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No ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ For a While, Relativity’s Big Day In Court, Boba Fett Star Wars Movie Pushed To 2020, Dave Franco Returns To ‘Neighbors’ Sequel


NBC Is Setting Aside ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Until It Can Find a Replacement For Donald Trump

The network announced yesterday morning that the competition series is being put on an extended hiatus this coming season while executive producer Mark Burnett hunts for a new host. Despite rumors of NBC considering various business world personalities for the high-profile gig, executives are nowhere close to locking down a new name.  In June, NBC cut business ties with Trump after his comments about Mexican immigrants. (EW)

It’s a Big Day For Relativity In Court, as a Judge Will Decide the Bankruptcy Timeline

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles will decide whether to approve a $10.5 million loan to keep Relativity going. It’s the second installment in a $45 million Debtor In Possession financing plan from current lenders. Time, though, is the key issue as he crafts the bidding process — including conditions to clarify what assets a buyer could pick up, and what liens, leases, and loans come with them. (DH)

The ‘Star Wars’ Standalone Movie That Was To Be Directed By Josh Trank Has Been Pushed to 2020

Since Trank was removed from the project in April, Lucasfilm moved up the release of the young Han Solo film, which recently enlisted Phil Lord and Chris Miller to direct and which will now take the original 2017 release date of the earlier film, believed to be a Boba Fett origin story. The Boba Fett film will now open in 2020, a year after Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to hit theaters. (COL)

All the ‘Neighbors’ Are Returning For the Sequel, as Dave Franco Has Now Joined the Cast

The actor will join Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne in Neighbors 2, as well as newcomers Chloe Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons and Beanie Feldstein. The plot is being kept under wraps, but sources say it involves a sorority that the new castmembers will be members of. Nicholas Stoller is returning to direct the sequel based on a script by Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Rogen and Evan Goldberg. (THR)

That ‘Training Day’ TV Adaptation Has Found Itself a Home At CBS

In a competitive situation, CBS has handed out a hefty pilot-production commitment to a Training Day follow-up based on the 2001 film, which starred Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington, who won an Oscar for his performance. The potential series takes place 15 years after the movie and is set in the LAPD of 2015. Antoine Fuqua, who directed the feature film,will helm the pilot, which is written by feature writer and former LAPD detective Will Beall.  (TLF)

A Pair Of Old Pros Join the Ed Helms-Owen Wilson Comedy ‘Bastards’

Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons and NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw are set to join the comedy, which is the directorial debut of veteran cinematographer Larry Sher. Film focuses on the two brothers whose eccentric mother raised them to believe their father had died when they were young. When they discover this to be a lie, they set out to find their real father, learning more about their mother than they probably ever wanted to know. (CS)

Terry George’s Historical Drama Starring Christian Bale Just Added A Classy Actress To the Cast

Shohreh Aghdashloo has joined Bale and Oscar Isaac in the historical romance The Promise. George is directing from a script he wrote with Robin Swicord, centering on a love triangle in 1922 with a medical student, an American journalist based in Paris and a beautiful and sophisticated woman, portrayed by Charlotte Le Bon. Bale will play the reporter, and Isaac will portray the student, conflicted by old-world traditions. Aghdashloo will play Isaac’s mother. (VAR)

Add Rihanna To the List Of Key Advisors For the Upcoming Season Of ‘The Voice’

The pop star/provocateur’s participation was announced yesterday by Peacock network president Robert Greenblatt at the TCA summer press tour. Over the last three seasons, fun. frontman Nate Ruess, Taylor Swift and Coldplay’s Chris Martin have mentored contestants from all four teams during the second set of one-on-one showdowns (historically called the Knockout Rounds or Battle Rounds Pt. 2). (TVL)

As ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ Prepares To Surrender the Box Office Top Spot This Weekend, Here Are 30 Essential Spy Films To Watch

Perhaps you’ve noticed — 2015 is truly the year of the spy movie. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. opens this week, but also, Paul Feig’s Spy is barely gone; Matthew Vaughn had his own Kingsman: The Secret Service” earlier in the year, and still to come is Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, Hitman: Agent 47, and … oh yeah… Spectre. (TP)

Screenwriters: ‘Pariah’

The undated, unlabeled 102-page screenplay by Dee Rees. (GITS)

On the Set for 8/14/15: Marlon Wayans Starts Fifty Shades of Black, Bill Condon Wraps Up Beauty and The Beast



Fifty Shades of Black
Logline: Wayans will once again push the envelope of good taste and break new boundaries in Fifty Shades Of Black as he parodies the highly charged encounters that take place in and around Mr. Black’s special playroom.
Studio/Distributor: Open Road Films
Production Company(s): Wayans Brothers Entertainment
Director(s): Mike Tiddes
Executive Producer(s): Matt Jackson, Glendon Palmer, Steve Squillante
Producer(s): Stuart Ford, Marlon Wayans, Matt Alvarez
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Affion Crockett
Writer(s): Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez
Details: A parody film of Fifty Shades of Grey.
SSN Insight: The film is financed by IM Global’s Octane division. Open Road, which successfully distributed both Haunted House films, returns as the U.S. distributor, with a January 29, 2016 release planned.

Hot Summer Nights
Logline: While on Cape Cod for Summer Break, a teenager’s life spins out of control.
Production Company(s): Flashlight Films, Imperative Entertainment
Director(s): Elijah Bynum
Executive Producer(s): Peter Farrelly, Casey Mott
Producer(s): Bradley Thomas, Dan Friedkin, Ryan Friedkin
Cast: Timothee Chalamet, Maika Monroe, Alex Roe, Maia Mitchell, Emory Cohen
Writer(s): Elijah Bynum
SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2013 Black List. Elijah Bynum is also the writer, director of Mississippi Mud and In the Morning Blood, both films are in development.

La La Land
Logline: Lonely aspiring actress Mia and cocky jazz pianist Sebastian balance their art and love in Los Angeles, the land of the dreamers.
Studio/Distributor: Lionsgate, Summit
Production Company(s): Marc Platt Productions, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures
Director(s): Damien Chazelle
Executive Producer(s): John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius
Producer(s): Jordan Horowitz, Fred Berger, Marc Platt
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J.K. Simmons, John Legend, Finn Wittrock
Writer(s): Damien Chazelle
SSN Insight: Emma Watson was previously attached to star. Miles Teller was previously attached to star.

The Worthy
Logline: In a world where there is a water shortage, a group of survivors discover a clean water source.
Production Company(s): ROOM 101, Inc., The Safran Company, Image Nation
Director(s): Ali F Mostafa
Producer(s): Peter Safran, Steven Schneider, Rami Yasin
Writer(s): Vikram Weet
SSN Insight: Image Nation is the production arm of Abu Dhabi Media Company. It was launched with $1 billion to spend on developing, financing, and producing feature films in 2008.


6 Days
Logline: The true story of how, in April of 1980, armed gunmen stormed the Iranian Embassy in London and a tense hostage situation followed.
Production Company(s): Eyeworks New Zealand, XYZ Films
Director(s): Toa Fraser
Executive Producer(s): Gavin Poolman, Andrea Scarso, Ian Dawson, Norman Humphrey
Producer(s): Matt Metcalfe
Cast: Jamie Bell, Mark Strong, Abbie Cornish, Xavier Horan
Writer(s): Glenn Standring
SSN Insight: Mark Strong can next be seen in Sony’s Grimsby and the upcoming Ad Inexplorata. Jamie Bell was most recently seen in Fantastic Four.

Beauty and The Beast
Logline: In this live-action re-imagining of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast,” a young woman takes her father’s place as prisoner in a beast’s castle, only to fall in love with her beastly captor, who turns out to be a prince.
Studio/Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Mandeville Films/TV
Director(s): Bill Condon
Producer(s): David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman
Cast: Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson
Writer(s): Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Ahearne
Details: Re-imagining of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”.
SSN Insight: Bill Condon’s recent films include Mr. Holmes (now in theaters), The Fifth Estate, Twilight Breaking Dawn and Dreamgirls. In addition Disney is also in production on a live-action Jungle Book and developing a live-action Pinocchio and Dumbo.

The Free World
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.

DC Comics’ New NBC Sitcom, Big Change At Universal, Cobie Smulders Circles ‘Reacher 2′, Relativity Sale Postponed, ‘Toy Story 4′ Plot Details


On the Set For 8/14/15: Marlon Wayans Starts ‘Fifty Shades of Black’, Bill Condon Wraps Up ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and More

Among the other projects that are now up and running are Damien Chazelle’s followup to Whiplash and Elijah Bynum directing his own Black List script, while the hostage thriller 6 Days and the drama The Free World both complete principal photography. (SSN)

DC Comics Continues Its Foray Into TV, Sets Up a Show About Non-Heroes At NBC

The series will be DC Entertainment’s first foray into comedy, with a half-hour series focusing on the regular people that call the DCU home. A to Z creator Ben Queen will executive produce the series which is described as “a workplace comedy set at one of the worst insurance companies in America.” The show is about “the reality of working life for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains.” (CS)

Big Change At Universal: Co-President Of Production Steps Down To Join Forces With Joe Roth

Jeff Kirschenbaum is leaving his post as co-president of production to partner with Roth in Roth Kirschenbaum Films, a new producing shingle. This comes after Roth’s right hand man, Palak Patel, left to become an executive at Sony Pictures, and it ends long rumors that Kirsch, as he’s called, would be leaving after spending the past few years sharing the production president post with Peter Cramer. (DH)

The Rise Of Cobie Smulders — Movie Star Continues, as She Circles Female Lead In ‘Jack Reacher 2’

The Avengers co-star is in negotiations to star opposite Tom Cruise in the sequel to the 2012 adaptation of the Lee Child novel One Shot. The new film, said to be based on the 2013 novel Never Go Back, follows Reacher as he meets the new head of his old unit and the two try to solve a mystery together. Ed Zwick is directing the project, which will start shooting in New Orleans this fall. (SF)

Relativity Sale Postponed as a $2.5 Million Loan Is Approved

After a flurry of objections this week to the fast-tracked auction of bankrupt Relativity Media, the senior lenders controlling the company agreed to push the sale back two weeks, to October 1st, and to delay final arguments about the bid procedures until late August. Those moves in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan this morning meant that what could have been a contentious debate on the future of the entertainment company was postponed until August 25th. (VAR)

Two Years Ahead Of Its Release, We Know a Little Something About the Plot For ‘Toy Story 4’

Pixar release is set to arrive on June 16, 2017 – but more details have emerged about the film’s plot, straight from the mouth of director John Lasseter. “It’s something we’ve never done with Toy Story before. It’s a love story with Woody and – and this is news – Bo Peep.” Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, best known together as the writing duo behind the indie romance Celeste and Jesse Forever, were part of the initial brain trust behind the story. (EW)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Scandal Getting Movie Treatment from Warner Bros.

Project about the scandal involving the French economist is from the spec script titled The Libertine by Ben Kopit. The deal also includes a blind script component in which Kopit will write another script for the studio in the near future. Strauss-Kahn was the managing director of the International Monetary Fund until 2011 when he resigned following allegations he had assaulted a hotel maid. The case fell apart due to the questions surrounding the credibility of the maid. (THR)

Today In Reboot News: 20th Century Fox’s ‘League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ Re-Do Will Be Female-Centric

Producer John Davis said this while doing press at the TCAs, but the only complicated thing about that is that the original comic book centers on characters like Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man, and Allan Quartermain. Mina Murray, of Dracula fame, is the only central female character in the original story, though others do make appearances in later issues. No word on any kind of timeline for the new adaptation. (COL)

Web Publisher Refinery29 Launches New Influencer Network Called ‘Here and Now’

Company can now offer advertisers access to a hand-selected network of social media influencers across YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and other platforms. The collection of talent is something akin to a handcrafted multichannel network–though in this case, it’s not limited to YouTube talent. (WSJ)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Longmire’

Netflix has released the first teaser trailer from the upcoming fourth season of the hit western. After three seasons on A&E, the show was canceled by the cable net and picked up by the online streaming service, and will now debut its entire fourth season on September 10th. (YT)

‘Compton’ Opens Huge, Universal Sets Another BO Record, Disney Announces ‘Episode IX’ Helmer, Marc Webb Sets Up a Pair


‘Straight Outta Compton’ and Right To the Top Of the Box Office For N.W.A Biopic

F. Gary Gray’s docudrama continued Universal’s incredible year with a $56.1 million opening, the sixth-highest August opening ever. It towered over the competition, with Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation holding well in its third week at $17 million, and $138 million since opening. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. opened softly in third with $13.5 million, while Fantastic Four continued its rough road with just $8 mil. The Gift scored $6.5 million for fifth. (BO)

A Couple Weeks After It Set a New Global Record, Universal Just Broke Another Domestic One

With Straight Outta Compton winning the weekend with over $50 million at the box office, Universal crossed the $2 billion mark at the North American box office on Saturday, the fastest time that any studio has ever reached that figure. That overtakes the speed record previously held by Warner Bros., which reached $2 billion on Dec. 25th, 2009, and is poised to cross the all-time domestic record — also set by Warner in 2009 when it reached $2.1 billion. (THR)

Disney Confirms What Pretty Much Everyone Already Knew: Colin Trevorrow To Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

A report first surfaced in July, and this weekend it was confirmed that the Jurassic World director would helm the third film in the latest trilogy. The first film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will open December 18th, while Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII will hit theaters in 2017, and Trevorrow’s film is scheduled for a 2019 release. (COL)

No ‘Spider-Man’? No Problem For Marc Webb, Who Sets Up His Next Two Films

The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2 helmer has locked as his next film Gifted at Fox Searchlight. The Tom Flynn-scripted drama focuses on a man who sues for custody of his gifted niece. While that film will come first, with production to begin in the fall, there is also movement on The Only Living Boy In New York, the Allan Loeb-scripted film. (DH)

Pixar Announces a Jack and the Beanstalk Movie, To Be Called ‘Gigantic’

Disney announced on Saturday at the studio’s D23 expo that they’re hoping to make the definitive version of the story with the forthcoming film, an animated take helmed by Tangled‘s Nathan Greno, with Frozen song-writing duo Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez also on board the project. (VUL)

ABC Studios Is Finally Moving Forward With Its Long In Development ‘Flamingo Kid’ Series

Shingle is in the very early stages of developing a half-hour comedy adaptation of Garry Marshall’s 1984 film, which starred Matt Dillon as a working-class kid who takes a summer job at a tony beach resort to be close to the girl of his dreams. ABC is currently on the hunt for a writer to spearhead the project. (TVL)

Today In Reboot News: NBC Is Looking At an ‘Alf’ Return, Provided Its ‘Coach’ Re-Do Succeeds

NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt shared the news at the TCA press tour Friday, after discussing what was behind the Craig T. Nelson reboot. During his conversation about the show, he told the audience that the new version of Coach is a father-son story, and then announced, “And if that works, then ALF: The Series is next.” (UR)

NBC Is Also Developing a Series Based On the Hit Movie ‘Red’

Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, who wrote the screenplays for the films, will executive produce the series along with Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian. Based on the comic book by Warren Ellis and Cully Hammer, the Wildstorm mini-series was adapted into the 2010 film starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, and Mary-Louise Parker. It grossed just under $200 million at the global box office, and was followed by a 2013 sequel. (CS)

First Look: ‘Star Wars — Rogue One’

Disney and Lucasfilm have released the first image from Gareth Edwards’ standalone film, a story that takes place prior to the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and follows a band of rebels out to steal plans for the Imperial Death Star. Castmembers include Oscar-nominated Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk and Riz Ahmed. It opens December 16th, 2016. (HV)

Screenwriters: Write, Direct, Repear — Write a Compelling Short Film Script

For the most part, good writing is good writing, and the skills you’re developing to write feature scripts will also apply when you write shorts: a three-act structure (but for shorts, simply think setup, conflict, and resolution); a universal theme; a clear dilemma and stakes; and an active protagonist. But there are challenges specific to writing a great short film that can be overcome by understanding what makes shorts — and the audience for shorts — unique. (SM)

Exec Shuffle for 8/17/15: Alphabet Takes Google Under its Umbrella, Shifts at Weinstein, Discovery Makes Major Realignment


Company Launches & Partnerships

Jeff Kirschenbaum has partnered with Joe Roth to form Roth Kirschenbaum Films, a new production company. He was previously the Co-President of Production at Universal where he was at the studio for 15 years.

Google is now under the over-arching company Alphabet in a major reconstruction. As part of the shift, Google Co-Founder Larry Page will be Alphabet’s new CEO, and Sundar Pichai (formerly the SVP of Products for Google) will be the new CEO of Google. Co-Founder of Google, Sergrey Brin has been named the President of Alphabet. Eric Schmidt will be the Executive Chairman of Alphabet. In a letter from Brin, he explained, “Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products contained in Alphabet instead.”


Ryan Brasno is the new SVP of Creative Advertising/Marketing, The Weinstein Company. He was previously the VP of Marketing at The Weinstein Company. Francois Martin has been named the President of Strategic Global Marketing, The Weinstein Company. Francois was upped from EVP of Marketing Operations & TV Sales.

Co-Presidents Jason Janego and Tom Quinn have left Radius-TWC to form a new, as yet untitled company.

James F. Lopez has been named the Head of Motion Pictures at Will Packer Productions. He was previously the SVP of Production at Screen Gems.

Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman’s Brownstone Productions have tapped Alison Small and Renate Radford as SVPs of Film and Television, respectively. Small will head Brownstone’s film unit, which is based at Universal, where Brownstone has a first-look film production deal. Small previously was VP Production at Paramount Pictures and Paramount Insurge. Radford was formerly at Jason Winer’s Small Dog Picture Company at Fox, where she served as Head of Development.

Palak Patel is now the EVP of Production at Columbia Pictures. Palak was previously the President of Production at Roth Films.

Shelly Strong has been upped from SVP to EVP of Physical Production, DreamWorks Studios.


In a major strategic realignment, Discovery Channel chief Rich Ross was just named Group President for channels that will also include Animal Planet and Science Channel. Rita Mullin will still head the Science Channel, but report to Ross, as will Animal Planet GM Rick Holzman. TLC General Manager Nancy Daniels will also run Discovery Life Channel. Howard Lee will be General Manager of Discovery Life, reporting to Daniels. Henry Schleiff will continue to be a Group President and lead Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America. Discovery Life Channel GM Jane Latman is now the GM of AHC and the SVP Development for ID. Velocity’s Bob Scanlon is now GM of Velocity and Automotive Content. Carolina Lightcap, the head of content for Discovery Latin America and U.S. Hispanic Group, will now lead global family brands and kids content.

Stephanie Swedlove is now the Director of TV at Miramax, upped from a Creative Executive of TV.

Becca Tesarfreund has been upped from Manager to Director of Development at Scripted TV at Entertainment One TV.

Denielle Webb is now the VP of Public Relations and Marketing at SundanceTV. She was previously a Marketing and PR Consultant for AMC.

Global Television and Event production company Done + Dusted has promoted partner, Melanie Fletcher, to Chief Operating Officer. As part of her new position, Fletcher will relocate from the Done and Dusted Group UK hub to its US headquarters in Los Angeles. Fletcher’s new role will include facilitating growth and strategy initiatives, managing all internal and external communications, providing international oversight of productions and developing the new branded content arm, Blue Revolver.

George Chen is now the VP of Strategy & Business Development, ABC Family. He was previously the Director of Business Development. Karissa Zigarovich is now the Director of Consumer Insights at ABC Family. She was formerly the Director of Marketing & Programming Insights at MTV.

Margaret M. Dean is now the General Manager of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. She was previously the Director of Production at Playground Productions.

Ethan Goldman has been promoted from EVP of Development to Partner and Head of Development at Warrior Poets.

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has upped Jill Dickerson from VP to SVP programming and development. In her new post she will continue to collaborate with producers in the development of nonfiction programming for OWN, as well as supervise editorial management of outside production.

Dave Hamilton is the new EVP of Development at Cineflix Media. He was formerly the SVP of Leopard USA.

Greg Lipstone is now the CEO of All3Media America. He was the Founding Partner and Head of International Television & Media, ICM Partners.

Brenda Lowry is now the VP, Network Program Publicity, Crown Media Family Networks. She was formerly the Director of Communications at SyFy.

Tom Rogan is exiting Authentic Entertainment after 15 years, the reality/documentary production company he co-founded with Lauren Lexton. Lexton has renewed her contract and will remain as CEO.

JP Bommel is now the Managing Director and COO of NATPE//Content First. JP was previously the VP of Business Development, Entertainment at Reed Midem.

Tony Optican is now the Head of Programming at Media General. He was formerly the SVP and Head of Scripted Programming at FremantleMedia North America.

Patrick Reardon has been upped from SVP to EVP of TV at The Weinstein Company.

Lauren Ruggiero is now the Sr. Director of Scripted Development at Spike TV. Lauren was formerly a Production Executive at Elice Island Entertainment.

Jeffrey Schneider is now the EVP of Business & Legal Affairs, National Geographic Channels. He was previously the EVP of Business Affairs and General Counsel, Shine America.

Kay Wilson Stallings has shifted from SVP at Nickelodeon to SVP of Content Development, Sesame Workshop.

Management, PR, Agencies

With the news that Jeff Kwatinetz has brought back the management and production company, The Firm there have been some personnel announcements. Josh Barry will be a Partner of The Firm and Prospect Park. Angelica Cob-Baehler will shift over to The Firm as an Artists Manager. Jeremy Summers is now the General Manager of The Firm.

Kevin McLean is now the Director of Touchwood PR. He was previously the President of District PR. Kara MacLean is now a manager at Touchwood. She was previously a freelance publicist.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Georg Ramme will now be the global managing director for MCN Endemol Beyond and responsible for worldwide strategy, overseeing the growth of the network’s business as a global producer and distributor of digital video and branded content. He will also continue in his role as managing director of Endemol’s German digital hub.

MultiView appointed Yariv Drori as the new VP of Programmatic Advertising Operations. Drori was formerly the VP of Global Services at Adap.tv, which was recently acquired by One by AOL.

Entertainment market research firm Screen Engine/ASI opened two new divisions at the company with new hires. David Gross joined as SVP, overseeing the International Division, and Mark Orne will lead the Digital Entertainment Division as SVP.

The Atlantic has made a pair of additions, naming Ross Andersen senior editor and Catherine Green senior associate editor. Andersen joins from Aeon Magazine, Green from Voice of San Diego.

Beth Braen, SVP of marketing at NATPE, is leaving the organization to start a strategic marketing and communications consultancy.

Yahoo Media has named Martha Nelson as their EIC. Most recently, Nelson was the first female editor-in-chief of Time Inc., where she oversaw the editorial content for the media company’s 21 brands.

Communications planning and media services agency Crossmedia has tapped David Heimlich as Executive Director. Previously he spent four years at Horizon Media, where he most recently was VP, Managing Director.

Melody Hammer is the new VP of Lifestyle, Collective Digital Studio. She was previously the CCO of Seventeen Magazine’s YouTube Channel.

Ken Parks is now the Executive Chairman, Pluto TV. He was previously the CCO of Spotify.

Julie Rapaport is now the Development & Production Executive, Amazon Original Movies. She was previously the SVP of Production & Development, The Weinstein Company.

Univision Communications has tapped Laraine (Rainey) Mancini as SVP, Finance – Head of Investor Relations. Mancini was previously Vice President, Corporate Strategy + Business Development and Vice President, Investor Relations at Time Warner Cable.

SSN Emmy Coverage, D23 Live-Action and Animation Roundups, New ‘Scooby-Doo’ Flick On Its Way, Exec Shuffle For 8/17/15



Drama/Comedy Series

Emmy MVPs: Past Batting Averages For TV’s Nominated Series

Some come up to plate every year, others are awards-show rookies. With Modern Family a perfect 5 of 5 for comedy series, Mad Men coming off a four-year losing streak and The Daily Show signing off with a current 20-for-56 record, maybe there is something to waging bets on the Sept. 20th Primetime Emmy Awards based on winning streaks. (HTV)

‘Game of Thrones’ Will Win Best Drama Emmy According To Editors and Users … but Not Experts

The HBO drama will break new ground for fantasy at the awards by winning Best Drama Series … depending on whom you ask. It’s the strong favorite to win according to Gold Derby editors, and users – but not according to the experts, who are strongly favoring Mad Men to win a record-breaking fifth title. Why the disconnect? (GD)


All the News in One Place: D23 Live-Action Film Presentation Wrap-Up

Day two of Disney’s biennial D23 convention celebrating all things Disney which now include Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar that form a powerhouse of a film studio started off with a bang during the “Worlds, Galaxies, And Universes: Live Action At The Walt Disney Studios” film panel. As with the animation panel, which you can read about below, this panel kicked off with a sizzle reel followed by an introduction by Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. (SSN)

All the News in One Place: D23 Animation Film Presentation Wrap-Up

Since 2009, Disney has thrown their own convention every two years entitled D23. This marks the fourth time the convention was held at the Anaheim Convention Center, a stone’s toss away from Disneyland. The convention has grown from just taking up half the convention space the first year to taking up almost all of it this year with thousands of attendees and lines around the convention center to get into their animation and live-action panels. (SSN)

Exec Shuffle for 8/17/15: Alphabet Takes Google Under its Umbrella, Shifts at Weinstein, Discovery Makes Major Realignment

The usual batch of launches, partnerships, film company moves, TV production, and other hirings, firings, comings and goings this week in Hollywoodland. Click the link for more. (SSN)

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? On the Way To Theaters, According To Warner Animation

After more than a dozen years, Warner Bros. is bringing Scooby and his quirky crew of crime-busting kids to theatres, this time as an animated feature. Tony Cervone, an Emmy-nominated animation vet who already has Scooby experience having directed several straight-to-own movies in the lucrative franchise, is helming the movie, which Warners has already slated for September 21st, 2018. (HV)

Showtime Adapting Mat Johnson’s Novel ‘Loving Day’ As Comedy About Racial Identity

In a competitive situation, the cable net has acquired the rights to the recently published semi-autobiographical novel as a potential comedy series. Talks are underway with high-end writers to collaborate with the author on penning the adaptation. (DH)

Patrick Stewart Is Not Quite Done Playing Professor X, Will Appear In Third ‘Wolverine’ Film

The legendary actor has confirmed that his X-Men character Charles Xavier does have a role to play in the upcoming film. Stewart confirmed it in an interview promoting his upcoming TV show Blunt Talk, saying that his role — which he shares with James MacAvoy — will be more than just a simple appearance. The film is scheduled to hit theaters March 2nd, 2017 and will once again star Hugh Jackman in the title role. James Mangold is directing. (NR)

Orlando Bloom Is Returning To the Land Of ‘Pirates’, Will Be On Board For ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’

The actor, who starred in the first three films of the series but did not return for the fourth outing, Pirates Of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, announced at D23 over the weekend that he will be joining star Johnny Depp in the upcoming fifth outing. Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario, Brenton Thwaites, and Golshifteh Farahani, with Geoffrey Rush, Kevin R. McNally, and Stephen Graham reprising their roles in the franchise. It’s scheduled for a July 7, 2017 release. (COL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Carol’

The Weinstein Company has released the first trailer for Todd Haynes’ new film, which stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, as well as Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy and Cory Michael Smith. It will get a limited release on November 18th. (TP)

Studios Pull Injunction Demand In MovieTube Suit, Toronto Fest Adds Star Power, Bruckheimer Drama Lands At TNT, NBCU Buys Into BuzzFeed


Movie Studios Pull Injunction Demand in MovieTube Lawsuit

In the face of objections raised by prominent tech companies, the Motion Picture Association of America is declaring that it has already accomplished its primary mission in its lawsuit against the anonymous operators of various MovieTube websites. Paramount, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Universal and Disney brought copyright and trademark claims against John and Jane Does as well as XYZ Corporations on July 24th. (THRE)

Toronto Adds Some Star Power, Puts New Sandra Bullock and Robert Redford Films On the Program

David Gordon Green’s Our Brand Is Crisis, starring Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton; James Vanderbilt’s CBS scandal film Truth, starring Cate Blanchett and Redford; and Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke’s Miss You Already, starring Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette, will world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Natalie Portman’s A Tale of Love and Darkness will receive its North American premiere following its debut at Cannes. (VAR)

Jerry Bruckheimer’s New Show Misses Out At Fox, Gets Picked Up By TNT

Kevin Reilly is bringing one of his former Fox dramas home. The TNT and TBS president has handed out a pilot pickup to drama Home. From exec producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Home is described as a dramatic thriller that delves into the secrets lingering behind the facade of a seemingly idyllic suburban family. The drama, from writer Aron Eli Coleite, was previously developed by Reilly during his “no pilots” period at Fox. (TLF)

NBCU Invests $200M In BuzzFeed, Continuing Its Digital Expansion Effort

This is the company’s second major digital media investment this month, following last week’s purchase of a $200 million equity stake in Vox Media. The Comcast-owned entertainment company’s $200 million stake in Buzzfeed gives it entree into one of the Internet’s most popular, and often controversial, news sites. (DH)

‘Annabelle’ Director John Leonetti Has His Next Film Lined Up, and It’s a Comic Adaptation

The latest graphic novel to be picked up for an adaptation into a movie is Boom! Studios’ Tag, created and written by Keith Giffen and drawn by Kody Chamberlain and Chee, with Leonetti attached to helm from a screenplay by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski. Story is about a man “tagged” by a random stranger, who then discovers his body is decomposing, forcing him to figure out the origins of the curse and decide whether to pass it onto someone else. (CS)

Summit Gets Starry Eyes For Horror Filmmakers, Sets Them Up For ‘Exorcism Diaries’

Mini-studio has been developing the film for a couple years, originally recruiting Barbara Marshall to write back in 2013, with other writers tackling it in the meantime. The film was originally said to be based on a book that purports to chronicle the true stories behind the film The Exorcist. Now Exorcism Diaries the two people who made Starry Eyes, Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, have been brought on to rewrite and direct. (SF)

Universal Brings In ‘Ben and Kate’ Creator To Write a New Romantic Comedy

Dana Fox will pen Best Thing That Ever Happened for the studio and producer Marc Platt. The plot centers around a woman who works as a sort of ‘break-up artist’, professionally helping other women move past their failed relationships. But when she goes through a terrible break-up of her own, the therapist becomes her own worst client. (TB)

Increasing Your Workflow: Five Ways Weekends Can Boost Your Productivity Monday Through Friday

A long, stress-filled workweek can drain all your energy and leave you exhausted by Friday afternoon. Then on Monday morning, you know you have to start the whole cycle all over again. You need rest, relaxation and rejuvenation to be refreshed and ready to work. Weekends are an ideal time to recharge your depleted energy reserves by reconnecting with the power sources that fuel your mind, body and spirit. (EC)

Looking Forward To New TV Next Month? Here Are the 10 Most Anticipated Shows

We have officially hit the summer dead zone. There’s not much going on in the world of television right now. That will all change in September, when the fall season returns, late-night television gets a couple of new faces, and we get to sample a lot of new series, many of which will probably fail by December. What do we have to look forward to the most, beyond Fear the Walking Dead, which premieres this Sunday? Read on. (UR)

Online Film School: Five Filmmaking Tips From the Five ‘Mission: Impossible’ Directors

Key to the variation component of this franchise’s formula is the fact that each film has been helmed by a different director, with each helmer offering certain sensibilities while also making good on whatever they and star/producer Tom Cruise agree a Mission: Impossible film to be. Together, these films have constructed a fascinating case for examining the end results of a repetition-and-difference formula, where a star actor-producer is the series’ architect. (FSR)

TV Development for 8/18/15: Training Day, The Notebook, Friday the 13th and Red All Being Planned for TV


Blood Will Out
Network: TNT
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): TriStar Television, Vendetta Productions
Executive Producer(s): Sheldon Turner, Jennifer Klein
Writer(s): Walter Kirn, Sheldon Turner
Logline: Chronicles the 10-year friendship between Walter Kirn and German con artist Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who went by the name Clark Rockefeller. He became a fixture in Boston high society for more than a decade after he claimed to be an heir to the famous dynasty. Gerhartsreiter’s true identity was only discovered after he kidnapped his daughter in a bitter custody battle.
Details: Based on the book, “Blood Will Out: The True Story Of A Murder, A Mystery, And A Masquerade,” written by Walter Kirn and published by Liveright on March 10, 2014.
SSN Insight: Planned as a limited series. TNT ordered eight episodes on August 14.

Bumbleberry Lane
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Executive Producer(s): Gary Janetti
Logline: The show is set behind the scenes of a racially diverse, politically correct public television children’s puppet program where everyone and everything is incredibly, politically incorrect. This group of misfits tries to prevent their messy personal lives from spilling over into their jobs, sometimes resulting in puppets behaving badly.
SSN Insight: NBC gave an initial commitment of a put pilot on August 14. In addition to co-creating British comedy Vicious Janetti worked on Will & Grace and Family Guy.

Network: CW Television Network
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Writer(s): Bryan Elsley
Logline: Each episode focuses on a first date between two people who meet through an online dating service. The series explores the issues, intricacies, romance, and danger of modern relationships and the thrills, calamities, lies, and truths of first dates.
Details: Based on the half-hour British series, “Dates,” which aired on Channel 4 in the UK from June-July, 2013. The original half-hour British series was acquired by the CW and aired in July-August, 2015.
SSN Insight: Elsley is also in development on a yet untitled series for DNA TV Unlimited.

Network: WGN
Studio: Endemol Studios
Production Company(s): Assembly Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Ian MacDonald, Vincent Kartheiser, Neil LaBute, Christina Wayne, Bradley Walsh
Writer(s): Ian MacDonald
Logline: A man who has lost everything important to him decides to partner with the head of a somewhat-fraudulent collection agency and get back at the rich who steal from the poor.
SSN Insight: WGN gave an initial commitment with a penalty on August 14 and is planning it as a straight-to-series project.

Friday the 13th
Network: CW Television Network
Production Company(s): Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Crystal Lake Entertainment, Atmosphere Entertainment MM LLC
Executive Producer(s): Sean Cunningham, Randall Emmett, George Furla, Mark Canton, Steve Mitchell
Writer(s): Steve Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
Logline: A contemporary series focusing on the eclectic characters of Crystal Lake who are forced to confront the return of the killer, as new secrets about his wacky family are revealed.
Details: Based on the film “Friday the 13th,” (1980, USA), directed by Sean S Cunningham.
SSN Insight: Bill Basso and Jordu Schell were previously attached as writers when the project was in development in 2014.

Network: Syfy
Studio: Universal Cable Productions
Production Company(s): De Laurentiis Company, Entertainment One
Executive Producer(s): Josh Pate, David Eick, Martha De Laurentiis, Michael Rosenberg, Lorenzo De Maio
Writer(s): Josh Pate, David Eick
Logline: Humanity discovers an asteroid teeming with the long abandoned spaceships of an advanced alien race — the Heechee – setting in motion a gold rush for alien artifacts and technology. The ships are preprogrammed, transporting their voyagers to distant worlds of riches — or certain death. Undaunted by the peril or the odds, prospector Robinette Broadhead gambles everything on a journey to Gateway. After one nightmare mission, he returns to extraordinary wealth and luxury, but is haunted by the loss of his crewmates, including the love of his life.
Details: Based on the novel “Gateway,” written by Frederik Pohl and published by St. Martin’s Press in 1977.
SSN Insight: David Eick is currently the showrunner on Falling Skies and executive produced Battlestar Gallatica.

Network: Spike TV
Studio: Warner Horizon Television
Production Company(s): Jerry Bruckheimer Television
Executive Producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman
Writer(s): Matt Morgan, Ian Sobel
Logline: Centers on a dedicated father, working two jobs to support his teenage daughter and give her the life he never had. By day, he’s a cemetery caretaker, by night he attends nursing school. However, when his own estranged father tracks him down and threatens to expose a terrible secret he is compelled to partner with him in a black-market tissue and body parts trade.
SSN Insight: Project was originally set up at A&E in 2013. Spike TV gave it a straight to series order of ten episodes.

Network: TNT
Studio: Warner Horizon Television
Production Company(s): Jerry Bruckheimer Television
Executive Producer(s): Aron Eli Coleite, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Brad Anderson
Writer(s): Aron Eli Coleite
Logline: Rose Altman couldn’t be happier: An accomplished designer with a successful business, the newly pregnant Rose is thriving in a wonderful life with her husband, Joe, a highly regarded prison psychologist, and enjoying being a stepmother to his two sons. But her image of her perfect family is shattered when she discovers long-buried secrets that threaten to destroy the very foundation of her life.
SSN Insight: TNT gave a put pilot order. TNT has also ordered extra scripts and a bible to gear towards a series pick up. Project was previously in development at Fox and Warner Brothers Television.

I’m Dying Up Here
Network: Showtime
Studio: Endemol Studios
Production Company(s): Some Kind of Garden, Assembly Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): David Flebotte, Jim Carrey, Michael Aguilar, Christina Wayne
Writer(s): David Flebotte, Jim Carrey
Logline: The story takes place at the famous Hollywood comedy clubs of the 1970s and delves into the inspired and damaged psyches that inhabit the complex business of making an audience laugh. Based on the book.
Details: Based on the book, “I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy’s Golden Era,” written by William Knoedelseder and published by Public Affairs in 2009.
SSN Insight: Showtime ordered a pilot on August 11.

Imaginary Friends
Network: NBC Entertainment
Writer(s): Kassia Miller
Logline: An intelligent yet unmotivated woman discovers a special and unexpected way of dealing with her mediocre life.
SSN Insight: Project originated as a winner of NBC’s grassroots comedy initiative, NBC Playground. Ordered to pilot.

Just Kids
Network: Showtime
Production Company(s): Desert Wolf Productions
Executive Producer(s): Patti Smith, John Logan
Writer(s): Patti Smith, John Logan
Logline: The story chronicles singer Patti Smith’s early, heady days in New York with lover-turned-friend Robert Mapplethorpe, the controversial photographer. It delves into Smith and Mapplethorpe’s carousing with the Andy Warhol crowd, and their encounters with rock luminaries like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
Details: Based on the memoir, “Just Kids, ” written by Patti Smith and published by Ecco on January 19, 2010.
SSN Insight: Planned as a limited series by Showtime on August 11.

Network: TV Land
Production Company(s): Dakota Pictures, 3 Arts Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): George Lopez, John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky, Michael Rotenberg, Troy Miller
Writer(s): John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky
Logline: America’s most successful Hispanic American comedian George Lopez playing himself explores how he struggles between his two worlds and crises often of his own making. Too rich to go back to his working class, Latino roots, and too “brown” to feel comfortable in his affluent celebrity life, being George Lopez comes with many problems.
Details: Based on the life of comedian George Lopez. A pilot presentation was shot in March, 2015.
SSN Insight: TV Land gave a straight to series order of 12 episodes on August 11.

Luna: New Moon
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Production Company(s): Shane Brennan Productions
Executive Producer(s): Shane Brennan, Grant Anderson, Ian McDonald
Writer(s): Shane Brennan
Logline: In the year 2110 on, the Moon is controlled by five powerful, highly competitive, dynastic corporate families (known as The Five Dragons) who run their various business enterprises with an iron fist in a near feudal society. In the twilight of her life, Adriana Corta finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her many enemies and each other. Based on the novel.
Details: Based on the first novel, “Luna: New Moon,” written by Ian McDonald and to be published by Tor Books on September 22, 2015.
SSN Insight: Brennan is under an overall deal at CBS.

Untitled Tina Fey Robert Carlock Tracey Wigfield Comedy Project
Network: NBC Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Tina Fey, Robert Carlock
Writer(s): Tracey Wigfield
Logline: The show is a workplace comedy.
SSN Insight: NBC ordered the pilot on August 13.

Network: Comedy Central
Production Company(s): Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Echo Kellum, Marc Provissiero, Brooke Pobjoy, Brian Schacter
Writer(s): Brian Schacter
Logline: Follows the misadventures of a diverse group of friends in their mid-twenties, as they navigate the fast-moving technological and cultural changes that make life as a young-ish person such a confusing and hilarious nightmare.
SSN Insight: Comedy Central gave an initial commitment of a script and has now ordered the pilot as of August 13.

Untitled Will Smith/ Fresh Prince Reboot Comedy Project
Production Company(s): Overbrook Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Will Smith, James Lassiter, Caleeb Pinkett, Jada Pinkett Smith
Logline: The series is a new spin on the fish-out-of-water tale about a young man from a rough Philadelphia neighborhood who moves in with his wealthy relatives in Bel Air, California, and must learn to adjust to his new surroundings.
Details: Project is based on the series, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” which starred Will Smith and aired on NBC from 1990-1996.
SSN Insight: In the very early stages of development

Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): DC Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Ben Queen
Writer(s): Ben Queen
Logline: Set at one of the worst insurance companies in America, the show is about the reality of working life for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains. The series follows ordinary, “power-less” folk working at the insurance company who often envy the man and women outside their window who make headlines with their supernatural powers.
Details: Based on characters from DC Comics.
SSN Insight: NBC gave a pilot order on August 14.

Quest For Truth: Dunkleman
Network: E!
Studio: Universal Cable Productions
Production Company(s): Siren Create
Executive Producer(s): James Roday
Writer(s): James Roday, Ben McMillan
Logline: Brian Dunkleman, the man who made a billion dollar mistake, quitting his job as co-host of “American Idol” after its first season, may now be a serial killer.
SSN Insight: Roday will direct and executive produce the show with Siren Create. Additionally, Roday will star in Tom E Brown’s indie film Pushing Dead with Danny Glover.

Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Lionsgate
Production Company(s): Di Bonaventura Pictures Television
Executive Producer(s): Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian
Writer(s): Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Logline: A group of REDs (Retired Extremely Dangerous CIA operatives) struggle to survive civilian life as they simultaneously fight for and against the very organization that threw them out. Based on the film and the comic book.
Details: Based on the film, “Red,” (2010), directed by Robert Schwentke and starring Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman. The film and its sequel were based on the comic book “Red” created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner and published by WildStorm/DC Comics.
SSN Insight: The 2010 movie was hit and grossed $200 million worldwide earning a 2013 sequel.

Sesame Street
Network: HBO
Logline: The program features live action, animation, puppets, sketches, and songs designed to help children solve problems, reinforce their reading skills, and assist them in learning the alphabet and counting from one to ten.
SSN Insight: In a deal between Time Warner’s premium cable network and Sesame Workshop, the next five seasons of Sesame Street will be distributed on HBO and HBO GO, HBO On Demand and HBO NOW. After a nine-month window, the show will be available free of charge to PBS and its member stations.

Untitled Lena Waithe Common Drama Project
Network: Showtime
Studio: Fox 21 Television Studios
Production Company(s): Kapital Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Aaron Kaplan, Common, Clark Johnson, Lena Waithe
Writer(s): Lena Waithe
Logline: The South Side of a certain Midwestern megalopolis is nicknamed “Chiraq,” because geographically it’s in Chicago, but the violence level is straight out of Baghdad. The show follows a half dozen interrelated lives, all linked by two things: the same skin color and the same omnipresent threat of deadly violence.
SSN Insight: Showtime ordered a pilot.

Sunset PPL
Network: NBC Entertainment
Writer(s): Aaron Colom, Adriano Valentini
Logline: A group of millennial friends struggle with their own made-up rules for personal and professional success.
SSN Insight: Project originated as a winner of NBC’s grassroots comedy initiative, NBC Playground. Ordered to pilot.

The Good Place
Network: NBC Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Michael Schur, David Minor
Logline: A woman wrestles with what it means to be good.
SSN Insight: NBC gave a straight to series 13-episode order on August 13.

The Notebook
Network: CW Television Network
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): Nicholas Sparks Productions
Executive Producer(s): Nicholas Sparks, Theresa Park, Todd Graff
Writer(s): Todd Graff
Logline: This series will follow the romantic journey of Noah and Allie, at the outset of their blossoming relationship as they build their lives and their future together against the backdrop of the racial politics, economic inequities, and social mores of post-World War II of the late 1940s in North Carolina.
Details: Based on the novel, “The Notebook,” written by Nicholas Sparks and published by Warner Books on October 16, 1996. The book was also made into the film, “The Notebook,” (2004), directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.
SSN Insight: The 2004 film grossed $115 million worldwide.

Training Day
Network: CBS Entertainment
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): Fuqua Films, Jerry Bruckheimer Television
Executive Producer(s): Antoine Fuqua, Will Beall, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman
Writer(s): Will Beall
Logline: Set in present day, the story focuses on the relationship between two LAPD officers, one a rookie and the other a corrupt, older cop. Based on the film.
Details: Based on the film, “Training Day,” (2001), directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke.
SSN Insight: CBS ordered the pilot on August 13.

Untitled Peter Berg Hour-long Drama
Network: Fox
Studio: 20th Century Fox TV
Production Company(s): Film 44
Executive Producer(s): Peter Berg, Elwood Reid
Logline: Follows the woman with the most lethal mind in America, a brilliant and ruthless military professor who is recruited by a former student to help a covert branch of the CIA deal with high-priority targets.
SSN Insight: Has received a script commitment with a significant penalty. Reid has an overall deal at 20th TV.

Emmys 2015: Drama Actor/Actress, Ferguson Jumps On the ‘Train’, Linney Joins ‘Sully’, Hathaway’s Limited Series, TV Dev. For 8/18/15



Best Actor/Actress In a Drama Series

With Bryan Cranston Gone, Veterans Square Off Against Newbies In a Big Category

In the lead actor drama category, five of the six nominees have never won for their roles. So a long-time nominee like Jon Hamm of AMC’s Mad Men could face off for the win against a newcomer like Bob Odenkirk of the cabler’s Better Call Saul. (VTV)

Tatiana Maslany Finally Earned Herself a Long Overdue Emmy Nom, and Everyone Is Thrilled

It’s an Emmy nomination that fans have long wanted to see: Maslany received a nod in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama series category for her work as multiple characters on Orphan Black. The nomination is her first. When it was announced, the internet went bananas. (EW)


TV Development For 8/18/15: ‘Training Day’, ‘The Notebook’, ‘Friday the 13th’ and ‘Red’ All Being Planned For TV

Lots of new projects announced for the small screen, including a new project from Oscar nominated writer Sheldon Turner, a romantic comedy based on a British romantic comedy, a partnership between WGN and Endemol Studios, and a couple shows from uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Click on the link to get all the info. (SSN)


It Looks Like Rebecca Ferguson Is Going To Join Emily Blunt In ‘The Girl On the Train’

Hot off playing the female lead in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the actress is negotiating to star in the Tate Taylor-directed adaptation of the Paula Hawkins novel. Ferguson will play the role of Anna. Blunt will play a recent divorcee who spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day. One morning, she sees something shocking happen and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds. (DH)

Clint Eastwood Continues To Assemble Insane Talent For His Sully Sullenberger Film

Laura Linney, who worked with the legendary actor-director on the 1997 film Absolute Power, joins Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart in Sully. The biopic is based on the pilot’s memoir, called Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters. Linney is aboard Lorraine Sullenberger, Chesley’s wife, who he credits as a big part of his life, but who keeps him grounded. Hanks is playing the title role. (EMP)

Anne Hathaway Becomes the Latest Star Headed For TV, Will Star in ‘The Ambassador’s Wife’ Limited Series

Oscar winner will also produce the TV adaptation of Jennifer Steil’s novel of the same name, with MGC financing and producing the project after optioning the book rights. Inspired by her experiences as the wife of the British ambassador to Yemen, Steil’s novel portrays the kidnapping of an American woman in the Middle East and the heartbreaking choices she and her husband must make to possibly be reunited. (THR)

Shonda Rhimes’ Upcoming ABC Show Needs a New Set Of Showrunners

The creator and co-showrunners of The Catchare exiting the show amid creative differences with ABC and Shondaland on the direction of the midseason drama. Jennifer Schuur, who created the show, and Josh Reims, who was to serve as exec producer and co-showrunner alongside Schuur, have exited the ABC Studios midseason drama. Sources said the change came after a significant disagreement with Schuur and Reims about the show’s direction. (VAR)

Today In Reboot News: There’s Going To Be a New ‘Zorro’, but With a Post-Apocalyptic Twist

Zorro Reborn has found new life with a partnership between Lantica Media and Sobini Films. Lantica, the media company led by CEO Antonio Gennari that works in production and financing as well as studio space, will finance the movie with a plan to begin principal photography March 2016 in Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios. Veteran producer and Sobini CEO Mark Amin, whose credits include Good Kill and Frida, will produce the film. (HV)

The Rise Of John Boyega Continues, as the ‘Force Awakens’ Star Signs On For ‘The Circle’

The actor will join Tom Hanks and Emma Watson in the The Circle, a satire about the erosion of privacy in the information age, written and directed by James Ponsoldt, based on the Dave Eggers novel. Boyega will play Ty, “the iconized boy-wonder visionary of the Circle,” with the Circle being a bit like a hyper-accelerated mash-up of Google and Apple. (SF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Victor Frankenstein’

Twentieth Century Fox has debuted the first trailer for its upcoming thriller, a retelling of the classic tale. Starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, and directed by Paul McGuigan, the film hits theaters November 25th. (CS)

Warner’s Carl Sagan Biopic, Martin Short Joining Maya Rudolph’s Variety Show, Cleopatra TV Series In the Offing, Amy Schumer’s New Director


Get Ready For a Carl Sagan Biopic, Thanks To the Folks At Warner Bros.

The legendary astrophysicist will be remembered in the upcoming biographical drama Sagan, with Courtney Valenti and Cate Adams producing for Warner, while Lynda Obst and Rachel Abarbanell overseeing for their shingle, Lynda Obst Productions. Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow, will also serve as a producer on the film. Deadfall scribe Zach Dean is scripting. (TB)

Maya Rudolph’s NBC Variety Show Set to Add Martin Short as Co-Headliner

In May 2014, Rudolph hosted an hourlong NBC special — titled The Maya Rudolph Show — that served as a warm-up for a possible weekly series. The project remained in development at NBC (with Rudolph’s former SNL boss Lorne Michaels producing). Earlier this summer came reports that the network was eyeing the show as a possible companion to Neil Patrick Harris‘ upcoming variety-ish series Best Time Ever. The show is tentatively titled Maya & Marty. (TVL)

With No Success Getting a Cleopatra Film Going, Now There’s Going To Be a TV Series About Her

Slingshot Global Media is working with “Elizabeth” director Shekhar Kapur to develop Cleopatra, a series that will offer a new take on the Egyptian royal. Kapur will write and direct the series. “Cleopatra is probably the most famous and the least known/understood figure in all of time,” he said.  “Her life will reflect a modern-day parable of our lives today.” Casting is underway. (WAH)

Director Jonathan Levine Circles Amy Schumer Mother-Daughter Comedy At Fox

The Warm Bodies helmer has been offered and is in early talks to direct the film that Schumer  hopes to make her Trainwreck follow-up. The film’s an untitled mother-daughter relationship story that takes place on a vacation gone wrong. It was scripted by Katie Dippold and is inspired by her relationship with her mother. The film is being produced by Paul Feig’s Feigco and Chernin Entertainment, with Dippold the exec producer. (DH)

The Cast of ‘Bastards’, Already Jam-Packed With Fellas, Just Added Another

Ving Rhames is set to join Ed Helms and Owen Wilson in the cast. Film is the directorial debut of veteran cinematographer Lawrence Sher. J.K. Simmons and Terry Bradshaw have already been cast in the project, which focuses on two brothers whose eccentric mother raised them to believe their father had died when they were young. When they discover this to be a lie, they set out to find him, learning more about their mother than they ever wanted to know. (CS)

Blumhouse’s Next Big Horror Movie, ‘The Shee’, Has Found Itself a Director

Sinister 2 helmer Ciaran Foy has come on board the thriller, which is set in Foy’s native Ireland. Jason Blum will produce with Roads Entertainment’s Alan Maher along with Foy through his Shadow Aspect banner. The story centers on a troubled young woman who has to deal with her tragic past on a remote island. “Shee” is an Irish term for a supernatural race in Irish mythology that lives underground or in an invisible world. (VAR)

Legendary’s ‘Skull Island’ Brings In ‘Jurassic World’ Writer For a Go At the Script

Derek Connolly, who is director Colin Trevorrow’s frequent writing partner, was a co-screenwriter on this summer’s blockbuster and has now been brought on to work on Kong: Skull Island, Legendary and Universal’s monster movie that is steeped in the lore of King Kong. The scribe is doing some late minute work as the movie is deep in the casting stages and heading for a late October start in Hawaii. Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Corey Hawkins are starring. (HV)

A Good Day For Comedy: ‘Documentary Now!’ and ‘Another Period’ Get Second Season Orders

Comedy Central just announced a renewal of the 1902-set faux reality series starring Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome while IFC has quickly ordered two more seasons of Documentary Now! with Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Helen Mirren. Another Period takes place in Rhode Island back in 1902, following Leggero and Lindhome as two spoiled, pampered, rich sisters who are basically the Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie of early 20th century America. (SF)

Here, Then, Is a Comprehensive Look At Your Upcoming Superhero Movie Releases Through 2020

Still Reeling In the Wake Of the ‘Fantastic Four’ Disaster? With nearly every major studio now working to turn its own comic book properties into the next big thing, and with Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. plotting out half a decade’s worth of material, it’s sometimes tough to keep track of what’s coming out when, who’s in it, and how it fits into the overall picture. (COL)

Screenwriters: ‘Please Give’

The 114-page screenplay by Nicole Holofcener, labeled Yellow Revisions and dated May 19th, 2008. (GITS)

Rep Moves for 8/19/15: John Cusack Shifts to ICM, UTA Scoops up Hot Cannes Director Laszlo Nemes


UTA: Director Laszlo Nemes, who directed hot Cannes title Son of Saul that landed the festival’s Grand Prix, has been scooped up by UTA. Son of Saul is set to be shown at the Toronto Film Festival prior to its release by Sony Pictures Classic. Hungary has submitted the film as its official foreign-language entry for the 2016 Academy Awards. Nemes was previously nominated for best short film at the European Academy Awards.

ICM: John Cusack has shifted from UTA to ICM Partners. The veteran actor can next be seen in Cell currently awaiting release from Benaroya Pictures. He’s also in the cast for Airspace, Due Process, Carnaval and Rush all in active development.

UTA: Actress/singer Ana Villafañe has signed with UTA. She currently is a series regular on Hulu’s hit series South Beach. She’ll also be seen in the film Max Steel alongside Maria Bello and Andy Garcia. She also plays singer Gloria Estefan in the Broadway musical On Your Feet! The Story Of Emilio & Gloria Estefan. Villafañe continues to be represented by managers Bill O’Dowd and Manny Arca.

CAA: Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan has made the move from WME to CAA. He also has most recently directed Mojave, acquired by A24 and starring Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund that premiered at Tribeca. He currently has a two-year overall deal at Paramount Pictures, where his production shingle Henceforth Pictures is based. Monahan continues to be managed by Chris Donnelly at LBI, and repped in the UK by Josh Varney at 42. David Weber’s his attorney.

Paradigm: Actor Gabriel Chavarria has signed with Paradigm. He will next be seen in the Universal film Low Riders and in Hulu’s drama series East Los High. His other recent credits also include TV series Aquarius, Prime Suspect, Southland and the film Teacher Of The Year. He continues to be repped by Momentum.

Film & TV Deals for 8/19/15: NBCUniversal Invests in Vox & BuzzFeed, Patricia Heaton Inks Deal with WB TV


NBCUniversal has made some big purchases recently, investing $200 million in Vox Media and $200 million in BuzzFeed. The investment in Vox Media is expected to bring its valuation to $1 billion and BuzzFeed’s to $1.5 billion. Washington D.C.-based Vox Media owns web properties as Re/Code, The Verge, Polygon, Curbed, Eater, Vox.com and SBNation.

E-commerce giant Alibaba and social media leader Tencent have jointly invested in China Media Capital’s smart-TV start-up Whaley Technology, founded by state-backed private-equity fund CMC in 2015. Content is thought to be a major part of what both Alibaba and Tencent bring to Whaley as earlier this year, both companies also invested in Huayi Brothers Media, China’s biggest private film company.

Turner Broadcasting System has acquired a majority stake in live video streaming company iStreamPlanet. It will utilize the company to deliver OTT programming, shift technology infrastructure to the cloud and develop new products and services for existing and new businesses. iStreamPlanet will continue to be a standalone entity under the deal.

Zealot Networks, a digital start-up has acquired premium global video syndication company Allscreen. AllScreen averages 250 million monthly video views. Zealot Networks was founded by former Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin.

Producer Gary Auerbach has signed a first-look agreement with The Jackal Group. Under terms of the deal with Gail Berman’s indie outfit, Auerbach will focus on scripted and non-scripted programming. Auerbach executive produced MTV hit series Laguna Beach and Singled Out along with Fox’s Nashville and most recently was the EVP of NBCUniversal’s Wilshire Studios.

Global distribution and production company Keshet International has signed a first-look deal with NBC to also include a co-production deal for scripted programming with Universal TV. The company is owned by the Israeli Keshet Media Group which produces Homeland. They recently launched a scripted arm in the U.S. headed by Peter Traugott. Keshet recently produced Allegiance for NBC and Universal TV and Dig for NBCUniversal’s USA Network and Universal Cable Prods.

Patricia Heaton & David Hunt’s FourBoys Entertainment has closed a pod deal with WB TV and their shingle will have offices on the Warner Bros. lot. As part of the deal, FourBoys has tapped Rebecca Stay as President of Television and Amelia Taggart as VP of Theatrical. FourBoys series, The Middle, is now entering its seventh season on ABC. FourBoys Entertainment’s credits include films Moms’ Night Out for Sony, Amazing Grace for Walden Media, Queens of Pennsylvania for Netflix and The Engagement Ring for TNT.

Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, the writer/producing team behind hit UK TV series Inbetweeners adapted into a film franchise have founded film and TV company Fudge Park. They have hired on Simon Wilson, Phil Gilbert, Mark Lesbirel and Leo Martin. The pair sold previous production company, Bwark, to the Zodiak Media Group in 2011. The company is currently under a distribution and development deal with BBC Worldwide, who will handle global sales of finished programs and formats.

Endemol Shine UK has acquired a controlling share in animation company Simon’s Cat and will expand the property into other areas, including television, publishing, licensing and merchandising. Founded in 2008 by animation filmmaker Simon Tofield, the London-based company created the Flash-animated comedy series Simon’s Cat. The first installment, Cat Man Do, has been viewed over 650 million times on YouTube and the channel currently has over 3.5 million subscribers. As part of the deal, the Simon’s Cat series will become a part of the Endemol Beyond multi-channel network.

2015 Emmys: Comedy Actor/Actress, Relativity Lenders On Warpath, Miles Teller & Tom Holland’s New Projects, Film & TV Deals, Rep Moves For 8/19/15



Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy Series

An Emmy Q&A With Will Forte and Amy Poehler On ‘SNL’, Andy Samberg and Their Nominations

The pair goes back a long way. But the former Saturday Night Live castmates hadn’t been in touch for a few months before getting on the phone to celebrate their multiple 2015 Emmy nominations. Poehler is up for four as star and producer of Parks and Recreation, as well as co-host and co-writer of the 72nd Golden Globe Awards, while Forte snagged two noms for starring in and writing the pilot of his first-year Fox hit The Last Man on Earth. (VTV)

Lily Tomlin Is Celebrating an Amazing Year With an Emmy Nod and Maybe an Oscar Nod, Too

In the Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie, the veteran actress plays longtime “frenemies” — with Jane Fonda — who become roomies after their husbands (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) disclose their 20-year love affair with each other. Fonda plays Grace, for whom a Type A personality might be too mellow, and Tomlin plays Frankie, an earth mother who’s open to everyone — even the uptight Grace. Tomlin also has Grandma hitting theaters this week. (LAT)


Film & TV Deals for 8/19/15: NBCUni Invests in Vox & BuzzFeed, Patricia Heaton Inks Deal with WB TV

Lots going on this week, with Alibaba, TBS and Keshet International also making news, as well as Endemol Shine UK and the writing/producing team behind the hit British show The Inbetweeners. For the full skinny, check out the provided link. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 8/19/15: John Cusack Shifts To ICM, UTA Scoops Up Hot Cannes Director Laszlo Nemes

It’s a light week in talent movement, with Cusack’s move being the biggest and most newsworthy, but there’s also word of an Oscar-winning writer heading over to CAA and a couple actors also taking advantage of certain representational opportunities. Click the link to read on. (SSN)


Relativity Lenders Ask Bankruptcy Court To Block Residuals Payments For Now

Should the embattled company be allowed to pay about $8.3 million for residuals and participations while it’s seeking bankruptcy protection? No, or at least not yet, creditors Manchester Securities and Heatherden Securities argue in among filings today ahead of next week’s scheduled U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing about the studio’s sale plans. (DH)

Miles Teller Circles ‘American Sniper’ Writer’s Directorial Debut

The Whiplash and Fantastic Four star is in early negotiations to star in Thank You for Your Service, DreamWorks’ post-traumatic stress disorder drama. Jason Hall, who scored an Oscar nomination for writing American Sniper, wrote the script and is making his directorial debut. The script follows three U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq who struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life. (THR)

Our Brand New Spider-Man Will First Take a Trip To the ‘Lost City Of Z’

Tom Holland has joined the hugely anticipated new film by James Gray. Holland’s role has not been disclosed, but he’s joining Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, and Sienna Miller. Film just recently started production in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and will next shoot for several weeks in Colombia. (COL)

CBS Likes Being In the Mark Harmon Business, Will Continue With New Navy SEAL Drama

Harmon, who stars on NCIS and also executive produces both that show and its spinoff, NCIS: New Orleans, is working with the network to bring a Navy SEAL sniper drama to the air. The project is called The Red Circle. CBS has only signed on for a script commitment, but it is based on the bestseller The Red Circle: My Life In The Navy SEAL Corps And How I Trained America’s Deadliest Marksmen written by Brandon Webb and John David Mann. (CB)

Netflix and Brad Pitt’s ‘War Machine’ Adds a Member Of the Breakfast Club To Its Cast

Anthony Michael Hall will star opposite Pitt in the online streaming service’s satirical comedy about the U.S.’s engagement in the conflict in Afghanistan slated to be released in 2016. Film is written and directed by David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) and based on Michael Hastings’ book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Martian’

Twentieth Century Fox has released the latest look at the upcoming sci-fi thriller, starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover and Kristen Wiig, directed by Ridley Scott and based on the bestselling novel by Andy Weir. It premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival next month before an October 2nd release. (IW)

Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Jungle Cruise’, Morgan Freeman’s TV Return, Whoopi Goldberg’s Emmett Till Project, ‘Masters Of the Universe’s New Writer


Dwayne Johnson Will Rock Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ Movie Adaptation

Johnson will lead the film, as the Mouse House has tapped Crazy, Stupid, Love. directors and Focus writers/directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra to pen the script, but it’s unclear at this point if they’ll also direct. The idea behind this take is that it’ll be a period piece in the vein of the 1951 Humphrey Bogard/Katharine Hepburn classic The African Queen, which itself was an inspiration for the ride. (COL)

At Long Last, Former ‘Electric Company’ Star Morgan Freeman Sets a Return To TV

The Madam Secretary producers scored a big-time Oscar winner for the drama’s second season premiere episode – and they didn’t have to go any farther than their own soundstage to find him. Freeman, who serves as an executive producer and director on the CBS drama, will make a cameo in the drama’s premiere episode in October. (EW)

Whoopi Goldberg Gets Behind a Fourth Project Now In Development About Emmett Till

Keith A. Beauchamp (director of the 2005 doc, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till) and Frederick Zollo have teamed up with Goldberg to produce a scripted film that will be based on Beauchamp’s documentary and Simeon Wright’s Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till. The film, to be titled simply Till, is set to go into production early next year. Other projects include two films and an HBO mini-series. (SAA)

Columbia Pictures Drafts a Marvel Writer For Its ‘Masters Of the Universe’ Reboot

Following his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on both Thor: The Dark World and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, screenwriter Christopher Yost is paying a visit to Eternia. He will lend his talents to Sony’s long-gestating Masters of the Universe movie. Originally launched as a popular Mattel toy line in 1982, it spawned several animated series (including the female-drive spinoff cartoon series, She-Ra: Princess of Power) along with a 1987 live-action film. (CBR)

Warner Bros. Is Descending Into the Depths Of ‘Dante’s Inferno’

Studio has picked up a pitch for a new big screen take on the first third of Dante Alighieri’s 14th century epic poem, The Divine Comedy. The pitch hails from screenwriter Dwain Worrell, who scripted the 2010 low-budget zombie film, Walking the Dead. Apparently, this new version will see Dante travel “through the nine circles of hell to save the woman he loves.” (CS)

Luc Besson’s Next Big Sci-Fi Epic Adds Clive Owen To the Cast

Clive Owen has joined Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne in the project, in which DeHaan and Delevingne would play the time-traveling Valerian and his sidekick Laureline. Besson will write and direct, while Virginie Besson Silla will produce on behalf of EuropaCorp, which will finance, produce and distribute. Production is set to begin in December with a global release planned for the summer of 2017. (VAR)

CBS Is Working With ABC Studios On a Facebook-Inspired Comedy

The network has picked up an untitled script about a group of 20-somethings who find a unique way of making new friends. Will & Grace alum Jhoni Marchinko will pen the script and executive produce the single-camera comedy. Reports suggest that the “unique way” of making friends is inspired by Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature. (TLF)

Lionsgate’s Summit Picks Up Sci-Fi Spec Script In Vein Of ‘Lucy’

Mini-major acquired an untitled spec script from screenwriter John Gary, described as a “grounded” sci-fi thriller which is a character-driven property in the vein of Luc Besson’s 2014 box office smash. The original script was called Sarah. The project will be produced by The Gotham Group’s Eric Robinson and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein. Gary wrote the script based on an original idea from Robinson. (DH)

Cord-Cutting Ramps Up as Pay TV Sees Record Subscriber Losses

Pay-TV services recorded their biggest-ever quarterly drop in subscribers, losing 625,000 TV customers, according to a report Thursday from the research firm SNL Kagan. While about 100.4 million households still pay for traditional pay TV, the report underscored investors’ fears that cord-cutting is gaining momentum and starting to fray the TV industry’s business model. (AA)

Screenwriters: Script Notes — Major Character Types, “Reflection”

Aprotagonist’s reflection character is far too frequently the most underutilized of the five character purposes, especially by less experienced scribes. Without well-constructed reflection characters, the audience has no reminders of the physical and emotional impact or risks involved with the protagonist’s choices and goals. (SM)

Film Development for 8/20/15: Chris Evans and Marc Webb Team for Gifted, WB Picks ‘The Garden’ as Next Sci-Fi Franchise



Logline: A mysterious American picks up and moves to the country of Andorra where he befriends two women, but when a dead body turns up, the American must prove his innocence.
Production Company(s): Jump Street Films Pty Ltd., Unicorn Films
Producer(s): Jamie Bialkower, Lizzette Atkins
Writer(s): Peter Cameron, Jamie Bialkower
Director(s): Fred Schepisi
Details: Based on the novel “Andorra,” written by Peter Cameron and published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in January 1997.
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Cargo Entertainment.

Logline: Two brothers, raised to believe their biological father died, find out their mother slept with many powerful and famous men in the 1970s and the siblings hit the road to find their real father.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Production Company(s): Alcon Entertainment, The Montecito Picture Company, DMG Entertainment
Producer(s): Broderick Johnson, Andrew Kosove, Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock, Ali Bell
Writer(s): Justin Malen
Director(s): Lawrence Sher
Cast: Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, J.K. Simmons, Ving Rhames, Terry Bradshaw
SSN Insight: Paramount Pictures acquired the spec script from writer Justin Malen in a reported six-figure deal. Project was previously set up at Paramount, but went into turnaround. Jason Sudeikis was previously attached to co-star.

Book of Henry
Logline: A precocious little boy, being raised by his single mother and serving as a surrogate father to his younger brother, develops feelings for the girl next door and, to protect her from ongoing harm at the hands of her father, plots a murder.
Studio/Distributor(s): Focus Features
Production Company(s): Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Double Nickel Entertainment
Producer(s): Carla Hacken, Sidney Kimmel, Jenette Kahn, Adam Richman, Matt Berenson
Writer(s): Gregg Hurwitz
Director(s): Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Naomi Watts (final negoitations), Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay
SSN Insight: Thea Sharrock was previously attached to direct.

Logline: A thirty year old man attempts to continue raising his deceased sister’s seven year old daughter, a kid-genius, while battling his own mother for custody.
Production Company(s): FilmNation
Producer(s): Karen Lunder, Andy Cohen
Writer(s): Tom Flynn
Director(s): Marc Webb
Cast: Chris Evans
SSN Insight: Chris Evans can next be seen in Before We Go, which he produced and directed as well set for a September 4 release by Radius-TWC.

Girl on the Train
Logline: A young woman gets mixed up in a murder investigation because of what she sees on her daily commute.
Studio/Distributor(s): DreamWorks Studios
Production Company(s): Marc Platt Productions
Producer(s): Marc Platt
Writer(s): Erin Cressida Wilson
Director(s): Tate Taylor
Cast: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson
Details: Based on the novel “Girl on the Train” written by Paula Hawkins and published by Riverhead Books in 2015.
SSN Insight: Rebecca Ferguson was last seen in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Kate Mara was mentioned to co-star.

Jungle Cruise
Logline: Script under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Davis Entertainment
Producer(s): John Davis, John Fox
Writer(s): John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Robert S H Schulman
Cast: Dwayne Johnson
Details: Based on the Disneyland ride “Jungle Cruise.”
SSN Insight: Timur Bekmambetov was previously mentioned to direct. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen were previously attached to co-star.

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, Kim Allen
SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2014 Black List.

Neighbors 2
Logline: In this sequel, a sorority moves next door to married parents Mac and Kelly, who turn to their former nemeses from the Delta Psi Beta fraternity to help battle the wild young women.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Point Grey Pictures, Good Universe
Producer(s): Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver
Writer(s): Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien
Director(s): Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Ike Barinholtz, Chloe Grace Moretz, Dave Franco
Details: Sequel to “Neighbors” (2014), directed by Nicholas Stoller and starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron.
SSN Insight: Dave Franco can next be seen in Nerve, Zeroville, and Now You See Me 2 awaiting release.

Nocturnal Animals
Logline: Susan receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, and reading it causes her recall her first marriage and confront some dark truths about herself.
Studio/Distributor(s): Focus Features
Production Company(s): Fade to Black Productions
Producer(s): Tom Ford, Robert Salerno
Writer(s): Tom Ford
Director(s): Tom Ford
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Kim Basinger
Details: Based on the novel “Tony and Susan” written by Austin Wright and published by Baskerville Publishers in 1993.
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Smokehouse Pictures with George Clooney and Grant Heslov attached to produce. Focus Features and Univers

Logline: Two brothers battle to save their ancestral sheep stock following a disease outbreak in the secluded Icelandic valley where they live.
Studio/Distributor(s): The Cohen Media Group
Production Company(s): Netop Films
Producer(s): Grimur Hakonarson
Writer(s): Grimur Hakonarson
Director(s): Grimur Hakonarson
Cast: Sigurdur Sigurjonson, Theodor Juliusson, Charlotte Boving, Gunnar Jensson, Thorleifur Einarsson
SSN Insight: Won the Cannes Un Certain Regard prize at this year’s fest.

Star Wars: Episode 9
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Lucasfilm, Ltd.
Writer(s): Rian Johnson
Director(s): Colin Trevorrow
Details: Sequel to “Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977) directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
SSN Insight: Director Colin Trevorrow’s previous film, Jurassic World has grossed $1.4 billion worldwide. He was confirmed as director at Disney’s convention, D23 in Anaheim last weekend.

Logline: The story of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the airline pilot who safely landed U.S. Airways flight 1549 on the frozen Hudson River in 2009.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, Malpaso Productions, Flashlight Films
Producer(s): Frank Marshall, Allyn Stewart, Clint Eastwood, Tim Moore
Writer(s): Todd Komarnicki
Director(s): Clint Eastwood
Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Holt McCallany
Details: Based on the book “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters” written by Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger with Jeffrey Zaslow and published by William Morrow on October 13, 2009.
SSN Insight: Kathleen Kennedy was previously attached to produce.

Logline: Storyline under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): Boom! Studios
Producer(s): Ross Richie, Stephen Christy
Writer(s): Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski
Director(s): John R Leonetti
Details: Based on the comic book mini-series “Tag” written by Keith Giffen illustrated by Kody Chamberlain published by Boom! Studios; June 7, 2006.
SSN Insight: Previously in development at Universal, but when the rights reverted back to BOOM!, they brought it to Fox under their first-look deal with the studio.

The Circle
Logline: Follows the iconized boy-wonder visionary of the Circle, an Internet monopoly which links users’ personal emails, social media, banking and purchasing with their universal operating system. The result is one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency.
Production Company(s): Playtone, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, Likely Story
Producer(s): Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Anthony Bregman, James Ponsoldt, Walter F Parkes
Director(s): James Ponsoldt
Cast: Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, John Boyega
Details: Based on the novel “The Circle” writte by Dave Eggers and published by McSweeney’s in October, 2013.
SSN Insight: Alicia Vikander was previously attached to co-star.

The Godmother
Logline: The true story of Griselda Blanco, who became the deadliest, and wealthiest woman to head a Colombian drug cartel.
Production Company(s): First Born Films
Producer(s): Daniela Cristina Cretu
Writer(s): Frank Baldwin
Director(s): Gerard Johnson
Cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Olivier Martinez, Mehdi Dehbi, Alexa Demie
SSN Insight: Life rights of Griselda Blanco optioned by Daniela Cretu. Eva Sorhaug was previously attached as director. Jon Bernthal and Oscar Jaenada were previously attached as cast members.

The Lost City of Z
Logline: The true story of British explorer Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett, who disappeared in 1925 while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon.
Production Company(s): Keep Your Head Productions, Plan B Entertainment, MadRiver Pictures
Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Anthony Katagas, Dale Armin Johnson
Writer(s): James Gray
Director(s): James Gray
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland
Details: Based on the book “Lost City of Z” written by David Grann; published by Doubleday in February 2009. The book is an expansion of an article, written by Grann, that appeared in The New Yorker magazine in September 2005.
SSN Insight: Project previously set up at Paramount.

The Only Living Boy in New York
Logline: In New York City, a recent college graduate is at loose ends, a situation that’s not improved when he’s seduced by his powerful father’s 30-year-old mistress.
Studio/Distributor(s): Fox 2000
Production Company(s): Map Point Pictures, Bona Fide Productions
Producer(s): Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, Danielle Renfrew
Writer(s): Marc Webb, Allan Loeb
Director(s): Marc Webb
Cast: Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges (in discussions), Rosamund Pike (in discussions)
SSN Insight: Seth Gordon was previously attached to direct. Previously in development at Columbia Pictures. Logan Lerman was previously attached to star.

Underworld V
Logline: In this fifth installment of the “Underworld” franchise, a new, younger generation of vampires and werewolves are embroiled in a supernatural race war.
Studio/Distributor(s): Screen Gems
Production Company(s): Lakeshore Entertainment
Producer(s): Gary Lucchesi, Len Wiseman, Richard Wright, Tom Rosenberg
Writer(s): Cory Goodman, Kyle Ward
Director(s): Anna Foerster
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies
SSN Insight: Anna Foerster is the first woman to direct a film in the “Underworld” franchise.

Logline: A man and woman are partners for a space-time police organization.
Production Company(s): EuropaCorp, Fundamental Films
Producer(s): Virginie Silla
Writer(s): Luc Besson
Director(s): Luc Besson
Cast: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen
Details: Based on the comic book series “Valerian,” written by Pierre Christin and published in France by Pilote in 1967.
SSN Insight: During the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, China’s Fundamental Films agreed to invest $50,000,000 into this project, marking the biggest deal of the year’s festival.

War Machine
Logline: A satirical fictionalized behind-the-scenes look at the Afghanistan war from the military commanders with their high-stakes decisions and infighting, to the soldiers on patrol.
Studio/Distributor(s): Regency Enterprises, RatPac Entertainment, Netflix
Production Company(s): New Regency Productions, Plan B Entertainment, Ian Bryce Productions
Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Ian Bryce
Writer(s): David Michôd
Director(s): David Michôd
Cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Michael Hall, Topher Grace, Scoot McNairy
Details: Based on the book “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” written by Michael Hastings and published by Penguin on January 5, 2012.
SSN Insight: When “War Machine” was in preproduction, Netflix acquired distribution rights


Dante’s Inferno (Warner Bros.)
Logline: Dante descends through the nine circles of hell in order to save the woman he loves.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Weed Road Pictures, Hollywood Gang Productions
Producer(s): Gianni Nunnari, Akiva Goldsman
Writer(s): Dwain Worrell
SSN Insight: Warner Bros. acquired the original script in a preemptive deal. Warner Bros. believes the epic love story may have franchise potential.

Logline: This retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale takes place in Spain and Jack befriends a female giant.
Studio/Distributor(s): Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios
Producer(s): Dorothy McKim
Director(s): Nathan Greno
SSN Insight: Project was announced at Disney’s D23 convention. Oscar winning songwriting couple Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez will write an original song for the film.

Jack Goes Home
Logline: A man who returns home to take care of his injured mother after a car accident that took his father’s life discovers long buried secrets.
Production Company(s): SSS Entertainment, Yale Productions
Producer(s): Jordan Yale Levine, Scott Levenson, Thomas Dekker
Writer(s): Thomas Dekker
Director(s): Thomas Dekker
Cast: Rory Culkin, Lin Shaye, Britt Robertson, Nikki Reed, Daveigh Chase
SSN Insight: Project begins filming this week in Kingston, NY.

Logline: On August 12, 2000 explosions aboard the Russian submarine Kursk caused it to sink during a naval exercise in the Barents Sea.
Studio/Distributor(s): Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution
Production Company(s): EuropaCorp
Writer(s): Robert Rodat
Director(s): Martin Zandvliet
Details: Based on the book “A Time to Die” written by Robert Moore and published by Crown in 2002.
SSN Insight: Zandvliet’s film Land Of Mine will premiere at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. Kursk will be his first English-language film.

Running Wild
Logline: A widow works with convicts to rehabilitate a herd of wild horses that wandered on to her ranch.
Production Company(s): ESX Entertainment
Producer(s): Ali Afshar, Forrest Lucas
Writer(s): Brian Rudnick, Christina Moore
Director(s): Alex Ranarivelo
Cast: Sharon Stone, Dorian Brown
SSN Insight: New studio ESX’s film slate includes social issue drama The Wrong Side Of Right with Lea Thompson, coming-of-age story The Wizard starring Jon Voight and Afshar’s Born To Race franchise which includes a TV series.

Scooby-Doo (Reboot)
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Warner Bros. Animation, Atlas Entertainment
Producer(s): Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Allison Abbate
Writer(s): Matt Lieberman, Randall Green
Director(s): Tony Cervone
Details: Based on the Hanna-Barbera half-hour animated series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” (1969-74) which aired on ABC.
SSN Insight: Allison Abbate previously produced The Iron Giant, the Oscar-nominated features Fantastic Mr. Fox, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie.

The Garden
Logline: A group of explorers head into deep space looking for a new home for humanity when they learn that the sun is dying.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Polymorphic Pictures
Producer(s): Polly Johnsen
Writer(s): Aaron Strongoni, E. B. Rhee
Details: Based on the proof of concept short film “The Garden” (2015) directed by E.B. Rhee, and a sci-fi re-imagining of Paradise Lost, the epic poem written by John Milton and published by Samuel Simmons in 1667.
SSN Insight: The VFX-heavy short was made for $30,000. The hope for the project is to start a new science fiction franchise.

The Shee
Logline: In 1960s Ireland, a troubled young woman confronts her violent and tragic past when she travels to a remote island.
Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions, Roads Entertainment, Shadow Aspect
Producer(s): Jason Blum, Alan Maher, Ciaran Foy
Director(s): Ciaran Foy
SSN Insight: Ciaran Foy previously directed Sinister 2 for Blumhouse. Roads Entertainment, part of the Roads Group, is an Irish film production company founded by Maher and entrepreneur Danielle Ryan.

Untitled (A24/Phantom Four/Marc Munden Horror Project)
Logline: Storyline of the high concept horror film that takes place in a unique setting is under wraps.
Production Company(s): Phantom Four, A24, VisionChaos Productions
Producer(s): David S. Goyer, Kevin Turen, Eva Maria Daniels
Writer(s): Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski
Director(s): Marc Munden
SSN Insight: Munden previously directed the acclaimed UK Channel 4 television series Utopia, and is onboard to direct the sci-fi thriller Aether for FilmNation.

Untitled (Lionsgate/Gotham Group/Sci-Fi Thriller Project)
Logline: Storyline of the sci-fi thriller is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate
Production Company(s): Gotham/Principal
Producer(s): Eric Robinson, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein
Writer(s): John Gary
SSN Insight: John Gary has also been tapped to re-write a sci-fi feature at Paramount Pictures called Off-World originally written by Seth M. Sherwood as a starring vehicle for Josh Duhamel who is also producing.

2015 Emmys: Supporting Actor/Actress, Bale To Play Ferrari, Foley In Line To Direct ‘Fifty Shades’ Sequel, Film Development For 8/20/15



Supporting Actor/Actress in Drama/Comedy

No Matter How You Slice It, the Landscape Of Supporting Nominees Is Definitely Changing

This year’s nominees in the supporting categories are evidence of a changing television landscape. Writing teams are experimenting as the medium gets bolder, transforming traditional second-banana characters into more fully rounded individuals. (VTV)

If You Ask Keegan-Michael Key, His Emmy Nom For Supporting Actor Is Perfect For Him

Half of the comedy duo “Key and Peele,” whose Comedy Central show is in its fifth and final season, the 44-year-old Key says of his Emmy nomination: “My hope would be that what people get is that what we [Key and Jordan Peele] do is support each other” on the show. (LAT)


Film Development for 8/20/15: Chris Evans and Marc Webb Team for Gifted, WB Picks ‘The Garden’ as Next Sci-Fi Franchise

Over two dozen projects find some form of action this week, either existing projects that find attachments — like Colin Trevorrow signing on to Star Wars: Episode IX — and new ones, like a film project for Sharon Stone and a new, animated take on Scooby-Doo. (SSN)


After Years Of Looking, Michael Mann Has Found the Lead For His Enzo Ferrari Biopic

In the planning stages for more than a decade, four time Academy Award nominated director Michael Mann’s Enzo Ferrari biopic appears to finally be moving forward. The film, simply titled, Ferrari, has found its leading man in Academy Award winner Christian Bale, and is now looking for buyers with the plan being to shoot next summer. (CS)

It Appears That ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Might Have Just Found Its Director

James Foley has emerged as the frontrunner to take on the sequel, and might also end up directing the third film in the trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed. The question seems to be whether Universal and Focus will want to shoot the sequels back to back. The scripts, written by book author E.L. James’ husband Niall Leonard, are apparently both in to the studio. (SF)

The Dudes From ‘Mythbusters’ Just Sold a CIA Drama Based On Their Lives To CBS

Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage are expanding to scripted fare. The Mythbusters co-hosts/exec producers have set up a drama inspired by their real-life experiences. The untitled CBS drama, which has received a script commitment from the network, revolves around two Hollywood special effects artists who are recruited by the CIA to complete seemingly impossible covert ops missions by creatively using the most basic tools from their craft. (TLF)

Hulu Orders ‘Future Man’ Dystopian Comedy Pilot From Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

The online sales giant and burgeoning streaming service has ordered a pilot for the half-hour comedy, about a janitor who saves humanity from extinction. The show’s title character — janitor by day, world-ranked videogamer by night — is tasked with preventing the elimination of the human race after mysterious visitors from the future proclaim him the key to defeating an imminent super-race invasion. (VAR)

With Wolverine Soon To Be In His Rearview Mirror, Hugh Jackman Prepares To Embark On a New ‘Odyssey’

The actor is in talks to star in the adaptation of Homer’s poem. No deal is in place yet, but the respective teams are talking about Jackman playing Odysseus, the Greek hero who makes the long voyage home to Ithaca after the fall of Troy. This 10-year journey sees Odysseus’ ship blown off course, which leads him and his men into a variety of adventures. Francis Lawrence is directing, with his Hunger Games writer Peter Craig at work on the script. (COL)

From the ‘Planet Of the Apes’ To ‘Skull Island’, Toby Kebbell Is Once Again Pulling Out the Motion Capture Gear

Kebbell is just the latest recruit for Jordan Vogt-Roberts monster movie, which already boasts Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and Corey Hawkins among its cast, and may end up adding John C. Reilly, Tom Wilkinson and Samuel L. Jackson. The film, which aims to kick off shooting late in October in Hawaii, finds an expedition headed to the mysterious, misty island, with the explorers looking to unlock its secrets, including the titular giant ape. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Scouts Guide To the Zombie Apocalypse’

Paramount Pictures has released the red band trailer for its upcoming horror comedy, starring Tye Sheridan in a film that gives us yet another take on zombies. It hits theaters October 30th. (UR)

SAG-AFTRA Elections, Cube & Son Not Doing Riot Film, ABC’s ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Spinoff, Howard Gordon’s New Med Show, Simon Helberg’s New Deal


SAG-AFTRA Election Special: Ken Howard Reelected as President, Challengers Other Slots

Howard, who has led the union and its predecessor, SAG, since 2009, was reelected to an additional two-year term Thursday night, the union announced, beating challenger Patricia Richardson. But in an upset, challenger Jane Austin won the secretary-treasurer slot and, by a narrow margin, the presidency of the union’s largest local, Los Angeles. Under union rules, Austin will be able to hold both offices. (TB)

If You Have Read Reports Of Ice Cube and His Son Being Involved In an L.A. Riots Movie, Do Not Believe Them

After news circulated that Cube and his son O’Shea Jackson Jr. — who is played his father in Straight Outta Compton — coming on board the long-in-the-works L.A. Riots movie titled April 29, 1992, the duo issued a statement denying any involvement. “Ice Cube and O’Shea Jackson Jr. have no plans to commit to this project at this time. Any speculations or rumors that suggest that they are confirmed are simply untrue,” the statement reads. (DH)

Adrianne Palicki, Nick Blood to Star in Marvel Pilot for ABC, Won’t Be an ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Spinoff

ABC and Marvel are changing course on their former Agents of SHIELD spinoff. The network has handed out a pilot order to a Marvel drama starring Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse (aka Mockingbird) and Nick Blood (Lance Hunter). Titled Marvel’s Most Wanted, the drama was rumored to be in early development last pilot season and was originally conceived as an Agents of SHIELD spinoff featuring both characters. (IGN)

Howard Gordon Sells Straight-Out-of-Compton Medical Drama to Fox

The prolific producer behind Homeland and Tyrant is teaming with Bones alum Nkechi Carroll to develop a medical drama for Fox. The untitled drama, which has received a script pickup with a significant penalty attached, is described as a medical franchise centered around three young, brilliant doctors who grew up together in Compton and are reunited at an extraordinary cutting-edge hospital in Beverly Hills. (TLF)

Simon Helberg and His Wife Make a Big Bang Of a Deal With Warner Bros. TV

TV studio has signed an exclusive two-year pod deal with the Big Bang Theory star and his wife, writer-director-actor Jocelyn Towne. Under the deal, the duo will develop series for the studio via their recently established production banner, Wildline Entertainment. Film producer Cora Olson has also been brought on to head development and supervise projects. (VAR)

Will Poulter & Keith Stanfield Are the Latest To Sign Up For Brad Pitt’s ‘War Machine’

Pitt, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall and Scoot McNairy are already cast in Netflix’s military satire, which will be directed by David Michôd. Pitt plays a top general in the US armed forces, overseeing the conflict and a mission that is riddled with problems, corruption and cock-ups. It’s all loosely based on the hubristic General Stanley McChrystal. (EMP)

The Second Season Of Netflix’s ‘Bloodline’ Adds John Leguizamo To the Cast

The multi-hyphenate is joining the show’s upcoming second season in a series-regular role that has strong ties to Ben Mendelsohn’s late (but still viable) black sheep. Leguizamo’s character, Ozzy Delvecchio, is a charming, violent, opportunistic wild card from Danny’s past who, in the wake of Danny’s murder, arrives in the Florida Keys with mysterious motives and threatens to wreak havoc in the lives of the Rayburns. (TVL)

Federal Judge Re-Opens Entertainment Studios’ $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, TWC and Al Sharpton

Yesterday, the lawsuit filed by Entertainment Studios Networks, Inc. and the National Association of African-American Owned Media was re-opened. Producer Byron Allen’s lawsuit alleges that he and other black producers and programming providers have been victims of racism by Comcast and have been “intentionally unable to secure distribution on cable systems that are owned by Comcast and Time Warner.” (SAA)

It’s Friday Morning, and Here’s How You Can Kickstart Your Productivity This Weekend

Could you use your weekend to be more productive, not by cramming it full of work, but in other ways? Time away from the office is an important aspect of productivity. For a start, that’s when we get to choose for ourselves how we spend our time. Often, however, when it gets to Monday morning we don’t feel refreshed or productive. We feel in need of another weekend before the week has even begun. What should you do to boost your productivity for the new week? (FC)

Screenwriters: ‘City Of Joy’

The 132-page screenplay by Gerald Brach & Roland Joffe, based on the book by Dominique LaPierre. Script is labeled October 1990 Early Draft. (DS)

On the Set for 8/21/15: Eddie Redmayne Starts Fantastic Beasts, Russo Brothers Wrap Up Captain America: Civil War



A Dog’s Purpose
Logline: A canine’s quest to discover his purpose in the world over the course of several lifetimes with multiple owners.
Studio/Distributor(s): DreamWorks Studios
Production Company(s): Walden Media, Pariah, Mark Sourian Productions
Director(s): Lasse Hallstrom
Executive Producer(s): Mark Sourian, Alan C. Blomquist
Producer(s): Gavin Polone
Cast: Britt Robertson, Dennis Quaid, K.J. Apa, Juliet Rylance, Peggy Lipton
Writer(s): Audrey Wells, Keith Bunin, W Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon
Details: Based on the novel “A Dog’s Purpose” written by W. Bruce Cameron and published by Forge Books on July 6, 2010.
SSN Insight: Lasse Hallstrom is also attached to direct Tom’s Dad starring Will Ferrell in active development along with Boy 21 in active development at Catch and Release Films.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Part One)
Logline: In New York, seventy years before Harry Potter’s birth, an ambitious magiczoologist named Newton Artemis Fido Scamander, aka Newt, is commissioned to write a reference guide to magical beasts, which would eventually become a definitive Hogwart’s textbook studied by Harry, Hermione, and Weasley.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Heyday Films, Wigram Productions, Bronte Film and Television
Director(s): David Yates
Producer(s): J.K. Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, Samantha Morton
Writer(s): J.K. Rowling
Details: Based on the novel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by J.K. Rowling; published by Arthur A. Levine June 2001 .
SSN Insight: Project is the first in a trilogy. Alfonso Cuaron had previously been mentioned to direct.

Mother’s Day
Logline: The stories of several mothers intertwine during the day leading up to the Mother’s Day holiday.
Studio/Distributor(s): Open Road Films
Production Company(s): PalmStar Entertainment, Gulfstream Pictures
Director(s): Garry Marshall
Executive Producer(s): Mark Benton Johnson, Ankur Rungta, Heather Hall
Producer(s): Wayne Rice, Mike Karz, Kevin Scott Frakes
Cast: Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis
Writer(s): Anya Kochoff, Lily Hollander
SSN Insight: Film marks a re-team for Roberts and Marshall, who previously worked together on hit Pretty Woman.

Running Wild
Logline: A widow works with convicts to rehabilitate a herd of wild horses that wandered on to her ranch.
Production Company(s): ESX Entertainment
Director(s): Alex Ranarivelo
Producer(s): Ali Afshar, Forrest Lucas
Cast: Sharon Stone
Writer(s): Brian Rudnick, Christina Moore
SSN Insight: New studio ESX’s film slate includes social issue drama The Wrong Side Of Right with Lea Thompson, coming-of-age story The Wizard starring Jon Voight and Afshar’s Born To Race franchise which includes a TV series.

The Lost City of Z
Logline: The true story of British explorer Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett, who disappeared in 1925 while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon.
Production Company(s): Keep Your Head Productions, Plan B Entertainment, MadRiver Pictures
Director(s): James Gray
Executive Producer(s): Marc Butan, Julie May, Glenn P Murray
Producer(s): Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Anthony Katagas, Dale Armin Johnson
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland
Writer(s): James Gray
Details: Based on the book “Lost City of Z” written by David Grann; published by Doubleday in February 2009. The book is an expansion of an article, written by Grann, that appeared in The New Yorker magazine in September 2005.
SSN Insight: Project previously set up at Paramount Pictures. Brad Pitt previously attached to star.

The Sense of an Ending
Logline: A man’s comfortable world is rocked by the discovery of a letter from his youth.
Production Company(s): Origin Pictures
Director(s): Ritesh Batra
Executive Producer(s): Christine Langan, Ed Wethered, Ben Browning, Glen Basner, Norman Merry
Producer(s): David M. Thompson, Ed Rubin
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Michelle Dockery, Emily Mortimer
Writer(s): Nick Payne
Details: Based on the novel “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes; published by Jonathan Cape in 2011.
SSN Insight: Ritesh Batra previously wrote and directed the film The Lunchbox released by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S. in 2013.

Logline: A woman settling into a new marriage and life as a mom must contend with her husband’s ex, who is seemingly trying to gaslight her.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Di Novi Pictures
Director(s): Denise Di Novi
Executive Producer(s): No Executive Producer Available.
Producer(s): Denise Di Novi, Alison Greenspan
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Rosario Dawson
Writer(s): Christina Hodson
SSN Insight: Kerry Washington and Kate Hudson were previously attached to co-star. Amma Asante was previously attached to direct. Feature directorial debut for noted producer Denise Di Novi.

Untitled (Woody Allen 2015 Feature Film)
Logline: Logline under wraps.
Production Company(s): Gravier Productions
Director(s): Woody Allen
Executive Producer(s): Ronald L. Chez, Adam B. Stern, Allan Teh
Producer(s): Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum, Edward Walson
Cast: Jeannie Berlin, Jesse Eisenberg, Parker Posey, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively
Writer(s): Woody Allen
SSN Insight: Jesse Eisenberg can currently be seen in American Ultra. His next films include Batman v Superman for WB and Louder Than Bombs for The Orchard and Now You See Me 2. He’s also attached to Midnight Sun in active development.


47 Meters Down
Logline: Two sisters are trapped in an observation cage at the bottom of the ocean, with oxygen running low and sharks circling.
Studio/Distributor(s): Dimension Films
Production Company(s): The Tea Shop & Film Company
Director(s): Johannes Roberts
Producer(s): Mark Lane, James Harris
Cast: Claire Holt, Mandy Moore, Vanessa Kirby, Matthew Modine
Writer(s): Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera
SSN Insight: Johannes Roberts also wrote and directed the horror Fox International Productions film The Other Side of the Door awaiting release. Altitude Film Sales is handling worldwide sales.

Captain America: Civil War
Logline: Following an international incident, Steve Rogers, aka Cap, goes head to head with Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, in a battle over the Superhero Registration Act, which governs that those with superhuman abilities must reveal themselves as such to the United States government and pledge to enforce law in conjunction with government agencies.
Studio/Distributor(s): Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment
Director(s): Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Producer(s): Kevin Feige, Nate Moore
Cast: Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Robert Downey Jr., Chadwick A Boseman, Daniel Brühl
Writer(s): Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Details: Based on the comic book character Captain America created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby and first seen in “Captain America Comics #1″ published by Marvel in March 1941. The Marvel Comics character was previously adapted for the screen in “Captain America” (1990). This is the second sequel to “Captain America: First Avenger” (2011) directed by Joe Johnston.
SSN Insight: The Russo brothers are also on board to direct Avengers: Infinity War. The two-part movie will be released in 2018 and 2019, and will be scripted by Captain America movie writers Markus and McFeely.

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

Logline: A portrait of the Nobel Prize-winning Latin American poet Pablo Neruda.
Production Company(s): Reborn Productions, Funny Balloons, Participant Media, Fabula Producciones , Setembro Cine, AZ Films
Director(s): Pablo Larraín
Executive Producer(s): Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King
Producer(s): Juan de Dios Larraín
Cast: Luis Gnecco, Gael Garcia Bernal, Mercedes Moran, Alfredo Castro, Jaime Vadell
Writer(s): Guillermo Calderon, Pablo Larraín
SSN Insight: Pablo Neruda was also depicted in the film Il Postino in 1994 about a postman who delivers mail to the famous poet.

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

2015 Emmys: Variety/Talk Show, Relativity Bankruptcy News, NY’s Film Czar Stepping Down, On the Set For 8/21/15



Variety/Talk Show

Why Emmy Rule Changes Left Amy Schumer Smiling and Broadcast Calling for Its Own Category

With this year’s Emmys series contenders now in full campaign mode, it feels appropriate to ask: Did the TV Academy’s recent slew of rule changes actually improve the caliber of the field? (HTV)

Latenight Battle: Will Emmy Voters Honor the Departed? Or Award Newcomers?

Voters have one last chance to honor both The Late Show with David Letterman and Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, which both aired their final episodes this season. Among the other contenders, though, is Jimmy Fallon’s resurgent Tonight Show and John Oliver’s brilliant Last Week Tonight. How will the voters choose? (VTV)


On the Set For 8/21/15: Eddie Redmayne Starts ‘Fantastic Beasts’, Russo Brothers Wrap ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Lasse Hallstrom also gets his new project up and running, with Britt Robertson and Dennis Quaid on board, while Garry Marshall fires up Mother’s Day and James Grey starts on Lost City Of Z, while Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg wrap up Deepwater Horizon. There’s more, too, and to read about it, just click on the link. (SSN)


Today In the Relativity Bankruptcy, Part 1: Film Lenders, Guilds Get Concessions In New Media Action Plan

The hedge funds pushing for a quick auction of Relativity Media have granted additional concessions — including a better chance of recovery for union members and lenders who financed film releases — in hopes that other creditors in the complex bankruptcy action will not try to slow down an Oct. 1 sale of the insolvent company. (VAR)

Today In the Relativity Bankruptcy, Part 2: Was the Chapter 11 Unauthorized?

This afternoon, the three financial firms that put up interim financing for Relativity Media in its bankruptcy responded to objections over its proposed $250 million “stalking horse” bid for sale of the Ryan Kavanaugh studio’s assets. The biggest revelation concerns the objections of Manchester Securities, a subsidiary of Paul Singer’s hedge fund firm Elliot Management, one of Relativity’s earliest financial backers. (HESQ)

New York City’s Film Czar Cynthia Lopez to Step Down, Will Leave the Office In October

Lopez, who was named commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment by Mayor Bill de Blasio in April, 2014, plans to leave that post in October to return to the private sector. First deputy commissioner Luis Castro will serve as acting commissioner once Lopez departs. During her tenure, New York saw a 56 percent growth in episodic television shows filming in the city in the 2014/2015 season. (THR)

Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn Drama Series Gets CBS Put Pilot Commitment

A modern-day take on the classic Mark Twain characters, hails from Sony Pictures TV, studio-based Drop Dead Diva creator Josh Berman and CBS TV Studios. Penned by The Blacklist writers Brandon Margolis and Brandon Sonnier, show is a reimagining of the iconic characters in modern day America at a time that harkens back to the racial and class divides that inspired Twain’s books. (DH)

Will George Miller Go From Mad Max To the Man Of Steel? It Is Apparently Quite Possible

A hot and fairly realistic rumor has George Miller in negotiations with Warner Bros. about taking the directing reins for Man Of Steel 2, which would, one assumes, be in theaters in 2018. According to reports, the sticking point right now is budget, with the two sides in disagreement about what the film would cost. Henry Cavill would return to play Superman for another go round. (HH)

ABC and Shondaland Are Bringing You a Divorce Comedy From the ‘Trophy Wife’ Team

Taken from the minds of creators Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins, the show, aptly titled Splitsville, will revolve around residents of a suburban cul-de-sac who, after coming to grips with their divorces, unite to raise their kids together in perfect harmony. (VUL)

Alfre Woodard Signs On To a Potentially Villainous Role In Marvel and Netflix’s Upcoming ‘Luke Cage’ Series

Mike Colter will play the title role, a so-called Hero For Hire, and will be introduced on Jessica Jones, the Daredevil followup starring Krysten Ritter that will premiere on Netflix this fall. Woodard could be playing a version of the comics villain Black Mariah, who’s a professional criminal and a drug dealer in the comic books on which the series is based. (COL)

‘Compton’ Wins Again, Animators Lawsuit Proceeds, Lender Wants Delay In Relativity Case, George R.R. Martin Embraces Cold Reality


‘Straight Outta Compton’ Wins a Second Straight Weekend At the Box Office

The N.W.A. biopic earned $26.7 million to take the top spot again, ahead of Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation which rose back up to second place with $11.7 million. Focus FIlm’s Sinister was the best debut film, finishing third with $10.6 million, while Hitman: Agent 47 with $8.2 million, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was fifth with $7.4 million. American Ultra had a flat $5.5 million to debut in sixth place. (BO)

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Revised Animation Workers’ Wage-Fixing Lawsuit

Afederal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit claiming that the Walt Disney Co., DreamWorks Animation, Sony ImageWorks and other companies violated antitrust laws by conspiring to set animation wages via non-poaching agreements. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, in a ruling issued on Thursday, said that the plaintiffs “have sufficiently alleged facts showing that defendants reached an agreement to conspire.” (VAR)

Manchester Securities Asks Court To Postpone Relativity Bankruptcy Hearing

The lender wants U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles to delay to this Friday a key hearing scheduled for tomorrow. It says in an “emergency motion” this morning that Relativity “flagrantly violated” court rules by waiting until late this past Friday to introduce “two key pieces of evidence.” They include a valuation of the company filed under seal. (DH)

As If There Was Any Doubt, George R.R. Martin Has Finally Admitted That ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will End Before the Books

During a Q&A at a conference in Spokane, Washington, the author acknowledged the show seems to be speeding through the story like “a jet locomotive,” and though he used to worry about it getting to the end before him, he no longer does. The next book in the series, The Winds of Winter, is expected some time in the not too distant future. (HP)

Following Years Of Disinterest, Nintendo Is Reconsidering Its Stance On Movie Adaptations

Ever since the disastrous Super Mario Bros. movie in 1993, feature films have not been in the cards for Nintendo’s characters, but that might be about to change. The company’s creative mastermind, Shigeru Miyamoto says in an interview that now the company is reconsidering its longtime stance and thinking of which properties it might like seen translated to film. (FT)

Once Again, the Dreaded “Creative Differences” Leads To a Major Showrunner Change

NBC’s Chicago Med is losing its showrunner. Executive producer Andrew Dettmann is departing the series after creative differences. The spinoff from NBC’s Chicago Fire — and the third in Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise — has already undergone creative retooling following Laurie Holden’s departure. It’s unclear at this point who from the Chicago franchise — or if someone new — will take over. (TLF)

With Audiences Growing More Accustomed To Immediate Access To Content, Theatrical Windows Continue To Shrink

Less than two years ago, an Indiewire article on the state of day-and-date releasing stated, “It’s unlikely that Hollywood studios and theater owners will ever agree to having films stream day-and-date on Netflix or on VOD.” What a difference two years makes. While studios largely continue to resist the day-and-date model, theatrical windows for indies continue to shrink in order to meet audience demand. (IW)

Trailer Buzz, Part 1: ‘Project Greenlight’

HBO has released the first look at the revamped documentary series from Matt Damon and ben Affleck, following a first-time filmmaker while making his debut feature. The eight-episode series debuts on the cable network on September 13th. (EW)

Trailer Buzz, Part 2: ‘Ash Vs. Evil Dead’

The Starz network has posted a new trailer for its upcoming adaptation of the cult movie series, from Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi and Tom Spezialy. The show premieres on Halloween night. (SF)

Screenwriters: Improvising Screenplays — Writing Compelling but Unlikeable Characters

Sure, the important thing for a movie is that we, as the audience, live vicariously through the main character. The protagonist often stands as an avatar for us: on a pretty basic, hardwired level, we can’t help but picture ourselves being in the same situation, facing the same obstacles, and taking the same actions as the main character on the screen. But what if the story you’re compelled to write necessarily involves an un-likable character? Is that off-limits? (SM)