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

12 hours ago

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’

12 hours ago

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’

13 hours ago

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

15 hours ago

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

16 hours ago

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’

18 hours ago

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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