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Exec Shuffle for 4/10/15: The CAA/UTA Shake-Up, IM360 to Produce VR Content & More from Annapurna Pictures, Endemol Shine


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Company Launches

STX Entertainment, co-founded by Robert Simonds and TPG Capital is slated to distribute as many as 15 movies a year beginning in 2016 and signed a new deal with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Universal will market, sell, and distribute discs, electronic sell-through, and VOD as part of a new multi-year deal.

Ryan Seacrest Production’s unscripted division will partner with international reality powerhouse Endemol Shine, with the deal expected to close in winter 2015. Endemol Shine’s subsidiary companies that include Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds, although the deal with Seacrest will not be an acquisition.

Canadian financier and distributor Remstar has partnered with LA-based film and television producer Clark Peterson to launch Remstar Studios, a content production and financing venture with offices in Los Angeles and Montreal that will co-finance, develop and produce independent features and television. On the film side, the company will focus on star-driven projects in the sub-$10 million budget category, while the TV side will look for series with international financing.

WWE Studios is teaming with British financing and production outfit Richwater Films for a deal in which the companies will share funding and production on two action films including the feature Eliminators.

Kristina Hicks and Dallas Carroll launched Illuminated Media International (IMI), a full service artist representation and production company that handles every aspect of production from strategy, sales, bidding and treatments all the way through to production and finish using the most cutting edge methods and techniques custom tailored to fit each job. Their client, Reuben Wu was featured in SSN’s latest Development Pick List.

Digital Domain Holdings, the Hong Kong-based parent company of long-time visual-effects house Digital Domain, and Immersive Media are partnering in a joint venture called IM360 to create hardware, software and actual shows for the new world of virtual-reality entertainment, 3-D video.

The Weinstein Company is in discussions sell its growing television unit to Britain’s ITV Studios for as much as $950 million, per NY Times, following a month’s long search for a buyer.


David Kaminow will be the new president of marketing for Annapurna Pictures. He recently worked at Sony Pictures, will oversee all global marketing and publicity for Annapurna and its projects. He’ll report directly to Megan Ellison. Veteran executive and producer Glendon Palmer has joined prolific entertainment company IM Global, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA, as Senior Vice President of Development & Production, it was announced today by company Founder and CEO Stuart Ford.  Palmer will report to Ford and President of Production Matt Jackson.

Red Wagon Entertainment’s Co Heads Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher today announced the promotion of Charlie Morrison to Vice President.  Morrison will work alongside Vice President of Motion Picture and Television Nicki Cortese and Creative Executive Lucas Wiesendanger. Morrison served as a co-producer on Insurgent, the follow-up to Divergent. Red Wagon Entertainment is expanding to television and has several projects in development, which Morrison will  also oversee.

Paramount Pictures has upped Bob Buchi from EVP of Worldwide Marketing to president of Worldwide Home Media Distribution.

John Short is now SVP at Radiant Films International; he was formerly the VP of Sales at Voltage Picturees.

Michelle Nunes is now the SVP of Operations at Cinedigm, upped from her post as VP.

Andrew Lauren has partnered with D.J. Gugenheim, who has joined as the President of Production at Andrew Lauren Productions. Together they will develop a large film slate focusing on director-driven and commercial films. The company will also invest in up to three films a year with a seven figure fund for production and early stage pre-production as well as equity to back films ranging from $5 to 15 million. Gugenheim most recently was Executive Vice President of Production and Operations at Lotus Entertainment.


Liz Glotzer, previously of Castle Rock Entertainment, will oversee King Size Productions. The banner is headed by The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King who have a new overall deal with CBS Television Studios.

Jonathan Murray is stepping down as chairman of Bunim/Murray Productions after 23 years. The move comes exactly five years after Banijay Group bought the unscripted production company. Murray will remain on board as executive consultant, focusing on development.

Liz Gateley has been named EVP and Head of Programming for Lifetime and will oversee movies, scripted and unscripted series development for the network and affiliated brands, reporting to EVP and GM Robert Sharenow.

Mark Jocson has been upped from VP to SVP Digital Media and Games, Networks, at Sony Pictures Television. He will oversee SPT’s Games division, a mobile game publishing studio and continue to head digital product and platform initiatives for SPT’s networks globally.

Andrew Weil has moved to Netflix’s original series comedy team from previous post as Universal TV VP of Comedy where he guided Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Mindy Project and About a Boy. Previously he was head of scripted television for BermanBraun. He will report to Netflix’s Jane Wiseman.

Ingrid Escajeda has signed a new two-year overall deal at 20th Century Fox Television Studios. The former Justified producer will develop and supervise projects with her first assignment executive producing Fox’s hit series Empire.

Scripps has expanded corporate roles for several executives following its merger with Journal Broadcast Group. Debbie Turner, previously executive VP at Journal Broadcast Group and WTVF Nashville general manager, is now VP of TV operations and will oversee the operations of all 33 Scripps TV stations. Ed Fernandez has been promoted to VP and divisional general manager, Steve Wasserman was upped to VP and divisional general manager, Lyn Plantinga was upped to the new VP and general manager in Nashville, Mike Murri will be the new VP and general manager at WXYZ-WMYD and Lloyd Bucher will be the new VP and general manager for WPTV.

Cable startup Layer3 TV has named Lindsay Gardner their chief content officer. Gardner joined Layer3 as an advisor last August and has been heading the company's content advisory board, but has formalized his relationship by joining the company full-time. Gardner will report to CEO Jeff Binder and focus on establishing partnerships.

Barbra Held has been named to a newly created position as VP of event production at the Television Academy. In the new role, she will be responsible for the planning and execution of all live events including the Television Academy Hall of Fame and Television Academy Honors.

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

In the continued UTA/CAA shake-up, UTA has gained (now former) CAA agents Mackenzie Condon, a talent and literary agent working in film and television and Chelsea McKinnies, a motion pictures talent agent. Andrew Skikne, formerly of CAA’s comedy department has also made the leap and joined UTA’s touring department. Comedy Coordinators Sean Eisenberg and Samantha Murphy have also shifted to UTA from CAA. They will join other CAA defectors, Jason Heyman, Martin Lesak, Greg Cavic, Nick Nuciforo, Gregory McKnight, Susie Fox, John Sacks and Joanna Scott.

Tom Ham is now the director of business development in gaming at the Create Advertising Group, shifted from being the previous head of publisher relations at Machinima.

Former head of music/personal appearances at UTA, Rob Prinz has shifted to ICM Partners. He will join the agency’s Los Angeles office as a partner. Several clients are leaving with him including Jerry Seinfeld and Celine Dion, see the latest Rep Moves for more info. Nikki Wheler has shifted from her agent post in the concerts division at UTA to the same at ICM Partners. Ally Frohman also moves over to become manager of corporate communications at ICM, she was previously the director of talent relations at SLASH-PR. Acne LA has hired Line Postmyr as managing director and broadcast executive producer. She’s worked with brands such as Nike, Levi's, Mercedes and on music videos for Madonna, Nirvana, Iggy Pop and Björk.

Cablevision promoted Matthew Grover to Senior Vice President, Sales Operations and Commercial Sales. Most recently, Grover serves as Vice President of Sales Operations.

Hungry Man has signed Cannes Gold Lion winner Lenny Dorfman for global representation. He’s previously worked on brands like Nike and Coca Cola and directed the pilot Iconoclast for Sundance Channel. Dorfman was previously represented by O Positive and before that, Radical Media.

Reset, a commercial production house has signed Reynald Gresset, formerly of Caviar USA, for representation in the North American market. Gresset’s work for brands includes Samsung, SyFy Channel, and Johnson & Johnson.

Collective Digital Studio, a multiplatform digital-entertainment company, has appointed Phil Ranta to chief operating officer. He was previously with YouTube multichannel network Fullscreen. In his new role he will oversee the network, engineering and distribution teams and will develop strategies to strengthen and enhance CDS’ MCN. He reports to CDS CEO Reza Izad.

Mark Noble was upped to Senior Producer at The Insider. Noble joined the show last October after serving as Senior Field Director at Access Hollywood.

Sharre Jacoby was named Executive Producer of animation and design studio Stun Creative. Previously, Jacoby was Executive Producer/Head of Operations at Pembrook Productions.

YayBig productions has hired director Phillip Lopez, whose recent projects include Little Dicky's "White Crimes" music video and Free People clothing brand's website homepage video. This is his first signing with a commercial production company.

How Indie TV Is Changing the Landscape, Warner Wants Wan For ‘Aquaman’, Iannucci Is Leaving ‘Veep’, ‘Dark Tower’ Saga Back On, Exec Shuffle For 4/10/15


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Forget Indie Film — How Indie TV Is Changing the Content Landscape and Producers Are Getting Pilots Made

Netflix is buying feature films, Woody Allen is making an Amazon show, and A-list Oscar winners have no problem taking a role in a TV show or miniseries, even at the height of their career. In other words, it’s an exciting time for television. The landscape is changing so rapidly it’ll give you whiplash. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 4/10/15: More On the CAA/UTA Shakeup, IM360 To Produce VR Content and More From Annapurna Pictures, Endemol Shine

An especially busy week with dozens of moves in all sorts of departments, with company launches, hirings and firings, and the usual craziness. Click the link for the full skinny. (SSN)


Apparently, There Is a Frontrunner For the ‘Aquaman’ Directing Gig, and His Name Is James Wan

The director, hot off the smash opening of his Furious 7 ($392 million worldwide, but who’s counting?), is the frontrunner to direct Aquaman, Warner Bros.’ water-borne superhero movie centering on the classic DC Entertainment character, which will star Jason Momoa. Wan has no offer at this stage but he is the studio's choice and some preliminary talks have taken place. (HV)

Armando Iannucci Is Leaving ‘Veep’ After the Fourth Season, Will Be Replaced By David Mandel

Iannucci, who created the Julia Louis-Dreyfus-starring show, is stepping down from the Emmy-winning series, with Curb Your Enthusiasm vet Mandel stepping in for him. HBO has not yet renewed the series for a fifth season, but that seems like something of a foregone conclusion at this point. The new season premieres Sunday night. (VAR)

That ‘Dark Tower’ Saga Mega Project Has Found New Life At Sony and MRC

Media Rights Capital is teaming with the studio for the enormous franchise originally conceived by Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment. The combination of movies and a TV series originally had Howard on board to direct, but he will solely produce now. A script for the The Gunslinger, the first book in the seven-tome series, has been written by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner. No word on a director or a start date. (TP)

For the First Time In Forever, the Studios Are All Fighting Over a Musical Project, and Josh Gad Is At the Center Of it

Gad and his Wedding Ringer director Jeremy Garelick have taken the untitled project around town and it appears that every studio is making a bid for the project, which is still in the pitch stage. Oscar winners Alan Menken would be writing the music and Stephen Schwartz writing the lyrics. Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros’ New Line, Sony Pictures, Fox and Universal have all offered 7 figures for the movie. (MH)

At Long Last, AMC Has Found Its Man To Play ‘Preacher’

Dominic Cooper is close to a deal that would have him playing the title role in the long-gestating TV show, developed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, along with Sam Catlin. Cooper would play Jesse Custer, a conflicted preacher in a small Texas town who is able to influence people after after he merges with a heavenly creature. The cable network has already picked up the show to series. (SF)

If You’re Looking For a CEO Position, Check With Participant Media: They Have an Opening

Jim Berk is resigning from the post, and has been temporarily replaced by founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll while the board looks for someone else. Berk spent more than eight years at the company, which has produced over 60 films, including The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, CITIZENFOUR, Fast Food Nation, Good Night And Good Luck, The Help, and An Inconvenient Truth. (DH)

Reese Witherspoon’s Producing Career Continues To Thrive: She’ll Oversee ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’

The Oscar-winner and her producing partner, Bruna Papandrea, have attached themselves to the film adaptation of another hotly anticipated, yet-to-be-published book for Lionsgate. The book, out May 12th from Simon & Schuster, centers on a 28-year-old woman who appears to have everything, but is struggling to get past a trauma from her teen years that threatens to unravel her current life.   (WAH)

First Look: ‘Suicide Squad’

Warner Bros. has released the first images from the next step in its superhero universe, which will follow next March’s Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, including a cast photo at the first read through and the initial shot of Jared Leto, who will play The Joker in the film. Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5th, 2016. (EMP)

ICYMI 4/6-4/10 – Indie TV, Writer Procrastination, CAA/ UTA War, Development Picks


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Forget Indie Film — How Indie TV Is Changing the Content Landscape and Producers Are Getting Pilots Made

Netflix is buying feature films, Woody Allen is making an Amazon show, and A-list Oscar winners have no problem taking a role in a TV show or miniseries, even at the height of their career. In other words, it’s an exciting time for television. The landscape is changing so rapidly it’ll give you whiplash. (SSN)

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)

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)

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)

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)

‘Furious 7′ Repeats Box Office Win, Fox Going Apocalyptic, De Luca Signs With Universal, ‘Spider-Man’ News, Smokehouse’s ‘Doomsday’ Plan


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‘Furious 7’ Wins Again At the Box Office, Rakes In Over $60 Million and Clears $200 Mil Overall

Home came in seance with $19 million, which gives it just shy of $130 million in the 17 days since its release. The Longest Ride came in third, opening with $13 million, with Get Hard sinking to fourth with $8.64 million, while Cinderella rounded out the top five. (BO)

Fox Has Another Apocalypse In Store For Us, In the Form Of a Limited Series

The network has put in development Aftermath, a limited event series from The Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson and feature writing duo Ryan Belenzon and Jeffrey Gelber. Written/executive produced by Belenzon and Gelber, Aftermath is set in the wake of a worldwide flu pandemic. A former CDC virologist is forced to investigate the strange pathogenic suicide of a John Doe, who might hold the key to stopping a high-level government conspiracy. (DH)

It’s Official, Michael De Luca and Universal Are In Business Together For the Next Three Years

The former Sony president of production is getting back into the producing game full time after he oversaw the monster Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation. His first-look deal with Universal follows a successful run at Sony, which included upcoming films like Ron Howard’s Inferno, The Magnificent Seven remake, Passengers with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, and Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot. (TOH)

For Those Who Were Wondering, the Rebooted, Marvel-Produced Spider-Man Will Be a High School-Aged Peter Parker

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that Marvel and Sony will put the character back in high school, and he will be 15 or 16 years old. There had been speculation that the new Spider-Man might be the African-American Miles Morales, but Feige made it clear that Peter Parker is going to be the character in question. No word yet on casting. (NSA)

George Clooney and His Smokehouse Pictures Will See What It’s Like ‘Three Minutes To Doomsday’

Clooney and his partner, Grant Heslov, nabbed the rights to the non-fiction book, which follows the FBI’s leading body language expert, Navarro, who was sent to track down Rod Ramsey to report on his knowledge or association with Clyde Lee Conrad, an U.S. Army officer who sold top-secret classified information to the People’s Republic of Hungary. It documents Navarro and Ramsey’s relationship and interviews against the backdrop of the Cold War. (VAR)

There Is Going To Be a ‘Pitch Perfect 3’, and Rebel Wilson Is Going To Be In It

With the second Pitch Perfect set to open next month, Universal is already getting the ball rolling on a third film in the unexpected franchise. No word yet on whether the star of the first two films, Anna Kendrick, will return, or if director Elizabeth Banks will be back, but the expectation is that Hallee Steinfeld, who was cast in the second film to carry the franchise forward, will do so with the third. (COL)

A Theory Of Everything Warner Bros. Wants Includes Eddie Redmayne as the Lead In ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’

The Oscar winner is the frontrunner to lead the studio’s Harry Potter spinoff. J.K. Rowling is penning the script herself for this story, set in New York 70 years before Harry even comes into the picture, and focusing on Newt Scamander, a “magiczoologist.” Four more major roles — two women, two men — also need to be filled for the movie that will helmed by Potter veteran David Yates. The movie is set to hit cinemas on November 18th, 2016. (TP)

‘Deepwater Horizon’ Adds a Couple More Names To Its Already Impressive Cast

Kurt Russell and Dylan O’Brien have signed on to join Mark Wahlberg and Gina Rodriguez in the movie, about the 2010 BP oil platform explosion that led to oil being spewed into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. Peter Berg is directing the film, which is going into production in the next few weeks. (CB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Ballers’

The first look at HBO’s new comedy series, starring Dwayne Johnson as a former football star. The 10-episode series premieres June 21st. (SAA)

Screenwriters: Script Angel — Finding Your Writing Voice

It is essential if you want your script to stand out from the thousands of others that flood the spec market every year. With readers having so much material to wade through, and when all the craft boxes are ticked (great story, distinctive and flawed characters, etc) a unique writing voice is the thing that will make them excited about one script over all of the others. But what is it and how do you find it? (SM)

On the Set for 4/13/15: Margot Robbie Wraps on ‘Fun House’ & Starts ‘Suicide Squad’, Dave Franco Begins YA Adaptation ‘Nerve’


at arrivals for 71st Golden Globes Awards - Arrivals 2, The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA January 12, 2014. Photo By: Linda Wheeler/Everett Collection


Nerve 4/13/2015 Logline: A teenage girl gets caught up in an online game of dares called Nerve, but what starts out as fun and leads to fame turns deadly as the mysterious company behind it all plays on contestants' fears. Studio: Lionsgate Production Company(s): Allison Shearmur Productions Director(s): Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman Producer(s): Allison Shearmur, Anthony Katagas Cast: Dave Franco, Emma Roberts Writer(s): Jessica Sharzer Details: Based on the novel "Nerve," written by Jeanne Ryan and published by Dial September 13, 2012. SSN Insight: Follows Lionsgate’s Hunger Games strategy of adapting YA book series and casting stars on the verge of break-out. Franco’s previous credits include 22 Jump Street and Neighbors and Roberts was recently seen in American Horror Story. Suicide Squad 4/13/2015 Logline: Film based on the DC comic, the Suicide Squad, a team of incarcerated supervillains who are used assets in high-risk black ops missions by the U.S. government in exchange for commuted prison sentences. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company(s): DC Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment Director(s): David Ayer Executive Producer(s): Colin Wilson, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Geoff Johns Producer(s): Charles Roven, Richard Suckle Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney Writer(s): David Ayer Details: Based on the comic book series "Suicide Squad" created by John Ostrander and published by DC Comics from May 1987 to June 1992. An early incarnation of "Suicide Squad," created by Robert Kanigher, appeared in DC Comics' The Brave and the Bold #25 in 1959. SSN Insight: Jesse Eisenberg was rumored to be attached in the role of Lex Luthor. Lin Pictures previously attached to produce.

The Greasy Strangler 4/13/2015 Logline: In Los Angeles, a man and his son compete for the attention of a seductive woman just as an inhuman, murderous maniac appears to strangle the innocent. Production Company(s): Alamo Drafthouse Films, Rook Films, Timpson Films, SpectreVision Director(s): Jim Hosking Executive Producer(s): Ben Wheatley, Tim League Producer(s): Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller, Elijah Wood, Andy Starke, Anthony Timpson Cast: Elijah Wood Writer(s): Jim Hosking, Toby Harvard SSN Insight: Marks the feature directorial debut of Jim Hosking who hails from England. Set in Los Angeles and is scheduled to start shooting in LA as well. Film is part of the creative collaboration within the Drafthouse-backed Fantastic Fest.


Fun House 4/10/2015 Logline: A humorous look at a reporter's struggles while in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company(s): Broadway Video, Inc., Little Stranger, Inc. Director(s): Glenn Ficarra, John Requa Producer(s): Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels, Ian Bryce Cast: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Christopher Abbott, Nicholas Braun Writer(s): Robert Carlock Details: Based on the memoir "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan" by Kim Barker; published by Doubleday in 2011. SSN Insight: In addition to Fun House, Tina Fey has films Sisters and Live from New York! awaiting release, Mail-Order Groom and an Untitled Walt Disney/Tina Fey/Witch Project in active development and Mommy & Me in development.

In Dubious Battle 4/12/2015 Logline: Based on the John Steinbeck novel, the story takes place in 1930s California, and focuses on an activist who organizes a group of fruit workers in a labor strike. Production Company(s): Rabbit Bandini Productions, That's Hollywood, AMBI Distribution Director(s): James Franco Producer(s): Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Scott Reed, Vince Jolivette, Ron Singer Cast: Nat Wolff, James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vincent D'Onofrio, Robert Duvall Writer(s): Matt Rager, Tom Steinbeck Details: Based on the novel "In Dubious Battle" written by John Steinbeck and published by in New York by Covici-Friede in 1936. SSN Insight: Previously in development with Zupnik Enterprises Inc. Alec Baldwin and Brad Pitt were previously mentioned to star.

Oppenheimer Strategies 4/10/2015 Logline: Three years after small-time operator Norman Oppenheimer befriends a young politician during a low point in his life, the young man becomes an influential world leader and Norman’s life drastically. Director: Joseph Cedar Executive Producer(s): Matthew Malek, Amanda Marshall, Michal Graidy, Caroline Kaplan, Jim Kaufman Producer(s): Oren Moverman, Lawrence Inglee, Eyal Rimmon, Gideon Tadmor, Gaston Pavlovich Cast: Richard Gere, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Josh Charles Writer(s): Joseph Cedar SSN Insight: Shooting took place in NY. Gere recently starred in Time Out Of Mind directed by Moverman as well as the sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. ICM Partners will be handling domestic rights, while The Solution Entertainment Group is representing international rights.

Shifting Gears 4/13/2015 Logline: A group of hard-working underdogs must drive in, and win, a big dirt car race to defeat their dastardly nemesis and save their beloved auto shop. Production Company(s): Tonic Films Director: Jason Winn Producer(s): R Keith Harris, Matt Zboyovski, Lauren Moews Vilchik Cast: M.C. Gainey, R Keith Harris Writer(s): R Keith Harris SSN Insight: Vilchik was nominated for the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards Producer’s Award for “Outstanding Achievement for a Body of Work” and credits include Cabin Fever.

The Boy 4/13/2015 Logline: To escape her troubled life in the United States, a young woman moves to England and takes a job as a nanny for the eight-year old son of a wealthy English couple, but the boy turns out to be a life-sized doll. Studio: STX Entertainment Production Company(s): Lakeshore Entertainment, Vertigo Entertainment Director(s): William Brent Bell Executive Producer(s): John Middleton Producer(s): Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Roy Lee, Matt Berenson, Jim Wedaa Cast: Lauren Cohan Writer(s): Stacey Menear SSN Insight: Bell previously directed another horror film, The Devil Inside. The production shot in Victoria, British Columbia, and the surrounding community. STX Entertainment recently made the deal to distribute the film and set the nationwide release for January 22, 2016.

Waiting for the Miracle to Come 4/8/2015 Logline: A young woman on a quest for gold finds much different and far greater riches than she’d ever expected. Production Companies: Horse Pictures, Wim Wenders Productions, Fabrica de Cine, Cave Pictures Director: Lian Lunson Executive Producer(s): Dale Brown, Mark Rodgers, Matthew Malek, Bono, Wim Wenders Producer(s): Lian Lunson, Molly M. Mayeux, Terence Berry, Gaston Pavlovich Cast: Sophie Lowe, Willie Nelson, Charlotte Rampling, Adam Beach, Sile Bermingham Writer(s): Lian Lunson SSN Insight: This project marks the first feature film for writer-director Lian Lunson. He previously directed other music-centric documentaries including the Leonard Cohen pic Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man. Production is set to start shooting in Willie Nelson’s hometown of Spicewood, Texas. Executive producer and U2 front man Bono will also pen an original song that Nelson will sing in the movie.

Yallwest 2015 Hit List, Letterman’s Final Guest List, Miles Teller – Producer, Disney Boards Spielberg’s ‘BFG’, On the Set For 4/13/15




The Yallwest 2015 Hit List: Eight Available YA Titles

This past weekend, SALLOWEST hit Santa Monica. The event had 37 New York Times Bestselling authors and 36 local and acclaimed authors and artists among many others fielding questions at panels, book signings and workshops. To wrap-up the event SSN picked eight YA novels ripe for adaptation. (SSN)

On the Set For 4/13/15: Margot Robbie Wraps ‘Fun House’ and Starts ‘Suicide Squad’, Dave Franco Begins ‘Nerve’

Franco is working with Emma Roberts on the YA adaptation, while Elijah Wood starts The Greasy Strangler. Meanwhile, a number of projects wrap principal photography, including Oppenheimer Strategies with Richard Gere and Lauren Cohan in The Boy. (SSN)


David Letterman Only Has 28 Shows Left, and HIs Guest List For Them Is Kind Of Insane

Just about every major star in Hollywood will be stopping by to say goodbye to the cranky guy behind the desk, including Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Robert Downey, Jr., Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Michael J. Fox, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Keaton, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Sarah Jessica Parker, Don Rickles, Ray Romano, Paul Rudd, Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Short, Howard Stern, John Travolta, Bruce Willis and Oprah Winfrey. (CB)

Miles Teller Will Be Branching Out, Will Produce ‘Home Is Burning’, as Well as Star

New Line has bought upcoming the upcoming memoir by Dan Marshall, with Warm Bodies helmer Jonathan Levine set to direct. In Home Is Burning, which will hit shelves in October via Flatiron Books, Marshall recounts when he had to move home (into his parents' basement) to help out after his mother faced a cancer relapse and his father was diagnosed with ALS. (THR)

Steven Spielberg’s ‘The BFG’ Adds More Cast, and Disney Jumps On Board, as Well

The Walt Disney Studios has also joined the project to co-produce and co-finance, making The BFG the very first time Spielberg is directing a Disney-branded movie. The adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel will star Mark Rylance as the title character and Ruby Barnhill as Sophie, the young orphan who travels to Giant Country. The film will also feature Penelope Wilton, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader and Jemaine Clement. (COL)

Katee Sackhoff Has a New TV Show In Her Immediate Future

The Battlestar Galactica alumna is set to topline another drama set in the future, this one her own creation. Sackhoff has teamed with Continuum producer Reunion Pictures for the project, Rain, which she wrote and is executive producing though her Fly Free Productions. Show is described as an evolutionary parable that gives us a look into our possible future as a species viewed through the eyes of a soldier named Rain (Sackhoff). (DH)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Becomes the Latest Name To Join Bill Condon’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Remake

The actress will play Plumette the feather duster - maid of the castle prior to the Enchantress' spell, who is also Lumiere's girlfriend. She is transformed into a feather duster after the curse. The movie stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the beast, and Luke Evans as Gaston. It hits theaters in March of 2017. (SAA)

Sarah Paulson Enjoys Working With Ryan Murphy So Much, She’s Returning To Another Season Of ‘AHS’

Just a few days after American Hotel Story alum Kathy Bates was confirmed to rejoin the series for the upcoming Hotel, Paulson has checked in as well. In true Ryan Murphy style, the showrunner tweeted that “AHS” mainstay Paulson will be returning for the fifth season. Paulson has starred in all four of the previous installments. She joins the previously announced Lady Gaga, Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, Wes Bentley and Chloë Sevigny. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Terminator: Genisys’

The newest look at the upcoming reboot of the franchise, which reveals the movie’s villain, so, spoiler alert. The movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke and Jai Courtney, and hits theaters July 1st. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Ant-Man’

Marvel’s latest look at the highly anticipated follow-up to next month’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron, features Paul Rudd in the title role. The movie also stars Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lily, and Corey Stoll and hits theaters July 17th. (SF)

HBO Renews Two, Sanford Panitch Bolts To Sony, Candice McDonough Heads to RelativityEuropaCorp, MacLaren Leaves ‘Wonder Woman’


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HBO Doesn’t Waste Any Time, Renews ‘Veep’ and ‘Silicon Valley’ After Sunday’s Premieres

This means all of HBO’s current Sunday night programs are officially set to come back next year. Game of Thrones, which debuted its fifth season Sunday, has already been renewed through through Season 6. And John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is set through 2017. Veep creator Armando Iannucci will not be returning for the show’s fifth season. (SF)

Sanford Panitch Leaves Fox To Take Over as Sony’s Head Of International Film and TV Division

Newly appointed Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman worked with Panitch for two decades when Rothman ran Fox’s film division. Panitch served as president of Fox International Productions, a division of 20th Century Fox, and was highly regarded for his ability to make local-language content that appealed to diverse foreign markets.  (VAR)

Relativity EuropaCorp Just Made a Really Fantastic Hire

Candice McDonough is joining the company as executive vp theatrical publicity. She joins the joint venture after 14 years at New Line Cinema, where she most recently served as senior vp of publicity and corporate communications. During her tenure at New Line, she worked on Wedding Crashers, Horrible Bosses, We're the Millers and The Conjuring. (THR)

So Now Michelle MacLaren Will NOT Be Directing That ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie For Warner Bros.

The director and the studio parted ways over “creative differences,” with the studio releasing a statement that, “Warner Bros. and Michelle MacLaren have decided not to move forward with plans to develop and direct Wonder Woman together.” No word on any potential replacement, but the film is still due in theaters in 2017. (COL)

In Other Female Superhero News, ‘Captain Marvel’ Lands Writers Of ‘Guardians Of the Galaxy’ and “Inside Out’

Marvel is in the midst of enlisting screenwriters Nicole Perlman — who co-wrote Guardians — and Meg LeFauve — who penned the upcoming Pixar film — to work on the script. The pair is not a writing duo, but rather are being put together because Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was impressed by their separate takes and believes that they can work together to create something very special. (CB)

Crackle Becomes the Latest Online Service To Get Into the Hourlong Drama Game

Dennis Quaid will lead The Art Of More, alongside Christian Cooke. Drama explores the underbelly of premium auction houses. It follows a blue collar young man who leverages his way in to this exclusive existence by exploiting his connections to antiquities smuggling rings he was exposed to as a soldier in Iraq. Written by Chuck Rose and Gardner Stern, Crackle has given it a 10-episode order. (DH)

Bryan Singer’s Next X-Men Movie Adds Even More Actors To Its Already Enormous Cast

Olivia Munn and Ben Hardy have joined the cast of X-Men: Apocalypse, with Munn playing the character of Psylocke, and Hardy as Angel. Both characters previously appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand, with Mei Melancon playing the former and Ben Foster the latter. The film starts shooting this spring and will be in theaters May 27th, 2016. (TP)

Cannes Announces Its Opening Night Film, and It’s Kind Of a Big Deal

La Tête Haute, was directed by Emmanuelle Bercot and stars Catherine Deneuve. Astonishingly enough, this marks the first time that the festival has opened with a film directed by a female director since 1987, when Cannes kicked off with Diane Kurys' A Man in Love. (IW)

First Look: ‘Creed’

The first look at Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in Ryan Coogler’s Rocky spinoff, following the boxing adventures of Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis. The movie hits theaters November 25th. (EW)

Online Film School: ‘An Absurdly In-Depth Study Of the Beach Scene In ‘Jaws’

The video does a striking and thorough job explaining how Steven Spielberg tortures the viewer by forcing them to identify with a powerless figure caught in the middle of a violently chaotic moment. It’s about framing, camera direction and dramatic irony. It’s also about color coordination, foreground imagery and the culmination of earlier character decisions. (FSR)

TV Development for 4/14/15: Agents of Shield Spinoff, Charlize Theron Adds Mythos to Her Slate, Dwayne Johnson’s New Project & More



Untitled Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Spinoff Project Network: ABC Entertainment Group Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment Logline: Storyline under wraps. Notes: The project is planned as a spinoff of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," which premiered on ABC in 2013. SSN Insight: The spinoff has not been officially greenlit. Per EW, the show would use cast from the current series, with the talent deals currently being worked out. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-EP, Paul Zbyszewski, is predicted to tackle showrunner duties should series get an order.

Untitled Boy George Reality Project Production Company(s): Bunim/Murray Productions Executive Producer(s): Boy George, Paul Kemsley, Cindy Cowan, Gil Goldschein Logline: The series will chronicle Culture Club singer Boy George's relocation from London to Los Angeles. SSN Insight: Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer when the singer arrives in L.A. A network has not been set yet for the docuseries.

Death of a King Studio: Warner Brothers Television Production Company(s): Bad Robot Executive Prodcuer(s): J.J. Abrams, Tavis Smiley Logline: About the dramatic and untold story of King’s tumultuous last year leading to his 1968 assassination.  Notes: Based on the book “Death of a King” published by Little, Brown & Co. SSN Insight: It's not set whether the series will be a drama or event/limited series. It will be shopped to networks in fall. Folllows the model of Stephen King‘s 11/22/63, which Bad Robot acquired and developed before landing a straight-to-series order at Hulu and cast James Franco as lead.

Gorgeous Morons Network: ABC Family Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): Quantity Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky, Danny Chun Writer(s): Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky, Danny Chun Logline: Two stunningly handsome but ridiculously simple brothers, one is a model, the other a personal trainer, find their lives rocked by their brainy new roommate, a female literature PhD whose looks are, by their standards, in desperate need of help. SSN Insight: This project was previously in development at CBS for the 2013-2014 season with a put pilot. ABC Family ordered the pilot on April 10. Eisenberg and Stupintsky have teamed up before, most recently on Trophy Wife at ABC, Bad Teacher at CBS and Hello Ladies at HBO.

Significant Mother Network: CW Television Network Studio: CBS Television Studios, Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): Alloy Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Erin Cardillo, Richard Keith, Tripp Reed, Leslie Morgenstein Writer(s): Erin Cardillo, Richard Keith Logline: Nate is a budding Portland restaurateur whose world is turned upside down when he comes back from a business trip to find his lothario best friend and roommate, Jimmy, is dating his recently separated mother, Lydia. To make matters worse, Nate’s previously disinterested dad, Harrison, is determined to win Lydia back and isn’t afraid to use Nate to get what he wants. Stuck between his family feud and his best friend’s first serious relationship, Nate’s "new normal" forever changes his relationships with his parents and severely handicaps his own dating life. Notes: Based on the digital series, "Significant Mother," which premiered on CW Seed in 2014. SSN Insight: CW has given a series order of 9 episodes as of April 10 and the series will shoot in June in Portland, Oregon. CW Seed (originally CWD or CW Digital Studio) is a production arm for original content created exclusively for digital platforms in the areas of animation, game shows, comedy and digital personalities.

Beyond Network: ABC Family Production Company(s): Imperative Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Adam Nussdorf, Zak Kadison, Justin Levy, Tim Krig, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones Writer(s): Adam Nussdorf Logline: A one-hour drama about a young man who wakes up from a coma after 12 years and discovers new supernatural abilities that propel him into the middle of a dangerous conspiracy. SSN Insight: ABC Family has given a pilot order which marks the first order for Imperative Entertainment, the production company started by Kring, Blacklight founder Kadison and Bradley Thomas last year with financing from Friedkin Group.

Britannia Studio: Backup Films Executive Producer(s): Elizabeth Stanley, Thomas Bliss, Martha Little, Neil Marshall Logline: Follows the Roman invasion of what would become Great Britain in 43 A.D. and the rise of iconic female warrior Boudicca. SSN Insight: This eight-part series marks the first even English language series for Paris-based financier and producer Backup Films. The series will be shopped at Mip and does not have a network deal yet. Backup partners Jean-Baptiste Babin, Joel Thibout and David Atlan-Jackson have expanded recently by co-financing Julianne Moore-starrer Still Alice and developing the Robert Pattinson-starrer Brimstone and is also a partner on French pay TV Canal + show The Returned. Rain Production Company(s): Reunion Pictures, Fly Free Productions Executive Producer(s): Katee Sackoff, Leland LaBarre, Tom Rowe Logline: An evolutionary parable that looks into our possible future as a species viewed through the eyes of a soldier named Rain. It explores how the long-term effects of global warming, the burning of fossil fuels and other factors contribute to its decline. SSN Insight: Sackhoff will star as Rain in the series which presently isn’t attached to a network. She currently co-stars in drama Longmire, which is moving to Netflix. She recently appeared in the viral hit short, Power/Rangers that has since been viewed upwards of 14 million times. Ice & Coco Network: Fox Studio: Warner Bros. Unscripted and Alternative Television Production Company(s): Telepictures Prods. Executive Producer(s): Candi Carter Logline: The talk show will feature actor and rapper Ice-T and his wife, Coco, as they take on the topics of the day — all things newsworthy, celeb-worthy and puppy-worthy. SSN Insight: Ice-T and Coco previously were behind the E! reality series Ice Loves Coco. The show ended last year and since Ice-T has produced a podcast. Per Deadline, “the daytime talk show for Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution is getting a three-week daily preview as a strip on Fox TV stations in select markets, including New York and Los Angeles, beginning Monday, August 3.”

USA Network

Amped Network: USA Network Studio: Warner Horizon Television Production Company(s): Kripke Enterprises Executive Producer(s): Eric Kripke Writer(s): Eric Kripke Logline: When a neurotic family man buys an online "smart pill" to increase his focus and jolt him out of his slump, he gets much more than he bargained for. To his surprise, the pill gives him incredible strength and power. The show examines both the mighty highs and humiliating lows of being a real-life super hero. Notes: Based on characters from the upcoming comic book, "Amped," written by Eric Kripke and to be published by Vertigo. SSN Insight: Kripke is also the creator of CW’s Supernatural and NBC’s Revolution.

AWOL Network: USA Network Studio: Fox 21 Television Studios Executive Producer(s): Len Wiseman, Michael Connolly, Andrew Plotkin Logline: The show deals with the gritty world of an ex-military operative who, after returning home, experiences trouble re-entering the real world and providing for his family. Desperate, he gets involved with the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles where he utilizes his military expertise in an unexpected way. SSN Insight: EP Wiseman currently has an Untitled Sci-Fi Drama Project with Scott Rosenbaum and a St. Patrick miniseries in development at Fox and wrapped the pilot for Lucifer at Fox as well.

Cooley & the Tank Network: USA Network Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): Daniel Arkin, Anton Cropper, Jonathan Baruch, Robert Wolken Writer(s): Daniel Arkin, Anton Cropper Logline: The show goes behind-the-scenes of the fictional 1981 detective drama of the same name to explore the complicated lives of its two feuding stars. SSN Insight: Arkin and Cropper currently both serve as executive producers on USA’s current series Suits.

Mile High Network: USA Network Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Legendary Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Josh Parkinson, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Daniel McDermott Writer(s): Josh Parkinson Logline: Two best friends, a Wall Street broker and a struggling entrepreneur, team up to capitalize on the newly legalized cannabis enterprise in Colorado. The series follows the young duo as they enter into this highly lucrative growth industry, but their new venture is not without its obstacles such as dangerous criminals and stringent law enforcement. SSN Insight: Parkinson was previously a staff writer on Eastbound and Down and currently has another series, By the Horns, in development at AMC.

Mythos Network: USA Network Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Denver & Delilah Films Executive Producer(s): Charlize Theron, Laverne McKinnon Writer(s): Spenser Cohen Logline: All we believed to be myth, from the Fountain of Youth to Atlantis, is closely guarded truth, protected by two opposing orders, each with differing agendas for humanity. SSN Insight: Under Denver & Delilah’s first look TV deal with Universal Cable Productions established in January, Theron currently has six series in development: A Life in Men, Diblings, Get Well Soon, The One, an Untitled Greg Rucka Project, and Mythos.

Paradise Pictures Network: USA Network Studio: Universal Cable Productions Executive Producer(s): Rick Muirragui, Aaron Korsh Writer(s): Rick Muirragui Logline: Ambitious people strive to get to the top in 1940s Hollywood, when the dream factory was at its peak. Little do they know the challenges they’re about to face: the end of studio monopolies, the blacklist and the new disruptive technology of television. SSN Insight: Muirragui also served as co-EP of USA’s Suits. Starchitects Network: USA Network Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Endemol Shine North America Executive Producer(s): Mark Steilen, Christina Wayne, Catherine Hardwicke Writer(s): Mark Steilen Logline: The story follows the embattled rise of a talented young architect taking on the cutthroat competition at a top tier firm based in Los Angeles. SSN Insight: Steilen currently serves as co-EP for the Amazon series, Mozart in the Jungle.

Swamplandia! Network: USA Network Studio: Warner Horizon Television Production Company(s): Best Day Ever Productions Executive Producer(s): Liz Tigelaar, Barry Sonnenfeld Writer(s): Liz Tigelaar Logline: The show centers on the Bigtrees, owners of Florida’s top alligator-wrestling theme park. The family is reeling from a recent tragedy and is struggling to maintain its livelihood when a competitor moves in across the swamp. Notes: Based on the novel, "Swamplandia!," written by Karen Russell and published by Knopf in 2010. SSN Insight: Tigelaar’s having a busy season as she’s also the writer and co-EP behind the ordered to series The Astronaut’s Wives Club for ABC and the EP, writer on Casual for Hulu.

The Recessionistas Network: USA Network Studio: Universal Cable Productions Executive Producer(s): Alan Gasmer, Peter Jaysen Writer(s): Melissa London Hilfers Logline: A group of elite Manhattan women and their ruthless Wall Street husbands adjust to the new world order in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse. Notes: Based on the novel, "The Recessionistas," written Alexandra Lebenthal and published by Grand Central Publishing on August 9, 2010. SSN Insight: Planned as a limited series by USA.

The Tap Network: USA Network Studio: Universal Cable Productions Executive Producer(s): Rob Reiner, Andrew Lenchewski, Alan Greisman, Charles Ebersol Writer(s): Aaron Tracy Logline: Centers on a Yale student with aspirations to be among the best and the brightest, who is recruited by the CIA to become a mole in the secret Skull and Bones society. He becomes caught between the two very powerful organizations. SSN Insight: Reiner’s also the director and EP behind the Basket Case pilot for Spike TV.

Untitled Chrisley Knows Best Spinoff Network: USA Network Production Company(s): Maverick Television Executive Producer(s): Adam Greener, Jim Sayer Logline: This show is a spinoff of the series, "Chrisley Knows Best," which premiered on USA in 2014. SSN Insight: USA has given an initial pilot commitment as of April 7.

Untitled Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Reality Project Network: USA Network Production Company(s): 7 Bucks Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia Logline: Storyline under wraps. SSN Insight: Johnson is currently the EP behind TNT’s Wake Up Call and HBO’s Ballers awaiting air.

Strategies For a Screenwriting Career, Fukunaga Resurrects ‘The Alienist’, Streaming ‘Star Wars’ Celebration, J.Lo’s New Comedy, TV Development For 4/14/15


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Strategies For a Career In Screenwriting: Pushing Past Doubts To Be Daring

Filmmaker Pen Densham’s best-selling book on creative screenwriting, Riding the Alligator, is going abroad and is about to be published in Chinese by PT-Press. The Oscar nominated filmmaker, with 16 features and over 300 hours of TV under his belt, pulled the title of his book from his first job in entertainment where he had to ride atop a live alligator for a film made by his parents. Click on the link for an exclusive book excerpt. (SSN)

TV Development For 4/14/15: ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Spinoff, Charlize Theron Adds ‘Mythos’ To Her Slate, Dwayne Johnson’s New Project, and More

A host of new projects come to light, including Bad Robot optioning Tavis Smiley’s Martin Luther King Jr. biography for series, a Boy George reality project, and an Ice-T and Coco talk show, as well as a bunch of new pilots for the USA Network. (SSN)


Cary Fukunaga Returns To TV, Is Bringing Back To Life Long Dormant ‘The Alienist’

In yet another reminder of the lure of long-form television for filmmakers, the Emmmy-winner is resurrecting the stalled adaptation of Caleb Carr's hugely popular 1994 crime thriller at Paramount Television. He will executive produce and direct. Two A-list Hollywood screenwriters are also executive producing: Eric Roth and Hossein Amini. (TOH)

Good News For ‘Star Wars’ Fans Unable To Make It To Celebration Anaheim: It Will Be Live Streamed

Lucasfilm announced today that highlights and more than 30 hours of exclusive video content from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim will be officially live-streamed to a worldwide community of fans on StarWars.com. Launching with a live stream of the highly-anticipated kickoff panel featuring Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy, the live stream will continue providing coverage throughout the four-day event. (CS)

Jennifer Lopez Is Getting Her Comedic Chops Sharpened For a New Project With Universal

After the success of their micro-budget thriller collaboration The Boy Next Door, J.Lo is teaming with the studio for Mothers I’d Like To…, a comedy pitch that will be developed as a star vehicle for the singer-actress. The pitch is based on an idea by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, and the pitch will be written by Mark Perez. Lopez will produce through her Nuyorican Productions shingle, along with her producing partner Goldsmith-Thomas, and Benny Medina. (DH)

It’s Hiring Day Over At Bad Robot, and Now Tommy Harper Is the Company’s New COO

After working with the company topper J.J. Abrams several times over the years, Harper joins the shingle full time in a newly-created position. He will report directly to company founder Abrams and oversee daily operations, while also helping to create strategic initiatives. (VAR)

The Cast Of ‘How To Be Single’ Keeps Expanding as Another Actor Joins the Project

Workaholics star and co-creator Anders Holm is in negotiations to join New Line’s ensemble romantic comedy, alongside Alison Brie, Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann and Damon Wayans Jr., who are already on the call sheet. Based on the novel by Liz Tucillo, Single explores the lives of a group of single New Yorkers with different views and approaches to dating. Christian Ditter is directing. (THR)

The ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Movie May Have Just Added Bill Paxton To the Cast

The BBC production features Daniel Radcliffe as Sam Houser, aka one half of the sibling duo that has guided Rockstar Games and the Grand Theft Auto series to video game domination. Film’s story revolves around a specific period in the company’s history, when Rockstar and GTA were under fire from firebrand Florida attorney Jack Thompson, which is the part Paxton would play. (SF)

MTV Is Bringing ‘Celebrity Death Match’ Back To Television … Again

Similar to past episodes, the brand new MTV2 pilot will be animated, and original Celebrity Deathmatch creator Eric Fogel (and Wasteland Entertainment) is behind the new pilot. This won’t be the first time Celebrity Deathmatch has come back from the dead. The original series ran in the late nineties up until 2002, producing 78 episodes. After the show was cancelled in 2002, it eventually made its way over to MTV2, which picked up Celebrity Deathmatch in 2005. (CB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Connection’

A new, extended look at the upcoming French thriller starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin about the Marseilles drug connection of the 1970s that was first dramatized in the 1971 Best Picture winner, The French Connection. The movie hits American theaters May 15th. (EMP)

California Film & TV Tax Incentive Approved, Netflix Aids Blind Viewers, Fox and Temple Hill Re-Team, Gosling and Stone Circle Chazelle Film



California Film & TV Tax Incentive Rules Get State Approval

Two months after the California Film Commission board approved new regulations for the state’s film and television tax incentives, Sacramento has signed off. Yesterday, the Office of Administrative Law approved the new regs pretty much as the CFC submitted them back in February. (DH)

Netflix Is Doing Something Special For the Blind With Its New ‘Daredevil’ Series

The blind superhero’s TV show is doing something to champion visually impaired fans, with the online streaming service adding audio descriptions to some of its original series. Audio description is a narration track that explains by sound what is occuring on-screen, similiar to a play-by-play announce for a sports telecast. It will start with Daredevil and then be rolled out for other shows, like House of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Orange Is the New Black. (NSA)

What With Their ‘Maze Runner’ Success, Fox and Temple Hill Are Teaming Up For Another YA Series

The studio and producers have bought Marie Lu's fantasy novel The Young Elites. The book, which hit shelves in October 2014, centers on the survivors of a deadly plague, and many of the teens that survive have been physically transformed and discover that they've acquired special powers. This secret group of gifted teens is called the Young Elites, and their lives are threatened by a group called the Inquisition Axis, which is seeking to destroy them. (THR)

Damien Chazelle’s Next Film Has a Couple Oscar Nominees Circling the Leads

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who have each been nominated for an Academy Award and have co-starred together twice before, in Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad, are looking to headline La La Land, Chazelle’s followup to Whiplash. The film is said to be a contemporary Musical set in Los Angeles. (CS)

Michael Mann Is Almost Done Developing His Ferrari Biopic

The director and L.A.-based Cecchi Gori Media are in final development stages on their long-gestating “Ferrari” biopic, about Italian automotive mogul Enzo Ferrari, which Mann is set to direct. Mann and CGM chief exec Niels Juul are eying a 2016 shooting date for the extensively researched pic, based on Brock Yates’ 1991 book “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races,” about the man who redefined the high-powered Italian sports car and almost single-handedly created Formula One racing. (VAR)

Jamie Dornan Gets Some More Company In HIs Netflix Thriller, ‘Jadotville’

Guillame Canet and Mark Strong are also on board the film, which is set in 1961 and follows the real-life events around the siege of an Irish UN battalion by 3,000 Congolese troops under the command of French and Belgian mercenaries paid by big mining companies. Dornan is set as the Irish commander, Patrick Quinlan, with O’ Mara as Company Sergeant Jack “Sarge” Prendergast, Quinlan’s right-hand man. (EMP)

TV One Shores Up Its 2015-16 Slate With New Shows, Movies and Partnerships

A network presentation yesterday in New York revealed 460 hours of original programming, including eight new series and specials, 16 movies, as well as new production relationships with new partners, including familiar industry creatives and executives like Suzanne de Passe, Chris Stokes, Charles Murray, and Reuben Cannon. (SAA)

Get Ready For Another Adaptation Of Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’, This One For TV

The Weinstein Co. has just picked up the rights to the true-crime masterpiece, with the intention of adapting it into an event miniseries. Gary Oldman and Douglas Urbanski will produce, while Kevin Hood (Becoming Jane) will write the script. No casting or network has been announced. (SF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Love & Mercy’

A new look at the upcoming film about the life of founding Beach Boy Brian Wilson, starring Paul Dano and John Cusack each playing the legendary musician at different points in his life. Paul Giamatti and Jake Abel also star and Bill Pohlad directed the film, which hits theaters June 5th. (COL)

Screenwriters: Breaking and Entering — Drive and Success

Producer and Script Magazine columnist Barri Evins doesn’t know anything about cars, but she does know about drive, and she talks about it in her latest column. It’s easy to spot people who have what it takes to potentially succeed in this tough business. Real drive comes through in every move that they make. (SM)

Rep Moves for 4/15/15: CAA Loses Eli Roth & Peter Sarsgaard but Gains CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo


at arrivals for MACHETE KILLS Premiere, Regal Cinemas LA LIVE, Los Angeles, CA October 2, 2013. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

WME: Peter Sarsgaard has shifted from CAA to WME. He has two upcoming films this September, Pawn Sacrifice and Experimenter for Magnolia Films. Sarsgaard will continue to be repped by management company Authentic and attorney Peikoff Mahan.

CAA: CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has signed with CAA. Prior he did not have agency representation. The Emmy award winning Cuomo covers international events and breaking news and co-anchors CNN’s morning show New Day.

WME: Filmmaker Eli Roth has just signed with Mike Simpson at WME. HE will continued to be repped by attorney Carlos K. Goodman and Simon Halls at Slate PR. His horror film Knock Knock recently screened at Sundance and will be distributed by Lionsgate. In addition his film Drowned and a remake of Cabin Fever are awaiting release. He made the original Cabin Fever for $1.5 million, which ended up grossing $30 million worldwide and was the most profitable horror film in 2002. He was previously at CAA.

ICM Partners: Game of Thrones’ ‘Red Woman’ actress Carice van Houten has dropped CAA and signed with ICM. She will next be seen in teh feature Race for Focus Features and has been cast as Greta Garbo in the Untitled Hepp Film/ Greta Garbo Biopic. She also was cast in The Book of Vision and Brimstone, both in active development.

The Accidental Turitz On Fixing The System, Joss Whedon Lawsuit, TIFF Starts TV Program, ‘OITNB’ Renewed, Rep Moves For 4/15/15




The Accidental Turitz: How To Fix the Bloated System and the Companies That Are Killing It

SSN Senior Editor Neil Turitz returns with a followup to last week’s examination of how the CAA-UTA mess is symptomatic of a larger problem in the entertainment business. This week, he looks at how to fix the problem, and it’s maybe easier than you might think. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 4/15/15: CAA Loses Eli Roth and Peter Sarsgaard, but Gains CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo

A very light week in this part of the industry sees just a small handful of moves, including a major player on Game of Thrones. To check out the full list and get all the info, click on the link. (SSN)


An Author Is Suing Joss Whedon Over the Origins Of ‘The Cabin in the Woods’

Peter Gallagher claims that the movie is "virtually identical" to his 2006 novel The Little White Trip: A Night In the Pines. Gallagher's book also follows the story of five friends who visit a cabin only to learn that (spoiler alert) they're being killed and filmed by a third party controlling events from elsewhere. He is suing Whedon, co-writer and director Drew Goddard, Lionsgate and Whedon’s Mutant Enemy shingle for $10 million. (HP)

Toronto Film Festival Starts New Program For TV, Will Call It “Primetime”

The Primetime lineup, which will be announced in the coming months, will present up to six contemporary TV programs from broadcasters, streaming services or independent filmmakers. In addition to public screenings and Q&A sessions, the festival will offer related programming in its industry confab, with creative producers and experts from the global TV landscape in the mix. (VAR)

Netflix Does the Obvious, Confirms That There Will Be a Fourth Season Of ‘Orange Is the New Black’

With the third season due to be released on June 12th, the network announced that the Emmy-winning series has already been renewed for a fourth season, which will debut in 2016. The second season will be up for this year’s Emmys, but will be competing for the first time in the Drama categories, due to rules changes. (HF)

Universal Lands a Big Project Starring Everyone’s Favorite New Movie Star: Chris Pratt

Pratt is attached to star in The Real McCoy, a pitch from writer Bill Dubuque. Project started making the rounds in recent days, but meetings yesterday and today were canceled after Warners and Universal began bidding aggressively on the action-adventure film. Universal won the rights when it plunked down $1.5 million against $3 million. Story centers on bootlegger Bill McCoy, whose life inspired the phrase "the real McCoy," meaning the liquor hadn't been cut. (THR)

The Jason Sudeikis-Led ‘Fletch’ Reboot Is Now In the Hands Of a New Studio

Big screen rights to the Gregory McDonald novel series have moved from Warner Bros. Pictures to Relativity. There, plans are underway to get a new film into production with the previously-attached Sudeikis still set to headline. No director or writer is currently attached to the new project, but Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh is set to produce alongside David List, John Rickard and the Boies/Schiller Film Group’s Zach Schiller. (CS)

Tom Hanks Is Returning To HBO With His Latest Mini-Series Event

The actor and executive producer for Olive Kitteridge, John Adams, The Pacific, and Band of Brothers, is bringing The Wright Brothers to the cable net, based on the David McCullough nonfiction tome. Book follows the story of Wilbur and Orville Wright, who went from bicycle repairmen in Ohio to aeronautic engineers. Hanks and Playtone partner Gary Goetzman are executive producing. No word yet on a timeline or number of episodes. (COL)

NBC Has Second Thoughts, Decides To Revive ‘Emerald City’ Project Straight To Series

Eight months after the network pulled the plug on its 10-episode straight-to-series Wizard of Oz drama, the project has come back to life. The network again has given a 10-episode series order to the project, which has undergone a redevelopment with a new writer/executive producer, David Schulner. (DH)

Will Matthew Vaughn Save Every One Of Us? ‘Kingsman’ Director In Talks For ‘Flash Gordon’ 

Fox is behind the project, which will once more be based on Alex Raymond’s space-going hero, and the current script is by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who wrote drafts of Star Trek 3 and crafted the Flash material from a treatment by producer George Nolfi. It’s likely Vaughn would want to take his own crack at the screenplay, possibly with regular collaborator Jane Goldman. (EMP)

Cannes Unveils Lineup, Warner Lands New ‘Wonder Woman’ Director, New Alex Winter Movie Gets Plum Premiere, Netflix Stock Soars



Cannes Unveils Its Lineup For the 68th Annual Festival, Did Your Film Make the Cut?

Among the competition titles: Gus Van Sant's Sea of Trees, 1950’s romantic drama Carol by Todd Haynes, Denis Villeneuve's cartel thriller Sicario, Cannes regular Nanni Moretti's autobiographical drama Mia madre, which opens Thursday in Italy; and fellow Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino's second foray into English-language filmmaking, Youth. Click the link for the full roster of pictures. (THR)

So, If You’re Keeping Score, It’s Michelle MacLaren Out, Patty Jenkins In To Direct ‘Wonder Woman’

After MacLaren left the project two days ago over creative differences, it now appears as though Monster director Patty Jenkins has come aboard to helm the film for Warner Bros. This is a development made all the more interesting since Jenkins herself departed Thor: The Dark World because of those aforementioned creative differences before that Marvel project could begin shooting. (COL)

Alex Winter’s New Movie Just Got a Plum Premiere In July, Next to Vidcom

SMOSH: The Movie, the latest low-budget film stuffed with YouTube stars and set for a multi-platform distribution blitz, will premiere July 23 in Anaheim, alongside the massive fan convention. The film is co-produced and financed by Defy Media and Awesomeness TV, which is owned by DreamWorks Animation and Hearst. Film is described, appropriately enough, as a high-concept Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. (DH)

Netflix Stock Price Soars After Enormous Gains In Subscribers

The company’s stock shot up more than 13% yesterday, hitting an all-time high of $541.43 per share in early trading, after the No. 1 subscription-video player packed on about 860,000 more streaming customers than expected in the first quarter of 2015. The company added 4.9 million streaming subs worldwide in the period, including 2.28 million in the U.S. (VAR)

‘Dope’ Director Comes Off His Big Sundance Triumph To Land Sweet HBO Gig

Rick Famuyiwa has landed himself a job helming Confirmation, HBO Films’ upcoming picture about the 1991 Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill scandal. Kerry Washington is already set to play Hill. Susannah Grant wrote the Confirmation script and will executive produce with Washington, Michael London, and Janice Williams. The role of Thomas has yet to be cast. (SF)

Nat Geo Thinks So Highly Of Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Talk Show, It’s Already Been Renewed Without Airing a Single Episode

The network’s first talk show, StarTalk, is premiering on Monday night, the 20th, and the cable net has already announced a second season for the talk-show, obviously implying great confidence that it will be a ratings hit. Based on Dr. Tyson’s prominent podcast of the same name, the weekly series will infuse pop culture with science, while bringing together comedians and celebrities to delve into a wide range of topics. (SAA)

This Magic Moment: After Eight Years, David Chase Breaks Down That Legendary Final ‘Sopranos’ Scene

Was Tony Soprano's quiet meal with his family in a local ice cream parlor his last supper? Whether or not he was whacked gangland style in the "Made in America" finale of The Sopranos is not a question that concerns Chase, creator of the series and director of the last episode. Chase is far more interested in larger philosophical issues about the choices we make in life that lead us to that point, and enjoying the good times, fleeting though they may be. (DGA)

A Special, Curated List Of the Series You’ll Be Streaming This Year

Shows like Transparent and Orange Is the New Black are solidifying a reputation for artistic, innovative content, and web-enabled binge-watching is becoming a respected form of TV consumption. There have been plenty of notable recent releases, but here’s a list of the most-anticipated web series right now, including wacky comedies, superhero stories and a lot of sci-fi. (AA)

Live TV Plus Social Media Equals Engaged Viewers

From keeping tabs on friends via social media to skipping lines at the store by shopping online, technology continues to reshape our everyday habits. In fact, nearly seven-in-10 (69%) global respondents to a recent survey think face-to-face interactions are being replaced with electronic ones. Today, we have more control over when, where and how we watch video programming, but scheduled viewing hasn’t gone away for most of us. (NC)

Screenwriters: ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’

Filmed as Untitled 50 Cent Project, this is the 120-page script by Terence Winter, draft labeled “Winter’s 2nd Revision” and dated September 12th, 2004. (DS)

Film Development for 4/16/15: Universal Wins Both Josh Gad/Jeremy Garelick Musical Comedy & Real McCoy in Bidding Wars


at arrivals for STAND UP TO CANCER Benefit, The Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center, Los Angeles, CA September 5, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection


Fletch (Reboot) Logline: Investigative reporter I.M. Fletcher juggles writing exposes and solving crimes while avoiding headaches caused by his two ex-wives. Studio/ Distributor: Relativity Production Company: RoadDog Industries, Anonymous Content, Boies/Schiller Film Group, Rickard Pictures Producers: David List, Ryan Kavanaugh, Zachary Schiller, John Rickard Cast: Jason Sudeikis Notes: Based on the novels, featuring the character Irwin Maurice Fletcher, written by Gregory McDonald. There are nine books in the series, beginning with "Fletch" published in 1974. SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Warner Bros. with an adaptation written by Dave Mandel. Film is a reboot of the 1980;s Chevy Chase movie based on the books.

Wonder Woman Logline: A woman from the closely guarded amazon homeland of Paradise Island travels to the outside world and becomes Wonder Woman. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: DC Entertainment, Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films Producers: Charles Roven, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder Writer: Jason Fuchs Director: Patty Jenkins Cast: Gal Gadot SSN Insight: Jenkins replaces previous director Michelle MacLaren only two days after MacLaren departed the project over creative differences. Kidrobot Logline: Logline not yet established. Studio/ Distributor: MGM Studios Production Company: Aversano Films Producers: Scott Aversano Writer: Matt Ember & Tom Astle Notes: Based on the limited edition art toys and apparel created by Paul Budnitz and produced by Kidrobot. SSN Insight: The toy brand of collectible characters is backed by Wildbrain and sold in high- end stores around the country. The film is said to be a mix of animation and live-action. The property was previously set up at Paramount and Warner Bros.

Flash Gordon Logline: The adventures of Flash Gordon, a handsome athlete, and his companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov on the planet Mongo. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Hearst Entertainment, Davis Entertainment, King Features Entertainment Producers: John Davis, George J. Nolfi Writer: JD Payne & Patrick McKay Director: Matthew Vaughn SSN Insight: Vaughn is hot off the recent success of his film Kingsmen: The Secret Service and is a great choice for the comic property given his early experience with Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class.

La La Land Logline: Lonely aspiring actress Mia and cocky jazz pianist Sebastian balance their art and love in Los Angeles, the land of the dreamers. Studio: Lionsgate Production Companies: Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures Producers: Jordan Horowitz, Fred Berger Writer: Damien Chazelle Director: Damien Chazelle Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling SSN Insight: Emma Watson was previous attached to co-star and Miles Teller, Chazelle’s Whiplash star, was attached in the lead, but both have moved on to other projects.

Captain Marvel Logline: Marvel is the hero name of Carol Danvers, an air force pilot whose DNA is fused with that of an alien during an accident. The resulting alteration imbues her with the super powers of strength, energy project and flight. Studio: Walt Disney Studios Production Companies: Marvel Entertainment Producers: Kevin Feige Writer: Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve SSN Insight: Perlman co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy and LeFauve co-wrote Pixar’s Inside Out and are teaming up for the first time. The film is Marvel’s first female-driven superhero movie. The studio plans to hire a female director as well to spearhead the franchise.

X-Men: Apocalypse Logline: In 1983, ten years after Wolverine traveled to the past to prevent a bleak future, the X-Men team up with Cyclops, Storm, and Jean in a battle to stop an unprecedented apocalypse by an ancient enemy. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company: Bad Hat Harry Productions Donners’ Company, Marvel Entertainment, Genre Films, Hutch Parker Entertainment Producers: Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg Writer: Simon Kinberg Director: Bryan Singer Cast: Olivia Munn, Ben Hardy, Kodit Smit-McPhee, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Alexandra Shipp, Sophie Turner Tye Sheridan, Rose Byrne SSN Insight: Another mutant signs on to the film about to start production – Olivia Munn signs on to play Psylocke, a mutant with telepathic abilities and ninja skills.

The BFG Logline: After orphaned Sofy is kidnapped by a BFG (Big Friendly Giant), the two find in each other the families they never had as they work together to stop some bad giants from eating the world’s children. Studio/ Distributor: Dreamworks Studios, Walt Disney Pictures Production Company: Kennedy/ Marshall Company, Amblin Entertainment, Walden Media Producers: Melissa Mathison, Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Samuel L. Mercer Writer: Melissa Mathison Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Bill Hader, Jermaine Clement, Michael Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Chris Gibbs, Adam Godley, Jonathan Holmes SSN Insight: Disney has come on board to help finance and produce Dreamworks and Spielberg’s adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl book. This is the first film Spielberg will direct for Disney. The Dark Tower Logline: The tale of gunslinger Roland Deschain's quest for the Dark Tower. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures/ Media Rights Capital Production Company: Imagine Entertainment, Weed Road Pictures Producers: Brian Grazer, Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard, Erica Huggins Writer: Akiva Goldsman, Jeff PInkner Notes: Based on the seven-book series "Dark Tower" that begins with "The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger" written by Stephen King and published by Donald M. Grant in 1982. SSN Insight: The development saga of The Dark Tower is long and sorted; the movie was getting made at Universal in 2011 but then put into turnaround due to budget concerns. Warners was negotiating to acquire the project in 2012 but ultimately passed. The project now goes to Sony where newly installed head, Tom Rothman, is anxious to start a franchise. The Flash Logline: Barry Allen is a scientist who awakes from a coma and becomes The Flash, a superhero with the ability to move faster than the speed of light. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Studios Production Company: DC Entertainment Producers: Geoff Johns Writer: Phil Lord, Chris Miller Notes: Based on the seven-book series "Dark Tower" that begins with "The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger" written by Stephen King and published by Donald M. Grant in 1982. SSN Insight: The superhero project has gone through some various incarnations, with directors such as Greg Berlanti, David Dobkin, David Goyer and Shawn Levy attached. Now hot directing/ writing duo of Lord and Miller give it their spin. Haunted Mansion Logline: A story based on the Disney ride "The Haunted Mansion." Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Production Company: Del Toro Productions Producers: Guillermo Del Toro Writer: D.V. DeVincentis Director: Guillermo Del Toro Cast: Ryan Gosling SSN Insight: Guillermo Del Toro was previously attached to direct. Based on the Disneyland ride "The Haunted Mansion."


Untitled (Josh Gad/Jeremy Garelick Musical Comedy Project) Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Michael De Luca Productions Producers: Michael De Luca Writer: Josh Gad, Jeremy Garelick Director: Jeremy Garelick Cast: Josh Gad SSN Insight: Gad and Garelick's pitch received seven-figure offers from Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros’ New Line, Sony Pictures, Fox and Universal. Universal won out in this year’s biggest material deal so far that included talent fees estimated to reach eight figures if the film is made. Legendary composer-lyricists Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz will compose original music.

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip Logline: A little girl in a small seaside town must fight off the Gappers, creatures who attach themselves to goats because they love them, but it keeps the animals from giving milk. Studio/ Distributor: MGM Studios Notes: Based on the children’s book "The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip" written by George Saunders, illustrated by Lane Smith and published by Villard in 2000.

The Real McCoy Logline: The true story adventures of bootlegger, Bill McCoy, who's name hatched the phrase, "The Real McCoy". Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Michael De Luca Productions Producers: Tom McNulty, Michael De Luca Writer: Bill Dubuque Cast: Chris Pratt SSN Insight: The pitch, which originated as an original idea by McNulty, became a hotly sought after property, sparking a bidding war between Universal and Warners. Universal won out in a deal that went for a reported $1.5 million against $3 million.

The Young Elites Logline: The survivors of a deadly plague include The Young Elites, gifted teens with special powers, and the Inquisition Axis who wants to destroy them. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Temple Hill Entertainment Producers: Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey Notes: Based on the YA novel "The Young Elites" written by Marie Lu and published by Putnam Juvenile in October, 2014. SSN Insight: Temple Hill is back in it’s YA wheelhouse after Mazerunner and Fault in Our Stars and the upcoming Paper Towns. Home is Burning Logline: A young man who has moved back home to take care of his ailing parents is reunited with his four colorful siblings. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema Producers: Miles Teller, Jonathan Levine Writer: Daniel Marshall Director: Jonathan Levine Cast: Miles Teller Notes: Based on the memoir "Home Is Burning" written by Dan Marshall and to be published on October 20, 2015 by Flatiron Books. SSN Insight: Teller’s reputation as not only an actor, but as a producer, is on the rise, as this marks the second project he set up as a producer. Universal optioned The Life and Times of the Stopwatch Gang for him last month. 37th Parallel Logline: Chuch Zukowski is an extraterrestrial investigator with stories of the paranormal and secret government activity that involves the conspiracy of a multibillion dollar corporation. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema Production Companies: Flynn Picture Co, RatPac Entertainment Producers: Beau Flynn, Brett Ratner Notes: Based on the proposed book "The 37th Parallel" to be written by Ben Mezrich. SSN Insight: Producer Beau Flynn pitched the idea based on Zukowski to author Mezrich, who sparked to the idea. They then set it up at New Line where Flynn’s deal is. Nick Logline: Logline under wraps Studio/ Distributor: Dreamworks Studios Producers: Jason Filardi, Walt Becker Writer: Jason Filardi and Walt Becker Director: Walt Becker SSN Insight: Logline is under wraps but project is said to be a Home Alone Christmas style comedy. Mothers I’d Like To… Logline: Logline under wraps Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Nuyorican Productions Producers: Jennifer Lopez, Benny Medina, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas Writer: Mark Perez Cast: Jennifer Lopez SSN Insight: The pitch, which is Bridesmaids meets First Wives Club, is an original idea of Goldsmith-Thomas.

USC First Frame Hit List, Peabody Awards Announced, Gosling Joins ‘Blade Runner 2′, WikiLeaks Hits Sony, Film Dev. For 4/16/16


USC First Frame Slider


USC First Frame Hit List: The Seven Animated Shorts To Check Out

Tomorrow at the DGA Theater, USC is holding the animation component of their First Look Festival and the event is open to the public. First Frame stems from John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts (Hench-DADA), in the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the division will celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. Here, SSN picks the seven best. (SSN)

Film Development For 4/16/15: Universal Wins a Pair Of Bidding Wars and Relativity Gets ‘Fletch’

Lots of other stuff happening this week, including Chris Pratt and The Real McCoy, a Josh Gad project, a new director for Wonder Woman, writers for Captain Marvel, and plenty of casting news all abound. Click on the link for all the details. (SSN)


The 74th Annual Peabody Awards For Television Have Been Handed Out, and the List Is Impressive

The prestigious prizes were handed out to shows like include The Honorable Woman, Inside Amy Schumer, Jane the Virgin, The Americans, Fargo, Rectify, Black Mirror, The Knick and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. These and other winners of the 74th annual awards will be presented with their statuettes on Sunday, May 31, at the first-ever nighttime, red-carpet Peabody ceremony, hosted by Fred Armisen. (PA)

Looking For a Great Co-Star For Harrison Ford In That ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel? How About Ryan Gosling?

The actor is in negotiations to star in the film. Denis Villeneuve is directing the sci-fi thriller for Alcon Entertainment with Ridley Scott exec producing. Written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, the Blade Runner sequel will take place several decades after the 1982 original. Ford will reprise his role as Rick Deckard in the film, which originally took place in a dystopian 2019 Los Angeles. It’s unknown who Gosling will play. (VAR)

WikiLeaks Brings Back the Sony Hacking Scandal, Bundles Thousands Of Leaked Pages and Emails

Sony predictably condemned the move, saying in a statement, “The cyber-attack on Sony Pictures was a malicious criminal act, and we strongly condemn the indexing of stolen employee and other private and privileged information on WikiLeaks. … We vehemently disagree with WikiLeaks’ assertion that this material belongs in the public domain and will continue to fight for the safety, security, and privacy of our company and its more than 6,000 employees.” (DH)

‘Castle’ Fans Got Some Good News Today, as Nathan Fillion Signed On For a Potential Eighth Season

With the news about Fillion also comes word that showrunner David Amann is stepping down from the top creative post on the series. This is the second such Castle shakeup within the past year. Last June, Amann replaced series creator Andrew Marlowe as showrunner. No word yet on who will replace him, though there is also no confirmation the show is definitely returning. Also, co-star Stana Katic has not yet renewed her own contract. (EW)

The Star-Studded TV Adaptation Of John Le Carré’s ‘The Night Manager’ Just Got Impossibly More So

The adaptation’s cast, which already includes Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander and Elizabeth Debicki, has now added David Harewood, Neil MOrrisey, Katherine Kelly and Tobias Menzies. With a script by David Farr and the shot-calling services of Susanne Bier, story finds Hiddleston as a former soldier who now works as a night manager in a luxury hotel, who must go back undercover to help take down an evil weapons merchant. (EMP)

Russian Filmgoers Who Were Looking Forward To Seeing ‘Child 44’ Are Going To Be Very Sad Today

The Hollywood thriller produced by Ridley Scott was inspired by the brutal crimes of Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo. Now it has been banned in Russia. Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky claimed that the film Russia look like "Mordor," and Russian citizens like "physical and moral subhumans, a bloody mass of orcs and ghouls." (TOH)

First Clip: ‘Inside Out’

Disney and Pixar have released an extended clip from their upcoming animated film, starring the voices of Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling and Phyllis Smith, and in theaters June 19th. (TP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

The second teaser trailer for one of the year’s most highly anticipated films, this version is longer, gives a little more screen time to familiar faces, as well as the first glances at some fan favorites, including … Han Solo. The movie hits theaters December 18th. (YT)

Exec Shuffle for 4/17/15: AfterShock Comics Launched, Rachel O’Connor to Head Pascal Pictures, Tommy Harper Named Bad Robot COO


exec shuffle feature image

Company Launches & Partnerships

Gulfstream Pictures is launching Gulfstream TV as part of a two-year overall deal with Warner Bros. TV to develop and produce TV projects for network, cable and digital. The division will be overseen by Gulfstream Pictures principals Mike Karz and Bill Bindley, who will also look for a senior-level TV executive. The new pact expands their deal as Gulfstream Pictures renewed their two-year first-look deal with Warner Bros. last year.

Sidney Kimmel Entertainment has partnered Ivanhoe Pictures to form SKE Global. The new venture will co-finance and co-produce local language films in China, South Korea, India and other international territories. Additionally, SKE Global will mine the SKE and Ivanhoe Pictures’ libraries for potential local language remake opportunities. Sidney Kimmel Entertainment also named John Penotti as president to replace Jim Tauber, who recently retired.

Former Marvel Comics executive editor Mike Marts and Marvel writer Joe Pruett are leaving to form AfterShock comics. Marts previously edited X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy. Facebook senior exec Michael Richter will come on in coming months and join Jon Kramer as co-CEO. Kramer comes from a production and reality TV background. They join Lee Kramer, previously at Endeavor, who will be President and Jawad Qureshi who will be the SVP of Investor Relations.

NBCUniversal International Television Production, Germany’s RTL and France’s TF1 are joining together in a first-of-its-kind co-production pact to produce U.S.-style, English-language procedural dramas for the domestic market with a goal of making three series over two years. Through it, the European broadcasters will be able to secure a pipeline of high-quality procedural content.

Icon Film Distribution and FrightFest, UK’s leading horror film fest, have inked an exclusive partnership that will see Icon release FrightFest-curated films across multiple platforms via Icon’s existing digital partners, including Sky, iTunes and Amazon.

FremantleMedia is partnering with Shanghai Media Group and China Media Capital, to create and develop content for China to be distributed through SMG’s Dragon TV and BesTV platforms. FremantleMedia International will handle worldwide distribution of the content that emerges from the joint venture.

Universal Pictures has entered into a three-year, first-look production agreement with Michael De Luca. Previously he was the president of production at Columbia Pictures.

Chicago Fire executive producer-director Joe Chappelle has signed an overall deal with the companies behind that NBC drama series, Dick Wolf’s Wolf Films and Universal TV.

Emmett/Furla Films has extended it’s partnership with Lionsgate and its Grindstone Entertainment Group for another 10 movies, several of which will be released through the newly launched Lionsgate Premiere label.

Hoodlum has inked a first-look producer pod deal at ITV Studios America for scripted series in the U.S. As part of the pact, it the Australia-based company will also operate out of ITV Studios America’s Los Angeles offices. The production company currently produces the hit ABC series, Secrets & Lies.

Andy Serkis’ The Imaginarium Studios and Red Arrow Entertainment Group are partnering in a joint initiative to develop high-end scripted drama for the international market and are currently recruiting a senior level executive to manage the new venture’s development slate with product being handled for distribution by Red Arrow International.

WME | IMG will acquire Professional Bull Riders Inc. in a deal upwards of $100 million as reported by Bloomberg Business.

Universal has inked a two-year first-look film deal with Robert Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment. Kirkman created The Walking Dead, founded SkyBound in 2010 under the umbrella of Image Comics, where Kirkman is a partner.


Rachel O’Connor is leaving her post as SVP of Production at Sony Pictures to head up the new Pascal Pictures in film and TV in a move that furthers her 17 year working relationship with Amy Pascal that includes films District 9, The Amazing Spider-man, 2012 and more.

Paramount has promoted Elizabeth Raposo from senior vice president to executive vice president. Raposo has run point on both Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation and the Star Trek sequels.

Sony Pictures has hired Sanford Panitch to be the President of International Film & Television. He was previously a Fox executive. In the newly created post, Panitch will generate global film and television co-productions and local-language fare for theaters and TV.

Tommy Harper will be the COO at J.J. Abram’s Bad Robot Productions and will handle the company’s daily operations and report to Abrams, collaborating with Abrams on identifying and creating strategic initiatives for the company.

Daniel Noah, Josh Waller and Elijah Wood’s SpectreVision hired Lisa Wolk Whalen as the new Chief Operating Officer who was previously from NBCUniversal’s Chiller, where she served as Senior Director, Program Strategy.

Jumping the Broom producer Glendon Palmer has joined IM Global as senior vice president of development & production to report to IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford and president of production Matt Jackson.

Participant Media’s CEO Jim Berk has resigned and been temporarily replaced by founder and chairman Jeff Skoll.

Jim Amos will be the Senior Vice President, Theatrical Distribution, STX Entertainment Motion Picture Group previously of Fathom Events. He joins Terry Curtin who will head Strategic Marketing & Global Communications and Amy Elkins now head of Media & Marketing Innovation as well as Mark Mulcahy who will be Vice President, In-Theater Marketing. Keri Moore is also coming on to head Creative Advertising & Brand Development from her post at Open Road. Andrew Runyon will head Worldwide Digital Marketing & Technology, snapped up from Paramount Pictures. Robert Springer will be the Vice President, Theatrical Distribution & Operations.

Universal Pictures has tapped Santiago Capdepont as Senior Vice President, Finance, Strategy & Operations, Brand Development. He joins Stephanie Kraus who has been tapped as Senior Vice President, Creative & Brand Assurance, Brand Development and Marc Low who will sign on as Senior Vice President, Consumer Products International, Brand Development.

Candice McDonough will be the new Executive Vice President, Theatrical Publicity, Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution. She was previously at New Line.

Charlie Morrison has been promoted from Creative Executive to VP at Red Wagon Entertainment.


Disney/ABC Television Group digital chief Albert Cheng is leaving after 10 years and will remain through May to ease the transition.

Wayne Goldstein has been upped to senior VP international research for Sony Pictures Television and will handle research supporting the division’s international TV distribution business, as well as sales planning, digital ad sales and marketing.

Athena Wickham, has left J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, to join Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy’s Kilter Films to run the company’s television development.

Eric Beck has been upped from VP to Senior VP of Corporation Communications at Starz. Shannon Buck has been likewise promoted within Programming Publicity and the same goes for Colleen Curtis within Consumer & Digital Publicity.

Brad Gardner has been promoted to Senior VP of Development & Original Programming, TV Land, previously he was a VP..

Leslie Jacobowitz has been named VP of Post Production at AMC, up from Director.

Jessica Pavao is now the director of development at 3Pas Studios, previously she was a CE at Full Fathom Five.

Management, PR, Music, Agencies, Digital Misc.

CAA has hired Adam Biren as a TV lit agent, he was previously a TV lit servicing agent at UTA.

CBS Radio chief Dan Mason is retiring and Andre Fernandez has been tapped as his replacement. He was previously the COO of Journal Communications.

Branon Coluccio will head original content at Crunchyroll, previously at development at VIZ Productions. Dallas Middaugh will join him to head up Brand & Community, leaving his post as Senior Director at Penguin Random House.

Michael Cagnazzi has been named Senior Vice President of Digital Product Development at AMC, upped from VP.

Mark Deetjen, previously VP at Sony Pictures Television will be the new VP of programming and operations at BUZZR. He’s joined by Jaime Klein, who left GSN to be the VP of Creative Services and Kiesha McCorry who left Lionsgate Television to serve as VP of marketing along with Marissa Mongiello from E! and Style who will be the VP of Traffic.

Kat Hebden has switched from being managing director of FremantleMedia UK Interactive to the same post at Shotglass Media in London.

Brett Murrihy will oversee Asia Pacific for Music at WME Sydney. He previously served as CEO of Artist Voice.

SJP’s New HBO Show, Trouble For Theater Chains?, Vessel Makes a Big Money Raise, Zemeckis’ Next Film Lands Carell


Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker and HBO Are Back In Business Together!

Cable net has given a series order to the Sex and the City star’s new show, Divorce. The actress will star in and executive produce the single camera comedy, which follows a married couple — Frances (Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church) — through an extremely protracted uncoupling. The cast also includes Molly Shannon and Talia Balsam as Frances’ friends. (TVL)

Big Theatre Chains Face Federal Scrutiny Over Exclusive Booking Demands

The nation’s largest theater chains are under increased scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice over exclusivity agreements between the exhibitors and studios that limit the number of theaters allowed to screen certain movies in some locations. The “clearance” agreements have become increasingly frustrating for smaller theater chains that say the practice violates antitrust law, limits consumer choice and is used to muscle competitors out of business. (DH)

Jason Kilar’s Vessel Raises $57.5 Million Led by IVP to Build Out Subscription-Video Service

The subscription-oriented digital video service founded by the ex-Hulu CEO has raised the money in Series B funding, led by Institutional Venture Partners. The startup last month launched its $2.99-per-month service, promising exclusive early access to content from 130-plus partners. To earn money from the subscription service, YouTubers and other creators must grant Vessel a minimum 72-hour exclusive window on the content. (VAR)

Robert Zemeckis Gets His Next Film Set Up, and Steve Carell Will Play the Lead

Zemeckis is directing an adaptation of the 2010 documentary Marwencol, which revolves around Mark Hogancamp, a man who was assaulted by five teens and sent into a nine-day coma.  When he awoke, he had no memory of his life, family, or friends. In an effort to cope with the trauma, he began building a 1/6 scale model of a WWII-era Belgian village in his backyard. Caroline Thompson wrote the script. (COL)

Alert the Academy: Mike Leigh Has His Next Film, and It’s Another Period Piece

Leigh’s new film, just announced, will be Peterloo, a first cinematic telling of Manchester's notorious Peterloo Massacre in 1819, an event writ large in the nation’s social history. Viewing the forces of 19th century reform as seditious, the powers-that-be of the time unleashed a cavalry charge on a peaceful protest in St. Peter’s Field, Manchester, that left 18 people dead and 700 wounded. The result contributed to the passing of the Reform Act of 1832, arguably the most important national document since Magna Carta. (EMP)

Nicolas Cage’s ‘Army Of One’ Just Landed a Lot More Cast Members

Russell Brand, Denis O’Hare, Ken Marino, Paul Scheer and Rainn Wilson have joined the cast for director Larry Charles, as well as Cage and co-star Wendi McLendon-Covey. Movie is inspired by the true story of Gary Faulkner, a handyman from Colorado who receives a vision telling him to go to Pakistan to do what no one else can do, namely to capture Osama Bin Laden. So without any questions or skills, he follows his mission. (CS)

Baz Luhrman Has Found the Female Lead For His Netflix Series, ‘The Get Down’

Herizen Guardiola, making her acting debut, will star as Mylene Cruz, described as a shining, tenacious girl with a voice from God who dreams of disco stardom from the confines of her family's fiercely religious church walls. The actress joins previously announced starring cast members, Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Skylan Brooks and Tremaine Brown, Jr. (SAA)

Alan Rickman Joins a Little British Film Written By Big Time British Writer Jane Goldman

The Limehouse Golem, based on Peter Ackroyd’s 1994 novel, has been picked up by Lionsgate for U.K. distribution, with the film’s worldwide sales agent, HanWay Films, inking the deal. Goldman wrote the film, Juan Carlos Medina directed, Douglas Booth and Olivia Cooke co-star. The story sees a series of gruesome murders shake the dangerous Limehouse district of London in 1880, leading to claims that they’re the work of the Golem, a legendary mythical creature. (THR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Suffragette’

The UK trailer for this year’s Meryl Streep Awards Season contender, he film also stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Brendan Gleeson, in a film about the fight for women’s voting rights. It hits theaters on October 23rd. (CB)

Screenwriters: ’42’

The 120-page, double-blue revised draft by Brian Helgeland, dated July 9th, 2012. (GITS)

The Path To Indie Distribution, Cooper In For ‘Preacher’, Spike TV Tries Scripted Again, STX Chooses Media Agency, Exec Shuffle For 4/17/15




‘The Road Within’ Director Gren Wells Illuminates the Path To Indie Distribution

A few years back, blockbuster titans George Lucas and Steven Spielberg predicted big-budget, overblown studio pics will come crashing to the ground, theater ticket prices will surge, and distribution models will change. That last prediction is hard to deny these days, with online platforms like Netflix getting into feature distribution and indie filmmakers putting their work out on their own. The stigma of not securing a studio release is long gone. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 4/17/15: Aftershock Comics Launched, Rachel O’Connor To head Pascal Pictures, Tommy Harper Named Bad Robot COO

A huge amount of action this week, with tons of company launches, plenty of hirings in the film and TV world and just all kinds of movement. Click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)


It’s Official: Dominic Cooper Is Going To Be Your ‘Preacher’

The actor will play the titular Jesse Custer in AMC’s adaptation of the controversial comic book from the DC imprint Vertigo. Story revolves around a badass Texas preacher who, after losing his faith, learns that God has left heaven and forsaken his duties. Jesse becomes the only one who is able to track down God and hold him responsible for his abdication. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin have adapted the project. (THR)

Spike TV Is Taking Another Shot At Scripted Entertainment, and Is Turning To Jerry Bruckheimer For Help

Cable net is teaming with the producer and Warner Horizon Television to develop Harvest, which tells a story set against the illegal market for human tissue, with a cemetery caretaker forced to pair up with his criminal father to protect his daughter. Ian Sobel and Matt Morgan wrote the script. The pact marks Spike’s first scripted deal with a major studio and marks an ongoing move by Spike to broaden its viewership beyond its core male audience. (VAR)

STX Entertainment Finds a Home For Its Enormous Media Budget Moving Forward

Horizon Media will be STX’s “agency of record,” which means that Horizon will handle its media planning and buys, strategy, research and analytics and partnerships with promotions. STX has an annual media budget of $350M-$400M that it will spend to promote its 12-15 films a year. The timing also is critical as STX will release two films this year — the psychological thriller The Gift on July 31 and the crime thriller Secret In Their Eyes on October 23. (DH)

Kelly Reichardt’s Next Movie Lands a Distribution Deal At Sony

Based on short stories by Maile Meloy about small-town life in Montana, the untitled project will be a series of vignettes and star Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, and Rosanna Arquette. Reichardt has just wrapped up filming. The writer-director, who also penned the script to her new film, previously directed Night Moves, Meek’s Cutoff and Wendy And Lucy, the latter two starring Williams. (WAH)

John Ridley Keeps Riding High, Will Develop a New Series For Marvel

No word on what the series will be, as details are being kept to a minimum, but it apparently involves reinventing an existing Marvel superhero character or property for ABC. Ridley is an executive producer of ABC’s acclaimed midseason drama American Crime, which is looking good for a second season renewal. Coming off winning best adapted screenplay for 12 Years a Slave, he is also a writer/producer on the 2016 big-screen update of Ben Hur. (EW)

Louis C.K. Has an Animated Talking Dog Movie, and It’s Called ‘The Secret Life Of Pets’

The comedian will star with Kevin Hart in the film, which promises to reveal the clandestine doings of dogs and cats when their owners leave for work or school. Script is from Despicable Me writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, and is scheduled for release on July 8, 2016. Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Lake Bell, Bobby Moynihan, and Albert Brooks also star. (AVC)

If You Were Wondering Why Warner’s DCCU Is So Serious, There Is a Very Good Reason For It

Whenever a tidbit about the DC Cinematic Universe comes along, it never fails, somebody’s got to complain about how serious the whole endeavor is. Doesn’t DC understand they should make more movies like The Avengers? Well, no, they don’t. Actually, they shouldn’t. (UR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Dope’

The latest look at the indie film sensation that was a huge hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. It hits theaters June 19th. (SAA)

‘Furious 7′ Wins Again, Surpasses Billion Dollar Mark, TriStar Sets ‘Billy Lynn’ Date, Dick Cook’s New Company, ‘Rogue One’ News


furious 7

The Third Time Is Indeed the Charm For ‘Furious 7’, Which Once Again Wins the Weekend

Universal’s biggest film ever brought in $29 million over the three days, giving it over $294 million in domestic grosses since its April 3rd open. Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 came in second, with $24 million, while another Universal pic, Unfriended, came in third with $16 million. DWA’s Home came in fourth, while The Longest Ride rounded out the top five. (BO)

‘Furious 7’ Also Just Set a Record For the Fastest Ever To a Billion Dollars

It only took 17 days for the film to cross the mark, the first time a film has ever needed as little as 17 days to make one billion dollars in worldwide ticket sales. It’s also the first Universal Pictures release to cross that threshold. Jurassic Park did, as well, but that was only after a 3D re-release. (VF)

TriStar Gets Into the 2017 Oscar Race, Announces November 11th, 2016 Release For ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’

Three-time Oscar winner Ang Lee’s new film, which stars stars newcomer Joe Alwyn, Garrett Hedlund, Steve Martin, Ben Platt, Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel and Chris Tucker, will have a Veteran’s Day release and be in prime position for that year’s awards season. Lee is using state-of-the-art Sony cameras, shooting in native 3D, high resolution, and making history with a frame rate that seemed impossible until now. (CS)

Dick Cook Launches a New Company, Replete With $150 Million In Chinese Money

The former Disney chairman announced he was launching Dick Cook Studios, a new media company, with a $150 million investment from Citic Guoan Group Co. Ltd., a division of the Chinese conglomerate Citic Group. Cook was chairman of the Walt Disney Studios from 2002 to 2009, having spent a total of 40 years with the Mouse House, overseeing the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure.  He was ousted, however, in 2009. (DH)

Star Wars Celebration Gave Fans Some ‘Rogue One’ News This Weekend

Director Gareth Edwards showed the first teaser to a packed house and revealed plot details. The film will take place between Episode III and Episode IV and, as has long been rumored, will revolve around a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. Felicity Jones will star in the film as a Rebel fighter. It is set for release December 16th, 2016. (TP)

After Just a Single Season, MTV Decides It Has Had Enough Of ‘Eye Candy’

Leading lady Victoria Justice made the announcement Saturday via Twitter that the freshman drama has been canceled. An MTV representative also confirmed that the show will not be returning. The Viacom-owned cable network picked up the 10-episode drama in February 2014. The series opened in January and averaged 592,000 total viewers during its run. (THR)

Ben Stiller Confirms That His ‘Zoolander 2’ Female Lead Is Penelope Cruz

The director-producer-star of the long-awaited sequel posted a funny and embarrassing picture of the actress on his Instagram account to let the world know the Oscar-winning actress had officially joined the production. She joins Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and Christine Taylor, as well as fellow newcomers Kristen Wiig and Cyrus Arnold. The film is currently shooting. (CB)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’

Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for its Man of Steel sequel, starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Amy Adams, Holly Hunter and a host of others, hits theaters March 25th, 2016. (YT)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Fantastic Four’

Twentieth Century Fox has released the first full-length trailer from the upcoming reboot of the franchise based on the Marvel comic book series. Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan star in the film, directed by Josh Trank and in theaters August 7th. (VAR)

Screenwriters: Improvising Screenplays — The Five Key Elements Of Act One

Writing the beginning of your script is a little like falling in love or going on a first date: you and your screenplay are getting to know each other, showcasing your personalities, maybe even revealing a few of your charming imperfections. (SM)

On the Set for 4/20/15: Michael Bay Starts TMNT Sequel, Gal Gadot Begins Keeping Up With the Joneses, Natalie Dormer Wraps Shooting on Patient Zero


TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, from left: Raphael, Leonardo, 2014. Ph: Industrial Light &


A Year by the Sea 4/15/2015 Logline: After years of being a loving wife and mother, a woman decides not to follow her husband to a new job out-of-state but, instead, to spend a year alone on Cape Cod. Production Company(s): Montabela Productions Director(s): Alexander Janko Producer(s): Alexander Janko Cast: Karen Allen, S Epatha Merkerson, Michael Cristofer, Celia Imrie, Yannick Bisson Writer(s): Alexander Janko Notes: Based on the memoir "A Year by the Sea" written by Joan Anderson and published by Doubleday in 1999. SSN Insight: Janko used a Kickstarter last May to help fund the film, asking $50,000 and receiving $53,012 in pledges with 277 backers.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk 4/13/2015 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: TriStar Productions, Studio 8 Production Company(s): Film4 Productions, Ink Factory Director(s): Ang Lee Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): Marc Platt, Simon Cornwell, Stephen Mark Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas, Ang Lee Cast: Joe Alwyn, Steve Martin, Garrett Hedlund, Beau Knapp, Kristen Stewart Writer(s): Jean-Christophe Castelli, Simon Beaufoy 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: Ang Lee plans to shoot using the Sony F65 camera in native 3D, with high resolution and an ultra-high frame rate. Actors Billy Howle, Taron Egerton, Joe Cole, and Jack Reynor were all reportedly considered to star.

How to Be Single 4/20/2015 Logline: Spanning a multi-year period, the film will give an honest portrayal of both the female and male views of singlehood. Studio: New Line Cinema Production Company(s): Flower Films, Rickard Pictures Director(s): Christian Ditter Executive Producer(s): Nancy Juvonen, Drew Barrymore, Marcus Viscidi Producer(s): Dana Fox, John Rickard Cast: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann, Damon Wayans, Jr. Writer(s): Dana Fox, Marc Silverstein, Abby Kohn Notes: Based on the novel "How to Be Single" written by Liz Tuccillo and published by Atria on June 10, 2008. SSN Insight: Anne Hathaway was previously mentioned to star. Owen Wilson previously attached to star. Cameron Diaz previously mentioned to star.

Keeping Up With the Joneses 4/20/2015 Logline: An unfulfilled suburban married couple discovers that their sexy and charming new neighbors are spies. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): Fox 2000, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation Director(s): Greg Mottola Executive Producer(s): Marc Resteghini, Evan Hayes, Timothy M Bourne Producer(s): Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot, Maribeth Monroe Writer(s): Michael LeSieur SSN Insight: Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation is also currently in production on Rings. Gadot’s upcoming films include Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, Triple Nine and Criminal.

Untitled (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sequel) 4/20/2015 Logline: The action-filled adventures of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continue. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company(s): Nickelodeon Movies, Platinum Dunes Director(s): David Green Executive Producer(s): Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec Producer(s): Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Galen Walker, Scott Mednick Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Tohoru Masamune, Alessandra Ambrosio Writer(s): Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec Notes: Sequel to "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (USA/2014) directed by Jonathan Liebesman.


London Has Fallen 4/18/2015 Logline: Mike Banning and President Benjamin Asher team up with a M16 agent to save London from a terrorist attack. Studio: Nu Image/Millennium Films Production Company(s): G-BASE Director(s): Babak Najafi Executive Producer(s): Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson, Heidi Jo Markel Producer(s): Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel, Mark Gill, Matt O'Toole, Danny Lerner Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Radha Mitchell Writer(s): Chad St. John, Christian Gudegast, Katrin Benedikt, Creighton Rothenberger SSN Insight: FilmDistrict, distributor of the original film, has an option on the sequel, but with CEO Peter Schlessel moving to Focus Features, the latter company is likely to distribute in the sequel to "Olympus Has Fallen" (2013) directed by Antoine Fuqua. Fredrik Bond was previously attached to direct.

Patient Zero 4/18/2015 Logline: A supervirus has turned humankind into highly intelligent, streamlined killers, and an asymptomatic victim who can communicate with the infected must lead the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure. Studio: Screen Gems Production Company(s): Vincent Newman Entertainment Director(s): Stefan Ruzowitzky Executive Producer(s): Steve Norris Producer(s): Vincent Newman Cast: Natalie Dormer, Matt Smith, Stanley Tucci Writer(s): Mike Le SSN Insight: Screen Gems acquired the script for the film in a competitive bidding situation. Screenplay was included in the 2013 Blood List

The Danish Girl 4/14/2015 Logline: A man finds an alter ego when he puts on a dress to pose for his artist wife. Before long, however, they both realize their marriage is in trouble. Studio: Working Title Films Production Company(s): Pretty Pictures, Harrison Productions Director(s): Tom Hooper Executive Producer(s): Linda Reisman, Ulf Israel Producer(s): Gail Mutrux, Anne Harrison, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Tom Hooper Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw Writer(s): Lucinda Coxon Notes: Based on the book "The Danish Girl" written by David Ebershoff published by Viking February 7, 2000. SSN Insight: Lasse Hallstrom, Tomas Alfredson, Neil LaBute and Anand Tucker were all previously attached to direct. Rachel Weisz, Charlize Theron, and Gwyneth Paltrow were all previously attached to the role of Greta Wegener.