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Amazon Prime Takes Fellowes’ Latest, Universal’s Third Monster Movie, Hulu’s Renewals, a ‘Blue’s Brothers’ Cartoon?


‘Downton Abbey’ Creator’s New Series ‘Doctor Thorne’ Heads to Amazon Prime

Julian Fellowes‘ adaptation of the 1858 Anthony Trollope novel is set to debut on the streaming giant in the U.S. in late May, and will feature Fellowes introducing each installment (in the U.K. the series ran for three 48-minute episodes), which is a format that Masterpiece viewers will be familiar with from PBS. (COL)

Universal Stakes Out Release Date for Third Monster Movie

The studio’s ambitious plan to revive and reimagine its classic library kicks off on June 9th, 2017, when The Mummy starring Tom Cruise hits theaters. Producers Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan are leading the initiative. Universal had previously set a second untitled monster movie for April 13th, 2018, and now a third for February 15th, 2019. One movie that’s in the running for those two dates is The Invisible Man, which will star Johnny Depp. (THR)

Hulu Likes What It Sees, Renews ‘The Path’ For Season Two and ‘Mindy Project’ For Season Five

A year after the streaming service picked up The Mindy Project when it was not renewed by Fox, the streaming service has ordered another season — the single-camera comedy’s fifth overall and second exclusively on Hulu. At its upfront presentation in New York today, Hulu also is announcing a second election special from Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog to debut later this year and a second season for The Path, Hulu’s first original ongoing series. (DH)

Today In Remake News: ‘Blues Brothers’ Primetime Animated Series in the Works

Dan Aykroyd will serve as a co-creator and executive producer on the new series, along with John Belushi’s widow, Judy Belushi, and SNL writer Anne Beatts. Series will follow Jake and Elwood Blues, along with the characters within their master blues band, as the boys take their act on the road and back to their native Chicago. Each episode will feature a score and soundtrack curated with the soul, blues and R&B classics performed by the Blues Brothers. (LF)

Taran Killam’s Directorial Debut Just Landed Arnold Schwarzenegger

Killam will also star in the comedy, titled Why We’re Killing Gunther, which he also wrote. Bobby Moynihan, Cobie Smulders, Paul Brittain, Kumail Nanjiani, Randall Park and Ryan Gaul will also star. Schwarzenegger will portray the titular Gunther, the world’s greatest hitman who’s also arrogant, a show-off and steals jobs. The assassin community is tired of him and a group of eccentric killers from across the globe come together to kill him, but keep failing. (VAR)

Things Aren’t Looking So Good for ‘Agent Carter’ Season Three or ‘Marvel’s Most Wanted’

After finishing up its second season earlier this year, fans have been wondering if Agent Carter would return for a third season, especially since lead actress Hayley Atwell had landed another lead role in the courtroom drama Conviction, also on ABC. Reports said that the production schedule for each shows would have allowed her to do both, however, a new update indicates that Agent Carter may be retired after all. (SF)

Alex Ross Perry Lines Up a Whole Bevy Of Actors For His Next Film, ‘Golden Exits’

Director of Listen Up Philip and Queen Of Earth gets Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman, Chloe Sevigny and Analeigh Tipton for his drama about two Brooklyn families who find unhappiness rising to the surface, when a young foreign girl goes overseas. (TP)

Comic Book Star Mark Millar Teams With ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Producer for ‘Empress’ Movie

Just days after it was revealed that his comics American Jesus and Supercrooks were getting the adaptation treatment, comes word that Millar is teaming with producers Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum to bring his latest series to the big screen. Screenwriter F. Scott Frazier will write the script for Empress movie. (CS)

In This Day and Age, Why In the World Is Hollywood Still Whitewashing?

It’s time to recognize that we should be living in a post-whitewashing world. After all, if ever there was a moment in time when the casting of caucasian actors to play people of color has become obsolete, it would be hard to argue that we’re not living in it, right now. (TB)

Screenwriters: ‘Hudson Hawk’

the 114-page screenplay by Steven E. de Souza, revisions by Dan Waters, based on an original idea by Bruce Willis & Robert Kraft. Script is dated July 2nd, 1990. (DS)

Rep Moves for 5/4/16: ‘Ratchet & Clank’s’ Bella Thorne Shifts to CAA, Oscar Winning DP Robert Richardson Signs with WME & More


CAA: Actress Bella Thorne has shifted from WME to CAA. She made her mark on Disney Channel’s Shake It Up! She recently provided a voice for the animated video game adaptation Ratchet & Clank. Currently she’s in production on Awesomeness’ You Get Me, as the star and as a producer. Her upcoming projects include Midnight Sun alongside Patrick Schwarzenegger, Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween and The Babysitter opposite Robbie Amell and directed by McG.

WME: Three-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson has signed with the agency. His most recent credit was on The Hateful Eight, which gave him his ninth Oscar nomination. He’s also worked with Tarantino on Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained and the Kill Bill movies. He just finished production on Ben Affleck’s Live by Night for Appian Way and Warner Bros.

CAA: Writer and producer Eric Warren Singer has shifted from UTA to CAA. He most recently scripted a rewrite on No Exit, which Joseph Kosinski will direct for Black Label. Next up he’ll pen Marita for Sony and further out Red Sparrow, both of which have Jennifer Lawrence attached as star. He’s most known for his script on David O. Russell’s American Hustle.

UTA: Actress, model and recording artist Serayah has signed with UTA. In her first television role, she portrays Hakeem’s ex Tiana Brown on Fox’s Empire, and was bumped up from recurring to regular for the current second season. Previously she was featured as a member of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” squad and now is working on an album of her own.

CAA: Reality producers Purveyors of Pop have signed with the agency. The producers are behind Bravo’s Married to Medicine, which has been renewed for a fourth season, as well as its upcoming spinoff, Married to Medicine: Houston. Founded in 2010 by Matt Anderson and Nate Green, the two were showrunners on the New Jersey, Atlanta and New York installments of the Real Housewives franchise. The company also is a part of a joint venture with Entertainment One to develop and co-produce unscripted content.

Abrams: Actor Costa Ronin has signed with Abrams Artists Agency. The Russian-born actor has played Oleg, the KGB’s science and technology head in love with Nina, beginning with the second season of FX’s The Americans. Next up he will star in the indie feature Brighton Beach, from writer-director David Gutnik. His other TV credits include The Strain, Agent X, Scorpion and Agent Carter.

CAA: Writer Ricky Blitt has signed with CAA. He previously wrote for Family Guy. He left the Fox animated comedy to executive produce The Winner for the network, and then created Romantically Challenged, starring Alyssa Milano, at ABC. He previously wrote Fox Searchlight’s 2005 Johnny Knoxville comedy The Ringer and is now developing a project with Warner Horizon.

Russell Crowe Joining ‘The Mummy,’ OWN Shakeup, John Chu to Direct ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts in ‘Ophelia’


Russell Crowe Joining Tom Cruise In ‘The Mummy’

Russell Crowe is poised to join the Universal Pictures’ classic monsters universe. Crowe is in early talks to play a Jekyll-like role opposite Tom Cruise in The Mummy. (DH)

OWN Shakes Up Leadership Team, Co-President Sheri Salata To Exit

OWN is shaking up its leadership team, with co-president Sheri Salata set to step down from her post to launch her own firm. Erik Logan will continue as the sole president of the cabler. (VAR)

Jon M. Chu In Talks To Direct ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

Jon M. Chu is in talks to direct Crazy Rich Asians. Color Force and Ivanhoe Pictures are developing the adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s 2013 book. (THR)

Daisy Ridley And Naomi Watts To Co-Star In Hamlet Reimagining ‘Ophelia’

Naomi Watts and Daisy Ridley are in final negotiations to star in Ophelia, the reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Covert Media is financing the film that’s being produced by Daniel Bobker and Ehren Kruger. (CS)

Simon West To Direct Fantasy-Action Movie ‘War Wolf’

Veteran action director Simon West has been set to helm War Wolf, with shooting set for Italy in November. Fortitude International will launch international sales in Cannes. (VAR)

Zeitgeist Films Picks Up Johnny Ma’s Debut Feature ‘Old Stone’

Zeitgeist Films has picked up distribution rights to Johnny Ma’s heart-pounding feature debut, “Old Stone,” which debuted at the Berlin Film Festival in February. (IW)

TNT Shares ‘Foreign Bodies’ with UK’s Channel 4

TNT is partnering with United Kingdom broadcaster Channel 4 for a comedic drama called Foreign Bodies. The two networks have ordered eight episodes from Eleven and Entertainment One. (BC)

Harvey Weinstein Really Doesn’t Want People to Make Documentaries About Him

In an excerpt from his upcoming book, Moguls, Monsters and Madmen: An Uncensored Life in Show Business, Avrich explains just how incredibly persistent Weinstein was in sabotaging the 2011 doc based exclusively on him since its inception. (VUL)

Anatomy Of A Scene: Behind The Year’s Most Uplifting Movie Moment, From ‘The Meddler’

Fast Company talks with filmmaker Lorene Scafaria about making the charmingly irresistible chicken coop scene from The Meddler. (FCC)



Film & TV Deals for 5/4/16: Warner Bros. & RatPac Launching Chinese Film Fund, Viola Davis Signs Deal with ABC, Vice & ESPN Join Forces


Warner Bros. and RatPac Entertainment have launched a new film fund to finance Chinese-language movies.  Brett Ratner and James Packer’s RatPac has a standing deal with Warner Bros. to co-finance the majority of the films in the studio’s slate. “The exciting thing is that China will be the No. 1 movie market in the world soon,” Ratner commented in an interview with THR. “We would like to be a big part of that.” Since 2013, WB and RatPac’s parent company, Time Warner, has been a co-investor in a Chinese media fund set up by China Media Capital (CMC), the state-backed investment group headed by Li Ruigang, former head of Shanghai Media Group.

Paramount Pictures and the UK’s first dedicated high-end CG feature animation studio, Locksmith Animation have signed an arrangement to co-develop and co-produce a series of animated projects for the studio. The company was founded by writer/director Sarah Smith known for Arthur Christmas and Julie Lockhart who worked on Shaun The Sheep Movie. Under the deal, Paramount and Locksmith are progressing three current properties, which Locksmith has been developing since its inception in 2014, with plans to head into production the next year and to release the first film in 2020. They will also develop other projects together over time to create a pipeline of releases.

Viola Davis has inked an overall deal with ABC Studios. She currently stars in How to Get Away with Murder, which makes it home at the studio. Davis and her partner Julius Tennon will develop projects for broadcast, cable, and streaming services through their production company, JuVee Productions, for ABC Studios and its cable/digital division ABC Signature. Also, JuVee has hired Andrew Wang as their new Head of Television Development and Production. He was previously Bravo, where he was VP and head of Scripted Television Development and Production.

STX Entertainment has signed multi-year production deals with multimedia production company INvelop Entertainment, and Ryan Holcomb’s Tower 2 Productions.  Brant Pinvidic launched INvelop to focus on unscripted television and feature length documentary films. Holcomb was previously the SVP of Development and Production at Lionsgate TV before launching Tower 2 Productions.

Conde Nast Entertainment is launching three new incubator programs focused at discovering and developing the next generation of digital video storytellers. The first incubator, is a partnership with Indigenous Media and filmmakers Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia and Jake Avnet. Their project will follow female filmmakers through social videos. Josh Hutcherson and Michelle Hutcherson’s Turkeyfoot Productions are behind the second incubator entitled Big Script, in partnership with Indigenous Media and it will pair young filmmakers with the industry’s hottest scripts and scales them down into short films. The third incubator is a Creators in Residence program for today’s millennial filmmakers.

A+E Networks has inked an international distribution deal with Pulse Films and East Entertainment and will be the worldwide distributor for their format and unscripted TV output. Pulse Films is a multi-disciplinary studio that launched East in 2015, led by Nathan Eastwood, producer of The Cube and creator of E4’s Bad Robots. The two companies focus on contemporary documentaries, formats and factual series. Vice Media has a majority stake in Pulse, but it remains independently run by co-CEOS and founders Thomas Benski and Marisa Clifford.

Vice Media and ESPN are joining forces on a sports programming deal where Vice Sports will produce new original series to air exclusively in ESPN properties. Select films from ESPN’s documentary series 30 for 30 will air on cable network Viceland. Additionally, Vice and ESPN are developing a short-form animated series. The two companies commented that original shows in development “will take audiences around the world to look at dominant athletes, fascinating characters and championship events that reside outside the mainstream.”

Global studio Entertainment One (eOne) has signed a first-look deal for unscripted programming with award-winning show creators Cleve Keller and Dave Noll under their Keller/Noll banner. Keller and Noll will develop and produce original unscripted programming with eOne. Keller/Noll’s numerous formats have included: Food Network’s Chopped, GSN’s Winsanity!, AMC’s FilmFakers, Bravo’s Rocco’s Dinner Party; HGTV’s Beat the House and the global game shows Momentum, Unbeatable as well as You Vs., which marked the first game show in history of Japanese television to be created outside Japan.

Jackie De Crinis is leaving her post as EVP of Original Programming at USA Network and will segue into an overall deal with Universal Cable Productions. Under the deal, will serve as an executive producer on the USA/UCP 10-episode straight-to-series drama Eyewitness, which starts production this week, and will develop new projects for the studio. De Crinis previously developed hits such as Burn Notice, Royal Pains, White Collar, Covert Affairs and Monk.

Media studio and MCN Studio71 has inked a multi-picture distribution deal with Paramount’s Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution and Acquisitions division for films. The first project under the deal is Be Somebody, the Joshua Caldwell-helmed film with Vine star Matthew Espinosa, releasing in select theaters and digital and VOD platforms June 10.

Rep Moves, Film & TV Deals, Ava DuVernay Exits ‘Intelligent Life,’ New Seth MacFarlane Series, Timbaland TV Musical



Rep Moves for 5/4/16: ‘Ratchet & Clank’s’ Bella Thorne Shifts to CAA, Oscar Winning DP Robert Richardson Signs with WME & More

Other rep moves include, writer Ricky Blitt signing with CAA and writer/ producer Eric Warren Singer shifting from UTA to CAA. (SSN)

Film & TV Deals for 5/4/16: Warner Bros. & RatPac Launching Chinese Film Fund, Viola Davis Signs Deal with ABC, Vice & ESPN Join Forces

Other film and TV deals include, Paramount and UK animation studio, Locksmith Animation, getting into business together and STX Entertainment signing a production deal with INvelop Entertainment. (SSN)


Ava DuVernay Officially Exits DreamWorks’ ‘Intelligent Life’

Ava DuVernay has exited the Dreamworks film due to schedule conflicts with her OWN series Queen Sugar as well as Walt Disney Pictures‘ big-screen take on sci-fi fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time. (CS)

Seth MacFarlane To Create & Star In Fox Sci-Fi Dramedy Series For 2017-18 Season

Fox has given a 13-episode straight-to-series order to an hourlong comedic drama series created and executive produced by the Family Guy creator, who is also set to star. (DH)

Timbaland To Develop TV Musical Based On His Album ‘Opera Noir’

The producer has struck a deal with Leftfield Pictures to develop his upcoming album Opera Noir into a musical. (VAR)

Lee Daniels’ Fox Series ‘Star’ Sets Charles Murray As Showrunner

Charles Murray has been set as executive producer and showrunner of Lee Daniels‘ Fox show Star.  The show was recently picked up to series for the 2016-17 season. (WRAP)

Andrew Garfield, Andy Serkis Teaming Up For ‘Breathe’

Andy Serkis is attached to direct Breathe, starring Andrew Garfield.  Claire Foy will also star in the film, which centers on the life of Robin Cavendish, who was diagnosed with polio at the age of 28. (THR)

Kobe Bryant, Sports Illustrated To Partner On ‘Dear Basketball’ Project

Kobe Bryant’s production company, Kobe Studios, Sports Illustrated and Believe Entertainment Group have announced their partnership on a multi-platform video project based on Bryant’s Dear Basketball poem. The animated short film will be narrated by Bryant and will premiere on SI.com in the fall. (SI)

John Malkovich Joins Fantasy-Drama ‘Valley of the Gods’

John Malkovich is joining the cast of Lech Majewski’s fantasy drama Valley of the Gods. (VAR)




Film Development for 5/5/16: Harriet Tubman Getting Feature Treatment, Alicia Vikander is the New ‘Tomb Raider’, Bruce Dern & Sean Astin in for ‘The Lears’


New Attachments

Above Suspicion
Logline: Based the true story of a newly married FBI poster-boy assigned to an Appalachian mountain town in Kentucky. There he is drawn into an illicit affair with an impoverished local woman who becomes his star informant. She sees in him her means of escape; instead, it’s a ticket to disaster for both of them. This scandal shook the foundations of the nation’s top law enforcement agency, ending in the first ever conviction of an FBI agent for murder.
Production Company(s): Rumbalara Films, Colleen Camp Productions
Producer(s): Colleen Camp, Amy Adelson, Julie Snyder, Angela Amato Velez
Writer(s): Chris Gerolmo, Ron Hutchinson
Director(s): Phillip Noyce
Cast: Jack Huston, Emilia Clarke
Details: Based on the book “Above Suspicion” written by Joe Sharkey and published by Poseidon in November 1993.
SSN Insight: Anne Hathaway was previously in talks to star. Tobey Maguire was previously in talks to star.

Anna Dressed in Blood
Logline: Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly dagger, Cas travels America with his mother and their spirit-sniffing cat.
Production Company(s): Fickle Fish Films
Producer(s): Stephenie Meyer, Meghan Hibbett
Writer(s): Alison Wood
Director(s): Trish Sie
Cast: Maddie Hasson, Cameron Monaghan
Details: Based on the novel “Anna Dressed in Blood” by Kendare Blake; published by Tor Teen in 2012.
SSN Insight: The Solution will handle international sales at Cannes with UTA Independent Film Group handling U.S. rights and packaged the project.

Dark River
Logline: Storyline under wraps.
Production Company(s): Left Bank Pictures, Moonspun Films
Producer(s): Tracy O’Riordan
Writer(s): Clio Barnard
Director(s): Clio Barnard
Cast: Ruth Wilson, Sean Bean (in talks), Mark Stanley (in talks)
Details: Based on the novel “Trespass” written by Rose Tremain and published by Chatto & Windus in 2010.
SSN Insight: Protagonist Pictures will be handling sales of the project at Cannes.

Entering Hades
Logline: The true story of journalist Jack Unterweger who strangled prostitutes and then wrote about his own crimes in the 1990s.
Studio/Distributor(s): Broad Green Pictures
Production Company(s): Storyscape Entertainment, DMC Films, Broad Green Pictures
Producer(s): Bob Cooper, Richard Saperstein, Conor McCaughan, Daniel Emmerson
Writer(s): Alexander Dinelaris, Bill Wheeler
Cast: Michael Fassbender
Details: Based on the book “Entering Hades: The Double Life of a Serial Killer” written by John Leake and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on November 13, 2007.
SSN Insight: Project was previously set up at Warner Bros. and Elysium Films. Project was previously in development at New Regency and then went into turnaround.

Logline: The true story of Mark Felt, the lifelong G-Man who, as “Deep Throat,” leaked information to the press and broke the Watergate scandal is dramatized.
Studio/Distributor(s): ,
Production Company(s): Ridley Scott Films , Playtone, Everyman Pictures, Endurance Media, Cara Films Ltd., MadRiver Pictures
Producer(s): Ridley Scott, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Steve Richards, Giannina Scott
Writer(s): Peter Landesman
Director(s): Peter Landesman
Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Maika Monroe, Tony Goldwyn, Kate Walsh
SSN Insight: Playtone previously had the project set up at Universal with Jay Roach attached to produce. Jason Bateman was previously attached in the role of Charlie Bates.

How to be a Latin Lover
Logline: About an aging Latin lover who gets dumped by his sugar mama and is forced to to return to live with his estranged sister and her preteen son in their humble home. Sporting a wardrobe consisting mostly of Versace speedos, the man focuses on finding himself another sugar mama to support his expensive tastes.
Production Company(s): Pantelion Films, 3pas Studios
Producer(s): Eugenio Derbez, Ben Odell
Writer(s): Ken Marino, Erica Oyama, Chris Spain, Jon Zack
Director(s): Ken Marino
Cast: Eugenio Derbez, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Rob Riggle
SSN Insight: Eugenio Derbez was previously attached to direct.

Logline: Six people who all work together in Detroit enter into a parlay and win $500K but soon start double crossing each other.
Production Company(s): Olive Bridge Entertainment, IM Global
Producer(s): Will Gluck, Marty Katz
Writer(s): David Callaham
Director(s): Will Gluck
Cast: Mila Kunis, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Garner
Details: Remake of “Jackpot” (Norway/2011) directed by Magnus Martens and based on the book “Arme riddere” written by Jo Nesbo.
SSN Insight: Project was included on the 2014 Black List. Patty Jenkins was previously attached to direct.

My Father Die
Logline: A young deaf boy avenges the death of his brother, and the killer happens to be his father.
Studio/Distributor(s): FilmRise
Production Company(s): KnightMarcher
Producer(s): Sanja Banic, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Brosnan, Orian Williams, Alma Bogdan-Turner
Writer(s): Sean Brosnan
Director(s): Sean Brosnan
Cast: Joe Anderson, Gary Stretch, Candace Smith, Kevin Gage, Ross Britz
SSN Insight: FilmRise has bought the worldwide rights to the revenge thriller that premiered at SXSW in March.

Logline: The story of Hamlet, told from Ophelia’s perspective.
Production Company(s): Bobker/Kruger Films, Forthcoming Films, Covert Media
Producer(s): Daniel Bobker, Ehren Kruger, Sarah Curtis, Paul Hanson
Writer(s): Semi Chellas
Director(s): Claire McCarthy
Cast: Daisy Ridley (in final talks), Naomi Watts (in final talks)
Details: Based on the novel, “Ophelia” written by Lisa Klein and published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens October 31, 2006.
SSN Insight: Covert Media will finance and handle international sales at Cannes.

Logline: Based on the true story of Henri Charriere, a petty criminal known as “Papillon” (butterfly). Wrongly convicted of murder in the 1930s and sentenced to life in a penal colony in French Guiana, Papillon attempted many escapes and subsequent punishments before succeeding.
Production Company(s): Ram Bergman Productions, Atlantia Canarias, Red Granite Pictures
Producer(s): Riza Aziz, Roger Corbi, Joey McFarland, Ram Bergman, Manuel Corbi
Writer(s): Denis Villeneuve, Aaron Guzikowski
Director(s): Michael Noer
Cast: Charlie Hunnam
Details: Remake of “Papillon” (1973) directed by Franklin J Schaffner and based on the eponymous autobiography by Henri Charriere, published in 1969.
SSN Insight: Branko Lustig, Vicente Mora and John J. Kelly were previously attached to produce.

Logline: In this heist story, a low level criminal meets a legendary thief while in jail and they plan an elaborate, global bank robbery.
Production Company(s): BB Films Productions, Bleiberg Entertainment
Producer(s): Uri Singer, Ehud Bleiberg, Nate Parker
Writer(s): Nate Parker
Director(s): Marcio Garcia
Details: Based on the short film “Predileção” (Brazil/2009) written and directed by Marcio Garcia.
SSN Insight: Bleiberg will handle worldwide sales and will introduce the project to buyers in Cannes.

Rainbow Time
Logline: About a mentally challenged 40-year-old man named Shonzi who is sent to live with his brother Todd. When Shonzi develops a crush on Todd’s new girlfriend Lindsay, he threatens to reveal past secrets that could ultimately tear the couple apart.
Studio/Distributor(s): The Orchard
Production Company(s): No Production Company Available.
Producer(s): Linas Phillips, Ian Michaels
Writer(s): Linas Phillips
Director(s): Linas Phillips
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Linas Phillips, Timm Sharp, Tobin Bell, Lauren Weedman
SSN Insight: The Orchard has acquired worldwide theatrical and ancillary distribution rights to the film that bowed in March at SXSW.

Logline: Armed with a cursed sword, Hotsuma, the last member of his clan, must battle his undead brothers and bring peace to his land.
Production Company(s): Marc Platt Productions, Stories International, Inc.
Producer(s): Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, Tomoya Suzuki
Writer(s): No Screenplay Available.
Details: Based on the video game “Shinobi” created by Sega.
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Mindfire Entertainment with Mark Altman and Mark Gottwald attached to produce.

Space Jam 2
Logline: Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes gang are once again teamed up with NBA stars in this sequel to “Space Jam.”
Production Company(s): The Company
Producer(s): Charles Ebersol
Writer(s): Andrew Dodge, Alfredo Botello, Willie Ebersol
Director(s): Justin Lin
Details: Sequel to “Space Jam” (1996) directed by Joe Pytka and starring Michael Jordan.
SSN Insight: Project is the first major film deal for Charlie Ebersol whose background is primarily in television.

Logline: The true story of Jeff Bauman, who after losing his legs in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, was an integral part of helping police to locate the suspects
Production Company(s): Mandeville Films/TV, Bold Films, Nine Stories Productions
Producer(s): Todd Lieberman, David Hoberman, Scott Silver, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michel Litvak
Writer(s): Scott Silver, John Pollono
Director(s): David Gordon Green
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Frankie Shaw, Miranda Richardson, Clancy Brown, Frankie Shaw
Details: Based on the book “Stronger” written by Jeff Bauman and Bret Whitter and published by Grand Central Publishing in April, 2014.
SSN Insight: Project was included on the 2015 Black List.

The Beatles: Eight Days A Week
Logline: Based on the first part of The Beatles’ career (1962-1966) — from the early days of The Cavern Club in Liverpool to the quartet’s last concert, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966. The film will explore how John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr came together and will examine their inner workings – how they made decisions, created their music and built their collective career together – all the while, exploring The Beatles’ unique musical gifts and their complementary personalities.
Studio/Distributor(s): Hulu
Production Company(s): Imagine Entertainment, Apple Corps Limited, White Horse Pictures
Producer(s): Nigel Sinclair, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison
Director(s): Ron Howard
SSN Insight: Hulu is launching a Hulu Documentary Films arm. This is the first movie to be released by the unit.

High Wire Act
Logline: Set in 1980’s Beirut, Mason Skiles is a former U.S. diplomat who is called back into service to save a former colleague from the group possibly responsible for his own family’s death. A CIA field agent working undercover at the American embassy is tasked
Production Company(s): Radar Pictures
Producer(s): Ted Field, Mike Weber, Tony Gilroy, Monica Levinson, Shivani Rawat
Writer(s): Tony Gilroy
Director(s): Brad Anderson
Cast: Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Mark Pellegrino, Dean Norris, Larry Pine, Shea Whigham
SSN Insight: Good Universe is handling sales rights and will shop it at the upcoming Cannes Film Market. CAA will co-represent the domestic rights with WME Global.

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, 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, Marwan Kenzari, Jake M. Johnson, Russell Crowe
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.

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

Untitled Johnnie Cochran Project
Logline: The film follows lawyer Johnnie Cochran’s 1981 landmark wrongful death case of college football player Ron Settles.
Production Company(s): The Firm, Inspire Entertainment
Producer(s): Robbie Brenner, Kevin McKeon, Anthony Mackie, Jason Spire
Writer(s): David McMillan
Cast: Anthony Mackie
SSN Insight: David McMillan was among last year’s Fox Writers Intensive finalists and recently was a staff writer on Lucifer.

New Projects

Logline: The real-life story of Robin Cavendish, who was paralyzed with polio at 28 and given three months to live, left the hospital against doctor’s advice and miraculously lived for many years.
Production Company(s): The Imaginarium, Embankment Films, BBC
Producer(s): Jonathan Cavendish
Writer(s): William Nicholson
Director(s): Andy Serkis
Cast: Andrew Garfield (in talks), Claire Foy (in talks)
SSN Insight: Embankment will sell the film at Cannes and are co-repping domestic rights with CAA. BBC Films is co-financing.

Logline: Centers on Dez Truss, a 17-year-old who is caught boosting cars for an auto-theft ring and is given one last chance to set his life straight by a compassionate mentor. He introduces the kid to Rick Radden, a former race car-driver-turned team owner who agrees to house and supervise Dez for the summer in exchange for manual labor.
Production Company(s): ESX Entertainment
Producer(s): Ali Afshar, Christina Moore, Daniel Carrey
Writer(s): Alex Ranarivelo
Director(s): Alex Ranarivelo
Cast: DeRon Horton, Kevin Dillon, Christina Moore, Matthew Glave, Dominic DeVore
SSN Insight: Dirt will be the first starring role for Horton, who appeared in Dirty Grandpa.

Logline: British scientist Rosalind Franklin plays a pivotal role in the discovery of DNA which goes largely unrecognized in her lifetime.
Production Company(s): Entertainment One Features
Writer(s): Hayley Schore, Dr. Roshan Sethi
SSN Insight: eOne has acquired the project based on a spec script by Hayley Schore & Roshan Sethi.

Golden Exits
Logline: An intersecting narrative of two families in Brooklyn and the unraveling of unspoken unhappiness that occurs when a young foreign girl spending time abroad upsets the balance on both sides.
Production Company(s): Washington Square Films , Faliro House Productions, Webber/Gilbert Media Group, Bow & Arrow Entertainment, Forager Film Company
Producer(s): Alex Ross Perry, Adam Piotrowicz, Christos Konstantakopoulos, Joe Swanberg, Eddie Linker
Writer(s): Alex Ross Perry
Director(s): Alex Ross Perry
Cast: Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman
SSN Insight: Perry’s credits include the 2014 Sundance film Listen Up Philip starring Elisabeth Moss and Queen Of Earth.

Logline: The film chronicles the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who was born into slavery and later helped dozens of people escape slavery with the Underground Railroad.
Production Company(s): Martin Chase Productions, MACRO, New Balloon, Stay Gold Features
Producer(s): Charles D. King, Debra Martin Chase, Gregory Allen Howard, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Kim Roth
Writer(s): Gregory Allen Howard
Director(s): Seith Mann
SSN Insight: Seith Mann is a prolific TV director, known for his work on Homeland.

Logline: Centering on the Plutonian, the world’s greatest superhero until he began heartlessly slaughtering the population of Earth, at least those who defy him. It falls to a superhero group known as the Paradigm to stop his rampage. They were former colleagues of the Plutonian, they’ve all got problems of their own, and none of them is nearly as powerful as the mass-murdering maniac holding the world hostage. The Paradigm in desperation turns to a famous supervillain for help.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): Gary Sanchez
Producer(s): Ross Richie, Stephen Christy, Adam McKay, Kevin Messick
Writer(s): Tommy Wirkola
Director(s): Adam McKay
Details: Based on the Boom! comic books of the same name created by Mark Waid and illustrated by Peter Krause.
SSN Insight: Boom! has a first look deal at Fox. Irredeemable won Waid the Eisner Award for Best Writer.

Logline: Centers on Claire Newbold, a successful traveling saleswoman who decides to go on the lam from her life. She develops elaborate scams for sneaking into hotel rooms, alone or with a guest, and a passion for swimming in their pools. A master of reinvention,
Production Company(s): Animus Films, Serena Films
Producer(s): Jim Young, Tatiana Kelly
Writer(s): Toni Kalem
Director(s): Toni Kalem
Cast: Penélope Cruz
SSN Insight: Fortitude International will finance and sell international rights at Cannes. CAA will handle domestic rights.

Puppet Master
Logline: When a man takes a mint condition Blade doll to sell at the toy at a convention commemorating the Toulon Murders, a strange force animates all the puppets who go on a bloody killing spree.
Production Company(s): Full Moon Features, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Caliber Media
Producer(s): Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, Dallas Sonnier, Jack Heller
Writer(s): S Craig Zahler
Details: Reboot of the cult classic “Puppet Master” franchise (USA/1989-1994) originated and produced by Charles Band.
SSN Insight: Di Bonaventura Pictures and Caliber Media optioned rights with the idea to produce multiple storylines within a new universe.

Studio 54 (Documentary)
Logline: Will tell the no-holds-barred story of Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell and their 1970s-defining Manhattan nightclub.
Production Company(s): Passion Pictures
Producer(s): John Battsek, Corey Reeser, Matt Tyrnauer
Director(s): Matt Tyrnauer
SSN Insight: Battsek’s London-based Passion Pictures produced Listen To Me Marlon and the 2012 Best Documentary Feature Oscar winner Searching For Sugar Man.

The Changeover
Logline: Based on Margaret Mahy’s best-selling, Carnegie Award-winning novel from New Zealand. When a sinister visitor arrives in her town, sixteen-year-old Laura Chant discovers awesome new powers within herself that she must harness in order to rescue her young
Production Company(s): New Holland Pictures
Producer(s): Emma Slade
Writer(s): Stuart McKenzie
Cast: Timothy Spall, Melanie Lynskey, Lucy Lawless, Charlie Heaton, Erana James
SSN Insight: Radiant Films International which is handling worldwide rights outside Australia and New Zealand at Cannes.

The Earth Breaks in Colors
Logline: A racially-fueled incident exposing the cracks under the surface of friendships and in families that have been separated by a massive earthquake.
Production Company(s): Primary Wave Entertainment
Producer(s): Ben Press, Brad Kaplan
Writer(s): Susan McMartin
Details: Based on the novel “The Earth Breaks in Colors” written by Patti Davis and published by Open Road Distribution on November 3, 2015.
SSN Insight: McMartin wrote the screenplay for Eddie Murphy starrer Mr. Church, which recently was at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The Last Days of Night
Logline: New York, 1888. Technological geniuses Thomas Edison and his rival George Westinghouse engage in a no-holds-barred legal battle over who will electrify America.
Production Company(s): Bristol Automotive
Producer(s): Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky
Writer(s): Graham Moore
Director(s): Morten Tyldum
Details: Based on the novel “The Last Days of Night” written by Graham Moore and published by Random House on September 20, 2016.
SSN Insight: Moore won the Oscar for writing and Tyldum was Oscar nominated for directing The Imitation Game.

The Lears
Logline: Focuses on world-renowned cutting-edge architect Davenport Lear. Nearing retirement, he summons his four dysfunctional children Glenn; twins Regan and Rory; Kent; and Regan’s husband Tom Cornwall to a weekend family retreat in one of his signature architectural creations.
Production Company(s): Raven West Films, NeoClassics Films
Producer(s): Irwin Olian, Carl Bessai
Writer(s): Carl Bessai
Director(s): Carl Bessai
Cast: Bruce Dern, Anthony Michael Hall, Sean Astin, Nic Bishop, Aly Michalka, James Hoare
Details: Is a comic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s King Lear.
SSN Insight: Nic Bishop recently starred in the Mark Burnett, Roma Downey produced film Woodlawn alongside Sean Astin. On the TV side, he was seen in SyFy’s Dominion as well as USA’s Covert Affairs alongside Piper Perabo.

Under the Silver Lake
Logline: Storyline of the contemporary noir crime thriller is under wraps.
Production Company(s): Benderspink, Michael De Luca Productions
Producer(s): Michael De Luca, Chris Bender, Jake Weiner, Adele Romanski
Writer(s): David Robert Mitchell
Director(s): David Robert Mitchell
Cast: Andrew Garfield
SSN Insight: Insiders will handle international distribution with CAA repping domestic rights.

Victim 321
Logline: A homicide detective wakes up in the body of an ex-con three days before his murder and has 72 hours to solve the conspiracy behind the crime in order to save his own life.
Studio/Distributor(s): Millennium Films,
Writer(s): Michael McGrale
Director(s): Diego Velasco
SSN Insight: Diego Velasco directed the Venezuelan thriller The Zero Hour.

Why We’re Killing Gunther
Logline: Gunther is the world’s greatest hitman, who’s also arrogant, a show-off, and steals jobs. The assassin community is tired of him and a group of eccentric killers from across the globe come together to set the perfect trap, but their master plan quickly tu
Production Company(s): PCB Entertainment, StarStream Entertainment, Leeding Media
Producer(s): Kim Leadford, Taran Killam, Ash Sarohia, Steve Squillante
Writer(s): Taran Killam
Director(s): Taran Killam
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Cobie Smulders, Paul Brittain
SSN Insight: MadRiver Pictures will handle international sales on the pic at Cannes.

Adam McKay’s ‘Big Short’ Followup, Ryan Murphy’s ‘Feud’, Timbaland’s Hip Hop TV Musical, Russell Crowe’s Big Week, Film Development For 5/5/16


Film Development For 5/5/16: Harriet Tubman Getting Feature Treatment, Bruce Dern & Sean Astin in for ‘The Lears’

Among the other moves happening this week, Jack Huston and Emilia Clarke sign on to a thriller based on real events, Broad Green jumps aboard the Michael Fassbender serial killer flick, a bevy of actors joining the Mark Felt biopic and some very funny people signing on to How To Be a Latin Lover. As usual, there’s plenty more, so click on the link to read on. (SSN)

Adam McKay Is Following Up His Oscar-Winning ‘The Big Short’ With a Big Time Comic Book Flick

Twentieth Century Fox is gearing up for another big superhero movie, but this one won’t star the X-Men or Deadpool. McKay will direct the big screen adaptation of the Mark Waid and Peter Krouse comic book series, Irredeemable, with Tommy Wirkola penning the script. Published in 2009, it tells the story of a Superman-like character, The Plutonian, who one days snaps and becomes the world’s greatest supervillain, flooding continents and killing millions. (CS)

Ryan Murphy Anthology ‘Feud,’ Starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, Set at FX

The prolific producer has scored a straight-to-series order for the show — as its title suggests — about famous feuds. Produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, and executive produced by Brad Pitt, the eight-episode first season revolves around the legendary rift between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis that occurred during the making of 1962 feature film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Judy Davis and Dominic Burgess co-star. (LF)

Timbaland to Develop TV Musical Based on His Album ‘Opera Noir’

For the past two seasons on Empire, he has been the man behind the music — now, he’s going to be making his own musical. The producer has struck a deal with Leftfield Pictures to develop his upcoming album into a musical. Opera Noir will be a scripted hip-hop musical based on and scored by his upcoming autobiographical and final album. The plan is to shop it to networks as an event special in a variety of potential formats, from standalone to limited series. (VAR)

Another Day, Another Bit Of Russell Crowe Casting News, as Oscar Winner Will Star In James Franco’s Adaptation ‘Blood Meridian’

A day after reports that Crowe would be joining Tom Cruise in Universal’s The Mummy reboot, the Aussie actor has joined the cast of Franco’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel. Tye Sheridan and Vincent D’Onofrio are also in the cast, alongside Franco, who also wrote the script. Scott Rudin is producing. (TP)

Meme Come To Life, Screen Gems and Mythology Entertainment To Make a ‘Slender Man’ Movie

Created by Eric Knudsen on the website Something Awful, where he posted photos of children with a photoshopped creepy figure in the background, built around the narrative that the Slender Man may or may not be responsible for many terrifying acts. It led to a real-life 2014 stabbing of a 12-year girl in Wisconsin, though she survived the attack. David Birke wrote the script, Bradley Fischer, William Sherak, and James Vanderbilt producing. (COL)

Shirley MacLaine & Matthew Broderick To Topline ‘Bettyville’ Dramedy Series For Paramount TV

Pod is behind the project that has Oscar winner MacLaine and Tony winner Broderick attached to star. The adaptation of journalist George Hodgman’s best-selling memoir, will be written by John Hoffman, who will serve as executive producer and showrunner on the series, set to film in Santa Fe, NM. Story follows Hodgman after leaving Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri to care for his aging mother Betty, chronicling the mother-son journey. (DH)

Bryan Cranston, Mila Kunis and Armie Hammer Appear Headed For a ‘Jackpot’

Trio is in for a movie that follows the story of a man who wakes up in a strip bar clutching a shotgun and surrounded by dead bodies. And the police pointing their weapons at him. Based on a book by Norwegian author Jo Nesbo. Jennifer Garner is also in talks for the project, which will be directed by Will Gluck from a script by Dave Callahan. (EMP)

Andrew Garfield Is Set To Take a Trip ‘Under the Silver Lake’ With ‘It Follows’ Helmer

David Robert Mitchell also wrote the screenplay for the film, of which plot details are under wraps. It is, however, described as a modern-day noir crime thriller set in Los Angeles. It is scheduled to shoot in L.A. later this summer. (SF)

‘Dear White People': Netflix Adapting Justin Simien’s Racial Satire Into TV Series

From Fargo to Limitless, television shows based on movies are all the rage these days. You can now add Dear White People to that list, as Netflix has given a series order to an adaptation of writer/director Justin Simien’s 2014 racial satire. Simien himself will write all 10 episodes of the half-hour show and is set to direct its premiere as well. (IW)

Alden Ehrenreich as Hans Solo, Carlos Bardem in ‘The Son,’‘Guardian Brothers’ Voice Cast, ‘Angry Birds’ China Bow


Young Han Solo Found With Alden Ehrenreich

Rumored before and now confirmed, Alden Ehrenreich is in final negotiations to don the vest and pick up the blaster for the Star Wars standalone, which centers on a younger version of the franchise favorite. (THR)

Carlos Bardem Joins AMC’s ‘The Son’

Carlos Bardem has joined the cast of AMC’s The Son. Based on Philipp Meyer’s acclaimed novel, The Son will begin production will begin in Austin, TX in June and the 10 one-hour episodes are set to premiere in 2017. (DH)

Meryl Streep, Mel Brooks, Nicole Kidman & Zendaya Voice ‘Guardian Brothers’

The Weinstein Company is acquiring most worldwide rights to the upcoming animated movie The Guardian Brothers. The cast will be led by the voices of Meryl Streep, Mel Brooks, Nicole Kidman and Zendaya. (CS)

‘Angry Birds’ Get Happy With Day-And-Date China Bow

Rovio Animation’s The Angry Birds Movie just landed a May 20 debut date in China which means it will now drop in North America day and date. (DH)

Alicia Vikander Launches Her Own Production Company

The outfit, named Vikarious Productions, will be led by the Swedish actor and her London-based agent Charles Collier.  The company’s first film, Euphoria, is set to start shooting this autumn. (GUAR)

‘Castle’s’ Nathan Fillion Set For Potential Season 9 After Inking New Deal

Nathan Fillion has closed a deal to return for the ABC drama’s ninth season — that is if there is a ninth season. ABC has until the close of business today to decide whether or not to renew the series. (TVL)

‘Supergirl’ Might Move To Vancouver To Save Season 2

Supergirl Season 2 is locked in a budget standoff between CBS and Warner Bros. TV.  The series is potentially considering a move to The CW, as well as a move from California to Vancouver. (SC)

Anne Hathaway To Star In Drone-War Movie ‘Grounded’

Anne Hathaway is adapting a movie version of George Brant’s play Grounded. Hathaway is producing with Entertainment 360’s Suzan Bymel and Ben Forkner; and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, which is financing the movie. (VAR)

Tom Hooper Directing ‘Cats’ Musical Adapatation For The Big Screen

Tom Hooper is set to get back in the musical game by bringing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running sensation Cats to theaters. The project is coming together under Universal Pictures and Working Title. (IW)


On the Set for 5/6/16: Taron Egerton Starts ‘Kingsman’ Sequel, Hugh Jackman Begins on ‘Wolverine 3’, Rooney Mara & Robert Redford Finish ‘The Discovery’



Logline: Laura is a well-meaning single mother who is forced to drive her criminal father Jack from Texas to California, with her troubled son Henry along for the ride. Along the way, they encounter Jacks old criminal buddies, survive a botched drug-robbery, and Laura finally confronts Leonard – her dead-beat ex-husband.
Production Company(s): Odd Fellows Entertainment, Automatik
Director(s): Shana Feste
Executive Producer(s): Bailey Conway Anglewicz, Kenneth Burke, Jennifer Besser
Producer(s): Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Chris Ferguson
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis MacDougall, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Schaal
Writer(s): Shana Feste
SSN Insight: Shana Feste wrote and directed the films Endless Love (2014), Country Strong and The Greatest.

Logline: The true story of Mark Felt, the lifelong G-Man who, as “Deep Throat,” leaked information to the press and broke the Watergate scandal is dramatized.
Production Company(s): Ridley Scott Films , Playtone, Everyman Pictures, Endurance Media, Cara Films Ltd., MadRiver Pictures
Director(s): Peter Landesman
Executive Producer(s): Steven Shareshian, Michael Schaefer, Michael Bassick, Steven Marshall
Producer(s): Ridley Scott, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Steve Richards, Giannina Scott
Cast: Liam Neeson, Diane Lane, Maika Monroe, Tony Goldwyn, Kate Walsh
Writer(s): Peter Landesman
SSN Insight: Playtone previously had the project set up at Universal with Jay Roach attached to produce. Jason Bateman was previously attached in the role of Charlie Bates.

Logline: Sam has a wife and two kids, is barely getting by and is having a mid-life crisis. Setting off on a road trip to reach 1 million followers, Sam brings Henry Fillmore along – just the kind of snarky kid he needs to boost his channel. Along the way, Sam is forced to wonder if he’s really doing this to provide for his family, or just to experience his own sense of fame.
Production Company(s): Digital Riot Media, Moopsy
Director(s): Jason Nash
Executive Producer(s): Stacy Maes, David Martin, Eric Wong, Tyler Condon, Doug Barry
Producer(s): John Baldecchi, Kevin Herrera
Cast: Jason Nash, Brandon Calvillo, Patton Oswalt, Andrew Daly, Jennifer Irwin
Writer(s): Jason Nash
SSN Insight: FML marks Nash’s feature directorial debut. He previously provided a voice on the digital series Very Mallory for CW Seed.

How to be a Latin Lover
Logline: About an aging Latin lover who gets dumped by his sugar mama and is forced to to return to live with his estranged sister and her preteen son in their humble home. Sporting a wardrobe consisting mostly of Versace speedos, the man focuses on finding himself another sugar mama to support his expensive tastes
Production Company(s): Pantelion Films, 3pas Studios
Director(s): Ken Marino
Producer(s): Eugenio Derbez, Ben Odell
Cast: Eugenio Derbez, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Rob Riggle
Writer(s): Ken Marino, Erica Oyama, Chris Spain, Jon Zack
SSN Insight: Eugenio Derbez was previously attached to direct.

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.
Production Company(s): Gaeta Rosenzweig Films, LD Entertainment, Will Packer Productions
Director(s): David M Rosenthal
Executive Producer(s): James Lopez
Producer(s): Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, Michael Gaeta, Alison R Rosenzweig, Jennifer Hilton Monroe
Cast: Michael Ealy, Nicole Beharie, Jesse Williams
Writer(s): Sarah Thorp, Jeff Buhler, Jake Wade Wall
Details: Remake of “Jacob’s Ladder” (1990) directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Tim Robbins.
SSN Insight: James Foley was previously in talks to direct.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox
Production Company(s): MARV Films
Director(s): Matthew Vaughn
Producer(s): Matthew Vaughn
Cast: Taron Egerton, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Edward Holcroft, Mark Strong
Writer(s): Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Details: Based on the comic book series “The Secret Service,” written by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons and published by Marvel Comics on April 11, 2012. Sequel to “Kingsman: The Secret Service” (2015) directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Colin Firth.
SSN Insight: Matthew Vaughn is currently attached to direct Ascension and Flash Gordon for Fox and direct I Am Pilgrim for MGM, all in active development.

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 love again.
Production Company(s): A24, COTA Films
Director(s): Azazel Jacobs
Executive Producer(s):
Producer(s): Ben LeClair, Chris Stinson
Cast: Debra Winger, Tracy Letts, Eric Satterberg
Writer(s): Azazel Jacobs
SSN Insight: Azazel Jacobs was a co-producer, director on the Sky Atlantic/HBO series Doll & Em.

Logline: Tough teen, Kat Carter, isn’t the disaffected rebel she appears — but an undercover police officer out to bust a drug ring at a local high school. But this time, Kat becomes emotionally involved with the underprivileged students she’s investigating — and her sympathy for these have-not kids just may get.
Production Company(s): Parliament Of Owls
Director(s): Jordan Ross
Executive Producer(s): Cary Fukunaga
Producer(s): Fernando Loureiro, Roberto Vasconcellos
Cast: Eliza Taylor, Daniel Webber, Lena Headey, Jazzy De Lisser, Brett Rice
Writer(s): Jordan Ross, Matt Michnovetz
SSN Insight: Cary Fukunaga, along with his production company Parliament of Owls, has signed a two-year overall deal with Paramount Television. Fukunaga is also attached to the Columbia film The Black Count as director, writer and producer.

Wolverine 3
Logline: Storyline is under wraps.
Studio/Distributor(s): 20th Century Fox,
Production Company(s): Donners’ Company, Hutch Parker Entertainment
Director(s): James Mangold, Garrett Warren
Producer(s): Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E Grant, Stephen Merchant
Writer(s): Michael Green, David James Kelly, James Mangold
Details: Sequel to “Wolverine” (2013) directed by James Mangold and starring Hugh Jackman.
SSN Insight: The film will shoot in New Orleans, Louisiana and in New Mexico. A wide release scheduled in United States March 3, 2017.

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
Director(s): Todd Haynes
Producer(s): Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, John Sloss
Cast: Millicent Simmonds, Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Jaden Michael
Writer(s): Brian Selznick
Details: Based on the children’s book “Wonderstruck” written by Brian Selznick and published by Scholastic Press on September 13, 2011.
SSN Insight: Half the film will be presented in silent film format, with an unprecedented number of deaf actors in roles that would normally go to hearing actors.


And Then There Was Light
Logline: The story centers on a young girl who loses her eyesight after a traumatic accident. Her parents seek out various options to help her adjust, including enrolling her in a program for seeing-eye dogs, but she is unable to connect until the head trainer of Southeastern Guide Dogs trains a miniature horse to be her companion.
Production Company(s): Sweet Tomato Films, Character Brigade
Director(s): Castille Landon
Producer(s): Dori Sperko, Joseph Restaino
Cast: Amy Smart, Burt Reynolds, Jack Griffo, Lindsay Lamb, Castille Landon
Writer(s): Castille Landon
SSN Insight: The film was shot in Bradenton, Florida.

Golden Exits
Logline: An intersecting narrative of two families in Brooklyn and the unraveling of unspoken unhappiness that occurs when a young foreign girl spending time abroad upsets the balance on both sides.
Production Company(s): Washington Square Films , Faliro House Productions, Webber/Gilbert Media Group, Bow & Arrow Entertainment, Forager Film Company
Director(s): Alex Ross Perry
Producer(s): Alex Ross Perry, Adam Piotrowicz, Christos Konstantakopoulos, Joe Swanberg, Eddie Linker
Cast: Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman
Writer(s): Alex Ross Perry
SSN Insight: Perry can be seen in the cast of Lionsgate’s upcoming film, Joshy. He is also attached to Disney’s Winnie the Pooh feature in development as a screenwriter.

Old Boys
Logline: In the school-set re-working of Cyrano, an awkward but imaginative pupil helps the handsome but spectacularly dim school-hero pursue the fiery daughter of a visiting French teacher.
Production Company(s): Film4 Productions, British Film Institute
Director(s): Toby MacDonald
Executive Producer(s): Erik Hemmendorff
Producer(s): Luke Morris
Cast: Alex Lawther, Pauline Etienne, Jonah Hauer-King, Denis Ménochet, Joshua McGuire
Writer(s): Freddy Syborn
SSN Insight: The marks Pauline Étienne’s English-language debut.

That Good Night
Logline: a once-famous screenwriter has two final wishes in life: to be reconciled with his long-lost son, and to ensure he doesn’t become a burden on his wife by hiring a mysterious “visitor” to help him pass painlessly into “that good night,” to quote Dylan Thomas’ poem. However, his wishes do not go to plan.
Production Company(s): GSP Studios
Director(s): Eric Styles
Executive Producer(s): Julian Hicks, Gary Collins, Paul Ward
Producer(s): Alan Latham, Charles E Savage
Cast: Erin Richards, John Hurt, Max Brown, Sofia Helin, Sonita Henry
Writer(s): Charles E Savage
Details: Based on the stage play “That Good Night” written by N.J. Crisp which premiered at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, England on April 2, 1996.
SSN Insight: The title is inspired by a Dylan Thomas poem of the same name. GSP Studios’ Alan Latham was the producer of the original play.

The Discovery
Logline: Soon after the existence of the afterlife has been scientifically proven, the son of the man who made the discovery falls in love with a woman with a tragic past.
Production Company(s): Endgame Entertainment, Verisimilitude
Director(s): Charlie McDowell
Producer(s): Alex Orlovsky, James D. Stern, Hunter Gray
Cast: Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Robert Redford, Jesse Plemons, Riley Keough
Writer(s): Charlie McDowell, Justin Lader
SSN Insight: Nicholas Hoult was previously attached to the cast.

The Lears
Logline: Focuses on world-renowned cutting-edge architect Davenport Lear. Nearing retirement, he summons his four dysfunctional children Glenn; twins Regan and Rory; Kent; and Regan’s husband Tom Cornwall to a weekend family retreat in one of his signature architectural creations.
Production Company(s): Raven West Films, NeoClassics Films
Director(s): Carl Bessai
Producer(s): Irwin Olian, Carl Bessai
Cast: Bruce Dern, Anthony Michael Hall, Sean Astin, Nic Bishop, Aly Michalka, James Hoare
Writer(s): Carl Bessai
SSN Insight: Nic Bishop recently starred in the Mark Burnett, Roma Downey produced film Woodlawn alongside Sean Astin. On the TV side, he was seen in SyFy’s Dominion as well as USA’s Covert Affairs alongside Piper Perabo.

The Oath
Logline: A well respected doctor’s daughter starts dating a dangerous criminal.
Production Company(s): Working Title Films, Marc Platt Productions, RVK Studios, XYZ Films, Access Industries
Director(s): Baltasar Kormakur
Producer(s): Baltasar Kormakur, Agnes Johansen
Cast: Baltasar Kormakur, Hera Hilmarsdottir, Gísli Örn Garðarsson, Þorsteinn Bachmann, Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson
Writer(s): Olafur Egilsson, Baltasar Kormakur
SSN Insight: Baltasar Kormakur was the director of Everest, 2 Guns, The Deep and Contraband.

The Solutrean
Logline: An epic survival story set 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age.
Studio/Distributor(s): Sony Pictures Releasing
Production Company(s): Buzz Filmz, Studio 8, The Picture Company
Director(s): Albert Hughes
Executive Producer(s): Stuart Besser
Producer(s): Andrew Rona, Albert Hughes
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leonor Varela, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Jens Hultén, Natasha Wilson
Writer(s): Dan Wiedenhaupt
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development at Atlas Entertainment with Charles Roven attached to produce.

SSN Box Office Trending Report for 5/6/16: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ to Lay Siege to Theaters While ‘X-Men’ Starts 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 5-6

‘Angry Birds’ Helmer Fergal Reilly, FCC Approves Charter Buy Of TWC, Sumner Redstone Is “Impaired”, SSN BO Trend Report, On the Set For 5/6/16



‘Angry Birds’ Director Fergal Reilly on Breaking the Story, Working at Lightening Speed and Answering the Question, ‘Why are These Birds Angry?’

There are many movies that have originated through original specs or little known articles. The Angry Birds Movie isn’t one of them. The film, which Sony slingshots into theaters on May 20th, is based on the most downloaded mobile game of all time. While a movie with that much name recognition might be easy to sell, building an entire world filled with characters with personality was a challenge to say the least. Luckily, the film had Fergal Reilly at its helm. (SSN)

SSN Box Office Trending Report For 5/6/16: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ to Lay Siege to Theaters While ‘X-Men’ Starts 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 5/6/16: Taron Egerton Starts ‘Kingsman’ Sequel, Hugh Jackman Begins on ‘Wolverine 3’, Rooney Mara & Robert Redford Finish ‘The Discovery’

It’s been an extremely busy week in Hollywoodland, with other projects like the biopic of Mark Felt (aka Deep Throat), Ken Marino’s directorial debut, the Jacob’s Ladder remake and the new flick from Todd Haynes all get rolling, while a bunch of other projects wrap things up, including a new film starring Burt Reynolds. As usual, there’s plenty more, so click on the link to read on. (SSN)


FCC Approves Charter Acquisition of Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks

Paving the way for the rise of a new No. 2 in the cable TV arena, the FCC has formally approved the acquisition of TWC and Bright House Networks by Charter Communications. The FCC said today that the three-way $66 billion merger had been approved with certain conditions on Charter’s activities that were outlined by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler last month. With this approval, the deal is sure to close within the next week or so. (VAR)

Sumner Redstone Trial: “Severely Impaired” Mogul Suffering From Dementia, Doctor Tells Court

Testimony by a doctor who examined Redstone ahead of the mogul’s health care trial seemingly revealed that the 92-year-old is suffering from dementia. “He does have major neurological problems,” said Dr. Stephen Read today in a downtown courtroom after a videotape deposition of Redstone was played in a closed court. (DH)

Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ With Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci Might Finally Be Moving Forward

Paramount needs to finalize its deal to sell off the international rights in time for the Cannes marketplace, but should that happen, The Irishman could finally be well on its way to being made. The movie would bring together Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in the Steve Zaillian-penned adaptation of I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt, which tells the true story of Frank Sheeran, a high-ranking Teamsters officer who dabbled as a hitman. (TP)

So Much For James Franco’s ‘Blood Meridian’ Project, as the Film Has Been Scrapped

Franco was set to star in and direct the adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy book, which was also set to star Ryan Reynolds, Russell Crowe, Tye Sheridan and Vincent D’Onofrio, but apparently the announcement was made before certain tricky deals – specifically the rights to the book, which you might just think would be important to make the movie – had been finalized. So now the film is off the table and has apparently been scrapped as it currently stands. (EMP)

Ben Affleck Is Now an Executive Producer For the Two-Part ‘Justice League’ Movie, but What, Exactly, Does That Mean?

A creative change is taking place behind the scenes on Warner Bros.’ superhero epic. Apparently, the actor/filmmaker is making this move “to support Snyder,” adding that he’ll work with Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio “behind the scenes to make the film the best it can be.” After the disappointment of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the studio is looking to make certain its superhero centerpiece doesn’t go off the rails. (COL)

Oscar Isaac Signs On For ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ Helmer’s Next Effort

The Force Awakens star is teaming up with director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon to star in the thriller A Foreigner. The story revolves around a murdered Guatemalan man who arranges for videos of his killers to be distributed after his death in hopes to uncover the corruption that has led to other murders. The story is based on the New Yorker article “A Murder Foretold” written by David Grann in 2011. (IW)

A Question We Have To Really Start Asking Ourselves: When It Comes To Comedy, What’s the Limit?

In the wake of Will Ferrel’s Reagan debacle, how far is too far? When have we crossed over from satire into offensiveness? What, if anything, is off limits? Have we entered a time when we can’t really laugh about things anymore? Do we take ourselves too seriously? You work in a creative industry and people are telling you what you can and can’t create. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. (TB)

‘Civil War’ Box Office, Jesse Eisenberg Creating TV Series, ‘Good Wife’ Finale, Idris Elba Joins Aaron Sorkin Biopic, Stallone Taking Netflix Global, Pilot Buzz


Box Office: ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Clocks $178M for Fifth-Best Opening Ever

Sunday’s business turned out to be more female and family driven than expected, shaving some muscle off the opening of Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, but keeping the threequel tough enough for the fifth best domestic opening all-time with $178 million, ahead of Iron Man 3‘s $174.1 million. (DL)

Netflix Developing ‘Ultimate Beastmaster’, the First Global Competition Show of its Kind, with Stallone

Netflix is developing a new global competition series, Ultimate Beastmaster, produced by Sylvester Stallone and The Biggest Loser EP Dave Broome. Touted as the first international competition show of its kind, it will feature six country-specific versions, with local languages, competitors and hosts from each country: the U.S., Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany and Japan. (VAR)

Richard Gere Will Have His Hands Full Starring in Jon Avnet’s ‘Three Christs’

Richard Gere will star in Jon Avnet’s Three Christs, playing a doctor treating three paranoid schizophrenic patients who all believe they are Jesus Christ. The potentially hot-button film, marks Gere and Avnet’s second collaboration. (VAR)

Idris Elba Saddles Up to Aaron Sorkin’s Table for Poker Biopic ‘Molly’s Game’

Idris Elba is joining Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game, the directorial debut of Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Elba will play Bloom’s criminal-defense lawyer, who, according to the producers, “learns that there’s much more to Molly than the tabloids lead us to believe.” (THR)

‘The Last Full Measure’ Lining Up Cast with Ed Harris, Scott Eastwood Along with Laurence Fishburne and Morgan Freeman in Talks

Fast rising Scott Eastwood (Suicide Squad) and Ed Harris will star in The Last Full Measure for Emmy Award winner Todd Robinson (The Legend of Billy the Kid), who directs based on his screenplay. Laurence Fishburne is in final negotiations to board the project with Morgan Freeman also in discussions to star alongside them. (DL)

Jesse Eisenberg Creating, Writing & Directing TV Series ‘Bream Gives Me Hiccups’

Jesse Eisenberg is creating, writing and directing a comedy for television called Bream Gives Me Hiccups. Based on his collection of stories of the same name, the project hails from Jax Media (the production company behind Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City), and will star Parker Posey, Victor Rasuk and newcomer Elliott Smith. (THR)

Spoilers Ahead: Why ‘The Good Wife’ Creators Think That Finale Was a Tragedy

The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King weigh in on the ending that even star Julianna Margulies said would be very divisive. (VF)

Busy Schedule Forces Lee Daniels Exit From Richard Pryor Biopic

Lee Daniels, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind Precious, has exited the project, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The Weinstein Co., which is behind the film (it also released Lee Daniels’ The Butler), is said to have declined to wait further for Daniels’ schedule to clear up. (THR)

The Latest Pilot Pickup Buzz as the Season Rounds Third Base

Pilot screenings at the broadcast networks are wrapping, and we are heading into the final stage of the decision-making process when executives pour over scores of testing and research data and evaluate how shows would fit into their lineups against the shows’ potential financial benefits for the company (via ownership) to select the new 2016-17 scripted series. (DL)

Marvel Maestro Kevin Feige On ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and Keeping the Balancing Act Going

Feige discusses the balancing act that goes into administering the Marvel universe, the pseudo controversy on casting Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange, and bringing Spider-Man under Marvel quality control. (DL)

Exec Shuffle for 5/9/16: Ellen DeGeneres Launches Digital Network, Cinetic Opens Int’l Sales Division Ahead of Cannes, Kim Dong-ho Named Chairman of Busan Film Festival


Company Launches & Partnerships

New York-based film and media company Cinetic has launched an international sales division in a pre-Cannes Film Festival announcement. Cinetic previously focused on domestic sales but they will now be working with existing sales, management and finance teams to plan film finance and worldwide sales along with acquiring international sales rights. Jason Ishikawa will head the new division. He was previously the Senior Director of Acquisitions at The Film Sales Company.

Comcast’s FreeWheel online-video division has paid upwards of $100 million in cash to acquire French company StickyAds.tv, which provides tools and a private exchange for video publishers to sell ads programmatically. StickyAds’ goal is to help premium publishers “embrace programmatic video in a controlled and totally transparent manner.” The company’s customers include France’s TF1, Yahoo, Deezer, France Télévisions and Spiegel TV, and it claims to serve more than 7,000 websites in 150 countries worldwide.

Ellen DeGeneres has launched her own digital network. Programs will include original Damn, Daniel series for Snapchat; Ellen’s Pet Dish, an animated series featuring her pets, the return of 4-year-old viral sensation Brielle; new episodes of Dance Challenge; #MadeByYou and popular Ellen Show game Epic or Fail. She also signed a content development deal with social media star Tyler Oakley, and will collaborate on a range of original digital projects, with an aim toward developing projects for television.

Skydance Media has aquired game developer The Workshop Entertainment, Inc. which will be used to launch Skydance Interactive, LLC, a subsidiary that will create and own original video games and virtual reality experiences. Workshop gives Skydance the ability to vertically integrate its IP across film, TV and interactive platforms. The company will self-publish and digitally distribute Skydance Interactive titles for VR hardware.

UK film financier The Fyzz Facility has signed a deal with The Tea Shop & Film Company producers Mark Lane and James Harris to launch The Fyzz Facility Pictures. The team will develop existing and new IP and produce three to five feature films and television productions a year with the support of “substantial financial backing.” Under the pact, Mark Lane and James Harris will be made directors along with Fyzz’s Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones. The two companies have worked together on three films in the last 2 years, including the upcoming thriller 47 Meters Down, which will be released by the Weinstein Company.

Revolution Studios has bought a stake in Latino digital entertainment company Latin Everywhere and has licensed Spanish-dubbed versions of titles for distribution through Latin Everywhere’s OTT platform, Pongalo. Latin Everywhere will leverage Revolution’s strategic investment to expand Pongalo with an upcoming subscription VOD offering. Latin Everywhere’s library includes more than 50,000 hours of film and TV content, including telenovela Juana la Virgen, the basis for the hit U.S. television series Jane the Virgin.

Digital company Fullscreen is changing its name to Fullscreen Media and restructuring into three business units focused on creators, consumers with premium entertainment and advertisers with branded content. Fullscreen Creator Network will provide services to creators on YouTube and other platforms to develop programming, expand distribution and sell merchandise, which also includes management services and direct-to-fan technology Fullscreen Direct. Fullscreen Entertainment will comprise Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Productions, SVOD services for Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Live, which will produce 250 live, in-person events in 2016. The third division, Fullscreen Brandworks will consist of a team of content creators and marketing experts that create branded social content and a media network.


Kim Dong-ho has been appointed chairman of the Busan International Film Festival. His role will be to ensure the festival runs smoothly this year, October 6-15. His wider role may be to try to end the conflict over artistic independence that has been going on for upwards of 18 months between festival organizers and the city authorities. Kim, who was one of the festival’s supporters at its start 20 years ago, is currently an honorary executive director.

Matt Alvarez has been named the President of Production at Broad Green Pictures. He has producer credits on Straight Outta Compton and Ride Along.  In his new position, Alvarez will be responsible for identifying new projects and handle Broad Green’s slate of films. He will continue his role as producer on films he has in active development at the studio.

Jeff Annison is now the Co-Founder/President of Legion M. He was previously the Chief Executive Officer at Underground Labs, Inc. Paul Scanlan is now the Co-founder/Chief Executive Officer at Legion M. He was previously the Co-Founder/President at MobiT, Inc.

Kyle Bellinger has been upped from Development Executive to Executive Director of Acquisitions & Development at Foresight Unlimited. Talia Goldman is now the Executive Director of Operations & Distribution at Foresight Unlimited. She was formerly the Director of International Sales at IM Global.

Paul Davidson has been upped from SVP to EVP of Film & Television at The Orchard.

Chet Devaskar is now the EVP of Business & Legal Affairs at Covert Media. He was previously the Head, Business Affairs and General Counsel at Treehouse Pictures.

Jamie Stevens is now the EVP of Worldwide Consumer Products, Motion Picture Group at Sony Pictures Entertainment. He was previously the EVP of Global Retail Marketing & Development at NBCUniversal.

Adam Walker has been upped from Head Publicist of Premieres Program to Director, Publicity at Film Forum in New York.

Ana Garanito will now be the Head of Development at Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures. In her new role she will spearhead scripted film and TV development for the company, which is looking to ramp up its efforts in the arena. She recently worked at Runaway Fridge Productions and FremantleMedia International.


Sean McDonough has been hired as a new color commentator for ESPN in a move to replace Mike Tirico, who is leaving the Worldwide Leader to join NBC Sports. Since 2000, McDonough has worked for ESPN on the World Series, NCAA Final Four and the Olympic Games along with college football, college basketball and Major League Baseball. He has also called NFL games for ESPN Radio since 2013.

Jill Ratner has been upped from SVP to EVP of Litigation at Fox Entertainment Group.

Jonathan Bluman is now the VP of Talent & Casting at ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios. He was previously a Talent Agent at WME. Ayo Davis is now the Head of Talent & Casting at ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios after being the Interim Head of Casting.

Tommy Coriale has been upped from VP of Production to General Manager at DiGa in New York.

Daniel Eilemberg has bene upped from Chief Digital Officer and SVP, Digital to President, Chief Content Officer at FUSION. Boris Gartner has been upped from SVP, Chief Strategy Officer to President, Chief Operating Officer.

Perla Farias is now the SVP of Scripted Development at Telemundo Studios. She was formerly the VP of Novela Development at Telemundo Network in Miami. Carmen Urbaneja has been upped from VP, Novela Production to SVP of Scripted Productions at Telemundo Studios.

Liza Burnett Fefferman is now the SVP of Communications at VH1 and Logo (New York, as of May 2nd, 2016). She was formerly the EVP of Publicity at RADiUS in New York.

Bill Hilary is now pursuing other opportunities. He was previously the President at Fuse Media. Felipe Holguin is now the Co-President, Chief Operating Officer at Fusion Media Group. He was previously the EVP of Digital & News Operations at Univision Communications Inc.  Camila Jimenez Villa is now the Co-President, Chief Content Officer at Fusion Media Group. She was formerly the VP of CEO Projects & Analytics at Univision Communications Inc.

Julie Pifher is now the VP of Development at Rive Gauche Television. She was formerly the Director of Development at Workaholic Productions.

Barry Poznick is now the President of Unscripted Television at MGM Television. He was previously the Founder, Chief Executive Officer at Barracuda Productions.

Mia Rondinella is now the SVP of Global Distribution & Strategy at Disney Media Distribution and Disney & ESPN Media Networks. She was formerly the VP of Consumer Data & Analytics at Disney-ABC Television Group.

Sheri Salata is launching an unnamed brand innovation agency. She was formerly the Co-President, Management Partner at OWN. Erik Logan, will now serve as sole president of OWN.

Joseph Schneier has been uppe from Senior Director to VP of Production & Development at Discovery Channel.

Jessica Sebastian is now the SVP of Development at ITV Entertainment. She was formerly the Head of Alternative Programming at USA Network.

Paul Shapiro is pursuing other opportunities. He was previously the SVP of Original Content at Syfy. Erik Storey is also currently pursuing other opportunities. He was previously the SVP of Original Programming at Syfy.

Daniel Tibbets is now the President, General Manager at El Rey Network. He was previously the Chief Content Officer at Machinima.

Andrew Wang is now the Head of Television Development & Production at JuVee Productions. He was previously the VP and Head of Scripted Television Development & Production at Bravo Media.

Jimmy Zasowski has been upped from Senior Director of Affiliate Sales to VP of Business Strategy at Disney & ESPN Media Networks in New York.

Jonathan Schwartz has been upped from EVP of General Counsel & Head, Government Relations and Secretary to Chief Legal & Corporate Affairs Officer at Univision Communications Inc. in New York.

Jacqueline Parkes will be the EVP of Marketing and Creative at MTV in a move to replace longtime MTV marketing chief Tina Exharos, who left the company at the end of last year. Eli Lehrer will be the new EVP overseeing MTV2 and will succeed Chris McCarthy, who was named GM of VH1. Parkes was previously the Chief of Marketing at the MLB while Lehrer was Lifetime’s SVP and Head of Non-Scripted Programming. Kristin Frank, formerly EVP of Connected Content for MTV and VH1, will now be the EVP of Strategy, Revenue & Operations. Erik Flannigan, previously the EVP at Viacom’s Music & Entertainment Group, will now be the EVP of Music/Events Strategy & Development.

Management, PR, Agencies

Hannah Ozer is now a Literary Manager at Kaplan/Perrone. She was formerly the Director of Development at Mad Chance Productions.

George Heller is now a Literary Manager at Brillstein Entertainment Partners. He was previously a Literary Manager at Apostle Management.

Music, Digital, Publishing, Misc.

Eric Legendre and Celine Rotterman have been upped to Co-Managing Directors of International Advertising & Strategic Partnerships at Variety. While at Variety Legendre has planned key events at some festivals and markets, including Cannes, MIP-TV and the Annecy Animation Festival. Rotterman, based in London, has supervised sales across Variety’s platforms for Germany, Central Europe, U.K. Television, Turkey, Russia and the CIS.

Maria Valero is now the VP of Business Affairs at Condé Nast Entertainment in New York. She was formerly the VP of Business Affairs & Content at Audible.

Jesse Goodwin is now the VP of Music Supervision at The Hit House. He was previously the Music Supervisor at Seismic Productions,

Patrick Davenport is now the Chief Operating Officer, USA at MPC Advertising (New York/Los Angeles). He was previously the Managing Director at Co3 & Method Studios.

Sumner Redstone Case Dismissed but Another Is Filed, Syfy Heads To ‘Krypton’, ‘Civil War’ Helmers’ New Show, Exec Shuffle For 5/9/16


Exec Shuffle for 5/9/16: Ellen DeGeneres Launches Digital Network, Cinetic Opens Int’l Sales Division Ahead of Cannes, Kim Dong-ho Named Chairman of Busan Film Festival

Meanwhile, in other news, Comcast’s online video division makes a major buy, Skydance acquires a game developer, Revolution Studios buy a stake in a Latino digital entertainment company, and Fullscreen has a name change. Click the link for more. (SSN)

Case Dismissed: Judge Throws Out Sumner Redstone Health Lawsuit

The trial was cut short, but the legal fight over media mogul Sumner Redstone’s healthcare is far from over. Judge David J. Cowan today dismissed with prejudice a petition over Redstone’s competency to amend a healthcare directive, after just one full day of a trial that was expected to take more than a week. Moments after the decision, Manuela Herzer filed a new lawsuit against Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone. (HESQ)

Syfy Does the Obvious, Picks Up Superman Prequel ‘Krypton’ To Pilot

It’s official: Syfy is in the Superman business. The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has handed out a formal pilot order to the drama, set two generations before the destruction of the legendary Man of Steel’s home planet. Krypton will follow Superman’s grandfather as he fights to redeem his family’s honor and save his beloved world from chaos. David S. Goyer will exec produce through his Phantom Four banner. Damian Kindler will exec produce and showrun. (LF)

What Took So Long? Andre The Giant Biopic Now In the Works

Lion Forge Comics and producers Scott Steindorff and Dylan Russell have partnered to develop a feature film about the life of iconic pro wrestler Andre “The Giant” Roussimoff. The project is based on the authorized graphic novel biography published last year, Andre The Giant: Closer to Heaven. Roussimoff’s daughter Robin Christensen-Roussimoff will consult on the film and assigned the exclusive rights for the biography to the producers. (VAR)

‘Captain America: Civil War’s’ Joe and Anthony Russo Developing Showtime Pot Comedy

Half-hour sitcom focuses on a larcenous family of marijuana dealers whose world is turned upside down when their illegal enterprise suddenly becomes legal in their home state. As the family struggles to adapt to new world of legitimate business, they must depend on the business acumen of their son, whose straight and narrow leanings have always made him a “black sheep.” Project will be written by comedian Moshe Kasher and writer/actor Zach Cregger. (TW)

Hot On the Heels Of ‘Deadpool’s Success, Word Comes That ‘Wolverine 3’ Will Definitely Be Rated ‘R’

Producer Simon Kinberg has confirmed the news, as well as the fact that the film has indeed already begun filming. While Kinberg wouldn’t go so far as confirming that Patrick Stewart is co-staring in the movie, he did confirm the R rating and said the film “takes place in the future.” (COL)

Aardman Studios’ Next Film Lands an Oscar Winner To Voice the Lead Role

Eddie Redmayne has joined Nick Park’s new prehistoric comedy adventure Early Man as the voice of Dug. Pictured below in the studio this week, Eddie Redmayne is the first cast member to be revealed as production begins. Film marks Nick Park’s first feature film since Academy Award-winning Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. (CS)

Michael Shannon Is the Latest To Join the Cast Of Guillermo del Toro’s Supernatural Cold War Romance

The one-time Oscar nominee will play a villain in the as-yet-untilted project set up at Fox Searchlight, and joins Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, and Michael Stuhlbarg. The plot of the project is under wraps, but one report indicates that the story would involve a janitor (Hawkins) who falls in love with a merman and frees him from the lab where he is being kept. (SF)

New Biopic And TV Projects In Works Based On Life Of Mexican-American Superstar Jenni Rivera

Rivera tragically passed away in a 2012 plane crash, but her legacy is about to live on in a very big way. Now, multiple television projects and a new film about the singer and actress’ life are currently in the works. All of the projects are “in early development and details will be announced later,” but they are expected to include a music-heavy television series “based on the lives and stories of The Rivera Family as a musical dynasty.” (IW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Inferno’

Sony Pictures has released the first look at director Ron Howard’s latest adaptation of a Dan Brown novel, which once again stars Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon. Also starring in the film are Felicity Jones, Ben Foster, Omar Sy, and Irrfan Khan. Film is set to open in the U.S. on October 28th, though the film will see an international rollout starting October 12th. (YT)

Gael García Bernal is Zorro, Inside the Cannes Jury, Comedy Central Shake-Up, Stana Katic’s Last ‘Castle’ Ep, Amazon Takes on YouTube, Walden & Akiva Goldsman Producing Spy Film


Gael García Bernal To Don the Black Mask & Become Zorro in Jonás Cuarón’s Reboot

Gael García Bernal and Jonás Cuarón are coming together again — this time for the reboot of Zorro in a film entitled Z. Cuarón’s Desierto, which stars García Bernal, will be released by STX Entertainment later in the year. It is written and will be directed by Cuarón and is eyeing a fall start at the Pinewood Dominican Republic studios. (DL)

Shake-Up at Comedy Central as Kent Alterman Replaces Michele Ganeless at Top

Following her 12-year run, Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless is stepping down. She will be replaced by her second-in-command, original programming president Kent Alterman. Read Herzog’s internal memo to the staff here. (THR)

Amazon Partners with Machinima, Conde Nast & Others to Take on YouTube, Opening Video Platform to All Creators

Amazon, which touts itself as Earth’s biggest store, has officially launched its bid to be the place to watch any kind of video under the sun. With the launch of Amazon Video Direct, open to any video creator, the e-commerce giant will compete head-to-head with Google’s YouTube for video-ad dollars and views as well as other big Internet video distributors like Facebook and Vimeo. (VAR)

Inside the Secret Society that is the Cannes Jury

Kirsten Dunst, producer Jeremy Thomas and more offer a peek into a world where nine virtual strangers live in a bubble of film, food and friendship — until voting starts. (THR)

Bill Murray, Josh Hutcherson & Linda Cardellini Sign Up for ‘The King Of Counterfeit’

Bill Murray, Josh Hutcherson and Linda Cardellini have come on-board John McNaughton’s The King of Counterfeit, a fast-paced love story centered around two ambitious young counterfeiters and the crooked superstar lawyer that mentors them. (DL)

‘The Billion Dollar Spy’ Comes in from the Cold with Walden Media & Akiva Goldsman Producing the Film

Walden Media will develop, finance and produce a film adaptation of David E. Hoffman’s The Billion Dollar Spy with Akiva Goldsman producing. Ben August (Remember) is attached to write the script. (VAR)

How Amazon and Netflix Have Changed the Distribution Models at Cannes

The biggest story to emerge on the festival circuit this year is how the market has been upended by Amazon and Netflix. The streaming services have the financial heft to scoop up any project that catches their fancy. “Netflix and Amazon are making it more challenging for other distributors to compete,” says Jessica Lacy, head of international and independent film at ICM. (VAR)

SAG-AFTRA Members Ratify Commercials Contract that Includes $200 Million in Wage Increases

A month after its SAG-AFTRA’s national board of directors approved a new TV commercials contract, the union’s members voted overwhelmingly today to ratify it. The count was 92.3% in favor of the new deal with the ad industry that generates about $1.1 billion annually for actors, extras and voice-over artists. (DL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 4

At the end of season 3, affairs at Litchfield Penitentiary was decidedly topsy turvy — and by the looks of a brand-new trailer for Orange Is the New Black’s fourth season, things have gotten progressively worse for its female inmates. (EW)

More Trailer Buzz: Stana Katic’s Last Episode of ‘Castle’

“Everything ends in tragedy — even an epic love story like yours.” That is what a nefarious character says to Rick in the promo for Castle‘s Season 8 finale aka leading lady Stana Katic’s final episode. (TVL)

TV Development for 5/10/16: ‘Civil War’ Directors Joe & Anthony Russo Developing Pot Comedy, Netflix Orders ‘Dear White People’ Series, Bryan Cranston in for ‘Electric Dreams’


Network: History
Studio: A+E Networks, ABC Studios
Executive Producer(s): Chris Brancato
Writer(s): Chris Brancato
Logline: The series chronicles the rise of kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to power, taking a look inside the stranger-than-fiction world of drug cartels who use social media to maintain their image, recruit new members and threaten rivals. Unlike drug lords of decades past, El Chapo, who reigned over the Mexican drug trafficking cartel for 25 years, has fan followings, with relationships in the entertainment and music industry that stretch past the Mexican border and into the United States.
Details: Based on the true story of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
SSN Insight: History gave an initial script commitment on May 3.

Con Man
Network: Comic-Con HQ (online)
Executive Producer(s): Nathan Fillion, PJ Haarsma, Alan Tudyk, Adam Gentile, Jay Hamilton
Writer(s): Alan Tudyk
Logline: The show revolves around a science fiction show called “Spectrum” that was canceled in 2004 after airing only a handful of episodes. The web series follows the lives of Spectrum cast members after the show’s cancellation. One, Captain Jack Moore, went on to bigger and brighter things. Wray Nerely, not so much.
Details: Planned as a 12-episode series. (3/10/2015)
SSN Insight: Planned as a 12-episode series. The series will stream exclusively this summer on the soon-to-launch Comic-Con HQ, the ad-free subscription streaming VOD platform from Lionsgate and Comic-Con International.

Cosmo Life
Network: E! Networks
Production Company(s): Bunim/Murray Productions
Executive Producer(s): Gil Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins, Rob Bagshaw, Joanna Coles, Holly Whidden
Logline: Set in one of the most glamorous epicenters of pop culture, Cosmopolitan Magazine, the series follows the work-hard, play-hard lifestyles of a group of young tastemakers at the cutting edge of what’s hot in music, fashion, style, beauty, sex and celebrities, often opening up their own lives to millions of readers around the globe. These up-and-comers at the world’s best-selling women’s magazine juggle the temptations of New York’s hottest celebrity parties and VIP nightlife with the demands of their passionate and formidable Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles.
SSN Insight: E! ordered the series during their Upfront presentation. Gil Goldschein is also the EP on Total Bellas and Mariah’s World, both given series orders by E!

Network: Hulu
Production Company(s): MGM Television Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Hank Steinberg, Ken Nolan
Logline: Follows a tribe of Neanderthals as they struggle to survive and hold on to their way of life after coming into contact with a family of Homo Sapiens. At the intersection of evolution and genocide, Dawn asks the fundamental question, what does it mean to be human?
SSN Insight: Hulu ordered the pilot. Robert Stromberg (Maleficent) will direct the pilot with a cast that includes Fola Evans-Akingbola, Temuera Morrison, Carl Shaaban, and Matthew Hopkinson in final negotiations to star.

Dear White People
Network: Netflix
Production Company(s): Lionsgate
Executive Producer(s): Justin Simien, Devon Shepard, Stephanie Allain, Julia Lebedev
Writer(s): Justin Simien
Logline: Set among a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug, this series is a send up of “post-racial” America that also weaves a universal story about forging one’s own unique path.
Details: Based on the film “Dear White People” (2014), directed by Justin Simien.
SSN Insight: Netflix gave a series order of ten episodes. This is Lionsgate’s second original series for Netflix.

Designated Survivor
Network: ABC Entertainment Group
Studio: ABC Studios, Mark Gordon Company
Production Company(s): Management 360, Genre Films
Executive Producer(s): David Guggenheim, Kiefer Sutherland, Mark R. Gordon, Simon Kinberg, Suzan Bymel
Writer(s): David Guggenheim
Logline: A lower level United States Cabinet member is suddenly appointed President after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession.
SSN Insight: ABC gave a straight to series order in December and ordered 13 episodes on May 6.

Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick
Network: Channel 4
Studio: Sony Pictures Television
Production Company(s): Anonymous Content, Electric Shepherd Productions, LLC, Moonshot Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Bryan Cranston, James Degus, Ron Moore, Michael Dinner, Isa Dick Hackett
Writer(s): Ron Moore, Michael Dinner
Logline: The series will illustrate Dick’s prophetic vision and celebrate the prized sci-fi novelist’s work. Each episode will be a standalone drama.
Details: Based on the works of Philip K. Dick.
SSN Insight: Channel 4 has ordered 10 episodes of the anthology series with Bryan Cranston set to star in one of the episodes.

Famously Married
Network: E! Networks
Production Company(s): Studio Lambert, All3Media America
Executive Producer(s): Stephen Lambert, Greg Lipstone, Greg Goldman, Sara Quick
Logline: The series explores the women and relationships behind the “Hollywood trophy wife” label, following a group of young women who recently married or are currently planning to marry wealthy and successful older men. These women navigate the complications that come with being a second wife, including their husbands’ exes and children, as well as their entrance into elite Los Angeles society.
Details: Ordered to series. (5/4/2016)
SSN Insight: E! ordered the series and announced it during their Upfront presentation. Stephen Lambert is also the EP on The Arrangement, given a series order by E!

Network: FX Network
Studio: Fox 21 Television Studios
Production Company(s): Ryan Murphy Productions, Plan B Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Ryan Murphy, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner
Logline: The series will explore famous feuds. The first installment tells the story of the legendary rivalry between two of the greatest movie stars of all time—Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, and how they came together in 1962 to collaborate on a picture each hoped would revive their careers. The result, the critically acclaimed and box office smash “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” ultimately received five Academy Awards nominations and became a cult classic. But for its leads, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, the real horror was working together.
Details: Based in part on the script, “Best Actress,” by Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam, which was included on the 2009 Black List.
SSN Insight: Project was previously in development as a feature film. FX has ordered eight episodes.

Foreign Bodies
Network: TNT
Production Company(s): Entertainment One, Eleven Film
Executive Producer(s): Tom Basden, Jamie Campbell, Joel Wilson
Writer(s): James Wood, Tony Roche, Rob Delaney, Charlie Covell, Tim Key
Logline: The story of a motley gang of travellers embarking on a three-month trip around Asia. British lads Sean and Dylan meet American girls May and Ashley in Beijing and opt to undergo the first leg of their travels together. But they soon find that their journey takes them much further than any of them expected.
SSN Insight: TNT has given a series order of eight episodes. The series was originally commissioned by Channel 4 in January for a run on E4. Cast includes Anders Hayward, Ade Oyefeso, Brittney Wilson, Alice Lee and Tim Key.

Greatest Ever
Network: truTV
Production Company(s): Meetinghouse Productions
Logline: A countdown show that takes viewers through the “do’s” and “don’ts” of topics like weddings, animal videos, sports, politicians and unintentionally funny inventions, infomercials and products.
SSN Insight: truTV has given an order of six episodes, announced during their Upfront presentation.

Jon Glaser Loves Gear
Network: truTV
Production Company(s): PFFR
Executive Producer(s): Jon Glaser, Vernon Chatman, John Lee, Alyson Levy, Richard Korson
Logline: Jon Glaser explores his love of looking at gear, shopping for gear, wearing gear, and talking about gear.
SSN Insight: truTV has given an order of ten episodes, announced during their Upfront presentation.

Network: Syfy
Studio: Warner Horizon Television
Production Company(s): Phantom Four, DC Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): David S. Goyer, Ian Goldberg, Damian Kindler
Writer(s): Damian Kindler, David S. Goyer
Logline: Superman’s grandfather works to bring hope and equality to Krypton, transforming a planet in chaos into one worthy of his grandson’s future glory as the greatest superhero ever known.
Details: Based on “Superman” characters and the universe created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first featured in a comic book published by DC Comics in 1938.
SSN Insight: SyFy, which has been developing the project for over a year and a half has ordered a pilot.

Network: truTV
Production Company(s): Redtail Media
Logline: A guide to all those real-life skills you’re expected to know but no one ever taught you – things like how to get a bartender’s attention, the best ways to go on a road trip and determining when lying is the right thing to do. Hosts Matthew Latkiewicz and Abbi Crutchfield mix sketches, expert advice and on-the-street interviews to help viewers get their life game on point.
SSN Insight: truTV has given an order of 13 episodes, announced during their Upfront presentation.

Locke & Key
Production Company(s): IDW Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Joe Hill, Ted Adams, David Ozer, David Alpert, Rick Jacobs
Writer(s): Joe Hill
Logline: The three Locke children are still reeling from the brutal murder of their guidance counselor father by a deranged student when their mom, Nina Locke, moves the family to a small island off the coast of Maine and they discover a mystical doorway in their new home.
Details: Project is based on the graphic novel series beginning with “Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft,” written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez and published by IDW Publishing September 24, 2008.
SSN Insight: The series was originally developed at Fox during the 2010-11 season by DreamWorks TV, Alex Kurtzman & Bob Orci’s company. Fox ordered the pilot but it did not make it to series. IDW Entertainment will maintain worldwide rights for the new version. The project is being developed internally with Circle of Confusion.

The Abbey Diaries
Network: E! Networks
Production Company(s): Banijay Group
Executive Producer(s): David Goldberg, Caroline Baumgard, Ray Giuliani, David Cooley
Logline: The series goes inside the lives of the employees at the world-famous gay hot spot, The Abbey Food & Bar, in the heart of West Hollywood. The staffers wrangle VIP guests and celebrities while dealing with relationship drama, diverse sexuality and the pursuit of their individual Hollywood dreams, all set in an exciting backdrop that is quintessentially Los Angeles.
SSN Insight: E! gave a series order on May 4, and announced it during their Upfront presentation.

The Birth Of The Pill
Production Company(s): Sonar Entertainment
Executive Producer(s): Denise DiNovi, R.J. Cutler, Audrey Wells, Alison Greenspan
Writer(s): Audrey Wells
Logline: Revolves around four flawed, rebellious, larger than life characters racing against time, politics and ethics. They include feminist and social reformer Margaret Sanger, who opened the first birth control clinic in the United States; philanthropist and suffragist Katharine McCormick, who used her family fortune to fund the research that led to the development of the pill; visionary biologist and researcher Gregory Goodwin Pincus, co-inventor of the first oral contraceptive; and John Rock, the Catholic obstetrician and gynecologist who fought to win public approval for the new drug.
Details: Based on the book “The Birth Of The Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution,” written by Jonathan Eig and published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2014.
SSN Insight: R.J. Cutler is set to direct. The project is planned as an event series.

Ultimate Beastmaster
Network: Hulu
Production Company(s): 25/7 Productions
Executive Producer(s): Sylvester Stallone, David Broome
Logline: Top tier competitors and athletes from several countries around the world will compete in a new action-packed global competition series. The first international competition series of its kind with six customized local versions featuring local languages, competitors and hosts from each competing country. Contestants and hosts From U.S., Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany and Japan will come together in a thrilling faceoff.
SSN Insight: Netflix has given a series order of ten episodes. Ultimate Beastmaster is the first international competition series of its kind with six customized local versions featuring local languages, competitors and hosts from each competing country. The series will also feature Sylvester Stallone, in addition to his producing role.

Untitled Joe and Anthony Russo Pot Comedy
Network: Showtime Networks
Production Company(s): Getaway Productions
Executive Producer(s): Moshe Kasher, Zach Cregger, Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Writer(s): Moshe Kasher, Zach Cregger
Logline: The world of a larcenous family of pot dealers is turned upside down when their illegal enterprise suddenly becomes legal in their home state. As the family struggles to adapt to the strange new world of legitimate business, they are forced to depend upon the business acumen of their son, whose straight and narrow leanings have always made him a black sheep in this clan of reprobates.
SSN Insight: The Russo brother’s past TV producing-directing credits include Happy Endings and Community. The brothers are also directing Avengers: Infinity War – Part I and II.

Untitled Seth MacFarlane Sci-Fi Comedic Drama
Network: Fox Broadcasting Company
Studio: 20th Century Fox Television
Production Company(s): Fuzzy Door Productions
Executive Producer(s): Seth MacFarlane
Writer(s): Seth MacFarlane
Logline: Set 300 years in the future, the series follows the adventures of a motley crew of space explorers facing cosmic challenges from without and within. Their ship, the Orville, is a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar Fleet.
SSN Insight: Fox has given a straight to series order of 13 episodes.

WAGS: Miami
Network: E! Networks
Production Company(s): Machete Productions
Executive Producer(s): Amber Mazzola, Lori Gordon
Logline: The series documents the lavish lifestyles and real-life drama of eight Miami WAGS, giving viewers a voyeuristic peek inside the exclusive world of superstar athletes through the perspective of the women who stand by their side. The WAGS of Miami live life unapologetically, and are bound together by a strict hierarchy of unspoken rules with no boundaries, no filters and the veritable candy shop of Miami as their playground. These ambitious, strong women are spicing things up and bringing the heat as they work to make their own dreams a reality, while playing the most competitive game of all: getting and keeping that pro-athlete man.
Details: Project is a spin-off of E!’s “WAGS.”
SSN Insight: E! gave a series order on May 4, and announced it during their Upfront presentation.

Ridley Scott’s New Western, ‘Civil War’s Big BO, Bryan Cranston’s New TV Show, Dylan O’Brien’s New Franchise, TV Dev. For 5/10/16


TV Development For 5/10/16: ‘Civil War’ Directors Joe & Anthony Russo Developing Pot Comedy, Netflix Orders ‘Dear White People’ Series

Meanwhile, in other news, ABC has a new series in development about El Chapo, E! eyes a series about Cosmopolitan magazine, Hulu wants a show about the Dawn of mankind, Kiefer Sutherland’s new show gets a full series order and Ryan Murphy gets a new anthology series at FX. Click the link for more. (SSN)

There’s Just No Stopping Ridley Scott, as the Director Signs On To Helm a Western For Fox

Legendary helmer will direct Fox’s movie adaptation of S. Craig Zahler’s Western novel Wraiths of the Broken Land, reteaming with The Martian writer Drew Goddard. Novel, published in 2013, is set in Mexico around 1900 with two sisters forced into prostitution at a gentlemen’s club. Their two brothers and father attempt to rescue them through their outlaw gang which also includes a former slave, an Indian and a brutal gunman (or “wraith”) who is the tactical leader. (VAR)

‘Captain America: Civil War’ Hasn’t Even Been Open a Week Here, and It’s Already Cleared $700 Million

The latest from Marvel Studios added $13.3 million domestically and $18.8 million internationally yesterday, bringing its totals so far to $192.5 million in North America and $512.8 million overseas. Worldwide, the Anthony and Joe Russo-directed movie is up to $705.3 million. The release received an A CinemaScore from audiences and cost $250 million to make before marketing expenses. (CS)

Bryan Cranston Finds His Next Big TV Gig, and It’s Not Here In America

Emmy winner will tackle a whole new genre in his next live action TV role, as he’s signed on to appear in and direct the upcoming Channel 4 show Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick. Show will premiere in the UK, with Sony Pictures handling international distribution. American fans won’t get to see him in this new series quite as early as the Brits, but it’s likely that Electric Dreams will make it to the US in some form or other. (CB)

Dylan O’Brien on the Mend, in Talks to Lead Possible Franchise ‘American Assassin’

It appears as though the actor is on the mend following a scary accident on the set of Maze Runner: The Death Cure in which he was involved in a serious collision with a vehicle while filming. Now, he’s in talks to take on the lead role in the Lionsgate and CBS Films adaptation of the Vince Flynn novel. Should negotiations lead to a deal, O’Brien would play the role of Mitch Rapp, a counterterrorism operative for the CIA. (COL)

Reunited, and It Feels So Good: Black Bear Pictures Wins ‘Last Days of Night’ Auction

Teddy Schwartzman’s production shingle has won an auction that puts him back together with Graham Moore and Morten Tyldum (as well as producers Nora Grossman and Ido Ostrowsky), the team with whom he made the Best Picture-nominated hit The Imitation Game (and for which Moore won a screenwriting Oscar). New project is based on Moore’s upcoming novel, set for publication by Random House on September 20th. (DH)

Dwayne Johnson Launches YouTube Channel To Collaborate With Other Content Creators and Plans For Original Scripted Series

Sven Bucks Productions, co-founded by Johnson and Dany Garcia, announced the launch of Seven Bucks Digital Studios to their ever-expanding media footprint. The multi-platform production company’s venture will debut this summer. The YouTube channel will deliver monthly collaborations with top digital native talent as well as an action-filled scripted online series. (SAA)

If At First You Don’t Succeed: ‘Locke and Key’ Once Again Being Developed as TV Series

Author Joe Hill has been through the wringer when it comes to attempted adaptations of his comic book series Locke & Key. Now he’s decided to take matters into his own hands and oversee a new TV version. There have so far been two main attempts to bring the comic book to screens, a 2010 TV version from Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci and writer/producer Josh Friedman that never made it past pilot stage. (EMP)

More Superhero Movie Stuff: Is Warner’s DCCU Doomed Even as It’s Just Getting Started?

As Captain America: Civil War continues to conquer the world, and people keep trying to forget the deeply disappointing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there is a stark contrast in the strength of the two cinematic universes. Warner’s comic book line is in trouble, even as it just starts to kick into gear. (TB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Queen of Katwe’

Disney has released the first look at the upcoming drama starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o,  David Oyelow and Madina Nalwanga, in a film directed by Mira Nair. The film hits theaters September 23rd. (IW)

China’s Wanda Invests in TMNT, Will Ferrell Boards ‘Captain Dad’, Amazon & STX Team on Nash Edgerton Pic, Fox Orders Six Series, Justin Timberlake/Anna Kendrick ‘Trolls’ Duet


Will Ferrell, Catherine Keener & Michael Cera Board Comedy ‘Captain Dad’

Will Ferrell is set to star in Captain Dad alongside Catherine Keener and Michael Cera. The dark twist on the family vacation comedy will be written and directed by Golden Globe-nominated Sebastian Silva (The Maid) and produced by Anne Carey and Archer Gray with Christine Vachon and Killer Films exec producing. (DL)

China’s Wanda Cinema Ups Their Ante in the U.S., Investing in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’

Wanda Cinema Line Co. agreed to invest in Paramount Pictures’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, extending Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s foray into Hollywood. The investment will be made through Wanda subsidiary Movie Media Group. This is after Alibaba Pictures agreed to invest in the film last month. (BB)

Cannes: Amazon & STX Join Forces on Untitled Nash Edgerton Film

Amazon and STX Entertainment have teamed up to take world rights on Nash Edgerton’s untitled action comedy. The picture boasts a stellar cast of David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Thandie Newton, Yul Vazquez, Sharlto Copley and Edgerton’s brother Joel. (VAR)

Fox Breaks Out of the Gate with Six Series Orders

The first network to pick up a batch of new shows is Fox, which ordered several dramas and comedies this evening. They include remakes of classic films (The Exorcist and Lethal Weapon), comedies starring some of your favorite TV stars (Adam Pally and Leighton Meester in Making History) and more. (E!)

Sony Pictures Classics Buys Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Elle’ in First Major Deal at Cannes

In the first major deal closed at Cannes Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics has bought rights to Paul Verhoeven’s Elle for North America and a string of territories ahead of its world premiere in competition. Verhoeven is best known for his work on Hollywood blockbusters such as Basic Instinct and Total Recall. (VAR)

Brett Ratner to Direct ‘The Libertine’ With Johnny Depp & How RatPac Continues to Shake Up the Industry

Brett Ratner will next direct The Libertine, and Johnny Depp is attached to a Ben Kopit script, with Lloyd Braun and Andrew Mittman producing. Many film directors might like to think of themselves as disruptors, but how many helmers not named Spielberg moonlight as co-financier of a slate as large as the one Warner Bros. generates each year? (DL)

TV Beats Digital with $9 Billion in Primetime Ads Sold at Upfronts This Year

The upfront, when networks sell the bulk of their primetime ads, last year generated more than $8 billion for English-language broadcast and close to $9 billion for cable. Analysts are predicting a 3 to 5 percent increase this time. (THR)

Jeffrey Katzenberg Proves Again He’s “Captain of the Croisette” with Justin Timberlake & Anna Kendrick ‘Trolls’ Duet

In one of his last hurrahs as DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg presented footage of Trolls inside the Cannes Film Festival’s famed Palais on Wednesday before inviting voice stars Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick on stage to perform a duet of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” that’s featured in the upcoming animated musical. (THR)

Screenwriters: Arcs Aren’t Just About Characters- Conceptual & Thematic Arcs Can Drive Scripts Too

There are suddenly a lot of people coming out against character arcs. Characters aren’t the only elements that can have arcs. Concepts can have arcs. Themes can have arcs. Ghostbusters and The Martian are both perfect examples of conceptual and thematic arcs respectively. (SM)

Film & TV Deals for 5/11/16: ‘Tomb Raider’s’ Alicia Vikander Launches Vikarious Prod., Lionsgate Teams with Globalgate, ‘24: Legacy’s’ Nikki Toscano Inks with Fox TV


Charles Murray has inked an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. He acted in the series Sons of Anarchy, which Fox 21 TV Studios produced for FX. Under the deal, Murray will be the executive producer and showrunner on Star, 20th TV’s new drama created by Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy, which was recently picked up to series by Fox. Also, Murray will be developing his own projects for the studio.

Producer Drew Brown has inked a two-year overall deal with Sony Pictures TV to develop unscripted series for network, cable and streaming services under his Fascination Street shingle. SPT also has a first-look deal for scripted projects developed by Fascination Street. Brown’s previous credits include A&E’s Barter Kings and Big Smo, Oxygen’s Funny Girls and Bravo’s Eat Drink Love.

Writer-producer Nikki Toscano has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the deal, she is joining the studio’s 24: Legacy, the 24 reboot that was picked up to series by Fox last week. Toscano will be the co-executive produce the series, along with executive producers/showrunners Evan Katz and Manny Coto, and executive producer Howard Gordon. Toscano will also develop projects of her own. She previously had a two-year overall deal at Universal TV where she was a consulting producer on NBC’s Shades of Blue and State of Affairs.

Pilgrim Media Group and ESL have joined forces to create and distribute original e-sports entertainment content for television and digital platforms. Last year ESL and its events in the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League series scored over 100 million viewers who watched over nine and a half billion hours of programming. Pilgrim’s credits include The Ultimate Fighter, Cuban Chrome, Wicked Tuna and My Big Fat Fabulous Life.

Oscar winning actress Alicia Vikander just launched her own production shingle, Vikarious Productions along with her London-based agent Charles Collier of Tavistock Wood. The company’s first film will be Euphoria, with Vikander set to star alongside Eva Green as sisters in conflict traveling through Europe towards a mystery destination. It will be produced with Wild Bunch Germany, in association with Dorian Media Limited and with support from the Swedish Film Institute. The company plans to produce two more titles at a similar budget to Euphoria within the next two years. Vikander’s upcoming roles include the Tomb Raider reboot and Jason Bourne.

ESPN settled its breach of contract lawsuit against Verizon, filed last April when the Verizon’s FiOS service began to offer a skinny bundle of pay TV nets that didn’t contain ESPN. The companies haven’t disclosed settlement terms of the case, filed at New York State’s Supreme Court.

Writer-director Daniel Adams and music producer Mike Flanders have joined together to launch Spiderworx Media, a $50 million fund set to produce films over the next several years. Spiderworx inked a deal with Hyde Park International, a division of Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment Group, to exclusively represent international sales. Their first project will be An L.A. Minute, a satire written by Adams and National Lampoon alum Larry “Ratso” Sloman. Flanders was previously the former head of A&R of Arctic/BMG Australia. Flanders will produce every project while Adams will serve in the creative end of the business, as a director.

Lionsgate has partnered with Globalgate Entertainment to target films in specific international markets. The partnership will be used to identify and produce films in local languages that consortium partners will distribute and co-finance via Globalgate Fund. Globalgate’s consortium with producers, distributors and co-financing partners cover France, Scandinavia, Germany, Turkey, Japan, Mexico and Korea. The company expects to forge alliances in China, India, and other major markets.

Rep Moves for 5/11/16: Bradley Whitford Signs with ICM, Bungalow-SMG to Rep NPR, CAA Snags Vine Star Amanda Cerny


ICM: Emmy winning actor Bradley Whitford has signed with ICM Partners for representation. He most recently was seen in Amazon’s Transparent. On the film side, he was in Sony Pictures Classics’ Hank Williams biopic I Saw The Light opposite Tom Hiddleston. Further out Whitford be in HBO’s LBJ movie All The Way, Netflix’s Other People, the Meagan Leavey biopic, Greg Kinnear’s indie directorial debut Phil, Get Out, and A Happening Of Monumental Proportions co-starring fellow West Wing alum Alison Janney.

Innovative: Adam Ferrara has signed with Innovative Artists. He has co-hosted the U.S. version of Top Gear since 2010 and was previously a regular on FX’s Rescue Me. His TV credits include Nurse Jackie and on the film side, Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Definitely Maybe. He’s also toured as a stand-up comic, done multiple Comedy Central specials.

Bungalow-SMG: NPR has signed with Bungalow-Storied Media Group for representation in feature film and television development, finance and distribution. The move marks NPR’s first association with Hollywood representation. Bungalow will leverage NPR’s archives to create films and TV series for global audiences. Bungalow-SMG also represents 60 Minutes, The New Republic, New York Magazine, The New York Times and Smithsonian Enterprises.

Alpern: Playwright and screenwriter Nicolas Billon has inked with the Alpern Group. His first play Elephant Song premiered at the Stratford Festival in Ottawa, and he wrote its 2014 film adaptation starring Bruce Greenwood, Catherine Keener and Carrie-Anne Moss. Billon was awarded Canada’s Governor-General’s Award for Drama for his 2013 stage trilogy Fault Lines. Upcoming he will write for Season 3 of X Company, a period spy thriller that airs on CBC in Canada.

Abrams: Actor Rizwan Manji has inked with Abrams Artists Agency. He can be seen on the Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek and co-starred on the 2010 NBC series Outsourced. He will next be featured in Jim Jarmusch’s drama film Paterson and The Tiger Hunter with Jon Heder. This season he also was in the pilots for NBC’s Crunch Time and truTV’s Shady Neighbors.

CAA: Actress, model and social media star Amanda Cerny has inked with CAA for representation in all areas. Cerny’s comedic videos, center around what women go through on a day-to-day basis. In terms of followers she has 4.5 million on Vine, 4 million on Instagram and 3.5 million Facebook fans. On the TV side she has a role in Comedy Central’s House Party and recently guest-starred on HBO’s Hello Ladies. Next up she will be seen in Maker Studios and Lakeshore Entertainment’s mockumentary, Internet Famous.

Abrams: Actor Jake Weber has signed with Abrams Artists Agency. He was most notably seen in the series Medium. Other credits include Tyrant, Hell on Wheels, The Mind of the Married Man, The Blacklist, Secrets and Lies and The Following. In terms of film, he’s appeared in Learning to Drive, Hungry Hearts and White House Down. He’ll next be seen in alongside Anthony Mackie and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in Wetlands.