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A&E Rebranding H2 To Vice, ‘Barbershop 3′ Hires Common, Participant Nears DreamWorks Deal, ‘$6B Man’ Lands Writer


vice news newfront

A&E Is Changing Its H2 Channel Over To Vice

Hearst and Disney-owned media company has pulled the plug on the historical and science-skewing channel and will be rebranding it as Vice. This will create a linear cable channel for the millennial-targeted media company, which will focus on lifestyle programming with Vice’s signature documentary-style.  (VAR)

‘Barbershop 3’ Is Back In Business, and Common Is the Main Man

The Oscar-winner joins Ice Cube and Cedric The Entertainer, who are both back to reprise their starring roles. The original 2003 movie found Cube as the South Side Chicago barber Calvin Palmer, a man who plied his trade surrounded by friends, lovers and oddballs. It was successful enough to spawn not only a sequel in 2004’s Barbershop 2: Back In Business, but a spin-off in the Queen Latifah-centric Beauty Shop and a short-lived TV series. Malcolm D. Lee is directing. (EMP)

Participant Media Could Be DreamWorks’ Savior With a New Partnership Deal

Socially minded billionaire Jeff Skoll's Participant Media is nearing a deal to make a $200 million-plus equity investment in DreamWorks and officially partner on a slate of films. The companies have flirted for years, with Participant co-financing and co-producing a slew of DreamWorks titles, including The Kite Runner, The Help, Lincoln and Bridge of Spies, the Spielberg-directed film starring Tom Hanks that hits theaters Oct. 16th. (THR)

Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg’s ‘Six Billion Dollar Man’ Project Finally Has a Writer

Filmmaker Damián Szifron, who wrote and directed last year’s Best Foreign Language Film nominee Wild Tales, has been tasked with penning the screenplay for the project. The original TV series starred Lee Majors as Steve Austin, a test pilot who is outfitted with bionic limbs and implants in order to become a super-powered secret agent. This new iteration once again follows Austin, this time to be played by Wahlberg. (COL)

Boom! ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ To Get a Prequel Comic Book Before the Movie Hits This Summer

Twentieth Century Fox, the studio behind the video game adaptation, has partnered with comic publisher Boom! Studios to create a one-shot that acts as a prequel to the movie, which hits theaters August 28. F.J. DeSanto wrote the comic, which will have art by Jesus Hervas. Toni Infante is the cover illustrator. Movie stars Rupert Friend as the titular anti-hero, a genetically engineered assassin, along with Zachary Quinto and Hannah Ware. (HV)

Alcon Entertainment Nabs Rights To ‘The 33’, Sets Awards Season Release

Company run by Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove picked up the rights to the drama about the 2010 Chilean mine disaster, directed by Patricia Riggen and starring Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, Mario Casas, Lou Diamond Phillips, Rodrigo Santoro, Gabriel Byrne and James Brolin. Alcon is putting it in theaters November 13th through its output deal with Warner Bros. (CS)

While You May Have Been Expecting Three More ‘Avatar’ Sequels, There Might Be More Than That Ahead

According to James Cameron’s composer James Horner, the legendary director has written four scripts for potential sequels, however Cameron isn’t completely sure how many films these pages will ultimately become. Three more films were originally planned, coming out once a year starting in 2017. (CB)

What Could Be the Next Big YA Novel Adaptation Has Found Itself a Writer

Imperative Entertainment has set Nicholl Fellowship winner Stephanie Shannon to adapt the feature adaptation of the E. Lockhart bestselling YA novel We Were Liars. Formed in 2014 by Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Zak Kadison and Tim Kring, Imperative will finance the film, with Friedkin, Thomas and Kadison producing. They bought the novel before its publication. (DH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Flesh and Bone’

Starz has released the first trailer for its upcoming ballet drama, from Emmy-winning writer and executive producer Moira Walley-Beckett. The eight-part series premieres November 8th. (VUL)

Screenwriters: ‘All Is Lost’

The 31-page screenplay for the 2013 film starring Robert Redford, written and directed by J.C. Chandor. Script is dated February 28th, 2011. (GITS)

Screenwriting 101: Diablo Cody, PBS Drama ‘Mercy Street’ Adds Cast, Hulu Nabs ‘Seinfeld’, ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ To TV


at arrivals for PARADISE Special Screening, Mann Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA August 6, 2013. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection


Screenwriting 101: ‘This Is For the Writers!’ A Conversation With Diablo Cody

The Oscar-winning writer of Juno will be a guest at this year’s SCRIPTFEST, and herein is glimpse into the type of things she’ll be sharing on May 30 in Burbank, CA. Diablo’s latest script, Ricki and the Flash, directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Meryl Streep and Rick Springfield, opens August 7th. (SSN)


Ridley Scott’s PBS Civil War Drama ‘Mercy Street’ Just Added Lots Of Cast and Directors

Josh Radnor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Gary Cole, and Cherry Jones will be leading the series, alongside Peter Gerety, Norbert Leo Butz, and newcomer Hannah James. Meanwhile, Roxann Dawson and Jeremy Webb have been added to the directing roster. The series follows two volunteer nurses on either side of the Civil War and starts shooting soon. It will premiere in winter of 2016. (COL)

Hulu Just Made a Nine Figure Deal To Be the Exclusive Web Home Of ‘Seinfeld’ Re-Runs

Starting in June, it will be the only place you can stream any Seinfeld episode of your choosing — not that there’s anything wrong with that. The online streaming service spent $180 million on the deal, while also nailing down rights to all new and upcoming scripted drama and comedy series from AMC, IFC, BBC AMERICA, SundanceTV and WE tv — including, of note, full seasons of AMC’s summer 2015 Walking Dead spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead. (TVL)

‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’, and On Your TV: Paramount and Anonymous Content Developing Memoir For the Tube

The two are teaming to get behind Caitlin Doughty’s memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory as a pilot and potential series, with Nurse Jackie co-creator Evan Dunsky attached as writer and showrunner. Book takes a behind-the-scenes look at a twenty-something mortician with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre who takes a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. (DH)

Add Cecily Strong To the Already Solid Cast of Melissa McCarthy’s ‘Michelle Darnell’

The SNL star and host of the recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner as signed on to the film, co-written by McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone, who is also directing. Kristen Bell, Kathy Bates and Peter Dinklage also star in the comedy, about a titan of industry sent to prison after she’s caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget. (CS)

The Final Two Movies In the ‘Divergent’ Saga Just Added an Emmy-Winning Actor To the Cast

Jeff Daniels, who won an Emmy for The Newsroom, has joined the two Allegiant films, which will adapt the third and final book in the YA trilogy. As with many other such franchises, the book is being split into two movies. In Allegiant Part 1 and Part 2, Daniels will play David, the leader of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, which originally created the various factions at the center of the story. The films will be released March 18th, 2016 and March 24th, 2017, respectively. (EMP)

And, In Other Casting News, Justin Bieber Will Be In ‘Zoolander 2’

Director-star Ben Stiller confirmed the news via his Instagram account, in which he posted a picture of him and Bieber facing off with dueling Blue Steel looks. No word on what character Bieber will play, but he joins Still,er Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Penelope Cruz and Will Ferrell in the film, which is currently shooting. (CB)

It’s Promotion Day At Starz! Today’s Big Winner Is Ken Segna, New SVP Original Programming

Segna has climbed the Starz ladder rapidly; he began his career with the company as an executive assistant in 2010 before being promoted to VP of original programming in 2014. In his new role, Segna will oversee production on upcoming buzzy Starz projects, including series Counterpart, a thriller/drama series starring J.K. Simmons and directed by Morten Tyldum and The Girlfriend Experience, from Steven Soderbergh. (VAR)

Warner Bros. Names the Creative Team Behind Its New Blue Ribbon Content Digital Wing

The studio, which was founded last year with a mandate to develop and produce new live-action shortform and animated programming for digital and virtual reality platforms, announced a number of key executive appointments that will form its creative team. Peter Girardi will lead the unit as senior vice president of creative affairs at WBA and BRC, joined by Zoe Friedman, Lance Sloane, Alexandra Davis and others. (THR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Irrational Man’

The first trailer from the latest film by Woody Allen, the Cannes-bound film stars Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone. The movie opens in the U.S. on July 24th. (TP)

NBC Releasing All of ‘Aquarius’ At Once, Female ’21 Jump Street’ in Development, ‘Revenge’ Won’t Have Its Revenge


revenge season 3

Along with GhostBusters and Expendabelles, Women Are Also Moving to 21 Jump Street

Sony's developing a female-driven spinoff of their 21 Jump Street franchise and tapping the witty co-producers and writers from Broad City- Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs. Will Blue Sisters be next to head to development? (VAR)

Sony Posts a $1 Billion Dollar Loss, But Their Film Division Posts Profits

North Korea didn't triumph in taking down Sony Pictures, which generated $8.4 billion last year.  The Interview posted a $41 million hit,  but never fear as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was there to save the day. Analysis shows the weak Yen played a role in Sony's losses. (THR)

An In-depth Look at How the Kingsman Saw Green While Competing Against Fifty Shades of Grey

Kingsman: Secret Service has grossed more than $400 million thanks in part to 43% of the audience being women. 20th Century Fox domestic distrb chief Chris Aronson said “We chose our release date very carefully and deliberately." (DL)

Following the Netflix Strategy, NBC Will Throw the Entire Season of Aquarius Online After its Premiere

Think digital networks are the only ones breaking the rules? Think again. NBC will release the entire 13 episode season of David Duchovny’s new series Aquarius on NBC.com after the show’s two-hour premiere on the peacock on May 28. (DL)

James Wan's Name is in Discussions Again and this Time it Includes Giant Robots

Wan has been in discussion to direct Aquaman and write the story for Saw 8. Hot off of Furious 7, now he's circling Sony's Robotech film after director Nic Mathieu fell off the picture. Did we mention he's also helming The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist and Universal wants him for Fast & Furious' next outing? (THR)

Revenge isn't Sweet for ABC, It's Cancelled (After Four Seasons)

Season four will be the last for ABC's drama Revenge with its last episode airing May 10 entitled "Two Graves". Spoiler- the show recently killed off one its two leading ladies, so will more blood be spilled before the show breathes its last breath? (HL)

Speaking Of Shows that Last Past Their Welcome, When Should Shows in Old Age Make for the Door?

“In the platinum age of quality and choice, broadcasters have to be more aggressive about letting go of the past,” says producer and former NBC topper Warren Littlefield. A discussion of when shows like Law & Order, CSI and others should close their case files for good. (VAR)

Why Maybe You Do Want to Call Hawkeye if You're Need of a Rescue & Jeremy Renner's Own Mysterious Skills

So if Hawkeye isn't the first Avenger you'd call if you're in a bind, Jeremy Renner has some words for you that just might change your mind. Not to mention the reasons why he loves being a man of mystery in the Mission Impossible franchise. (MF)

Netflix Orders a Plate of Green Eggs & Ham from Ellen DeGeneres & WB

In a very expensive, huge deal, Netflix has ordered 13 episodes of an animated Green Eggs & Ham from executive producers Jared Stern, Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman, Mike Karz, David Dobkin and Warner Bros. Animation. But don't sit at the kitchen table just yet as that ham will take 3 years to prepare. (DL)

What is Letterman Up to on His First Day Off Come May 21? NYTimes has that Answer and More.

The NYTimes goes in-depth with David Letterman reflecting on his 33 years on the show, his thoughts on the increase of viral comedy bites, and what happens when the day breaks and you're faced with a morning full of new possibilities. (NYT)  

Film Development for 4/30/15: A24’s First Original Film, Jeff Daniels Joins Divergent Franchise, Sam Worthington in for Den of Thieves


at arrivals for SABOTAGE Premiere, Regal Cinemas LA Live, Los Angeles, CA March 19, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection


The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Part 1 Logline: In the first part of the last story of the trilogy, the characters are no longer in the gated community of Chicago, but in the world of commerce and big business, devoid of factions and comprised of only two groups: the "genetically pure" and the "genetically damaged." Only GPs can be scientists and researchers, which the GDs claim they are totally accepting of...until they aren't. Studio/ Distributor: Lionsgate Production Company: Red Wagon Entertainment Producers: Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Pouya Shahbazian Writer: Adam Cooper & Bill Collage Director: Robert Schwentke Cast: Jeff Daniels, Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Zoe Kravitz, SSN Insight: Daniels was recently announced as joining the cast of the successful YA franchise for both parts 1 and 2 of Allegiant. Daniels will play David, the leader of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.

Michelle Darnell Logline: A former corporate bigshot attempts to rebuild her image after a prison stint for insider trading, but many of her victims are unwilling to let bygones be bygones. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company: On the Day Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions Producers: Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy Writer: Melissa McCarthy, Steve Mallory, Ben Falcone Director: Ben Falcone Cast: Cecily Strong, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Kathy Bates, Tyler Labine, Timothy C. Simons, Kristen Schaal, Annie Mumolo SSN Insight: Strong is a Saturday Night Live cast member on the rise, also starring in Relativity’s The Bronze, Paramount’s Staten Island and the Lorene Scafaria directed film, The Meddler. Barbershop 3 Logline: In this sequel, with the neighborhood changing, Calvin considers shuttering the barbershop and moving uptown. Studio/ Distributor: MGM Studios, New Line Cinema Production Company: Cubevision, State Street Productions Producers: Robert Teitel, George Tillman Jr., Ice Cube Writer: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver Director: Malcom D. Lee Cast: Common, Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, Queen Latifah, Nicki Minaj

Six Billion Dollar Man Logline: The adventures of Steve Austin, a US astronaut who is badly disfigured in an accident and re-constructed with $6 million dollars worth of bionic equipment, turning him into a cyborg. Studio: Dimension Films Production Companies: Film 44, Closest to the Hole Productions, Leverage Management Producers: Bob Weinstein, Mark Wahlberg, Peter Berg, Stephen Levinson Writer: Damian Szifron Director: Peter Berg Cast: Mark Wahlberg SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Collision Entertainment, Lawrence Gordon Productions and Green Hat Films with Todd Phillips directing, Jim Carrey starring and Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin and Scott Faye producing. The project has had no less than seven previous writers, so it’s hoped that the hiring of Wild Tales writer/ director will be the last.

Robotech Logline: When an alien spacecraft crashes in the South Pacific, the people of Earth develop giant robots from the alien technology in order to fend off a wave of alien invasions. Studio: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Hollywood Gang Productions, Atmosphere Entertainment Producers: Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton Writer: Michael Gordon Directors: James Wan SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Warner Bros. in development at Weed Road, Material Pictures and Supercool Hollywood Big Time Productions with Tobey Maguire attached to star, Akiva Goldsman, Tobey Maguire, Matthew Plouffe, Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell attached to produce. Nic Mathieu was previously attached to direct.

Den of Thieves Logline: A thief plans a heist but gets trapped between two sets of criminals. Studio/ Distributor: Relativity Media Production Company: Benderspink, Atmostphere Entertainment, G-Base Producers: Mark Canton, Ryan Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, Alan Siegel Writer: Christian Gudegast & Paul T. Scheuring Director: Christian Gudegast Cast: Sam Worthington, Gerard Butler, Woody Harrelson SSN Insight: Project was originally developed as a feature film at New Line with BenderSpink attached to produce and Peter Berg attached to direct. When it proved too costly to make as a feature, Benderspink re-imagined the project as a television series with writer-directors Glen Morgan and James Wong, produced by 20th Century Fox Television and New Line Television. The pilot never aired and was developed once again as a feature project

Good Times Logline: An African-American family lives in a Chicago housing project during the 1960s. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Scott Rudin Productions Producers: Scott Rudin, Eli Bush Writer: Kenya Barris Notes: Based on the television series "Good Times" (USA/1974) created by Mike Evans and Eric Monte. SSN Insight: Project was previously in development with Creative Production Group.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Logline: Two hard-partying brothers try to get dates for a wedding by placing an ad on Craigslist. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Chernin Entertainment Producers: Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, David Ready, Jonathan Levine Writer: Andy Cohen, Brendon O’Brien Director: Jake Szymanski Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick Notes: A book, "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates…and a Thousand Cocktails" written by Mike and Dave Stangle will be published by Gallery Books on May 19, 2015. SSN Insight: Jonathan Levine was previously attached to direct.

Mena Logline: The true story of pilot Barry Seal, who transported contraband for the CIA and the Medellin cartel in the 1980s. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures/ Cross Creek Pictures Production Companies: Quadrant Pictures, Imagine Entertainment Producers: Doug Davison, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson Writer: Gary Spinelli Director: Doug Liman Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Jayma Mays SSN Insight: Gleeson is the 31 year old Irish actor son of Brendan Gleeson. He also starred in the A24 release Ex Machina.

Death Note Logline: A high school student, after discovering a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone by writing the victim's name, attempts to cleanse the world of evil by using the book. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: Vertigo Entertainment, Lin Pictures, Witten Pictures, Mobius Productions, VIZ Productions Producers: Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Jason Hoffs, Masi Oka Writer: Anthony Bagarozzi Director: Adam Wingard Notes: Based on the manga series "Death Note" created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and illustrator Takeshi Obata and published by Shueisha in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006. SSN Insight: Shane Black was previously attached to direct, but now Adam Wingard signs on after he finishes shooting The Woods for Lionsgate.


Untitled A24 Drama Logline: The film is based on the true story of Oregonian father and son Joe and Jadin Bell. After Jadin, an openly gay 15-year-old, took his own life Joe is plunged into a depression and in an attempt to work through his grief, he sets out on a walk across America to promote awareness about the consequences of prejudice. Studio: A24 Production Company: Parliament of Owls Writers: Larry McMurty, Diana Ossana Director: Cary Fukunaga SSN Insight: This will be A24’s first original film from script to screen, previously they acquired films from the festival circuit. Fukunaga previously helmed all eight episodes of True Detective while scribes McMurty and Ossana are credited with the script to Brokeback Mountain. Dukes of Oxy Logline: A pair of high school wrestlers from Florida build a multimillion-dollar business smuggling painkillers. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema Production Companies: Michael De Luca Productions Producers: Michael De Luca, Ansel Elgort, Emily Gerson Saines Writer: Guy Lawson Cast: Ansel Elgort Notes: Based on the article "Dukes of Oxy" written by Guy Lawson and published in Rolling Stone on April 23, 2015. SSN Insight: Project returns producer De Luca to New Line where he served as president in the late ‘90’s and only a short time after he signed a producing deal with Universal. A Meyers Thanksgiving Logline: An estranged family spends their first Thanksgiving together after their patriarch dies. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Will Packer Productions Producers: Will Packer Writer: David E. Talbert Director: David E. Talbert SSN Insight: Spec script acquired for mid-six figures upfront, but will be seven figures for script and directing if the movie gets made.

Controller Logline: A captured young woman has the power to control people and uses her powers to control her boyfriend to rescue her. Studio/ Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: 21 Laps Entertainment Producers: Shawn Levy Writers: Alev Aydin Director: Saman Kesh Notes: Remake of short film "Controller" (USA/2013) written and directed by Saman Keshand starring Susan Hsu, Luka Lu, and Kent Chu. SSN Insight: Kesh shot the short film in Taiwan in the effort of proving his story and directing abilities. His efforts paid off as he not only set up the project but scored the gig of directing it. 21 Jump Street Spin-off Logline: Storyline under wraps but is said to be a female spin-off. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Original Film Producers: Neal H. Moritz, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum Writer: Lucia Aniello, Paul W Downs SSN Insight: The all female spin-off film was also announced with speculation of a franchise crossover with the studio’s Men In Black films.

Producer Jeremy Latcham Talks Future of Marvel Studios, Roots Remake, A24’s First Original Film, Lip Sync Battle Goes VR & More


avengers age of ultron poster


Film Development for 4/30/15: Jeff Daniels Joins Divergent Franchise, Sam Worthington in for Den of Thieves

If you can't  beat em' join em' as Jeff Daniels joins the YA craze with the next film in the Divergent franchise. Sam Worthington, meanwhile will team up with Gerard Butler and Woody Harrelson for Den of Thieves, not to mention A24's first original film is in the works. (SSN)

IGN on SSN: Marvel Producer Jeremy Latcham Talks Avengers: Age of Ultron and the Future of the MCU

No bigs, just the producer behind Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron opens up about the future of Marvel Studios in an in-depth interview. Feel free to geek out. (SSN)


Roots Remake Set to Air on History, A&E and Lifetime & Original Star LeVar Burton is Set as Co-EP

Everything old is new again as a trio of networks will air a remake of Roots in a new miniseries debuting in 2016. A stellar team is behind the epic event with Will Packer and Mark Wolper set to executive producer alongside co-executive producer and original Roots star LeVar Burton. There's also news of the cable trio airing a miniseries on War and Peace. (THR)

WB & Sony Go to Battle for "One of the Best Science Fiction Stories of All Time", The Forever War

Channing Tatum is attached to star in an adaptation of what is considered one of the best SciFi stories ever, The Forever War, so it's only fitting that two studios go to battle to see who will nab the film. (DL)

True Detective Director Cary Fukunaga on Board for A24's First Original Movie

A24, which has steadlily been acquiring films from the festival scene, is going to put some skin in the game with their first original movie penned by Brokeback Mountain's Larry McMurty and Diana Ossana and directed by Cary Fukunaga. (Collider)

Welcome to Indie Film's Golden Age as Veteran Producer Cassian Elwes Launches Golden Gate Media

Prolific indie film producer Cassian Elwes is teaming with Pelican Point Capital to launch Golden Gate Media which is planning to produce 2-5 movies per year budgeted at $2-15 million each. (DL)

A VIP Seat in the Audience for Your Favorite Show or Concert Without Leaving the House is a Reality, Well a Virtual One

Spike has already shot 10 episodes of Lip Sync Battle for virtual reality headsets. Push that concept out a bit, and it will be revolutionary for the possibilities for concerts or live sporting events. Better than a flat screen or 3D TV, VR will make you feel like you're sitting in the audience, in the best seat of course. (WIRED)

Hulu, Amazon, YouTube and Netflix Aren't the Only Stars in the Digital Galaxy Anymore - Here's Your New Map

With new video platforms launched every other week around the nebulous web, here's a handy and beautifully designed infographic to chart the known universe. Sort of a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Digital Galaxy if you will. (VAR)

One of the World's Most Advanced Theaters is Opening in Seattle this Week

The Boeing IMAX theater at the Pacific Science Center will re-open on Friday with bright and shiny 4K laser projectors, a cutting-edge sound system and giant new seats. It took four months to complete renovations....L.A. theater owners better get to work. (GW)

Why Having Amy Poelher as Your BFF is Awesome (Or Reading Between the Lines- How to Make Friends in Hollywood)

Amy Poehler sounds like a good friend to have- she's a patient listener, will compliment you on your outfit and will even laugh when you admit perhaps she's not your favorite SNL cast member. This might be just a list, but take note, it's also filled with tips on making and keeping friends in Hollywood if you read between the lines. (VUL)

Trailer Buzz: Youth

Paolo Sorrentino's second trailer for his newest film Youth starring Michael Caine, Paul Dano, Rachel Weisz and Jane Fonda. It doesn't yet have domestic distribution but expect that to change as it hits Cannes. (RoS)

More Hacked Sony Emails Coming, Simmons Keeps Working, HBO Loves ‘Atlanta’, More Remakes Coming, Vonnegut Novel To TV


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No End In Sight: Wikileaks Adds Even More Hacked Sony Emails

The move came two weeks after WikiLeaks disclosed that it had published 30,287 documents and 173,132 emails stemming from last winter’s cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said in an April 16th statement that information was newsworthy, adding, “It belongs in the public domain. WikiLeaks will ensure it stays there.” (VAR)

Win an Oscar, Don’t Stop Working: J.K. Simmons Picks Up Another Big Acting Gig

The newly minted Oscar winner and Emile Hirsch have signed on to star in The Runaround, a comedy that will be directed by Gavin Wiesen. Seth W. Owen wrote the screenplay, which centers on a workaholic father (Simmons) who attempts to visit his daughter during a last-minute layover in Los Angeles only to discover that she's disappeared. He's forced to team up with her awkward ex-boyfriend (Hirsch) to find her over the course of one night. (THR)

‘Brothers In Atlanta’ Earns a Full Series Pickup From HBO

Created by and starring Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, directed by Tim Story and produced by Lorne Michaels, show is about struggling entertainers and best friends Langston (Riddle) and Moose (Salahuddin) trying to navigate relationships and life in the black Mecca of Atlanta. (DH)

The Remake Train Picks Up Another Passenger, as Lionsgate Moves Forward With a New ‘Cube’

Studio will remake of Vincenzo Natali‘s 1997 sci-fi horror film, under the working title Cubed. Jon Spaihts and Roy Lee will produce, with newcomer Saman Kesh set to reimagine Natali’s film and direct.  Kesh is best known for his short film Controller, which recently caught the eye of studios. Cubed will build on the set up of the original film and described as a sci-fi survival thriller about artificial intelligence, humanity and the birth of a new ‘digital’ race. (COL)

Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Cat’s Cradle’ Is Making Its Way To Television

IM Global Television announced plans to turn the legendary author’s novel into a TV show, which will hopefully be long enough to fill an entire week's worth of classes. The 1963 novel effectively satirizes the postwar obsession with technological progress through the author's trademark use of sarcasm and irony. There's no writer, director, cast, or network for the project yet, but rest assured — nothing in it will be true.  (VUL)

Just a Day After AMC Hosted Its Ultimate Marvel Marathon, It’s Planning One For Star Wars, Too

Just as the Marvel experience ran all 11 movies produced by Marvel Studios over 28 hours, the thinking is that this will show all six Star Wars flicks leading up to the release of The Force Awakens on December 18th. Using the Marvel model as a guide, expect it to happen on Wednesday, December 16th, with the screening of Force to happen Thursday night, the 17th. (CB)

Ask the Spirits and They’ll Tell You That Yes, There Will Be a ‘Ouija’ Sequel

After the first film did close to $100 million worldwide, Universal, Blumhouse and Hasbro are teaming to move forward with a sequel. The first film starred Olivia Cooke, and director Stiles White himself wrote the screenplay with Juliet Snowden. In an intriguing change, however, the sequel will be working from a screenplay by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard, who were behind last year's Oculus. It's unclear at this stage whether Flanagan is interested in directing Ouija 2. (EMP)

Ryan Murphy’s ‘American Crime Story’ TV Event Adds Some Fast and Furious Talent

Jordana Brewster is joining the mini-series about the murder trial of O.J. Simpson as Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister Denise. Cuba Gooding Jr. is playing Simpson, with John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark and Connie Britton Faye Resnick.  (TVL)

First Look: ‘Suicide Squad’

Warner Bros. has released the first image from the upcoming comic book adaptation, and it’s of Will Smith as Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot. The film is currently shooting in Toronto and will be in theaters August 5th, 2016. (HP)

Screenwriters: ‘Beginners’

The unspecified 94-page original screenplay by Mike Mills, dated October 29th, 2007. (GITS)

Exec Shuffle for 5/1/15: Silver Picture Entertainment Launches, CAA Promotes Trainees to Agents, Vice To Get Cable Channel & More


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Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals

Joel Silver is joining Canadian entrepreneur Daryl Katz to form Silver Pictures Entertainment, a new venture that will develop, produce and provide or arrange financing for its own slate of feature films, TV and digital projects. Hal Sadoff has been named the CEO; he was previously head of International & Media Finance at ICM Partners, before leaving in 2012. Under the deal Silver will continue with the projects previously set up at Warner Bros. including a third Sherlock Holmes film, a sequel to Project X, Logan’s Run and The Nice Guys which will release on May 20, 2016. Katz’s Katz Group which covers sports, entertainment and real estate will assist in expanding SPE’s entertainment platform. Veteran indie filmmaker Cassian Elwes, has teamed up with Pelican Point Capital Partners' media arm Pelican Point Media to launch Golden Gate Media. They plan to produce 2-5 films per year in the $2 million-$15 million budget range. Formerly he headed William Morris Independent.

NBCUniversal is partnering with AOL and will provide video clips from its networks including NBC and USA to AOL’s streaming platform starting this summer. They plan to co-develop original videos for both of their Web platforms and potential weekly live programming as well.

Vice Media will be getting their own cable channel as A+E Networks rebrands their channel H2 into Vice. A+E has a 10% stake in Vice Media in a $250 million valued deal, led by A+E Networks topper Nancy Dubuc.

Weinstein Co-president of acquisitions Mark Gooder and former Focus Features International head Alison Thompson have partnered to create Cornerstone Films, a production-finance and sales company with offices in LA and London. The company will make its sales debut at Cannes this year and focus on both wide releases and indies. As part of the deal, Cornerstone partnered with Potboiler Films in London and X Filme in Berlin to begin filling the pipeline with up to two films a year for financing and sales.

Comedy writer-producer Kristin Newman has inked a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios. She’s the current EP/showrunner on ABC Studio’s comedy pilot, Delores and Jermaine. She’s served as co-EP on ABC Studios comedy series The Neighbors and Galavant.

ITV Studios Global Entertainment has inked a deal with Monumental Television for a minority stake in the company and to exclusively distribute all their television productions. The indie production house was formed last fall and founded by Oscar nominated producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward.


Scott Bedno has been named VP of International Sales & Distribution, Voltage Pictures. He was previously president of international at Spotlight Pictures. John Fremes will be President of International Sales & Distribution at Voltage, he was previously president of International Sales & Distribution at Nu Image / Millennium Films.

Andrew Walter is in a newly created role at MGM as EVP of Corporate Development. He previously worked with MGM and other entities as managing director at investment company Evolution Media Partners. He will report to chairman and CEO Gary Barber and handle corporate and business development, acquisitions, investments and strategic transactions in film and TV.

Sarah Bremner will become an executive of Original Film Group at Netflix in early May, she was previously director of Creative Affairs at A+E Studios.

Jeffrey Greenstein takes over as president of International Sales & Distribution, Nu Image / Millennium Films, upped from the VP position.

Kate Ritter has been upped to creative executive at Bold Films, from the assistant level.

Taylor Zea has been promoted to the creative executive position at Thunder Road Pictures, up from assistant.

Mitra Darab is the new SVP of marketing for Capitol Music Group, he moved from the VP position of marketing at Warner Bros. Records.


Chip Sullivan has been named EVP of communications at NBC Entertainment. He left DreamWorks Animation where he was head of global brand integration & publicity.

Matthew Wiseman has been upped to COO of BAFTA LA, he was previously director of operations.

Craig Cegielski has been named the Co-CEO of FremantleMedia North America, upped from his EVP of Scripted Programming position there. He will be joined by Jennifer Mullin who’s also been named a Co-CEO, she was previously the EVP of Current Programming. Colleen Mende has been named director of research, upped from manager.

Danny Feldheim has been promoted from manager to director of Drama, development and programming at FOX Broadcasting Company.

Jonathan Goldberg has been upped from VP to Director of Post Production at A. Smith & Co. Productions.

Jamie Horowitz will be in a newly created post as President of Fox Sports National Networks. Previously he was an ESPN executive. In the new role he will handle programming, marketing and scheduling for Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 and oversee management and development of original programming and day-to-day operations for Fox Sports 1’s news and studio programs.

Sharoan R. Harris has been promoted from VP to SVP of Pricing & Planning at Fuse Media, Inc. in New York.

Michael Maniaci has been named the director of programming and development at DiGa (NY), he was a development executive at CMT previously.

Zola Mashariki will be the EVP and head of original programming of BET Networks. She was snagged from Fox Searchlight where she was the SVP of production.

Ken Segna has been upped to SVP of original programming at Starz where he was the VP.

Management, PR, Agencies

CAA promoted the following trainees to the agent level: Olivia Blaustein/Hannah Kuzniecky/Matt Olson (TV), Sam Bringardner (Motion Picture Talent), Rhys Broussard/Josh Rahm (Motion Picture), Tommy Bruce/Ben Coles/Caitlin Davidson/ Kasey McKee/Spencer Sherman/ Emily Wright (Music), Roman Di Somma/Matt Elefant/ Heather Grosz (Sports), Kevin Lin (Theatre), Adam Paulsen (Film Finance). In addition Sylvia Friedel, Farrell Ulrich and Chris Yenn have been promoted to executive levels in marketing. Giselle Leon has been promoted to Executive in CAA’s Lifestyle department.

Luke Esselen has been swooped up by CAA and named an agent in their Motion Picture Talent department, he was previously an assistant at Mosaic.

Harold Frogét is the latest to make the move from CAA to UTA. She will be in the touring department, which was her department at CAA.

Jennifer McCann has been named VP of Operations for Forefront Media Strategies, she was previously the sr. coordinator at TNT Originals.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Erik Huggers has been named president and CEO of online music-video distributor Vevo. With 20 years experience in digital media, his most recent role was as senior VP at Verizon Communications. He takes over for Vevo founding CEO Rio Caraeff, who left late last 2014.

Jordan Bortolotti has been named the new Executive Vice President, Collective Digital Studio in their Toronto offices. She was previously the director of digital solutions at Blue Ant Media in that city.

Warner Bros. Blue Ribbon Content in charge of creating new live-action, short-form content for digital outlets has added to its team. Peter Girardi has expanded his role as SVP of creative affairs at Warner Bros. Animation to include Blue Ribbon Content. He will report to Blue Ribbon president Sam Register. Zoe Friedman will be named SVP of Development and handle development and production of comedy series. Lance Sloane will be the VP of development and production, shifting from WB’s home entertainment department. Alexandra Davis will be the director of development & production, she was previously a producer at DreamWorks Animation-owned AwesomenessTV

Ben McLean is the new SVP of digital enterprises at NBCUniversal, snagged from business affairs at Xbox Entertainment Studios where he was also SVP.

Andy Schuon has been named partner of Ocho, a social video startup. He will assist in shaping the company's content strategy and expand entertainment industry relationships in LA as their headquarters are in New York. Ocho is funded by investors that include Mark Cuban and the company debuted last winter. The app allows people to share eight-second videos that play in a continuous stream on their homepage.

Dan Silver is joining ABC News as Executive Producer of ABC News Digital. He will oversee the digital editorial team and work closely with Colby and Subrata to create, produce and develop new forms of journalistic storytelling and further engage our growing digital audience.

Peter Hamby will be heading the news department at SnapChat. He was previously a CNN national political reporter. He will still be featured on CNN, but now as a head at SnapChat.

Ultimate Marvel Marathon Running Diary, Spidey List Down To Two, Singleton’s New FX Drama, Exec Shuffle For 5/1/15


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#AvengerSSN War Journal From the Front Lines Of the Ultimate ’28 Hour’ Marvel Marathon

When Marvel and AMC Theaters announced that they were going to show all 10 Marvel films consecutively leading up to an early screening of Avengers: Age of Ultron, that it was going to start at 6 pm Wednesday night, and run for close to 28 hours, well of course SSN Senior Editor Neil Turitz had to do it. And of course, he kept a running diary. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 5/1/15: Silver Pictures Ent Launches, CAA Promotes Trainees To Agents, Vice To Get Cable Channel, and More

Another big week in Hollywood, with tons of action in all different sectors of the biz. Some highlights include Cassian Elwes’ new venture, Warner’s Blue Ribbon Content news, and some big hires in both the film and TV world. Click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)


It Looks Like Marvel and Sony Already have Their Two Finalists To Be the Next Spider-Man

Apparently, Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland, both of whom are 18, are the two contenders to land the gig. Spider-Man will make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, which started production this week, but the character’s scenes don’t shoot until June. The character will then get his next solo film on July 28th, 2017.  (COL)

John Singleton Gets In On the TV Act, Sets Up 1980s Crack Cocaine Epidemic Origins Project At FX

A project that was previously set up at Showtime, John Singleton's drama titled Snowfall, described succinctly, if reductively, as "Boyz n the Hood meets The Wire," has earned a pilot order from the network. The drama will explore what has come to be known as the "American crack epidemic" — the surge of crack cocaine use across the USA (specifically Los Angeles, in this case) during the mid to late 1980s. (SAA)

Helen Hunt Is Re-Teaming With Her ‘The Sessions’ Director For a New Drama

Hunt is joining Dakota Fanning in the film Please Stand By for director Ben Lewin. Daniel Dubiecki and Lara Alameddine of Los Angeles-based The Allegiance Theater are producing. Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban’s 2929 Productions are financing. Fanning stars as a brilliant young woman with autism, who escapes her care home with the goal of delivering her script to a Hollywood competition. She’s pursued by her no-nonsense carer, played by Hunt. (VAR)

Meanwhile, Frank Langella Gets Some Impressive Company In His New Indie Drama

Billy Crudup is joining the cast of Youth In Oregon, a dark comedy from actor-turned-director Joel David Moore. Stefan Nowicki, Morgan White and Joey Carey of Sundial Pictures are producing. The script by Andrew Eisen tells of a husband (Crudup) on a cross-country trip to Oregon with his cantankerous father-in-law (Langella), a man who has given up on life. He must convince his father-in-law not to commit euthanasia when they arrive to the state. (THR)

ABC Family’s Mortal Instruments TV Show Just Added To More Key Players

Cable net announced today the casting of Alberto Rosende and Emeraude Toubia to Shadowhunters, the network’s adapation of Cassandra Clare’s novels. Story follows a young girl named Clary who discovers on her 18th birthday that she’s a Shadowhunter — a human-angel hybrid born to hunt demons. (TVL)

‘CSI’ Is On Its Way Out, but How Will CBS Choose To End It?

The network is considering different options to give CSI a final chapter next season, including a short run — as short as six episodes — but it is not a sure thing. It is still entirely possible that the show could be canceled outright, as Law & Order was in 2010. (DH)

It’s Not Easy Being Iron Man — Except For When You’re Doing It With This VR Experience

The world of VR is not governed by the same rules as film. With a well-done VR piece, you sometimes must convince your brain you’re not actually experiencing the things you’re seeing. This is true even when you’re fighting alongside a giant green man, a performance-enhanced patriot, and a dimension-hopping god. (WD)

First Look: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2’

As production continues on the sequel, producer Michael Bay has released the first official look at Arrow star Stephen Amell as the sports-themed vigilante Casey Jones. The film will hit theaters June 3rd, 2016. (CS)

‘Ultron’ Has Second-Best Opening Over, Trank Leaves ‘Star Wars’ Film, Sony Wants Wan For ‘Robotech’, NBC Orders Trio Of Pilots To Series


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To the Surprise Of Exactly No One, ‘Age of Ultron’ Has Second Highest Opening Ever

Disney’s highly anticipated sequel opened to $187.6 million in its opening weekend, second only to the $207 million the first film made in its opening weekend in 2012. Some were predicting an even bigger opening, but Saturday’s epic sports day (Kentucky Derby, NBA Playoffs, NFL Draft, Mayweather-Pacquiao fight) put a dent in the final numbers. The Age of Adaline, Furious 7 and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 all duked it out for second, third and fourth. (BO)

That Second ‘Star Wars’ Standalone Film Now Needs a New Director

Lucasfilm and Josh Trank have parted ways on the project, with word coming that Trank was actually fired after the production company grew concerned over his behavior during the making if Fantastic Four. One of that film’s producers, Simon Kinberg, is also involved with the Star Wars film and is said to have communicated his concerns about Trank to the folks at Lucasfilm, who decided they could not trust Trank with such an enormously valuable property. (CB)

James Wan Might Be the Most In-Demand Director Out There, as Sony Now Wants Him For ‘Robotech’

The Furious 7 helmer is in negotiations with the studio to take over the long in development property, which is based on the 1980s anime TV series. For those unfamiliar with the original series, Robotech is set on a future Earth that has developed giant robots using alien tech recovered from a crashed spacecraft. And said robots become crucial to humanity's survival when waves of alien aggressors set their sights on an invasion. (GR)

And So It Begins: NBC Orders Trio Of New Series For 2015-16 Season

The Peacock Network picked up Chicago Fire spinoff Chicago Med, crime conspiracy thriller Blindspot and medical soap Heartbreaker. Chicago Med is the third series in the Chicago series, Blindspot comes from Greg Berlanti and follows a vast international plot revolving around a Jane Doe discovered in Times Square with strange tattoos all over her body, while Heartbreaker is based on the real-life experiences of heart transplant surgeon Dr. Kathy Magliato. (VAR)

Universal Becomes the First Studio To Settle Its Home Video Royalties Lawsuit

In what might be the beginning of the end of these kinds of cases, the studio will settle the class action suit filed by the estate of director Colin Higgins in January 2013 over his profit participation deal for the studio's musical comedy The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The proposed $26-million settlement would compensate the class of plaintiffs who claim they've been underpaid. (HESQ)

Get Ready For More ‘Kingsman’, as Fox Greenlights a Sequel To the Hit Comic Adaptation

Fox is developing a sequel to the film based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' The Secret Service series. Millar and Gibbons have not announced a sequel to the original comic book series, so this movie sequel could be based on new material. Director Matthew Vaughn, who co-created the comic, has said in interviews that he's up for returning to film a sequel, but no one involved in front of the camera or behind it has been confirmed yet. (NSA)

Fans Of Kristen Wiig Will Love This Feature About How She Became Hollywood’s Most Interesting Actress

She could’ve been the female Will Ferrell. Instead, she capitalized on Bridesmaids to carve out an unexpected career. She now has Welcome To Me in theaters and is about to go make a new Ghostbusters movie. Her career is unlike anyone else’s. Read how it happened. (TDB)

Six Characteristics of Great Storymaking: Takeaways From Brands That Illustrate the Art of Storymaking

It's easy to call storytelling a cliché, but how exactly can one move beyond it when storytelling is entrenched as the epitome of what defines great marketing? Storymaking has kept coming up as a way to describe the shift away from the broadcast-era mentality of storytelling to a new approach where marketers build on stories that people share with each other. (AA)

First Look: ‘Suicide Squad’

Director David Ayer has released the first cast photo in which the actors are actually in costume, including a shot of star Will Smith in full battle regalia as Deadshot. The film, which also stars Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delvingne, Viola Davis and Jared Leto, is currently shooting in Toronto and will hit theaters August 5th, 2016. (DH)

Screenwriters: Zen In the Art Of Screenwriting

Writing is a lot like boxing. The bell dings and you enter the ring the moment you first put writing utensil to paper. And boy, you come out swingin’. The trick is to duck, dodge, and keep swinging. Sometimes the prize can blur behind a vale of tears, or when a left hook cuts you above the eye and sticky red stuff pours down your face; let’s call this rejection. Rejection sucks. (SM)

On the Set for 5/4/15: Independence Day 2 Starts Shooting While Directors Jodie Foster and Martin Scorsese Wrap Their Films


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Custody 4/30/2015 Logline: A judge presides over a custody case that takes a powerful emotional toll on everybody involved. Production Company(s): Lucky Monkey Pictures, JuVee, Mustard & Co, Greenlight Group Director: James Lapine Executive Producer(s): Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, Daryl Roth, Sandy Robertson, Gregory P Shockro Producer(s): Lauren Versel, Katie Mustard, James Lapine, Roy Furman Cast: Viola Davis, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Hayden Panettiere, Ellen Burstyn, Tony Shalhoub Writer(s): James Lapine SSN Insight: Lapine has won three Tony Awards and been nominated for 12 times. He was nominated for an Emmy and won a Peabody for his HBO documentary “Six by Sondheim”.

Good Humor 5/4/2015 Logline: A love story of Kenny Parker and Lolita Nowicki, each struggling with their own brand of demons, who first meet by chance in Chicago and form a pact to travel across country to the Golden Gate Bridge to commit suicide together. Production Company(s): Mockingbird Pictures Director: Rob Spera Producer(s): Julie Lynn, Bonnie Curtis Cast: Chris Messina, Abigail Spencer Writer(s): Jared Rappaport SSN Insight: Part of JuntoBox Films’ Feature Film Incubator co-chaired by Forest Whitaker. The Incubator is an in-depth story development and production readiness program for narrative feature film projects with budgets of $2.5 million or less.

Independence Day 2 5/4/2015 Logline: Enemy aliens return to Earth. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): Centropolis Entertainment, Electric Entertainment Director: Roland Emmerich Executive Producer(s): Ute Emmerich Producer(s): Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser Cast: Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher Writer(s): James A Woods, Nicolas Wright, Carter Blanchard, James Vanderbilt, Dean Devlin Notes: Sequel to "Independence Day" (1996) directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Will Smith and Bill Pullman. SSN Insight: Will Smith was previously mentioned to star. Michael B. Jordan was previously in discussions to join the cast.

Inferno 4/29/2015 Logline: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is drawn into the nightmarish world of Dante's "Inferno" when he follows its clues to stop a worldwide plague. Studio: Columbia Pictures Production Company(s): Imagine Entertainment Director: Ron Howard Executive Producer(s): Anna Culp, Todd Hallowell Producer(s): Ron Howard, Brian Grazer Cast: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Omar Sy, Irrfan Khan, Sidse Babett Knudsen Writer(s): David Koepp Notes: Based on the novel "Inferno" written by Dan Brown and published by Doubleday on May 14, 2013. The Robert Langdom novel series includes Angels & Demons (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2003), The Lost Symbol (2009) and Inferno (2013). SSN Insight: The previous film in the series, Angels & Demons, based on the first book in the seriesgrossed $486 million worldwide.

Nine Lives 5/4/2015 Logline: After a terrible accident, a workaholic businessman finds himself trapped in the body of the family cat. Production Company(s): EuropaCorp Director: Barry Sonnenfeld Cast: Kevin Spacey, Christopher Walken, Malina Weissman, Robbie Amell, Jennifer Garner Writer(s): Daniel Antoniazzi, Ben Shiffrin, Gwyn Lurie SSN Insight: Project marks the first time Christopher Walken and Kevin Spacey have acted together onscreen in feature film.

The Birth of a Nation 5/4/2015 Logline: The true story of Nat Turner, the educated slave and preacher who led a violent slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831. Production Company(s): Phantom Four Director: Nate Parker Producer(s): Kevin Turen, Nnamdi Asomugha Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Aunjanue Ellis, Colman Domingo Writer(s): Nate Parker SSN Insight: This film marks the feature directorial debut for Parker who was last seen in the cast of the film Beyond the Lights.

The Lake 4/30/2015 Logline: A group of Navy SEALS try to solve a long-forgotten mystery while they’re looking for treasure in a lake in war-torn Serbia. Production Company(s): EuropaCorp Director: Steven Quale Producer(s): Luc Besson Cast: Sullivan Stapleton, J.K. Simmons, Charlie Bewley, Clemens Schick, Diarmaid Murtagh Writer(s): Richard Wenk, Luc Besson SSN Insight: Besson is also a producer on Tell No One (Remake) awaiting release, Warrior’s Gate in preproduction, Shut In in production and The Transporter Refueled, and Underground in active development.

The Tree House 5/4/2015 Logline: A group of neighborhood friends find themselves at war with some bullies who want to take their tree house away from them. Production Company(s): Bottomed Out Entertainment Director: David Mickey Evans Executive Producer(s): Teresa Walker Producer(s): Scott Walker, Brett O’Keeffe, Carlo Peter-Andrew Dall’Olmo, Jay W. Lee Cast: Chris Noth, C.J. Adams, Erika Bierman, Garret Ryans Writer(s): Scott Walker, Brett O’Keeffe SSN Insight: Noth recently wrapped on the feature film Chronically Metropolitan and has been cast in Attachment and Sea Isle which are in active development.

Warrior's Gate 5/4/2015 Logline: A teenager magically appears in China to transform into a Kung Fu warrior and save a princess from danger. Production Company(s): EuropaCorp, Fundamental Films Director: Matthias Hoene Producer(s): Luc Besson, Mark Gao Writer(s): Robert Kamen, Luc Besson SSN Insight: Besson is also a producer on Tell No One (Remake) awaiting release, The Lake in preproduction, Shut In in production and The Transporter Refueled, and Underground in active development.


Katie Says Goodbye 4/30/2015 Logline: A teenage waitress prostitutes herself while chasing her dreams in San Francisco. Production Company(s): Relic Pictures, Parallell Cinema Director: Wayne Roberts Executive Producer(s): Sean Durkin, Antonio Campos, Josh Mond Producer(s): Eric Schultz, Jacob Wasserman, Kimberly Parker, Carlo Sirtori Cast: Olivia Cooke, Mireille Enos, Christopher Abbott, James Belushi, Mary Steenburgen Writer(s): Wayne Roberts SSN Insight: This marks Cooke’s first deal since her breakout performance in the Sundance hit, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Durkin also directed and wrote the indie hit Martha Marcy May Marlene

Manchester-by-the-Sea 4/30/2015 Logline: A slacker who is working as a plumber in Boston returns to Manchester after his brother’s death, where he finds him in the care of his 16-year old nephew and is devastated by a past tragedy. Production Company(s): Pearl Street Films, The Media Farm Director: Kenneth Lonergan Executive Producer(s): Declan Baldwin Producer(s): Gigi Pritzker, Chris Moore, Matt Damon Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler Writer(s): Kenneth Lonergan SSN Insight: Pre-production was scheduled to start on September 8, 2014. Matt Damon was previously attached to star. Previously in development at OddLot Entertainment.

Money Monster 5/3/2015 Logline: After a man loses all his money in the stock market by following the advice of a Wall Street TV host, he takes the money adviser hostage on live television. Studio: TriStar Productions Production Company(s): Smokehouse Pictures, The Allegiance Theater Director: Jodie Foster Executive Producer(s): Timothy Crane Producer(s): Daniel Dubiecki, Lara Alameddine, George Clooney, Grant Heslov Cast: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Caitriona Balfe, Dominic West Writer(s): Jamie Linden, Jim Kouf, Alan DiFiore SSN Insight: IM Global was previously attached to finance with Stuart Ford attached as a producer.

Pete's Dragon (Remake) 5/1/2015 Logline: Pete, following the death of his parents in a car crash when he was four, escaped to the forest and became best friends with a dragon, who raised him - but Pete and the dragon now face unprecedented threats to the way of life they've come to know and love. Studio: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production Company(s): Whitaker Entertainment Director: David Lowery Producer(s): Jim Whitaker Cast: Oakes Fegley, Oona Laurence, Robert Redford, Wes Bentley, Michael C Hall Writer(s): David Lowery, Toby Halbrooks, Pete Chiarelli Notes: Remake of the film "Pete's Dragon" (1977) directed by Don Chaffey and starring Sean Marshall, Helen Reddy and Jim Dale. SSN Insight: David Lowery wrote and directed the gritty Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and has signed on to direct To Be Two, The Yellow Birds and the Old Man and the Gun all in active delopment.

Silence 5/4/2015 Logline: Two 17th century Portuguese missionaries return to Japan to minister to Christians, who've been outlawed. Production Company(s): Winkler Films, Sikelia Productions, Cecchi Gori Pictures, FM Films, LLC Director: Martin Scorsese Executive Producer(s): Dale Brown, Matthew Malek, Tyler Zacharia, George Furla, Chad Verdi Producer(s): Irwin Winkler, Gaston Pavlovich, Randall Emmett, Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff Cast: Andrew Garfield, Issey Ogata, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano Writer(s): Martin Scorsese, Jay Cocks Notes: Based on the novel "Silence" written by Shusaku Endo and published by Tuttle Publishing 1969. SSN Insight: Graham King was previously attached to produce for GK Films. Daniel Day-Lewis, Gael Garcia Bernal and Benicio Del Toro were previously in discussions to star.

Table 19 4/30/2015 Logline: A story told from the point of view of the collection of strangers grouped together at a wedding's "singles table". Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures Production Company(s): 21 Laps Entertainment, 3311 Productions Director: Jeff Blitz Executive Producer(s): Mark Roberts, Jennifer Dana Producer(s): Shawn Levy, Tom McNulty Cast: Anna Kendrick, Mark Duplass, Craig Robinson, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant Writer(s): Jeff Blitz, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass SSN Insight: Jay & Mark Duplass were previously attached to direct.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe 5/2/2015 Logline: When father and son coroners investigate the death of beautiful "Jane Doe" they find increasingly bizarre clues. Production Company(s): 42, Impostor Pictures Director: Andre Ovredal Executive Producer(s): Stuart Ford, Matt Jackson, Ben Shields Catlin Producer(s): Fred Berger, Eric Garcia, Rory Aitken, Benjamin Pugh Cast: Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox Writes(s): Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2013 Blood List Martin Sheen was previously attached to the role played by Brian Cox. Goldcrest was previously involved as financier and distributor.

The Infiltrator 4/28/2015 Logline: A customs and excise agent goes undercover as a money launderer and helped orchestrate one of history’s most elaborate stings, getting to the bankers behind the Medellin drug cartel. Production Company(s): Good Films Director: Brad Furman Producer(s): Miriam Segal Cast: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt Writer(s): Ellen Brown Furman, Alex Holmes Notes: Based on the book "The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar's Medellin Cartel" written by Robert Mazur and published by Arcade on April 15 2009. SSN Insight: Previously in development at 2929 Productions.

The Meddler 4/30/2015 Logline: An aging widow from New York City follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away. Production Company(s): Anonymous Content Director: Lorene Scafaria Executive Producer(s): Steve Golin, Susan Sarandon, Shea Kammer Producer(s): Joy Gorman, Paul Green Cast: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons, Michael McKean, Lucy Punch Writer(s): Lorene Scafaria SSN Insight: Scafaria previously directed Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World. Production begins in Los Angeles. The film was jointly packaged by CAA and UTA, which is coordinating financing and handling domestic rights.

The Neon Demon 4/30/2015 Logline: An aspiring model finds herself in a terrifying predicament with her survival hanging in the balance. Production Company(s): Space Rocket Nation Director: Nicolas Winding Refn Producer(s): Lene Borglum Cast: Elle Fanning, Abbey Lee, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone Writer(s): Nicolas Winding Refn, Mary Laws SSN Insight: France’s Gaumont and Wild Bunch will co-finance and co-distribute the film. They previously partnered on Refn’s 2013 film, Only God Forgives.

Story Guru Bobette Buster, ‘Star Wars’ Day News, ‘John Wick 2′ Confirmed, HBO Picks Up Fincher’s ’80s Show, On the Set For 5/4/15


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Meet Story Guru Bobette Buster: Hollywood’s Best Kept Secret

She grew up in small town Kentucky, listening to her grandparents and neighbors tell stories over pie and coffee. Years later, after completing the Peter Stark Producing program at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and working as a creative executive for Ray Stark, Larry Gelbart, and Tony Scott, she parlayed her skills into teaching, lecturing, and becoming a story guru around the world, as well as at Disney, Pixar, Sony and Twentieth Century Fox. (SSN)

On the Set For 5/4/15: ‘Independence Day 2’ Stars Shooting While Directors Jodie Foster and Martin Scorsese Wrap Their Films

It’s a busy week for shooting, as a host of new projects get up and running, including two new Luc Besson productions, Barry Sonnenfeld’s Nine Lives with Kevin Spacey, and the new Robert Langdon film, Inferno. Meanwhile, the Pete’s Dragon remake also completes principal photography, as does Bryan Cranston’s The Infiltrator. (SSN)


Happy ‘Star Wars’ Day! Actors’ Characters Revealed, and May the Fourth Be With You

Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie and Lupita Nyong’o all will appear in the upcoming The Force Awakens, which hits theaters December 18th. Both Driver and Christie will play characters loyal to The First Order, which is what remains of The Empire from the original trilogy. Meanwhile, Nyong’o will be portraying an entirely CGI character, an intergalactic pirate known as Maz Kanata. Merchandise for the franchise will start rolling out on September 4th. (VAR)

Yes, There Will Be a ‘John Wick 2’, and Yes, Everyone Important Is Returning

Keanu Reeves will reload as vengeful former assassin John Wick in John Wick 2, and, even better, he won’t be working under the direction of a new filmmaker. The original creative team of David Leitch and Chad Stahelski are also back, with screenwriter Derek Kolstad set to return to script. International sales are set to take place this month at Cannes, which means this should be the directing duo’s next film after they do Bloodshot for Valiant Entertainment and Sony. (SF)

David Fincher’s New TV Comedy Set In the Music Video World Just Took Another Step Forward

HBO has given a series order to Video Synchronicity (previously known as Living on Video), which will bring Fincher back to the roles of TV director and executive producer, after kickstarting House of Cards. The series is based on his own idea, and Fincher will write the first season alongside Bob Stephenson and Rich Wilkes.  Charlie Rowe will play series star Robby, who will run the gamut of the decade's attractions and heartbreak in Los Angeles. (IW)

CBS Films Nabs American Distribution Rights To Actioner ‘Comancheria’

The movie, which stars Chris Pine and Ben Foster as two brothers who go on a bank robbery spree in order to save their family's West Texas farm. Jeff Bridges will play a West Texas Ranger who is determined to catch them. Scottish helmer David Mackenzie will direct the project from a Black List script by Taylor Sheridan. (THR)

Syfy Greenlights Lev Grossman’s Best-Selling Fantasy Trilogy ‘The Magicians’ To Series

Cable net has given a 12-episode series order to the project, which hails from Michael London’s Groundswell Productions, Universal Cable Productions and writers John McNamara and Sera Gamble. Show stars Jason Ralph as a brilliant grad student who enrolls in a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real, and poses a grave danger to humanity. (DH)

‘Red Dwarf’ Fans Can Rejoice Today, as Two New Seasons Are Announced

Three years on from Red Dwarf X, Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat will return to UK freeview channel Dave for series XI and XII, to be broadcast over the next two years. The sci-fi sitcom's original run was on the BBC for eight series between 1988 and 1999. It was then picked up by Dave in 2009 for an odd three-episode mash-up taking in Coronation Street and Blade Runner, before its full six-episode run three years ago. (EMP)

The Flaws In Marvel’s “It’s All Connected” Cinematic Universe

As Avengers: Age of Ultron shows, there are only so many stories you can tell in a shared universe before they start, if not contradicting, then at least overlapping each other. This piece is filled with spoilers, but has an interesting point to make about the MCCU. (HV)

Trailer Buzz: ‘San Andreas’

Warner Bros. has released the final trailer from this summer’s disaster epic, starring Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino and Alexandra Daddario. The film hits theaters May 29th. (COL)

Second ‘Star Wars’ Standalone To Be About Boba Fett, ‘Simpsons’ Gets Two More Years, Louis C.K.’s New Film, ‘Midnight Rider’ Producer Claiming Sabotage



The Second ‘Star Wars’ Anthology Film Will Be an Origin Story Of Boba Fett

Just a couple days after Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Josh Trank has left the project comes word that it would center on the popular character who was thought to be killed off in Return of the Jedi when he fell into the Sarlacc Pit. The first standalone anthology film will be Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars: Rogue One, which will star Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn and Riz Ahmed, and follow resistance fighters who unite to steal the plans for the Death Star. (TW)

Fox Renews ‘The Simpsons’ For Seasons 27 and 28

This news did not come as a surprise, as the show continues to perform well in its regular Sunday night time slot. “I’ve outlasted Letterman, Jon Stewart and ‘McDreamy,’ because I have something they don’t: a costly 200-donut-a-day addiction,” reads a statement from the man himself, Homer Simpson. (TVL)

Louis C.K. Is Making a Return To Movies, Will Write, Direct and Star In ‘I Am a Cop’

The actor-comedian’s first film since the 2001 Chris Rock bomb Pootie Tang will tell the story of a depressed middle-aged man who is a volunteer police officer living in the shadow of his mother, a highly decorated retired officer. When she dies, her continued influence forces him to become a real police officer, which is something he never wanted to be. No word yet on when the film will shoot or any kind of release info. (COL)

The ‘Midnight Rider’ Producer Is Now Claiming That the Insurance Company Sabotaged His Film

Two months after Midnight Rider director Randall Miller pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in the death of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant killed on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic, the production company, Film Allman LLC asked the judge's permission to amend a lawsuit against New York Marine and General Insurance Company with new claims of breaching contract, anticipatory repudiation and breach of good faith. (THR)

Cary Fukunaga Has His Scary Psycho Clown For That ‘It’ Adaptation

Will Poulter will play Pennywise, the evil monster who lured in children disguised as a clown, in the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s horror classic. The story, which will be split into two different films, follows a group of outcast kids who come together over summer break to take on the monster that’s haunting their town, battling their own personal monsters in the process. (VAR)

Enterprising Trio Leaves First Artists Management To Set Up New Agency

In a shakeup of the talent agency world specializing in film and TV composers, Robert Messinger has bolted First Artists Management and taken two of his colleagues with him to form Fortress Talent Management. Messinger, who had been a partner and co-owner of First Artists, will be joined in the new venture by former First Artists agents Rich Jacobellis and Randy Gerston. (DH)

‘Independence Day 2’ Has Elected a President, and She Looks Like Sela Ward

The actress, who previously worked with director Roland Emmerich on The Day After Tomorrow, has joined the cast of the film, which is currently filming. She will play the film’s new President of the United States, President Landford. The original film’s President Thomas J. Whitmore will also be returning with Bill Pullman reprising his role opposite fellow alums Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner as well as a cast of franchise newcomers. (CS)

After Hillary Clinton’s Logo Broke the Internet, Moving Brands Considered a New, Logo-Less Approach In a Five Day Design Sprint

When Hillary Clinton announced her bid for the 2016 presidential election, the Internet freaked out — mostly over her campaign logo. Rumored to be designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut, the logo was called everything from an ode to the hospital sign to an Easter egg revealing Clinton’s true, right-leaning agenda. (FCD)

First Image: ‘Silence’

Paramount has released the first image from Martin Scorsese’s decades in the making new film, which stars Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson and Adam Driver. Based on Shusako Endo’s 1966 novel, Silence tells the story of a Portuguese Jesuit missionary who is persecuted along with other Christians in 17th-century Japan. Garfield portrays Father Rodrigues, pictured in an exclusive image with Shinya Tsukamoto, who plays a villager named Mokichi. (EW)

Online Film School: Six Filmmaking Tips From Richard Lester

The director of such diverse fare as A Hard Day’s Night, The Knack … And How To Get It, How I Won the War, The Three Musketeers and a pair of Superman sequels offers a half dozen tidbits to which any young filmmaker should listen. (FSR)

TV Development for 5/5/15: Cable Trio to Air Roots and War and Peace Miniseries, Viola Davis will be Harriet Tubman & IM Global Sets Slate



101 Ways To Kill Your Ex Network: IFC Executive Producer(s): Erin Simon Berenson, Kimberly Karp Writer(s): Erin Simon Berenson, Kimberly Karp Logline: Jilted by their respective partners, a woman and a man team up to exact down and dirty revenge on the lovers who did them wrong. SSN Insight: The duo is also behind the spec script The Incredible True Story of Jessica & Drew Who Accidentally Boned On The Way To The Wedding, which sold in 2012 to Fox 2000. They’re repped by WME and Madhouse Entertainment

Blindspot Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): Berlanti Productions Executive Producer(s): Martin Gero, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Mark Pellington Writer(s): Martin Gero Logline: A beautiful, mysterious woman with no memory of her past is found naked in the middle of Times Square, her body covered in fresh tattoos - including the inked name of an FBI agent on her back. The FBI becomes involved in the case, using the tattoos on her body as a road map of clues to unlock a conspiracy and discover her identity. SSN Insight: NBC originally gave a script plus penalty commitment in August, ordered the pilot in January. On May 1 Blindspot was given a series order.

Brothers In Atlanta Network: HBO Production Company(s): Field Entertainment, The Story Company Executive Producer(s): Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin, Lorne Michaels, Andrew Singer, Tim Story Writer(s): Diallo Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin Logline: After some time apart, two old college friends reunite in the black mecca of the New South, Atlanta. Both determined to make it big, their unique perspectives on the quirks of both Atlanta and the black community inevitably lead to personal and professional conflicts. SSN Insight: HBO ordered the pilot in January and gave a series order on April 30. The writing duo previously worked on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Chicago Med Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): Wolf Films, Inc. Executive Producer(s): Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, Matt Olmstead, Dick Wolf, Peter Jankowski Writer(s): Derek Haas, Michael Brandt Logline: Storyline under wraps, it’s a spinoff to the NBC series Chicago Fire. SSN Insight: The characters for the potential spinoff are introduced in episode 319 of Chicago Fire. Law & Order 16 year strong alumna S. Epatha Merkerson is set to work again with EP Wolf and will star in the series. NBC ordered the series on May 1.

Untitled Female Basketball Team Comedy Project Network: Comedy Central Production Company(s): Electric Dynamite Executive Producer(s): Jeremy Konner, Amanda Lund, Maria Blasucci, Angela Trimbur, Jack Black Writer(s): Amanda Lund Logline: A group of misfit women in Los Angeles find new leases on life through their less-than-stellar all-girls basketball team. SSN Insight: Konner is on a role at Comedy Central as her last two projects went to series: Drunk History and the upcoming Another Period.

Damien Network: A+E Studio: Fox 21 Television Studios Production Company(s): Fineman Entertainment, 44 Strong Productions, Pancho Pictures Executive Producer(s): Glen Mazzara, Ross Fineman, Pancho Mansfield, Shekhar Kapur Writer(s): Glen Mazzara Logline: Follows the adult life of Damien Thorn, the mysterious child from the 1976 feature who has grown up, seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him. Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny - that he is the Antichrist, the most feared man throughout the ages. Based on the film. Details: Based on the film, "The Omen," directed by Richard Donner and released in 1976. SSN Insight: Project was originally set to air on Lifetime, but will now air on A&E.

Gigi's Bucket List Network: IFC Production Company(s): Grandma's House Entertainment Executive Producer(s): David Krumholtz, Tim Gibbons, Ricky Mabe, Ben Newmark, Dan Newmark Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: Gertrude Rotblum, aka "Gigi," just lost her beloved husband Harold, but has gained a new lease on life with the help of an unknown bank account discovered in his will. With her dead husband’s secret millions, this 76-year-old yenta with a heart of gold and a razor-sharp tongue sets out to experience everything she deprived herself of in her younger years. Details: Based on the character, Gigi, who first appeared on the website "weatherfrom.com". SSN Insight: Network has ordered 8 half-hour episodes to shoot this June in LA with a premiere later this year.

Green Eggs and Ham Network: Netflix Studio: Warner Bros. Animation Production Company(s): A Very Good Production, Gulfstream Television Executive Producer(s): Ellen DeGeneres, Jared Stern, Jeff Kleeman, Mike Karz, David Dobkin Writer(s): Jared Stern Logline: A animated series based on the Dr. Suess book "Green eggs and Ham". Details: Based on the children's book "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss. SSN Insight: Netflix has ordered 13 episodes. It will take three years to produce the series with production to start in May for a 2018 premiere.

Untitled Harriet Tubman Project Network: HBO Production Company(s): Amblin Television, JuVee, Halyard Park Executive Producer(s): Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Doug Ellin, Jim Lefkowitz, Cliff Dorfman Writer(s): Kirk Ellis Logline: Tells the story of Harriet Tubman. Born a slave, she escaped and, via an intricate escape network of secret routes and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad, she led more than 300 slaves to freedom in the North and later fought with the Union during the Civil War. Details: Based on the book, "Bound For The Promised Land: Harriet Tubman: Portrait of an American Hero," written by Kate Clifford Larson and published by Ballantine Books in 2003. SSN Insight: Viola Davis is set to star as Harriet Tubman. Doug Ellin created the Entourage series, the film based on the series will be released in summer.

Heartbreaker Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Executive Producer(s): Jill Gordon, Brad Silberling, Amy Brenneman, Robert Duncan McNeill Writer(s): Jill Gordon Logline: Follows the outspoken Alex Panttiere, one of the rare female heart-transplant surgeons, who brings an innovative eye to treating patients week to week while also balancing the complications of her professional and romantic life. Details: Based on the memoir, "Heart Matters: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon," written by Kathy E. Magliato, MD and published by Crown Archetype on January 26, 2010. SSN Insight: NBC ordered the pilot in January and gave a series order on May 1.

Home Free Network: Fox Broadcasting Company Production Company(s): Relativity Television Executive Producer(s): Mike Holmes, George Verschoor, Trice Barto, Brad Bishop, Andrew Marcus Logline: Nine couples are challenged to revive one run-down house every week. During each episode, Mile Holmes will present the couples with tasks designed to test and challenge the skills of these do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Not only must the couples work together to restore the home, they all must live together 24/7 in the same dilapidated home. The final two couples remaining will fight to the finish to win their ultimate dream home. SSN Insight: Fox ordered 8 episodes on April 29.

Living On Video Network: HBO Production Company(s): Panic Pictures Executive Producer(s): David Fincher, Rich Wilkes, Josh Donen, Ceán Chaffin, Bob Stevenson Writer(s): Rich Wilkes, Bob Stevenson, David Fincher Logline: Set in 1983 Los Angeles, centers on Bobby, a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic. He lands a job as a PA for a company making music videos. Revolves around the players of the then-exploding music video industry - directors, record executives and crew members, many of them dabbling in drugs - through the eyes of the newcomer. SSN Insight: HBO has given a series order of 10 episodes. Tyler Ross was previously attached to star but was recast. Charlie Rowe, Jason Flemyng, and Corbin Bernsen have been cast in the series.

Paradise Pictures Network: USA Studio: Universal Cable Productions Executive Producer(s): Rick Muirragui, Aaron Korsh Writer(s): Rick Muirragui Logline: Ambitious people strive to get to the top in 1940s Hollywood, when the dream factory was at its peak. Little do they know the challenges they’re about to face: the end of studio monopolies, the blacklist and the new disruptive technology of television. SSN Insight: USA ordered the drama pilot on April 28. Korsh has an overall deal at Universal Cable Productions.

Roots Network: A+E, History, Lifetime Studio: A+E Networks Production Company(s): The Wolper Organization, Toberoff & Associates, P.C. Executive Producer(s): Mark M. Wolper, Marc Toberoff, William Packer Writer(s): Mark D. Rosenthal, Lawrence Konner, Alison McDonald, Charles Murray Logline: The dramatization of Alex Haley's chronicle of his family history from his ancestors' life in tribal Africa of the eighteenth century to their emancipation in the post-Civil War South Details: Based on the book, "Roots: The Saga of an American Family," written by Alex Haley and published by Doubleday in 1976. SSN Insight: The network plans to make the miniseries 8 hours. The series will broadcast on History, A&E and Lifetime simultaneously. LeVar Burton who previously starred in the original series will produce.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes Studio: Paramount Television Production Company(s): Anonymous Content Executive Producer(s): Evan Dunsky, Kerry Kohansky Roberts, Rosalie Swedlin, Alex Goldstone Writer(s): Evan Dunsky Logline: The show is a behind-the-scenes look at Caitlin Doughty, a twenty-something mortician with a degree in medieval history and a flair for the macabre who takes a job at a crematory, turning morbid curiosity into her life’s work. Thrown into a profession of gallows humor and vivid characters Caitlin learns to navigate the secretive culture of those who care for the deceased. Details: Based on the memoir, "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From The Crematory," written by Caitlin Doughty and published by W. W. Norton & Company on September 15, 2014.

Snowfall Network: FX Production Company(s): Underground Executive Producer(s): John Singleton, Eric Amadio, Michael London, Trevor Engelson, Evan Silverberg Writer(s): John Singleton, Eric Amadio Logline: Told through the eyes of a young black kid from Compton, a Mexican wrestler and a CIA agent charged with running money to the Contras, Snowfall will examine the beginnings of the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles. SSN Insight: Previously in development at Showtime. FX ordered the pilot on May 1.

Spiral Network: Showtime Studio: Endemol Studios Production Company(s): Levinson/Fontana Company Executive Producer(s): Tom Fontana, James Yoshimura, Steve McPherson, Barry Levinson Writer(s): Tom Fontana, James Yoshimura Logline: Follows a murder investigation and reveals the cooperation, conflict, transgression and corruption within the French legal system from the perspective of the lead characters: a police captain and her two lieutenants, a judge, a prosecutor, and a defense lawyer. Details: Based on the French crime thriller series "Engrenages." SSN Insight: The show is the longest-running and highest-rated original series on Canal Plus in France and is heading into its sixth season.

The Arrangement Network: E! Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Objective Productions, All3Media America Executive Producer(s): Jonathan Abrahams, Jimmy Fox, Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman Writer(s): Jonathan Abrahams Logline: Megan Morrison is a beautiful young actress who auditions for the female lead in a summer blockbuster playing opposite Kyle West, the hottest actor of the moment. After an amazing audition segues into a dream-like first date, Megan’s Cinderella story takes a turn to the bizarre when she is presented with a contract that details an entire relationship with Kyle. Megan must weigh her options and the benefits and consequences to her career and her life overall and decide whether or not she will accept "the arrangement." SSN Insight: E! ordered the pilot on April 30.

The Magicians Network: SyFy Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): Groundswell Productions Executive Producer(s): Sera Gamble, John McNamara, Michael London, Janice Williams Writer(s): John McNamara, Sera Gamble Logline: Disaffected Quentin feels out of sync with his beautiful, accomplished friends, and is often dangerously depressed. His abiding interest since childhood has always been a series of novels set in the magical land of Fillory -- but when Quentin is recruited as a new student at the mysterious Brakebills academy, he soon realizes that "magic is real," and that it is a craft as deadly as it is fascinating. Details: Based on the book series, "The Magicians," written by Lev Grossman and originally published by Plume in 2009. SSN Insight: Project was previously being developed by Fox in 2011 with writers Ashley Miller & Zach Stentz and Michael London producing. SyFy ordered the pilot in July and picked up the series May 4.

The Unauthorized Full House Story Network: Lifetime Entertainment Television Production Company(s): Front Street Pictures Executive Producer(s): Stephen Bulka, Harvey Kahn Writer(s): Ron McGee Logline: When this situation comedy goes on the air, it becomes an unexpected hit. The actors cast in the show soon find they are overnight sensations. Despite the ups and downs in their professional and personal lives, over the next eight years the cast becomes one of America's most beloved fictional families. In the process, the disparate actors who star in the show bond closely and form an almost surrogate genuine family. SSN Insight: Bulka and Kahn teamed up previously on The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story.

War and Peace Network: History, A&E, Lifetime Production Company(s): The Weinstein Company , Lookout Point, BBC In House Productions, BBC Cymru Wales Executive Producer(s): Andrew Davies, Faith Penhale, Bethan Jones, George Ormond, Simon Vaughan Writer(s): Andrew Davies Logline: Adaptation of Tolstoy's novel centers around the lives of several families leading up to and during Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia. Details: Based on the novel, "War and Peace," written by Leo Tolstoy and published in 1869. SSN Insight: Network has ordered six 1-hour episodes, which will air as eight 44-minute episodes internationally. The series will broadcast on History, A&E and Lifetime simultaneously.


Cat’s Cradle Studio: IM Global Television Production Company(s): Elkins Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Brad Yonover, Sandi Love Writer(s): Brad Yonover Logline: Based on the novel that explores issues within science, technology, and religion. It also satirizes the arms race and other targets during the story. Details: Based on the novel "Cat's Cradle" written by Kurt Vonnegut published by Holt Rinehart 1963. SSN Insight: Comes on the heels of news that IM Global is developing Darkover, Den of Thieves starring Carla Gugino, Horrorshow (working title), miniseries 1906, and Anchorage.

Darkover Studio: IM Global Television Production Company(s): Kahn Power Pictures Executive Producer(s): Elizabeth Stanley, Ilene Kahn Power Logline: Based on the The Darkover series, a science fiction-fantasy set in the fictional world of Darkover, the only human-habitable of seven planets orbiting a red giant star settled by a lost colony ship of Spanish and Scots Gaelic speakers. Details: Based on the novel series, The Darkover, by author Marion Zimmer Bradley. SSN Insight: The series contains over 25 books. The books were written between 1958 and 1996, upon the author’s death she left plans for future novels.

Horrorshow (Working Title) Studio: IM Global Television Executive Producer(s): Guy Busick, R. Christopher Murphy Writer(s): Guy Busick, R. Christopher Murphy Logline: A serialized drama in the vein of classic horror films in the 1970’s and 80’s. The story takes place in real time during an intense night during which a psychopath is loosed upon an unsuspecting town. SSN Insight: Comes on the heels of news that IM Global is developing Cat’s Cradle, Den of Thieves starring Carla Gugino, miniseries 1906, and Anchorage.

1906 Studio: IM Global Television Production Company(s): White Wolf Productions Executive Producer(s): David S. Ward, Mark R. Harris (producer), Julie Ruthenbeck (producer), Susan Lee Smith (producer) Writer(s): David S. Ward Logline: Chronicles one of the worst disasters in modern history, the cataclysmic San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. SSN Insight: The project is packaged by CAA and IPG. Martin Cambell, who directed Casino Royale will direct. It will be a six hour miniseries.

Anchorage Studio: IM Global Television Production Company(s): Court Five Executive Producer(s): Jane Fleming, Mark Ordesky Logline: A crime procedural based on the true story of Sgt. Kathy Lacey and her experiences as head of the Vice division in Anchorage, Alaska, one of the most dangerous cities in America. SSN Insight: Mark Ordesky was an EP on The Lord of the Rings franchise as well as The Golden Compass. Lacey will be on board as a consulting producer.

Franchise Wars: Marvel, Three Screenwriting Essentials, LA Film Fest Announces Lineup, Aniston’s New Director, TV Development For 5/5/15


Franchise Wars Opening Graphic


Franchise Wars: Delving Behind the Super-Sized Grosses Of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

After last week’s look at the Fast & Furious franchise, it’s time to take a gander at the MCCU, especially in light of this past weekend’s mammoth opening of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Starting with 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel Studios has become one of the most successful ventures in Hollywood, even after it was purchased by Disney in 2009. (SSN)

The State Of Storytelling and the Three Essential Truths Screenwriters Should Know

Hard as it may be to believe, a writer in Hollywood has better odds of starting in an NBA line-up than getting your project onto any screen (large or small) in today’s market. Those are pretty imposing numbers, so there are a few things writers should know as they venture forth. Bobette Buster has the info you’re looking for, exclusively in SSN. (SSN)

TV Development For 5/5/15: Cable Trio To Air ‘Roots’ and ‘War and Peace’ Miniseries, Viola Davis Will Be Harriet Tubman, and More

It’s an especially busy week on this front, as lots of new projects get off the ground, including an adaptation of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, a new spinoff from NBC’s Chicago world, several big specs, and a couple big projects from HBO and other cable nets. Click on the link for the full story. (SSN)


The Los Angeles Film Festival Has Announced Its 2015 Lineup, Did Your Film Make the Cut?

This year’s festival will have 39 world premieres including Baron Davis’ documentary The Drew: No Excuse, Just Produce and Will Slocombe’s The Escort, starring Lyndsy Fonseca. The lineup includes 74 feature films, 60 short films and over 50 new media works representing 35 countries. New sections include the U.S. fiction and world fiction competitions and launch, as well as the previously announced Buzz, Nightfall and Zeitgeist programs. (VAR)

Jennifer Aniston’s Director On Her New Comedy, ‘Mean Moms’, Will Be a Familiar Face

Sean Anders, who directed the actress in last year’s Horrible Bosses 2, will helm the New Line comedy. Story will adapt Rosalind Wiseman’s nonfiction book Queen Bee Moms And King Pin Dads, a followup to her 2002 book Queen Bees and Wannabees. That book also served as the source material for the 2004 comedy Mean Girls. Film is being produced by Offspring Entertainment’s Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman. (CS)

Emily Blunt as a Professional Bull Rider? You Better Believe It

The British actress will star in Bronco Belle, and will play an American bull rider named Raylene Jackson who battles through heartbreak, prejudice, broken dreams and bones to reach the top of the sport. is written and will be directed by Khurram Longi, who will now make this his feature debut. He previously helmed episodes of the UK series My Life as a Popat. (FSR)

Two-Time Oscar Nominee Dan Futterman Just Found His Latest Based-On-a-True-Story Subject

The writer of Capote and Foxcatcher has optioned Robert Young Pelton’s Vice Magazine article, The All-American Life and Death of Eric Harroun. Harroun was an American soldier who fought against the Syrian government as part of a rebel group sanctioned and supported by the U.S. government, but was later arrested and incarcerated. Just as the legal cloud over his head was finally lifting, he was found dead of what was seemed to be a suspicious drug overdose. (DH)

Juliette Binoche Nabs the Role Of Nobel Prize Winner Pearl Buck In New Biopic

Roxanne Messina Captor is set to direct the project when production kicks off next year in Zhejiang Province, Shanghai and Prague. Buck spent most of her life in China, first as a missionary before she began writing to support her mentally challenged daughter in a special school. Story will take place following the Nanking Incident in 1927, which launched the struggle known as the “Ten Years Civil War” between Communists and Nationalists (MH)

Shonda Rhimes and Dee Rees to Make Black Migration Miniseries The Warmth of Other Suns for FX

The duo will adapt Isabel Wilkerson's bestselling historical book The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration for FX. Rees will write the miniseries, while Rhimes and her Shondaland partner Betsy Beers will executive produce. Story chronicles the north- and eastward migration of six million African Americans from the South during the 20th century, focusing on three individuals' journeys. (WAH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Mr. Holmes’

The latest look at director Bill Condon’s spin on the classic character Sherlock Holmes. Starring Ian McKellan, story follows Holmes at the end of his life. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, he comes to rely upon his housekeeper’s young son as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love – before it's too late. The movie hits theaters July 17th. (IW)

Potential ‘Spider-Man’ Directors List, Martin Freeman Joins ‘Civil War’, Syfy Entering a ‘Brave New World’, Paramount Pushes ‘Monster Trucks’


amazing spider-man 2

Marvel and Sony Are Starting To Narrow Down Their List Of Potential ‘Spider-Man’ Directors

Reports have the studios putting together a list that includes 50/50 and Warm Bodies writer/helmer Jonathan Levine; Ted Melfi, writer/director of Golden Globe-nommed St. Vincent; Pitch Perfect helmer Jason Moore; John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein, the directors/writers of the updated version of John Hughes’ Vacation; and Napoleon Dynamite and Don Verdean writer/director Jared Hess. The search is concurrently going for the star of the film. (DH)

Martin Freeman Becomes the Latest To Join the Already Enormous Cast Of ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’

Marvel has not released any information about what character the actor might be playing, but he certainly has major franchise experience, having just played Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. Freeman joins Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chadwick Bozeman, Anthony Mackie, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo, Jeremy Renner and many others in the film, which will hit theaters May 6th, 2016. (CBR)

Syfy and Amblin Are Teaming Up For a ‘Brave New World’ TV Series

Aldous Huxley wrote the novel in 1932, and it has inspired a couple of movies and radio releases since then, but now the cable network and Steven Spielberg’s production shingle are starting it up anew. Amblin Television’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey will executive produce the project, while Dante’s Peak writer Les Bohem will handle script duties. (CB)

If You Were Looking Forward To Seeing ‘Monster Trucks’ This Year, You’re Out Of Luck Today

Paramount had originally planned to put the movie in theaters around Christmas, but has now pushed the live action/CGI film to March 18th. The movie is produced by Paramount Animation and Disruption Entertainment and directed by Chris Wedge from a script by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger and Derek Connolly, and stars Jane Levy, Lucas Till, Amy Ryan, Rob Lowe, Danny Glover, Barry Pepper and Holt McCallany. (VAR)

Greg Berlanti Is Breaking Out From Adapting DC Comics To TV, Now Will Adapt an Image Comic For Film

Warner Bros. has preemptively picked up The Infinite Horizon, a package that includes the rights to the miniseries from Image Comics as well as a script by Ryan Condal. Berlanti, the writer and producer behind such TV shows as Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl, is on board to produce with Berlanti Productions' Sarah Schechter. Lawrence Grey is also producing. (HV)

‘Masters Of Sex’ Just Landed Josh Charles For an Arc That Will Last All Of Season Three

The Emmy-nominee will play Daniel Logan, a self-made businessman working in the scent industry. In an attempt to bottle the smell of sex and market an aphrodisiac to the general public, Dan seeks out Masters (Michael Sheen) and Johnson’s (Lizzy Caplan) expertise on desire. A charismatic salesman, Dan’s involvement with Masters and Johnson becomes complicated. (EW)

There Will Be a Fifth ‘Indiana Jones’ Movie At Some Point, but No Word On Just Who Will Play Him

Franchise producer Kathleen Kennedy has officially confirmed that yes, Indy will be back, though in what form and when remains to be seen. There was some very loud chatter about Chris Pratt picking up the whip, but that remains unconfirmed. Also unconfirmed: whether  or not Steven Spielberg would return to the series, as well as any time table. (EMP)

Jon Chu Is Putting On His Producer Hat For a New Action Thriller

The director known for films like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the forthcoming Now You See Me: The Second Act, as well as Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D, and this fall’s adaptation of Jem and the Holograms will oversee Escape, based on a script by Tze Chun about a group tech-savvy criminals who are recruited on mission. (SF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Absolutely Anything’

The first trailer has landed for the new film from Monty Python member Terry Jones, starring Simon Pegg and Jones’ fellow Pythons John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin, all of whom do voice work in the film. Kate Beckinsale, Rob Riggle and Eddie Izzard also star in the movie, which hits UK theaters this summer and is still looking for a US release date. (GR)

Screenwriters: ‘The Bling Ring’

The 91-page, Blue Revisions Shooting Draft version of the screenplay by Sofia Coppolla, dated March 16th, 2012. (GITS)

Rep Moves for 5/6/15: CAA Scoops up Youtuber Jenna Marbles & Kate Beckinsale, Sarah Silverman to UTA & More


at arrivals for Young Hollywood Awards 2014, The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA July 27, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

PMK•BNC: Multi-platinum recording artist and tech entrepreneur Kevin Jonas has signed with PMK•BNC. In addition to being an established musician and actor, Jonas is the creator and developer of the app, Yood!, a food-on-demand discovery application for IOS and Android that launched last November.

UTA: Sarah Silverman is another that has shifted from CAA to UTA following the 12 agents who made teh shift in weeks prior. Silverman has an untitled comedy pilot in development at HBO and she's wrapped on the following films: Supermarket, Ashby and Still Punching the Clown with I Smile Back awaiting release. She will continued to be repped by Thruline and Ziffren Brittenham.

ICM Partners: X-Men and Taken franchise star Famke Janssen, who is wrapping up the third and final season of Netflix’s Hemlock Grove, has left CAA and will now be repped by ICM Partners. In addition to acting, Janssen wrote and directed the comedy Bringing Up Bobby in 2011. She continues to be repped by Brookside Artist Management and Morris Yorn.

CAA: Youtube star Jenna Marbles, aka Jenna Mourey, has signed with CAA for representation in all media, personal appearances, publishing, etc. She’s the most-watched comedy personality on YouTube with 14.9 million subscribers and counting and more than 1.7 billion views. Across social media she has over two million fans on Facebook and Vine and over three million on Instagram. She also executive produces Collective Digital Studio’s digital series Maximum Ride.

ICM Partners: Screenwriter Tim Talbott has left CAA and signed with ICM Partners. This year he garnered the Sundance Film Festival’s Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for The Stanford Prison Experiment, which IFC is releasing in July. Previously he was an executive story editor on Chicago Fire and a staffer on Medium. He continues to be managed by Anonymous Content.

CAA: Kate Beckinsale has left UTA and signed with CAA which she was with back in 2009. Beckinsale next stars in Relativity’s The Disappointments Room. The Whit Stillman-directed Love And Friendship along with Absolutely Anything produced by Mike Medavoy.

Igniting Audience Word-of-Mouth, Kevin Pollak’s Narrative Directorial Debut, Hamm’s Next Role, ‘Last Man’s New Showrunner, Exec Moves For 5/6/15


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How To Ignite Audience Word-Of-Mouth Through Story, No Matter the Genre

Box office word-of-mouth was the beginning of ‘power to the people’. Viral media began here with expressions like “What’s the buzz?” “What have you heard?” “What’s on your list?” In reality, no one truly trusts marketing, but they love to keep their ear to the street. And part of the “love of the street,” is the sense that you have your finger on the pulse. The zeitgeist. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 5/6/15: CAA Scoops Up Kate Beckinsale and YouTuber Jenna Marbles, Sarah Silverman To UTA, and More

It’s a light week in this section of Hollywood, though ICM and CAA both have big weeks, and PMK*BNC lands a Jonas to its rolls. To get the full skinny regarding this week’s moves, click on the link and all will be revealed. (SSN)


Now That He Has a Feature Documentary Under His Belt, Kevin Pollak Is Taking On a Narrative Feature

The actor and comedian will make his narrative directorial debut on the indie comedy The Late Bloomer, based on Ken Baker’s 2001 memoir Man Made: A Memoir of My Body. The book recounts E! news correspondent Baker’s experience of going through puberty for the first time at age 30 after having a pituitary tumor removed. Paul Kaplan and Mark Torgove rewrote Joe Nussbaum’s original draft of the script. (VAR)

Jon Hamm Nails Down His Next Big Starring Role, Will Undertake a ‘High Wire Act’

Set in 1980s Beirut, Hamm plays a former U.S. diplomat who is called back into service to save a former colleague from the group possibly responsible for his own family's death. Tony Gilroy wrote the script and is producing, along with Ted Field and Mike Weber, while Brad Anderson will direct the project.  (THR)

Will Forte’s ‘The Last Man On Earth’ Will Get a New Showrunner For Season Two

Dan Sterling will take over for Forte, who created the series and then acted as executive producer, writer, star and showrunner during the first season, which just ended on Sunday. Now, with Sterling, Forte’s load will lighten considerably, though he continues as an EP, along with Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The second season will air in 2016. (COL)

Jason Momoa Is the Latest To Circle Antoine Fuqua’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ Remake

Aquaman himself is in talks to be one of the bad guys in the film, which will start shooting later this month for a January 2017 release. Denzel Washington stars in the film, along with Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Luke Grimes, Wagner Moura, Byung-hun Lee, Haley Bennett, and Vincent D’Onofrio, among others. John Lee Hancock and Nic Pizzolatto are among those who have contributed to the screenplay. (EMP)

Nazi Drama ‘HHHH’ Lands Itself a Star-Studded Cast

Jason Clarke, Jack O’Connell, Mia Wasikowska, Rosamund Pike and Jack Reynor will star in the film, which is based on the novel by Laurent Binet and adapted by director Cedric Jimenez along with David Farr and Audrey Diwan. The film will tell the story of Nazi Reinhard Heydrich, who was the mastermind of the "Final Solution" and was assassinated by two resistance paratroopers. The film will start shooting in August. (TP)

The Playstation Network Believes In ‘Powers’ Enough To Give It a Second Season

Sony Computer Entertainment announced today that the Sony Pictures TV-produced series has been renewed for a second season for debut in 2016. Inspired by the graphic novels of the same name, Powers follows the lives of two homicide detectives who are assigned to investigate cases involving people with extraordinary abilities, referred to as “Powers.” Show is produced by Jinxworld and Circle of Confusion in association with Sony Pictures Television. (DH)

The Lost Laughs Of Letterman: The Departing Host and His Former Writers Share the Greatest Jokes He Never Told

As we get ever closer to David Letterman’s retirement, a former writer for the show writes this hilarious piece that picks the brain of a bunch of other former writers about their favorite bits that never made it to air. Letterman himself comments on many of these bits he shot down, giving a real insight into the show in its final days. (VUL)

Why Tinseltown and Adland's Relationship Is Stronger Than Ever: From Lincoln to Dior, Agencies and Stars Are Capitalizing on Trend With Huge Ventures

The plot of Sofia Coppola's 2003 film, Lost In Translation, follows a movie star played by Bill Murray as he films a commercial in Tokyo to avoid lowering his status in Hollywood. That ploy certainly wouldn't work today -- and it certainly wouldn't be necessary. Matthew McConaughey's Oscar-winning turn in "Dallas Buyers Club" coincided with a series of TV commercials for Lincoln. Charlize Theron is the face of Dior. In other words, adland has the keys to Hollywood. (AA)

Fox Cancels ‘Mindy Project’ But Hulu Might Step In, BBC-A Wants More ‘Orphan Black’, Waltz To Make Directorial Debut, ‘Supergirl’ Takes Flight


Ike Barinholtz  mindy project

Fox Decides It’s Had Enough Of ‘The Mindy Project’, but Hulu Could Come To Its Rescue

After three seasons on broadcast television, the sitcom as been canceled by Fox, but the online streaming service is now in talks with Universal Television, the studio behind the Mindy Kaling-starrer, to move the Fox comedy over to the streaming service for multiple seasons. The deal would reportedly include two new seasons, and possibly more. (VAR)

Meanwhile, Talk About Attack of the Clones, BBC-America Wants Another Year Of ‘Orphan Black’

Cable net has picked up its flagship drama series for a 10-episode fourth season to air in 2016. The news comes ahead of the show’s third season finale on June 20th. The show earned a Peabody Award in 2014 and lead actress Tatiana Maslany has received two Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Actress, a TCA Award for Individual Achievement,  and Golden Globe, SAG and People’s Choice nominations. (DH)

Christoph Waltz Is About To Join the List Of Actors Who Also Direct

The two-time Oscar winner will direct and star in The Worst Marriage In Georgetown. Based on the New York Magazine article by Franklin Foer, and adapted by David Auburn, the story follows the social climbing Albrect Muth, who ran in some of the most elite circles of American power and influence, but soon ran into trouble when his wealthy wife was found murdered. (TP)

What Has Been Long Suspected Is Now Official: CBS Orders a Full Season Of ‘Supergirl’

Network has officially given the green light to the first season of the show, set to star Melissa Benoist in the title role. The precise number of episodes has not yet been revealed, but the pilot is expected to debut on the network later this year. The pilot episode was written by Ali Adler and Greg Berlanti. They will also executive produce along with Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros. TV. (CS)

‘Broad City’ Creators and Paul Feig Teaming For a New Comedy For 20th Century Fox

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson have sold an untitled comedy project to Fox. Feig, who knows a thing or two about funny women, having helped break the film careers of Melissa McCarthy and Kirsten Wiig, is attached to produce with his Feigco partner Jessie Henderson. Glazer and Jacobson are not attached to star, and Feig is not attached to direct. Plot details are under wraps. (THR)

It’s Time For a ‘Second Life’ For Reese Witherspoon, Who Is Putting Her Producer Hat Back On

Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard shingle, which she runs with partner Bruna Papandrea, is reportedly developing a film adaptation of the S.J. Watson novel Second Life. This will be the fourth film project released from three-year-old production house. Story centers on a woman who creates an online persona in an effort to learn more about her sister’s violent death. Unfortunately, she begins to get caught up in the web of lies that she creates. (CB)

Kevin James Wants To Tell The ‘True Memoirs Of an International Assassin’

Based on a script by Jeff Morris, story finds the actor as a mild-mannered accountant who dreams of becoming a thriller writer. But when his fictional novel about the life of an international assassin is published as true story, he’s mistaken for a real hired killer and becomes something of a celebrity. Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow will helm the project. (EMP)

In the Name Of ‘Battlestar Galactica’, What Bad TV Shows Are Ripe For Rebooting?

The eternal question remains: why remake a classic? Battlestar showcased the benefits of remaking or rebooting a flawed original show, so what other failed programs would be ideal for such treatment. Herein is a list of a dozen titles that could be good candidates. (VUL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Magic Mike XXL’

The sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit follows the continuing adventures of Channing Tatum and co-stars Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez and Kevin Nash, as well as newcomers Stephen Boss, Donald Glover, Elizabeth Banks, Jada Pinkett Smith and Andie MacDowell. The film hits theaters July 1st. (IW)

Screenwriters: Notes From the Margins — 50 Reasons Why Your Query Letter Sucks

Have you sent out dozens of query letters? Hundreds? Thousands? No response? No reads? No meetings? Not even a polite rejection letter telling you why they won’t read your material? Then let’s be clear… It’s YOU. NOT them. You’re the problem. Or at least, your query letter is. (SM)

Film Development for 5/7/15: WB Nabs Forever War, Jason Momoa Joins The Magnificent Seven, Greg Berlanti Looks Into The Infinite Horizon


forever war


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: Jason Momoa, Wagner Moura, Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio SSN Insight: Momoa is also signed on to star as the DC character Aquaman in a series of tentpole films for Warner Bros.

Captain America: Civil War Logline: Tony Stark and Steve Rogers go head to head in battle over the Superhero Registration Act, which governs that those with superhuman abilities must reveal themselves as such to the United States government and pledge to enforce law in conjunction with government agencies Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Production Company: Marvel Entertainment Producers: Kevin Feige, Nate Moore Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely Director: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo Cast: Martin Freeman, Emily VanCamp, Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Robert Downey Jr, Chadwick A. Boseman, Daniel Bruhl, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner, SSN Insight: Both Freeman and VanCamp signed on to the in production sequel which started shooting April 29. VanCamp reprises her role as Agent 13 while Freeman’s character details are under wraps. Mean Moms Logline: A happily married mother of two is confronted by the cutthroat world of competitive parenting when she moves to the high class suburbs. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Studios Production Company: Offspring Entertainment Producers: Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, Jill Messick Writer: Sean Anders, John Morris Director: Sean Anders Cast: Jennifer Aniston Notes: Based on the book "Queen Bee Moms & Kingpin Dads: Dealing with the Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and Counselors Who Can Make--or Break--Your Child's Future" written by Rosalind Wiseman with Elizabeth Rapoport and published by Crown on March 7, 2006. SSN Insight: Veteran TV director Beth McCarthy-Miller was previously attached to direct.

Zootopia Logline: Animals live and work in a world where human beings never existed. Studio: Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation Writer: Jared Bush Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush Voice Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman SSN Insight: Goodwin’s character is a bunny named Judy Hopps a meter maid with dreams of becoming a police officer.

IT Logline: A group of friends reunite in a small town in Maine to once again face off against the evil entity, known as "It," whose preferred form is a menacing clown, which they previously battled in their childhood. Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema Production Companies: Lin Pictures, KatzSmith Productions, Vertigo Entertainment Producers: Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Doug Davison, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg Writer: Cary Fukunaga, Chase Palmer Director: Cary Fukunaga Cast: Will Poulter Notes: Based on the novel "It" written by Stephen King and published by Viking on September 15, 1986 SSN Insight: Project was initially conceived as one film, but was then divided into two parts, one focusing on the characters as kids and the other with them as adults.


A Babysitter’s Guide to Monters Logline: After an apathetic babysitter finds that her charge has been stolen by monsters, she must work with a secret society of baby sitters to save this child and the rest of the world. Production Companies: Walden Media/ The Montecito Picture Company Writer: Joe Ballarini Notes: Based on the children’s book "A Babysitter’s Guide to Monsters" written by Joe Ballarini and to be published by HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books in late 2016 or early 2017. SSN Insight: A screenwriter by trade, scripting My Little Pony and the Fox animation film, Cardboard, Ballarini decided to take charge of his own IPO by conceiving the idea for a trilogy of children’s books and then selling the screenplay rights for him to adapt his own work.

A Head Full of Ghosts Logline: After thinking that their teenage daughter is schizophrenic, a family comes to believe she is possessed and allows her exorcism to be films for a reality show which becomes a huge hit. Studio/ Distributor: Focus Features Production Companies: The Allegiance Theater, Team Downey Producers: Daniel Dubiecki, Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey Writer: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski Notes: Based on the novel "A Head Full of Ghosts" written by Paul Tremblay published by William Morrow in June, 2015. SSN Insight: Focus won the auction for the film rights in a tight competition with Tristar.

The Infinite Horizon Logline: In the near future, a soldier faces obstacles like those in "The Odyssey" as he leads a group of abandoned soldiers on a 10-year journey back home. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: Berlanti Productions Producers: Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Lawrence Grey Writers: Ryan Condal Notes: Based on the six-issue graphic novel series "Infinite Horizon" written by Gerry Duggan, illustrated by Phil Noto and published by Image Comics from 2007 through 2012. The series was inspired by Homer's epic poem "The Odyssey." The Forever War Logline: In the future, a group of soldiers return from war on another planet to find Earth changed beyond recognition. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: Free Association, Vertigo Entertainment, Richard Edlund Films, Management 360 Producers: Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Roy Lee, Richard Edlund, Louis Tedesco, Guymon Casady Writer: Jon Spaihts SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Fox 2000 with Ridley Scott attached to produce and direct via his Ridley Scott Films. When the rights lapsed, a new package with Spaihts, Roy Lee and Channing Tatum came together and sparked a bidding war between Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros.

Master Thieves Logline: The unsolved case of the daring 1990 robbery of $500 million in art from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is dramatized. Studio/ Distributor: Tristar Productions Production Companies: Matt Tolmach Productions Producers: Matt Tolmach Notes: Based on the book "Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters Who Pulled Off The World’s Greatest Art Heist" written by Stephen Kurkjian and published by PublicAffairs on March 10, 2015 SSN Insight: Novelist is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who was a Boston Globe reporter following this case for the last two decades.

Second Life Logline: Second Life centers on a woman who creates an online persona to find the truth behind her sister’s violent murder — and starts to lose herself in the lies she creates. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros Studios Production Companies: Pacific Standard Producers: Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea Notes: Based on the novel "Second Life" written by S.J. Watson and published by Harper in 2015 SSN Insight: An adaptation of Watson’s mystery novel “Before I Go to Sleep” was released last year with Nicole Kidman, Mark Strong, Colin Firth and Anne-Marie Duff starring.

Why Film Is the Perfect Storytelling Platform, Esquire Network Goes Scripted, NBC and The CW Make Pickups, Film Development For 5/7/15


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Why Film Is the Perfect Storytelling Platform For Our Imagination

Today, Hollywood’s addiction to technological wonder tantalizes the movie-goer: IMAX, 3D, Dolby 5.1/7.1, Atmos, Surround Sound, Blu-ray, 4K! Surely, all this – and more! – will entice you, the movie-goer, to fall in love again with the Big Screen immersive storytelling experience! Storytelling expert Bobette Buster’s series continues exclusively here at SSN. (SSN)

Film Development For 5/7/15: WB Nabs ‘Forever War’, Jason Momoa Joins ‘The Magnificent Seven’, and More

Among the other projects announced this week are Greg Berlanti’s trip to The Infinite Horizon, new projects from producers Matt Tolmach and Reese Witherspoon, and new attachments to established projects like Zootopie and IT. Click on the link to get all the info. (SSN)


Esquire Network Becomes the Latest To Get Into the Scripted Entertainment World

NBCUniversal’s male-skewing network has ordered 10 episodes of the dark drama Spotless, set to premiere this fall. Ed McCardie and Corinne Marrinan are co-creators, and Rola Bauer will serve as exec producer, alongside Jonas Bauer and Suzanne Berger. Hourlong drama, set in London, follows a troubled man whose life is turned upside down when his outlaw brother crash lands into his world. (VAR)

NBC Makes Its First Comedy Pickups Of the New Season, Orders Three Sitcoms

Peacock Network kicked off its comedy pickup orders Thursday with series orders to People Are Talking, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tone Bell, as well as Crowded, from Hot In Cleveland creator Suzanne Martin and EP Sean Hayes, and single camera show Superstore, starring America Ferrera and Ben Feldman. (THR)

Meanwhile, The CW Picks Up a Trio Of Hourlongs and Cancels ‘Hart Of Dixie’

The network picked up Crazy Ex-Girlfriend from sister network Showtime, but needs to overhaul it from a half-hour to an hourlong, and also ordered the Arrow-Flash spinoff, titled Legends of Tomorrow, and Julie Plec’s Cordon, both from Warner Bros. TV. The studio’s remaining pilot, Dead People is well, dead. (DH)

Emily Van Camp and Paul Rudd Become the Latest Heroes To Return To Marvel For ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Van Camp will reprise her role as Sharon Carter, aka Agent 13, while Rudd will again play Scott Lang/Ant-Man, a role that will first hit theaters in July with the release of Ant-Man. They join Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo, Martin Freeman, Sebastian Stan and Chadwick Boseman. A full synopsis is also available for the film, which hits theaters May 6th, 2016. (CBR)

The CW Likes ‘iZombie’ So Much, It’s Bringing the Show Back For a Second Season

The renewal comes hot on the heels of eight other series renewals by CW. According to the report, while not a ratings juggernaut, iZombie was steady enough and impressed executives of The CW by maintaining its ratings even when its lead-in The Flash was in repeats. Show stars Rose McIver as a medical student who becomes a zombie and uses her undead powers to solve crimes. (NSA)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Ricki and the Flash’

TriStar Pictures has released the first look at the new film from director Jonathan Demme, and starring Meryl Streep, Mamie Gummer, Kevin Kline, Sebastian Stan, Rick Springfield, Audra McDonald and Ben Platt. Diablo Cody wrote the script for the film, which is out August 7th. (TP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Sense8’

The first look at the highly anticipated new Netflix series from the Wachowskis and writer J. Michael Straczynski. The sci-fi series about the psychic link between eight strangers drops all 12 episodes on June 5th, exclusively on the online streaming service. (SF)

Trailer Buzz, Part 3: ‘Vacation’

The red band trailer for the upcoming reboot of the popular franchise, with Ed Helms starring as Rusty Griswold and Christina Applegate as his wife. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo also appear in the film, which hits theaters July 29th. (CS)