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TIFF Hit List: 10 To Watch, HBO Gets ‘High Maintenance’, Searchlight Sets ‘Battle of the Sexes’, IMAX-Warner Extend Deal, On the Set For 4/20/15


Tribeca Film Festival 2005


Tribeca Film Festival Hit List: The 10 Narrative and Documentary Films To Put On Your Radar

Since its start in 2002, the Festival has screened over 1400 films from over 80 countries and attracted an international cumulative audience of more than 4 million attendees. Here at SSN we’re pushing past the hype to narrow down the five documentaries and five narrative films that we think are not only bankable but thought-provoking and deserve some attention. (SSN)

On the Set For 4/20/15: Michael Bay Starts ‘TMNT’ Sequel, Gal Gadot Begins ‘Keeping Up With the Joneses’ and More

Additionally, Ang Lee gets rolling on Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, as does New Line’s How To Be Single and Alexander Janko’s A Year By the Sea, while Natalie Dormer wraps up Patient Zero, while The Danish Girl and London Has Fallen also complete principal photography. Click the link for all the details. (SSN)


From the Web To Cable, HBO Is Picking Up ‘High Maintenance’ For a Limited Run

It’s currently unclear how long each episode of the HBO High Maintenance will be — webisodes ran between 5 and 12 minutes each — or whether the new version will maintain the series' anthologized narrative. The network said that the old High Maintenance will still be around: the show's first 19 installments, previously available on Vimeo, will eventually go up on HBO Go and HBO Now eventually. (VUL)

Fox Searchlight Gets Into the Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs Movie Race, Sets Its Own Project

Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris will direct the film, called Battle of the Sexes, will star Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs, from a script by Simon Beaufoy. The film is set to go forward in the fall, ahead of HBO and Playtone — which has David Auburn writing for Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti to star — and Chernin Entertainment and Gary Sanchez, which are percolating Match Maker with Steve Conrad writing and Will Ferrell attached. (DH)

IMAX and Warner Bros. Extend Their Partnership Deal Through 2020

The plan is to release up to 30 movies over the next five-plus years, including The Man From U.N.C.L.E., In the Heart of the Sea, Baman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Tarzan movie, Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur, Suicide Squad, Geostorm, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Jungle Book: Origins, Godzilla 2, as well as the upcoming DC tentpoles, and future LEGO movies. (CS)

Live-Streaming To Movie Theaters? A Solution Has Been Developed

The Digital Cinema Distribution Coalition has developed a high-quality live-streaming technology solution that allows the DCDC KenCast catch server to stream live content into an unlimited number of auditoriums from two simultaneous event feeds along with two additional pre-recorded events. That means exhibitors can book up to four events simultaneously to an unlimited number of auditoriums. (VAR)

Warner Also Announces Its Release Dates For the Next Two LEGO Movies

Studio has unveiled its master plan for its upcoming Lego movies, staking out release dates for the next three movies in the franchise. The Lego Batman movie, which at this stage is untitled, will be the first new Lego movie out of the gate and will open Feb. 10, 2017. Also in 2017, on Sept. 22, Ninjago will hit theaters. Finally, The Lego Movie Sequel, yes that is the title, will open May 18, 2018. The new date pushes up the movie by a week. (THR)

Good News For Bill Zane Fans: He Will Be Back For the ‘Zoolander’ Sequel

Ben Stiller is already on board as producer-director-star, and he is joined by Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig and Penelope Cruz, and now it appears Zane will reprise his performance from the first film as … Billy Zane. Justin Theroux wrote the script for the film, which will open February 12th, 2016. (SF)

More ‘Independence Day’ Alums Return For the Sequel, but Still No Will Smith

Bill Pullman and Judd Hirsch will join the cast of Roland Emmerich’s sequel to the enormous 1996 hit film. Jeff Goldblum and Viveca A. Fox are also on board, as well as newcomers Liam Hemsworth and Jessie Usher, who plays Smith's son. (AVC)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Jurassic World’

Universal has released the latest full-length trailer for the next installment of the monster franchise. Colin Trevorrow directs the film, which stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Jake Johnson and Judy Greer star. It hits theaters June 12th. (EMP)

WB Moves ‘Pan’ To Fall, ABC Announces ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Spinoff, New ‘Transformers’ In 2017, ‘Lucky Stiff’ Finds a Home


TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, Optimus Prime, 2014. Ph: Industrial Light & Magic/©Paramount

Warner Bros. Decides To Move ‘Pan’ Out Of the Summer and Into October

The movie’s original release date, July 24th, would have put it firmly up against a lot of tough summer fare, including the new Mission: Impossible movie, which is scheduled for a week later. Now, with an October 9th release date, the plan is to give the movie more space to stretch its wings and, potentially, put it in place for awards season. (TOH)

Marvel and ABC Announce That Their ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Spinoff Will Star Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood

Acting pair joined the series in the second season as Mockingbird and Lance Hunter, respectively, and are finalizing deals to headline the spinoff series. This seems to suggest that the new show would revolve around these two characters, a former husband and wife duo that also happen to be highly trained spies. (COL)

The Folks At Hasbro Are Thinking We’ll See Another ‘Transformers’ Movie In 2017

Along with this news came confirmation that the idea of a shared universe for the characters is also in motion, with Akiva Goldsman leading a team of writers to create a strategic plan around the Transformers characters. No word yet from Paramount, the studio behind the series, but that is expected soon. (SF)

Abramorama and The Orchard Find Themselves a ‘Lucky Stiff’

The musical will be released in New York on July 24th and will complement the theatrical release by making the film available to all U.S. and Canadian cable, satellite and digital platforms for a simultaneous day-and-date release. Jason Alexander stars, Christopher Ashley directed, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty wrote the screenplay and lyrics and Victor Syrmis and J. Todd Harris produced. (THR)

It’s Official: Netflix Is Bringing Back ‘Full House’

Called Fuller House, the 13-episode revival series will focus on Candace Cameron Bure’s character, D.J. Tanner, who is a recently widowed and pregnant veterinarian. Her younger sister and aspiring musician Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) and her childhood best friend, Kimmy Gibbler, (Andrea Barber), along with Gibbler’s feisty teenage daughter Ramona, move in to help D.J. raise her two sons and soon-to-arrive baby. John Stamos is producing and will guest star. (VAR)

TV Land Wants To Stay ‘Younger’, Renews Sitcom For a Second Season

Just four episodes into the show’s freshman season, cable net has renewed the single-camera comedy for a second season with a 12-episode order. Created and executive produced by Darren  Star, Younger stars Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor and Nico Tortorella. Younger is TV Land’s second original single-camera comedy series, following Jennifer Falls, which lasted one season. (DH)

Fall TV's 14 Best Bets To Survive Pilot Season — A Sneak Peak  At Broadcast’s Most Promising Pilots

There is no business model more accustomed to failure than that of broadcast TV. Of the 90 scripted pilots commissioned last year by the four major English-language networks, nearly half (41, or 46%) were ordered to series. No more than 11 of these will return for a second season; in other words, 88% of the 2014-15 pilots either never saw the light of day or could not deliver a viable audience upon securing a spot on the prime-time roster. (AA)

How the Lucasfilm Story Group Keeps a Handle On the Brand New Star Wars Universe

It’s a new group of Lucasfilm employees, headed up by Kiri Hart and created by President Kathleen Kennedy, whose job is to make sure every single Star Wars movie, TV show, book, comic book and video game tell one, big story. At Star Wars Celebration Group, a panel called One Big Story shed light on this new initiative to make sure all Star Wars stories tell the same story. (SF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Tomorrowland’

The third full-length trailer from Disney’s summer blockbuster, starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson and directed by Brad Bird. The film hits theaters May 22nd. (YT)

Online Film School: 30 Things Learned From the ‘Blade Runner’ Commentary

No conversation about artificial intelligence in movies is complete without the inclusion of Ridley Scott‘s 1982 classic. It’s a character-driven, sci-fi/noir about a detective tasked with locating and “retiring” replicants — genetically engineered humanoids created to work as slave labor or serve as entertainment — who’ve violently rebelled against their human masters in a bid for freedom. Scott’s commentary comes from a 2007 DVD release. (FSR)

TV Development for 4/21/15: Netflix Joins WWF for Massive ‘Our Planet’ Series, Wes Craven Inks Universal Deal, HBO Orders a String of Shows


Planet Earth

1001 Studio: Gaumont Production Company(s): Matador Films, Eyeworks Sweden Executive Producer(s): Lars Lundström Writer(s): Lars Lundström Logline: Set in Sweden, the story follows a policewoman as she receives a message from someone claiming to have committed the murder she is investigating. The person demands 1001 million transferred to various bank accounts, or more people will die. But the amount of the ransom is a thinly veiled message to a group of government officials: The blackmailer has insight into a secret from the past involving a 1980s medical research project that had good intentions, but went horribly wrong. SSN Insight: Gaumont has given a series order of 12 episodes, the second order for the studio after announcing William Boyd’s 10-episode Spy City last year. Previously Lundstrom’s Swedish series Real Humans was adapted as Humans for AMC and his Tusenbröder series was remade as Brothers In Crime by Valhalla and Universal Cable.

Almost There Network: Audience Network (DirecTV) Studio: DirecTV Production Company(s): Out of Time Productions Executive Producer(s): Steven Pasquale, Jace Alexander, Kim Cella, Debbie Baldwin, Jonathan Burkhart Writer(s): Kim Cella, Debbie Baldwin, Courtney Baron Logline: Jackson Cooper is a handsome, eternally single psychiatrist living in New York City. Serial dating and workaholic behavior have successfully helped him avoid long-term commitments, until he meets the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately he fails to get her name, number or any other information. The series follows Jackson on his quest to find her and to finally go about the task of finding himself along the way. SSN Insight: DirecTV ordered 10 episodes of the single-camera series with a premiere scheduled for fall 2015. DirecTV’s other comedy series include Peter Ackerman’s Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight, and Neil LaBute’s Billy and Blilie.

Alone Network: History Channel Production Company(s): Leftfield Pictures Logline: 10 survivalists are left in the Vancouver Island wilderness and have to survive using what they’ve been able to stuff into a backpack. At stake is $500,000 awarded to the person who lasts the longest. The competitors are separated from one another in harsh terrain to hunt, build shelters and fend off predators. They will face extreme isolation and psychological distress as they plunge into the unknown, and will self-document their experience. SSN Insight: Alone will air in a synchronized event in upwards of 200 territories worldwide on History and other channels from A+E Networks.

Our Planet Network: Netflix Production Company(s): Silverback Productions, WWF Executive Producer(s): Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey Logline: A natural history series and four-year project that takes viewers into never before filmed wilderness areas from the ice caps and deep ocean to deserts and remote forests. Using 4K camera technology, the series brings viewers into intimate contact with some of the world’s rarest animals and most precious natural habitats. Details: A spin-off of the series Planet Earth. SSN Insight: Netflix has given a series order of eight episodes. Series producers were previously behind Planet Earth. The series will be show in Ultra HD 4K format. The show will be produced over four years with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which will provide Silverback Productions access to protected areas around the world and will collaborate on multimedia content across numerous platforms. Scheduled to premiere in 2019.

Emerald City Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Executive Producer(s): David Schulner Writer(s): David Schulner Logline: In the blink of a tornado’s eye, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and her K9 police dog are transported to another world, one far removed from our own, a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. This is the fabled Land of Oz in a way you’ve never seen before, where wicked witches don’t stay dead for long and a young girl becomes a headstrong warrior who holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands. Details: Based on the novels of L. Frank Baum, including "The Wizard of Oz." SSN Insight: After deciding not to go ahead with the series 8 months ago, NBC has instead decided to give it a go and ordered 10 episodes. Matthew Arnold was previously attached to EP and write.

Geeks Who Drink Network: SyFy Production Company(s): Conde Nast Publications, Inc., Kinetic Content, The Nerd Machine Executive Producer(s): Chris Coelen, Dawn Ostroff, Joe LaBracio, Emma Conway, Zachary Levi Logline: Two teams of self-proclaimed "trivia geeks" will battle it out each week in rapid-fire quizzes that cover topics ranging from pop culture to science fiction. Each team consists of three players - a celebrity team captain and two trivia pros. After three rounds, the winning team will earn prizes and a spot on the Geeks Who Drink leaderboard. SSN Insight: SyFy ordered the Zachary Levi hosted gameshow to series on April 15 and slated it’s premiere for July 16. In addition Levi founded Nerd HQ, a convention celebrating all things Geek that takes place in July in San Diego.

The People Under the Stairs Network: SyFy Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Industry Entertainment, Alive Productions Executive Producer(s): Wes Craven, Michael Reisz, Shep Gordon, Tracey Murray, Sara Bottfeld Writer(s): Michael Reisz Logline: When a young woman goes missing at the grand Robeson Family Manor, her search unveils the centuries-old horrors that lie deep within the estate. Details: Based on the film, "The People Under the Stairs" (1991), written and directed by Wes Craven. SSN Insight: Series springs from legendary horror filmmaker Craven’s new first-look deal with Universal Cable Productions to develop scripted programming for NBCUniversal and outside networks.

We Are All Completely Fine Network: SyFy Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Industry Entertainment, Captivate Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Wes Craven, Ben Smith, Jeffrey Weiner, Sara Bottfeld Writer(s): Wes Craven Logline: Dr. Jan Sayer is an enigmatic psychologist who gathers survivors of five horror-movie scenarios in a support group - and unwittingly unlocks the evils of her patients’ pasts. As their traumas are brought back to the surface, they uncover which monsters they face are within — and which are lurking in plain sight. Based on the novel. Details: Based on the novel, "We Are All Completely Fine," written by Daryl Gregory and published by Tachyon Publications on August 12, 2014. SSN Insight: Series springs from legendary horror filmmaker Craven’s new first-look deal with Universal Cable Productions to develop scripted programming for NBCUniversal and outside networks.

Harvest Network: Spike TV Studio: Warner Horizon Television Production Company(s): Jerry Bruckheimer Television Executive Producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman Writer(s): Matt Morgan, Ian Sobel Logline: Centers on a mild-mannered cemetery caretaker who finds his small-town life in jeopardy when his estranged criminal father forces him into the body-trade business. SSN Insight: Project was originally set up at A&E in 2013.

Sex With Brody Network: E! Production Company(s): Wilshire Studios Executive Producer(s): Brody Jenner, Matt Osborn, David Friedman, Eric Podwall Logline: The relationship round table talk show has Brody Jenner taking on hot topics and hitting the phones and the streets to encourage strangers to strip down’ and reveal their burning thoughts around sex and relationships. Details: Based on the podcast, "The Brody Jenner Podcast With Dr. Mike Dow." SSN Insight: E! has ordered 4 episodes of the Jenner hosted roundtable talk show. He will be joined by therapist Mike Dow and comedian Stevie Ryan.

Heads Up! Network: HLN Production Company(s): A Very Good Production, Telepictures Executive Producer(s): Ellen DeGeneres, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Jeff Kleeman Logline: Based on the game which pairs a celebrity with a contestant who take turns guessing the content of a card based on clues from their partner. Details: Originally the game was played on The Ellen Show and then became a top-selling mobile app downloaded upwards of 16 million times. SSN Insight: Slated to premiere early next year with 65 episodes to air on weekdays. Loni Love will host the show.

SMILF Network: Showtime Studio: ABC Signature Production Company(s): Quantity Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Frankie Shaw, Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky, Michael London Writer(s): Frankie Shaw Logline: Examines the travails of a young woman who comes to LA as both a struggling actress and a struggling single mom. Details: Based on Frankie Shaw’s semi-autobiographical short "SMILF," which won the Sundance Short Film Jury Award in 2015. Shaw is onboard to write, direct, star and executive produce.

The Alienist Studio: Paramount Television Production Company(s): Anonymous Content Executive Producer(s): Steve Golin, Rosalie Swedlin, Eric Roth, Cary Fukunaga, Hossein Amini Writer(s): Hossein Amini Logline: Set in New York City in 1896, the story of a journalist trying to solve a series of murders, and the investigative team assembled by police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt. Based on the novel by Caleb Carr. Details: Based on the novel "The Alienist" written by Caleb Carr and published by Random House April 1994. SSN Insight: The series springs from the 3 year, first-look production deal between Anonymous and Paramount TV that gives Paramount a first look to produce and distribute Anonymous’ TV programming on multiple platforms. This is planned as an event series.

ABC Family

I Am Maker Network: ABC Family Production Company(s): World of Wonder Productions, Maker Studios Executive Producer(s): Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato Logline: The series follows a group of up-and-coming You Tube sensations who will live together and be mentored by the biggest talent from Maker Studios - endeavoring to connect their authentic voices with a huge audience. SSN Insight: The production company, World of Wonder, is behind the currently airing series Friends to Lovers, Good Work, Million Dollar Lising, Life with LaToya, Girlfriend Intervention and #CandidlyNicole.

Sold Out Network: ABC Family Studio: ABC Signature Studios Executive Producer(s): Irving Azoff Writer(s): Andrea Abbate Logline: A young band hits the road for their first-ever tour. SSN Insight: Abbate is credited as a writer and consulting producer on ABC Family’s series Young & Hungry. She’s currently set as a writer on the TV series Random Acts, in development at AMC and as an EP/writer on Diblings for NBC (also in development).

We Heart Disney Network: ABC Family Production Company(s): Big Red 2 Enertainment Executive Producer(s): David Foster, Nigel Lythgoe Logline: The music spectacular features some of today’s biggest pop stars singing classic Disney songs. SSN Insight: Foster’s been nominated three times for Academy Awards and won 16 Grammys along with serving as the current chairman of Verve Music Group.

You've Got To Work It Network: ABC Family Studio: ITV Studios Production Company(s): UnbeliEVAale Enertainment Executive Producer(s): Eva Longoria Logline: The show follows eight unemployed girls from diverse backgrounds who get a crash course in the working world - vying for seven job opportunities in seven very different industries. The girls will also have complete head-to-toe and emotional makeovers with the hope they change their ways, step up to the plate, and land a coveted job to kick start their career. Details: Based on the UK format. SSN Insight: Longoria currently serves as the EP on upcoming series Telenovela for NBC and Versus for ESPN.


Confirmation Network: HBO Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): HBO Films, Groundswell Productions Executive Producer(s): Kerry Washington, Susannah Grant, Michael London, Janice Williams Writer(s): Susannah Grant Logline: The film chronicles Clarence Thomas’ 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings, which became top news when Anita Hill, a lawyer who had worked as an adviser to the judge at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was called upon to testify about reports he had sexually harassed her. SSN Insight: HBO has nabbed Sundance break out director Rick Ramuyiwa (Dope) to direct the HBO movie that stars Kerry Washington. The movie is slated to begin production this summer.

Divorce Network: HBO Production Company(s): Pretty Matches Productions, Merman Films, Kapital International Executive Producer(s): Sharon Horgan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alison Benson, Paul Simms, Aaron Kaplan Writer(s): Sharon Horgan Logline: Centers on Frances, a woman who suddenly begins to reassess her life and her marriage, and finds that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought. SSN Insight: HBO has given a series order. The series will star Sarah Jessica Parker and co-star Thomas Haden Church, Molly Shannon and Talia Balsam with the pilot directed by Jesse Peretz. High Maintenance Network: HBO Executive Producer(s): Russell Gregory, Benjamin Sinclair, Katja Blichfeld Writer(s): Benjamin Sinclair, Katja Blichfeld Logline: The series centers around a cannabis dealer known simply as "The Guy" who slips in and out of the lives of his clients - an eclectic array of New Yorkers with neuroses as diverse as the city they live in. SSN Insight: The show originally streamed on Vimeo. HBO has given a six episode order that will air on its channel. HBO will also distribute the past 19 episodes through its platforms.

The Wright Brothers Network: HBO Production Company(s): Playtone Executive Producer(s): Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman Logline: The story of Wilbur and Orville Wright, who sold and repaired bicycles out of an Ohio shop to pay for their passion: the invention of flying machines that ushered in the aeronautical age right after the turn of the 20th Century. In 1903 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the brothers changed history by successfully flying the first heavier-than-air-powered machine that carried a pilot. Details: Based on the book, "The Wright Brothers," written by David McCullough and to be published by Simon & Schuster on May 5, 2015. SSN Insight: Playtone has previously executive produced Band Of Brothers, The Pacific, John Adams and From The Earth To The Moon for HBO, and is going into production on the miniseries Lewis And Clark and then Masters Of The Air.


50 States of Survival Network: NatGeo Studio: National Geographic Channel Logline: Is it better to have dozens of tools or just one you can use dozens of ways? A survival savant, an alternative engineer and a gadget guru show us how to make a lot out of a little as they compete against each other in location-based challenges across the U.S. Each task showcases self-reliance and modern ingenuity at their best. SSN Insight: NatGeo announced they’d given a series order for the show during their 2015-2016 Upfront presentation on April 15.

Breakthrough Network: NatGeo Studio: National Geographic Production Company(s): Imagine Entertainment, Asylum Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Kip Konwiser, Kern Konwiser Logline: Introduces us to adventurers and the cutting edge technology that enables them to break through to unprecedented heights and "change the game," whether in space, under the ocean, inside the human body, or within our own homes. SSN Insight: NatGeo announced they’d given a series order of 13 episodes for the show during their 2015-2016 Upfront presentation on April 15.

Primal Survival Network: NatGeo Studio: National Geographic Production Company(s): Icon Films Logline: Hazen Audel is completing a series of solo survival missions in some of the world’s most remote places by using only the tribal training passed down to him through the elders he meets along the way. Harnessing the skills these tribal ancestors perfected, Hazen shows what it really means to fight for your life in the most extreme conditions. SSN Insight: NatGeo announced they’d given a series order for the show during their 2015-2016 Upfront presentation on April 15.

Saints and Strangers Network: NatGeo Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): Little Engine Executive Producer(s): Eric Overmyer, Teri Weinberg, Grant Scharbo, Gina Matthews Writer(s): Eric Overmyer, Seth Fisher, Chip Johannessen, Walon Green Logline: The untold story behind the founding of America, chronicling the trials and tribulations of the 101 men, women and children who boarded the Mayflower for a one-way trip to the New World. Half of these "pilgrims" were religious separatists who had abandoned their prior lives for religious freedom. The other half, "adventurers," were mostly single males seeking financial opportunity or trying to escape their old identities or criminal pasts. SSN Insight: NatGeo has ordered the four-hour miniseries.

The Great Human Race Network: NatGeo Studio: National Geographic Channel Logline: Two adventurers, Bill Schindler and Cat Bigney, travel for 35,000 miles from the cradle of civilization to the New World as they complete challenges. While retracing the migratory route of our ancestors, our competitors must overcome some of the same oppressive deserts, frozen tundra and intimidating jungles. Along the way, they face the same challenges early humans did: building weapons out of stone, starting fires, hunting for food, communicating with local tribes and more. SSN Insight: NatGeo announced they’d given a series order for the show during their 2015-2016 Upfront presentation on April 15.

The Yard Network: NatGeo Studio: National Geographic Production Company(s): Original Productions Logline: The engineers, mechanics and carpenters at some of our country’s largest shipbuilding operations rush to complete repairs and hustle to get as many boats in the water as possible by deadline. From struggling to fill an order of 40 ferry boats to dealing with the unique challenges of a remote Alaskan location, they show what it takes to get seaworthy ships deconstructed, reconstructed and ready for launch. SSN Insight: NatGeo announced they’d given a series order for the show during their 2015-2016 Upfront presentation on April 15.

Screenwriting 101: David S. Goyer, ‘The Big Short’ Gets Big Stars, Jon Stewart’s Final Show, Cannes Jury Announced, TV Dev. For 4/21/15


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Screenwriting 101: David S. Goyer on Breaking In, Collaborating With Christopher Nolan, and Writing ‘Fantastic Voyage’

Each year the Toronto Screenwriting Conference features a top of the line screenwriter who unfolds his or her nuggets of wisdom. This year David S. Goyer (expert story architect) will give a masterclass on his work and also sits down with us to give TSL readers the inside skinny on his process, favorite lines and what other stories inspire him as a writer. (SSN)

TV Development For 4/21/15: Netflix Joins WWF For Massive ‘Our Planet’ Series, Wes Craven Inks Universal Deal, and More

HBO also picks up a string of shows, including a new comedy with Sarah Jessica Parker, while ABC Family is active as well with a handful of new projects, and Hossein Amini and Anonymous Content resurrects Caleb Carr’s The Alienist. Click the link for all the info. (SSN)


Four Of the Biggest Stars In Hollywood Are Joining Adam McKay’s ‘The Big Short’ Adaptation

Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt are all signing on to the project, which adapts Michael Lewis’ book, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. Melissa Leo and Marisa Tomei also star. McKay wrote the most recent draft, which tells the story of the genius contrarian investors who, recognizing just how insane the housing bubble had become, figured out how to “short” the market prior to the financial collapse of 2008. (DH)

Jon Stewart Has Announced His Final Night On ‘The Daily Show’ and It Will Be …

The 52-year-old comedian announced on the Monday edition of his acclaimed Comedy Central series that his last day on the job will be Thursday, August 6th. He revealed his departure date at the end of the broadcast, and also mentioned that fans will have a chance to win tickets to the final show, with proceeds going to the Night of Too Many Stars charity. (EW)

The Rest Of Joel and Ethan Coen’s Cannes Jury Was Just Announced, and It’s Pretty Star-Studded

The 68th annual festival’s jury features five men and four women, including director Guillermo del Toro, actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Sierra Miller and Sophie Marceau, and last year’s Jury Prize winner, Mommy helmer Xavier Dolan. They will judge the films in the Official Competition, selecting the winners including the top prize, the Palme d’Or, which will be awarded during the closing ceremony on Sunday, May 24th. The fest kicks off on May 12th. (COL)

Paramount Television Is Shopping a ‘Galaxy Quest’ Ongoing TV Show

Robert Gordon, who co-wrote the DreamWorks feature with David Howard, is in negotiations to work on the TV adaptation, as are original director Dean Parisot and executive producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein. The movie’s conceit — revolving around the cast of a beloved 1970s sci-fi TV series who are inadvertently reunited for a real space trek to help an alien race — seems tailor-made for a series rendition. (VAR)

Bill Condon’s Live Action, Star-Studded ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Just Became Even More Star-Studded

Ewan McGregor will join the cast as Lumiere in the film, joining an all-star lineup that includes Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast/Prince, Luke Evans as the vain villain Gaston, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Gaston’s buffoonish and loyal sidekick, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Audra McDonald as Garderobe. The film starts shooting in London next month. (THR)

James Wan Is Staying In the Horror Business, Will Produce a Remake Of ‘The Entity’

Chad and Carey Hayes — who worked with Wan on The Conjuring — will write the screenplay, finding a new spin for the tale of the demon-abused single mother and her sceptical psychiatrist. Based on a true story - of course - the original's director was Sidney J. Furie, whose stars were Barbara Hershey and Ron Silver. No director is set yet. (EMP)

Amy Schumer Fans Rejoice: the Comedian’s Comedy Central Show Will Get a Fourth Season

Despite the fact that the third season of Inside Amy Schumer hasn’t actually started yet, the cable net has enough faith in Schumer that they have already given the go ahead to a fourth, to run in 2016. Schumer revealed the news last night during her final appearance on Late Show With David Letterman. Season three premieres tonight at 10:30. (VUL)

Electric Entertainment Nails Down Sales Rights To Thriller ‘Border Crossing’ Ahead Of Cannes

Dean Devlin’s international sales division will commence pre-sales next month on the psychological thriller, based on the novel by Pat Barker. Bette Gordon will direct the story and Josh Charles, Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia, Tracie Thoms, Leo Fitzpatrick and John C McGinley will star. Movie is a cat-and-mouse tale about a psychologist who reopens old wounds and an old case after he rescues a drowning person whom he helped convict 12 years earlier. (SD)

Netflix Wants More ‘Daredevil’ and an Aziz Ansari Sitcom, Sony’s Pair Of Valiant Films, HBO Stays Busy



Netflix and Marvel Want Another Season Of ‘Daredevil’, and So They Shall Get One

Less than two weeks after it began streaming, the show has been given the green light for a second season, with plans to air in 2016. Steven DeKnight is out as show runner, however, to be replaced by Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez, both of whom worked on the show’s first season. Marvel also has AKA Jessica Jones debuting on Netflix later this year, and Luke Cage premiering in 2016. The shows Iron Fist and The Defenders are also on the slate. (SF)

Netflix Also Wants To Be In the Aziz Ansari Business, Orders 10 Episodes Of a New Comedy Series

Following the comedian-actor’s two stand-up specials for the streaming service, Netflix is moving forward with an as-yet-untitled sitcom that will star Aziz, as well as Jon Benjamin, Lena Waithe, Eric Wareheim, Noel Wells and Kelvin Yu. The plot description is being kept under wraps. Ansari co-created the show with Alan Yang and will exec produce with Yang, Michael Schur, Dave Becky and David Miner. (VAR)

Sony’s Deal With Independent Comic Label Valiant Is About To Produce Its First Two Projects

The studio and label have teamed with a nice array of talent to bring Bloodshot and Harbinger to the big screen as the first two installments of a five picture deal. First up is Bloodshot, with directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski helming from a script by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer. Meanwhile, Neal Moritz and Andrea Giannetti will produce Harbinger. Two other properties, Archer & Armstrong and Shadowman, are also in development at Sony. (COL)

HBO Keeps Snapping Up More Projects, Greenlights a New Whitney Cummings Project

Cummings will write, executive produce and star in the pilot, which is a half-hour comedy loosely based on Maureen Dowd’s 2005 book, Are Men Necessary? The potential series would take a studied look at relationships, using experts to help the characters figure out what role biology plays in their decisions. (TVL)

And Now Stanley Tucci Has Also Joined Bill Condon’s Live Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Remake

Right after the news that Ewan McGregor had joined the cast as Lumiere, it was announced that  Tucci has joined the cast in a brand new role, one that didn’t appear in either the 1991 animated film or the Broadway musical adaptation. Tucci and McGregor join Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ian McKellan, Audra McDonald, Kevin Kline, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the stunning cast. (CB)

Mark Wahlberg Is Getting More and More Impressive Company In His ‘Deepwater Horizon’ Project

John Malkovich has joined the cast of the film, which tells the story of the infamous British Petroleum oil rig that caught fire and exploded on April 20, 2010, while drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 crew members and resulting in the largest offshore oil spill in United States history. Kurt Russell has already signed on, along with up-and-comers Gina Rodriguez and Dylan O’Brien. Peter Berg is directing. (THR)

That BBC Movie About How ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Started Just Cast Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton

The British network has announced that the pair has been cast in Game Changer (a working title), a 90-minute drama about Grand Theft Auto’s status as a cultural phenomenon, and the controversy that has surrounded the video game franchise for years. Radcliffe will play one of the co-founders of the studio behind the game, while Paxton will play a lawyer who campaigned against violent video games, calling them a blight on society. (EW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Superman Lives: What Happened?’

The first look at Jon Schnepp’s documentary about the ill-fated Tim Burton film that would have starred Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel. The film gets a limited release on May 1st. (TP)

Twenty Years After It Made Sandra Bullock a Star, 20 Things You Might Not Have Known About ‘While You Were Sleeping’

Back in 1995, Bullock’s career was just kicking into high gear. After breaking out in 1994’s smash hit Speed, her next role helped establish her as the kind of leading lady who didn’t need the distraction of big-time action to be compelling. The sweet and satisfying Christmas-set romance turns 20 years old this week. (MF)

Screenwriters: ‘Barney’s Version’

The 130-page, white draft labeled script, by Michael Konyves, based on the novel by Mordecai Richler. Script is dated October 23rd, 2009. (GITS)

Rep Moves for 4/22/15: PMK•BNC Signs Daily Show’s Next Host Trevor Noah, ICM Snags Garry Marshall & More


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PMK•BNC: The comedian and soon-to-be host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah has signed on with PMK•BNC.  After making his debut on the show in December, Noah will be Jon Stewart’s successor on the Comedy Central franchise later this year.

ICM: Prolific filmmaker Garry Marshall was previously at CAA but will now be repped by ICM Partners. He’s currently working on the Broadway musical adaptation of Pretty Woman as well as casting his next film, Mother’s Day, to shoot this summer. He will continue to be managed by Rick Nicita at RPMedia Company. APA: Writer-director W. Peter Iliff just signed with APA for film and TV representation. He wrote the original screenplay for Point Break which Warner Bros. is remaking. He’s currently attached to three scripted series at UCP, Relativity, and Electus and a reality series at Lighthouse Ent. Long-time comedy writer and showrunner Adam Small, known for Bad Grandpa and Mad TV has also signed with APA. He created a digital series, Tightrope which is currently in development at Crackle. Small will continue to be repped by Stephen Marks at Dialed-in Entertainment, and Jared Levine at Morris, Yorn. UTA: Emmy-winning producer Robert Morton, who’s best known for his extensive work on David Letterman’s talk shows over a period of nearly a decade and a half, has signed with UTA. He has since worked on The Wayne Brady Show, for which he won a Daytime Emmy. Morton’s production banner Panamort Productions has produced TV shows including ABC’s official Oscar preshow. He will continue to be managed by 3 Arts.

Screenwriters Ask The Analyst, Simmons Returns To TV, Ferrell’s ‘Ross & Roger’ Gets Director, Rep Moves For 4/22/15


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Ask the Analyst: Are Screenwriting Contests Worth It? Do Themes Affect Salability?

Expert screenplay readers and analysts from ScriptShark answer questions that Facebook fans and Twitter followers posted. Read on to find helpful answers to questions regarding how to become a professional screenwriter and many other aspects of screenwriting and the movie business. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 4/22/15: PMK*BNC Signs Next ‘Daily Show’ Host Trevor Noah, ICM Snags Garry Marshall, and More

A light week in the rep world, as just a handful of moves are made and a very select few are affected. Still, it’s always an interesting bit of news, so click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)


J.K. Simmons Becomes the Latest Oscar Winner To Return To TV

The Whiplash star is set to topline the supernatural thriller series Counterpart for Starz, with The Imitation Game helmer Morten Tyldum set to direct the first two episodes. The show is described as an espionage thriller with a metaphysical twist, as Simmons will star as “a lowly cog in a bureaucratic UN agency who is turning the last corner of a life filled with regret, when he discovers the agency he works for is guarding a secret: a crossing to a parallel dimension. (COL)

Will Ferrell Has Been Attached To Play Russ Meyer For a While, but Now He Finally Has a Director

Michael Winterbottom is in talks to direct Russ & Roger Go Beyond, which tells the tale of how Meyer and Roger Ebert traveled to Hollywood and the 20th Century Fox lot to write the X-rated Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Christopher Cluess penned the script about this rather wild chapter in Roger Ebert's life. Filming will begin later in the year, but of course, the role of Ebert still needs to be filled. (TP)

Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Lip Synch Battle’ Is Such a Big Hit For Spike TV, the Network Is Renewing It

The second season will consist of 20 new episodes, slated to debut in 2016. The first season, which has boosted Spike’s exposure both in the television landscape and digital arena, has welcomed the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, John Legend, Common, The Rock, Justin Bieber, John Krasinski dressed in drag and Anne Hathaway on a wrecking ball. (VAR)

Warner Bros. Television Is Staying In the Damon Lindelof Business

The co-creator of The Leftovers and Lost is renewing his deal with Warner Bros. TV for three more years. He first signed with the studio in 2012. The studio produces his existential drama The Leftovers, which had its freshman run in summer 2014 and is the first project HBO bought from an outside studio. (THR)

After Years Of Development and Lots Of Casting Changes, ‘Ghost In the Shell’ Will Finally Shoot In Early 2016

Rupert Sanders is directing the project, a live action remake of the legendary Japanese anime original. That 1989 classic spawned three manga editions, three films a TV series and several video games. Story focuses on Motoko Kusanagi (Johansson), a cyborg law enforcer and part of the member of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, which specializes in tackling technology-related crimes. Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing. (EMP)

Nielsen TV: Trends In U.S. Subscription Video-On-Demand Viewing

As both consumers and content creators know, there’s an abundance of choice when it comes to video these days. And subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services in the U.S. represent one area that’s picking up momentum, growing about 5% over the past year. So who is the current SVOD consumer? (NTV)

First Look: ‘Black Mass’

The first images from Scott Cooper’s film about legendary Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, starring Johnny Depp as the man who became the most feared gangster in Boston while simultaneously serving as an FBI informant to take down the Italian Mafia. The film opens September 18th. (EW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Ex Machina’

The final new trailer from the highly anticipated sci-fi thriller from novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland, making his directorial debut. Oscar Isaac, Downhill Glesson and Alicia Vikander star in the film, which expands across the country this weekend. (SF)

Amazon’s New Pilot, ‘Muppets’ TV Show’s New Format, Sony’s New Spider-Man Short List, Lord and Miller’s New Spidey Project


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Amazon Just Nailed Down a Pilot With a Pretty Amazing Group Of Creators Attached

Bob Nelson, who earned an Oscar nomination for Nebraska, has written Highston, a half-hour coming-of-age comedy, written by Nelson, executive produced by Borat and Bruno‘s Sacha Baron Cohen and to be directed by the Little Miss Sunshine duo of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. (DH)

The ‘Muppets’ TV Revival Will Be a More Adult, Mockumentary Format

Network’s pilot presentation — which the network is considering for a straight-to-series order — follows Jim Henson’s iconic characters behind the scenes as they launch a new TV show. The series will be shot mock-documentary style, like Parks and Recreation and The Office. In what’s being billed as a first for The Muppets, the personal lives of the characters will be explored. (EW)

The List Of Actors Who Might Be the Next Spider-Man Just Got a Heck Of a Lot Shorter

Sony and Marvel have narrowed the list down to five. The quintet of young gentlemen are Nat Wolff, Asa Butterfield, Tom Holland, Timothee Chalamet and Liam James, the oldest of whom, Wolff, is just 20. Sony is preparing to make test offers to several young stars next week, with a decision expected in the next two to three weeks, though a deal may take longer to hammer out. (TW)

Speaking Of Spider-Man, Lord and Miller Are Making an Animated Spidey Flick For Sony

The LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are creating an animated Spider-Man film that will be released on July 20, 2018. They'll write and produce the project, but are not currently signed on to direct. Plus, the new Marvel and Sony live-action film has been dated for July 28, 2017. (THR)

So, Rest Assured, E.L. James Will Not Be Writing the ‘Fifty Shades’ Sequel. Her Husband, However …

James’ husband Niall Leonard, himself an author and screenwriter, has been tapped to write the screenplay for Fifty Shades Darker. Apparently, Leonard did some uncredited work on the script for Fifty Shades of Grey (screenwriter Kelly Marcel and James reportedly clashed during the development of the script) so he’s worked in this world before. There is still no director attached to the project. (COL)

Good News For Denzel Washington Fans: There Will Be an ‘Equalizer’ Sequel

Sony has officially greenlit the film after rumors of a follow-up began months before the R-rated auctioneer opened in September. It was the film’s strong box office results and home entertainment sales that ultimately pulled the trigger on the second installment. Washington is expected to reprise his role as vigilante Robert McCall in Equalizer 2. Chloe Moretz and Marton Csokas co-starred in the original. (VAR)

Somehow, Some Way, the Cast of ‘Suicide Squad’ Continues To Grow

Common is the latest in an incredibly long list of actors to join the project, in an unnamed role. He joins Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne, Jared Leto, Joel Kinnaman, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Karen Fukuhara, Viola Davis, Jay Hernandez, Adam Beach, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood and Raymond Olubowale in the film, currently filming in Toronto under the direction of David Ayer. It hits theaters August 5th, 2016. (CS)

A Lot Of Interesting Stuff Has Come Out Of CinemaCon This Week, but Perhaps the Most Interesting Is This Theory On Declining Theater Attendance

There has been a lot of talk that the movie industry is in trouble as box office totals dipped last year and younger have tended to stray away from going out to the movies as much as they once did. According to one theater executive, there’s a very simple reason for this trend: going to the movies costs too much and young people don’t have much money. (CB)

Nielsen: The New Reality of Watching The Box

Our viewing patterns are shifting and can now watch where we want, when we want. The explosion of devices has given us more access to content and brands than ever before. While the television is still the screen of choice for viewing video content, device proliferation and social-media interaction is shifting the power from the provider to the people. (NTV)

Screenwriters: Short Circuit — Production: Setting It All Up

You’ve written the script, now you want to film it. There are a few things you need to know before you (or your director) yell, “ACTION!” – so take some advice from someone who knows where you’re going and is willing to lay out some guideposts for your journey. (SM)

SSN’s Franchise Wars, TWC-Comcast Deal Looks To Be Off, Disney Wants Tom Cruise For a New Musical, Netflix Defends Sandler Pic


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Franchise Wars: How Fast & Furious Filmmakers Retooled the Muscle Car and Raced to a Billion Dollars

Well ahead of the summer movie popcorn season, audiences have been bombarded with heavy marketing from the mighty studios flaunting their next film in various franchises. To that end, SSN will be taking a deeper look at not only the numbers but the reasons why franchises work or don’t work and how studios have to evolve their beloved properties or die. (SSN)


All Those Who Think Comcast Is Still Merging With TWC Stand Up. Not So Fast, Everyone!

Comcast Corp. is planning to walk away from its proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc. A final announcement is expected tomorrow, after U.S. Federal Communications Commission staff joined lawyers at the Justice Department in opposing the planned transaction. FCC officials told the two biggest U.S. cable companies yesterday that they are leaning toward concluding the merger doesn’t help consumers. (BN)

Tom Cruise In Another Musical? If Disney Has Its Way, Yes Indeed

The studio is pursuing Cruise to star in Bob the Musical, a comedy about a guy whose life turns into a musical after he receives a blow to his head. Michel Hazanavicius is being courted to direct. The script by Allan Loeb follows an ordinary guy suffering from an extraordinary affliction. After getting hit on the head, he suddenly gains the ability to hear the song in everyone’s hearts. (SF)

Netflix Defends Its Adam Sandler Film After Native American Actors Walk Off Over Script

About a dozen Native American actors walked off the New Mexico set of the Adam Sandler pic Ridiculous Six yesterday over depictions in the script. They are saying that the Western was insulting to “native women and elders and grossly misrepresented Apache culture.” However, Netflix says today that is part of what the movie is supposed to be about. (DH)

The Star Wars Anthology Film ‘Rogue One’ May Have Just Found Its Male Lead

Nightcrawler star Riz Ahmed appears to be Disney’s top choice to star opposite Felicity Jones in the first spinoff film, to be directed by Gareth Edwards. The plot revolves around the heist of Death Star plans by a group of rebel fighters, and would take place between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. It is set to open December 16th, 2016. (VAR)

Lena Dunham and Rose Byrne Take Steps Forward In the Ongoing Battle For Cinematic Equality, Form Female-Centric Shingles

Dunham and her Girls collaborators Jenni Konner and Ericka Naegle have established A Casual Romance in an effort to “push the ball forward on gender and sexuality in interesting ways” in television and film. Meanwhile, Byrne’s The Dollhouse Collection, formed with fellow Aussies Gracie Otto, Shannon Murphy, Krew Boylan and Jessica Carrera, develop film, television, and theatre projects with "a strong female presence.”  (WAH)

Disney’s Live Action Train Continues To Rumble On, With the Studio Snagging Vince Gilligan To Re-Do ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’

The Breaking Bad creator has written a detailed outline, but will hand off scripting duties to Tom Schnauz, with whom Gilligan has worked repeatedly. Gilligan is considering directing the project, which would be a revisionist take on the classic tale. Story obviously finds a farm boy sent to sell a cow at market who instead swaps the animal for magic beans. They then grow into a massive beanstalk that leads Jack to an adventure in a land of giants. (EMP)

Another Train That Keeps Rolling, the Re-Make Express, Will Make Its Next Stop On ‘The Invisible Man’

Sony is beginning development on the classic H.G. Wells tale, with Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick being named as the producers shepherding the project into reality. Apparently, The studio is developing a new spin that will make the Invisible Man the villain of the film, with the audience following the hero that is tasked to hunt him down. Meanwhile, Universal continues its development of the character as part of its Monsters shared universe project. (CB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Area 51’

The first trailer from the long-delayed second feature by Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli. Originally shot in 2008, the film has been on a shelf, but will finally see the light of day with a limited theatrical engagement and a VOD release on May 15th. (COL)

Clip Buzz: ‘Ant-Man’

The first clip from this summer’s second Marvel movie, Ant-Man, has hit the internet, showcasing star Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang stealing the Ant-Man suit. The film, which also stars Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, and Evangeline Lilly, hits theaters July 17th. (GR)

Film Development for 4/23/15: Patty Jenkins to Direct Wonder Woman, Ewan McGregor to Light up Beauty & the Beast & More


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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, Michael Goldenberg, Becky Johnston, Kimberlee Reed, Jon Cohen Director: Patty Jenkins Cast: Gal Gadot Notes: Based on the comic book "Wonder Woman" written by William Moulton Marston published by DC Comics. SSN Insight: Ivan Reitman, George Miller, Joss Whedon and Michelle MacLaren were previously attached to direct.

Fifty Shades Darker Logline: Anastasia has broken off her relationship with the troubled Christian to pursue a new career in a Seattle publishing house Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company: Trigger Street Productions, Michael De Luca Productions Producers: Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca Writer: Niall Leonard Cast: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan SSN Insight: Newly announced writer, Niall Leonard, is book author E.L. James’ husband.

The Magnificent Seven (Remake) Logline: A group of seven tough gunslingers are hired by a village to put a stop to the vicious bandit and his gang who have been pillaging it for years. Studio/ Distributor: MGM Pictures Production Company: Roger Birnbaum Productions Producers: Roger Birnbaum Writer: John Lee Hancock, Nic Pizzolatto Director: Antoine Fuqua Cast: Wagner Moura, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio SSN Insight: Attaching Brazilian film and TV star, Wagner Moura, gives the remake a bigger international appeal, particularly in South America. Beauty and the Beast Logline: In this live-action re-imagining of the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast," a young woman takes her father's place as prisoner in a beast's castle, only to fall in love with her beastly captor, who turns out to be a prince. Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Production Company: Mandeville Films Producers: David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman Writer: Steve Chobsky Director: Bill Condon Cast: Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Josh Gad, Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw SSN Insight: McGregor has been cast as “Lumiere,” the candlestick maitre’d of the castle from the original animated movie and Tucci in an original role created for the remake.

Storks Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: Warner Bros. Animation Creative Consortium Producers: Nicholas Stoller, Brad Lewis Writer: Nicholas Stoller Directors: Nicholas Stoller, Doug Sweetland Voice Cast: Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammer SSN Insight: The animated project has been shrouded in secrecy but was developed as part of the Warner Bro. Animation Creative Consortium, which is Warners equivalent of Pixar’s braintrust.

Battle of the Sexes Logline: About the epic tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures Production Companies: Decibel, Cloud Eight Films Producers: Danny Boyle, Christian Colson Writer: Simon Beaufoy Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris Cast: Emma Stone, Steve Carell SSN Insight: There are competing projects about King and Riggs; HBO has an original movie starring Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti and Will Ferrell has a comedy in development with Chernin Entertainment.

Blade Runner Sequel Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Alcon Entertainment, Thunderbird Films, Ridley Scott Films Producers: Bud Yorkin, Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Ridley Scott, Cynthia Sikes Writer: Michael Green Director: enis Villeneuve Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford SSN Insight: Ridley Scott had previously been mentioned to direct, but he revealed in November, 2014, that he would only produce and collaborate on honing the story.

Marwencol Logline: The true story of a man who, after a brutal beating, is left with no memory of his life, friends or family, so he builds an elaborate model of a World War II-era Belgian village in his backyard as a form of therapy. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company: Imagemovers Producers: Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke Writer: Caroline Thompson Director: Robert Zemeckis Cast: Steve Carell Notes: Based on the 2010 documentary "Marwencol" (USA/2010) directed by Jeff Malmberg. SSN Insight: Leonard DiCaprio was previously mentioned to star. Deepwater Horizon Logline: Based on the true events that occurred on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, the story chronicles the courage of those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon and the extreme moments of bravery and survival in the face of what would become one of the biggest man-made disasters in world history. Studio/ Distributor: Lionsgate Entertainment Production Companies: Participant Media, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Closest to the Hole Productions, Leverage Management Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, David Womark Writer: J.C. Chandor Director: Peter Berg Cast: John Malkovich, Mark Wahlberg, Gina Rodriguez, Liam Neeson, Michael Keaton, Dylan O’Brien, Kurt Russell The Big Short Logline: A look at the American economy, the recession, and the subprime mortgage market focusing on a group of investors who aim to prey upon the economic collapse for riches. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures, New Regency Productions Production Companies: Plan B Entertainment Producers: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Sarah Esberg Writer: Adam McKay Director: Adam McKay Cast: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt Notes: Based on the book "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine" written by Michael Lewis and published by W.W. Norton on March 15, 2010.


Spider-Man (Animated) Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Producers: Phil Lord, Chris Miller SSN Insight: The studio announced at Cinema-Con that the Lego Movie duo would return to the studio that made them with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs to conceive and potentially direct a Spider-Man animated movie to be released July 20, 2018. The Selection Logline: America Singer, one of 35 girls chosen to compete to live a life of luxury, is torn between her crush back home and a handsome prince. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: Di Novi Pictures Producers: Denise Di Novi, Alison Greenspan, Pouya Shahbazian Writer: Katie Lovejoy Notes: Based on the novel "The Selection," the first of a five-novel series, written by Kiera Cass and published by HarperTeen in 2012. SSN Insight: The hot YA title has sold 3.5 million copies worldwide with two more novels published and two more coming.

White Boy Problems Logline: When a constantly disrespected white guy wakes up after an accident, the voice of Ice Cube is in his head, driving him to develop confidence and get his life back Studio/ Distributor: MGM Studios, New Line Cinema Production Companies: Cubevision, Prospect Park, Principato-Young Entertainment Producers: Ice Cube, Jeff Kwatinetz, Peter Principato, Paul Young, E. Brian Dobbins Writers: Kenya Barris, Alex Barnow Cast: Ice Cube SSN Insight: Barris and Barnow are creator and EP’s of hit TV comedy Black-ish. Beanstalk Logline: A revisionist take on Jack and the Beanstalk Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Producers: Vince Gilligan, Mark Johnson Writer: Vince Gilligan Director: Vince Gilligan SSN Insight: The Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul creator is trying his hand at fairytale revision stories, pitching a take on the classic tale.

Tribeca Winners, Diesel Confirms ‘Furious 8′, Universal Offers Dates For ‘Fifty Shades’ Sequels, Film Development For 4/24/15


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Film Development For 4/24/15: Patty Jenkins To Direct ‘Wonder Woman’, Ewan McGregor To Light Up ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and More

All kinds of info this week on all kinds of projects, including more casting on the Magnificent Seven remake, a new Battle of the Sexes film, the Blade Runner sequel and Steve Carell signing up for three different films. Click on the link for the full skinny. (SSN)

This Year’s Tribeca Film Festival Announced Its Winners Last Night

Virgin Mountain, written and directed by Dagur Kári, won the top award in the World Narrative Competition for Best Narrative Feature, while Democrats, from director Camilla Nielsson, won the respective award in the World Documentary Competition. Indiewire has the full list. (IW)

Just In Case You Were Even Remotely In Doubt, Vin Diesel Just Confirmed ‘Fast & Furious 8’

Talking at CinemaCon in Las Vegas yesterday, Diesel revealed that they are aiming to get the next movie into theaters on April 14, 2017. No other details came out, but it’s safe to assume that Universal has a plan in place, considering the plan to get the film into theaters in two years’ time. (CB)

The ‘Fifty Shades’ Sequels Now Have Release Dates, So Set Your Calendars For 2017 and 2018

Though there is still no director attached, and the screenwriter for the second film — author E.L. James’ husband Niall Leonard — has only just been hired, Universal has set that second film, Fifty Shades Darker for February 10th, 2017, and the third and final film in the trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed for February 9, 2018. Stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are expected to return for both films. (SF)

Spoiler Alert: An Original Cast Member Just Left ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

No names will be mentioned here, in case you still haven’t watched the episode and have been staying away from social media, but there was a major death in last night’s episode and the actor in question has left the series for good. Click on the link to get the details. (VAR)

VET’s Upcoming Slate Has Two New Series That Will Star Brandy Norwood and Kelly Rowland, Respectively

The series were among those featured yesterday at the network’s upfront presentation. Norwood plays a single mom embarking on a new life and career as a fledgling cosmetics mogul in romantic comedy Zoe Moon. Former Destiny Child’s member Rowland searches for “the next big female superstar group to make their mark in a dog-eat-dog music industry” in reality series Chasing Destiny. (DH)

In Digital News, AOL Renews Steve Buscemi’s Online Talk Show, ‘Park Bench’

The tech company has picked up a second season of web series Park Bench with Steve Buscemi, a "talking show" that features the actor touring New York City and talking to celebrity friends and everyday people on the same park bench. In its second season, the show will feature appearances from Elvis Costello, John Oliver, Amber Tamblyn, Robert Smigel, Jim Jarmusch, David Blaine and others. (THR)

The Messy Business Of Reinventing Happiness: Inside Disney’s Radical Plan To Modernize Its Cherished Theme Parks

Any effort to reimagine Disney World would need to be monumental, almost by definition. Sprawled across 25,000 acres of central Florida, it contains four theme parks, nearly 140 attractions, 300 dining locations, and 36 resort hotels. Its monorail system zips along 15 miles of track, with a daily ridership of more than 150,000. The parks have their own power plant and security force, plus some of the world’s largest laundry facilities. (FCC)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Visit’

The first trailer from M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, a self-financed thriller starring Kathryn Hahn. The film hits theaters September 11th. (TP)

Screenwriters: ‘The Imitation Game’

The undated, unspecified, Oscar-winning 117-page screenplay by Graham Moore, based on the book, Alan Turing: The Enigma, but Andrew Hodges. (GITS)

Exec Shuffle for 4/24/15: Dick Cook Studio Launches, CAA Snags Mosaic Assistants, STX News


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Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals

Dick Cook is launching Dick Cook Studios, a new media company. Citic Guoan Group Co. Ltd., a division of the Chinese conglomerate Citic Group will invest $150 million. Cook was formerly a chairman of Disney from 2002 to 2009 and spent a total of 40 years at the studio. Per the announcement the new venture will focus “on the production, marketing and distribution of multi-generational family entertainment including live-action and animated motion pictures as well as television, digital/mobile product, video games, stage plays and related licensing.”

Media powerhouse Gannett is splitting its company. Their share of big-market network affiliates (largest in the U.S.) will now be under the name Tegna while its newspaper publishing assets will remain under the Gannett name. Tegna will be traded publicly under the symbol TGNA.

Modern Family’s Vali Chandrasekaran has signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. As part of the deal he will remain co-EP next season and will be promoted to executive producer the following season. His overall deal with ABC Studios is set to expire next month.

STX Entertainment has named Horizon Media its “agency of record” and will handle its media planning and buys, strategy, research and analytics and partnerships with promotions across all platforms with an estimated media budget of $350-400 million per year. EVp Serena Duff, Senior VPs Eric Geiger and Erin Foxworthy will oversee the account for Horizon. At STX, Amy Elkins who oversees media and marketing innovation will run point and collaborate with worldwide digital marketing and technology head Andrew Runyon on strategy.

Leftfield Entertainment, founded by Montgomery in 2013, houses Leftfield Pictures, Sirens Media, Loud TV and Outpost Entertainment has launched a new production company, Riot Creative. Stephanie Angelides will serve as president to develop television programming with a focus on digital platforms. She was previously SVP of Development for All 3 Media’s production company, Optomen.

Matthew Shreder and James Andrew Felts have left Continental Media to form the new entertainment venture Concourse Media. Funded by private equity group MCG, their divisions will include film sales under Concourse Film Trade and a marketing firm under The Industry & Co. Concourse Film Trade, to package and acquire movies for worldwide distribution and pre-buy rights to U.S. distributed films. They also have plans to launch Concourse Pictures as a distribution arm to acquire and release an estimated three films a year in the U.S.


Cathy Schulman is moving to STX Entertainment and will oversee production on an estimated 12 to 15 films on their slate as well as feature development. STX snagged her from Mandalay Entertainment where she previously oversaw their production slate for eight years.

Paramount Pictures has appointed Jill Brody to Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing Partnerships & Brand Integration and will report to LeeAnne Stables, President of Consumer Products & Executive VP, Worldwide Marketing Partnerships. In her new post, Brody will be responsible for securing global marketing partners, developing opportunities and managing brand integration for Paramount’s theatrical releases. Previously, she served Paramount Pictures as a consultant through her own firm for more than 13 years.

Christopher Tricarico is now the EVP, Business Affairs and General Counsel, Broad Green Pictures. He was previously the Founding Partner of Tricarico Chavez LLP.


BET Networks has picked Zola Mashariki as their new EVP and head of original programming. She hails from Fox Searchlight where she was a production executive. She will handle scripted and unscripted programming and development as well as casting for the cable network, reporting to BET Networks president of programming Stephen Hill.

Susan Kesser is the new VP of Media Relations at FX Networks, she was previously Executive Director, Publicity at Warner Bros. Television.

Sales and Marketing EVP Sean Bratches will end his 27-year career at ESPN at year’s end. He’ll serve in what the network calls “an advisory capacity” until then. During his tenure he led the distribution effort for ESPN HD and helped launch WatchESPN in 2010.

Eric Norsoph is the new head of development and production at Jim Parsons’ shingle, That’s Wonderful Productions. He was previously a CE at Paramount Insurge.

Longtime producer Chris Brancato has signed an overall deal with ABC Studios. Under the deal, Brancato will be the EP of ABC drama pilot Of Kings And Prophets. Previously Brancato’s partnership with Bert Salke was based at ABC Studios under Brancato/Salke for six years until 2010. Brancato recently executive produced Hannibal.

Jonitha Keymoore is now the Director of Program Sales at 4K Media, a production company currently owned by Konami and formerly a subsidiary of 4Kids Entertainment. Keymoore was previously the Director of Acquisitions at Cinedigm.

Bilai Joa Silar is the new SVP of programming and production for NBC Universo in Miami where he was previously stationed as VP of content for Discovery U.S. Hispanic Networks.

Fox Broadcasting has nabbed Ariff Sidi to be their new senior VP of digital products and platforms. He previously co-founded the social-video startup Mainstream, and founded Pairental, a technology startup develop parental controls for apps. He will report to David Wertheimer, Fox’s president of digital, and will be responsible for developing programs and products designed to up the performance of programming across nonlinear platforms.

Reality and scripted production company DiGa named Michael Maniaci as Director of Programming and Development. Maniaci was previously Development Executive at CMT.

Management, PR, Agencies

In a move to rebuild their comedy department after the shake-up, CAA has snagged two assistants from management-production company Mosaic. Luke Esselen and Molly Mandel will join CAA’s motion picture talent department as agents.

Veteran ICM Partners agent Meredith Wechter, whose clients include Josh Gad and Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot, has parted ways with the agency. She hasn’t confirmed plans to move to another agency as of press time.

Jackie Knobbe has been promoted to partner at APA where he is the SVP of Comedy Touring.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Kelsey Balance, previously a manager of original programming at Pivot will now be the manager of content, digital enterprises at NBCUniversal.

Previous head of U.S. Hispanic Audience Sales for Google in Miami, Mark Lopez is the new EVP, general manager for Univision Digital and will remain in Miami.

Nancy Tellem, previously the President, Xbox Entertainment Studios is now the Executive Chairman, Chief Media Officer at Interlude, a start-up focused on interactive music videos founded in 2010 by the Israeli rock star Yoni Bloch.

Longtime visual effects specialist Richard Kidd, with credits on Titanic, Matrix and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen will be Artemple-Hollywood’s new creative director and senior VFX supervisor. Artemple also hired award-winning commercial director Scott McCullough as in-house director and cinematographer.

Mercury Radio Arts, Glenn Beck's media company, has promoted Jonathan Schreiber to president. He was previously the head of strategy and special projects. As president, Schreiber will oversee the company's digital, radio and publishing assets, and he will consult on Beck's news site TheBlaze and its TV operation.

Creative content studio Framestore promoted Christine Cattano to Executive Producer of the Virtual Reality Studio. Previously, Cattano had been Producer.

Epic Rights has promoted Lisa Streff to Executive Vice President, Global Licensing.

Trixie Ferguson Gray has been recruited as MediaCom‘s Senior Partner, Branded Content & Experiences.  Gray was previously at Maxus, a GroupM sister agency.

Johanna Maska, who previously was a Barack Obama staffer for eight years beginning with his campaign, has been named VP of Marketing and Communications for the Los Angeles Times.

Domenica Alioto has been promoted to senior editor at Penguin Random House where she was previously an editor.

The Accidental Turitz On Dueling Project Development, a 12th Agent Departs CAA For UTA, Potential New Buyer For TWC, Exec Shuffle For 4/24/15


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The Accidental Turitz: The Robin Hood Dilemma — Why Does Hollywood Spend So Much Time Developing Dueling Projects?

SSN Senior Editor Neil Turitz returns with his eponymous column, this time examining the growing issue of a single project or idea being developed in multiple places at once. It’s not exactly new, but always worth a discussion. Click the link to get his take on things. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 4/24/15: Dick Cook Studio Launches, CAA Snags Mosaic Assistants, and More

It’s been an especially busy week in Hollywood, with a plethora of moves covering the standard company launches and hirings and firings. Some highlights include Cathy Schulman moving to STX, producer Chris Brancato signing a deal with ABC Studios, Nancy Tellem heading to Interlude, but there is plenty more than that. (SSN)


And One More Makes It an Even Dozen: a 12th Agent Leaves CAA For UTA

Former CAA touring agent Harold Frogét has joined UTA, becoming the 12th agent to do so this month. Frogét spent 11 years working in CAA’s comedy and music touring department, and will do the same at UTA. Already in UTA's touring department are new comedy touring head Nick Nuciforo and agent Andrew Skikne, both recently of CAA. Nuciforo was one of the five agents who abruptly left CAA to become UTA partners. (THR)

With Comcast Now Out Of the Picture, a New Buyer For Time Warner Materializes

Charter Communications is reportedly crafting a bid for the communications giant, after Comcast bowed out of the proposed $45 billion merger on Thursday. TWC is up 5.5% to about $156.95 in afternoon trading. Charter shares are barely moving today, up 0.5%. (Comcast also is up a mere 1%.) Remember that Charter kicked off the battle for TWC in late 2013 with a complicated offer valued at $61.3 billion including debt. (DH)

When ‘Arrow’ Returns In the Fall For Season Four, It Will Have a New Co-Showrunner

Current show runner Marc Guggenheim announced yesterday via twitter that Wendy Mericle will be stepping up as co-showrunner for Arrow next season. Mericle has written or co-written 13 episodes of Arrow so far including this week’s The Fallen. Previously she has worked on Desperate Housewives, Eli Stone and Smallville. (BC)

‘Paddington’ Director Locks Down His Next Gig, and It’s One Of Pure ‘Wonder’

Paul King will help the adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s bestseller, which tells the story of a ten-year-old boy, August Pullman, who’s been keep away from school due to a craniofacial deformity caused by a rogue gene. He has grown up understandably sensitive to the opinions of others, and when he finally arrives in fifth grade, the doorway opens to a different, bigger and potentially more painful life. Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing. (EMP)

Universal Plays Musical Release Dates With Several Of Its Upcoming Tentpoles

Duncan Jones’ Warcraft, which had already been pushed a few months, has moved from March 11th, 2016 to June 10th, 2016. Pacific Rim 2, directed by Guillermo del Toro, has been moved from April 7th, 2017 to August 4th, 2017. In addition, the new Mummy film has been moved up from June 24th, 2016, to March 24th, 2017. (SF)

Have You Ever Wondered What ‘Man Of Steel’ Would Look Like In Actual Color? Today is Your Lucky Day

The team at VideoLab took the numerous complaints that Zack Snyder’s film was too dark and did something about it, re-coloring the film to replace the “bleak” look that Snyder chose. After wondering what the movie would look like with the natural colors and hues, the resulting footage is eye-catching, to say the least. (CB)

First Look: ‘Scream Queens’

Fox and creator Ryan Murphy have released the first images from Murphy’s upcoming comedy-horror series, Scream Queens, starring Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Keke Palmer, Oliver Hudson, Abigail Breslin, Nick Jonas and Ariana Grande. The show premieres later this year. (EW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Nightingale’

The first look at next month’s HBO Film, starring David Oyelowo in a single-character, single-location drama following a war veteran who slowly loses control over his mind during the 80-minute film. The movie premieres on the cable network on May 29th. (IW)

‘Furious 7′ Wins Fourth In a Row, Clears $1B In Foreign, Protozoa Likes White Boy Rick, ‘Wolverine 3′ Finds a Writer


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Four Is the Magic Number For ‘Furious 7’, Which Earns Its Final Weekend Win Before ‘Age Of Ultron’ Hits On Friday

With an estimated $18.26 million, the seventh installment in the franchise won its fourth straight weekend box office race, finishing ahead of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which opened at $15.5 million. The Age of Adeline had a strong third place finish its first weekend, earning $13.38 million, ahead of Home, which came in fourth with $8.3 mil. Unfriended rounded out the top five, taking in $6.4 million in its second weekend. (BO)

Additionally, ‘Furious 7’ Keeps Breaking Records, First In China, Then Around the World

Just a week after it became the fastest film to reach $1 billion in worldwide grosses — which it did in just 17 days — the film became the highest grossing film in China. Its $323 million haul surpassed Transformers: Age of Extinction’s $319 million. Meanwhile, the film also crossed the billion dollar mark purely in worldwide grosses, with its stateside total of $320 million bringing the overall north of $1.3 billion, which makes it currently the fifth-highest grosser ever. (VAR)

A Third White Boy Rick Project Moves Forward, but This One Has a Major Advantage

Darren Aronofsky and Scott Franklin's Protozoa Pictures will produce the film based on a script by Andrew Weiss, but the advantage this one has is that, unlike the other two projects — one at Universal and the other at Studio 8 — this project has the exclusive participation of convicted drug dealer “White Boy Rick” Wershe, the subject of the projects. (THR)

Hugh Jackman’s Final Wolverine Adventure Has Found Its Writer

Michael Green, who was one of the writers on the ill-fated 2010 Green Lantern film, as well as the upcoming sequels Blade Runner 2 and Prometheus 2, has been hired to craft the third solo film for Jackman’s signature character. James Mangold, who directed the 2013 hit sequel The Wolverine, returns to helm Wolverine 3, which will hit theaters March 3rd, 2017. (CB)

A Christian Bale Injury Just Forced the Postponement Of ‘The Deep Blue Good-By’

The Oscar-winning actor tore his ACL while in preparation for The Big Short, which is about to start shooting with Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell and under the direction of Adam McKay. While that film will continue, 20th Century Fox has postponed production on the adaptation of the John D. MacDonald Novel that introduced the world to salvage hunter Travis McGee. No word yet on new filming dates. (CS)

Thanks To Fox, Another Sci Fi Short Film is Being Turned Into a Feature

Fox has bought the rights to the concept for Controller, by Iranian-American filmmaker Saman Kesh, for Real Steel director Shawn Levy to produce. Relative unknown Alev Aydin is writing the screenplay. The premise is that a kidnapped woman is able to control her boyfriend, who becomes a killing machine as he makes his way through an office building to her rescue. Its style and plot are heavily influenced by video games, even including a menu bar on screen. (FSR)

It Hasn’t Even Come Out Yet, but the New Avengers Movie Already Has Big Plans For the Blu-ray Release

Pre-orders for the DVD on Amazon U.K. advertise an "extended edition" with an "alternate ending.” Director Joss Whedon had admitted that there were a couple of small things he wished he could have included in the finished film, which hits theaters Friday, and now he’ll have the opportunity to let the public see those things. There is no exact street date yet for the Blu-ray release, but expect it before Christmas. (IW)

First Look: ‘Suicide Squad’

Warner Bros. has released the first official image of Jared Leto as The Joker in next year’s adaptation of the DC comic book, directed by David Ayer. After much teasing and hinting, the Oscar-winning actor’s look is extreme, to put it lightly. The film hits theaters August 5th, 2016. (TP)

Screenwriters: Breaking and Entering — Use Your Words

There are a lot of life lessons from kindergarten, well worth hanging onto in the grown-up world of screenwriting. While many folks out there are debating whether or not you should pay to learn screenwriting for for a consultant’s advice, Script Magazine columnist Barri Evins think it’s time to remember what you have already learned but may have forgotten. (SM)

On the Set for 4/27/15: Jennifer Lawrence Wraps David O. Russell’s Joy & Starts on X-Men: Apocalypse




City of Tiny Lights 4/27/2015 Logline: The Pakistani/Indian subculture of London is seen through the eyes of ex-Mujahedeen private eye Tommy Akhtar. Production Company(s): Cowboy Films, NDF International Ltd, Sixteen Films, BBC Films Director: Pete Travis Producer(s): Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto, Charles Steel, Rebecca O'Brien Cast: Riz Ahmed, Roshan Seth, Cush Jumbo, Billie Piper Writer(s): Patrick Neate Notes: Based on the novel "City of Tiny Lights" written by Patrick Neate and published by Viking in 2005. SSN Insight: Director Pete Travis’ credits include Vantage Point, Endgame and Dredd. The movie will be released in the UK and Ireland next year by Icon Film Distribution. Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales.

Deepwater Horizon 4/27/2015 Logline: Based on the true events that occurred on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, the story chronicles the courage of those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon and the extreme moments of bravery and survival in the face of what would become one of the biggest man-made disasters in world history. Studio: Summit Entertainment, LLC Production Company(s): Leverage Management, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Participant Media, Closest To The Hole Productions Director: Peter Berg Producer(s): Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, David Womark Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Gina Rodriguez, Liam Neeson, Michael Keaton, Dylan O'Brien Writer(s): J.C. Chandor, Matthew Michael Carnahan, Matthew Sand Notes: Based on the article "Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour" written by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul and published in the New York Times on December 25, 2010. SSN Insight: Ric Roman Waugh previously in negotiations to direct. J.C. Chandor was previously attached to direct.

Devil's Gate 4/27/2015 Logline: An FBI agent aims to solve a missing persons case in a deeply rural area, but when she discovers that mysterious creatures may be responsible for the crime, she must tap into every reserve of her courage and smarts to survive and deal with unprecedented, and highly deadly, threats. Production Company(s): Inferno Pictures, Caramel Films, MTS Films Director: Clay Staub Executive Producer(s): Skyler Mednick Producer(s): Scott Mednick, Andre Rouleau, Valerie d'Auteuil, Ian Dimerman, Brendon Sawatzky Cast: Amanda Schull, Milo Ventimiglia, Shawn Ashmore, Bridget Regan, Jonathan Frakes Writer(s): Peter Aperlo, Clay Staub SSN Insight: Chris Samwells was previously attached to produce via his Extraordinary Features. Jennifer Connelly and Adam Beach were previously mentioned to star.

The Girl in the Photographs 4/20/2015 Logline: When a beautiful young woman discovers a series of grisly photographs, she's spooked into ditching her small town and her dead-end job, but as she attempts to enter the big city fashion industry, she finds deeper horrors that are tailor-made for her. Production Company(s): Al-Ghanim Entertainment Director: Nick Simon Executive Producer(s): Wes Craven, Nawaf Alghanim, Brandon Michael Vayda, Krystal Vayda Producer(s): Andrea Chung, Thomas Mahoney Cast: Halston Sage, Kal Penn Writer(s): Osgood Perkins, Robert Morast, Nick Simon SSN Insight: Shooting to take place in Canada. CAA is handling North American rights.

The Layover 4/27/2015 Logline: A pair of lifelong best friends on vacation find that their plane has been rerouted to St. Louis due to a hurricane warning. Production Company(s): Unified Pictures, Bron Studios Director: William H. Macy Executive Producer(s): Patricia Cox Producer(s): Keith Kjarval, Aaron Gilbert Cast: Lea Michele, Kate Upton, William H. Macy, Alexandra Daddario Writer(s): David Hornsby, Lance Krall SSN Insight: Hornsby and Krall have worked together on FXX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

The Woods 4/27/2015 Logline: On a camping trip, a group of college students discover they are not alone. Studio: Lionsgate Production Company(s): Vertigo Entertainment, Snoot Entertainment Director: Adam Wingard Producer(s): Roy Lee, Steven Schneider, Keith Calder, Jessica Wu Writer(s): Simon Barrett SSN Insight: Wingard has directed several horror films including A Horrible Way to Die, The ABCs of Death, You’re Next and The Guest. Thirteen Hours 4/27/2015 Logline: The true story of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Special Mission Compound and an CIA Annex in Benghazi on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 through firsthand accounts. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment Director: Michael Bay Executive Producer(s): Richard Abate Producer(s): Erwin Stoff Cast: John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, James Badge Dale, David Denman, Max Martini Writer(s): Chuck Hogan Notes: Based on the book "Thirteen Hours: A Firsthand Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi" written by author Mitchell Zuckoff with surviving members of the Annex Security Team who fought the battle, published by Twelve September 9, 2014. SSN Insight: Bay is also producing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel which is in production and will be the director/producer on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon which is in active development.

X-Men: Apocalypse 4/27/2015 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: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): Donners' Company, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Marvel Entertainment, Genre Films, Hutch Parker Entertainment Director: Bryan Singer Producer(s): Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Nicholas Hoult Writer(s): Simon Kinberg Notes: Sequel to the film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014) directed by Bryan Singer. SSN Insight: Shooting locations include Montreal. Ben Hardy stars in the UK series, EastEnders, and was said to have originally tested for the role of Cyclops, which ultimately went to Tye Sheridan, and was now cast in an undisclosed role. U.S. release date is currently May 27, 2016.


Ip Man 3 4/25/2015 Logline: Sequel to “Ip Man” centering on Ip Man who participated in matches with other practitioners from the top Wushu schools, as well as Japanese kung-fu warriors in 1920s and ‘30s war-torn China. Production Company(s): Pegasus Motion Pictures Director: Wilson Yip Producer(s): Raymond Wong Pak-Ming Cast: Donnie Yen, Mike Tyson, Lynn Hung Notes: Sequel to Ip Man (China/Hong Kong/2008) starring Donnie Yen and directed by Wilson Yip, and Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster (Hong Kong/2010) also starring Yen and directed by Yip. SSN Insight: Ip Man grossed $21 million and the 2010 sequel grossed $49 million worldwide.

Joy 4/22/2015 Logline: A housewife, struggling to make ends meet, invents a mop that changes her life and makes her a millionaire. Based on a true story. Studio: Fox 2000 Production Company: Davis Entertainment Director: David O. Russell Producer(s): John Davis, John Fox, Ken Mok Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Édgar Ramírez Writer(s): David O. Russell, Annie Mumolo Details: Based on the true story of Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop. SSN Insight: The film’s release is set for Christmas Day, 2015, and Russell’s films have had luck in winter with Silver Linings Playbook’s release November 16 2012 and American Hustle’s release in December 13 2013. Next up for Russell is the release of Accidental Love starring Jake Gyllenhaal set for a March 20 release.

November Criminals 4/25/2015 Logline: A teenager explores the Washington D.C. underbelly in order to solve the mystery of the death of a fellow student. Production Company(s): Lotus Entertainment, Black Bicycle Entertainment Director: Sacha Gervasi Executive Producer(s): Ara Keshishian, Steven Knight Producer(s): Beth O'Neil, Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, Erika Olde Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Catherine Keener, Ansel Elgort, Cory C. Hardrict Writer(s): Sacha Gervasi, Steven Knight Notes: Based on the novel "November Criminals" written by Sam Munson and published by Doubleday on April 20, 2010. SSN Insight: Steven Knight was previously attached to direct. Lisa Cholodenko previously attached to direct.

Officer Downe 4/27/2015 Logline: After a Los Angeles supercop is killed in the line of duty, he’s resurrected and continues to work fighting crime. Production Company(s): Man of Action, Traverse Media, Blackmrkt Incorporated Director: Shawn Crahan Executive Producer(s): Cory Brennan Producer(s): Mark Neveldine, Skip Williamson, Joe Casey, Cole Payne Cast: Kim Coates, Tyler Ross, Lauren Valez, Reno Wilson, Bruno Gunn Writer(s): Joe Casey Notes: Based on the graphic novel "Officer Downe" written by Joe Casey, Illustrated by Chris Burnham and published by Image Comics on July 14, 2010. SSN Insight: Project marks feature directorial debut of Shawn "Clown" Crahan, a percussionist and co-founder of the band Slipknot.

Shifting Gears 4/20/2015 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. Previous wrap date was slated for April 13.

Ask the Analyst Screenwriting Advice, Promotion Day At CAA, Gleason Joins ‘Mena’, Silver’s New Financing, On the Set For 4/27/15


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Ask the Analyst: Getting Your Script Read By Studios and Your Agent Questions Answered

For Ask the Analyst, expert screenplay readers and analysts from ScriptShark answer questions that Facebook fans and Twitter followers posted. Read on to find helpful answers to questions regarding how to become a professional screenwriter and many other aspects of screenwriting and the movie business. This is Part Two, after Part One appeared last week. (SSN)

On the Set For 4/27/15: Jennifer Lawrence Wraps David O. Russell’s ‘Joy’ and Starts On ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

In other shooting news, Mark Wahlberg’s Deepwater Horizon starts shooting, as well, as does Michael Bay’s Thirteen Hours and The Layover, starring Lea Michele, Kate Upton, William H. Macy and Alexandra Daddario. Meanwhile, a handful of projects also wrap principal photography, including November Criminals, starring Chloe Grace Moretz. (SSN)


It’s Promotion Day At CAA, and the List Of Lucky Staffers Is 20 Names Long

Three weeks after the exodus of a dozen agents to UTA, CAA promoted 20 staffers to agent or executive status in key departments across the agency. The move signals a focus on grooming talent from within the agency. In recent years, CAA has regularly promoted lower-level staffers to agent or exec status, often in groups of four, five or eight. (VAR)

The Rapid and Astronomical Rise Of Downhill Gleason Continues, as the Young Brit Joins Tom Cruise’s ‘Mena’

Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman will re-team with Cruise on the film, which is based on Gary Spinelli's 2014 Black List spec, which Universal dropped $1 million on in 2014. Brian Grazer is producing the thriller about TWA pilot Barry Seal, who was recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central America. Seal soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the U.S. (TOH)

Joel Silver Nails Down New Funding For His Silver Pictures Entertainment

Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz is coming on board the venture, and will co-run the operation with Silver. Additionally, indie finance veteran Hal Sadoff has been named CEO of Silver Pictures. Katz is the founder and chairman of the Katz Group, one of Canada's largest privately owned companies, with a large foothold in the pharmacy, sports, entertainment and real estate sectors. (THR)

Jenny Slate and Ari Graynor Are Taking a Road Trip Together With FX

A new pilot will re-team Slate with Obvious Child writer/director Gillian Robespierre and writer/producer Elisabeth Holm. The pilot doesn’t have a name yet, but will center around Lou and Viv, two thirtysomething filmmakers living in New York City, and how their relationship as friends and creative partners evolves when they embark on a cross-country road trip together. (AVC)

The ‘Good Times’ Feature Adaptation Now Has a Writer

Black-ish creator Kenya Barris is riding high on his freshman sitcom about an upscale African-American family. Now, he has been set by Sony to write the feature adaptation of the groundbreaking sitcom about an African-American family on the other side of the spectrum, struggling in the Chicago projects in the turbulent 60s. Scott Rudin and Eli Bush are producing. (DH)

MTV Catches ‘The Fever’, Will Develop It as an Ongoing Series

Author Megan Abbott is developing a series based on her book, working with Sarah Jessica Parker’s Pretty Matches Productions, and producer Karen Rosenfelt (who worked on The Book Thief, The Devil Wears Prada and Twilight). Abbott will also write the pilot episode. The Fever follows a group of adolescent girls who begin to fall ill with a strange fever, symptoms of which include convulsions and foaming at the mouth. (EW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Ted 2’

The new, redder-than-red band trailer for the upcoming sequel from Seth MacFarlane, starring Mark Wahlberg and Amanda Seyfried. This is most definitely not safe for work, but it is uproariously funny. The movie hits theaters June 26th. (EMP)

First Look: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

Twentieth Century Fox and director Bryan Singer have released the first image of Kodi Smit-McPhee, who is playing the blue-skinned teleporter Nightcrawler. The film is currently shooting and will hit theaters May 27th, 2016. (SF)

‘Homeland’ Headed To Berlin, Viola Davis as Harriet Tubman?, “New Coke” Saga To the Big Screen, New Line’s True Crime Tale, WB’s ‘Death Note’


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Season Five Of Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ Is Set To Shoot Entirely In Berlin

The cable network announced yesterday that its acclaimed espionage drama will become the first American television series to ever to shoot a full season entirely in Germany. The new season will be filmed at Studio Babelsberg in Berlin. The new season will pick-up two years after Carrie Mathison’s (Claire Danes) ill-fated tenure as Islamabad station chief, where she is in a self-imposed exile in Berlin, estranged from the CIA and working for a private security firm.  (EW)

Viola Davis Wants To Play Harriet Tubman For HBO, and Wants Doug Ellin To Oversee It

The Oscar-nominated actress is developing a TV movie for the cable net, with the Entourage EP Doug Ellin on board, as well as scribe Kirk Ellis, and Amblin TV. The project will reportedly be based on Kate Clifford Larson’s Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman — Portrait of an American Hero, which gives a detailed look at how Tubman took the reins as one of the most fearless conductors of the Underground Railroad. (VUL)

If You Ever Wanted To See the Unfortunate Saga Of “New Coke” Become a Movie, Today Is Your Lucky Day

Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the writing duo behind films like Zombieland and the upcoming X-Men franchise spinoff Deadpool, are developing a feature film based on the 1985 advertising debacle that was New Coke. The pair have themselves acquired the big screen rights to the 1987 nonfiction account of the pop ordeal, The Real Coke, The Real Story, written by Thomas Oliver. (CS)

New Line Gets Into the True Crime Business, Snags Rolling Stone Story For the Big Screen

Producer Michael De Luca is at the center of a deal for Dukes Of Oxy, an article in the April 23rd issue of Rolling Stone about a pair of teen high school wrestlers from Florida who built a multimillion-dollar business smuggling OxyContin and other painkillers. De Luca will produce the film with Ansel Elgort and Emily Gerson Saines. The hope is for Elgort, whose star launched with The Fault In Their Stars, to play one of the two drug dealers. (DH)

It Follows That the ‘Independence Day’ Sequel Would Cast Maika Monroe as Its Female Lead

The star of the hit horror flicks The Guest and It Follows, Monroe’s casting was announced by the film’s director Roland Emmerich, over Twitter. Bill Pullman, Viveca A. Fox, Jeff Goldblum and Judd Hirsch are returning for the sequel, along with newcomers Liam Hemsworth, Britt Robertson, Jessie Usher and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The film will hit theaters June 24th, 2016. (CB)

Warner Bros. Is Remaking the Japanese Horror Film ‘Death Note’, and Hires Director Adam Wingard To Helm It

The director of You’re Next and The Guest is about to start shooting The Woods for Lionsgate, after which he will jump on this project, which previously had Shane Black attached to direct. Film centers on a student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone by writing the victim’s name who then decides to cleanse the world of whom he deems evil. The student is tracked by a reclusive police office with a cat-and-mouse game ensuing. (COL)

Strap Yourselves In: ‘Avengers: Infinity War, Parts 1 and 2’ Will Start Filming Towards the End Of 2016 and Shoot For Nine Months

Chris Evans, who plays Captain America and is about to start shooting Captain America: Civil War with Robert Downey Jr., confirmed that he is scheduled to appear in the two films, to be directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. The brother directing team is also helming Civil War, which will be in theaters May 6th, 2016. The two Infinity War installments will be released a year apart, with Part One on May 4th, 2018, and Part Two on May 3rd, 2019. (COL)

With ‘Downton Abbey’ On Its Way Out, Creator Julian Fellowes Turns His Eyes To ‘Doctor Thorne’

Fellowes is finding time in his busy schedule to write the three-part drama, adapted from Anthony Trollope’s 19th century novel, produced by Hat Trick Productions, with filming to begin later this year. Fellowes said he took on the project as he was a "lifetime devotee of Trollope," revealing that the 19th-century English novelist was "certainly the strongest influence over my work that I am conscious of." (THR)

So Much For That ‘Osbournes’ Reboot On the VH1 Network

The Viacom-owned network has scrapped plans for a reboot of The Osbournes, the MTV show that focused on Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly Osbourne that ignited the famous family reality TV format. Sharon Osbourne announced the news of the revamp in November on an episode of The Talk, the CBS daytime show she co-hosts. (VAR)

Online Film School: Comparing David Fincher’s Nike Commercials With ‘Se7en’

Naturally, those commercials (for Nike, Levi’s and others) would contain some of the motifs that Fincher still hasn’t shifted away from two decades later. Blues vs Oranges, derelict futurism and shadows. Oh, so many shadows. (FSR)

TV Development for 4/28/15: Robin Hood Craze Spreads to TV, Kevin Spacey Developing ‘The Residence’, Aziz Ansari’s New Project


robin hood novel outlaw

Untitled Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Spinoff Project Network: ABC Entertainment Group Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Jeffrey Bell, Paul Zbyszewski Writer(s): Jeffrey Bell, Paul Zbyszewski Logline: The project is planned as a spinoff of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and will follow the adventures of former husband and wife Lance Hunter a quick-witted mercenary sharpshooter and Barbara “Bobbi” Morse aka Mockingbird. SSN Insight: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast members Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood will star. Untitled Robin Hood Series Studio: FremantleMedia North America Writer(s): Michael Konyves Logline: Follows Robin Hood and his band of outlaws in Sherwood Forest, including a young protege he takes under his wing. As Robin’s mission turns from trying to raise money for his pardon to something much greater, he must confront the demons of his past, as well as protect those he most loves, including Marie-Anne, Countess of Locksley, the love of his life. Notes: Based on Angus Donald’s book series The Outlaw Chronicles. The book series includes six titles: Outlaw, Holy Warrior, King’s Man, Warlord, Grail Knight and The Iron Castle. SSN Insight: Konyves also served as a co-writer on the medieval set action feature Last Knights starring Clive Owen. Robin Hood previously was adapted for BBC’s 2006 series Robin Hood, which ran for three seasons.

The Analyst Studio: Cinelan Executive Producer(s): Barbara DeFina, Karol Martesko-Fenster, Douglas Dicconson, Joe Cantwell Writer(s): J.D. Zeik Logline: It will comprise ten eight-minute "real time" episodes following Kevin Mercer, a CIA analyst targeted by an unknown enemy as he navigates the increasingly murky, dangerous world of financial espionage. Notes: Based on an original story by J.D. Zeik. SSN Insight: The digital series will star Evan Handler whose credits include Californication, Sex and the City and Ransom. Production is slated to start in early 2016 with the first season available by Fall 2016. Cinelan’s founding partners include Morgan Spurlock and Damon Smith among others.

Forged in Fire Network: History Channel Production Company(s): Leftfield Entertainment’s Outpost Entertainment. Executive Producer(s): Tim Healy, Steve Ascher, Jodi Flynn, Brent Montgomery, David George, Shawn Witt and Simon Thomas Logline: Reality competition hosted by weapons expert Wil Willis, the series will feature world-class bladesmiths recreating many of history’s most iconic edged weapons, from the Japanese katana to the medieval broadsword to ancient throwing blades like the Chakram. In each episode, four master bladesmiths will try to avoid elimination while using traditional and state-of-the-art tools and machinery to turn raw metal into authentic working versions of classic bladed weapons of yesteryear. SSN Insight: Production has begun in Brooklyn, NY and the show is set to premiere this summer.

Chasing Destiny Network: BET Production Company(s): Den of Thieves Executive Producer(s): Kelly Rowland, Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager, Tim Weatherspoon, Danny Rose Logline: Kelly Rowland goes on a quest to find the next big female superstar group to make their mark in a dog-eat-dog music industry. In the series, these singing hopefuls will vie their way to stardom with recording mogul Rowland helping them to find their voice as entertainers. SSN Insight: Announced during BET’s Upfront presentation on April 23.

Zoe Moon Network: BET Executive Producer(s): Debra Martin Chase, Scooter Braun, Danny Rose, Erica Montolfo Writer(s): Erica Montolfo Logline: Zoe Moon is a live-out-loud newly single mom embarking on a new life and career as a fledgling cosmetics mogul; but it won’t be easy. Gemini, a famous boxer and Zoe’s soon to be ex-husband, is not ready to take a back seat in her life, nor is her precocious 8 year-old son, Xavier, ready for Zoe’s new dating life. SSN Insight: Announced during BET’s Upfront presentation on April 23.

Untitled Mike Daniels/Katie Holmes Victim Advocate Project Network: Cinemax Studio: Universal Television Executive Producer(s): Katie Holmes, Mike Daniels Writer(s): Mike Daniels Logline: Follows a victims’ rights advocate who is attacked by a stalker and then returns to the streets of her crime-ridden past to seek justice. SSN Insight: Holmes will star in the project and also is in the cast of Kennedys: After Camelot, a miniseries that has been picked up by Reelz.

Untitled Jenny Slate/ Robespierre/ Holm Comedy Project Network: FX Production Company(s): A24 Executive Producer(s): Gillian Robespierre, Elisabeth Holm, Jenny Slate, Ravi Nandan, John Hodges Writer(s): Gillian Robespierre, Elisabeth Holm Logline: Explores the adult female friendship of two creative partners as they embark on a cross-country road trip. SSN Insight: FX ordered to pilot. Reteams Holm and Robespierre who previously collaborate on the indie film Obvious Child, which A24 acquired at Sundance.

Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide Network: HBO Executive Producer(s): Whitney Cummings, Maureen Dowd, Tom Werner, Jimmy Miller Writer(s): Whitney Cummings Logline: A comedic portrait of modern relationships that focuses on human nature and social construction using documentary elements and appearances from experts to help the characters understand the biological basis of their behavior. Notes: Based on the book, "Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide," written by Maureen Dowd and published by Putnam on November 8, 2005. SSN Insight: HBO ordered the pilot on April 21.

Doctor Thorne Network: ITV 1 Studio: No Studio Available. Production Company(s): Hat Trick Productions Executive Producer(s): Julian Fellowes, Mark Redhead, Ted Childs, Chris Kelly Writer(s): Julian Fellowes Logline: The story centers on Dr.Thomas Thorne, who lives in the village of Greshamsbury with his beautiful niece, Mary, a girl blessed with every gift except money. When Lady Arabella Gresham discovers that her darling son has fallen in love with Mary, she is horrified. Lady Arabella believes it is her son’s duty to save the family estate and launches a campaign to secure her son an heiress for a bride. Notes: Based on the novel, "Doctor Thorne," written by Anthony Trollope and published in 1858. SSN Insight: Julian Fellowes is the creator of Downton Abbey and is currently developing the pilot of an Untitled Downton Abbey Prequel.

The Logan Paul Show Network: MTV Production Company(s): On Wiscottsin! Executive Producer(s): Scott Tomlinson, Doug Banker Logline: The show follows Logan Paul and his real life brother at the start of his rise to fame in Ohio. We’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the stunts and pranks that have made them the most popular performers on Vine. SSN Insight: Scott Tomlinson was an executive producer and writer on Tosh.0. Announced during MTV’s Upfront presentation on April 21.

Untitled Aziz Ansari Project Network: Netflix Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang, Michael Schur, David Miner, Dave Becky Writer(s): Aziz Ansari Logline: Storyline under wraps. SSN Insight: Netflix has given a series order of 10 episodes. Cast includes H. Jon Benjamin, Lena Waithe and Eric Wareheim, along with Saturday Night Live alumna Noël Wells and Kelvin Yu with Claire Danes guesting. Spectacular Now’s James Ponsoldt is directing.

Counterpart Network: Starz Production Company(s): Anonymous Content, Media Rights Capital Executive Producer(s): Justin Marks Writer(s): Justin Marks Logline: Howard Silk is a lowly cog in a bureaucratic UN agency who is turning the last corner of a life filled with regret, when he discovers the agency he works for is guarding a secret: a crossing to a parallel dimension. Through Howard and his counterpart on the other side, Prime, the show will navigate themes of identity, idealism, what-ifs, and lost love. SSN Insight: Starz ordered the project to series and J.K. Simmons has been cast as the lead. Oscar-nominated Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum is set to direct the first two episodes.

Galaxy Quest Studio: Paramount Television Production Company(s): Gran Via Productions Executive Producer(s): Robert Gordon, Dean Parisot, Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein Writer(s): Robert Gordon Logline: Based on the movie about the cast of a long cancelled space TV show who become reluctant real space heroes when they are accidentally transported to a spaceship and tasked with saving an alien nation. Notes: Based on the film, "Galaxy Quest," (USA/1999), directed by Dean Parisot and starring Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver. SSN Insight: In addition to Galaxy Quest, Gordon penned the screenplay to Men in Black II, Addicted to Love and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Highston Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Executive Producer(s): Bob Nelson, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, Todd Hoffman Writer(s): Bob Nelson Logline: When Highston Liggetts encounters a world he doesn't understand, he retreats into his vast imagination, where famous "friends" are his companions and mentors. SSN Insight: Amazon ordered the pilot on April 23.

Mr. Postman Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Benderspink Executive Producer(s): David Robert Mitchell, Chris Bender, JC Spink, Jake Weiner Writer(s): David Robert Mitchell Logline: A mailman investigates the dark mysteries within his all-American town after a horrific event occurs on his own street. SSN Insight: Mitchell is the filmmaker behind the horror film It Follows, which premiered at Cannes and had a limited release in March and has since expanded and grossed $13.5 million domestically.

The Breaks Network: VH1 Executive Producer(s): Seith Mann, Susan Levinson Bixby, Bill Flanagan, Maggie Malina, Dan Charnas Writer(s): Seith Mann, Dan Charnas Logline: Chronicles the journey of Nikki, David and DeeVee, three friends united by their love of hip-hop, as they work to make their big mark in the music industry. Notes: Based on the book, "The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop," written by Dan Charnas and published by New American Library (NAL) on December 7, 2010. SSN Insight: VH1 has ordered the TV movie/backdoor pilot. Mann will write, EP and direct the pilot and has directed episodes of The Wire, The Walking Dead and Elementary.

The Residence Studio: Fox 21 Television Studios Production Company(s): Trigger Street Productions Executive Producer(s): Kevin Spacey, Dana Brunetti Logline: The series follows the relationship between the White House residence staff and the various First Families spanning several administrations. Based on the book. Notes: Based on the book, "The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House," written by Kate Andersen Brower and published by Harper on April 7, 2015. SSN Insight: Spacey’s shingle Trigger Street Productions also is developing Race for the White House, which has been ordered to series by CNN.

The Signature of All Things Network: PBS Production Company(s): Origin Pictures Executive Producer(s): David M. Thompson Writer(s): Emily Ballou Logline: Alma Whittaker is a brilliant, determined, and thoroughly scientific woman, struggling to express her intellectual curiosity in a society where women's lives are confined to the domestic sphere. Equal parts Elizabeth Bennet and Charles Darwin, Alma spends her days seeking nothing less than the answers to the origins of life itself. Notes: Based on the novel, "The Signature of All Things," written by Elizabeth Gilbert and published by Riverhead Books on October 1, 2013. SSN Insight: Thompson produced Woman in Gold which is currently being distributed by the Weinstein Company.

Travel Channel

50/50 Network: Travel Channel Production Company(s): Big Table Media Executive Producer(s): Dana Volkmer-Jones Logline: Do you want to go on an extreme getaway for 50 hours, worth $50,000 dollars? Can you leave immediately? Travel Channel expert Samantha Brown and her adventurous pal Chris Grundy are heading to a town near you and they’re doing the asking. But there’s one catch; you must drop everything and leave right now! SSN Insight: Travel Channel announced they gave an 8 episode series order during their Upfront presentation held April 22.

Boy to Man Network: Travel Channel Production Company(s): Seven Productions Logline: Adventurer and filmmaker Tim Noonan embarks on a solo journey of self-discovery to worlds beyond his imagination to try and unlock the mysteries of what it means to be the ultimate man. With just his gear and cameras, Noonan first has to earn the tribe's trust. Over the next few weeks, he is put through rituals, initiations and grueling tests to man-up and prove himself worthy of their respect. SSN Insight: Travel Channel announced they gave a 12 episode series order during their Upfront presentation held April 22.

Five Star Secrets Network: Travel Channel Production Company(s): Atlas Media Corporation Executive Producer(s): Anthony Melchiorri, Glen Freyer, Andrew Jacobs Logline: Anthony Melchiorri sets out to experience the hospitality industry's most luxurious and amazing five star hotels. At the end of each episode, Melchiorri identifies one hotel employee who displays above-and-beyond customer service, and he surprises him/her with a very generous $5000 tip, which he calls his Five Star Favorite Award. SSN Insight: Travel Channel announced they gave an 8 episode series order during their Upfront presentation held April 22.

Follow Your Past Network: Travel Channel Production Company(s): Lion Television Ltd. Executive Producer(s): Richard S. Shaw Logline: Follows Americans on a journey to breathtaking locations throughout the world as they uncover their very personal connection to history's most extraordinary events. Traveling across the world from one incredible location to another, each individual will get a chance to walk in their ancestors' footsteps. By journey's end, everything is revealed, and the historical impact of their ancestors' lives will come into clear and striking focus. SSN Insight: Travel Channel announced they gave a 13 episode series order during their Upfront presentation held April 22.

Hello Goodbye Network: Travel Channel Production Company(s): Telepictures Productions, A Very Good Production, BlazHoffski Holding B.V. Executive Producer(s): Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman Logline: Captures moments of love, sorrow, family and friendship as regular, everyday people arrive and depart from airports across the world. Notes: Based on the original format and international program "Hello Goodbye" by BlazHoffski Productions BV. SSN Insight: Travel Channel announced they gave a 13 episode series order during their Upfront presentation held April 22.

Relocated Network: Travel Channel Production Company(s): Karga Seven Pictures Executive Producer(s): Emre Sahin, Kelly McPherson, Sarah Wetherbee Logline: The series follows the lives of professionals and their families, as they face the biggest decision they'll ever make. Is a life-changing job worth leaving behind everything you know to live abroad in a strange new city thousands of miles away? Each episode features the story of a family faced with relocating to a foreign city from their current home. They hop a jet and travel to their prospective new city where they meet up with a relocation expert, who is often an ex-pat. These insightful relocators must tailor a three-day tour to their client's specific needs and lifestyle. At the end, the families have to reveal their choice - stay or go. SSN Insight: Travel Channel announced they ordered 2 pilot episodes during their Upfront presentation held April 22.

Rev Runs Around the World Network: Travel Channel Production Company(s): Departure Films Executive Producer(s): Joseph "Reverend Run" Simmons Logline: After spending years travelling the world with bandmates and friends, Rev Run is embarking on his next travel adventure - but this time with his wife, Justine, and their not-yet-out-of-the-house kids, Russy and Miley. Equipped with four round-the-world airline tickets, Rev and family will be stretched to their limits as they brave exotic territories, fascinating cultures, authentic food and much more. SSN Insight: Travel Channel announced they gave a 16 episode series order during their Upfront presentation held April 22.

SSN Events Calendar: Avengers, Cannes, Produced By, Mad Max & More Heat Up the Month of May


avengers ultron still

avengers ultron stillThe summer movie season kicks off with a bang in May with Avengers: Age of Ultron and doesn’t stop there. Hot off of Tribeca, Maggie will also be released along with Mad Max: Fury Road, Hot Pursuit and others in the merry month of May. Not to be forgotten, it’s time as well for the freeways to be a little less congested as execs fly to France for Cannes. But that’s not all as SSN has compiled a list of events for you including film releases, TV premieres, events around LA and NYC and film festivals around the world and much more.

May Events Calendar

Friday, May 1 Happy Birthday Tim McGraw FILM RELEASES – Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ride, Hyena, Cas & Dylan, Any Day, Far from the Madding Crowd, Welcome to Me, Any Day, Marie Heutin TV – Psychic Matchmaker on TLC (New), Beyond the Tank on ABC (New), Mysteries at the National Parks on Travel (New) Marvel Universe Live! at the Forum runs through May 3 Big Parade LA through May 3 Paris Photo Los Angeles at Paramount Studios through May 3 Hot Docs 2015 Market & Conference continues through May 1 58th San Francisco International Film Festival continues through May 7 Ambulante Film Festival in Mexico continues through May 3 Digital Content NewFronts continue in NYC through May 7 Arclight Culver City Opens Laughter Comedy Fest continues in LA through May 2

Saturday, May 2 Happy Birthday Dwayne Johnson, David Beckham, Lily Allen StreetFoodCinema begins in LA with The Breakfast Club

Sunday, May 3 Happy Birthday Frankie Valli, Dule Hill TV – Penny Dreadful on Showtime New York Film Festival Deadline: Regular Period Closes This Day in History - Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain's first female prime minister, 1979

Monday, May 4 Happy Birthday Will Arnett, Randy Travis TV – The Hustlers on truTV (New) Paley Center LA - Family Night at the Paley Center: Austin & Ally Special Screening & Panel

Tuesday, May 5 Happy Cinco de Mayo Happy Birthday Adele, Henry Cavill TV – Inside Comedy on Showtime, The Willis Family on TLC (New) Internet & Cable Expo in Chicago runs through May 7 CeBIT Australia in Sydney runs through May 7 This American Life contributor David Sedaris at Royce Hall Moone Boy: The Blunder Years Book Signing with Chris O'Dowd at Barnes & Noble at the Grove

Wednesday, May 6 Happy Birthday George Clooney, Tony Blair FILM RELEASES – I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story TV – Murder in Successville on BBC (New) Fast Company begins their first FC/LA Creativity Counter-Conference that runs through May 7

Thursday, May 7 FILM RELEASES – The Seven Five TV – Lost in Transmission on History (New), Dead End Express on NatGeo (new) Abu Dhabi International Book Fair runs through May 13

Friday, May 8 Happy Birthday Enrique Iglesias, Stephen Amell FILM RELEASES – Maggie, Hot Pursuit, Saint Laurent, Skin Trade, Preggoland, Piku, The D Train, 5 Flights Up, Bravetown TV – Grace and Frankie on Netflix (New)

Saturday, May 9 Happy Birthday Billy Joel TV – Deion’s Family Playbook on OWN (New) Eat See Hear, presented by Showtime begins in LA with Pitch Perfect

Sunday, May 10 Happy Birthday Bono, Kenan Thompson TV – Wife Swap on ABC AWARDS – BAFTA TV Awards

Monday, May 11 TV – Girl Meets World on Disney Paley Center NYC - Fact Meets Fiction: A Conversation between Alex Gibney and Beau Willimon

Tuesday, May 12 Happy Birthday Tony Hawk

Wednesday, May 13 Happy Birthday Robert Pattinson, Stevie Wonder Cannes International Film Festival through May 24 Apps World North America in San Francisco runs through May 14

Thursday, May 14 Happy Birthday Miranda Cosgrove, Mark Zuckerberg, George Lucas TV – Maron on IFC, Wayward Pines on Fox (NEW), Gainesville on CMT (New) Seattle International Film Festival runs through June 7

Friday, May 15 Happy Birthday Emmitt Smith, Ray Lewis, Meg DeAngelis FILM RELEASES – Mad Max: Fury Road, Every Secret Thing, Area 51, Pitch Perfect 2, La French, Echoes of War, Good Kill, Pound of Flesh, Where Hope Grows Rooftop Films: Festival through August 15 United Nations Association Film Festival Regular Deadline

Saturday, May 16 Happy Birthday Megan Fox, Janet Jackson, Thomas Brodie Sangster Super Saturday LA at Barker Hangar hosted by Rachel Zoe and Molly Sims

Sunday, May 17 Happy Birthday Nikki Reed, Bob Saget, Derek Hough AWARDS – Billboard Music Awards This Day in History - The New York Stock Exchange established, 1792

Monday, May 18 Happy Birthday Jack Johnson, Tina Fey, George Strait TV – The Bachelorette on ABC Media-Tech Conference in Hamburg runs through May 19 Internet Week New York runs through May 24

Tuesday, May 19 Happy Birthday Sam Smith TV – The Fighting Season on DirecTV (New) Paley Center LA - An Evening with The Comeback Wednesday, May 20 Happy Birthday Cher, Busta Rhymes TV – MasterChef on FOX, 500 Questions on ABC (New) Austin Film Festival: Regular Deadline Paley Center NYC - Sports Television: Winning the Game of Disruption

Thursday, May 21 TV – Braxton Family Values on WE, Beauty and the Beast on CW, Between on Netflix (New)

Friday, May 22 Happy Birthday Ginnifer Goodwin FILM RELEASES – Poltergeist, Infinitely Polar Bear, Drunk Wedding, Tomorrowland, Aloft, When Marnie Was There, Sunshine Superman TV – American Diner Revival on Food (New) Omni Expo in Orlando through May 24 ComicPalooza in Houston through May 25

Saturday, May 23 Happy Birthday Drew Carey

Sunday, May 24 Happy Birthday Bob Dylan

Monday, May 25 Happy Birthday Mike Myers TV – American Ninja Warrior on G4, The Island on NBC (New)

Tuesday, May 26 Happy Birthday Helena Bonham Carter TV – Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader on FOX, Extreme Weight Loss on ABC, I Can Do That on NBC (New) Asia Media Summit in Kuala Lumpur runs through May 28

Wednesday, May 27 Happy Birthday Christopher Lee, Jamie Oliver TV – Bullseye on FOX (New) Book Expo America runs through May 29

Thursday, May 28 TV – Aquarius on NBC (New), Smile on Lifetime (New) Paley Center NYC - Docu-Jam 2015 Friday, May 29 Happy Birthday Daniel Tosh FILM RELEASES – Aloha, San Andreas, Survivor, Club Life, Gemma Bovery, Heaven Knows What, Results Brooklyn Film Festival through June 7 CIFF 2015 and Toronto International Film Festival Late Deadline

Saturday, May 30 Happy Birthday CeeLo Green, Idina Menzel PGA’s Produced By Conference at Paramount Pictures through May 31 Book Con in New York City runs through May 31 Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga at Hollywood Bowl

Sunday, May 31 Happy Birthday Clint Eastwood TV – Halt & Catch Fire on AMC CicLAvia: Pasadena through August 9

- Note that events are subject to change. If you would like to add events to our monthly calendar, please email marketing@ssninsider.com with the details or you can sound off in the comments below.-

SSN Events Calendar, Plaza Joins ‘Mike and Dave’, Handler’s New Digital Series, Former Exec Pair’s New Shingle, TV Development For 4/28/15


avengers ultron poster


SSN Events Calendar: Avengers, Cannes, Produced By, Mad Max and More Heat Up the Month Of May

The summer movie season kicks off with a bang in May with Avengers: Age of Ultron and doesn’t stop there. Hot off of Tribeca, Maggie will also be released along with Mad Max: Fury Road, Hot Pursuit and others in the merry month of May. Not to be forgotten, it’s time as well for the freeways to be a little less congested as execs fly to France for Cannes. But that’s not all as SSN has compiled a list of events for you including film releases, TV premieres, events around LA and NYC and film festivals around the world and much more. (SSN)

TV Development For 4/28/15: Robin Hood Craze Spreads To TV, Kevin Spacey Develops ‘The Residence, Aziz Ansari’s New Project

Another busy week in the TV world sees new project for Julian Fellowes and Whitney Cummings, as well as a new take on Galaxy Quest and a host of new shows for Travel Channel. Click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)


Aubrey Plaza Becomes the Latest To Join the Already Great Cast Of ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’

The actress has signed up to appear alongside Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, and Adam Devine in the brewing comedy, which Jake Szymanski is set to direct from a script by Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. Efron and Devine play two immature, hard-partying brothers who become desperate to find dates for a wedding and place an online personal add hoping to score a couple. They meet their match in a pair of ladies who party every bit as hard as they do. (CB)

Evan Handler Is Getting His Secret Agent On For a New Digital Series

Handler is set to star in The Analyst, a digital serial being produced by Cinelan, about the CIA’s terrorism finance tracking unit. Barbara DeFina will exec produce the project, which is based on an original story by screenwriter J.D. Zeik. Show, which will be 10 eight-minute real-time episodes, stars Handler as Kevin Mercer, a CIA analyst targeted by an unknown enemy as he navigates the murky, dangerous world of financial espionage. (VAR)

Pair Of Former Indie Execs Team Up For Brand New Shingle, and It’s a Cornerstone

Former Focus Features International boss Alison Thompson and Weinstein Co president of acquisitions Mark Gooder have partnered to form Cornerstone Films, a production-finance and sales company with offices in London and Los Angeles. It will make its sales debut at next month’s Cannes Film Festival focusing on pics ranging from commercial, wide releases to talent-driven projects from auteur filmmakers. (DH)

AwesomenessTV and YouTube Are Teaming To Make Movies Together Over the Next Year and a Half

The multi-platform media company, which serves the global teen audience, announced a partnership with the online broadcast forum to produce and create multiple feature length films with YouTube stars over the next 18 months. The movies will have their premiere on YouTube, with the first release anticipated to debut this fall. Following the release on YouTube, the films will be made available on other distribution platforms. (CS)

After Years Of Wondering, We’re Finally Getting Some Viewership Info About Netflix Original Series

Luth Research has gathered together a panel of Netflix subscribers in order to determine not just what they are watching, but when. Most of the information about Netflix’s original content is not necessarily earth-shattering. Daredevil, for instance, has performed very well. It was viewed by roughly 10 percent of subscribers, while House of Cards reached about 6.5 percent of subscribers over a 30 day period. There is info about several different series herein. (COL)

Meanwhile, Xavier Dolan’s Next Film Is Putting Together an Impressive French Cast, as Well

The Mommy director has lined up Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, Nathalie Baye and Gaspard Ulliel to make It’s Only The End Of The World. Adapted from Jean-Luc Lagarce’s play, Dolan’s new script finds a writer heading back to his hometown after 12 years away, intending to tell his family of his impending death. But any attempts to drum up empathy are scuppered by the feuding family members, with the clan showing a singular inability to listen and love. Distribution rights for the film are expected to be a hot commodity at Cannes. (EMP)

‘Don’t Look Now’, But Yet Another Classic Movie Is Being Remade

StudioCanal is revisiting the classic horror film with Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman of The Picture Company on board to produce a new iteration. Directed by Nicolas Roeg, the 1973 atmospheric supernatural thriller starred Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie as a couple grieving the death of their daughter. While in Venice, they meet two Catholic nuns, one of whom claims to be clairvoyant and is in contact with their daughter in the afterlife. The woman brings an ominous message from the afterlife, warning that their lives are in danger. (THR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Mad Max — Fury Road’

Warner Bros. has released the final trailer for the upcoming reboot of the popular franchise. Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult star in the film from legendary director George Miller. It hits theaters May 15th. (TP)