s charity and finds that changing the world is far less glamorous than she had imagined. The comedy hails from outside producers ABC Studios and is will be written by Robert Padnick, with James Griffiths on board to exec produce and direct the potential pilot. Cox will also be an EP on the project. (LF)
At 19, Hayden Christensen was still baby faced when he was handpicked by George Lucas to lead the new Star Wars prequels. The Canadian teen had never set foot on a major film set before shooting Episode II in 2002. Everyone, including Lucas, told him that playing Anakin Skywalker would change his life. Still, Christensen found himself unprepared for sudden fame. He felt undeserving, as if he hadn’t earned his acclaim in any meaningful way (LAT)
Universal Pictures has released the final trailer for the upcoming Coen Brothers movie, starring George Clooney, Frances McDorman, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill and many more. The film hits theaters February 5th. (UR)
Activision Blizzard Sets Stacey Sher To Spearhead Film, TV Projects Including ‘Call Of Duty,’ ‘Skylander’
Video game maker Activision Blizzard has set producer Stacey Sher to team with former Disney exec Nick van Dyk to run Activision Blizzard Studios. They will lead an effort to create film and TV titles from Activision properties. (DH)
Veteran publicity executives Lewis Kay and Joseph Assad are leaving the powerhouse PMK*BMC firm and launching a new company dubbed Kovert Creative which will be a joint venture with entertainment and sports conglomerate WME-IMG. (THR)
Van Toffler, former CEO of Viacom Media Networks Music Group, has teamed with Floris Bauer, previously global head of strategy at Endemol, and Otter Media — the digital joint venture between Peter Chernin’s Chernin Group and AT&T — to form Gunpowder & Sky, a studio focused on cutting-edge entertainment for millennial audiences. (VAR)
eOne International’s film sales division will be wound down following parent eOne’s investment in Nick Meyer’s Sierra Pictures. Sales veteran Meyer, a well-respected figure in the industry, will now take over sales on forthcoming eOne titles. (DH)
I’m Dying Up Here, the dark comedy starring the Oscar-winning actress, has been greenlit at Showtime. The network announced the series order at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena. (TVL)
In honor of the Zootopia’s anthropomorphic adventures hitting screens March 4, the Disney blog Oh My Disney compiled the concept art of your favorite animal characters. (FC)
George Clooney, Julia Roberts & Jack O’Connell star in the first trailer for Jodie Foster’s Money Monster. (IW)
NBC has extended Seth Meyers’ contract through February 2021. Meyers has been the host of Late Night for two years. “As a writer, performer and host, Seth has a rich history at NBC and we are thrilled that he’ll be at the helm of Late Night for many more years,” Greenblatt commented in a statement. In addition to his contract extension, Meyers will host a primetime special on New Year’s Eve underlining the current events and big news stories of 2016, in a move replacing the previous host, Bravo’s Andy Cohen.
The cable news channel Al Jazeera America, which began operating in 2013, is shutting down at the end of April. The shuttering of the broadcaster was announced at a company-wide meeting today. In a memo to the staff, Al Jazeera America’s chief executive, Al Anstey, said the “decision by Al Jazeera America’s board is driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace. I know the closure of AJAM will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future. The decision that has been made is in no way because AJAM has done anything but a great job. Our commitment to great journalism is unrivaled.”
BillBlock Media has signed a multi-year agreement with Red Granite International to act as the exclusive international sales agent for the company’s upcoming production slate. BB Media plans to produce three to four original titles per year that will be handled by RGI as well as serve as executive producer on select third party projects. The wide ranging agreement extends to include co-financing and co-producing opportunities between the two entities. Block’s recent production titles include Dirty Grandpa and Bad Moms.
As reported in Exec Shuffle on Monday, Relativity Media has acquired Trigger Street Productions and has named Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey Chairman of Relativity Studios and Producer Dana Brunetti as President. Together, they will guide Relativity’s resurgence in feature films and scripted television, and expected in their new positions beginning next month. Trigger Street’s track record includes Best Picture-nominated films such as Captain Phillips and The Social Network, as well as the Emmy-nominated House Of Cards and Recount.
eOne has made a strategic equity investment in Sierra Pictures in a move to enhance its global film portfolio and international sales and distribution reach. Sierra Pictures will continue to operate autonomously, utilizing eOne’s global production and financing resources to support its production slate. Sierra will rep both its own and eOne’s slate at the European Film Market in Berlin. Sierra will also handle international sales and distribution of films produced and acquired by eOne Features and eOne-distributed films from the Mark Gordon Company. Due to the deal, eOne International’s film sales division will be shuttered. There has been no official comment on the number of job losses. Sierra’s Nick Meyer will now head sales on upcoming eOne titles. Sierra/Affinity, the joint international sales venture between Sierra Pictures, OddLot Entertainment and Bold Films, will continue to operate.
As reported in Exec Shuffle on Monday, Hulu and Sony now have a new multi-year content deal. Several new series, including The Shield, Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek will be available on Hulu. And several new films from Sony’s archive, including Jerry Maguire, Midnight in Paris, and My Best Friend’s Wedding, will be coming to Hulu as well.
John Ridley and his production arm, International Famous Players Radio Picture Corporation, have extended their overall deal with ABC Studios for another three years. The deal includes a feature first-look arrangement with Disney and its related entities for any feature film project that Ridley develops and/or writes during the term. Ridley will expand his company with the forthcoming hire of a dedicated development executive. Ridley’s pilot Presence for ABC Studios starts production next week in Los Angeles.
Sony Movie Channel has inked a multi-year distribution agreement with Massillon Cable TV to include linear, Video-on-Demand and TV Everywhere rights for MCTV subscribers.
Raconteur Associates has signed a first look deal with BBC Worldwide. The start-up indie was launched in 2015 by William Miller and Ruth Wrigley and will focus on high-end, unscripted programming and formats for the UK and international markets. Raconteur will develop and retain IP while also collaborating with third party production companies and broadcasters on delivering content. BBC Worldwide will distribute Raconteur’s programming. Raconteur also hired BBC producer Charlotte Crosse as its new head of development and talent. Crosse was previously the on-screen talent producer for the BBC’s Natural History Unit.
The CW and Litton Entertainment have signed a multi-year deal for Saturday morning educational block One Magnificent Morning to run through the 2020-2021 season.
ABC Family is officially now Freeform and celebrated the brand makeover with a daylong virtual event. The brand relaunch “speaks to the network’s ongoing priority to super-serve Becomers, fans on that epic adventure of becoming and adult.” Launch partnerships included a Social DNA Project through Twitter, an event live stream via Periscope, a Vine booth, a BuzzFeed/Facebook Live chat, a Pretty Little Liars Facebook icon and Snapchat filter and Instagram content and talent takeovers.
As reported in Exec Shuffle on Monday, 21st Century Fox has entered into a preliminary agreement with Osterhour Design Group, a virtual and augmented reality and smartglass designer. Under the deal, 21st Century Fox would gain a minority stake in Osterhour, and become the company’s principle outside investor with the ultimate goal to merge ODG’s tech with 21st Century Fox’s entertainment content.
WGN America will be available on Cablevision, the New York based company, beginning January 16, expanding the net’s reach to 80 million homes across cable platforms. “We’re no longer a Superstation,” commented WGN President Matthew Cherniss at TCA.
CAA: The agency has snagged Lady Gaga, fresh off her Golden Globe win for American Horror Story: Hotel. CAA will now represent the newly minted Golden Globe winner in all areas. She was previously with WME. While accepting her Golden Globe for best actress in a TV movie or miniseries, she admitted, “I wanted to be an actress before I wanted to be a singer, but music worked out first.” She has sold more than 27 million albums sold and earned six Grammy awards. Gaga also is a prominent advocate of LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. Her nonprofit Born This Way Foundation, established in 2012, boosts youth empowerment.
UTA: Actress Taraji P. Henson has signed with UTA soon after her Golden Globe win for best lead actress in a drama series playing Cookie Lyon on Empire, the highest-rated scripted program on broadcast television. She also won the 2015 NAACP Entertainer of the Year Award. She had previously been without agency representation. She previously starred for three seasons on the popular CBS drama Person Of Interest. In film, she starred alongside Idris Elba in No Good Deed and co-starred in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, landing an supporting actress Oscar nomination.
CAA: Producer David Hill has signed with the agency. He previously lacked agency representation. Previously Hill was the SVP for 21st Century Fox where he oversaw American Idol. During his 22-year career at the company, Hill launched and ran Fox Sports for 20 years. He left to launch a production venture, Hilly Inc., backed by 21st Century Fox, which focuses on live television, non-scripted shows, and digital projects. Hill alongside Reginald Hudlin are currently producing the 2016 Academy Awards.
ICM Partners: Actress Mya Taylor, most recently seen in the indie film Tangerine, has signed with ICM and will rep Taylor for film and TV acting and producing projects. Taylor picked up a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor and is nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Indie Spirits. She is currently developing a semi-autobiographical TV show telling her coming-out story and transition as a member of the transgender community.
Paradigm: Italy-born director Gabriele Muccino has shifted from WME to Paradigm. His most recent directing credit was last year’s Russell Crowe-Amanda Seyfried pic Fathers and Daughters. Previous to that he directed The Pursuit Of Happyness, Seven Pounds and Playing For Keeps. He gained notice in 2002 with his Sundance hit Last Kiss, which won five David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent to the Oscars, including Best Director.
WME: Actress Rachel Keller has signed with the agency. She recently was cast as the lead in Legion, FX’s X-Men Universe pilot from Fargo creator Noah Hawley. She previously played Simone Gerhardt in season two of Fargo after graduating from Carnegie Mellon’s drama program in 2014. She continues to be repped by Suskin Management.
The Guild Awards have been announced in 23 categories covering motion pictures, TV, commercials and live theater. Winners will be revealed February 20th at Paramount Studios. That’s where make-up artist Ve Neill and hair stylist Yolanda Toussieng will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards. (AL)
One website goes so far as to break down every possible nomination for every film, and seems to think that the big winner tomorrow is going to be Mad Max: Fury Road, with 10 nominations, while Carol, The Revenant, The Martian and Spotlight will all have good days, as well. (GD)
Screenwriting: All Your Questions Answered Regarding The Black List, Including How To Land a Spot on the 2016 List
The recently posted Black list is a list of the most liked, yet unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. You want to pay attention to the Black List because: It’s a barometer of what stories are resonating in the marketplace; It provides a list of agents and managers with clout; It showcases many fresh, newly discovered writers. Here’s what you need to know about the Black List and one tiny suggestion for how the Black List could be improved. (SSN)
Film & TV Deals 1/13/16: Al Jazeera America to Shut Down, BillBlock Media Signs with Red Granite & NBC Extends Seth Meyers Deal
Tons of action this week, including Relativity acquiring Trigger Street Productions a big strategic move by eOne, and John Ridley and ABC Studios extend their deal. There’s a lot more, so click on the link to read on. (SSN)
Rep Moves for 1/13/16: Golden Globe Winner Lady Gaga & Oscars Producer David Hill Sign with CAA, UTA Snags ‘Empire’s’ Taraji P. Henson
Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean there isn’t also a fair amount of rep moves, as well. ICM and Paradigm also get in on the action. For the full skinny, click the link. (SSN)
It’s been six years since the last movie in the Chronicles of Narnia franchise debuted in theaters, and as it was the worst performer at the box office in the franchise. It seemed like the series was finally over. Now, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair will feature characters from the world of Narnia that we haven’t seen in the movies yet. (SF)
Director James Wan’s film doesn’t hit theaters until 2018 and there are several DC Comics film that come before then, but casting is beginning to shape up around Jason Momoa’s ruler of Atlantis, and the first solid name to pop up is Heard. (COL)
On the heels of becoming the first indie to win best picture and best drama at the Golden Globes — for The Revenant and Mr Robot, respectively — company will now work with MBC subsidiary 03 Productions to advise them on developing and producing both Arabic and English-language content. The deal allows MBC access to Anonymous’ creative know-how, experience and, in specific cases, talent roster. (DH)
Network, for the second time, is bringing Heroes to an end. Speaking with reporters after his time on stage today at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt confirmed that Heroes Reborn, the revival of the Tim Kring drama,will not be back for an additional season. (LF)
A recent study by the Pew Research Center revealed that less than half of Americans have ever heard of podcasts, and of those, 17 percent only listen to one show. That’s a shame, because in the wake of the success of creative standard-bearers like Serial and WTF With Marc Maron, there has been an explosion in the number of podcasts. Now, some of the best, brightest, funniest, and most fascinating voices around can only be heard on podcasts. (FC)