DMG Entertainment has nabbed film and licensing rights to “Cosmere,” Brandon Sanderson’s interconnected series of acclaimed fantasy novels. The entertainment and media company has committed to spending $270 million, which will cover half of the money needed to back the first three movies made from Sanderson’s canon. That makes it one of the largest literary deals of the year. DMG beat out several interested parties for rights to the series. As part of the pact, insiders say Sanderson will receive a minimum guarantee on each film that is produced, as well as a rich backend, allowing the author to make millions. The Cosmere series links the bulk of Sanderson’s writings, with DMG likening it to acquiring a comic book universe rather than a single book franchise. The books are a mixture of sci-fi and fantasy, and they unfold in a number of different worlds and time periods, but are unified by an intricate system of magic that drives the plots. DMG is fast-tracking an adaptation of Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings,” the first in the author’s series, “The Stormlight Archive,” and has hired screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the writing team behind several “Saw” films, to adapt the book. DMG … Read More
Paramount Pictures is in negotiations to acquire an untitled pitch with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes banner producing and “Saw IV” scribes Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan writing. Michael Chaves, who wrote and directed the short “The Maiden,” is attached to direct. Plot details are being kept under wraps, but sources describe it as a supernatural horror-thriller that takes place on a global scale. Already in 2016, Platinum Dunes has bowed “The Purge: Election Year,” which became the highest-grossing pic in the series, and “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” which bowed this weekend to $13 million on a $9 million budget. It also has a new “Jack Ryan” series at Amazon going into production next year. The banner has also been busy on the pitch market, setting up the spec “Northeast Kingdom” with Alex R. Johnson to direct. The film marks the biggest production yet for Chaves, whose profile rose significantly following the release of “The Maiden,” which generated buzz online. Along with “Saw IV,” Melton and Dunstan’s past credits include “The Collector” and “Piranha 3DD.” Melton, Dunstan, and Chaves are all repped by Paradigm.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Brett Dalton and Scream Queens’ Diego Boneta are taking a ride with director/writer David Frigerio’s A Bend in the Road which is set to go before the cameras next year. The mystery thriller centers around step-sisters who are at odds with each other after the sudden, tragic death of their respective parents. With a $100M in inheritance at stake, one of the young heiresses hires a drifter to kill her stepsister. Pitch Perfect actress Alexis Knapp is currently in talks to join. Frigerio wrote the Aaron Paul horror thriller Wreckage as well as sci-fi thriller The Signal which starred Laurence Fishburne and Olivia Cooke. Frigerio will direct A Bend in the Road from his own script written with Suzanne Fitzpatrick from a story he co-penned with Darby Parker. Jordan Yale Levine of Yale Productions and Scott Levenson will produce the film. Frigerio will also serve as EP. Recent films produced by Yale Productions include writer/director Justin Kelly’s King Cobra starring James Franco and Christian Slater, set for a theatrical and digital release on October 21 via IFC, and writer/director Thomas Dekker’s Jack Goes Home starring Rory Culkin and Britt Robertson, which opened in theaters and digital platforms on March 14 via EOne. The producers will begin selling A Bend in the Road at … Read More
The May 2015 staging of Lindsey Rosin and Jordan Ross’ Unauthorized Musical Parody Of Cruel Intentions at Los Angeles’ Rockwell Table & Stage was the impetus for a series reboot of the cult 1999 movie that was ordered to pilot at NBC and remains in contention for a series pickup. Rosin and Ross are bringing Cruel Intentions: The Musical back to the Los Angeles stage with four shows at Prospect Theater on November 11-12 and November 18-19. ast year, the film’s writer-director Roger Kumble attended the Cruel Intentions performances, along with stars Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar and co-star Selma Blair. Kumble gave Rosin and Ross his blessing for the musical and later teamed with the duo to co-write the TV series adaptation, which was able to get Gellar to reprise her role. It is unclear whether any of the cast members from the pilot would appear in the musical, produced by Rosin and Ross and directed by Rosin. Based on the cult movie, Cruel Intentions is set in present day and picks up more than 15 years after the movie left off. Kathryn Merteuil (Gellar) vies for control of Valmont International as well as the soul of Bash Casey, the son of her brother, the … Read More
Tony Wood’s London-based Buccaneer Media is teaming with Irvine Welsh on the adaptation of the Scottish novelist’s Crime. This will be the first time that Welsh adapts one of his own books for television. Dougray Scott is attached to star in and exec produce the six-part drama. Buccaneer, maker of ITV and Netflix crime series Marcella, will produce, and is launching the project at Mipcom this week. Crime is the sequel to Welsh’s 1998 novel Filth, which was made into a 2013 movie starring James McAvoy. The series will be set in the present day with Scott as Detective Inspector Ray Lennox. The action takes place predominantly in Miami and will be intercut with flashbacks to Lennox’s previous case in Edinburgh. In the book, Lennox becomes embroiled in a case involving a ring of pedophiles. Welsh’s longtime screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh will co-script Crime. Exec producing with Scott are Buccaneer’s Nicola Larder, co-creator of Marcella, and Wood. Welsh says he and Cavanagh have been interested in adapting the story for some time. He calls it “a classic journey from darkness into light, and despite the troubling subject matter, I think an uplifting one.” The movie sequel to Welsh’s Trainspotting, which reunites … Read More
Milo Ventimiglia, one of the stars of the breakout new NBC/20th TV drama This Is Us, has teamed with Royal Pains co-creator Andrew Lenchewski for Kin, a 20th TV-produced drama project which has been set up at Fox with script commitment plus penalty. This marks the first professional collaboration for Ventimiglia and Lenchewski who have been friends for two decades, dating back to their time as students at UCLA. Kin hails from DiVide Pictures, Ventimiglia’s production company with another long-time friend, Russ Cundiff. Written and co-executive produced by Kevin O’Hare, Kin is loosely based on Cundiff’s extended family growing up which included several cops. The drama centers on a tight-knit Florida law-enforcement family who become the primary suspects in the disappearance of a notorious drug cartel leader following a DEA plane crash. But the undercover federal agent assigned to find out the truth is seduced by the loving and lethal clan, compromising his mission and his life. Lenchewski, Ventimiglia and Cundiff executive produce. In addition to starring in breakout fall drama This Is Us, Ventimiglia also is reprising his role in the Gilmore Girls movies on Netflix. He and Cundiff are repped by CAA and attorneys Jeffrey Frankel and Scott Whitehead. … Read More
Blumhouse Productions is gearing up for Christopher Landon’s horror movie “Half to Death,” starring Jessica Rothe, Variety has learned exclusively. “Half to Death” centers on a woman who’s trapped in a vicious cycle of death and must solve the mystery of her own murder before her chances run out. Israel Broussard plays her friend. Landon is directing from a script he co-wrote with Scott Lobdell. Jason Blum is producing for Blumhouse with Angela Mancuso and John Baldecchi as executive producers. Rothe just wrapped the indie feature “Forever My Girl,” and also plays a role in Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s “La La Land.” Her other credits include Gabriele Muccino’s “Summertime,” “The Disaster Artist” and “Please Stand By” with Dakota Fanning and Toni Collette. Rothe also appeared in the web series “High Maintenance,” which recently sold to HBO, and currently stars in MTV’s comedy “Mary + Jane.” Broussard can be seen in the AMC series, “Fear the Walking Dead” and stars in Chris McCoy’s upcoming comedy feature “Good Kids” opposite Zoey Deutch and Nicholas Braun. He starred opposite Emma Watson in Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring.” Landon and Blumhouse previously collaborated on the “Paranormal Activity” franchise. He recently directed “Scouts Guide … Read More
NBC is developing a haunted house procedural drama from a team with genre credentials, Jason Pagan & Andrew Deutschman, writers on the fifth Paranormal Activity movie, and Vertigo Entertainment, whose credits include the A&E’ series Bates Motel and The Grudge horror movie franchise. Universal Cable Prods. is the studio. Written by Pagan & Deutschman, The Eight is based on the short story, The House on Ashley Avenue, by Ian Rodgers. It is set inside the High Risk Claims Department of an AIG-like insurance company – a small secret unit that specializes in insuring haunted houses. After the death of the company’s enigmatic Founder, the department is forced into a high-stakes race to find The Eight – a mysterious group of properties, hidden across North America, connected by a terrifying and powerful force. Pagan & Deutschman executive produce along with Vertigo’s Roy Lee and Michael Connolly. Pagan & Deutschman also wrote Project Almanac for Paramount, which was produced by Platinum Dunes, and have drama Run and Gun in the works at USA Network. They are repped by WME, Underground and attorney Andrew Horwitz. Vertigo Entertainment, which also produced the Oscar-winning movie The Departed, is producing the TV series reboot, which is … Read More
The psychological thriller Pet — which stars The Lord of the Rings‘ Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo (In Search of Fellini, Turn) and Jennette McCurdy (iCarly, Sam & Cat) and premiered in Austin at SXSW earlier this year — was acquired by Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films for a day-and-date theatrical and VOD release on Dec. 2nd. The film, directed by Carles Torrens and written by Jeremy Slater, is said to be similar to Gone Girl in that it is a dark story about two isolated people, Seth and Holly, and examines how much one is willing to sacrifice in the name of love. The film was produced by Revolver Picture Company’s Nick Phillips and Kelly Martin Wagner and Magic Lantern’s Torrens. Sean Gowrie served as executive producer. The deal was negotiated by Peter Goldwyn, president of Samuel Goldwyn Films with UTA and attorney Elsa Ramo (Ramo Law )on behalf of the filmmakers.