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Venice Film Fest Lineup, TCA Journal, ‘Flaked’ Renewed, MTV Classic Slate, ‘Ballers’ Renewed

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Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman In Venice Film Fest Lineup

This year’s Venice Film Festival will include a stylish thriller from Tom Ford, a sci-fi drama with Jeremy Renner and Amy Adams and a star turn from Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. (NYT)

TCA Journal No. 2: Mitch Hurwitz Talks Secret ‘Arrested Development’ Project

The Hollywood Reporter’s chief TV critic Tim Goodman will be filing a series of journals from the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour. (THR)

Netflix Renews Will Arnett’s ‘Flaked’ For 2017 Second Season

Netflix has officially renewed the Will Arnett and Mark Chappell-created sitcom Flaked for a second season set to air in 2017. (DH)

‘Daria,’ ‘Beavis & Butt-Head’ Returning To TV As VH1 Classic Becomes MTV Classic

On Aug. 1, the channel currently known as VH1 Classic will be rebranded as MTV Classic, and be pumped full of all the shows that built Music Television into a viewing destination. (VAR)

‘Ballers’ Renewed For Season 3 At HBO

Two episodes into Season 2, the premium cabler has re-upped its sports comedy for a third go-around, star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced. (TVL)

‘Diary Of A Wimpy Kid’ Franchise Rebooting With New Cast

Jason Ian Drucker and Owen Asztalos have been cast as the young leads in the film, which will be directed by David Bowers. (THR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Great Wall’

Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures have revealed the first trailer for their blockbuster The Great Wall, the Chinese epic which stars Matt Damon. (CS)

Why It’s Not A Bad Time To Be Focus Features

Earlier this year, Focus merged with Universal Pictures International to create a much stronger operation and allow the indie a great measure of reach, one that few other companies of similar size possess. (TB)

Screenwriters: The Three Commonalities Of A Compelling Character

Tim Long explains the three ubiquitous yet distinguishing features that a compelling character seems to share in successful screenplays and films. (SM)

Music Fests and Branded Content, Brand Influencers and the Olympics, Intel and YouTube Influencers, Jeff Ross and Dodge

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Branded Entertainment News

Summer Music Festivals And Branded Content

Music festivals have become increasingly popular with brands, which are introducing increasingly sophisticated branded content strategies, from on-the-ground installations that connect to social media to live streaming. (VI)

How To Win Influencer ‘Gold’ During The Olympic Games

Four strategies for marketers to use brand influencers during the Olympics. (AA)

Top Deals

Intel Taps YouTube Influencers To Unbox ‘Conflict Free’ Campaign

Intel has signed on three YouTube influencers to “unbox” the story of their commitment to using only conflict-free (CF), alternative minerals to make their processors. (MP)

Jeff Ross Does Drive-By Roastings For Dodge In Comedy Central Branded Spot

The company is teaming up with Ross for two branded content spots airing on the network, promoting his upcoming Comedy Central event special, Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle, and the Dodge Challenger. (AW)

‘Mr. Robot’ To Debut VR Short Film On iOS, Oculus, HTC Vive

The USA Network cult hit Mr. Robot will debut an original VR short film that will be available to anyone in the U.S. using the Within app. (MASH)

Twitch Partners With Netflix For ‘Stranger Things’

Twitch has partnered with Netflix to activate around the release of the supernatural thriller, Stranger Things with a four hour live broadcast which ended with eight minutes of the first episode, the collaboration resulted in “Twitch Plays Haunted Basement.” (DRUM)

Mondelez And Fox Tie Up For Better Branded Content Collaboration

Mondelez International is partnering up with Fox Networks Group for a new ad format centered around innovation and content co-creation. (MI)

Hot Projects

Kodachrome

Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olsen stars in 20th Century Fox’s road trip drama. Shawn Levy is producing through 21 Laps. (SE)

Everything, Everything

MGM’s young adult romance project written by J. Mills Goodloe, to be produced by Leslie Morgenstein and Elysa Dutton for Alloy Entertainment. Based on the novel Everything, Everything written by Nicola Yoon. Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson star. (SE)

Weekend Box Office, Teen Choice Winners, Critic’s Choice Does Doc Awards, TNT Orders, Joe Carnahan to Write ‘Uncharted’

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‘Jason Bourne’ Tops Weekend With $60M; ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Suffers Big Second Weekend Drop

With the second largest opening for a film in the Bourne franchise, Jason Bourne topped the weekend. STX’s ensemble comedy Bad Moms delivered a third place finish and while Lionsgate’s Nerve fell a bit below expectations. (BOM)

Teen Choice Awards 2016: The Complete Winners List

Captain America: Civil War star Chris Evans picked up the Choice Sci-Fi Movie Actor to kick off this year’s Teen Choice Awards, while Neighbors 2 co-stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Zac Efron took home the comedy movie acting prizes. (WRAP)

Critics’ Choice Group Announces Documentary Awards

The organization behind the Critics’ Choice Awards is launching a documentary awards show on Nov. 3 at BRIC in Brooklyn to honor documentary features and non-fiction television. (VAR)

TNT Orders ‘The Last Ship’ Season 4 And ‘Monsters Of God’

TNT has ordered a pilot for Rod Lurie’s post-Civil War drama Monsters of God, from Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment and the hit action-adventure series The Last Ship will be back for a fourth season next summer. (CS)

Joe Carnahan To Write Film Version Of Playstation’s ‘Uncharted’ Series

The Bad Boys 3 helmer will not be directing the video game adaptation due to scheduling conflicts. (IW)

‘Jason Bourne,’ ‘Rogue One’ Actor Riz Ahmed Planning U.K. TV Series

The U.K. actor hopes to direct the series about three generations of a British-Pakistani family. (THR)

Graham Yost, Bruce C. McKenna To Adapt Michael Crichton Manuscript ‘Dragon Teeth’ For Nat Geo

National Geographic Channel has closed a drama series script development deal with Amblin Television, Sony Pictures Television and CrichtonSun for a global limited series based on the soon-to-be-published Michael Crichton manuscript Dragon Teeth. (DH)

The Gnome Life Launches: Geek Content Brand Built On Diversity

Looking to fill a need in nerd culture, Big Boots Studios is launching a new multi-platform content brand called The Gnome Life. (WRAP)

Screenwriters: Alternative Forms Of Structure

Jacob Krueger discusses a valuable lesson, whether you’re writing an art film, like The Tree of Life, or are simply in an early draft of a more linear story, exploring alternate forms of structure is important. (SM)

 

‘Splash’ Remake Cast, Jason Katims Inks Overall, 50 Cent in Superhero Drama, ‘L.A. Law’ Reboot

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‘Splash’ Remake In The Works With Channing Tatum, Jillian Bell To Star

Channing Tatum is set to star as the mermaid character played by Daryl Hannah in the original film, while Jillian Bell will take on the role played by Tom Hanks. (EW)

Jason Katims Inks New Overall Deal With Universal TV For His True Jack Prods.

Jason Katims and True Jack have signed a new three-year overall deal with Universal Television. Katims and his head of television, Michelle Lee, will continue to serve as executive producers on The Path at Hulu, and the upcoming CBS medical drama Pure Genius. (THR)

50 Cent Developing Superhero Drama With Starz After Extending Overall Deal

Starz has extended its overall deal with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and is currently in development on superhero drama “Tomorrow, Today” with the music mogul. (VAR)

‘L.A. Law’ Reboot In Development

The prolific producer is developing an updated version of his classic ’80s legal drama, which ran for eight seasons on NBC. (TVL)

Benedict Cumberbatch To Star In, Produce Adaptation Of Classic British Novel ‘Rogue Male’

Michael Lesslie has been hired to write the screenplay, set up at Fox Searchlight. (THR)

‘Deadwood’ Movie Currently Being Written

HBO’s head of programming, Casey Bloys, commented on the TCA stage that Deadwood creator, David Milch, is writing a script for the feature adaptation of the HBO series. (COLL)

Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen To Star In ‘Ingrid Goes West’

Matt Spicer is directing the dark comedy about a young woman who becomes obsessed with a social media star. (THR)

Alfre Woodard Joins Ghost Tale ‘Haunted’

Alfre Woodard has joined the cast of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Haunted. Chad and Carey Hayes have adapted the story from Henry James’ novella Turn Of The Screw. (EMP)

Here’s What I Learned After Ditching My Cable For The Month Of July – Editorial

A work from home writer shuts down his cable account for 30 days to see what he could both lose and gain by staying away. Both sides had their pros and cons, the question was, which choice was more worth doing? (TB)

Jimmy Fallon to Host Golden Globes, Imax Deal with Wanda, ‘Sword Art Online’ as TV Series, NBC Drama Pilots

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Jimmy Fallon To Host Golden Globes 2017

The 74th Annual Golden Globes is going to have a fresh host next year. The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon will take over the ceremony for 2017. (EW)

Imax Strikes Biggest Ever Theater Deal With China’s Wanda

Imax has signed the biggest deal in the company’s history, hammering out a pact to create 150 additional theaters with Wanda Cinema Line, the cinema exhibition arm of Chinese property to entertainment giant Wanda. (VAR)

Japanese Novel And Anime Franchise Sword Art Online Being Adapted As Live-Action TV Series

Laeta Kalogridis will pen the pilot and executive produce the series for Skydance Television. A network is not yet attached. (THR)

NBC Nabs Warren Leight-Paul Haggis Drama ‘Salvation’ With Big Commitment, Buys Gideon Raff’s ‘Waking Lions’

NBC has kicked off the drama buying season with Salvation, from Law & Order veteran Warren Leight, Paul Haggis (Crash) and Sony TV, which has received a pilot production commitment, and Walking Lions, from Homeland co-creator Gideon Raff, Keshet and Universal TV. (DH)

Mel Gibson, Sean Penn Set To Star In ‘Professor And The Madman’

Mel Gibson and Sean Penn will star in a new film entitled Professor and the Madman. Farhad Safinia, co-writer of Gibson’s Apocalypto, is set to direct the film. (IW)

Cinemax Sets ‘Micronesian Blues’ Drama From ‘Banshee’ EPs & Patrick Dempsey

Banshee co-creator executive producer Jonathan Tropper and executive producer/director Greg Yaitanes are partnering with Patrick Dempsey for a new crime thriller drama project at Cinemax. (DH)

Fox, Sony Circling Remake Rights To Korean Zombie Hit ‘Train To Busan’

Rights to South Korea’s first zombie blockbuster, which continues to smash box-office records, is also being pursued by Gaumont, Canal Plus and EuropaCorp. (THR)

‘Hairspray Live’ Recruits Disney Channel Stars To Play Amber And Link

Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie) and Garrett Clayton (Teen Beach Movie) will sing and dance in NBC’s upcoming Hairspray Live. (TVL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Mascots’

Netflix has unveiled a first look at the brand new comedy from filmmaker Christopher Guest. Mascots is Guest’s first original feature since 2006’s For Your Consideration, and it’s another mockumentary. (COLL)

Werner Herzog’s New Film, 10 Worst Product Placements, Discovery & Toyota’s New VR Series, Twitter Teams With Social Stars

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Branded Entertainment News

Is Werner Herzog’s New Film The Future Of Branded Entertainment?

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World is a documentary, which Pereira & O’Dell produced and documentary master Werner Herzog directed, about the past, present and future of the internet. It’s also one giant ad, half in disguise, for POD New York client Netscout. (AW)

10 Worst Product Placement Advertisements In TV Shows

Sometimes product placement is so blatant it nullifies of all suspension of disbelief. Here are some of the worst cases in television history and what not to do. (CS)

Loyal Viewers Vs. The Hordes Of ‘Uniques’

Major media companies need to figure out how to build audiences online in the same way that they have with their print publications, magazines or TV shows. (MP)

Top Deals

Discovery, Toyota Bow Scripted VR Miniseries

Discovery Communications and Toyota have launched The Satchel, billing it as their first scripted miniseries for virtual reality platforms. (BC)

Twitter Teams With Dolan Twins, Andrea Russett, And Todrick Hall For Video Ad Campaign

Twitter has tapped a slew of social stars, including The Dolan Twins and Andrea Russett, for a new campaign aimed to spotlight Stickers, a new feature, which enables users to paste hundreds of cartoon-like images onto their photos. (TF)

Brad Hall, Master Of ‘Boring’ YouTube Sneaker Reviews, Unboxes Venmo’s Enhanced Payment App

The unusual shoe aficionado brings his dry humor to something different in a campaign for Venmo via CP&B L.A. (CO)

‘Final Fantasy XV’ Meets American Express With This Latest Example Of Product Placement

The game will feature product placement from American Express, with the logo even being found in the game on a shop window. (CR)

Hot Projects

Catfight

Screen Gems’ high school dating comedy starring Sandra Oh, Anne Heche and Alicia Silverstone, to be produced by Will Gluck (EASY A). Mark Waters will direct. (SE)

The Comedy Getdown

BET gave a series order to this showbiz comedy starring stand-up comedians George Lopez, D.L. Hughley, Cedric The Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, and Charlie Murphy. The pilot was written by David Bickel and the series will be executive produced by Eric Rhone of Bird and a Bear Productions, Tom Brunelle and Brad Wollack of Free 90 Media, and Greg Walter and Kimberly Carver of 3 Arts Entertainment. (SE)

Time Warner Buys Hulu Stake, Academy Re-Elects Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Tony Gilroy on ‘Rogue One,’‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel

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Time Warner Buys 10% Stake In Hulu For $583 Million

Time Warner Inc. agreed to buy a 10% stake in video service Hulu, a move that comes as media companies and cable operators contend with viewers increasingly cutting the cord and as Hulu prepares to launch a new live-streaming service. (WSJ)

The Academy Re-Elects Cheryl Boone Isaacs As President

The Governors, in a vote of confidence, re-elected president Cheryl Boone Isaacs for a fourth term. It’s her 24th year as a governor representing the Public Relations Branch. (IW)

‘Rogue One’ Drama: Writer Tony Gilroy Taking On More Duties

Gilroy, an uncredited writer on Disney’s upcoming Star Wars film, is “supervising” the edit with input from director Gareth Edwards and was heavily involved in five weeks of reshoots that tackled several issues, including the ending. (THR)

‘The Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel Will Hit Theaters In November 2018

The first follow-up to the wizarding world epic is now slated for November 16th, 2018. David Yates will return as director, working with a script written by J.K. Rowling herself. (VER)

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Writers Are Currently Working On Third Draft Of The Marvel Epic

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely said they are currently working on their third draft of Avengers: Infinity War, and their second draft of its untitled sequel. (COLL)

Freeform Developing ‘Stuff’ Comedy Series From Darlene Hunt & Aaron Kaplan

Freeform has put in development Stuff, a single-camera comedy series from The C Word creator Darlene Hunt and producer Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment.  Sony Pictures TV is the studio. (DH)

Amazon, Sky Team on Jez Butterworth’s ‘Britannia,’ Starring Kelly Reilly

Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. and European pay-TV company Sky are partnering on a original drama series, Britannia. The 10-part series has been written by Jez Butterworth. (VAR)

Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Hayes Join Cast Of ‘Hairspray Live!’

During the Hairspray Live! TCA panel executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan announced Sean Hayes as Mr. Pinky and Rosie O’Donnell as the gym teacher. (EW)

Jessica McNamee And Jason Statham To Star As Humans In Shark Thriller ‘Meg’

Warner Bros. has cast Jessica McNamee (Sirens) opposite Jason Action-Movie Statham in the upcoming shark-thriller Meg. The movie is based on Steve Alten’s science-fiction novel MEG: A Novel of Deep Terror.  (VUL)

 

 

Rami Malek in ‘Papillon’ Remake, ‘Christodora’ Novel Gets Limited Series, ‘Powers’ Canceled, ‘Suits’ Renewed

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‘Mr. Robot’ Star Rami Malek Joins Charlie Hunnam In ‘Papillon’ Remake

Mr. Robot star Rami Malek is in negotiations to co-star with Charlie Hunnam in the remake of the 1973 Steve McQueen film Papillon. (VAR)

‘Christodora’ Limited Series From ‘Little Men’ Duo & Cary Fukunaga In Works At Paramount TV

Paramount TV has optioned Tim Murphy’s new novel Christodora for a limited TV series. Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias will write the adaptation, with Sachs set to direct. Cary Fukunaga will produce through his company Parliament of Owls. (DH)

PlayStation’s ‘Powers’ Canceled After 2 Seasons

Co-creator and EP Brian Michael Bendis broke the news on Twitter.  (THR)

‘Suits’ Renewed For Season 7

The cable net has renewed the long-running legal drama for Season 7, it was announced at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. (TVL)

Petition Demands Rotten Tomatoes Be Shut Down Over Negative DC Movie Reviews

A petition has been posted to Change.org demanding that Rotten Tomatoes be shut down over negative reviews of ‘Suicide Squad.’ (COLL)

James Gray’s ‘The Lost City of Z’ To Close New York Film Festival

James Gray‘s The Lost City of Z, starring Charlie Hunnam and Sienna Miller, which is based on journalist David Grann‘s book about a British explorer in the Amazon, will serve as the closing-night film at the 54th New York Film Festival. (WRAP)

‘Incorporated’: Denyse Tontz Joins Syfy Thriller From Matt Damon & Ben Affleck

Denyse Tontz (The Fosters) has booked a series regular role on Incorporated, Syfy’s upcoming futuristic thriller series from Matt Damon, Ben Affleck & Jennifer Todd’s Pearl Street Films, CBS Television Studios and Universal Cable Prods. (DH)

Sean Penn To Guest Star On ‘Family Guy’ Anti-Vaccination Episode

The actor convinces the Griffins that it would be a huge mistake to listen to the anti-vaccination propaganda. (VUL)

What If What Really Makes You Cry In Pixar Movies Is The Music?

Previous research thought it to be the emotional storytelling, but what if Pixar’s music is what cranks the waterworks in the studio’s movies? (FCC)

 

Joel Edgerton Joins ‘Red Sparrow,’ Rebel Wilson in ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,’ Broadway’s ‘Frozen’ Gets Revamped, Fuqua’s ‘Ice’ Cast

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Joel Edgerton Poised To Duet With Jennifer Lawrence In ‘Red Sparrow’

Joel Edgerton is in early talks to join Jennifer Lawrence in Red Sparrow, an adaptation of the Jason Matthews espionage novel at Fox. Francis Lawrence is directing. Justin Haythe rewrote a script by American Hustle scribe Eric Warren. (DH)

Rebel Wilson To Star In ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ Remake

MGM is developing a remake of the 1988 comedy classic Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Rebel Wilson attached to star. (VAR)

Broadway’s ‘Frozen’ Getting Creative Revamp With New Director And Choreographer

In a surprising move, Disney stated that it had parted was with the show’s director, Alex Timbers, and is searching for a new director. (PB)

Cam Gigandet, Jeremy Sisto, Donald Sutherland Join Antoine Fuqua’s ‘Ice’

Cam Gigandet, Jeremy Sisto, Donald Sutherland and Ray Winstone are set to star in filmmaker Antoine Fuqua’s new drama series Ice for AT&T’s Audience network. (DAR)

Apple’s ‘Planet Of The Apps’ Show Will Feature Will.i.am And Gwyneth Paltrow

The three entrepreneurs will offer guidance to app developers who appear on the show. It sounds like Planet of the Apps could be akin to a nerdier Shark Tank. Paltrow and Will.i.am will also serve as executive producers. (VER)

ABC, Kyra Sedgwick Team For Missing Child Thriller ‘Ten Days In The Valley’

ABC has given a straight-to-series, 10-episode order to Ten Days in the Valley, a thriller starring Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick. (TVL)

‘Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Joins Indie Drama ‘Huntsville’

Based on a 2014 Black List script by Anthony Ragnone, the Eric England-helmed film will also star Dylan McDermott and Jack Kilmer. (THR)

The Weinstein Company May Be Down – But Does Anyone Count Bob And Harvey Out?

The company has grossed $54.8 million domestically, but almost $50 million of that came from The Hateful Eight and Carol, which means that the four movies released by the company thus far this year have combined for under $5 million domestically. (TB)

Screenwriters: Collaboration And The Art Of Creative Disagreement

Paul Peditto discusses collaboration and how disagreeing is sometimes a good thing. (SM)

Clio Awards Judging, Brand Activation Growth, Snoop Dogg Series and Merry Jane Brand, Virgin America and ‘Bad Moms’

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Branded Entertainment News

How Droga5 London Will, And Won’t, Be Like The Mothership

The creative chief at Droga5 London has been judging Branded Content & Branded Entertainment for the Clio Awards in Bali. (AW)

US Brand Activation Revenues On Pace To Grow 6.5% In 2016

US brand activation revenues are on pace to grow at an accelerated 6.5% rate to $337 billion in 2016, which would be the fifth consecutive year that brand activation outperformed the broader advertising & marketing sector. (BEN)

Top Deals

MTV‘s ‘Mary + Jane’ Series On Marijuana Is Produced By Snoop Dogg And Merry Jane Brand

The preeminent lifestyle cannabis media platform founded by Snoop Dogg and Ted Chung ventures into broadcast. (PRN)

Virgin America Promotional Campaign For ‘Bad Moms’

Virgin Produced and Virgin America gave away a trip for two to the red carpet premiere of Bad Moms on July 26th. (VIR)

King Of The Hill’s’ Hank Returns To Promote UFC 200 In New Adult Swim Branded Spot

King of the Hill’s Hank Hill and George Liquor from The Ren & Stimpy Show are part of UFC’s branded content spot to promote Saturday’s World Light Heavyweight Championship. (AW)

Wild Turkey Taps Matthew McConaughey As Creative Director

Wild Turkey announced a multi-year partnership with actor Matthew McConaughey, who has signed on as the “super premium” American bourbon’s new Creative Director and the face of its new branding campaign with the tagline, “It’ll Find You.” (BC)

Girl Scouts And Disney Channel’s ‘Elena of Avalor’ Team Up To Inspire Girls To Lead

The collaboration brings GSUSA’s focus on leading like a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader), and Disney Channel’s recently launched animated television series Elena of Avalor into action with the debut of The Elena of Avalor Leadership Guide. (FC)

Hot Projects

Guerrilla

Showtime ordered this political crime drama which takes place in the 1970s. Tiger Aspect Productions will produce. The series will be executive produced by John Ridley, Idris Elba, Patrick Spence, Tracy Underwood, and Michael McDonald. (SE)

Ice

DirecTV gave a straight to series order to the drama written and executive produced by Ron Bass and Vince Gerardis. Chris Long and Bart Peters of DirecTV will also executive produce alongside Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, and Sharon Hall of Alcon TV. (SE)

Reese Witherspoon in Nancy Meyers Indie, STX Close on New Spec, Josh Mond to Helm ‘Jake Ellis,’ Anthony Mackie in Detroit Riots Movie

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Reese Witherspoon In Talks To Star In Nancy Meyers-Produced Indie ‘Home Again’

The actress, who once was attached to star in Meyers’ The Intern before dropping out due to scheduling conflicts, is in talks to star in the film that Meyers’ daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, will direct. (THR)

STX Closing Deal On Revenge-Thriller Script ‘Red Widow’

STX Entertainment is in final talks to close a deal on the script for the action-pic Red Widow, from screenwriter Matthew Altman. (DH)

Josh Mond To Helm ‘Jake Ellis’ Comic Adaptation

Writer/director Josh Mond has been set to direct the film adaptation of the graphic novel Who Is Jake Ellis? at 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment. (DAR)

Anthony Mackie & Kathryn Bigelow Reteam For Detroit Riots Movie

Anthony Mackie has been added to the cast of director Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming untitled Detroit riots movie. He will join John Boyega, Ben O’Toole, Will Poulter and Jack Reynor in the Annapurna Pictures ensemble. (CS)

Andrea Riseborough To Board BBC’s Agatha Christie Adaptation ‘The Witness For The Prosecution’

Andrea Riseborough has signed on to play the role of Romaine in the BBC’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Witness for the Prosecution. The two-parter will be a Christmas special for the broadcaster. (DH)

Natalie Portman Is Set To Star In Marta Kauffman Miniseries ‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ For HBO

Natalie Portman is starring in and executive-producing We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, an HBO miniseries. The project comes from Marta Kauffman and is based on Karen Joy Fowler’s acclaimed novel. (VUL)

Alexander Payne Is Developing A Family Pot Comedy For A&E

Sideways and The Descendants director Alexander Payne are working on an as-yet-untitled series for A&E, based on a popular Dutch TV show about a family that finds itself embroiled in the world of pot farming after the patriarch inherits his father’s secret weed-growing operation. (AV)

‘Shadowhunters’ Showrunner Exits As Production Begins On Season 2

Ed Decter will no longer be in charge when the series — based on Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments books — returns for its second season. (TVL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Dunkirk’

Christopher Nolan’s first World War II story, Dunkirk, got its first teaser trailer. The film, which stars Tom Hardy, Fionn Whitehead, and Mark Rylance, also features One Direction’s Harry Styles. (VER)

 

Weekend Box Office, Brie Larson’s Directorial Debut, NBCUni’s Big Potter Deal. George R. R. Martin’s Next Series

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Weekend Box Office Wrap-up: August 7, 2016

Suicide Squad earned the #1 spot in a landslide, earning $135 million during its first three days. That shatters the August record for largest opening weekend, surpassing Guardians of the Galaxy‘s $94.3 million two years ago. (SR)

Brie Larson To Make Directorial Debut With ‘Unicorn Store’ Comedy

The actress, who won the Oscar this year for her performance in Room, is set to make her directorial debut with the independent quirky comedy Unicorn Store. (THR)

NBCUniversal Places Big Bet On ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Fantastic Beasts’

In a seven-year deal with Time Warner Inc. ’s Warner Bros. that takes effect in 2018, the Comcast Corp. -owned media company will obtain commercial television rights to the eight Harry Potter movies, which will air mainly on the USA and Syfy channels. (WSJ)

George R.R. Martin’s ‘Wild Cards’ In Development At Universal Cable Productions

Universal Cable Productions has acquired the rights to develop Martin’s anthology series Wild Cards. Due to Martin’s exclusive development agreement with HBO, the author will not be working on the project. (VAR)

Blake Griffin’s Animated Comedy Gets Pilot Order From Fox

The L.A. Clippers superstar will present the pilot of his semi-autobiographical animated pilot Okies of Bel Air to Fox. (EW)

Martha Stewart And Snoop Dogg Will Host A Cooking Show On VH1

Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg are joining forces for good: a new VH1 reality show. The pair will host a cooking show this fall, tentatively called Martha & Snoop’s Dinner Party. (VER)

Antoine Fuqua Sells Medical Drama ‘The City’ To Showtime

Antoine Fuqua has signed a deal with Showtime to produce a medical drama called The City. Amy Holden Jones will handle the screenplay and take on a producer role. (VUL)

Nasim Pedrad Comedy Pilot ‘Chad’ Not Going Forward At Fox

Fox has passed on Chad: An American Boy, the single-camera Middle-Eastern family comedy pilot starring Saturday Night Live alumna Nasim Pedrad as a teenage boy. I hear 20th Century Fox TV is planning to aggressively shop it. (DH)

Can Broadcast Networks Compete In A World Of Binge-Worthy TV?

According to NBC’s President of Research and Media Development, more than half of all viewers won’t watch a show unless they have the same access to older episodes. In fact, 72 percent of viewers would be more likely to start watching returning series on broadcast networks if they had access to all the past episodes on demand or online. (TB)

 

Andrew Adamson to Direct ‘Curious George,’‘Mena’ Movie Pushed, ‘Man of Steel’ Sequel, Breck Eisner to Direct ‘Friday the 13th’

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‘Shrek’ Director Andrew Adamson Boards ‘Curious George’ Live-Action Movie

Shrek director Andrew Adamson has come on board to helm Universal’s live-action adaptation of the classic children’s tale Curious George. (VAR)

Tom Cruise’s ‘Mena’ Movie Pushed To Fall 2017, Gets New Title

Universal is pushing back the release of Tom Cruise-starrer Mena from Jan. 6, 2017 to Sept. 29, 2017. The movie, directed by Doug Liman, is also getting a new title: American Made. (THR)

Warner Bros. Puts ‘Man of Steel’ Sequel Into Active Development

Henry Cavill‘s Superman will fly solo again in a sequel to Man of Steel going into active development at Warner Bros. (WRAP)

Breck Eisner Is The New ‘Friday The 13th’ Director

Breck Eisner is in talks to direct Paramount Pictures‘ upcoming Friday the 13th reboot. (CS)

CBS Films Buys Helen Mirren’s ‘Winchester’ Movie

CBS Films announced has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Helen Mirren’s drama Winchester from Bullitt Entertainment and Diamond Pictures. The film is being directed by brothers Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, who wrote the screenplay with Tom Vaughan. (VAR)

Martin Donovan Cast In ‘Roadside Picnic’ WGN America Pilot Based On Sci-Fi Novel

Martin Donovan is set to co-star opposite Matthew Goode in WGN America’s alien saga pilot Roadside Picnic, based on the famous novel by top Soviet/Russian science fiction writers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. (DH)

‘Lucifer’ Season 2 Casts ‘The Sopranos’ Michael Imperioli As The Angel Uriel

Executive producer Ildy Modrovich announced the casting of Imperioli as the angel Uriel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. (TVL)

‘Shadowhunters’: Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer Tapped As New Showrunners

Former Smallville showrunners Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer have been named as new executive producers/showrunners of Freeform’s fantasy series Shadowhunters. They will replace Ed Decter. (DH)

Rob Reiner Period Drama ‘The Tap’ Gets Pilot Order At USA Network

The pilot hails from writers Andrew Lenchewski and Aaron Tracy and comes from Universal Cable Productions. The Tap marks the second pilot order for USA Network as part of its 2016-17 development season. (THR)

 

De Niro and Julianne Moore Join David O’Russell Series, SNL Departures, TIFF Slate Additions, ‘Robin Hood’ Director

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Robert De Niro & Julianne Moore To Topline David O. Russell TV Series

David O. Russell is behind a drama series project, which has Oscar winners Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore attached to star. (DH)

Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah Departing ‘Saturday Night Live’

Killam and Pharoah, who have each been with the NBC sketch show for six seasons, are leaving the Lorne Michaels-helmed franchise to pursue other opportunities. (THR)

TIFF Rounds Out Slate With ‘Blair Witch,’ ‘Free Fire,’ ‘The Bad Batch’ And Many More

The fall festival has announced picks for a number of sections, including Midnight Madness, Documentaries and Vanguard. (IW)

Future-Set ‘Robin Hood’ Movie Lands A VFX Wiz Director

Gianni Nunnari’s future-set Robin Hood picture has landed a director. Experienced visual effects wizard Hasraf “HaZ” Dulull will take to the helm for Nunnari and his Hollywood Gang production company. (COLL)

RatPac, Def Pictures Set Steve Lemme Breakdance Pitch At Lionsgate

RatPac Entertainment and Def Pictures have sold an untitled feature film pitch from Steve Lemme to Lionsgate Films. Lemme, an actor and writer who is a founding member of the Broken Lizard comedy group, will script the throwback comedy. (DH)

Bret McKenzie Of ‘Flight Of The Conchords’ Writing Fantasy Film For Warner Bros.

His newest project, a fantasy film for Warner Bros. Pictures titled Moonland, taps him as the screenwriter and reunites him with The Muppets director James Bobin. (TB)

Caitlin Moran’s ‘Raised By Wolves’ Cancelled By Channel 4

Bad news for fans of Caitlin Moran and her TV comedy Raised By Wolves. Channel 4 has decided not to recommission the show for a third season. (EMP)

Director Mark Osborne Explains Why His Version Of ‘The Little Prince’ Shouldn’t Exist

Inside the six-year odyssey of the CGI/stop-motion adaptation of The Little Prince, aka the little movie that could. (FCC)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Luke Cage’

The promo trailer for Netflix’s latest Marvel series allows a glimpse at the nascent, begrudging superhero’s origin story. (TVL)

Hulu Removes Free Ad-Supported Option, Top YouTube Gaming Channels, Maker Studios and ‘Minecraft,’ Chobani and the Olympics

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Branded Entertainment News

Hulu Removes Free, Ad-Supported Tier From Its Service, Moves It To New Yahoo Hub

Hulu’s model is changing, and the its original viewing format will be most affected. The streaming service plans to remove its free, ad-supported option from its website and mobile apps in favor of its two paid tiers. (TF)

Top 100 Most Viewed YouTube Gaming Channels Worldwide • June 2016

It’s time for another monthly installment of Tubefilter’s Top 100 Most Viewed YouTube Gaming Channels Chart and our new normal is still in the top spot. (TF)

How Podcasts Help Brands Tell Their Story

On average, 29 million minutes of podcasts are being produced yearly with individuals and brands shifting their content to the medium.  (NM)

Top Deals

Maker Studios To Launch Season Two Of Stampy Cat’s Educational ‘Minecraft’ Series

Garrett’s Stampy Cat character, a Minecraft avatar who has propelled his owner’s YouTube channel to more than 5.2 billion views, will be the star in the second season of Wonder Quest, which will arrive on August 20th. (TF)

Rio 2016: Chobani #NoBadStuff Campaign Scores Online

Chobani launched #NoBadStuff as part of its official yogurt sponsorship of Team USA at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (BC)

Christoph Waltz Mocks, Then Embraces American Exceptionalism For Samsung

A 90-second TV spot for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in which Christoph Waltz mocks Americans for their “Busy, Busy, Busy” lifestyle. (FCC)

Brand News: Nationwide, Papa John’s, Jet.com And More

A roundup of brand deals in the past few weeks by Brand Channel. (BC)

Hot Projects

Death Wish (Remake)

MGM’s remake of the 1974 classic revenge thriller with Bruce Willis starring, to be produced by Roger Birnbaum. Eli Roth is set to direct. (SE)

Suburbicon

TriStar’s black comedy will be produced by Joel Silver. George Clooney will direct from a Coen Brothers script. Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac and Woody Harrelson all star. (SE)

NYFF Slate, Fox Buys Ben Mezrich Book, New ‘Narnia’ Movie, ‘Croods 2′ Pushed, ‘Oceans 8′ Cast

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NYFF Reveals Main Slate Of 2016 Titles, Including ‘Manchester By the Sea,’ ‘Paterson’ and ‘Personal Shopper’

The New York Film Festival rolls out an impressive Main Slate, including a number of festival favorites and awards contenders. (IW)

Fox Buys Ben Mezrich’s ‘Woolly’: Next ‘Jurassic Park?’

The studio has landed Ben Mezrich’s novel Woolly: The True Story of the De-Extinction of One of History’s Most Iconic Creatures. Temple Hill partners Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are going to produce, and they are locking a filmmaker shortly. (DH)

New ‘Chronicles Of Narnia’ Movie Planned By TriStar, Mark Gordon

TriStar, the Mark Gordon Company and Entertainment One will finance an adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair from the author’s Chronicles of Narnia book series. (THR)

‘Croods 2’ Release Pushed Back To 2018

Fox has moved DreamWorks Animation’s family film The Croods 2 from 2017 to an unknown date in 2018. (VAR)

Warner Bros Firms ‘Ocean’s 8’ Lineup

Warner Bros has firmed an October start date in New York for Ocean’s Eight, the female-driven caper spinoff directed by Gary Ross. Aside from the previously identified Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, deals are close with Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina. (DH)

‘Criminal’ Relic-Heist Pilot From ‘Blindspot’ Team Lands At ABC

ABC has made a put pilot commitment to Criminal, a heist drama from Blindspot producers Martin Gero, Brendan Gall, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. (TVL)

An Angela Davis Biopic Is In The Works

Codeblack Films has acquired the movie rights to activist Angela Davis’s autobiography, which covers her history as a radical leader in the civil-rights movement. (VUL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Arrival’

Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for director Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama Arrival. Previously titled Story of Your Life, the film stars Amy Adams. (COLL)

Getting High On The New TV Trends

It’s been four years since Weeds left the air, three since the end of Breaking Bad, which means there has definitely been a dearth of television shows dealing with controlled substances. Good thing, then, that there are so many on the horizon. (TB)

Fuqua to Direct ‘Scarface’ Remake, Michael Chernus Joins ‘Spider-Man,’‘Empire’ Duo Developing New Comedy, JonBenet Ramsey Movie in Works

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Antoine Fuqua In Talks To Direct Universal’s ‘Scarface’ Film

Antoine Fuqua is in talks to direct Universal Pictures’ reimagined take on one of its most well-known properties, Scarface. Jonathan Herman wrote the most recent draft. (VAR)

Michael Chernus Joins ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ As The Tinkerer

Michael Chernus has joined Sony Pictures and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming as Phineas Mason the Tinkerer in the film, which is being directed by Jon Watts and stars Tom Holland in the lead role. (DH)

‘Empire’ Duo Developing Fox Comedy Starring Ms. Pat

Lee Daniels and Brian Grazer will reteam for the single-camera comedy, which landed at the network with a put-pilot commitment. (THR)

A JonBenét Ramsey Lifetime Movie Is In the Works

Twenty years after the murder of 6-year-old Colorado beauty pageant contestant JonBenét Ramsey, a TV movie centered on the crime is headed to Lifetime. (PM)

Jennifer Lopez To Star As Real-Life Drug Lord Griselda Blanco

Jennifer Lopez is set to star as notorious drug lord Griselda Blanco in a TV movie she is developing for HBO. (EN)

‘Big Brother’ Renewed For Seasons 19, 20

The reality show has been renewed for a 19th and 20th season, the network announced at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Season 19 will air in the summer of 2017 and Season 20 will air in the summer of 2018. (TVL)

Black Manta Reportedly Set As ‘Aquaman’ Villain

Classic DC Comics villain Black Manta will apparently be the main bad guy in 2018’s James Wan–directed, Jason Momoa–starring super-flick, Aquaman. (VUL)

Jason Momoa Latest Actor Linked To ‘The Crow’ Remake

Jason Momoa is the heir apparent to The Crow franchise; he’s in talks with Relativity Media, having figured out a way to work the role in around his Aquaman duties. (COLL)

Screenwriters: Maria Escobedo on Writing for Children’s Animation and Breaking into Television

Susan Kouguell speaks with Maria Escobedo about her TV writing career and her new animated children’s show, Elena of Avalor, which recently premiered on the Disney Channel. (SM)

 

Sony’s Big ‘Ghostbusters’ Loss, Trouble On the Set At ‘Criminal Minds’, ‘Star Trek’ Reboot To Have Female Captain

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Sony Looking At $70 Million Loss For ‘Ghostbusters’, Sequel Unlikely

As of August 7th, film had earned just under $180 million at the global box office, including $117 million domestic. The film still hasn’t opened in a few markets, including France, Japan and Mexico, but box-office experts say it will have trouble getting to $225 million despite a hefty net production budget of $144 million plus a big marketing spend. The studio has said break-even would be $300 million. (THR)

Thomas Gibson Suspended From ‘Criminal Minds’ Following On-Set Altercation

Actor has been suspended for at least one and likely two episodes after a physical altercation with a writer-producer on the set of the CBS crime drama. (DH)

CBS’ New ‘Star Trek’ Reboot Will Have a Diverse Cast and a Female In the Captain’s Chair

To be titled Star Trek: Discovery and executive produced by Bryan Fuller, the brand-new series will introduce new characters, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966. (SAA)

‘Grim Sleeper’, Subject Of Award-Winning Doc, Gets Death Sentence

In May, a jury convicted Lonnie David Franklin Jr. of 10 counts of murder: nine women and one teenage girl between 1985 and 2007. During the trial, prosecutors also connected him to several other murders, with detectives believing he may have been responsible for the deaths of at least 25 women. (IW)

‘Brave New World’ TV Show in the Works at Syfy With Grant Morrison and Brian Taylor at the Helm

Syfy has been looking through your high-school English class’s reading list: the NBCUniversal-owned network is eyeing a TV adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s legendary dystopian novel Brave New World. Comics writer Grant Morrison and filmmaker Brian Taylor have been tapped to lead the process. (VUL)

CW Seed To Launch ‘Freedom Fighters: The Ray’ With First Gay Superhero Lead

TV’s first leading gay superhero is coming next year to CW Seed. The CW’s digital streaming service has announced plans to launch “Freedom Fighters: The Ray,” featuring the first gay superhero to headline a show in an animated series, next year. Based on characters from the DC universe, the show will be produced by Warner Bros.’ digital studio Blue Ribbon Content. (ITV)

Horror Thriller ‘Hellfest’ Taps Director Jennifer Chambers Lynch

The Walking Dead director Jennifer Chambers Lynch is ready to scare up some Halloween screams by directing the CBS Films’ horror thriller. Gale Anne Hurd, who produces the hit AMC series The Walking Dead, is producing Hellfest via her Valhalla Entertainment. (HV)

Fantastic Beasts’ Adds Zoe Kravitz to the Mix

The Mad Max: Fury Road actress is a late addition to the cast of Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She will only have a small part in the first film, but her character has the potential for a larger role in the David Yates-helmed sequel, which was previously set for a release on November 16th, 2018. (CS)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Moonlight’

A24 has released the first trailer for the highly anticipated new film from writer-director Barry Jenkins. It will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, and again in October at the New York Film Festival. (COL)

Arianna Huffington Leaving ‘Post’, Nokia Gives ‘Pete’s Dragon’ VR Treatment, Snapchat’s Seven Brand Partners For Rio

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BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Arianna Huffington to Leave the Huffington Post

Huffington revealed her intentions on Twitter today, saying: “I thought HuffPost would be my last act. But I’ve decided to step down as HuffPost’s editor-in-chief to run my new venture, Thrive Global.” Thrive Global is described as “corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform.” (CL)

Nokia Gives ‘Pete’s Dragon’ the VR Treatment

As part of its multi-year partnership with The Walt Disney Studios, Nokia has helped create yet another virtual reality experience for a new theatrical release from the studio. Nokia previously created 360-degree VR experiences for The Jungle Book and Alice Through The Looking Glass. (BC)

Snapchat’s Seven Brand Partners for the Summer Olympics

The company will run ads in its Olympics content via dedicated Live Story and Discover  channels: Sony Pictures, Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hershey’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Finish Line and Ford. Other advertisers will be in play on Snapchat during the games, though they will not be official partners. (AW)

TOP DEALS

Comedy Central & Lexus’ L/Studio Partner to Launch ‘Junketeers’ Original Multiplatform Series

Created and produced by Josh Horowitz and Ben Lyons, in partnership with Jason Berger and Amy Laslett at Kids at Play Media, the eight episode multi-platform workplace comedy series set in the behind-the-scenes world of celebrity news correspondents stars Brian Unger, Barak Hardley, Austin Lyon, Phil Augusta Jackson and Amanda Lund, and will feature a host of celebrity cameos. (TFC)

NBCU Bringing ‘SNL,’ ‘The Voice’ and ‘Tonight Show’ to Snapchat

Snapchat has been on a signing spree since spring to bring original video programming to the app, which is its way of competing with rivals Facebook and Twitter for digital rights. Company announced an expanded partnership with the National Football League last week. (AA)

John Leguizamo’s Branded Content Studio Specializes in the Hispanic Market NGL Creates Digital Videos for Ford, P&G

In response to the recent explosion in branded content firms, the actor and his partner, media veteran David Chitel, in 2013 launched their own company, New Generation Latino Media (NGL). With the mission of helping brands target the Hispanic market through digital video, the New York-based shop works with clients to create and distribute sponsored content across Latino-oriented websites using proprietary technology that serves video in ads. (AW)

Studio71 Signs Seven to Influencer Network Including Alx James, TechSmartt & Tina Yong

The multi-platform production company has added more than half a dozen influencers to its network, including YouTube musicians Kina Grannis and Tiffany Alvord and and YouTube sketch, parody and beauty channel Miles Gia Productions, along with Vine star James (8.1M followers), beauty and lifestyle YouTuber Yong, and the tech review channel. (TVI)

Snapchat Case Study: How Samsung Partnered With Snapchat Star Cyreneq

The company now reaches almost half of all U.S. millennials (18- to 34-year-olds) on any given day, making the disappearing content app both a cultural phenomenon and an excellent way for marketers and brands to increase visibility among young audiences who spend more time on social media platforms than they do on almost any other daily activity. (MK)

HOT PROJECTS

Home Again

Reese Witherspoon stars in this comedy to be produced by The Intern director Nancy Meyers. Story follows a recently separated mother of two whose new life in Los Angeles is overturned when she decides to take in three young, charismatic guys. (SE)

Humboldt

Sony Pictures Television and Anonymous Content (Mr. Robot) are developing this family crime drama that will star John Malkovich (Crossbones). Michael Alan Lerner (Love & Mercy) wrote the pilot and will executive produce alongside Malkovich, Elliot Webb (Alpha House), Alissa Phillips (Mob City), Alex Goldstone (Adult World), Adam Shulman (The Loft), and Carl Franklin (The Leftovers) who will also direct the pilot. (SE)

Thomas Gibson Fired From ‘Criminal Minds’, UTA Keeps After CAA, Michelle McLaren’s Big New Gig, ‘Bad Boys 3′ News

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Suspension Becomes Permanent, as Thomas Gibson Fired From ‘Criminal Minds’ Following on-Set Altercation

Yesterday, the actor was suspended for an undisclosed number of episodes following an on-set altercation in which he allegedly kicked a man identified as series executive producer Virgil Williams. Now, Gibson is no longer a part of the Criminal Minds team: In a statement released today, ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios announced Gibson’s firing from the show. (VUL)

UTA Asks Court For Green Light to Poach More CAA Agents

Agency’s raid of CAA agents isn’t over, and now, UTA has fired a very public warning shot by asking the court for the green light to go after senior talent agents at CAA. The agencies have been trading escalating blows in court since May 2015, when a handful of CAA comedy agents defected to UTA in what has been labeled the “lawless midnight raid.” Now an amended cross-complaint makes it clear there’s more drama brewing between the agencies outside the courtroom. (HESQ)

Michelle MacLaren to Direct Film Adaptation of ‘The Nightingale’

Emmy-winning director is making her big-screen directorial debut with TriStar’s upcoming adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s bestselling 2015 novel. Story centers on “two sisters coming of age in France on the eve of World War II, and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France. It was inspired by the story of a Belgian woman, Andrée de Jongh, who helped downed Allied pilots to escape Nazi territory.” (WAH)

‘Bad Boys 3’ Gets a New Title and a New Release Date

Film is now being titled Bad Boys For Life and the release date has been pushed back. Originally scheduled for June 2nd, 2017, the movie has now been dated for January 12th, 2018. The date change is apparently because Will Smith and Martin Lawrence can’t shoot the film until January 2017. (TP)

Add Rapper To Kevin Hart’s Resume, as He Will Release Rap Album as Alter Ego Chocolate Droppa

Marvin Gaye. Stevie Wonder. Rick James. Kevin Hart? The comedian has signed a deal with Motown Records to record as his rapping alter ego, Chocolate Droppa. No further information regarding the project, such as who Hart might be collaborating with, was released. (TW)

Showtime Orders Comedy Pilots Starring Jay Pharaoh, Taran Killam and Frankie Shaw

The network has cast Pharoah in the lead for White Famous, a half-hour comedy EP’d by Jamie Foxx and Tom Kapinos, a half-hour comedy entitled Mating, executive produced by Jason Katims, and written and executive produced by Stu Zicherman, with Killam cast in the lead, and a new comedy pilot based on Frankie Shaw’s Sundance Film Festival Jury Award-winning short film SMILF. She will star, write, produce and direct the semi-autobiographical pilot. (CS)

CBS Nabs Family Comedy From Carter Bays, Craig Thomas & Chris Distefano With Big Commitment

In a competitive bidding situation with ABC, CBS has landed a comedy about an Italian-Puerto Rican family from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays & Craig Thomas, comedian Chris Distefano and Sony TV. The untitled multi-camera/hybrid was inspired by the comedy of Distefano, an Italian American from Brooklyn and a new dad who married a Puerto Rican woman. (DH)

Netflix and Amazon Continue To Redefine What It Means To Be a Studio (Studio Series)

While we’re handicapped by a lack of certain information, there is one thing that is abundantly clear: just as they have in TV, Amazon and Netflix have very quickly become major players in the film world, and their stature is only going to improve. In fact, with the release of Joshy this coming weekend, Hulu is now poised to join them. In other words, it’s a brave new world out there. Change isn’t coming, it’s already arrived. (TB)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘Allied’

Paramount Pictures has released the first look at the upcoming World War II film, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the film opens November 23rd. (IW)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Rogue One’

Disney and Lucasfilm have dropped the newest look at the highly anticipated new chapter in the Star Wars story. Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Jiang Wen, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Genevieve O’Reilly and the voice of James Earl Jones, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens December 16th. (COL)