13 items from 2016
Paris — Wild Bunch TV has scored worldwide sales on “Medici: Masters of Florence,” Frank Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer’s upscale historical drama series starring Dustin Hoffman and Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”).
“Medici,” directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (“The Pillars of the Earth”) and produced by Lux Vide (“War and Peace”) in collaboration with Big Light Productions and Wild Bunch, has pre-sold to Sky (Germany), Sbs (Australia), eOne (New Zealand), Sony Pictures Television (Latin America), Dbs (Israel), Vrt (Belgium), Canal Plus (Poland), Lrt (Lithuania), Rtv (Slovenia), Rtvs (Slovakia), Canal Plus Overseas (French Speaking Africa), Hulu (Japan), Georgian Public ￼￼1 Broadcast (Georgia), and Btv (Bulgaria), among others.
As previously announced, the gripping family saga was also acquired by Sfr/Altice Group for France, French-speaking Belgium, and Luxembourg, and by Telefonica/Movistar Plus for Spain. All these deals were signed for first window-rights. Further sales are in negotiations for Britain and Scandinavia, along other other territories.
- Elsa Keslassy
Production started on Paramount's Transformers: The Last Knight back in June, although very little has been released regarding the plot. Director Michael Bay has been posting photos and video from the set ever since filming started, without revealing any story details. Today we have word that Once Upon a Time star Liam Garrigan has been cast as the mythical character King Arthur, which essentially confirms months of rumors swirling around the sequel.
Mashable broke the news earlier today, with the actor surprisingly playing the same role in this movie, King Arthur, as he did in the ABC fantasy series Once Upon a Time. Back in June, plot rumors surfaced that the story centers on Optimus Prime returning to Earth in search of a mysterious artifact, which has ties to both King Arthur and the magician Merlin. This report also reveals that Santiago Cabrera, who had previously been cast, is playing Merlin. »
Rothwell will pen the screenplay for an eight-part drama series, transposing the action from the Cold War era to today’s global war against terror.
“Jayson Rothwell’s modernization of ‘Code to Zero’ makes my story even more relevant for our world as it is today, while at the »
- Elsa Keslassy
In a sign of the growing convergence to be expected between Vivendi’s film and TV giant StudioCanal and Spanish telco Telefonica, the two companies have agreed on a major content deal for Section Zero, The Five and Spotless. Telefonica has picked up pay TV and Svod rights for Spain, as well as renewing its licensing deal for medieval epic The Pillars of the Earth, which was produced and distributed by Tandem Communications. Tandem is, of course, now owned by StudioCanal… »
In one of Vivendi’s biggest deals to date with Spain’s Telefonica, Vivendi-owned Studiocanal has licensed to Telefonica’s pay TV operator Movistar Plus a trio of TV series: “Section Zero,” “The Five” and “Spotless.” Movistar Plus has also renewed its licensing deal for “Pillars of the Earth.”
Deals take in pay TV and Svod rights to Spain on some of the latest TV plays by Luc Besson’s EuropaCop, which co-produced “Section Zero” and U.S. novelist Harlan Coben, whose “The Five” is the first series he has originated for TV.
The four-series pact on a clutch of Studiocanal’s banner series over 2015-2016 also marks the latest trading between Vivendi and Telefonica, one of Europe’s biggest telcos, which boasted a turnover of €47.2 billion ($52.6 billion) in 2015. Telefonica also owns Spain’s biggest pay TV operation, Movistar Plus, with 3.7 million subscriber households at the end of 2015, and has launched pay TV operations over much of »
- John Hopewell
Director-producer Ridley Scott will receive the 30th American Cinematheque award.
The presentation will take place on Oct. 14 at the Beverly Hilton.
Scott received Academy Award director nominations for “Black Hawk Down,” “Gladiator” and “Thelma and Louise.” Othe directing credits include “Alien,” “Black Rain,” “Blade Runner,” “The Duelists,” “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” “G.I. Jane,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “Legend,” “The Martian,” “Matchstick Men,” “Prometheus,” “Robin Hood,” “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “White Squall.”
“The American Cinematheque is extremely pleased to honor Ridley Scott as the 30th recipient of the American Cinematheque award at our celebration this year,” said American Cinematheque Chairman Rick Nicita. “To state it simply, Ridley Scott is one of the greatest directors in the history of the motion picture.”
- Dave McNary
Defiance vet Tony Curran will guest-star in the final two episodes of Season 4 as Joshua Vikner, an economics professor who has more than an academic interest in the villainess, TVLine has learned exclusively.
RelatedElementary Boss Talks ‘Alluring’ Family Twist, Whether [Spoiler] Is Coming
Professor Vikner has much to teach Sherlock and his father, Morland, about the past, in addition to playing a large role in their future.
The drama is the cabler’s first-ever scripted original series.
“Esquire Network proudly broke the genre barriers offering a series that combined elements of danger and drama with a sharp satirical edge,” said Matt Hanna, Esquire Network’s exec VP of original programming. “We are thrilled to once again partner with Tandem Productions and look forward to the wild ride of season two as we continue to gain momentum as a network and reach new heights.”
The Season 2 renewal comes in the midst of Esquire’s upward momentum, as the NBCUniversal-owned cabler wrapped up the first quarter of 2016 with significant growth, marking the net’s most-watched quarter ever among adults 25-54 and total viewers and the second most-watched quarter in the 18-49 demo.
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Cannes – Vivendi’s film-tv contents powerhouse Studiocanal has taken a 20% stake in Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company Sunny March TV and “Atlantis” producer Urban Myth Films, both based out of London, plus a 33% shareholding in Spain’s Bambu Producciones (“Velvet,” “Gran Hotel,” “Refugees”), producer of Netflix’s first original series in Spain.
Announced by Studiocanal chairman-ceo Didier Lupfer Monday at a Studiocanal MipTV press conference, all deals give Studiocanal distribution-sales rights to its new partners’ productions.
Equity stakes near double from five to eight Studiocanal’s portfolio of TV production houses. They also further Vivendi chair Vincent Bollore’s vision of Vivendi as Europe’s foremost contents factory, building up Europe-based talent-driven production partnerships, as well as, it seems, a pan-European pay TV platform network. Studiocanal now has over 100 TV projects in development, Lupfer said at Cannes.
Studiocanal already owns Germany’s Tandem and the U.K.’s Red Production Company, »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Ben Pyne, Disney Media Networks’s global distribution prexy, and Rola Bauer, Tandem Productions CEO/Studiocanal exec are among the five Medailles d’Honneur recipients who will be feted at the upcoming MipTV showcase in Cannes for their leadership and contribution to the international film and TV world.
The other honorees are Punit Goenka and Amit Goenka, the co-CEOs of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, and Marcel Vinay, president of Mexico’s Comarex.
“It is a tremendous honor to present these five outstanding personalities with the Miptv 2016 Médailles d’Honneur, which acknowledges how they each have made such a significant contribution to our industry, and whose exemplary leadership qualities are an inspiration to the entire sector,” said Laurine Garaude, Reed Midem’s television division topper.
An industry vet who’s worked for Disney for about 24 years, Pyne is responsible for the global and domestic distribution and sales of Disney’s entertainment »
- Elsa Keslassy
Starz and FremantleMedia North America announced today that Ian McShane (“Deadwood,” “Ray Donovan”) has been cast as Mr. Wednesday in the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods. The series will begin shooting in April.
Neil Gaiman said
“When you write a beloved character (beloved with, or despite, or because of all his faults) like Mr. Wednesday, you get to watch the internet trying to cast the role. I've seen a hundred names suggested, but few make me grin like Ian McShane does. I've already been lucky enough to have him in one film (he was bright blue in it, animated, and probably Polish). Now I count myself even luckier: he's made the journey from ‘Lovejoy’ to ‘American Gods.’ Yesterday was Super Tuesday. Today is Wonderful Wednesday.”
“Actor. Icon. And now god. It is a goddamn delight to »
- Kellvin Chavez
McShane will play the key role of Mr. Wednesday opposite Ricky Whittle’s Shadow Moon. The plot centers around Shadow, an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday, as the pair become drawn into a battle between the old gods of ancient mythology, and the new gods of money, media and technology.
Production on the series begins in April in Toronto. Bryan Fuller and Michael Green (who worked with McShane on NBC’s shortlived but critically acclaimed “Kings”) serve as executive producers, writers and showrunners on the series. Gaiman will also write episodes of the hotly-anticipated adaptation.
- Laura Prudom
The big screen will take over the small screen for one evening only when the 88th Academy Awards air Feb. 28 on ABC.
RelatedWinter TV Preview! Your Scoop-Filled Guide to 20+ Returning Favorites
And based on Thursday’s announcement of Oscar nominees, it’s clear that a handful of TV’s MVPs will infiltrate cinema’s biggest night, hosted by Chris Rock.
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Brie Larson (The United States of Tara), Rachel McAdams (True Detective), Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall), Tom Hardy (Peaky Blinders, the upcoming Taboo), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Revenge, Showtime’s upcoming Twin Peaks revival) and Eddie Redmayne »
13 items from 2016
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