10/03/2013 by Tatiana Siegel | The Hollywood Reporter Despite an executive shake-up Wednesday that saw CEO James Schamus out and Peter Schlessel taking the reins, it’s back to business at Focus Features. The specialty label has closed a deal to make a feature-length adaptation of Jesse Atlas‘ short Record/Play with Charles Roven‘s (Man of Steel) Atlas Entertainment producing. Atlas is writing the screenplay with Aaron Wolfe and is attached to direct. The 11-minute short, which screened at Sundance in January, is described as tragic love story wrapped in a complex time-travel scenario. The time travel is achieved by manipulating a Walkman to transport to the source of a cassette recording. The project marks the first to move forward since Schamus’ exited the specialty label amid speculation that Focus would begin to move away from its art house sensibilities. A Roven-esque sci-fi project would be a departure for the old Focus and sheds light on the direction the specialty label might be headed under Schlessel’s charge. Jeb Brody is overseeing the project at Focus. Atlas Entertainment’s Richard Suckle is producing, while Roven is executive producing. Jake Kurily is shepherding for Atlas Entertainment. Roven is producing the Man of Steel follow-up Batman vs. Superman for Warner Bros. He also has David O. Russell‘s awards-season hopeful American Hustle bowing on Christmas Day. Jesse Altas and Wolfe are repped by … Read More
Alex Stedman | News Editor, Variety.com | OCTOBER 3, 2013 Andrew Bachelor could very well be the next big thing in comedy. He’s developing a pilot with BET, had a corporate-sponsored gig with Samsung and has even taken to selling his own merchandise. No wonder two of the top five talent agencies sought to represent him. But they didn’t discover Bachelor on the standup circuit or in any other of the usual places. The comedian was spotted on Vine, the Twitter-owned app, where he’s attracted 2.5 million followers under the name King Bach. Though Vine consists entirely of videos that are just six seconds long, talent agencies have been scouting the platform. “It’s important that clients go where their fans are,” said Eric Kuhn, UTA’s head of social media. “So many people are now on Vine, and it’s increasing every day.” Since launching in January, Vine has found more than 40 million users. Bachelor is the fifth-most-followed person on the app, thanks to self-produced videos consisting of funny situations brought to a new level of absurdity, usually co-starring a cast of his friends. Though Bachelor was in talks with BET to develop a pilot based on his YouTube series “BachelorPadTV” about two years ago, the project’s prospects had stalled. “At the … Read More
5:09 PM PDT 9/25/2013 by Borys Kit Paramount has captured its next victims — we mean, writers — to pen Paranormal Activity 5. Jason Pagan and Andrew Deutschman will write the latest installment of the scary movie franchise, which has so far made more than $718 million worldwide. A Latin-themed spinoff titled Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is due to be released Jan. 3, 2014. Paranormal Activity 5 is set for an Oct. 24, 2014, open. No plot details have emerged but as the process for these movies go, Pagan and Deutschman will write scriptments that will serve as the basis for the found footage movie. Jason Blum and Oren Peli are producing. Pagan and Deutschman are already well-entrenched in that lucrative genre and at Paramount in general: They wrote Almanac, the Michael Bay–produced found footage sci-fi thriller that the studio will release Feb. 28, 2014. And last month Paramount picked up Raindrop, another film that reteams the writers with Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form and is meant to be another entry in the handheld camera genre. Pagan and Deutschman are repped by WME, manager Trevor Engelson at Underground and attorney Andrew Hurwitz.
9/24/2013 by Lesley Goldberg Nick Kreiss is going from the hidden-camera world of Punk’d to scripted comedy. The former Punk’d producer is developing a semi-autobiographical comedy for ABC, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. How to Be an Adult marks Kreiss’ first scripted sale and is described as a hybrid workplace comedy about a man-child tasked with saving his family business alongside his dad’s comically awful widow. Kreiss will pen the script for ABC and Sony Pictures Television. Fanfare’s Jamie Tarses (Happy Endings, Franklin & Bash) will executive produce alongside Evan Silverberg and Trevor Engelson. This marks the latest collaboration for Engelson and Tarses. Last year, the pair teamed with Butter writer Jason Micallef for Fox’s family comedy Bastards. Kreiss, whose credits also include Who Gets the Last Laugh? is repped by CAA and Underground. The entry marks the latest semi-autobiographical comedy this development season. Jay Baruchel is prepping his take on an actor who moves back home for ABC; and Accidentally on Purpose‘s Andrea Abbate landed a put-pilot order from Fox for a comedy based on members of her family getting out of prison, among others. Semi-autobiographical comedies were among the biggest trends of the 2012-13 development season.
9/23/2013 by Stephen Dalton | The Hollywood Reporter James McAvoy takes a depraved walk on the wild side in this gleefully lurid adaptation of a cult novel by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh. In an impressive shift away from his usual clean-cut roles, the young Scot plays a corrupt police officer riding a drug-fuelled rollercoaster to mental breakdown, roughing up his boyish good looks into a boozy, sweaty, red-eyed, fuzzy-bearded monster oddly reminiscent of Russell Crowe. Detective Bruce Robertson is a diabolically unpleasant anti-hero, but somehow McAvoy and writer-director Jon S. Baird makes us feel sympathy for the devil. First published in 1998, Filth is a scabrously funny gothic-noir thriller about a sociopathic Edinburgh cop with an insatiable appetite for kinky sex, illicit drugs and back-stabbing office politics. The title has a double meaning, for Brits at least, being an insulting slang term for the police. Baird’s film version struggles to match the book in sordid detail, but it is bursting with manic energy and savage humor. Beginning a staggered theatrical release in Scotland later this week, followed by the rest of Britain next week, overseas audience potential should be healthy based on positive advance buzz and McAvoy’s strong track record, not to mention a highly marketable sleaze factor. Welsh … Read More
By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Wednesday September 18, 2013 Jamie Abrams and DJ Lubel‘s Women Of LA short video went viral earlier this year, amassing more than 1.2 million views on YouTube and even getting a mention on Deadline (you can watch it below). It also has helped the duo set up a TV project. Fox has bought Last Night, a single-camera comedy written by Lubel and Abrams. 20th TV and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment are producing, with Kaplan executive producing. In the tone of Women Of LA, Last Night is described as Entourage meets Seinfeld and focuses on four best friends who join up every Saturday night to navigate, analyze and hopefully survive the very real social revolution that is currently upon us. The deal for the project was brokered by ICM Partners, which reps Lubel with Underground. Abrams is with APA and New Wave.
By MIKE FLEMING JR | Tuesday September 17, 2013 EXCLUSIVE: After Insidious: Chapter 2 grossed eight times its $5 million budget on its opening last weekend, the film’s producer, Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum, has set the company’s next launch at another horror film franchise. Incarnate will go into production in November, with Aaron Eckhart starring and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island‘s Brad Peyton directing a script by Ronnie Christensen. The plot: an unconventional exorcist who can tap into the subconscious of the possessed meets his match when a 9-year-old boy is possessed by a demon from his past. Blumhouse and IM Global will co-finance the film. Blum is producing, and Couper Samuelson exec producing with Michael Seitzman and Trevor Engelson. Foreign sales will be overseen by Cynthia Kim, who recently joined Blumhouse International as senior veep of International Sales and Distribution. Peyton, Stuart Ford and Charles Layton are also exec producers. Blum has put together an enviable track record in the low-cost horror game. Besides Insidious, he presides over the Paranormal Activity and Sinister franchises as well as The Purge, the latter a $3 million film which opened to a $34 million weekend in June, finishing with a $64 million domestic gross. Blumhouse has its first-look deal with Universal but Incarnate hasn’t yet been set for distribution. Hard to imagine the studio … Read More
By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 12:45pm PDT Fox has given a put pilot commitment to The Whole Shebang, a drama from Warner Bros TV and Jennifer Garner‘s Vandalia Films. Written by Jason Micallef — who wrote the 2011 feature Butter, also co-produced by Vandalia and starring Garner — Whole Shebang centers on a newly single soccer mom who inherits a rundown male strip club and unexpectedly finds herself at the center of a dysfunctional, makeshift family that helps her take charge of her life. Garner and Micallef, repped by WME and Underground, executive produce. This is the first sale for Vandalia under the overall deal the company inked with WBTV in June.
9/17/2013 by Borys Kit | The Hollywood Reporter Charlie Bean, who directed Disney XD’s animated series Tron: Uprising, has nabbed the gig to direct Ninjago, Warner Bros.’ big-screen adaptation of the popular Lego toy line. Brothers Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman, who received “story by” credit on The Lego Movie, are writing Ninjago. The Lego line has already spawned the hit Cartoon Network animated series Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, which the Hageman brothers also wrote. Ninjago sees ninjas, samurais, and senseis fight side-by-side against dragons, armies of snake men, and Lord Gagmadon, an evil warlord banished to an underworld who now seeks to return to power. Warners-based Dan Lin and Roy Lee, who are producing The Lego Movie, will produce Ninjago alongside Chris Miller and Phil Lord. The latter two are the directors of Lego Movie, the computer-animated adventure-comedy that is scheduled to be released Feb. 7, 2014. Lego’s Jill Wilfert, who oversees all the Lego movies on behalf of the company, is executive producing. Courtenay Valenti is overseeing for Warners. Ninjago will be the feature directorial debut for Bean, who also directed Cartoon Network’s Robotboy and acted as layout artist, storyboard artist and writer for influential animated shows such as Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls and The Ren & Stimpy Show. He is repped by Verve.