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Before Ben Affleck became a world-renowned director and well-respected almost-politician, he played bullies in films like "Dazed and Confused" and "Mallrats." That latter effort was Affleck's first movie with director Kevin Smith, and the pair would go on to collaborate five other times throughout the next 11 years. According to Smith, however, it was almost six.
As fans might recall, Smith wanted "Mallrats" star Jason Lee to play Irwin Fletcher in the adaptation of Gregory Mcdonald's popular novel series. (Chevy Chase played the role in the 1985 film version.) That didn't go over very well with Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, who would have produced "Fletch Won" and didn't think Lee was a big enough star.
Around the the same time, according to Smith, »
- Christopher Rosen
, founded by Michael Eisner's Tornante, has produced shows for a number of different platforms. While the company's most popular work, Prom Queen, now calls CW Digital home, the studio has also created series for AOL, Yahoo, Xbox Live, and YouTube. A new series is continuing to expand Vuguru's reach across differing platforms; it's called Pretty Tough, and it brings teen appeal to Hulu. Pretty Tough follows the lives of Krista and Charlie Brown, a pair of sisters who lead opposite lives. In true teen movie fashion, Krista is popular while Charlie is not (Someone named Charlie Brown is unpopular? You're kidding!) The pair must come together to not hate each other as they end up on the same soccer team. There's plenty of high school angst and trendy music and hot guys mixed in. Think Mean Girls meets Bend It Like Beckham. The visual elements of the show are easy to like, »
- Sam Gutelle
It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since Disney's "Aladdin" first opened. When it hit theaters back in 1992, it became the highest-grossing movie of the year. To celebrate the film's 20th Anniversary, we've unearthed 25 things you might not know about the Disney classic. From other actors who were considered for roles, to the rapper who inspired Aladdin's style, let's take a look back at some of the lesser known facts about the film. 1. John Candy, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Martin Short, John Goodman, and Albert Brooks were all considered at one point to provide the voice of the Genie. 2. Voice actor Frank Welker provided the chattering sounds of Abu, just as he did for the Nazi monkey in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and TV's Curious George. He also voices Scooby-Doo. 3. In early character sketches, Aladdin resembled Michael J. Fox. However, Disney honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg suggested they make Aladdin into more of a "hunk, »
- Sharon Knolle
Michael Eisner was once the crinkly, blue-eyed face of Disney, hosting revamped TV series The Wonderful World of Disney and green-lighting hits such as 1988′s Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and now the former CEO is ready to make movies again with another studio: Universal Pictures. The upcoming crop of films may include a Garbage Pail Kids reboot. Disney, you’re not the only one moving forward, snagging Lucasfilm!
Eisner, who headed up Disney from 1984 to 2005, inked a multiyear global distribution deal between his privately held Tornante Company and Universal, his rep confirmed to EW on Tuesday.
Few other details have been released, »
- Solvej Schou
Old chums Ron Meyer and Michael Eisner have forged a longterm deal between Universal Pictures and The Tornante Company. The studio will distribute Tornante's fully financed feature films worldwide. Ex-Disney chairman Eisner---who brought ex-caa chief and Meyer's old partner Mike Ovitz into Disney as his second-in-command, which did not last long-- founded in 2005 the privately held Tornante Company, which invests in, acquires, and operates companies in media and entertainment. He also founded indie studio Vuguru, which develops and finances content for digital and international platforms including Hulu's "The Booth at the End" and "Little Women Big Cars" on AOL. Vuguru has made many licensing and distribution deals with AOL and Yahoo!; FremantleMedia Enterprises recently pacted for international distribution of future Vuguru titles. So far Tornante has been acquiring and investing in companies more than individual projects. »
- Anne Thompson
Universal Pictures and Michael D. Eisner's Tornante Company have struck a multi-year worldwide distribution deal that will bring the former Disney chief back into the world of feature films. Under the pact, Universal will market and distribute films that Tornante fully finances. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Eisner said the first film in the deal could be released by the end of 2013. He added that the pictures will hop from genre to genre. Eisner, is best known for his 21-year stint as chairman and chief executive officer of »
- Brent Lang
Breaking: Michael Eisner, who got out of the movie business when his 21-year run ended at Disney in 2005, is back in the feature game. Eisner’s Tornante Company has made a multi-year worldwide distribution deal at Universal Pictures for a slate of films his Tornante will fully finance. Eisner will shortly begin putting together a staff of executives to develop a slate of pictures. He chose Universal because he liked the team there. The arrangement gives the studio more product for its distribution pipeline, without requiring it to fund or supervise the films. Universal will only put up the P&A and supervise marketing. The studio will release Tornante product globally and receive a distribution fee. The move gives the town a much-needed new buyer for material. “Michael Eisner has been a powerful creative force behind some of the world’s greatest films and we’re confident that with Tornante, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR.
Michael Eisner’s Tornante Co. has sealed a multiyear worldwide distribution deal with Universal Pictures for feature films, the company announced Tuesday. This marks an expansion of the activities by Tornante, a privately held company founded in 2005 that until now had focused on investments and acquisitions in media and entertainment companies in the digital and online world. Eisner, the former CEO of the Walt Disney Co., is partnered in Tornante with Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private-equity firm. In 2007, they acquired The Topps Co., which for 50 years has created and marketed sports trading cards and other entertainment
- Alex Ben Block
While doing promotional work for his current film Flight, director Robert Zemeckis addressed the state of the long-rumored sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Speaking with Indiewire, Zemeckis stated that despite Bob Hoskins' recent retirement from acting and the various personnel changes happening within Disney's executive office, the sequel still remains alive. That been said, Zemeckis is currently leaving it up to Disney as to whether or not they want to move forward with the project. "I'm not planning any sequel. All I know is there is a draft for a sequel sitting at Disney," Zemeckis said. "It's good, but I don't know what's going on, it's just a great script sitting." A prequel was commissioned back in the Michael Eisner...
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The American Film Market continues to preview a wild assortment of films. Hundreds of new films will show at this event. Their latest is 13 Eerie. This is a zombie styled feature that finds six forensic students trapped on an isolated island. These students expect to work on cadavers for science, but then the bodies start moving! A host of creatures now rise from the dead in search of fresh meals! 13 Eerie will show November 4th at this film event. Horror fans will not have to wait long to see this title on their own as EOne prepares to distribute the film. Have a look at the film's official trailer below. Showing Date: November 4th. Director: Lowell Dean. Writer: Christian Piers Betley. Producers: Roger Christian, and Kevin Dewalt. Cast: Katharine Isabelle, Brendan Fehr, Brendan Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jesse Moss, Kristie Patterson, Michael Eisner, Michael Shanks, Lyndon Bray, Shannon Jardine. The trailer »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Allen)
Jeffrey Katzenberg is president's top donor and has persuaded much of Hollywood to back him a second time
As head of Disney's film division, Jeffrey Katzenberg scored a box office smash in 1992 with Aladdin, the tale of a plucky underdog who triumphs with the help of a genie in a magic lamp. The animated film swept awards and enchanted audiences.
Twenty years later Katzenberg, now head of DreamWorks Animation, hopes to score again although his hero, Barack Obama, is less of an underdog and the blockbuster drama is better known as the Us presidential election.
The 61-year-old studio mogul has delivered millions of dollars and much celebrity power for the president's bid for a second term, conjuring energy from what had been a deflated constituency. If Obama wins it will to some extent be thanks to his Hollywood genie.
"Katzenberg recognised early that without the support of the entertainment industry's millionaires and billionaires, »
- Rory Carroll
As Halloween approaches and candy lands in the hands of youngsters by the bagful, there's the slimmest of possibilities that some Hollywood producer will look at a Kit-Kat or a bag of Sour Patch Kids and think, "Hey, this should be a movie!" Think I'm crazy? Well it's happened already and it actually worked out pretty well for Disney. As the story goes, Disney CEO Michael Eisner found inspiration for an animated show when his young son asked for a particular type of candy. The show went on to become Disney's earliest successful animated series with a six-season run and 65 airings comprising some 95 episodes! Find out why this should be revisited after the jump. Hollywood! Adapt this: Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Today's installment of "Hollywood! Adapt This" will be a project skewed toward kids and candy; quite appropriate for the upcoming holiday, I think. The animated Gummi Bears »
- Dave Trumbore
Prom Queen: Homecoming is sort of like the Duke Nukem: Forever of web series. The fourth installment in the Prom Queen series seemed like it would never make it to the Us after it was debuted on Canada's Citytv.com back in 2010. Now, after also finding its way to Japan, the high school mystery series has finally made it to American turf, debuting earlier in October on The CW's official website. Prom Queen was sold to The CW by Michael Eisner's Vuguru company and produced by Big Fantastic, makers of another early murder mystery series, Sam Has 7 Friends. Vuguru President Larry Tanz explained how the series came to the Us: "We always felt like Pq: Homecoming was a perfect fit for The CW audience. The CW has really started to push harder into original digital programming through CW Digital and that presented an opportunity to license the »
- Sam Gutelle
This story comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter and first appeared in the Oct. 19 issue of the magazine.
They were part of Hollywood lore, the "Killer Dillers" of the mid-1970s. With Barry Diller in the top job, the team presided over Paramount during an extraordinary run -- with hits from the Oscar-winning Reds to the franchise-launching Star Trek and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Included in the group of brilliant young execs were future Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner; future Disney studio chairman and DreamWorks Animation boss Jeffrey Katzenberg; Dawn Steel, who would become president of Columbia Pictures; and Don Simpson, who would produce with Jerry Bruckheimer such hits as Flashdance, Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop.
"Back in the day, those were the guys in the room," says a former studio boss. "Now, who the f-- is in the room? You don't see people as well-rounded and business-wise as they were. »
FremantleMedia Enterprises (Fme) and Vuguru LLC today announce a major new first-look deal for international rights to the independent studio’s original commission programming. The deal will see Fme distribute Vuguru original content across all digital, linear and home entertainment platforms outside North America from 2013, further diversifying Fme’s catalogue of high-quality, distinctive scripted programming and forging a new partnership between one of the most exciting content producers and one of the most powerful content distributors in the industry. An independent multi-platform studio, Vuguru was founded in 2006 by former Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner and is also backed by Rogers Media of Canada In the intervening years it has developed and financed premium, award winning and immensely popular scripted multiplatform titles that have been distributed across online, mobile, and linear television platforms in over 40 countries around the world, attracting global audiences and global advertisers. David Ellender, Global CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises, »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
The new family comedy series from BermanBraun, ‘Greetings from Home,’ will have its U.S. premiere tonight on AOL On Relationships and AOL On Parenting. AOL and Vuguru, an independent studio founded by Michael Eisner that develops and finances award winning scripted digital and international platforms, confirmed the news. The 12-epiosde series was written by Bill Rosenthal, Bill Masters and Michael Davidoff, and was directed by Jared Drake. ‘Greetings From Home’ follows career soldier Pete Griffin, played by Dash Mihok, who loses a leg in combat oversees. He’s sent home to work a desk job at the army base near his family’s home. Meanwhile his wife, Patty, an Army nurse, is [ Read More ]
The post Comedy Series Greetings From Home Receives U.S. Premiere Date From AOL appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Karen Benardello
Over the weekend, we brought you news of Nuclear Family, the Vuguru-produced SyFy series debuting today on Xbox Live. Nuclear Family, however, isn't the only Vuguru product hitting the Internet today. The Michael Eisner-led studio also helped create Greetings From Home, a unique screwball comedy about a female soldier stationed in Afghanistan who receives regular video updates from her husband, children, mother, brother, and girlfriends. The series' 12 episodes premiered simultaneously on AOL On, with each episode running around seven minutes. The show's protagonist is Pete Griffin (I'm not sure if the show's creators noticed the similarity), an army man who loses a leg in the war and has to return home to a boring desk job. Through the strangest of coincidences, his return syncs with his wife Patty's deployment as an army nurse. Patty herself never appears; we see only the back of her head as she watches »
- Sam Gutelle
Before the advent of Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios was the leader in quality family entertainment. Now that they're both a part of the same company, it's even better. But back then, the Disney Company attempted to differentiate their movies by asking different famous actors to come in and perform their characters in a film. Inspired by Robin Williams' fantastic performance as the Genie in Aladdin, Disney Feature Animation (at the time) decided to get more ambitious with their casting. These are ten actors who were asked to be a part of a film and never got to make it; either due to scheduling conflicts, money issues or even death!
In a weird form of typecasting, Academy Award-winner Joe Pesci was originally cast as the little dragon, Mushu. After a few tries at the character, the filmmakers just felt his voice wasn't appropriate »
- Zack Parks
Michael Eisner’s Vuguru and BermanBraun are partnering on the comedy web series Greetings From Home that launches on AOL on October 1. The 12-episode series is a humorous look at a military dad who’s raising two unruly teens while mom is deployed overseas. It was directed by Jared Drake and written by Bill Rosenthal, Bill Masters, and Michael Davidoff. BermanBraun’s Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun executive produced. Here’s the exclusive trailer:
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
2016 movie still trailing Michael Moore, Al Gore 2016 Obama's America, Dinesh D'Souza and John Sullivan's anti-Obama documentary, has surpassed the concert movie Katy Perry: Part of Me to become the second highest-grossing non-fiction film released in North America in 2012. By Sunday evening, D'Souza and Sullivan's right-wing doc -- current cume according to the web site Box Office Mojo stands at an estimated $27.66 million (as of Wed., September 13) -- should have also surpassed the nature doc Chimpanzee ($28.97 million) to become the year's top documentary in the United States and Canada. Worldwide, 2016 -- a 100% domestic sleeper hit like, say, the Tyler Perry movies (which have no audience overseas) -- remains behind both Chimpanzee (another domestic-only release) and Katy Perry: Part of Me. (Please scroll down for more details about the box-office performances of non-fiction films worldwide both in 2012 and "all-time.") As per numerous box-office reports, as the sixth biggest non-fiction film ever (or rather, »
- Zac Gille
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