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The Accidental Turitz On Some Big Movie News, More CAA Agents Defect To UTA, Charlier Collier’s New Title, Rep Moves For 4/1/15




The Accidental Turitz: Why Big Superhero Movie News Might Force Us To Rethink the Whole Movie Biz

The latest edition of SSN Senior Editor Neil Turitz’s eponymous column drops some pretty enormous news, in spite of potential consequences, and then takes a look at how it could affect the entire industry. It’s worth your while to click on the link and find out for yourself. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 4/1/15: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Ed Helms Move From CAA To UTA In Shakeup, Kristen Schaal to PMK-BNC

Following some of the biggest news to hit the industry in a while, with a host of CAA agents taking off to UTA amidst threats of lawsuits and other legal activity, a lot of talent is now in play and the above three are just the first in what will probably be a bunch of people who will be switching agencies in the days and weeks to come. Click the link for the more. (SSN)


Two More Agents Have Defected To UTA From CAA’s Comedy Department

Mackenzie Condon and Chelsea McKinnies are the latest in a string of high-profile agents to leave CAA’s comedy department this week. Both Condon and McKinnies were rumored to be leaving and UTA confirmed the news Wednesday, bringing the total number of agents who have left CAA for UTA up to 10. More agents are expected to leave CAA for UTA and all clients are expected to follow. (VAR)

AMC Chief Charlie Collier Just Added Another Job To His Title and Got a Wee Bit Busier

Collier has been named President & General Manager of SundanceTV, to go along with role as President and General Manager of AMC. He will serve in a dual role overseeing both networks, and will continue to report to Ed Carroll, Chief Operating Officer of AMC Networks. Collier’s senior executive team at AMC also is expected to work across both networks, reporting to him. (DH)

Kevin James Is Preparing Us All For His Return To TV, Signs a Deal With Sony Pictures Television

The King of Queens alum has inked a two-year first-look deal with the studio behind the CBS comedy, the studio announced Wednesday. Additionally, the comedian currently starring in the sequel to Paul Blart: Mall Cop has renewed his first-look deal with studio Columbia Pictures that keeps him in the fold through 2017. The SPT deal calls for James and his Hey Eddie Productions banner to produce television series, including a sitcom in which he would star. (THR)

In What Might Be a Perfect Match Of Actor To Material, Mark Wahlberg Circles Boston Marathon Bombing Drama

CBS Films is fast tracking Patriot’s Day, which is also about the manhunt for the terrorists. The almost-completed script, written by Matt Charman, is based on the firsthand account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. Mark Wahlberg, who is producing alongside Scott Stuber, Dylan Clark, Stephen Levinson, and Michael Radutzky, is looking to play Davis. (COL)

Clint Eastwood Is Staying In the Realm Of Real Life, Might Direct the Richard Jewell Biopic

The legendary director could be following up American Sniper with The Ballad of Richard Jewell, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill‘s movie about the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing. Billy Ray wrote the script based on a 1997 Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner. One major hurdle, of course, is that it’s a Fox film, and Eastwood works pretty exclusively with Warner Bros. (SF)

For Those Who Are Preparing To Watch the New Season Of ‘Game Of Thrones’, a Short Refresher

With all the blood, death and dragons last season, it's probably hard for even George R.R. Martin to keep track of what's going on in the hit HBO show. Now, the Fine Bros. recap everything that happened in Season Four. Impressively, the bros manage to cover every major plot point of Season 4 in one take and all under eight minutes. (HP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Straight Outta Compton’

The new global trailer for this summer’s highly anticipated biopic of the legendary rap group, N.W.A. Neil Brown Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, O'Shea ‘son of Ice Cube’ Jackson Jr., Aldis Hodge, Keith Stanfield, R. Marcus Taylor, Rogelio Douglas Jr., and Paul Giamatti star, F. Gary Gray directs the flick, which hits theaters August 14th. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘The 33’

This fall marks five years since the Chilean mining accident, when for more than two months the world followed the story of the 33 men trapped deep below ground. Now we have the first trailer for the dramatic film adaptation. Patricia Riggen directs and Antonio Banderas stars. No American release date yet for the film. (FSR)

CAA Plots Next Move, Ferrell and Wiig Star in Secret Lifetime Movie, Dwayne Johnson To Sing In ‘Moana’, Amazon’s Next Big Adaptation


'Pain and Gain' - Film Set

CAA Plots Its Next Move In the Wake Of the UTA Defections

Creative Artists Agency appears in damage-control mode and is putting on a good face that it’s business as usual. But apparently the managing partners held a meeting yesterday morning to address employees’ concerns about the state of the agency and discuss how to proceed. The meeting was characterized as a major pep rally to keep spirits high, with no one dwelling on any anxiety or worry in the marble hallways of the Century City agency. (VAR)

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig In a Top Secret Lifetime Network Movie? Believe It

Amazingly, the pair has teamed for a top-secret Lifetime movie called A Deadly Adoption. Set for a likely early summer debut, they star in the dramatic thriller as a successful couple who house and care for a pregnant woman with the hopes of adopting her unborn child — when things quickly go awry. The movie is described as campy and fun, a contemporary wink at the genre that comes as Lifetime is poised to mark the 25th anniversary of its TV movie business. (TLF)

Dwayne Johnson Is Getting His Cartoon On, Joins Disney’s ‘Moana’ as Lead Voice

The actor formerly known as The Rock will also sing in the animated comedy-adventure, which revolves around a spirited teenager and born navigator who teams up with the legendary demi-god Maui and sets out to fulfill her ancestors’ quest. Directed by The Little Mermaid helmers Ron Clements and John Musker, the film opens November 23th, 2016. (COL)

Amazon May Have Just Found Its Next Big Drama, Will Develop ‘Boy In the Suitcase’ Mystery Series

The studio that has brought you Bosch, based on the series of detective novels by Michael Connelly, has snagged the rights to the Scandinavian series The Boy in the Suitcase, by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, published by SoHo Crime. Kirsten Sheridan (In America) will write script for the project, executive produced by Joshua Maurer & Alixandre Witlin through their company City Entertainment. (DH)

Deborah Gregory's YA Novel Series 'Catwalk' Will Be Adapted as a TV Series by Producer Jesse Collins

No network is attached yet, although Collins recently inked a first-look deal with BET, so one might assume that the series may find a home there. Story follows four best friends at Manhattan’s Fashion International High School, who are about to enter the contest of their lives. Each year, students split up into Fashion Houses and compete to design, produce, and show fully original fashion lines. The winner gets a scholarship, a professional show, and a real shot at a career in fashion. (SAA)

Zac Efron and Adam Devine Get Some Feminine Company For Their ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’ RomCom

Anna Kendrick has signed on to play “a wild child with a romantic heart” in the raunchy comedy that follows two brothers (Efron will play Mike with DeVine starring as Dave) who place an online ad to find dates for a wedding, only to have the ad go viral. TV director Jake Szymanski has been tapped to helm the comedy from a script by Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. (CS)

Suddenly, and Rather Alarmingly, ‘Mallrats 2’ Is One Of Hollywood’s Most Discussed Sequels, Adds Three More To Cast

Writer-director Kevin Smith announced that Renée Humphrey, Joey Lauren Adams and Sven-Ole Thorsen are the latest trio to return from the original film, which was released in 1995. They join the already announced Smith, Jason Mewes, Michael Rooker, Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Ethan Suplee, and Jason Lee. No word on whether or not Ben Affleck and Claire Forlani will also return. Smith has said he expects to shoot the film in 2016. (CB)

Has It Really Been 20 Years? An Oral History Of ‘Tommy Boy’, Chris Farley’s Best Movie

The small but treasured comedy classic is easy to watch; just enough belly laughs and quotable moments to drive you to a second, third or fourth viewing; just enough heart that it’ll grow on you just a bit more each time. If Orson Welles ever made a movie where a guy attempts cow tipping, slips and falls in mud and then you realize, hohohoho there’s probably poop in that mud, that movie would be Tommy Boy. (FSR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Connection’

The first look at director Cédric Jimenez's stylish throwback to the gritty crime dramas of the ‘70s. The film stars Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin, and will hit select theaters on May 15th. (IW)

Screenwriters: Showrunner Advice — How To Get an Agent and a Job Writing For Television

Every working writer has their unique story about how they broke into the film and television industry. Russel Friend, Executive Producer/Writer of House, Executive Producer/Writer of Glee, Executive Producer/Writer of Battle Creek, shares his. (SS)

Film Development for 4/2/15: Hugh Jackman to be ‘Apostle Paul’, Warner Bros. Snags ‘Sunday’ Viral Short, Bill Hader in for Spielberg’s ‘BFG’


at the press conference for PRISONERS Photo Call at the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF BELL Lightbox, Toronto, ON September 7, 2013. Photo By: Nicole Springer/Everett Collection


Animal Crackers Logline: An animated film about a family inherits a neglected circus and a magical box of Animal Crackers that turns whoever eats them into an animal. Studio: Blue Dream Studios Production Company(s): Blue Dream Studios Producer(s): Scott Christian Sava, George Lee, Marcus Englefield, Jamie Thomason, Leiming Guan Cast (Voice): Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Danny DeVito, Sylvester Stallone, Ian McKellen Writer(s): Scott Christian Sava, Dean Lorey SSN Insight: Blunt and Krasinski will play Zoe and Owen Huntington, the lead husband and wife of the film. Kaley Cuoco was originally attached to provide the voiceover of the wife but departed due to scheduling conflicts.

Barbershop 3 Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), New Line Cinema Production Company(s): State Street Pictures, CubeVision Producer(s): Robert Teitel, George Tillman Jr., Ice Cube Cast: Ice Cube, Cedric The Entertainer, Queen Latifah, Nicki Minaj Writer(s): Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver Director(s): Malcolm D. Lee Notes: Sequel to "Barbershop 2: Back in Business" (2004) directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan. 2nd Sequel to "Barbershop" (2002) directed by Tim Story. SSN Insight: Matt Alvarez was previously attached to produce. MGM will handle production and New Line has come onboard to handle distribution. The first two installments were distributed by MGM. The first film grossed $75 million domestic in 2002 and the 2004 sequel grossed $65 million domestic.

Eddie the Eagle Logline: After Eddie Edwards failed to qualify for the 1984 Olympics as a downhill skier, mentor Chuck Berghorn helped him overcome several obstacles and qualify for the 1988 games as a ski jumper. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): Saville Productions, MARV Films Producer(s): Matthew Vaughn, Adam Bohling, David Reid, Rupert Maconick, Valerie Van Galder Cast: Hugh Jackman, Taron Egerton, Timothy Spall, Christopher Walken Writer(s): Sean Macaulay Director(s): Dexter Fletcher SSN Insight: Rupert Grint was previously attached to star. Stephen Coogan previously attached to star. Declan Lowney was previously attached to direct.

Florence Foster Jenkins Logline: The true story of New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, who aspired to become an opera singer despite an assertive lack of talent, and her aristocratic British "husband" and manager who both championed her skills and sought to protect her from the hard truth about her abilities. Production Company(s): N1 European Film Productions and Co. KG, Qwerty Films Producer(s): Michael Kuhn, Tracey Seaward Cast: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson Writer(s): Nicholas Martin Director(s): Stephen Frears SSN Insight: In addition to his Big Bang Theory acting duties, Helberg most recently produced, wrote and co-directed We’ll Never Have Paris with his wife, Jocelyn Towne that starred opposite Melanie Lynskey and Zachary Quinto.

Gold Logline: Based on a true story, an enormous amount of gold is discovered in the jungles of Indonesia in 1993, leading to a scandal involving the mining corporation. Production Company(s): j.k. livin Productions, Hwy61 Films, Black Bear Pictures Producer(s): Michael Nozik, Teddy Schwarzman, Patrick Massett, John Zinman, Matthew McConaughey Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez Writer(s): Patrick Massett, John Zinman Director(s): Stephen Gaghan SSN Insight: Michael Mann previously attached to direct and produce. Spike Lee previously attached to direct. The Weinstein Company has acquired U.S. rights after an auction brokered by CAA, for the film which according to Deadline had a $15 million minimum guarantee and a P&A guarantee of $20 million+ for 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. The picture will be released under the TWC-Dimension label.

He Named Me Malala Logline: Malala Yousafza is the 15-year-old Pakistani education activist who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Her first visit to the U.S. is chronicled in this documentary. Production Company(s): Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation Producer(s): Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald Director(s): Davis Guggenheim SSN Insight: Fox Searchlight acquired worldwide rights minus France to the film. The release of the film will coincide with an international advocacy and fundraising campaign in partnership with the Malala Fund, Malala’s nonprofit organization working to empower adolescent girls globally through a quality secondary education.

Leatherface Logline: The origin story of Leatherface’s early years in the 1970s. Studio: Nu Image/Millennium Films Production Company(s): Main Line Pictures Producer(s): Carl Mazzocone, Christa Campbell, Lati Dana Grobman, Les Weldon Cast: Sam Strike, Stephen Dorff, James Bloor Writer(s): Seth Sherwood Director(s): Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo Notes: Reboot of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) directed by Toby Hooper and starring Marilyn Burns and Gunnar Hansen.

Metal Gear Solid Logline: The videogame’s storyline from which it is adapted follows Solid Snake, a soldier who infiltrates a nuclear weapons facility to neutralize the terrorist threat from FOXHOUND, a renegade special forces unit. Studio: Columbia Pictures Production Company(s): Arad Productions, Inc. Producer(s): Avi Arad, Ari Arad Writer(s): Jay Basu Director(s): Jordan Vogt-Roberts Notes: Based on the best-selling video game franchise "Metal Gear Solid" first published by Konami Digital Entertainment in 1998. SSN Insight: Previously in development at Michael De Luca Productions. Universal Pictures recently hired Basu to help relaunch its monster franchises. Basu also co-wrote Vertigo Films’ sequel Monsters: Dark Continent with writer-director Tom Green, which is currently in post.

Nine Lives Logline: After a terrible accident, a workaholic businessman finds himself trapped in the body of the family cat. Studio: EuropaCorp Cast: Kevin Spacey, Christopher Walken Writer(s): Daniel Antoniazzi, Ben Shiffrin, Gwyn Lurie Director(s): Barry Sonnenfeld SSN Insight: EuropaCorp is financing, producing and distributing the film.

Rings Logline: A group of high school students have to find someone to watch an evil videotape or else they'll all die. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company(s): Benderspink, Vertigo Entertainment, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, Macari/Edelstein Entertainment Producer(s): Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald Cast: Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Aimee Teegarden, Johnny Galecki Writer(s): Akiva Goldsman, David Loucka, Jacob Estes Director(s): F Javier Gutierrez Notes: Second sequel to "The Ring" (2002) directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts, and remake of short film "Rings" (2005) directed by Jonathan Liebesman. SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Dreamworks.

The BFG Logline: After orphaned Sofy is kidnapped by a BFG (Big Friendly Giant), the two find in each other the families they never had as they work together to stop some bad giants from eating the world’s children. Studio: DreamWorks Studios Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, Amblin Entertainment, Walden Media Producer(s): Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg, Samuel L. Mercer Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Bill Hader Writer(s): Melissa Mathison, Robin Swicord, Nicholas Kazan, Terry Jones, Gwyn Lurie Director(s): Steven Spielberg Notes: Project based on the children's book "The BFG" written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake and published in 1982. SSN Insight: Roald Dahl's story was previously adapted as an animated feature (UK/1991), directed by Brian Cosgrove. Project was previously set up at Paramount.

The Billionaire's Vinegar Logline: Based on the true story of the scandal surrounding an auctioned cache of wine bottles purported to have been owned by Thomas Jefferson. Studio: Columbia Pictures Production Company(s): Overbrook Entertainment, Escape Artists Producer(s): Todd Black, James Lassiter, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, Will Smith Cast: Matthew McConaughey Writer(s): Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, David Koepp, John Kamps Notes: Based on the book "The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine" written by Benjamin Wallace and published by Crown on May 13, 2008. SSN Insight: David Koepp was previously attached to direct. Brad Pitt was previously mentioned to star.

The Lake Logline: A group of Navy SEALS try to solve a long-forgotten mystery while they’re looking for treasure in a lake in war-torn Serbia. Production Company(s): EuropaCorp Producer(s): Luc Besson Cast: Sullivan Stapleton, J.K. Simmons, Charlie Bewley, Diarmaid Murtagh, Clemens Schick Writer(s): Richard Wenk, Luc Besson Director(s): Steven Quale SSN Insight: Schick will play the villain, Petrovich and will appear next in the Point Break remake. The film is slated for a July 15, 2016 release.

The Neon Demon Logline: An aspiring model finds herself in a terrifying predicament with her survival hanging in the balance. Production Company(s): Space Rocket Nation Producer(s): Lene Borglum Cast: Elle Fanning, Abbey Lee, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone, Desmond Harrington Writer(s): Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws Director(s): Nicolas Winding Refn SSN Insight: The feature recently began shooting in Los Angeles. Harrington recently joined the cast, previous credits include Dexter. Space Rocket Nation was launched in 2008 by Refn and Borglum after their production Valhalla Rising.

Untitled (BBC/StudioCanal Donald Crowhurst Yacht Race Project) Logline: True story of Donald Crowhurt who, despite being a novice, entered the most challenging nautical around-the-world boat race. Studio: StudioCanal Distribution Production Company(s): Galatee Films, BBC Films, Blue Print Pictures Producer(s): Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Scott Burns, Nicolas Mauvernay, Jacques Perrin Cast: Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz Writer(s): Scott Burns Director(s): James Marsh Notes: Based on documentary "Deep Water" (2006) directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell. SSN Insight: Alejandro González Iñárritu was previously attached to direct.

Untitled (New Regency/See Saw/Widows Adaptation Project) Logline: After their husbands are killed while pulling off a heist, four widows use their late spouses’ records to commit their own robbery. Studio: Regency Enterprises Production Company(s): See-Saw Films Producer(s): Steve McQueen, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman Writer(s): Gillian Flynn, Steve McQueen Director(s): Steve McQueen Notes: Based on the television series "Widows" (UK/1983) which was written by Lynda La Plante and aired on ITV from March 16, 1983 through May 8, 1985. SSN Insight: Film 4 will co-finance the film with New Regency and it will license free TV rights in the UK.

Untitled (Paramount/Transformers Sequel Project: Part One) Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company(s): Amblin Entertainment, Weed Road Pictures, Platinum Dunes, Hasbro, Inc., Di Bonaventura Pictures Producer(s): Michael Bay, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Steven Spielberg, Akiva Goldsman Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci SSN Insight: Michael Bay is said to be looking for a new director for the franchise. The producers are organizing a "writer's room" to develop story ideas for this two-part sequel as well as potential spinoff projects. Per Deadline, Goldsman’s role, “will be an oversight role to secure writers and hatch the movies they’ll script.”


Apostle Paul Logline: Follows the story of the Jewish man, Saul of Tarsus who was converted to Christianity while on the Road to Damascus when Christ came to him and he was blinded by a great, white light. He became the Apostle Paul and was credited with writing 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament. Studio: Warner Bros. Production Company(s): Pearl Street Producer(s): Hugh Jackman, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Todd, Chris Clarke Cast: Hugh Jackman Writer(s): Matt Cook SSN Insight: Jackman, Damon, Affleck and Cook are all repped by WME. The movie follows the trend of faith-based films as of late with Son of God, God’s Not Dead and Heaven is for Real.

American Drifter Logline: A man who's lost his father and the love of his life, travels the world with fate leading him to the Berlin Wall, the L.A. riots and 9/11. Studio: Relativity Media Production Company(s): Benderspink Producer(s): JC Spink, Chris Bender, Jake Weiner Writer(s): Eric Bress SSN Insight: Bress’ credits include The Butterfly Effect and Final Destination 2. Last month he sold his spec script, American Hostage to Bill Block at Merced Media.

Book of Henry Logline: Storyline is under wraps Studio: STX Production Company(s): Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Double Nickel Entertainment Producer(s): Carla Hacken, Jim Tauber, Sidney Kimmel, Jenette Kahn, Adam Richman Writer(s): Gregg Hurwitz Director(s): Colin Trevorrow SSN Insight: Based on an original screenplay by New York Times bestselling novelist Hurwitz whose past novels included Don’t Look Back, Tell No Lies, and Orphan X which he’s adapting for Warner Bros. The Leviathan Logline: In the 22nd century, humanity has colonized many worlds and travel is faster than the speed of light, due to the matter harvested from the eggs of the biggest species known. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): Genre Films Producer(s): Simon Kinberg Writer(s): Jim Uhls Director(s): Ruairi Robinson SSN Insight: Fox bought the spec script by screenwriter Jim Uhls which Robinson made a 3-1/2 minute proof of concept video for feature that became an online sensation when it debuted in mid-March, 2015, with 1.2 million plays on Vimeo and hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube in under a week.

MF Logline: Logline under wraps. Producer(s): Robert Schwartzman, Mel Eslyn Cast: Johnny Simmons, Amy Landecker, Frankie Shaw, Beverly D'Angelo Writer(s): Robert Schwartzman, Benjamin Font Director(s): Robert Schwartzman SSN Insight: Feature directorial debut for Robert Schwartzman who has lead the L.A. band Rooney for more than 15 years.

Patriot’s Day Logline: Based on the firsthand account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis of the Boston Marathon bombing and the citywide manhunt of the terrorists, with help from research done and footage shot by 60 Minutes. Studio: CBS Films Production Company(s): Bluegrass Films, Closest to the Hole Productions, Leverage Management Producer(s): Nicholas David Nesbitt, Scott Stuber, Dylan Clark, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Michael Radutzky Cast: Mark Wahlberg (in discussions) Writer(s): Matt Charman SSN Insight: This marks the first time CBS Films has worked on a project with its sibling division, 60 Minutes. Another film on the Boston Marathon bombing is also in development at Fox titled Boston Strong based on the book by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge.

Sundays Logline: Against the backdrop of a bleak, futuristic, urban landscape, a man questions the nature of identity and memory. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Director(s): Mischa Rozema Notes: Based on a short film "Sundays" (Netherlands/2015) directed by Mischa Rozema that was created as a teaser for a feature film. SSN Insight: Jairo Alvarado, Circle of Confusion, scouted commercial director Rozema who pitched Sundays as a feature. He gained representation from UTA and together they launched a Kickstarter to make the $51,000 budgeted short. After the short gained popularity, several studios were interested with Warner Bros. beating out the other studios.

Quitting Your Day Job To Write, Disney’s Live Action ‘Winnie the Pooh’, Cross & Odenkirk Land At Netflix, Film Development For 4/2/15


career change


How To Quit Your Day Job To Write: First Steps To Becoming a Full-Time Screenwriter

Web creator and former development exec Cary Tusan takes readers through his own odyssey of becoming a full-time writer, and offers several useful bits of advice, including things like giving yourself time to decompress and scheduling. Click the link to get the full story. (SSN)

Film Development For 4/2/15: Hugh Jackman To Be ‘Apostle Paul’, Bill Hader In For Spielberg’s ‘The BFD’, and More

Plenty of other action this week, as well, including Warner Bros. picking up the short film Sundays to make into a feature, more action for the third Barbershop movie, The Weinsteins picking up Matthew McConaughey’s Gold and a new writer for Metal Gear Solid, among a bevy of other news. (SSN)


And So, Disney’s List Of Live Action Remakes Lengthens, With the Announcement Of a Live Action ‘Winnie the Pooh’

Studio has tapped Listen Up Phillip writer-director Alex Ross to pen their latest live-action feature adaptation of an animated classic. Perry's version will focus on Christopher Robin as adult who comes back to A.A. Milne's bear and the Hundred Acre Wood. No director has been set yet. (TOH)

Netflix Continues Its March To World Domination By Getting Into Sketch Comedy, Picks Up New David Cross-Bob Odenkirk Show

The online streaming service has ordered original sketch-comedy show With Bob and David, reuniting the duo from HBO’s Mr. Show with Bob and David in the ’90s. Netflix picked up four half-hour episodes and one hour-long “making-of” special from Odenkirk and Cross. Premiere date has not been set. (VAR)

The Final California TV Tax Credits Lottery Has Selected 18 Projects, Is Yours One Of Them?

After over half a decade, the final lottery in the state’s $100 million Film and TC Tax Credit Program came to a quiet end uyesterday. Just $10 million was left on the table for independent TV projects this week. The other $90 million is already set to go to renewed television series that have received credits in the past. The CFC will release a list naming the projects that were selected under the last lottery on July 1, the same day the new program official kicks in. (DH)

It’s Been a Big Year For Patricia Arquette: an Oscar, a Hit TV Show, and Now She’s Writing a Memoir

Fresh off of her best supporting actress Oscar win for Boyhood, Arquette has signed on to write a memoir for Random House. The book will center on her unconventional family (siblings Rosanna, Alexis, Richmond and David Arquette are all performers), becoming a single mother at age 20 and her acting career. A title and publication date were not revealed.  (THR)

Ang Lee Adds More Star Power To His ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ Adaptation

Kristen Stewart is gearing up to work with the Oscar-winning director in the film, based on Ben Fountain’s bestselling novel. Newcomer Joe Alwyn is set in the lead, but the project will reunite Stewart with her On the Road co-star Garrett Hedlund. She’ll be playing the titular character’s older sister. Lee is working from a screenplay by Oscar-winning scribe Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), and he intends to shoot the film in HFR 3D with the Sony F65 camera. (COL)

Expect a Lot More Of Tom Hardy as Mad Max In Your Future. At Least Three More Times, In Fact

In a new interview with Esquire, the actor reveals he's contracted for three more Mad Max films — provided Fury Road gets both the box office and critical reception everyone is hoping. Director George Miller has already said that he has at least two other stories planned, one of which has already been written as a screenplay, the other as a novelization. Mad Max: Fury Road opens on May 15th. (TP)

Sony Pictures Classics Sees the Light, Picks Up Hank Williams Biopic, ‘I Saw the Light’

Tom Hiddleston stars as the legendary country musician, in a film written and directed by Marc Abraham. Film chronicles his meteoric rise to fame and its ultimately tragic effect on his health and personal life, and also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Bradley Whitford, David Krumholtz and Cherry Jones. No release date has yet been announced. (CS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Poltergeist’

The newest look at the rebooted horror franchise, starring Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt, and directed by Gil Kenan, the film hits theaters on May 22nd. (EMP)

De Luca Bolts Sony, CAA Files Suit Against UTA, Hasbro and Fox Teaming For ‘Play-Doh’ Film, Netflix Renews ‘HOC’, Wiig-Ferrell Lifetime Movie Canceled


Michael De Luca

Michael De Luca Is Returning To the Producing Game, Leaves His Sony Gig To Make Films For Universal

De Luca had been serving as president of production at Sony, and at Universal, he will oversee the remaining two installments in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. The financial rewards for his involvement could be upwards of $20 million, making that a difficult opportunity to pass up. De Luca is expected to shortly announce an overall production deal at Universal. (VAR)

War Has Been Declared: CAA Files Suit Against UTA and Two Agents For a “Lawless Midnight Raid”

Suit alleges "a desperate attempt to steal clients and employees" in response to the industry-shaking defection of 10 agents on Tuesday and Wednesday. In the suit filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, CAA alleges seven causes of action, including claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of the duty of loyalty against agents Gregory Cavic and Gregory McKnight, both of whom worked for CAA for a decade before abruptly jumping ship to UTA. (HESQ)

Hasbro and Fox Look at ‘LEGO Movie Numbers’, Team Up To Make a Live-Action Play-Doh Movie

Bridesmaids and The Heat director Paul Feig is in negotiations to direct the project, which will have a script by Jason Micallef. Hasbro, Chernin Entertainment and Feig’s Feigco shingle will produce. It’s the latest example of studios embracing branded products for tentpole entertainment, and Hasbro has about as much momentum in the branded film realm as anybody. (DH)

There Continues To Be More Francis Underwood In Our Future, as Netflix Renews ‘House Of Cards’ For a Fourth Season

The online streaming service announced via the show’s Twitter page that the show would be coming back in 2016. Netflix closely guards its viewership numbers, so there is no word on how the third season compared to that of the first two, but it was clearly good enough for the network to bring the show back for at least one more go around. (CB)

Did We Just Get Punk’d? Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig Cancel Their Lifetime Original Movie

A day after news broke that the duo was making the farcical “thriller” A Deadly Adoption for the TV network, Ferrell and Wiig walked away from it, lamenting in a statement, “We are deeply disappointed that our planned top secret project was made public.” Was it just an elaborate April Fool’s Joke? Or did the internet just show us all why we can’t have nice things? (TVL)

If You Noticed a Big Work Stoppage Yesterday, It Might Have Been Because George R.R. Martin Released a Chapter Of His New Book

The author of the A Song Of Ice and Fire series that spawned the HBO series Game Of Thrones  has released a chapter of his upcoming and long awaited novel, The Winds Of Winter on his personal website. The chapter focuses on Sansa Stark, aka Alayne, and is probably a must read for any fan of the books. (GRRM)

Are You Ready For a ‘Full House’ Reunion? Because Netflix Wants To Give It To You

It appears the series will be a multi-cam show starring Candace Cameron Bure as DJ Tanner and Andrea Barber as Kimmy Gibler. Original series stars John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier could make guest appearances, and Stamos may produce. Netflix is looking at a 13-episode series order. (HP)

Your Creative Calendar: The 73 Things To Do, See, and Read This April

Get ready to say goodbye to Mad Men, welcome back Toni Morrison, and get Furious again, as your Creative Calendar for April ushers in spring. Among the items on the list is the book Brokenomics: 50 Ways to Live the Dream on a Dime, by SSN’s own Senior Staff Writer Dina Gachman. (FCC)

First Look: ‘Michelle Darnell’

A first image has emerged from the new Melissa McCarthy comedy, which she co-wrote with her husband, Ben Falcone, and Steve Mallory. Falcone is directing the film, also starring Kristen Bell, and it hits theaters in 2016. (EW)

Screenwriters: ‘Napoleon’

The 154-page script by Stanley Kubrick, widely considered to be one of the greatest movies never made. The script is dated September 29th, 1969. (GD)

Exec Shuffle 4/3/15: The CAA-UTA Shakeup, De Luca Leaving Sony, Anne Sweeney to Netflix


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Company Launches

Former National Geographic Channels president Howard T. Owens is heading back to independent TV production by launching Propagate Content, a company that will create, develop, produce and distribute programming for cable, broadcast, and digital. Owens has brought in a partner, former A&E general manager David McKillop, who will serve as Propagate Content’s chief creative officer. Owens is CEO.

Comcast has launched a $41 billion investment and operating company, to be run by CFO Michael Angelakis, with plans to invest in, and help run, “growth oriented companies” in the U.S. and abroad. The cable and broadband company will put up $4 billion of its capita, and will be the sole outside investor for ten years.

Digital Domain Holdings and Immersive Media are teaming in a joint venture called IM360 to create hardware, software and actual shows for the world of virtual-reality entertainment - 3-D video that surrounds a viewer and gives a completely enveloping visual experience.


Michael De Luca is leaving his post as president of production at Sony’s Columbia Pictures to produce films for Universal Pictures with an overall producing deal. Details are still forthcoming, but De Luca is expected to reprise his role as producer on the next two installments of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Broad Green Pictures has hired Steve Nickerson as President of Home Entertainment to handle DVD, digital and TV sales. Nickerson brings on former Summit colleagues Sandy Friedman as EVP (Friedman was most recently a Cinedigm exec) and Bobby Gerber (previously at ARC Entertainment) as senior VP.

True Entertainment co-founders Steven Weinstock and Glenda Hersh have been named co-presidents and co-CEOs of that company along with Original Media. The NYC-based Endemol Shine North America subsidiary production companies will still operate as separate entities, retaining their development and production teams, as well as their own brands.

Sony Pictures has named John Restall EVP Domestic Marketing Research. A lawyer by training, he was SVP Client Consulting at Nielsen NRG, where he was the lead account representative for several studio clients. In his new role, he will oversee domestic theatrical market research efforts for the studio’s marketing department, helping to shape and manage the studio’s messaging.

Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment has brought on former Millennium Entertainment head of business affairs Craig Gates as VP Business & Legal Affairs, Worldwide Distribution. Gates had been a consultant for the past few months and has closed deals for the film and TV outfit, recently helping acquire international rights to the Ridley Scott-produced PBS television series Mercy Street and co-financing the feature Go With Me.


Four new executives have joined Sesame Workshop as part of CEO Jeffrey Dunn’s global strategic reorganization of the nonprofit that produces PBS’ Sesame Street. Dunn’s recruits include two execs from his previous home Nickelodeon, Steve Youngwood and Brown Johnson. Youngwood has been named chief operating officer, and Johnson joins as EVP and creative director. Shifting from EVP and chief marketing officer for the Workshop, Sherrie Westin is the new executive vice president of global impact and philanthropy. Joseph Salvo is coming on as EVP and general counsel.

Bad Robot confirmed that BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson will be leaving his position to join J.J. Abrams’ production company as head of the TV division. At BBC Drama since 2008, Stephenson ordered and oversaw more than 450 hours of drama a year, including Sherlock, Call The Midwife, Luther, Happy Valley, The Missing and Wolf Hall.

Nickelodeon has appointed Jennifer Dodge to the newly created position of SVP West Coast Development and Production for Nickelodeon Preschool. The move comes soon after the kids cable network began layoffs as part of broader reductions at parent Viacom.

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

John Sacks, Susie Fox and Joanna Scott joined Jason Heyman, Martin Lesak, Greg Cavic, Gregory McKnight and Nick Nuciforo, who resigned from CAA to go to UTA. Sacks and Fox represent writers and talent across film and television, and Scott works in the touring area.

Anne Sweeney said she wanted to become a director when she left her job as co-Chair of Disney Media Networks. Sweeney just became a different sort of director at Netflix, which is beefing up its output of original series and movies. With her addition, plus that of Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith, the Netflix board grows to nine members.

The Query Letter Hoax, WME Injects Itself Into CAA-UTA Brouhaha, ABC Rebooting ‘Muppet Show’, Exec Shuffle For 4/3/15




Screenwriters Guide: The Great Query Letter Hoax

Let’s say you plan to write a query letter to get a screenplay agent. Here’s my advice – don’t. Query letters can work for novels but not for screenplays. The notion that you can get a screenplay agent, find a producer, sell a screenplay, or launch your career with a query letter is a hoax. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 4/3/15: The CAA-UTA Shakeup, De Luca Leaving Sony, Anne Sweeney To Netflix

Plenty of company launches, comings and goings this week, as usual, but the big news is obviously the CAA-UTA kerfuffle, which has now turned into a legal issue. When Sony’s president of production leaves his post to return to full-time producing, and it’s not even close to the biggest news of the week, you know there’s a lot happening. (SSN)


Another Country Heard From: WME Decides To Inject Some Humor Into the CAA-UTA Mess

An old prank has resurfaced just in time for the newly-minted UTA vs. CAA agency war. Five of the veteran comedy agents who defected to UTA from CAA were delivered framed posters with the logo "CAAN'T" at UTA’s Beverly Hills offices yesterday. UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer also received the CAAN'T gift. Rival agency William Morris Endeavor and its co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell are said to be the culprits. This prank dates back to June, 2013. (THR)

The Reboot Train Has Hit ABC, Which Is Working With Bill Prady To Bring Back ‘The Muppet Show’

The Big Bang Theory co-creator will executive produce the new series, working with co-writer Bob Kushell, who will serve as show runner. The network shoot a pilot presentation for The Muppet Show reboot this month with the working title Muppets 2015, after which they’ll make a final decision about whether to order it to series. (COL)

George R.R. Martin Might Be Busy With His Books, but He’s also Developing His Own HBO Show

The Game Of Thrones author is working on Captain Cosmos with Z Nation writer Michael Cassutt. The description of the show explains, “At the dawn of the age of TV in 1949, a visionary young writer creates a science fiction series that tells stories no one else will dare to tell.” (UR)

Chris Hardwick Is Already On TV, but Now His Nerdist Podcast Might Be Joining Him

Syfy is developing a weekly half-hour series based on the popular podcast. Nerdist News would cover the latest trends and updates in the worlds of science fiction and fantasy media, tech, and science, and will aim to have “the same tone and feel” as the podcast. Hardwick would executive produce the show, but would not host it. (EW)

It’s Promotion Day At Paramount! The Big Winner Is Bob Buchi, the New Worldwide Home Media Distribution Head

Buchi previously was the studio’s executive VP of worldwide marketing. He will report to Megan Colligan, president of worldwide distribution and marketing. He takes over for Dennis Maguire, who exited last month amidst a broader Viacom restructuring. Buchi joined the studio in 2006. He was responsible for the strategic product marketing and management of franchises like Transformers, Star Trek, and Paranormal Activity franchises. (VAR)

A Week After It Made a Deal With Gene Simmons, WWE Studios Is Making Another One

The company has joined forces with British financing and production outfit Richter Films for a deal in which the companies will share funding and production on two upcoming action films. The partnership’s first film is the upcoming Eliminators, a Taken-riff about a former federal agent who, after his home is invaded and his daughter’s life imperiled, leaves witness protection and finds himself pursued across Europe by deadly assassins. (DH)

‘SNL” Fans Looking Forward To the Feature Documentary About the Show Will Be Able To See It On the Big Screen

The movie, which will open this month’s Tribeca Film Festival, will get a theatrical release on June 12th, with strong support from the Landmark Theater chain, including their flagship venues in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Tugg, the web platform that allows people to request screenings at their local theaters, will complement the nationwide U.S. theatrical release. (IW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Fantastic Four’

Twentieth Century Fox has released a new, International trailer for the upcoming superhero reboot, starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell, and directed by Josh Trank. It hits theaters August 7th. (CS)

‘Furious 7′ Breaks April BO Record, Netflix’s Visiting ‘Montauk’, Lord and Miller Sought For Two Franchises, Lynch May Be Off ‘Twin Peaks’ Reboot


furious 7

‘Furious 7’ Does the Expected, Breaks the April Opening Weekend Record With $143.6 Million

Previous record holder was last year’s Captain America: The Winter Solider, with just over $95 million, which is a 51 percent gain. DreamWorks Animation’s Home came in a distant second with $27.4 million, while Get Hard came in third with $12.93 million and Cinderella was fourth with $10.29 mil, giving it more than $167 million since it opened. Insurgent rounded out the top five, with an even $10 million. (BO)

Netflix Continues Its Development Spree, Picks Up Supernatural Drama ‘Montauk’

The online streaming service has ordered eight hour-long episodes of Montauk, which is set in 1980 Montauk, Long Island, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. The show is from Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer and exec-produced by Shawn Levy. (SF)

Phil Lord and Chris Miller Are Wanted To Direct Not One, But Two Different Major Franchises

Warner Bros. reportedly wants the duo behind The LEGO Movie and both 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street to helm its upcoming The Flash movie, while Sony still wants the pair to take on one of its Ghostbusters films. Ezra Miller has already been cast as The Flash in the Warner film, while the additional Ghostbusters film — the companion to Paul Feig’s all-female version — has not been cast. (CB)

David Lynch’s Involvement In Showtime’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Reboot Is Suddenly Precarious

The legendary director announced via Twitter over the weekend that he will not be taking part in the highly anticipated reboot of the cult classic because “not enough money was offered to do the script the way I felt it needed to be done.” The network, however, has responded that it is  still trying to negotiate and that it continues to “hold out hope that we can bring it back in all its glory with both of its extraordinary creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, at its helm.” (DH)

A Jake LaMotta Fight Ending In a Draw? When It’s a Legal Battle, It Appears So

After decades in court, the parties involved in the battle over the rights to Raging Bull have figured out a way to hang up their gloves. On Friday, a federal judge was informed that a settlement had been reached. Paula Petrella, whose father, Frank Petrella, wrote works that became the basis of the 1980 film about the real-life boxer, had sued MGM and 20th Century Fox for copyright infringement over the continued distribution of the motion picture. (THR)

For Comic Movie Fans Who Might Have Been Wondering, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ Starts Shooting Next February

Writer-director James Gunn announced that the sequel will start shooting in Atlanta at the Pinewood Studios in February of 2016, becoming the latest Marvel movie to shoot there, following on the footsteps of Ant-Man and this spring’s Captain America: Civil War(COL)

Your Favorite Show is Going to Be Canceled... And It's All Your Fault

With a little more than a month to go before the broadcast TV networks reveal their 2015-16 prime time schedules, the fate of a few dozen scripted series remains up in the air. Odds are, at least one of your very favorite shows won't live to see the fall, and without putting too fine a point on it, you -- yes, you -- are largely to blame. (AA)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Bessie’

The new trailer for the upcoming HBO movie about blues singer Bessie Smith, starring Queen Latifah. Also in the cast is Michael Kenneth Williams, Khandi Alexander, Mike Epps, Tory Kittles, Tika Sumpter, Oliver Platt, Bryan Greenberg, and Charles S. Dutton. Dee Rees directs the movie, which premieres May 16th. (TP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Amy’

The haunting first trailer from the upcoming documentary about the late singer Amy Winehouse. The documentary from A24 chronicles Winehouse’s life and career, and features unseen archival footage and unheard tracks. The film hits theaters in the U.K. in July on the anniversary of Winehouse’s death. A date for the U.S. release has yet to be set. (VAR)

Screenwriters: Balls of Steel — Which Screenwriting Experts Should You Believe?

Writing is like cooking: A top chef can instruct you on how to make their master dish, but what you create will never taste like theirs. Ever. And guess what? It shouldn’t. If it does taste exactly like theirs, then you failed. Copying is not creating. (SM)

On the Set for 4/6/15: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ &‘The Huntsman’ Start Shooting, Ryan Coogler Wraps ‘Rocky’ Sequel ‘Creed’


captain america civil war


Captain America: Civil War 4/4/2015 Logline: Tony Stark and Steve Rogers go head to head in battle over the Superhero Registration Act which governs that those with superhuman abilities must reveal themselves as such to the United States government and pledge to enforce law in conjuction with government agencies. Studio: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment Directors: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo Producer(s): Kevin Feige, Nate Moore Cast: Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Robert Downey Jr., Chadwick A Boseman, Daniel Brühl Writer(s): Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely Details: Based on the comic book character Captain America created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and first seen in "Captain America Comics #1" published by Marvel in March 1941 and the arc “Civil War”. The Marvel Comics character was previously adapted for the screen in "Captain America" (1990) and its sequel, "Captain America: First Avenger" (2011). SSN Insight: The Russo brothers are also on board to take over for Joss Whedon, who helmed The Avengers and the upcoming sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron and will direct Avengers: Infinity War. The two-part movie will be released in 2018 and 2019, and will be scripted by Captain America movie writers Markus and McFeely.

Katie Says Goodbye 3/31/2015 Logline: A teenage waitress prostitutes herself while chasing her dreams in San Francisco. Production Company(s): Relic Pictures, Parallell Cinema Director: Wayne Roberts Executive Producer(s): Sean Durkin, Antonio Campos, Josh Mond Producer(s): Eric Schultz, Jacob Wasserman, Kimberly Parker, Carlo Sirtori Cast: Olivia Cooke, Mireille Enos, Christopher Abbott, James Belushi, Mary Steenburgen Writer(s): Wayne Roberts SSN Insight: This marks Cooke’s first deal since her breakout performance in the Sundance hit, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Durkin also directed and wrote the indie hit Martha Marcy May Marlene

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 Great Wall 3/30/2015 Logline: The history of The Great Wall of China. Production Company(s): Legendary Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment, Legendary East Director: Zhang Yimou Executive Producer(s): Alex Gartner, Jillian Share, Max Brooks, E. Bennett Walsh Producer(s): Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Charles Roven, Alex Gartner, Richard Suckle Cast: Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, Eddie Peng Writer(s): Tony Gilroy, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz SSN Insight: Ed Zwick previously attached to direct. Henry Cavill and Benjamin Walker were previously attached to star. Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick were previously attached to produce.

The Huntsman 4/6/2015 Logline: Tells the story of how The Huntsman, Eric meets Ravenna before either meets Snow White. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Roth Films Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan Producer(s): Joe Roth, Palak Patel Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Nick Frost Writer(s): Evan Spiliotopoulos, Craig Mazin, Frank Darabont Details: Project is a spin-off on The Huntsman character from "Snow White and The Huntsman" (2012) directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth. SSN Insight: Rupert Sanders was previously mentioned to direct. Frank Darabont was previously attached to direct.


Ali & Nino 4/6/2015 Logline: The novel is set in WWI on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution and the beginnings of the Soviet Union. It’s the love story between Ali Khan Shirvanshir, the male descendant of a royal Muslim family and Nino Kipiani, a beautiful, Christian, Georgian princess. Production Company: Archery Pictures Director(s): Asif Kapadia Executive Producer(s): Leyla Aliyeva Producer(s): Kris Thykier, Diana Phillips Cast: Adam Bakri, Maria Valverde, Mandy Patinkin, Connie Nielsen, Riccardo Scamarcio Writer(s): Christopher Hampton Details: Based on the book “Ali & Nino” written by an author using the pseudonym Kurban Said and first published in German in 1937. The book was reissued in English by Overlook/Penguin in July 1996. SSN Insight: Alicia Vikander was previously attached to star. Kapadia previously directed Senna (2010), the highest grossing U.K. documentary of all time, for which he won a BAFTA award.

Creed 4/2/2015 Logline: This continuation of the “Rocky” franchise focuses on Adonis, the raised-in-privilege grandson of former heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed, whose family would prefer that he not follow in his grandfather’s footsteps, given the tragic end to the elder Creed’s career, and life, in the ring — but Adonis, who possesses tons of natural boxing ability and a secret, irrepressible desire to compete, finds a trainer and mentor in his late granddad’s ex-rival and friend, Rocky Balboa. Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) Production Company: Winkler Films Director: Ryan Coogler Executive Producer(s): Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff, Nicolas Stern Producer(s): Kevin King, Charles Winkler, David Winkler, Billy Chartoff, Sylvester Stallone Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew, Tessa Thompson Writer(s): Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington SSN Insight: This project re-teams Coogler and Jordan who previously worked together on indie darling Fruitvale Station. Per THR, Coogler took Creed to MGM before production on Fruitvale Station, “It was an idea I took to them and met with Stallone for his blessing. It’s a universal story about family, so I hope it’ll fly.”

Down By Love 3/31/2015 Logline: Prison director Jean engages in a forbidden affair with a new arrival. Production Company(s): LGM Cinema, Pan Europeenne Director: Pierre Godeau Producer(s): Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Cyril Colbeau-Justin, Philippe Godeau, Nathalie Gastaldo Cast: Guillaume Gallienne, Adèle Exarchopoulos Writer(s): Pierre Godeau SSN Insight: LGM Cinema was behind Gallienne’s “Me, Myself and Mom,” which won five Cesar awards. LGM, has a name for producing mainstream French fare and has expanded with a recent launch of a label dedicated to art-house fare. Exarchopoulos won a Palme-d’Or for “Blue is the Warmest Color” and recently completed the shooting of Sean Penn’s “The Last Face.”

The Accountant 4/2/2015 Logline: A seemingly a run-of-the-mill small town accountant who has overcome his severe Asperger's Syndrome and now heads a one-man accounting firm, where his clients include the world's most notorious criminals, secretly works as a hitman. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company(s): Zero Gravity Management, Electric City Entertainment Director: Gavin O'Connor Producer(s): Lynette Howell, Mark Williams Cast: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson Writer(s): Bill Dubuque SSN Insight: Albert Hughes was previously mentioned to direct. Project was previously set up at Warner Bros. before their option expired, then was picked up by Sony but was put in turnaround. Warner Bros. bought the project back. Will Smith previously attached to star when the project was in development at Columbia Pictures.

UTA’s Haul Could Number 150, TWC Selling TV Division, ‘Doctor Who’ Renewed To 2020, On the Set For 4/6/15




On the Set For 4/6/15: ‘Captain America: Civil War’, and ‘The Huntsman’ Start Shooting, Ryan Coogler Wraps ‘Rocky’ Sequel ‘Creed’

Other new beginnings include Matt Damon’s The Great Wall, as well as a new Emile Hirsch film, while Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant with Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons is among the films that finished principal photography last week. Click the link for more. (SSN)


UTA’s Haul Of Talent From CAA Could Number as High as 150 Clients

United Talent’s five new partners and the other agents who made the move from CAA are settling in and have begun reeling in some important clients in play since last week’s shocker. UTA is keeping mum at the moment on who is signing on, but after last week’s move of Will Ferrell, Chris Pratt and Ed Helms, new singings include Zach Galifianakis and Jonathan Krisel, Thomas Lennon & Ben Garant, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, documenatarian Charlie Siskel, and British director James Bobin. (DH)

Weinstein Co. Selling TV Division to ITV in Potential $950 Million Deal

Deal, if it is finalized, could be worth as much as $950 million. It includes an up-front payment of $300 to $400 million and an escalating package of compensation and bonuses that would nearly triple the initial purchase price, according to sources. TWC would remain as managers of the company, which has hired several new television executives to oversee the growth.  (THR)

‘Doctor Who’ Fans Can Relax, BBC Is Keeping the Show Around At Least Through 2020

Show’s executive producer Steven Moffat made the announcement that the long-running British sci-fi show will stay on the air for at least another five years. Moffat told Doctor Who Magazine that the BBC’s plans for the show extend to 2020. Doctor Who continues to be a major ratings draw for BBC America. The most recent season was the most popular yet among U.S. viewers, attracting an average of 2.3 million viewers. (EW)

John Legend Is Getting His Producer Hat On, Will Get Behind a New Musical Romantic Drama

The musician, who won an Oscar and other prizes for his original song Glory, is set to produce a musical romantic drama via his Get Lifted Film Co. along with IM Global and Furst Films. Recording artist Miguel is in negotiations to star in the yet-untitled movie, which will tell the story of a former one-hit wonder who reconnects with his love for music when he's hired to coach an aspiring singer for her audition on a competitive TV show. (LAT)

Netflix’s Next Big Original Film Will Be Written and Directed By Ricky Gervais

Gervais will also star in Special Correspondents, which co-stars Eric Bana. Bana plays a struggling, but arrogant New York-based radio journalist who, with his job on the line and decadent lifestyle not helping things, fakes frontline war reports from his hideout in Manhattan.  (TOH)

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Production Shingle Just Landed a Pilot At Syfy

Incorporated is a futuristic espionage thriller from Damon and Affleck’s Pearl Street Productions, CBS Television Studios and Universal Cable Productions. Set in a future where companies have unlimited power, show tells the story of executive Ben Larson, forced to change his identity in order to infiltrate a cut-throat corporate world, to save the woman he loves. In the process, he will take on the entire system – with deadly consequences. (CS)

Staring Down a Class Action Suit, Warner Bros. Asserts Its First Amendment Rights In Hunt For Copyright Pirates

The studio is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit that alleges it has abused subpoenas and allowed representatives to make robocalls to cell phones demanding settlements. The legal action accuses RIghtscorp (which represents copyright holders like WB), Warner Bros and BMG Rights Management of abusing the legal process by seeking subpoenas to identify the IP addresses of those flagged for sharing copyrighted films and television shows. (HESQ)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’

Marvel has released the final trailer for next month’s big sequel, which starts the summer movie season. The movie stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Bettany, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Anthony Mackie, Tom Hiddleston, James Spader, Stellen Skarsgard, Thomas Kretschmann, Josh Brolin, Claudia Kim and Andy Serkis, and hits theaters May 1st. (TP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Dark Places’

The first look at Charlize Theron starring in the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel. Nicholas Hoult, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christina Hendricks and Drea de Matteo also star in the film, which still does not have a domestic release date. (EMP)

Webby Noms Announced, Relativity Scores Fresh Financing, Dobrev Leaving ‘Vampire Diaries’, ‘Star Wars’ Saga Coming To Digital HD


Monster’s Ball

The Webby Nominations Are Out! Did Your Internet Video Make the Cut?

Vice Media is the one to beat at the 19th annual Webby Awards. The youth-oriented media company came out on top with 17 nominations when the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences revealed its nominees for the Internet culture award show this morning. Other companies with strong showings include CollegeHumor with nine nominations, Funny or Die and HBO tied with eight, The Guardian with seven and Comedy Central and Mashable tied with six. Winners will be announced May 18th. Click the link for the full list of nominees. (THR)

Relativity Secures Itself a Quarter Billion In Fresh Financing

Ryan Kavanaugh’s film and television studio is getting an injection of $250 million in funding from San Francisco investment management firm VII Peaks Capital ahead of its long-planned IPO, which isn’t a usual source of finance for Hollywood. The deal follows months in which Relativity made the rounds with hedge funds and investors amid what sources described as a cash crunch at the company. (VAR)

And Then the Internet Broke: Nina Dobrev Is Officially Leaving ‘The Vampire Diaries’

After six years of playing Elena Gilbert (and her many doppelgängers), the actress has announced that she’s leaving the show at the end of its current sixth season. Rumors Dobrev was leaving the show began to surface this weekend when several members of the cast and crew posted pictures from a lakeside retreat on Instagram with the hashtag #NinaWeWillMissYou. (BF)

With the Release Of All Six ‘Star Wars’ Movie On Digital HD On Friday, April 10th Might Just Become a Geek Holiday

Not only will Friday see the release of Daredevil on Netflix, but also this surprising news from Disney, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox: Everything from The Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi will be on Digital HD for the first time ever. It will be available to buy as a collection or individually at all leading digital retailers, including iTunes, Google Play, VUDU, Amazon, Xbox Video, PlayStation Store, and Verizon Fios. Each film will include bonus features, as well. (COL)

Legendary Gospel Singer Mahalia Jackson Is Getting Her Own Biopic, and Bill Duke Will Direct It

Actor-director is attached to direct and executive produce a feature film on the life of Mahalia Jackson,  which will be based on the biography "Just Mahalia, Baby," written by Laurraine Goreau, which chronicles the life of the woman who rose from poverty and obscurity to become the world’s greatest gospel singer, and a legend. Project will include much of the singer’s original music. (SAA)

Remember All Those Fake Sequels Listed At the End Of ’22 Jump Street’? Well, They’re Now Canonical

During a Wondercon panel for Last Man on Earth, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller revealed their plans for the ever-crazier teased sequels, with Lord saying, “We’ve found a way that we love that makes those imagined sequels canonical.” The pair will produce the next chapter in the saga, but haven’t been confirmed to direct. Rodney Rothman is writing the script, and Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are expected to return. (SF)

Something To Which At Least a Few Of Us Can Look Forward: George R.R. Martin Plans For a 2016 Release Of ‘The Winds Of Winter’

Author of the series that spawned Game Of Thrones revealed that he hopes to have the sixth book in the series completed before the next season of the show premieres, one year from now. It's the first even semi-official news about a Winds release date, which fans have been anxiously trying to guess ever since they closed the last page of A Dance With Dragons, which was book five in the series. This summer will make four years since that book’s release. (VUL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Other Space’

The first look at Paul Feig’s new comedy series debuting on Yahoo. Set in 2105, show chronicles the adventures of a group of noobie space explorers hurtling through a galaxy full of aliens. The difference between alien gills and brain holes are explored along with plenty of other shenanigans. Series premieres the first of its eight half-hour episodes on April 14th. (IW)

First Look: ‘Snowden’

The first look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley playing whistleblower Edward Snowden and his girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, in Oliver Stone’s upcoming biopic. The film is currently shooting in Washington D.C., and will hit theaters Christmas Day. (EW)

Online Film School: How Color Correction Changes the Way We See Film

Color correction is a deeply important process that doesn’t often get its due. Like focus pulling, it’s the kind of cinematic skill that can remain invisible even for those aware of it. In simple terms, it’s also about making the images look more expensive than they actually are. (FSR)

TV Development for 4/7/15: Discovery Greenlights First US TV Series to Film in Cuba, Netflix Moves into a Fuller House


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Untitled Boy In The Suitcase Project Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Production Company(s): City Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Joshua Maurer, Alixandre Witlin Writer(s): Kirsten Sheridan Logline: A drama based On ‘Boy In The Suitcase’ mystery/thriller books by Lene Kaaberbol published in 2008. SSN Insight: Kirsten Sheridan’s previous credits include In America.

American Speed: the True Story of NASCAR Network: Discovery Production Company(s): NASCAR Productions, Stephen David Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Stephen David, Zane Stoddard, Jayson Dinsmore, Lewis Bogach, John Miller-Monzon Logline: An in-depth account of the gritty true story behind NASCAR. SSN Insight: Announced during Discovery’s Upfront panel and planned as a limited series, ordered on April 2.

Benders Network: IFC Production Company(s): Apostle Pictures Executive Producer(s): Denis Leary, Tom Sellitti, Jim Serpico Writer(s): Jim Serpico, Tom Sellitti Logline: A group of friends in their late 20s play on an ice hockey team, determined to win the adult league title despite little experience playing the sport competitively. SSN Insight: IFC gave the series an eight episode order on March 31. Apostle also produces Maron for IFC along with the upcoming FX comedy series Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll and the USA comedy Sirens.

Brightmoor Network: FX Production Company(s): Underground, Five All in the Fifth Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Sean "Diddy" Combs, Trevor Engelson, Doug Banker Writer(s): Chip Hall, Chris Powell Logline: The series follows the African American pupils at Brightmore Elementary in inner-city Detroit. SSN Insight: The series will be animated. FX currently airs the animated hit series Archer. It previously launched other animated series, Unsupervised and Chozen, but both were cancelled.

Bullseye Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Production Company(s): Endemol Shine North America Executive Producer(s): Jon Kroll, Scott Larsen Logline: Four men and four women will use their bodies as darts in three challenges, attempting to hit targets on land, sea and air. The winner takes home up to $50,000. SSN Insight: Fox ordered the project to series on April 1. Kellan Lutz, known for the Twilight franchise, will host.

Catwalk Production Company(s): Jesse Collins Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Jesse Collins, Deborah Gregory Logline: Based on the book series, Catwalk follows four best friends at Manhattan’s Fashion International High School who are about to enter the contest of their lives. Each year, students split up into Fashion Houses and compete to design, produce, and show fully original fashion lines. Details: Based on the young adult book series, Catwalk, written by Deborah Gregory and published by Random House. SSN Insight: No network attachment yet as Collins is currently searching for a writer to adapt the book series. Collins’ recently produced Real Husbands of Hollywood. Gregory’s 16-book series, The Cheetah Girls was previously adapted by The Disney Channel.

Close To The Enemy Network: BBC 2 Production Company(s): All3 Media, Endor Productions Executive Producer(s): Helen Flint, Hilary Bevan Jones Writer(s): Stephen Poliakoff Logline: Set in London in 1946, a beautiful and sophisticated American woman arrives in England after the second world war with her British diplomat husband. Upon meeting a military intelligence operative, she embarks on an affair with him. SSN Insight: The all-star cast will include Jim Sturgess (One Day), August Diehl (Inglorious Basterds), Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel), Alfie Allen (Game Of Thrones), Angela Bassett (American Horror Story) and Alfred Molina (Love Is Strange).

Coffin Point Production Company(s): Overbrook Entertainment, Alpine Labs Executive Producer(s): Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Lassiter, Kevin Abrams, Jamie Denenberg Writer(s): Kevin Abrams Logline: The series follows the bizarre, real-life career of eccentric lawman Ed McTeer, who served as sheriff of island-bound Beaufort County, SC from 1925-1963. The show explores how McTeer’s beliefs tied him to both sides of the heavily segregated region, as well as examine the racial tensions of the era, particularly in dealing with the relatively obscure Gullah community. Details: Based on the book, "Coffin Point: The Strange Cases Of Ed McTeer, Witch Doctor Sheriff," written by Baynard Woods and published by River City Publishing on October 1, 2010. SSN Insight: The one-hour series is currently being shopped to networks and online services.

Cuban Chrome Network: Discovery Production Company(s): Pilgrim Studios, Rhino Productions Executive Producer(s): Craig Piligian, Edward Rohwedder, Samuel Korkis, Louis Shaw Milito, Philip Conserva Logline: The series explores the island nation's unique car culture and the people who keep its classic cars running. Vehicles from the United States haven't been imported to Cuba since the embargo began, which means its vintage American cars are frozen in time. It looks at Cuban culture through the eyes of A Lo Cubano Car Club, a group of car enthusiasts, mechanics and restorers who maintain and restore classic cars in Cuba. SSN Insight: The series is believed to be the first American TV series to be completely filmed in Cuba since the U.S. embargo began in 1962. Discovery announced the series order at their Upfront panel.

Dash Dolls Network: E! Production Company(s): Bunim/Murray Productions, Ryan Seacrest Media Executive Producer(s): Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins, Farnaz Farjam, Kris Jenner Logline: Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian made a mark on the fashion industry with the opening of their upscale DASH boutiques. We’ll see how the Dash Dolls the girls entrusted to manage the DASH storefront and overall franchise juggle the glamorous lifestyle that comes with representing one of today’s most successful boutique chains. SSN Insight: E! has given a series order of eight episodes as of April 1.

Fuller House Network: Netflix Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Jeff Franklin, Thomas L Miller, Robert L Boyett Writer(s): Jeff Franklin SSN Insight: Netflix has given a series order of 13 episodes as of April 2. Tentatively the series would star original cast members Candace Cameron Bure and Andrea Barber with guest appearances by Saget, Stamos and Coulier.

Gainesville Network: CMT Production Company(s): Wheels Off Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Yoav Attias, Nicholas Burnett, Daniel Levin, Alan Deutsch, Jayson Dinsmore Logline: The series follows a tight-knit group of friends in small town Florida as they attempt to transition into adulthood. SSN Insight: CMT ordered the series on April 2 and announced the order during their Upfront panel on April 2.

Google Lunar XPRIZE Network: Discovery, Science Production Company(s): Arrow Media Executive Producer(s): Andrew Jackson Logline: It’s been 46 years since millions of television viewers witnessed man first set foot on the Moon in 1969. In 2016, history will be made again when Discovery Channel partners with XPRIZE on the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE to bring an edge-of-your-seat international space competition to homes around the world. SSN Insight: Discovery is planning to air the miniseries in 2015 as announced during their Upfront presentation in New York. Robert K. Weiss, vice chairman and president of XPRIZE, gave a statement. “More than half the world’s population has never had the opportunity to experience a live broadcast from the moon. Partnering with Discovery Channel and Science Channel will allow us to engage the public around this milestone event, creating an ‘Apollo Moment’ for the next generation.”

I Love Kellie Pickler Network: CMT Production Company(s): Ryan Seacrest Media Executive Producer(s): Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs, Ryan Seacrest, Eugene Young, Rabih Gholam Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: Kellie Pickler catapulted from small-town obscurity and became a household name thanks to "American Idol" and "Dancing With the Stars," but has since gone on to become a country sensation. The series will follow her marriage to Kyle Jacobs, her complete opposite. SSN Insight: CMT ordered the series on April 2 and announced the order during their Upfront panel on April 2.

Incorporated Network: SyFy Studio: CBS Television Studios, Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Pearl Street Films Executive Producer(s): Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jennifer Todd, Ted Humphrey Writer(s): David Pastor, Alex Pastor Logline: The futuristic espionage thriller is set in a future where companies have unlimited power and tells the story of executive Ben Larson, who is forced to change his identity in order to infiltrate a cut-throat corporate world to save the woman he loves. In the process, he'll take on the entire system with deadly consequences. SSN Insight: SyFy ordered the pilot on April 6. SyFy also another drama pilot in the works, The Magicians, an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s best-selling fantasy book trilogy.

Ingress Production Company(s): Google, The Sean Daniel Company Executive Producer(s): Sean Daniel Logline: Set in present day, the story begins when an international team of scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland make an unexpected discovery that could change the world. Our world is being flooded with XM (Exotic Matter) by extradimensional beings called Shapers via portals. Ingress players or agents, as they are called align with one of two factions: Resistance, working against Shapers, or Enlightened, looking to collaborate with them. Details: Based on Google's augmented reality game "Ingress." SSN Insight: The Sean Daniel Co. recently landed a straight-to-series order for The Expanse on SyFy.  If Ingress is picked up, this would mark Google’s first project on television. The series has not landed on a network yet.

Killing Fields Network: Discovery Production Company(s): Sirens Media Logline: The series uses the most up to date science advancements and technologies to reveal the deep history attached to isolated and idyllic outside areas in America that are killing fields; locations where crimes have occurred and have gone undetected due to their geography and outside elements that have erased the scene of the crime. Investigations are followed in real time through the course of each episode as unmarked graves are uncovered as attempts are made to find the truth and bring resolution to what lurks just below the surface. SSN Insight: Discovery announced the series order during their Upfront presentation on April 31.

Lucky Man Network: Sky 1 Production Company(s): Carnival Film & Television, Ltd., POW! Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Richard Fell, Gareth Neame, Anne Mensah, Beverley Booker Writer(s): Neil Biswas Logline: Harry Clayton is a cop from Central London’s notorious Murder Squad who is given a charm that seems to confer upon the wearer the ability to control luck. Harry is down on his luck; his wife and child have left him due to his gambling habit, his boss thinks he’s in league with the devil, and he has a huge debt to an infamous underworld crime boss who is threatening his life. A chance meeting with a mysterious woman who gives him an ancient bracelet changes everything. It appears to give Harry control over luck itself, but at what cost? Details: Based on an original idea by Stan Lee. SSN Insight: Sky 1 gave a ten episode series order on April 31.

Monica the Medium Network: ABC Family Studio: Lionsgate Production Company(s): Trooper Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Dave Caplan, Malachi McGlone Logline: Monica is a junior at Penn State University navigating friends, family, relationships — and the fact that she’s a medium and can talk to dead people. Her uncommon vocation provides an endless supply of emotional and engaging stories, with a unique millennial perspective. SSN Insight: ABC Family ordered the project to series on April 1. Joins recently ordered sseries Shadowhunters and Kevin From Work, Startup U, Next Step Realty: NYC and reality programs Becoming Us and Job Or No Job.

Montauk Network: Netflix Executive Producer(s): Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen Writer(s): Ross Duffer, Matt Duffer Logline: Set in the 1980s, in Montauk, Long Island, a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. SSN Insight: Netflix gave a series order of eight episodes on April 2.

Untitled Muppets Comedy Project Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios, The Muppets Studio, LLC Executive Producer(s): Bill Prady, Bob Kushell Writer(s): Bill Prady, Bob Kushell Logline: A Muppets series set behind the scenes of a late-night talk show. SSN Insight: Disney bought the rights to the Muppets characters in 2004 and The Muppet Studios is Disney-owned. ABC ordered a pilot presentation on April 3.

Naked and Afraid XL Network: Discovery Production Company(s): Renegade 83 Entertainment Logline: Twelve of the smartest, most dynamic survivalists who have previously appeared on "Naked and Afraid" return. These six men and six women, all extreme survivalists with their own expertise, will find themselves in an almost un-survivable situation, stranded in a very remote area with no food, no water, and no clothing, and at first, they won’t even have each other. Some may find a partner within minutes or hours. Some may not meet up with anyone at all. How will these survivalists respond to each other if and when they meet up? Will they live together as one large group or will they break into smaller pockets of people? Will some want to survive solo for the full challenge? Details: This is a spinoff of the Discovery Channel series, "Naked and Afraid," which premiered in 2013. SSN Insight: Discovery announced the series order during their Upfront presentation on April 31.

Natchez Burning Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Production Company(s): Material Pictures, Sony Pictures Television Executive Producer(s): Greg Iles, David Hudgins Writer(s): Greg Iles, David Hudgins Logline: A drama about race and murder in the Jim Crow South that is based on the novel "Natchez Burning." Details: Based on the novel "Natchez Burning," written by Greg Iles (2014) SSN Insight: Hudgins is under an overall deal at Sony TV. Recently Maguire was a producer and a member of the cast on IFC’s Spoils of Babylon.

Nerdist News Network: SyFy Production Company(s): Nerdist Industries Executive Prodcuer(s): Chris Hardwick, Brandon Monk Logline: A weekly half-hou show that will give a goofy and irreverent takes on news from the realms of sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, technology, science and movies. SSN Insight: The show is currently in development. Hardwick also produces and hosts @Midnight and Talking Dead in addition to his incredibly popular Nerdist podcast. He is also developing Sleight of Mouth for Comedy Central.

Next Step Realty: NYC Network: ABC Family Production Company(s): Lincoln Square Productions Executive Producer(s): Danielle Rosen Logline: The series follows the passionate and ambitious employees of Next Step Realty. The Manhattan-based real estate firm specializes in helping recent college graduates find their apartments in New York City while navigating interpersonal and professional conflicts in the workplace. SSN Insight: ABC Family ordered the project to series on April 1. Joins recently ordered sseries Shadowhunters and Kevin From Work, Monica the Medium, Startup U and reality programs Becoming Us and Job Or No Job.

Pacific Warriors Network: Discovery Production Company(s): Original Media Logline: The series follows the only commercial fishermen in the world who fish from a kayak…alone. With only a paddle, these Hawaiian men and women venture out to catch some of the most desirable fish in the sea. They must rely on brute strength to pull in 500 pound Marlin, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Ono. However, the battles on the sea aren’t just with the fish. Turf wars and classic rivalries among families run deep among this tiny community of kayak fishers, with the natives coming into conflict with the newcomers. They put everything on the line – with families battling it out on their turf. But the slightest mistake could cost them their lives. Fishing is their livelihood, and nothing will stop them from feeding their families. SSN Insight: Discovery announced the series order during their Upfront presentation on April 31.

Untitled Kevin James Comedy Project Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): Hey Eddie Productions Executive Producer(s): Kevin James, Jeff Sussman Logline: Storyline under wraps. SSN Insight: The series is currently being shopped to networks. James is also developing a series at Lionsgate with Debmar-Mercury Entertainment.

Startup U Network: ABC Family Production Company(s): Ugly Brother Productions Executive Producer(s): Tim Draper, Mike Duffy, Tim Duffy Logline: A group of entrepreneurial millennials embark on a semester at Draper University in Silicon Valley. Led by billionaire founder and venture capitalist Tim Draper, the 7 week program teaches the fundamentals of launching a startup company under the mentorship of America’s business leaders. In the end, students pitch their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists. SSN Insight: ABC Family ordered the project to series on April 1. Joins recently ordered sseries Shadowhunters and Kevin From Work, Monica the Medium, Next Step Realty: NYC and reality programs Becoming Us and Job Or No Job.

Stewarts & Hamiltons Network: E! Production Company(s): Bunim/Murray Productions Executive Producer(s): Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins, Farnaz Farjam, Chris Ray Logline: The series centers on the families of Kimberly Stewart (daughter of author Alana Stewart and musician Rod Stewart) and George Hamilton (Alana Stewart’s ex-husband). SSN Insight: E! gave a series order of eight episodes as of April 1.

Still The King Network: CMT Production Company(s): Hideout Pictures Executive Producer(s): Billy Ray Cyrus, Shannon Houchins, Potsy Ponciroli, Travis Nicholson, Julia Silverton Writer(s): Billy Ray Cyrus Logline: Vernon Brown, AKA "Burning Vernon," is a scandal-ridden washed up one-hit wonder who is kicked out of country music, only to emerge 20 years later as the second best Elvis impersonator in Laughlin, Nevada. After crashing into an old country church outside of Nashville during a drunken bender, he is sentenced to return and perform community service. Along the way, he pretends to be the congregation’s new minister and discovers he has a 15-year-old daughter he’s never met. SSN Insight: CMT ordered the series on April 2 and announced the order during their Upfront panel on April 2.

The Boys of '67 Network: History Channel Production Company(s): Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Head First Productions Executive Producer(s): Jeb Stuart, Jim Head, Michael Prupas Writer(s): Jeb Stuart Logline: The series follows the First Platoon of Charlie Company, 9th Infantry Division, the only unit raised, trained and deployed en masse to service in Vietnam. Based on the book. Details: Based on the book "The Boys of '67," written by Andrew Wiest and published by Osprey Publishing on September 18, 2012. SSN Insight: Stuart’s recent credits include the adaptation The Liberators, an eight-episode limited series for History

The Ed Bassmaster Show Network: CMT Production Company(s): DiGa Vision, LLC Executive Producer(s): Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley, Adam Dolgins, Tom Gianas, Matt Trierweiler Logline: The show centers on the popular comedian, who boasts 1 billion views on YouTube. Each half-hour installment will feature Bassmaster's ridiculous batch of characters, which he'll use to surprise, confuse and sometimes prank unsuspecting people across America. SSN Insight: CMT ordered the series on April 2 and announced the order during their Upfront panel on April 2.

Treasure Quest Network: Discovery Production Company(s): MAK Pictures Logline: In 1524, a horde of Incan gold known as the "Treasure of the Trinity" was stolen. A team of the world’s top explorers set out on a two-month journey to find this priceless treasure. Along the way, they’ll need to solve complex mathematical clues and puzzles protecting the treasure  the same ones that have thwarted countless others before them. But most of all, they’ll need nerves of steel as they brave one of the most deadly places in the world where one careless step could not just cost everyone incredible riches, but ultimately their lives. SSN Insight: Discovery announced the series order during their Upfront presentation on April 31.

WAGS Network: E! Production Company(s): Machete Productions Executive Producer(s): Amber Mazzola, Lori Gordon Logline: The series goes inside the world of some of today’s hottest professional athletes, from the perspective of the women behind them. The show follows the beautiful, driven and always outspoken women who make up an exclusive club of spouses and girlfriends of professional sports players. Constantly vying for seniority and respect, these women live a glamorous lifestyle full of perks, but the diamonds, first class travel, cars and mansions don’t come easy and top positions in this elite group come only to those who follow the rules and know how to play the game. SSN Insight: E! gave an order of an eight episode series on April 1.

With Bob and David Network: Netflix Production Company(s): Abso Lutely Productions Executive Producer(s): Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Marc Provissiero, Naomi Odenkirk, Tim Sarkes Writer(s): Bob Odenkirk, David Cross Logline: A sketch comedy series. SSN Insight: Netflix ordered four half-hour episodes and one hourlong “making-of” special from the project, which just started production.

SSN’s Development Pick List, ‘Jurassic World’ Writing Credits Settled, Russo Brothers Officially On Next Two ‘Avengers’, TV Development For 4/7/15


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Development Pick List: Online #Stunning #Fantasy, #Instagram, #WebComics, #Games To Snap Up For Film/TV

Last week we revealed some of the sources behind where we find rising talent and creative projects. This week, we’re returning to form and releasing our latest list of the hidden gems from around the web. With millions of creative projects posted daily, the internet can be a vast city. Luckily, SSN is here to shine a light on it. (SSN)

TV Development For 4/7/15: Discovery Greenlights First US TV Series To Film In Cuba, Netflix Moves Into a Fuller House

Just about three dozen new projects this week, including something new from Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, Kevin James’ still untitled return to TV, and plenty of both scripted and unscripted fare. Click the link to get the fully skinny. (SSN)


There Is Peace In ‘Jurassic World’, as Writing Credit Dispute Gets Settled

After a trying WGA arbitration process, the credit scroll on the film will read: Screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connolly; Story by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver; Based on characters created by Michael Crichton. Universal initially supported sole credit for Trevorrow (the film’s director), and Connolly. (DH)

Not News, Necessarily, But Now It’s Official: Russo Brothers On Marvel’s Next Two ‘Avengers’

Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier and are currently shooting Captain America: Civil War, will helm The Avengers: Infinity War, Parts 1 and 2. The two films are scheduled to come out the last weekend in April of 2018 and 2019. No word yet on who will be writing the two films. (EMP)

More Official News, Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund Are Returning For ‘Tron 3’

Pair will reprise their characters from 2010’s Tron: Legacy in the sequel that is being directed by Joseph Kosinski. Legacy was the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi film that drew a big cult following and became an influence on filmmakers and pop culture. Disney has been developing a sequel to Legacy since the movie grossed $400 million worldwide. The project is now looking to shoot this fall, likely in Vancouver. Plot details are being kept offline. (THR)

Lionsgate Chairman Set To Sell Off 20 Percent Of His Holdings In the Company

Mark Rachesky is selling 10 million shares of his Lionsgate stock with a value of about $330 million. The sale, announced after the market closed, is being made through a secondary offering through his MHR Fund Management LLC, which hold 51.26 million Lionsgate shares and represents a 35% stake. Lionsgate will not sell any shares in the offering and will not receive any proceeds from the offering. (VAR)

So, According To Christoph Waltz, He Really Is NOT Playing Ernst Blofeld In ‘Spectre’

The two-time Oscar winner has been rumored to play the villain in the upcoming James Bond film, which hits theaters in November, but when information came out in the fall, his character’s name was listed as Franz Oberhauser. The rumor was that this was a front, and that he is actually playing the famous Bond villain, but now, in an interview, he has shot it down one more time, saying it is “absolutely untrue.” (COL)

Sony Taps Oscar-Nominated Rising Star Tim Reckart for CG-Animated Debut

Sony Pictures Animation today announced that Reckart will develop and make his feature directorial debut The Lamb. A fully CG-animated feature project, movie tells the story of a young lamb who will change the world. It's based on an original pitch by Tom Sheridan and will be produced by DeVon Franklin under his banner Franklin Entertainment. Reckart earned a nomination in 2013 for his stop-motion animated Head Over Heels(TOH)

Sacrilege or Genius? There Is Apparently a ‘Hot Dog … The Movie’ Remake In Motion

Mike Marvin, who wrote the 1984 cult classic ski film, is on track for what’s now being primarily called a remake. A script is written, and financing of $12 miilion has reportedly been procured. Marvin, who went from the original to directing Hamburger: The Motion Picture and The Wraith (and the ski scenes in Better Off Dead), may also take the helm here. (FSR)

Barkhad Abdi Is Returning To the Big Screen With Starring Role In New Indie

The Captain Phillips Oscar nominee has booked a lead role in the Detroit-set indie drama The Wolf Who Cried Boy, opposite Torrey Wigfield in the other lead role. The story, described as "anti-coming-of-age," centers on a young man who gets swept into the seedy underbelly of the scrapping industry. Abdi will play a limo driver who acts as a fence for the stolen copper. (SAA)

New Mexico Governor Signs New Tax Incentives Bill, No ‘Fast 8′ In Sight, ’11/22/63′ Adds Oscar Winner, ‘Arrested Development’ Will Return


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Get Ready For Even More Movies and TV Shows To Be Shot In New Mexico

Governor Susana Martinez signed a bill today that will allow production companies to pre-assign their tax rebates to third parties. Unlike many states that require producers to sell their credits at a discount, New Mexico provides a direct cash rebate, and the ability to pre-assign the earned rebate is expected to benefit independent producers seeking financing for their projects. It goes into effect January 1st. (DH)

Yes, There Will Almost Certainly Be a ‘Fast 8’, but No, It Won’t Be Any Time Soon

Universal chairman Donna Langley said in 2014 that the studio would like to make 10 films, and according to multiple sources, that remains the plan. But as of now, there is no writer in place, Furious 7 director James Wan will almost certainly not return after the grueling shoot for this movie, and many of the cast members have contract situations in a state of flux. (THR)

Hulu’s Adaptation Of Stephen King’s ’11/22/63’ Adds an Oscar Winner

Chris Cooper has joined the cast, as well as Sarah Gadon, Cherry Jones, Daniel Webber, George MacKay, Lucy Fry and Leon Rippy. James Franco is already on board as the lead, playing Jake Epping in the time traveling tale. J.J. Abrams s producing the series, with Kevin MacDonald directing the first two episodes of the nine-part series. Bridget Carpenter adapted the book. (EMP)

It Appears We Do, Indeed, Have More ‘Arrested Development’ Episodes In Our Future

Show executive producer Brian Grazer said in an interview that there are 17 more episodes coming of the popular show, which aired its fourth season in 2013 on Netflix. Last year, Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said he was "positive" that Season 5 would happen, and said “It’s just a matter of when.” (HP)

So, If You’re Keeping Score, It’s Carl Franklin In and John Singleton Out as Director Of Tupac Biopic

Singleton has jumped from the project because of the ever reliable reason, “major creative differences.” Franklin has spent most of the past decade working on prestige TV shows like House of CardsHomeland, and Bloodline. Before that, he helmed films like Out of TimeHigh Crimes, and Devil in a Blue Dress. (SF)

‘Once Upon a Time In Russia …’ Brett Ratner and Warner Bros. Decided To Make a Russian Oligarchs Movie

Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment is teaming with WB to develop Ben Mezrich’s book, Once Upon a Time In Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs — A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder, into a feature. Mezrich’s books The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House were the basis for the Sony movies The Social Network and 21. (VAR)

‘Batkid Begins’ Documentary Snags a Big, Mid-Summer Release Date

Feature doc about five-year-old leukemia survivor Miles Scott, will debut in theaters nationwide on June 26th. New Line Cinema bought the worldwide distribution rights and narrative remake rights to Dana Nachman’s crowdfunded documentary just last month. Julia Roberts is set to produce and star in a feature based on the story. (CBR)

The USA Network Has Set Its Development Slate For Next Season

Cable network’s 2015-16 slate includes nine scripted drama projects hailing from the likes of Charlize Theron, Rob Reiner, Barry Sonnenfeld, Eric Kripke, Aaron Korsh and Catherine Hardwicke, among others. The network is also developing an alternative project with Dwayne Johnson. (CS)

After All the Hullaballoo, Nicole Kidman’s ‘Grace Of Monaco’ Is Going Straight-To-Cable, Will Premiere On Lifetime

Following battles between The Weinstein Company and the film’s director, Olivier Dahan, which almost led to the film not being released at all, the film will now debut on May 25th on the cable network. (TP)

Screenwriters: ‘Chronicle’

The undated, unspecified, 92-page screenplay by Max Landis, based on a story by Landis and Josh Trank. (SS)

Rep Moves for 4/8/15: A Slew of CAA Clients Book it to UTA, Jerry Seinfeld & Others Follow Rob Prinz to ICM


at arrivals for CinemaCon 2013 Big Screen Achievement Awards, Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV April 18, 2013. Photo By: James Atoa/Everett Collection

UTA: Continuing with the CAA/UTA shake-up in which Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Ed Helms all followed their agents to UTA, Melissa McCarthy, Zach Galifianakis, Jonathan Krisel (EP of Baskets), Adam Pally (Happy Endings), Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant (Night at the Museum), Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie (creators, Flight of the Conchords), Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong (writers, Peep Show), Charlie Siskel (director of Finding Vivian Meier), James Bobin (director of several Muppets movies) will all follow their agents to UTA.

ICM: Jerry Seinfeld, Celine Dion, Daryl Hall, John Oates, John Hiatt, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, Rick Springfield and other musicians are following their agent Rob Prinz, previously of UTA to ICM Parnters where he’ll become partner.

WME: Alex Garland is now repped by WME. He previously scripted 28 Days Later and Sunshine and makes his feature directorial debut with Ex Machina releasing this Friday, April 10.

Random House: Patricia Arquette, who just won an Oscar for her role in Boyhood, is set to write about her life in a memoir for Random House. Susan Kamil, Publisher of Random House, will edit the book. Kamil announced the global rights deal with Arquette’s reps, Richard Abate of 3 Arts Entertainment and Joseph Veltre of Gersh.

Emmanuel Bates Communications: Director of Photography Peter Wunstorf, ASC (Midnight Sun), Thomas Scott Stanton (Take me to the River), Kolja Brandt (Hector and the Search for Happiness), Bryan Newman have signed with Meredith Emmanuel for their publicity representation. She also recently signed production designer Dara Wishingrad (Advantageous), Mikael Varhelyi, and editor Tad Dennis (Parenthood)

Showrunner Advice, ‘Pinocchio’ Next In Line For Live Action Treatment, EA Wants ‘Need For Speed’ Sequel, Rep Moves For 4/8/15


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Showrunner Advice With ‘Battle Creek’s Russel Friend: How To Get an Agent and Job Writing For Television

Every working writer has their unique story about how they broke into the film and television industry. Russel Friend, Executive Producer/Writer of House, Executive Producer/Writer of Glee, Executive Producer/Writer of Battle Creek, shared his story with us. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 4/8/15: A Slew Of Clients Book It To UTA, Jerry Seinfeld and Others Follow Rob Prinz To ICM

The big news is obvious, and there are many moves that go along with it. Click the link to read more about who went where and with whom. (SSN)


Add ‘Pinocchio’ To the Growing List Of Disney Cartoons In Line For a Live-Action Remake

The studio has hired writer Peter Hedges to adapt the project, which won’t won’t be a direct adaptation of the classic 1940 film, but likely closer to the original 1883 version by Carlo Collodi. That’s a darker version of the tale of a boy made of wood who desperately wants to be real. (SF)

Solid Worldwide Gross Has EA Thinking Sequel For ‘Need For Speed’

Despite a weak domestic take, the movie made over $200 million worldwide, and so the producers of the video game that spawned the film, Electronic Arts, is meeting with Chinese financiers to see about another installment in the potential franchise. There’s no word yet on whether any of the cast from last year’s first film – which included Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots and Michael Keaton – will return. (EMP)

There Will Be Plenty Of Disney Movies Filling IMAX Screens For Several More Years

The two companies have announced that they will continue to remain a powerhouse team by renewing their deal through 2017. The deal includes at least two Star Wars movies, five Marvel films, a pair of Pixar flicks, the next Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as The Finest Hours, The Jungle Book and the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. (COL)

Lorenzo di Bonaventura Gets Into the Comic Book Adaptation Game, Will Produce ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ 

Created and written by Mark Millar with art by Frank Quitely, story takes a multigenerational approach to tell a story of the offspring of superheroes who haven’t lived up to the standards of their parents, who first got their powers in the '20s after the discovery of a mysterious island. Millar also created the comics that led to Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Di Bonaventura is currently meeting with writers. (THR)

The Remake Train Continues To Roll On. Next Stop: ‘She’s All That’

A remake of the Pygmalion-inspired rom-com, which starred Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook, is in the works, with Kenny Leon directing and Spike Lee's wife producing. The Weinstein Company is behind the venture and is expected to put a fresh spin on the story. (VUL)

Fans Of ‘Serial’ Will Be Glad To Hear Adnan Syed Is Getting Another Podcast

A follow-up called Undisclosed: The State V. Adnan Syed, will dive even deeper into the case from "an investigatory perspective instead of a narrative one," according to the official website. Koenig's original true-crime podcast investigated the 1999 murder of Baltimore teenager Hae Min Lee and investigated Lee's ex-boyfriend Syed's conviction of first-degree murder. (HP)

First Look: ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday’

Along with the news that Joe Manganiello is joining the cast of Netflix’s long-awaited sequel comes a series of on-set photos from the project. Paul Reubens returns as his signature character. No release date has been set, though the film will premiere on the online streaming service. (CS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer for its Sundance hit, stars Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler and Olivia Cooke and will be in theaters June 12th. (DH)

The Accidental Turitz On the CAA-UTA Mess, ‘Billy Lynn’ Adds Diesel & Tucker, Broad Green Sets Awards Season Films, More Lisbeth Salander Ahead?


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The Accidental Turitz: There’s Another Way To Look At This CAA-UTA War, and It’s More Dire Than You Thought

SSN Senior Editor Neil Turitz takes a look at what happened last week, and how it actually has a different effect on Hollywood than you might have originally thought. It turns out, the mass exodus from CAA is analogous to a larger problem that plagues the industry. Click on the link and prepare to be educated and edified.  (SSN)


‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ Adds Even More Talent To Its Already Packed Cast

Ang Lee is directing the adaptation of Ben Fountain’s bestselling novel, with a screenplay by Simon Beauty. Vin Diesel and Chris Tucker are the latest to join the film, along with newcomer Joe Alwyn, playing the title role, as well as Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund and Steve Martin. Filming starts next month. (CB)

Broad Green Pictures Comes To the Rescue, Will Put Two Festival Favorite Films Into Theaters This Fall

Indie distributor has given awards season release dates to Robert Redford comedy A Walk In the Woods and Andrew Garfield’s thriller 99 Homes. The former, which also stars Nick Nolte,Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, Nick Offerman and Kristen Schaal, was directed by Ken Kwapis and bows September 2nd. The latter, helmed by Ramin Bahrani and also starring Michael Shannon and Laura Dern, hits theaters September 25th. (VAR)

It’s Possible We Might Not Have Seen the Last Of the Millennium Saga On Screen, After All

With the impending release of a fourth book in the series, The Girl In the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz, Sony is investigating a new trilogy, in which the second and third books in the series, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, would be combined into a single movie, with the new book being the third film chapter. No word on whether or not Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig might return, but David Fincher probably won’t. (EMP)

Neil Marshall Lands Some Backup For His Period Drama TV Series, and It’s From Backup Films

Paris-based financier and producer has unveiled its first ever English language TV series with the British filmmaker, Britannia. The eight-part series, which Backup will be shopping at Mip next week, charts the Roman invasion of what would become Great Britain in 43 A.D. and the rise of iconic female warrior Boudicca. (DH)

Andy Serkis Diversifies, Lands a TV Deal With Red Arrow For His Imaginarium Shingle

Actor-director’s production company and performance-capture specialists has inked a deal with the production and distribution arm of Germany's pan-European media group ProSiebenSat.1. Joint venture will see the creation of a new unit to develop high-end scripted TV drama. Red Arrow will internationally distribute all projects from the new initiative. (THR)

Francis Lawrence Is Following Up His ‘Hunger Games’ Work With an Old Fashioned Tale: ‘The Odyssey’

The director of the final three movies in the Hunger Games saga will next take on one of the original epics. Peter Craig will write and Nina Jacobsen will produce, the same trio behind The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and Mockingjay, Part 2. The plan is for a 2016 shoot. (TP)

Gore Verbinski’s Return To Horror Lands a Pair Of Leads, as Dane DeHaan and Mia Goth Join the Project

Scripted by Justin Haythe, A Cure For Wellness tells the story of an employee (DeHaan) who is sent to rescue his boss from a European “wellness spa.” He soon realizes he’s trapped and discovers that the facility has a far more sinister purpose than it lets on. Goth will play a longtime patient oblivious to the spa’s plans for her. Production on the pic will begin in Europe in June. (COL)

With ‘Silicon Valley’ Returning This Weekend, an Oral History On That Pivotal Scene in Last Year’s Finale

As fans of the show can attest, the previous season ended with a long and involved conversation about something that cannot be properly explained in this space. Suffice to say it was perhaps the greatest example of its particular kind of joke in TV history, and all the participants discuss it here. (UR)

Screenwriters: Screenwriting Is Like Dating — Confessions Of a Recovering TV Writer

The act is that the arc of the script-writing experience absolutely parallels that of a romantic relationship. No, really. Mark Miller explains. (SS)

Film Development for 4/9/15: Vin Diesel in for Long Halftime Walk, Judd Apatow’s New Project & Play-Doh the Movie


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Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Logline: A young soldier hailed as a hero experiences a cavalcade of emotions and events on his last day home before returning back to the war in Iraq in 2005. Studio/ Distributor: Tristar Productions/ Studio 8 Production Company: Ink Factory, Film4 Producers: Marc Platt, Simon Cornwell, Stephen Mark Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas, Ang Lee Writer: Simon Beaufoy Director: Ang Lee Cast: Vin Diesel, Chris Tucker, Kristen Stewart, Steve Martin, Garrett Hedlund, Joe Alwyn Notes: Based on the novel "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," written by Ben Fountain and published by Ecco on May 1, 2012. SSN Insight: Diesel and Tucker are the latest to round out the production, which starts shooting later this month.

A Cure For Wellness Logline: An employee is sent to rescue his boss from a European “wellness spa” but soon realizes he’s trapped and discovers that the facility has a more sinister purpose than just serving the health needs of its patients. Studio/ Distributor: New Regency/ 20th Century Fox Production Company: Blind Wink Productions Writer: Justin Haythe Director: Gore Verbinski Cast: Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth SSN Insight: Production is slated to start in Europe in June. Verbinski’s last horror film was The Ring in 2002. DeHaan’s breakout role was in 2012’s Chronicle and was recently seen in The Amazing Spider-Man. Goth appeared in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac: Vol. II, and will next be seen in Everest.

All Eyes On Me Logline: This biopic will follow rapper Tupac Shakur's career, including his time at Death Row Records and his involvement in the rivalry between East coast and West coast rappers, culminating in his murder in 1996. Studio/ Distributor: Open Road Films/ Morgan Creek Productions Production Company: Morgan Creek Productions, Emmett/ Furla/ Oasis Films Producers: James G. Robinson, David C. Robinson, LT Hutton, Randall Emmett, George Furla, John Singleton, Michael Rachmil, Elton Brand Writer: John Singleton, Jeremy Haft, Ed Gonzalez Director: Carl Franklin SSN Insight: Franklin replaces most recent director, John Singleton, but before even that the project was set up at Universal with Antoine Fuqua to direct.

Tron 3 Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio: Walt Disney Pictures Production Companies: Biscayne Pictures, Secret Machine Producers: Justin Springer, Jeffrey Silver Writer: Jesse Wigutow Director: Joseph Kosinski Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde Notes: Sequel to Tron: Legacy (2010) directed by Joseph Kosinski, written by Adam Horowitz & Adam Kitsis and starring Garrett Hedlund and Jeff Bridges. SSN Insight: The two stars from the 2010 sequel, Tron: Legacy, have agreed to reprise their roles in Disney’s next film in the franchise.

Moana Logline: A fairytale set in the South Pacific that features a headstrong young heroine, based on ancient Polynesian legend. Studio: Walt Disney Pictures Production Companies: Biscayne Pictures, Secret Machine Producers: Justin Springer, Jeffrey Silver Writer: Jesse Wigutow Director: Ron Clements, John Musker Cast: Dwayne Johnson SSN Insight: Ron Clements and John Musker have previously worked together on Big Hero 6, The Princess and the Frog, Treasure Planet, Hercules, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid.


Untitled Comedy Pitch Logline: Storyline under wraps Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Apatow Productions Producers: Judd Apatow Writers: Andrew Rannells, Mike Doyle SSN Insight: Story is conceived as a starring vehicle for Rannells, who co-stars in Girls and is also a Grammy winner and Tony nominee for his role in The Book of Mormon. Mindcorp Logline: Storyline is under wraps, but concerns next-generation mind-body experiments and a priest who becomes responsible for the survival of mankind. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Production Companies: Hollywood Gang Productions Producers: Gianni Nunari Writer: Jose Padihla, Dwayne Worrell Director: Jose Padihla Notes: Based on a short story by Jose Padilha. SSN Insight: Padilha is continuing his hot streak after Sony’s Robocop remake and writer Worrell is the writer whose script, The Wall, was the first that Amazon Studios acquired.

Pinocchio Logline: A live-action version of the Disney classic about a wooden marionette who dreams of becoming a real boy. Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Writer: Peter Hedges Notes: Based on characters from the novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio" written by Carlo Collodi, which was initially serialized between 1881 and 1883. SSN Insight: Disney continues to go to its well of animated classics to turn them into live-action remakes, after The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Dumbo. This is not the only version of Pinocchio in development; Guillermo del Toro also has a darker version in development. Tim Burton was previously in discussions to direct but has since moved on to direct a live-action Dumbo. The Odyssey Logline: The epic story of the journey home by Odysseus after the fall of Troy is adapted in this film. Studio/ Distributor: Lionsgate Production Companies: Color Force Producers: Nina Jacobson Writer: Peter Craig Director: Francis Lawrence Notes: Based on the epic poem "The Odyssey" written by Homer. SSN Insight: The Hunger Games team of Lawrence, Peter Craig and Nina Jacobson reteam to tell one of the oldest stories around. Lionsgate plans for this to be Lawrence’s next film, after Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs – A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal and Murder Logline: The true stories of Boris Berezovsky, who became the "Godfather of the Kremlin," and his young protégé who built a multibillion-dollar empire, are dramatized. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: RatPac Entertainment Producers: Brett Ratner Notes: Based on the book " Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs — A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder" written by Ben Mezrich and to be published by Atria Books on June 2, 2015. SSN Insight: Ratner apparently pitched the idea of the book to author Ben Mezrich, who also wrote The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House. The Lamb Logline: The film is inspired by the Nativity Story and features an all-animal cast. Studio/ Distributor: Sony Pictures Animation Production Company: Franklin Entertainment Producers: DeVon Franklin Writer: Tom Sheridan Director: Timothy Reckhart SSN Insight: Reckhart was a 2013 Oscar nominee for his animated short film, Head Over Heels and was listed in Variety’s recent 10 Animators to Watch list. Winnie the Pooh Logline: An adult Christopher Robin returns to the Hundred Acre Wood, the home of his childhood friend Winnie the Pooh. Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Production Companies: Taylor Made Producers: Brigham Taylor Writer: Alex Ross Perry SSN Insight: Listen Up Philip writer/ director, Perry, is an interesting hire for the big studio as his last few features, Queen of the Earth and The Color Wheel are very indie.

Five Nights at Freddy’s Logline: In Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, an animatronic animal band performs kiddy songs by day and goes on killing sprees by night. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: Vertigo Entertainment, KatzSmith Productions Producers: Roy Lee, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg Notes: Based the video game series created by Scott Cawthon. SSN Insight: Project does not yet have a take, but is currently out to writers.

Untitled Time Travel Pitch Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema Production Companies: Rickard Pictures Producers: John Rickard Writer: Ryan Engle SSN Insight: Writer Engle is also scripting the New Line project Rampage.

Untitled Play-Doh Project Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Hasbro Inc, Chernin Entertainment, Feigco Entertainment Producers: Paul Feig, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping Writer: Jason Micallef Director: Paul Feig SSN Insight: The film is the latest example of studios embracing branded products for tentpole entertainment, and Hasbro has about as much momentum in the branded film realm as anybody.

How To Procrastinate Like a Pro, Showtime Still Negotiating With Lynch, ABC Looking At ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Spinoff, Film Development For 4/9/15


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Confessions Of a Recovering TV Writer: How To Procrastinate Like a Pro

It’s no secret that when it comes to sitting down to actually doing the writing, we writers excel at procrastination. If, anywhere within a five mile radius of the computer, we happen to notice an unsharpened pencil, a window, a refrigerator, a phone, unopened mail, a magazine, something needing dusting, the TV remote, a ladybug making its way up the wall, a freckle, a birthmark, a pimple, a scab, or even a stray thought — that’s more than enough reason to stop writing. (SSN)

Film Development For 4/9/15: Vin Diesel In For ‘Billy Lynn’, Judd Apatow’s New Project and ‘Play-Doh: The Movie’

Plenty of action this week, both with new attachments for existing projects, and the announcement of entirely new projects. Among the new stuff is a top secret sci-fi thriller at Warner, a starring role for one of the stars of The Book Of Mormon, and several live action remakes of animated fare. (SSN)


Don’t Write Off David Lynch From Showtime’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival Just Yet

Despite an announcement from the renowned director, and co-creator of the series, that he would not take part in the new version due to financial issues, negotiations are actually still ongoing. Reportedly, when the nine scripts for the new shows were turned in, it became clear to the cable net that the series was going to cost far more than previously agreed, which led to the standoff. (SF)

ABC Still Loves Being In Business With Marvel, Eyes an ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Spinoff

Following this year’s Agent Carter limited series, the studio and the network are quietly prepping another, a S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff, for next season. The project would reportedly feature cast members from the mothership series, with the talent deals currently being worked out. That is the strategy used for the Arrow-Flash spinoff series, now in the works at the CW, also for next season. (DH)

Baz Luhrman’s New Netflix Show, ‘The Get Down’, Has Announced Its Cast

Show is about a group of "rag tag teenagers" set in the Bronx in the late ‘70s, and has added the four main cast members. T.J. Brown, Justice Smith, Shameik Moore and Skylan Brooks will play the four leads of the show. Netflix ordered 13 episodes of The Get Down and Luhrmann will direct the first two episodes and the season finale. It is expected to debut in 2016. (HP)

HBO Is Not Wasting Any Time, Announces That ‘True Detective’ Returns June 21st

The new installment of the Emmy-award winning series, stars Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch, and centers around a murder that brings together three law-enforcement officers and a career criminal. All four involved must navigate a web of conspiracy and betrayal in the scorched landscapes of California. Nic Pizzolatto wrote the series, and the first two episodes of the new season will be directed by Justin Lin. (VAR)

As Paramount Gears Up For Its ‘Marco Polo’ Project, Hayden Christensen Answers the Call

Rob Cohen is directing the fantasy-action movie, which will star Christensen in the lead role of the co-production between Paramount and China Film Group. Also involved are Chinese firms Yuehua Entertainment and Huahua Film & Media Culture, as well Phoenix Entertainment, who all are co-producing the project. (THR)

The ’Gremlins’ Reboot Takes a Giant Step Forward, as Warner Bros. Hires a Writer

New hire Carl Ellsworth is an experienced horror writer, with such credits as Disturbia, Red Eye, the remake of The Last House on the Left and the upcoming Goosebumps on his resume. Christopher Columbus wrote the script for the original Gremlins in 1984, and Joe Dante directed. While no director has been announced, Columbus will at least produce the remake alongside Steven Spielberg, who was a producer on the first film. (CB)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Orange Is the New Black’

The first look at the upcoming third season of the Emmy-winning Netflix series. The dramedy, which will now compete in the drama category in this year’s Emmys, will have its entire new season available on Netflix June 12th. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Grace and Frankie’

Netflix has also released the first trailer for its new comedy starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, reuniting for the first time since they starred together in 1980’s 9 to 5. All 13 episodes of the series, which also stars Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen, will be available on May 8th. (HP)

Lord and Miller Developing ‘The Flash’, Next Two ‘Avengers’ Sequels Get Writers, Arkin Joins ‘Style’ Remake, Dreyfuss Sues Disney


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Warner Has Hired Phil Lord and Chris Miller To Plot Their ‘Flash’ Movie

The filmmaking pair behind The LEGO Movie and the 21 Jump Street franchise is developing the story for the superhero film, but they have not yet decided if they will write anything more than the treatment and certainly have not yet signed on to direct the project, though Waner Bros. appears to want them to do so. Ezra Miller will star as the title character in the film, which will hit theaters in 2018. (DH)

To the Surprise Of Pretty Much No One Who Was Paying Attention, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Writers Will Handle ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Duties

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who worked with the Russo Brothers on the Captain America sequel, will write both parts of what will be the third and fourth Avengers films, Avengers: Infinity War, parts 1 and 2 . The two also penned the scripts for Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor: The Dark World in addition to The Winter Soldier, and created Marvel’s Agent Carter TV series. (COL)

The Remake Train Rolls On, as Alan Arkin Joins Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman In ‘Going In Style’ Re-Do

New Line is reinventing the 1979 George Burns comedy, which also starred Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. Zach Braff is directing from a script by Ted Melfi. The new version of Going in Style will center on three retired men who lose their pensions when the company they’ve worked for their entire lives is sold to a foreign corporation. Desperate for money to survive, they set out to try to rob the very bank that’s withholding their money. (VAR)

More Than Two Decades Later, Disney Is Sued Over Profit Participation From Two Movies

Richard Dreyfuss and Christine Wagner are suing Walt Disney Pictures over the 1991 film What About Bob? and 1989 motion picture Turner and Hooch. Dreyfuss co-starred with Bill Murray in the former while Wagner's late husband produced the latter starring Tom Hanks and a dog. According to a complaint filed yesterday in LA Superior Court, Disney has refused a demand by Dreyfuss and Wagner to hire their chosen auditor. (THR)

James Gray Dives Back Into TV, but This Time, It’s With an Animated ‘70s Crime Drama

Director Gray will executive produce and look over all the creative decisions on Hard Apple. The animated show is geared towards adults and based on Jerome Charyn’s books that track Isaac Sidel, a fictional detective who walks through three decades of law enforcement starting in the 1970s. Tomer and Asaf Hanuka ("Waltz With Bashir") will be on the animation team, the project is set up at Canal Plus, and a director and showrunner are yet to be announced. (TP)

Guillermo del Toro Lands His First Star For His Big ‘Haunted Mansion’ Adaptation

Ryan Gosling is in talks to play the lead in the film, based on the popular Disneyland ride. D.V. Devincentis wrote the most recent version of the script, originally crafted by del Toro and Matthew Robbins. There was a previous version of this movie, of course, released in 2003 and starring Eddie Murphy. The film was not a hit and Disney has been looking to reboot it. (SF)

Let the Bloodletting Begin: What TV Can Learn From ‘Game Of Thrones’

The battle for eyeballs — and advertising dollars — is a drama worthy of "Game of Thrones." The powerful, entrenched dynasties of TV's past are fighting desperately to keep what was theirs. It's an environment where allegiances are always shifting, and the line between friend and enemy is never clearly marked. (AA)

Another ‘Game Of Thrones’ Post: With the Series Returning On Sunday, Some Of the Most Interesting Fan Theories

If there is one thing that makes a big fantasy epic like Game of Thrones fun, it’s the fan theories. Any massively complex story — especially one that is so incomplete — is going to draw the interest and ire of its fanbase. The fact that the story is incomplete is what makes it so compelling and unique. (FSR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘True Detective’

HBO has released the first trailer from the highly anticipated second season of the Emmy-winning anthology series. This version, which stars Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch, premieres June 21st. (HP)

Screenwriters: ‘Darkman’

The 172-page screenplay by Joshua and Daniel Goldin, Sam and Ivan Raimi and Chuck Pfarrar, based on a story by Sam Raimi. Unspecified draft is dated February 9th, 1989. (DS)