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Warner Bros Acquires Global Book Sensation ‘The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair’; Ron Howard To Direct

2 hours ago

Exclusive: Warner Bros has acquired the Joel Dicker novel The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair for Ron Howard to direct and his Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer to produce with him. Deals are also in the works for Eugenie Grandval and Claire Lundberg to produce as well. Since published by the Swiss author, the novel has been a publishing phenomenon in Europe and especially in France, where is finished just behind Fifty Shades Of Grey, and Italy and Spain, where it outsold Dan Brown’s Inferno. It has sold over 2 million copies and won the prestigious Grand Prix du Roman and was nominated for the Prix Goncourt. Book was published by Bernard de Fallois’s Editions de Fallois. Published in France under the title La vérité sur l’affaire Harry Quebert, the novel is about a young superstar novelist who finds himself embroiled in a sensationalized murder mystery when his mentor, »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Chip Off The Austrian Oak? Patrick Schwarzenegger Joins ‘Scouts Vs. Zombies’

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Patrick Schwarzenegger has been cast in Scouts Vs. Zombies, the Paramount genre mash-up that will be directed by Christopher Landon. Schwarzenegger, son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, here plays the popular high school quarterback who is a rival to the boy scout troop. Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joseph Morgan and David Koechner also star. Andy Fickman, Todd Garner, Bryan Brucks and Betsy Sullenger are producing. Shooting is set to begin May 8. Patrick can next be seen in the Kevin Connolly-directed Dear Eleanor opposite Josh Lucas, Jessica Alba, Liana Liberato and Isabelle Fuhrman. He is repped by Management 360 and Bloom Hergott. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Scott Speedman Joins Patricia Clarkson For ‘October Gale’

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Scott Speedman is set to star opposite Patricia Clarkson in October Gale, the drama written and directed by Ruba Nadda. She also wrote and directed Cairo Time, which starred Clarkson. Speedman plays a mysterious man who, during a violent October storm, washes up on the shore of Helen Matthews’ remote island cottage, unconscious and bleeding from a gunshot wound. Clarkson plays the recently widowed doctor who takes him in, only to find that the shooter is coming back to finish the job and that the storm has cut them off from the mainland. Daniel Iron will produce through Foundry Films, and Christine Vachon will be exec producer through Killer Films. The film shoots in Canada in five weeks. This comes as the Atom Egoyan-directed The Captive – a film Speedman stars in with Ryan Reynolds, Rosario Dawson and Mireielle Enos — was selected as a Competition title at Cannes next month. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Wme Signs ‘Warrior’ Helmer Gavin O’Connor

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Wme has signed Gavin O’Connor, the writer-director of the superb generational fighter tale Warrior, the indie Tumbleweeds, cop drama Pride And Glory, and the U.S. Gold Medal-winning hockey team saga Miracle. O’Connor most recently directed the pilot that launched the FX series The Americans, and he came on to save the day when he signed on to direct Jane Got A Gun, the drama that stars Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor and Rodrigo Santoro. Relativity acquired the Western for release and will open the film later this year. O’Connor had been at CAA. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Felicity Jones To Star In Juan Antonio Bayona’s ‘A Monster Calls’

6 hours ago

Exclusive: Felicity Jones is making a deal to star in A Monster Calls, the Juan Antonio Bayona-directed adaptation of the Patrick Ness children’s fantasy novel. I’ve heard that she will play the character of Mum, and that the filmmakers are courting Liam Neeson for the role of the Monster, though I am not sure that will result in a deal. The film tells the tale of a young boy who attempts to deal with his mother’s illness and the bullying of classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that deal with courage, loss and faith. Ness wrote the book based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, and Ness and illustrator Jim Kay won Britain’s Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for the book which Ness has turned into a script. The film is a co-production between River Road Entertainment, »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Jackie Earle Haley To Helm ‘Criminal Activities’

6 hours ago

Exclusive: Jackie Earle Haley, who has made the most of a second career wind since his Oscar-nominated turn in Little Children, has made it to the directing chair. He’ll make his feature debut on Criminal Activities, an indie crime drama that stars John Travolta, Michael Pitt, Dan Stevens and Rebecca Da Costa. Haley will also appear in the film. Pic is about four young guys who reunite at an ex-classmate’s funeral. One mentions to the others inside information on a stock that is a guaranteed lock to make them instant millionaires. Unfortunately, the deal goes south along with their investment. Things go from bad to worse: one of them borrowed his share of the money from a mobster. The film is a co-production between Capacity Pictures, Phoenix Rising Motion Pictures and Producer Capital Fund, and Wayne Rice, Howard Burd and Micah Sparks are producing. Mark Johnson, Warren Ostergard »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Sony Pictures Teams With Mattel To Fashion Film Franchise Based On Barbie Toyline

9 hours ago

Exclusive: Sony Pictures has found what the studio believes will be its next global franchise. The studio has closed a partnership with Mattel and Parkes+MacDonald/Image Nation on a live-action comedy built around Barbie, the top-selling fashion doll. This is no development deal, it’s all moving very quickly. Studio chief Amy Pascal oversaw this deal herself, along with production president Hannah Minghella, and this movie is getting made. Jenny Bicks is writing the script and the intention is to begin production before year’s end. The film will be produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who are also rebooting Men In Black for the studio. The exec producers are Parkes+MacDonald president Marc Resteghnini and Julia Pistor for Mattel’s Playground Productions. Studios prize franchises more than ever, and it is particularly a priority at Sony. The key to turning these brands into successful films comes down to execution, »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Disney Taps Jon Turteltaub To Direct ‘It’s A Small World’ Feature Film

22 April 2014 5:16 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Appropriate considering today is the 50th anniversary of the creation of the It’s A Small World attraction that has been such a staple of the Disney theme parks, the movie studio has hired Jon Turteltaub to direct a feature based on the venerable family film ride with the catchy tune. Jared Stern pitched Small World and will write the script. He, Turteltaub and The Lego Movie‘s Dan Lin will be the producers. This one will take awhile to come together but it is envisioned as a potential franchise for the studio. Turteltaub is coming off the CBS Films hit comedy Last Vegas, a movie that has grossed $134 million worldwide. For Disney, Turteltaub directed the first two installments of National Treasure and is working on a third with producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Stern is repped by Wme, managers Marc Provissiero and Helena Heyman and attorney Karl Austen, while Turteltaub is repped by Wme, »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Relativity Acquires U.S. On ‘Hector And The Search For Happiness’

22 April 2014 5:01 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Relativity has closed a 7-figure deal for U.S. distribution rights to Hector And The Search For Happiness, the Peter Chelsom-directed comedy that stars Simon Pegg, Toni Collette, Rosamund Pike, Stllan Skarsgard, Jean Reno and Christopher Plummer. Relativity has dated the film for a September 26 platform opening, expanding wider on October 3. The script was written by Maria von Heland, Chelsom & Tinker Lindsay. Related: Simon Pegg On A ‘Search For Happiness’ The film is based on the bestselling novel by François Lelord, and Pegg plays a disillusioned psychiatrist searching the globe to find the secret to happiness. The film is a co-production between Egoli Tossell Film, Erfttal Film and Screen Siren Pictures film, in association with Head Gear Films and Film House Germany. It was produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada, the German Federal Film Board (Ffa), Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the German Federal Film Fund (Dfff). It was »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Millennium Sets Andy Fickman For ‘My Owner’s Wedding’

22 April 2014 4:19 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Andy Fickman has been set by Millennium Films to direct My Owner’s Wedding, a romantic comedy about two eligible young women, the guy they both want, and his dog. The latter will go to any length to make sure his owner winds up with the right girl. Fickman is coming off Parental Guidance and helmed the hits Race To Witch Mountain and The Game Plan. He is also exec producer and is directing the Disney Channel’s series Liv And Maddie and is producing and directing the Off-Broadway production Heathers The Musical, based on the cult teen movie. Fickman is directing Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, with Kevin James reprising for Sony, and Fickman’s producing the self-explanatory Scouts Vs. Zombies for Paramount. My Owner’s Wedding was scripted by Robert Cary (Anything But Love) and Jonathan Tolins, whose Buyer And Cellar is playing off-Broadway. The film is produced by Cary, »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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‘Morgan Spurlock Presents’ Label Hatched By Filmmaker’s Warrior Poets, Virgil Films & Abramorama

22 April 2014 1:51 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Morgan Spurlock‘s production company Warrior Poets has partnered with indie distributors Virgil Films and Abramorama to form the label Morgan Spurlock Presents. The plan is to acquire and release distinctive fiction and documentary features theatrically and on cable VOD. Two films are first up under the new venture and will be released this year: A Brony Tale, the docu that premieres Saturday at Tribeca and centers on the cultural phenomenon of men obsessed with Hasbro’s My Little Pony, the magical talking horse toys. It is set for a July bow. The other is Two: The Story Of Roman & Nyro, from Heather Winters, the exec producer of Spurlock’s Oscar-nominated breakout docu Super-Size Me. It follows rock songwriter Desmond Child and his longtime partner Curtis Shaw Child as they raise their two sons. Related: Tribeca Trailer: ‘A Brony Tale’ Under the model, films the companies discover that have »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Stuart Manashil Bolsters Wme Lit List

22 April 2014 1:08 PM, PDT

Exclusive: When seasoned agents leave one major percentery for another, the tale is told by how many clients change addresses with them. Back in March, Stuart Manashil made the leap to Wme after spending the past 6 1/2 years at CAA and before that spent six years at UTA. In what marks the third case — Dan Aloni and Warren Zavala were the first two — where agents pried their clients away from CAA, Manashil has strengthened Wme’s writer-director roster quite a bit. Related: Selena Gomez Signs With Wme Here’s who he brought with him: Alex Graves, who helmed the most recent Game Of Thrones episode; Pixar’s Day Of The Dead writer Matt Aldrich; Evil Dead‘s Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues; Carlos helmer Olivier Assayas; Simon Barrett (You’re Next); Henry Bean (Internal Affairs); Simon Brand (Default); Juan Campanella (The Secret In Their Eyes); John Dowdle & Drew Dowdle (Quarantine); Kieran Fitzgerald »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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New Regency & Plan B Go Genre By Acquiring ‘3 Videotapes’

22 April 2014 10:46 AM, PDT

Exclusive: New Regency, RatPac Entertainment and Plan B have acquired 3 Videotapes, a pitch by Ian McCulloch that puts both companies in the low-budget genre game. The film is an elevated thriller with aspects of The Ring and Memento. RatPac’s Brett Ratner is executive producer. New Regency’s Arnon Milchan and Brad Weston brought in Plan B last fall after they collaborated on Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave. They recently acquired The Operators, which will be developed as a star vehicle for Brad Pitt with Animal Kingdom helmer David Michôd to write and direct  The latter project is also being done with RatPac, with Pitt producing with his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, and Ratner exec producing. Wme reps McCulloch. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Alcon’s Johnny Depp Failure ‘Transcendence;’ What The Hell Happened?

21 April 2014 6:07 PM, PDT

Movies open every weekend. Some soar, some fail. Every once in a while a flop comes along that is so unexpected and devastating that everyone in town is left saying, “How the hell did that happen?” Recent examples include John Carter, The Lone Ranger and maybe even Pompeii or The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, even if the latter two sank without making much of a ripple. The $100 million Transcendence, the Johnny Depp-Morgan Freeman starrer that marked the directing debut of Chris Nolan’s vaunted cinematographer Wally Pfister, is one of those what-the-hell-happened films. Consider it grossed just $10.8 million domestic for its opening weekend, about half of Heaven Is For Real, a starless movie whose $12 million budget was likely less than Depp’s Transcendence salary. Heaven If For Real has grossed $30 million so far domestically and looks like a breakout sleeper hit. Related: Intl Bo: ‘Spider-Man 2′ Spins »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Danny Boyle In Talks For Steve Jobs Film

21 April 2014 4:04 PM, PDT

I can confirm that talks are down the road with Danny Boyle on the Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs movie at Sony, based on Walter Isaacson’s book. The deal is by no means sealed, but the studio is moving quickly to get this to the start line. A report in THR says Leonardo DiCaprio is the choice to star, and his name was in circulation at the very beginning when the book first was optioned by Sony with producers Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady, who were joined by Scott Rudin when Sorkin came aboard to adapt. DiCaprio just committed to The Revenant with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for fall, so the timing might not work. But this is a movie on a very fast track. Boyle’s repped by Wme. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Spielberg Circling Several Projects, Cold War Thriller Among Them

21 April 2014 10:22 AM, PDT

Sister publication Variety reporting Tom Hanks wants to star for Steven Spielberg in an untitled thriller scripted by Matt Charman. Not sure if this will be next, as DreamWorks poured cold water on the Cold War project when Deadline inquired a couple weeks ago after hearing it might be next for Spielberg. In this one, Hanks would play James Donovan, a prominent American attorney enlisted by the CIA during the Cold War to slip behind the iron curtain to negotiate the release of a pilot captured when his U2 spy plane is shot down over Russia. The prolific Marc Platt is the producer. I wonder if some of these projects, including the still-percolating Robopocalypse, will eventually square things financially for India-based Reliance, which sure seems to have so far come out on the short end of the stick after bankrolling a DreamWorks venture that seems to have run its course, »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Bravo, Joss Whedon For Online Launch Of Tribeca Pic

21 April 2014 7:40 AM, PDT

As a guy who has covered features my whole career, I find it distressing that the only time feature folks do risky things seems to be when they are making TV projects. Because theaters and studios can’t figure it out, films are frozen in an arcane system where you wait six months for a DVD and those who don’t want to wait, or see it in a theater, have no choice but to steal it. When they work in TV, these writer-directors play in a sandbox that gives viewers the ability to see that work, whenever and wherever they want to. Joss Whedon premiered a Brin Hill-directed micro-budget relationship film In Your Eyes at Tribeca, and announced right after that he’s making it available on Vimeo for five bucks. Obviously, Whedon makes a fortune on Marvel’s The Avengers movies, but he is onto something here, »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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17 articles



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