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On the Set for 5/18/15: Emma Watson Starts ‘Beauty and The Beast’, Oliver Stone Wraps ‘Snowden’, Melissa McCarthy Finishes ‘Michelle Darnell’ & More


at arrivals for 71st Golden Globes Awards - Arrivals 4, The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA January 12, 2014. Photo By: Linda Wheeler/Everett Collection


Beauty and The Beast 5/18/2015 Logline: In this live-action re-imagining of the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast," a young woman takes her father's place as prisoner in a beast's castle, only to fall in love with her beastly captor, who turns out to be a prince. Studio: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production Company(s): Mandeville Films/TV Director: Bill Condon Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman Cast: Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson Writer(s): Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Ahearne Details: Re-imagining of the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast". SSN Insight: Hot on the heels of the success of its live action adaptation of Cinderella, Disney is anxious to get this film out and has rounded out its cast and announced a release date of March 17, 2017.

Deepwater Horizon 5/18/2015 Logline: Based on the true events that occurred on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, the story chronicles the courage of those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon and the extreme moments of bravery and survival in the face of what would become one of the biggest man-made disasters in world history. Studio: Summit Entertainment, LLC Production Company(s): Leverage Management, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Participant Media, Closest To The Hole Productions Director: Peter Berg Producer(s): Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, David Womark Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Gina Rodriguez, Liam Neeson, Michael Keaton, Dylan O'Brien Writer(s): J.C. Chandor, Matthew Michael Carnahan, Matthew Sand Details: Based on the article "Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hour" written by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul and published in the New York Times on December 25, 2010. SSN Insight: Ric Roman Waugh previously in negotiations to direct. J.C. Chandor was previously attached to direct.

Keanu 5/18/2015 Logline: A group of friends pretend to be drug dealers in order to get back a stolen cat. Studio: New Line Cinema Director: Peter Atencio Producer(s): Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Peter Principato, Paul Young, Joel Zadak Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Writer(s): Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens, Method Man SSN Insight: New Line had previously discussed reviving the “Police Academy” franchise with Key & Peele. Method Mad can next be seen in Adam Sandler’s The Cobbler “The Cobbler” and Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck.”

Leatherface 5/18/2015 Logline: The origin story of Leatherface’s early years in the 1970s. Studio: Nu Image/Millennium Films Production Company(s): Main Line Pictures Director: Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo Executive Producer(s): Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson, Mark Gill Producer(s): Carl Mazzocone, Christa Campbell, Lati Dana Grobman, Les Weldon Cast: Sam Strike, Stephen Dorff, James Bloor, Sam Coleman, Jessica Madsen Writer(s): Seth Sherwood Details: Reboot of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) directed by Toby Hooper and starring Marilyn Burns and Gunnar Hansen. SSN Insight: The 2003 reboot of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” grossed $107 million worldwide. It was followed by “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” in 2006 which grossed $50 million and “Texas Chainsaw 3D” in 2013 which grossed $47 million.

Mena 5/18/2015 Logline: The true story of pilot Barry Seal, who transported contraband for the CIA and the Medellin cartel in the 1980s. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Imagine Entertainment, Quadrant Pictures Director: Doug Liman Executive Producer(s): Kim Roth Producer(s): Doug Davison, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson Cast: Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Jayma Mays, Domhnall Gleeson Writer(s): Gary Spinelli SSN Insight: Universal acquired the spec from Gary Spinelli for a reported $1 million. Screenplay was included in the 2014 Hit List. Ron Howard was previously attached to direct.

The Forest 5/18/2015 Logline: Against the backdrop of Japan’s Aokigahara forest, where people go to end their lives, an American woman braves the mysterious, uncharted terrain to search for her missing sister. Production Company(s): Phantom Four, Lava Bear Films Director: Jason Zada Producer(s): David S. Goyer, David Linde Cast: Natalie Dormer, Michiel Huisman, Taylor Kinney Writer(s): Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Universal Pictures.

The Greasy Strangler 5/16/2015 Logline: In Los Angeles, a man and his son compete for the attention of a seductive woman just as an inhuman, murderous maniac appears to strangle the innocent. Production Company(s): Alamo Drafthouse Films, Rook Films, Timpson Films, SpectreVision Director: Jim Hosking Executive Producer(s): Ben Wheatley, Tim League Producer(s): Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller, Elijah Wood, Andy Starke, Anthony Timpson Writer(s): Jim Hosking, Toby Harvard SSN Insight: Picture marks the feature directorial debut of British helmer Jim Hosking. His previous short, The ABCs of Death 2, was released through the Drafthouse-backed Fantastic Fest.

The Wolves at the Door 5/18/2015 Logline: Four friends endure a terrifying home invasion in the Hollywood hills in 1969. Studio: New Line Cinema Production Company(s): The Safran Company Director: John R Leonetti Producer(s): Peter Safran Cast: Katie Cassidy, Miles Fisher, Elizabeth Henstridge, Adam Campbell Writer(s): Gary Dauberman SSN Insight: Loosely inspired by the murder of Sharon Tate, wife of Roman Polanski by Charles Manson and cult members in 1969. The film will not make a reference to the actual events.

Untitled Lonely Island Project 5/14/2015 Logline: Comedy group The Lonely Island stars in a film set in the world of music, following the story of a rapper whose latest album bombs, prompting him to desperately attempt a reunion concert with his former boy band. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Apatow Productions Directors: Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone Executive Producer(s): Morgan Sackett Producer(s): Judd Apatow, Rodney Rothman, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone Cast: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Sarah Silverman Writer(s): Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone SSN Insight: On the TV side, Lonely Island has a three-year deal with Fox to oversee the development of comedy projects through digital platforms, with the goal of bringing the projects to series on network TV.

Zama 5/17/2015 Logline: In the 18th century, a highly-placed servant of the Spanish crown, obsessed with petty grudges and fantasies, plots his transfer to Buenos Aires. Production Company(s): El Deseo S.A., Bananeira Filmes, Rei Cine Director: Lucrecia Martel Producer(s): Pedro Almodovar, Augustin Almodovar, Benjamin Domenech, Santiago Gallelli, Vania Catani Cast: Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Lola Duenas, Juan Minujin, Matheus Nachtergaele Details: Based on the novel "Zama" written by Antonio Di Benedetto and published in 1956. SSN Insight: Argentine director Martel previously wrote and directed the films “The Swamp”, “The Holy Girl” and “The Headless Woman”. Pedro Almodovar was a producer on those last two films.


A Year by the Sea 5/13/2015 Logline: After years of being a loving wife and mother, a woman decides not to follow her husband to a new job out-of-state but, instead, to spend a year alone on Cape Cod. Production Company(s): Montabela Productions Director: Alexander Janko Cast: Karen Allen, S Epatha Merkerson, Michael Cristofer, Celia Imrie, Yannick Bisson Writer(s): Alexander Janko Details: Based on the memoir "A Year by the Sea" written by Joan Anderson and published by Doubleday in 1999. SSN Insight: Janko used a Kickstarter last May to help fund the film, asking $50,000 and receiving $53,012 in pledges with 277 backers.

Border Crossing 5/15/2015 Logline: A psychologist saves a drowning man, only to discover he’s the same person the psychologist put away for murder 12 years earlier. Production Company(s): The Film Community Director: Bette Gordon Executive Producer(s): Dean Devlin Producer(s): Jamin O'Brien, Daniel L. Blanc, Radium L. Cheung Cast: Josh Charles, Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia, Tracie Thoms, Leo Fitzpatrick Writer(s): Stephen Molton, Frank Pugliese, Andrew Bovell Details: Based on the novel "Border Crossing" by Pat Barker; published by Penguin UK January 1, 2001. SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Slate Films with Andrea Calderwood attached to produce. Project was partially funded via Kickstarter.

Michelle Darnell 5/15/2015 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: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Gary Sanchez Productions, On the Day Productions Director: Ben Falcone Executive Producer(s): Kevin J. Messick Producer(s): Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Chris Henchy Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Kathy Bates, Tyler Labine Writer(s): Melissa McCarthy, Steve Mallory, Ben Falcone SSN Insight: Gary Sanchez’s next films Welcome to Me and Daddy’s Home have wrapped. A sequel to Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, The House, Crazy U, Devil’s Night, and Manimal are in development at Sanchez.

Silence 5/15/2015 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 Details: 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.

Snowden 5/12/2015 Logline: The story of Edward Snowden is told. Snowden made thousands of classified documents public while working at the US National Security Agency. Production Company(s): Ixtlan Inc., Onda Entertainment Director: Oliver Stone Producer(s): Oliver Stone, Moritz Borman, Eric Kopeloff Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Scott Eastwood, Nicolas Cage, Melissa Leo Writer(s): Oliver Stone Details: Based on the books "The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man" written by Luke Harding and published by Vintage on February 7, 2014 and "Time of the Octopus" written by Snowden's Russian attorney Anatoly Kucherena and to be published soon. SSN Insight: The film’s pre-production began in Germany with shooting set starting in Munich. Open Road Films and Endgame Entertainment announced in November, 2014 they would partner for the U.S. release.

The Girl in the Photographs 5/14/2015 Logline: When a beautiful young woman discovers a series of grisly photographs, she's spooked into ditching her small town and her dead-end job, but as she attempts to enter the big city fashion industry, she finds deeper horrors that are tailor-made for her. Production Company(s): Al-Ghanim Entertainment Director: Nick Simon Executive Producer(s): Wes Craven, Nawaf Alghanim, Brandon Michael Vayda, Krystal Vayda Producer(s): Andrea Chung, Thomas Mahoney Cast: Claudia Lee, Kal Penn, Mitch Pileggi, Katharine Isabelle, Miranda Rae Mayo Writer(s): Osgood Perkins, Robert Morast, Nick Simon SSN Insight: Halston Sage was previously attached to star.

BAFTA Winner Stephen Beresford Discusses His Career, Miles Teller Will ‘Bleed For This’, SPC Nabs ‘Truth’, On the Set For 5/18/15




Stephen Beresford Talks About His Career Path From Actor To BAFTA-Winning Screenwriter Of ‘Pride’

It’s a rare occurrence when a writer’s first screenplay earns BAFTA and British Independent Film Awards along with a Golden Globe Best Picture nomination, but Stephen Beresford’s script did just that. The London-based scribe became a critical darling with his crowd-pleasing 2014 movie Pride, a true story about an unlikely alliance in 1984 between a striking Welsh mining community and a group of determined LGBT Londoners. (SSN)

On the Set For 5/18/15: Emma Watson Starts ‘Beauty and the Beast’, Oliver Stone Wraps ‘Snowden’, and More

In other filming news, Melissa McCarthy and her co-writer/director/husband Ben Falcone finish Michelle Darnell and Martin Scorsese completes shooting on Silence, while Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg get rolling on Deepwater Horizon, while Tom Cruise and Doug Liman re-team for Mena. (SSN)


The Unstoppable Rise Of Miles Teller Continues, With Open Road Taking His Boxing Pic, ‘Bleed For This’

Indie distributor picked up the title at Cannes for a reported $4 million, after producers showed a 12-minute promo reel for the film, which stars Teller as world champion fighter Vinny Pazienza and Aaron Eckhart as the trainer who brought him back to the ring after a nearly fatal car wreck. Ben Younger wrote and directed the film, and Martin Scorsese is one of many executive producers. (TOH)

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Classics Makes a Pickup Of Its Own, spends $6 Million For James Vanderbilt’s ‘Truth’

The movie about the controversial “Rathergate” scandal that ended the careers of newsman Dan Rather (as played by Robert Redford) at CBS and his 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes (as played by Cate Blanchett), ends up at SPC, which may release it later this year. The film also stars Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and Elisabeth Moss. (CS)

HBO Looks Back To the Old West, Is Developing New Mini About Hero Lawman Bass Reeves

Cable net has begun work on a limited series about the little-known hero, from Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment and Grey’s Anatomy co-star James Pickens, Jr. Written by John Sayles based on Art T. Burton’s biography Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life And Legend Of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves, project tells the story of the man who escaped from slavery and became one of the first black U.S. Deputy Marshals in the Oklahoma territory. (DH)

Reunited, and It Feels So Good: Jack Black and Jared Hess Re-Team For ‘Micronations’

The director and star of the 2006 comedy Nacho Libre will make the new film, which revolves around the world of “do-it-yourself countries”, in which people declare their own backyards “micronations”. Black will play a loveable oddball who finds a place in this bizarre world and is recruited as the head of Defense for the tiny nation of Valoria, population: 12. Valoria soon finds itself in a battle with neighboring nation Wayne County, Nevada. (COL)

MTV Has a Ton Of Confidence In ‘Finding Carter’, Doubles Season Two Order

The Viacom-owned cable network has picked up the drama for 12 additional episodes, bringing its second-season order to 24 total episodes. The second batch of episodes will debut later this year. Starring Kathryn Prescott, the drama about a teenager who learns that her mother abducted her as a child was renewed for a 12-episodes second season in August. (LF)

Prison Thriller ‘Three Seconds’ Adds David Oyelowo To the Cast, Gets a Wee Bit Classier

Luke Evans stars in the film, which follows a man forced to go undercover in a prison for an FBI sting operation. But then the bureau’s agents abandon him in the violent jail and he has no choice but to figure out a way to escape on his own. Evans plays the man, while Oyelowo plays an anti-social New York police detective who witnesses a fellow officer being murdered and starts to unravel the entire operation. Otto Bathurst is directing. (EMP)

Still Reeling From the Intense and Amazing Experience That Was Seeing ‘Mad Max: Fury Road”  This Weekend? Here Are a Dozen Other Movies To See Next

This eclectic list of films is relevant in some way or another to George Miller’s action film, some with influences on Miller and his post-apocalyptic franchise, some with unintentional references that might just remind you of Fury Road and some earlier works by people involved with the new movie. (FSR)

First Look: ‘Warcraft’

Universal has released the first image from next summer’s video game adaptation of World of Warcraft, from writer-director Duncan Jones. The image is of Orc King Orgrim, and comes from Industrail Light and Magic. The movie opens March 11th, 2016. (WD)

Will Ferrell Goes Period With ‘Tom’s Dad’, Jamie Foxx Lands ‘Blink’, ‘Wedding Dates’ Adds a Dad, T.R. Knight Heads For ’11/22/63′


at arrivals for THE SPOILS OF BABYLON Premiere, Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theatre, Los Angeles, CA January 7, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

Will Ferrell Will Travel Back In Time For the ‘60s Comedic Drama ‘Tom’s Dad’

Martin Casella penned the screenplay for this '60s set tale that follows a struggling nightclub performer hoping to make it big with his stage act involving circus animals. He is forced to reconnect with his estranged 12-year old son, Tom, when his ex-wife departs on a three week trip, leaving the pair to rekindle their father-son relationship. Lasse Hallström is directing. (TP)

Don’t ‘Blink’, but Jamie Foxx Just Booked Himself a New Starring Role

Based on a 2014 Black List script, the story follows a hospital caregiver with ulterior motives (to be played by Foxx) who is assigned to look after the mysterious victim of a bank robbery. Hernany Perla wrote the script and Noam Murro will direct. Production is expected to begin this fall with William Green and Aaron Ginsburg of Atlas Entertainment producing. (SAA)

Zac Efron’s ‘Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates’ May Have, Somehow, Just Got Even Funnier

Stephen Root has joined the cast of the comedy, which also stars Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick in a film about two hard-partying brothers who place an ad online to find dates for a wedding and find a pair of women who can out-party them. Jake Szymanski will direct, with Chernin Entertainment producing along with Jonathan Levine. Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien wrote the script. (VAR)

As Hulu Gears Up To Make ’11/22/63’, It Adds More Talent To the Cast

T.R. Knight, best known for his work on the first few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, has signed on to play Johnny Clayton, a "charismatic but controlling" salesman who can't break up with his estranged wife Sadie Dunill, who is in love with main character Jake Epping. James Franco is playing Epping, while Sarah Gadon will play Sadie in the adaptation of the Stephen King novel. (VUL)

A Familiar Face Will Be Another Poor Soul To ‘Fear the Walking Dead’

Rubén Blades has landed a role in the AMC horror drama, which is currently filming. He is set to play Daniel, the father of Ofelia, a similarly under-described character to be portrayed by Mercedes Mason. Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens will lead the Walking Dead spinoff. The show is set to premiere some time later this year, probably in the summer, but no set date has been announced. (CB)

Fans Of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Can Rejoice Today, as Director George Miller Confirms There Will Be More Adventures Of Max

In a tweet to fans, Miller thanked people for “all the kind words written and said about the film,” and promised there is more to come. Star Tom Hardy is contracted for more films, and Miller has previously said he has ideas for two more stories to tell. He also revealed that the next chapter in the tale of Max Rockatansky will be called Mad Max: The Wasteland. (EMP)

Recognizing a Good Thing When It Has One, Universal TV Keeps Robert Carlock In House

Tina Fey’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt co-creator has inked a new two-year overall deal with the studio, where he previously had an exclusive deal. Carlock, who most recently produced ABC's Universal TV Family Fortune pilot starring Fortune Feimster, will continue to serve as an EP on Netflix/UTV's Schmidt. (THR)

So, In Case You Were Wondering, Chris Pratt Has Not, Repeat NOT, Been Approached About a Male-Led ‘Ghostbusters’ Movie

In the cover story for this month’s issue of GQ, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World star was asked if he and Channing Tatum were being courted for one of the “shared universe” films, as has been previously reported. He said, in no uncertain terms, that he hadn’t. Read the story for all the info. (GQ)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Pan’

Warner Bros. has unveiled a new trailer for the Joe Wright-directed re-imagining of the Peter Pan story, which stars Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Cara Delivigne and Amanda Seyfried, as well as newcomer Levi Miller. It hits theaters October 9th. (COL)

Online Film School: Seven Things To Learn From ‘Mad Men’ Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling

In this exclusive video, the multiple Emmy Award-winning writer-director-producer talks about how to tell a story that will keep people engaged, and reveals at least one secret about great writers: he listens, he observes, he’s curious about people. (TOH)

TV Development for 5/19/15: All the Turner Upfront News, David Lynch to Direct Twin Peaks Plus Amazon Pick-ups


turner networks

Untitled Bass Reeves/Western Series Network: HBO Production Company(s): Revelations Entertainment, Bay Spring Productions Executive Producer(s): Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary, James Pickens Jr. Writer(s): John Sayles Logline: The story of the great Bass Reeves who escaped from slavery during the civil war and fled to Indian territory. He became the first black U.S. Deputy Marshals in the Oklahoma territory. He was a master of disguises, an excellent shot and heroic, arresting more than 3,000 outlaws. Details: Based on Art T. Burton’s biography “Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life And Legend Of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves”. SSN Insight: Reeves has been thought of as one of the real-life inspirations for the Lone Ranger. He will be profiled in an upcoming episode of Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News series “Legends And Lies”. The miniseries will co-star James Pickens, Jr.

Jericho Network: ITV 1 Studio: ITV Studios Executive Producer(s): Kate Bartlett Writer(s): Steve Thompson Logline: Set in the 1870s, the story will focus on the shantytown of Jericho, home to a community that will live, thrive and die in the shadow of the viaduct they’ve been brought together to build. Pioneers, settlers and outcasts, they include people with secrets to hide and those looking to start again. SSN Insight: ITV gave a series order of eight episodes on May 14.

Peter & Wendy Network: ITV 1 Production Company(s): Headline Pictures, Juliette Films, Catalyst Global Media Writer(s): Adrian Hodges Logline: The story takes off from contemporary Great Ormond Street Hospital, where 12-year-old Lucy Rose is awaiting treatment for a serious heart condition. The day before her operation, Lucy reads "Peter Pan" to a crowd of sick children in the hospital, and she goes to sleep and dreams this version of "Peter Pan" into existence. The story is retold through the young girl’s imagination. Details: Based on the character, Peter Pan, first created by J.M. Barrie in 1902. SSN Insight: Stanley Tucci will star as Captain Hook, Laura Fraser will be Mrs. Darling and each will play dual roles. Paloma Faith has been cast as Tinker Bell with newcomers Zac Sutcliffe as Peter Pan and Hazel Doupe as Wendy. It will be produced in partnership with Lip Sync Productions and the Luxembourg Film Fund.

Coat of Many Colors Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Warner Bros. Television Production Company(s): Magnolia Hill Productions, DP Productions Executive Producer(s): Dolly Parton, Sam Haskell Writer(s): Pamela K Long Logline: The story goes inside the tight-knit Parton family as they struggle to overcome devastating tragedy and discover the healing power of love, faith, and a raggedy patchwork coat that helped make Dolly who she is today. Details: Based on the life story of Dolly Parton as a child and on the song it inspired, "Coat of Many Colors." SSN Insight: This project marks the first original movie out of NBC’s development deal with Dolly Parton.

Twin Peaks Network: Showtime Executive Producer(s): David Lynch, Mark Frost Writer(s): David Lynch, Mark Frost Logline: Set in the present day, more than two decades after the events in the first two seasons, the series will continue the lore and story of the original series about the mysterious murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer. Details: Based on the “Twin Peaks” series, created by David Lynch and Mark Frost and aired on ABC (1990-1991). SSN Insight: This limited series picks up 20 years after the events in "Twin Peaks”. Showtime has given a nine+ episode series order. The project was up in the air due to ongoing negotiations between Showtime and David Lynch in April, but they’ve since been resolved and Lynch will direct all episodes.

Queen of the South Network: USA Studio: Universal Cable Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios Production Company(s): Friendly Films, Pancho Pictures Executive Producer(s): Mark Fortin, Joshua John Miller, David Friendly, Pancho Mansfield Writer(s): Mark Fortin, Joshua John Miller Logline: After her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico, Teresa Mendoza is forced to go on the run and seek refuge in America. There, she teams with an unlikely figure from her past to bring down the leader of the same drug trafficking ring that has her on the run. Details: Based on the novel, "La Reina Del Sur," written by Arturo Perez-Reverte and published by Alfaguara in 2002. SSN Insight: The novel was also the inspiration for the Telemundo series of the same name, which premiered in 2011. USA ordered the pilot in September. Ahead of its Upfront presentation, USA has given a 13-episode order with a 2016 premiere.


A History of Radness Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Executive Producer(s): Andrew Green, Skot Bright Writer(s): Andrew Green Logline: Twins tell the story of their rise to success starting from their middle school days. SSN Insight: Pilot will screen on Amazon Instant Video this summer, and user feedback will determine if it goes forward as a series. The live-action kids show geared for ages 6-11.

Bear in Underwear Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Writer(s): Todd Goldman, Dave Schiff Logline: Eddie Behr, an eternally optimistic, high energy bear, and his quirky group of animal friends and family reside. Eddie aspires to be a forest legend just like his dad, who discovered "pants" at an abandoned campsite (well, actually, what he really discovered were tighty whiteys, but no one knows the difference!). Although Eddie is eager to make just as positive an impact on his community as his father did, he soon realizes that success may not be all that it's cracked up to be. Details: Based on the bestselling books by Todd Goldman. SSN Insight: Pilot will screen on Amazon Instant Video this summer, and user feedback will determine if it goes forward as a series. The animated kids show geared for ages 6-11.

Edge Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Production Company(s): Josephson Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Barry Josephson, David Greenblatt, Shane Black, Fred Dekker Writer(s): Shane Black, Fred Dekker Logline: A western about a guy who sets out to avenge his brother’s murder. Details: Based on the "Edge" book series written by George Gilman. SSN Insight: Ordered to pilot. (5/14/2015)

Lily the Unicorn Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Production Company(s): The Jim Henson Company Logline: Lily is not only a remarkable, colorful, and comical gal, she is truly one-in-a-million. Her unique perspective and independent spirit can brighten up any situation and often leads her and her loyal friends into unexpected shenanigans. Details: Based on the children's book. "An Awesome book" by Dallas Clayton. SSN Insight: Pilot will screen on Amazon Instant Video this summer, and user feedback will determine if it goes forward as a series. The animated kids show geared for ages 6-11. The Jim Henson Company is also behind the new “Muppets” series that will air in Fall.

Lost in Oz Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Logline: Set in a modern, metropolitan Emerald City and stranded in this spectacular world is 12-year-old Dorothy Gale befriends West, a young, street-smart witch grappling with dark temptations, and Ojo, a giant munchkin. With Dorothy's dog Toto, this unlikely crew embarks on an epic journey, seeking out the magic Dorothy needs to get back to Kansas. The challenge for Dorothy, and everyone else in this world, is that Oz is facing the greatest magic crisis in eons. SSN Insight: Pilot will screen on Amazon Instant Video this summer, and user feedback will determine if it goes forward as a series. The animated kids show geared for ages 6-11.

The Adventures of Knickerbock Teetertop Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios, Karrot Animation Logline: Knickerbock Teetertop, the smallest kid on the enchanted Wonderpine Mountain, wants to be a big adventurer just like his grandpa. Joined by friends on his magical Wonderboggan, Knickerbock, Holly, and Otto have wondrous, challenging adventures discovering new places and creatures - and it's not easy. Knickerbock bounces along rugged terrain, pushes against the elements, and challenges himself to overcome obstacles. As he encounters problems Knickerbock uses perseverance, grit, and some encouragement from Grandpa. SSN Insight: Pilot will screen on Amazon Instant Video this summer, and user feedback will determine if it goes forward as a series. The animated kids show geared for preschoolers.

The Good Girls Revolt Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Executive Producer(s): Lynda Obst, Jeff Okin Writer(s): Dana Calvo Logline: A 1970s drama set at Newsweek. SSN Insight: Amazon ordered the pilot on May 14.

The Kicks Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Production Company(s): Full Fathom Five Executive Producer(s): James Frey, Todd Cohen Writer(s): David Babcock Logline: An empowering story of a twelve-year-old soccer player Devin who is on the verge of being named seventh-grade captain on her Connecticut school soccer team when her family moves to California and she has to start from scratch in one of the most competitive soccer states. Details: Based on the Full Fathom Five middle school book series "The Kicks" (USA/2013), by Olympic gold Medalist Alex Morgan. Ordered to pilot. (9/15/2015) SSN Insight: Pilot will screen on Amazon Instant Video this summer, and user feedback will determine if it goes forward as a series. The live-action kids show geared for ages 6-11.

The Patriot Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Executive Producer(s): Steve Conrad Writer(s): Steve Conrad Logline: A political family drama that follows a patriarch who works in the State Department, one son who is a State Senator and a Iraq war veteran with PTSD who wants to be a folk singer. SSN Insight: Amazon ordered the pilot on May 14.

Trial Network: Amazon Studio: Amazon Studios Production Company(s): No Production Company Available. Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: A legal drama. SSN Insight: Amazon ordered the pilot on May 14.


Untitled Jason Alexander Comedy Project Network: Adult Swim Production Company(s): Alive & Kicking, Inc. Executive Producer(s): Adam Lustick Logline: An award-winning psychotherapist snaps one day and his therapy with his patients becomes more and more bizarre. However, he is such a celebrated doctor that his peers are reluctant to question his strange and unconventional methods. SSN Insight: The pilot order was given a week prior to the Turner Upfront. Jason Alexander will also start in the project.

Declassified Network: CNN Production Company(s): All3Media Executive Producer(s): Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Stephen Lambert, Mike Rogers Logline: Series will look into America’s covert operations around the world. Each episode will feature a newly declassified mission told firsthand by the agents involved, giving CNN viewers “unprecedented access to world of espionage.” SSN Insight: To be hosted by former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, also the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

The Eighties Network: CNN Production Company(s): Playtone, HBO, Herzog & Company Executive Producer(s): Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Mark Herzog Logline: Each hourlong episode will explore the individuals and events that shaped the decade. SSN Insight: A follow-up to the CNN series “The Sixties” and “The Seventies” that bowed in 2014. The docuseries was announced on May 13 and will premiere next year.

The Group Network: TBS Studio: Warner Horizon Television Production Company(s): Conaco Productions Executive Producer(s): Conan O'Brien, David Kissinger, Dan Halsted, Jeff Ross, Greg Daniels Writer(s): David Jenkins Logline: A serious journalist is tapped to write an article about an alien abduction support group. Initially dismissive, he gradually learns that he has more in common with these people than he’d like to admit. Eventually, he must accept that either he is having a nervous breakdown or that the small, upstate town of Beacon, New York is about to be invaded by aliens. SSN Insight: Pilot order was announced during the Turner Upfront on May 13. O’Brien and Daniels were writing partners on “Saturday Night Live.”

Wrecked Network: TBS Executive Producer(s): Justin Shipley, Jordan Shipley, Jesse Hara, Moses Port Writer(s): Justin Shipley, Jordan Shipley Logline: Chronicles the aftermath of a plane crashing on a remote island. Two best friends, along with an extremely diverse group of survivors, must adjust to life in a dangerous new world that poses unique threats.which they mostly bring upon themselves. Danny and Owen, who weren’t quite killing it pre-crash, are given the chance to finally be the kind of men they’ve always wanted to be. No longer plugged in, they become the unexpected leaders of this new society devoid of such comforts as social media, wi-fi, indoor plumbing and fast food restaurants. SSN Insight: The project was originally ordered to pilot on October 24. The order of the ten episode miniseries was announced during the Turner Upfront on May 13.

Animal Kingdom Network: TNT Studio: Warner Horizon Television Production Company(s): John Wells Productions Executive Producer(s): John Wells, Jonathan Lisco Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: When 17-year-old Josh moves in with his wild, free-wheeling relatives in their Southern California beach town, he is pulled into their life of indulgence and excess. But after Josh discovers that it's all being funded by criminal activities, it becomes clear to him that joining the family comes with more danger and excitement than he might be ready to handle. Details: Based on the film, "Animal Kingdom," (Australia/ 2010) directed by David Michod and starring Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton and Jacki Weaver. SSN Insight: Pilot order was announced during the Turner Upfront on May 13.

The Alienist Network: TNT Studio: TNT, Paramount Television Production Company(s): Anonymous Content Executive Producer(s): Steve Golin, Rosalie Swedlin, Eric Roth, Cary Fukunaga, Hossein Amini Writer(s): Hossein Amini Logline: Set in New York City in 1896, the story of a journalist trying to solve a series of murders, and the investigative team assembled by police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt. Based on the novel by Caleb Carr. Details: Based on the novel "The Alienist" written by Caleb Carr and published by Random House April 1994. SSN Insight: Previously in development as a feature with Paramount Pictures and Scott Rudin Productions. Planned as an eight part event series. Pilot order was announced during the Turner Upfront on May 13.

Will Network: TNT Production Company(s): Cineflix Executive Producer(s): Vince Gerardis, Howard Braunstein, Louise Rosner, Craig Pearce Writer(s): Craig Pearce Logline: A look at William Shakespeare’s wild early years. SSN Insight: Previously had a straight to series order at Pivot in 2013. Pilot order was announced during the Turner Upfront on May 13.

Eight Most Wanted Pilot Scripts, Netflix’s Big Cannes Splash, NBC Wins TV Season, Tojo’s ‘Colossal’ Lawsuit, TV Development For 5/19/15


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The Eight Most Wanted TV Pilot Scripts

Writing A TV Pilot Script? One of the best ways to learn how to write a TV pilot script is by reading pilot scripts. Gathered here are eight pilot script PDFs from some of the most popular recent comedies. Check them out. (SSN)

TV Development For 5/19/15: All the Turner Upfront News, David Lynch To Direct ‘Twin Peaks’, Plus Amazon Pickups

A ton of action as the TV world continues to look forward to the next batch of new shows soon to appear on your home screens. Also included, something new for HBO, the USA Network, NBC and ITV 1. Click on the link to get all the info. (SSN)


Netflix Continues Its Roll Toward World Domination, Makes Big Splash At Cannes

The online streaming giant has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the upcoming Kevin James comedy The True Memoirs of an International Assassin. The sale, which is in final negotiations, is a formidable coup for Netflix as it continues to build on its reputation in the realm of distributing original films. (VAR)

The 2014-15 TV Season Finally Has Itself a Winner, and the Peacock Is Once Again Strutting

Though the season is not officially over for another three nights, the Comcast-owned NBC looks to have clinched the top spot among adults 18-49 for the second year in a row – by a Super Bowl XLIX  hair. With the big NFL game on its schedule this year, the network drew a 2.4/8 rating among adults 18-49 for the 2014-15 TV season compared to CBS’ 2.3/7 result, as the latter network took the viewership championship again. (DH)

Tojo Studios Are None Too Happy With the Anne Hathaway ‘Colossal’ Project

The film being shopped to buyers in Cannes is causing a monster legal battle. The rightsholders of the Godzilla franchise, the Japanese company Toho, have sued Voltage Pictures over the film Colossal, which stars Anne Hathaway playing a woman who realizes her mind is strangely connected to a giant lizard destroying Tokyo. It's described as Godzilla meets Being John Malkovich. In fact, it is Godzilla, says Toho, which filed a complaint today in court. (HESQ)

ABC’s new Shondaland Series, ‘The Catch’ Is Recasting Two Major Roles

The characters played in the pilot by Bethany Joy Lenz and Damon Dayoub will be recast for the ongoing series, which will premiere in the fall. The show, which stars Mireille Enos as an elite fraud investigator who ironically finds herself the victim of a long con perpetrated by her fiance Kieran. In the pilot, Dayoub played Kieran and Lenz played Kieran’s actual wife. (TVL)

‘Jack Reacher 2’ May Have Just Found Two New Writers and a Director, Too

Ed Zwick is in talks to helm the film, which he would rewrite with longtime partner Marshall Herskovitz. The first draft of the project — said to be based on the 18th novel in the Reacher series by Lee Child, Never Go Back — was written by Richard Wenk, and now star and producer Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai director appears ready to jump on board. (EMP)

Get Ready For a Movie About the Brontë Sisters, Courtesy Of the BBC

Veteran British TV writer Sally Wainwright will make her feature directorial debut with the two-hour BBC1 drama. To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters will center on Charlotte, who penned Jane Eyre, and Emily, who wrote Wuthering Heights, and their two other siblings — their younger sister Anne, who wrote The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and their brother Branwell, who died of alcoholism and drug addiction — and their autodidact father. (WAH)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’

Twentieth Century Fox has released the first trailer from the upcoming sequel to last year’s hit film, based on the popular YA trilogy. Once again directed by Wes Ball and starring Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, Giancarlo Esposito, Ki Hong Lee, Rosa Salazar and Jacob Lofland. It opens September 18th. (COL)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘We Are Your Friends’

The first look at the new Zac Efron film, about an aspiring DJ in the world of EDM. Efron stars as Cole, who is trying to make ends meet during the day, while working at night on the one track that will make his entire career. Wes Bentley, Jonny Weston, Emily Ratajkowski, Shiloh Fernandez and Jon Bernthal, and hits theaters August 28th. (CB)

DreamWorks’‘Phenomenon’, Ang Lee Finds His Bravo Company, Fox Takes a Big Technological Step Forward, MTV Green Lights ‘Bastards’, BET’s Big Summer



DreamWorks Just Nabbed the Rights To a Pretty Important and Groundbreaking Sports Story

The studio has optioned Phenomenon, Roseanne Montillo's biography of Betty Robinson, which details how Robinson became the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal in track and field and the incredible challenges she surmounted to win her second. Frank Marshall is on board to produce the adaptation along with Rob Weisbach. Montillo and Kevin Yorn will co-produce.  (THR)

Ang Lee Has Finally Finished Casting Bravo Company For His Upcoming ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’ Adaptation

Filling the ranks are Arturo Castro, who will play “Mango”; Barney Harris, who will play “Sykes”; Beau Knapp, who plays “Crack”; Mason Lee, who plays “Foo”; Brian “Astro” Bradley, who plays “Lodis”; and Ismael Cruz Cordova, who plays “Holiday.” In addition, Makenzie Leigh will play Faison, a Texas cheerleader and love interest to main character Billy Flynn. They join actor Joe Alwyn, already cast in the title role. (DH)

Twentieth Century Fox Takes a Big Technological Step Forward, For You the Home Viewer

The studio will be the first to create all its movies in High Dynamic Range, Ultra HD for home viewing, which is viewed by many Hollywood tech leaders as the key feature to create a noticeable picture advancement for viewers. It also intends to make HDR UHD versions of its recent releases, including X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Maze Runner. (BTS)

MTV Continues To Expand Its Original Scripted Programming, Green Lights Animated Pilot ‘Fantasy Bastards’

Brittany Snow will be doing voice work for the show, which follows five awkward outcasts who discover they have the same father (who just so happens to be a prince…and a total cad). The group of misfits become royalty overnight, but it’s not your typical fairytale. Sharon Osbourne, Natasha Leggero, Nasim Pedrad, John Roberts, Jameeliah Garrett and Jessica Lowe are also in the cast. (EW)

Meanwhile, BET Is Making Sure That You Have Plenty Of Viewing Options This Summer

The cable net announced a summer TV lineup that includes 2 new original movies, new series, specials, live events and more. Among the attractions are Regina King's feature length film directorial debut, an adaptation of Let the Church Say Amen, the best-selling novel by Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil’s The Start Up, as well as a reboot of Punk’d, a Muhammad Ali tribute and season nine of The Game. (SAA)

Warner Bros. Just Dropped a Ton Of Information About When We’ll Be Seeing a Bunch Of Their Upcoming Movies

The Ben Affleck action-thriller The Accountant has been given the release date of January 29th, The pic will open opposite Kung Fu Panda 3 and the Disney coast guard drama The Finest Hours, which stars Affleck’s brother Casey Affleck. Other release dates were announced for Project XX, Arms & the Dudes and a “Special Event Film” which might be the Annabelle sequel. (COL)

‘Child 44’ Director Daniel Espinosa Has Lined Up His Next Big Project

Espinosa will helm a new adaptation of Vilhelm Moberg’s novel The Emigrants, which was previously adapted for a 1971 movie that earned four Academy Award nominations, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Story tells the tale of the epic journey of a couple who immigrate to American from Sweden in the 1850s seeking a better life. Petter Skavlan (Kon-Tiki) will write the script and filming is slated to begin in 2017. (TP)

Does Geek Royalty Simon Pegg Actually Think Geek Culture Is Dumbing Us Down? Yes, He Does

The writer-actor who has starred as Montgomery Scott in two Star Trek movies, is co-writing the upcoming third installment, and will appear in his third Mission: Impossible film this summer, has a few thoughts about the way Geek Culture has affected Pop Culture, and that we are losing our focus on the more important things. (RT)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Scream Queens’

Fox has released the first full-length trailer of Ryan Murphy’s next creation, the horror-comedy mashup that will star Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Nasim Pedrad, Oliver Hudson, Skyler Samuels, Keke Palmer, Billie Lourd, Diego Boneta, Glen Powell, Lucien Laviscount, Niecy Nash, Nick Jonas, and Ariana Grande. Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan are co-creators of the project, which will premiere in the fall. (TVL)

Screenwriters: ‘Prisoners’

The 119-page screenplay by Aaron Guzikowski, dated January 17th, 2013, and labeled Full Pink Version. (GITS)

BOI: ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ v ‘Mad Max’, Focus Revives Gramercy, ‘Magnificent 7′ Finds Its Villain, Rep Moves For 5/20/15


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Box Office Insight: ‘Pitch Perfect 2' Won the Weekend, but Will It Win the War Against ‘Mad Max’ Around the World?

One film is selling adult stylized violence while the other is selling girl power with music numbers. Films aiming at different audience segments compete most every weekend, but what’s interesting is that the films’ performances of this particular weekend were almost mirror images. SSN analyzes why. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 5/20/15: Josh Gad, Gal Gadot Follow Meredith Wechter To WME, While Hailee Steinfeld Chooses CAA Instead

It was a busier week in rep moves than it has been of late, with several different agencies getting involved in the various comings and goings. To get all the info, click on the link and read on. (SSN)


Like a Phoenix, Gramercy Pictures Rises From the Ashes

Focus Features has revived the label, last seen in 2002, as the genre brand for its action, horror and sci-fi movies. Insidious 3, which opens June 5, will be the first title to carry the Gramercy brand. Focus, which went through an extensive reorganization two years ago, is a division of NBC Universal. Focus is not adding any new staff for the move. (VAR)

So, If You’re Keeping Score, It’s Peter Sarsgaard In, Jason Momoa Out Of ‘Magnificent Seven’ Remake’

The MGM/Sony remake of the 1960 film has found its bad guy. Sarsgaard is in final negotiations to play Bartholomew Bogue, a robber baron whose hired thugs kill the husband of a woman who hires a group of mercenaries to take back the small town that has become Bogue’s stomping grounds. Meanwhile, Momoa has dropped out due to, according to one report, the fact that his character had little to do. (DH)

Lonely Island’s Music Spoof ‘Connor4real’ Adds a Couple Impressive Names

Tim Meadows has joined the project, while Imogen Poots is in talks, from the team of Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. The film, which takes potshots at music documentary/concert films, sees Samberg as a rapper who has found big success since splitting with his boy band, but who must reunite with them when his latest solo album flops. Taccone and Schaffer are co-starring and directing, with Judd Apatow on hand to produce. (EMP)

Indie Dramedy ‘Tallulah’ Snags Ellen Page and Allison Janney To Lead It

Sian Heder having written the screenplay and directing the film, which tells the story of a free-spirited young urban adventurer who rescues a baby girl from her spoiled and reckless mom. Page stars as Tallulah or “Lu” who quickly learns that the rest of the world thinks she kidnapped the child. She passes the baby off as her own with the mother of her ex-boyfriend, Margo, a middle-aged divorcé played by Janney. Route One Entertainment is financing the film. (CS)

With His Final Show Airing Tonight, Two Of David Letterman’s Longtime Head Writers Reminisce

Eric and Justin Stangel spent 17 years with the legendary talk show host and were coaxed into chatting about their time with him, including the time they almost killed him, the time they almost killed Paul Shaffer, the worst bit they ever came up with and some of the best organic comedy they ever stumbled upon. (UR)

Meanwhile, a String Of Celebrities, Writers and Personalities Also Share Their Favorite Letterman Moments

People like Conan O’Brien, Tina Fey, Nathan Lane, Dane Cook, Rudy Giuliani, Gabourey Sidibe and Will Arnett chime in, among a host of others, about their favorite moments with Dave and watching Dave. Others, like James Cameron, for instance, were not fans at all. (VUL)

On Letterman’s Next Top 10 List: What to Do With All That Content

When the legend walks off the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater for the last time tonight, he'll take more than 4,000 hours of the Late Show with him. And a couple thousand hours of The Late Late Show. The retiring host is the founder of Worldwide Pants Inc., which produced both programs, as well as a handful of sitcoms. (AA)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Amy’

The first trailer from the acclaimed and highly anticipated documentary ab out the late Amy Winehouse, from BAFTA award-winning director Asif Kapadia. The movie hits theaters July 3rd. (SF)

UTA Responds To CAA Lawsuit But Bags Another Big Client, Paramount’s ‘Transformers’ Universe Signs Writers, Epix Jumps Into Original Scripted


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UTA Fires Back At CAA Over Agent Defection Lawsuit, Saying Action Is “Desperate Attempt To Save Face”

The agency’s response begins with the statement, "Despite what CAA would like to believe, its front doors are not a one-way turnstile.” In dual demurrers and motions to strike filed yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, UTA came out swinging against its cross-town rival, accusing it of manufacturing a bogus lawsuit. (HESQ)

Meanwhile, Almost On Cue, Zooey Deschanel Becomes the Latest Star To Leave CAA For UTA

The actress and musician stars on Fox’s New Girl, although her titular character will be absent for four episodes when the comedy returns for its fifth season, as Deschanel is pregnant. She will, however, appear in theaters this fall in Barry Levinson’s Rock the Kasbah, which stars Bill Murray as a washed-up music manager who shepherds a young singer through an Afghan reality singing competition. (THR)

Paramount and Akiva Goldsman Sign Up a Bunch Of Writers For Its ‘Transformers’ Universe

With the studio wanting to build a series of spinoffs, and with Goldsman hired to oversee said building, deals have been made with Robert Kirkman, Zak Penn, Jeff Pinkner and the writing team of Art Marcum & Matt Holloway. There is no word on whether they will all work together or on four different projects. Notable by his absence is Ehren Kruger, who wrote three of the first four Transformers films. (SF)

Epix Jumps Into the Scripted Television Game, Green Lights To Different Series

Cable net has handed out its first orders to a comedy starring Nick Nolte, called Graves, and the 10-part espionage thriller Berlin Station. Both projects come from Epix’s parent companies Lionsgate and Paramount. A third series is in the works from MGM, the other parent in Epix’s trio of studio partners. Both have 10-episode straight-to-series orders. (VAR)

After Years Of Development Hell and a Revolving Door Of Stars, 'The Crow’ Remake Seems To Finally Be Moving Forward, May Have Found Its Villain

Andrea Riseborough looks set to join Jack Huston, who has been cast as the lead role originated by the late Brandon Lee. Riseborough would play Top Dollar, who in the novel and the original movie was the baddest of the bad guys — yes, a guy — in the story of Draven, who comes back from the dead to avenge his girlfriend’s death after both were killed in a deadly attack. Michael Wincott played Top Dollar in the first film, which came out in 1994. (DH)

Baz Luhrman and Netflix Have Landed Grandmaster Flash For Their New Hip-Hop Series

Luhrman’s The Get Down tells the saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who did it. Now, the father of hip-hop will serve as an associate producer and adviser on the drama series, with young actor Mamoudou Athie portraying Flash on-screen. (TLF)

Chris Pratt Has a Lot More Marvel Movies Ahead Of Him, and They Are Not All ‘Guardians’ Flicks

The actor has confirmed that he is signed up for several more Marvel movies, including two more in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, as well as at least two others. Speculation has him, and his fellow Guardians, appearing in the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, which will be directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and will hit theaters in 2018 and 2019. (CB)

Denis Villeneuve Just Landed One Of the Industry’s Best Cinematographers For His ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel

Twelve-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins has joined the project, which won’t even start shooting until the summer of 2016. Harrison Ford has been confirmed for a return as Rick Deckard, and Ryan Gosling has been heavily rumored for the lead role. The new film is written by Blade Runner co-writer Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, from an idea by Fancher and Ridley Scott. (GR)

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

Fox Searchlight and Indian Paintbrush have released a new international trailer for the film, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. The film was this year’s big winner at the Sundance Film Festival, taking home both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. It opens June 12th. (COL)

Screenwriters: Script Notes — Major Character Types: ‘Mentors”

A mentor (sometimes referred to as the guardian) serves the purpose of providing physical training and/or wisdom to the protagonist in his or her efforts to achieve the outer journey of the story (the physical mission). Some brilliant script gurus lump the mentor in with other types of reflection characters, but it’s important to break this character off as separate and independent. (SM)

UCLA Professor On “Genre” Hoax, ACLU Launches Gender Bias Petition, Ealing Studios’ Big Move, Supergirl’s Movie Gig


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UCLA Screenwriting Professor Richard Walter On the Hoax Called “Genre”

One screenwriting pundit claims that there are sixteen or eighteen, or two dozen, or thirty genres, it doesn’t matter how many, and that each one has separate, distinct rules. According to Walter, though, there are only two. Click on the link to learn all about it. (SSN)


It’s Official, the ACLU Has Launched a Petition On Gender Bias In Hollywood’s Hiring Of Directors

American Civil Liberties Union is calling on people in Hollywood, via an email today, to sign a petition urging the government to investigate and monitor the industry's "biased hiring practices.” ACLU is also requesting that Women in Film and the Sundance Institute help circulate information about the petition. (THR)

Ealing Studios Acquires Stake In GreenAcre Films, Plans To Boost TV Production

Move is likely to be the first of many new partnerships sought by Ben Latham-Jones, who recently acquired 100% of Ealing Studios Entertainment, the iconic studio’s production arm. Co-founded by Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks in 2010, GreenAcre Films was acquired by Wall to Wall in 2012. The company’s drama slate includes projects for HBO, BBC and ITV.  (DH)

As She Is About To Break Out as the New Supergirl, Melissa Benoist Flies Into a Big Movie Role

Benoist will be in Universal Pictures’ Lowriders, which explores the underground world of lowrider cars and street tagging. Both Lily Collins and Nicola Peltz had been previously attached to the role. Movie also stars Demian Bichir, Eva Longoria, Tony Revolori, Gabriel Chavarria, Theo Rossi and Yvette Monreal. (CS)

The Writings of Bruce Lee Have Inspired Justin Lin and Cinemax To Team Up For a New Show

They are teaming to develop the drama series Warrior, which is inspired by the writings of martial arts legend Bruce Lee. Lin is attached to direct the potential pilot, which was written by Jonathan Tropper, the co-creator/writer of Cinemax’s other hit original series Banshee. Should Cinemax order it to series, Tropper would act as executive producer alongside Lin. (COL)

Fluffy’s Getting Himself a Brand New TV Series! Fuse Signs Up Gabriel Iglesias For New Show

Cable net’s six-episode series, set to premiere in October, will feature Iglesias and tour mates Martin Moreno and Rick Gutierrez as they travel to new cities, meet fans and attempt the impossible — balancing big meals with big workouts. The series is a comedy of consequences: If members of Fluffy’s crew want to eat a high calorie meal, they’re going to have to work to “break even” the next day by burning those calories. (VAR)

George Romero Is Breaking New Ground, Bringing Zombies To Television

The man who made zombies cool with his Dead series — beginning with Night of the Living Dead — is turning his Empire of the Dead comic book into a TV series. He and longtime writing partner Peter Grunwald are shepherding the project, with Demarest, which produced films such as A Most Wanted Man and Kevin Smith’s horror comedy Tusk, backing the effort. (EMP)

After Years In Development, ‘Neuromancer’ Finally Has Financing, but Now Needs a New Director

Chinese company C2M Media Group has stepped up to co-develop and co-finance the film with the UK-based GFM Films. In the process, though, after being attached to direct the project for five years, Vincenzo Natali has left the project. Now, producer Lucas Foster is in talks with new writers and a new director. No names have been revealed as of yet. Project is based on the the 1984 cyberpunk classic by William Gibson. (SF)

This Is Hollywood: Maggie Gyllenhaal Details How She Was Told That She Is “Too Old” To Play a 55-Year-Old Man’s Love Interest

Strange to hear this about a 37-year-old actress, yes? The Oscar nominee, who is getting Emmy buzz for her work on the Sundance miniseries The Honourable Woman, tells all in an interview in which she reveals the astonishing fact, and says, “It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.” (TW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Batkid Begins’

The latest trailer for the heart-tugging documentary about how the city of San Francisco turned out to make a dying boy’s dream come true. It hits theaters June 26th. (UR)

Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Think’, Oscar Isaac’s HBO Mini, ‘WWZ2′ News, Tate Taylor To Helm ‘Girl On the Train’, Broad Green Nabs ‘Infiltrator’


at arrivals for Variety's 2014 Power of Women Event in LA, Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA October 10, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

Clap Your Hands! Reese Witherspoon Will Don Wings To Play a Live Action Tinkerbell

Witherspoon will star in and produce Tink for Disney, with Finding Dory co-writer Victoria Strouse at work on a script. The unexplored side to the occasionally temperamental sprite will fill a story that has yet to be specified and there’s no director on board right now. This will be a more modest film than the lavish spectacle of the Angelina Jolie-starring fairy tale revamp. (EMP)

Oscar Isaac’s Big Year Rolls On, as HBO Sets His Mini-Series For an August Premiere

The A Most Violent Year and Ex Machina star, who will also be featured in Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it opens in December, leads Show Me a Hero, a six-hour mini-series from The Wire creator David Simon. Simon co-wrote with William F. Zorzi, and Paul Haggis directs. Winona Ryder, Catherine Keener, Alfred Molina, Bob Balaban, LaTanya Richardson-Jackson, and Jim Belushi also star in the mini, which explores race in 1960s Yonkers, New York. (SF)

Fans Of Fast Zombies Should Mark Their Calendars: The ‘World War Z’ Sequel Has a Release Date

Paramount Pictures has announced the released date for the follow up to the 2013 apocalypse thriller, which starred Brad Pitt as a family man recruited to prevent the zombie apocalypse. The sequel is set to arrive in theaters June 9th, 2017 with Pitt returning in the starring role. Juan Antonia Bayona is set to direct the sequel from a script by Steven Knight. (COL)

Smash Bestseller ‘The Girl On the Train’ Is Heading For the Big Screen, and Tate Taylor Will Direct It

The man who directed the studio’s The Help is returning to helm the adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ novel. Erin Cressida Wilson is writing the script, which tells of an alcoholic woman who, devastated by a recent divorce, spends her daily train ride fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house her train passes every day. But she may come to be involved in their affairs when she comes home covered in blood after a black-out drinking episode. (THR)

Thanks To Broad Green Pictures, American Audiences Will Get a Chance To See ‘The Infiltrator’

Fast-growing company nailed down the rights at Cannes, setting it for a release later this year. Bryan Cranston stars as undercover U.S. Customs agent Robert Mazur, who became a pivotal player for drug lords in the 1980s after cleaning their dirty cash by trading on mob connections to become confidant to the international underworld, and the bankers who enabled them. Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Yul Vazquez and Amy Ryan co-star. (VAR)

Sony Corrals an Oscar Nominated Writer To Adapt Its ‘Zombies Vs. Robots’ Adaptation

Craig Borten has come on board the project to write the screenplay based on the IDW comic series, though the working title of the film is now Inherit the Earth. Andrew Adamson is attached to direct the film, which tells of a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies has only one chance at recovery – a team of robots that must protect and clone a lone surviving human baby. (CS)

Jamie Foxx Lands Some Very Attractive Company For His New Action Thriller

Gabrielle Union has signed on to Sleepless Night, a remake of French thriller Nuit Blanche. Union will play the ex-wife to Foxx’s character, a dirty cop who must reclaim a bag of stolen drugs to save his kidnapped son’s life. But he’s pursued by both sides of the law. Baran bo Odar will direct the film, which shoots in Atlanta and Las Vegas. (EW)

Watch: Chris Pratt’s Drunk Acting Lessons

As a companion o the cover feature running in this month’s GQ, the Jurassic World star gets loaded on Fireball whiskey and tries to explain how to act. It’s about as funny as it sounds. (CB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Knock Knock’

Lionsgate has unveiled the first full trailer for Eli Roth‘s new film, which stars Keanu Reeves as a family man who is seduced and tortured by two psychotic women. Lorenza Izzo and Ana De Armas co-star alongside Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand and Colleen Camp. The studio has not yet set a release date. (TW)

Screenwriters: ‘Nightcrawler’

The Oscar-nominated, 107-page screenplay by Dan Gilroy, dated November 27th, 2012. (GITS)

Exec Shuffle for 5/22/15: Alex Garcia Launches AG Capital, Ben Latham-Jones Buys Ealing Studios Plus Moves at Weinstein


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Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals

Jenny Daly’s T Group Prods has inked an overall co-production deal with long-time producer Ann Lewis Roberts, and her new shingle Roberts Media which will relocate to T Group’s Santa Monica office. Under the agreement, Roberts will create, develop and produce unscripted programming to be co-produced with T Group in the U.S., Canada and UK and they’ll serve as EPs on all series.

Moroccan-born billionaire Patrick Drahi Luxembourg-based telecom company, Altice, has made a deal to buy 70% of Suddenlink in a deal that values $9.1 billion including debt. If approved, the deal would give Altice 1.5 million cable customers across the U.S. marking the company’s first customers in the country.

Greek businessman and ship owner Paris Kasidokostas-Latsis has launched the Hercules Film Fund and will finance three to five wide-release films a year. It’s first film out of the gate is Mena, starring Tom Cruise which Universal Pictures is distributing. Kasidokostas-Latsis’ partner Terry Dougas is starting new production banner Rhea as the production company for films financed by Hercules and will co-produce Mena. The two companies will operate independently from 1821 Media, the multimedia production and finance company, already owned by longtime business partners Kasidokostas-Latsis and Douglas.

Alex Garcia, Latin America’s largest indie film producer-financier, has launched AG Capital, an equity-backed fund that will fully fund English language films in the $5 million-$25 million range and co-produce films above $25 million dollar budgets. AG Capital will be under Garcia’s controlling company AG Studios and will be run by him and Laura Walker, formerly an agent at CAA for seven years. Walker has worked in production, serving as assistant director to Richard Linklater, Peter Berg and Robert Rodriguez.

Broadcasters and cable networks are partnering to form a new organization named the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), formerly the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau, focused on maximizing advertising potential through quality content on traditional TV outlets. Sean Cunningham will serve as President and CEO. Joe Abruzzese, president of advertising sales at Discovery Networks has been named an inaugural co-chair of the VAB. The VAB will include 110 networks and the 11 largest MVPDs combining the biggest broadcast networks, cable networks and distributors to advance the power of video advertising.

Ben Latham-Jones has fully bought Ealing Studios Entertainment, the production entity of the legendary London-based studio. The former creative director for Fox will serve as the head of studio. Previous head Barnaby Thompson will focus on directing. In 2012, Latham-Jones raised $50 million in financing to produce films.


Broad Green Pictures has hired Travis Reid as President of Theatrical Distribution. In his new role, Reid will oversee the theatrical distribution of the company’s current specialty, and forthcoming wide release slates, including theatrical sales, exhibitor relations, in-theatre marketing, and all associated operations in these areas. Emlyn Barrios has been named the SVP of Home Entertainment Sales. Barrios was previously at Paramount. Marco DiSilvio will be the VP of Home Entertainment Sales, formerly he worked at Redbox Instant. Vincent Gatewood has been hired as a CE. He was previously Lawrence Bender’s assistant. Dustin Howard has been named the new SVP of Home Ent. Sales, snagged from Cinedigm. Tom Parker has been hired as the VP of Promotions, Events & Field Publicity and was previously at Relativity Media. The company has also tapped Kathleen Kennedy’s previous assistant, Shary Shirazi to become a new CE.

Michael Dwyer is the new SVP International Sales & Distribution at IM Global. He previously served as VP, International Sales & Acquisitions at Screen Media.

New Line Cinema has named Catherine Nam as their VP of Publicity and Communication and will spearhead communications across all of the company’s operations and provide communications support for Warner Bros Theatre Ventures. She’s a veteran having spent 13 years in international PR at Warner Bros. Pictures. In the new role she will work closely with the publicity teams at Warner Bros. She reports to Toby Emmerich, President & COO of New Line Cinema.

Ennis Hensley has been promoted from EVP to President, International Sales & Distribution at The Weinstein Company.

Patrick Chu has been promoted from Director of Development to VP of Productions & Acquisitions at FilmNation Entertainment. Jennifer Fradlin has been promoted from Director to VP of Business & Legal Affairs at FilmNation Entertainment. Selena Saldana has been promoted to VP of Publicity, up from Director.

Mike Weatherley has been named the EVP, Director of the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation in LA/London. He previously served as British MP and Intellectual Property Rights Advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron in London.


ITV Studios America has upped Paul Reaney to SVP Development. Based in Los Angeles, Reaney will still focus on the growth of the company’s West Coast development slate for broadcast, cable and digital. He’ll report to Bruce Robertson, EVP of Creative Strategy.

Chetan Dave has been promoted from Coordinator to Manager of Comedy Development at 20th Century Fox Television. Jenna Dim has likewise been upped from Coordinator to Manager in the Drama Development department.

Michael Jackson is the new Head of Global Sales at Banijay International in London. He was previously Senior Sales & Acquisitions Executive at DCD Rights in the city.

Josh Levy has been named SVP of Television at Boom! Studios. He was formerly VP of Creative Affairs at Far Field Productions.

Long-time TV programming exec Holly Hines has joined Dynamic Television as SVP Content, and will develop and sell new scripted series and mini-series to U.S., UK, Canadian and Australian networks. Previously she was SVP Scripted Programming at Pivot. Hines will work with Managing Partners Daniel March and Klaus Zimmermann in handling Dynamic’s produced television series.

Kelli Raftery has been upped to SVP Communications at CBS Corporation, will help manage media relations for the CBS Corporate Communications Department and work closely to support the communications teams at each of CBS’s business segments. Shannon Jacobs, who was previously the SVP Communications at CBS Corporation will be the senior consultant to the department. She’ll continue in her current role through the launch of the new fall season.

Lindsey Springer has been named the new President of Carlton Cuse Productions. She was previously at Amblin TV as head of development. At Carlton, her series portfolio will include A&E’s Bates Motel and The Returned, FX’s The Strain and USA’s upcoming Colony. Carlton Cuse inked a three-year first-look deal with A+E Studios last fall.

Long-time comedy writer-producer Donick Cary has inked a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. In the first year he’ll serve as a consulting producer on Silicon Valley while developing for CBS Studios. Cary began his writing career on Late Night and Late Show With David Letterman before moving to The Simpsons.

Robert Atwood has been named VP of Television Development at Fazekas & Butter. Formerly he was the Director of Development & Talent at TV Land.

Martha Sepulveda is the new Director of Development & Production in Kids and Family Entertainment at Breakthrough Entertainment in Toronto. She was previously the Development Manager at Sinking Ship Ent.

Antonio Pacheco has been promoted from Director to VP of Program Planning & Scheduling at Starz.

Simon Raikes will be the new Creative Director at Red Planet Pictures in London. He formerly served as a Commissioning Editor in Factual at Channel5 in London.

Jim Schubert has been promoted from Executive Director to VP of Program Planning & Scheduling at Encore.

René Santaella has been promoted from VP to SVP of Global Ad Strategy & Operations, Digital Networks at Sony Pictures Television.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Deadline Hollywood founder Nikki Finke has announced plans for a new site called HollywoodDementia.com, centering around the creation of fictional stories about living and working in Hollywood. She will write and curate content for the site with a launch date planned for late June.

Tiffani Manabat has been tapped to be VP of Advertising & Games at Digital Domain 3.0. Previously he served as an Executive Producer of Post Production at Caviar.

Michael Brittain is the new Creative Director at Ignition Creative. He previously served as Director of Print Design at FX Networks.

Dan Clivner is now the Co-Managing Partner at Sidley Austin. He was previously Managing Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Machinima has just named former Sony and Fox digital marketing exec Joseph Epstein SVP, Marketing. At the studios he oversaw strategies and campaigns for films including The Croods, Good Day To Die Hard and The Wolverine. In the new role, he’ll report to COO Daniel Tibbets. Joerg Bachmaier has been named the SVP of Content Strategy & Co-Productions at Machinima. He was previously the EVP of International Production, BBC Worldwide.

Jarryd Gonzales, previous spokesperson at Verizon will head Public Relations & Communications for The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Entertainment Weekly has tapped Ellie Duque as their new publisher, replacing Melissa Mattiace who stepped down. Duque will oversee the development and execution of advertising sales and marketing initiatives on all platforms for the magazine, website and digital offerings. She will report to People and EW Group Publisher, Karen Kovacs. EW has also promoted Lana LoRusso to vice president and associate publisher of sales and will report to Duque.

Richard Van Syckle has been named the Nashville Local Executive Director of SAG-AFTRA in the city. Previously he gained experience as a freelance producer and project manager.

Brian Hunt is now the EVP and head of Development at Believe Ent. Group in NYC. He was previously the head of Creative Development at Yahoo!

Viz Media, a North American distributor of manga and anime, has tapped Brad Woods as its new chief marketing officer and will develop marketing and product strategies to expand the Viz Media brand across multiple channels across all of the company’s imprints. Previously, Woods was at DreamWorks Animation and held senior positions at Mattel and Warner Bros.

Angela Megrey has shifted to VP of Social Media at Crown Media Family Networks, she previously served that role at Blaze PR.

Marketing Agency, Razorfish just hired Samih Fadli as its first chief intelligence officer. Fadli will lead Razorfish Global’s Data Intelligence Practice and expand marketing intelligence and data sciences practices. Prior to taking the Razorfish gig, Fahli was SVP of global engineering at Gravity4, an ad tech company with a problematic CEO who just got sued for gender discrimination.

Rolling Stone has hired Josh Swade as executive producer of film and video starting May 26. Swade will manage Rolling Stone’s team of about 10 recently hired employees. He was previously a senior producer at MaggieVision Prods. Where he produced ESPN’s “The ESPYs” and “NFL Honors” awards shows.

Amazon-owned Audible.com has tapped Eric Nuzum as the SVP of Original Content. He hails from NPR where he was VP of Programming.

Development Pick List, ‘Supergirl’ Gets Pirated, Amy Schumer’s Next Gig, Richard Curtis Writing Bee Gees Biopic, ‘Now You See Me 3′, Exec Shuffle For 5/22/15


nescafe dinosaurs


Development Pick List: the #Future #Biopics, Dinosaur #Directors, Time-Traveling #Female #Heroes To Check Out

Just in time for summer, SSN has sorted through the internet to find that available talent and content on the cusp of greatness. This list is filled with hidden gems in the form of talent and content that are steps from hitting the mainstream. Besides talent and produced content, some are articles that would make for a fascinating miniseries or film. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 5/22/15: Alex Garcia Launches AG Capital, Ben Latham-Jones Buys Ealing Studios, Plus Weinstein Moves

Another busy week in Hollywoodland, as lots of hirings and firings and comings and goings occur all over town. Companies are bought and sold, execs land golden parachutes, and the world keeps spinning. Click on the link to get all the info. (SSN)


Today In Internet Piracy: CBS’ ‘Supergirl’ Pilot Leaks Online Six Months Ahead Of Premiere

A high-quality copy of the pilot for the new drama series leaked to pirate sites early this morning according to German all-things-piracy-tracking firm Excipio. Excipio reports the pirated pilot turned up around 3 AM ET today, and does not appear to have watermarks. CBS and Warner Bros Television declined to comment. (DH)

The Rise Of Amy Schumer Continues Unabated, as She Sets Up Another Film At Fox

Just a few weeks before the release of her first film, Trainwreck, the buzzing comedian is set to write and star in a mother-daughter comedy for Fox. Paul Feig is attached to produce. The film, co-written by Schumer and her sister Kim Caramele, will be based on a script reportedly about "a mother-daughter duo trapped in a vacation gone wrong." (VUL)

Richard Curtis Prepares To Suffer From Night Fever, but Will Keep Stayin’ Alive To Write Bee Gees Biopic

The screenwriter behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mr. Bean, Bridget Jones' Diary, and War Horse, will script a biopic of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb — the brothers who formed the Bee Gees in 1958 — for DreamWorks and MGM. Barry Gibb, the lone surviving member of the group, and MGM's Gary Barber are set to produce. (TOH)

Second Movie Isn’t Hitting Theaters For Another Year? No Problem, Lionsgate Still Wants Another ‘Now You See Me’

The studio confirms it’s already entered the “early planning” stages for the threequel, now that Now You See Me 2 has wrapped production. Now You See Me: The Second Act began shooting in late 2014, and is scheduled to arrive in theaters June 10th, 2016. Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Radcliffe star. (SF)

FX Loves Being In Business With Kurt Sutter, Orders ‘Bastard Executioner’ To Series

Cable network has ordered a 10-episode first season of his ambitious, gory and hotly anticipated period piece. The Sons of Anarchy creator recently wrapped production on the pilot for the late Middle Ages-set drama, which is shooting in Wales. Production will resume this summer before bowing on FX this fall. Show tells the story of a warrior knight in King Edward I’s charge who is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. (TLF)

‘Central Intelligence’ Breaks Bad With Its Newest Cast Addition

Aaron Paul has joined the Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart action comedy from New Line, to be directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. The movie sees Hart as a boring accountant who was once the cool guy in high school. He reconnects with an old school acquaintance (Johnson), a man who was a formerly a bullied nerd, but is now a rogue spy. Hilarity ensues. Paul will play Johnson’s CIA partner who seemingly sacrifices himself for Johnson. (THR)

First Look: ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

A first image has been released from the new Meryl Streep movie, currently shooting in London, about the 1940s opera singing socialite who had a horrible voice, but never knew because no one told her. Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg and Nina Arianda also star. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘A Very Murray Christmas’

Netflix has released the first trailer for the much buzzed about Christmas special from Bill Murray and Sofia Coppola. The plot centers on Murray worrying that “no one will show up to his TV show due to a massive snowstorm in New York City. Through luck and perseverance, guests arrive at Gotham’s Carlyle hotel to help him — dancing and singing in holiday spirit,” and will air sometime in December. (COL)

On the Set for 5/25/15: Chris Pratt Starts on The Magnificent Seven, Brad Pitt and Christian Bale Wrap ‘The Big Short’


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I.T. 5/25/2015 Logline: A successful businessman, who was once a thug in his youth but has since changed his ways, discovers that his new I.T. handyman is actually a dangerous lunatic who's out to destroy the businessman, his company, and his family. Production Company(s): Irish DreamTime, Friendly Films Director: John Moore Producer(s): David Friendly, Beau St. Clair, Craig J. Flores, Nicolas Chartier Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Anna Friel, James Frecheville, Stefanie Scott Writer(s): William Wisher, Daniel Kay SSN Insight: Previously set to start shooting in March. Stefano Sollima previously attached to direct. Voltage, which was behind the Joseph Gordon-Levitt-directed Don Jon, opened sales at AFM. Kay penned the script based on a concept by Friendly through his Friendly Films banner.

Special Correspondents 5/19/2015 Logline: A radio journalist who's desperate for ratings fakes his news coverage of a turbulent overseas rebel uprising from the comfort of his hideout above a Spanish restaurant in Manhattan. Production Company(s): Unanimous Pictures, Les Films Manuel Munz, Bron Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance Director: Ricky Gervais Executive Producer(s): Jason Cloth Producer(s): Chris Coen, Aaron Gilbert, Manuel Munz, Larry Sanitsky Cast: Ricky Gervais, Eric Bana Details: Remake of "Special Correspondents" (France/2009) directed by Frederic Auburtin. SSN Insight: Netflix will release the film worldwide in 2016, but the film will not have a U.S. theatrical release.

The Magnificent Seven 5/18/2015 Logline: A woman hires a group of gunslingers to protect her town from rampaging bandits. Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) Production Company(s): Roger Birnbaum Productions Director: Antoine Fuqua Executive Producer(s): Guy Riedel Producer(s): Roger Birnbaum, Todd Black Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Haley Bennett, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio Writer(s): John Lee Hancock, Nic Pizzolatto Details: Remake of The Magnificent Seven released on October 23, 1960 film directed by John Sturges. SSN Insight: Tom Cruise was previously attached to star Lawrence Kasdan previously attached to direct when project was in development at United Artists. Previously in development at United Artists who hired Terry Swann and Mark Kasdan to write.

Untitled (BBC/StudioCanal Donald Crowhurst Yacht Race Project) 5/20/2015 Logline: True story of Donald Crowhurt who, despite being a novice, entered the most challenging nautical around-the-world boat race. Studio: StudioCanal Distribution Production Company(s): Galatee Films, BBC Films, Blue Print Pictures Director: James Marsh Executive Producer(s): Christine Langan Producer(s): Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin, Scott Burns, Nicolas Mauvernay, Jacques Perrin Cast: Rachel Weisz Writer(s): Scott Burns Details: Based on documentary "Deep Water" (USA/2006) directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell. SSN Insight: Alejandro González Iñárritu was previously attached to direct. Colin Firth was previously attached to star.


Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip 5/20/2015 Logline: Chipmunks Alvin, Simon, and Theodore feel neglected because Dave is spending too much time with his girlfriend, Samantha, and they try to do everything in their power to prevent Dave from asking for her hand in marriage. Studio: Fox 2000 Production Company(s): New Regency Productions, Bagdasarian Productions, Sunswept Entertainment Director: Walt Becker Executive Producer(s): Karen Rosenfelt Producer(s): Ross Bagdasarian Jr., Janice Karman Cast: Jason Lee, Tony Hale Writer(s): Adam Sztykiel, Randi Mayem Singer Details: Sequel to "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" (2011) directed by Mike Mitchell and starring Jason Lee. SSN Insight: Animation/live-action hybrid like the prior three films. The first film was released in 2007 and grossed $360 million worldwide, followed by the sequel in 2009 that grossed $443 million and the most recent film in 2011 that grossed $337 million.

Army of One 5/22/2015 Logline: A construction worker from Colorado tries to find Osama Bin Laden. Production Company(s): Conde Nast Publications, Inc., Endgame Entertainment, Emile Gladstone Productions Director: Larry Charles Executive Producer(s): Patrick Newall Producer(s): Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein, Dawn Ostroff, Jeremy Steckler, Emile Gladstone Cast: Nicolas Cage, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Russell Brand, Ken Marino, Denis O'Hare Writer(s): Scott Rothman, Rajiv Joseph Details: Loosely based on the GQ article "An Army of One" written by Chris Heath and published September 2010. SSN Insight: Cage has a busy development slate with Bonjour Anne also in preproduction but has wrapped Snowden, The Trust, The Runner and Pay the Ghost.

Stephanie 5/22/2015 Logline: A young girl's powers force her into solitude. Studio: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Gotham/Principal, Blumhouse Productions, Unbroken Pictures, Chapter One Director: Akiva Goldsman Executive Producer(s): Nate Matteson, Eric Robinson, Bryan Bertino Producer(s): Jason Blum, Matt Kaplan, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Adrienne Biddle Cast: Frank Grillo, Anna Torv, Shree Crooks, Kenneth Choi Writer(s): Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski SSN Insight: Screenplay was included on the 2012 Blood List. Jonathan van Tulleken was previously attached to direct. Actor Frank Grillo also starred in the Universal Pictures/Blumhouse Productions film "The Purge: Anarchy" (2014).

The Big Short 5/23/2015 Logline: A look at the American economy, the recession, and the subprime mortgage market focusing on a group of investors who aim to prey upon the economic collapse for riches. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Company(s): Plan B Entertainment Director: Adam McKay Executive Producer(s): Kevin J. Messick Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Sarah Esberg Cast: Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Melissa Leo Writer(s): Adam McKay, Charles Randolph Details: Based on the book "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine" written by Michael Lewis and published by W.W. Norton on March 15, 2010. SSN Insight: This film will continue to build Plan B’s reputation for tackling important issues, with “12 Years a Slave” landing the best picture Oscar and “Selma” garnering two Oscar noms as well.

The Neon Demon 5/22/2015 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.

We Still Steal the Old Way 5/18/2015 Logline: After the Archer gang are put in prison for a carrying out a gold robbery, they must plan their escape while fending off old enemies on the inside. Production Company(s): GFM Films, Richwater Films Director: Sacha Bennett Producer(s): Rod Smith, Jonathan Sothcott Cast: Steven Berkoff, Ian Ogilvy, Dani Dyer, Christopher Ellison, Lysette Anthony Writer(s): Simon Cluett Details: Sequel to "We Still Kill The Old Way" (UK/2014) directed by Sacha Bennett. SSN Insight: Besides acting, Steven Berkoff is also an author, playwright and theatre director. He is best known for portraying Lt. Col Podovsky in Rambo: First Blood Part II, General Orlov in the James Bond film Octopussy and Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop.

‘Tomorrowland’ Limps To BO Win, Cannes Winners, ‘Mr. Holmes’ Lawsuit, Lionsgate’s ‘Odyssey’, On the Set For 5/25/15


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‘Tomorrowland’ Limps To Box Office Crown In Weakest Memorial Day Weekend In a Decade

Brad Bird’s latest film came in with a disappointing $41.7 million over the four-day weekend. It barely beat Pitch Perfect 2, which came in at $38.5 million for the long weekend, and $126 million since its opening 11 days ago. Mad Max: Fury Road was third with $29.7 million, while Poltergeist came in fourth in its opening weekend with $28.2 million. (BO)

On the Set For 5/25/15: Chris Pratt Starts On ‘The Magnificent Seven’, Brad Pitt and Christian Bale Wrap ‘The Big Short’

Among the other movies that are up and running are the new film rom director-star Ricky Gervais and director James Marsh’s followup to The Theory of Everything, while Larry Charles and Nicolas Cage’s Army of One, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Neon Demon and the latest in the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise finish principal photography. (SSN)

As Another Year Passes On the Croisette, Cannes Announces Its Winners 

The 68th annual Cannes Film Festival is officially a wrap. At yesterday's closing ceremony, the main competition jury, led by Joel and Ethan Coen, awarded the Palme d'Or to Jacques Audiard for his drama Dheepan. Son of Saul, the acclaimed Holocaust drama from first-time filmmaker Laszlo Nemes, won the Grand Prix (runner-up) award. (IW)

Elementary? Perhaps Not, as Arthur Conan Doyle’s Estate Sues Miramar Over ‘Mr. Holmes’

The lawsuit names Miramax, Roadside Attractions, director Bill Condon, author Mitch Cullin, and Penguin Random House for copyright infringement. In the legal documents, it is stated that the first 50 of Conan Doyle’s short stories and novels are in the public domain, but the last 10 are still protected by copyright in the United States. The estate is asserting that Cullin’s book A Slight Trick of the Mind, on which the film is based, comes from these copyrighted stories. (EW)

Lionsgate is Adapting ‘The Odyssey’ Into At Least Two Movies, Maybe More

Francis Lawrence, who has directed the last three films in the studio’s Hunger Games franchise, will be at the helm for the new series, based on one of the greatest stories ever told. Nina Jacobson, the producer of the Hunger Games movies, is also on board the Homer adaptation. There is no word yet on any timeline.  (COL)

Two Months Ahead Of ‘Rogue Nation’, Tom Cruise Already Has a New ‘Mission: Impossible’ In Development

While details are limited, Paramount has already set into motion what would be the sixth film in the franchise. Cruise would return to star and produce, alongside David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and J.J. Abrams. Don Granger and Matt Grimm are set as executive producers and Elizabeth Raposa will oversee development. (CB)

The Ongoing Rise Of Alicia Vikander To Superstardom Continues Apace, With the Actress In Talks For Two Major Roles

Star of Ex Machina is circling both Assassin’s Creed and the upcoming Bourne film, which means she will probably drop out of The Circle, which stars Tom Hanks and was a project Vikander had joined within the last couple weeks. Creed stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, and the new Bourne film stars Matt Damon. Both films are expected in theaters in 2016, Bourne in July and Creed in December. (CS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Black Mass’

Warner Bros. has released the first trailer from the upcoming crime saga from director Scott Cooper. Starring Johnny Depp as gangster Whitey Bulger, the film also stars Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, James Russo, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Juno Temple, W. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Brad Carter and Jeremy Strong. It hits theaters September 18th. (YT)

First Look: ‘The Martian’

The first images have come out from Ridley Scott’s new sci-fi thriller, based on the best-selling novel and starring Matt Damon as the title astronaut. The movie is written by Drew Goddard and also stars Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Mackenzie Davis, Sean Bean, Donald Glover, and Naomi Scott, and opens November 25th. (TP)

Screenwriters: Breaking & Entering — Keep It Simple Storytelling

It’s not known who said, “A screenplay is a simple story complexly told,” but it’s a wise statement. In her latest column, producer/consultant Barri Evins takes a look at this theory, fresh in her mind after wading through some of the scripts on her desk of late. It’s tough when you read a script and, after finishing, still don’t know what it’s about. (SM)

Charter To Buy Time Warner, Showtime Extends ‘Twin Peaks’ Order, Fukunaga Leaves ‘It’, Arnold Returns To ‘Conan’, Olsen Twins Spurn ‘House’



Charter Communications Steps Up To Buy Time Warner, Will Spend $78.7 Billion To Do So

The mega merger sets Charter up as a formidable rival to Comcast Corp. in the cable and broadband service arena. The agreement hammered out in the four weeks since Comcast withdrew its $45 billion acquisition offer for TW Cable works out to a pricetag of $195.71 per share for TW Cable shareholders, based on Charter’s market closing price on May 20th. (VAR)

Now That David Lynch Is Back On Board the ‘Twin Peaks’ Season Three Train, Showtime Has Doubled the Order

Showtime’s revival series has been through a number of ups and downs over the last few months after it was announced last October to wildly enthusiastic fan response. Now, after Lynch left the project because of budget issues and since returned, the network has extended the episode count from nine to 18. (COL)

So, If You Were Looking Forward To Cary Fukunaga Directing ‘It’, Today Is Not Your Best Day

The Emmy-winning director of the first season of True Detective has bowed out of the Warner Bros. picture. Unwilling to adjust his vision for the movie because of budget cuts, Fukunaga decided to leave the project. And it remains to be seen if the movie will be revived. The studio was reportedly not encouraged by the weak reception to Poltergeist, and there is chatter the project might be refashioned into one long movie instead of the previously thought two films. (TP)

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Comeback Will Continue With a Throwback Role

Former California governor and Terminator Emeritus will reprise his role as Conan in a new film from Universal, The Legend of Conan. Written by Fast and Furious scribe Chris Morgan, the film  is said to be “a logical extension” of the 1982 John Milieus film that helped make Schwarzenegger a star in the first place. A fall shoot is being discussed, but word is that the studio is waiting to see how this summer’s Terminator: Genisys performs at the box office. (SF)

To the Surprise Of Very Few, the Olsen Twins Will Not Be Returning For ‘Fuller House’ Reunion

The Netflix series will move forward without Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The new incarnation will star original cast members Candace Cameron Bure, her on-screen younger sister, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber, who played her best friend, Kimmy Gibbler. John Stamos will produce and reprise his role as Uncle Jesse in a guest role. Dave Coulier will also return as Uncle Joey. Talks are underway to bring back fellow original stars Bob Saget and Lori Loughlin. (THR)

Ryan Murphy’s New Season Of ‘American Horror Story’ Just Added an Emmy-Nominated Cast Member

Max Greenfield has joined the show’s sprawling cast. According to Murphy, Greenfield — ”like you’ve never seen him” — will join the show in October, but as Murphy teased, Greenfield won’t be “checking out.” So he either has a very permanent stay within the walls of the hotel, or he isn’t long for that world. (EW)

The Second Season Of ‘Agent Carter’ Is Apparently Going To Be Two Episodes Longer than Season One

Show star Hayley Attwell announced via Twitter that the series’ second season will have 10 episodes, two more than the first season’s eight. The second season will also relocate from New York to Los Angeles, and flash forward several years. It will return to your televisions in the first quarter of 2016. (UR)

Remember When George Miller Was Going To Direct a ‘Justice League’ Movie? Now, There’s a Documentary To Remind You

You loved seeing what Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune would have looked like. You’re anxious to get the full details on the failure of Tim Burton’s Superman Lives. Now is a documentary in the works about George Miller‘s canceled DC superhero-team movie, Justice League: Mortal. (EMP)

As We Begin the 2015 Summer Movie Season, Is ‘Tomorrowland’ the Second Coming Of ‘The Lone Ranger’?

Plum release date Memorial Day Weekend launches the crucial summer season, but this year, for a combination of reasons, the weekend fell way short. No one at Disney wants to be reminded of The Lone Ranger and its $260 million worldwide total versus a $215 million budget plus marketing costs. But likely write-off Tomorrowland, with some cost estimates close to $200 million, bears significant comparisons. (TOH)

Online Film School: ‘Fifty Things We Learned From the Commentary For ‘The Rundown’

One would imagine there is little to learn from this movie, but this is the film that established Dwayne Johnson as a movie star when he was still calling himself The Rock. Also, it’s a big film for director Peter Berg, who has done some excellent work since. Seriously, there’s some good stuff here. (FSR)

TV Development for 5/26/15: Justin Lin Bringing Bruce Lee’s Passion Project to Life, High Noon Shopping Marijuana Series & More


Bruce Lee

Untitled Christian Hageseth Unscripted Series Production Company(s): High Noon Entertainment, Farah Films Executive Producer(s): Dan Farah, Jim Berger Logline: Chronicles Hageseth’s experience on the front lines of the cannabis business, exploring legal marijuana’s impact on American life as well as the cultural and economic shifts that will come in its wake. Details: Based on the book by Christian Hageseth entitled Big Weed: An Entrepreneur’s High-Stakes Adventures In The Budding Legal Marijuana Business. SSN Insight: The project is being shopped to cable networks. There’s an uptick in reality series about the marijuana industry with TruTV’s Medicine Man pilot, CNN’s High Profits and NBC’s scripted project Buds in development. Fluffy Breaks Even! Network: Fuse Studio: Fuse Media Executive Producer(s): Gabriel Iglesias Logline: The series will follow comedians and tour mates Gabriel Iglesias, Martin Moreno and Rick Gutierrez as they travel to new cities, exploring the comedic consequences when members of Fluffy’s crew want to eat a high-calorie meal. They’ll have to “break even” the next day by burning those calories, learning that fun comes with a price – exercise. SSN Insight: The half-hour stand-alone comedy has already begun production on Vegas.

Last Hope with Troy Dunn Network: UP Production Company(s): DunnDeal Studios Executive Producer(s): Troy Dunn Logline: Author and motivational speaker Troy Dunn will track down lost loved ones and facilitate reunions. SSN Insight: Reality series was greenlit by UP network which brands itself as “feel good TV for you and your family”. UP has also acquired all 44 episodes of Dunn’s reality series The Locator, which it will premiere on June 1.

A Very Murray Christmas Network: Netflix Executive Producer(s): Sofia Coppola, Mitch Glazer, Roman Coppola, Tony Hernandez Writer(s): Sofia Coppola, Bill Murray, Mitch Glazer Logline: A homage to the classic variety shows, featuring Bill Murray playing himself, as he worries no one will show up to his TV show due to a terrible snow storm in New York City. Through luck and perseverance, guests arrive at the Carlyle hotel to help him; dancing and singing in holiday spirit. SSN Insight: The cast will include Bill Murray, George Clooney, Paul Shaffer, Amy Poehler, Michael Cera, Chris Rock, David Johansen, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones and Miley Cyrus among others. Berlin Station Network: EPIX Studio: Paramount Television Production Company(s): Anonymous Content Executive Producer(s): Michael R. Roskam, Olen Steinhauer, Eric Roth Writer(s): Olen Steinhauer Logline: Daniel Meyer, a newly anointed case officer, has arrived at the CIA foreign station in Berlin, Germany. It with a clandestine mission: to uncover the source of a leak who has supplied information to a now-famous whistleblower named "Thomas Shaw." Details: Based on an original idea by Olen Steinhauer. SSN Insight: EPIX has given a straight to series order of 10 episodes. Fancy Bastards Network: MTV Production Company(s): Titmouse, Inc., Underground Executive Producer(s): Price Peterson, Ryan D Sandoval, Lily Sparks, Jason Micallef, Kristen Schaal Writer(s): Price Peterson, Ryan D Sandoval, Lily Sparks Logline: A small town is shocked to learn its five most awkward outcasts all share the same father — a notorious ginger cad who had an indiscretion filled night during a whirlwind visit to Vegas nine years ago … and just happens to be a prince. The misfits turn into royal rock stars overnight, but soon find that the "Fancy Bastard" life is no fairytale. SSN Insight: MTV has ordered the pilot presentation for the half-hour animated show with a voice cast that includes Brittany Snow, Sharon Osbourne and Kelly Osbourne. Graves Network: EPIX Studio: Lionsgate Production Company(s): Kingsgate Films Executive Producer(s): Joshua Michael Stern, Greg Shapiro Writer(s): Joshua Michael Stern Logline: Former U.S. president Graves has an epiphany, realizing that some of his policies have brought damage to the country. He embarks on a quest to right the wrongs while his wife is pursuing a career in politics. SSN Insight: EPIX has given a straight to series order of 10 episodes. Nick Nolte will play Graves. The Bastard Executioner Network: No Broadcast Network Available. Studio: FX Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios Production Company(s): Imagine Television, Sutter Ink Executive Producer(s): Kurt Sutter, Paris Barclay, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo Writer(s): Kurt Sutter Logline: A warrior knight in King Edward III’s charge is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword. But when that violence finds him again he is forced to pick up the bloodiest sword of all. Details: Based on an idea by Brian Grazer. Ordered straight to pilot. (12/12/2013) Ordered to series. Network has ordered 10 episodes. (5/22/2015) The Underwriting Production Company(s): Endemol Shine North America Executive Producer(s): Carolyn Bernstein Logline: A tale of young wealth and ambition among the millennial generation, the story centers around a $14 billion IPO for the world’s hottest dating site app. Details: Based on the novel, "The Underwriting," written by Michelle Miller and published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on May 26, 2015. SSN Insight: The book was optioned by Endemol Shine Studios, the scripted The Underwriting Book Coverdivision of Endemol Shine North America. Endemol Shine Studios’ EVP Carolyn Bernstein will head development of the project for the studio. Warrior Network: Cinemax Production Company(s): Perfect Storm Entertainment, Bruce Lee Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Justin Lin, Troy Craig Poon, Danielle Woodrow, Jonathan Tropper, Shannon Lee Writer(s): Jonathan Tropper Logline: The story traces the path of a gifted but morally corrupt fighter thrown into crisis after a long quest for vengeance is undermined. Details: Inspired by a large collection of Bruce Lee’s handwritten notes found by his daughter after his death. SSN Insight: Lin has directed the first two episodes of True Detective’s second season for Cinemax sibling HBO. Lin also directed the pilot and is the executive producer on the hit CBS drama Scorpion. [Feature Image Photo Credit: Kharlozz2013]

BEA 2015: Eight Books For Development, WB Gets Robert Rodriguez To Helm ‘Quest’, ITV Won’t Buy TWC TV, TV Development For 5/26/15


bea book expo america show floor


BEA 2015: The Eight Books Ripe For Film and TV Development

Starting tomorrow, New York’s Javits Center will once again be inundated with editors, agents, writers and book geeks all gathered together to check out panels, attend events, and snag sought-after galleys in book publishing’s largest industry event, Book Expo America. If you’d rather skip the crowds, you’re in luck because SSN has put together a list of eight books available for film and TV development. (SSN)

TV Development For 5/26/15: Justin Lin Bringing Bruce Lee’s Passion Project To Life, High Noon Shops Marijuana Series, and More

In the wake of the upfronts over the last few weeks, this was a slower week on the television front, but there was still a fair amount of activity. Click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)


Warner Bros. Is Doing a Live Action ‘Jonny Quest’ Movie, and Robert Rodriguez Is Directing It

Originally on the air for just a single season, the Hanna-Barbera animated series has lived on as a cult series, and now will be done as a live action film. While no casting has been announced, in 2009 Dwayne Johnson said in an interview that he and Zak Efron had been cast to play Race Bannon and Jonny Quest, respectively. An earlier attempt at the project was announced in 1995 with Superman director Richard Donner, but was never greenlit. (NSA)

So, ITV Will Not Be Buying The Weinstein Company’s TV Division After All

The UK TV giant has decided not to pursue the acquisition. The British broadcaster, which has been on a buying spree, had been looking at acquiring the business for up to $950 million. One source at ITV said the company felt that the content and brands of TWC were attractive, but that the TV unit was inextricably linked with the company's film operation. ITV has never expressed an interest in expanding into film. (THR)

Get Ready For a Brand New Horror Anthology, Entirely Made Up Of Work From African-American Female Writers and Directors

Seven different writers and seven directors are teaming for the project, put together by L.C. Cruell, a longtime writer/director who felt inspired to break the monolithic stereotypes of Black people not being involved in horror, especially Black women. Authors Tananarive Due and Valjeanne Jeffers, filmmaker Tiffany D. Jackson, and actress/director Rae Dawn Chong are among those involved. (SAA)

Dakota Fanning Gets Some Nice Company In Her Upcoming Star Vehicle, ‘Brain On Fire’

Thomas Mann and Jenny Slate are in talks for the film, which Gerard Barrett is directing his scripted adaptation of the Susannah Cahalan’s bestselling memoir Brain On Fire: My Month Of Madness, with Fanning playing the author during a terrifying and sudden descent into insanity as the result of a mysterious illness. Charlize Theron, Beth Kono and AJ Dix are producing for Denver and Delilah Films, and Rob Merilees for Foundation Features. (DH)

Masterpiece Is Taking On Winston Churchill, and Wants Michael Gambon To Play Him

PBS has announced that ITV and Masterpiece will co-produce Churchill’s Secret, with Michael Gambon set in the titular role of prime minister Winston Churchill. Lindsay Duncan will star alongside Gambon as Churchill’s wife Clementine. The film will be based on Jonathan Smith’s recently released book The Churchill Secret: KBO, which told the story of Churchill’s stroke in 1953 and how his health issues affected his ability to lead. (EW)

Hulu Wants More ‘Deadbeat’, Orders a Third Season Of the Sitcom

Half-hour series stars Tyler Labine as a hapless but gifted medium who will go to any lengths to help New York’s ghosts settle their unfinished business. Brandon T. Jackson plays his savvy best friend, and Cat Deeley stars as a glamorous celebrity medium who is a rival and nemesis. The online streaming service ordered 13 more episodes of the series. (CS)

NBC’s ‘Heroes Reborn’ Reboot Adds a Couple More Names To Its Growing Cast

Greg Grunberg, who appeared in the original series, is coming back to the new run, while Orphan Black star Dylan Bruce is also joining the cast of the revival. Reborn is a continuation of NBC’s superhero drama Heroes, which originally ran for four seasons from 2006 to 2010. Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Zachary Levi, Robbie Kay and Ryan Guzman are also in the show. (TVL)

The Secret History Of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, an Experiment That Changed Comics (and Movies) Forever

What began as something of a Hail Mary reboot became something that would have lasting and far-reaching aftereffects. It's a story of desperate ambition, shocking triumph, and fevered imagination. But it's also a cautionary tale: one about pushing limits too far, holding on too long, and learning to accept the forces of entropy. (VUL)

Snapchat’s Big Hire, ‘CHiPs’ Big Villain, ‘The Get Down’s Big TV Star, ‘Belle’ Director’s Big New Gig


at arrivals for THE GREAT GATSBY Premiere, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, New York, NY May 1, 2013. Photo By: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection

Snapchat Gets Serious About Original Programming, Hires Former Fox Exec To Run Things

Venice-based messaging app has tapped Marcus Wiley as head of program planning and development, giving him oversight of original series produced for Snapchat's Discover channel. Wiley previously served as co-senior vp comedy development at Fox, where he oversaw projects including Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Mindy Project. He left the network to transition into producing in 2013.  (THR)

Remember That Whole Thing About How Dax Sheppard Is Writing, Directing and Starring In a ‘CHiPs’ Movie? Looks Like He Found His Villain

Based on Rick Rosner’s cult TV series that saw Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as dedicated, khaki-clad cops Frank “Ponch” Poncherrello and Jon Baker, who kept the mean streets of California’s highways safe from crime between 1977 and 1983, Sheppard will play Baker and Michael Peña Ponch, and now it looks like Vincent D’Onofrio will play the big bad. No word yet on shooting dates. (EMP)

Baz Luhrman Snags a Big TV Star For His New Netflix Show

Jimmy Smits is joining the cast of The Get Down, Luhrman’s series is set in 1970s New York City and revolves around a ragtag crew of South Bronx teenagers who are wild in the streets. Smits will play Francisco Cruz, aka “Papa Fuerte,” a South Bronx political boss who delivers services the City fails to provide – jobs, housing, healthcare, etc. (DH)

‘Belle’ Director Amma Asante Lines Up Her Next Gig, and David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike Are Starring

Director Asante will helm A United Kingdom, the true story of Seretse Khama, a member of the royal family of a former English colony and south African nation called Bechuanaland, which eventually became Botswana with Khama as its first president. Preceding this development, however, Khama was embroiled in controversy when he married a white woman in 1949. Guy Hibbert wrote the script. (COL)

Several Rap Stars Are Getting Together To Make an Inspirational Musical Drama

Azealia Banks will star in It Doesn’t Have to Rhyme, which is being directed by rapper-turned-director RZA. Also joining the Lionsgate production, which was previously going by the title Coco, is another rapper, Common. Jill Scott and Lorraine Toussaint are also on board the production which will begin shooting this week in New York. (THR)

Little-Seen British Sci-Fi Flick ‘Robot Overlords’ Is Now Getting a TV Spinoff

Tony Wood’s Buccaneer Media is overseeing the project, based on the feature starring Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley. The agreement, signed with Piers Tempest and Jo Bamford’s Tempo Productions, who produced the movie, will see Buccaneer create a TV series set in a parallel universe to the original movie, which features a group of survivors following the invasion of Earth by alien robots. (SD)

Looking For a Woman Director For Your Project? There’s a Website You Should See

The Director List, the web site dedicated to news about women film and TV directors and their projects, has just launched its new web site which features an online database with a list of 850 female directors of movies, TV shows, music videos and commercials. Searchable by medium, genre and home base, this database allows for film and TV executives to find female directors for their projects. (TDL)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Point Break’

Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment have released the first trailer from the upcoming remake of the 1991 hit film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. The new film stars Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Teresa Palmer, Ray Winstone, and Delroy Lindo. It hits theaters Christmas Day. (TP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘The Diary Of a Teenage Girl’

Sony Pictures Classics has released the first trailer from the Sundance hit, which follows the illicit affair between a 15-year-old girl and her mother's boyfriend in 1976 San Francisco. Movie is based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner and marks actress Marielle Heller's feature film debut as a writer/director. Newcomer Bel Powley stars alongside Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, and Kristen Wiig. It gets a limited theatrical release August 7th. (IW)

Screenwriters: ‘Mud’

The 126-page screenplay by Jeff Nichols, labeled Shooting Script and dated September 16th, 2011. (GITS)

Rep Moves for 5/27/15: Melissa McCarthy Stays at CAA While Zooey Deschanel Heads to UTA, Kobe Bryant Scooped up by WME



UTA: New Girl star Zooey Deschanel has moved from CAA to UTA. Although she was at CAA for the good part of the last ten years, she was actually at UTA for a period of time in 2013. On the features side, she will next be seen in Open Road Films’ Rock the Kasbah and The Driftless Area. She’s also been cast in Along the Highways which is in active development. She will continue to be represented by attorney Steve Warren at Hansen Jacobson.

ESA: Executive producer and director Fred Berner is now an ESA Client and will be repped by Paul Alan Smith. Berner was a long-time Co-EP on Law and Order Criminal Intent and Law and Order. He's also directed episodes of Chicago PD and Law and Order SVU. On the feature side, his notable producer credits include Pollock and The Great White Hype.

Gersh Agency: Writer-director Jordan Galland has signed with the Gersh Agency. He most recently wrote and directed Ava’s Possession, a mystery thriller about a woman that’s ordered to go to rehab to rid herself of a demon. The film premiered at the 2015 SXSW film festival.

CAA: Not a rep move, but very good news for CAA as comedy star Melissa McCarthy has decided to stay with the agency after the CAA/UTA shake-up. She joined the agency shortly after landing the lead in Mike & Molly. Her husband, filmmaker Ben Falcone will also stay with CAA. Both were previously repped by Heyman and Lesak who are now at UTA. McCarthy’s latest film, Spy premieres in the U.S. on June 5.

Gersh Agency: Gersh also signed on to represent another filmmaker out of SXSW, Oren Shai. He made his feature directorial debut that screened at the festival this year entitled The Frontier, a 1970’s period film noir about a young woman running from the law who robs a gang of outlaws.

WME: Laker All-Star Kobe Bryant will now be represented by WME. Agent Rob Pelinka at Landmark Sports will continue to handle his marketing contracts while WME will handle his representation in film, TV, books and digital. Bryant recently executive produced his first documentary, the aptly named, Kobe Bryant’s Muse, which aired on Showtime in February. Next year will be his last for the Lakers and will complete his two-season, $48.5 million playing contract.

The Accidental Turitz On Real Hollywood Clichés, Big Music Lawsuit Targets the Studios, Swinton Joins ‘Strange’, Rep Moves For 5/27/15




The Accidental Turitz: Let’s Be Professional — What To Do When a Hollywood Cliché Turns Real

In his eponymous column, Senior Editor Neil Turitz takes a look at one of the hotter rumors circulating around the interwebs of late, regarding a key scene in the season finale of a beloved network show, the feuding stars who may or may not have filmed said scene together and the resulting scandal. Seriously, is this what we’ve come to? He has some things to say. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 5/27/15: Melissa McCarthy Stays At CAA While Zooey Deschanel Heads To UTA, Kobe Bryant Scooped By By WME

A fair amount of action this week, with most of the major agencies getting in on things, with Gersh especially getting busy. Click on the link and see the various comings and goings from the past seven days. (SSN)


Today In Hollywood Lawsuits: Studios Taken To Court Over Recycling Film Soundtracks

A new lawsuit from the American Federation of Musicians counts dozens of examples, from Bridesmaids to Argo, where music wasn't totally original. Sony's Columbia Pictures, Viacom's Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal City Studios, Walt Disney Pictures and Warner Bros. Entertainments are all defendants in a lawsuit that offers some surprises about how old film music has been recycled in recent years. (HESQ)

‘Doctor Strange’ Somehow Classed Things Up Even More Than Before, Casts Tilda Swinton as ‘The Ancient One’

Oscar-winner Swinton has joined the cast and will play a Tibetan mystic who helps the Doctor learn the skills of being a sorcerer. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the titular sorcerer, while Scott Derrickson is directing the film. Shooting begins this fall and will hit theaters November 4th, 2016. (TP)

Fox Continues Its Foray Into Comic Book Adaptations, Will Take Another Crack At ‘League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen’

After a lackluster 2003 version, the studio is taking another shot on Alan Moore’s comic series, which follows follows the literary icons Alan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, invisible man Rodney Skinner, Secret Service agent Sawyer, Dorian Gray, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and the group’s recruiter, M, who use their powers and skills to save the world from destruction by the evil madman Fantom. John Davis is producing. (TB)

Netflix Wants More Of Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, Orders a Second Season Of ‘Grace & Frankie’

The show will get a second season in 2016, series co-creator and exec producer Marta Kauffman announced at an FYC panel at the Pacific Design Center last night. She also suggested that part of the reason Netflix renewed it so quickly might have had something to do with Miley Cyrus tweeting about the show two weeks after its premiere. (SB)

They Really Like Me! The Most-Liked Celebrity Endorsers Of Q1, 2015

Today's younger generations are most likely to report being influenced by celebrity endorsements. Still, a celebrity endorser can be a major investment for some advertisers, so it’s important to choose someone who will represent your brand well and will also influence people to purchase your product. So how do you choose the perfect celebrity endorser these days? (NC)

In Case You Were Wondering How Bad This Weekend’s Box Office Was, Here’s More Info About It

Hollywood had a holiday weekend to forget this Memorial Day, thanks to a disappointing performance by Disney’s latest big release. The Walt Disney Company’s Tomorrowland topped the weekend box-office in the U.S., but the movie fell short of expectations in what was the film industry’s lowest-grossing Memorial Day weekend since 2001. (TC)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘A Walk In the Woods’

Broad Green Pictures has released the first trailer from the upcoming film starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Also starring Mary Steenburgen, Nick Offerman and Kristen Schaal, it hits theaters September 2nd. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘The End Of the Tour’

A24 has released the first trailer for the film, based on a true story. The film follows Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) and author David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) on the closing days of the book tour of Infinite Jest, the novel that made Wallace a literary sensation. It opens July 31st. (COL)