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Universal has finally found a director for the "Fifty Shades of Grey" sequel to follow Sam Taylor-Johnson, who announced earlier this year that after tussles with powerful writer E.L. James she would not be returning. And yes, it's a man, ladies and gentlemen. Which marks a risk for Universal chairman Donna Langley, who has been overseeing this series from the start. Variety reports that Langley has offered director James Foley "Fifty Shades Darker," which reunites Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as the original's kinky lovers. And he directs a script by James’ husband, Niall Leonard, who presumably works closely with his producer/author wife. James produces the high-stakes sequel with Dana Brunetti and new Universal in-house producer Michael De Luca, who left his Sony production gig to join the house of Langley. She's on a roll this summer as the studio is enjoying record-breaking box office--"Straight Outta Compton" is. »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
Deadline Hollywood first reported that Foley was a front-runner for “Fifty Shades Darker” and sources now tell Variety that negotiations are expected to start shortly. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are attached to reprise their roles, with author E.L. James, Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti producing. James’ husband, Niall Leonard, penned the script.
Execs had been meeting with directors over the past several months since Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed the first film in the trilogy, announced that she would not be returning to helm.
Production will begin in the first quarter of 2016, with the film set to bow on Feb. 14, 2017. Casting should get under way once Foley’s deal is worked out.
Foley directed several stylish dramas in the 1980s and ’90s, »
- Justin Kroll
The Fifty Shades Of Grey sequel Fifty Shades Darker may be closing in on a director. Following the news that Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed the first film starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, wouldn’t be returning for a second movie, Universal are apparently favouring House Of Cards director James Foley for ‘Darker’.
Foley is also the man behind the brilliant Glengarry Glen Ross, so he absolutely has the credentials for the project.
TheWrap, who broke the news of Foley’s hiring, said that Universal ‘initially sought another female filmmaker to replace Taylor-Johnson, they ultimately decided to hire the best director for the high-profile job.’
Fifty Shades Of Grey kicked off an amazing, and indeed record-breaking year for Universal, and despite the scathing reviews that the film received, managed to »
- Paul Heath
Shortly after the release of Universal Pictures' blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey, it was confirmed that director Sam Taylor-Johnson will not come back to make the movie sequel, Fifty Shades Darker. One month later, it was revealed that author E.L. James' husband, Niall Leonard, will write the screenplay adaptation, with the studio setting a February 10, 2017 release date. Today we have word from Deadline that filmmaker James Foley is the front runner to direct this hotly-anticipated follow-up.
This report also reveals that he may also sign on to direct the third installment, Fifty Shades Freed, which has been given a February 9, 2018 release date. The studio is still working out whether or not they should shoot both Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed back-to-back. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are coming back to reprise their roles as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.
Negotiations haven't started yet for James Foley to take the helm, »
Veteran filmmaker James Foley has emerged as the frontrunner to direct "Fifty Shades Darker," the upcoming sequel to the blockbuster adaptation of E.L. James erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" that stormed the box-office back in February.
E.L. James' husband, screenwriter Niall Leonard, adapted his the book, and both Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca return to produce the follow-up which is moving forward after the first film scored $569 million worldwide from a $40 million production budget, despite some scathing reviews.
The Wrap reports that several other directors who were up for the coveted gig but are now being notified that they're no longer in the running. Another female filmmaker was initially sought to replace Sam Taylor-Johnson who helmed the first one, but they instead opted for the best candidate they had which was Foley.
- Garth Franklin
It looks like Universal is close to finding a director for the next installment of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise.
While no offer has been delivered, sources tell Variety that James Foley is the frontrunner to land the “Fifty Shades Darker” job and that an offer should be delivered shortly for the TV and film helmer, who has most recently worked on “House of Cards.”
Execs had been meeting with directors over the past several months since announcing that Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed the first of the trilogy, would not be returning as director.
Production will begin in the first quarter of 2016, with the film set to bow on Feb. 14, 2017, so Foley will have time to assess the script and form his strategy. »
- Justin Kroll
After working with producer Dana Brunetti on numerous episodes of “House of Cards,” veteran filmmaker James Foley has emerged as the frontrunner to direct “Fifty Shades Darker,” the sequel to Universal’s blockbuster hit “Fifty Shades of Grey,” an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap. Other directors who were up for the coveted gig have started to be notified that they didn’t get it. E.L. James’ husband, screenwriter Niall Leonard, adapted his wife’s bestselling book, and Michael De Luca returns to produce the steamy sequel with Brunetti. Stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson will reprise their roles as Christian Grey and. »
- Jeff Sneider
Minghella will work closely with TriStar’s Nicole Brown and reports to president of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group Doug Belgrad. She shared the president of production role with Michael de Luca, who recently left the studio.
Five months after being named head of Sony Pictures, Tom Rothman is making his first substantial restructuring of his leadership team — consolidating his position with the appointment of two new executives at the studio’s flagship Columbia Pictures and naming a new president of the TriStar label, according to a person familiar with the moves.
Rothman is moving his former right-hand from TriStar, David Beaubaire, to Columbia, where he will become an executive vice president of production. Beaubaire will be joined at Columbia by Palak Patel, who is leaving his post as president of production at Roth Films to also become exec VP of production at Columbia. Taking over Rothman’s former job as president of TriStar will be Hannah Minghella, who most recently served as co-head of production at Columbia.
All three of the newly appointed executives will report to Doug Belgrad, who remains president of Sony’s Motion Picture Group. »
- James Rainey
United Talent Agency (UTA) has hired ICM Partners agent Nigel Meiojas, the agency announced Tuesday. Meiojas will join UTA as an agent in the talent department. He spent the past six years as an agent at ICM after joining the company as an agent trainee. Meiojas’ clients include Robert Duvall, Alexander Ludwig, Jonny Weston, Annabelle Wallis, Allen Leech, Genesis Rodriguez, Lucas Black, Kevin Zegers, Virginia Gardner, Josh Stewart, Jencarlos Canela and Alyssa Sutherland. They are expected to follow him to UTA. Also Read: Michael De Luca Staffs Up New Company, Hires Elishia Holmes, Lucy Kitada (Exclusive) “Nigel is a great »
- Jeff Sneider and Joe Otterson
Holmes, Kitada and Pariseau will report directly to De Luca and will be based at the company’s West Hollywood offices.
De Luca called the hires a “dream team of executives.”
Holmes most recently served as svp of production and development at Scott Free where she developed the Blade Runner sequel and Exodus.
Prior to Scott Free Holmes served as a production executive at Warner Brothers. She began her career at William Morris Agency, and got her first break as a story editor at Parkes-MacDonald.
Kitada was most recently the director of development at Global Produce, working in features and television. Prior to that she was at Disney, DreamWorks and Gran Via Productions and has worked on Saving Mr Banks, The Help and Breaking Bad.
Pariseau arrives from UTA, where he was an agent in the book department and represented authors, journalists and non-traditional »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Elishia Holmes, former Svp Production/Development at Scott Free, Lucy Kitada (Global Produce) and former UTA agent Johnny Pariseau have been hired at Michael De Luca’s company to serve as production executives. All three will start immediately and report directly to De Luca, and be based at the company's West Hollywood offices. After the hacking scandal that triggered a management shakeup at Sony Pictures Entertainment, De Luca left Sony as president of production earlier… »
Michael De Luca has assembled his production team after signing a three-year first-look deal with Universal, hiring Elishia Holmes, Lucy Kitada and Johnny Pariseau as executives at Michael De Luca Productions, TheWrap has exclusively learned. Holmes, Kitada and Pariseau will report directly to De Luca and be based at the company’s West Hollywood offices. “I am delighted to say that we have assembled a dream team of executives who bring diverse expertise, impeccable taste and first-rate production experience,” said De Luca. “I am thrilled about having Elishia, Lucy and Johnny on the team.” Also Read: Mike De Luca Leaves Sony for Producing. »
- Jeff Sneider
Producer Michael De Luca, Acme Filmworks founder Ron Diamond and screenwriter Graham Moore will be honored at the 24th annual UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Film Festival, which takes place June 5-10.
Diamond, whose Acme Filmworks brings together notable animators with advertising agencies, will receive the Crystal Anvil Award at the Festival of Animation on June 6.
Moore, who won an Oscar for his screenplay for “The Imitation Game” in February, will be honored with the Distinguished Achievement in Screenwriting Award during the Screenwriters Showcase on June 8.
De Luca, who in his 30 years in show business has produced such films as “The Social Network,” “Captain Phillips” and the “Fifty Shades of Grey” adaptation for Universal, will receive Vision Award on June 9 during the Producers Marketplace.
More information about the festival is available at here.
- Terry Flores
The American Film Showcase will host its first annual International Filmmaker Exchange Program in Los Angeles from June 6-18.
The event, a partnership between USC’s School Of Cinematic Arts and the U.S. State Department, will enable 12 documentary filmmakers from all over Europe, Asia and Africa to visit the Us.
The selected filmmakers will also attend meetings with executives from the Academy, the Sundance Institute and the International Documentary Association.
The visitors were selected by a collective of international documentary filmmakers in concert with various Us Embassies throughout the world.
In other news, the UCLA School Of Theater, Film and Television will honour producer Michael DeLuca, Acme Filmworks founder Ron Diamond and Oscar-winning screenwriter Graham Moore at its 24th Annual Film Festival in Los Angeles from June 5-10. »
“Now You See Me” director Louis Leterrier has exited Sony’s shark attack movie “In the Deep,” multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap. Leterrier signed on to direct “In the Deep” back when Michael De Luca was co-president of production at Columbia Pictures. His exit stems from the recent regime change at Sony and the fact that the budget for “In the Deep” was recently reduced, while other key creative elements changed during development. According to insiders, it was no longer the film Leterrier has signed up for. A representative for Sony did not immediately respond to a request. »
- Jeff Sneider
Cover Story: After being pushed to the margins of power when he was unceremoniously dumped from the top job at Fox Filmed Entertainment, Tom Rothman is back.
Back greenlighting films, haggling over budgets, and coming off as the smartest, and, his detractors say, cockiest, person in the room — in his latest role as chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group.
Every studio eventually becomes a reflection of the man or woman running it, so in the case of Sony, that image stands to be a blur of contradictions. Rothman is a cineaste who launched arthouse label Fox Searchlight, and the man who greenlit “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.” An executive of expansive vision, and petty grievances. A risk taker and penny-pincher. A creative force who often clashes with talent.
Tim McDonagh for Variety
Rothman’s second rise to the top of a major studio is not a »
- Brent Lang and James Rainey
The Real Coke
"Zombieland" and "Deadpool" scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are reportedly penning a feature about the disastrous launch of New Coke thirty years ago. The drink attempted to adjust classic Coke's secret formula for a younger generation - it performed so badly it threatened the original soft drink's market leadership.
The scribes have optioned the Thomas Oliver book "The Real Coke, The Real Story" and will pen this 1980s period piece which will also deal with how No. 2 rival Pepsi launched the 'Pepsi Challenge' that led to corporate panic at Coke. [Source: Deadline]
The Dukes Of Oxy
Angel Elgort is being lined up to star in a film version about the Rolling Stone article "Dukes Of Oxy" at New Line. The article deals with a pair of teen high school wrestlers from Florida who built a multimillion-dollar business smuggling OxyContin and other painkillers.
Elgort would play Dodd, the more »
- Garth Franklin
New Line has acquired the true crime saga, Dukes of Oxy, with Michael De Luca in talks to produce and Ansel Elgort circling a leading role. Based on the 'Rolling Stone' article by Guy Lawson (who also wrote the article that inspired Todd Phillips' Arms and Dudes), Dukes of Oxy recounts the true-life story of Doug Dodd and Lance Barabas, a pair of Florida-based teenagers who built a multi-million dollar drug-smuggling business, blackmarketing OxyContin and other painkillers. Per Deadline, Elgort is in talks to star as Dodd, the level-headed member of the drug smuggling duo. At the start of their enterprise, Dodd sought advice from an ex-con family member, who did time for dealing drugs, and learned a set of useful rules - don't talk on the phone, no guns, cut ties with anyone under investigation - sensible drug dealing stuff. [caption id="attachment_450635" align="alignright" width="348"] Image via Rolling Stone/Doug Dodd[/caption] The pair »
- Haleigh Foutch
Exclusive: In what will be his first collaboration at New Line in a very long time, Michael De Luca is at the center of a deal for Dukes Of Oxy, an article in the April 23 issue of Rolling Stone about a pair of teen high school wrestlers from Florida who built a multimillion-dollar business smuggling OxyContin and other painkillers. The deal is coming together quickly for De Luca to produce the film with Ansel Elgort and Emily Gerson Saines (Temple Grandin). The hope is… »
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