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‘Jungle Book’ Tops Box Office, Alibaba Invests in ‘Ninja Turtles’, Amazon Battling Netflix, Cannes Critics’ Week, Series Mania Trends, TV Bubble Update


Box Office: ‘The Jungle Book’ Beats ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ in its Debut

Disney’s The Jungle Book earned a whopping $103.6 million in its debut weekend, which means it’s the second-biggest April debut of all time. It sits well ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95m in 2014) but well behind Furious 7 ($147m in 2015). (FB)

CinemaCon Wrap-Up: The Winners, the Losers and the Oscar Contenders

CinemaCon is now over, but here’s a look back at which studios made a splash. If anything what CinemaCon confirms is the adage ‘everything old is new again’ and that seems to be what exhibitors, and by extension moviegoers are conditioned to expect and line up for. (DL)

Alakazam! Jon Chu Returning to Direct ‘Now You See Me 3’

The studio struck a deal with Chu nearly two months before it releases his Now You See Me 2 on June 10 — a signal that it believes the sequel will perform in the same range as the 2013 original, which took in $351.7 million worldwide. (VAR)

Amazon Going Head-to-Head with Netflix with New $8.99 Monthly Price

Amazon will begin offering its video-streaming service as a stand-alone option for the first time. A monthly subscription will cost $8.99, a dollar less than the most popular plan from Netflix. Prior to the offering, Amazon snapped up deals for HBO’s older content and with premium TV network Epix. (WJ)

The Top 10 International TV Trends at Series Mania

With more than 18,000 spectators welcomed every year, the Series Mania Festival launched by Forum des Images in 2010 has now become a major event entirely dedicated to the international production of recent TV series. Here’s a look at the top trends at this year’s fest. (VAR)

On the Bubble: Update on Which Shows Face Cancellation- Could ‘Castle’ Be Next?

2016 has been a relatively calm year for bubble shows. For the first time in a while, all five broadcast networks gave early renewals to the bulk of their lineups, leaving a handful of shows — mostly freshmen — on the fence. (DL)

No Need to Lease Cable Boxes as President Obama’s Executive Order Clears the Way for Set-Top Ownership

“Instead of spending nearly $1,000 over four years to lease a set of behind-the-times boxes, American families will have options to own a device for much less money that will integrate everything they want — including their cable or satellite content, as well as online streaming apps — in one, easier-to-use gadget,” said a White House statement announcing the decision. (VI)

Mission Possible for China’s Alibaba with Investment in ‘Ninja Turtles’ & ‘Star Trek Beyond’

After dipping its toe in Hollywood waters by putting money into Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation last year, China’s Alibaba Pictures said Monday it is investing in two more Paramount Pictures films: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Star Trek Beyond. (LA)

Cannes News: What Films Made Critics’ Week 2016 Lineup?

The Critics’ Week selection committee sifted through 1,100 feature-length submissions in order to come up with the final 10, which include six feature debuts and four sophomore outings. Here’s the 2016 lineup. (VAR)

Sky Signs Pact with Sony, Marking Sky’s 1st Multi-Territory Deal with a Major Hollywood Studio

Sky and Sony Pictures Entertainment have signed their first ever multi-year movie agreement stretch across Europe. The arrangement covers both subscription and transactional movie services in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. (BTV)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Equals’

Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult play co-workers Nia and Silas in a futuristic utopian society called “The Collective” where crime and violence have been erased through genetic engineering that also, by the way, got rid of all those messy human emotions and love is a crime. (DL)

Exec Shuffle for 4/18/16: Nylon Media Partners with UTA, Paul Hilepo Launches PH Entertainment Group, Multiple Shifts at 51 Minds


Company Launches & Partnerships

USA Network has changed their tagline and brand image to “We the Bold”. “’We The Bold’ reflects the kind of stories we want to tell – rich, captivating stories about unlikely heroes who defy the status quo, push boundaries and are willing to risk everything for what they believe in,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.

WGA East and Vice Media have completed a tentative agreement on their first contract. Vice’s estimated 70 covered staffers will vote next week to ratify the deal. The deal includes an economic package worth 29% over three years, protections on the current health insurance offered employees, protections for employees to engage in non-Vice work, compensatory time off when employees work on days off, guaranteed severance pay and monthly meetings to discuss workplace issues.

Nylon Media is now partnered with UTA. Nylon is a beauty and pop culture content producer that targets Millennial women. In light of the deal, Jamie Elden has been named the new President and Chief Revenue Officer and will oversee all of Nylon’s operations from its offices in New York and Los Angeles. He was previously the Chief Revenue Officer and Head of Entertainment at Media General’s Federated Media.

Paul Hilepo is closing the Hatig Hilepo Agency at the end of this month. Hileopo will leverage his 25-years of experience as an agent to launch a new management company, PH Entertainment Group. Long-term clients Laverne Cox, Ken Leung Phyllis Somerville, Debbi Morgan, Samrat Chakrabarti, will also make the move. Hilepo will also develop and produce projects for his clients.

Al Jazeera America has officially closed. The network started in 2012 with the acquisition of Current TV, but suffered from low viewership and allegations of management bias against women and Israel. In a memo, President Kate O’Brian and CEO Al Antsey said of the news, “Al Jazeera America has the most talented and diverse team any media organization could wish for…We all know good journalism is critical. It ensures information is reliable, and can be trusted. Good journalism doesn’t mean opinion or spin. It is a responsibility which every media organization should carry with determination and resolve. We are proud to have done so since our first to our final moment on air.”

President Obama has officially supported the FCC’s plan to give independent manufacturers of set top boxes alternatives to cable and satellite company deals. The decision will allow Consumers to own their own set top boxes instead of lease them. Consumers now pay $20 billion to rent or lease boxes, up 185 percent 20 years ago, noted the White House, while the prices for TVs, computers and mobile phones have declined by 90 percent.

The Weather Co. is launching of a new interactive presentation tool, Max Connect, and adding virtual sets to the company’s AR solution, Max Reality. With Max Connect presenters can interact with AR elements in real time without having to turn their back to the audience, which is what tends to happen when they are using more cumbersome tools like hand tracking or a touch screen. The virtual sets can be easily integrated into a station’s existing workflow.


Daniel Battsek
has been named the Director at Film4 (London, as of July 2016). He was previously the President at Cohen Media Group.

Spencer Beighley has been hired as a Development Executive at Grand Electric. He was previously the Creative Executive at Appian Way.

Evan Langweiler has been upped from the Senior Director to the VP of Global Communications at Universal Pictures. Jenny Tartikoff has been named the SVP of Global Communications at Universal Pictures (as of May 2016). She was formerly the SVP of Rubenstein Communications.

Jonah Leach has been upped from Coordinator to Manager of Acquisitions & Co-Productions at Lionsgate.

Ildi Toth Davy has been named the EVP of Sales & Acquisitions at Evolutionary Films (London). Ildi was formerly the SVP of Sales & Acquisitions at Odin’s Eye.

Angela Emery has been named the VP of Communications, Brand Development at Universal Pictures. She was formerly the Senior Director of Global Brand Communications at Mattel.

Naomi Funabashi is now a Creative Executive at Mandeville Films. She was formerly a Coordinator at HeyDay Films.

Ruzanna Kegeyan has been named the EVP of Sales & Acquisitions at Arclight Films. She was formerly the President at Synchronicity Entertainment.

Mark Padilla has been upped from VP of Worldwide Sales & Distribution to the SVP of Sales & Acquisitions at Double Dutch International.


Hanan Abdelaa has been named the Director of Development at 51 Minds Entertainment. She was formerly a Development Manager and Talent Executive at Endemol Shine North America. Elyse Adams has been upped from Manager of Current Programming to the Director of Current Productions at 51 Minds Entertainment. Tricia Biggio has been named the VP of Current Productions. She was formerly the Senior Director of Development & Production at VH1. Chris Kinsella has been upped from VP to the SVP of Development. Jessica Bofshever has been upped form Director of Development to the VP of Development at 51 Minds. Andrew Jacobson has been upped from Director of Development to the Head of Branded Entertainment.

Joe D’Ambrosia has been upped from VP to the SVP of Original Programming at Disney Junior.

Hugh Fitzpatrick has been named the VP of Scripted Development & Production at National Geographic Channel. He was previously the Head of Television at Teakwood Lane.

Danielle Claman Gelber has been named a Producer at Claman Gelber Productions. She was formerly the EVP and Head, Development at Wolf Entertainment.

Polly Hill has been named the Head of Drama at ITV in London. She was formerly the Controller of Drama Commissioning at BBC.

Sergei Kuharsky has been named the SVP of Strategy & Business Development at BBC Worldwide North America in New York. He was previously the General Manager of Food Network.

Gregory R. Little has been named the SVP of Content at Rainmaker Entertainment. He was previously the Executive Producer and Head of U.S. Operations at Brown Bag Films.

Jason Matthews has been named the VP of Research at GSN. He was previously the VP of Research & Audience Development at Ovation TV.

Christoph Pachler has been named the EVP, CFO at Critical Content. He was previously the EVP, CFO at Playboy Enterprises.

Blake Tohana has been named the CFO at 9 Story Media Group in Toronto. He was previously the CFO at Tricon Films & Television.

Management, PR, Agencies

Liz Rosier will be joining Rosier Artist Management as a Manager. She leaves her post as an agent at the now shuttered Hatig Hilepo Agency.

Will Douglas is now a Talent Manager at Grandview. He was previously a Talent Agent at Paradigm.
Kimberly Hines has been brought onto Abrams Artists Agency as a Theatrical Agent. She joins the bi-coastal team, based in Abrams Artists Agency’s Los Angeles headquarters. Previously, Hines started her career at CAA and worked as a Manager at 3 Arts. Her clients include Balthazar Getty, William Forsythe, Gina Gershon and Costa Ronin.

John Hossenlopp has been named the Director of Voice-Over/New Business Development at CESD in New York. He was previously the Partner of Voice-Over/Commercial Talent at Atlas Talent Agency. Nate Zeitz has been upped from Agent to the VP of Radio Imaging/TV Affiliates at CESD.

Nick Leicht has been named a Talent & Literary Manager at The Green Room. He was previously a Talent & Literary Agent at Don Buchwald & Associates.

Kevin Parker is now a Talent & Literary Manager at Principato Young Entertainment. He was previously a Producer and Talent & Literary Manager at Rain Management Group.

Sam Wick has been named the Executive of Digital Media at UTA. He was previously the EVP & General Manager, Enterprise at Maker Studios.

Andy Zumberge has been named a Concert Agent at APA. He was previously the Associate Agent of Music at The Agency Group.

Upon the news of Hatig Hilepo Agency closing, Agent Peter Sanfilippo announced he will be leaving to pursue new opportunities as an agent.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Nate Lemmerman has been named the VP of Corporate Development, Cast & Crew Entertainment Services. He was previously the VP, Wasserman Media Group.

Jorge Mejia has been upped from EVP to the President of Latin America & U.S. Latin at Sony/ATV Music Publishing (Miami).

Ty Roberts has been named the SVP, Chief Technology Officer at Universal Music Group (as of April 25th, 2016). He was previously the Chief Strategy Officer and General Manager of Music at Gracenote.

Golden Globes Change Rules, Kurt Russell and Mel Gibson Sign Up For TV Event Series, ‘Castle’ Shocker, Exec Shuffle For 4/18/16


Exec Shuffle For 4/18/16: Nylon Media Partners with UTA, Paul Hilepo Launches PH Entertainment Group, Multiple Shifts at 51 Minds

Also on this week’s docket, the USA Network has made a change to its tagline and brand image, Al Jazeera America officially shuts its doors, and the president officially supports the FCC’s plans on set top box alternatives to cable and satellite deals. As usual, there’s plenty more, so click the link to read on. (SSN)

In the Wake Of 2016’s Brouhaha Over ‘The Martian’ Winning Best Comedy, Golden Globes Make Rules Changes For 2017

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association today announced the 74th annual ceremony will be held January 8th, 2017, while the organization also unveiled tweaks to eligibility rules in multiple categories, including the definition of comedy vs. drama. The HFPA also changed rules about campaigning and advertising. (VAR)

Kurt Russell, Mel Gibson and Kate Hudson Set for Gold Rush TV Series From Mark Gordon Company

Trio is set to star in The Barbary Coast, a new TV drama about the 1849 Gold Rush, inspired by the book from Gangs of New York author Herbert Asbury. Show begins with the Gold Rush of 1849, which saw the biggest influx of gold-seekers, gamblers, thieves, harlots, politicians and other parasites to the young city of San Francisco, which then carried on as a unique criminal district for almost 70 years. Russell and Hudson will headline, with Gibson set to recur. (LF)

‘Castle’ Shocker! Stand Katic Will Not Be Returning For the Series’ Ninth Season

The series co-lead will not be a part of the show moving forward, the victim of a cast shake-up that reportedly is designed to help cut costs for the aging procedural. Katic, whose one-year extension has expired, was not asked back for the fall (in the event the series gets renewed). Nor will longtime cast member Tamala Jones return as M.E. Lanie Parish. (TVL)

Naomi Watts to Star In Netflix Psychological-Thriller Series ‘Gypsy’

Netflix’s slate of original programming continues to grow with today’s announcement that Watts will star in the psychological-thriller series premiering next year. The drama’s first season will consist of 10 episodes, the first two of which will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson; other key players include Universal Television, Working Title and writer Lisa Rubin. (IW)

Get Ready For a Brand New Version Of ‘The Twilight Zone’, and This One Will Be Interactive

Your next stop: The Twilight Zone. Now you choose what happens next. The iconic sci-fi TV series is being resurrected with a new dimension, as digital video company Interlude has secured a deal with CBS to turn it into a project marrying television with gaming. Interlude is known for making videos that play like sophisticated choose-your-own-adventure films, using its technology to help filmmakers, music artists and brands craft interactive online videos. (TW)

Todd Haynes’ New Flick Adds Another Oscar Nominee, as Michelle Williams Joins ‘Wonderstruck’

The actress has joined Julianne Moore in the film, based on Hugo author Brian Selznick’s award-winning book, it tells a story split in two different time periods — 1927 and 1977 — that follows the interconnected lives of deaf children, Ben and Rose. Williams will play Ben’s mother in the movie, that will be produced and released by Amazon Studios. (TP)

Kevin Bacon Is Returning To TV With a New Amazon Show, In Which He Will Play the Title Role

Actor is in final negotiations to star in Jill Soloway’s Amazon comedy I Love Dick, a show based on the 1997 Chris Kraus novel by the same name. The show centers on Chris (Kathryn Hahn) and Sylvere, a struggling married couple in Marfa, Texas, and their obsession with a charismatic professor, Dick (Bacon, of course). (VUL)

‘Riddick’ Helmer David Twohy Stays In the Sci-Fi Realm, Will Direct ‘Ice Moon Rising’

Project is an American-Chinese co-production that Twohy will write and direct. The film involves a Chinese and American task force on a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to defrost another astronaut from cryogenic stasis. The sleeping spaceman was attacked 24 years previously by aliens from Europa’s icy seas, but wakes to face a new challenge: a daughter he’s never met before. (EMP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Jason Bourne’

Universal Pictures has released a pair of teaser trailers for the latest edition of the popular franchise starring Matt Damon, ahead of the release of the longer, full-length trailer, which will drop on Thursday. Directed by Paul Greengrass and also starring Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel and Julia Stiles, the new film hits theaters July 29th. (COL)

Willem Dafoe in ‘Justice League,’ Michael Strahan Leaving Kelly Ripa, Cannes Director’s Fortnight, ‘Magnificent Seven’ and ‘Power Ranger’ First Looks


‘Justice League’ Adds Willem Dafoe To Cast

Michael Strahan Is Leaving Kelly Ripa For ‘Good Morning America’

The former Giants player is heading to Good Morning America from his spot at Live with Kelly and Michael, where he’s been a well-matched co-host to Kelly Ripa since 2012. (UST)

Cannes: Directors’ Fortnight Unveils 2016 Lineup

The lineup will spotlight a trio of films from a multi-generational and multi-faceted range of Italo auteurs: Marco Bellocchio’s Sweet Dreams, Paolo Virzi’s Like Crazy and Claudio Giovannesi’s Fiore. (VAR)

Netflix Commissions Hostage Doc Series From Lightbox And Doug Liman’s Hypnotic

Producer Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn’s multi-media banner Lightbox has been commissioned by Netflix to produce Captive, an eight episode series exploring hostage situations and negotiations around the world. Lightbox, which conceived the series, is teaming up with Doug Liman’s Hypnotic to produce. (DH)

Netflix Sci-Fi Series ‘Travelers’ Begins Production

Netflix and Showcase announced the start of production on the new original Netflix sci-fi series, Travelers. Shooting on location in Vancouver, the time-traveling sci-fi drama is produced by Peacock Alley Entertainment Inc., in association with Showcase and Netflix. (CS)

J.J. Abrams & Daisy Ridley Team For Fantasy Thriller ‘Kolma’

J.J. Abrams and Daisy Ridley will continue the partnership established in Star Wars: The Force Awakens with Kolma, which Abrams will produce. Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller is currently in talks to helm the film for Paramount. (IW)

‘Magnificent Seven’ First Look

The first official stills from the upcoming western from director Antoine Fuqua starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Byung-hun Lee. (SF)

‘Power Rangers': See Elizabeth Banks As Rita Repulsa In Upcoming Reboot

The actress stars as the iconic monster-unleashing villain in the upcoming reboot of the small-screen franchise about five teens with attitude and abilities to round up alien menaces. (EW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Hands Of Stone’

Robert De Niro and Usher’s new boxing movie gets dramatic trailer. (IW)


TV Development for 4/19/16: Netflix Orders ‘Captive’ From Doug Liman, Kate Hudson & Mel Gibson to Star in ‘The Barbary Coast’


Network: Netflix
Production Company(s): Lightbox, Hypnotic
Executive Producer(s): Doug Liman, Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn, Dave Bartis, Gene Klein, Lisa Nishimura, Adam Del Deo, Jason Spingam-Koff
Logline: Series will explore hostage situations and negotiations around the world. The episodes look at a wide range of situations from the viewpoint of everyone involved: the victims and their families back home, the experienced negotiators, business leaders, government officials and the kidnappers themselves.
SSN Insight: The series has been given an order of eight episodes. Alex Marengo who produced The Bible series will be the showrunner alongside America: The Story of Us producer, Kathryn Taylor.

Network: Hulu
Production Company(s): AwesomenessTV
Executive Producer(s): Beth Szymkowski, Shelley Zimmerman, Matt Lewis, Brian Robbins, Chris Grismer
Writer(s): Matt Lewis, Beth Szymkowski
Logline: Centers on a group of students at a small-town high school, who must fight for survival when predatory mutant freaks take over after a meltdown at the local chemical plant.
SSN Insight: Hulu has given a series order of ten episodes. The series is currently in production for premiere slated for later this year.

Happy City
Network: FX Network
Production Company(s): Starburns Industries
Executive Producer(s): Jon Eidson, Nick P. Smith, Dan Harmon, Sean Elliott
Writer(s): Jon Eidson, Nick P. Smith
Logline: A young taxi named Tyler and his millennial friends (a firetruck and a helicopter) navigate their way through life in the big city and face broken relationships, workplace struggles, and existential crises.
SSN Insight: The world of the series will be reminiscent of the model-based visual style of children’s shows such as Thomas the Tank Engine.

The Barbary Coast
Production Company(s): Mark Gordon Company
Executive Producer(s): Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Oliver Hudson, Wyatt Russell, Mel Gibson
Writer(s): Mel Gibson
Logline: The story begins with the Gold Rush of 1849, which saw the biggest influx of gold-seekers, gamblers, thieves, harlots, politicians and other felonious parasites to the infant city of San Francisco. A unique criminal district subsequently arose that, for almost 70 years, was the scene of more viciousness and depravity — yet at the same time possessed more glamor and intrigue — than any other area of vice and iniquity on the American continent. Based on the book.
Details: Inspired by the book, “The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld,” written by Herbert Asbury and published by Knopf in 1933.
SSN Insight: Still in development, but planned as a series for a premium cable network or a streaming service.

The Level
Network: ITV 1
Production Company(s): RLJ Entertainment, Inc., Hillbilly Films
Writer(s): Gaby Chiappe, Alexander Perrin
Logline: Nancy Devlin is a detective sergeant with a secret double life. Her exemplary police career masks a covert attachment to Frank Le Saux, a shady businessman and drug trafficker who is the father of her best friend. When she finds herself at the center of an investigation that puts her at risk of exposure and stalked by a killer intent on destroying her, Nancy’s complicated love life and relationships with colleagues create further tension as she doesn’t know who she can trust.
SSN Insight: ITV has given a series order of six episodes. In addition to co-producing the series, Acorn Media Enterprises, the development division for the Acorn brand of RLJ Entertainment, has acquired the UK DVD and secondary rights.

The Mist
Network: Spike TV
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Production Company(s):
Executive Producer(s): Christian Torpe
Writer(s): Christian Torpe
Logline: A seemingly innocuous mist seeps into a small town but contains limitless havoc. From psychological terrors to otherworldly creatures, the mist causes the town residents’ darkest demons to appear forcing them to battle the supernatural event and, more importantly, each other.
Details: Based on the novella, “The Mist,” written by Stephen King and first published as part of the horror anthology, “Dark Forces” by Viking Press in 1980.The novella was also adapted into the film, “The Mist,” (2007), directed by Frank Darabont and starring Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden.
SSN Insight: Ordered straight to series after originally only ordering a pilot. Spike has ordered 10 episodes.

The Swans Of Fifth Avenue
Production Company(s): RatPac Entertainment, Nine Muses Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Bryce Dallas Howard, Brett Ratner, John Cheng
Logline: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” author Truman Capote and socialite and style icon Babe Paley— who was married to CBS founder William Paley — had a star-crossed friendship in the mid 1950s. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entrée into the enviable lives of Manhattan’s elite, leading to the ultimate betrayal of Babe and the other Swans in her circle. Based on the novel.
Details: Based on the novel, “The Swans Of Fifth Avenue,” written by Melanie Benjamin and published by Delacorte Press on January 26, 2016.
SSN Insight: Planned as a premium cable limited series, a network has not been set.

Throwing Shade
Network: TV Land
Production Company(s): FunnyOrDie
Executive Producer(s): Erin Gibson, Bryan Safi, Andrew Steele, Anna Wenger, Joe Farrell
Logline: The show takes all the issues important to ladies and gays and treats them with much less respect than they deserve.
Details: Based on “Throwing Shade,” the podcast and Funny or Die web series.
SSN Insight: TV Land ordered the pilot in December and as of April 15, has given a series order of ten episodes.

Total Bellas
Network: E! Networks
Production Company(s): Bunim/Murray Productions, World Wrestling Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins, Russell Jay, Kevin Dunn
Logline: The show looks into the lives of The Bella Twins and their significant others, John Cena and Daniel Bryan, as the WWE Superstars move in together and enter a new chapter of their lives, both professionally and personally. After Nikki goes through delicate surgery on her neck and spine, her sister and brother-in-law move into the house she shares with John Cena in order to care for her and keep her company during her long and protracted recovery.
Details: The project is a spinoff of the series, “Total Divas,” which premiered on E! in 2013.
SSN Insight: E! has given a series order of six episodes. The Bella Twins will continue to appear on Total Divas.

Untitled José Padilha Project
Network: Netflix
Writer(s): Elena Soares
Logline: Operation Car Wash is an ongoing probe involving allegations of corruption at state-owned oil giant Petrobras which has impacted and fascinated the country. This project will follow the judicial investigators in their journey to unveil this scheme which has become the largest corruption that Brazil has ever witnessed.
SSN Insight: Project marks the second Netflix original produced in Brazil. The series will be directed by Padilha.

Netflix Considers Offline Viewing, 2016 Eisner Noms Are Out, NBCU’s Seeso Heading to Amazon Prime, TV Development For 4/19/16


TV Development for 4/19/16: Netflix Orders ‘Captive’ From Doug Liman, Kate Hudson & Mel Gibson to Star in ‘The Barbary Coast’

Also on this week’s docket, Hulu’s teen mutant freak project, a bizarre new show from Community’s Dan Harmon, Spike TV’s take on Stephen King’s The Mist and a limited series based on the friendship between Truman Capote and Babe Paley. As usual, there’s plenty more, so click the link to read on. (SSN)

Netflix Considers Offline Viewing: It’s All About Conquering the World

Company is considering to let its subscribers download content for offline viewing, suggested CEO Reed Hastings during the company’s Q1 2016 earnings call yesterday. That’s great news for anyone looking to watch Netflix in mid-flight — but in reality, offline viewing is all about Netflix’s global ambitions. (VAR)

The 2016 Eisner Nominations Are Out — Did Your Comic Book Make the List?

Of note is the relative absence of DC titles in the various nominations. While its imprints Vertigo and DC Digital each received a lone nomination for a book project, the main DCU line is only represented through individual creators who had done some DC work in the past year. As a whole, Fantagraphics earned the most nominations with 12, followed by BOOM! Studios at eight and IDW Publishing with seven. (NR)

NBCU’s Seeso Coming to Amazon’s Subscription Video Hub

NBCUniversal’s comedy streaming service is coming to the online giant’s subscription video bundle. Later this spring, Amazon Prime members will be able to add a subscription to Seeso directly through Amazon Video for $3.99 a month. The e-commerce giant began offering subscriptions to outside streaming services from Showtime, Starz and others late last year.  (HRT)

Former Universal & Relativity Exec Michael Joe Joins STX Entertainment As COO

Joe will be rejoining Adam Fogelson, who is chairman of the STX Entertainment Motion Picture Group. The two worked together when Fogelson was Universal chairman and Joe was EVP at the studio. Joe’s relationship with STX actually started two years ago when STX closed a financing deal with New York-based investment firm Seer Capital, where he oversaw media and entertainment investments. (DH)

If You’re Looking For a Movie About the Origin Of MTV, and You Want James Ponsoldt To Write and Direct, Today Is Your Lucky Day

The Spectacular Now and The End of the Tour director has signed on to write, direct and produce an adaptation of Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks’ book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution for A24, which has optioned its rights. Story chronicles the founding and first 10 years of the network, a golden era in both music and television where MTV became the emblem of a new generation. (TW)

Jon Favreau Is Back At Marvel, Will Executive Produce and Have a Hand In Steering ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

The director of the first two Iron Man movies, actor in Iron Man 3, and EP of both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, filmmaker has just announced he’ll be back as executive producer on Avengers: Infinity War, due out in two parts on May 4th, 2018 and May 3rd, 2019. (SF)

Marvel’s ‘Iron Fist’ Casts a Sinister Pair Of Twins To Play the Iron Fist’s Adversaries

Finn Jones is in place as Danny Rand/Iron Fist, while Jessica Henwick and David Wenham are also in the cast, and now Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey have signed up to play Joy and Ward Meachum, completing the series’ central line-up. The Meachums run Rand Enterprises, having built it up from practically nothing into a global concern. But when Rand returns to claim his birthright, the future of their hard-won achievement is thrown into question. (EMP)

The Rise Of the Female Villain

Injustice towards women is everywhere in Hollywood. From the bounty of sexist character introductions in screenplays to inexplicable pay gaps between actresses and their often lesser known male counterparts, you can’t avoid it. But the thing is, there’s one area in which the industry appears to be evolving. There’s one place where the fairer sex is slowly but surely starting to get more of its due: as movie villains. (TB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Warcraft’

Universal Pictures has released the latest look at the upcoming video game adaptation, from director Duncan Jones. The fantasy adventure film will hit theaters June 10th. (TP)

‘Three’s Company’ Movie, Studio 8 Options Al Qaeda Article, 2 Uber Comedies in the Works, ‘Mag Seven’ and ‘Girl on Train’ Trailers


‘Three’s Company’ Movie In The Works With ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ Writers

New Line is in negotiations to pick up the rights to the classic television series Three’s Company, and is tapping scribes Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein to pen the screenplay. (THR)

Studio 8 Options Daily Beast Article On Bank Robber Who Battled Al Qaeda; George Mastras To Adapt

Studio 8 has optioned The Possibly True Story Of The Super Burglar Trained To Rip Off Al Qaeda, an article published in The Daily Beast by Geoff Manaugh. George Mastras to adapt for the screen. (DH)

Studios Plan Two Competing Comedies About Uber

Universal recently picked up an Uber comedy pitch from Brendan O’Brien with Adam Mckay to produce. The next morning, Fox coughed up six-figures for a spec script called Stuber from writers Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Francis Daley. (VUL)

Julia Stiles Boards Oscar Winner Neil Jordan’s French Crime Series ‘Riviera’

Julia Stiles has set her luxurious sights on the south of France by joining Riviera, the upcoming sun-tinged crime series from Oscar winner Neil Jordan (The Borgias, The Crying Game). (YH)

Idris Elba To Star In Sky’s 1970s Political Drama Guerrilla

Idris Elba will star in a new Sky Atlantic drama Guerrilla about an underground cell in 1970s London by the Oscar-winning writer of 12 Years a Slave. (GUAR)

Sony’s Crackle Unveils Virtual-Reality Programming, Renews ‘Art of More,’ ‘SuperMansion’

Crackle, the free, ad-supported Internet TV service from Sony Pictures Television, announced that it will launch a virtual-reality experience and will offer sponsorship opportunities in VR to advertisers. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Magnificent Seven’

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ and Columbia Pictures’ The Magnificent Seven. (YT)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Girl On The Train’

The first trailer for The Girl on the Train is out, featuring Emily Blunt as the frazzled Rachel, who’s caught up in the mystery of her ex-husband’s missing nanny. (EW)

Screenwriters: ‘Ali’

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



Rep Moves for 4/20/16: Julianne Hough Shifts from CAA to WME, YouTube Filmmaker Sawyer Hartman Scooped up by Untitled


NMA PR: Actor Tom Cavanagh has signed with NMA PR. He can be seen currently in The Flash on the CW where he portrays Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash and Dr. Harrison Wells. His other credits include Scrubs, Trust Me and Royal Pains. On the film side he was seen in How to Eat Fried Worms and 400 Days.

UTA: Director Giuseppe Capotondi has signed with the agency. He recently premiered his feature, The Double Hour at Venice, which earned him a nomination for Discovery of the Year and the film won a Young Cinema Award for Best Italian Film. He previously directed commercials and music videos. His music videos include Bush’s “Inflatable”, Kelis featuring Andre 3000’s “Millionaire”, and Keane’s “Crystal ball” and “Nothing in My Way”. Currently he’s shooting the Epix 10-part drama series, Berlin Station.

WME: Actress, dancer and singer Julianne Hough has shifted from CAA to WME. She was just seen as Sandy in Fox’s highly rated special Grease: Live. Prior, she was a two-time champion on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars and served as a judge for two seasons. On the film side she was in Dirty Grandpa, Safe Haven, Rock of Ages and the Footloose remake. She is also designing a clothing line in a collaboration with MPG Activewear.

Untitled Entertainment: YouTuber and filmmaker Sawyer Hartman has signed with the LA-based talent management firm for representation in all areas of his business. On his YouTube channel he posts short films and short form series. Last year, he released The Parallax Theory, a feature-length indie drama, with New Form Digital on Vimeo. Currently, Hartman has begun working on an auto-biopic series that involves Hartman filming a day-in-the-life episode every day for 391 days leading up to his 27th birthday.

Abrams: Actor Costa Ronin has signed with Abrams Artists Agency for representation in all theatrical areas. He is well known for his role as Oleg on FX’s praised drama The Americans. In addition, he’s appeared in FX’s The Strain for FX, TNT’s Agent X, Scorpion on CBS and ABC’s Agent Carter. On the film side he will be seen in Brighton Beach from writer-director David Gutnik.

Film & TV Deals for 4/20/16: Sky & Sony Team-Up, Sam Raimi Launches Allegory Films, Alibaba Investing in ‘Star Trek Beyond’


Per Exec Shuffle, WGA East and Vice Media have completed a tentative agreement on their first contract. Vice’s estimated 70 covered staffers will vote next week to ratify the deal. The deal includes an economic package worth 29% over three years, protections on the current health insurance offered employees, protections for employees to engage in non-Vice work, compensatory time off when employees work on days off, guaranteed severance pay and monthly meetings to discuss workplace issues.

TV producer Chip Johannessen has signed a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV and its cable division Fox 21 TV Studios. The new three-year agreement replaces the two-year overall deal signed last year. He currently is the executive producer of Homeland and will now stay full-time on the show for the next two years. In addition, he will write a couple of the first six episodes of Season 6, going back up to writing/co-writing three to four episodes a season as he had done in previous seasons.

Producer Chris Morgan has signed a three-year overall deal Universal Television to develop and produce projects for broadcast, cable and digital platforms as well as write new series projects. His deal had previously been at 20th Century Fox TV. He will be joined by Ainsley Davies, head of development for film and television at his Chris Morgan Prods. His credits include screenwriter duties on the third through the eighth installments of Universal’s Fast & Furious franchise, executive producing the last three. He is also handling Universal’s upcoming tentpole monster franchise beginning with The Mummy reboot starring Tom Cruise.

Sky and Sony Pictures Television have signed a multi-year, pan-European agreement to bring Sony films to Sky’s subscription and transactional services in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. The deal includes all new and future Sony titles. Films will be available a few months after their theatrical releases, and a year ahead of any other subscription service. Sky’s streaming services, NOW TV and Sky Online, are also included for films live and on demand. Sky is responsible for creating Europe’s largest single pay-TV operator in November 2014 with an estimated 21 million subscribers.

Sam Raimi and Florian von Donnersmarck have started Allegory Films in partnership with Beijing Cultural Investment Holding Ltd. The production company will be co-owned with the Chinese firm, which has committed $150 million in initial capital. Additional financing resources will bring the total anticipated production volume to about $500 million. Films will be produced and financed with budgets in the $30 million-$80 million range, with plans to align with a U.S. studio for worldwide distribution rights to its movies.

TV producer Corey Nickerson has extended her overall deal with ABC Studios for three more years, through 2019. She joined the studio in 2014 under a two-year overall deal. She’s currently a co-executive producer on Black-ish and will be elevated to executive producer in the upcoming third season. Additionally, she will develop new projects for broadcast, cable, and streaming services.

Time Warner’s premium channel operation and Discovery Communications has bought an undisclosed equity stake in graphics company Otoy. The company will leverage the investment funds to “fuel development and distribution of original holographic content, enabling HBO and Discovery to deliver new entertainment experiences to consumers across TV, mobile, web, social and emerging wearable technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.” Other investors include Autodesk and Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner. Jon Stewart announced last year that he plans to work with Otoy to develop innovative programming for HBO.

TV producer Terry Matalas has signed an overall deal with Universal Cable Productions to develop and produce scripted programming for the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio as well as for external networks and streaming services. He is currently the co-creator, executive producer and showrunner on 12 Monkeys, which returns for a second season on April 18.

Producers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas have signed a new multi-year show deal with Universal Television. Under the pact, the duo will continue to executive produce Chicago Fire and spinoff series Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med and will join the legal drama pilot Chicago Justice, as executive producers. The embedded spinoff episode of Chicago P.D. is being filmed this month. On the feature side they are currently filming the thriller Overdrive, starring Scott Eastwood, which they wrote and produced.

China’s Alibaba Pictures is investing in Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows and Star Trek Beyond. Last year the companies partnered on Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Alibaba’s subsidiaries Taobao Movie and Yulebao will provide service and support to the two films. TMNT: Out Of The Shadows begins its international release in late May and might be screened in China before the unofficial July blackout. Star Trek Beyond might be released in late summer in China.

Power Lawyer List Revealed, Kelly Ripa’s Protest, Lifetime’s Selena Gomez Project, Summer TV Premieres, Film & TV Deals/Rep Moves For 4/20/16



Film & TV Deals for 4/20/16: Sky & Sony Team-Up, Sam Raimi Launches Allegory Films, Alibaba Investing in ‘Star Trek Beyond’

Also on this week’s docket, TV producer Chip Johannessen has signed a big new overall deal with 20th TV, Chris Morgan signs a similar deal with Universal TV, and Time Warner’s premium Channel operation and Discovery Communications combining for a big equity stake in a graphics company. As usual, there’s plenty more, so click the link to read on. (SSN)

Rep Moves for 4/20/16: Julianne Hough Shifts from CAA to WME, YouTube Filmmaker Sawyer Hartman Scooped up by Untitled

In a very light week for this kind of thing, Tom Cavanaugh gets himself a new publicist and several up and comers land representation. For the full skinny, click the link. (SSN)


The List Is Out! Power Lawyers 2016: Hollywood’s Top 100 Attorneys

Each year for the past decade, The Hollywood Reporter has researched the bigger deals and lawsuits in the entertainment industry to determine the 100 most influential attorneys in Hollywood. From the talent dealmakers for everyone from Jennifer Lawrence to Steven Spielberg to the litigators going to war for Disney, Warner Bros. and even Charlie Sheen, THR‘s list has become the bible for who’s who of legal minds in showbiz. (HRB)

It Was No Coincidence That Kelly Ripa Was MIA From ‘Life With Kelly & Michael’ This Morning

Yesterday morning at 10:30, ABC announced said Michael Strahan will leave his job as co-host of the show where he’s worked for four years to become a full-time host on Good Morning America. This came as a surprise to a lot of people, including, apparently, Ripa, who apparently found out about it at the same time as the public. Today’s sick out was reportedly a form of protest to what she considers a huge lack of respect by Disney. (UR)

Lifetime Has a Selena Gomez Autobiographical Drama In the Works, With Kevin Spacey as EP

Singer-actress will executive-produce a scripted drama about her life for the cable network. The currently untitled film will recount the young starlet’s meteoric rise from fresh-faced teen to Hollywood smash, with executive production assists from Spacey, Dana Brunetti, Mandy Teefey, Samantha Droke, and Troy Searer. (EW)

Crackle Greenlights ‘Snatch’ Series Inspired by Guy Ritchie Film

Streaming network is pulling from its parent company’s film library for its latest original scripted series, ordering the series Snatch, inspired by the 2001 Guy Ritchie film of the same name. Released by Sony’s Screen Gems label stateside and by Columbia Pictures internationally, the British comedy centered on two interweaving plots about the search for a stolen diamond and a small-time boxing promoter under the thumb of a ruthless gangster. (LF)

Brie Larson To Get Some Funny Company For Her Oscar Followup, ‘Glass Castle’

After making audiences laugh for five seasons on New Girl, Max Greenfield is taking a big step forward in the dramatic field as he’s in talks to star with the Room star in Lionsgate’s adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ memoir. Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts are also on board to star in the film from Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton. (VAR)

Adam Devine Set To Get Himself Some ‘Paternity Leave’ In New Line Comedy

You steal enough scenes as a supporting player, and eventually they begin building movies around you. That’s happening for Devine, who has just made a deal to star in the film, which Todd Strauss-Schulson is set to direct. Adam Cole-Kelly and Sam Pitman wrote the most recent draft. He’ll next be seen starring with Zac Efron in the Fox comedy Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, which opens July 7th. (DH)

In Case You Were Wondering: 2016 Summer TV Premiere Schedule: Dates For New And Returning Shows

Summer used to be a time when there was a dearth of TV, but now there are new TV shows popping up on nearly every date on the calendar. If you are looking for good dramas, new comedies or even programming that you can stream on Netflix or Hulu, here’s a list of all of the great new programs — as well as the not-so-great ones — that will be hitting the schedule during the summer months. For your convenience, April dates are included. (CB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Infiltrator’

Broad Green Pictures has dropped the first look at the upcoming Bryan Cranston docudrama about real-life federal agent Bob Mazur. Brad Furman directs the film, which co-stars Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Olympia Dukakis, Yul Vazquez, and Amy Ryan, and hits theaters on July 15th. (IW)

Prince Has Passed, ‘Jason Bourne’ Trailer, HBO Renews ‘Veep’, Tony Stark Will Be in ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’, Dish & Viacom Ink Deal, Hasbro Assembles Writing Team


Legendary Singer, Performer and Artist Prince Has Died

The singer, full name Prince Rogers Nelson, had a medical emergency on April 15th that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois. But he appeared at a concert the next day to assure his fans he was okay. Now TMZ has learned of his passing and posted the audio from the emergency dispatch. (TMZ)

Prolific ‘James Bond’ Director Guy Hamilton Has Passed

Guy Hamilton, the director of four James Bond films, has died on the Mediterranean island of Majorca at the age of 93. Hamilton was at the helm of iconic 007 movies Goldfinger in 1964 and Diamonds are Forever in 1971, both starring Sean Connery, as well as 1973’s Live and Let Die and 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun, both with Roger Moore as Bond. (VAR)

Hasbro Assemble! Michael Chabon, Brian K. Vaughan & Akiva Goldsman Teaming Up for Hasbro Cinematic Universe Writers Room

Hasbro’s cinematic universe has assembled its writers room, with a Pulitzer Prize winner, an Eisner-winning comic book author and Marvel Studios scribes among those who will be clacking the keyboard. (THR)

HBO Gives Selina Meyer Another Term, Renewing ‘Veep’, ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Silicon Valley’

HBO has made it official: Game of Thrones has been renewed for a seventh season. The network has picked up the Emmy-winning fantasy hit for another year. In addition, Veep was renewed for a sixth season and Silicon Valley has been renewed for a fourth season. (EW)

Fox 2000 Acquires Supernatural Psychological Thriller ‘Liminal’ in Mid-Six Figures Deal

Fox 2000 has acquired for mid-six figures Liminal, the working title of a supernatural psychological thriller that Christopher Landon will direct. He’ll also write the script based on a story by Adam Robitel. (DL)

‘Humans’ Snags Carrie-Anne Moss & ‘Prison Break’s’ Marshall Allman, Among Others for Season 2

Carrie-Anne Moss and Sam Palladio are joining the cast of Humans for its second series, as filming begins. Prison Break and True Blood star Marshall Allman, The Paradise’s Sonya Cassidy, and Cucumber actress Letitia Wright will also be involved in the Channel 4 and AMC production. (DS)

Disney/Pixar Line Up an Impressive Amount of Brands, 13 to be Exact, to Promote ‘Finding Dory’

Disney has always been a strong leader in mounting promotional campaigns around their films and for its animated sequel Finding Dory from Pixar, they have lined up 13 brands — some with those all-important media buys — to help support the film when it launches on June 17. (DL)

Dish & Viacom Settle on Deal Averting Near Black-Out to Subscribers

Satellite TV provider Dish and Viacom announced that they had struck a multiyear agreement for Dish to continue to carry Viacom’s bundle of television networks, averting a threatened blackout. (NYT)

Underoos! It’s Official, Tony Stark Will Appear in Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

Robert Downey Jr. will appear in Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming as Tony Stark. Following the great chemistry Downey and Spider-Man star Tom Holland had in Captain America: Civil War, Sony and Marvel knew they had to work hard to get these two back together for the Spider-Man reboot. Sources say the size of the role is unknown at this time. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Jason Bourne’

Damon is back in action (and character), and as the first full trailer for this summer’s Jason Bourne proves, he’s out for justice. (WD)

Film Development for 4/21/16: J. A. Bayona Directing ‘Jurassic World 2’, Robert Downey Jr. Will Appear in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, A24 Snags ‘I Want My MTV’


New Attachments

Alive and Kicking
Logline: This documentary follows a group of people who get inspired to make changes in their lives after getting involved in swing dancing.
Studio/Distributor(s): Magnolia Pictures
Production Company(s): Blumhouse Productions
Producer(s): Susan Glatzer
Writer(s): Susan Glatzer
Director(s): Susan Glatzer
SSN Insight: Magnolia Pictures acquired worldwide rights to the documentary with a plan to release this year.

Darkest Hour
Logline: In 1940, Prime Minister Churchill is pressured to make a deal with Hitler turning Britain into a puppet of the Third Reich, but his courage and immortal speeches lead Britain on to victory.
Production Company(s): Working Title Films
Producer(s): Anthony McCarten, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan
Writer(s): Anthony McCarten
Director(s): Joe Wright
Cast: Gary Oldman (in talks)
SSN Insight: Gary Oldman is in talks to play Winston Churchill.

Logline: Remake of the film about med students who help each other flatline so they can report about the afterlife.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures
Production Company(s): Laurence Mark Productions, Furthur Films
Producer(s): Laurence Mark, Michael Douglas, David Blackman
Writer(s): Ben Ripley
Director(s): Niels Arden Oplev
Cast: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev (in talks)
Details: Remake of “Flatliners” (1990) directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland.
SSN Insight: Dobrev is in production on Paramount’s XxX: The Return of Xander Cage recently wrapped indie comedy Crash Pad, and is attached to star in indie drama Arrivals.

I Want My MTV
Logline: The beginnings of MTV from an upstart channel to an influential and profitable business.
Production Company(s): A24, VisionChaos Productions
Producer(s): James Ponsoldt, Eva Maria Daniels
Writer(s): James Ponsoldt
Director(s): James Ponsoldt
Details: Based on the book: “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution,” written by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum and published by Dutton on October 27, 2011.
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Mosaic and RatPac Entertainment with Brett Ratner and Jimmy Miller attached to produce, Brett Ratner attached to direct an adaptation written by Jody Lambert. Project was previously set up at Columbia Pictures.

Jacob’s Ladder
Logline: A modern-day re-imagining of the 1990 supernatural thriller “Jacob’s Ladder” that introduces new situations and characters, though it will pose similar existential questions regarding life, death, reality and perception.
Studio/Distributor(s): ,
Production Company(s): Gaeta Rosenzweig Films, LD Entertainment, Will Packer Productions
Producer(s): Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, Michael Gaeta, Alison R Rosenzweig, Jennifer Hilton Monroe
Writer(s): Sarah Thorp, Jeff Buhler, Jake Wade Wall
Director(s): David M Rosenthal
Cast: Michael Ealy, Nicole Beharie, Jesse Williams
Details: Remake of “Jacob’s Ladder” (1990) directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Tim Robbins.
SSN Insight: An homage to the original film through a contemporary story. James Foley was previously in talks to direct.

Jurassic World 2
Logline: The adventures at the Jurassic World resort and theme park continue in this sequel.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Studios
Production Company(s): Kennedy/Marshall Company, Amblin Entertainment
Producer(s): Frank Marshall
Writer(s): Colin Trevorrow, Derek Connolly
Director(s): J. A. Bayona
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard
Details: Sequel to “Jurassic World” (2015) directed by Colin Tervorrow and starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.
SSN Insight: Project is the 2nd installment of a planned trilogy. Bayona, directed The Impossible and The Orphanage and is currently shooting A Monster Calls.

Logline: A young couple gets into a car accident where the man is killed. Fifty years later, the woman is about to join him in the afterlife.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): Bad Robot, Ram Bergman Productions
Producer(s): Ram Bergman, J.J. Abrams, David Lonner
Writer(s): Megan Holley, Rolin Jones, Karen Moncrieff, Sarah Polley
Director(s): Marielle Heller
Cast: Daisy Ridley
Details: Based on the television movie “All I’ve Got” (Israel/2003) directed by Margalit Keren.
SSN Insight: Sherryl Clark was previously attached to produce. Ron Howard was previously attached to direct.

My Mother (Mia Madre)
Logline: A filmmaker is struggling with the end of an affair, her teenage daughter and her hospitalized mother when a needy American actor arrives on the set, pushing her closer to the edge.
Studio/Distributor(s): Music Box Films
Production Company(s): Canal Plus, RAI Cinema, Fandango, ARTE, Cine Plus, Sacher Film, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Le Pacte, Films Boutique
Producer(s): Nanni Moretti, Domenico Procacci
Writer(s): Nanni Moretti, Francesco Piccolo, Valia Santella
Director(s): Nanni Moretti
Cast: Margherita Buy, John Turturro, Giulia Lazzarini, Nanni Moretti, Beatrice Mancini
SSN Insight: Music Box Films has acquired U.S. rights to the Italian comedy that Alchemy previously had snagged. The film will now be released during the third quarter.

Office Christmas Party
Logline: A hard-partying guy faces a CEO/sister who is trying to close his branch.In an attempt to rally his co-workers and save their jobs, he and his chief technical officer host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client.
Studio/Distributor(s): Amblin Partners, Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): Management 360, Bluegrass Films, Speck+Gordon
Producer(s): Scott Stuber, Guymon Casady, Daniel Rappaport
Writer(s): Laura Solon, Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg, Dan Mazer, Timothy Dowling
Director(s): Will Speck, Josh Gordon
Cast: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, TJ Miller, Kate McKinnon, Abbey Lee, Sam Richardson, Vanessa Bayer
SSN Insight: Ed Helms was previously in talks to co-star.

Paternity Leave
Logline: Three immature friends team with a pregnant friend to pull off a hoax in order to get three months paternity leave.
Studio/Distributor(s): New Line Cinema
Production Company(s): Tapestry Films, Panay Films
Producer(s): Andrew Panay, Peter Abrams
Writer(s): Sam Pitman, Adam Cole-Kelly, David Diamond, David Weissman
Director(s): Todd Strauss-Schulson
Cast: Adam DeVine
SSN Insight: DeVine was recently seen in Pitch Perfect and The Intern.

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Logline: Storyline is under wraps, but involves a teenage Peter Parker.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing
Production Company(s): Marvel Entertainment, Pascal Pictures
Producer(s): Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal
Writer(s): John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Director(s): Jon Watts, John Mahaffie
Cast: Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya Coleman, Tony Revolori, Laura Harrier, Robert Downey Jr.
Details: Based on the legendary Marvel comic book, Spider-Man created by writer/editor Stan Lee and writer/artist Steve Ditko, he first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 cover-dated August 1962.
SSN Insight: Drew Goddard was previously in talks to write and direct. Michael Keaton was previously in talks for a villian role. Downey will appear in this film, but its unclear how large his role will be at this time.

The Mummy
Logline: Storyline is under wraps, but the story reportedly is set in the present and is an action-adventure tentpole with horror elements.
Studio/Distributor(s): Universal Pictures
Production Company(s): The Sean Daniel Company, Chris Morgan Productions, Secret Hideout
Producer(s): Sean Daniel, Chris Morgan, Alex Kurtzman
Writer(s): Jon Spaihts, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci
Director(s): Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Jake M. Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Marwan Kenzari, Courtney B. Vance
Details: Reboot of the franchise that began with the film “The Mummy” (1932) directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff.
SSN Insight: Len Wiseman was attached to direct. Andy Muschetti was previously attached to direct.

Logline: Two children, each living in a different era, set out to solve a mystery.
Studio/Distributor(s): Amazon
Production Company(s): Killer Films, Cinetic Media, Amazon Studios, Killer Content
Producer(s): Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, John Sloss
Writer(s): Brian Selznick
Director(s): Todd Haynes
Cast: Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Jaden Michael, Millicent Simmonds
Details: Based on the children’s book “Wonderstruck” written by Brian Selznick and published by Scholastic Press on September 13, 2011.
SSN Insight: Newcomer Simmonds is a deaf actress and she will appear among other deaf actors in roles that would normally go to hearing actors.

New Projects

Logline: Storyline of the psychological thriller is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): Fox 2000,
Production Company(s): Color Force
Producer(s): Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson
Writer(s): Christopher B Landon
Director(s): Christopher B Landon
SSN Insight: Landon is the writer-producer of four Paranormal Activity films in addition to penning Disturbia.

Osama’s Eleven
Logline: The film is based on a plot by the United States government to employ bank robbers to steal from al Qaeda post-9/11.
Production Company(s): Manage-ment, Whalerock Industries, Studio 8
Producer(s): Lloyd Braun, Andrew Mittman, Aaron Ensweiler, Dan Halsted, Nathan Miller
Writer(s): George Mastras
Details: Based on the article “The Possibly True Story Of The Super Burglar Trained To Rip Off Al Qaeda” written by Geoff Manaugh and published in The Daily Beast on April 9, 2016.
SSN Insight: Manaugh is currently on tour to support his newly released book, A Burglar’s Guide To The City.

Logline: The film follows a Uber driver names Stu on one harrowing night.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): GoldDay
Producer(s): Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley
Writer(s): Tripper Clancy
SSN Insight: Goldstein and Daley are writing Spider-Man: Homecoming for Sony and are also producing All Day & Night for Relativity.

The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up
Logline: Firefighter Donny Herbert was in a vegetative state for many years after being injured in a burning building, woke up nine years later and spent the day with his family, but went back into the coma 15 hours later.
Studio/Distributor(s): Columbia Pictures
Production Company(s): Misher Films
Producer(s): Kevin Misher
Writer(s): Sean Macaulay
Details: Based on the book “The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up” written by Rich Blake and published by Harmony Books in 2007.
SSN Insight: Sean Macaulay also wrote Eddie the Eagle.

The Florida Project
Logline: A precocious 7-year-old and her rag-tag group of close friends experience a summer break filled with childhood wonder, possibility, and a sense of adventure, while their parents and the adults around them struggle with hard times.
Production Company(s): Cre Films, Freestyle Picture Company, June Pictures
Producer(s): Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch, Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Kevin Chinoy
Writer(s): Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch
Director(s): Sean Baker
SSN Insight: June Pictures recently launched to finance and produce feature-length narrative and documentary films.

The Lovers
Logline: A relationship gone bitterly bad between Michael and Mary; both have lovers who want them to get out of their marriage. However, when the couple sits down to call it quits, they find themselves suddenly, unexpectedly and even awkwardly falling back in lov
Production Company(s): A24, COTA Films
Producer(s): Ben LeClair, Chris Stinson
Writer(s): Azazel Jacobs
Director(s): Azazel Jacobs
Cast: Debra Winger, Tracy Letts
SSN Insight: This is the second project A24 is fully financing after the coming-of-age film Moonlight that is currently in post-production.

The Rape of Recy Taylor
Logline: In 1944, African-American wife and mother Recy Taylor was gang raped by seven white men in Alabama and spoke out against her attackers, putting herself and her family in danger.
Production Company(s): HBO Documentary Films, Augusta Films, Transform Films
Producer(s): Nancy Buirski, Beth Hubbard
Director(s): Nancy Buirski
SSN Insight: Buirski is also behind the film, By Sidney Lumet that will be screened at Tribeca.

The Voyeur’s Motel
Logline: A businessman buys a motel so that he can secretly watch his guests have sex, but he ends up becoming witness to a murder. Based on a true story chronicled in an article and subsequent book by Gay Talese.
Studio/Distributor(s): Amblin Partners
Production Company(s): Neal Street Productions
Producer(s): Steven Spielberg, Sam Mendes
Director(s): Sam Mendes
Details: Based on the article “The Voyeur’s Motel,” written by Gay Talese and published in the April 11, 2016 edition of The New Yorker. A book on the subject written by Talese is scheduled to be published by Grove Press on July 12, 2016.
SSN Insight: It is reportedly estimated Sam Mendes and DreamWorks acquired the rights in a deal valued at $1 million.

Hollywood Remembers Prince, No Women Directors For 20th Century Fox In 2016-17, Zappa Doc Sets Kickstarter Record, Film Development For 4/21/16


Film Development For 4/21/16: J. A. Bayona Directing ‘Jurassic World 2’, Robert Downey Jr. Will Appear in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, A24 Snags ‘I Want My MTV’

Lots of action this week, including a big, historical role for Gary Oldman, Nina Dobrev joining the Flatliners remake, Daisy Ridley and J.J. Abrams re-team for a new sci-fi flick, and Adam Devine earning his first solo starring role. There’s more, and for the full skinny, click the link. (SSN)

“Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Gathered Here Today To Get Through This Thing Called Life”: Hollywood Mourns Prince

The legendary pop superstar and Oscar winner died early this morning at the age of 57 at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota. It didn’t take long for celebrities and fellow musicians share their reactions to the news, ranging from disbelief to honoring the award-winning artist. Even President Obama issued a statement on Prince on Thursday. (VAR)

Apparently Tone Deaf To the Zeitgeist, 20th Century Fox Announces New Slate of Films for Next Two Years Without a Single Female Director

Last week at CinemaCon, the annual convention run by The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), studio revealed its slate for their upcoming 2016 and 2017 films. Some big, money-making movies are on there, like next month’s X-Men: Apocalypse, the Independence Day sequel, the adaptation of Assassin’s Creed and more. But one trend running through the entire 23-film list is clear: not a single female director is on the list. (WAH)

Frank Zappa Pic Highest-Funded Documentary Ever On Kickstarter With Final $1.12M

Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa, which has become the highest-funded documentary film in Kickstarter’s history, has a final tally: $1,126,036 from 8,688 backers. Outside of Kickstarter, Alex Winter collected another $91K to push the final to $1.2M. The funds will be used to mount a documentary film about the life of the composer as well as to preserve the Zappa archives as well. (DH)

Emma Stone, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell to Star in ‘Women in Business’

After a heated bidding war involving multiple studios, Fox has nabbed the hot comedy script b y Laura Steinel. Female-driven comedy, which has some strong attachments: Emma Stone, Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell, has Jake Szymanski, who directed Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, attached to helm. (THR)

So, If You’re Keeping Score, That’s Robert Downey Jr. In To ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, and Michael Keaton Out

On the heels of this morning’s announcement that RDJ was hopping aboard the project comes word that Keaton, who was in talks to play the movie’s undisclosed villain, has dropped out as talks broke down between Sony and the actor. Tom Holland will star as Peter Parker, making his first appearance as the character in next month’s Captain America: Civil War. (CB)

‘Blade Runner’ Sequel Pushed Forward to October 2017, Hinting at Oscar Contention

When a big-budget genre movie has its release date changed, it often signals production difficulties or studio uncertainty. The upcoming sequel looks to be an example of the opposite: Denis Villeneuve’s follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic has been pushed forward from January 2018 to October 6th, 2017, making the as-yet untitled sequel eligible for Oscar consideration, which may hint at the studio’s intentions. (IW)

Warner Bros. Enlists Alfonso Cuarón To Help Out On Its Live Action ‘Jungle Book’

Andy Serkis has been tapped to make his directorial debut on the project, but now the studio seems to be rethinking his take on the subject matter. Enter Cuaron, who won an Oscar for helming the studio’s Gravity, who has now joined The Jungle Book as a “consultant.” What does that mean, exactly? Apparently, it “encompasses a lot of vague tasks from assisting in directing to even post-production work.” (COL)

More Superhero TV Ahead: Syfy Moves Ahead With Its Pilot For a DC Comics Krypton Series

The DC Entertainment universe continues to expand on the small screen as the previously-rumored series is close to locking in a pilot episode at the cable net. Said to be set 200 years in the past, the series will explore the history of Superman’s ill-fated birth planet with Kal-El’s grandfather the show’s central protagonist. (CS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Cafe Society’

Amazon Studios has dropped the first trailer from Woody Allen’s latest film, which is bound for the Cannes Film Festival. The film stars Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Lively, Parker Posey and Steve Carell and will hit theaters later this year. (TP)

China Bars iTunes, Pamela Anderson Returns to ‘Baywatch’, Pilot Season Buzz, Tribeca & Peabody Awards, ‘Daddy’s Home’ Sequel, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Trailer


The MPAA, DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IFTA Among Those Uniting to Raise Concerns About the FCC Set-Top Box Proposal

The MPAA, DGA, SAG-AFTRA, the Copyright Alliance, IATSE, SoundExchange and the IFTA are among a large group letting their voices be heard, raising concerns about the potential impact on copyright and content creators’ ability to be compensated if the FCC’s proposal to regulate the set-top box market goes through. (DL)

The Tribeca Film Festival Hands Out Awards to ‘Dean’ & ‘Do Not Resist’

In narrative features, Dean, written by, starring, and directed by Demetri Martin, took home the top prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in narrative features, while Do Not Resist, about the increasing militarization of the U.S. police force, won for documentaries. (VT)

‘Daddy’s Home’….Again- Will Ferrell & Mark Wahlberg to Re-team on Sequel for Paramount

Paramount Pictures and Gary Sanchez Productions have set a sequel to Daddy’s Home, the crowd pleasing comedy which opened last Christmas and turned in a $240 million worldwide gross. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg have signed to reprise their mismatched buddy characters. (DL)

Amazon Prime Video is now the Home for Broad Green Pictures in Multi-Year Deal

Broad Green Pictures and Amazon have inked a a multi-year output deal which will make Prime Video the exclusive premium subscription home for Broad Green’s upcoming film slate. Among the first up will be comedy adventure A Walk in the Woods starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte and Emma Thompson. (DL)

‘Masters of None’? Try Masters of the Peabody’s as Netflix Picks Up Three Awards from the Annual Program

Netflix is the home of three of the 11 programs selected for the awards presented annually by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners were announced Friday morning on NBC’s Today. (LAT)

It’s Back to the Beach for Pamela Anderson as She Returns to ‘Baywatch’, Although not as C.J. Parker

Pamela Anderson will appear in the “Baywatch” film revival. The actress and model became a household name starring as C.J. Parker on the original iconic television series. Dwayne Johnson had this to say, “A pleasure to welcome (as gorgeous as ever) Pamela Anderson to our #Baywatch cast. We couldn’t have made this movie without you. Welcome home.” (VAR)

Apple Hits a Wall as China Bars iTunes from the Country Due to New Regulations

Apple’s iTunes Movies and iBooks service were barred in China last week, less than seven months after they began operations. The Silicon Valley company is now facing a regulatory push against its services in China that could signal its good relations in the country may be turning. (NYT)

A 3 Hour GMA? Possible as Kelly Ripa Could Lose Her ‘Live’ Timeslot In Addition to Her Co-Host

Kelly Ripa is losing her Live with Kelly and Michael co-host Michael Strahan this summer. But will she also lose her show’s prime 9am time slot at some point as well? A source at GMA predicts a third hour could bring in an additional $25 million to $50 million in revenue each year while adding little cost to the show’s budget. (VAR)

Here’s a Heaping Helping of More Pilot Season 2016 Buzz

The first pilot cuts have started to come in as the last pilots are finishing production (except for ABC drama Still Star-Crossed and Fox comedy Chad). Next week, we should start to get a clearer picture of where the different pilots stand but until then, here is one more early buzz rundown of the titles people are talking about. (DL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’

In a world where nearly every would-be blockbuster sells scale and scope, Independence Day: Resurgence still looks like one of the biggest movies of the year. (FB)

On the Set for 4/22/16: Denzel Washington & Scott Rudin Roll Cameras on ‘Fences’, Will Smith Wraps ‘Collateral Beauty’



Logline: A former professional baseball player, also an ex-convict, refuses to let his 17-year-old son be recruited for college football. He magnifies the tension in his family by bringing his baby daughter, which he has had through an affair, home.
Studio/Distributor(s): Paramount Pictures
Production Company(s): Scott Rudin Productions
Director(s): Denzel Washington
Producer(s): Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington, Todd Black
Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson, Russell Hornsby, Jovan Adepo
Writer(s): Tony Kushner
Details: Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Fences,” written by August Wilson, which first premiered in 1983 before debuting on Broadway in 1987.
SSN Insight: John Singleton was previously attached to direct. Eddie Murphy was previously attached to star. Washington will play the role created on Broadway by James Earl Jones.

G-Funkumentary (Documentary)
Logline: Explore the roots of G-Funk, the era itself and the influence it has had on rap and hip-hop artists of today. Featuring exclusive interviews with top west coast hip-hop artists who discuss the untold story of how rap music’s most commercial and iconic subgenre, G-Funk (gangster funk), came to be.
Production Company(s): G-Funk Productions, The Chavez Brothers Productions, Omega Point Films
Director(s): Karam Gill
Executive Producer(s): Matt Carpenter
Producer(s): Warren G, Rafael Chavez, Gary Ousdahl, Robert Ruggeri
SSN Insight: Warren G is the stepbrother of rapper and producer Dr. Dre. In July 2015, Warren G posted the first single “My House” for his August released EP “Regulate.. G Funk Era, Pt. II”.

Logline: A young man living a sheltered life develops a crush on a stripper and joins her Alcoholics Anonymous group just so he can be in the same room with her.
Production Company(s): Pantry Films
Director(s): William H. Macy
Producer(s): Rachel Winter, Dan Keston
Cast: William H. Macy, Grant Gustin, Rosario Dawson, Nick Robinson, Joe Manganiello
Writer(s): Will Aldis
SSN Insight: Macy’s upcoming films include Lionsgate’s Blood Father, The Bachelors, and The Layover.

One Last Thing
Logline: Tells the story of a lonely dentist in Florida whose days are filled by work and his solo daily golf game. When he’s confronted by a figure from the past bringing news that he has an adult daughter living in Brooklyn, he begins an eventful journey outside his comfort zone.
Production Company(s): Beech Hill Films, Low Profile Films
Director(s): Tim Rouhana
Producer(s): Alexa L. Fogel, Brendan Mason
Cast: Jurnee Smollett, Wendell Pierce, Rajeev Jacob
Writer(s): Tim Rouhana
SSN Insight: Tim Rouhana is also currently executive producing the Chicken Soup for the Soul feature for Warner Bros. This film marks his feature directorial debut.

Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Production Company(s): El Camino Entertainment
Director(s): Theresa Rebeck
Producer(s): Theresa Rebeck, Rachel Dengiz, Julie Buck, Jaclyn Bashoff
Cast: Bill Pullman, Anjelica Huston, David Morse
Writer(s): Theresa Rebeck
SSN Insight: Bill Pullman can next be seen in Independence Day Resurgence, Battle of the Sexes, LBJ and Walking Out.

Vengeance: A Love Story
Logline: About a Niagra Falls Police detective who becomes impassioned with a case concerning the brutal rape of a young mother of a 12-year-old girl. When the meth-head rapists are caught, their parents hire a slick criminal defense attorney who then puts the victim on trial.
Production Company(s): Patriot Pictures LLC
Director(s): Nicolas Cage
Executive Producer(s): Patricia Eberle
Producer(s): Michael Mendelsohn, Richard Rionda Del Castro, Johnny Martin
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Talitha Bateman, Emily Sandifer, Joshua Mikel
Writer(s): John Mankiewicz
Details: Based on the novella “Rape: A Love Story” written by Joyce Carol Oates and published by Da Capo Press on December 14, 2003.
SSN Insight: Cage stepped into direct after Harold Becker left during pre-production. Maria Bello and Uma Thurman were, at different times, previously attached to star.

You Get Me
Logline: Fresh out of an argument with his perfect girlfriend Ali, Tyler lands in the arms of sexy out-of-towner Grace. The morning after, Tyler and Ali get back together, but Grace turns out to be a new student at their school, and she is dead set on her new man.
Studio/Distributor(s): CBS Films
Production Company(s): AwesomenessTV
Director(s): Brent Bonacorso
Producer(s): Brian Robbins, Matt Kaplan
Cast: Bella Thorne, Halston Sage, Taylor John Smith, Nash Grier, Anna Akana
Writer(s): Ben Epstein
SSN Insight: Awesomeness’ other projects include the Tyler Oakley documentary Snervous, Smosh: The Movie, which debuted at the No. 1 comedy spot on iTunes and Dance Camp, which was one of the first original movies in the YouTube Red subscription service.


Collateral Beauty
Logline: A man who works in a New York ad agency finds his life turned upside down when a tragedy sends him into a depression, and his colleagues set out to lift his spirits.
Studio/Distributor(s): Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Production Company(s): Village Roadshow Pictures, Overbrook Entertainment, Anonymous Content, PalmStar Entertainment, Likely Story, Merced Media Partners
Director(s): David Frankel
Executive Producer(s): Kevin Scott Frakes, Anthony Bregman, Steven Pearl, Michael Bederman, John Lasseter
Producer(s): Michael Sugar, Bard Dorros, Will Smith, Allan Loeb
Cast: Will Smith, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Michael Peña, Naomie Harris
Writer(s): Allan Loeb
SSN Insight: Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp and Rooney Mara were at different times, previously attached to co-star.

Logline: A virus capable of making people act out their wildest impulses infects a corporate law office on the very day attorney Derek Saunders is framed by a co-worker and wrongfully fired. Trapped in the quarantined building, Derek is forced to fight tooth and nail for not only his job but also his life.
Production Company(s): Circle of Confusion, Royal Viking Entertainment
Director(s): Joe Lynch
Producer(s): Lawrence Mattis, Matt Smith, Sean Sorensen, Mehrdad Elie, Parisa Caviani
Cast: Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Lucy Chappell, Nina Senicar, Nikola Kent
Writer(s): Matias Caruso
SSN Insight: Joe Lynch previously directed the features Everly, Knights of Badassdom and Wrong Turn 2: Dead End.

No Bed of Roses
Logline: Life can be unkind at times, but death is a great equalizer which restores love, honor and compassion. In this story, the members of two families discover the finer fabric of love when the headman of a family dies.
Studio/Distributor(s): Jaaz Multimedia
Production Company(s): Eskay Movies, Jaaz Multimedia, IK Company
Director(s): Mostofa Sarwar Farooki
Producer(s): Abdul Aziz
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nusrat Imrose Tisha, Parno Mitra, Rokeya Prachy
SSN Insight: This will be both a Bengali and English language film. 65 percent of the film will be in Bengali.

SSN Box Office Trending Report for 4/22/16: ‘Jungle Book’ to Remain King While ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Continues to Rack up Presales


In this trending report, SSN Insider takes a deep dive into the film ticket sales of the week leveraging data from the powerhouse ticketing website, MovieTickets.com. The infographic below pinpoints which movies are claiming the largest piece of the pie from day to day in terms of sales. The chart also notes which film, out of the top five best-sellers, had the largest share and which had the smallest share of tickets sold over the week. The report gives you an excellent predictor of which film will be the box office titan after the weekend is through and grosses are tabulated.

Box Office Trending 4-22a

Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson Casting News, Kelly Ripa’s Controversy, Dwayne Johnson Officially Plays ‘Jumanji’, SSN Box Office Trend Report, On the Set For 4/22/16



SSN Box Office Trending Report For 4/22/16: ‘Jungle Book’ to Remain King While ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Continues to Rack Up Presales

In our ongoing 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 4/22/16: Denzel Washington & Scott Rudin Roll Cameras on ‘Fences’, Will Smith Wraps ‘Collateral Beauty’

Also on this week’s docket, William H. Macy’s next directorial effort goes in front of the cameras with Grant Gustin, Rosario Dawson, Nick Robinson and Joe Manganiello aboard, as does Theresa Rebeck’s Trouble. Meanwhile, a couple other movies also wrap things up. As usual, there’s plenty more, so click the link to read on. (SSN)


Joaquin Phoenix Circling Jesus Role in Mary Magdalene Movie

Multiple Oscar nominee is in early talks to play the role of Jesus in Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene. Rooney Mara is attached to play the titular role in the film, which has a script by Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett. The biopic is being produced by The King’s Speech producer See-Saw Films. Sources say it’s early in talks for Phoenix, and the deal could still fall apart, especially if there’s scheduling issues. (THR)

Scarlett Johansson To Become Zelda Fitzgerald in ‘The Beautiful and The Damned’

ScarJo is taking on a new, less controversial, role. The actress is reportedly set to play the famous novelist in the upcoming feature, written by Hanna Weg. Story centers on the tumultuous and overwhelming relationship between Zelda and the Great Gatsby writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Their doomed love was filled with jealousy and drama, which makes it perfect for the big screen. (TB)

Will Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan Ever Share the Same Set Again? Some Signs Point To No

Upon learning the news that her co-host would be departing from their morning show for greener pastures at Good Morning America, Ripa opted not to show up to work on Wednesday. Citing feelings of betrayal, it’s looking like she won’t return to the show until this coming Tuesday at the very earliest, but even that seems up in the air. The longer she waits to come back, the worse the situation gets for the network as a whole. (CB)

What Was Rumored Has Now Been Confirmed: Dwayne Johnson Is In For an “Edged Up” ‘Jumanji’ Remake

It was recently reported that the man formerly known as The Rock and his Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart were both in early talks to star in Sony Pictures’ Jumanji remake. Now Johnson has left a message on his Instagram page making his headlining status on the project official, with shooting scheduled to start this fall in Honolulu, Hawaii. There was no confirmation of Hart, however. (CS)

Fox Acquires Newbie’s Sci-Fi Spec ‘Man Alive’ For ‘Fargo’s Noah Hawley To Direct

Studio has made a six-figure deal to acquire the elevated sci-fi spec script by new writer Joe Greenberg. Fargo creator Hawley is set to make his feature film directorial debut on the project, which Leigh Kittay and John Cameron from Hawley’s 26 Keys shingle will produce with Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and Jake Wagner. (DH)

Vince Vaughn to Star in Action Movie ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’

The actor, who made his mark with comedies such as Wedding Crashers and Swingers, is continuing his recent dramatic wave by signing on to star in the brutal action thriller from Caliber Media and XYZ Films. The movie hails from writer-director S. Craig Zahler and is serving as his follow-up to Bone Tomahawk, the cannibal Western that proved to be a commercial and critical indie hit last year. (HV)

‘The Dark Tower’ Summons ‘Cabin in the Woods’ Star Fran Kranz for Key Role

Actor has just landed a pivotal role in the forthcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s fantasy book series, already in production. Idris Elba is set in the lead role as Roland the last Gunslinger, a weary cowboy and knight of sorts who crosses a post-apocalyptic landscape as part of his quest to reach the Dark Tower, the nexus of all possible worlds. His nemesis, the Man in Black, is played by Matthew McConaughey with Kranz on board to play his lackey, Pimli. (SF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Founder’

The Weinstein Company has dropped the first look at the upcoming bio pic of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. Starring Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Patrick Wilson, Ric Reitz, Wilbur Fitzgerald, B.J. Novak, and Linda Cardellini and directed by John Lee Hancock, the movie hits theaters August 5th. (YT)

Why ‘Jungle Book’ Beat ‘Huntsman’, USA Today Pub Offers to Buy LA Times, GoT Top Moments, Behind the ‘Live’ Shake-Up, Clooney Awards $1 Mil Humanitarian Prize


Box Office: The Top 10 Reasons Why ‘The Jungle Book’ Felled ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’

The Jungle Book held strong this weekend at $60 million, while The Huntsman faltered at $20 million. As the successes are boosting other strong want-to-see films, audiences also seem to be a bit more cautious about checking out those that fall below that elevated level. (IW)

Spoilers Ahead: The 7 Most Important Moments of Game of Thrones Episode 601

The question now on Game of Thrones is whether the various story lines will now start moving toward their respective dramatic conclusions, or if the show’s writers—without the blueprint of the books to guide them—will end up floundering. Based on the Season 6 premiere, it’s hard to say. Spoilers Ahead. (VF)

Black And White And Green All Over: USA Today Publisher Offers To Buy LA Times and Chicago Tribune for $815 Million

Gannett, publisher of USA Today and dozens of other regional newspapers, is offering to buy Tribune Publishing, owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, in an effort to consolidate brands and drive cost savings that can improve the financial standing of print and digital newsrooms nationwide. (FB)

Deconstructing the ‘Live’ Shake-Up and ABC’s Miscalculation of Kelly Ripa

ABC News is having an Ann Curry moment. ABC was left doing damage control over reports Good Morning America is about to gobble up Live’s time slot, leaving its “heart and soul” Kelly Ripa a damsel in distress. Here’s a look inside ABC’s mishandling of the change in guards. (DL)

Inside Gary Shandling’s Star-Studded Memorial Which Included Buddhist Monks and a Johnny Depp Cameo

More than a dozen of them took the stage to help paint a 360-degree portrait of a man who was at times lauded for his comedic genius, roasted for his neuroses (associated largely with intimacy issues), admired for his spirituality and above all, applauded for his ability to be the best friend, mentor and comedy writer around. (THR)

SNL to Reduce Ads by 30% and Increase Original Branded Content

NBC’s Saturday Night Live is paring down its commercial load, with plans to cut about 30% of ads out of the sketch comedy show next season. It will do this by removing two commercial breaks per episode, giving viewers more content. And for advertisers, NBC will also be offering a limited opportunity to partner with SNL to create original branded content. (AA)

Tribeca Filmmaker Jungermann to Adapt Web Series ‘F To 7th’ As Comedy For Showtime

Ingrid Jungermann, whose first feature, Women Who Kill, just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won a best screenplay juried award, is heading to television. Showtime has put in development F To 7th, a half-hour comedy based on Jungermann’s popular web series of the same name. (DL)

‘Once Upon a Time’s’ Jennifer Morrison Moving on Up with Launch of Apartment 3C Productions

Once Upon A Time star Jennifer Morrison has launched her own production banner, Apartment 3C Productions, and will kick things off with her feature film directorial debut in Sun Dogs, a comedy penned by Warrior scribe Anthony Tambakis. (DL)

George Clooney Awards New $1 Million Humanitarian Prize in Yerevan and Remembers Armenian Genocide

Speaking in Yerevan where Clooney awarded a new $1 million humanitarian prize funded by prominent Armenians he commented, “I’ve seen what mankind is capable of at its worst. But I’ve also seen something else, something much stronger than hate. I’ve seen bravery and kindness and incredible acts of love.” (THR)

Screenwriters: The Lingo and Basics of Writing Deals and Negotiations

Writers may think that they will never have to sully their hands with actual negotiations – that’s what agents, managers and lawyers are for, right? Well, it’s going to be up to you to when it comes to “advise and consent.” Hopefully, these real-life examples can help you grasp the lingo and the basics of writing deals and negotiations. (SM)

Exec Shuffle for 4/25/16: Fullscreen Launches VOD Service, Univision Buys Fusion Stake, Google Partners with The Black List


Company Launches & Partnerships

Amazon has agreed to offer its Amazon Prime customers the opportunity to buy Seeso, NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises’ $3.99 a month ad-free comedy service. NBCU SVP Ben McLean says Seeso is “the first standalone comedy offering” with “the best premium content – Original Series, stand-up specials and library video—across every screen.” Seeso will be made available in the spring.

will launch an ad-free subscription video on demand service for teens and young adults similar to Netflix that will cost $4.99 per month on April 26. As part of the content it will distribute a Bret Easton Ellis-directed thriller series called The Deleted and a daily sketch show, Party In The Back. AT&T will be a launch sponsor and will co-produce programming that will run on Fullscreen as well as a programming block on the AT&T Audience Network, which goes to its DirecTV and U-verse subscribers.

USA Today owner Gannett has publicly offered to acquire the owner of the LA Times, Tribune Publishing in a deal valued at $815 million. Gannett’s $12.25 a share cash offer represents an estimated 63% premium over Tribune’s $7.52 closing price on April 22. Gannett hired Methuselah Advisors to offer financial counsel, with legal advice from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. If approved, Gannett will seek to expand its USA Today Network and encourage collaboration between all of the the company’s media properties, giving them a common branding platform.

Univision has acquired the Disney-owned network’s stake in Fusion and has replaced ABC in distributing the network, and handling ad sales. As part of the deal Univision will create the Fusion Media Group, as a “multi-platform destination for the new, rising American mainstream.” The group will also include Univision’s interests in El Rey, The Root, The Onion, A.V. Club, Clickhole, Starwipe, Flama, Univision Digital and Univision Music.

Viacom has announced a deal with Dish Network and stopped any programming black-out.  The announcement also stated that “select Viacom live and Video-On-Demand content” including Comedy Central, BET, Spike, MTV, and Nick Jr. will run on the satellite company’s Sling TV streamed service. Viacom chief Philippe Dauman spoke of the renewal, saying it, “will enable Viacom to drive growth and deliver better, more engaging viewer experiences for years to come.”

Google unveiled a new Computer Science Education in Media program run by Julie Ann Crommett at Tribeca. They will partner with The Black List to offer financial grants in support of developing scripts about the changing the image of computer science and computer scientists in pop culture. Starting this fall, the Black List will grant up to $15K to three screenwriters, one feature and two episodic pilots. Writers will retain all rights to the work. Writers with scripts on The Black List site are also eligible.


Jean-Julien Baronnet is now pursuing other opportunities. She was previously the CEO at Ubisoft Motion Pictures.

Peter Kang has been named the Co-President of Lionsgate alongside Bobby Cohen. He was previously the EVP of Production at Paramount Pictures. Prior to that, he was the EVP at Fox, where he oversaw the relaunch of The Planet of the Apes franchise.

David Van Dyke has been upped from VP to the President at Shade VFX. Lisa Maher has been upped from Executive Producer to the VP of Production at Shade VFX. John Riddle has shifted from Head to the VP of Technology at Shade VFX.

Alexandra Cocean has been named the SVP of International Sales at Voltage Pictures. She was previously the VP of International Sales at Lightning Entertainment.

Michael Joe has been named the COO of Motion Picture Group at STX Entertainment. He was formerly the Managing Director at Seer Capital in New York.

Tony Shaw has been named the VP at Escape Artists. He was formerly the Director of Development at Captivate Entertainment.


Kurt Davis has been named CBS’ EVP of Affiliate Relations. He was previously the VP of News Services. He replaces Elizabeth Tumulty, who had led the group since December 2013. In his new role, he’ll oversee day-to-day operations for the Network affiliate relations department.

Sarah Broderick has been hired as the Chief Revenue Officer for Vice Media and will oversee the global finance division. She was previously the Chief Accounting Officer/Global Controller at WME | IMG, where she oversaw the global controllership organization and financial integration of the IMG and WME businesses.

Betsy Bergman has been named the SVP of Marketing & Brand Strategy at NBCUniversal TV Distribution in New York. She was previously the VP of Marketing at Sony Pictures Television.

Derek Chang has been upped from Managing Director, Asia-Pacific Operations to the Head, International Lifestyle Channels at Scripps Networks Interactive (London, as of July 2016).

Rob Day has been upped from EVP of Production to the EVP and Head of Unscripted Production at Endemol Shine USA.

Darren Galatt has been upped from VP of Advertising Sales to the President of Advertising Sales, Global Syndication at Entertainment Studios. Jesse Kerns has been named the SVP of Unscripted Production at Endemol Shine USA. He was formerly the SVP of Production at Relativity Television. Kirk Anderson has been upped from Executive Director of Production to the VP of Unscripted Production at Endemol Shine USA.

Annie Gerhart has been named the VP of Unscripted Programming at The Company. She was previously the Director of Program Development at Sony Pictures Television.

Andy Kemp has been named the Regional VP of Sales at Samba TV in San Francisco. He was formerly the VP of Agency Partnerships at AddThis. Serena Satyasai has been named the VP of Marketing at Samba TV. She was previously the Senior Director of Marketing at Zscaler.

Dan Matthias has been upped from Coordinator of Development to the Manager of Development at Go Go Luckey Entertainment. Bill Castonzo has been upped from VP to the SVP of Development. Frank Prather has shifted from VP of Talent Development & Casting  to the VP of Development. Breonna Carrera has been upped from Manager of Development to the Director of Development at Go Go Luckey Entertainment.

Alex Soler has been named the Director of Development at Sonar Entertainment. He was formerly the Manager of Development at Endemol Shine Studios.

Management, PR, Agencies

Jennifer Hass has been upped from Coordinator to Concert Agent at APA.

Leif Reinstein has been named Partner of Entertainment & Media Group at Reed Smith LLP. He was formerly a Partner of Entertainment Group at Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman LLP.

Tyler Reynolds has been upped from Coordinator of TV Literary to TV Agent at Equitable Stewardship for Artists.

Liz Rosier will become a Talent Manager at Rosier Artist Management (as of May 2016). She was previously a Talent Agent at Hartig Hilepo Agency in New York.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Rebecca Hershinger has been named the CFO at Genius Brands International. She was previously the Principal, CFO Advisory Services, Inc.

Tim Knapp has been named the VP of Client Engagement at PRO-TEK Vaults. He was formerly the President at Reflex Technologies, LLC.

Amy Kuessner has been named the VP of Content Acquisition at Pluto TV. She was previously the Head of Content Acquisition at BY Experience in New York.

Ethan Markovitz has been upped from Sales to the Manager of Business Development at Variety Insight. Whitney Patterson is now a Tracking Coordinator at Variety Insight. She was previously a Freelance Marketing Consultant.

Chris York has been named the Senior Director of A&R at Capitol Records. He was formerly the Director of A&R at Capitol Christian Music Group.

Charter-TWC Deal Approved, ‘Twin Peaks’ Cast Revealed, Showtimes Nabs Big Comedy, Sony Greenlights ‘Goosebumps 2′, Exec Shuffle For 4/25/16


Exec Shuffle For 4/25/16: Fullscreen VOD Service Now Available, Gannett Offers to Buy Tribune Pub., Google Partners with The Black List

Also on this week’s docket, Amazon offers Seeso to its Prime subscribers, Univision nabs Disney’s stake in Fusion and replaced ABC in distributing the network, Viacom and Dish make a deal and Ubisoft Motion Pictures needs a new CEO. As usual, there’s plenty more, so click the link to read on. (SSN)

Regulators Approve Charter Communications Deal for Time Warner Cable

Federal regulators announced yesterday that they have approved Charter’s acquisitions of TWC and Bright House Networks in deals valued at $88 billion, ushering in further consolidation of the broadband industry. The approvals create a broadband and cable television juggernaut at a time when consumers rely on the Internet as a utility but see their prices increase with few options for providers. (NYT)

It’s Taken Some Time, but Now Showtime Has Finally Released a Full Cast List For Its ‘Twin Peaks’ Update

Show has been coming together over for what seems like years, but this morning the subscription cable network finally stated the series is moving forward. In fact, principal photography has apparently finished on the series already, and the show is moving forward to achieve that 2017 premiere date we started hearing about numerous months ago. The list of famous people in the cast is lengthy, and can be found by clicking the link. (CB)

Showtime Makes Another Big Move, Nabs ‘Manhunt’ Comedy From David Caspe, Seth Gordon & Aaron Kaplan

In a competitive situation, the half-hour series project from Happy Endings creator David Caspe, Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon, Black List writer Jordan Cahan and Life In Pieces executive producer Aaron Kaplan landed at the cable net for development. The pitch, from Sony TV where Caspe and Gordon are under overall deals, has received a production commitment. (DH)

Sony Does the Obvious, Green Lights a ‘Goosebumps’ Sequel

With last year’s family film a solid hit at both the box office and on home video, the studio is in development on a sequel. The first film’s director Rob Letterman and screenwriter Darren Lemke will return for Goosebumps 2, with Deborah Forte and Neal H. Moritzalso coming back as producers. While Jack Black has yet to sign on, the hope is he will also come back to the fold for more monster mayhem. (CS)

Lionsgate Is Bringing More Than 100 Hollywood Movies To Steam

The Hunger Games, Twilight, and more big Hollywood movies are now available on Steam, Valve’s PC-gaming platform. The new deal, announced today, will bring more than 100 films to the service, and it includes some of Lionsgate’s biggest franchises, like Saw, Crank, and Divergent  (TV)

Joaquin Phoenix Circles ‘The Sisters Brothers’, Might Join John C. Reilly

Actor is eyeing a role in the dark comedy western, based on the book by Patrick DeWitt and marks the English-language feature film debut of french director Jacques Audiard. The movie follows two hired guns who journey from Oregon City to San Francisco to murder a prospector, but find that their intended target may have a better offer for them. This would be a follow-up film to Audiard’s Dheepan which won the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. (TB)

Darby Stanchfield, Emily Bett Rickards and Meaghan Rath Star in Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Slumber’

Meaghan Rath is also aboard the film, which is the story of a woman who must piece together her past and find her missing daughter after waking up from a coma. Darrell Wheat is directing. It’s being billed as a hybrid of Jacob’s Ladder and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Weiner’

Sundance Select has released the trailer for the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner for the documentary division, about the ill-fated New York mayoral campaign of former congressman Anthony Weiner. The movie get s limited release on May 20th. (IW)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

Twentieth Century Fox has dropped the final trailer for the upcoming blockbuster, starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Rose Byrne, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Helman, Lana Condor, and Ben Hardy, and hits theaters May 27th. (COL)