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SSN BO Trending Report, New Golden Globes Controversy, Blanchett Circles Linklater’s Next, WB’s Superhero Schedule, On the Set For 11/13/15



SSN Box Office Trending Report for 11/13/15: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Ticket Sales Go on a Roller Coaster Ride

In our latest weekly series, SSN Insider will take a deep dive into the film ticket sales of the week leveraging data from the powerhouse ticketing website, MovieTickets.com. Not only will the infographic pinpoint which movies are claiming the largest piece of the pie from day to day in terms of sales but also which film had the biggest uptick in terms of a percentage variance surge and which had the biggest downtick or steepest dive between any two points. (SSN)

On the Set for 11/13/15: Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez Start on ‘Tomboy’, Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger Wrap ‘Midnight Sun’

Among the new films starting up this week include John Cameron Mitchell’s new film, a new starring vehicle for Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez and a new dramedy for Jim Carrey, while several films complete principal photography, including the new film from director Peter Chelsom. (SSN)


Say What? ‘The Martian’ Has Been Submitted To the Golden Globes as … a Comedy

The awards voted on by a mysterious, tiny group of “journalists” might not have a big impact on the Oscars, but it has taken its place in the awards season calendar and has garnered a certain level of respect from the viewing public, even as it sometimes creates controversy. The latest is the odd choice to place Ridley Scott’s sci-fi tale as a comedy. Also curious, David O. Russell’s latest collaboration with Jennifer Lawrence, Joy, is also being submitted as a comedy. (CB)

Richard Linklater Just Lost Out On Working With One Oscar Winner, Could Instead Work With Another

While the Oscar-nominated filmmaker’s plans to collaborate with Jennifer Lawrence on The Rosie Project fell through, it appears he’ll be working with Cate Blanchett on his next project regardless. The Boyhood filmmaker entered talks to helm an adaptation of author Maria Semple’s 2012 bestselling novel Where’d You Go Bernadette? earlier this year, and now Blanchett is in negotiations to come aboard as the film’s star. (COL)

Warner Bros. Sets Filming Dates and Locations For ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Justice League’

Studio is already hard at work on the follow-ups to the highly-anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which opens March 25th. Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, will begin later this month with filming in the UK and Italy and that it will be followed by Justice League Part One (which will not shoot back-to-back with Justice League Part Two), next year. the former comes out June 23rd, 2017, the latter on November 10th of the same year. (CS)

‘Pitch Perfect’ Writer Kay Cannon Puts On Her Directing Cap For Sex Comedy ‘The Pact’

Writer is making her feature directorial debut on the film, which follows three parents who, upon discovering that their daughters have made a pact to lose their virginities on prom night, go out and try and stop them before it’s too late. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Chris Fenton are producing from a script by Eben Russell, Hurwitz and Schlossberg and brothers Brian and Jim Kehoe. (VAR)

A Pair Of Talented Female Writers Land TV Projects At Hulu and HBO

Bridesmaids co-writer Annie Mumolo has a drama in development at the pay cable network, while Stephenie Meyer, the author of the books that the Twilight films are based on, is developing The Rook — a supernatural show that will stream on Hulu and air on an unidentified major British broadcaster — with Lionsgate. Both series will focus on female protagonists.  Mumolo is co-writing the script for the untitled show, which has Laura Dern as an EP. (WAH)

The Richard Pryor Biopic Seems To Have Found Its Redd Foxx, In the Form Of Tracy Morgan

After years in development, Lee Daniels is finally putting the pieces together for the film, titled Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? after his 1975 comedy album. It’ll kick off with his troubled early years with his parents (played by Eddie Murphy and Taraji P. Henson) and his time being raised by his grandmother Marie Carter (Oprah Winfrey), who owned a brothel where the young man lived. Mike Epps is locked in as Pryor himself. (EMP)

ABC Is Developing a New Comedy With Up-and-Comer Iliza Shlesinger, but Don’t Look For It On TV

Network’s new scripted comedy series with the winner of the sixth season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing will be released exclusively on its streaming app WatchABC. Currently, WatchABC, still requires a subscription from participating cable TV providers. It’s not clear whether the network is planning on changing that rule in light of its new offerings. (HP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Divergent: Allegiant’

Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment have released the first look at the upcoming third film in the popular series, adapted from the trilogy of YA novels by Veronica Roth. Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller, it opens March 20th, 2016. (VUL)


‘Spectre’&‘Peanuts Movie’ Take Box Office, Paris Cinemas Reopen, Weinstein Layoffs, ABC Sets Series by Ed Helms


Trio of Female-directed Films Landed in Theaters, But ‘Spectre’ and ‘Peanuts’ Took Top Box Office Spots

Women owned this weekend’s theaters as directors of three premieres across the country: Love the Coopers, The 33 and By the Sea opened in limited release. But last week’s powerhouses Spectre and The Peanuts Movie won at the box office. (LAT)

Paris Attacks: In a Show of Resilience, Cinemas Reopen Nationwide

Gaumont-Pathe, Paris’ largest cinema chain, reopened Monday for business as usual. The UGC and MK2 chains, which reopened midday Sunday, continued to keep their doors open Monday. (THR)

UCB Alums Ed Helms and Linda Gomez Team up for ‘Picante’ Series at ABC

One of Upright Citizens Brigade’s best-known alums, Ed Helms, has teamed with fellow UCB alumna Lindy Gomez for Picante, a workplace comedy that has been set up at ABC. The project, which marks Gomez’s first sale, hails from Helms’ Pacific Electric Picture Co. and Universal TV. (DL)

The Weinstein Company to Lay Off Film Staffers In Order to Help “Grow the Business”

The Weinstein Company will lay off but the cuts will not impact the TV unit and will be solely focused on its film operations. “We have one of the best slates we’ve ever had, but this is about looking ahead to how do we grow the business,” said Glasser. (VAR)

Discovery Canada’s First Original Scripted Series Acquired by Netflix and Will Star Jason Momoa

Netflix has acquired Frontier, a Canadian action adventure drama series that has tapped Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice) to star. (DL)

Bidenjam: Here are the Roads to Avoid During the VP’s LA Visit Today and Tomorrow

Vice President Joe Biden is in town Monday and Tuesday, and that means heavier traffic than usual for Angelenos. (SCPR)

Mark Penn’s Stagwell Group Buys Nielsen NRG, One of the Largest Movie Research Companies

The buyer of Nielsen’s movie research arm Nielsen NRG now has a face: the Stagwell Group. The plan is to have NRG operate as an independent entity under the umbrella of the Stagwell family of companies. (DL)

Screenwriters: The Challenge of the Unintended Sequel

What happens when your film becomes a surprise hit, and the inevitable order for a sequel comes down? Obviously this is a wonderful “problem” to have, but it is an interesting conundrum. (SM)

Trailer Buzz: City of Gold

City of Gold chronicles Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold’s relationship to his beloved and sprawling metropolis, Los Angeles. Sundance Selects will release the film on March 11. (YT)


Exec Shuffle for 11/16/15: Stagwell Acquires Nielsen NRG, AMBI Launches $200M Film Fund, Multiple Moves at NatGeo Global Networks


Company Launches & Partnerships

Lionsgate has made an ownership stake in Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios in a deal valued at an estimated $200 million for more than 50% of the studio. Pilgrim will continue to operate independently under its current management team headed by Piligian. The Studio currently produces 47 unscripted and scripted series across 27 networks, including hits Ghost Hunters, Wicked Tuna and Ultimate Fighter.

AMBI Group has launched a $200 million fund that will fully finance five mid-budget range films, and at minimum ten smaller budgeted features. AMBI Group owners Monika Bacardi and Andrea Iervolino serve as anchor investors in the fund, along with New York based private equity firm Raven Capital Management LLC (“Raven”).

NextVR, a virtual reality live streaming start-up with a focus on live events, has raised $30.5 million in its latest funding round. Formation 8 led the round with others including MSG, dick clark productions, Comcast Ventures, and Time Warner Investments. NextVR raised $5 million a year ago.

Investment adviser The Stagwell Group has acquired Nielsen NRG, one of largest companies that provides movie studios with market research about their releases. NRG will run as an independent entity under the umbrella of the Stagwell family of companies.

The Weinstein Company will lay off between 40 and 50 staffers next week at the Los Angeles, New York and London offices within the film operations including distribution, publicity and legal. Cuts are not expected to affect senior management. The layoffs will mostly involve junior staffers and some mid-level execs and some cuts at Radius-TWC.


Jake Bauman has been named the Literary Scout of New Line Cinema. He was previously a Literary Scout of Chernin Entertainment.

Ben Kim has been named the VP of Development, Film & TV at Electric Entertainment. He was previously a Production/Development Executive at Sneaky Shark.

Aimee LeMaire has been upped from Creative Executive to the Director of Development at Ian Bryce Productions.

Andrew W. Levin has been named the President, Chief Legal Officer at Relativity Media LLC. He was previously the SVP of Government Affairs at T-Mobile USA, Inc.

Kenner Bolt has been named the Director of Acquisitions at International Film Trust. He was previously a Sales & Marketing Executive at MediaXchange. Todd Olsson is now a Sales Consultant at International Film Trust. He was previously the Co-President at Ironclad Films.

Peilin Chou has been named the Head of Creative and Feature Animation at Oriental DreamWorks in Shanghai. He was previously a Partner at Lifefilm Entertainment.

Andrew Gumpert has been named the President, Worldwide Business Affairs & Operations, Motion Picture Group at Sony Pictures Entertainment. He was previously the President of Worldwide Business Affairs & Administration at Columbia Pictures.

Amy Hobby has been named the VP of Artist Programs at Tribeca Film Institute in addition to being the Co-Founder of Tangerine Entertainment.

Nathaniel McCormick has been upped from SVP to EVP of Worldwide Distribution at The Exchange. Caddy Vanasirikul has been upped from Creative Executive to the Head of Acquisitions at The Exchange.


Amazon Studios has hired veteran casting director Donna Rosenstein as Head of Casting. She will be based in Amazon Studios Los Angeles’ offices. She began her relationship with Amazon Studios as a casting consultant for the past two years, working on Transparent and popular drama Bosch.

George Sealey has been upped from VP to SVP of Alternative Programming & Development at NBC Entertainment.

Dannah Shinder has been named the Director of Scripted Programming at The Jackal Group. She was formerly a Manager of Creative Affairs at Sony Pictures Television.

Vinnie Malhotra has been named to the newly created role of SVP Documentaries, Unscripted and Sports Programming at Showtime and will oversee the development and production of Showtime’s growing slate of original unscripted and documentary programming, as well as all future documentary theatrical releases. He previously spearheaded the launch of CNN Films.

Courteney Monroe, currently CEO of National Geographic Channels U.S., has been named the CEO of National Geographic Global Networks, to handle global programming, operations and global marketing for the portfolio of National Geographic Channels worldwide. Ward Platt, formerly the COO of Fox International Channels and CEO of National Geographic Channels International, will now be the COO of National Geographic Partners and with Moore will oversee the entire portfolio of National Geographic Partners’ businesses. Susan Goldberg, now Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic magazine, will continue in that capacity and also take on the title of Editorial Director, and handle all of the publishing activities. Jeffrey Schneider, currently EVP Business and Legal Affairs for National Geographic Channels, will now be the EVP of Business and Legal Affairs for National Geographic Partners.

Dave Snyder has been named the VP of Development at Cineflix Media. He was previously the VP of Development & Production at Jigsaw Productions.

Dirk Hoogstra has been named the CCO at Banijay Entertainment. He was formerly a General Manager at History and H2. In his new role he will oversee development, packaging and sales, shepherding new and current projects.

Richard Cook has been named the VP of Talent at Leopard Films USA. He was previously the Head of Television at Pulse Films.

Jessica Driscoll has been named the VP of Communications at Discovery Channel. She was formerly the Director of Media Relations at HBO.

Humberto Duran has been named the VP of News Operations & Production Management at Telemundo. Humberto was previously an Executive Producer at CCTV America.

Francis M. Buono has been named the SVP of Legal Regulatory Affairs & Senior Deputy General Counsel at Comcast Corporation. He was previously a Partner and Chair of Communications, Media & Privacy Department and Chair, Data Privacy & Security Practice Group at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Andrew Bott has been named the Chief Financial Officer at FremantleMedia. He was previously the Chief Financial Officer at BBC Worldwide.

Jeff Conroy is now pursuing other opportunities. He was previously the President, Executive Producer at Original Productions.

Dominic Fails has been named the SVP, Local Media Sales at Univision Communications Inc. He was previously the VP & Director of Sales, Local Media at Univision Communications Inc.

Susan Levison is now pursuing other opportunities. She was formerly the EVP of Original Programming & Production at VH1.

Gary Levine has been upped from EVP to the President of Programming at Showtime Networks.

Christa Robinson has been named the SVP of Communications at CBS News. She was formerly the Chief Communications Officer at Tribune Media.

John Rouse has been upped from SVP to the EVP, Affiliate Relations & Marketing at ABC Television Network.

Shannon Ryan has been named the EVP of Marketing & Communications at Fox Television Group. She was formerly the EVP of Marketing & Communications at FOX Broadcasting Company. Rachel Webber has been named the SVP of Fox Television Group. She was formerly the VP of New Media Business Development at Fox Networks Group.

Mark Sacher has been named the VP of Research at El Rey Network. He was previously the VP of Research at Sprout Network.

Elliott Trice has been named the SVP of Consumer Product at The Weather Company. He was previously the EVP and Head of Product at VivaKi.

Management, PR, Agencies

Molly Barnett has been named the VP of Theatre at DKC in addition to her role as VP of Theatre at O&M. Rick Miramontez has been named the Director at DKC/O&M. He was previously the President at O&M.

Keith Bielory has been hired as an Agent of Alternative Programming & Digital Media at Abrams Artists. He was previously the Director of New Business Development at PMG Sports. Fatmata Kamara has been named the Agent of Theatrical Youth Division at Abrams Artists. Fatmata was previously an Assistant, Theatrical Youth Division at Abrams Artists.

Anne Damato has been named Partner, Literary at Rain Management Group. She was formerly a Manager, Literary at Rain Management Group.

Mark Itkin will retire in January 2016. He was previously a Board Member, Partner, Unscripted TV at WME.

Richard S. Petretti has been named Partner at Sidley Austin LLP. He was previously a Partner, Morgan at Lewis & Bockius LLP. Jack Yeh has been named Partner at Sidley Austin LLP. He was previously a Partner at Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.

Mike Esola has been hired as a Motion Picture Literary Agent at UTA. He was previously a Motion Picture Literary Agent at WME. Drew Welborn has been hired as a Comedy Touring Agent at UTA. He was previously a Personal Appearances Agent at WME.

Gregg B. Ramer has been named as a Senior Counsel at Loeb & Loeb LLP. He was previously Special Counsel at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. Junzi Tan has been named the Associate at Loeb & Loeb LLP. Junzi was previously a PRC Legal Consultant at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Mark Gordon has been upped to Head of International Scripted Television at ICM Partners where he currently is a Partner. He will relocate to the agency’s offices in London. Anna Stein has been hired as an Agent, Publications at ICM Partners. She was previously a Senior Agent, Literary at Aitken Alexander Associates.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Vox, the digital news site, launched in 2014, has hired Matthew Vree as its Executive Producer of Video. He previously served as Director of Programming and Executive Producer of PBS Digital Studios, which he also co-founded.

JJ Miller has been named Executive Producer, Video, for Entertainment Weekly and People. She will oversee the two publications’ video programming across all digital platforms and develop TV and other brand extensions. Miller will report to Jess Cagle, People and EW’s Editorial Director. Formerly, Miller served as Senior Creative Executive at Katie Couric Media.

Multi-platform media company First Look Media has hired Adam Pincus as EVP of Programming and Content, managing programming strategy, development and content production. Previously, Pincus served as EVP of Programming and Production at GroupM Entertainment.

Jonathan Koa has joined Condé Nast Entertainment as SVP of Scripted Programming. He will be responsible for developing and producing scripted television projects for CNÉ. He was formerly a comedy exec at ABC.

Ad-buying platform Centro has upped Grace Briscoe to VP, Client Development, Candidates and Causes. Briscoe will now oversee the Centro unit providing digital advertising technology to political marketers. She previously served as a Regional Director for the company.

Ty Ahmad-Taylor has been named the CEO of THX Ltd. He was previously the VP of Smart TV Services at Samsung.

Tom Burns has been named the CTO of Media & Entertainment at EMC Corporation. He was previously the Director of Post-Production Infrastructure at Technicolor.

Colin Ingram has been named the EVP of MSG Productions at The Madison Square Garden Company. He was previously the CEO at Colin Ingram Limited.

Krista Parkinson is now the Owner of MyGradsGetJobs.com in addition to being a USC Adjunct Professor . She was formerly the SVP at Content Partners, LLC.

Jean-Jerome Peytavi has been named the VP of Strategic Marketing at Allied Integrated Marketing. Jean was previously the Director of Marketing at Metropolitan Opera.

Todd Green has been named the SVP of Digital Distribution at Alchemy. He was previously the General Manager at Tribeca Film.

Exec Shuffle, ‘Memento’ Remake Coming, Lenny Abrahamson’s New Film, Todd Haynes & Julianne Moore Reunite, ‘Furious’ Spinoffs In Works



Exec Shuffle for 11/16/15: Stagwell Acquires Nielsen NRG, AMBI Launches $200M Film Fund, Multiple Moves at NatGeo Global Networks

In addition The Weinstein Company will lay off between 40 and 50 staffers, NextVR, a virtual reality live streaming start-up with a focus on live events, has raised $30.5 million and Lionsgate has made an ownership stake in Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios. (SSN)


Today In Remake News: Apparently, Someone Thinks It’s Time To Get a New Take On ‘Memento’

This apparent new version is coming about because AMBI Pictures nabbed the rights recently and has decided that 15 years is long enough for a film to enjoy classic status without being remade. it doesn’t appear that Christopher Nolan is involved, and no other news about the project has been released yet. (EMP)

On the Verge Of a Potential Oscar Nomination, Lenny Abrahamson Finds His Next Project

The Irish director has just been set to direct a film about bisexual boxer Emile Griffith. Though a two-time world welterweight champion, Griffith is best known for beating his opponent Benny “The Kid” Paret to death in the ring in 1962 after the latter taunted him with a gay slur at weigh-in. Abrahamson will co-write the screenplay based on the Donald McRae book A Man’s World: The Double Life of Emile Griffith. (SF)

Julianne Moore and Todd Haynes Will Reunite Again For Kid’s Book Adaptation, ‘Wonderstruck’

Oscar-winner, who worked with Haynes on Safe and Far From Heaven, for which she earned a 2003 Oscar nod, in the adaptation of Brian Selznick’s book. Story follows two kids, both deaf, from different time periods, one from 1927, one from 1977, who run away to New York. Despite the chasm of decades, they are connected by a mystery waiting to be solved. Selznick, whose The Invention of Hugo Cabret was adapted into Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, wrote the script. (THR)

Vin Diesel and Universal Are Exploring the Idea Of ‘Fast and Furious’ Spinoffs

Franchise may take a page from Star Wars and Marvel and develop prequels and spin-offs from the franchise. Diesel, who is also a producer on the series, did not say which characters would get their own standalone films, but in the past, Dwayne Johnson has hinted that he’d like to see his character branch out into independent adventures. Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley confirmed that talks were taking place about ways to broaden the series’ reach. (VAR)

Robert De Niro’s Passion Project, ‘The Comedian’, Finds a Female Lead

Jennifer Aniston will star alongside De Niro in the film, the Art Linson-scripted drama directed by Taylor Hackford that has been a De Niro passion project for years. The film will shoot early next year in New York. De Niro plays a toxic insult comic on the order of a Don Rickles. Aniston meets him at a wedding, and they develop a close relationship. (DH)

John Travolta Becomes the Latest To Join the Star-Studded Cast Of ‘Little Mizz Innocent’

The actor is the latest to join the action/thriller. Travolta’s role in the thriller is kept under wraps, though the story follows a seemingly innocent UN interpreter who becomes pulled into a war between the FBI and a criminal dynasty. Oscar winner Christopher Plummer leads the developing cast, which consists of Carrie Anne Moss, Tyrese Gibson, Ben Kingsley, and Olga Kurylenko in the title role. Xavier Gens is directing. (TB)

Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus 2’ Now Officially Has a Confirmed Title and a Release Date

Twentieth Century Fox has confirmed the film’s new title Alien: Covenant and set an October 6th, 2017 release date for the picture. The studio also released a synopsis of the film, which will follow the crew of the colony ship Covenant, which discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world — whose sole inhabitant is the “synthetic” David (Michael Fassbender), survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. (COL)

Several Networks Postpone Episodes Of Shows In Light Of Paris Attacks

Among the episodes being pushed from their original air dates are tonight’s episode of Legends on TNT, Supergirl and NCIS:LA on CBS and Jekyll and Hyde on Britain’s ITV. The episode of Legends in question would have seen Sean Bean’s Martin racing against the clock in the search for a woman in Paris. (CB)

Three and Out: ABC Cancels Poorly Received and Barely Viewed ‘Wicked City’

Following three low-rated episodes, ABC has opted to pull anthology drama Wicked City from its schedule, effective immediately. Starting tomorrow, repeats of Shark Tank will take over the drama’s Tuesday at 10 p.m. slot. Production on Wicked City will conclude after episode eight, which is currently filming. It’s unclear when (or if) the five unaired episodes will be broadcast.  (LF)

Charlie Sheen Reveals He’s HIV-Positive, Jon Croker to Adapt ‘The Famous Five,’ ICM’s Mark Gordon to Head International Scripted TV


Charlie Sheen Reveals He’s HIV Positive

Charlie Sheen revealed that he’s HIV positive on the “Today” show Tuesday morning. Sheen said he was diagnosed with HIV about four years ago. (VAR)

Jon Croker To Adapt Enid Blyton’s Classic ‘The Famous Five’ For Working Title

Up-and-coming Brit scribe Jon Croker will adapt Enid Blyton’s classic tale of derring-do The Famous Five for UK production powerhouse Working Title. (DH)

ICM’s Mark Gordon Tapped To Lead International Scripted TV

ICM Partners has named partner Mark Gordon its head of international scripted television.  He will relocate to the agency’s London office for the newly created role. (THR)

‘How I Met Your Mother’ Creators, CBS Team For ‘New York Mythological’

How I Met Your Mother creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays will write and executive-produce the half-hour comedy New York Mythological, which has landed at CBS. (TVL)

‘Hart Of Dixie’s Jaime King To Produce & Star In CW Seed Sketch Comedy

Jaime King will produce and star in Attention Deficit Theater for CW Seed, the CW’s digital platform for comedy. The 10-episode sketch series will feature King offering insight through personal stories on how to navigate the attention deficit disorder world. (DH)

Denzel Washington To Receive The Cecil B. DeMille Award

The two-time Golden Globe Award winner will be honored with the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Award at the “73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards” on Sunday, January 10, 2016, hosted by Ricky Gervais. (CS)

The Creator Of The Ultra-Dark ‘Flying Man’ Superhero Short On His New Deal With Sony

The viral 2013 short film captured many an imagination—and director Marcus Alqueres is finally in a position to take it to a feature. (FCC)

8 Guaranteed Ways To Boost Your Confidence

Successful people often exude confidence—it’s obvious that they believe in themselves and what they’re doing. It isn’t their success that makes them confident, however. (FOR)

Online Film School: 8-Minute Video Essay Explains How “Oh F*ck” Film Moments Are Created Through Editing

Editing is an art that goes unnoticed by the filmgoing masses. No matter how great the components of a movie may be, ultimately bad editing has the power to make or break it. Yet good editing usually means that no one even notices the cuts. (IW)


TV Development for 11/17/15: ‘Snowpiercer’ Series in the Works, Ed Helms Producing Series for FX and ABC, Netflix to Explore ‘Frontier’


Network: TBS
Writer(s): Angela Kinsey
Logline: A workplace comedy set at a call center.
Details: Loosely based on Angela Kinsey’s early work experiences.
SSN Insight: Angela Kinsey previously recurred on the hit series The Office and had a recurring role on the TBS show, Your Family or Mine.

Network: Disney Channel
Executive Producer(s): Terri Minsky, Michelle Manning
Writer(s): Terri Minsky
Logline: It’s Andi Marcus’ 13th birthday. She’s officially a teenager, ready to have a little fun, a little adventure. Just a little. But that’s never going to happen because Andi’s mother is doing everything in her power to keep Andi from turning out like her wild older sister, Bex. As a teenager, Bex dropped out of school, left home, and now, in her late 20s, still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. But that’s going to change. Bex shows up on the eve of Andi’s birthday, swearing she is ready to get her life together. The only problem is that means tearing Andi’s life apart.
SSN Insight: Disney has ordered the pilot.

Attention Deficit Theater
Network: CW Seed (Digital)
Executive Producer(s): Jaime King, John R. Montgomery, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mark Teitelbaum, Amy Laslett
Writer(s): Dan Van Kirk
Logline: A sketch comedy that offers insight through personal stories on how to navigate the attention deficit disorder world.
SSN Insight: CW Seed has given a series order of 10 episodes.

Untitled Jenny Bicks Doug Ellin Comedy Project
Network: CBS Entertainment
Studio: CBS Television Studios
Production Company(s): Halyard Park
Executive Producer(s): Doug Ellin, Jenny Bicks, Teri Weinberg
Logline: A successful young couple find themselves starting an unconventional family when a threesome leads to a pregnancy.
Details: Based on an idea by Doug Ellin and Joey Boukadakis.
SSN Insight: Doug Ellin previously created Entourage and is currently developing an Untitled Harriet Tubman Project as a TV movie and Wish for HBO.

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Executive Producer(s): Robert Specland, Peter Horton
Writer(s): Robert Specland
Logline: A longtime corrupt detective is busted, his cases overturned and a thousand of the city’s worst criminals are released back onto the streets, one case at a time. A mysterious outsider is brought in to lead a new task force with one goal: to clean up the streets.
Details: Inspired by a true story.
SSN Insight: This marks Robert Specland’s first network series. He was previously an assistant on the WB film, Orphan.

Dream Corp LLC
Network: Cartoon Network
Production Company(s): Sunday Night Productions
Executive Producer(s): John Krasinski, Daniel Stessen, Allyson Seeger, Stephen Merchant
Logline: Dream Corp LLC is an experimental therapy facility that creates a virtual reality for patients to confront issues in their waking life by simulating their wildest dreams. Guided by the eccentric Dr. Roberts, a team of unique scientists document and conduct their research that hasn’t been funded since 1992. Like a poorly maintained carnival ride, the program has developed some questionable kinks throughout the years. The patients change from week to week, but despite the advice of their loved ones and their own instincts, they keep coming back.
SSN Insight: Cartoon Network has given a series order.

Network: Netflix
Production Company(s): Take the Shot Productions, Factory Backwards
Executive Producer(s): Jeff Fierson, Brad Peyton, John Vatcher, Peter Blackie, Rob Blackie
Writer(s): Rob Blackie, Peter Blackie, Perry Chafe
Logline: Follows the chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade in the late 18th century. Told from multiple perspectives, Frontier takes place in a world where business negotiations might be resolved with close-quarter hatchet fights, and where delicate relations between Native tribes and Europeans can spark bloody conflicts.
SSN Insight: Netflix has acquired this six episode series, which was commissioned by Discovery Canada as the channel’s first original scripted series.

Untitled Laura Dern Drama Project
Network: HBO Network
Executive Producer(s): Laura Dern, Jayme Lemons, Annie Mumolo, Tim Lovestedt
Writer(s): Annie Mumolo, Tim Lovestedt
Logline: The story of a pioneering American saleswoman largely responsible for the development of the home party system of marketing. It reveals how she impacted people globally, on a subversive level, in profound and even shocking ways.
SSN Insight: Annie Mumolo executive produced and wrote the story for the upcoming film, Joy and is credited with a screenplay rewrite on the Megan Leavey film in production.

Jon Benjamin’s 100 Erotic Nights
Network: IFC
Production Company(s): PFFR
Executive Producer(s): H. Jon Benjamin, Leo Allen, Alyson Levy, John Lee, Vernon Chatman
Writer(s): Leo Allen, H. Jon Benjamin
Logline: 100 very personal, lurid tales of secret passion, burning desire and ruthless betrayal. The narrator is overcome with confessions of love, lust, romance and sex, from the local waitress to a church nun, to a lover who’s revealed to be a robot. However, the narrator exists solely to “bare” witness to all the passion in the world around us, while never benefiting from it himself.
SSN Insight: IFC has ordered a pilot presentation for the scripted comedy.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios, Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Gotham/Principal, Temple Hill Entertainment, Gifted and Talented Camp
Executive Producer(s): Hilary Winston, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen
Writer(s): Hilary Winston
Logline: A few years ago, Jenny left her small Texas town and eccentric family in search of a normal life. But when a death in the family brings her back home, she’s forced to face the fact that she will never be “normal”. Based on the book.
Details: Based on the memoir, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” written by Jenny Lawson and published by Putnam Adult on April 17, 2012.
SSN Insight: The project was previously in development at ABC with different writers for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons.

My Time/Your Time
Network: CBS Entertainment
Studio: CBS Television Studios, Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Bays Thomas , Gifted and Talented Camp
Executive Producer(s): Hilary Winston, Carter L. Bays, Craig Thomas
Writer(s): Hilary Winston
Logline: The series chronicles the relationship of a young couple as they begin dating long distance. Based on the web series.
Details: Based on the 5-part web series “7P/10E,” which was released in 2014.
SSN Insight: Winston will write and executive produce this series and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened through her overall deal at Sony Pictures TV, where she has been based for the past eight years.

Untitled Matt Zinman Comedy Project
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Le Train Train Productions
Executive Producer(s): Matthew Zinman, Craig Gerard, Rashida Jones, Will McCormack
Writer(s): Matthew Zinman, Craig Gerard
Logline: A girl, after becoming convinced she’s going to die, leans on her best friends to help her live the rest of her life with no regrets.
SSN Insight: Matt Zinman is also the supervising producer on NBC’s upcoming series, Telenovela.

New York Mythological
Network: CBS Entertainment
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Bays Thomas
Executive Producer(s): Craig Thomas, Carter L. Bays, Brian Bockrath
Writer(s): Craig Thomas, Carter L. Bays
Logline: Centers on a Midwestern girl who moves to Manhattan and experiences firsthand the magic of New York.
SSN Insight: Bays Thomas is also behind the My Time/Your Time series. Past TV includes How I Met Your Mother.

Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): Pacific Electric Picture Co.
Executive Producer(s): Ed Helms, Michael Falbo
Writer(s): Lindy Jamil Gomez
Logline: The owner of a food manufacturing and distribution plant juggles running a business with the obligation of employing his entire Mexican-American family.
SSN Insight: Ed Helms is currently in the cast for Starz’ upcoming series, The One Percent.

Protect & Serve
Network: CBS Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Leonard Goldberg, David M. Barrett, Elizabeth Davis Beall
Writer(s): Elizabeth Davis Beall
Logline: The multi-generational members of a Mexican-American family with deep roots in Los Angeles intertwine personally and professionally due to their powerful careers in law enforcement, local politics and journalism- each dedicated to serving and protecting the people of their city.
SSN Insight: Elizabeth Davis Beall is credited as a co-executive producer on Scorpion and was previously a writer on Castle.

Relative Success
Network: NBC Entertainment
Studio: Universal Television
Production Company(s): Silent Machine Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Krysten Ritter
Writer(s): Max Silvestri
Logline: Two overachieving brothers- one a successful book editor, the other a well-known author are forced to work together to keep their careers on track. They soon find their childish family disagreements are spilling over into their work lives.
SSN Insight: Max Silvestri is also the host of Bravo’s upcoming series Recipe for Deception.

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: Lionsgate
Production Company(s): Silver Pictures Television
Executive Producer(s): Todd Slavkin, Darren Swimmer, Joel Silver, Rodney Ferrell
Writer(s): Todd Slavkin, Darren Swimmer
Logline: A former NBA prodigy turned felon, once released from prison, is recruited as the head basketball coach at an upscale high school.
SSN Insight: Fox has given an initial commitment of a put pilot.

Network: FX Network
Production Company(s): Pacific Electric Picture Co.
Executive Producer(s): Ed Helms, Michael Falbo, Will Graham
Writer(s): Dan Kennedy
Logline: The story is set in America’s true underbelly of chemical addiction and appetizers: corporate theme restaurant chains.
SSN Insight: Ed Helms is currently executive producing several series in development including the TBS series Good Bread, Picante for ABC, Weird Like Us for Fox, Jake & Amir for truTV and The Gorburger Show for HBO.

The Internet Ruined My Life
Network: Syfy
Production Company(s): Left/Right Films, Atomic Entertainment Group
Executive Producer(s): Jerry Kolber, Adam Davis, Banks Tarver, Ken Druckerman
Logline: The series sets out to expose the unexpected perils of living in a social media-obsessed world. Each episode tells the real-life stories through first-person accounts of those who had posts, tweets or status updates backfire.
SSN Insight: SyFy has given a series order of six episodes.

When I’m Sixty-Four
Network: HBO Network
Production Company(s): HRD Productions
Executive Producer(s): Jeff Roda, Howard Deutch
Writer(s): Jeff Roda
Logline: Paul Beaumont, a narcissistic New Yorker, is given an unexpected reprieve from terminal cancer and now faces an existential reckoning with himself as well as the family, friends and career wreckage he had hoped to leave behind.
SSN Insight: Jeff Roda has also written the adapted screenplay for the film The Siege of Fulton Avenue, currently in development.

Work Married
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): Principato-Young Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Michael Showalter, Christina Lee, Peter Principato
Writer(s): Michael Showalter, Christina Lee
Logline: The lives of unconventional Vermont state senator Michael Sherman and his type-A overachieving chief of staff Christina Kim are turned upside down when they realize their work marriage is the only relationship they’ve got left.
SSN Insight: Michael Showalter is also the executive producer and writer on the upcoming TBS show, Search Party as well as credited as a writer on Children’s Hospital and was behind Wet Hot American Summer: First Day at Camp.

Untitled Snowpiercer Series
Production Company(s): Tomorrow Studios, CJ Entertainment & Media
Executive Producer(s): Marty Adelstein
Writer(s): Josh Friedman
Logline: Series set in a post apocalyptic ice age where the only remaining life on the planet survives aboard a train that travels around the globe.
Details: Based on the 2013 Korean film, Snowpiercer.
SSN Insight: Marty Adelstein’s Tomorrow Studios has optioned the rights to the film. Tomorrow Studios is a partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios and currently produces Last Man Standing and Aquarius.

How a Doc Can Change the World, McConaughey Circles ‘Dark Tower’, ‘Tomb Raider’ Re-Do Gets Director, Pizzolato’s New HBO Deal, TV Development For 11/17/15



The ‘Karski & The Lords of Humanity’ Doc Shows That One Person’s Fight for Good Really Can Change the World

Slawomir Grunberg is an independent filmmaker who has been solely devoted to documentaries for the past 30 years. He’s won an Emmy Award and two of the documentaries that he was a Director of Photography on have been nominated for Academy Awards. His new film, Karski & The Lords Of Humanity, is a shining example of the power of the documentary feature. (SSN)

TV Development for 11/17/15: ‘Snowpiercer’ Series in the Works, Ed Helms Producing Series for FX and ABC, Netflix to Explore ‘Frontier’

A new series for The Office’s Angela Kinsley, Doug Ellin returns to the tube with a  new project, as does Jason Momoa. Among other big names coming involved this week are Laura Dern, H. Jon Benjamin, Michael Showalter, and two projects from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. Click on the link for all the details. (SSN)


Sony Looks To Hook Matthew McConaughey For Its Massive ‘Dark Tower’ Adaptation

Nikolaj Arcel is writing and directing the first movie in what will be a multi-film series that will be complemented with a TV show. McConaughey has reportedly been offered both Roland the gunslinger, and Padick (aka The Man In Black), and the actor is apparently more keen on the latter. Nothing is set, but talks are reportedly ongoing. (TP)

Today In Remake News: the ‘Tomb Raider’ Re-Do Now Has Itself a Director, and a New Writer, Too

Norwegian thriller director Roar Uthaug will take the director’s chair for Tomb Raider, making the video game adaptation his first English-language feature. His latest film, The Wave, just opened in Norway this past August and will make its way to American shores in 2016. Though previous screenwriters Evan Daugherty, Marti Noxon and Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby have all worked on drafts, Geneva Robertson-Dworet is in negotiations to do another pass. (CB)

HBO Inks a New, Three-Year Deal With Nic Pizzolato, but Season Three Of ‘True Detective’ Is No Sure Thing

Under the new pact, a number of new projects from Pizzolatto are being considered. The deal paves the way for a go-ahead decision for another season of True Detective, but that’s no sure thing. HBO has been looking to make a change in the way the show is run, given the critical response to the second season, and has presented Pizzolatto with a number of options. In all scenarios, he would remain an exec producer. (VAR)

Broad Green Inks First-Look Deal With Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein’s New Shingle

Fledgling indue studio has signed a first-look deal with Storyscape Entertainment, the just-launched production company from the veteran producers. The duo will develop and produce movies for the studio with the deal covering physical and financial production resources. The pact also comes on the heels of a similar partnership with producer Matt Alvarez and gives the company a steady pipeline of content from proven producers. (THR)

Good News For Iceman Fans, as Val Kilmer Confirms He Will Return For ‘Top Gun 2’

The sequel has been gestating for years, but the project hit a snag a few years ago when director Tony Scott died, but when Jerry Bruckheimer struck a new deal at Paramount, Top Gun 2 was part of the deal. Last year, Justin Marks was hired to write the script, and now Kilmer has taken to his Facebook page to announce that he has been offered the chance to reprise his famous role, opposite star Tom Cruise, who is also returning. (SF)

Richard Linklater’s Long-Awaited ‘Everybody Wants Some’ Finally Has Its Premiere Date

Linklater’s “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused will open the 23rd South By Southwest Film Festival, on Friday, March 11th, 2016. The film, which focuses on a group of college baseball players as they navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood, features an ensemble cast of Will Brittain, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Anthony Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Blake Jenner, Glen Powell and Wyatt Russell. (IW)

Taylor Kitchs Joins the Already Impressive Cast For Xavier Dolan’s English Language Debut

Jessica Chastain, Kathy Bates, Susan Sarandon and Kit Harington are already part of the cast for The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan, with Harrington in the title role. Story involves a Hollywood star’s career being destroyed when people start making assumptions about his correspondence with an 11-year-old actor. Chastain plays the editor of a gossip rag. Kitsch’s role hasn’t yet been revealed, but is being described as “unique.” (EMP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘A Very Murray Christmas’

Netflix has released the first look at its upcoming Christmas special, starring Bill Murray. Written by Sofia Coppola, Mitch Glazer and Murray and directed by Coppola, the star-studded cast also includes George Clooney, Paul Shaffer, Amy Poehler, Julie White, Dimitri Dimitrov, Michael Cera, Chris Rock, David Johansen, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, Jenny Lewis, Phoenix, Frederic Moulin, Rashida Jones, Miley Cyrus, and more. It premieres December 4th. (CS)

David Heyman Makes TV Production Firm, Emma Stone to Star in Matthew Quick Book, Casey Affleck to Direct ‘Far Bright Star’


Harry Potter Producer Joins With NBC Universal To Make TV Production Firm

David Heyman (Harry Potter, Paddington, Gravity) is set to create a television production company with NBC Universal in a move which underlines the trend for big name film-makers to move onto the small screen. (GUAR)

Emma Stone Will Star In Film Adaptation ‘Of Love May Fail’

Emma Stone will star in Columbia TriStar’s film adaptation of Love May Fail. The novel is one of the more recent releases of Silver Linings Playbook author, Matthew Quick and brought from Columbia to TriStar  by Hannah Minghella when she took over the division. (VUL)

‘The Bastard Executioner’ Canceled By FX After One Season

The FX drama series is canceled following Tuesday’s airing of the season one finale. Series creator and showrunner Kurt Sutter saluted the hard work that went into producing the show while acknowledging that the ratings weren’t strong enough to justify a renewal. (VAR)

5 Biggest Hollywood Deals Of The Past 5 Years

A whopping $108.3 billion in sales included DirecTV going to AT&T and Walt Disney Co. purchasing San Francisco-based Lucasfilm. (THR)

‘The Merlin Saga': Lord of the Rings’ Philippa Boyens To Script

In the planning stages for some time (first at Warner Bros. and now at Walt Disney Pictures), a big screen adaptation of T.A. Barron‘s The Merlin Saga is moving forward with the addition of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Philippa Boyens. (CS)

Cary Elwes & Mary Birdsong Join Lena Dunham’s HBO Comedy Pilot ‘Max’

Cary Elwes (The Art Of More) and Mary Birdsong (The Descendants) have been cast in recurring roles in HBO’s comedy pilot Max, written by Murray Miller and directed by Girls creator Lena Dunham. (DH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Zoolander 2′

Watch Justin Bieber get killed in new Zoolander 2 trailer (RS)

Screenwriters: ‘Popeye’

Undated first draft by Jules Feiffer (based on the characters by E. C. Segar) (DS)



Rep Moves for 11/18/15: UTA Snags Jurassic World Writers & Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba, Barbra Streisand & Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail Shift to CAA


CAA: Barbra Streisand is shifting from UTA to CAA for representation in all areas. The Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy winner’s most recent acting role was in 2012’s The Guilt Trip with Seth Rogen. She is signed on to play the iconic Rose role in the film Gypsy, but the project has been put in turnaround at Universal.

UTA: Writer-producer duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver have shifted from CAA to UTA. They’re recent work includes Jurassic World, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. They are producing War For The Planet of the Apes and both wrote the story for In the Heart of the Sea and the screenplay for Avatar 3.

UTA: Actor Michael Ealy has signed with UTA for representation in all areas. He was seen in Think Like A Man and Think Like A Man Too, About Last Night and The Perfect Guy. In TV, Ealy was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2005 for his role in Showtime’s Sleeper Cell, and also starred in Fox’s Almost Human which was canceled last year. He will next be seen alongside Juliette Lewis on Season 2 of ABC’s Secrets & Lies.

APA: Actor Bailey Chase has signed with APA for representation. He was previously in Longmire and will be seen in David Lynch’s upcoming Twin Peaks follow-up series for Showtime and on NBC’s supernatural cop drama Grimm. Chase continues to be managed by Untitled.

CAA: Sam Esmail has shifted from ICM Partners to CAA. He created the breakout hit, Mr. Robot for USA. In addition to showrunning duties he’s also directed three episodes of the series. Additionally, Esmail recently inked his first overall deal, a seven-figure pact with Universal Cable Prods. which is behind his series. He will continue to be repped by Anonymous Content’s Chad Hamilton and attorney Jeff Frankel.

WME: Writers-producer-showrunners Patrick Massett and John Zinman have shifted from CAA to WME. They currently have an overall deal with Sony Pictures TV. They have co-executive produced The Blacklist and Last Resort for Sony Pictures TV. Previously they worked on Friday Night Lights and wrote for Caprica, The Chicago Code and The Finder. They currently executive produce The Player for NBC.

ICM Partners: Actress Annaleigh Ashford has signed with ICM Partners. She’s best known for playing Betty on Masters of Sex. She won a Tony Award last year for her part in the Broadway revival of You Can’t Take It With You, in which she currently stars opposite Matthew Broderick.

UTA: Actress Uzo Aduba has shifted from APA to UTA. She’s known for her part on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and has earned two Emmy Awards for her breakout role as Crazy Eyes. She will next appear as Glinda the Good Witch on NBC’s The Wiz Live!, alongside Queen Latifah. In film, Aduba currently is in production on Lakeshore’s American Pastoral, starring Ewan McGregor in his directorial debut, she just wrapped Tallulah opposite Ellen Page and Showing Roots opposite Maggie Grace.

Film & TV Deals for 11/18/15: David Heyman Launches Heyday TV with NBCUni, Lionsgate Buys Stake in Reality TV Powerhouse Pilgrim Studios & Inks Deal with Joel Silver


Animation and live-action production company Waterman Entertainment has acquired animation house Film Roman, that was previously a subsidiary of Starz. In the deal Film Roman will expand its business model to acquire, develop and produce original ideas/concepts for television, feature film and digital media and handle Waterman’s development slate that includes Brave Little Toaster, Heathcliff and Mr. Ed. As part of the acquisition, Film Roman GM Dana Booton has been upped to President of Production. Film Roman founder Phil Roman will return to the company he founded in 1984 as Chairman Emeritus.

David Heyman has launched Heyday Television, a joint venture with NBCUniversal International Studios with the aim of creating premium long-form scripted content. This is the first major entry into TV for the veteran film producer credited with the Harry Potter franchise. The new company already has two blind series commitments from NBC. Heyday Television will still have the freedom to sell its shows to other networks. The company will operate separately from Heyman’s film banner and will have offices in LA and London.

Joel Silver and his Silver Pictures Television production label have signed a multiyear first-look television deal with Lionsgate. Under the deal, the production company has a put pilot commitment from CBS for Bathory, with writer-producer David Eick to executive produce, along with Silver and his president of Silver Pictures Television, Rodney Ferrell. Additionally, Silver Pictures Television has a put pilot commitment from Fox for the drama Soar, that Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer will write and exec produce.

Nic Pizzolatto has signed an overall deal through 2018 with HBO. He is best known as the creator/EP/showrunner/writer/actor in HBO’s True Detective. Under the deal, he will develop new projects that could possibly include a third season of True Detective, although no order has been given. Previously he was credited as a writer on AMC’s The Killing.

Broad Green Pictures has inked a first-look deal with Storyscape Entertainment, the production company from veteran producers and former studio heads Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein. Under the deal the company will develop and produce movies for the studio with the deal covering physical and financial production resources. This deal will allow the company to grow from mainly acquisitions to also developing new material. Storyscape’s credits include 99 Homes, I Smile Back and A Walk in the Woods.

Veteran producers Karla Hidalgo and Christopher Martin have launched a new production company called TV Dinner Productions. TV Dinner will concentrate on the creation, development and production of non-scripted programs for broadcast, cable and online networks. The company will be under a production deal with VH1 to produce a new series set for the spring. They will also develop programs for Lifetime and History. Their next project is the Lifetime special The Sexiest Man Alive, a tie-in with People magazine’s 2015 hunk edition.

Producer Tom Leach has inked a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television to develop and produce unscripted TV formats and series under his new production company, Media RED. Media RED, which recently set up projects at FYI, Pivot, Funny or Die and Red Bull TV. Previously Leach was the VP of Development & Current Programming under Mark Burnett at One Three Media, where he helped develop Space Race and produced TBS’ Trust Me, I’m A Game Show Host.

CBS Studios International has signed an exclusive, multi-year pact with PPTV, China’s leading SVOD operator that has users in the neighborhood of 400 million. CBS will now provide PPTV with current series from CBS and CBS-owned Showtime. PPTV will also have exclusive rights to the China premieres of select upcoming CBS new event series, as well as select Showtime series.

Cross Creek Pictures have inked a new three-year, multifaceted co-financing, production, and distribution multi-platform deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group. The company previously had a deal at Universal. The company is known for developing, producing and co-financing quality films with mid-range budgets with projects that include Black Mass, Everest, Rush, The Ides of March, and Black Swan. Under the deal, Sony Pictures and Cross Creek will also co-finance certain films, originating in either pipeline.

Lionsgate has made an ownership stake in Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Studios in a deal valued at an estimated $200 million for more than 50% of the studio. Pilgrim will continue to operate independently under its current management team headed by Piligian. The Studio currently produces 47 unscripted and scripted series across 27 networks, including hits Ghost Hunters, Wicked Tuna and Ultimate Fighter.

Shine Pictures and Lovely Day will now fall under the umbrella of Kudos as part of a restructure within the Endemol Shine Group. Per the restructure, Shine Pictures’ MD Ollie Madden will be an executive producer at Kudos. Projects include The Siege, Blowback and an adaptation of bestselling novel The Farm. Upcoming productions will be produced under the Kudos banner and Shine Pictures will continue to produce features, but will now also work in TV with a particular focus on collaborating with film talent.

Writer-producer Charles Agron has launched distribution company K Street Pictures where he will serve as CEO. He recently wrote, produced and acts in director Harvey Lowry’s suspense thriller, Monday At 11:01 AM which will be released under the banner during first-quarter 2016. The company aims to produce and acquire for worldwide distribution up to five productions per year in the first two years with plans to expand in 2018.

Le Vision Pictures USA has inked a deal with director Rob Minkoff and his producing partner Pietro Ventani to co-develop and produce two films under their Flying Tigers Entertainment. The two films will be the live-action comedy Silkworms about monks in ancient China and the animated feature Wolf Totem about the life-and-death struggle on the great Mongolian plains.

Alexandra Daddario Lands ‘Baywatch’ Lead, Noah Hawley & FX Bringing Vonnegut To TV, T.J. Miller’s Big Project, Film & TV Deals/Rep Moves For 11/18/15



Film & TV Deals for 11/18/15: David Heyman Launches Heyday TV with NBCUni, Lionsgate Buys Stake in Reality TV Powerhouse Pilgrim Studios & Inks Deal with Joel Silver

Among the other deals that took place over the last seven days are a new agreement for Nic Pizzolato as he re-ups with HBO without a full go on a third season of True Detective, a big first look deal between new distributor Broad Green and new production shingle Storyscape Enterainment, and plenty more. (SSN)

Rep Moves For 11/18/15: UTA Snags ‘Jurassic World’ Writers & ‘OITNB’s Uzo Aduba, Barbra Streisand & ‘Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail Shift To CAA

More action than usual this week, as writing-producing team Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver aren’t the only names on the move. Several other actors, aside from Ms. Aduba, and at least a pair of show runners also make a big move. Click on the link for more details. (SSN)


Since ‘San Andreas’ Worked Out So Well For Them Both, Alexandra Daddario Is Re-Teaming With Dwayne Johnson For ‘Baywatch’

After a long time running in the development surf, Seth Gordon is the man calling the shots on the film version of the cult TV series that will have Johnson starring. The movie is expected to be comedy-heavy, with Zac Efron as one of Johnson’s colleagues and Daddario now part of the team as a fellow lifeguard named Summer. Johnson and Daddario played father and daughter in this past summer’s hit disaster film. (EMP)

Noah Hawley Is Bringing Kurt Vonnegut To TV, Will Adapt ‘Cat’s Cradle’ For FX Mini-Series

Cable net has put into development an adaptation of the acclaimed sci-fi novel, from IM Global and FX Prods. It will be written/executive produced by the Emmy-winning creator of the network’s Fargo crime anthology series. Originally published in 1963, novel takes a satirical view of war, religion and scientific advances. (DH)

T.J. Miller Gets Into Business With DreamWorks, Sells an Action-Comedy Which He’ll Co-Write and Headline

Company has acquired Ex-Criminals, an action comedy project from the actor-comedian and fledgling writer M. Miller Davis. The pair, who are cousins, will the write the script for the pitch with the goal of crafting a starring vehicle for Miller. The logline concerns a dysfunctional bank robbing couple and what happens when the duo break up on the eve of their biggest heist to date. (THR)

Skydance Corrals Director Daniel Espinosa To Helm a New, Mystery Project

Swedish filmmaker, coming off the flop Child 44 earlier this year, has boarded Life, a mystery project being developed at Skydance. The idea is said to hail from company head David Ellison and has a script by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, the duo who wrote the upcoming Deadpool moive. Ellison is producing with Dana Goldberg. (HV)

‘Once Upon a Time’ Duo Heading To Summer Camp For a Little Bit Of Horror

Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have received a series order for a project titled Dead of Summer from ABC Family (a.k.a. the Network Soon to Be Known as “Freeform”). Once Upon writer Ian Goldberg is also on board as the showrunner for the project, which represents ABC Family’s first-ever horror series. (EW)

It Was Only a Matter Of Time: the E! Network Is Cancelling ‘The Soup’ After 22 Seasons

Joel McHale, who has been the host since its 2004 reboot, will host the final episode, which will run on Friday, December 18th. Launched in 1991 as Talk Soup, the series kicked off the careers of hosts Greg Kinnear (1991–95), John Henson (1995–99), Hal Sparks (1999–2000) and Aisha Tyler (2001–02). (TVL)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Now You See Me 2’

EntertainmentOne and Summit Entertainment have released the first look at the sequel, a film that reunites original cast members Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman, and also features Lizzy Caplan and Daniel Radcliffe. Directed by Jon M. Chu, the film opens June 10th, 2016. (COL)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’

Universal Pictures has come out with the first look at its highly anticipated sequel, which once again features Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. This time, the pair is joined by Jessica Chastain, Sam Claflin, Nick Frost and Emily Blunt. Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, it hits theaters April 22nd, 2016. (VUL)

Relativity’s Reorganization Plan, Emma Stone to Star as Billie Jean King, Anthony Michael Hall Joins ‘Live By Night’


Relativity Promises 7-Film Slate In Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan

The studio presented its reorganization plan to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, saying that it expects to relaunch itself with $60 million in debt, $100 million in new equity — and a plan to release seven films, over 18 months beginning in January, with a new revolving $250 million loan. (DH)

Emma Stone Set To Star As Billie Jean King In Fox Searchlight’s ‘Battle Of The Sexes’

Emma Stone has closed a deal to play tennis pro Billie Jean King in Fox Searchlight’s Battle of the Sexes. Steve Carell is currently set to play Bobby Riggs in the sports drama. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris will direct from a script by Simon Beaufoy. (VAR)

Anthony Michael Hall Joins Ben Affleck’s ‘Live By Night’

Actor to star alongside Chris Messina, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana and Elle Fanning in the Warner Bros. adaptation of Dennis Lehane‘s novel. (WRAP)

We Had A Script, A Director, And $200,000 In The Bank. What Could Go Wrong?

Read all three installments of this Fast Company franchise on how to get a movie from “startup” phase to production. (FC)

How Dead Authors Are Making A Killing In Hollywood

A slew of deceased (or otherwise retired) writers — from Stieg Larsson to Robert Ludlum — are digging up major profits with posthumous releases and movie adaptations of their “latest work.” (THR)

The 10 Most Valuable Actors In Hollywood

Vulture looks at the top actors, and what the top ten says about the men leading our movies today. (VUL)

Amazon Launches Free Screenwriting Tool To Help You Get Your Work Discovered

Amazon is launching Storywriter today, a free screenwriting tool for writers of all levels to create film and TV screenplays and easily submit to Amazon Studios. (IW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘11.22.63’

Watch the first teaser for Hulu’s Stephen King Series (YAHOO)

Screenwriters: Writing Specs

Script Magazine contributor and screenwriter, John Lewinski, helps us decipher the spec market. (SM)

Film Development for 11/19/15: ‘Baywatch’ Finds its Summer, Doug Liman Circling ‘Gambit’, Emma Stone Set for ‘Love May Fail’


New Attachments

Logline: Story is based on the ’90’s worldwide hit TV show.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): The Montecito Picture Company, Contrafilm, Vinson Films, Flynn Picture Co., 7 Bucks Entertainment
Producer(s): Michelle Rogers Berk, Beau Flynn, Ali Bell, Tripp Vinson, Ivan Reitman
Writer(s): Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, Justin Malen, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon
Director(s): Seth Gordon
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario
Details: Based on the NBC television show “Baywatch” (1989-2000) starring David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra and Yasmine Bleeth.
SSN Insight: Jeremy Garelick was previously attached to direct. Project was originally in development at Dreamworks, which paid seven figures for the film rights to the TV show. Alexandra Daddario will star as Summer.

Birth of the Dragon
Logline: In Oakland, California, 1965, before Bruce Lee became an actor, he fought an epic, career-defining, no-holds-barred battle with Wong Jack Man, China’s most famous Kung Fu Master, and the two fighters subsequently teamed up, with their shared skills and mutual respect, to take on the Hong Kong Triads, a notorious criminal organization that maintained an iron grip on San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Production Company(s): Magnolia Entertainment, Groundswell Productions, Kylin Pictures
Producer(s): Christopher Wilkinson, Stephen J Rivele, Michael London, Janice Williams, Pang Hong
Writer(s): Christopher Wilkinson, Stephen J Rivele
Director(s): George J. Nolfi
Cast: Billy Magnussen, Philip Ng, Xia Yu, Jinging Qu, Jin Xing
SSN Insight: Bill Block was previously attached to produce. Mike Moh was previously in talks to play Bruce Lee.

Death Note (Remake)
Logline: A high school student, after discovering a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone by writing the victim’s name, attempts to cleanse the world of evil by using the book.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures,
Production Company(s): Vertigo Entertainment, Witten Pictures, Lin Pictures, VIZ Productions, Mobius Productions
Producer(s): Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Jason Hoffs, Masi Oka
Writer(s): Jeremy Slater, Anthony Bagarozzi, Charles Mondry, Shane Black, Charles Parlapanides
Director(s): Adam Wingard
Cast: Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley (in negotiations)
Details: Based on the manga series “Death Note” created by writer Tsugumi Ohba and illustrator Takeshi Obata and published by Shueisha in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006.
SSN Insight: Shane Black was previously attached to direct.

Logline: About a young Civil War veteran, Jackson, who wakes up to find his wife kidnapped by ruthless bandits. With killers around every corner, the lines begin to blur between who the good and the bad are — including Jackson.
Studio/Distributor(s): Momentum Pictures, Orion Releasing
Producer(s): Lawrence Roeck, Carlos de los rios, Shana D. Wilson
Writer(s): Lawrence Roeck, Carlos de los rios
Director(s): Lawrence Roeck
Cast: Scott Eastwood, Walton Goggins, Danny Glover, Camilla Belle, Adam Beach
SSN Insight: It will be released on January 8 in theaters and on Premium VOD.

Free Fire
Logline: In 1978, an arms deal in Boston goes terribly wrong.
Studio/Distributor(s): Alchemy
Production Company(s): Rook Films
Producer(s): Andy Starke, Ben Wheatley
Writer(s): Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
Director(s): Ben Wheatley
Cast: Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley, Sharlto Copley
SSN Insight: Olivia Wilde was previously attached to the role played by Brie Larson. Luke Evans was previously attached to co-star. Alchemy acquired domestic rights for an amount estimated to be above $3 million at 2015 AFM.

Logline: The adventures of the X-Men world¹s favorite mutant thief, Remy LeBeau, AKA Gambit.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Distribution
Production Company(s): Donners’ Company, Marvel Entertainment, Genre Films, Free Association
Producer(s): Lauren Shuler Donner, Channing Tatum, Reid Carolin, Simon Kinberg
Writer(s): Josh Zetumer
Director(s): Doug Liman (In Negotiations)
Cast: Channing Tatum, Léa Seydoux
Details: Based on the comic book character Gambit who appeared in “Uncanny X-Men” #266 created by Jim Lee and Chris Claremont and published by Marvel Comics on August 15, 1990.
SSN Insight: Rupert Wyatt was previously attached to direct.

Get Out
Logline: A young African American man visits his white girlfriend’s family, with horrifying consequences.
Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment
Producer(s): Jason Blum, Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm
Writer(s): Jordan Peele
Director(s): Jordan Peele
Cast: Allison Williams, Daniel Kaluuya
SSN Insight: Kaluuya appeared in Sicario as FBI agent Emily Blunt’s partner, Kick-Ass 2 and in Johnny English Reborn.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Logline: Former military cop Jack Reacher finds himself embroiled in a quandary when he visits his old unit.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): Skydance Productions, Don Granger Productions
Producer(s): Tom Cruise, Don Granger, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Christopher McQuarrie
Writer(s): Richard Wenk, Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick
Director(s): Edward Zwick
Cast: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh, Austin Hebert, Patrick Heusinger, Robert Catrini
Details: Sequel to “Jack Reacher” (USA/2012) directed by Christopher McQuarrie and starring Tom Cruise. Based on the novel “Never Go Back” written by Lee Child and published by Delacorte Press on September 3, 2013.
SSN Insight: Catrini’s role has not been revealed. He previously appeared in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, NCIS, The Mentalist, True Blood, NYPD: Blue, Monk, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and many others.

Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Production Company(s): Mockingbird Pictures, Skydance Productions
Producer(s): David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn
Writer(s): Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Director(s): Daniel Espinosa
SSN Insight: Daniel Espinosa previously directed Child 44, Easy Money and Safe House.

Live by Night
Logline: A young gangster climbs through the ranks during the Prohibition era.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Pearl Street Films, Appian Way
Producer(s): Ben Affleck, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Todd
Writer(s): Ben Affleck
Director(s): Ben Affleck
Cast: Ben Affleck, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Chris Messina, Brendan Gleeson
Details: Based on the novel “Live by Night,” written by Dennis Lehane and published by William Morrow on October 2, 2012.
SSN Insight: Gleeson’s upcoming films include Assassin’s Creed, In the Heart Of The Sea, Alone In Berlin and Trespass Against Us.

Love May Fail
Logline: After leaving her philandering husband, a woman returns to her hometown to right a wrong from her past.
Studio/Distributor(s): TriStar Productions
Production Company(s): Matt Tolmach Productions, The Cantillon Company
Producer(s): Matt Tolmach
Writer(s): Mike White
Director(s): Sam Raimi
Cast: Emma Stone
Details: Based on the novel “Love May Fail” written by Matthew Quick; published by Harper Collins in June 2015.
SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Columbia Pictures.

The Comedian
Logline: A once-loved, but past-his-prime rage comedian is sentenced to community service after hitting an audience member in the head with his microphone. It’s there that he meets a woman who changes his life.
Production Company(s): The Linson Company, Atmosphere Entertainment MM LLC
Producer(s): Art Linson, Courtney Solomon, Mark Canton, John Linson, Jon Kilik
Writer(s): Art Linson, Jeffrey Ross
Director(s): Taylor Hackford
Cast: Robert De Niro, Kristen Wiig, Jennifer Aniston
SSN Insight: Sean Penn was previously attached to direct. Mike Newell was previously attached to direct.

The Dark Tower
Logline: The tale of gunslinger Roland Deschain’s quest for the Dark Tower.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
Production Company(s): Imagine Entertainment, Weed Road Pictures
Producer(s): Brian Grazer, Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard, Erica Huggins, Stephen King
Writer(s): Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner
Director(s): Nikolaj Arcel
Cast: Matthew McConaughey (in talks)
Details: Based on the seven-book series “Dark Tower” that begins with “The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger” written by Stephen King and published by Donald M. Grant in 1982.
SSN Insight: “The Dark Tower” is planned to be the first in a series of movies. A complementary television series is also being developed by co-financier Media Rights Capital.

The Famous Five
Logline: A group of four young adults and their dog go on an amazing adventure.
Production Company(s): Working Title Films
Producer(s): Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan
Writer(s): Jon Croker
Details: Based on the childrens’ book series “The Famous Five” written by Enid Blyton. The first book, “Five on a Treasure Island,” was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1942.
SSN Insight: Working Title plans to create a franchise based on the series of 20 children’s novels.

The Frontier
Logline: In 1974, a woman on the run from the law gets a job at a desert motel on Route 66. When she learns that some of the guests have just pulled off a big robbery, she decides to steal the money.
Studio/Distributor(s): Alchemy
Production Company(s): Thieves Highway
Producer(s): Dana Lustig
Writer(s): Webb Wilcoxen, Oren Shai
Director(s): Oren Shai
Cast: Kelly Lynch, Jim Beaver, Jocelin Donahue, Izabella Miko, Liam Aiken
SSN Insight: Alchemy has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film which had its world premiere this year in the Narrative Spotlight section at SXSW.

The Merlin Saga
Logline: An epic adventure tracing the boyhood and coming-of-age years of the Arthurian magician.
Studio/Distributor(s): Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Gil Netter Productions
Producer(s): Gil Netter
Writer(s): Philippa Boyens, Patrick Massett, John Zinman
Details: Based on the book series written by T.A. Barron and published by Penguin. The titles include “The Lost Years of Merlin” (1996), “The Seven Songs of Merlin” (1997), “The Fires of Merlin” (1998), “The Mirror of Merlin” (1999), “The Wings of Merlin” (2000).
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Miramax Films with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura attached to produce.Project was previously in development at Warner Bros. with Donald De Line attached to produce a screenplay written by Ed Whitworth and Simon Kinberg.

The Pact
Logline: Three dads band together to stop their daughters from losing their virginity in a sex pact on prom night.
Production Company(s): DMG, Point Grey Pictures, Hurwitz & Schlossberg Productions, Good Universe
Producer(s): Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Chris Fenton, Jon Hurwitz
Writer(s): Eben Russell, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Jim Kehoe, Brian Kehoe
Director(s): Kay Cannon
SSN Insight: Project was included on the 2012 Black List. Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg were previously attached to direct.

Tomb Raider (Reboot)
Logline: The adventures of young Lara Croft, a beautiful antiquity hunter-for-hire.
Studio/Distributor(s): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Warner Bros. Pictures,
Production Company(s): GK Films
Producer(s): Graham King
Writer(s): Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Evan Daugherty, Marti Noxon, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby
Director(s): Roar Uthaug
Details: Based on the best-selling video game series “Tomb Raider” developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive. It was originally released in 1996.
SSN Insight: Film rights to the video game were previously held by Paramount Pictures, which produced two films. Warner Bros. Pictures previously optioned film rights to the game and was developing with Dan Lin producing via Lin Pictures.

Untitled Freddie Mercury Project
Logline: Based on the life of Freddie Mercury, storline under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures,
Production Company(s): Tribeca Films, Queen Films, GK Films
Producer(s): Graham King, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Jim Beach, Brian May
Writer(s): Anthony McCarten, Stephen J Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson, Peter Morgan, Michael Cunningham
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Johnny Flynn, Gemma Arterton
SSN Insight: Sacha Baron Cohen was previously attached to star. Dexter Fletcher was previously attached to direct. Project was included on the 2007 Black List.

Logline: Two children, each living in a different era, set out to solve a mystery.
Production Company(s): Killer Films, Killer Content
Producer(s): Christine Vachon
Writer(s): Todd Haynes, Brian Selznick
Director(s): Todd Haynes
Cast: Julianne Moore
Details: Based on the children’s book “Wonderstruck” written by Brian Selznick and published by Scholastic Press on September 13, 2011.
SSN Insight: Moore can be seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Freeheld and Maggie’s Plan.

New Projects

Bees Make Honey
Logline: Set at a high-society Halloween party in 1934, the film centers on Honey (Eve), the gathering’s hostess whose husband was murdered the previous year. She re-creates the scenario in an attempt to solve the crime.
Production Company(s): Skyline Films, EveXEveXEve
Producer(s): Alice Eve, AJ Raich
Director(s): Jack Eve
Cast: Alice Eve
SSN Insight: Eve recently wrapped indies features Criminal and Beyond Deceit and will be seen in the upcoming Please Stand By with Dakota Fanning and Helen Hunt.

Logline: A disgraced astronaut on a mission to reach the bottom of a newly discovered oceanic trench encounters mysterious forces.
Production Company(s): Phantom Four, Addictive Pictures
Producer(s): David S. Goyer, Kevin Turen, Russell Ackerman, John Schoenfelder, Max Landis
Writer(s): Max Landis
SSN Insight: Landis previously wrote Chronicle and American Ultra and wrote the upcoming Victor Frankenstein.

Empress of Serenity
Logline: An animal rights lawyer, shocked learn of his mother’s death, finds unexpected friendship after his estranged father persuades him to go on a 45-day cruise.
Production Company(s): Mr. Mudd Productions, Good Universe
Producer(s): Stephen Chbosky, Lianne Halfon, Russell Smith, John Malkovich
Writer(s): Jesse Andrews
Director(s): Jesse Andrews
Cast: Bill Hader
Details: Based on the novel “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” written by David Foster Wallace and published by Little, Brown and Co. in 1997.
SSN Insight: Bill Hader will next be seen in Maggie’s Plan and The BFG, and will lend his voice to The Angry Birds Movie and Sausage Party.

Memento Remake
Logline: A man suffering from amnesia tries to solve his wife’s murder.
Production Company(s): AMBI
Producer(s): Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi
Details: Remake of “Memento” (USA/2000) directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Guy Pearce.
SSN Insight: This is the first project to be developed from the Exclusive Media Group film library, which Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi’s AMBI Group bought in the fall.

Logline: A lonely guy kidnaps a struggling actress, hoping that she will fall in love with him.
Producer(s): Jonathan Schwartz, Alex Bach
Writer(s): Jessica Manafort
Director(s): Jessica Manafort
Cast: Nat Wolff, Stacy Martin
SSN Insight: Wolff will next be seen starring in the James Franco-directed In Dubious Battle, listed in SSN’s 10 Most Bankable Films at AFM 2015.

The Travelers
Logline: A journalist who unknowingly works for a spy agency is drawn into a tangled web.
Studio/Distributor(s): DreamWorks Studios
Production Company(s): The Picture Company
Producer(s): Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman
Details: Based on the novel “The Travelers” written by Chris Pavone; to be published March 2016.
SSN Insight: Andrew Calof took the book to Dreamworks and will oversee the project along with CEO Michael Wright and Production President Holly Bario.

Logline: A ’90s one-hit wonder gets a second chance when he is asked to produce the debut album of an up-and-coming musical artist.
Producer(s): Ted Kroeber, Roger Goff, Kevin Lamb
Director(s): Matthew Holmes
Cast: Pablo Schreiber, Rick Springfield, Sosie Bacon
SSN Insight: Marks the directorial debut of Matthew Currie Holmes.

Untitled Adolph Eichmann Project
Logline: In 1960, a team of Mossad and Shin Bet agents conduct a search for Nazi Adolf Eichmann.
Studio/Distributor(s): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
Production Company(s): Automatik
Producer(s): Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
Writer(s): Matt Orton
SSN Insight: UK writer Orton’s spec CLEAN made the 2014 Brit List. He is mentored by Bridge Of Spies scribe Matt Charman, who he met through the Guiding Lights program.

Untitled Emile Griffith Biopic
Logline: Emile Griffith was a boxer who led a secret life as a bisexual in the 1960s, and killed his opponent on live television after the man taunted him and called him a homosexual before the fight.
Production Company(s): Film4 Productions, Element Pictures
Producer(s): Ed Guiney
Writer(s): Lenny Abrahamson
Director(s): Lenny Abrahamson
Details: Based on the book “A Man’s World: The Double Life of Emile Griffith” written by Donald McRae and published by Simon & Schuster in the UK on September 10, 2015.
SSN Insight: UK-based Film4 funded the option and has funded development of the film. Camilla Young brokered the agreement for Curtis Brown along with Element’s Mark Byrne.

Academy Announces Animated Short Finalists, Kathy Bates Signs On For ‘Bad Santa 2′, Supergirl’s New Love Interest, Film Development For 11/19/15



Film Development for 11/19/15: ‘Baywatch’ Finds its Summer, Doug Liman Circling ‘Gambit’, Emma Stone Set for ‘Love May Fail’

Among the other deals that took place over the last seven days are a new agreement for Nic Pizzolato as he re-ups with HBO without a full go on a third season of True Detective, a big first look deal between new distributor Broad Green and new production shingle Storyscape Enterainment, and plenty more. (SSN)


Oscar Talk: Academy Announces List Of Finalists For Animated Short

AMPAS has announced the 10 finalists vying for the Animated Short trophy at the 88th Academy Awards. Member of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch will select five nominees from group during branch screenings in Los Angeles, London, New York and San Francisco in December. The finalists, which emerged from a group of 60 entries, include Sanjay’s Super Team, from Pixar. (AL)

Despite a Seven Year Age Difference, Kathy Bates Has Signed On as Billy Bob Thornton’s Mom In ‘Bad Santa 2’

The Oscar-winning actress joins the cast of the long-in-development project, playing Sunny Soke, the foulmouthed, tough-as-nails mom to Thornton’s mall-Santa scoundrel, Willie Soke. Tony Cox and Brett Kelly from the original film will also return. Mark Waters will direct from a screenplay by Johnny Rosenthal, Doug Ellin and Shauna Cross. (CS)

Supergirl Is About To Get a New Love Interest, and Melissa Benoist Happens To Know the Actor Very Well

CBS’ rookie drama has tapped Melissa Benoist’s former Glee co-star-turned-real-life husband Blake Jenner to join the cast as a potential new love interest for her character, Kara. Jenner will portray Adam Foster, a handsome stranger from Cat Grant’s (Calista Flockhart) past whose arrival in National City tests Kara and Cat’s relationship like never before. At the same time, Adam and Kara form a very unexpected connection. He will debut on the show in 2016. (TVL)

Fox Plots Demon Drama ‘Haunted’ With ‘Devil Inside,’ ‘Fast & Furious’ Duo

Network, home to horror comedy anthology Scream Queens, is adapting Bob Cramner’s book The Demon of Brownsville Road as a potential drama series. The Devil Inside co-screenwriter/director William Brent Bell is set to write and helm the serialized drama. Show is described as a chilling horror series about a military agent who is partnered with her ex-boyfriend, now a rogue demonologist, to help a family overcome a deadly demonic infestation of their home. (LF)

Forget White Castle, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg Sign a Big TV Deal With Lionsgate

Studio behind Mad Men has entered a multi-year first-look television deal with the writing/directing/producing team. Under the deal, the duo best known for the Harold & Kumar films, will develop and produce original, scripted comedy programming. The deal includes Fair and Balanced,” the newsroom comedy they are developing with ABC that is based on Kal Penn’s experience appearing on news shows and working for President Barack Obama. (VAR)

James Bond Meets Jackie Chan In New Untitled Adventure

Formerly known as The Foreigner and adapted from Stephen Leather’s book The Chinaman, the film has added a new cast member: Pierce Brosnan. Chan is starring as a restaurant owner in London’s Chinatown, devastated in an attack orchestrated by rogue Irish terrorists. When the justice system brings him no satisfaction, he decides to go after the people responsible himself. Brosnan is playing a former IRA member who is now a government official. (EMP)

Jordan Peele Finds a Lead For HIs “Black Man Horror” Flick, ‘Get Out’

British actor Daniel Kaluuya has been cast as the male lead in the film, which has already cast Girls co-star Allison Williams. All that is known of the plot at this point is that the story follows a young African American man as he visits his white girlfriend’s family estate. And then some *interesting* things happen. (SAA)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘A Monster Calls’

Focus Features has released the first teaser trailer from the upcoming adaptation of Patrick Ness’ bestselling novel. Starring Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Geraldine Chaplin and Sigourney Weaver and directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, it hits theaters October 21st, 2016. (VUL)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Midnight Special’

Warner Bros. has put the first trailer online for the upcoming sci-fi drama from director Jeff Nichols. Starring his Take Shleter star Michael Shannon, as well as Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver and Jaeden Lieberher, the movie comes out on March 18th, 2016. (SF)

‘The Force Awakens’ Breaks Pre-Sale Records, Edgar Wright to Direct Animated Shadow Movie, Christopher McQuarrie to Direct MI6


‘Star Wars’ Has Already Sold Over $50 Million In Advanced Tickets

Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the seventh film in the hugely popular franchise has generated more than $50 million in advance ticket sales. The picture is the biggest pre-seller in the history of the ticketing company, trumping the first Hunger Games. (VAR)

Edgar Wright To Direct Shadow-Themed Animated Film

Edgar Wright has signed on to direct an animated film for DreamWorks Animation. The film, which he’ll co-write with David Walliams, is centered on the concept of shadows. (THR)

Christopher McQuarrie Will Direct ‘Mission: Impossible 6′

This year’s Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation saw Jack Reacher director Christopher McQuarrie come in to helm. While the usual practice for the franchise has been to seek a new director for each installment,  McQuarrie is in negotiations with Paramount to return for Mission: Impossible 6. (SR)

‘My Little Pony’ Coming To Theaters 2017

Hasbro and Lionsgate have announced that My Little Pony: The Movie will be coming into theaters on November 3, 2017. Jayson Thiessen is directing the feature from a script by Meghan McCarthy. (AM)

Indie Comedy ‘Dude’ Rounds Out Lead Cast With Trio Of Actresses

The indie comedy Dude has completed its quartet of leads with Kathryn Prescott, Alexandra Shipp, and rapper/actress Nora “Awkwafina” Lum joining previously announced star Lucy Hale. ICM Partners is selling worldwide rights to the film. (DH)

James Franco’s Movie Column: Why ‘Mustang’ Is The Best Film Of The Year

This is a column where James Franco talks to his reverse self, Semaj, about new films. Rather than a conventional review, it is a place where James and Semaj can muse about ideas that the films provoke. (IW)

The Lost James Bond Movie That Eventually Became ‘Skyfall’

Morgan, a two-time Oscar nominee for penning The Queen and Frost/Nixon, contributed a treatment titled Once Upon a Spy, which was ultimately rejected by Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson. (SF)

20 Years of Pixar And The Truth Behind ‘Toy Story’

November 22, 2015, marks the twentieth anniversary of Pixar’s Toy Story. From the first frame of the film that began Pixar’s march to animation glory, it was clear that the studio had created something unique and groundbreaking. (WF)

Screenwriters: ‘Ali’

An undated, unspecified draft by Stephen J. Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson and Eric Roth & Michael Mann (story by Gregory Allen Howard). (DS)


On the Set for 11/20/15: Ricky Gervais Starts Shooting ‘Life on the Road’, Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer Wrap ‘Gifted’



Before I Fall
Logline: Centers on Samantha Kingston, a high school senior who finds that she may be living the last day of her life over and over until she gets it right. Amid that, she must untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
Production Company(s): Jon Shestack Productions, AwesomenessTV
Director(s): Ry Russo-Young
Producer(s): Jonathan Shestack, Carla Hacken, Matt Kaplan, Brian Robbins
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Diego Boneta
Writer(s): Gina Prince-Bythewood, Maria Maggenti
Details: Based on the novel “Before I Fall” written by Lauren Oliver and published by HarperCollins on March 2, 2010.
SSN Insight: Previously in development with Paper Pictures.Gina Prince-Bythewood was previously attached to direct.

Birth of the Dragon
Logline: In Oakland, California, 1965, before Bruce Lee became an actor, he fought an epic, career-defining, no-holds-barred battle with Wong Jack Man, China’s most famous Kung Fu Master, and the two fighters subsequently teamed up, with their shared skills and mutual respect, to take on the Hong Kong Triads, a notorious criminal organization that maintained an iron grip on San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Production Company(s): Magnolia Entertainment, Groundswell Productions, Kylin Pictures
Director(s): George J. Nolfi
Executive Producer(s): Leo Shiyoung, David Nicksay, George J. Nolfi, Helen Y. Zhong
Producer(s): Christopher Wilkinson, Stephen J Rivele, Michael London, Janice Williams, Pang Hong
Cast: Billy Magnussen, Philip Ng, Xia Yu, Jinging Qu, Jin Xing
Writer(s): Christopher Wilkinson, Stephen J Rivele
SSN Insight: Bill Block was previously attached to produce. Mike Moh was previously in talks to play Bruce Lee.

Logline: When Lucy comes out of the Brooklyn subway and finds her neighborhood under attack, she crosses five dangerous blocks of Bushwick with her new companion Stupe to get home to her grandmother.
Production Company(s): XYZ Films, Bullet Pictures
Director(s): Cary Murnion, Jonathan Milott
Producer(s): Nate Bolotin, Adam Folk
Cast: Jane Levy, Dave Bautista
Writer(s): Nick Damici, Graham Reznick
SSN Insight: WME Global and XYZ are both handling U.S. rights sales.

Life on the Road
Logline: Former office manager David Brent is followed 15 years after being laid off. Now working as a sales rep in Britain, he continues to dream of being a rock star.
Studio/Distributor(s): Open Road Films
Production Company(s): BBC Films
Director(s): Ricky Gervais
Producer(s): Ricky Gervais, Charlie Hanson
Cast: Ricky Gervais
Writer(s): Ricky Gervais
SSN Insight: Originally, it had not been announced whether the film would be getting a theatrical release or will be made just for TV.

Logline: A middle-aged man is still trying to come to terms with crippling insecurity – the result of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted and idolised priest.
Production Company(s): Dreamscape Films, WSG Pictures, The Tea Shop & Film Company
Director(s): Paul Shammasian, Ludwig Shammasian
Producer(s): Sheetal Vinod Talwar, James Harris, Mark Lane, Jasper Graham
Cast: Orlando Bloom
Writer(s): Geoff Thompson
SSN Insight: Orlando Bloom will next be seen in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Unlocked produced by Di Bonaventura Pictures.

Logline: A lonely guy kidnaps a struggling actress, hoping that she will fall in love with him.
Director(s): Jessica Manafort
Producer(s): Jonathan Schwartz, Alex Bach
Cast: Nat Wolff, Stacy Martin
Writer(s): Jessica Manafort
SSN Insight: Jessica Manafort wrote, produced and directed the 2008 film, Remember the Daze that featured Amber Heard and Brie Larson.

She Has A Name
Logline: An American lawyer tries to convince a young girl in Bangkok to testify against her pimp, putting her life in danger.
Production Company(s): Unveil Studios
Director(s): Matthew Kooman, Daniel Kooman
Producer(s): Donna Abraham, Shari Aspinall, Daniel Kooman, Matthew Kooman, Andrew Kooman
Cast: Will Yun Lee
Writer(s): Andrew Kooman
SSN Insight: Will Yun Lee was recently seen in Spy and San Andreas and on the TV side was cast in the Falling Water pilot for USA.

This Is Your Death
Logline: For Mason Washington, a man struggling to support his family, a reality show that induces contestants to kill themselves for entertainment may be his best option.
Production Company(s): Great Point Media, Dobré Films
Director(s): Giancarlo Esposito
Executive Producer(s): Robert Halmi Jr., Jim Reeve
Producer(s): Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher D’Elia, Michael Klein, Lawreen Yakkel
Cast: Josh Duhamel, Famke Janssen, Giancarlo Esposito
Writer(s): Noah Pink, Kenny Yakkel
SSN Insight: Giancarlo Esposito appears in The Get Down, which has been ordered to series by Netflix. He was also seen in the Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.


An Ordinary Man
Logline: A war criminal on the run from the UN tribunal kidnaps and then bonds with the girl hired to be his maid.
Production Company(s): Reveal Entertainment, Enderby Entertainment, Disruptive Media
Director(s): Brad Silberling
Executive Producer(s): David Lonner
Producer(s): Brad Silberling, Michael Richter, Chris Miller, James Burke
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Hera Hilmarsdottir, Peter Serafinowicz
Writer(s): Brad Silberling
SSN Insight: Relevant Entertainment Group was previously attached to produce with Hyde Park attached to finance. Liam Neeson was previously attached to star. Anamaria Marinca was previously mentioned to co-star. Brenday Gleeson and Abbie Cornish were previously attached.

Fender Bender
Logline: A serial killer purposely gets into car accidents to meet his future victims.
Production Company(s): Brainstorm Media, Shout! Factory, EchoWolf Productions
Director(s): Mark Pavia
Executive Producer(s): Nadia Redler, Meyer Shwarzstein
Producer(s): Carl W. Lucas, Joshua Bunting
Cast: Makenzie Vega, Steven Michael Quezada, Bill Sage, Dre Davis, Cassidy Freeman
Writer(s): Mark Pavia
SSN Insight: Fender Bender is Shout! Factory’s first original feature, is said to be “a return to a more classic style of horror film.”

Logline: A thirty year old man attempts to continue raising his deceased sister’s seven year old daughter, a kid-genius, while battling his own mother for custody.
Production Company(s): FilmNation
Director(s): Marc Webb
Producer(s): Karen Lunder, Andy Cohen
Cast: Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, McKenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan
Writer(s): Tom Flynn
SSN Insight: Project was included on the 2014 Black List.

Shimmer Lake
Logline: This murder mystery centers on a sheriff investigating a series of killings, as well as the disappearance of a bank robber wanted for a heist committed three days earlier.
Production Company(s): Footprint Features, Writ Large
Director(s): Oren Uziel
Executive Producer(s): Daniel Bekerman, Steve Eddy, Youmi N. Ma
Producer(s): Britton Rizzio, Adam Saunders
Cast: Benjamin Walker, Rainn Wilson, Wyatt Russell, Mark Rendall
Writer(s): Oren Uziel
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Fox Atomic. Project was previously in development at Josephson Entertainment with Barry Josephson attached to produce. Project was included on the 2009 Black List.

Logline: After a childhood in captivity under the care of a man who taught her to fear the outside world, a young woman’s new freedom is shattered by a series of unsettling events.
Production Company(s): Maven Pictures
Director(s): Fritz Böhm
Producer(s): Trudie Styler, Celine Rattray, Charlotte Ubben
Cast: Bel Powley, Liv Tyler, Brad Dourif, James LeGros
Writer(s): Fritz Böhm, Florian Eder, David C. Palmer
SSN Insight: This is the feature debut for German director Bohm who graduated from the University of Television & Film Munich with the award-winning short Moonman.

SSN Box Office Trending Report for 11/20/15: Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 Catches Fire & Burns Star Wars


-In our latest weekly series, SSN Insider will take a deep dive into the film ticket sales of the week leveraging data from the powerhouse ticketing website, MovieTickets.com. Not only will the infographic pinpoint which movies are claiming the largest piece of the pie from day to day in terms of sales but also which film had the biggest uptick in terms of a percentage variance surge and which had the biggest downtick or steepest dive between any two points.-

Box Office Trending 11-20 v2

SSN Screening Wrap & BO Trend Report, Fox Drops Same Day Ratings, New LAX Paparazzi-Proof Terminal, Plan B’s ‘Illuminae’, On the Set For 11/20/15



SSN Screening Series: Director Tom Hooper & His Team Take Us Behind ‘The Danish Girl’ and its “Exploration Of Incredible, Unconditional Love”

Last night, SSN held a screening of the Focus Features release The Danish Girl in the Pacific Design Center’s Silver Screening Room to a packed house. Following the film, director Tom Hooper, producer Anne Harrison, screenwriter Lucinda Coxon, production designer Eve Stewart and hair and make-up designer Jan Sewell were all on hand to discuss the film with SSN’s moderator Zorianna Kit. (SSN)

SSN Box Office Trending Report for 11/20/15: ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ Catches Fire & Burns ‘Star Wars’

In our latest weekly series, SSN Insider will take a deep dive into the film ticket sales of the week leveraging data from the powerhouse ticketing website, MovieTickets.com. Not only will the infographic pinpoint which movies are claiming the largest piece of the pie from day to day in terms of sales but also which film had the biggest uptick in terms of a percentage variance surge and which had the biggest downtick or steepest dive between any two points. (SSN)

On the Set for 11/20/15: Ricky Gervais Starts Shooting ‘Life on the Road’, Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer Wrap ‘Gifted’

A bunch of new movies start shooting this week, including Giancarlo Esposito’s directorial debut, a new starring vehicle for Orlando Bloom, and Ricky Gervais’ latest opus, while Brad Silberling’s latest, as well as Marc Webb’s first non-Spider-Man film in years both wrap principal photography. Other films started and finished, too. Click the link for more. (SSN)


Fox Becomes First Broadcast Network to Drop Same-Day Ratings Releases

Following the footsteps of sister network FX and others on the cable side, Fox today became the first broadcast network to announce that it will no longer provide “live plus same-day” ratings information to the press. Those Nielsen numbers will still be available from other outlets, but it’s another indication that the ratings game has changed. (VAR)

Soon, You Too Can Fly In and Out Of LAX Without Dealing With the Paparazzi

Airport will soon house a separate building (including private lounges and a parking area) for celebrities, diplomats and other high-profile fliers wanting to avoid the crowded main terminals — and the unwanted attention that comes with them. The proposal includes the construction of a 43,750 square-foot building and a 13,840 square-foot parking lot located at 6851 West Imperial Highway, which airport officials say will open in six to eight months. (HRC)

Brad Pitt and Plan B Add Another Film To Their Slate, Join WB For ‘Illuminae’

The star and the studio have teamed up to adapt the new YA sci-fi novel from award-winning authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Pitt will produce along with his Plan B partner Dede Gardner and the company’s Jeremy Kleiner. Story tells of a teenage hacker and her fighter pilot ex-boyfriend, struggling with their broken relationship while they unearth a conspiracy surrounding an intergalactic war. (HV)

Johnny Knoxville and NBC Both See Some ‘Hawaiian Dick’ In Their Future

Based on a comic book first published in 2002, the comic series follows a police officer, Byrd, who is sent to Hawaii and quickly becomes involved in the supernatural occurrences on the island. The comics take place in a 1950’s noir version of The Aloha State, which is full of anomalies that only the title character can vanquish. Knoxville is planning on making the series an hour-long comedy/action series. (CB)

‘Drumline’ Director Charles Stone Finds Himself a Dance Comedy To Helm

Director has signed on to direct Ain’t No Half Steppin, a dance comedy, for Broad Green Pictures. Based on a spec from screenwriter Chuck Hayward, story centers on an ambitious black sorority girl who, in order to get admitted to the law school of her dreams, agrees to cross culture lines and teach the exclusive art of black Greek stepping to a band of Kardashian-obsessed white sorority girls whose charter is about to be revoked. (THR)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘The Boss’

Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for the upcoming comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Bell. Peter Dinklage, Kathy Bates, Kristen Schaal and Timothy Simons are also starring in the film, which is directed by Ben Falcone and hits theaters April 8th, 2016. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Central Intelligence’

New Line Cinema has put online the first look at its new action-comedy, starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. The movie is scheduled for release on June 17th, 2016. (YT)

‘Hunger Games’ Wins Disappointing Box Office, Sundance Announces Midnight Films, Akiva Goldsman Sets Up New Franchise Writer Rooms, ‘Lost In Space’ To Netflix


Final ‘Hunger Games’ Movie Does $101 Million, Still Disappoints, Just Like Pretty Much Everything Else

Hunger Games: Mockingly Part 2 wins the weekend, as expected, but falls short of expectations. Meanwhile, Spectre came in second after two straight weeks on top, getting $14.7 million and showing serious fall off from 2012’s Skyfall. The Peanuts Movie came in third with $12.8 million, while two other new releases, The Night Before and Secret In Their Eyes rounded out the top five with $10.1 million and $6.6 million, respectively. (BO)

Sundance Announces Its First Selections, Releases Names Of Nine Midnight Movies

Johnny Depp, Malcolm McDowell and Luke Wilson are among the cast members of the first announced movies of Midnight section of the 2016 festival. Last night, the Robert Redford-founded indie cinema shindig made public the nine features films that will make up the late night/early morning lineup of next year’s festival. Among the offerings of World Premieres is the Depp starring and Great White North set Yoga Hosers directed by Kevin Smith. (DH)

With His ‘Transformers’ Writers Room a Seeming Success, Akiva Goldsman Will Now Run Them For ‘G.I. Joe’ and ‘Micronauts’

As he did with Transformers, Paramount is hiring the writer-producer to choose and supervise the team of scribes to come together to spin new stories of real American heroes, while also reviving a toy line that died in 1980, on the big screen. Attempts to revive Micronauts in the early aughts largely failed, and of all these ideas, that one might prove the most daunting to crack. (TP)

Today In Remake News: ‘Lost In Space’ Is Getting a New Life On Netflix

Reports have the pilot being written with the intention of a straight-to series order happening quickly. Some of the team behind the new Lost in Space has been made public as well. Namely,  writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless will be writing and executive producing, and sci-fi director Neil Marshall is expected to direct. (COL)

More Remake News! Kenneth Branagh To Take On Double Duty For ‘Murder On the Orient Express’

Filmmaker will direct and star in the new adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery as Detective Hercule Poirot. It’s not uncommon for Branagh to cast himself in his directorial projects—he did so recently with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit when he took a liking to that film’s villain role. (AVC)

Bad News For ‘Gravity Falls’ Fans, as Disney XD Decides To Call It Quits After Two Seasons

The Mystery Shack is shutting its doors, with the animated series only having two more episodes: “Weirdmageddon II: Escape from Reality,” airing Friday, and the hour-long series finale, “Weirdmageddon III,” to follow sometime in 2016. Series creator Alex Hirsch shared the news via his Tumblr, saying it was his decision. (TVL)

But Good News For Riddick Fans, as Vin Diesel Announces Plans For a Fourth Film In the Series

In an Instagram post, the actor-producer announced that David Twohy, who wrote and directed Pitch Black — which first introduced the character — and each of the other two films in the series, Chronicles of Riddick and Riddick, is about to start writing the next chapter in the series, tentatively called Furia. (CB)

Inside “The Bunker”: Twentieth Century Fox’s Futuristic VR Innovation Lab

In the middle of what otherwise appears to be a standard-issue ritzy Los Angeles movie industry office complex—complete with a multi-story parking garage, a tall office building, and meticulous landscaping—a narrow walkway abruptly ends at a security gate so forbidding that it rivals many military installations in conveying a very clear message: Don’t even start to think about coming in here. (FC)

First Look: ‘Wonder Woman’

Warner Bros. has released the first image from its upcoming superhero film, with the help of star Gal Gadot’s Twitter account. The actress, who is playing the title role, has begun principal photography on the film, alongside fellow cast members Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Ewen Bremner, Elena Anaya, and Lucy Davis. Patty Jenkins is directing the film, which hits theaters June 23rd, 2017. (CBR)

Screenwriters: Breaking & Entering — I Want To Taste Your Longline

Over the course of Barri Evins’ career in production and development, she’s been exposed to countless loglines, and now that she has a website that offers writers a free “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” on their loglines, a steady stream passes through her inbox. Sad to say, but many are not in good enough shape for even a “yea” or “nay” response. Quite simply, they are bland. (SM)

Exec Shuffle for 11/23/15: Tony Sella Launches Branding Firm AKS Content, Endemol Signs Deal to Project Star Holograms, Shifts at APA


Company Launches & Partnerships

Comedy Gives Back CEO Amber Lawson has launched a new MCN, Good Amplified, dedicated to helping non-profits with their digital strategies. The MCN’s initial roster of partners includes the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Endemol Shine North America and Just Entertainment Studios have signed a deal with Hologram USA. Hologram USA’s technology can project holographic images of stars both living and dead. Under the deal, Just Entertainment and Endemol will have exclusive rights to develop TV programming using Hologram USA’s technology, including a TV series documenting the “live” performances of holographic celebs. Under the partnership, content will be digitally distributed on FilmOn TV NetworksFilmOn.com.

Comcast-owned Fandango has inked a deal with movie-theater advertising company National CineMedia. Fandango will offer National CineMedia with exclusive “sets of aggregated moviegoer data,” according to the release. In exchange, theater-goers will be reached with pre-film ads promoting online ticket-buying.

Fox Networks Group (FNG) has formed a new joint venture with former 20th Century Fox Film CCO Tony Sella to develop original content, integrations and promotions, to help brands effectively and organically reach viewers. The branding firm will be named AKS Content. FNG Chief Peter Rice and COO Randy Freer have also signed on to oversee the venture.


Industry veteran Todd Olsson has joined as a sales consultant at International Film Trust while Kenner Bolt has been appointed to the newly created position of Director of Acquisitions.

Josh Reinhold is now the VP at To-Be-Named Matt Alvarez Company He was previously a Creative Executive at Relativity Media.

Betsy Steinberg is now the Executive Director at Kartemquin Films. She was formerly the Managing Director at the Illinois Film Office.


Ovation has signed on John Malkin as its EVP of Content Distribution and will oversee the network’s distribution efforts across all platforms, digital and otherwise. Formerly, Malkin served as VP of Affiliate Distribution at NFL Network.

Thomas Ferguson has been named the Director of Licensing for Endemol Shine North America. He was previously a Manager of Franchise Management at ESNA.

Ten execs have been elected to the National Association of Television Program Executives’ board of directors for a two-year term. The new members are Jack Bamberger (AOL), Nicole Bernard (Fox Group), Charlie Corwin (Endemol Shine North America), Mark Greenberg (EPIX), Keli Lee (ABC Ent. Group), Armando Nuñez (CBS), Eric Rovner (WME), Luis Silberwasser (Telemundo), Simon Sutton (HBO) and Marta Voda (Viacom).

Jennifer Wong Grazier is now the Head of Business Affairs at Legendary Television & Digital Media. She was formerly the VP of Business Affairs at NBCUniversal.

Jonathan D. Hills has been upped from VP to SVP of Digital Media at Bravo Media in New York.

Dirk Hoogstra is now the CCO at Stephen David Entertainment in New York. He was previously the EVP, General Manager at History & H2.

Ryan Jackson has been upped from Manager of Cable Listings & Editorial to the Editorial Chief of Communications at Disney/ABC Television Group.

Michael Engleman is soon to be named the EVP of Entertainment Marketing & Brand Innovation at TNT & TBS. He was previously the EVP of Marketing, Digital & Global Brand Strategy at Syfy & Chiller. Jeff Gregor is now the Chief Catalyst Officer at TNT & TBS. He was previously the EVP, CMO at TNT & TBS.

Richard Frankie is currently pursuing other opportunities. He was previously the EVP of Business Management at Legendary Television & Digital Media.

Carrie Gillogly has been upped from Director to VP of Scripted Programming at AMC.

Jonathan Koa is now the SVP, Scripted Programming at Condé Nast Entertainment. He was previously the Executive Director of Comedy Development at ABC Entertainment.

Isaac Lee is now the Chief News & Digital Officer, Univision Communications, Inc. and CEO at Fusion. He was previously their President of News & Digital.

Rod Lundgren is now a Coordinator of Television Development at Latin World Entertainment. He was previously a Coordinator of Development at NBCUniversal International Television Production.

Vinnie Malhotra is now the SVP of Documentaries, Unscripted & Sports Programming at Showtime. He was previously the SVP of Development & Acquisitions at CNN Worldwide.

Eric Weinberger is now the President of Bill Simmons Media Group and will also EP Simmon’s upcoming HBO talk show. In addition he will handle the building of a new content website and a podcast network and help to develop scripted and non-scripted projects, shortform digital content and other creative projects, as part of Simmons’ first-look deal with HBO. Prior to this post he was at NFL Network, where he helped create and oversee the network’s live studio programming.

Kate Mitchell is now the SVP of Ad Sales at OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in New York. She was formerly the VP of Ad Sales at OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

Courteney Monroe is now the CEO at National Geographic Global Networks. She was formerly the CEO at National Geographic Channels U.S. Ward Platt is now the COO at National Geographic Partners. He was previously the COO, Fox International Channels and CEO at National Geographic Channels International. Jeffrey Schneider is now the EVP of Business & Legal Affairs at National Geographic Partners. He was previously the EVP of Business & Legal Affairs at National Geographic Channels.

Flavio Morales is now the EVP of U.S. Initiatives at Endemol Shine Latino. He was previously the EVP at Big Vida Entertainment.

Kelly Nash is now the Director of Non Fiction & Alternative at AMC & SundanceTV. She was formerly the VP of Unscripted Development at Fishbowl Worldwide Media.

Tom Rogers will be named a Non-Executive Chairman of the Board at TiVo in addition to his post at President and CEO.

Jacqueline Sacerio is now the VP of Television at The Mark Gordon Company. She was formerly a TV Lit Agent at CAA.

Max Taylor is now the Director of Drama Development at Paramount Television. He was previously the Manager of Scripted Television at Endemol Shine North America.

Anne Wahlström is now the Head of Entertainment at FremantleMedia Finland. She was formerly the Creative Director of Productions at Endemol Shine Finland.

Management, PR, Agencies

Josh Glick has been hired by Grandview as a talent manager. He makes the move from Gersh where he was a talent agent with clients that included Olivia Cooke and Diego Boneta.

Beth Blickers
is now a Lit Agent at APA in New York. She was formerly a Lit Agent at Abrams Artists. John Pantle has been upped from Agent to the VP of Concerts at APA.

Mark Gordon has been upped from Partner of TV Literary to Partner and Head of International Scripted Television at ICM Partners in London.

Rick Lefitz is now the Partner at Rain Management Group. He was previously a TV Lit Agent at CAA.

Chase Northington has been upped from Coordinator to TV Lit Agent at Verve.

Conan Smith is now the Head of Comedy & TV Packaging at Don Buchwald & Associates in New York. He was previously the Partner at Converge Media.

Nick Collins has been promoted from Talent Agent to Partner at Gersh Agency. Collins’ clients include Taylor Kinney, Eric McCormack and Liam James.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Greg Clayman, Vimeo’s General Manager of Audience Networks, has left to pursue other opportunities. In his role at Vimeo, Clayman headed up the company’s on-demand business. Sam Toles will now take on that role as Head of Global Content and Distribution, a newly expanded position. Toles previously was the VP of Content Strategy & Business Development.

has hired on Neal Mohan as its Head of Product and Design. Previously, Mohan served as Google’s VP of Display and Advertising Products.

YouTube video marketing company Pixability has signed on Norman Rohr as VP, Global Operations and Strategy. Formerly, he was the Head of SMB Customer Acquisitions and SMB Marketing at Google Canada.

Machinima has hired Don Reilley as VP, Head of National Brand Partnerships. Reilley will oversee deals and staff for domestic sales operations, and will work closely with marketing clients. Most recently, Reilley served as EVP of Global Ad Sales and Operations for Major League Gaming.

Endemol Shine Group’s London-based Kudos has hired Phil Temple as an EP. He joins from the NBC-owned Carnival Films, where he was a development producer after two years as the company’s Head of Development.

Rebecca Kearey has been upped from EVP to President of Fox Searchlight International and will oversee all overseas marketing and distribution functions at the two divisions. Since 2005, Kearey has lead the international marketing and distribution of Searchlight titles.

Bob Bowen has been hired by Amazon Studios to become Head Of Music and will lead the studio’s music strategy, partnerships and licensing; drawing talent to work on its series and movies; and building partnerships and opportunities to leverage the body of musical works for platforms like Amazon’s own Prime Music. He was formerly the President of Music at Relativity Media.

Vernon Church is now the President in addition to his post as COO at TruthCo. in New York. Brian LaRock is now the Head of Finance at TruthCo. He was previously the CFO at NewsCred, Inc. Rajiv Menon is now the Cultural Analyst. He was previously the Research Executive at Flamingo.

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