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Screenwriting Survival Tips, J.C. Chandor’s Next Film With A24, Marvel/Netflix Casts The Punisher, Lionsgate’s New Heads Of Production, TV Dev. For 6/9/15


director's chair in the spotlight


Screenwriting 101: Survival Trips For When Your Script Moves From Development To Production

If you’re blessed enough to actually sell a screenplay or get paid for an assignment job, your script will move into the important development process where hopefully your project marches toward production. You want to stay involved in the development process as long as possible to help build your reputation and show your producers and director how vital it is to keep you around. (SSN)

TV Development For 6/9/15: Animation Bonanza as Netflix, Cartoon and Disney All Greenlight Series

It’s another busy week in Hollywood, as lots of new shows get off the ground, including an untitled return for Prison Break, a new project for Nikki Glaser, an adaptation of the bestselling Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a new miniseries from Damien Szifron, and a benefit for the troops by Dwayne Johnson, not to mention all that animation. Click on the link for the full skinny. (SSN)


J.C. Chandor Is Staying In Business With A24, Will Helm ‘The Liar’s Ball’ Adaptation

Director of the studio’s A Most Violent Year will adapt Vicky Ward's non-fiction book. Gideon Yago will pen the script, and Zachary Quinto, who starred in Chandor’s first film, Margin Call, is among the producers on the project, which includes Chandor. Story follows the purchase of the GE Building in Rockefeller Center. (TP)

‘Daredevil’ Season Two Has Found Its Punisher, and He Takes the Form Of Jon Bernthal

The Walking Dead and Wolf of Wall Street star has joined the cast of the Netflix series, produced with Marvel Studios. The character, previously portrayed in three movies by Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane and Ray Stevens, is a vigilante who aims to clean up New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, not too different than the show’s titular superhero. However, the antihero will resort to any means necessary — no matter how lethal the results. (VAR)

It’s a Big Day At Lionsgate, as the Mid-Major Names Two New Heads Of Productions

Producer Bobby Cohen and Gillian Bohrer, who most recently served as Lionsgate's evp, production & development, have been named co-presidents of production. Meanwhile, former head of development and production Michael Paseornek has been promoted to the newly-created role of president of production of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, overseeing production of films encompassed by the company’s nine labels. (THR)

‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ Director Gets His Next Film Set Up At PalmStar Media and Likely Story

Collateral Beauty, a script written by Allan Loeb, already has Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara attached to star, with Alfonso Gomez-Rejon making this his follow-up directing effort to the Sundance favorite. The plot centers on a New York advertising executive who experiences a deep personal tragedy. When his colleagues devise an unconventional plan to break him out of his depression, the plan works, but not in a way that anyone imagined. Principal photography is set to begin in the fall. (DH)

Up-and-Coming Director Ben Wheatley Adds a Couple More Names To the Cast Of His Upcoming Thriller

The director has added Jack Reynor and Sam Riley to the cast roster for High-Rise, along with those already on board, including Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and regular collaborator Michael Smiley. Wheatley penned the script with his regular co-writer Amy Jump. Film is about a deal gone wrong that turns into a fight for survival. (EMP)

You Write ‘Guardians Of the Galaxy’, You’re Going To Get Some Sweet Gigs, and Nicole Perlman Has Lined Up Her Next One

Perlman will adapt Hugh Howey's self-published runaway bestseller Wool, in which a few rebellious inhabitants of an underground dystopia decide to discover for themselves what else is out there, especially aboveground. The project is out of 20th Century Fox. She will rewrite former drafts by a different screenwriter, and if this first film is a success, Howey's trilogy could end up becoming a film franchise. (WAH)

Today In Legal News: Paramount Sued Over Score for Upcoming Renee Zellweger Film

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada is on a legal rampage. AFM has filed its third major lawsuit in the past two months, this time targeting Paramount, alleging that the studio lied about the scoring of the upcoming film Same Kind of Different as Me. According to the complaint, Paramount has breached the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that requires that films produced in North America shall be scored there. (HESQ)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2’

Lionsgate has released the first trailer from the upcoming fourth installment in the fabulously successful franchise, based on the YA series. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone with Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland, it opens November 20th. (YT)

Ice Cube and Charlie Day Up For a ‘Fist Fight’, ‘Eastbound’ Team Heading For Big Screen, Sculptor Media Opens Its Doors


ice cube slider

No Matter What You Tell Them, It Looks Like Ice Cube and Charlie Day Are Going To Get Into a ‘Fist Fight’

The pair is in talks to star in the comedy Fist Fight for New Line Cinema. The script penned by Van Robichaux and Evan Susser is envisioned as a grown up version of the 80s cult hit Three O’Clock High. Ice Cube plays a teacher who challenges his mild-mannered colleague (Day) to an after school fist fight when he suspects the timid English teacher is trying to get him fired. (COL)

‘Eastbound & Down’ Team Reuniting On the Big Screen For ‘’The Legacy of a Whitetail Deerhunter’

Jody Hill and Danny McBride, the duo behind the hit HBO series, will now be teaming with Josh Brolin for the new film. Brolin and McBride will star in the film, with Hill directing a script he wrote with McBride and John Carcieri. No plot details are being revealed, but what is know is that it is a comedy, Scott Rudin is producing, and it should be going before cameras this fall. (TP)

There’s a New Film Finance and Production Company In Town, and It Goes By Sculptor Media

Based in New York City and L.A, Sculptor is being funded by an unnamed New York City-based private equity firm, with which Sculptor has struck an exclusive arrangement for single picture film finance. The start-up will produce talent and genre-driven independent film and TV projects, starting with Urge, starring Pierce Brosnan, Ashley Greene and Alex Knapp, which shot last fall. (THR)

Reese Witherspoon May Have Found Her Next Starring Role, and It’s a Real ‘Belle’ Ringer

The actress is developing a big-screen take on the upcoming novel Opening Belle, which also could be her next starring vehicle. She and her Pacific Standard partner Bruna Papandrea are set to produce the story about a mother of three trying to balance home life with her Wall Street career during the year before the financial meltdown. Maureen Sherry Kinsky’s book, due out this year, is based loosely on her experiences as a managing director at Bear Stearns. (DH)

That Lonely Island Movie Formerly Known as ‘Connor4real’ Now Has a Summer 2016 Release Date

Universal has set June 3rd, 2016 as the Lonely Island movie release date. Andy Samberg leads the cast as Conner, a rapper whose latest career setback forces him to reunite with his old boy band. Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer also star and are directing. The new date pits the Lonely Island boys against the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel and the romantic drama Me Before You. (SF)

MGM’s ‘Fame’ Reboot Is Headed For Lifetime, and It Has Some Big Names Behind It

The studio's TV arm is now teaming up with the Lifetime TV network, as well as Josh Safran (Smash, Gossip Girl) and Nigel Lythgoe (American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance executive producer), to launch a scripted series based on the original film, and previous TV series. The producers are calling it a re-imagining of the first film and TV series. (SAA)

After Years Of Trying To Get It Going, Sony Is Now Pushing Hard To Get ‘Bad Boys 3’ Off the Ground

Joe Carnahan is in talks to write and possibly direct the film for the studio, which is looking to capitalize on the buzz star Will Smith is getting from the currently filming Suicide Squad. Carnahan will be picking up where the last screenwriter to work on the project — David Guggenheim — left off, and could be given the chance to take over for Michael Bay, who helmed the first two installments in the franchise. (CB)

Long Before Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert Made Comedy Central Must-Watch TV, There Was ‘Dr. Katz’

When a software developer and former teacher named Tom Snyder (not the late talk show host) met a talented stand-up comic named Jonathan Katz, they decided to develop an animated series together… an unlikely pairing, to say the least. The series became Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and, in 1995, it was one of the first original programs that Comedy Central would air. What follows is an amusing oral history from those involved. Enjoy. (UR)

Self-Improvement Help Needed? Twelve Productivity Blogs That Smart People Read

Smart is smart. That’s obvious. But how exactly do you become smart? And how do you turn yourself into a productivity ninja? Generally, smart people are productive. Question – how do you become smart and productive? There are many ways, but one of the best is education. Teach yourself techniques and strategies to become bright and productive. Here’s some help. (LH)

Screenwriters: ‘Made In Dagenham’

The 114-page, Orange Revisions-labeled screenplay by William Ivory, dated October 8th, 2009. (GITS)

Rep Moves for 6/10/15: CAA on a Roll, Signing Caityln Jenner, Kingsman’s Sofia Boutella & True Detective Creator Nic Pizzolatto


kingsman Sofia Boutella

ICM Partners: Swedish-born actor Michael Nyqvist has shifted from WME to ICM Partners. He’s known for playing Mikael Blomkvist in the original Swedish version of the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. He has since appeared in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and John Wick. Next up is I.T., the thriller starring Pierce Brosnan and Colonia with Emma Watson. On the TV side he stars in the Swedish drama series 100 Code.

CAA: Nic Pizzolatto who created and wrote every episode of True Detective’s first season that picked up five Emmys last ear has signed with CAA. The second season premieres June 21 with a new cast. Pizzolatto shifted from lit agency RWSG but will continue to be repped by Anonymous Content and Bloom Hergott. On the feature side he wrote the screenplay for the remake of The Magnificent Seven that’s currently in production.

WME: Lee Jones, the previously unknown Australian theater actor who won the lead role in Kurt Sutter’s upcoming FX period drama, The Bastard Executioner (with a 10 episode order) has decided to sign with WME. It was a competitive situation as before that he didn’t have a U.S. agent. He will continue to be repped by American managers, Eric Emery and Michael Valeo and Australian agent, Sophie Jermyn.

CAA: Kingsman: The Secret Service actress Sofia Boutella has signed with CAA. She’s having a banner year as she also snagged the female lead role in Star Trek 3, directed by Justin Lin. She was previously repped by Paradigm. She continues to be repped in the UK by Kate Buckley at 42 and attorney Fred Toczek.

UTA: Actress/writer Dolly Wells has signed on with UTA. She hails from England where she co-created and starred the comedy series Doll & Em, starring Emily Mortimer, on HBO/BSkyB. She will next be seen as a series regular on Starz’s comedy series Blunt Talk, co-starring opposite Patrick Stewart and Jackie Weaver. On the feature side, she’ll appear in Pride And Prejudice And Zombies. She continues to be repped by Anonymous Content and Independent Talent Group.

CAA: Caitlyn Jenner has signed with CAA who will rep her for speaking engagements. The CAA Foundation will also advise her on ways to address LGBT issues. As part of the signing, CAA will work with her to create a platform for her activism on bringing awareness to the transgender community. Next month Jenner will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

LAFF 2015: Seven To Watch, Syfy’s ‘Hyperion’, Universal’s ‘Pitch Perfect 3′, Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Write-Down,Rep Moves For 6/10/15


la film fest banner


LA Film Festival 2015: The Seven Films To Check Out This Week

Produced by Film Independent, the LAFF hits the Regal Cinemas at LA Live again this year, running through Thursday, June 18th. There are 74 feature films, 60 short films, and over 50 new media works representing 35 countries screening this year, but if the thought of scouring the list for the standouts is one less thing you want to add to your to-do list, SSN is here to help. We’ve filtered through the screenings to find the seven best to check out. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 6/10/15: CAA Rolls On, Signs Caitlyn Jenner, ‘Kingsman’s Sofia Boutella and ‘True Detective’ Creator Nic Pizzolato

It wasn’t the craziest week in regard to talent moving from one agency to another, that quota has almost certainly been filled by a certain mass defection from one agency to another. That said, the agency that lost all those agents is still alive and kicking, as evidenced by the week in rep moves. Click on the link to read on. (SSN)


Syfy Is Getting Into the Event Series Business, Moves Forward With a ‘Hyperion’ Adaptation

Dan Simmons’ Hugo Award-winning sci-fi novel will move forward Itamar Moses writing the screenplay for producers Bradley Cooper, Graham King and Todd Phillips. Story is set on the eve of Armageddon with the entire galaxy at war, as seven pilgrims set forth on a voyage to seek the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope and a terrible secret — while one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands. (COL)

To What Should Be No Surprise To Anyone At All, Universal Is Moving Forward With ‘Pitch Perfect 3’

It appears negotiations have begun for screenwriter Kay Cannon, who penned the first two movies, to return to write the third. There is the question of re-signing Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, who don't have an option for a third film, and there is no word yet if Elizabeth Banks will return to direct. (TP)

Disney Might Be Looking At a Nine-Figure Write-Down For ‘Tomorrowland’

If ever there was a studio that could withstand a serious stumble, it's Disney, home of Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. And stumble it has with Tomorrowland, the Brad Bird-directed fantasy adventure. Sources say the film will lose $120 million to $140 million by the time it finishes its global rollout, becoming Disney's first major financial misfire since The Lone Ranger prompted a $190 mil­lion write-down two summers ago. (THR)

Showtime Wants Another Season and Nine More Episodes Of ‘Episodes’ 

The pay cable network has ordered a nine-episode fifth season of the comedy, starring Matt LeBlanc as a fictionalized version of himself. There had been speculation that a fifth season would be the last for the series, created and written by David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik, though Showtime stopped short of making that announcement in the pickup release. (DH)

Baz Luhrman Just Added a Little Name Recognition To His ‘The Get Down’ Cast

Jaden Smith is the latest to join the Netflix show, a musical look at the rise of rap and hip hop in 1970s New York City. Shawn Ryan, best known for shows like The Shield and The Unit, is teaming up with the Australian director to work on the series, which they first starting kicking around as an idea in 2013. Smith will be Marcus "Dizzee" Kipling, an exceedingly good South Bronx graffiti artist. (EMP)

For Those Looking For a Different Spin, BroadbandTV and The Huffington Post Get Together for New Video-News Network

The YouTube network and the news and entertainment blog are partnering to launch Outspeak, a new online video network devoted to news and journalism. The new network, which will distribute content on both YouTube and HuffPo, aims to be the next big news network for millennials. The goal is to sign top and emerging YouTube stars in the fields of news and journalism and give them the tools to produce content and build audiences across the web.  (TVI)

As ‘Jurassic World’ Prepares To Conquer the Planet This Weekend, Steven Spielberg Once Again Saved the Day

The legendary director doesn’t need Jurassic World to be a mega hit. We all know Mr. Spielberg has plenty of money. What’s another cent mean to Spielberg? Admittedly, his name has been on some projects that appear more monetary-driven, but that’s not the case with Jurassic World. If that wasn’t true, then we wouldn’t have waited almost 14 years for the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. (FSR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Spectre’

MGM and Sony have released a new TV trailer for the latest installment in the James Bond franchise, starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris and Ralph Fiennes, and directed by Sam Mendes. It opens November 6th. (HP)

Major Shakeup At Fox, New Showtime CEO, ‘Ghostbusters’ Casting Coup, Fox 2000’s Past Lives Project, David Oyelowo’s ‘Water Man’



Shakeup At Fox: Rupert Murdoch Steps Down, Hands Company Over To His Sons

In a milestone moment for 21st Century Fox, the long-awaited generational transition of the Murdoch family is under way as James and Lachlan Murdoch will formally be handed the management reins of their father’s media and entertainment empire. In an exec overhaul to be unveiled shortly, James Murdoch will be named CEO of 21st Century Fox while Lachlan Murdoch will become executive chairman alongside their father, Rupert Murdoch. (VAR)

Showtime Also Has a Shakeup Of Its Own, as Longtime CEO Matthew Blank Passes the Title To David Nevins

CBS Corp. has set a leadership transition at the pay cable network, with Blank passing the CEO title and duties to network president Nevins as of January 1st, 2016. At that time, all Showtime senior management will begin reporting to Nevins. Blank, who has served as chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks since 1995, will continue in his role as chairman. (DH)

Paul Feig’s ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot Casts Itself Some Eye Candy

Chris Hemsworth has joined the cast of the highly anticipated comedy, which stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. Hemsworth will play the Ghostbusters’ receptionist, embodied in the first two movies by the inimitable Annie Potts. The film has begun shooting and will hit theaters next summer. (COL)

Fox 2000 Picks Up Non-Fiction Book About Past Lives, Hires ‘Book Thief’ Writer To Adapt

Studio has picked up Only Love Is Real, the bestselling non-fiction book from psychiatrist Dr. Brian Weiss. Michael Petroni, the scribe behind The Book Thief, is on board to pen the adaptation that will be produced by Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey of Temple Hill. Temple Hill is the company behind hit adaptations ranging from The Fault In Our Stars to the Twilight series. (THR)

It Looks Like Disney Wants David Oyelowo To Be Its Very Own ‘Water Man’

Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions and Oyelowo's Yoruba Saxon are producing the film, with Disney in negotiations to come on board to make it happen. The project stems from a spec script by Emma Needell. The story revolves around Gunner, who tries to find the legendary The Water Man, whose power to cheat death might help save his dying mother. Oyelowo would take the role of Gunner's father, Amos. (TP)

Millennium Has a Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination Movie Project, and Wants Antoine Fuqua To Direct It

Production shingle is eyeing the Training Day and Southpaw director to helm the dramatic thriller Orders To Kill, which recounts the conspiracy surrounding Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Fuqua was previously in talks for the biopic before The Butler‘s Lee Daniels came on board to helm in 2012, when Hugh Jackman was still attached to star. However, with both men no longer involved, Millennium has begun conversations with Fuqua to return. (TB)

Starz Likes ‘Power’, Orders a Brand New Season Of the Show

Less than a week after its Season 2 debut, the crime drama has been renewed for a 10-episode third season, the premium cabler announced yesterday. The show’s June 6th season premiere brought in 1.4 million total viewers — tripling its June 2014 series debut, and delivering the largest audience ever for a Starz season premiere. Production on Season 3 will begin in Brooklyn this September, with a premiere slated for 2016. (TVL)

ABC Sets Up Fall Premiere Dates For All Its Shows, Focusing On Mid-September

Alphabet network sets Shark Tank spinoff Beyond the Tank Tuesdays at 10 p.m. and fills the void that was created when Quantico moved to Sundays to replace Kings and Prophets. The spinoff will remain in the slot until Oct. 27th, when anthology Wicked City takes over the period. For a full list of the network’s plans, click on the link. (TLF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Regression’

The Weinstein Company has released the first look at its thriller, starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson. Alejandro Amenabar directs the film, which hits theaters August 28th. (IW)

Screenwriters: Meet the Reader — Narrative Structure and Building a Better Drama

Fiction feature-film screenwriting is a very specific form of storytelling – one centered on a conflict between a protagonist and an antagonist that escalates continuously until it reaches a point of climax, catharsis, and resolution that brings about a permanent transformation in the protagonist. Scripts that lack that story structure will fail to gel into a cohesive and satisfying whole. (SM)

Film Development for 6/11/15: Elizabeth Banks In Talks to Rein Over ‘The Red Queen’, Joe Carnahan in for ‘Bad Boys 3’ & More


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Bad Boys 3 Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Jerry Bruckheimer Productions Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer Writer: Joe Carnahan Director: Joe Carnahan Cast: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence SSN Insight: Deal is not yet locked, but studio is hopeful that Carnahan will also direct and that original stars, Smith and Lawrence, will return. Red Queen Logline: In order to save her family, a teenage girl must pretend to be a long-lost princess while secretly working for the revolution. Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Benderspink, Brownstone Productions, New Leaf Literary & Media Producers: Max Handelman, Pouya Shahbazian, Christopher Cosmos, Chris Bender, JC Spink, Jake Weiner Writer: Gennifer Hutchison Director: Elizabeth Banks (in negotiations) Notes: Based on the book "Red Queen" written by Victoria Aveyardand to be published in 2015 by HarperTeen. The book is to be the first in a trilogy. SSN Insight: In addition to directing and appearing in Pitch Perfect 2, now in theaters, Banks can next be seen in Magic Mike XXL and The Hunger Games’ final film in November.

Fist Fight Logline: Two teachers who work in a broken-down school system wind up in an epic fist fight. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema Production Company: 21 Laps Entertainment Producers: Max Greenfield, Billy Rosenberg, Dan Cohen, Shawn Levy Writer: Evan Susser, Van Robichaux Cast: Ice Cube, Charlie Day SSN Insight: New Line is meeting with directors now and trying to get the film before the cameras by September. Akira Logline: In post-WWIII New Manhattan, a group of motorcycle-riding teens must stop one of their members from abusing his newly acquired telekinetic powers. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company: Appian Way, Mad Chance Productions Producers: Andrew Lazar, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Leonardo DiCaprio, Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes, Michael Ireland Writer: Marco J. Ramirez SSN Insight: The attachment of the Daredevil showrunner and Sons of Anarchy writer, Ramirez, gives the long-troubled manga adaptation hope. Warners acquired the rights to the manga in 2008 and since then many writers, directors and stars such as  Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter and director Jaume Collet-Serra were attached.

21 Jump Street Female Spin-off Logline: Storyline under wraps. Studio/ Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company: Original Film, Lord Miller, Free Association, 75 Year Plan Producers: Neal H. Moritz, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum Writers: Wendy and Lizzie Molyneux SSN Insight: The studio has brought in the Bob’s Burgers writers to script a version of the spin-off alongside previously announced Broad City writers Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs.

Untitled World War II Drama Logline: While on a mission to kill a German official, two assassins fall in love, get married and then discover that one is a double agent that the other now must eliminate. Studio: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: GK Films, New Regency Productions, ImageMovers Producers: Graham King, Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey Writer: Steve Knight Director: Robert Zemeckis Cast: Marion Cotillard, Brad Pitt SSN Insight: The shoot date for the movie did not initially work with Cotillard’s schedule, as she is shooting the Fox and New Regency action pic Assassin’s Creed. Zemeckis and Pitt asked the studio if production could be pushed so Zemeckis could do press for his TriStar biopic and Pitt squeezes in the satirical military comedy War Machine. Production moved to the first quarter of 2016, allowing Cotillard to join Pitt in the film.

Wool Logline: In a post-apocalyptic future where survivors live underground and forbidden to go outside, a secret is discovered that puts everything into question. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Companies: Ridley Scott Films, Film Rites Producers: Ridley Scott, Steve Zaillian, Garrett Basch Writer: Nicole Perlman Notes: Based on the e-book "Wool," written by Hugh Howey and published by Broad Reach on July 29, 2011. SSN Insight: Perlman is rewriting the script by J Blakeson before the producers take the project out to directors. Fox acquired the property in a heated bidding war back in 2012. The self-published e-book became a word-of-mouth sensation and sold more than 140,000 copies in under six months. Ghostbusters (Reboot) Logline: With paranormal activity on the rise, a Columbia University academic, her ghost-chasing friend, the friend's business partner, and an MTA employee join forces to bust ghosts and save New York. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Ocean Pictures, Apatow Productions, The Montecito Picture Company, Quantity Entertainment, Pascal Pictures, Feigco Entertainment Producers: Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, Gene Stupnitsky, Ali Bell, Lee Eisenberg, Alex Plapinger, Amy Pascal Writer: Kate Dippold, Paul Feig Director: Paul Feig Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Will Forte, Emma Stone, Jonah Hill SSN Insight: Hemsworth is to play the role of the receptionist, originally played by Annie Potts, in keeping with the role reversal theme of the reboot.

Nimona Logline: Nimona is set in a Medieval Future where knights go to night clubs riding hoverboards and carrying swords and tells of a young shape shifter who teams up with disgraced knight in order to reclaim his honor and overthrow a corrupt regime. Studio: Fox Animation Production Company: Vertigo Entertainment Producers: Roy Lee, Adam Stone Writer: Marc Haimes Director: Patrick Osborne Notes: Based on the graphic novel of the same name written by Noelle Stevenson. SSN Insight: Osborne was behind the Oscar winning short Feast for Pixar. Haimes, a former DreamWorks exec, also penned Kubo and the Two Strings, which is Laika is releasing in August 2016. ’s next production that will be released in August 2016 The New Winter Logline: A runaway woman pretends to be a girl who was abducted 10 years before and the girl’s family takes her in, until she begins to uncover the secrets that led to their daughter’s disappearance. Distributor/ Financier: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Working Title Films Producers: Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan Notes: Based on the novel "The New Winter" to be written by Anna Snoekstra and published by Harlequin imprint Mira in 2016. SSN Insight: Deal is the first with the studio and Working Title since it re-upped their first look deal last week to 2020. Starman Logline: An alien enlists the aid of a widow to take him to his spaceship by posing as her deceased husband. Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Companies: Further Films Producers: Michael Douglas Notes: Remake of "Starman" (USA/1984) directed by John Carpenter and starring Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen. SSN Insight: Supposedly the studio is taking the remake in a new direction, more in line tonally with the hit teen drama The Fault In Our Stars.

The Thrifty Time Traveler’s Guide Logline: Storyline is under wraps, but involves time travel. Studio/ Distributor: New Line Cinema Production Companies: Flynn Picture Co Producers: Beau Flynn Notes: Based on the four-book novel series "The Time Traveler’s Guide" written by Jonathan Stokes, the first installment to be published by Viking Books in 2017. SSN Insight: Four studios contended in a bidding battle for the project and New Line and San Andreas producer Beau Flynn acquired screen rights with a mid-six figures against seven deal.

Opening Belle Logline: A woman juggling motherhood with a career on Wall Street in 2007 must deal with the impending financial crisis while raising three children. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Studios Production Companies: Pacific Standard Producers: Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea SSN Insight: The novel and movie will be loosely based on author Maureen Sherry Klinsky’s experience working as a managing director at Bear Stearns. Uprooted Logline: A wizard who protects a village on the border of an evil wood demands a woman be sent every ten years to serve him, and to her surprise, young Agnieszka is chosen. Studio/ Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Companies: A Very Good Production Producers: Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Kleeman Writer: Victoria Strouse Cast: Reese Witherspoon Notes: Based on the novel "Uprooted" written by Naomi Novik and published by Del Rey on May 21, 2015. SSN Insight: Warner Bros. won the rights to the book in a three-studio bidding war against Lionsgate and Fox 2000.

The Water Man Logline: Gunner, a young boy with a seriously ill mother, runs away from home in search of the mythical Water Man, who is rumored to have the power to cheat death. Studio/ Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Production Companies: Harpo Films, Yoruba Saxon Productions Producers: Oprah Winfrey Writer: Emma Needell Cast: David Oyelowo SSN Insight: Writer Needell is a newcomer selling her first spec script. Prior she worked as an assistant to writer/ directors Mark Levin & Jennifer Flackett.

Pitch Perfect 3 Logline: Storyline under wraps Studio/ Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Companies: Gold Circle Entertainment, Brownstone Productions Producers: Elizabeth Banks, Paul Brooks, Max Handelman Writer: Kay Cannon SSN Insight: Given the $70.3 million opening Pitch Perfect 2 had in May, the studio has agreed to move forward with another sequel, negotiating with original writer, Cannon, to script the third installment.

Untitled Rwandan Cycling Team Project Logline: Jacques "Jock" Boyer, the first American cyclist to race in the Tour de France, fell on hard times and jail, but found redemption helping a group of Rwandan boys form a cycling team that went to the 2012 Olympics. Studio/ Distributor: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Appian Way, Bay Films Producers: Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Bay, Jennifer Davisson Kiloran Director: Orlando von Einsiedel SSN Insight: Orlando von Einsiedel directed the Oscar-nominated gorilla documentary Virunga.

Time Salvager Logline: After humans have left the ruined Earth and colonized the stars, a group is sent back in time to recover the planet resources without altering the timeline, but one of them does alter time. Studio/Distributor: Paramount Pictures Production Companies: Di Bonaventura Pictures Producers: Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian Writer: Wesley Chu Director: Michael Bay Notes: Based on the novel "Time Salvager" written by Wesley Chu and published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC on July 7, 2015.

The Accidental Turitz On Letterman and Emmy, Denzel’s First Sequel, Fox’s Release Date Switch, Film Development For 6/11/15


david letterman 2015


The Accidental Turitz: If the Legend Is Separated From the Show, Should Letterman Get an Emmy?

Senior Editor Neil Turitz is back with his eponymous column, in which he takes a look at one particular Emmy race, and the impact the now-retired David Letterman will have on it. As usual, the issue is not as cut and dried as you might think, and Turitz dives right in with his usual flair. Click the link and see for yourself. (SSN)

Film Development For 6/11/15: Elizabeth Banks In Talks To Reign Over ‘The Red Queen’, Joe Carnahan Looking At ‘Bad Boys 3’, and More

Another busy week on the development front, as Banks parlays the success of her directorial debut, Ice Cube and Charlie Day will get into a Fist Fight, Akira gets yet another writer, a couple of John Carpenter films are on the road to remake and Reese Witherspoon once again breaks out her producer’s hat. As always, there’s a lot more. (SSN)


Denzel Washington Is Finally Making His First Sequel, and Now We Have a Release Date For It

Sony has announced that The Equalizer 2 will hit theaters on September 29th, 2017, almost exactly three years after the first film was released. The plan is to turn the movies into a franchise, with this being the first of what could be a series. No word yet on whether or not Antoine Fuqua, who directed the first film, will return. (COL)

Fox Looks To Awards Season, Decides To Switch Release Dates For Two Big Ticket Films

Following the excitement generated by an impressive trailer (included in this link), Fox has rejiggered its release schedule to bring Ridley Scott's The Martian to cinemas two months earlier than previously anticipated. It'll now be out in the States on October 2nd, switching places with Victor Frankenstein, which has been shunted back to November 25th. (EMP)

‘Doctor Strange’ Has Found Its Villain, and That’s Why They Cast Chiwetel Ejiofor

Oscar-nominated actor will play Baron Mordo, an enemy of Doctor Strange who first appeared in the comic Strange Tales in 1963. Scott Derrickson is directing the film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which follows the story of the brilliant and arrogant neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions. It comes out November 4th. (DH)

Tobey Maguire Flexes His Producer Muscles, Secures Movie Rights To ‘I Take You’

The actor’s Material Pictures shingle will produce a film adaptation of Eliza Kennedy’s novel, with Whiplash producer Helen Estabrook and Material partner Matthew Plouffe. Kennedy will adapt the screenplay for film, which centers on Lily Wilder, a New York lawyer about to get married but unable to settle down. She's self-assured, fun, brilliant, and has the perfect fiancé -- but does she love him? And can she stop sleeping with other men? (WAF)

Looking For Ways To Improve Your Productivity? Here Are Eight Bad Habits That Successful People Just Don’t Have

Being successful is not something that's just handed to you. While it requires a lot of hard work, determination, and effort, you probably know quite a number of people who have have found success in their chosen fields. Whether that’s a family member, a close friend, or a famous name, however, you can bet they didn't let these things get in the way of their success. (FN)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘The Program’

StudioCanal and Working Title have revealed the first trailer, poster and new stills for Stephen Frears’ formerly-untitled Lance Armstrong biopic, starring Ben Foster as the controversial cyclist.  There is not yet a U.S. release date for the project. (CS)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘A Deadly Adoption’

Lifetime Network has released the first trailer for the Will Ferrell-Kristen Wiig made-for-TV movie, which also stars Jessica Lowndes. Film centers on a couple, played by Ferrell and Wiig, who take care of a pregnant 20-something (Lowndes) whose baby they plan to adopt. But, as par for the course for these types of films, everything isn’t as it seems. It premieres next Saturday, the 20th. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz, Part 3: ‘Zootopia’

Disney Animation has released the first teaser trailer for its next film, one which imagines a world if it was mammal metropolis, specifically focusing on the relationship of a fox and a rabbit. Jason Bateman and Gennifer Goodwin star in the film, which hits theaters March 4th, 2016.  (TFS)

HBO Halts Production Of Fincher Show, Kavanaugh Works To Save Relativity, Redbox and Fox Renew Deal, ‘Kingsman 2′ Is a Go



HBO Calls a Halt To Shooting Of David Fincher’s ‘80s Music Video Comedy Series

Production on the show was stopped abruptly early yesterday, with the cast sent home and told producers hoped to know more about the future of the show Monday. A source close to the project indicated that the show was likely not dead, but may undergo some script touch-ups and use the time to catch up on scripts. Picked up to series May 4th, the comedy has completed production on four episodes. (TLF)

With a Repayment Clock Ticking, Ryan Kavanaugh Is Fighting To Keep Relativity Alive

Time is apparently running out for the Relativity founder/CEO to come up with yet another financial save — either in a restructuring or a reverse merger (which has been explored as recently as one month ago with Cinedigm), to get an extension (or reprieve), or to find a white knight equity investor. At issue is that a repayment — around $250 million to lenders (one of which is Colbeck Capital) which sources said is coming due before month’s end. (DH)

Redbox and 20th Century Fox Renew Their Disc Distribution Deal

The two companies announced a new distribution agreement yesterday, maintaining a 28-day embargo on new-release titles through June 30th, 2017. While fiscal details of the agreement were not disclosed, the pact follows a similar two-year renewal with Warner Home Video in March. (VAR)

In Case There Was Even the Slightest Bit Of Doubt, Matthew Vaughn Just Confirmed a ‘Kingsman’ Sequel

As the first film, officially titled Kingsman: The Secret Service, became a surprise box office hit this year, grossing over $400 million worldwide. Back in April, a rumor hit that 20th Century Fox was developing a sequel, and now co-writer/director Matthew Vaughn has confirmed that is indeed the case and he has begun writing. Vaughn said he might be willing to direct the second film, but did not confirm any other details. (CS)

After Winning an Oscar For His Animated Short Film, ‘Feast’ Director Moves Up To Features

Fox Animation has enlisted Patrick Osbourne to direct Nimona, Noelle Stevenson’s bestselling title that is a genre mash tale of a futuristic yet medieval world where knights visit nightclubs and ride hover boards. The story follows a young shape shifter who partners with a not-so-evil supervillain to help him take down the regime. The project started as a web comic while Stevenson was a student, and has since scored her both the Harvey and Eisner Awards. (EMP)

Robert Redford Bows Out Of Directing ‘Against All Enemies' Adaptation, Citing Scheduling Issues

Redford had been prepping the 9/11 thriller Enemies for a fall shoot, and the film was poised to be Redford's follow-up to his most recent helming effort, 2012's The Company You Keep. He has bowed out due to scheduling conflicts, as he will be promoting two films in the fall: Ken Kwapis' A Walk in the Woods, which hits theaters on Sept. 2, and the Dan Rathers drama Truth, which is expected to get a fourth quarter release. (THR)

Terry Gilliam’s Recent Deal With Amazon Studios Apparently Will Include His Own Personal White Whale

The legendary director’s Don Quixote project, which has had several iterations and was the subject of a 2002 documentary, Lost In La Mancha, will be a part of the deal with Amazon. According to Gilliam, Amazon’s approach will be a theatrical window and release followed by a streaming Amazon debut at home. Now, if all goes according to plan, the movie will shoot in early 2016 with Jack O’Connell and John Hurt as the two leads. (UR)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Rock the Kasbah’

Open Road Films has released the first trailer for director Barry Levinson’s upcoming comedy, written by Mitch Glaser and starring Bill Murray as a rock manager who, after being jilted by his last remaining client while on a USO tour in Afghanistan, befriends a band of misfits and stumbles upon a young woman with an extraordinary voice. It also stars Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride, Scott Caan, and Bruce Willis, and hits theaters October 23rd. (COL)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘The Overnight’

Indie distributor The Orchard has released the first red-band trailer for the Sundance hit, starring Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling and Jason Schwartzman. The movie opens next Friday, the 19th. (YT)

Screenwriters: ‘The Invisible Woman’

The 106-page screenplay by Abi Morgan, labeled Blue Revisions and dated June 11th, 2012. (GITS)

Exec Shuffle for 6/12/15: Big Shake-Ups at Fox and Showtime Plus Vimeo on Demand and CAA Premium Experience Launch


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Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals

Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell have partnered to create a yet unnamed new production company to cover both film and TV production and to open before the end of 2015. Tessa Ross was the former head of Film4 while Howell was previously Working Title’s TV head.

In a competitive battle, 20th Century Fox TV has signed Dan Fogelman through his Rhode Island Ave Productions banner to a four-year overall development deal. His previous deal was at ABC Studios. Under the new Fox agreement, he will develop projects within a variety of genres that he will then produce and write himself or oversee other writers. Fogelman’s pilot, Grandfathered received an order from Fox this year. On the feature side, Fogelman produced Me and Earl and the Dying Girl which is releasing today.

CAA has formed CAA Premium Experience, a full-service hospitality, event management and marketing practice. It stems from recent acquisitions: corporate hospitality companies Beyond Sports & Entertainment and Goviva. The new companies will pair with CAA’s Inside Sports & Entertainment Group to form the new venture. The company will have upwards of 50 staffers.

PBS has partnered with Brightcove to launch a new Android app which gives users access to video from PBS and member stations, full-length episodes from new primetime programs and PBS archives, with national and local station content updated daily.

Vimeo and Fullscreen are collaborating to bring exclusive content to Vimeo On Demand. The partnership launches with the global release of #O2LForever on June 23, featuring disbanded vlogging supergroup O2L.


Big shake-up at 21st Century Fox as Rupert Murdoch has stepped down as CEO and handed over the reins to his sons. James Murdoch will be promoted from co-COO to CEO of 21st Century Fox and Lachlan Murdoch will become executive chairman. Rupert Murdoch will continue as an executive chairman. Chase Carey is also stepping down as COO but will remain until May 2016 in a to-be-determined role. In addition, Roger Ailes will continue to report directly to Rupert Murdoch at the Fox News Channel.

James Myers has been promoted from Director of Development to VP of Production at Summit.

Tobias Riehl has been upped from Sales Director to Co-Managing Director of Paramount Pictures Germany. Likewise Florian Ritter has been promoted from Co-Managing Director from her position as Marketing Director.

Lynn Heymont is now the EVP of Human Resources at Participant Media, she was previously the company’s SVP.

Long-time production executive Mark Sourian will join Universal Pictures as EVP of Production. Sourian comes to Universal from DreamWorks Studios where he has served in the production ranks since 1997 and most recently as an independent producer with the company. He had a first look production deal with Dreamworks previously. Sourain joins Erik Baiers who has also been named EVP of Production for the studio, he was upped from SVP, a job he held since 2012. He will continue to report to co-Presidents of Production Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, who made the announcement.

Loren Schwartz has joined Warner Bros. as the feature division’s new EVP of genre marketing and creative advertising. Schwartz will report to the EVP of marketing, Blair Rich and president of worldwide marketing and international distribution, Sue Kroll. He left Screen Gems as their marketing EVP and that post was promptly taken by Danielle Misher who was promoted into his position.

Anthony Bregman’s Likely Story production company, headed by Anthony Bregman has hired on Peter Cron as VP of Film Production and Jeff Stern as VP of Scripted TV. Cron was a former Weinstein Company CE while Stern hailed from HBO’s Fair Harbor Productions. Ryan Featherman was also promoted to story editor on the TV side. All three have also worked at Scott Rudin Productions. The company’s in preproduction on James Schamus’ Indignation and James Ponsoldt’s The Circle.

Jason Brenek has been named the President of Home Entertainment and EVP for IMAX. He was previously the SVP of International In-Home and Head, Global Business Development & Strategic Partnerships for The Walt Disney Company.

Tracy Kain is now the VP of National Ad Sales for the Western Region & Detroit Region, Screenvision, up from just overseeing the Detroit region. Christine Martino has been promoted from VP to SVP of National Ad Sales as well.

Indie financing and production house IM Global, subsidiary of Reliance ADA , a has formed a co-financing and admin partnership to handle music publishing, distribution and market services with music rights management company Kobalt. Under the deal Kobalt will handle domestic and foreign releases of soundtracks and manage the rights to scores and songs for IM Global Films, IM Global Music and IM Global Television.

Danielle Misher has been upped to EVP, Marketing for Screen Gems. She will report to Dwight Caines, president of Domestic Theatrical Marketing for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Misher will spearhead the marketing for Clint Culpepper’s division, handling the creation of campaigns including trailers, posters, television ads, and publicity.

Gillian Bohrer has been named Co-President of Production for Lionsgate, up from EVP of Production and Development for the studio. Bobby Cohen also joins the studio as Co-President of Production. HE was previously a Senior Producer at Secret Hideout.


Showtime long-time chairman and CEO Matthew Blank is stepping down and with it Showtime President David Nevins will take over the role effective January 1, 2016. Blank will continue in his role as chairman, working on big-picture strategy. In his new role, Nevins will be responsible for all aspects of the daily and strategic management of the division, creative development and acquisition of premium programming and marketing, and for all of the other business functions at Showtime. He will continue to report to Blank but will also report to Moonves.

Univision Communications Inc. promoted Roberto Ruiz to EVP, Strategy and Insights. Ruiz joined UCI in 2008 as Vice President of Strategy + Insights.

Daniel C. Murdock is the new VP and Corporate Controller for Comcast. He was previously the Deputry Chief Accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission in D.C.

Bela Bajaria has been named President of Universal Television, promoted from EVP.

Comedy writer-producer Chuck Tatham is extending his pact with 20th Century Fox TV in another overall deal for two years. He will continue to work on the studio’s flagship live-action comedy Modern Family, with an executive producer credit next season. He previously served as Co-EP on Arrested Development and Back To You.

Ian Lamarra is the new Creative Director of Bookhouse in London. He was formerly the Creative Director for Alaska TV.

Brandon Meyer has been promoted from Manager to Director at FremantleMedia North America in their Scripted Programming department.

Glenda Pacanins has been upped from VP of Programming Strategy Integration to SVP of Programming & Content at Telemundo in Miami. Leonor Sotillo has been named SVP of Programming Strategy, up from VP.

Fox Networks Group has entered into a three year first-look deal with producer Scott Rudin who will develop and produce projects for three networks: Fox through 20th Century Fox TV, FX through FX Prods, and National Geographic Channel through National Geographic Studios. Garrett Basch of Film Rites is in discussions to oversee the TV side. He is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham. His upcoming films include Zoolander 2, Steve Jobs, The Intern and Mistress America.

Crown Media Family Networks, Home of the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, has hired Angela Megrey as their VP of social media.

Deborah Bradley has been named EVP of Networks and Programming Optimization, Content Strategy & Commercialization at Turner Broadcasting System, up from SVP of Program Acquisitions.

Paula Cavalcanti is the new CEO of FremantleMedia Brazil. He was previously the Production Director of TV Bandeirantes.

Muse Entertainment USA has hired Lydia Storie as VP Development, Meghan Mathes as Director of Development and promoted Scott Clayton to Manager of Development. They will grow Muse Entertainment’s slate of scripted programming, especially serialized drama and large-scale event miniseries and comedy. Storie hails from Endemol Studios’ where she was Director of Development and Mathes was previously a Manager of Development at Evolution Entertainment.

Vanessa Grunstein is the new VP of Business Affairs for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group. She was previously the VP of Business & Legal Affairs at Ryan Seacrest Productions.

Allie James has been promoted from Manager to Director at MTV in their Scripted Development department.

Tracey Pakosta has been named EVP of Comedy Programming for NBC Entertainment, previously Pakosta was the EVP of Comedy for Universal TV. Vernon Sanders has been named EVP of Current Programming at NBC Entertainment, a shift from their Comedy Programming department.

Glen Freyer is the new EVP of Rock Shrimp Productions. He hails from Atlas Media where he was SVP of Development.

Jeff Grosvenor has been named VP of Comedy Development at WB Television. He hails from Le Train Train Productions where he was EVP of Development.

Scott Stemmermann has been named VP of Digital Marketing at NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution, up from Director.

Meghann Wu has been named SVP of Strategy & Business Development at Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, up from VP.

Management, PR, Agencies

Jay Rosenthal is now a Partner of Entertainment & New Media at Mitchell Silberberg Knupp in D.C. He was previously a General Counsel at the National Music Publishers’ Association.

Nigel Meiojas has left ICM Partners. While at ICM he repped Alexander Ludwig, Lucas Black, Jerry O’Connell and Robert Duvall among others. Per Deadline, he is “expected to become an agent at United Talent Agency” and it’s not confirmed which clients will be leaving with him.

Katherine Rowe is now the SVP for Shelter PR. She was previously the SVP of Slate PR.

Thruline Entertainment has made longtime talent manager Marc Hamou a partner, bringing the company’s partner count to six. His client list includes Emily VanCamp, Jay Baruchel and Rex Lee among others. Christina Karakasidis has also been promoted to manager. She started there in 2009 as an assistant and most recently was a talent coordinator.

Ellie Schiff has been upped from coordinator to Agent in Paradigm’s TV Literary division.

Kate Rosenbaum has signed on to Slate PR as VP and will work closely with co-founder Simon Halls on their entire roster, which includes Ridley Scott, Ang Lee, Brett Ratner and Bryan Singer among others. She hails from 42West where she spent eight years working on feature campaigns.

Hilary Craven has been named the CMO of Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners. She was previously the Head of Experiential & Earned Media at 72andSunny.

Jacob Hastad has been upped from assistant to Manager of Talent at Gotham/Principal.

Bruce Solar is the new EVP of Worldwide Music at APA. He hails from The Agency Group where he was SVP and Head in their LA offices.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Dick Costolo is stepping down from his post as Twitter’s CEO and Co-founder and chairman Jack Dorsey will serve as interim CEO starting July 1. Costolo, who signed on in 2009 as COO will remain on Twitter’s board. Dorsey meanwhile will continue to head Square, the company he founded in 2009 while Twitter searches for a permanent CEO.

Funny Or Die has hired John Schneider as President of Sales. Previously he headed Blank Screen Ventures, a digital media consultancy, working with start-ups OnScroll and Percolate.

Ellie Duque has been named publisher of Entertainment Weekly, taking over for Melissa Mattiace.

Hasbro has signed on Meghan McCarthy as Head of Storytelling for the company’s Girl brands and report to EVP and Chief Content Officer, Stephen Davis. In her new position she will develop story and characters across the company’s portfolio of brands. She will also develop the upcoming My Little Pony animated feature film currently slated for release in 2017. Previously she was an EP on the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series on Discovery Family Channel, now in its fifth season. In addition Coral Wright has been named a Creative Executive there. Wright makes the move from Monsterfoot Productions where Wright was also a CE.

Bryan Weiser has been named a manager of business affairs for DC Entertainment. He was formerly a manager for Business & Legal Affairs at 3 Ball Entertainment.

Sameer Deen is the new SVP of Univision Digital in Miami. Deen was previously SVP Multi-Platform Distribution & Strategy at Scripps Networks Interactive.

Sean Mills has been named head of Original Content at Snapchat, he formerly was the President of NowThis.

Adam Smith has been promoted from Regional VP to SVP of National Sales at Vevo. Prior to joining Vevo, Smith spent five years in Sales at MySpace.

Joan Halpern Weise has been named a Manager of Labor Relations at Netflix. She was previously the Assistant National Executive Director, Contracts at SAG-AFTRA.

Kre8 Media, a DRTV, digital media and brand advertising agency, has upped Stephen Pickens to the new position of Vice President, Partnership Development. Pickens was the first hire of Kre8 Media in 2009 as their Director of Client Services and Business Development.

Myths About TV Writing, De Luca Hires Three, Trouble In ‘Spider-Man’ Land?, QT’s Familiar Release Date, Exec Shuffle For 6/12/15


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The Myths About Writing For TV, Part 1: TV Is Small Movies

A winner of the Humanitas Prize and numerous other screenwriting awards and nominations including Emmy, Writers Guild of America, and American Women in Radio and Television, Pamela Douglas has quite an impressive career. Her new book, Writing the TV Drama Series, has become a leading resource for anyone who wants to create television drama, as well as for screenwriting classes and workshops. We have two exclusive excerpts. Here’s the first. (SSN)

The Myths About Writing For TV, Part 2: You Can’t Do That On TV

And here is the second. Just as above, this is part of the chapter entitled “Five Myths About Television.” Offering practical industry information and artistic encouragement, the book is both nuts-and-bolts and inspiration. If you’re looking to get some guidance in this area, this is well worth your time. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 6/12/15: Big Shakeups At Fox and Showtime, Plus Vimeo On Demand and CAA Premium Experience Launch

It’s another busy week in Hollywoodland, as new companies are launched, shingles placed, partnerships established, as well as the usual batch of promotions, hirings and firings. Among the bigger bits of news are a new TV deal for Scott Rudin, two new VP’s for Anthony Bregman’s production company, and a new EVP of marketing and creative advertising at WB. Click the link for all the details. (SSN)


Michael De Luca Does Some Hiring, Fills Three Positions For His New Production Shingle

Elishia Holmes, former senior VP of production/development at Scott Free, Lucy Kitada (Global Produce) and Johnny Pariseau (formerly an agent at UTA), have been hired at De Luca’s company to serve as production executives. All three will report directly to De Luca, and be based at the company’s West Hollywood offices. (DH)

So, It Appears That Asa Butterfield Won’t Be Spider-Man, After All, and That Marvel and Sony Are At Loggerheads

The two studios, who are sharing the character between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and standalone Sony movies co-produced by Marvel’s Kevin Feige, tested a half dozen actors for the role in Atlanta and now appear to be at odds. Word is that Tom Holland, Charlie Plummer, and Matthew Lintz are still in the running, with Marvel favoring Plummer and Sony liking Holland, and no one being able to come to an agreement. (COL)

Three Years To the Day After His Last Film Comes Out, Quentin Tarantino’s Next Film Will Hit Theaters

Hateful Eight will storm into theaters on Christmas Day, just as the writer-director’s Django Unchained did in 2012. The film is set for a limited debut on December 25th in 70mm format and will hit theaters nationwide on January 8th in digital release. Sony's Will Smith NFL drama Concussion, Warner Bros.' Point Break remake and Open Road's Oliver Stone-directed drama Snowden are also set to hit theaters that day. (THR)

Pixar Almost Entirely Replaces Its Voice Cast For the Long-Delayed, but Upcoming, ‘The Good Dinosaur’

Following the removal of Bob Peterson as director in 2013, the voice cast of Lucas Neff, Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, John Lithgow, and Frances McDormand remained, as did co-director Peter Sohn, who was upgraded to director. Now, aside from McDormand, everyone else has been replaced. The new voices include Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Zahn, AJ Buckley, Anna Paquin, Sam Elliott, Marcus Scribner and Jack Bright. (CS)

Talk About Strange Bedfellows, John Sayles Is Adapting a Frank Herbert Book For Chris Eyres To Direct

The author’s Soul Catcher revolves around a Native American activist who kidnaps the son of a high-profile US politician, with the intention of sacrificing the boy to appease the ancient spirits of his ancestors. But as the pair are hunted by the authorities across the Pacific Northwest, they form a surprising bond which changes the abductor's agenda. Eyre is known for his work telling Native American-centric stories like Smoke Signals, Skins and Skinwalkers. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’

Warner Bros. has released the electrifying new trailer from the upcoming spy film. Directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander, it hits theaters August 14th. (FSR)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘The Leftovers’

HBO has released the first teaser trailer to the second season of its hit drama. Starring Justin Theroux and Carrie Coon, and co-created by Damon Lindelof, the new season premieres in the fall. (IW)

‘Jurassic World’ and Universal’s Record-Setting Weekend, Amy Poehler Hits ‘The House’, NFL Hires a New Head Of Content


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To the Surprise Of Pretty Much Nobody, ‘Jurassic World’ Has an Enormous Opening Weekend

The latest installment in the popular franchise came in with a $204.6 million opening, good for second all-time. It also shattered the previous record for a June opening, owned by 2013’s Man Of Steel, which did $116.6 million. Spy came in second with $16 million, with San Andreas third at $11 million, Insidious: Chapter 3 fourth with $7.3 million, and Pitch Perfect 2 rounding out the top five with just under $6 million, giving it over $170 million in 31 days. (BO)

In Other Box Office News, Universal Rolls On With Two More Records Set This Weekend

As Jurassic World stomped out to global domination, Universal now has bragging rights to the quickest climb to $1 billion domestic — beating the previous record ascendance achieved by Paramount on June 22nd, 2008. The current 2015 domestic gross is an estimated $1.039 billion. What’s more, it has hit $3 billion worldwide, passing Fox’s previous race to the milestone on June 30th, 2010. Universal’s worldwide gross is now an estimated $3.318 billion. (DH)

Amy Poehler Is Heading To ‘The House’ For a New Comedy With Will Ferrell

Film is said to follow Ferrell’s character and his wife (Poehler) who, after losing their daughter’s college fund, decide that they can earn some money back by opening an illegal casino in their basement. Ferrell is also producing the film, along with Gary Sanchez partner Adam McKay, scripted by the Neighbors pair of Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien. Cohen is also attached to helm, marking his feature film directing debut. (CS)

The NFL Turns To Hollywood For Its Very First Head Of Content

Industry veteran Jordan Levin has been tapped to oversee the league's programming efforts as its first chief content officer. Levin, who starts his new job Monday, will oversee the development of content for NFL Network, the NFL Now online platform and other league-owned properties. He also will supervise the Super Bowl Halftime Show. (THR)

It’s Time To ‘Get Smurfy’ With Sony Pictures Animation and a Winning Cast

Demi Lovato, Mandy Patinkin and and Rainn Wilson have boarded the fully computer-animated Smurf reboot. The castings were announced in conjunction with Global Smurfs Day yesterday. Lovato will voice Smurfette and Patinkin will play Papa Smurf. Wilson will lend his voice to the evil wizard Gargamel. Pic will follow Smurfette and her fellow blue creatures as they search the Enchanted Forest for the fabled Smurfs village. (VAR)

Gerard Butler’s ‘London Has Fallen’ Gets a Date Change, Will Hit Theaters In January

The sequel to the 2013 hit film Olympus Has Fallen was originally scheduled to come out on October 2nd, but Gramercy Pictures and Focus Features have decided to take it off the 2015 slate and push it to early 2016. Specifically, January 22nd. The new film follows Butler’s Secret Service agent, who attends the funeral of the British prime minister. Terrorists attack, and only Butler can rescue England (including the Queen, perhaps) before sundown. (CB)

Today In Remake News: They’re Now Taking Another Crack At ‘Kindergarten Cop’

Universal’s 1400 division is remaking the classic 1990 Ivan Reitman film, and the project is currently in pre-production. Michael Don Paul will direct, and David H. Steinberg is writing. Story now follows a lead cop who is paired with an Indian sidekick named Sanjit, and instead of hunting down a criminal’s ex-wife, it’s tracking down a lost flash drive…that finds its way to a kids’ classroom. The film will debut on Blu-ray/DVD. (EW)

Live From New York: Breaking Down the Enduring Impact Of ‘SNL’

Director Bao Nguyen talks his documentary Live From New York! which debuted in the spring at the Tribeca Film Festival. He discusses distilling 40 years of SNL into a feature doc, the keys to the show's longevity and his favorite sketch. (FCC)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’

IFC Films has released the first look at the acclaimed Sundance hit, telling the true story of the 1971 experiment by Dr. Philip Zimbardo. Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller, Tye Sheridan, Olivia Thirlby, Michael Anganaro, Logan Miller, Thomas Mann, Keir Gilchrist, Johnny Simmons, Moises Arias, Jack Kilmer, Chris Sheffield, Ki Hong Lee, and James Frecheville star in the film, which hits theaters July 17th. (TP)

Screenwriters: Script Angel — Networking Tips For Screenwriters

Like any freelance work, carving out a screenwriting career requires a degree of hustling. Even with an agent/manager, most of your work will likely still come via the connections and relationships that you make yourself. So networking, in some form, is an essential tool for screenwriters, which is tricky since for most of us the thought of introducing ourselves to perfect strangers is horrifying. (SM)

On the Set for 6/15/15: Martin Scorsese Starts Shooting “Free Fire”, Matthew McConaughey Finishes “Free State of Jones” & More


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47 Meters Down 6/15/2015 Logline: Two sisters are trapped in an observation cage at the bottom of the ocean, with oxygen running low and sharks circling. Production Company(s): The Tea Shop & Film Company Director(s): Johannes Roberts Producer(s): Mark Lane, James Harris Cast: Claire Holt, Mandy Moore, Vanessa Kirby Writer(s): Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera SSN Insight: Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s Dimension Films nabbed the domestic distribution rights. Altitude Film Sales is handling worldwide sales.

Blackbird 6/13/2015 Logline: The meeting between a young woman and a middle-aged man with whom, fifteen years earlier, at the age of 12, she had had a sexual relationship. Production Company(s): Jean Doumanian Productions, WestEnd Films Director(s): Benedict Andrews Executive Producer(s): Ron Burkle, Terry Allen Kramer, George Kaufman Producer(s): Jean Doumanian, Patrick Daly Cast: Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Tara Fitzgerald Writer(s): David Harrower Details: Based on the play "Blackbird" written by David Harrower and first produced by the Edinburgh International Festival in 2005. It transferred to the Albery Theatre in London's West End in February 2006. SSN Insight: Projects marks the feature film directorial debut of theater director Benedict Andrews.

Bonjour Anne 6/15/2015 Logline: The life of a neglected movie producer’s wife changes when she makes a two-day drive through France with her husband’s French business partner. Production Company(s): American Zoetrope, FR Productions Director(s): Eleanor Coppola Producer(s): Fred Roos Cast: Diane Lane, Yvan Attal, Nicolas Cage Writer(s): Eleanor Coppola SSN Insight: Feature directorial debut for Eleanor Coppola (“Hearts of Darkness”). ICM is handling the US rights.

Brimstone 6/15/2015 Logline: A woman is running away from her past and a zealot preacher when an outlaw comes into the picture and influences the situation. Production Company(s): X-Filme Creative Pool, Isabella Films, Prime Time Entertainment, N279 Entertainment Director(s): Martin Koolhoven Producer(s): Els Vandevorst, Uwe Schott Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Carice Van Houten Writer(s): Martin Koolhoven SSN Insight: Pattinson is having a busy year, he was also cast in “The Lost City of Z” in preproduction, The “Childhood of a Leader” that wrapped, in addition “Queen of the Desert” (Atlas Distribution) and “Life” (Cinedigm) are both awaiting release.

Free Fire 6/8/2015 Logline: In 1978, an arms deal in Boston goes terribly wrong. Production Company(s): Rook Films Director(s): Ben Wheatley Executive Producer(s): Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff Producer(s): Andy Starke, Ben Wheatley Cast: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley, Sharlto Copley Writer(s): Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump SSN Insight: Olivia Wilde was previously attached to the role played by Brie Larson. Luke Evans was previously attached to co-star.

Indignation 6/15/2015 Logline: Two complicated and unique individuals, one the son of a kosher butcher from Newark and the other the daughter of a well-regarded surgeon from Cleveland, explore a relationship at their Midwestern university in the 1950s. Production Company(s): X-Filme Creative Pool, Symbolic Exchange, Likely Story, RT Features Director(s): James Schamus Executive Producer(s): Stefanie Azpiazu, Avy Eschenasy Producer(s): Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Rodrigo Teixeira Cast: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon Writer(s): James Schamus Details: Based on the novel "Indignation" written by Philip Roth and published by Houghton Mifflin in September 2008. SSN Insight: Scott Rudin preemptively acquired the novel by Philip Roth in a reported seven-figure deal. Project was previously in development at Scott Rudin Productions with Scott Rudin attached to produce.

Look Away 6/8/2015 Logline: A young woman is afflicted with "selective blindness" and cannot see her own mother. Production Company(s): Locomotive Director(s): Andy Delaney, Monty Whitebloom Executive Producer(s): Alexis Alexanian, Peter Friedlander, Lizzie Nastro Producer(s): Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Alexandra Kerry Cast: Shannon Tarbet, Matthew Broderick, Chloe Sevigny Writer(s): Jennifer Schuur SSN Insight: Nick Frost, Hope Davis, and Adelaide Clemens were previously attached to star. Schuur is an EP on “The Catch”, a pilot picked up by ABC, a writer on “Quarry”, a pilot picked up by Cinemax and currently writes for “Hannibal”.

Neruda 6/15/2015 Logline: A portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning Latin American poet Pablo Neruda. Production Company(s): Reborn Productions, Funny Balloons, Participant Media, Fabula Producciones , Setembro Cine, AZ Films Director(s): Pablo Larrain Producer(s): Juan de Dios Larrain, Peter Danner, Renan Artukmac, Marc Simoncini, Fernanda Del Nido Cast: Luis Gnecco, Gael Garcia Bernal, Mercedes Moran, Alfredo Castro, Jaime Vadell Writer(s): Guillermo Calderon, Pablo Larrain SSN Insight: Larrain’s films “Nasty Baby” and “El Club” are currently awaiting release and he’s also in development on “Jackie” and a “Scarface” remake for Universal.

Shepherds and Butchers 6/15/2015 Logline: A jaded lawyer defends a South African death row prison guard on trial for murder after killing seven people in a road rage incident. Production Company(s): Videovision Entertainment, Distant Horizon Corporation Director(s): Oliver Schmitz Executive Producer(s): Sudhir Pragjee, Sanjeev Singh, Basil Ford Producer(s): Brian Cox, Anant Singh Cast: Steve Coogan, Andrea Riseborough Writer(s): Brian Cox Details: Based on the novel "Shepherds & Butchers" written by Chris Marnewick and published in South Africa in 2008 by Umuzi.

Sleepless Night (Remake) 6/15/2015 Logline: In an effort to rescue his kidnapped son, an undercover cop ends up racing through a packed nightclub, dodging drug dealers and corrupt cops. Production Company(s): Vertigo Entertainment, Chic Films Director(s): Baran bo Odar Executive Producer(s): Lauranne Bourrachot, Marco Cherqui, John Middleton, Tom Ortenberg, Peter Lawson Producer(s): Roy Lee, Adam Stone Cast: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Gabrielle Union, Tip "T.I." Harris, Dermot Mulroney Writer(s): Andrea Berloff, Dante W. Harper Details: Remake of "Sleepless Night" (France/2011) directed by Frederic Jardin. SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Warner Bros.

Tallulah 6/10/2015 Logline: A young woman rescues a baby and the public thinks she's a kidnapper, so she turns to assistance from her ex-boyfriend's mother and sets out to return the kid, making discoveries about herself, personal responsibility, and the bonds of motherhood along the way. Production Company(s): Maiden Voyage Films, Route One Entertainment Director(s): Sian Heder Producer(s): Russell Levine, Heather Rae, Chris Columbus, Eleanor Columbus, Todd Traina Cast: Ellen Page, Allison Janney Writer(s): Sian Heder SSN Insight: Sian Heder is currently a story editor and writer on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black”.


Keeping Up With the Joneses 6/15/2015 Logline: An unfulfilled suburban married couple discovers that their sexy and charming new neighbors are spies. Studio: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): Fox 2000, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation Director(s): Greg Mottola Executive Producer(s): Marc Resteghini, Evan Hayes, Timothy M Bourne Producer(s): Walter F Parkes, Laurie MacDonald Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot, Maribeth Monroe Writer(s): Michael LeSieur SSN Insight: Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation is also currently in production on Rings. Gadot’s upcoming films include Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, Triple Nine and Criminal.

My Blind Brother 6/11/2015 Logline: Bill's brother Robbie is blind and is also an all-star athlete and full of arrogance. When Bill falls for Robbie's girlfriend, the brothers' relationship changes. Production Company(s): Safehouse Pictures, Low Spark Films Director(s): Sophie Goodhart Producer(s): Tyler Davidson, Tory Tunnell Cast: Adam Scott, Jenny Slate, Nick Kroll, Charlie Hewson Writer(s): Sophie Goodhart Details: Based on the short film "My Blind Brother" (2003) directed by Sophie Goodhart and starring Tony Hale and John Mattey. SSN Insight: Scoot McNairy and Jessica Biel were previously attached to star. Daniel Dubiecki and The Allegiance Theater were previously attached to produce.

Nerve 6/15/2015 Logline: A teenage girl gets caught up in an online game of dares called Nerve, but what starts out as fun and leads to fame turns deadly as the mysterious company behind it all plays on contestants' fears. Studio: Lionsgate Production Company(s): Allison Shearmur Productions Director(s): Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman Producer(s): Allison Shearmur, Anthony Katagas Cast: Dave Franco, Emma Roberts, Kimiko Glenn Writer(s): Jessica Sharzer Details: Based on the novel "Nerve," written by Jeanne Ryan and published by Dial September 13, 2012. SSN Insight: Dave Franco can next be seen in “Zeroville” and “Now You See Me 2”. He was also cast in “The Disaster Artist” and “The Intern’s Handbook” currently in active development.

The Free State of Jones 6/9/2015 Logline: The true story of Newton Knight, a soldier for the Confederacy during the Civil War who became disillusioned with the South's cause, fled the battlefield, rallied supporters, and declared a safe haven in an area of southeastern Mississippi in opposition to the Confederacy. Studio: STX Entertainment Production Company(s): Larger Than Life Productions, Bluegrass Films Director(s): Gary Ross Producer(s): Scott Stuber, Jon Kilik, Gary Ross, Robert Simonds, Allison Thomas Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keri Russell, Mahershala Ali Writer(s): Gary Ross SSN Insight: Previously in development at Universal Pictures. This is the first production on STX’s slate and the film was also chosen by SSN as one of bankable films this year at AFM, which you can read about here. IM Global is handling international rights.

The Woods 6/12/2015 Logline: On a camping trip, a group of college students discover they are not alone. Studio: Lionsgate Production Company(s): Vertigo Entertainment, Snoot Entertainment Director(s): Adam Wingard Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available. Producer(s): Roy Lee, Steven Schneider, Keith Calder, Jessica Wu Writer(s): Simon Barrett SSN Insight: The producers planned to cast mostly unknown actors, and to keep casting info under wraps throughout production, to increase the scare factor for viewers.

Emmys 2015: Beau Willimon, Alex Gansa, Jill Soloway, Jenny Snyder Urman, and the New Highbrow, On the Set For 6/15/15


at arrivals for HOUSE OF CARDS Season 2 Premiere, Director"s Guild of America, Los Angeles, CA February 13, 2014. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

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‘House Of Cards’ Creator Beau Willimon Admits He Has No Idea How Many People Have Seen His Show On Netflix

During a roundtable with other creators and showrunners, Willimon discusses his working relationship with the online streaming service and how it’s changed since his show debuted, as well as the "myopia of the critical culture.” (THR)

‘Transparent’ and ‘Jane the Virgin’ Showrunners Jill Soloway and Jenny Snyder Urman On How They Are Breaking New Ground

Soloway’s show, starring Jeffrey Tambor, has put Amazon Studios on the map, while Urman’s show earned her network, The CW, its first Golden Globe nominations and scored a win for breakout star Gina Rodriguez. In a wide-ranging conversation, they discuss the challenges of binge-viewing vs. 22-episode seasons, blending comedy with drama, and Caitlyn Jenner. (VAR)

‘Homeland’ Creator Alex Gansa Discusses How Criticism Has Changed and How He Responds To It

When asked how he handles criticism of his work at this point in his career, Gansa talked about the immediacy of people’s opinions, and how he waits until the end of a particular season before he looks at them. He highlighted one scene in particular, during which protagonist Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) considers whether or not she is capable of harming her baby. (THR)

From Lowbrow To Highbrow: How 'Veep,' 'Silicon Valley' and 'Inside Amy Schumer' Are Tearing Down American Institutionalism

As a term, "lowbrow" is a little suspect. It implies a level of immaturity, a juvenile approach to humor. But like anything, it reflects a form and a method. It presents a way of conveying ideas, even if its usage is often accompanied by a rather opaque (or, more bluntly, witless) intent. (IW)


On the Set For 6/15/15: Martin Scorsese Starts Shooting ‘Free Fire’, Matthew McConaughey Finishes ‘Free State of Jones’, and More

Lots going on this week, with new films starring Rooney Mara, Diane Lane, Nicolas Cage, Mia Wasikowska, Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Logan Lermon, and Jamie Foxx all get rolling, while Greg Mottolla’s new film, starring Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher and Gal Gadot, and a couple indies, including the secretive horror film The Woods, all wrap. (SSN)

Terry George Wrangles a Couple Of Heavy Hitters For His Next Film, Casts Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac

The pair will star in The Promise, the latest effort from Hotel Rwanda director Terry George, who co-wrote the script with Robin Swicord. The story will be set against the backdrop of the Armenian genocide and follow an AP reporter (Bale) and medical student (Isaac) who fall for the same woman. Production will begin this fall. (TP)

Katherine Waterston Lands ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Female Lead Opposite Eddie Redmayne

The Harry Potter spinoff comes from author J.K. Rowling, who wrote the trilogy Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and is adapting the script for director David Yates. Waterston, who starred in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, will play the role of a witch who works her magic in the U.S. She meets magizoologist Newt Scamander (played by Redmayne) when he stops in New York City on his travels to find and document magical creatures. (DH)

It’s a Good Day For ‘Bates Motel’ Fans, as A&E Renews It Two For More Years

Cable network’s move amounts to a 20-episode pickup, and ensures that co-creators Kerry Ehrin and Carlton Cuse will get to finish out what they have long billed as a five-season tale. However, the announcement stopped short of declaring Season 5 the show’s last. The show’s fourth season is slated to air in early 2016, followed by Season 5 in early 2017. (TVL)

Channing Tatum’s X-Men Spinoff Movie, ‘Gambit’, Finally Has Itself a Director

Despite an October 7th, 2016 release date, 20th Century Fox had been unable to nail down a director for the project, until now. Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt has been tapped to steer this particular superhero ship. Gambit, aka Remy LeBeau, is a fan-favorite character from the X-Men comics, a New Orleans native with a penchant for gambling and turning objects (like playing cards) into throw-able explosives. (COL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘A Deadly Adoption’

The Lifetime Network has released the first full-length trailer of the much buzzed-about film, which stars Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig playing it straight in a parody of the network’s usual fare. The movie premieres Saturday night, the 20th, at 8 pm EDT. (IW)  

Stars To Return For ‘Pitch Perfect 3′, ‘Maleficent’ Getting a Sequel, Winona Ryder Heading To TV, ‘The Crow’ Reboot Gets Another Setback


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Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson Confirm They Will Return For ‘Pitch Perfect 3’

Universal Pictures has firmed up plans to a sequel to another one of its crazy-performing follow-ups of 2015. After last week’s announcement that the film had been greenly and screenwriter Kay Cannon was coming back for a third time to pen the script, now comes word of Kendrick and Wilson’s return, and a July 21, 2017 release date. It will open one week after the new Planet of the Apes movie and one week before Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man reboot. (CS)

Trendsetting ‘Maleficent’ Finally Boards the Sequel Express, as Disney Develops a Followup

Angelina Jolie is expected to reprise her role as the title character. The first film opened last summer and did more than more than $758 million worldwide and made the live-action reboot trend a viable option. Linda Woolverton, who wrote that film, is returning to pen the sequel. Jolie is not signed for a sequel and would require a new deal, but that is not seen as a major hurdle. (COL)

Winona Ryder Joins the Line Of Movie Stars Who Are Turning To TV, Thanks To Netflix

The actress is set to star in the online streaming service’s untitled eight episode supernatural thriller. In the ’80s-set series, a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family, and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. Ryder will play the mother of the missing 2-year-old. (TVL)

The Revolving Casting Door Continues On ‘The Crow’ Reboot, as Jack Huston Exits

With pre-production apparently underway, Huston has had to exit the film over scheduling issues. Apparently, Nicholas Hoult (currently filming X-Men: Apocalypse) and Jack O'Connell are being eyed as possible replacements, but it's not clear if that's just studio wishlist names or if actual talks are happening. It couldn't come at a worst time for Relativity, which is currently in the midst of some serious financial woes as it aims to restructure and stay afloat. (TP)

John Ridley Sells Another Crime Drama To ABC, This One With a Woman Private Eye Lead

Oscar-winning creator of American Crime anthology series has sold a new show called Presence, which will follow a former Army Counter Insurgency Operative named Presence Foster, beginning a new career as a private investigator in Los Angeles. Ridley will write, direct and exec produce the show, which ABC Studios will produce. (SAA)

Forest Whitaker Appears To Be the Next Actor Joining the Star Wars Standalone, ‘Rogue One’

The actor is in negotiations to join the first Star Wars anthology picture, directed by Gareth Edwards. No details on who Whitaker would play in the ensemble action-adventurer, and Disney and Lucasfilm are not commenting on the casting. Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, and Riz Ahmed are all already on board the project. (CB)

Supergravity Pictures Nails Down Its Digital Distribution For Its Next Four Films, Thanks To Vimeo

Movies covered under the deal, which will also get limited theatrical distribution, will be available for purchase on Vimeo on Demand for 30 days. They include thriller The Chosen, which will premiere on Vimeo next month. Led by Max Benator and Marc Hustvedt, Supergravity launched last year with the intent of creating long-form movies and other premium content starring digital-native talent. (VAR)

Almost Five Years Since His Last Film, Mark Romanek Is Heading To ‘Norco’

Director is in final talks with MadRiver Pictures to direct Norco, which has a script by Adair Cole. The picture is inspired by the 1980 Norco bank robbery shootout. Five perpetrators, armed with shotguns, assault rifles, and homemade bombs, led police on a 25-mile chase. In the end, one sheriff’s deputy and two of the five robbers were killed. Over 30 cop cars and one helicopter were damaged by gunfire. Marc Butan and Mason Novik are producing. (SF)

MGM Makes a Study Of ‘Primates Of Park Avenue,’ Picks Up Film Rights To Controversial Novel

Author Wednesday Martin's controversial book about wealthy Upper East Side women sparked a bidding war with multiple bidders in the mix to pick up the memoir about the lives of rich young mothers in New York City. Published June 2nd, it attracted considerable pre-publication buzz off of a New York Times op-ed by Martin revealing that some of these East Sider one-percenters said they received a “wife bonus," akin to the year-end bonus investment bankers get. (THR)

Online Film School: Six Filmmaking Tips From Stan Winston

During the heyday of practical, indexical special effects, Stan Winston proved to be one of Hollywood’s most consequential talents, with many of his creations – the T-1000, the Queen Alien, the T-Rex – producing some of the most iconic characters of late-20th century blockbuster movie-making. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the architect of Jurassic Park. (FSR)

TV Development for 6/16/15: Starz Picks Up Neil Gaiman Series, Morgan Freeman in for ‘Story of God’ & More


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American Gods Network: Starz Production Company(s): FremantleMedia North America, LivingDeadGuy Productions Executive Producer(s): Neil Gaiman, Bryan Fuller, Michael Green, Neil Gaiman, Thom Beers, Craig Cegielski Logline: Centers on a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities. Details: Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. SSN Insight: Today Starz gave a straight-to-series order for the drama. Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman were previously attached as executive producers. Playtone was previously attached as production company. HBO was previously attached as the network.

Presence Network: ABC Studio: ABC Studios Production Company(s): International Famous Players Radio Picture Corporation, Stearns Castle Executive Producer(s): John Ridley, Michael McDonald Writer(s): John Ridley Logline: The series follows Presence Foster, a former Army Counter Insurgency Operative who finds herself navigating a widely divergent and highly colorful cross section of Los Angeles as she unintentionally begins a career as an unlicensed Private Investigator. SSN Insight: ABC has bought the script penned by Ridley. Ridley previously created American Crime and is currently under an overall deal with ABC. He’s also in development on a project for Marvel Studios and ABC that is being kept under wraps.

Stay Network: ABC Family Executive Producer(s): Spenser Cohen, Anna Halberg, Jon Turteltaub Writer(s): Spenser Cohen Logline: A recently widowed police detective and his two daughters, who are stranded at a foreboding hotel, must unravel the hotel’s mysteries to escape. SSN Insight: ABC Family greenlit the pilot on June 11. Cohen is also a writer on Mythos, currently in development at USA. Turteltaub most recently directed CBS’ Rush Hour pilot.

The Story of God Network: NatGeo Production Company(s): Revelations Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary, James Younger, Michael J Miller Logline: The series explores mankind’s quest to explore the divine. Each episode will center on one big question about the divine, from the mystery of creation, to the true power of miracles, to the promise of resurrection. The series also will examine how the frontiers of neuroscience and cosmology are intersecting the traditional domain of religion. SSN Insight: NatGeo ordered the series on June 11. Freeman famously previously played God in the film Bruce Almighty and its sequel. It will air on National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Mundo later this year in the U.S. and globally in 171 countries and 45 languages.

Unveiled Network: NBC Entertainment Studio: Universal Television Production Company(s): LightWorkers Media Executive Producer(s): Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, John J Sakmar, Kerry Lenhart Logline: Revolves around a group of flawed guardian angels who intervene in the lives of those who find themselves facing crisis in an attempt to restore their faith and, often, save their lives. SSN Insight: Rolled from the 2013-2014 season. NBC greenlit a pilot in January but didn’t give a series order and is instead redeveloping the script with new writers. In a rare move, several actors from the original pilot will be kept including Will Kemp, Stephan James and Mouzam Makkar. NBC is currently considering Burnett’s series, The Bible Continues, for another season.

Untitled Tyrese Gibson Rev Run Talk Show Project Network: OWN Production Company(s): CBS Television Distribution Group, Voltron Filmz, Simmons/ Lehman Productions Executive Producer(s): Tyrese Gibson, Joseph "Reverend Run" Simmons, Eric Pankowski, Jerome Martin, Isabella Castro Logline: Tyrese Gibson and Rev Run will lead discussions about relationships and love from a man’s point of view. They will be joined by a primetime studio audience and celebrity guests. Via social media, viewers can ask the pair questions about men, relationships, marriage and sex. SSN Insight: OWN has given a series order of 8 episodes as of June 11. On the film side Tyrese Gibson has been cast in Little Mizz Innocent and Desert Eagle, both of which are in active development.

Dead Clean Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Lime Pictures, All3Media America Executive Producer(s): Kate Little, Claire Poyser, Derek McLean, Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman Logline: The series showcases a group of women working at Xtreme Cleaners, a company using bubbles and suds to clean and decontaminate some of the filthiest and goriest places from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Armed with mops, hazmat suits and a sense of humor, these girls do the "dirty work" at crime scenes, hoarders’ homes and meth labs. For these eager millenials, the business of clean-up is just one step closer to their future goals whether they’re studying to be a criminal investigator, stashing cash for nursing school, or just trying to save up enough dough to move out of their parents’ homes. SSN Insight: One of five projects Oxygen announced on their development slate on June 10. All3Media America is behind a few pilots that have been ordered to series including Fit Club on Bravo, Just Jillian on E! and Sing It! On Lifetime.

House of Black Diamond Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Thinkfactory Media Executive Producer(s): Adam Reed, Adam Freeman, Leslie Greif Logline: The series follows six members of a successful drill team who live under one roof. Hard work, dedication and comical personal politics push this team to new limits as they fight to retain their reputation as the most decorated drill team on the West Coast. With multiple competitions each month, the road to success isn’t easy, but this group has the heart, talent and drive to reach new heights. SSN Insight: One of five projects Oxygen announced on their development slate on June 10. Thinkfactory Media is behind the Married by Mom and Dad series ordered to series by TLC along with Hometown Rebound and The One (Lifetime), both in development.

Start Me Up Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Wilshire Studios, Soshefeigh Media Executive Producer(s): Matt O'Brien, Rene Brar Logline: Bringing the online crowdfunding phenomenon to television for the first time, each episode follows three contestants determined to launch a new campaign, business or cause as they work with an expert team to create the ultimate 90-second pitch video. At the end, the three videos will go up on Oxygen.com where viewers will have the opportunity to donate money to the projects they love the most. On the following week’s show, the video which raised the most money will be revealed in real time, honoring the winning contestant with a $25,000 grand prize. SSN Insight: One of five projects Oxygen announced on their development slate on June 10. Matt O’Brien currently serves as a writer and executive story editor on Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Swipe For Love Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): Wilshire Studios Executive Producer(s): David Friedman Logline: A group of eager young singles will put their profile pictures to the test in front of a live studio audience in hopes of finding "the one." Potential couples will be matched based on their "swipes" and social media "likes" to compete in a series of challenges designed to test and reveal chemistry and compatibility. SSN Insight: One of five projects Oxygen announced on their development slate on June 10. David Friedman currently executive produces NBC’s long running Last Comic Standing and E!’s Sex with Brody, awaiting air.

The Ultimate Relationship Test Network: Oxygen Production Company(s): A. Smith & Co. Productions Executive Producer(s): Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Guy Hameiri Logline: Ten couples will compete in large-scale challenges , ranging from the physical to the mental , to win wagered money. While one person competes, their significant other bets a sum of cash based on how they think their partner will perform. These challenges will showcase how intimately each partner knows the other, while exposing the strengths and weaknesses of their relationship. SSN Insight: One of five projects Oxygen announced on their development slate on June 10. Arthur Smith is keeping busy and currently executive producing HGTV’s Ellen’s Design Challenge, SyFy’s Wizard Wars, TNT’s Save Our Business, Oxygen’s Too Young to Marry?, Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, which has a spin-off in development at Esquire entitled Teen Ninja Warrior.

Play It Forward Network: Showtime Production Company(s): Rare Bird Films, SMAC Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Michael Strahan, Constance Schwartz Logline: An intimate portrait unfolds featuring All-American NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez -- renowned for his sure hand and intrepid heart -- and his older brother and wingman, Chris. As we take a seat at the Sunday night Gonzalez family dinner, we observe their pride, love and resilience. They speak candidly about how they overcame disappointment and supported each other through tragedies in order to fulfill their dreams. SSN Insight: Showtime acquired the rights to the documentary film that premiered at the Opening Gala of the 2015 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. It was featured in SSN’s Tribeca Hit List, which you can read here.

Hyperion Network: SyFy Studio: Universal Cable Productions Production Company(s): GK Films, 22nd & Green Executive Producer(s): Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips, Graham King Writer(s): Itamar Moses Logline: Set on the eve of Armageddon with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a voyage to seek the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope and a terrible secret, while one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands. Details: Based on "Hyperion Cantos," a four-volume series of novels that includes "Hyperion" (1989), "The Fall of Hyperion" (1990), "Endymion" (1996) and "The Rise of Endymion" (1997), all written by Dan Simmons and published by Bantam Spectra. SSN Insight: This project was previously in development as a feature film at Warner Bros. Pictures, during which Cooper co-wrote a spec script in 2011 (according to Screenrant). SyFy is planning it as a limited event series.

Emmys 2015: Rooting For Cookie, A-List Drama Stars, Keeping an Old Role Fresh, TV Development For 6/16/15



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Emmy 2015: Why It’s Easy To Root For 'Empire’s Cookie

Emmy nomination voting opened yesterday and among those in the running for Best Actress in a Drama Series is Taraji B. Henson for her role as Cookie Lyon in the Fox break-out hit. That series is notable for something that should be commonplace in this day and age; having diverse actors in the starring roles of a hit series. Thankfully that’s getting more and more routine. (SSN)

Bob Odenkirk, David Oyelowo and Drama Actor A-List on Oscar Snubs, Bad Scripts and Getting Ignored by Robert Redford

You know the Emmy race has shifted a bit when the writer who created Chris Farley’s "Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker" sketch on Saturday Night Live is the face of this year’s highest-rated new cable drama. Emmy season’s most eclectic (and often funny) stars sound off on bad scripts and the "blessings" of winning — and not winning — an Oscar. (THR)

How Did Elisabeth Moss Spend So Many Years Playing the Same Role, Yet Always Keep It Fresh?

Playing copywriter Peggy Olson on AMC’s Mad Men has been as much about Moss’ own life as it has been about following a character’s arc. Although Moss says show creator Matthew Weiner asked her to watch a few period films like 1960’s The Apartment to prep, she went into the role with the idea of making Peggy feel as real as possible. (VAR)

Have You Sat Down and Actually Looked At the Best Actor Race? Because It’s Kind Of a Doozy

The 2015 Emmys seem to be a year of transition for the Emmys. They’ve expanded the Best Comedy and Best Drama races to include 7 series, redefined Guest and Movie/Mini races following controversy, and so on. But most important of all, Emmy standard-bearers of the last few years seem to be on the decline or going off the air entirely. (AC)


TV Development For 6/16/15: Starz Picks Up Neil Gaiman Series, Morgan Freeman In For ‘Story Of God’, and More

The cable network believes in the latest version of the author’s American Gods, which used to be in development at HBO. Also in this week’s news, a new show from Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, a host of new shows for the Oxygen network, Bradley Cooper’s new Syfy series, and yet another crime drama partnership between John Ridley and ABC. (SSN)

Bradley Cooper’s Producing Career Keeps Marching On With World War Two Project For Warner Bros.

Cooper is developing Ghost Army along with Todd Phillips and Andrew Lazar, with Henry Gayden adapting Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles' recently-published history The Ghost Army Of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived The Enemy With Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, And Other Audacious Fakery. No word on whether or not Cooper will also act in the project. (EMP)

Rob Reiner’s New Historical, Political Drama ‘LBJ’ has Found Its Star

Woody Harrelson will play the 36th president of the United States in the film, which will start shooting in September. Reiner will direct from a script by Joey Hartstone, which follows Johnson’s ascension from the poor hill country of West Texas to the corridors of power in Washington, being thrust into the Presidency by the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy and the passage of civil rights legislation. (EW)

Showtime Still Has Plenty Of Scares Ahead, Renews ‘Penny Dreadful’ For a Third Season

Created, written and executive produced by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan, show stars Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. A co-production with Sky Atlantic, show will once again shoot on location in Dublin, Ireland for a nine episode order to debut in 2016. The second season, currently airing on Sundays, will air its season finale on Sunday, July 5th. (CS)

Jason Segel Is About To Join Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara In Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s ‘Me and Earl’ Followup

Collateral Beauty revolves around a New York advertising executive who suffers a huge tragedy. Unable to comprehend or adjust to his life being flipped upside down in such a dramatic fashion he is plunged into a deep depression. Aware of his downward spiral, the man’s colleagues then devise a unique and unconventional plan to help break him out of his plight. Jackman will play the exec, and no word on who Segel would play. (CB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Peanuts: The Movie’

Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios have released the new trailer for the highly anticipated new adventures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang. The film will feature the voices of Noah Schnapp, Hadley Belle Miller, AJ Tecce, Noah Johnston, Venus Schultheis, Alexander Garfin, Francesca Capaldi, Mar Mar, Mariel Sheets and Rebecca Bloom, and is due in theaters in 3D on November 6th. (COL)

‘Passengers’ a Go At Sony, New Directing Gigs For Eli Roth and Kenneth Branagh, HBO’s Deal With the Duplass Bros, Bruce Willis’ New Action Comedy


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Now That Sony Has Figured Out the Financial Issues, ‘Passengers’ Is Finally Getting an Official Green Light

Studio has given the thumbs up to the movie that will star Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt and be directed by The Imitation Game helmer Morten Tyldum. And those salaries that were causing a problem? No more. Lawrence will get a staggering $20 million, against 30% of the film's profit if it breaks even, which puts her in the upper echelon of A-list stars. Meanwhile, Pratt will bag $12 million for the sci-fi two-hander, which starts shooting next month. (TP)

After Years Of Development At Multiple Studios, the Prehistoric Shark Story ‘Meg’ Finally Has a Director

Eli Roth is in talks to direct the film which is based on a 1997 book written by Steve Allen. The project had been thought dormant for a good long while, but now a script by Dean Georgaris reportedly has Warner Bros. excited by the monster movie, leading to talks with Roth. (SF)

Kenneth Branagh Is Planning To Take On Some ‘Murder On the Orient Express’

The filmmaker is in negotiations with 20th Century Fox to helm the project, which has Michael Green at work on a new adaptation of the murder mystery. The book was first published in 1934, and sees Hercule Poirot investigating the murder of an American tycoon on a journey from Istanbul (Constantinople at the time) to Paris. Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg and Mark Gordon are all aboard as producers. (EMP)

HBO Likes the Duplass Brothers So Much, It Just Signed a New Overall Deal With Them

Cable network wants workaholic multi-taskers Mark and Jay Duplass to deliver more series for them, following the renewal of their inexpensive comedy series Togetherness, whose second season will start in 2016, as well as the two-season pickup of Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano's New York-set animated series Animal, which debuted at Sundance. (TOH)

Bruce Willis Gets Some Pretty Impressive Company In His New Action-Comedy

Jason Momoa, Thomas Middleditch and Famke Janssen are in negotiations to join Bruce Willis in an untitled action comedy being produced and directed by Mark and Robb Cullen, who wrote Willis’ Cop Out. Nicolas Chartier, Zev Foreman and Lauren Ford will be producing, with the movie eyeing a late-June start in Los Angeles. Willis is set to star as a private eye in Los Angeles whose professional and personal worlds collide when his dog is stolen by a gang. (VAR)

Bart Freundlich’s Latest Indie Opus Snags Michael Shannon and Carla Gugino For Its Leads

Newcomer Taylor John Smith will star as an 18-year-old basketball star who is being recruited by Cornell. He seems to have it all figured out: captain of his team, a good student, has a longtime girlfriend and some good friends. But at home he's struggling with his troubled father (Shannon) who has a gambling addiction. His mother (Gugino) tries to keep the family afloat but has done so only with great emotional and financial sacrifice. Shooting begins this week. (THR)

Fox and Film Rites Nab Film Rights To a Book All About the Crime That Inspired ‘Crime and Punishment’

The Sinner and the Saint, based on the upcoming book by Kevin Birmingham, The Sinner and The Saint: Dostoevsky and the Gentleman Murderer Who Inspired a Masterpiece, which tells the story of the true crime that inspired Dostoevsky’s classic and the intense process of writing the book. Film Rites principal Steve Zaillian will produce the drama, with partner Garrett Basch executive producing. Mark Roybal will oversee for Fox. (TB)

Regina King Becomes the Latest Actor To Return For Another Season Of ‘American Crime’

She joins fellow returning stars Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton, who will all play new roles in season two of the anthology drama. Creator and executive producer John Ridley will return as will executive producer Michael McDonald. ABC Studios will produce the drama, which is slated to come back midseason. (TLF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Captive’

Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for the film, based on an inspiring true story and starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara. Film was directed by Jerry Jameson and produced by Terry Botwick, Jerry Jameson, David Oyelowo and Ken Wales in addition to BN Films’ Alex Garcia, Lucas Akoskin and Katrina Wolfe. It hits theaters September 18th. (CS)

Screenwriters: ‘Celeste and Jesse Forever’

The 110-page screenplay by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, labeled White Script and dated May 1st, 2011. (GITS)

Rep Moves for 6/17/15: Beyonce Moves to CAA, Star Wars Lead John Boyega Scooped Up by WME & More


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UTA: Veteran ER, Law & Order SVU and current Under the Dome showrunner Neal Baer has left long-time agent Debbee Klein at Paradigm and signed with UTA, to be repped by a team spearheaded by UTA co-founder Peter Benedek. Last year Baer launched his own shingle, Baer Bones. Baer, a trained pediatrician, will be working with the UTA digital media team on his app that connects people with opportunities to become involved with non-profits.

CAA: After leaving CAA for ICM back in 2006, Beyonce has made the switch again and will be repped again by CAA for her touring business. She will still be repped by ICM for acting. Her 2014 'On the Run' stadium tour with Jay Z grossed upwards of $100 million, making this a blow to ICM. WME: The agency has just signed British actor John Boyega who will next be seen playing the lead role of Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18. Previously he was seen in the much-loved indie film, Attack the Block as well as 24: Live Another Day. He was formerly with CAA and will remain repped by his UK agent Femi Oguns and lawyer Craig Jacobson.

Paradigm: The agency has signed filmmaker Peter Segal along with his producing partner Michael Ewing and their Callahan Filmworks shingle for film and TV. He will be repped by Adam Kanter and Martin Spencer who previously repped Segal at CAA and Resolution. Currently Segal is signed on to direct Jackie Chan in The Civilian for Thunder Road, Goblins for Disney, Bleach for WB and Shazam! for New Line, all actively being developed.

UTA: The agency has signed on to rep Oscar-nominated screenwriter Eric Warren Singer. He’s a screenwriter on upcoming projects in active development Red Sparrow to be directed by David Fincher at Fox, the Michael Mann film The Big Stone Grid at Sony and the Doug Liman directed Splinter Cell also at Fox.

Paradigm: Screenwriter Peter Steinfeld has left CAA and signed on with Paradigm. He will continue to be repped by Mosaic Media and attorney Melanie Cook. His upcoming projects include Central Intelligence, the Dwayne Johnson starring film at WB in production, a remake of Slap Shot at Universal in active development, and he did a rewrite of the Kevin Hard starrer Ballers for Universal in development.

Emmy 2015: Best Actor/Actress — Comedy, E3 — Let the Games Begin, Netflix Spends Big On Brad Pitt Film, Aaron Paul’s New TV Show, Rep Moves For 6/17/15


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Put Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jeffrey Tambor In a Room Together, and They Will Discuss the Responsibility Of Their Roles

The two legendary actors, and frontrunners for this year’s awards, sit down to talk about their respective roles, both of which could be described as career-defining. What they both make cert clear to each other is just how important the concept and the writing are to their decision-making process. (VAR)

Anthony Anderson Forces His Way Into the Best Actor - Comedy Conversation With a Role Much Like Himself

Between senior citizens and digital-brained teens, tweens and tots are the befuddled middle-agers trying to make sense of it all—while texting at the same time. Anderson takes this bafflement to new heights in Black-ish as Andre “Dre” Johnson, caught between his old-school “Pops” (Laurence Fishburne) from hard-knocks Compton and his own four children—products of suburban affluence who can’t remember a time before the United States had a black president. (AL)

From Unknown To Megastar, Gina Rodriguez Has Had Quite a Year, Both For Herself and Her Network

As unlikely as it is that a show called Jane the Virgin would even exist, the CW drama has broken barriers and exceeded expectations on several levels. The show gave the youth-driven network its first Golden Globe nominations, including a win for Best Actress – Musical or Comedy, for star Gina Rodriguez. On a show steeped in telenovela lore with all the crazy twists and turns to go with it, Rodriguez got to run the gamut in terms of acting. (TW)

Just as the Drama Category Is Packed To the Gills With Great Actors, So Is the Comedy Category

After a long stretch in which Jim Parsons has dominated this category, there are suddenly a bevy of newcomers here, including a brand new frontrunner whose character wears dresses and the renewed emergence of a standup comic at the top of his game, not to mention at least three and possibly five potential nominees from HBO and Showtime series. (AC)


E3 2015: Let the Games Begin — The Nine Video Games Ripe For Film/TV Adaptation

The industry-only annual trade fair for the video game industry kicked off yesterday at the LA Convention Center. If you look deeper than all the CGI explosions, gunfire and magical elves there’s some captivating stories to be heard. This is a multi-billion dollar industry of course, so there’s bound to be a good cinematic experience or two and that’s just what SSN found. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 6/17/15: Beyonce Moves To CAA, ‘Star Wars’ Lead John Boyega Scooped Up By WME, and More

A few big moves this week, with Paradigm especially having a lot of heat with a couple of new clients. UTA also has a big week, along with the name clients landed by CAA and WME. As usual, click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)


Netflix Apparently Paid $60 Million For the Right To Make Brad Pitt’s Military Satire

The film had been set up at New Regency and RatPac Entertainment, but even though New Regency made 12 Years a Slave with Plan B, the backers wanted Michod and producers to lower the proposed $60 million to $70 million budget. The filmmakers balked, putting the project up for grabs, and Netflix revealed June 8 that it had swooped in and grabbed War Machine. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos was willing to pay the price tag. (THR)

Jason Katims Lands Aaron Paul For His Faith-Based Hulu Drama

A 10-episode series created by Katims’ fellow Parenthood scribe Jessica Goldberg, The Way examines a family at the center of a controversial movement struggling with relationships, marriage and power. Paul will play Eddie Cleary, a convert to the movement with a wayward past. He’s a husband and father who suffers a crisis of faith when all that he’s come to accept as truth in his life is fundamentally challenged. (TVL)

Because No Idea Isn’t Worth Copying, Skydance Follows Universal and WB, Develops a Bermuda Triangle Film Of Its Own

Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard are rewriting a script based on an original screenplay by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift for Skydance Productions. The Bermuda Triangle seems to be a hot spot for Hollywood right now as this is the second project currently brewing about the area. Juliet Snowden and Stiles White are rewriting the script for Universal's untitled Bermuda Triangle movie. Meanwhile, Warner has a Bermuda Triangle script from Dan Kunka. (HV)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’

Sony Pictures Animation has released the final trailer from the upcoming animated sequel, starring the voice talents of Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, Mel Brooks, Selena Gomez and David Spade. Directed by Genndy Tartkovsky, from a script by Adam Sandler and Robert Smigel, the movie hits theaters September 25th. (AS)

TriStar Falls Into ‘The Trap’, Gallo and Weiss’ Tale Of Bummy Davis, Lord and Miller Mix Genres For Fox, Zombie Takes On Groucho



TriStar Adds To Its Slate, Picks Up Melanie Raabe’s Debut Novel 'The Trap’

Originally published in German, the English-language translation was one of the hottest titles at last month’s London Book Fair, where it generated keen film interest from Hollywood producers. TriStar's Nicole Brown brought the project into the Sony fold, and Elizabeth Cantillon and Josh Bratman have teamed up to produce. (THR)

George Gallo and Andy Weiss Are Taking On the Little Known Story Of Boxer Bummy Davis

The co-writers of the 2009 flick Middle Men will pen The Bummy Davis Story, an independent feature which New York City real estate developer Peter Fine will produce and finance. Fine came to the project after reading Ron Ross’ novel about the legendary boxer, Bummy Davis Vs. Murder Inc.: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Mafia and an Ill-Fated Prizefighter. Story of the Jewish boxer takes place in the 1930s and ‘40s in Brownsville, New York. (DH)

Having Conquered both Animation and Live Action Comedy, Lord and Miller Will Combine the Two For Their Next TV Project

Phil Lord and Chris Miller hi the big time with Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs and then 21 Jump Street and The Last Man On Earth, and now their latest project is Son of Zahn, a live-action/animation hybrid that they plan on shooting for Fox. The pilot presentation will focus on an animated barbarian dad who returns home to his live-action wife and son after having been away waging war for the last ten years. (COL)

Strange Bedfellows? Rob Zombie Is Signing On To Direct a Groucho Marx Biopic

The horror specialist will direct and produce a biopic about the final years of iconic comedian Groucho Marx’s life along with Cold Iron Pictures’ Miranda Bailey, Amanda Marshall and Andy Gould. The project is based on Steve Stoliar’s 1996 book Raised Eyebrows: My Years Inside Groucho’s House, written about Stoliar’s three years as Marx’s personal secretary at the actor’s Beverly Hills home before Marx died in 1977. (VAR)

HBO Has David Simon and George Pelecanos Developing a Show About Times Square Porn in the 1970s

The pair have been working on the project for some time, but it took a backseat to the Oscar Isaac miniseries Show Me a Hero, which Simon created. Now that the miniseries is close to completion, the network is looking into reinvigorating this project. If the series has enough staying power, it'll climax with a penetrating depiction of the Times Square scene's early '80s battles with AIDS, cocaine, and rising real-estate costs. (VUL)

Voltage Pictures Will Be In Some Form Of the Charles Bukowski Business With 'Women' Adaptation

Working off a script from Ethan Furman, the project will follow the novel’s erstwhile protagonist Hank Chinaski as he attempts to manage the many women who fall in love with him through his writings. Bukowski, who passed away in 1994 in Los Angeles, based the character of Chinaski on his own life. (TB)

A Couple Months Before It Even Comes Out, Lionsgate/Summit Is Already Developing a ‘Witch Hunter’ Sequel

Star Vin Diesel announced the news via his Facebook page, saying, “So the studio apparently is so excited by The Last Witch Hunter – The Axe and Cross franchise… that they are already commencing on the next one. The first one doesn’t hit theaters until October 23rd, yet they want me to commit and already block out time to film it.” Rose Leslie, Michael Caine, Elijah Wood and Julie Engelbrecht also star in the film, directed by Breck Eisner. (EMP)

‘That ‘70s Show’ Duo Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson Are Re-Teaming For a New Netflix Show

New comedy series, called The Ranch, is nearing a series order from the streaming service. It comes from co-creators Don Reo and Jim Patterson (who were co-showrunners on Two and a Half Men) and will star Kutcher and Masterson in the lead roles. Set on a Colorado ranch, show will follow a retired semi-pro football player who returns home to run the family business with his brother. Netflix is considering a 20-episode order to be released in two 10-episode chunks. (TVI)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Fargo’

FX has released the first teaser trailer for the second season of the Emmy-winning crime anthology series. The new season stars Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, Michael Hogan, Jean Smart, Jeffrey Donovan, Angus Sampson, Kieran Culkin, Brad Garrett, Bokeem Woodbine, Cristin Milioti, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Nick Offerman and Bruce Campbell, and premieres in September. (SF)

Screenwriters: Script Notes — How Dual Mentor Characters Work

When a script has two separate mentors, it is usually done to personify the two aspects of learning how to complete the outer journey: mission and mindset. That is always at the core of differentiating them. The dual mentor approach makes the most sense when divvied up into one false and one true mentor. Now, just because one of the two mentors is false, that does not make him or her a bad person; it just means they’re wrong. (SM)