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Ted Melfi Discusses ‘St. Vincent’ Influences, TV Casting for 10/22/14, Coogan Replaces Hoffman in ‘Happyish’


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Writer/Director Ted Melfi Talks the Films and Real-Life Events That Inspired His Directorial Debut, ‘St. Vincent’

Not one, but two major events in the filmmakers life led to him writing the screenplay that attracted Bill Murray and opens wide this weekend. (SSN)

TV Casting for 10/22/14: Seth Rogen to Guest on HBO’s ‘The Comeback,’ Frank Langella to Recur on FX’s ‘The Americans,’ and More

Other news comes from an MTV pilot, Christian Slater joining USA’s new Mr. Robot, as well as updates for shows like SVU, Shameless, New Girl and House of Cards, among others. (SSN)


Eight Months After Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death, Showtime Names His Replacement on Its Comedy, ‘Happyish’

Steve Coogan will fill Hoffman’s large shoes as a 44-year-old man threatened by his 25-year-old boss in the show created by This American Life’s Shalom Auslander. (HP)

There Are More Hold Ups in the Ongoing Comcast-TWC and AT&T-DirecTV Deals

Cable programmers, citing privacy concerns, ask FCC to once again stop its informal 180-day clocks to examine both deals. (DH)

Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp Sets Up Huge New Financing Deal

Production company nails down $600 million for an ambitious slate of English-language films, with the money being used for production, marketing and distribution costs. (THR)

The Rise of Natalie Dormer Continues, as the Actress Signs on to Lead ‘The Forest’

Supernatural thriller finds a young American woman searching for her vanished twin sister in the Japanese forest of Aokigahara, with Jason Zada directing and David Goyer producing. (EMP)

One of the Actors From ‘Goodfellas’ Is Suing ‘The Simpsons’ For $250 Million

Frank Sivero, best known for playing Frankie Carbone in Martin Scorsese’s crime classic, files suit against Fox TV Studios alleging Simpsons character Louie is based on his likeness. (RS)

Al Pacino’s Offbeat Character Portrait, ‘Manglehorn,’ Finds a Home at IFC

Film directed by David Gordon Green centers on a lonely locksmith who develops an unexpected, tentative friendship with a female bank employee. (IW)

We Might Just Be Seeing More ‘John Carter of Mars,’ After All

Rights revert to Edgar Rice Burroughs estate which, despite massive flop for Disney in 2012, plans to continue character’s adventures on screen. (HV)

Strangely, Ray Fisher Found Out There’s Going to Be a ‘Cyborg’ Movie the Same Day as the Rest of Us

Actor, who will first appear as the character in 2016’s Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, says he had no idea the extent the studio was planning to go with the character. (NWSA)

‘Conjuring’ Creator Brings Racketeering Suit Against WB, Kaufman and Carell Combine for ‘I.Q. 83,’‘Gotham’ Casts Key Role


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Not Content With a Standard Lawsuit, ‘Conjuring’ Creator Hits Warners With Racketeering Claim

Suit, filed in Houston, accuses the studio of defrauding Tony DeRosa-Grund, swindling Harvey Weinstein on The Hobbit and cheating other victims. Studio says claim is baseless. (HESQ)

Charlie Kaufman and Steve Carell Are Combining Their Powers for ‘I.Q. 83’ Adaptation

Kaufman has signed on for a page one rewrite of the classic Arthur Herzog novel for Paramount, which has been developing the project as a star vehicle for Carell. (DH)

‘Gotham’ Has Made Itself Something of a Casting Coup

‘Firefly’ and ‘Homeland’ vet Morena Baccarin joins the cast as Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who is, in the comics, integral to the creation of Batman. (TVL)

Suddenly the Busiest Woman in Hollywood, Margot Robbie Set to Join Tina Fey Comedy

Wolf of Wall Street star in negotiations for Taliban Shuffle, has been in the news of late for also being in discussions for auctioners Ghost in the Shell and Suicide Squad. (THR)

Fox Is a Fan of ‘Red Band Society,’ to the Point Where It’s Ordering Four More Scripts

Series, starring Octavia Spencer, revolves around a group of hospitalized teenagers facing life-threatening diseases. It’s based on a format from Spain. (TVW)

With the Release of the ‘Simpsons World’ App, Our Long National Nightmare Is Finally Over

The beloved, long-running show is also streaming online, which means that, between the two and all the things that go with it, our latest time-suck has arrived. (EW)

It’s Promotion Day at Create Advertising Group!

Carrie Gormley and Jonathan Gitlin are the lucky recipients of new titles and pay raises, with Gormley now president of theatrical advertising, while Gitlin is president of television and gaming. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

The first trailer, teased at the end of Tuesday night’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has arrived online, and it’s pretty much everything you expect it to be. (CB)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘The Gambler’

Red band teaser trailer shows more from the remake, starring Mark Wahlberg, directed by Rupert Sanders, and opening limited on December 19th. (COL)

Screenwriters: Improvising Screenplays — The ‘All Is Lost’ Exercise

Or, how to sharpen your film’s ending by admitting defeat, and recognizing that moment of defeat. (SM)

Film Development for 10/23/14: Director James Wan Onboard for Conjuring 2, Hasbro Studios Readies My Little Pony Film


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The Conjuring 2 Logline: The story of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren continues. Studio/Distributor: New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution Production Companies: POV Productions, The Safran Company Producers:  Rob Cowan, Peter Safran Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga Writers: Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes Director: James Wan Details: Sequel to the film "The Conjuring" (2013) directed by James Wan and starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. SSN Insight: Project marks the first under the new first look producing and directing deal with Wan and New Line.

I.Q. 83 Logline: The government creates a virus that is supposed to raise people's IQ, but it has the reverse effect and lowers it to 83. The creator of the virus must find a cure before his own mind decays. Studio/Distributor: Paramount Production Companies: Mad Chance Productions, Parkes/MacDonald Productions Producers:  Andrew Lazar, Laurie MacDonald, Walter Parkes, Wynn Wygal, Jody Hedien (Co-Producer) Cast: Steve Carell Writer:  Charlie Kaufman (current rewrite), Michael Handelman & David Guion (previous rewrite), Carl Ellsworth (previous rewrite), David Frankel (previous rewrite), Tom Schulman (previous rewrite), Harley Peyton (previous rewrite), Michael Werb & Michael Colleary (previous rewrite), Martin Olson (adaptation) Details: Based on the novel "IQ 83" written by Arthur Herzog and published by Simon & Schuster June 30, 1978. SSN Insight: Project reunites Lazar with Carell since 2008’s Get Smart and reunites him with Kaufman since 2002’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.


Vengeance (Remake) Logline: A former assassin, now a chef, gets revenge for his daughter whose family was murdered. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Matt Tolmach Productions, ARP Producers:  Matt Tolmach, Michele Petin, Laurent Petin Writers: Navot Papushado and Aharon Keshales Directors: Navot Papushado and Aharon Keshales Details: Remake of "Vengeance" (Hong Kong-France/2009) directed by Johnnie To and starring Johnny Hallyday. SSN Insight: Project marks first studio gig for directing duo Papushado & Keshales.

6 Days Logline: The true story of how in April of 1980, armed gunmen stormed the Iranian Embassy in London and a tense hostage situation followed. Studio/Distributor: XYZ Films Production Companies: XYZ Films, Eyeworks New Zealand Producer: Matt Metcalfe Writer: Glenn Standring Director: Toa Fraser SSN Insight: Project re-teams Fraser with his Hautoa team of writer Glenn Standring, producer Matthew Metcalfe, and XYZ Films.

The Feud Logline: In Iowa for his brother’s funeral, a mysterious man gets mixed up with the local crime boss and winds up trapped in an abandoned farm complex with his friends, fighting for their lives. Production Company: Vandal Entertainment Producer: Navid McIlhargey Writers:  Matthew Altman and David Matalon SSN Insight: Project marks the first for newly formed Vandal Entertainment.

My Little Pony Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Production Companies: Hasbro Studios, Allspark Pictures Producer: Megan McCarthy  (Co-Executive Producer) Writer: Joe Ballarini Details: Based on the "My Little Pony" toy franchise which was introduced with the toy in 1981, and the toy line that ran from 1983 through 1995, and inspired animated specials, an animated feature length film, and four animated television series. SSN Insight: Project marks the first to be produced under the newly formed Allspark Pictures banner.

‘Constantine’ Director Neil Marshall’s Horror Roots, Six Reasons to Pay Attention to Austin FF, Film Development for 10/23/14, Gotham Award Noms


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Spotlight: Director Neil Marshall Returns to His Horror Roots for NBC’s ‘Constantine’

The director, Emmy-nominated this year for his work on Game of Thrones, handles helming  chores for the pilot, airing tomorrow night. (SSN)

Six Reasons to Pay Attention to the Austin Film Festival

The 21st annual Austin Film Festival kicks off this week with panels about pitching, plenty of networking events, staged script readings, and of course, movies. (SSN)

Film Development for 10/23/14: Director James Wan on Board for ‘The Conjuring 2,’ Hasbro Studios Readies ‘My Little Pony’ Film

Other projects, like I.Q. 83, Vengeance, 6 Days, and The Feud all have updates, as well. (SSN)


The 2014 Gotham Award Nominations Are Out, With ‘Boyhood’ Getting Four Noms

Aside from Best Picture, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane all earn nods, as does Michael Keaton for Birdman. (THR)

‘SNL’ Intern Lawsuit Reaches a Settlement, With NBCU to Pay $6.4 Million

Approximately $1.2 million of that will go to legal fees in the dispute, finalizing a deal a year-and-a-half after Monet Eliastam filed the class action. (DH)

It’s Now Official: Christian Bale Will Be Playing Steve Jobs in the Upcoming Biopic

The project, with a script by Aaron Sorkin, has Danny Boyle attached to direct and will start production in early 2015. (MF)

Speaking of Biopics, Ethan Hawke Has Signed On to Play Chet Baker

The Oscar-nominated actor and writer will play the legendary jazz trumpeter later in life in Born To Be Blue. (EMP)

Will Smith is Bringing His Hit Film ‘Hitch’ to TV

Half-hour sitcom is described as “a workplace comedy that explores dating and sexual politics,” and will be scripted by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont. (IT)

Kyle Killen Sets Up Sweet First-Look Deal With Paramount TV and Anonymous Content

Under the two-year agreement, the two companies will have first-look rights to produce and distribute scripted programming developed by Killen’s Chapter Eleven banner. (VAR)

First Look: ‘Into the Woods’

Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, and Co. in character and on the set of buzzed-about holiday musical, from director Rob Marshall. (EW)

Rep Moves for 10/24/14: Filmmaker John Singleton Now at ICM, Michelle Williams Moves to WME & More


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  CAA: Star Wars: Episode VII actress Daisy Ridley is now repped by Hylda Queally. She had previously signed with UTA two months ago. Ridley’s career recently jumped into hyperdrive when she landed a coveted lead role in the J.J. Abrams directed Star Wars: Episode VII. Her character has also been confirmed to take a prominent role in the second and third films of the trilogy as well. Looper and Breaking Bad helmer Rian Johnson will direct those films. Prior to Episode VII, Ridley had roles in several U.K. television series including Casualty, Youngers, Toast of London, Silent Witness and Mr. Selfridge. Her other credits have included the sci-fi short Blue Season, as well as the interactive film Lifesaver, which was nominated for a BAFTA. Ridley continues to be repped by attorney Shelby Weiser at Sloane Offer Weber Dern.

Equitable Stewardship for Artists (ESA): Television director and producer Dan Lerner is now repped by Paul Alan Smith. The busy helmer most recently directed episodes of Red Band Society, Resurrection, Extant, Lucky 7 and The Blacklist. He was also a co-executive producer on Lucky 7. Starting off as a camera operator, Lerner moved into directing in the late eighties. Since then, Lerner’s storied directing career has seen such highlights as thirtysomething, Profiler, Once and Again, House M.D., What About Brian, The Starter Wife and In Plain Sight. Lerner’s co-executive producing credits have included Once and Again, What About Brian, The Starter Wife and In Plain Sight.

Gersh: Actress Stana Katic is now repped by Alex Yarosh.  She also recently signed with Larry Taube at Gotham/Principal. Katic’s currently starring in her seventh season as Detective Kate Beckett on ABC’s hit series Castle. Last year, she also appeared in Randal Miller’s period piece about the New York punk scene CBGB, as well as the indie feature Big Sur, opposite Kate Bosworth and Josh Lucas. Starting her career in the nineties, Katic had already built up an impressive film and television resume before landing her signature role on Castle. Her other series credits have included playing Collette Stenger on 24, as well as roles on The Shield, The Closer, ER, Brothers and Sisters and Heroes. Katic’s feature credits have included Quantum of Solace, The Spirit, The Double and the Polish Brothers’ For Lovers Only. In 2008, Katic started her own production company Sine Tore Productions. Next up, she’ll appear in The Tourist, which is currently in post-production.

ICM Partners: Writer, director and producer John Singleton is now repped by John Burnham, Toni Howard, Chris Silbermann and Joanne Wiles. He was previously with ICM. Singleton is currently in pre-production on his Tupac Shukar biopic Tupac, which he will write, direct and produce.  Breaking through in a big way with 1991’s Boyz n the Hood, Singleton landed Academy Award nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Director for his film, becoming the youngest person to ever be nominated for Best Director and the first African-American. He has since gone on to write and direct Poetic Justice, Higher Learning, Shaft and Baby Boy. His other directing credits have included 2 Fast 2 Furious, Four Brothers and 2011’s Abduction. Singleton also produced and financed Baby Boy, Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan.

UTA: Actor Joel Jackson is now repped by Chris Hart, Shani Rosenzweig, Scott Schachter and Louise Ward. Jackson recently got his big break when he was cast in the Sam Worthington miniseries Deadline Gallipoli. The four-part Australian series will air in 2015 and features an all-star cast that includes Hugh Dancy, Charles Dance and Anna Torv. Jackson himself is a newcomer to film and television, having graduated in 2013 from Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA). His credits at NIDA included A Lie of the Mind, Sucking Dublin and The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet. He also has a role in the short What We Know, which is currently in post-production. Jackson remains repped by Morrissey Management in Australia.

UTA: Director, writer and former actress Mia Hansen-Løve is now repped by Jeremy Barber and Bec Smith. Hansen-Løve is currently riding buzz off her drama Eden, which premiered at Toronto and sold its North American rights to Broad Green Pictures. Starting her career as an actress, Hansen-Løve appeared in Olivier Assayas’ features Late August, Early September and Les destinées. Later marrying Assayas, Hansen-Løve then went on to direct the shorts Après mûre réflexion and Offre Spéciale before making her feature directing debut with 2007’s Tout est pardonné (All is Forgiven). That film won Hansen-Løve nominations for Cannes’ Golden Camera, as well as Cesar’s Best First Film. Her second film Father of my Children won a Special Jury Prize at Cannes and in 2011, she directed Goodbye First Love. Eden will be released in Spring 2015.

UTA: Comedian and actress Wanda Sykes is now repped by Douglas Edley, Jay Gassner, Chris Hart, Rob Prinz, Matt Rice, Scott Schachter, Kevin Volchok and Allison Wallach. Sykes is currently appearing on Amazon’s Alpha House. She’s also executive producing NBC’s reboot of Last Comic Standing and will reprise her voice role as Granny in Ice Age 5. One of the top grossing female touring comedians, Sykes got her first major career breaks in the 1990s, winning an Emmy for her writing work on The Chris Rock Show. Since that point, Sykes’ prolific career has seen such highlights as starring in 2003 sitcom Wanda at Large and headlining the 2009 talk show The Wanda Sykes Show. Her television credits have included The New Adventures of Old Christine, Curb Your Enthusiasm and numerous voice roles. On the film side, Sykes has appeared in Monster-in-Law, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Evan Almighty and License to Wed, as well as the animated features Over the Hedge, Barnyard, Rio and Ice Age: Continental Drift.

WME Entertainment: Three-time Oscar nominated actress Michelle Williams is now a client. She was previously at CAA. Williams recently made her Broadway debut in Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s revival of Cabaret. She also starred in the 2013 hit Oz the Great and Powerful. Catapulting to fame with the WB teen drama Dawson’s Creek, Williams soon turned to features and made her mark with indies that included The Station Agent, Land of Plenty and Imaginary Heroes. Williams’ career hit its stride with her Oscar-nominated performance in Brokeback Mountain and she has since appeared in such features as I’m Not There, Wendy and Lucy, Synecdoche, New York, Blue Valentine, Take this Waltz and Shutter Island. Next up, Williams will appear in the World War II romance Suite Française, which recently completed shooting. Williams’ three Academy Award nominations were for her performances in Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine and My Week with Marilyn.

Exec Shuffle for 10/24/14: WB Launches Blue Ribbion Studios, Mila Kunis Starts Shingle Orchard Farm Prod. & More


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Company Launches

Aspire Entertainment: Mark Ciardi has launched a new production company, Aspire Entertainment. The shingle will focus on developing film as well as multi-platform aspirational content. Chairman William Chang, and co-founders Tom Duterme and Ash Vasudevan will join Ciardi in the new venture.

Blue Ribbon Studios: Warner Bros. has launched a new digital production studio, Blue Ribbon Studios. President Sam Register will head the venture and Andrew Mellett has been named Senior Vice President, Distribution & Strategy. The studio will develop and produce animated and live action series for digital platforms. The slate includes original content as well as series based on the DC Universe.

Heretic Literary Management: Jeff Portnoy has launched a new literary management company, Heretic Literary Management.

LEIBO: Jason Leibovitch has launched a new management and production company, LEIBO.

Orchard Farm Productions: Mila Kunis has launched a new television production company, Orchard Farm Productions. Manager Susan Curtis and producers Cami Curtis and Lisa Sterbakov are joining her at the new venture. The company will be based at ABC Studios where they have a first look deal. Orchard Farm will produce series for cable and broadcast television.

Pancho Pictures: Pancho Mansfield has launched a new television production shingle, Pancho Pictures. Elizabeth Bubriski will also join as Manager, Development.

Patriot Artists Agency: Veteran music agents Stephen Brush and Terry Rhodes have launched a new agency, Patriot Artists Agency.

Schneider Global Strategy: ABC News head of PR Jeffrey Schnieder is departing to launch his own public relations firm, Schneider Global Strategy. The new company will handle media relations and crisis management.

Vandal Entertainment: Navid McIllhargey has launched a new film and television production company, Vandal Entertainment. McIllhargey has launched with financial backing from German companies Film House Germany AG and Summerstorm Entertainment. McIllhargey hopes to produce two to three projects a year with his financial backers.

Studios, Networks, and Media Conglomerates

ABC News: Julie Townsend has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Communications.

CBS Entertainment: Colin Studebaker has been promoted to Manager, Comedy Development.


BAFTA: Emma Baehr has joined as Director of Awards. Jim Bradshaw has been named Head of Film. Bradley Down has been named Awards Officer.

Bold Films: Lisa Zambri has joined as Senior Vice President, Production & Development.

The Safran Company: Joan Mao has been promoted to Vice President, Development & Production.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures: Tendo Nagenda has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Production.


7Wonder: Steve Condie has joined as Head, Specialist Factual.

Al Roker Entertainment: Maria Paone has joined as Vice President, Branded Content.

Big Beach TV: Erin Keating has joined as West Coast Executive.

Bunim/Murray Productions: Rob Bagshaw has joined as Senior Vice President, Development & Production.

Carnival Films: Alexandra Sapot has joined as Vice President, Drama Programming.

Cinema Gypsy: JP Sarni has joined as Head, Television.

Layer3 TV: Lindsay Gardner has joined as Chair, Content Advisory Board.

National Geographic Studios: Jeff Hasler has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Development & Production.

PBS: Don Wilcox has joined as Vice President, Digital Marketing & Services.

ProSiebenSat.1: Koby Gal-Raday has joined asSenior Vice President, International Co-Productions & Documentaries.

See-Saw Films: Hakan Kousetta has joined as Chief Operating Officer. Patrick Walters has joined as Development Executive, Television.

Twenty Twenty: Emma Willis has joined as Creative Director.

Zodiak Media: Nathan Gibbs has joined as Group Head, Format Acquisitions.

Agencies, Management Companies, Public Relations, and Law Firms

Gersh: Ian Greenstein has joined as co-Head, TV Literary.

Hawthorne Direct: John Pucci has been name Chief Marketing & Creative Officer.

ICM: Rich Green has joined as Agent, Media Rights.

Paradigm: Jennifer Good has joined as Agent, TV Literary.

Rain Management Group: Stephen Marks has joined as Manager, Literary.

UTA: Shauna Perlman has been promoted to Agent, TV Talent.


Discovery Family: Sarah T. Davies has joined as Vice President, Production & Development.

FX: Jesse Hiestand has joined as Director of Corporate Communications.

Fusion: Boris Gartner has joined as Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer.

IFC: Sachi Ezura has joined as Director, Original Programming. Christine Lubrano has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Original Programming. Maura Madden has joined as Vice President, Original Programming. Jeff Meyerson has joined as Vice President, Original Programming. Ken Vitale has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing.

Spike TV: David Phillips has been named Vice President, Brand Marketing & Creative. Anhelo Reyes has joined as Vice President, Brand Marketing & Activation.

TVGN: Pam Bertino has joined as Senior Vice President, Content Distribution.


Digital Domain: Joanna Capitano has been named Vice President, Features. Daniel Seah has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Digital Domain Group.

Legendary Digital: Cory Lanier has been named Manager, Development & Production.

Modern VideoFilm: Scott Avila has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. Cooper Crouse has been named President. Roxanna Sassanian has been named Chief Financial Officer.


Sony/ATV Music Publishing: Rich Christina has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Head, East Coast A&R.


Jump/Cut Creative: Brandon Schaefer has been named Creative Director, Print Division

Exec Shuffle and Rep Moves for 10/24/14, Alibaba Wants a Piece of Lionsgate, AMC Buys a Chunk of BBC-A


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Exec Shuffle for 10/24/14: WB Launches Blue Ribbon Studios, Mila Kunis Starts Shingle Orchard Farm Productions, and More

Also included are other company launches, as well as hirings and promotions at the studios, production companies and pods. (SSN)

Rep Moves for 10/24/14: John Singleton Now at ICM, Michelle Williams Moves to WME, and More

Other moves include Episode VII star Daisy Ridley signs with CAA, Stana Katic lands at Gersh and Wanda Sykes heads to UTA. (SSN)

Alibaba Wants to Buy a Big Chunk of Lionsgate

Chinese online service, flush with billions of dollars after last month’s IPO, is interested in purchasing 37 percent of the company. (NYP)

AMC Networks Pony Up $200 Million for 49.9 Percent Stake in BBC-America

New York-based AMC will have operational control of BBC America and manage it as a stand-alone channel, adding to its portfolio that also includes AMC, IFC and SundanceTV. (USAT)

Aereo’s Last Legal Hope Was Just Snuffed By Court Ruling

A U.S. District judge in the Southern New York region granted broadcasters a nationwide injunction against the service, essentially giving it a TKO. (DH)

It Appears SVOD Is Going to Be a Very Lucrative Business For the Studios in 2015

Subscription video on demand services Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime are set to spend over $6.8 billion on programming in the coming year. (VAR)

Are We Nearing the End of ‘CSI’? CBS Cuts Show’s Order Down to Just 18 Episodes

Network says it’s an “inventory issue,” with other shows like The Mentalist and Vince Gilligan’s Battle Creek waiting in the wings. (MF)

The Comic Book World Keeps Coming to TV, But Not in the Way You Think

Greg Berlanti is bringing Archie and the gang to Fox in hour-long drama, Riverdale, with Warner TV producing. (NSA)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Bloodline’

The next big Netflix show, starring Emmy winner Kyle Chandler and from the creators of Damages, premieres in March, 2015.(TV)

Screenwriters: ‘Goldeneye’

The 156-page first draft by Michael France, dated January, 1994. (DS)

‘Ouija’ and the ROI of Films Based on Games, Top 10 Takeaways from Digital Hollywood, WB Wants a Female Director for ‘Wonder Woman’




Shall We Play a Game? ‘Ouija,’ and the ROI of Past, Present and Future Films Based on Games

Today’s release of the Universal horror film is just the third based on a board game, but there are plenty of others out there that are ripe for development. (SSN)

The Top 10 Takeaways from Digital Hollywood Fall 2014

The evenings are getting colder, the leaves are changing color, Digital Hollywood rolls into town, and all is right with the world. The digital world, that is. If you weren’t there, here’s what you missed. (SSN)


Warner Is Reportedly Looking for a Woman to Helm Its ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie

No names are officially mentioned, but the studio is clearly looking in that direction for the film, which will star Gal Gadot as the famed Amazonian princess, and be in theaters in 2017. (EMP)

Expanded Filming Hours in Downtown L.A. Shelved Amid Opposition

With Los Angeles gearing up for a significant increase in film and TV production with the new production tax incentives due to kick in next year, one group isn’t so excited about the coming boom. (DH)

Showtime Casts a Pair of Gems For Its Upcoming ‘Billions’

Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis will star in the hour-long drama, from EPs Brian Koppelman, David Levien and Aaron Ross Sorkin, and director Neil Burger. (THR)

FCC Delays Broadcast TV Spectrum Auction Until 2016

Extension gives television station owners more time to decide whether to let wireless broadband providers buy airwave spectrum that they use to transmit programming. (FW)

James Franco Recruits an Impressive List of Actors For His Next Project

His adaptation of Steve Ericsson’s novel Zeroville will star Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Megan Fox, Jacki Weaver, Dave Franco and others. (TP)

ABC Is Asking For More From ‘The Goldbergs,’ ‘Black-ish,’ and a Bunch More

Eight shows in total get more show orders from the Alphabet, including Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy and Castle. (VAR)

Elizabeth Banks’ Directorial Career Has Only Just Begun, Will Take on TV Next

The actress, who makes her helming debut with next year’s Pitch Perfect 2, will direct and executive produce “comedic X-Files” sitcom, The Greater Good for ABC. (WAH)

DVD Commentary Film School: ‘Saw’

On the 10th anniversary of the horror classic, over three dozen interesting bits from the commentary by director James Wan and co-writer/star Leigh Whannell. (FSR)

ICYMI 10/20-10/24: Board Game Movie ROI, Digital Hollywood, Ted Melfi on St. Vincent, Comic Book Movie Showdown



Shall We Play a Game? ‘Ouija,’ and the ROI of Past, Present and Future Films Based on Games

Today’s release of the Universal horror film is just the third based on a board game, but there are plenty of others out there that are ripe for development. (SSN)

The Top 10 Takeaways from Digital Hollywood Fall 2014

The evenings are getting colder, the leaves are changing color, Digital Hollywood rolls into town, and all is right with the world. The digital world, that is. If you weren’t there, here’s what you missed. (SSN)

Writer/Director Ted Melfi Talks the Films and Real-Life Events That Inspired His Directorial Debut, ‘St. Vincent’

Not one, but two major events in the filmmakers life led to him writing the screenplay that attracted Bill Murray and opens wide this weekend. (SSN)

The Comic Book Movie Showdown — How Warner/DC Stacks Up Against Disney/Marvel

With last week’s huge announcement that Warner has no less than 10 movies coming out between 2016 and 2020, the game has very much changed. (SSN)

Six Reasons to Pay Attention to the Austin Film Festival

The 21st annual Austin Film Festival kicks off this week with panels about pitching, plenty of networking events, staged script readings, and of course, movies. (SSN)

‘Ouija’ Scares Up a Box Office Win, ICM Interns Lawsuit Gets Mediation Date, ‘LEGO’ Sequel to Get Lord and Miller Script


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‘Ouija’ Scares Up a Winning Formula at the Box Office

Universal’s horror film earns $20 million to take the top spot over Summit’s surprising John Wick, which earned a bit over $14 million. (SSN)

ICM Partners’ Interns Lawsuit Gets Mediation Date in December

A couple days after NBCUniversal settled its own intern issue and avoided a class action suit, the agency has moved one step closer to possibly resolving its own labor issue. (DH)

Good News, ‘LEGO’ Fans! Lord and Miller Are Returning to Write the Sequel

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who wrote and directed February’s smash hit film, are not yet attached to direct, but are on board for scripting duties for the flick, due in 2018 or 2019. (THR)

Chiwetel Ejiofor Becomes the Latest Big Name to Join Matt Damon in ‘The Martian’

Adaptation of Andy Weir’s book, written by Drew Goddard and to be directed by Ridley Scott, starts filming next month. (EMP)

It Appears That Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor Will Not Just Appear in the Batman Vs. Superman Movie

Oscar-nominated actor is talking to Warner Bros. about bringing the character to the studio’s Suicide Squad film, to be directed by David Ayer and slated for a 2016 release. (CB)

A Bit Later Than Usual, But We Finally Have Our First Cancelled TV Show of the Year

ABC decides it has had enough of Manhattan Love Story, which has been pulled from the schedule after four low-rated and poorly reviewed episodes. (TVG)

Paul Greengrass Is Heading Off to the Cold War

Director of the Bourne series and Captain Phillps signs for The Tunnels, a might-be-true story of an escape from East Berlin in the late ‘80s. (SF)

Todd Solondz is Bringing Back Dawn Wiener a Decade After He Basically Killed Her Off

Director’s next film is a sequel to Welcome to the Dollhouse, 20 years after the first film was released, and with Greta Gerwig playing the poor woman this time around. (FSR)

The Producers Guild Is Developing a “Toolkit” to Debunk Myths of Female-Driven Films

Veteran producer Lydia Pilcher is undertaking the project to combat the idea that femme-led projects don’t do much box office, particularly overseas. (VAR)

Screenwriters: Behind the Lines With DR — Shallow Thinking

“There’s an assumption that the moment one chooses to pull up stakes and leave an area that’s considered more central to the pulse of commerce, it must be because work is not going so well.” (SM)

On the Set for 10/27/14: Russell Crowe & Ryan Gosling Start Shooting ‘The Nice Guys’, Kate Beckinsale Wraps ‘The Disappointments Room’


Ryan Gosling


The Scorch Trials 10/27/2014 Logline: After a group of teenagers escape from a mysterious maze, they face even more danger out in the open on a devastated planet. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Gotham/Principal, Temple Hill Entertainment Director: Wes Ball Producers: Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Lee Stollman, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Joe Hartwick Jr. Cast: Dylan O'Brien, Aidan Gillen, Rosa Salazar, Kaya Scodelario, Dexter Darden, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Patricia Clarkson Screenwriter: T.S. Nowlin Details: Based on "The Scorch Trials," the second novel in the young-adult science fiction trilogy written by James Dashner and published by Delacorte Press in 2010.  Sequel to "The Maze Runner" (USA/2014), also directed by Wes Ball and starring Dylan O'Brien and Kaya Scodelario. SSN Insight: Director Wes Ball and screenwriter T.S. Nowlin are collaborating on “Ruin,” a post-apocalyptic live-action science-fiction feature currently in active development at 20th Century Fox, based on Ball’s acclaimed 2011 animated short of the same name.

The Nice Guys 10/23/2014 Logline: In the late 1970s, heavy-drinking private detective Holland March and jaded racketeer Jackson Healy must team up to find a missing girl within the sprawling, smoggy canvas of a Los Angeles mired in porn stars, environmentalists, and automobile industry special interests. Production Company: Silver Pictures Director: Shane Black Producer: Joel Silver Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Margaret Qualley, Matthew Bomer, Kim Basinger, Keith David Screenwriters: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi SSN Insight: Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger previously starred in another Los Angeles film noir project, “L.A. Confidential” (USA/1997).

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax 10/27/2014 Logline: A surreal psychological thriller following an accident-prone 9-year-old problem child lying in a deep coma and the doctor who cares for him. Studio: Miramax Films Production Companies: AntColony Films, Brightlight Pictures Director: Alexandre Aja Executive Producer: Rosanne Korenberg Producers: Max Minghella, Tim Bricknell, Shawn Williamson, Alexandre Aja Cast: Jamie Dornan, Aaron Paul, Sarah Gadon, Aiden Longworth, Oliver Platt, Barbara Hershey Screenwriters: Max Minghella (adaptation, current draft); Anthony Minghella (adaptation, previous draft) Details: Based on the novel "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax" written by Liz Jensen and published by Bloomsbury in January 10, 2005. SSN Insight: Max Minghella makes his screenwriting debut with the project.  His father, Anthony Minghella, had been developing the film and was attached to direct prior to his death in 2008.

Concussion 10/25/2014 Logline: Based on the true story of the doctor who discovered CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in football players, and the uphill battle he faced in bringing the information to the public. Studio: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Scott Free Productions, Shuman Company Director: Peter Landesman Executive Producers: Michael Schaefer, David Crockett Producers: Giannina Facio, Ridley Scott, David Wolthoff, Larry Shuman, Elizabeth Cantillon Cast: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Albert Brooks, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Paul Reiser Screenwriter: Peter Landesman Details: Based on the article "Game Brain" by Jeanne Marie Laskas published in the October 2009 issue of GQ magazine. SSN Insight: Ridley Scott was previously attached to direct.


The Disappointments Room 10/24/2014 Logline: Inspired by true events, when a family moves into their rural dream house, they accidentally unlock a hidden room in the attic and unleash unprecedented horror. Studio: Relativity Media Production Companies: Media Talent Group, Demarest Films Director: D.J. Caruso Executive Producers: Tucker Tooley, Ryan Kavanaugh Producer: Geyer Kosinski Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Mel Raido Screenwriters: D.J. Caruso (Revisions); Wentworth Miller SSN Insight: Voltage and Killer Films were previously attached to produce.

Stealing Chanel 10/24/2014 Logline: In modern-day New York, a man who is a kleptomaniac obsessed with stealing fashionable clothing is arrested and must participate in counseling with an upper-crust, judgmental female therapist who guides him towards his talents as a fashion designer while their rocky relationship deepens. Production Companies: Astoria Films, Inc., RPM Media Director: Roberto Mitrotti Executive Producer: Roy Carlo Producer: Patricia Field Cast: Lydia Hearst, Anna Maria Cianciulli, Margaret Colin, Carol Alt, Adam La Vorgna, John Rothman Screenwriters: Linda Howard, Roberto Mitrotti SSN Insight: Project was previously in development under the title "Shoplifter," with Jack Huston, Michelle Trachtenberg, Marisa Tomei, Harvey Keitel, Andrea Martin, and musician/actor Etcetera attached as members of the cast.

Sing Street 10/25/2014 Logline: An aspiring teen musician from Dublin leaves his troubled home to chase his dreams in London. Production Companies: Likely Story, Distressed Films, PalmStar Entertainment, Merced Media Partners, Filmwave Director: John Carney Producers: Anthony Bregman, John Carney, Kevin Scott Frakes, Raj Singh, Paul Trijbits, Christian Grass Cast: Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo Screenwriter: John Carney SSN Insight: John Carney previously wrote and directed the music-themed feature films “Once” (Ireland/2006) and “Begin Again” (USA/2014).

Ten Best Lines From Amy Poehler’s New Book, On the Set for 10/27/14, Benedict Cumberbatch Is ‘Dr. Strange’


yes please cover amy poehler


The 10 Best Lines From Amy Poehler’s New Book — “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend”

Amy’s addition to the “women in comedy writing best-selling memoirs” canon comes out today, on the heels of Lena Dunham’s just released Not That Kind of Girl, and is funny, honest and inspiring. (SSN)

On the Set for 10/27/14: Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe Start Shooting ‘The Nice Guys,’ Kate Beckinsale Wraps ‘The Disappointments Room’

Maze Runner sequel The Scorch Trials also starts production, while Stealing Chanel and Sing Street wrap their shoots, as well. (SSN)


It Appears That Marvel Has, At Long Last, Found Its Dr. Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch is the studio’s choice to play the Sorcerer Supreme, and negotiations have begun with the actor. Scott Derrickson is directing the film, which is due in theaters July, 2016. (HV)

Don’t Look Now, But Jennifer Aniston Is About to Join the 2014 Oscar Race

Her new film, Cake, which was a hit at Toronto, has been picked up by new distributor Cinelou, which will give it a qualifying run before he end of the year. (DH)

Steven Spielberg Has Found His ‘BFG,’ and His Name Is Mark Rylance

British actor, and three-time Tony winner, will play the title role in Spielberg’s next film, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1982 novel, The BFG, which will shoot next year for a July 1, 2016 release. (VAR)

The Title for the Latest ‘Fast and Furious’ Sequel Has Been Announced

And it’s called Furious 7, which makes it the first in the series without the word “fast” in the title. It’ll be in theaters April 3, 2015. (UR)

Neither Nolan Brother Will Be Working on Any More DC Comic Book Movies

Both Christopher and Jonathan, who co-wrote The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, ave removed themselves from any further development in the DCCU. (CB)

Gareth Edwards Has Recruited ‘Foxcatcher’ DP to Shoot His Star Wars Standalone Movie

Greig Fraser also worked as the cinematographer for Zero Dark Thirty and Killing Them Softly, as well as he upcoming The Gambler. (TFS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Nightcrawler’

The red band trailer for the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller, written and directed by Dan Gilroy and co-starring Rene Russo, in theaters this Friday, the 31st. (TF)

A Few Days Away From Halloween, What Are the 25 Best Horror Films Since Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’?

Thirty-four years after the film was released to critical derision and indifferent box office, it is revered as changing the face of modern horror. (VUL)

RatPac Closes Big Money Deal For WB Flicks, SoftBank Buys Into Indian Alibaba, The Making of ‘Bone Tomahawk’


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RatPac Closes on a Deal to Obtain $150 Million Credit Line for Warner Bros. Titles

Deal with Bank of America Merrill Lynch comes a year after company owned by Brett Ratner and James Packer announced a $300 million co-financing deal to cover as many as 75 titles over five years. (VAR)

SoftBank’s Ongoing Quest For World Domination Continues With Latest Investment

Company that just put $250 million into Legendary Entertainment and acquired video streaming service DramaFever has now put $627 million into Snapdeal, Indian equivalent of Alibaba. (DH)

The Making of ‘Bone Tomahawk’ At All Costs

The harrowing story of how a producer fought through incredible personal tragedy to fund his dream project and get it in front of the cameras. (HJ)

NBC Gives Everyone Something They Didn’t Even Know They Wanted: A Neil Patrick Harris Variety Show

The Emmy and Tony-winning star and host of the 2015 Oscar ceremony will be headlining an American version of the U.K. show, Saturday Night Takeaway. (MF)

The Rumors Of Taylor Kitsch Having a Part in Season Two of ‘True Detective” Are … True

The actor confirms his connection to the Emmy-winning series, which will begin shooting soon in Los Angeles, along with other confirmed stars Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn. (CB)

Madison Square Garden Company Considers Major Split Between Its Two Operations

Company’s board has approved a plan to consider splitting the company into two entities, one for the live entertainment business and the other for sports and media businesses. (THR)

CBS Gives Full Season Orders to Four Different Freshman Series

NCIS: New Orleans, Scorpion, Madame Secretary and Stalker each gets rewarded for high ratings with the coveted 22-episode treatment. (TVG)

‘The Flash’ Premiere Ran Itself Right Into the Record Books

After factoring in Live + 7 Day Nielsen ratings data, show rose 41 percent from its Live + Same Day total viewers to become the most-watched in the history of The CW. (NSA)

RADiUS and CNN Films Are Getting Together to Make a Documentary on Campus Sex Crime

Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director Kirby Dick, and Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning producer Amy Ziering ("The Invisible War") will direct and produce the film. (SAA)

First Look: ‘The Imitation Game’

A clip from the Oscar contender, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode, directed by Morten Tyldum and in theaters November 14. (TP)

What’s your Scariest Moment? Horror Filmmakers Jason Blum, James Wan, John Carpenter & More Tell their Chilling Tales


blair witch project

stairs-205718_1920They’re the writers, directors and producers who have brought nightmares to life onscreen including the gaunt undead, murderous clowns, creepy dolls, damp torture chambers, and much more. But when it comes to what terrifies the filmmakers behind these killer creations, the answer might surprise you, make you laugh, or scare you to the core.

Just in time for Halloween, the staff at SSN Insider took time out of analyzing box office and development slates to sit down with the best and brightest, or should we say the most horrific and darkest, of the horror film genre to hear what scares the bejeezus out of them.

From powerhouse producer Jason Blum to Saw creator James Wan and the legendary John Carpenter, they all took the time to chat with us and answer the question: What’s the scariest moment you can remember from either film or your own life? Read below for the answers.

“I was 4 years old. I barely knew what a movie was. I went to see It Came From Outer Space in 3D. I put on the glasses. The movie began. A meteor (actually a space ship on fire) came out of the night sky and blew up right in my face. I jumped up and ran up the aisle in terror .By the time I reached the lobby I slowed down, then returned to my seat. From then on I was hooked on movies.” -John Carpenter, filmmaker of Halloween, The Fog, Escape from LA and Ghosts of Mars

the ring tv"For me, the two scariest things I have ever seen in film are from two Japanese movies.  The first was in the Japanese version of The Ring where Sadako (Samara in the American remake) crawled out of the television set.

The second was in the Japanese version of The Grudge where Kayako came crawling down the stairs at the end of the movie.  Both of those scenes were terrifying." ​ -Roy Lee, principal at Vertigo Entertainment with credits on The Grudge, The Ring, Oldboy and the upcoming The Woman in Black: Angel Of Death "Seeing The Blair Witch Project on the big screen after I passed on it." -Jason Blum, president of Blumhouse Productions behind the Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and Purge franchises and the just released Ouija "The scariest things ever are real. Watching 9/11 live was probably the most terrifying thing I can imagine. But the thing that I have seen that just scared me again and again and again, even thinking about it upsets me, is the documentary Man on Wire. The guy tightrope walking between the Twin Towers … I can’t even contemplate it without getting nervous shakes. And the fact that he lay down on the wire? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! (laughs) That just freaks me out, so much." -Neil Marshall, Director of The Descent, Doomsday, NBC’s Constantine, and the upcoming Hellfest)

amityville horror"When I was about 10 or 11, I saw the original Amityville Horror on VHS and freaked out…The thing that tormented me most was at the same time every morning in the Lutz house (3.15am), all manner of supernatural shit would go down.

So, of course if I would wake up on or around that time, I would watch my bedside clock in a state of abject terror, just waiting for something awful to happen. It got so bad I had to swap rooms with my sister because I couldn't sleep in my old room...I'm pretty sure it's not even really that scary, but I still can't watch it!​" –Jennifer Kent, writer/director of The Babadook

“The very first horror movie I ever saw was Poltergeist at the age of seven and the clown-doll in that movie scarred me for life." -James Wan, filmmaker behind the Saw and Insidious franchise and director of the upcoming Furious 7

"There is nothing scarier than real life and I've had to read a lot about serial killers in my research for writing scripts and most of what I've read over the years about real cases would not be believable if anyone put it in a movie. It's so beyond anything you can imagine, and sometimes even the most hardcore movies you see are in fact a very soft version of how twisted the human mind can be. Sometimes you regret reading all of that because those stories stay in your mind." -Alexandre Aja, writer/director of The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3-D and director of the upcoming Horns

the blair witch project"I would go to three different points of my life. When I was young, the scariest thing I ever saw were the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz. That terrified me. It was utterly terrifying to me. Then, when I was a teenager, it was The Exorcist. That was profoundly disturbing on many levels.

And as an adult, I don’t know why, but … (laughs) The Blair Witch Project still scares me. There’s something about the reality and how they sell it, I fall for the found footage and the whole ethos of it somehow. I used to go camping when I was a kid, and maybe it’s just playing on our own fears, but there’s something about the woods, and getting lost … I don’t know. I’m not easily frightened, but those films somehow have a grip on me." -Dan Gilroy, writer on The Bourne Legacy and director/writer of the upcoming Nightcrawler

The scariest thing I ever saw was Ben Gardner’s decapitated head bursting through the hole in the boat in Jaws. When I found myself screaming along with the rest of the audience, and then chuckling together as a tension-breaker, I knew that I had found my calling. - Don Mancini, creator of Chucky and writer of the Child's Play series

TV Development for 10/28/14: Tina Fey Develops New Comedy Project with Fortune Feimster, Marc Cherry EP on Phantom of the Opera



No Angels Network: ABC Studio: ABC Studios Production Company: Amblin Television Executive Producers: Julie Anne Robinson, Stacy Traub, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Roderick Seligman, Simon Heath Writer: Stacy Traub Director: Julie Anne Robinson Logline: About a group of nurses who work together and live together. Work issues become home issues. Home issues become work issues. And eventually it’s hard to tell which is which. Details: Based on the British dramedy, No Angels, which aired on Channel 4 in 2004. SSN Insight: Robinson is also developing The Long Game, with Shondaland and ABC, being written by Jennifer Schuur, about a female forensic accountant who exposes fraud for a living.

Riverdale Network: Fox Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Companies: Berlanti Productions, Archie Comics Entertainment Executive Producers: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Jon Goldwater Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Logline: Set in the present, the series offers a subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends, exploring the surreality of small-town life — the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade. Details: Based on the characters from the Archie comics. SSN Insight: Berlanti is also developing three other projects, Blindspot for NBC, Supergirl for CBS, and The Things They Left Behind for CBS. Untitled Fortune Feimster Comedy Project Network: ABC Studio: Universal Television Production Company: 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producers: Matt Hubbard, Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, David Miner Co-Executive Producer: Fortune Feimster Writer: Matt Hubbard Logline: Set in North Carolina, the show is based on the family life and stand-up of Feimster. SSN Insight: Project reunites the same producers who last season created Cabot College for Fox, which ultimately did not get picked up to series.

Totally Illegal Network: ABC Studio: ABC Studios Executive Producers: Lee Aronsohn, Marcus Wiley Writer: Lee Aronsohn Logline: The show takes a different spin on the idea of assimilation and immigration experiences in the framework of a family show. Details: Based on the real-life experiences of producer Kelly Slattery.

Frankenstein Network: FOX Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company: Teakwood Lane Productions Executive Producers: Rand Ravich, Howard Gordon Co-Executive Producer: Hugh Fitzpatrick Writer: Rand Ravich Logline: Adam Tremble is a morally corrupt FBI agent who is given a second chance at life when he is brought back from the dead. Now younger and stronger, Tremble will have to choose between his old temptations and his new sense of purpose — dealing with threats beyond the FBI’s capabilities. All the while, he must navigate the complicated relationship with his "creators": an antisocial Internet billionaire and his bio-engineer twin sister. Details: Inspired by the novel, Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley and published in 1818. SSN Insight: Gordon is also developing an untitled project with James Wong for CBS. Phantom of the Opera Network: ABC Studio: ABC Studios Production Company: Cherry/Wind Productions Executive Producers: Marc Cherry, Sabrina Wind, Alan Zachary, Michael Weiner Writers: Alan Zachary, Michael Weiner Logline: Set in the sexy and cutthroat world of the modern-day music business. Details: Based on the novel, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra (Phantom of the Opera), written by Gaston Leroux and originally published as serial in 1909.

The Greater Good Network: ABC Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company: Brownstone Productions Executive Producers: Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman, Caroline Williams Writer: Caroline Williams Director: Elizabeth Banks Logline: A relationship/workplace comedy set in the world of conspiracy theories. SSN Insight: If the project is picked up, it would be Banks’ first directing project.

Death Class Network: NBC Studio: Universal Television Executive Producers: Jennifer Carpenter, Sara Colleton Logline: Centers on nurse Norma Bowe, who, when she decides to teach a class on death at a college in New Jersey, never expected it to be popular. But year after year students crowd into her classroom and the reason is clear: Norma's "death class" is really about how to make the most of what poet Mary Oliver famously called our "one wild and precious life." Details: Based on the novel The Death Class: A True Story About Life, written by Erika Hayasaki. SSN Insight: Carpenter has just recently wrapped the USA pilot Stanistan.

Silk Network: ABC Studio: ABC Studios Production Company: BBC Worldwide Productions Executive Producers: Peter Moffat, Marty Scott Writer: Marty Scott Logline: Chronicles the journey of an unorthodox and uncompromising attorney Martha Costello. What she lacks in polish she makes up for in her unstoppable blue-collar determination. Martha is constantly in battle not only for her own clients, but also for her own survival at the world's top law firm, the secretive and elitist Crown & Royce. Details: Based on the British drama which aired from 2011-2014 on BBC One, and starred Maxine Peake.

Untitled Shane Brennan Family Cop Drama Network: CBS Studio: CBS Television Production Company: Shane Brennan Productions Executive Producers: Shane Brennan, Stephen Crawford, Grant Anderson Co-Executive Producers: JP Lavin, Chad Damiani, Matt Hawkins, Marc Silvestri Writers: JP Lavin, Chad Damiani Logline: Centers on four agents who go undercover as the perfect family for an operation that has them rooting out dangerous criminals in the suburbs while becoming an unlikely family at the same time. Details: Based on the upcoming Top Cow Productions comic book Family Affair, written by J.P. Lavin, Chad Damiani and Matt Hawkins.

Wire In The Blood Network: ABC Studio: ABC Studios Production Companies: Mandeville Films/TV, Coastal Productions, Endemol Studios Executive Producers: A.M. Homes, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Laurie Zaks, Sandra Jobling Writer: A.M. Homes Logline: When detective Elizabeth Chase struggles to evade the succession of women in New York City who have turned up dead, she recruits the help of unconventional clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill, who has a talent for catching killers before they are able to strike again. Dr. Hill analyzes both victim and killer, demonstrating empathy for both sides. Details: Based on the British psychological crime drama of the same name, which premiered on ITV in 2002 and which was based on characters created by Scottish suspense novelist and crime writer Val McDermid.

Shakespeare’s Sisters Network: CW Studio: CBS Television Studios Production Company: Harmon/Tannenbaum Executive Producers: Mark Harmon, Eric Tannenbaum, Kim Tannenbaum, Brad Silberling Co-Executive Producer: Scott Sullivan Writer: Scott Sullivan Director: Brad Silberling Logline: A tale of black magic, romance and revenge, the drama is set in 1590s London and chronicles a young Will Shakespeare's rise to prominence as he finds himself caught in a deadly conflict among three witches and the most powerful woman in the world, Queen Elizabeth. SSN Insight: Harmon was also behind the new series NCIS: New Orleans, which he teamed up with NCIS creator Gary Glasberg to help create.

Untitled Josh Siegal / Dylan Morgan Witch Project Network: NBC Studio: Universal Television Production Company: TBD Entertainment Executive Producers: Josh Siegal, Dylan Morgan, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan Writers: Josh Siegal, Dylan Morgan Logline: A circle of friends who grow closer when one of them "comes out" to the group — as a witch. SSN Insight: Project stems from Siegal’s and Morgan’s overall deal with Universal Television.

Mr. Chris Network: ABC Studio: CBS Television Studios Production Company: Amigos de Garcia Productions Executive Producers: Chris Case, Greg Garcia, Alix Jaffe Writer: Chris Case Logline: After Chris gets financially cut off by his fed-up father, he temporarily moves in with a construction foreman and his family, where he has to learn the lessons that were never taught to him growing up. SSN Insight: This is Garcia’s sixth project sold this season.

St. Lucy’s Network: ABC Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Executive Producers: Channing Powell, John L. Jacobs, Jenny Bicks Writer: Channing Powell Logline: When mysterious and attractive 16-year-old twins show up at the elite St Lucy’s boarding school, it changes the school and the tiny town of Green Hills, Maine in ways no one could have imagined. Raised by wolves, these two have the feral ferocity, sexuality and instincts that socialized humans around them have lost. Only the middle-aged Headmistress (and nun), knows their secret, but what she does not know is that her sexy secret lover--a popular 24-year-old English teacher—is a former wolf kid himself. Details: Based on the novel St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, written by Karen Russell. SSN Insight: Bicks is also developing the TV adaptation of Marley & Me for NBC and an Untitled project with Max Greenfield for Fox.

Fall TV Status Report, Horror Masters Tell of Scariest Moments, TV Development for 10/28/14, Marvel Announces New Slate




All the News in One Place: The Fall TV Status Report and Ratings of New Network Shows

Here we are, weeks deep into the fall 2014 season, and only a single show has been canceled by one of the five major broadcast networks. (SSN)

What’s Your Scariest Moment? Horror Masters Tell Their Chilling Tales

Genre talents like John Carpenter, Jason Blum, James Wan and Alexandre Aja, among others, spill the beans on the things that scare them most. (SSN)

TV Development for 10/28/14: Tina Fey Develops New Comedy Project With Fortune Feistier, Marc Cherry Is EP on Phantom of the Opera, and More

Other projects include a drama about nurses called No Angels, Greg Berlanti’s Riverdale show, and a new Frankenstein project from EP Rand Ravich. (SSN)


Not to Be Outdone, Marvel Stares Down Warner Bros. and Announces Its Upcoming Slate

Captain America 3 will be the Civil War story, Avengers 3 will be split into two parts, Thor 3 is subtitled Ragnarok, Guardians 2 moved up two months, and Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Inhumans solo efforts confirmed. (SF)

Damon and Affleck’s Pearl Street Continues Its Push Into TV With Half-Hour Comedy for Fox

Network gives untitled show from 30 Rock alum Colleen McGuinness, about a 20-something frozen yogurt shop employee whose life is going nowhere — until she discovers that she is telekinetic, a script order plus penalty. (VAR)

Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 Hires Foursome of New Execs

Shaun Williams is the new CFO, while Lindsey Bayman, Mark Bakshi and Kimberly LoCascio join the team in key roles, overseeing financial affairs, physical production, visual effects and postproduction. (THR)

The Massive Endemol, Shine and CORE Merger Has Its New Leaders

Endemol’s toppers, Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin, have been named Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs North America of the new joint venture, and will continue to report to Tim Hincks, President of the joint venture. (DH)

Lifetime Has Found Its Marilyn Monroe!

Network casts Kelli Garner to play the iconic role in the upcoming four-hour Marilyn miniseries, with Susan Sarandon already on board as Marilyn’s mentally ill mother, Gladys. (TVG)

The Comeback of Keanu Reeves Is Now Officially Underway

With the success of John Wick this past weekend kicking it into gear, the Matrix star has now landed the lead in sci-fi thriller, Replicas, from producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. (TOH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Paddington’

The family film starring the famed ursine traveler, voiced by Ben Whishaw, hits theaters December 12th. (MF)

Fox Breaks Its Own BO Record, ‘Conjuring’ Lawsuit Vanishes, Alibaba and Sony Discuss Co-Financing, HBO Cuts More Jobs



With More Than Two Months Left in the Year, Fox Has Already Surpassed Its Box Office Record

The studio has already passed $1.5 billion in domestic grosses, zipping past the $1.48 billion it reached just four years ago. (DH)

That ‘Conjuring’ Lawsuit That Warner Bros. Was Facing? It Has Gone Bye-Bye

The film’s producer, Tony DeRosa-Grun, had filed the suit, but had it dismissed without prejudice, though this does allow him to refile, if he so desires. (IGN)

Alibaba and Sony Are Having Conversations About Co-Financing

Jack Ma, the founder of the Chinese internet company, is exploring the possibility of co-financing films in both Chinese and English, but aimed at a worldwide audience. (VAR)

As Time Warner Layoffs Continue, HBO Prepares to Cut 150 Jobs

Number equals seven percent of premium cable network’s workforce, while the parent company is expected to lose over 2,600 positions by the end of November. (LAT)

Newest Marvel Star Chadwick Boseman Signed a Five Picture Deal With the Studio

42 and Get On Up star, will play Black Panther in a solo film in theaters November 2, 2017, but will be seen first in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. (TP)

Kurt Sutter Rushed to Hospital for Emergency Appendectomy While Shooting ‘SOA’ Series Finale

Show’s creator and show runner also wrote the finale, which will air December 9th, and was temporarily replaced by Emmy winner, and fellow series EP, Paris Barclay. (EW)

Rich Ross Splits From Shine to Take Over President Duties at Discovery Channel

Former Disney exec will report to Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav and replaces interim Marjorie Kaplan, who will continue to run TLC and Animal Planet. (BC)

MTV Wants To Be in the ‘Scream’ Business

Network orders 10-episode reboot of the Wes Craven-Kevin Williamson horror franchise, which will premiere on the network in October, 2015. (TVL)

‘Mockingjay, Parts One and Two’ Director Francis Lawrence Thinks There Might Be More ‘Hunger Games’ in Our Future

Director of the final three movies in the four-film series thinks there are more Panem stories to tell, and we might see them after the Hunger Games series wraps up in 2015. (EMP)

Screenwriters: Going Into the Abyss

By doing so, in the words of Joseph Campbell, we discover the treasures of life, which makes for an excellent journey for your protagonist. (GITS)

TV Castings for 10/29/14: Neil Patrick Harris to Guest on American Horror Story, Paul Giamatti & Damien Lewis Set for Showtime’s Billions


neil patrick harris


Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis have been set as leads in Showtime’s Billions, that takes a forensic look at the world of high finance by tracking the approaching collision between two titanic figures – the hard charging, whip-smart U.S. Attorney and a brilliant, ambitious hedge fund king.

Amanda Righetti, Peter Jacobson and Alex Neustaedter join USA’s Colony, which centers on life in Los Angeles after a mysterious “foreign” occupation. Gonzalo Menendez will recur.

Zachary Booth, Bill Irwin, Drew Moerlein, Lamman Rucker and Paulina Singer have landed series regular roles on WE tv’s South of Hell, that follows a skilled and fearless demon-hunter-for-hire. Lydia Hearst, Slate Holmgren and Lauren Velez will recur.

Gloria Reuben will recur on USA’s Mr. Robot, that centers on a young programmer, who suffers from a debilitating anti-social disorder and decides that he can only connect to people by hacking them.

Lindsey Gort has joined the cast of Self Promotion that centers on overworked assistant who discovers that her dragon lady boss is missing (or worse).

Alice Braga has booked the lead on USA’s Queen of the South, about a women who after her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico, is forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America.

Florence Faivre has joined Syfy’s The Expanse, that follows the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.

Current Series:

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka are set to guest star on FX’s American Horror Story.

Mary McCormack will guest star on Showtime’s House of Lies.

Rebecca Creskoff has been cast as a regular in season 2 of HBO’s Silicon Valley.

Tricia Helfer will guest star on USA’s Suits.

Debra Mooney is scheduled to appear on CW’s The Originals.

Malese Jow will guest star on CW’s The Flash.

Billy Burke will appear in Season 3 of TNT’s Major Crimes.

Krista Allen will guest star in ABC’s Castle.

Bess Armstrong has landed a recurring role on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth.

Moniqua Plante is set to recur on ABC’s Nashville.

Ty Olsson has landed a recurring role on CW’s The 100.

Sarah Jane Morris will appear in season 5 of CBS’ Hawaii Five-0.

Hilarie Burtonis scheduled to guest star on ABC’s Forever.

Brian Doyle Murray is set to guest star in season 2 of USA’s Sirens.

New Series:

Courtney Love will guest star on Fox’s Empire.

Lauren Graham is set to guest star on CBS’ Odd Couple.

Percy Daggs III will guest star on CW’s iZombie.

Lyndsy Fonseca and Meagen Fay have booked recurring roles on Marvel’s Agent Carter.

Hayley Kiyoko has been cast as a regular in CBS’ CSI: Cyber.

Director Alexandre Aja Talks ‘Horns,’ TV Casting for 10/29/14, Clooney and Heslov Hire ‘Hack Attack’ Writer


alex aja horns bts


Anatomy of a Horror Director: Alexandre Aja Talks the Suspenseful, Supernatural ‘Horns,’ Early Influences and Fear

The accomplished French filmmaker’s latest stars Daniel Radcliff as a guy suspected of killing his girlfriend who wakes up to find horns growing out of his head. (SSN)

TV Casting for 10/29/14: NPH to Visit ‘American Horror Story,’ Damien Lewis and Paul Giamatti Set to Make ‘Billions’

Also, new castings for USA’s Colony and Queen of the South, WE TV’s South of Hell, and Syfy’s The Expanse, as well as over a dozen current shows. (SSN)


George Clooney and Grant Heslov Hire A Writer For Their ‘Hack Attack’ Project

Pair’s Smokehouse Pictures nabs Theory of Everything writer-producer Anthony McCarten to adapt the Nick Davies bestseller for Sony, with Clooney planning to direct. (DH)

There’s a New Animation Company in Town, and It Shall Be Known as ZAG Animation Studios

Haim Saban combines with Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan and Jeremy Zag for the venture, which will focus on family entertainment franchises and already has 10 projects in development. (THR)

FCC Considering Major Rule Change That Would Put Internet TV Providers on Par With Cable Companies

Commission chairman Tom Wheeler wants to make it so that broadcasters wouldn't be able to refuse to let an internet TV provider carry their content. (TV)

Microsoft Finishes Another Round of Cutbacks by Laying Off Another 3,000 Workers

The tech giant eliminated 14 percent of its workforce, or about 18,000 positions, ending several rounds of cuts the company has made to meet its target figure of around 110,000 employees. (VAR)

A24 Picks Up Domestic Rights to Alex Garland’s Directorial Debut, ‘Ex Machina’

Sci-fi epic from the writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine stars Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander, will hit theaters April 10, 2015. (IW)

Jason Bateman Is Getting His Hyphenate On Again, Will Direct Himself in ‘IPO Man’

Fox Searchlight will distribute real-life story of a guy who sold shares of himself and then let shareholders make his decisions for him, to fairly disastrous result. (SF)

Yet Another Comic Book Character Is Getting the TV Treatment, Thanks to Netflix

But he’s not a superhero, he’s Richie Rich, and he’s nabbed a 21-episode order from the online service, with Jake Brennan attached to star and Awesomeness TV on board as production company. (CB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Marco Polo’

The first look at Netflix’s next big project, a 10-part, $90 million epic that premieres on December 12th. (MF)

Kyra Sedgwick Returns to TV, Next Coen Bros. Film Coming in 2016, Michael Bay Directing Benghazi Movie


NEW YORK - MAY 10: Screenwriter and director Joel Coen (L) and his brother, filmaker, Ethan Coen (R) pose in their Manhattan office on May 10, 2004 in New York City.  The Coen brothers have made many successful films including Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and O'Brother Where Art Thou. (Photo by Jean-Christian Bourcart/Getty Images)

Kyra Sedgwick Becomes the Latest Star to Return to TV

Emmy and Golden Globe winner will take on the lead of new HBO half-hour comedy about a former nun trying to find herself after walking out on her church and, well, her marriage, from New Adventures of Old Christine creator Kari Lizer. (VAR)

The Next Coen Brothers Movie Will Not Hit Theaters For Another 15 Months

Universal targets February 5, 2016 for Hail, Caesar!, starring George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill, which starts shooting in January. (TOH)

Michael Bay Is Taking a Break From ‘Transformers’ Movies to Direct a Benghazi Film

Director is in talks to helm 13 Hours, based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff, with a script from Chuck Hogan, that will focus on the six members of the security team that struggled to defend American life during the attack. (TP)

Pro-Democracy Advocate Chow Yun-Fat Facing Chinese Ban For His Beliefs

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star remains defiant and unafraid, responding to the threats to his career and future earnings, “I’ll just make less, then.” (THR)

John Boorman’s Final Film Picked Up By BBC Worldwide

Five-time Oscar nominee’s Queen and Country, which premiered at 2014 Cannes Fest, is a follow-up to his semi-autobiographical Hope and Glory, marks the filmmaker’s retirement. (IW)

One Thing’s For Sure: You Can’t Keep Geoff Stults Off TV For Very Long

The actor will co-write and star in a new multi-camera comedy for CBS, with Will Gluck, Richie Schwartz, Joe Port, Joe Wiseman and Stults writing partner Dave Whatley on as EPs. (TLF)

Jerry Bruckheimer Is Getting Behind an ‘American Gigolo’ Pilot

The latest ‘80s movie being turned into a TV show is based on the Paul Schrader film, which was produced by Bruckheimer and which made Richard Gere a star. (TVG)

With 2015 Being the 100th Anniversary of Orson Welles’s Birth, What Better Present Than a New Film?

The Other Side of the Wind, thelost, final, unfinished work that he spent the final 15 years of his life on could actually be in theaters next year, thanks to Royal Road Productions. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1’

The final trailer from the highly anticipated third part of the Hunger Games epic story promises plenty of action. Film hits theaters November 21st. (UR)

Screenwriters: ‘The Godfather — Part III’

The 126-page first draft, screenplay by Dean Rinser, story by Mario Puzo, dated 3/12/79. (AF)