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Film Development For 9/18/14: ‘Darkest Minds’ Adaptation Set For 20th Century Fox




I Saw the Devil (Remake) Logline: After his fiancé is murdered by a madman, a man’s quest for revenge turns him from good guy to bad guy. Production Companies:  Snoot Entertainment, 1984 Private Defense Contractors Producers:  Keith Calder, Jessica Calder, Spencer Silna, Adi Shankar Writer:  Simon Barrett Director: Adam Wingard Details: Based on the film I Saw the Devil (2010/South Korea), directed by Kim Jee-woon.  SSN Insight: Project marks the third collaboration of writer Simon Barrett, director Adam Wingard teaming with Snoot Entertainment (The Guest and You’re Next) Darkest Minds Logline: A 16-year-old with telekinetic powers joins a group of teens on the run from the government. Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company:  21 Laps Entertainment Producer: Shawn Levy Writer:  Chad Hodge Details: Based on the novel Darkest Minds, written by Alexandra Bracken and published by Disney Hyperion December 11, 2012. Novel is the first in a trilogy.  SSN Insight: Project marks first studio film writing gig for TV veteran Chad Hodge.


Mourning Glory Logline: When a single mother loses her job, she looks for a rich husband by going to funerals of wealthy widowers and pretending to be a friend of the departed. Studio/Distributor: Lionsgate Production Companies: Grey Eagle Films, Mandeville Films/TV Producers:  David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Jonathan Adler, Stephen Greenwald Writer: Karen Leigh Hopkins Details: Based on the novel Mourning Glory, written by Warren Adler and published by Kensington Books in 2001.  SSN Insight: Project marks Grey Eagle Film’s 3rd acquisition of a Warren Adler novel (The War of the Roses: The Children and Target Churchill). Uncle Sam Logline: A teenager who is going to go into the military investigates his father’s disappearance. Production Company:  Madbrook Films Producers:  Boyd Holbrook, Madeline Sackler Writer: Boyd Holbrook Director: Boyd Holbrook  SSN Insight: Project marks actor Boyd Holbrook’s feature writing and directorial debut. The Death and Life of John F. Donovan Logline: An American movie star has a secret correspondence with an 11-year-old Londoner. Director: Xavier Dolan  SSN Insight: Project marks director Xavier Dolan’s English-language debut. All We Had Logline: A woman and her 13-year-old daughter live on the edge of poverty. Production Company:  Tribeca Films Producers:  Jane Rosenthal, Katie Holmes, Berry Welsh Cast: Katie Holmes Writer:  Josh Boone Director: Katie Holmes Details: Based on the novel All We Had: A Novel by Annie Weatherwax; published by Scribner August 5, 2014.   SSN Insight: Project marks the directorial debut of Katie Holmes Ziggy Logline: A British hunchback moves to New York City and falls in love with the wife of a wealthy aristocrat, which ultimately makes him go insane. Production Company:  Electric City Entertainment Producers:  Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell Cast: Dane DeHaan, Rooney Mara Writer:  Diesel Schwarze Director: Diesel Schwarze  SSN Insight: Project marks the feature directorial debut of Baz Luhrmann’s protégé, Australian writer/director Diesel Schwarze.

Ang Lee Helming ‘Long Halftime Walk’ for Tom Rothman’s TriStar, Shark Spec Script Goes To Sony, ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Sequel Loses Director


2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Roaming Arrivals

Ang Lee Helming 'Long Halftime Walk' for Tom Rothman's TriStar

The Life of Pi helmer has signed on to direct an adaptation of Ben Fountain’s satirical novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk for TriStar Productions and Film4. (THR)

Shark Spec Script Goes To Sony

Sony Pictures has won a vigorous bidding battle pegged at high-six figures for In The Deep, a spec script by Tony Jaswinski. (DH)

Olympus Has Fallen Sequel Loses Director

With shooting just six weeks away, Fredrik Bond and Millennium have parted ways over the sequel. (THR)

British Biz, BBC Relieved By Scotland’s Decision

The British establishment is breathing a collective sigh of relief as Scotland has voted by a margin of 10% to stay in the United Kingdom. (VAR)

Amazon's New Series Transparent Is a Game-Changer

With Jeffrey Tambor as a dad who's becoming a mom, the new streaming series vaults past Netflix into HBO territory. (IW)

How Larry Ellison has made his mark on Hollywood (so far)

The billionaire founder of Oracle Corp., built one of the biggest companies in the technology industry, but his influence hasn't stopped there. (LAT)

Marion Cotillard Starrer ‘Two Days, One Night’ Enters Foreign-Language Oscar Campaign

Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s film will represent Belgium in the foreign-language Oscar campaign. (VAR)

Endemol Studios Signs Byron Balasco In First Overall Deal

Balasco, creator and showrunner of DirecTV’s upcoming original series Kingdom, has inked an overall deal with the production company behind the MMA drama, ahead of Kingdom‘s October 8 premiere. (DH)

What Netflix’s Algorithims Get Wrong

The problem with Netflix persists: it’s a candy store with limited selection, that promises you a magical world of sugar but then only offers swedish fish and stale gummy bears. (FLAV)

Watch: Billy Crystal and Jimmy Fallon Remember Robin Williams

Last night the two proceeded to trade wonderful stories about Williams. (VUL)

Rep Moves For 9/19/14: APA, Gersh, Paradigm & More


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APA: Actress and singer Bonnie Somerville is now repped by Jim Osborne, Ryan Martin and Ashley Hanley. Somerville just wrapped production on the indie feature Pearly Gates, opposite Ozu Aduba and Scott Grimes. She also recently had a starring role in the CBS series Golden Boy, which aired in 2013. Starting her career in the late nineties, Somerville has appeared in numerous roles on series that have included Grosse Pointe, Friends, The OC, Kitchen Confidential, NYPD Blue and Kitchen Mafia. Her feature credits have included Spider-Man 2, The Ugly Truth and the Hallmark movie Holiday Engagement. Somerville also performs as a singer/songwriter in Los Angeles. Her song Winding Road was featured on the Garden State soundtrack and she currently sings with Band from TV, a charity band composed of television actors.

APA: Actress Azure Parsons is now repped by Dan Baron. Parsons will soon appear as Annie Glenn, one of the lead characters on ABC’s limited series Astronaut Wives Club, which is set to premiere mid-season. She also recently recurred on WGN America’s drama series Salem and had a guest spot earlier this year on HBO’s True Detective. Starting her career in the early 2000s, Parsons’ other television credits have included roles on The Young and the Restless, Castle and Death Valley. She also appeared in the features 2 Guns, Paradise and Camera Bleak. Up next, Parsons will appear in the feature Dark Places, an adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel that stars Charlize Theron and Christina Hendricks.

Gersh: Danish writer, director and editor Kristian Levring is now repped by Frank Wuliger. Levring most recently directed The Salvation, starring Mads Mikkelson and Eva Green. That film became a surprise out of competition hit at Cannes and sold its multi-territory rights to Universal Pictures International. Graduating from the National Film School of Denmark, Levring started his career as an editor, working on numerous documentaries and features before moving on to directing with Et skud fra hjertet. Becoming the fourth signatory of the highly influential Dogme95 film movement, Levring’s directing credits have included the Dogme feature The King is Alive, as well as the features The Intended and Den Du frygter (Fear Me Not). IFC will handle The Salvation’s North American distribution.

Gersh: Actress Michelle Trachtenberg is now repped by Ken Kaplan and Steven Gersh. Trachtenberg recently appeared in National Geographic’s television movie Killing Kennedy, opposite Rob Lowe. She also had guest spots last year on Criminal Minds and NCIS: Los Angeles. Beginning her career as a child actress on The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Trachtenberg soon landed the lead role in Harriet the Spy, as well as a series regular role on the CBS series Meego. After successfully making the leap into adult roles, Trachtenberg went on to star as Dawn Summers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Georgina Sparks on Gossip Girl. Her other series credits have included Six Feet Under, Love Bites and Weeds. Her feature credits have included EuroTrip, Mysterious Skin, Ice Princess, Black Christmas and 17 Again. Trachtenberg will next star in the television movie Save the Date.

Innovative Artists: Actress Sarah Lancaster is now repped by David Lederman and Steven Muller. Lancaster will soon be seen in the David Dobkin feature The Judge, playing Robert Downey Jr.’s ex-wife. She also recently appeared in a recurring role on the Lifetime series Witches of East End. Getting her big break as Rachel Meyers on Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Lancaster may be best known for her role as Ellie Bartowski on Chuck. She also played Madison Kellner on Everwood, as well as Marjorie on What About Brian. Lancaster’s feature credits have included Cruel Intentions 2, Catch Me If You Can and Smother. Lancaster also recently appeared in the television movies Love Finds You in Sugarcreek and Looking for Mr. Right.

Paradigm: Veteran comedy showrunner Ric Swartzlander is now repped by Michael Van Dyck, Debbee Klein, Adam Kanter and Rich Rogers. Swartzlander most recently served as executive producer and showrunner for the TBS comedy Cougar Town, as well as the TV Land series The Soul Man. Starting his career in the early nineties, Swartzlander has written and served as a producer on such series as Grace Under Fire, Ellen, The Ellen Show, 8 Simple Rules, Samantha Who? and Sports Night. He also created and executive produced ABC’s Rodney and served as showrunner on CBS’ Gary Unmarried.

UTA: Actor Cam Gigandet is now repped by Brian Nossokoff, Theresa Peters, and Scott Schachter. Gigandet currently stars on the CBS legal drama Reckless. He also recently appeared in the features Red Sky, 4 Minute Mile, Bad Johnson and In the Blood. Gigandet’s early roles included recurring parts on The Young and The Restless and Jack & Bobby before he landed his best-known role, recurring as Kevin Volchok on The O.C., a character named after his agent at that time. Gigandet almost memorably played the villain in the first Twilight feature and he has appeared in the features Priest, Easy A, Burlesque and The Roommate. Next up, Gigandet will appear in the indie feature Broken Vows, as well as Sitter Cam, both of which are currently in post.

Public Relations

42West: Actor, writer, comedian, director and producer Bob Odenkirk is now a client. Odenkirk is currently shooting the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. He also recently appeared in the FX series Fargo, as well as Alexander Payne’s feature Nebraska. Starting out as a writer in the eighties, Odenkirk has led a prolific and varied career, with early jobs working as a writer on such series as Saturday Night Live, Get A Life, The Ben Stiller Show and The Dennis Miller Show. In the mid-nineties, Odenkirk had a major breakthrough co-creating and co-starring in the Emmy-nominated HBO sketch series Mr. Show with Bob and David, alongside David Cross. Odenkirk has since appeared in a number of television series and films, including a recurring role on The Larry Sanders and his career-changing performance as Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad. Odenkirk is also a director, having helmed such features as Melvin Goes to Dinner, Let’s Go to Prison and The Brothers Solomon.

Exec Shuffle For 9/19/14: FOX TV, Viacom, eOne, HBO, Shine America, Endemol & More



Company Launches

Bastei LLC: Imperative Entertainment and German media and publishing company Bastei Lübbe AG have launched a new joint venture, Bastei LLC. The new company will combine the publishing and new media prowess from Bastei Lübbe AG with the entertainment expertise from Imperative Entertainment to develop content for film, television and video games.

Fire Engine 13: Producer Robert Curran has launched a new television production shingle, Fire Engine 13. The company will focus on developing and producing character-driven scripted and unscripted programming in addition to consulting for other production houses.

Indigenous Media: Jon Avnet, Jake Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia have launched a new digital production company, Indigenous Media. Indigenous Media will produce original and branded content for digital and emerging platforms worldwide. Jon Miller has joined as a non-executive Chairman.

Kapital International: Sharon Horgan's Merman Films in the UK and Aaron Kaplan's Los Angeles based Kapital Entertainment have launched a new venture, Kapital International. The television production shingle will develop American programming for the UK market.

Los Angeles Media Fund: Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman have launched a new film production and financing shingle, Los Angeles Media Fund. The venture seeks to invest in films in the mid-budget range. Patrick Murray has joined as the Head of Finance and Nicolas Charles is joining as Head of Productions & Development.

Mare Nostrum: Spanish production company Morena Films and producer Alexandra Lebret have launched a new productions shingle, Mare Nostrum. Mare Nostrum seeks to produce three to four European films, one local French film and one larger international film each year.

Studios, Networks, and Media Conglomerates

20th Century Fox Television: Grant Gish has been promoted to Vice President, Animation.

CBS Television Distribution: Becky Brooks has joined as Vice President, Current Programming. Joe Ferullo has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Current Programming.

Discovery Studios: Shauna Thomas has joined as an Executive Producer.

InterActiveCorp: Bonnie Hammer has joined the Board of Directors.

Lionsgate: Kerry Phelan has joined as Executive Vice President, Global Franchise Management.

Sony Pictures Television: Kim Rozenfeld has been named Executive Vice President, US Scripted Programming.

Viacom: Jason Jordan has been named Senior Vice President, Digital Operations, Strategy & Finance and Chief Operating Officer, Bellator MMA. Momita SenGupta has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Production.


Content Partners, LLC: Dan McIntosh has joined as Executive Vice President, General Counsel.

eOne: Steve Bertram has joined as President, Global Film Group.

Film Independent: Dea Vazquez has joined as Coordinator, Artist Development.

Imperative Entertainment: Jasmine Daghighian has been named Coordinator.

Open Road Films: Kassee Whiting has joined as Manager, Production & Acquisitions.

RatPac Entertainment: Paul Neinstein has joined as Chief Operating Officer.

Skydance Productions: Larry Wasserman has joined as Chief Financial Officer.

STX Entertainment: Kevin Grayson has joined as President, Domestic Distribution.

The Jim Henson Company: Richard Goldsmith has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Global Distribution & International Consumer Products. Francesca Stobbe has joined as Executive Director, International Consumer Products.


7Wonder: Chris Wilson has joined as Head, Popular Factual.

Endemol Brazil: Marcello Leão Braga has joined as General Manager.

Entertainment Studios: JD Black has joined as Senior Vice President, Global Digital Marketing.

King & Country: Lisa Miller has joined as Managing Director, Networks & Brands.

Shine America: Ted Bookstaver has joined Shine International as Senior Vice President, Head of Americas.

Teletoon: Athena Georgaklis has been promoted to Director, Content.

Whalerock Industries: John-Eric Capps has been named Creative Executive. Kate Lewis has been named Coordinator, Film & Television.

Agencies, Management Companies, Public Relations, and Law Firms

CAA: Carly Allen has been promoted to Marketing Executive. Ali Gallagher has been promoted to Executive, Sports Consulting. Santini Reali has been promoted to Agent, Television. Kristin Whalley has been promoted to Marketing Executive.

Entertain Impact/Commit Media: Katie Kornfield has joined as Vice President, Communications & Entertainment Partnerships.

Hawthorne Direct: Steve D’Amico has joined as Vice President, Account Director.

Marshak/Zachary/Mills: Alan Mills has been promoted to Partner, Manager.  

Shelter PR: Maria Candida has joined as Publicist. Lauren Gold has joined as Senior Publicist.


E!: Ricky Nachbar has been named Manager, Casting & Talent Development.

Fusion: Wade Beckett has joined as Chief Programming Officer.

HBO Entertainment: Christine Kim has been promoted to Coordinator.

Lifetime: Tracy Lenhart has joined as Vice President, Consumer Marketing.

Ovation: Jodi Lipes has joined as Senior Vice President, Marketing.

Starz Entertainment: Stacey Libbrecht has been promoted to Vice President, Creative Services. Michael Messina has been promoted to Vice President, Digital Media.


Collab: Chris Rudy has joined as Vice President, Talent Development.

Endemol Beyond USA: Rico Martinez has joined as Chief Programming Officer.

Machinima: Daniel Tibbits has joined as Chief Content Officer.

Portal A: Evan Bregman has joined as Head, Original Content.

Maze Runner Producers Talk YA Adaptations, Scott Frank on A Walk Among the Tombstones, SSN’s Exec Shuffle and Rep Moves





Maze Runner Producers Talk YA Adaptations

Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Wyck Godfrey talked to SSN Insider about the challenges of adapting material with a rabid fan base. (SSN)

Scott Frank on A Walk Among the Tombstones

Frank talks about his second directing experience, why he feels he underserved the female characters in the film, and how he’s expanding beyond his screenwriting duties. (SSN)

Fantastic Fest: 10 Mondo Con Artists Ripe For Hollywood Crossover

In honor of Mondo Con, we’ve decided to run down a list of the top ten artists who will appear at the fest, and hypothesize how they could, with just a few choice phone calls and employment offers, take over Hollywood. (SSN)

SSN's Exec Shuffle For 9/19/14

The latest news about exec moves, new hires, and company launches. (SSN)

SSN's Rep Moves For 9/19/14

The latest rep moves at Paradigm, Gersh, 42 West and more. (SSN)



Michael Eisner’s Tornante Developing Olympic Village Comedy

Tornante has hired the comedy writing team Jim and Brian Kehoe to pen the untitled internal comedy idea. (VAR)

Star Wars Writer Gary Whitta to Pen Starlight for Fox

Whitta will write the script for Fox's Starlight, based on the comic from Wanted and Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar. (THR)

Howard Gordon Sets New Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox TV

One of the longest relationships between a TV a producer and a studio is being extended. (DH)

Female-Led Films Having a Bad Year at the Indie Box Office

One of the few hopeful trends in the past few years - female representation at the indie box office -seems to be taking a step backwards in 2014. (IW)

The Maze Runner Bottlenecks Box Office Competitors, Disney Boasts Record $6.2 Billion Gross For Lion King, Peter Chernin, AT&T Eye Majority Stake in YouTube Network Fullscreen



The Maze Runner Bottlenecks Box Office Competitors

Fox's film cracked the winning code at the weekend box office to earn $32.5 million and introduce the new young adult franchise on a stealthy note. (SSN)

Disney Boasts Record $6.2 Billion Gross For Lion King

The global blockbuster has surpassed The Phantom Of The Opera as the highest grossing show of all time. (DH)

Peter Chernin, AT&T Eye Majority Stake in YouTube Network Fullscreen

The companies are doing the deal via their joint venture Otter Media. (THR)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Eyes Edward Snowden Role

Oliver Stone seems to have found the person to play NSA whistleblower Snowden in The Snowden Files. (VAR)

Networks' Need for Hit Sitcoms is No Laughing Matter

There's a backstage drama happening this fall on TV, and it's all about comedy. (LAT)

Watch: The Emma Watson Speech Everyone is Talking About

Watson continued to prove why she deserved to be named the United Nations' Women Goodwill Ambassador this weekend. (IW)

Adam Driver Is Ready for His Close-Up

This Is Where I Leave You shows just how far ahead of his peers Adam Driver is right now. (GLD)

Jada Pinkett Smith Confirms Magic Mike XXL Role

The Gotham actress confirmed her role in the Magic Mike sequel, starring Channing Tatum and directed by Gregory Jacobs. (THR)

Lava Bear Joins Chinese Pic The Bodyguard

David Linde’s company has joined its third Chinese production on the Sammo Hung-directed action thriller. (DH)

Netflix Finds Some People Spoil TV As a Power Play

The company hired cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken to examine our national attitude towards spoilers. (VUL)

On The Set For 9/22/14: Liam Hemsworth Starts By Way of Helena, Elisabeth Moss Wraps Meadowland


at arrivals for THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Premiere, Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, CA November 18, 2013. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection



Vacation 09/15/2014 Logline: Centers on a grown-up Rusty Griswold who, now a father himself, takes his family on a road-trip vacation. Studio: New Line Cinema Production Companies: Big Kid Pictures, S&K Pictures, Inc. Directors: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein Executive Producers: Nan Morales, Toby Emmerich Producers: David Dobkin, Chris Bender, Jeff Kleeman Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo Screenwriters: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley Details: Sequel to "National Lampoon's Vacation" (USA/1983) written by John Hughes, directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase. SSN Insight: Peter Segal had been mentioned to direct.

Demolition 09/15/2014 Logline: Investment banker Davis Mitchell, who worries that he isn't feeling the appropriate amount of grief following his wife's tragic death, strikes up a correspondence with the customer service rep at a vending machine company after losing money to one of their machines the night his wife died. Production Companies: Mr. Mudd Productions, Black Label Media, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment Director: Jean-Marc Vallée Executive Producers: John Malkovich, Thad Luckinbill, Jason Reitman, Helen Estabrook, Nathan Ross, Ellen H Schwartz, Carla Hacken Producers: Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Lianne Halfon, Russell Smith, Sidney Kimmel Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper Screenwriter: Bryan Sipe SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2007 Black List.

Trumbo 09/15/2014 Logline: The true story ofDalton Trumbo, a prolific screenwriter in 1940s Hollywood, who was summoned by the House of Un-American Activities Committee to reveal his Communist sympathies and cronies yet remained silent and was imprisoned and blacklisted as a result. Production Company: Groundswell Productions Director: Jay Roach Producers: Michael London, Janice Williams, John McNamara, Jay Roach Cast: Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren Screenwriter: John McNamara

Details: Based on the book "Dalton Trumbo" by Bruce Cook; published by Scribner Book Company January 1, 1977. SSN Insight: Dalton Trumbo and John Dighton wrote the screenplay for “Roman Holiday” (USA/1953), however as Trumbo was blacklisted and living in Mexico at the time, his friend, screenwriter Ian McLellan Hunter, secretly accepted writing credit and studio payments on Trumbo’s behalf.  In 2008, Hunter’s son, the director Tim Hunter, directed Bryan Cranston in the “Breaking Bad” Season One finale “A No-Rough-Stuff Type Deal.”

By Way of Helena 09/16/2014 Logline: When dead bodies wash up on the river shore in the idyllic town of Helena, Texas Ranger David Kingston and his Mexican bride are sent to investigate. Production Companies: Mandeville Films, Atomic Entertainment Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith Executive Producers: Nathalie Marciano, Matt Cook Producers: Todd Lieberman, David Hoberman, Adam Rosenfelt, Maureen Meulen Cast: Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Felicity Price, William Hurt Screenwriter: Matt Cook SSN Insight: Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson co-starred together in "The Hunger Games" (USA/2012) and "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (USA/2013), and are planning to complete production on “By Way of Helena” before they begin a promotional tour for this fall’s release of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” (USA/2014).



Stanford Prison Experiment 09/18/2014 Logline: Based on the actual experiment conducted at Stanford University in the summer of 1971, when a professor named Phil Zimbardo turned the basement of a psychology building into a mock prison, and an unexpected level of cruelty and sadism overtook the participants, especially those playing guards. Production Company: Sandbar Pictures Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez Producers: Brent Emery, Elizabeth Zox Friedman, Gregory Little, Lauren Bratman, Brian Geraghty Cast: Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Michael Angarano, Tye Sheridan Screenwriters: Tim Talbott, Christopher McQuarrie SSN Insight: Jesse Eisenberg had previously been mentioned as a member of the cast.

Meadowland 09/18/2014 Logline: A married couple suffers through their son's disappearance, and while the husband, a New York City police officer, turns to more traditional forms of healing, the wife goes down an unexpected path and finds herself in danger. Production Companies: Untitled Entertainment, Bron Studios Director: Reed Morano Executive Producers: Jennifer Levine, Jason Cloth Producers: Olivia Wilde, Matt Tauber, Aaron Gilbert, Margot Hand Cast: Olivia Wilde, Elisabeth Moss, Natasha Lyonne, Luke Wilson, Ty Simpkins Screenwriter: Chris Rossi SSN Insight: First-time feature director Reed Morano previously worked with actor Luke Wilson on “The Skeleton Twins,” on which she was director of photography.

SSN Awards Watch: A Look At the Female Contenders, The Pitch Meeting Structure Used by the Pros, Building Gotham City with Production Designer Doug Kraner





SSN Awards Watch: A Look At the Female Contenders

A rundown of potential nominees in the acting, directing, and writing categories. (SSN)

The Pitch Meeting Structure Used by the Hollywood Pros

When you understand the structure, you can decide when you want to follow the expectations and when you want to break the rules. (SSN)

Building Gotham City From the Ground Up with Production Designer Doug Kraner

Kraner takes SSN through the mean streets of Gotham and discusses his inspirations behind the sets that are shrouded in darkness. (SSN)

On the Set for 9/22/14

Liam Hemsworth starts By Way of Helena, Elisabeth Moss wraps Meadowland, and more. (SSN)



Bryan Singer Helming X-Men: Apocalypse

Fox just closed a deal with Singer to direct the next installment of its billion dollar Marvel mutants franchise. (DH)

30 of Shonda Rhimes' Stars Respond to New York Times' "Angry Black Woman" Column

Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice and How to Get Away With Murder stars weigh in. (THR)

MGM Acquires Stake in Burnett/Downey Production Companies

MGM has acquired a 55% stake in the production companies jointly owned by Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Hearst Entertainment and has revived the United Artists banner to house the investment. (VAR)

'Friends' 20th Anniversary: 11 Shows That Tried to Replace It (And Failed)

Others since have tried and failed to imitate the group mentality since Friends went off the air in 2004. Here's why, in the end, none could stack up to Team Monica. (IW)

The 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments in Movies

The Dissolve compiled 50 remarkable combinations of pop music and moviemaking. (TD)

Hulu Orders Kennedy Assassination Series from J.J. Abrams, Stephen King

Based on the Stephen King novel, 11/22/63 is a nine-hour event series thriller. (FLAV)

BET Locks Down Akils, First ‘Gone Girl’ Reviews Are In, ‘Maze Runner’ Sequel Gets Release Date



BET Locks Down The Akils for Another Two Years

Husband-wife team of Salim and Mara Brock Akil, creators of The Game and Being Mary Jane, launched the network’s first scripted show. (THR)

The First Reviews for ‘Gone Girl’ Are In, and They’re Prettay, Prettay, Prettay Good

To the surprise of just about no one, David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller is getting a strong reception. (IW)

Has It Been Two Decades Already? ‘Shawshank Redemption’ Turns 20

Which begs the question: How did a box office bomb become one of the most beloved movies ever? (VAR)

Falling Into the Irony Category, New Court Show Gets Sued

Michael Eisner’s Tornante is one of the defendants in a a breach of contract suit. (DH)

In Case You Were Already Excited About That ‘Maze Runner’ Sequel, We Have a Release Date

You won’t have to wait long, either, as The Scorch Trials will be in theaters September 18, 2015. (EMPIRE)

It’s Time to Meet the Cast of the New Season of ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’

And, if we’re being honest, “freak show” is right. These folks are creep city. (HUFFPO)

Looking Forward to Sunday’s ‘Simpsons'-'Family Guy’ Crossover? There’s Some Stuff You Need to Know

Eleven things, actually. Here’s your handy dandy list. (EW)

Damon and Cranston Circle Legendary’s ‘The Great Wall’

Or perhaps a better way to put it is the pair might scale Zhang Yimou’s period epic. (SLASH)

Could It Be? Is It Possible? Might ‘Star Trek 3’ Actually Feature … William Shatner?

Apparently, there is a part for the original Captain Kirk. If he wants it. (COL)

TV Development For 9/23/14: Warner Bros. Lines Up DC Comic Property Lucifer at Fox



Problem Child Network: NBC Studio: Universal Television Production Companies: TBD Entertainment, American Work, Inc. Executive Producers: Scot Armstrong, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan Writer: Scot Armstrong Logline: A couple conned into adopting a troubled seven-year boy who wreaks havoc in their lives and leaves a path of destruction anywhere he goes. Details: Based on the film, Problem Child, (USA/ 1990), directed by Dennis Dugan and starring John Ritter.   Lucifer Network: FOX Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Companies: Aggressive Mediocrity, Inc, DC Comics/Vertigo Executive Producer: Tom Kapinos Writer: Tom Kapinos Logline: Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, Lucifer resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he opens an exclusive piano bar called Lux. SSN Insight: Adapted from the DC Comic, if this joins the fray, Warner Bros. will have six primetime comic book series on air with Arrow and new series The Flash, Constantine, Gotham and iZombie (midseason). This doesn't count pilots for  Supergirl and Titans (based on the comic Teen Titans) in the works.

L.A. Crime Network: ABC Studio: ABC Studios Production Companies: Mandeville Films/TV Executive Producers: Steven Baigelman, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Laurie Zaks Writer: Steven Baigelman Logline: Centers on two LA cops in the late 1970's searching for a serial killer team amidst the rock-and-roll, coke-ridden streets of the allusive Sunset Strip.   The Ultimate Getaway Network: FOX Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Companies: Vendetta Productions, Exhibit A Executive Producers: Sheldon Turner, Seth Gordon, Kevin Costello, Jennifer Klein Writer: Kevin Costello Logline: A commercial airline flight crew escapes the drudgery and degradation of their jobs by using layovers to commit robberies in different cities across the country. SSN Insight: Costello used to be Klein’s assistant working on many of her projects, but this is his first project sold since he completed Fox’s emerging writers program.   Untitled Bowman / Garcia Project Network: CBS Studio: CBS Television Studios Production Companies: Amigos de Garcia Productions Executive Producers: Greg Garcia, Alix Jaffe, Bobby Bowman Writer: Bobby Bowman Logline: Workplace comedy set in a music store. SSN Insight: Garcia has also sold to CBS an Untitled project from Chris Harris, that centers on a couple who wants to set up two friends who may be perfect for each other.   My Love From Another Star Network: ABC Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Companies: HB Entertainment, EnterMedia Content Executive Producers: Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain, Ji-eun Park, Bomi Moon, Sebastian Lee, David Kim Writers: Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain Logline: A supernatural love story about a world-famous popstar and her anti-social neighbor, who happens to be from another planet. Details: Based on the Korean format. SSN Insight: The project drew record viewership in Korea and China, where it became the most viewed program.   Untitled Carol Mendelsohn Journalism Dramedy Project Network: ABC Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company: Carol Mendelsohn Productions Executive Producers: Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz Writer: Liz Heldens Logline: A disgraced journalist is forced to go back to work for his former intern, who has since invented a BuzzFeed/PopSugar-type news site. Details: Put Pilot + Penalty SSN Insight: Mendelsohn is also developing Game of Silence, being written by David Hudgins, for NBC.   Untitled Stephnie Weir Comedy Project Network: ABC Studio: CBS Television Studios Executive Producers: Stephnie Weir, Meghan Schumacher Writer: Stephnie Weir Logline: Centers on a branch manager in a credit union who believes he can finally shake their podunk image and compete with the newly arrived uberbank with his new style of management. SSN Insight: Weir will next appear on FX’s The Comedians, opposite Josh Gad and Billy Crystal.   Untitled Mark Gordon Quantico Project Network: ABC Studio: ABC Studios Production Company: Mark Gordon Company Executive Producers: Josh Safran, Mark Gordon, Nicholas Pepper Writer: Josh Safran Logline: A group of young, sexy FBI recruits, all with specific reasons for joining, go through training given by current Special Agents at the college-like Quantico base in Virginia. One of the recruits turns out to be a sleeper terrorist who creates the most severe terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11. Details: Script Commitment SSN Insight: This is the first sale of the season for the Mark Gordon Company. Their USA project Benched, just received an airdate of October 28th.   Untitled Mark V. Olsen / Will Scheffer Comedy Project Network: HBO Production Company: Anima Sola Productions Executive Producers: Mark V. Olsen, Will Scheffer Co-Executive Producer: Judith Godreche Writers: Mark V. Olsen, Will Scheffer, Judith Godreche Logline: A famous French actress moves to the U.S. and, with savoir faire, goes to great lengths to keep her unorthodox family together. SSN Insight: Olsen and Scheffer adapted and currently run HBO’s Getting On, which will return for a second season in November.   Niño Santo Network: A&E Production Companies: A&E Studios, Amblin Television, Canana Films Executive Producers: Jeff Pinkner, Mauricio Katz, Pedro Peirano, Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Pablo Cruz, Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey Writers: Mauricio Katz, Pedro Peirano Logline: A group of young doctors are sent to vaccinate the locals in a remote village, where they encounter an unusual cult headed by an enigmatic faith healer. The curiosity of the doctors leads them to become involved with this group in the name of science. As they witness Niño’s "miracles," they begin to weigh scientific impossibility against the possibility of faith. Details: Based on the Mexican series, Niño Santo, which premiered in 2011.   The Greatest Love Story Ever Told Network: NBC Studio: Universal Television Production Company: The District Executive Producers: Ruben Fleischer, David Bernard, Justin Spitzer Writer: Justin Spitzer Director: Ruben Fleischer Logline: The story centers on a disparate group of employees working at a big box store in middle America, and the love stories that will ultimately unfold among them. SSN Insight: Spitzer is currently a Co-Executive producer on Fox’s Mulaney and his project The Money Pit from last season is still on hold.   Fantasy Life Network: FOX Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company: 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producers:  Kevin Connolly, Tim McAuliffe, Jonathan Berry, Greg Walter, Michael Rotenberg, Troy Zien Writer: Tim McAuliffe Cast: Kevin Connolly Logline: Mitch is a regular guy who lands his ultimate dream job working in the fantasy sports department at a major sports network. Details: Based on the memoir, Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who’s Lived It, written by Matthew Berry.   Acquittal Network: CBS Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company: Jerry Bruckheimer Television Executive Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Rick Eid Co-Executive Producer: KristieAnne Reed Writer: Rick Eid Logline: Centers on an influential trial consultant who works alternately for the prosecution and the defense, using unorthodox ideas and tactics, often more psychological than legal. Details: Based on the book Acquittal: An Insider Reveals the Stories and Strategies Behind Today’s Most Infamous Verdicts, written by Richard Gabriel. SSN Insight: Eid is coming off CBS’ Hostages, where he was the showrunner and Executive Producer.   In America Network: HBO Studio: Fox Television Studios Executive Producers: Jim Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan, Kristen Sheridan, Dan Halsted, Pancho Mansfield Writers: Jim Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan, Kristen Sheridan Logline: Centers on an Irish family who, broke and looking for a fresh start, settles in an apartment building in the Bronx where they struggle to befriend their neighbors, also immigrants, and realize they all have one thing in common: a past that continues to haunt them. Details: Based on the film In America (USA/2002), directed by Jim Sheridan starring Samantha Morton, Paddy Considine and Djimon Hounsou. SSN Insight: Project stems from Halsted’s first look deal with Fox Television Studios. This would mark Sheridan’s television debut.   Pair Of Aces Network: ABC Studio: Universal Television Production Companies: UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, Conde Nast Entertainment Group Executive Producers: Eva Longoria, Ben Spector, Dawn Ostroff, Gina Marcheschi Writers: Meredith Lavender, Marcie Ulin Logline: Latino golden boys Chris and Alex Reyes are brothers who are both best friends and rivals. They are rising stars in Texas politics whose destiny is engineered by their manipulative mother Maria. She is determined to turn the Reyes family into the most powerful dynasty modern politics has ever seen. Details: Loosely based on the article, Pair of Aces: Rising Democratic Stars Julián and Joaquin Castro, written by Jacob Weisberg and published in Vogue Magazine on March 1, 2013. SSN Insight: Longoria’s company is also developing NBC’s Critical, written by Katie Lovejoy.   Untitled Patrick Aison Drama Project Network: FOX Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company: Chris Morgan Productions Executive Producer: Chris Morgan Writer: Patrick Aison Logline: A vengeful young woman and a master assassin form an unlikely partnership. As he teaches her the art of the kill, their personal lives become entangled. SSN Insight: Morgan also just sold an Untitled Greg Russo Project to Fox about a suburban family man, who on the side, runs the most successful custom-ticket auto-theft ring in Los Angeles.   Los Serrano Network: FOX Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Companies: GloboMedia, Ombra Films Executive Producers: Mike Scully, Julie Scully, Daniel Ecija Bernal, Laura Fernandez Espero, Jaume Collet-Serra, Juan Sola Writers: Mike Scully, Julie Scully Logline: A widower with three sons reconnects and marries his high school sweetheart, a divorced mother of two girls. Details: Based on the Spanish multi-camera comedy series, Los Serrano, created by Daniel Ecija Berna, which premiered on Telecino in 2003. SSN Insight: Project has been adapted in nine other countries.   Untitled Gail Berman / Andrew Reich / Ted Cohen Comedy Project Network: CBS Studio: CBS Television Studios Production Company: Jackal Group Executive Producers: Andrew Reich, Ted Cohen, Gail Berman Writers: Andrew Reich, Ted Cohen Logline: A multi-generational family comedy. SSN Insight: This is the first sale for Berman through her new production company.   Follow Your Heart Network: ABC Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company: Kapital Entertainment Executive Producers: Nastaran Dibai, Aaron Kaplan Writer: Nastaran Dibai Logline: Centers on a widow and single mother who, after having given up on love, finds herself drawn to the new guy in her building. That’s because, unbeknownst to her, he was the recipient of her husband’s heart. SSN Insight: Project reunites Kaplan and Dibai who worked together on Kaplan’s first pilot ever sold. They also developed a widow project at NBC together last season, which never moved forward and Dibai was a co-executive producer on CBS’ Friends with Better Lives which Kaplan produced.

The Best Twitter Feeds From This Fall’s Hottest Shows, TV Development for 9/23/14, The Most Popular Pitching Formula



The Best Twitter Feeds to Follow from the People Involved in This Fall’s Hottest Shows

Here’s a look at some actors, producers, and writers to check out as the fall’s freshman shows make their debut. (SSN)

TV Development for 9/23/14: Warner Lines Up DC Property ‘Lucifer’ at Fox

Also on the docket: a TV adaptation of John Ritter’s 1990 cult classic, Problem Child. (SSN)

The Most Popular Pitching Formula (And Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use It)

Taking successful movies and smashing them together in the form of, “This Meets That,” often backfires. Find out why. (SSN)


HBO Confirms That Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn Will Star in Second Season of ‘True Detective’

Justin Lin will direct first two episodes of eight episode season, with more casting news to come soon. (THR)

Open Road Films Denies Any Involvement in ‘Midnight Rider’ Tragedy

Distributor files papers in court that, while it was to distribute the film, it had no “operational control,” invested no money and should therefore not be held liable for the accident that killed Sarah Jones. (VAR)

‘Divergent’ Director Signs on to Helm New Spy Movie, ‘All the Old Knives’

Neil Berger will direct the adaptation of the upcoming novel by Olen Steinhauer. Chockstone Pictures will produce. (DH)

From Music School to Outer Space: ‘Whiplash’ Director to Helm Neil Armstrong Biopic

Damien Chazelle rides amazing buzz to First Man, with script by Josh Singer. (IW)

Some Interesting Thoughts on Steven Soderbergh Turning ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ into a Black-and-White Silent Movie

The Oscar-winning filmmaker stripped out the movie’s color and dialogue and replaced John Williams’ iconic score with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ scores from The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. (GRANT)

The Third (and Final?) Installment of ‘Taken’ Is Now Officially Titled ‘Tak3n’

Star Liam Neeson teases in interview that this one, due in theaters January 9th, 2015, will be the end. (MF)

Lord and Miller Line Up Their Next Job, Gale Anne Hurd Sets Up New Drama at Syfy, Aaron Paul Joining ‘Drax’


in the press room for The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards - PRESS ROOM, Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles, CA September 23, 2012. Photo By: Gregorio Binuya/Everett Collection

‘Lego Movie’ Directors Thinking of Taking on ‘The Rosie Project’

Phil Lord and Chris Miller are developing book adaptation with writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. (IW)

Gale Anne Hurd Sets Up New Drama at Syfy

The Walking Dead EP is moving forward with Hunters, adapted from Whitley Streiber’s novel, “Alien Hunter.” (THR)

Aaron Paul is Joining the ‘9th Life of Louis Drax’

Three-time Emmy winner will play the title character’s father in Max Mingella’s adaptation of the Liz Jenkins novel. (EMP)

‘Modern Family’ Star Files Restraining Order Against Her Ex-Boyfriend

Sarah Hyland has accused Matt Prokop, whom she dated for five years, of domestic assault. (HUFFPO)

Eva Longoria Is Eyeing a Return to TV, and Has Two Projects to Choose From

Desperate Housewives star has both ABC and NBC vying for her services. (DH)

Charlie Sheen Wants to be a Part of the ‘Two and a Half Men’ Finale

No word yet on how Chuck Lorre feels about this, but Sheen is going public about wanting to return to the show that made him a TV star. (MF)

Simon Helberg’s ‘We’ll Never Have Paris’ Finds a Distributor 

Orion Releasing buys the Big Bang Theory star’s directorial debut for a January release in theaters and VOD. (VAR)

It Doesn’t Look Like Marvel Has a ‘Hawkeye’ Movie in the Pipeline, but Jeremy Renner is Hoping for a ‘Captain America 3’ Appearance

The star says he’s “happy to be in the ensemble,” but “isn’t scratching and clawing” for a solo outing. (EW)

On the Eve of ‘Gone Girl’’s Highly Anticipated Release, David Fincher Talks About His Career

The Oscar-nominated director took part in BAFTA’s “Life in Pictures” series in London. (TOH)

Film Development For 9/24/14: Ang Lee Re-Teams with Tom Rothman on “Billy Lynn”& Chris Hemsworth’s New Project


at arrivals for The 65th Annual Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award, Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland, Los Angeles, CA February 2, 2013. Photo By: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection


Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Logline: A young soldier hailed as a hero experiences a cavalcade of emotions and events on his last day home before returning back to the war in Iraq in 2005. Studio/Distributor: TriStar Productions Production Companies: Ink Factory, Film4 Producers:  Simon Cornwell, Stephen Mark Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas, Ang Lee Writer:  Simon Beaufoy Director: Ang Lee Details: Based on the novel "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," written by Ben Fountain and published by Ecco on May 1, 2012. SSN Insight: Project re-teams Ang Lee with Tom Rothman at since Life of Pi.

The Lions of Lucerne Logline: The President is kidnapped by terrorists while skiing in Utah and young secret service agent Scot Harvath must rescue him. Production Company:  Resurgent Film Group Producers:  Des Carey, Brent Baum, Matthew Marsden Details: Based on the novel "The Lions of Lucerne" written by Brad Thor and published by Atria Books in January 2002. SSN Insight: Marks the debut project for newly formed Resurgent Film Group.

Charming Logline: Prince Charming woos Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, but gets into trouble when he makes them all happy. Production Companies: Cinesite, 3QU Media, Vanguard Animation Producer: John H. Williams Writer: Ross Venokur Director: Ross Venokur SSN Insight: Project marks the debut for newly formed 3QU Media.

Baby-Moon Logline: An unfaithful, reality star husband takes his pregnant, self-centered wife on a "baby-moon" at a resort in the unstable country of Cartegentina. When the wife gets kidnapped, the couple must work together to get out of trouble. Production Company: Double Entente Films Producer: Frederic Imbert Cast: Bobby Campo, Julie McNiven, Ana Brenda Contreras Writer: Bailey Kobe Director: Bailey Kobe SSN Insight: Sophia Vergara and Luis Balaguer's company Latin World Entertainment, specializing in Hispanic talent management and entertainment marketing, introduced the telenovela superstar Ana Brenda to the director.


I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive Logline: After he is involved with the mysterious death of Hank Williams in 1953, a doctor is haunted by the country singer’s ghost. Production Company:  Laura Bickford Productions Producers:  Laura Bickford, Chris Hemsworth Cast: Chris Hemsworth Writer:  Benjamin Grayson Director: Benjamin Grayson Details: Based on the novel "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" written by Steve Earle and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2011. SSN Insight: Project marks the directorial debut of Benjamin Grayson.

Before the Fall Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company:  Crooked Hill Productions Producers:  Noah Hawley, John Cameron Writer:  Noah Hawley Details: Based on the novel "Before The Fall" to be written by Noah Hawley. SSN Insight: Noah Hawley sold his novel as a film prior to the publishing of the novel.

In the Deep Logline: A young woman who has recently lost her mother is surfing in an isolated area when she gets stranded on a buoy, and a gigantic great white shark is between her and the shore. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures. Production Company:  Weimaraner Republic Pictures Producers:  Lynn Harris, Matti Leshem Writer: Anthony Jaswinski SSN Insight: Columbia Pictures beat out Fox and Warner Bros. in the active bidding battle set at high-six figures for this spec script by Tony Jaswinski.

Film Development for 9/24/14, The #1 Most Common Misstep to Avoid to Better Your Pitch in an Instant, Seven Pitch Meeting Mistakes, British Producing Pair Form New Venture




Film Development for 9/24/14: Ang Lee Re-Teams with Tom Rothman on ‘Billy Lynn’

Chris Hemsworth’s new project is also announced, as is a rather large spec sale by writer Anthony Jaswinski. (SSN)

The #1 Most Common Misstep to Avoid to Better Your Pitch in an Instant

Want to get better at pitching? Don’t make the extremely common mistake made by season pros and beginners alike. (SSN)

Do You Make These Seven Pitch Meeting Mistakes?

A great meeting gets off to a strong start. Unfortunately, even professionals occasionally make these seven “rookie” mistakes in the first few minutes of a meeting. (SSN)


Pair of High-Powered Female British Producers Join Forces to Form New Production Shingle

Alison Owen and Debra Hayward, “exhausted from competing with each other,” are now Monumental Pictures. (IW)

Robert Simonds’ Next Gen Studio Names a New Chairman

Former Universal Pictures Chief Adam Fogelson takes on the gig, will release “up to 10 movies each year.” (VAR)

Sony Welcomes Jeff Robinov’s New Venture, Studio 8, Into the Family

Company CEO Michael Lynton envisions new company contributing to the release of 18 to 22 films each year. (THR)

Burr Steers’ ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ Adaptation Just Got a Taste of Westeros

Lena Headey and Charles Dance, late of Game of Thrones, join an already-packed cast. (MF)

NBC Orders Pilot for ‘Real Genius’ Reboot, from Happy Madison and Sony TV

Craig DiGregorio and David King will write, turning ‘80s comedy into present-day workplace sitcom. (DH)

Ten Years Later: An Oral History of the Making of the ‘Lost’ Pilot

On the tin anniversary of one of the best pilots in TV history, the creators, cast, and executives who made it happen look back. (EMP)

Russia Mulls Boycott of Hollywood Movies, ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons for NFL Comments, Johnny Depp’s ‘Mortdecai’ Moved Up



Russia Mulls Boycott of Hollywood Movies

After a string of recent movies featuring Russian villains, a member of the country’s parliament has suggested outlawing foreign movies that “demonize Russia and Russians.” (THR)

ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons for NFL Comments

Simmons has been suspended for three weeks over a profanity-laced rant in which he called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar." (VAR)

Johnny Depp’s ‘Mortdecai’ Moved Up

Lionsgate bumped up the release of Johnny Depp’s action comedy by two weeks and moved the Blake Lively romantic drama The Age of Adeline back by three months. (DH)

Adam Fogelson Heading Up Film Group at Robert Simonds' New Studio

The hire elevates the profile of a fledgling venture that doesn't have a name yet but boasts $1 billion in funding. (LAT)

Liam Neeson joins 'Ted 2'

Neeson has joined the cast of Ted 2, which writer/director Seth MacFarlane tweeted on Wednesday. (EW)

Which Stars Were Almost Cast in 2014’s Biggest Movies?

Here’s a rundown of the names you might have found on the movie marquee in an alternate universe. (VUL)

David Thomson On the Changing Nature of Film

Thomson’s “Biographical Dictionary of Film” is not just one of the best-written books on cinema in the English language, it’s also maybe the most emotional. (EB)

Box Office: Denzel Washington's Equalizer Versus Boxtrolls

The Equalizer hits theaters this weekend and should bring in between $28 million and $30 million. (VAR)

12 Things I Learned at Werner Herzog's Rogue Film School

"I had come to the Rogue Film School to hear from someone I revered as a filmmaker and learn how he managed to make the films he wanted from within and without the system. Maybe then I could figure out how to do it too." (IW)

Terry Gilliam Has No Use For Happy Endings

The Dissolve sat down with the iconoclastic filmmaker to talk Batman, and other things that skew dark. (DIS)

Antoine Fuqua On Working With Denzel Washington on Equalizer, Top 10 TV Crossovers in Honor of The Simpsons Guy, 20 Things You Should Never Do In a Pitch Meeting





Antoine Fuqua On Working With Denzel Washington on Equalizer

The director spoke to SSN about the film, and why movie stars like Washington and Liam Neeson are taking over the action genre. (SSN)

Top 10 TV Crossovers in Honor of The Simpsons Guy

In anticipation of the upcoming Simpsons-Family Guy mashup, SSN counts down our list of the top cross-over TV episodes. (SSN)

20 Things You Should Never Do In a Pitch Meeting

Is it possible that you sabotage yourself and break the deal in any of the following ways? (SSN)



FAA Approves Drone Use For Hollywood Productions

Unmanned aerial cameras are legal elsewhere in the world, but have been prohibited for commercial use in the U.S. until now. (DH)

Paramount Chief Brad Grey Beats Appeal Over Wiretapping

Scary Movie producer Bo Zenga can't revive his Anthony Pellicano-related lawsuit against the Paramount Pictures honcho. (THR)

Rachel McAdams Offered True Detective Role

Reportedly HBO has offered McAdams the part opposite Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn. (VAR)

Why Yahoo Took a Risk on 'Community' Season 5

Industry executives might have their doubts about Yahoo's decision to revive the NBC series, but they do agree on the power of original content. (IW)

50 Cultural Icons on What They Were Like as Teenagers

50 cultural icons (from Tina Fey to David Lynch to Toni Morrison) expound on their teenage selves. Read on, you’ll fit right in. (FLAV)

Meet the Chef Who Makes Hannibal's Cannibal Cuisine Look So Delicious

Jose Andres is one of many L.A. culinary stars satisfying Hollywood's need for onscreen authenticity. (THR)

Rep Moves For 9/26/14: Shark Kevin O’Leary Moves to UTA, Tom Felton to Gersh, & More


Shark Tank, Kevin O'Leary, 'Episode #504', Season 5, Ep. #4, 10/11/2013, ©ABC


CAA: Actress Odeya Rush is now repped by Kim Hodgert, Rick Kurtzman and Jon Teiber. She was previously at Gersh. Rush most recently starred as the female lead in the Weinstein Co. release The Giver, adapted from the Lois Lowry novel. She will also soon star opposite Jack Black in Sony’s upcoming Goosebumps feature, based on R.L. Stine’s popular Young Adult novels. Starting her career in short films and commercials, Rush’s television credits have included episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Curb Your Enthusiasm. In 2012, she made her feature debut in The Odd Life of Timothy Green, opposite Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton. At last month’s Teen Choice Awards, Rush received the Olay Fresh Effects Breakout Star Award for her performance in The Giver.

Gersh: Actor Tom Felton is now repped by Allison Band and Steven Gersh. Felton recently appeared as a series regular on the TNT detective drama Murder in the First. He also just completed filming the drama Against the Sun, which is currently in post.  Felton is probably best known, however, for his role as Draco Malfoy in all eight films of the Harry Potter film series. Starting his career at age eight, Felton appeared in commercials and features, including Anna and the King and The Borrowers, before landing his breakthrough role in the first Harry Potter film in 2001. Since that series’ close, Felton has appeared in roles in the features Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Apparition, as well as the television series Labyrinth. He’s currently filming the indie drama Clauvius, opposite Joseph Fiennes. Felton has won two MTV Movie Awards and on Teen Choice award for his portrayal of Draco Malfoy.

ICM Partners: Actor Hopper Penn is now repped by Steve Alexander and Andrew Kurland. The son of actors Sean Penn and Robin Wright, Penn’s currently set to make his big screen debut in his father’s next directorial venture The Last Face, which stars Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem. Previously, Penn has appeared in the shorts The Men of Santa Muerte and Back in the Game. He also made a cameo appearance on the MTV series Viva la Blam. Penn’s sister Dylan is currently set to make her acting debut in the indie horror film The Condemned, set for release next year.

UTA: Actor and Professional Freerunner Pip Andersen is now repped by Shani Rosenzweig, Chris Hart and Danie Streisand. Anderson recently got his big career break, landing a coveted role in the J.J. Abrams-helmed Star Wars: Episode VII, currently in production. Previously an unknown, Andersen won the role during an open casting call, which spanned over 67,000 actors in 11 cities across the U.S. and U.K.  Notably, Andersen has spent seven years practicing the discipline of Parkour and is one of the world’s leading Parkour athletes, appearing in three episodes of MTV’s Ultimate Parkour Challenge, as well as a Spider-Man themed commercial for Sony Xperia smartphones. Next up, Anderson is slated to star in the feature film Showground, currently in pre-production. He is also repped by United Agents in the U.K.

UTA: Actor Nick Gehlfuss is now repped by Chris Hart, Jacob Fenton, Shauna Perlman and Kevin Volchok. Gehlfuss most recently recurred on the A&E series Longmire, as well as TNT’s Murder in the First. However, he is probably best known for his recurring role on Shameless, playing Mike Pratt’s ne’er-do-well brother Robbie. He also played the recurring character of Ross Kessler on The Newsroom. Gehlfuss’ other series credits have included guest spots on The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, The Glades, Rizzoli & Isles and Royal Pains. Last month Gehlfuss co-starred with Amber Tamblyn, Shawn Hatosy and Alicia Witt in a production of Neil LaBute’s Reasons to be Pretty at the Geffen Playhouse.

UTA: Canadian businessman and television personality Kevin O’Leary is now a client. He was previously with WME. O’Leary currently stars as one of the original sharks on the popular ABC series Shark Tank. Prior to Shark Tank, O’Leary appeared in Canadian version of the series Dragon’s Den for eight seasons. Starting his business career in software, storage facilities and private equity, O’Leary soon branched off into a number of different industries. He is currently Chairman of O’Leary Funds, O’Leary Ventures, O’Leary Mortgages, O’Leary Books and O’Leary Fine Wines. Television-wise, he’s a regular fixture on CNBC in the United States, as well as appearing regularly on Canadian television, co-hosting CBC’s The Lang and O’Leary Exchange until this last August.

Public Relations

42West: Grace Gummer is now repped by Michelle Benson. Gummer recently appeared as Julie Gelineau on the CBS summer series Extant, which aired its season finale last week. She’s also played a recurring role on the HBO series The Newsroom and appeared in several guest spots on the FX series American Horror Story. One of the Meryl Streep’s daughters, Gummer made her stage debut in 2008’s The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents and she made her television debut two years later on the TeenNick series Gigantic, playing series regular Anna Moore. Gummer’s subsequent feature credits have included Larry Crowne, Frances Ha, Learning to Drive and The Homesman, opposite her mother Meryl Streep. Up next, Gummer will appear in the feature film Jenny’s Wedding, opposite Katherine Hiegl and Tom Wilkinson.

Exec Shuffle For 9/26/14: Shondaland, Blumhouse, STX Ent., Twitter, & More


exec shuffle feature image

Company Launches

3QU Media: Producer John H. Williams and financier Henry Skelsey have formed a new animation production company, 3QU Media. The company hopes to produce CG-animated family films for the international market with budgets under $20 million.

Federation Entertainment: French Producer Pascal Breton has launched a new Film and Television mini-studio, Federation Entertainment. The venture will have offices in both Paris and Los Angeles. Ashley Stern will head the LA office, which will focus on development and marketing. Jean-Michel Ciszewski will head the Paris office, which will focus on distribution. Federation plans to develop, finance and distribute original content for the international market. The studio will mainly focus on television, but will produce some feature content as well.

Maximum Media: Former Sony Pictures Television Arabia executive Ziad Kebbi has launched a new production company, Maximum Media. The Dubai-based company will focus on developing scripted and reality television for the Arab language market. Maximum Media will also distribute international television formats in the Middle East.

Monumental Pictures: British producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward have launched a new production company, Monumental Pictures. The company will focus on small budget, high concept projects for both film and television.

Resurgent Film Group: Brad Thor has launched a new production company, Resurgent Film Group. The company seeks to finance and produce its own projects in the mid-budget range. Thor will act as Executive Chairman. Des Carey has joined as President. Brent Baum has joined as Chief Operating Officer. Matthew Marsden has joined as Executive Vice President of Development.

United Artists Media Group: MGM has relaunched the United Artists banner as the United Artists Media Group. The revived shingle will serve as a banner for the properties purchased from Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Heart Entertainment. Burnett will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the new venture.

Studios, Networks, and Media Conglomerates

CBS Entertainment: Karen Church and Fern Orenstein have been promoted to Senior Vice President, Casting.

Sony Pictures Television: Michelle Mendelovitz has joined as Director, Current Programming.

Universal Pictures International: Duncan Clark has been named President. Peter Kujawski has joined as Managing Director.

Warner Bros. Entertainment: Hank Lachmund has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Industrial Relations. Stephen Carroll and Sam Wolfson have been promoted to Senior Vice President, Labor Relations.


Jet Tone Films: Winnie Lau has joined as Head International Co-Production & Distribution.

Nicholas Sparks Productions: Erika McGrath has joined as Director, Development.

Open Road Films: Alexa Platt has joined as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Business Development.

STX Entertainment: Adam Fogelson has joined as Chairman, Motion Picture Group.

Unifrance: Yoann Ubermulhin has joined as Head of Research & Distributor Relations


All3Media: Jane Turton has been promoted to Managing Director.

All3Media America: Christie McConnell has joined as Vice President, Development.

Blumhouse Productions: Kenny Tsai has joined as Manager, TV.

The CW: Zoe Lane has joined as Coordinator, Current Programming. Kimberly Roberto has been named Coordinator, Current Programming.

Independent Television Service: Noland Walker has joined as Senior Content Director.

Keshet International: Lucy Roberts has joined as Manager, Sales.

Lookout Point: Helen Jackson has joined as Non-Executive Director. Seb Shore has joined as Head of Business Affairs. Saul Venit has joined as Chief Operating Officer.

Shondaland: Ghazal Moshfegh has been promoted to Coordinator, Development.


ABC Family: Julie Katchen has been promoted to Manager, Original Programming.

Disney Channel: Amanda DiPiazza has been promoted to Manager, Original Series. Allison Dorenbosch has been promoted to Manager, Original Series, Disney XD.

MTV: Kelly Lundy has been named Coordinator, Scripted Development.

Oxygen: Rod Aissa has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Original Programming & Development.


Beamly: Jennifer Kavanaugh has been promoted to Executive Vice President, General Manager of the US.

Buzzfeed: Andrew Gaultier has been named Head, Video Division.

Legend3D: Matt Akey has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Production & Chief Marketing Officer. Anthony Lopez has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer. Jared Sandrew has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer.

Jukin Media: Jeremy Gerstman has joined as Vice President, Operations. Josh Kreitzman has joined as Vice President, Publishing & Programming. Cameron Saless has joined as Executive Vice President, Audience Development & Strategic Partnerships.

Twitter: Kirstine Stewart has been promoted to Vice President, North American Media Partnerships.

7 Powerful Studio Execs: Where Are They Now?, NY Film Fest Movies That Could Enter the Oscar Race, Interview With Boxtrolls Lead Animator





7 Powerful Studio Execs: Where Are They Now?

SSN looks at what top execs like Sherry Lansing, Mike Medavoy, and Jon Peters are doing now. (SSN)

NY Film Fest Movies That Could Enter the Oscar Race

A look at 5 movies that are playing at New York Film Festival, and how they could become awards season game changers. (SSN)

Interview With Boxtrolls Lead Animator

Laika CEO Travis Knight: “If we tried to do Boxtrolls as our first film, it would have looked much more crude.” (SSN)

13 Phrases That Make You Sound Like a Hollywood Rookie

Rookie mistakes can add up—make enough of them in a pitch meeting, and your project may not move forward. (SSN)

 23 Questions You Should Expect After the Pitch

Many people think of “the pitch” as the part of the meeting where you explain your idea to the decision-makers. But that’s only the first part. (SSN)



Shahs of Sunset: Bravo, Ryan Seacrest Productions Drop Striking Editors

Ryan Seacrest Productions said it was cutting ties with the editors who had been picketing and striking. (THR)

ABC Nabs Drama Thriller From Shondaland Alum

Former “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” scribe Jenna Bans and Mandeville Prods. have set up a drama thriller at ABC. (VAR)

Black List Names Six Fellows To Screenwriters Lab

Six writers have been named to the online group’s second annual Black List Lab. (DH)

‘Transparent’: Amazon’s Astonishing, Must-Watch New Show

The best writing often resembles a magic trick: When done right, you don’t even notice the effort. (GLD)

Denzel Washington Plays the First Normcore Hero in The Equalizer

Not only is The Equalizer a satisfying, meat-and-potatoes action film in which good use is made of a nail gun; it may also feature Hollywood’s first norm core hero. (VF)

ICYMI: SSN’s Top Posts For 9/22-9/26


meeting mistakes slider

ICYMI: SSN's Top Posts For 9/22-9/26


The 13 Frequently Used Phrases That Make You Sound Like a Hollywood Rookie

Rookie mistakes can add up—make enough of them in a pitch meeting, and your project may not move forward. (SSN)

The 23 Meeting Questions You Should Expect After the Pitch

Many people think of “the pitch” as the part of the meeting where you explain your idea to the decision-makers. But that’s only the first part. (SSN)

Top 20 Things You Should Never Do In a Pitch Meeting

It happens more often than you might think—a writer with a promising project makes a mistake in the room and “breaks the deal.” (SSN)

Top 7 Pitch Mistakes Made in the First Minutes of a Meeting

A great meeting gets off to a strong start. Unfortunately, even professionals occasionally make these 7 “rookie” mistakes in the first few minutes of the meeting. (SSN)

Hollywood Giants: Where Are They Now?

A look at what studio giants like Sherry Lansing and Mike Medavoy are up to now. (SSN)