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The Oscars are coming up, the Sundance and Berlin film festivals are just around the corner, and Hollywood is already taking the long distance view of the movies that will wow us in years to come. But it all starts with a good script, and today the annual The Black List is upon us, highlighting the very best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Voted on by executives and insiders, winding up on the list can lead to a tremendous career boost. Since 2005, Black List scripts have gone on to earn 196 Oscar nominations, resulting in 37 wins. In short, the players in Hollywood pay attention, as evidenced this year by a raft of big names—John August, Elizabeth Banks, Travis Beacham, Max Borenstein, Aline Brosh McKenna, Scott Z Burns, Ty Burrell, Damien Chazelle, Ava Duvernay, Nathan Fillion, Seth Grahame-Smith, Rian Johnson, Rashida Jones and Will McCormack, Simon Kinberg, Brian Koppelman, Alex Kurtzman, Allan. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
At the end of last week, a news story broke that suggested Roberto Orci was no longer in the frame to replace Jj Abrams as the director of the next Star Trek movie. Orci, a man with no directorial credits to his name, had reportedly been lobbying for the job, and Paramount was inching towards giving him the keys to its $150-200m blockbuster.
That story at the end of last week though has proven to be true: Orci is no longer in line to direct the next Star Trek adventure.
Furthermore, he's taken to the comments field of the excellent Trek Movie site. There, he's clarified that he does remain active on the project. Orci has co-written the screenplay and is a producer on the new Star Trek films. »
Apparently there is some ancient Hollywood dictum that a director may only helm one huge science fiction franchise with a frighteningly committed fan base that also has “Star” in the title at one time. Or maybe Jj Abrams just simply hasn’t got the time to direct both Star Wars: The Force Awakens – the long-awaited return of the galaxy far, far away as audiences remember it (ie not like the prequels) – and the third in his rebooted, rejuvenated Star Trek movie series.
How do you replace Abrams, though, especially when the new Trek movies have some indelibly held his style and influence? Paramount’s gut reaction was to drop Robert Orci into the director’s chair, the screenwriter who had previously scripted the first two Abrams Star Trek films with former collaborator Alex Kurtzman.
Star Trek 3 would’ve been Orci’s directorial debut, an honour which »
- Tom Baker
In a speech both touching and funny at Friday’s March of Dimes Celebration of Babies, Chris Pratt shared about his son Jack’s premature birth, born nine weeks early at just 3 pounds, 12 ounces. “That’s a decent-sized bass,” he said to laughs from the star-studded crowd at the Beverly Wilshire. “Very small for a human.”
“I’ve done all kinds of cool things as an actor — I’ve jumped out of helicopters and done some daring stunts and played baseball in a professional stadium, but none of it means anything compared to being somebody’s daddy,” Pratt said. While Jack was in the Nicu, Pratt said he cherished moments where he’d cradle his son skin-to-skin. “I made promises in that moment about what kind of dad I wanted to be and I just prayed that he’d live long enough that I could keep them.”
Pratt and his »
- Janine Lew
While the incredible teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens has fans of the series forgetting all about the prequels, the other outer space film franchise that Abrams departed to take over Episode VII was hit with a major blow: Deadline reports that Roberto Orci is "beaming off" the third film in the rebooted Star Trek series, leaving the film without a director.
Orci will remain onboard as producer while the follow-up to Star Trek Into Darkness quickly seeks out a new director in order »
After Jj Abrams left the "Star Trek" franchise to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII," Roberto Orci was brought on to replace him on "Star Trek 3." Orci and his writing partner Alex Kurtzman provided the screenplays for the first two "Star Trek" installments. Now comes word that Orci has officially dropped out of directing "Star Trek 3," which will move forward with the screenplay, written by Orci, Patrick McKay and Jd Payne. A release date has yet to be announced, but the plan is to have the movie in theaters in 2016, which is the 50th anniversary of the franchise. Regarding who will step in to replace Orci as the director, there are several reports indicating that Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) is in talks. »
It seems like the rumors are true: Roberto Orci is no longer attached to direct Star Trek 3. This would have been Orci’s directorial debut. He was announced as director earlier this year after Jj Abrams, director of the two most recent Star Trek films, dropped out to direct some other movie set in outer space.
Orci has mainly been known as a writer. Orci and his writing partner, Alex Kurtzman, co-wrote many films together including the first two Tranformers movies and the Jj Abrams Star Trek movies (including Star Trek 3). They also co-wrote and created some TV shows together, Fringe and Sleepy Hollow to name a few. The duo has recently announced that they will no longer work together as writing partners.
Orci was hired because he has worked for this franchise since Abrams came on board. Orci, Kurtzman, and Abrams have collaborated in various projects over the years. »
- Laura Frances
Roberto Orci is best known for writing the screenplays to Michael Bay's Transformers films, Jon Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens, Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man films and J.J. Abrams' Star Trek films - alongside his ex-writing partner Alex Kurtzman. Star Trek 3 was going to mark Ocri's directorial debut, but as you know from today's new, that is no longer the case. Why is he no longer directing it? Devin Faraci From Badass Digest has been told by his sources that "the script was one of the problem factors," so much so that Paramount shutdown production on the film last month to try to work on "direction of the screenplay." My sources tell me that the script Orci was working on saw the Enterprise, the Vulcans and a new alien race competing to get a time travel device. The Vulcans want to go back and stop the destruction of their planet, »
Roberto Orci will not be directing Star Trek 3, according to Deadline. Right now, you're either a normal person asking "Who's Roberto Orci?" or you're a Star Trek superfan jumping for joy. Orci has co-written some megablockbusters—Transformers, the Jj Abrams Star Treks, The Amazing Spider-Man 2—and alongside his longtime collaborator Alex Kurtzman he co-created Fringe, the rebooted Hawaii Five-o, and Sleepy Hollow. But he's been a controversial figure among Trek fandom. After Abrams switched galaxies to tackle the new Star Wars, Orci was on tap to direct the upcoming Star Trek rethreequel. Now it would appear that he's off the project. »
- Darren Franich
Roberto Orci has stepped off Star Trek 3 as director. Orci, best known for his screenwriting work with former partner Alex Kurtzman, was going to make his directorial debut with the movie, stepping in the shoes of J.J. Abrams. Abrams directed the first two movies but left to helm Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Orci will still remain involved with Trek 3 as a producer, THR has confirmed. Reasons for his departure were not immediately revealed. Read more 'Star Trek' Flashback: Leonard Nimoy Notes 50-Year Anniversary of Original Pilot Shoot
- Borys Kit
Deadline reports that Roberto Orci is no longer attached to direct Star Trek 3. He was rumoured for the job shortly after it became clear that J.J. Abrams would be too busy with Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens to return and get the movie out in time to coincide with the franchise's 50th anniversary in 2016. It's not clear why he'll no longer helm the threequel, but Orci is set to remain a producer so there may not be any drama there to speak of. The writer recently split with longtime partner Alex Kurtzman (they teamed up to butcher a number of franchises, including The Amazing Spider-Man 2), and had passed on directing the Power Rangers reboot to focus on Star Trek 3 apparently. Regardless, he's out and Edgar Wright is said to be on the shortlist to replace him »
Somewhat breaking news tonight as it sounds like Roberto Orci is no longer directing Star Trek 3. The film would mark the directorial debut for the writer who worked with Alex Kurtzman on the Star Trek reboot and its sequel directed by J.J. Abrams. When Orci and Kurtzman broke up as creative partners earlier this year, Orci took the directing gig, but now Skydance and Paramount are looking for a new director Deadline reports. Deadline goes on to say that Orci will stay on as a producer and »
- Graham McMorrow
Exclusive: In a pre-emptive mid-six- against seven-figure deal, Universal has acquired an untitled action comedy pitch for Chris Morgan Productions, I’ve learned. Matt Allen and Chris Borrelli will pen the script based on their pitch — whose logline is being kept tightly under wraps. However, I’m told by a person close to the project that it has the potential of becoming an action comedy tentpole. Both writers have a long relationship with Fast & Furious franchise writer Morgan. He’ll produce via his Universal-based banner.
Borrelli and Allen’s stars have been steadily rising. Borrelli recently collaborated with Morgan on Lionsgate’s The Vatican Tapes with Borrelli writing the script and the two producing alongside Chris Cowles and Lakeshore Entertainment. It hits theaters February 27.
- Nancy Tartaglione
Spoiler Warning: Do not read on unless you’ve seen “Sleepy Hollow” season two, episode eleven, titled “The Akeda.”
“Sleepy Hollow” has never been afraid to spill some blood in the name of averting the apocalypse, and Monday’s midseason finale upped the body count in a major way — first sacrificing the heroic Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) in the battle against War, then killing off the show’s main antagonist, the demon Moloch, after Henry (John Noble) had a change of heart about following the big bad’s orders when it came to murdering his mother Katrina (Katia Winter).
Variety caught up with Jones and executive producer Len Wiseman to discuss the fallout from the eventful episode, including where Henry goes from here and whether Irving will ever make a reappearance.
So, you just killed the show’s Big Bad halfway through the second season, which is a pretty bold move. »
- Laura Prudom
British screenwriter Jay Basu (Monsters: Dark Continent) has joined the Universal Monster Universe team that is busy putting together this new, rebooted franchise. He joins Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan, who are spearheading this massive initiative, and previously-confirmed writers such as Noah Hawley (Fargo TV series), Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners) and Ed Solomon (Men In Black). It isn't clear which project Jay Basu will be writing at this time.
After this shared monster universe was first announced in July, Universal Pictures later confirmed in October that this fall's Dracula Untold is part of this series. The first official project will be the Untitled Mummy Reboot, directed by Alex Kurtzman, which is already set for release on June 24, 2016. Another unspecified project within the franchise has been given an April 21, 2017 release. The only other confirmed title is a reboot of The Wolf Man, which Aaron Guzikowski is writing, with other possible titles including Dracula, »
New York Film Critics Circle
Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" swept the New York Film Critics Circle awards announced this morning. The feature scored best film, director, and supporting actress for Patricia Arquette's role. Also nabbing acting honors were Marion Cotillard for "Two Days, One Night," Timothy Spall for "Mr. Turner" and J.K. Simmons for "Whiplash".
"The Grand Budapest Hotel" scored best screenplay, "The Babadook" won best first film, "The Immigrant" nabbed best cinematography, "Ida" won best foreign language film, "The Lego Movie" scored best animated feature, and "Citizenfour" won best documentary. [Source: Nyfcc]
Worthington plays a hired assassin sent to target a woman whom he instead bonds with and together they go on the run. Leech will play the assassin's former employer. »
- Garth Franklin
Last month, Universal hired Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski to work on their reboot of The Wolf Man, which will be apart of their classic monster cinematic universe and today Deadline reports that Universal has also hired Monsters: Dark Continent co-screenwriter, Jay Basu, to work on their monster-verse. Though, no details were provided about which monster(s) Basu will be working on. Universal is one of the few major studios that doesn't have any superheroes, so they are hoping they can build their own cinematic universe with their classic monsters. Alex Kurtzman ("Star Trek Into Darkness") and Chris Morgan ("Fast & Furious") are overseeing the interconnected stories, which will focus on "action-adventure" instead of horror. This summer's Dracula Untold kicked things off, and the next film in the universe will be the reboot of The Mummy, which will be in theaters June 24, 2016. Do you guys and gals like the addition of British »
As Universal powers full steam ahead with its plans to relaunch its library of classic movie monsters, red-hot writer Jay Basu (Monsters: Dark Continent) has become the latest scribe to join a brain trust being set up to mastermind the studio’s ambitious endeavor. It’s unclear which entry in Universal Monsters Basu will be personally heading up (if any), but his feedback will be incorporated into all projects under the banner.
Super-producers Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, The Amazing Spider-Man) and Chris Morgan (the Fast & Furious franchise) are serving as the architects of Universal Monsters, which will expand and join together a network of classic monsters. So far, Universal has also recruited Fargo scribe/creator Noah Hawley, Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski and Now You See Me scribe Ed Solomon to help with the effort. Out of those writers, only Guzikowski has been tasked with a specific script – for The Wolfman.
- Isaac Feldberg
As previously reported by Deadline, Universal is developing a substantial new production endeavor that will expand and unify a network of classic characters and stories. The architects of that narrative are Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan. Kurtzman’s credits include Transformers, Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man, while Morgan is the writer behind five installments of Universal’s The Fast And The Furious franchise.
Basu’s action adventure The Pier, which he co-wrote with David Bowers, was recently voted runner up in the annual Brit List of best unproduced screenplays. Basu also co-penned Vertigo Films’ sequel Monsters: Dark Continent with writer-director Tom Green, which is in postproduction.
The prolific Basu first appeared on the Brit List at age 29 with GBH in 2008. Since then »
- Ali Jaafar
The original action drama series, Matador, which launched on El Rey Network in July, will not return for a second season. The show was created by Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and ended its 13 episode run in October. Despite initial high hopes for the drama – the pilot of which was directed by network founder Robert Rodriguez – low international sales apparently played a significant part in the network’s decision not to renew. In a statement regarding the cancellation, El Rey Network explained its choice.
“Ultimately, it was a business decision but to be clear, we were very proud of the series on every level – creatively it hit the mark and we are gratified that it celebrated diversity in front of the cameras and behind the scenes. We want to thank everyone involved, from the extraordinarily talented cast and crew to the amazing production team. We appreciate all that they have »
- Sarah Myles
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