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Writer-Director Ava DuVernay Signs on to Helm Civil Rights Film Selma

Writer-director Ava DuVernay (I Will Follow, Middle of Nowhere) has reportedly signed on to Selma, the film centering on the Civil Rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s march from Selma to Montgomery. The first Black woman to win Best Director at Sundance, DuVernay has been scouting filming locations and working on the script with Paul Webb since April of this year. DuVernay will reunite with Middle of Nowhere's lead, David Oyelowo, who will play King in Selma. Hit the jump for more. Deadline reports that Selma is now in DuVernay's hands. The Civil Rights picture was previously eyed by Lee Daniels (The Paperboy), who put it aside to work on his current feature, The Butler. As a side note, Oyelowo will also star in that picture which centers on long-time White House butler Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker). Producers on Selma are hoping to get a jump
See full article at Collider.com »

Harpo Films Prez Kate Forte Out As Harpo Shifts Attention From Films To Scripted TV

Another long-time executive from Oprah Winfrey’s inner circle is out. After a 18-year stint as president of Harpo Films, Kate Forte was let go today. While the company continues to have a couple of projects in development at HBO where the company has been under a deal since 2008, Harpo Films has little to show for its efforts in the past 5 years as its last projects to reach fruition were the 2007 movie The Great Debaters, one of only two features produced by the unit, and 2007 ABC telefilm Mitch Albom’s For One More Day. Harpo Films is a vestige of old times — it was active in the broadcast movie business, doing six films for ABC between 1997 and 2007. But the demand for long-form projects, especially on the broadcast side, has dried out. And now the Los Angeles-based Harpo Films will de facto fold. As part of a restructuring, its larger sibling production company,
See full article at Deadline TV »

Oprah Winfrey developing HBO drama series

HBO and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films are developing an hour-long drama, based on a wealthy academic who becomes the "first black president of a prestigious liberal arts college," THR reports.

The trade says the drama's plot centers on the man's "idyllic public facade," as he and his family face dark personal secrets.

Winfrey will executive produce the as yet untitled project, along with Kate Forte. Playwright and professor, Thomas Bradshaw will write and co-executive produce.

Harpo Films has been in partnership with HBO since 2008, but as of yet none of the pairing's series projects have made it to the network's lineup.
See full article at Zap2It - From Inside the Box »

Oprah Develops Drama Series For HBO

HBO is developing a new untitled drama series with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films says The Live Feed.

The hourlong will center on a wealthy academic who has become the first black president of a prestigious liberal arts college.

He and his family are thrust into national headlines, forcing them to present an idyllic public façade, all while engaging in agonizing personal battles and struggling with dark obsessions.

Playwright Thomas Bradshaw will write and co-executive produce, while Winfrey and Kate Forte are also attached as executive producers.
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Oprah Winfrey Developing an HBO Drama

Oprah Winfrey Developing an HBO Drama
Oprah Winfrey is set to make her stamp on HBO.

HBO is developing a drama from Oprah's Harpo Films, which centers on the first black president of a prestigious liberal arts college who has been thrust into the national headlines while also engaging in "agonizing personal battles" and "dark obsessions" away from the public eye, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting.

Related: Tyler Perry Signs TV Deal with Oprah's Own

Playwright Thomas Bradshaw will write and co-executive produce the still untitled project alongside Oprah and Harpo's Kate Forte. Besides the basic premise of the family drama, not much else is known about the new show except that it will be an hour-long effort.

Related: Oprah Announces Return of 'Favorite Things' Show

Harpo Films inked a deal with HBO in 2008 to develop miniseries, movies, documentaries and scripted series for the cable network.
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Oprah Winfrey, HBO Developing Drama Series On Wealthy Black Academic At Liberal Arts College

HBO and Oprah Winfrey are teaming up to produce an original drama series that will center on "a wealthy academic who has become the first black president of a prestigious liberal arts college. He and his family are thrust into national headlines, forcing them to present an idyllic public façade, all while engaging in agonizing personal battles and struggling with dark obsessions," says THR. The series will be penned by playwright Thomas Bradshaw, who will also co-executive produce with Winfrey and Harpo Studios' Kate Forte. This is part of a long-term deal Harpo has with HBO to develop miniseries, films, documentaries and scripted series for the network. ...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Oprah Winfrey Developing Complex Family Drama Project at HBO (Exclusive)

Oprah Winfrey Developing Complex Family Drama Project at HBO (Exclusive)
HBO is back in the Oprah Winfrey business. The premium cable network is developing a drama from Winfrey's Harpo Films. The untitled project centers on a wealthy academic who has become the first black president of a prestigious liberal arts college. He and his family are thrust into national headlines, forcing them to present an idyllic public façade, all while engaging in agonizing personal battles and struggling with dark obsessions. Photos: Oprah Through the Years Playwright Thomas Bradshaw is on board to write and co-executive produce the hourlong effort, with Winfrey and Harpo's Kate Forte attached as executive producers. Harpo

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Wentworth Miller Flexes Writing Muscle Again For ‘Edgar Sawtelle’ Adaptation

  • The Film Stage
Actor Wentworth Miller has a new project in the works, and it might surprise you.

The Prison Break star is in negotiations with Universal to adapt the novel The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. If hired, Miller would be the second name attached to the screenplay – William Broyles Jr. (Apollo 13) wrote a first draft. The choice is interesting when you consider some of the heavy hitters backing the film, the likes of which include Oprah Winfrey – who cited Edgar Sawtelle in her book club – and Kate Forte of Harpo Films, as well as Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman under their banner, Playtone. [THR]

Written by David Wroblewski, the book follows the title character, a mute Midwestern farm boy who’s forced to flee into the wilderness after the murder of his father. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three dogs that followed him,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Wentworth Miller in Talks to Adapt the Bestselling Novel, The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle

The star of Prison Break and the pen behind the screenplay for Stoker, Wentworth Miller is now being courted to take up the adaptation of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Written by David Wroblewski, the bestselling literary novel follows the titular protagonist, a mute boy in the American heartland who raises a fictional breed of dog with his family. While that description sounds a bit odd, the story is actually a contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, albeit replacing the kingdom of Denmark with rural Wisconsin. The novel was part of Oprah Winfrey’s book club in 2008; Winfrey will produce alongside Kate Forte, partnering with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. Hit the jump for more. THR reports that Miller is in negotiations to adapt The Story of Edgar Sawtelle for Universal. A previous draft was turned in by William Broyles Jr. (Apollo 13). Miller wouldn’t have been my first pick for the adaptation,
See full article at Collider.com »

Oprah Winfrey Producing Film Based On 'Edgar Sawtelle' w/ Wentworth Miller In Talks To Adapt

When Oprah Winfrey likes a book, she definitely likes a book. An avid reader, some 8 or so books from her famous Book Club have been adapted to film; so if you're an author with a novel, and it somehow grabs Oprah's attention, there's a good chance it will become a film. Meaning, dump those scripts and start penning novels! Joking... somewhat... One of those Book Club titles that's on its way to the big screen is The Story of Edgar Sawtelle - a Book Club selection in 2008.  Ms Winfrey, with Harpo Films producing partner Kate Forte, have teamed up with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, via their Playtone production company, to bring Sawtelle to...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Wentworth Miller in Talks to Adapt 'Edgar Sawtelle' (Exclusive)

Wentworth Miller in Talks to Adapt 'Edgar Sawtelle' (Exclusive)
Wentworth Miller is picking up the keyboard again. The actor, best known as the star of Fox's Prison Break, is in negotiations to tackle of adaptation of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. The David Wroblewski novel is set up at Universal with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman producing via their Playtone banner, and Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte producing via Harpo Films. Photos: 11 Biggest Book-to-Big Screen Adaptations of the Last 25 Years Chosen as one of Winfrey’s book club selections in 2008, the Hamlet-like story centers on a mute boy who is the son of dog

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Paul Greengrass Will Helm Mlk Assassination Film ‘Memphis’

Universal Pictures signed Paul Greengrass to direct “Memphis,” a film on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The script is also being written by Greengrass and the film will begin production in June. A few other Mlk-related films are also in production this year. It includes a DreamWorks project “Selma,” which has the backing of King’s heirs. There is also an independent film “Selma,” which has Lee Daniels (“Precious”) attached to it with the backing of The Weinstein Co. And finally Harpo’s Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte have an HBO 7-hour miniseries deal with “America: In The King Years.”Source: Deadline
See full article at LRM Online »

Universal Steps Up For Paul Greengrass Mlk Drama 'Memphis'

  • Deadline
Universal Steps Up For Paul Greengrass Mlk Drama 'Memphis'
Exclusive: Universal Pictures will make Memphis, the drama about the assassination of Martin Luther King written and directed by Paul Greengrass. The picture is being produced by Scott Rudin, the Oscar-nominated producer of Best Picture candidates The Social Network and True Grit. Production on the film is slated to begin in June. It reunites the studio with Greengrass, who last made The Green Zone for Uni and who withdrew from making a fourth installment of The Bourne Identity. Even though that last picture came in at a high budget and didn't succeed at the box office, Greengrass turned in two hit Bourne sequels and the Oscar-nominated United 93. Memphis steps in front of several pictures that were being mobilized about Dr. King. There is a Ronald Harwood-scripted DreamWorks project that has the backing of King's heirs, and Selma, an indie that Lee Daniels was working on with funding from
See full article at Deadline »

Oprah Winfrey Has "Ruined" This Play

Oprah Winfrey is in talks to star in an adaptation of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2009 play "Ruined" for HBO Films reports Deadline.

The off-Broadway show focuses on a brothel in war-torn Congo and the struggles of its madam, Mama Nadi, to keep herself and the women working for her from getting caught between the government and rebel armies.

Nottage is adapting the script while Winfrey and Kate Forte will serve as executive producers. Winfrey, currently in Australia shooting several episodes of her show, hasn't had a major film role since 1998's "Beloved".
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Oprah Winfrey In Talks To Star In HBO Films' 'Ruined'

Winfrey would play madam at a brothel in war-torn Congo.

By Jocelyn Vena

Oprah Winfrey

Photo: Soul Brother/ FilmMagic

According to a new report, talk-show maven and pop culture tour de force Oprah Winfrey is considering a dramatic acting role. Deadline Hollywood reports that Winfrey is in talks to star in an HBO Films adaptation of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Ruined."

Winfrey and Kate Forte will act as executive producers for the film, with the playwright adapting the script. The story follows Mama Nadi, a madam at a brothel in war-torn Congo. Nadi tries to keep herself and her women from getting into trouble with the government and rebel armies.

Winfrey recently made a cameo on "30 Rock." She has taken on dramatic roles in the past, including 1998's "Beloved," directed by Jonathan Demme, and Steven Spielberg's 1985 drama "The Color Purple." Winfrey is also attached to show her more
See full article at MTV Movie News »

Oprah Winfrey In Talks To Star In HBO Films' 'Ruined'

Winfrey would play madam at a brothel in war-torn Congo.

By Jocelyn Vena

Oprah Winfrey

Photo: Soul Brother/ FilmMagic

According to a new report, talk-show maven and pop culture tour de force Oprah Winfrey is considering a dramatic acting role. Deadline Hollywood reports that Winfrey is in talks to star in an HBO Films adaptation of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Ruined."

Winfrey and Kate Forte will act as executive producers for the film, with the playwright adapting the script. The story follows Mama Nadi, a madam at a brothel in war-torn Congo. Nadi tries to keep herself and her women from getting into trouble with the government and rebel armies.

Winfrey recently made a cameo on "30 Rock." She has taken on dramatic roles in the past, including 1998's "Beloved," directed by Jonathan Demme, and Steven Spielberg's 1985 drama "The Color Purple." Winfrey is also attached to show her more
See full article at MTV Music News »

Oprah Winfrey Set to Star in HBO Films' 'Ruined'

Oprah Winfrey has been the executive producer of Oscar winner "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire", the voice in "The Princess and the Frog" and the guest star on "30 Rock". She is now to take a more prominent role in front of the camera in "Ruined", her first oncreen starring role since 1998 "Beloved".

The TV movie is adapted from Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play which has won several awards including Drama Desk Awards during its 2009 off-Broadway run. The play involves the plight of women in the civil war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

Madam Mama Nadi struggles to keep herself and the women working for her brothel from getting caught between the government and rebel armies. Nottage herself would write the movie's script.

The project is being developed for HBO Films. Deadline says it has been one of Harpo's top priorities since Winfrey and Kate Forte, who
See full article at Aceshowbiz »

Oprah In Talks To Appear In “Ruined”

Oprah Winfrey may star in an HBO Films adaptation of Lynn Nottage’s play “Ruined.” HBO’s developing the project as a potential starring vehicle for Winfrey as a Harpo Films Production with Nottage adapting the script from her Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Winfrey and Kate Forte are exec producers. Story is set in a brothel in the war-torn Congo and captures the experiences of the women working there. Nottage’s play was loosely inspired by Bertold Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children,” follows an independent businesswoman, Mama Nadi, and the women she employs in a canteen surrounded by the ongoing civil war in the Congo.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118028638?refCatId=14
See full article at FilmNewsBriefs »

Oprah Winfrey to exec produce, and potentially star in, HBO adaptation of play 'Ruined'

Oprah Winfrey to exec produce, and potentially star in, HBO adaptation of play 'Ruined'
Oprah Winfrey may be making a return to acting. HBO confirms to EW that Winfrey and Kate Forte will exec produce an adaptation of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined for HBO Films. Nottage will write the script, set in a brothel in war-torn Congo. The project is being developed as a potential starring role for Winfrey. It centers on Madam Mama Nadi, the women who work for her, and her struggles to avoid getting caught between the government and rebel armies. The off-Broadway production of Ruined, inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s classic Mother Courage, received an A when reviewed by EW last year.
See full article at EW.com - Inside TV »

Oprah Winfrey to Play Brothel Madam in HBO Films' 'Ruined'

Oprah Winfrey to Play Brothel Madam in HBO Films' 'Ruined'
Oprah Winfrey is set to star in HBO Films' adaptation of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Ruined," the Oscar-nominated actress' representation at CAA has confirmed to TheWrap. Set in a brothel in war-torn Congo, the play follows the struggles of its madam, Mama Nadi, to keep herself and the women working for her from getting caught between the government and rebel armies. Nottage is writing the script and Winfrey will executive produce with her Harpo Films president Kate Forte. While Winfrey has lent her voice to several movies in recent years, including "Charlotte's
See full article at The Wrap »
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