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Adam Sandler STX Animated Movie, Teen Choice Award Noms, Simon Pegg and Mike Meyers Join ‘Terminal,’‘Get Shorty’ Epix Order

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Adam Sandler Plans Animated Feature For STX

Adam Sandler and his Happy Madison production banner will team with STX Entertainment for an animated feature. Sandler will write, produce and star in the untitled project. (THR)

Teen Choice Awards 2016: CW Dramas, Pretty Little Liars Lead Early Noms

Pretty Little Liars is leading the pack with six nominations, one for the series itself (Choice TV Show, Drama) and additional noms for Ian Harding, Keegan Allen, Tyler Blackburn, Ashley Benson and Troian Bellisario. (TVL)

Simon Pegg & Mike Myers Join Feature Thriller ‘Terminal’

Simon Pegg, Mike Myers, Max Irons and Dexter Fletcher have joined Margot Robbie in the cast of Vaughn Stein’s noir thriller Terminal. (DH)

‘Get Shorty’ Series Ordered By Epix

Epix has given a series order to Get Shorty, an adaptation of the novel by the late Elmore Leonard. MGM Television will produce the series. (VAR)

‘Oculus’ Director Mike Flanagan In Talks To Helm New ‘Halloween’ Movie

Speculation has begun about who might be coming on to helm this new franchise installment and Oculus director Mike Flanagan is currently in talks to take the helm. (COLL)

John Hawkes, Octavia Spencer to Star in Gritty Thriller ‘Small Town Crime’

John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer and Robert Forster are starring in Small Town Crime, a gritty indie thriller written and directed by brothers Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms. (THR)

Who Wants To Be The Next Bond, James Bond?

The pros and cons of Daniel Craig bowing out of the Bond franchise and who could potentially fill his shoes. (TB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Sing’

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have debuted the new trailer for the animated film Sing, which will be released on December 21, 2016. (CS)

 

Disney Mulling Live Action ‘Little Mermaid,’ Charles Roven Shifting Roles on DC Movies, Nick Greenlights ‘The Loud House,’ Starz Moving to Sunday

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Disney Mulling Live Action Version Of ‘The Little Mermaid’

Execs at Disney are in the early stages of reviving Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid as a live action feature. Disney production chiefs recently heard a new take and are currently evaluating whether to proceed with the idea. (DH)

‘Batman v. Superman’ Fallout: Producer Charles Roven To Shift Role On DC Movies

The veteran could move to an executive producer position on some films instead of day-to-day manager as Warner Bros. seeks to revamp its superhero slate. (THR)

Nickelodeon Greenlights Season 2 Of ‘Loud House,’ Picks Up New Game-Themed Toon

Nickelodeon has given a second-season greenlight to its hit new animated series The Loud House and also picked up a new game-themed animated series, Glitch Techs, which is set for 20 episodes to begin airing in 2018. (VAR)

Starz Is Moving To Sunday Nights To Compete With HBO, Showtime, And ‘The Walking Dead’

Chris Albrecht is moving the network’s entire programming slate from Saturday nights to Sunday nights, putting the network in direct competition with other premium cable outlets that air Sunday nights. (VUL)

‘Ghostbusters': How Sony Plans To Out-Slime The Online Haters

Given the high stakes riding on the franchise reboot starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, the studio is determined not to let the anti-Ghostbusters contingent mar the movie’s perception. (THR)

Ten Things Never To Do In A Staff Meeting

Watch out for these ten staff meeting “Don’ts!” and your team members will appreciate you even more than they already do. (FOR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Morgan’

20th Century Fox has revealed the first trailer for the sci-fi thriller Morgan, starring Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Toby Jones, Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Paul Giamatti. (CS)

Screenwriters: ‘Get Him To The Greek’

The October 1, 2008 draft by Nicholas Stoller. (DS)

USA/ Syfy Layoffs, ‘Wolverine’ Actress Joins ‘Ghost in the Shell,’‘The Americans’ Renewed for Two Seasons, Asghar Farhadi’s New Movie

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USA Network & Syfy Lay Off Employees In Wake Of Restructuring

NBCUniversal’s cable networks USA and Syfy are laying off less than 10% of the employees at the two networks, stemming from the February executive restructuring in NBCU’s cable division. (DH)

‘Wolverine’ Actress Rila Fukushima Joins Scarlett Johansson In ‘Ghost in the Shell’

Rila Fukushima has joined Scarlett Johansson in DreamWorks’ Ghost in the Shell. Rupert Sanders will direct the feature from a script written by Jonathan Herman and Jamie Moss. (THR)

‘The Americans’ Renewed For Last Two Seasons, FX Show To End In 2018

FX has renewed The Americans for a final two seasons. A 13-episode fifth season will air in 2017. The sixth and last season will consist of 10 episodes and air in 2018. (VAR)

Asghar Farhadi To Direct Penélope Cruz & Javier Bardem In Spanish-Language Thriller

The Iranian director is currently finishing the original screenplay for his first Spanish-language film with Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem in talks to star. (IW)

IFC Developing Unscripted Series Inspired By New York Magazine’s Vulture

IFC is developing a new unscripted series inspired by New York magazine’s entertainment site Vulture. (DH)

‘Mirror’s Edge’ Video Game Lands Film Adaptation At Endemol Shine Studios

Electronic Arts’ Mirror’s Edge is headed to the big screen. Endemol Shine Studios will adapt the video game to film. (CBR)

Read the One-Sentence Pitch to Become Horror Short From Eli Roth’s Crypt TV, Movie Pilot

Eli Roth’s Crypt TV hosted a One Sentence Scare contest for global genre fans with partner MoviePilot.com, a digital entertainment magazine. The winning concept will become a short film produced by the Hostel director himself. (WRAP)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Infiltrator’

Broad Green Pictures has released a new trailer for Brad Furman’s The Infiltrator. Adapted by Ellen Brown Furman from the autobiography by Robert Mazur, the film stars Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Yul Vazquez, and Amy Ryan. (CS)

 

The Rock Pitch Heating Up, ‘Boxcar Children’ Getting Animated Movie, Amazon Pilot Announcements, Gulfstream Acquires Galileo Play

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Dwayne Johnson-Rawson Thurber China Action Pitch Stirs Big Bids

An action pitch that Rawson Marshall Thurber is writing and will direct is generating a bidding war. Dwayne Johnson is attached to star in the project, which is being described as a Die Hard in China. (DH)

‘Boxcar Children’ Animated Movie Series In The Works At Shout Factory

Shout Factory and Legacy Classics have entered into a production partnership and film distribution deal for a slate of new family movies based on several best-selling classic and contemporary children’s book series, with Gertrude Chandler Warner‘s The Boxcar Children first on the list. (WRAP)

Amazon Next Pilot Wave Includes Dramas ‘The Last Tycoon,’ ‘The Interestings’

Amazon Studios announced two hour-long dramas co-produced with TriStar Television — The Last Tycoon based F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final work and The Interestings, adapted from Meg Wolitzer’s best-selling novel. (VAR)

Gulfstream Pictures Acquires Rights To Richard N. Goodwin’s Play About Galileo

Gulfstream Pictures has acquired the feature film rights to Richard N. Goodwin’s play The Hinge of the World, which focuses on the clash between astronomer Galileo Galilei and Pope Urban VII. (THR)

Stephen King’s ‘Mr. Mercedes’ TV Series In The Works Starring Anton Yelchin And Brendan Gleeson

Stephen King’s best-selling novel Mr. Mercedes is getting the television treatment. At&T’s Audience Network has greenlit a 10-episode straight-to-series order for David E. Kelley’s adaptation. (IW)

‘Limitless’ Cancelled By CBS, Season 2 Not Happening

CBS decided that 22 episodes was the limit for what it wants to give viewers on its first-year show Limitless and the cancellation order was given.  (CB)

‘Peaky Blinders,’ ‘The A Word’ Renewed By BBC

Peaky Blinders, the hit historical British gangster series fronted by Cillian Murphy and distributed by Netflix in the U.S., is to get a fourth and fifth season. (THR)

CBS Reorders ‘Superior Donuts’ Pilot Starring Jermaine Fowler

The network has re-ordered the multi-cam Superior Donuts pilot based on the play by Tracy Letts. (SS)

Screenwriters: Writing A TV Series Without Whining

Heather Hale challenges screenwriters to raise the bar and learn all they can about writing a TV series. (SM)

 

 

Soderbergh Movie Adds Cast, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Prod Co Sets Up Crime Feature, ‘Project Runway’ Renewed, ‘Little Prince’ Trailer

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Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Lucky Logan’ Adds Daniel Craig And Katherine Heigl

Daniel Craig and Katherine Heigl are said to be finalizing deals to join Soderbergh’s Lucky Logan. The film has the full support of NASCAR, which is huge in terms of licensing deals and scooping up the sport’s massive fan base. (COLL)

Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nine Stories And Partner Bold Films Join With ‘Sicario’ Director Denis Villeneuve On Crime Feature

Jake Gyllenhaal’s production company Nine Stories, which has a first-look deal with its partner Bold Films, are developing a feature adpatation of Jo Nesbo’s crime novel The Son with Sicario director Denis Villeneuve set to helm. (DH)

‘Project Runway’ Renewed For Three More Seasons

Lifetime has renewed the fashion-conscious reality series for three more seasons, while also re-upping Project Runway All Stars for two seasons and Project Runway: Junior for one. (EW)

New Line’s ‘Secret’ Adaptation Finds A Writer

New Line has hired screenwriter Christopher Borrelli to pen Secret, its remake of the 2009 Korean crime thriller.  Guy Stodel and Jiwon Park of CJ Entertainment (Snowpiercer) are producing. (THR)

‘Delilah Dirk And The Turkish Lieutenant’ Bought By Disney

Disney has acquired the feature film rights to the graphic series of novels Delilah Dirk And The Turkish Lieutenant from author Tony Cliff. The studio is developing a live-action film on the project with producers Roy Lee and Mark Mower and Justin Giritkian. (DH)

Colin Firth To Star In Submarine Disaster Movie ‘Kursk’

Colin Firth is in negotiations to star in the EuropaCorp. submarine disaster movie Kursk. Thomas Vinterberg will direct from a script by Saving Private Ryan screenwriter Robert Rodat, based on Robert Moore’s book A Time to Die. (VAR)

Ziyi Zhang Joins J.J. Abrams’ Sci-Fi Thriller ‘God Particle’

Ziyi Zhang is joining Paramount’s sci-fi thriller God Particle from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, Daniel Bruhl, and Elizabeth Debicki have already signed on. (THR)

Broad Green Pictures Announces Dance Comedy Step Sisters

Eden Shur, Megalyn Echikunwoke and Lyndon Smith are among the ensemble cast of the new dance comedy Step Sisters. (CS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Little Prince’

After being dropped by Paramount Pictures for a stateside release, The Little Prince found a new home at Netflix. Now the streaming service has debuted a new trailer and announced the release date. (IW)

 

 

The Rock Pitch Lands at Legendary, ‘Westworld’ to Debut in Fall, Magnolia Acquires ‘Ismael’s Ghosts,’ Lilly Wachowski to Depart ‘Sense8′

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Dwayne Johnson’s China-Set Action Pitch Auction Won By Legendary

Legendary has won the multi-studio bidding war for rights to Skyscraper, an action pitch set in China starring Dwayne Johnson and to be written and directed by his Central Intelligence helmer Rawson Marshall Thurber. (DH)

HBO Confirms ‘Westworld’ Will Debut In The Fall

The long-delayed J.J. Abrams/Jonah Nolan drama will be joined by comedies Divorce, Insecure and High Maintenance, though official premiere dates have yet to be announced. (THR)

Magnolia Acquires Arnaud Desplechin’s ‘Ismael’s Ghosts’ With Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg

Magnolia has acquired all U.S. rights to Arnaud Desplechin’s Ismael’s Ghosts with Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Mathieu Amalric and Louis Garrel.  Film was sold by Wild Bunch and produced by Paris-based Why Not Productions. (VAR)

‘Sense8′: Lilly Wachowski To Depart As Showrunner Of Season 2

Lilly Wachowski, who co-created Sense8 with her sister, Lana, will take a break as showrunner for the upcoming second season. (IW)

Rosa Salazar To Lead ‘Battle Angel Alita’

Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) has landed the coveted role in James Cameron’s Battle Angel, an adaptation of the Manga series Battle Angel Alita. (COLL)

Jeff Daniels, Scoot McNairy In Talks To Board Scott Frank’s ‘Godless’

Jeff Daniels and Scoot McNairy are in talks to board Scott Frank’s Godless for Netflix. The project is a limited period drama series from the Out of Sight duo of Steven Soderbergh and Scott Frank. (DH)

Geena Davis On Why Hollywood Is At A Turning Point In Gender Equality

At Fast Company’s FCLA event, the actor and activist discussed Hollywood’s gender influence, how far equality still has to go, and more. (FCC)

Screenwriters: ‘Empire Of The Sun’

An undated, unspecified draft. (DS)

 

Memorial Day Box Office, Tom Hiddleston as Bond?, Netflix Loses Court Bid to Stream ‘Masterminds, More ‘God Particle’ Cast

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The New ‘X-Men’ Is Already Crushing The Box-Office Competition

With a strong $8.2 million in its Thursday preview screenings, X-Men: Apocalypse is looking to have a great Memorial Day weekend opening at the box office. (BI)

Tom Hiddleston In Talks To Be New James Bond

A source has confirmed that Tom Hiddleston is in talks to replace Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. Though no official offer has been made, Hiddleston is interested in the job and the relevant discussions are under way. (IW)

Netflix Loses Court Bid to Stream Relativity Films ‘Masterminds,’ ‘Disappointments Room’ Early

The platform lost a bid that would force the studio to hand over Kristen Wiig‘s Masterminds and Kate Beckinsale‘s The Disappointments Room for streaming ahead of their 2016 theatrical releases. (WRAP)

Thora Birch, Johnny Knoxville Join Phillip Noyce’s ‘Above Suspicion’

Thora Birch and Johnny Knoxville are set to join Jack Huston and Emilia Clarke in Phillip Noyce’s Above Suspicion, a thriller that has been adapted from the book by New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey. (DH)

‘The Equalizer’ Producer Acquires MIT-Set Historical Thriller ‘The Technologists’

The Equalizer producer Alex Siskin has acquired film rights Matthew Pearl’s book The Technologists, a thriller set in 1868 about the first class at MIT. (THR)

John Ortiz, Aksel Hennie Join J.J. Abrams Sci-Fi Thriller ‘God Particle’

John Ortiz and Aksel Hennie have joined the cast of God Particle for Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Production will begin on June 10 in Los Angeles with Nigerian filmmaker Julius Onah directing. (VAR)

Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy’s WWII Drama ‘Anthropoid’ Sets August Release Date

Bleecker Street has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Dornan and Murphy-starring drama Anthropoid, setting a release date of Aug. 12. (EW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Roadies’

The new Roadies trailer teases backstage shenanigans in Cameron Crowe’s Showtime series. (COLL)

Weekend Box Office, Dwayne Johnson to Star in Shane Black Film, Rupert Grint in New Series, ‘Transparent’ Renewed

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‘X-Men’ Takes Top Spot As ‘Alice’ Flops At Memorial Day Box Office

X-Men: Apocalypse took the top spot with an estimated $80 million at North American box office over the four day weekend. (CNN)

Dwayne Johnson To Star In Shane Black’s ‘Doc Savage’ Film

The actor said on Monday that he would be teaming with director Shane Black to bring the pulpy action hero to life in a new film, which had been in development at Sony Pictures. (THR)

Don Johnson, Rupert Grint & Nick Frost Get A ‘Sick Note’ In Sky Atlantic Series

Created and written by Nat Saunders and James Serafinowicz, Sky Atlantic’s Sick Note is a six-part comedy starring Harry Potter‘s Rupert Grint, Nick Frost and Don Johnson. An early 2017 airdate is planned. (DH)

Melissa McCarthy To Play Novelist And Literary Forger Lee Israel

Melissa McCarthy will star in Fox Searchlight’s adaptation of Lee Israel’s memoir Can You Ever Forgive Me? with The Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller attached to helm. (VAR)

Disney’s ‘Zootopia’ Is Now The Second-Biggest Original Movie Ever

Disney’s Zootopia is on the cusp of crossing the $1 billion mark worldwide. With $991 million worldwide, it’s the fourth-biggest animated film ever behind Toy Story 3 ($1.063b), Minions ($1.159b), and Frozen ($1.276b). (FOR)

‘Transparent’ Renewed For Season 4

Amazon has greenlit a fourth season of Transparent well ahead of its Season 3 premiere. (TVL)

Jeff Bridges Infiltrates ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’

Jeff Bridges has joined the cast of Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Matthew Vaughn’s follow up to his 2014  spy actioner Kingsman: The Secret Service. (DH)

‘Cars 3′ Images And Details Revealed By Disney•Pixar

It’s been quite a while since we heard anything about Cars 3, coming to theaters on June 16, 2017, but now Disney•Pixar is revealing the first details. You can view the first Cars 3 images here and read on for plot details. (CS)

Screenwriters: David Kajganich – Screenwriter Of ‘A Bigger Splash’

Script interviews David Kajganich, screenwriter of A Bigger Splash about writing the film and all things screenwriting. (SM)

‘Iron Man’s New Phone, ‘Captain America’ Brand Box Office Breakdown, The Brand Film Fest, Top Deals, Hot Projects

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SSN Insider is proud to announce a new partnership with Signal, a part of WME/ IMG and a premier branded entertainment marketing agency.  Twice a week, SSN and Signal will bring you a branded entertainment news roundup complete with hot projects and new deals.  Read on to be in the know…

BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Iron Man’s Newest Phone Is A mid-Range Chinese Brand That’s Not Available In The US

Tony Stark’s newest device is just the latest example of Hollywood racing to earn money from China, from product placements as well as ticket sales. (QZ)

The Full Breakdown Of The ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Box Office

If a movie outperforms at the box office, it’s almost guaranteed to get a sequel, perhaps a spin-off, and a ton of other stuff like merchandise designed to grow the brand and make sure the next movie is even bigger. (MP)

The Best In Cinematic Storytelling At The Brand Film Festival

The first gala screening of the Brand Film Festival showcased the best in cinematic storytelling,as companies illustrated how they leverage a mix of creative work to produce effective content that captures consumers’ minds in a crowded market. (PR)

TOP DEALS

Angry Birds’/McDonalds

The burgers are being offered in China carrying the names “The Naughty Green Pork Burger” and “The Super Red Burger.” (GEEK)

Michelle Phan

For brands, replicating Phan’s success means first understanding how she leverages the attention of an influencer’s large audience and capitalizes on the unique relationships social media stars have with their followers, then emulating her strategy by partnering with digital stars to increase brand awareness, boost social visibility, and drive product sales. (MK)

‘Mindy Project’ /Lexus

In season four of Mindy Project, Mindy’s newly redesigned Lexus RX lets her and her friends make a quick getaway in a special trip to Mindy’s alma mater, Princeton. (VAR)

Playboy /Branded Content

Playboy recently launched its first nudity-free issue. The magazine has now announced that it is expanding into branded and original content with over a dozen safe-for-work shows. (BC)

Newfront Partnerships

This year’s NewFronts presenters promoted not only their content, but also their relationships with a range of platforms, publishers, content creators and others. (AW)

HOT PROJECTS

Mother/Daughter

Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn will star in Fox’s comedy written by Katie Dippold, to be directed by Jonathan Levine. Chernin Entertainment and Paul Feig’s Feigco Entertainment  are producing.
Production begins June. (SE)

Thirteen Reasons Why

Netflix is developing a YA mini series based off the popular book series of the same name. The series will be produced by Anonymous Content and executive produced by Selena Gomez , Mandy Teefey, Kristel Laiblin, Joy Gorman, Michael Sugar, and Steve Golin.  June start date. (SE)

 

 

 

 

Bela Bajaria Departs NBCUni, Universal Changes Release Dates, Sony’s Battle Over ‘Emoji,’ Susanne Bier for Bond?

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NBCUniversal TV President Bela Bajaria Departs

Bela Bajaria, president of Universal Television, has abruptly exited her position running the NBCUniversal television studio. Bajaria was just shy of her fifth anniversary overseeing programming at Universal Television. (LAT)

Universal Changes ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ Release Date Again; ‘Girl Trip’ Moves In

Twenty-two days after changing the release date on Pitch Perfect 3 back to July 21, 2017, Universal now is moving the film to the Christmas 2017 time frame with a launch on December 22. (DH)

Sony Pictures Faces Legal Spat Over ‘The Emoji Movie’

The studio is going full speed ahead on the film dated for 2017. Only problem: A former video game executive who lives in Germany might have all the merchandise trademarks for it. (THR)

James Bond 25 Reportedly Eyes Series’ First Female Director In ‘The Night Manager’s’ Susanne Bier

The Night Manager director Susanne Bier is one of a handful of names being considered to helm the next James Bond film. (IGN)

Disney Execs In A Panic Over Upcoming ‘Star Wars’ Film

The first Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is in crisis, and the movie will have to go into expensive reshoots over the summer. (PS)

Amy Schumer Joins Bachelor Party Comedy ‘Who Invited Her?’

Amy Schumer will star in and produce Universal’s bachelor comedy Who Invited Her? with Reese Witherspoon producing under her Pacific Standard banner. (VAR)

Marvel X-Men Drama ‘Legion’ Picked Up To Series At FX

Noah Hawley will serve as showrunner, and Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Jeph Loeb, Jim Chory and John Cameron will produce the comic book adaptation. (WRAP)

Michael Grandage Will Direct The New ‘Guys And Dolls’

20th Century Fox snagged the rights to the musical movie Guys and Dolls back in 2013 and rumors flew that Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were atop the casting wish list, but nothing seemed to come of it. Now the remake has a director in Michael Grandage. (EMP)

G.L.O.W. ‘Revival’ From OITNB Creator Jenji Kohan Ordered At Netflix

Netflix has placed a 10-episode order for the Orange Is the New Black creator’s G.L.O.W., a scripted comedy series inspired by the ’80s phenom of the same name (which stands for Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). (TVL)

 

Steve Mosko Leaving Sony TV, Ryan Condal Writing ‘Logan’s Run,’‘Homeland’ Returning in 2017, ‘Spontaneous’ YA Novel Getting Movie

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Sony Pictures TV Chairman Steve Mosko Leaving Studio After 24 Years

Steve Mosko, the chairman of Sony Pictures Television, is leaving the company after 24 years. Mosko had been in negotiations to extend his contract, which expires this year, but failed to come terms with the studio. (VAR)

Ryan Condal Writing The Latest ‘Logan’s Run’ Script

The story of a seemingly pleasant utopian society that survives by killing off anyone over 21 was most recently attempted by writer/producer Simon Kinberg who produced a treatment, which Condal, who is a co-showrunner on US sci-fi series Colony with Carlton Cuse, is working from. (EMP)

‘Homeland’ Isn’t Returning Until 2017, But Is Getting Renewed For Two Additional Seasons

Homeland will be returning to Showtime in January 2017, shifting its usual fall premiere date to a winter one. (VUL)

YA Novel ‘Spontaneous’ Getting Film Adaptation

Spontaneous, written by Aaron Starmer, is coming to the big screen via Awesomeness Films.  Brian Duffield and Nicki Cortese will produce the movie through their company, Jurassic Party, alongside Brian Robbins and Matt Kaplan. (EW)

Thora Birch Joins Political Thriller ‘Public Affairs’

Thora Birch will join Adrian Grenier in the political thriller Public Affairs.  Mimi Rogers will also star in the feature from director Eric Bross. (THR)

Fox Buyout Offers Accepted By Up To 400 Employees

Between 300 and 400 film and television staffers have taken voluntary buyouts at 21st Century Fox. Fox initiated the buyout program as part of a company-wide effort to cut $250 million from its budget. (VAR)

Jamie Foxx’s ‘White Famous’ Gets Pilot Order From Showtime

Showtime has given a pilot order to White Famous, a half-hour comedy executive produced by Jamie Foxx and Tom Kapinos. White Famous will be written by Kapinos, based on an idea by Jamie Foxx. (CS)

Gillian Bohrer Joins Fox 2000 As Production Exec Veep

Gillian Bohrer has been hired to be executive vice president of production at Fox 2000. The appointment was made by Elizabeth Gabler. Bohrer recently left Lionsgate. (DH)

The Summer Box Office Battles On The Horizon

The first major box office battle of the year started this past weekend; what weekends should we be marking on our respective calendars moving forward? (TB)

IM Global Sold to Tang Media, ‘Sicario’ Sequel Finds Helmer, Steve Mosko’s Exit, Brie Larson is Captain Marvel

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IM Global Sold To Tang Media, Launches TV Venture With China’s Tencent

Donald Tang’s Tang Media Partners has acquired majority ownership of IM Global, the international sales and production finance business headed by Stuart Ford. (VAR)

‘Gomorra’s Stefano Sollima To Helm Benicio Del Toro & Josh Brolin In ‘Sicario’ Sequel ‘Soldado’

Lionsgate and Black Label Media are getting closer to a production start on Soldado, the second installment of the drug war thriller that began with 2015’s Sicario.  Stefano Sollima is the front-runner to direct the second installment. (DH)

Sony Infighting Led To TV Chief Steve Mosko’s Exit

The strained relationship between SPE CEO Michael Lynton and Mosko played a significant role in the latter’s exit from Sony Pictures Television after a nearly 24 year run. (THR)

Brie Larson Is Marvel’s First Choice To Play Captain Marvel

Brie Larson is Marvel’s first choice to play Captain Marvel in the upcoming superhero movie of the same name and is nearing a deal. (VER)

Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts And More On For ‘Larrikins’

In development for a few years now at DreamWorks Animation, Australia-set animal musical comedy Larrikins has at last announced its cast. Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Rose Byrne and Ben Mendelsohn are now among those confirmed. (EMP)

Seth MacFarlane Taps Producer Jason Clark For Fuzzy Door Exec Role

Producer Jason Clark has been tapped as president of production at MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door shingle, where he will oversee all areas of production and development for its current film and television slate, in addition to shepherding new projects. (THR)

Melissa Benoist, Michael Angarano Join Jennifer Morrison’s Directorial Debut, ‘Sun Dogs’

The stars of Supergirl and Once Upon a Time are teaming up. Melissa Benoist is joining the comedy Sun Dogs, which marks Jennifer Morrison’s directorial debut. (EW)

Julie Andrews, Jim Henson Company Team For Netflix Children’s Program

The Sound of Music legend has teamed with the Jim Henson Company to launch Julie’s Greenroom, an educational series aimed at teaching preschoolers about the performing arts. (TVL)

Screenwriters: How Do I Submit My Scripts To TV Shows?

Most TV shows are written by staffs, so they’re not actively looking for new scripts, writers, or story ideas. But that doesn’t mean they never take submissions.  (SM)

 

Mondelez International Makes Deal with Fox, ‘Minecraft’ Bans Ads, POM Signs With ‘American Ninja Warrior’, Top Deals, Hot Projects

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Branded Entertainment News

Holding Content Marketing To Higher Standards: Like Making Real Revenues

Mondelez International, the big snack-food company behind brands like Oreos,Chips Ahoy!, Wheat Thins, and Toblerone Chocolate is working with 21st Century Fox, with which it’s partnering for a live Stride Gum-branded skydiving event titled “Heaven Sent” airing on Fox this summer. (MP)

Minecraft Bans All In-Game Advertising And Product Placement

Minecraft developer Mojang has just updated its commercial usage guidelines, and permission to use Minecraft as a commercial for your goods is out. (TB)

Fruit Drink POM Signs Branded Deal For Another ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Season

POM Wonderful has reupped its brand entertainment marketing partnership with NBC’s sturdy summer reality competition show “American Ninja Warrior” for a second season, which begins tonight. (MP)

Top Deals

Bud Light, Ellen Degeneres & Gay Marriage

Bud Light has partnered with Ellen DeGeneres to launch a new ad today in support of gay marriage. (AA)

The Players Tribune & Budweiser

Derek Jeter’s Players’ Tribune and Budweiser have launched a short-form content studio for videos and photos destined for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social platforms. (DD)

Time Inc. & Extra Crispy

Time Inc. launched Extra Crispy, a new digital editorial brand dedicated to obsessively documenting breakfast, brunch and the culture surrounding it all. Extra Crispy is the second original brand from Time Inc.’s Brooklyn-based creative lab, The Foundry. (BW)

Hot Projects

Doc Savage

Columbia Pictures project based on the character Doc Savage. Dwayne Johnson is set to star with Shane Black writing and directing. Neal H. Moritz, Ori Marmur and Michael E Uslan on board to produce.  (SE)

The Runner

Verizon is developing this competition reality series from executive producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Marc Joubert and Perrin Chiles of Adaptive Studios Inc., and Craig Piligian of Pilgrim Studios. The series will debut on Verizon’s go90 platform. (SE)

 

Doug Belgrad Exits Sony, Warner Bros Buys Monte Cristo Project, James Franco Starring in Stephen King Adaptation, Ryan Case to Helm ‘Fire Me’

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Doug Belgrad Exits As President Of Sony Pictures’ Motion Picture Group

Doug Belgrad, the president of Sony Pictures’ motion picture group, is stepping down this summer.  Belgrad, who has been with the studio for 27 years, is expected to transition to a producer role. (LAT)

Warner Bros, Safehouse Team On Contemporized ‘Count Of Monte Cristo’ With William Eubank, Joe Pokaski

Warner Bros and Safehouse Pictures have set The Signal helmer William Eubank to direct, and Underground’s Joe Pokaski to write Count. (DH)

James Franco Starring In Stephen King’s ‘Drunken Fireworks’

James Franco will star in a movie adaptation of the Stephen King short story Drunken Fireworks with the actor’s Rabbit Bandini Productions and Rubicon Entertainment producing. (VAR)

Ryan Case To Helm Fox Feature Comedy ‘Fire Me’

Ryan Case, the Emmy-winning editor and director, has been set to make her feature directorial debut on the 20th Century Fox comedy, Fire Me. Red Hour Films and Erica Steinberg are producing, and Jeremy Kramer overseeing for Twentieth. (DH)

Anthony Hopkins Officially Joins ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

Sir Anthony Hopkins has been cast in Transformers: The Last Knight.  Next entry in hit franchise opens June 23, 2017. (WRAP)

Ex-Paramount President Adam Goodman Negotiating China Backing For Film Venture

Le Vision is negotiating to back Goodman could expand his relationship with Le Vision’s Los Angeles outpost down the road. (THR)

Gillian Anderson Joins American Gods, Reuniting With Hannibal‘s Bryan Fuller

The Emmy-winning actress will re-team with Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller on his upcoming Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel American Gods. (TVL)

Jennifer Connelly Joins Josh Brolin, Miles Teller In ‘No Exit’

Joseph Kosinski is directing the firefighter movie that also will star Taylor Kitsch and Jeff Bridges. (THR)

Screenwriters: ‘Ordinary People’

The September 21, 1979 second draft by Alvin Sargent. (DS)

 

Weekend Box Office, Sanford Panitch Pres at Sony, Netflix Nabs Short Story for Shawn Levy, STX Gets ’17 Bridges’

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Weekend Box Office: ‘Ninja Turtles 2′ Stumbles, ‘Me Before You’ Shines, ‘Popstar’ Bombs

The top new release and the top movie of the weekend is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. The picture earned $35.2 million in its debut weekend, well below the last film’s $65.5m opening back in August of 2014. (FOR)

Sony Names Sanford Panitch Columbia Pictures President

Sanford Panitch has been named president of Columbia Pictures, replacing long-time executive Doug Belgrad. (VAR)

Netflix Closing Deal For Sci-Fi Great Paolo Bacigalupi’s Short Story ‘Mika Model’ For Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps

Netflix is moving to acquire the rights to sci-fi great Paolo Bacigalupi’s short story Mika Model for Shawn Levy’s Laps 21 Entertainment to produce. (DH)

STX Scoops Up “17 Bridges” With Russo Brothers In Talks To Produce

After ramping up a bidding war between several major studios, Adam Mervis’s 17 Bridges has landed at STX Entertainment. Joe Russo and Anthony Russo are in final negotiations to produce. (TB)

Universal, MK2 Seal Multi-Territory Deal On ‘Personal Shopper’

Universal has signed a multi-territory deal for Olivier Assayas’s supernatural Paris-set thriller Personal Shopper starring Kristin Stewart following its award-winning premiere in Competition at Cannes. (SI)

Pierce Brosnan Replaces ‘Jurassic Park’ Star In AMC’s ‘The Son’

Pierce Brosnan is returning to TV as the star of AMC’s upcoming drama The Son. Brosnan will replace Sam Neill in the lead role in the new series. (WRAP)

CBS Orders Frank Spotnitz ‘Ransom’ Drama Straight To Series

The 13-episode series, starring Black Sails actor Luke Roberts, hails from eOne, France’s TF1 and Corus Global.  (THR)

‘Deadbeat’ Cancelled At Hulu

A Hulu spokesperson confirms that the supernatural-tinged stoner comedy’s third season, which premiered on April 20, will be its last. (TVL)

Screenwriters: Writing The Script Fantastic

Ray Morton offers a few tips for crafting better cinefantastique. (SM)

 

 

John Boyega in ‘Pacific Rim’ Sequel, ‘The Voyeur’s Motel’ Moving Forward, Bob Odenkirk to Star in AMC Mini-Series, Scott Rudin Exiting ‘Groundhog Day’ Musical

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‘Star Wars’ John Boyega Takes Lead In ‘Pacific Rim’ Sequel

Legendary Pictures has set Star Wars: The Force Awakens star John Boyega for the lead role for the second installment of its Pacific Rim franchise. (DH)

‘The Voyeur’s Motel’ Moving Forward, Sets Scribe With Krysty Wilson-Cairns

Krysty Wilson-Cairns is set to write the film adaptation of Gay Talese’s The Voyeur’s Motel which Sam Mendes will direct and produce at DreamWorks Pictures with Steven Spielberg also producing. (DH)

Bob Odenkirk To Star In AMC & Sony’s ‘The Night Of The Gun’ Mini-Series

AMC and Sony Pictures Television announced an agreement to develop journalist David Carr’s searing and poignant bestselling memoir The Night of the Gun as a six-part miniseries on AMC, with Bob Odenkirk attached to play Carr and Shawn Ryan attached to write. (BW)

Scott Rudin Exits ‘Groundhog Day’ Musical

The producer has decided to step away from the brewing musical version of Groundhog Day, which bows this summer at the Old Vic before a planned transfer to New York. (VAR)

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Casts Dark Tower’s Michael Barbieri

14-year old Michael Barbieri is joining the latest Spidey flick as one of Peter Parker’s friends. He made a name for himself in the Sundance hit Little Men, and was also cast as Timmy in the upcoming Dark Tower adaptation. (SR)

‘Supergirl’ Will Introduce Superman In Season 2

Variety Announces 10 Comics To Watch For 2016

The series recognizes standups, sketch artists and Web content creators, who will be honored at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal in July. (VAR)

The Mistake We Make When We Prejudge Movies

The rumors swirling around Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the next installment of Ghostbusters are mainly spewed by people protected by the anonymity the internet provides. (TB)

Sue Kroll Reups at Warner Bros, Eddie Murphy to Star in Fake Netflix Doc, ‘Burn Run’ Sells to Thunder Road, HBO Orders Drama Pilots

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Sue Kroll Reups With Warner Bros. In New Multiyear Deal

As president of worldwide marketing and distribution, she is part of the triumvirate overseeing the studio. (THR)

Eddie Murphy in Talks for Fake Netflix Documentary ‘Soul Soul Soul: The Murray Murray Story'; Are You Sold Sold Sold Yet’

Murphy is in talks to star in Soul Soul Soul: The Murray Murray Story, a fake documentary set for Netflix Netflix. Brett Ratner would direct the project, with a script by Chris Case. (VUL)

‘Burn Run’ From Former Intelligence Officer Sells To Thunder Road Pictures

Former Army sergeant and intelligence analyst with the 82nd Airborne Division-turned-screenwriter Mitchell LaFortune’s Burn Run has just sold to Thunder Road Pictures. The spec went out last week from Paradigm. (DH)

HBO Orders Drama Pilots From EPs Adam McKay, Kathryn Bigelow

The cable network has a given a pilot order to the drama Succession, executive-produced and directed by Adam McKay. Also receiving a pilot order at the network is Mogadishu, Minnesota, a family drama from executive producer Kathryn Bigelow. (TVL)

Amazon Orders Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Carnival Row,’ ‘Gilmore Girls’ Creator Pilots

The supernatural thriller Killing on Carnival Row is finally moving to pilot. So too is a new standup comedy series from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, a real-life superhero drama and more. (SC)

‘Finding Dory’ Could Be Pixar’s Biggest Opening

Finding Dory is on pace to give Pixar the biggest opening in its history when it hits theaters on June 17. The sequel to 2003’s Finding Nemo is eyeing a debut of between $115 million and $120 million. (VAR)

Universal Schedules Three Mystery Movies For 2018, 2019, And 2020

Universal Pictures staked out three release slots beginning in 2018 for mystery “event films.”  They are: August 10, 2018, January 18, 2019, April 10, 2020. (COLL)

‘Zootopia’ Hits $1B Worldwide

Disney’s animated feature Zootopia crossed the $1 billion mark this weekend, making it the studio’s second billion-dollar release of 2016 (and 11th ever). (AM)

 

”Angry Birds’ Movie Branding, NBA Championship Sponsorships, ‘Warcraft’ and YouTube, Wyndam and ‘America’s Got Talent’

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Branded Entertainment News

Is ‘The Angry Birds Movie’ The Best Branded Content Of 2016 So Far?

Look more deeply into why Angry Birds succeeded and how it could help other brands with their content strategies. (VI)

We Meet Again: Cavs-Warriors Rematch Is A Huge Draw For ABC

Movie studios, automakers, breweries and fast food restaurants have snapped up nearly all the available inventory in the first four games of the Cavs-Warriors rematch. (AA)

L’Oréal Will Add Makeup To Selfies As The First Beauty Brand Snapchat Lens

L’Oréal Paris is running the first Snapchat lens ad for a beauty brand to promote its Infallible Silkissime eyeliner. (AW)

Top Deals

‘Warcraft’ And YouTubers Capture The Flag

The film adaptation of the popular video game franchise Warcraft will hit theaters on June 10th and the film’s pre-release campaign includes a lot of influencer marketing. Warcraft producer Legendary tapped Portal A to develop, direct, and produce a huge game of capture the flag, with more than 30 YouTube creators participating. (TF)

Wyndham Rewards Joins Season 11 of NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’

NBC, FremantleMedia North America and Wyndham Rewards, announced a season-long partnership for the 11th season of the summer’s number one show America’s Got Talent. The first travel partner in the show’s history, Wyndham Rewards will be prominently highlighted. (BW)

“Mr. Robot” And Story Promotional Store

The popular TV show, which airs on USA Network, will sponsor a “disrupt”-themed installation at Story, the five-year-old concept shop based in Manhattan that earns the bulk of its revenue from sponsorships. (AA)

MTV, Tumblr And Their Voting Campaign

MTV is jumping into the election fray with a campaign that emphasizes issues over the candidates that have been making headlines during this year’s unusual primary season. (BC)

Hot Projects

God Particle

Paramount’s space based action thriller, produced by J.J. Abrams, will star David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and John Krasinski. (SE)

American Gods

Starz has given a straight-to-series order to this fantasy drama from Bryan Fuller and Michael Green based on Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel of the same name. Fuller, Green, and Gaiman executive produce with FremantleMedia Productions North America, Inc. producing. Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane and Gillian Anderson topline the ensemble. (SE)

Nick Prez Steps Down, ‘Nashville’ to CMT, Sacha Baron Cohen in ‘Mandrake the Magician,’‘Show Dogs’ Release Date

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Nickelodeon President Russell Hicks Stepping Down After 18 Years At Network

Nickelodeon president Russell Hicks is departing the Viacom-owned kids’ network, after 18 years with the cabler. (VAR)

‘Nashville’ Near Deal To Continue On CMT

Cable network CMT is near a deal with the former ABC drama’s producers — Lionsgate, ABC Studios, and Opry Entertainment — to continue the series into a fifth season. (EW)

Sacha Baron Cohen Will Wield The Wand Of “Mandrake The Magician” With Etan Cohen Set To Direct

Sacha Baron Cohen will star in Mandrake the Magician for Warner Bros.  Etan Cohen is set to direct the film. The most recent drafts of the script come from David Peoples and Janet Peoples and Puss In Boots scribe Tom Wheeler. (TB)

‘Show Dogs’ Walks To November 2017

The live-action talking-dog comedy from Scooby-Doo director Raja Gosnell has a new release date — November 10, 2017. It had been penciled in for October 13 that year. Open Road Films and Riverstone Pictures are co-producing and co-financing the pic. (DH)

New Columbia Pictures Chief On International Push: “We Don’t Just Make Movies For The U.S.”

It has been 15 months since Tom Rothman took the film chairman job at the troubled Sony Pictures, and now he has firmly put his stamp on the studio. On June 3, Rothman appointed Sanford Panitch, to run the main Columbia Pictures label, succeeding Doug Belgrad. (THR)

Christmas 2017 Is Safe As ‘The Grinch Movie’ Moves To 2018

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have delayed Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas almost a full year. Originally planned for a November 10, 2017 debut, the Grinch movie will now hit the big screen November 9, 2018. (CS)

David Heyman, Jack Thorne To Adapt ‘The Secret Garden’

Studio Canal and producer David Heyman will be collaborating on an adaptation of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Jack Thorne has been tapped to write the screenplay. (SR)

‘The Theory of Everything’ Director Set To Take On Hatton Garden Heist Movie

James Marsh is set to direct a film based on the 2015 Hatton Garden jewelry heist. The movie will be based on Mark Seal‘s Vanity Fair article, The Over-the-Hill Mob, which Working Title optioned the rights to about a month ago. (COLL)

‘Life Unexpected’ Alum Britt Robertson Tapped To Play Netflix’s ‘Girlboss’

The former Life Unexpected leading lady has landed the title role in Girlboss, Netflix’s 13-episode comedy based on the bestseller #Girlboss by Nasty Gal fashionista Sophia Amoruso. (TVL)

Skydance Scores ‘Apollo 13′ Team for New Novel, Blair Rich Named Warner Bros Prez WW Marketing, Kate Winlset to Join ‘Mountain Between Us’

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Skydance Reunites ‘Apollo 13’ Team For Neal Stephenson Sci-Fi Novel ‘Seveneves’

Skydance has set the Apollo 13 team of writer Bill Broyles, director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer for an adaptation of bestselling author Neal Stephenson’s sci-fi novel Seveneves (DH)

Warner Bros. Names Blair Rich As President Of Worldwide Marketing

Blair Rich has been promoted to president of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. In her new post, Rich will oversee the development and execution of all of the studio’s marketing campaigns. (VAR)

Kate Winslet In Talks To Join Idris Elba In ‘Mountain Between Us’

Kate Winslet is in negotiations to join Idris Elba in The Mountain Between Us, Fox 2000’s adaptation of the Charles Martin book. Hany Abu-Assad is directing the film. (THR)

Storyscape Nabs “Backward Fall” Spec From “The Commuter” Duo

Bob Cooper and Richard Saperstein’s Storyscape Entertainment has landed the romantic drama Backward Fall from scribes Byron Willinger and Phillip De Blasi. The project was brought in by Alex Schwartz, head of feature films at Storyscape. (TB)

‘Criminal Minds’ Adds Adam Rodriguez As Series Regular

CSI: Miami alum Adam Rodriguez is joining Criminal Minds as series regular next season. Rodriguez’s yet-to-be-named character is an agent with the Fugitive Task Force who joins the BAU. (TVG)

Lea Michele, Robert Buckley Join Hulu Anthology Series ‘Dimension 404′

Lea Michele and Robert Buckley have been cast in a standalone episode of Dimension 404, a new Hulu series. The anthology series, also from RocketJump and Lionsgate, has been ordered for six episodes. (TVL)

Cristin Milioti To Lead New FX Comedy Pilot From ‘It’s Always Sunny’ Team

Cristin Milioti has been tapped to lead a new, untitled comedy pilot for FX, co-starring Nina Pedrad. The pair will executive produce alongside It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton. (BW)

‘Every Man A Menace’ Crime Thriller Nabbed By Studio 8

Studio 8 has preemptively acquired the rights to Patrick Hoffman’s upcoming novel Every Man A Menace. Tanya Seghatchian will produce. (THR)

Screenwriters: ‘The Wild Bunch’

The February 7, 1968 unspecified draft by Walon Green & Sam Peckinpah (Story by Roy Sickner). (DS)