By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Wednesday December 4, 2013 HBO has put in development Club Life: Miami, a drama written and directed by filmmaker John Singleton (Boyz N The Hood, Shaft) who is executive producing with Russell Simmons. Set against the South Beach club scene, the project follows a reformed criminal who moves to Miami and gains a new lease on life as he embraces the vibrant, youthful and transgressive world. Simmons has a first-look deal with HBO where he also is executive producing a high-profile drama project from 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen. Singleton is repped by WME and Underground’s Trevor Engelson; Simmons is with WME.
The Oscar-nominated “Boyz n the Hood” multihyphenate will write the script and executive produce “Club Life: Miami.” 12/4/2013 by Lesley Goldberg John Singleton is heading to HBO. The Oscar-nominated Boyz n the Hood writer-director-producer is developing drama Club Life: Miami with Russell Simmons at HBO, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Club Life: Miami is set against the South Beach club scene and follows a reformed criminal who moves to Miami and gains a new lease on life as he embraces the vibrant, youthful and transgressive world. Singleton will write and executive produce the project. Simmons also is on board to executive produce Club Life via his overall deal with the premium cable network. The sale marks the second for Simmons at HBO; he most recently set up an untitled drama from 12 Years a Slave’s Steve McQueen and World War Z scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan about a young African-American man with a mysterious past as he experiences life in New York high society. Singleton is best known for Boyz n the Hood, for which he earned Academy Award nominations for directing and the original screenplay. His credits include Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Baby Boy and Four Brothers. He’s repped by WME, Trevor Engelson at Underground and Steve Barnes. Simmons, who inked his HBO pact in May, is repped by CAA. Club Life comes as premium cabler Starz is readying Power, a New York-set … Read More
12/3/2013 by Borys Kit Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a book that scared a generation of kids with its surprisingly frightening tales and perhaps even scarier pictures, is heading to the big screen. CBS Films has picked up the rights and acquired an accompanying pitch by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the duo wrote a slew of the Saw horror movies. Sean Daniels and Jason Brown of Sean Daniel Company are on board to produce along with Elizabeth Grave of 1212 Entertainment. Melton and Dunstan will now write the script, which will use the horror folktale anthology as a jumping off point and incorporate some of the book’s short stories, while concentrating on a group of kids who band together to save their town from living nightmares. 1212 initially optioned rights to the book, written by Alvin Schwartz with art by Stephen Gammell, before teaming up with Daniels, a producer on Universal’s Mummy franchise (he is also working on the reboot) and Brown. The book was initially published in 1981 and went on to sell seven million copies. Several sequel books followed. Roberto Grande and Joshua Long are serving as executive producers. CBS Films vice president Mark Ross and creative executive Alex Ginno are overseeing the project. Melton and Dunstan are names in the scary movie set. They wrote four of … Read More
BY CHARLES ISHERWOOD | NOVEMBER 18, 2013 A casual reunion of three longtime buddies slouching unprofitably through their 30s ultimately betrays a darker purpose in “Small Engine Repair,” a raw, funny and well-tooled new play written by and featuring John Pollono, who is making an impressive, double-barreled Off Broadway debut. Mr. Pollono was born in New England but currently works as an actor and writer in Los Angeles. He’s returned to his roots, after a fashion, in “Small Engine Repair,” which is set in a greasy garage in Manchester, N.H., and opened on Wednesday night at the Lucille Lortel Theater, in an MCC Theater production. (Given the play’s successful earlier run in Los Angeles at Rogue Machine Theater, I’m surprised Mr. Pollono hasn’t already been snapped up by the hungry maw of television.) Mr. Pollono’s Frank Romanowski plies the trade of the title. He had bigger plans for his life, but his girlfriend got pregnant when he was a high school junior. Frank became a young father and had to make a living, and he essentially raised his daughter, Crystal, himself. She’s now 17: roughly the age at which her father’s and mother’s lives were so irrevocably altered, a fact that will … Read More
BY JESSE McKINLEY | PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 14, 2013 John Pollono said he was knee deep writing a play about 19th-century Boston, the art of dueling and the myriad rules that govern such gunplay, when it suddenly occurred to him to lighten up. “I was like, ‘I just want to write something from the world I know,’ ” Mr. Pollono, 38, said. “And the people I know.” Those people turned out to be the trio of characters at the heart of “Small Engine Repair,” a dark comedy about a group of former high school friends whose haven’t aged well and whose current plans involve the possibility of strippers, some serious Internet shenanigans and perhaps a little vengeance. A New Hampshire native, Mr. Pollono set the play in that small state’s biggest city, Manchester, a mill town that has reinvented itself as a popular Boston commuter hub. As Mr. Pollono suggested, he knew all too well about people who felt as if their world ended at the Massachusetts border. “I did not grow up around any creative people,” said Mr. Pollono, the child of an engineer (dad) and a retired travel agent (mom). “I was hankering to be a writer and an actor, … Read More
By NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor | Monday November 11, 2013 Scottish director David Mackenzie’s prison drama Starred Up was acquired for U.S. distribution last week by Tribeca Film. Today, the movie scored eight nominations for the 16th annual Moët British Independent Film Awards. Clio Barnard’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight title, The Selfish Giant, follows with seven nods, and three films picked up five each: James McAvoy-starrer Filth; the UK’s Foreign Language Oscar entry, Metro Manila; and Roger Michell’s Le Week-End. Save for Filth, the above titles are selected in the Best British Independent Film category along with Stephen Frears’ Philomena. The latter also scored mentions for lead actress Judi Dench and lead actor Steve Coogan. Coogan is also nominated with Jeff Pope for the film’s screenplay which won the pair a prize in Venice. Another Venice title, Under The Skin, divided critics on the Lido, but received a series of nominations today including for lead actress Scarlett Johansson. Tom Hardy man-in-crisis-in-a-car movie, Locke, picked up three nods for actor, screenplay and editing. Winners will be announced on December 8th at the Old Billingsgate in London. Following is a full list of nominees: BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM Metro Manila Philomena The Selfish Giant Starred Up Le Week-End BEST DIRECTOR Jon S Baird – Filth Clio Barnard – The Selfish Giant Sean Ellis – Metro … Read More
By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Thursday October 31, 2013 The Glades star Matt Passmore is set as the lead of another potential basic cable drama series. Passmore will topline USA Network’s untitled Sean Jablonski pilot, which centers on Neil Truman (Passmore), an investment banker who attempts to satisfy his married midlife crisis by quitting his job and redefining himself and his relationships. UCP is producing, with Jablonski and Russ Krasnoff executive producing. USA had its eye on Passmore for a while but could not lock him in until he had been released from The Glades. Following The Glades’ cancellation by A&E, producer Fox TV Studios explored other potential homes for the series including Ion, though an deal could not be closed, making Passmore available. He is repped by WME, ROAR, and RGM in Australia.
10/28/2013 by Ashley Lee | The Hollywood Reporter “What if the CIA wanted to get ahold of Jason Bourne so they called his cell phone, but he’d left his phone in a toilet cubicle and the janitor picked it up and said, ‘Hello?’ ” joked director-producer Jim Field Smith at the U.S. premiere of his new show at the New York TV Festival on Saturday night. “That’s what this show is — The Wrong Mans in the wrong place at the wrong time.” The main men of The Wrongs Mans are Sam Pinkett and Phil Bourne (played by Mathew Baynton and Tony Award-winner James Corden), two lonely civil office rejects who (quite literally) walk into a multitiered criminal plot. What results is an eclectic blend of blockbuster action, serialized thriller, office-cubicle comedy and buddy film, already a U.K. hit via BBC2 and available on Hulu come Nov. 11. Baynton, who first discussed the idea with Corden during a guest arc on the beloved British sitcom Gavin & Stacey, hopes to push audiences’ expectations of television’s genres. “We were just saying to each other, why doesn’t comedy go there? Why is it only the domain of drama to do cliffhangers at the end of episodes, to have big cinematic visual ambition, to … Read More