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31 3/10/2015 Logline: Five carnival workers who are kidnapped the night before Halloween try to survive a terrifying game called "31" in which murderous maniacs dressed as clowns are hunting them. Production Company(s): Spectacle Entertainment Group, Protagonist Pictures, Bow & Arrow Entertainment Director: Rob Zombie Producer(s): Rob Zombie, Andy Gould, Edward Vaisman, Michael Sherman, Matthew Perniciaro Cast: Torsten Voges, E. G. Daily, Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs, Daniel Roebuck, David Ury SSN Insight: Rob Zombie completed a 90-day crowdfunding campaign to help finance the project. The film is the first installment of a planned franchise.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip 3/16/2015 Logline: Chipmunks Alvin, Simon, and Theodore feel neglected because Dave is spending too much time with his girlfriend, Samantha, and they try to do everything in their power to prevent Dave from asking for her hand in marriage. Studio: Fox 2000 Production Company(s): New Regency Productions, Bagdasarian Productions, Sunswept Entertainment Director: Walt Becker Executive Producer(s): Karen Rosenfelt Producer(s): Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman Cast: Jason Lee, Tony Hale, Kimberly Williams-Paisley Writer(s): Adam Sztykiel, Randi Mayem Singer Details: Sequel to "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" (2011) directed by Mike Mitchell and starring Jason Lee. SSN Insight: Animation/live-action hybrid like the prior three films. The first film was released in 2007 and grossed $360 million worldwide, followed by the sequel in 2009 that grossed $443 million and the most recent film in 2011 that grossed $337 million.
I.T. 3/16/2015 Logline: A successful businessman, who was once a thug in his youth but has since changed his ways, discovers that his company's new I.T. employee is actually a dangerous madman who's out to destroy the businessman and his family. Production Company(s): Friendly Films Director: John Moore Producer(s): David Friendly, Craig J. Flores, Nicolas Chartier, Beau St. Clair Cast: Pierce Brosnan Writer(s): William Wisher, Daniel Kay SSN Insight: Previously set to start shooting January 12. Stefano Sollima previously attached to direct. Voltage, which recently was behind the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-directed Don Jon, opened sales at AFM. Kay penned the script based on a concept by Friendly through his Friendly Films banner.
In Dubious Battle 3/12/2015 Logline: Based on the John Steinbeck novel, the story takes place in 1930s California, and focuses on an activist who organizes a group of fruit workers in a labor strike. Production Company(s): Rabbit Bandini Productions, That's Hollywood, AMBI Distribution Director: James Franco Producer(s): Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Scott Reed, Vince Jolivette, Ron Singer Cast: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vincent D'Onofrio, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris Writer(s): Matt Rager, Tom Steinbeck Details: Based on the novel "In Dubious Battle" written by John Steinbeck and published by in New York by Covici-Friede in 1936. SSN Insight: Previously in development with Zupnik Enterprises Inc. Alec Baldwin and Brad Pitt were previously mentioned to star.
Jungle Book: Origins 3/10/2015 Logline: A young boy is raised in the wild by wolves and taught the ways of the jungle by various animals. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company(s): The Imaginarium Director: Andy Serkis Producer(s): Steve Kloves, Andy Serkis, Jonathan Cavendish Cast: Rohan Chand Writer(s): Callie Kloves Details: Based on the book "The Jungle Book," written by Rudyard Kipling in 1894. SSN Insight: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Steve Kloves were previously in talks to direct. Serkis is best known for playing Gollum in the Lord of the Rings franchise and Caesar in the Planet of the Apes franchise. This marks Serkis' directorial debut after directing second unit on The Hobbit trilogy.
Krampus 3/16/2015 Logline: During the Christmas season, a pagan demon is busy punishing the wicked. Production Company(s): Legendary Entertainment Director: Michael Dougherty Producer(s): Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni Cast: Allison Tolman, Adam Scott, David Koechner, Stefania Owen, Emjay Anthony Writer(s): Michael Dougherty, Todd Casey, Zach Shields SSN Insight: This marks Dougherty’s second outing as writer/director, his first project being 2009’s Trick ‘r Treat for Warner Bros. His screenwriting credits include X2: X-Men United and Superman Returns.
Michelle Darnell 3/12/2015 Logline: A former corporate bigshot attempts to rebuild her image after a prison stint for insider trading, but many of her victims are unwilling to let bygones be bygones. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Gary Sanchez Productions, On the Day Productions Director: Ben Falcone Executive Producer(s): Kevin J. Messick Producer(s): Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Kathy Bates, Tyler Labine Writer(s): Melissa McCarthy, Steve Mallory, Ben Falcone SSN Insight: Gary Sanchez’s next films include Get Hard and Welcome to Me and Daddy’s Home has wrapped. A sequel to Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, The House, Crazy U, Devil’s Night, and Manimal are in development at Sanchez.
The Boy 3/11/2015 Logline: To escape her troubled life in the United States, a young woman moves to England and takes a job as a nanny for the eight-year old son of a wealthy English couple, but the boy turns out to be a life-sized doll. Production Company(s): Lakeshore Entertainment, Vertigo Entertainment Director: William Brent Bell Executive Producer(s): John Middleton Producer(s): Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Roy Lee, Matt Berenson, Jim Wedaa Cast: Lauren Cohan, Jim Norton, Diana Hardcastle, Ben Robson, Rupert Evans, James Russell Writer(s): Stacey Menear SSN Insight: STX Entertainment recently came onboard to distribute, will release the film on January 22, 2016.
Extraction 3/15/2015 Logline: A widowed former CIA operative and his son, a young agent following in his father's footsteps, are developing a super-weapon, and when the father is kidnapped the son leads a rogue rescue effort that uncovers deep secrets. Production Company(s): Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Aperture Entertainment Director: Steven C. Miller Producer(s): Randall Emmett, George Furla, Adam Goldworm Cast: Bruce Willis, Kellan Lutz, Gina Carano, Dan Bilzerian, Lydia Hull Writer(s): Umair Aleem SSN Insight: Shooting took place in Alabama. Lionsgate/Grindstone through its multi-picture distribution deal will release the film domestically with Highland Film Group set to sell international rights in Berlin. This film marks the seventh film Willis has made with Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films.
Love & Friendship 3/13/2015 Logline: Set in the 1790s, a widow waits out rumors about her dalliances while she seeks a husband for herself, and a husband for her reluctant daughter. Production Company(s): Netherlands Film Fund, Irish Film Board, Westerly Films, Blinder Films, Chic Films, Revolver Films (Netherlands) Director: Whit Stillman Producer(s): Katie Holly, Whit Stillman, Lauranne Bourrachot Cast: Chloe Sevigny, Kate Beckinsale, Xavier Samuel, Stephen Fry Writer(s): Whit Stillman Details: Based on the novel/novella "Lady Susan" written by Jane Austen, written sometime between 1794 and 1805, and first published in 1871. SSN Insight: Sienna Miller was previously attached to play the role of Lady Susan. Protagonist launched international sales at the Berlin Film Festival.
Now You See Me 2 3/13/2015 Logline: In this sequel, the magician troupe known as the Four Horseman, a year after the events of the first "Now You See Me," become involved in a dangerous heist and must contend with a powerful new enemy. Studio: Lionsgate Production Company(s): K/O Paper Products Director: Jon M. Chu Producer(s): Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Bobby Cohen Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman Details: Sequel to "Now You See Me" (2013) directed by Louis Leterrier and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson. SSN Insight: Louis Leterrier was previously attached to direct. Along with Daniel Radcliffe, The producers have also added one of Asia’s most popular musicans Jay Chou, repped by JVR Music to the cast.
The Martian 3/12/2015 Logline: When an astronaut is stranded on Mars, he struggles to survive and get back to Earth. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): Ridley Scott Films , Genre Films Director: Ridley Scott Producer(s): Simon Kinberg, Aditya Sood, Ridley Scott Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena Writer(s): Drew Goddard Details: Based on the novel "The Martian," written by Andy Weir and self-published by Amazon on September 27, 2012. SSN Insight: Drew Goddard was previously in negotiations to direct. Wadi Rum, a protected desert area in southern Jordan, was scheduled to stand in for Mars during filming. Director Ridley Scott previously shot scenes from "Exodus: Gods And Kings" (2014) in Wadi Rum, and the region also provided the setting for many scenes in "Lawrence of Arabia".
The Secret in Their Eyes (Remake) 3/15/2015 Logline: A man who has been slowly solving a years-old brutal murder committed against the daughter of a loved one ventures across the country to take up the mystery anew, and in the process he discovers shocking details as he gets closer to tracking down the killer. Production Company(s): Gran Via Productions, IM Global, STX Entertainment Director: Billy Ray Executive Producer(s): Stuart Ford, Matt Jackson Producer(s): Mark Johnson, Juan Jose Campanella Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman Writer(s): Billy Ray Details: English-language remake of "El secreto de sus ojos" (Argentina/2009) written and directed by Juan Campanella from a novel by Eduardo Sacheri. SSN Insight: Previously in development at Warner Bros. Gwyneth Paltrow was previously attached to star.
On the Set For 3/16/15: Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone Start Shooting ‘Michelle Darnell’, Ridley Scott and Simon Kinberg Wrap “The Martian’It’s a busy week for new projects, as Rob Zombie begins shooting a new horror flick, the next Alvin and the Chipmunks film gets rolling, and James Franco’s next directorial effort, as well as several others. Meanwhile, the Now You See Me sequel wraps, as well as the remake of The Secret In Their Eyes. (SSN)
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Speaking Of Shared Universes, Jason Blum Is Planning To Make One For the Sinister and Insidious FranchisesWhile at South By Southwest this weekend, Blum was asked about the connections between the movies and he confirmed that there are Easter Eggs hidden in both series. The next installments of the series are coming out this year, with Insidious Chapter 3 coming out on June 5th and Sinister 2 arriving August 21st. (CB)
That Star Wars Standalone Movie ‘Rogue One’ Will Have an Oscar-Winner Scoring It, but It Won’t Be John WilliamsAlexandre Desplat will be handling the job, which will reunite him with his Godzilla director Gareth Edwards. Felicity Jones is the first confirmed actor for the spinoff, which will open on December 16, 2016. Production starts this summer. (TP) (EMP) (THR)
Just Because It’s March Doesn’t Mean It’s Too Late For a Year-End Spec Scorecard From the Scoggins ReportAs usual, the attached 6th annual edition of the year-end Scorecard includes the usual grids, full details of all 90 of 2014's spec sales, plus the Top 5 lists of Buyers and Sellers (companies as well as individuals, for the latter). Click on the link to check it out for yourself. (SR)
It’s Promotion Day At Paramount! Marc Evans Named To Replace Adam Goodman as President of the Motion Picture GroupAfter reportedly talking to Sony's Michael De Luca and Doug Belgrad, Brad Grey has opted to promote four-year production president Evans, a studio veteran of 12 years, who will bring stability rather than turmoil. Evans joined Paramount in 2003, ahead of Goodman's arrival, so he's not associated with his regime, and he has built support from such Paramount producers as Lorenzo di Bonaventura, J.J. Abrams and David Ellison. (TOH) (VAR) (THR) (DH) (SF) (COL)
Just a Heads Up For ‘Twin Peaks’ Fans: David Lynch Is Having Contract Issues, and the Thing Is Still Up In the AirLynch spoke at a panel for his new exhibit "Between Two Worlds" at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia last weekend. According to Welcome to Twin Peaks, when the filmmaker was asked whether or not the reboot was still happening he responded, “I don’t know. There are complications.” (HP)
Here’s a New One: the Pilot ‘Love Is a Four Letter Word’ Just Promoted an Actress To the Lead After a Table ReadCynthia McWilliams has been upgraded to female lead in NBC's drama pilot. Meta Golding was originally set to play the lead, but McWilliams will now take over, after a table read, with Golding exiting. Actress joins Rockmond Dunbar in the NBC drama pilot which chronicles the collision of race, sexuality and gender roles when 3 diverse couples put modern marriage to the test. (SAA) (CO) (FSR)
All That Jazz Network: TLC Studio: Discovery Communications Production Company(s): This Is Just a Test Executive Producer(s): Aengus James, Colin Miller Logline: Follows the life of transgender teen and activist Jazz Jennings and her family. SSN Insight: TLC has ordered 11 episodes for a series order and has schedule to premiere the show this summer. Other transgender series include Discovery Life’s New Girls on the Block, ABC Family’s My Transparent Life, Ryan Seacrest Prods.’ MTL, HBO’s doc Three Suits, and VH1’s reality series Transamerica. Those series will give competition to the already airing Transparent on Amazon and Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word on MTV.
Believer Network: CNN Production Company(s): Whalerock Industries Executive Producer(s): Reza Aslan Logline: In each episode, Reza Aslan will dive into a faith-based groups to experience life as a "true believer." Aslan participates in endurance worship, rituals, and rites of passage, to learn about "worlds that have been molded by faith and tradition. SSN Insight: Ordered to series on March 10. Whalerock Industries, formerly BermanBraun, was founded eight years ago and is a media and technology company. Whalerock’s digital properties include: Wonderwall, Mandatory, Mom.me and Moviefone (in partnership with Aol) which reaches approximately 70 million consumers per month.
California Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): Nuyorican Productions Executive Producer(s): Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Jennifer Lopez, Gregory Nava, Barbara Jitner Martinez, Benny Medina Writer(s): Gregory Nava, Barbara Jitner Martinez Logline: The story tracks a fictional Latino family and their journey over 200 years in California from Spanish, to Mexican, to American rule. The narrative interweaves historical characters and events, and follows a family across eight generations from the days of the Californio ranchos and missions right up to the present. Details: Based on an idea by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas. SSN Insight: Planned as a limited series. Nuyorican’s Lopez and Goldsmith-Thomas also produce The Fosters for ABC Family and the upcoming Shades of Blue starring Lopez on NBC. Nava first cast Lopez in his 1995 film My Family which aided her being cast in Selena. The pair collaborated again on Nava’s 2006 film Bordertown.
Can’t Touch This Network: BBC Studio: BBC Production Company(s): Stellify Media Executive Producer(s): Kieran Doherty, Matthew Worthy Logline: Game show where contestants get to keep any prize they get their hands on. The catch: they have to navigate a larger than life assault course while also battling it out with rival contestants. SSN Insight: The 10-part series is set to air in 2016. Ireland-based Stellify produces and develops original programming for UK and international broadcasters and was launched in spring 2014 with funding from Sony Pictures TV. Sony has invested heavily into the following UK production companies: Silver River Productions, Gogglebox Entertainment, Victory Television, Left Bank Pictures and the newly announced joint venture with Karl Warner, Electric Ray.
Falling Water Network: USA Network Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Valhalla Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Henry Bromell, Blake Masters, Gale Anne Hurd, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo Writer(s): Henry Bromell, Blake Masters Logline: Three unrelated people slowly realize that they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream. Each is on a quest for something that can only be found in their subconscious: a missing girlfriend, a son, a way to communicate with a catatonic mother. However, the more they begin to use the dream world as a tool to advance their hidden agendas, they realize that their visions are trying to tell them something and that their very real lives are at stake. SSN Insight: USA gave an initial pilot commitment on March 12. The project is the first pilot order for USA in 2015. From 2014, Queen of the South is in consideration and Colony and Mr. Robot were ordered to series. Hurd previously executive produced the 2013 drama pilot Horizon for USA.
Impact Network: A&E Studio: A+E Networks Production Company(s): Company Pictures, All3Media America Executive Producer(s): Kimberly Peirce, Jason George, Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert, John Yorke Writer(s): Jason George Logline: The story begins immediately following the downing of a major commercial flight near the nation’s capital. When the country’s best airline investigator learns that her son may have been on the flight, everyone she once trusted will become a suspect. Details: Based on the British TV Movie, "Impact," starring Hugh Bonneville, which aired on ITV in January, 2002. SSN Insight: After some competition, A&E bought Impact and given a script order on March 10. Pierce’s feature credits include Stop-Loss and Carrie
Untitled Jerrod Carmichael Project Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): A24 Executive Producer(s):Jerrod Carmichael, Nicholas Stoller, Ravi Nandan Writer(s): Jerrod Carmichael, Nicholas Stoller Logline: An irreverent multi-camera comedy inspired by his stand-up and his relationships with his girlfriend and family. Details: Inspired by Jerrod Carmichael's standup. SSN Insight: A pilot presentation was shot in December 2013, but was retooled with a new premise and new writer/executive producer Nick Stoller who directed Carmichael in the feature Neighbors. NBC ordered a fresh pilot on November 3 and gave a six episode series order on March 10.
Six Degrees of Everything Network: TruTV Production Company(s): Fine Brothers Entertainment, Inc., Marc Summers Productions Executive Producer(s): Marc Summers, Benny Fine, Rafi Fine Logline: Comedy hosted by Benny and Rafi Fine who will spend each week proving that anything in the world can be connected in six degrees. SSN Insight: TruTV has ordered 10 half-hour episodes, including the pilot. In addition to this project, TruTV has re-upped Hack My Life, How to be a Grownup, Top Funnies and ordered eight more episodes of Barmageddon.
S.T.R.O.N.G. Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): 25/7 Productions Executive Producer(s): Sylvester Stallone, Dave Broome, Kevin Templeton Logline: S.T.R.O.N.G. (Start To Realize Our Natural Greatness), follows six men and six women looking to reach their full potential by getting fit, not losing weight. The series will eliminate one contestant every week. Each of the 12 contestants will be paired with their own trainer and also six men and six women creating mixed-gender teams of two. SSN Insight: NBC ordered a 10 episodes series on March 12. Broome is the creator/executive producer of The Biggest Loser creator/executive producer. This project originated from Broome’s two-year overall deal he inked with Sony TV last year. Stallone previously teamed up with Mark Burnett for the NBC boxing competition series The Contender.
United Shades of America Network: CNN Production Company(s): Objective Productions Executive Producer(s): W. Kamau Bell, Jimmy Fox, Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert, Andrew O'Connor Logline: W. Kamau Bell explores the "far corners of our country" and its "subcultures," He will ask questions, get himself into awkward situations, and make people laugh. SSN Insight: CNN Ordered to series on March 10. Objective Productions, founded by Andrew O’Connor and Michael Vine in 1991, has offices in London, Glasgow and Los Angeles is owned by All3Media America (jointly owned by Discovery Communications and Liberty Global).
Untitled Brian Knappenberger Series Network: Pivot Studio: Participant Media Production Company(s): Luminant Media Executive Producer(s): Brian Knappenberger, Jeff Skoll, Christy Spitzer Logline: A documentary series that reimagines investigative journalism for the digital age and spotlights the untold stories of people who defend human rights and call out institutional failures. SSN Insight: Scheduled to premiere in Q4 2015. Each episode will follow a single story, using a personal point of entry to examine a larger issue. Knappenberger won a WGA award this year for his work on The Internet’s Own Boy.
Untitled Molyneux Comedy Pilot aka The Brainy Bunch Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): Imagine Television Executive Producer(s): Wendy Molyneux, Lizzie Molyneux, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo Writer(s): Wendy Molyneux, Lizzie Molyneux Logline: Follows an extraordinarily gifted family who find themselves unprepared for their new lives in Orange County, California, a place where beauty is valued more than brains. Details: Inspired by the book, "The Brainy Bunch: The Harding Family’s Method To College Ready By Age Twelve," written by Kip Harding and Mona Lisa Harding and published by Gallery Books on May 6, 2014. SSN Insight: ABC gave an initial commitment plus penalty on September 11 and ordered the pilot on Janurary 30. James Roday, formerly known as a lead in Psych, was cast as the male lead opposite Melanie Griffith. As part of the Roday’s contract he has a blind script commitment from 20th TV to write and/or direct a future pilot.
Untitled Will Ferrell Baseball Special Network: HBO Production Company(s): Gary Sanchez Productions Executive Producer(s): Will Ferrell, Mike Farah, Joe Farrell, Stuart Miller Logline: To honor the 50th anniversary of Bert Campaneris’ historic feat of playing every position on the baseball field for ten different teams in ten days, HBO will cover Will Ferrell visiting five spring training ballparks. SSN Insight: The project was created to help fight cancer. Ferrell will partner with Funny Or Die and Major League Baseball. Ferrell’s visit will be covered on social media as well #FerrellTakesTheField. Game-used memorabilia from the project will be auctioned at MLB.com with proceeds being donated to Cancer for College and Stand Up To Cancer (MLB is a founding donor).
Why? With Hannibal Buress Network: Comedy Central Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Hannibal Buress, Jeff Stilson, Dave Becky Logline: Comedian Buress provides his perspective on each week’s zeitgeist-driven topic, answering the burning questions on his mind through stand-up, filmed segments, man-on-the-street interviews and in-studio guests. SSN Insight: Comedy Central ordered 8 episodes on March 10. Per Deadline, the project originiated from a development deal between Buress and Comedy Central which included “a pilot commitment, a one-hour stand-up special, a nationwide Comedy Central Live stand-up tour; and a role on Broad City.”
TV Development For 3/17/15: Jennifer Lopez To Teach ‘California’ History At NBC, Will Ferrell Teams With MLB For HBO DocPlenty of action this week, with new projects announced from Jeff Skoll, Sylvester Stallone, the Fine Brothers and Jerrod Carmichael, to name just a few. Click the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)
If a Comedy About a Long-Running Game Of Tag Starring Will Ferrell and Jack Black Interests You, Today Is Your Lucky DayWaiting’s Rob McKittrick will write the script for New Line, based on a Wall Street Journal article. The piece detailed a group of friends that have been keeping the same game of Tag going for over two decades, and the stakes are so high that tales of home invasion, injury, and beefing up office security have become a part of the game's storied history. Ferrell and Black, obviously, would play the feuding players. (CB) (VAR) (TVI) (DH) (IO9) (TLF) (EW) (GR) (AA)
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WME: Vince Vaughn has signed with WME. The actor was a long-time client of CAA. The move comes as Vaughn is set to star in the second season of HBO’s acclaimed series True Detective.
The Green Room: Sons of Anarchy’s David Labrava and actress/singer Ali Faulkner have signed with management company The Green Room. Labrava played Happy on the FX drama (and helped write the episode “Hands”). Faulkner co-starred in the Christian music-themed The Song, and her previous credits include the horror comedy Bad Kids Go to Hell.
CAA: YouTube comedians Kian Lawley and Jc Caylen have signed with CAA. The agency will develop opportunities for the digital duo in other areas, including TV, film and commercial endorsements. This winter Lawley and Caylen launched the KianAndJc channel on YouTube with short films and comedy sketches. Since then, the KianAndJc channel has drawn more than 900,000 subscribers and 19 million views. The duo has a combined fan base of nearly 4.5 million on Instagram and Twitter.
UTA: 99 Homes’ actor Noah Lomax has signed with UTA. The child actor plays Andrew Garfield’s son in the received drama, and he also played the child of Josh Duhamel (in Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven) and Gerard Butler (in Playing for Keeps). His TV appearances include Bones, The Middle and The Walking Dead.
APA: American Crime’s Elvis Nolasco has signed with APA. The actor plays heartbroken drug addict Carter Nix on the ABC drama. Nolasco recently appeared in Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus and will appear in the indie drug gang drama 179th Street, starring Danny Trejo, Michael Pitt and Michael Kenneth Williams. Nolasco is managed by Rob Lewis.
Paradigm: Paradigm has signed Columbian actress Carolina Guerra. She stars in David S. Goyer’s Da Vinci’s Demons and was a former 2005 Miss Bogota and model. Guerra is well-known to U.S. Hispanic TV viewers for co-hosting Univision’s 2009 music talent show Long Live the Dream. She’s also had roles in hit telenovelas, such as Telemundo’s Hilos de Amor.
Henderson Represents: Actors Garrett Hines and Jaylen Moore have signed with talent agency Henderson Represents. Hines has a role in the upcoming biopic Trumbo and will appear in the WE tv thriller South of Hell. Moore appeared on two episodes of Homeland and will play a cop in the Reese Witherspoon-Sofia Vergara comedy Hot Pursuit.
WME/3 Arts: WME and 3 Arts have signed writer/director Joe White off his short film The Brain Hack. The film is about two students who create a shortcut to induce hallucinogenic visions of God, and as a result find themselves hunted by a deadly religious sect. Studio 8 recently acquired the feature rights to the short.
Relevant: Paul Dano and Evan Peters have signed with publicity firm Relevant. Dano can be seen as the younger version of Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy, the biopic of the Beach Boys frontman. He’s filming the BBC and Weinstein Co. miniseries War and Peace, opposite Cinderella star Lily James. American Horror Story’s Peters followed up the FX anthology’s fourth installment with the feature The Lazarus Effect. He’s shooting a supporting role in Elvis & Nixon before reprising his Quicksilver mutant role for Fox’s X-Men franchise. Relevant also has signed Outlander’s Sam Heughan, Transporter star Ed Skrein, and teen actor Josh Wiggins, star of Kat Candler’s acclaimed 2014 Sundance drama Hellion. Nicole Miller Agency: The Returned’s Agnes Bruckner has signed with PR firm Nicole Miller Agency. The actress plays deputy Nikki Banks on A&E’s remake of the French supernatural drama, and she has a three-episode arc on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. She played Anna Nicole Smith in Lifetime’s 2013 biopic of the late model.
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Polley, who wrote and directed Away From Her, Take This Waltz and Stories We Tell, has been hired by producer Pascal to take over scripting duties and possibly direct the project for Sony. Olivia Milch originally had been working on the new adaptation. Robin Swicord and Denise Di Novi are also producing. (EMP)
The Jane the Virgin star will take one of the leading roles in the film, which will revolve around the 2010 explosion in the Gulf Of Mexico of the titular BP rig. This ultimately led to the death of 11 men and injured 17 others as they worked on the platform and the biggest oil spill in the history of the United States. Mark Wahlberg is already on board to star, with Peter Berg directing. (CB)
First-time author Jasmine Warga’s young-adult novel My Heaet and Other Black Holes. The book was published February 15th by HarperCollins’ Balzer + Bray imprint and centers on a pair of teenagers who meet through an online site matching up suicide partners (these groups actually exist) to help ensure each partner will not back out of their own suicide. In a twist on Romeo and Juliet, they become more and more intimate through the 26-day countdown to their date until one question hangs between them: Will they live or will they die? (DH)
The film, which has Amy Adams set to star as the late singer and which has been in development for years, now has legal issues. LKL Productions and Swiss production company Silver Reel have sued writer-producer Ron Terry, his affiliated companies Morace and Get It While You Can, and a lending firm that invested in the film, claiming they’ve breached their option agreement for the script about the hard-living rock ‘n’ roll queen. (HESQ)
Matthew McConaughey stars in the film from Black Bear Pictures, set to start shooting in June in New York, New Mexico and Thailand. Ramirez will play a geologist whom McConaughey’s prospector teams with to find gold in the uncharted Indonesian jungle. Stephen Gaghan is directing from a script by Patrick Massett and John Zinman. (VAR)
Fox closed a deal yesterday to give the history-twisting drama a third, 18-episode season, and hired The Glades’ Clifton Campbell to take over as showrunner. Campbell replaces Mark Goffman, who stepped down earlier this month in the wake of Sleepy‘s rocky second season, which saw ratings slide 40 percent versus Season One. (TVL)
Indie distributor focused on multi-platform releases via specialized theatrical runs and premium video on demand services, has acquired U.S. distribution rights to SXSW Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize Winner. Written and directed by Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers and starring Bridey Elliott and Clare McNulty, film is about two slacker Brooklynites experiencing mishap after mishap on a journey to the beach. (IW)
Alexandra Roach and Sheridan Smith join returning male dwarf Nick Frost and newcomer Rob Brydon — all of whom will be digitally shortened on screen — in the sequel to Snow White and The Huntsman. Other newcomers to the cast include Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain. The film hits theaters April 22nd, 2016. (FSR)
Robert Rodriguez’s talk show, in which he discusses craft with his fellow directors, features a 90-minute conversation with his longtime friend (and occasional collaborator) Quentin Tarantino. (TP)
Writer/producer Glenn M. Benest used to think you couldn’t teach screenwriters how to write better dialogue, but realized he was wrong. Developing your talent for great repartee is not necessarily a god-given talent but can be nurtured and improved like anything else. (SM)
NEW ATTACHMENTSLittle Women Logline: The four March sisters grow up in the years following the Civil War. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Di Novi Pictures, Amy Pascal Company Producers: Denise Di Novi, Robin Swicord, Amy Pascal Writer: Sarah Polley SSN Insight: The addition of Pascal and Polley round out an already female driven story and give Polley a good chance at directing down the line. Deepwater Horizon Logline: Based on the true events that occurred on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, the story chronicles the courage of those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon and the extreme moments of bravery and survival in the face of what would become one of the biggest man-made disasters in world history. Studio/ Distributor: Lionsgate Production Company: Participant Media, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Closest to the Hole Productions, Leverage Management Producers: Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, David Womark Writer: J. C. Chandor Director: Peter Berg Cast: Gina Rodriguez, Mark Wahlberg SSN Insight: Rodriguez would star as the film’s lead, the communications officer for the oil company. Wahlberg stars as an electrician on the rig. Beauty and the Beast (Reboot) Logline: Re-imagining of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”. Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Production Company: Mandeville Films Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman Writer: Stephen Chobosky Director: Bill Condon Cast: Emma Thompson, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, Emma Watson, Dan Stevens SSN Insight: Hot on the heels of the success of it’s live action adaptation of Cinderella, Disney is anxious to get this film out and has rounded out its cast and announced a release date of March 17, 2017. Stars My Destination Logline: The sole survivor of a wrecked spaceship drifts through space. When a passing vessel ignores his distress signal, he becomes obsessed with revenge and ultimately uncovers a secret destined to change the course of history. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company: Disruption Entertainment Producers: Mary Parent Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts Notes: Based on the novel "The Stars My Destination" written by Alfred Bester published by Berkley Books 1956. SSN Insight: Betty Thomas was previously attached to direct.and the project was set up at 20th Century Fox,, Constantin Film, and Impact Pictures. Project was also previously set up at Universal with Lorenzo di Bonaventura attached to produce via Di Bonaventura Pictures. The Seven Five Logline: The true story of Michael Dowd is told. Dowd led a ring of criminalized cops in the corrupt 1980s NYPD until he was arrested in 1992. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Le Grisbi Productions, Annapurna Pictures, All3Media America Producers: John Lesher, Megan Ellison, Eli Holzman Writer: Scott Frank Director: Yann Demange Notes: Based on the documentary The Seven Five (USA/2014) directed by Tiller Russell. SSN Insight: Putting Frank together with in demand director Demange means the studio has high hopes for the project and hopes to make the movie. Agatha Logline: Mystery author Agatha Christie mysteriously goes missing for almost two weeks on a secret adventure. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Disruption Entertainment Producers: Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Chris Bender, Jake Weiner, JC Spink Writer: Annie Neal SSN Insight: Project was originally a spec script by writer Allison Schroeder, but directors are now circling the project and the studio was looking for a rewrite. Scarface (Reboot) Logline: Update of the classic crime tale, charting the rise and fall of a mafia kingpin in Los Angeles. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Global Produce, Bluegrass Films Producers: Mark Shmuger, Martin Bregman, Scott Stuber, Dylan Clark Writer: Jonathan Herman Director: Pablo Larrain SSN Insight: Hot screenwriters Paul Attanasio and David Ayer have also penned previous drafts of the project. Tag Logline: Former classmates, now in middle age, routinely participate in an elaborate game of tag. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema Production Companies: Broken Road Productions Producers: Todd Garner Writer: Rob McKittrick Cast: Jack Black, Will Ferrell Notes: Based on the article "Tag Brothers" written by Russell Adams and published in The Wall Street Journal January 29, 2013. SSN Insight: New Line won a bidding war with DreamWorks originally to pick up the picture.
NEW PROJECTSZero Footprint Logline: Story recounts the chain of events that led to that fateful day when U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Foreign Services’ Sean Smith and CIA operatives Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were mercilessly killed by Islamic terrorists in Benghazi. Studio/ Distributor: Alcon Entertainment Producers: Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin Writers: Scott Charnick, Charley Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides SSN Insight: Two other Benghazi films are also in development. Michael Bay is adapting 13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened On Benghazi for Paramount based on the Mitchell Zuckoff nonfiction book. Relativity and producer Dana Brunetti (Fifty Shades Of Grey) acquired life rights to the two former Navy SEALs/CIA operatives — Doherty and Woods — who lost their lives that day as they tried to save others. Fox Hunt Logline: U.S. and Chinese investigators team up to investigate a car smuggling ring in the South China sea, and the operation causes unexpected and violent results. Studio/ Distributor: Fox International Production Company: Bona Film Group Writer: Antony Hoffman, Brian Brightly Director: Antony Hoffman SSN Insight: Hoffman is one of the hottest directors in the commercial world and has much experience shooting in China. This would be his feature film directorial debut. Variant Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Production Companies: Weimaraner Republic Pictures Producers: Lynn Harris, Matti Leshem Writer: Tony Jaswinski SSN Insight: Lynn Harris, who was a former Warner Bros. exec, is producing the project with her new production label. Project sold in a bidding war. Blue Thunder (Remake) Logline: The United States uses their most advanced drones to battle terrorists. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Trigger Street Pictures, Escape Artists Producers: Dana Brunetti, Jason Blumenthal Writer: Craig Kyle Director: Bryan Singer Notes: Remake of "Blue Thunder" (USA/1983), directed by John Badham and starring Roy Scheider and Daniel Stern. SSN Insight: In the new take, the helicopter from the first film will be replaced by the world’s most advanced drone. Jesse Owens Biopic Logline: This biopic tells the story of Jesse Owens, the African American sprinter who won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, disproving Hitler’s theory of Aryan supremacy. Distributor: Relativity Media Production Companies: Inspire Entertainment Producers: Anthony Mackie, Jamie Linden, Jason Spire, George Olsen Writer: George Olsen Cast: Anthony Mackie SSN Insight: Mackie developed the project and first shopped it in May of 2014. But, as his star rises in films such as the next Captain America, John Hillcoat’s Triple 9 and Warner Bros’ Our Brand Is Crisis, the biopic gained heat and Relativity wants to start shooting in October. Blackbird Logline: A girl who wakes up on the tracks of the LA subway with no memory, a tattoo, $1,000, a phone number and instructions not to call the police, knowing only that people are trying to kill her. Studio/ Distributor: Lionsgate Production Company: Alloy Entertainment Producers: Elysa Dutton, Leslie Morgenstein Writer: Daniel Mackey Notes: Based on the YA novel, “Blackbird” published by HarperTeen last September. SSN Insight: Lionsgate continues its YA hot streak after Twilight and The Hunger Games with this new acquisition. The Brain Hack Logline: When two student create a way to induce hallucinogenic visions of God, they find themselves stalked by a cult that wants to destroy them. Studio/ Distributor: Studio 8 Production Companies: 3 Arts Entertainment Producers: Jeff Robinov, Erwin Stoff, Will Rowbotham, Richard Abate Director: Joe White Notes: Based on the short film "The Brain Hack" (USA/2014) written and directed by Joe White. SSN Insight: White is a hot commercials director and designer. This would be his feature directorial debut.
Film Development For 3/19/15: Amy Pascal To Produce ‘Little Women’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Cast Updates, and MoreOnce again, there has been plenty of action over the last week, both with the announcing of new projects and the new attachments to previously established ones. Click on the link to get the full skinny as to who has gone where, and will be working with whom. (SSN)
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To Cast the Female Lead For Its ‘Preacher’ Comic Book Adaptation, AMC Turns To Another Comic Book SeriesRuth Negga, late of the ABC series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has been cast as former hitwoman Tulip O'Hare. This is the first cast announcement for the series, which is being developed for television by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, who created the original comic series for DC's Vertigo imprint, are on-board as co-executive producers. (NSA) (CBR) (BC) (CB)
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Another Mark Millar Comic Book Adaptation Is Coming To the Big Screen, and Chris Morgan Is Again InvolvedThe writer of Wanted will produce Chrononauts, a book whose first issue just came out this week and which was written by Millar and drawn by Sean Murphy. Other movies based on Millar comics include Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service, as well as the Samuel L. Jackson version of Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. No word yet on who will write the Chrononauts script. (COL) (VAR) (HP) (DS)
British TV execs Pat Younge, Narinder Minhas, and Lucy Pilkington have launched the media company Sugar Films. The new venture will “create programming for young, mainstream and diverse audiences.” Sugar includes a production company, Sugar Films, and a digital arm, Sugar Films Lab.
The parent company of Hallmark Channel is upping its interest in original content with Crown Media Productions. The new arm will allow the Hallmark and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channels to own more of their programming and to control it across multiple platforms internationally. Crown Media Prods. aims to finance the production of up to six telepics in 2015, with the goal of doubling that number by 2016.The production arm will be overseen by Michelle Vicary, exec VP of programming for both cablers, which are units of Crown Media Family Networks.
Fox 2000 has upromoted Erin Siminoff, who worked on the hit The Fault In Our Stars, to EVP Production. Nick D'Angelo was promoted to VP Production.
Marc Evans has replaced Adam Goodman as President of Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Group. The position was left open only for a short while before the 12-year vet took on the role.
Tonia Davis has joined Chernin Entertainment as VP of film. She will report to Chernin film President Jenno Topping. Davis was formerly exec director of production at Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures overseeing the Disney Staff Writing Program,
Universal Pictures’ president of Physical Production Andrew Fenady is leaving the studio after more than 16 years. He will be replaced by Jeff LaPlante, who has been EVP Physical Production since 2011.
A+E Networks’ Robert Sharenow has named a new A&E head of programming. Elaine Frontain Bryant, most recently SVP development and programming for History, has been named EVP and Head of Programming for A&E Network. Lauren Dolgen, an 18-year vet at MTV, has been named Head of Reality Programming and EVP of Series Development. Dolgen was most recently Head of West Coast Reality and EVP of Series Development.
Management, PR, Music, Agencies, Digital, Misc.
MSG chief executive Tad Smith has resigned to become CEO of auction giant Sotheby’s. Smith had been CEO of MSG, the company housing Madison Square Garden and other venues owned by the Dolan family, since March 2014. Smith will succeed William F. Ruprecht at Sotheby’s and serve on Sotheby’s board of directors.
A&E Network executive Neil A. Cohen is exiting to join UTA as an agent in the Alternative TV department. He will be based in the New York offices and represent talent in the cable, network and over-the-top TV fields.
Endemol Beyond USA has named Adrian Sexton as its chief operating officer. Sexton is a digital marketing veteran who previously held top digital media positions at Participant Media and Lionsgate,
Producing Partners Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher On Finding the Right Director For ‘Divergent Series: Insurgent’With the action film Insurgent hitting theaters today, this second installment of the Divergent book series gets a brand new director, more star power and more action. Not returning is director Neil Burger, who established the Divergent world. Instead, German action helmer Robert Schwentke takes over the franchise and is already signed on for Allegiant: Part 1. (SSN)
Exec Shuffle For 3/20/15: Marc Evans Named President Of Paramount, New VP At Chernin Entertainment, and MoreThe usual batch of company launches, hirings and comings and goings this week, although less than the norm. The big news, obviously, comes from Paramount, but there’s plenty of other action to check out, as well. Click the link for the full skinny. (SSN)
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NBPC 360 Incubator Program Selects 8 Producing Teams to Compete for Up to $150,000 in Development FundsOut of a field of 163 applicants, the National Black Programming Consortium, a Harlem-based media arts nonprofit, has selected the winners for its new incubator program, NBPC 360. The new funding initiative is designed to identify innovative storytellers and to generate quality serial, digital and multiplatform content for television and the Web. (SAA) (COL) (TP) (SM)
Beyond Deceit 3/20/2015 Logline: When an ambitious young lawyer takes on a big case against the ruthless executive of a pharmaceutical company, he is drawn into a murder case and considered the prime suspect. Director: Shintaro Shimosawa Producer(s): Jonathan Sanger Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, Dan Stevens, Malin Akerman, Byung-hun Lee Writer(s): Shintaro Shimosawa, Adam Mason, Simon Boyes SSN Insight: Project marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Shimosawa whose credits include TV thrillers The Ringer, The Following and Intelligence. Dan Stevens was previously in the role now held by Duhamel. Stevens dropped out due to a conflict with Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
Deadpool 3/23/2015 Logline: Follows the adventures of Deadpool, a Marvel anti-hero and mercenary who is disfigured, mentally unstable, and is known for his love of chimichangas and cracking wise. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): Donners' Company, Marvel Entertainment, Genre Films Director: Tim Miller Producer(s): Kevin Feige, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg Cast: Ryan Reynolds, TJ Miller, Ed Skrein, Gina Carano, Morena Baccarin Writer(s): Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick Details: Based on the comic book character who first appeared in New Mutants #98 in February 1991. Deadpool is considered one of the most popular characters in the "X-Men" comic book series and was created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza. SSN Insight: Project is a spinoff of the film "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009), in which Ryan Reynolds appeared as Deadpool. Project was previously in development at Artisan.
In Dubious Battle 3/18/2015 Logline: Based on the John Steinbeck novel, the story takes place in 1930s California, and focuses on an activist who organizes a group of fruit workers in a labor strike. Production Company(s): Rabbit Bandini Productions, That's Hollywood, AMBI Distribution Director: James Franco Producer(s): Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Scott Reed, Vince Jolivette, Ron Singer Cast: Nat Wolff, James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vincent D'Onofrio, Robert Duvall Writer(s): Matt Rager, Tom Steinbeck SSN Insight: Previously in development with Zupnik Enterprises Inc. Alec Baldwin and Brad Pitt were previously mentioned to star. Based on the novel "In Dubious Battle" written by John Steinbeck and published by in New York by Covici-Friede in 1936.
November Criminals 3/23/2015 Logline: A teenager explores the Washington D.C. underbelly in order to solve the mystery of the death of a fellow student. Production Company(s): Lotus Entertainment, Black Bicycle Entertainment Director: Sacha Gervasi Executive Producer(s): Ara Keshishian, Steven Knight Producer(s): Beth O'Neil, Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, Erika Olde Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Catherine Keener, Ansel Elgort Writer(s): Sacha Gervasi, Steven Knight Details: Based on the novel "November Criminals" written by Sam Munson and published by Doubleday on April 20, 2010. SSN Insight: Steven Knight was previously attached to direct. Lisa Cholodenko previously attached to direct.
Rings 3/23/2015 Logline: A group of high school students have to find someone to watch an evil videotape or else they'll all die. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company(s): Benderspink, Vertigo Entertainment, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, Macari/Edelstein Entertainment Director: F Javier Gutierrez Executive Producer(s): Roy Lee, Doug Davison, Mike Macari, Neil A Machlis, Chris Bender Producer(s): Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald Cast: Matilda Lutz Writer(s): Akiva Goldsman, David Loucka, Jacob Estes Details: Second sequel to "The Ring" (2002) directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts, and remake of short film "Rings" (2005) directed by Jonathan Liebesman. SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Dreamworks.
Shifting Gears 3/16/2015 Logline: A group of hard-working underdogs must drive in, and win, a big dirt car race to defeat their dastardly nemesis and save their beloved auto shop. Production Company(s): Tonic Films Director: Jason Winn Producer(s): R Keith Harris, Matt Zboyovski, Lauren Moews Vilchik Cast: M.C. Gainey, R Keith Harris Writer(s): R Keith Harris SSN Insight: Vilchik was nominated for the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards Producer’s Award for “Outstanding Achievement for a Body of Work” and credits include Cabin Fever.
The BFG 3/23/2015 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 worldâ€™s children. Studio: DreamWorks Studios Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, Amblin Entertainment, Walden Media Director: Steven Spielberg Executive Producer(s): Michael Siegel, John Madden, Kathleen Kennedy Producer(s): Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg, Samuel L. Mercer Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill Writer(s): Melissa Mathison, Robin Swicord, Nicholas Kazan, Terry Jones, Gwyn Lurie Details: Project based on the children's book "The BFG" written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake and published in 1982. Roald Dahl's story was previously adapted as an animated feature (UK/1991), directed by Brian Cosgrove. SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Paramount. After a long casting search, Spielberg’s adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl novel has found its “Sophie” in newcomer Ruby Barnhill.
Ali & Nino 3/23/2015 Logline: No Logline Available. Studio: No Studio Available. Production Company(s): Archery Pictures Director: Asif Kapadia Executive Producer(s): Leyla Aliyeva Producer(s): Kris Thykier, Diana Phillips Cast: Adam Bakri, Maria Valverde, Mandy Patinkin, Connie Nielsen, Riccardo Scamarcio Writer(s): Christopher Hampton Details: Based on the book "Ali & Nino" written by an author using the pseudonym Kurban Said and first published in German in 1937. The book was reissued in English by Overlook/Penguin in July 1996. SSN Insight: Alicia Vikander was previously attached to star. Kapadia previously directed Senna (2010), the highest grossing U.K. documentary of all time, for which he won a BAFTA award.
When the Bough Breaks 3/20/2015 Logline: When a professional couple who are unable to conceive hire a young, blue-collar woman as a surrogate, she develops a psychotic fixation on the husband that turns violent and deadly just before the baby is born. Studio: Screen Gems Production Company(s): Unique Features Director: Jon Cassar Executive Producer(s): Glenn Gainor, Morris Chestnut Producer(s): Robert Shaye, Michael Lynne Cast: Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall, Jaz Sinclair, Theo Rossi, Michael K. Williams Writer(s): Jack Olsen, Karl Gajdusek SSN Insight: Cassar, best known for his work as director and executive producer on the TV series, 24, takes on his first studio feature with this psychological thriller.
On the Set For 3/23/15: Ryan Reynolds Starts Shooting ‘Deadpool’, Chloe Grace Moritz Begins ‘November Criminal’ and MoreA number of new projects get up and running, including the next film from Steven Spielberg, the next installment in the Ring franchise, and James Franco’s next directorial effort, while a pair of projects wrap things up, including one from director Jon Cassar. (SSN)
From the “It Was Inevitable” File: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Will Be the Last X-Men Flick For Jennifer LawrenceIn an interview, the Oscar-winning actress reveled that she will complete her work on the series with this next film, saying, “It is my last one, actually.” She first appeared in X-Men: First Class as Mystique, then appeared in the sequel, last year’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past. The latest in the series, directed by Bryan Singer, hits theaters on May 27th, 2016. (COL) (SAA) (DH) (SF) (EMP) (FSR)
Spoiler Alert! HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Eventually Reveal the Ending To the ‘Game Of Thrones’ BooksShow’s creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff confirmed that spoilers are most definitely coming soon. "We’ll eventually, basically, meet up at pretty much the same place where George is going," Benioff said. Martin, who recently announced he’s Skipping fan conventions to finish Book 6, The Winds of Winter, said in 2013 that the the odds of the show catching up to the books "are very long." (HP)
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Liam Neeson May Have Put a Clock On His Action Career, but He’s Now Got Another Flick In the PipelineThe 62-year-old actor, who recently said he’d stop making action films when he turns 65 in June of 2017, has signed on for Narco Sub, with Game Of Thrones director Brian Kirk on to direct. Story follows Neeson’s disgraced American Naval officer when a notorious Ecuadorian drug lord forces him to navigate a submarine full of cocaine past the U.S. Coast Guard. Ricky Scott and Simon Kinberg are producing. (COL)
Disney Makes a Couple Of Big Deals, Banning Smoking In One, Agreeing Not To Market ‘Rogue One’ For a While In the OtherDuring a shareholder meeting last week, CEO Bob Iger revealed that the company's on screen smoking ban was now being extended to every shingle under their umbrella — Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar. Meanwhile, the announced title of the new Tom Cruise movie, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation has led Disney and Paramount to make a deal, wherein the Star Wars standalone movie Rogue One will not be marketed until 2016. (TP) (HP)
Online Film School: The 15 Things You Can Learn From Watching the Blu-ray Commentary For ‘The Breakfast Club’On the 30th anniversary of the film’s release comes this Blu-ray release, with stars of the film Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall discussing the film with DVD feature producer Jason Hillhouse. (FSR)
Baghdad Country Club Network: Cinemax Studio: Warner Horizon Television Production Company(s): Team Downey Executive Producer(s): Dave Andron, Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Amanda Essick Burrell, Joshuah Bearman Writer(s): Dave Andron Logline: A special forces soldier-turned-mercenary opens the only watering hole in Baghdad’s Green Zone at the height of the post-invasion Iraqi insurgency. Details: Based on the article, "Baghdad Country Club," written by Joshua Bearman and published by The Atavist in December, 2011. SSN Insight: The article was previously optioned by Cinemax sibling HBO. Chris Tucker Live Network: Netflix Production Company(s): Chris Tucker Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Chris Tucker Writer(s): Chris Tucker Logline: Stand-up comedy special featuring comedian Chris Tucker. SSN Insight: This marks Tucker’s first stand-up comedy special, filmed at the Historic Fox Theatre in Tucker’s hometown of Atlanta, GA, and will premiere July 10. Netflix’s other comedy stand-up specials include ones from Aziz Ansari, Craig Ferguson, Nick Offerman, Chelse Peretti and Chelsea Handler. Codes Of Conduct Network: HBO Studio: Warner Television Production Company(s): RSTV, See-Saw Films Executive Producer(s): Steve McQueen, Matthew Michael Carnahan, Russell Simmons, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman Writer(s): Steve McQueen, Matthew Michael Carnahan Logline: An exploration of a young African American man’s experience breaking into the social circles of Manhattan’s elite, testing the boundaries of access and social mobility. Beverly’s ability will grant him access to a life larger in every way than the one to which he was born. His chameleon-like approach to life will test his nerve as he takes his future into his own hands. SSN Insight: Ordered to pilot on March 10. HBO has now ordered 6 episodes as of March 20. McQueen will direct all six episodes. HBO’s 2015 drama series slate includes a new series from JJ Abrams, Westworld, an Untitled Rock ‘n’ Roll project from Martin Scorsese, and the Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg produced Ballers.
Dice Network: Showtime Studio: Fox 21 TV Studios Production Company(s): Ole Executive Producer(s): Scot Armstrong, Sean Furst, Bryan Furst, Andrew Dice Clay, Richard Shepard Writer(s): Scot Armstrong Logline: Follows the abrasive stand-up as he works in Vegas to resurrect his career while supporting his family. And his girlfriend. And his ex-fiance. And his ex-wife. And his mother-in-law. And his son’s band. Details: Loosely based on the life of comedian Andrew Dice Clay. SSN Insight: Showtime has given a six episode straight-to-series order as of March 20 after a competitive situation for the single-camera scripted comedy. Showtime also has picked up the comedy special, Andrew Dice Clay Presents the Blue Show, to premiere April 25.
The Evermoor Chronicles Network: Disney Channel Studio: Disney Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA) Production Company(s): Lime Pictures Executive Producer(s): Tim Compton, Rebecca Hodgson Writer(s): Bede Blake Logline: An American teen is uprooted from her city home in the U.S. and brought to a beautiful but isolated village on the edge of some very creepy moors in middle England. As her famous novelist mom and step-dad are busy unpacking at Evermoor Manor, she, her brother, and her British step-siblings try to adjust to life in their new home. It’s not long before danger, mystery and intrigue unfurl. Details: Follow-up to the four part miniseries Evermoor starring Tara Crossley that attracted 1.6 million viewers. SSN Insight: Disney has ordered 20 episodes. Production is set to begin in the summer on location in Liverpool and Washington for a late 2015 premiere on Disney Channel in the UK and worldwide.
Famous in Love Network: ABC Family Studio: Warner Horizon Television Production Company(s): Long Lake Productions Executive Producer(s): Marlene King, Dan Farah Writer(s): Rebecca Serle, Marlene King Logline: A college student plucked from obscurity to star in a major Hollywood movie franchise struggles with her new-found fame. Based on the novel. Details: Based on the novel, "Famous in Love," written by Rebecca Serle and published by Poppy on October 21, 2014. SSN Insight: King is also the executive producer/co-showrunner of ABC Family’s flagship drama Pretty Little Liars. In films, King is writing and executive producing The Merciless for Lionsgate, based on Danielle Vega’s popular horror novel.
Knightfall Network: The History Channel Studio: A+E Studios Production Company(s): The Combine, Midnight Radio Executive Producer(s): Jeremy Renner, Don Handfield, Richard Rayner, Jeff Pinkner, Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum, Scott Rosenberg Logline: Chronicles the actual events leading up to and following the persecution, downfall and burning at the stake of the Knights Templar on Friday the 13th, 1307. More than 700 years later, Friday the 13th is known as a cursed day because of this event. SSN Insight: This is the first series in development for The Combine, Jeremy Renner’s shingle. They previously producer Kill the Messenger starrign Renner and are in preproduction on the film, The Founder to star Michael Keaton.
Untitled Snoop Dogg Project Network: HBO Executive Producer(s): Snoop Dogg, Allen Hughes, Rodney Barnes, Ted Chung Writer(s): Rodney Barnes Logline: Set in the early 1980s in Los Angeles and centers on a family whose seemingly idyllic life is turned upside down by the collision of their community and American politics. SSN Insight: Dogg and Barnes previously worked together on the animated comedy The Boondocks. Dogg voiced a recurring character while Barnes executive produced. Houdini & Doyle Network: Fox Broadcasting Company , ITV Networks Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): Shaftesbury Films, Big Talk Productions, Shore Z Productions Executive Producer(s): David Hoselton, David Titcher, David Shore, Erin Gunn Writer(s): David Hoselton, David Titcher Logline: Two of the great characters of the twentieth century - Harry Houdini, master magician, escape artist and paranormal debunker - and Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the greatest detective of all time, and paranormal aficionado - grudgingly join forces to investigate crimes with a supernatural slant. Although they're both rich, famous, and brilliant, they're the original odd couple with Houdini believing in nothing, Doyle in everything. Inspired by true events. SSN Insight: Fox has given a ten episode straight to series order. Shore has an overall deal with Sony. TV and the series will be distributed worldwide.
Nightingale Network: HBO Studio: HBO Films Production Company(s): Plan B Entertainment, BN Films, Yoruba Saxon Productions, Sea Smoke Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Josh Weinstock, Katrina Wolfe, Elliott Lester, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner Logline: A drama that probes the darkest corners of a disturbed mind centering around Peter Snowden, a man obsessively in love with an old army friend. As he prepares to reunite with the object of his affection, Peter begins to spiral downwards — with fatal results. SSN Insight: Project was revealed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival by David Oyelowo, who will star. BN Films has the Emir Kusturic directed Love and War and La Mujer Infinita, written and directed by Argentinian filmmaker Lucia Puenzo on their upcoming film slate. The Brothers Grimm Studio: Miramax Films Production Company(s): Bobker/Kruger Films Executive Producer(s): Ehren Kruger, Daniel Bobker, Daniel Pipski, Zanne Devine Writer(s): Ehren Kruger Logline: The series follows the swashbuckling adventures of brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, who discover startling mythology and supernatural stakes behind the folklore sweeping 19th century Europe. Details: The series builds off the origin story of the film, "The Brothers Grimm," (2005), directed by Terry Gilliam and starring Matt Damon and Heath Ledger. SSN Insight: Kruger’s credits include The Ring and Transformers 2, 3, 4. The original Brothers Grimm film grossed $105 million worldwide in 2005. A network has not been confirmed yet.
The Way Network: Hulu Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): True Jack Productions Executive Producer(s): Jessica Goldberg, Jason Katims, Michelle Lee Logline: The series examines a family at the center of a controversial faith-based movement struggling with relationships, marriage and power. SSN Insight: Hulu has given a straight to series order of 10 episodes as of March 23. Each hour long episode takes an detailed look at what it means to choose between the life we live and the life we want. It marks Katims’ first show not sold to a broadcast network. His credits include Friday Night Lights, Parenthood and current NBC show, About A Boy.
Throw Like Mo Network: Disney Channel Executive Producer(s): Debra Martin Chase Writer(s): Sheldon Candis, Justin Wilson Logline: The story of Mo'ne Davis, the 13-year-old sports prodigy who made history in August 2014 as the first female to pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series. Details: Based on the true story of Mo'ne Davis. SSN Insight: Davis’ memoir Remember My Name was released earlier this year. Davis has also starred in a short Spike Lee-directed film for Chevrolet and had her jersey inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Tuned Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): UnbeliEVAble Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Zachary Levi, Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont, Eva Longoria, Ben Spector Writer(s): Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont Logline: A half-hour musical comedy about an ambitious New Yorker's life is upended by sudden musical hallucinations. While these vivid hallucinations threaten to completely derail his enviable life, he’ll eventually realize that they might lead him on a more fulfilling journey. SSN Insight: Levi signed a first-look deal with Universal TV and will star in NBC’s upcoming event series Heroes Reborn. Under the deal, Levi will continue to develop Tuned and potentially star in the series. Eva Longoria’s banner UnbeliEVAble banner also has a deal at Uni TV.