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    Box Office: ‘Zootopia’ Defeats ‘Deadpool’ With Record $73.7M

    The Disney Animation title soars to $232.5 million worldwide; elsewhere, ‘London Has Fallen’ lags behind its predecessor, while Tina Fey’s ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ and Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight of Cups’ struggle. (THR)

    Jimmy Kimmel Will Host The Emmys This Year

    Jimmy Kimmel will host the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards this year. Kimmel has hosted the television-centric awards show once before, in 2012. (VER)

    Sony Flush With 2017 Franchises With ‘The Dark Tower’, ‘Bad Boys 3’, Barbie & Maybe ‘MIB23’ Slotted

    Sony Pictures just staked the 2017 Presidents Day weekend for a global launch of the first installment of the Nikolaj Arcel-directed The Dark Tower. The studio has also set Bad Boys 3 for June 2, 2017, and it has set Barbie for Mother’s Day weekend, May 12, 2017. (DH)

    Eli Roth Exits Giant Shark Movie ‘Meg’

    Warner Bros. is trying to keep Meg together by entering early talks with helmer Jon Turteltaub to take over as director as they search for a way to scale back the budget, which will include a rewrite of Dean Georgaris’ script. (COLL)

    Charlie Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg Starring In ‘Nine Eleven’ Drama

    Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg are starring in the independent action-drama Nine Eleven, directed by Martin Guigui from script he co-wrote with Steven Golebiowski. (VAR)

    Ripper Street Cancelled By Amazon Prime

    Victorian detective drama Ripper Street, which was saved by Amazon Prime after being dropped by the BBC, is to come to an end after five series. (GUAR)

    Why ‘Downton Abbey’ Became A Massive Cultural Phenomenon

    Downton Abbey is not just the most-watched series in PBS’s 45-year history, it was a widely watched series by any measure. (VUL)

    Anatomy Of A Scene: How The “Deadpool” VFX Team Made That Insane Opening Sequence

    Franck Balson of Blur Studio walks Co.Create through the complicated CGI effects in the movie’s memorable opening title sequence. (FCC)

    Screenwriters: Getting An Agent – The Impossible Dream

    Steve Kaire gives helpful hints on how to get literary representation, even if you aren’t produced. (SM)

     


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    Company Launches & Partnerships

    Sony Pictures Television is launching the True Crime channel in the UK on Freeview. The new channel will be the platform’s only dedicated crime channel. True Crime’s shows will include Deadly Women, Crime 360, The Devil You Know and The 9/11 Faker as well as Dog the Bounty Hunter and Paternity Court.

    Verizon and Hearst have joined together on a digital video initiative named Verizon Hearst Media Partners and will release two new video channels in the spring: RatedRed.com, a lifestyle brand aimed at red-state millennials, and Seriously.TV, a news-comedy channel. Content from the venture will be distributed over YouTube, Verizon’s Go90 mobile streaming service, and other platforms.

    Jon Jashni is now the Principal of Raintree Ventures, a new investment and incubation fund for entertainment initiatives focusing on immersive content and location-based ventures. He was formerly the President/Chief Creative Officer at Legendary Entertainment. Legendary chairman/CEO Thomas Tull has said he will still collaborate with Jasni in this new venture.

    Turner’s core intelligence platform for advertising sales, Turner Incite will now be powered by the ad sales technologies of the IBM Watson platform, and leverage predictive analytics from MarketShare, an advanced analytics tool from the cloud-based information services company Neustar. As part of that move, James Russo will now serve as SVP, Client Strategy & Development and make recommendations to clients based on an insight-driven selling approach. He was previously at Nielsen, where he served as SVP of Global Consumer Insights.

    Sarah Adolphson, Michelynn Woodard, Regina Miller and Catherine Kimmel have Co-Founded The Artemis Agency, a firm dedicated to providing support for the philanthropic strategies of individual, corporate and nonprofit clients. Clients include Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Geffen Playhouse and Al Gore’s The Climate Reality Project, among others. Adolphson was previously the Executive Director at WME Foundation. Kimmel was a Consultant to the ONE Campaign. Miller served as the Chief Development Officer of Geffen Playhouse and President & Founder at RSM Global. Woodard was previously the President & CEO at Dr. Phil Foundation.

    Turner’s Super Deluxe team will launch Surf.co, a media aggregation site that will allow users to manually collect videos and GIFs from YouTube, Facebook, Giphy and elsewhere, organizing them into collections – or “boards.”

    YouTube is funding over fifty videos, shot at YouTube Spaces studios around the world, showcasing women’s perspectives to empower female creators. The United Nations will partner with YouTube and have enlisted seven female YouTube creators to serve as “change ambassadors,” creating videos that promote gender equality and tolerance. YouTube has also joined forces with the actress Geena Davis and her Institute on Gender in Media, a nonprofit devoted to improving gender depictions onscreen and creating equal opportunities. The Institute provided consulting to creators as part of the program. Videos from the program began rolling out yesterday on the YouTube Spaces channel.

    Film and TV studio Mance Media is launching 4KUniverse, an entertainment channel devoted to 4K Ultra HD programming. The service will be available through YouTube and Vimeo to cable, IPTV, and MSO subscribers and will debut internationally in April at $5.99 per month. Mance Media is actively seeking more 4K programming for the channel.

    Bravo Media has launched Jet Set, a lifestyle destination vertical on BravoTV.com. It will focus on adventure and aspirational travel content. It will include The Tour Group Guide, a short-form video series showcasing exotic locations around the world, and featuring tips from travel experts.

    Film

    Kyle Davies is leaving his post as Distribution Head at Relativity/EuropaCorp and is rumored to be in talks with Paramount Pictures to help run distribution at that studio. The deal at Paramount is not yet completed and contracts are not signed. Previously he was EVP of Theatrical Distribution at Overture when Relativity acquired that company and then continued to hold that position.

    Alex Godelman has been named the CTO at Cast & Crew Entertainment Services. He was formerly the CTO, SVP at Sony New Media Solution in New York.

    Mary Parent has been named the Vice Chairman of Worldwide Production at Legendary Entertainment. In her role, she has oversight of all of the company’s operations, including TV and digital, calling the shots in television. Previously Parent founded Disruption Entertainment which had a deal at Paramount. Bruce Rosenblum is leaving his post as President of Legendary Television and Digital Media following Legendary Entertainment’s recent acquisition by China’s Dalian Wanda Group.

    Robert Copple is now pursuing other opportunities He was formerly the President, Chief Operating Officer at Cinemark.

    Melanie Miller has been named the EVP at Samuel Goldwyn Films. She was previously the VP of Acquisitions & Marketing at Gravitas Ventures.

    Alex Saks has been named the President at June Pictures. He was formerly the Agent of International & Independent Department at ICM Partners.

    Mike Viane is now pursuing other opportunities. He was formerly the Head Film Buyer at Regal Entertainment Group.

    TV

    Nancy Cotton has been named the U.S. President of Production at Heyday Television, the joint venture of feature producer David Heyman and NBCUniversal International Studios. She was previously the SVP of Creative Affairs at Fox 21 TV Studios.

    Michael Lang has been named the EVP of International Development & Digital at Discovery Communications (as of April 2016) He was formerly the President of the Lang Media Group.

    Luis Fernández has been named the EVP of Network News at Telemundo. Fernández will manage the network news operations and manage editorial direction, programming and production of all news properties. Fernandez previously was the President of Entertainment at Univision. Fernández replaces Luis Carlos Vélez who will shift to Telemundo News’ existing talent team as a News Anchor and Senior Correspondent.

    Ken Gibbs has been named the VP of Social Media Marketing Strategy at BET Networks in New York. He was formerly the Senior Director of On TV Operations at BET Networks.

    Peter Salmon has been named the Chief Creative Officer at Endemol Shine Group, which will take effect this summer. He will leave his post as BBC Studios Director on May 31. In his new post he will lead the creative direction of ESG’s worldwide network which includes 120 production companies in over 30 markets. Emma Moloney has been named General Counsel Endemol Shine Group. She was formerly the General Counsel to News UK. Boudewijn Beusmans has been named EVP, Endemol Shine Group in addition to Beusmans’ role as Co-CEO at Endemol Shine Netherlands in Amsterdam. Georg Ramme will be stepping down as Managing Director of Endemol Beyond Germany and as Global Managing Director of Endemol Beyond International. Michael Kollatschny will take over on May 1 as Managing Director. He is currently Head of TV and Talent for Twitter Germany.

    Nathaniel Hargress has been named the Senior Counsel of Business & Legal Affairs at Viacom Media Networks. He was formerly the Associate Attorney of Business & Legal Affairs at Discovery Communications.

    Eduardo Hauser has been named the Managing Director of Latin America and the Caribbean at Scripps Networks Interactive. He was formerly the Founder, Managing Partner at Hauser & Co. in Miami.

    Dana Honor will leave her post as SVP of Comedy Development and Lisa Katz will leave her post as SVP of Drama Development at 20th Century Fox Television in July 2016 to pursue other opportunities.

    Veronica Pottinen has been named the Head of Insight at all3media International in London. She was previously the Head of International Research at ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

    David Shaye has been named the SVP of Development at Rogue Atlas Productions. He was formerly the VP of Development, U.S. Alternative Programming at eOne Television.

    Alan Wieder has been named the VP of Series Development at MTV. He was formerly the SVP at Development at Maverick Television.

    Management, PR, Agencies

    Jeff Raymond has been named SVP at Rogers & Cowan. SVP Lindsay Galin will join him as Co-Managers of the Talent Department. The pair will manage initiatives in digital, content curating, and social media. Before Rogers & Cowan Raymond started his own agency, PYR PR and Galin ran Lantern PR.

    Laura Brokaw has been named the Agent in Production at Gersh. She was previously the Agent in Production at The Skouras Agency. Stewart Cavanagh has been named the VP of Alternative TV at Gersh. He was formerly the VP of Alternative TV at Rebel Entertainment Partners.

    Denise Durante has been upped from Co-Managing Director to the Chief Marketing Officer at Wasserman.

    Richard Licata is now the Principal at Licata & Co., The Awards Agency. He was formerly the EVP of Communications at NBC Entertainment.

    Stephanie Moy has been hired as a Talent Manager at Elevate Entertainment. She was previously a Talent Manager at Luber Roklin.

    David Pahl has been named the Senior Counsel at DLA Piper Media in New York. He was formerly the Chief Counsel at ESPN.

    Danielle Rossi is now a Coordinator at The Cartel. She was previously an Assistant at The Cartel.

    Stephanie Rothman is now a Coordinator at The Rothman Brecher Agency. She was previously an Assistant at The Rothman Brecher Agency.

    Brian Young is now a Manager/Producer at Three Six Zero. He was formerly the Principal of ArtForm.

    Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

    Mark Connon has been named the Global Chief Mobile Officer for AOL platforms and advertising. He previously served as EVP of Platform Business at Millennial Media.

    Tom Calderone has been named the Global Head of Content Partnerships at Spotify. He was formerly the President of VH1.

    Ryan Horrigan is the new Chief Content Officer at virtual reality studio Felix & Paul and will oversee content development, strategy, and partnerships for the studio’s L.A. office. He previously served as a development and production executive at New Regency.

    Corey Weiner will shift from COO to President of mobile video and branded content advertising platform Jun Group. He also currently serves as CEO of HyprMX, a Jun Group subsidiary.

    Bonnie Pan has been named President of Endemol Beyond USA, the digital content arm of Endemol Shine North America. She was previously the EVP of Programming for Disney’s Maker Studios. Adrian Sexton, who was the Interim President of Endemol Beyond USA since August 2015, will resume his role as COO.

    James Baker has been named the President at Red Arrow Entertainment Group, a company that produces TV, feature film and digital content for an array of global networks and platforms. He was formerly the Managing Director at Red Arrow UK and Global Scripted Strategy in London.

    Sam Neswick has been upped from Chief Strategy Officer to the COO at Participant Media.

    Stephanie Diehl has been hired as a TV Research Coordinator at Variety Insight. She was previously the Tracking Assistant at Variety Insight.

    Jigar Mehta has been named the VP of Digital Operations at Fusion in Oakland. She was previously the Engagement Lead at AJ+.

    Paul Rodriguez has been named the VP of Audio Services & Development at Roundabout Entertainment. He was formerly the VP and Director of Feature Sales at Todd-AO/Soundelux.


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    Exec Shuffle for 3/7/16: Turner Enlists IBM’s Watson, YouTube Empowering Female Creators, Multiple Shifts at Endemol Shine Group

    Sony TV is starting a new channel in the UK, Verizon and Hearst combine for a new “digital video initiative,” four women start up a new firm dedicated to providing support for the philanthropic strategies of individual, corporate and nonprofit clients, and lots more. Click on the link to read on. (SSN)

    Sony and Marvel Get Cracking On Their ‘Spider-Man’ Reboot, Cast Zendaya In Key Role

    A veteran of the Disney Channel with roles in shows like iCarly and Good Luck Charlie in addition to starring in her own series Shake It Up and K.C. Undercover, Spider-Man marks 19-year-old Zendaya’s first major feature film role. Apparently, her character’s name is Michelle, which is either a red herring or she’s playing a new character to the series and not one of Parker’s standard love interests Gwen Stacey or Mary Jane. (COL)

    More Comic Book Movie News Comes In the Form Of J.K. Simmons Joining WB’s ‘Justice League’ Flick

    Actor known to comic book movie fans as the guy who spent three movies yelling at Spider-Man, will get to yell at some DC characters for a change. He’s just been cast as Commissioner James Gordon in Justice League, which begins shooting this spring under director Zack Snyder for release in 2017. He joins Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Jason Momoa as Aquaman. (SF)

    Damien Chazelle’s ‘Whiplash’ Followup ‘La La Land’ Pushed To Awards Season

    Lionsgate and Summit are pushing back the release of the film from July 15th to December, the heart of awards season. The modern-day musical, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, will open in select theaters December 2nd before expanding nationwide December 16th. Lionsgate also announced that Molly Smith’s Black Label Media has come aboard to co-finance the movie following their collaboration on Sicario. (THR)

    Natalie Portman’s Feature Directorial Debut ‘A Tale Of Love And Darkness’ Acquired By Focus World

    Focus Features’ multiplatform label  has acquired U.S. rights to the movie, which premiered at Cannes last year. Focus World will open the movie in a platform theatrical release later this year in contention for the Oscars. The film is based on Amos Oz’s bestselling memoir about his childhood growing up against the backdrop of the latter days of Mandate Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. (DH)

    Months Before It Even Hits Theaters, ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Is Already Getting a Sequel

    The adaptation of the blockbuster video game from New Regency isn’t set to bow until December, but the company is officially underway with plans for the sequel, Assassin’s Creed 2. With star Michael Fassbender on board, the stage is set for a new action-adventure franchise starring the two-time Academy Award nominee. (TB)

    Blame Creative Differences, Yet Again: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Leaves ‘Sandman’

    An unfortunate constant running through the efforts of filmmakers to adapt Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels has been a revolving door of writers, directors, producers and studios. The project is undergoing another switch, as the actor/director has left the version he was developing with New Line. The move followed Warners moving all the developing films adapted from DC’s Vertigo imprint from its main studio to New Line. (EMP)

    ‘The Office’ Grad Jenna Fischer to Star Opposite Matt LeBlanc in CBS Comedy

    LeBlanc stars in the multicamera comedy pilot as a contractor who learns that raising his kids is more challenging than expected when his wife goes back to work. Fischer will play Andi, Adam’s (LeBlanc) wife who decides she wants to go back to her job as a medical lab technician, so Adam agrees to take over the parenting chores while she’s at work. (LF)

    Because Of Course: Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20 to Guest-Star on Rob Thomas’s ‘iZombie’

    The singer behind the popular rock band is finally joining forces with the TV showrunner behind Veronica Mars. Rob Thomas is set to guest-star on Rob Thomas’s new show. Fittingly Rob Thomas will play Rob Thomas — himself, not the other guy — on the CW show; he’ll be hired to write a jingle for the Max Rager sports drink, which he will then perform live alongside his band, Matchbox 20, because he is popular ’90s rock star Rob Thomas. (VUL) 

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Hardcore Henry’

    STX Entertainment has released the new look at its highly anticipated new action flick, starring Shallot Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Andrey Dementyev, Dasha Charusha, Sveta Ustinova and Haley Bennett. It premieres at SXSW Wednesday night and hits theaters April 8th. (IW)

     


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    MTV Movie Awards: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Tops Nominations

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens scored a leading 11 nominations. It is also up for best female performance (Ridley), breakthrough performance (Ridley and Boyega), best action performance (Boyega), best hero (Ridley), best villain (Driver), best virtual performance (Serkis and Nyong’o), ensemble cast and best fight. (BILL)

    Adam Sandler And Ben Stiller To Lead Noah Baumbach’s Next Movie…Which Is Already Filming

    The secretive director has started production on his next feature, Yen Din Ka Kissa, via production notices on the streets of New York City and the cast includes Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman. (COLL)

    ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Scribe Jonathan Herman To Adapt ‘The Travelers’ At DreamWorks

    DreamWorks has hired Oscar nominee Jonathan Herman to adapt The Travelers, the thriller novel by bestselling author Chris Pavone. (DH)

    Les Moonves Says CBS Plans To Renew All Active Freshman Series

    Les Moonves announced plans to renew each of five new CBS series from this season, i.e. Supergirl, Limitless, Life in Pieces, and Code Black for starters. (WRAP)

    Amanda Seyfried Boarding Andrew Niccol And K5’s ‘Anon’ Opposite Clive Owen

    Amanda Seyfried is re-uniting with her In Time director Andrew Niccol to star in Anon opposite Clive Owen.  K5 Film is producing. (DH)

    Annabelle Wallis In Talks To Join Tom Cruise In ‘The Mummy’

    Annabelle Wallis (Peaky Blinders) is in talks to feature opposite Tom Cruise in Universal’s The Mummy, being directed by Alex Kurtzman. (THR)

    Nicolas Cage To Direct Thriller ‘Vengeance: A Love Story’

    Cage was already on board to play a detective in the film, but is now also directing from a John Mankiewicz screenplay, based on Joyce Carol Oates’ 2003 novel Rape: A Love Story. (VAR)

    Slate of Stars Join ‘Tangled: Before Ever After’ Cast

    Disney TV has announced a slew of voice cast members for the upcoming Disney Channel animated series Tangled: Before Ever After. Joining Mandy Moore (Rapunzel) and Zachary Levi (Flynn Rider) — will be Ashley Judd, Broadway star Eden Espinosa, comedian Jeff Ross and Richard Kind. (AM)

    Amazon To Launch Its First Live Show

    Amazon is set to debut a live, daily show dedicated to fashion and beauty. Style Code Live a 30-minute show, will stream starting today. (VAR)


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    A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits
    Network: Freeform
    Studio: Warner Bros. Television
    Writer(s): Elena Song
    Logline: Tessa agrees to accompany her evil stepmother and step-sisters to a Cinderella audition/competition and work as their assistant. In exchange, her stepmother, will pay the mortgage on her grandfather’s house. While at the competition, Georgie discovers that Tessa has what it takes to be the next Cinderella – and encourages her to audition for the role. Though hesitant at first, Tessa decides that it’s time to follow her heart and make her dreams become reality.
    Details: An installment based on Warner Bros’ Cinderella Story series from WB’s home entertainment division.
    SSN Insight: Freeform has acquired the TV movie for premiere later this year. Michelle Johnston will direct the TV movie.

    Aftermath
    Network: Syfy, Bell Media
    Production Company(s): Halfire Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): William Laurin, Glenn Davis, Julie Hope
    Logline: Karen and Joshua Copeland and their children Dana, Brianna and Matt, must battle for survival after civilization comes to an apocalyptic end, triggered by massive storms, meteor strikes, earthquakes and plague – and the rise of supernatural creatures.
    SSN Insight: Syfy has given a series order of 13 episodes and the series will also air on Bell Media’s Space in Canada later this summer. Casting is underway, with production slated for May 2 in Vancouver.

    Artificial Intelligence
    Network: TNT
    Production Company(s): Cipango
    Executive Producer(s): Luc Besson, Bill Wheeler, Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne, Thomas Anargyros
    Writer(s): Luc Besson, Bill Wheeler
    Logline: An artificial intelligence escapes from a laboratory and begins carrying out its own mysterious agenda, prompting the AI’s creator to assemble a team of specialists to deal with the situation.
    SSN Insight: TNT has given an initial commitment of a put pilot as of March 1.

    Big Hero 6 (Animated)
    Network: Disney XD
    Production Company(s): Walt Disney Animation Studios
    Executive Producer(s): Mark McCorkle, Robert Schooley, Nick Filippi
    Logline: The series picks up immediately following the events in the movie, and continues the adventures of 14-year-old tech genius Hiro and his robot Baymax. Joining the pair on their journey is control freak Wasabi, scientist Honey Lemon, fanboy Fred and no-nonsense Go Go, who together form the Big Hero 6 superhero team. As the new prodigy at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, Hiro faces daunting academic challenges, not to mention the social trials of being the little man on campus. The stakes are also raised for the high-tech heroes when they must protect their city from an array of scientifically enhanced villains.
    Details: Based on the comic book characters “Big Hero 6″ who first appeared in “Sunfire and Big Hero 6 #1″ created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau and published by Marvel Comics September 1998. The project is also a sequel to the film , “Big Hero 6,” (2014), featuring the voices of Ryan Potter, TJ MIller and Maya Rudolph, which was released on November 7, 2014.
    SSN Insight: Disney XD has given a series order. Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley created the Disney hit series Kim Possible.

    Crashletes
    Network: Nickelodeon
    Production Company(s): Superjacket Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Rob Dyrdek, Shane Nickerson
    Logline: Hosted by the New England Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski, the show features guest personalities from the worlds of sports and entertainment, along with funny viral sports clips and user-generated content from around the world. As host, Gronkowski will offer funny commentary on the clips, alongside his co-hosts and guest stars.
    SSN Insight: Nickelodeon has given a series order of 20 episodes.

    Endorsed
    Network: Amazon
    Studio: Amazon Studios
    Production Company(s): Good Clean Fun
    Logline: This show is a behind-the-scenes look at celebrity endorsements, and stars supermodel Cindy Crawford. Each episode will focus on pairing a celebrity looking for a brand attachment with a budding business. Crawford will meet with a team of leading business and branding moguls to evaluate each celebrity’s needs. They’ll narrow the field of options down to two businesses. Then begins the process of coming up with an ideal match. After the celebrity hears the team’s expert advice, he or she will visit each business on site and meet with the business’ leaders to discuss how an endorsement partnership could be realized. Each business will pitch the celeb not only their product and business model, but also how the company would use the celebrity’s image in an endorsement.
    SSN Insight: Good Clean Fun is also behind VH1’s Barely Famous and Cooking Channel’s Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers.

    High School Musical 4
    Network: Disney Channel
    Executive Producer(s): Bill Borden, Barry Rosenbush
    Writer(s): Dan Berendsen, Peter Barsocchini
    Logline: The story introduce a new group of East High Wildcats and their cross-town school rivals, the West High Knights.
    Details: The film is the fourth in the series of films that originated with “High School Musical,” which premiered on Disney Channel on January 20, 2006.
    SSN Insight: A nationwide casting search is currently underway. Jeffrey Hornaday, who directed Disney Channel’s Teen Beach Movie, will direct and choreograph this movie.

    Jagger Eaton’s Mega Life
    Network: Nickelodeon
    Production Company(s): Superjacket Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Rob Dyrdek, Shane Nickerson
    Logline: The series follows the adventures of teen skateboarder Jagger Eaton as he shows viewers what it’s like to spend a day in the shoes of people who are pushing boundaries, living their lives without limits and inspiring others to do the same.
    SSN Insight: Nickelodeon has given a series order of 20 episodes.

    Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace
    Network: Cartoon Network
    Production Company(s): Million Dollar Extreme
    Logline: A sketch show in an almost­ present­ day post­-apocalyptic nightmare world.
    Details: Based on the 15-minute live-action Adult Swim series from the anti-comedy sketch troupe.
    SSN Insight: Cartoon Network gave a series order. The show will star Sam Hyde, Nick Rochefort and Charles Carroll, and is directed by Andy Ruse. The series goes into production later this month.

    Pete the Cat (Animated)
    Production Company(s): Alcon Entertainment, Appian Way
    Executive Producer(s): Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster
    Logline: The series follows the adventures of Pete the Cat. Based on the book series.
    Details: Based on the “Pete the Cat,” picture book series, created by James Dean. The first book in the series, “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes,” with text and music by Eric Litwin, was self published in 2008 and published by Harper Collins in 2010.
    SSN Insight: Marsh was also the co-creator and executive producer of the hit Disney Channel animated series Phineas and Ferb. Along with an EP role he will also be the showrunner.

    Puppy Dog Tails (Animated)
    Network: Disney Junior
    Production Company(s): Wild Canary
    Executive Producer(s): Sean Coyle
    Logline: Focuses on two fun-loving pug puppies, Bingo and Rolly, whose thrill-seeking appetites take them on daily adventures around their neighborhood and beyond.
    SSN Insight: created by comedian Harland Williams who will serve as a consulting producer. Dean Batali (That 70s Show) will serve as a story editor.

    Roadside Picnic
    Network: WGN America
    Studio: Tribune Studios, Sony Pictures Television
    Production Company(s):
    Executive Producer(s): Neal H. Moritz, Vivian Cannon, Jack Paglen, Alan Taylor
    Writer(s): Jack Paglen
    Logline: Centers on an alien visit to planet Earth, whose aftermath has led to the creation of “Zones” in the areas where the aliens had possibly landed. Such zones exhibit strange and dangerous phenomena not understood by humans, and contain artifacts with inexplicable, seemingly supernatural properties.
    Details: Based on the novel “Пикник на обочине (Roadside Picnic),” written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky and published in Russia in 1972. Novel was also adapted for the 1979 film “Stalker,” directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.
    SSN Insight: WGN has given a pilot order. Alan Taylor will direct the pilot. His credits include Terminator Genisys and Game of Thrones.

    Scalped
    Network: WGN America
    Studio: Warner Horizon Television
    Production Company(s): DC Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Doug Jung, Geoff Johns
    Writer(s): Doug Jung
    Logline: The Oglala Lakota inhabitants in the fictional Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in South Dakota grapple with organized crime, poverty, drug and alcohol addiction and local politics while trying to preserve their cultural identity.
    Details: Based on the comic book, “Scalped,” written by Jason Aaron and published by DC Comics/Vertigo from 2007-2012. Partially inspired by Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who was arrested for gunning down two FBI agents on a reservation in 1975.
    SSN Insight: WGN gave a pilot order. Geoff Johns is also the co-creator of The Flash and DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer.

    Soldier Girls
    Network: HBO Network
    Executive Producer(s): Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Hall
    Writer(s): Nicole Riegel
    Logline: Three women enlist in the National Guard and serve their country during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, which leads them to form life-long friendships.
    Details: Based on the book, “Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War,” written by Helen Thorpe and published by Scribner on August 5, 2014.
    SSN Insight: Nicole Riegel is a former soldier and her feature script, Dogfight, was on the Black List. This adaptation will mark her TV debut.

    Superhuman
    Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
    Executive Producer(s): Rob Smith, Georgie Hurford-Jones, David Friedman
    Logline: The series will test the abilities of ordinary people who possess nearly superhuman skills in areas such as memory, hearing, taste, touch, smell and sight.
    Details: The project is based on the special, “Superhuman,” which aired on Fox on January 4, 2016.
    SSN Insight: Fox has given a series order of eight episodes. Kal Penn will return as host.

    The Fifth Beatle
    Production Company(s): Sonar Entertainment, Tiwary Entertainment Group
    Executive Producer(s): Vivek J. Tiwary
    Writer(s): Vivek J. Tiwary
    Logline: The story of the legendary Beatles manager Brian Epstein and his effort to drive the unknown band from playing in a Liverpool cellar to international superstardom.
    Details: Based on the graphic novel “The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story,” written by Vivek J. Tiwary and published by M Press Books in 2013.
    SSN Insight: The project was previously in development as a feature from Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment. Planned as an event series.

    The First Wives Club
    Network: TV Land
    Studio: Paramount Television
    Production Company(s):
    Executive Producer(s): Jenny Bicks
    Writer(s): Rebecca Addelman
    Logline: Three San Francisco women – friends and classmates in the 90s – reconnect after their close friend from college dies in a freak accident. When they discover that they are all at a romantic crossroads, they band together to tackle divorce, relationships and life’s other annoying challenges.
    Details: Based on the film, “The First Wives Club,” (1996), directed by Hugh Wilson and starring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton.
    SSN Insight: TV Land has ordered the pilot.

    The Mike Stud Project (Docuseries)
    Network: Esquire Network
    Production Company(s): Den of Thieves
    Executive Producer(s): Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager, Alexandra Lipsitz, Jordan Barrow, Jared Morell, Austin Rosen
    Logline: Stud is a Duke Mike Studeducated, former All-American baseball player who turned to music after an injury robbed him of his lifelong dream to play pro ball. Now, Stud is at the top of the Billboard and iTunes charts. The series follows Stud’s 40-city “Back2You Tour” across North America and his entourage of friends turned collaborators following Stud’s latest album release.
    SSN Insight: Esquire ordered eight episodes and will premiere the show this summer. Stud has earned over 60 million views on YouTube, released three #1 Hip-Hop Albums on iTunes, and headlined three national tours.

    The New Odyssey
    Production Company(s): Playground Entertainment
    Executive Producer(s): Colin Callender
    Logline: An account of the migrant crisis based in Syria, Iraq and Libya, the story followers voyagers along the migrant trail, as refugees make their epic odyssey across deserts, seas, and mountains to reach the holy grail of Europe. Based on the book.
    Details: Based on the book, “The New Odyssey- The Story of Europe’s Refugee Crisis,” written by Patrick Kingsley and to be published by Guardian Faber Publishing on May 3, 2016.
    SSN Insight: Playground, credited with the multi-award winning Wolf Hall and The Missing, will develop the project from its UK office.

    The Terror
    Network: AMC
    Studio: AMC Studios
    Production Company(s): Ridley Scott Films , Management 360, Emjag Productions
    Executive Producer(s): Ridley Scott, Scott Lambert, Meghan Lyvers, Alexandra Milchan, Dan Simmons
    Writer(s): Dave Kajganich
    Logline: Set in 1847, when a Royal Naval expedition crew searching for the Northwest Passage is attacked by a mysterious predator that stalks the ships and their crew in a suspenseful and desperate game of survival.
    Details: Based on the novel “The Terror” by Dan Simmons, published by Little, Brown and Company on January 1, 2009.
    SSN Insight: AMC has given a series order of 10 episodes.

    The Von Bülow Affair
    Studio: Universal Cable Productions
    Writer(s): Ilene Rosenzweig
    Logline: Set in early 1980s Newport and New York, the story follows the greatest society trial of the 20th century when Claus von Bülow is arrested for the attempted murder of his wife, millionaire socialite Sunny Von Bülow. After she was found unconscious on her bathroom floor on December 21, 1980, Sunny remained in a coma for 27 years. Claus went on trial for attempted murder in 1982, initiating a legal circus that would last for years. Based on the book.
    Details: Based on the book, “The Von Bülow Affair,” written by William Wright and published by Delacorte in 1983.
    SSN Insight: Ilene Rosenzweig previously scripted the Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.

    Untitled Daniel Mackey/Seth Fisher Anastasia Project
    Network: Freeform
    Studio: ABC Studios
    Production Company(s): Wonderland Sound and Vision
    Executive Producer(s): Daniel Mackey, Seth Fisher, McG, Mary Viola
    Writer(s): Daniel Mackey, Seth Fisher
    Logline: Set in vibrant Paris during the roaring 1920’s, this reimagining follows Anastasia after her escape from Communist Russia. While her sights are set on avenging the death of her family, she joins forces with an elite espionage agency that’s working to prevent another world war. By day, Anastasia is a former princess trying to blend into a normal life, but by night, she’s acting as the world’s first female spy, influencing some of the biggest events in the first part of the 20th century.
    Details: Based on the mystery of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova of Russia in the early 20th century.
    SSN Insight: Fisher and Mackey previously developed a half-hour comedy with John Krasinski at TBS. Fisher’s past credits include the award-winning NatGeo’s miniseries Saints & Strangers. Mackey is adapting the YA book franchise Blackbird for Lionsgate.

    Untitled Kyle Richards Comedy Project
    Network: TV Land
    Studio: Warner Horizon Television
    Production Company(s): John Wells Productions
    Executive Producer(s): John Riggi, John Wells, Andrew Stearn
    Writer(s): John Riggi
    Logline: Set in the 1970s, where Bonnie Nolan is 40 years old with a beautiful home and three beautiful daughters to go with it. However, she also has a cheating husband. Finding herself alone after her marriage fails, Bonnie is an enigma of the times: a single woman with no means to support herself or her children.
    Details: Inspired by the childhood life of actress/reality star Kyle Richards.
    SSN Insight: TV Land has given a pilot order.

    Vampirina (Animated)
    Network: Disney Junior
    Production Company(s): Brown Bag Films
    Executive Producer(s): Chris Nee, Norton Virgien
    Logline: Follows a young vampire girl whose family moves from Transylvania to Pennsylvania, where she must deal with being the new kid in town.
    Details: Based on Disney Publishing’s children’s book series Vampirina Ballerina.
    SSN Insight: Nicky Phelan is set to direct.


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    TV Development For 3/8/16: Disney Greenlights ‘Big Hero 6’ Series & ‘High School Musical 4’, Julia Louis-Dreyfus Behind HBO Mini ‘Soldier Girls’

    Meanwhile, Freeform (formerly ABC Family) fires up a new take on Cinderella, TNT goes into business with Luc Besson, Cindy Crawford signs on for a new show on Amazon, and a couple new shows for Nickelodeon, along with a bunch of other stuff. Click on the link to read on. (SSN)

    Tribeca Film Festival Unveils Second Half of Feature Film Slate, Including ‘Elvis & Nixon,’ ‘Hunt For the Wilderpeople’ and More

    Last week, the New York City festival announced the first half of its 2016 slate, including such titles as High-Rise and Equals, along with world premiere works from a batch of up-and-coming filmmakers, and now they’ve rounded out the rest of their lineup. This list includes entries in the Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings and Works in Progress sections, along with the films that will screen as part of both Tribeca and the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. (IW)

    David Fincher Adds Another Piece To His New Netflix Show, ‘Mindhunter’

    Director cast Jonathan Grod in an unspecified role in the show, which will be based on John Douglas and Mark Olshaker’s 1996 book Mind Hunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, will follow an FBI team tracking some of world’s most notorious serial killers and rapists. It’s all based on Douglas’ very real career with the bureau. Fincher is developing the project with Charlize Theron, with both acting as EPs on the project. (EMP)

    ‘Transparent’ Creator Jill Soloway to Direct Coming-of-Age Film for Amazon Studios

    Emmy-winning show runner will co-write and direct Ten Aker Wood. Sarah Gubbins will pen the coming-of-age film with Soloway, with Andrea Sperling and Robin Ruzan producing. The deal follows the entertainment arm of Amazon signing an overall deal with Soloway to develop television projects exclusively for its Prime Instant Video streaming service. (THR)

    Tom Cruise Gets Some Company In His Take On ‘The Mummy’, as Jake Johnson Signs On

    New Girl star will play a military character role written expressly for him in the June 9th, 2017 release. He is joining Cruise, Annabelle Wallis and Sofia Boutella, who is playing the title monster in the film. The storyline is expected to be set in modern day with Cruise’s character to be a special forces soldier. Film is directed by Alex Kurtzman, who also produces alongside Chris Morgan and Sean Daniel. Jon Spaihts wrote the screenplay. (CS)

    We Now Know the Running Time Of ‘Captain America: Civil War’, and It’s Marvel’s Longest Movie

    AMC Theaters has posted the runtime for the highly anticipated film, and it shows that the runtime (with credits included) is 2 hours and 27 minutes, which makes it the longest Marvel movie to date. The previous record holder was Avengers: Age of Ultron, which ran at 2 hours and 21 minutes. In comparison to The Winter Soldier, the newest Cap movie is 11 minutes longer. (COL)

    ‘Where’s Waldo?’ Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg Want To Find Out, On the Big Screen

    Writing/directing/producing pair is set to produce a feature film adaptation of Martin Handford’s timeless series of books with MGM. With his iconic red-and-white striped shirt, pom-pom-topped beanie, and walking stick, Waldo will taunt a new generation of children with a movie vehicle, though the specifics are still murky, as how the producers might structure a film around a character whose absence is his defining characteristic is unclear. (TB)

    ‘CSI’ Alum George Eads Returns To CBS as One Of the Leads In Network’s ‘MacGyver’ Reboot

    Actor is the first one cast so far. Additionally, David Von Ancken will take over for James Wan and direct the pilot. (Wan has a scheduling conflict and is in postproduction on The Conjuring 2, but he will remain an executive producer on the potential series.) Reboot follows a 20-something MacGyver as he gets recruited into a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening. (LF)

    Craig Robinson Joins the Cast Of Award-Winning ‘Mr. Robot’ For Season Two

    The Office alum has been cast as a recurring guest star in the highly-anticipated second season of USA Network’s acclaimed drama series. Robinson will play Ray, a neighborhood local who reaches out to Elliot in his time of need. Show stars Rami Malek as Elliot, as well as Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Grace Gummer, Michael Cristofer and Stephanie Corneliussen, and hails from writer and executive producer Sam Esmail. (SAA)

    Kids Upfront: TV Networks Pitch Ad Buyers on Immersive Experiences

    When the big three kids’ TV programmers make their upfront pitches to media buyers and advertisers in the coming weeks, the focus will be less on one or two high-profile series and more on introducing opportunities for marketers to be part of immersive experiences across screens. (AA)


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    ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’ In Brisk Auction; Book Is By ‘Lost City Of Z’ Author David Grann

    Just about every studio is in the mix on Killers Of The Flower Moon: An American Crime And The Birth Of The FBI, a book by David Grann (The Lost City Of Z). CAA is brokering. (DH)

    Director Morten Tyldum Plans U.S. Remake Of ‘Headhunters’

    Tyldum is working with original Headhunters producer Yellow Bird to develop a U.S. remake of his dark Norwegian crime comedy, Headhunters, which was a hit on the festival circuit and earned the director enough notice to put him at the helm of The Imitation Game. (SC)

    ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ Writer Tapped To Write ‘The Mercenary’ For Fox

    Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction) has signed on to pen The Mercenary, a true-life thriller for 20th Century Fox, Chernin Entertainment and Epic. (THR)

    Robert Redford, Rooney Mara And Jason Segel Team For Sci-Fi Romance ‘The Discovery’

    The movie will begin filming this month in Rhode Island, with Robert Redford and Jason Segel, the latter stepping in for Nicholas Hoult, joining Rooney Mara in the film. Charlie McDowell will direct. (IW)

    The Dream Of A ‘Mean Girls’ Musical Is Still Alive

    Tina Fey confirms that she and husband Jeff Richmond are going to make fetch happen on Broadway. (VF)

    Warner Bros. Bumps Back ‘Going in Style’, ‘The House’, And ‘The Accountant’

    Warner Bros. has delayed the release of three of its films, pushing Going in Style back a year, The House back a month, and The Accountant back a week. (EW)

    ‘Sharknado 4’ Casts Gary Busey, Cheryl Tiegs, Tommy Davidson Alongside Ian Ziering And Tara Reid

    Syfy and The Asylum have announced the cast for Sharknado 4, with Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, David Hasselhoff and Ryan Newman reprising their roles for the genre telepic, which will bow in July. (VAR)

    What Hollywood Can Learn From China’s $510M Box Office Hit ‘Mermaid’

    Hong Kong filmmakers have had spectacular success tailoring recent releases to the nuances of the Chinese market. (THR)

    Screenwriters: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

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


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    AMC Theaters announced they will acquire Carmike Cinemas. AMC’s 5,426 screens combined with Carmike’s 2,954 screens would combine to form “the largest chain of movie theaters in the U.S. and the world.” Together they would have more than 600 theaters in 45 states and the District of Columbia. The companies’ boards approved the deal and expect it to be complete by end of 2016. The deal valued Carmike at about $1.1 billion including debt totaling $454.7 million.

    beIN Media Group has acquired Miramax from selling shareholders Qatar Investment Authority and Colony Capital. Qatar-based media and entertainment company beIN says they will allow Miramax to continue operating as an independent film and TV studio. beIN Media Group has a sports network and a movie channel and also facilitates pay-TV distribution. The Miramax library has upwards of 700 titles including Best Picture Oscar winners The English Patient, Chicago and Shakespeare in Love. Under the new ownership, Miramax will also compile a new board of directors.

    As Ben Silverman’s contract at Electus is nearing an end, Silverman is rumored to have secured an estimated $200 million from multiple domestic and international investors at media and digital companies, private equity firms and from individual investors to start a new company, one that would look to align itself with an established media company owning a network. At Electus Silverman executive produces the series Jane The Virgin, Marco Polo and Flaked. The other possibility noted is that he might use the money raised to buy out Electus.

    Per Exec Shuffle, Sony Pictures Television is launching the True Crime channel in the UK on Freeview. The new channel will be the platform’s only dedicated crime channel. True Crime’s shows will include Deadly Women, Crime 360, The Devil You Know and The 9/11 Faker as well as Dog the Bounty Hunter and Paternity Court.

    Richard Licata has founded Licata & Co.— The Awards Agency, a full service TV awards company with offices in Los Angeles and New York that will execute award campaigns for broadcast, cable and streaming original programs, talent and craft professionals targeting Emmys, Golden Globes and guild awards including the DGAs, WGAs and PGAs. Previously Licata oversaw marketing and publicity at Universal Television and held top communications/publicity positions at HBO, Fox, Showtime and NBC. Stu Zakim, who worked with Licata at Showtime, and Shelley Sonnentag, with whom Licata has worked on award campaigns will both join his new venture.

    Per Exec Shuffle, Film and TV studio Mance Media is launching 4KUniverse, an entertainment channel devoted to 4K Ultra HD programming. The service will be available through YouTube and Vimeo to cable, IPTV, and MSO subscribers and will debut internationally in April at $5.99 per month. Mance Media is actively seeking more 4K programming for the channel.

    Amazon has inked a deal with National CineMedia. The marketing deal will showcase original content from Amazon Prime Video’s programming in NCM’s FirstLook pre-show in theaters. Beginning this month, Amazon will give moviegoers a behind-the-scenes look at Bosch and Tumble Leaf. “Movie and TV marketing have always had a great symbiotic relationship, and now with the many new ways to enjoy entertainment programming through Amazon, it’s the logical next step in the evolution of media to expand that relationship to include streaming video as well,” said Cliff Marks, NCM President of Sales and Marketing.

    Orion Entertainment will now be called Dorsey Pictures. The lifestyle production company’s name change follows Red Arrow Entertainment Group’s majority stake acquisition. Dorsey Pictures has produced upwards of 1,000 hours of TV programming for major US TV and cable networks that include HGTV, Discovery, History, DIY, Travel Channel, and National Geographic.

    George Moll has signed a multiyear first-look deal with Cineflix Media Inc. to produce new unscripted and scripted content and Cineflix Rights will have the exclusive first-look to distribute Moll’s content. Moll will work closely with Cineflix’s development team led by Dave Hamilton. Previously Moll executive produced Becoming Us for Freeform and Behind the Music for VH1. He also executive produced the pilot To Tell the Truth for ABC, which has been ordered to series.


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    WME: Actor Bobby Cannavale has shifted from ICM Partners to WME. He currently stars in the HBO freshman drama Vinyl which was renewed for a second season. He previously acted in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire where he worked with Vinyl co-creators Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese. His 2015 film credits include Daddy’s Home, Ant-Man, Spy and Danny Collins.

    Abrams: Youtuber Jack Baran has signed with Abrams Artists Agency. His channel, ThatsSoJack, known for life hacks and comments on pop culture, has over 4.1 million followers. In 2015, Baran starred in an AwesomenessTV skit alongside Paulina Cerrilla and then teamed with fellow YouTube personality Jenn McAllister for an AwesomenessTV series titled First Times with Jack + Jenn. He was nominated in 2014 for a Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Collaboration.

    WME: Filmmaker Miles Joris-Peyrafitte has signed with the agency. The 23 year-old directed, co-wrote, acted in and co-scored As You Are, which was in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Award. Joris-Peytafitte is currently writing his next film, which he’ll direct. He will team up with Automatik’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Votiv’s Brent Stiefel, who both produced As You Are.

    Abrams: Instagram celebrity “Doctor Mike” Varshavski has signed with Abrams Artists Agency. He currently has over 1.5 million followers through Instagram and is known for being a real-life “McDreamy”. People Magazine previously voted Varshavski as their “Sexiest Doctor Alive”. The doctor is currently a resident at a hospital in New York City. The Russian immigrant was inspired to become a doctor after his father attended medical school at the age of 41.

    ICM: Writer-director Andrew Ahn has signed with ICM Partners. His debut feature film Spa Night premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it’s star Joe Seo picked up the Special Jury Award. His film received a Sundance Institute Cinereach Feature Film Fellow grant, a Panavision New Filmmaker grant, and a FilmLA grant. Ahn participated in the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab, the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab, and the Film Independent Directing Lab.

    Abrams: New York-based designer and artist Jimmy DiResta has signed with Abrams Artists Agency. He began his career on television and hosted shows including Discovery’s Dirty Money, FX’s Trash to Cash and DIY’s Hammered. He has since shifted to YouTube and released videos on his channel jimmydiresta. There he has accumulated over 51 million videos views from his 489K subscribers in only six months.

    Relevant: Actor Alden Ehrenreich has signed with Relevant for publicity. He is best known for his portrayal as the cowboy actor in Hail, Caesar! He recently wrapped on the Iraq War drama The Yellow Birds, alongside Jennifer Aniston, and will next shoot an untitled drama written and directed by Warren Beatty. He continues to be repped by CAA and Brillstein.


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    SSN ORIGINALS

    Film & TV Deals For 3/9/16: AMC to Buy Carmike Cinema & Become the Largest U.S. Theater Chain, beIN Media Acquires Miramax & More

    Meanwhile, Ben Silverman looks to make a big move, Richard Licata forms a full service TV awards company, Amazon inks a big new deal with National CineMedia, and plenty more. Click on the link to read on. (SSN)

    Rep Moves For 3/9/16: ‘Vinyl’s’ Bobby Cannavale Shifts from ICM to WME, Abrams Snags Digital Stars Jack Baran, “Doctor Mike” and Jimmy DiResta

    A standard week, rep-move-wise, as we also see Hail, Caesar!’s Alden Ehrenreich snag a new publicist and several other talents landing new representation. For the full skinny, click on the link and see it all. (SSN)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    If You’re Keeping Score, It’s Now Michael Keaton In, Bruce Willis Out Of ‘American Assassin’

    Keaton has officially been cast to portray Stan Hurley in Michael Cuesta’s upcoming film adaptation of the novel by Vince Flynn. Hurley is a shady and grizzled veteran of the Cold War who teaches green CIA recruits about the art of war. He becomes the mentor to the series’ main character Mitch Rapp. Chris Hemsworth was linked to the role in 2012, but there is no news on Rapp casting for now. (CB)

    After Jeff Wadlow’s Departure, Ryan Reynolds Action Movie ‘Hitman’s Bodyguard’ Lands New Director

    Reynolds’ first movie post-Deadpool hit a snag and then just as quickly got out of it, as Wadlow is in post on The True Memoirs of an International Assassin, an action comedy starring Kevin James and Genesis Rodriguez, and will be working on that deep into the spring. Netflix exercised its right to keep Wadlow firmly on its project and the director had to bow out. He has been been replaced by Patrick Hughes, the director of Millennium’s The Expendables 3. (HV)

    Anna Paquin Returns To TV, Will Topline ABC Drama Pilot ‘Broken’ Produced By Reese Witherspoon

    Former True Blood leading lady will star in the pilot formerly known as Untitled Meaghan Oppenheimer Project and Please Don’t Go. Written by Oppenheimer, Broken follows the personal and professional life of Gemma, a ruthless divorce attorney in Dallas, which begins to unravel when her emotionally damaged, love-addicted sister (Charity Wakefield) resurfaces. Oppenheimer executive produces alongside Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. (DH)

    Danny Boyle Partners with ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Writer for FX Limited Series on John Paul Getty

    Described as one of the 20th century’s richest and most dysfunctional families, the story of John Paul Getty III and how his family dealt with his kidnapping in 1973 will be the focus of the first episode (directed by Boyle). As the heir to an oil fortune, the mafia captors expected millions in ransom for their hostage. What happened instead still leaves families everywhere bewildered to this day. Beauty wrote the 10-episode first season. (IW)

    Good News For Wookie Fans, as Disney Confirms Chewbacca Will Appear In Han Solo Spin-Off Flick

    At yesterday’s Bank 2016 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, Studio CEO Robert Iger discussed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the Han Solo spin-off. Of the latter, he said, it’s “an origin story about Han Solo and Chewie. And that’ll come after ‘Star Wars 8’ in 2018.” Casting rumors about who would play a young Han Solo have circulated for weeks, but there is no news on who will fill the role. (SF)

    It’s a ‘Seven Psychopaths’ Reunion, as Martin McDonagh Raids His Last Film To Cast His New One

    Having landed Frances McDormand to star in his latest, Three Billboards Outside Of Ebbing, Missouri, writer/director McDonagh has added Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell to the cast. The three worked together on Psychopaths. McDonagh has said that the film concerns a 50-year-old woman whose daughter is murdered and ends up battling the local police because she feels they’re more interested in torturing black people than finding real justice. (EMP)

    With the Founding Execs Gone, The Weinstein Company Plans To Reconfigure RADiUS

    The team behind acclaimed films like It Follows and Citizenfour is no longer in business with Harvey Weinstein, but he still controls their company. As Tom Quinn and Jason Janego prepare to announce the name of their new distribution partnership with Alamo’s Tim League, The Weinstein Co. is reconfiguring the company they left behind, the three-year old multi-platform distributor. (TOH)

    Netflix’s $5 Billion Budget Sets Off an Arms Race in Cable, but Spending Isn’t Improving TV Ratings Yet

    Media companies have settled on a strategy to combat declining viewership at their TV networks: spend, spend, spend. Media executives, speaking on the latest round of earnings calls, say the spending is needed to maintain the supply of new programs that viewers are demanding today, and take advantage of growing markets online and internationally. Netflix., their chief online rival, plans to lay out almost $5 billion this year, more than any network. (AA)


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    Juan Carlos Fresnadillo To Helm Ghost Tale ‘Haunted’ For DreamWorks

    Amblin Entertainment is hiring Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to direct Haunted, a film that is inspired by the 1898 Henry James gothic ghost story Turn Of The Screw. (DH)

    Netflix In Talks For Will Smith-David Ayer Pic ‘Bright’

    Netflix is close to landing the rights to Max Landis spec Bright with Will Smith and Joel Edgerton set to star and David Ayer on board to direct. (VAR)

    Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg Teaming To Produce ‘Where’s Waldo?’

    Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are in talks to produce the Where’s Waldo movie for MGM.  Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir (The Night Before) are tasked with penning the project. (IW)

    Leighton Meester Joins Adam Pally In Fox Time-Travel Pilot

    The Gossip Girl star will return to series TV as the female lead in Fox’s Making History pilot, opposite Adam Pally. The time-traveling comedy is exec-produced by Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Julius “Goldy” Sharpe. (VUL)

    MTV’s ‘Scream’ Sets New Cast, Season 2 Premiere Date

    The reboot has added two series regulars and four recurring players for its sophomore season — which will be overseen by new showrunners. (THR)

    Rosamund Pike To Star With Christian Bale In Scott Cooper-Helmed ‘Hostiles’

    Rosamund Pike will star alongside Christian Bale in the Scott Cooper-directed epic Hostiles. Cooper, who’s coming off Black Mass and the Bale-starrer Out Of The Furnace, is writing and directing. (DH)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘I Am Wrath’

    Exclusive first look at the trailer for I Am Wrath, the action thriller directed by Chuck Russell and starring John Travolta in theaters on May 13th. (CS)

    Trailer Buzz: ‘Kubo And The Two Strings’

    Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA in theatres August 2016. (YT)

    Screenwriters: David Mamet And The Producer Pass

    In an episode consisting entirely of answers to listener questions, John and Craig discuss David Mamet, internet trolls, post-credit scenes and English actors attempting American accents. (JA)


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    New Attachments

    A Tale of Love and Darkness
    Logline: Israeli writer Amos Oz reflects on his memories of growing up in Jerusalem in the years before Israeli statehood.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Focus World
    Production Company(s): Keshet Media Group, Handsomecharlie Films, Movieplus Productions
    Producer(s): Natalie Portman, Annette Savitch, Ram Bergman, David Mandil
    Writer(s): Natalie Portman, Naomi Foner
    Director(s): Natalie Portman
    Cast: Natalie Portman, Gilad Kahana, Amir Tessler
    Details: Based on the memoir “A Tale of Love and Darkness” written by Amos Oz with translation from original Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange and published by Harcourt in November 2004.
    SSN Insight: Focus Features’ multiplatform label Focus World bought the U.S. rights to Portman’s feature directorial debut that premiered at Cannes last year.

    American Assassin
    Logline: After college student Mitch Rapp’s girlfriend is killed in a terrorist attack, he is recruited by the CIA and becomes part of a new group of clandestine operatives.
    Studio/Distributor(s): CBS Films, Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): Di Bonaventura Pictures, Nick Wechsler Productions
    Producer(s): Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Nick Wechsler
    Writer(s): Stephen Schiff, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
    Director(s): Michael Cuesta
    Cast: Michael Keaton
    Details: Based on the novel “American Assassin” written by Vince Flynn and published by Atria on October 12, 2010. It is the 11th book in the Mitch Rapp series written by Vince Flynn. Other titles in the series include: “Transfer of Power” (2000), “The Third Option” (2001), “Separation of Power” (2002), “Executive Power” (2003), “Memorial Day” (2004), “Consent to Kill” (2005), “Act of Treason” (2006), “Protect and Defend” (2007) and “Pursuit of Honor” (2009).
    SSN Insight: Ed Zwick was previously attached to direct. Chris Hemsworth was previously in talks to star.

    Anon
    Logline: A detective lives in a world with no privacy, ignorance or anonymity. It seems to be the end of crime, but when he comes across a woman who doesn’t exist, he finds it might be the beginning.
    Production Company(s): Niccol Films, K5 Media Group GmbH
    Producer(s): Oliver Simon, Daniel Baur, Andrew Niccol
    Director(s): Andrew Niccol
    Cast: Clive Owen, Amanda Seyfried
    SSN Insight: Seyfried most recently starred in Ted 2 and Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young.

    Baywatch
    Logline: An elite group of lifeguards are forced to team up with a young, hotshot former Olympian to save their beloved bay.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
    Production Company(s): The Montecito Picture Company, Contrafilm, Vinson Films, Flynn Picture Co., 7 Bucks Entertainment
    Producer(s): Beau Flynn, Ivan Reitman, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Michael Berk
    Writer(s): Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, Barry Schwartz, Justin Malen, Robert Ben Garant
    Director(s): Seth Gordon
    Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, Jack Kesy, Amin Joseph
    Details: Based on the NBC television show “Baywatch” (1989-2000) starring David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra and Yasmine Bleeth.
    SSN Insight: Jeremy Garelick was previously attached to direct. Project was originally in development at Dreamworks, which paid seven figures for the film rights to the TV show.

    Death Wish
    Logline: A mild-mannered man turns to vigilantism after his family is attacked.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Paramount Pictures,
    Production Company(s): Ridley Scott Films , RSA Films Ltd., PIN HIGH
    Producer(s): Jules Daly, Ridley Scott, Roger Birnbaum
    Writer(s): Graham Yost, Dan Gilroy, Joe Carnahan, Michael Ferris, John Brancato
    Director(s): Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado
    Cast: Bruce Willis
    Details: Remake of “Death Wish” (1974) directed by Michael Winner and starring Charles Bronson. Based on the novel “Death Wish” written by Brian Garfield and published by Fawcett in 1972.
    SSN Insight: Sylvester Stallone was previously in discussions to star and direct.

    Five Seconds of Silence
    Logline: While on a mission to kill a German official, two assassins fall in love, get married and then discover that one is a double agent that the other now must eliminate.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures, Paramount Pictures
    Production Company(s): ImageMovers, New Regency Productions, GK Films
    Producer(s): Graham King, Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey
    Writer(s): Steven Knight
    Director(s): Robert Zemeckis
    Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Lizzy Caplan
    SSN Insight: Caplan will play Pitt’s character’s sister. She will next be seen in Now You See Me 2 coming out in June and she has begun production on season 4 of Showtime’s Masters Of Sex.

    Free Fire
    Logline: In 1978, an arms deal in Boston goes terribly wrong.
    Studio/Distributor(s): A24
    Production Company(s): Rook Films
    Producer(s): Andy Starke, Ben Wheatley
    Writer(s): Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
    Director(s): Ben Wheatley
    Cast: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley, Sharlto Copley
    SSN Insight: Olivia Wilde was previously attached to the role played by Brie Larson. Alchemy originally acquired domestic rights for an amount estimated to be above $3 million at 2015 AFM, but due to financial issues put the rights up for sale. Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales.

    Headhunters
    Logline: A corporate headhunter who steals art from the homes of his applicants gets caught up in a murderous scheme.
    Production Company(s): Yellow Bird, Norse Code
    Producer(s): Marianne Gray, Ole Søndberg, Berna Levin, Morten Tyldum, Janne Tyldum
    Writer(s): Sacha Gervasi
    Director(s): Morten Tyldum
    Details: Remake of “Headhunters” (Norway/2011) directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Aksel Hennie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, which was based on the Norwegian novel “Hodejegerne” by Jo Nesbo and published by Lydbokforl in 2008.
    SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Summit Entertainment and Friland Norway. Tyldum previously directed The Imitation Game.

    Hostiles
    Logline: In 1892, an Army captain, a dying Cheyenne chief and his family, and a young widow join forces on a harrowing journey from New Mexico to Montana.
    Production Company(s): Le Grisbi Productions, Waypoint Entertainment
    Producer(s): John Lesher, Scott Cooper, Kenneth Kao
    Writer(s): Donald E Stewart
    Director(s): Scott Cooper
    Cast: Christian Bale, Rosamund Pike
    SSN Insight: Production is scheduled to begin in July.

    Hush
    Logline: A reclusive deaf writer is stalked by a psychotic killer in her secluded home.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Netflix
    Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions, Intrepid Pictures
    Producer(s): Trevor Macy, Jason Blum
    Writer(s): Mike Flanagan, Kate Siegel
    Director(s): Mike Flanagan
    Cast: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan
    SSN Insight: Netflix acquired worldwide SVOD rights prior to the film’s premiere at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival.

    Justice League Part 1
    Logline: Storyline under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
    Production Company(s): DC Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment
    Producer(s): George Miller, Barrie M. Osborne, Doug Mitchell, Charles Roven
    Writer(s): Chris Terrio, Will Beall, Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney
    Director(s): Zack Snyder
    Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, J.K. Simmons
    Details: Based on the comic book series “Justice League of America” published by DC Comics.
    SSN Insight: Jessica Biel and Megan Gale were previously attached to the role of Wonder Woman. Adam Brody was previously attached to the role of The Flash. Common was previously attached to the role of Green Lantern. Armie Hammer was previously attached to the role of Batman. George Miller was previously attached to direct.

    La La Land
    Logline: Lonely aspiring actress Mia and cocky jazz pianist Sebastian balance their art and love in Los Angeles, the land of the dreamers.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, LLC
    Production Company(s): Marc Platt Productions, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures, Black Label Media
    Producer(s): Jordan Horowitz, Fred Berger, Gary Gilbert, Marc Platt
    Writer(s): Damien Chazelle
    Director(s): Damien Chazelle
    Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J.K. Simmons, John Legend, Finn Wittrock
    SSN Insight: Emma Watson was previously attached to star. Miles Teller was previously attached to star. Lionsgate will work with Black Label Media as a co-financier on the film.

    Meg
    Logline: Carcharodon Megalodon, the 70 foot, 40 ton prehistoric cousin of the great white shark, rises from the abyss and threatens the California coastline.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
    Production Company(s): Di Bonaventura Pictures, Gravity Pictures, Maeday Productions, Apelles Entertainment
    Producer(s): Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Colin Wilson, Belle Avery
    Writer(s): Dean Georgaris
    Director(s): Jon Turteltaub (in talks)
    Details: Based on the novel “Meg” written by Steve Alten published by Doubleday June 2, 1997.
    SSN Insight: Jan de Bont previously attached to direct. Thomas Wheeler and Jeffrey Boam previously wrote drafts when the project was set up at Disney. Bantam-Doubleday-Dell has reportedly paid $2.1 million for the publishing rights to this book and its sequel “Phobos.”

    Nine Eleven
    Logline: Five individuals are trapped in an elevator in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. This is their struggle to survive.
    Studio/Distributor(s): ,
    Production Company(s): Sunset Pictures, Vitamin A Films, Thunder Studios, Sprockefeller Pictures
    Producer(s): Martin Sprock, Dahlia Waingort, Warren Ostergard
    Writer(s): Martin Guigui, Steven Golebiowski
    Director(s): Martin Guigui
    Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Charlie Sheen, Luis Guzman, Wood Harris, Olga Fonda
    SSN Insight: The film is currently shooting in Long Beach, CA and has been scheduled to shoot for four weeks.

    Patriots Day
    Logline: An account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’s actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it.
    Studio/Distributor(s): CBS Films, Lionsgate
    Production Company(s): Leverage Management, Closest To The Hole Productions, Bluegrass Films
    Producer(s): Scott Stuber, Dylan Clark, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Michael Radutzky
    Writer(s): Matt Charman
    Director(s): Peter Berg
    Cast: Mark Wahlberg, J.K. Simmons, Jimmy O. Yang
    Details: Based on the firsthand account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, whose life rights have been optioned by CBS Films, and on research done and footage shot by “60 Minutes.”
    SSN Insight: Yang can currently be seen on HBO’s Silicon Valley.

    Rebel in the Rye
    Logline: JD Salinger is followed from the early days of his writing career, though his service in WWII, which change him forever and help him find his voice as a writer.
    Production Company(s): Blue Star Entertainment, Bruce Cohen Productions, Black Label Media
    Producer(s): Danny Strong, Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Thad Luckinbill, Bruce Cohen
    Writer(s): Danny Strong
    Director(s): Danny Strong
    Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, Brian d’Arcy James, Hope Davis, Zoey Deutch
    Details: Based on the biography “JD Salinger: A Life” written by Kenneth Slawenski and published by Random House in 2010.
    SSN Insight: Zoey Deutch will play Oona O’Neill, the daughter of playwright Eugene O’Neill and a fixture in gossip columns and the New York social scene.

    Spider-Man (Reboot)
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps, but involves a teenage Peter Parker.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
    Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment, Pascal Pictures
    Producer(s): Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal
    Writer(s): John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
    Director(s): Jon Watts
    Cast: Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya
    Details: Based on the legendary Marvel comic book, Spider-Man created by writer/editor Stan Lee and writer/artist Steve Ditko, he first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 cover-dated August 1962.
    SSN Insight: Actors in contention for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man included Nat Wolff, Asa Butterfield, Tom Holland, Timothee Chalamet, Judah Lewis, Matthew Lintz, Charlie Plummer, Charlie Plummer and Liam Jame. They did screen tests in Atlanta and ultimately, Tom Holland got the role. Drew Goddard was previously in talks to write and direct.

    The Discovery
    Logline: Soon after the existence of the afterlife has been scientifically proven, the son of the man who made the discovery falls in love with a woman with a tragic past.
    Production Company(s): Endgame Entertainment, Verisimilitude
    Producer(s): Alex Orlovsky, James D. Stern, Hunter Gray
    Writer(s): Charlie McDowell, Justin Lader
    Director(s): Charlie McDowell
    Cast: Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough
    SSN Insight: Segel is replacing the originally cast Nicholas Hoult, who left due to scheduling conflicts.

    The Steps
    Logline: Uptight New Yorker and his party-girl sister visit their dad’s lake house to meet his new wife and her rough-around-the-edges kids, prompting a clash of cultures quickly descending into chaos. When the parents announce they are also adopting a child to bring this “family” together, lingering bitterness and disappointments wreak havoc as they group figures out how to become a family.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Monterey Media
    Production Company(s): Quadrant Motion Pictures
    Producer(s): Mary Anne Waterhouse, Daniel Iron, Andrew Currie, Jason James
    Writer(s): Robyn Harding
    Director(s): Andrew Currie
    Cast: Jason Ritter, Emmanuelle Chriqui, James Brolin, Christine Lahti, Vinay Virmani
    SSN Insight: Monterey Media has acquired U.S. rights to the film that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and is scheduled for a release in June.

    The Travelers
    Logline: A journalist who unknowingly works for a spy agency is drawn into a tangled web.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Amblin Partners,
    Production Company(s): The Picture Company
    Producer(s): Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman
    Writer(s): Jonathan Herman
    Details: Based on the novel “The Travelers” written by Chris Pavone; to be published March 2016.
    SSN Insight: Herman was nominated with Andrea Berloff for Best Original Screenplay for Straight Outta Compton at this year’s Oscars.

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
    Logline: After a 50-year-old woman’s daughter is murdered, she confronts the police in her town who she believes are more interested in persecuting African-Americans than getting justice.
    Production Company(s): Blue Print Pictures
    Producer(s): Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Martin McDonagh, Diarmuid McKeown
    Writer(s): Martin McDonagh
    Director(s): Martin McDonagh
    Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell
    SSN Insight: Film4 and Fox Searchlight will equally co-finance the film. Fox will take worldwide distribution rights and Film4 will handle UK TV rights.

    Vengeance: A Love Story
    Logline: About a Niagra Falls Police detective who becomes impassioned with a case concerning the brutal rape of a young mother of a 12 year-old girl. When the meth-head rapists are caught, their parents hire a slick criminal defense attorney who then puts the victim on trial.
    Production Company(s): Patriot Pictures LLC
    Producer(s): Michael Mendelsohn, Richard Rionda Del Castro, Johnny Martin
    Writer(s): John Mankiewicz
    Director(s): Nicolas Cage
    Cast: Nicolas Cage
    Details: Based on the novella “Rape: A Love Story” written by Joyce Carol Oates and published by Da Capo Press on December 14, 2003.
    SSN Insight: Cage stepped into direct after Harold Becker left during pre-production. Uma Thurman was previously attached to star.

    Where’s Waldo?
    Logline: Waldo is a boy who goes on an adventure and is hard to find.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
    Production Company(s): Classic Media, PIN HIGH, Point Grey Pictures
    Producer(s): Seth Rogen (in talks), Evan Goldberg (in talks), James Weaver, Roger Birnbaum
    Writer(s): Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Todd Berger, Bill Collage, Adam Cooper
    Details: Based on children’s book series “Where’s Wally?” written and illustrated by Martin Handford and originally published in the United Kingdom by Little Brown & Co in September 1987. The American version of the series is titled “Where’s Waldo?”
    SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Paramount Pictures with Alan Riche and Tony Ludwig attached to produce. John Schultz was attached to direct. Adam Rifkin, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage worked on previous drafts of the script. Project was previously set up at Universal.

    New Projects

    Bravado
    Logline: A former soldier who believes the world is a good place and worth fighting for has his optimism tested in a dramatic way when he returns home from the war and starts work as a police officer.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
    Producer(s): Andrew Lazar
    Writer(s): BenDavid Grabinski
    SSN Insight: Grabinski previously wrote on Adventure Time for Warner Bros and penned the Black List script The How To Guide To Saving The World. which sold to MGM.

    Haunted
    Logline: Storyline in under wraps, but is based on the suspenseful gothic ghost story about a governess and her two charges.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Amblin Entertainment
    Production Company(s): Vertigo Entertainment, SMB Films
    Producer(s): Roy Lee, John Middleton, Scott Bernstein
    Writer(s): Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
    Director(s): Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
    Details: Based on the story “Turn of the Screw” written by Henry James and published by William Heinemann on October 13, 1898.
    SSN Insight: Fresnadillo was Oscar nominated for his short film Linked. He followed that with his Spanish-language directing debut Intacto, but his breakout pic was 28 Weeks Later.

    Rock Star Mommy
    Logline: A soccer mom forms a rock band with the neighborhood moms.
    Production Company(s): Alcon Entertainment
    Producer(s): Mark Clayman, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson
    Writer(s): Karen McCullah
    Details: Based on the book “Rock Star Mommy: My Life as a Rocker Mom” written by Judy Davids and published by Citadel Press on March 25, 2008.
    SSN Insight: McCullah is currently penning the Expendabelles, a female take on the Expendables franchise for VVS Films.

    Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom
    Logline: A couple plots a daring escape from slavery which involves the wife posing as a white man and her husband posing as his servant.
    Production Company(s): Alloy Entertainment
    Producer(s): Leslie Morgenstein
    Writer(s): Suzanne Allain
    Details: Based on the book “Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom” by William and Ellen Craft, which was first published in 1860.
    SSN Insight: Allain’s script Mr. Malcolm’s List won the contest for a Blind Script deal at Warner Bros and was spotlighted as one of the 2015 Black List table reads.

    Shock and Awe
    Logline: In 2003, as the Bush administration prepares to go into Iraq, a group of journalists is asking tough questions about the threat used to justify the war, Saddam Hussein’s alleged WMD’s.
    Production Company(s): Castle Rock Entertainment, Jorva Entertainment Productions
    Writer(s): Joey Hartstone
    Director(s): Rob Reiner
    SSN Insight: Jorva Entertainment Productions launched a new film/television finance and production fund that will be involved in various levels of financing across many features.

    Significant Other
    Logline: Before a type-A businesswoman can snag a major CEO position, the company wants to meet and evaluate her spouse, who is an unsophisticated stay-at-home husband.
    Studio/Distributor(s): STX Entertainment
    Production Company(s): Echo Films, Aggregate Films
    Producer(s): Jason Bateman
    Writer(s): Andrea Seigel
    Director(s): Jason Bateman
    Cast: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston
    SSN Insight: Bateman and Aniston both starred in 2010’s The Switch and will also star alongside each other on Office Christmas Party.

    The Man Who Would Be Polka King
    Logline: Follows the rise and fall of Jan Lewan, a Pennsylvania polka sensation who unwittingly brought a town to its knees in a Ponzi scheme.
    Production Company(s): Permut Presenations, Red Hour Films, Shivhans Pictures, Electric Dynamite, Priyanka Mattoo
    Producer(s): Jack Black, David Permut, Stuart Cornfeld, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson
    Writer(s): Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarski
    Cast: Jack Black
    Details: Based on Joshua Brown and John Mikulak’s documentary of the same name.
    SSN Insight: ShivHans Pictures will also finance. Pre-production has begun ahead of a July shoot start date.

    The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
    Logline: A young girl named Clara gets a nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. When Clara goes to check on it later that night, the clock strikes twelve and she finds herself thrown into a fantastical world where the Nutcracker has come to life and there’s an evil Mou
    Studio/Distributor(s): The Walt Disney Studios
    Producer(s): Mark Gordon
    Director(s): Lasse Hallström
    SSN Insight: Hallstrom most recently wrapped A Dog’s Purpose.

    The Year of the Great Storm
    Logline: After American student Amy Biehl was murdered South Africa during the violent struggle against Apartheid, her parents attended the trial of her killers, eventually supporting their application for political amnesty.
    Production Company(s): 34th Street Films, Air Extreme
    Producer(s): Tyler Perry, Ozzie Areu, Matt Moore, Russ Stratton, Johanna Baldwin
    Writer(s): Johanna Baldwin
    Director(s): Karzan Kader
    SSN Insight: Karzan Kader’s short film Bekas won a Student Academy Award before he directed the feature version.

    Untitled Stephen Flatow Biopic
    Logline: The real-life story of Stephen Flatow, the New Jersey-based lawyer whose daughter Alisa was killed by terrorists in a 1995 suicide bombing. He won a historic judgement against his daughter’s killer, and soon after uncovered an international conspiracy ex
    Production Company(s): AG Capital
    Producer(s): Scott Lastaiti, Alex Garcia, Laura Walker
    Details: Based on the real-life story of Stephen Flatow.
    SSN Insight: In addition to Flatow’s life rights, LaStaiti has also acquired the rights to Flatow’s manuscript, which is receiving strong interest from NY publishing houses.

    Untitled Universal/Dance Comedy Project
    Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
    Production Company(s): Brownstone Productions
    Producer(s): Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman
    Writer(s): Amy Talkington
    SSN Insight: Talkington’s recent scripts include Sabrina The Teenage Witch for Sony, Hot Fuss for Disney, and Ever After High for Mattel and Valley Girl: The Musical for MGM.


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    Film Development For 3/10/16: A24 Scoops Up Brie Larson Starrer ‘Free Fire’, J.K. Simmons Onboard for ‘Justice League’

    Meanwhile, Natalie Portman’s directorial debut gets a distributor, Michael Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Lizzy Caplan and Rosamund Pike get new jobs, Morten Tyldum gets to remake his own movie and plenty more. For the full skinny, click on the link and see it all. (SSN)

    Warner Bros. Takes Big Step To Address Diversity Issue With Directors Workshop

    Studio is continuing its efforts to tackle Hollywood’s diversity problem by launching an emerging film directors workshop, a talent incubator designed to give access and voice to new and underrepresented talent. The studio is accepting applications now and hopes to have the workshop up and running by the end of the third quarter. (VAR)

    Fox’s ‘Lethal Weapon’ Pilot Finds the Man To Fill Mel Gibson’s Shoes

    Rectify and 24 alum Clayne Crawford has been tapped to star opposite Damon Wayans Sr. in the drama pilot. Based on the feature film, the pilot kicks off when Texas cop and former Navy SEAL Martin Riggs (originally played by Gibson) suffers the loss of his family, he moves to Los Angeles to start anew. There, he gets partnered with LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh (Wayans Sr.), who, having recently suffered a “minor” heart attack, must avoid any stress in his life. (LF)

    Contractual Complexities Abound: New ‘Star Trek’ TV Show Has To Wait a While Before It Can Air

    Despite being produced by Alex Kurtzman, co-writer of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, the new TV series is not connected in any way to Justin Lin’s upcoming film. The good news is that audiences will be able to keep their TV and movie versions of the massively influential science fiction series separate; the bad news is that apparently six months of breathing room is now contractually required to occur between them. (COL)

    MGM Has Its Eye On Someone Special To Play Lara Croft In Its ‘Tomb Raider’ Reboot

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley is among those being considered to topline the film, though no word on who else is in the mix, or even who is writing the project, but it seems getting the star locked is the important first step. Of course, Ridley will be busy with Star Wars for the next few years, so there’s that. Roar Uthaug, the helmer behind the Norwegian disaster movie The Wave, will helm the new film. (TP)

    The ‘Dark Tower’ Film Keeps Casting, Adds Young Tom Taylor To Play Jake Chambers

    The big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s series continues to move forward with the addition of relative newcomer Taylor. He joins a Dark Tower cast that includes Idris Elba as Roland Deschain (The Gunslinger), Matthew McConaughey as Randall Flag (The Man in Black) and Abbey Lee as the film’s female lead, Tirana. Nikolaj Arcel is directing. (CS)

    How Netflix, Amazon & Indie Money Created Sellers’ Market For ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon,’ ‘Bright’ And Festival Films

    The emergence of Netflix, Amazon and outside financiers in the auction process has transformed films and even books into an absolute sellers’ market. We’re seeing the outsider influence in two big auctions going on right now. There is the Will Smith action film Bright, and the David Grann book Killers of the Flower Moon: An American Crime and the Birth of the FBI. In the latter case, at least one bidder surpassed $2M for an outright buy and word is this is headed for a $3M+ deal, because it hasn’t finished yet. (DH)

    Want To Be Really Successful as a Creative Person? The Most Successful Constantly Say “No”

    A Hungarian psychology professor once wrote to famous creators asking them to be interviewed for a book he was writing. One of the most interesting things about his project was how many people said “no.” The professor contacted 275 creative people. A third of them said “no.” Their reason was lack of time. A third said nothing. We can assume their reason for not even saying “no” was also lack of time and possibly lack of a secretary. (BI)

    Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Captain America: Civil War’

    Disney and Marvel have released the latest full-length trailer of the highly anticipated latest chapter in the MCCU. Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, William Hurt, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, and Chadwick Boseman, the film hits theaters May 6th. Helpful hint: watch the trailer to the very end. (YT)

    Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

    Twentieth Century Fox and BBC Films have released a new look at the upcoming biopic starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Rebecca Ferguson and Nina Arianda. The movie does not yet have a U.S. release date, but will hit theaters in the U.K. May 6th. (WAH)


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    Imperative Entertainment Nabs Hot Book ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’ For $5 Million

    After a truly major and heated bidding war involving studios, digital content streamers and financiers, the film rights to upcoming book Killers of the Flower Moon: An American Crime and the Birth of the FBI have been nabbed by Imperative Entertainment for an astonishing $5 million. (THR)

    Weinstein Co. Distribution Head Erik Lomis Jumps To Megan Ellison’s Annapurna

    Weinstein Co.’s longtime distribution president, Erik Lomis, is leaving the indie studio for Megan Ellison’s production company Annapurna Pictures. (LAT)

    Working Title Acquires Film Rights To Hit West End Comedy ‘Nell Gwynn’

    West End critical darling Nell Gwynn is headed to the big screen as Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner’s Working Title has just closed a deal for feature adaptation rights to the Restoration-era rags-to-riches tale by playwright Jessica Swale. (DH)

    Danny Boyle In Talks To Direct Adaptation Of The Musical ‘Miss Saigon’

    Boyle is in talks to helm an adaptation of the acclaimed musical Miss Saigon. The musical is an adaptation of Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, which is about the doomed romance between an American lieutenant and a geisha. (COLL)

    Amazon Is Bringing Back ‘The Tick’

    The site ordered a pilot for The Tick, a continuation of the nine-episode 2001 Fox live-action superhero comedy, which was itself based on a comics series. Ben Edlund, who created the comics, the 1994 animated series, and the live-action TV series is back as a writer and executive producer. (VUL)

    Jake Gyllenhaal Joins Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson In ‘Life’

    Jake Gyllenhaal is set to co-star with Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson in Skydance’s sci-fi pic Life. Daniel Espinosa is directing the film, with David Ellison and Dana Goldberg producing along with Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn.  (VAR)

    Ali Larter Replaces Elisabeth Shue In Fox’s Baseball Pilot ‘Pitch’

    Heroes alum Ali Larter has been cast in the Fox drama pilot Pitch, replacing former CSI Elisabeth Shue. Shue’s departure comes after creative differences over the direction of her character. (TVL)

    Halle Berry Eyed For ‘Kingsman 2′

    Halle Berry is in talks to join the cast of 20th Century Fox‘s upcoming Kingsman: The Secret Service sequel. She would play the head of the CIA in what is said to be a two picture deal. (CS)

    Screenwriters: ‘The Power Of One’

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

     


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    STARTS

    American Express
    03/07/2016
    Logline: On the verge of losing his job, a man discovers his wife has been cheating on him, so he kidnaps himself in hopes of collecting ransom.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Amazon Studios, Amazon
    Production Company(s): Denver & Delilah Films, Ahimsa Films, Amazon Studios
    Director(s): Nash Edgerton
    Producer(s): Charlize Theron, Rebecca Yeldham, A.J. Dix, Beth Kono, Anthony Tambakis
    Cast: Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo, Amanda Seyfried, Joel Edgerton
    Writer(s): Matthew Stone, Anthony Tambakis
    SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Annapurna. Theron’s upcoming films include The Huntsman: Winter’s War, The Last Face, Kubo and the Two Strings and Coldest City.

    Hidden Figures
    03/06/2016
    Logline: The film chronicles the true story of a group of unacknowledged African American women whose brilliance in math helped NASA win the space race.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Fox 2000, 20th Century Fox Distribution
    Production Company(s): Chernin Entertainment
    Director(s): Ted Melfi
    Executive Producer(s): Ivana Lombardi, Kevin Halloran
    Producer(s): Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Ted Melfi
    Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner, Janelle Monae
    Writer(s): Allison Schroeder
    Details: Based on the book “Hidden Figures” written by Margot Lee Shetterly and to be published by HarperCollins in 2016.
    SSN Insight: This is Janelle Monae’s first studio film. Taraji P. Henson can next be seen in Term Life from Focus Features.

    Nine Eleven
    03/07/2016
    Logline: Five individuals are trapped in an elevator in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. This is their struggle to survive.
    Production Company(s): Sunset Pictures, Vitamin A Films, Thunder Studios, Sprockefeller Pictures
    Director(s): Martin Guigui
    Executive Producer(s): Mark Burg, David Rodrick, Ryan Johnson
    Producer(s): Martin Sprock, Dahlia Waingort, Warren Ostergard
    Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Charlie Sheen, Luis Guzman, Wood Harris, Olga Fonda
    Writer(s): Martin Guigui, Steven Golebiowski
    SSN Insight: The film will shoot in Long Beach, CA for four weeks. Whoopi Goldberg also wrapped on the feature, Black Dog, Red Dog, directed by James Franco.

    The Meyerowitz Stories
    03/07/2016
    Logline: Tells the story of an estranged New York family coming together in preparation of artist & patriarch Harold’s career retrospective
    Production Company(s): Scott Rudin Productions
    Director(s): Noah Baumbach
    Producer(s): Scott Rudin, Eli Bush
    Cast: Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Grace Van Patten
    Writer(s): Noah Baumbach
    SSN Insight: Noah Baumbach is also the filmmaker behidn De Palma, awaiting release from A24. He also scripted The Emperor’s Children with Lake Bell attached as director and Madagascar 4 in active development.

    The Midnight Man
    03/07/2016
    Logline: About a girl who plays a game with her friends that summons a creature known as The Midnight Man who uses their worst fears against them.
    Production Company(s): Gussi Films, Zeal Media Co.
    Director(s): Travis Zariwny
    Executive Producer(s): Christopher Lemole, Mary Cybriwsky, Tim Zajaros, Horacio Altamirano, Penny Karlin
    Producer(s): Cassian Elwes, Frankie Lindquist, Kirk Shaw
    Cast: Robert Englund, Lin Shaye, Grayson Gabriel, Summer Howell, Keenan Lehmann
    Writer(s): Travis Zariwny
    SSN Insight: Horror stars Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Lin Shaye (Insidious) previously starred together in 2001 Maniacs in 2005.

    The Most Hated Woman in America
    03/06/2016
    Logline: The true story of Madalyn O’Hair, an atheist who got the Supreme Court to overturn prayer in public schools.
    Studio/Distributor(s): Netflix
    Production Company(s): Brownstone Productions
    Director(s): Tommy O’Haver
    Producer(s): Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman, Laura Rister
    Cast: Melissa Leo, Juno Temple, Peter Fonda, Adam Scott, Josh Lucas
    Writer(s): Tommy O’Haver, Irene C Turner
    SSN Insight: Netflix has worldwide rights and will release the film day-and-date on its streaming service and in theaters in 2016.

    WRAPS

    A Fantastic Woman
    03/08/2016
    Logline: A waitress moonlights as a nightclub singer, but finds herself suddenly vulnerable with the death of her older boyfriend.
    Production Company(s): Participant Media, Fabula Producciones , Komplizen Films
    Director(s): Sebastian Lelio
    Executive Producer(s): Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King
    Producer(s): Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Sebastian Lelio, Gonzalo Maza
    Cast: Daniela Vega, Marina Vidal
    Writer(s): Sebastian Lelio, Gonzalo Maza
    SSN Insight: Juan de Dios Larraín and Pablo Larraín previously produced the Academy Award nominated No and the film Jackie together.

    Get Out
    03/11/2016
    Logline: A young African American man visits his white girlfriend’s family, with horrifying consequences.
    Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment
    Director(s): Jordan Peele
    Executive Producer(s): Couper Samuelson, Raymond Mansfield, Shaun Redick
    Producer(s): Jason Blum, Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm
    Cast: Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones
    Writer(s): Jordan Peele
    SSN Insight: Stanfield recently appeared as Snoop Doggy Dogg in Straight Outta Compton, and will next be seen in Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead.

    The Last Word
    03/11/2016
    Logline: Retired businesswoman Harriet, controlling to the end, writes her own obituary, but the newspaper writer tasked with the piece insists on learning the truth about Harriet’s life and the two become reluctant partners and friends.
    Production Company(s): Pellington Films, Wondros
    Director(s): Mark Pellington
    Executive Producer(s): Aaron Magnani, Pat Peach
    Producer(s): Kirk D’Amico, Mark Pellington, Anne-Marie Mackay
    Cast: Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Steven Culp, Tom Sadoski
    Writer(s): Stuart Fink
    SSN Insight: Mark Pellington is the executive producer on NBC’s Blindspot. He also directed the features I Melt with You, Henry Poole is Here and the documentary U2 3D among others.


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

    Box Office Trending 3-11


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    SSN ORIGINALS

    SSN Box Office Trending Report for 3/4/16: ‘Zootopia’ to Remain as Strong as an Ox, While ‘The Divergent Series: Allegiant’ Starts Presale Climb

    In our ongoing 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 3/11/16: Taraji P. Henson & Octavia Spencer Team Up for ‘Hidden Figures’ While Jordan Peele, Allison Williams & Catherine Keener Wrap ‘Get Out’

    Among the other projects that are now up and running are Charlize Theron and David Oyelowo’s American Express, as well as the Whoopi Goldberg-Charlie Sheen flick Nine Eleven, while Mark Pellington’s new film, The Last Word, is among the films finishing up principal photography. For the full skinny, click on the link and see it all. (SSN)

    OTHER HEADLINES

    Alexander Payne Adds Yet Another Oscar Winner To His ‘Downsizing’ Cast

    Two-time winner Christoph Waltz has signed up to co-star alongside Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon in a yet-to-be-defined role. Inherent Vice‘s Hong Chau has also joined the project. Damon plays a man whose money struggles lead him to shrink himself as the ultimatum cost-saving device. As a tiny person he meets a woman played by Witherspoon, and the pair saddle up a pair of flying ants to foil a dastardly plot. (EMP)

    It’s Renewal Day At The CW, as Network Gives Go Ahead For New Seasons Of 11 Different Shows

    Network has pretty much renewed its entire primetime lineup, as CW boss Mark Pedowitz announced early renewals for Arrow (for Season 5), The Flash (Season 3), The Vampire Diaries (Season 8), The Originals (Season 4), iZombie (Season 3), Legends of Tomorrow (Season 2), Supernatural (Season 12), The 100 (Season 4), Jane the Virgin (Season 3) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Season 2). Even cellar-dweller Reign is coming back for Season 4. (TVL)

    Chris Nolan’s Next Film Nails Down Tween Audience, Casts One Direction’s Harry Styles

    Singer/songwriter Styles will make his feature film debut as one of the leads in Warner Bros.’ Dunkirk, which Nolan will direct from his own original screenplay. Largely-unknown British actor Fionn Whitehead has taken the lead role in the epic action thriller set during the legendary evacuation. Recent Oscar-winner Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy will be the more experienced members of the ensemble cast. (CS)

    James Gandolfini Passion Project ‘Criminal Justice’ Gets New Title, Summer Premiere at HBO

    The adaptation of Peter Moffat’s BBC drama has changed titles to The Night Of, and added Michael K. Williams, Glenne Headly, Ben Shenkman, Max Casella, Amara Karan, Sofia Black-D’Elia. Paul Sparks, Afton Williamson, Paulo Costanzo, Ned Eisenberg, Mohammad Bakri. Nabil Elouahabi. Ashley Thomas, Glenn Fleshler and Chip Zien. They join Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp, Payman Maadi. and Poorna Jagannathan and John Turturro, who toplines the project. (LF)

    Nicole Holofcener Is Coming To TV, and She Has Amy Ryan Toplining the Series

    Details are scarce at this point, but Holofcener will write and direct all of the episodes in the first season, and is working on the project with global media company Media Rights Capital (MRC). MRC will take the show to cable networks (HBO, Showtime, Starz) and streaming services (Hulu, Amazon, Netflix). (WAH)

    Sam Neill To Star In AMC’s Texas Drama ‘The Son’; Four More Round Out Cast

    Actor is set as the lead in cable net’s upcoming drama series from Sonar Entertainment and AMC Studios. Rounding out the cast in the 10-episode series are Henry Garrett, Zahn McClarnon, Paola Nunez, and Sydney Lucas. Based on the book by Philipp Meyer and written by Meyer, Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy, show is a multi-generational epic tale of the story of America’s birth as a superpower through the bloody rise and fall of one Texas family. (DH)

    Mark Your Calendars: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Marvel’s ‘Luke Cage’ Series

    Show’s star Mike Colter revealed at last night’s premiere event for the second season of “Daredevil,” that the new show will premiere on September 30th. Joining Colter in the series are Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick, Alfre Woodard, Theo Rossi, and Rosario Dawson. (SAA)

    Need More Than 24 Hours? Seven Secrets To Finding More Time in a Day

    Sometimes it can be hard to believe that everyone has the same amount of time in each day. How fast you work does play into productivity, but those who really make the most of their 24 hours just know how to work efficiently. It’s about cutting out what you don’t need to make time for what you do need, and it’s about understanding balance and creating a routine. How fast you work is really just one very small piece of the puzzle. (INC)


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    Box Office: ‘Zootopia’ Reigns with $50M This Weekend, While ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ Earns its Keep at $25M

    Disney’s animated animal adventure Zootopia continued to dominate the box office over the weekend, but 10 Cloverfield Lane also won over audiences in a big way. (DT)

    So it Turns Out Kevin Spacey Will Not be Chairman of Relativity After All

    Kevin Spacey now says he will not head Relativity. The studio, however, is moving forward with Spacey’s Trigger Street partner Dana Brunetti, who will run Relativity with CEO Ryan Kavanaugh when it emerges from bankruptcy. (THR)

    Martin Scorsese, Frank Marshall & More Film Heavyweights Advocate $50 At Home Screening Service

    The roster of filmmakers who’ve become advocates for a new set-top box technology that would allow consumers to see movies at home when they open in theaters, at a $50 price point is expanding. AMC has also signed on, but more theaters and studios both will have to join up or this venture will not happen. (DL)

    ‘Captain America’ Directors Anthony and Joe Russo Head to China to Launch New Studio

    Anthony and Joe Russo, the directing duo behind Marvel’s Captain America franchise, are setting up shop in China. The brothers secured financing for Anthem & Song, a startup studio to be based in Los Angeles and Beijing, which will develop and produce Chinese-language films for the country’s booming theatrical market. (THR)

    Forget Hall H, Lionsgate and Comic-Con Join Forces to Launch Comic-Con SVOD Service

    Comic-Con and Lionsgate will launch a subscription video on-demand service, now officially called Comic-Con HQ, that will roll out just in time for the annual San Diego event in July. Subscribers will get free beta access beginning on May 7, with an official launch scheduled for sometime in June. The cost of the service will be announced shortly before beta access opens. (MB)

    ‘Keanu’, ‘Hush’ & These 14 Other Movies Are Gathering Buzz at SXSW Film Festival

    SXSW has a strong lineup once again that proves the Austin gathering as a formidable player for big and small movies. SXSW used to focus more on micro-budgeted indie features and documentaries, but in recent years studios have also started to flock to Texas, which has given SXSW more star power and clout. Here are 16 of the buzziest titles from this year’s festival. (VAR)

    Taylor Swift Music Videos Beats Out Network TV Audiences in New Vevo Nielsen Study

    TV may not be the biggest audience driver for much longer: New Nielsen research commissioned by Vevo shows that music videos from well-known artists routinely gather equal if not bigger audiences than network TV shows. (VAR)

    Want ‘Star Wars’ Sans Special Effects? Wish Granted as Disney Releases Teaser for the Epic Table Read

    The Force Awakens will release on Blu-Ray next month. One of the things that you’ll be treated to as part of the extras attached to the disc will be a chance to hear that very first table read where it all began. Click here to watch the preview. (CB)

    15 Surprising Things Productive People Do Differently

    Over 200 ultra-productive people including seven billionaires, 13 Olympians, 20 straight-A students and over 200 successful entrepreneurs were asked “What is your number one secret to productivity?” Here are the results. (FB)

    Screenwriters: Paul Haggis Discusses ‘The Next Three Days’, a Script that Marked a Departure for Him

    The Next Three Days is a departure for Paul Haggis. The Oscars for Crash left him well-ensconced as a writer of intelligent dramas, and the success of Casino Royale, on which he shared credit, showed he could bring gravitas to a tentpole franchise. With The Next Three Days, though, Haggis remade a French movie about a schoolteacher who must break his wife, who was wrongly convicted of a crime, out of prison. (SM)


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    Company Launches & Partnerships

    After launching a new eSports vertical, Yahoo Sports has signed a deal with the NHL and will begin live-streaming up to four NHL hockey games per week, delivering in-game highlights. The NHL deal runs through the end of the 2016-2017 season. The live-streams, which will be free, are available to U.S. audiences.

    YouTube network StyleHaul is joining forces with Time Inc. in a new multi-year advertising partnership and will create branded projects, and play them across multiple platforms. They’ll also target marketers with a focus on fashion or beauty.

    Production company Shaftesbury and its digital studio Smokebomb Entertainment are teaming up with the Banff World Media Festival on the digital series pitch competition, The Audience Metrics Partnership Accelerator. The competition’s top three finalists will be sent to Banff to pitch their projects in front of a live industry audience; after the fest, one or more of the projects will be selected to move into development with Shaftesbury/Smokebomb. The festival takes place from June 12 through the 15.

    Bestselling author Harlan Coben and Nicola Shindler are now Joint CEOs of Final Twist Productions. Studiocanal will handle international distribution of the original content. Final Twist will be based in the U.S. and develop contemporary thrillers for U.S. broadcast networks. Final Twist will partner with Red Production Company, the company Shindler founded which is best known for the BAFTA award-winning series Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley. Final Twist is already in development on the returning drama series, Six Years, adapted from Coben’s bestselling novel of the same name.

    USA Today Network is launching VRtually There, the first branded news experience presented in virtual reality. Premiering in the spring of 2016, VRtually There will work with its newsrooms to develop a slate of regularly-scheduled original programming covering a variety of topics, including music news from Nashville, sports news from Detroit and Indianapolis, political news from Washington DC, outdoor news from Reno and Fort Collins, tech and life news from San Francisco and Los Angeles, and consumer tips from Reviewed.com. 

    YouTube co-founder Steve Chen is launching Nom, a new digital platform that will feature heavily interactive live-streamed broadcasts centering on food and cooking. “If you have a food blog and want to connect with a bigger audience, Nom is for you,” said Chen in a press release. Nom has raised $4.7 million in Series A funding.

    The stock-media provider Shutterstock has signed a three-year deal with the Associated Press. Through the deal Shutterstock’s U.S. clients will be able to license over 2 million video clips and 30 million photos from news service’s daily and archived collections.

    Gunpowder & Sky, the newly formed digital studio focused on both short content and feature length films, has inked a development partnership with Shareability, a startup devoted to viral branded videos. Shareability will develop long-form content, invest in distribution platforms, and hire execs. The companies are also exploring co-productions.

    Film

    Kevin Spacey will not be heading Relativity as Chairman, but his Trigger Street Partner, Dana Brunetti will be made the President of Relativity Studios. Per Spacey’s statement, “Relativity emerges from bankruptcy and now that I have a much deeper understanding of the specifics of the amount of work that will be needed to shepherd the company through this transition I have concluded it is work that I neither have the time nor the wherewithal to take on.”

    IM Global, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA, has just made three executive hires: Wifreddy Chiang will now be the VP of Operations and Finance, Louise Heseltine will join as Director of International Marketing and Publicity, and Mike Pastrano has been hired as as Manager of Business and Legal Affairs. Chiang was previously VP at Qualia Legacy Advisors, Heseltine was Director of PR at MLPR, and Pastrano as an Attorney at Lionsgate. In addition, Amanda Archibald has been upped to VP, International Marketing and Publicity and Callum Grant has been upped from Creative Executive to Director, International Sales and Acquisitions.

    Erik Lomis is leaving his post as Distribution Chief at the Weinstein Co. after five years to work at Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures in a new executive role overseeing distribution.

    Michael Fisk has been named the EVP of International Marketing at Lionsgate. Previously he spent 12 years at Sony Pictures as the SVP of International Marketing, overseeing the marketing campaigns for the 007 series among other films.

    Christine Birch has been named the EVP Domestic Creative Marketing Strategy at Sony Pictures. In the new position, she will work across marketing functions including advertising, publicity, digital, and creative content to unify campaign strategies. Previously she was the President of Marketing at Focus Features.

    Andrew Woodhead has been named the Managing Director in the TV division at Working Title. He was previously an Exec Producer at Kudos, working on Spooks and the UK version of Law & Order. He also served as Exec Producer on Sky Atlantic’s Fortitude and Sky 1’s Sinbad.

    Steven Knauss has been upped from Special Assignments Executive to the Assistant Executive Director at Directors Guild of America. Rachel Paster has been named the Assistant Executive Director of the Directors Guild of America in New York. She was formerly a Partner at Lewis, Clifton & Nikolaidis.

    Cale Boyter has been named the EVP of Development at Legendary Entertainment. Boyter was previously the President at Disruption Entertainment. Ali Mendes has been named the VP of Development at Legendary Entertainment. Mendes was formerly the VP of Development at Disruption Entertainment.

    Sarah J. DeBruin has been upped from PR Manager to the Senor Manager of Publicity at Shout! Factory.

    George Leon will leave his post as EVP of Consumer Marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment to pursue other opportunities in May 2016.

    Brett Belinsky has been named the President of Delivery Operations at Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. He was previously the Managing Director at Encompass Digital Media Ltd.

    TV

    Lauren Kisilevsky has been upped from Executive Director to VP of Original Movies at the Disney Channel. She will continue to oversee creative development for some of Disney Channel’s upcoming projects, including High School Musical 4. Projects she recently oversaw include Teen Beach 2, Zapped, and How to Build a Better Boy.

    Helen Cooper has been upped from Acquisitions Manager to the Head of Acquisitions at Endemol Shine Group (London, as of late March 2016).

    Nancy Cotton has been named the President at Heyday Television U.S. She was formerly the SVP of Creative Affairs at Fox 21 Television Studios.

    Ed Crick has been named the Head of Original Programming, UK at Red Bull TV in London. He was previously the Creative Director at Tern TV. Jim Sayer has been named the Head of TV Programming, UK at Red Bull TV. He was previously the CEO at Maverick Television.

    Rob Klippel has been named the SVP of Advanced Advertising Products & Strategy at Charter Communications in Stamford, CT. He was previously the VP of Advanced Platforms at Comcast.

    Margaret Lazo has been named the Chief Human Resources Officer at Univision Communications (as of April 11th, 2016) She was formerly the Global Human Resources Leader at GE Capital in New York.

    David Leavy has been shifted from Chief Communications Officer and Senior EVP of Corporate Marketing & Business Operations to the Chief Corporate Operations and Communications Officer at Discovery Communications.

    Christopher Barry has been named the SVP and Head of Finance and Business Planning, International and Digital at A+E Networks. He was previously the SVP of International Strategy and Digital Media at A+E Networks. Mark Tuohy has been named the VP of Creative Affairs at A+E Studios. He was previously the Director at Fox International Channels.

    Elena Blekhter has been named the Manager of Sales, Marketing & Content at Dynamic Television. She was formerly the Coordinator of Drama Development at NBC Entertainment.

    Mirella Breda has been upped from Creative Director to the Managing Director at Initial (London, as of May 2016).

    Maya Brooks has been named the VP of Publicity & Talent Relations at AMC and SundanceTV. She was formerly the Original Content Publicity at Hulu.

    Kate Farrell has been upped from Executive Producer to the VP of Original Programming at WE tv in New York. Lauren Lazin has been named the Executive Producer at WE tv. She was formerly the Director of L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin.

    Teri Kennedy has been named the EVP of Development & Original Unscripted Programming at Ryan Seacrest Productions. She was formerly the Head of Current Production at Oxygen Media.

    Ronak Kordestani has been named the Head of Development at Tremendous! Entertainment. He was previously the Head of Development at Trium Entertainment / INE Entertainment.

    Sally Miles, Founder of Passion Distribution, has left her post as CEO to pursue other opportunities.

    Emmanuelle Namiech has been named the CEO at Passion Distribution (as of May 3rd, 2016). He was previously the Managing Director at Banijay International.

    Bruce Rosenblum will leave his post as the President at Legendary Television and Digital Media to pursue other opportunities.

    Nick Samwell-Smith will leave his post as Managing Director at Initial in May to pursue other opportunities.

    Sandra Smith has been upped from Head to the Director of Production at Initial in London.

    Haley Stoessl has been upped from Coordinator to the Manager of Development at The Cartel.

    Stephanie Todd has been upped from Senior Director, Planning & Programming to the VP of Programming at HLN in Atlanta.

    Management, PR, Agencies

    Jeffrey Azoff is now a Principal at Full Stop Management. He was previously a Music Agent at CAA. Tommy Bruce is now a Music Manager at Full Stop Management. He was previously a Music Agent at CAA.

    Publicists Joy Fehily and Michael Donkis have closed Prime PR and are joining PMK•BNC as EVPs. They will also bring their staff. They will bring their clients including Christopher McQuarrie, James Gunn, Seth MacFarlane, Aaron Sorkin, Robert Downey, Jr. and Olivia Wilde among many others.

    Jenny Bloom has been upped from Senior Publicist to the VP of Film Publicity at Prodigy Public Relations.

    Lindsay Galin has been made the Co-Manager of the Talent Division in addition to her title as SVP of Entertainment at Rogers & Cowan in New York. Jeff Raymond has been named the Co-Manager, Talent Division and upped from VP to SVP of Entertainment at Rogers & Cowan.

    Gabrielle Kachman is now a Talent Agent at Gersh in New York. She was formerly a Talent Manager at Authentic Talent & Literary Management. Tovah Silbermann is now a Personal Appearances Agent in the Comedy Department at Gersh in New York. He was previously the Founder of the Empire Biscuit Comedy Festival and Associate Producer of Boy Band in New York.

    Jason Kasperski has been upped from Senior Publicist to the VP, Corporate Communications at Prodigy Public Relations.

    Jerilyn Novia has been upped from Coordinator to Comedy Manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

    Eric Pertilla is now a Talent & Literary Agent at Paradigm. He was previously a Talent & Literary Manager at Mosaic.

    Jennifer Weinbaum Ray has been named the Manager of Literary at Heroes and Villains Entertainment. She was formerly a Literary Manager at Gotham/Principal.

    Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

    Alan Osetek has been hired as the global CEO at Digilant, a Boston-based programmatic advertising company. He previously served as the Global President of Resolution Media, a digital marketing unit of Omnicom Media Group.

    Maggie Lane has been hired as a Coordinator in Interactive at Skybound Entertainment. She was formerly a Coordinator at Pukeko Pictures.

    Bonnie Pan has been named the President at Endemol Beyond USA. She was formerly the EVP of Programming at Maker Studios. Georg Ramme will leave his post as Global Managing Director at Endemol Beyond International and Managing Director at Endemol Beyond Germany in May 2016 to pursue other opportunities.

    Douglas Reed has been named the EVP of Business Development, Radio & Library Services at SourceAudio in Philadelphia. He was previously the VP, Creative Director at Premiere Networks.


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    Exec Shuffle for 3/14/16: Kevin Spacey Stepping Away from Relativity, Prime PR to Fold into PMK-BNC, YouTube Co-Founder Launches Nom

    Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports makes a deal with the NHL, a bestselling author starts a new company with a successful producer, USA Network launches a virtual reality news show, and a co-founder of YouTube starts up something new. Click the link for more. (SSN)

    ‘Flawed’ Movie Adaptation Moving Forward at Warner Bros. With ‘Zoo’ Writer

    Studio will proceed on its sci-fi film withRebekah F. Smith tapped to adapt the novel, the first young adult novel from PS, I Love You author Cecelia Ahern. Flawed will be published by Feiwel and Friends on April 5th. Wendy Finerman and Michelle Chydzik will produce the movie, which is set in a world where anyone dubbed disobedient is deemed “flawed.” When a popular teenager stands up for a “flawed,” she becomes an unlikely poster girl for a rebellion. (VAR)

    Netflix Orders Joe Swanberg Anthology Series, ‘Easy,’ Starring Orlando Bloom, Aya Cash and More

    The streaming giant has greenlit an eight-episode series from Swanberg about a diverse group of Chicago characters going through day-to-day deliberations over love, sex, technology and culture. The comedy will be written, directed and produced by the filmmaker behind Drinking Buddies, Hannah Takes the Stairs and Uncle Kent. (IW)

    Netflix Also Finds Its Lemony Snickett For Its Upcoming Adaptation, and He Looks a Lot Like David Puddy

    Patrick Warburton has signed on to portray the fictional version of author/narrator Lemony Snicket (real name Daniel Handler) in the streaming service‘s upcoming A Series of Unfortunate Events show. Snicket was previously portrayed by Jude Law in the 2004 movie. Warburton will join headliner Neil Patrick Harris, who is set to star as Count Olaf, along with Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes as Baudelaire orphans Violet and Klaus. (CS)

    Cinemax Likes Its New Show ‘Outcast’ So Much, It’s Already Renewed It Three Months Ahead Of Its Premiere

    Cable net’s horror show had its world premiere at SXSW, and the premium cabler dropped two pieces of news at the panel afterward. The 10-episode series produced by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and Chris Black will debut June 3rd, and it’s already been renewed for a second season. This comes eight months after the first trailer debuted at Comic-Con. (DH)

    Mark Wahlberg and J.K. Simmons Get Some Impressive Company In Their Upcoming Boston Bombing Film

    John Goodman has signed up for a role in Patriot’s Day, and will play Ed Davis, who at the time was the Boston Police Commissioner that co-ordinated with the FBI, the Watertown Police, Massachusetts State Police and local emergency services to identify, track and apprehend the suspects who perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15th, 2013. Peter Berg is directing the film. (EMP)

    The “Obama In College” Movie Just Added the Stars Of a Couple Recent Oscar-Nominated Flicks

    Jason Mitchell and Ellar Coltrane are getting presidential. The Straight Outta Compton star and the Boyhood actor have joined the cast of Barry, which follows Barack Obama in New York in the early 80s, during his college days. Mitchell and Coltrane are joining Anya Taylor-Joy and Devon Terrell, who will be playing the young POTUS. The indie feature will be directed by Vice correspondent Vikram Gandhi from a script by written by Adam Mansbach. (THR)

    Waiting For That Longtime Coming ‘Preacher’ Adaptation On AMC? Well, Now We Finally Have a Premiere Date

    Cable net announced today the show will hit the airwaves Sunday, May 22nd at 10 p.m. ET, after the midseason finale of Fear the Walking Dead. It also announced that, if you miss the premiere, then you can try again a week later when it will air again during a back-to-back encore presentation on Sunday, March 29th beginning at 9 p.m. (UR)

    Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’

    eOne Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures have released the red band trailer for the highly anticipated new film from Richard Linklater. Starring Will Brittain, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Anthony Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Blake Jenner, Glen Powell, and Wyatt Russell, the film opens April 15th. (COL)

    Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’

    Netflix has dropped the first look at Season Two of the popular sitcom from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. Starring Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess and Jane Krakowski, the entire new season hits the streaming service on April 15th. (SF)


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