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On The Set, Leonardo DiCaprio Developing Mafia Drama, Francis Lawrence Directing ‘Neverwhere,’ Emmy Predictions



On the Set for 9/18/15: Rian Johnson Calls Action on Star Wars: Episode 8, Ghostbusters & The Magnificent Seven Wrap

Other on the set news includes, the Will Ferrell/ Amy Poehler New Line comedy, The House, starting production and Universal’s third installment of The Purge starting shooting. (SSN)


Leonardo DiCaprio Developing 1980s Mafia Drama For Showtime

The premium cable network is teaming with DiCaprio and Ray Donovan writer Brett Johnson for an untitled drama exploring the Mafia. (THR)

Francis Lawrence Directing Neil Gaiman ‘Neverwhere’ Adaptation For TV

Francis Lawrence is set to exec produce and direct two TV series. One is based on Neil Gaiman‘s ’90s novel Neverwhere, and the other adapts the novel House of Thieves. The Mark Gordon Company is backing the development of both projects. (SF)

EMMY AWARDS 2015: Experts’ Predictions

It’s Emmy time!  Get the most updated predictions here on Gold Derby. (GD)

‘Annie’s’ Will Gluck In Negotiations To Direct R.A. Dickey Baseball Movie For TriStar

Will Gluck is in negotiations to produce and direct a movie about baseball pitcher R.A. Dickey for the studio’s TriStar label. (WRAP)

Brie Larson In Talks To Play Billie Jean King In ‘Battle of the Sexes’

Brie Larson is in talks to play Billie Jean King in Fox Searchlight’s Battle of the Sexes.  Steve Carell is set to play Bobby Riggs in the tennis drama. Larson would replace Emma Stone. (VAR)

‘In The Line Of Fire’ TV Series From Carol Mendelsohn & Josh Berman Set At NBC

NBC has given a scripted commitment with a hefty penalty to In The Line Of Fire, a series based on the 1993 Sony film. (DH)

Foreign Oscar Submissions So Far

Among the foreign-language titles on display at Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York are many titles that will wind up in the foreign Oscar race as their countries choose their final official submissions.  (IW)

Original Force Animation In Culver City Aims To Tap Into Vast Chinese Box Office

Company is the new motion picture division of China’s Original Force, a digital animation studio backed by Chinese social networking company Tencent Holdings. (LAT)



‘Thrones’ and ‘Veep Dominate Emmys, ‘Scorch Trials’ Wins BO, ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Pushed Two Weeks, Megan Fox Is the New ‘New Girl’


In Case You Weren’t Aware, the Emmy Awards Happened Last Night. We Have All Your Winners Right Here

Game of Thrones, Veep, The Daily Show and Olive Kitteredge were the big winners last night, but while Mad Men was mostly shut out in its final season, Jon Hamm finally won his Emmy. Viola Davis also took home some hardware, as did many others. Click on the link to get the full list of the lucky few. (THR)

‘Maze Runner’ Sequel Takes Box Office Top Spot, but ‘Black Mass’ Opens Strong

The Scorch Trials opened to a solid $30.3 million, less than the $32.5 million from its predecessor last year. Meanwhile, Johnny Depp’s performance as James “Whitey” Bulger helped Mass to a $23.4 million open and second place. M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit was third with $11.3 million, while The Perfect Guy, with $9.6 million, and Everest, opening exclusively in IMAX and PLF 3D locations, had an impressive $7.5 mil for fifth. (BO)

Excited To See ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ Next Summer? Paramount Is Making You Wait Two More Weeks

The third film in the rebooted series, directed by Justin Lin, has been pushed back from July 8th to July 22nd. This now pits the film against Ice Age: Collision Course and Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur film. Speculation is that Paramount saw the success of Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation after its July 31st release and wanted to replicate that next summer. (EMP)

With Zooey Deschanel On Maternity Leave, Megan Fox Will, Temporary At Least, Become Fox’s ‘New Girl’

The Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles star has been cast in a multi-episode arc during next year’s fifth season, which will premiere in January. Here’s the plan: In episode six, Deschanel’s Jess will find herself on sequestered during jury duty (and will not appear in the show). During that period, Fox’s character will rent out Jess’ room. (EW)

Dax Sheppard Continues Building His ‘CHiPs’ Cast, Corrals His Wife For a Role

Kristen Bell is set to join the cast of the Warner Bros. comedy, which hubby Shepard is directing and starring in, alongside Michael Pena, Adam Brody, Rosa Salazar and Vincent D’Onofrio, who will play the film’s villain. Adaptation of the 70s TV show follows two California highway patrol officers and their adventures in crime-fighting. Shepard  takes over the role of Officer Jon Baker, while Pena inherits the role of Frank “Ponch” Poncherello from Erik Estrada. (TW)

CBS Prepares To Take a Journey To ‘The Island Of Doctor Moreau’

H.G. Wells’ classic novel is being adapted for the small screen as a series is being developed for the network with Sleepy Hollow co-creator Phillip Iscove scripting. The new version, titled Moreau, will take place in a contemporary setting and will reverse the gender of the title character, following Dr. Katherine Moreau and her own explorations into mad science. (CS)

Add Two More Original Cast Members To Next Summer’s ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot

Following in the footsteps of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Annie Potts will appear in next summer’s eagerly awaited, Paul Feig-directed, all-female reboot. No word on what character Hudson will play, but Potts apparently has a cameo as a hotel clerk. The movie hits theaters July 15th, 2016. (CB)

Common Is Putting On His Producer Hat, Options Trio Of Novels In Hip Hop Mystery Series

Author Nelson George announced on Twitter that all three books in his D Hunter mystery series have been optioned by the rapper and actor. The novels include: The Accidental HunterThe Plot Against Hip Hop: A Novel, and The Lost Treasures of R&B, and are a series of stories set in the world of contemporary hip-hop, following the exploits of professional bodyguard turned private investigator, D Hunter, set against the backdrop of a gentrifying Brooklyn. (SAA)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Point Break’

Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment have released the new trailer from the upcoming action remake, starring Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Delroy Lindo, Theresa Palmer and Ray Winstone. The movie opens in theaters on Christmas Day. (YT)

Screenwriters: Writing Exercises — The Valley Of Impossibilities

Sometimes getting together with a few friends and exercising the ol’ brain can be a lot of fun. Like, when a friend is working on a story idea and is having trouble escalate the hero’s difficulties as he moved through his adventure. Where to take him? How to get there? (SM)

Exec Shuffle for 9/21/15: History Channel and A&E Shift Exec Teams Plus Moves at ILM, Weinstein, STX and ABC


Company Launches & Partnerships

Christie Smith and Julie Darmody are forming a To-Be Named Joint Venture. Darmody was formerly the President, Manager of Talent at Mosaic while Smith was formerly a talent manager at Mosaic.

Video Content Producer, Shandy Media is consolidating their brands, The Fumble, Hollyscoop, ModaMob, and The Savory – to form media company Obsev (“Obsessed with Everything”) to feature video and editorial content centering on pop culture.

Multiplatform media company Zealot Networks has bought Nirvana Digital, an Indian multiplatform network that operates over 200 YouTube channels as well as its own in-house content studio.

News Corp is acquiring video ad tech company Unruly in a $90-million-dollar deal. The company will continue working with its existing clients as it begins collaborating with News Corp business units.

Production company Citizen Skull is forming its own talent division to be named CSP Management with the target to help social media influencers form brand partnerships and cross over into film and TV.


Shannon Petranoff has been named the SVP of Interactive Marketing at Paramount and will oversee Paramount’s domestic online, mobile and social media marketing. She hails from Snapchat where she was a Creative Strategist. Previous to that she worked at Paramount.

Sam Mercer is now the Head at ILM Studios. His previous credits include a producer role on the upcoming film, The BFG.

Philip Button is now the EVP of International Production & Management at STX Entertainment. He was previously the SVP, Agent of Motion Picture Literary at WME.

Linda Cuevas is now the VP of Media & Distribution at Village Roadshow Pictures. She was formerly the Director of Media & Distribution at Village Roadshow Pictures.

Zoe Fairbourn is now the EVP of Promotions & Integrated Marketing at The Weinstein Company. She was formerly the EVP of Strategic Partnerships at Relativity Media.

John Fischer is now the VP at Temple Hill Entertainment. He was previously the VP at Heyday Films.

Alison Haskovec is now the SVP of Development & Production at Silvertongue Films. She was formerly the VP of Development at Evergreen Studios.

Shannon Olivas is now the SVP of Corporate Communications at Skydance Media. She was formerly the VP of Corporate Communications at The Honest Company.


Cesar Conde has been named the Chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. With this move, Joe Uva shifts from his position as Chairman of Hispanic Enterprises and Content to an adviser on NBC Deportes in Stamford, CT. Patricia Fili-Krusher is now pursuing other opportunities, as of November 1st, 2015. She was formerly the EVP of NBCUniversal.

Gina Mingacci has been hired on as BBC America’s VP in charge of development and current programming to be based in Los Angeles and report to Nena Rodrigue, head of programming and production. She previously served as president of production at New York-based Independent Pictures.

Jana Bennett has been promoted to President and General Manager of History in a move to replace Dirk Hoogstra who has left and will independently produce. Bennett was previously the President of FYI and LMN. Arturo Interian has been upped to SVP of Scripted Programming and Russ McCarroll has been upped to SVP of Development and Programming at the History Channel. Interian was recently the VP of Original Movies for Lifetime. Sean Boyle has been named the VP of Development and Programming. He was formerly the VP of Development at Discovery.

Justin Allen has been named the VP at Middle Man Productions, he was previously an Independent Producer. Erik Olsen is now the EVP at Middle Man Productions. He was previously the Senior Production Executive at LBI Entertainment.

Timothy Kuryak has been named the SVP of Unscripted Development & Production at UP TV. He was previously the SVP of Development at LionTV

William Marks has been named the VP of Business Development at Ovation. He was previously the Head of Accounts at OnCue.

Cindy Davis has been named the EVP of Consumer Experience at Disney/ABC Television Group. She was formerly the EVP of Global Customer Insights & Analytics at Walmart. John Frelinghuysen has been hired on as the EVP of Digital Media, Strategy & Business Development at Disney/ABC. He was previously the SVP and Head of Strategy at AOL.

Augustus Dulgaro has had his role expanded to include COO of ITV Studios Australia, in addition to EVP of Distribution, Asia-Pacific at ITV Studios Global Entertainment. David Mott has been named the CEO at ITV Studios Australia. He was previously the Managing Director at Nine Network in Perth.

Chris Fry has been hired on as an Executive Producer at Kudos. He was previously a Producer on the series, Humans. Jo Strevens is now the Head of Development at Kudos. He was previously a Story Producer on the series The Tunnel: Sabotage.

Glenn Geller has been named the President at CBS Entertainment. He was previously the EVP of Current Programming at CBS Network Television Entertainment Group.

Brian Gewirtz has been upped from Creative Consultant to the SVP of Development at Seven Bucks Productions in New York.

Caley Gray has been upped from Senior Director of Corporate Communications to the VP of Communications at NBCUniversal Content Distribution Group.

Stacy Green has been upped from SVP to EVP of Global Human Resources & Facilities at A+E Networks. Devon Graham Hammonds has been upped from Director of Non-Fiction & Alternative Programming to the VP of Development & Programming at A&E. Lance Still is now the SVP of Strategic Initiatives, Ad Sales at A+E Networks. He was previously the EVP of Promotions & Integrated Marketing at The Weinstein Company.

Scott Grogin is leaving his post as the SVP of Corporate Communications at Fox Networks Group in 2016.

Patrick Kelly has been named the EVP of Business Affairs at TBS & TNT. He was previously the SVP of Business Affairs at Turner Entertainment Networks.

Laura Merle has been named the Senior Director of Corporate Marketing Services at Univision Communications Inc., she formerly worked in the Office of the CEO at Univision. José Morales has been named the VP of Local Marketing Strategy at Univision Communications Inc. He was previously the VP of Content and News Director at Telemundo 47.

Jennifer O’Connell is now the EVP of Alternative Programming at Lionsgate Television. She was formerly the Head of U.S. Television at CORE Media Group. Sandra Stern has been upped from COO to President at Lionsgate Television Group.

Tommy Paul is now the Director of Original Programming at Marvel Television. He was previously the Creative Executive at Shore Z Productions.

Jodie Platt is now the VP of Programming and Development, International Production at Sony Pictures Television. She was formerly the VP of Current Programming at ABC Entertainment.

Pamela Post has been upped from VP to SVP of Original Programming & Series Development at Logo TV.

James Rosenstock is now the EVP of International & Corporate Development at Vice Media. He was previously the EVP of Corporate Development at Discovery Communications.

Sallie Schoneboom is now the SVP of Public Relations at IFC. She was formerly the SVP of Communications at Syfy and Chiller.

Claudia Balzer Scott-Hansen is now the VP of Distribution at 9 Story Media Group. She was formerly the SVP of Group Director, Broadcast, Americas and EMEA at HIT Entertainment.

Management, PR, Agencies

Amanda Hacohen is now the Agent of TV Literary at APA. She previously worked in Comedy Development at ABC.

Mitchell A. Kamin is now the Partner at Covington & Burling. He was previously the Co-Managing Partner, Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks & Lincenberg.

Sarabeth Schedeen is now a Talent Agent at BRS/Gage. She was formerly a talent agent at Sovereign Talent Group.

Andy Stabile is now an Agent of International TV & Media at ICM Partners. He was previously a Partner and Head of Alternative Department at Kaplan Stahler Agency.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Condé Nast President Robert A. Sauerberg Jr. will take over for current CEO Charles H. Townsend come January. Townsend will become chairman of Condé Nast U.S. Over the past decade, he and Sauerberg helped oversee Condé Nast’s foray into premium digital content creation. Over in the branding division, Will Misselbrook will be Head of Branded Entertainment, and Eden Gorcey will serve as Head of Branded Content, Digital Sales, and Strategy.

Dave Dickman has been named the President of Reelio, an influencer marketing platform that specializes in connecting brands with popular digital content creators. He previously served as Global Head of Sales for iAd, Apple’s in-app advertising platform.

Douglas Parker has been named the Executive Creative Director, UX and Visual Design for People and Entertainment Weekly’s digital entertainment group at Time Inc. He previously served as Digital Creative Director for Bravo and Oxygen.

Michael Winship has been re-elected President of the WGA East along with VP Jeremy Pikser and Secretary-Treasurer Bob Schneider. All ran unopposed in an election where roughly 10% of the guild’s 4,000 members voted for the nine open council seats and all but two of which were won by incumbents.

Dick Glover is now the CEO of Mandalay Sports Media. He was previously the CEO of Funny Or Die.

Tyson Parker is now the Head of Artist & Music Industry Relations at Bell Media. He was previously the VP of Communications & Artist Relations at Universal Music Canada.

Exec Shuffle, Emmy Best and Worst, Tracy Morgan to Star in ‘Fist Fight,’ Bluegrass Options Spy Biography



Exec Shuffle for 9/21/15: History Channel and A&E Shift Exec Teams Plus Moves at ILM, Weinstein, STX and ABC

Other exec shuffle news includes, Lionsgate upping Sandra Stern to TV president, two managers at Mosaic leaving to start their own new venture and Temple Hill grabbing a new VP. (SSN)


Emmys 2015: The 21 Best, Worst, Funniest and Most Moving Moments

The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards are in the books, and TVLine has your rundown of the Best and Worst Moments. (TVL)

Tracy Morgan To Join Ice Cube, Charlie Day In New Line Comedy ‘Fist Fight’

Tracy Morgan is in negotiations to join Ice Cube and Charlie Day in New Line’s comedy Fist Fight. (WRAP)

Bluegrass Options WWII Spy Biography ‘The Spy Who Loved’

Bluegrass Films has optioned The Spy Who Loved, a biography written by Clare Mulley about WWII British spy Christine Granville. Cat Vasko has been hired to write the script and Bluegrass’s Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark are producing.  (DH)

The Fall TV Live-Tweet Onslaught Is Coming, And It’s Not Going Away

Over the next two weeks, 58 primetime broadcast series will have their season premieres. Which means your Twitter feed will fill up with actors and producers of those shows talking about those season premieres. (THR)

Marvel Ups Victoria Alonso To Head Of Physical Production

Marvel Studios has promoted its longtime visual effects chief, Victoria Alonso, to executive vice president, physical production. She becomes one of the few women to ever hold a position has physical production chief at a studio. (VAR)

Liam Neeson Starring In ‘The Commuter

Liam Neeson has agreed to star in The Commuter, which has a script from Byron Willinger and Phil de Blasi. Set to shoot in New York next spring (a director has yet to sign on), it comes from The Picture Company and StudioCanal. (EMP)

Amazon Sets Kristen Wiig-Starrer ‘Desired Moments’

Amazon is completing negotiations to finance Desired Moments, a Griffin Creech-scripted film that has Kristen Wiig attached and director Tom Kuntz set to direct with production to begin in January. (DH)

Why We Bought Your Film: Top Distributors Answer The Tough Questions

At an IFP Film Week panel, distribution executives weighed in on advice, challenges and tips for navigating the distribution marketplace. (IW)

Warner-CBC Make New Joint Venture, ‘Girl On the Train’ Targets Two Big Stars, ‘Sicario’ Sequel Already In the Works, ‘The Big Short’s Oscar Friendly Release Date


Warner Bros., China Media Capital Unveil Joint Venture to Produce Chinese-Language Tentpoles

Headquartered in Hong Kong, with offices in Los Angeles and Beijing, the new Flagship Entertainment Group Ltd. will produce a slate of movies for global distribution, with the first titles released as soon as 2016. Flagship Entertainment will be owned 51 percent by a consortium of Chinese investors led by CMC, with Hong Kong broadcaster TVB holding 10 percent within the group. Warner Bros. will own the remaining 49 percent. (THR)

‘The Girl On the Train’ Already Has Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson On Board, Is Now Eyeing Chris Evans and Jared Leto

Both actors have entered negotiations to join the project, based on the bestselling book by Paula Hawkins. Tate Taylor is directing the film, which has a screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson and will also stars Haley Bennett. Marc Platt and Jared LeBoff are producing. (CS)

‘Sicario’ Hasn’t Even Opened Wide Yet, but Lionsgate Has Already Put a Sequel Into Development

Following the film’s robust box office performance in limited release, the mini-major studio has the film’s writer, Taylor Sheridan, overseeing the development of a followup. The movie stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, and involves a secret government mission involving drug cartels on the U.S.-Mexico border. The idea is to craft a sequel around the mysterious hit man played by Del Toro. No word if director Denis Villeneuve will return. (COL)

Christian Bale, Brad Pitt’s ‘The Big Short’ Gets Release Date, AFI Fest Premiere

Paramount Pictures announced this morning that Adam McKay’s film — with an all-star cast that also includes Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei and Melissa Leo — would be getting a December release. The film, based on the book by Michael Lewis, tells the story of bond and real estate derivative geeks who saw the housing crash of 2008 coming and bet against the collateralized debt obligation bubble, thus striking it rich. (VAR)

Allison Tolman and Michaela Watkins Join Amy Poehler/Will Ferrell Comedy, While Rob Reiner’s LBJ Flick Rounds Out Its Cast

The untitled comedy is about parents who accidentally spend the money set aside for their daughter’s college tuition, then open an underground casino. Meanwhile, Reiner’s film stars Woody Harrelson as LBJ and also features Brent Bailey, John Burke, Brian Stepanek, Rich Sommer, Tim Ransom, Judd Lormand, Richard Jenkins, Bill Pullman, Doug McKeon, Jeffrey Donovan, Kim Allen, Michael Stahl-David and Jennifer Jason Leigh. (DH)

No More TV Show? No Problem For Jordan Peele, Who Is About To Direct a Horror Flick

The performer has a deal to write and director a horror thriller called Get Out for Jason Blum’s mini-budget company Blumhouse Productions. It’ll follow a young African-American man who visits the sprawling estate owned by his white girlfriend’s family and, once would assume, discovers something terrible. (EMP)

NBC Is Looking For a Very ‘Cosmopolitan’ Feel To Its Next Drama

Network is developing a new show based on the popular women’s magazine. Inspired by the life of Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, who is on board to executive produce the untitled project. Show will explore the same issues the magazine’s readers are likely dealing with. Among them: balancing career and family, finding your identity, getting your heart broken and managing friendships — all while wearing the perfect pair of jeans that flatter any body type. (LF)

Vanessa Williams’ Triumphant Return To TV Is a Go, Thanks To ‘The Good Wife’

Actress will join the critically acclaimed drama in a recurring role this November. Williams will play Courtney Boalt, an extremely successful, self-made businesswoman who is potentially interested in backing Peter Florrick’s (Chris Noth) campaign for President. In the process, she meets Eli Gold (Alan Cumming), sparking a mutual attraction. (SAA)

Twenty Years Later, ‘Seven’ Screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker Looks Back At the Film That Became a Phenomenon

When he wrote it, Walker worked at a Tower Records in New York, and served as a PA on films like Blood Rush. He vowed to write his way out of that record store, and while Walker never thought that his movie would be made, his script eventually made its way to director David Fincher. Fortunately for all of us, Fincher accidentally received Walker’s original script instead of the copy with a rewritten ending, and from there … well, you know what happened. (UR)

In Memory Of Wes Craven: 23 Things Learned From His ‘Swamp Thing’ Commentary

Everyone has their favorite Craven, but it’s probably safe to assume that few would choose Swamp Thing as their top choice. And yet, Scream Factory released the film to Blu-ray earlier this year, and it features a commentary track with Craven and Sean Clark (of Horror’s Hallowed Grounds). (FSR)

TV Development for 9/22/15: Jason Statham Developing First TV Project, Pete Holmes ‘Crashing’ HBO, ‘Mensch On a Bench’ Special in the Works


Network: HBO
Executive Producer(s): Pete Holmes, Judd Apatow, Dave Rath
Writer(s): Pete Holmes
Logline: After his wife leaves him, a sweet, wholesome comedian has nowhere to stay but on the couches of New York’s finest comics.
Details: Based loosely on the real life experiences of Pete Holmes.
SSN Insight: HBO ordered the pilot on September 16. Judd Apatow is set to direct.

Doctor Thorne
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Production Company(s): Hat Trick Productions
Executive Producer(s): Julian Fellowes, Mark Redhead, Ted Childs, Chris Kelly, Harvey Weinstein
Writer(s): Julian Fellowes
Logline: The story centers on Dr.Thomas Thorne, who lives in the village of Greshamsbury with his beautiful niece, Mary, a girl blessed with every gift except money. Her husband has frittered away the family fortune and is only being kept afloat by very favorable loans that Dr Thorne has secured from a railway millionaire, Sir Roger Scatcherd. However, Sir Roger’s financial future is uncertain, so Lady Arabella believes it is her son’s duty to make a rich marriage to save the family estate.
Details: Based on the novel, “Doctor Thorne,” written by Anthony Trollope and published in 1858.
SSN Insight: Tom Hollander (The Night Manager, Pirates Of The Caribbean) will play the title role of Dr Thomas Thorne. Alison Brie (Mad Men, Community) is playing Miss Martha Dunstable. TWC snagged the U.S. rights to the ITV series at TIFF.

Dumb Prince
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment, Paper Kite Productions
Executive Producer(s): Charlie Grandy, Amy Poehler, Brooke Posch, Dave Becky
Writer(s): Charlie Grandy
Logline: A reluctant Crown Prince attempts to run the family business his way, thereby throwing his highly publicized and dysfunctional family into chaos.
SSN Insight: NBC ordered the pilot on September 17.

Fix My Mom
Network: Oxygen
Production Company(s): Bunim/Murray Productions
Executive Producer(s): Gil Goldschein, Julie Pizzi, Sean Rankine, Dave Rupel, Mark Seliga
Logline: Mother-daughter pairs undergo a series of physical and emotional challenges in hopes of mending their rocky relationships. Under the guidance of life coach Laura Baron, the women will be tested by specifically designed exercises to get to the root of their issues and fix what they hold most dear.
SSN Insight: Oxygen gave a series order on September 17.

Front Man
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): Brownstone Productions, Piece of Pie Productions
Executive Producer(s): Emily Kapnek, Elizabeth Banks, Max Handelman
Writer(s): Emily Kapnek
Logline: Paul was an overindulged only child, born to two doting helicopter parents. Now approaching 30, he is forced to acknowledge that his dream of becoming a famous singer/songwriter isn’t happening. Wrenched from the comfort of his family home, Paul must learn to stand on his own. He takes the gig of front man for a local wedding band and learns more than wedding reception staples in the process.
SSN Insight: Fox ordered the pilot on September 17.

Hart To Hart
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Carol Mendelsohn Productions
Executive Producer(s): Christopher Fife, Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz
Writer(s): Christopher Fife
Logline: “By the book” attorney Jonathan Hart and free-spirited investigator Dan Hartman must balance the two sides of their life: action-packed crime-solving in the midst of newly found domesticity.
Details: Based on the series, “Hart To Hart,” which aired on ABC from 1979-1984.
SSN Insight: NBC gave an initial commitment of a script plus penalty on September 15.

House Of Thieves
Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company, Entertainment One
Executive Producer(s): Francis Lawrence, Mark R. Gordon, Erwin Stoff
Logline: In 1886 New York, a respectable architect shouldn’t have any connection to the notorious gang of thieves and killers that rules the underbelly of the city. But when John Cross’ son racks up an unfathomable gambling debt to Kent’s Gents, Cross must pay it back himself. All he has to do is use his inside knowledge of high society mansions and museums to craft a robbery even the smartest detectives won’t solve. Soon Cross becomes invaluable to the gang and with that his entire life becomes a balancing act, and it will only take one mistake for it all to come crashing down, and for his family to go down too.
Details: Based on the novel, “House of Thieves,” written by Charles Belfoure and published by Sourcebooks Landmark on September 15, 2015.
SSN Insight: Mark Gordon Company, backed by Entertainment One, will finance the development of the project and will deficit finance if it goes to series. Francis Lawrence is set to direct.

In The Line Of Fire
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Carol Mendelsohn Productions
Executive Producer(s): Josh Berman, Carol Mendelsohn, Julie Weitz, Gail Katz
Writer(s): Carol Mendelsohn, Josh Berman
Logline: A Secret Service agent, after a fall from grace, gets the chance to redeem himself when a rogue CIA hitman threatens to assassinate the president. The agent and his female partner will investigate cases while engaged simultaneously in a twisted cat-and-mouse with the would-be assassin, who will upend their lives, forcing them to question their loyalties both professional and personal.
Details: Based on the film, “In The Line Of Fire,” (1993), directed by Wolfgang Petersen and starring Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich.
SSN Insight: NBC has given an initial commitment of a script plus penalty as of September 18.

Jermaine Fowler: Give ‘Em Hell Kid
Network: Showtime
Executive Producer(s): Jermaine Fowler
Logline: The show includes a mix of stand-up and first-person interviews from those who know Jermaine Fowler best.
SSN Insight: To debut on December 11. CBS landed an untitled series from Jermaine Fowler in a competitive situation and this project was also a part of that deal.

Join or Die With Craig Ferguson
Network: History Channel
Studio: Lionsgate
Production Company(s): Green Mountain West Inc., Comedy Dynamics
Executive Producer(s): Craig Ferguson, Phil Cottone, Brian Volk-Weiss, Jim Biederman, Tim Healy
Logline: Host Craig Ferguson debates provocative and timely topics with a panel of guests which will include celebrities and history experts, as well as the American public through social media. In addition to the debate, the show will also produce extensive digital pieces.
SSN Insight: History gave a series order of 16 episodes as of September 17.

Law & Order: You The Jury
Network: NBC Entertainment
Production Company(s): Wolf Films, Inc., Magical Elves
Executive Producer(s): Dick Wolf, Tom Thayer, Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz
Logline: The show puts the power of the law directly into viewers’ hands with real life legal cases. The audience serves as the jury and will not only determine the verdict, but will also be able to vote throughout the trial on the veracity of witnesses and persuasiveness of evidence.
SSN Insight: NBC ordered the series. Marks Wolf’s fifth spinoff for NBC, others include Law & Order: SVU, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med.

Network: CBS
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company
Executive Producer(s): Phillip Iscove, Frank Marshall, Robert D. Zotnowski
Writer(s): Phillip Iscove
Logline: Fiercely intelligent and fearless, Dr. Katherine Moreau expands the boundaries of medicine through bold and revolutionary scientific experimentation and treatments in her privately funded island hospital.
Details: Based on the novel, “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” written by H.G. Wells and published by Heinemann, Stone & Kimball in 1896.
SSN Insight: CBS gave an initial script commitment on September 18.

Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company, Entertainment One
Executive Producer(s): Francis Lawrence, Mark R. Gordon, Erwin Stoff
Logline: When Richard Mayhew encounters an injured girl named Door on the street one night, he decides to help her despite his fiancée’s protests. Upon doing so he ceases to exist on Earth and becomes real only to the denizens of ‘London Below’, whose inhabitants are generally invisible and non-existent to the people of ‘London Above’. He loses his house, his job and nearly his mind as he travels London Below in an attempt to make sense out of it all, find a way back, and help Door survive as she is hunted down by hired assassins. Based on the miniseries and novel.
Details: Based on the British miniseries, “Neverwhere,” created by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry, which premiered on BBC 2 in 1996. It was subsequently turned into a novel written by Gaiman.
SSN Insight: Mark Gordon Company, backed by Entertainment One, will finance the development of the project and will deficit finance if it goes to series. Francis Lawrence is set to direct.

Ordinary People
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios
Production Company(s): Principato-Young Entertainment, Legendary Entertainment, Get Lifted Film Co.
Executive Producer(s): John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius, Chrissy Teigen, Kenya Barris
Writer(s): Tracy Oliver
Logline: The show explores an interracial couple with very different personalities and big ambitions.
Details: Loosely inspired by the relationship between John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.
SSN Insight: ABC gave a put pilot commitment on September 17.

Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios
Production Company(s): Industry Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Dianne Fraser, Helena Heyman, Julia Franz
Writer(s): Cherry Chevapravatdumrong
Logline: The story centers on a woman in a male-dominated workplace.
SSN Insight: Cherry ‘Cheva’ also wrote two YA novels, She’s So Money and DupliKate, and formerly developed a comedy for Fox.

Network: Hulu
Production Company(s): Tall Girls Productions
Executive Producer(s): Melissa Rosenberg, Kate Schumaecker
Writer(s): Mike Cahill
Logline: Surrounds the outbreak of an insomnia epidemic, with the story told intimately through the eyes of an ensemble of rich and complicated characters.
SSN Insight: Tall Girls is currently under a deal with ABC Signature. Planned as a ten-episode continuing series, with Cahill writing and directing all or most of the episodes in the first season.

Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): EuropaCorp
Executive Producer(s): Luc Besson, Matt Gross, Edouard de Vesinne, Thomas Anargyros
Logline: Bryan Mills is a young man with no wife and kids. What he does have is a very particular set of skills, skills he has acquired over a very long career. The series will focus on how Mills acquired those skills. Based on the film.
Details: Based on the film, “Taken” (2008), directed by Pierre Morel and starring Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace.
SSN Insight: NBC gave a straight to series order on September 17.

The Mensch On a Bench
Production Company(s): Pilgrim Studios
Executive Producer(s): Craig Piligian
Logline: Moshe the Mensch watches over the Jewish people during the great miracle of Hanukkah. Moshe tells the story of the Jewish holiday through adventures that always circle back to values of kindness, gratitude, humor and an independent spirit. Moshe introduces children to the traditions of Hanukkah and teaches them to be good and honorable people, also known as Mensches. Based on the toy property.
Details: Based on the toy and book properties created by Neal Hoffman.
SSN Insight: In 2014, Hoffman pitched the product on ABC’s Shark Tank, where he struck a deal with Sharks Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner. The products is now in major retailers such as Target, Michael’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

The Mist
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Writer(s): Christian Torpe
Logline: A seemingly innocuous mist seeps into a small town but contains limitless havoc. From psychological terrors to otherworldly creatures, the mist causes the town residents’ darkest demons to appear forcing them to battle the supernatural event and, more importantly, each other.
Details: Based on the novella, “The Mist,” written by Stephen King and first published as part of the horror anthology, “Dark Forces” by Viking Press in 1980. The novella was also adapted into the film, “The Mist,” (2007), directed by Frank Darabont and starri
SSN Insight: TWC recently picked up the U.S. rights to TIFF screened crime drama Trapped, an Icelandic TV series created by Baltasar Kormakur and Doctor Thorne, created by Julian Fellowes.

The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios
Production Company(s): Kapital Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Sarah Dunn, Aaron Kaplan
Writer(s): Sarah Dunn
Logline: Katie, our narrator, is a (slightly) larger wife and mother raising her flawed family of three in a wealthy town filled with “perfect” wives and their “perfect” offspring.
SSN Insight: At ABC, Kaplan also has a put pilot with the genre-themed drama Monstropolis along with Dana Klein’s comedy project Bad News and returning drama series Secrets & Lies.

Under Her Thumb
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): Will Packer Productions
Executive Producer(s): Alison McDonald, Will Packer
Writer(s): Alison McDonald
Logline: A campy cautionary tale set in the morally bankrupt world of high-end New York City real estate.
SSN Insight: NBC gave an initial commitment of a put pilot on September 21.

Untitled Jermaine Fowler Family Comedy Project
Network: CBS Entertainment
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Jermaine Fowler, Michael Rotenberg, Josh Lieberman
Writer(s): Jermaine Fowler
Logline: A 27-year-old man brings up children who are around 10. Kids raising kids.
Details: Inspired by the real life of Jermaine Fowler.
SSN Insight: CBS landed the project in a competitive situation, as part of the deal, Showtime will air a Jermaine Fowler special.

Untitled Leonardo DiCaprio 1980s Mafia Drama Project
Network: Showtime
Production Company(s): Appian Way
Executive Producer(s): Brett L Johnson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Bryan Zuriff, Chuck Pacheco
Writer(s): Brett L Johnson
Logline: The story traces a decade-long relationship between an unstable mafia captain and a rogue federal agent, each violating the strict codes of their respective organizations. Set in 1980s Brooklyn, the series examines the corrosive power the Wall Street era had on both the mafia and the FBI.
SSN Insight: Johnson previously moved up from script coordinator to co-writer of an episode on Mad Men entitled, The Grown-ups. He followed that position up by writing and producing on Showtime’s Ray Donovan for three seasons.

Untitled Marlon Wayans Comedy Project
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): 3 Arts Entertainment, Unnamed Marlon Wayans Company
Executive Producer(s): Marlon Wayans, Christopher Moynihan, Rick Alvarez, Michael Rotenberg
Logline: An inappropriate but loving father is committed to successfully co-parenting with his polar opposite ex-wife.
Details: Loosely inspired by the real life of Marlon Wayans.
SSN Insight: NBC gave an initial commitment of a put pilot on September 18. Marlon Wayans just inked an overall deal with Universal TV.

Untitled Rick Cleveland Drama Project
Production Company(s): Sonar Entertainment, StoryBy Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Rick Cleveland
Writer(s): Rick Cleveland
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Details: Based on real-life events.
SSN Insight: Sonar Entertainment has inked an exclusive first-look deal with indie production company StoryBy Entertainment with the goal of packaging underlying literary material.

Virtually In Love
Network: Oxygen
Production Company(s): Fly on the Wall Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Allison Grodner, Rich Meehan, Dena Waxman
Logline: Women get the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the person they’ve been dating online. Each episode features real couples who have so far only interacted online. The couples will get a personal look at life with one another, traveling to their hometowns and meeting family and friends. After doing so, they’ll decide if they still click or if they want to break things off.
SSN Insight: Oxygen gave a series order on September 17.

Viva La Madness
Studio: Gaumont International Television
Production Company(s): SJ Pictures
Executive Producer(s): J.J. Connolly, Jason Statham, Steve Chasman
Writer(s): J.J. Connolly
Logline: An anonymous hero is stranded in the Caribbean itching for the criminal life he left behind — but he is still a wanted man back home. He soon joins forces with two robust London gangsters: the menacing Sonny King and his paranoid partner Roy “Twitchy” Burns.
Details: Based on the novel, “Viva La Madness,” written by J.J. Connolly and published by The Overlook Press on May 10, 2012.
SSN Insight: Marks Statham’s first starring TV role. Viva La Madness is the follow-up to Connolly’s novel Layer Cake, which was adapted into a film in 2004. Statham and Steven Chasman co-own the rights to the project.

Screenwriting Infographics, TV Development, Mila Kunis and Rob Zombie Team Up for Starz, Scott Waugh to Direct ‘Outlaws Inc’



Screenplay Writing Explained In 7 Infographics

Screenplay writing is a visual art form, so SSN contributor Stephanie Palmer approaches the topic visually. Here are 7 of the most succinct and compelling infographics about screenplay writing. (SSN)

TV Development for 9/22/15: Jason Statham Developing First TV Project, Pete Holmes ‘Crashing’ HBO, ‘Mensch On a Bench’ Special in the Works

Other TV Development news includes, Fox ordering a pilot from Emily Kapnek and Warner Bros. Television, NBC committing to script on a remake of Hart to Hart and Mark Gordon with Entertainment One financing House of Thieves with Francis Lawrence to direct.  (SSN)


Mila Kunis and Rob Zombie Join Forces on the Starz Series ‘Trapped’

Starz announced the series development of Trapped in association with Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions with Kunis serving as Executive Producer alongside Rob Zombie, who will also direct. (CS)

‘Act Of Valor’ Helmer Scott Waugh To Direct ‘Outlaws Inc.’

Act Of Valor director Scott Waugh is set to helm Outlaws Inc., a drama about military men who turn to mercenary work. The script is set with Thunder Road and Fundamental Films, which will fully finance the film. (DH)

Samuel L. Jackson & Eugene Lee Team Up for Film Adaptation of ‘East Texas Hot Links’

Eugene Lee’s play East Texas Hot Links is heading to the big screen with Samuel L. Jackson as co-executive producer.  Lee will adapt his play for the movie adaptation and direct. (BB)

Bravo Greenlights Female-Lead Comedy Pilots ‘True Fiction,’ ‘My So Called Wife’

Bravo has added one-hour pilots True Fiction and My So Called Wife to its development slate. Hailing from Universal Cable Production, both have female leads and are described as dark comedies. (VAR)

Kit Harrington Spy Thriller ‘MI-5’ Sells to Saban Films, Will Hit Theaters This Year

Saban Films has acquired the North American distribution rights to Bharat Nalluri’s espionage thriller MI-5, which stars Kit Harington from HBO’s Game of Thrones. (WRAP)

Sawyer Hartman Makes The Jump From YouTube To Feature Films With ‘The Parallax Theory’

Sawyer Hartman has racked up 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube and is now stepping behind the camera with The Parallax Theory – his first foray into writing and directing feature films – which premieres Tuesday via Vimeo On Demand. Perhaps he’s a new talent ripe for more? (EW)

J.K. Rowling’s New Pottermore Story Reveals How Harry Potter’s Family Got So Rich

J.K. Rowling has long been a fan of family trees, and for the redesign of her Pottermore site, she’s debuted a new essay that delves into the Potter family’s ancestry. (VUL)

Film & TV Deals for 9/23/15: Altice Buys Cablevision, Marlon Wayans Inks Deal with Uni TV, WB Joins Forces with China Media Capital


UK directors Anand Tucker and Sharon Maguire have launched a production company backed by All3Media called Seven Stories to create TV projects for the UK and U.S. markets. Under the deal, All3Media will hold an undisclosed stake in the company and distribute its content through All3Media International. Stephen Lambert will be a Non-Exec Chairman. Jo McClellan and Colleen Woodcock will join as Creative Directors. McClellan was previously a Drama EP for Sky while Woodcock served as Pathe Productions’ Head of Creative Affairs.

Fremantle Media has acquired a 25% stake in Naked Entertainment. The shingle is run by Simon Andreae, the former Head of Alternative Entertainment at Fox. Under the deal, Fremantle will cover some overhead and distribution. Andreae also has a first-look deal at Fox for his U.S.-based projects. His target for Naked is to generate half its revenue from America within two years, with an immediate focus on working with UK broadcasters.

Billionaire Patrick Drahi’s telecom company, Altice is set to purchase Cablevision, which currently has an estimated 2.6 million video customers, in a deal worth around $10 billion. Upon Altice combining Cablevision with Suddenlink it will become the number four operator in the United States.
TV producer Archie Gips has inked an overall first-look deal with 44 Blue Productions to develop unscripted TV formats for 44 Blue under his Glad I Thought of It Productions banner. Gips is the EP and showrunner for the 44 Blue-produced Wahlburgers on A&E and was an EP on its sister show, Donnie Loves Jenny. Gips’ other producing credits include Duck Dynasty, Top Chef, Last Comic Standing and Blind Date.

Sonar Entertainment has inked an exclusive first-look deal with indie production company StoryBy Entertainment with the goal of packaging underlying literary material. The first project set under the deal is a family drama based on real-life events written and executive produced by Rick Cleveland, known for House Of Cards and The West Wing.

TV director Niels Arden Oplev has inked an overall deal with Universal TV. He recently directed the pilot to the USA drama Mr. Robot and NBC’s upcoming series, Game of Silence. He also directed the highly-rated opening episode of the CBS summer drama series Under The Dome.

Jon Taffer has signed a first-look deal with Spike TV to develop future series. He is the current star of Spike TV’s hit original series, Bar Rescue currently in Season 4. Season 3 averaged 1.8 million viewers.

Long-time TV showrunner Tim Doyle has inked a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios to develop comedy projects for network, cable, and streaming services and will serve as a consulting producer on ABC Studios’ midseason family comedy series for The Real O’Neals. He previously was the executive producer and showrunner on Last Man Standing for three years.

Warner Bros has joined forces with China Media Capital to form the venture, Flagship Entertainment Group. The goal of the venture is to develop, invest in, acquire and produce a wide range of Chinese language films for distribution throughout China and around the world through Warner Bros’ network with the first titles to release in 2016.

Marlon Wayans has launched an as yet-unnamed production company with business partner Rick Alvarez to be based at Universal TV, where Wayans has inked an overall deal. Under the deal, Wayans is developing a semi-autobiographical comedy series with co-creator Chris Moynihan, who also is under an overall deal at Universal TV. The goal of the deal is to develop scripted and unscripted projects.

Rep Moves for 9/23/15: CAA Signs Vine Star Liza Koshy, Marc Forster Scooped Up by WME, CAA Signs YouTube Brand What’s Up Moms


CAA: Vine star Liza Koshy has signed with CAA for representation in all areas including digital distribution and partnerships, film, television, endorsements, personal appearances and print publishing. The comedian first came to prominence on social video app Vine, where she has over 3.4 million followers. The fluent Spanish speaker and dancer has participated in campaigns for Dunkin’ Donuts, Hewlett-Packard and Aeropostale, collaborated with musician Meghan Trainor, and hosted a digital event in connection with MTV’s Video Music Awards.

UTA: Emirati director Majid Al-Ansari has signed with UTA. His debut feature, Rattle The Cage, has been picked up by IM Global for international sales with Cinetic Media repping domestic rights. The psychological thriller film, fully financed by Image Nation will premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin, later this month and have its European premiere at the upcoming BFI London Film Festival in October.

WME: Director Marc Forster has signed with WME. He’s best known for directing his breakthrough feature, Monster’s Ball as well as Finding Neverland, World War Z and Quantum of Solace. He recently wrapped the Black Lively starrer All I See is You. He also executive produces the Amazon series, Hand of God, along with directing two episodes.

CAA: YouTube parenting brand, What’s Up Moms has signed with the agency with the goal to create opportunities in all areas including business development, licensing, television, personal appearances, publishing and endorsements. The brand has also hired digital media strategist Liane Mullin as their President and COO. What’s Up Moms recently won the Kids and Family Streamy Award, with co-founders Elle Walker and Meg Resnikoff and partner Brooke Mahan accepting the award.

Brio Entertainment: Actor Nat Zang has signed with Brio Ent. for all representation. The teenage currently is a series regular on the SyFy horror-comedy, Z Nation. It is currently in its second season.

CAA: Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly has just signed with the agency. She currently anchors the show The Kelly File, the number two rated cable news program. She has the goal to expand into other areas which includes producing a project with Kevin Spacey called The Residence, a scripted White House series based on the book by Kate Andersen Brower.

UTA: Actress Jaz Sinclair has signed with the agency. She made her debut on HBO’s Masterclass with other credits that include NBC’s Revolution, and TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles and will be seen in When the Bough Breaks alongside Regina Hall. She is also repped by Creative Partners Group and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof and Fishman.

Amazon Orders Six Pilots, Sean Penn Sues Lee Daniels, Shane Carruth Goes Hollywood, ‘John Wick 2′ a Go, Film &TV Deals/Rep Moves For 9/23/15



Film & TV Deals for 9/23/15: Altice Buys Cablevision, Marlon Wayans Inks Deal with Uni TV, WB Joins Forces with China Media Capital

Lots of action this week, with a new production company launched by British filmmakers Anand Tucker and Sharon Maguire, Fremantle Media buying a big stake in Naked Entertainment, a couple big first-look and overall deals signed on the TV side, and plenty of other stuff. Click on the link for more. (SSN)

Rep Moves for 9/23/15: CAA Signs Vine Star Liza Koshy, Marc Forster Scooped Up by WME, CAA Signs YouTube Brand What’s Up Moms

Creative Arts Agency has a big week, as does UTA, as the standard comings and going from one agency to another, and the signing of entirely new talent as well, continues. (SSN)


Amazon Sets Six Fall Pilots, Including Comedies from Louis C.K., Sacha Baron Cohen

Online streaming and shopping service — and now multiple Emmy-winner — has three half hour comedies and three hour-long dramas. Comedies are Highston, One Mississippi and Z, and the dramas are Edge, Good Girls Revolt, and Patriot. Additional talent behind the shows includes Bob Nelson, Diablo Cody, Tig Notaro, Nicole Holofcener, Tim Blake Nelson, Shane Black, and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. (VAR)

Today In Celebrity Lawsuits: Sean Penn Is Suing Lee Daniels For Saying He Beats Women

The actor has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the co-creator of Fox’s Empire, after the latter mentioned in an interview that Terence Howard’s ongoing issues with domestic abuse “ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f—-in’ demon. That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.” (UR)

‘Primer’ Director Shane Carruth Goes Hollywood with Nautical Adventure ‘The Modern Ocean’

The writer/director/cinematographer/producer/actor/composer behind Primer and Upstream Color has signed with WME, and the agency is helping him to get his big-budget, nautical action film off the ground. Lawrence Inglee’s Blackbird will produce it alongside Carruth, in partnership with financier Gideon Tadmor. (COL)

Wasting No Time At All, the ‘John Wick’ Team Will Film the Sequel This Fall

Keanu Reeves will be reprising the title role, while directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski and screenwriter Derek Kolstad are also returning. John Wick 2 will be released through Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment and will be produced by Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk, who also produced the first film. (CS)

Nick Nolte Needs a New Co-Star For His Epix Series, Graves, as Susan Sarandon Drops Out

Premium TV network/VOD service said in a statement today that the Oscar-winning actress has left the show due to the infamous “artistic differences.” She had been set to play the wife of former U.S. President Richard Graves (Nolte), who decides to follow her own political ambitions just as her husband embarks on a Quixotic journey to right the wrongs of his administration two decades after leaving office. They are seeking her replacement. (DH)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘The Big Short’

Paramount Pictures has released the first look at the upcoming drama, based on the book by Michael Lewis. Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt and directed by Adam McKay, it opens in theaters Christmas Day. (YT)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Angry Birds’

Sony has released the first look at its video game adaptation, which will feature the vocal talent of Jason Sudeikis, Peter Dinklage, Bill Hader, Keegan-Michael Key, Josh Gad, Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride, Danielle Brooks, Ike Barinholtz, Kate McKinnon, Tony Hale, Jillian Bell, and Hannibal Buress. It will open May 20th, 2016. (FC)

Screenwriters: ‘The Flintstones’

The 123-page script by Steven E. De Souza, based on the characters created by Joe Barbera and William Hanna. Draft is labeled “Early Draft — September, 1987.” (DS)


Universal’s Search For ‘Furious 8′ Helmer, Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus’ Plan, FX Wants More ‘Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll’, New Line Lands ‘The Virginian’


Universal Is Having a Devil Of a Time Finding a Director For ‘Furious 8’, After James Wan Was Implored To Return

Finding a new filmmaker to take the helm has proved incredibly difficult. After Wan opted not to return, Universal went to franchise staple Justin Lin, but he chose to direct Star Trek Beyond for Paramount instead. When that happened, Universal went back to Wan with “life-altering money” as part of a new deal, but he once again declined. Apparently, working with producer-star Vin Diesel was taxing, and the search for Wan’s replacement has grown frustrating. (COL)

Ridley Scott Has a Very Definite Plan About When the ‘Prometheus’ Movies Will Meet Up With ‘Alien’

The director, who is reportedly set to start shooting Prometheus 2 in January, said in an interview that he expects to make at least two more movies in the series, and possibly a third, meaning that there will be a total of either three or four Prometheus films before they connect with the Alien franchise. (UR)

FX Wants To Stay In Business With Denis Leary, Renews ‘Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll’

Ten-episode second season will return in 2016 with stars Leary, Elizabeth Gillies, John Corbett, Elaine Hendrix, Robert Kelly and John Ales. In addition to creating the show, Leary also serves as a writer, composer and a director, as well as an Executive Producer along with Jim Serpico. Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is produced by FX Productions and Fox 21 Television Studios. (CS)

New Line Lands Hot Spec Script ‘The Virginian’, Which Casts George Washington as Action Hero

Warner Bros. affiliate has closed a deal to acquire the script, a formative period action thriller about the Founding Father before he found his place in defiance of the British Army. The script is by Michael Gunn, a protege of Aaron Sorkin. This one has had more than its share of buzz around town, because agents of talent have asked to read it on behalf of their star clients, though there is no star attached at this stage. Donald De Line will produce. (DH)

ABC Nabs Baghdad-Set Military Drama Project From Shondaland and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Writer

Untitled show is set circa 2004 among an U.S. Army Medevac team who work out of a base camp in the Iraqi capital. The series revolves around team members who “get on each other’s nerves, sleep with the wrong people, navigate ‘office’ politics and party like there’s no tomorrow.” Zoanne Clack is writing the script for ABC Studios and Shondaland. Clack, Rhimes and Shondaland’s Besty Beers are exec producing for ABC Studios. (VAR)

‘Hellraiser’ Creator Brings Another Of His Properties To Television, Thanks To The CW

One of Clive Barker’s early novels, Weaveworld will be written and produced by Jack Kenny of Warehouse 13. In the TV adaptation, an app designer teams up with a young pastry chef who has just discovered that she is destined to be guardian of a mythological realm that can be accessed through a portal in an old Savannah mansion. Together, they fight an epic battle with evil forces who are vying for control of the magical world. (SF)

Just When You Thought Terry Gilliam Might Finally Make His Don Quixote Movie, It’s Been Delayed Again

After literally decades of trying to get his passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote made, the current iteration looked to star Jack O’Connell and John Hurt. But now, Hurt was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and while the actor’s prognosis is actually quite good, the larger issue is that no insurance company will cover him. (CB)

Michael Shannon and Jeff Nichols Are Working Together Yet Again, and They’re Both ‘Loving’ It

Loving will be the fifth collaboration between the actor and director, including the upcoming Midnight Special. Nichols’ new film chronicles the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, who married in 1958 in defiance of Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, were arrested and exiled from the state, then took the case to the Supreme Court. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga star. Nick Kroll has just joined the cast. (EMP)

Become a Peanuts Character With 20th Century Fox’s ‘Peanutize Me’ Site

Following in the fun footsteps of its marketing for The Simpsons Movie, 20th Century Fox is promoting the upcoming film The Peanuts Movie with an online avatar maker that invites visitors to create Peanuts versions of themselves. Peanutize Me asks users to craft their likeness from a selection of pre-determined phyisical features and clothing that holds true to Charles Schulz’s style — but it’s still plenty entertaining. (CO)

Screenwriters: Female Protagonists — Whoa, Man! You’re Writing Them All Wrong!

At some point, many male screenwriters throw up their hands and surrender. They stop bothering to imbue the same blood, sweat, bones and guts into their female characters that they do with their male characters. Instead, male-written screenplays feature the following pantheon of poorly conceived familiar character stereo/archetypes. (SM)

Film Development for 9/24/15: DreamWorks Dusts Off Colin Trevorrow Script, Bryan Singer Dives into ‘20,000 Leagues’, Tracy Morgan in Talks for ‘Fist Fight’



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
Producer(s): Gavin Polone
Writer(s): Audrey Wells, Keith Bunin, W Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon
Director(s): Lasse Hallstrom
Cast: Britt Robertson, Dennis Quaid, K.J. Apa, Juliet Rylance, Peggy Lipton, Pooch Hall
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: Hall will play a young man who meets the love of his life thanks to the dog’s machinations.

Logline: Based on a true story, after a priest is accused of murdering a nun on whom he was performing an exorcism, an investigative journalist tries to find out if the priest lost the battle with the demon he was attempting to banish.
Production Company(s): The Safran Company, Lotus Entertainment
Producer(s): Peter Safran, Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Writer(s): Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Director(s): Xavier Gens
Cast: Sophie Cookson
SSN Insight: Cookson will play the lead role. Principal photography has begun in Romania.

Desired Moments
Logline: A man becomes obsessed with a wish-granting service he discovers on the internet.
Studio/Distributor(s): Amazon Studios (completing negotiations)
Production Company(s): Groundswell Productions
Producer(s): Michael London, Janice Williams
Writer(s): Griffin Creech
Director(s): Tom Kuntz
Cast: Kristen Wiig
SSN Insight: Amazon is completing negotiations to finance the film. The film would be one of Amazon’s first in-house film productions since Ted Hope’s hire with the goal of generating original feature productions that will be distributed theatrically before releasing on Amazon.

Fist Fight
Logline: Two teachers who work in a broken-down school system wind up in an epic fist fight.
Studio/Distributor(s): New Line Cinema
Production Company(s): 21 Laps Entertainment
Producer(s): Max Greenfield, Billy Rosenberg, Dan Cohen, Shawn Levy
Writer(s): Evan Susser, Van Robichaux, Max Greenfield
Director(s): Richie Keen
Cast: Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan (in discussions), Dennis Haysbert (in negotiations), JoAnna Garcia Swisher
SSN Insight: Garcia Swisher will play Maggie, the pregnant, devoted and loving wife of Andy Campbell who is convinced that he’s not going to be fired. The film is Morgan’s first announced project since he was critically injured in a car accident in June 2014.

Ghostbusters (Reboot)
Logline: With paranormal activity on the rise, a Columbia University academic, her ghost-chasing friend, the friend’s business partner, and an MTA employee join forces to bust ghosts and save New York.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
Production Company(s): The Montecito Picture Company, Apatow Productions, Ocean Pictures, Quantity Entertainment, Feigco Entertainment, Pascal Pictures
Producer(s): Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, Gene Stupnitsky, Ali Bell, Lee Eisenberg
Writer(s): Katie Dippold, Paul Feig, Etan Cohen, Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman
Director(s): Paul Feig
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, Kate McKinnon, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson
Details: Reboot of “Ghostbusters” (1984) and “Ghostbusters II” (1989) both directed by Ivan Reitman.
SSN Insight: Project will reportedly bring back the original team of Ghostbusters and introduce new, younger Ghostbusters front-and-center as well. Harold Ramis was previously attached to star. Ernie Hudson was one of the original Ghostbusters.

Logline: In a sleepy southern town a man with a haunted past encounters an attractive young woman who moves in next door.
Production Company(s): The Coalition Group
Producer(s): Luisa Iskin, John Wunder
Writer(s): Anthony Ragnone II
Director(s): Eric England
Cast: Shea Whigham, Anya Taylor-Joy
SSN Insight: Screenplay was included in the 2014 Hit List.

Logline: The true story of interracial couple Mildred and Richard Loving’s historical Supreme Court case that eradicated laws against marriage between interracial couples.
Production Company(s): Sarah Green Film Corp., Big Beach, Augusta Films, The Zoo, Raindog Films
Producer(s): Ged Doherty, Sarah Green, Nancy Buirski, Colin Firth, Peter Saraf
Writer(s): Jeff Nichols
Director(s): Jeff Nichols
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Nick Kroll, Jon Bass, Marton Csokas, Bill Camp, Michael Shannon
Details: Inspired by the documentary “The Loving Story” (2012) directed by Nancy Buirski.
SSN Insight: Project marks director Jeff Nichols’ second time directing actors Bill Camp and Joel Edgerton, and his fifth collaboration with Michael Shannon.

Measure of a Man
Logline: In the 1970s, a bullied teenager is mentored by a Wall Street executive at his summer job while his mother’s independence and career upset her marriage.
Studio/Distributor(s): No Studio Available.
Production Company(s): Taylor Lane Productions
Producer(s): Christian Taylor
Writer(s): David Scearce
Director(s): Jim Loach
Cast: Donald Sutherland, Blake Cooper, Judy Greer, Luke Wilson, Beau Knapp
Details: Based on the young-adult novel “One Fat Summer” written by Robert Lipsyte and published by Harper & Row in 1977.
SSN Insight: Terry Loane was previously attached to direct. Christina Hendricks was previously in negotiations to star.

Mr. Right
Logline: A woman has found Mr. Right at last. But he’s a reformed hit man, and when his past catches up with him, their new relationship and their lives are in danger.
Studio/Distributor(s): Focus Features
Production Company(s): Circle of Confusion, 3311 Productions
Producer(s): Bradley Gallo, Michael Helfant, Rick Jacobs, Lawrence Mattis
Writer(s): Max Landis
Director(s): Paco Cabezas
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick, Tim Roth, James Ransone, Anson Mount
SSN Insight: Don Johnson was previously in talks to join the cast. Focus World acquired domestic rights prior to the film’s premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

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, Ellie Bamber
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 Universal Pictures International secured the rights at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival in a reportedly $20 Million deal, marking one of the biggest deal in Cannes history.

Ouija 2
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Platinum Dunes, Hasbro, Inc., Blumhouse Productions
Producer(s): Jason Blum, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, Andrew Form, Brian Goldner
Writer(s): Jeff Howard, Mike Flanagan
Director(s): Mike Flanagan
Cast: Annalise Basso, Elizabeth Reaser, Henry Thomas, Lulu Wilson, Parker Mack, Sam Anderson, Kate Siegel, Doug Jones
Details: Sequel to “Ouija” (2014) directed by Stiles White and starring Olivia Cooke.
SSN Insight: The film is set for an October 21, 2016 release. The original film was budgeted at $5 million and grossed more than $100 million in worldwide box office.

Outlaws Inc
Logline: An extraordinary journey into the biggest, most impenetrable trafficking network the world has ever seen.
Production Company(s): Thunder Road Pictures, Fundamental Films
Producer(s): Basil Iwanyk, Mark Gao
Writer(s): David Schickler
Director(s): Scott Waugh
Details: Based on the book “Outlaws Inc.: Under the Radar and on the Black Market with the World’s Most Dangerous Smugglers,” written by Matt Potter and published by Bloomsbury on August 30, 2011.
SSN Insight: Waugh previously directed Act of Valor. Fundamental Films will fully finance the film.

Resident Evil 6
Logline: Alice must save humankind from the Red Queen.
Studio/Distributor(s): Screen Gems
Production Company(s): Constantin Film Development, Inc., Impact Pictures, Davis Films
Producer(s): Robert Kulzer, Jeremy Bolt, Samuel Hadida, Paul W.S. Anderson
Writer(s): Paul W.S. Anderson
Director(s): Paul W.S. Anderson
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Iain Glen, Shawn Roberts, Ruby Rose, Eoin Macken and William Levy
Details: Sequel to “Resident Evil (2002), directed by Paul W.S. Anderson,”Resident Evil: Apocalypse” (2004) directed by Alexander Witt and “Resident Evil: Extinction” (2007) directed by Russell Mulcahy, “Resident Evil: Afterlife” (2010) directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, and “Resident Evil” Retibution” (2012) directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Based on the Camcom videogame “Resident Evil.”
SSN Insight: Glen most recently played Ser Jorah Mormont in HBO’s Game Of Thrones, Roberts last appeared in Edge Of Darkness, Rose appears in the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, and Macken starred in BBC’s Merlin.

Stealing Time
Logline: Three generations of men embark on a quest to unearth the secrets of an ancient device that may be the key to making time travel possible.
Studio/Distributor(s): DreamWorks Studios
Production Company(s): Segars Media, Landscape Entertainment
Producer(s): Bob Cooper, Charles Segars
Writer(s): Colin Trevorrow, Timothy Dowling
SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Columbia Pictures with Walt Becker attached to direct. Trevorrow previously directed Jurassic World and penned the original script to this film. DreamWorks has hired Dowling to pen a new draft.

The Commuter
Logline: A businessman on his daily commute home unwittingly gets caught up in a criminal conspiracy, which threatens not only his life but the lives of those around him.
Production Company(s): The Picture Company
Producer(s): Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman
Writer(s): Philip de Blasi, Byron Willinger
Cast: Liam Neeson
SSN Insight: Olatunde Osunsanmi was previously attached to direct. Previously in development at Gold Circle with Julian Jarrold attached to direct. Previously in development at Boies/Schiller Film Group and Landscape.

The House
Logline: After they lose their daughter’s college fund, a couple start an illegal casino in their basement to try to earn it back.
Studio/Distributor(s): New Line Cinema
Production Company(s): Gary Sanchez Productions, Good Universe
Producer(s): Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Joe Drake, Nathan Kahane, Andrew Jay Cohen
Writer(s): Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien,
Director(s): Andrew Jay Cohen
Cast: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Ryan Simpkins, Cedric Yarbrough, Frank Gerrish, Michaela Watkins, Allison Tolman, Rob Huebel
SSN Insight: New Line won the script in a bidding war with their commitment to a $40 million budget.

The Tunnels
Logline: Before the Berlin Wall falls, agroup West Germans get their loved ones of East Berlin with the help of American networks who fund their trip. Based on a true story.
Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company, FilmNation
Producer(s): Mark R. Gordon, Aaron Ryder
Writer(s): Tobias Lindholm
Director(s): Paul Greengrass
Details: Based on the book proposal “The Tunnels” written by Greg Mitchell.
SSN Insight: Lindholm’s A War recently premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

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): Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright, David Kern, Len Wiseman
Writer(s): Cory Goodman, Kyle Ward
Director(s): Anna Foerster
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Tobias Menzies, Clementine Nicholson, Lara Pulver
SSN Insight: Anna Foerster is the first woman to direct a film in the “Underworld” franchise.

Untitled (Paramount/Transformers 5 Project)
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): Amblin Entertainment, Bay Films, Weed Road Pictures, Hasbro, Inc., Di Bonaventura Pictures
Producer(s): Michael Bay, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Steven Spielberg, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Vahradian
Writer(s): Akiva Goldsman
Director(s): Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci
SSN Insight: The producers organized a “writer’s room” to develop story ideas for this two-part sequel as well as potential spinoff projects, which Akiva Goldsman was a part of. Production will begin in June.

Logline: An epic fantasy set in a world populated with orcs, trolls, elves, and the undead.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Legendary Entertainment, Activision Blizzard, Liberty Films, Tencent Pictures
Producer(s): Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull, Charles Roven, Alex Gartner
Writer(s): Charles Leavitt, Duncan Jones
Director(s): Duncan Jones
Cast: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Toby Kebbell, Rob Kazinsky
Details: Based on the video game “Warcraft” released by Blizzard Entertainment in 1994.
SSN Insight: Sam Raimi previously attached to direct and produce. Colin Farrell was previously, and widely, rumored to be cast in a lead role. China’s Tencent Pictures will partner with Legendary Pictures and invest an equity stake in the film.


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Logline: The classic Jules Verne story about a scientist and his adventures in his submarine is retold.
Production Company(s): Bad Hat Harry Productions
Writer(s): Rick Sordelet, Dan Studney
Director(s): Bryan Singer
Details: Based on the novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” written by Jules Verne and published in 1870.
SSN Insight: Disney is also developing a 20,000 Leagues film with David Fincher in talks to direct. This film, however, was announced on Instagram by Singer.


Logline: An idealistic and traditional English teacher is pulled into a nightmarish situation by an honor roll student who will do anything to get an A.
Production Company(s): Making Film Productions, BoulderLight Pictures
Producer(s): JD Lifshitz, Raphael Margules, Sev Ohanian
Writer(s): Brian McAuley
Director(s): Ben Arfmann
Cast: Kent Osborne, Dylan Sprouse, Chris Bauer, Alycia Delmore, Randall Park
SSN Insight: This is the first film to be developed out of Making Horror, Boulderlight’s and Making Film Limited’s financing partnership to produce three horror films.

East Texas Hot Links
Logline: One night in a segregated in bar in Jim Crow-era East Texas tests the loyalty and strength of a small African-American community and changes the lives of its citizens.
Production Company(s): Uppity Films, West Omaha Films, LLC, Night Fox Entertainment
Producer(s): John Beasley, Rachel Griffin, Timothy Christian, Rab Butler
Writer(s): Eugene Lee
Cast: John Beasley
Details: Based on the stage play “East Texas Hot Links” written by Eugene Lee, which premiered at The MET Theatre in Los Angeles in August, 1991.
SSN Insight: Night Fox Entertainment will finance the film, which previously co-financed the apocalyptic film Z for Zachariah and starred Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine.

Forest of Hands and Teeth
Logline: A virus has left few survivors who roam the earth as cannibals, and the future of mankind depends on Mary, who leads a group out of their village into the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Production Company(s): Hypnotic, Hetherwood Productions
Producer(s): Kate Maberly, Doug Liman
Writer(s): Kate Maberly
Director(s): Kate Maberly
Cast: Maisie Williams
Details: Based on the novel “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” written by Carrie Ryan and published by Delacorte Press in 2009.
SSN Insight: Maberly will be featured as one of the opening night filmmakers at the Hollywood Film Festival on September 24. Maisie Williams was most recently seen on Game of Thrones. She will play the lead.

Get Out
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment
Producer(s): Jason Blum, Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm
Writer(s): Jordan Peele
Director(s): Jordan Peele
SSN Insight: QC Entertainment is a new partnership between Darko Entertainment and Movie Package Company to finance and produce director-driven fare.

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Logline: When a young nurse is hired to take care of an elderly author of best-selling ghost stories at her country home, she finds that the house has a ghost story of its own.
Production Company(s): Zed Filmworks, Paris Film, Inc., Go Insane
Producer(s): Rob Paris, Robert Menzies
Writer(s): Osgood Perkins
Director(s): Osgood Perkins
SSN Insight: Paris Film Inc will produce and co-finance through the joint venture with Zed Filmworks and Go Insane Films, with cameras set to roll in spring 2016.

The Spy Who Loved
Logline: Christine Granville is recruited by British intelligence during WWII and becomes one of their most daring and decorated agents.
Production Company(s): Bluegrass Films
Producer(s): Scott Stuber, Dylan Clark
Writer(s): Cat Vasko
Details: Based on the book “The Spy Who Loved” written by Clare Mulley and published by Macmillan in 2012.
SSN Insight: Vasko previously sold the script Queen Of The Air to Warner Bros. this year.

Transformers (Paramount/Animated/Origin Story)
Logline: This origin story focuses on the planet Cybertron, the place where the good and bad Transformer robots hail.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
Writer(s): Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari
Details: Based on The Transformers toy line introduced in the United States by Hasbro in 1984. An animated television series soon followed (1984-1987), and an animated feature “The Transformers: The Movie” (1986) was released by Marvel and Hasbro.
SSN Insight: The Transformers producers organized a “writer’s room” to develop story ideas for sequel as well as potential spinoff projects. Ant-Man screenwriters Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari were a part of that writer’s room.

Film Development, Ways for Screenwriters to Say “No”, DreamWorks is ‘Stealing Time’, Huace & Arclight Sign $300 Mil Deal, A-Team Returns, Hulu Jumps into VR



Communication Skills For Screenwriters: 9 Ways To Say “No”

Of all of the communication skills screenwriters need, perhaps the least appreciated skill is the ability to say “No.” “No” raises your status, protects your time, and makes your “Yes” an even more valuable commodity. (SSN)

Film Development for 9/24/15: DreamWorks Dusts Off Colin Trevorrow Script, Bryan Singer Dives into ‘20,000 Leagues’, Tracy Morgan in Talks for ‘Fist Fight’

Tracy Morgan is back in the game with his appearance on the Emmys and latest talks to join the cast Fist Fight. Additionally, Focus picks up TIFF screened Mr. Right, Liam Neeson is in for The Commuter, plus news on Transformers. (SSN)


DreamWorks Goes Back in Time & Re-activates Colin Trevorrow Script

Originally set up at Columbia seven years ago, an old script by Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow is being dusted off by DreamWorks and has been given to Tim Dowling to pen a new draft. The story involves a scientist who flees into the past to protect his time machine, forcing his son and grandson to rebuild the device in the present to rescue him, all while fleeing crooks bent on exploiting time travel. (THR)

China’s Huace Group Signs $300 Mil Deal with Arclight Films & Forms Aurora Alliance Films

Huace Group is the latest to strike a deal out of China with its joint venture with LA and Sydney-based Arclight Films called Aurora Alliance Films. The $300 million deal has the goal of developing a slate of “high concept” international co-productions and deliver three films per year. (VAR)

The A-Team is Back in Action and Looking for Female Members

Fox TV is teaming with Fast & Furious writer-producer Chris Morgan to create a brand new A-Team, this time with male and female members. This is far from the only TV series getting a reboot with Training Day, The Notebook and Friday the 13th all being dusted off for another go-around. (THR)

Will Packer and Eva Longoria Teaming up to Produce Bonita & Mechelle Sitcom for NBC

Longoria has no plans on stopping her streak with her two series with Latino protagonists, Devious Maids and NBC’s upcoming Hot & Bothered. This time she’ll team with Packer to produce a sitcom about one Hispanic and one African American woman who live together. (DL)

Hulu Joins the Revolution & Jumps Into VR with RocketJump and Lionsgate

Hulu just became the latest streaming platform to join the virtual reality revolution with its launch of a dedicated VR app this fall. Hulu will also expand its library of virtual reality content with licensed VR experiences and originals from to-be-named content partners. (VIDINK)

Ace Ventura and Robin Hood at Your Service- Morgan Creek Offering Up Their Library for Sale

Morgan Creek Productions is selling the domestic rights to its library of 78 films that includes Major League, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective series, True Romance and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves among others. (DL)

Not Content to Wait for Change, Women Film Producers Launch Crowdfunding Campaign for The Horizon Award

Why wait for change when you can be a part of it? Three female film producers have launched the second year of crowdfunding to raise money to support the Horizon Award, an honor to support two young women filmmakers by sending them to next year’s Sundance Film Festival. (VAR)

Big Brother, aka Netflix, Knows Exactly When You Get Hooked on a Show and it’s Not the Pilot

Netflix, a fan of big data, has been analyzing their viewer’s habits to pinpoint when they get hooked on a TV show. While it hasn’t foudn the why, it has found the when and that it tends to be an early episode in each series that, once viewers watch it, leads to a strong chance of people coming back to finish the season. (VERGE)

Gyllenhaal and Cumberbatch’s ‘Current War’, Soderbergh’s New HBO Show, Sony’s New ‘MIB’ Trilogy, Netflix’ New ‘Black Mirror’ Eps, Pitbull’s New TV Show


Jake Gyllenhaal and Benedict Cumberbatch Are Preparing For a ‘Current War’

The Oscar-nominated pair is in talks to portray George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison in the Weinstein Co.’s period drama about the 19th-century feud over the future of electricity. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl helmer Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is in discussions to direct. Michael Mitnick’s script centers on the electrical rivalry between Edison and Westinghouse in the late 1880s. (EW)

Steven Soderbergh Puts Off His Retirement a Bit Longer, Now Developing New Show For HBO

The prolific producer is developing Mosaic for the cable network, a series that will let viewers control the storyline. Details are being kept under wraps, but Sharon Stone is reportedly set to star, and the audience may be able to use an app that will determine the outcome of the plot. (TVL)

Today In Remake News: Sony Plans To Take Another Shot At ‘Men In Black’, but Without Will Smith

Veteran producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival that the plan is to revisit the franchise as a brand new trilogy, with the understanding that Smith — who starred as Agent J in the first three films — will not return. (COL)

Netflix Does the Inevitable, Orders 12 More Episodes Of ‘Black Mirror’

Prepare for more terrifying visions of the future. The online streaming giant has officially announced it’s picking up the buzzy sci-fi anthology series for a third season, to consist of 12 episodes. Keep in mind that this show has only put out six episodes (across two seasons) and a Christmas special to date. Netflix is nearly tripling the episode count in one fell swoop. (SF)

Add TV Impresario To Pitbull’s Resumé, as Fox Orders a Drama Series With Him Onboard as EP

Network is developing a drama series about the wealthy community in Miami from writer Sascha Penn and exec producer Armando Christian Perez (that would be Pitbull). Jonathan Levine will direct the project, which will follow teenage Willy as he transfers into the nicest private school in Miami and moves in with his uncle, a celebrity chef. The series, for which Fox bought the script with a penalty, hails from Endemol Shine Studios. (VAR)

Ridley Scott Reveals Title Of ‘Prometheus 2’, and It’s Not ‘Prometheus 2’

Seemingly out of nowhere, the director has revealed the somewhat unexpected title of his sequel to the 2012 film, saying in an interview that the follow-up now is called Alien: Paradise Lost. That by itself is practically a spoiler, indicating the film is more directly connected to the Alien universe than was its predecessor. He explained in the interview that the film will be more a prequel to 1979’s Alien, and the allusion to the poem by John Milton is intentional. (DH)

Ellen Page Finds a Director For Her Real-Life War Drama

Cinematographer turned director Reed Morano has come aboard to helm Lioness, which will star Page as Lance Corporal Leslie Martz, a U.S. Marine who was stationed in Haditha, Iraq, and sent to Afghanistan as the leader of the first Female Engagement Team. Determined to serve her country with the same valor and impact as the men she marches alongside, Martz soon finds herself fighting a war beyond the takedown of key insurgents and the Taliban. (THR)

Colin Trevorrow Continues To Fill Out His ‘Book Of Henry’ Cast, Adds Three More Names

Dean Norris, Lee Pace and Sarah Silverman have all signed on for the next film from the Jurassic World helmer. Little is known about the film outside of the fact that it began as an original screenplay from bestselling novelist Gregg Hurwitz. Naomi Watts has already signed on to play the lead role alongside young stars Jaeden Lieberher and Jacob Tremblay. It starts shooting in New York this month. (CS)

How Much Is A Social Media Influencer’s Audience Really Worth?

A lot more than you think. Advertisers pay for people, they pay for audiences, they pay for eyeballs, they pay for attention, they pay for trust, they pay for influence. More importantly, social media influencers distribute their own content to their followers. And in a world of disposable content, audience loyalty reigns supreme. (AA)

Screenwriters: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

The Oscar-nominated, 117-page screenplay by Wes Anderson, with a story credit to Anderson and Hugo Guinness. Script is final shooting draft. (GITS)

On the Set for 9/25/15: Actor/Director Ewan McGregor Starts Shooting ‘American Pastoral’, Rob Reiner Rolls Cameras on LBJ Biopic



American Pastoral
Logline: A man who inherits his father’s business and marries a beauty queen has his idyllic life turned upside down when his daughter becomes a Vietnam War activist and carries out a terrorist act.
Production Company(s): Lakeshore Entertainment, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
Director(s): Ewan McGregor
Executive Producer(s): Jim Tauber, Matt Berenson
Producer(s): Tom Rosenberg, Richard Wright, Gary Lucchesi, Sidney Kimmel
Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Ewan McGregor, Dakota Fanning, Corey Stoll, Valorie Curry
Writer(s): John Romano
Details: Based on the novel “American Pastoral” written by Philip Roth and published by Vintage in 1998.
SSN Insight: Lakeshore Entertainment has picked up the feature film rights to the novel “American Pastoral” by Philip Roth from turnaround. It is the third Philip Roth novel in development at Lakeshore. Project was previously in development at Lynda Obst Productions.

Logline: This drama tells the story of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who’s dangerous and unethical practices in his abortion clinic resulted in his conviction on murder and manslaughter, and a life sentence in prison.
Director(s): Nick Searcy
Executive Producer(s): John Sullivan
Producer(s): Phelim McAleer, Ann McElhinney, Magda Segieda
Writer(s): Andrew Klavan
SSN Insight: Financing for the movie has be through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo and had raised $2.3 million as of March, 18, 2015.

Logline: An FBI agent goes undercover to infiltrate a white supremacist group that is planning on making a dirty bomb.
Production Company(s): Greenlight Group
Director(s): Daniel Ragussis
Executive Producer(s):
Producer(s): Jeff Elliot, Ty Walker, Dennis Lee, Simon Taufique
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe
Writer(s): Daniel Ragussis
SSN Insight: Daniel Radcliffe is also in the cast of Swiss Army Man that recently wrapped. He’s also attached to the cast of Summit’s Now You See Me 2 and Fox’s Victor Frankenstein, both awaiting release.

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
Director(s): Rob Reiner
Executive Producer(s): Allan Mandelbaum, Lloyd Braun, Andrew Mittman, Martin Shafer, Elizabeth Bell
Producer(s): Matthew George, Rob Reiner, Liz Glotzer, Michael Williams, Tim White
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Richard Jenkins, Bill Pullman, Kim Allen, Michael Stahl-David
Writer(s): Joey Hartstone
SSN Insight: Project was included in the 2014 Black List. Rob Reine ris also the director and producer of You Belong to Me in active development and Being Charlie that wrapped. Both films are also at Castle Rock.

Logline: When an FBI agent is investigating a bank robbery, he uncovers a trail of secrets that the bank owner has been protecting.
Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate
Production Company(s): Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, 4th Wall Entertainment
Director(s): Steven C. Miller
Executive Producer(s): Barry Brooker, Stan Wertlieb, Jason Trawick, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones
Producer(s): Randall Emmett, George Furla, Joshua Harris, Rosie Charbonneau
Cast: Bruce Willis, Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista, Lydia Hull, Tyler Olson
Writer(s): Michael Cody, Chris Sivertson
SSN Insight: Bruce Willis is also in the cast of Precious Cargo and Extraction, both awaiting release and both produced by Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. He’ll also be seen in The Bombing and an Untitled Detective Film for Voltage Pictures.

Measure of a Man
Logline: In the 1970s, a bullied teenager is mentored by a Wall Street executive at his summer job while his mother’s independence and career upset her marriage.
Production Company(s): Taylor Lane Productions
Director(s): Jim Loach
Executive Producer(s): Jim Reeve, Robert Halmi Jr., David Scearce
Producer(s): Christian Taylor
Cast: Donald Sutherland, Blake Cooper, Judy Greer, Luke Wilson, Beau Knapp
Writer(s): David Scearce
Details: Based on the young-adult novel “One Fat Summer” written by Robert Lipsyte and published by Harper & Row in 1977.
SSN Insight: Terry Loane was previously attached to direct. Christina Hendricks was previously in negotiations to star.

Operation Insanity
Logline: Follows Jake, a teenager who teams up with his badass grandfather Lou and his old war buddy, Smitty, to rescue the girl he loves from a bad guy.
Production Company(s): CCi Entertainment
Director(s): Erik Canuel
Producer(s): Arnie Zipursky, Jeff Sackman
Cast: Paul Sorvino, James Caan, Jessica Walter
Writer(s): Jeff Schechter
SSN Insight: Formerly titled From Here to Infirmity. Sorvino will play Smitty while Caan will play Jake’s grandfather. The film has an estimated budget of $25 million.

The Conjuring: The Enfield Poltergeist
Logline: The story of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren continues.
Studio/Distributor(s): New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Production Company(s): The Safran Company, POV Productions, Atomic Monster
Director(s): James Wan
Producer(s): Rob Cowan, Peter Safran, James Wan
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Frances O’Connor, Simon McBurney, Lauren Esposito
Writer(s): David Leslie Johnson, Eric Heisserer, Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, James Wan
Details: Sequel to the film “The Conjuring” (2013) directed by James Wan and starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson.
SSN Insight: In August, 2015, the California Film Commission picked “Conjuring 2,” aka “The Conjuring: The Enfield Poltergeist,” as one of 11 films to share $55.2 million in incentives and receive up to 25 percent in tax credits.

The Year of Spectacular Men
Logline: The film chronicles the romantic relationships of a recent college graduate, and the lives of her happily married movie star sister and their yoga-guru mother.
Production Company(s): Parkside Pictures, Tadross Media Group
Director(s): Lea Thompson
Executive Producer(s): Michael Tadross Jr., Christopher Conover
Producer(s): Damiano Tucci, Danny Roth, Gordon Gilbertson, Howard Deutch
Cast: Lea Thompson, Madelyn Deutch, Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Charlie Reed
SSN Insight: Madelyn Deutch and Zoey Deutch are Lea Thompson’s daugthers. Howard Deutch, Lea Thompson’s husband, also directed the pilot, Outcast, wrapped and ordered to series by Cinemax.


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
Cast: Mahmoud El-Atrash, Samer Ismael, Samer Al Masry, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Rakeen Saad
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.

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
Producer(s): Denise Di Novi, Alison Greenspan
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Rosario Dawson, Cheryl Ladd, Geoff Stults, Isabella Rice
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.

VR Film Fest, On the Set, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Team Up for HBO Movie, NYFF Opens Today, Fox Buys Agatha Christie Novel



Inside The Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival & Its Future (and Present) Universe Of Possibilities

The Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival took place on Wednesday at LA River Studios. Kaleidoscope is also a virtual reality agency that works with independent artists to produce cinematic experiences for audiences and brands. Read on to learn about VR’s present and future of limitless possibilities. (SSN)

On the Set for 9/25/15: Actor/Director Ewan McGregor Starts Shooting ‘American Pastoral’, Rob Reiner Rolls Cameras on LBJ Biopic

Other on the set news includes, Daniel Radcliffe’s new movie Imperium and the next installment of The Conjuring starting production as well as producer Denise Di Novi’s directorial debut Unforgettable wrapping production. (SSN)


Matt Damon, Ben Affleck Team For Global Water Crisis Movie At HBO

The premium cable network is teaming with Damon and Affleck to develop TV movie Thirst. The HBO Films entry is described as a multilayered story set against the backdrop of the global water crisis. (THR)

New York Film Festival Opens Today As Oscar Race Takes Shape Following Venice-Telluride-Toronto Trifecta

As the 53rd annual New York Film Festival is set to launch today and run through October 11, the Oscar-potentials out of the fall festival season have come into sharp focus. (AWL)

Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ Bought By Fox For Morten Tyldum To Direct

20th Century Fox has acquired the feature rights to Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel And Then There Were None, and the studio has set The Imitation Game‘s Morten Tyldum to direct. Eric Heisserer will adapt. (DH)

Sigourney Weaver Is In The New ‘Ghostbusters’ Movie

Ghostbusters reboot director Paul Feig has announced that Sigourney Weaver will appear in the new film. (IGN)

Jason Bateman To Direct, Star In Drama Series ‘Ozark’

The Arrested Development star and burgeoning filmmaker has signed on to executive produce, direct, and star in a new drama series called Ozark for MRC and Aggregate. (COLL)

‘Kong: Skull Island’ Nabs John Goodman

John Goodman is set to co-star in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary’s blockbuster Kong: Skull Island, joining a cast that already includes Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, John C. Reilly, Samuel L. Jackson, and Tom Wilkinson. (CS)

Pitch Perfect: How Universal’s Digital Marketing Helped It Have The Best Year Ever

Periscoped premieres and meme-inspired Snapchat filters have played a hand in the studio’s record-breaking, gangbusters year at the box office. (FC)




‘Hotel Transylvania 2′ Sets September BO Record, ‘My Cousin Rachel’ Remake, Relativity Reveals First Post-Bankruptcy Movie Sale


‘Hotel Transylvania’ Sets September Record, Debuts With ‘$47.5 Million

Sony’s animated sequel outdid its 2012 predecessor by 12 percent, and finished far ahead of Warner’s The Intern which opened in second at $18.2 million. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials dropped two places from last week and finished third, with $14 million. Everest expanded wide and came in fourth with $13 million, and Black Mass rounded out the top five with $11.5 million. (BO)

‘My Cousin Rachel’ Is Getting a Remake With a Real Actress Named Rachel

Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin will team up for the new adaptation. Roger Michell will direct this new version, and also write the script, which will tell the tale of an orphan who seeks revenge on the woman he believes murdered his cousin and caretaker. The original version starred Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton in the Oscar-nominated 1952 adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel. (TP)

Relativity Reveals First Proposed Movie Sale in Bankruptcy: Thriller ‘Collide’

Company has filed court papers seeking to offload the first of its assets in the ongoing bankruptcy process. The Ryan Kavanaugh-fronted studio wants to sell the Europe-set chase thriller to IM Global for a $200,000 payment plus contingent compensation of up to $630,000, according to court documents filed Saturday in New York. In exchange, IM Global would withdraw its previous objection to the bankruptcy. (HESQ)

It Appears That ABC Wants At Least One More Season Of ‘Mistresses’

Hailing from ABC Studios, show is executive-produced by Rina Mimoun, KJ Steinberg, Robert Sertner and Douglas Rae. The story of four female friends and their illicit encounters is based on the U.K. series of the same name created by Lowri Glain and S.J. Clarkson. It stars Yunjin Kim, Rochelle Aytes, Jes Macallan, Brett Tucker and Rob Mayes. Alyssa Milano left the series after the second season when production moved from Los Angeles to Vancouver. (VAR)

It’s Hiring Day In Hollywood! EPIX and Amazon Both Make Key New Additions

Ben Tappan, former SVP at Landscape Entertainment, has been hired as VP for Scripted Programming, reporting to EVP original programming Jocelyn Diaz. Tappan will work on Graves and Berlin Station, which head into production this fall. Meanwhile, Amazon has added Gina Kwon as an executive in its comedy department. Kwon is an independent film producer who has worked with a variety of indie directors. (DH)

Alan Cumming Preps His Post-‘The Good Wife’ Life, Signs Up For New Showtime Comedy

Currently a series regular on the CBS drama, which returns for its seventh season next month, Cumming is set to star in Showtime’s Florent, a dark comedy about New York restaurateur Florent Morellet. Set in New York City’s Meatpacking District in the 1980s, Florent will tell the true story of Morellet, who ran his French restaurant for 23 years. The project is in second position to Good Wife, so it won’t go until after Cumming’s run on the show ends. (TVL)

TNT Orders Drama Pilot ‘Robbers’ From ‘Justified’ Trio

Based on Christopher Cook’s 2000 debut novel, the drama tells the story of two “running buddies” on a crime spree across Texas, the girl who is the complication and the cop who is after them all. The drama is said to be in the vein of Justified and Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. Cook and Michael Dinner will pen the script. Dinner exec produces alongside Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly’s Timberman/Beverly banner. (LF)

‘Fist Fight’ Gets a Femme Fatale, Adds Christina Hendricks To the Cast

Ice Cube and Charlie Day headline the film, which is being directed by Richie Keen from a script by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux, and also features the big screen return of Tracy Morgan. The story follows Day’s character, a meek teacher, as he is challenged to a fist fight by his much tougher colleague, played by Cube. Hendricks will play a school drama teacher, who has a romantic connection to the teacher played by Ice Cube. (CS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Jessica Jones’

Marvel and Netflix have released the first teaser trailer for their upcoming followup to Daredevil, starring Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, David Tennant, Rachael Taylor, and Carrie-Anne Moss. The show’s first season premieres in its entirety on the streaming service on November 20th. (COL)

Screenwriters: Writers Room 101 — Producing Your TV Episode

Once a television episode has been written (and rewritten…and rewritten…), soon it’ll be time to rally the troops and actually shoot it. When this happens, one of the show’s writers is dispatched from the writers’ room and sent to participate in the physical production of the episode, working in conjunction with the director, cast, and crew to ensure that the completed episode mirrors the script as closely as possible. Sometimes, that writer is you. (SM)

Exec Shuffle for 9/28/15: Sony TV Names Steve Mosko as Chairman, New CBC/Fullscreen Creator Network, CAA Ups Multiple Agent Trainees


Company Launches & Partnerships

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has partnered with MCN Fullscreen to form the CBC|Fullscreen Creator Network. CBC has more than 2,000 Canadian content creators currently working with Fullscreen, including vloggers Chris and Crawford Collins. The partnership will allow Fullscreen to team up with Canadian brands including Scion Canda, TD Kids Book Club, and Wolf Blass that are already signed up.

Hearst has invested $21 million in Complex Media, a pop-culture oriented media company aimed at male millennials. Complex operates websites relating to, among other things, music, fashion, food, and movies.

The management and production company founded by Rick Yorn and Ian Montone, LBI Entertainment is teaming with U.S. soccer icon Cobi Jones and London-based football agent Kutner to launch LBI Sports. The new agency will have an emphasis on soccer and on building Kutner’s clientele that includes Frank Lampard, Patrick Bamford and Philippe Senderos along with coaches and TV personalities.

Wild Bunch has launched a TV division and set its first two drama series, Medici: Masters Of Florence and Four Seasons In Havana, with sales to launch at the MIPCOM market. The company will co-produce and distribute series for the international marketplace.

Fandango has bought Ingresso.com, an entertainment ticket subsidiary based in Rio de Janeiro, which has 6 million registered customers and is Brazil’s largest online mobile ticketing service.

Jerry Levin and his wife Laurie Ann Levin are forming The Levin Center For Parkinson’s Transformational Health. Levin was formerly the CEO of Time Warner and his wife was previously an agent at CAA before becoming a psychologist. The new center will be dedicated to removing the stigma and working on the emotional well-being of Parkinson’s sufferers.

Although Media General has planned on buying Meredith Corp. in a $2.4 billion deal, Nexstar Broadcasting could put a stop to it as it has offered to acquire Meredith in a $4.1 billion deal. Nexstar, based in Texas has more than 100 TV stations in 58 markets while Media General services 71 stations.


Drew Simon has been named the SVP of Production at STX Entertainment. Previously, he had been VP Film at the Mark Gordon Company.

Robin Jones
has been hired as a Development and Production Executive at genre production, finance, and distribution studio Epic Pictures Group. She will have the goal of building an in-house production slate of 6-8 pictures per year, and on identifying high-profile third party acquisitions for Epic Pictures Group’s domestic distribution arm, Epic Pictures Releasing. She was formerly a development executive at Epicenter Management.

Sylvia Ortiz-Moscato has been named the VP of Research Solutions at Screen Engine/ASI. Previously, she was the VP of Multicultural Division at Ipsos. Christina Parish has been named the SVP of Client Services, in Screen Engine/ASI’s TV Division. Previously, she was the VP of Client Consulting at Nielsen Content. Laura Zilli has been named the VP of Research Strategies, previously, she was the Chief Marketing Analyst at Capstone Global Marketing & Research Group.


Gina Kwon has been named an Executive in Amazon’s comedy department. Kwon is an Amazon Featured Imageindependent film producer and previously worked with Arteta on Chuck & Buck, and The Good Girl, the latter a Spirit Award winner for Best Screenplay for Mike White.

Steve Mosko has been named the Chairman of Sony Pictures TV and will report to CEO Michael Lynton. He will continue to oversee all TV operations for Sony Pictures Entertainment Worldwide. He’s been with Sony Pictures TV for more than two decades, overseeing global television production, distribution of film and TV content and the studio’s international networks.

Gene Stein is leaving Sonar Entertainment, where he was their CEO to pursue other opportunities. Thomas Lesinski, a member of Sonar’s board of directors, has been named interim CEO. Previously he was the CEO and founder of Energi Entertainment and prior to that was the President of Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment and President of Worldwide Home Entertainment for Paramount. Also due to Stein’s departure, Sonar’s creative affairs will now be shepherded by Jenna Glazier and Tom Patricia.

Rosemary Mercedes
has been upped from VP to SVP of Corporate Communications at Univision Communications Inc.

Marco Arabit is soon to be named the VP of Distribution, EMEA at Legendary Television. Formerly, he was an Sr. Director of International Programme Sales at Viacom International Media Networks in London.

Sean Boyle is now the VP of Development & Programming at History. Formerly, he was the VP of Development at Discovery.

Derek Bond is now the SVP of Production Strategy at Univision Communications. Formerly, he was the CEO of Imagina Content at Imagina US.

Jennifer Barrett is now the SVP, Legal & Business Affairs at FremantleMedia International. Previously, she was the Head of Legal & Business Affairs at Factual & Daytime, BBC. Hayley Dickson is now the Head of Non-Scripted Global Acquisitions & Development at FremantleMedia International. Previously, she was the company’s VP of Television Acquisitions & Development, Global Content.

Alexis Ehrman has been promoted from her position as Assistant to Tripp Vinson to a Creative Executive, Television at Vinson Films.

Derek Ferguson is now the COO at REVOLT Media & TV. Formerly, he was the Chief Growth Officer at Combs Enterprises.

Dirk Hoogstra is now an Independent Producer. Formerly, he was the EVP, General Manager at History & H2.

Suzanne McCormack has been hired on as the VP Development at Warner Bros. TV-based Chuck Lorre Productions. She was previously a coordinating producer on all Chuck Lorre Productions series. In her new role she will spearhead the development and production of comedy and drama projects for network and cable.

Sara Kendrick is now the Director of Development at 90 Miles Productions. Previously, she was a Manager of Development at Propagate Content.

Julian Keyzer is now the Director of Business Affairs at NBCUniversal. Previously, she was Sr. Counsel of Business & Legal Affairs at Viacom.

Tiegen Kosiak is now the Director of Development at Cinestar Pictures. Formerly, he was the Executive Assistant to Jennifer Levine at Untitled Entertainment.

Gina Mingacci is now the VP of Development & Current Programming at BBC America. Previously, she was Head of Scripted Television at Superb Entertainment.

Reena Singh has been named the VP of Current Programming at Twentieth Century Fox Television. She was formerly the VP at Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Films. Anand Shah has been named the VP of Comedy Development. Singh previously was a development and current executive at USA Network and Universal Cable Productions where she worked on series such as Covert Affairs.

Dave Sirulnick
is now the Partner, EP at RadicalMedia. Formerly, he was the EVP of News, Documentaries & Specials at MTV.

Jennifer Storms is now the CMO of NBC Sports Group. Previously, she was the SVP of Global Sports Marketing at PepsiCo, Inc.

Dorothy Toran is now the VP of Production at Monami Entertainment. Previously, she was the Executive in Charge of Production at True Entertainment.

Ali Woodruff has been upped from Executive Assistant to Manager of Creative Affairs at Sony Pictures Television.

Lauren Hurvitz has been named the EVP and Chief Communications and CMO for Turner Broadcasting System. She formerly was at Starcom Mediavest Group and Head of global corporate communications and events at AOL. In her new role, she will be responsible for brand reputation across all platforms, strategic communications, media relations, and publicity and head global communications and corporate marketing, reporting to chairman and CEO John Martin Jr.

Ben Tappan has been named the VP Scripted Programming, reporting to EVP Original Programming Jocelyn Diaz at EPIX. As part of his new role, he will work on the two new series, which head into production this fall. He was previously the SVP of Landscape Ent. and oversaw operations for the TV department for Landscape’s first-look series deal with eOne Television and limited-series deal with Fox.

Management, PR, Agencies

Ben Izzo has been upped to agent at Abrams Artists Agency’s New York-based literary division. He previously had been the departmental coordinator in the literary division.

CAA has upped a number of Agent Trainees. Brian Duckler has been upped from Trainee in Sports Consulting to an Executive in Sports Consulting. Jen Entin has been upped from Agent Trainee to an Executive in the Hockey Department at CAA. Robert Mickelson has been upped from Trainee to Agent in the Music department. Praveen Pandian has been promoted from Agent Trainee in Comedy to TV Lit Agent. Kaitlyn Powell has been upped from Trainee to an Executive in Business Development. Jordan Solomon has been upped from Trainee to Agent in Commercial Endorsements at CAA.

Ben Gorman has been hired as a Talent Agent at Don Buchwald & Associates. Formerly, he was an Talent Agent at Pakula/King. Nick Leicht has been hired as a Talent, Lit Agent & at Don Buchwald & Associates. Formerly, he was an Assistant to Iris Grossman at Paradigm.

Michael Kolodny has been hired as a TV Lit Agent at Kaplan Stahler Agency. Formerly, he was a TV Lit Manager at Fineman Entertainment.

Merideth Bajana
has been promoted to manager at Grandview/Automatik. Prior to Grandview, she previously worked in both the lit and talent department at WME. Her current list of clients include producer Jeremy Howe and writer Anna Ziegler.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Nathan Guetta has been named the VP of Product for Condé Nast Entertainment‘s branded video division. Guetta has previously worked as Director of Marketing, Products and Operations at Samsung Electronics, Head of Content Services at Vodafone, and Product and Project Director at Dailymotion.

Will Keenan is heading the startup company, Streamup, he previously was the President of Endemol Beyond USA from November 2013 until last month.

Dermot McCormack has stepped down as President of AOL Video and Studios.

Amy McGovern has been named the VP of Strategic Sales at VideoAmp, a data and software platform for video and TV marketers. Previously, she was the VP of Digital Video Ad Sales at Fox Networks Group.

Larry Aidem has been named the President and CEO of Fandor, an on-demand streaming service for independent and international films. Formerly he was the Head of the Sundance Channel.

Paul Crewes has been named the Artistic Director for The Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts. He was formerly the Chief Executive and an EP at the Cornwall, England-based Kneehigh Theatre. The Center launched in 2013 and offers theater, dance, classical music and other performing arts programming.

Rafe Oller has been hired on as the General Manager of health and wellness-focused Z Living. In his new position, he will head acquired and original programming, distribution, affiliate relations, advertising sales, marketing and operations. Formerly Oller was a media consultant for Firebrand Creative Group, a 360 branding company focusing on broadcast, cable, OTT and theatrical. Tim Krubsack has been named the company’s EVP and Head of Programming and will create and manage Z Living’s entire programming slate. Krubsack previously was as SVP alternative programming for Syfy/NBCUniversal.

Mike Beck has been named the Sr. EP of Development & Production at Time Inc. Video. Formerly, he was the EP for Time Inc. Video. Ian Orefice has been named the Sr. EP of Original & Current Programming at Time Inc. Video. Formerly, he was an EP of News & Sports at Time Inc. Video. Beck has been with Time Inc. since 2007, while Orefice has been with the company since 2010.

Tom Farrell, who Co-Founded The Workshop, an independent production company, will now take the reins as President and CEO. Todd Donnelly has been named the Partner and Director of Business Development at The WorkShop. Formerly, he Co-Founded Viamedia. Ray Murray has been named the Director of Development. Formerly, he was founded Banyan Productions.

Rick Hong has been named the Director of Business Development at Variety Insight. Formerly, he was a Sr. Manager, Partnerships/Development at Fullscreen.

Paul Slavin has been named the President at Open Road Integrated Media. Formerly, he was the EVP, COO at Everyday Health.

Sharon Taylor has been named the EVP, General Manager at Animal Logic. Formerly, she was the company’s Group Head of Production.

Exec Shuffle, Steve Mosko Promoted to Chairman at Sony TV, ‘Blindspot’ Gets Back-Nine Order,



Exec Shuffle for 9/28/15: Sony TV Names Steve Mosko as Chairman, New CBC/Fullscreen Creator Network, CAA Ups Multiple Agent Trainees

Other exec shuffle news includes, a new SVP at STX Entertainment, Wild Bunch starting a TV division, and Thomas Lesinski joining Sonar Entertainment as CEO. (SSN)


Steve Mosko Promoted To Chairman Of Sony Pictures Television

Steve Mosko has been promoted to chairman of Sony Pictures Television. Mosko, who was previously president of SPT, has been with the studio since 1992 and has headed its TV operations for the past 15 years. (VAR)

NBC’s ‘Blindspot’ Gets Back-Nine Script Order

After airing just one episode, the network has ordered nine additional back-up scripts for the freshman drama starring Jaimie Alexander. (THR)

ABC Buys Car Dealership Comedy From ‘Benched’ Co-Creator & Annie Mumolo

ABC has bought Wheeler Dealer, a half-hour comedy pitch from Benched co-creator Damon Jones, with Bridesmaids co-writer Annie Mumolo. (DH)

Vin Diesel Hints That The ‘Fast And Furious’ Franchise Might Actually End

Vin Diesel took the opportunity to clear the air regarding some recent reports about the state of the Fast and Furious franchise and when it might come to a close. (VUL)

I Wish I Knew Then: 6 Power Women Share Most Valuable Career Advice

“The One Thing” is a new series in Forbes dedicated to tapping into the wisdom of today’s most dynamic thinkers and ‘doers’. What’s ‘The One Thing’…. about career success that you absolutely need to know in order to better navigate those types of events in your own life? (FOR)

‘Quantico’ Makes TV History By Introducing The FBI To Bollywood

Quantico follows a class of agents-in-training who get entangled in suicide, sex, nervous breakdowns, and a horrific terrorist attack. Galvanizing the action is recruit Alex Parrish, played by Priyanka Chopra—the first Indian actress to star in an American network drama. (FC)

6 Banned Books In Search Of A Director

Word and Film gives us a wish list of six books in search of a director whose controversial beginnings weren’t quite enough to give them a screen birth. (WF)


Relativity Bankruptcy News, Comcast’s Watchable, Queen Anne Film Nabs Three Big Names, More Zombies Coming From AMC


Today’s Relativity Bankruptcy News: Objections to Employee Retention Plan Resolved as Judge Seals Incentive Targets

At yesterday’s hearing, debtor attorney Craig Wolfe disclosed that discussion with the United States Trustee have led to a resolution of the concerns over the debtor’s plan to give key employees incentives so as to retain them through the bankruptcy process. The trustee had argued that there hasn’t been enough justification for the incentive plan under bankruptcy code, as well as other issues. (HESQ)

Comcast Unveils ‘Watchable’, Its Streamed Entertainment Service

Cable giant formally challenged Google’s YouTube, Facebook, and Verizon’s Go90 this morning as it announced the launch of the beta version of Watchable, its widely anticipated ad-supported streaming service. Videos at the start will be available via iOS, watchable.com and Comcast’s X1 set top boxes. They will include content from about 30 partners including AwesomenessTV, Buzzfeed, Fast Company, GoPro, Maker Studios, Mashable, NBCUniversal, and Refinery29. (DH)

A Very Heady Trio Of Actresses Are In Talks For a Movie About Queen Anne

Kate Winslet, Emma Stone and Olivia Colman are in talks to star in The Favourite, a period piece exploring the regent’s brief reign from 1702 to 1707. Colman is in discussions to wear the crown and Winslet to play Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, a close confidante to the queen. Stone, meanwhile, would portray Sarah’s distant relative Abigail Masham, whose rags-to-riches story saw the poor commoner ending up with a position at court helping the Queen. (WAH)

AMC Wants To Give You Even More Zombies, Launches ‘Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462′ Web Series

The 16-episode series follows a group of passengers aboard a commercial airplane during an early outbreak. Each short episode will explore the lives of those on the plane and how events transpire once an infected traveler is discovered on board. The premiere webisode will go live on AMC.com on October 4, and will subsequently air during two commercial breaks during the season six premiere of The Walking Dead a week later. (UR)

Evolution Media Capital Names Stuart Epstein Co-Managing Partner

EMC is the investment and advisory arm of Creative Artists Agency. In Epstein, CAA gets a veteran media executive who has held key roles at Morgan Stanley and NBCUniversal. He joins Evolution Media Capital’s Co-Managing Partners Rick Hess and Bob Stanley, and has been tasked with expanding the boutique firm’s advisory services and identifying investment opportunities. (VAR)

That Long-Awaited ‘Trainspotting’ Sequel Is Finally Shooting Next Summer, According To Danny Boyle

Director has been on the press tour for next month’s Steve Jobs and confirmed that all four stars of the original film, Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle and Ewen Bremner, will return. The plan is to shoot the film over the summer and, ideally, have it in theaters before the end of next year. John Hodge has already written the script. (SF)

Sony Brings On ‘The Girl On the Train’ Writer To Adapt Hot Book ‘Maestra’

Erin Cressida Wilson will tackle the tome by author L.S. Hilton, which won’t actually be released in book stores until next year. Story is a conspiracy thriller set in the European art world, with feisty protagonist Judith Rashleigh discovering fraud at her London auction house and ending up fleeing for her life while she follows the dirty money. Only “her consummate ability to fake it among the rich and famous” can save her. It’s planned as the first in a series. (EMP)

Today In Remake News: John Hyams Hops Aboard To Direct ‘Maniac Cop’ Re-Do

Nicholas Winding Refn is producing the project, which will be a new take on the 1988 B-movie. Hayes is best known for directing Universal Soldier: Regeneration and Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning, which have found approval from fans of that franchise. Meanwhile, Ed Brubaker will be penning the script. No word yet on when production will begin. (TP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Revenant’

Twentieth Century Fox has released the first full-length trailer of director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñaríttu’s followup to his Oscar-winning Birdman. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy star in the film, which is due in theaters for a limited release on Christmas Day, followed by a wide release on January 8th, 2016. (THR)

Online Film School: ‘How To Craft the Perfect Pitch For Your Web Series

Items like practicing your pitch and watching your budget are a must, but it gets much more involved than that. If you’re planning to put together a pitch for a web series of your own, it will be worth your while to check this out and get some proper advice. (IW)