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Next Up For J.D. Salinger Docu: Film Distribution Deal To Follow S&S Book Pact

30 January 2013 9:23 AM, PST

2Nd Update, 9:23 Am: It has been quite a week for J.D. Salinger. The Shane Salerno documentary Salinger has been shown to only two parties so far, and in both cases, the result was a smashing deal. First to see it was the American Masters team, which quickly paid low-seven figures to license U.S. domestic TV rights and make it the 200th installment of the prestigious program in January. Second to see it were the Simon & Schuster editors, who quickly made a worldwide rights deal on the companion book, The Private War Of J.D. Salinger. Agency sources tell me that deal was closer to $2 million than $1 million for the sprawling book by David Shields and Salerno. It will be published in September, just ahead of the theatrical release. Next up: the feature distribution deal. I don’t get the impression there will be a big gang bang screening and »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Apa Signs ‘Reykjavik’ Scribe Kevin Hood

30 January 2013 9:22 AM, PST

Exclusive: Apa has signed UK screenwriter and playwright Kevin Hood. He most recently scripted Reykjavik, the Cold War drama that Participant Media has slated for production early this year with Ridley Scott producing, and Mike Newell directing Michael Douglas and Christoph Waltz. Hood also co-wrote Girl’s Night Out, a romantic comedy directed by Michael Hoffman, which is scheduled to start lensing this year. In addition to a long list of credits in British television, Hood co-created the BBC’s longest-running primetime crime drama Silent Witness. He also created and executive produced the network’s drama In A Land Of Plenty, based on the novel by Tim Pears. Hood is also known for his rewrite on the Miramax feature Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway. A successful playwright from 1987-1998, Hood wrote the plays Beached and Astronomer’s Garden. He also wrote British television drama including episodes of Medics, Grange Hill and Garrow’s Law. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Sony Pictures Classics Acquires ‘For No Good Reason’

30 January 2013 7:47 AM, PST

New York (January 30, 2013) – Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to Charlie Paul’s directorial debut, For No Good Reason from Itch Film. Foreign sales are being handled by Independent Film Sales. Charlie Paul, who has been a director in advertising for years and is a former artist himself, spent 10 years making For No Good Reason. Produced by Itch Film’s co-founder Lucy Paul, the intimate documentary portrait focuses on Ralph Steadman and features Johnny Depp observing Steadman’s fascinating working process at his home studio. Ralph Steadman is most frequently celebrated for his brilliant illustrations accompanying the writings of Hunter S Thompson, and their collaborations defined the Gonzo school of journalism that emerged to pick at the scabs of the American establishment during the turbulent eras of Vietnam and Nixon. Among his many achievements, Steadman has drawn political and satirical work informed by a deep social conscience, »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Warner Bros Gives Green Light To Movie Version Of HBO Series ‘Entourage’

29 January 2013 6:42 PM, PST

Exclusive: Aquaman star Vinnie Chase is back, baby. Warner Bros has tonight given the green light on a movie version of Entourage, the HBO series that ran from 2004-2011. That gives a reprise for the inside Hollywood exploits of the up and coming film star, his manager and agent, his under-appreciated TV actor brother and the childhood pal/driver who form his inner circle. The film will be directed by series creator Doug Ellin, who wrote the screenplay and who exec produced the series with Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson. Deals are starting to be made with Adrian Grenier, who played Chase, Kevin Connolly, who played his manager Eric “E” Murphy, Kevin Dillon, who played the actor’s brother Johnny Drama, Jerry Ferrara, who played their entrepreneurial driver Turtle, and Jeremy Piven, who played the show’s iconic type A talent agent Ari Gold. I’m sure Drama’s agent »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Wme Mints Seven New Partners

29 January 2013 5:23 PM, PST

Exclusive: Wme has expanded its partner roster by upping seven of its best and brightest to partnership status. The new partners are Warren Zavala, the talent agent who joined from CAA last year and whose clients include Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tobey Maguire; TV lit agent Tom Wellington (clients include Burn Notice creator Matt Nix and Jonah Nolan), talent agent Brad Slater (clients include Dwayne Johnson, and Kevin Costner), Motion Picture Lit agent Phil D’Amecourt (Neill Blomkamp, Wally Pfister, Laeta Kalogridis), Book agent Dorian Karchmar (Guy Fieri and Amoor Towles), and Personal Appearance agents Brent Smith (a music agent whose clients include Snoop Dogg and Frank Ocean) and Stacy Mark (who reps standup comics including Daniel Tosh). Deadline invites the new seven samurai to take a bow. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Warner Bros Ties Bradley Cooper To ‘Man From Primrose Lane’

29 January 2013 4:43 PM, PST

Exclusive: Warner Bros has acquired the James Renner novel The Man From Primrose Lane, and will develop it as a star vehicle for Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook star Bradley Cooper. Langley Park’s Kevin McCormick will produce with Cooper and his 22nd & Indiana banner, which is also based at the studio. The script will be written by Chad Feehan, a Southland writer whose script Beyond The Pale made the Black List. Published by Farrar, Staus and Giroux, the novel is about true-crime writer David Neff, who, in investigating the strange murder mystery of a recluse known as “the man with a thousand mittens,” quickly becomes obsessively embroiled in a chain of serial murders. The closer Neff comes to uncovering the true identity of the Man from Primrose Lane, the more he discovers his own dangerous connection to the series of crimes. He realizes in order to end the cycle of »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Aaron Sorkin Disappears From Hugh Jackman Broadway Musical ‘Houdini’

29 January 2013 4:15 PM, PST

Exclusive: Aaron Sorkin has dropped out of the Broadway production of Houdini, on which he was to make his librettist debut for a musical slated to star Hugh Jackman as the famous magician. Sorkin has put a lot of work into the musical, but had to drop out because of scheduling. He had to go back and write the second season of his HBO series creation The Newsroom, which will be broadcast in the summer. He’s also hard at work adapting the Walter Isaacson book Steve Jobs for a feature film for Sony Pictures on the Apple genius. That left him pressed to have enough time to finish the musical in time for the producer’s plan to open on Broadway during the 2013-2014 season. Sorkin’s reps are in conversations with the Houdini producers for them to continue developing the musical utilizing Sorkin’s initial concepts and other materials. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Ken Kwapis Plans Screen Version of ‘The Shaggs’; Musical About ’60s Gal Band

29 January 2013 12:20 PM, PST

Exclusive: Ken Kwapis and his In Cahoots shingle has teamed with writer/producer Joy Gregory to develop a feature adaptation of the off-Broadway musical The Shaggs: Philosophy Of The World. The musical is based on the real-life story of a trio of sisters whose late-’60s band polarized critics. They were dubbed visionary by some, while others called them the worst band in rock history, whose sound was reminiscent of cats being strangled. Gregory wrote the book for The Shaggs, with music and lyrics by Gunnar Madsen and the band itself. The musical recently played off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, where it was nominated this past year for a Lucille Lortel Award and a Drama Desk Award. Kwapis, Gregory and In Cahoots partner Alexandra Beattie will produce. Kwapis, who last helmed the whale tale Big Miracle, will direct and Gregory is writing the script. Kwapis, Beattie and Gregory secured the band »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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New Regency Acquires ‘Pyongyang;’ Gore Verbinski To Helm Steve Conrad Script

29 January 2013 11:02 AM, PST

Exclusive: New Regency has teamed with Gore Verbinski‘s Blind Wink banner on Pyongyang, a dark comedic film that Verbinski will direct and produce, based on the Guy Delisle graphic novel. Steve Conrad, who scripted The Pursuit Of Happyness and most recently the Ben Stiller-directed remake The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, is writing the screenplay. The film is about outsourcing run amok when a young animator sent to North Korea is accused of espionage. Verbinski’s next film, The Lone Ranger, opens through Disney in the summer and Blind Wink’s first project was the Oscar-winning Rango, which Verbinski directed. Both he and Conrad are repped by CAA. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Randi Michel Exits Wme To Head Principato-Young Gotham Outpost

29 January 2013 9:38 AM, PST

Exclusive: Longtime Wme agent and partner Randi Michel is leaving the agency to head the New York office of Principato-Young Entertainment. They are still working out the particulars regarding clients as she transitions from agent to manager, but it is expected that Sean Hayes, Queen Latifah and John Travolta will join her and remain Wme clients. Michel has been at Wma and then Wme for 21 years. Aside from the clients I mentioned above, she repped Hank Azaria, Steve Buscemi, Chris Diamantopoulos, David Duchovny, Jenna Elfman, Dan Fogler, Latifah’s production company Flavor Unit Entertainment, Hayden Panettierre, Odeya Rush, Ella Travolta, and Rufus Wainwright. Michel began in the Beverly Hills office of Wma before moving to its New York office seven years ago. “We have long admired Randi,” said Peter Principato and Paul Young. “She represents a diverse client base with originality and creativity. She’ll be an excellent leader to head our New York office. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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ICM Partners Signs Katie Holmes

29 January 2013 9:21 AM, PST

Exclusive: Katie Holmes has signed with ICM Partners. She leaves CAA. The move occurs just after the Broadway closing of the Theresa Rebeck play Dead Accounts, which Holmes starring in. She next appears in the untitled Christian Camargo-directed film with William Hurt, Jean Reno, Ben Wishaw, Mary Rylance and Allison Janney, and she also starred in Broadway in the revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons. I can remember when Holmes, thanks to her success as the Dawson’s Creek cutie, and she was building nice movie momentum in films like Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm, Curtis Hanson’s Wonder Boys and Sam Raimi’s The Gift. When she married the planet’s biggest movie star, Tom Cruise (a CAA fixture), it understandably overshadowed everything else. Now that she’s on her own, there is an opportunity for her to recapture that early mojo, either on TV or on the movie screen, »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Mike Fleming Q&As Harvey Weinstein: On Oscars, Sundance, Obama, And Getting The Web To Pay Up For Borrowed Content

28 January 2013 7:03 PM, PST

Exclusive: Last Monday, after a trade report had him skipping Park City for the D.C. inauguration, Harvey Weinstein met me in Sundance for what has become an annual sit down lunch. He and his COO David Glasser looked as tired as I felt—they brokered and I covered an all-night negotiation for Fruitvale, a film that went on to win all the big festival prizes. A fixture at Sundance since turning the festival into a lucrative marketplace with Steven Soderbergh’s crossover success sex, lies & videotape, Weinstein is as busy right now as a one-armed wallpaper hanger. Beyond his D.C. stature, Weinstein owns the last two Best Picture Oscars with The King’s Speech and The Artist, and he’s got Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchainedin this year’s wide-open race. He’s making a fortune on a film he didn’t release–The Hobbit–because he »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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42 West Ups Five To Managing Director Posts

28 January 2013 1:12 PM, PST

New York and Los Angeles – January 28, 2013 – Susan Ciccone, Linda Guerrero, Tom Piechura, Amanda Silverman, and Meredith O’Sullivan Wasson have been named Managing Directors of the entertainment public relations firm 42West, principal partners Leslee Dart, Amanda Lundberg, and Allan Mayer announced today. “In addition to being top-flight practitioners in their own right, these five PR professionals are the backbone of our firm and they represent its future leadership,” said Dart, Lundberg, and Mayer. “Their new titles are a reflection of the key role they have been playing for some time now in the rapid growth and gratifying success 42West has enjoyed.” 42West grew out of The Dart Group, which was launched by Leslee Dart in 2004. Amanda Lundberg teamed up with Dart a few months later. In 2006, after Allan Mayer joined the partnership, the company was rechristened 42West. Since then, 42West has grown to become the largest independently-owned public-relations firm in the entertainment industry. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Sundance: Participant Media Acquires Occupy Wall Street Docu ’99%’

28 January 2013 9:35 AM, PST

January 28, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Participant Media has acquired North American rights to Audrey Ewell & Aaron Aites’ documentary 99%–The Occupy Wall St. Collaborative Film, directed by Ewell & Aites, along with Lucian Read and Nina Krstic, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week. Following its theatrical run, the film will have its world television premiere on Participant’s new TV channel targeting millennials, scheduled to launch in August. Participant CEO Jim Berk said, “99% provides a fascinating and involving account of the genesis of one of the most dynamic social movements in recent years, leaving the viewer inspired and full of hope. With our new TV channel we can insure that this film will shine a light on important issue for a national audience.” As it does with all its films, Participant will mount a Social Action & Advocacy campaign designed to continue the conversation from the film into the community so »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Sundance: 108 Media/Paladin Genuflects To ‘Valley Of Saints’

28 January 2013 9:35 AM, PST

New York, NY (January 28, 2013) – While looking to expand its burgeoning slate from this year’s Sundance offerings, the 108 Media/Paladin partnership has just snared one of the most honored and acclaimed films from last year’s event, having acquired worldwide rights to Musa Syeed’s Valley Of Saints, it was announced by 108 Media CEO Abhi Rastogi and Paladin president Mark Urman. The film, which premiered in the World Cinema Competition at Sundance 2012, garnered both the Audience Award for Best Film as well as the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize, and has since gone on to play over 50 major domestic and international festivals to universal acclaim. Most recently it was nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography. 108 Media will begin selling foreign rights to Valley Of Saints in Berlin at next month’s European Film Market, with plans to take the film out in North America this summer. »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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Scandinavian Helmers Form Creative Alliance With Parts & Labor

28 January 2013 6:07 AM, PST

Breaking: Six of Scandinavia’s most prominent directors — Lone Scherfig, Per Fly, Ole Christian Madsen, Dagur Kari, Thomas Vinterberg and Janus Metz — have joined forces with producers Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy’s newly minted Parts & Labor International and Danish producers Nikolaj Vibe Michelsen & Jacob Jørgensen to form a co-op called Creative Alliance. Creative Alliance will develop designed to get each director to helm at least one English-language film for the international marketplace. Said the filmmakers: “We are eager to join forces and develop films together. To share our energy and expertise – as well as challenging each others craft and talent to ensure that every film reaches its full artistic and commercial potential.” The company’s aim is to combine the best of Scandinavian film traditions and practices with the strength and scale of the film industry in the U.S. All films made under the Creative Alliance banner »


- MIKE FLEMING JR

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