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SSN’s Development Pick List, ‘The X-Files’ Returns, Showtime Wants ‘Billions’, Lakeshore Closes a Big Deal, TV Development For 3/24/15


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Development Pick List: Online #Creative #Comedy, #YouTubers, #Music, #Games To Use In Film/TV

In our continuing mission to bring you the most creative picks found in the online space, SSN continues with our Development Pick List series. In our first article, we found an enthusiastic music video invite for a Bar Mitzvah, the lost city of the monkey god, a future museum Tony Stark would love and the Zarfling monsters. This time around the mix is still a potpourri of the most creative content on the web and beyond but sadly sans a re-discovered lost city. (SSN)

TV Development For 3/24/15: Team Downey Developing HBO Project, Jeremy Renner Producing ‘Knightfall’ For History, and More

Plenty of action this week, with HBO making some big moves, including the purchase of Nightingale with David Oyelowo, as well as some other big projects from big names and going big places. Click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)


It’s Official: ‘The X-Files’ Is Definitely Returning, and It’s For a Six-Episode Event Series

The show will return to the Fox network more than 13 years after the series ended its cult run. Original series creator Chris Carter will shepherd the special six-episode "event series" to air with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their respective roles as Agent Fox Mulder and Agent Dana Scully. (HP)

Showtime Picks Up Wall Street Drama ‘Billions’ to Series

Network President David Nevins announced the 12-episode order of the show, starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis and set in New York's financial world. The hour-long series will join The Affair and Homeland on the premium cable network, making for a formidable — and awards-friendly — lineup come 2016. (IW)

Lakeshore Entertainment Closes a Big Deal With Vine Investments To Co-Finance a Dozen Films

The deal, which is for films that will be produced by Lakeshore, is in addition to Lakeshore's credit facility with JPMorgan Chase bank. The Vine transaction, concluded by Lakeshore COO Eric Reid and CFO Marc Reid, comes as Lakeshore looks to grow its slate. Vine has been an investor in Lakeshore’s corporate capital structure for several years. (THR)

Anna Kendrick Re-Teams With Her ‘Rocket Science’ Director, Will Star In ‘Table 19’

Jeffrey Blitz directs the film, about a group of strangers who are marooned at the misfits table at a destination wedding, which also stars Craig Robinson, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant, Tony Revolori, June Squibb, Wyatt Russell and Amanda Crew. Pic begins shooting next week. Rocket Science was one of the early art house success for Kendrick before her profile was catapulted by the Twilight films and her Oscar-nominated supporting turn in 2009’s Up in the Air. (DH)

ABC Family Expands Its Comedy Slate, Orders ‘Kevin From Work’ To Series

Show follows Kevin, a young man who professes his love to a co-worker Audrey in a letter, before accepting another job overseas, thinking he’ll never see her again. When the new offer is rescinded, Kevin has to continue working with Audrey, despite her knowing his true feelings. The half-hour laffer comes from Barbie Adler, who penned the pilot (McG directed) and will serve as writer on the series. (VAR)

Daniel Espinosa Is the Lucky Director Who Lands the Secret Warner Sci-Fi Project, ‘Morningstar’

Now that he’s done putting the finishing touches on Child 44, the director will take on the project that is keeping details under wraps, but is described as being in the vein of a Cold War thriller. The screenplay comes from David Birke, whose credits include last year’s 13 Sins and the fact-based serial killer tales Freeway Killer and Gacy. (SF)

That Black List Shark Attack Project ‘In The Deep’ Has Harpooned Itself a Director

Louis Letterier is about to sign on to helm Anthony Jaswinski’s script, which follows a single surfer attacked by a Great White Shark and marooned on a reef, bleeding and in dire need of medical attention. The wrinkle? That big toothy fish is merrily swimming about between her and help. Producers Lynn Harris and Matti Leshem of newly-formed Weimaraner Republic Pictures are steering the project. (EMP)

Sneak Peak: ‘Orphan Black’

A look at the upcoming season premiere for season three of the popular BBC-America show, starring Tatiana Maslany. The new season premieres Sat., April 18 at 9 p.m. (MF)

Bradley Cooper To Make Directorial Debut, Harmony Korine Replaces Foxx With Elba, Tom Ford’s New Film, Key & Peele’s ‘Substitute’ Movie



Bradley Cooper Is Finally Making His Directorial Debut, and It’s With ‘A Star Is Born’

Three-time Academy Award-nominated actor is in talks to helm Warner Brothers’ long-in-development remake, based on the 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. The film centers on an aging, self-destructive actor who helps an aspiring actress achieve her dreams of stardom. Cooper is looking to star, as well, and wants Beyonce to star alongside him. (COL)

Harmony Korine’s New Movie No Longer Has Jamie Foxx, but It Does Have Idris Elba

The Trap is set deep in the Miami music scene, and finds Benicio Del Toro playing a man who has been in prison for 14 years, simmering with resentment against the rapper and former friend (Elba) who let him take the fall. Upon his release, he recruits a surfer (Pattinson) to help him get revenge. Al Pacino and James Franco also star. (EMP)

Six Years Later, Tom Ford Is Getting Behind the Camera Again, and He Has George Clooney Producing

Titled Nocturnal Animals, the film is an adaptation of the book "Tony and Susan" by Austin Wright. The novel boasts an interesting narrative twist, which finds the main character reading the manuscript for a thriller that becomes part of the main plot thread. Ford’s first film, A Single Man came out in 2009 and earned Colin Firth an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. (TP)

Key & Peele’s ‘Substitute Teacher’ Sketch Is Being Developed Into a Feature By Paramount

Show’s stars Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele popular sketch, about an inner-city substitute teacher - Mr. Garvey - who has trouble adjusting to a classroom full of middle-class white students, has been picked up by the studio. Key, who stars in the sketch, will also star in the feature adaptation, with Peele as a rival teacher determined to be the students’ favorite. Rich Talarico and Alex Rubens (co-producers of "Key & Peele") have been hired to pen the script. (SAA)

Twentieth Century Fox Finds a New Writer For Its Boston Marathon Bombing Movie

Studio has enlisted RoboCop writer Joshua Zetumer to adapt Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge’s nonfiction book Boston Strong, which chronicles the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. The Fighter writers Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy wrote a draft of the screenplay that piqued Fox's interest enough to bite. The studio then turned to Zetumer. (THR)

Now Jason Lee Is Also Set To Return For That ‘Mallrats’ Sequel

News of Lee’s involvement comes hot on the heels of Monday’s reveal that Shannon Doherty would also be reprising her role. Also confirmed to return are Michael Rooker, Stan Lee, Jason Mewes, and of course Smith himself as Silent Bob. Still unknown is if Claire Forlani, Jeremy London, Joey Lauren Adams, Ben Affleck, Ethan Suplee, and Renée Humphrey will return. (CB)

Gravitas Comes Out Of Austin With a Whole Heck Of a Lot Of Quality Footwear

Indie distributor has picked up Sneakerheadz, a documentary about the world of sneaker collecting. Directed by David T. Friendly and Mick Partridge, the film includes rapper Wale, skateboarder Rob Dydrek and designer Jeff Staple. The film will be released in theaters and on VOD this fall. (IW)

Monica Potter’s New NBC Comedy Will No Longer Be a Part Of This Pilot Season

Network and production company Warner Bros. TV have opted to hold off on the project, from creators Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer, and has instead pushed it to next season. The decision was made after the comedy had undergone a table read and a run-through as it was gearing up for taping. The consensus was that the project in its current form didn’t live up to its potential and that it would benefit from redevelopment. (DH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Entourage’

The latest look at the upcoming comedy, based on the popular, long-running HBO sitcom and starring Adrien Grenier, Kevin Connelly, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven. The star-studded feature hits theaters on June 5th. (SF)

Screenwriters: ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’

The 132-page, Oscar-nominated script by George Axelrod, based on the novel by Truman Capote. Script is labeled Second Draft and dated June 22nd, 1960. (DS)

Rep Moves 3/25/15: Jason Alexander Signs with Abrams for Directing, Jennifer Ehle to UTA


at arrivals for ROBOCOP Premiere, TCL Chinese 6 Theatres (formerly Grauman's), Los Angeles, CA February 10, 2014. Photo By: Emiley Schweich/Everett Collection

Abrams Artists Agency: Jason Alexander has signed with Abrams Artists Agency for representation as a director. Abrams Artists will rep Alexander in all areas of film, TV and stage directing work. The Seinfeld star has directed several episodes of TV series, most recently CBS’ Mike & Molly and Criminal Minds and TNT’s Franklin and Bash.

ICM: Comedienne, director, actor, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Elaine May has signed with ICM Partners. May started her showbiz career with the late Mike Nichols as comedy duo Nichols and May. She began screenwriting, and earned Academy Award nominations for Heaven Can Wait in 1978 and then for Primary Colors. The American Comedy Awards recognized her with a lifetime achievement award, and in 2012, she received the National Medal of Arts.

WME | IMG: Missy Franklin won four gold medals at the 2012 London Summer Olympics as a teen but did not turn pro until recently, when she led Cal Berkeley to the NCAA Championship (she won three titles and broke the American record in the 200 freestyle). WME | IMG will rep her as she preps for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

UTA: Jennifer Ehle has signed with UTA. She was previously with ICM. The actress won acclaim with her BAFTA TV-winning performance as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC’s 1995 miniseries adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, opposite Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Ehle played Anastasia’s mother in Fifty Shades of Grey. Other film credits include Zero Dark Thirty, Contagion and The King’s Speech. She has won two Tony Awards, for Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing and The Coast of Utopia. She continues to be repped in the U.K. by Sally Long-Innes at Independent.

Paradigm: Filmmaker Isaac Ezban, director of The Incident and The Similars, two psychological sci-fi movies that cemented Ezban as a strong talent in the Hispanic auteur genre scene, has been signed by Paradigm Talent Agency. He’s now working on his first English-language film. His manager is Benderspink’s Scott Stoops.

Gersh/Authentic: Parker Posey has changed her U.S. representation, replacing CAA and Untitled with Gersh and Authentic. Posey recently finished shooting Woody Allen’s Irrational Man, and she can currently be seen reprising her Fay Grim character in Ned Rifle, the final film in Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool trilogy. She is also is a frequent Christopher Guest collaborator and starred in indie gems The Anniversary Party, The House of Yes and Party Girl.

Platform PR: Jon Voight has signed with Platform PR. The Oscar winner plays Liev Schreiber’s ex-con dad in Showtime’s Ray Donovan, a performance for which he won the Golden Globe last year.

ESA: Writer/director Joy Kecken is now a client at Equitable Stewardship for Artists (ESA), represented by Varun Monga and Antoni Kaczmarek. Joy has written and directed multiple episodes The Wire, and other credits include The Division, Homicide, and Louisville. Kecken is still co-represented by One Entertainment.

42West: Nicole Scherzinger has signed with 42West. The former Pussycat Dolls singer was nominated for an Olivier Award for playing Grizabella in the West End revival of Cats and this summer she will participate in NBC’s celebrity variety show I Can Do That!

ICM: ICM Partners has signed actor, stuntman and martial artist Lewis Tan. Tan was part of the SAG-nominated Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End stunt ensemble, and performed stunts in The Hangover Part III, Olympus Has Fallen and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. His television credits include NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI: Miami and 24.

Spielberg Jumps On ‘Ready Player One’, Idris Elba In Talks For ‘Star Trek 3′ Villain, BBC Films’ 25th Anniversary Slate, New ‘LEGO’ Spinoff, Rep Moves For 3/25/15


at arrivals for ROBOCOP Premiere, TCL Chinese 6 Theatres (formerly Grauman's), Los Angeles, CA February 10, 2014. Photo By: Emiley Schweich/Everett Collection


Rep Moves For 3/25/15: Jason Alexander Signs With Abrams For Directing, Jennifer Ehle To UTA

The usual batch of comings and goings this week, with just about all the major agencies getting involved, including ICM, Paradigm and Gersh. Click on the link to read all about it. (SSN)


When Steven Spielberg Decides He Wants To Keep Working, He Just Doesn’t Stop

The two-time Oscar winning director, whose Bridge Of Spies hits theaters in the fall and who has just started shooting The BFD with Mark Rylance, will follow that up with the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s novel, Ready Player One. The story takes place in 2044 and revolves around a poverty-stricken gamer trying to solve a puzzle that, if he succeeds, would pretty much allow him to own the Internet. The tricks to deciphering the clues are rooted in 1980s pop culture. (COL)

More Idris Elba Casting News: the Actor Is In Talks To Play the Next Big ‘Star Trek’ Villain

Talks are in their early stage, and there is no word yet on whom Elba might play. The third film in the rebooted franchise is currently being written by Doug Jung and one of the film’s stars, Simon Pegg, and will go before cameras in June for a summer, 2016 release. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana Karl Urban and John Cho all will also return. (EMP)

BBC Films Announces Its New, 25th Anniversary Slate

Among the highlights of a jam-packed lineup of projects is a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield with Veep‘s Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell co-writing, Ritesh Batra’s adaptation of Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Sense Of An Ending, and the James Marsh-Colin Firth collaboration about doomed sailor Donald Crowhurst. (DH)

Warner Bros. Sets In Motion Yet Another ‘LEGO Movie’ Spinoff

Studio has hired Jason Segel, the actor who helped Disney revive The Muppets several years ago, and Drew Pearce, the writer behind Iron Man 3, to pen and co-direct a new Lego movie, this one titled The Billion Brick Race. Project joins the Charlie Bean-directed Ninjago in 2016, followed by The Lego Batman Movie in 2017 and The Lego Movie 2 in 2018. (HV)

Get Ready For More Comic Book Adaptations On TV: Legendary To Turn ‘Lazarus’ Into a Series

Legendary TV and The Amazing Spider-Man producer Matt Tolmach have secured the rights to the Image Comics series, created by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. Story follows the defender of a ruling family’s holdings in a dystopian near-future. Ruck will write the pilot. (CS)

Roadside Attractions Will Be Taking a Trip To Roland Emmerich’s ‘Stonewall’

Indie distributor has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the director’s historical drama, starring Jeremy Irvine, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman and Jonny Beauchamp. The drama centers around Danny Winters (Irvine), a fictional young man caught up in the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Roadside is planing a fall release. (IW)

HBO Decides It Has Seen Enough Of ‘Looking’

Cable network’s dramedy, which chronicles a group of gay pals in San Francisco, has had two low-rated seasons and had been rumored to be on the bubble for some time. The network announced that, instead of a third season, it will film a movie-length special to wrap up the series. (HP)

The Next ‘Friday the 13th’ Film Now Has a New Writer, and He’s Got Some Experience With Crazies

Nick Antosca is the latest scribe to come in and work on the next installment of the timeless horror franchise. Antosca is a writer on NBC’s Hannibal and picks up where writers Richard Naing and Ian Goldberg, who wrote the previous draft, left off. The film is schedule to shoot later this year, for a May, 2016 release. (SF)

First Look: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’

The first image of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor has been released, and he is as bald and menacing as the character has ever been. The film also stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Holly Hunter, Scoot McNairy and Jeremy Irons, and opens exactly one year from today. (EW)

‘Robotech’ Lands At Sony, Gyllenhaal and Adams Circle ‘Animals’, Sundance Institute Doc Program Loses Deadlines, Technicolor Closes Two Spots



That ‘Robotech’ Movie Finally Has a New Studio Behind It, and Is Now On the Fast Track At Sony

After Hollywood Gang, a production company on the Warner Bros. lot run by Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari obtained the rights to the long-in-development project in February, speculation as that it would remain at Warner, but now the film has moved to Sony, where it is seen as a potential franchise. Doug Belgrad, Michael De Luca and Matthew Milam will shepherd the movie at the studio. (COL)

Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Has a Pair of Oscar Nominees Circling the Two Lead Roles

Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams are the two actors looking at playing Tony and Susan, in which Susan receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband Tony, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion. Joaquin Phoenix and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are also being mentioned for roles in the film, which is being produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov. (TP)

Attention, Filmmakers: You're Free! Sundance Institute's Documentary Program Abolishes Deadlines

The prestigious program will be accepting applications on a rolling basis this year, effective immediately. Additionally, films that submit through early April will be eligible to participate in this summer's Documentary Labs. Filmmakers can get more info by visiting the institute’s website. (IW)

Technicolor Bows To Post Production Woes, Closes Doors Of Two Facilities

One of Hollywood’s storied postproduction houses is closing two of its facilities in the U.S. and UK, including the recently opened 20,000-square-foot office in Burbank. The closure comes less than a year after the venerable Todd-Soundelux post house closed its doors for good. (DH)

From the ‘We Already Knew This, But Thanks For Confirming It’ File: Sam Taylor-Johnson Not Returning For ‘Fifty Shades’ Sequel

The director of the first film, which has totaled  $164 million domestic and $558 million worldwide, was open about her tussles with author E.L. James on the direction of the movie adaptation. Now, Universal is reportedly seeking a new writer to replace Kelly Marcel — author E.L. James herself is under consideration — as well as a new director for the sequel. (TOH)

Familiarity Does Not Always Breed Contempt: ‘Mockingjay’ Writer Hired To Adapt ‘It’s What I Do’

Peter Craig is reuniting with Jennifer Lawrence for the war drama, which Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct, but first the script must be written. Craig wrote The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and will now tackle Lynsey Addario’s memoir. Andrew Lazar is producing. (THR)

Riding High On the Success Of His Netflix Show ‘Bloodline’, Ben Mendelsohn Could Be Joining ‘Rogue One’

Word has come down through the various grapevines that the Australian actor has met for one of the lead roles in the Star Wars standalone pic, which is already set to star Felicity Jones. Gareth Edwards is directing the pic, though plot details are still under wraps. It’ll hit theaters December 16th, 2016. (VAR)

‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Has Cast Itself a Brand New Jubilee, and She Has a Real Superhero Name

Lana Condor joins other new casts members Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Sophie Turner and Oscar Isaac, as well as the returning James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult. Bryan Singer returns to direct the film, which will hit theaters May 27th, 2016. (EMP)

Why a Small Theater’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against AMC Could Have Big Ramifications To the Movie Business

One lawsuit claims that big chains have an inside track on a competitive advantage. In January 2014, Cobb Theaters filed an antitrust lawsuit against AMC Entertainment, the nation’s largest theater chain, alleging their tactics and practices amount to conspiracy to commit competitive harm. Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Eleanor Ross denied AMC’s motion to dismiss, thus allowing the case to progress. (CB)

Screenwriters: There’s No Such Thing as “Bad Movie Ideas,” Only Stories Poorly Told

Movie Ideas can be tricky things. But here are a couple tips that might minimize your problems in getting started on a solid screen story: Don’t try to be clever, and don’t struggle to be original. (SM)

Film Development for 3/26/15: Spielberg to Direct Ready Player One, Mark Millar’s Chrononauts a Go, Avengers News & More




Independence Day 2 Logline: Enemy aliens return to Earth Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company: Centropolis Entertainment, Electric Entertainment Producers: Dean Devin, Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser Writer: Carter Blanchard Director: Roland Emmerich Cast: Travis Tope, Jessie Usher, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Michael B. Jordan, Liam Hemsworth SSN Insight: The Boardwalk Empire actor is the latest to join the cast of the film which starts production in May. Ready Player One Logline: In a virtual world called Oasis, a teenager finds himself competing in a treasure hunt against ruthless foes after the game's founder dies and offers his fortune as the grand prize. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures Production Company: De Line Pictures, Farah Films & Management Producers: Steven Spielberg, Donald De Line, Dan Farah, Kristie Macosko Krieger Writer: Zak Penn Director: Steven Spielberg Notes: Based on the novel "Ready Player One" written by Ernie Cline and published by Random House on August 16, 2011. SSN Insight: Spielberg was no doubt attracted to the project’s ingenuity such as the innovative technology that will be needed to bring to life the films’ virtual world. A Star is Born (Remake) Logline: A young singer marries a fading rock star man and her career flourishes, while his crumbles. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Thunder Road Pictures, Malpaso Productions, Gerber Pictures, 22 Green Producers: Basil Iwanyk, Jon Peters, Bill Gerber, Clint Eastwood, Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper Writer: Will Fetters Director: Bradley Copper Cast: Bradley Cooper SSN Insight: The remake has been in development at the studio for many years, dating back to a time when Jon Peters was producing and Joel Schumacher was directing. Clint Eastwood and Beyonce were also once attached to direct and star.

Morningstar Logline: Storyline of the Cold War thriller is under wraps. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Quadrant Pictures, Madhouse Entertainment Producers: Doug Davison, Adam Kolbrenner, Robyn Meisinger Director: Daniel Espinosa Writer: David Birke

In the Deep Logline: A young woman who has recently lost her mother is surfing in an isolated area when she gets stranded on a buoy, and a gigantic great white shark is between her and the shore. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Weimaraner Republic Pictures Producers: Lynn Harris, Matti Leshem Writer: Anthony Jaswinski Director: Louis Leterrier SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2014 Hit List. Colulmbia Pictures won the active bidding battle set at high-six figures for the spec script by Tony Jaswinski.

Avengers Infinity War Parts 1 & 2 Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Production Companies: Marvel Entertainment Producers: Kevin Feige Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo SSN Insight: Both Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 will be shot back-to-back in 2016. The Russo Brothers are taking over the franchise from previous director Joss Whedon.

Rings Logline: A group of high school students have to find someone to watch an evil videotape or else they'll all die. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Parkes + MacDonald Image Nation, Benderspink, Macari/ Edelstein, Vertigo Producers: Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald Writer: Akiva Goldsman Director: F. Javier Gutierrez Cast: Alex Roe, Matilda Lutz Notes: Second sequel to The Ring (USA/2002) directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts, and remake of short film Rings (USA/2005) directed by Jonathan Liebesman. SSN Insight: Roe is a teen star on the rise, having just wrapped production on the YA film 5th Wave for Sony Pictures.

Robotech Logline: When an alien spacecraft crashes in the South Pacific, the people of Earth develop giant robots from the alien technology in order to fend off a wave of alien invasions. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Hollywood Gang Productions, Atmosphere Entertainment Producers: Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton Writer: Michael Gordon Notes: Based on the 85-episode television series "Robotech" produced by Harmony Gold USA, in association with Tatsunoko, and aired from March to July of 1985. The episodes were edited from the original Japanese anime series. SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Warner Bros. in development at Weed Road, Material Pictures and Supercool Hollywood Big Time Productions with Tobey Maguire attached to star, Akiva Goldsman, Tobey Maguire, Matthew Plouffe, Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell attached to produce, Jason Netter and Frank Agrama attached to executive produce and drafts by Craig Silverstein, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, S. Craig Zahler, Lawrence Kasdan and Tom Rob Smith. It’s What I Do Logline: The true story of Lynsey Addario, Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist who has covered stories in the most dangerous places in the world, is recounted. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros.Pictures Production Company: Mad Chance Productions Producers: Andrew Lazar, Wynn Wygal Writer: Peter Craig Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Jennifer Lawrence Notes: Based on the memoir "It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War" written by Linsey Addario and published by The Penguin Press in 2015. SSN Insight: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay scribe has re-teamed with Jennifer Lawrence on her new war drama.

Boston Strong Logline: The reaction of the city of Boston to the fatal attacks at the Boston Marathon and the hunt for the brothers suspected of the bombings is dramatized. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company: Hutch Parker Productions Producers: Hutch Parker, Dorothy Aufiero Writer: Josh Zetumer Director: Daniel Espinosa Notes: Based on the book "Boston Strong" written by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge and to be published by University Press of New England in 2014. SSN Insight: The Fighter writers Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy wrote the previous draft of the screenplay that piqued Fox's interest enough to bite. The studio is now turning to Zetumer, who is already working with Fox on X-Men spinoff Gambit to pen the rewrite.


Alien Nation Logline: A re-imagining of the original 1988 film, in which a human police officer partners with an alien to prevent an evil presence from taking over the world. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Writers: Art Marcum, Matt Halloway SSN Insight: The project is in the nascent stages and no producer is yet attached, but the studio is said to be imagining a franchise ala Planet of the Apes. The Billion Brick Race 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: Warner Bros. Producers: Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Dan Lin, Roy Lee Writer: Jason Segel, Drew Pearce Director: Jason Segel, Drew Pearce SSN Insight: This film only further extends the Lego franchise as the studio plans Billion Brick Race as a fourth in the franchise, following the three previously announced films.

Substitute Teacher Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount PIctures Production Companies: 21 Laps, Entertainment Principato-Young Entertainment Producers: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Peter Principato, Paul Young, Joel Zadak Writer: Rich Talarico, Alex Rubens Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele SSN Insight: Substitute Teacher is a popular skit from the sketch show Key & Peele on Paramount’s sibling cable channel, Comedy Central. Paramount seized the opportunity to give it a feature version after hearing a pitch from Key & Peele co-producers, Talarico and Rubens. Realm Logline: A young woman has the ability to enter the souls of those possessed, but is better at fighting the demons of others than the ones in her real world. Studio/ Distributor: Relativity Media Production Companies: Mad Horse Films Producers: John Swetnam, Scott Speer Writer: Rebecca Sonnenshine Director: Scott Speer Notes: Based on the film short, “Realm,” directed by Scott Speer. SSN Insight: Relativity was slipped the script based on the short just as it was gaining momentum on the web. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Logline: The stories of pop singer-songwriter Carole King’s life and career are recounted in this musical film. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Playtone, Evolution Music Partners Producers: Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Paul Blake Notes: Based on the Broadway play "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" written by Douglas McGrath and first performed on November 21, 2013. SSN Insight: Sony Pictures has obtained the rights to use King’s songs, as well as life rights from King and others featured in the show. Verona Logline: A retelling of the tragic love affair of the star-crossed teenagers. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia PIctures Production Company: Roth Films Producers: Joe Roth, Palak Patel Writer: Neil Widener, Gavin James SSN Insight: Sony snagged the rights to the spec script in a competitive situation and is said to be re-imagining the classic tale in a 300 -style visual way. Chrononauts Logline: An adventure about the first duo of scientists who travel back through time. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Chris Morgan Productions Producers: Chris Morgan, Mark Millar (EP) Notes: Based on the comic book "Chrononauts" by Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy, the first issue of which was published by Image Comics in March, 2015. SSN Insight: Millar is one of the industry’s biggest comic book creators, including Civil War, the basis for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, before departing to form Millarworld, where his creator-owned titles have been adapted into hit films for Universal and others.

Taking Flight Logline: Michaela DePrince, who was an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone, overcame huge odds to become a world-famous ballerina. Studio/ Distributor: MGM Studios Production Companies: Alloy Entertainment Producers: Elysa Dutton, Leslie Morgenstein Notes: Based on the memoir "Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina" written by Michaela DePrince with Elaine DePrince and published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in 2014. SSN Insight: The inspiring true story is one that also was featured in the Sundance Selects 2012 documentary, First Position.

The Nightingale Logline: Two French sisters who live in France are followed throughout WWII. One becomes a prisoner in her own home and the other fights for the resistance. Studio/ Distributor: Tristar Productions Production Companies: The Cantillon Company Producers: Elizabeth Cantillon Notes: Based on the novel "The Nightingale" written by Kristin Hannah and published by St. Martin's Press on February 3, 2015. SSN Insight: The book has become a breakout hit, remaining on the New York Times Top 10 hardcover fiction bestseller list for the past six weeks.

SSN Development Pick List, HBO Gives ‘Vice’ Four More Years, ‘Downton’ Confirmed Ending Next Year, Film Development For 3/26/15


Development picks collage


Development Pick List: Nine Curated Sources To Find Your Next Project

We lift the curtain on the sources you can go to to find curated and aggregated material for use in development. Good source material is the first step to a quality project and knowing where to find that material can often be the hardest part. SSN narrows down the best keep kept secrets, both online and brick and mortar, on where to unearth these gems. (SSN)

Film Development For 3/26/15: Spielberg To Direct ‘Ready Player One’, Mark Millar’s ‘Chrononauts’ a Go, and More

Plenty of new projects (and a couple remakes) this week, as well as new developments on things that have already been in development. One of them, it should be noted, appeared in the morning roundup: that Robotech is now on the fast track at Sony. This morning, it was noted that Mark Gordon was part of the Hollywood Gang, when of course he has his own single, Atmosphere Entertainment. Both companies are involved in the project. Click the link for more. (SSN)


HBO Enjoys Being In the ‘Vice’ Business, Signs On For Four More Years Of it

In addition to extending the run of weekly series "Vice" through 2018, the premium cable provider and the digital publishing giant will launch a daily newscast and a VICE-branded channel on HBO NOW. The newscast will be slated to run 48 weeks out of the year. (IW)

Another From the ‘We Knew This, But Thanks For Confirming’ File: ‘Downtown Abbey’s Sixth Season Will Be Its Last

Following weeks of rumors that this next season would be the end of the line, Carnival Films, the producers of the show, and ITV announced the fact today in a statement. The drama became the most nominated non-U.S. show in Emmys history with 51 nominations and has won three Golden Globes. The final season will debut on Masterpiece on PBS next January. (HP)

It’s Promotion Day At Disney, and the Big Winner Is Philip Steuer

Steuer, who was a producer on the Chronicles of Narnia movies and who joined the studio in May 2014 as a senior vp in the physical department, has been named executive vp, physical production at the Walt Disney Studios. He will oversee all aspects of physical production, visual effects and postproduction for Disney Live Action feature films under Sean Bailey, Disney’s president of production. (THR)

Verve Branches Out, Establishes a Global Business Development Arm Called Verve Ventures

International sales vet Amy Beecroft will run the new operation, which will hatch strategic partnerships in international and domestic film and TV, get into finance and sales, digital distribution and develop new technologies. The agency got a taste of that ushering in Virtual Reality, a concern that is developing content to be viewed in 360-degree 3D formats. (DH)

Sony Has a New ‘Smurfs’ Reboot Coming Our Way, and It’s Going To Be Fully Animated This Time

Sony Pictures Animation has set a March 31st, 2017 release date for the film, which will stick much more closely to the original source material, unlike the two live action/CGI versions previously released. Gnomes & Juliet director Kelly Asbury is helming the project. (SF)

William Petersen Returns To TV! The Original ‘CSI’ Star Will Show Up For Season Two Of ‘Manhattan’

The Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor will play Colonel Emmett Darrow, the enigmatic new ranking military officer at Los Alamos. He joins a cast that includes John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Daniel Stern and Rachel Brosnahan. Production on Season Two begins next month in New Mexico ahead of a 2015 return. (TVL)

History Loves Itself Some Marauders, Renews ‘Vikings’ For a Fourth Season

Created and written by Michael Hirst, the current season is averaging 4.3 million viewers in Live+3 tabulations. Show tells the story of the lives and epic adventures of these warriors and portrays life in the Dark Ages through the eyes of Viking society, and stars Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Katheryn Winnick and Alexander Ludwig. (CS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Dope’

The hit indie film from Sundance boasts perhaps one of the most interesting and unique trailers ever released. Open Road picked up the movie, directed by Rick Famuyiwa, and will release it on June 19th. (VUL)

Oscars Need New Producers, ‘Supergirl’ Has Her Villain, ‘Downton’ Movie a Possibility, Searchlight Wants JLD For ‘Majeure’ Remake


Oscar Statues on display at the Time War

The 2016 Oscar Telecast Will Look Very Different, as There Will Be New Producers In Charge

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have hosted each of the previous three shows, will not return to produce the Oscars ceremony in 2016. This year's Oscars ceremony had the show's lowest ratings since 2009. Following the broadcast, Zadan hinted that their run at the Academy Awards was over. (HP)

‘Supergirl’ Has Her First Villain Lined Up, and He Looks a Lot Like Owain Yeoman

Former co-star of another CBS show, The Mentalist, Yeoman will play the DC Comics character Vartox. Per DC Comics lore, Vartox hailed from the planet Valeron and boasted powers on par with those of Superman, with whom he was friendly. In the pilot, though, Vartox is an alien convict who has been hiding on Earth for 12 years. After Supergirl’s emergence as a public hero, he seeks her out to ascertain her identity and do battle with her. (TVL)

Well, Now. ‘Downton Abbey’ Might Live a Bit Longer Than Its Sixth Season, After All

Gareth Neame, the executive producer and managing director of the production company behind the show, Carnival Films, was asked about the possibility of a film. He confirmed that both he and creator Julian Fellowes could be open to such a concept. Just in case things don’t get properly wrapped up by the end of next season, of course. (CB)

Fox Searchlight Has Picked Up Remake Rights To ‘Force Majeure’, Wants Julia Louis-Dreyfus To Star

Emmy-winning Veep star is in negotiations to star in the remake of the Oscar nominated Swedish drama. In the film, an avalanche threatens the resort and the father, in an act of selfish cowardice, deserts his family. When the avalanche passes and the family is safely reunited, the man’s actions create a deep fissure in the unit that might not be repaired. No writer or director on board yet, but Louis-Dreyfus will also be involved as a producer. (THR)

Matthew McConaughey Has a Specific Taste For ‘The Billionaire’s Vinegar’

The Sony Pictures film centers on the scandal that ensued when an auctioned cache of wine bottles purported to have been owned by Thomas Jefferson were called fakes. Script is by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, the team behind Wanted, 3:10 To Yuma and Chicago Fire. Escape Artists and Overbrook Entertainment have been developing the project for several years, based on the book by Benjamin Wallace that Crown published. (DH)

Now That Craig T. Nelson Has Finished ‘Parenthood’, He’s Returning To ‘Coach’

NBC is reviving the Emmy-winning sitcom that ran for nine seasons, from 1989 to 1997. The show will not be a reboot, but a sequel. The pitch: “Coach Hayden Fox, in the present day, has retired from coaching. He is called back to become assistant coach to his own grown son, who is the new head coach at an Ivy league school in Pennsylvania that is just starting up a new team.” Network has ordered 13 episodes and will shoot it “multi-cam” style. (EW)

Talk About a Dream Team! WWE Studios Teams With Gene Simmons For Horror Movies

The alliance is teaming to establish Erebus Pictures and is launching with a three-picture co-production deal starting with Temple, originally acquired and developed by WWE Studios. It will sell worldwide rights on all titles and use WWE’s TV shows, including Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, along with digital, social media and the WWE Network, to market its titles. (VAR)

Dutch Filmmaker Makes a Killer Short, Scores a Sweet Deal With Warner Bros. To Turn It Into a Feature

Mischa Rozema, who directs ads in Amsterdam, wrote the concept with Kevin Koehler. It finds Brian Petsos as a man who begins to realise that he himself and the world around him are not what they seem – indeed, the whole universe appears to be slowly falling apart. But can he trust even his own senses? Now, the plan is for Rozema to work on a potential film with new writers and make it his directorial debut. (EMP)

Magnolia Pictures Picks Up Rights To Sundance Hit ‘Experimenter’

Film stars Peter Saarsgard as Stanley Milgram, a psychologist who made history in the 1960s with his troubling Yale study on obedience to authority, known as the "Milgram Experiment." These experiments observed the reactions of test subjects when asked to send painful electric shocks to a stranger. Michael Almereyda wrote and directed. The film will be released this year. (IW)

Screenwriters: ‘Zodiac’

The undated, unspecified 158 script by James Vanderbilt, based on the books "Zodiac" and "Zodiac Unmasked" by Robert Graysmith. (HL)

Exec Shuffle 3/27/15: Amy Beecroft To Run Verve Ventures, Adam Keen To Broad Green Pics


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Company Launches

Literary agency Verve has launched Verve Ventures, an internal global business development arm. International sales veteran Amy Beecroft will run the new venture. Beecroft comes from First Look/Overseas Film Group, HBO, GreeneStreet Films, and FilmNation. They will hatch strategic partnerships in international and domestic film and TV, move into financing and sales, digital distribution, and develop new technologies.

In an effort to target the YouTube audience, Lakeshore Entertainment is launching Off the Dock as a full-service digital studio. They have acquired comedy Man Up, starring Justin Chon and Kevin Wu. Off the Dock will finance, produce, acquire and distribute “digital influencer-led content.”

Duff Goldman, celeb baker and Food Network star, will launch a food and cooking brand and channel on YouTube in partnership with Collective Digital Studio. Goldman’s YouTube channel will launch with up to three weekly shows, including one in which he will create his signature, customized cakes for YouTube stars. The content lineup is set to include how-to videos, pranks, and baking mistakes.

WWE Studios and Kiss mogul Gene Simmons have teamed up to launch Erebus Pictures, which will finance and produce horror films. The venture has set a three-picture co-production deal that will kick off with writer Matt Savelloni’s Temple.

Entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt is at it again: This time, he’s betting on the mobile app Whipclip, that makes it easy for TV fans to snip and share pieces of video from more than 90 network shows. The app works like a mini-DVR in your phone. When you watch a show, it stores the last three minutes of live video, which can then be snipped out and turned into a shareable bit that can be posted on social-media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter, or emailed or texted to a friend.


Zygi Kamasa has signed a new long-term agreement to continue as chief exec of Lionsgate UK, with increased responsibilities as chief exec of Lionsgate's European office. Kamasa will grow Lionsgate UK's film, television, home entertainment, and digital businesses, including distribution of Lionsgate and Summit films, production and release of its own Lionsgate UK titles and third-party acquisitions.

The distribution and marketing venture launched in 2014 to handle EuropaCorp's U.S. movie releases and Relativity’s slate has a new head film marketer. Tommy Gargotta, the former creative advertising chief at Sony, has joined Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution as President of Theatrical Marketing. He will report to Relativity President Tucker Tooley and EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert.


Madison Avenue vet Mike Rosen is getting expanded duties at NBCUniversal, where he will oversee ad sales for the company’s news programs in addition to its Spanish-language properties. The move comes as Seth Winter, the NBCU ad-sales exec who has supervised ad sales for all of the company’s live programming, will focus on sports, where the company is adding more content. Brian Sullivan is to step down in June as chief executive of German-language pay TV service Sky Deutschland. Carsten Schmidt, Sky Deutschland’s chief officer sports, advertising sales and internet, will take over the role.

Management, PR, Music, Agencies, Digital, Misc.

Verve has hired Madison Miller as HR and operations manager. Miller previously held the position of operations and outreach manager at non-profit organization Baby2Baby.

MoviePass, the subscription service that lets users see an unlimited number of movies in theaters, has brought in Erantzeri Corona (formerly head of customer acquisition at Hulu) as VP of marketing. At Hulu, Erantzeri led subscriber-acquisition efforts through multiple paid media channels. Before that, he was the founder of app-development firm AppOntology and worked in the financial-services industry.

Agent Marie Perry has joined Gersh to serve as the newly created head of the Commercial Production Division. She will represent below-the-line talent with an emphasis on commercials and music videos.

Veteran TV agent Babette Perry has joined Innovative Artists where she will create and run a broadcast/alternative TV division. Perry will rep talent including entertainment hosts, news and sports personalities, social media talent, experts in multiple disciplines, and news/alternative television producers.

Broad Green Pictures hired Adam Keen to be EVP of Corporate Communications and Worldwide Publicity. The move comes as the upstart indie production shingle/distribution company continues to build its slate. Keen, formerly at Relativity, most recently was at Warner Bros.

SSN Events Calendar: Bologna Book Fair, Game of Thrones Return, Furious 7 & the Films, TV & Conventions in April


furious 7

calendar pictureIn celebration of the month of April, a month that starts with everyone on the look-out for pranks on April Fool’s Day, SSN has compiled a list of events for you including film releases, TV premieres, famous birthdays, events around LA and NYC, film festivals around the world to keep you updated in one fell swoop.

April Events Calendar

Wednesday, April 1 Happy April’s Fools Day Happy Birthday Debbie Reynolds, Asa Butterfield Today in History - General Hospital premiered on ABC in 1963 Bologna Children's Book Fair, runs from March 30 through April 2 FILM RELEASE - Woman in Gold TV - Man Finds Food on Travel Channel (NEW), Brew Dogs on Esquire

Thursday, April 2 Happy Birthday Michael Fassbender TV – Olympus on SyFy (NEW), 8 Minutes on A&E (NEW), Lip Sync Battle on Spike (NEW), Timber Kings on Discovery Channel

Friday, April 3 Happy Birthday Eddie Murphy, Cobie Smulders FanExpo Vancouver (Comic Convention) runs from April 3 through April 5 17th Annual Film Noir Festival at the Egyptian Theater through April 18 FILM RELEASES – Cut Bank, Effie Gray, The Girl is in Trouble, Furious 7, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, SBK The-Movie TV – The Grace Helbig Show on E! (NEW), Meet the Smiths on TBS (NEW), Mysteries at the Museum on Travel Channel, Pool Masters on Animation Planet

Saturday, April 4 Happy Birthday Robert Downey Jr. TV – My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet, American Odyssey on NBC (NEW), 100 Miles from Nowhere on Animal Planet (NEW), Salem on WGN

Sunday, April 5 Happy Birthday Pharrell Williams Paley Center Event (LA) – The Complete Hitchcock: Television through April 6

Monday, April 6 Happy Birthday Paul Rudd, Zach Braff

Tuesday, April 7 Happy Birthday Jackie Chan, Russell Crowe Today in History- “South Pacific” opened on Broadway in 1949 TV – Funny Girls on Oxygen (NEW), Your Family or Mine on TBS (NEW)

Wednesday, April 8 Happy Birthday John Schneider TV – Little Women: Terra’s Little Family on Lifetime (NEW), Million Dollar Listing New York on Bravo PR & Media Relations Summit (NYC)

Thursday, April 9 Happy Birthday Hugh Hefner, Kristen Stewart, Elle Fanning TV – The Comedians on FX (NEW), Louie on FX, Life Below Zero on NatGeo

Friday, April 10 Happy Birthday Mandy Moore, Steven Seagal, Charlie Hunnam Midwest Media Expo in Detroit through April 12 Florida Film Festival through April 19 TV – Daredevil on Netflix (NEW), Jump on Lifetime (NEW) FILM RELEASES – Broken Horses, Rebels of the Neon God, Clouds of Sils Maria, Desert Dancer, Lost River, The Longest Ride, Ex Machina, Kill Me Three Times

Saturday, April 11 Happy Birthday Michelle Phan Today in History – The Apollo 13 mission began in 1970 NAB Show through April 16 New York City Book Fair Oz Comic Con in Perth, Australia through April 12 TV – Polka Kings on Reelz (NEW), Hollywood Hillbillies on Reelz

Sunday, April 12 Happy Birthday David Letterman TV – Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley on HBO Awards/TV – MTV Movie Awards

Monday, April 13 Happy Birthday Ron Perlman, Allison Williams MIPTV in Cannes, France through April 16 TV – Turn on AMC New Media Expo through April 16 in Las Vegas

Tuesday, April 14 Happy Birthday Abigail Breslin, Sarah Michelle Gellar Today in History – First motion picture public showing in 1894 London Book Fair through April 16 The 7th Annual TV & Film Finance Forum East presented by Winston Baker (NYC) TV – Other Space on Yahoo! (NEW), Good Work on E! (NEW), Botched on E!

Wednesday, April 15 Happy Birthday Seth Rogen, Emma Watson

Thursday, April 16 Happy Birthday Akon, Martin Lawrence

Friday, April 17 Happy Birthday Victoria Bekham, Jennifer Garner FILM RELEASES: Child 44, True Story, Roar, Monsters: The Dark Continent, Alex of Venice, Beyond the Reach, The Road Within, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Monkey Kingdom, Unfriended, Hautoa, Mr. X, The Squeeze TV – The Messengers on CW (NEW), Cedric’s Barber Battle on CW (NEW), Lost Girl on SyFy, Bitten on Syfy

Saturday, April 18 Happy Birthday Kourtney Kardashian, David Tennant, Jeff Dunham Los Angeles Festival of Books through April 19 TV - Chaos Caught on Camera on Discovery (NEW), Angry Planet on Pivot (NEW), Orphan Black on BBC (NEW)

Sunday, April 19 Happy Birthday James Franco TV/Awards – ACM Awards

Monday, April 20 Happy Birthday George Takei, Jessica Lange TV - Time Traveling With Brian Unger on Travel (NEW), Star Talk on NatGeo (NEW), Deadbeat on Hulu

Tuesday, April 21 Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth II, Iggy Pop, James McAvoy Paley Center Event (LA) - Media RX: Access to Medicine through Entertainment

Wednesday, April 22 Happy Birthday Jack Nicholson USA Film Festival in Dallas, TX through April 26 TV - The Prancing Elites Project on Oxygen (NEW)

Thursday, April 23 Happy Birthday George Lopez Buenos Aires Book Fair through May 11 Newport Beach Film Festival through April 20 National Film Fest for Talented Youth in Seattle through April 26 Academy of Motion Pictures Event - Deconstructing Big Hero 6 at Samuel Goldwyn Theater

Friday, April 24 Happy Birthday Barbra Streisand, Kelly Clarkson Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo through April 26 FILM RELEASES – The Age of Adaline, Little Boy, Hyena, The Water Diviner, See You in Valhalla, Rock the Kasbah, Misery Loves Comedy, Brotherly Love, Blackbird, Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck TV – Flipping Ships on Animal Planet (NEW)

Saturday, April 25 Happy Birthday Al Pacino TV – The Dead Files on Travel Channel

Sunday, April 26 Happy Birthday Jet Li, Channing Tatum TV – Happyish on Showtime (NEW), Spring Baking Championship on Food Network (NEW) Awards/TV – Daytime Emmy Awards, BAFTA TV Craft Awards

Monday, April 27 FILM RELEASES – Mandariinid Awards – Billboard Latin Music Awards

Tuesday, April 28 Happy Birthday Jay Leno, Penelope Cruz, Jessica Alba FT Digital Media Convention in London through April 29 TV Connect in London through April 30 Paley Center Event (LA): The Goldbergs: Your TV Trip to the 1980s

Wednesday, April 29 Happy Birthday Jerry Seinfeld, Willie Nelson FILM RELEASE: Iris

Thursday, April 30 Happy Birthday Dianna Argon, Johnny Galecki, Kirsten Dunst

–Note all events are subject to change. If you would like to add events to our monthly calendar, please email marketing@ssninsider.com with the details.–

SSN April Events Calendar, Paramount Expanding ‘Transformers’, GIllian Flynn To Write McQueen’s Heist Film, Exec Shuffle For 3/27/15


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SSN Events Calendar: Bologna Book Fair, ‘Game of Thrones’ Returns, ‘Furious 7’, and the Films, TV and Conventions Of April

In celebration of the month of April, a month that starts with everyone on the look-out for pranks on April Fool’s Day, SSN has compiled a list of events for you including film releases, TV premieres, famous birthdays, events around LA and NYC, film festivals around the world to keep you updated in one fell swoop. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 3/27/15: Amy Beecroft To Run Verve Ventures, Adam Keen To Broad Green Pics

It was an especially busy week when it came to the launching of new companies and mergers, while less happens in the film world and the management, PR, music and agency action was fairly standard. Click on the link to read all about it. (SSN)


Paramount Is Expanding the ‘Transformers’ Cinematic Universe, and Putting Akiva Goldsman In Charge

Michael Bay and Lorenzo di Bonaventura are working with the studio to bring in Goldsman, who would not be writing but assembling and overseeing a “writers room” to hatch an idea for how to tackle a two-part sequel in the film’s franchise in addition to potential spinoffs. Goldsman would likely join Bay, di Bonaventura and Steven Spielberg as a producer. (VAR)

Steve McQueen Has Corralled Gillian Flynn To Work With Him On His Upcoming Heist Film

The Gone Girl novelist/screenwriter joins the 12 Years a Slave director on the film, which is being produced by New Regency. The yet-to-be-titled heist thriller thriller is based on the 1983 Brit miniseries Widows, which was penned by Lynda La Plante, and is about a caper gone awry after four armed robbers are killed in a botched heist. Their widows team up to finish what they started. (TOH)

Audra McDonald Becomes the Latest Star To Join the Already Star-Studded Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Remake

The Tony Award-winning actress is in final negotiations to join the cast, includes Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast/Prince, Luke Evans as the vain villain Gaston, and Josh Gad as Le Fou, Gaston’s buffoonish and loyal sidekick. The live action movie, directed by Bill Condon, is aligning itself closely with the 1991 animated classic. McDonald will be playing Garderobe, the French word for wardrobe. (HV)

Simon Helberg Makes the Leap From ‘Big Bang’ To Big Screen, Joins New Meryl Streep Film

Hugh Grant also stars in Florence Foster Jenkins, which tells the true story of a a wealthy woman in high-society NYC in the early 20th century who used her relationships and her fortune to gain traction as a singer. Trouble was, she couldn’t sing; she was plagued by terrible pitch and rhythm and was, unbeknownst to her, ridiculed at her well-attended performances. Helberg will play Cosme McCoon, who became her accompanist on the piano. Stephen Frears directs. (DH)

In Case You Were Wondering: 11 Secrets Of a TV Costume Designer

It’s not just the words that actors say or the way they move that tells a story. Wardrobe reveals a lot about a character. The cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. runs quite the gamut of characters, from ass-kicking agents to inhuman oddities to beloved comic book avengers—so the series’ Costume Designer, Ann Foley, has her work cut out for her. What does it really take to dress a TV cast? Foley reveals her secrets. (MF)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Southpaw’

The first look at the upcoming boxing drama, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the title lefty. Rachel McAdams, Rita Ora, Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and boxer-turned-actor Victor Ortiz also star in the film, written by Kurt Sutter and Richard Wenk and directed by Antoine Fuqua. It hits theaters July 31st. (CS)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Terminator: Genisys’

Paramount Pictures has released a new, extended TV spot for the film, which reveals the first footage showing Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons, who plays a police detective in the film. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney and Matt Smith also star in the movie, which will be in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D on July 1st. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 3: ‘Casual Vacancy’

HBO’s new miniseries adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s first novel aimed at adults stars Rory Kinnear, Simon McBurney and Michael Gambon. Jonny Campbell directs the miniseries, which premieres on the cable net on April 29th. (COL)

‘Home’ Wins Box Office, One More Time as Wolverine For Jackman, Stewart’s ‘Daily Show’ Replacement Named, ‘Magnificent Seven’ Remake Casts a Bad Guy



‘Home’ a Welcome Winner At the Box Office, Taking In Over $54 Million For the Top Spot

DreamWorks Animation’s newest offering confounds the critics and sweeps into first, ahead of the Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard, which came in second place with $34.6 million. The Divergent Series: Insurgent finished third with $22 million, giving it a 10-day total of just shy of $86 million to date. Cinderella came in fourth, while the recently expanded It Follows came in fifth and looks on track to become TWC-Radius’ biggest ever grosser. (BO)

It Looks Like We’re Only Going To Get One More Chance To See Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

The 46-year-old actor revealed over the weekend on Instagram that he will be playing the X-Men character one last time, probably in the next Wolverine movie that The Wolverine helmer James Mangold will direct. Jackman had previously been reported as having at least some sort of role in X-Men: Apocalypse, Bryan Singer’s next X-Men film that’s due to start shooting soon, so technically, there are two more chances. (COL)

Comedy Central Has Found the Man To Replace Jon Stewart, and His Name Is Trevor Noah

Though the South African comedian just joined The Daily Show as a contributor only at the end of last year, he is now the face of the network’s signature program. The announcement came down today that Stewart’s replacement will be Noah, with his debut to be announced at a later date. (VAR)

Antoine Fuqua’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ Remake Has Found Its Bad Guy

Vincent D’Onofrio has just signed on for the film, which will pit him against a cast of good guys that includes Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke. Haley Bennett also stars, as a character who sets the entire plot in motion. The Sony/MGM project is based on the 1960 Western of the same title directed by John Sturges and Yul Brynner. The “original” was itself a remake, of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film Seven Samurai. (SF)

Bill Hader Becomes the Latest To Join Steven Spielberg’s ‘The BFD’

Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book was scripted by Melissa Mathison, an old collaborator of the director who last teamed up with him for the 1982 film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (ironically released the same year Dahl's The BFG was published). DreamWorks acquired the rights to the children's work back in 2010 and will co-produce it with Walden Media with shooting to take place in Vancouver. Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill also star. (CB)

Do NOT Believe Those Rumors That Sacha Baron Cohen Is Back Involved In That Freddie Mercury Biopic

After Queen’s manager Jim Beach announced that the Borat star would be writing, directing, producing and starring in the film, the band’s guitarist, Brian May, shot it down. May said that Beach was playing “a small joke” on people, and that the creative differences that led Baron to leave the project two years ago are still in place. (EW)

As AMC Says Goodbye To ‘Mad Men’, It Says Hello To Millennials

Before Don Draper and his associates at Sterling Cooper ever graced the cable network’s Sunday nights, its biggest coups were acquiring good movie packages on decent terms. Now, the network looks to build out nights of original programming and become a year-round ratings powerhouse. (AA)

Twenty Years After Its Premiere, the Cast and Writers Remember One Of TV’s Great Shows: ‘NewsRadio’

The story of NewsRadio’s five-season run on NBC is so full of intrigue and drama that it could be its own series. Twenty years ago this week, the employees of the fictional AM news station WNYX found their way into our living rooms, and the show was unlike anything that NBC had aired to that point. Twenty years later, though, you can mention NewsRadio in a conversation about the best shows in TV history and faces light up. (UR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Spectre’

A couple days late, sadly, because this was first released Friday night, but still, the first teaser trailer for Bond 24, aka Spectre, Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as the world’s greatest spy is here. Directed by Sam Mendes, also starring Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux, Stephanie Sigman, Andrew Scott and Christoph Waltz, the movie comes out in November. (EMP)

Screenwriters: Adapting Novels, Memoirs and Short Stories: What to Keep and What to Cut

Many successful novels, memoirs, and short stories have been adapted for the screen and made into equally popular and often award-winning movies, including the most recent American Sniper, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Wild. It can be a daunting task particularly when the novel is long – very long — like 500 pages or more! This page-length challenge presents the inevitable next step and question: What to keep and what to cut? (SM)

On the Set for 3/30/15: Brad Pitt, Christian Bale & Ryan Gosling Start on ‘The Big Short’, Julianne Moore Wraps ‘Maggie’s Plan’ & More




Army of One 3/30/2015 Logline: A construction worker from Colorado tries to find Osama Bin Laden. Studio: TWC-Dimension Production Company(s): Conde Nast Publications, Inc., Endgame Entertainment, Emile Gladstone Productions Director: Larry Charles Executive Producer(s): Patrick Newall Producer(s): Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Dawn Ostroff, Jeremy Steckler, James D. Stern Cast: Nicolas Cage, Wendi McLendon-Covey Writer(s): Scott Rothman, Rajiv Joseph Details: Loosely based on the GQ article "An Army of One" written by Chris Heath and published September 2010. SSN Insight: Cage has a busy development slate with Bonjour Anne also in preproduction, Snowden in production but has wrapped The Trust, The Runner and Pay the Ghost.

Ip Man 3 3/25/2015 Logline: Sequel to “Ip Man” centering on Ip Man who participated in matches with other practitioners from the top Wushu schools, as well as Japanese kung-fu warriors in 1920s and ‘30s war-torn China. Production Company(s): Pegasus Motion Pictures Director: Wilson Yip Producer(s): Raymond Wong Pak-Ming Cast: Donnie Yen, Mike Tyson, Lynn Hung Details: Sequel to Ip Man (China/Hong Kong/2008) starring Donnie Yen and directed by Wilson Yip, and Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster (Hong Kong/2010) also starring Yen and directed by Yip. SSN Insight: Ip Man grossed $21 million and the 2010 sequel grossed $49 million worldwide.

Officer Downe 3/30/2015 Logline: After a Los Angeles supercop is killed in the line of duty, he’s resurrected and continues to work fighting crime. Production Company(s): Man of Action, Traverse Media, Blackmrkt Incorporated Director: Shawn Crahan Executive Producer(s): Cory Brennan Producer(s): Mark Neveldine, Skip Williamson, Joe Casey, Cole Payne Cast: Kim Coates Writer(s): Joe Casey Details: Based on the graphic novel "Officer Downe" written by Joe Casey, Illustrated by Chris Burnham and published by Image Comics on July 14, 2010. SSN Insight: Crahan has directed many music videos for his band Slipknot. The band has 15 million Facebook followers and their videos have cumulatively earned 100 million views.

Stephanie 3/30/2015 Logline: A young girl's powers force her into solitude. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Gotham/Principal, Blumhouse Productions, Unbroken Pictures, Chapter One Director: Akiva Goldsman Executive Producer(s): Nate Matteson, Eric Robinson, Bryan Bertino Producer(s): Jason Blum, Matt Kaplan, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Adrienne Biddle Cast: Frank Grillo, Anna Torv, Shree Crooks Writer(s): Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski SSN Insight: Screenplay was included on the 2012 Blood List. Jonathan van Tulleken was previously attached to direct. Actor Frank Grillo also starred in the Universal Pictures/Blumhouse Productions film "The Purge: Anarchy" (2014).

Table 19 3/27/2015 Logline: A story told from the point of view of the collection of strangers grouped together at a wedding's "singles table". Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures Production Company(s): 21 Laps Entertainment, 3311 Productions Director: Jeff Blitz Executive Producer(s): Mark Roberts, Jennifer Dana Producer(s): Shawn Levy, Tom McNulty Cast: Anna Kendrick, Mark Duplass, Craig Robinson, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant Writer(s): Jeff Blitz, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass SSN Insight: Jay & Mark Duplass were previously attached to direct.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe 3/30/2015 Logline: When father and son coroners investigate the death of beautiful "Jane Doe" they find increasingly bizarre clues. Production Company(s): 42, Impostor Pictures Director: Andre Ovredal Executive Producer(s): Stuart Ford, Matt Jackson, Ben Shields Catlin Producer(s): Fred Berger, Eric Garcia, Rory Aitken, Benjamin Pugh Cast: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox Writer(s): Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2013 Blood List Martin Sheen was previously attached to the role played by Brian Cox. Goldcrest was previously involved as financier and distributor.

The Big Short 3/23/2015 Logline: A look at the American economy, the recession, and the subprime mortgage market focusing on a group of investors who aim to prey upon the economic collapse for riches. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company(s): Plan B Entertainment Director: Adam McKay Executive Producer(s): Kevin J. Messick Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Sarah Esberg Cast: Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell Writer(s): Adam McKay, Charles Randolph Details: Based on the book "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine" written by Michael Lewis and published by W.W. Norton on March 15, 2010. SSN Insight: This film will continue to build Plan B’s reputation for tackling important issues, with “12 Years a Slave” landing the best picture Oscar and “Selma” garnering two Oscar noms as well.

The Meddler 3/30/2015 Logline: An aging widow from New York City follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away. Production Company(s): Anonymous Content Director: Lorene Scafaria Executive Producer(s): Steve Golin, Susan Sarandon, Shea Kammer Producer(s): Joy Gorman, Paul Green Cast: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons Writer(s): Lorene Scafaria SSN Insight: Scafaria previously directed Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World. Production begins in Los Angeles. The film was jointly packaged by CAA and UTA, which is coordinating financing and handling domestic rights.

The Neon Demon 3/30/2015 Logline: An aspiring model finds herself in a terrifying predicament with her survival hanging in the balance. Studios: Gaumont, Wild Bunch Production Company(s): Space Rocket Nation Director: Nicolas Winding Refn Producer(s): Lene Borglum Cast: Elle Fanning, Abbey Lee, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone Writer(s): Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws SSN Insight: France’s Gaumont and Wild Bunch will co-finance and co-distribute the film. They previously partnered on Refn’s 2013 film, Only God Forgives.


Love the Coopers 3/26/2015 Logline: Long-married couple Charlotte and Sam host one final Christmas together, during which they plan to tell the family that they're breaking up, but the gathering's chaos, surprises, and dysfunctional family fun prompt Charlotte and Sam to reassess their decision. Studio: CBS Films Production Company(s): Groundswell Productions Director: Jessie Nelson Executive Producer(s): Steven Rogers, Ron Burkle, Jason Colbeck, Diane Keaton, Ted Gidlow Producer(s): Jessie Nelson, Michael London, Janice Williams Cast: Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Annette Bening, Amanda Seyfried Writer(s): Steven Rogers SSN Insight: Robert Redford was previously mentioned to co-star. Theo James was previously attached as a cast member. Previously in development with Relativity Media and Imagine Entertainment.

Maggie's Plan 3/25/2015 Logline: A young woman tries to make a life for herself in New York City. No Studio Available. Production Company(s): Locomotive, Rachael Horovitz Productions, Round Films, Hall Monitor Director: Rebecca Miller Producer(s): Rachael Horovitz, Damon Cardasis, Rebecca Miller Cast: Greta Gerwig, Julianne Moore, Ethan Hawke, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader Writer(s): Rebecca Miller SSN Insight: Clive Owen was previously attached to the role ultimately played by Ethan Hawke.

Now You See Me 2 3/25/2015 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 also cast one of Asia’s most popular musicans Jay Chou, repped by JVR Music.

Bologna Book Fair Preview, TWC Strikes ‘Gold’, Searchlight Nabs ‘Malala’ Doc, ABC Family’s ‘Mortal Instruments’ Show, On the Set For 3/30/15


Trouble Is a Friend of Mine book cover


2015 Bologna Children’s Book Fair: SSN Picks the Eight Standouts

The 52nd annual event kicks off today, bringing the latest and greatest YA, Middle Grade, and children’s books to Italy from until April 2nd. The festival is a showcase for up and coming talent and new work by established authors – and it’s also a great place to search for the next Hunger Games or The Fault in Our Stars. Check out our picks for titles to look out for this year. (SSN)

On the Set For 3/30/15: Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling Start ‘The Big Short’, Julianne Moore Wraps ‘Maggie’s Plan’ and More

Nicolas Cage’s Army Of One, the comic book adaptation Officer Downe, and Akiva Goldsman’s next directorial effort all are among the new films getting underway, while the Now Your See Me sequel and Love the Coopers also finish up principal photography. (SSN)


The Weinsteins Strike ‘Gold’, Win Auction For Right To Distribute Matthew McConaughey Flick

TWC is paying a minimum $15 million guarantee for the U.S. rights to the film, to be directed by Stephen Gaghan and starring McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez. There’s also a P&A guarantee north of $20 million to properly market a release on at least 2500 screens. That is one of the biggest commitments of it kind for a picture package that is ready to go into production. Black Bear Pictures’ Teddy Schwarzman is backing the film. (DH)

Did Fox Searchlight Just Nab the 2016 Doc Feature Oscar Winner? Quite Possibly

Indie arm of 20th Century Fox has acquired Davis Guggenheim’s film, He Named Me Malala, which follows Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for promoting the education of young girls. No release date was announced, but the film will launch an international advocacy and fundraising campaign in partnership with Yousafzai's non-profit organization, The Malala Fund, to empower adolescent girls around the world. (IW)

‘The Mortal Instruments’ Is Coming To TV, as ABC Family Orders ‘Shadowhunters’

Project marks the cabler’s first scripted “saga-to-series,” based on the bestselling book series by Cassandra Clare. Story follows 18-year-old Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is, and she comes from a long line of Shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. When Clary’s mother Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with mysterious Shadowhunter Jace and her best friend, Simon. (VAR)

Fantasy Worlds Colliding! ‘Game Of Thrones’ Star To Do a Guess Spot On ‘Doctor Who’

Actress Maisie Williams, best known for playing Arya Stark in GoT, will appear on the upcoming ninth season of the sci-fi series, which stars Peter Capaldi as the doctor. Little is known about Williams' role besides the fact that she'll challenge the doctor and "give him exactly the right sort of hell," according to lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat. (HP)

Netflix Adds a Strong Cast Member To Its New War Thriller, ‘Jadotville’

Mark Strong joins the project, which was acquired by the online streaming service at the Berlin International Film Festival. Set in 1961, the plot centers on the real-life siege of an Irish UN battalion by 3,000 Congolese troops, led by French and Belgian mercenaries working for mining companies. Strong will play negotiator Max Vernon, who was a chief inspector with the London police during the six-day siege that ended in a deadly 17-minute raid by British special forces. (THR)

That ‘Suicide Squad’ Ensemble Just Keeps Getting Larger and Larger

Director David Ayer’s comic book adaptation has just added both Scott Eastwood and Raymond Olubowale. There currently aren't any details available about the role either will be playing, though the rumor is that more information could come as soon as tomorrow. Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Cara Delvgine and Jay Hernandez also star in the film, which is about to go into production. (CB)

First Look: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’

During last night’s Season Five finale of ANC’s smash hit The Walking Dead, the network released the first images from its spinoff series, set to take place in Los Angeles earlier in the apocalypse. New series stars Alycia Debnam Carey, Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens, and Frank Dillane, and will premiere this summer. (VUL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Jurassic World’

A new TV spot has emerged for this latest installment in the dinosaur franchise, based on Michael Crichton’s novels. This one, directed by Colin Trevorrow and starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Jake Johnson and Judy Greer, hits theaters June 12th. (EMP)

Warner, Screen Gems Set Film Release Dates, Add ‘Mulan’ To List Of Disney Live Action Remakes, ‘Pirates 5′ Takes a Break


Ed Helms

Warner Bros. Has So Much Confidence In ‘Vacation’, It’s Making the Film a Summer Affair

New Line’s sequel of sorts to the original film, written by John Hughes, directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, the new version will hit theaters July 31st, as counter programming to Paramount’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Ed Helms, Christina Applegate and Charlie Day, with Chase and D’Angelo making cameos. The film was originally scheduled for October 9th. (THR)

Meanwhile, Screen Gems Is Giving Us ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ Next February

February 19th, to be exact. The film will face off against EuropaCorp’s thriller Shut In starring Naomi Watts.  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is based on the 2009 Seth Grahame-Smith novel which mixes the zombie genre with the famed Jane Austen title. Story follows a zombie apocalypse that has been raging for 70 years, however, the Bennet sisters have just about had enough. Burr Steers is directing from the screenplay he wrote with David O. Russell. (DH)

Add ‘Mulan’ To the List Of Films Disney Is Going To Remake In Live Action

With the success of Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella and the upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake directed by Bill Condon, Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book and Tim Burton’s Dumbo, Disney is moving forward with Mulan and has hired Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek to write the script. Chris Bender and J.C. Spink will produce. (CB)

‘Pirates 5’ Has To Take a Break, So Johnny Depp’s Hand Can Heal

Production of the Disney franchise was halted in Australia for two weeks. The film’s star departed Australia for the U.S. on March 10 following an injury that happened in Queensland, though not while shooting. Filming has continued on scenes not involving Depp. But, on Thursday, some 200 crew were told that they would not be working for the next two weeks. Production is scheduled to pick up on April 15. (VAR)

That ‘Flash/Arrow’ Spinoff Series On The CW Is Starting To Take Shape, Casts Two Major Roles

Ciara Renée primarily known for her stage work, has been cast in the proposed series, playing Kendra Saunders, aka Hawkgirl, which is a lead role. Meanwhile, Arthur Darvill of Doctor Who fame has been cast as the time traveling scientist, Rip Hunter. The spinoff project featuring characters from both shows will also star Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Wentworth Miller and Victor Garber. (CBR)

NBC Will Ease On Down the Road To Its Next Live Musical Event

Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will be mounting The Wiz, the soul music re-telling of The Wizard of Oz. The production will take center stage on NBC December 3, 2015. This will be their third consecutive special after 2013's The Sound of Music Live!” starring Carrie Underwood, and last fall’s Peter Pan Live!,” with Allison Williams. (TOH)

Warner Bros.’ ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ Won’t Be the Only Batman Movie Out Next Year

Speaking at a Batman panel at the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend, stars of the 1960s Batman TV show Adam West and Burt Ward announced that they are lending their voices to reprise the roles of Batman and Robin, respectively for an animated film. Ward told the audience that the movie would be 90 minutes, and it would possibly be one of two animated project they’re working on. (COL)

Time Warner's HBO May Add Turner Shows to Web-Only Service

Executives at New York-based Time Warner are still debating whether HBO Now should include shows from a channel lineup that includes TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Turner won't be part of the debut of HBO Now, as Time Warner's premium pay-TV channel plans to debut the Web-only service on Apple products in time for the April 12 season premiere of its hit Game of Thrones. (AA)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Tomorrowland’

The first TV spot for the highly anticipated summer film, starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson, and directed by Brad Bird. Film hits theaters and IMAX on May 22nd. (FS)

Online Film School: Six Filmmaking Tips From Peter Weir

Peter Weir has a career whose many twists and turns that, individually, would on their own fill other filmmakers’ entire careers. He started off as a force to be reckoned with in the burgeoning 1970s Australian New Wave, then mastered a special kind of prestige, adult-geared Hollywood drama that today seems dwindling outside a kind of Oscar bait. (FSR)

TV Development for 3/31/15: All the NBCUni Upfront News Plus Ben Stiller’s New Series & ABC Family Adapting Mortal Instruments


Ben Stiller

Coach Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Barry Kemp, Craig T. Nelson Writer(s): Barry Kemp Logline: Coach Hayden Fox’s now retired from coaching and is called back to become assistant coach to his own grown son, who is the new head coach at an Ivy league school in Pennsylvania that is just starting up a new team. Details: A sequel to the original ABC series "Coach," which aired for 9 seasons starting in 1989. Ordered straight to series. SSN Insight: NBC has picked up the series and ordered 13 episodes as of March 26.

Fancy Nancy Network: Disney Junior Logline: Based on the Fancy Nancy series that follow the adventures of a girl who likes to be fancy in everything from her creative, elaborate attire to her advanced vocabulary. Details: Based on the New York Times’ best-selling book series, Fancy Nancy, by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser. The series includes 60+ titles and has sold more than 28 million books. SSN Insight: Series will be developed into an original animated TV movie slated to premiere in 2017 complete with a licensing deal with Disney Consumer Products for related merchandise. The books’ publisher HarperCollins and Disney Publishing will team up on future books based on the television series.

First Dates Network: NBC Entertainment Production Company(s): A Very Good Production, Shed Media U.S. Executive Producer(s): Tom Shelly, Pamela Healey, John Hesling, Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman Logline: Based on the British format, the show follows singles as they meet for the first time and have dates in a public restaurant. Each couple then decides if they want to see each other again. This "fly-on-the-wall" social experiment takes a candid look at today's world of dating. Details: Based on the British format. SSN Insight: NBC has given a series order of 8 episodes as of March 27.

MTX! Network: Disney XD Studio: No Studio Available. Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Steve Marmel Writer(s): Steve Marmel Logline: Ryan is a 14-year-old boy with the extraordinary ability to control technology with his mind – technopathy. After his secret power is revealed, he quickly learns that monsters have just been sent to destroy the city by an evil corporation. With danger looming, the only thing that can protect the citizens of Bay City is MTX, a 120-foot robot that only Ryan has the ability to control. First, Ryan must assemble a team that, together, has the skills needed to activate the complicated inner-workings of MTX. SSN Insight: Disney ordered a pilot on March 27. Potvin has previously guested on Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World and Jessie and per Deadline, Disney casting executives have been looking to find a starring vehicle for him. Disney has already begun filming in consideration for a series pickup. Shadowhunters Network: ABC Family Production Company(s): Constantin Film, Unique Features Executive Producer(s): Ed Decter (showrunner), Michael Reisz, Marjorie David, Robert Shaye, Michael Lynne Writer(s): Ed Decter Logline: Based on book series, The Shadowhunter Chronicles, the hour long series will begin with the first book, City of Bones and expand into later books as series progresses. Details: A spinoff of the 2013 feature film, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Based on the The Shadowhunter Chronicles book series by Cassandra Clare. SSN Insight: ABC Family has given a series order of 13 episodes. The series will go into production in May in Toronto, the cast has not been set.

Start Making Sense Network: IFC Production Company(s): Red Hour Films, Legendary Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Ben Stiller, Debbie Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld, Mike Rosenstein Writer(s): Jake Fogelnest Logline: Jack is desperately clinging to his fading relevancy as a best-selling author while his son, Shane, basks in popularity by expressing his teenage angst in 140 characters or less. As these generational voices collide they must navigate new waters of texts, trust and rock and roll. SSN Insight: IFC has ordered multiple scripts. Originates from Red Hour’s TV/digital production deal with Legendary, and the series is in contention for IFC’s 2016 lineup.

The Island Network: NBC Entertainment Production Company(s): Bear Grylls Ventures, Endemol Shine North America Executive Producer(s): Bear Grylls, Eden Gaha, Michael Brooks, Holly M. Wofford, Delbert Shoopman Logline: The series follows 14 American men who are abandoned on a deserted island without the basics of contemporary everyday life. The social experiment is aimed at determining if they have what it takes to survive, as they are left with only the clothes on their backs and minimal survival tools. The entire series is filmed by the men themselves. There are no prizes. No eliminations. No winner. No camera teams. The men must hunt for food, find source water, erect shelter, build a community and try to survive using only their strength, determination and know-how. Details: Based on the UK series, "The Island," which premiered on Channel Four on May 5, 2014. SSN Insight: NBC has given a series order of 6 episodes as of March 25.

Untitled Nasim Pedrad Comedy Project Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Studio: 20th Century Fox Television Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Nasim Pedrad Writer(s): Nasim Pedrad Logline: Storyline under wraps. SSN Insight: Pedrad has co-starred on the Fox/Universal TV comedy series Mulaney, has a recurring role on the Fox/20th TV comedy New Girl and is a regular on the upcoming first installment of Fox/20th TV’s comedy-horror anthology series Scream Queens.

The Very Fairy Princess Studio: Corus Entertianment’s Nelvana Enterprises Production Company(s): Nelvana Studio Executive Producer(s): Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton Logline: Chronicles the adventures of Geraldine, who knows deep down that she is a very fairy princess, despite all evidence to the contrary. Details: Based on Andrews’ and Hamilton’s No. 1 New York Times bestselling book series The Very Fairy Princess published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and illustrated by Christine Davenier. SSN Insight: The series is will be ready for air in 2016 and produced in Toronto. Since the launch of the franchise in 2010, eight titles have come out, with a ninth book, The Very Fairy Princess: A Spooky, Sparkly Halloween, due in 2015.


Après Ski Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Tricon Films & Television Executive Producer(s): Andrea Gorfolova, Jeffrey Hevert, Jameel Bharmal, Kevin Lee Logline: When the rich and famous want the ultimate winter ski vacation, the hottest place to go is Whistler, British Columbia where breathtaking mountain adventures are only rivaled by off slope après ski extravagance. In a town where the stakes are as high as the slopes, meet the well-groomed staff at this luxurious concierge company who are the behind-the-scenes magic-makers orchestrating once in a lifetime vacations for their upscale and demanding clients. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Below Deck Mediterranean Network: Bravo Production Company(s): 51 Minds Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Mark Cronin, Courtland Cox Logline: The "Below Deck" franchise is heading to the world’s oldest cruising grounds, the Mediterranean Sea, for its next super-yacht charter season. The new European setting not only provides spectacular scenery, culture and nightlife, but a whole new level of service standards and charter guest demands. Details: This series is a spinoff of "Below Deck," which premiered on Bravo in 2013. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Fit Club Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Lime Pictures, All3Media America Executive Producer(s): Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman, Kate Little, Claire Poyser, Derek McLean Logline: Today's modern day Greek Gods are better known as New York City's hottest trainers whose bodies are their billboards. Their client lists include some of Manhattan's elite, from billionaire investors to world famous celebrities. With highly active lives both in and out of the gym, this project chronicles their friendships, romances and feuds as they fight to stay on top of the ultra-competitive world of fitness training. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Ladies of Dallas Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Goodbye Pictures Executive Producer(s): Richard Bye, Andrew Hoegl Logline: From glamorous galas to scintillating scandals, and supersized spending habits, life in the elite tier of the Dallas social scene is hard to crack, and even harder to maintain. Whether driven by vanity, personal validation, or career advancement, these Lone Star ladies all share the same goal- to climb the social ladder and stay on top. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Married to Medicine Houston Network: Bravo Production Company(s): FremantleMedia North America, Purveyors of Pop Executive Producer(s): Matt Anderson, Nate Green Logline: Diverse and driven young doctors and wives of physicians look like they have it all— educated, sexy and at the top of their game. But peel back the layers and you will see that new obstacles might threaten their momentum. After punishing years of sacrifice and putting life on hold, how they navigate marriage, children, family and social pressure will either derail their promising careers or prove that they can have it all. Details: This series is a spinoff of "Married to Medicine," which premiered on Bravo in 2013. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Mother Funders Network: Bravo Production Company(s): True Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh, Lauren Eskelin, Jennifer Morton, Leola Westbrook Logline: Meet the ambitious suburban ladies of Locust Grove, Georgia’s Parent-Teacher Organization. These moms are a real class act, parlaying their executive room experience to run the local PTO and raise thousands of dollars for the town’s local elementary school. Full of teachable moments, they give new meaning to "getting schooled." SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

My Fab 40th Network: Bravo Production Company(s): FremantleMedia North America, Purveyors of Pop Executive Producer(s): Thom Beers, Matt Anderson, Nate Green, Maty Buss Logline: The series delves into the world of extravagant 40th birthday parties where people put some serious "happy" into a righteous rite of passage. From unlimited budgets to lavish delicacies and over-the-top entertainment, fans will see why turning 40 is such a gift. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

NeNe and Kim: The Road to Riches Network: Bravo Production Company(s): True Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh and Lauren Eskelin, NeNe Leakes, Kim Zolciak Biermann Logline: Atlanta’s “most driven” housewives— NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak Biermann— drive out of their comfort zones and across the country to discover America on a one-of-a-kind adventure. The road to LA may be paved with good intentions, but that doesn’t mean they won’t occasionally drive each other crazy. Details: This series is a spinoff of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta” which premiered on Bravo in 2007. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Tour Group Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Monkey Kingdom Executive Producer(s): Will Macdonald, Jason Crosby, Amy Chacon Logline: A diverse and vibrant group set out on a mind-blowing vacation through the most stunning, eclectic and exclusive destinations around the globe. With varied personalities forced together in foreign environments, will this two month dream journey become too much adventure for these jetsetters, or will they make it a permanent vacation?. SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Recipe for Deception Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Embassy Row, Realizer Productions Executive Producer(s): Shauna Minoprio, Matt Berkowitz, Michael Davies Logline: In each stand-alone episode host Max Silvestri guides four new chefs through head-to-head elimination rounds in which they are tasked with creating a stunning dish featuring a main ingredient. The twist is that they have no idea what that ingredient is while cooking. Details: Based on the popular parlor game ‘Two Truths and a Lie.’ SSN Insight: Bravo announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.


Comedians of L.A. Network: Esquire Production Company(s): L. Plummer Media Executive Producer(s): Lemuel Plummer Logline: Series follows rising comedians in Hollywood as they tour in concert halls worldwide and appear in blockbuster movies trying to take their careers to the next level. As they live and work in the same circles, the camaraderie and rivalries will surface as they all stand on the precipice of stardom, hustling to arrive. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. Partnership between Oxygen and Esquire with companion series, Living with Funny. The series will air during the same period on each network so fans can follow both shows seamlessly. Brandon T. Jackson is the first comedian to commit to both shows. Additional cast will be announced at a later date. Going Deep with David Rees Network: Esquire Production Company(s): True Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Christine Connor, Glenda Hersh, Jo Honig, David Rees and Steven Weinstock Logline: Comedian, writer and entrepreneur David Rees reveals the not so obvious complexities of the most seemingly simple things we do in everyday life. Each episode delves into the science and the history behind everyday tasks, attempting to de-familiarize the ubiquitous so as to increase our appreciation and wonder. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they gave a series order of eight episodes during upfronts on March 30.

Somm Network: Esquire Production Company(s): Left/Right productions Executive Producer(s): Banks Tarver and Ken Druckerman Logline: Master Sommelier is more than just a title; it’s a badge of honor, and to earn it you need to be a wine expert in mind, body, and spirit – an achievement measured by passing one of the world’s most difficult exams. If you can pass it, you’ll be let into a club with just over 200 members worldwide and granted access to the most desirable jobs in the entire food and wine industry. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

The Agent Network: Esquire Production Company(s): Herzog & Co. Executive Producer(s): Mark Herzog, Christopher G Cowen, Vince DiPersio, Josh Mamann Logline: The show chronicles the journey of four sports agents leading up to the 2015 NFL draft. From contract negotiations, endorsement deals, recruiting, private clubs and training to meetings with scouts and veteran players in the NFL, the series shows behind-the-scenes business dealings as the agents try to secure that top pick. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they gave a series order of 10 episodes, during upfronts on March 24.Ordered to series.

United States of Burgers Network: Esquire Production Company(s): Coolfire Studios Executive Producer(s): Jeff Keane, David Johnson and Steve Luebbert Logline: A new generation is looking to take burgers to a whole new level, and that means a bigger, better, more adventurous experience that dares the taste buds. In this 6-part competition series, ingenuity is on full display as backyard BBQ kings and up-and-coming culinary hopefuls have a shot to showcase their perfected version of one of the nation’s greatest obsessions: the burger. SSN Insight: Esquire announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.


Living with Funny Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): L. Plummer Media Executive Producer(s): Lemuel Plummer Logline: This companion docu-series to Comedians of L.A. showcases the personal lives behind the curtain of rising comedians in Hollywood and the women in their lives.  Cameras will follow the howling tale of what happens when they drop the mic and come home to their family, friends and significant others. Because when you are a comedian, the jokes don’t stop just because the show does. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. Brandon T. Jackson is the first comedian to commit to both series.  Additional cast will be announced at later date. Crazy Talk Network: Oxygen Studio: NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution Executive Producer(s): Paul Faulhaber Logline: Hosted by Tanisha Thomas and Ben Aaron, the fast-paced, laugh-out-loud first-run comedic syndicated daily program raises an eyebrow on the most outlandish and sometimes bizarre moments on reality television. This half-hour series filled with raw and hilarious banter also invites reality stars to rehash their “15 minutes of fame” and provide insight behind their most-watched clips. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. Tanisha Thomas was previously on Bad Girls Club and Ben Aaron was previously on WNBC’s New York Live. Series will tape in front of a live studio audience.

Pretty. Strong. Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Relativity Television and Ellen Rakieten Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Tom Forman, Brad Bishop and Ellen Rakieten Logline: It is football like you have never seen it before as fierce, young women engage in one of the roughest, yet fastest growing sports in the country — the Legends Football League. This is full contact, hard tackle football with two-time reigning champions the Chicago Bliss going for the coveted three-peat. These athletes are juggling careers as dentists, lawyers, and receptionists, but come game time, they are on a girl power-fueled mission to inspire, blaze trails and define the odds. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. The Hustle Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): NCredible Entertainment, Evolution Media Executive Producer(s): Nick Cannon, Michael Goldma, Douglas Ross, Alex Baskin and Greg Stewart Logline: Being a boss is tough, but being an assistant is impossible. This coming-of-age series follows the dynamic and hard-working assistants to successful entrepreneurs and entertainers. These assistants are exposed to a life of privilege at work, traveling on private jets and attending lavish red carpet events, however, at the end of the day, they struggle just to pay rent and find time for their own personal lives. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Player Gets Played Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): DiGA Executive Producer(s): Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley and Cheryl HornerSirulnick Logline: In each episode, one woman with a lurking suspicion will uncover a heartbreaking truth with the help of social media and friends when it’s revealed she is not the only woman in her boyfriend’s life. These young women are given the ultimate opportunity to change the game without letting him in on the plan. The newly empowered women will join together and plot a surprising confrontation to give the player a taste of his own medicine. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Douglas Family Gold Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): WV Enterprises, Lionsgate TV and Televisa USA Executive Producer(s): Wilmer Valderrama, Jessica Acevedo, Natalie Hawkins and Gabrielle Douglas Logline: Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas stunned the world in 2012 by becoming the first African American in history to win the individual all-around gold medal at the Summer Olympics.  Behind her meteoric rise was a supportive family willing to sacrifice everything for years to help her dream. The bi-coastal Douglas family shuttles between California and Ohio to support Gabby’s training regimen while also juggling their own lives.  Her brother John is the family’s second Olympic hopeful in track and field, while devoted sisters Arie and Joy are eager to blaze their own paths. “Momager” Natalie keeps this tight-knit family in-check. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Boss Nails Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Jarrett Creative, Rock Shrimp Productions Executive Producer(s): Julie Jarrett, Seth Jarrett, Carmen Mitcho, Bobby Flay and Kim Martin Logline: Welcome to Tippie Toes Nail & Beauty Salon where Miami’s fashionistas come for one-of-a-kind pop-culture nail designs. This series centers on 26-year-old burgeoning business owner Dana Cody, known for her signature crystal embellished manicures that cost upwards of $10,000, as she juggles managing her boisterous staff, expanding her salon empire, and living up to the legacy her late mother left behind. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

Preachers of Atlanta Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): L. Plummer Media, Relevé Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Lemuel Plummer, Holly Carter, Chris Costine and Mark Scheibalserving Logline: Atlanta is not only the home to fast cars, sprawling mansions and the southern elite, but a new generation of up-and-coming preachers who are superstars of the pulpit. Series will document the lives of the city’s young elite mega-pastors as they focus on the daily struggles and triumphs as husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and friends, while also maintaining their duties as men. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30. Time To Quit Your Day Job (working title) Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company Executive Producer(s): Phillip D. Segal, Jeff Conroy and Kevin Williams Logline: Aspiring millennials will have the unique opportunity to pitch themselves and their innovative ideas to Randi Zuckerberg, Ido Leffler, Sarah Prevette and Lauren Maillian, who will also serve as mentors to the young professionals. These hopefuls will have to win the confidence of these four investors and prove they have what it takes to turn their concept into a viable business. SSN Insight: Oxygen announced they ordered the series during upfronts on March 30.

A Tough-Love Guide to Internships in the Entertainment Industry


Dina Gachman press photo

--The following is excerpted from the new book Brokenomics: 50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime, by Dina Gachman, out April 1 from Seal Press.--

Dina Gachman press photoBeware: you are about to enter one of those “I used to walk fifty miles in the snow to school” rants, but when it’s all over, you’ll emerge with a renewed faith in humanity and a fierce drive to succeed. You’ll be a better person. Either that or you’ll still be exactly the same as you are right this second, which is fine too.

Let’s begin.

Back in my day (stay with me here), unpaid internships were a given. In the entertainment industry, which is the ridiculous, wonderful, idiotic industry that I chose, everyone took on unpaid internships. It was a way to get your foot in the door, build a résumé, and network during college so you could hopefully get a paying job after graduating. We never confused “internship” with “job.” That’s both a good and a bad thing.

People should get paid for their work. If a company is having you come in forty hours a week and they’re paying you nothing—you need to leave. In an ideal world, all internships would be paid, but the world is shifty and unfair, so many internships pay in experience and free coffee. If a giant corporation can afford to pay interns a little something, they should. Smaller companies often can’t do that, but they need the help, and to compensate for your work they can—and should—take time to mentor you and make it worthwhile for you to photocopy their papers and answer their calls for free. Maybe it’s bad that we suffered through our two- or three-day-a-week internships without suing or protesting and asking for pay. Maybe we were wimps. I don’t think so though.

I’ve been on both sides of the internship divide. I’ve been the lowly intern (many times), and I’ve been the person who hired the interns. The latter position is much better, obviously, but I didn’t get there by leaping straight from college into a fancy job where I could boss people around and make myself feel superior by tormenting them. I didn’t torment people because I knew what it was like to be an intern, and because I’m not a tyrant. I should probably be a tiny bit more tyrannical, but when you’re raised by a Southern mother who constantly warns, “Don’t be a Hateful Hannah!” during your formative years, it’s not so easy to channel your inner Nero.

I tried reading Sun Tzu’s The Art of War when I was angling for a promotion at the job that eventually laid me off, but I got through three chapters and realized I didn’t want to become a cold-hearted, calculating, ancient Chinese military general in order to get ahead. I did get a raise and a promotion, but then I got laid-off, so maybe I should have finished the book.

Just because you think you deserve something does not mean you deserve it. You deserve things when you work your ass off.

austin film festival script storage room logThat was the job that put me in charge of hiring the interns, which was an eye-opening experience. Some of the interns were hardworking and conscientious, and others were perpetually late, flakey, and calculating—maybe the calculating ones had read Sun Tzu. The wiliest intern I dealt with was not named Bane, but that’s the name I’m giving him and you’ll soon see why. Bane had a great résumé and an upbeat attitude, and he knew a lot about comic books, which, this being Hollywood 2009, was reason enough to bring him on. The first few weeks were great, but then he turned— and his dark, duplicitous nature emerged.

“Can you make two copies of this script for me?” I asked Bane one day. This was a totally reasonable request. He’d copied scripts before, I’d copied scripts before—interns copied scripts. Bane folded his arms across his chest, which was covered by a faded X-Men T-shirt. He’d quickly gone from dressing like he cared to dressing like a guy who wore faded comic book T-shirts to his internship.

“It’s not my job to copy scripts,” Bane shot back. If I had finished reading The Art of War, I probably would have beheaded him or at least publicly shamed him in some barbaric way, but instead I stared at him, thinking of a response. And then, like a bolt of lightning, one came to me.

“Yeah, it is,” I said. Bane took the script, pouted all the way to the Xerox machine, and made the copies. A few days later, I was sitting in the conference room with Bane and two other interns, because I was trying to be some sort of mentor and make the unpaid internship worth their while by answering questions and listening to ideas during lunch. “I’m never going to be someone’s assistant,” Bane declared. And then, for a brief second, it sounded like he was speaking through a cage-like, venomous mouthpiece when he said, “I want to run shit.”

Brokenomics_printWe’d all like to “run shit” and not have to obey a boss, but unless you’re staging a coup or you have millions of dollars and can just start a company and call yourself the CEO, you have to pay your dues and work your way up. Bane obviously had other plans.

“So, what do you want to do?” I asked.

“I told you. I want to run shit.” This could possibly have been admirable if Bane had sat up straight and followed his statement with something like, “And I’m prepared to work hard and learn and put in the time to get there.” He didn’t though. He pouted, slouched in the chair, and ate a curly fry. Even though he knew a lot about comic books, Bane didn’t last much longer as an intern. His attitude got worse, he’d show up late, and he definitely didn’t act like a guy who was on his way to running anything, unless it was a bitching session at a Whiny Entitled Babies Anonymous meeting.

Bane assumed a lot—he assumed the world owed him, he assumed he deserved to run shit, and he assumed he wouldn’t get fired from an unpaid internship. Just because you think you deserve something does not mean you deserve it. You deserve things when you work your ass off. At least, that’s my philosophy.

If internships are a necessary stepping-stone in your chosen career, think of them as just that: a stepping-stone. I wish for you only paid internships, fabulous career advances, and the ability to run shit without experiencing too much humiliation along the way. If it’s not all smooth sailing and you find an unpaid internship that will actually be good for your career and that’s worth doing, then do it well, suck it up, read The Art of War if you have to—but please, whatever you do, don’t be a Bane.

---Have questions? You can meet author Dina Gachman at two book signings next week, one on Saturday, April 4 at Book Soup and the other on Wednesday April 8 at The Last Bookstore.

Excerpted from Brokenomics: 50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime, by Dina Gachman. With permission from Seal Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2015.

Exclusive ‘Brokenomics’ Book Excerpt, ‘Luke Cage’ Gets a Show Runner, ‘New Girl’ and ‘The Americans’ Renewed, TV Development For 3/31/15




Why It’s Always Best To Actually Finish ‘The Art Of War’, How Interns Can Be Like Batman Villains, and Other Important Lessons From the Front

SSN Insider Senior Staff Writer Dina Gachman has written her first book, the very informative — and hilariously funny — Brokenomics: 50 Ways To Live the Dream On a Dime. Aside from the above lessons, there are plenty more, and they are all well worth your time. Do yourself a favor and check out this exclusive excerpt. (SSN)

TV Development For 3/31/15: All the NBCUniversal Upfront News, Plus Ben Stiller’s New Series, and More

Among the numerous bits and pieces this week is ABC Family’s Mortal Instruments adaptation, Shadowhunters, the revival of Craig T. Nelson’s Coach, and a veritable ton of stuff from the Bravo, Esquire and Oxygen networks. For the full skinny, click the provided link. (SSN)


Marvel Names itself a Show Runner For Its Upcoming ‘Luke Cage’ Show

Ray Donovan executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker has been hired as executive producer of the upcoming series on Netflix. Coker will reportly also write the first two episodes of the series, which will reportedly premiere sometime in 2016. Mike Colter has been cast in the title role, and will first appear in AKA Jessica Jones, which will debut on the online streaming service later this year. (NSA)

Good News, ‘New Girl’ Fans! The Fox Sitcom Just Earned a Fifth Season Renewal, Meanwhile …

The shooting schedule for the new season is more than a little wonky, as they have already begun shooting it to take into account star Zooey Deschanel’s pregnancy, which will not be written into the show. Star Trek star John Cho will guest star on the new season, while Damon Wayans Jr. will exit the show at the end of the current season. (CB)

FX Has Also Given a Fourth Season To ‘The Americans’

Cable network has renewed the Keri Russell-Matthew Rhys Cold War drama for a 13-episode fourth season, to premiere in 2016. Four episodes remain in The Americans‘ third season (the finale airs April 22). (TVL)

Warner Bros. Lands Hugh Jackman For Its Faith-Based ‘Apostle Paul’

The project is being developed at the studio for The Wolverine star to play the role of the Jewish man of God (also known as Saul of Tarsus) who crossed over to speak to the Romans and preach the word. Jackman would produce, along with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck under their Pearl Street banner. A screenplay is currently being penned by Matt Cook. Also producing are Jennifer Todd and Chris Clarke, who helped initiate the project. (DH)

While Edgar Wright Finds the Star Of His Next Film, ‘Baby Driver’, and His Name Is …

Ansel Elgort has closed a deal to play the lead in the film, which follows a talented, young getaway driver who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. After being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. Wright will write and direct the film. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Mad Max — Fury Road’

The latest trailer for the upcoming George Miller action thriller is easily the wackiest, and promises plenty of action upon the film’s release, May 15th. Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Megan Gale, Hugh Keays-Byrne and Josh Helman all feature in the madness. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ’Spy’

Melissa McCarthy’s action comedy, also starring Jason Statham, Jude Law, Allison Janney Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale, shows up with another new trailer, as well. Paul Feig wrote and directed the film, which hits theaters June 5th. (CS)

Trailer Buzz, Part 3: ‘Masterminds’

The new comedy from Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess stars Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis is based on a real $17 million dollar heist and opens in theaters August 7th. (IW)

UTA-CAA Fallout, STX Finalizes China Deal, Lionsgate Launches Next-Gen Distribution Unit, Gunn Sets Horror Project In Motion


uta logo

A Potential Legal War Looms Between UTA and CAA Over the Five Agents Who Just Defected From Creative Artists

With the five high-ranking agents leaving CAA for United Talent Agency, the former planning to pursue legal action against UTA and the defecting agents. Employee agreements were said to be in place for Jason Heyman, Martin Lesak, Greg McKnight, Greg Cavic and Nick Nuciforo, the agents set to join UTA as partners. CAA execs are said to be furious, as a number of actors are now in play, and people like Chris Pratt and Will Ferrell have already shifted to UTA. (VAR)

It’s Official: STX Entertainment Finalizes Its Deal With China’s Huayi Brothers

Directors of the leading Chinese film and television company formally approved an 18-film co-financing and distribution agreement with Bob Simonds' new production entity. The deal marks one of the first major investments by a Chinese company in a Hollywood studio film slate and became effective after it received Huayi Brothers' shareholder approval at a meeting in Beijing earlier today. (THR)

Lionsgate Introduces Distribution Unit To Target Next-Gen Audiences

Lionsgate Premiere will handle up to 15 releases a year, targeting young audiences at theaters and digital outlets, the studio said this morning. The new label, part of the company’s diversification effort, will incorporate Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment titles and then specialize in “innovative multiplatform and other release strategies” to reach “affinity audiences with branded content and targeted marketing.”  (DH)

James Gunn Might Be Busy With ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’, but One Of His Scripts Is Moving Forward With MGM

Greg McLean has been hired to direct The Belco Experiment, which Gunn will also produce, along with Peter Safran. The story revolves around the American Belco company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day, and its employees are ordered to kill each other or be killed themselves. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belco employee. (SF)

Netflix Already Wants To See More Of the Rayburn Clan, Orders a Second Season of ‘Bloodline’

The show, which released its entire 13-episode first season on March 20, stars Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) as a Florida detective whose seedy family secrets come to light when his black sheep brother returns home. No specifics on when Season Two will air, but the thought is that will happen in 2016. (TVL)

This ‘Suicide Squad’ Movie Just Gets Filled More and More Chockablock With Villains

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has joined the cast as Killer Croc, a major Batman villain from the comic books. Additionally, newcomer Karen Fukuhara has come on board the film in an unknown capacity. David Ayer is directing the film, which also stars Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Caraa Delvigne, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman and others, and is about to go into production for an August 5th, 2016 release. (CBR)

Showtime Tells Some Truth, Gives ‘House Of Lies’ a Fifth Season

Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell star in the series, which was just give a new, 10-episode order to air in 2016. Shield has been nominated for three Emmys and as won a Golden Globe for his performance on the show, which also stars Ben Schwartz, Josh Lawson, Donis Leonard Jr. and Emmy winner Glynn Turman. (CS)

As We Get Ever, Depressingly Closer To His Retirement, Some Stories From Behind the Scenes Of David Letterman’s Groundbreaking Show

Before the legendary Letterman ends his incredible run on May 20, longtime Late Show writer Tom Ruprecht shares a few funny stories from behind the scenes of the groundbreaking show, including some fascinating (but unsurprising) information about Willie Nelson’s tour bus. (VUL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The D Train’

The first look at the Sundance dark comedy starring Jack Black and James Marsden. Screenwriters Andrew Mogel and Jarred Paul make their directorial debut with the movie, which hits theaters a week from Friday, April 10th. (CB)

Screenwriters: ‘A Christmas Story’

The 119-page shooting draft, by Jean Shepherd, Bob Clark and Leigh Brown, based on original material by Jean Shepherd. The script is dated December 7th, 1982. (DS)

Rep Moves 4/1/15: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell & Ed Helms Move From CAA to UTA in Shakeup, Kristen Schaal to PMK•BNC


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Chris Pratt, 2014. ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Courtesy Everett

UTA: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, and Ed Helms have all followed their reps, Jason Heyman and Martin Lesak, and made the switch from CAA to UTA in the shakeup.

WME: Trey Edward Shults, whose film Krisha won the Special Jury and Audience awards for feature film at SXSW in March, has signed with WME. The film, adapted from the short, follows an alcoholic woman struggling to reconnect with her family after years of separation.

UTA: Kanye West parted ways with CAA and longtime rep Cara Lewis to sign with UTA for full representation across his varied business interests. West's digital business and music will be handled by a cross-departmental team of agents at UTA.

UTA: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon staff writer Mike Drucker has signed with UTA. Drucker was nominated for an Emmy last year alongside the rest of The Tonight Show’s writing team, and has been with Fallon since Late Night.

42West: Star Wars: Episode VII star Daisy Ridley has signed with 42West. The Brit actress landed one of Hollywood’s most coveted roles, and she’ll be playing the female lead named Rey, who may or may not be Han and Leia’s daughter. PMK•BNC: The Last Man on Earth’s Kristen Schaal has signed with PMK•BNC. The actress and comedian plays Will Forte’s new wife on the Fox series, and voices Louise Belcher on the network’s Bob’s Burgers. She also played NBC page Hazel Wassername on 30 Rock and mega fan Mel on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords.

WME: Mark Strong has signed with WME. The actor was previously was with CAA. Strong is known for playing villains, in Jaguar’s 2014 Super Bowl campaign, and movies like Sherlock Holmes. He most recently played the Q to Colin Firth’s Bond-like spy in Kingsman: The Secret Service, and he was the MI6 head Stewart Menzies in The Imitation Game. His next film is Sony’s comedy Grimsby.