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Motion Picture Literary Agent Bill Zotti Leaves CAA For UTA

Motion picture literary agent Bill Zotti has joined UTA from CAA, where he was an agent for the past 12 years. In making the move, he returns to the agency where he started his career. Zotti will start working in UTA’s Los Angeles office this week. At CAA, he represented a roster of high-profile writers, directors and producers including Scott Neustadter, Michael Weber, Kenya Barris, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Michael Colton, John Aboud, Katie Silberman, Craig…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Veteran Lit Agent Bill Zotti Joins UTA

UTA has hired motion picture literary agent and industry veteran Bill Zotti.

Zotti joins the agency from CAA, where he was an agent for the past 12 years. At CAA, Zotti represented a roster of high-profile writers, directors, and producers that included Scott Neustadter, Michael Weber, Kenya Barris, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Michael Colton, John Aboud, Katie Silberman, Craig Mazin, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, and Jeff Tremaine, to name a few.

“Over the years, we have continued to be impressed by Bill’s reputation, work ethic and extensive relationships,” said UTA co-president and motion picture head David Kramer. “He will be a tremendous asset to our group and we are excited to welcome him back to agency.”

Zotti began his career in entertainment in the UTA mailroom and went on to work at Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann before landing at CAA.

“In the years since beginning my career in the UTA mailroom,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

CAA Motion Picture Lit Agent Bill Zotti Moves Back To UTA

UTA has hired Motion Picture Literary Agent Bill Zotti, who is moving over from CAA where he was stationed the past 12 years. His roster of high-end writers, directors and producers include Scott Neustadter, Michael Weber, Kenya Barris, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Michael Colton, John Aboud, Katie Silberman, Craig Mazin, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra and Jeff Tremaine among others. He begins work this week in the Los Angeles office. It’s a return to the agency of sorts…
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

Motion Picture Lit Agent Bill Zotti Exits CAA for UTA

Years after starting his entertainment career in the UTA mailroom, motion picture literary agent Bill Zotti is returning to the agency, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. He starts in UTA's Beverly Hills office this week.

As an agent at CAA for the past 12 years, Zotti's clients included The Disaster Artist's Oscar-nominated screenwriters, Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber; Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, Harold & Kumar scribes Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg; Penguins of Madagascar writers Michael Colton and John Aboud; How to Be Single co-producer Katie Silberman; Cowboy Ninja Viking writer Craig Mazin; This Is Us executive producers John Requa and Glenn Ficarra;...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

All but one of the food fights in A Futile and Stupid Gesture really happened

The Netflix film A Futile and Stupid Gesture tells the story of National Lampoon founder Doug Kenney (Will Forte). When he is at Harvard with Henry Beard (Domhnall Gleeson), they start a food fight. It’s easy to observe the food fight is a motif that would inspire the later National Lampoon film Animal House. The film’s screenwriters confirmed food fights were a regular event with Kenney. “We knew when we wanted to show the scenes of college at Harvard that it was a fun way to start it with a food fight,” Michael Colton said. “In the book, that was...read more
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

A Futile and Stupid Gesture: Did That Ending Really Happen?

  • BuzzSugar
The new Netflix biopic A Futile and Stupid Gesture depicts the triumphs and personal struggles of comedy writer Doug Kenney, the founder of the renowned National Lampoon humor magazine. Comedy fans are likely to be familiar with writer's tragic fate - at the age of 33, Kenney fell off a cliff while vacationing in Hawaii. The movie cuts from a scene of Kenney sitting on a cliff to one of his friend Henry Beard receiving a phone call about his death, making no speculation about how the comedian dies. However, it drops a wild, twist ending that no one saw coming, taking creative liberties in depicting what actually happened at Kenney's funeral. We're talking about that crazy food fight at the funeral. In a surrealist setup, we see Kenney and an older version of himself watching friends and family pay their respects. Bill Murray notes, "Every funny person in the world is here.
See full article at BuzzSugar »

‘A Futile and Stupid Gesture’ Review: David Wain’s Netflix Comedy About ‘National Lampoon’ Is Perfectly Described by its Title — Sundance 2018

It’s hard to talk about “A Futile and Stupid Gesture” — a somewhat funny and largely conventional movie about a very funny and wholly unconventional man — without talking about the film’s borderline-insane framing device. If you know absolutely nothing about “National Lampoon” co-founders Doug Kenney (Will Forte) and Henry Beard (Domhnall Gleeson), and would like to keep it that way until David Wain’s biopic can illuminate you on its own terms, consider this a reluctant spoiler warning. For everybody else… well, it’s certainly a choice.

Here’s the gist: Adapted from Josh Karp’s book of the same name, “A Futile and Stupid Gesture” retraces the true story of how two subversive Harvard grads took the road less traveled, started the most dangerous satirical magazine in American history, and became ground zero for a generation of comics that included the likes of Bill Murray and Gilda Radner.
See full article at Indiewire »

Futile and Stupid Gesture Trailer Charts the Rise of National Lampoon

Netflix has released the first trailer for their upcoming biopic A Futile & Stupid Gesture, starring Will Forte as comedy wunderkind Doug Kenney. While this icon might not necessarily be a household name, he co-created the National Lampoon magazine, along with co-writing comedy classic movies Caddyshack and Animal House. Kenney was at the center of the 70's comedy counter-culture which gave birth to Saturday Night Live and a whole generation's way of looking at the world. The trailer hints that the movie will take quite a unique approach, with Will Forte playing Doug Kenney in the 1970s, and Martin Mull playing the "modern-day" Doug Kenney... even though he's been dead for 37 years.

The trailer begins with someone asking Martin Mull, in character as "modern-day" Doug, who is asked by his interviewer if he could introduce himself as, "the man who changed comedy, but couldn't change himself," which lead Mull to respond with,
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘A Futile and Stupid Gesture’ Trailer: Will Forte Stars As Comedy Legend in David Wain’s Sundance-Bound Biopic

‘A Futile and Stupid Gesture’ Trailer: Will Forte Stars As Comedy Legend in David Wain’s Sundance-Bound Biopic
It’s fitting that David Wain’s upcoming, Sundance-bound biopic “A Futile and Stupid Gesture” appears to ably — and amusingly — blend fact and fiction to serve up a unique slice of mostly-true goodness. The film, which will debut on Netflix next month, follows the real-life exploits of Doug Kenney (played by Will Forte, with Martin Mull stepping in to play an older version), “National Lampoon” co-founder and “Caddyshack” and “Animal House” screenwriter.

As Entertainment Weekly notes, “His comic seeds blossomed everywhere, and then…he was gone, a victim of his own excesses and inner demons.” (While Mull plays an older Kenney, he actually died back in 1980, at the age of 33.)

Read More:‘The Last Man on Earth’ Review: Will Forte Goes Down With the Ship in a Surprising Season 3 — And Series? — Finale

When it comes to his inspiration for making the film, it was easy, as Wain told EW, “You
See full article at Indiewire »

Newswire: Veep’s Matt Walsh will get down with Melissa McCarthy in Life Of The Party

The Veep gang may all be going their separate ways after a hard-won defeat at the polls, but Matt Walsh is keeping busy. He stars in the upcoming Keeping Up With The Joneses, along with the impossibly-beautiful Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm. The Office Christmas Party actor was also recently cast in A Stupid And Futile Gesture, the National Lampoon origin story starring Will Forte, which was written by Walsh’s Childrens Hospital collaborators, Michael Colton and John Aboud. The details of his latest role are being kept tightly under wraps, but Variety reports that Walsh has signed on for Melissa McCarthy’s Life Of The Party.

The film is McCarthy’s latest collaboration with husband Ben Falcone, who will direct. It’s already been scheduled for release on May 11, 2018. Plot info is scant, but Life Of The Party is reportedly similar in tone to Back To School ...
See full article at The AV Club »

‘Champion’ Dad Comedy Produced By Mila Kunis Gets Fox Put Pilot Commitment

Champion: The Jeff Beekman Story, a single-camera comedy penned by Penguins of Madagascar co-writers Michael Colton & John Aboud and produced by Mila Kunis, has landed at Fox with a put pilot commitment. ABC Studios is the studio. Champion chronicles the everyday experiences of a hyper-competitive but perpetual underdog dad presented like a sports documentary, with commentary and analysis. Said the writers, “Because sometimes dealing with your family can be as dramatic as…
See full article at Deadline TV »

The Penguins Of Madagascar review

DreamWorks Animation spins Madagascar's penguins out into a funny spy caper of their own. Comes with bonus Werner Herzog.

When it comes to the Madagascar series of films, there are the main characters, and then there are those scene-stealing penguins. They're the secret bedrock of the series, the funniest characters in the bunch, the consistent comic relief who both ground the films and heighten the craziness of the shenanigans and goings-on. It's not a surprise that the penguins have been the stars of most of the Madagascar spin-offs, including their own television series and a bunch of specials. It's not a surprise that, with the Madagascar gang having wrapped up a pretty solid trilogy of entertaining flicks, that the first spin-off be given to the comic relief.

The penguins are the most entertaining characters in Madagascar's animal kingdom, so it's not surprising that they've also got one of
See full article at Den of Geek »

New Penguins of Madagascar Movie Received Mixed Reviews From Major Critics

20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation released their new comedy/animation film, "Penguins of Madagascar," into theaters this past Wednesday and all the top,major critics have submitted their reviews. It turns out that about half the group liked it with mixed results. It got an overall 53 score out of a possible 100 across 30 reviews at the Metacritic.com site. The film stars: John Malkovich, Chris Miller, Peter Stormare, Tom McGrath, Ken Jeong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Annet Mahendru and Christopher Knights. We've posted blurbs from a couple of the critics,below. Michael O'Sullivan from the Washington Post, gave it a nice 88 score, stating: " The screenplay by John Aboud, Michael Colton and Brandon Sawyer has a fizzy, pop-culture pizazz, tempered by a distinctly vaudeville sensibility. It’s smart, but not brainy; dumb, but never inane." Walter Addiego over at the San Francisco Chronicle, gave it a 78 grade. He stated: " There’s plenty here to tickle the kids,
See full article at OnTheFlix »

Film Review: ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ is Definitely No Turkey

Chicago – The only thing rarer than a spinoff that soars over its inspiration is a DreamWorks Animation production without “Dragon” in the title, and one that’s actually worth watching. Improbably, “Penguins Of Madagascar” is both.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

To be honest, I’ve felt the “Madagascar” series to be typical of DreamWorks decidedly second-tier status in the field of animation. They lacked the imagination of Pixar’s best efforts, and settled for the usual collection of celebrity voices and overly hyperactive animation, topped off with a generic frenetic dance sequence that fades from memory before the beat even stops. While “Penguins” doesn’t exactly set itself apart per se, it does freshen up the formula and shows why it became popular in the first place.

This film sends the quartet of Skipper, Kowalski, Private, and Rico into their own secret agent spy adventure beginning with an inventive heist at Fort Knox.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

‘Penguins Of Madagascar’ Review: Pete Hammond On Earthbound Spinoff

‘Penguins Of Madagascar’ Review: Pete Hammond On Earthbound Spinoff
Penguins of Madagascar waddles onto screens this holiday week, a spinoff of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar animated franchise. But as I say in my video review above, this film focuses on just one corner of that franchise’s winning collection of critters, the scheming pack of penguins. And it never quite takes flight, despite its manic pace and an evil octopus (!) voiced wonderfully by John Malkovich.

Other voice cast members include the seemingly omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom McGrath (director of the three Madagascar films), Chris Miller (Puss in Boots director), Christopher Knights and Conrad Vernon (director of Shrek 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens).

The film was directed by Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith, from a script fashioned by McGrath, Brandon Sawyer, Eric Darnell, John Aboud and Michael Colton. Producers are Laura Breay and Mark Swift.

Penguins opens in the United States on Wednesday (it’s been in China and
See full article at Deadline Movie News »

HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: 40 Pairs of Passes to ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ With John Malkovich

Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new animated comedy “Penguins of Madagascar” starring John Malkovich and Benedict Cumberbatch!

Penguins of Madagascar,” which opens on Nov. 26, 2014 and is rated “PG,” also stars Werner Herzog, Ken Jeong, Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare and Conrad Vernon from directors Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith and writers John Aboud and Michael Colton.

To win your free “Penguins of Madagascar” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 at 11 a.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition!

Preferably, use your
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Final Trailer Hits for 'Penguins of Madagascar'

DreamWorks Animation has released the new trailer for Penguins of Madagascar, starring the voice talents of Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Chris Knights, John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annett Mahendru, and Peter Stormare.

Simon Smith, and Eric Darnell directed the film from a screenplay written by Michael Colton, and John Aboud.

Super spy teams aren’t born…they’re hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then…you know), voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, voiced by John Malkovich, from destroying the world as we know it.

Penguins of Madagascar is set to hit theaters on November 26, 2014.

Check out the final trailer below.
See full article at LRM Online »

Watch: One More Trailer for 'Penguins of Madagascar' Rejects Nature

"Tiny and helpless, the baby penguins are frozen with fear." Who would have ever thought that Werner Herzog would lend his voice to DreamWorks Animation film? It sounds like an impossible task, and yet here we are with the filmmaker seemingly parodying himself as a documentary director shooting footage of the Penguins of Madagascar as young ones. But then we're brought up to speed with the Arctic birds as top notch spies, and that's when a new adventure begins. There's some childish silliness, but there's also some clever writing here, and that's from someone who has never really enjoyed these characters. Watch! Here's the new trailer for Penguins of Madagascar from DreamWorks Animation: Don't forget about the teaser trailer and previous theatrical trailer for Penguins of Madagascar too. The Penguins of Madagascar is directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar franchise) and Simon J. Smith (Bee Movie) and written by John Aboud
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Holiday 2014 Forecast: 'Penguins of Madagascar'

Holiday 2014 Forecast: 'Penguins of Madagascar'
<< Back to Holiday 2014 ForecastPenguins of MadagascarRelease Date: November 26th (3D)Studio: 20th Century FoxGenre: AnimationDirector: Eric Darnell, Simon J. SmithWriters: John Aboud, Michael Colton, Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Brandon SawyerCast: Voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Peter Stormare, John Malkovich, Tom McGrath, Chris MillerStudio Description: Super spy teams aren't born...they're hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then...you know). Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, from destroying the world as we know it.Analysis: DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar franchise has been its most reliable brand outside of the Shrek series: the third installment, 2012's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, is also the highest-grossing with $216.4 million.
See full article at Box Office Mojo »

Watch: Birds on a Mission in New 'Penguins of Madagascar' Trailer

As someone who hasn't really enjoyed the Madagascar films much, after seeing some footage from the DreamWorks Animation spin-off at Comic-Con a couple weeks ago, the Penguins of Madagascar doesn't actually look half bad. Now a new trailer shows off more of the action adventure that sees the titular Arctic birds leading a double life as spies, now forced to team up with a sect of agents known as North Wind (led by a wolf voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). We also get some glimpses of John Malkovich as the octopus villain Dr. Octavius Brine. I might actually be looking forward to this one in the fall. Watch below! Here's the new trailer for DreamWorks Animation's Penguins of Madagascar from Apple: You can also watch the first teaser trailer for Penguins of Madagascar right here. The Penguins of Madagascar is directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar franchise) and Simon J. Smith
See full article at FirstShowing.net »
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