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‘Lord of the Rings’ Spoke to 1960s College Kids — and to United Artists

‘Lord of the Rings’ Spoke to 1960s College Kids — and to United Artists
Happy birthday, Frodo. J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” debuted July 29, 1954; the next two books were published separately in the next 15 months. Tolkien’s popularity in the U.S. climbed significantly in 1965, when Ballantine printed a revised paperback edition.

When United Artists acquired film rights to “Rings” in 1969, Variety explained that the books’ success was fueled by students, adding that the trilogy “preceded marijuana and LSD in making the younger generation flip.” For years, “Rings” continued to fascinate but frustrate filmmakers. Among those who flirted with film adaptations were Walt Disney, John Boorman and the Beatles; Ralph Bakshi did a 1978 animated version. But a live-action version went nowhere until 1998, when Peter Jackson made a successful pitch to New Line’s Bob Shaye.

On Aug. 31, 1998, Variety announced that New Line would commit $130 million to perhaps the biggest gamble in the history of movies: Jackson would make three films simultaneously. If
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Horror Highlights: Salem Horror Fest, Domitianus, Midnighters, Dances with Films 2017, Good Time

George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead will be featured at the Salem Horror Fest, and we have info on the special screening. Also in today's Horror Highlights is an excerpt from Nicholas Forristal's Domitianus, stills from Midnighters, Dances with Films 2017 details, and the trailer for A24's Good Time.

Salem Horror Fest: Press Release: "Salem, Ma. - Salem Horror Fest, in partnership with the Peabody Essex Museum and CinemaSalem, today announced four weeks of screenings, parties, concerts, panels and exhibits that explore societal themes of fear and anxiety in horror at the Halloween capital of the world; Salem, Massachusetts

Amidst the notorious backdrop of the 1692 Witch Trials, the festival will feature a city-wide program set to kick off at the Peabody Essex Museum on Thursday, September 21 as part of the Pem/Pm evening party series in conjunction with their upcoming exhibit “It’s Alive” Classic Horror and Sci-Fi
See full article at DailyDead »

16 Things You Didn’t Know About the Making of ‘Lord of the Rings’

16 Things You Didn’t Know About the Making of ‘Lord of the Rings’
When “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” opened on Dec. 19, 2001, it was the culmination of one of the most audacious and successful bets ever made in the movie business. The three films in the series were shot back to back and grossed $2.9 billion dollars — not bad for a trilogy that very nearly didn’t get made.

Why did it take so long after the J.R.R. Tolkien books were published to see a “Lord of the Rings” film? And how did Peter Jackson, who wasn’t a well-known director at the time, end up directing all three? Here are some of the steps it took to put “Lord of the Rings” onscreen.

Hippies helped the Hobbits: The books were published starting in 1954 in England, but didn’t become popular in the U.S. until the mid-1960s, at the height of the Vietnam War, when war protesters and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Im Global Television Sets First-Look Pact With David Goyer

Writer-producer David Goyer has set a first-look pact with Im Global Television.

Goyer, a screenwriter on Christopher Nolan’s three “Batman” films in addition to a slew of other fantasy and sci-fi films, is developing two projects with the indie distributor run by Stuart Ford. Mark Stern, head of Im Global Television, said Goyer and his producing partner, Kevin Turen, are in sync with the type of fantasy and supernatural dramas that Im Global wants to bring to television.

“David and Kevin are the top creative and producing talents in our field,” Stern said. “Their taste and expertise are a perfect fit for the type of content we are focusing on. ”

Goyer said Im Global was appealing because of its independence and the ability if offers his Phantom Four banner to work with buyers across the landscape, unlike larger studios affiliated with networks.

“Kevin and I were looking to do something outside the box. Because
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Im Global Television, David Goyer sign first-look pact

  • ScreenDaily
The parties have agreed to an exclusive two-year first-look TV deal that sees Goyer already on board as executive producer on previously announced I, Rebel as well as Golden State.

I, Rebel is a sci-fi series created by Dana and Siavash Farahani about a lost astronaut who returns to Earth after eight years and leads a rebellion against humanoid alien masters.

Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky will also serve as executive producers, while Goyer’s Phantom Four president Kevin Turen will produce.

Golden State (working title) is also in development with Goyer and is a seasonal anthology series that tells the story of the Los Angeles Police Department over 150 years from the 1850’s culminating with the La Riots in 1992.

Jake Lee Hanne is set to write the series, with Turen and Linne Radmin of the Radmin Company attached to produce.

Im Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford and Im Global Television president Mark Stern announced the deal
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Mark Ordesky, Jane Fleming Ink First-Look Deal With Constantin Film

Constantin Film is teaming up with Mark Ordesky and Jane Fleming of Court Five Productions. Constantin and Court Five just signed a first-look deal with plans to develop and produce TV and feature projects together. Court Five was founded by former New Line Cinema executives Fleming and Ordesky, who were responsible for more than 60 films while at New Line and Fine Line Features. Ordesky was executive producer on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, spending five years…
See full article at Deadline »

Us Briefs: Imagine, Anew, Bandai Namco hire 'Tiger & Bunny' writer

  • ScreenDaily
Us Briefs: Imagine, Anew, Bandai Namco hire 'Tiger & Bunny' writer
Plus: Paul Haggis keynore set for Script To Screen summit in Toronto; Cartagena Film Festival announces 2017 dates; and more…

Ellen Shanman will adapt Tiger & Bunny for Imagine Entertainment, All Nippon Entertainment Works (Anew) and Bandai Namco Pictures.

The live-action English-language feature is based on the Japanese anime series and feature films set in a near-futuristic city where professional superheroes known fight crime.

Shanman is the author of the novels Right Before Your Eyes and Everything Nice, which she adapted for Charlize Theron’s Denver & Delilah Productions.

Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Anew CEO Sandy Climan and Annmarie Bailey will produce with Masayuki Ozaki on behalf of Bandai Namco Pictures.

Paul Haggis will deliver the keynote address at Winston Baker’s Script To Screen Summit in Toronto on September 9. Panel participants include Telefilm Canada feature film executive Stephanie Azam, ICM Partners head of international and independent film Jessica Lacy, Elevation Pictures head Laurie May, Covert Media founder
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Exclusive: Official ‘Dances with Films Film’ Festival Poster

True to independent films, Dances with Films film festival will be celebrating its 19th year and sharing the festival week with the Los Angeles Films Festival in June.

Over 100 independent films will be shown from June 2nd through June 12th at the family Hollywood’s Tcl Chinese Theaters.

The festival based solely on merit and discoverability and mandating that all competitive films have no known actors, writers, directors or producers.

Legendary producer Steve Tisch joined the Dwf esteemed Advisory Board last festival season. One of the most successful producers in the motion picture industry, Steve has produced such films as Risky Business, The Pursuit of Happyness, The Weather Man, Seven Pounds, Knowing, The Taking of Pelham 123, The Back-Up Plan, and Hope Springs. A pantheon of industry heavyweights, Dwf’s Advisory Board also includes: Cindy Cowan, Jonathan Dana, Steve Elzer, Kevin Kasha, Eriq La Salle, Michael Lehmann, Mike Macari, Valerie McCaffrey,
See full article at LRM Online »

‘Blair Witch Project’ Co-Director Eduardo Sanchez To Direct ‘Sevenfold’ For Blumhouse – SXSW

‘Blair Witch Project’ Co-Director Eduardo Sanchez To Direct ‘Sevenfold’ For Blumhouse – SXSW
Exclusive: Blumhouse is teaming up with The Blair Witch Project‘s co-director Eduardo Sanchez on the new horror movie Sevenfold. Story details are being kept under wraps for the micro-budget feature written by Jaime Nash. Mark Ordesky, Jane Fleming and Gregg Hale are producing. Meanwhile at SXSW, Blumhouse has three movies – Hush, In A Valley of Violence and Alive and Kicking, a swing dance doc directed by Susan Glatzer. The debut screening of it just ended and the…
See full article at Deadline »

Filmmaker's Book of the Dead (Second Edition) Book Signing at Dark Delicacies

By Jonathan Weichsel

MoreHorror.com

The Filmmaker's Book of the Dead is written by Danny Draven with a forward by Charles Band, owner of Full Moon Pictures.

The book features interviews with Mick Garris (Sleepwalkers, Bag of Bones, Desperation, The Stand,) John Ottman (Composer/Editor of X:Men: Days of Future Past, The Usual Suspects,) Mark Ordesky & Jane Fleming (Producers of Lovely Molly, Exists,) Kane Hodder (Jason from the Friday the 13th, part 7 to 10, Hatchet,) Tibor Takacs (Director of The Gate, Spiders 3D, Megasnake,) John Debney (Composer of Predators, Sin City, End of Days,) Jojo Draven (Composer of Patient Seven, Ghost Month, Reel Evil,) Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes, Weird Science,) Mike Mendez (Director of The Gravedancers, Big Ass Spider,) Neal Marshall Stevens (Screenwriter of Thir13en Ghosts, Hellraiser: Deader,) Chris Alexander (Former Editor in Chief of Fangoria Magazine, Filmmaker,) Jessica Cameron (Actress/Director of Truth or Dare,) Denise Gossett (Founder
See full article at MoreHorror »

News Bits: Hellboy, Mission, Tiger, Mario

Hellboy 3

A few weeks ago actor Ron Perlman spoke about the possibility of a third film in Guillermo del Toro's supernatural action series "Hellboy," a film that would essentially close off the series. It seemed highly unlikely, but Perlman attempted to rally support for the project on social media.

A new Instagram posting today from him suggests it may have worked, the actor posting a photo of Hellboy and saying: "Lurking… Waiting… And then, poof… One more Roman numeral after the name… As if by magic."

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Paramount Pictures and Skydance today announced that five minutes of "Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation" will debut exclusively in IMAX cinemas one month prior to its theatrical release. The sneak peek at the highly anticipated summer film will play on 363 IMAX screens in front of "Terminator Genisys" in North America. [Source: Paramount]

The White Tiger

Producer Mark Ordesky ("The Lord of the Rings
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Footballer Casey Therriault Biopic in the Works at Sony

Footballer Casey Therriault Biopic in the Works at Sony
“Lord of the Rings” producer Mark Ordesky is developing with DeVon Franklin and Sony Pictures a biopic revolving around embattled football player Casey Therriault.

Ordesky disclosed the project Thursday during a panel session at Variety‘s Purpose Summit focusing on family and faith-based entertainment. Ordesky said the pic is tentatively tiled “The White Tiger.” Ben Younger (“The Boiler Room”) has written the script and will direct.

Project tells the story of the promising collegiate football prospect whose life was shattered after a bar fight landed him in prison in 2008. After serving a six-month sentence, a historically African-American college, Jackson State, in Mississippi gave the quarterback, who is white, a second chance at football and at life.

Ordesky and Jane Fleming of Court Five are producing with Franklin and Bobby Smith of Ashore Entertainment.

Last year Franklin segued from his exec post at Sony Pictures to a first-look deal as a producer.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Faith Driven Advocates to Appear at #PurposeSummit

Christian advocacy organization Faith Driven Consumer will be joining a panel on faith-based entertainment at Variety’s #PurposeSummit in Los Angeles’ Four Seasons Beverly Hills June 25. The panel—titled Winning the Pastor and the Pew: How to Get the Must-Reach Faith Driven Consumer™ Audience to Endorse and Support Your Project—will be moderated by Fdc’s founder Chris Stone and will include prominent industry professionals including “Lord of the Rings” producer Mark Ordesky of Court Five Entertainment; Mpower Pictures president John Shepherd; and executive vice president of Td Jakes Enterprises Derrick Williams. Variety’s day-long event titled Purpose: The Family Entertainment & Faith-Based Summit is dedicated to the growth of faith-based and family-friendly programming. “In understanding the power of the Faith Driven Consumer, the entertainment industry is at the tip of the spear, ahead of corporate retail brands in the race to attract this customer base,” said Stone in a statement.
See full article at Backstage »

Im Global’s Young TV Division Boots Up With Eight Projects

In August, Im Global launched a television division, Im Global Television, and now has eight projects in various stages of development.

“Our plan was very much to be methodical, and we’re well ahead of where I expected,” says Mark Stern, president of Im Global Television. Actually, Stern and his assistant comprise the entire television division, although he expects to add a development executive once they have a series or two in production.

Having next to no staff might seem daunting, but Stern enjoys the entrepreneurial vibe and the support he gets from the rest of the company’s infrastructure. He says Im Global founder-ceo Stuart Ford’s focus on pursuing new challenges, entertaining new business approaches and diving right into projects perfectly complements today’s rapidly changing TV landscape.

“It’s an exciting time for television, and there’s great opportunity if you can be flexible and look for
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Im Global Television to make ‘Cat’s Cradle’

  • ScreenDaily
Co-founders Stuart Ford and Mark Stern have announced a raft of new product led by a swoop on rights to Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical bestseller.

Im Global Television plans to hire a “high-level writer-showrunner” on Cat’s Cradle. Brad Yonover is on board as executive producer and Elkins Entertainment’s Sandi Love will serve as co-executive producer.

The company has also obtained rights to the Darkover sci-fi-fantasy series by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Ilene Kahn Power and Elizabeth Stanley are the executive producers.

Im Global Television is out to buyers with the crime drama Den Of Thieves to star Carla Gugino. Trigger Street’s Dana Brunetti and Kevin Spacey will serve as executive producers and Sebastian Gutierrez has written the first 10 episodes and plans to direct.

The company is also developing the six-hour mini-series 1906, which chronicles the San Francisco earthquake and fire of that year. Writer David S Ward will serve as executive producer with director Martin Campbell. Mark
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Stephen King’s Cell Movie Acquired for Us Distribution, New Image Revealed

  • DailyDead
Get ready stateside filmgoers, because the “phoners” (aka “crazies”) are coming to the Us. Stephen King fans know that the master of macabre doesn’t like using cell phones. His 2006 novel, Cell, is a cautionary tale about what can go wrong by pressing portable phones to our ears and keeping them close at hand in our pockets, and its unflinching subject matter contains flocks of murderous lunatics that would be right at home in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, George A. Romero’s The Crazies, or Simon Clark’s Blood Crazy.

We knew this unique King novel was getting the adaptation treatment, with King co-writing the screenplay and John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in the lead roles, but we’re now one big step closer to seeing it on the silver screen, as Clarius Entertainment has acquired the Us rights to the movie.

Slated to hit theaters this year,
See full article at DailyDead »

"Butterfly Circus" Short Becomes A Feature

"The Lord of the Rings" trilogy producers Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky are set to produce a feature film adaptation of the popular 2009 short film "The Butterfly Circus" for Court Five.

The original short followed a renowned circus troupe traveling through America at the height of the Great Depression. When the circus discovers a man without limbs (played by motivational speaker Nick Vujicic) being exploited at a carnival sideshow, he decides to join the troupe.

The short has been streamed forty million times, has nabbed three dozen festival awards, and has been subtitled or dubbed “The Butterfly Circus” into twenty-five different languages.

Like the short, Josh and Rebekah Weigel are penning the script for the feature which will be directed by Josh Weigel. The pair will also produce and filming aims to begin later this year.

Source: Variety
See full article at Dark Horizons »

‘The Butterfly Circus’ Movie in the Works (Exclusive)

‘The Butterfly Circus’ Movie in the Works (Exclusive)
Court Five’s Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky will produce a feature film adaptation of the popular short film “The Butterfly Circus.”

The film, unveiled in 2009, has been streamed 40 million times and continues to grow by one million views monthly with three dozen festival awards. Fans have subtitled and dubbed “The Butterfly Circus” into 25 languages.

As with the short film, the feature project is written by Josh and Rebekah Weigel and will be directed by Josh Weigel. The Weigels will also produce with Court Five.

The Butterfly Circus” centers on a renowned circus troupe traveling through the devastated American landscape at the height of the Great Depression. When the circus discovers a man without limbs being exploited at a carnival sideshow, he decides to join the troupe.

The short film starred motivational speaker Nick Vujicic, who was born without arms or legs.

The Butterfly Circus is a magical exploration of the transformative power of hope,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Peter Jackson on the End of His Middle Earth Odyssey

Peter Jackson on the End of His Middle Earth Odyssey
The Dec. 17 debut of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” marks both an end and a beginning for Peter Jackson.

It represents the culmination of his 16-year, six-film J.R.R. Tolkien marathon — an outsized success in duration, execution, visual-effects wizardry and overall popularity. No director in history has maintained tighter control over the creative direction of a global film franchise, which so far has amassed close to $5 billion in ticket sales alone.

But after bringing his Middle-earth spectacles to the masses, the world’s most famous Kiwi is ready to downsize and return to his low-budget roots: The 53-year-old director-producer-screenwriter is working on adapting several true stories about his native country, with his longtime partner Fran Walsh, that he says will be similar in tone and scope to his 1994 murder tale, “Heavenly Creatures.”

“We really feel a bigger urge now to not continue with another Hollywood blockbuster for a while,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Walk of Fame Honoree Peter Jackson Leaped From Micros to Major Hits

Walk of Fame Honoree Peter Jackson Leaped From Micros to Major Hits
Peter Jackson’s unexpected journey to the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Dec. 8 began with an exercise in “Bad Taste.”

That’s the title of Jackson’s ultra-low budget 1987 directorial debut, but unless you’re a hardcore fan, you’ve probably never seen the bizarre sci-fi gross-out comedy about aliens looking to turn humans into low-calorie delicacies for an intergalactic fast food chain.

In addition to directing, Jackson served as writer, producer, cinematographer, co-editor and the head of makeup and special effects. On top of all that, he cast himself in two leading roles: nasty alien Robert (who has a beard) and human extraterrestrial-buster Derek (sans facial hair). In one memorable sequence, Robert pushes Derek off a cliff. (He survives, but cracks his skull and tries to prevent his brain from leaking out for the rest of the film.)

Jackson made the film on weekends over a four-year period, while
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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