Channel: SSN Insider » SSN Insider Staff
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Exec Shuffle for 7/17/15: WME Acquires The Wall Group, ICM Hires 3 Agents Plus Updates at Starz & Vice


exec shuffle feature image

Company Launches, Partnerships & Deals

Kiliaen Van Rensselaer is leaving Fox Television Group to launch Insurrection Media, a digital TV studio with a goal to create content to be shopped to OTT providers as the first window of distribution. Allen DeBevoise’s Third Wave Capital Partners made an equity capital investment in Insurrection, and will serve on the board of advisors.

Disney’s Maker Studios has acquired start-up Instafluence as a way to connect social influencers with advertisers. Instafluence reports 10,000 sponsored posts on popular networks, resulting in more than 150 million engagements for brands including PacSun, Crossmedia and VH1.

Vice Media inked a multiyear deal to provide content for Verizon’s upcoming Internet TV service, including exclusive programming. Verizon’s new service is expected to launch later this year, with Viacom, AwesomenessTV, Scripps Networks Interactive, as well as ESPN and CBS Sports for college sports programming. They’ve also recently locked in deals with Spotify, Samsung and Snapchat.

Comcast and Electronic Arts (EA) have partnered to develop an HD gaming platform on X1 called Xfinity Games. It will be streamed over the Internet to customers’ X1 set-top boxes and the games would count under Xfinity Internet data plans.

The Wall Group, an artist management and consulting agency has been acquired by WME | IMG. The agency also advises commercial and luxury brands such as P&G, Unilever, Target, and Chanel. The Wall Group will continue to operate as a separate entity with its leadership team, including Founder Brooke Wall and Directors Ali Bird and Kate Stirling, continuing in their current roles.

Alchemy has acquired ANconnect and Anderson Digital and has formed a strategic alliance with ARC Entertainment. As part of the deal Charlie Anderson has become an investor in Alchemy. Distribution company Alchemy is an aggregator for Walmart and Target with an annual content flow to more than 1,300 films and 3,000-plus television episodes. ARC is a family and faith-based supplier to Walmart among others. In addition, Alchemy will financially support the Bentonville Film Festival.

Forrest Lucas and Ali Afshar have partnered together to launch ESX Entertainment, a production company with an aim to develop and finance three to six commercial projects a year across feature films and digital/TV series. This is Lucas’ first foray into film. He is the founder and owner of Lucas Oil Products, MAVTV and Lucas Cattle Company. Afshar’s pre-existing ESX Productions will fold into the company with its upcoming films including the drama The Wrong Side of Right with Lea Thompson, the coming-of-age story The Wizard starring Jon Voight and Born To Race films.

VOD platform MUBI has signed a multiyear distribution deal with Sony Pictures Television exclusive to the UK market and will feature classic titles including Taxi Driver, Closer, Dr.Strangelove and Snatch. MUBI’s USP is offering viewers a selective service like an online film festival, with a new film highlighted every day. MUBI has recently partnered with eOne, Icon and StudioCanal.

Keshet International (KI), the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group, has established Keshet Studios, the company’s new LA-based studio which will oversee development, production, packaging, promotion and sales of KI’s scripted programming activities in the US. Veteran television executive Peter Traugott has been named Keshet Studios’ President of Scripted, while Rachel Kaplan also joins as EVP. Traugott joins Keshet Studios directly from TBD Entertainment, a television production company he founded, and will oversee the new studio’s slate of scripted projects with Kaplan, who also comes from TBD. Keshet Studios is represented by WME’s Rick Rosen and Marc Korman.


Broad Green Pictures has tapped Dave Saxena as Chief Investment Officer of Broad Green Investments, the studio’s new private equity and venture capital arm. He will run the company’s investment efforts focused on media, technology and entertainment businesses that are complementary to the studio’s core creative and distribution operations. Marc Danon has been named the company’s President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions. He was previously Lionsgate’s SVP of Acquisitions & Business Development.

Athina Rachel Tsangari has become the third filmmaker in residence at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. During her residency, Tsangari will be working on White Knuckles, described as a screwball action-thriller that centers on two criminal sisters. Her newest feature, Chevalier, a buddy comedy set aboard a luxury yacht astray on the Aegean Sea, will have its world premiere in August at the Locarno l Film Festival.

Stuart Brown has been named the Head of Programming & Acquisitions at the BFI to report to Creative Director Heather Stewart. He was promoted from his post as Head of Events. His new aim will be to maximize the cultural and commercial performance of BFI cinemas and BFI distribution across UK theatrical, non-theatrical, DVD, VOD and international tours of BFI programs.

Kori Bernards will be leaving Universal Pictures after seven years as chief communications strategist and lead spokesperson. Universal hopes to announce a new head of communications in the coming weeks. Bernards will be staying on for the transition and will continue to serve as an advisor through the process.


Starz has tapped TWC’s CMO Jeffrey Hirsch to be their President of Global Marketing and Product Planning. He’ll report to Starz CEO Chris Albrecht and oversee new products and services, boost awareness of Starz’ original programming, and help with strategy and distribution.

Alec Botnick has been named the VP of Comedy Development at CBS TV Studios. He was previously an agent of Scripted TV at WME.

Chris Salvaterra is now a Production Executive of Miniseries at HBO. He was previously a producer at Katonah Pictures.

Eli Shibley has been tapped by IM Global’s TV division as their new President, International Distribution and Co-Productions. He will work with IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford and IM Global TV president Mark Stern. He will oversee sales of their scripted slate as well as acquisitions of third-party scripted and unscripted projects from U.S., UK, and international content partners.

Chanel Carmona has been promoted from manager to associate director of development, original series at CNN. Lizzie Kerner is the new VP of Original Series at CNN and was upped from Sr. Director.

Jocelyn Hamilton has been named the President of eOne TV. She was previously the VP of Original Programming & Production, Corus Entertainment.

Dean Possenniskie is taking over for Tom Davidson in his role as A+E Networks UK Managing Director after his departure July 20. Possenniskie is a board member of the A+E/Sky joint venture and will continue in that role along with his new responsibilities.

Eli Shibley has been named the President of International Distribution & Co-Productions, IM Global Television. He was previously the SVP of International Media & Formats at Electus.

Shelly Tseng has been upped from exec. assistant to manager of talent development and programming at GSN.

Jonathan Hewes has been named the CEO of Mentorn Media and Pioneer Productions in London. He was previously the head of International at Wall to Wall.

Angelique Mais is the new VP of Creative Services, TV One. She was formerly the Creative Director, Brand Creative at A&E Networks.

Christel S. Miller has been upped from Manager to Director of Current Programming, NBC Entertainment.

BBC Worldwide North America has tapped Dawn Williamson to be their SVP, Advertising Sales and Tim Wastney to VP, Advertising Sales. Williamson will handle the delivery of ad sales revenues for BBC.com in North America and global sales originating from the U.S. for BBC.com and BBC World News, along with TopGear.com and bbcgoodfood.com. Formerly a VP at BBC Advertising, Wastney will drive ad sales across all the BBC’s key businesses both nationally and internationally.

Kerri Hendry has been named the VP of Current Programming at Lionsgate Television. She was tapped from eOne TV where Kerri was Director, Current Programming.

Jane Rimer has been named the Chief of International Business & Creative Development, Insight Productions. She was previously a consultant there.

Hannah Wyatt has been upped from Creative Director to Managing Director of Boundless Productions in London.

Vivian Yin has been named FremantleMedia China’s CEO. She was previously the VP of Production and Chief Representative for Star China.

Management, PR, Agencies

Entertainment agency United Entertainment Group has promoted Mary Scott to president of sports and brand experiences and Robby Wells to CSO. Scott had been managing director, while Wells was previously executive vice president of strategy and creative development. The agency has also brought on Gabe Banner as SVP of brand experiences, Nicole Bradley as VP of communications, Dave Santaniello as SVP of rights and partnerships and Melanie Washington as VP of brand experiences.

ICM Partners has hired Hilary Baum McQuaide, formerly a partner at Skouras Agency, as an agent in their Motion Picture Production Department. Rebecca Ewing, previously of Intellectual Artists Management was tapped as an agent in ICM’s Motion Picture Literary Department. Taryn Ariel, formerly a comedy agent based in APA’s New York office, has been tapped as a talent agent focusing on comedy development. Kati Kolben has been promoted to agent status and has been with ICM since 2011.

United Artists Media Group, the joint venture from Hearst, MGM and producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey has tapped William Eide as their SVP Corporate Development and he will report to CEO Burnett and COO Brian Edwards. In his new role he will evaluate and execute new growth initiatives including organic opportunities, acquisitions and investments.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

The Chernin Group hired Mike Kerns as President of Digital. He will also join the board of Otter Media, the company’s venture with AT+T. Kerns was previously at Yahoo, where he was Senior Vice President of Product, Homepage and Verticals.

Deborah K. Bothun formerly the Entertainment, Media & Communications U.S. Leader at PwC has had her role expanded from U.S. to Global.

Jeff Ivers has left Participant Media as their COO. No word yet on his next role.

Polly Auritt has been named the VP of Scripted Programming at Fullscreen. She hails from MTV where she was VP of Scripted Series Development.

Mashable has hired Juana Summers as a politics editor ahead of the 2016 elections, a new position at the website. Summers previously covered Congress at NPR.

Adam Soldinger has been hired by The Huffington Post as VP in charge of video programming and operations. Previously he served as the head of business development and strategic partnerships for Say Media’s digital magazine publishing platform Tempest and prior to that he was a VP at Complex Media.

Don Steele, previously the SVP of Fan Engagement & Multi-Platform Marketing at Comedy Central has been tapped by Tumblr as their new head of Audience Development. Evan Minskoff is coming onboard as well as the new Head of Marketing & Operations.

Damon Williams has been upped from VP to SVP of Programming Strategy & Partnerships at Music Now.

The Accidental Turitz On the Cause Of Emmy Snubs, Michael Sheen Joins ‘Passengers’, David Gordon Green To Helm ‘Stronger’, Exec Shuffle For 7/17/15




The Accidental Turitz: Looking Deeper, We Found This Overlooked Cause Of Emmy Snubs

After a few weeks on the sidelines, Senior Editor Neil Turitz is back with his eponymous column a day after the Emmy nominations were announced. But while so many others are belting out to the back row their overall displeasure with the list of honorees — pretty much an annual occurrence — we take a different viewpoint. One you won’t see anywhere else. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle For 7/17/15: WME Acquires the Wall Group, ICM Hires Three Agents, Plus Updates at Starz and Vice

Another busy week in Hollywoodland has a Fox exec leaving the company to start a new shingle, several different major company acquisitions, as well as the usual amount of comings and goings, hirings and firings. Click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)


The Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt Two-Hander ‘Passengers’ Just Added a Third Hand

Michael Sheen has joined the space-set drama, scripted by Jon Spats and to be directed by The Imitation Game helmer Morten Tyldum, story takes place on a spacecraft that’s traveling to a distant planet on which a passenger wakes up from a cryogenic sleep 90 years before planned and decides to wake up a female passenger. Sheen will appear as the voice of a robot with whom both passengers interact. (CS)

David Gordon Green’s Strange and Winding Career Takes Another Turn With Boston Marathon Bombing Film, ‘Stronger’

Director with many different titles through his career — indie breakout, second coming of Terrence Malick, studio stoner comedy helmer, reviver of once-great actors — has Our Brand Is Crisis starring Sandra Bullock and Anthony Mackie on the way, and is taking on a true-life tale that could be Oscar material. He will direct a film based on the memoir of Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the bombing and became a key witness in the subsequent criminal case. (COL)

Good News For People Without iPhones: HBO Now Finally Coming To Android and Amazon

Service debuted on Apple devices in April, but the exclusivity deal expired earlier this week. As of now, the streaming service is available on Android devices (OS 4.2 and later) and Amazon Fire tablets. Support for Google Chromecast, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick is expected to follow in short order. Basically, you’ll be able to access HBO Now anywhere you can access HBO Go. (SF)

Nickelodeon Veteran Paula Kaplan Joins AwesomenessTV as Head of Talent, Live Content

In the newly created position, Kaplan — who exited as Nick’s EVP of original programming and live events in January — will lead AwesomenessTV’s talent initiatives and casting strategies across all film and series production. In addition, she will oversee the creation and execution of live events and programming. (VAR)

Warner Bros. Wins Coveted Remake Rights To 2013 Irish Comedy, ‘Bachelor Weekend’

The original film, previously called The Stag, was directed by John Butler in his feature debut. Co-written by Peter McDonald, the story centers on a group of modern, sensitive Irish men who reluctantly agree to go on a stag weekend in the countryside. But their peaceful weekend enjoying the outdoors is interrupted when they're joined by the groom's obnoxious brother-in-law (McDonald), who stirs up plenty of trouble. (THR)

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s New Syfy Thriller Series Has Found Its Lead Actor

Sean Teale will star in Incorporated, an espionage thriller set in a dystopian future where companies have unlimited power. Actor will star as Ben Larson, a rising star in a mega-corporation called Chrysalis who is determined to climb the rickety, bloodstained ladder of success in order to find and rescue the woman he loves — and will tromp on anyone who gets in his way. Show hails from Damon and Affleck’s Pearl Street Productions. (DH)

Parker Posey Puts Off Retirement a Bit Longer, Signs On To Woody Allen’s Next Film

After nearly quitting the industry and turning her home into a wedding venue to make money instead, she was cast in Allen’s current film, Irrational Man, which opens today. Now, the legendary director has already cast Posey in his next film, an untitled 2016 project with Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, and Bruce Willis already in the cast. (TP)

Seventeen Simple Habits That Make You Look More Professional

Feeling unprofessional? Here are a few of the attributes you can demonstrate to make yourself seem more professional. They’re not necessarily easy, but they are pretty simple. (Keep in mind though — even nobody demonstrates them all constantly. You’re only human. Just try to be the best human you can.) (INC)

‘Ant-Man’ Wins Box Office, Will Smith Heading Back To High School, Dueling ‘Mother’s Day’ Flicks, Sam Mendes “Done” With Bond


Sam Mendes

‘Ant-Man’ Crawls To the Top Of the Box Office Hill, Beats Out ‘Minions’ For First Place

Marvel’s last film in its fabled Phase Two took in a solid but not earth-shattering $58 million, ahead of Minions second weekend total of $50.2 million, giving it just under $217 million in its first 10 days of release, and ahead of the pace of its predecessor, Despicable Me 2, which had just over $197 million in the same period. Train wreck opened third with an impressive $30.2 million, with Inside Out fourth at $11.6 million and Jurassic World fifth with $11.3 mil. (BO)

Will Smith Is Headed Back To High School, Will Produce the Comedy ‘Ultra’

Smith and his production company, Overbrook Entertainment, have struck a deal with Sony Pictures to produce the high school comedy, the plot of which is being kept under wraps, other than it being an R-rated event movie starring teenagers. The film will be produced by Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and James Lassiter for Overbrook, with Sandy Stern of Single Cell Pictures. Wunderkind twin brothers Shea and Evan Mirzai are writing the script. (SAA)

This Town Ain’t Big Enough, Et Cetera: Two Films Titled ‘Mother’s Day’ Set For 2016 Release

Garry Marshall is mounting an ensemble film to star Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Jason Sudeikis. Meanwhile Paul Duddridge and Nigel Levy are co-directing the Danielle James and Amy Williams-produced drama Mother’s Day with a cast that includes Susan Sarandon, Courteney Cox, Sharon Stone, Christina Ricci, Paul Wesley, Roselyn Sanchez and Eva Amurri Martino. (THR)

It Appears That It Will Be Two and Done For Sam Mendes and the James Bond Franchise

The director of 2012’s Skyfall and the upcoming Spectre said in an interview that he would not “go down that road again” after finishing the new film. He also revealed that the movie’s theme song has been completed, but did not disclose the title or artist. The movie hits theaters on November 6th. (COL)

Another Day, Another Bit Of ‘Ghostbusters’ Intel, With Director Paul Feig Now Revealing Character Names

According to a tweet from the director, the four stars of the film, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, are playing Erin Gilbert, Jillian Holtzmann, Abby Yates and Patty Tolan. However, there was no word from the director, or anyone else, as to which actress is playing which character. (SF)

That New ‘Supergirl’ Show Is Adding an Important Character From the Comics To the Cast

The third episode of CBS’ freshman superhero series will introduce the recurring character of Lucy Lane. In her mid-20s to early 30s, Lucy is described as as brash, funny and beautiful as her sister Lois, yet strong, smart and successful in her own right. She will also be, in keeping with DC Comics lore, an ex-girlfriend of Kara’s (Melissa Benoist) new CatCo media conglom colleague, Daily News transplant Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks). (TVL)

When They Do the Big ‘CSI’ Finale In September, Elisabeth Shue Won’t Be Part Of It

The actress, who has been on the CBS drama since 2012, will not participate in the show-wrapping two-hour special planned for September 27th. It’s unclear how the producers will handle Finlay’s absence from the show’s swan song. Original series stars William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger will return for the special, while current CSI star Ted Danson will continue to stay with the franchise by moving over to the show’s latest spin-off, CSI: Cyber. (EW)

Eight Tips To Running an Actually Successful Media Campaign

Social media for businesses has become a blight upon the world. Companies thirst for your attention with the most asinine, pointless promoted posts, offering webinars and "white papers" that you'll never read or care about. Their budgets and actual reach are lower, and oftentimes the attention they get is actually detrimental. If you're working on Facebook and Twitter, here are some seemingly obvious but rarely followed tips. (INC)

Screenwriters: The Writer’s Voice — Why No Two Will Ever Be Alike

If you look up the writer’s voice on Wikipedia’s website it defines it as “the individual writing style of an author, a combination of their common usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works).” But a writer’s voice is much more than the sum of its linguistic parts. (SM)

On the Set for 7/20/15: Daniel Radcliffe Starts Shooting ‘Swiss Army Men’, Meryl Streep Finishes ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’


at arrivals for WHAT IF Premiere, Regal Cinemas E-Walk Stadium 13 RPX Movie Theater, New York, NY August 4, 2014. Photo By: Derek Storm/Everett Collection


Don't Knock Twice 7/20/2015 Logline: A guilt-ridden mother must save her daughter by uncovering the terrifying truth behind an urban legend surrounding a vengeful, demonic witch. Production Company(s): Content Media Corporation, Seymour Films Director(s): Caradog James Executive Producer(s): Jamie Carmichael Producer(s): John Giwa-Amu, Claire Moorsom Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Lucy Boynton Writer(s): Mark Huckerby, Nick Ostler SSN Insight: The film will shoot in the U.K. and was financed by Altara, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Content Media. The project is another team-up between Content Media and James, who worked together on sci-fi action thriller The Machine.

Sleight 7/20/2015 Logline: After his mother’s death, a young street magician turns to dealing drugs at parties to support his little sister. When she kidnapped by his supplier, he uses his sleight of hand and keen intelligence to find her. Production Company(s): Diablo Entertainment Director(s): JD Dillard Producer(s): Eric B. Fleischman, Sean Tabibian Cast: Jacob Latimore, Dule Hill, Tyga, Storm Reid, Seychelle Gabriel Writer(s): JD Dillard, Alex Theurer SSN Insight: Dule Hill is best known for his role on USA’s Psych. He currently has a recurring role on HBO’s Ballers as Larry and was cast in the CBS pilot, Doubt.

Southside With You 7/13/2015 Logline: The story of the eventful date in 1989 when a young associate named Barack Obama was trying to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson on a summer afternoon and evening that took them from the Art Institute of Chicago to a screening of Spike Lee’s "Do the Right Thing," to the site of their first kiss outside an ice cream parlor. Production Company(s): State Street Pictures, IM Global Director(s): Richard Tanne Executive Producer(s): Tracey Bing Producer(s): Robert Teitel, Richard Tanne, Tika Sumpter, Stuart Ford, Matt Jackson Cast: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers Writer(s): Richard Tanne SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Homegrown Pictures with Stephanie Allain attached to produce.

Stratton 7/15/2015 Logline: The adventures John Stratton, an operative of the special forces of the British Navel Service, are chronicled. Production Company(s): Amber Entertainment, GFM Films Director(s): Simon West Producer(s): Ileen Maisel, Lawrence Elman, Charlie Cavill, Rex Glensy Cast: Dominic Cooper, Austin Stowell, Gemma Chan, Tyler Hoechlin, Tom Felton Details: Based on the 8-novel "Stratton" series written by Duncan Falconer and published by Little, Brown Book Group. The first novel, "The Hostage" was published on March 1, 2003 and the eighth novel "Assassin" was published on published July 26, 2012. "Duncan Falconer" is a pseudonym for the author who drew on his own military background to create the character "John Stratton." SSN Insight: Henry Cavill was previously attached to star. Simon West is also directing a remake of The Blob for Goldcrest, currently in preproduction.

Swiss Army Man 7/14/2015 Logline: In this absurdist comedy, a hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a journey to get home. Production Company(s): Cold Iron Pictures , Blackbird Films Director(s): Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan Executive Producer(s): Gideon Tadmor, Jim Kaufman, William Sten Olsson Producer(s): Jonathan Wang, Lawrence Inglee, Amanda Marshall, Miranda Bailey, Eyal Rimmon Cast: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead Writer(s): Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in 2014 Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab

The Brits Are Coming 7/20/2015 Logline: A con artist couple from Britain who owe a huge debt to a Russian gangster travel to Los Angeles and plan a big diamond heist. Production Company(s): Evolution/Primary Wave Director(s): James Oakley Producer(s): Cassian Elwes, J.C. Chandor, Robert Ogden Barnum, William Clevinger Cast: Uma Thurman Writer(s): James Oakley, Alexander G. Michaelides SSN Insight:Kristin Chenoweth and Steven Berkoff were previously attached as cast members.

The Free World 7/15/2015 Logline: Mo Lundy is adjusting to civilian life after 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit when he meets Doris, and soon is willing to risk even his new freedom for the mysterious woman. Production Company(s): Untitled Entertainment, Memento Films Director(s): Jason Lew Executive Producer(s): Emilie Georges, Nick Shumaker Producer(s): Laura Rister Cast: Cillian Murphy, Elisabeth Moss, Boyd Holbrook Writer(s): Jason Lew SSN Insight: Cillian Murphy was previously attached to star. Bryce Dallas Howard was previously attached to star.

What Happened to Monday? 7/14/2015 Logline: In a world where families are allowed only one child, some resourceful, identical septuplets must avoid governmental execution while investigating the disappearance of one of their own. Production Company(s): Raffaella Productions, Vendome Pictures Director(s): Tommy Wirkola Producer(s): Raffaella De Laurentiis, Philippe Rousselet Cast: Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close Writer(s): Max Botkin SSN Insight: Morten Tyldum was attached to direct. The lead was originally written for a male actor but was rewritten when Rapace met with Wirkola.


Florence Foster Jenkins 7/20/2015 Logline: The true story of New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, who aspired to become an opera singer despite an assertive lack of talent, and her aristocratic British "husband" and manager who both championed her skills and sought to protect her from the hard truth about her abilities. Production Company(s): N1 European Film Productions and Co. KG, Qwerty Films Director(s): Stephen Frears Producer(s): Michael Kuhn, Tracey Seaward Cast: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson, Nina Arianda Writer(s): Nicholas Martin SSN Insight: Streep is also starring in Ricki and the Flash and Suffragette, both awaiting release along with The Good House in active development.

Free Fire 7/17/2015 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 7/17/2015 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, Lourenco Sant Anna, Logan Lerman, Jonathan Bronfman Producer(s): Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Rodrigo Teixeira Cast: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Linda Emond, Danny Burstein 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.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 7/16/2015 Logline: This sequel involves a swashbuckling search across the seas for a legendary and powerful artifact, the Trident of Poseidon. Studio/Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Production Company(s): Jerry Bruckheimer Films Director(s): Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg Producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer, Mike Stenson, Chad Oman Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Ian McShane, Stephen Graham Writer(s): Jeff Nathanson, Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott Details: Sequel to Walt Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003). SSN Insight: Rob Marshall had been mentioned to direct. Jared Leto and Christoph Waltz were reportedly eyed for the villain role. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg are best known for directing the Netflix series, Marco Polo.

On the Set, Writing Action Heroes, ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ Reboot, ‘Sword in the Stone’ Live-Action Remake, Relativity Moves ‘Kidnap’





In other On the Set news, director Simon West's film, Stratton, and Uma Thurman's film, The Brits are Coming, both start production and the latest installment of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean wraps production. (SSN)


ScriptLab tells you how to write a thrilling action hero by using one of the greatest action-adventure movies ever made, Die Hard, as an example. (SSN)


'Xena: Warrior Princess' Reboot in the Works at NBC

NBC and NBC Universal International are prepping a reboot of Xena: Warrior Princess. Original executive producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi are also involved in the project. (THR)

Sword in the Stone’ Live-Action Remake in Development With ‘Game of Thrones’ Writer

Disney is developing a Sword in the Stone movie with Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman penning the scriptBrigham Taylor will produce. (VAR)

Relativity Moves Halle Berry Thriller ‘Kidnap’ to 2016 in Midst of Financial Crisis

Relativity has pushed the Halle Berry’s thriller Kidnap to Feb. 26, 2016 after moving the comedy Masterminds from August to Kidnap’s original release date of Oct. 9, 2015.  (WRAP)

Arc Entertainment Acquires ‘Molly Moon'; Bron Studios Launches Label For Director-Driven Films

ARC Entertainment has acquired North American rights to Molly Moon And The Incredible Book Of Hypnotism, based on the first in the six-book Molly Moon series by Georgia Byng. Byng penned the adaptation along with Christopher N. Rowley, Tom Butterworth and Chris Hurford. Rowley also directs. (DH)

Rosamund Pike Joins Jon Hamm in Thriller High Wire Act

Rosamund Pike will join Jon Hamm in the political action-thriller High Wire Act.  Directed by Brad Anderson from an original screenplay by Tony Gilroy. (CS)

The "Scarpetta" Movie Is Moving Forward at Fox 2000

Twilight series scribe Melissa Rosenberg and Elementary co-executive producer Liz Friedman (Netflix and Marvel's upcoming Jessica Jones), have come onboard the project at Fox 2000. Friedman will pen the script while Rosenberg will serve as producer along with Mark Gordon and Geyer Kosinski. (DAR)

The 100 best Netflix releases of 2015 (so far)

The Daily Dot has collected the 100 best Netflix releases of 2015 in one easy-to-navigate list.  (DD)

Team Downey’s Original New Project, Benicio Del Toro’s Big Villainous Offer, Disney’s New YA Adaptation, James Horner’s Secret Last Job



Robert Downey Jr. and His Wife/Partner Susan Are Developing a New Original Project

Based on an idea by the Team Downey duo and The Judge co-writer Bill Dubuque, it’s apparently a comedic drama that focuses on the intense world of three presidential debates, where millions of dollars and months of campaigning are whittled down to 270 minutes of extremely public political theatre. The assumption is that Downey is developing one of the roles for himself. (EMP)

Rian Johnson and Lucasfilm Wants Benicio Del Toro To Play the Villain In ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’

The Oscar-winning actor is not the only one in the running, as the studio had also met with Joaquin Phoenix. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac are all expected to return and reprise their roles from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which hits theaters December 18th. No word yet on when production begins on the new film, but the film arrives on May 26, 2017. (TP)

Disney Targets the Next Big YA Adaptation, Puts ‘Dumplin’’ Into Development

Studio is developing the dramedy, based on the upcoming Julie Murphy young adult novel. HarperCollins is scheduled to publish the Texas-set novel on September 15th. The novel centers on a confident, plus-sized teen — named Dumplin’ by her former beauty queen mom — who, when she begins to doubt herself, sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering a beauty pageant. (VAR)

James Horner Secretly Wrote the Score For the ‘Magnificent Seven’ Remake Right Before His Death

The legendary composer read the script for the Antoine Fuqua film, currently shooting in Louisiana, and wanted to surprise the director by scoring the movie based solely on the screenplay. Fuqua revealed the news during an interview with NPR. Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt star in the film, which will hit theaters in 2016. (COL)

There Is an Opening At AMC Entertainment For a Brand New CEO, as Gerry Lopez Steps Down

The No. 2 theater chain’s board named CFO Craig Ramsey as interim CEO, and formed a Search Committee to find a permanent replacement for Lopez when he steps down on August 6th for “another opportunity.” Lopez led AMC through its 2012 acquisition by China’s Wanda Group and 2013 IPO, and drove its industry-changing initiative to rip out conventional seats in many venues and replace them with fewer plush recliners that come with higher ticket prices. (DH)

Cate Blanchett Is Finally Getting To Make Her Directorial Debut With an Aussie TV Series

After spending two years developing The Dinner, which was to be her cinematic directorial debut, she is now attached to helm Stateless and has received funding from Screen Australia for it. Elise McCredie is writing the script, which tells the story of Cornelia Rau, a German-Australian who was held in a South Australian detention center because it was believed that she was an illegal immigrant after she fled the notorious Sydney sect called the Kenja in 2005. (TCC)

Fox Sets Up ‘Enemy’ Writer For Adaptation Of Hit Sci-Fi Novel

Javier Gullon, the scribe who wrote Enemy, the Denis Villeneuve-directed Jake Gyllenhaal drama, has been tapped to adapt The Dark Side for Fox and producers Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch. Side is set in a future where the moon is used as a penal colony. When an android goes on a murderous rampage, a down on his luck detective is sent in to investigate. Fox picked up the book by Anthony O’Neill late last year. (HV)

Ten Behaviors Of Phenomenally Likable People. Sincere. Honest. Genuine. And Extremely Powerful

Sure, everyone knows blunt, impolite, and even rude people who are somehow extremely successful. But we're all more likely to do business and build professional and personal relationships with people we like. We're naturally drawn to people who are polite, modest, agreeable, kind — in short, people who are genuinely likable. Here's how they do it (INC)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Before We Go’

Radius-TWC has released the first trailer from Chris Evans’ directorial debut. Evans also stars in the film, alongside Alice Eve. The movie is currently available on iTunes and On Demand and hits theaters September 4th. (VUL)

Online Film School: Six Filmmaking Tips From John Waters

The legendary filmmaker gives some advice, despite the fact that American filmmaking no longer supports the type of idiosyncratic crossover films that Waters longs to make. As Waters’s recurring joke goes, “I’d love to sell out completely. It’s just that nobody has been willing to buy.” That doesn’t mean his opinion isn’t worth hearing. Or, in this case, reading. (FSR)

TV Development for 7/21/15: Xena Returning to Battle, FYI Orders Kocktails with Khloe, Netflix Checking into Hotel Transylvania



Xena: Warrior Princess (Reboot) Studio: NBC Universal International Production Company(s): Renaissance Pictures Executive Producer(s): Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi Logline: Storyline under wraps, centers on the adventures of a smart and charming warrior princess. Details: Based on the Xena: Warrior Princess series that was was produced by Studios USA and Universal Worldwide Television and distributed by Universal Television in syndication for six seasons from 1995-2001. The series was a spin-off of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. SSN Insight: The drama is in development and looking to premiere in 2016. Original star Lucy Lawless may return as Xena or in another role as well as in a producer role.

Kocktails with Khloe Network: FYI Production Company(s): Pilgrim Studios Executive Producer(s): Khloe Kardashian, Craig Piligian, Gena McCarthy, Toby Faulkner,Lauren Wohl Logline: Talk show with friends joining Khloe Kardashian in the kitchen and around the table for an intimate dinner party filled with cooking, pop culture, conversation and outrageously fun party games SSN Insight: FYI has ordered eight 1-hour episodes of the series, currently in production and slated to launch late 2015. In addition to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Khloe has also starred in the spin-offs Khloe & Lamar, Kourtney and Khloe Take The Hamptons. She also serves as the EP on the pilot Dash Dolls which E! ordered to series.

Heir Heads Network: Bravo Production Company(s): Lime Pictures, All3Media America Executive Producer(s): Derek McLean, Kate Little, Phil Harris, Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert Logline: For these families, all business is personal as they look to transition their companies’ leadership to the next generation. With the help of a savvy business expert, these heirs apparent will get their shot to inherit the keys to their own kingdom during a trial period as CEO. SSN Insight: Producers Eli Holzman and Stephen Lambert are also behind Fit Club that has been ordered to series by Bravo.

Tabatha's Life Takeover Network: Bravo Production Company(s): All3Media America, Morocco Junction Entertainment Executive Producer(s): Tabatha Coffey, Heather Schuster, Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert Logline: Tabatha Coffey will use her unique brand of no-nonsense tough love to help people at a major cross roads complete a life makeover. In her unapologetic, but compassionate fashion, Tabatha will inspire, cajole and sometimes scare them into seeing their lives and situations in a whole new light. SSN Insight: Tabitha rose to fame after competing on Bravo’s show, Shear Genius. Based on that success, Bravo gave Tabitha her own series, Tabitha Takes Over.

Yours, Mine or Ours Network: Bravo Production Company(s): JV Productions Inc. Executive Producer(s): Courtney Campbell, Kirk Hipkiss Logline: Committed couples looking to cohabitate enlist the help of boisterous real estate agent Reza Farahan and interior designer and decorator Taylor Spellman to figure out which residence they should call home. Taylor will present stunning design renderings showcasing how to transform their existing spaces while Reza tempts them with brilliant new properties they can make all their own. The couples will have to weigh their options before making the ultimate decision of yours, mine or ours. SSN Insight: Reza Farahan previously starred on Bravo’s Shahs of Sunset for four seasons.

Hotel Transylvania Network: Netflix Studio: Sony Pictures Television Production Company(s): Nelvana Enterprises, Sony Pictures Animation Executive Producer(s): Rick Mischel, Colin Bohm, Irene Weibel Writer(s): No Writer Available. Logline: The series focuses on the teenage years of Dracula’s daughter, Mavis, and her friends. Based on the movie. Details: Based on the film, "Hotel Transylvania," (2012), directed by Genndy Tartakovsky and starring the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg and Selena Gomez. SSN Insight: The 2012 film grossed $358 million worldwide. The sequel is slated for release on September 25, 2015.

New Orleans, Here & Now Studio: Time, Inc. Production Company(s): Killer Films, Field Office Films, Rampante Executive Producer(s): Patricia Clarkson, Scott Bakula, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler Logline: The docuseries will focus on life in the city of New Orleans post-Katrina, looking at stories such as Tiffany Junot’s path to becoming WBC welterweight champion, the TBC Brass Band and the history of a popular local Vietnamese restaurant. SSN Insight: Time has given a six episode series order. Each episode will be a short film. Directors include John Maringouin, Darius Clark Monroe, Angela Tucker, Lily Keber, Zach Godshall and Kate Dellamaggiore. The series will be distributed across Time Inc. digital properties in the fall, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The Family Shakespeare Executive Producer(s): Patrice Theroux, Leif Bristow, Agnes Bristow, John Rhys-Davies Writer(s): Shane Connaughton Logline: The story focuses on William Shakespeare's adult life and his constant struggle between family life in Stratford and a flourishing professional career in London. Details: Inspired by the adult life of William Shakespeare. SSN Insight: Planned as a 6-part miniseries. After leaving eOne’s Global Film Division, Théroux’s first project was a comic adaptation of ReincarNATE, which is being developed as a one-hour supernatural crime drama.

Bad Medicine Network: Spike TV Production Company(s): MomentumTV Executive Producer(s): Nick Hamm Writer(s): Aaron Mendelsohn Logline: A man in pain is miraculously cured by a brilliant but unconventional doctor who specializes in clinical trials. The man goes all out to help this doctor find more breakthrough cures, only to realize that there are deadly consequences to the work the doctor does. SSN Insight: Nick Hamm’s shingle, Momentum TV is part of Momentum Entertainment, owned by advertising giant Interpublic Group.

Hummel & Howe Network: Spike TV Studio: Endemol Studios Production Company(s): Additional Dialogue Executive Producer(s): Scott Aversano, Tom Gormican Writer(s): Andy Bellin Logline: This series showcases the wild cases and lives of William Howe and Abraham Hummel in Gilded Age New York. They are two criminals desperate to escape their past who become among the greatest criminal defense attorneys in American history. Details: Based on the lives of 19th century attorneys William Howe and Abraham Hummel. SSN Insight: Scott Aversano’s executive producing feature credits include Safe House, Team America: World Police and School of Rock. He previously worked with Tom Gormican on That Awkward Moment film which Gormican wrote and directed and Aversano produced.

Mr. In Between Network: Spike TV Executive Producer(s): Diane Houslin, Walter Mosley Logline: A high-stakes courier traffics in sensitive information between people for whom privacy is a matter of life and death. Details: Based on the short story, "Mister In Between," written by Walter Mosley and included in the short story collection, "Dead Man's Hand," published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on November 5, 2007. SSN Insight: Author Walter Mosley has penned more than forty books over the course of his career. His first published book, Devil in a Blue Dress was adapted for the 1995 film starring Denzel Washington. In 2013 he was inducted into the New York Writers Hall of Fame.

Secret America Network: Spike TV Production Company(s): Alcon TV Executive Producer(s): Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson Writer(s): Joshua Goldin, Rachel Abramowitz Logline: Set in the near future, this series explores a society where the threat of terrorism has turned the US government into an autocratic state. The show will chronicle the lives of one family as they fight for survival in a world where everyone is watched and no one can be fully trusted, and where patriotism is demanded, not earned. SSN Insight: Andrew Kosove’s most recently executive produced HBO’s Sinatra: All or Nothing At All. He is also executive producing the TV mini-series Everest (in pre-production) along with Point Break and Blade Runner remakes, both currently in production on the feature side.

World War III Network: Spike TV Production Company(s): Bad Hat Harry Productions, Benay Bros. Executive Producer(s): Bryan Singer Writer(s): Aaron Benay, Matthew Benay Logline: As the world’s geopolitical balance shifts and the next global conflict explodes, America’s Heartland will become Occupied Territory. One man with a troubled past will galvanize a Resistance movement, calling upon ordinary citizens to become the extraordinary heroes of WWIII. SSN Insight: X-Men director Singer is no stranger to TV having served as the executive producer on Battle Creek, Spooked, H+, House M.D., Dirty Sexy Money and The Triangle mini-series.

TV Dev, Writing Platonic to Romantic, Sony Buys Emoji Movie, Penske Acquires Gold Derby, John Green Signs Deal with Fox 2000





Other TV development news includes, Shear Genius' Tabatha Coffey's new show on Bravo, Tabatha's Life Takeover, a Hurricane Katrina anniversary docuseries from Time, Inc., and a Shakespeare miniseries. (SSN)


ScriptLab offers tips on writing friend-to love bird relationships in your rom coms, since there isn’t a set formula for how to take a pair of inseparable buddies on a journey that shows them how perfect they are for each other. (SSN)


Sony Planning An Emoji Animated Film

Sony Pictures Animation has won a heated auction for an animated movie pitch centering on emojis. Eric Siegel and Anthony Leondis will co-write the project which Leondis will direct. (DAH)

Penske Media Acquires Gold Derby

After 15 years of predictions, Gold Derby has been acquired by Penske Media Corporation. Derby's Tom O'Neil explains why it's the perfect partnership. (GD)

'Fault in Our Stars' Author John Green Signs First-Look Producing Deal With Fox 2000

The author of Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars has signed a first-look producing deal with Fox 2000.  Green will work with Temple Hill principals Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, who produced both Fault and the upcoming Paper Towns, on several projects. (THR)

TNT & TBS Set Creative Development And Production Teams

Turner Broadcasting’s TNT and TBS have set their creative development and production teams, with Joey Chavez joining the company as SVP Original Programming for TNT and Thom Hinkle promoted to SVP Original Programming for TBS. (DH)

Why is VidCon Important?

With the rise of the digital medium proving to be a serious draw for audience viewership, it is no secret that multi-platform content creators are quickly establishing themselves as the hottest tickets in the entertainment industry. (VI)

These Are All The Classic Disney Movies Getting Live-Action Remakes

It may be easy to lose track of all the Disney reboots, so HuffPo has compiled a list of every Disney animated film currently rumored and officially announced to be getting the live-action treatment. (HP)

A Breakdown Of Looney Tunes' Chuck Jones's Storytelling Genius

One of the great animators of Looney Tunes—Chuck Jones—gets his due in the latest installment of Tony Zhou’s "Every Film A Painting," a web series that deep-dives into the work of great filmmakers. (FC)

Trailer Buzz: See Pixar's Take on Prehistoric Life in New 'The Good Dinosaur'

The new trailer for Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur introduces audiences to Arlo, an orphaned Apatosaurus who becomes BFFs with a little boy nicknamed Spot. (EW)  

Mike Medavoy’s Manga Project, HBO Renews ‘The Brink’, Michael Chiklis Heading For Gotham, Roland Emmerich’s ‘Stonewall’ Gets Release Date


mike medavoy

Mike Medavoy Is Going Manga On Us, Will Oversee Adaptation Of Japanese Horror Comic

The legendary producer is teaming up with All Nippon Entertainment Works to produce 6000, a Japanese comic set in a deep sea research facility 6,000 meters below the ocean’s surface. A mysterious disaster three years earlier killed the crew and shuttered the station. Now, when a new team is sent down to get the operation running again, tension builds as they struggle against claustrophobia, their own deteriorating minds and a danger lurking in the depths. (HV)

‘The Brink’ Is No Longer On the Brink, as HBO Renews It For a Second Season

The dark comedy, starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins, was renewed, just a month after its June premiere. Show focuses on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: Walter Larson (Robbins), U.S. secretary of state; Alex Talbot, a lowly foreign service officer (Black); and Zeke Tilson (Pablo Schreiber), an ace Navy fighter pilot. The series was created by Roberto Benabib and Kim Benabib. (VAR)

Former Member Of the Fantastic Four Now Headed To ‘Gotham’

Emmy winner and The Shield alum Michael Chiklis has joined the DC Comics adaptation as Capt. Nathaniel Barnes, who joins the Gotham City Police Department and rids it of its "dead wood." He's unafraid of making enemies — on either side of the law — and serves as a mentor for Ben McKenzie's Lt. Gordon. The character will prove himself to be a strong ally to Gordon — but one day may make for an equally powerful enemy. (TVL)

Roland Emmerich’s ‘Stonewall’ Pic Has Found a Primetime September Release Date

Roadside Attractions will release the film, director Roland Emmerich’s drama about the 1969 Stonewall riots that started America’s LGBT rights movement, on September 25th. Written by Jon Robin Baitz and directed by Emmerich, both out gay men, the film stars Jeremy Irvine and newcomer Jonny Beauchamp, alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ron Perlman. (CS)

Universal Pictures Has Itself a Brand New Head Of Communications

Teri Everett is finalizing a deal to replace Kori Bernards as EVP Global Communications at the studio. Bernards announced last week she would be leaving the company after seven years. Everett most recently had been in Time Inc’s corporate communications department in New York, and before that she worked for the Fox Entertainment Group in L.A. (DH)

As It Keeps Shooting In Vancouver, The New ‘X-Files’ Reboot Keeps Adding To Its Cast

Lauren Ambrose, Robbie Amell and Kumail Nanjiani have joined the cast. The first two are on to play fellow FBI agents, with Ambrose as the sharp, confident Agent Einstein and Amell as the smooth, smart Agent Miller. Silicon Valley’s Nanjiani, meanwhile, will play an animal control officer who helps the leads track down a mysterious creature. (EMP)

In Case You Were Wondering, the BBC Came Up With a List Of the 100 Greatest American Films

Citizen Kane continues to be the reigning champ in U.S. cinema, and the BBC’s Top 10 shares six selections with AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movies. Billy Wilder, Steven Spielberg, and Stanley Kubrick tied for most films with each director having five of their works land on the list, but while The Dark Knight made the list, there are no films by the Coen Brothers on it, so take the whole thing for what it’s worth. (COL)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Spectre’

Sony Pictures and MGM have released the first full-length trailer for the latest in the seminal film series. Daniel Craig returns as James Bond, alongside Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista and Christoph Waltz. It opens in theaters everywhere November 6th. (SF)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Fargo’

FX has released the first full-length trailer for the second season of its Emmy-winning crime anthology series, based on the Oscar-winning Coen Brothers film. Patrick Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Ted Danson, Jean Smart, Brad Garrett and Nick Offerman star in the show, which premieres on the cable network in October. (HP)

Screenwriters: ‘Hanna’

The April 4th, 2010, Green Revision-draft of the 119-page screenplay by Seth Lochhead and David Farr, with story by Lochhead. (GITS)

Rep Moves for 7/22/15: Rachel Weisz Moves to WME, Gone Girl’s Emily Ratajkowski Shifts to UTA & More


at arrivals for OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Premiere, El Capitan Theatre, Los Angeles, CA February 13, 2013. Photo By: Emiley Schweich/Everett Collection

WME: Actress Rachel Weisz has moved from CAA to WME. She has a bunch of projects on her slate including The Lobster, a film that won the jury prize at Cannes and was picked up by Alchemy. She will star alongside Michael Fassbender in The Light Between Oceans for DreamWorks, in an untitled drama for filmmaker Joshua Marston alongside Michael Shannon and another untitled film by director James Marsh about an amateur yacht racer played by Colin Firth.

UTA: Actress Emily Ratajkowski has shifted from Innovative Artists to UTA. She is best known for appearing in the Blurred Lines music video and her role in Gone Girl. She will next be seen in Warner Bros’ We Are Your Friends with Zac Efron, Jon Bernthal and Wes Bentley. She continues to be repped by manager Evan Hainey and attorneys Carlos Goodman and Gregory Slewett.

WME: Digital entertainment group RocketJump has signed with its first agency, WME. The company is behind the massively popular Youtube series Video Game High School. Its founders include Freddie Wong, Matt Arnold and Dez Dolly. Recently Hulu gave an eight episode order to the Lionsgate produced series entitled RocketJump: The Show that will chronicle the filmmaking behind the company’s newest short. RocketJump is also represented by attorneys Adam Kaller and Duncan Hedges of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller, LLP.

CAA: Comedian Ron White has shifted from APA to CAA and signed with the agency for all areas of representation including touring, film, television, endorsements, branding and publishing. He's most notable for being a member of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour alongside Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. His four comedy albums have all hit No. 1 on Billboard's comedy charts, selling 14 million units and winning three Grammy awards. White will continue to be managed by Michael Blakey of Electra Star Management.

APA: Producer G. Mac Brown has signed with APA. His producing credits include The Departed, Scent of A Woman, Public Enemies, Australia, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, St. Vincent and Somewhere. Most recently he executive produced the hotly anticipated The Hateful Eight by Quentin Tarantino awaiting release.

Dev Pick List, Rep Moves, LeBron James Signs Deal at WB, Simon Kinberg on ‘Logan’s Run, Amy Poehler to Star in ‘Balls’





Welcome to another round of Development Pick List where SSN scouts the internet to find the very best hidden gems to use in your next project. (SSN)


Other rep moves include digital entertainment group, RocketJump, signing with WME and comedian Ron White shifting from APA to CAA. (SSN)


LeBron James Posts Up His SpringHill Shingle To Warner Bros

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has partnered in a content creation deal with Warner Bros Entertainment that will allow his SpringHill Entertainment banner to generate content in TV, movies and digital. (DH)

'Logan's Run' Jumpstarted With Simon Kinberg

Warner Bros.' Logan’s Run is gearing up for another attempt at a remake, this time with writer-producer Warner Bros. (THR)

Amy Poehler to Star in Basketball Comedy ‘Balls’ for Universal

Amy Poehler will star in and produce comedy Balls for Universal through her Paper Kite Productions. Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark will join Poehler as producers. (VAR)

'Jurassic World' Is Now No. 3 Movie of All Time; Surpasses 'Avengers' Box Office

At $1.522 billion worldwide, Jurassic World has now become the third highest grossing film of all time, sitting behind Titanic at No. 2 with $2.186 billion and Avatar at No. 1 with $2.788 billion. Jurassic World edged out Marvel’s The Avengers, which was the previous No. 3 with $1.520 billion. (COLL)

'Rampage' Reunites Dwayne Johnson With 'San Andreas' Director Brad Peyton

Brad Peyton is in talks with New Line cinema to re-team with Dwayne Johnson and producer Beau Flynn for the adaptation of the Midway arcade game Rampage (CS)

Variety Introduces #Famechangers: Ranking Top 12 Digital Stars

With thousands of social-media stars emerging online, Variety teamed up with research firm Tubular Labs to identify bona fide “Famechangers” — those whose influence stands head and shoulders above the rest. (VAR)

The top TED talks that will change the way you work and live

These inspirational TED talks will challenge how you think and communicate at work and in your everyday life. (TEL)

Open Road Lands ‘Mother’s Day’, CBS Stays In the King Business, Bill Simmons’ Big HBO Deal, Syfy Confirms Fourth ‘Sharknado’, Shondland’s New Lead


good wife happy

Garry Marshall’s ‘Mother’s Day’ Movie Has Found Itself a Home At Open Road

Indie distributor has acquired U.S. distribution rights for the romantic comedy, starring Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. The movie marks the third ensemble holiday film from Marshall after Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, though it's the first one that will not be distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures. (IW)

CBS Is Staying In Business With Robert and Michelle King, Greenlights a Brand New Series From the Duo

Studio has put in a straight-to-series order for the one-hour comic-thriller BrainDead, from the creators of The Good Wife. The series will center on a young staffer whose first day on the job in Washington D.C. alerts her to the fact that the government is no longer performing at full capacity and that many of the Congressmen and other faculty members have had their brains eaten by aliens. Show will mix up the worlds of comedy, sci-fi and suspense. (CB)

Bill Simmons Lands On His Feet, Signs Big Deal For His Own Talk Show With HBO

The former ESPN columnist and editor of the Grantland website left the Disney company earlier this year after a contract dispute. At the pay cable net, Simmons will have a weekly talk show centered not only on sports but on all parts of the cultural landscape; the show will debut in 2016. On top of this, Simmons will serve as a consultant and producer on a myriad of projects for HBO Sports, including documentaries and other programs. (COL)

Syfy Is Giving Us a Fourth ‘Sharknado’, and Will Ask Viewers To Help Decide the Fate Of One Of Its Characters

“You decide if #AprilLives or #AprilDies,” the network promised viewers after they saw a large-ish bit of space shuttle flotsam careening toward April Wexler, aka Tara Reid, at the end of last night’s Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! “Life Or Death? You Decide!”  Syfy said, telling viewers if they were anti-tweet voters they also could vote on sharknado.syfy.com. “Her fate will be revealed in Sharknado 4 … because we’re not done yet!” (DH)

Shonda Rhimes Successfully Recasts the Female Lead In Her New Series

Lost and Parenthood alum Sonya Walger is boarding ABC's Shondaland drama The Catch as a series regular. She replaces One Tree Hill's Bethany Joy Lenz, who played the role in the pilot. The Catch is described as a thriller about Alice Vaughan (Mireille Enos), a fraud investigator who is poised to be the victim of a fraud by her fiancé. Between cases, she's determined to find him before it ruins her career. (TLF)

Former MTV Head Of Programming Susanne Daniels Makes a Big Move, To YouTube

The former president of programming at MTV, who announced her departure yesterday, will be joining YouTube as vice president originals. She will report directly to YouTube head of content Robert Kyncl and will oversee the originals team run by Alex Carloss. In her new role, Daniels, who spent three years at MTV after stints at Lifetime and WB, will manage YouTube's small but growing pipeline of original projects, overseeing development and production. (THR)

More Good News For ‘X-Files’ Fans, The Lone Gunmen Will Appear In Next Year’s Limited Series

Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood (aka the Lone Gunmen) are set to appear in at least one episode of the revival, despite the fact that their characters were — spoiler alert! — killed off in the show’s ninth season. The news was broken on Twitter by Haglund, himself. The popular trio was given a short-lived, self-titled spinoff in 2001; it was cancelled after 13 episodes. (TVL)

As Universal’s Winning Streak Continues, It’s Time To Examine Why the Studio Is Having Such a Banner Year

With Trainwreck opening to an impressive $30.2 million, Illumination's animated spin-off comedy Minions going strong ($625 worldwide so far) and blockbuster Jurassic World hitting on all cylinders ($1.5 billion worldwide and counting), 2015 will be a profitable year indeed for veteran studio chief Ron Meyer and his chairman Donna Langley, who has shepherded a diverse and varied slate that has worked with audiences. (TOH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Freeheld’

Summit Entertainment has released the first trailer for the upcoming drama, based on real events, starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell, and Michael Shannon, plus a score by Hans Zimmer. It hits theaters October 2nd. (TP)

Screenwriters: Tips For Writing the Music Documentary

In this past year, three very different documentaries, portraying a musical artist have been released: What Happened, Miss Simone?, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, and A Poem is a Naked Person. While some very broad comparisons can be made in some choices made, the more specific comparisons can be found in the fact that each director has a unique vision and voice. (SM)

Film Development for 7/23/15: Simon Kinberg Sprints to Logan’s Run, Minecraft Lands New Director, Spider-Man Reboot Adds Writers


at arrivals for ELYSIUM Premiere, Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA August 7, 2013. Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

New Attachments

A Better You Logline: About hypnotherapist Dr. Ron Knight who practices an unusual and jarring method. When his fragile ego and increasing isolation begin to undermine his marriage and family, he spirals into a midlife crisis, But his salvation might come from an unlikely friendship he forms with a day laborer named Hugo. Studio/Distributor: FilmBuff Producer(s): Kirk Roos Writer(s): Matt Walsh, Brian Huskey Director(s): Matt Walsh Cast: Matt Walsh, Horatio Sanz, Erinn Hayes, Brian Huskey, Morgan Walsh SSN Insight: FilmBuff will distribute the film in select theaters and on VOD beginning October 9. The film premiered at this year’s Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Logan’s Run Logline: Remake of the 1976 sci-fi futuristic tale set after a holocaust when human survivors have sealed themselves into a domed city to survive. To maintain the population balance, the computers that run the city have decreed that all people must die by the age of 21. Logan, a policeman in the city, is forced to go on a mission to find the place where humans have been escaping to live beyond 21, however, after seeing for himself that there is life beyond his dreary world, Logan begins to question his own society. Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Production Company(s): Silver Pictures, Genre Films Producer(s): Joel Silver, Simon Kinberg Writer(s): Simon Kinberg (story and treatment) Details: Based on the novel "Logan's Run" published by Amereon Ltd; June, 1976. SSN Insight: Bryan Singer, Skip Woods, Joseph Kosinski, Carl Rinsch, and Nicolas Winding Refn were all previously attached to direct the film which started development in 2000. Christopher McQuarrie, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris, Bryan Singer are among those who have penned drafts of the script.

A Cure for Wellness Logline: An employee sent to rescue his boss from a European spa soon realizes he's trapped. Studio/Distributor: New Regency Productions Production Company(s): 20th Century Fox Distribution Production Company(s): BlindWink Productions Producer(s): Gore Verbinski Writer(s): Justin Haythe Director(s): Gore Verbinski Cast: Dane DeHaan, Mia Goth, Jason Isaacs, Celia Imrie SSN Insight: Production is underway in Europe. Imrie was last seen in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films along with What We Did On Our Holiday.

Brain on Fire Logline: The film tells the story of a young woman's descent into insanity. Production Company(s): Denver & Delilah Films, Foundation Features, Broad Green Pictures Producer(s): Charlize Theron, A.J. Dix, Beth Kono, Robert Merilees, Lindsay MacAdam Writer(s): Gerard Barrett Director(s): Gerard Barrett Cast: Chloe Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Jenny Slate, Richard Armitage, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tyler Perry Details: Based on the memoir "Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness" written by Susannah Cahalan and published by Free Press in 2012. SSN Insight: Dakota Fanning was previously attached to the role played by Chloe Grace Moretz. Will Poulter was previously attached as a member of the cast.

Untitled Clea DuVall Film Logline: Storyline is under wraps. Production Company(s): Burn Later Productions Producer(s): Paul M. Bernon, Sam Slater, Sev Ohanian Writer(s): Clea DuVall Director(s): Clea DuVall Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Natasha Lyonne, Vincent Piazza, Jason Ritter, Ben Schwartz, Alia Shawkat, Cobie Smulders SSN Insight: Feature marks DuVall’s directorial debut whose acting credits include The Grudge, 21 Grams and Argo. Project is currently in production.

High Wire Act Logline: A CIA station chief is kidnapped. Production Company(s): Radar Pictures Producer(s): Ted Field, Mike Weber, Tony Gilroy Writer(s): Tony Gilroy Director(s): Brad Anderson Cast: Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike SSN Insight: Good Universe is handling international sales.

LBJ Logline: Lyndon Johnson goes from powerful Senate Majority Leader, powerless Vice President to President of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Production Company(s): Castle Rock Entertainment, Star Thrower Entertainment, Acacia Entertainment, Savvy Media Holdings Producer(s): Matthew George, Rob Reiner, Liz Glotzer, Michael Williams, Tim White Writer(s): Joey Hartstone Director(s): Rob Reiner Cast: Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2014 Black List. Richard Jenkins was just nominated for an Emmy for his role in Olive Kitteridge.

Minecraft Logline: The film is based on the video game in which players create avatars that use cubes to make whatever environment they can imagine in a virtual world. Studio/Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Production Company(s): Vertigo Entertainment Producer(s): Roy Lee, Jill Messick Writer(s): Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney Director(s): Rob McElhenney Details: Based on the video game "Minecraft" created by Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson, developed and published by Mojang and publicly released for the PC on May 17, 2009. SSN Insight: Shawn Levy was previously in discussions to direct a script written by Kieran and Michele Mulroney. McElhenney is most notable for co-creating and co-starring in the long-running FX/FXX series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Mother's Day Logline: The stories of several mothers intertwine during the day leading up to the Mother’s Day holiday. Studio/Distributor: Open Road Films Production Company(s): PalmStar Entertainment, Gulfstream Pictures Producer(s): Wayne Rice, Mike Karz, Kevin Scott Frakes Writer(s): Anya Kochoff, Lily Hollander Director(s): Garry Marshall Cast: Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis SSN Insight: Open Road will release the film wide on April 29, 2016, the weekend prior to Mother’s Day. Production starts in Atlanta next month.

Rampage Logline: The film is based on the popular 1980s arcade game in which players take control of huge monsters who are trying to survive against attacks by the military. Studio/Distributor: New Line Cinema Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution Production Company(s): Flynn Picture Co., Rickard Pictures, 7 Bucks Entertainment Producer(s): Beau Flynn, Brad Peyton, John Rickard, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia Writer(s): Ryan Engle Director(s): Brad Peyton (in talks) Cast: Dwayne Johnson Details: Based on the video arcade game "Rampage" introduced by Bally Midway in 1986. SSN Insight: Brad Peyton is in talks to direct and it would be a reteam with the producers, writers and star of San Andreas. Scarpetta Logline: Opera-loving coroner Dr. Kay Scarpetta investigates mysteries. Studio/Distributor: Fox 2000 Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company, Media Talent Group, Tall Girls Productions Producer(s): Mark R. Gordon, Geyer Kosinski, Melissa Rosenberg Writer(s): Liz Friedman, Theresa Rebeck, Kario Salem, Kerry Williamson Details: Based on the crime novel series centering on the character of Kay Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell; first published by Pocket Books January 1, 1990. SSN Insight: Source material was previously optioned by Columbia Pictures. Angelina Jolie previously attached to star. This would be Friedman’s first feature deals, who co-wrote the pilot to Orange Is The New Black and was a co-EP on Elementary. Spider-Man (Reboot) Logline: Storyline is under wraps, but involves a teenage Peter Parker. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, Sony Pictures Releasing Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment, Pascal Pictures Producer(s): Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal Writer(s): John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein Director(s): Jon Watts Cast: Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei Details: Based on the legendary Marvel comic book, Spider-Man created by writer/editor Stan Lee and writer/artist Steve Ditko, he first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 cover-dated August 1962. SSN Insight: Actors in contention for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man included Nat Wolff, Asa Butterfield, Tom Holland, Timothee Chalamet, Judah Lewis, Matthew Lintz, Charlie Plummer, Charlie Plummer and Liam Jame. They did screen tests in Atlanta and ultimately, Tom Holland got the role. Drew Goddard was previously in talks to write and direct.

Steelheart Logline: After a group of people gain extraordinary powers, they lord power over ordinary humans, but a group called the Reckoners fight back. Studio/Distributor: 20th Century Fox Production Company(s): 21 Laps Entertainment Producer(s): Shawn Levy Writer(s): Carter Blanchard Director(s): Shawn Levy (in talks) Details: Based on the first two books in the YA novel trilogy "The Reckoners" written by Brandon Sanderson and published by Delacorte Press. "Steelheart" was published in 2013, "Firefight" in 2015, and the third novel is yet to be published. SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at FilmEngine and Chair Entertainment Group with Anthony Rhulen, David McIlhargy and Donald Mustard attached to produce. Blanchard also wrote the sequel to Independence Day and Glimmer, currently in preproduction.

The Fixer Logline: A wealthy businessman gets involved with a shady drug dealer who is also employing the businessman's son. Production Company(s): Fubar Films, Gold Star Films, Rumble Entertainment Producer(s): Gregory Chou, Colin Bates, Joey Tufaro Writer(s): Bill Kennedy SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2013 Black List from House Of Cards writer Bill Kennedy.

Unbranded Logline: A documentary following four friends on a 3000 mile journey on recently trained wild mustangs across the great American West. Production Company(s): Gravitas Ventures, Cedar Creek Productions, Implement Productions Producer(s): Phillip Baribeau, Ben Masters, Dennis Aig Director(s): Phillip Baribeau SSN Insight: Gravitas Ventures has acquired all U.S. rights to the documentary which premiered at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto. As part of the deal, the film will be released September 25 in more than 25 theaters, with a simultaneous VOD release.

Untitled (Woody Allen 2015 Feature Film) Logline: Logline under wraps. Production Company(s): Gravier Productions Producer(s): Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, Edward Walson Writer(s): Woody Allen Director(s): Woody Allen Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Bruce Willis, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Parker Posey (final talks) SSN Insight: Parker Posey was in Woody Allen’s previous film, Irrational Man. Passengers Logline: A spaceship passenger is prematurely thawed from a cryogenic slumber a century before anyone else. Studio/ Distributor: Sony, Columbia Pictures Production Company: Company Films, Start Media, Keep Your Head Productions, Original Film Producers: Stephen Hamel, Keanu Reeves, Michael Maher, Neal Moritz, Ori Marmur, Anthony Katagas Writer: Jon Spaihts Director: Morten Tyldum Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen SSN Insight: The project was initially scheduled to be released by the Weinstein Company on April 3, 2015 until its star, Rachel McAdams, dropped out. The project has many previous high-profile attachments such as, Marc Forster, Emily Blunt, Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon.

New Projects

Untitled (Columbia Pictures/ Animated Emoji Project) Logline: This animated feature centers on the round-headed images of social media correspondence fame, the Emoji. Studio/Distributor: Columbia Pictures Production Company(s): Sony Pictures Animation, MRK Productions Producer(s): Kristine Belson, Michelle Raimo Kouyate Writer(s): Eric Siegel Director(s): Tony Leondis SSN Insight: Sony Pictures Animation won a three-studio auction for the animated movie pitch in a deal near seven figures. The project was pitched by director Anthony Leondis.

Untitled Basketball Comedy Project Logline: A woman who was once a promising basketball coach is asked to lead an NBA team and finds herself under scrutiny by the reluctant organization. Studio/Distributor: Universal Pictures Production Company(s): Bluegrass Films, Paper Kite Productions Producer(s): Amy Poehler, Scott Stuber Writer(s): Ike Barinholtz, Dave Stassen Cast: Amy Poehler, Ike Barinholtz SSN Insight: Poehler and Barinholtz will next be seen in Universal’s upcoming Sisters.

Way Down Dark Logline: In the vein of Alien and The Hunger Games, centers on a 17-year-old living on a giant spaceship that is a maze of gangs, violence and a struggle to survive. Studio/Distributor: Studio 8 Producer(s): Chris Goldberg Details: Based on the first book in a planned trilogy, released in the UK and awaiting release in the U.S. by award-winning author James Smythe. SSN Insight: The sequel to the book, published by Hodder & Stoughton, will be released in the UK in April 2016. The U.S. rights are being overseen by Jason Bartholomew at H&S.

Happy Krampus! Logline: Follows Santa’s forgotten helper and giver of coal to naughty children who lost his job at the North Pole due to modern parents spoiling their children. To prove that he is still needed, he travels to NYC to replace Christmas with Krampus Day. Production Company(s): Jim Henson Prods., Walden Media Producer(s): Blanca Lista, Naia Cucukov Writer(s): Kealan O’Rourke SSN Insight: Jim Henson Co. recently joined STX Entertainment to produce a live-action, as yet untitled puppet film with a twist.

Untitled Urban Explorers Logline: A young-adult adventure set in New York City’s Lower East Side. Production Company(s): End Cue Producer(s): Andrew Kortschak, Walter Kortschak Writer(s): Christopher Ford, Jon Watts Director(s): Jon Watts SSN Insight: Watts and Ford previously joined forces on the Sundance film Cop Car, acquired by Focus Features.

Sword in the Stone Logline: A live-action retelling of Disney’s animated tale of King Arthur as a boy. Studio/Distributor: Disney Producer(s): Brigham Taylor Writer(s): Bryan Cogman Details: Based on the Disney animated film, The Sword in the Stone. SSN Insight: Adds to the long list of animated films Disney is revamping for live action including Pinocchio, Dumbo and Aladdin.

Untitled Presidential Debate Dramedy Logline: Months of planning and millions of dollars culminate in 270 minutes of highly scrutinized debate. Production Company(s): Team Downey Producer(s): David Gambino, Mark Williams, Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey Writer(s): Bill Dubuque SSN Insight: This marks a re-team for Dubuque and Robert and Susan Downey who previously worked together on The Judge.

Film Dev, ‘Jurassic World 2′ Gets Release, Chloe Moretz Joins ‘Neighbors 2,’ Ridley Scott to Direct ‘El Chapo,’‘The Comedians’ Cancelled


chris pratt jurassic world



Other film development news includes Brad Peyton in talks to direct New Line's video game adaptation of Rampage, Carter Blanchard attaching to adapt Fox's YA adaptation Steelheart and Sony Animation buying an animated feature based on emoji's. (SSN)


'Jurassic World' Sequel Release Date Revealed; Pratt and Howard Returning

Universal has announced that the Jurassic World sequel will open on June 22, 2018, and that Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will reprise their roles. (COLL)

Chloe Moretz Joins Zac Efron, Seth Rogen in ‘Neighbors 2′

Chloe Moretz is in negotiations to join Zac Efron and Seth Rogen in Universal’s sequel to their 2014 smash hit Neighbors. (VAR)

Ridley Scott to Tackle Don Winslow's El Chapo Novel for Fox

Fox and Ridley Scott are teaming up to adapt The Cartel, Don Winslow's novel based on the real-life escape of drug lord El Chapo. Scott will direct and produce. Shane Salerno will write the script and also produce. (THR)

'The Comedians' Cancelled at FX

FX has decided to axe its Billy Crystal-Josh Gad comedy after just one season. (TVL)

Brie Larson and Russell Crowe in Talks for 'Kong: Skull Island'

Brie Larson is in talks for the film’s female role while Russell Crowe is also being eyed to fill one of the other roles. The pair would join Tom Hiddleston who is also attached to star. (CS)

DreamWorks' Glendale campus sells for $215 million

DreamWorks Animation's campus has been sold again.  The buyer was Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT, which scooped up the 15-acre site from an investment arm of SunTrust Banks Inc. for $215 million. (LAT)

Frank Zappa Documentary in Works From Alex Winter

Alex Winter is developing a documentary on the late musician Frank Zappa, which he will direct from his own script and produce with Glen Zipper. (VAR)

Hannah Ware, Breakout Star of 'Hitman: Agent 47' Started Acting on a Dare

The 32-year-old British actress has her first lead in the 20th Century Fox action thriller Hitman: Agent 47 opposite Rupert Friend and Zachary Quinto. (VF)

Louisiana Theater Shooting Tragedy, Angelina Jolie Pitt’s Next Film, Billy Bob Thornton Lands Amazon Series, ‘Baywatch’ Gets a Director



Three Dead After Shooting At ‘Trainwreck’ Screening In Louisiana

Three people, including a gunman, have died after a man opened fire at the Grand Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana last night. Seven others were injured, with multiple people in critical condition. Those injured range in age from late teens to early 60s. Police arrived as the shooting was occurring. It is believed that the gunman, a 58-year-old white male, was sitting in the theater alone when he opened fire with a handgun. (THR)

Angelina Jolie Pitt Lands Her Next Directing Gig, and Netflix Has Got Her

The Unbreakable helmer will direct an adaptation of Loung Ung’s memoir First They Killed My Father: A Daugher of Cambodia Remembers as a Netflix original film. Ung’s book recounts her harrowing survival from the deadly Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. Jolie Pitt has co-written the script with Ung and will also produce the film. (COL)

So, If You’re Keeping Score, It’s Kevin Costner Out, Billy Bob Thornton In On David E. Kelley-Amazon Legal Drama

Oscar winner is set for the lead in Trial, the Amazon Studios drama from The Practice, Ally McBeal and Picket Fences creator, which is on track for a 10-episode straight-to-series order. Costner previously had been eyed for the role but talks fell through. David Semel is expected to direct. (DH)

Paramount’s ‘Baywatch’ Movie With Dwayne Johnson Now Finally Has a Director

Seth Gordon, who launched his career with the video game documentary The King of Kong and who went on to helm comedies like Horrible Bosses and Identity Thief, will take the director’s chair on the long-gestating big screen version of the hit television series. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift wrote the most recent draft of the script. Earlier reports suggested that the film will offer a comedy-heavy take that has little to do with the original series. (CS)

Fans Of ‘Top Of the Lake’ Are Getting Some Very Good News Today

Elisabeth Moss has confirmed that she will return for a second season of the IFC limited run series that earned her an Emmy nomination for its 2013 debut. Jane Campion co-created and directed the first run, about a mystery in rural Australia. Season Two, which will premiere in 2016, will follow a mystery in Sydney. (VUL)

Today In Remake News: Sony and Working Title Are Doing a New Version Of ‘Oliver!’

Toby Haynes, who directed and exec produced TV drama Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, is set to direct a new movie version of Lionel Bart’s musical, which Cameron Mackintosh, Working Title and Sony Pictures are producing. Movie is set to be green-lit in a matter of weeks, once rights deals are completed, and the film will start shooting early next year, with a release penciled in for the end of next year. (VAR)

TNT Wants More ‘Rizzoli & Isles’, but Only a Limited Amount Of It

Cable network has renewed the cop drama for Season 7, to air in next summer. The upcoming run will consist of 13 hours, the smallest episode order since its 10-episode freshman season. Rizzoli opened its current run in June with 4.4 million viewers and a 0.7 demo rating, and frequently leads basic cable in total viewership. (TVL)

The YA Novel ‘Steelheart’ Has Found Itself a Writer To Adapt It’

Carter Blanchard has been hired to take a crack at the screenplay, with Shawn Levy on board to produce and possibly direct. Project is based on Brandon Sanderson’s series in which super-beings are the bad guys. These "Epics" received their superpowers in a freak natural event, but decided to use them to rule and enslave, creating a world where there are only supervillains and no superheroes. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials’

Twentieth Century Fox has released the latest trailer for its upcoming sequel to the YA series sensation. Dylan O’Brien, Aidan Gillen, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen, Barry Pepper, Lili Taylor, and Patricia Clarkson star in the film, which hits theaters September 18th. (SF)

Screenwriters: ‘Locke’

The 72-page shooting script, dated February 21st, 2013, by Steven Knight. (GITS)

Film & TV Deals for 7/24/15: Bill Simmons Lands Mega HBO Deal, Paper Towns Author John Green Inks with Fox 2000 & More


paper towns poster

Broad Green Pictures and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have inked a multi-year agreement with Universal handling Blu-ray and DVD distribution for all Broad Green titles. Broad Green will continue to run sales and marketing. On the slate for Broad Green are 16 speciality and wide-release films per year to be distributed across multiple platforms. Films include: 99 Homes, A Walk In The Woods, Infiltrator, Brain On Fire, Samba, I Smile Back and Learning To Drive, Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups, Voyage Of Time and a yet untitled project starring Ryan Gosling.

Alchemy, the largest independent distributor of film and television content in North America, has secured distribution deals with leading content producers Archstone, Hollywood Media Bridge, and The Little Film Company to further build out its feature film pipeline. Under the agreements, Alchemy will provide tailored release strategies for each title utilizing its network of diverse distribution platforms to maximize each film’s potential, with the goal of growing each partner’s line.

Bill Simmons has signed a mega exclusive multi-year, multi-platform deal with HBO. Simmons had previously left ESPN where he was Editor in Chief of Grantland after his contract was not renewed in May. As part of the new deal Simmons will star in a weekly talk show series for HBO set to premiere in 2016. He will have a production deal to produce content including video podcasts and features and will consult for HBO Sports to include the development of new show and documentaries.

Actress Eliza Coupe has inked a development deal with ABC Studios and ABC Signature Studios. She is best known for her role as Jane Kerkovich-Williams for three seasons on the ABC sitcom Happy Endings. She also starred in USA’s Benched developed by ABC Signature, the boutique division of ABC Studios. She recently was seen in Hulu’s comedy series Casual.

Basketball superstar LeBron James has inked a content creation deal with Warner Bros Entertainment through his SpringHill Entertainment shingle to produce content for TV, film and digital. LeBron James was recently seen in the film Trainwreck now in theaters. SpringHill’s series include Disney XD’s inspirational series Becoming, the Starz’ scripted comedy Survivor’s Remorse, Turner’s multimedia platform Uninterrupted within Bleacher Report and an as yet untitled game show for NBC.

Popular YA novelist, John Green, author of Paper Towns, the adaptation of which is now in theaters, has signed a first look deal with Fox 2000. His other novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was also adapted and grossed over $300 million worldwide. The next film based on a novel of his, Looking for Alaska, is in development at Paramount. Green is repped by UTA and Writers House.

Shoot Like Tarantino, New Legal Issues For Kavanaugh, FCC Approves AT&T-DirecTV Merger, Film & TV Deals For 7/24/15


shoot like tarantino book cover


Shoot Like Tarantino: Ten Tips Gleaned From the Master Of Tension

Want your film to sizzle with danger? Then learn from the master of tension and action. Using Tarantino’s tricks for creating conflict, keeping dialogue taut, and letting all hell break loose, you will enhance your own shooting style. Whatever your budget, get the action pumping with the camera setups and moves revealed in this dynamic book, excerpted here. (SSN)

Film & TV Deals For 7/24/15: Bill Simmons Lands Mega HBO Deal, Author John Green Inks With Fox 2000, and More

Lots happening in Hollywoodland this week, with Broad Green Pictures signing a big home distribution deal with Universal, big stuff for Alchemy, and LeBron James’ gigantic new agreement with Warner Bros. Click the link for the full skinny. (SSN)


A New Bit Of Trouble Arises For Ryan Kavanaugh, as a Lawsuit Accuses Him Of Fraud

A New York finance company that supports film promotion has sued Kavanaugh and accused him of being a “con man . . . who through dishonesty and deceit operated a scheme to defraud investors and convert and misappropriate their funds.” Nine days after RKA Film Financing filed another action trying to recover $7.5 million from Kavanaugh, the lender’s second lawsuit goes much further. Meanwhile, Kavanaugh is countersuing for $200 million. (VAR)

That AT&T-DirecTV Merger Has Been Officially Approved By the FCC, With Conditions

AT&T's $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV has been approved by the FCC, though the presumably soon-to-be merged company will have to submit to several costly concessions. The FCC said that a merged AT&T-DirecTV is "required" to expand its deployment of high-speed, fiber optic broadband Internet access service to 12.5 million customer locations, roughly 10 times more than exists today via AT&T. (THR)

Will Smith an Jay-Z Are Developing an Emmett Till Mini-Series For HBO

Continuing a largely unimpeachable line of controversial and ambitious mini-series, films, and projects, HBO is Smith, Jay-Z, and Aaron Kaplan to bring the story to the small screen. Till was a 14-year-old who was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, and shot in 1955 for supposedly flirting with a white 21-year-old woman. The brutal slaying was perpetrated by Roy Bryant, the woman’s husband, and J.W. Milam. They were both acquitted of the murder charge. (VUL)

Syfy Corrals ‘Wynonna Earp’ For the Latest Big Time Comic Book-To-TV Adaptation

Based on the cult comic series by Beau Smith and published by IDW Publishing, series is set to be filmed in Canada and will star Melanie Scrofano as the titular bad-ass, the great granddaughter of famed lawman Wyatt Earp and the top talent in The Monster Squad, a special, secret department within the US Marshals. The show has been likened to both Justified and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. (COL)

Tyrese Gibson Continues To Campaign Hard To Play Green Lantern, Says He Has Met With Warner Bros.

Since January, the Fast & Furious star has been pushing to play John Stewart in the 2020 Green Lantern reboot. What started with Gibson appreciating fan art showing him as one of the protectors of Sector 2814, has led to him hinting that he’s met with Warner Bros. about the role. Now Gibson has dropped the playful hints and is doubling down on his pitch to play the next live action Green Lantern. (CB)

No Green Screen Here: a New Featurette Details the Lengths To Which the ‘Everest’ Cast Went To Capture Reality

While it would be easy to shoot an entire film like this on a sound stage and use visual effects to complete the scenery, director Baltasar Kormakur wanted the cast (including Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Jake Gyllenhaal) to experience the elements firsthand by shooting on location in Nepal on the foothills of Everest, as well as the Italian Alps. Now an Everest featurette shows what that was like for the stars of the film. (SF)

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

After weeks of teasing, Lionsgate has released the first full-length trailer to the final chapter of the story of Katniss Everdeen and the nation of Panem. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Mahershala Ali, Natalie Dormer, Wes Chatham, Elden Henson and Evan Ross, it opens November 20th. (CS)

‘Ant-Man’ Repeats At Box Office, Unions Blast ‘The Revenant’ Working Conditions, Michael B. Jordan Finds His Next Film, ‘Key & Peele’ Ending


paul rudd

The Insects Beat the Video Games, as ‘Ant-Man’ Repeats Box Office Win Over Debuting ‘Pixels’

The Disney/Marvel film scored $24.7 million in its second weekend, to defeat the Adam Sandler flick, which came in at a disappointing $24 million. Ant-Man has now scored a 10-day total of $106 million. Minions finished third with $22 million, giving it $258.5 million in 17 days, while Trainwreck came in fourth with $17.2 million and Southpaw opened with a solid $16.5 million for fifth place. The YA adaptation Paper Towns scored just $12.5 million, for sixth. (BO)

New Crew Safety Controversy Emerges After Unions Blast Conditions On ‘The Revenant’

The head of a local union representing crew members that worked on Alejandro G. Inarritu's The Revenant during a brutally cold Canadian winter said the New Regency movie went to "the outer edge of safety" to get the perfect shot. At the same time, The Revenant producer New Regency insisted on-set safety was closely followed throughout the Canadian shoot. (THR)

With ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘Creed’ All Set For Release, Michael B. Jordan Turns To Non-Fiction Next

Actor has shored up what may be his next starring role, in an adaptation of bestselling, critically-acclaimed 2014 book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson. The story, based on the author's own real-life, centers on his days as a young, idealistic, gifted lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative - a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need, and one of his first cases. (SAA)

Get It While You Can: ‘Key & Peele’ To End After the Current Season

The comedy show's current season will be its last, co-creator and star Keegan-Michael Key confirmed on Friday. Key clarified that it was his and co-creator Jordan Peele's decision to end the show and not Comedy Central's, where it airs. Peele took to Twitter to comment on the show's end, telling followers to “Don’t miss the last 8 episodes” and “Love u.” (HP)

Elle Fanning’s ‘All the Bright Places’ Lands Miguel Arteta To Direct It

Arteta who most recently directed Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, will helm the adaptation of Jennifer Niven’s YA novel. Niven, founder of online literary teen magazine Germ, will write the script. Demarest Media will finance and produce the picture alongside Mazur/Kaplan, who brought the package to them. (VAR)

Hopefully, You Didn’t Get Too Attached To ‘Happyish’, Because Showtime Just Canceled It

It’s not often that a premium cable network cancels a series after just one season, but such is the fate of this show, as the cable net has confirmed the death of its first-year comedy. Created by playwright Shalom Auslander, show was originally intended as a starring vehicle for the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, with Steve Coogan stepping after Hoffman’s death. Harsh critical reaction and low ratings, however, combined to ring the show’s death knell. (VUL)

‘Veep’ Co-Stars Team For College Football Comedy, Sell the Script To Paramount

Studio has picked up Red Shirts, an original college football comedy that was scripted by Veep stars Timothy Simons and Matt Walsh. No plot details were released. On the show, Simons plays White House liaison Jonah Ryan while Walsh plays Mike McLintok, the VP’s Director of Communications. The acclaimed HBO series recently completed its fourth season. (CS)

While Hopes Are High For a Fifth Season Of ‘Arrested Development’, It Turns Out There Are Still Deals To Be Made

Producer Brian Grazer said in April that the show would return for 17 more episodes on Netflix, but in a more recent interview, he said that creator Mitch Hurwitz is just now putting together his writer’s room and the deals are still being made with the show’s cast, as well as between 20th Century Television and Netflix. He also talked about “retrofitting” the number of episodes to what Hurwitz and the writers come up with for the season’s arc. (COL)

In the Wake Of a Disappointing Opening For ‘Pixels’, a Look At How ‘Funny People’ Ruined Adam Sandler

In December 2003, Mel Gibson showed an audience an unfinished version of The Passion of the Christ. Someone asked where he could go from here and, shielding his eyes symbolically from the spotlight, he said there was no way he could return to the types of movies he’d made before exploring the final hours of Joshua of Nazareth’s life. If anything, Funny People was Adam Sandler’s Passion, but it didn’t come with the same sort of obvious shift. (FSR)

Screenwriters: The Craft — Cut the Scene! No, Don’t Cut (Please)! Cut!

It’s inevitable that a scene you love will be deleted from the finished film, most often for reasons of time or money instead of story. Learning to deal with this reality is part of becoming a true professional. (SM)

Shoot Like Tarantino Part 2, Exec Shuffle, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone Get New TV Comedy, MGM Buys Thriller Spec


at arrivals for CinemaCon 2013 Big Screen Achievement Awards, Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV April 18, 2013. Photo By: James Atoa/Everett Collection



Part 2 of Shoot Like Tarantino delves further into the opening sequence of Inglourious Basterds. In part one, Kenworthy began his tips with the opening shot which introduced the character of the french farmer, played by Denis Ménochet and ended right before he meets the infamous Hans Landa, played by Christoph Waltz. Here we pick up right when the fateful meeting occurs. (SSN)


Other big moves include, Susanne Daniels leaving MTV and moving to YouTube's VP of Original Content and Kori Bernards leaving Universal as SVP of Communications and being replaced by Teri Everett. (SSN)


Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone Team for TV Land Comedy 'Friends With Melissa'

The Viacom-owned cable network is teaming with the comedian and her actor husband Ben Falcone for single-camera comedy script Friends With Melissa. (THR)

Tyro Scribe Lori Evans Taylor Lands Deal On ‘Bed Rest’

MGM has acquired Bed Rest, the first script deal for Lori Evans Taylor. Spec is a Hitchcockian thriller in the vein of Rear Window and What Lies Beneath.  Karen Rosenfelt is producing with Chris Sparling. (DH)

New York and Toronto Film Fests Make Big Announcements, Disney Adds Talent To ‘Bob the Musical’, Linklater May Direct ‘The Rosie Project’, HBO’s New Western



Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’ Film Just Landed a Pretty Sweet Fall Festival Premiere

The film, starring Michael Fassbender and written by Aaron Sorkin, has been set for a centerpiece screening at the 53rd New York Film Festival on Saturday, October 3rd, six days before it enters a wide release. Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Katherine Waterston and Jeff Daniels also star. (TFS)

And, In More Film Festival News, Toronto Announces Its 2015 Lineup

The 40th annual Toronto International Film Festival will open with Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts. Ridley Scott’s The Martian, starring Matt Damon, and Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next were among the world premieres unveiled this morning in the Festival’s first major announcement. (VAR)

Disney’s Decade-In-Development ‘Bob the Musical’ Just Added a Composer and a New Writer, as Well

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon is in talks to work on the comedy, and Oscar-winning composer Bret McKenzie will take a crack at the music. Tom Cruise has been circling the lead since late April, with director Michel Hazanavicius on board to direct the film, which centers on a regular guy who can suddenly hear the inner songs of everyone around him after he gets bonked on the head. (COL)

Richard Linklater May Have Just Found His Next Film, and It Happens To Have Jennifer Lawrence Attached

Sony is in negotiations with Linklater to helm The Rosie Project, based on the book by Graham Simison. The book tells the story of professor Don Tillman, a genetics expert on the Asperger’s scale who never seems to be able to land a second date. He starts The Wife Project, working up a questionnaire to find the perfect partner, but is instead entranced by the free-spirited Rosie (Lawrence), who matches none of his criteria but might just be his soul mate. (EMP)

A Decade After ‘Deadwood’, HBO Wants To Get Back In the Western Business

Cable net is developing Untamed, a new Western drama series that explores the outlaw rural frontier. Story follows three mismatched travelers on a journey along the treacherous trek from 1840s Wyoming, across the Rocky Mountains to Utah—a journey where they’ll be forced to embrace some of their most primitive instincts, both good and bad, to survive.” Peter Berg is executive producing and directing, with Mark L Smith writing. (EW)

Focus Lands Action Film ‘Down To A Sunless Sea’ With Morgan Freeman

Project has a a script by David Gleeson and Freeman attached to play one of the leads. It’s a big action film in the vein of Air Force One. Bruce Cohen and Revelations — Freeman and Lori McCreary’s company — are producing.  (DH)

Hulu’s Stephen King Adaptation Of ’11/22/63’ Adds Josh Duhamel To the Roster

Based on King's best-seller, 11/22/63 is described as a thriller in which high school English teacher Jake Epping (James Franco) travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Duhamel will play Frank Dunning, the father of Jake's student Harry Dunning. Frank is a ladies' man with an effortless smile that everyone welcomes — except Jake, the only man who knows the full violence of which Frank is capable. (TLF)

The Essential Toolkit For Working Remotely From Anywhere In the World

When transitioning to a fully remote position, you inevitably learn a few lessons the hard way. The digital nomad movement is a burgeoning cultural phenomenon. No two remote work situations are identical, so how do you maximize your experience? Here, some of the most integral tools and suggestions remote workers from all walks of life may find useful. (MS)

With the Fifth Film In the Series Hitting Theaters This Weekend, a Look at ‘Mission: Impossible’s Best Action Scenes

Brian De Palma‘s first Mission: Impossible film wasn’t packed with action set pieces — there are only three, really, but those three are all top-tier action filmmaking, and one of those three defined the series for years to come. In the two decades since, the series has been tackled by a variety of directors — John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird, and now Christopher McQuarrie — each of whom has a slightly different balance of action and espionage. (SF)

Online Film School: Six Things You’re Going To Want To Know Before Making Your Web Series

For one thing, the Unemployed Roommate genre is so worn out that even your mom may not be persuaded to watch. Once upon a time, the novelty value of the web series as a form was enough to secure some modest viewership. Now? Not so much. A guide to moving forward. (IW)