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Netflix to Release ‘Spectral,’‘The Crow’ Remake Leaves Relativity, Fox Buys Resort Comedy


Netflix Will Release Ghostbusting Action Movie ‘Spectral’

The project by first-time director Nic Mathieu was pulled from Legendary Pictures release schedule and will now be released through Netflix. (SR)

‘The Crow’ Remake Leaves Relativity And Heads To Group Led By Davis Films

Samuel Hadida teams with Highland Film Group and Electric Shadow to acquire the rights to finance, produce and distribute the reboot of the cult classic franchise. (THR)

Fox Buys Resort Comedy From ‘New Girl’ Trio

Fox has given a script plus penalty commitment to Missing American Woman, a female-centered comedy from New Girl co-executive producers Matt Fusfeld and Alex Cuthbertson and executive producer Jake Kasdan. (DH)

‘Kevin Hart Presents: Hart Of The City’ Renewed At Comedy Central

Comedy Central has renewed Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City for a second season.  The eight-episode second season will premiere in 2017. (VAR)

Kimberly Peirce To Direct ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ Movie

Director Kimberly Peirce is set to direct a Man’s Search For Meaning, based on Viktor Frankl’s international best selling memoir and psychiatristic analysis. The Man’s Search For Meaning is being developed at Straight Up Films. (CS)

‘Hawaii Five-O': Masi Oka Exiting After Seven Seasons

After seven seasons, Masi Oka will exit Hawaii Five-0 as a series regular. (EW)

‘ER’ Vet Neal Baer Developing New Medical Drama at Fox

Fox has bought a script for The Beast, co-written by Baer and Dawn DeNoon. The project marks a reunion for the duo who worked together on Law & Order: SVU, on which Baer served as showrunner for 11 seasons. (VAR)

David O. Russell’s Prada Short Film ‘Past Forward’ Is A Surreal Dreamscape

The silent film stars Allison Williams, Freida Pinto and Kuoth Wiel portraying the same role. (IW)

Screenwriters: ‘Sing’ Script

Undated, unspecified draft script of the Illumination animated film by Garth Jennings. (SS)


Weekend Box Office, Emilia Clarke in Hans Solo Spinoff, McConaughey in ‘White Boy Rick,’ Dana Brunetti Wins PGA Credit


‘Fantastic Beasts’ Box Office: Is A $75M Weekend Big Enough For J.K. Rowling’s Prequel?

The $180 million-budgeted vehicle, written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates, earned a 2.52x weekend multiplier ($29.7m Friday) and an 11.6% “Thursday-to-weekend” ($8.75m) percentage. (FOR)

‘Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke Cast In Han Solo Spinoff Movie

Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke has been cast as the film’s female lead, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller.  The movie takes place before Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope and follows the adventures a young Han Solo. (WIR)

Matthew McConaughey Slated To Star In ‘71′ Director Yann Demange’s ‘White Boy Rick’

The Oscar winner is in negotiations to star in White Boy Rick, directed by 71 director Yann Demange. (IW)

‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Producer Dana Brunetti Wins Battle With Guild

Producer Dana Brunetti has won an appeal with the Producers Guild of America to have their mark of p.g.a. added to his credit in the upcoming film Fifty Shades Darker. (WRAP)

‘John Wick’s’ David Leitch Confirmed To Direct ‘Deadpool 2′

With Tim Miller no longer attached, the studio and Reynolds have chosen John Wick co-director David Leitch for the gig. (SR)

Elle Fanning Circling Lead Role In Film Adaptation Of Teresa Toten’s Novel ‘Beware That Girl’

Elle Fanning is in talks to take the lead role in Awesomeness Films’ adaptation of Beware That Girl, a film based on the YA book by Teresa Toten. (DH)

‘Harry Potter’ Producer David Heyman To Produce Alibaba Pictures’ ‘Warriors’

The live-action film adaptation of the popular children’s book series will be a U.K.-China co-production. (THR)

‘Mortal Kombat’ Reboot Finds Director In Simon McQuoid

Simon McQuoid, best known for directing commercials, is in talks to helm the Mortal Kombat reboot for New Line. (VAR)

MGM Taps Rachel Goldenberg To Helm Musical Adaptation Of ‘Valley Girl’

Rachel Lee Goldenberg has been attached to direct MGM’s musical adaptation of the 1983 romantic comedy Valley Girl. (DH)

Legendary Gets ‘Dune’ Rights, Gary Shore to Direct ‘The Great Game,’‘Gold’ Shifts Release Date, ‘Snowpiercer’ Pilot to TNT


Legendary Lands Rights To Classic Sci-Fi Novel ‘Dune’

Legendary Entertainment has acquired the rights from the Frank Herbert estate for his iconic novel Dune, granting the production entity the film and television motion picture rights to the work. (VAR)

Gary Shore To Direct ‘The Great Game’ For Cross Creek

Gary Shore will direct The Great Game, Cross Creek’s historical epic about the illustrious Nobel family, written by  two-time Blacklist honoree Bryan McMullin. (DH)

Matthew McConaughey’s ‘Gold’ Shifts Wide Release To 2017

The mining drama, initially scheduled for a wide release on Dec. 25, will now hit theaters on Jan. 27. (THR)

‘Snowpiercer’ Series Pilot Lands At TNT

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles boss Josh Friedman’s pilot adaptation of the futuristic thriller Snowpiercer is pulling into station at TNT. (TVL)

Netflix Will Release Three Dave Chappelle Comedy Specials

After spending millions on two Chris Rock comedy specials in October, the site announced that it will also release three Dave Chappelle comedy specials. (VUL)

Google’s Spotlight Stories Series And The Future Of Animation

The company continues collaborations with animators to create cutting-edge story development software for the 360-degree, mobile world. (FCC)

The Late Night Television Conundrum

What used to be an opportunity to sit down and spend some time with a trusted face who we knew could entertain us for an hour every night, has become a sort of entertainment roulette. (TB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Cars 3′ Teaser

Disney and Pixar have unveiled the very first teaser trailer for Cars 3, which teases a dramatic twist in the Lightning McQueen story. (COLL)

Trailer Buzz: Smurfs: The Lost Village’

Following up on the film’s teaser release in September, Sony has delivered a full trailer for the fully-animted Smurfs: The Lost Village. (CB)

‘Hard Boiled’ Movie to Warner Bros., No More ‘Pure Genius,’ James Corden to Host Grammys, Lifetime Making Prison Break Movie


Ben Wheatley And Tom Hiddleston Eye ‘Hard Boiled’ Movie

A Hard Boiled movie is set up at Warner Bros. that will adapt the Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow comic book. Wheatley and Hiddleston are said to be in talks at the studio. (CS)

CBS Isn’t Ordering More Episodes Of ‘Pure Genius’

CBS will not be ordering any more episodes of its new medical drama Pure Genius. The series was met with generally unfavorable reviews and its ratings have been paltry. (TVG)

James Corden To Host 2017 Grammys

Fresh off his acclaimed turn as host of the Tonys, James Corden will emcee the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. (TVL)

Penelope Ann Miller To Star In Lifetime Movie Based On Infamous 2015 NY Prison Break

Lifetime is taking on Prison Break: The Joyce Mitchell Story, setting Penelope Ann Miller to star in the network’s latest ripped-from-the-headlines TV movie. (DH)

Futuristic Western, Sci-Fi Tale Top Brit List Of Stellar Scripts

Projects in development at Ken Loach’s Sixteen Films, Colin Firth’s Raindog Films and Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow are among entries on this year’s Brit List, a compendium of stellar screenplays by non-U.S. writers. (VAR)

Angela Bassett Boards Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ In Key Role

Bassett has landed a key role in Marvel’s Black Panther as T’Challa’s mother, Romonda. (COLL)

Mark Burnett To Develop TV Series About Superstar Luis Miguel

Fans will learn more about the Mexican superstar in a television mini series about his life thanks to Mark Burnett, super producer and president of MGM Television, who was able to secure the exclusive rights to Luis Miguel’s story. (FOR)

Oscar’s Animation Throwdown: Big Studios Battle Small Indies For The Gold

Finding Dory, Zootopia and The Secret Life of Pets are box-off behemoths, but with a record 27 films jockeying for the feature animation Academy Award, tiny hand-drawn and stop-motion gems matter. (THR)

The Big Picture Possibility That All Of Hollywood Seems To Be Missing

In this era of shared universes, why aren’t studios working more together to combine their properties and make even bigger, more impressive tent poles? (TB)

Spirit Awards Noms, Sony’s New Spec, Centropolis Nabs Spec, Liz Meriwether’s New Pilot


‘American Honey,’ ‘Moonlight’ Lead 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

American Honey and Moonlight led the way with six nominations apiece. Manchester by the Sea picked up five. The three films were joined by Jackie and Chronic in the best feature category. (VAR)

Sony Pictures Collars ‘Love In The Time Of Dick Pics’ Movie Script

Sony Pictures has acquired rights to Nicole Larson’s debut feature film screenplay Love In The Time Of Dick Pics. Elizabeth Cantillon is producing. (DH)

Roland Emmerich’s Centropolis Nabs “Scarletville” Spec From Jason Young

Roland Emmerich’s Centropolis Entertainment recently picked up the crime thriller spec Scarletville from Jason Young. (TB)

‘New Girl’ Creator On ‘Thin Ice’ With Fox Pilot Order

The network handed out a pilot order to single-camera comedy Thin Ice from the New Girl creator, Liz Meriwether.  The project hails from 20th Century Fox Television, where Meriwether is under an overall deal. (THR)

Feature Documentary Nominees Set For Producers Guild Awards

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) unveiled its Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures nominees that will advance in the voting process for the 28th Annual Producers Guild Awards.  (SO)

Shannen Doherty Joins ‘Heathers’ Reboot On TV Land, Shares First Photo

Doherty joins previously announced cast members Grace Cox as Veronica, newcomer James Scully as J.D., and a trio of actors — Brendan Scannell, Melanie Field and Jasmine Matthews — as the Heathers. (TVL)

Parker Posey Set For Gender-Swapped Role In Netflix’s ‘Lost In Space’ Remake

Parker Posey will be one of the key performers in Netflix’s remake of Lost in Space, a 10-episode remake series with is set to debut sometime in 2018. Her role is that of Dr. Smith. (COLL)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Silence’

Watch the official trailer for Martin Scorsese’s new movie Silence. Starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson, see it in theatres December. (YT)

Screenwriters: Navigating Development Hell

Manny Fonseca tells the true story of one legendary script that spent pretty much close to twelve years stuck in development hell. (SM)

Weekend Box Office, STX Halts ‘Godforsaken,’‘Mortal Engines’ Gets Release Date, ‘Vampire Chronicles’ TV Adaptation


Weekend Box Office: ‘Moana’ Scores Huge $81 Million; ‘Doctor Strange’ Sets Marvel Record

Disney not only won the weekend outright with a stellar launch for the animated feature Moana, but also scored a new record for the continued box office of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange. (COLL)

STX Halts ‘Godforsaken’ As Sylvester Stallone Exits

STX Entertainment has halted pre-production on Godforsaken, after Sylvester Stallone abruptly decided not to go forward with the starring role. (DH)

Peter Jackson’s ‘Mortal Engines’ Gets December 2018 Release

The adventure epic will open one week before Fox releases an untitled James Cameron film, possibly the long-gestating Avatar 2. (THR)

Anne Rice Is Planning A ‘Game of Thrones’–Style TV Adaptation Of ‘The Vampire Chronicles’

Having just regained the theatrical rights to the 12-book series that includes Interview with the Vampire, the famed author says her dream is a quality TV adaptation. (IW)

‘Quantico’ Moving To Mondays In January

After its holiday break, the Priyanka Chopra-fronted drama will resume Season 2 on a new night, beginning Monday, January 23 at 10/9c. (TVL)

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Finds First Cast Member In Michelle Yeoh

The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star will be a recurring character on the upcoming CBS All Access sci-fi drama. (VAR)

Fox Sets Release Dates For Two Secret Marvel Movies; Pushes ‘Kingsman 2’ To October 2017

20th Century Fox has shuffled release dates for a pair of unspecified Fox/Marvel movies, one being the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle which has been pushed out of Summer 2017 and will now open in theaters on October 6, 2017. (COLL)

Sam Mendes Scraps His Gay Talese ‘The Voyeur’s Motel’ Film

Mendes’s The Voyeur’s Motel film plans have been completely dropped by DreamWorks due to a documentary on the same subject being pursued by filmmakers Myles Kane and Josh Koury. (VUL)

Screenwriters: ‘Birth Of A Nation’

A June 15, 2015 Yellow draft shooting script by Nate Parker (story by Nate Parker & Jean McGianni Celestin. (SS)

Lionsgate’s Houdini Film Gets Director, Annie Award Noms, Larry Wilmore Gets Overall, ‘The Pact’ Comedy Cast, Andrew Gumpert to Paramount


Daniel Trachtenberg In Talks For Lionsgate’s Houdini Film

10 Cloverfield Lane helmer Daniel Trachtenberg is in talks to direct Lionsgate’s film about master illusionist Harry Houdini. (DH)

‘Zootopia’ And ‘Kubo’ Lead Annie Awards Nominations; ‘Game of Thrones’ And ‘Civil War’ Land Nods

Nominations for the 44th Annie Awards have been announced, honoring the very best in the world of animation. Disney’s smash-hit Zootopia leads the pack with 11 nominations in total. (COLL)

Larry Wilmore Inks Overall Deal With ABC Studios

The pact extends his relationship with the studio behind ABC’s Black-ish. (THR)

Leslie Mann And John Cena On For New Comedy ‘The Pact’

Kay Cannon is making her directorial debut with a new comedy, The Pact, and rounded up the first few actors for the movie; Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz. (EMP)

Nicole Kidman Comedy ‘Big Little Lies’ Sets Premiere Date At HBO

The premium cabler’s adaptation of Liane Moriarity’s darkly comedic novel will premiere Sunday, Feb. 19 at 9/8c, HBO confirmed. (TVL)

Paramount Hires Former Sony Exec Andrew Gumpert As COO

Paramount has named former Sony Pictures head of business affairs Andrew Gumpert as its chief operating officer. He will assume the role in January and report directly to Paramount CEO Brad Grey. (WRAP)

Tom Holland In Talks To Join Daisy Ridley In ‘Chaos Walking’

Tom Holland, who is playing Spider-Man in next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, is in negotiations to join Daisy Ridley in Lionsgate’s post-apocalyptic thriller Chaos Walking. Doug Liman is directing. (THR)

From ‘Selma’ To ‘American Sniper’, New Study Gauges Accuracy Of Fact-Based Films

A new study conducted by Information is Beautiful finds several mainstream titles — from Ava DuVernay’s Selma to Adam McKay’s The Big Short — are surprisingly accurate when it comes to doing the stories of their real-life subjects justice on the big screen.  (EW)

How One Film Division’s Business Plan Should Be Required Learning For Everyone In Hollywood

Screen Gems put out three movies this year, costing $48 million, and bringing in $200 million worldwide. Last year, it put out two, costing $35 million and grossing $140 million. (TB)

Gotham Award Wins, Peter Facinelli’s Directorial Debut, ‘Decker-Lazarus’ TV Series, ‘You + Me = Everything’ Adaptation


Gotham Awards: Big Night For ‘Moonlight’

The drama cleaned up at the indie film ceremony, winning the top prize of best feature as well as the audience and screenplay awards, along with a special jury ensemble honor. (LAT)

Peter Facinelli To Make Directing Bow With Comedy ‘Breaking and Exiting’

Peter Facinelli is set to make his directorial debut with Breaking and Exiting, a feature written by and starring Jordan Hinson. (DH)

‘MadTV’ Producer David Salzman Adapting ‘Decker-Lazarus’ Novels For TV

Salzman and Canada’s Thunderbird Films plan to bring Faye Kellerman’s best-selling crime fiction series to the small screen. (THR)

Lionsgate Developing ‘You + Me = Everything’ With ‘Twilight’ Producers

Lionsgate has launched development of a movie based on the upcoming novel You + Me = Everything and set up the project with Twilight producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen. (VAR)

Kevin Smith Says He’s “No Longer Involved” With ‘Buckaroo Banzai’ TV Series

Kevin Smith has dropped out of the project because of a lawsuit filed by MGM against Earl Mac Rauch (the original screenwriter) and W.D. Richter (the original director). (COLL)

Kelly Reichardt Adapting Dark Comedic Mystery ‘Undermajordomo Minor’ For Next Feature

The Certain Women director is set to put her own unique spin on Patrick DeWitt’s dark fable. (IW)

Amazon Orders ‘Bug Diaries’ & ‘Sigmund & The Sea Monsters’ Kids Series

Amazon Studios has ordered animated comedy series The Bug Diaries, based on the best-selling children’s book series, and live-action Sid & Marty Krofft’s Sigmund and the Sea Monsters starring David Arquette, based on the classic 1970s Saturday morning TV series. (DH)

Screenwriters: Saying “I Do” To The Right Idea

In the industry, there is no denying that the idea is king. This makes choosing an idea the decision of a lifetime. (SM)

Next Big Thing in the Ad World List, A+E Networks’ CMO, Wes Anderson’s H&M Short, Tane Digital Wins Award for M&M Content


Branded Entertainment News

My ‘Next-Big-Thing’ List: Who Will Transform The Post-TV Ad World In 2017

A list of specialists who focus on social media, digital media, user experience or open source. This wave of innovators is poised to reshape Madison Avenue. (FOR)

A+E Networks’ New CMO Is Ready To Take Some Big Marketing Risks

An interview with A+E Networks’ CMO Amanda Hill. (AW)

Conde Nast Britain’s 18-person Native Ad Team Accounts For Half Its Digital Revenue

Condé Nast Britain’s native advertising revenue has taken a considerable jump across its portfolio, which includes Wired, GQ and Vogue. This year, native accounted for half of its digital ad revenue, up from 25 percent in 2015. (DD)

Top Deals

Wes Anderson’s H&M Christmas Short

Come Together is an H&M-sponsored Christmas film from Wes Anderson that bears the mark of its creator in every way. (FCC)

Tane Digital Video Wins W3 Award For M&M’s Branded Content

Tane Digital Video has won a silver W3 Award in the Branded Content category for its work with Weber Shandwick and M&M’s. (BW)

Parenting App Mush Secures Brand Partnership With Unilever’s Neutral 0%

Mush, the app launched for lonely parents, has signed its second brand partnership, with Unilever’s Scandinavian household and personal care brand Neutral 0%. (CL)

Hot Projects

Hip Hop Squares

ZVH1is developing this revamped version of the classic series Hollywood Squares, only this time with the biggest names in hip-hop. The series will be produced by CubeVision, Jesse Collins Entertainment, and The Firm. Ice Cube, Jesse Collins and Jeff Kwatinetz will serve as executive producers. (SE)


CBS gave a series order to this drama from writers Elizabeth Kruger and Craig Shapiro who executive produce alongside Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin of Secret Hideout and Peter Lenkov. (SE)

Bradley Cooper and Gavin O’Connor’s New Project, National Board of Review List, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Lionsgate Project, DGA to Honor Ridley Scott


Bradley Cooper And Gavin O’Connor Working On ‘Atlantic Wall’

Bradley Cooper and director Gavin O’Connor are working together on World War II drama Atlantic Wall. Production company Imperative Entertainment nabbed writer Zach Dean’s concept when it was still just a pitch and have since developed the script. (EMP)

National Board Of Review Names ‘Manchester By The Sea’ The Best Film Of 2016

Filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan’s masterful grief drama also scored Best Actor for Casey Affleck, Breakthrough Performance (Male) for Lucas Hedges, and Best Original Screenplay for Lonergan. (COLL)

Lin-Manuel Miranda To Produce Film And TV Adaptations Of ‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’

Lionsgate has announced that Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will be the creative producer for a series of screen adaptations of Patrick Rothfuss’ best-selling Kingkiller Chronicle novels. (VER)

Directors Guild Of America To Bestow Top Honors On Ridley Scott

The Directors Guild of America announced that Ridley Scott is the 2017 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction. (LAT)

Joaquin Phoenix, Gus Van Sant Eye Reunion For Biopic On Famed Cartoonist John Callahan

Joaquin Phoenix and director Gus Van Sant may reteam on Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, the long-in-development biopic on quadriplegic cartoonist John Callahan. (VAR)

CBS Won’t Order More Episodes Of ‘The Odd Couple’ This Season

The Odd Couple is calling it after 13 episodes this season. CBS will not be ordering any more episodes of the Monday night comedy. (TVG)

NBCU International Studios, RTL & TF1 Greenlight ‘Gone’ Procedural Drama Series Starring Chris Noth

NBCUniversal International Studios, Germany’s RTL and France’s TF1 have given the green light to Gone, a 12-episode procedural drama series starring The Good Wife and Sex and the City alum Chris Noth. (DH)

Jodie Foster Is ‘The Nurse’ In ‘Hotel Artemis’

Jodie Foster has signed on to star in scribe Drew Pearce’s directorial debut Hotel Artemis for The Ink Factory. (DAR)

‘Rogue One’ Writer Tony Gilroy To Make Millions Off Reshoots

The Bourne scribe’s pay has grown from $200,000 a week to north of $5 million as work on the Star Wars standalone film expanded to include postproduction and tackling several issues including the ending. (THR)

Pikachu Movie Lands Director, Sundance Films Announced, Fox Buys Cirque Drama, ‘Masters of Sex’ Over


Live-Action ‘Detective Pikachu’ Movie Catches ‘Goosebumps’ Director

Legendary Entertainment has hired the Goosebumps director to lead its live-action Pokémon movie. He’ll work from a script written by Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch. (EW)

Sundance Film Festival 2017: Four Films To Know

The selections announced today — 32 American-made features and documentaries, all world premieres, that compete for prizes — will include Novitiate, The Force, and Chasing Coral. (NYT)

Fox Buys ‘High Wire’ Cirque Drama From Kathleen York & Cary Brokaw

Fox has put in development High Wire, a drama series project from Kathleen “Bird” York and producer Cary Brokaw. (DH)

‘Masters Of Sex’ Is Done At Showtime

Showtime has opted not to renew Masters of Sex for Season 5. (TVL)

‘The Wire’ Star Lance Reddick Joins Kate Bosworth, Tyler Hoechlin In ‘The Domestics’

Mike P. Nelson wrote and is directing the post-apocalyptic thriller. (THR)

John Goodman To Star In Rupert Wyatt’s Sci-Fi Film ‘Captive State’

John Goodman will star in Rupert Wyatt’s next film, Captive State. Wyatt will direct from a script he co-wrote with his wife, Erica Beeney.  (VAR)

Nicolas Cage Starring In ‘The Humanity Bureau’

Nicolas Cage will star in global-warming, sci-fi thriller The Humanity Bureau. Rob King is directing the movie, which has a script by Dave Schultz. (EMP)

Hannah MacPherson To Direct Lionsgate’s ‘The Merciless’

Hannah MacPherson is in final talks to direct The Merciless, the Lionsgate adaptation of the Danielle Vega horror novel about good girls gone evil. Script has been written by Marlene King. (DH)

Can Kevin Spacey And Paul Bettany Make The Next ‘People v. O.J. Simpson’?

Spacey will executive produce a series about the Unabomber; Bettany has been cast to play the domestic terrorist. (VF)

‘La La Land’ Leads Critic’s Choice, Fox 2K Gets Another YA Novel, Showtime Drama Gets Rick Famuyiwa to Direct, ‘Mummy’ Teaser


‘La La Land’ Leads Critics Choice Awards With 12 Nominations, Other Big Nominees Include ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Arrival’

Damien Chazelle’s Hollywood musical pulls 12 nominations, while Moonlight and Arrival each boast 10. (IW)

Hugh Jackman, Fox 2000 Team For YA Best-Seller ‘Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian’

Smoke Signals writer Sherman Alexie penned the book and will adapt the screenplay, with Temple Hill  and Donners’ Company producing. (THR)

Showtime’s Chicago Drama Eyes Series Order With Rick Famuyiwa As Director

Dope writer-director Rick Famuyiwa has joined Showtime’s Chicago-set drama project from Lena Waithe, Common, Aaron Kaplan and Fox 21 TV Studios. (DH)

Billy Dee Williams Voicing Two-Face In ‘The Lego Batman’ Movie

The animated movie’s director Chris McKay announced the casting karma balance. (EMP)

Are Re-shoots Really The Kiss Of Death For Wannabe Blockbusters?

Rumor had it that Rogue One was in trouble after Disney ordered a lengthy re-do—but were the re-shoots meant to fix a broken film, or are they just par for the course? (VF)

‘X-Story’ Short Film Tells A 13-Minute Animated Adventure Story Without Any Dialogue

Russian creator and animator Vitaliy Shushko released his first animated short film titled X-Story, which was quickly scooped up as one of Vimeo’s “Staff Picks.” (IW)

Trailer Buzz: The Mummy: A New World Of Gods And Monsters

Tom Cruise returns to theaters in 2017 with The Mummy, a big screen reboot of the Universal monster movie franchise. (SR)

NBCUniversal Has A Lot Going For It, But Is That Enough To Save Its Cable Business?

What NBCUniversal has going for it is the number of networks and variety of target viewers. With such a wealth of possibilities, there is that much better a chance at survival, and there is no shortage of money to keep pushing that as far as it will go. (TB)


Engaging Millennials, NBCU’s Content CMO Steps Down, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Stars for Burger King, Vimeo and VaynerMedia


Branded Entertainment News

8 Infallible Ways Brands Can Connect With Millennials

Engaging the Millennial consumer is crucial to Corporate America’s marketing plans. Branded content plays a key role in this effort. Get the research substantiating branded content efforts and read about 8 surefire ways brands can connect with millennials. (POR)

John Harrobin Steps Down As CMO Of NBCU’s Content Agency

Just a year after joining NBC Universal, John Harrobin, who served as chief marketing officer for the company’s Content Innovation Agency, has departed from the company. (AA)

Top Deals

‘Napoleon Dynamite’ Stars Make A Cheesy Comeback For Burger King

In an understated, limited engagement, Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez reunite to announce the return of BK’s cheesy tots. (FCC)

Vimeo And VaynerMedia Create Exclusive Content Partnership

Vimeo and VaynerMedia have teamed to form Vimeo/Vayner Studio, a partnership that will connect brands with Vimeo’s top filmmakers to create digital content. (AA)

ItemMaster Signs Content Partnership With Walmart.com

ItemMaster announced a new content partnership with Walmart.com to make available manufacturer’s Complete & Verified product records. (DSN)

The Dodo Launches On Snapchat Discover

The animal-centric web publisher The Dodo will become the latest member of the coveted Snapchat Discover club. The site will start publishing 12 pieces of content to Snapchat’s exclusive Discover section seven days a week. (WSJ)

Hot Projects

Den of Thieves

Gerard Butler and Sam Worthington star in this STX’s crime drama. (SE)


Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart are attached to star in The Weinstein Company’s remake of the French box office success about a quadriplegic and his ex-con caregiver. Neil Burger will direct. (SE)

’21 Jump Street’ Spin-Off Gets Director, Cube Vision Signs Fox TV Overall, TBS Orders ‘Final Space,’ FX Orders ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Spin-Off


’21 Jump Street’ All-Female Spinoff To Be Written By Rodney Rothman

Rodney Rothman, who wrote both 22 Jump Street and MIB 23, will write the as-yet untitled spinoff; he may also direct. (IW)

Ice Cube’s Production Company Signs First-Look Deal With Fox TV

Cube Vision will develop 20th Century Fox TV and Fox 21 Television Studios projects over the next two years. (WRAP)

TBS Orders ‘Final Space’ Animated Series From Olan Rogers & Conan O’Brien

TBS’ continues its push in animation with a series greenlight for Final Space from indie filmmaker/actor/comedian Olan Rogers, Conan O’Brien’s Conaco, and New Form in association with Turner’s Studio T. (DH)

FX Orders ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Spin-Off Pilot ‘Mayans MC’

Mayans MC is scheduled to shoot its pilot in March, with Kurt Sutter directing. Sutter co-wrote the script with Elgin James. (RS)

Good Girls Revolt Cancelled At Amazon

Amazon has opted not to move forward with a second season of the freshman drama. Producer Sony Pictures Television is said to be shopping the program to other outlets. (TVL)

Fox Buys Liberal Redneck Comedy Starring Trae Crowder From Rob Thomas

Fox has given a script commitment plus penalty to a half-hour single-camera comedy starring comedian Trae Crowder, best known for his stage persona the Liberal Redneck. (DH)

‘Doctor Who’ Writer Adapting YA Novel ‘Cuckoo Song’ For U.K. Startup Catalyst

Sarah Dollard has also written for Being Human, The Halcyon, The White Princess, You, Me and the Apocalypse and The Game. (THR)

Sam Worthington Cast In Discovery Channel’s Manifesto

Discovery Channel announced today that Sam Worthington has been cast in its upcoming scripted series about the “Unabomber,” Manifesto, set to air next year. (CS)

Women In Animation’s Initiatives Aim To Boost Female Creative Talent In The Biz

Women still have a long way to go before they’re equally represented in animated features and television shows. (VAR)

Weekend Box Office, LA Film Critics Awards, British Independent Film Awards, ‘Aquaman’ Release Date


Box Office: ‘Moana’ Wins Weekend,’Fantastic Beasts’ Passes $600M, ‘Doctor Strange’ Tops ‘Iron Man 2′

Walt Disney’s Moana earned $28.4 million in its second weekend, which is a drop of 50% from last weekend and brings its domestic total up to $119.9m. (FOR)

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards Name ‘Moonlight’ The Best Film Of 2016

This weekend the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s landed on Moonlight as the Best Film of 2016 while spreading the love to a number of other exciting winners. (COLL)

‘American Honey’ Triumphs At British Independent Film Awards

Andrea Arnold’s new-age road movie American Honey triumphed at the British Independent Film Awards. It won four awards, including best British independent film. (VAR)

‘Aquaman’ To Swim Into Theaters October 2018

Aquaman finally has a release date. The Warner Bros superhero pic starring Jason Momoa and directed by James Wan will hit theaters October 5, 2018 in both 3D and Imax. (DH)

‘Your Name’ Now Second-Highest-Grossing Japanese Film, Passing ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’

The anime hit about body-swapping teenagers opened at No. 1 in China on the weekend and could become the biggest earning Japanese film of all time at the global box office. (THR)

Netflix Has Renewed ‘Luke Cage’ For A Second Season

Marvel took to Twitter to announce that Netflix has renewed Luke Cage for a second season. The announcement comes after the first season premiered earlier this fall. (VER)

‘Designated Survivor’ Shake-Up: Who’s Leaving?

Designated Survivor is undergoing yet another regime change. Showrunner Jon Harmon Feldman has been replaced by Jeff Melvoin. (TVG)

What Do All These Critics’ Awards Actually Mean For The Oscars?

It’s been a week full of winners, nominees, and a roller coaster of Oscar buzz; allow the Little Gold Men podcast to help sort it all out. (VF)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Mummy’

Universal Pictures has now debuted the full first The Mummy trailer. Coming to theaters on June 9, 2017, The Mummy is directed by Alex Kurtzman and stars Tom Cruise. (CS)

Sundance Lineup, Jimmy Kimmel to Host Oscars, WGA TV Noms, ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3′ Release Date


Sundance 2017 Gets Episodic With Special Events Lineup, Featuring Jill Soloway and Rashida Jones

I Love Dick and Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On are just two of the highlights from this year’s Special Events lineup. (IW)

Jimmy Kimmel Chosen To Host Academy Awards

Jimmy Kimmel is in line to host the 89th Academy Awards in February, a selection that appears to reflect the increasing influence of the Walt Disney Company’s ABC in the Oscar telecast. (NYT)

WGA TV Nominations Include ‘Westworld,’ ‘This Is Us’ And ‘Stranger Things’

Reigning comedy champ Veep also scores, while Better Call Saul and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt dominate. (THR)

‘How To Train Your Dragon 3’ Flies To 2019; Uni’s DWA To Scale ‘Everest’

Universal Pictures has just announced that DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 3 will now nest on Friday, March 1, 2019 instead of its previously announced May 18, 2018 date. (DH)

Netflix Has 30 Original Series Today, Will Double That In 2017, Content Chief Ted Sarandos Says

Netflix currently has 30 original scripted series in various stages of development or release, and in 2017 it’s going to debut 20 unscripted shows, including global competition series, Ultimate Beastmaster, and The Biggest Loser. (VAR)

The Gotham Group Nabs Film & TV Rights To ‘Jihadi Hunter’ Memoir

The upcoming memoir The Jihadi Hunter: How One Father Saved His Radicalized Son from the Battlezone of ISIS by Dimitri Bontinck has landed at The Gotham Group. The book is set to hit shelves next fall. (TB)

FX Marvel Series ‘Legion’ Gets Premiere Date, New Trailer

Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley executive produces new drama starring Downton Abbey alum Dan Stevens. (WRAP)

TNT Orders ‘The Deep Mad Dark’ Pilot From John Wells & Megan Martin

TNT has ordered The Deep Mad Dark pilot from Animal Kingdom writers-executive producers John Wells and Megan Martin, Fabrik Entertainment, Warner Horizon Television and Turner’s Studio T. (DH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2′

The trailer features Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, and Dave Bautista as Drax—as well as some toothy monsters, a dogged dogfight, and Baby Groot. (WIR)

Grammy Nominations, Jackie Chan’s Next Movie, New ‘Baywatch’ Release Date, ‘Duck Dynasty’ Shake Up


2017 Grammy Nominations: Complete List

The Grammy nominations are here and Beyoncé leads the pack with nine nominations, followed by Drake, Rihanna, and Kanye West with eight apiece and Chance the Rapper with seven. (LAT)

Jackie Chan Starring In Joe Carnahan’s ‘Five Against A Bullet’

Jackie Chan has signed on to star in Joe Carnahan’s action movie Five Against A Bullet. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing the project for Sony along with Suretone Pictures, Jordan Schur through Mimran Schur Pictures. (VAR)

‘Baywatch’ Surfs To Memorial Day Weekend, ‘Life’ Flies To March

Paramount’s Seth Gordon-directed feature adaptation of 1990s TV show Baywatch will now go on Memorial Day weekend, May 26, instead of May 19. (DH)

‘Duck Dynasty’ Producers Put On Leave At ITV Amid Fraud Investigation

The news comes four years after the U.K. TV giant bought the independent production company best known for Duck Dynasty. (THR)

The 2016 Hit List: The Best Specs Of The Year

For the seventh year in a row Tracking Board picks for the best specs scripts of the year. With almost 400 specs from more than 450 writers eligible for this years list, it was once again one of the largest creative pools to select from. (TB)

Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Reveals Cast, Plot Details

Coco is Pixar’s next original movie, and it’s the sole novel film for the studio over the next few years as production ramps up for Cars 3 and, later, The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4. (EW)

Sundance 2017 Market Takes Flight: 7 Hot Acquisition Titles At The Festival

Here are seven hot titles from the Sundance lineup that could be prime targets for distributors. (IW)

The Importance Of Emotional Connection In Movies This Award Season

The emotional connection is what tends to separate a mediocre film from a good one, or a good one from a great one, and that’s never more evident than during this season right here. (TB)

Trailer Buzz: Transformers: The Last Knight

Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight, the fifth film in the Transformers franchise, directed by Michael Bay. (COLL)

Importance of Native Advertising, Scripps Networks COO, Clorox and HuffPost RYOT, Google Home and ‘Modern Family’


Branded Entertainment News

Why Native Advertising Should Be An Important Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

Native Advertising has grown steadily in use by B2B marketers in large part due to the ineffectiveness of traditional banner advertising in creating truly immersive experiences with audiences. (TT)

Scripps Networks COO Talks Digital Growth, Skinny Bundles And Ending Netflix Deal

“We stepped on the gas a year ago,” Burton Jablin said of launching Scripps Lifestyle Studios to create digital content for Snapchat and Facebook. (THR)

Top Deals

The film, Purely Peru, was produced by HuffPost’s RYOT and AOL to explain waterborne illnesses and how Clorox’s Safe Water Project provides materials to kill bacteria and viruses. (AW)

 In the last Modern Family episode, Phil seems to have decked the Dunphy house with some Google love: there’s a Google Home right on the kitchen counter and it’s not just there for show, it’s also part of the plot — albeit a very small part. (AP)

McCanns Invests Six-Figure Sum In Pyx Digital Branded Content Offer

McCann Manchester, the largest integrated agency outside London, has taken 30,000 sq ft of space to house its six-figure investment in a separate Pyx@McCanns digital content division. (PN)

Detroit Pistons Leverage Gamification Via Interactive Video Experience

The team officially rolled out a new game experience, dubbed “One-On-One with the Detroit Pistons,” becoming the first professional sports franchise to engage fans through interactive video technology. (ST)

‘Final Fantasy XV’ Nissin Cup Noodle Trailer And Other Funny Glitches

Nissin’s product placement ads are abundant in the game’s world, with their cups noodles showing up almost everywhere in Final Fantasy XV. (GG)

Hot Projects


Millennium Films’ horror starring John Malkovich, Adrien Brody and Antonio Banderas written and directed by Paul Solet. (SE)

Valley Girl (Like, Totally, A Musical)

MGM’s remake of the 1983 Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman film of the same name. Jessica Rothe will star with Rachel Goldenberg directing. (SE)

SSN Screening Series: ‘A Monster Calls,’ Working Title and ‘The Englishman,’ Woodley and Kormakur Attach to ‘Adrift,’ Warner Bros. Shifts Release Dates


SSN Screening Series: Author/ Screenwriter Patrick Ness Talks About ‘A Monster Calls’ And It’s Important Life Lessons

SSN held a screening for the upcoming Focus Feature release A Monster Calls at the ArcLight Sherman Oaks, which was immediately followed by a Q & A with award-winning author/screenwriter Patrick Ness and moderated by SSN’s Zorianna Kit. (SSN)

Working Title In Talks With Paul Dano For 1970s Hitman Thriller ‘The Englishman’

Brit production powerhouse Working Title is in talks with Paul Dano to star in its new European hitman feature The Englishman, with Deutchland ’83 helmer Edward Berger attached to direct. (DH)

Shailene Woodley, Baltasar Kormakur Are Set ‘Adrift’

Actress Shailene Woodley is attached to star while filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur is slated to direct the true story tale Adrift. (DAR)

Warner Bros. Pushes ‘King Arthur’ Into Summer 2017, Shifts ‘Annabelle 2’ To August

Warner Bros. has opted to push Guy Ritchie’s gritty King Arthur off of its March 24, 2017 date to May 12th and the horror sequel Annabelle 2 off of its May 19th date to August 11, 2017. (COLL)

Oscar Documentary Shortlist Focuses On Politics And Race

Weiner, 13th, Eagle Huntress and O.J.: Made in America were among the 15 finalists for the best feature documentary Oscar, according to a shortlist released by the academy. (NYT)

Cedric The Entertainer To Co-Create, Star In New CBS Car Comedy

The half-hour comedy, tentatively titled Tony Take the Wheel, stars Cedric the Entertainer as one of a pair of brothers who butt heads when one of the brothers hires his teen nephew to work in his custom car shop. (TVL)

FX Promotes Programming Execs Gina Balian And Jonathan Frank

FX Networks is expanding the responsibilities of programming executives Gina Balian and Jonathan Frank. The shuffle comes as Nicole Clemens, exec VP of series development, exits the FX fold to become a manager and producer at Anonymous Content. (VAR)

UTA Communications Chief Chris Day To Leave Agency Next Month

UTA’s longtime head of Corporate Communications Chris Day will be departing the agency in January. (WRAP)

The Hollywood Reporter’s 2016 Women In Entertainment Power 100

THR’s annual roster of Hollywood’s female heavy hitters adds 26 new names as the industry keeps churning — and the question of the glass ceiling suddenly comes roaring back. (THR)


Kate McKinnon in ‘The Lunch Witch,’ Greg Berlanti Directing ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ CW Cancels ‘Reign’


Kate McKinnon To Star In Amblin’s ‘The Lunch Witch’

Kate McKinnon has been set to play the title role in The Lunch Witch for Amblin Entertainment.  Based on the Deb Lucke’s YA novel, the comedy will be directed by Angry Birds co-helmer Clay Kaytis. Michael De Luca is producing. (DH)

Greg Berlanti To Direct ”Little Shop Of Horrors’ Remake

Greg Berlanti is being tapped for his next feature film project, a Little Shop of Horrors remake at Warner Bros. Pictures. Berlanti will direct the film from a script by Matthew Robinson. (CS)

‘Reign’ Cancelled After 4 Seasons

The CW is officially de-throning Mary Queen of Scots. Reign, which returns with new episodes in 2017, will end after its fourth season. (TVL)

Walton Goggins To Play Villain In ‘Tomb Raider’ Reboot

The Vice Principals star will go toe-to-toe with Alicia Vikander in the Roar Uthaug film. (THR)

‘Train To Busan’ English-Language Remake Rights Go To Gaumont

Hit Korean zombie film Train to Busan will be remade in English by French studio Gaumont. The film premiered in the midnight screening section of the Cannes festival in May and attracted immediate sales and remake interest. (VAR)

Adult Swim Canceled Its Alt-Right Comedy Show ‘Million Dollar Extreme’

The six-episode comedy series ran through the fall, and had been among the network’s more controversial offerings, given its viewpoint and its appeal among people who gather at “alt-right” corners of the Internet. (FCC)

Screenwriters: Download 2017 Oscar Contenders ‘Arrival,’ ‘Jackie’ And More

Others included are The Girl on the Train, Captain Fantastic and The Secret Life of Pets. (IW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Universal and Focus Features have unveiled the new, full-length trailer for the sequel Fifty Shades Darker. (COLL)