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The story, written by Jesse Armstrong (In the Loop, Four Lions), centers on two friends (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) who decide to become border patrol guards to add some purpose to their lives. After they become accidentally stranded in Mexico without identification, these friends must try to sneak back into America.
Exclusive: After cranking out two big hit comedies in Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, Sony Pictures is back in business with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and John C. Reilly. The studio has closed a deal with Oscar-nominated In The Loop writer Jesse Armstrong to pen Border Guards. It’s a comedy that McKay is eyeing to direct, with Ferrell and Reilly playing two hapless but earnest friends who decide to give purpose to their lives by protecting America’s borders from illegal immigrants. In the process they find themselves accidentally stranded in Mexico without identification and must sneak back into the U.S. It’s only related to the previous films in that Ferrell and Reilly pair so well together. Ferrell, McKay, and Kevin Messick are producing through Gary Sanchez Productions. Michael De Luca and Jonathan Kadin will oversee for Sony. The scribe, who’s repped by CAA, is a »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are set to re-team with their Step Brothers and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby helmer Adam McKay for a new comedy, Border Guards , Deadline reports. Jesse Armstrong ("Peep Show") is supplying the screenplay for the Sony Pictures comedy, which follows Ferrell and Reilly as two friends who decided that it's in America's best interest that they go to work patrolling the Us Mexico border. They wind up getting trapped in Mexico, however, and have to sneak their way back to the states. Ferrell recently starred in McKay's Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues with Reilly also appearing in a cameo role. Ferrell and McKay will also produce alongside Kevin Messick with Michael De Luca and Jonathan Kadin overseeing for Sony »
Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin are closing in on a deal to acquire smart author Michael Lewis' real-life, high-stakes financial drama "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt," which was just published last month and is already a national bestseller. This true story centers on a group of Wall Street players who set out to diminish high-frequency trading within the market. This is worlds away from the debauchery of "The Wolf of Wall Street," but no less timely. The deal is currently in media res, with Eli Bush ("The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") onboard to co-produce alongside Rudin. Sony production exec Elizabeth Cantillon and Rudin crony Michael De Luca ("The Social Network," "Captain Phillips"), now president of production at Sony, had a hand in organizing the acquisition, which would make this Sony and De Luca's second adaptation of a Michael Lewis book after 2011's "Moneyball. »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Exclusive: Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin are near a deal to acquire Flash Boys, the hottest-selling book in the country. Michael Lewis’ nonfiction work is about a group of Wall Street guys who grew frustrated by a loophole that gave traders the opportunity to game the stock market. They banded together to reform the financial markets by creating an exchange that rendered impotent the act of high-frequency trading, a growing form of trading that gave insiders an advantage. A story that is the antithesis of the practices that created the 2008 financial crisis, the book traces how the Flash Boys walked away from huge-money jobs to use their expertise to investigate big banks, stock exchanges and high-frequency trading firms. They peeled back the layers to bare why many feel that Wall Street is such a rigged game. The Flash Boys are the kind of guys who would have hated Jordan Belfort, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Exclusive: As The New Republic turns 100 years old, Sony Pictures and Escape Artists have made a pre-emptive acquisition of “The Year Of The Pigskin,” a just-published feature by Christopher Beam about the unlikely success of the Chongqing Dockers, one of the first teams in the very first American football league to form in China. The catalyst was a 26-year-old American, the son of police detectives whose pro football dreams were dashed after a shoulder injury incurred while he was a star player at the University of Michigan. He became the team’s coach and star player. The feature is a template for a Bad News Bears-like film that will be shot in China, as the Dockers and its players with names like Fat Baby, Bobo, and Weezy get molded from undisciplined players afraid to hit one another into a group of warriors that battled for the championship against archrival Shanghai Warriors. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Fox is gearing up for an untitled action-comedy set in Sweden with Russell Simmons producing.
The studio has hired the writing team of Enzo Miletti and Scott Wilson to script the story, centered two detectives pairing up to investigate a murder in Stockholm.
Ryan Jones is overseeing the project for the studio.
Simmons, best known as a music magnate as founder of Def Jam, produced “The Nutty Professor” and “How to Be a Player” in the 1990s. He also produced HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and is teamed with DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV on YouTube channel All Def Digital.
- Dave McNary
Seth Rogen, Joe Roth, Norman Lear and David Fincher and Ceán Chaffin are among the speakers who will highlight the Producers Guild of America's 2014 Produced By Conference, the PGA said Thursday. Other speakers at the two-day event, which will take place on the Warner Bros. lot on June 7 and 8, include Starz CEO Chris Albrecht, Columbia Pictures’ new production president Michael De Luca, Oscar show producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper and film and television producers Lesley Chilcott, Evan Goldberg, Howard Gordon, Gale Anne Hurd, Marshall Heskovitz and Lydia Dean Pilcher. Additional speakers will »
- Steve Pond
The event will be held at Warner Bros. Studios on June 7-8.
The conference includes more than 30 conference sessions, panel discussions, mentoring roundtables and other events.
- Dave McNary
Los Angeles, CA (March 27, 2014) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is pleased to announce the initial slate of speakers confirmed to participate in the 6th annual Produced By Conference (Pbc). Director and producer David Fincher (Gone Girl, Fight Club, SE7EN, The Social Network, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) & producer Ceán Chaffin (Gone Girl, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), producer Norman Lear (“The Jeffersons, “All In The Family”), actor and producer Seth Rogen (Neighbors, Pineapple Express, Knocked Up), and producer Joe Roth (Maleficent, Alice In Wonderland, Snow White And The Huntsman) will participate as featured speakers at the 2014 Produced By Conference, hosted by Warner Bros. Studios on June 7-8. Additional speakers include some of the entertainment and digital industries’ most renowned producers and visionaries. Confirmed speakers are noted below in alphabetical order. Additional speakers will be announced prior to the conference. – Chris Albrecht, CEO, Starz – Natalie Bruss, VP, Digital Strategy, »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Exclusive: Actors Ben McKenzie and Logan Marshall-Green have joined forces to launch the shingle A Thing Or Two Productions. They come to the table in a big way. Tom Rothman’s TriStar Pictures has made a deal on a baseball memoir which the duo will produce with Michael De Luca. TriStar has optioned Wherever I Wind Up, the memoir by pitcher R.A. Dickey about his unusual life journey. Buzz Bissinger has been set to write the script. It becomes another eclectic project for Rothman’s upstart division. McKenzie first starred on Fox’s The O.C. and now is playing the lead role of Detective Jim Gordon in the Bat-prequel series Gotham, while Marshall-Green played his brother on O.C. and has co-starred in Brooklyn’s Finest, Prometheus and As I Lay Dying. He just shot the pilot Quarry. They have been friends since doing theater together at Williamstown in 2001 and »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Exclusive: Wall Street continues to be a hot TV drama arena following the success of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, with another high profile project coming together. Sony TV has put in development The Buy Side, an hourlong project based on the best-selling autobiographical book by former Galleon Group trader Turney Duff. Oscar-nominated writer Sheldon Turner will write the adaptation, with Michael Dinner set to direct. The two are executive producing with Michael De Luca, whose involvement in the project predates his December appointment as Columbia Pictures president of production, and Turner’s producing partner at Vendetta Jennifer Klein. The book was brought to them by Kate Di Mento, who works for Dinner. Both Vendetta and Dinner are under deals at Sony TV. The project is in final stages of development and is expected to be taken out to the networks soon, after Dinner finishes work on the ABC pilot Clementine, »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
Sony Pictures Entertainment will be laying off 216 employees, according to a new state filing. The cuts, which began Monday and will continue this week, include employees at divisions throughout the film and entertainment studio, a unit of Sony Corp. The layoffs were detailed in a notice Sony filed Monday with the California Employment Development Department. The majority of the layoffs will come down between June 2 and July 18, according to the notice, and will come from four of Sony's Culver City offices — three on Washington Boulevard and one on Corporate Pointe. Also read: Top Sony Execs Mike De Luca, Hannah Minghella. »
- Todd Cunningham
Since the appointment of Michael De Luca as co-president of production at Sony's Columbia Pictures in December, rumors have been rampant in Hollywood about why he took the job in partnership with Hannah Minghella. More recently, agents, producers and studio insiders have told TheWrap that the creative community is confused about how the partnership will work. In the wake of these questions, De Luca and Minghella agreed to speak with TheWrap exclusively about the inner-workings of their partnership and what Hollywood can expect going forward. TheWrap: Is there tension between you two now that Mike is sharing same title as. »
- Jeff Sneider and Sharon Waxman
Exclusive: Sony Pictures just closed a deal for Grasshopper Jungle, the just-published Dutton Ya novel by Andrew Smith. Scott Rosenberg brought in the project and is negotiating to adapt it for producer Matt Tolmach. It’s perhaps best described as Stand By Me meets Attack The Block, a coming-of-age yarn revolving around a teenager in Iowa trying to come to grips with his own sexual feelings as he and his cohorts cause a deadly genetically engineered plague that unleashes an army of 6-foot-tall praying mantises with an insatiable appetite for fighting, food, and fornicating. Michael De Luca and Elizabeth Cantillon steered the deal for Sony. De Luca just started at the studio but he also brought in the $1 million spec Winter’s Knight last weekend. Rosenberg is best known for scripting such films as Beautiful Girls, Con Air and High Fidelity and who most recently rewrote Heist for Steve Zaillian »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Oscar 2014 winners and nominees (photo: Oscar winners Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto chat at the 2014 Oscar ceremony) Best Picture: American Hustle, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, Jonathan Gordon; Captain Phillips, Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca; Dallas Buyers Club, Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter; Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman; Her, Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay; Nebraska, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa; Philomena, Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward; 12 Years a Slave, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Anthony Katagas; The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland, Emma Tillinger Koskoff. Best Foreign Language Film: The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium; The Great Beauty, Italy; The Hunt, Denmark; The Missing Picture, Cambodia; Omar, Palestine. Best Actress: Amy Adams, American Hustle; Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine; Sandra Bullock, Gravity; Judi Dench, Philomena; Meryl Streep, August: Osage County. Best Actor: Christian Bale, American Hustle; Bruce Dern, Nebraska; Leonardo DiCaprio, »
- Steve Montgomery
Let me be clear... we do not care if this flick is Dread worthy just yet. That being said, if there's a story floating around about a friggin' viking Santa Claus, then goddamn it, we're gonna do it!
According to Deadline, after much back and forth Saturday involving Sony, Universal, and a last-ditch overture from Warner Bros., Sony finally closed its deal for Winter’s Knight, the Viking-mythology-tinged origin story of St. Nick and Christmas.
Sony emerged as front-runner when it agreed to pay $1 million to newbie scribes Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton for the biggest spec sale of this year so far. That was the easy part. Deals were then made for producers Marc Platt and Lawrence Grey. More challenging was making a deal with the white hot Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg to direct, but that effort was led by incoming Sony Pictures Production President Michael De Luca. »
- Uncle Creepy
After a bidding war between Universal, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures, it's the latter studio that has come out on top to pick up a spec script called Winter's Knight. Following in the footsteps of recent revisionist fairytales like Snow White and the Huntsman or developing historical adventures around figures like Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci, the film would tell the origin of Saint Nicholas and Christmas, by way of a Viking-esque tale written by newcomers Ben Lustig & Jake Thornton. The deal at Sony also included Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg, who will also do Pirates of the Caribbean 5. For those interested in more, the film is based on the 1902 book The Life And Adventures Of Santa Claus by Frank L. Baum. Apparently the final deal took some convincing from Michael De Luca, who is eager to bring in the next generation of filmmakers. De Luca did »
- Ethan Anderton
Arguably the most well-attended and sought-after Oscar party belongs to Conde Nast’s Vanity Fair. Gaining admittance suggests both clout and perseverance. I was granted 30 minutes to take a look around the most powerful room in Hollywood. No notebook, tape recorder or interviews. I was provided a window placard for my car which declared the time of my admittance, I was issued a badge-like plastic contraption that included my name, which was announced – equal parts social graces and security measures – during the approach to party’s new location at 8680 Sunset Blvd.
11:15 p.m. The line of black SUV’s snaking east on Sunset Boulevard were filled with starlets and producers, some clasping golden statues, others looking to drown their sorrows.
- Alexandra Cheney
So, the ceremony has just finished and Gravity turned out to be the big winner on the night with no less than seven awards at the 86th Academy Awards. Best Picture did Not go to the space drama, but to Steve McQueens superb 12 Years A Slave. We have a ton of fun stuff for you to read over at our official Live Blog of this year’s ceremony, so be sure to check it out here.
Here’s the full list of this year’s Oscar winners.
** Winners in bold **
- Paul Heath
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