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StartsBrother’s Keeper 1/13/2014 Logline: When a self-centered entrepreneur’s new company fails, he moves in with his estranged, pregnant sister and his brother-in-law and winds up as their nanny. Production Companies: Burn Later Productions, Through Films Director: Ross Katz Executive Producers: Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass Producers: Nick Kroll, Sam Slater, Paul Bernon, Marcus Kox, Karrie Cox Cast: Nick Kroll, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Caitlin Fitzgerald Screenwriters: Jeff Cox, Liz Flahive SSN Insight: This will be Liz Flahive’s first venture in to feature film writing; Flahive is also a well-known for TV writing. Everest (Universal) 1/13/2014 Logline: Based on the disastrous climb to the top of Mount Everest in May of 1996, when three expeditions were hit by a ferocious storm that left eight people dead. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Company: Working Title Films Director: Baltasar Kormakur Executive Producers: Evan Hayes, Liza Chasin Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Evan Hayes, Brian Oliver Cast: Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke Screenwriters: Justin Isbell (rewrite), William Nicholson (previous draft), Lem Dobbs (previous draft), Mark Medoff (adaptation) SSN Insight: David Fincher and Cary Fukunaga were both previously mentioned to direct. Glassland 1/08/2014 Logline: A young, Dublin taxi driver gets involved in the world of human trafficking while he’s trying to save his mother from her addiction. Production Companies: Element Pictures, Nine Entertainment Director: Gerard Barrett Executive Producer: Andrew Lowe Producers: Ed Guiney, Juliette Bonass Cast: Toni Collette, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter, Michael Smiley Screenwriter: Gerard Barrett SSN Insight: 26-year old writer-director Barrett won the 2013 Irish Film and Television Awards Rising Star Award for debut feature Pilgrim Hill, which he also produced and edited. Queen of the Desert 1/13/2014 Logline: An exploration of the life and loves of Gertrude Bell - explorer, writer and political attaché for the British Empire in the early 20th century who played a key role in the formation of modern-day Iraq. Production Companies: Werner Herzog Filmproduktion, Palmyra Films, Benaroya Pictures Director: Werner Herzog Producers: Cassian Elwes, Werner Herzog, Nick Raslan, Michael Benaroya Cast: Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, James Franco, Damian Lewis Screenwriter: Werner Herzog SSN Insight: Naomi Watts was previously attached to star as Gertrude Bell.
WrapsThe Prince 1/10/2014 Logline: A retired mob enforcer must return to Las Vegas, his former base of operations, to find his missing daughter. Production Companies: Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Aperture Films Director: Brian A. Miller Executive Producer: Brandon Grimes Producers: Randall Emmett, George Furla, Adam Goldworm, Barry Brooker, Stan Wertieb, Tim Sullivan, Ho-Sung Pak, Fred Song Cast: Bruce Willis, John Cusack, 50 Cent, Gia Mantegna, Rain Screenwriters: Jeremy Passmore, Andre Fabrizio SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Worldview Entertainment with Christopher Woodrow attached to produce.
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PilotsCondola Rashad will co-star in Fox’s Hieroglyph, which centers on a notorious thief plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah while navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers. John Simm joins BBC America’s The Intruders, about a secret society devoted to chasing immortality by seeking refuge in the bodies of others. Brittany Snow has been cast as the female lead in ABC’s An American Education, about a British transplant and an unorthodox young teacher in the San Diego public school system, named Alfie, who loves his students. But his youthful, often naive enthusiasm and unconventional methods put him at odds with the test-obsessed administrators. Zach Cregger has landed the lead role in Fox’s Fatrick, about a formerly fat kid who is compelled to face the damage caused by years of being called “Fatrick.” John Hawkes and Michael Cera have signed on to star in FX’s How And Why, about a brilliant scientist who knows nothing about real life. Hilary Duff joins TV Land’s Younger, that centers on a suddenly-single New Jersey housewife and mother in her early 40s who, unable to restart her career, decides to lie about her age and successfully passes herself off as a twenty-something.
Current SeriesJoshua Gomez is scheduled to guest star on CBS’ The Crazy Ones as a copywriter. Michelle Forbes will be joining BBC’s Orphan Black. Bill Paxton will play an Agent on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. James Earl Jones, Carrie Fisher and Tania Raymonde will guest-star on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. Michael Rapaport has been cast on Fox’s Raising Hope. Alexa Vega will make her debut on CW’s Tomorrow People, playing a new recruit. Jesse Eisenberg will play an eco-friendly, yet agitating neighbor on ABC’s Modern Family. Anne Dudek and Keith David will appear on NBC’s Grimm. Tim Conway, Steve Lawrence and Garry Marshall are set to guest star on CBS’ Two and a Half Men. John Hodgman will appear on NBC’s Parks and Recreation.
New SeriesJane Kaczmarek will recur on USA’s Playing House, as Jessica St. Clair’s Mother.
Event SeriesYvonne Strahovski joins 24: Live Another Day as a CIA field operative. Jessica Lucas, will play a reporter, on Fox’s Gracepoint.
NEW ATTACHMENTSAgent 47 Logline: A genetically-engineered, elite assassin known only as Agent 47 becomes conflicted by his conscience and unfamiliar emotions. Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company: Daybreak Productions, Giant Pictures, Prime Universe Films Producers: Charles Gordon, Alex Young, Adrian Askarieh, Daniel Alter (Executive Producer), Michael Hendrickson (Executive Producer) Cast: Rupert Friend Writer: Skip Woods (adaptation), Michael Finch (adaptation) Director: Aleksander Bach Details: Reboot of the film Hitman,(USA/2007) directed by Xavier Gens and starring Timothy Olyphant, which was based on the video game "Hitman: Codename 47" released by Eidos in December 2000. SSN Insight: Rupert Friend replaces the late Paul Walker who had been attached to play the title character role prior to his death. This is also a feature directorial debut for Aleksander Bach. Welcome to Harmony Logline: The outbreak of World War III pits the USA, Great Britain and Israel against Iran, China and Russia. After chemical weapons wipe out nearly everyone in each country, a father and daughter and their hated neighbor have to confront unwanted visitors. Production Company: Vaca Films Studio, Ombra Films, La Ferme Producers: Borja Pena, Jaume Collett-Serra, Juan Sola Cast: Matthew Fox, Jeff Donovan Writers: Miguel Angel Vivas (adaptation), Alberto Marini (adaptation) Director: Miguel Angel Vivas Details: Based on the book Y pese a todo, written by Juan de Dios Garduno and published by Dolmen on April 5, 2012 SSN Insight: This is writer/director Miguel Angel Vivas’ English-language directorial debut. Selling Time Logline: Tom is a successful public relations executive used to shaping the future of his clients. But after his daughter is kidnapped and murdered, he turns to a modern day witch who grants him a second chance to re-live that fateful day of his past in exchange for seven years of his life. His efforts to alter the events of a single day lead to an outcome with many unforseen consequences. Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox International Production Company: Davis Entertainment, Apartment 3B Productions Producers: John Davis, Jennifer Klein, Daniel McDermott Writer: Daniel McDermott (spec & re-write), Forest Whitaker (previous draft), Jim Uhls (previous draft), Derick Martini (previous draft), Steven Martini (previous draft), Amanda Silver (previous draft), Rick Jaffa (previous draft), Spike Lee (previous draft) Director: D.J. Caruso SSN Insight: Fox 2000 paid high-six against low-seven figures for the spec script by Dan McDermott and after several talented writers have re-written drafts, Dan McDermott is taking another stab at the script.
NEW PROJECTSHelena Handbag Logline: Mankind has to team up with Hell to save humanity from Rapture Jesus. Production Company: View Askew Productions Writers: Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier (adaptation) Details: based on a story from the 52nd episode of Smith’s popular SModcast podcast titled “The Rapture.” SSN Insight: Kevin Smith announced his script dated 12/30/13 on his Facebook page the same day, which came after Smith’s announcement that he was going to retire from filmmaking. Slingshot Logline: Trapped on a spacecraft, an astronaut struggles to survive not just the mission, but a dangerous crew. Production Company: Benaroya Pictures, BlindWink Productions, Energy Entertainment Producers: Michael Benaroya, Brooklyn Weaver, Jonathan Krauss Writer: Scott Adams SSN Insight: Project marks the first spec sale of 2014. The script was Adams’ 2013 Nicholl finalist. Influx Logline: In a world where technological advances are suppressed, a physicist makes a ground breaking discovery and is thrown into prison. Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox Details: Based on the novel Influx, written by Daniel Suarez which will be published by Dutton on February 20, 2014. SSN Insight: Fox acquired the rights to the novel before its release.
AgenciesCAA: Oscar-winning actress and producer Goldie Hawn has signed with Fred Specktor, Adam Berkowitz, Alex Mebed, Michael Katcher, Steve Lashever, Tera Hanks and Jim Toth. Hawn’s been absent from the Hollywood scene for the last few years, having devoted most of her time to the Hope Foundation, which she founded in 2003 to focus on children and education. Her last feature film was 2002’s The Banger Sisters, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Hawn made her acting debut in the sixties on the situation comedy Good Morning, World. The very next year, she got her big break, achieving international fame as one of the regular cast members on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Soon after, Hawn won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress appearing in 1969’s Cactus Flower and after that, Hawn starred in a string of hits including There’s a Girl in my Soup, Butterflies are Free, The Sugarland Express and Shampoo. In 1980, Hawn landed one of the best-received roles of her career starring in the feature comedy Private Benjamin, which garnered her second Academy Award nomination. Hawn’s subsequent credits have included such films as Seems like Old Times, Protocol, Wildcats, Overboard, Bird on a Wire, Housesitter, Death Becomes Her, The First Wives Club and The Out-of-Towners. In 1995, she moved into producing with the Julia Roberts feature Something to Talk About and in 1997, she moved into directing with the television movie Hope. Hawn’s autobiography, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, was published in 2005. CAA: Actress, singer and host Tamera Mowry is now repped by Ashley Mills, Andy Elkin, Ben Dey, Amie Yavor, Ashley Holland and Nick Khan. Mowry is one of the co-hosts of the syndicated daytime talk show The Real, which had a successful test run over the summer and will receive a nationwide launch this fall. She also stars in the reality series Tia and Tamara with her twin sister Tia Mowry. Mowry had her first breakout success appearing in the hit ABC/WB sitcom Sister, Sister, which also co-starred Tia Mowry and ran for six seasons. Her subsequent television credits have included starring as Dr. Kayla Thorton on Strong Medicine, as well as roles in the television series Roommates and Detention. Mowry also appeared in the television movies Seventeen Again, Twitches, Twitches Too and Christmas Angel. Mowry’s feature credits include 2002 feature’s The Hot Chick. For Sister, Sister, Mowry won two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series, as well as three Kid’s Choice Awards for Favorite Television Actress. Next up, Mowry will appear in a guest role on ABC Family’s Melissa and Joey. CAA: Oscar-winning director, designer and visual effects artist Robert Stromberg is now repped by Brian Kend, Jon Cassir and Alex Mebed. He was previously with UTA. Stromberg will make his directorial debut with the upcoming Disney film Maleficent, which stars Angelina Jolie and is set for a May 2014 release. Stromberg was previously best known for his design work on such blockbusters as Avatar, Alice on Wonderland, Oz the Great and Powerful, Hunger Games and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. The son of filmmaker William R Stromberg, Stromberg started his career in the early nineties, spending almost a decade working as a matte artist, before taking on roles as a visual effects designer and eventually a production designer. Among his lengthy credit list are such features as The Terminal, The Aviator, The Golden Compass, Tropic Thunder, The Hunger Games and Life of Pi. His television credits have included John Adams, The Pacific and Boardwalk Empire. Stromberg has won two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, for his work on Alice in Wonderland and Avatar respectively. Equitable Stewardship for Artists (ESA): Director and producer Sheelin Choksey is now represented by Paul Alan Smith. Choksey is currently a producer on the TNT series Major Crimes. He has also directed several episodes. Attending film school at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Choksey made the leap to Los Angeles shortly after his graduation. Working first as a production assistant and assistant on series such as Young Americans and Nip/Tuck, Choksey produced and directed the short Cold Feet in 2005, which starred Nip/Tuck actor Bruno Campos. Shortly after that, he began work as an associate producer on The Closer and eventually worked his way up to co-producer and producer, even directing several episodes. Choksey has also worked as a producer on the series Trust Me and Rizzoli & Isles. He began work on Major Crimes in 2012. Gersh: Emmy-winning actor, producer and director Anthony Edwards is now repped by Leslie Siebert. Edwards recently directed the feature comedy My Dead Boyfriend, which will star Heather Graham and Katherine Moennig. He also appeared on the ABC conspiracy drama Zero Hour, which aired last season. First studying theatre at the University of Southern California, Edwards was soon being offered enough acting work that he was able to leave college and pursue acting full-time. His early work included a co-starring role in the television series It Takes Two and a cameo appearance in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He got his first major break when he landed the lead role in the hit comedy Revenge of the Nerds. Two years later, Edwards’ career really took off when he landed the role of Nick “Goose” Bradshaw in Top Gun, which brought him widespread public attention. After appearing in such films as Miracle Mile and Downtown, Edwards landed his best-known role in 1994 when he began starring as Dr. Mark Greene on the iconic television series ER. He appeared in 181 episodes over that series run. Edwards’ other credits have included the features Pet Semetary Two, The Client, Northfork and Zodiac. He also played Mike Monroe on the CBS series Northern Exposure. For his performance on ER, Edwards won a Golden Globe, as well as six SAG Awards. Edwards has also won an Emmy as one of the executive producers of the HBO movie Temple Grandin. Paradigm: Actor Jason Patric is now repped by Jim Dempsey, Iris Grossman, Scott Metzger and Ken Stovitz. Patric is currently shooting the feature film The Prince, opposite Bruce Willis and John Cusack. He will also appear in the thriller The Confines, which is in post-production and slated to be released this summer. The grandson of legendary actor Jackie Gleason, Patric began acting in high school and was cast in the Bruce Dern television movie Toughlove shortly after his graduation. Patric’s first feature film was 1985’s Solarbabies. The following year he was cast in his breakthrough role as Michael Emerson in the cult classic The Lost Boys. Patric’s subsequent film roles have included 1991’s Rush, Sleepers, Speed 2: Cruise Control, Your Friends & Neighbors, Narc, The Alamo, In the Valley of Elah, The Losers and The Outsider. Next up, Patric is slated to appear in The Last Duane, currently in pre-production. UTA: Actor, comedian and writer Billy Gardell is now repped by Jay Gassner, Chris Hart and Doug Edley. He was previously with CAA. Gardell currently stars as Officer Mike Briggs on the hit CBS comedy Mike & Molly, now in its fourth season. He will also soon appear in the upcoming Clint Eastwood feature Jersey Boys. Gardell started off in the stand-up circuit and currently has built up a seven-figure comedy touring business. Before Mike & Molly, Gardell co-starred in the critically acclaimed series Lucky and he had recurring roles on such series as My Name is Earl, Heist, Yes, Dear, The Practice and Judging Amy. His film appearances have included Avenging Angelo, Bad Santa, You, Me & Dupree and Undrafted. Gardell also works as a voice actor, having voiced Santa in Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas and he played the recurring role of Lyle Winkler in Sullivan & Son. Next up, Gardell is looking to expand into writing, having recently sold a script to CBS. Mike & Molly garners approximately 13 million viewers each week.
Management CompaniesTrademark Talent: Breaking Bad actor RJ Mitte is now repped by Devon Jackson. Mitte is currently appearing in a recurring role on the ABC Family series Switched at Birth, which began its third season January 13th. However, Mitte is probably best known for playing Walter “Flynn” White Jr. in AMC’s Emmy-winning series Breaking Bad. Born with mild cerebral palsy, Mitte originally moved to Los Angeles with his family after his younger sister, actress Lacianne Carriere, received an offer for a role in a film project. Soon after his arrival, however, Mitte began pursuing extra roles himself, becoming a regular background player as a student on Hannah Montana. Before long, Mitte was taking acting lessons and in 2008, he was cast in his breakout role on Breaking Bad. Mitte’s other film and television appearances have included an episode of Vegas last year and the 2013 thriller The House of Last Things. Mitte was also an executive producer of the documentary Vanished: The Tara Calico Story. At the 2013 Media Access Awards, Mitte received the SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell Award for his portrayal of Walter White Jr. He continues to be represented by Bauman, Redanty & Shaul, and attorneys Fuller/Downs.
Company LaunchesAmplify: GoDigital and Variance Films have merged to form this bi-coastal, all-rights film distribution company. Logan Mulvey has been named as Chief Executive Officer, while Dylan Marchetti has taken the role of Executive Vice President, Theatrical Distribution and Marketing, in New York. Electric Ray: Karl Warner and Sony Pictures Television have partnered to launch this London-based production company. Warner will serve as Managing Director.
Studios, Networks, and Media ConglomeratesCBS Corporation: Steve Mirante has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Human Resources, in New York. CBS Corporation: Josie Thomas has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer. CBS Entertainment: Matt Hernandez has joined as Vice President, On-Air Promotion Design. CBS Television Studios: Lori Erickson has been promoted to Manager, Casting. Disney ABC Television: Irv Schulman has been promoted to Head, Syndication Ad Sales. Disney Channel: Heather Curtis has joined as Director, Current Series. Disney Channels U.S.: Dana Green has been named Vice President, Communications. FX Networks: Kevin Wandell has been promoted to Director, Development. Fox Animation: Andrea Miloro has been promoted to Senior Vice President. Fox Broadcasting Company: Nicole Nicholas has been promoted to Manager, Alternative Entertainment. Sony Pictures Television: Jordan Feiner was named Vice President, Current Programming. Universal Cable Productions: Richard M. Rothstein was named Head, Current Programming. Viacom: Martha Riley has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Music Sales, Music and Logo Group, in New York.
FilmAllison Shearmur Productions: Stephen Meinen has been promoted to Vice President. Atlas Entertainment: Topher Rhys-Lawrence has been promoted to Creative Executive. Benaroya Pictures: Ben Sachs has been promoted to President. Cannes Film Festival: Pierre Lescure has been named President, beginning summer 2014. China Film Group: La Peikang will take over as Chairman of the state film body, as of January 31st. Cinetic Media: Ryan Werner has joined as Senior Executive, in New York. Gravitas Ventures: Dustin Smith has joined as Vice President, Theatrical Distribution. Huaxia Film: Fu Ruoqing will become Chairman of the China-based film distributor, as of January 31st. Indian Paintbrush: Nora Skinner has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Production, in New York. Indian Paintbrush: Kara Van Abeele was named Senior Vice President, Development, in New York. Miramax: Zanne Devine has joined as Executive Vice President, Production and Development. The Weinstein Company: Matthew Hechinger has been named Manager, Acquisitions.
TelevisionCCTV6/China Movie Channel: Cao Yin will become Head, as of January 31st. Condé Nast Entertainment: Joe LaBracio has joined as Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming. Endemol Studios: Chris Dickie has been promoted to Manager, Development. Naegle Ink: Kit Giordano has joined as Vice President, Development, Ali Krug has been named Manager, Development, and Jessica Held has come aboard as Coordinator. Raw: Katherine Butler will become Head, Film and Television Drama, in London, as of late February. Ryan Seacrest Productions: Matt Sims has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Unscripted Development. Shine America: Audrey Chon has been named Vice President, Scripted Television. Shine TV: Tanya Shaw has joined as Creative Director, in London, beginning in the spring. Zodiak Rights: Steve Macallister has joined as Chief Executive Officer, in London and Paris.
Agencies, Management Companies, Public Relations, and Law FirmsAMT Artists, Inc.: Arthur Toretzky has joined as Owner and Agent, Talent. Carol Elsner has joined as Agent, Talent, Commercial, and Print. Gerry Koch has joined as Agent, Talent. CAA: Jack Whigham has been promoted to Co-Head, Motion Picture Talent. ICM Partners: Ryan Wackerman has been promoted to Agent, International TV & Media. LBI Entertainment: Christopher Donnelly has joined as Manager. Next Management: Kyle Hagler has joined as President, in New York. Paradigm: Ellen Gilbert and Rachel Altman have joined as Agents, in New York.
CableA+E Networks: Laura Fleury has been promoted to Vice President, Programming and Development, LMN. A+E Networks: Thomas Moody has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Programming, Planning & Acquisitions for FYI and LMN. Cablevision: Robert Comstock was named Executive Vice President, Operations, in New York. Discovery Networks International: JB Perrette has been named President. He will be based in London. The Hub Network: Lou Fazio has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Scheduling, Acquisitions & Planning. The Hub Network: Joshua Meyer was named General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs. Spike TV: Frank Tanki has joined as Executive Vice President, Brand Marketing & Creative, in New York. Starz: Kevin Kasha has been promoted to Head, Acquisitions. Univision Communications: Mehul Nagrani was named Senior Vice President, General Manager, in New York.
DigitalScripps Networks Interactive: Tamara Franklin has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Digital, in Knoxville, Tennessee.
PublishingThe Hollywood Reporter: Hugo Lindgren has been named Acting Editor. Time, Inc.: Jess Cagle has been named Editor of People and Editorial Director of Entertainment Weekly. Tribune Broadcasting: Kathy Clements has joined as Chief Operating Officer, in Chicago.
SSN Awards Forecast Formula: Can Other Awards Help Predict the 2014 Oscar Nominees? SSN Digs Deeper to Find OutSSN digs into our database of historical awards, and using a logistic regression, developed mathematical models for the nominations – each containing a unique combo of various awards and their predictive weight. Take a look at our picks for this year’s Academy Award nominations. (SSN) (SSN) (SSN) (SSN)
Road to Sundance: The Zellner Brothers & ‘Kumiko The Treasure Hunter’s Long & Winding Path to Park CityKumiko is loosely based on the true story of a Japanese woman so obsessed with the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, that she convinces herself there’s a stash of money buried under the snow in the American Plains. SSN spoke to David and Nathan Zellner (Kid-Thing, Goliath) right before they took off for Sundance. (SSN)
Oscar Analysis Part Three: Will Sony’s Future Award Hopefuls Prove to be ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ Come 2015?Sony’s expected to rack up a fair number of nominations for this year’s Oscars—with three movies that could earn close to 20 nods among them—but looking ahead to the upcoming slates of Columbia, TriStar, Screen Gems, and Sony Pictures Classics, it’s questionable whether next year’s awards futures will be as successful. (SSN)
Another Period Network: Comedy Central Production Company: Red Hour Films Executive Producer: Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome, Ben Stiller Director: Jeremy Konner Logline: Follows the misadventures of Newport’s first family, the Bellacourts, a family with nothing to offer the world, but who have so much money that it doesn’t matter. The oldest Bellacourt sisters, Victorian-era heiresses Lillian and Beatrice, care only about how they look, what parties they are invited to and becoming famous, which is a lot harder in 1902. SSN Insight: Comedy Central has also picked up a one-hour special starring Leggero to film in the spring. Untitled Eve Project Network: ABC Entertainment Studio: ABC Television Studios Production Company: Kapital Entertainment Executive Producer: Eve, Aaron Kaplan Logline: An interracial romantic comedy. Details: Bought with penalty attached. SSN Insight: Kaplan has recently received a pilot order for ABC drama Secrets & Lies and for NBC’s Mysteries Of Laura. Highway to Heaven Network: A&E Studio: A&E Studios Production Company: Halfire-Core Entertainment, Closest To The Hole Productions, Leverage Entertainment Executive Producer: Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Noreen Halpern, John Wirth, Wayne Lepoff Writer: John Wirth Logline: An angel is sent down to earth to help troubled souls. Details: A remake of the NBC 1980's drama, which starred Michael Landon and ran for five seasons. Old Soul Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Executive Producer: Amy Poehler, Jonathan Fener, Josh Bycel, Dave Becky Cast: Natasha Lyonne Logline: A young woman is trying to find herself, but in the meantime she’s working as the aide to a group of opinionated elderly people. SSN Insight: This is the first project for Poehler under her new three-year overall deal with NBC and Universal Television that she has just received.
STARTSEntourage 1/16/2014 Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio: Warner Brothers Pictures. Production Companies: Leverage Management, Closest to the Hole Productions, HBO Films Director: Doug Ellin Producers: Doug Ellin, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson Cast: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Jeremy Pivon, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara Screenwriters: Doug Ellin Details: Based on the television series Entourage, created by Doug Ellin that aired on HBO from 2004-2011. SSN Insight: This is Doug Ellin’s first feature film he is directing since Kissing A Fool in 1998. Warcraft 1/20/2014 Logline: An epic fantasy set in a world populated with orcs, trolls, elves, and the undead. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Legendary Entertainment, Activision Blizzard, Liberty Films Director: Duncan Jones Executive Producers: Michael Morhaime, Paul Sams, Stuart Fenegan, Jillian Share, Brent O’Connor Producers: Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull, Charles Roven, Alex Gartner Cast: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Colin Farrell, Clancy Brown, Dominic Cooper Screenwriters: Charles Leavitt (current draft), Duncan Jones (current draft) Details: Based on the video game Warcraft, released by Blizzard Entertainment in 1994. SSN Insight: Sam Raimi was previously attached to direct and produce. Man Up 1/20/2014 Logline: Nancy is on her way to her parents' anniversary celebration when she’s mistaken for a stranger’s blind date. Production Companies: Big Talk Productions, StudioCanal Director: Ben Palmer Executive Producers: Simon Pegg, Matthew Justice, Rachael Prior, Dan Cheesbrough, Danny Perkins, Jenny Borgars, Christine Langan, Joe Oppenheimer Producers: Nira Park, James Biddle Cast: Simon Pegg, Lake Bell, Olivia Williams, Rory Kinnear, Harriet Walter Screenwriter: Tess Morris SSN Insight: The script made the 2011 Brit List.
WrapsChappie 1/20/2014 Logline: Two gangsters steal a robot so they can use him in their criminal enterprises. Studio: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Media Rights Capital Director: Neill Blomkamp Producers: Neill Blomkamp, Simon Kinberg Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Dev Patel, Die Antwoord Screenwriters: Terri Tatchell, Neill Blomkamp SSN Insight: Die Antwoord are a futuristic rave rap crew from South Africa, this will be their first venture in acting. Fury 1/18/2014 Logline: In 1945, an American tank crew fights against the German army in its last throes. Studio: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: QED International, Le Grisbi Productions, Crave Films Director: David Ayer Executive Producers: Paul Hanson, Ethan Smith, Alex Ott Producers: Bill Block, John Lesher Cast: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña Screenwriter: David Ayer SSN Insight: The spec was purchased by QED for $1million. This will be Brad Pitt’s second World War 2 movie after Inglorious Basterds. The Giver 1/17/2014 Logline: Set in the future, a boy suspects that the utopia may not be as it appears. Every member of this society has a specific role, and 12-year-old Jonas is selected to be the Receiver of Memories. The Giver is an old man who teaches the young boy how to use his gift, and slowly Jonas uncovers the truth behind his world’s past. He discovers that many years earlier his forefathers gave up humanity in order to have a stable society. Studio: The Weinstein Company Production Companies: AsIs Productions, On Screen Entertainment, Tonik Productions Director: Phillip Noyce Producers: Neil Koenigsberg, Jeff Bridges, Nikki Silver, Harvey Weinstein, Dylan Sellers, Julie Rapaport Cast: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgård, Cameron Monaghan, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift Writer: Michael Mitnick Details: Based on the novel The Giver, written by Lois Lowry and originally published by Bantam Books in 1993. SSN Insight: Jeff Bridges was previously attached to star and produce through his AsIs Productions, before the project was acquired by Warner Bros. in 2007. When that option lapsed, Jeff Bridges acquired the material once again.
PilotsFortune Feimster and Brandon Jones join the Untitled Tina Fey/Matt Hubbard project, that takes place at a former all-girls college that has just opened its doors to men for the first time. Kelsey Chow has been cast in Fox’s Hieroglyph, which centers on a notorious thief plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah while navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers. Kelen Coleman and Tyler Ritter land roles on CBS’ The McCarthys, that follows a tight-knit, sports-obsessed, large Boston Irish Catholic family that has to learn to accept a gay son - not because he's gay, but because he doesn't want to spend all his time with the family. Lyndon Smith, Keith Nobbs, Wass Stevens and Elizabeth Masucci have booked TNT’s Public Morals, where cops walk the line between morality and criminality as the temptations that comes from dealing with all kinds of vice can get the better of them. Kyle Chandler and Ben Mendelsohn will star in Netflix’s Untitled Kessler/Zelman Project, that centers on a family of adult siblings whose secrets and scars are revealed when their black sheep brother returns home. Jake Sandvig has booked the lead role on TBS’ Living The Dream, about 20-something year old friends who reinvigorate a town on the verge of losing its identity by buying and reopening the local brewery. Devin Ratray, Phil Morris and Dalpre Grayer join ABC’s An American Education, about a British transplant and an unorthodox young teacher in the San Diego public school system, named Alfie, who loves his students. But his youthful, often naive enthusiasm and unconventional methods put him at odds with the test-obsessed administrators. Jesse L. Martin will co-star in CW’s The Flash, about a Central City assistant police forensics investigator who arrives in Starling to look into a series of unexplained robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past. Rashida Jones is set for the lead of TBS’ Tribeca, about an eccentric but brilliant group of people who investigate crime and reveal too much personal information about themselves in the process.
Current SeriesKeke Palmer is set to appear on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Jane Alexander will guest star on CBS’ Elementary. Michael Trucco and Peter Coyote are scheduled to guest star on CBS' Intelligence. Nathan Parsons joins HBO’s True Blood. Olivier Martinez is set to recur on ABC’s Revenge. Andre Ethier (The Los Angeles Dodgers) and Karan Brar (Jessie) will be guest starring on Disney XD’s Lab Rats. Jaimie Alexander is set to appear on ABC’s Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Jamie McShane willguest star on ABC Family’s The Foster’s. Lesley Nicol is set to guest on Fox’s Raising Hope. Fred Armisen and Patton Oswalt are set to appear on ABC’s Modern Family. Mary Steenburgen has landed a recurring role on FX’s Justified. Tahmoh Penikett will appear on CBS’ Criminal Minds. Katharine Isabelle joins NBC’s Hannibal.
Event SeriesKendrick Sampson has joined Fox’s Gracepoint. Benjamin Bratt will play the head of CIA operations on Fox’s 24: Live Another Day. Tate Donovan is set as the White House Chief of Staff.
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NEW ATTACHMENTSCaptain Underpants Logline: Two mischievous kids hypnotize their school principal and turn him into their comic book creation Captain Underpants. Studio/Distributor: DreamWorks Animation Cast: Ed Helms, Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele Writer: Nick Stoller Director: Rob Letterman Details: Based on the children's book series Captain Underpants, written by Dav Pilkey with the first book, The Adventures of Captain Underpants, published by Scholastic on September 1, 1997. SSN Insight: Letterman and Stoller previously worked together on 2010's Gulliver's Travels, which Letterman directed (it was his live-action debut) and Stoller co-wrote. Selma Logline: The historic -- and often violent -- marches that took place in Selma, Alabama in 1965 marked the political and emotional peak of the civil rights movement. Financier: Pathe International Production Companies: Cloud Eight Films, Plan B Entertainment, Harpo Films Producers: Oprah Winfrey, Christina Colson, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Lee Daniels, Cameron McCracken Cast: David Oyelowo Writer: Paul Webb Director: Ava DuVernay SSN Insight: David Oyelowo, who starred with Oprah in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, will play Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, re-teaming the three.
NEW PROJECTSThe Director Logline: Graham Weber has been director of the CIA for less than a week when he learns that the agency has been hacked, and he must rely on the unstable in-house geek for help. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Producers: Scott Rudin, Mike DeLuca Writer: Paul Greengrass Director: Paul Greengrass Details: Based on the novel The Director, written by David Ignatius and to be published by W. W. Norton & Company on June 2, 2014. SSN Insight: This is the first deal for Michael De Luca as production president of Sony Pictures and he acquired a book that is not yet published. The Prey (remake) Logline: A low-level crook flees prison to save his family from his former cellmate, who is a sadistic serial killer. Studio/Distributor: DreamWorks Studios Producers: Charles S. Cohen, Daniel Battsek (Executive Producer) Writer: Luc Bossi (Story By) Details: Remake of the film La Proie, (2011/France) directed by Eric Valette. SSN Insight: Luc Bossi was one of the writers on the original French films and he will be involved in developing the English language version. Security Logline: A mall security guard must protect a female witness from a gang of thugs after all communication is eliminated from a storm. Studio/Distributor: Nu Image/Millennium Films Production Company: Nu Image/Millennium Films Producers: Jonathan Yunger, Jeffrey Greenstein, David Harris, Avi Lerner (Executive Producer), Trevor Short (Executive Producer), Boaz Davidson (Executive Producer), John Thompson (Executive Producer) Writer: Tim Sullivan Details: Spec script brought to Nu Image/Millennium Films by David Harris. SSN Insight: This marks the first pic for producers Jonathan Yunger and Jeffrey Greenstein, who started out as Avi Lerner’s assistants. David Harris and Jeffrey Greenstein were Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brothers at University of Central Florida.
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CAA: Emmy-winning actress America Ferrera is now repped by Rick Kurtzman, Nancy Jones, Michael Katcher, Peter Micelli and Kami Putnam-Heist. Ferrera currently appears in a recurring role on the CBS drama The Good Wife. She also has a role in the upcoming feature Cesar Chavez: An American Hero. Ferrara’s best known for her roles on Ugly Betty, as well as appearances in the features Real Women Have Curves, How the Garcia Girls Spent their Summer, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and How to Train your Dragon. Next up, Ferrera will executive produce and star in the drama Demascus, currently set up at CBS.
CAA: Writing, directing and producing team John Requa and Glenn Ficarra are now repped by Richard Lovett, Gregory McKnight and Joe Cohen. Requa and Ficarra just wrapped the feature film Focus for Warner Bros., which will star Will Smith and Margot Robbie. The duo began as screenwriters, collaborating on Cats and Dogs, Bad Santa and Bad News Bears. Their directing credits include I Love You Phillip Morris and Crazy, Stupid, Love. Requa and Ficarra have several projects in development including a film based on the rise and fall of British-American computer programmer John McAfee.
Gersh: Sister act Aly & AJ Michalka are now repped by Allison Band. The two sisters started out as a singing duo before branching into acting in the mid-2000s. As the singing duo 78Violet, Aly and AJ have released studio three albums and are currently collaborating on their fourth. The two have also appeared together in the television movies Cow Belles and Super Sweet 16: The Movie. Among Aly’s solo credits are Bandslam, Easy A, The Roommate, and Two and a Half Men. AJ’s credits include The Lovely Bones, Super 8, Six Feet Under, The Guardian and Oliver Beene. The two sisters will release a new studio album in the latter part of 2014.
ICM Partners: Actor Patrick Kennedy is now repped by Andrew Kurland and JR Ringer. Kennedy most recently appeared on Downton Abbey, playing Terence Sampson. He also had a recurring role last year on Boardwalk Empire. Among Kennedy’s better known credits are the UK series Bleak House and feature films Atonement, Me and Orson Welles, The Last Station and War Horse. Last year, he was nominated for a SAG Award, along with the rest of the cast, for his ensemble work on Boardwalk Empire. Up next, Kennedy is set to appear in HBO’s new David Milch series The Money, opposite Brendan Gleeson and Nathan Lane. That series is currently in production.
Paradigm: Actor, director and producer Antonio Banderas has re-signed with his former agent Emanuel “Manny” Nunez, who recently joined Paradigm. Banderas is currently shooting The 33 opposite Juliette Binoche and recently finished shooting The Expendables 3. He will also lend his voice to the upcoming animated film SpongeBob SquarePants 2. Among Banderas’ more famous credits are Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Philadelphia, Desperado, Evita, The Mask of Zorro, and Spy Kids. Banderas is also a successful voice actor, notably voicing the character Puss in Boots in the Shrek series and recently starring in the Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos animated feature.
UTA: Oscar-winning actress and producer Susan Sarandon has signed with Shani Rosenzweig and a team of agents. She was previously with ICM Partners. Sarandon will next be seen opposite Melissa McCarthy in the road comedy Tammy. She will also star and co-produce a half-hour single camera comedy series alongside her daughter Eva Amurri Martino. Some of the career highlights of Sarandon’s extensive career include The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Great Waldo Pepper, Atlantic City, The Witches of Eastwick, Bull Durham, Thelma and Louise and Dead Man Walking. Sarandon won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in 1995’s Dead Man Walking.
WME Entertainment: Screenwriter Bob Nelson is now a client. Nelson recently received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for his script Nebraska. Previously, he worked in Seattle television. In addition to the Academy Award nomination, Nelson’s Nebraska screenplay was nominated for a Golden Globe, a BAFTA Award and the WGA Award. Nelson has already completed the screenplay for his next film, The Confirmation, which he plans on directing.
Blackfin: Former Zodiak executives Geno McDermott and Joanne Inglott have launched this New York-based production company, which will focus on unscripted and sports programming.
Studios, Networks, and Media Conglomerates
CBS Entertainment: Amanda Schweitzer has joined as Vice President, Current Programming.
Fox International Productions: Raymundo Diaz-Gonzalez has joined to oversee local productions in Mexico.
NBCUniversal International: Jason Beesley was named Chief Financial Officer, in London, beginning March 1st 2014.
NBCUniversal International: Denise Bassett has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, in London.
NBCUniversal International Television Production: Kristen Del Pero has been hired as Director of Development, Scripted Programming.
Telemundo Media: Allan Infeld has been promoted to Vice President, Client Development, in New York.
Universal Filmed Entertainment Group: Rowan Conn has been named Chief Financial Officer.
Viacom Velocity Creative Content Solutions: Niels Schuurmans was named Executive Vice President, in New York.
Bleiberg Entertainment: Tristan Weisgal has joined as Vice President, International Sales and Development.
Bleiberg Entertainment: Nick Donnermeyer has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Acquisitions and Production.
Bleiberg Entertainment: Melanie Kollar has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Operations.
Global Eagle Entertainment: Dave Davis was named Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans (MPI): Julia Nicholson has been appointed Chief Executive Officer.
Odeon-UCI: Paul Donovan was named Chief Executive Officer, as of February 2014, in London. Current Chief Executive Officer Rupert Gavin will continue as Advisor with Odeon-UCI’s parent company, Terra Firma Capital Partners.
Sierra/Affinity: Marc Butan has joined as Co-President.
Will Packer Productions: Barbara Dreyfus has joined as Head, Motion Pictures.
9 Story Entertainment: Tanya Green was named Vice President, Production, in Toronto.
Armoza Formats: Moshiko Cohen has joined as Senior Creative Director, Format Development, in Israel.
FremantleMedia North America: Toby Gorman will join as Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, in April 2014.
FremantleMedia International: Hayley Dickson has been promoted to Vice President, Television Acquisitions and Development, Global Content.
High Noon Entertainment: Scott Feeley has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Current Programming, in Colorado.
High Noon Entertainment: Patrick Jager has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Development & Production, in Colorado.
Inception Media Group: Steve Saltman has been hired as President, Television and Digital, beginning in March 2014.
ITV Studios America: Patrice Andrews has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer, East Coast, in New York.
ITV Studios America: Michael Dunn has joined as Coordinator, Series Development.
ITV Studios America: Brian Zagorski has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Current & Programming.
Studiocanal Germany: Barbara Knabe has joined as Executive Vice President, TV Distribution and World Sales.
Zodiak New York: Brent Burnette has joined as Senior Vice President, Development.
Zodiak New York: Neil Regan has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Development & Current.
Agencies, Management Companies, Public Relations, and Law Firms
Abrams Artists Agency: Katie Chambers and Victoria Kress have joined as Agents, Youth Theatrical, in New York. Jamie Pillet has been promoted to Agent, Youth Theatrical, in New York.
APA: Arielle Mesirow has joined as Agent, Comedy Talent.
ICM Partners: J.C. Mills has joined as Agent, International Television & Media, in New York.
Paradigm: Emanuel “Manny” Nunez has joined as Agent.
Prestige Talent Agency: Saraphina Monaco has been promoted to Director, Youth Theatrical Division.
Verve: Jordan Barel has been promoted to Coordinator, TV Literary.
WME: 20 agents have been promoted to Partner: Mark Ankner, Liesl Copland, and Alexis Garcia (Global Finance & Distribution), Esther Chang, Brandon Liebman, Doug Lucterhand, Boomer Malkin, and Brent Morley (Talent), Zach Druker, Lisa Harrison and Theresa Kang (Scripted Television), Sarah Self (Motion Picture Literary), Michele Bernstein, David Levy, Rob Markus, and Joel Zimmerman (Music), Jeff Googel and Will Ward (Commercials), Andy McNicol (Books) and Keith Friedenberg (Administration).
Comedy Central: Susie Kricena has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Program Acquisitions, in New York.
Maker Studios: Rene Rechtman was named President, International, in London.
Spirit Music Group: David Renzer has joined as Chairman.
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Awards Spotlight: ‘12 Years a Slave’ Lupita Nyong’o on Meeting Steve McQueen & Grappling with ‘Imposter Syndrome’SSN spoke to Nyong’o about auditioning for the role of Patsey, dealing with what she calls “imposter syndrome,” and working with co-stars Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor. (SSN)
Awards Spotlight: Oscar Nominated Sally Hawkins Talks Playing Against Cate Blanchett & Working with Woody Allen on ‘Blue Jasmine’The British actress earned international acclaim for her performance in Mike Leigh’s 2008 comedy Happy-Go-Lucky, for which she won a Golden Globe award, which led to even steadier work in films like An Education, Made in Dagenham, Never Let Me Go, Jane Eyre and now Blue Jasmine. (SSN)
Oscar Analysis Part Three: Universal Lines Up 2015 Awards with Director Angelina Jolie & Guillermo del ToroBetween the main studio arm and the indie wing, Universal has plum prospects on the horizon -and that list should get even longer. SSN explores the studio’s upcoming slate. (SSN)
StartsTen Thousand Saints 01/27/2014 Logline: In 1987, at the height of the East Village Punk Scene a young man moves in with his estranged father in Manhattan. Production Companies: Maven Pictures, Archer Gray Productions Directors: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini Producers: Celine Rattray, Luca Borghese, Anne Carey, Amy Nauiokas, Trude Styler Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Ethan Hawke, Asa Butterfield, Emile Hirsch Screenwriters: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini Details: Based on the novel Ten Thousand Saints, written by Eleanor Henderson and published by Ecco in 2011. SSN Insight: Celine Rattray produced the Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini directed Girl Most Likely. Night At The Museum 3 1/27/2014 Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: 21 Laps Entertainment, TCF Vancouver Productions Director: Shawn Levy Producers: Shawn Levy, Josh McLaglen Cast: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dan Stevens, Rebel Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Ben Kingsley Screenwriters: Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant Details: Second sequel to the film Night at the Museum, (USA/2006) directed by Shawn Levy and starring Ben Stiller and Robin Williams. SSN Insight: Ben Kingsley and Robin Williams previously worked together on the film A.I Artificial Intelligence. Despite the Falling Snow 1/23/2014 Logline: A young Russian spy finds herself falling in love with the idealistic politician she is observing. Production Company: Englightenment Productions Director: Shamim Sarif Producer: Hanan Kattan Cast: Rebecca Ferguson, Trudie Styler, Sam Reid, Charles Dance Screenwriter: Shamim Sarif (adaptation) Details: Based on the novel Despite the Falling Snow, written by Shamim Sarif and published by St. Martin’s Press in 2005. SSN Insight: Olga Kurylenko was previously attached as the lead.
WrapsGet On Up 1/25/2014 Logline: This biopic follows the rise of James Brown from poverty in Georgia to becoming the Godfather of Soul. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Imagine Entertainment, Jagged Films, Wyolah Films Director: Tate Taylor Executive Producers: Mick Jagger, John Norris, Trish Hofmann Producers: Brian Grazer, Victoria Pearman, Erica Huggins, Tate Taylor Cast: Chadwick A. Boseman, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Dan Aykroyd Screenwriters: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth SSN Insight: Before his death in December 2006, Brown played an active role in the project's development and granted access to his music rights. Mortdecai 01/21/2014 Logline: Follows the adventures of degenerate aristocrat Charlie Mortdecai, who works as an art dealer by day and a thief by night. Studio: Lionsgate Production Companies: Mad Chance Productions, Infinitum Nihil Director: David Koepp Producers: Andrew Lazar, Johnny Depp, Christi Dembrowski Cast: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Paul Bettany, Olivia Munn Screenwriter: David Koepp Details: Based on the novel The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery, written by Kyril Bonfiglioli and Craig Brown, published by Black Spring Press Ltd. September 30, 1997. SSN Insight: Sacha Baron Cohen was previously attached to star. Ouija 1/24/2014 Logline: A group of teens anxiously try to undo what they have done after playing with a Ouija board and making contact with the evil spirit of their dead friend. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Platinum Dunes, Hasbro, Inc. , Blumhouse Productions Directors: Stiles White, Juliet Snowden Producers: Jason Blum, Brian Goldner, Bennett Schneier, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form, Michael Bay Cast: Daren Kagasoff, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Smith Screenwriters: Stiles White, Juliet Snowden Details: Project is inspired by the board game "Ouija" produced by Hasbro's Parker Brothers since 1966. SSN Insight: Both Pierre Morel and McG were previously attached to direct