Articles on this Page
- 03/15/16--08:31: _Paramount Auction, ...
- 03/15/16--13:13: _TV Development for ...
- 03/15/16--14:29: _‘Indiana Jones 5′ O...
- 03/16/16--07:10: _Academy Makes Chang...
- 03/16/16--12:15: _Rep Moves for 3/16/...
- 03/16/16--12:58: _Film & TV Deals for...
- 03/16/16--14:09: _Film & TV Deals, Re...
- 03/17/16--08:27: _‘Lobo’ Gets ‘Wonder...
- 03/17/16--13:37: _Film Development fo...
- 03/17/16--13:57: _ABC & WBTV Make Sta...
- 03/18/16--08:38: _Buyers Circling Tar...
- 03/18/16--11:23: _On the Set for 3/18...
- 03/18/16--12:30: _SSN Box Office Tren...
- 03/18/16--13:14: _Dylan O’Brien Injur...
- 03/21/16--08:08: _‘Zootopia’ Remains ...
- 03/21/16--13:08: _Exec Shuffle for 3/...
- 03/21/16--13:27: _Exec Shuffle, Ava D...
- 03/22/16--08:16: _Terror Attacks Hit ...
- 03/22/16--13:21: _TV Development for ...
- 03/22/16--14:14: _TV Development, Gug...
Dan Mintz’s Beijing- and Los Angeles-based DMG Entertainment is one of the entities seeking to buy a piece of Paramount Pictures. The sale of what is believed to be a 40% stake in the Melrose Avenue studio is thought to be going for about $2 billion. (DH)
Julia Roberts is eyeing to star in Train Man, a courtroom drama about a real-life New York folk hero. The film is being produced by Gotham Group. (VAR)
Matthew Perry will star as Ted Kennedy in Reelz’s upcoming limited series The Kennedys - After Camelot. (TVG)
The One Tree Hill alum will play Sun Records founder Sam Phillips in Million Dollar Quartet, CMT’s upcoming adaptation of the Broadway musical. (TVL)
Abbie Cornish and Caleb Landry Jones have boarded the cast of Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Fox Searchlight and Film4 are co-financing the film, which is also set to star Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell. (DH)
Paramount has backed out of releasing animated pick-up The Little Prince in the U.S. It was scheduled to open stateside on March 18. (IW)
Nate Parker will adapt ESPN producer Lisa Fenn’s memoir, Carry On, for the screen. Walden Media will develop, produce and finance the film. Mark Ciardi and Anthony Mastromauro will produce the Parker-penned script. (THR)
Tim Burton’s next film, an adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, just released it’s first official trailer. (EW)
Production Company(s): Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Tom Lynch Company
Executive Producer(s): Tom Lynch, Robin Schwartz
Writer(s): Tom Lynch, Adam Lash, Cori Uchida
Logline: Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince one hundred years after falling asleep to find her family long dead and her kingdom taken from her. She must transform into a warrior to regain it.
Details: Based on the novel “A Wicked Thing,” written by Rhiannon Thomas and published by HarperTeen in 2015.
SSN Insight: Lynch was previously behind such shows as Nick’s The Secret World of Alex Mack, Caitlin’s Way, and South of Nowhere. He recently wrapped production on Nickelodeon’s musical comedy series Make It Pop.
Network: CW Seed (digital)
Production Company(s): Blue Ribbon Content
Executive Producer(s): Bill Gerber
Logline: Centered on two brothers who travel to Germany for Oktoberfest, only to stumble upon a secret, centuries-old competition described as a “Fight Club” with beer games.
Details: Based on the film “Beerfest” (2006), directed by Jay Chandrasekhar.
SSN Insight: Billy Gerber produced the original movie Beerfest, along with The Dukes Of Hazzard movies. It will be directed by Jay Chandrasekhar.
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Production Company(s): Fulwell 73 Productions
Executive Producer(s): James Corden, Ben Winston
Logline: A host drives around with celebrities, singing and chatting.
Details: The project is based on the segment that aired on “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” which airs on CBS.
SSN Insight: CBS has set The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special to air on March 29. This series is currently being shopped to networks. Corden would not host but would make appearances throughout the series.
Executive Producer(s): Joe Swanberg
Writer(s): Joe Swanberg
Logline: An anthology series that explores diverse Chicago characters as they fumble through the modern maze of love, sex, technology and culture.
Details: Ordered straight to series. Netflix has ordered 8 episodes. (3/14/2016)
SSN Insight: Netflix has given a straight to series order of eight episodes. Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman, Michael Chernus, Marc Maron, Elizabeth Reaser, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jake Johnson, Aya Cash, Dave Franco, Jane Adams and Hannibal Buress will make appearances on the show.
Production Company(s): The Weinstein Company, Cattleya SPA, Beta Film, Fandango, LA 7
Logline: A streetwise foot soldier wages war to take over the criminal organization which rules over his world.
Details: Based on the book “Gomorrah: A Personal Journey Into the Violent International Empire of Naples’ Organized Crime System” by Roberto Saviano; published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux October 30, 2007. Based on the 12-episode series on Sky Italia that aired in 2014.
SSN Insight: TWC sold the first two completed seasons to SundanceTV that originally aired on Sky Italia. SundanceTV will premiere those two seasons in the U.S. starting this summer. TWC, which holds the North American rights to the series and is currently shopping a new English language version.
Hate in America with Jorge Ramos
Network: HBO Network
Production Company(s): Fusion
Logline: The special examines the state of hate groups in the United States with a focus on why intolerance seems to be spreading.
SSN Insight: HBO has licensed this series from Fusion, the Disney and Univision-owned English-language digital news service and cable channel aimed at millennial audiences. The project was developed by Univision Story House, Univision’s just launched original content development and production team designed to create stories and formats for Univision’s internal platforms including Fusion, as well as third party general market networks.
Network: HBO Network
Production Company(s): Fusion
Logline: An immersive exploration of Latin America looking at various aspects of the culture of in Latin American countries.
SSN Insight: The series began as a production for Fusion’s Snapchat Discover channel. HBO has since licensed the 10 episode series. The project was developed by Univision Story House, Univision’s just launched original content development and production team designed to create stories and formats for Univision’s internal platforms including Fusion, as well as third party general market networks.
Studio: Sony Pictures Television, Amazon Studios
Executive Producer(s): Barry Josephson, Ben Edlund
Writer(s): Ben Edlund
Logline: At a young age, Arthur Everest witnessed The Terror, a powerful super villain, kill his father and five of the city’s heroes. Ever since, he’s been labeled as crazy for his odd behavior and crackpot conspiracies about The Terror being alive after all these years. When the big blue bug of justice arrives – a powerful but blabbering hero who refers to himself as The Tick – Arthurs’s suspicions are confirmed. But now that they are, he’s not sure if he’s got the guts to pursue the Terror.
Details: Based on “The Tick” comic book series by Ben Enlund that was adapted for a 1994-1996 Fox animated series and a 2001 live-action Fox comedy series.
SSN Insight: Amazon has given a pilot order. Barry Josephson also executive produced the live action series. Griffin Newman will play Arthur Everest and Valorie Curry will play his sister Dot Everest. Wally Pfister is in negotiations to direct. Patrick Warburton, who played the title character in the Fox live action series, will not reprise his role but is expected to serve as an executive producer.
Network: Spike TV
Production Company(s): Mission Control, MX Productions
Executive Producer(s): Christina Aguilera, Matthew Rutler, Michael Agbabian, Dwight D Smith
Logline: A team of two attempts to name a song title just by listening to its individual tracks (e.g. guitar, bass, vocal, etc.). The series will also feature surprise celebrity musical guests performing tracks – which could be their own – or others.
SSN Insight: Spike TV gave a series order on March 15. The show will premiere later this year as a half-hour special on the network.
Network: FX Network
Studio: FX Productions
Production Company(s): Cloud Eight Films, Decibel, Snicket Films Limited
Executive Producer(s): Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, Christian Colson
Writer(s): Simon Beaufoy
Logline: The series begins in 1973, when the mafia kidnaps young John Paul Getty III in Rome, thinking that his family will pay handsomely for his return. But as the criminals soon learn, the Getty clan is rather messed up: heroin addiction, multiple mistresses, bankruptcy and a pet lion all figure into the family’s chaos.
Details: Based on a true story.
SSN Insight: FX has given a 10 episode limited series order. Developed through the first look deal between FX Productions and Danny Boyle, the director and writer of the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire.
Untitled Civil War Drama Series
Studio: Amazon Studios
Executive Producer(s): Charles Randolph
Writer(s): Charles Randolph
Logline: A multifaceted, realistic look at what it would take to create a present-day civil war in the U.S.
SSN Insight: Charles Randolph won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay for The Big Short. Randolph’s credits include Love & Other Drugs and The Life Of David Gale. On the TV side he has landed two pilot orders at HBO and two at ABC.
Production Company(s): Lafayette Films, Showtime Networks
Logline: Four years after her death, filmmaker Nick Broomfield goes in search of the forces that made and then destroyed the singer who has been described as having one of the greatest voices of the last 50 years.
SSN Insight: Nick Broomfield, who also directed the documentary Kurt & Courtney is helming this documentary. BBC has pre-bought UK rights to the film. Production is underway.
TV Development for 3/15/16: Amazon Orders ‘The Tick’ Pilot, Christina Aguilera’s ‘Tracks’ Given the Greenlight, James Corden Shopping ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Series
Among the other projects with updates this week are a new show from Mumblecore legend Joe Swanberg, a small screen take on a big time Italian film, and a series about the life of John Paul Getty from the makers of Slumdog Millionaire. Click the link for more. (SSN)
Indiana Jones Rides Again! Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg Returning For Fifth Movie In the Series
Disney has just announced that Ford will be reprising his iconic role in the fifth installment in the series with his Oscar-winning helmer returning to the director’s chair. The pic will hit screens on July 19th, 2019. Spielberg directed the previous four pics, and this one has yet to be titled. Franchise vets Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will produce. (DH)
Knowing a Double Standard When They See One, Ang Lee, George Takei and Others Protest ‘Racist Stereotypes’ to Academy
Two dozen members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, including Lee and several other Oscar winners, have asked the AMPAS board for “concrete steps” to ensure that future Oscarcasts will avoid the “tone-deaf approach” to Asians that was exhibited in the February 28th ceremony. The protest was delivered in advance of today’s board meeting, where diversity promises to be a key item on the agenda. (VAR)
The search for who will fill Han Solo’s leather vest could be in its final stages, as a shortlist quietly has emerged. Last weekend in London, tests were conducted involving actors Alden Ehrenreich, who did scene-stealing work in Hail, Caesar!; Jack Reynor, from Transformers: Age of Extinction; and Taron Egerton, of The Kingsman and Eddie the Eagle. There could be a few other names on the list, though due to the high level of secrecy, it’s hard to ascertain them. (HV)
Network has promoted from within to fill the drama development void created by Channing Dungey’s appointment as ABC Entertainment president. Former vp drama Morewitz has been promoted to senior vp drama development, reporting directly to Dungey, the network announced today. (THR)
Fresh Off His Oscar For Co-Writing ‘The Big Short’, Charles Randolph Developing War Drama Series for Amazon
Streaming service is teaming with the screenwriter for an untitled drama currently in development. The drama is said to be a multifaceted realistic look at what it would take to create a present-day civil war in the United States of America. Amazon Studios will produce. (LF)
Story, from an original script by Paul Gerstenberger, combines elements of action, comedy, and horror, is about a group of highly trained government agents masquerading as unsuspecting teens in order to capture the maniacal slasher that has been at a lakeside cabin in the woods for years. It’s being pitched in the vein of Cabin in the Woods meets Predator. (TB)
Cable net is nearing a deal to pick up Sophie Goodhart’s SXSW premiere. The outlet shares that the acquisition “will likely be the biggest sale out of this year’s South by Southwest” and is estimated to be in the low seven-figure range. The comedy, which stars Adam Scott, Nick Kroll and Jenny Slate, was reportedly the subject of a bidding war amongst distributors like Netflix, The Orchard, Sony and Gravitas Ventures. (IW)
A24 has released the new look a the upcoming film from director Jeremy Saulnier, starring Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Mark Webber, Eric Edelstein, Macon Blair, and Kai Lennox. The horror-thriller hits theaters in New York and LA on Paril 15th and goes wide the 29th. (TP)
Sony Pictures Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures’ have released the first look at the first R-rated CG animated comedy from writers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir. Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, and Salma Hayek all star. It hits theaters August 12th. (CS)
Academy, Under Fire Over Diversity (and After Apologizing For the Asian Jokes), Backtracks on Voting Eligibility
As promised, the Academy Board of Governors voted — again — to put through changes intended to diversify the voting body. They apologized after a protest letter from 25 members of Asian descent, they’re adding three new members to the 51 governors, who are not elected by the individual branches, and reaffirmed its January 21 resolution to make sure Academy voters are active in the motion picture industry. (TOH)
The specialty cinema organization representing 600 theaters and allied cinema exhibition businesses, announced yesterday in an open letter its position on Screening Room, the controversial and much-buzzed-about day-and-date home viewing platform being backed by Napster co-founder Sean Parker and Prem Akkaraju. The AHC took to polling its members to hear their take on the new technology. In short: They oppose it. (IW)
Federal prosecutors charged a Pennsylvania man with felony computer hacking related to the theft of hundreds of nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Kate Upton and other female celebrities. Ryan Collins, 36, of Lancaster, Pa., signed a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles, officials said yesterday. Collins gained illegal access to at least 50 Apple iCloud accounts and 72 Google Gmail accounts, most belonging to celebs. (VAR)
Though attention out of the event this year has largely been on larger studio movies such as Everybody Wants Some, Keanu and Sausage Party,” the South by Southwest Film Festival has also long been a vital launching pad for new talent. This year, the festival’s narrative feature grand jury award went to Adam Pinney’s The Arbalest, and the documentary feature grand jury winner was Keith Maitland’s Tower. (LAT)
Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) will get at least 10 additional episodes to turn into Saul Goodman during the show’s run, as the cable network announced yesterday that the show will return for Season 3, with showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould also returning. The series is set six years before Jimmy/Saul meets Walter White, so the show could conceivably continue to run until that point. (COL)
Studio has come aboard to co-finance and handle worldwide distribution of Skydance’s sci-fi film set to star Gyllenhaal and Reynolds. David Ellison’s Skydance is behind the project, developing it from the script stage with writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (Deadpool). Skydance is also co-financing Life. Daniel Espinosa is directing the feature, which also has Rebecca Ferguson as part of the ensemble cast. (HV)
The news means that at least one major Hollywood studio, Sony, will have a presence at this year’s festival, which is set to run May 11th-22nd. So far, the lineup has been kept under tight wraps as festival director Thierry Fremaux and his team finish watching films and mull their options. Money Monster isn’t expected to be the opening-night film on May 11th, but could screen the next day since it hits theaters in North America on May 13th. (THR)
Written and executive produced by Alex Cary, who serves as showrunner, the Taken TV series is a modern-day prequel to the film franchise that depicts how Bryan Mills (Standen) developed and sharpened his particular set of skills. Beals will play Christina Hart, the Special Deputy Director of National Intelligence who has taken Mills under her wing. (DH)
Cohen, who had screenplay credits on films such as Idiocracy, Tropic Thunder and Men In Black 3 before turning writer/director for last year’s Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, will write and direct the project for Warner Bros. The original film, released in 1981, starred Reynolds and Deluise in a star-studded tale of an anything goes cross country auto race. (EMP)
The 108-page screenplay by Milo Addica & Will Rokos, labeled Pink Revisions and dated May 10th, 2001. (DS)
Abrams: Actress Gina Gershon has signed with Abrams Artists Agency in all areas. She was last seen on Amazon’s comedy Red Oaks and on Netflix’s Staten Island Summer. Next up she’ll appear in the romantic comedy Permission, opposite The Gift’s Rebecca Hall and Downton Abbey alum Dan Stevens. Gershon continues to be managed by Untitled Entertainment.
WME: Filmmaker Anne Hamilton has signed with WME. She recently premiered her film American Fable at SXSW, as part of the Austin fest’s Visions program and was produced by Hamilton and Kishori Rajan. The film follows Gitty, a courageous 11-year-old girl whose magical outlook on life influenced by her love of fables and fairytales protects her from the harsh reality that her family soon might lose their farm. She was selected for AFI’s class of 2014 Directing Workshop for Women. Her first short film as writer-director, Death Artists, Inc., premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
CAA: Production company Original Media, a subsidiary of Endemol Shine North America, has shifted from ICM Partners to CAA. The company is best known for their unscripted series such as Ink Master and Ink Master: Redemption for Spike, Swamp People for History and Comic Book Men for AMC. It was founded in 2002 by Charlie Corwin. The company is headed by Co-Presidents and CEOs Glenda Hersh and Steven Weinstock, who also serve as Co-Presidents and CEOs of CAA-repped True Entertainment (The Real Housewives of Atlanta).
Verve: Finnish filmmaker Anders Engstrom has inked with Verve in a competitive situation. He recently helmed episodes of the upcoming miniseries Taboo, produced by Hardy’s shingle Hardy, Son & Baker and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions for BBC and FX. He also directed the Swedish dramas Thicker Than Water and award-winning Jordskott. On the film side he helmed 2011’s The Kiss of Evil.
WME/IMG Models: YouTuber Amanda Steele has inked with WME and IMG Models. The teen’s MakeupbyMandy24 channel has 2.8 million subscribers and more than 197 million views. Both agencies will work with Steele to optimize her fashion, film, television, digital and endorsements. Currently she is the face for Manchester-based etailer boohoo.com and is collaborating with sunglasses company Quay Australia. Steele recently starred opposite Michelle Trachtenberg in the webseries Guidance which earned 1.2 million views for its first episode.
ICM: British actress Jessica Barden has inked with ICM Partners. She recently appeared in the Cannes jury prize-winning The Lobster, Far From the Madding Crowd and Lullaby. On the TV side she will next be seen on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. She was previously in the world’s longest-running soap, Coronation Street, and was in the BBC miniseries The Outcast.
UTA: Digital media star Nash Grier has shifted from WME to UTA. The teen has 12.5 million followers on Vine and his micro-videos have been looped more than 3 billion times. Over on Instagram he has 8.8 million followers along with 5.4 million on Twitter and 4.7 million subscribers on YouTube. UTA will rep Grier in all areas including acting and branding. He recently acted in the drama The Outfield, produced by MCN Fullscreen and released in November. He’s also had endorsement deals with companies including Aeropostale, Nordstrom, M&Ms and Aquafina.
Verve: Director Tahir Jetter has signed with Verve. He recently wrote and directed, How To Tell You’re A Douchebag, which debuted at Sundance. The film was inspired by his own comedic challenges as a single man in today’s social media driven dating world. He previously created the web series Hard Times after getting his BFA in Film Production from NYU.
WME: TYT Network has shifted from CAA to WME. The politics and culture online network, which tallies 3 billion views across its YouTube channels, is best known for its flagship show The Young Turks, which is the world’s longest-running daily livecast at 10 years and counting. It garners 2.6 million YouTube subscribers and averages more than 65 million monthly unique views across all platforms and recently won the 2015 Streamy Award for the news and culture category.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Entertainment One have signed a deal for SPHE to distribute films from eOne’s specialty label, Momentum Pictures, across physical and digital home entertainment platforms globally (excluding Canada). Momentum Pictures’ current release slate includes The Program, from director Stephen Frears and All Roads Lead to Rome, starring Sarah Jessica Parker. SPHE will also manage U.S. distribution for eOne television titles on DVD and Blu-ray, including Haven and Bitten.
Rick Eid has signed a two-year overall deal he has signed with Universal TV. He will also be joining Law & Order: SVU, produced by Universal TV, as executive producer and showrunner for the upcoming 18th season. Previously Eid worked with SVU producer Dick Wolf when he served as co-executive producer on the mothership Law & Order series and co-created Conviction for NBC. Eid’s recent credits include CBS’ Hostages and showrunner on TNT’s Dark Blue.
Sony Pictures Television acquired a minority stake in UK’s Fable Pictures. The company was founded by Faye Ward who was previously at Alison Owen’s Ruby. Per the deal she will develop film and TV projects. She is currently producing Stan and Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, about Laurel and Hardy’s august days as an iconic if faded act. Also upcoming is Country Music with Karen Gillan attached. Previously Ward produced the film Suffragette.
MarVista Entertainment is signed a deal with SpectreVision on four films over two years where MarVista will finance and co-produce horror and thrillers genre films. MarVista’s films include Most Likely to Die, Satanic, and A Deadly Adoption starring Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig. They are also in production on the thriller The Deep End. SpectreVision was founded by Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah, and Josh C. Waller. The company’s credits include Cooties bought by Lionsgate and A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night acquired by KinoLorber. The two companies plan to go into production on their first project this summer.
Entertainment One has inked an overall first-look deal with veteran reality television producer Chris Deaux and his Two Fifteen West Entertainment. Under the pact, Deaux will develop and produce unscripted programming with eOne. Prior to founding Two Fifteen West Entertainment, Deaux served as SVP of Development at Intuitive Entertainment, SVP of Development at Film Garden Entertainment and was head of development for Banyan Productions.
Love Nature and Smithsonian Earth are partnering with Plimsoll Productions on the natural history project, Camp Zambia, 50 hours of 4K wildlife and nature programs over the next two years. The production will utilize a new facility in Africa. Content will range from footage of animal behavior to character-led series, showcasing the breadth of African wildlife, for Love Nature’s Canadian and international SVOD and TV offerings and Smithsonian Networks’ streaming service.
Film & TV Deals for 3/16/16: eOne Signs Deals with Sony & Reality Producer Chris Deaux, Smithsonian Earth Launches Camp Zambia
In other news TV producer Rick Eid has signed a two-year overall deal he has signed with Universal TV and Sony Pictures Television acquired a minority stake in UK’s Fable Pictures. (SSN)
Rep Moves for 3/16/16: WME Scoops up SXSW Filmmaker Anne Hamilton, Gina Gershon Moves to Abrams, Vine Star Nash Grier Signs with UTA
In other news, YouTuber Amanda Steele has inked with WME and IMG Models and production company Original Media, a subsidiary of Endemol Shine North America, has shifted from ICM Partners to CAA. (SSN)
The agreement will finance 75 percent of future Relativity films for the next five years. With Relativity Media facing reviews of its plan to exit bankruptcy by courts, the company said it has secured $400 million in equity film financing from Michael Wexler and Tove Christensen’s Maple Leaf Films. (THR)
With the hiring of Mary Parent as vice chair of worldwide production at Legendary Entertainment, China’s Dalian Wanda Group has added some steak to the sizzle of the company it acquired in January for $3.5 billion. Or at least that’s the number widely reported. Like much about the deal, the reality of that figure is far from clear. (THR)
Steven Yeun will star in the action movie Mayhem about a virus that infects a corporate law office that is capable of making people act out their wildest impulses. Trapped in the quarantined building, the hero is forced to savagely fight for not only his job but his life. (VAR)
The National Association of Theatre Owners said that movie theater chains will individually decide whether or not to back Screening Room, but in a statement, the exhibition industry lobbying group dismissed the startup, while reaffirming its commitment to theatrical release windows. (VAR)
Affleck & Damon’s Epic Team-Up Continues as their Reality Series ‘The Runner’ Will Launch on Verizon Go90
Sixteen years after they first pitched the concept, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s reality competition series The Runner finally is coming to fruition with a pickup by Verizon’s recently launched free, ad-supported video platform, go90. (DL)
TV Land is developing an anthology based on the 1989 cult feature film Heathers. The original film centered on Veronica and rebel boyfriend J.D. and their trials and tribulations dealing with the social order in high school. TV Land’s take is described as a black comedy that takes place in the present day. (THR)
Time released their second annual roundup of the most influential people on the Internet. They sized up their contenders by looking at their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news. Here’s who made this year’s unranked list. (TIME)
What once was old is new again, this time the MGM and Paramount have teamed with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, who previously brought the popular miniseries The Bible to History Channel on a retelling of the epic story. (WD)
Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have hired Wonder Woman writer Jason Fuchs to adapt their long-in-development action-fantasy film Lobo. Brad Peyton is attached to direct with Joel Silver and Akiva Goldsman producing. (VAR)
Writer-director Michael Mann has made a deal to launch Michael Mann Books. The imprint will generate a series of novels with a stable of writers and the properties will simultaneously be developed for film and television. (DH)
The drama, starring Ben McKenzie, joins returning Fox series Empire, Scream Queens and the final season of Bones. (THR)
Bill Bellamy has landed the lead role in Fox’s untitled Chris Case comedy pilot. (TVL)
HBO has put in development drama series High Rise, from Blue Valentine co-writer Cami DeLavigne, Jeff Kwatinetz’s The Firm and The Weinstein Company. (DH)
Alex Winter (Downloaded) and Bill and Ted fame, will introduce a Kickstarter campaign to help finance his movie about Frank Zappa’s life and music movie. (NYT)
Ahead of its May 27th premiere, we’re getting another trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, the followup to 2014’s Days of Future Past. (VER)
A Life in the Day
Logline: When Brian Epstein, who sold records from his father’s appliance store in Liverpool, heard the Beatles on his lunch break at the Cavern Club, he became relentless in his pursuit of a record deal for the quartet he promised would become bigger than Elvis.
Production Company(s): Permut Productions, SYCO Entertainment, IM Global, Rivers Edge Films
Producer(s): David Permut, Dylan Sellers, Simon Cowell, Adam Milano, Stuart Ford
Writer(s): Tony Gittelson
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Jack O’Connell
Details: Based on the life of Brian Epstein, who discovered and managed the Beatles from 1961 through 1967, when he died of a drug overdose at the age of 32.
SSN Insight: Justin Chadwick was previously in talks to direct.
A Speck in the Sea
Logline: The story of a lobster fisherman who fell overboard at night and the desperate efforts to rescue him are dramatized.
Studio/Distributor(s): The Weinstein Company
Production Company(s): Specialty Films, Blumhouse Productions
Producer(s): Rachael Horovitz, Jason Blum, Harvey Weinstein
Writer(s): Jeff Pope
Details: Based on the article “A Speck in the Sea” written by Paul Tough and published in The New York Times Magazine on January 2, 2014 as well as the book “A Speck in the Sea” written by John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski; which will be published in 2017 by Weinstein Books.
SSN Insight: Project was included on the 2015 Black List.
All These Sleepless Nights
Logline: Christopher and Michal roam the streets of Warsaw, tirelessly exploring a city torn between it’s troubled past and being on the precipice of a transformative future.
Studio/Distributor(s): The Orchard
Production Company(s): Pulse Films, Endorfina Studio
Producer(s): Michal Marczak, Marta Golba, Julia Nottingham, Thomas Benski, Lucas Ochoa
Director(s): Michal Marczak
Details: Sundance contact is Julia Nottingham, email@example.com, +44734800952
SSN Insight: The Orchard has bought U.S. distribution rights. The film won the Festival’s year’s Directing Award in its World Cinema Documentary competition.
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
Producer(s): Charlize Theron, Rebecca Yeldham, A.J. Dix, Beth Kono, Anthony Tambakis
Writer(s): Matthew Stone, Anthony Tambakis
Director(s): Nash Edgerton
Cast: Charlize Theron, David Oyelowo, Amanda Seyfried, Joel Edgerton, Thandie Newton, Kenneth Choi, Harry Treadaway, Michael Angarano, Yul Vazquez
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Annapurna.
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, 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, Belinda
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. Belinda is well-known to Latino audiences for having appeared in Aventuras en el Tiempo in 2001 and Cómplices al Rescate in 2002 that included soundtrack releases and international tours.
Logline: Hijinks ensue during an illegal cross-country car race.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Alan Gasmer & Friends
Producer(s): Alan Gasmer, Andre Morgan
Writer(s): Etan Cohen
Director(s): Etan Cohen
Details: Remake of “The Cannonball Run” (1980) directed by Hal Nededham and starring Burt Reynolds and Farrah Fawcett.
SSN Insight: Guy Ritchie was previously attached to direct. Peter Jaysen was previously attached to produce.
Careful What You Wish For
Logline: A teen finds himself embroiled in a passionate love affair with a sexy, older, married woman who plans on killing her abusive husband and making him an accomplice.
Production Company(s): Myriad Pictures, Hyde Park Entertainment, Merced Media Partners
Producer(s): Ashok Amritraj, Michael Helfant, Robert Stein, Bradley Gallo, Kirk D’Amico
Writer(s): Chris Frisina, Gregg Hurwitz
Director(s): Elizabeth Allen
Cast: Isabel Lucas, Nick Jonas, Dermot Mulroney, Graham Rogers, Johnny Simmons
SSN Insight: Jake Nava was previously attached to direct.
Logline: A botched robbery forces two crooks to flee into the desert, where they encounter a disturbed ex-sniper.
Studio/Distributor(s): IFC Midnight
Production Company(s): Diablo Entertainment
Producer(s): Eric B. Fleischman, Sean Tabibian
Writer(s): Mickey Keating
Director(s): Mickey Keating
Cast: Ashley Bell, Darby Stanchfield, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck, James Hebert
SSN Insight: IFC Midnight has bought the U.S. rights. The film premiered at Sundance and screened at SXSW.
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Walden Media
Production Company(s): Walden Media, Identity Films, Apex Entertainment
Producer(s): Anthony Mastromauro, Mark Ciardi
Writer(s): Nate Parker, Jay Lavender
Details: Based on the ESPN Segment titled “Carry On” featuring Dartanyon Crockett, Leroy Sutton and Lisa Fenn. Based on the memoir “Carry On” by Lisa Fenn; to be published by Harper Collins in August 2016.
SSN Insight: Walden Media has preemptively acquired the screen and life rights to the story. Nate Parker previously wrote, directed, produced and starred in The Birth of A Nation, awaiting release.
Logline: A man who works in a New York ad agency finds his life turned upside down when a tragedy sends him into a depression, and his colleagues set out to lift his spirits.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Production Company(s): Village Roadshow Pictures, Overbrook Entertainment, Anonymous Content, PalmStar Entertainment, Likely Story, Merced Media Partners
Producer(s): Michael Sugar, Bard Dorros, Will Smith, Allan Loeb
Writer(s): Allan Loeb
Director(s): David Frankel
Cast: Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris, Ann Dowd
SSN Insight: Hugh Jackman was previously attached to co-star. Johnny Depp was previously in talks to co-star. Rooney Mara was previously attached to co-star.
Logline: An Omaha man seeks a better life by undergoing a process to shrink himself and moves to a community of miniaturized people.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): Gran Via Productions, Ad Hominem Enterprises, Groundswell Productions
Producer(s): Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, Mark Johnson
Writer(s): Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
Director(s): Alexander Payne
Cast: Matt Damon, Reese Witherspoon, Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Sudeikis, Christopher Waltz, Hong Chau
SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Fox. Sacha Baron Cohen was previously attached to co-star. Paul Giamatti was previously attached to co-star.
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): Levantine Films, Chernin Entertainment, Goldenlight Films
Producer(s): Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Ted Melfi
Writer(s): Allison Schroeder
Director(s): Ted Melfi
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali
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.
Indiana Jones 5
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, Lucasfilm, Ltd.
Producer(s): Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford
Details: Fourth sequel to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford and Karen Allen.
SSN Insight: Steven Spielberg reportedly expressed early interest in casting Chris Pratt to star, and that casting is still TBD. The pic will hit screens on July 19, 2019.
Logline: A man swears revenge after his older brother, who was world kickboxing champion, is crippled by a dirty fighter.
Studio/Distributor(s): RLJ Entertainment, Inc.
Production Company(s): Radar Pictures
Producer(s): Dimitri Logothetis, Ted Field, Nick Celozzi, Allen Knudson, Samuel Cory Timpson
Writer(s): Jim McGrath, Dimitri Logothetis
Director(s): John Stockwell
Cast: Jean-Claude van Damme, Alain Moussi, Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Georges St. Pierre
Details: Based on the film “Kickboxer” (1988) directed by David Worth, Mark DiSalle and Jean-Claude van Damme, and starring Jean-Claude van Damme.
SSN Insight: Tony Jaa was previously attached, but was replaced by Jean-Claude Van Damme due to scheduling conflicts. Stephen Fung was previously attached to direct.
Logline: Story follows the crew of the International Space Station, who, after retrieving a sample from Mars, discover that it displays signs of life, and proves to be more intelligent than expected.
Studio/Distributor(s): Sony Pictures
Production Company(s): Mockingbird Pictures, Skydance Productions
Producer(s): David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn
Writer(s): Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Director(s): Daniel Espinosa
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds
SSN Insight: Ryan Reynolds was previously attached to star. Due to scheduling conflicts, Jake Gyllenhaal is now the lead, with Reynolds taking a smaller role. Sony Pictures will co-finance with Skydance Media Life.
Logline: Surrounding the bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
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, John Goodman
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: Goodman has been cast as real-life hero Ed Davis, the Boston Police Commissioner who led the department.
Logline: Story revolves around a Philadelphia businessman whose deadbeat brother is kidnapped for a large ransom. When everyone involved believes the deadbeat is in on the kidnapping, the businessman must take action himself.
Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate Premiere
Production Company(s): Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films
Producer(s): Randall Emmett, George Furla
Writer(s): Jason Mosberg
Director(s): Steven C. Miller
Cast: Nicolas Cage
SSN Insight: The film will be released in the U.S. through Lionsgate Premiere through its multi-picture distribution deal with Emmett/Furla.
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, Victor Garbor
Details: Based on the biography “JD Salinger: A Life” written by Kenneth Slawenski and published by Random House in 2010.
SSN Insight: Deutch recently wrapped Awesomeness Films’ Before I Fall and is currently shooting Why Him? alongside James Franco.
Logline: A woman famous for undergoing an exorcism as a young girl must now face the demon that plagued her once again when it possesses her daughter, forcing her to follow the clues of her past in order to seek out one of the last few priests still practices the
Production Company(s): Haxan Films, Blumhouse Productions, Chapter One, Court Five
Producer(s): Jason Blum, Matt Kaplan, Mark Ordesky, Jane Fleming, Gregg Hale
Writer(s): Jamie Nash
Director(s): Eduardo Sanchez
SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2014 Hit List.
Logline: The documentary centers on the birth of Compaq Computer and is a fresh look into the explosive rise of the 1980s PC industry.
Production Company(s): Zipper Brothers Films, Campfire, Open Architecture Films
Producer(s): Ross M. Dinerstein, Glen Zipper
Director(s): Jason Cohen
SSN Insight: FilmRise bought the worldwide distribution rights to the film that world premiered in the Documentary Spotlight section at SXSW.
Logline: A man travels to space to avenge the death of his wife.
Production Company(s): 21 Laps Entertainment
Producer(s): Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Dan Cohen
Writer(s): Geoff Tock, Gregory Weidman
Director(s): Marc Munden
SSN Insight: Project was included on the 2013 Black List
Star Trek Beyond
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures, Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): Bad Robot, Skydance Productions
Producer(s): J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Roberto Orci
Writer(s): Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, JD Payne, Patrick McKay
Director(s): Justin Lin
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Shohreh Aghdashloo
SSN Insight: Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz had been considered to write the script. Joe Cornish had been considered to direct. Project will be shot digitally.
The Kind Worth Killing
Logline: A man confides to a woman on a plane that he’s been thinking of murdering his cheating wife. He doesn’t know that she’s a ruthless killer and upon landing they hatch a murder plan.
Production Company(s): Nick Wechsler Productions, Chockstone Pictures
Producer(s): Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz, Nick Wechsler
Writer(s): Christopher Kyle
Director(s): Agnieszka Holland
Details: Based on the novel “The Kind Worth Killing” written by Peter Swanson and to be published by Harper Collins Canada on January 6, 2015.
SSN Insight: Holland is the head of the European Film Academy and has received Oscar nominations for Europe Europa, In Darkness and Angry Harvest.
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, Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones
SSN Insight: Originally developed by Film4 at an early stage.
Tracking of a Russian Spy
Logline: After an American journalist’s Russian girlfriend disappears when 10 Russian Americans are arrested for spying, he goes to Moscow to learn who she really is and enters a world of intrigue.
Production Company(s): The Picture Company
Producer(s): Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman
Writer(s): Charles Cumming
Director(s): Drake Doremus
Details: Based on the novella “The Tracking of a Russian Spy” written by Mitch Swenson and published by Thought Catalog on October 6, 2013.
SSN Insight: Doremus previously directed Like Crazy, most recently helmed the Kristen Stewart and Nicolas Hoult sci-fi-romance Equals.
Logline: A young aspiring musician, preparing for a competition and feeling incredibly confidant, falls into a frightening trap that she has to find her way out of.
Production Company(s): Hollywood Media Bridge, Unique Features
Producer(s): Robert Shaye, Michael Lynne, Benjamin Sacks, Sarah Victor
Writer(s): Donald Winston Wylie, John Rocco, Jenna Wright
Director(s): Robert Shaye
Cast: John Kroft, Katherine Hughes, Giles Matthey, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Dylan McNamara
SSN Insight: Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne produced When the Bough Breaks for Screen Gems, currently awaiting release.
He’s Out There
Logline: While visiting their lake house, a woman and her two daughters fight for their lives after getting mixed up in a psychopath’s murderous plan.
Studio/Distributor(s): Screen Gems
Production Company(s): Unbroken Pictures
Producer(s): Bryan Bertino, Adrienne Biddle
Writer(s): Mike Scannell
Director(s): Dennis Iliadis
SSN Insight: Iliadis recently directed Delirium and before that he helmed the remake The Last House on the Left.
Logline: A US Marshal arrives at a small town in an old frontier fort in the 1860s to find his brother, the town pastor, who died under suspicious circumstances. His investigation uncovers a web of corruption and deceit.
Production Company(s): JLE Cinema Group
Producer(s): A.J. Perez, John Lewis, Jim Burleson
Writer(s): John Lewis, Shawn Justice
Director(s): Richard Gabai
Cast: Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Robert Carradine, Stephen Lang, Ellen Hollman, John Lewis
SSN Insight: Jamie-Lynn Sigler currently appears in Baby Daddy on Freeform. Her upcoming films include I Want Kandee and Justice.
Killers of the Flower Moon
Logline: In 1920s Oklahoma, oil is discovered under Osage Indian land and the Osage start being murdered, as do all investigators, so the FBI gets its first major homicide case.
Production Company(s): Imperative Entertainment
Producer(s): Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas
Details: Based on the novel “Killers Of The Flower Moon: An American Crime And The Birth Of The FBI” by David Grann; which will be published by Doubleday in Spring 2016
SSN Insight: CAA is brokering the rights to the book which Imperative Entertainment won the rights for in a competitive auction for $5,000,000.
Logline: The true story of Nell Gwynn, who rose from poverty to become one of the most famous actresses of the Restoration era and the mistress of King Charles II.
Production Company(s): Working Title Films
Producer(s): Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jessica Swale
Writer(s): Jessica Swale
SSN Insight: Based on the play “Nell Gwynn” written by Jessica Swale and performed at the Apollo Theatre from February 4 to April 30, 2016.
Logline: An American writer returns to China for the publication of his first book and recalls memories of teaching English literature in there, just before the nation’s unprecedented change.
Production Company(s): Fugitive Films
Producer(s): Lu Chuan, Jamie Gordon, Courtney Potts
Writer(s): Tristine Skyler
Director(s): Lu Chuan
Details: Based on the novel “River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze” written by Peter Kessler and published by HarperCollins Publishers in 2001.
SSN Insight: Lu’s credits include The Missing Gun, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, City Of Life And Death and The Last Supper.
Logline: About Josh, a five-star high school quarterback who wants to be a journalist. When he writes an article about his social experiment of changing his Facebook status from “single” to “interested in men,” a fellow male student with a crush on him creates a tribute video to “Josh the Gay Quarterback” that goes viral. The media picks it up, and Josh becomes a hero to gay teens.
Production Company(s): Digital Riot Media
Producer(s): Gabe Torres, Britt Logan, John Baldecchi
Writer(s): Gabe Torres, Britt Logan
Director(s): Gabe Torres
Cast: Gregg Sulkin
SSN Insight: Sulkin currently stars on MTV’s Faking It and his other credits include Pretty Little Liars and Wizards of Waverly Place.
Logline: During a violent robot uprising, a female android protects a young girl and tries to reunited her with her missing father, which might stem the tide of war.
Studio/Distributor(s): Screen Gems
Production Company(s): Energy Entertainment
Producer(s): Adam Rodin
Writer(s): Duncan Samarasinghe
SSN Insight: Rodin was a co-producer of the CBS series Extant and is producing the film Terrestrial set up at Lionsgate. His film Interrogation is awaiting release by WWE Studios.
The Evening Hour
Logline: Set in a small West Virginia mining town in the foothills of Appalachia, small-time drug dealer Cole Freeman is driven to action and redemption in response to a set of unexpected circumstances that threaten to tear apart the close-knit fabric of family.
Production Company(s): Star Thrower Entertainment
Producer(s): Trevor White, Tim White, Tom Skapars
Writer(s): Elizabeth Palmore
Director(s): Braden King
Cast: Michael Trotter, Cynthia Nixon, Brian Geraghty, Marin Ireland
Details: Based on the novel by Carter Sickels.
SSN Insight: Nell Gwynn first debuted in a sold-out limited engagement theater run at Shakespeare’s Globe last year with Gugu Mbatha-Raw cast as the lead.
The Good Liar
Logline: A veteran conman meets a wealthy widow online and believes she’s an easy mark, but before he can close the deal, there is a reckoning to be made.
Studio/Distributor(s): New Line Cinema
Details: Based on the novel “The Good Liar” written by pseudonymous author Nicholas Searle and published by Harper on January 14, 2016.
SSN Insight: The identity of the author is unknown. He was formerly a civil servant in the UK working on security issues before leaving in 2011 to write fiction and wrote “The Good Liar” while taking the Curtis Brown creative online course.
Untitled Claressa “T-Rex” Shields Project
Logline: The true story of Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, at teenager from Flint, Michigan who realized her dream to become the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Michael De Luca Productions
Producer(s): Michael De Luca, Elishia Holmes
Details: Based on the documentary “T-Rex” (2015) directed by Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper.
SSN Insight: Michael De Luca’s upcoming films include Inferno and Fifty Shades Darker.
Film Development for 3/17/16: Spielberg & Ford to Team Up Again on ‘Indiana Jones’ Sequel, Imperative Ent. Wins ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’
Among the other projects with updates this week are film about Brian Epstein’s pursuit of The Beatles, Harvey Weinstein making a movie with Jason Blum, a passel of casting news on American Express, and a brand new version of Cannonball Run in our future. There’s a lot more, of course, so click the link to read all about it. (SSN)
Network and studio have hammered out a template agreement granting the network full in-season stacking rights to all episodes of new series, settling an issue that has become increasingly contentious between networks and studios as both sides push to better monetize on-demand delayed viewing platforms. (VAR)
Looking Ahead: Amazon Partners With Roadside Attractions for Awards Season Release of ‘Manchester By the Sea’
Online giant has partnered with indie distributor to release the film, surely hoping to grab some Oscar buzz during its release. Amazon was able to snag Manchester By the Sea with a reported $10 million offer after a brutal bidding war at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where the film debuted to near-universal acclaim. Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan helmed the new drama starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler. (IW)
It was reported only a few weeks ago that the Game of Thrones star would be playing Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist, to star in a solo series and round out The Defenders team for Marvel and Netflix. After weathering a bit of social outcry and backlash for casting the White British Jones to play the White American Rand (a character who, arguably, appropriated Asian culture and history), Marvel and Netflix have confirmed Jones’ casting. (COL)
The Seemingly Cursed Reboot Of ‘The Crow’ Just Took Yet Another Hit, as Relativity Fires the Director
Director Corin Hardy has now left the project, as new producer Dana Brunetti once again re-starts the project from scratch. As troubled developments go, the new Crow is up there with the best of them. Blade director Stephen Norrington began working on it in 2008, but walked two years later. Subsequent directors Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and F. Javier Guitierrez would also both move on, and it’s also lost two Crows to date, Luke Evans and Jack Huston. (EMP)
Network’s attempt to find its own version of Game of Thrones has failed, as ABC has canceled the freshman drama. Shark Tank spinoff Beyond the Tank will take over its Tuesdays at 10 p.m. slot for the remainder of the season. Insiders say plans for the show’s future are currently being evaluated, though it will not air on ABC. (LF)
Actress is set to star in Fox Searchlight’s untitled Cold War drama from writer-director-producer Del Toro, and Octavia Spencer is in talks to join the cast. It’s described as a mysterious and magical other-worldly love story set in 1963 America. (DH)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice helmer said he wants to tackle a book by libertarian/conservative fave Rand, saying, “I have been working on The Fountainhead. I’ve always felt like The Fountainhead was such a thesis on the creative process and what it is to create something. Warner Bros. owns [Ayn Rand’s] script and I’ve just been working on that a little bit.” (TP)
Two-time Emmy winner Judd Hirsch has signed on to play the long-discussed but never seen husband to Christine Baranski’s character. The casting announcement happened Wednesday at PaleyFest in Los Angeles, and apparently Leonard himself was behind the whole thing. Actor Johnny Galecki met Hirsch at the NBC special for James Burrows and, according to Galecki, “bombarded” him about the role. (HP)
Roadside Attractions has released the first look at the upcoming real life story of world renowned book editor Maxwell Perkins (the man who discovered authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway) and the larger than life literary giant Thomas Wolfe. Starring Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman, the movie hits theaters June 10th. (CS)
A number of distributors are circling Tara Wood’s feature-length Quentin Tarantino documentary 21 Years, with the Weinstein Co, Netflix and Amazon believed to be in the mix. (DH)
Netflix has purchased The Little Prince from Paramount, picking up U.S. distribution in a move meant to finally bring the animated feature to stateside audiences. (EW)
Simon Pegg is in talks to join the ensemble of the Steven Spielberg directed adaptation, which takes place in 2044 and revolves around a highly valuable online virtual reality space called OASIS, in which most inhabitants of Earth spend their free time. (COLL)
Fox’s Prison Break revival is bringing back original stars Robert Knepper, Amaury Nolasco and Rockmond Dunbar, who are reprising their respective roles as T-Bag, Sucre and C-Note, respectively. (VAR)
Feature-length films from Tyler Oakley and Lilly Singh are making noise with studios micro-investing up to $1.5 million per movie and banking on millions of loyal subscribers to turn a profit. (THR)
Filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and James Cameron are facing off over Screening Room, Parker’s proposal for watching new movies at home. (FCC)
This year’s New York showcase of fresh talent behind the camera is another first-rate look at filmmakers who are going places. (IW)
An undated first draft by Jules Feiffer (based on the characters by E. C. Segar). (DS)
Goodbye, Felix Chester
Logline: After finding out he has a month left to live, high school junior Felix Chester focuses all of his time and energy on one goal: losing his virginity to his dream girl.
Production Company(s): Anonymous Content, Madhouse Entertainment
Director(s): Autumn de Wilde
Executive Producer(s): Adam Kolbrenner, Ryan Cunningham
Producer(s): Robyn Meisinger, Vanessa Coifman, Eric Stern, Steven M Gagnon
Cast: Olivia Luccardi, Bill Kottkamp, Jason Sims-Prewitt, Amelia Mae Sheikh
Writer(s): Max Taxe
SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2012 Black List. This film marks the directorial debut for Autumn de Wilde.
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): Levantine Films, Chernin Entertainment, Goldenlight Films
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, Kirsten Dunst
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. Henson can next be seen in the feature Term Life for Focus and is attached to The Best of Enemies.
Logline: An Israeli backpacker fights to survive when he gets lost in the Bolivian jungle.
Production Company(s): Dana Lustig Productions
Director(s): Greg McLean
Producer(s): Dana Lustig, Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, Mark Lazarus, Greg McLean
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe
Writer(s): Justin Monjo
Details: Based on the novel “Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Survival” written Yossi Ghinsberg and published by Boomerang New Media on September 1, 2005.
SSN Insight: Kevin Bacon was previously in talks to star.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Logline: Thomas finds that his memory is returning and realizes that Wicked cannot be trusted.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Distribution
Production Company(s): Gotham/Principal, Temple Hill Entertainment
Director(s): Wes Ball
Executive Producer(s): Wes Ball, T.S. Nowlin, Lindsay Williams, Eddie Gamarra
Producer(s): Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Lee Stollman, Joe Hartwick Jr.
Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden
Writer(s): T.S. Nowlin
Details: Based on the novel “The Death Cure”, the third installment of the novel series “The Maze Runner” written by James Dashner and published by Delacorte Press in October 2009. Second Sequel to “The Maze Runner” (2014), directed by Wes Ball and starring Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scodelario. Third installment in The Maze Runner film franchise.
SSN Insight: Wes Ball also directed the first two installments. Ball is also in active development on Fall of Gods for Fox, which he is attached as director and producer. While cameras did start rolling on March 14, due to Dylan O’Brien’s injury, production has been shut down.
Logline: A new widower and his 17-year-old son move from a small town to a big city for a new start and find romance, grow apart, come back together and discover themselves in the process.
Production Company(s): Matt Baer Films
Director(s): Kurt Voelker
Executive Producer(s): Jennifer Kelly, Joseph McKelheer, Bill Kiely
Producer(s): Matthew Baer, George Parra
Cast: J.K. Simmons, Julie Delpy, William H. Macy, Josh Wiggins, Odeya Rush
Writer(s): Kurt Voelker
SSN Insight: Kurt Voelker is a current staff writer on Game of Silence for NBC. J.K. Simmons upcoming films include The Meddler, The Accountant, Bastards and La La Land.
Logline: A lone female FBI agent is sent to investigate a murder on a remote Indian Reservation in the dead of winter, and she finds assistance from a man with a haunted past.
Production Company(s): Thunder Road Pictures, Film 44, Acacia Entertainment, Savvy Media Holdings
Director(s): Taylor Sheridan
Executive Producer(s): Erica Lee, Braden Aftergood, Elizabeth Bell
Producer(s): Basil Iwanyk, Peter Berg, Matthew George
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner
Writer(s): Taylor Sheridan
SSN Insight: Chris Pine was previously attached to co-star.
Logline: A bank robber desperately tries to escape the dragnet that is closing in on him.
Production Company(s): Elara Pictures
Director(s): Josh Safdie, Ben Safdie
Producer(s): Sebastian Bear-McClard, Oscar Boyson
Cast: Robert Pattinson
Writer(s): Josh Safdie, Ronald Bronstein
SSN Insight: Robert Pattinson’s upcoming films include The Childhood of a Leader and The Lost City of Z.
Logline: A sprawling, psychedelic ensemble piece that follows several serial killers over the course of a single night.
Production Company(s): Glass Eye Pix
Director(s): Mickey Keating
Executive Producer(s): Larry Fessenden
Producer(s): Mickey Keating, Jenn Wexler, William Day Frank, Cameron McLellan, Al Lewison
Cast: Jeremy Gardner, Helen Rogers, Larry Fessenden, Ashley Bell, Angela Trimbur
Writer(s): Mickey Keating
SSN Insight: Mickey Keating is also the writer-director of two upcoming films: Darling for Screen Gems and Carnage Park starring Ashley Bell.
-In our latest weekly series, SSN Insider will take a deep dive into the film ticket sales of the week leveraging data from the powerhouse ticketing website, MovieTickets.com. Not only will the infographic pinpoint which movies are claiming the largest piece of the pie from day to day in terms of sales but also which film had the biggest uptick in terms of a percentage variance surge and which had the biggest downtick or steepest dive between any two points.-
SSN Box Office Trending Report for 3/18/16: ‘Zootopia’ Nabs Lion’s Share of Tickets, While ‘Divergent: Allegiant’ a Close Second
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 3/18/16: Taraji P. Henson & Octavia Spencer Start ‘Hidden Figures’, Elizabeth Olsen & Jeremy Renner Begin ‘Wind River’
Also, Daniel Radcliffe enters the Jungle, Kurt Voelker gets rolling on his new film, The Bachelors, with J.K. Simmons, Julie Delpy, William H. Macy, Josh Wiggins and Odeya Rush, while Robert Pattinson’s Good Time wraps principal photography. There’s more, of course, so click the link to read all about it. (SSN)
YA movie adaptation’s star was injured on the set of the film today in Vancouver, BC. He was sent to the hospital immediately but did not offer details. O’Brien apparently fell off the back of a set that was supposed to look like the back of a train and fractured either his cheekbone or orbital socket (still not clear on the details) when he fell on his face. The production has been shut down “while he recovers,” the studio says. (DH)
Cannes Report: ‘The BFG’, Woody Allen’s Latest and More Will Screen, While Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Isn’t Yet Ready
A new report says that among the films to be screened are Shane Black’s The Nice Guys, Allen’s latest, which is apparently called Café Society (Out Of Competition), Sean Penn’s The Last Face,” and Jeff Nichols’ Loving (Competition). As per usual, Terrence Malick remains a question a mark though Voyage Of Time might be there, while word is that James Gray’s “The Lost City Of Z” won’t be finished either. (TP)
After filing one of Hollywood’s biggest ever bankruptcies in July, the company has won approval to exit Chapter 11. In February, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles approved a reorganization plan for the film studio. At the time, the judge made it conditional on Relativity finalizing paperwork and making a deal to get Dana Brunetti on board. The judge ruled today that the company has satisfied the conditions of its bankruptcy exit. (HESQ)
Studio is planning a return to the world of their 1985 animated feature, as it is looking at developing a new franchise based on Lloyd Alexander’s fantasy novel series. The second book in the fantasy novel series, also titled The Black Cauldron, was loosely adapted for the Walt Disney Animation feature. Executive Sam Dickerman is said to be overseeing the project. (CS)
Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are working to develop Audrey Carlan’s 12 book series Calendar Girl. ABC Studios’ cable arm, ABC Signature, gained the rights to the novels for the duo’s Fake Empire production company, which is based at the studio, to bring the idea to television. Story follows a young woman who, to pay off her father’s gambling debt, becomes a high-priced escort. (CB)
The Martian director is set to produce the feature adaptation of the book, co-authored by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows. Scott Free is packaging the material to take it out to buyers. YA story centers around Lady Jane Grey, who is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne – the least of the 16-year-old’s problems, really, given that she’s about to become Queen of England. (TB)
HBO Keeps Casting Its ‘American Gods’ Adaptation, Finds Its Laura Moon In the Form Of Emily Browning
Ricky Whittle and Ian McShane are already aboard the project, and now Browning has joined them. The novel chronicles the struggle between the gods of old and new, Shadow (Whittle), freshly released from prison, is trying to come to grips with his suddenly changing life and his connection with the Norse god Odin. Laura is Shadow’s wife, but far more than that. (EMP)
Fernandez will play a character named Scorsese, a pathologist with the LAPD who works with Riggs (Clayne Crawford) and Murtaugh (Damon Wayans Sr.). Meanwhile, Sharp is actually replacing Brooks, who was previously cast in the pilot to play Murtaugh’s wife Trish — a role originated by Darlene Love in the film franchise. The switch from Brooks to Sharp was made after a table read of the pilot yesterday. (SAA)
Disney’s animated juggernaut took in an estimated $38.04 million this weekend to lead the weekend box office for a third consecutive frame. The blockbuster 3D computer animated film was only down 26 percent from last weekend’s already strong hold. Meanwhile, the news was far less encouraging for Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Allegiant. The third installment of the young adult franchise debuted in second place with an estimated $29.05 million. (BO)
Film’s director Wes Ball has spoken up about the on-set accident that left franchise star O’Brien in the hospital Thursday. O’Brien was injured on the set of the YA series’ third installment, unfortunately titled The Death Cure, filming a scene that involved a vehicle. “After a few weeks of rest and recovery he’ll be back up and running to finish our adventure together,” he tweeted. (VAR)
Two actors are very close to finalizing their deals to star in Maniac for Paramount TV and Anonymous Content. Director Cary Fukunaga would helm the series. The director will executive produce the series along with Hill and Stone. Show is based on a 2014 Norwegian series of the same name about a man who lives a wonderful life. The only problem is that this life is only in his dreams. In reality, he’s a patient in a mental institution. (CB)
Following word earlier this month that director David Ayer’s Bright movie landed leading men in Joel Edgerton and Will Smith, the Max Landis-scripted fantasy cop feature has found a home at Netflix. The streaming service is making the film its biggest project to date, setting aside $90 million for the project. Likened to Ayer’s own End of Watch, the movie takes place in a fantasy realm and follows an Orc cop. Plans call for Bright to go into production this fall. (CS)
David Koepp will write the script for the film, after previously penning “Jurassic Park” and “War Of The Worlds” for Spielberg, as well as the mostly reviled last installment in this franchise, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, working from a story by George Lucas, who will not be involved this time around. All other details about the script and story are currently under wraps. The movie opens on July 19th, 2019. (TP)
The Supreme Court said today it will review a $399 million judgment against Samsung stemming from their decades-long patent fight. The case involved Apple’s charge that the South Korean-based company illegally copied patented aspects of the look of Apple’s iPhone. The justices will decide whether Samsung can be ordered to pay Apple the entirety of what it made for the phones at issue. (DH)
Pair has been tapped to star in the streaming giant’s original comedy series, picked up straight to series, the single-camera comedy will premiere in 2017 and hails from writer Victor Fresco. The comedy centers on married couple Joel and Sheila, realtors leading vaguely discontented lives in the Los Angeles suburb — until Sheila goes through a dramatic change that sends both of their lives down a road of death and destruction … but in a good way. (LF)
Studio has pushed the release back nearly a year, from April 29th to February 3rd, 2017. Based on a book of the same name by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, the film stars Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou and Jon Voight and marks the feature directorial debut of Michael Carney. The studio also announced a date change for the limited release of Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! The film will be moving from Friday, April 1st to Wednesday, March 30th. (THR)
HBO has dropped the first look at its upcoming biopic of Lyndon B. Johnson, based on the Tony Award-winning play. Bryan Cranston stars alongside Anthony Mackie, Melissa Leo, Bradley Whitford, and Stephen Root. The film, directed by Jay Roach, premieres May 21st. (COL)
There you are. Sitting at the computer keyboard. Not writing. Whether you label it procrastination, writer’s block, or lack of inspiration, the true cause of not writing is really only two things. A lack of clarity about your story, or it’s the crippling fear that your story will suck and no one will give a damn about what you want to say. Yup, you either don’t know your story, or the thought of your precious story potentially being crap is paralyzing. Thus, not writing. (SM)
Company Launches & Partnerships
Bravo Media and Mashable Studios will team up to co-produce four new short-form originals, rolling them out this year via Bravo Media’s and Mashable’s digital platforms. Bravo Media and Mashable Studios also recently worked on Real Thoughts with Real Housewives, a short-form digital series relating to the Real Housewives franchise. The first of the four new series to emerge from the new partnership will premiere this spring.
Viacom has signed a multi-year, cross-platform deal with comScore. Vantage, Viacom’s data platform for advertisers, will now leverage comScore’s measurement tools to help advertisers target specific consumers across multiple Viacom platforms and properties, including linear, VOD, and digital services.
Warner Bros. TV Group has reached a template agreement that grants ABC full in-season stacking rights to all episodes of new series, giving the network both the on-demand and streaming rights to all new episodes of series debuting next season, as well as from 2017-2018. Previously, Warner Bros. has only granted ABC a slate of five rolling episodes at a time to use across its platforms.
MCN Fullscreen has bought StageBloc, a fan-engagement startup that runs websites, marketing, and e-commerce operations for musicians and will rename it Fullscreen Direct. It will allow digital creators to engage with fans directly, whether through ticket-selling, exclusive content, or general discussion. StageBloc’s employees will stay on. A forthcoming SVOD service is also in the works from Fullscreen.
Plimsoll Productions now owns a minority stake in specialist distributor Magnify Media. Under the deal, Magnify will have exclusive rights to distribute Plimsoll’s catalogue. The company will also continue to work with third-party content. Plimsoll is a UK and U.S.-based factual entertainment and wildlife producer that currently producing 23 series and over 125 hours of programming for both domestic and international networks.
BAFTA is now accepting applications to the BAFTA Scholarship Programme, which enables talented British citizens, who are in need of financial support, to take a course in film, TV or games in the UK. The deadline for applications for the 2016-17 academic year is June 17. Recipients are granted up to £12K towards course fees, mentoring support, and access to BAFTA events.
Naomi Kawase is now the President of the Cinéfondation and has been named to the Short Films Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. Kawase was a previous Camera d’Or winner (1997’s Suzaku) and in 2015 opened Un Certain Regard with Sweet Bean.
Jameson Parker is now the Director of Development at Brightlight Pictures in Vancouver. Parker is an award-winning Canadian actor and producer, as well as a co-founder of Whiskaye Films. His credits include TV movie The Mechanics Of Love for Pixl, and sketch comedy pilot The Peter N’ Chris Show.
Christina Kounelias has been named the EVP of Worldwide Marketing & Communications at Participant Media (as of March 28th, 2016) She was previously the Chief Marketing Officer at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Terry Curtin has been hired on as the Head of Theatrical Publicity at DreamWorks Animation, to start on April 11. She was previously the Head of Strategic Marketing and Global Communications at STX Entertainment. She replaces Robin Chandler, who is leaving to start an independent consulting practice, with DreamWorks Animation as its first client.
Joe Aguilar has been named the CEO at Wink Animation in Shanghai. He was formerly the Chief Creative Officer at Oriental DreamWorks.
Christine Birch has been named the EVP of Domestic Creative Marketing Strategy at Sony Pictures Entertainment. She was previously the President of Marketing at Focus Features.
Steve Miller has been named the EVP of Creative Advertising at Broad Green Pictures. He was formerly the Head of Creative Services at A. Smith & Co. Productions.
Audrey Lee is now the EVP and Deputy General Counsel at Lionsgate. She was previously the SVP of Legal Affairs at Sony Pictures, overseeing legal work involving home entertainment and television distribution. In her new role, she will work on M&A and legal issues for SVOD channels, digital initiatives and location-based entertainment as well as marketing and promotions. James Marsh has been named the SVP of Investor Relations at Lionsgate. He was formerly the Managing Director at Piper Jaffray.
David Eilenberg has been named the President of ITV Entertainment, ITV America’s in-house reality production company and will oversee content creation. He was previously the SVP Unscripted Development, Late Night and Specials, at TNT and TBS, overseeing unscripted shows Cold Justice and Conan among others.
Richard Freudenstein is leaving his post as CEO of Australian pay-TV giant Foxtel to pursue new opportunities. Peter Tonagh will be taking over as CEO. Tonagh was previously the CEO of News Corp Australia.
Pauline Bohm has been upped from SVP to the EVP of International Marketing & Communications at NBCUniversal International Marketing & Communications.
Daniel Coronell has been upped from EVP, Executive Director to the President of News at Univision Communications in Miami.
Chris Deaux has been named the President at Two Fifteen West Entertainment. He was formerly the SVP and an Executive Producer at Intuitive Entertainment. Joanne Yang has been named the Senior Director of Development at Two Fifteen West Entertainment. She was previously the Director of Development at Intuitive Entertainment.
Dawn Olmstead has renewed her contract and has expanded her role as in addition to being the EVP of Development at Universal Cable Prods. she will add oversight of development for Wilshire Studios, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s unscripted production abnner, while continuing to handle scripted development for UCP.
Jed Meyer has been named the EVP of Corporate Research at Univision Communications in New York. He was formerly the Global Research Director at Annalect.
Jonathan Abraham has been named the Director of International Sales & Acquisitions at Portfolio Entertainment in Toronto. He was formerly the Manager of International Sales & Marketing at Zuru.
Jonas Agin has been upped from Executive Director to the VP of Original Series at Disney Channel & Disney XD. Lauren Kisilevsky has been upped from Executive Director to the VP of Original Movies at Disney Channel.
Colin Devenish has been named the SVP, Development at Intuitive Entertainment. He was formerly the VP, Development at Peacock Productions.
Lisa Edwards has been named the Creative Director of Factual at Lion Television in London. She was previously the Director of Programmes at Twenty Twenty.
David Eilenberg has been named the President at ITV Entertainment. He was formerly the SVP of Unscripted Development at TNT and TBS.
Tim Hancock has been named the Commissioning Editor of Features & Daytime at Channel 4 in London. He was formerly the Head of Development at Naked Entertainment.
Brian Morewitz has been upped from VP to the SVP of Drama Development at ABC Entertainment.
Andrew Woodhead has been named the Managing Director at Working Title Television UK in London. He was formerly the Executive Producer at Kudos Film & Television.
Management, PR, Agencies
As previously announced last week, Michael Donkis and Joy Fehily have been named EVPs of Entertainment Strategy & Development at PMK-BNC. They Co-Founded Prime PR which has since been folded into PMK-BNC. As part of the move, Maria Herrera, Rebecca Taylor, Cassandra Vargas, Rachael Reiss and Caitlin Scott have been hired on as Publicists at PMK-BNC. There were previously Publicists at Prime PR.
Bill Gersh has been upped from Coordinator to an Alternative TV & Digital Packaging Agent at Gersh.
Adam R. Mehr has been named a Partner at Pryor Cashman LLP. He was formerly a Partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP.
Alec Shankman has been upped from VP to the SVP, Head of Alternative Programming, Digital Media, Licensing & Branding at Abrams Artists.
Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.
Tom Rothman has been appointed by President Obama to the National Council on the Arts. The council advises the National Endowment for the Arts chairman on agency policies and reviews grant applications, funding guidelines, and leadership initiatives. Rothman is currently the Chairman of the Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.
Sam Barlow will now serve as the Executive Creative Director, conceiving and directing new interactive experiences at interactive tech and video firm Interlude. Barlow is a video game director and developer; his interactive movie Her Story won for Best Narrative at the 2015 Game Awards.
Katy Chen is leaving her post as VP of Unscripted Development at MCN Fullscreen to pursue other opportunities. In the interim, Lisa Anderson, Manager of Unscripted, and Taylor Paul, Coordinator of Unscripted, will fill her previous duties.
Gabriel Brakin is now the General Counsel at Participant Media in addition to his role as EVP of Business Affairs. He will handle film financing and investments, work on implementing strategic business initiatives and manage the Business Affairs team.
Zamora Dean has been named the Senior Manager of Licensing & Marketing at 4k Media Inc. in New York. She was previously the Licensing Manager at COPCorp/Knockout Licensing.
Exec Shuffle for 3/21/16: Bravo and Mashable Teaming Up, Tom Rothman Appointed to National Council on the Arts, Viacom Signs Pact with comScore
Other exec shuffles include, MCN Fullscreen buying StageBloc, a fan engagement startup for the music industry and Naomi Kawase, President of the Cinéfondation, being named to the Short Films Jury at the Cannes Film Festival. (SSN)
The Battle Of Versailles, an HBO Films movie about the 1973 Palace of Versailles fashion show that put American designers and black models on the map, is being directed by Ava DuVernay. She is co-writing the project, now in development, with Michael Starrbury. (DH)
Terry Curtin is joining DreamWorks Animation as head of theatrical publicity. She will succeed Robin Chandler, who is stepping down to form an independent consulting firm. (THR)
Emma Stone has been attached to play the lead in Letters From Rosemary, the Black List spec script by Nick Yarborough about the oldest, seldom-talked-about Kennedy sister. (VUL)
Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, and Rachel Griffiths have all joined ABC’s When We Rise, a miniseries event from screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, which chronicles the struggles of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement. (EW)
CBS has found its modern-day MacGyver in X-Men star Lucas Till. Till will take on the title character first made famous by Richard Dean Anderson in the network’s pilot reboot of the 1980’s television series. (VAR)
Marti Noxon’s directorial debut, To The Bone, a dark comedy that tackles the sensitive subject of anorexia, has cast actress Lily Collins. (EMP)
From Toy Story to The Good Dinosaur, here are 22 things you might not have known about your favorite Pixar movies. (MF)
Bombs struck the Brussels airport and one of the city’s metro stations today, killing at least 31 people and wounding 187 — and once again, a European capital was locked down amid heightened security threats. The two airport blasts, at least one of which was blamed on a suicide bomber, left behind a chaotic scene of splattered blood in the departure lounge as windows were blown out, ceilings collapsed and travelers streamed out of the building. (HRC)
Actress is going to play the infamous Olympic figure skater in the biopic I, Tonya, from writer Steven Rogers. No director is yet on board. Film is set to tell the story of the famous figure skater whose husband tried to take out her competition, fellow figure skater and eventual Silver Medal winner Nancy Kerrigan. (CB)
In the wake of the weak box office of Allegiant, the third picture in the Divergent franchise based on Veronica Roth’s young adult novels, sources say Lionsgate will cut the budget of the fourth and final movie in the series, Ascendant, due to start shooting this summer. Sources estimate Allegiant’s budget at $110 million. The upcoming picture is still being written and no final budget has yet been determined. (THR)
Cable net is developing New People, a drama series from writer Don Roos, who is executive producing with Silver and Rodney Ferrell. Freeform has given a script order to the project, which is produced by Lionsgate Television and Silver’s shingle Silver Pictures. The series is based on the novel “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family,” which tells the story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother and their family. (VAR)
Gwendoline Christie will take a break from swordplay to star opposite Moss in Season 2 of SundanceTV’s Emmy-winning show. The new episodes pick up four years after the events of the Season 1 finale, when the unidentified body of an Asian girl washes up on to Sydney’s Bondi Beach. The network wouldn’t release any details about Christie’s character on Monday, except to say that her role is a major one. (TVL)
A Perfect Guy director David M. Rosenthal has taken over the director’s chair of the project and is bringing that movie’s star Michael Ealy to headline. The original film starred Tim Robbins as a Vietnam veteran living in New York City. Haunted by his past, he begins a descent into madness. The new take is said to reexamine the themes of the original against a contemporary backdrop, offering “a modern day paranoid action thriller about two brothers.” (CS)
Late last week, reports began to come out linking the Star Wars: The Force Awakens star to the forthcoming Tomb Raider reboot. The project, which has director Roar Uthaug and screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet attached, is circling its lead and move forward. It wasn’t until yesterday that Ridley herself confirmed that there have been conversations about the role, saying, “I’m waiting for someone to say ‘I want you, let’s do it.” (FSR)
Actor’s second film as part of his four picture deal with the streaming giant, will premiere Friday, May 27th the streaming service has announced. The film sees Sandler and David Spade as a pair of down on their luck friends who decide to start their lives over by faking their own deaths and assuming new identities. Unfortunately, it turns out the people whose identities they stole were themselves in a heap of trouble. (DH)
Online shopping and streaming giant and BBC Worldwide North America announced today a multi-year content licensing agreement to make Prime Video the exclusive US subscription streaming home for the award-winning series. The program will be available for free to Amazon Prime subscribers. Seasons one through eight of the rebooted Doctor Who and the associated specials will be available from March 27th, with Season Nine up in the fall. (BC)
Max La Bella has the same story that most aspiring filmmakers have. He grew up loving movies and building worlds out of LEGOs before realizing that he could be the one to make cinematic universes for others to play in, eventually cruising off to film school to chase his dream job. This is still the same story that belongs to several aspiring filmmakers. (IW)
Studio: ABC Studios
Production Company(s): Fake Empire
Executive Producer(s): Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage
Logline: Mia Saunders becomes a high-priced adult escort in order to pay off the gambling debts of her father. Based on the novel series.
Details: Based on the 12-book “Calendar Girl” novel series, written by Audrey Carlan and first published by Waterhouse Press in 2015.
SSN Insight: The project is currently out to writers, no network has been set. Savage previously developed Gossip Girl with Schwartz, and also adapted the Astronaut Wives Club as an event series for ABC.
Production Company(s): Universal 1440 Entertainment, WGBH Boston, Imagine Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Joe Fallon
Writer(s): Joe Fallon
Logline: Based on the adventures of Curious George the monkey and his friend, The Man with the Yellow Hat. Each episode has two short cartoons per half-hour episode and a live-action segment after each story.
Details: Based on the children’s book series of the same name, written by Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey.
SSN Insight: Hulu has acquired exclusive subscription streaming rights in a multi-year deal to Curious George, forged by the NBCU Television & New Media Distribution group. The past nine seasons that aired on PBS Kids along with TV specials will be stream on Hulu along with future seasons.
Network: TV Land
Production Company(s): Lakeshore Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi
Writer(s): Jason Micallef
Logline: Set in the present day, the series follows the trials and tribulations of dealing with the social order in high school. A new set of popular-yet-evil Heathers emerges- only this time the outcasts have become high school royalty. Heather McNamara is a black lesbian; Heather Duke is a male who identifies as gender-queer whose real name is Heath; and Heather Chandler has a body like Martha Dumptruck. Based on the film.
Details: Based on the film, “Heathers” (1989), directed by Michael Lehmann and starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.
SSN Insight: TV Land has ordered a pilot script for Heathers by Jason Micallef who wrote the feature film, Butter.
Production Company(s): The Firm, The Weinstein Company
Executive Producer(s): Jeff Kwatinetz, Josh Barry
Writer(s): Cami Delavigne
Logline: Set in the world of high end New York architecture, a brilliant, but struggling architect gets seduced by a billionaire’s daughter as she takes him under her wing and launches his career into the world of celebrity architecture.
SSN Insight: DeLavigne has previously developed projects for SundanceTV and worked on AMC’s upcoming drama series The Son.
Production Company(s): Objective Productions, All3Media America
Executive Producer(s): Jimmy Fox, Layla Smith, Greg Lipstone
Logline: Three lifelong friends, who grew up together in the entertainment business and became household names – now take on even bigger roles as moms, wives and businesswomen.
SSN Insight: POP has given a series order of eight episodes. The unscripted docu-comedy series will star Full House star Jodie Sweetin, Step By Step‘s Christine Lakin and 7th Heaven‘s Beverley Mitchell
Network: E! Networks
Production Company(s): Bunim/Murray Productions
Executive Producer(s): Mariah Carey, Stella Bulochnikov Stolper, Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins, Farnaz Farjam
Logline: The series follows Mariah Carey as she begins her “Sweet Sweet Fantasy” tour of the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa, all while planning her upcoming wedding to Australian business mogul, James Packer.
SSN Insight: E! has given a series order of eight hourlong episodes. Mariah’s World will air globally over E!’s 17 international channels going out to 153 countries in 24 languages.
My Life is a Telenovela
Network: WE tv
Production Company(s): Matador Content
Logline: Set in Miami, the show is focused on the real characters who bring life to this enormously popular television genre. The series will follow a group of beautiful and fierce Latina actresses and actors working in this hyper-competitive world. As the series begins, several of our characters are vying for the same role in a real life telenovela being produced by Telemundo, resulting in drama and fireworks on both sides of the camera.
SSN Insight: WE tv has given a series order of eight episodes. The series will feature telenovela stars Raquenel, Sissi Fleitas, Gustavo Pedraza, Enrique Sapene and Liliana Gonzalez.
Production Company(s): Silver Pictures Television
Executive Producer(s): Donald Roos, Joel Silver, Rodney Ferrell
Logline: The story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother and their family’s journey. Based on the book, “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family.”
Details: Inspired by a true story. Based on the book, “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family,” written by Amy Ellis Nutt and published by Random House on October 20, 2015.
SSN Insight: The project under Silver Pictures’ first-look deal with Lionsgate TV. The ABC Family (now Freeform) docuseries, Becoming Us previously had a transgender member in the show.
Network: BBC 2
Production Company(s): Lucky Giant Productions
Executive Producer(s): James Wood, Justin Davies
Writer(s): James Wood
Logline: Set in the 1840s Victorian era, the series follow the adventures of three medical pioneers- a psychiatrist, an arrogant surgeon and a hapless anesthetist. It will explore the perils and pitfalls facing these young men at the cutting edge of medicine when it was just going places.
SSN Insight: BBC 2 has given a series order of six half-hour episodes. The series is being made in association with the independent global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health through science, research and engagement with society, The Wellcome Trust.
Studio: Universal Cable Productions
Production Company(s): Hypnotic
Executive Producer(s): Dawn Parouse Olmstead, David Bartis, Doug Liman, Gene Klein
Writer(s): Gideon Raff
Logline: The series explores today’s post-treaty Iran, a place where nothing is what it seems. The story is told through the points of view of Harry Pappas, a CIA officer who sets out to identify the sender of an encrypted message coming from inside one of Iran’s nuclear facilities, and Karim Molavi, an Iranian scientist driven to betray his country in order to protect it from itself. Instrumental to the story is the UK black ops unit known as “the Increment,” a new world collection of agents – Arab, Pakistani and Iranian operatives- who can penetrate terror organizations and enemy states. A dangerous cat-and-mouse game unfolds between the Revolutionary Guard and the Western agencies.
Details: Based on the novel, “The Increment,” written by David Ignatius and published by W. W. Norton & Company on May 18, 2009.
SSN Insight: A network has not been set. Raff co-created and executive produced Showtime’s Homeland and FX’s Tyrant.
Network: Verizon go90 (digital)
Production Company(s): Pilgrim Studios, Adaptive Studios Inc.
Executive Producer(s): Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Marc Joubert, Perrin Chiles, Craig Piligian
Logline: A cross between The Amazing Race and the classic playground game cops and robbers. One contestant will be selected as the titular runner, and it will be his or her job to cross the United States in 30 days without getting caught by the other participants. The runner will follow clues that will lead him or her to a series of checkpoints; those checkpoints will provide temporary safety, though between them, it will be open season for the hunters.
SSN Insight: Affleck and Damon first sold The Runner to ABC in 2000. The Runner was revived by Yahoo in 2006. Go90 is Verizon’s recently launched free, ad-supported video platform.
The Santa Clarita Diet
Production Company(s): Flower Films, Kapital Entertainment, KatCo
Executive Producer(s): Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Victor Fresco, Aaron Kaplan, Tracy Katsky
Logline: Husband and wife realtors who lead vaguely discontented lives in the L.A. suburb of Santa Clarita, until one goes through a dramatic change sending both their lives down a road of death and destruction, in a good way.
SSN Insight: KatCo’s first series order under the company’s deal with Kapital Entertainment. Netflix has ordered 13 episodes.
Untitled New York Cosmos Project
Production Company(s): Rohan Media, Primary Wave
Executive Producer(s): Werner Roth, Roy Houlette, Ben Press
Logline: Set in the 1970’s, the series will follow the brief existence of the North American Soccer League, which spanned 1968-1984, through the story of its most famous club, the New York Cosmos.
SSN Insight: The drama project is done with the cooperation of the New York Cosmos, with former captain Werner Roth serving as an executive producer. The project is currently out to writers, and the show has not been picked up by a network.
TV Development for 3/22/16: Hulu Lands Rights to ‘Curious George’, TV Land Rebooting ‘Heathers’, E! Greenlights ‘Mariah’s World’
Other TV development news includes, ABC Studios nabs Calendar Girl novel for series and Lionsgate developing a transgender series based on a book. (SSN)
Gina Prince-Bythewood will direct and Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star in An Untamed State, an adaptation of Roxane Gay’s debut novel that the director will co-write with the author for Fox Searchlight. (DH)
Warner Bros. has dated a quartet of films including Ben Affleck’s Live by Night, which Affleck directed and adapted from a Dennis Lehane best-seller and will bow Oct. 20, 2017. (THR)
Mae Whitman has joined Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival in the ultimate TV mom crossover between Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. (VUL)
Participant Media has hired Bob Pilon to lead its social impact team, bringing to the multi-media company a veteran of multiple non-profit operations, including the ONE Campaign, the international organization co-founded by U2’s Bono. (VAR)
Bruce Greenwood has been tapped to play Houseman patriarch Jake opposite Debra Messing’s Marjorie in ABC’s three-hour Dirty Dancing remake. (TVL)
Summit Entertainment has released a number of new images from Deepwater Horizon, a disaster drama that tells the true story behind the 2010 BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg. (COLL)
The New York International Children’s Film Festival has announced the winners of its 2016 edition. The Grand Prize winners were live-action feature Birds of Passage and stop-motion animated short A Town Called Panic: Return to School. (AM)
Epic new trailer for The Huntsman: Winter’s War with Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt. (IW)