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Oscar Noms, Snubs, Surprises and Lack of Diversity, Russo Brothers to Produce ‘Sexcastle,’ Colin Hanks to Produce Feature About Samoan Football, Megan Mullally Joins Comedy ‘Why Him?’



Oscars 2016: Complete List Of Nominees

The nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were announced this morning. The leader of the pack was The Revenant with 12 nominations, including best picture and acting nominations for both Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead acting category and Tom Hardy for supporting actor. (LAT)

Oscar Nominations 2016: All The Major Snubs And Surprises

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning and there were some last-minute surprises and sins of omission. Read on for a break down all the major snubs and surprises. (VUL)

Oscar Nominees Include Zero Nonwhite Actors

For the second year in a row, the Academy did not nominate any black actors to any of the 20 slots in the four acting categories. (THR)


Joe And Anthony Russo Producing Action Comedy ‘Sexcastle’

Blake Anderson, one of the co-creators/stars of Mail Order Comedy and regular director Kyle Newacheck are teaming with Marvel regulars Joe and Anthony Russo for action comedy Sexcastle. The film will adapt Kyle Starks’ graphic novel, originally funded by the writer and artist via Kickstarter. (EMP)

Colin Hanks & Sean Stuart Huddle With NFL Trio For Movie About Samoan Football

Colin Hanks and Sean Stuart’s production outfit Company Name is teaming with current and former NFL players Troy Palomalu, Ryan Kalil and Jordan Gross to make a feature film about football players in American Samoa. (DH)

Megan Mullally Joins Bryan Cranston-James Franco Comedy ‘Why Him?’

Fox has cast Megan Mullally in the Bryan Cranston-James Franco comedy Why Him? to portray the wife of Cranston’s character. John Hamburg is directing from a script he co-wrote with Ian Helfer. Shawn Levy is producing through his 21 Laps banner along with Ben Stiller through his Red Hour company. (VAR)

‘Bad Words’ Writer Andrew Dodge To Pen ‘Action Movie Kid’ For Fox 2000

Fox 2000 and Temple Hill are taking the webseries Action Movie Kid to the big screen. Andrew Dodge (Bad Word) has been hired to pen the screenplay for the feature-film adaptation. The Action Movie Kid webseries started when visual-effects artist Daniel Hashimoto created videos of his son pretending to be action heroes from movies using special visual effects. (THR)

New ‘Star Wars’ VFX Reel Shows Off CGI And Practical Effects To Grab Oscar Voter Attention

Check out the reel of VFX shots from Star Wars that helped the film get nominated. It consists of a comparison/before-and-after look of the shots as they were filmed and the finished project. (COLL)

Screenwriters: 5 Wrong Writing Beliefs That Will Hold You Back In 2016

Bang2write’s Lucy V sees writers sabotage themselves all the time. Here’s 5 common wrong writing beliefs that hold writers back. (SM)


Film Development for 1/14/16: Aaron Sorkin to Make Directorial Debut, Jennifer Lawrence Joins Darren Aronofsky Pic, Priyanka Chopra in Talks for ‘Baywatch’


New Attachments

All Eyez on Me
Logline: This biopic will follow rapper Tupac Shakur’s career, including his time at Death Row Records and his involvement in the rivalry between East coast and West coast rappers, culminating in his murder in 1996.
Studio/Distributor(s): Open Road Films
Production Company(s): Morgan Creek Productions, Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films
Producer(s): James G. Robinson, David C. Robinson, LT Hutton, Randall Emmett, George Furla
Writer(s): John Singleton, Ed Gonzalez, Jeremy Haft, Michael Starrbury, David McKenna
Director(s): Benny Boom
Cast: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Jamal Woolard, Danai Gurira, Katerina Graham, Jamie Hector
SSN Insight: Antoine Fuqua was previously attached to direct. Soulja Boy was previously mentioned to star. Project was previously in development at Universal. Hector will play Tupac’s stepfather Mutulu Shakur in the film.

Bad Santa 2
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Miramax Films, Broad Green Pictures
Production Company(s): Media Talent Group
Producer(s): Geyer Kosinski, Andrew Gunn
Writer(s): Doug Ellin, Johnny Rosenthal, John Phillips
Director(s): Mark Waters
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Christina Hendricks, Cristina Rosato
Details: Sequel to “Bad Santa” (2003) directed by Terry Zwigoff and starring Billy Bob Thornton.
SSN Insight: Johnny Rosenthal and John Phillips were both hired to write separate drafts of the script, giving the studios a choice between the two screenplays and the possibility of using one for a third film. Steve Pink was previously in discussions to direct and rewrite.

Logline: An elite group of lifeguards are forced to team up with a young, hotshot former Olympian to save their beloved bay.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): The Montecito Picture Company, Contrafilm, Vinson Films, Flynn Picture Co., 7 Bucks Entertainment
Producer(s): Tripp Vinson, Beau Flynn, Michelle Rogers Berk, Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock
Writer(s): Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, Justin Malen, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon
Director(s): Seth Gordon
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Priyanka Chopra (in discussions)
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.

Cruel Hearts
Logline: A man discovers the woman he’s seeing is married to a crime boss.
Production Company(s): Conspicuous Pictures, Verax Films, Dark Ash Films
Producer(s): Joe Pezzula, Jonathan Brown
Writer(s): Paul Osborne
Director(s): Paul Osborne
Cast: Alev Aydin, Patrick Day, Eddie Jemison, Bonnie Root, Melora Hardin
SSN Insight: Hardin can be seen as character Tammy Cashman on Amazon Studios’ Transparent. Her film credits include Self/Less, 17 Again and 27 dresses.

Girl on the Train
Logline: A young woman gets mixed up in a murder investigation because of what she sees on her daily commute.
Studio/Distributor(s): DreamWorks Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Company(s): Marc Platt Productions
Producer(s): Marc Platt
Writer(s): Erin Cressida Wilson
Director(s): Tate Taylor
Cast: Haley Bennett, Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Édgar Ramírez, Luke Evans, Laura Prepon
Details: Based on the novel “Girl on the Train” written by Paula Hawkins and published by Riverhead Books in 2015.
SSN Insight: Kate Mara was mentioned to co-star. Chris Evans was previously in negotiations for the role filled by Justin Theroux.

Heart Baby!
Logline: The new pic tells the true story of a convict named George Lee Martin who became infamous in the Tennessee prison system as an unbeatable boxer. When he is offered an opportunity at freedom in exchange for fighting for Team USA in the 1984 Olympic Games, he shocks everyone by saying no.
Producer(s): Angela Shelton, Shawn Caulin-Young and Kim Barnard
Writer(s): Angela Shelton
Director(s): Angela Shelton
Cast: Gbenga Akinnagbe, Jackson Rathbone, Quinton Aaron, Keir O’Donnell, Justice Leak, Abe Benrubi, Michael Badalucco, Ann Cusack, Jamie Kennedy
Details: Based on the life of boxer George Lee Martin.
SSN Insight: The film is set to begin shooting in New Orleans this month and is being planned for Sundance 2017 premiere.

Meet the Blacks
Logline: A spoof of “The Purge.”
Studio/Distributor(s): Freestyle Releasing
Producer(s): Deon Taylor, Roxanne Avent, Shannon McIntosh
Writer(s): Deon Taylor
Director(s): Deon Taylor
Cast: Mike Epps, George Lopez, Mike Tyson, Bresha Webb, Zulay Henao
SSN Insight: Freestyle Releasing was co-founded by Mark Borde and the late Susan Jackson and was acquired by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios in October.

Molly’s Game
Logline: Molly Bloom was a world-class skier while in college, but after failing to make the Olympic team, a chain of events lea to her into running the most exclusive high-stakes poker game in the world.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures,
Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company, Casa B Productions, Pascal Pictures
Producer(s): Mark R. Gordon, Amy Pascal, Leopoldo Gout
Writer(s): Aaron Sorkin
Director(s): Aaron Sorkin
Details: Based on the memoir “Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boy’s Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker” written by Molly Bloom and published by itbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins in 2014.
SSN Insight: Previously signed on just to script the feature, this project will now mark Sorkin’s directorial debut.

Robin Hood: Origins
Logline: A gritty story of when Robin Hood returns to Sherwood Forest after The Crusades and finds only corruption and evil, so he forms a posse of outlaws to take over.
Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate
Production Company(s): Appian Way, Thunder Road Pictures, Safehouse Pictures
Producer(s): Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Tory Tunnell, Joby Harold, Basil Iwanyk
Writer(s): Joby Harold
Director(s): Otto Bathurst
Cast: Taron Egerton, Eve Hewson, Jamie Foxx
SSN Insight: Guy Ritchie was previously attached to direct. Jamie Foxx will play Little John.

The Deep End
Logline: Two sisters become trapped under the fiberglass cover of a public pool.
Production Company(s): Citizen Skull Productions
Writer(s): Matt Eskandari, Michael Hultquist
Cast: Alexandra Park
SSN Insight: Alexandra Park can be seen on the hit E! series, The Royals.

The Prisoner
Logline: The Prisoner (known only as Number Six) is a former government agent who abruptly resigns from his job and finds himself imprisoned in an idyllic yet bizarre seaside village isolated from the world by the sea and mountains. He can’t escape because he knows too much, but that doesn’t stop others trying to capture him for his knowledge. What he wants is to keep them at bay and find his way to freedom.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Barry Mendel Productions, Bluegrass Films
Producer(s): Barry Mendel, Scott Stuber, Dylan Clark, Emma Thomas
Writer(s): William Monahan, David Peoples, Janet Peoples, Mark D. Rosenthal, Lawrence Konner
Director(s): Ridley Scott (in talks)
Details: Based on the British television series “The Prisoner” starring Patrick McGoohan, which aired from 1967 to 1968.
SSN Insight: Simon West previously attached to direct and produce. Christopher Nolan was previously attached to direct.

The Titan
Logline: In the near future, a military family is relocated so they can participate in a ground-breaking experiment of man’s genetic evolution into space.
Production Company(s): Motion Picture Capital, 42, Automatik
Producer(s): Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Benjamin Pugh, Rory Aitken, Arash Amel, Leon Clarance
Writer(s): Max Hurwitz
Director(s): Lennart Ruff
Cast: Sam Worthington, Ruth Wilson, Sofia Boutella, Taylor Schilling, Tom Wilkinso, Diego Boneta, Aleksander Jovanovic, Agyness Deyn
SSN Insight: Voltage Pictures is overseeing international sales and CAA handling domestic sales. Leon Clarance and Motion Picture Capital will produce and fully finance the film.

Untitled Paramount/Protozoa Couple Project
Logline: A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests come to their home.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures, Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): Protozoa Pictures
Producer(s): Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Ari Handel
Writer(s): Darren Aronofsky
Director(s): Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem
SSN Insight: The film is planned for a 2017 release. News of this film first broke in October when Lawrence exited The Rosie Project to be directed by Richard Linklater.

Untitled STX/Mom Comedy Project
Logline: Three moms go on a quest to free themselves from their mundane, everyday chores, but they accidentally end up on a collision course with their children’s school’s PTA president and her devoted clique of “perfect” moms.
Studio/Distributor(s): STX Entertainment, STX Entertainment
Production Company(s): Team Todd, PalmStar Entertainment, Merced Media Partners, BillBlock Media
Producer(s): Suzanne Todd, Bill Block, Raj Singh, Kevin Scott Frakes, Josh Church
Writer(s): Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Director(s): Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Cast: Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kathryn Hahn
SSN Insight: Leslie Mann was previously attached to star, with husband Judd Apatow previously attached as producer.

Why Him?
Logline: A father from the Midwest brings the whole family to visit his daughter at Stanford, where she’s a student, for Christmas, and the dad winds up getting into a tense competition with the daughter’s boyfriend, an Internet billionaire.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Distribution
Production Company(s): Red Hour Films, 21 Laps Entertainment
Producer(s): Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld
Writer(s): John Hamburg, Ian Helfer, Nicholas Stoller
Director(s): John Hamburg
Cast: James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Zoey Deutch, Griffin Gluck, Megan Mullally
SSN Insight: In August, 2015, the California Film Commission picked “Why Him?” as one of 11 films to share $55.2 million in incentives and receive up to 25 percent in tax credits.

New Projects

Keep Calm
Logline: An American fights to clear his name when he falls under suspicion after a bomb detonates in London, wounding the British prime minister.
Studio/Distributor(s): New Line Cinema
Producer(s): Charles Roven, Alex Gartner
Writer(s): Mike Binder
Director(s): Mike Binder
Details: Based on the novel “Keep Calm” written by Mike Binder and published by Henry Holt on February 2, 2016.
SSN Insight: Atlas Entertainment’s Gartner and Binder previously worked together on The Upside Of Anger and Gartner was an executive producer of Black Or White.

Logline: Adapted from a Paul Bowles short story of the same name, this film is about a little girl who dreams of becoming a kitten and finds herself transformed into one.
Producer(s): Christina Piovesan, Lizzie Nastro
Director(s): Chloë Sevigny
Cast: Ione Skye, Lee Meriwether
SSN Insight: This short film marks the directorial debut for Chloë Sevigny.

Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Production Company(s): K5 Media Group, Animal Kingdom, Inkjet
Producer(s): Joshua Astrachan, Carter Logan
Writer(s): Jim Jarmusch
Director(s): Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Adam Driver, Golshifte Farahani
SSN Insight: Driver recently completed Martin Scorsese’s Silence alongside Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield and can next be seen in Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special with Kirsten Dunst and Michael Shannon.

Logline: In a throwback to ‘80s action movies, the world’s formerly greatest assassin leaves the profession and retires to a small town, but is pulled back into the world of killing.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): Getaway Productions
Producer(s): Blake Anderson, Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Mike Larocca
Director(s): Kyle Newacheck
Cast: Blake Anderson
Details: Based on the graphic novel “Sexcastle” written by Kyle Starks and published by Image Comics on March 31, 2015.
SSN Insight: Newacheck and Anderson both work together in multiple roles behind and in front of the camera on Comedy Central’s Workaholics.

The Fireman
Logline: A worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion will destroy civilization unless it can be stopped by a group of heroes led by a man known as “The Fireman.”
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): Temple Hill Entertainment
Producer(s): Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen
Director(s): Louis Leterrier
Details: Based on the novel “The Fireman” written by Joe Hill and published by William Morrow on May 17, 2016.
SSN Insight: Hill recently inked a deal at AMC to develop a supernatural series based on his bestselling novel NOS4A2.

Three Miles North of Molkom
Logline: A jock gets separated from his backpacking buddies in a Swedish forest and winds up at the annual New Age festival in Molkom.
Studio/Distributor(s): StudioCanal
Production Company(s): Blue Print Pictures
Producer(s): Graham Broadbent
Writer(s): Dan Mazer, Jamie Minoprio, Jonathan Stern
Director(s): Dan Mazer
SSN Insight: StudioCanal will finance and distribute in its territories and handle international sales.

Untitled 1821 Media/Vertigo Treasure Hunt Project
Logline: A group of treasure seekers who steal artifacts from museums all over the world set out to get the greatest treasure of all time.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Vertigo Entertainment, 1821 Media
Producer(s): Roy Lee
Writer(s): Grant Myers
SSN Insight: Kasidokostas-Latsis and Dougas recently produced Paul Weitz’ critically acclaimed Grandma for Sony Classics, Jane Got A Gun starring Natalie Portman for TWC and are executive producing Doug Liman’s Mena for Universal Pictures.

Untitled American Samoa Football Project
Logline: Based on true events and centers on an assistant football coach in the ’80s who goes to American Samoa on a fool’s errand to recruit a high school phenom. Of course what he discovered was a gold mine of talent that the college and pro ranks have mined ever since.
Production Company(s): Company Name
Producer(s): Colin Hanks, Sean Stuart, Troy Palomalu
Writer(s): Jim Burnstein, Garrett Schiff
SSN Insight: UTA Independent Film Group is packaging the film and will represent distribution rights. Troy Palomalu retired from the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers where he was an All-Pro safety.

Awards 2016: Nominees React, the Wide Open Foreign Feature Race, Top Screenwriting Competitions, Alan Rickman’s Best Roles, Film Dev. For 1/14/16



Nominees Respond: Holders Of Oscar Nods Speak Out With Their Gratitude

Sylvester Stallone, Leonardo DiCaprio, Saorise Ronan, directors George Miller, Adam McKay and Lenny Abrahamson, and plenty of other actors, producers and below the line talent weigh in with their reactions to having their names and films called out this morning. (HRA)

In a Very Interesting Foreign Language Feature Race, ‘Mustang’ Ends Dry Spell For France In a Field Full Of Firsts

With today’s Oscar nominations, this race has been whittled down to five. While there are no major shocks like last year when Force Majeure did not advance from the shortlist, there are nevertheless some interesting twists here. Notably, Mustang has brought an Oscar nomination back to France for the first time since 2009’s A Prophet. The six-year dry spell was the longest gap between nominations for France in the history of the awards. (AL)


Screenwriting: The Top Ten Screenwriting Contests to Enter in 2016

There are at least 74 screenwriting contests, but only a small number are worth entering. If you want to enter all the screenplay contests, go for it (though this can get expensive), but the recommendation is that you focus on taking fewer, higher-quality shots by entering the top screenwriting contests to which industry executives pay attention. (SSN)

Film Development For 1/14/16: Aaron Sorkin To Make Directorial Debut, Jennifer Lawrence Joins Darren Aronofsky Pic, and More

Among the news coming out this week is Priyanka Chopra being up for a big role in the Baywatch movie adaptation, while the Tupac Shakur biopic and Bad Santa 2 both get some added cast, as well. Meanwhile, Jamie Foxx joins a Lionsgate’s Robin Hood reboot and Ridley Scott circles an adaptation of The Prisoner. Click the link for more info. (SSN)

On the Day We Mourn the Passing Of Alan Rickman, We Remember His Best Film Roles

In the decades after his debut in Die Hard, he worked enough in big Hollywood movies to become the kind of go-to villain and supporting player that he already seemed to be back in 1988. He had an amazing voice — deep and thick, like his tongue was coated in honey — and he paired it with a civility that bordered on world-weariness. He was often cast as the smartest guy in the room, and in his best films, he was able to explore exactly what that meant. (VUL)

Breathe Easy, ‘Mad Max’ Fans! George Miller Will, Indeed, Return For Two More Films In the Franchise

Several days after a story claimed he was done with the franchise, the filmmaker dismissed it as bunk, saying the writer took his words out of context and that, even though he will not make another Mad Max film right away, he still has “two more stories to tell.” (COL)

Guillermo Del Toro Puts Yet Another Project Into Development, Will Delve Into ‘Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark’

The Pacific Rim director will develop an adaptation of the book trilogy for CBS Films. The Alvin Schwartz books, the first of which came out in 1984, were often banned from school libraries because they were considered too scary for children. He will produce the film alongside Sean Daniel, Jason Brown and Elizabeth Grave, and may potentially direct the film, which has been adapted for the screen by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory scribe John August. (HV)

Undeterred By His Oscar Snub, Ridley Scott Puts His Producer’s Hat Back On, Will Oversee ‘Marvel’ For AMC

Show is a TV adaptation of George Pendle‘s nonfiction book Strange Angel. AMC might give the drama — which has nothing to do with Marvel Comics or Entertainment — a straight-to-series order. Project is inspired by the co-founder of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Jack Parsons. Besides his major accomplishments, he was pals with L. Ron Hubbard and partook in some rather interesting rituals for Enochian Magic. (SF)

Gale Anne Hurd-Henry Bromell Drama ‘Falling Water’ Ordered to Series at USA

NBCUniversal-owned cable network announced Thursday that the drama from late Homeland Emmy winner Henry Bromell and exec produced by Gale Anne Hurd has been picked up to series. Bromell wrote and co-created the drama with frequent collaborator Blake Masters before his unexpected passing in 2013 following a heart attack. The prolific and beloved writer-producer was 65. (LF)

Netflix Just Gave the Brains Behind ‘Miranda Sings’ Her Very Own Sitcom

Streaming service has given an eight-episode series order to Haters Back Off, a half-hour comedy starring top YouTube personality, actress-comedian-singer Colleen Ballinger-Evans. Based on her most popular character, Miranda Sings, the show delves into the oddball family life of Miranda, an incredibly confident, totally untalented star on the rise who continues to fail upward by the power of her belief that she was born famous, it’s just no one knows it yet. (DH)

The Producer Behind ‘The Revenant,’ Dan Fogelman’s Baseball Drama Gets Pickup, ‘Jumanji’ Remake Finds Director



Meet The Billionaire Film Mogul And Former Israeli Spy Who Paid For ‘The Revenant’

Milchan’s involvement in the production of The Revenant was as pivotal as its director would suggest — and the 71-year-old Milchan himself proves to be a character worthy of an epic. (VUL)


Dan Fogelman’s Female Baseball Drama Picked Up To Pilot At Fox, Kylie Bunbury To Star

Fox has ordered the baseball drama Pitch, from Dan Fogelman and Rick Singer, to pilot. Kylie Bunbury will topline the potential series. Fogelman and Singer co-wrote the pilot and will serve as exec producers. (VAR)

‘Jumanji’ Remake Finds Its Director

Jake Kasdan has signed on to direct Columbia Pictures’ remake of Jumanji, but with the film slated for a release of Dec. 25, the new helmer is going to have to move lightning-fast. (THR)

Peter Chelsom Directing World War II Thriller ‘The Paladin’

Director Peter Chelsom’s next project is the second World War thriller The Paladin. David Dobkin and Jeff Kleeman are among the producers. Jason Keller and playwrite Eric Pfeffinger penned the screenplay. (EMP)

LeBron James Teams Up With CNBC For A New Series Set In Cleveland, Ohio – ‘Cleveland Hustles’

CNBC announced the network is teaming up with NBA superstar LeBron James’ and Maverick Carter’s production company, SpringHill Entertainment, and Magical Elves, for a new unscripted series set in Cleveland, Ohio.  (IW)

Katie Aselton Joins HBO’s ‘Togetherness’ Season 2

The League alumna Katie Aselton has joined the Season 2 cast of HBO’s Togetherness in a recurring role. Aselton will join her husband and Togetherness co-creator and star Mark Duplass in the comedy series. (DH)

Clip: Meet Snowball From ‘The Secret Life of Pets’

Illumination and Universal Pictures are teasing the upcoming CG comedy-adventure, The Secret Life of Pets arriving July 8, with a newly released clip featuring the butt-kicking bunny voice by Kevin Hart. (AM)

Trailer Buzz: ’10 Cloverfield Lane’

The first look at producer JJ Abrams’ monster movie 10 Cloverfield Lane has been launched, with a speedy release date attached. (GUAR)

Screenwriters: ‘Office Space’

The December 9 1997 first revised draft by Mike Judge. (DS)

On the Set for 1/15/16: Christina Hendricks Starts ‘Bad Santa 2’, Matt Damon & Alicia Vikander Wrap on Jason Bourne Sequel



Bad Santa 2
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Miramax Films, Broad Green Pictures
Production Company(s): Media Talent Group
Director(s): Mark Waters
Executive Producer(s): Doug Ellin, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters, David Thwaites, Zanne Devine
Producer(s): Geyer Kosinski, Andrew Gunn
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Christina Hendricks
Writer(s): Doug Ellin, Johnny Rosenthal, John Phillips
Details: Sequel to “Bad Santa” (USA/2003) directed by Terry Zwigoff and starring Billy Bob Thornton.
SSN Insight: Johnny Rosenthal and John Phillips were both hired to write separate drafts of the script, giving the studios a choice between the two screenplays and the possibility of using one for a third film. Steve Pink was previously in discussions to direct and rewrite.

Let Me Go
Logline: Based on the true-life story of Helga Schneider who was abandoned by her mother to devote herself to Hitler. The film is set in the present day, following not only Helga and her mother’s journeys but the next two generations and how they suffer from the trauma created over 70 years ago.
Production Company(s): In Trust Films
Director(s): Polly Steele
Executive Producer(s): Georges Tsitos
Producer(s): David Broder, Lizzie Pickering
Cast: Juliet Stevenson, Jodhi May, Lucy Boynton, Karin Bertling, Stanley Weber
Writer(s): Polly Steele
SSN Insight: UK-based Polly Steele was a co-founder of Elton John’s Rocket Pictures with David Furnish, developing and producing films together for 5 years. Philip Selway, the drummer for Radiohead, is on board as the Musical Curator.

Swing State
Logline: DJ Ethan Smith, host of a Seattle-based public music radio program, takes over a Conservative talk show and creates a fictional Republican persona, “Charles Fern.” When his fictional persona is a huge hit with listeners, he continues the ruse and becomes nationally famous, while in his personal life he experiences a series of misadventures.
Production Company(s): Thunk Enterprises
Director(s): Jonathan Sheldon
Producer(s): Adam Falkoff, Arthur Bernstein, Diego Espana, Jonathan Sheldon
Cast: Alex Beh, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, Taryn Manning, Ted Levine
SSN Insight: This is the feature directorial debut for Jonathan Sheldon.

Untitled STX Mom Comedy Project
Logline: Three moms go on a quest to free themselves from their mundane, everyday chores, but they accidentally end up on a collision course with their children’s school’s PTA president and her devoted clique of “perfect” moms.
Studio/Distributor(s): STX Entertainment
Production Company(s): Team Todd, PalmStar Entertainment, Merced Media Partners, BillBlock Media
Director(s): Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Executive Producer(s): John Friedberg
Producer(s): Suzanne Todd, Bill Block, Raj Singh, Kevin Scott Frakes, Josh Church
Cast: Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kathryn Hahn
Writer(s): Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
SSN Insight: Leslie Mann was previously attached to star, with husband Judd Apatow previously attached as producer.


Logline: California motorcycle cops take down a criminal organization.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Company(s): Panay Films, Primate Pictures
Director(s): Dax Shepard
Executive Producer(s): Rick Rosner
Producer(s): Andrew Panay, Dax Shepard
Cast: Dax Shepard, Michael Peña, Vincent D’Onofrio, Kristen Bell, Rosa Salazar
Writer(s): Dax Shepard, Paul A Kaplan, Mark Torgove
Details: Feature film version of television series “CHiPs” (USA/1977-1983), which featured Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada.
SSN Insight: Wilmer Valderrama previously attached to star as Ponch. Previously in development with Tapestry Films.

Kung Fu Yoga
Logline: A detective from Hong Kong teams up with an American gambler to battle against a notorious Chinese criminal.
Production Company(s): Pegasus & Taihe Entertainment International
Director(s): Stanley Tong
Executive Producer(s): Sun Jianjun
Cast: Jackie Chan, Katrina Kaif, Sonu Sood
SSN Insight: The film is the first of a three-movie pact signed by the Indian and Chinese governments during a visit by the Chinese president Xi Jinping to India last year. The film was shot on location in Dubai and India. Viacom18 was previously attached as production company, but exited the project during principal photography.

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, Eugenia Yuan, Teresa Ting, Giovanni Mocibob, Gil Bellows
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.

The Odyssey
Logline: The life and times of French oceanographer and filmmaker Jean-Yves Cousteau.
Production Company(s): Fidélité Films, Pan Europeenne
Director(s): Jérôme Salle
Producer(s): Nathalie Gastaldo, Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Pierre Niney, Audrey Tautou
Writer(s): Laurent Turner
Details: Based on the book “Capitaine de La Calypso” written by Albert Falco and published by Robert Laffont on May 29, 1990.
SSN Insight: Wild Bunch launched sales for the film at Cannes.

The Shallows
Logline: A young woman who has recently lost her mother is surfing in an isolated area when she gets stranded on a buoy, and a gigantic great white shark is between her and the shore.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures
Production Company(s): Weimaraner Republic Pictures (WRPCO)
Director(s): Jaume Collet-Serra
Producer(s): Lynn Harris, Matti Leshem
Cast: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada
Writer(s): Anthony Jaswinski
SSN Insight: Colulmbia Pictures won the active bidding battle set at high-six figures for the spec script by Tony Jaswinski. Project was included on the 2014 Black List. Screenplay was included in the 2014 Hit List.

Untitled Jason Bourne Sequel
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, Pearl Street Films, Captivate Entertainment
Director(s): Paul Greengrass
Executive Producer(s): Christopher Rouse, Henry Morrison
Producer(s): Frank Marshall, Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, Jeffrey Weiner, Ben Smith
Cast: Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel
Writer(s): Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse
Details: Sequel to “The Bourne Identity” (2002) directed by Doug Liman and starring Matt Damon. Based on the novel “The Bourne Supremacy” written by Robert Ludlum and published by Bantam Books in 1987.
SSN Insight: Alicia Vikander was recently seen in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ex Machina and The Danish Girl. She can next be seen in Weinstein Company’s Tulip Fever, John Wells’ Adam Jones with Bradley Cooper and The Light Between Oceans opposite Michael Fassbender.

SSN Box Office Trending Report for 1/15/16: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Still Reigns While ‘The Revenant’ Fights for Ground


-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 1-15

Awards 2016: Oscar Silver Linings, ‘Mad Max’ Makes History, ‘Flash Gordon’ Writer, ‘Wonder Woman’s Mom, SSN BO Trend Report, On the Set For 1/15/16



A Day Later, Six Silver Linings to the Oscar Nominations: From ‘Mad Max’ to Charlotte Rampling

Looking beyond the surface of things, and beyond the most obvious, self-aggrandizing contenders, which, to its credit, the Academy managed to do in at least a few categories. Here are six silver linings from this morning’s announcement — those happy little surprises, or semi-surprises, that flew gratifyingly in the face of conventional wisdom. (IC)

Speaking Of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, the Movie Just Became the Most Decorated In Australian History

The stunning 10 nominations have set a new benchmark, making it the most-nominated Australian film in Oscar history. George Miller’s dystopian road movie surpassed Baz Luhrmann’s musical extravaganza Moulin Rouge, which previously held the record. Moulin Rouge received eight Oscar nominations in 2001, going on to win the honors for best costume design and art decoration for Luhrmann’s wife and collaborator, Catherine Martin. (HRA)


SSN Box Office Trending Report for 1/15/16: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Still Reigns While ‘The Revenant’ Fights for Ground

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 1/15/16: Christina Hendricks Starts ‘Bad Santa 2’, Matt Damon & Alicia Vikander Wrap on Jason Bourne Sequel

Several projects get up and running this week, including the Untitled STX Mom Comedy Project from Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, and starring Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, Jada Pinkett Smith and Kathryn Hahn. Meanwhile, Dax Shepard’s CHiPs and Jackie Chan’s Kung Fu Yoga are among the projects wrapping up. Click the link for more info. (SSN)

Matthew Vaughn’s ‘Flash Gordon’ Project Just Took a Big Step Forward

Mark Protosevich, the writer of Thor and I Am Legend, has joined the project, which Vaughn is on board to direct. Before Protosevich, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay took a crack at the Flash Gordon script based on a treatment by George Nolfi. John Davis is reportedly producing, and the project is set up at 20th Century Fox. (SF)

Anne Hathaway’s Comedy ‘The Shower’ Finds a Home At Warner Bros.

The studio is in final negotiations for the sci-fi action comedy, which has Hathaway attached to star in and produce Jac Schaeffer’s script, which made last year’s Blacklist, the annual listing of best not-yet made screenplays in Hollywood. The story is set at a baby shower that gets upstaged by a massive meteor shower. These meteors, however, bring with them blood-sucking aliens from outer space that crash the party. (THR)

‘Wonder Woman’ Casts Princess Diana’s Mother, In the Form Of Connie Nielsen

Actress has come on board to play Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons and mother of Princess Diana, aka Wonder Woman in the Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment pic. She joins Gal Gadot, who plays the superhero; Chris Pine, who portrays Steve Trevor; Danny Huston, Robin Wright, David Thewlis and Ewen Bremner. Pine recently said the movie is set during World War I. Patty Jenkins will direct the film, which will be released on June 23, 2017. (VAR)

In What Should Come as a Surprise To No One, Fox Has Renewed ‘Empire’ For Season Three

Network announced today that it has renewed the ratings juggernaut for a third season. Although down from its Season 1 highs, Empire remains a force to be reckoned with in the Nielsens; it ranks as broadcast TV’s No. 1 show in 18-49 and its cumulative weekly audience exceeds 20 million viewers. The show resumes its current sophomore season on Wednesday, March 30th. (TVL)

Jamie Foxx Teams Up with Amy Pascal for TV Crime Drama Series on Atlanta’s First Black Police Officers

Foxx is teaming with Pascal and Sony Pictures TV to executive produce an adaptation of the upcoming new crime novel Darktown by author Thomas Mullen. The 1940s story is set in Atlanta and will follow the city’s first black police officers. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers and their authority is limited: They can’t arrest white suspects; can’t drive a squad car and can’t even use the police headquarters. (SAA)

Fox Is Bringing Back Both ‘Prison Break’ and ’24’, but Only the Former Will Have Its Original Cast

Fox had announced in August that it was developing the Prison Break event series, and has now confirmed it, with Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell on board to reprise their roles and the original producing team of Paul T. Scheuring, Neal Moritz, Marty Adelstein, and Dawn Olmstead are back as well with Scheuring serving as showrunner/writer. Meanwhile, 24: Legacy will have an entirely new cast, but retain the real-time format. (VUL)

‘Ride Along 2′ Dethrones ‘Star Wars’, Critics Choice Winners, Pilot Season Update, Tina Fey/Ronda Rousey New Pic, ‘X-Men’ Spinoff in Peril


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


Critics Choice Awards – The Complete Winners List

Sharon Stone handed the best picture statue to Spotlight while Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson took home major acting awards. “The critics are more valuable than ever. We need professional sifters to pan for the gold,” said host T.J. Miller. (VAR)

Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer Had Something to Say at the Critics Choice Awards

Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer didn’t miss the opportunity to make some memorable speeches while accepting their statues in Santa Monica at the Critics Choice Awards. Click here to watch- you won’t be disappointed. (VL)

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Wins Big at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards

Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay win acting trophies for marital drama 45 Years, while George Miller’s action reboot races away with the prize for film of the year. Here’s the full list of winners. (TG)


Box Office: ‘Ride Along 2′ Dethrones ‘Star Wars’ While ’13 Hours’ Battles it Out for No. 4

Elsewhere, awards frontrunner The Revenant approaches $100 million in North America; Star Wars: The Force Awakens becomes only the fifth film in history to cross $1 billion internationally for a global total of $1.86 billion. (THR)

Pilot Season Update: How Many Pilots Is Each Network Ordering?

Extended by the Martin Luther King holiday, this is shaping up to be the biggest reading weekend for top broadcast executives who are going though stacks of pre-selected pilot scripts so the nets can kick pilot orders into high gear this week. (DL)

‘Simpsons’ Creator Matt Groening Circling New Animated Project at Netflix

The creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, is in talks with Netflix to develop an animated series. Details of the project are being kept under wraps. Netflix is understood to be considering a two-season order of 10 episode apiece. (VAR)

Fox’s ‘X-Men’ Spinoff in Peril as Showrunners Exit to Reboot ’24’

Fox’s X-Men drama Hellfire is making a change at the top. Writers Evan Katz and Manny Coto, who co-created the project, are exiting to shift their focus to Fox’s 24: Legacy. A search is underway for a new writer. (THR)

Are Tina Fey and Ronda Rousey the New Dynamic Duo? Universal Thinks So.

Universal Pictures has acquired a comedy pitch from Sisters scribe Paula Pell titled Do Nothing Bitches in a high-six-figure deal, with Pell’s Sisters co-star Tina Fey set to star alongside Ronda Rousey as the MMA fighter continues to extend her brand into Hollywood. (DL)

Tracy Morgan Back in Action, Teaming with Jordan Peele on a Comedy Project for FX

The 30 Rock alum is set to develop and star in a half-hour comedy pilot written by Jordan Peele and Eastbound & Down‘s John Carcieri. Morgan will play a career criminal who is released from prison after 15 years, hoping to reintegrate into a society that long ago left him behind. (THR)

Screenwriters: Your ‘TV Guide’ to Adaptation

These days it seems selling a feature or TV pilot can be more about finding good source material than about writing a good script. Writers are adapting everything from overseas TV formats to novels to comic books for the big and small screen. But don’t trip — you can still try your hand at an adaptation without letting rights stop you. (SM)

Academy Prez on Diversity, Shorty Awards Noms, Lionsgate and New Regency Distrib Deal, Bette Midler in ‘Hello Dolly’, Sundance Party Grid



Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs: ‘Change Is Not Coming As Fast As We Would Like’

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs issued a statement responding to this year’s second consecutive stable of very white Oscar nominees. Her words come amid growing fallout as celebs such as Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee plan to boycott the ceremony. (VUL)

Shorty Awards Nominees Include Adele, Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer

Dwayne Johnson, Aziz Ansari, Cher, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Michael B. Jordan, Caitlyn Jenner and J.K. Rowling are also among this year’s nominees, which highlight Periscope users for the first time. (THR)


Lionsgate, New Regency Get Hitched In Production, Distrib Deal – NATPE

The alliance calls for Lionsgate Television to distribute New Regency’s new theatrical film releases and back list on television and digital platforms globally outside the U.S. and Canada. (DH)

Bette Midler Sets 2017 Broadway Return In ‘Hello, Dolly!’

Bette Midler will star in a 2017 Broadway revival of the musical Hello, Dolly!, directed by Jerry Zaks and produced by Scott Rudin. (VAR)

Univision Buying Large Stake In The Onion

The Spanish-language media giant Univision Communications announced that it had acquired a large stake in The Onion, the comedy and satirical digital media group, as part of the company’s efforts to extend its digital reach and strengthen its portfolio of comedy outlets. (NYT)

Norman Lear & Shonda Rhimes Bringing ‘America Divided’ Doc Series To Epix

Norman Lear and Shonda Rhimes are teaming up to executive-produce America Divided. The series will be a sort of 30 for 30 of social issues, with documentaries on topics like New York City’s affordable housing crisis hosted by people like Zach Galifianakis and America Ferrera. (TVG)

The Sundance 2016 Party and Event Grid!

Your guide to the exclusive parties and events at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Get exclusive info on over 250 parties, events, lounges and panels. (This list will be updated as the event goes on.) (TB)

Caitlyn Jenner Memoir Coming In 2017

Jenner, with the help of Buzz Bissinger, author of Jenner’s now-iconic Vanity Fair cover story, will release her memoir with Grand Central Publishing, the publisher announced in a release. The book is slated for a Spring 2017 publication. (EW)

‘Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday’ Gets Netflix Premiere Date, First Teaser Trailer

Mark your Netflix-centric calendars: Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday will premiere on March 18, 2016. Watch the trailer here. (WRAP)

TV Development for 1/19/16: USA Orders Series From ‘Shades of Blue’ Creator Adi Hasak, Co-Creators Leave X-Men Spin-Off for ’24: Legacy’


24: Legacy
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Imagine Television, Teakwood Lane Productions
Executive Producer(s): Howard Gordon, Manny Coto, Evan Katz, Kiefer Sutherland, Brian Grazer
Writer(s): Manny Coto, Evan Katz
Logline: Revolves around a military hero’s return to the U.S. and the trouble that follows him back – compelling him toask CTU for help in saving his life, and stopping what potentially could be one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil.
Details: Project is a spinoff of the series, “24,” which aired on Fox from 2001-2010 and as a limited series called “24: Live Another Day,” in 2014.
SSN Insight: Planned as a limited series, Fox ordered the pilot on January 15. The series will feature an all-new cast of characters and Kiefer Sutherland will not be returning. Evan Katz and Manny Coto, who co-created the project, Hellfire, an X-Men spin-off series for Fox, left that project to join 24: Legacy.

America Divided (Documentary)
Network: Epix
Production Company(s): Shondaland, RadicalMedia, Freedom Road Productions
Executive Producer(s): Norman Lear, Shonda Rhimes, Common, Solly Granatstein, Lucian Read, Richard Rowley, Jon Kamen, Justin Wilkes, Dave O’Connor, Nicole Dow (co-EP), Derek Dudley (co-EP)
Writer(s): Common, Solly Granatstein, Lucian Read and Richard Rowley.
Logline: A nonpartisan investigation of the key issues shaping the presidential campaign, and we are confident our viewers will find each episode compelling and accessible.
SSN Insight: The series is set to debut in the fall. Lear will front one piece for the series, surrounding the housing crisis in New York and the inequality at play. Rebecca Teitel and Jesse Williams are signed on as senior producers with producers Abby Ellis and Leah Thomas.

Blue Demon
Studio: Sony Pictures TV, Televisa
Executive Producer(s): Daniel Ucros, Juan Pablo Posada
Writer(s): Carlos Algara, Alejandro Martínez, Fernando Abrego, Luis Guerrero, Larissa Andrade and Rodrigo Ordoñez
Logline: Blue Demon is inspired by the real-life story of Alejandro Muñoz Moreno, who overcame enormous odds to become the World Wrestling Champion under the name Blue Demon.
SSN Insight: The 65-episode, hour-long drama will air throughout Latin America on numerous Televisa platforms. SPT and Televisa will cooperatively distribute the series globally. Production is scheduled to start in April in and around Mexico City.

Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Pascal Pictures
Executive Producer(s): Jamie Foxx, Amy Pascal
Logline: Set in Atlanta in 1948, the story centers on the city’s first black police officers — whose hire in the department as a result from pressure on high is met with vitriol from their white counterparts and distrust within their own African American community. In a culture and time when blacks were still relegated to the back of the bus, the officers are treated as second class. They can only patrol in black neighborhoods, are not allowed to arrest white suspects, cannot drive squad cars and cannot use the police headquarters, forced to operate out of the basement of a gym. When a black woman turns up fatally beaten after last seen in a car driven by a white man, it deepens the divide in the police department.
Details: Based on the novel, “Darktown,” written by Thomas Mullen and to be publsiehd by Simon & Schuster in September of 2016.
SSN Insight: The series falls under Pascal Pictures’ first-look deal with Sony TV. Sony TV won the series in a competitive bidding war with five TV studios pursuing the project.

Network: USA Network
Studio: Universal Cable Productions
Production Company(s):
Executive Producer(s): Adi Hasak, Jarl Emsell Larsen
Writer(s): Adi Hasak
Logline: When two innocent teenage boys secretly meet up in the forest, they bear witness to a shooting and barely escape with their lives. Desperate to keep their relationship a secret and in fear of being found by the perpetrator, they remain silent but soon learn that what has been seen cannot be unseen and when you witness a horrible event it changes everything, forever. Based on the Norwegian miniseries “Øyevitne.”
Details: Based on the Norwegian miniseries, “Øyevitne (Eyewitness,)” created by by Jarl Emsell Larsen. It premiered on NRK in 2014.
SSN Insight: USA has given a series order of ten episodes. The project originated from Shades of Blue creator Adi Hasak.

Falling Water
Network: USA Network
Studio: Universal Cable Productions
Production Company(s): Valhalla Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Henry Bromell, Blake Masters, Gale Anne Hurd, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Writer(s): Henry Bromell, Blake Masters
Logline: Three unrelated people slowly realize that they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream. Each is on a quest for something that can only be found in their subconscious — a missing girlfriend, a son, a way to communicate with a catatonic mother. However, the more they begin to use the dream world as a tool to advance their hidden agendas, they realize that their visions are trying to tell them something and that their very real lives are at stake.
SSN Insight: USA initially ordered the pilot back in March of 2015. USA has given a series order of ten episodes.

Foreign Bodies
Network: E4 (UK)
Production Company(s): Entertainment One, Eleven Film
Executive Producer(s): Tom Basden, Jamie Campbell, Joel Wilson
Writer(s): James Wood, Tony Roche, Rob Delaney, Charlie Covell, Tim Key
Logline: Five young travelers go on a three month quest around Asia to find paradise, while also trying to find themselves.
SSN Insight: E4 gave a series order. This is the second E4 order for Eleven, who previously produced Glue, which aired on E4 in 2014 and The Enfield Haunting for Sky in 2015.

Hairspray Live!
Network: NBC Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Craig Zadan, Neil Meron
Logline: Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion–dancing. Her dream is to appear on “The Corny Collins Show,” Baltimore’s hippest dance party on TV. But when her dream comes true, Tracy’s eyes are opened to a bigger issue than the latest dance craze or the coolest hairdo–racial inequality.
Details: Based on the musical “Hairspray,” starring Harvey Fierstein and Marisa Jaret Winokur, which premiered on Broadway in 2002. The musical was based on the feature film “Hairspray” (1988), written and directed by John Waters and starring Ricki Lake and Divine.
SSN Insight: This will be NBC’s fourth produced live musical, following the success of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan and The Wiz. Hairspray will include a Tony-winning score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Haters Back Off
Network: Netflix
Production Company(s): The Firm, Brightlight Pictures
Executive Producer(s): Colleen Ballinger, Chris Ballinger, Perry Rein, Gigi McCreery, Jeff Kwatinetz
Logline: Based on the YouTube popular character, Miranda Sings, Haters Back Off delves into the oddball family life of Miranda Sings, an incredibly confident, totally untalented star on the rise who continues to fail upward by the power of her belief that she was born famous, it’s just no one knows it yet.
Details: Based on YouTube character “Miranda Sings,” which aired on YouTube from 2008 – present.
SSN Insight: Netflix has given a series order of eight episodes. The “Miranda Sings” YouTube channel currently has over 5.8 million subscribers and has produced 502 videos.

I’m Dying Up Here
Network: Showtime Networks
Studio: Endemol Shine Studios
Production Company(s): Some Kind of Garden, Assembly Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): David Flebotte, Jim Carrey, Michael Aguilar, Christina Wayne
Writer(s): David Flebotte, Jim Carrey
Logline: The story takes place at the famous Hollywood comedy clubs of the 1970s and delves into the inspired and damaged psyches that inhabit the complex business of making an audience laugh. Based on the book.
Details: Based on the book, “I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-up Comedy’s Golden Era,” written by William Knoedelseder and published by Public Affairs in 2009.
SSN Insight: Showtime ordered the pilot back in August and picked up the series on January 12.

Kiss Me First
Network: E4 (UK), Netflix
Production Company(s): Kindle Entertainment, Balloon Entertainment, Ltd.
Executive Producer(s): Bryan Elsley, Melanie Stokes
Logline: Leila is a lonely 17 year old girl addicted to a fictional online gaming site called Agora. While playing on the platform, Leila meets Tess, a cool and confident party girl who harbors a dark secret. In the real world, the two girls become friends, but after Tess disappears Leila decides to assume her friend’s identity and in doing so is quickly drawn into unraveling the mystery behind her disappearance.
Details: Based on the novel, “Kiss Me First,” written by Lottie Moggach and published by Doubleday on July 9, 2013.
SSN Insight: E4 gave a series order of six episodes. The series is a collaboration between E4 and Netflix and will air on E4 in the UK and Netflix globally.

Network: Channel 4 (UK)
Production Company(s): Keshet Media Group, Hillbilly Films
Executive Producer(s): Jon Brown, Muli Segev, Assaf Harel, Sara Johnson, Avi Nir
Writer(s): Jon Brown
Logline: Four life-long friends become multi-millionaires overnight after selling their start-up videogame company.
Details: Based on the Israeli series, “Mesudarim,” which premiered on Keshet in 2007.
SSN Insight: Channel 4 has given a series order of eight episodes.

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Barnstorm Films, Rhode Island Ave. Productions
Executive Producer(s): Dan Fogelman, Rick Singer, Tony Bill, Helen Bartlett, Jess Rosenthal
Writer(s): Dan Fogelman, Rick Singer
Logline: A young female pitcher defies the odds to become the first woman to compete in professional baseball.
Details: Based on an idea by Rick Singer
SSN Insight: Fox initially gave a put pilot commitment back in September and has since officially ordered the pilot. The pilot received tax credit approval by the California Film Commission.

Untitled Chuck Lorre Marijuana Comedy Project
Studio: Warner Bros. Television
Production Company(s): Life’s Too Short
Writer(s): Chuck Lorre, David Javerbaum
Logline: Set at a legal marijuana dispensary in Colorado, the story revolves around an ensemble of potheads.
SSN Insight: The project is being shopped to networks. Chuck Lorre is currently an overall deal at WBTV. Javerbaum has produced The Late Late Show With James Corden and runs the popular Twitter account @TheTweetOfGod, which was adapted for a book and a play starring Big Bang‘s Jim Parsons.

Untitled Mark Burnett Reality Dating Project
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Production Company(s): MGM Television Entertainment, Grandma’s House Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Mark Burnett, Ben Newmark, Dan Newmark, Larry Barron
Logline: Set in the Caribbean Islands, the series features single men and women. After face-to-face meetings, a participant picks a mate based on instant chemistry. Then these budding couples discover whether or not they have the compatibility to make their relationships last.
Details: Ordered to series. Network has ordered 10 episodes. (1/14/2016)
SSN Insight: Fox has given a series order of ten episodes. This marks the first dating series for Burnett, the creator behind such hits as The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank and Celebrity Apprentice.

Untitled Matt Groening Project (Animated)
Network: Netflix
Executive Producer(s): Matt Groening
Writer(s): Matt Groening
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
SSN Insight: Details are being kept under wraps. Netflix’s animated series include BoJack Horseman, F Is for Family and the upcoming Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. Groening will continue as EP on The Simpsons, now in its 27th season.

Untitled Prison Break Limited Series
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Executive Producer(s): Paul T. Scheuring, Marty Adelstein, Dawn Parouse Olmstead, Neal H. Moritz
Writer(s): Paul T. Scheuring
Logline: Storyline under wraps.
Details: Based on the TV series, “Prison Break,” starring Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, which aired on Fox from 2005-2009.
SSN Insight: Fox has given the formal straight-to-series order for the limited series, expected to be in the eight to ten episode range. Original Prison Break stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell will reprise their roles.

Untitled Tracy Morgan/Jordan Peele Ex-Con Project
Network: FX Network
Studio: FX Productions
Executive Producer(s): Tracy Morgan, Jordan Peele, John Carcieri, Eric Tannenbaum, Joel Zadak
Writer(s): Jordan Peele, John Carcieri
Logline: A career criminal is released from prison after 15 long years, hoping to reintegrate into a society that long ago left him behind. Now a man whose only expertise is making grilled cheese with an iron must navigate a modern world of political correctness, the Internet, and self-driving cars.
Details: Ordered to pilot.
SSN Insight: FX ordered the pilot which is tentatively slated to begin production this summer. Morgan is currently headlining a nationwide stand-up tour titled Picking Up the Pieces. He can next be seen in the Weinstein Co.’s Richard Pryor biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? and Fist Fight alongside Ice Cube and Charlie Day.

Awards 2016: ‘Room’ Leads CSA Noms, David Oyelowo Speaks Out Against Academy, Sound Editors To Honor Sam Raimi, TV Development For 1/19/16



‘Room’ Leads Canadian Screen Award Nominations

The powerful captivity drama, an Irish-Canadian co-production adapted from the bestselling novel by Emma Donoghue and one of this year’s Oscar nominees, led film contenders. It earned 11 nominations, including for the London, Ont.-based author’s screenplay, best motion picture and its leads: Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. (CBC)

David Oyelowo Becomes the Latest To Lash Out At the Oscars’ Lack Of Diversity

The actor, who was famously overlooked for playing Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma when the Oscar nominations were announced last year, broke off his prepared remarks to blast the Academy at a gala honoring Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs last night, saying, “This institution doesn’t reflect its president and it doesn’t reflect this room. I am an Academy member and it doesn’t reflect me, and it doesn’t reflect this nation.” (HRA)

Motion Picture Sound Editors To Honor ‘Evil Dead’ Filmmaker Sam Raimi

The writer/director whose credits include the Evil Dead franchise (including current Starz original series Ash vs. Evil Dead), The Hudsucker Proxy, three Spider-Man movies, and the modern noir A Simple Plan, will receive the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Filmmaker Award at this year’s Golden Reel Awards ceremony, to be held February 27th in Los Angeles. (TOH)


TV Development for 1/19/16: USA Orders Series From ‘Shades of Blue’ Creator Adi Hasak, Co-Creators Leave X-Men Spin-Off for ’24: Legacy’

Among the new projects moving forward this week are a period piece about Atlanta’s first black policemen, from Jamie Foxx, the USA Network ordering up a show that had been on the shelf for a year, and a brand new live musical production from Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. Click on the link to read on. (SSN)

CBS Films Gets Its Mitch Rapp Adaptation Going Again, Hires a Director For It

Michael Cuesta has signed on to direct American Assassin based on a script by Stephen Schiff, who’s adapting the Vince Flynn novel. The project will center on counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp, who is recruited by the CIA after his girlfriend is killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. The character was first introduced in Flynn’s 1999 book Transfer of Power, but it was the 2010 book American Assassin that explored how Rapp ended up as a CIA operative. (THR)

Casting Coup: Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly Sign Up To Play Laurel and Hardy in ‘Stan & Ollie’

Set in the twilight years of the comedy legends’ career, the film will focus on their farewell tour of Britain’s variety halls in 1953. With their golden era now a distant memory, they’re nevertheless still happy to be working together, and as they keep their partnership alive, they reconnect with legions of adoring fans. But there is a darker undercurrent to the success – their past comes back to haunt them and Hardy isn’t in the best of health. Jon S. Baird is directing. (EMP)

Former Studio Exec Fires Up His Own New Production Shingle

Experienced Hollywood executive Fred Bernstein has launched Los Angeles-based Astute Films as a motion picture financing and production company. Bernstein, who headed production at Columbia and Universal, has assembled an initial $50 million of private equity financing and is looking to back films with mid-range budgets rather than franchises. (VAR)

‘DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow’ Casts Its Old West Anti-Hero, Jonah Hex

Johnathon Schaech has been cast in The CW’s upcoming superhero team-up series as the famed Western character. The popular DC Comics character is slated to appear in the Old West-set episode 11, with the possibility to recur beyond that. (NR)

Celebrity Lip Syncers Rejoice! Spike Gives a Third Season To Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Lip Sync Battle’

To little surprise, Spike is keeping the show around for years to come. The Viacom-owned cable network has renewed the multi-platform hit for a third season consisting of 20 half-hour episodes. The new season will tape later this year, with a premiere date to be announced in the near future. The series, based on a Tonight Show sketch and exec produced by John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant (among others), ranks as Spike’s most-watched series in history. (LF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising’

Universal Pictures has released the first look at the upcoming comedy sequel, once again starring Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as well as newcomers Chloë Grace Moretz, Selena Gomez and Kiersey Clemons. It hits theaters May 20th. (TP)

Oscar Odds, Clooney’s Diversity Rant, Hot Docs Honoring Steve James, J. Law’s New Role, Faxon & Rash’s New Horror Comedy



Looking For Early Betting Odds For the Oscars? Vegas Has You Covered

Sin City oddsmaker America’s Line released its initial Oscar odds, with The Revenant proving to be an early favorite in multiple categories. While Spotlight came in as a best picture favorite at 4 to 5, The Revenant is only a slightly riskier bet at 6 to 5. At 1 to 5, best actor nominee Leonardo DiCaprio is the biggest individual favorite, though Brie Larson also is heavily favored. (IC)

George Clooney Becomes the Latest To Speak Out About the Academy’s Lack Of Diversity

Oscar-winning actor weighed in on the controversy regarding the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominees by saying “we are moving in the wrong direction.” In an interview, the Clooney says part of the problem is Hollywood’s poor track record with hiring minorities. (VAR)

‘Hoop Dreams’ Director Steve James Getting Career Tribute at Hot Docs Festival

Oscar-nominated filmmaker, whose Roger Ebert appreciation film Life Itself was snubbed 20 years after his 1994 film Hoop Dreams was also left off the Oscar doc shortlist, is to be feted at the upcoming Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. James is to receive North America’s largest doc festival’s outstanding achievement award and a film retrospective at the April 28th to May 8th, 2016 event in Toronto. (HRA)


Colorblind Casting In Effect as Jennifer Lawrence Lands Role as Fidel Castro’s Lover

Oscar-winning actress will star in Marita, Sony’s movie about Marita Lorenz, who had an affair with Fidel Castro and was involved in the CIA’s assassination attempt on the Cuban leader. Sony has acquired Lorenz’s life rights. The studio acquired a pitch from Eric Warren Singer that was developed with a quartet of producers — Lawrence, Scott Mednick, Andre Rouleau and Matt Tolmach. (COL)

Nat Faxon and Jim Rash Set Up Their Next Comedy At Fox

Studio has acquired Dead Mall, a pitch that will be written and directed by the duo, who shared the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with Alexander Payne for The Descendants and wrote and directed the Sundance sensation The Way Way Back. Several studios bid on it. The pitch is a comedy-horror movie set in a dead mall. (DH)

The Hot List: 10 Films At Sundance That Are the Most Likely To Sell

Just how hot was Sundance 2015? Last year’s indie film market featured three mega-sales thanks to Brooklyn, Dope and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl — with the trio fetching a combined $24 million. But with the latter two films falling flat at the box office, the backlash could be more chilling than a Mount Timpanogos wind gust. (THR)

Family TV Viewing May Be Undervalued, According to Facial Recognition Research

MediaHub, the media arm of Mullen Lowe, partnered with TVision Insights last spring to test their facial recognition technology, which promises to analyze second-by-second viewer engagement and attention during TV programming and commercials. The test found that audiences were more likely to pay closer attention when co-viewing a program. As the number of people in the room increased, the number of distractions from the program decreased. (AA)

First Look: ‘Justice League’

Warner Bros. has released the first concept art of the upcoming Justice League movie, revealing the first look at what the characters of Cyborg and The Flash will look like. The film, which will star Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Ezra Miller as The Flash, will be directed by Zack Snyder. Justice League Part 1 will hit theaters in November, 2017. (HV)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Suicide Squad’

Warner Bros. has released the new full-length trailer for its upcoming comic book adaptation, starring Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne, Karen Fukuhara, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jay Hernandez, Adam Beach, Viola Davis, Jared Leto, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Raymond Olubowale, Alex Meraz, Jim Parrack, and Common, is written and directed by David Ayers, and hits theaters August 5th. (CS)

Screenwriters: ‘The Wedding Crashers’

The 111-page screenplay by Steve Faber & Bob Fisher. Unspecified draft is dated August 1st, 2003. (DS)

Rep Moves for 1/20/16: Halle Berry Signs with Management 360, UTA Scoops Up 2016 Sundance Filmmaker Nicolas Pesce


WME: Actress Olga Kurylenko has shifted from CAA to WME. The former Bond Girl has appeared in Quantum of Solace and starred alongside Russell Crowe in The Water Diviner, alongside Tom Cruise in Oblivion, and acted in Seven Psychopaths and To the Wonder from Terrence Malick. She recently finished shooting La Corrispondenz and was cast in Android and Little Mizz Innocent, both in preproduction.

Bohemia Group: Actor Jak Wyld has signed with international management firm Bohemia Group, which has offices in L.A., N.Y., Atlanta, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Dallas and London. The UK-born actor is currently in New Zealand’s TV soap Shortland Street. He can next be seen in the Aussie sci-fi action film Arrowhead helmed by Jesse O’Brien, set to be released in 2016.

CAA: Actor James Marsden has shifted from WME to CAA. He will continue to be managed by Sean Elliott of Authentic Talent and Literary Management. Best known for playing Cyclops in the X-Men franchise films, he was most recently seen in the Sundance film The D-Train and currently stars in the upcoming HBO sci-fi series Westworld, inspired by Michael Crichton’s Western thriller. He’s also been mentioned in the casting of the film A Little Something for Your Birthday produced by Anonymous Content.

Management 360: Halle Berry has signed with the founding partner of Management 360, Suzan Bymel. She quietly parted with longtime manager Vincent Cirrincone previously. She will continue to be repped by CAA. She most recently starred in CBS’ summer sci-fi series Extant which had a two-season run that ended after this past season. She is currently executive producing Legalease, a drama in development at CBS. She will also be seen in the upcoming feature Kidnap, to be released May 13.

WME: Multi-hyphenate Lena Waithe has signed with WME. She currently stars alongside Aziz Ansari on Netflix comedy series Master Of None. On the writing side, she created and wrote the untitled Chicago drama pilot (aka Chiraq), a coming-of-age story of a young African-American male, that is in contention for a series order. She also wrote the half-hour project Twenties for Hulu and is writing a chapter with Jenni Konner for Lena Dunham’s next book. Previously, Waithe wrote for Fox’s Bones and produced Dear White People.

Abrams Artists Agency: Medical expert and TV personality Dr. Jennifer Ashton has signed under the agency’s alternative programming division in areas including on-camera entertainment, licensing, merchandising and branding. Ashton, a board certified OB-GYN, author and medical correspondent, can be seen as an ABC News senior medical contributor on Good Morning America and ABC World News Tonight. She also co-hosts the Emmy-winning syndicated daytime medical show The Doctors.

UTA: Crowdsource digital studio Tongal has signed with United Talent Agency. Tongal has a network of more than 100,000 independent writers, directors and filmmakers that creates video projects for advertisers, brands, agencies and studios. Tongal, founded in 2009, posts advertising projects and members pitch ideas, create proposals, storyboards and ultimately video ads. Businesses, like Procter & Gamble, Lionsgate and LEGO, then choose winning pitches. UTA will work with Tongal to deepen relationships with studios, networks, digital publishers, advertising agencies and brand marketers. The agency will also bring more traditional talent to Tongal and form a network of creators working in virtual reality and help the company develop new IP to support, market, enhance or reinvent films and franchises.

UTA and Washington Square Films: Writer-director Nicolas Pesce has signed with both companies. Her feature film debut was The Eyes of My Mother which premiered in the NEXT section of the Sundance Film Festival last week. His film explores the dark obsessions of a lonely young woman in the wake of life-altering tragedy in the countryside. The NYU Tisch School of the Arts grad, has directed music videos for Tei Shi and Show Me the Body and filmed live videos for Snoop Dogg and The Black Keys. In addition, he has developed an animated series starring Malcolm McDowell, J.K. Simmons and Colin Quinn.

Abrams Artists Agency: Medical expert and TV personality Dr. Rahul Jandial has signed under the agency’s alternative programming division in areas including on-camera entertainment, licensing, merchandising and branding. Jandial, a neurosurgeon at City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles, has published 10 books and more than 100 academic papers on neuroscience, neurosurgery and cancer biology. On the TV side he has co-hosted National Geographic Channel’s special Brain Surgery Live and was a guest panelist on Fox’s recent special, Superhuman.

Rep Moves, Film & TV Deals, ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’, ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Jumanji’ Get New Release Dates, New ‘Wonder Woman’ Footage



Rep Moves for 1/20/16: Halle Berry Signs with Management 360, UTA Scoops Up 2016 Sundance Filmmaker Nicolas Pesce

Other rep moves include, actor James Marsden shifting from WME to CAA, Bond girl Olga Kurylenko shifting from CAA to WME, and crowdsource digital studio Tongal signing with UTA. (SSN)

Film & TV Deals for 1/20/16: Lionsgate & New Regency Launch TV Venture, Van Toffler Debuts New Studio Gunpowder & Sky, Eli Holzman Unveils IPC

Other film and TV deals include, industry vet Fred Bernstein launching a new production company and Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein extending their long-term agreements with Lionsgate. (SSN)


‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Gets New Release Date

Star Wars: Episode VIII is being pushed back seven months, from Memorial Day weekend in 2017 to Dec. 15 of that year. Instead, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will open on May 26, 2017, Star Wars‘ old release date. (THR)

‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Jumanji’ Get New Release Dates From Sony

Spider-Man has been moved up from its July 28, 2017 release date to July 7, 2017. Sony’s Jumanji reboot has been pushed from Dec. 25, 2016 to July 28, 2017, taking over Spider-Man’s previous slot. (WRAP)

‘Suits’ Creator Aaron Korsh Signs New Deal With UCP, Previews Season 5B

Universal Cable Productions has closed a new two-year overall Aaron Korsh,  creator/executive producer of USA’s hit drama series Suits. (DH)

Netflix Is Making A Cyberpunk Detective Series

Netflix is making a series based on Altered Carbon, a cyberpunk detective novel from author Richard K. Morgan.  An initial 10-episode season is planned based off a script by showrunner Laeta Kalogridis. (VER)

Rob Cohen Directing Disaster Movie ‘Category 5’

The Fast and the Furious helmer Rob Cohen will direct the disaster action thriller Category 5.  Foresight Unlimited will handle foreign sales and introduce the film to buyers at the Berlin Film Festival next month. (VAR)

Lebron James-Backed Firm Sells Sportcaster Comedy To Go90

A new series from LeBron James’ Uninterrupted is set to debut this spring on Verizon’s go90 mobile app. Now We’re Talking comes from writers and executive producers Tommy Dewey (Casual) and Tug Coker (The Office). (THR)

First ‘Wonder Woman’ Footage: Gal Gadot Isn’t Messing Around

During last night’s TV special DC Films Presents: Dawn of the Justice League on The CW, in addition to the new trailer for Suicide Squad, the first footage from Wonder Woman was unveiled. (SF)


Will Smith Won’t Attend Oscars, ‘Terminator 2′ Pulled, Universal Boards Mary Magdalene Pic, Andrew Haigh to Helm Alexander McQueen Pic



Will Smith Won’t Attend the Oscars Either, Says Hollywood Has a ‘Systematic Bias That Needs to Be Addressed’

In an interview with Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts, Will Smith has announced that he also won’t be attending this year’s Oscars, echoing his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s call to action. (VUL)


‘Terminator’ Sequel Pulled From 2017; Trilogy Unlikely

Paramount Pictures has set a May 19, 2017, release date for Dwayne Johnson’s Baywatch, replacing Terminator 2 — which has been dropped from the schedule. (VAR)

Universal Teams Up With ‘King’s Speech’ Producers On Mary Magdalene Biopic

Universal Pictures International Productions has boarded M M, from British and Australian banner See-Saw Films. The film is to be directed by Garth Davis from a script by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett. (THR)

’45 Years’ Director Andrew Haigh Set To Helm Alexander McQueen Biopic

The English-born director is set to helm a biopic of the late, great fashion designer Alexander McQueen.  The film’s script is courtesy of Chris Urch, who has been the toast of the English theater as of late. (COLL)

Broad Green Buys Tyger Williams Pitch ‘Bad Influence’

Broad Green has acquired Bad Influence, a pitch that will be written by Tyger Williams. The film will be produced by Offspring partners Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman. (DH)

The 2016 Indiewire Sundance Bible

Check the 2016 Indiewire Sundance Bible throughout the day as the Indiewire team on the ground files reviews, acquisition announcements, business analysis and interviews with both established and up-and-coming talent. (IW)

Pilot Season ’16: Scoop On This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them

TVLine presents its annual round-up of who’s planning what, and well as a guide to the lingo that gets tossed around. (TVL)

Meet The Breakout Star Of Zach Galifianakis’s New FX Comedy ‘Baskets’

The Austin-based stand-up comedian landed a featured role on Zach Galifianakis’s new FX comedy Baskets and it’s her first-ever acting role.  (FCC)

Screenwriters: Top Ten Tips On Creating A Character’s World

Where are we? Why are we here? What does this place really look like? These are just a few questions you don’t want film execs asking about your script. Susan Kouguell gives 10 tips on creating your characters’ world. (SM)

Film Development for 1/21/16: Jumanji Finds its Director, Jennifer Lawrence to Romance Castro in ‘Marita’, Tina Fey and Ronda Rousey Team-Up


New Attachments

Logline: A man seeks revenge against an air traffic controller responsible for the death of his family.
Studio/Distributor(s): Lionsgate
Production Company(s): Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Protozoa Pictures
Producer(s): Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Eric Watson, Randall Emmett, George Furla
Writer(s): Javier Gullón
Director(s): Elliott Lester
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maggie Grace, Scoot McNairy
SSN Insight: McNairy can next be seen in the third season of the AMC series Halt And Catch Fire. He recently finished work on War Machine, alongside Brad Pitt and Sleepless Night, opposite Jamie Foxx.

All Eyez on Me
Logline: This biopic will follow rapper Tupac Shakur’s career, including his time at Death Row Records and his involvement in the rivalry between East coast and West coast rappers, culminating in his murder in 1996.
Studio/Distributor(s): Open Road Films
Production Company(s): Morgan Creek Productions, Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films
Producer(s): James G. Robinson, David C. Robinson, LT Hutton, Randall Emmett, George Furla
Writer(s): John Singleton, Ed Gonzalez, Jeremy Haft, Michael Starrbury, David McKenna
Director(s): Benny Boom
Cast: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Jamal Woolard, Danai Gurira, Katerina Graham, Jamie Hector, Grace Gibson, Lauren Cohan
SSN Insight: Antoine Fuqua was previously attached to direct. Soulja Boy was previously mentioned to star. Project was previously in development at Universal.

Amateur Night
Logline: An out-of-work expectant father accepts a job driving prostitutes around Los Angeles one night.
Studio/Distributor(s): Cinedigm
Producer(s): Diego Del Rio Toca, Jorge Garcia, Shana Eddy-Grouf, Mary Pat Bentel
Writer(s): Lisa Addario, Joe Syracuse
Director(s): Joe Syracuse, Lisa Addario
Cast: Jason Biggs, Ashley Tisdale, Janet Montgomery, Bria Murphy, Jenny Mollen
SSN Insight: Cinedigm has acquired North American rights and plans a mid-2016 theatrical release.

American Honey
Logline: A female teenage runaway travels the country selling magazine subscriptions while joining new friends in an adventure that includes wild partying, loving relationships, and even some criminal activity.
Studio/Distributor(s): A24
Production Company(s): ManDown Pictures & Management, LLC, Parts and Labor , Pulse Films
Producer(s): Lars Knudsen, Thomas Benski, Lucas Ochoa, Pouya Shahbazian, Jay Van Hoy
Writer(s): Andrea Arnold
Director(s): Andrea Arnold
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Arielle Holmes, McCaul Lombardi
SSN Insight: Indie distributor A24 also distributed Room and the Amy Winehouse documentary Amy. They acquired U.S. rights to this project as well.

Backstabbing for Beginners
Logline: When an idealist gets a job at the U.N.’s Oil for Food program in post-war Iraq, power-hungry nations circling the country’s oil reserves and he discovers a possible conspiracy at the highest level.
Studio/Distributor(s): ,
Production Company(s): JJ Film, Parts and Labor , Eyeworks Sweden, Scythia Films Inc., Waterstone Entertainment, Houndstooth, Creative Alliance, Fortitude International
Producer(s): Lars Knudsen, Jay Van Hoy, Malene Blenkov, Nikolaj Vibe Michelsen
Writer(s): Per Fly, Daniel Pyne
Director(s): Per Fly
Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Ben Kingsley, Theo James (In Discussions)
Details: Inspired by the memoir “Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy” written by Michael Soussan and published by Nation Books in 2008.
SSN Insight: Theo James can next be seen in Allegiant, London Fields and later Underworld 5, The Secret Scripture and War on Everyone.

Logline: A small town in segregated Mississippi reacts when a ten-year-old black boy kills a white girl.
Studio/Distributor(s): Astute Films
Production Company(s): Jerry Leider Productions, Astute Films
Producer(s): Jerry Leider, Wendell Pierce, Fredric I. Bernstein, Martin Davidson
Writer(s): Martin Davidson
Director(s): Martin Davidson
Details: Based on the novel “Billly” written by Albert French and published by Viking in 1993.
SSN Insight: Former Sony and MCA exec Fred Bernstein, launched production company Astute Films, backed by $50 million in private equity funding. Billy is its first acquisition.

Logline: To make ends meet, a man leaves his family behind and goes to Williston, North Dakota to pursue a job in the booming oil industry.
Director(s): Sabyn Mayfield
Cast: Tyler Riggs, Boyd Holbrook, Rachel Brosnahan, Jocelin Donahue, Dwight Yoakam
SSN Insight: The project is currently shooting in Los Angeles.

Friend Request
Logline: When a college student “unfriends” a mysterious girl, she finds herself fighting a demonic presence.
Studio/Distributor(s): Freestyle Releasing
Production Company(s): Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion GmbH & Co. KG
Producer(s): Quirin Berg, Max Wiedemann
Writer(s): Simon Verhoeven, Matthew Ballen, Philip Koch
Director(s): Simon Verhoeven
Cast: Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brittany Morgan
SSN Insight: International theatrical distribution is being controlled by The Exchange, which sold rights in Australia, France, Italy, Eastern Europe, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Latin America and India among others.

I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House
Logline: When a young nurse is hired to take care of an elderly author of best-selling ghost stories at her country home, she finds that the house has a ghost story of its own.
Production Company(s): Zed Filmworks, Paris Film, Inc., Go Insane
Producer(s): Rob Paris, Robert Menzies
Writer(s): Oz Perkins
Director(s): Oz Perkins
Cast: Ruth Wilson, Bob Balaban, Lucy Boynton
SSN Insight: Wilson won the Golden Globe last year for her starring role in The Affair. Balaban’s recent credits include The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom.

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, 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 Knepper
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: Knepper plays Gen. Harkness, a retired general-turned-CEO of a private military contractor firm. He’s described as a man of power, experience and authority who thinks he’s the hero and is not afraid to do what’s necessary.

JL Ranch
Logline: The film follows veteran rancher and former sheriff John Landsburg, who is forced to face the federal bureaucracy when an old enemy seeking revenge over a decades-old grudge falsifies documents and alleges Landsburg doesn’t actually own his beloved family ranch. John however isn’t the type to go down without a fight.
Production Company(s): Crystal Sky Entertainment
Cast: Jon Voight, Teri Polo, James Caan, Melanie Griffith, Jeff Fahey
SSN Insight: Filming is on location in Kentucky. Polo was seen in Outlaws And Angels, which is playing Sundance 2016, and she in the cast of ABC’s The Fosters.

Logline: A re-imagination of the children’s book and 1995 feature film about an adventure board game, filled with wild animals, that comes to life.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
Production Company(s): Golden Mean Productions, Radar Pictures, Matt Tolmach Productions
Producer(s): Matt Tolmach, William Teitler
Writer(s): Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Zach Helm
Director(s): Jake Kasdan
Details: Remake of “Jumanji” (USA/1995) directed by Joe Johnston and starring Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst. Based on the short story “Jumanji” written by Chris Van Allsburg and published by Houghton Mifflin April 27, 1981.
SSN Insight: Set for a December 25, 2016 release. Kasdan’s credits include Bad Teacher, Sex Tape, Freaks and Geeks, New Girl and The Grinder.

Logline: Marita Lorenz began an affair with Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 1959 when she was 19 years old, left Cuba for the U.S., and was recruited by the CIA for an assassination mission.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
Production Company(s): MTS Films, Matt Tolmach Productions
Producer(s): Matt Tolmach, Jennifer Lawrence, Scott Mednick, André Rouleau
Writer(s): Eric Warren Singer
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence
SSN Insight: Lawrence will play Marita Lorenz – the real-life femme fatale who romanced Castro, was involved in a plot to assassinate him, and even observed a conspiracy to kill JFK.

Logline: Young Thurgood Marshall goes conservative 1940s Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur in a famous attempted murder trial.
Production Company(s): Chestnut Ridge Productions, Super Hero Films, Ltd.
Producer(s): Paula Wagner, Reginald Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger, Jun Dong
Writer(s): Michael Koskoff, Jacob Koskoff
Director(s): Reginald Hudlin
Cast: Chadwick A Boseman, Josh Gad
SSN Insight: Gad can next be seen as Roger Ebert opposite Will Ferrell in STX’s Russ & Roger. In this film, he will play insurance lawyer Sam Friedman who partners with Marshall on what becomes a controversial and high-profile case.

Logline: A young woman in training to become a nun in the early 1960s begins to question her faith.
Production Company(s): DeerJen Productions
Producer(s): Jen Gatien
Writer(s): Margaret Betts
Director(s): Margaret Betts
Cast: Melissa Leo, Dianna Agron, Margaret Qualley, Julianne Nicholson, Stacy Martin, Liana Liberato
SSN Insight: Liberato will play Sister Emily, a fellow postulant whose family has a long line of members in the sisterhood. Production has already kicked off in Nashville.

Rebel in the Rye
Logline: JD Salinger is followed from the early days of his writing career, though his service in WWII, which change him forever and help him find his voice as a writer.
Production Company(s): Blue Star Entertainment, Bruce Cohen Productions, Black Label Media
Producer(s): Danny Strong, Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Thad Luckinbill, Bruce Cohen
Writer(s): Danny Strong
Director(s): Danny Strong
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Spacey
Details: Based on the biography “JD Salinger: A Life” written by Kenneth Slawenski and published by Random House in 2010.
SSN Insight:Two-time Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey is also set to become chairman of Relativity Studios following Relativity’s acquisition of his Trigger Street Productions.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Logline: In order to save their town, some outcast children have to face their fears when their nightmares come to life.
Studio/Distributor(s): CBS Films,
Production Company(s): The Sean Daniel Company, Del Toro Productions, 1212 Entertainment
Producer(s): Sean Daniel, Jason F. Brown, Elizabeth Grave, Guillermo Del Toro
Writer(s): John August, Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan
Director(s): Guillermo Del Toro (In Talks)
Details: Based on the collection of tales “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” collected from folklore by Alvin Schwartz and published by Lippincott Co. in 1981.
SSN Insight: Del Toro will produce the feature with the potential to also direct it.

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, Leslie Mann
SSN Insight: Leslie Mann has replaced Jennifer Aniston’s role in the film. Her character befriends the acerbic comedian after they unexpectedly connect at a wedding. The film will shoot early this year in New York.

The Deep End
Logline: Two sisters become trapped under the fiberglass cover of a public pool.
Production Company(s): Citizen Skull Productions
Writer(s): Matt Eskandari, Michael Hultquist
Director(s): Matt Eskandari
Cast: Alexandra Park, Nora-Jane Noone
SSN Insight: The Ireland-born actress, Nora-Jane Noone can be seen in Fox Searchlight’s now-Best Picture Oscar-nominated pic Brookyln.

The Dinner
Logline: As two couples dine at an upscale restaurant, their polite discourse disguises the fact that they are struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives over dinner.
Production Company(s): ChubbCo Film Co., Code Red Productions, Blackbird Films
Producer(s): Cotty Chubb, Lawrence Inglee, Edward Vaisman, Julia Lebedev
Writer(s): Oren Moverman
Director(s): Oren Moverman
Cast: Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny, Richard Gere, Steve Coogan
Details: Based on the novel “The Dinner” written by Herman Koch, first published in Amsterdam by Anthos as “Het Diner” in 2009, and translated into English and published in the U.S. by Atlantic Books in 2012.
SSN Insight: Cate Blanchett was previously attached to direct.

The Fits
Logline: Centers on 11-year-old tomboy Toni who is bewitched by the tight-knit dance team she sees practicing in the same Cincinnati gymnasium where she boxes. But when a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, Toni’s desire for acceptance becomes more complicated.
Studio/Distributor(s): Oscilloscope Pictures
Production Company(s): Yes Ma’am!
Producer(s): Anna Rose Holmer, Lisa Kjerulff
Writer(s): Anna Rose Holmer, Saela Davis, Lisa Kjerulff
Director(s): Anna Rose Holmer
Cast: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Da’Sean Minor, Lauren Gibson, Makyla Burnam
SSN Insight: Oscilloscope acquired domestic rights prior to the film’s North American premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

The Legacy Of A Whitetail Deer Hunter
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Production Company(s): Scott Rudin Productions, Rough House Pictures
Producer(s): Scott Rudin, Jody Hill, Eli Bush
Writer(s): Jody Hill, Danny McBride, John Carcieri
Director(s): Jody Hill
Cast: Josh Brolin, Danny McBride, Scoot McNairy
SSN Insight: McNairy can currently be seen in Ross Partridge’s feature film, Lamb from distributor The Orchard. McNairy will also be seen in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice on March 25.

The Paladin
Logline: The true story of how Winston Churchill used a top-secret program during WWII to turn a 15-year-old boy into a deadly assassin.
Production Company(s): The Firm
Producer(s): Robbie Brenner, Jason Keller, David Dobkin, Jeff Kleeman
Writer(s): Jason Keller, Eric Pfeffinger
Director(s): Peter Chelsom
Details: Based on the novel “The Paladin” written by Brian Garfield and published by Simon and Schuster in 1979.
SSN Insight: Chelsom’s credits include Shall We Dance, Hector And The Search For Happiness and Serendipity.

The Robber
Logline: A serial bank robber develops a talent as a record-breaking marathon runner.
Production Company(s): Before the Door Pictures
Producer(s): Neal Dodson, Anna Gerb, J.C. Chandor
Writer(s): Chase Palmer, David Arata
Director(s): J.C. Chandor
Details: Remake of “Der Raüber” (Germany/2010) directed by Benjamin Heisenberg, which was based on the novella of the same name written by Martin Prinz and published in Germany by Jung und Jung Verlag GmbH in 2007.
SSN Insight: Previously in development with Columbia Pictures.

The Yellow Birds
Logline: A look at the harrowing lives of two soldiers in Iraq and the effects of war on their families at home.
Production Company(s): Story Mining & Supply Co., Cinelou Films
Producer(s): Jeffrey Sharp, Evan Hayes, Mark Canton, Courtney Solomon
Writer(s): R. F. I. Porto, David Lowery
Director(s): Alexandre Moors
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, Alden Ehrenreich, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Patric, Olivia Crocicchia
Details: Based on the novel “The Yellow Birds” written by Kevin Powers and published by Little, Brown and Company September 11, 2012.
SSN Insight: Crocicchia will take the part of Tess, the ex-girlfriend of Ehrenreich’s character. Her previous credits include Men, Women & Children, Teacher Of The Year and the upcoming Actors Anonymous.

Wind River
Logline: A lone female FBI agent is sent to investigate a murder on a remote Indian Reservation in the dead of winter, and she finds assistance from a man with a haunted past.
Production Company(s): Thunder Road Pictures, Film 44, Acacia Entertainment, Savvy Media Holdings
Producer(s): Basil Iwanyk, Peter Berg, Matthew George
Writer(s): Taylor Sheridan
Director(s): Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner
SSN Insight: Chris Pine was previously attached to co-star. Renner and Olsen previously were seen together in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

New Projects

Bad Influence
Logline: About a single mom who faces off against her son’s ex-girlfriend after a passionate romance turns to obsession.
Production Company(s): Offspring, Broad Green
Producer(s): Jennifer Gibgot, Adam Shankman
Writer(s): Tyger Williams
SSN Insight: Tyger Williams wrote the screenplay for the Screen Gems hit The Perfect Guy. Alix Madigan will oversee for Broad Green.

Category 5
Logline: Amidst a hurricane, a team of hackers attempt to steal $100 million from a U.S. Mint facility in a small coastal town.
Production Company(s): Foresight Unlimited
Producer(s): Karen Baldwin, Michael Tadross Jr., Danny Roth
Director(s): Rob Cohen
SSN Insight: Production is scheduled to begin by summer 2016. Foresight Unlimited will lever foreign sales. Casting is currently underway.

Crossing to Safety
Logline: The marriages and friendship of two academic couples who meet in Madison, Wisconsin are followed over the course of several decades.
Production Company(s): Escape Artists
Producer(s): David Bloomfield, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch
Writer(s): David Bloomfield
Details: Based on the novel “Crossing to Safety” written by Wallace Stegner and published by Penguin Books in 1987.
SSN Insight: Escape Artists has a first-look deal with Sony Pictures.

Dead Mall
Logline: A group of forty somethings try to escape a killer, set in the backdrop of a deserted mall.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): B Story
Producer(s): Kevin J Walsh
Writer(s): Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Director(s): Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
SSN Insight: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with Alexander Payne for The Descendants and wrote and directed the previous Sundance hit The Way Way Back.

Do Nothing Bitches
Logline: Wealthy, pampered wives are whipped into shape by a no-nonsense camp instructor.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Little Stranger, Inc.
Producer(s): Tina Fey, Paula Pell
Writer(s): Paula Pell
Cast: Tina Fey, Ronda Rousey
SSN Insight: The idea for the script was sparked by a videotaped interview Ronda Rousey gave about women empowerment and body image in the summer of 2015. Universal acquired the pitch from Paula Pell for a reported high six figures.

Frog Music
Logline: Inspired by a real-life unsolved murder, and set in San Francisco during the summer of 1876, a burlesque dancer must risk everything to piece together clues in her friend’s murder, all while she and the city endure a record-breaking heatwave, a smallpox epidemic, as well as racism and fear.
Production Company(s): Monumental Pictures, Palantir Group
Producer(s): Alison Owen, Debra Hayward, Scott Lastaiti
Writer(s): Emma Donoghue
SSN Insight: Owen and Hayward laucnhed Monumental Pictures in 2014. Last year ITV Studios Global took a minority stake in their television shingle, Monumental Television.

Stan & Ollie
Logline: The film follows the legendary comedy duo during their 1953 variety hall tour of Britain which began with low attendance and eventually became a hit with old and new fans.
Production Company(s): BBC Films, Fable Pictures, Sonesa Films
Producer(s): Faye Ward, Jeff Pope
Writer(s): Jeff Pope
Director(s): Jon S Baird
Cast: Steve Coogan, John C Reilly
SSN Insight: Ward previously produced Suffragette and is prepping Country Music, with trending actress Karen Gillan attached.

Untitled Alexander McQueen Biopic
Logline: A biopic about the working class son of a taxi driver, Alexander McQueen, who began as a tailor’s apprentice on London’s Savile Row and became one of the world’s top fashion designers.
Studio/Distributor(s): Pathe International
Production Company(s): DJ Films Limited
Producer(s): Damian Jones
Writer(s): Chris Urch
Director(s): Andrew Haigh
SSN Insight: Screenwriter Chris Urch incorporated biographical research into his screenplay for the project, including, but not limited to, the 2015 biography of Alexander McQueen, “Blood Beneath the Skin,” by Andrew Wilson, which producer Damian Jones optioned.

Untitled Mary Magdalene Biopic
Logline: A portrait of Mary Magdalene, a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and one of the most enigmatic and misunderstood spiritual figures in history.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): See-Saw Films
Producer(s): Iain Canning, Emile Sherman
Writer(s): Helen Edmundson, Philippa Goslett
Director(s): Garth Davis
SSN Insight: Universal will distribute the film in all international territories except Australia and New Zealand, where it will be overseen by See Saw’s partners Transmission Films. Film4 co-developed the project with See-Saw Films.

Awards 2016: Academy Mulls Membership Change, Lady Gaga To Perform At PGA, Best Pic Front Runners, ‘The Mummy’ Gets New Release Date, Film Development For 1/21/16



Academy Mulls Changes in Membership & Categories to Halt Diversity Crisis

The leadership of the Academy is under the gun, and next week’s board meeting could see a revamp of the best-pic race and an overhaul of membership requirements in the midst of worldwide criticism over this year’s list of nominees. (IC)

Lady Gaga To Perform Oscar-Nominated Song At Producers Guild Awards

In a big get for the PGA, the singer has been added to the lineup of Saturday’s Producers Guild Of America Awards where she will perform her Oscar- and Grammy-nominated song “Til It Happens To You” from director Kirby Dick’s documentary The Hunting Ground. The pic is the recipient of the guild’s Stanley Kramer Award. Producer Amy Ziering will accept the honor at the awards gala being held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in L.A. (AL)

A Week After the Nominations, a Look At the Path To Victory For Five Front Runners

The Revenant scooped up the Golden Globe for best drama, but there’s a long history of the Hollywood Foreign Press being out of sync with the Oscars, and insiders believe five of the eight best picture nominees have a legitimate chance to win: Revenant, The Big Short, Spotlight, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Martian. (The other three — Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn and Room — are seen as long shots.) This could be the most wide-open race in years. (HRA)


Film Development For 1/21/16: ‘Jumanji’ Finds its Director, Jennifer Lawrence to Romance Castro in ‘Marita’, Tina Fey and Ronda Rousey Team-Up

Also: more cast added to the Tupac Shakur biopic, Scoot McNair joins the Arnold Schwarzenegger film 478, Dwight Yoakam scores a sweet new role, and an impressive trio of actors join the cast of horror flick I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. Click on the link to get the full skinny. (SSN)

Universal Pushes Its Tom Cruise-Led ‘The Mummy’ Reboot Back a Couple Months

Studio has set a new release date for the monster movie: the film will bow on June 9th, 2017. Sofia Boutella is on board to play the classic monster with Alex Kurtzman directing. Pic was originally set to bow on March 24th, 2017. The studio tapped Kurtzman and Chris Morgan last summer to help develop a universe for Universal in which its classic monster movie library is front and center. The Mummy will be the first in the series. (VAR)

J.C. Chandor Lines Up His Next Project, Signs On To Helm Remake Of German Film ‘The Robber’

Five years after Sony picked up the remake rights to Benjamin Heisenberg’s German language thriller Der Rauber, the A Most Violent Year director has taken the reins the picture, which is now set up at FilmNation Enterntainment. Chase Palmer, who is writing It for Warner Bros., will pen the script for the real-life story of marathon runner Johann Rettenberger aka “Pump-gun Ronnie” who earned his name by robbing banks. (TP)

HBO Remains In the Judd Apatow Business, Orders To Series New Comedy Starring Pete Holmes

On the heels of drama series order The Deuce, premium cable network has handed out a series pickup to Crashing. Executive produced by Apatow and starring Holmes, the semi-autobiographical comedy stars former the TBS late-night host as a sweet, wholesome comedian who stays on the couches of New York’s finest comics after his wife leaves him. The project was picked up to pilot in September. (LF)

Relativity News: Company and And Investors Preparing $500M Fraud Case Against Colbeck Capital

Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, fellow investors in the studio led by Joe Nicholas, and its unsecured creditors are preparing to accuse move forward with the suit and have agreed to put any complaints into mediation. But the plaintiffs want to take this to the court system and are looking to file in New York, possibly as early as tomorrow. (DH)

C7 Deliveries Bring ‘Scream Queens’ Back From Death’s Door

While its live ratings suggested it was headed for an early grave, an uncommonly large uplift in the C7 currency helped secure a second season for Fox’s blood-spattered horror spoof Scream Queens. The show established a significant lift in the currency from the very start  of its run. Taken together, its first three weeks averaged a 1.4 in the so-called dollar demo, which jumped to a 2.1 rating upon application of the C7 data. (AA)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Keanu’

New Line has released the red band trailer for the upcoming comedy starring Michael-Keegan Key and Jordan Peele. It’s scheduled to hit theaters April 22nd. (SAA)

Artios Awards Winners, Thomas Vinterberg to Direct ‘Kursk’, McG in Talks for ‘Masters of the Universe’, Sony Ani Hires New ‘Popeye’ Writer



‘King and I’ and ‘Curious Incident’ Among Winners Of Artios Awards For Casting

The Casting Society of America (CSA) presented the 31st annual Artios Awards last night celebrating excellence in casting for film, TV, web series and 12 categories of theatre. Bernard Telsey, Michelle and Robert King and Danny Boyle were among those who were honored. (PB)


Thomas Vinterberg To Direct ‘Kursk’ Submarine Movie For Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp

Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has hired Danish director Thomas Vinterberg to direct its Kursk movie based on the 2000 K-141 Kursk submarine disaster, in which 118 Russians perished. (VAR)

McG In Talks To Direct ‘Masters Of The Universe’ Reboot

Director McG is in negotiations to helm the Masters of the Universe reboot for Sony. The director will oversee a rewrite of the script first, with the current draft having been penned by Alex Litvak and Mike Finch. (CS)

Sony Pictures Animation Brings In T.J. Fixman To Write ‘Popeye’

Sony Pictures Animation is bringing in T.J. Fixman to write Popeye, the latest adaptation of the beloved sailor man. (DH)

Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Sequel Drama Snags Formal ABC Pilot Order

Shondaland’s Still Star-Crossed, a one-hour period drama based on Melinda Taub’s 2013 novel that chronicles the fallout from the legendary lovers’ deadly acts, has snagged a formal pilot order at the Alphabet network. (TVL)

HBO Reviving James Gandolfini Passion Project ‘Big Dead Place’

The drama is heating up with an eye of going directly into production at the premium cable network. The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire alum Tim Van Patten has been hired to serve as director and executive producer on the project. (THR)

Why ‘Deadpool’ Is Tracking For $55-$60 Million Opening Weekend

The first Deadpool pre-release tracking figures are in and it looks like 20th Century Fox’s “unconventional” comic book adaptation could be shaping up into a very conventional hit. (FOR)

Michael London Inks First-Look Deal With CBS TV Studios, Sets Safdie Brothers Comedy At Showtime

Producer Michael London and his production company, Groundswell Productions, have entered a multi-year first-look deal with CBS TV Studios. The non-exclusive pact covers projects for the broadcast networks as well as CBS Studios’ premium cable sibling Showtime. (DH)

Screenwriters: ‘Leaving Las Vegas’

The February 8, 1994 unspecified draft by Mike Figgis (adapted from the novel by John O’Brian). (DS)


On the Set for 1/22/16: Michael Fassbender Starts Shooting Universal’s ‘The Snowman’, Antonio Banderas Wraps on ‘Security’



Brother’s Blood
Logline: Jake goes to prison to protect his friends and his best friend Chris turns his life around to become a police officer. When Jake is released after 15 years, he seeks revenge.
Studio/Distributor(s): Code Black Entertainment
Production Company(s): WWE Studios, Code Black Entertainment
Director(s): John Pogue
Producer(s): Michael Luisi
Cast: Trey Songz
Writer(s): Karl Gajdusek, Michael Finch, Charles Murray
SSN Insight: First film under the deal between WWE Studios and Lionsgate urban label Codeblack Films to co-produce and co-finance a slate of films.

The Dinner
Logline: As two couples dine at an upscale restaurant, their polite discourse disguises the fact that they are struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives over dinner.
Production Company(s): Code Red Productions, ChubbCo Film Co., Blackbird Films
Director(s): Oren Moverman
Executive Producer(s): Eva Maria Daniels, Olga Segura, Leonid Lebedev, Angel Lopez
Producer(s): Cotty Chubb, Lawrence Inglee, Edward Vaisman, Julia Lebedev
Cast: Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny, Richard Gere, Steve Coogan
Writer(s): Oren Moverman
Details: Based on the novel “The Dinner” written by Herman Koch, first published in Amsterdam by Anthos as “Het Diner” in 2009, and translated into English and published in the U.S. by Atlantic Books in 2012.
SSN Insight: Cate Blanchett was previously attached to direct, which would have been her directorial debut.

The Price
Logline: A woman faces a mother’s worst nightmare.
Production Company(s): Dahooma Productions
Director(s): Siofra Campbell
Executive Producer(s): Mark Lindsay
Producer(s): Peggy Cafferty, Sven Woldt
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Shannon, Matthias Schweighoefer
Writer(s): Siofra Campbell
SSN Insight: Noomi Rapace is also cast in Alien: Covenant which is in preproduction and finished shooting on films Rupture, Unlocked and What Happened to Monday?.

The Snowman
Logline: A boy finds his missing mother’s pink scarf wrapped around the neck of a sinister-looking snowman. Detective Harry Hole is called in to investigate and begins to suspect it’s the work of a serial killer.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): Working Title Films, Another Park Film
Director(s): Tomas Alfredson
Executive Producer(s): Niclas Salomonsson, Jo Nesbo, Martin Scorsese, Amelia Granger, Liza Chasin
Producer(s): Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Tomas Alfredson, Peter Gustafsson, Robyn Slovo
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Writer(s): Peter Straughan, Søren Sveistrup, Matthew Michael Carnahan
Details: Based on the novel “The Snowman,” by Jo Nesbo, published by Knopf Publishing Group on May 10, 2011. Source material is the seventh book in the Harry Hole detective series.
SSN Insight: Martin Scorsese was previously attached to direct. Fassbender recently wrapped Assassin’s Creed, Trespass Against Us and an Untitled Terrence Malick/Christian Bale Project.

The Temple
Logline: When a tough policewoman is sent to investigate the robbery of a temple near a remote village, she is confronted by suspicious villagers and an intrusive American television crew.
Production Company(s): Happy Himalayan Pictures, Dream It Productions
Director(s): Scott Spiegel
Producer(s): Suzanne Patrick, Kinley Pelden, Emrhys Cooper, Donald A. Barton
Cast: Ian Buchanan, Emrhys Cooper, Keith Jefferson, Andy Summers, Charlotte Price
SSN Insight: Scott Spiegel previously directed Spring Break ’83, My Name is Modesty, Hostel: Part III as well as From Dusk Till Dawn 2 which he also wrote.


Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Logline: The trials and triumphs of Rafe Khatchadorian as he uses all of his wits to battle bullies, hormones and the tyrannical test-obsessed Principal Dwight.
Studio/Distributor(s): CBS Films, Lionsgate
Production Company(s): James Patterson Entertainment
Director(s): Steve Carr
Executive Producer(s): James Patterson, Steve Bowen, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Michael Flynn
Producer(s): Leopoldo Gout, Bill Robinson
Cast: Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Rob Riggle, Adam Pally, Thomas Barbusca
Writer(s): Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer, Kara Holden
Details: Based on the book “Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life,” written by James Patterson and published by Little, Brown and Company on November 6, 2012.
SSN Insight: Steve Carr previously directed Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Next Friday and Daddy Day Care. His upcoming films include The Weddings Guests for CBS Films and Love on a Bet for RKO. James Patterson novels Guilty Wives, Maximum Ride, The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, Virgin and The Postcard Killings are all in development right now to be made into features.

Logline: A mall security guard must protect a female witness from a gang of thugs after all communication is eliminated from a storm.
Studio/Distributor(s): Millennium Films
Production Company(s): Millennium Films
Director(s): Alain DesRochers
Executive Producer(s): Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson, Shi Jianxiang
Producer(s): Jonathan Yunger, Jeffrey Greenstein, David Harris
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Ben Kingsley, Chad Lindberg
Writer(s): John Sullivan
SSN Insight: Antonio Banderas was last seen in Knight of Cups for Broad Green. His upcoming films include New Faith in preproduction and Guernica, 33 dias in which he will play Pablo Picasso.

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, Eugenia Yuan, Teresa Ting, Giovanni Mocibob, Gil Bellows
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.

The Keeping Hours
Logline: A lawyer sees the ghost of his dead son, which leads the man’s estranged wife back into his life.
Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions, Voltage Pictures
Director(s): Karen Moncrieff
Executive Producer(s): John Miranda, Charles Layton, Couper Samuelson
Producer(s): Jason Blum
Cast: Lee Pace, Carrie Coon
Writer(s): Rebecca Sonnenshine
SSN Insight: Lee Pace will also be seen in the upcoming films Revolt, produced by Voltage and IM Global and The Book of Henry, to be released by Focus Features.

SSN Box Office Trending Report for 1/22/16: ‘Star Wars’&‘The Revenant’ Stay Strong While ‘The 5th Wave’ Fizzles


-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 1-22