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Paramount Players to Develop Family Comedy ‘Playing With Fire’ (Exclusive)

Paramount Players will develop Dan Ewen’s family comedy “Playing With Fire,” and has set up the film with Todd Garner and Sean Robins at Broken Road Productions.

The studio has bought Ewen’s spec script and hired Matt Lieberman to pen a rewrite. The story, which was developed at Broken Road, revolves around a group of rugged wildfire fighters who meet their match when they rescue a trio of rambunctious children.

Executive VP Matt Dines is overseeing “Playing With Fire” for Paramount.

Paramount Pictures launched Paramount Players in June, with veteran producer and executive Brian Robbins in charge. Robbins is working with Viacom’s Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and Bet to generate projects, while the new division focuses on contemporary properties.

In October, Paramount Players acquired rights and set a Jan. 4, 2019, release date to the psychological horror movie “Eli” — its first film to go into production. It also tapped Taraji P. Henson to star in “[link
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Gucci Mane Biopic in the Works at Paramount Players, Imagine

Paramount Players and Imagine Entertainment have launched development of a biopic on musician Gucci Mane based on his “The Autobiography of Gucci Mane.”

The studio has obtained life rights to Mane, whose real name is Radric Delantic Davis, and movie rights to the book. Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins will produce the project. Mane and Todd Moskowitz will executive produce.

Mane is a pioneer of the hip-hop genre known as trap music. He made his studio album debut in 2005 with “Trap House,” the first of a dozen studio albums, followed by “Hard to Kill.”

The book tells of his childhood in poverty in Alabama and his move to Atlanta, where he became involved in criminal activity. He spent nearly three years in prison starting in 2004 after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. While incarcerated, he began releasing mixtapes from prison with rappers Migos and Young Thug.

Mane appeared
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Paramount Players to Develop ‘Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik’ as Movie (Exclusive)

Paramount is launching development of a movie version of bestselling author David Arnold’s forthcoming young adult novel “The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The studio acquired the movie rights to the book, due to be published in May by Viking, and set up the project at its fledgling Paramount Players division. Ali Bell will oversee the project for the studio, which has started to seek writers.

ICM Partners and Writers House brokered the deal. Arnold’s previous works are “Kids of Appetite” and “Mosquitoland.”

“The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik” is a surrealist story about all the ways we hurt our friends without knowing it, and all the ways they stick around to save us.

The protagonist is a 16-year-old who says, “No matter how organized I get my room, my records, my books, no matter how precisely I communicate a thing, or how many arrows point to how many objects, in the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

James Bobin To Direct ‘Action Man’ For Paramount Players, Based On Hasbro Toy

Exclusive: Action Man, Britain’s answer to G.I. Joe, is getting his movie closeup. Paramount Players is developing a film based on the Hasbro military figure doll set, and Brian Robbins’ division has just set James Bobin to direct it. Paddington 2‘s Simon Farnaby will write the script, and Hasbro is producing. Bobin directed two Muppets movies and Alice Through the Looking Glass. Raised in Hampshire, England, he likely grew up with those action figures. Paramount deferred…
See full article at Deadline »

Viacom One Year Later: What’s Better and What Still Needs Work as Possible CBS Reunion Looms

By any measure, Viacom is in a better place than it was this time last year.

The company’s quarterly earnings report on Thursday will mark a year since president-ceo Bob Bakish unveiled his expansive turnaround plan for the beleaguered media conglomerate.

In the past 12 months, Viacom has changed the management of key units — most dramatically at Paramount Pictures — and refocused programming resources at its cable channels to emphasize the “flagship six” outlets that drive the bulk of Viacom’s TV earnings (Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, Comedy Central, Bet, and Paramount Network).

“It’s a different company in terms of morale. There’s a different mindset there now. There’s more strategic thinking,” said Bank of America Merrill Lynch media analyst Jessica Reif, a longtime Viacom watcher.

The biggest improvement under Bakish, Viacom observers say, is the effort by Bakish and his team to repair the company’s severely strained relationships with the MVPDs that are so
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Viacom One Year Later: What’s Better and What Still Needs Work as Possible CBS Reunion Looms

By any measure, Viacom is in a better place than it was this time last year.

The company’s quarterly earnings report on Thursday will mark a year since president-ceo Bob Bakish unveiled his expansive turnaround plan for the beleaguered media conglomerate.

In the past 12 months, Viacom has changed the management of key units — most dramatically at Paramount Pictures — and refocused programming resources at its cable channels to emphasize the “flagship six” outlets that drive the bulk of Viacom’s TV earnings (Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, Comedy Central, Bet, and Paramount Network).

“It’s a different company in terms of morale. There’s a different mindset there now. There’s more strategic thinking,” said Bank of America Merrill Lynch media analyst Jessica Reif, a longtime Viacom watcher.

The biggest improvement under Bakish, Viacom observers say, is the effort by Bakish and his team to repair the company’s severely strained relationships with the MVPDs that are so
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Adam Shankman to Direct Taraji P. Henson's 'What Men Want'

Adam Shankman to Direct Taraji P. Henson's 'What Men Want'
Adam Shankman (Hairspray, A Walk to Remember) is set to direct Taraji P. Henson in What Men Want, a gender-swapped version of Nancy Meyers' 2000 romantic comedy What Women Want, which starred Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.

The film is being produced by Paramount Players, a new division, led by AwesomenessTV grad Brian Robbins and Ali Bell, designed to develop and produce features in partnership with Viacom-owned Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and Bet. Will Packer and James Lopez will produce What Men Want, and Shankman will executive produce.

Shankman is also attached to the direct big-screen adaptation of Ashley Prentice...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Adam Shankman to Direct Reboot of Nancy Meyers’ ‘What Women Want’

  • The Wrap
Adam Shankman to Direct Reboot of Nancy Meyers’ ‘What Women Want’
Adam Shankman is set to direct and executive produce “What Men Want” for Paramount Players, a reboot of Nancy Meyers’ 2000 rom-com “What Women Want.” Will Packer and James Lopez will produce the film starring Taraji P. Henson in a role that Mel Gibson first made famous. The project will be spearheaded by Brian Robbins and Ali Bell under the newly formed division at Paramount. Inspired by the Nancy Meyers hit romantic comedy “What Women Want,” the film follows the story of a female sports agent (Henson) who has been constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When she gains the power...
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Olive Forever’ Pilot Not Going Forward At USA, To Be Shopped Elsewhere

‘Olive Forever’ Pilot Not Going Forward At USA, To Be Shopped Elsewhere
Exclusive: USA Network has passed on Olive Forever, its comedic crime drama pilot from Insurgent and The Babysitter writer Brian Duffield, AwesomenessTV and its former CEO Brian Robbins. I hear Universal Cable Prods., which produced the pilot, plans to shop it elsewhere. Olive Forever was an outlier for USA with its young lead. Written by Duffield and directed by Matt Shakman, the project follows the exploits of Olive (Emily Rudd), a high school student, con artist, cat…
See full article at Deadline TV »

’48 Hours’ Remake in Development at Paramount With ‘Good Time’ Team

’48 Hours’ Remake in Development at Paramount With ‘Good Time’ Team
Brothers Benny and Josh Safdie, the directing team for the Robert Pattinson crime thriller “Good Time,” are developing a remake of the action-comedy “48 Hours[/link]” for Paramount Players.

48 Hours” was a major hit for Paramount in 1982 with Eddie Murphy in his first film role as a convict helping a detective, played by Nick Nolte, to track down a pair of cop killers over a two-day leave from prison. Directed by Walter Hill, “48 Hours” grossed $80 million and was Joel Silver’s first major production. It was also the first film in the “buddy cop” genre that went on to include “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Lethal Weapon,” and “Rush Hour.”

Chernin Entertainment is producing the remake with Oscar Boyson and Sebastian Bear-McClard. Josh Safdie will co-write the script with Ronald Bronstein and Jerrod Carmichael, who starred in and co-created the NBC sitcom “The Carmichael Show.”

Good Time” has grossed $2 million since August in limited release for A24. It took five Spirit
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Matt Kaplan Departs Awesomeness Films, Launches Ace Entertainment (Exclusive)

Matt Kaplan is leaving Awesomeness after two years helming its film division to establish his own production company, Ace Entertainment, that will focus on making films, television series and digital content for youth audiences. 

Through this new shingle, Kaplan has signed a first-look deal for film with Paramount Players, the six-month-old production division run by Brian Robbins. The deal reunites Kaplan with Robbins, the founder and CEO of Awesomeness who departed the company in February. 

Kaplan tells The Hollywood Reporter that Ace partnered with Paramount Players in part because of the companies' shared focus. "I had an incredible run with...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Taraji P. Henson Is Remaking Mel Gibson's What Women Want

Taraji P. Henson Is Remaking Mel Gibson's What Women Want
Paramount Players, the new Paramount Pictures division aimed at developing movies based on properties owned by parent company Viacom, is putting together What Men Want, a gender-swapped remake of What Women Want, the 2000 romantic comedy starring Mel Gibson, with Taraji P. Henson set to star. While it doesn't seem that there is a writer or director on board at this stage, Paramount is already putting this project on the fast track, setting a January 11, 2019 release date. The original movie starred Mel Gibson as a chauvinistic man who begins to hear what women are really thinking about, which will be turned on its ear in this remake.

The story centers on Taraji P. Henson's character, a female sports agent who is always getting bested by her male colleagues. After she gains the power to hear what men are really thinking about, she uses this unique ability to her advantage, as
See full article at MovieWeb »

Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie in development with It screenwriter

One of the screenwriters for It is working on bringing Are You Afraid of the Dark to the big screen.

Paramount Players, a new division at Paramount Pictures led by Awesomeness founder Brian Robbins, is developing what will be an adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon 90s show Are You Afraid of the Dark?.

The original show was an anthology series created by D.J. MacHale and Ned Kandel. The premise involved a group of kids that called themselves the Midnight Society, who told each other horror stories based on fairytales and urban legends but with a modern twist.

This feature film adaptation will be written by It screenwriter Gary Dauberman. It was a huge success upon its debut in September, and Dauberman will be returning for the film’s sequel.

Dauberman is at this point pretty familiar with the horror genre, having recently also penned the script for Annabelle: Creation, and
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Taraji P. Henson to Star in 'What Men Want' at Paramount

Taraji P. Henson to Star in 'What Men Want' at Paramount
Taraji P. Henson will star in comedy What Men Want, a gender-swapped version of the 2000 Nancy Meyers-directed feature What Women Want, that starred Mel Gibson, THR has learned.

Henson will play a female sports agent who has been constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When she gains the power to hear men's thought, she is able to shift the paradigm to her advantage as she races to sign the NBA’s next superstar.

Paramount Players, the upstart studio label run by AwesomenessTV grad Brian Robbins, will produce along with Girls Trip filmmaker Will Packer and James Lopez. Henson will exec produce.

The...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Are You Afraid of the Dark? Movie Happening with It Writer

One of Nickelodeon's most beloved shows from the 90s is getting a movie adaptation. Paramount Pictures has decided to turn Are You Afraid of the Dark? into a movie aimed at young adult audiences. While kids who grew up in the 90s are sure to be excited enough about that news, the studio has brought on Gary Dauberman, the man who wrote It, to pen the screenplay for the adaptation.

Plot details for the Are You Afraid of the Dark? movie are currently being kept under wraps, but in addition to Gary Dauberman, Matt Kaplan will produce. The movie is being done under the studio's new division, Paramount Players. The division is headed up by Awesomeness founder Brian Robbins and, per Paramount's Jim Gianopulos, the division will "focus, in distinctive ways, on contemporary talent and properties for young audiences while drawing upon the vast resources of the Viacom brands." The
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ Movie in the Works With ‘It’ Screenwriter

Paramount Players is moving forward with an adaptation of the classic Nickelodeon show “Are You Afraid of the Dark” as a feature film and set “It” scribe Gary Dauberman to write the script.

Matt Kaplan is producing.

Created by D.J. MacHale and Ned Kandel, the 1990s anthology series was set around a group of kids who called themselves the Midnight Society and would tell various scary stories, some of which were based on fairytales and urban legends but with an added modern twist.

The show ran from 1992-96 and was eventually rebooted in 1999 for one season with a brand-new set of writers and showrunners.

Paramount Players is a new division at Paramount Pictures that is led by Awesomeness founder Brian Robbins and focuses on contemporary talent and properties for young audiences while drawing upon the vast resources of the Viacom brands. Nickelodeon is one of those Viacom brands and is already developing a “Dora the Explorer” pic through
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Paramount Players Taps Charlie Shotwell for Horror Movie ‘Eli’

Paramount Players Taps Charlie Shotwell for Horror Movie ‘Eli’
Paramount Players has tapped up-and-coming actor Charlie Shotwell, who starred in “Captain Fantastic” and “The Glass Castle,” as the lead in psychological horror film “Eli.”

The newly minted Paramount division acquired “Eli” on Oct. 16 as its first film to go in to production, and set a Jan. 4, 2019 release date. “Sinister 2” director Ciaran Foy is attached to helm. Trevor Macy will produce via his Intrepid Pictures banner.

Foy will direct the David Chirchirillo screenplay, which was on the 2015 Black List and was revised by Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing. John Zaozirny will also produce through Bellevue Productions. Matt Alvarez will executive produce, and Melinda Nishioka will co-produce for Intrepid.

The story centers on a young boy named Eli who is undergoing treatment for a rare disease at a secluded clinic, which becomes a haunted prison with no way out.

Shotwell portrayed the Nai character opposite Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic” and was a younger version of [link
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dora the Explorer Live-Action Movie Is Happening with Producer Michael Bay

Dora the Explorer Live-Action Movie Is Happening with Producer Michael Bay
After languishing in development for the past two years, Paramount is finally moving forward with its Dora the Explorer adaptation, bringing on writer Nick Stoller to write the script. This Dora the Explorer live-action movie was first put into development exactly two years ago, when the studio brought on Tom Wheeler (Puss in Boots) to write the screenplay. There has been no movement on the project since then, but now it seems that the studio is moving forward with a new writer working on the script, and the studio eyeing a 2019 release date, with Michael Bay producing alongside his Platinum Dunes partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller.

The project will be developed under the new Paramount Players division of the studio, which is devoted to producing films based on properties that fall under the banner of Paramount's parent corporation, Viacom, which include Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and Bet. Brian Robbins,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Paramount Players Buys Horror Film ‘Eli,’ Sets 2019 Release Date

Paramount Players Buys Horror Film ‘Eli,’ Sets 2019 Release Date
Newly minted Paramount Players has acquired psychological horror movie “Eli,” its first film to go in to production, and set a Jan. 4, 2019 release date.

Sinister 2” director Ciaran Foy is attached to helm. Trevor Macy will produce via his Intrepid Pictures banner.

Foy will direct the David Chirchirillo screenplay, which was on the 2015 Black List script, which Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing revised. John Zaozirny will also produce through Bellevue Productions. Matt Alvarez will executive produce, and Melinda Nishioka will co-produce for Intrepid.

The story centers on a young boy undergoing treatment for a rare disease at a secluded clinic, which becomes a haunted prison with no way out.

Foy has a number of projects in the works with Blumhouse productions, including “The Shee,” which he will write and direct. Foy’s debut feature was “Citadel,” which premiered at SXSW in 2012 and won the festival’s Midnighters Audience Award.

Intrepid is currently in production on “The Haunting
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sony Executives Eric Fineman, Dan Kagan Leaving Studio (Exclusive)

Sony Pictures executives Eric Fineman and Dan Kagan are leaving the Culver City studio, Variety has learned.

Fineman will become a producer at Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures, working on both films and television projects. He served as Sony’s vice president of production. Pascal’s new shingle is on the Sony lot.

Kagan has been poached by Orion Pictures, the newly relaunched Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer label. Orion had been associated with ’80s and ’90s hits such as “Dances With Wolves,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” and “Married to the Mob.” It will be a standalone theatrical marketing and distribution company. At Sony, Kagan was director of development.

Kagan and Fineman’s exits aren’t the only recent executive departures. Paramount hired Lumumba Mosquera to become executive vice president of business affairs. He’s primary responsibility for Paramount Players, the newly created film division headed by Brian Robbins, the founder of AwesomenessTV.

Sony
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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