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TV Development for 12/16/14: BBC Producing J.K. Rowling’s Cuckoo’s Calling, ITV Revives Beowulf, Netflix Airing Shlesinger Comedy Special & More


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ABC/Untitled Dan Fogelman NBA Comedy Project Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Companies: Kapital Entertainment, Mandalay Sports Media, Rhode Island Ave. Productions Executive Producer(s): David E. Windsor, Casey Johnson, Dan Fogelman, Peter Guber, Michael Tollin Writer(s): David E. Windsor, Casey Johnson Logline: Set in the world of the NBA, the story is about a rookie who doesn’t speak English and a translator who doesn’t speak basketball. SSN Insight: ABC has given an initial put pilot commitment to the untitled half hour comedy series.Previous to this project Fogelman created ABC’s The Neighbors and Galavant.

All About Sex Network: TLC Writer(s): Margaret Cho, Heather McDonald, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry Logline:  Half hour show with segments to include the week’s craziest sex-related news, open discussions about love and relationships, viewer questions regarding relationship challenges, and answers to questions people may be too embarrassed to ask otherwise. SSN Insight: The network has given a six-episode order of the half-hour weekly show, set to air Saturdays at 11pm starting January 10 to be co-hosted by Margaret Cho, Heather McDonald, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry.

Atlanta Network: FX Networks Studio: FX Productions Production Company: Schiff Company Executive Producer(s): Donald Glover, Paul Simms, Dianne McGunigle Writer(s): Donald Glover Logline: Revolves around two cousins on their way up through the Atlanta rap scene whose opposing views on art versus commerce, success and race will make their quest anything but easy. Earnest ‘Earn’ Marks, a college drop-out who reconnects with his long buried ambition and sets out to seize the life he imagined for himself when his estranged cousin becomes a sudden star. SSN Insight: The comedy was originally developed at FX in 2013, and FX has now ordered a pilot. In addition to starring in NBC’s Community, Glover has also written on 30 Rock. Black Gold Network: Starz Production Company: FremantleMedia North America Executive Producer(s): Benjamin Percy Writer(s): Benjamin Percy Logline: A war-haunted mercenary and an idealistic rookie cop battle industrial and criminal forces to reclaim the North Dakota town that has been transformed overnight by the oil boom into a new Wild West of fast fortunes and shallow graves. SSN Insight: James Ponsoldt, whose past credits include The Spectacular Now and Smash will direct the pilot. Percy’s book Red Moon is currently being developed as a Fox TV series with Akiva Goldsman. His other book, The Wilding is being adapted for filmmaker Tanya Wexler.

Beowulf Network: ITV Studio: ITV Executive Producer(s): James Dormer, Tim Haines, Katie Newman Writer(s): James Dormer Logline: Scandinavian warrior Beowulf returns to his home to pay respects to his recently deceased father, but when the palace is attacked by the monster Grendel, he must hunt it down. Details: Based on the famous eighth century poem "Beowulf" which was written in Old English. SSN Insight: ITV has ordered the 13 part epic drama. ITV has gotten into the game this year with other ambitious period dramas by ordering The Frankenstein Chronicles and Jekyll & Hyde. Shooting is to take place in County Durham and Northumberland for Beowulf and scheduled for April.

The Cuckoo's Calling Network: BBC One Studio: BBC Worldwide Production Companies: Bronte Film and Television, The Blair Partnership Executive Producer(s): J.K. Rowling, Neil Blair Logline: War veteran Cormoran Strike turns private investigator after losing a leg in Afghanistan. Details: Based on the novels, "The Cuckoo's Calling" and its sequel "The Silkworm" written by J.K. Rowling (under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith) and published by Mulholland. Rowling chose to write under a pseudonym after facing scrutiny for her novel The Casual Vacancy, written after her Harry Potter series. SSN Insight: Rowling previously collaborated with BBC and HBO for a three-hour miniseries adaptation of her novel The Casual Vacancy, which will air on BBC One in February.

Fall of Giants Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Companies: No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Ann Peacock, Michael De Luca, Stephanie Germain Writer(s): Ann Peacock Logline: A tale of love and war told through the lives of five families that become entangled by the first World War. An earl falls for a coal miner's daughter, a British heiress for a German spy and a young American on the fast track to the White House falls for a Russian bootleggers's daughter. Set against the backdrop of a catastrophic war, the characters rise to the challenge of new realities of social class, gender equality and economic collapse and every one of them is irrevocably changed by it. Details: Based on the first book in the Century Trilogy, "Fall of Giants," written by Ken Follett and published by Dutton in 2010. SSN Insight: Planned as a 10-episode limited series.

Freezing Hot Network: Netflix Studio: Netflix Writer(s): Iliza Shlesinger Logline: Comedy special based on Iliza Shlesinger’s life. SSN Insight: Shlesinger was not only the woman to win NBC’s Last Comic Standing but also the youngest in its history to be named champ.  She has since been hosting VH1’s Excused and taped a special for Netflix called War Paint before Freezing Hot. She is also writing ABC’s called Forever 31 in which she will star. The special will be released on Friday, January 23, 2015.

My Transparent Life Network: ABC Family Studio: ABC Studios Production Company: Ryan Seacrest Media Executive Producer(s): Ryan Seacrest, Eugene Young, Rabih Gholam, George Moll, Paul Barrosse Writer(s): none, unscripted documentary Logline: A teenager named Ben learns his parents are not only getting a divorce but also that his dad is becoming a woman. The series will follow Ben, his family and his friends as they support one another through this unexpected journey and watch Charlie slowly become Carly, as she experiences the many stages of her transition from male to female. SSN Insight: Ordered straight to series by ABC. “Trans visibility on TV is at an all-time high,” noted the Washington Blade, especially given Amazon’s Golden Globe nominated Transparent, Netflix’s Orange is the New Black starring Laverne Cox, and the following upcoming shows: documentary Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word for MTV and Logo, VH1’s TransAmerica produced by Tyra Banks, Lena Dunham’s documentary for HBO, and Univision and Pivot’s Crossing Over: Stories of Immigration and Identity.

Professionals Network: Showtime Executive Producer(s): David J. Rosen, Marc Webb Writer(s): David J. Rosen Logline: Comedy about two partially-broken mid-level employees become ensnared in a dangerous game of corporate espionage. SSN Insight: Showtime has given aninitial commitment of three scripts. Professionals is Webb's second comedy developed for Showtime, as also exec producing and directing Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Showtime will have room on the schedule as Nurse Jackie wraps up.

The Real Women Of Telenovelas Network: WE TV Production Companies: Matador Writer(s): none, unscripted Logline: Set in Miami, the series will center on the lives of up-and-coming actresses and actors in the uber-competitive world of telenovelas. SSN Insight: Telenovelas were largely produced in Mexico and Latin America but recently South Florida has become the genre’s new headquarters with Miami nicknamed “Telenovela Tinseltown”. Untitled Entertainment teamed with TV production company Matador to form Untitled/Matador. The joint venture enables both companies to develop, package and produce material for TV and digital outlets. The Terrestrial Network: USA Studio: Fox 21 Television Studios Production Company: Fabrik Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Gary Dauberman, Mikkel Bondesen, Henrik Bastin, Kristen Campo Writer(s): Gary Dauberman Logline: After his estranged teenage daughter goes missing, a schizophrenic man is forced to confront his troubled past as he begins to believe his daughter’s kidnappers are the same as the ones that abducted him 10 years prior: aliens. SSN Insight: Following its initial success with The 4400,USA has recently revived its push to develop alien dramas and is also filming the Carlton Cuse-produced pilot Colony, about an alien occupation. Dauberman’s past feature credits include Annabelle and Crawlspace for New Line.

Awards 2015: Foreign Films, TV Development For 12/16/14, Rogen and Franco Cancel ‘Interview’ Press, DHS Debunks Theater Threats


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Awards 2015: First-Time Filmmaker Zeresenay Mehari “Blows Away” Angelina Jolie With ‘Difret’

A film that tells the true story of a 14-year-old rural Ethiopian girl who kills her would-be husband after he rapes her, sparking a battle between civil authority and customary law. (SSN)

Awards 2015: Swedish Director Ruben Östlund Talks ‘Force Majeure,' “When Survival Comes In, Culture Goes Out”

The Swedish film tells the story of a family’s vacation at a ski resort in the French Alps. When the patriarch’s reaction to an oncoming avalanche is not what his wife expects, family dynamics get shaken up. (SSN)


TV Development For 12/16/14: BBC Producing J.K. Rowling’s ‘Cuckoo Calling,’ ITV Revives ‘Beowulf,’ and More

Other projects that get rolling include Dan Fogelman’s NBA comedy, Donald Glover’s Atlanta, and Gary Dauberman’s The Terrestrial on USA Network, among a host of others. (SSN)

In the Face Of More Threats From Hackers, Rogen and Franco Cancel Press Outings For ‘The Interview’

Those behind the Sony hacks, cited the September 11th attacks in their post online, while threatening the filmmakers and anyone who might go to see the film in theaters, once it opens on Christmas Day. (HP)

The Department Of Homeland Security Says No Credible Evidence To Support Upcoming Movie Theater Threat

Fans and theater owners alike had been warned by the group that conducted the Sony hack that anyone who went to see The Interview would face a potential terror attack. (DH)

It’s Promotion Day Over At BET! Stephen Hill Is the Big Winner!

The president of music programming and specials has been tapped to replace Loretha Jones and serve as the president of programming at the Viacom-owned cable network. (THR)

To the Surprise Of Pretty Much No One, Hugh Jackman Is In Talks To Return For ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

While he’s also prepping the third standalone Wolverine film, Jackman sounds ready and excited to continue playing the character in the X-Men universe. This would be his eight time as Logan. (EMP)

Starz Is a Big Fan Of ‘The Missing,’ Gives It a Second Season

The much-praised miniseries chiller about the disappearance of a 5-year-old boy has been ordered for an eight-episode second season that will follow a new missing-persons case. Last week, the show earned a Golden Globe nom for miniseries and an acting nom for star Frances O’Connor. (VAR)

More Information Is Coming Out About That ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff, Like Where It’s Taking Place

The still untitled show, codenamed Cobalt, will take place in Los Angeles. Cliff Curtis and Frank Dillane both star. The pilot will be shot in the first half of 2015, based on a script by showrunner Dave Erickson and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman. (TVL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Taken 3’

The first trailer from the third and final installment in the surprisingly successful franchise. This one continues to feature Liam Neeson and his special set of skills. The movie hits theaters January 9th. (COL)

Carmlike Cinemas Drops ‘The Interview,’‘Suicide Squad’ Casts a Big Role, ‘Creed’ Finds Its Female Lead, Roadshow Invests in FilmNation


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Carmike Cinemas Bows To the Pressure, Refuses To Show ‘The Interview’

With the Sony hackers threatening violence, the theater chain became the first to take up the studio’s offer to exhibitors to pull The Interview if they desire in advance of its wide release this Christmas. Sony remains committed to the planned opening. (VAR)

‘Suicide Squad’ Continues Its Impressive Casting Run By Setting Viola Davis as Amanda Waller

Waller is the cold, pragmatic head of Task Force X, aka The Suicide Squad, and Davis joins a cast that already features Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto, with David Ayer set to direct. (COL)

Ryan Coogler Has Found Michael B. Jordan’s Co-Star In the Upcoming ‘Creed’

And her name is Tessa Thompson. The actress, who appeared this fall in Dear White People, joins Jordan — playing Apollo Creed’s grandson — and Sylvester Stallone, who will once again reprise his role of Rocky Balboa. (IW)

Roadshow Films Makes an Investment In FilmNation To Make More Movies

The subsidiary of Australia’s Village Roadshow Limited, is making an equity investment of $18 million in FilmNation Entertainment that will allow it to ramp up from producing one movie a year to three or four a year. (THR)

Danny McBride’s Next HBO Show Casts a Couple Key Roles

DDa’vine Joy Randolph has been cast as a female lead in Vice Principals, HBO’s 18-episode comedy series from McBride and co-writer Jody Hill. Show tells the story of a high school and the people who almost run it: the vice principals, one of them played by McBride. (DH)

Marriott International, the Hotel Chain, Is Getting Into the Original Content Business

The company has plans to publish, distribute and share digital content across multiple platforms and on all screens, as they move forward with the film Two Bellmen, starring Henry Simmons and to be directed by Daniel "Malakai" Cabrera. (SAA)

Four-Fifths Of the Broken Lizard Team Is Bringing a New Sitcom To TBS

Paul Soter, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme and Erik Stolhanske, who also co-wrote and starred in Super Troopers and Beerfest, will be behind Quality Time, an “untraditional” look at fatherhood. (CB)

Would You Like ‘Taken’s Brian Mills To Endorse Your “Special Set Of Skills”? Now’s Your Chance

A publicity promotion for the upcoming third and final installment of the Taken franchise allows contest winners to have Liam Neeson, as Mills, endorse their abilities on LinkedIn. (CO)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’

The first look at the trailer to the surprisingly successful first film, which starred Judi Dench and Bill Nighy and grossed over $136 million worldwide. New film opens March 6th. (CS)

Screenwriters: ‘Noah’

Undated, unspecified, 124-page draft by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel. (DS)

Rep Moves 12/17/2014: Ashley Benson Picked Up By CAA, The Green Room Signs YouTube Sensation Jimmy Wong & More


at arrivals for People's Choice Awards 2012 - Arrivals, Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles, CA January 11, 2012. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

CAA: Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson has signed with CAA. Benson plays Hanna on the ABC Family hit, and she starred alongside James Franco, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens in Spring Breakers. She was previously with WME.

ICM: ICM Partners has signed British actress and singer Eliza Bennett. She is best known for her role opposite Helen Mirren and Paul Bettany in Inkheart. Bennett is set to appear opposite James D'Arcy on the upcoming second season of ITV’s Broadchurch.

WME: Canadian video platform WatchMojo has signed with William Morris Endeavor. The company produces and publishes short-form online videos that focus on the people, places and trends that are shaping pop culture.

The Green Room: The Green Room has signed YouTube sensation Jimmy Wong. The actor and musician stars in the Streamy Award-winning web series Video Game High School, which set multiple crowdfunding records and has been nominated for a Producers Guild Award.

The Green Room: Sons of Anarchy alum McNally Sagal has also signed with management company The Green Room. Sagal played St. Thomas Hospital administrator Margaret Murphy on the just concluded FX drama. Sagal’s credits include SLC Punk!, Chicago Hope, Boy Meets World, Murder One and The X Files.

WME: WME has signed actor/writer/director, Chris O'Dowd. He stars opposite Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy in Golden Globe-nominated St. Vincent. Previous film credits include Bridesmaids, This Is 40 and The Sapphires. O'Dowd received a Tony nom this year for his performance in Broadway's Of Mice And Men.

ESA: Gina Gershon (House of Versace, Bound, How To Make it in America) is now a client of Rachel Sheedy’s at Equitable Stewardship for Artists (ESA). Gershon follows Sheedy from Resolution.

WME | IMG: The agency has signed tennis player Genie Bouchard to a worldwide marketing and management deal. The Montreal native is ranked No. 7 in the world, and she won her first career WTA title in May, at Nurnberg, and qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore in October.

UTA: Online personality Flula Borg has signed with UTA. The German musician and comedian has more than 55 million views on his YouTube channel.

WME: William Morris Endeavor Entertainment has signed four-time Grammy nominee Joe Nichols. The country artist collected his sixth career Country Airplay No. 1 over the summer with his single, "Yeah," off his album Crickets. He is managed by George Couri at Triple 8 Management.

Awards 2015: ‘Birdman’ BTL, Rep Moves For 12/17/14, Sony Cancels Release Of ‘The Interview’ In Wake Of Theater Chains Dropping the Film


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Awards 2015: Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu Speaks On ‘Birdman’s Phenomenal Below the Line Talent

The director of Amores Perros and 21 Grams not a filmmaker who is afraid to take chances. His films are uncompromising, but none of them would ever be considered a dark comedy. And then, Birdman came along. (SSN)


Rep Moves For 12/17/14: Ashley Benson Picked Up By CAA, The Green Room Signs YouTube Sensation Jimmy Wong, and More

Just about all the major agencies get in on the action, including WME, UTA, ICM and the above-mentioned CAA and The Green Room, as well as ESA, to boot. (SSN)

Scared By Terrorist Threats, the Five Largest Theater Chains Will Not Screen ‘The Interview' ...

AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Cineplex, and Carmike--as well as Bow Tie Cinemas have all dropped the movie, even though the Department of Homeland Security says there is no active plot against movie theaters. (VUL)

And, In Response, Sony Cancels the Christmas Day Release Of the Film

The studio did not say it would never release the picture theatrically. Insiders tell Variety it is exploring all options, including offering the picture on premium video-on-demand as a way to recoup at least some of its investment. (VAR)

Thanks To the Sony Hack, Another North Korea-Set Film Project Falls Apart

Pyongyang, based on a graphic novel about a westerner in North Korea accused of espionage, was to have starred Steve Carell and be directed by Gore Verbinski, but production company New Regency has dropped the project. (THR)

Legendary Picks Up Film Rights To Novelist Andrew Pyper’s Upcoming Supernatural Thriller

The novel, The Damned, is described as being in the vein of Jacob’s Ladder and The Sixth Sense, and will be published in February by Simon & Schuster. (DH)

There’s Been a Lot Of Talk About a Potential ‘Beetlejuice’ Sequel, and Now Tim Burton Says Winona Ryder Is On Board

The Big Eyes director has said there is a new script that he likes, and that Michael Keaton will do it if Burton comes back to direct, and now comes word that Ryder is interested, as well. (WF)

Charlie Sheen Is Heading To ‘The Goldbergs’ To Play a Familiar Role

The actor will reprise his strangely prescient stoner criminal character from the 1986 John Hughes comedy, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for the ABC sitcom. (ITV)

Behind the Scenes: ‘The Jungle Book’

Director Jon Favreau shares the first on-set photo, as well as behind-the-scenes shots of voice actors Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken and musician Kermit Ruffins. The film will hit theaters October 9th, 2015. (COL)

Black Christmas: Scandal, Schadenfreude, and the Spectacle of the Sony Hack

That this is an incredible attack on the freedom of speech should have been the headline all along, but of course it wasn’t — not with insider swipes at Angelina Jolie and similar diversions-in-every-sense competing for our attention. Only the hackers’ threat to go 9/11 on theaters showing The Interview revised our appraisal of the stakes involved. (GL)

Sony Hack: The Interview’s Impact on Holiday Box Office, Sarah Silverman Starring In HBO Pilot, ‘The Hobbit’ Finale Opens with $24.5 Million



Sony Hack: The Interview's Impact on Holiday Box Office

Sony pulled the movie from its scheduled release date, but none of the other movies playing over the holiday season are expected to get a boost. (THR)

Sarah Silverman Starring In HBO Pilot

The Emmy-winning actress-comedian is headlining a half-hour comedy pilot written by Secret Diary Of A Call Girl creator Lucy Prebble. (DH)

‘The Hobbit’ Finale Opens with $24.5 Million

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, took in $24.5 million at 3,875 locations on its opening day. (VAR)

TV Women Leap Into Antihero Scene

You've seen the ladies who lunch? These are the women who punch. (LAT)

Civil Rights Group Asks Sony to Fire Amy Pascal

ColorOfChange.org is circulating a petition asking members to urge Sony Pictures to fire co-chairman Amy Pascal. (THR)

Andrew Lloyd Webber Bringing ‘School of Rock’ Musical To Broadway

Look out for the world premiere of a new musical based on the 2003 Jack Black comedy from Paramount. (DH)

Stephen Colbert: Late Night’s Book Nerd

The Colbert Report ends its run today, but yesterday was its last “ordinary” show, and its last guest was, of all people, a fiction writer. (VUL)

The Woman Responsible For Nickelodeon's Golden Age Of Cartoons

It seemed like Nickelodeon didn't have any plans to start work on animation before Vanessa Coffey showed up in 1988. (HP)

What 'Annie’s' Original Composer Thinks of the New Movie

Charles Strouse thought a musical version of Annie was a terrible idea at first. (VF)

Film Development for 12/18/14: Viola Davis Joins the Suicide Squad, Ted Melfi Reteams with the Weinsteins on Every Exquisite Thing & More




Suicide Squad Logline: A team of supervillains is given one last shot at redemption by taking on missions that will most likely get them killed. Studio/ Distributor:  Warner Bros. Production Company: DC Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment Producers: Charles Roven, Richard Suckle Writer: David Ayer Director: David Ayer Cast: Viola Davis, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Tom Hardy, Cara Delevingne, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney SSN Insight: Oprah Winfrey and Octavia Spencer were both also rumored as being considered for the role of “Waller” that went to Davis.

The BFG Logline: After orphaned Sofy is kidnapped by a BFG (Big Friendly Giant), the two find in each other the families they never had as they work together to stop some bad giants from eating the world’s children. Studio/ Distributor: Dreamworks Studios, Walt Disney Pictures Production Company: Kennedy/ Marshall Company, Amblin Entertainment Producers: Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg, Samuel L. Mercer Writer: Melissa Mathison (most recent) Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Ruby Barnhill, Mark Rylance SSN Insight: After a long casting search, Spielberg’s adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl novel has found its “Sophie” in newcomer Ruby Barnhill.

Every Exquisite Thing Logline: A straitlaced student-athlete begins to explore her wild side after reading a cult classic novel. Studio/ Distributor: The Weinstein Company Writer: Ted Melfi Director: Ted Melfi SSN Insight: The St. Vincent writer director re-teams with the Weinsteins to adapt the Matthew Quick novel (Silver Linings Playbook), which the studio optioned back in October.

Kong: Skull Island Logline:Based on the mythic origins of King Kong on his home Skull Island, which is ruled by mutant giant creatures. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company: Legendary Entertainment Producers: Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull Writer: John Gatins Cast: J.K. Simmons, Tom Hiddleston Director:  Jordan Vogt-Roberts SSN Insight: The King Kong reboot isset for release on March 10, 2017.


Antarctica Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Gulfstream Pictures Producers: Mike Karz, Bill Bindley Writer: Michael Werwie SSN Insight: The idea for the action-adventure project was developed internally at Gulfstream, the company headed by Mike Karz and Bill Bindley with a first look deal at Warner Bros.

Dogs of War Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures. Producers: Joe Roth, Zack Roth, Dennis Stratton Writer: Chris Parker Director: Randall Wallace SSN Insight: Based on the novel "Trident K9 Warriors" written Mike Ritland and published by St. Martin's Griffin on January 14, 2014.

Awards 2015: Cheryl Strayed and Anthony McCarten, Film Development For 12/18/14, FBI Confirms N. Korea Behind Sony Hack


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Awards 2015 Spotlight: What ‘Wild’ Author Cheryl Strayed Learned From Nick Hornby On the Art Of the Adaptation

Not every author has a stellar experience when their book is taken over by Hollywood. The story they poured their blood, sweat, tears, and time into could either be beautifully translated to the screen, or be dumbed down, unrecognizable, and stripped of its essence. Strayed lucked out. (SSN)

Awards 2015 Spotlight: Screenwriter Anthony McCarten On Adapting Jane Hawking’s Memoir Into ‘The Theory of Everything’

Already a fan of Stephen Hawking and his work, McCarten was determined to bring the duo’s story to the big screen, a process that took nearly a decade. Now, McCarten’s adaptation is getting critical buzz in numerous categories across the board. (SSN)


Film Development For 12/18/14: Viola Davis Joins the ‘Suicide Squad,’ Ted Melfi Re-Teams With the Weinsteins, and More

Melfi is making Every Exquisite Thing, while the BFG and Kong: Skull Island also add new cast, and Antarctica and Dogs of War get rolling as new projects. (SSN)

FBI Makes Official What We All Already Knew: North Korea Was Behind the Sony Hack

The attack, which has humiliated the corporation, the studio, and its executives and led to the cancellation of the release of The Interview, came from individuals “acting on the orders of the North Koreans.” (MF)

In Case You Were Wondering, the Indie World Would Have Handled This ‘Interview’ Mess Quite Differently

Several esteemed and veteran indie distributors and executives weigh in on how they would have dealt with the situation. “Independent filmmakers wouldn't find themselves in this position,” says Mark Urman. (IW)

On a Lighter Note, Evangeline Lilly Has Provided Us With New Details About Next Summer’s ‘Ant-Man’ Flick

The actress, who also stars in this weekend’s The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, calls the Marvel movie, “very much a heist film.” It hits theaters on July 17th. (COL)

Anthony Mackie and Justin Simien Sell a Pacakge Deal To Paramount For ‘Make a Wish’

The spec package, a dark comedy, comes from first-timer Zach Frankel as a star vehicle for Mackie, directed by Simien, whose Sundance prize-winning film, Dear White People, got Independent Spirit and Gotham Award nominations for Best Director.  (DH)

It’s Still Early, But There Is a Good Chance Jim Carrey Will Enter ‘Deep Cover’

Red Granite has picked up a comedy pitch — about which there are few details — from writer Johnny Rosenthal and is currently dangling it in Carrey’s face hoping that he’ll bite and jump aboard as its star. (EMP)

It Looks Like the 2015 Sundance Jury Will Be Nearly as Star-Studded as the Film Lineup

Cary Fukunaga, Winona Ryder and Edgar Wright are among the names on the jury, which will decide the dramatic feature competition. The festival’s awards ceremony will be hosted by Tig Notaro on January 31st. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Orphan Black’

The first look at the highly anticipated third season of the smash hit, starring Tatiana Maslany, returns to BBC-America on April 18th. (ITV)

Paramount Won’t Let Theaters Show ‘Team America,’ Clooney Rails Against Hollywood Cowardice, Studios and MPAA Line Up Against Google



Cancellation Contagion: Paramount Refuses To Allow ‘Team America’ Screenings In Place Of ‘The Interview’

Several theaters around the country, including the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin and George R.R. Martin’s theater in New Mexico, had planned to show the film, but now the studio behind it is forbidding theaters from doing so. (CB)

Hollywood Cowardice: George Clooney Explains Why Sony Stood Alone In the North Korea Cyber Attack

In a fascinating interview, the Oscar-winning filmmaker discusses why no one spoke up on behalf of the beleaguered studio, as well as the petition he and his agent sent around and could not get anyone to sign, and how it all affects the way we’ll do business from now on. (DH)

The Studios and the MPAA Are Now Lining Up Against Google In the Wake Of the Sony Mess

A top Google exec said the Internet search giant is “deeply concerned” about a “coordinated campaign” by the MPAA and Hollywood studios to attack the company through non-legislative tactics, citing emails stolen in the massive hack, while the MPAA says that “freedom of speech should never be used as a shield for unlawful activities.” (VAR)

As the Dust Just Barely Begins To Settle, a Timeline Of How This Whole ‘Interview’ Thing Shook Out

Three weeks after the cyber attack on Sony, the studio was still set to release The Interview, until it was threatened by hackers who referenced the September 11th attacks. Then, over the course of just two days, everything fell apart. (HP)

It Was Only a Matter Of Time, But Now We’re Looking At Our First Premium Theater Subscription Package

AMC Theaters and Stacy Spikes’ MoviePass are launching a pilot program, to test in Boston and Denver, that would allow theatergoers a way to see all the movies they want to view in any format, including premium presentations, for one monthly fee. (SAA)

David Fincher’s Plan To Take Over TV Continues, as His HBO Shows Get Titles

Fincher’s show with novelist James Ellroy is now called Shakedown, while another show, about the people who made music videos in the 1980s, will be called Living On Noise. Fincher will direct that show’s pilot. (SF)

In What Can Only Be Called a No-Brainer, Mark Wahlberg Will Return For ‘Transformers 5’

The star of this year’s fourth installment, Transformers: Age of Extinction, had signed on for the entire second trilogy in the series, though it is not confirmed whether or not director Michael Bay will also come back. (TP)

Disney Likes the Look Of ‘Ed Terrestrial’

The Mouse House is developing a new family adventure film about an extraterrestrial being, with Michael Starrbury hired to rewrite the spec originally written by Greg Erb and Jason Oremland. Shrek director Andrew Adamson is producing. (THR)

First Look: Steven Spielberg’s Untitled Cold War Thriller

Spielbeg’s fourth collaboration with Tom Hanks tells the true story of James Donovan, a lawyer working on behalf of the CIA to secretly negotiate the release of a U.S. pilot shot down over Soviet airspace in 1960. The film will hit theaters October 16th. (COL)

Screenwriters: How To Develop, Sell and Write a TV Mini-Series

Lit manager and producer of Pooka Entertainment is an expert when it comes to packaging and selling TV miniseries. But like so many other successful professionals in the film industry, his journey has been a fascinating and at times circuitous one. (SM)

Exec Shuffle for 12/19/2014: Endemol Shine Group Launched, Campbell McInnes Joins Aspire Ent, Ian Friedman Upped at Comedy Central & More


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Company Launches

21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management have merged Endemol, Shine Group and CORE Media. The newly created joint venture will at first operate under the name Endemol Shine Group, starting on January 1.

21st Century Fox has reached a preliminary agreement to acquire true[X] media, a video advertising company that specializes in consumer engagement and on-demand marketing campaigns.


Aspire Entertainment announced that Campbell McInnes will be joining as the Senior Vice President of Feature Production and Development and will be overseeing the company’s film division. McInnes comes to Aspire Entertainment with a strong background in production and development as a Production and Development Executive at Lotus Entertainment, where he was involved with a slate of films including The Grey and Killing Them Softly.

Millennium Entertainment has named Vincent Scordino to the newly created position of SVP Marketing. He’s returning to the company after a stint at Cinedigm. Scordino will report to EVP Marketing Brooke Ford and will head traditional and day-and-date marketing campaigns for the company.

Multiplatform distributor Cinedigm uppedDirector of Theatrical Releasing Kristin Harris to a newly expanded Senior Director position. Harris will focus on acquisition titles and will also help develop Cinedigm's slate of co-productions with label partners like Great Point, VMI and Rapid Eye Studios.


The Company, which Charlie Ebersol founded with Mike Lanigan, has named veteran corporate strategist Austin Katz COO. He will be responsible for strategic planning, business development and operations at the production outfit.

Sonar Entertainment CEO Gene Stein has made a move into the long-form world by recruiting Tom Patricia as SVP Limited Series, Miniseries and Movies.

Comedy Central vet Ian Friedman has been promoted to VP Original Programming and Development. He will continue to be based in the network's Santa Monica office, reporting to EVP Jim Sharp.

Syfy announced that Chris Regina, one of the key players behind the network's acquisitions strategy, with projects like Sharknado, has been promoted to Senior VP Program Strategy, Syfy and Chiller. Regina now will report to Dave Howe, President, Syfy and Chiller. He will oversee Syfy and Chiller's program planning and strategy, original-movie development and production, and scheduling.

Brad Siegel has been named president of TV One network, and will lead all business and creative aspects with chairman and CEO Alfred C. Liggins III.

BET Networks vet Stephen Hill has been promoted to the Viacom cabler’s top programming post. Hill fills the spot left earlier this year when Loretha Jones left after six years as head of programming.

In his first exec move since the merger of Fox 21 and Fox TV Studios, president Bert Salke has promoted Tara Flynn to VP Creative Affairs. She will work on the development of comedy and drama cable projects and will assist in the oversight of the company's current series.

ABC News has tapped chief national correspondent Byron Pitts to replace Dan Abrams as one of Nightline’s three co-anchors. Abrams will remain chief legal analyst, but ABC News prexy James Goldston said in a memo that Abrams intends to return to full-time work on his Abrams Media Network digital business.

WE tv continues to grow its original programming team following recent promotions of Lauren Gellert to the newly created position of EVP development and original programming. Suzanne Gladstone Murch has been upped from executive producer to the newly created role of VP original programming, overseeing all unscripted production. David Stefanou joins WEtv as VP development, overseeing the network’s ongoing search for fresh, new unscripted series. WE tv has appointed Angela Molloy as VP development.

AMC has brought on veteran business affairs executive Rick Olshansky as head of business affairs. He will report to AMC president Charlie Collier. Olshansky succeeds Marci Wiseman, who earlier this year moved to a new role of executive-in-charge of owned content distribution and strategy for AMC Networks.

Agencies, Management Companies, Marketing, Public Relations, Law Firms

Julie Chappell and Monica Delamater are the newest account executives at Falco Ink. Both have been with the PR firm for three years and have worked on campaigns for films like The Skeleton Twins, Fading Gigolo, The Cosmopolitans and To Be Takei.

Awards 2015: Jesse Moss and Chaz Ebert, SSN Picks Movies To Remake With Diverse Casts, Exec Shuffle For 12/19/14, Obama Rebukes Sony


THE OVERNIGHTERS, Jay Reinke framed by the doorway of an abandoned church, 2014. ©Drafthouse



Awards 2015: Director Jesse Moss On HIs Doc, ‘The Overnighters’ — “They Dropped Their Guard In Ways You Didn’t Expect”

The director spent 18 months traveling back and forth to North Dakota to film his powerful documentary, and in the process found a completely different movie than the one he envisioned. That movie has now been shortlisted for a potential Oscar nod. (SSN)

Awards 2015: Chaz Ebert Reflects On Documentary ‘Life Itself’ — “Something About This Almost Seems Predestined”

Roger Ebert’s widow discusses the making of the movie, working with director Steve James, the process of creating the film while her husband was dying of cancer, and how she has healed since his death. The film is a frontrunner for an Oscar nod. (SSN)


As ‘Annie’ Hits Theaters, SSN Picks Some Other Movies To Remake and Invigorate With a Diverse Cast

A myriad of titles have been re-imagined for a completely different audience, with a cast of a totally different color. Not only do we take a look at some of them, we make three suggestions that might just make you think. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 12/19/14: Endemol Shine Group Lauched, Campbell McInnes Joins Aspire Entertainment, and More

People change companies, companies merge, and there are other hirings, promotions and acquisitions in this week’s edition. (SSN)

President Rebukes Sony, While CEO Michael Lynton Responds, Says Studio Still Hopes To Release ‘The Interview’

After President Obama said that he thought Sony should not have caved to hacker demands, the studio’s chief shifted blame to theater owners not wanting to showcase the film, and said “it is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.” (DH)

And Now, the Number Of Class Action Suits Against Sony Has Reached Four

Another complaint has been filed against Sony — after lawsuits on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday — claiming the studio didn’t take adequate precautions to prepare itself for the cyberattack that led to the disclosure of thousands of employees’ private information. (THR)

The Academy Has Shortened the List Of Potential Foreign Language Features to Nine

The official shortlist means that only one of these films, including Ida, Leviathan, Force Majeure, Wild Tales and Timbuktu will be considered to be one of the final five nominees. It also marks the first time that the nation of Mauritania is participating in the event. (SAA)

Kate Winslet Has Become the Latest Name Associated With the ‘Jobs’ Film

The Oscar-winning actress is in talks for the female lead, opposite Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen, in a film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. Universal is distributing the project, based on Walter Isaacson’s biography. (VAR)

Robert Rodriguez’s Long In the Works Remake Of ‘Fire and Ice’ Is Finally a Go

The live action remake of the ‘80s animated flick will draw from Frank Frazetta’s artwork, adapting the story from the Ralph Bakshi animation. Sony is now the studio behind the project, which Rodriguez will direct. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Get Hard’

The first trailer from the upcoming Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy, also starring Alison Brie and T.I., and directed by Etan Cohen, and due in theaters March 27th. (TP)

ICYMI 2014: The Best of SSN



SSN A-List: 6 Film Financiers to Get Your Movie the Green-light

Wherever there are films being made, there are companies financing them, no matter what the economy is like, no matter the risk. SSN has selected a handful to feature here, with a look at their previous projects, what they’re looking for now, and SSN’s insight to each, from Voltage Pictures to Red Granite Pictures, and more. (SSN)

SSN A-List: Lit Managers and Agents for Up & Coming Writers

It’s tough out there for writers. In order to break into the industry, you need someone to help guide your career, develop material, and navigate the ups and downs of deal-making. Today we’re taking a look at several literary agents and managers we think are best to shepherd an up and coming career or get your existing one on track. (SSN)

Film Market Prep: Top 10 Tips For Pitching Your Movie Successfully

Stephanie Palmer, a former MGM Pictures executive and best-selling author of Good in a Room, doles out the best advice from her years on the scene at film markets. Here are her Top 10 pitching tips to help you in a high-stakes situation, whether you’re pitching to an agent, financier, producer, distributor or studio executive. (SSN)

An Actress’ Guide to Surviving Pilot Season

From producers’ sessions to surviving the waiting room and contracts, Leslie Grossman writes: “Imagine a bunch of wild animals that haven’t eaten in a year and someone throws a big raw steak in front of them. That’s pilot season to actors.” Here’s your navigational tool. (SSN)

Hollywood Success Stories: Three Ways Working Hollywood Professionals Made It in the Business

To anyone looking to make it in entertainment, looking to reinvent themselves in entertainment, or simply glean some knowledge and apply it to your life, read on for inspiration for three main categories of success — they just started, they leveraged an opportunity and they didn’t give up. (SSN)

Film Source Material Part Three: Breaking Down the Spec Market

In the first two parts of SSN’s series we touched briefly on how the spec market has been affected – and promised to delve deeper into the issue. Well, here we are, and there is much to discuss. SSN breaks it down for you here. (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)

SSN Franchise Analysis Part Three: The Many Faces of Batman

Born in Detective Comics No. 27 (May 1939), the comic book Batman was inspired by the masked avengers of literature and the dime store pulp dramas of the day. SSN takes a look at the icon’s evolving visage over the last 75 years. (SSN)

Go Hunting for Your Next Franchise at These 8 Treasured Indie LA Bookstores

Whether you’re a development exec, writer, director, producer, or agent, these brick-and-mortar gems are worth frequenting to jumpstart your creative juices and are treasure troves for those in the film and TV industry. SSN brings you eight of our favorite indie bookstores. Your next project awaits! (SSN)

LA’s Top Indie Bookstores Reveal the Hidden Gems, Trends & Adaptation-Worthy Titles

SSN looks at some of the bestsellers, trends, and hidden gems with cinematic potential, recommended by those who know best—the booksellers, owners, and mangers who are on the floor with the public. Several booksellers and managers tell SSN what’s trending, which titles are perennial best sellers, and what obscure finds they think are worthy of adaptation. (SSN)  

Final ‘Hobbit’ Opens Strong, Sony Promises To Distribute ‘The Interview,’ BitTorrent Asks To Do It, While Theater Owners Angry At Sony



‘The Hobbit’ Goes Out Strong, Clears $90 Million For Its Five Day Opening

The third and, one would think, final Hobbit film takes the top spot, over Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Sony’s Annie remake, which came in at $17.3 million and $16.3 million, respectively. (BO)

Take That, Terrorists! Sony Promises That ‘The Interview’ “Will Be Distributed” …

Studio lawyer David Boies appeared on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday, where he said that the studio still plans to release the movie, it just doesn’t quite know how or when. The point is, the movie will, at some point, see the light of day. (THR)

While BitTorrent Begs Sony To Let It Do the Dirty Work …

The file-sharing protocol penned a public letter, urging Sony to release The Interview on their Bundle platform and denouncing the opinion that the film should be made available through piracy sites. (IW)

And the Theater Owners Who Refused To Show the Film Are Angry At Sony For Blaming Them

According to several theater owners, exhibitors believe that they are being made the scapegoat for the cancellation when many of them only wanted the film’s premiere to be delayed or modified. (VAR)

Now That ‘Selma’ Is Finally Hitting Theaters, Ava DuVerney Already Has Her Next Project In Mind

And, no surprise, it will be in television. The director is developing a cable show that will run eight-to-ten episodes and, focus on the “black experience in America.” She plans to direct the entire run herself, though no word on which network will carry it. (SAA)

Add David Schwimmer To the Cast Of Ryan Muprhy’s ‘American Crime Story’

The Friends star signs on to the limited series dramatizing the O.J. Simpson case, and will play Robert Kardashian. He joins Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sarah Paulson in the show, which will air on FX. (UR)

Meanwhile, Michael Pitt Won’t Be Returning To ‘Hannibal,’ But His Character Will

The psychopathic rich kid Mason Verger, who was fed pieces of his own face by the title psychopath in last season’s finale, was originated on the show by Pitt, but will now be played by Joe Anderson. (VUL)

One More Year-End List You Might Not Have Been Expecting: The Best In Ads

With so many lists from so many sources, covering the best and worst in movies, TV, books, music, video games and everything else, why not the best in ads, too? So, for those so inlcined, here you go. (FCC)

Trailer Buzz: ‘True Story’

The new trailer for the, yes, based-on-a-true-story tale of journalist Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill), who must find redemption by facing down a murder suspect who had stolen his identity (James Franco). The film debuts next month at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. (EMP)

Screenwriters: The Hero’s Role In Screenwriting

Which one do women want in movies? A Rescuing Male who saves them? Or a kick-ass independent heroine? Let us tiptoe gently into a touchy screenwriting topic. (MO)

On the Set for 12/19/14: Emilia Clarke Wraps Voice from the Stone, Idris Elba Finishes Up Bastille Day & More


at arrivals for HBO 2014 Golden Globes After Party, Circa 55 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA January 12, 2014. Photo By: James Atoa/Everett Collection

Note- There were not any films scheduled to start production this week mainly due to the holiday season.


A Patch of Fog 12/21/2014 Logline: A thriller in which a celebrated novelist and TV personality finds his reputation on the line and his life invaded by a lonely security guard when he is caught shoplifting. Production Company: The Fyzz Facility Director: Michael Lennox Executive Producer(s): Nick Quested, Simon Lewis, Arnaud Lannic, Natascha Wharton Producer(s): Robert Jones, Wayne Marc Godfrey, David Gilbery Cast: Stephen Graham, Conleth Hill, Arsher Ali, Ian McElhinney Writer(s): Michael McCartney, John Cairns SSN Insight: This marks the directorial debut for Michael Lennox whose short Back of Beyond was nominated for best short film at the European Film Awards and won awards at the Royal Society of Television Awards.  The film is shooting in Northern Ireland. The screenplay was developed through Northern Ireland Screen’s New Talent Focus scheme.

Bastille Day 12/17/2014 Logline: A meddlesome and allegedly nefarious young American and the washed-up CIA agent tasked with making him disappear must work together as they attempt to stop a massive terrorist attack in Paris. Production Companies: Anonymous Content, Vendome Pictures Director: James Watkins Producer(s): Philippe Rousselet, Steve Golin, Bard Dorros, David J Kanter Cast: Idris Elba, Adele Exarchopoulos, Richard Madden, Charlotte Le Bon, Kelly Reilly Writer(s): Andrew Baldwin SSN Insight: Pierre Morel was previously attached to direct. Morten Tyldum was previously attached to direct. Baran bo Odar was previously attached to direct

Bleed for This 12/17/2014 Logline: After a 1991 car crash, world champion boxer Vinny Pazienza did not know if he would walk again, but against doctors’ orders he trained and returned to the ring about a year later. Production Companies: Sikelia Productions, Bruce Cohen Productions, Verdi Films Director: Ben Younger Executive Producer(s): Noah Kraft, Martin Scorsese, Joshua Sason, Pamela Thur, Michelle Verdi Producer(s): Bruce Cohen, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Ben Younger, Chad Verdi Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Miles Teller, Ciaran Hinds, Katey Sagal, Amanda Clayton Writer(s): Ben Younger SSN Insight: CAA, packaged and readied financing for film and will jointly represent the film’s domestic distribution rights with WME. Meanwhile, Synchronicity, a division of The Solution Entertainment Group launched in 2012, will be handling foreign sales.

Colonia 12/18/2014 Logline: A young German couple is swept up in the violence of the Chilean military coup of 1973. Production Companies: Majestic Filmverleih, Rat Pack Filmproduktion, Iris Productions Deutschland Director: Florian Gallenberger Producer(s): Benjamin Herrmann Cast: Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Nyqvist Writer(s): Florian Gallenberger, Torsten Wenzel SSN Insight: Locations for the film include Luxembourg, Munich, Berlin and South America. The film is supported by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), FFA German Federal Film Board, Luxembourg Film Fund and the MEDIA program of the EU.

Cook 12/22/2014 Logline: When a young girl and her dying mother are joined by a black, male cook who comes to live with them, little do they know that their lives are about to change forever. Inspired by true events and set in New Orleans, Cook tells the story of a most unique friendship built not on the color of one's skin but on the unconditional love within one's heart. Production Companies: Atmosphere Entertainment MM LLC, After Dark Films, Envision Media Arts, Cinelou Films Director: Bruce Beresford Executive Producer(s): Brad Kaplan, Yu Wei-Chung Producer(s): Lee Nelson, David Buelow, Courtney Solomon, Mark Canton Cast: Eddie Murphy, Britt Robertson, Natascha McElhone, Lucy Fry, Xavier Samuel Writer(s): Susan McMartin SSN Insight: David Anspaugh previously attached to direct. Samuel L. Jackson was previously mentioned to star. Uma Thurman and Juno Temple were previously mentioned as cast members.

Go With Me 12/20/2014 Logline: When a young woman returns to her hometown in the Pacific Northwest, she is harassed by a sociopathic stalker and turns to an ex-logger and his friend to help her fight back. Production Companies: Gotham/Principal, Enderby Entertainment Director: Daniel Alfredson Producer(s): Rick Dugdale, Lindsay Williams, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Gregory Jacobs, Anthony Hopkins Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles, Ray Liotta Writer(s): Joe Gangemi, Gregory Jacobs Details: Based on the novel "Go With Me" written by Castle Freeman, Jr. and published by Steerforth Press in 2008. SSN Insight: Electric Entertainment and Enderby Entertainment co-financed the film with Electric handling the international rights sales at AFM. Shooting took place in British Columbia.

Paper Towns 12/19/2014 Logline: A teenager embarks on a miraculous journey to find a friend who has gone missing. Studio: Fox 2000 Production Company: Temple Hill Entertainment Director: Jake Schreier Producer(s): Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Scott Neustadter, Michael Weber, John Green Cast: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Halston Sage, Jesse "Justice" Smith Writer(s): Scott Neustadter, Michael H Weber Details: Based on the novel "Paper Towns" written by John Green and published by Dutton Juvenile on October 16, 2008. SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Mandate Pictures and Mr. Mudd Productions with Nathan Kahane and John Malkovich producing.

Same Kind of Different as Me 12/19/2014 Logline: Inspired by real events, it’s about the unlikely friendship forged between Hall, an international art dealer and a Moore, a homeless former Louisiana sharecropper, as Hall works to save his fraught marriage. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company: Disruption Entertainment Director: Michael Carney Executive Producer(s): Chris Bancroft, Hans Graffunder, Michael Carney, Alex Foard Producer(s): Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Darren Moorman, Stephen Johnson, Ron Hall Cast: Renee Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Greg Kinnear, Jon Voight, Olivia Holt Writer(s): Michael Carney, Alex Foard, Ron Hall, Bruce Taylor, Roderick Taylor Details: Based on the book "Same Kind of Different as Me" written by Denver Moore & Ron Hall and published by Thomas Nelson in 2006. SSN Insight: Ralph Winter was previously attached to produce through Winter Road Entertainment. Samuel L. Jackson was previously attached to star and executive produce.

Skiptrace 12/15/2014 Logline: A Hong Kong detective is given the job of tracking down an American gambler who is on the run, and the two men form an unlikely partnership to catch a notorious criminal. Production Company: Talent International Film Company Director: Renny Harlin Executive Producer(s): Yang Zhenhua, Liu Xiaolin Producer(s): Jackie Chan, David Gerson, Charlie Coker, Esmond Ren, Damien Saccani Cast: Jackie Chan, Fan Bingbing, Johnny Knoxville Writer(s): Rodney Rothman, Derek Elliott, Jack Donaldson, Geoff Moore, David Posamentier SSN Insight: Sam Fell was previously attached to direct. Seann William Scott was previously attached to co-star in the role played by Johnny Knoxville. Previously in development with Exclusive Media.

The Blunderer 12/16/2014 Logline: A husband becomes a suspect in his wife's murder and tries to clear his name while on the run. Production Companies: Killer Films, Sierra/Affinity Director: Andy Goddard Executive Producer(s): William Boyd, Nicolas Meyer, Marc Schaberg, Kelly McCormick, Stephen Hays Producer(s): Ted Hope, Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa Cast: Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel, Toby Jones, Haley Bennett, Eddie Marsan Writer(s): Susan Boyd Details: Based on the novel "The Blunderer," written by Patricia Highsmith and published by Howard-McCann in 1954. SSN Insight: Imogen Poots was previously attached to co-star.

The Condemned 2 12/17/2014 Logline: A bounty hunter serving time turns fugitive when he is recruited for a tournament in which convicts must fight each other to the death for televised entertainment. Studio: Lionsgate Production Company: WWE Studios Director: Roel Reine Producer(s): Michael Luisi Cast: Randy Orton, Wes Studi, Eric Roberts Writer(s): Alan McElroy Details: Sequel to "The Condemned" (2007) directed by Scott Wiper and starring Stone Cold Steve Austin. SSN Insight: WWE Studios and Lionsgate previously joined forces on “The Condemned” and “See No Evil”. Next year they will release the "Action Six-Pack", starring WWE Superstar Paul “Big Show” Wight and “Lockdown” with WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose. Bradley Buchanan, SVP of Business Affairs, negotiated the deal for WWE Studios, and Wendy Jaffe, EVP of Business & Legal Affairs, negotiated on behalf of Lionsgate.

The Last Witch Hunter 12/18/2014 Logline: Tormented by the loss of his family and cursed with immortal life, the last witch hunter (Vin Diesel) is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history Studio: Summit Entertainment, LLC Production Companies: One Race Films, Goldmann Pictures, Atmosphere Entertainment MM LLC, Aperture Entertainment Director: Breck Eisner Executive Producer(s): Adam Goldworm Producer(s): Bernie Goldmann, Mark Canton, Vin Diesel, Samantha Vincent Cast: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Michael Caine, Lotte Verbeek Writer(s): Melisa Wallack, Dante W. Harper, Cory Goodman SSN Insight: Timur Bekmambetov previously attached to direct and produce. Summit Entertainment acquired the pitch from Cory Goodman for mid-six figures. Lakeshore Entertainment was previously involved as co-production company and co-financier.

The Ninth Life of Louis Drax 12/15/2014 Logline: No Logline Available. Studio: Miramax Films Production Companies: Brightlight Pictures, AntColony Films Director: Alexandre Aja Executive Producer(s): Rosanne Korenberg Producer(s): Max Minghella, Tim Bricknell, Shawn Williamson, Alexandre Aja Cast: Jamie Dornan, Aaron Paul, Sarah Gadon, Oliver Platt, Barbara Hershey Writer(s): Max Minghella, Anthony Minghella Details: Based on the novel "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax" written by Liz Jensen and published by Bloomsbury January 10, 2005. SSN Insight: Max Minghella's father, Anthony Minghella, was previously attached to direct and had been developing the project prior to his death in 2008. Project was previously in development at Levantine Films with Donna Gigliotti attached to produce.

Voice From the Stone 12/20/2014 Logline: A psychologist tries to help a young boy who made a promise to not speak until his dead mother's spirit returns. Production Companies: Zanuck Independent, K5 Film, Code 39 Films Director: Eric D Howell Executive Producer(s): Mark Wheaton, Tannaz Anisi Producer(s): Dean Zanuck, Stefano Gallini Cast: Emilia Clarke, Marton Csokas, Edward Dring, Caterina Murino, Remo Gironi Writer(s): Andrew Shaw Details: Based on the novel "La Voce Della Pietra" by Silvio Raffo and published by Il Saggiatore in 1996. SSN Insight: Hideo Nakata was previously attached to direct. Maggie Gyllenhaal was previously attached to star.

Awards 2015: Short Categories, On the Set For 12/22/14, ‘Birdman’ Score Negged By Academy, LAIKA and Focus Start New Film


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Awards 2015: Short-Listed Short Filmmakers Patrick Osborne, Mat Kirkby & Lucy Walker Take SSN Behind the Scenes, Plus Video

The shorts categories awarded by the Academy of Arts and Sciences representare broken down into three categories, including animated, live-action and documentary. SSN Spoke to a trio of potential nominees, whose films all carry the hope can always emerge out of a dark moment. (SSN)


On the Set For 12/22/14: Emilia Clarke Wraps ‘Voice From the Stone,’ Idris Elba Finishes Up ‘Bastille Day,’ and More

With no new shoots begun, thanks to the holiday season, instead there are a whole bunch of shoots that come to an end, including A Patch of Fog, Bleed For This, and the Eddie Murphy film, Cook. (SSN)

Academy Rejects ‘Birdman’ Appeal, Won’t Allow Film’s Score To Be Award Eligible

In dispute was the fact that even though Antonio Sanchez’s drum score was dominant, comprising more than 50% of the total music, at question was the use of classical music cues for other points in the film. (DH)

LAIKA and Focus Features Are At It Again, Announce Fourth Collaboration, ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

Duo behind Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls go into production on the new film, which they call “a sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in a mythical ancient Japan.” LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight makes his directorial debut on the project. (AS)

Now, It’s Official: Mike Colter Lands Coveted Luke Cage Role In New ‘Jessica Jones’ Series

After much speculation about who would co-star opposite recently cast series lead Krysten Ritter, the announcement from Netflix and Marvel confirmed that Colter landed the part. He will also star in a Luke Cage series, as well as a Defenders series, to film after Jones wraps. (VAR)

Aaaaand, That’s a Wrap: Netflix and Marvel’s ‘Daredevil’ Series Finishes Production Of Season One

The series’ showrunner, Steven DeKnight, tweeted out the news, thanking the show’s cast and crew at the same time. The show will premiere at some point in 2015, but no actual release date has been announced. (BC)

HBO Is Getting Back Into Business With a Pair Of Sarahs

Sarah Jessica Parker is developing Divorce, for the network, in which she will play a woman flirting with the idea of ending her marriage when her husband discovers the affair she's having and initiates a separation, while Silverman’s project is untitled and follows a 40-something woman at a crossroads. (WAH)

The Producers Guild Of America Is Going To Honor Selma Producers Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

The trio, also known as The Plan B Team, will receive the Producers Guild of America 2015 Visionary Award at this year’s ceremony, which is scheduled for January 24, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. (TOH)

The CW Is Developing a New Music Industry Drama With Super Producer Scooter Braun

The untitled show chronicles the rise of Gary Graham, a brilliant young manager with the talent and ambition to shake up the industry. Will he manage to stay true to himself while outmaneuvering the roadblocks put in place by clients, lovers and colleagues? It's a fine line. (THR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘In the Heart Of the Sea’

The latest trailer from the upcoming flick, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, and Benjamin Walker. The movie tells the true life story that inspired Herman Melville's masterpiece Moby Dick. It will be in theaters March 13th. (TP)

Paramount Hires Lin For ‘Star Trek 3,’ Pee-Wee Movie Goes To Netflix, TWC Customers To Pay More, Keaton’s Court Case Dismissed



Paramount Has Found Its Director For ‘Star Trek 3,’ And His Name Is …

Director of multiple Fast and Furious movies, Justin Lin will take over for J.J. Abrams, who directed the first two films, and Roberto Orci, who was briefly attached to direct this installment. The film is tentatively set for release in 2016. (SF)

That New Pee-Wee Herman Movie To Be Produced By Judd Apatow Is Heading To Netflix

Though the project was originally set to go at Universal, it will now go ahead under the Netflix banner.  No director has been announced at this time and plot details are still under wraps,  but it has been confirmed that Reubens wrote the film alongside Paul Rust. (COL)

Time Warner Cable Customers Will Have To Keep Digging Deeper Into Their Wallets In 2015

The company said it will add a surcharge that customers will have to pay for sports programming. Reports have the pay TV distributor adding $2.75 a month to bills starting in January. (TVW)

Before He Even Officially Gets His Oscar Nomination, Michael Keaton Has Already Earned a Big Win

The Birdman star had been facing a lawsuit from producers of his directorial debut, The Merry Gentleman, who claimed he didn’t live up to his contract, but an Illinois federal court has dismissed the case. (HE)

The ‘Today’ Show Really Wanted To Ask Amy Adams About the Sony Hack, and When She Resisted, They Booted Her

Despite the fact that the actress, who was there to promote her new film, Big Eyes, was unaffected by the information dump that came from the hack, and was actually in the green room, the program dumped the interview when she said she was uncomfortable discussing the situation. (DH)

Kim Dickens Lands the Coveted Female Lead Role Of AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff

The Gone Girl star will play opposite Cliff Curtis, who was previously announced as the show’s lead. Series will take place in the same universe as AMC’s blockbuster zombie hit, but in a new location. (VAR)

An Interesting Case To Be Made For Why It Might Just Be Inevitable That ‘Spider-Man’ Returns To Marvel

After all, what usually happens when rumors of a struggling head coach being put on the chopping block, or a star player being put on the trade market begin surfacing in the sports media? Those rumors often have a way of becoming  true. (NSA)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Better Call Saul’

The new trailer for AMC’s highly anticipated Breaking Bad spinoff, starring Bob Odenkirk and premiering February 8th, features actual footage from the series. (VUL)

Fake Trailer Buzz: ‘Marvel Vs. DC’

If you are even remotely a fan of comic book movies, this fan-made mash-up of Marvel and DC properties into a single, never-going-to-happen-but-oh-so-fun-to-imagine project is a must-see. (PW)

Online Film School: You Got Into Sundance … Now What? Distribution Tips For Filmmakers

Writer/director Diane Bell, whose film Obelidia premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, shares some great, practical distribution advice for the new class of Sundance filmmakers. (IW)

TV Development for 12/23/14: Fincher Developing Living on Video & Shakedown for HBO, USA Orders Hacker Series



Untitled Navy SEALs Drama Network: Fox Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company: Thunder Road Television Executive Producer: Wendy Mericle, Kent Kubena Logline: The series, set on Coronado Island, is about the first group of female U.S. soldiers vying to earn a spot in the world’s harshest boy’s club: the Navy SEALs. SSN Insight: Arrow co-executive producer Mericle has a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television. The Navy Seals has been closed to female members until the Pentagon revealed in summer 2013 that it would open the Naval Base Coronado to women beginning in 2016.

Troy: Street Magic Network: SyFy Production Companies: Zig Zag Productions, GroupM Entertainment Limited Executive Producer(s): Danny Fenton, Rob Hyde, Abigial Adam Logline: Follows British magician Troy Von Scheibner throughout the streets of London as he does a blend of close-up magic and awesome stunts. SSN Insight: SyFy has slated the series for ten episodes, to premiere on January 13. Scheibner was previously recognized as England’s top young magicians and stunts include causing money to rain down on London’s financial quarter. A Better Bushwick Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company: 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Marcus Wiley, Michael Rotenberg, Avi Gilbert Writer(s): Christian Lander, Keith Lucas, Kenny Lucas Logline: Identical twin brothers drop out of law school to become community organizers. Details: Inspired by the life story of Keith and Kenny Lucas. Based on an an idea by Christian Lander. Divorce Network: HBO Production Companies: Pretty Matches Productions, Merman Films, Kapital International Executive Producer(s): Sharon Horgan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alison Benson, Paul Simms, Aaron Kaplan Writer(s): Sharon Horgan Logline: The story of a very, very long divorce. SSN Insight: The project has a pending pilot order as HBO is still finalizing deals. HBO recently picked up a comedy pilot starring Sarah Silverman. This is Parker’s first major TV acting commitment since Sex and the City. Horgan previously co-created and starred in the UK series Pulling, Bad Management and Dead Boss. High Profile Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Company: Kerner Entertainment Company Executive Producer(s): Gwendolyn M. Parker, Jordan Kerner Writer(s): Gwendolyn M. Parker Logline: Shauna McDaniel, the survivor of a high-profile crime as a child, is now a tough but tormented FBI agent heading up a nationwide unit dedicated to investigating "crimes of the century", all while juggling a push-pull attachment to an ex-husband who might be the love of her life and a present girlfriend who seems to accept that Shauna might be too damaged for love. Sexy, impulsive and fearless, Shauna has an instinctive approach to the interviewing of witnesses, potential suspects and the press. SSN Insight: ABC has given an initial script commitment. Parker previously created Windfall and has scripted episodes of Law & Order: SVU and Without A Trace. This project makrs the first time Kerner has worked for ABC since the 80s. Human Resources Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Companies: Teakwood Lane Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Tom Gormican, Howard Gordon, Hugh Fitzpatrick, Oly Obst Writer(s): Tom Gormican Logline: An unlikely group of heroes come together to save their co-workers, their jobs and, ultimately, themselves. SSN Insight: The half-hour single-cam project has been called 24-meets-Die Hard.  It’s no wonder as Teakwood Lane previously co-produced 24 and Homeland, along with Tyrant and Legends. This will be Teakwood Lane’s first foray into comedy. Living On Video Network: HBO Production Company: No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): David Fincher, Rich Wilkes Writer(s): Rich Wilkes, Bob Stevenson, David Fincher Logline: Set in 1983 Los Angeles, centers on Bobby, a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic. He lands a job as a PA for a company making music videos. Revolves around the players of the then-exploding music video industry directors, record executives and crew members, many of them dabbling in drugs through the eyes of the newcomer. SSN Insight: Fincher is on a hot streak with HBO with dramas Utopia and Shakedown. The project has not received an official green light, although the script is finished and preliminary casting has begun. Fincher has history with music videos, having directed several notable ones including Madonna’s Express Yourself and Vogue. (You can read about his other music videos here.) Midsummer's Nightmare Network: A+E Studio: A+E Networks Production Company: Prospect Park Executive Producer(s): Anthony Jaswinski, Josh Barry Writer(s): Anthony Jaswinski Logline: Inspired by Shakespeare’s a midsummer nights dream, we follow a group who are staying in the remote northern California redwoods, that turns from a search for romance and escape to a desperate and terrifying tale of survival from an unexpected danger lurking in the woods. SSN Insight: A+E has given an initial script commitment. Script commitment is on the heels of news of Prospect Park’s other sold projects including Hearts and Clubs, an hourlong soap set in Las Vegas, executive produced by Christina Aguilera at ABC Family, Patriarch, a thriller mystery at Fox from creator Adam Milch, a half-hour dramedy at Amazon titled Tough Love, a comedy at CBS based on the Twitter feed of @WeFoughtAbout, and an action adventure series titled Relic by creator Mike Werb for Sony International Networks. Mr. Robot Network: USA Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company: Anonymous Content Executive Producer(s): Sam Esmail, Steve Golin, Chad Hamilton Writer(s): Sam Esmail Logline: A young programmer who suffers from a debilitating antisocial disorder decides that he can only connect to people by hacking them. He wields his skills as a weapon to protect those he cares about from those who are trying to hurt them. He will find himself in the intersection between a cyber-security firm he works for, his alter ego hacking exploits at night and the underworld hacking organization trying to recruit him to help bring down the one percent. SSN Insight: Initially ordered to pilot in July, this week USA ordered ten episodes to be shot.  Given the recent Sony hack, "Mr. Robot could not be more timely and relevant," USA Network president Chris McCumber said in a statement. Recovery Road Network: ABC Family Production Company: Pilgrim Studios Executive Producer(s): Danielle von Zerneck, Beth Miller, Craig Piligian, Bert V. Royal, Karen DiConcetto Writer(s): Karen DiConcetto, Bert V. Royal Logline: Centers on Maddie, a party girl who doesn’t think she has a problem until she’s confronted one day by her school guidance counselor and is forced to choose between expulsion and rehab. Maddie makes the difficult decision to live with other recovering addicts at a rehab facility, while facing the daily pressures of her teenage life. Details: Based on the popular young adult novel "Recovery Road," written by Blake Nelson and published by Scholastic Press on March 1, 2011. SSN Insight: The drama was originally picked up to pilot in March and then redeveloped in the fall. Per The Hollywood Reporter, though, the show has been picked up to series by ABC Family, but it will be restructured, including most likely the cast. Shakedown Network: HBO Production Company: FX Productions Executive Producer(s): David Fincher,James Ellroy, Joe Roth, Clark Peterson, Steven Hoban, Palak Patel Writer(s): James Ellroy Logline: Set in the tabloid world and underbelly of Los Angeles circa the late 1950s and centers on the city’s top informant/operator/wire tapper/fixer, Fred Otash, who lives and works where the glamour and the grime intersect. Details: Inspired by the life of legendary 1950s Hollywood police officer-turned-private detective Fred Otash. SSN Insight: Along with Utopia and Living on Video, this is the third project Fincher has at HBO. Ellroy is well versed in the 1950s Hollywood crime scene having previously authored the novel L.A. Confidential along with the fictionalized novella Shakedown in 2012, although this project will not be an adaptation of that novella.

Awards 2015: BTL — ‘The Imitation Game,’ SSN Year End Poll, Part 1, TV Development For 12/23/14, ‘The Interview’ To Get Christmas Release After All


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Awards 2015: Composer Alexandre Desplat, DP Oscar Faura and Other Below the Line Artists On Solving ‘The Imitation Game’

Production designer Maria Djukovic, costume designer Sammy Sheldon and editor William Goldenberg all weigh in on the project, which as gone from being put into turnaournd by Warner Bros. to being one of this year’s frontrunners for a Best Picture nomination. (SSN)


SSN’s 2014 End Of Year Industry Poll: Jason Blum, Julianne Moore and Others Pick Surprise Standouts In Film, TV, Books and Music

As 2014 draws to a close, no one can say there hasn’t been a shortage of pop culture entertainment that have touched people in various capacities from movies to music, book to bands, stage plays to social media. (SSN)

TV Development For 12/23/14: Fincher Developing ‘Living On Video’ and ‘Shakedown’ For HBO, USA Orders Hacker Series

Meanwhile, Fox moves forward with a Navy SEALs drama, Syfy green lights a street magic series, ABC is taking a High Profile look at a female fed, and NBC likes the look of Human Resources, among others. (SSN)

A Small Victory, But a Victory Nonetheless: Sony Authorizes Smaller Theaters To Show ‘The Interview’ On Christmas Day

The Plaza Atlanta theater and Alamo Drafthouse announced via social media that Sony Pictures has authorized them to show the film despite major exhibitors canceling screenings in the wake of a cyber attack that debilitated the studio. (VAR)

After a Long Process, ICM Settles Its Big, Unpaid Interns Lawsuit

The agreement was reached today in New York federal court, after the parties engaged in private mediation earlier this month. The result is the proposed settlement, which will need to be approved by the judge. No terms have yet been revealed. (HE)

Slowly But Surely, This ‘Jobs’ Film Is Filling Out Its Cast

Katherine Waterston, fresh off her breakout performance in Inherent Vice, will play Steve Jobs’ first wife, Chrisann, opposeite Michael Fassbender and Seth Rogen. Danny Boyle directs the film, which will start shooting in 2015. (DH)

LAIKA’s New Movie, Announced Yesterday, Has Already Assembled an Impressive Voice Cast

Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes and Brenda Vaccaro have all signed on for Kubo and the Two Strings, which will be released by Focus Features on August 19th, 2016. (CB)

The Comcast-Time Warner Merger Has Been Delayed, Yet Again

An FCC review was delayed because TWC failed to produce requested documents in a timely manner. The agency is stopping its 180-day shot clock for reviewing the transaction, which means the merger review process will be set back another three weeks. (TVW)

Fresh Off ‘The Gambler,’ Rupert Wyatt Has an ‘Echo Chamber’ In His Sites

The director will direct the 10-episode mini-series, originally set up at HBO but “not necessarily” there any longer. Series is a sci-fi adventure, based on a true story of a British soldier who goes undercover to infiltrate the IRA. (SF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Woman in Gold’

The first look at the upcoming thriller, starring Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl, Katie Holmes, Charles Dance, and Elizabeth McGovern. It opens in theaters April 3. (MF)

Indie Theaters To Show ‘The Interview,’ Bigger Theater Chains Are Upset, While Studio Heads Deny Knowledge Of Clooney’s Petition


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And So the List Of Theaters Planning To Show ‘The Interview’ Starting Tomorrow Has Risen To Over 300

The total includes most major cities — including Houston, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Phoenix, Dallas and New York — and more theaters than anyone expected considering the late notice and the fact Sony is finalizing plans to simultaneously release The Interview via a VOD/streaming strategy. (DH)

The Bad News Is, This Release Could Very Well Deepen the Rift Between Sony and Theater Owners

Exhibitors were already angry over last week’s move by Sony to make them the scapegoat for the Dec. 17 cancellation. Several executives are now saying that they only wanted the film’s premiere to be delayed or modified. (VAR)

Studio Heads Are Denying That George Clooney and Bryan Lourd Circulated Any Petition To Support Sony

THR quotes several execs, none of whom would go on the record, that the first they’d heard of it was when they read about it last week. Clooney heatedly responds, “I'm not going to be baited into naming names. If The Hollywood Reporter has a list of heads of studios that would sign on in support of the release of this film then they should in fact get them to start a petition.” (THR)

Now That Paramount Has Set Justin Lin To Direct ‘Star Trek 3,’ the Studio Grabs July 8th, 2016 For a Release Date

Lin was named to direct the film on Monday, replacing Roberto Orci, who had been set to make his feature directorial debut with the third film in the franchise. Orci, in return, was replacing J.J. Abrams, who directed the first two films but left to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (NR)

Disney and DirecTV Ink Multi-Year Pact That Includes Online Video Rights

The deal grants the No. 1 satellite TV broadcaster rights to ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel authenticated online-video services, giving subscribers access to content across TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and other Internet-connected devices. (SI)

If It’s the End Of the Year, Then It Must Once Again Be Time For Forbes Magazine’s “Ten Most Overpaid Actors” List

Adam Sandler tops the list, again, while other names like Johnny Depp, Ben Stiller, Ryan Reynolds and Tom Hanks round out the top five. The bottom five includes some surprising names, like Sandra Bullock. (FM)

With ‘American Sniper’ Coming Out Tomorrow, a Behind the Scenes Story of Jesse Ventura’s Lawsuit Against Chris Kyle

Ventura sued the late Navy SEAL — whose memoir became the basis for the movie, starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood  — for slander over a specific chapter in the book that accused former SEAL Ventura of treason. (UR)

The Birdcage: How Hollywood’s Toxic (and Worsening) Addiction To Franchises Changed Movies In 2014

Considering a year this difficult, this beautiful, and this complex requires looking at these images closely — whether we want to or not — and considering why they stubbornly refuse to fade. (GL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Entourage’

The first teaser trailer from the long-awaited film sequel to the successful HBO series, Vince, E, Turtle, Drama, Ari and the rest will be in theaters June 5th. (EMP)

Screenwriters: ‘Dances With Wolves’

The 132-page final draft, dated May 23rd, 1989, by Michael Blake, based on his novel. (DS)

Rep Moves for 12/24/14: Top Five’s Gabrielle Union Moves to CAA, Will Patton Signs with APA & More


at arrivals for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Opening Night Benefit Gala, New York City Center, New York, NY December 4, 2013. Photo By: Eli Winston/Everett Collection

ICM: Australian natives Gulliver and Zen McGrath have signed with ICM Partners. Gulliver, 16, played the younger version of Michael Stuhlbarg’s character in Hugo, and then nabbed a role in Dark Shadows. He also played the president’s son in Lincoln. Next up he plays a teenage version of Ryan Reynolds’ character in the dark comedy The Voices.

UTA: Eastbound & Down co-star Steve Little has signed with UTA. He played Stevie – Danny McBride’s BFF - throughout all four seasons of the HBO comedy. Little is a main company member of Los Angeles’ Groundlings improv troupe, and he won an Emmy as a writer on Cartoon Network’s Camp Lazlo! Other credits include Identity Thief, Tammy, 30 Rock, The Office, Reno 911, The League, Garfunkel and Oates, Suburgatory, Comedy Bang! Bang! and Drunk History.

APA: Falling SkiesWill Patton has inked with APA. He was with Paradigm. He appeared in Relativity’s espionage thriller The November Man, and past credits include Remember the Titans, Armageddon, The Mothman Prophecies, The Postman and No Way Out. He is still repped by Kate Edwards of Grand View Management and attorney Bill Skrzyniarz of Skrzyniarz & Mallean.

CAA: Gabrielle Union has signed with CAA. She appears in Chris Rock’s Top Five and also stars as the titular talk show host in the BET drama Being Mary Jane, which won NAACP Image Awards for both the show and Union last February, and has scored four nominations this year.

Colleen: Santa Monica-based management company Colleen has signed cinematographer Dannel Escallon to its roster for exclusive commercial representation.

WME: Reigning Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has signed with WME. Once called the Tiger Woodsof motor sports, Hamilton gained fame in 2007, winning his first pole and race in that debut season and at one point becoming, at 22, the youngest driver to lead the points standings for the world championship.